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September 30, 2007

Monsignor Urell And Trial-By-Media

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Red County

Someone relying on regular media coverage of Monsignor John Urell and the Jeff Andrade trial could be forgiven for believing the monsignor broke down during his deposition one day and was hustled him onto a Canada-bound plane the next day by the Diocese of Orange.

After all, that is the impression being fostered by the reporting on this story. My friend Steve Greenhut, for example, deploys the word "fled" with the rigid discipline of a propagandist.

Those relying on media coverage of the trial can be forgiven for not knowing that six weeks elapsed between the time of Monsignor Urell's un-completed deposition and his entering Southdown Institute in Canada. By relying on media coverage, you wouldn't know that Monsignor Urell underwent a progressive deterioration during that interval, to the point where his friend and subsequently attorney Patrick Hennessey took him to a doctor, who diagnosed Monsignor Urell as suffering from acute anxiety disorder and requiring immediate hospitalization and treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Don Sante ancora in tivù, oggi pomeriggio sarà ospite a Buona Domenica

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the parish priest from Monterosso who has publicly confessed his love for a woman, will be guest today on the TV program called Buona Domenica. The program airs at 5 p.m. on Channel 5 (11a.m. EST in the U.S.) Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo has asked the priest to leave the parish but the priest so far has refused.

It is not known what Rev. Sguotti will say during the half-hour segment. He celebrated Mass in his parish yesterday but will not do so today. The bishop has removed Rev. Sguotti from priestly duties but the priests continues to celebrate Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Agredieron a un sacerdote acusado de abusar de cinco adolescentes

ARGENTINA
El Dia

A priest who is accused of sexually abusing five teenagers was attacked by the parents of his presumed victims who intercepted the monk as he left the public prosecutor's office after declaring. The incident happened in Tigre, which is outside of Buenos Aires.

The parents waited by the exit for the Rev. Jose Mercau, who declared before a justice regarding the allegations that he abused five young people. The incidents are alleged to have happened in 2005 when Mercau was at the San Juan Diego home, a home for poor boys or who have family problems.

The priest is currently in a prison prevention program and lives at the Benedictine convent of Los Toldos.

Guarded and handcuffed, the priest left the office in a police car. The parents insulted the priest and tried to attack. To the shout of "rapist," the parents wanted to strike Mercau but he was put into a police car and refused to speak to the press.

According to the accusations, the youths were between 11 and 14 when the alleged abuse happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Un sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual es agredido por los familiares de las víctimas

ARGENTINA
Canarias

A priest accused of sexually abusing minors at a home for young people outside of the Argentine capital was attacked by relatives of the alleged victims when appearing before the office of the public prosecutor.

The Rev. Jose Mercau, who is accused of abusing four young people now about age 16, left the public prosecutor's office in Tigre, located outside of Buenos Aires.

Merceau has been fullfilling a preventive prison program since 2005 by living in a Benedictine convent.

According to statements made by the teenagers, the priest is being investigated for aggravated sexual abuse and they claim he seduced them and forced them to have sexual contact with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Hilarious Quote of The Year Award Goes To...

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main, Naranja News
September 30, 2007 6:38 AM

Peter Callahan, longtime attorney for the Catholic Diocese of Orange. Today, the Orange County Register plays catchup to the Los Angeles Times and interviews Scott Hicks, who claims Bishop Tod D. Brown abused him decades ago. Again, no mention of the fact that the Weekly broke this story six months ago.

But we're straying from our point. In the Register piece, Callahan was asked to comment about Brown. Not only does Callahan label Hicks' allegation as an "attack," but he then offers this gem:

"Bishop Brown is a good and decent man and he has led the way among many bishops across the country in trying to resolve the pain of victims who have been harmed in any way by any things or persons associated with the Church," [Callahan] continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

“Il colletto tira”: tre preti gay si confessano

ITALY
Napoligaypress

The Exit program on La7 tomorrow will feature a special program with three unnamed priests who profess to be homosexual.

According to the program, a homosexual boy frequents chat rooms and often meets priests. Priests indicate that many gay priests feel no chame and do not believe their activities are sinful.

A priest using the name of Don Felice tells of his sexual experiences and said, "The church confuses homosexuality and pedophilia. And that is a large mistake."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Bishop reports 'intruders'

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — Gallup Police were called to Bishop Donald Pelotte’s home early Thursday morning, an incident that seems to be a strange echo of another incident in late July that left Pelotte seriously injured.

Pelotte, 62, the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, is currently recovering from injuries suffered in July and is absent from his official duties.

According to a copy of an incident report from the McKinley Metropolitan Dispatch Authority, Pelotte made an emergency call to Metro Dispatch at 5:51 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, claiming that unknown subjects were in his home. Three Gallup Police officers were dispatched to Pelotte’s west side home, with the first two officers arriving at 6 a.m. and the third officer arriving three minutes later.

The Metro Dispatch report provides a sketchy — but strange — account of the incident. Pelotte reportedly said there were four individuals in his house, but he offered conflicting information about them. At one point, he said one of the individuals came to visit and the others came inside. He also said they had been there for three hours, and he had tried to tell them to leave. Later Pelotte said they were unknown people, strangers who didn’t want to leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Sex predators proliferating in cyberspace, experts say

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

Louis Stroschein Jr., 31, remains in the Black Hawk County Jail since his Sept. 13 arrest.

Police say the well-regarded Catholic school principal from Harlan drove to Waterloo to meet a teenage girl - his Internet chat friend - and take her to a motel for sex.

Instead, he was met by Lt. Kent Smock of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department, and arrested on felony charges of enticing away a minor.

Stroschein's wife has taken their children and left Harlan, school officials said. No one else has stepped forward to help the principal, who has been suspended from his job without pay, to make bail. He is being held on $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 8.

Officials with the Diocese of Des Moines, like people in Harlan, were stunned by the charges against Stroschein. He had passed the Catholic Church's rigorous new background check and had taken child protection training required of every employee. He came highly recommended from his previous job at St. Anthony Catholic School in Dubuque.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

O'SHAUGHNESSY: Doubts linger over request to film in Naugatuck

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Waterbury Republicna-American

The opening line in "Doubt: a Parable" is spoken by a priest. "What do you do," he asks, "when you are not sure?"

Set in a Bronx Catholic school in 1964, John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play centers on a flinty, dogmatic nun who suspects the popular local priest is "interfering with" a child in her school.

"Suspects" is the key word here. Sister Aloysius is a rigid, authoritarian principal to whom moral uncertainty is anathema. What to do, then, when her female intuition sends up flares that the charismatic Father Flynn's involvement with a new boy is a little untoward?

"Doubt," as Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote, is "an inspired study in moral uncertainty" that just happens to involve a priest. It is also a study in power, male-female dynamics and race — the boy in question is the school's first African-American.

To the principal of Salem School in Naugatuck and some of the Board of Education, it is about one thing: priestly pedophilia.

Miramax Films would like to shoot scenes at the school, a showpiece of Naugatuck architecture, for a movie version of the play, which will star Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Principal Jennifer Kruge and at least two board members do not want the school used even as a backdrop. They say the subject matter is inappropriate for elementary school pupils.They are concerned that the film may force them to discuss sexual molestation with their children. Worse, they are concerned about filming the movie in Naugatuck, where a local priest is facing accusations of sexual abuse with a 15-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Allegations of abuse made against priest

TUCKERTON (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

BY MATT PAIS
MANAHAWKIN BUREAU

TUCKERTON — The Diocese of Trenton has defrocked a priest at St. Theresa's Parish after learning of allegations that he sexually molested a juvenile over a period of several years in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The Rev. Terence O. McAlinden, who served at St. Theresa's for more than 20 years, is no longer permitted to "exercise his priestly ministry, wear clerical garb or present himself as a priest in the Diocese of Trenton or anywhere," according to a statement issued by the diocese Saturday.

The diocese received a complaint about McAlinden less than a week ago, said spokeswoman Rayanne Bennett. The complaint was forwarded to Trenton by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Capt. Michael Mohel of the Prosecutor's Office said his office first learned of the allegations last month. The victim, now in his mid-30s, said he had suffered a continued pattern of sexual molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Brown accuser talks about his past

FRESNO (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

FRESNO - Scott Hicks, the man who has raised disturbing allegations against Bishop Tod Brown of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, tends to wildflowers to ease his mind.

A shock of pink, yellow and orange zinnias covers the front yard of the modest, one-story home, where he has lived with his wife and two daughters for 20 years.

It is a weekday evening, around 6 p.m. Hicks sits in his living room, glancing out at the flowers. His wife, a family law attorney, isn't home yet. His youngest daughter, Katie, is in her bedroom.

Jars of his handmade pottery line a shelf. Pottery is another reprieve, even from sleep when he dreams he is trapped in boxes.

A bookcase lines a wall. Its shelves are filled with poetry by Sharon Olds and Louise Gluck. And also this: "Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: The Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

September 29, 2007

Have they not yet learned?

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 9/28/2007
Publication: The National Herald

Once again, our Church is being dragged to the courts for one of the most heinous cases imaginable: sexual misconduct involving a priest and a young boy.

Once again, church officials seemed to have known about the case, and tried for months to keep it a secret until the news inevitably broke – as it should have been expected to – when the case reached a court of law.

Words are not enough to describe the shame and fury our people feel – honest, moral, God-fearing, hardworking, law-abiding American citizens – who are seldom engaged by the police (our community has one of the lowest crime rates in the country) for such despicable acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Something Urgently Needs to be Done

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 9/28/2007
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON, Mass. – Before we could finish saying, “Thank God the Katinas case is over” – ecclesiastically, at least (from a legal standpoint, we still have a long way to go) – we started praying, “Holy Theotokos, Most Blessed Mother of God, help us,” because yet another case involving allegations of sexual misconduct with minors against another prominent clergyman of the Archdiocese, the Very Rev. Nicholas Graff, has surfaced.

I will not elaborate on the fact that Archbishop Demetrios did not have the courtesy or strength to come to the phone and make a statement about this new case; nor about what Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, who had appointed Father Graff to so many visible and prominent positions, stated (see related story, page 1), although at some point, Alexios should offer an explanation to the Church and to the Greek American community and answer a very simple question:

Since when has he known that a well-known archimandrite serving in his jurisdiction was living with an underage boy?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Bischof Müller setzte sich über gerichtlichen Rat hinweg

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

Bishop Gerhard Mueller apparently ignored warnings from a Nuremberg court when he reassigned a priest convicted of sexually abusing minors to parish work in Riefkofen.

A court spokesperson confirmed the inquiry was made. The court said the priest called Peter K. could only have an assignment where he had no contact with children and was supervised, the spokesperson said. The bishop in 2004 gave the priest an assignment at Riekofen where he had contact with children. He was arrested in August for abusing boys in that Bavarian town.

The German bishops expressed regret for the latest allegations of abuse. Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who heads the conference, said one incident of child abuse is one incident too many. Mueller received an indirect reprimand from the bishops for his mishandling of the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Preti gay, i segreti svelati in tv

ITALY
Il Corriere della Sera

Journalist Lorenzo Salvia reports on interviews with homosexual priests that will be shown on the private television station called La7. Anonymous priests said there were many homosexual men in seminaries. The film shows some do not take chastity seriously.

One priest said he "frequented a Sicilian boy for one year." "If you wear the tunic (meaning clerical clothing) it doesn't mean two men can't love each other," was another comment. Another commented "Sure if you wear the priest's collar you can attract many people and you can ask them if they would like to make love with you."

Some criticized the church. "It behaves like the America army -- don't ask, don't tell. It covers up. It hides everything under the sand but doing so it doesn't grow," said one priest.

The "gay" priests were filmed with a hidden camera during clandestine encounters with a boy they had picked up on a chat line for homosexual men.

The half-hour film will be shown next Monday during the Exit program on La7. The intent of producing the program was to lift the veil of secrecy and tell the truth about homosexuality in the priesthood. The faces of the three priests are not shown and their voices are disguised.

The first priest said he had his first homosexual experience 10 years ago. The second priest admits to having hundred encounters but added he did not participate in seminary. He added that the church is hypocritical about gay priests because there are many homosexual men in the Vatican. A third priest said he had a tendency toward sado-masochism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Cardinal Mahony to bless the new Mary Star High

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Paul Clinton
Staff Writer

Mary Star of the Sea High School's new campus enters the final stage of a 13-year construction odyssey Sunday, when Cardinal Roger Mahony blesses a building expected to house students by Christmas.

Church leaders and volunteers who managed the project said they're looking forward to students flowing into new classrooms, a gymnasium and locker rooms, an art room, a computer room and science labs. ...

A whiff of protest could work its way toward the event. A group representing survivors of priest abuse sent a letter to Mahony and Monsignor Patrick Gallagher of Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests asked for a forum for one or two victims to speak at the event. The group also asked Mary Star to display a handmade quilt with childhood photos of more than 160 victims in front of the church's altar.

Mary Grant, the regional director, said the group had not received a response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Vorwurf des Kindesmissbrauchs in Bayerischer Kirche

GERMANY
OONachrichten

RIEKOFTEN -- The bishop of Regenburg has come in for heavy reproach because of his reassignment of a priest previously accused of sexually abusing minors to a parish in this town. He has since been accused of molesting more local boys.

Mothers of the alleged victims and victim advocates are now speaking out and held a press conference. One mother called Johanna D. put responsibility for the new cases of abuse onto the priest called only Peter K. and the Regensburg diocese. Bishop Gerhard Mueller has repeatedly said he reassigned the priest based on a psychological report that the priest had been cured of pedophilia.

A group of Catholics called We Are Church has asked the Vatican to intervene. They are calling for Pope Benedict XVI, who once lived not far from Riekofen, to appoint a co-adjutor bishop to Regensburg. The organization said the Vatican must work to reestablish reliability of the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Marianists' chided for seeking names of plaintiffs

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A watchdog organization that tracks abuse by clergy staged press conferences in two cities Thursday over a Catholic religious order's actions in a slew of Pueblo lawsuits.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, better known as SNAP, issued statements outside the St. Louis headquarters of the Society of Mary religious order (also known as the Marianists) and Central Catholic High School in San Antonio.

The common thread between the two sites is former Marianist Brother William Mueller, who belonged to the order for 24 years before voluntarily leaving the clergy in the mid-1980s. During that span, he was assigned five times to all-boys high schools in three states, including Roncalli High School in Pueblo from 1966-71, and Central Catholic High School in San Antonio from 1971-81.

Depositions from four Missouri lawsuits alleging that Mueller abused former students revealed that Marianist leaders were aware of Mueller's alleged indiscretions involving teenage boys since 1958. Mueller, who is 69 and resides in San Antonio, exercised his right to stay silent when he was deposed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Jeffs conviction is an indictment of abuse

UTAH
the Denver Post

By The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board
Article Last Updated: 09/28/2007 05:31:37 PM MDT

The photos released after the closing arguments in the trial of Warren Jeffs say it all.

They show Elissa Wall at age 14, before her spiritual wedding to her 19-year-old cousin. In one, she is a pudgy girl, her body and smiling face still plump with baby fat, dressed as any youngster that age might be to attend church. In the other, taken just months later, she is being fitted for a wedding dress, her baby face looking anxious.

Wall's age and innocence were convincing factors as prosecutors successfully argued in court that she was raped by the man she was forced to marry. A jury convicted Jeffs, the leader and prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of two counts of being an accomplice to rape for marrying Wall to Allen Steed and pressuring her to submit to sex with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Ex-youth minister admits to molestation

DELAWARE (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

Saturday, September 29, 2007 3:30 AM

DISPATCH STATE SERVICE
DELAWARE, Ohio -- A former youth minister acknowledged yesterday that he molested two young boys during sleepovers at his home.

Authorities initially charged Robert Reeves, 41, of Mount Vernon in Knox County, with nine counts of gross sexual imposition. In an agreement reached with prosecutors, Reeves pleaded guilty to five of the original counts and pleaded no contest to one count of attempted gross sexual imposition.

Delaware County Common Pleas Judge W. Duncan Whitney said he will sentence Reeves on Dec. 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Daycare Investigation

HANOVER (PA)
WHPT

Reported by: Melissa Medalie
Email: melissamedalie@clearchannel.com
Last Update: 9/28 6:01 pm

The York County District Attorney's office says it's investigating a daycare on allegations of sexual misconduct by a staff member.

The DA's office is working with the Hanover Police Department on this investigation.

The Shepherds Fold Daycare Center is located within the Calvary Bible Church in Hanover. The worker in question is not being charged with any kind of crime just yet. But the York County District Attorney's office and the Hanover Police Department are investigating allegations of sexual misconduct involving that worker and at least one child.

The daycare center is responsible for the care of children ages 2 to 5. It includes a nursery school and kindergarten. The senior pastor of the church says the staff member being investigated has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Sexual abuse alleged at day care

HANOVER (PA)
Evening Sun

By SHARI SANGER
Evening Sun Reporter
Article Launched: 09/29/2007 04:04:58 AM EDT

A female classroom assistant at The Shepherd's Fold Day Care Center in Hanover was placed on administrative leave this week amid sexual abuse allegations brought against her by two 4-year-old boys, church officials said Friday.

