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August 31, 2007

Convicted priest could face additional charges

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Walworth County District Attorney Phillip Koss said Friday that a prominent Jesuit priest who was convicted there last year of indecent behavior with two high school boys on retreats in Wisconsin in the 1960s is under investigation in a more recent allegation and could face additional charges.

Koss filed a petition Aug. 22 seeking to revoke the bond of Father Donald McGuire, 77, who was allowed to go back to the Chicago area last year while appealing the conviction. A hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday before Walworth County Circuit Judge James Carlson.

Koss filed the petition one day after a 21-year-old college student filed suit in Illinois accusing McGuire of molesting him from 1999 to 2003 in 12 states and six countries - including Walworth County - as the priest traveled to give spiritual retreats on behalf of the Jesuits. McGuire's ministerial career had included giving retreats for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in India and elsewhere, and members of her order were present in the courtroom when he was sentenced last year to seven years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 PM

Pastor sentenced to more than five years

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

GARY WRIGHT AND TIM FUNK
gwright@charlotteobserver.com | tfunk@charlotteobserver.com

Rev. John Henry Walker, accused of stealing from his Charlotte congregation, was sentenced tonight to more than five years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney also ordered the 48-year old pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church to pay more than $277,000 in restitution to the government.

Walker pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and lying to federal agents. Although his lawyer asked the court to let Walker stay out of jail long enough to give a goodbye sermon at his church this Sunday, the judge ordered U.S. marshals to take him immediately into custody to begin serving his sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Church accountant arrested in $400,000 theft

CHANDLER (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Sarah Muench
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 31, 2007 03:22 PM

Police have arrested an executive accountant they believe stole more than $400,000 from Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church in Chandler, police said Friday.

Brenda Su Carroll-Nester, 45, who had been employed by the church for five years, was taken into police custody Thursday after Chandler financial and computer crimes detectives served a search warrant at her Chandler home, near Hunt Highway and Gilbert Road, police said.

"As you can imagine, we are saddened and disappointed," said Michelle Rauscher, director of women's ministries at the church, who said she worked with Carroll-Nester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Buckfast monk given ten years jail for abusing boys

UNITED KINGDOM
Scotsman

A MONK from the abbey where Buckfast wine is made has been jailed for ten years for sexually abusing boys over 20 years.

Paul Couch, 61, carried out the assaults on six boys while he was a teacher at the Buckfast Abbey School in Devon.

A court heard that Couch, who was known as Father Benedict, took advantage of his trusted position as a priest and monk to molest the boys while taking them on sailing trips and playing with a model railway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Italy's Bishops Decry Possible Tax Probe

ROME
Zenit

ROME, AUG. 31, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Church is treated just like any other noncommercial organization, said the Italian bishops in the face of a possible European Commission tax probe into alleged property tax advantages.

Archbishop Giuseppe Bertori, secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, told the Italian Catholic daily Avvenire that the tax benefits enjoyed by the Catholic Church "apply only to activities of a religious and social nature, which are derived from ordinary legislation and is equal to that enjoyed by other noncommercial entities, of the third sector in particular."

He added: "Whoever protests the state's treatment of nonprofit subjects working for social promotion in areas of aid, health care, culture, education, recreation and sports is showing a substantial distrust toward the many social entities of varying origins, particularly active in counteracting suffering and poverty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Number of allegations rises against southern Indiana priest

EVANSVILLE (IN)
Kentucky.com

By RYAN LENZ
Associated Press Writer

EVANSVILLE, Ind. --Roman Catholic church officials said Friday that more than 10 people have come forward with allegations they were sexually abused by a southern Indiana priest.

The Diocese of Evansville said the number of allegations against Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, who died in 1988, has continued to grow since Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger announced the abuse during sermons at a Jasper church two weekends ago. ...

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests, said the number of victims of clergy sex abuse who come forward often are a fraction of the population they represent.

Clohessy said he expected the number of allegations of abuse at Schroeder's hands to grow.

"My hunch is that if 10 have come forward, there may well be dozens more still trapped in shame and confusion," Clohessy said. "Typically only the tip of the iceberg comes forward."

Clohessy, a victim of clergy sexual abuse, planned to protest Sunday outside Evansville's cathedral with fliers demanding church officials disclose details of "a pedophile priest's sex crimes" and urge others abused by clergy to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

august ecclesiastics

UNITED STATES
Catholic World News

It hasn't been a great month for polishing the reputation of senior churchmen. Gallup, New Mexico, presents us with the Mystery of the Bouncing Bishop: the newly-bashful Donald E. Pelotte. Back on July 23rd, When Pelotte failed to show up at the office for an appointment, his chancellor Timoteo Lujan drove to his residence, unlocked the entrance and unlocked Pelotte's bedroom door, to find him "heavily bruised across the face, along the chest area, both arms, the knuckles, the legs, and the feet." Lujan saw blood on the floor and the stairwell wall. "He looks like he got beat up," Lujan remarked at first. Pelotte insisted he had fallen down the stairs and did not want medical attention, but Lujan convinced him to go to a hospital, where the ER physician suspected Pelotte had been the victim of a violent assault and contacted law enforcement. You can read the police incident report here.

Sadly, certain skeptical persons have proven more willing to share the views of the reporting officer, the attending physician, and the chancellor (in his initial impressions) than to accept the innocent explanation offered by the good bishop himself:

In a newspaper editorial, the Gallup Independent said it appears that "Pelotte was viciously assaulted and now he's trying to cover up either because he wants to protect the person who did it or wants to keep secret the relationship he has with the perpetrator."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Houma priest accused of sexual activity with child

HOUMA (LA)
Houma Today

JOHN DeSANTIS
Senior Staff Writer

HOUMA -- The pastor of a Houma Catholic church was placed on leave due to an allegation of improper sexual activity with a child.

The Rev. Etienne LeBlanc, 64-year-old pastor of Annunziata Church, has denied the allegations, Bishop Sam Jacobs, spiritual leader of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, told parishioners during Masses held Saturday and Sunday.

An investigation by church authorities is under way and will include a medical and psychological evaluation. LeBlanc, Jacobs said, is formally on administrative leave.

The bishop’s words to parishioners, as well as a statement issued by the diocese, were sparse. They said, however, that the allegation did not involve anyone connected to Annunziata.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Child abuse search clears city clergy

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

David Ottewell
31/ 8/2007

A MASS screening of Church of England clergy across Manchester has turned up no record of child abuse allegations.

The Bishop of Manchester, Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, commissioned an independent lawyer to carry out checks on 767 serving and retired members of the clergy within his diocese.

The move followed two high-profile national paedophile cases in which the church was accused of a cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Clergy sex-crime review completed

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An investigation into 777 members of clergy in the diocese of Manchester has found no record of abuse allegations.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, appointed a lawyer to make sure none of the files contained child protection issues.

The review came after former vicar David Smith was jailed for abusing six children over a 30-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Jail for child sex abuse teacher

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former boarding school teacher has been jailed for 10 years and nine months after being convicted of 13 sexual offences against children.

Paul Couch, 61, of Wyndham Street West, Plymouth, was found guilty earlier in August of two counts of serious sexual assault and 11 of indecent assault.

Couch, a former monk, had denied the charges at Exeter Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

LA archdiocese knew accused priest's plan to leave country

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic World News

Los Angeles, Aug. 31, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A Los Angeles archdiocesan official knew in 1988 that a priest accused of molesting children planned to leave the country, an internal memo shows.

In a 1988 letter released that was this week to a California court, Msgr. Thomas Curry-- who was then a chancery official, and is now an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles-- said that Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera disclosed plans to return to Mexico. Soon thereafter, Aguilar Rivera fled to Mexico, escaping prosecution in California. He is now a fugitive, presumably in Mexico.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles archdiocese stressed that although Bishop Curry knew that the accused priest was planning to travel to Mexico, he had no reason to believe that Aguilar Rivera would attempt to escape prosecution. California prosecutors unsuccessfully sought to extradite the priest later in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Abused churchgoers’ forum

UNITED KINGDOM
Response Source

In response to the launch of an organisation called Churchgoer Support which has been set up to provide a forum for victims of mistreatment by the Church – be that physical or psychological – and to expose attempts by the Church to cover its tracks, the organisation’s website has been inundated with visitors.

The new website aimed at helping people who have suffered at the hands of their church or minister, which was launched last month by Patricia Davies, herself caused much distress and mental anguish by the actions of a woman priest, is proving extremely popular with many visitors during its first weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Prestige of clergy helped hide abuse

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders
Local News - Friday, August 31, 2007 @ 08:00

The prestige bestowed upon a priest once contributed to a culture of silence surrounding child sexual abuse, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Thursday.

Rev. Tom Doyle said parents and other community members were not only willing to hand over children to the care of priests but were reluctant to believe allegations the very same clergy members were sometimes sexual predators.

"It was a privilege to be with these priests," said Doyle. "It was a privilege to have a priest in your home.

"It was okay if your child slept in the same bed with the Father. It certainly wouldn't be okay if he was the janitor."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Shabbat Shalom

MARYLAND
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

I have received several e-mail's from various people who are in a state of shock over the case of rabbi Moshe Eisemann. I know how difficult it can be learning someone you honored and respected allegedly sexually abused a child.

Many survivors may also be having a whole array of mixed feelings. On one level they may be elated that the dark secret they have been keeping for years is finally exposed. What happened to them is finally in the light. They may also be feeling a sense of guilt -- if they start learning that more children were abused by the same offender -- and they never told anyone. It would not be unusual for survivors to also be having flashbacks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Ner Israel Rabbi Alleged Abuser

MARYLAND
Baltimore Jewish Times

Phil Jacobs 08/31/07
The whispering got louder in the summer of 2006. Rabbi Moshe Eisemann, 71, a beloved longtime Ner Israel Rabbinical College scholar, teacher and author, was associated with the words "alleged molester."

A Baltimore-area pulpit rabbi and Ner Israel colleague left Rabbi Eisemann off the invitation list to his daughter’s wedding, because of the uncertainty of it all.

The blogs, the Internet sites, were teeming with allegations of molestations by many rabbis, including Rabbi Eisemann. There have never been any complaints or charges filed with the police against the rabbi.

When students identified themselves as victims to Ner Israel, the school allegedly chose Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer, president of the Baltimore Vaad HaRabonim, to look into the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

DOJ drops sex charges of pastor vs. ex-teacher

PHILIPPINES
Daily Star

BY ALEX PAL
The Department of Justice has dismissed the sexual harassment charges filed by a Mindanao-based pastor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines against his female former teacher at Silliman University Divinity School, an ordained UCCP minister.

In a four-page resolution dated August 14, Acting Regional State Prosecutor Llena Ipong said that the sexual harassment charge filed by the pastor was only a means of gaining leverage over his former teacher, who had earlier filed a rape case against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Youth pastor sends sex case to trial

BATTLE CREEK (MI)
The Enquirer

Trace Christenson
The Enquirer

A Battle Creek youth pastor charged with using the Internet to solicit sex from a child has waived the case to Calhoun County Circuit Court for trial.

Troy Deal, 34, agreed Thursday to the waiver of his preliminary examination in district court.

Deal, on paid leave as director of youth ministries at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, is charged with 11 counts, including:

Using a computer to communicate with another to solicit child sexually abusive activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Church faces molestation lawsuit

LAPORTE (IN)
Post-Tribune

August 31, 2007
BY STAN MADDUX Post-Tribune correspondent

A LaPorte church and its clergy are fighting a lawsuit that seeks more than $30 million, alleging negligence in acts of child molesting by the grandson of the church pastor.

Meanwhile, the legal guardian for the alleged victim named in the lawsuit is disputing claims by the attorney for the Rev. Jack Cox and two other defendants in their bid to have the lawsuit dismissed.

"I went to that church starting when I was 3. He's never as much apologized," said the 30-year old LaPorte woman.

She and her 13-year-old nephew are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Aug. 2 in LaPorte Circuit Court against Cox, his grandson Mark Comford and Faith Baptist Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Church backs Mugabe bishop critic

ZIMBABWE
BBC News

Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic bishops have publicly pledged their support for the Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, a prominent government critic.

The nine bishops took out a full-page advert in the official Herald newspaper, in which they said he had "exposed the evils" of the government.

The move comes after accusations that Archbishop Ncube had had an affair with a married woman in his parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Diocese land slated to sell this week

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokane Journal of Business

By Emily Proffitt

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane expects to choose a buyer this week for a sizable chunk of developable land it owns on the West Plains.

The nearly 93-acre site is located just west of Interstate 90 and directly south of Medical Lake Road, across I-90 from Fairways Travel Center and a retail center called Fairways Plaza that a company headed by Spokane builder Dick Vandervert is developing. The site is one of the assets the diocese is selling under its bankruptcy plan, says Michael Paukert, an attorney at Spokane-based Paine Hamblen Coffin Brooke & Miller LLP, which is representing the diocese in the bankruptcy. ...

The diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2004 in the wake of claims totaling tens of millions of dollars filed by people who said that when they were children, they were victims of sex abuse by priests. The diocese is using the money from the sale of its assets to repay creditors in the bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Bishop Speaks Out About Sex Abuse Scandal

EVANSVILLE (IN)
WEHT

EVANSVILLE - NEWS 25 learns two new victims have come forward accusing the late Monsignor Othmar Schroeder of sexual abuse. That brings the number of victims to ten. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger says Monsignor Schroeder's victims were alter boys, boys who stayed after school for athletics and boy scouts. He says he wouldn't be surprised if the number of victims continues to grow.

Schroeder founded Holy Family Church in Jasper in 1947. He died in 1988. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger came to the Evansville diocese one year after his death.

Gettelfinger first learned of the Schroeder's abuse in 1996 but didn't report it because he said society wouldn't have accepted it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Perpetrators and victims: What do people really think?

The Tidings

By Sharon Womack Doty

It is difficult not to make assumptions about the perpetrators and victims of child sexual abuse. We often hope that the people who do these things are easy to recognize and fit into the categories we think should apply to them and we hope that we can recognize when a victim is telling the truth about an allegation.

However, as with many things in life, we base our decisions about victims and perpetrators on basic underlying assumptions that may or may not be correct. Operating based on these assumptions can undermine our commitment to keep children safe from sexual predators.

A review of the results of a recent study of people's perceptions regarding child sexual and physical abuse tell us something about how the public views disclosures, which gives us some insight into how we react to different kinds of victims and the challenges victims face when they speak up. The study looked at the effects of gender (of victims and perpetrators), type of abuse, and the relationship between these factors and whether the allegation is perceived as credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Choir director indicted for molesting teen

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 30, 2007
FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS
The director of a South Side music choir was indicted Thursday for allegedly molesting a 16-year-old female choir member.

Brian Scott, in his 30s, of the 1700 block of West 95th Place, was indicted on eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. Scott is slated for arraignment on Sept. 7.

Scott, the director of the Rebirth of Liberty Choir, who also plays keyboards in the choir, ran auditions. After the teen landed a spot on the choir, Scott abused her on three occasions in Chicago -- in a park, in the basement of a church and in Scott’s apartment, according to a court proffer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Most survivors opt in to settlement

CANADA
Hope Standard

By Jennifer Feinberg
Black Press

Aug 30 2007

Settlement cheques are on the way for residential school survivors, but whether the historic agreement leads to any healing or reconciliation is up for some debate, according to one Sto:lo elder.

With a total of 201 former students opting out of the deal by the Tuesday deadline, the $2-billion dollar settlement is now set in motion.

Former students will be paid between $8,000 and $30,000 for time spent at government-sanctioned and church-run boarding schools, while those who suffered sexual or serious physical abuse may qualify for up to $275,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Choir director accused of molestation

CHICAGO (IL)
WQAD

Associated Press - August 31, 2007 5:14 AM ET

CHICAGO (AP) - A Cook County grand jury has indicted the director of a choir on Chicago's South Side for allegedly molesting a 16-year-old female choir member.

The Cook County State's Attorney's office says Brian Scott, who is believed to be in his 30s, was indicted yesterday on eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Scott is the director of the Rebirth of Liberty Choir and also plays keyboards. According to court documents, after the teen landed a spot on the choir, Scott abused her on three occasions in Chicago -- in a park, in the basement of a church and in his apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Charges dropped against former school chaplain

AUSTRALIA
Religious Intelligence

By: George Conger.

SEXUAL ABUSE charges levelled against a former Church of England school chaplain, the Rev John Mountford, have been dropped by South Australia prosecutors following the withdrawal of the complaint by the alleged victim.

The Mountford affair led to the forced resignation of Adelaide’s Archbishop Ian George on June 11, 2004, following the publication of an independent report into the diocese’s handling of the clergy sexual abuse complaints.

Mountford fled to Thailand in 1992 after he was confronted with allegations that he molested a 14-year-old student at St Peter’s College, Adelaide: a prestigious Anglican boy’s boarding school. He was arrested by Thai police in 2004 and extradited to Australia a year later to stand trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

New victims claim priest abuse

INDIANA
Courier & Press

By Susan Orr
Originally published 12:00 a.m., August 31, 2007
Updated 12:04 a.m., August 31, 2007

More than 10 victims have alleged sexual abuse by the late Monsignor Othmar Schroeder and reports are continuing to come in, the Catholic Diocese of Evansville's bishop said Thursday.

Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger said two more reports came in Thursday through the diocese's sexual abuse hot line. Most of the reports have been from men but some have been from women, he said.

This is the largest number of victims associated with a single priest in the diocese's history, Gettelfinger said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Activists pushing Toledo to remove Schmit street signs

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Free Press

By Scott McKimmy
Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
news@toledofreepress.com

Justice has been served for the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl more than 27 years ago with the conviction of Father Gerald Robinson in May 2006, but a relative of the victim and a victim's advocacy group continue to pursue a cause in the aftermath of the case.

Of the streets signs surrounding Fifth Third Field that honor local leaders who stand out in Mud Hens history, two bear the name of Monsignor Jerome Schmit, a Catholic priest who dedicated his life to the church and sports in the community. But according to Lee Pahl, nephew of Sister Pahl, and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Monsignor Schmit also interferred with the murder investigation of Father Robinson.

They want the signs removed.

“We are concerned any time a clergyman is given accolades when he is involved in wrongdoing,” said Barbara Blaine, SNAP president. “And we believe that Monsignor Schmit was on the wrong side back in 1980 when Monsignor Schmit made the decision to try to help the priest defend himself. We think Monsignor Schmit should have been trying to help the police uncover who the murderer was of the nun, and we think he should have been reaching out to the family.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

August 30, 2007

Joliet priest dies before he is sentenced for abuse

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
8:42 PM CDT, August 30, 2007

The Will County state's attorney's office has ended the sex-abuse prosecution of a 77-year-old Carmelite priest from Joliet after he died this month.

Rev. Louis Rogge died Aug. 8, just weeks after his attorney was granted a sentencing delay because Rogge expected to soon be formally diagnosed with lung cancer.

The state's attorney's office ended the prosecution at a scheduled hearing in the case Tuesday.

Rogge in April pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for molesting two young teen brothers in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 PM

Apology to abused 'extremely important': priest

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By Terri Saunders
Standard-Freeholder

Cornwall

A personal apology from the perpetrator of sexual abuse is invaluable to the healing process for a victim, a priest told the Cornwall Public Inquiry today.

"A personal apology is extremely important, if it's sincere," said Rev.Tom Doyle. "Of course, most men and women can tell right away if it's not sincere."

Doyle said it's been his practice when counselling sexual abuse victims and their families to offer an apology for the abuse at the start of treatment.

"Once we've established a level of trust, I get them alone and I apologize to them for what has happened to them at the hands of a priest and for the way they were treated by the church," said Doyle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Group warns of priest accused of sex crimes living in town

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KVBC

A former priest from St. Louis accused of numerous sex crimes is reportedly now living in Las Vegas. And one group wants the public to know about him.

Members of the group SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, want to bring attention to James Beine. They say he's now changed his name to Mar James.

In 2004 he was convicted in St. Louis exposing himself to two boys. Even though a Missouri supreme court overturned that conviction, SNAP believes he's still a danger to children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Former Bishop Pilla testifies in kickback trial

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Thursday, August 30, 2007

James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter
Defense lawyers expected embarrassing bombshells to drop when retired Bishop Anthony Pilla took the stand Wednesday in the kickback trial of a former diocese accountant.

For months the lawyers had maintained in court filings that the Catholic Dio cese of Cleveland had made secret payments to the accountant, with the approval of Pilla. They even said the retired bishop benefited from the payments.

Finally Wednesday, the lawyers had Pilla on the stand and were ready to pin him down. But the bombshells did not drop. A judge refused to let the lawyers ask their questions.

Federal prosecutors called Pilla to testify in the kickback trial of Anton Zgoznik, the former accountant.

The questioning of Pilla was tempered and unemotional, lasting less than two hours. It barely touched on Zgoznik, but was dominated instead by the bishop's dealings with the former head lawyer and chief financial officer of the diocese, Joseph Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Bishop Pilla testifies in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (OH)
dotCommonweal

August 30, 2007, 8:48 am
Posted by Paul Lauritzen

Former Cleveland Bishop, Anthony Pilla, testified yesterday in the corruption trial involving former diocesan officials. Prosecutors called Pilla to testify, but when the defense attorney sought to press Pilla on whether he personally benefited from sweetheart deals, the judge, Ann Aldrich, ruled in favor of the prosecutors’ objections and shut down this line of questioning.

One exchange in court was memorable, if only for Bishop Pilla’s demonstration that he is not a fan of movie classics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

A holy hold-up

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Magazine

By Scott Zoback

The alleged sex-abuse victims of retired Worcester priest John Szantyr are going to have to wait even longer to find out if there is a chance for justice.

It's something they're almost getting used to — the next time a court convenes on the case, it will be the 34th court date for the criminal cases that have wound their way through the court system since Szantyr's initial arraignment on charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 in July, 2003.

On Monday, another continuance was granted when the Worcester County District Attorney's Office couldn't find the Szantyr psychiatric evaluation that had been supposedly overnighted to the courthouse by the doctor who performed it on Thursday, Aug. 17. A new status hearing is now scheduled for Sept. 25.

The Szantyr case includes multiple criminal and civil charges from several alleged victims. One alleged victim, Mike Chesnis, has publicly claimed that Szantyr molested him in the mid-1980s during Szantyr's time at Our Lady of Czestochowa. Another pending case dates to the same era.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Inquiry to hear from controversial priest

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders / Standard-Freeholder
Local News - Thursday, August 30, 2007 @ 08:00

Despite the efforts of one lawyer to ban him from giving expert testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, the commission will hear from Rev. Tom Doyle Thursday.

Doyle, a priest who was born in the United States but spent a considerable portion of his life living and working in Cornwall, will provide evidence as to how sexual abuse by priests affects victims, their families and the community at large.

On Wednesday, David Sherriff-Scott, an attorney for the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese, suggested Doyle is not objective about such matters.

In emails Doyle wrote to the operator of a website in 2001, he doesn't mince words when giving his opinion on the issue.

"The hierarchy (of the Catholic Church) is about the most corrupt political entity on the globe," Doyle wrote. "At least with the Nazis you knew what you were dealing with."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Group attacks diocese's lawsuit in abuse case

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A victims rights group criticized the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Tuesday for suing an alleged clergy abuse victim, but church officials say they are just trying to clarify the law.

In a press conference in Sacramento, leaders of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) accused the diocese of legal maneuvering. The diocese is challenging the legal standing of a Texas man trying to sue for alleged sexual abuse more than two decades ago.

"Instead of using hardball tactics, they should find the truth," said Nancy Sloan, of Sacramento SNAP.

Sloan and others called the lawsuit "unprecedented" and an "attempt to intimidate other victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Monsignor Othmar Schroeder

JASPER (IN)
BishopAccountability.org

By Jim Anderson
WBDC News 100.9 FM
August 20, 2007

In an open letter this past weekend, to the Holy Family Church, Father John Boeglin asked members of the parish to pray for the forgiveness of Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, the founder of Holy Family. Father Boeglin also asked the congregation to pray for the continued healing of those who became innocent victims, because of the actions of Monsignor Schroeder, so many years ago.

Bishop Gerald Gettlefinger also spoke with parish members this weekend as he outlined steps taken by the diocese to lessen the pain suffered by those who were sexually violated. Although counseling has been provided, the bishop explained that the prominent display of the name and picture of Monsignor Schroeder, causes continued pain and interrupts the healing process for the un-named victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

2 brothers claiming abuse sue priest who sued them

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 30, 2007
Two brothers filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a Catholic priest who sued them for defamation last year — after they told the Archdiocese of Chicago he had sexually abused them.

Cardinal Francis George removed the Rev. Robert Stepek from ministry at St. Albert the Great parish in Burbank last November after an archdiocesan review board concluded there was reasonable cause to believe the abuse had taken place.

The allegations stemmed from the 1980s, when the priest was at St. Symphorosa parish on the South Side and the brothers were 9 and 16 years old. Stepek denied the abuse and sued the brothers, known as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 in court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Sex charges against former pastor go to grand jury

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Felony charges of sexual battery by an authority figure against the former pastor of Walnut Grove Baptist Church were bound over to a grand jury this afternoon.

Steven. C. Haney, 47, who had been at the church some 20 years, is accused of having a six-year sexual affair with a young parish member that began when the boy was 15.

“Steve had convinced me this was for God,” the young man, now 21, testified in General Sessions Criminal Court. “He was a mentor and someone who told me we were a team. I was always trying to get out of it. He always told me to step it up.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Pastor faces sexual assault charges

BETHANY (CT)
Amity Observer

Terri Miles, Editor August 29, 2007

BETHANY - The pastor of First Church of Christ in Bethany was arrested Sunday on sexual assault charges.

Stephen J. Wasko, 54, of 66 East Broadway Ave., Milford, was suspended from the church on July 2 after allegations of sexual assault on minors surfaced.

Several cars were in the church parking lot Monday evening but none of the parishioners would comment on the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Midsouth Minister charged with sexual battery goes before a judge

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG

Memphis, TN--A long time Midsouth pastor goes before a judge for the first time in connection with sexual battery charges. Wednesday, Steven Haney went before General Sessions Judge Ann Pugh for a preliminary hearing, also in court the now 21 year old victim to come forward in the case. The young man went before the Judge to testify about sexual abuse he says happened between he and his pastor, Steven Haney.

He told the court, "He began telling me that I could become a model and at 15 we began doing measurements.. (Assistant District Attorney, Jen Morris says, What kind of measurements??) I would be naked on his couch in his church office and he would touch me in my private area." During the lengthy testimony he told the court the alleged abuse started when he was just 15 years old, saying Haney would ask him to come to his church office, take off his clothes and perform oral sex. He went on to tell the Judge, Haney told him the acts would bring him closer to God. Alleged Victim says, "He told me why did you get so scared, so nervous...and he said if your going to be willing to be a man of God....it started with a kiss and that progressed over time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

THE SOULVINE

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Wave

By BETTY PLEASANT, Contributing Editor 30.AUG.07
KISS ST. PAUL GOOD-BYE — Well, the majority of the 93 remaining members of the once powerhouse 100-year-old St. Paul Baptist Church voted Sunday to retain the Rev. Joel Anthony Ward has their pastor. In a meeting Sunday, the members voted 55-37 for Ward’s retention. Tarshia Rodgers, the choir director whom the preacher impregnated, attended the meeting, marking the first time she’s set foot in the church since obtaining a restraining order against Ward. She was there as a member to vote against Ward and to report the proceedings to you and me. This is Tarshia’s report as to what happened at the meeting:

“First of all, Ward was not supposed to be in a meeting regarding himself. Not only was he in it, he conducted the entire meeting and the deacons stood by and allowed it to happen. Then he proceeded to make everyone sit in groups according to the month of their birth and had leaders of the 12 groups pass out numbered ballots. He then asked the leader of each birthday group to tell him what group of numbers they had. Seeing how no one group had more than 10 people in it, it would be very easy to determine who voted how. ... One member challenged him on this farce of a voting system and told him by doing this, people were uncomfortable about voting how they wanted because they felt he would know about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Gag order issued in child sex trial

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau

AMITE — A 21st Judicial District judge barred attorneys from talking to news reporters about the state’s cases against two of the former Hosanna Church members accused of having sex with children.

State District Judge Zoey Waguespack issued the gag order during a pre-trial hearing for the two defendants in her Amite courtroom on Wednesday.

Robbin Lamonica, 47, of Holden is charged with aggravated oral sexual battery, and Louis D. Lamonica, 47, of Hammond is charged with aggravated rape.

“I have been reading a lot about this case and seeing it on TV,” Waguespack told attorneys. “We are not going to try this case in the press.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Pastor had sex with daughters: court

AUSTRALIA
The Age

A fundamentalist church pastor had sex with two of his teenage daughters to educate them on how to be good wives, a South Australian court has heard.

The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named, was sentenced in the SA District Court to eight and a half years jail after pleading guilty to seven counts each of incest and unlawful sexual intercourse.

The court heard that the man had sex with his daughters for nearly a decade from 1991 when they were aged 13 and 15 at the family property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Pastor sentenced to 8yrs for incest

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A pastor from a South Australian fundamentalist church has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years after admitting he had sex with two of his teenage daughters.

The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to seven counts each of incest and unlawful sexual intercourse.

The court heard that the man had sex with his daughters for nearly a decade in the 1990s at the family property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Bankruptcy Judge Extends Davenport Diocese's Deadline

IOWA
KTIV

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- A federal bankruptcy judge has given the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport more time to file its reorganization plan.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall in the wake of claims of sexual abuse by priests. A total of 156 claims have been filed in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Sex abuse cover up theory valid, says lawyer

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders / Standard-Freeholder
Local News - Thursday, August 30, 2007 @ 08:00

A lawyer at the Cornwall Public Inquiry said Wednesday a known gag order on victims lends credence to the theory the Catholic Church worked hard to cover up allegations of abuse by priests.

In a 1962 Vatican-issued directive, all parties involved in internal diocese investigations into abuse allegations were sworn to secrecy. "If a component of a system of cover up isn't a severe religious oath upon the victim to remain perpetually silent, I don't know what is," said Rob Talach, an attorney representing The Victims Group at the inquiry. The directive, which church officials now say was rarely if ever implemented in dioceses around the country, outlines how abuse allegations were to be handled. Priests, victims and anyone else taking part in the internal hearings were prohibited from ever speaking publicly about the matter.

"The victim couldn't go to the police, he couldn't go to the Children's Aid Society and he couldn't tell his parents," said Talach.

"If he did, he would be thrown out of the church. He would become an outsider."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Sask. police are examining abuse allegations

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Elisabeth Johns / Standard-Freeholder
Local News - Thursday, August 30, 2007 @ 08:00

Prince Albert, Sask., police are now looking into allegations a Cornwall priest sexually abused a boy decades ago while he resided in that region.

"This is totally new to us," said Insp. Howard Georgeson, with the Prince Albert Police Service, who added the police are obliged to look into the complaint.

The Alexandria-Cornwall Catholic Diocese issued a press release Tuesday stating Rev. Gaetan Deschamps was retiring amidst these allegations.

However, Deschamps denies the accusations and has never been charged under any jurisdiction for this complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

[Catholic Church Scandal]Unpriestly acts prompt more calls for action

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles City Beat

Documents released by the Los Angeles archdiocese this week shine more light on cover-ups by high-ranking church officials to protect priests accused of sexual abuse from prosecution. The documents pertain to former Los Angeles priest Nicholas Aguilar Rivera, a Mexican national who in 1987 was accused of molesting 26 boys in Los Angeles, narrowly escaped prosecution by fleeing the country.

Mary Grant, spokesperson for the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a national support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse, demanded that Cardinal Roger Mahoney suspend Bishop Thomas Curry because he facilitated Aguilar’s escape and let him avoid prosecution in the United States.

“At least twice, Bishop Curry has helped pedophile priests evade justice,” said Grant, who alleges that Curry took active steps to hide Aguilar from police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Former priest sued by brothers

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
August 30, 2007

COOK COUNTY - The legal battle involving sexual abuse allegations against a southwest suburban pastor took another twist Wednesday when his two accusers sued the priest for abuse.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said their clients, who are brothers, did not initially intend to sue Rev. Robert Stepek, former pastor of St. Albert the Great Church in Burbank. Stepek was removed from ministry after a Chicago archdiocese review.

But shortly after his removal, Stepek filed a $4 million defamation lawsuit against his accusers, saying the allegations were false. The men filed a third-party complaint two weeks later saying the archdiocese should be held responsible for publicizing the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Hearing bodes well for Botsford

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff | August 30, 2007

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford earned plaudits for her experience, intelligence, and integrity, but some of her criminal sentences were criticized as excessively lenient yesterday by several members of the Governor's Council reviewing her candidacy for the state's highest court.

Nonetheless, it appears likely that the 60-year-old jurist will be confirmed to the Supreme Judicial Court when the Governor's Council votes tomorrow. Botsford, nominated to the post by Governor Deval Patrick last month, needs only a majority vote of the eight-member council; three members openly pledged their support during yesterday's confirmation hearing, and even her fiercest interrogators on the council declined to say they would vote against her.

During a hearing on her judicial nomination, Botsford was pressed to explain why in October 2005 she sentenced a former Catholic priest who had molested five boys to eight to 11 years in prison. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 12 to 15 years, while defense lawyers asked for five to eight years.

Botsford said that the defendant, Robert Burns, was 59 years old, and that the abuse had taken place 15 to 25 years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

High court to hear plea of accused ex-priest

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By ABBY SIMONS
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

A former Alaska priest accused of sexual abuse and denied admission to Iowa's bar in 2006 will fight before Iowa's high court today for his right to practice law in the state.

Michael Patrick Nash, 57, a 2006 Creighton Law School graduate, formally left the priesthood in 2005 following accusations that he had sexually abused boys in remote areas of the Juneau Archdiocese in the 1980s.

In legal briefs, his attorney contends that the Iowa Board of Law Examiners erred in its refusal to admit him to the Iowa Bar Association. The board counters that Nash's admitted acts against the boys, which included requesting foot and neck massages and making them do calisthenics in their underwear as punishment for misbehavior, "raise character concerns adequate to deny him permission to practice in Iowa."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

August 29, 2007

Former bishop Pilla says report of kickbacks a shock

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Mike Tobin August 29, 2007 16:39PM

Former Bishop Anthony Pilla said he was shocked when confronted with evidence that Cleveland Catholic Diocese employees stole hundreds of thousands of dollars through what prosecutors call an elaborate kickback scheme.

Pilla, the longtime leader of the diocese who retired in last year, took the stand in the trial of Anton Zgoznik, who is accused of multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Zgoznik's supervisor, Joseph Smith, will stand trial later. He faces the same charges.

Smith was the highest-ranking layperson to work at the diocese, serving as chief financial officer. Prosecutors accuse Smith of approving inflated billings from Zgoznik, who in turn paid money to companies owned by Smith, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Long Dead, a Revered Small-Town Priest Is Disgraced

JASPER (IN)
The New York Times

By MICHAEL RUBINO
Published: August 30, 2007
JASPER, Ind., Aug. 29 — Msgr. Othmar Schroeder was revered in this town of 12,000 for starting a parish and a school. The Knights of Columbus Council in Jasper was named for him. He served his entire 50-year career locally.

Now the bishop is calling on churches here to remove photos of the late priest and rescind honors that were given him, because he is suspected of having molested scores of young boys.

The bishop, Gerald A. Gettelfinger, has also prevailed upon the Knights of Columbus Council to change its name, and is considering what to do about a 12-foot stone crucifix dedicated in Monsignor Schroeder’s memory at the cemetery of Sacred Heart Church in nearby Schnellville, where he is buried.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

Where is Pelotte?

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — When it comes to the subject of Bishop Donald E. Pelotte of the Diocese of Gallup, questions about his medical condition are in abundance while answers are in short supply.

The latest question is: Where is the Roman Catholic bishop?

According to an official statement by chancery officials, posted on the diocese’s Web site on Monday, Pelotte is continuing to receive treatment at Memorial Hermann/TIRR in Houston. ...

But according to two parishioners from Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, who talked separately with the Independent late Tuesday evening, an announcement was made during last weekend’s Mass that Pelotte was being transferred to a new hospital in Florida.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 PM

Priest Defends Himself From Two Accusers

BURBANK (IL)
Southwest News-Herald

By CHUCK SALVATORE

The parishioners of St. Albert the Great in Burbank gathered Friday in support of their pastor, the Rev. Robert Stepek.

Stepek is accused of sexually molesting two young boys in the 1980s while serving as an associate pastor at St Symphorosa Church in Chicago. The two boys are brothers and had been family friends for many years with Stepek.

Around 200 supporters gathered at Niko’s Restaurant in Bridgeview to show support for Stepek. Most were from St. Albert the Great. However there were also people from St. Symphorosa and other priests who have known Stepek for years.

The atmosphere around the room was upbeat. Many in attendance were happy they were able to see their pastor for the first time in months. No one there believed the charges; instead, most think the brothers are out to hurt Stepek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Financial irregularities shocked former Cleveland bishop

CLEVELAND (OH)
WDTN

Associated Press - August 29, 2007 12:25 PM ET

CLEVELAND (AP) - The bishop of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese expressed shock when he heard a whistle blowers' report on the church's financial irregularities.

The reaction of retired Bishop Anthony Pilla three years ago is being detailed in U.S. District Court testimony in Cleveland.

Retired accountant and financial adviser to the church William Reidy is testifying at the fraud trial of a former church accountant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Italian priest ignites celibacy debate with profession of love

ITALY
Catholic World News

Rome, Aug. 29, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A Catholic priest in Monterosso, Italy, has given new impetus to public debate on clerical celibacy by announcing that he is in love with a local woman.

Father Sante Squotti claims to be "engaged" to the woman, who is separated from her husband. But in a confused series of remarks he insisted that he would continue to adhere to his vow of celibacy. "Canon law does not forbid a priest from falling in love, or from becoming engaged in a celibate manner," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Police reopen murder case that stunned Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Keith Moor

August 30, 2007 12:00am
AN accused pedophile priest has emerged as a suspect in the 1980 killing of Thornbury bookshop owner Maria James.

Homicide squad detective Ron Iddles yesterday confirmed dead Catholic priest the Rev Father Anthony Bongiorno was one of several "persons of interest" being examined during a review of the case.

Mrs James, 38, died after being stabbed 68 times on June 17, 1980.

Det Sen-Sgt Iddles recently received new information that suggests Father Bongiorno, who died in 2002, could be the murderer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

«Figlio dell'amore, non del peccato»

ITALY
Il Mattino di Padova

Andrea Navarin, son of a former priest and religious sister, in this Italian-language article discusses his life as son of a man and woman who left religious life in order to marry after they fell in love. He discusses the situation with the Rev. Sante Sguotti, who has fallen in love with a woman he wants to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Davenport diocese gets bankruptcy extension

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A bankruptcy judge has given the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport more time to file its reorganization plan.

The judge approved the diocese's request to extend the deadline to Oct. 1. It must be approved by Nov. 30.

The original deadline was Aug. 15.

The request to extend the deadline was submitted by the diocese and the creditors committee, which includes alleged victims of abuse by priests. No objections were filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Youth church worker pleads guilty to sexual abuse

FORT MYERS (FL)
News-Press

By news-press.com
Originally posted on August 29, 2007

A Fort Myers youth church worker arrested in February for sexually abusing three boys hesitantly pleaded guilty to the charges today and he will spend the next 20 years in prison.

Elantonio Gomez, 51, of Cape Coral will be labeled a sexual predator and will have to spend 10 years on probation after serving his term.

Last Monday, Gomez asked Lee Circuit Judge Joseph Simpson for a week to tell family members he would be pleading guilty to the charges so they didn’t find out in the media. This morning, Gomez was ready to plead to the charges, but had a change of heart.

“At this time, he does not wish to accept the plea,” Gomez’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Katheryn Smith said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Parole hearing today for fugitive child molester

SCHENECTADY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By JORDAN CARLEO-EVANGELIST, Staff writer

SCHENECTADY -- Alan Horowitz, the notorious child molester who jumped parole and led state and federal authorities on an international manhunt, will go before a judge this morning in a closed parole hearing, authorities said.

State parole officials will make the case that Horowitz should be sent back to prison for some or all of his remaining prison sentence after, they say, he glibly fled the country last summer, penning a goodbye note of sorts to his parole officer.

Horowitz, who was captured in India in May, will be represented by Public Defender Mark Caruso, and the hearing will be before Administrative Law Judge Patricia O'Malley at the county jail, said Mark Johnson, a spokesman for the state Division of Parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Rwanda: Church to Probe Pastor Sex Claims

RWANDA
allAfrica

New Times (Kigali)

Ignatius Ssuuna And Eugene Mutara
Kigali

Senior leaders from the umbrella of Born-again Christian churches have described the alleged sex scandal in Kigali's Shining Light Church as 'blasphemy'.

Pastor Charles Murenzi, husband and deputy to the church's senior pastor Jolly Murenzi, faces allegations of rape and defilement. His alleged victims are some members of the Gakinjiro-based church. Speaking for the first time since the alleged scandal was first reported last week, the born-again church leaders called for thorough investigations into Murenzi's lifestyle. Pastor Sandrali Sebakara, the Secretary General of Forum for Born-Again Churches of Rwanda (FOBACOR), said he will soon summon other leaders and discuss the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Sex offender linked to disgraced pastor

HAWAII
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Mary Adamski
madamski@starbulletin.com
A Big Island registered sex offender has been caught in the public spotlight focused on a nationally prominent Christian pastor whose relationship with a male prostitute led to scandal last year.

Ted Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was forced out of the 10,000-member Colorado church he founded, after admitting to paying for massages and buying methamphetamine from a Denver male escort. He has since undergone spiritual counseling and has asserted that he is heterosexual.

Haggard made an appeal for financial help last week in Colorado, suggesting that donations for his family be made to Families With a Mission, a nonprofit group run by Paul Gerard Huberty.

Families With a Mission was based in Pahoa on the Big Island since its incorporation as a nonprofit organization in June 2000. It moved to Monument, Colo., in February this year, according to Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs records.