"We are taking these allegations very seriously," said Senior Pastor Mike Osladil, of Calvary Bible Church which operates the day care - one of its ministries.

Friday afternoon inside his office, Osladil discussed the allegations made against the staff member and what the church has done in response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

More time sought in diocese case

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Gazette

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

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport is again seeking more time to file a reorganization plan in its bankruptcy case so it can resolve insurance issues that could add millions of dollars to the settlement.

The diocese's request, made in a joint motion with the case's creditors committee, was filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

It is the second time the two sides have asked the court to give the diocese more time to file its reorganization plan as they work toward an agreement.

Last month, Judge Lee Jackwig moved the original deadline of Aug. 15 to Oct. 1. Now, the diocese and creditors committee, which includes people who claim they were abused by diocese priests, want the plan to be due Nov. 16 and approved by Jan. 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Supreme Court to decide if school sex-abuse lawsuits continue

SOUTH DAKOTA
The Rapid City Journal

By Chet Brokaw, The Associated Press
PIERRE -- The Catholic Diocese in Rapid City is a defendant in one of two lawsuits involving alleged sexual abuse awaiting decisions by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The state's high court will determine whether students who allege they were sexually abused at two Native American boarding schools -- including St. Francis Mission School on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation -- waited too long to file lawsuits against the religious organizations that ran the schools.

The other lawsuit involves St. Paul's School in Marty, which is near Wagner.

Lawyers in both cases will argue before the Supreme Court at Black Hills State University in Spearfish on Monday. The high court will consider appeals involving conflicting rulings issued by the two circuit judges handling the lawsuits. At issue is a state law that requires a lawsuit seeking damages for childhood sexual abuse to be filed within three years of the alleged abuse or within three years of the time the victim discovered or should have discovered that an injury was caused by the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

September 28, 2007

Anglican priest removed from church in Vic West

CANADA
Oak Bay News

By Keith Vass
News staff

Sep 28 2007

Vic West church now searches for ways to carry on aid work.

Father Antonio Osorio will never lead the congregation of Saint Saviour’s Anglican church again, but the parish will strive to carry on the work he began there.

And $90,000 the Vic West church is holding to run the suspended programs for the needy will go towards the causes it was donated for.

Those messages were delivered to the media last week by Rev. David Opheim, interim priest-in-charge at the Vic West church, alongside Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott, executive director of the Anglican Diocese of B.C.

Osorio resigned two weeks ago after admitting to allegations that he had beached the church’s sexual exploitation policy, which prohibit consenting relations with adults in the church’s care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

going-away party

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Catholic World News

An OC Weekly article focuses on Diocese of Orange Vicar General John Urell's crack-up during a deposition taken in July:

[Plaintiff attorney John] Manly had had enough. "Do you have any memory problems?" he asked Urell.

"Well, actually, I'm -- yes."

An incredulous Manly asked Urell to explain. At the beginning of the deposition, Manly had specifically asked the monsignor if he had any memory problems; Urell said no. Diocesan lawyers objected to Manly's request, but Judge Robert Jameson instructed Urell to respond.

"Well, you know when I worked at Marywood [the diocesan headquarters] for those years that I was there, many of those years, a good number of those years were in a tremendous variety of ministries," Urell replied. "And one of them, the most painful for those who came forward and for me who had to try to help them and manage these things, was all these allegations of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Spivey gets 21 months for sexual abuse

CHARLOTTESVILLE (VA)
The Hook

by Lisa Provence
As an indication of how established and well-regarded former Charlottesville High School choir director Jonathan Spivey was in the community, the chairman of the city School Board, Alvin Edwards, showed up to support him at his sentencing hearing today for four counts of custodial indecent liberties — even though the sexual incidents happened to Spivey’s students at school.

And usually when police testify in court, it’s on behalf of the prosecution. Not so today for Charlottesville Police Sergeant Tito Durrette, who calls Spivey “my dad” because choir director took him in at age 14 or 15. Durrette credits Spivey with giving him the structure he needed to turn his life around.

But the courtroom full of family and friends and witnesses testifying on Spivey’s behalf was not enough to sway Judge Daniel Bouton, who handed the musician a 20-year sentence– with all but one year and nine months suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Jury now has diocese kickback case

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by James McCarty September 28, 2007 14:38PM

More than five weeks of testimony and thousands of documents should be enough evidence to convict a former accountant at the Cleveland Catholic Diocese of a criminal kickback scheme, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Siegel told a jury in his closing arguments Friday.

But if the jurors in federal court need more to convict Anton Zgoznik, Siegel urged them to listen again to a secretly-recorded 17-minute conversation between the defendant and his former business partner, Zrino Jukic, in which they discussed a plot to hatch a defense.

On the recording, Zgoznik can be heard pleading with Jukic to stick together and get their stories straight. Zgoznik testified earlier this week that the $784,000 he paid to former diocesan Chief Financial Officer Joseph Smith wasn't kickback money, but was actually executive compensation financed by the diocese and authorized by the Rev. John Wright, Smith's former boss and predecessor.

When Jukic denied on the recording that he ever spoke with Wright or Smith about the secret payments, Zgoznik became flustered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Jury gets case against ex-church accountant

CLEVELAND (OH)
Ohio.com

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN Associated Press Writer

Published on Friday Sep 28, 2007

A trial which focused on alleged secret accounts and a six-figure payout to a favored Cleveland Catholic Diocese employee wrapped up Friday with the two sides contending the payment was either authorized by church leaders or a kickback made by a rogue accountant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Siegel repeatedly mentioned Bishop Anthony M. Pilla in his closing argument to the jury and said "there was no way" the now-retired head of the diocese was aware of the $784,000 in payments made to a former top financial officer of the diocese.

But lawyers for defendant Anton Zgoznik, of Kirtland Hills, said Zgoznik approved the payments through his businesses at the directive of two of Pilla's top lieutenants, a priest and a layman who replaced the priest as diocesan chief financial and legal officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Conspiracy Case Of Ex-Diocese Accountant Goes To Jury

CLEVELAND (OH)
NewsNet5

CLEVELAND -- A former church accountant who paid $784,000 in kickbacks to his former boss at the Cleveland Catholic Diocese should be convicted for defrauding the church and the Internal Revenue Service, the prosecution said in its closing argument Friday.

But the defense for Anton Zgoznik, 40, of Kirtland Hills, said he was following orders in paying the money to keep a valued top accountant working for the church.

The U.S. District Court jury left the courtroom after 2 1/2 hours of closing arguments to begin deliberating. Zgoznik is charged with conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Detiene a exseminarista acusado de abusar sexualmente de una menor

MEXICO
LaLagun4

Agents of the state public prosecutor detained seminarian Julian Quino Velasco Monday in San Andres Tuxtla, Veracruz. It is alleged that he abused a minor on June 14. The alleged victim's name, who is said to be and eight-year-old girl, is not being released for security reasons. Agents said he fled in the direction of Mexico City.

Once agents determined the allegation was credible, they asked for an apprehension order by a judge. Judge Segundo of the penal branch of this judicial district granted the order and search began immediately. Quino Velasco was brought to court where the public prosecutor asked the judge to denied Quino Velasco provisional freedom pending trial.

The incident was made known July 2 when the mother of the girl, Olga Lilia Tovilla Madrigal, told what happened via e-mails. Tovilla Madrigal confirmed that she made the complaint against Quino Velasco, who is said to be a member of the Missionaries of Guadalupe.

The prosecutor's office alleges that priests of the Tuxtla Gutierrez diocese helped save Quino Velasco, a seminarian with that group that crosses the country to distribute what they call "Semanas de Apostolado."

The mother said the girl on June 14 attended a session on Catholic subjects by seminarians of the Missionaries of Guadalupe school. She added that the session was held in the chapel of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, located in the order's colony east of the city. When the girl arrived, no other children had gotten there yet but the seminarian was there.

Her daughter went to the class alone because it is near her house, the mother said. The seminarian through deceit took her daughter into the colony house where the abuse allegedly happened, she said. He began to kiss and caress her and laid her down on bed, the mother said. The girl was so frightened she culd not speak, the mother said.

The mother said in testimony before an agent of the Public Ministry that her daughter said she would never return to the church because there were bad people there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Defiende al Cardenal Rivera el Episcopado

MEXICO
Diario de Yucatan

The Mexican episcopate has sent a message of support of Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera because of a lawsuit filed in the United States alleging that he helped conceal a priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

The bishops said the last few months have seen an orchestrated campaign of aggression and insults aimed at the cardinal.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Joaquin Aguilar, who maintains that in 1994 he was sexually abused by the Rev. Nicholas Aguilar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Priest explains reporting crime

OHIO
Marietta Times

By Brad Bauer, bbauer@mariettatimes.com

A Lowell man who pleaded guilty this week to sexually abusing an infant was arrested after a conversation with a priest was relayed to police.

The issue raises questions about when a conversation with a clergy member is privileged.

On Tuesday, Leroy Skinner Sr., 68, of 8225 Muskingum River Road, pleaded guilty in Washington County Common Pleas Court to sexually abusing a 6-month-old child in 2006.

The Rev. Tim Huffman of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church said Skinner and his wife approached him about the sex abuse last month, nearly 18 months after the incident. The priest said he was required to report the crime because the confession came outside of the Sacrament of Penance, a sealed conversation in which sins are confessed and forgiven.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

German bishops affirm ban on paedophiles in parish work

GERMANY
Expatica

28 September 2007

Fulda, Germany (dpa) - The Catholic Church will work "with all its might" to uncover paedophile attacks on children by priests, the head of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, said Friday.

Speaking amid an outcry over a paedophile clergymen who was reassigned to a parish, Lehmann said the 70 bishops had discussed the issue for two and a half hours at talks this week but had not put it on their formal agenda.

A guideline adopted by the bishops in 2002 prohibits the employment of convicted paedophiles in parish work, effectively confining them to administrative tasks where they only have contact with adults.

Referring to the arrest of a previously convicted priest in the Bavarian parish of Riekofen on new child-sex charges, Lehmann said, "Every case of sexual abuse is one case too many."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

I conti della Chiesa ecco quanto ci costa

ITALY
La Repubblica

(Note: Readers have asked for a fuller translation of this article which we are posting here.)

Curzio Maltese writes that Paul Marcinkus, former president of IOR -- the Vatican Bank -- escaped Italian justice for his illegal dealings with Roberto Calvi, former president of Banco Ambrosiano. Calvi was found dead in London.

"When I came to the CEI, (Italian Bishops Conference) in 1986, we hardly could afford to pay four clerks," said Camillo Ruini, who does not exaggerate. In the mid-eighties Vatican finances consisted of an empty black box. One year after coming to the CEI only a Vatican passport saved the President of IOR (The Vatican Bank, Instituto Opere Religione), Monsignor Paul Marcinkus from being arrested by Italian police after the failure of Roberto Calvi's Banco Ambrosiano, one of the major Italian banks.

The economic crisis is one reason why Pope John Paul II asked the young bishop Camillo Ruini to come to Rome from the city of Reggio Emilia. The bishop, endowed with great managerial skills, was then known by most people for having celebrated the wedding of Romano Prodi (the current prime minister) and Flavia Franzoni.

Ruini in 1981 became secretary of CEI and was elected president in 1991. The rising rank and growing economic power could consequently influence the media and politics. At the same time the president of Italian bishops played a central role in Italian public debate and in the Vatican as never had happened with his two predecessors. He became the great elector of Pope Benedict XVI. The reasons for his success derive from his intelligence, his iron will and from his extraordinary skill as an organizer.

But another key to understanding Ruini's ascent is called the "eight per thousand." A flow of money like a river starts to enter CEI's coffers starting in spring of 1990 with a new income law allowing for an automatic share of eight cents for each one thousand euros of taxable income to go to a list of recognized churches and charities. The river soon was transformed into a sea of a billion euros a year. Ruini is the uncontested "dominus" for all that.

Except for the automatic expenses like the priests' stipends, the President of CEI, through a few trusted collaborators, has the last word on each expenditure from repairs to a church office, building of a mission in Africa or real estate and financial investments.

The investigation by this newspaper on cost of the church to Italian taxpayers starts from this "eight cents per one thousand." The calculation is not simple and it is less fashionable than the present diatribes on the cost of politics in Italy.

The price to support politicians is now estimated at 4 billion euros a year. Half the value of what is necessary to cover the annual budget deficit is used to feed the political class. This is equivalent to the money spent to build the bridge between Siciliy and the Italian peninsula or the "Moses" project to save Venice from the high tides.

This scandalous estimate comes from what is reported in newspapers and the magazine Il Mondo, referring to the recently book called La Casta written by journalists Rizzo and Stella and one titled I costi della Democrazia by authors Salvi and Villone. The sum is reached by adding the values of the 150,000 stipends paid to representatives elected by the people, from members of the European Parliament to the last councilor of communities in the mountains, plus compensation for almost 300,000 consultants, ministerial expenses, pensions for politicians, electorial expenses reimbursed to the parties, public financing of parties' newspapers, the "blue cars" and other privileges like free use of cafeterias and restaurants in the Italian Parliament.

To be fair, the same measure adopted for estimating the cost of politics could be applied to the "cost of the church." The final result could be, however, very high and very approximate, like the one that can be read in the libels and on anticlerical Web sites.

If we are to be more prudent and realistic then we can say the cost of the church for the Italian taxpayer is equivalent to the one calculated for the political class. This amount to m than 4 billion euros per year, considering direct financing and tax exemption from the state and local governments.

The first item includes the billion euros deriving from the 0.08 percent, 650 million euros for the stipends of the 22,000 reliion teacher (the well-known Catholic writer Vittorio Messori defined this as "an old wreck" of the Concordato -- the agreement made by the church and Benito Mussolini in 1929), 700 million euros given by the state and local governments for the school covenants and health coverage. There additionally is cariable financing for the "Grandi Eventi" (Big Events) from the Jubilee (3,500 billion of the old liras or about 3 million euros) to the 2.5 million euros for the meeting in Loreto and the sanctuary of the Madonna of Loreto. This amounts to a yearly average during the last 10 years of 250 million euros. In addition to the 2.6 billion euros of direct contributions to the church, we must add the sum of the fiscal advantages granted to the Vatican which are now being investigated by authorities of the European Union. (State help is not allowed by EU statute.)

The list is immense at the local and national level. If we want to follow the cautious method applied bere a sum of between 400 and 700 million euros is not going to ICI, the local real estate taxation, according to a favorable estimate by cities authorities and another 500 euros is not going for other kinds of taxation. In addition, there are another 600 million euros for "legalized" tax evasion in the world of Catholic organized tourism on behalf of about 40 million Catholic pilgrims and visitors. The total is over 4 billion euros a year, half of the annual Italian state deficit.

Eight cents for each 1,000 euros of taxable income goes to the Vatican from each taxpayer whether or not they want the money to go there. A sophisticated and unconstitutional trick was invented to allow this, the writer said.

The conclusion is the church cost to Italian taxpayers is high and about the same as what goes to politicians. An Italian member of Parliament gets a pension of 3,000 euros a month even if he as served for one day. These are reasons Italy has the highest debt in the world.

The tax money given to the Vatican has not produced good results. This money is only minimally spent for charities and the number of priests in the last 20 years has reached a new low of 39,000. There once were 60,000 priests.

More importantly, the present Pope Benedict XVI said 30 years ago when he was a progressive theologian that the church was becoming for many people the main obstacle to faith. They see the human ambition to power, the little theater of men who have the pretense to administer the official Christianity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Vorbestrafte Priester dürfen laut Lehmann nicht in die Jugendarbeit

GERMANY
PR-Inside

Cardinal Karl Lehmann of the German Bishops Conference said no priest accused of sexual abuse can work with children and young people. The cardinal from Mainz indirectly criticized the Regensburg bishop, who has denied responsibility for assigning a priest convicted of sexual abuse of boys to another parish in Riekofen.

The cardinal said the bishops group deeply regrets all damage done to the victims and their families. He added the conference cannot intervene in individual cases since each diocese is responsible for what happens in its locality, but he added the 2002 guidelines adopted by the onference would have worked.

Bishop Gerhard Muller of Regensburg had said at the beginning of the autumn plenary assembly of bishops that a psychological assessment of the priest in question showed that the priest had been cured.

The sexual abuse topic was not officially on the agenda for the bishops meeting in Fulda but the bishops nevertheless debated the issues for two-and-a-half hours.Lehmann said not much was understood about pedophilia but understanding of the problem has developed in the last 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Sexual assault charges dropped against priest

MANCHESTER (NH)
Union Leader

MANCHESTER – Supporters of visiting Nigerian priest John Lawani began their celebration at Hillsborough County Superior Court yesterday morning after sexual assault charges against Lawani were dropped by the county attorney.

For the past year, Lawani -- based at St. George Church, -- has been suspended from his duties of ministering to the city's growing African Catholic population.

Defense attorney John Kacavas said Lawani, 40, was relieved the charges were dropped, so that he can resume his pastoral duties at the church.

"He has no malice in his heart," said Kacavas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Sexual assault charges dropped against priest

MANCHESTER (NH)
WCAX

Associated Press - September 28, 2007 7:25 AM ET

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Prosecutors in Manchester (New Hampshire) have dropped sexual assault charges against a visiting Nigerian priest after the first day of his trial.

The charges were dropped Wednesday for 40-year-old John Lawani, who was based at St. George Church.

His lawyer, John Kacavas, said the first day of testimony ended as he was questioning the accuser. Then, Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite Wageling dropped the charges. Wageling said cases like Lawani's are very traumatic and difficult for victims to testify about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

German bishops affirm ban on paedophiles in parish work

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Sep 28, 2007, 12:00 GMT

Fulda, Germany - The Catholic Church will work 'with all its might' to uncover paedophile attacks on children by priests, the head of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, said Friday.

Speaking amid an outcry over a paedophile clergymen who was reassigned to a parish, Lehmann said the 70 bishops had discussed the issue for two and a half hours at talks this week but had not put it on their formal agenda.

A guideline adopted by the bishops in 2002 prohibits the employment of convicted paedophiles in parish work, effectively confining them to administrative tasks where they only have contact with adults.

Referring to the arrest of a previously convicted priest in the Bavarian parish of Riekofen on new child-sex charges, Lehmann said, 'Every case of sexual abuse is one case too many.'

'The church will do everything with all its might to uncover sexual abuse,' he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Church kickback trial nears end

CLEVELAND (OH)
Chronicle-Telegram

Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Lawyers and the judge in the conspiracy trial of a former accountant for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese on Thursday wrestled with legal and financial complexities, seeking to make about 60 pages of jury instruction as clear as possible.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich then finished instructing the jury and set closing arguments for this morning in the case of Anton Zgoznik, who is charged with conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

The charges concern $784,000 in kickbacks to his former boss, Joseph Smith, former chief legal and financial officer for the diocese. Smith is to go on trial later on various charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Diocese facing $37 Million deadline Monday

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

Erik Loney / KXLY4 Reporter
Last updated: Thursday, September 27th, 2007 06:51:03 PM

SPOKANE -- The Spokane Catholic Diocese faces a major deadline Monday when $37 Million in the bankruptcy settlement with victims of priest sex abuse will be due.

The plan right now is for the Diocese to wire a $5 Million payment to the bankruptcy trustee on Monday. Local parishes, meanwhile, have until December 31st to raise their $10 Million share of the settlement.

Campaign organizers couldn't give us an exact figure on how much local churches have raised so far but said it was between $6 Million and $7 Million. They'll keep collecting money until the end of the year and then take a bank loan for the deficit, which could be up to $4 Million. The bank loan will be secured by parish property and paid off in five years.

About half of the Diocese’s 82 parishes have met their fundraising goals. Some parishes have sold property or taken money from building projects. Organizers of the parish campaign told me this has not been easy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Law firm bills diocese $197,000 for work

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

Lane and Waterman, the Davenport law firm representing the Diocese of Davenport in its bankruptcy proceedings, has billed the court for $197,048.50 for interim payment of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses for work done since the diocese filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 10, 2006, through Aug. 31.

The firm is charging the diocese $230 an hour. In addition, the firm has incurred $3,265.12 in expenses.

Senior partners Richard A. Davidson and Rand Wonio have done the most work on the bankruptcy, with Davidson asking for $86,457 in pay and Wonio asking for $43,953 in compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Organist accused in church theft appears in court

GOSHEN (NY)
Times Herald-Record

By Raja Abdulrahim

Times Herald-Record
September 27, 2007
Goshen — Catholic church parishioners were shocked and disappointed to hear that the music director had been charged with stealing more than $12,000 in church donations.

Jimrae K. Lenser of Campbell Hall was arrested Monday, accused of stealing the money in the form of cash and checks from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church over a five-month period. Police had been investigating the missing money for three weeks.

Lenser played the organ at several of the weekend Masses.

Lenser appeared in Village Court yesterday, dressed in long, denim shorts and a dark gray T-shirt; his wrists and ankles handcuffed and linked with a chain to a belt around his waist. He sat on a folding chair in the court and appeared at times to be crying. Two reporters and a church member were the only audience in the courtroom. The church member, who would not give his name, said he came to see for himself what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Historic case: Law should protect women and children from abuse

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

Tribune Editorial
Article Last Updated: 09/27/2007 06:16:23 PM MDT

The successful prosecution of Warren Jeffs as an accomplice to rape marks the first time in recent Utah history that the prophet of a major polygamous sect has been convicted of a crime associated with the group's practices. In that sense it is historic.
But it is important to remember that Jeffs was not brought to court because of his religion or even because of plural marriage. He was prosecuted because he abetted the rape of a 14-year-old girl by performing an illegal marriage between her and her 19-year-old cousin, then counseling her, when she protested her husband's sexual advances, to remain in this union, subservient to her husband, lest she lose eternal salvation. In short, she was coerced.
In the wake of the Jeffs trial, her former husband also has been charged with rape. That is an appropriate answer to the question of how Jeffs could be prosecuted as an accomplice when the direct perpetrator was not charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Utah and Arizona building additional criminal cases against Jeffs

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News

ST. GEORGE — Building off the criminal conviction of Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs, authorities in Utah and Arizona are pursuing additional cases against the polygamist sect leader.

"I'm hoping that other people come forward," said Gary Engels, an investigator with the Mohave County (Ariz.) Attorney's Office.

Engels confirmed to the Deseret Morning News he has additional investigations under way into Jeffs, who was convicted in 5th District Court earlier this week of charges of rape as an accomplice, stemming from a marriage he performed between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

UMC steps up sexual misconduct policy to halt 'disturbing trend'

UNITED STATES
Church Executive

A United Methodist watchdog introduced new resolutions to counter a "disturbing trend" of sexual misconduct in the denomination.

"The use of pornography continues to increase as it becomes more accessible and allows more immediate, realistic and anonymous sexual contact and gratification," stated the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women in a resolution.

The resolution, presented last week at the commission's annual meeting, will be submitted to the United Methodist General Conference – the highest legislative body in the United Methodist Church – when it convenes next year in April for its quadrennial meeting.

According to the commission, sexual harassment and misconduct, including the use of Internet pornography by clergy, laity or volunteers, often on church-owned computers, remains a concern of the church body. Such harmful and addictive behavior alters relationships and sexual perceptions, and the Church needs to be aware of those dangers, the commission said, according to the United Methodist News Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Police probe alleged abuse at former Ont. private school

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2007 | 10:02 AM ET
The Canadian Press
A criminal investigation has been launched into allegations of abuse at the now closed Grenville Christian College near Brockville in eastern Ontario.

The school, which closed in July, had an elite reputation among Ontario private schools, charging up to $35,000 annually. It listed former lieutenants-governor, a senator and a Canadian diplomat among its patrons.

The allegations of sexual and physical abuse extend to the late 1970s. Former students and staff are spread across Canada and the United States.

The Ontario Provincial Police has asked anyone with knowledge of wrongdoing at the school to contact them. Police have not named any suspects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Residential schools: truth, reconciliation -- but no apology yet

CANADA
Canadian Christianity

By Frank Stirk

CHURCH leaders who took part in negotiating the $1.9-billion residential schools class action settlement that came into effect last month cannot understand why the federal government will not now apologize for its role in this dark chapter in Canadian history.

"You kind of assume from the implementation of the agreement, . . . that an apology acknowledging that reality shouldn't be that difficult," said James Scott, the United Church of Canada's General Council officer for residential schools.

Last year, the United Church, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), the Presbyterian Church of Canada, and about 50 Roman Catholic "entities" accepted the settlement-the largest of its kind in the nation's history. Over about a 100-year period, they had all at one time or another operated residential schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

"Require VOG from priests"

NETHERLANDS
Expatica Netherlands

28 September 2007

HILVERSUM – A majority in Parliament wants Roman Catholic priests and other church workers who work with children to be required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct, (VOG), also called a ‘police clearance certificate' in some countries.

This measure would aim to combat the sexual abuse of children, the television programme Netwerk reported on Thursday.

The programme's own research indicated that some Roman Catholic priests who have been found guilty of child molestation continue to work with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

September 27, 2007

Bad Moves

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Thursday, September 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm

Monsignor John Urell, from a videotape of his deposition. Monsignor John Urell enjoyed a blessed life until this summer. The Tustin High graduate joined the Catholic Diocese of Orange County as a priest in 1978 and zipped up the church’s hierarchy—first as the secretary to the bishop, then as a chancellor, and finally as a vicar general. The last two positions placed him in the inner circle of county Catholicism, making him one of the men in charge of the second-largest Catholic diocese west of the Mississippi.

Urell stepped down as vicar general in 2003 to serve as the pastor of St. Norbert in Orange. Parishioners loved him; in fact, one, Supervisor Bill Campbell, nominated Urell to the Orange County Human Relations commission in 2004.

But the priest also had a direct role in the Orange diocese’s darkest episode, leaving a paper trail that previously hasn’t been thoroughly examined, one the Weekly has obtained. From 1988 through 2002, Urell was in charge of investigating sex-abuse allegations lodged against diocesan priests. The complaints poured in while Urell was in charge—at least 25, by his admission. He interviewed victims, helped arrange therapy for them—but usually assisted superiors in covering up pedophilia in county parishes.

As the Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal exploded in 2004, as church officials eventually paid victims $100 million for their suffering at the hands of county priests and released documents showing the hierarchy’s culpability, Urell largely escaped scrutiny. But the monsignor finally reckoned with his past on July 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Bad Moves: Addendum

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

A paper trail through the Orange diocese's darkest episode
By Gustavo Arellano
Thursday, September 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm
1. 1988 letter by Urell to the Franciscan superiors of Gary Pacheco, alerting them that the Orange diocese no longer wanted him after fielding a molestation allegation against him.

2. 1987 letter from Urell to Eleuterio Ramos. The priest was in Tijuana after admitting to molesting a teenage boy while at Anaheim¹s St. Anthony Claret in 1985, just one of the more than 25 children he molested in the Orange and Los Angeles diocese over a 20-year career.

3. 1993 letter by Urell asking Tijuana Bishop Emilio Berlie to remove Ramos from a children¹s ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Case continued for priest accused of molestation

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

A Naugatuck priest accused of sexually molesting a 15-year-old boy is due back at Waterbury Superior Court on Oct. 3 for a pretrial hearing. The Rev. Robert J. Grant, 63, who is on administrative leave from St. Mary's and St.Hedwis's churches, has been charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Trying to depose Salesians: “It appeared that a line was drawn in the sand and I assume it is because these are critical witnesses in the case”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Coming through security at Superior Court Wednesday I kept my shoes on and when the beeper went off I stood, raised my arm, said, “It’s just the pin and the shoes.” No panic attack, (see September 21 post) no removing every possible metalic thing to avoid the baton, although I did get good advice from “Anonymous Reader” who suggested

“If you are having anxiety, please ask Bishop Tod Brown to send you to Southdown up in Canada with Monsignor Urell!”

Arrive at court, clerk is in midst of taping a newly printed version of calendar outside the door, as plaintiff’s Motions to Compel Depositions had iexplicably disappeared from the calendar (Deja Vu) then been penned back on as Number 12. Inside as we wait for the judge, a plaintiff attorney reads the tentative then nods to me, yes it was granted.

I watch Church Attorney Steve McFeely and my first urge is to write something nasty but he looks so vulnerable and defeated as he reads. Plaintiff Attorney Helen Zukin walks up to him and puts her face right in front of his as she speaks. McFeely is so crushed, deflated, looking into her face -- Helen has one of those striking faces that make you just stop and gaze, obviously a gift from God, and she uses all her assets. McFeely, very central casting for Irish Cop, nods and agrees to whatever it is Zukin is saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Priest withdraws resignation following financial scandal

GARDEN CITY (MI)
Detroit Free Press

September 27, 2007

BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

An ousted Garden City priest, who stepped down in the midst of a financial scandal, has withdrawn his resignation and told parishioners in a letter that he was forced out.

Father Don Demmer of St. Dunstan Parish told parishioners that he did nothing wrong and has been living out of a suitcase since June when a financial audit of the church began.

“I was asked in June to wait patiently and not contact parishioners until the resolution of the audit,” Demmer said. “That is the reason I have not spoken to you or responded to your notes. I have not been hiding from you.”

Demmer said in the letter that he reluctantly resigned last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Rasta priest convicted of rape

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

September 27 2007 at 06:39PM

An apprentice Rastafarian priest, convicted of raping a nine-year-old girl, appeared for a pre-sentencing report in the Grahamstown High Court on Thursday.

Voyolethu Joe of Newvale, Queenstown, appeared before Judge Jeremy Pickering and two assessors.

Joe was found guilty on July 27, 2007.

The girl was the daughter of a Rastafarian priest, who, the trial court heard, was Joe's mentor in the religious cult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Ex-teacher faces sex charges

CANTON TOWNSHIP (MI)
The Detroit News

Karen Bouffard / The Detroit News

CANTON TOWNSHIP -- A former teacher at Plymouth Christian Academy was arrested and arraigned Monday, accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student during the summer.

Stephanie Ann Stein, 31, a married mother of two from Canton Township, is accused of sexually abusing the youth, whom she allegedly met at the Academy, a 630-student school on Joy Road run by Calvary Baptist Church.

The alleged abuse is believed to have occurred during the summer and came to light after the boy's mother returned home on several occasions to discover the teacher at her house, according to Canton Township Police Detective Sgt. Rick Pomorski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

PEDOFILIA/ BETORI: NO A CONDANNA PRETI PREVENTIVA INFONDATA

ITALY
Alice

Monsignor Giuseppe Betori, general secretary of the Italy Bishops Conference, which is meeting in Vatican City, said he trusts that Claudio Maniago, auxiliary bishop of Florence, will be found innocent of sexual misconduct allegations. The Rev. Lelio Cantino, who is under investigation for sexual violence and other crimes has already been suspended by the church and regrets that it happened 20 years after the alleged incidents happened.

The monsignor said the church is not passive in this cases, both in prevention and in the way it faces these issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Veglia gremita per Maniago

ITALY
Toscana TV

A hundred people took part in a prayer vigil and recited the rosary to show solidarity with Claudio Maniago, auxiliary bishop of Florence. They believe the bishop had nothing to do with accusations of sexual misconduct made against the Rev. Lelio Cantini, his teacher and mentor.

The vigil was held in Florence center at La Badia Fiorentina. The vigil was so crowded that some people had to stay outside. Giovani Salvadori, a regional assessor, attended the vigil as a personal decision.

A letter written by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of Florence was read in support of Maniago and the reading brought long applause from those attending. Before the prayer, a woman said people came spontaneously from throughout the diocese. Their intent was to pray for the bishops, victims of sexual abuse and for those who "are the instrument of lies."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Jeffs' trial unveils cult's criminal side

UTAH
The Colombian

Thursday, September 27, 2007
ELIZABETH HOVDE for The Columbian

No one should be allowed to coerce young girls into marriages and get away with it. So hurray for the jury that just convicted Warren Jeffs. He was found guilty of being an accomplice to rape for performing a wedding between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl.

The girl, now a 21-year-old woman, says she was forced to marry and that marriage set the stage for sex; sex she did not want to have. As Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said of Jeffs' conviction, "Everyone should now know that no one is above the law, religion is not an excuse for abuse and every victim has a right to be heard."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Accused priest chided for saying Mass

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston Herald

By Dave Wedge
Thursday, September 27, 2007

An alleged pedophile priest whose molestation trial has been repeatedly delayed due to questions over his competency has overseen religious services in apparent violation of church orders and was warned by a Catholic bishop, the Herald has learned.

Church officials in Springfield were told in early September that John Szantyr has conducted Mass, despite being stripped of his authority to act as a priest in 1988. The apparent violation of church orders prompted Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell to fire off a stern warning to the embattled holy man, said Terence Hegarty, spokesman for the Springfield diocese.

“We did receive conclusive proof that contrary to the instructions from the Diocese of Worcester, he had celebrated Mass in a private home in Springfield,” Hegarty said. “The bishop informed him that he remains absolutely forbidden to celebrate Mass anywhere, privately or publicly, or to administer any sacramental functions at all.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Zimbabwe: Pius Ncube Legal Wrangle With Sibands Rages on

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

27 September 2007
Posted to the web 27 September 2007

Harare
The legal wrangle between the disgraced former head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, and the man who has filed a $20 billion adultery damages lawsuit against him rages on with the cleric arguing that he is not resorting to delaying tactics.

In his response to Mr Onesimus Sibanda's response to his application seeking an order that he be given facts of the case or drop the case, Archbishop Ncube, who is the applicant in the case, said in his answering affidavit dated 24 September Mr Sibanda was not paying attention to relevant issues. It is the cleric's contention through his lawyer, Advocate Nicholas Mathonsi of Coghlan and Welsh, that Mr Sibanda "has assigned space and time to semantical matters which do not change the complexion of the argument."