Huberty, 50, is listed on the sex offender registry of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, which shows that he moved this year to Monument.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Priest becomes target of sex abuse allegation

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Elisabeth Johns
Local News - Wednesday, August 29, 2007 @ 08:00

A Cornwall priest has retired amidst allegations he sexually abused a man who was a minor in Prince Albert, Sask., several decades ago.

Rev. Gaetan Deschamps, who is believed to be in his 70s, has been with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall for the past 10 years, working part-time as a marriage counsellor.

The ministry Deschamps specialized in didn't deal specifically with young children, said Diocese Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher.

However, on the website for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, it states that Deschamps oversaw a support group called "Spectrum," which is described as a curriculum for "adolescents who live in single-parent families or stepfamilies."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Era cierto: el padre José de Jesús tiene una hija

COLOMBIA
El Pais

This links to a Spanish-language article regarding allegations that the Rev. Jose de Jesús Gómez has a four-year-old daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Marist Brothers sorry for child sex pain

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 29, 2007
THE Catholic order which ran an eastern suburbs Sydney primary school at the centre of child sex allegations dating back to the 1970s has expressed "deep regret" over hurt caused to the alleged victims.

A 52-year-old Marist Brother was charged yesterday with 21 child sex offences in connection with assaults of a number of Year Five students at a Daceyville upper primary school in 1974.

The Marist Brothers ran the boys' school until it closed in 1992, before its replacement by a full co-ed primary school run by the Catholic Education Office.

Brother Alexis of the Marist Brothers Professional Standards Office said the accused priest had not been working with children at the time of his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Rabbi, synagogue sued over seduction scandal

CANADA
Toronto Star

Aug 29, 2007 04:30 AM
Sandro Contenta
Staff reporter

A woman claiming she was coerced into a sexual relationship by a rabbi is suing the rabbi and a prominent Toronto synagogue for $1.3 million.

Richmond Hill resident Yona Nadler, 52, is suing Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and the Beth Tzedec Synagogue for breach of fiduciary duty and the pain and suffering she claims the relationship caused her and her marriage.

The lawsuit highlights an issue that has pushed some religious institutions into writing codes of conduct that govern relationships between clergy and members of their congregations.

Nadler's position is the rabbi abused the trust of a deeply religious woman, according to her lawyer Simona Jellinek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Jailed priest tried to kiss girls aged 10

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

By Staff Copy
A victim of serial paedophile priest Fr Edmund Cotter has spoken to the Lancashire Evening Post for the first time about how he targeted youngsters following Confession.

The mother-of-two's frank interview comes as victims prepare legal action against the Roman Catholic Church for the clergyman's catalogue of indecent assaults.

Cotter, 60, was jailed for five years two months for 13 counts of indecent assault on children aged between seven and 11 during his ministry at St Anthony's Church in Cadley Causeway, Fulwood, Preston, in the 1970s and 1980s.

And the 43-year-old victim, from Fulwood, fears there could be more victims who have not come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Church official testifies about off-books loan to secretary

CLEVELAND (OH)
Beacon Journal

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN Associated Press Writer

Published on Tuesday Aug 28, 2007

The former top financial and legal officer of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese testified Tuesday that he arranged a $60,000, off-books loan to his secretary in a transaction approved by the bishop.

Rev. John Wright said he put together the loan to his secretary in the mid-1990's and Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, now retired, signed off on the idea.

"We didn't tell him the specifics, but he told us to work it out," Wright testified during the trial of Anton Zgoznik, the diocese's ex-accountant.

Zgoznik, 40, of suburban Kirtland Hills, is on trial in U.S. District Court on 15 counts, including mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Zimbabwe: Accept Or Deny Adultery Charge, Pius Told

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

Harare

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, has been told by Mr Onesimus Sibanda to either deny or accept the charge of adultery that he is facing and stop resorting to delaying tactics.

Mr Sibanda said this in response to a court application filed by the cleric last week, seeking an order to compel him to furnish the archbishop with specific details of the adultery allegations levelled against him. Mr Sibanda filed a notice of opposition and deposed an opposing affidavit at the High Court in Bulawayo on Monday through his lawyer, Mr Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga of Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

«Amo ma non in modo biblico»

ITALY
Corriere TV

The Rev. Sante Sguotti discusses his relationship with his girlfriend in this Italian-language video.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Boy Scouts' secret "degenerate" files revealed

WASHINGTON
Gay.com

The Washington state supreme court has forced the Boy Scouts of America to turn over "ineligible volunteer" files that revealed a sexual abuse problem among Scout leaders far greater than the organization previously admitted.

Although justices ruled that the files themselves would not be made public, attorneys said the Boy Scouts "have ejected at least 5,100 adult leaders nationwide for sexual abuse allegations since 1946," according to the Seattle Times. ...

Despite the new safeguards, the secrecy in the 97-year-old organization closely mirrors the stonewalling of the Roman Catholic Church, according to David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"In many institutions, especially those with rigid, clear lines of authority, there is a temptation to obsess over public image and perceived short term damage from scandal and litigation rather than focusing on real long-term solutions, and the most glaring example of that is the Catholic Church," Clohessy told Gay.com.

Clohessy, who has counseled dozens of abused Scouts over the years, in addition to many more who were abused in the church, said he expects many more Scouts to come forward with these new revelations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Ex-Bethany pastor charged in sex case

BETHANY (CT)
New Haven Register

Phil Helsel, Register Staff
08/28/2007

BETHANY — A former pastor of the First United Church of Christ, Congregational, has been arrested for allegedly sexually touching a minor over the summer, state police and church officials said.

Stephen J. Wasko, 54, of Milford was arrested on charges that he abused a child on at least two occasions. Wasko was pastor for the Church of Christ on Amity Road from 2003 until July 2, when he resigned amid the allegations.

State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance on Monday wouldn’t reveal the child’s age or details about the case, but said that police became involved after they were notified by the state Department of Children and Families of the suspected abuse. Troopers began an investigation in June, and the child "was able to provide information" about what happened, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Safe environmental awareness training offered in U.P.

MARQUETTE (MI)
Daily Press

MARQUETTE — As in years past, the Catholic Diocese of Marquette is requiring new clergy, as well as diocesan, parish and Catholic school employees and volunteers who have regular contact with children or youth, or are in a position to observe those who do, to attend an awareness session for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

The free session, called Protecting God’s Children for Adults, is being offered at various sites and on different dates throughout the Upper Peninsula from September to January 2008. Anyone who plans to work or volunteer with children or youth in the coming year and has not yet taken the training must take it during this time period.

The nine Catholic schools in the diocese will host the workshops. Participants will learn the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse and five easy steps people can take to prevent that abuse. Although the session is intended for those who work and volunteer in Catholic schools and parishes, anyone in the local community is welcome to attend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Letter suggests Southern California church official knew priest would flee

LOS ANGELES (CA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: August 28, 2007

LOS ANGELES: An internal letter made public Tuesday suggests that a high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles may have known that a priest accused of sexual abuse planned to flee to his native Mexico.

The letter, written by then-Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. Curry in 1988, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court along with other papers as part of a civil lawsuit brought by one of Rev. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera's alleged victims.

In the Jan. 11, 1988 letter, Curry says that he met with Aguilar Rivera to discuss the sexual abuse allegations and the priest told him he "plans to stay with some family members here and then return to Mexico."

Aguilar Rivera fled to Mexico shortly after Curry wrote the letter and is currently a fugitive. Officials in Mexico's Puebla state have said they are trying to locate the priest, who is charged in California with 19 felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

No duty to report priests’ confessions of child abuse, official says

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By TERRI SAUNDERS, Sun Media

CORNWALL, Ont. — The duty to report allegations of child abuse to authorities does not apply to priests hearing confessions from other Christian brothers regarding such abuse, an inquiry heard Tuesday.

Rev. Frank Morrisey, an Ottawa-based priest and canon lawyer, said anything heard inside the confessional is protected and not subject to the same rules as allegations heard on the outside.

“Even if the person making the confession releases the priest from the obligation of confession, the priest cannot breach that confidentiality,” Morrisey told the inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area. “It’s necessary in order to protect that level of conscience.”

Where the church is concerned there is no duty to report, Morrisey told Peter Engelmann, the lead commission counsel. Individuals considered to be in positions of authority, be it teachers, doctors or other professionals such as clergy, are required to report any suspicions regarding the abuse of children to the Children’s Aid Society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Group attacks diocese's lawsuit in abuse case

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A victims rights group criticized the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Tuesday for suing an alleged clergy abuse victim, but church officials say they are just trying to clarify the law.

In a press conference in Sacramento, leaders of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) accused the diocese of legal maneuvering. The diocese is challenging the legal standing of a Texas man trying to sue for alleged sexual abuse more than two decades ago.

"Instead of using hardball tactics, they should find the truth," said Nancy Sloan, of Sacramento SNAP.

Sloan and others called the lawsuit "unprecedented" and an "attempt to intimidate other victims."

The diocese has contended in a suit filed in July in U.S. District Court that because the man lives in Texas, the case should be handled on the federal level.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

August 28, 2007

EU homes in on Catholic tax breaks

ITALY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Brussels, August 28 - The tax breaks enjoyed by the Catholic Church in Italy are coming under the magnifying glass of the European Commission which thinks they may breach EU rules banning state aid to business.

A spokesman for Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said on Tuesday that Brussels will soon ask Rome for "further information" about "certain fiscal advantages" from which the church in Italy benefits.

The Commission is reportedly interested in a law passed by the Silvio Berlusconi government in 2006 which effectively exempted all church property used for commercial purposes from local real estate tax.

Officials at the Competition Commission are also believed to be interested in the 50% reduction in corporation taxes applied to church business activities such as schools, hospitals, clinics and hotels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Church celibacy back in spotlight

ITALY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Padua, August 28 - A Catholic priest in northern Italy has revived the debate about clerical celibacy by confessing to have fallen in love with a separated mother.

Father Sante Sguotti of Monterosso near Padua told reporters on Tuesday that his beloved's name was Laura and that he wanted them to become officially engaged in December.

"I have known Laura for more than eight years, but not in the biblical sense. I am in love with this woman and I helped her choose her child's name," the priest said.

But he stressed that their relationship would remain a chaste one because he did not want to jeopardise his job.

"Canon law does not forbid a priest to fall in love or become engaged in a celibate manner. I want to remain in the Church and so I will obey the celibacy rule," Sguotti said.

He also urged other priests who were in love to "come forward" and break their silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 PM

Court shields reinsurance details in abuse case

CALIFORNIA
Business Insurance

by Roberto Ceniceros
Posted on Aug. 28, 2007 2:30 PM CST

SAN FRANCISCO—Victims of alleged child abuse by priests cannot delve into the Catholic Mutual Relief Society’s reinsurance arrangements during discovery as part of pretrial settlement negotiations, California’s Supreme Court has ruled.

In Catholic Mutual Relief Society et al. vs. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, victims sought to learn whether the nonprofit entity, which administers self-insurance funds for more than 300 archdioceses and other Roman Catholic entities in the United States and Canada, could meet its policy obligation should they enter into a settlement with the Archdiocese of San Diego.

In 2004, a Los Angeles County trial court judge said the victims could seek reinsurance information, but Catholic Mutual objected. A state Court of Appeal vacated the judge’s order, ruling that California law authorizing limited discovery of a defendant’s insurance coverage does not authorize pretrial discovery of reinsurance agreements with a “nonparty” liability insurer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Letter suggests SoCal church official knew priest would flee

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Fresno Bee

By NOAKI SCHWARTZ

An internal letter made public Tuesday suggests that a high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles may have known that a priest accused of sexual abuse planned to flee to his native Mexico.

The letter, written by then-Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. Curry in 1988, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court along with other papers as part of a civil lawsuit brought by one of Rev. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera's alleged victims.

In the Jan. 11, 1988 letter, Curry says that he met with Aguilar Rivera to discuss the sexual abuse allegations and the priest told him he "plans to stay with some family members here and then return to Mexico."

Aguilar Rivera fled to Mexico shortly after Curry wrote the letter and is currently a fugitive. Officials in Mexico's Puebla state have said they are trying to locate the priest, who is charged in California with 19 felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Sacramento Church Sues Alleged Sex Abuse Victim

SACRAMENTO (CA)
CBS 13

Sam Shane
Reporting

(CBS13) SACRAMENTO In a move critics call bizarre and unprecedented, the Catholic Church in Sacramento is turning the tables. The church is suing a man who says he was sexually abused by a priest when he was a child.

The Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese, headed by Bishop William Wiegand is suing Hector Rubio. Rubio says when he was a child he was sexually abused by father Gerardo Beltran who was once a priest in the Sacramento diocese. Advocates for those abused by priests are outraged.

“It's wrong for the bishop to play legal hardball. It's especially wrong for a bishop to sue a child sex abuse victim,” says Nancy Sloan with S.N.A.P.

Rubio, who now lives in Texas, says Beltran sexually abused him more than twenty years ago, when both of them lived in California. In recent months, Rubio has filed and then withdrawn civil lawsuits against the Sacramento diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Italian priest admits publicly to being in love, but says he still wants to be a priest

ITALY
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: August 28, 2007

ROME: An Italian priest acknowledged on national television Tuesday that he was in love with a woman — renewing in a very public way the Roman Catholic Church's debate over celibacy for priests.

Rev. Sante Sguotti, parish priest in Monterosso, near Padua, said he had not violated church law or his vow of celibacy, and wanted to continue working as a priest. But during a lengthy news conference in his parish church, he professed his love for the woman, and said he wanted to publicly be her boyfriend while remaining chaste.

"I cannot have a child. I cannot get married. But I can fall in love, because the Code of Canon Law doesn't provide for any sanction if you fall in love. And I do what the Code of Canon Law says," Sguotti said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

No checks and balances at Diocese

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by James F. McCarty August 28, 2007 15:26PM

The defense attorney for a former church accountant on trial in federal court presented evidence Tuesday that the normal financial system of checks-and-balances didn't exist at the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

During his second day on the witness stand, the Rev. John Wright, former lead lawyer and chief financial officer at the diocese, said he deferred most of the church's money decisions to his right-hand man, Joseph Smith.

"We were friends," Wright testified. "I relied on him totally for his financial expertise."

Smith, 50, jotted notes in the back of the courtroom while Wright testified at the trial of a former diocesan accountant, Anton Zgoznik. Smith and Zgoznik are both charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice. Smith will stand trial at a later date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Survivors of Child Abuse calls for legislation review

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Survivors of Child Abuse support group have called for a review of legislation regarding convicted paedophiles.

If follows confirmation that the former priest, Oliver O'Grady is now living in the Dundalk area.

He admitted molesting over 20 children, including a 9 month old baby as a parish priest in California and served half of a 14 year sentence, before being deported to Ireland in 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Two witnesses have nearly similar stories of abuse at the hands of a priest

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Terri Saunders / Standard-Freeholder
Local News - Tuesday, August 28, 2007 @ 08:00

Two different men who know very little of one another have remarkably similar stories about being abused by a city priest, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Monday.

David Silmser told police in the early 1990s he'd been abused by Rev. Charles MacDonald in the sacristy of St. Columban's Church while the two were seated alone on a bench. Silmser said the priest had told him he was doing a good job as an altar boy before he began touching his private parts.

Years later, while being interviewed by police officers about similar allegations, another man talked about having been abused by MacDonald in the same place and under the same sort of circumstances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Ex-Stockton priest resigns from S.F. post

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Stockton Record

By Anna Kaplan
Record Staff Writer
August 28, 2007 6:00 AM
SAN FRANCISCO - A former priest at Stockton's St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church has resigned from the San Francisco parish he's led for the past three years, claiming he's been unfaithful to his wife.

The Rev. Michael Pappas sent a letter in which he admitted to cheating on his wife and stepped down from his post to the congregation of San Francisco's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church early last week.

Pappas could not be reached for comment, but Holy Trinity's interim priest, the Rev. James Adams, confirmed that Pappas sent the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Priest on child sex charges going back 30 years

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

August 28, 2007 12:00am
A SYDNEY priest has been charged with a string of child sex offences dating back more than 30 years.

NSW police spokesperson Tony Tamplin said that the 52-year-old former primary school teacher has been under investigation since September 2003.

The eastern suburbs priest was arrested in relation to assaults on a number of Year Five students at a Daceycille Primary school in 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Alleged Victims Of Sexual Abuse React To Diocese Ruling

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KUSI

Monday, August 27, 2007 -- Dozens of lawsuits against San Diego's Catholic Diocese are now a step closer to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

VIDEO: San Diego bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Fox 6

Link to video about a San Diego judge ordering to trial 42 lawsuits involving clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Charges dropped against polygamist after blackmail scheme revealed

ARIZONA
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Published: Aug. 27, 2007 10:17 p.m. MDT

Arizona prosecutors have dropped charges against former Hildale police officer and polygamist Rodney Holm, after it was learned the alleged victim in his case tried to sell her testimony to Fundamentalist LDS Church leaders.

The Mohave County Attorney's Office said Monday it struck a deal with Holm, 40, dismissing charges of sexual misconduct with a minor surrounding his marriage to Ruth Stubbs, then 16.

"The reason why this agreement was reached was due to the fact that the victim had engaged in a potential blackmail scheme with her brother in an attempt to get money from one of the leaders of the FLDS Church," Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith said in a statement. "This attempt was fairly recently discovered by all of the parties, and upon investigation, it appears that the victim did in fact write a letter indicating that she would not testify against certain defendants if excessive money was given to her brother and another man by one of the members of the FLDS Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Digging Out of "Deep Kimchi"?

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Whispers in the Loggia

Last week, the judge overseeing the bankruptcy filing of the diocese of San Diego issued a preliminary ruling to release 42 of the SoCal see's 127 abuse claims to civil trial in state court.

While local reports at the weekend noted that the diocese and plaintiffs' attorneys had made significant strides in settlement negotiations over recent weeks, word from the ground tonight says that an "emergency meeting" of the consultors and deans has been called for later this morning, local time.

To date, the diocese -- home to almost a million Catholics -- has publicly maintained a settlement offer of $95 million, an amount the court found insufficient on grounds that its per-victim average payout was significantly lower than those of similar deals made by California dioceses. Most notable among these, of course, is last month's $660 million settlement inked by the archdiocese of Los Angeles with 508 survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Archbishop Ncube faces new slurs

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 08/16/2007 19:42:21
ONESIMUS SIBANDA, the man suing Archbishop Pius Ncube over an alleged adulterous affair with his wife, is set to initiate another legal storm on the cleric.

This time, Sibanda will claim that his wife infected him with the deadly HIV virus which she acquired from the archbishop, we can reveal.

Sibanda is claiming $20 billion from the Catholic cleric who is an arch critic of President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Zimbabwe government launches new charges against Archbishop Ncube

ZIMBABWE
Catholic World News

Harare, Aug. 23, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Government agents in Zimbabwe have stepped up a publicity campaign against Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulwayo, circulating pornographic videos involving a man who is said to be the archbishop.

Archbishop Ncube, an outspoken opponent of the authoritarian regime led by President Robert Mugabe, is already the subject of a highly publicized lawsuit, in which the estranged husband of a church employee claims that the archbishop engaged in an adulterous affair with his wife. Blurry pictures allegedly showing the archbishop with the woman in compromising positions were provided by government officials to local media outlets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Il prete: «La amo, ma non in modo biblico»

ITALY
Il Corriere della Sera

This Italian-language story is about the Rev. Sante Sguotti who denies he fathered a woman's child but said that he wants to marry her. He urged all priests with with love relationships to "come out from the shadow."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Diocesan ex-official: payments a secret

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter

The former top lawyer and chief financial officer at the Cleveland Catholic Diocese testified Monday that he approved $250,000 in secret payments to his successor.

But the Rev. John Wright denied authorizing a diocesan accountant, Anton Zgoznik, to pay another $784,000 to Wright's replacement.

Government prosecutors considered the $784,000 to be kickbacks and called Wright to testify at Zgoznik's trial in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. Zgoznik is charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Wright's replacement, Joseph Smith, will stand trial later. He faces the same charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Sex abuse charges against chaplain dropped

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

By Tim Dornin

CHILD sex charges against a former Anglican chaplain of an exclusive Adelaide boys school have been dropped, more than two years after his extradition from Thailand.

Reverend John Mountford, 52, said the decision by the Crown to enter a Nolle Prosequi today had taken him by surprise, but maintained the allegations against him were fabricated.

He had been charged with five counts of indecent assault, two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of procuring an act of gross indecency, but today walked from the South Australian District Court a free man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Sex charges against SA chaplain dropped

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 28, 2007 - 6:34PM

Child sex charges against a former Anglican chaplain of an exclusive Adelaide boys school have been dropped, more than two years after his extradition from Thailand.

Reverend John Mountford, 52, said the decision by the Crown to enter a Nolle Prosequi on Tuesday had taken him by surprise, but maintained the allegations against him were fabricated.

He had been charged with five counts of indecent assault, two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of procuring an act of gross indecency, but walked from the South Australian District Court a free man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Former Bethany pastor arrested on sexual assault charges

BETHANY (CT)
Newsday

BETHANY, Conn. - A former Bethany pastor was arrested over the weekend on sexual assault charges, police said.

Stephen J. Wasko, 54, was charged Sunday with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and two counts of risk of injury to a minor. He posted $100,000 bond and is due in New Haven Superior Court on Sept. 7.

According to the United Church of Christ in Connecticut, Wasko's ministerial credentials were suspended July 2 and he is no longer pastor at the First Church of Christ Congregational in Bethany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Ex-minister faces sex-assault counts

CONNECTICUT
The Connecticut Post

FRANK JULIANO
Article Last Updated: 08/27/2007 10:35:42 PM EDT

MILFORD — A former minister arrested on sexual assault charges Sunday had resigned from his Bethany church in July when the investigation began, officials said Monday.

Stephen J. Wasko, 54, whose address was given by State Police as 66 East Broadway here, is charged with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor for a series of alleged attacks on two children in Bethany, according to the police report.

He was released after posting a $100,000 bond, and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Sept. 7 in New Haven Superior Court, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, the state police spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

An end to diocesan “gamesmanship”

SAN DIEGO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday has ordered immediate jury trials for 42 civil clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the San Diego by 58 plaintiffs. Plaintiffs’ lawyer Andrea Leavitt praised Judge Louise De Carl Adler’s decision, saying she “has the wisdom to grasp the gamesmanship the victims have been subjected to for years by the diocese,” according to the Aug. 25 Los Angeles Times.

The decisions, say lawyers for alleged victims, could force the diocese to come to an acceptable settlement.

Over 150 claimants have filed lawsuits against the diocese. Last February, when the first of the lawsuits was about to go to trial, the diocese filed for bankruptcy protection – becoming, according to the Times, the largest diocese in the United States to do so. The diocese, which said it would become insolvent if forced to pay damages, offered claimants a $95 million settlement, which has been refused – and, in her recent ruling, Adler said the amount is “far below the historic statewide average of payments” to plaintiffs who sue in civil court. Plaintiffs’ lawyers are seeking about a $200 million settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Priest charged over 1970s sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Live News

Yoni Bashan

A Sydney priest has been charged by police, accused of sexually molesting a group of year five students during the 1970s.

Police believe the priest is at the centre of a long standing investigation dating back more than 30 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Cop to skip Truth inquiry?

CANADA

By TERRI SAUNDERS, SUN MEDIA

CORNWALL — A former city police officer who has not replied to requests to participate in an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area will be represented by a lawyer.

Frank Horn told Commissioner Normand Glaude on Monday he would be representing the interests of Perry Dunlop at the inquiry.

“Will he (Dunlop) come and give us his side of the story?” asked Glaude.

“I don’t know,” said Horn. “He has been subpoenaed.” Dunlop, who now lives in British Columbia, has become a central figure to the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

August 27, 2007

Court decision puts new pressure on San Diego diocese

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Catholic World News

San Diego, Aug. 27, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A federal bankruptcy-court judge in California has ordered court trials in 42 lawsuits brought against the San Diego diocese by victims of sexual abuse.

The August 25 decision by Judge Louise DeCarl Adler puts new pressure on the San Diego diocese to reach a settlement with the plaintiffs. The judge was critical of an offer from the diocese to settle with 127 plaintiffs for a total of $94 million; the plaintiffs' lawyers are asking for $200 million.

In February, the San Diego diocese had filed for bankruptcy, citing the potential costs of sex-abuse settlements. The move into bankruptcy court-- filed just before the first lawsuits were scheduled to go to trial-- temporarily halted the progress of the court cases. Victims' attorneys had urged the bankruptcy court to let the trials proceed, saying that the prospect of jury verdicts would encourage faster settlement of the cases. Lawyers for the diocese asked the judge to make her own estimate of the sex-abuse settlements. Judge Adler sided with the plaintiffs. The court's decision places new pressure on the San Diego diocese in a contentious legal battle, in which a court-appointed investigator has already found serious flaws in the financial statements submitted to the courts by the diocese, and "openly questionable activities" in some diocesan accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Don Gelmini, ritorno ad Amelia benedizioni e gesto dell'ombrello

ITALY
La Repubblica

This links to an Italian-language article in which the Rev. Pierino Gelmini returns to Amelia, Umbria, to address boys in one of his drug rehabilitation centers. Several men have accused the priest of sexual misconduct. "They thought they dealt with a rabbit; they found a dog which bites," he told the gathering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Former Bethany Pastor Faces Sexual Assault Charges

BETHANY (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By HILDA MUÑOZ | The Hartford Courant
2:02 PM EDT, August 27, 2007

BETHANY - The former pastor of a congregational church in Bethany was arrested on sexual assault charges Sunday, state police said.

Stephen J. Wasko, 54, faces two counts each of fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. He is free on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New Haven on Sept. 7.

Wasko is no longer pastor at the First Church of Christ Congregational in Bethany, according to a statement by the United Church of Christ in Connecticut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Sex Abuse Victims Issue Warning About Priest

PHOENIX (AZ)
KPHO

Sex abuse victims issue warning about priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Priest protested in Phoenix today

PHOENIX (AZ)
AZFamily

06:30 AM Mountain Standard Time on Monday, August 27, 2007

By Claudia Rivero / 3TV Reporter

Ken Babb and Mary Grant met church goers outside St. Theresa's Parish in Phoenix. Ken and Mary are both with S.N.A.P, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“We come to inform people who may not be aware that this person does exist,” Babb said.

The person he's referring to is Phoenix resident John B. Feit, a former priest who more than 40 years ago was arrested and charged with attacking a 20 year old woman in McAllen,Texas He's also the suspect in the rape and murder of a young woman by the name of Irene Garza also from Texas, but Feit has never been charged for that crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Priest suing Rann

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

COLIN JAMES LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR
August 28, 2007 02:15am
THE State Government faces litigation from an Anglican priest dramatically extradited from Thailand over child sex abuse allegations.

Former St Peter's College chaplain the Reverend John Mountford, 52, has instructed his lawyers to seek civil damages over his high-profile return to South Australia in 2005.

This follows a decision by his alleged victim, now aged in his late 20s, to withdraw a complaint that he was sexually abused by Mountford in the early 1990s.

SA police investigated the allegations after an independent inquiry found former Anglican archbishop Ian George visited Mountford hours before he left Adelaide in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Reform that is crucial to the church

The Age

Barney Zwartz
August 28, 2007

A PENTECOSTAL pastor once told me of the triple perils charismatic leaders have to guard against: girls, gold and glory (egomania). Many have spectacularly failed.

Inside the Catholic Church, matters are much more complex and priests and prelates don't have the same financial temptations. But sex and power, those deepest human drives, can still grip and twist people. Nowhere has this been more obvious than the clerical sexual abuse crisis of the past decade.

Sexual abuse has been called the biggest crisis for the Catholic Church since the 16th-century Reformation. It has caused untold anguish, hammered church credibility and is now costing hundreds of millions of dollars around the world. Some American dioceses have gone bankrupt, and important church ministries to the poor and homeless have collapsed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

“La Iglesia necesita purificarse”

COLOMBIA
El Pais

This links to a Spanish-language interview with Auxiliary Bishop Julio Hernando García of Cali, who discusses recent allegations of misconduct in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Theft, fraud counts vs. Valley priest stay in place

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 26, 2007 10:19 PM

A Superior Court judge declined last week to dismiss theft and fraud charges against a Catholic priest, but he may be off the hook anyway.

The case against the Rev. Dennis Riccitelli, formerly a pastor in Mesa, is in limbo as the Maricopa County Attorney's Office decides whether to seek new indictments.

Judge Silvia Arellano last month sent the case back to the grand jury, saying the prosecutor used "false or misleading and incomplete evidence" in gaining indictments in December 2004.

Specifically, Arellano ruled that Mesa detectives who investigated the case lied about the existence of a finance council at the church, as required by church rules, and misled grand jurors about rental properties involved in the case. In addition, she ruled that prosecutors failed to instruct the grand jury on church law and policies governing the activities of pastors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Bishop Accused Of Assaulting Wife Speaks To Congregation

ATLANTA (GA)
My Fox Hampton Roads

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The minister husband of evangelist and gospel singer Juanita Bynum took the pulpit at the church where he is pastor just two days after surrendering to authorities on charges he beat his wife outside a hotel.

Thomas W. Weeks III, known to his followers as Bishop Weeks, expressed appreciation Sunday for the prayers and support he and his wife have received.

Weeks, 40, blamed the devil for the accusations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Residential School settlement a step closer to reality

CANADA
Parry Sound

by Sarah Bissonette

WASAUKSING - Former Indian Residential Students compensation from the federal government passed another hurdle last week, even though many aren't too pleased about it and just want to move on.

"It's like, lets put an end to it...for some of them, it's better than nothing," said Marilyn Beaucage, Wasauksing First Nation home and community care coordinator.

Last Monday, the time period in which former students of federal residential school programs could opt out of the agreement passed with 201 not wanting to settle, but the agreement, signed between the federal government and Assembly of First Nations in 2005 and approved by cabinet in May 2006, stipulated 5,000 withdrawals were needed to defeat it. The agreement now enters a 30-day appeal period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Protestant clergy abuse difficult to document

UNITED STATES
Press & Sun-Bulletin

By William Moyer
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Allegations and confirmed cases of priestly sex abuse against children in the Catholic church have been well documented since widespread reports of abuse first surfaced in the Boston area in the early 2000s.

But tracking allegations and confirmed cases of misconduct by Protestant clergy is an elusive task because Christianity's other ecclesiastical division is wildly diverse, congregational and sometimes staunchly independent compared to Catholicism's centralized hierarchy.

Ed Hart of the Central New York Baptist Association said all 42 churches in his jurisdiction outlined by Broome, Tioga, Delaware, Herkimer, Steuben and Oswego counties are autonomous. Local church leaders would handle complaints against pastors at the congregational level but would not be required to report anything to Hart or any other denominational officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

True Story of a Miraculous Climb Out of the Depths of Addiction and Into the Light of God

UNITED STATES
emediawire

Denver, CO, and Millbrook, NY (PRWEB) August 27, 2007 -- "From Crack to the Cross" is a powerful true story of a man who was possessed by alcohol, drugs and sex until the day he was "born-again". Timothy Murphy engaged in decades of self-abuse, with its resulting DWIs, car accidents and repeated visits to rehab. As his downward spiral continued, he came face to face with the law and, ultimately with God -- an awakening and surrender that was to change his life forever.

Though Timothy Murphy grew up in a loving, middle-class Catholic home, from his earliest years, he had a sense of not belonging. Unhappy at school, feeling he could never live up to the standards of his "perfect" older brother, he simply gave up trying. What he longed for was to travel and, most of all, "to be free." It wasn't long before he became the family's problem child.

When Timothy Leary made his way into town in 1968, young Timothy Murphy embraced the rock 'n' roll/hippie lifestyle: long hair, pot smoking, casual sex and dropping acid (LSD). At school, he became "cool," taking on an anti-hero persona. He attended a Catholic church and a Catholic school, with parents who believed that nuns and priests could do no wrong. Unfortunately the opposite would prove to be true. During his teenage years, he became a victim of sexual abuse by a neighborhood priest, which caused psychological damage that was both mentally and sexually crippling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

August 26, 2007

Pope has too much power, says bishop

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Linda Morris Religious Affairs Reporter
August 25, 2007

THE Sydney bishop who helped write the Catholic Church's sex abuse policy in Australia has urged a fundamental reshaping of the church's power structures, warning papal authority has gone too far and calling for a review of compulsory celibacy for priests and the church's teachings on sex.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who retired three years ago and who was once touted as a possible candidate for the job of archbishop of Sydney, says the church has to get more serious about confronting clerical abuse and change must start at the top.

In an explosive critique of the church to be published tomorrow, he has directly criticised both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for Rome's reluctance to take stronger action to tackle sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

El vía crucis de la Arquidiócesis

COLOMBIA
El Pais

This links to a Spanish-language story on allegations of fiscal improprieties in the Cali archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Zimbabwe: CIO, State Media Connive in Ncube Smear Campaign

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

Loughty Dube
Harare

DETAILS of a plot hatched by the CIO spy agency working hand in hand with state media journalists have emerged with indications that the two worked hand in glove in planning and exposing the adultery story involving Archbishop Pius Ncube.

Archbishop Ncube was slapped with a $20 billion adultery lawsuit at St Mary's Cathedral a month ago after he was served with the papers by the Deputy Sheriff, who was accompanied by a large contingent of journalists and photographers from the state media.

However, details have emerged that the journalists present during the serving of papers were part of a well-orchestrated plot involving the CIO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Lawyers for Zimbabwe archbishop demand proof of alleged adultery: report

ZIMBABWE
IC Publications

Lawyers for Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube who is being sued for adultery have called for his accuser to provide evidence before a plea is entered, an independent weekly reported Sunday.

Ncube's lawyer has asked that Onesimus Sibanda -- who claims the archbishop had sex with his wife Rosemary -- provide "dates, times, venues of the alleged acts of adultery and details of those who witnessed the alleged acts," the independent weekly The Standard said.

The application by lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi to the Bulawayo court comes after Sibanda refused to provide evidence of his claims, saying "evidence can only be heard in court during trial," the newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Mass as Angelika church reopens

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The Glasgow church where the Polish student Angelika Kluk was murdered will be formally reopened later.

Mass is to be celebrated at St Patrick's Church in Anderston, where the body of Ms Kluk was found under the floorboards in September 2006.

Peter Tobin, 60, who had worked at the church as a handyman, was jailed for life for her rape and murder.

Canon Robert Hill has replaced Father Gerry Nugent, who was found guilty of contempt of court, as parish priest.

Nugent, 63, was repeatedly warned about "prevaricating" when being questioned during the high court trial of Tobin.

The priest, who revealed he was an alcoholic, said he had a sexual relationship with Ms Kluk, 23, who had been working as a cleaner at the church and saving up money for her studies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Brady's vision of past is as illusory as crystal-gazing

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sunday August 26 2007

DO IRELAND'S Catholic bishops confess their own sins? Or is it just the rest of us who have gone astray? Last week, Archbishop Sean Brady looked into the future (while condemning fortune-tellers). He lamented the faults of modern Ireland, and spoke of "a smaller but more authentic Church".

But it is not just consumerism and a breakdown in community that have led to stress and despair today, the bishops too contributed, by how they taught the Christian message and controlled their own church. ...

The archbishop mentioned sex abuse just once, saying that "the trauma and scandal around revelations of clerical child sexual abuse accelerated" the trend away from regular attendance at Mass. But it was child abuse itself, and the hierarchy's abdication of responsibility, that he should have addressed centrally (not "revelations" about it, or even the "the trauma and scandal", which were secondary).

There was another distancing from reality when he spoke of attitudes towards authority. These, he claimed, have changed as a result, "in part, of the multitude of investigations into how institutions had managed their affairs".

But again, it is actually how bishops "managed their affairs" that is the problem, not the fall-out from investigations. His language betrays the hierarchy's underlying resentment of demands for accountability and transparency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Federal bankruptcy judge orders San Diego clergy sex abuse trials

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Jurist

Bernard Hibbitts at 8:33 AM ET

[JURIST] US Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered 42 clergy sex abuse cases against the Catholic Diocese of San Diego [diocesan website] to go to trial Friday, accepting arguments by plaintiffs lawyers that the move could push pressure on the diocese to settle the claims. The trials were suspended in February - the night before they were scheduled to begin - after the diocese sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection [JURIST report]. The diocese so far has sought to settle with victims for some $94 million, considerably short of the $200 million claimed by plaintiffs attorneys. No trial schedule has yet been set, but the first of the cases could proceed within 60 days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

August 25, 2007

Former band member remembers those who 'revelled in violence'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday August 24 2007

MENTION the word Artane and the image of the familiar boys' band belting out popular tunes around Croke Park on All-Ireland day springs to mind.

But for former Artane Boys' Band member Patrick Walsh, the once infamous school of the same name in north Dublin conjures up darker and more bitter memories.

Almost 45 years after he first crossed the school's threshold, the now 53-year-old recalls his time there as "a dark and grim experience in one of Ireland's nastiest hellholes".

Those unwelcome memories bubbled to the surface again yesterday in the wake of an extraordinary row between the Christian Brothers and the Archbishop of Dublin over the recent release of a report on conditions in the former industrial school that was compiled by its then chaplain 45 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Pastor indicted on sexual battery charges

LAWRENCEVILLE (TN)
Times Daily

By Tom Smith
Senior Staff Writer

Authorities said a local pastor has been indicted after he was accused of inappropriately touching some of the female members of his congregation.

John Olivares, 66, of 370 Tripp Road, Lawrenceburg, has been indicted on five counts of sexual battery, according to authorities.

Olivares is the pastor at Cathedral of Faith Church in Lawrenceburg. The nondenominational church is at the intersection of First Avenue and Third Street.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Pastor Charged With Sexual Battery

LAWRENCEBURG (TN)
KTVU

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. -- A Lawrence County pastor has been charged with sexual battery, reported WSMV-TV in Nashville.

Five women in Lawrence County said their church pastor, John Olivares, abused their trust, and two of them are younger than 18.

"Well, you think a pastor of a church, a godly man, you're not going to have to worry about anything like that," said Terra Boggs, one of Olivares' accusers.

Boggs said Olivares touched her breasts while they were praying together.

"He was acting as if my shirt was too low and acting like he was pulling it up and then fondling me while he did that," Boggs said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Presiding Bishop unaware of Wikipedia edit; allegations discredited

UNITED STATES
Episcopal Life

[Church Times] A suggestion that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori ordered the removal of information from the Wikipedia website has been discredited, according to a report by Simon Sarmiento in the U.K.-based Church Times newspaper.

The story, which originated on an American conservative website in May, resurfaced last Saturday in The Independent newspaper, which reported that Barbara Alton, personal assistant to Bishop Charles Bennison of Pennsylvania, "deleted information concerning a cover-up of child sexual abuse [by the bishop's brother], allegations that the bishop misappropriated $11.6 million in trust funds, and evidence of other scandals. When challenged about this, Alton claims she was ordered to delete the information by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori."

Alton confirmed this week that she was acting on her own initiative as the bishop's personal assistant, the Church Times reported. She had edited the bishop's biography on the website, because of changes that others had made which she described as "a frightening mess," according to the newspaper. She did not have the time to follow the Wikipedia process for correcting misinformation, however, and so had simply replaced it with the standard official text. This had led to her being banned by Wikipedia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Anger rises to the papal court

ARLINGTON (VA)
Washington Times

By Julia Duin
August 24, 2007

The Rev. Joseph J. Clark, an Irish-Catholic bartender turned priest, never planned to be in the middle of a fracas involving him, the Vatican and the Diocese of Arlington.

But since he was suspended from the priesthood by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde two years ago this month for arguing with a deacon, he has waged a quiet battle to win back his right under church law to preach and teach in the 400,000-member diocese.

His is the second case in five years in the Arlington Diocese to make its way into the papal court system. The first case, involving the Rev. James R. Haley — who was silenced in 2001 after he accused Bishop Loverde of sheltering homosexual priests — remains unresolved at the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy.

Father Clark's case is now before the Signatura, the highest Vatican court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Justice Interruptus

SAN DIEGO (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
I stand frozen over the coffee pot this morning, listening to news on the radio about the San Diego cases. My daughter walks in and says what's going on and then realizes and stops to listen as well. After the report I tell her “They're releasing the cases supposedly to go to jury trials. But they won’t. That's what they always do. They go right up to before the trial starts and then they settle. So they never testify under oath. The story never comes out.” [GUSH] Tears spew out all over my face, almost projectile, this gush that comes whenever this story spews back into my life. “Mom, stop,” she says after a good 30 seconds, and I can’t, but I say “I will.”

Several times in the last 15 or so years I’ve tried to “put this all behind me,” and I thought the LA cases were going to somehow help me with that. The issue of being raped by a priest at age five and how it affected my life always pushes its way back into my life when I try to let it go. So with jury trials pending in LA I was so fired up, ready with laptop in hand to take down everything they said in court. I work as a transcriber in my other life, so I was getting the quotes verbatim, everything they said. I looked forward to comparing the doddering J. Michael Hennigan who was going to be 1st chair throughout for the defendants to the guy in “Green Eggs and Ham” as they look so much alike. I was burning, ready to go.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

SNAP Responds To Ruling

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KUSI

Saturday, August 25, 2007 -- A federal bankruptcy judge has ordered the immediate jury trials in 42 sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

‘La divina orden del pétalo’

COLOMBIA
El Pais

This links to a Spanish-language article on allegations of sexual misconduct being made against some clergy in Cali, Colombia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Priest admits he's a father

ITALY
news.com.au

From correspondents in Rome
August 25, 2007 09:23pm

AN Italian priest has admitted before his flock that he is the father of a nine-month-old boy.

“I don't want to do like Adam and Eve did when they hid from the call of God after the original sin,” Father Sante Sguottithe, the 41-year-old parish priest of Monterosso told about 200 worshippers.

“The fruit of one's fertility should be a cause for joy,” said Sguotti, who has been asked by Padua Archbishop Antonio Mattiazzo to leave the parish, home to some 800 people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Charges dropped against pervert preacher

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Newcastle

Aug 24 2007

by Adam Jupp, Evening Chronicle

A PERVERT ex-prison officer will not face fresh sex abuse charges – because it is not in the public interest.