"While the respondent is entitled to his opinion, I do not understand the use of the word 'stubborn' to suggest anything mythical other than the fact that Respondent has resolutely refused to supply the particulars requested, albeit without any meaningful legal foundation. For that reason there is absolutely no need for any withdrawal," he said. Mr Sibanda, in his affidavit filed to indicate his intention to oppose Archbishop Ncube's application, had expressed displeasure at the use of the word "stubborn" and had brought to the court's attention his "displeasure at the language used by Ncube" in his application.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Financial scandal hits US parish

DETROIT (MI)
Independent Catholic News

A parish priest of has resigned from his parish after the Archdiocese of Detroit discovered theft of parish funds and unpaid taxes.

In a letter read out to parishioners of St. Dustan’s, Garden City, Michigan, Bishop Francis Reiss, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit, said that its pastor Father Demmer had resigned.

Bishop Reiss said, “The results of this summer's financial audit present some distressing news for the parish and have prompted legal action against a former office employee. On Friday, September 21st, information was turned over to the Garden City Police Department regarding what appears to be a prolonged pattern of embezzlement from parish funds. The amount is substantial— in the tens of thousands— but investigators have asked us to not publicize the precise figure at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

New rape case reeks of a setup

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Rebecca Walsh
Tribune Columnist
Article Last Updated: 09/27/2007 02:20:23 AM MDT

I don't feel sorry for Warren Jeffs. I do feel sorry for Allen Steed.
Fresh from winning their case against Jeffs, the empty-eyed megalomaniac of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Washington County prosecutors filed a rape charge against Steed on Wednesday based almost entirely on his court testimony and that of his one-time spiritual wife, Elissa Wall.
It's almost like they set him up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Steed charged with rape

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Spectrum

By PATRICE ST. GERMAIN
patrices@thespectrum.com

ST. GEORGE - One day after a jury brought back guilty verdicts against Warren Steed Jeffs on two counts of rape as an accomplice, the person suspected of committing the rape was charged in 5th District Court.

Allen Glade Steed, 26, the cousin and former spiritual husband of Elissa Wall, was charged with one count of rape, a first-degree felony, covering a time period from April 14, 2001, to Sept. 30, 2004.

A $50,000 arrest warrant has been issued for Steed.

While the papers were actually filed Wednesday at around noon, the paperwork was signed Sept. 21 by Brian Filter, senior deputy for the Washington County Attorney's Office.

"We filed the charge at what we deemed to be the appropriate time considering a lot of factors, including the conducting of the Jeffs trial and the deliberation of the jury," Filter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Pastor faces $1.3M sex suit

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By SAM PAZZANO, COURTS BUREAU

A United Church minister used the guise of counselling sessions for childhood abuse with a Toronto mother of four to sexually abuse her for almost eight years, the woman alleged in a $1.3 million lawsuit.

The 53-year-old woman alleged that Rev. William Major, now 64, committed "heinous sexual, physical, and emotional assaults" against her, starting in 1995 shortly after she began to attend Manor Road United Church.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Major was her counsellor when the sexual assaults and battery occurred and that because he was an authority figure and confidant to the woman (referred to as Jane Doe), he should have protected her, instead of violating her, the lawsuit alleged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Change in structure raises Metro Catholics' concerns

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

Some Metro Detroit Catholics are expressing concerns about a change in the corporate structure of the Archdiocese of Detroit after Cardinal Adam Maida informed priests that by the end of the year all 288 parishes will be incorporated as individual nonprofit institutions.

The archdiocese, including the parishes, has existed as a single corporate entity for generations.

Maida and other church officials say the change merely conforms with how the legal, financial and organizational structure of the archdiocese is treated in civil law.

"While this idea may sound new to some, it has been in effect in dioceses throughout the country for many years," Maida wrote the priests on Sept. 19. "Be assured that the day-to-day life of the parish will remain the same. This decision is not made in response to any crisis, nor are there are any civil or canonical court proceedings pending that would call into question the status of church property."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

St Ignatius 'Protecting God's Children'

CAYMAN ISLANDS
Cayman Net News

As part of Hedge Funds Care’s commitment to raising awareness of, and supporting those addressing the issue of child abuse and neglect in the Cayman Islands, St Ignatius Catholic Church recognises recipients of its 2007 grants to show what strides have been made in the treatment and eradication of abuse in this community.

Since 2005, the St Ignatius Catholic Church has run a child abuse awareness and identification programme, ‘Protecting God’s Children’ (PGC), a twice-annual workshop which teaches adults and children to identify the warning signs of child sexual abuse as well as ways to safeguard a community against potential abusers.

The programme is organised and administered by O’Neil Miller, Director of Religious Education at St Ignatius. He receives ongoing training for this programme through the Archdiocese of Detroit where the programme originated.

Prior to receiving the Hedge Funds Care grant, PGC was offered only to employees, members and students of the St Ignatius Church and School, making up part of the core induction process for teachers and volunteers who would have close contact with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Dan Satterberg's Sin of Omission

SEATTLE (WA)
The Stranger

By Josh Feit

At the height of the nationwide Catholic priest sex-abuse scandal in April 2002, Seattle attorney Timothy Kosnoff—who has successfully won over $50 million in settlements against priests on behalf of child-abuse victims—sent a letter to the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Kosnoff, forbidden by a court order to talk publicly about what he found through legal discovery in the local Seattle Archdiocese's sealed files, asked the prosecutor's office to use its unique subpoena power to force the horror stories of 49 cases into the public eye and bring criminal charges against the priests.

The King County prosecutor's chief of staff at the time, Dan Satterberg, responded to Kosnoff, saying the prosecutor's office was invited "to assist the Seattle Archdiocese with formulating a policy that is in compliance with state law regarding mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse," and there was no reason to subpoena the files.

Kosnoff is still incensed today—both about the appearance of a conflict of interest when a law enforcement agency works closely with a potential law breaker and about Satterberg's refusal to look at the files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Area diocese to pay its biggest settlement in an alleged priest sex abuse case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph this week agreed to pay an Independence man $225,000, its biggest settlement ever in a case of alleged priest sexual abuse.

The retired priest in the case, the Rev. Francis E. McGlynn, also will pay $2,000 to the victim, Frank Scheuring, 47, of Independence.

Two other lawsuits are pending against McGlynn for alleged abuse of two girls in the same time period of the early 1970s and at the same place, St. Mary’s Church in Independence. McGlynn, now 80 and living in Kansas City, denies all the allegations.

The settlement, announced Wednesday, came as Scheuring’s case was to start trial next week. A Jackson County judge recently denied a final defense request to dismiss the lawsuit, and the trial would have been the first of its kind in Jackson County.

The diocese issued a brief statement that said in part, “ ... the diocese agreed to end the dispute with the hope that true healing can begin.” It said the money will come from self-insurance reserves and will not affect operations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Ruling on statute of limitations on clergy sexual abuse cases hits KC

KANSAS CITY (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
09/27/2007

The diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph agreed Tuesday to pay $225,000 to a former altar boy who said he was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s. The settlement came days after a Kansas City judge declined to dismiss the lawsuit and less than a week before it was scheduled to go to trial.

The case represents the first time on the west side of the state that a 2006 Missouri Supreme Court ruling that altered the state's statute of limitations was successfully harnessed in an effort to send a clergy sexual abuse lawsuit to a jury.

The St. Louis Archdiocese faced the same situation in July after St. Louis County Circuit Judge Barbara Wallace ruled that a jury should decide the outcome of a similar suit. The archdiocese eventually settled with the plaintiff for $300,000, substantially more than its initial offer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

OPP open investigation into abuse claims

CANADA
Globe and Mail

MICHAEL VALPY

September 27, 2007

The Ontario Provincial Police yesterday began a formal criminal investigation into allegations of abuse of students at the now closed Grenville Christian College in Eastern Ontario.

The chief investigating officer, Detective Inspector Brian Haggith, also asked former students for access to the private Facebook Internet site where they have been discussing their experiences at the school for the past several weeks. Former student Tyler Holmes, the administrator of the Facebook group site, gave them access.

OPP spokeswoman Sergeant Kristine Rae said the police were appealing to anyone with knowledge of wrongdoing at the school - which closed in July - to contact them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

September 26, 2007

Monsignor Betori illustrerà contenuti lavori consiglio dei vescovi. Il caso della curia di Firenze

ITALY
Agenzia Radicale

Monsignor Giuseppe Betori on Sept. 25 gave details of the final document of the "Permanent Council of the Italian Bishops" which will end the following day. The session was held in the Guglielmo Marconi room on the Vatican Radio premises.

The Agenzia Radicale writer said this news makes one reflect about issues which are of public interest right now. Recent accusations that Claudio Maniago, the Florence auxiliary bishop, was accused of "rose ballets." This allegation is denied by the Florence diocese, but Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, former Florence archbishop, seems not to believe in his innocence and it will be difficult for Maniago to be nominated as future Pisa archbishop.

Accusations have also been made against Antonio Buoncristiani, Siena archbishop, who allegedly was involved in extortion while the administrator of that diocese, Monsignor Giuseppe Acampa, was charged with calumny and arson. He also mentions the charges of sexual misconduct being made against the Rev. Pierino Gelmini.

Journalist Maurizio Di Giacoma concludes he hoped press representatives in the Marconi room would have courage to ask Monsignor Betori some questions regarding these scandals and avoid that pretending that all is fine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Troppi scandali, Vaticano in crisi

ITALY
Terrelibere

Mimmo De Cillis of the left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto remarked that Archbishop Bagnasco, who heads the Italian Bishops conference, is talking about Italy being prey to a moral crisis and having an education emergency. The writer said the church also is in such a condition. He then lists all recent church scandals in Italy, the last one about Auxiliary Bishop Claudio Maniago of Florence, who is being investigated regarding squalid stories of "red light parties," sexual abuse of minors and other episodes regarding Florentine clergy.

DeCillis said this is an ugly story at a time when the church wants to affirm it intends to act as a guarantee of sound values, a common ethos, custody of youth and collective education. Maniago had been aquitted by the church and information became public and only after his former mentor, the Rev. Lelio Cantini, 82, was investigated by civil authorities.

De Cillis also mentions the story of the Rev. Pierino Gelmini and how the administrator of Valsalice, a prestigous college in Turin that was founded by Don Bosco, has been accused of sexual violence by a young man.

He concludes that by sheer facts that Cardinal Tarciso Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, cannot complain -- as he did at a recent meeting in Rimini -- that the church is being maliciously attacked by its enemies. Pope Benedict XVI, who when he was still a cardinal in 2001, promised zero tolerance toward sexual violence by clergy, but it seems whatever is decided sexual violence by clergy is increasing and this shows failure of the policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Nel mirino dei laici del centrosinistra l’ex procuratore di Terni

ITALY
Il Tempo

Cesare Martellino, former Terni prosecutor who in 2002 concluded there were no grounds to prosecute the Rev. Pierino Gelmini for sexual abuse of two guests at his Incontro community in Amelia, is being investigated by the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, a self-governing agency that decides, among other things, unethical behavior of magistrates.

The magistrates have formally requested to decide what disciplinary measures must be taken against Martellino and what will be taken to criminal court regarding allegations made against him.

Gelmini allegedly telephoned Martellino in The Hague, where Martellino was Italian representative to "Eurojust," a group that debates legal issues. He is said to have told Gelmini they had to meet to plan a strategy. Martellino said this allegation is groundless and he never said such words to Gelmini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Competency hearing slated for accused priest

WORCESTER (MA)
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)

The brave victim of Fr. John Szantyr has suffered long enough. Thirty three times this predator and his shrewd lawyer have evaded justice. We hope that the November hearing will finally begin to bring some healing and closure for this wounded victim, and that Szantyr is soon behind bars where he belongs.

Szantyr's lawyer should publicly disclose anything that backs up his alleged claim that this molester may be ill.

But regardless, ailments neither cure predators nor stop them from raping again. Only the most naive would assume Szantyr is no longer dangerous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Let’s Get Real About Priestly “Indiscretions”

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

Author: Fr. Aris Metrakos
Date Published: 9/21/2007
Publication: OrthodoxyToday.org

Aren’t we disgusted with the shocking number of high-profile cases of priests engaged in pedophilia, homosexual activity, and adultery? Some excuse this behavior with the platitudes “a sin is a sin” and “we are all sinners.” Uh, excuse me?

Persons who say “a sin is a sin” don’t live in the real world. My wife is more than forgiving when I snap at her for no reason. I don’t think that she would be that charitable if I were to come home smelling of another woman’s perfume.

I concede that we are all sinners, but clergy relinquish the right to even think of engaging in certain classes of sin. When a priest sins sexually he damages the Church the way that crooked judges, lawyers, and police officers damage the legal system. How can anyone not understand this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Church Pays $225K to Settle Kansas City Priest Abuse Case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- A man who claims he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest has reached a $225,000 settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The suit was one of three pending against Francis McGlynn in Jackson County Circuit Court. All three plaintiffs allege they were abused at St. Mary's Church in Independence when they were minors.

McGlynn was scheduled to go on trial Monday, but the settlement was reached late yesterday.

Before retiring in 1992, McGlynn served parishes in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Independence and elsewhere for 38 years. He previously denied the charges through his attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Case against ex-priest set for trial on Monday

JACKSON COUNTY (MO)
The Examiner

By The Examiner Staff | The Examiner

Frank Scheuring's lawsuit claiming sexual abuse by a former priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Independence may proceed to trial next week, a Jackson County judge ruled Friday.

Judge John O'Malley denied a motion for summary judgment filed by lawyers of Francis E. McGlynn, a retired priest who has been named in two other lawsuits claiming sexual abuse since Scheuring filed his lawsuit in October 2003.

Scheuring, of Independence, claims that McGlynn sexually abused him in 1971 and 1974 while Scheuring was an altar boy at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

McGlynn is scheduled to go on trial Monday in O'Malley's 16th Judicial Circuit Court, despite repeated mediation from lawyers from both sides to resolve the monetary damages sought by Scheuring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Learning from scandal

UNITED STATES
San Diego Union-Tribune

By Bishop Salvatore Cordileone
September 23, 2007

'Pedophile priest.”

The alliteration is almost irresistible. But does it correspond to reality? Now that the dust is settling from the San Diego diocese sex-abuse settlement, it might be time to take an objective look at the question of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy in the United States. That is, if it is not already overdue.

In response to the overwhelming media attention given to this issue in the spring of 2002, U.S. Catholic bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which, among other things, commissioned a study to be conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on the nature and scope of the problem for all incidents alleged to have occurred between 1950 and 2002. The study's results were released in February 2004.

It would be impossible to summarize the entire 120-page report here, but it is worthwhile to note some of the more salient points. First, the study revealed that the problem of sex abuse of children and young people by Catholic clergy was, indeed, widespread, in the sense that nearly all dioceses across the nation reported at least one incident during that time. Also, the patterns applied consistently throughout all dioceses, regardless of such factors as its size and the region in which it is located. The majority of the clergy accused had only one allegation against them; in fact, 3.5 percent of the priests accused account for 26 percent of all of the allegations. Most of the verified incidents, however, involved more serious types of abuse. It was in this context that the report referred to the results of the study as “very disturbing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

lessons learned

UNITED STATES
Catholic World News

In an op-ed column for the San Diego Union Tribune, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, an auxiliary of the San Diego diocese, offers some thoughts on what Catholics might have learned from the sex-abuse scandal.

Could I add a few more items that seem to have escaped the bishop's attention?

There are many American bishops still alive, and many still functioning as diocesan ordinaries even today, despite clear evidence that they obstructed justice and in many cases continue to do so. Governor Keating made this point when he resigned from the National Review Board. Cardinal Mahony has been making the point-- by example, I mean-- ever since.

With the exception of Cardinal Law, no American bishops have been persuaded to step down because of their malfeasance in handling abusive priests. Bishop John McCormack, thoroughly implicated in the scandal that brought down Law, remains at the head of the Manchester, New Hampshire diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Scandalo Chiesa, arrestato prete 44enne a Pavia

ITALY
Pupia

Police in Certosa, Pavia, have arrested the Rev. Michele Mosa for attempted assault of a woman. According to first investigation by the carabinieri, the 44-year-old priest was found on the first floor of the woman's home. He fled when the woman started shouting. Rev. Mosa will have to respond to a charge of sexual violence.

This is not the first case to shake the balance of the Catholic Church. After a story about the Rev. Pierino Gelmini, who is accused of sexual abuse by two former members of the priest's drug rehabilitation community, three Salesian priests were targeted last month by magistrates. They are Mario Vaudagnotto, a 70-year-old parish priest at the elegant 16th-century church of San Lorenzo of Turin, the Rev. Luciano Alliosio, administrator of Valsalice College, a prestigious religious school in Turin, and a third priest of the same diocese.

The investigation into the three priests started after Salvatore Tosca, 24, of Turin said he had been sexually abused since he was 15.

The writer continued that after numerous denouncements for sexual violence, the church could be seen by many people as having lost that integrity and spirituality that had been its mark in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Mountain Home Priest Accused of Misconduct

BOISE (ID)
Fox 12

Boise, Idaho -- The Catholic Diocese of Boise has received a serious complaint about a Mountain Home priest.

Father Raul Covarrubias, who normally leads the Our Lady of Good Council Catholic Church, is accused of misconduct.

The diocese won't release more on the nature of the allegation, since their investigation is ongoing. But they do say police are notified in cases involving a minor and in this case, the authorities have not been notified. Covarrubias has been placed on leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Settlement announced in child molestation case against Kansas City priest

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

An 11 a.m. news conference has been called to announce settlement of a child molestation case involving a Kansas City Catholic priest.

A news release from the law firm of Randles, Mata & Brown says the victim will receive from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph $225,000 in damages and court costs as well as $2,000 from the Rev. Francis McGlynn. A civil lawsuit had alleged that McGlynn repeatedly molested an 11-year-old boy in 1972-73. The boy was a parishioner at St. Mary’s in Independence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Diocese Settles Lawsuit In Local Abuse Case

JACKSON COUNTY (MO)
KCTV

JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. -- A man who claims he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest has reached a $225,000 settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The suit was one of three pending against Francis McGlynn in Jackson County Circuit Court. All three plaintiffs allege they were abused at St. Mary's Church in Independence when they were minors.

McGlynn was scheduled to go on trial Monday, but the settlement was reached late Tuesday.

Before retiring in 1992, McGlynn served parishes in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Independence and elsewhere for 38 years. He previously denied the charges through his attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

My Turn: A former priest responds to charges

ALASKA
Juneau Empire

MICHAEL NASH

I'm writing to correct the false impression left by The Associated Press article, "Court rules former priest can take bar exam, despite allegations: Alaska man accused of abusing boy dismissed from priesthood in 2005," on Sept. 23.

These allegations of abuse were made by Joel Post, a former parishioner, and were investigated thoroughly by the Lay Review Board convened by Bishop Michael Warfel. The Lay Board determined that I had provided evidence of unquestioned authenticity directly disputing Post's claims, and the board declined to forward Post's allegations for action.

Despite this finding, church spokespersons continued to report the Post allegations, and in April 2004 the Juneau diocese reached a $175,000 settlement with Post.

Because of this episode, and because of my treatment by the Diocese that stemmed from Post's allegations, in 2005 I reached a settlement with the Diocese in which I requested to be relieved of my priestly vows and obligations. It was this request that the Vatican accepted in November 2005, and which is characterized as my "dismissal" from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Barbara Kay: Forgetting the male victims of child abuse

CANADA
National Post

At the age of 26, 10 years before earning his first million dollars as cofounder of the Second Cup coffee empire, Frank O'Dea was a homeless alcoholic panhandler. Almost 40 years on, the reason for his life of desperate squalor -- three rapes during his boyhood -- is revealed in O'Dea's new book, When All You Have is Hope. With no therapeutic outreach available to help him, he plunged into a ruinous downward spiral.

In the 1980s, Canadians were shocked into awareness of the widespread evil of child sexual abuse. In Ontario alone, the names Cornwall, Prescott and London became synonymous with "respectable" pedophile rings -- lawyers, doctors, police officers and Catholic clergymen -- that for decades preyed on society's most vulnerable boys.

The Cornwall Public Inquiry, launched in 2005 and presently in Phase Two -- "healing and reconciliation" -- is focusing on services and programs to prevent the victimization of, or help heal, future Frank O'Deas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Sex crimes can be funny, especially when it's the Salesians, as pedophile priests and their bosses continue to defend their behavior

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
If I’m going to spend the next 50 years writing about sex crimes in the Catholic Church at least there’ll be a lot of laughter in my life, as I have to admit, the more I research and learn about the schemes and lies of men in robes flitting around altars and rectories, the more I have outbursts of uncontrollable laughter. The Catholic priests in America provide so much fodder for off-color jokes that Comedy Central and Mad TV writers will never be without filler material.

With a Salesian case headed for jury trial November 5, I called Joey Piscitelli to talk about his case against the Salesians that went to trial in July 2006 in Northern California. “What happened in my case," he said, "is you have to have notice that they knew or should have known. And how I had enough notice was the very first time Whelan masturbated in front of me Brother Salmaloski was watching.”

I burst out laughing and so did Joey. I mean they established prior notice by showing that another priest from the same order was taking part in the sex act as a voyeur? That's notice for ya. And with each laugh comes a flush of healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Opferfamilien bedrängen Erzbischof

GERMANY
Rheinische Post

Families of children abused in Riekofen are upset with how the Regensburg diocese and its bishop handled the case of a priest who was assigned to work in their community after a prior conviction on charges of child sexual abuse. He now faces allegations that he abused boys in Riefkofen.

The mother of one of the boys allegedly abused in Riekofen laid responsibilityon the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Missbrauchsfall beschäftigt Deutsche Bischofskonferenz

GERMANY
Berliner Umchau

The German bishop are expected to take up the issue of child sexual abuse at its Fall conference.

The issue has arisen nationally because of allegation of child sexual abuse by a priest in the Regensburg diocese. The priest had been on probation after being convicted of abuse in another town. Residents of the town of Riekofen are upset over the recent events and believe the bishop had a responsibility not to assign the priest to parish work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Police will charge 'victims' of false cases

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

By Jeff Wicks

Police have issued a stern warning to people laying false complaints, saying they will face criminal charges and civil claims should they be exposed.

According to the police, five false cases were reported in Durban within a few days this month. The fraudulent complaints were uncovered by investigating officers soon after they were reported three weeks ago. ...

On September 13 a woman alleged she had been raped by a priest. She said she was taken to a beach by a priest who she consulted to exorcise a demon that had apparently possessed her. According to the woman, the priest told her that they needed to have intercourse to get rid of the demon.

When police investigated the claim, it was revealed that no rape had occurred and that the woman had been coerced into laying the charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Alleged perv priest stalls trial

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston Herald

By Dave Wedge
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 - Added 11h ago

The case against an accused pedophile priest has been delayed for a whopping 34th time as his lawyer contests a new doctor’s opinion that the embattled holy man is fit to stand trial.

John Szantyr, who’s accused of molesting a Worcester altar boy in the mid-1980s, once again did not appear in Worcester District Court yesterday when a judge continued his case again. Szantyr, 76, has been ruled incompetent but prosecutors pushed for a new evaluation based on complaints from the victim and the victim’s supporters.

The new opinion, which is being reviewed by a judge and will be the subject of a Nov. 19 hearing, reportedly contradicts a defense report that says Szantyr is too ill to face the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Organ player accused in theft

GOSHEN (NY)
Times Herald-Record

By Raja Abdulrahim
Times Herald-Record

September 26, 2007

Goshen — A Catholic church's senior organist was arrested Monday and charged with stealing more than $12,000 in church donations.

Jimrae K. Lenser, an employee at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church for about seven years, is accused of stealing a combination of cash and checks since May, police said. Church staff first reported missing collection money on Sept. 5 and police have recovered cash and numerous checks that were stolen from the church.

Lenser, of Campbell Hall, is an organist at other local churches and police are investigating the possibility of similar thefts there. Lenser was the main organist at St. John's and responsible for the music during the weekend Masses, said the Rev. Thomas Dicks, the church's pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Retired priest faces judge in sexual assault case

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— A judge will decide whether a 76-year-old retired priest accused of sexually assaulting two altar boys more than 20 years ago is mentally competent to stand trial.

A Nov. 19 competency hearing was scheduled yesterday in Central District Court in the case of the Rev. John Szantyr of Waterbury, Conn., who is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. The sexual assaults on the two boys allegedly occurred in the 1980s, when Rev. Szantyr was assigned to Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish on Ward Street. The charges were lodged against him in 2003.

In September 2006, Judge Dennis J. Brennan, since retired, found Rev. Szantyr mentally incompetent to stand trial. The judge’s finding was based on a psychiatric evaluation done at the request of Assistant District Attorney Joseph J. Reilly 3rd, who is prosecuting the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Statements from Arizona officials regarding Jeffs verdict

ARIZONA
Deseret Morning News

Statement from Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith, released Tuesday:
"We are very happy with the verdict in this case. The Washington County Attorney's Office deserves all the credit and did a fantastic job in prosecuting this very difficult case. Brock Belnap and his staff, particularly Ryan and Jerry, did a tremendous job in preparing their case for trial. The Utah Attorney General's Office helped out with Attorney Craig Barlow, who handled the victim in the case. Gary Engel, Investigator for the Mohave County Attorney's Office, also did a great job in helping Washington County in preparation for their trial.

"It is too early to speculate on what will happen next. The first thing we need to see is what type of sentence Warren Jeffs receives in Utah. That may determine what happens next. The second question then is whether or not he will go to Arizona or the federal authorities will get him, although it seems likely that he will probably go to Arizona first. The final question will be what are the desires of the victim, which may be somewhat determined by what happens to Mr. Jeffs in Utah. Other than that any answers on what is going to happen next would be pure speculation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Jurors: Girl's age was crucial to decision in Jeffs trial

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Published: Sept. 26, 2007 12:19 a.m. MDT

ST. GEORGE — Jurors in the Warren Jeffs case said Tuesday they were convinced of the polygamist sect leader's guilt on charges of rape as an accomplice because of two "simple facts."

"She was 14. She didn't have to say anything for rape to occur. Warren Jeffs was her only ticket to getting out or not getting married," said juror Gerald Munk, 36, a maintenance worker for St. George.

The guilty verdict could send Jeffs, 51, to prison for life. Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in 5th District Court.

Jeffs is the president and prophet of the Fundamentalist LDS Church, whose tenets include polygamy and a belief in arranged marriages through revelation by God to the FLDS prophet.

But religion did not play a part in the jury's decision, jurors said during a debriefing with reporters following the verdict. Defense attorney Wally Bugden argued during his closing statement that Utah had made a political decision to charge Jeffs with rape, when it could have filed charges of performing an illegal, underage marriage.

"Religion was definitely involved, but I don't think it (the case) was about that," said Heather Newkirk, a 32-year-old mom and massage therapist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Justice served

UTAH
The Arizona Republic

Sept. 26, 2007 12:00 AM

After decades of looking away from the injustice, cruelty and sexual abuse masquerading as religion in the tiny polygamist towns straddling the Arizona-Utah border, determined law enforcers got their man.

Finally, Warren Jeffs, 51, was convicted as an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl. The verdict came after jurors deliberated about 16 hours over three days, and amid a trial that placed national attention on the plural-marriage sect centered in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah.

Jeffs could get life in prison.

That would be fitting. Jeffs' attorneys and backers attempted to make this trial about religious persecution and prosecutorial bias: That Jeffs was hounded by law enforcement officials in two states as the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sanctions polygamy and arranged marriages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Tossed juror cites a dispute

ST GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 09/26/2007 02:11:54 AM MDT

ST. GEORGE - The juror who was dismissed Tuesday morning from Warren S. Jeffs' rape-as-an-accomplice trial said there was a dispute over how she answered a question about sex abuse in her own past.
On Tuesday night, after the verdict of guilty on two counts was announced, 21-year-old Andrea Harold explained she had a personal experience involving sexual abuse. But Harold, a nail technician from Washington, said she did not feel she had misled the court.
Instead, she attributed her dismissal to a disagreement with another juror, who passed 5th District Judge James L. Shumate a note about a comment she made during deliberations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Pimental's seat will stay vacant; name will be off ballot

NEW BEDFORD (MA)
Standard-Times

By Aaron Nicodemus
Standard-Times staff writer
September 26, 2007 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD — The Ward 6 City Council seat will remain open through the end of the year, after Leo R. Pimental died unexpectedly Tuesday.

His name will be left off the Nov. 6 municipal election ballot, meaning that the seat will be won by candidates who run sticker and write-in campaigns. ...

A vacancy in an at-large seat would have to be filled immediately, no matter how much time is left in the term, she said. Such was the case the last time a vacancy occurred on the ballot: Thomas Kennedy resigned from his at-large seat in 2002, citing post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the priest sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Lawsuit against priest dismissed

JOLIET (IL)
Daily Southtown

September 26, 2007
A DuPage County judge has dismissed a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Joliet, saying too much time had passed since the alleged abuse occurred nearly 30 years ago at a Mokena parish.

Circuit Judge Stephen Culliton previously had ruled that a 2003 state law that extends the time limit for child sexual abuse lawsuits cannot be applied retroactively to revive old allegations. He officially dismissed the lawsuit Monday.

In the lawsuit, Dan Shanahan accused the Rev. James Burnett of molesting him from 1978 to 1982, when he was from 8 to 12 years old, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. Shanahan, 36, announced the allegations 19 months ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Sex-abuse suit against diocese is dismissed

JOLIET (IL)
Beacon News

September 26, 2007
By Emily McFarlan Staff writer
A DuPage County judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet involving a former pastor of SS Peter and Paul Parish in Naperville.

The suit accusing the Rev. James Burnett of sexual abuse was dropped this week after attorneys failed by Friday to appeal an earlier ruling by Judge Stephen Culliton.

In June, Culliton ruled a state law passed in 2003 to extend the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases could not be applied retroactively to old allegations and set the Friday deadline for new evidence to keep the suit alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

September 25, 2007

Vicar ignored warnings his paedophile warden was abusing girls, court hears

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By CHRIS BROOKE

Last updated at 20:53pm on 25th September 2007

A church warden carried on abusing girls after the vicar dismissed fears about his behaviour with the comment: “Yorkshire people are fairly tactile.”

Michael Matthews, an assistant priest, told the vicar that he had seen William Middleton being 'unnecessarily physical' with children.

But the only action taken by the Rev Nicholas Clews was to tell Middleton not to be alone with youngsters, Leeds Crown Court heard.

It was a warning the 64-year-old paedophile ignored and it was to be a year before he was caught when the mother of one of his victims went to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Saying Howdy to John Urell in Canada

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 25, 2007 11:48 AM

As lawyers debate whether John Urell--the former point man for the Catholic Diocese of Orange in its sex-abuse fiasco--should return from Canada after failing to finish a deposition, a intrepid Canadian reporter decided to drop in on the monsignor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Statutory Rapist Andrade And Pals Seek to Block Many Things

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 25, 2007 2:03 PM

A slew of in limine motions filed this past week by former Mater Dei High School boys' basketball coach/admitted statutory rapist Jeff Andrade and his former employers, the Catholic Diocese of Orange. Andrade's lawyers moved that any potential jury not hear "in any manner, either directly or indirectly, any reference to documentation, witness testimony and/or opinions that refer to any allegation that [Andrade] was criminally prosecuted or not criminally prosecuted as a result of his sexual relationship with the [15-year-old] plaintiff."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs convicted of rape as accomplice for role in teen's marriage

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Court TV

By Emanuella Grinberg
Court TV
ST. GEORGE, Utah — A jury in Utah found polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs guilty Tuesday of forcing a 14-year-old to marry and have sex with her 19-year-old cousin against her will.

Jeffs, 51, was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the arranged marriage of Elissa Wall and Allen Steed in 2001. He faces five years to life in prison on each count when he is sentenced at a separate hearing, which will be held within 45 days.

Jeffs appeared calm and showed no reaction as the verdict was read.

Jurors deliberated for just three hours before reaching a verdict after a panelist was dismissed and then replaced for undisclosed reasons. The original jury began deliberations Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

US sect leader convicted of rape

ST. GEORGE (UT)
BBC News

The leader of a US polygamist sect has been convicted of being an accomplice to rape for arranging the marriage of a 14-year-old girl to her older cousin.

A court in Utah found Warren Jeffs, a self-proclaimed Mormon prophet, guilty of two counts of encouraging the young girl to have sex against her will.

The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faces a possible life prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

US polygamist sect leader guilty of rape charges

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Raw Story

Published: Tuesday September 25, 2007

The leader of a polygamist sect in Utah was on Tuesday found guilty of rape charges stemming from the marriage of a 14-year-old girl against her will to a cousin.

Warren Jeffs, 51, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which broke from the Mormon Church because of differences over polygamy, was convicted on two charges of acting as an accomplice to rape.

Jeffs, a self-proclaimed prophet whose followers believe he is descended from Jesus Christ, was arrested in August last year outside of Las Vegas after being included on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Recapping the testimony

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

For more on the trial of Warren Jeffs, including newly filed court documents, photo galleries, multimedia presentations and past articles, visit http://www.sltrib.com/polygamy

In the opening days of the trial, Elissa Wall described the shock she felt upon learning from her stepfather, Fred Jessop, that she was to be married at age 14.
Jessop was a bishop in the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and second counselor to then-prophet Rulon T. Jeffs. One state witness said Jessop had "put the marriage together" and that Warren S. Jeffs was the "errand boy" who carried it out.
The FLDS believe their arranged marriages are divinely inspired by God, speaking through the prophet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Now that he's convicted, what's next for Warren Jeffs?