But the decision not to prosecute Neville Husband has been slammed by MPs and victims after it emerged the disgraced churchman could walk free from prison within months.

Husband is serving a 10-year sentence for a horrific campaign of abuse on juvenile inmates at the former Medomsley Detention Centre, in Consett, County Durham, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Bishop Calls For Reform Within The Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

The Sydney Catholic auxiliary bishop, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, has called for a ‘radical’ reform of Catholicism, telling a Fairfax publication that, “Papal power had gone too far and there are inadequate limits on that power.”

Expanding the debate further, Bishop Robinson told the Canberra Times news publication on Saturday that celibacy and the absence of the Pope’s guidance on the issue of child-sex abuse had contributed to the failure of the Church to tackle it effectively.

“Compulsory celibacy for priests and religious had contributed to sexual abuse and must at least be on the table for discussion,” he said.

"When a major matter arises, therefore, and there is a notable and extraordinary absence of guidance or direction from the Pope as was certainly the case in relation to the sexual abuse of minors it is inevitable that many will react according to older values … those older values have for a thousand years included secrecy, the covering over of problems and the protection of the good name of the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Procanick rejects plea offer

CLINTON (NY)
Utica Observer Dispatch

August 24, 2007

Former Pastor William Procanick, 53, who is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, rejected a plea offer in court this morning. His attorney would not say what the plea offer was.

Procanick, former pastor of Resurrection Assembly of God in Clinton, is accused of touching the buttocks of a 7-year-old girl while trying to get her to fall asleep at his residence earlier this year, according Oneida County Court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Church Abuse Trial Ordered in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Guardian

Saturday August 25, 2007 3:31 AM

By ALLISON HOFFMAN
Associated Press Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday ordered immediate jury trials in more than 40 sex-abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

Trials scheduled in state court in San Diego for five cases had been suspended in February when the diocese abruptly filed for bankruptcy protection, the night before the first trial was slated to begin.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler's ruling on the 42 lawsuits is a victory for about 150 people who claim they were sexually abused by priests as children.

Their lawyers told the judge Thursday that re-activating those trials was the only way to get the diocese into a settlement after more than three years of fruitless negotiations in state and federal courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

42 San Diego sex abuse cases ordered to trial

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 25, 2007
SAN DIEGO -- A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge ruled Friday that 42 lawsuits filed by people alleging sexual abuse by Catholic priests here can go to trial, which could goad the Catholic Diocese of San Diego into settling those and other suits.

Andrea Leavitt, lawyer for a group of claimants, called the ruling by Judge Louise De Carl Adler a victory for victims of sexual abuse, many of whom have spent years seeking damage payments from the diocese.

"The victims are very encouraged," Leavitt said. "And they are very grateful that the court has the wisdom to grasp the gamesmanship the victims have been subjected to for years by the diocese."

Adler, in her ruling, said she will decide at a hearing Sept. 6 whether to throw out the diocese's bankruptcy lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Bishop attacks popes over abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Graham Downie

A prominent Australian Catholic bishop has accused the Pope and his predecessor of failing to take decisive action to answer the epidemic of child sex abuse within the church.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, said the two popes were guilty of a "notable and extraordinary absence of guidance or direction" that had denied justice to victims of abuse by priests and other religious personnel.

The accusations are contained in Bishop Robinson's book Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church published today.

It is expected to reignite public debate over the church's response to sex abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

It's time to face facts about industrial school failings

IRELAND
Irish Independet

Saturday August 25 2007

BROTHER Edmund Garvey, in this week's press statement about Artane, claims that the Department of Education inspection -- following Fr Moore's Report -- made by two senior inspectors together with Dr Anna McCabe, the Medical Inspector, was not notified in advance.

He says: "The Brothers in Artane at the time did not have prior notice of the inspection, contrary to reports in recent media commentary."

It was the regular practice, in all industrial schools, for prior notification to be given by the Department of coming inspections.

As a result, special food was served, clean clothing issued and everything was smartened up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Priest could be sent to prison next month

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 25, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
A Wisconsin district attorney wants a Chicago Catholic priest convicted last year of sexual abuse to be sent immediately to prison because of a new molestation complaint.

A hearing has been set for next month in Walworth County, Wis., to consider the status of the Rev. Donald McGuire. He remains free pending appeal of his conviction for molesting two students in the 1960s.

McGuire, 77, was sentenced to seven years in prison and 20 years of probation. He recently moved from Wisconsin to southwest suburban Oak Lawn, though he has twice been jailed for violating probation.

"He was allowed to be out partially because these were old cases," said Walworth County District Attorney Phillip Koss, who has filed a motion to end McGuire's freedom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Judge to allow 42 abuse suits to go to trials

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

August 25, 2007

A federal bankruptcy judge ordered yesterday that 42 lawsuits against San Diego's Catholic diocese be released for jury trials, moving men and women who say they were sexually abused as children closer to getting their day in court.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler's ruling, handed down just before the close of business, comes four years after the first in an avalanche of lawsuits were filed against the diocese. The 127 lawsuits had been halted after the diocese sought bankruptcy protection in February.

In her 14-page decision, Adler dismissed the diocese's arguments against releasing the first grouping of cases to state court. She wrote that the victims have a constitutional right to jury trials and that barring a settlement, prompt resolution of the bankruptcy case appears unlikely.

The judge also repeated her criticisms that the diocese's $95 million settlement offer was well below the state average for such abuse claims, and that its attorneys were “forum shopping,” or looking for courts that would look more favorably on their case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Diocese accused off ignoring complaints of teacher's sexual advances

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 08/25/07 7:50 AM

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is being accused of overlooking inappropriate behavior and sexual advances by a middle school teacher who later was convicted of possessing child pornography and endangering the welfare of a child.

Just months after the Catholic bishops enacted a tougher policy in 2002 to deal with child sexual abusers, numerous complaints were made by pupils, parents and a teacher to the school principal about Christian M. Butler, who taught computer classes at St. Dominic Savio Middle School in Niagara Falls. But the complaints fell on deaf ears, the parents and a former teacher say.

Butler did not leave the school until 2004, shortly before he was charged with using his school computer to download child pornography, placing his hand on a girl’s thigh under her dress and making lewd comments to another girl. Police said they learned about Butler through an anonymous phone call, not from the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

August 24, 2007

Fiscalía investigó al padre Fred Potes

COLOMBIA
El Pais

This is the Spanish-language link to a story about a government prosecutor opening an investigation into sexual misconduct by the Rev. Fred Potes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Former Fulton DFCS chief tells of abuse in book

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christopher Quinn
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/25/07

Kenneth Joe has been known as the former child welfare chief for Fulton County whose overzealous and sometimes passionate management style helped lead to his ouster.

His friends, coworkers and even his enemies are about to discover another side of Joe.

It is one that helps explains him, his actions, his zeal, he says.

Joe, 38, was sexually abused as a teenager by a Roman Catholic priest.

He lays the details out in a self-published book that he funded with his $850,000 legal settlement with the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the city where Joe grew up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Retired Australian bishop wants "a very different Church"

AUSTRALIA
Catholic World News

Sydney, Aug. 24, 2007 (CWNews.com) - An Australian Catholic bishop will call for sweeping changes in Church doctrine and discipline in a book scheduled for release on August 25.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a retired auxiliary of the Sydney archdiocese, endorses "the most radical changes since Martin Luther started the 16th century Protestant Reformation," the Australian newspaper The Age reports.

In his book, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church, the bishop is sharply critical of Church teaching on a number of issues including sexuality and papal authority."I'm looking for a very different church," he told The Age. Bishop Robinson discloses that he accepted retirement from active ministry in part because of his disagreement with Church teachings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Priest accuses Colombian archdiocese of sexual, financial misconduct

COLOMBIA
Catholic Online

By Mike Ceaser
8/24/2007
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

BOGOTA, Colombia (CNS) – The former head of the Archdiocese of Cali's ecclesiastical tribunal has made charges of widespread sexual and financial misconduct in the archdiocese.

Father German Robledo, a 67-year-old priest and head of the tribunal until 2004, went public Aug. 21 with accusations against priests and other church officials in Cali. He said he was doing so because he had not been satisfied with reaction from archdiocesan officials. ...

Father Robledo said several priests have ongoing sexual relationships, including one with a woman who pretends to be his secretary and another with young boys. Father Robledo said several priests secretly have children and that two of them have been sued by the mothers for child support.

He said parishioners' contributions are used to pay people who obtain children for sexual relationships, as well as being used to pay the youths themselves. Father Robledo said there has been financial and other corruption within the archdiocese. He said he has videos of people who allegedly had sexual relations with priests or knew about them, local news media reported Aug. 23.

Father Robledo also said priests who had been accused of sexual abuse in the United States had been sent to Cali to work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Prayer Service Offers Healing To Abuse Survivors

ATLANTA (GA)
The Georgia Bulletin

ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer

Published: August 23, 2007

ATLANTA—With a gentle touch of a hand and gesturing a sign of the cross, the Catholic spiritual leader of North Georgia offered blessings for healing to the slow moving line of abuse victims, family members of victims and their advocates who filled the aisle of Christ the King Cathedral.

Some 40 people attended the Monday night prayer service on Aug. 13, the first of what is expected to be an annual event in the archdiocese’s prime church and duplicated in parishes throughout North Georgia.

“I think we all need it. We all have this sorrow,” said college student Areli Sanchez, of Forest Park, who came to pray for her family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Revisiting the darkest hours

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 25, 2007

A Sydney bishop who became an advocate for church sex abuse victims has revealed his own abuse by a stranger. Linda Morris reports.

During the darkest days of the priesthood, when the Australian church was wrestling with the scandal of sexual abuse, Sydney's Catholic auxiliary bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, was coming to terms with his own demons.

Only now, three years after his retirement, has Robinson has gone public with an extraordinary and personal disclosure: he was the victim of an abusive stranger. He had kept the secret hidden "in the attic of my mind" for 50 years until hearing the stories of victims began to stir "strong echoes within my own heart and mind".

But the church leader who could have become archbishop of Sydney did not reveal the abuse, and the indelible mark it left, to anyone outside a small circle of friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Accused priest served in R.I.

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

By Edward Fitzpatrick
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — A national group yesterday announced a $1.25-million settlement of a lawsuit that alleged a teenage boy was sexually molested in Maryland and Washington, D.C., by a Roman Catholic priest who was later transferred to Providence to be a youth minister at St. Pius V Church.

No one has alleged that the Rev. Aaron J. Cote molested anyone in Providence, but the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Father Cote should never have been allowed to continue parish ministry, much less be placed in regular contact with youths.

“This is the type of behavior and actions that allowed the sexual abuse scandal to fester for decades,” the group’s president, Barbara Blaine, said during a news conference in the shadow of the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul, near diocesan headquarters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Pain of abuse resurfaces

CANADA
The Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders
Local News - Friday, August 24, 2007 @ 08:00

A witness told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Thursday he thought he'd put the abuse he'd suffered a young man behind him until he was forced to testify before the commission.

"I thought I was okay until this came up again," said the man, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban. "I'm just trying to put all this behind me."

The man was a complainant in a 2000 trial when a city school teacher was convicted of sexually abusing a number of young boys. The man has also claimed he was sexually abused by Ron Leroux, a man who has testified at that inquiry as a victim of alleged sexual abuse. Leroux has denied the allegations leveled against him by this man.

The witness has also admitted stories he told in the past about having been abused by a city priest were fabricated in order to please Perry Dunlop, a former city cop who led a crusade against alleged child molesters in the 1990s in Cornwall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Priest's lawsuit dismissed, letter reaction

NEW YORK
The Post-Standard

Posted by Pedro Ramirez III August 24, 2007 11:10AM

A judge dismissed the final two claims in a $4.35 million lawsuit that accused CNY's Episcopal bishop of punishing a priest for questioning the diocese's response to alleged sexual abuse by another priest in the 1970s.

The Rev. David G. Boolinger, of Owego, Tioga County, filed the suit in January 2006. The suit accused Bishop Gladstone Adams of defamation, breach of fiduciary duty and wasting or misusing diocesan assets. For more, see today's story in The Post-Standard.

Putnam letter reaction
In a letter to the editor Tuesday, J. Edward Putnam, former rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles, described the incidents in which he is alleged to have sexually abused minors, "as falling within the lower end of a wide range of sexual misconduct."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Pastor guilty in boy's assault

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Crystal Carreon - Bee Staff Writer
Published 6:21 am PDT Friday, August 24, 2007

A south Sacramento pastor was convicted this week of molesting a 13-year-old boy at a Meadowview library in March.

Sacramento County jurors on Monday found Frederick Deshawn Dew, 34, guilty of four counts of child molestation stemming from the March 8 assault of a 13-year-old boy in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on 24th Street.

Dew, who founded Praise Tabernacle church on 44th Street, is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 21 for sentencing; he could face 12 years to life in prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

In an interview with The Bee earlier this year, Dew said he was innocent and believed God would help uncover the truth. He repeatedly refused to answer a reporter's questions about his past or how he came to Sacramento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Bishop calls for Catholic reform

The Age

Barney Zwartz
August 25, 2007

THE Catholic Church is still not serious about confronting sexual abuse, only "managing" it, according to the Sydney bishop who headed Australian efforts to tackle abuse.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson says the Catholic Church needs to reverse 2000 years of teaching on sex and power as part of radical reforms from the Pope down.

While it refuses to look at some fundamental teachings — including sex outside marriage, women priests, homosexuality and papal power — the culture that produced and protected abusers will continue, he says.

These explosive claims — unprecedented for a bishop — are in a book to be launched tomorrow: Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Law limits abuse liability to Catholics

CALIFORNIA
Ventura County Star

By Mark F. Sullivan
Friday, August 24, 2007

In 2002, when the state Legislature adopted a special one-time waiver of the statute of limitations for suits against child molesters, concerns that it created cases so old they would be impossible to defend were brushed aside by the special law's Democratic sponsors in Sacramento as being the unfortunate consequence of correcting long-standing wrongs.

As was inevitable, given the fact that most potential defense witnesses were long dead, the archdiocese of Los Angeles ended up paying a $660 million settlement under this special law.

Monday, in a suit aptly named "Shirk v. Vista Unified School District," the state Supreme Court made it clear that the unfairness inherent in the special law would only apply to the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Divided Court Rules Seduction Claims Against Rabbi Mordechai Tendler Are Barred by N.Y. Law, Woman He Allegedly Seduced To Appeal

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Law.com reports:

A woman has no claims against a Rockland County, N.Y., rabbi who she alleges counseled her to have sex with him as a way of overcoming her problems in finding a husband, a divided Appellate Division, 1st Department, ruled Thursday. ...

The article goes on to describe a 2005 case where a woman initiated sex with her pastor. The woman also sought counseling from that pastor. The court dismissed the woman's claim for clergy malpractice but left open the possibility that the woman may have a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. Judge Sweeny, in his dissent, noted that breach of fiduciary duty may very well be present in the Rabbi Tendler case:

…Marmelstein's allegations, taken as true, Sweeny stated, describe a fiduciary relationship: Marmelstein consulted Tendler because he had held himself out as counselor with expertise in women's issues, and he abused the confidence she had placed in him "by inducing plaintiff to enter into a sexual relationship to satisfy his own desires."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Victim to sue paedophile priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

A victim of paedophile priest Edmund Cotter is to launch legal action against the Roman Catholic church.

One of the priest's 10 female victims has approached legal teams to bring the church to account over the scandal.

Victims are also furious at what they say is a lack of apology from the church.

A spokesman for Clifton Ingram solicitors in Wokingham, Berkshire, said the firm was hoping to contact other victims to make the action a joint one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Parishioners withholding judgment on priest

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

BY PAUL SINGLEY REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — Parishioners at St. Mary's Church are supporting their suspended priest, who has been charged with sexual assault of a minor, pending the outcome of his court proceedings.

That's according to 20-year church member Rocky Vitale, a lector at St. Mary's who was once chairman of the parish council.

Vitale said all church members are withholding judgment about the Rev. Robert J. Grant, 63, who is charged with giving a 15-year-old boy money and wine in exchange for oral sex and back massages.

"Without exception, I haven't heard anyone (in the parish) who is outraged by this," said Vitale, who is also a longtime member of the borough's Board of Education. "Anyone can accuse anyone of anything. Barring proof otherwise, (Grant) has my full support."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Brothers vent anger at Archbishop over Artane

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday August 24 2007

THE Christian Brothers have launched an extraordinary attack on the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, over his decision to publish a report on conditions at the Artane industrial school, compiled 45 years ago.

In an unprecedented public attack on an Archbishop by a religious order, the Brothers said they were "shocked and dismayed" at the decision of Dr Martin to release a 1962 Church report into the conditions at the school which is the subject of an inquiry by the Ryan Commission on Child Abuse.

The report, compiled by Artane's then chaplain, Fr Henry Moore, followed a request from his Archbishop, John Charles McQuaid, to conduct a "confidential survey" on the management of the Artane school.

His report dealt with a number of issues including general care, diet, clothing, discipline and education of the 450 boys who were resident at the school at the time. On the controversial issue of discipline, he wrote that while the boys were reasonably well fed, discipline was rigid and severe and "frequently approaches pure regimentation".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Divided Panel Rules 'Seduction' Claims Against Rabbi Are Barred by N.Y. Law

NEW YORK
Law.com

Daniel Wise
New York Law Journal
August 24, 2007

A woman has no claims against a Rockland County, N.Y., rabbi who she alleges counseled her to have sex with him as a way of overcoming her problems in finding a husband, a divided Appellate Division, 1st Department, ruled Thursday.

The woman, Adina Marmelstein, asserts in Marmelstein v. Kehillat New Hempstead, 117629/05, that, as a result of the counseling, she and Orthodox Rabbi Mordecai Tendler had sexual relations for five years ending in 2005 after the rabbi had abused her emotionally and physically.

In a 3-2 ruling, the 1st Department dismissed the two remaining claims against Tendler as being barred by a state statute that specifically rules out a cause of action for seduction.

Lenore Kramer of Kramer & Dunleavy in Manhattan, who represents Marmelstein, said she will take the case to the Court of Appeals as a matter of right since there were two dissenting votes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Diocese, county renew agreement on investigations

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Deirdre Cox Baker | Friday, August 24, 2007

Bishop Martin Amos and Scott County Attorney Mike Walton have reaffirmed an agreement that dictates the handling of investigations into alleged clergy sexual abuse.

The “Memorandum of Understanding” between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport and the county attorney directs that all allegations of sexual abuse of minors — by clergy or religious order men and women and reported to the diocese — be immediately forwarded to the county attorney.

The agreement was first signed in 2004 by then-Bishop William Franklin and former Scott County Attorney Bill Davis.

“One of the benefits of the memorandum is the clear understanding that reports of abuse by living priests are sent to the Scott County attorney before any determination is made by the diocese,” said Deacon David Montgomery, diocese spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Society glad Mahony has apologized

CALIFORNIA
Ventura County Star

By George Johnson
Friday, August 24, 2007

As parishioners of Santa Clara Parish in Oxnard and also as members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, we are relieved and pleased that a definitive settlement for the victims of the sexual abuse scandals in our archdiocese has been reached.

While no amount of money can heal the wounds of such ill use (especially during childhood), the fact that Cardinal Roger Mahony has brought to a close this sorry chapter in our church's history is a significant contribution to the healing of all involved.

We applaud most of all the heartfelt apologies extended by our cardinal to these victims. While for some victims this is "too little too late," it is part of a large effort to bring about mutual forgiveness and reconciliation in our church community — past and present.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Illinois church knowingly placed convicted sex offender in pulpit

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
Associated Baptist Press

By Michael Leathers
Published August 22, 2007

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (ABP) – Despite warnings from a denominational official as well as another church, a Southern Baptist congregation near Chicago allowed a convicted child molester to preach for years.

In the end, it took media inquiries for Jeffrey Hannah, 42, to relinquish his leadership positions at, and resign as a member of, First Baptist Church of Romeoville, Ill.

The news about Hannah comes at a time when the Southern Baptist Convention is under heightened scrutiny about its role to protect children from sexual predators in the ministry. Unlike in more hierarchical denominations, Southern Baptist congregations have had few methods for vetting potential ministerial candidates. Many have unwittingly employed convicted sex offenders to work with children and youth.

“Clergy child molesters use their position of spiritual trust as a weapon. No matter how remorseful they may seem, that weapon should never again be placed in their hands,” according to Christa Brown, Baptist outreach director with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and founder of StopBaptistPredators.org. “They cannot be allowed back in the pulpit. It's a faulty forgiveness theology that would require kids to serve as the litmus test for finding out whether a child molester’s remorse is genuine.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Ex-priest's actions wrong on all levels

NEW YORK
The Citizen

Thursday, August 23, 2007 11:52 AM EDT

It's true that the news media gives extra attention to child sex abuse cases involving clergy, educators, coaches or other people who play a guiding role in young people's lives.

There's good reason for it. These people carry a tremendous responsibility - shaping young lives - that requires the trust and support of parents. When details emerge about the betrayal of that trust, it can cause widespread hurt.

With that reality in mind, we have no choice but to express our contempt for the public reaction of J. Edward Putnam to the story that broke about his suspension by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. He's been barred from acting as a priest for 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Dominicans to Pay Man $1.2 Million in Lawsuit

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Omar Fekeiki and Darragh Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 24, 2007; Page B04

A group of Catholic friars has agreed to pay $1.2 million to a 20-year-old man who accused a one-time Washington area priest of sexual abuse when the man was a teenager and living in Germantown.

Under the terms of an agreement announced yesterday, the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Joseph, will pay the money to Brandon Rains, a former altar boy at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown, where the Rev. Aaron J. Cote was associate pastor in 2001 and 2002. In a lawsuit that Rains filed against Cote, the Dominicans and the Archdiocese of Washington, Rains accused Cote of "harmful sexual conduct and contact" with Rains when he was 14 and 15 years old, causing him "severe and permanent emotional distress."

Cote could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Sex abuse victim gets help for others

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a Des Moines Catholic diocese priest has taken action to help children similarly betrayed by trusted adults.

As part of his lawsuit settlement with the Diocese of Des Moines, Henry Wadle required the church to make a charitable contribution to an organization assisting in the fight against the effects of childhood sexual abuse.

This week, Orchard Place announced the establishment of the Orchard Place Endow Iowa Fund for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.

"My situation was not unlike that faced by many school aged children in the '60s and '70s," Wadle said in a letter to Nancy Bobo, vice president of Orchard Place. "I could no longer stand silent while the suffering of these children, now grown men and women, continued. Fortunately, we were able to resolve my matter in a way that will allow me to get the help I need. Somehow, that resolution by itself did not seem adequate. There was a void to be filled."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Ruling expected on abuse suits' release

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

August 24, 2007

A federal bankruptcy judge will rule by Monday on whether dozens of child sexual-abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego may go back to state court for trials.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler had tentatively sided with the victims' lawyers to release some of the lawsuits, but she delayed finalizing that decision yesterday after hearing that progress has been made in recent settlement talks.

“We're working hard,” attorney Irwin Zalkin, who represents many of the victims, confirmed in an interview. A church attorney said there has been serious progress in the past two weeks.

In her tentative written ruling in favor of releasing 42 of 127 lawsuits to state court for trial, Adler issued a stern rebuke to the diocese. She said it appeared the diocese's attorneys were “forum shopping” when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and described the settlement offer as “substantially less” than what other California dioceses have paid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

UNSETTLING

MARYLAND
The Frederick News-Post

By Ron Cassie
News-Post Staff

The parents of a local man who said a Catholic priest abused him as a teen announced Thursday that the Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote's Dominican order has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement in the case.

Brandon Rains, 20, a former altar boy at Mother Seton parish in Germantown, alleged in 2003 that Cote, an associate pastor there from 1997 to 1999 and 2000 to 2002, had molested him in 2001 and 2002 — when Rains was 14 and 15 years old.

Brother Ignatius Perkins, of the Dominican Fathers and Brothers Province of St. Joseph in New York City, acknowledged the settlement Thursday and said Cote, though still a priest, is no longer active in ministry.

Rains' stepfather and mother, Joseph and Toni McMorrow, live in Urbana. With them at Thursday's press conference in Washington were representatives of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national, self-help organization of victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

August 23, 2007

Diocese Accused Of Covering Up Abuse Allegations

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Turn to 10

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence allowed a priest to be transferred to a Providence church after an allegation of sexual abuse, an abuse survivors group said Thursday.

NBC 10's Kelley McGee reported that the Dominican order requested that the Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote be transferred to St. Pius V Catholic Church in Providence in 2003.
He served at the church for two years, and did not teach in the adjoining school.

According to the Providence Diocese, then Bishop Robert Mulvee was assured by the Dominican order that, "an allegation against Cote had been closed as unfounded."

In a statement from the Providence Diocese, "a background check by the Rhode Island attorney general's office revealed that Cote had no criminal background."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Diocese was overbilled, accountant says

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by James F. McCarty August 23, 2007 14:27PM

A former accountant for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese testified in U.S. District Court today that his business partner, Anton Zgoznik, routinely inflated bills and doctored invoices that he submitted to the diocese.

Zgoznik is on trial for charges related to a kickback scheme with the diocese's former chief financial officer, Joseph Smith, who will stand trial later this year.

Zrino Jukic, during his second day on the witness stand, said the diocese paid him and Zgoznik $17.5 million over a five-year period. Jukic said many of those payments were based on falsified billing receipts.

Another potential government witness with knowledge of the case has said Zgoznik may have charged the diocese three times the amount due for the actual work that was performed. In return, prosecutors say, Zgoznik kicked back $784,000 to Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Ruling by Judge Louise DeCarl Adler

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

Bankruptcy court tentative ruling (PDF, 9 pages).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Judge delays decision in church sex abuse case

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

1:13 p.m. August 23, 2007

A federal judge today held off on finalizing a decision to send dozens of child sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego back to state court for trials.

Recognizing that significant progress had been made in recent settlement talks, Judge Louise DeCarl Adler said she would delay her decision until Monday.

In a tentative ruling, she had granted the request from abuse-victims' attorneys to send 42 of 127 lawsuits back for trial.

But in a stern rebuke, Adler said the diocese was “forum shopping” and that its offer was “significantly less” than the statewide average for such cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Judge to rule on allowing sex-abuse trials in San Diego diocese

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Mercury News

By ALLISON HOFFMAN Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 08/23/2007 02:15:32 PM PDT

SAN DIEGO—A federal bankruptcy judge said Thursday she would decide by Monday whether to allow immediate civil trials in as many as 42 sex-abuse cases pending against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler issued a preliminary ruling late Wednesday night tentatively granting the plaintiffs' request for state court trials, but said she needed to weigh additional issues brought up in oral arguments before making a final decision.

San Diego Superior Court trials already scheduled for five cases were automatically suspended when the diocese abruptly filed for bankruptcy in February, the night before the first trial was slated to begin.

Lawyers representing about 150 people who claim they were sexually abused by priests as children told Adler that re-activating those trials was the only way to force the diocese into a settlement after more than three years of fruitless negotiations in state and federal courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Accused molester won’t fight lawsuits

INDIANA
Perry County News

By KEVIN KOELLING
Managing Editor

PERRY COUNTY — A Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in July means Perry County people who filed lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by an ex-priest will see him in court, their attorney said Aug. 16.

The News reported in several stories in 2005 and 2006 civil lawsuits were filed alleging Harry Monroe abused boys in churches to which he was assigned by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, including St. Paul Church in Tell City and St. Michael Church in Cannelton.

The archdiocese was also named as a defendant based on claims it knew of sexual-abuse claims against the priest when it transferred him from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, then to Tell City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Catholic diocese found in compliance with youth-protection program

MISSOURI
News-Leader

The Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has been found to meet the requirements of the church?s Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, the diocese announced today.

In July, representatives from The Gavin Group Inc. examined how the diocese is implementing the charter, passed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 in response to clergy abuse revelations. Each diocese was required to present its own plan to implement the charter.

In 2002, the Springfield diocese acknowledged three priests who had been removed from their duties because of sex abuse allegations, some dating back to the 1980s. A fourth priest in the diocese was removed in 2006 after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Former Mother Seton priest settles alleged abuse case

MARYLAND
Gazette

by Melissa A. Chadwick | Staff Writer

A former altar boy at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown who accused a priest there of sexually abusing him has reached a $1.2 million settlement with a Catholic religious order.

The Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote, 56, was accused of abusing Brandon Rains, now 21, from June 2001 to July 2002 at locations in Germantown and Washington, D.C. Rains filed a lawsuit against Cote in November 2005. Cote worked as a member of the Order of Dominican Fathers and Brothers in New York City and was assigned as an associate pastor and youth minister at Mother Seton from 1999 to 2002.

The allegations of sexual abuse were reported to Montgomery County Police on Aug. 14, 2003. No criminal charges were ever filed against Cote, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Convicted priest faces new allegations of abuse

WISCONSIN
Janesville Gazette

(Published Thursday, August 23, 2007 11:25:28 AM CST)

By Mike Heine
mheine@gazetteextra.com

New allegations have surfaced against a renowned Jesuit priest convicted of molesting two boys in Fontana nearly 40 years ago.

A civil suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday says the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, 77, may have molested a boy as late as 2003.

The suit says McGuire started abusing the plaintiff, then a 13-year-old boy, in 1999 when the boy stayed with McGuire at the Canisus House, a Jesuit residence in Evanston, Ill. The suit accuses McGuire of molesting the boy in six countries and 12 states, including Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

let us now praise illustrious women

UNITED STATES
Catholic World News

In King Lear (III:vii) there is a man who is such a minor character that Shakespeare has not given him even a name: he is merely "First Servant." All the characters around him -- Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund -- have fine long-term plans. They think they know how the story is going to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant has no such delusions. He has no notion how the play is going to go. But he understands the present scene. He sees an abomination (the blinding of old Gloucester) taking place. He will not stand it. His sword is out and pointed at his master's breast in a moment: then Regan stabs him dead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told. But if it were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be best to have acted.
-- C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night"

Dismayed by Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger's lint-flavored observations on yet another predator priest he'd kept stashed in an Evansville parish, it struck me what a shabby figure my own sex has cut throughout the clergy abuse crisis, and, on the contrary, how frequently the voices raised in opposition to the lies and injustice have belonged to women. None of these women was heeded, as it happens, but they deserve to be honored all the same for the decency and guts to sound off in the face of iniquity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Zimbabwe: Church Opens Probe Into Ncube Affair

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Financial Gazette (Harare)

22 August 2007
Posted to the web 23 August 2007

Njabulo Ncube
Harare

THE Catholic Church has opened its own investigations into allegations that Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube had an affair with a married parishioner.

The office of the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference (ZCBC) said it would only comment on the controversy dogging the Bulawayo Diocese after the conclusion of its investigations.

Archbishop Ncube, a strident critic of President Robert Mugabe, has been sued for $20 billion by Onesimus Sibanda, the husband of Rosemary Sibanda, the woman at the centre of the alleged affair.

"The media has reached its own verdict, but the church has its own process presently going on," said the office of ZCBC secretary general, Frederick Chiromba. "When the process has been completed, also taking into consideration the legal process underway in the courts, we will then be in a position to inform the media of the Church's position."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Attorneys Discuss New Charges Against Louisa Priest

LOUISA (VA)
WCAV

August 22, 2007

There is more trouble for the catholic priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two Louisa County churches.

Federal authorities have charged Father Rodney Rodis with 13 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. In light of the new charges, state prosecutors say they will drop their current embezzlement case against the priest. ...

They allege Rodis launched a devious scheme to steal more than $500,000 from parishioners at two Louisa County churches. The feds say Rodis set up bank accounts, a P.O. box, and even had special stamps made for endorsing checks and that he then allegedly laundered that stolen money through the Philippians.

None of the money has yet been recovered, but the Commonwealth hopes the feds will change that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Ex-church accountant goes on trial in alleged kickbacks

CLEVELAND (OH)
Coshocton Tribune

CLEVELAND - A former top accountant for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese cheated the church and defrauded the government by handling about $785,000 in kickbacks that went to the top-ranking lay executive of the diocese, the government said at Wednesday's trial opening.

Anton Zgoznik, 40, of suburban Kirtland Hills, was instrumental in arranging the secret payments from church funds to Joseph Smith, former diocese chief financial officer, federal prosecutor John M. Siegel told a U.S. District Court jury.

Zgoznik's attorney, Robert J. Rotatori, said the payments amounted to secret executive compensation approved in an exhaustive church budget process that included Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, who is now retired.

"That was the way of the diocese and priests - secrecy," Rotatori said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Affidavit details allegations against Naugatuck priest

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Boston Globe

August 23, 2007

NAUGATUCK, Conn. --A Roman Catholic priest arrested on a sexual assault charge is accused of plying a 15-year-old boy with wine and cash in exchange for oral sex, according to newly opened court documents.

A probable cause affidavit released Wednesday details allegations against the Rev. Robert J. Grant, 63, pastor of St. Mary and St. Hedwig churches in Naugatuck.

Grant was charged Aug. 2 with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, and later released on a $200,000 bond.

The boy, now 16, told police that Grant first gave him wine and $20 in June 2006. He said their first sexual encounter occurred in August 2006, according to the affidavit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Complaint Alleging Sexual Abuse by the Rev. Donald J. McGuire

CHICAGO (IL)
BishopAccountability.org

BishopAccountability.org has posted the latest complaint against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire that alleges he sexually abused a boy as late as 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Recent 'Disturbing' Clergy Sex Abuse & Cover Up Lawsuit Settled for $1.2 Million

WASHINGTON (DC)
PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The following press release is being issued on behalf of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:
WHAT
At sidewalk news conferences in DC and three other cities, a new $1.2 million settlement in a recent Catholic priest sex abuse and cover up lawsuit will be disclosed and discussed.
The child sex crimes happened until 2002, the predator was moved to another state, and during a police probe of the case, church officials failed to notify law enforcement about reports of a second victim.
Later, the church hierarchy sought a court order to prevent them from having to disclose the name of a Catholic teacher who was in touch with the second victim. A judge refused to grant their request.
WHEN
TOMORROW, Thursday, Aug. 23, 1:30 p.m.
WHERE
Outside St. Dominic's Catholic Church, 630 E Street SW, Washington DC
(202-544-7863)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Cleveland diocesan official led kickback scheme, accountant testifies

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

hursday, August 23, 2007

James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter
Ten years ago, the chief financial officer of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese made a proposition to the co-owners of an accounting firm working for the diocese.

CFO Joseph Smith asked for a 10 percent cut of all the money the diocese paid the accountants, Zrino Jukic testified Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

In exchange, Smith assured Jukic and his business partner, Anton Zgoznik, that he would give them more diocesan accounting work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Settlement opt-out date passes

CANADA
Portage Daily Graphic

By Cynthia Münster
Wednesday August 22, 2007

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE — John Taylor is disappointed and frustrated by the federal government’s residential school settlement.
The Dakota Tipi First Nation resident spent 12 years in a residential school in Lebret, Sask., during his childhood and the memories of that experience still haunt him.
“It’s very frustrating and very disappointing. It hurts, you know? It still hurts today, I hate to talk about it, but people ask me to talk about it. I talk and I always break down,” said Taylor. “I’m happy at this settlement that is coming out -- at least it’s better than nothing. You know, $43,000 is a lot of money when you think about it, which I never had in my life.I can make use of it. But still, I don’t think it’s enough. It should be more.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Public schools need fear no scandal

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Though a 2002 change to California law extended the time for filing sexual abuse civil lawsuits against entities such as the Catholic Church, it does not apply to public agencies, such as school districts, the California Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

In a lawsuit against the Vista school district, a 45-year old woman claimed that a former teacher, Jeffrey Paul Jones, engaged in sex with her 200 times over an 18-month period, beginning in 1978. She was 15 and Jones, 30. Jones does not deny having had a relationship with the woman, though he says she “overstated” her allegations. The woman, who did not report the alleged sexual misconduct until 2001, claims school district officials knew or should have known about the misconduct.

Because the woman had not filed her claim with the district sometime in 1980, as required by state law, a superior court judge dismissed her lawsuit in 2003. But a San Diego appeals court overturned the superior court’s decision, based on the 2002 California law. The state Supreme Court, however, said the 2002 law allowed the filing of old claims if they were barred solely by the statute of limitations. But, said the court, a state statute governing public entities provides, beyond the statute of limitations, another bar, which the 2002 law did not remove – namely, a requirement that a claim against the school district be filed within 100 days of the cause of the complaint. The plaintiff did not do this and so could not file a lawsuit against the Vista school district under the 2002 law, said the Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Jury takes hour to convict San Jacinto church volunteer

CALIFORNIA
The Press-Enterprise

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

A Hemet man who volunteered at a Christian church was convicted of molesting three boys and distributing child pornography by a Riverside County Superior Court jury that deliberated about an hour Wednesday.

Jeffrey Randolph Wright, 47, faces a sentence of more than 141 years up to a maximum of life in prison, prosecutor Burke Strunsky said by phone. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21.

Wright was seen as a mentor to teenagers and used their trust to his advantage two years ago when he sexually abused three boys between the ages of 12 and 13, Strunsky said during the trial's opening statements last week in a Southwest Justice Center courtroom in French Valley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Despite New Church Rules, Sex Abuse in Catholic School Went Unreported

NIAGARA FALLS (NY)
The New York Times

By DAVID STABA
Published: August 23, 2007
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., Aug. 22 — For nearly two years, students at St. Dominic Savio Middle School here — particularly the girls — referred to Christian Butler, a part-time computer teacher, as “the Perv.”

Mr. Butler began earning that nickname shortly after the school opened in 2002, frequently making lewd comments in class and, in a one-on-one encounter, coarsely complimenting a pre-teen girl on her body, according to court records and interviews with his former students, their parents and a co-worker.

Students turned on the laptop computers assigned to them to find pornography, both live and animated. At least twice, students said, Mr. Butler projected crude images, including one of two topless women wrestling in mud, onto walls during class.

He was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in prison for violating probation requirements stemming from his 2005 guilty plea on charges of possessing child pornography and endangering the welfare of a minor. At the same time, two families of his victims are filing a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo seeking $1.5 million and an apology, claiming that school and church officials ignored repeated complaints about Mr. Butler until a former student alerted the police in June 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Vatican blasts Italian coverage of scandals

ITALY
Reuters

By Eric J. Lyman

NEMI, Italy (Hollywood Reporter) - A top Vatican official has accused the Italian media of bias by focusing too much coverage on church-related sex scandals.

Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, the No. 2 official at the Vatican, this week issued a series of statements critical of television and print media coverage of a pair of sex scandals: one that alleges clergy paid off a 24-year-old man to keep his allegations of sexual abuse under wraps, and another involving an 82-year-old priest accused of abusing patients in a drug rehab center he operates.

Italian media coverage has been "shameful and mystifying," Bertone said, adding that paying too much attention to the charges was "a false way to present the church, as if you presented a dark fragment of the great Sistine Chapel and said that represented the whole masterpiece."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Story of abuse by priest not true, man tells Cornwall inquiry

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By TERRI SAUNDERS, Sun Media

CORNWALL, Ont. — A man admitted Wednesday that he made up a story about suffering sexual abuse at the hands of a city priest.

The man told an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area that he made up the story in 1977 to please a rogue police officer dedicated to putting the priest behind bars.

“I felt pressured,” the man testified. “He kept pushing me and pushing me and I felt I had to give him something.”

In 1996, the man, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, told then-city cop Perry Dunlop he was sexually abused by Rev. Charles MacDonald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Catholic Diocese Settles Lawsuits

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis has settled three lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by two priests. Confirmation of the settlements and dismissals last month come a week after two new lawsuits were filed alleging a fourth instance of child sexual abuse by a priest named in three other lawsuits and the rape of an adult by another priest.

The Shelby County Circuit Court suit filed in July 2004 by Blain and Blair Chambers against Father Richard Mickey was the first child sexual abuse claim of its kind against a priest in a Memphis court. The twin brothers claimed repressed memories of abuse by Mickey in the 1980s while they were students at Bishop Byrne High School and Mickey was a counselor at the school. He later became a priest.

"It was a settlement on a confidential basis," said B.J. Wade, attorney for the Chambers brothers. "The matter was resolved between the parties based upon their agreement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Allegation Of Abuse Slow To Reach Police

NAUGATUCK (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By DAVID OWENS | Courant Staff Writer
August 23, 2007

Sometime in February or March, a 16-year-old youth told his father he had been sexually involved for several months with a Naugatuck priest, but it wasn't until June 27 that police were notified, according to an arrest warrant for the Rev. Robert J. Grant unsealed Wednesday in Superior Court in Waterbury.

A Naugatuck police detective was assigned to the case July 2, and that day went to the boy's home to begin an investigation. The detective, however, was rebuffed by the boy's father, who'd been told by his attorney "not to speak with police at this time."

The father provided police with some information, but again deferred to his attorney, Leonard McDermott, of Naugatuck. Police tried several times to reach McDermott and were eventually able to schedule an interview with the boy on July 25. The boy's father and McDermott were present.

The boy provided a statement detailing abuse that allegedly began when he was 15. Grant, in a subsequent interview with police, denied the boy's allegations, and then, after consulting a lawyer, declined to answer any more questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Embattled priest back after three years

CLIFTON (NJ)
Herald News

Thursday, August 23, 2007

By KAREN KELLER
HERALD NEWS

CLIFTON -- After a three-year absence from the pulpit, a Catholic priest accused of fondling a boy decades ago has been reinstated.

The Diocese of Paterson conducted a tribunal, conferred with Rome, then declared the priest innocent last week, said Marianna Thompson, communications director for the diocese.


The Rev. Andrew Peretta, 59, of Sacred Heart Church on Randolph Avenue, gave his first Mass after the leave of absence Thursday of last week, he said by telephone Tuesday.

"It was very difficult," he said, declining further comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

August 22, 2007

Ex-church accountant goes on trial in alleged kickbacks

CLEVELAND (OH)
Ohio.com

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN Associated Press Writer

Published on Wednesday Aug 22, 2007

A former top accountant for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese cheated the church and defrauded the government by handling about $785,000 in kickbacks that went to the top-ranking lay executive of the diocese, the government said at Wednesday's trial opening.