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
ST. GEORGE - Next stop for polygamist leader Warren S. Jeffs: another courtroom.
In Utah, he faces a federal count of flight to avoid prosecution. In Mohave County, Ariz., he is charged with eight counts related to two teen brides. One of the brides is Elissa Wall, the woman at the heart of his just-completed Utah trial.
"No final decision has been made yet on where Mr. Jeffs will go next," Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith said Tuesday in a statement. "There is a strong possibility that he will be coming to Mohave County."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Polygamist leader convicted in Utah

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Houston Chronicle

By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The leader of a polygamous Mormon splinter group was convicted Tuesday of being an accomplice to rape for performing a marriage between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl.

Warren Jeffs, 51, could get life in prison after a trial that threw a spotlight on a renegade community along the Arizona-Utah line where as many as 10,000 of Jeffs' followers practice plural marriage and revere him as a mighty prophet.

Prosecutors said Jeffs forced the girl into marriage and sex against her will.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Missbrauch: Die mühsame Aufarbeitung in Riekofen

GERMANY
Passauer Neue Presse

Görg Klotzek reports that the Regensburg diocese tried to conceal the past of the priest called Peter K. because the biographical information given at the time made no reference to him working in the town of Viechtach where he allegedly sexually abused two boys in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Vorbestrafter Pfarrer erneut in U-Haft

GERMANY
Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger

Residents of Riekoften are upset with the local bishop for reassigning a priest to a local parish after he had been convicted for abusing children. Sigrid Grabmeier of the movement called We Are Church accused the bishop of a cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Bischof Müller - der Pontius Pilatus von Regensburg

GERMANY
CareChild e.V.

Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller of Regensburg allowed a priest work again with children although he was previously convicted of abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Neuer Pfarrer, alte Schmerzen

GERMANY
Spiegel

Residents of the Bavarian town of Riekofen have been shaken by revelations that a priest may have sexually abused boys in the town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Competency hearing slated for accused priest

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— A judge will be asked to decide whether a 76-year-old retired priest accused of sexually assaulting two altar boys more than 20 years ago is mentally competent to stand trial.

A Nov. 19 competency hearing has been scheduled in Central District Court in the case of the Rev. John Szantyr of Waterbury, Conn., who is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.

The sexual assaults on the two boys allegedly occurred in the 1980s, when Rev. Szantyr was assigned to Our Lady of Czestochowa parish on Ward Street. The charges were lodged against him in 2003.

Judge Dennis J. Brennan, since retired, found Rev. Szantyr mentally incompetent to stand trial in September 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Priest accused of abuse to get 2nd competency hearing

WORCESTER (MA)
WPRI

Associated Press - September 25, 2007 2:34 PM ET

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A judge will decide if a retired Catholic priest accused of molesting two altar boys is competent to stand trial.

A hearing for the Reverend John Szantyr is scheduled for November 19th.

The 76-year-old Szantyr of Waterbury, Connecticut is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

The alleged sexual assaults occurred in the 1980s when Szantyr was assigned to Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in Worcester. Charges were brought in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Polygamist sect leader's jury starts over

ST. GEORGE (UT)
CNN

From Gary Tuchman
CNN

ST. GEORGE, Utah (CNN) -- Jurors in the trial of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs started deliberating all over again Tuesday with a new panelist after signaling earlier that they were close to a verdict.

Warren Jeffs is accused of two counts of being an accomplice to the rape of a FLDS child bride.

One juror was removed for reasons that weren't explained. She was replaced by one of the alternates, also a woman, court officials said.

Deliberations have been brief but tumultuous. On Monday, after just one full day of discussions, jurors told Judge James Shumate they were deadlocked. They returned to the jury room after a few words of encouragement.

Before leaving for the evening, jurors told the judge they were close to a verdict but wanted to sleep on it. But before deliberations resumed Tuesday morning, court officials replaced the juror, saying only that there had been an "event."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Juror removal delays Jeffs verdict

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Houston Chronicle

By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Deliberations began from scratch Tuesday in the trial of a polygamous sect leader accused of sex charges, after a juror was replaced on what had been expected to be a day of verdicts.

Fifth District Judge James Shumate replaced a female juror with an alternate, also a woman, who had watched the trial.

There was no immediate explanation for the move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Defense prepares to take stand in alleged kickback case in Cleveland diocese

CLEVELAND (OH)
Catholic Online

By Nancy Erikson
9/25/2007
Catholic Universe Bulletin (catholicuniversebulletin.org)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Catholic Universe-Bulletin) - Jurors began hearing testimony from defense witnesses Sept. 20 in the trial of a former diocesan accountant accused of being part of a kickback scheme

Anton Zgoznik, 40, of Kirtland Hills, has been on trial since Aug. 20 in federal district court for allegedly paying money to former diocesan chief financial officer Joseph Smith in return for business from the diocese. Zgoznik is charged with 15 felony counts including conspiracy, fraud and obstructing. Smith is expected be tried at a later date.

Federal officials allege that Zgoznik’s firms charged the Cleveland diocese more than $17.4 million for computer, accounting and financial work between 1997 and 2003 and then paid nearly $785,000 in kickbacks to businesses operated by Smith in return for continued business from diocesan entities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Accountant accused of fraud says he was following church orders

CLEVELAND (OH)
Ohio.com

Published on Tuesday Sep 25, 2007

A former accountant for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said he was following orders when he made $784,000 in secret payments to the top diocesan financial officer.

The payments amounted to extra compensation approved by top church officials, according to the defense for Anton Zgoznik, who took the stand Monday at his fraud trial.

The prosecution has portrayed the payments as unauthorized kickbacks Zgoznik made for accounting contract work awarded to his private business.

"I'm on trial because the officials of the Diocese of Cleveland did not want to take responsibility for their actions," the 40-year-old Zgoznik testified in U.S. District Court. "I never would have participated if I knew I was committing a crime."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

German Bishop Criticizes Reassignment of Pedophilic Priest

GERMANY
Deutche Welle

The host of a bishops' conference in southern Germany has taken one of his peers to task for reassigning a priest with a history of sexual abuse to a new parish. He also called for more openness on this sensitive issue.

The Bishop of Fulda, Heinz Josef Algermissen, said his colleague Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller of Regensburg made a mistake in offering a second chance to priest with a history of pedophilia.

"If something has happened in the past with children, a new start should only be allowed at a distance from children," Algermissen told the Bayern2 radio station.

The priest in question, identified only as Peter K., was found guilty in 2000 of making improper sexual advances toward a minor and received a 12-month suspended sentence. Müller reassigned the priest to the parish of Riekofen, a village near Regensburg, after that sentence expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Church official abused girls for year after fears raised

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

By Rob Preece
A CHURCH official from Yorkshire was allowed to continue molesting young girls for a year after a senior clergyman dismissed concerns about his behaviour.

William Middleton, 64, a sacristan, or churchwarden, in the Diocese of Wakefield, was jailed for three years yesterday after he admitted sexually abusing four girls.

Leeds Crown Court heard that an assistant priest had raised concerns about Middleton's behaviour a year before he was arrested, but the priest in charge allayed his fears, telling him: "Yorkshire people are fairly tactile".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Former accountant for Diocese takes stand

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by James F. McCarty September 24, 2007 15:52PM

A former accountant for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland testified Monday in federal court that church officials knew about, and approved, the hundreds of thousands of dollars of secret payments he is now being accused of making as kickbacks to the former top lawyer and chief financial officer at the diocese.

Anton Zgoznik, who is accused of paying $784,000 in kickbacks to Joseph Smith, said the diocese routinely used non-traditional forms of compensation for its employees. To keep the transactions confidential, the church often used a pass-through company, such as Zgoznik's Mentor accounting firm, he said.

Zgoznik said the beneficiaries of these secret compensation deals included Bishop Anthony Pilla and the Rev. John Wright, Smith's predecessor as the Legal and Financial Secretary at the diocese.

When a whistle blower exposed his deal with Smith in 2004, Zgoznik said he immediately contacted Wright, who Zgoznik said had set up the deal. Zgoznik said his fears were realized when Wright refused to back up his story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Zimbabwe: Pius Relinquishes Leadership

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

Harare
Disgraced former head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Bishop Pius Ncube, on Sunday handed over the leadership of the archdiocese to his successor, Father Martin Schupp, at a mass at St Patrick's Church in Makokoba.

The former archbishop of Bulawayo was forced to resign two weeks ago following the unmasking in July of a two-year adulterous relationship with Mrs Rosemary Sibanda, a fellow parishioner. Addressing hundreds of Catholics during the mass held in an open-air yard of the church premises, Bishop Ncube said the mass was meant to "strengthen each other in our faith" and for him to publicly hand over the leadership of the archdiocese to Father Schupp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Former Island Pond church teacher gets time served in sex case

GUILDHALL (VT)
Boston Globe

By Dave Gram, Associated Press Writer | September 24, 2007

GUILDHALL, Vt. --Molested as a child, a 23-year-old man wept in court Monday as he confronted the former church teacher who abused him when he was 11, telling him: "Don't you ever do it to anyone else."

John W. Thomas, 37, of Savoy, Mass., pleaded guilty to molesting two boys in the stockroom and basement of the Simon the Tanner shoe and clothing shop maintained by the Twelve Tribes Community Church.

He was given a 6-to-10-year sentence, all but 16 months suspended. But he has already served that time, and is expected to be released from prison soon and then to move to join family members in Wisconsin.

"John Thomas was my teacher. He was one person I really trusted," the young man, M.W., told the court. The Associated Press does not identify sex crime victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Jurors in Jeffs Case Close to Verdict

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Washington Post

By JENNIFER DOBNER
The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 25, 2007; 8:12 AM

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- At first, jurors said they had reached an impasse in the case of a polygamous sect leader charged with two counts of rape as an accomplice.

But after more deliberation, jurors in the trial of Warren Jeffs told Judge James Shumate they were making progress Monday and headed home after nearing a verdict. They are to return Tuesday.

"They believe they are close to a verdict on both counts, but they want to sleep on it for the night," Shumate said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Molestation convict's child-porn case dropped

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.25.2007
Child-pornography charges against former Catholic schoolteacher Phillip Gregory Speers have been dismissed, although the 35-year-old Tucson native will remain locked up for child molestation.

Speers had been facing two charges of sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly having child pornography on his computer and had been set to go to trial on Oct. 9. Yuma prosecutors dropped the charges last week "in the interest of justice," according to a motion. Officials with the Yuma County Attorney's Office did not return phone calls Monday.

Speers, known as Greg, was convicted in August on two counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 34 years in prison. Authorities with the Yuma County jail confirmed that he was transferred to state prison Monday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Priest named in sex lawsuit

MAINE
Kennebec Journal

By ELBERT AULL
Blethen Maine Newspapers

A former Windham resident has filed a lawsuit against a former priest and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, saying he was sexually abused by a man church officials knew was a threat to children.

Steven F. Boyden, 37, of Villa Rica, Ga., claims a former priest molested him during the mid-1980s, when Boyden was an altar boy at St. Hyacinth's Parish in Westbrook.

Ronald N. Michaud, who is identified as a resident of Augusta, told the teenager the abuse was a "true show of affection," according to a complaint filed last week at Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for "disgrace, humiliation, anger" and other emotional distress. It is one of two formal accusations of misconduct against Michaud, who has an unrelated sex-abuse case pending with church courts in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Judge dismisses priest abuse suit

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
9/25/2007 12:03 AM

A DuPage County judge officially dismissed a lawsuit Monday in which a man sued the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, claiming a former priest abused him decades ago.

In an earlier ruling, DuPage County Judge Stephen Culliton found a 2003 state law that extends the time limit for child sexual abuse suits cannot be applied retroactively to revive old allegations.

The judge, though, gave the accuser's attorneys until Sept. 21 to dig up new information to keep the suit alive. The legal action was dismissed Monday after the deadline expired.

In the suit, Phoenix resident Dan Shanahan accused Rev. James Burnett of molesting him from ages 8 to 12 until the mid-1980s at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Mokena. Shanahan, 36, held a news conference last year announcing the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

He fled a child sex-abuse case involving the Catholic Church in California. Now he's holed-up in Aurora. What is Msgr. Urell hiding?

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By MARK BONOKOSKI

Sunday morning at the Southdown Institute, a treatment centre for embattled clergy situated on 40 hectares of rolling farmland in rural Aurora.

Inside the lobby, close by the reception desk, the doors to the chapel are wide open. Morning Mass is almost over. A dozen or more men, mostly middle-aged, and many in clerical robes, are still in their pews, reciting the responses to closing prayers aloud.

"Monsignor John Urell?" the receptionist is asked.

"He is probably attending Mass," she says, nodding towards the chapel.

Then she looks down at her registry book and scans the names.

"Oh, he's new here," she says, abruptly. "You must see someone first before there is any possibility of you seeing him."

I am led to a small but well-kitted nurse's office where I am informed that "Monsignor Urell is not taking any visitors."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Lawsuit targets priest previously accused of sexual misconduct

AUGUSTA (ME)
Boston Globe

September 25, 2007

AUGUSTA, Maine --A former altar boy who claims he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in Maine is suing in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Steven Boyden, who now lives in Georgia, targeted the former priest, Ronald Michaud, who's believed to live in Kennebec County, as well as Bishop Richard Malone.

Boyden, who's 37, contends the abuse happened in the mid-1980s when he was 16 and living in Windham. Michaud is accused of molesting the teen while serving at St. Hyacinth's Church in Westbrook and again after being transferred to Aroostook County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Protesters confront Fresno Diocese officials

FRESNO (CA)
Fresno Bee

By Vanessa Colón / The Fresno Bee
09/25/07 04:09:18

Three protesters who demanded full disclosure of a sexual abuse complaint from the Diocese of Fresno were confronted Monday by diocese school officials who accused them of trespassing.

The exchange occurred as two San Diego men and a Newport Beach woman campaigned on a public sidewalk outside the diocese offices to raise awareness about sexually abused Catholics. The three, who represent the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, were themselves abused by clergy or parochial schoolteachers.

The three said Bishop John Steinbock failed to appropriately address a complaint of sexual abuse made against Bishop Tod Brown. Brown, who once worked for the Fresno Diocese in Bakersfield, was accused in 1997 of molesting a boy in the 1960s. He is now the bishop of the Diocese of Orange.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

September 24, 2007

Suit charges sex abuse by priest

SARASOTA COUNTY (FL)
Herald-Tribune

By TODD RUGER
todd.ruger@heraldtribune.com

SARASOTA COUNTY -- A 42-year-old Cuban man is accusing a priest who worked in the Diocese of Venice of sexually abusing him under threats to have him deported.

The man, identified in court records only by the initials "J.G.," filed a lawsuit saying that Monsignor Priamo Tejeda-Rosario rescued him from religious persecution in Cuba, only to abuse him in the Dominican Republic and in Florida in 2005.

Tejeda left his position as former bishop of Bani in the Dominican Republic and started working in the Venice diocese nine years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Maine Priest And Bishop

AUGUSTA (ME)
WCSH

Web Editor: Chris Rose, Reporter

AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER) -- The Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland is facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of a man who claims he was abused by a priest.

Steven Boyden claims the abuse happened in the early 1980's when he was a boy.

The suit names Father Ronald Michaud and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland as defendants.

It comes as no surprise that Michaud is being
accused of sexual abuse. He is one of four priests accused of sexually abusing minors whose names were made public by Bishop Richard Malone earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Paedophile case roils German bishops

GERMANY
Earthtimes

Berlin - German Catholic bishops gathered Monday for a meeting closed to the public where they were expected to discuss a paedophilia scandal in one diocese. A 39-year-old parish priest was arrested last month on child-sex charges in the parish of Riekofen. Critics say the priest should never have been assigned to parish duty after a paedophilia conviction in 2000.

Germany's church has so far largely avoided the paedophilia scandals which forced the Catholic Church in the United States to pay millions of dollars in damages in the 1990s and disgraced Ireland's Catholic Church last year.

But several bishops are worried that the crisis which will not go away in Regensburg diocese, one of the 27 divisions of the church in Germany, is developing into a public-relations disaster for the church nationally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Sex Abuse Suit Filed Against Bishop, Former Priest

AUGUSTA (ME)
WMTW

AUGUSTA, Maine -- A former altar boy from Windham who said he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in the mid-1980s has filed suit against the priest and Bishop Richard Malone.

Steven Boyden, 37, who now lives in Georgia, filed the suit last week in Kennebec County Superior Court against Malone and Ronald Michaud, of Augusta.

The suit alleged that Michaud -- one of four priests identified by the diocese as having been accused of sexually abusing minors -- molested Boyden while serving as the parish priest at St. Hyacinth’s Church in Westbrook. The suit said the abuse began in early 1985, when Boyden was 16 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Southern Baptists Consider Denomination-Wide Response to Clergy Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Sep. 24 2007 01:49 PM ET

Southern Baptists have begun developing a strategy and a denomination-wide response to clergy sex offenders.

Amid rising concern over several sex abuse cases and demands by former clergy abuse victims that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) take action to prevent further abuse, the convention's Executive Committee met last week to study the feasibility of developing a database of ministers who have been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse the denomination.