Anton Zgoznik, 40, of suburban Kirtland Hills, was instrumental in arranging the secret payments from church funds to Joseph Smith, former diocese chief financial officer, federal prosecutor John M. Siegel told a U.S. District Court jury.

Zgoznik's attorney, Robert J. Rotatori, said the payments amounted to secret executive compensation approved in an exhaustive church budget process that included Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, who is now retired.

"That was the way of the diocese and priests _ secrecy," Rotatori said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Priest Appears In Court

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVID OWENS | The Hartford Courant
11:19 AM EDT, August 22, 2007

WATERBURY - A Roman Catholic priest from Naugatuck accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy did not enter a plea this morning in Superior Court in Waterbury.

The Rev. Robert J. Grant, 63, appeared briefly before Judge Joan Alexander. His case was transferred to Part A, where he is scheduled to appear Sept. 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

No plea from Naugatuck priest facing sexual assault charges, but details forthcoming

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Waterbury Republican American

A Roman Catholic priest at two Naugatuck parishes who was charged with sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy did not enter a plea at Waterbury Superior Court Wednesday morning.

The case against the Rev. Robert J. Grant, 63, was transferred to Part A, where the more serious crimes are heard, by Judge Joan Alexander, and Grant is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 12. Meanwhile, the judge is expected today to unseal the warrant for Grant's arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Naugatuck priest in court for sexual assault

NAUGATUCK (CT)
WTNH

Posted Aug. 22, 2007
3:20 PM

Naugatuck (WTNH) _ There was a brief court appearance today for a Naugatuck priest accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

The Reverend Robert Grant did not enter a plea, but is due back in court next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Priest trial delayed for 33rd time

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston Herald

By Dave Wedge
Boston Herald Chief Enterprise Reporter

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Worcester victims rights group is fuming after the case against an alleged pedophile priest deemed incompetent to stand trial was continued for a 33rd time.

The molestation case against the Rev. John Szantyr has dragged on in Worcester District Court for four years and was again continued Monday because prosecutors didn’t receive a doctor’s report in time for the hearing.
Szantyr, who faces charges he molested an altar boy in Worcester in the mid-1980s, has already been ruled incompetent by a judge, but District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office called for a new evaluation “due to information that was brought to our attention.”

Among the new information are reports that Szantyr, 76, was seen walking at a rest stop just minutes after he appeared in court in a wheelchair and that he has continued to oversee religious services in Connecticut. Szantyr, who reportedly is too ill to feed, clothe and bathe himself, also recently renewed his Connecticut driver’s license, court filings show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

No predators in the pulpit

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 22, 2007
Convicted child sex offenders certainly should be able to seek redemption at a church. But when they're elevated to the pulpit and given access to impressionable youth -- as was the case at a Romeoville church -- the state needs stricter laws that keep these "religious" child molesters from having contact with children.

Currently, state law restricts convicted pedophiles from working or volunteering in schools and places that cater exclusively to children, but not churches.

This week, the Sun-Times reported that Romeoville's First Baptist Church placed one sex offender in a key leadership position -- and invited another. Such disregard for congregants' safety shows how lackadaisical some houses of worship can be, compromising common sense and safety.

Had convicted sex offender Jeff Hannah, one of the church's preachers, been lurking near playgrounds and schools, he could have been nabbed by authorities. More difficult to monitor were his sporadic interactions with minors at the southwest suburban church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Priest faces suit in abuse claims

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune religion reporter
August 22, 2007

A prominent Jesuit priest convicted of molesting two Loyola Academy students during the 1960s was accused this week of abusing another boy as recently as 2003.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, a 21-year-old college student says Rev. Donald McGuire molested him between 1999 and 2003 while the teen shared a bedroom with the priest in Canisius House, a Jesuit residence in Evanston. The suit accuses McGuire of abusing the boy in 12 states and six countries as he traveled the globe providing spiritual retreats.

Authorities in Wisconsin, where McGuire was convicted last year, said the suit has prompted them to consider filing new charges, ending his probation and putting him in prison. Wisconsin is one of the states mentioned in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Priest facing federal charges

LOUISA (VA)
Free Lance-Star

BY ELLEN BILTZ

A priest facing 13 felony counts in Louisa County for embezzling money from churches now faces federal charges.

Rodney Lee Rodis, 51, was indicted yesterday on mail fraud , wire fraud and money laundering by a federal grand jury for allegedly wiring money from Virginia Beach to the Philippines, according to the United States Attorney's Office.

He is accused of wiring at least $515,000, of which he is alleged to have obtained from partitioners at his Louisa parishes.

Prosecutors say he established bank accounts and a post office box and directed parishioners to mail their contributions to the post office box, after which he'd transfer the money and wire the funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Catholic priest now faces federal charges

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By TOM CAMPBELL AND CALVIN R. TRICE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERS
A Catholic priest accused in state court of embezzling from two Louisa County churches was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on 13 charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and money-laundering.

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, 51, had faced 13 embezzlement counts in Louisa. Its prosecutor will drop the state charges as the federal government pursues its case in court here.

In Louisa, Rodis was accused of stealing as much as $1 million from two churches he served as pastor -- St. Jude in Mineral and Immaculate Conception in Bumpass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Judge Denies Holy Trinity’s Motion to Expose Victims’ Names; Sets Trial Date

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas and the Denver Metropolis — both represented by the Dallas law firm of Douglas D. Fletcher — made a motion on June 6th to expose the Plaintiff’s name to the public (see attached motion below).1

Attorneys representing both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants in the Nicholas Katinas sexual misconduct lawsuit went before a judge on August 7th to review this motion. The judge denied the Defendants’ motion and ruled that the Plaintiffs be allowed to continue to use pseudonyms within the public documents.

The judge also set the trial date for this case for June 9th, 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Trust your instincts, protection officer advises

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

The protection and prevention officer for a church committee on professional standards has appealed to people to "trust their instincts when they are suspicious" of the possibility of child abuse.

Legislation and other programs are not enough to protect the vulnerable, Brigidine Sr Angela Ryan told The Age.

The National Committee for Professional Standards is asking Catholics to learn more about the harm sexual abuse does, and how abusers groom their victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Statement of Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger

JASPER (IN)
Courier & Press

Link to statement issued by Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger regarding sexual abuse allegedly committed by the late Rev. Othmar Schroeder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Statement by the Rev. John Boeglin

JASPER (IN)
Courier & Press

Link to a statement by the Rev. John Boeglin, pastor of Holy Family Church in Jasper, Ind. The statement concerns allegations of sexual abuse committed by the late Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, the founding pastor of that parish

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Jasper parish takes steps to get past pain

JASPER (IN)
Courier & Press

By Susan Orr
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

After the Catholic Diocese of Evansville's recent acknowledgment of sexual abuse committed years ago by the parish's founding priest, Holy Family Church in Jasper is taking steps to move beyond the pain.

The priest in question, Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, founded Holy Family in 1947. In 1975, he moved to Sacred Heart Church in Schnellville, Ind., and he served there until his death in 1988.

This past weekend, Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger visited Holy Family and delivered an address in which he named Schroeder as having "sexually violated some innocent young boys of the parish."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Church: Don't blame us for causing mistrial

BURLINGTON (VT)
Rutland Herald

August 22, 2007

The Associated Press

BURLINGTON — Facing the prospect of paying more than $100,000 in legal fees, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington says a judge was to blame for a mistrial in a priest sex abuse case.

Judge Ben Joseph declared the mistrial June 25 in the case of James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., who sued the Diocese, saying it was partly responsible for the molestation he allegedly suffered at the hands of former priest Rev. Alfred Willis.

Joseph ended the trial hours before it was to go to a jury, saying church lawyers violated pretrial rulings limiting what they could ask of Turner about an alleged sexual relationship between his brother and Willis. He also ordered the Diocese to pay Turner's legal tab, which came to about $112,000, counting other costs associated with trial preparation by his attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Abuse suit names priest, a convicted child molester

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 22, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter shogan@suntimes.com
A sexual abuse lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Cook County against a local Catholic religious order and one of its priests, a convicted child molester who once led retreats for nuns in Mother Teresa's community.

The suit alleges that Jesuit priest Donald McGuire abused a boy over a three-year-period, beginning in 1999, when the victim was 13 years old and living periodically with the priest at Canisius House, a Jesuit residence in Evanston.

A spokesman for Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, cast doubt on the allegation, however.

"It is highly unlikely that a minor or a non-Jesuit would be living in a Jesuit residence in any capacity," said Jeremy Langford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

New Accusations Against Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Tuscaloosa News

LIBBY SANDER

CHICAGO, Aug. 21 — A Jesuit priest convicted last year of sexually abusing two teenage boys about 40 years ago is facing new accusations of abuse.

Though the original charges against the priest, the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, date from the late 1960s, the new accusations, in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, describe abuse that occurred from 1999 to 2003.

The lawsuit says Father McGuire, who is 77, abused the plaintiff, known as John Doe 116, who was 13 when he first came to stay with Father McGuire at a Jesuit residence in Evanston, Ill. It also states that Father McGuire sexually abused the boy in 13 states and 6 foreign countries.

The suit also names the local Jesuits, formally known as the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, as defendants, saying that Jesuit officials “knew or should reasonably have known” of Father McGuire’s behavior and failed to supervise him accordingly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

August 21, 2007

Late priest linked to long history of sexual abuse

INDIANA
WFIE

Aug 21, 2007 07:47 AM EDT

New Media Producer: Rachel Beavin

A Roman Catholic bishop told members of a southern Indiana parish that a priest who has been dead for 19 years sexually abused boys during his nearly three decades at the church.

Evansville Diocese Bishop, Gerald Gettelfinger, did not say how many boys Monsignor Othmar Schroeder was believed to have abused during his time at Holy Family Church or when the abuse happened.

Gettelfinger spoke during weekend Masses at the church, saying he learned several years ago of the allegations against Schroeder, but had found out that the scope of the abuse "is greater than we knew."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Priest charged in embezzlement scheme indicted on federal charges

RICHMOND (VA)
WAVY

Associated Press - August 21, 2007 8:35 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest charged in state court with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural churches is now facing federal fraud charges.

Prosecutors say a federal grand jury today indicted the Reverend Rodney Rodis on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

According to the indictment, the 51-year-old from Fredericksburg embezzled money from churches in Bumpass and Mineral from 2002 until last year.

Rodis is being held at Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange County on 13 state felony embezzlement charges stemming from the incident. In May, Rodis' bond was revoked after he violated terms of his bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Pastor with Barrington ties admits to abusing boys

BARRINGTON (RI)
EastBayRI

BARRINGTON - A man who served as interim pastor at St. John's Episcopal Church in Barrington recently admitted to sexually abusing four adolescent boys while serving as rector of a church in New York. J. Edward Putnam, 66, has been suspended from all ministerial and pastorly duties for the next 20 years, according to Retired Rev. Gladstone B. Adams, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. Mr. Putnam reportedly abused the boys between 1985 and 1993.

Local officials said there are no indications that Mr. Putnam acted inappropriately while serving in Barrington at St. John's. Mr. Putnam served at St. John's in 2000 and left in Oct. 2001. Rev. C. Neal Goldsborough was appointed rector in early November of that year, replacing Mr. Putnam who served as interim for about a year.

Rev. Goldsborough said he and the members of the parish are saddened by the actions of the former pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Non-practicing priest faces probation for molesting charge

MENDHAM (NJ)
NJ.com

by Margaret McHughTuesday August 21, 2007, 10:51 AM

A non-practicing Roman Catholic priest charged with molesting four teenage boys at a Mendham drug treatment program faces probation under a plea deal he accepted this morning.

Richard Mieliwocki, 60, pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse. He had previously agreed to give up his social work license.

Mieliwocki, a Madison resident, was accused of molesting four boys, ages 16 to 18, during therapy sessions at Daytop Village between March and December of 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Lawsuit Accuses Memphis Priest of Rape

MEMPHIS (TN)
Fox 13

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WHBQ FOX13 myfoxmemphis.com)- New allegations of sexual abuse involving a Memphis priest have surfaced. A woman identified as "Jane Doe Four" filed a lawsuit against the bishop who leads the Catholic Diocese of Memphis for knowing about the abuse and not taking action. The woman says that after a long and trusting relationship with Father Gregory Salata, he abused her and the church did nothing about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Vatican attacks coverage of Italy sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
Canada.com

Phil Stewart, Reuters
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Article tools

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican's top diplomat accused the media of "shameful and mystifying" coverage of allegations of sexual abuse by Italian priests and suggested there might be a campaign against the Church.

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone took aim at reporting of a probe by Turin prosecutors into clergy accused of paying a 24-year-old man to keep quiet about past abuse.

A separate investigation involves accusations of abuse by one of Italy's best-known priests, 82-year-old Pietro Gelmini.

In comments to Vatican radio published on Tuesday, Bertone said he respected the work of the prosecutors but criticized the media for paying so much attention to unproven accusations that he said warped the image of the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Father Bob caught in the buff

FREDERICK (CO)
Farmer & Miner

By Staff Writer
08/16/2007

Christine Hollister
Farmer & Miner Editor

FREDERICK ­ ­— The town of Frederick became the center of nationwide attention last week as details surfaced regarding the June 22 arrest of local priest Rev. Robert Whipkey.

Whipkey faces an indecent exposure charge after an off-duty Frederick police officer spotted the priest of St. Theresa Catholic Church walking nude on the 500 block of Fifth Street at 4:35 a.m.

Whipkey admitted to Officer Zacheria Hahn he had been jogging without clothing at the Frederick High School track early that morning.

“I’m a heavy man and wearing clothing while running makes me sweat profusely,” Whipkey told the officer. “I know what I did was wrong.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Lawyers bill church $19 million

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
ASHBEL S. GREEN The Oregonian Staff
Lawyers have submitted their final bills to the Portland Archdiocese for bankruptcy proceedings: $18,842,506.13.

It's not clear how they figured the 13 cents.

The total includes only the lawyers and experts who worked on the case in Bankruptcy Court. Attorneys for priest accusers who filed the lawsuits that sent the archdiocese into bankruptcy in 2004 earned an estimated one-third of the $50 million in sex abuse settlements.

That puts the total payout to lawyers at about $35 million.

The Portland Archdiocese emerged from bankruptcy in April by settling with about 175 people who claimed they were sexually abused by priests or other employees of the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Diocese lawyers: Mistrial was judge's mistake

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Lawyers for the state's Roman Catholic diocese, blamed by Judge Ben Joseph for causing a mistrial in a recent priest molestation case, say the church should not be financially punished because it's the judge who made a mistake.

According to new papers on file at Chittenden Superior Court, church lawyers say Joseph -- even in a private chambers meeting with lawyers during the June trial -- never said he disapproved of a controversial line of questioning taken by diocesan attorney David Cleary.

"On the contrary, the court's initial response to plaintiffs motion for mistrial indicates the court felt during questioning -- and still thought in chambers -- that Mr. Cleary's questions had been legitimate," fellow diocesan attorney Tom McCormick wrote in a brief filed last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Lawyers submit hefty bill to Portland Archdiocese

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

08/21/2007

Associated Press

Lawyers who worked on the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy case have submitted a legal bill for more than $18 million.

The tab includes $10.8 million in fees and $1 million in expenses charged by four law firms representing the archdiocese. The rest are expenses and fees charged by attorneys and experts working for other parties, including a committee of plaintiffs. In Bankruptcy Court, the party seeking protection pays for everyone's lawyers.

The archdiocese declared bankruptcy in 2004 to head off more lawsuits from people claiming they were sexually abused by priests or other employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Bishop: Priest abused boys

JASPER (IN)
The Courier-Journal

Associated Press

JASPER, Ind. -- A Roman Catholic bishop told members of a Jasper parish that a priest sexually abused boys during nearly three decades at the church.

Evansville Diocese Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger did not say how many boys Monsignor Othmar Schroeder was believed to have abused during his time at Holy Family Church or when the abuse happened.

Gettelfinger spoke during weekend Masses at the church, saying that he learned several years ago of the allegations against Schroeder, who died in 1988, but had found out that the scope of the abuse "is greater than we knew."

Schroeder was the founding pastor of Jasper parish in 1947 and remained at the church until he was transferred in 1975 to Sacred Heart Church in nearby Schnellville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Diocese wants judge to take blame for mistrial

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Associated Press - August 21, 2007 8:25 AM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington wants the judge in a recent priest sex abuse case to take the blame for it ending in a mistrial.

Judge Ben Joseph called a mistrial in June in a lawsuit involving alleged abuse by former priest Alfred Willis after a lawyer for the church began asking questions the judge had earlier declared off-limits.

But now Diocesan lawyer Tom McCormick says the judge's instructions about the line of questioning were unclear, and that his co-counsel David Cleary thought he was operating within the bounds of the judge's instructions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

ELCA: Allegations Are Not The Public's Business

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

A former South Dakota Lutheran Pastor is accused of molesting boys and girls in more than one South Dakota congregation, and his own son apologizes to the alleged victims. But the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America will not talk about it.

Pastor Floyd Bacon died in 1997, but a number of people claiming sexual abuse have just now begun to come forward.

KELOLAND News had two conversations with leaders in the ELCA church. Bishop Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl of the South Dakota Synod sent just a brief written statement.

Communications director John Brooks of the ELCA News Service says the allegations are none of the public's business.

In a written statement acknowledging alleged inappropriate sexual contact with children at the hands of Pastor Floyd Bacon, the South Dakota Synod of the ELCA states it has been in contact with victims and has disclosed information to several congregations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Challenger takes out petition for trustee seat

OHIO
Journal News

By Matt Cunningham
Staff Writer

Monday, August 20, 2007

West Chester Twp. resident Christy Miller confirmed today that she has taken out a petition to run for township trustee in this fall's election.

Miller, a Mt. Notre Dame High School graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wilmington College, said the township's development and how it affects residents will be a focus of her campaign. ...

Miller, a co-leader since 2003 of the Cincinnati chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the legislation drive fostered her interest in politics.

"It pushed me into an interest in children's and victims' rights," she said, "and that pushed me into an interest in politics. I think they were stepping stones."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Double trouble

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 21, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
A second convicted sex offender was invited into a worship role at a southwest suburban Southern Baptist church, where Jeff Hannah, a multiple sex offender, had been preaching with the church's blessing since being paroled from prison in 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Hannah, 42, who had sexual relations with four teens while youth minister at a Lake County church, invited his neighbor, Bryan Buckley, to lead special music at a Sept. 9 celebration service at First Baptist Church in Romeoville, according to Buckley and church officials.

"I was asked to see if I was available on that date," Buckley told the Sun-Times.

Buckley, 38, was convicted in 1997 of four counts of criminally assaulting a 14-year-old girl over several months while a youth pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles. Hannah, convicted in 1996, apparently met Buckley in prison, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

DA Finds No Criminal Nature In Bishop Incident

MAYVILLE (NY)
The Post-Journal

8/21/2007 - Special To The Post-Journal

MAYVILLE — Bishop Edward Kmiec will not face charges after an alleged incident with a Fredonia man on Aug. 11.

On Monday, David Foley, Chautauqua County district attorney, said he has closed the investigation into any allegations surrounding an incident between William Parks of Fredonia and Bishop Edward Kmiec.

Foley said the investigation of the alleged Aug. 11 altercation between Parks, a founding member of Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression, and Bishop Kmiec at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk yielded no indications of criminal activity on the part of either man. Parks filed a report with the Dunkirk Police Department, but did not file charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

INDEPTH REPORT: Males surviving abuse; the 'overlooked' victims

CANADA
LondonTopic

Stefania Moretti, Special to LondonTopic.ca
08/20/2007

It's hard for our society to accept boys as powerless. They are expected to "watch their own backs" and be able to defend themselves whenever their safety is threatened. And yet, according to the Canadian Department of Justice, 31 percent of all substantiated child sexual abuse and exploitation victims are male. Worse still, over 90 percent of all male victims of sexual abuse will never tell anyone.

John Field, a London Interfaith Counselling Centre therapist, believes that London is no exception to these troubling national averages and is frustrated with the double standards that plague society.

"For some reason a man's sexuality is challenged if he has been abused," said Field. "Men will often say to me: 'I wish I was hit, I wish I was cut,' because the bruises heal but the injuries are psychological."

It is easier for society to perceive women as victims than it is for them to see men in the same light. And as a result, the types and number of services available to men are scarce. "The services in London just aren't enough," said Field.

In June of this year the Ontario's Victim Services Secretariat approved $80,000 for services in support of the 47 female victims of Charles Sylvestre (a priest in London's Roman Catholic Church diocese convicted of sexually abusing young girls). The diocese is also providing an additional $44,000 to the women. In comparison, male victims of childhood sexual abuse in Windsor Chatham-Kent and London are getting $30,000 from the diocese. This is despite estimates that 75 percent of all victims of sexual abuse by clergy are male.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

State Supreme Court throws out Vista sex abuse lawsuit

CALIFORNIA
North County Times

By: SCOTT MARSHALL - Staff Writer

NORTH COUNTY -- A former Vista High School student cannot sue the Vista Unified School District in connection with allegations that her English teacher sexually abused her when she was a teenage student almost 30 years ago, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The state's highest court split 6-1 in favor of ruling that a change to state law in 2002 regarding childhood sexual abuse lawsuits did not extend the time within which people must file a claim with a public agency like a school district, county or city. State law generally requires that a claim be filed with and rejected by a public agency before that agency can be sued.

Representatives of school districts and other public agencies have said in court documents and interviews that they feared public entities could be exposed to childhood sexual abuse lawsuits similar to those that plague the Roman Catholic church today if the Supreme Court decided the law extended the time in which to file claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Judge: Diocese case will remain in bankruptcy court

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: TERI FIGUEROA - Staff Writer

A federal judge Monday rejected a bid by the Catholic Diocese of San Diego to take over its case from federal bankruptcy court -- a decision that could help clear the way for sexual abuse cases to resume.

The cases have been on hold since Feb. 27, when the diocese filed for bankruptcy on the eve of the start of the trial in the first of several lawsuits filed by people alleging that priests sexually abused them.

Legal battles have been playing out within the bankruptcy court since then. Earlier this month, the diocese asked San Diego Chief U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez to take jurisdiction over the cases.

Attorneys for the alleged sex abuse victims contended in court documents that the diocese was trying to avoid what it believed was a bankruptcy judge's "inclination" to send the cases back to state court for trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

U.S. judge won't intervene in diocese case

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
and Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

August 21, 2007

A U.S. District judge yesterday refused to intervene in the Roman Catholic diocese's clergy sex abuse cases, saying that at least for now, the matter “is best left up to the discretion of the Bankruptcy Court.”

Judge Irma Gonzalez rejected the diocese's request for the U.S. court to set the monetary value of roughly 150 claims put on hold by the bankruptcy case.

“At this juncture, the Bankruptcy Court is in the best position to determine from a case management standpoint how and when these actions should proceed for estimation or liquidation,” she wrote.

Attorneys for the victims said Gonzalez's decision was a clear endorsement of how bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler is handling the diocese's Chapter 11 reorganization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Four women ask court to amend lawsuit, allow punitive damages related to alleged abuse by Roney

WILLMAR (MN)
West Central Tribune

Gretchen Schlosser West Central Tribune
Published Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WILLMAR — Four women, who were allegedly sexually abused by the Rev. David A. Roney while they were children, are asking the court to allow them to seek punitive damages in a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, St. Francis Parish in Benson and St. Mary’s Parish in Willmar.

In a motion filed Aug. 15, the women are seeking permission to amend the original lawsuit, filed in August 2005 in Brown County Fifth Judicial District Court. The original lawsuit sued the diocese for negligence, but the requested amendments include counts alleging fraud and willful and wanton conduct because there is new evidence proving the church knew Roney was molesting children, according to Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul attorney representing the women.

A hearing on the motion is set Aug. 30. The case is set for trial in January. The diocese has settled two other priest sexual abuse lawsuits involving Roney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Pedophile priests in liberated LA: from Ziemann to Baker, no wonder Mahony won't testify; plus Doyle and Strutynski respond re church attorneys

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
“When he was auxiliary bishop of Fresno, Mahony was also a licensed social worker and was therefore required by law to report child abuse. When he became bishop of Stockton, California in 1980, Mahony surrendered this license and removed himself from the reporting requirements.”

That's from “Sacrilege” by Leon Podles due out from Crossland Press September 1st. (Amazing items about the handling of Michael Baker below.) City of Angels Lady is spending August curled up in the air conditioning with this 625-plus page book written by a bishopaccountability board member, and former federal investigator. At the end of August we’ll print a review, but here are some gems of information about the history of sexual abuse in the Los Angeles archdiocese that come up around page 217.

Podles begins the LA part of the story with George Patrick Ziemann, a friend of Mahony’s back in seminary. A plaintiff Richard at age 11 crossed paths with Ziemann when he was a parish priest in the 1960s in Huntington Park. Podles reports:

“Ziemann would give Richard fifty to a hundred dollars, tell him not to worry about it, then hear his confession and give him ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys as penance. This sexual relationship continued until 1986."

In the middle of this, Mahony made Ziemann head of a junior seminary. More sex abuse allegations came up about Ziemann. The Catholic church responded by making Ziemann bishop of Santa Rosa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 AM

August 20, 2007

Bishop Won't Be Charged In Heated Dispute

NEW YORK
WBEN

Mayville, NY (WBEN) - The Chautauqua County District Attorney says there was nothing criminal in nature after an investigation into a heated discussion between Bishop Edward Kmiec and a church member in Dunkirk.

William Parks claimed Bishop Kmiec thumped him on the chest during a heated conversation. District Attorney David Foley says five witnesses were interviewed, only one said there may have been contact between the two.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Judge rules against diocese's request on value of abuse cases

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

4:34 p.m. August 20, 2007

A U.S. District Court judge ruled Monday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego's request to remove the authority to estimate the value of childhood sexual abuse cases from federal Bankruptcy Court – at least for now.

“At this juncture, the Bankruptcy Court is in the best position to determine from a case management standpoint how and when these actions should proceed for estimation or liquidation,” wrote Judge Irma Gonzalez in her nine-page ruling.

Instead, she set another hearing for Nov. 26 to check on the status of the Chapter 11 reorganization case and attempts to settle lawsuits involving some 150 men and women who say they were sexually molested as minors by priests and other church workers.

Putting a value on the claims is one of the most crucial issues in the bankruptcy case. The diocese has offered $95 million; plaintiffs' lawyers want twice that amount.

Read the judge's ruling (PDF)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Catholic Diocese financial mismanagement trial begins

CLEVELAND (OH)
WKYC

CLEVELAND--A trial that could expose alleged secret funds inside the Cleveland Catholic Diocese began Monday.

A former assistant treasurer of the Diocese is accused of financial mismanagement, including defrauding the Diocese, and of tax evasion.

U.S. Attorneys claim two men came up with a scheme to enrich themselves at the expense of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

One of those men went on trial Monday: Anton Zgoznik, who used to work as a Diocese assistant treasurer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Bishop says priest abused boys at Jasper parish

JASPER (IN)
ABC 7

August 20, 2007 (JASPER, Ind.) - A Roman Catholic bishop told members of a southern Indiana parish that a priest who has been dead for 19 years sexually abused boys during his nearly three decades at the church.

Evansville Diocese Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger did not say how many boys Monsignor Othmar Schroeder was believed to have abused during his time at Holy Family Church or when the abuse happened.

Gettelfinger spoke during weekend Masses at the church, saying he learned several years ago of the allegations against Schroeder, but had found out that the scope of the abuse "is greater than we knew."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

More Victims May Be A Part Of S.C. Church Sex Abuse

ST. GEORGE (SC)
WSOC

ST. GEORGE, S.C. -- As many as 80 people may now be a part of a $12 million class-action settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, an attorney for the victims said Monday.

Twenty more possible victims were found during a review of diocesan records in recent months, said attorney Larry Richter, who represents victims in the settlement.

During a March hearing, attorneys had identified 53 people who may be a part of the settlement, but now that number is closer to 80, Richter told The Associated Press.

An exact number of victims covered by the settlement won't be known until the deadline for filing claims ends in four months. Potential victims and their relatives could begin making claims Aug. 9, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Charges of Corruption in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (OH)
dotCommonweal

August 20, 2007, 1:26 pm
Posted by Paul Lauritzen

If you read the New York Times today, you probably saw the story about the trial of the former assistant treasurer of the Diocese of Cleveland, who, along with the former chief financial officer of the diocese, is accused of various criminal charges, including money laundering and tax evasion. Both men have implicated former diocesan officials, including Anthony Pilla, the former bishop, and Rev. John Wright, the diocese’s former financial and legal secretary.

The trials are likely to be very ugly and many in Cleveland are bracing for the worst. Anticipating the negative press coverage that is likely to ensue, Richard Lennon, the current Bishop of Cleveland, sent a letter to diocesan priests several weeks ago about the upcoming trials. Some priests read the letter from the pulpit this past weekend. The text of the letter can be found below.

Dear Father X,

I am writing to make you aware that the trial in the case of The United States of America v. Joseph H. Smith and Anton Zgoznik is currently scheduled to begin on 15 August 2007. The trial is likely to generate coverage by the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Church Put Child Sex Offender Back In Pulpit

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
NBC 5

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. -- A southwest suburban Southern Baptist congregation allowed a convicted child sex offender to preach for the last few years -- despite his past, and a warning from his previous church that he might still be dangerous, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

In 1996, Jeff Hannah was sentenced to nine years in prison for having sexual relations with four underage girls -- ages 15 to 17 -- while a married youth minister at Crossroads Church in Libertyville.

Hannah was paroled in 2001 and joined the First Baptist Church of Romeoville, where his new wife was a member. Soon after, the pastor moved on, and church members -- aware of Hannah’s crimes -- asked him to step into the pulpit until a replacement was hired, according to church members, Hannah and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Historic $2-billion native settlement set to go ahead

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

BILL CURRY

August 20, 2007 at 7:26 AM EDT

OTTAWA — With few natives expected to opt out, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history is set to clear its final hurdle, with $2-billion in payouts to former students of Canada's Indian residential schools likely to begin in November.

Former students of the schools have until today to reject the out-of-court settlement, and if more than 5,000 of the estimated 80,000 students were to do so, a clause in the agreement would allow Ottawa to walk away from the deal.

However, a government update indicates that the number opting out is low, and a federal official confirmed the clause will not be an issue.

Compensation payments are expected to average about $28,000 and federal officials say the entire fund will be distributed by April, 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Historic Abuse Claims Settlement Set to Pass Final Hurdle

CANADA
John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

The Globe and Mail has reported that the largest abuse claims settlement in history is likely to pass it’s final hurdle today. Upwards of 80,000 former students of Church run Indian Residential schools are set to receive payments for sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological abuse that they suffered in the schools.

Today is the deadline for former students to “opt out” of the class action settlement. If more than 5000 students drop out of the settlement, the court approval order considers the deal null and void. As of today, less than a hundred former students across the country have opted out and it is expected that the deal will be finalized today.

The class action settlement will pay out two billion dollars in compensation to students who were forced to attend the schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

El proceso de selección de curas

LOS ANGELES (CA)
La Opinion

This is a link to a Spanish-language article on how selection and training of priests has changed since allegations of clergy sexual abuse have surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

El apoyo a víctimas de abuso del clero

LOS ANGELES (CA)
La Opinion

This is the link to a Spanish-language article on support available to survivors of clergy sexual abuse being offered by the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

UCAN: There Is no 'cure' for priest with child, archbishop says

PHILIPPINES
Catholic Online

8/20/2007
UCANews (www.ucanews.com)

MANILA, Philippines (UCAN) – The head of the Philippine church's marriage-appeals court disapproves of priests continuing in the ministry after fathering children and rejects efforts to "cure" these priests instead of "disciplining" them.

According to Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan, head of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, a priest who sired a child cannot be rehabilitated. "No matter how you assist this priest, that child remains and he has a natural obligation towards the child."

He stressed that parenting was "not only giving food, shelter or clothing, as people do with pets, but teaching, formation, education" as well. He believes "impaired personality constructs" cannot be "cured."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Sue the "sexperts"

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

California's Dr. Judith Reisman urges bishops to take action against sex therapy experts who have advised the Church. And, if they don't, the laity should.

California-based lecturer and author, Dr. Judith Reisman (she holds a Ph.D. in Communications) has served as an expert witness in lawsuits involving sexual abuse. Her research paper, "Reliance of the Catholic Church on Sexuality Advisors Whose Moral Foundation Differs Markedly from that of the Church," was submitted to a select group of bishops in 2002, so far without official response. California Catholic Daily interviewed Reisman on Aug. 12.

A number of Catholic priests later convicted for sex abuse were ex-patients of sexual therapy centers. What’s the problem here?

Reisman: “Human sexuality education” has always been based on the Kinsey model. The “Harvard” of the Kinseyan field was the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco . The IASHS “education” canon reflected the frauds created by Kinsey, a pedophile advocate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Protecting the innocent

OREGON
Religion and Child Abuse

Christian News Northwest - July 2007
http://www.cnnw.com/index.html

By JOHN FORTMEYER

Plaintiff alleges sex abuse during his stay there in the 1970s

A Salem man has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the Children’s Farm Home and its parent Trillium Family Services, claiming he was sexually abused as a child there in the late 1970s.

It happens. Even once is too often, but tragically, it happens - and all too frequently. It most certainly breaks the heart of God.

And the staff of this newspaper dreads anytime it must be reported on these pages.

But the days of ignoring that sexual abuse of youths can take place in churches, ministries and Christian schools is over. In the past few years, the number of reports of abuse - whether from recent times or surfacing after many years or even decades - seems to have multiplied greatly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Young faces applied to old wounds

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

August 20, 2007

She sits in bankruptcy court on wooden benches much like church pews, grasping a homemade fan as if it were a rudder in a storm-tossed sea.

On one side of the fan is a black-and-white photograph of herself when she was dressed up for her first Holy Communion. On the other side, she's posing with her three sisters, little heads rising like stair steps.

All four were allegedly being sexually abused by their priest at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on 55th Street in the 1950s, when the photos were taken.

She's 58 now and lives within walking distance of the San Diego church. She says the pictures are to remind everyone in the Catholic diocese's bankruptcy case that “it's all about the children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Cleveland Diocese Accused of Impropriety as Embezzlement Trial Nears

CLEVELAND (OH)
The New York Times

By CHRISTOPHER MAAG
Published: August 20, 2007
CLEVELAND, Aug. 19 — A former assistant treasurer of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is to go on trial Monday, accused of taking part in widespread financial mismanagement and looting of church funds.

Lawyers for the defendants in this trial and a related case, however, say top church officials are to blame; in documents filed in federal court, the lawyers say the diocese’s former bishop and a priest used secret accounts to embezzle millions of dollars from the diocese. Such accusations are “scurrilous,” the diocese has said in a written statement.

The former assistant treasurer, Anton Zgoznik, also worked as a consultant to the church. He and the former chief financial officer of the diocese, Joseph Smith, face a total of 27 criminal charges, including money laundering and tax evasion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

August 19, 2007

‘Y líbranos del mal...’

CALIFORNIA
La Opinion

This is the link to a Spanish-language story about a child protection program being offered in churches by the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Diocese Hiding Assets to Avoid Paying Sexual Abuse Judgements?

CANADA
John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

Andrew Sullivan has posted about the debate surrounding the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese’s bankruptcy as a result of abuse claims. It appears the bankruptcy is being challenged due to allegations that the Diocese and some of it’s parishes have been hiding assets in an effort to avoid paying compensation to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

It is generally accepted at law that all the assets of a Diocese, including those of it’s parishes, may be liquidated to satisfy civil judgements. The article states:

In response to the priest sex abuse liability crisis, there is a growing trend for diocesan assets to be divided among multiple incorporated entities.

In Canada the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada was the first charity in the Commonwealth to be wound up for tort liability (arising from the notorious Mt. Cashel abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Catholic diocese's financial documents key to ex-workers' trial

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Sunday, August 19, 2007

James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter
Nearly a decade's worth of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland's most confidential financial documents will be on display when the trial of a former diocesan accountant begins Monday in U.S. District Court.

The kickback trial of Anton Zgoznik opens amid a flurry of accusations by defense lawyers that the diocese destroyed and continues to hide documents critical to their case and embarrassing to the church.

Zgoznik's co-defendant, Joseph Smith, the diocese's former chief financial officer and legal counsel, will stand trial later. Each is charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

The defendants were hit with several trial setbacks on Friday. U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich rejected their attempts to prevent introduction of financial records that prosecutors say document Smith and Zgoznik's elaborate kickback scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

City's new archbishop sees few big changes in first year

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

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

Minutes after he was installed as archbishop of Louisville last week, Joseph E. Kurtz began to meet many of the archdiocese's Catholics -- standing for more than two hours greeting people under a reception tent in the 103-degree heat.

Kurtz, who turned 61 yesterday, has continued to get to know his new flock, meeting with staff, going on driving tours to see current and former churches in Louisville's urban neighborhoods and planning his first visit to the historic Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown last night. ...

C-J: In the past few years, the sexual-abuse crisis in this archdiocese was very prominent. What is your role in addressing that issue?

Kurtz: First, sexual abuse is not to be tolerated, either in a church setting or in a societal setting. My role would be to provide clear leadership in first of all creating a safe environment and doing everything we can to promote the kind of wholesome pastoral relationships that have really been the hallmark of the church for centuries.

We also have a very clear policy that includes a very active victim's assistance coordinator. I will be very supportive of that coordinator in helping to deal with the victims of past abuse, working with that coordinator and, where it's appropriate, obviously meeting with any victims that would be in need of pastoral care.

C-J: Any word you would have for the victims?

Kurtz: My words would be words of consolation and a desire to help them heal. I would want to reach out to help console and help heal. Just as we are helping, I hope, all people within our archdiocese to live full and wholesome lives, virtuous lives, we would want to assist victims in doing the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Diocese has paid $328,068 on abuse claims

RENO (NV)
Reno Gazette-Journal

MARTHA BELLISLE
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 8/19/2007

Over the past two years, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno has paid $328,068 to at least seven local residents who say they were sexually abused by Reno priests, and officials are reviewing three additional claims recently reported to the church.

But several of the victims say that, while church workers, including Chancellor Brother Matthew Cunningham, were kind and compassionate toward them, the diocese and its lawyers treated them harshly through the interview and negotiation process.

"When it came to the issue of money, the lawyers drove down the settlement as far as they possibly could," said Marie "Terry" LaTourrette Moisan, who recently settled her case with the diocese over claims that she was molested in the 1960s by Eugene Braun, the former pastor of St. Therese Church of the Little Flower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Lawmaker wants to give abuse victims time to sue

NEVADA
Reno Gazette-Journal

MARTHA BELLISLE
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 8/19/2007

In most states, including Nevada, victims of sexual abuse by priests are unable to collect large financial settlements from local Catholic dioceses because most cases date back to the 1960s and 1970s and the statute of limitations for filing civil complaints has expired.

But in California, the legislature voted in 2002 to lift the limits for civil cases for one year, allowing victims to sue employers or institutions that knowingly protected or kept molesters.

As a result, hundreds of suits were filed, and dioceses across California settled cases for close to $1 billion -- including a record $660 million settlement in Los Angeles.

Since that time, other states have begun to follow California's lead: Delaware passed a bill in July that creates a two-year window for lawsuits, and other regions, including Alaska and Washington D.C., are debating similar legislation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Mataca unaware of sex priests in Fiji

FIJI
The Fiji Times

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Update: 4.46pm THE head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Petero Mataca, is unaware of sex-offending priests from New Zealand and Australia being dumped in the Pacific.

Archishop Mataca questioned the claim on Pacific Radio News, saying in his 30 years as leader of the Catholic Church in Fiji, the nation has never been used as a place to hide priests who had broken the law.

A former Australian Catholic nun, Michelle Mulvihill, earlier this month wrote to New Zealand's Catholic Church about her claims, saying some priests who had sexually abused children are being dumped in the islands, especially in Papua New Guinea.

But the Apostolic Nuncio of Papua New Guinea, Francisco Padilla, says as far as he knows, all their priests have clean records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 AM

Sex abuse sends ex-Bible study leader to jail

RALEIGH (NC)
News & Observer

Sarah Ovaska, Staff Writer
RALEIGH - Brian Goodrich Jr. turned Friday and faced the families of teenage boys he was convicted of sexually abusing and said he was sorry.
"I apologize for the deceit, the lies and the betrayal," Goodrich said, minutes before he was led away in handcuffs.

None of the six boys with whom Goodrich was convicted of having inappropriate sexual contact were at the sentencing Friday but parents of several of the boys were.

Goodrich was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand to at least 13 years in state prison in exchange for guilty pleas on two counts of statutory sex offense, four counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

Goodrich, 26, had been the leader of a Bible study group for the 13- and 14-year-old boys who attended Providence Baptist Church in North Raleigh. Wake Assistant District Attorney Adam Moyers said Goodrich used his position of trust to participate in and observe sexual acts with the boys between January 2005 and June 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 AM

Russian Orthodox leader faces sexual misconduct accusations

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By JAMES HALPIN
The Associated Press

Published: August 18, 2007
Last Modified: August 18, 2007 at 07:51 AM

The second-highest-ranking Russian Orthodox Church official in Alaska is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct, national church leaders said Friday.

Chancellor of the Alaska Diocese Archimandrite Isidore is accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with a former missionary and educational leader in Kodiak, according to officials with the Orthodox Church in America's headquarters in Syosset, N.Y.

Bishop Nikolai, who heads the Alaska Diocese, also is facing "extraordinarily serious" allegations, according to the senior church official in the country, although the nature of the accusations has not been revealed by church officials.

But in a letter to the church's primate, Metropolitan Herman, the missionary accuses Nikolai of domestic violence, neglect and malpractice. Nikolai denies there have been any accusations made against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 AM

More healing thoughts on abuse

The China Post

Sunday, August 19, 2007 - By Daniel J. Bauer, Special to The China Post

At the close of a recent column on the subject of priests and sex abuse (July 22, 2007 here in The China Post), I said I would soon return to this difficult topic. Well, here I am again. A promise is a promise, and a few thoughts about compensation, healing and forgiveness still linger in my mind.

In my words of a month ago, I spoke of the material compensation the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles recently agreed to offer to persons who have been abused by priests or church workers. In July, Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized to the victims, and announced that the archdiocese had agreed to a payment of some US$660 million, to be distributed among 508 victims.

A couple of truths about compensation and forgiveness are worth emphasizing here. They are obvious truths, but deserve highlighting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 AM

August 18, 2007

Pastor charged with soliciting minor

DENTON (TX)
WFAA

By DONNA FIELDER / Denton Record-Chronicle
dfielder@dentonrc.com

The pastor of an Arlington church arrived in Denton this week for what he believed was a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old girl, authorities say, and was confronted by police officers instead.

Leroy Ruedas Cruz Leroy Ruedas Cruz, 50, was in the Denton jail Friday in lieu of $20,000 bail on charges of online solicitation of a minor with intent for sexual contact and online solicitation of a minor with a sexually explicit image sent with the intent to arouse.

Police documents show he is the pastor of the Grace Fellowship Church in Arlington. He could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

SNAP Asks Victims to Come Forward

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

By Ann Brentwood
In the Lebanon Enterprise
August 1, 2007

[See also a PDF of Brentwood's article.]

In January 2002, a stunning series of stories in the Boston Globe appeared about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in that archdiocese. Within weeks, news outlets across the country began asking, "Have such crimes happened here?" and began discovering that child molesting clerics and complicit officials could be found in nearly every Catholic institution in the U.S.

And five years ago last month, at a closely watched meeting in Dallas, America's Catholic bishops pledged to usher in a new era of "openness and transparency" regarding child sex abuse by clerics.

But the sad truth is that few citizens, Catholic or otherwise, know the identities of many of the more than 5,000 admitted, proven or credibly accused abusive priests that even bishops admit have worked in churches and schools over the past few decades.

That's because while bishops promised to disclose information about pedophile priests, there's been precious little follow through. Sadly, that leaves parents unaware and kids at risk of more horrific child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Lawsuit claims rape by priest

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser
Saturday, August 18, 2007

A 33-year-old Memphis woman has filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, claiming that a priest sexually molested and raped her.

The Circuit Court suit filed by "Jane Doe 4" also contends that the diocese had previous complaints of inappropriate sexual conduct by Rev. Gregory Salata but did nothing to protect her or other church members.

The woman was a high school senior in 1992 when she went to Salata for counseling and advice, but in 2002 the priest used her trust and vulnerability to sexually molest and then rape her, the suit said.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Salata has been at St. Louis Church, St. Paul the Apostle Church, St. Ann Church in Bartlett and last year was assigned to Campus Ministry at the University of Memphis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Dishonesty on Artane abuse probe exposed ... eventually

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday August 18 2007

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has released 'The Private Report on Artane Industrial School' which was furnished to his predecessor, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, on July 7, 1962. In so doing he has honoured his pledge, that the only possible resolution of the child sexual abuse scandal would be when everything came out.

The Archbishop should be congratulated for that. He has also said: "There are no short cuts. Over the past five years there has been a change in the Church's handling of the issue with a policy of openness and of rapidly addressing problems."

Some would dispute this, pointing to the disparity between what has happened in other countries and what has happened here. But the Archbishop is still a new broom and should be encouraged in what appears to be the beginnings of a new policy here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

20 N.J. Men Allege Sexual Abuse By Lutheran Pastor

TOMS RIVER (NJ)
CBS 13

(CBS) TOMS RIVER, N.J. Twenty men have come forward and are claiming the pastor of a Lutheran church in New Jersey sexually abused them when they were children, adding that children in the parish were abused for almost 20 years.

Michael Isaacs is the only one of 20 men suing St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Brick, N.J. on sex abuse charges who isn't afraid to show his face and address the public.

"He'd make you touch him, ask if you liked it, and make sure you wouldn't tell anybody about it," Isaacs tells CBS 2 HD. "He called it the 'typewriter game' where he'd bring you into his office, sit you on his lap and let you hit the typewriter keys and he would fondle you."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Bishop: Dead pastor accused of sexual abuse

SOUTH DAKOTA
Argus Leader

By Josh Verges
Published: August 18, 2007
Several people have accused a Lutheran pastor of sexually abusing them as children in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a letter from Bishop Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl.

The Rev. Floyd Bacon retired from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the mid-1980s, and died in 1997, she wrote in the letter. His service at South Dakota churches included Corsica, Lake Andes, Pickstown, Wagner and Hurley, according to Argus Leader archives, and he worked in Iowa and Minnesota as well.

The bishop disclosed the reported assaults to members of involved churches last week in a letter. She invited them to a meeting Thursday night at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Menno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Sex-abuse lawsuit vs. church to proceed

TOMS RIVER (NJ)
Ashbury Park Press

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 08/18/07
BY KATHLEEN HOPKINS
TOMS RIVER BUREAU

TOMS RIVER — A $100 million lawsuit against St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Brick will proceed, after a judge Friday declined to dismiss complaints brought by 19 men who allege they were molested as children in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s by the church's one-time pastor.

State Superior Court Judge Thomas E. O'Brien denied requests to dismiss the lawsuit made by attorneys representing the church and its adjacent St. Thomas Christian Academy on Salmon Street, the church's and school's officials and parent organizations, and the estate of the former pastor, the late Rev. Robert L. Slegel.

Toms River attorney Robert R. Fuggi filed the lawsuit on behalf of 19 plaintiffs, who now range in age from 29 to 52. They allege they were molested by Slegel when they were between 5 to 15 years old. A 20th man also claims he was molested as a child by Slegel; Fuggi said he plans to add that man as a plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Judge to rule on how to assess value of claims in abuse cases

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

August 18, 2007

A federal judge will issue a ruling by Monday on a request by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to take the critical matter of how to value nearly 160 claims of child sexual abuse by clergy out of bankruptcy court.

Lawyers for the diocese told chief U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez in a hearing yesterday that the fairest and fastest way to determine how much the abuse cases are worth is for her to set up a process to estimate their value.

Attorneys representing abuse victims strongly disagreed, accusing the diocese of “forum shopping” in the face of a strong possibility that bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler will next week order the first of the cases back to state court for trials. Diocese lawyers said trying cases before juries would take years and cost millions; plaintiffs' attorneys disagree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

August 17, 2007

the first of the worst

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Catholic World News

Former Lafayette (Louisiana) Bishop Gerard Frey died Thursday at 92. He was among the most outrageously negligent of the abuser-shifting bishops and the first to watch his diocese get buggered into bankruptcy.

Frey's most notorious protegee was the multiple molester Gilbert Gauthe. Gauthe began abusing boys almost immediately after his ordination in 1971, but managed to deflect complaints until 1974, when Frey was constrained to order him into therapy. As Jason Berry tells it:

Bishop Frey has stated in deposition, "A young man stopped me and told me he had been counseling a young man who had emotional problems and in the course of counseling he'd found out that he had a sexual—homosexual contact with Gauthe."

The bishop said his source "seemed to be disturbed by the thing and I didn't want to pursue it with him." The bishop confronted Gauthe. "This was while he was in New Iberia. I talked to Gauthe, and he admitted that he had made a mistake, that he had been guilty of imprudent touches with this young man, that it was an isolated case, incident, that it would never happen again," he said.

Upon his return from therapy, Frey appointed Gauthe chaplain to the Boy Scouts and gave him a series of new parish assignments, providing opportunities for sexual predation that continued until 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Diocese defends questioning of sex assault victims

CANADA
The Sarnia Observer

JACK POIRIER
Local News - Friday, August 17, 2007 @ 16:00

A request for additional questioning of a priest's sexual assault victims is not unreasonable because the victims allege more abuse than was admitted in court, says a London diocese spokesperson.

In responding to public pleas for the diocese to limit further psychological testing of the victims of Catholic priest Charles Sylvestre, Ron Pickersgill said some of the abuse was never outlined during the trial last summer.

The diocese issued the statement Thursday following a press conference organized by the victims in Chatham, who are involved in multimillion-dollar civil litigation with the diocese.

"Where the abuse goes beyond the criminal allegations and where there is a serious loss of income claim, we have asked for the opportunity to ask some questions of the victims and to have an independent medical examination," Pickersgill said in a prepared statement to the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Zimbabwe: Police Disrupt Pius Ncube Meeting

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe Independent

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

17 August 2007
Posted to the web 17 August 2007

Loughty Dube

ARCHBISHOP Pius Ncube has spoken out for the first time since a $20 billion adultery lawsuit was filed against him by a Bulawayo man two months ago.

Ncube addressed Bulawayo residents in Magwegwe at a meeting organised by the Solidarity Trust.

However, Ncube's address was cut short by police who ordered that the time applied for the meeting had elapsed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Prosecutors drop last charges against deacon

PINEVILLE (MO)
Kansas City Star

The Associated Press
PINEVILLE, Mo. | The last sexual abuse charges against the deacon of a southwest Missouri church have been dropped because the statute of limitations had expired.

Prosecutors dropped a rape charge against Paul Epling, 54, a deacon of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, according to McDonald County Prosecutor Janice Durbin.

A 35-year-old woman had accused Epling of forcing her to have sexual intercourse when she was 6.

Epling originally faced seven counts in alleged sexual acts with that girl and a second one between 1976 and 1983. Statute of limitations issues also caused prosecutors to drop those charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Priest continues court battle with bishops, alleged abusers

NEW YORK
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
August 17, 2007

The following is the text of an amended complaint filed on behalf of Father Robert Hoatson, who informs me that "the RICO charges [in his original lawsuit] were dismissed, but the other charges stood, and were most likely going to be assigned to state court. So, we appealed the federal judge's ruling and filed in the New York State Supreme Court. This is the amended complaint from the State Supreme Court. We are still engaged in the appeal of the federal charges, but we have dropped the RICO appeal. However, we have not dropped the appeal of the recusal of the judge (we may win that) and the appeal of the fine assigned to my attorney (which we may win as well)."

(It should be noted that I do not necessarily agree with every assertion/conclusion made in the complaint.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Church denies cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
Bucks Free Press

CHESHAM Methodist Church says it only learnt of the new child abuse allegations facing Richard Webb last year, after he was given police bail.

The church, in Bellingdon Road, Chesham, was criticised by judge Seddon Cripps on Friday for not reporting the allegations to the police when it knew of them.

But the church has denied any cover-up and says it was only aware of Webb's previous convictions for which he left prison in 1975. It said it only learnt of the new offences last year when Webb was investigated by police and given bail.

advertisementAnna Drew, spokesman, said the church had previously made an informal contract with Webb shortly after he joined in 1975.

This was to stop him having any direct contact with children and also allowed for the entire church membership to know of his previous convictions. A formal contract was drawn up at a later stage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Wounds reopened

CANADA
London Free Press

By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA

CHATHAM -- Carol Ann Mieras had the smarts and the commitment to be a medical doctor.

Her dream died when she walked into a university pre-med physics class and saw a professor who reminded her of Rev. Charles Sylvestre, the Roman Catholic priest who sexually assaulted her when she was a young parishioner at St. Ursula's parish in Chatham.

Her grades collapsed. She lost her faith and her trust in others. She couldn't attend classes taught by a man.

She has refused professional promotions that would have seen her supervised by a male.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Former Bishop Gerard Frey dead at 93

LAFAYETTE (LA)
The Advocate

By KEVIN BLANCHARD
Advocate Acadiana bureau
Published: Aug 16, 2007

LAFAYETTE — Former Bishop Gerard Frey died Thursday after a lengthy illness.

He was 93.

Frey served as bishop of the Lafayette Roman Catholic Diocese — one of the largest in the nation — from 1972 until 1989.

A priest for some 60 years, Frey was the third Bishop of Lafayette and a native of New Orleans, who came to the diocese in 1973 from Savannah, Ga., where he had been bishop for five years. ...

It was also during Frey’s tenure that the diocese went through a high-profile priest sexual abuse scandal, mostly centered around former priest Gilbert Gauthe, who served 10 years after being convicted in 1985 for molesting altar boys. In 1997, Gauthe was convicted of a 1982 rape of a 12-year-old girl in Vermilion Parish, but later his attorneys successfully argued that his 1985 plea deal precluded him serving any additional jail time.

The diocese settled for more than $20 million several lawsuits involving Gauthe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Support group reaches out to clergy abuse victims

SAVANNAH (GA)
Savannah Morning News

Dana Clark Felty | Friday, August 17, 2007 at 12:30 am
A national support group for victims of clergy sex abuse is launching a local chapter with the help of a native Savannahian.

Organizers for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced plans to form the first local chapter of the national self-help group "focused on healing for anyone molested by clergy of any denomination."

Southeast coordinator Ann Brentwood will conduct monthly meetings for the local chapter until a leader comes forward, she said. Brentwood is based in Maryville, Tenn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

August 16, 2007

Priest Caught in the Act Appears in Court to Defend Allegations

CALIFORNIA
KEYT

A local priest appeared in court for having sex in public today and enter a plea.
The Attorney for Revered Gernoimo Cuevas plead not guilty on his behalf of the Assistant Pastor at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Nipomo.
The 52-year-old was arrested in late July near Pirates Cove on suspicion of sexual battery and soliciting a lewd act in a public place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 PM

Diocese abuse settlement reached, but attorneys still arguing

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

Erik Loney / KXLY4 Reporter
Last updated: Thursday, August 16th, 2007 06:38:47 PM

SPOKANE -- Spokane-area Catholics have already paid out $10-Million in the Diocese bankruptcy case and now attorneys who litigated the case are asking for their fair share.

Some people are objecting however saying some of those fees may not be justified.

It took more than two years to reach a settlement in the sex abuse case and the diocese faced lawsuits demanding millions of dollars in damages for sexual abuse by Catholic priests. While the settlement over the abuse cases has been reached, attorneys are still arguing over how much they should – or shouldn’t – be paid for working on the case.

Bankruptcy court documents reveal the financial cost of the cost of the bankruptcy penny by penny. The documents show that the settlement really cost $51 Million, which breaks down to $48 Million for the settlement plus an additional $3 Million already paid to attorneys before the settlement was reached.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 PM

Bishop Nikolai asked to keep out of church probe of accusations

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

By BRYAN MARTIN
Mirror Writer
Metropolitan Herman, the primate of the Orthodox Church in America, which has a following of more than a million adherents in the United States, is beginning an investigation into misconduct within the Alaska Diocese with charges and allegations centered within the Kodiak clergy, primarily its seminary and the bishop who oversees it.

Herman announced, Tuesday, from his offices in Syosset, N.Y., that an investigation is under way concerning allegations raised against Archimandrite Isidore, rector of the seminary and chancellor of the Alaska Diocese, by Paul Sidebottom, a missionary who was for a time assistant dean of academics at St. Herman Theological Seminary.

The investigation, according to the announcement, has been initiated at the request of Bishop Nilokai, who heads the Alaska Diocese, and is being conducted with the concurrence of Herman.

The request from Nikolai was received Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Joliet priest pleads guilty to theft

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Hal Dardick | Tribune staff reporter
August 17, 2007

Fifteen months after abruptly resigning as pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Joliet, Rev. James Radek today admitted to stealing from church coffers.

Under a plea agreement, Radek, 44, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft. Will County Judge Robert Lorz sentenced him to 2 years conditional discharge, a type of probation under which the priest will not have to report in. Authorities said he stole $5,000 to $7,000, although the guilty plea covered far less.

The Joliet diocese said it will now review Radek's status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Abuse vicar is sacked by Church

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A vicar jailed for sexually abusing six boys over a 30-year period has been removed from office.

The Reverend David Smith, 52, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in May. He had been the vicar at St John's in Clevedon, Somerset.

The Church of England said Smith will never work as a priest again - the maximum penalty it could impose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Sex abuse vicar given maximum penalty

UNITED KINGDOM
Religous Intelligence

Thursday, 16th August 2007. 4:34pm

By: Ed Beavan.

A VICAR jailed for sexually abusing young boys over a 30-year-period has received the maximum penalty possible under the Clergy Discipline Measure.

Smith, formerly vicar of St John’s Church in Clevedon in the Diocese of bath and Wells, has been told he can never work as a priest again. The 52-year-old priest received a five-and-a-half year prison sentence in May for the abuse, and has now had his stipend stopped.david

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Peter Price, explained the delay in announcing the penalty, and said: “The legal processes we had to go through take a frustratingly long time but they have now been completed. “We can now look to the future with hope and confidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Sins of a father; Sex abuse victims call for an end to the suffering

CANADA
The Sarnia Observer

JACK POIRIER
Local News - Thursday, August 16, 2007 @ 16:00

The victims' plight

Sarnia's Irene Williams has been holding her breath for 45 years.

Williams is a victim of childhood sexual assault at the hands of disgraced Catholic priest Charles Sylvestre.

She thought her ordeal was winding to an end last August when London diocese Bishop Peter Fabbro pledged to support the victims and work towards a resolution.

Now, the 56-year-old cries in her living room at the prospect of having her entire ordeal questioned by more psychiatrists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Church finally sacks paedo vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By ONLINE REPORTER
August 16, 2007

A PAEDOPHILE vicar was sacked by the Church of England today - more than three months after he was jailed for sexually abusing boys over a 30-year period.

The Rev David Smith, 52, from Clevedon, Somerset, will never be allowed to work as a priest again, following a Church disciplinary hearing.

Smith, who had been suspended for a year before his trial, was still being paid his £20,000-a-year salary by the Church even after he was convicted.

He was also still technically the vicar at St John’s in the seaside town, where he groomed and molested two vulnerable youngsters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Bill Parks sticking to story

DUNKIRK (NY)
The Observer

8/16/2007 - OBSERVER Staff Report

Bill Parks maintains that his account of an altercation between him and Bishop Edward Kmiec is valid, even as the Diocese of Buffalo accuses him of falsity and claims witnesses to back their side.

Parks has cited his own witness in the incident, an old Dunkirk schoolmate, John Bailey of Ben Salem, Pa., who was attending a class reunion at the Clarion Hotel with him and says he was present for the entire altercation that took place there Aug. 11.

An answering machine was used by Parks to record a phone conversation between him and Bailey the evening of Aug. 14, after Parks said he had searched for a way to contact Bailey after he returned to Pennsylvania. Bailey, who did not know the conversation was being recorded, later agreed to have it submitted to Dunkirk Police, District Attorney David Foley and the OBSERVER.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

SNAP Alleges Right to Free Speech has been Violated

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

TOLEDO -- Is the Toledo Police Department trampling on the First Amendment?

Members of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) says their right to free speech was violated during an incident outside Fifth Third Field last week while they were conducting a public awareness campaign before the start of a Mud Hens game.

A member of the group says four of its members were handing out information outside the ballpark when a police officer ordered them off a sidewalk, reports News 11's Rob Wiercinski. While a public loitering law forbids obstructing the free passage of pedestrians, the ACLU believes this was a clear violation of free speech.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Ronnie Polaneczky | Banished priests, roaming freely

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

THIS WEEK, the Orlando Sentinel wrote how a former Philadelphia Catholic priest named Nicholas Cudemo had made his home in Central Florida. Another former Philly priest, Stanley Gana, had resided in Orlando as recently as last year, the Sentinel also revealed.

What made the story such a big deal is that the two men figured prominently in the Philadelphia D.A.'s 2005 grand-jury report about sex abuse by clergy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

In the report, Cudemo was described by a clergy superior as "one of the sickest people I ever knew." Cudemo was accused of raping and impregnating an 11-year-old girl, for whom he then arranged an abortion, and of abusing 15 other victims.

Gana was accused of raping a 14-year-old boy who'd come to him for help after an incident of sex abuse by a family friend. Sometimes, Gana would have sex with the child and another boy at the same time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Ex-youth minister from West Deer faces 3rd molestation case

PITTSBURGH (PA)
The Tribune-Review

By The Tribune-Review
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A former youth minister already accused of molesting two boys was ordered this week to stand trial on charges in one of those cases and now faces a case involving a third youth.

David Baird, 45, of West Deer, was held for court this week on charges related to accusations that he sexually assaulted a boy numerous times starting in 1999 when the boy was 14. In June, he was ordered to stand trial on charges involving another boy.

Baird, the former youth minister of the Covenant Church of Pittsburgh in Wilkinsburg, is free on $10,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Touring through a troubled past

CANADA
The Star

Aug 06, 2007 04:30 AM
Sheila Dabu
Living Reporter

BRANTFORD–He could be mistaken for Elvis, with his jet-black pompadour and sideburns, were it not for the number 48 tattooed on his right hand.

Children in residential schools were assigned numbers to keep track of them. Getting a tattoo of his number was Geronimo Henry's own idea.

Henry, a 70-year-old retired Elvis impersonator from the Six Nations reserve near Brantford, says without the King of Rock'n'Roll's music, he couldn't have survived jail time, divorce and addiction after struggling with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Pederson selected as city attorney

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Zsombor Peter
Staff Writer

GALLUP — David Pederson can thank his extra years of civil litigation for his new job as city attorney. Minus Bill Nechero, the City Council appointed him to the post Tuesday evening.

Mayor Harry Mendoza said Pederson and Steven Seeger, the only two applicants for the job, stood just about even on most counts. But it was Pederson’s additional years trying civil cases, the mayor said, that gave him the edge. ...

Mendoza and Kozeliski both said Pederson should have a relatively light load coming in. The city’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over employment discrimination has run its course, and its suit against an Albuquerque reporter and the Gallup Catholic Diocese over the possession of police photos of Bishop Donald Pelotte — taken at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital after the bishop sustained suspicious injuries at home — has been handed off to another attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Former priest's trial on threat charge delayed

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

DAILY RECORD STAFF REPORT
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A former Morris County priest at the center of an abuse scandal had his trial on terroristic threat charges postponed Tuesday until the middle of next month.

James T. Hanley, once the pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Mendham, has been held in the Hudson County jail since last October on charges that he waved a baseball bat and threatened workers at a Secaucus hotel during an argument last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Clergy abuse viewed as isolated

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By MARC PARRY, Staff writer
.
First published: Thursday, August 16, 2007

ALBANY -- Local Episcopalians have no immediate plans to investigate a former Cathedral of All Saints dean who has admitted sexually abusing four boys while working as a rector in central New York.

The Rev. Marshall Vang, the dean of the cathedral, said Wednesday he was not aware of any local complaints against the Rev. J. Edward Putnam, who led the Albany Episcopal Diocese's mother church between 1993 and 1997. He also served as a chaplain for the state Assembly.

Putnam, 66, recently admitted in a written statement that he engaged in "inappropriate conduct with minors" as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles, Onondaga County, between 1986 and 1993, according to the Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Lubbock Pastor Found Guilty on Four Counts of Indecency With a Child

LUBBOCK (TX)
KCBD

A Lubbock pastor is awaiting his sentencing after a Lubbock jury found him guilty on four counts of indecency with a child Wednesday evening.

Thursday morning, the jury will reconvene to determine Royce Jimenez's sentence.

The Jimenez family refused to comment Wednesday evening after learning a jury found Royce Jimenez guilty on four counts of indecency with a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

In sexual abuse case, pastor leaves trail of broken trust

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Josh Mitchell | Sun reporter
August 16, 2007

The woman initially didn't want to believe her teenage son's allegations that the pastor she considered a father figure had molested him.

"I asked him over and over, 'Are you sure?'" she told a Baltimore County judge yesterday, "hoping he would say something that would let me escape this."

Yesterday, as Gerald Fitroy Griffith pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse, the woman talked of the pain that came with betrayal. Still, some members of the Redemption Christian Fellowship Church in Woodlawn sat behind Griffith during his court hearing -- and waved to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Local pastor found guilty of molesting 6-year-old boy in his church

LUBBOCK (TX)
Avalanche-Journal

MARLENA HARTZ
AVALANCHE-JOURNAL

A Lubbock jury on Wednesday found a local pastor guilty of molesting a young boy who attended his church.

Royce Jimenez, pastor of the Light of the World Christian Center, was found guilty on four of six counts of indecency with a child.

He had pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Prosecutors said Jimenez molested a 6-year-old boy on numerous occasions in early 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Woodlawn Pastor Pleads Guilty In Child Sex Abuse

TOWSON (MD)
WJZ

(AP) TOWSON, Md. It's another prison sentence for the pastor of a Woodlawn church accused of sexually abusing boys in his
congregation.

Forty-one-year-old Gerald Griffith pleaded guilty Thursday in Towson to child sexual abuse in a case involving five Baltimore County accusers.

Griffith was a pastor at Redemption Christian Fellowship Church.

He was ordered to serve eight years in prison. The sentence is concurrent to a 15 year sentence he received in Howard County last month after a jury found him guilty of sexual abuse there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Victims of priest cry foul

CANADA
London Free Press

Thu, August 16, 2007

By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA

Victims of a pedophile Roman Catholic priest say they are re-traumatized by the London diocese in their quest for civil compensation.

The victims of Rev. Charles Sylvestre want Bishop Ronald Fabbro to step in and expedite the litigation process they say is forcing them to re-live years of sexual abuse.

Many victims are expected to speak out at a news conference today in Chatham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Audit: Davenport Diocese protecting youth from sexual abuse

DAVENPORT (IA)
Courier

DAVENPORT (AP) --- The Davenport Diocese is complying with national guidelines to protect youth from another era of sexual abuse by its members, according to an independent audit.

The audit --- released this month by Gavin Group Inc. of Massachusetts --- indicates more than 7,800 people who work with youth in the diocese have taken specialized, safe-environment training since the program started in 2003. More than 5,900 adults have had their backgrounds checked by security personnel.

"We in the diocese are passionate about this," said Mary Wieser, the diocese's school superintendent. "We never want what happened before to happen again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Prison seeking new chaplain after priest sex scandal

CRESSON (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

By SANDRA K. REABUCK
The Tribune-Democrat

CRESSON — A Franciscan priest became chaplain at State Correctional Institution-Cresson about six months before he allegedly began having sexual contact with an inmate.

The Rev. Gerard M. Connolly was hired on March 16, 2006, through a contract the state had with his Franciscan order, prison spokeswoman Rebecca Reifer said Wednesday.

Connolly lost his job at the lockup Jan. 16, she said.

State police allege that the sexual encounters – approximately five of them – began Sept. 8 and continued into January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 AM

Police: Priest gave convict hush money for silence on sex

CRESSON (PA)
Pocono Record

By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer
August 16, 2007
CRESSON — Serving time for assaulting and trying to rob a couple on their 2001 honeymoon at Mount Airy Resort, a former Altoona man is now charged with extorting a priest who reportedly has admitted to having sexual contact with him in a state prison chapel in Cambria County.

William Victor, 36, was charged Tuesday with extorting $7,607 from the Rev. Gerard Connolly, 66, who Victor said got him drunk with alcohol hidden in his office and "touched him in a sexual manner" during prison chapel counseling sessions, according to state police at Ebensburg. This sexual contact occurred five times between September and January at the state prison chapel in Cresson, police said.

Victor told Connolly he had secretly tape-recorded one of the incidents and sent the tape to a relative, who would turn it over to the media if Connolly did not provide money and other items from the prison, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 AM

August 15, 2007

Charges against deacon dropped

MISSOURI
The Joplin Globe

From staff reports
news@joplinglobe.com

The last sexual-abuse charges against the deacon of a fringe church in McDonald County have been dismissed, authorities said.

A charge of rape against Paul S. Epling, 54, a deacon of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, near Powell, was withdrawn because the statute of limitations had expired, according to McDonald County Prosecutor Janice Durbin.

The alleged victim is a 35-year-old woman who claimed that Epling forced sexual intercourse on her when she was 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Church officials insist bishop wasn’t assaulted

NEW MEXICO
KOB

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup is insisting its bishop was injured when he fell down the stairs at his home, despite speculation he might have been assaulted.

Bishop Donald Pelotte was taken to the hospital last month with heavy bruising across his chest, arms, knuckles, legs and feet. Physicians called police but the bishop told them he had fallen.

Questions remain about why the 62-year-old Pelotte was found in his locked bedroom at the top of the stairs, why he had be persuaded to go to the hospital and whether the diocese is trying to cover up the incident.

Deacon Tim Lujan tells the Catholic News Service that his comments to police the day he found Pelotte were misconstrued. He says he didn’t mean to speculate that the bishop was assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Jehovah’s Witness Pedophilia Coverup?

John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

Published August 16th, 2007

Black Sun Journal has posted a fascinating article about allegations of cover up of sexual abuse with the Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower Society.

It is not unusual (perhaps even commonplace) for religious organizations to deny or cover up allegations of sexual abuse; see for example here, here, here, here and so on …

In most cases where I have represented victims of clergy sexual abuse, the evidence has indicated that persons’ in authority within the Church either had knowlege of the abuse, or actively covered it up.

What struck me was the lengths to which the Watchtower Society will go to deny or cover up allegations of sexual abuse within the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Catholic Officials 'Saddened' Over Priest Sex Allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

The Altoona-Johnstown Catholic diocese says it is "deeply saddened" to learn that a local priest has been charged with having sex with a prison inmate while serving as a chaplain.

Rev. Gerard Connolly is charged with sexual assault. He is accused of bringing alcohol into the prison and paying the alleged victim nearly $7,000 in hush money.

The inmate and alleged victim, William Victor of Huntingdon, is charged with extortion.

A representative for Mt. Carmel Parish in Altoona said Connolly has not been active in the ministry since the allegations surfaced earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Charges detail priest's alleged sexual contact in prison

CRESSON (PA)
Altoona Mirror

CRESSON - The receipts for items that father Gerard Connolly of Altoona brought a state prison inmate in Cresson to remain silent about sexual encounters totaled $7607.87, criminal charges against the inmate state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Police Criminal Complaint

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

This is a link to the official police report regarding allegations made against the Rev. Gerard M. Connolly, who is alleged to have had sexual contact on several occasions with a prison inmate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

More Controversy for Ex-Vianney President

KIRKWOOD (MO)
CW11

By Matt Gamewell,

August 1, 2007, 8:25 PM CDT

There's more controversy in the St. Louis Catholic community. The former President of Vianney High School, who lost his job amidst sexual abuse allegations, is now giving mass at a Kirkwood parish.

Father Robert Osborne is a visiting priest at St. Peter's Parish in Kirkwood, just a few miles from the school he was forced to leave last year. Now a Catholic watchdog group is speaking out against the St. Louis Archdiocese and questioning why church leaders are letting Osborne say Mass and be near children.

Criminal charges were never brought against Father Osborne after two Vianney students accused him of sexual abuse early last year. Investigations were conducted by Kirkwood Police and St. Louis County prosecutors, as well as the Marianist community. "In all three instances, they were found, the allegations, not to be credible," said Reverend Monsignor Richard Stika, Episcopal Vicar of the Office of Child and Youth Protection. "It's a presumption that he's innocent, especially when the investigations were done by non-church entities."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Diocese responds to allegations

DUNKIRK (NY)
The Observer

8/14/2007 - OBSERVER Staff Report

Dunkirk Police confirmed Monday that a report was filed concerning an alleged altercation Saturday between Bishop Edward U. Kmiec and Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression (CPACS) co-founder Bill Parks, but the Diocese of Buffalo is calling accusations in the report “demonstrably false.”

According to a release from Dunkirk Police, Parks came to Police Headquarters at 3:25 a.m. Sunday morning to report the alleged incident that had taken place at 8:45 p.m. Saturday night inside the Clarion Hotel. ...

The Diocese of Buffalo released a statement Monday saying that not only is Parks’ account untrue, but also that Parks himself “had a clear intention to harass and provoke Bishop Kmiec rather than engage in meaningful discussion.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Former church volunteer charged with molesting teen girls

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

By ROD ANTONE
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

A church volunteer who drove children to Sunday services has been charged with molesting a teenage girl who accompanied him on visits to youngsters.

Jerry Ketzenberg, 36, a former volunteer with the Yakima Bible Baptist Church, was charged Tuesday with two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of third-degree child molestation involving a then-15-year-old girl.

Yakima County prosecutors say they expect to file similar molestation and rape charges against him involving another then-15-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Priest Accused Of Having Sex With Inmate In Prison Chapel

EBENSBURG (PA)
WGAL

EBENSBURG, Pa. -- Cambria County prosecutors said a Franciscan priest had sexual relations with an inmate in a prison chapel and then gave him thousands of dollars to remain silent about the relationship.

State police charged 66-year-old Rev. Gerard Connolly with 12 counts of institutional sexual assault at the state prison in Cresson and five counts of taking contraband into prison over alcohol allegedly brought into the institution. Connolly was arraigned this morning and released. His bail was set at $50,000. He is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing next Thursday.

Connolly is a pastor at Mount Carmel Church in Altoona. Prosecutors said he was a paid chaplain at the prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Church Attorneys Deserve All The Disrespect They Get

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Some might complain about the way I portray Church Attorneys on this blog, comparing them to Alice in Wonderland characters or cartoonish buffoons, but attorneys who represent the LA archdiocese and its cohorts deserve all the disrespect we can give them. They've made a hoax out of the American justice system proving to the world that whoever has the most money in this country wins. For anyone to even try and stand up against a money hemorrhaging machine like the Roman Catholic Church is a monumental effort.

Any Catholics who complain about the $660 million LA settlement should ask the LA Archdiocese for an accounting of how much was spent on the legal fight against the plaintiffs. We know that more than 18 law firms were attached to the cases and most of what they did was object to plaintiffs' discovery requests and file motions to strike for technical reasons.

The crimes that caused the lawsuits were horrific and premeditated, in some cases almost satanic, carried out on people so vulnerable they thought they were being taught some kind of secret religious ceremony. We were children. Messing sex with our religion messed with our lives in a frightening and hard to describe way. Now here was this parade of defense attorneys using doubletalk and blatant obstruction of justice to keep the crimes secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Alleged Naked Priest Investigated Once Before

COLORADO
CBS 4

This is a link to television video regarding the priest charged with jogging while naked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State: “Vatican takes care of its victims”….unless they are Serbs, Jews, and Roma.

UNITED STATES
Vatican Bank Claims

In a recent news conference, speaking on the issue of sexual abuse by priests, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said:

I hope that other institutions and social agencies will face this same problem with their members, with an equal degree of courage and realism as the Catholic Church has done. I wonder if the other agencies or institutions have also provided financial consideration for victims as the Catholic Church has done; if they have taken care of the victims and those who are guilty. Nashville, August 12, 2007

But for the mainly Christian Serb victims of genocide as well as Jews, and Roma in former Yugoslavia, there is no financial consideration or even an apology by the Vatican…There is only the prospect of death without closure by elderly Holocaust survivors and no answers as to why the Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order assisted their killers to escape justice by laundering the proceeds of genocide after the Second World War.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

MINNESOTA: Sex Abuse Victims call for Boycott of Episcopal diocese over Convicted Sex Offender

MINNESOTA
Virtue Online

August 15, 2007

Sex abuse victims ask church members to stop donating

Admitted predator is heading a third 'spiritual retreat' this week in Minnesota.

In rare move, Episcopal officials respond to pressure & warn participants about his crimes but defrocked, convicted cleric shouldn't attend, much less lead such events, support group says. They ask parishioners to contribute elsewhere until molester is forbidden to return to center.

"Why take risks with children's safety?," SNAP asks

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

SUPPORT FOR THE PERVERT PRIEST

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Mail

Published on 15/08/2007

A PERVERT priest jailed for sexually abusing young children has been given a message of support from the man who is standing in for him in a Furness parish.

Father Edmund Cotter, who admitted attacking up to 10 girls and one boy between 1972 and 1984, was jailed for five years at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

The offences took place in the 70s and 80s while Cotter worked at churches in Preston.

But the priest who has been looking after duties at Our Lady of The Rosary Church in Dalton while Cotter has been on “administrative leave”, believes he has been able to “control his urges”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Don Gelmini, non lascio miei ragazzi

ITALY
ANSA

The Rev. Pierino Gelmini, who has been accused of sexual misconduct with men in his care at drug treatment centers, told boys in his community at Zervo "I won't abandon you." Rev. Gelmini's friends are calling today Gelmini Day. This is the link to the Italian-language article.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Davenport Diocese passes training, background

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Deirdre Cox Baker | Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport is complying with national guidelines on protecting children and young people from sexual abusers, an audit shows.

An independent audit released in early August indicates 7,856 people who work with young people in the diocese have taken specialized, safe-environment training since the program started in 2003. A total of 5,929 adults have had their backgrounds checked by security personnel, as both processes continue in the diocese.

“We in the diocese are passionate about this,” Mary Wieser said. “We never want what happened before to happen again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

August 14, 2007

Anglican Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse in Ontario

CANADA
John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

In case anyone is under the mistaken impression that sexual predators are a problem that is limited to the Catholic Church, Justice Stach of the Ontario Supreme Court recently released his decision convicting Anglican priest Ralph Rowe, who was charged with 56 counts of sexual abuse against more than 25 boys between 1975 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 PM

Former Episcopal priest admits to sexual abuse

SKANEATELES (NY)
WSTM

Saint James Episcopal Church has stood in Skaneateles for nearly 150 years.

Roughly 22-years ago Father J. Edward Putnam, began committing a series of atrocities that he has now confessed to. Father Robert de Wetter of St. James in Skaneateles says things began to come to light in May.

"The bishop of our diocese received a phone call from a victim and within one hour the investigation was launched."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Pulpit Nonfiction

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Weekly

By Ron Russell
Published: August 15, 2007

Here's one tome that isn't likely to show up on the Pope's reading list.

Clergy sex-abuse victim Joey Piscitelli, who won a $600,000 judgment last year against a former associate pastor at San Francisco's landmark Saints Peter and Paul Church and the priest's religious order, the Salesians of St. John Bosco, is writing a book about his ordeal.

Its tentative title: Destruction of a Catholic: The Biography of My Life and My Battle With Bishop Levada and the Salesian Society.

The "bishop" is, of course, former San Francisco archbishop and now Cardinal William J. Levada, who serves alongside Pope Benedict XVI in Rome as the powerful head of the Vatican office that upholds church doctrine.

In his nearly completed manuscript, Piscitelli paints Levada as bent on protecting priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

NEW: Former Windber priest charged with having sex with inmate, extortion

CRESSON (PA)
The Tribune Democrat

By SANDRA K. REABUCK
The Tribune-Democrat

CRESSON — A former Windber priest has been charged by state police with having sexual contact with an inmate at State Correctional Institute-Cresson.

The inmate also has been charged with extorting more than $7,000 from the priest as “hush” money so that the inmate would not tell the news media about the encounters.

The priest was identified as the Rev. Gerard Connolly, 66, a Franciscan from a province headquartered in Minnesota. Connolly presently is assigned to Mount Carmel Church in Altoona, and the crimes allegedly happened when he served as a paid chaplain at SCI-Cresson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Altoona priest charged with sex crime in prison

EBENSBURG (PA)
Altoona Mirror

EBENSBURG - Father Gerard Connolly, a Franciscan Priest from a Province headquartered in Minnesota and assigned to the Mount Carmel Church of Altoona, is charged with 12 counts of sexual assault, Cambria County law enforcement said today.

The charges stem from alleged conduct at the state prison in Cresson from 2006-07. During that time, Connolly served as a paid chaplain at the prison. A contraband charge relates to the furnishing of alcohol, which police say Connolly brought to the prison.

William Victor is charged with one count of extortion of about $7,000 from Connolly as hush money, the Cambria County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Law enforcement agencies around LA ordered to produce files on predator priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
aka City of Angels Lady

This is the way I like to see church attorneys. All three round balding men were bent over the defense table today dejected, “He granted it” one shrieked when the clerk handed out the judge’s tentative order re plaintiffs’ motion to enforce subpoenas. Law enforcement agencies around Los Angeles are now ordered to produce documents on predator priests as requested by the plaintiffs in LA Clergy Cases 2007.

Judge Fromholz said, “the tentative is to turn the documents over to the court sealed for review,” and a Long Beach city attorney who was present in court used that time to hand a manila envelope to Paul, Judge Fromholz’ clerk in Dept 20 of Superior Court. Those documents handed over in court today concern case BC307222, plaintiff Mary Grant’s subpoena of documents on predator priest John Peter Lenihan.

Once again the defense was reduced to making plaintiffs’ arguments as Church Attorney Rutherford representing the Bishop of Orange said, “Plaintiff admits in her brief the only reason she wants this is to shed light on the secrecy of the archdiocese of Los Angeles.”

From my seat I watched the wrinkled coats of the three church attorneys’ backs as they bent over the defense table reading the judge’s decision, and then I looked back at Patrick Laurence and Chris Campbell for the plaintiffs, each barely able to hold back grins as they read. And I thought, “So this is what it’s going to be about from here on, then, the slow release of documents to the public.” I grabbed a copy of the tentative out of the hands of John Spano from the Times long enough to read “these are documents of the court and as such they have to be public.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

WESTERN NEW YORK: Diocese deposes former Batavia priest

BATAVIA (NY)
Episcopal Life

August 14, 2007

[Diocese of Western New York] Episcopal Diocese of Western New York Bishop J. Michael Garrison August 10 removed Simon Bancroft Howson from the priesthood of the Episcopal Church.

Howson, who once served as rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Batavia, New York, was inhibited by Garrison on October 19, 2004, and subsequently left the Batavia area. In March of 2005, Garrison forwarded a list of written charges against Howson to the Diocesan Review Committee, which then asked the church attorney to conduct an investigation. Based on the findings of that investigation the Review Committee issued a presentment against Howson charging him with seven counts of immorality involving financial matters and misrepresentations, and one count of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.

On April 20, in a unanimous decision, the Ecclesiastical Court, consisting of three priests and two lay persons elected by diocesan convention, sustained all the counts of the presentment. At the sentencing on July 2, the court unanimously voted to depose Howson. Garrison’s action on August 10 finalized the deposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

South Carolina’s Roman Catholic bishop to leave for Birmingham diocese

SOUTH CAROLINA
The State

By CAROLYN CLICK - cclick@thestate.com
Bishop Robert J. Baker, leader of South Carolina’s 176,372 Roman Catholics, was appointed Tuesday by Pope Benedict XVI as bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham, Ala.

Baker will remain as administrator of the Diocese of Charleston until October. Diocese spokesman Stephen Gajdosik said he hopes a successor will be appointed within a year. ...