It was the first meeting held since SBC messengers – representatives from churches around the country – unanimously passed a resolution during their annual session in June to protect children from sexual abuse in the church body. The matter of concern has been widely publicized by national media and left Southern Baptists in moral outrage and concern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Resolution announced in 32 abuse lawsuits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Catholic

A conciliatory resolution of 32 civil lawsuits involving claims of abuse or injury by priests has been jointly announced by the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The plaintiffs have withdrawn their lawsuits.

In a series of decisions, courts in Pennsylvania have held that the statute of limitations prevents the bringing of suits in these cases because the alleged abuses happened long before the cases were filed.

“The Pennsylvania courts’ rulings preclude our clients from pursuing their claims,” said Alan Perer, a senior partner at the law firm of SPK, who represents all of the plaintiffs, and the “gesture by the diocese is very much appreciated.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Pedophilia's Double Standard

Council for Secular Humanism

by Christopher Hitchens

You often hear it said that religion, or religious belief, has the effect of making people behave better even if the metaphysical claims of faith are ill-founded or untrue. Bertrand Russell mounted a spirited attack on this opinion, on what were mainly empirical grounds, in his essay Why I Am Not a Christian. Actually, I rather like to see arguments in defense of faith mounted in a utilitarian manner in their turn, because this represents a huge if unadmitted concession to secular morality. However, the falsity or inconsistency even of such a weakened position needs to be exposed every now and again and—while Russell dealt chiefly with the past—there is no time like the present.

During the notorious "Moors Murders" case in Britain in the late 1960s, when a series of children were tortured to death and then buried in a remote and hilly territory, the conservative novelist John Braine wrote a furious response to liberal relativism and its then-fashionable saying that in such cases "We are all guilty." He could not, he said, consent to any such proposition. Nor could he blame anything so amorphous as "society." Rather than do what the accused had done, he would prefer to have died.

I dare say that any reader of this magazine would affirm the same, whether they were parents, grandparents, or not. The prohibition against cruelty or violence to infants is quite ancient and very common to all cultures, so that we remember the exceptions—Sparta, for example—very well. It's probably encoded in us in some way; it hardly needs the very memorable condemnation that it receives from Jesus of Nazareth, who is supposed to have said that, rather than perpetrate such a hideous offense, it would be better for the guilty to have a millstone put around their necks and to try and hide their shame in the depths of the sea.

Given that, the existence of a vast pedophile ring in the United States in the twenty-first century is something more than an affront to "family values." And the fact that this ring is operated by named and senior churchmen, who continue to hold high office and to officiate at Sunday ceremonies, is something more than an outrage. Alleged "cultists" in Waco, Texas, who were only suspected of maltreating children inside their compound, were immolated by a bombardment of federal fire. The admitted and confessed enablers and protectors of rapists and child abusers are invited, at the most, only to resign their high offices. And even this suggestion is something that they feel strong enough to repudiate-and with indignation at that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

(F.G.) Chi si aspettava ...

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the priest who has publicly confessed to loving a woman he wants to marry, celebrated Sunday Mass yesterday but did not address the controversy that developed with the Padua diocese over his public declaration or his appeal to the Vatican's Sacred Rota. He has been ordered by his bishop to leave the parish of San Bartolomeo in Monterosso.

Archbishop Antonio Mattiazzo wrote a letter to Monterosso residents that said he was close to the people in this time of trial and shares their pain. He added he feels the weight and responsibility of his duty as bishop and he is respecting all rules set by the church's canon law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Naugatuck priest arrested again, accused of again approaching boy

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Boston Globe

September 23, 2007

NAUGATUCK, Conn. --A Naugatuck priest who was accused last month of sexually assaulting a teenage boy has been arrested after he allegedly sought contact with the youngster.

The Rev. Robert J. Grant was outside his car near St. Mary's Church on Saturday when he tried to call the boy over to where he was standing, said Lt. Robert Harrison, a Naugatuck police spokesman.

Grant, who formerly served St. Mary's and St. Hedwig's churches, was charged with breach of peace and released on $200,000 bond Saturday night. He is scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Oct. 3.

Grant tried to approach the 16-year-old boy who accused Grant of giving him wine and money in 2006 in exchange for sex, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

The Mask of Reputation

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

07:49 AM CDT on Monday, September 24, 2007

She made her national reputation with "No More Sheets," a thunderous sermon in Dallas that called on women to reject promiscuity and embrace an ethic of self-respect and sexual restraint, just as she had done.

Essence magazine later said that the celebrated jeremiad "spawned a revolution among black women." Her success made her one of the country's most prominent evangelists and led to a televised dream wedding in 2003 to a fellow preacher.

And now, Juanita Bynum, the prophetess of true love, female empowerment and traditional marriage, is also a battered wife.

Her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, stands charged with felony aggravated assault after an August altercation outside an Atlanta hotel. He blames the devil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Agudath Israel's Jewish Observer On Child Sexual Abuse and Molestation

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

The Jewish Observer, the PR organ of Agudath Israel of America, has piece this month from David Mandel of Ohel on child molestation and sexual abuse in the haredi community. Emblematic of Mandel's approach to this is issue is his understanding of what should be done when a rabbi sexually abuses a child:

In September 2003, Torah U’ Mesorah, the National Council of Hebrew Day Schools, under the signature of leading Roshei Hayeshivas issued standards and guidelines on prevention and response to child molestation. On the issue of mesirah, reporting, it states “such action may include, under appropriate circumstances, reporting to the civil authorities when the principal determines that there is reason to believe that inappropriate activity has in fact occurred, insofar as halacha and secular law require such reporting”. Professor Aaron Twerksi, Dean of Hofstra Law School, and OHEL were instrumental in working with the Roshei Hayeshivas of Torah U’Mesorah in preparing these guidelines.

In other words:

The principal, the rabbi in charge of the school determines if abuse allegations are credible, not police or other trained individuals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Abused men to meet

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Chris Thompson, Windsor Star
Published: Monday, September 24, 2007
The organizer of the city's first information session for male victims of sexual abuse is hoping victims can shed their shame and attend the event.

"I hope it brings out men and gives them the courage to step forward," said Daniel Cahill, 69, who has organized the event, which takes place Wednesday night at the main branch of the Windsor Public Library starting at 6:30 p.m.

Cahill is preparing seating for 150 and believes that is a fraction of the number of male sexual abuse victims in the city.

I know that there are hundreds and hundreds of men in the city who have been sexually abused by clergy and coaches, boy scout leaders, teachers, anyone in close contact with children," said Cahill, who says he was the victim of a priest in the 1950s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Acting bishop earns high marks

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post-Gazette

Monday, September 24, 2007
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When he was elected to run the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh while it was between bishops, Auxiliary Bishop Paul Bradley didn't move into the suite that Archbishop Donald Wuerl had vacated.

After 15 months of service, he is prepared to hand the reins to Bishop David Zubik, who is returning to his home diocese from Green Bay, Wis. Across from Bishop Bradley's office recently, diocesan officials and employees were stuffing thousands of envelopes with color-coded invitations to Bishop Zubik's installation Mass. ...

The diocese has had someone on staff to assist victims of clergy sexual abuse since 1993, but Bishop Bradley created a new Office for the Protection of Children and Young People to deal with broader issues. Most recently, although no court case compelled him to, he made a $1.25 million settlement with 32 people who had accused priests of molesting them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

‘Broken Trust’ offers new approach to sex-abuse scandal, focusing on healing after betrayal

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

By Kaitlynn Riely
9/24/2007
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

When confronted with a news story about Catholic priests who sexually abused minors as well as adults, the mainstream media adopted a narrative that focused on the innocence of the victim and the betrayal of the priest. In every situation, there was the victim and the victimizer, the weak and the powerful.

Since this story about Catholic clergy breaking their vows of celibacy – and in many cases breaking laws – first appeared in newspapers and on television, the public has heard many lewd tales about inappropriate encounters between priests and those who trusted them. The public has heard the victims' side, about how they felt betrayed, confused and how they have struggled to recover.

Broken Trust tells us a few of these stories, including that of one of the authors, who was herself sexually abused by a priest. But Broken Trust reveals a side of the story that most probably have not heard, because it shows us the priest as victim turned victimizer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

September 23, 2007

Pa. plaintiff wants stories of abuse told

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Science Daily

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania man has rejected a settlement offer from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in the hopes that tales of abuse by priests can be made public.

Dennis McKeown, who was suing the diocese for abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of a priest, wants the current state statute of limitations for such crimes increased to allow other victims a chance to come forward, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said Sunday.

"It's not about the money," he said about his decision to reject a proposed $1.25 million settlement. "It's the only way society will have an opportunity to find out who these men are and where they are. It's ultimately going to make one of the largest entities in the world stop this vicious cycle."

The settlement was offered by the diocese as a way to end 32 lawsuits filed against it and to date three plaintiffs, including McKeown, have rejected the deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

INTERVIEW: Tony DeMarco talks about upcoming jury trial and fighting Goliath for discovery of sex crimes in the LA Catholic Church.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

“They were going to try every trick in the book and create new books for new tricks. Their strategy was to prevent the sordid history from coming out.” -- DeMarco

(The plaintiff liaison attorney in the LA Clergy Cases had a few minutes to talk last Friday about upcoming jury trials with the Salesians and some reflections on fighting Goliath to bring out sex crimes in the Catholic Church. Here's the interview:)

IS THERE SOME KIND OF GOLDEN PARAGRAPH THAT DESCRIBES THE ENTIRE SETTLEMENT?

DEMARCO: Not yet. It’s close. The documentation is very, very close.

IS THERE A STATEMENT IN THE SETTLEMENT THAT STATES RELEASE OF PERSONNEL FILES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS IS PART OF THE SETTLEMENT --

DEMARCO: It will be in the settlement agreement, yes. It’s being drafted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Naugatuck priest arrested again

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

NAUGATUCK — A borough priest accused last month of sexually assaulting a teenage boy was arrested at St. Mary's Church on Saturday after he attempted to have contact with his alleged victim.

The Rev. Robert J. Grant, was outside of his car near the North Main Street church when he tried to call the boy, who was also near the church, over to where he was standing, said Lt. Robert Harrison, Naugatuck Police spokesman.

Grant, a Roman Catholic priest who formerly served St. Mary's and St. Hedwig's churches, was charged with breach of peace and was released on $200,000 bond Saturday night. He is scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Oct. 3.

Harrison said the teen Grant attempted to approach Saturday was the 16-year-old boy who has accused Grant of giving him wine and money in 2006 in exchange for oral sex and back massages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

In the Matter of Michael Patrick Nash

IOWA
Iowa Judicial Branch

This links to the Iowa Supreme Court decision that determined former Priest Michael Nash could take the bar exam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Shining the light on church misbehavior

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

STEVEN GREENHUT
Sr. editorial writer and columnist
The Orange County Register
sgreenhut@ocregister.com
If you can't understand why journalists are so cynical, consider how I've spent some of the past week: reading transcripts and viewing videotapes of testimony by Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange officials explaining why they did so little to protect kids who were sexually abused by church leaders. If that won't make you at least skeptical about people in authority and human nature in general, nothing will.

On the bright side, that exercise reminded me of one thing about which I am not cynical, something that does more than most other reforms to keep in check humanity's basest instincts: sunshine. I refer to the sunshine of open records and open court proceedings. I've been heartened to see the way public information about the church-abuse scandal has blown away years of secrecy and covering up.

Over the past week, diocese officials have been reamed by critical news accounts. The impetus was a lawsuit by a woman who was sexually molested over a two-year period, beginning when she was a 15-year-old student, by an assistant coach at Mater Dei High School. The diocese tried to keep the depositions, including one by Bishop Tod Brown, secret. Had it succeeded, the media firestorm would not have ensued, and disturbing truths would not have been revealed. Fortunately, a Superior Court judge rebuked the diocese and allowed the testimony to be unveiled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Case of Achi Ben Shalom

EL CERRITO (CA)
The Awareness Center

Arrested for alleged "lewd and lascivious acts" with a female student. Achi Ben Shalom taught Hebrew, T'Filah and Kabalat Shabbat at Tehiyah Day School. Achi Ben Shalom was acquitted Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007 of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a girl younger than 14. However, the Israeli-born musician was found guilty of a count each of battery and assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Former El Cerrito teacher sentenced in incident with student

EL CERRITO (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Bruce Gerstman
STAFF WRITER

Article Launched: 09/21/2007 05:45:09 PM PDT

EL CERRITO -- A former El Cerrito private school teacher was sentenced today to 90 days in County Jail for misdemeanor assault and battery against a former student.

Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Leslie Landau sentenced Achi Ben Shalom, 53, to serve his jail sentence without the possibility of home detention.

A jury last month acquitted Ben Shalom of a felony charge of child molestation of a female student, but found him guilty of misdemeanor counts of assault and battery when he touched her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

El Cerrito music teacher gets 90 days for assaulting student

EL CERRITO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, September 22, 2007

EL CERRITO - A former music teacher at a small Jewish school in El Cerrito was sentenced to 90 days in Contra Costa County Jail today for assaulting a female student who had accused him of sexual molestation.

Achi Ben Shalom, 53, of El Cerrito was also placed on three years' probation by Superior Court Judge Leslie Landau in Martinez. Ben Shalom was acquitted by a jury last month of lewd and lascivious conduct with a girl but convicted of the lesser charges of assault and battery.

The girl testified that she had been molested last fall when she was 10 and turned 11. The Israeli-born musician testified that he had only massaged her stomach with a technique that he used on his children to ease aches, defense attorney Harold Rosenthal has said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

KUDOS TO CLOHESSY

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

Our town's David Clohessy, national director of SNAP — Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — has received the Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy Award from the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma. Clohessy, 50, got the award at the organization's 12th international conference in San Diego. Married and the father of two sons, Clohessy lives in St. Louis. He grew up in Moberly, Mo., where he and some of his brothers were abused by a priest. He has been working with abuse survivors since the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Zimbabwe bishop 'victim of state'

ZIMBABWE
BBC News

The Zimbabwean archbishop who resigned after allegations that he committed adultery has told the BBC that the charges were state orchestrated.

Pius Ncube says images allegedly showing him in bed with his married female secretary were being used to stop him speaking out on human rights.

But he did not deny the claims, saying he could not discuss the case as yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

SoCal church volunteer faces 141 years to life for child molest

RIVERSIDE (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 09/22/2007 10:14:19 AM PDT

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—A former Riverside County church volunteer who molested three boys was sentenced to 141 years to life in prison.

Jeffrey Randolph Wright, 47, of Hemet, was sentenced Friday in a French Valley courtroom.

"This is an individual who took advantage of being in a position of trust," Judge Judith Clark said.

Prosecutors said Wright was working with a youth group at Shepherd's House Church of the Nazarene in San Jacinto in 2005 when he abused the boys, who were 12 and 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Residential settlements begin

CANADA
The News

By Phil Melnychuk
Staff Reporter

Sep 22 2007

For the first year of their childhood spent in an institution, away from parents and family, they'll get $10,000. For every year after that, $3,000.

Katzie band members who were sent to residential schools can now apply for that as part of the recently announced residential schools settlement.

Band administrator Coleen Pierre-Sam expects between 15 to 20 will qualify.

"I pretty well have all my elders covered here," she said of the Pitt Meadows reserve.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Former counselor says he only comforted boys

NELSONVILLE (OH)
The Advocate

By KATHY THOMPSON
For The Advocate

NELSONVILLE -- A former camp counselor will take the stand in his own defense Monday to say he is innocent of two counts of gross sexual imposition.

Timmy Keil, 43, of Lancaster, was indicted on the charges in July after he was arrested by Perry County Sheriff's Office deputies when another camp counselor at the Scioto Youth Camp alerted law enforcement that Keil had been seen with a young boy in a cabin -- the boy lying on top of Keil while Keil stroked the boy's buttocks and back. If convicted, Keil faces as many as five years in prison on each count and a $10,000 fine for each count.

Fairfield County Children's Services investigated one of the allegations July 10. The agency's report stated it found "no evidence present" of any abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Sexual abuse: Pastor arrested

INDIA
Newindpress

Sunday September 23 2007 09:58 IST
ENS

THRISSUR: Peechi police on Saturday arrested pastor K J Sebastian, 45, following a complaint by a 40- year-old widow hailing from Nadathara, alleging sexual harassment.

Police said that the pastor had enticed the women by offering his help to secure a loan from a bank at Alathur in Palakkad district. When the woman met the pastor at Alathur on December 23, 2006, he took her in his car to a lodge and subjected her to sexual harassment. The woman in her complaint stated that she was subjected to sexual harassment on many occasions later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Plaintiff: Diocese settlement won't stop 'vicious cycle'

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

By Craig Smith
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dennis McKeown is hoping for a change in state law that would allow more people who claim to have been abused by priests to have their day in court.

"Nothing can make our lives whole. It's ripped our lives apart," said McKeown, 44, who sued the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in March of 2004. He claimed to have been abused by John Hoehl, a priest who was removed from ministry in 1988 and permanently dismissed in 2004.