Baker was instrumental in establishing protocols to prevent priest sexual abuse of minors, a scandal that has rocked the church. And he was among a small group of Southern bishops who signed a statement in 2004 saying that politicians who support abortion rights should be denied holy communion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

CENTRAL NEW YORK: Retired priest suspended for sexual abuse

SKANEATELES (NY)
Episcopal Life

August 14, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] A retired Skaneateles, New York, Episcopal priest who ran for the New York state Assembly last year has been suspended for sexually abusing four adolescent boys while serving as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles from January 1986 to May 1993.

James Edward Putnam, 66, was suspended from acting as a priest for 20 years after a diocesan investigation, according to a statement from the Rev. Karen C. Lewis, assistant to Diocese of Central New York Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams.

The statement is available here.

“Ed Putnam is a man whom the Church entrusted with the care of its youth and to whom the Church granted authority as a priest to lead this faith community,” Adams said in the statement. “Through his actions he has abused and betrayed that trust and he has harmed those entrusted to his care. His behavior is reprehensible and is not tolerated in this Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Pastor Rejects Plea Bargain For Second Time

HARTFORD (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By TINA A. BROWN | The Hartford Courant
2:29 PM EDT, August 14, 2007
For the second time this year, the pastor of a storefront church in Hartford today rejected a plea bargain offer on a sexual assault charges, though two separate DNA tests show with 99 percent certainty that he is the father of a baby delivered by a 12-year-old girl in his congregation.

Against the advice of his defense lawyer, Modesto Reyes declared repeatedly today in Superior Court in Hartford, that he is not the father of the baby, court observers said. He was so adamant about his defense that he claimed Tuesday that another man had fathered the baby.

Reyes, 53, was pastor of Iglesia De Dios, Cristo Te Llama, on Broad Street when the alleged assaults occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

'Pervert' priest warnings ignored

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

A former youth worker today revealed she raised concerns about serial paedophile priest Edmund Cotter THREE times with church bosses.

Former city councillor Marie Milne, 79, was a youth worker at St Anthony's youth club in Preston where Cotter molested some of his victims more than 30 years ago.

She alleged Cotter, who admitted 13 charges of indecent assault on 11 victims aged between seven and 11, would turn up uninvited on a Monday evening when children were holding a drama club.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Former Episcopal priest in central NY admits to sexual abusing boys

SKANEATELES (NY)
Newsday

7:25 AM EDT, August 14, 2007

SKANEATELES, N.Y. - A former state Legislature chaplain who ran for the Assembly last year has admitted to sexually abusing four underage boys while serving as rector of a central New York church.

Officials with the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York say J. Edward Putnam, 66, recently admitted in a written statement to the bishop that he engaged in "inappropriate conduct with minors" while at St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles (skan-ee-AT'-lus).

An investigation begun in May resulted in his being suspended last month from acting as a priest for 20 years. Diocese officials say Putnam, who was ordained in 1970, admitted to sexually abusing the boys from early 1985 to mid-1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

New Details Emerge About Jogging Priest

DENVER (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

DENVER -- There were new details published Tuesday in the case of a Catholic Priest accused of jogging in the nude.

The Rocky Mountain News reported additional information regarding a report last week on TheDenverChannel.com that the priest had previously appeared nude at a summer camp for Catholic boys.

The original report, from a parishioner at St. Anthony's Parish in Sterling, said that Father Robert Whipkey was naked in front of several boys but that no charges were ever filed. The parishioner said several families left the church as a result of the incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

No charges expected in argument between Kmiec and frequent critic

By Gene Warner NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 08/14/07 8:00 AM

No charges are likely after a weekend complaint filed by a frequent critic of church closings who claimed some minor physical contact during an argument with Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, authorities said Monday.

William Parks, 71, of Fredonia, who is active with a group called Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression, got into an argument with the bishop in a Dunkirk hotel Saturday night, both sides seem to agree.

In his complaint, Parks claimed there was some “minor physical contact” with the bishop, according to police reports. Parks reported the incident to police at about 3:25 a.m. Sunday, roughly 6z hours after the argument. ...

The diocese also has asked the Chautauqua County district attorney to review Parks’ complaint to determine whether it’s a false report. Attorney Terrence M. Connors, representing the diocese, is providing District Attorney David W. Foley eyewitness statements about the incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

S.A. sex abuse victim says church has his missing medical records

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted: 08/13/2007 11:50 PM CDT

Jessica Silva
KENS 5 Eyewitness News

Local victims of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal say their nightmare is far from over.

After all the allegations came out into the open, the church agreed to pay for victims' therapy to help in the healing process. But now, they're medical records have disappeared.

"It would help me to read over what I have been through, to accept it, to finally realize that, 'Yeah, it did happen to me,' and to try to get past it," said a victim of sexual abuse identified only as Richard.

But Richard cannot look over the notes of his therapy session because they are missing.

For eight months, he saw a doctor recommended to him by the church.

"Dr. Lopez had me sign a statement allowing the church to receive copies," Richard said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Churchgoer jailed for sex assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
Bucks Free Press

A CHURCH knew that one of its members was suspected of sexual offences against young boys but did nothing to tell the police, a court heard.

The revelation was made in Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday as Judge Seddon Cripps jailed paedophile Richard Webb for nine years.

Webb, pictured, 68, of Bellingdon Road, Chesham, was sent down for 19 counts of indecent assault and indecency against 11 young boys between 1978 and 1998. The youngest boy was just nine-years-old.

It was claimed in court that Chesham Methodist Church, where he was a member, knew of the allegations against him, but didn't tell the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Baptist Minister charged with abuse of an adult

DIERKS (TN)
The Nashville News

August 13, 2007 -
Jim Pinson | Deputy Editor

DIERKS – Mack Chambers, 66 of Pine Bluff has been charged with a Class B misdemeanor count for having inappropriate contact with a resident at the Dierks Health and Rehab. The victim is a relative to Chambers.

Chambers is the former pastor of Summit Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff. Chambers had taken a month paid leave of absence from his duties at the church in July, but Sunday, August 5 he resigned immediately. A source in Pine Bluff also stated that Chambers had put his house up for sale sometime last week.

Chambers was also the pastor of Olive Street Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff before a split led him to start Summit Baptist Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Mo. church deacon charged with sex abuse

ST. CHARLES COUNTY (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Susan Weich
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/13/2007

ST. CHARLES COUNTY – A former deacon at a church in Dardenne Prairie has been charged with sexually molesting a young member of the congregation.

Jerry Glenn Crabdree, 63, of the 1400 block of Quiver Drive in O'Fallon, fondled the girl several times over a six-month period in 2004 when the girl was 12 or 13, according to court paper filed late Friday.

The incidents came to light last month after the girl told her father and the church's pastor, the Rev. Dan Schmidt, about what happened, and they contacted the sheriff's department, said Lt. Craig McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Episcopal priest admits to abuse in Skaneateles

SKANEATELES (NY)
The Post-Standard

By Renee K. Gadoua
Staff writer

A former Skaneateles Episcopal priest who ran for state Assembly last year has admitted sexually abusing four adolescent boys while serving as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles from January 1986 to May 1993.

J. Edward Putnam, 66, was suspended from acting as a priest for 20 years after a diocesan investigation, said the Rev. Karen C. Lewis, assistant to Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams.

Putnam signed a document last month that outlines the accusations and the church discipline, Lewis said. In a written statement to the bishop, Putnam said he engaged in "inappropriate conduct with minors" while at St. James, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Priest faced prior nudity allegations

STERLING (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Bill Scanlon And Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
August 14, 2007
Sterling's former police chief confirmed Monday that he looked into reports in 1999 that 11-year- old boys had seen Father Robert Whipkey naked at a summer camp that year.

Whipkey is the Catholic priest who was ticketed in June for allegedly jogging nude near his rectory home in Frederick.

Former police chief Larry Graham said none of the parents of the boys made formal complaints to police at the time of the 1999 incident and he concluded that no crime had been committed.

"I asked if there was some kind of sexual contact," said Graham, now an investigator with the Colorado Department of Corrections. "They said, 'No.' He was shaving with his clothes off and some of the boys saw him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

August 13, 2007

Tape evidence splits trials of 2 charged with Catholic Diocese kickbacks

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Thursday, August 09, 200

James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter
A secretly recorded conversation that surfaced recently has forced separate federal trials for two former Cleveland Catholic Diocese employees.

Co-defendants Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik were scheduled to stand trial together next week. But U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich on Wednesday said the recording implicates Smith in a crime, and is hearsay evidence that may not be used against the diocese's former chief financial officer.

On the recording, Zgoznik, a former diocesan accountant and outside contractor, can be heard discussing an "executive compensation" arrangement he had with Smith.

Court documents indicate that companies owned by Zgoznik and Zrino Jukic received $17.5 million from the diocese over a seven-year period, and paid Smith more than $784,000 of that money, purportedly for consulting services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Diocese, creditors want more time to file plan

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Gazette

By Gregg Hennigan

The Gazette
gregg.hennigan@gazettecommunications.com

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport, with the support of the creditors committee in its bankruptcy case, has asked for an extension to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The two sides filed a joint motion in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa requesting the deadline, set for Wednesday, be moved to Oct. 1. The plan would then have to be approved by Nov. 30.

The diocese, which includes about 105,000 Catholics, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October in the face of mounting lawsuits from its clergy sexual abuse scandal.

A total of 156 claims from alleged abuse victims have been filed in the case, according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

No charges expected in confrontation with bishop

DUNKIRK (NY)
The Buffalo News

By Gene Warner
Updated: 08/13/07 12:36 PM

No charges are likely to be filed, following a weekend complaint filed by a frequent critic of church closings who claimed some minor physical contact during an argument with Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, authorities said today.

William Parks, 71, of Fredonia, who is active with a group called Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression, got into an argument with the bishop at a Dunkirk hotel Saturday night, both sides seem to agree.

In his complaint, Parks claimed there was some "minor physical contact" with the bishop, according to police reports. Parks reported the incident to police at about 3:25 a.m. Sunday, roughly 6 1/2 hours after the argument.

"After conferring with the district attorney, we have left it as an active, ongoing investigation," Dunkirk Police Chief David C. Ortolano said late this morning. "We want to wait to see if the diocese wants to add anything to the file, or if Mr. Parks comes in to offer any additional information."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

BREAKING NEWS: City police probe incident with Buffalo bishop

DUNKIRK (NY)
The Observer

8/13/2007 - OBSERVER Staff Report

Dunkirk police chief David Ortolano has confirmed it is investigating an incident involving Catholic Bishop Edward Kmiec and a member of a local group fighting parish closings over the weekend resulted in an alleged altercation in Dunkirk.

Ortolano made his statement to WDOE radio in Dunkirk.

Bill Parks, a co-founder of Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression (CPACS) said the alleged incident took place around 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Former city priest is jailed for child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
News & Star

Published on 13/08/2007

By Peter Edwards

THE Catholic Church remained tight-lipped today about the future of a perverted former Carlisle priest who was jailed for sexually abusing 11 children.

It refused to comment on whether Father Edmund Cotter, 60, would be thrown out of the Church after he was imprisoned for five years and two months last week for attacking up to 10 girls and one boy in the 1970s and 1980s.

Cotter, who used to work at Christ the King in Harraby, and St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Carlisle, was working as a parish priest in Dalton, south Cumbria, until the allegations emerged.

A spokesman for the Lancaster Diocese, which covers Dalton, said: “It is with great sadness that Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue acknowledges the sentencing of Fr Edmund Cotter, formerly parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary, Dalton-in-Furness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Penny-pinching justice

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Ean Higgins | August 14, 2007
LIKE many victims of child sexual abuse, James Setches kept the horrific memories bottled up inside for decades. But when his brother, the famous jockey Ray Setches, committed suicide eight years ago, he decided to act.

Ray had only told James he had been abused as a boy at a Christian Brothers school in Melbourne.

"People always wondered why such a famous and successful person would kill himself," Setches says. "Sure he lost some money, his relationships broke up, and he suffered depression. But the root cause of all that was the sexual abuse he'd suffered when he was young.

"When I saw him in the coffin, it was almost like he was talking to me, saying, 'James, do something'."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

McKnight Shifts

SANTA ANA (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Thursday, August 9, 2007 - 3:00 pm
Mater Dei High School doesn’t begin classes until September, but the powerful Catholic prep academy is already embroiled in a staff battle. In this case, the warring parties aren’t teachers fighting over copier privileges—rather, they’re the two men most responsible for making Mater Dei Mater Dei, and they’re battling over the facts of a school-related sex-abuse case.

In one corner: Mater Dei President Patrick Murphy, an administrator at the Santa Ana high school since 1990 and a major force behind a multimillion-dollar fund-raising drive to modernize its campus. In the other: Gary McKnight, head coach for the school’s famed boys’ basketball teams since 1982. Both men have given depositions for a lawsuit filed by a former Mater Dei student who says McKnight’s former assistant, Jeff Andrade, sexually molested her during the mid-1990s. And their depositions don’t match.

Newport Beach attorney John Manly has deposed dozens of former and current Mater Dei officials in the past two years for this case. But the most explosive claims have involved McKnight and Murphy. The revelations began late last year, when Andrade dropped nearly a decade of denials and admitted he had sex with his then-15-year-old victim—in McKnight’s office, even. He also divulged that McKnight allowed Andrade to help organize fund-raisers for the school’s athletic programs as recently as 2002. Then, as now, Andrade worked through Varsity Gold, one of the country’s premier fund-raisers for high schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Zimbabwe: Ernest Tekere Unmasked

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

12 August 2007
Posted to the web 13 August 2007

Bulawayo
Two former ministers claim to have blown Ernest Tekere's cover -- they say he was a senior operative in the deadly Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) during the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands. ...

He allegedly obtained video evidence showing Ncube being intimate with several women, including Rosemary Sibanda, whose husband Onesimus - a soldier - is suing Ncube for adultery.

It is now widely speculated that Tekere took part in the "sting operation" against Ncube, a fierce critic of the government excesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Preacher behind bars after alleged abuse at Christian camp

TEXAS
KRIS

Aug 13, 2007 10:10 AM EDT

CORPUS CHRISTI - Investigators said that a San Antonio preacher has been arrested, after a 15-year-old girl from Floresville, claimed she was abused while at a Christian boot camp in Banquete.

According to an arrest affidavit, the teenage girl was injured, when the camp director and another camp employee, tied her up to the back of a van and then dragged her along a dirt road.

Friday morning, Nueces County authorities arrested both the camp director and one camp employee in San Antonio. His name is Charles Eugene Flowers. According to a Web site for the Christian boot camp, or CBC, he spent 12 years in the Air Force before he started the boot camp up in 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Parishioner Alleges Bishop Harassment

DUNKIRK (NY)
WBEN

Monday, August 13, 2007 05:22 AM - WBEN Newsroom

Dunkirk, NY (WBEN) - A Dunkirk man has filed a police report against Bishop Edward Kmiec for Harassment and Unwanted Touching.

The alleged victim, Bill Parks, is co-founder of Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression, an activist group fighting the closing of churches by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

At a church function, the altercation between the two men reportedly got physical. Parks says the bishop "went ballistic," "yelling and moving his arms about in a hysterical manner," and repeatedly pounded Parks in the chest, saying "you don't know anything about this."

Spokesman for the Diocese Kevin Keenan acknowledged that an "animated discussion" occurred between the bishop and Parks, but denied that the incident involved physical contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Alleged Fight Involves Bishop Edward Kmiec

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

(August 13, 2007) - - There has been an alleged fight involving Bishop Edward Kmiec. News 4's Alysha Palumbo has details about what happened over the weekend.

Buffalo Bishop Edward Kmiec and Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression member Bill Parks don't exactly see eye-to-eye.

Yet when both happened to be at separate functions in the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk Saturday night, they met and took a smiling photo together, but just moments later the mood quickly changed. (shown on WIVB-TV) ...

Parks called police to report the incident. He says they encouraged him to file a police report for harassment and unwanted touching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Priests' troubled pasts led here

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

Mark I. Pinsky | Sentinel Staff Writer
August 13, 2007

A defrocked priest described in a Philadelphia grand-jury report as a man of "unrelenting depravity" for his sexual abuse of children lives in Central Florida.

He can reside here without registering as a sex offender because the statute of limitations ran out and he was never charged criminally.

Nicholas Cudemo, a former Philadelphia priest who is now 70, was described by a clergy superior as "one of the sickest people I ever knew" in a 2005 Philadelphia grand-jury report on clergy sex abuse. He has owned a house in southwest Orange County since 1989 but is not currently ministering here, Cudemo said this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

August 12, 2007

Mexican Roman Catholics express support for cardinal facing US lawsuit

MEXICO
Live-PR

13.08.2007 01:57:48

(live-PR.com) -
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Roman Catholic activists came out Sunday to support Mexico's most prominent cardinal who was deposed last week in a U.S. lawsuit accusing him of complicity in the alleged rape of a child by a Mexican priest.
«Catholic church groups believe in the Cardinal's innocence,» read a placard held by one supporter at Sunday's Mass at Mexico City's Cathedral.
Cardinal Norberto Rivera thanked the supporters at the end of Mass and told worshippers: «Don't be afraid my little flock,» according to the Reforma newspaper's Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 PM

Don Pierino, lascia stare la croce!

ITALY
Gente d'Italia

Catholic journalist Stefania Nardini writes further in Italian about the embattled Rev. Perino Gelmini, who is accused of sexual misconduct by at least seven men in Italy. The priest at one time gave her a cross, which she still keeps. This is the link to the newspaper which is produced for Italians living in the United States and Canada.
Some highlights:
She met armed body guards in his communities. He organized shows under large tents where he would appear dressed as a bishop. Those attending included politicians, some who donated money. She said that many of his drug rehabiliation communities exist only on paper and are far fewer than what he claims to have. While it is stated that 164 communities exist in Italy, there are in fact only 64 and people entering for rehabilitation are fewer in number than what the priest has stated.
While Rev. Gelmini said that Masons were conspiring against him when the allegations were recently made public, Ms. Nardini writes that Italy's most powerful Lodge called Grande Oriente d'Italia has inivited its members on tax forms to indicate they will donate part of their income to Incontro, as the community is called.
Ms. Nardini mentioned an article by journalist Francesco Grignetti, who writes for La Stampa, that Rev. Gelmini was arrested in 1969 when he was secretary to Archbishop Luis Copello of Buenos Aires in connection with financial irregularies of a failed business. He was also investigated for a fraudulent bankruptcy and for signing bad checks for another company. He fled to Vietnam where he contacted Archbishop Dihn-Thuc, but was later denounced by the archbishop and widow of President Diem for financial irregularities. He returned to Rome in 1971 where he spent three years in jail. Ms. Nardini said in the article that while in jail, Rev. Gelmini had to be isolated because of sexual activity with other inmates.
He later started the Incontro communities and he received money from wealthy and influential donors. Ms. Nardini said rumors circulated frequently about sexual misconduct by Rev. Gelmini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Church facing uphill fight on casino

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | August 12, 2007

Church leaders, who have used their moral authority and political muscle to defeat gambling proposals for more than 70 years in Massachusetts, are struggling to gain traction against a casino in Middleborough this year as they face declining clout on Beacon Hill, indifferent congregants, and a sense that the casino is inevitable.

While some church leaders have circulated bulletins decrying the social costs of casinos, most have not organized the muscular letter-writing campaigns, State House lobbying blitzes, or sermons that were hallmarks of their victories over efforts to expand gambling in 1994 and 2001.

The relative quiet from a community that has long been among the strongest voices against casino gambling has puzzled lawmakers and sparked some soul-searching among religious leaders, who question whether a fight against a casino is worth waging. ...

Raymond L. Flynn -- the former mayor of Boston, former ambassador to the Vatican, and current president of Catholic Citizenship, an activist group -- traces the reluctance among Catholic leaders to fight the casino proposal to the eruption of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

"It was really the clergy sexual abuse scandal that really brought the church to a position where they weren't very effective in lobbying in the Massachu setts Legislature," Flynn said. "I think they lost a lot of their moral and political influence and clout up at the State House."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Accused priest banned from duties

LOWER MAKEFIELD (PA)
phillyBurbs

LOWER MAKEFIELD
An archdiocesan review board investigating a single allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against the Rev. Robert L. Brennan has concluded recently that sufficient information was provided to support the allegation.

As a result of the review, Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, has banned Brennan from administering the sacraments, celebrating Mass in public and wearing clerical garb. He also may not identify himself as a priest.

According to a press release from the archdiocesan communications office, Rigali will inform the Vatican of the review board's decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Alleged perv priest removed from duties

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By WILLIAM BENDER
benderw@phillynews.com 215-854-5255
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced yesterday that it has banned the Rev. Robert L. Brennan from performing priestly duties after a preliminary investigation substantiated an allegation of child sex abuse dating back to the late 1960s.

"It's a new day, and we're trying to do the right thing," said Donna Farrell, the archdiocese's spokeswoman.

Brennan, 69, was removed from his post at Camilla Hall nursing home in Immaculata, Chester County, shortly after he was singled out in a September 2005 Philadelphia grand-jury report that alleged widespread sexual abuse among archdiocesan priests. The report accused Brennan of engaging in "inappropriate or suspicious behavior" with more than 20 boys from four parishes since 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Cops investigate theft report

COLORADO
Denver Post

By Electa Draper
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 08/11/2007 10:51:46 PM MDT

Rev. Don Armstrong of Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church where there is a movement in the parish to restrict donations for only the local parish to protest the naming of an openly gay bishop recently. (Post / Brian Brainerd)Colorado Springs police said Friday that they have been investigating theft and fraud at the Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish since the Denver-based Episcopal Diocese of Colorado filed a complaint July 16.

The Rev. Don Armstrong, pastor of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish, is a "person of interest" in the case, said Colorado Springs police spokesman Skip Arms. Arms said he could not discuss the investigation, except he anticipates it will take several weeks.

Episcopal Diocese spokeswoman Beckett Stokes said Friday she had no knowledge of the criminal complaint.

Episcopal Ecclesiastical Court made a preliminary ruling Aug. 2 that Armstrong is guilty of theft, tax fraud, misusing funds and improperly borrowing money. The court found that Armstrong took $392,000 in church funds without authorization of church lay leaders between 1999 and 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Ex-priest avoids jail over indecent acts

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 9, 2007 - 5:25PM

A former priest who committed three acts of indecency while teaching at a Sydney Catholic girls' school has received an 18-month suspended jail term.

Michael Slattery, 60, who now lives in Western Australia, pleaded guilty in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court to the three offences, which occurred when he was a lay teacher in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Survivor: Clergy abuse exposure ensures children's safety

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

August 12, 2007

A Des Moines man, who will share a $660 million settlement from the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese, said Catholic children are safer today because abuse survivors have pushed the church to atone for protecting pedophile priests.

Like many child victims, William LaHay, now 50 and a free-lance writer living in Des Moines, told no one his secret.

As a 12-year-old altar boy in Azuza, Calif., LaHay was being sexually abused by his priest. He said he believed that he was the only person this was happening to and that nobody would believe that a priest would do such a thing.

Decades later, he learned that he wasn't the Rev. Albert Duggan's only victim. The priest died in 1979.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

August 11, 2007

Stop the cover-up

GALLUP (NM)
Independent

The controversy over the bishop of Gallup and what happened to him on or about July 23 is now in state district court, not over the question of what actually happened to him on or about July 23 but whether the public has the fundamental right to public information.

The Diocese of Gallup does not want photos taken of the bishop on that day released. The city attorney, George Kozeliski, a Catholic, doesn’t want these photos released, as instructed by the Gallup Diocese. And we can assume that the Most Rev. Donald Pelotte doesn’t want these photos released.

After all, who would want photos of themselves released to the public that show your face smashed and bruised and your eye swollen from some kind of violent encounter.

But these photos are public records and when - that’s a when and not an if - they are released, we plan to publish them for one simple reason: they will give the public a chance to determine for themselves whether the bruises that Pelotte received that day came from falling down the stairs, as he says, or were the result of a vicious assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 PM

SNAP Calls for Diocese to Release Clergy Abuser Names

SAVANNAH (GA)
WTOC

A group representing people abused by priests is calling for the Catholic Diocese of Savannah to publicly release the names of abusive priests. This afternoon, SNAP, the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, took their message to the steps of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. They're starting a local self-help group for anyone molested by clergy members from any denomination.

Mark Wells spent the afternoon carrying a sign for his best friend. He said his friend was abused by Wayland Brown, a former Savannah priest. Brown was arrested in June 2002. He was serving time for abusing a 12 year old boy almost 30 years ago in Maryland. The victim said the abuse happened between 1973 and 1975 during a summer trip to Savannah.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

LA Clergy Cases: What Might Have Happened, What Did Happen, What's Still to Come

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Got downtown last week for one short session of document diving so clicked to the last screen. Here is a sample of what's been filed for public access since the July 16th settlement of 550 LA Clergy Cases.

We see the judge "granting Defendant's Evidentiary Motions," in other words the judge rejected massive amounts of evidence for what would have been upcoming trials. We see the Salesians being removed from three plaintiff cases as yet another Catholic Order takes advantage of the complex structure of the Catholic Church to hide its crimes.

Plaintiffs are still trying to get priest criminal records. Next Tuesday as hearings continue in Haley Fromholz's court, plaintiffs request support of subpoenas served on several LA area police departments for criminal records on pedophile priests. It’s going to take a court order to get documents from the Sheriffs and DA’s around LA because over and over again predator priests are claiming privacy rights.

No wonder other criminals want to beat up on predator priests in prison. Who else can claim a special connection to God as a reason to block evidence of his crimes -- and get away with it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Jehovah's Witnesses in CRISIS

UNITED STATES
Progressive U

Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion

Child abuse is abhorrent to us, is a commendable statement, and one Jehovah's Witnesses repeat often. Knowing there were documents that would prove their secret actions spoke louder than their public words, I committed to unveil what has been too long hidden in a religion which proclaims their child abuse policy is without equal in the religious community.

The goal of my project was to shine a bright light on the secret policies and procedures utilized by Jehovah's Witness leaders to manage victims, accusations of sexual abuse by Witness molesters. But to do so depended upon obtaining over 5,000 pages of court documents, which I did, and they revealed the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

One pastor charges another

HUDSON (NY)
The Independent

By: DIANE VALDEN 08/10/2007

HUDSON-A former Hudson clergyman has been charged with unlawfully fondling another member of the clergy.
The case is the second incident of charges of a sexual nature being filed against an area clergyman in recent months and may have opened up a larger discussion within the church community about the need for safe spiritual care.
Arvin W. Schoep, 60, of Earlton, was charged with "forcible touching of another's sexual/intimate parts" by Livingston State Police, August 4.
Mr. Schoep was the pastor of the First Reformed Church at 52 Green Street from 1999 to April 29, 2006, when he was suspended from his pastoral duties in connection with a separate sexual misconduct matter, handled through the internal church disciplinary structure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Judge asks diocese to defend bankruptcy filing

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KESQ

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A federal judge is ordering the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to explain why its six-month-old bankruptcy proceedings should not be thrown out of court.

US Bankruptcy Judge Louse DeCarl Adler filed a tersely worded, six-page order today that said the church undervalued its real-estate holdings and failed to disclose facts about its financial transactions to the court. She also cited an independent audit that found individual parishes were hiding donations and other assets from the court.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for September 6th in San Diego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Diocese told to defend bankruptcy filing

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 11, 2007

SAN DIEGO -- The Catholic Diocese of San Diego, which filed for bankruptcy protection rather than face sexual-abuse lawsuits, has failed to disclose all of its assets and has not reported the fair market value of other property, a federal bankruptcy judge said Friday.

Judge Louise De Carl Adler ordered the diocese to explain at a hearing next month why she should not throw out the bankruptcy filing. The diocese, she said, has been "lax, ineffective or indifferent" in its oversight of parishes.

"Some parishes are actively and deliberately hiding assets from the diocese or inappropriately designating donations as restricted to circumvent or evade the direction of the diocese and/or the court," the judge wrote, citing the findings of a court-appointed financial expert who reviewed the diocese's financial records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Order to Show Cause Why Case Should Not Be Dismissed

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

This is a link to Judge Louise DeCarl Adler's order for the San Diego diocese to show cause why its bankruptcy case should not be dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Judge orders diocese to defend filing

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

August 11, 2007

In a rare and blistering decree, a federal judge yesterday ordered Bishop Robert Brom and his attorneys to show why she shouldn't dismiss the Diocese of San Diego's bankruptcy case for failing to exercise “the financial controls and transparency” required by law.

Citing the findings of a court-appointed financial expert, Judge Louise DeCarl Adler said church officials have not reported true property values, failed to keep parishes from deliberately hiding assets and misrepresented the diocese's wealth.

Some observers said yesterday's order will ratchet up pressure on the Roman Catholic diocese to settle about 150 claims of child sexual abuse that have languished through four years of legal wrangling.

On Monday, the diocese and attorneys for abuse victims are scheduled to start what is expected to be an intense week of secret talks before a federal mediator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Judge orders diocese to defend filing

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

August 11, 2007

In a rare and blistering decree, a federal judge yesterday ordered Bishop Robert Brom and his attorneys to show why she shouldn't dismiss the Diocese of San Diego's bankruptcy case for failing to exercise “the financial controls and transparency” required by law.

Citing the findings of a court-appointed financial expert, Judge Louise DeCarl Adler said church officials have not reported true property values, failed to keep parishes from deliberately hiding assets and misrepresented the diocese's wealth.

Some observers said yesterday's order will ratchet up pressure on the Roman Catholic diocese to settle about 150 claims of child sexual abuse that have languished through four years of legal wrangling.

On Monday, the diocese and attorneys for abuse victims are scheduled to start what is expected to be an intense week of secret talks before a federal mediator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Former city priest is jailed for child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
News & Star

Published on 11/08/2007

By Staff Reporter

A FORMER Carlisle priest was jailed for more than five years yesterday for sexually abusing children.

Father Edmond Cotter told one victim – a girl of nine – he was “like God” and that if she was not a good girl, she would burn in hell.

The 60-year-old, who used to work at Christ the King in Harraby, and St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School, attacked up to 10 girls and one boy, all aged between seven and 11 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

August 10, 2007

Priest under investigation apologies to Jews after insulting remarks

ITALY
European Jewish Press

By Daniel Mosseri Updated: 10/Aug/2007 13:46

ROME (EJP)--An Italian popular priest charged with sex abuse has apologised after insulting the Jews and accusing them of “generating paedophile rumours.”

Defending himself against the charges, Father Pierino Gelmini, 81, was quoted by Italian newspapers last Sunday as saying that a "radical-chic Jewish lobby is stretching out to weaken the whole Church, starting with the American Church".

His declarations sparked a protest from Jewish leaders as well as from some politicians who accused Gelmini of being an anti-Semite.

“I hope don Gelmini will soon regain clearness of mind and retract his statement”, Renzo Gattegna, chairman of the Italian Union of the Jewish Communities (UCEI), said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Don Gelmini in the Catholic News Agency

ITALY
The Smiling Eggplant

The Catholic News Agency, based in Denver, reported the case of Don Gelmini in these words:

"Exonerated priests forgives those who accused him of “sexual abuse”
Rome, Aug 7, 2007 / 12:04 pm (CNA).- Popular Italian priest Fr. Pierino Gelmini, 82, said this week he forgives the drug addicts who were expelled from his institution and accused him of “sexual abuse” as a way to take revenge and demand money from him.

Fr. Gelmini, founder of the “Incontro” community, which has been a successful drug-rehabilitation center, was recently investigated for sexual abuse after accusations were made against him for the first time in his more than fifty years of priestly service."

This was copied and pasted from their site. Apart from the need of a good proofreader, they also need to follow the ninth commandment, Exodus 20:16- thou shalt not bear false witness. This has gone beyond spin, it is an outright lie. Don Gelmini has not been cleared of charges. The seriousness of their misrepresentation is aggravated by the fact that the sanctimonious lie is in the headline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 PM

Injured bishop photos at center of dispute

GALLUP (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

By FELICIA FONSECA | Associated Press
August 9, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE — The city of Gallup is asking a judge to determine whether photographs taken by police of Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Pelotte — after he badly injured himself in an apparent fall at his home — are a matter of public record.

City officials fear they’ll be sued for invasion of privacy if they release the photos but could be sued for violating state open records laws if they keep them from the public. ...

At least two media outlets have requested access to the photos. But the city contends the pictures are not part of the public record because they were taken after the police investigation into the incident ceased and because they were shot at a hospital.

Luis Stelzner, an attorney for the diocese, said turning over the photographs of the bishop would be a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, because Pelotte was “barely conscious” at the time they were taken and was not able to give his consent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Springs police looking into possible embezzlement at Grace Chruch

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
The Gazette

By R. SCOTT RAPPOLD
THE GAZETTE
August 10, 2007 - 4:19PM

Colorado Springs police are investigating a complaint that funds were embezzled from Grace Church and St. Stephen’s, which broke from the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado in March.

Police wouldn’t elaborate today on the investigation, saying only that the complaint was filed July 16 by the Denver-based diocese.

The Rev. Don Armstrong, who was convicted by an ecclesiastical court this week of stealing $400,000 from the church, was described by police detective Michael Flynn as a “person of interest” in the embezzlement investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Free speech or crime?

CANADA
The Gazette

PAUL CHERRY, The Gazette
Published: 14 hours ago
A sprawling international network of websites promoting discussion about sexual attraction to children is hosted by a Montreal company and has ties to a pedophile group based in the city, The Gazette has learned.

Police say there is little they can do about websites that post items like recommendations of places where pedophiles can watch children at play. But critics allege there is something even more sinister behind groups like Free Spirits, an organization based in Montreal whose website is dedicated to "promoting open communication about boy-lovers."

Watchdog groups like the Winnipeg-based Beyond Borders argue that what is openly posted on Internet sites linked to the Free Spirits group - for example, BoyChat.org, a forum where members discuss "boy love" - should be subject to child pornography legislation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Priest is jailed for sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A 60-year-old Catholic priest who sexually abused children in Lancashire has been jailed for five years.

Father Edmund Cotter attacked up to 10 girls and one boy while he was a parish priest at two churches in Preston from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s.

He told one of the youngsters, who were all aged between seven and 11, that he was "like God" and that if she was not a good girl she would burn in hell.

Cotter admitted 13 counts of indecent assault at Preston Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Sex scandal in Italy

ITALY
NCR Cafe

All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.
Friday, August 10, 2007 - Vol. 6, No. 49

Controversy continued to mount this week surrounding sex abuse charges against one of the highest-profile figures in Italian Catholicism, Fr. Pierino Gelmini, the 82-year-old founder of a movement called Comunità Incontro (Encounter Community), which works with young alcohol and drug addicts. Founded in 1963, the community has 164 centers in Italy and 74 abroad, including Thailand, Bolivia and Brazil, which have served more than 300,000 youth.

Over the years, Gelmini has been a staple of Italian television (with his own show on Italian state TV called "Rock Caffe") and a darling of the political right. A leading Italian newspaper termed Gelmini "one of the three most famous priests in Italy."

Though details are emerging only now, Gelmini apparently was put under investigation six months ago by prosecutors in the Italian city of Terni, the capital of the Umbria region north of Rome, after two former residents kicked out of a center run by the Encounter Community told police they had been abused by Gelmini. Italian media reports suggest that as many as seven other ex-residents have come forward with similar charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Patterson Pastor Charged with Incest

PATTERSON (LA)
KLFY

The pastor of a church in Patterson has been arrested on charges he had sex with a family member.

Detectives with the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office say they arrested 69-year-old James Piper Junior for aggravated incest.

His wife, 59-year-old Joyce was arrested Monday as an alleged accessory.

Both have since bonded out of jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Nude Jogging Priest Gets Under Residents' Skin

FREDERICK (CO)
KETV

FREDERICK, Colo. -- A Catholic priest facing a possible indecent exposure charge after he went jogging in the nude was placed on administrative leave Thursday, reported KMGH-TV in Denver.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey told officers he had been running naked about an hour before sunrise at the Frederick High School track and didn't think anyone would be around at that time of day, a police report said. ...

Some residents are disturbed by the report.

"We have a lot of kids in this neighborhood, so I find it kind of disrespectful," said Frederick resident Sean Smith.

"And a man in his position, it surprises me. You can buy a pair of boxers that are pretty thin to help you with (the heat). So, I really don't buy that story," said Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

"Wicked" priest jailed for child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

By Citizen reporter

A Catholic priest who sexually abused a total of eleven children in what a judge called "wicked" crimes has today been jailed for over five years.

Fr Edmund Cotter effectively used his authority to silence his victims so that they were too frightened to report his offending.

One girl was told he was like God and that if she was not good she would burn in Hell.

Some of the abuse took place during church meetings where youngsters were called "special ones" and told not to discuss anything which occured there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Trial for a priest who murdered a nun was flawed, attorneys say

TOLEDO
WDTN

Associated Press - August 10, 2007 9:55 AM ET

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Attorneys for the Toledo Catholic priest convicted of murdering a nun have filed papers claiming his trial was flawed and sensationalized.

Lawyers for the Reverend Gerald Robinson have taken his case to an Ohio appeals court. In the documents, they've outlined what they claim were crucial mistakes that led to Robinson's conviction last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Abusi, coinvolto un terzo sacerdote

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

This is a link to an Italian-language article about Salvatore Costa, currently in prison, who said he earned money to support his family by extorting money from priests after having sexual relationships with them. According to the newspaper, priests he blackmailed include the Rev. Luciano Aloisio, who now lives at the Vatican, and Rev. Mario Vaudagnotto, a parish priest in Turin. He has also named a third priest whose name has not been made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Arrest wasn't first run-in for nude jogging priest

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Alan Gathright And Hector Gutierrez, Rocky Mountain News
August 10, 2007
A Catholic priest who was arrested for jogging in the buff nearly two months ago in Frederick was investigated by the Archdiocese of Denver more than eight years ago for "inappropriate personal behavior," a church official acknowledged Thursday.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey was placed on administrative leave as of Wednesday from the three parishes he serves: St. Theresa in Frederick; Guardian Angels in Mead; and St. Scholastica church in Erie.

For the past eight years, the archdiocese had received no complaints about Whipkey's behavior, said Monsignor Thomas Fryar, moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese. The curia is a group that helps govern the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Breakaway Priest Convicted of Theft, Rebuts Charges

COLORADO
The Christian Post

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Aug. 10 2007 07:23 AM ET

A breakaway Anglican leader was convicted of financial misconduct, charges that he says are false.

An ecclesiastical court of the Diocese of Colorado made the ruling on Wednesday, charging the Rev. Don Armstrong, former rector of Grace and St. Stephen's Church in Colorado Springs, of failing to maintain church financial records and stealing nearly $400,000 among other things.

"The charges are bogus," said Armstrong, according to VirtueOnline, a voice for global Orthodox Anglicanism.

"This was no surprise to us and frankly of no interest either. This is just all The Episcopal Church has left, with no theology to debate those of us who have made a case for tradition, they have to resort to kangaroo courts ginned up in their quickly failing club house," he told VirtueOnline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Court approves diocese's payments for legal expenses

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

4:56 p.m. August 9, 2007

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler Thursday approved payment of $421,000 to a San Diego law firm and an accounting agency assisting the Catholic diocese in its Chapter 11 reorganization case.

That brings to more than $2 million the bills for legal costs and associated expenses – just through May. By summer's end, the fees are estimated to be twice that amount.

And this does not include the cost of the court-ordered report on parish finances, which is anticipated to reach into seven figures, according to R. Todd Neilson, the financial expert who headed the examination. A hearing on the report is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

US presidential candidate Giuliani evokes Catholic upbringing on campaign trail

WASHINGTON (DC)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: August 10, 2007

WASHINGTON: Rudy Giuliani evokes his Catholic upbringing as he campaigns for president, yet he refuses to say whether he is a practicing Catholic.

When a voter asked this week if he is a "traditional, practicing Roman Catholic," Giuliani insisted his faith should be private.

"My religious affiliation, my religious practices and the degree to which I am a good or not-so-good Catholic, I prefer to leave to the priests," the former New York mayor responded in Davenport, Iowa. ...

At key moments in his church life, Giuliani's close friend, Monsignor Alan Placa, has been at his side. Placa was best man at Giuliani's first wedding, officiated at the second and baptized Giuliani's son and daughter.

Placa was barred from the ministry after he was accused of sexual abuse, but he received special permission to preside at the funeral of Giuilani's mother, Helen, in 2002. Placa has been working for his friend's consulting business, Giuliani Partners, despite the urging of abuse victims that he be terminated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Man faces 61 counts related to teen boys

RIDDLETON (TN)
The Daily News Journal

By BRANDON PUTTBRESE
bputtbrese@dnj.com
— Brandon Puttbrese, (615) 278-5153

State investigators believe other young victims will be discovered as the case proceeds against an HIV-positive man from Smith County now facing 61 counts of sex-related charges. The charges involve several minors, including at least one in Rutherford County.

Maurice Carter, 44, who lived in a La Vergne apartment from 2005 to 2006, is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with at least one teenage boy from Rutherford County at that time, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said. ...

Officials have reason to believe that at least some of those encounters took place in the Lily Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Riddleton, where Carter is a member, TBI said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Choir director charged with sexual assault

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Karoun Demirjian | Tribune staff reporter
August 10, 2007

A gospel artist and musical director of Chicago's Rebirth of Liberty Gospel Choir has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old member of his choir in 2006.

Brian Scott, 34, was arrested Wednesday in connection with assaults that are alleged to have occurred on three occasions in July 2006: in a park, in the basement of a church and at Scott's home in the 1700 block of West 95th Place in Chicago. He appeared Thursday in bond court, where bail was set at $90,000.

The girl, who had met Scott at church before auditioning for his choir, told her parents about the abuse soon after it happened in 2006, prosecutors said Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Lawsuit filed against Rapid City diocese

PHILIP (SD)
Argus Leader

By staff reports
Argus Leader
Published: August 10, 2007
Philip - A deceased Roman Catholic priest from Philip is accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a female parishioner in 1987.

The allegation against the Rev. Christopher Scadron comes five years after his death and one year after the accuser said she remembered the attack.

Pam Baye, 43, and her husband, Sylvan, filed a civil lawsuit Thursday in federal court against the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City.

Scadron was the family priest for Baye, blessed her marriage and baptized her children, the complaint states. Baye said that in 1987, four years after her marriage, she sought counseling from Scadron regarding her history as a victim of family sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Still on the hook

MEXICO
California Catholic Daily

The archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, was deposed August 8 in a Los Angeles lawsuit charging him with complicity in the alleged rape of a youth by a priest in Mexico.

The lawsuit, filed last September, claims that the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar raped the then-13-year old Joaquin Mendez in 1994 in Mexico City.

Why is Rivera the subject of a U.S. court case? Because, in 1987, when he was bishop of Tehuacan, Rivera sent Aguilar to Los Angeles. Having received a letter from Rivera, which said that the priest was suffering from “family problems and ill health,” Cardinal Roger Mahony accepted him into the Los Angeles archdiocese, making him assistant pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Los Angeles and then, two months later, transferring him to St. Agatha’s, also in Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Mendham native Bill Kelly's music takes a darker turn

MENDHAM (NJ)
Daily Record

BY ROBERT HICKS
SPECIAL TO THE DAILY RECORD
Friday, August 10, 2007

CD release party
Aug. 11, 9:30 p.m.
Stanhope House
45 Main St., Stanhope
Tickets are $10;
$25 for party-dinner package
Call (973) 347-0458

www.stanhopehouse.com

Bill Kelly's songs have appeared in documentaries, in films and in the NBC show Ed and the TV series Northern Exposure. With his songs about troubled relationships and reconciliation, redemption and abuses of power, the Morris County native has sparked emotions and helped redefine Americana.

His five-piece band will perform at Stanhope House in Stanhope on Aug. 11. ...

The critically acclaimed song, "Seraphima," addresses a priest's sexual misconduct and abuse of power. The title track concerns wildlife preservation and a call to action. The topics for other songs range from difficulty and reconciliation in relationships to funny songs about the frustrations in everyday life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Lawyers file appeal for priest convicted of murdering nun

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

More than a year after the national television crews left and a Catholic priest was sent to prison for the decades-old murder of a nun, a new defense team filed an appeal to overturn his conviction.

Attorneys for Gerald Robinson filed a 105-page document with the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals Wednesday that argues eight points of error they claim occurred during the trial that resulted in conviction.

The appeal looks to reverse the jury’s decision and secure Robinson’s release from prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Brother Vic hasn't registered as a sex offender

MISSOURI
Press-Register

Friday, August 10, 2007By SUSAN DAKER
Staff Reporter
Nicholas Paul "Brother Vic" Bendillo, a former counselor and teacher at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, has failed to register as a convicted sex offender after he was released from an Alabama prison, authorities said.

As a condition of his release, Bendillo provided prison officials with the address of a monastery in Missouri, and the local law enforcement agency there said he had not registered by Thursday morning. Under Missouri law, he should have been registered by Tuesday.

A man identifying himself as a priest answered the telephone at the monastery about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. When asked about "Brother Vic," he said he didn't know of anyone by that name. When asked if Brother Vic Bendillo was there, he said again, he didn't know.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

August 9, 2007

Abusi sessuali, altri tre contro Don Gelmini Diventano dieci i testimoni dell'inchiesta

ITALY
La Repubblica

This is the link to an Italian-language newspaper that continues to report on allegations of sexual misconduct being made against the Rev. Pierino Gelmini. According to the article, three more accusers have come forward to say they also were abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 PM

Deceased priest accused of sex abuse

SOUTH DAKOTA
Argus Leader

By Josh Verges
Argus Leader
Published: August 9, 2007
A deceased Roman Catholic priest from Philip is accused in a civil suit of sexually abusing a female parishioner in 1987.

The allegation against Father Christopher Scadron comes five years after his death and one year after the accuser said she remembered the attack.

Pam Baye, 43, and her husband Sylvan filed a civil suit Thursday in federal court against the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 PM

Archdiocese responds after priest found jogging naked

COLORADO
9 News

posted by: Jeffrey Wolf , Web Producer created: 8/9/2007 8:17:54 PM
Last updated: 8/9/2007 8:20:19 PM

DENVER – The Archdiocese of Denver released a statement regarding a 53-year-old priest who was caught jogging naked at night on a high school running track.

The Reverend Robert Whipkey told Frederick Police officers he had been running naked at a high school track and did not think anyone would be around at that time of day.

Police say Whipkey faces an indecent exposure charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 PM

Sex abuse victims respond to #2 Vatican official's new remarks

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

Every time an insensitive church bureaucrat makes hurtful public comments like this, it rubs more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of American Catholics and sex abuse victims.

Tens of thousands of brave men and women still suffer today because of horrific abuse as kids by priests and callous betrayal by bishops. Several hundred of them are exposing predators, protecting kids and seeking justice. By their courage, they are doing a service to the church. They deserve compassion and praise, not vilification. Their decisive, admirable efforts to alert parents about pedophile priests deserve recognition, not rebuke.

The Catholic church hierarchy has not been 'singled out' by anyone. It is, however, an institution with the most widely documented history of repeatedly protecting predators, shunning victims, decieving parishioners, stonewalling prosecutors, and stiff-arming journalists, all so that the reputations of top church officials could be safeguarded.

Vatican officials have done virtually nothing to protect the vulnerable. We hope, however, that some day soon they'll at leasts stop re-victimizing the wounded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 PM

Cardinal Bertone addresses US sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
Spero News

By CNA

A particularly candid Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone spoke yesterday afternoon about the situation surrounding the sex abuse scandal in the United States. The Church’s second in command praised the Church’s response and reserved some critical words for those who have seized on the scandal as an opportunity for profit.

“The Church in the US has suffered deeply, has responded with dignity, and invites everyone to truly commit to a reversal of this situation,” said Bertone.

“While I was still at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and then as the Archbishop of Genoa, I accompanied the American Church through this trial, this period, and I repeat that they faced this trial with dignity and courage.”

However, the Cardinal was particularly upset with those who have turned the situation into a means of making a profit. “The business aspect, the financial aspect, has nothing to do with cleaning up the reality of the situation. It is an unbearable business that has been created here in the United States…it’s unbearable and also disgraceful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Italy's continual conspiracy theory

ITALY
Courier International

A polemic is raging through Italy, around the case of his Lordhip Pierino Gelmini, founder of a centre to help drug addicts. Accused of paedophilia, he is denouncing 'a radical Jewish conspiracy' against the Catholic Church. "His Lordship Gelmini has added one more page to the official history of Italy and the world, one more case to a long list of conspiracies used to cover up truths", explains Lucia Annunziata. She indicates that "the political intelligentsia is very fond of conspiracy theories that run parallel to the official history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 PM

Droppings: Barry Bonds, naked priests & Woodstock

COLORADO
Your Hub

The only way the "naked priest jogging" story would be funnier is if he would have been wearing just the collar. Also, I nominate the accused Reverend Robert Whipkey for "Name Most Likely To End Up In A Dark Graphic Novel."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Nude-jogging priest suspended

COLORADO
Denver Post

By Mike McPhee
and John Ingold
Denver Post Staff Writers

The Archdiocese of Denver announced Thursday it has placed a Frederick priest on administrative leave after it became public knowledge that he had been charged with indecent exposure for allegedly jogging in the nude.

The archdiocese also announced that eight years ago it investigated the same priest — the Rev. Robert Whipkey — for "inappropriate personal behavior." The archdiocese, in a statement, did not provide details on the conduct but said it did not involve any "physical or sexual contact with another individual." Authorities in Sterling, where Whipkey was serving at the time, were notified but decided not to file charges, according to the statement.

Jeannette De Melo, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, declined to provide more information on the allegations from 8 years ago.

"Our statement speaks for itself," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 PM

Priest killed son in attempt to save career, authorities say

MEXICO
Detroit Free Press

August 9, 2007

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican priest has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for killing a son he did not want his superiors to discover, prosecutors said today.

The Rev. Dagoberto Valle Arriaga confessed to killing his son, Oscar Emmanuel Valle Hernandez, two years ago, said the attorney general’s office for the central state of Mexico.

Valle, who fathered the child with a woman identified as Maria Felix Hernandez Espinoza, was afraid church officials would uncover the child’s existence and remove him from the priesthood, authorities said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 PM

Mexican Priest Sentenced To 55 Years For Killing Love Child

MEXICO
AHN

August 9, 2007 6:48 p.m. EST

Linda Young - AHN News Writer
Mexico City, Mexico (AHN) - A Mexican priest who killed his secret son so his superiors wouldn't find out he had a child has been sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Prosecutors said on Thursday that Rev. Dagoberto Valle Arriaga had confessed to killing his son two years ago, but didn't say how old the son was.

No details were released about the mother. Valle had served as a Roman Catholic priest in a small town east of Mexico City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

Priest jailed for murdering son

MEXICO
BBC News

A Catholic priest in Mexico who killed his son so the Church would not know he had broken vows of celibacy has been jailed for 55 years in Mexico City.

Dagoberto Valle Arriaga had confessed in 2005 to killing his son, Oscar.

State prosecutors have not released the boy's age nor any details about his murder, but local media are reporting that he was 16 when he was killed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Victims’ group, police at odds over flyers near ballpark

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A member of a local victims’ advocacy group who was asked to move across the street from Fifth Third Field Tuesday by a Toledo police officer while handing out flyers said she wasn’t doing anything wrong.

But Toledo Police Chief Michael Navarre said a policy has existed for several years that those handing out flyers or getting petitions signed are supposed to do so on the opposite side of the street from the stadium.

He did say, however, the sidewalks surrounding Fifth Third Field are public property.

Claudia Vercellotti, co-coordinator of the Toledo chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was passing out flyers outside the baseball stadium to gain community support to get the signs designating a stretch of St. Clair Street as “Monsignor Jerome Schmit Way” taken down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Pope steps back from meeting Polish priest

ROME
International Herald Tribune

By Ian Fisher Published: August 9, 2007

ROME: The Vatican worked Thursday to distance itself from a brief meeting this week between Pope Benedict XVI and a Polish priest who has been accused of making anti-Semitic statements.

In a one-sentence statement, the Vatican suggested that the meeting consisted only of a "kiss of the hand" and that it did not "imply any change in the well known position of the Holy See and the relations between Catholics and Jews."

Jewish groups in Europe and the United States have denounced the pope's meeting with the Reverend Tadeusz Rydzyk, head of Radio Maryja, a Polish station that has angered Jews and the Vatican with broadcasts that both consider to be anti-Semitic. The meeting took place at the pope's summer residence, Castelgandolfo outside Rome, after his traditional Sunday public blessing. ...

This week, the Italian Catholic Church also came under fire after a priest tied to the nation's political right, the Reverend Pierino Gelmini, blamed unspecified "Jewish radical-chic" groups for recent charges that he sexually abused several clients at drug treatment center he runs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Brother Vic Now in Missouri

MOBILE (AL)
My Fox Gulf Coast

By Bob Grip

MOBILE, Ala. --
Brother Victor Bendillo, released from prison Saturday, is now living at a church-based facility in Missouri that deals, in part, with sex offenders.

Upon his release, Bendillo moved to the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri. The Center is operated by the Servants of the Paraclete. The group describes itself as "a religious congregation of men dedicated to ministry to priests and Brothers with personal difficulties," according to its website.

David Clohessy, National Director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) told me the Vianney Center is "not a secure facility". He said it has no fences, gates, guards or electronic surveillance. SNAP claims in 2004, an admitted child molester/priest walked away from the Vianney Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Abuse suits name Oregon nuns

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

08/09/2007
Two nuns are being named in Oregon lawsuits claiming child sexual abuse in the 1950s and 60s.

The cases included the first new abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Portland since the April resolution of a bankruptcy that lasted almost three years, prompted by large demands for punitive damages.

One suit alleges that a teacher at the Madeline School in Portland, Sister Patricia Mary Anne, sexually abused a boy repeatedly in the mid-1960s.

Two accusers say Sister Genevieve Marie, a teacher at St. James School in McMinnville, was physically and mentally cruel to them in the 1950s. Named as a co-defendant with the archdiocese are the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Henry County priest criticizes diocese leadership

TOLEDO (OH)
Crescent-News

By JACK PALMER
palmer@crescent-news.com

A Henry County priest known for his outspokenness has openly questioned the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo in the presence of his parishioners.

Father Steve Stanbery made his remarks during five Masses last weekend at Holgate St. Mary and New Bavaria Sacred Heart churches and the Hamler St. Paul chapel.

"The situation which Father spoke about concerned the Father (Thomas) Leyland situation and his replacement at St. Rose parish (in Perrysburg), along with the cover-up by Bishop (Leonard) Blair's office concerning it," said Rick Schwiebert, who attends the Hamler chapel.

During an hour-long interview with The Crescent-News, Stanbery said his concerns about the diocese leadership were even broader than those two issues.

"I have been on a continuing crusade for integrity and transparency in this diocese, starting with the sex scandals which began under Bishop (James) Hoffman," Blair's predecessor, said Stanbery.

"Another example is the handling of the Sister (Margaret Ann) Pahl murder investigation, when police found 145 more pages than they were provided originally after executing a search warrant at the diocese office. (Father Gerald Robinson was ultimately convicted in 2006 of killing Pahl in Toledo in 1980).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Priest Put On Administrative Leave After Naked Run

FREDERICK (CO)
CBS 4

Shaun Boyd
Reporting

(AP) FREDERICK, Colo. A Catholic priest faces an indecent exposure charge after police said he went jogging in the nude about an hour before sunrise.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey told officers he had been running naked at a high school track and didn't think anyone would be around at that time of day, a police report said.

He told officers he sweats profusely if he wears clothing while jogging. "I know what I did was wrong," he said in the report.

Whipkey did not return phone messages. His attorney, Doug Tisdale, told the Longmont Times-Call that Whipkey had no comment.

Whipkey was placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Denver Wednesday night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Cardinal Mahony Turns Down Request for an Apology From Priest Sex Abuse Victim

CALIFORNIA
The San Fernando Valley Sun

A Sherman Oaks man sexually abused by a Pennsylvania priest, just wanted his chance to meet with Cardinal RogerMahony, hoping he would at last hear words of apology from his Church.

But instead, Kevin McParland was turned down last week because he was abused in Erie and he was an adult at the time, according to Archdiocese of Los Angeles spokesman Tod Tamberg.

In a statement released July 24 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles following the announcement of a $660 million, record settlement of some 508 abuse cases involving Catholic priests, Mahony said he would privately meet with any victim of abuse who wishes to meet with him.

"There are many victims of childhood sexual abuse in Los Angeles over the past 70 years, and Cardinal Mahony will continue to meet with those who wish to meet with him. As Archbishop of Los Angeles, he is responsible to these people [of Los Angeles] first and foremost," Tamberg wrote in an e-mail to The San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol. "Adult victims of sexual assault in other dioceses should contact the bishop of that diocese. For all questions regarding Mr.
McParland, I refer you to the Diocese of Erie, PA." McParland said he was told he would be put on a wait list. He didn't know how many were before or after him. ...

McParland, now 47, was 20 years old when he was abused twice by Stephen E. Jesselnick.

He was paid $25,000 by Jesselnick over a three-yearperiod starting in May 2005, an amount that was to pay for mental counseling and of which McParland said he fought hard to get.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

What you should know about Rudy

UNITED STATES
Colorado Springs Independent

by Josh Johnson

Some families turned on Giuliani when his 9/11 cleanup operation took bodies to a landfill.
When Rudolph Giuliani awoke on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, his political career was in the toilet. Nearing the end of his second term as mayor of New York City, his approval rating was in the dismal 30th percentile, and he was term-limited from running again. He dropped out of a 2000 Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Newsweek referred to pre-9/11 Rudy as "unpopular" and "irrelevant."
What a difference a day can make.

Later that day, the American public was introduced to Giuliani, covered in soot, addressing his city with a strength and poise not lacking the emotional weight of the tragedy. He was on the scene, not holed up in a bunker, and he commanded from the streets, just as at-risk as the people he was charged to serve. That day, even New Yorkers who had long called their mayor a "fascist" and "Adolph Giuliani" loved Rudy.

Today, Giuliani is the front-runner in the GOP's presidential primary. In a recent CNN poll, Arizona Sen. John McCain trailed Giuliani by more than 10 points. Though difficult for New Yorkers to grasp, "America's Mayor" may very well be America's next president. ...

Along with Kerik, Alan Placa, a former Catholic priest excommunicated from the church for accusations of sexual abuse as well as covering up the abuse of other priests, is a partner at Giuliani Partners. Recently, Giuliani stated that Placa will not be fired as a result of the coverups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Priest appeals murder conviction in 1980 death of nun

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

BLADE STAFF

More than a year after he was convicted for the 1980 murder of a nun, Gerald Robinson has appealed his conviction.

A 105-page document was filed with the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals yesterday, asking that the priest’s conviction be overturned and that he be discharged from prison. If the conviction is not reversed, the appeal then asks that the appellate court send the case back to Lucas County Common Pleas Court for a hearing and possibly a new trial to determine if the delay in prosecuting Robinson violated his right to due process of law.

"The state of Ohio waited 24 years to file criminal charges in this case, using evidence, all of which was available to it in 1980 when the crime occurred," the appeal said. "In the intervening decades, critical defense witnesses died, exculpatory evidence was lost, and the state lacked any justification for the delay."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Case of the Unnamed Rabbi - Principal Who Inpregnated A Girl With Learning Disabilities

UNITED STATES
The Awareness Center

Call For Action: The following case has been haunting members of The Awareness Center since it was mentioned in a article put out by JTA back in 2001.

The Awareness Center is looking for all the information we can find regarding the Rabbi-Prinicipal who inpregnated a girl with learning disabilities at school he was principal at.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Hearing is set on case against priest

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By CALVIN R. TRICE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
LOUISA -- A judge set Aug. 27 as the date to hear arguments on whether to toss out embezzlement charges against the priest accused of misusing donation money for two Catholic churches.

Attorney John R. Maus claims in a court filing that the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis should not be prosecuted in court if he mishandled money donated to the two parishes.

Rodis, 51, faces 13 embezzlement counts stemming from the diversion of money intended for Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Catholic Church in Mineral while he was pastor of both churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Nude jogging priest may be declothed

COLORADO
Sydney Morning Herald

August 9, 2007 - 5:13PM

Leadership councils at three Colorado Catholic parishes have met to decide the fate of a priest charged with jogging in the nude.

The Reverend Robert Whipkey, 53, faces an indecent exposure charge after an off-duty police officer allegedly saw him jogging in the nude about an hour before sunrise in June.

He told officers he had been running naked at a high school track and did not think anyone would be around at that time of day, a police report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Judge to hear motion to dismiss charges against priest

LOUISA (VA)
WAVY

Associated Press - August 9, 2007 8:05 AM ET

LOUISA, Va. (AP) - A Louisa County judge will hear arguments later this month on whether to dismiss 13 embezzlement charges against a priest accused of taking donation money for two Catholic churches where he served as pastor.

The hearing is set for August 27th.

The attorney for the Reverend Rodney Rodis (ROH'-dis) claims in a court filing that Rodis should not be prosecuted in court if he mishandled money donated to the two parishes. Lawyer John Maus says the Catholic Diocese of Richmond should handle the case, due to the U.S. Constitution's clause prohibiting government interference in church matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Catholic university removes bishop's name from library

DAVENPORT (IA)
Catholic Online

By Barb Arland-Fye
8/8/2007
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) - St. Ambrose University honored the request of a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and removed the name of the late Bishop Gerald F. O'Keefe of Davenport from the university's 11-year-old library.

The Catholic university's board of directors made the decision Aug. 3 in hopes of bringing about healing, said Davenport Bishop Martin J. Amos, the board's president.

Shortly after the board announced its decision, two workers in a crane removed the letters spelling out "O'KEEFE" from the front of the building. The word "LIBRARY" remained.

The Rev. Mark Powell of Indianapolis, the survivor, requested the change because he said Bishop O'Keefe failed to take the necessary precautions to protect children from abuse during his 26-year tenure as head of the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Trinity Baptist wants 5 sex suits dismissed

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
The Florida Times-Union

Trinity Baptist Church is seeking the dismissal of five lawsuits filed against the Jacksonville congregation by women who say they were sexually abused as children in the 1970s and 1980s by the former Rev. Robert Gray.

Dismissal arguments were heard in two of the cases Wednesday.

Trinity attorney Ed Trent argued that the statute of limitations expired years before the women filed their actions this year. The plaintiff's attorney, Miami lawyer Adam Horowitz, countered that the lawsuits should be allowed to proceed because it was only in the past one or two years that his clients learned that the church may have known about Gray's propensity to abuse children.

Gray, 81, is living on home arrest pending a November criminal trial on four counts of capital sexual battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Victims Want Church to Name Names

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - August 8, 2007

Some victims of sexual abuse by priests are calling on Vermont's Roman Catholic diocese to go public. About two dozen priest sex abuse cases have been filed in Vermont -- involving seven priests. Some are still being litigated, some are currently under investigation. Those are the cases we know about, but victims want the church to make public the names of ALL priests who have been accused of sexual abuse over the years.

"We believe that the bishop, at a bare minimum, should do what 15 of his colleagues across the country have done, which is to disclose and publicly disclose on the Diocese's web site the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused abusers, current and former church employees," said David Clohessy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

US grills cardinal in abuse case

MEXICO
TVNZ

Aug 9, 2007 12:06 PM

Mexico's top clergyman, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, was questioned by US lawyers in a child sex abuse case that is a new blow to the Roman Catholic Church in its second-largest stronghold.

The lawyers met with Rivera at the capital's archdiocese building to ask about charges in a US civil case that he colluded with Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony to protect a Mexican priest wanted for multiple child rapes.

Abuse scandals have rocked the Catholic Church around the world recently and the Los Angeles diocese this year agreed to pay $660 million settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

CATHOLIC PRIEST SEX OFFENDING HAS IMPROVED: INVESTIGATOR

NEW ZEALAND
Pacific Radio News

Date: 9 August 2007

Auckland 6am: The man who investigates sexual abuse complaints against Catholic priests in New Zealand says most priests are behaving nowawadays.

Former police commissioner John Jamieson's comments follow that of former Australian nun Michelle Mulvihill's, that the Pacific is being used to dump paedophile Catholic priests.

Jamieson says he is investigating a number of cases but says the claims are untrue overall as most of the complaints happened 50 or 60 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Deposition for Mexican cardinal in abuse case

MEXICO
Boston Globe

By Julie Watson, Associated Press | August 9, 2007

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's most prominent cardinal gave a deposition yesterday in a US lawsuit accusing him of complicity in the alleged rape of a child by a Mexican priest.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera and his lawyers rushed past reporters and photographers waiting outside offices of the Archdiocese of Mexico without giving comment.

Later in the afternoon, an archdiocese spokesman, the Rev. Hugo Valdemar Romero, said Rivera gave his statement voluntarily, and said that a Los Angeles court should not be handling the case, since both the reported victim and accused priest are from Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Uncovering Child Sex Abuse: A Stand-Off with the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

By Bill Frogameni, AlterNet. Posted August 9, 2007.

A nationwide push is happening to extend the amount of time victims of childhood sexual abuse have to seek justice. While most people are rejoicing, the Catholic Church is fighting the legislation. Tools

Joelle Casteix was a 15-year-old Catholic schoolgirl in the mid-1980s when a teacher began molesting her. The abuse ended when she was 17, but not, she says, before she contracted genital warts, got pregnant and had an abortion.

At the time of the molestation, Casteix confronted the administrators of her school, Mater Dei High in Orange County, Calif., but says she was asked to keep quiet. Behind the scenes, administrators eventually verified her claims and elicited an extraordinary signed confession from her abuser, who also admitted molesting another student.

But it wasn't until 2005 -- after the original statute of limitations had expired -- that Casteix finally found justice. Thanks to a California law enacted in 2002, she was able to compel the Church to hand over its documents, which allowed her to join a then-record $100 million settlement reached between abuse victims and the Diocese of Orange. Casteix received $1.6 million herself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Mexico cardinal quizzed in abuse suit

MEXICO
Los Angeles Times

August 9, 2007

Mexico's most prominent cardinal was deposed Wednesday in a U.S. lawsuit accusing him of complicity in the alleged rape of a child by a Mexican priest.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera and his lawyers rushed past reporters and photographers waiting outside archdiocese offices in Mexico City without speaking.

Later, archdiocese spokesman Rev. Hugo Valdemar Romero said Rivera gave his statement voluntarily.

Roman Catholic Church officials here have argued that a Los Angeles court should not be handling a case involving Mexican clergy and an alleged victim in Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Advocate for priest abuse victims says diocese should make public names of workers who harmed children

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Thursday, August 9, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The national director for a self-help group that monitors clergy sex abuse called on the state's Roman Catholic diocese and Bishop Salvatore Matano on Wednesday to make public the names of all church workers who have molested children.

"This is the cheapest and quickest way for the bishop to protect kids from threats from predators in the here and now," David Clohessy said. "Suspending a proven, admitted or credibly accused priest is obviously not enough. That alone does not magically cure predators."

Clohessy heads SNAP, or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He spoke at a news conference on the sidewalk in front of the diocesan headquarters on North Avenue in Burlington, accompanied by three alleged victims of priest abuse and a former Jesuit priest, Bill Cleary of Burlington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

August 8, 2007

Episcopal Split Getting Nasty

DENVER (CO)
My Fox Colorado

DENVER --
An Episcopal church court issued a preliminary ruling that the leader of a breakaway church is guilty of financial misconduct, officials said Wednesday.

The Rev. Donald Armstrong of Colorado Springs faces internal allegations including theft and tax fraud. The ruling was made Aug. 2 and released Wednesday.

Both Armstrong and Colorado bishop Robert O'Neill have 30 days to respond to the preliminary ruling. The court will then issue a final judgment along with recommendations for a sentence.

Diocese spokeswoman Beckett Stokes declined comment.

Armstrong has denied wrongdoing. His lawyer, Dennis Hartley, has called the process a "witch hunt."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Ecclesiastical court finds Rev. Armstrong guilty of theft

COLORADO
Gazette

By ED SEALOVER
THE GAZETTE
August 8, 2007 - 4:56PM

DENVER – An ecclesiastical court of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado unanimously found the Rev. Donald Armstrong guilty today of stealing nearly $400,000 from his Colorado Springs parish and of using discretionary funds improperly.

The decision has no immediate effect on Armstrong, who left the denomination in March and continues to head Grace Church, as it is now associated with the Anglican Convocation of North America. His spokesman said he was not surprised by the results of what he has termed a “witch hunt.”

The court, made up of both clergy and lay church members, deliberated for eight days before issuing its ruling. Both sides have 30 days to respond before the court issues a sentencing recommendation that could be as severe as defrocking Armstrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Don Gelmini, il Vaticano frena Bertone: "Voglio vederci chiaro"

ITALY
la Repubblica

This is a link to an Italian-language newspaper with further developments regarding sexual misconduct allegations being made against the Rev. Pierino Gelmini. The article includes a statement from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, who expressed doubts about the accusers and said he wants to "see things clearly."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Naugatuck priest told not to contact accuser

NAUGATUCK (CT)
The Republican-American

BY PAUL SINGLEY REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

A Naugatuck Catholic priest charged with sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy has been ordered by a superior court judge to have no contact with his accuser.

The Rev. Robert J. Grant, 63, of St. Mary and St. Hedwig churches, appeared briefly in Waterbury Superior Court Wednesday afternoon. The judge sealed the arrest warrant affidavit for 15 days in an attempt to protect the identity of the accuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Mexico cleric quizzed over abuse

MEXICO
BBC News

By David Willis
BBC News, California

Mexico's leading Roman Catholic cleric has been questioned by American lawyers in connection with an ongoing child abuse inquiry.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera is being investigated for allegedly protecting a Catholic priest who abused a Mexican altar boy.

Cardinal Rivera was once seen as a possible candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Victims: Church should ID abusive priests on the Web

BURLINGTON (VT)
Boston.com

By Lisa Rathke, Associated Press Writer | August 8, 2007

BURLINGTON, Vt. --Victims of priest sex abuse on Wednesday called on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to post information about admitted or accused clergy on its web site, in church bulletins and newspapers.

"We're urging the bishop to do what Jesus taught us to do, which is ... to go out in the cold and dark and help the lost and wounded sheep and help them," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support group.

"And to go into every single parish where a predator worked and beg the victims and witnesses to come forward and get help and contact police," said Clohessy, whose group held its first Vermont support meeting Tuesday.

Under pressure, 15 other dioceses have publicly identified abusive clergy, Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Father’s rage over innocence lost

AUSTRALIA
Star

By Kath Gannaway

7th August 2007 02:00:04 AM

IAN Lawther knows what it’s like to be in a blind rage.

The Healesville father of five lost the sight in his left eye when blood vessels burst in a moment of uncontrollable anger.

Looking through court documents a few weeks after the conviction of paedophile priest David Daniel in 2000, the realisation hit home that at the time the St Brigid’s Parish priest was baptising Ian’s baby daughter, Daniel had already molested his school-aged son.

“I got so incredibly angry I really did want to kill. And I could have killed ... would have killed,” Ian recalled.

Losing an eye and the repercussions on his personal and work ambitions were terrifying, but the worst part was having to come to terms with the hate he felt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Back in the Habit

UNITED STATES
Feministing

Nope, this isn't about a revival of the early 90s Whoopie Goldberg hit movie, this is about what Bust Magazine is reporting this month is a new trend of young, feminist minded women choosing to become nuns.

Bust reports that young women are being drawn into the nun's life, something that even in Whoopie's movie is characterized by sheltered little old ladies with grey hair. At a time when criticisms against the Catholic church are at a high, with recent priest sexual abuse scandals and harsh reactions to the archaic stance the Vatican is taking against modern day issues like homosexuality and birth control, it's surprising to think that young women may be choosing to become part of this hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

US Lawyers Grill Top Mexico Cardinal in Abuse Case

MEXICO
Javno

Reuters

Mexico's leading Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, was questioned on Wednesday by U.S. lawyers who accuse him of protecting a priest wanted for child sex abuse.
The lawyers met with Rivera at the capital's archdiocese building to try to establish that he can be sued by a Mexican former altar boy in a California court, along with co-accused Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony.

"Cardinal Rivera has voluntarily received the lawyers," said a Catholic church official who asked not to be named.

Rivera, whose Mexico City diocese is one of the world's largest, is accused of sending a priest named Nicolas Aguilar to Los Angeles knowing that he had raped former altar boy Joaquin Aguilar Mendez in Mexico's Puebla state in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Colorado Priest Faces Charges After Nude Jog at High School Track

FREDERICK (CO)
Fox News

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

FREDERICK, Colo. — A Catholic priest faces an indecent exposure charge after police said he went jogging in the nude about an hour before sunrise.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey told officers he had been running naked at a high school track and didn't think anyone would be around at that time of day, a police report said.

He told officers he sweats profusely if he wears clothing while jogging. "I know what I did was wrong," he said in the report.

Whipkey did not return phone messages. His attorney, Doug Tisdale, told the Longmont Times-Call that Whipkey had no comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Mexican cardinal deposed in case involving alleged sexual abuse by Mexican priest

MEXICO
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: August 8, 2007

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's most prominent cardinal was deposed Wednesday in a U.S. lawsuit accusing him of complicity in the alleged rape of a child by a Mexican priest.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera and his lawyers rushed past reporters and photographers waiting outside offices of the Archdiocese of Mexico without giving comment. Archdiocese officials also declined to comment when called by The Associated Press.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in September, Joaquin Aguilar Mendez alleges he was raped by priest Nicolas Aguilar in Mexico City in 1994 when he was 12 years old.

According to the suit, Aguilar Mendez had gone to the priest's room at the rectory to use a restroom when he was grabbed and sodomized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

National sex-abuse survivors group blasts Vt. Catholic Church

VERMONT
Times Argus

August 8, 2007

Staff Report

A national organization of people sexually abused by clergy wants Vermont’s Catholic Church to publicize the names and whereabouts of all personnel accused of molesting parishioners in the state.

“If a chemical company had dozens of toxic dumpsites scattered across Vermont, we think their moral obligation would be to say where they are and to stay away,” David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Wednesday.

Clohessy, meeting with several Vermont survivors outside the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese’s headquarters in Burlington, also blasted the church for “harsh and misleading” comments regarding misconduct of its priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Row erupts over abuse compensation payments

IRELAND
The Irish Post

A ROW has broken out after it was revealed the body set-up to provide compensation to victims of institutional abuse in Ireland had paid lawyers millions of euro.

Some €83.5million has been paid out by the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB) to lawyers representing those abused in State care.

Figures from the RIRB reveal that 13 per cent of the €648million signed over to abuse victims has gone to 601 individual legal firms representing 6,494 victims. It is more than double the amount accumulated before the 2005 annual report was released last summer.

Director of the One In Four victims’ group Colm O’Gorman said the RIRB was supposed to curtail the amount of money leaked to the legal system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Ncube's lawyers square off with adultery accuser

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

By Torby Chimhashu
Last updated: 08/08/2007 08:14:38
THE legal wrangle between lawyers for a prominent Zimbabwean Catholic cleric and legal representatives of a man accusing him of adultery continued to play out at the Bulawayo High Court on Wednesday.

Nicholas Mathonsi, the defence counsel for Archbishop Pius Ncube, has made a second demand for “further and better” particulars of Onesimus Sibanda’s claim in the $20 billion (£80000) lawsuit.

Mathonsi’s fresh demands came after an earlier bid to be furnished with more details of the claim were spurned by Sibanda’s lawyers who said much of the details sought would be made available during trial.

Instead, Munyaradzi Nzarayapenda, representing Sibanda, filed a notice of amendment to the original claim last week, breaking down the lawsuit into $10 billion for “loss of consortium” and another $10 billion for “contumelia”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

CATHOLIC CHURCH DENIES CLAIMS IT'S DUMPING SEX OFFENDER PRIESTS IN PACIFIC

NEW ZELAND
Pacific Radio News

Date: 8 August 2007

Auckland 6am: The Catholic Church in New Zealand is this morning dismissing claims that some Roman Catholic priests who've sexually abused children are being moved to the Pacific.
The claims come from an Australian psychologist and former nun, Michelle Mulvihill.

Mulvihill claims the Pacific is being used as a dumping ground for paedophile priests and brothers.

She says Pacific islands like Papua New Guinea, in particular, are good hiding places for offending priests.

But Lyndsay Freer, the spokesperson for the Catholic Church of New Zealand, says the claims are outrageous. (listen)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

''NZ dumps sex priests in Pacific''

FIJI
The Fiji Times

Update: 4.14pm THE Catholic Church of New Zealand has dismissed claims that some Roman Catholic priests who had sexually abused children are being moved to Pacific Islands.

The claim was made by Australian psychologist and former nun, Michell Mulvihill, who claims Pacific Islands such as Papua New Guinea, in particular, are ideal hiding places for offending priests, according to a Pacific Radio News report.

But Lyndsay Freer, the spokesperson for the Catholic Church of New Zealand, says the claims are outrageous.

Three years ago, 62-year-old Catholic priest, Frank Klep, who was sheltered in Samoa by the Salesian Order while he was on the run from police, was deported.

He later pleaded guilty in Melbourne County Court to 13 charges of indecent assault against teenage boys in Victoria during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Ex-priest granted High Court appeal on assault conviction

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Posted August 8, 2007 18:00:00
Updated August 8, 2007 18:02:00

A former priest will be allowed a High Court appeal over an assault conviction.
The High Court has granted a former Anglican priest permission to appeal against his conviction for indecent assault, due to a legal technicality.

Queenslander Raymond Frederick Ayles had been sentenced to a two-year non-parole term for assaulting the boy more than 30 years ago, when he was a young priest in northern Adelaide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Ex-Priest Pleads Guilty to Stalking

BARTOW (FL)
The Ledger

By Dana Willhoit
The ledger

BARTOW | A former Lakeland Catholic priest pleaded guilty Tuesday to burglary, false imprisonment, battery and aggravated stalking charges.

Walter Fisher, 51, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Neil Roddenbery to four years probation and ordered to undergo treatment and counseling.

Fisher had been jailed since 2005 after he was accused of stalking and attacking a woman in 2004.

As part of his sentence, Fisher, who is also known as Wladyslaw Gorak, was ordered to surrender his passport, remain in the United States and have no contact with the woman who was the victim in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Don Gelmini: «Non lascio la mia comunità»

ITALY
Corriere della Serra

This is a link to an Italian-language story regarding allegations involving the Rev. Pierino Gelmini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Torino, preti accusati di pedofilia Uno è economo di un istituto salesiano

ITALY
la Repubblica

This is a link to an Italian-language newspaper report on allegations involving clergy in Italy. Readers who do not speak Italian can use a computer translator program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Extreme vengeance

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

08/8/2007
Our Sunday Visitor (www.osv.com)

Today, sexual abuse has become the one intolerable crime. Because of the vulnerability of the victims — particularly when involving small children, a person of authority as the abuser or a great age disparity — and the lasting, often ruinous impact of such abuse, those who abuse are the most loathed in our society.

Whether it is a clergyman or a teenager, a stepparent or a teacher, the abuser is despised. This visceral, almost biological repulsion at the actions of those who prey on the defenseless has left us at times unable to judge when our own reaction becomes the scandal.

Increasingly, states have been passing laws to monitor convicted sex offenders and hamper their movement through society by warning their neighbors who they are. In some states, those defined as sex offenders include many people who are not pedophiles or predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Police: Former pastor describes touching girl

UTICA (NY)
Utice Observer Dispatch

August 8, 2007
By Rocco LaDuca

UTICA — A former pastor from Clinton told police he inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl while trying to get her to fall asleep at his residence earlier this year, according to documents in Oneida County Court.

The Rev. William Procanick, 53, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in County Court to charges of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

When Procanick gave a written statement to investigators in April, however, the former pastor of Resurrection Assembly of God in Clinton stated he was rubbing the girl "in a way that I shouldn't."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Report faults the Church's 'misleading' abuse guide

IRELAND
Independent

By John Cooney
Wednesday August 08 2007

THE Catholic Church is to review its child abuse guidelines after a report commissioned by the Government identified "some difficulties" in its investigation procedures.

The report, written by Dr Helen Buckley, of the social studies department of Trinity College, Dublin, found "a certain lack of integration" between the church's 'Our Children, Our Church' policy document and guidelines produced by different State organisations.

It concluded that the church's document, published by the bishops in December 2005, could be seen as a stand-alone guideline rather than being "derivative of existing guidelines".

Identifying a lack of clarity in the document compiled by the church's National Board for Child Protection, Dr Buckley found that the wording which is used to describe the reporting process is "misleading and has elicited public criticism".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Priest's rights not violated, prosecutors say

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.08.2007

Prosecutors argue that the Rev. Gary E. Underwood's due-process rights were not violated by a 22-year time gap before he was charged with child molestation.

Underwood, who is accused of molesting three teenage boys under the age of 15 during the mid-1980s, has asked that the criminal case be dismissed because of the long delay in charging him.

But prosecutor Kathleen Mayer filed a court motion last week in which she says the time gap does not disadvantage the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Suit forces victims to relive sexual assaults, woman says

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Trevor Wilhelm, The Windsor Star
Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2007
WINDSOR, Ont. - A victim of pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre says the London, Ont., diocese, which is trying to settle several lawsuits, is forcing victims to relive abuse and justify their complaints under intense questioning -- something they already endured during an earlier criminal trial.

Carol Ann Mieras said she believes the Catholic Church's insurer is requiring the examinations for discovery in order to wear down already weary victims, and that the church, by letting it happen, is falling short on its promises of compassion.

"A lot of women are now saying, 'I can't keep going through this over and over. I can't do this anymore,'" said Ms. Mieras, who as a child suffered two years of Mr. Sylvestre's abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Supreme Court quashes verdict of Serbian priest sentenced for sexual abuse

SERBIA
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: August 8, 2007

BELGRADE, Serbia: The Serbian Supreme Court has quashed the conviction of an Orthodox priest convicted of sexually abusing boys in a monastery, a court spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Jovan Misic was found guilty last year of "lewd behavior and sexual abuse" of several boys aged between seven and 11 in northern Vojvodina and sentenced to one year in prison.

But the priest appealed the conviction, claiming he was unable to defend himself properly in court because he did not receive a proper summons from the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

August 7, 2007

I Have to Say This: We Lost in LA, the Church Used its Endless Wealth to Bulldoze Plaintiffs, Attorneys, Even Judges, Fight Still Being Fought Today

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

If anyone sues you and wants to take your tunic, let him have your coat also. -- Matthew 5:40

I walked into Department 20 this morning and there was Plaintiff Liaison Attorney Tony DeMarco in the front row his face still beat red and articulating anger as he waited for his clergy case hearing to be called. Here plaintiffs have been trying to get documents from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Incorporated and in today's hearingi yet another new church attorney explained, “He thinks the US Province and Western are one and the same when in fact they're two different entities and the Western Province was never served summons.”

Speaking through his teeth, DeMarco said, “Now that I’m being educated about the Western Province I’ll serve them. We served the order in Washington DC in 2005 when this case was released.” Motion was granted. This new church attorney who represents the Oblates will now be so cooperative, we are led to believe.

I haven’t written a post in almost a week as truth is since July 16th I’ve been walking around with my mouth hanging open feeling, well, unsettled after the $660 million dollar settlement. Truth is I feel like the church won a major victory in LA, that the plaintiffs and even the judge just caved under the nonstop onslaught of motions and arguments coming out of the 18-plus and counting law firms hired to fight the plaintiffs in these cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Priest Sentenced in Stalking Case

BARTOW (FL)
The Ledger

By Dana Willhoit

BARTOW ­— A former Lakeland Catholic priest pleaded guilty to burglary, false imprisonment, battery and aggravated stalking charges today.

Walter Fisher, 51, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Neil Roddenbery to four years probation and ordered to undergo treatment and counseling.

Fisher had been jailed since 2005 after he was accused of stalking and attacking a woman in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Resist temptations, minister tells priest

UGANDA
The Monitor

Michael J Ssali
MASAKA

THE State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Mr Morris Kagimu Kiwanuka, has wanred a newly ordained Catholic priest to distance himself from young women so as to retain his celibacy vows.

He said several Catholic priests were embroiled in sex scandals after failing to uphold their celibacy vows. Mr Kagimu was speaking at the ordination party of Father Deusdedit Ssekabira at Nyendo in Masaka Municipality.

“Don’t open the door to Satan. Let Satan break your door and take you by force if he can,” Mr Kagimu who represented vice president Gilbert Bukenya said.
He advised the priest against employing young and beautiful women at the parish saying they might lead him into temptation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Ex-pastor pleads not guilty to abuse

NEW YORK
Utica Observer Dispatch

August 7, 2007
By Rocco LaDuca

The Rev. William Procanick, 53, pleaded not guilty to sex-abuse charges this morning in Oneida County Court.

Procanick is charged with first-degree sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He is due back in court Aug. 24 to decide whether he will accept a plea offer.
He remains free on $20,000 bail.

Procanick, pastor at Resurrection Assembly of God in Clinton, recently resigned prior to being indicted on charges that he allegedly touched a 7-year-old girl at his residence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Pastor on trial for rape

GHANA
Joy Online

A Sogakope Circuit court has begun trial of a pastor for allegedly raping a seventeen year old girl repeatedly over four days last week.

The girl's family alleges that Pastor Prince Doe Senior of the Universal Body of Christ Church in Togo offered to heal the girl and took her to a prayer camp.

But instead of healing her, the family says he took her to his house in an isolated area at Ada-Nkasea where he allegedly raped the girl several times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Abuse victim sues 2 churches

ILLINOIS
The Daily Journal

By Tamara Sharman

tsharman@daily-journal.com
815-937-3371

A child is suing the Methodist churches in Ashkum and Manteno for negligence in hiring and supervising the minister who sexually molested him for years.

The three-count lawsuit was filed Monday in Kankakee County Circuit Court. The minor boy and his mother are suing the Ashkum United Methodist Church, the Manteno United Methodist Church and the overseeing Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The lawsuit contends they were negligent in hiring and supervising Timothy Rademacher. The lawsuit alleges they knew or should have known that Rademacher was sexually attracted to children and that he had opportunity to practice those desires and to be alone with minor boys while working as a youth minister at the Ashkum and Manteno churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Applicant in Archbishop “adultery” case refusing to supply defence with evidence

ZIMBABWE
SW Radio Africa

By Violet Gonda
6 August 2007

After such an intense media blitz, the lawyer representing the man suing Archbishop Pius Ncube for allegedly having an affair with his wife, appears to be having problems providing information for his claim. Onesimus Sibanda's lawyer, Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga has filed a notice of amendment of the original claim in the High Court. The development came after the Archbishop’s lawyer, Nicholas Mathonsi, asked the claimant to clarify how the evidence was secured. Mathonsi said the plaintiff has simply corrected some grammatical mistakes but is refusing to supply the defence team with further particulars of the claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

After new trial, ex-teacher faces up to 34 years in molestations

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.07.2007

Phillip Gregory Speers, a Tucson native and former Catholic school teacher, is once again headed to state prison, though he remains determined to clear his name.

Speers, 35, is facing mandatory prison after his conviction last week on two counts of child molestation, Deputy Yuma County Attorney David Haws said Monday. Haws said he believes Speers is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison on each conviction. The convictions are related to charges that Speers molested girls in the second-grade class he taught at a Yuma Catholic school during the 1999-2000 school year.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 30 in Yuma. Speers, known as Greg, faces a maximum of 34 years in prison, Haws said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Man sentenced for sex with young teens from church dance ministry

BISBEE (AZ)
The Herald

By Shar Porier
Herald/Review

Published on Tuesday, August 07, 2007

BISBEE — A Bisbee man who accepted a plea bargain after being charged with child molestation of two teenage girls in his church dance troupe was sentenced Monday to 13 years and two days in prison by Superior Court Judge Wallace R. Hoggatt.

Joshua Noble, 28, admitted guilt to two charges in a plea agreement — molestation of a child under the age of 15 and sexual misconduct with a minor child under the age of 18.

On the child molestation charge, Hoggatt sentenced Noble to 13 years minus the 271 days he has already spent in jail. On the sexual misconduct charge, Noble was sentenced to 273 days minus the 271 days spent in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Zimbabwe: Ncube Saga - Lawyers File Notice of Amendment

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007

Bulawayo Bureau
Harare

LAWYERS representing the man who is suing the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, for adultery have filed a Notice of Amendment consolidating the claims, it emerged yesterday.

The cleric is facing a $20 billion lawsuit.

Mr Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga of Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners, who is representing Mr Onesimus Sibanda, said the lawsuit would now be broken down into $10 billion for loss of consortium and $10 billion for contumelia.

Mr Nzarayapenga -- dismissing a story carried by the Standard newspaper on Sunday, which alleged that the adultery claims have been dropped -- said the claim remains adultery, except that it has now been broken down into specific damages of loss of consortium and contumelia. Mr Sibanda is accusing the clergyman of having an adulterous relationship with his wife, Mrs Rosemary Sibanda, for the past two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

A lost generation of souls?

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Tom Murphy
The first paedophile I met was introduced to me by a Catholic priest. I was blond-haired, blue-eyed and looked even younger than my 14 years. I had just joined the local Catholic-run youth club adjoining my parish church and expressed an interest in the drama group, run by a layman in his fifties.

About nine months later I endured one of the most unpleasant experiences of my teenage years at the hands of this man, who finally got me alone in his flat after months of what now would be called grooming. I became quite tearful as he elicited my childish fears and angst and the next thing I knew I was squirming in his tight but unwelcome embrace as he attempted to “kiss me better”, on the lips, of course. I managed to get away, ran out of the door and never went back. Through a mixture of shame and embarrassment, I never told my parents.

Fifteen years later, shortly after being appointed editor of The Universe, the Catholic weekly, I received a letter of complaint from the late Archbishop of Birmingham, Maurice Couve de Murville. The Universe had reported the case of a priest of his diocese who had been found guilty of child abuse. “It’s bad enough when this is reported in the secular press,” he wrote, “but we don’t want our own newspapers to publicise it as well.” The priest in question, after complaints about the abuse, had been moved to another job and left free to abuse again, in a pattern that was to become clear as similar cases emerged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

August 6, 2007

Black churches protect predators while neglecting victims

UNITED STATES
The Louisiana Weekly

By Marian Hubbard Jefferson, Contributing Writer
August 6, 2007

DALLAS (Special to the NNPA from the Dallas Examiner) - Research has shown that allegations of clergy sexual abuse can have a great impact on victims and their families, affecting them spiritually, socially, economically and psychologically.

And after the abuse, many victims become even more disillusioned at the response of the church as some churches place greater emphasis on blind forgiveness and restoration of the perpetrator, rather than the healing and support of the victim, as in the cases of Sherman Allen, Terry Hornbuckle and Ruben Thankful, ministers convicted of sexual assault against women in their congregations. Countless victims suffer silently in the pews of Black churches for years, with feelings of shame, guilt, fear of reprisal and disbelief from those meant to guide and protect them. Meanwhile the Black Church consistently fails to lift their voices with a collective moral outcry against this devastating act of betrayal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

U. City man nabbed in child-sex case

UNIVERSITY CITY (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Harry Levins
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/06/2007

A man who once volunteered for a youth program at a synagogue in University City has been charged with sexual misconduct with a child.

Arrested Friday was David Kramer, 46, of the 1100 block of Briscoe Place in University City.

University City Police Capt. Michael Ransom said today that Kramer had been transferred to the St. Louis County Jail late Friday.

The Missouri Division of Family Services alerted police late last month to a hot-line tip. The tip alleged that sometime last winter, Kramer had committed the misconduct in his apartment with a boy under age 14, Ransom said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Youth Volunteer Admits To Police He Exposed Himself To Child

UNIVERSITY CITY (MO)
My Fox St. Louis

University City, MO (KTVI - myFOXstl.com) -- A youth volunteer with ties to a local orthodox synagogue is charged in a sex crime. David Kramer's arrest warrant says he admitted to police he exposed himself to a child at a University City apartment complex. The synagogue's rabbi is speaking out for the first time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Zimbabwe: Strange Twist in Pius Ncube Adultery Case

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

5 August 2007
Posted to the web 6 August 2007

Kholwani Nyathi
Bulawayo

The $20 billion adultery lawsuit against Archbishop Pius Ncube has taken a new twist -- adultery claims have been dropped.

According to fresh High Court papers seen by The Standard last week, plaintiff Onesimus Sibanda's lawyer, Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga says he would make an application to amend the original summons at the pre-trial conference or "any time before trial".

The amendment does not contain any adultery claims against Ncube, a fierce critic of the government's human rights record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Information sought into church sex abuse

IRELAND
Belfast Today

By PHILIP BRADFIELD
The Public Prosecution Service has asked the PSNI for further information on a Northern Ireland-wide probe into alleged clerical sexual abuse dating back decades.

The police investigation – sparked by the Ferns Inquiry in Co Wexford – had previously come under fire because the PSNI agreed not to inspect Catholic Church archives first hand, instead accepting summaries of allegations.

In 2005, the Ferns Inquiry found 21 priests had sexually abused children in Co Wexford over 40 years.

The PSNI and Social Services later met with Catholic Church representatives to explore the implications for Northern Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Uganda: Pastor Arrested for Defilement

UGANDA
allAfrica

The Monitor (Kampala)

5 August 2007
Posted to the web 6 August 2007

Kampala

POLICE have arrested a pastor for allegedly defiling a 16-year-old girl in Rukungiri District. Pastor Grace Okello preaches at Revival Mission Church in Rukungiri Town Council. Rukungiri CID Officer Henry Mbabazi said the case had been registered at the police. "We arrested him and investigations are still going on," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Italian priest apologises to Jews for gaffe

ITALY
Reuters

By Deepa Babington

ROME (Reuters) - One of Italy's best-known priests has apologised for accusing a liberal Jewish lobby of trying to weaken the Roman Catholic Church, saying he meant to refer to a a Masonic lobby instead.

The gaffe is the latest from 82-year-old Pietro Gelmini, a priest known for his drug rehabilitation centres and powerful political allies in Rome, after he confirmed last week that he was being investigated for sexually abusing young men.

Defending himself against the charges, Gelmini was quoted by Italian newspapers on Sunday as saying that a "radical-chic Jewish lobby is stretching out to weaken the whole Church, starting with the American Church".

But Gelmini retracted the comment when it sparked a maelstrom of criticism from politicians and Jewish leaders for smacking of anti-Semitism and ancient prejudices that the Church has fought to root out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

St. Ambrose Drops Name of Bishop From Library

DAVENPORT (IA)
Inside Higher Ed

The board of St. Ambrose University voted Friday to remove the name of the late Bishop Gerald O’Keefe from the Iowa institution’s library because of requests that it act “because of the bishop’s failure to take the necessary precautions to protect children from clergy sexual abuse that occurred during his tenure as bishop of the Davenport Diocese.” A board statement said that the decision was “very difficult,” but that board members “felt it was the right thing to do for the university, as well as a step taken in the spirit of promoting healing within the diocese and, in a larger sense, for all victims of abuse.” A Web site called Bishop Accountability, which has records on numerous cases of abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy, notes numerous incidents in Bishop O’Keefe’s diocese while he led it from 1966 to 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

St. Ambrose Board of Directors' Action Regarding O'Keefe Library

DAVENPORT (IA)
St. Ambrose University

Today, Friday, Aug. 3, in a special meeting of the St. Ambrose University Board of Directors, the board voted to remove the late Bishop Gerald O’Keefe’s name from the St. Ambrose library.

The board’s decision was based on the recommendation of an ad hoc committee of the board appointed by St. Ambrose University President Edward Rogalski to investigate a request to remove O’Keefe’s name from the library.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

New victim's assistance line set up

OHIO
Chillicothe Gazette

The Gazette Staff

A toll-free victim's assistance line is now available in the Chancery Office of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus office to make it easier for people to contact the Victims Assistance Coordinator to make a report relating to the sexual abuse of a minor.

Callers may reach Victims' Assistance Coordinator Msgr. Stephan Moloney at (866) 448-0217, or by e-mail at helpsavailable@colsdioc.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

August 5, 2007

Italian priest says sex charges part of a ‘conspiracy’

ITALY
Gulf Times

Published: Monday, 6 August, 2007, 02:01 AM Doha Time

ROME: An Italian priest known for his work among drug addicts dismissed allegations of sexual abuse as a conspiracy by a “radical Jewish lobby” bent on weakening the Roman Catholic Church, reports said yesterday.
Father Pierino Gelmini, 82, was quoted as saying by two newspapers, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica, that the allegations were levelled by some youths who had been thrown out of his Incontro (Encounter) Community for theft.
Gelmini said they “had probably found some anti-clerical judge” to open the inquiry.
“Think about what happened in America, the instrumentalisation of American paedophile priests. The church made an error in paying compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Tackle the problems that created church sex scandal

UNITED STATES
The Star-Ledger

Sunday, August 05, 2007
BY RAYMOND A. SCHROTH
The ranks of America's millionaires gained several hundred new members last month because they had been exploited by priests years ago, had not forgotten it -- and had demanded justice. Specifically, on July 16, the Catholic Church's Los Angeles diocese agreed to a $600 million settlement with 508 victims of sexual abuse.

By the year 2050 or 3000, the church's child abuse scandal may have joined the Inquisition and its weak response to the Holocaust as three eras of shame that forever undermine its moral authority.

It doesn't have to be this way. If we address the structural issues that made this scandal possible, we may still be able to dig our way out of this pit.

As in other civil suits, there is often no clear correspondence between the payment and the damage done; a lost life, lost leg or lost innocence can never be regained. Some victims will never fully get over their abuse, and many offending priests will never say public Mass again.

The bishops who over 50 years supervised the coverup -- moving over 5,000 offenders in and out of therapy and from one parish to another, sometimes convinced the priest was cured -- have met various fates. A few who were themselves offenders were removed from office. Recently in Rome I ran into Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law leading prayers in his magnificent Renaissance basilica Santa Maria Maggiore where Pope John Paul II made him pastor. The rest still lead the American church, facing lawsuits that drive some to bank ruptcy and others, like Los Angeles, to settle with a combination of insurance, payment from the religious orders involved, and the sale of properties, including churches and buildings of closed parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

"Don Gelmini, nessuna interferenza"

Italy
La Stampa

This is a link to the Italian-language report in La Stampa regarding the Rev. Pierino Gelmini, who is accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Don Gelmini: «Chiedo scusa agli ebrei»

ITALY
Corriere della Serra

This is the link to one of the Italian-language newspaper reports on Rev. Pierino Gelmini, who is accused of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Sex abuse charges a 'conspiracy': priest

ITALY
IOL

August 05 2007 at 05:30PM

Rome - An Italian priest known for his work among drug addicts dismissed allegations of sexual abuse as a conspiracy by a "radical Jewish lobby" bent on weakening the Roman Catholic Church, reports said Sunday.

Father Pierino Gelmini, 82, was quoted as saying by two newspapers, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica, that the allegations were levelled by some youths who had been thrown out of his Incontro (Encounter) Community for theft.

Gelmini said they "had probably found some anticlerical judge" to open the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

SNAP Calls For Removal Of Osborne At St. Peter

KIRKWOOD (MO)
Webster-Kirkwood Times

by Don Corrigan
Columnist

August 03, 2007
The St. Louis Catholic Archdiocese should remove Rev. Robert Osborne from assignment at St. Peter Catholic Church in Kirkwood, according to members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

At a Wednesday news conference, SNAP spokespersons protested that the ex-president of Vianney High School – against whom a child molestation lawsuit was settled five weeks ago – says Mass at the Kirkwood parish and appears on the parish Web site.

SNAP condemned Archbishop Raymond Burke for "recklessly putting kids at risk," and urged Catholic families to keep their kids away from him and encouraged them to attend a clergy sexual abuse trial set for St. Louis later this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Gallup Police Report

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Indendendent

A copy of the Gallup police report regarding the injuries sustained by Bishop Donald E. Pelotte can be found at this link.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

What caused Pelotte's injury?

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff Writer

GALLUP — A Gallup Police report is raising new questions about how Bishop Donald E. Pelotte of Gallup was injured last week.

Most specifically, the report raises the question if Pelotte, 62, was really injured in a household fall.

According to Deacon Timoteo Lujan, Pelotte's assistant and the chancellor of the diocese, the severity of Pelotte's injuries caused the emergency room physician, a Gallup police officer, and Lujan himself to wonder if the 62-year-old bishop had possibly been a victim of a violent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Diocese disputes Pelotte report

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

Independent Staff

GALLUP — A news story about the Gallup Police report on Bishop Donald E. Pelotte's injuries generated a response from the Rev. James E. Walker.

Walker, the vicar general for the Diocese of Gallup, issued the following response Tuesday.

"I know that many are concerned about the bishop's condition and there is much speculation as to what happened to cause Bishop's injuries."

"I ask you to please focus on what we know for certain: Bishop was alone in his home and there were no signs of a struggle, forced entry, presence of another person, or missing items from the bishop's home. Bishop has responded repeatedly, when asked about what happened, merely that he fell. Bishop's injuries, although great, are consistent with injuries sustained by falling down a staircase, landing on a ceramic tile floor and possibly hitting the wall; which is all feasible considering the layout of Bishop's staircase and surrounding area and consistent to the brief explanation Bishop has been able to relate to us thus far."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Bishop moved from ICU

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff Writer

GALLUP — Roman Catholic Bishop Donald E. Pelotte has been moved from the ICU at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix, according to an e-mail sent by the Diocese to the Gallup Independent Friday. ...

When reached by telephone at his home on July 29, Lujan straightforwardly answered questions by The Independent about the incident, his own perceptions of the bishop’s injuries, and questions raised by the police report. Although Pelotte insisted he had fallen, Lujan admitted that the bishop appeared to him as though he had possibly been assaulted. According to Lujan, the emergency room physician and the responding Gallup police officer suspected that also. Lujan said Pelotte suffered serious head injuries which resulted in traumatic brain injury for the 62-year-old bishop.

But now, according to an Aug. 2 e-mail sent from the Gallup chancery and posted on Lujan’s “Chancellor’s Blog,” Lujan will only offer written statements about Pelotte’s condition through the diocese’s Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Independent Opinion

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

On or about July 23, the bishop of the Gallup Diocese, the Most Rev. Donald E. Pelotte, fell down eight or nine carpeted stairs at his Gallup home, sustaining massive injuries that are expected to keep him in the hospital for weeks or months.

At least that is what some in the diocese, including the Rev. James Walker, want the people here to believe.

Walker, the vicar general of the Gallup Diocese, soon after taking over Pelotte’s administrative duties, decided that the best course of action was to present his version to the public and to members of the faith and go along with the bishop’s version of what happened at his home, despite the evidence that indicates Pelotte was seriously assaulted. ...

We are calling upon officials in the diocese to demand a police investigation and we are calling upon the police to take the investigation seriously, regardless of what the diocese wishes. The days when the Church can sweep something like this under the carpet and hope it will just go away are gone, just like the billions of dollars the Church has spent in recent years to settle accusations of child molestation by priests. The Church can no longer spoon feed the news media with its version of false truth. But apparently the Church believes it can still spoon-feed the Gallup Police Department and they will just go along.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Former bishop's name removed

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Hawk Eye

The Associated Press

DAVENPORT -- St. Ambrose University will remove the name of a former bishop from its library, citing his failure to protect children from clergy abuse.

The late Gerald O'Keefe, bishop for the Davenport Diocese from 1967 to 1993, admitted before his death in 2000 that he knew of some instances of abuse in his diocese but did not report the cases to authorities or try to have the priests defrocked.

The St. Ambrose University board voted Friday to remove O'Keefe's name from its library, granting a request submitted by a victim of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

A spiritual calling

FLORIDA
St. Petersburg Times

By SHERRI DAY, Times Staff Writer
Published August 5, 2007

Felipe Gonzalez traces his dreams of becoming a Catholic priest to a childhood Halloween costume: a priest's robe and hat. Karl Schmidt sees the priesthood as a way to help others. And Jonathan Stephanz takes his inspiration, in part, from the Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal.

"The scandal has strengthened that calling because it makes me want to show that all priests are not bad," said Stephanz, 18, of Riverview. "It makes me want to help out."

This week, the young men will take the first step toward becoming diocesan priests as they head to St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami for their first year of study. In all, 11 recruits from the Diocese of St. Petersburg plan to enter the school this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Lawsuit settlement fails to bring peace to priest-molestation victim

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Sunday, August 5, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Neil Morrissette of St. Johnsbury says he forgives George Paulin, the Catholic priest who allegedly molested him at a church rectory and at his family's home in 1971.

"If you can't forgive, you can't expect to be forgiven," Morrissette, 48, said last week. "God in the end is going to be the judge of him."

Morrissette forgives the Catholic Church, too.

"I am now working toward rebuilding my spiritual life and my connection to the Catholic Church," he wrote in a hopeful May 17 letter to the editor of the Vermont Catholic Tribune after he met and prayed with Bishop Salvatore Matano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Abuse victims renew efforts for civil relief

WISCONSIN
Appleton Post-Crescent

By Dan Wilson
Post-Crescent staff writer

A recent state Supreme Court decision and the settlement with the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has spurred efforts by activists to get relief for Wisconsin victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Until now, alleged victims have been prevented by the statute of limitations in from filing lawsuits against the Catholic Church in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, efforts are under way to get the Legislature to temporarily suspend the statute of limitations, similar to the window that led to the recent $660 million settlement in California.

The chance of a "window" was opened July 11 by the state Supreme Court when it ruled that abuse victims could sue the church under the fraud statutes. That would make it possible for some suits to move forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

August 4, 2007

Stanislaus responds to abuse allegations

MISSISSIPPI
The Sea Coast Echo

By DWAYNE BREMER
Jul 25, 2007, 09:17

Last week, a Wyoming resident filed a federal lawsuit against St. Stanislaus College, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and Brother William Leimbach claiming that Leimbach--a former dormitory supervisor at SSC--allegedly sexually and mentally abused a then-15-year-old student during the 1983-1984 school year.
This week, school officials answered questions about another alleged incident of sexual abuse involving Brother William which took place seven years later.
SSC President Brother Ronald Hingle said Tuesday that Leimbach was removed from St. Stanislaus after an alleged incident during the 1990-1991 school year. The alleged incident involved two sophomore students and Brother William, but no further information on the incident was given.
"When the allegation was made, we reported it to the authorities and Brother William was removed from active ministry with students."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Sex abuse allegation rocks St. Stanislaus

MISSISSIPPI
The Sea Coast Echo

By DWAYNE BREMER
Jul 20, 2007, 16:45

A federal lawsuit filed on July 13 in U.S. District Court has stunned the local community as a former St. Stanislaus student is now claiming he was subjected to "sexual and mental" abuse during the 1983-84 school year by a dorm supervisor who is a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
St. Stanislaus, a Catholic high school run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1854. The "Brothers" are a holy order which is independent from the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi.
All Brothers take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The group owns and operates 10 Catholic Schools in the United States and one in England. Worldwide, there are over 1200 brothers in 32 countries.
According to the lawsuit -- which provides only one side of the case -- current Wyoming resident Michael D. Stevenson was repeatedly "summoned to the office of Brother William Liembach who perpetrated various acts of pederasty, sexual and mental abuses such as masturbation, fellatio, and sodomy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Sacred Heart brother faces sex abuse suit

BURRILLVILLE (RI)
The Call

By: JOSEPH B. NADEAU, Staff Writer
07/20/2007

BURRILLVILLE - A brother living with the local Brothers of the Sacred Heart order since Hurricane Katrina destroyed his Gulf Coast home is now the focus of a sexual abuse claim from a former student of the Mississippi Catholic high school where he was a dorm supervisor in the 1980s.

Brother William Leimbach was reported to have sexually assaulted the then 15-year-old male student, Michael D. Stevenson, on a number of occasions during the 1983-84 school year, according to a report published by The Sea Coast Echo of Bay St. Louis, Miss., Friday.

The alleged victim of the sexual assaults, now a resident of Wyoming, filed a federal civil suit against the school, St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, and the Brothers of Sacred Heart organization operating it, according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Priest's attorney asks for more time

BELVIDERE (PA)
The Express-Times

Saturday, August 04, 2007By TOM QUIGLEY
The Express-Times
BELVIDERE | An attorney for the Rev. Robert Ascolese told a judge Friday he needs more time to sift through 17 boxes of evidence linked to theft charges against the former pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Washington.

The assortment of bank records, parish records and other evidence has formed a wall of sorts blocking progress in the nearly year-old case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

FORMER PRIEST FOUND GUILTY OF SCHOOLBOY SEX OFFENCES

UNITED KINGDOM
This is South Devon

11:00 - 03 August 2007

A former priest who sexually assaulted his students at a Devon school will face jail, a judge has warned.

Paul Couch, 61, was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court yesterday, after a jury of four women and eight men took less than eight hours to reach their conclusion.Couch, of Wyndham Street West, Plymouth stood motionless as the guilty verdicts were delivered on two serious sexual assaults - a verdict which was reached by a majority of 11 to one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

CATHOLICISM at the CROSSROADS

UNITED STATES
Father Lasch

by Paul Lakeland
Continuum ISBN 978-0-8264-2810-3
164 pages $19.95 (U.S.) 2007

A Book Review by Regina Schulte, Ph.D.
rschulte8@execpc.com

for CORPUS REPORTS
A Bi-monthly Newsletter of the CORPUS COMMUNITY
July / August 2007

Posted with permission of Regina Schulte and CORPUS REPORTS.

The Catholic Church is in crisis—certainly not “breaking news” to the clergy and laity, although it might be to some of the hierarchy. Scandalous sex crimes and their cover-ups are not the source of the crisis (nor what this book is about), although they have made us acutely aware of the shadow side of perpetuating an exclusivist clergy. Thus, even though it is a good thing to do, creating mechanisms to insure the safety of children from sexual exploitation will not address the root problem.

“The real scandal is clericalism,” says Paul Lakeland, author of this little gem of a book. The entrenchment of a “clerical culture” in the church has provided a fertile environment for clericalism to insidiously metastasize throughout the structures for governance, ministry, and leadership in the church. He warns that the church may crash if we don’t upgrade some of the elements involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Online course helps churches deal with sex offenders

HOLYOKE (MA)
Boston Globe

By Adam Gorlick, Associated Press Writer | August 3, 2007

HOLYOKE, Mass. --It was a moment of shock for members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, N.H.: one of their congregants was accused of sexually abusing an underage relative.

Rather than panic at the prospect of having a child molester in their midst or spend months wondering whether they should fit him in or kick him out, church leaders gave the man one chance to remain: He had to sign an agreement to stay away from any church setting where there were children, limiting himself to events like adult education classes and one-on-one meetings with the pastor.

He refused, and decided to leave. But the ultimatum let the church stick to its mission of trying to minister to all while keeping its children safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Hodges: Churches need to put policies in place to protect children

UNITED STATES
The Salt Lake Tribune

Corey J. Hodges
Article Last Updated: 08/03/2007 08:25:46 PM MDT

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay $660 million in lawsuit settlements to almost 500 people who were allegedly abused by clergy affiliated with the diocese. The deal is the largest settlement in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, which began in the 1990s and has seen compensations totaling more than $2 billion for incidents dating as far back as the 1940s.
The Catholic Church has received mass media attention in the last few years, but the church pedophile problem has lurked in the shadows of public awareness across a spectrum of denominations for many years.
Christian Ministry Resources (CMR), a publisher of tax and legal advice for religious organizations that conducts an annual survey of about 1,000 churches, reports that over the past decade, child abuse in American churches has averaged 70 occurrences a week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Baptist church leader faces sex abuse suit

LAPORTE (IN)
Post-Tribune

August 4, 2007
BY STAN MADDUX Post-Tribune correspondent

LAPORTE -- A lawsuit alleges church youth leader Mark Comford spent two years gaining the trust of a boy, buying him expensive gifts then molesting him, even at the church.

The lawsuit also contends the suspect's grandfather, Jack Cox, the pastor at Faith Baptist Church in LaPorte, turned a deaf ear.

The allegations are contained in a civil lawsuit filed Thursday in LaPorte Circuit Court against Comford, the church and its pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Trusted youth minister held as youth molestor

KENSINGTON (PA)
Hiladelphia Daily News

By DAVID GAMBACORTA
gambacd@phillynews.com 215-854-5994

By most accounts, James Wilkerson was a model youth minister at his Kensington church.

Parishioners young and old were naturally drawn in by his warm and friendly personality and delightful musical talents.

Wilkerson was so well-liked - and trusted - at the Summerfield-Siloam United Methodist Church that some parents let their kids hang out - and even sleep over - at his house.

But that goodwill was replaced by fury and outrage when Wilkerson was arrested on Thursday, accused of molesting five teens over the past year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Suit says pedophile priest transferred

BUFFALO (NY)
United Press International

BUFFALO, N.Y., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A California lawsuit concerning sexual abuse by a Catholic priest claims the Buffalo diocese knowingly sent the accused priest to San Diego.

The victim, now 26, says he was molested at the age of 7 by the Rev. James Cotter. Cotter, who died in 1991, moved to San Diego in 1978 when he retired.

A spokesman for the Buffalo diocese told the Buffalo News that church officials had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by the priest. Kevin Kennan acknowledged charges were made more than a decade after Cotter left the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

More legal skirmishing in San Diego bankruptcy case

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Catholic World News

San Diego, Aug. 3, 2007 (CWNews.com) - In an unusual legal maneuver, lawyers representing the San Diego, California, diocese in US bankruptcy court have asked for a federal judge to estimate the potential value of claims by sex-abuse victims.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler, who is presiding over the bankruptcy case for the San Diego diocese, has said that she will not make any determination on the damages that should be paid to abuse victims. That matter must be weighed by other courts, Judge Adler has said, if the parties cannot reach an out-of-court settlement.

Lawyers for the abuse victims involved in the case have asked for a California district court to set trial dates, putting added pressure on the diocese to reach a settlement before an open trial, at which damaging information could become public. In response, diocesan lawyers filed papers on August 2 asking for a federal district court to provide an estimate of the damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

University in Iowa Strikes Bishop's Name From Its Library

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Chronicle of Higher Education

The governing board of St. Ambrose University, a Roman Catholic institution in Davenport, Iowa, voted today to remove the name of the late Bishop Gerald O’Keefe from its library.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

O’Keefe’s name removed from St. Ambrose library

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-Cities Online

By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

St. Ambrose University removed the late Bishop Gerald O'Keefe's name from the SAU library, a concession to victims who say he failed to protect them from sexual abuse by priests in the Davenport diocese.

Mark Powell, a former seminarian, was sexually abused as a teenager by a former Bettendorf priest. Last September, he asked SAU to "acknowledge the struggle of sexual abuse victims in the Diocese" by removing Bishop O'Keefe's name from the library.

The request maintained the removal was warranted because of the bishop's failure to take necessary precautions to protect children from clergy sexual abuse that occurred during his tenure as bishop, SAU spokeswoman Jane Kettering said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

No more namesake

DAVENPORT (IA)
WQAD

by Stacie Boudros

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Saint Ambrose University is changing the name of its library.

During a special meeting of the university's board of directors, the decision came to remove the late bishop Gerald O'Keefe's name from the building.

The decision stems from the sexual abuse claims during O'Keefe's tenure as the diocese bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Archbishop O’Brien to begin stewardship with listening tour

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Aug 4, 2007 3:00 AM (6 hrs ago)
by G.M. Corrigan, The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Onward, Christian soldier.

Army jump school-qualified and trouble-shooter for God at Catholic seminaries and remote Vietnam War firebases alike, Archbishop-designate for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Edwin F. O’Brien will begin his service with an archdiocesian listening tour.

“I want to get out to meet the priests and the people ... and [ask them] what they think my priorities should be,” said O’Brien, currently archbishop for the Archdiocese for military services in Washington. ...

As to one cause of priestly low morale — the clergy sexual abuse scandal — O’Brien conceded that “a lot of damage has been done.” He added, however, that he couldn’t yet comment on claims that Maryland statute of limitations laws prevented alleged victims from filing claims against the diocese.

“The law is the law,” he said, possibly alluding to a reform bill directed largely at the church, “and Catholics shouldn’t be singled out.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Italian Priest Accused of Sexual Assault by Ex-Clients

ITALY
The New York Times

By PETER KIEFER
Published: August 4, 2007
ROME, Aug. 3 — A prominent Italian priest who is close to some of Italy’s most powerful politicians has been accused by men who were once clients of his drug rehabilitation charity of sexually abusing them, his spokesman confirmed Friday.

The priest, the Rev. Pietro Gelmini, 82, is the founder of Comunità Incontro, which has nearly 200 centers in Italy that care for drug addicts and homeless people.

Father Gelmini’s spokesman, Alessandro Meluzzi, discussed the investigation after a newspaper report made it public on Friday. Mr. Meluzzi, a former senator, pointed out that Father Gelmini had not been charged by prosecutors with any crime.

“For an American this probably seems bizarre, but this kind of thing happens in Italy, that this can be revealed on the front page of a newspaper without ever formalizing the accusations,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Italian priest investigated after addicts accuse him of sexual abuse

ITALY
Mainichi Daily News

ROME -- An 82-year-old priest is under investigation in Italy after addicts accused him of sexually abusing them at a rehabilitation center, a spokesman confirmed Friday. He said the allegations were baseless.

The Rev. Pietro Gelmini insists there was no abuse and that he is being targeted by a group of addicts who were kicked out of the center, according to his spokesman Alessandro Meluzzi.

Prosecutors in the central town of Terni have been investigating Gelmini for six months based on the statements of the men, but no indictments have been sought, Meluzzi said, noting that in Italy officials are obliged to investigate all reports of a crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

‘Hermit nun’ takes abuse allegations to a new level

BROOKFIELD (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

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

A Brookfield woman who accused a Trappist monk of sexually assaulting her, only to see the 84-year-old monk found not guilty in court, has appealed a decision of the state Board of Bar Overseers that there was no cause to discipline the lawyer who handled the case from District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office.

Keri M. Burnor, who considers herself a “hermit nun,” complained to the board in May that Assistant District Attorney Anthony J. Marotta did not properly or effectively prosecute the state’s 2003 case against the late Rev. Joseph Chu-Cong, a monk at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer.

Ms. Burnor said that she has forgiven the monk, who has since died, and does not want to sue the monastery, but maintained that Mr. Marotta was too eager to cooperate with the defense. ...

Now, she says, the new district attorney has been uncooperative with her, yet eager to inform a local weekly newspaper, the New Leader of Spencer, last month, when the bar overseers found no fault with Mr. Marotta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

August 3, 2007

'Celebrity priest' in paedophilia probe

ITALY
Independent

Published: 04 August 2007
A "celebrity" priest, founder of an organisation with more than 280 drug rehabilitation centres around the world, is under investigation in central Italy for alleged paedophilia.

Don Pierino Gelmini is one of the church's best-known faces on Italian television, a close friend of top politicians including former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, a rent-a-quote figure with right-wing views on drugs and family values.

In 2004, while still Prime Minister, Mr Berlusconi made the 80-year-old priest, founder of "Comunita Incontro", a public gift of 10 billion lira (£3.5m) for the organisation's work.

But yesterday La Stampa newspaper revealed that the priest has been under investigation, on suspicion of sexually molesting young people, for more than six months. "It seems that the accusations are numerous and coherent," the paper reported. "They revolve around a closed community in which a figure of enormous charisma seems not to have restricted himself to taking care of souls."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Cmdr. awarded $41M for abuse files 2nd suit

DOVER (DE)
Navy Times

By Randall Chase - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Aug 3, 2007 19:54:20 EDT

DOVER, Del. — A Navy doctor who was awarded $41 million in a civil lawsuit against a pedophile priest filed a second lawsuit Friday against Catholic church officials.

Attorneys for Cmdr. Kenneth Whitwell, 39, of Quantico, Va., filed the lawsuit in Kent County Superior Court against the Norbertine religious order, Archmere Academy in Claymont, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Bishop Michael Saltarelli, and Rev. Edward Smith.

In March, a federal jury in Wilmington awarded Whitwell $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages for four rapes by Smith during ski trips to Vermont. Whitwell was awarded a default judgment by the court after Smith failed to respond to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Judge orders arrest of ex-Martin teacher of year dodging child molestation sentencing

MARTIN COUNTY (FL)
TCPalm

By Charlie Reed (Contact)
Originally published 02:55 p.m., August 3, 2007
Updated 02:55 p.m., August 3, 2007

MARTIN COUNTY — A former Catholic priest and one-time teacher of the year at Martin County High School is facing arrest after dodging jail for more than two years since pleading guilty to molesting a 5-year-old boy in New York.

Palm City resident Barry Ryan, 58, who has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, has missed 17 sentencing hearings because of his medical condition since being convicted in October 2004, Suffolk County authorities said Friday.

Ryan, who is being treated in a church-run facility in Missouri, had been cleared by doctors to attend a hearing Thursday in New York but cut his own throat to get out of it, said Robert Clifford, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

That’s when the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Arrest warrant issued for priest who molested boy

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY TOM MCGINTY | tom.mcginty@newsday.com
August 3, 2007

A Suffolk County judge Thursday issued an arrest warrant for a former Catholic priest who recently moved to Missouri, after spending the past three years saying he was too ill to return from Maryland to Suffolk to go to jail on child molestation charges.

Barry Ryan, 58, of Palm City, Fla., confessed to abusing a 5-year-old boy while visiting a private home on Long Island in 2003.

Ryan pleaded guilty in October 2004 to sodomy, but because he was suffering from terminal liver cancer, the victim's family agreed on a sentence of only two years, possibly to be served outside of prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Serranos honored for aiding victims of sexual abuse

MENDHAM (NJ)
Observer-Tribune

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 3:46 PM EDT

MENDHAM – The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a national self-help organization for victims of clergy child sexual abuse, has presented its first-ever national “Red Badge of Courage Award” to five recipients, including borough residents, Lou and Patricia Serrano.

The awards, the first ever issued in SNAP’s nearly 20 year history, are to those who demonstrate extraordinary courage in advocating on behalf of survivors of clerical child sexual abuse and in support of legal measures that will make children safer, a statement said.

The Serranos, who have been married for 53 years, are the family outreach directors for SNAP New Jersey. Mrs. Serrano is also the founder of Healing Our Survivors Together (HOST) in Mendham, a local support organization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Detestable attack on the Catholic Church

BAHAMAS
The Freeport News

OSWALD BROWN

Writes...

William Nairn, a prolific letter-writer, recently launched a scathing attack on the Roman Catholic Church in a letter published in The Freeport News. His vitriolic epistle apparently was prompted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently agreeing to pay $600 million to settle a number of lawsuits related to sexual abuse scandals involving clergy affiliated with that diocese.

A former Catholic himself, Nairn said he made the decision to leave the "Catholic faith" after reading a book in 1990 written by a former Catholic Priest about the "many acts of homosexuality and immoral acts" within the church.

"My problem was, and still is, how will the leaders of the Catholic Faith be able to justify the mentioned acts to God upon his return?" Nairn wrote. "What will the Catholic leaders say or do to account for their stewardship of so many Catholics on this earth?"

As a practicing Roman Catholic, the overall tenor of Nairn's letter was offensive to me, but his attempt to cast a broad net of disrespect over the collective leadership of my Church made my blood boil. There is not one member of the Catholic faith who would not acknowledge the fact that the Church is faced with a very real problem in trying to address the sexual abuse scandals that have taken place over the years and have resulted in the Church having to pay compensation of more than $2 billion since 1950.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Italy's famous drug-fighter Rev. Pietro Gelmini is accused of sexual abuse

ITALY
Pravda

An Italian priest Pietro Gelmini, 82, has been accused of abusing people at a rehabilitation center for drug-takers he founded. The priest, famous for his long-term fight against drugs is still under investigation.

The Rev. Gelmini insists there was no abuse and that he is being targeted by a group of addicts who had been kicked out of the center, said his spokesman Alessandro Meluzzi.

Prosecutors in the central Italian town of Terni have been investigating Gelmini for the last six months based on the statements of the men, but no indictment requests have been made so far, Meluzzi said, noting that in Italy authorities are obliged to investigate all reports of a crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Archmere, diocese, Norbertines named in new sex abuse suit

WILMINGGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By ESTEBAN PARRA, The News Journal

WILMINGTON -- An Archmere Academy graduate who was awarded $41 million in damages earlier this year after winning a civil suit against a from priest who taught at the school, filed a lawsuit today in state court against the Norbertine religious order, Archmere Academy and others who allegedly enabled the Rev. Edward Smith to rape and molest him.

In this lawsuit, Navy Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell is seeking $50 million in relief.

Although a federal court awarded him $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages in March, because Whitwell was only allowed to sue Smith, he is not likely to receive that money from a priest who took an oath of poverty. The award is believed to be the first made to an alleged victim of child sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in Delaware.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Italian priest investigated for sexual abuse

ITALY
Reuters

By Phil Stewart
REUTERS

4:26 a.m. August 3, 2007

ROME – One of Italy's most well-known priests, 82-year-old Pietro Gelmini, is being investigated for sexually abusing drug addicted young men treated at his charity rehabilitation centre, the priest's spokesman said on Friday.

Gelmini, a respected figure who counts powerful allies in Italian politics, strongly denies any abuse, his spokesman Alessandro Meluzzi told Reuters.

He has also not yet been accused of any crime by prosecutors, who under Italian law are obliged to investigate all reports of illegal activity.

Meluzzi, a former senator, said he believed the accusers were 'four or five' men who were between the ages of 25 and 30 when the supposed abuse took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Influential Italian priest under investigation for alleged sexual abuse

ITALY
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: August 3, 2007

ROME: An influential Italian priest, hailed by many as a hero for his decades-long fight against drugs, is under investigation for allegedly abusing men being treated at one of the rehabilitation centers for addicts he founded, a spokesman for the priest said Friday.

The Rev. Pietro Gelmini, 82,