McKeown and two other plaintiffs rejected a portion of a $1.25 million settlement of 32 lawsuits against the diocese to continue pursuing their cases. Instead of taking a cash award of about $40,000, he wants state lawmakers to create a window in the state's statute of limitations so their sexual abuse lawsuits can be heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Change, challenges for Keeler

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Liz F. Kay Sun reporter
September 23, 2007

Cardinal William H. Keeler celebrates his last public Mass as archbishop of Baltimore today -- but no one should expect him to say goodbye for long.

Stepping down after 18 years as head of the Baltimore area's more than 500,000 Catholics and 151 parishes, Keeler already foresees an ambitious schedule pursuing his passions and the religious agenda that has marked his career. ...

Tackling controversy head-on, he published the names of hundreds of priests who had been accused of sexual abuse during the clergy scandal in 2002, and he oversaw the closing of urban parishes and parochial schools amid declining church attendance and school enrollments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Suit charges sex abuse by priest

By TODD RUGER

todd.ruger@heraldtribune.com
SARASOTA COUNTY (FL)
Herald-Tribune

SARASOTA COUNTY -- A 42-year-old Cuban man is accusing a priest who worked in the Diocese of Venice of sexually abusing him under threats to have him deported.

The man, identified in court records only by the initials "J.G.," filed a lawsuit saying that Monsignor Priamo Tejeda-Rosario rescued him from religious persecution in Cuba, only to abuse him in the Dominican Republic and in Florida in 2005.

Tejeda left his position as former bishop of Bani in the Dominican Republic and started working in the Venice diocese nine years ago.

J.G. says Tejeda contacted him in Miami in 2005 and offered assistance in getting him a job with the Venice diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

September 22, 2007

Pastor of Owensboro's largest church resigns over misconduct

OWENSBORO (KY)
Kentucky.com

The Associated Press

OWENSBORO, Ky. --The longtime pastor at Owensboro's largest church has abruptly resigned because of "inappropriate" conduct, church elders said.

Myke Templeton was pastor at Owensboro Christian Church for nearly 28 years. He was asked to resign immediately "due to conduct that was inappropriate," according to a letter the church's elders issued this week. The letter did not specify the conduct.

John Hitchell, chairman of the board of elders, refused Friday to comment beyond what was in the letter. Templeton could not be reached for comment.

The church also asked another staff member to resign, the letter said, but that person wasn't identified.

"This action was undertaken with the certainty that it was the appropriate step under the circumstances," the letter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

9/22/07: Pastor Of Owensboro's Largest Church Resigns

OWENSBORO (KY)
WLKY

OWENSBORO, Ky -- The longtime pastor at a large church in western Kentucky has abruptly resigned because of what church elders called inappropriate conduct.

Myke Templeton was pastor at Owensboro Christian Church for nearly 28 years.

The church attracts nearly 3,000 people to its weekend services.

Templeton was asked to resign immediately earlier this week.

Elders did not specify in a letter what it is the pastor did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Church choir director charged with sex with girl

EVANSVILLE (IN)
Kentucky.com

The Associated Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. --A choir director who allegedly began a sexual relationship with a female church member when the girl was 14 faced two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Nathan St. Pierre, 25, was being held Saturday night in the Vanderburgh County Jail in Evansville on a $25,000 cash bond. He was due to be arraigned Monday.

St. Pierre was choir director at Evansville's Washington Avenue Baptist Church when the relationship with the girl, then 14, began in early May and ended earlier this month, police said.

The problem came to light when the girl's mother found a diary detailing the relationship and brought it to the church's pastor, the Rev. Mike Bebout, who is St. Pierre's father in law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Rwanda: Police Detains Pastor Murenzi

RWANDA
allAfrica

New Times (Kigali)

21 September 2007
Posted to the web 22 September 2007

Ignatius Ssuuna
Kigali

POLICE is holding a Kigali city senior pastor over alleged defilement and rape of seven school girls.

Pastor Charles Murenzi of Shining Light Church was arrested yesterday after Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Chief, Costa Habyara, quizzed him on Thursday.

Habyara confirmed yesterday that Murenzi is being detained and his case would be sent to court.

"The pastor came here (Kacyiru) this morning and we arrested him. His file will be forwarded to prosecution next week," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

TRANSCRIPT: July 16th Hearing in Superior Court Settling 508 Civil Cases Against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

“There’s been a constant stream of motions presented to this court in areas that are out on the fringes of established law.” -- Judge Haley Fromholz

Call me Scoop. Just now went back and read my July 16th notes and decided to copy and paste them here for others to read. It’s pretty much a transcript of what was said at the settlement hearing in LA Superior Court which which ended 508 plaintiffs’ cases against the Archdiocese. (Note: I’m not a court reporter, just incredibly fast.)

JUDGE HALEY FROMHOLZ: This was the date set for the trial re Hagenbach allegations. It was impossible over the weekend not to understand there’d be a settlement in these cases. This morning I need to establish it is a settlement, it covers the cases and it’s the desire of the attorneys, so that the trial dates can be vacated.

Judge asks Boucher to state it is a settlement and Hennigan does as well.

PLAINTIFF ATTY. RAY BOUCHER: I was ready to give an opening statement this morning. We represent 245 victims and I’d like the court to at least acknowledge the Hagenbach victims who are here today who were ready to start trial -- ask them to stand.

(Row of men stand up.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Cardinal's letter praises jailed priest

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
September 22, 2007

New Hampshire Catholic priest Gordon MacRae was convicted in 1994 of sexual assault. He is serving a 33-and-a-half to 67-year prison sentence.

In 2005, journalist Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, authored articles that defended Father MacRae, asserting he was the victim of false accusations and coerced confessions.

Interestingly, I have been provided with a letter signed by Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., in which the cardinal essentially praises Father MacRae.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Other Clergy Should Also be Defrocked

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

September 21, 2007 |
The National Herald
By Theodore Kalmoukos

The defrocking of Rev. Nicholas Katinas, former longtime pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, which was officially carried out, finally, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople on July 11, as we reported in the last week’s edition, should have been done a year and a half ago, when he was first accused of pedophilia, and which was officially admitted by the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Catholic priest on leave following misconduct allegations

MOUNTAIN HOME (ID)
KPAX

Associated Press - September 21, 2007 8:44 PM ET

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A Catholic priest in Mountain Home has been placed on leave and church officials are telling parishioners to contact the diocese if they are aware of anyone who was abused by clergy, diocesan employees or volunteers.

Roman Catholic Diocese officials in Boise say Raul Covarrubias was put on leave September 14th.

Covarrubias has been pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish since 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Mountain Home priest placed on leave

MOUNTAIN HOME (ID)
Idaho Statesman

By Bill Roberts - broberts@idahostatesman.com
Edition Date: 09/22/07

A Catholic priest in Mountain Home has been put on paid leave following allegations of misconduct, Roman Catholic Diocese officials in Boise said Friday.

Raul Covarrubias, 63, pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish since 1992, was put on leave Sept. 14.

Diocesan officials would not describe the allegations, but a written statement to parishioners from Bishop Michael P. Driscoll suggests that abuse was involved.

"I ask you to keep in your prayers Father Raul, the person who made the claim and all victims of abuse and violence," he wrote.

When the Idaho Statesman asked for a copy of the policy governing misconduct, the diocese furnished a copy of its policy on sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Priest Placed on Leave

IDAHO
Left Side of the Moon

Sep 22nd, 2007 by leftistmoon

The Idaho Statesman is reporting that, Raul Covarrubias, the parish priest for Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Mountain Home has been placed on leave; it was effective September 14th.

Fr. Covarrubias has been assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel since 1992. The reason was given as ‘misconduct.’ However, “when the Idaho Statesman asked for a copy of the policy governing misconduct, the diocese furnished a copy of its policy on sexual misconduct.”

A letter was written to parishoners from the bishop, Michael Driscoll. Bishop Driscoll has been accused of complicity in allegations of sexual abuse while ’serving the church’ in the Diocese of Orange in California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Pelotte found relaxing at his Florida beach-front condo

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA (FL)
Gallup Independent

By Marianne Armshaw
For the Independent

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. — Roman Catholic Bishop Donald E. Pelotte answered the door of his beach-front apartment Thursday wearing a maroon T-shirt, olive walking shorts and scabs on his right knee.

“I’ve been packing,” he said. “I’m going home tomorrow.”

During a polite, 10-minute interview, Pelotte repeatedly stated he did not want more printed about his story, but spoke frankly about his health, his immediate plans and the injuries that kept him hospitalized for a month. He firmly declined requests for a photographer to take his portrait.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Southern Baptists open hearings into clergy sexual abuse

NASHVILLE (TN)
Tennessean

By JENNIFER BROOKS
Staff Writer

The Southern Baptist Convention has launched the first hearing of what is expected to be a yearlong investigation into the problem of sexual abuse by Baptist clergy.

On Monday, victims of alleged clergy abuse met in front of Baptist headquarters in downtown Nashville to request a seat at the table during that discussion.

"Every mom and dad who sits in a Southern Baptist church pew should want the same thing I want — a substantial report about this problem, and public accountability," said Christa Brown of Austin, Texas, who wore a photo around her neck of a pretty 16-year-old girl with a bow in her hair and a smile on her face. It's a picture of her, taken shortly before she says she was molested by a trusted minister.

"The kids who become victims of these sex crimes, it's the kids who are the most devout. They're the ones vulnerable to a minister who uses faith as a weapon," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Jeffs jury will continue deliberations Monday

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Daily Herald

ENNIFER DOBNER - The Associated Press
ST. GEORGE -- A jury went home Friday without reaching a verdict in the trial of a polygamous-sect leader accused of sex crimes related to the arranged marriage of a 14-year-old girl and an older cousin.

The jury of five men and three women deliberated for roughly two hours and will return Monday to southern Utah's 5th District Court.

Warren Jeffs, 51, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is charged with two counts of rape as an accomplice.

Prosecutors claim he used his authority to demand the teen bride enter a ceremonial marriage in 2001 and have sex with her cousin, who was 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

State, victim clash over monastery

JOHNSON CITY (TX)
San Antonio Express-News

Zeke MacCormack
Express-News Staff Writer

JOHNSON CITY — James B. Wright Jr. and prosecutors alternate from allies to adversaries when it comes to the Christ of the Hills Monastery, depending on the case at hand.

Wright's claims of being molested there a decade ago led to indictments being issued in January against the monastery's founder, Samuel A. Greene Jr., and two other monks.

Greene died this week in an apparent suicide, leading to the dismissal Friday of criminal charges against him.

Wright's testimony will be critical at the upcoming trials of the others charged in the case, Walter Christley and William Hughes, who have pleaded not guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

False assault charges unlikely, expert says

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
Bakersfield Californian

BY LOUIS MEDINA, Californian staff writer
e-mail: lmedina@bakersfield.com | Friday, Sep 21 2007 11:17 PM
Last Updated: Friday, Sep 21 2007 11:17 PM

The 54-year-old Fresno man who says he was sexually abused as a child in Bakersfield by Orange County Bishop Tod Brown has stated he once thought he had imagined the alleged abuse.

In a July 1997 letter addressed simply to “Bishop, Diocese of Fresno,” some 32 years after the alleged abuse, Scott C. Hicks, stated that “I have been in psychological counseling for several years related to childhood sexual abuse issues and have only recently come to the realization that the abuse perpetrated on me by Father Brown was not a fantasy, but a detailed memory.”

Brown, in statements made recently in a deposition in Orange County concerning a separate allegation of child sex abuse that does not involve him, acknowledged that he knew of Hicks’ accusations and that he taught catechism at Bakersfield’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, where Hicks said the abuse took place in the 1960s. But Brown has denied Hicks’ claims.

Deanna Cloud, who oversees a sexual abuse treatment program for juveniles within the Kern County Mental Health Department and previously was a supervisor of the department’s forensics division which treats adults who have committed sexual offenses, said people do not tend to make sexual abuse allegations lightly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Protecting our children and young people

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

By Archbishop John Vlazny
Soon it will be autumn. Here in the Archdiocese of Portland we shall observe our fall Ember Day on Wednesday, September 26. This special day of prayer and fasting once again will focus on the need for healing and reconciliation in the lives of those who have been most aggrieved as a result of the sexual abuse of children by some of our clergy, religious and other church workers. This particular Ember Day happens to fall on the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian, two physicians and martyrs from the third century. They are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. As we pray for healing, their intercession seems most appropriate.

The real work of healing and reconciliation, however, will never be truly successful until we are confident that we as a people have done everything we can to protect our children and youth from such crimes again in the future. Is it possible for us to eradicate these crimes completely? Probably not, given the pervasive and persistent nature of sinful behavior. But this is no excuse for not trying.

Here in the Archdiocese of Portland, as in many other dioceses across the United States, we have made true progress in dealing with clerical sexual abuse of minors. But this work must continue because healing takes a long time. It is important for our parishes and pastoral ministers to continue to reach out to victims, to seek their forgiveness and to collaborate in our efforts to make our children as safe as possible from such harm again. It is true that some of the victims do want to deal with this issue on their own. Others, on the other hand, cannot and should not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Disgraced priest sentenced in abuse

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Saturday, September 22, 2007
BY MARGARET McHUGH
Star-Ledger Staff
A Catholic priest who became a social worker after the church removed him from duty was sentenced yesterday to 300 hours of community service and five years probation for his guilty pleas to child abuse.

The Rev. Richard Mieliwocki, 60, of Madison, last month admitted committing misdeeds in 2004 with two teenage boys at Daytop New Jersey, a drug treatment center in Mendham.

Mieliwocki had been charged with more serious offenses against four Daytop clients, but the prosecution's case disintegrated after one of the boys died of a drug overdose and the other partially recanted.

"The case literally fell apart," Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez said. Rodriguez said she hated to think that it appeared Mieliwocki was only getting a slap on the wrist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Finding forgiveness instead of vengeance

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

September 22, 2007

It should have been a deliciously satisfying moment for Lori Haigh, a form of vindication a quarter-century in the making. It's not a stretch to say she had hoped for years for something just like it -- when an official of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange would break emotionally and show at least a flicker of the same kind of suffering she'd felt so many times after being molested by a priest when she was a teenager.

Then, it seemingly happened. While giving a deposition in July in an unrelated sexual abuse case involving a former Mater Dei High School coach, Msgr. John Urell teared up and became distraught enough that the plaintiff's attorney asked if he needed a break.

Urell took advantage of the offer and, clearly upset, was excused from further testimony that day. He has not resumed his testimony and, earlier this month, was sent to a Canadian medical treatment center for clergymen.

Urell was no bit player in Haigh's life. He was one of two priests she sought out in 1982, she says, to reveal that another parish priest had molested her during her high school years. Expecting compassion from Urell, she says, he rebuked her and told her never to return to his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

OPP study abuse allegations

MICHAEL VALPY

CANADA
Globe and Mail

September 22, 2007

The inquiry into Grenville Christian College has entered a new phase with the Ontario Provincial Police confirming they are studying allegations from former students who claim they were abused and assaulted at the now-closed private school.

Officers from the Grenville County crime unit are examining what has been posted on websites and published and broadcast in the news media, as well as talking to people with knowledge of what went on in the school, located outside Brockville.

OPP spokeswoman Sergeant Kristine Rae said there is no formal criminal investigation because to date, she said, the OPP have not received complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Court: If exam OK, ex-priest can join Iowa bar

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By ABBY SIMONS
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

The Iowa Supreme Court will allow an Alaska priest laicized for allegations of sexual abuse to join the Iowa Bar Association if it is revealed that he passed the bar exam.

Michael Patrick Nash, 57, a graduate of Creighton University's law school in Omaha, was denied admission to the Iowa Bar Association in 2006 because of questionable moral character based on the purported sexual abuse.

Nash took the Iowa bar examination in July 2006, but because of the dispute by the Iowa Board of Law Examiners, the result was not published pending the court's determination of whether he could join the Iowa bar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

September 21, 2007

Church tries to clear air on priest's dismissal

CANADA
Times Colonist

Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist
Published: Friday, September 21, 2007
The woman whose accusation of sexual misconduct brought down a beloved St. Saviour's priest and rocked the foundation of the church in is a "brave" soul, said the Ven. Bruce Bryant-Scott today.

An admission of sexual misconduct by Rev. Antonio Osorio, who was suspended Sept. 5 and resigned Sept. 12, is being investigated by Victoria police. It is also being investigated by the diocese- for what could be another few weeks - as a breach of canon law, but not of criminal or civil law.

Bryant-Scott, spokesman for the Anglican Diocese of B.C., told a press conference here that he and others were initially lied to by Osorio.

Asked about the "victim," Bryant-Scott said all too often those who come forward are abandoned. "They are brave," he said. "Blame the victim is an old ritual."

Bryant-Scott said he imagines it was not easy for the adult woman, who has not been identified, to write a complaint about someone she once respected and who so many others "respected and loved."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

What's next for Father George Chaanine?

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KVBC

In a little more than a month the priest who pleaded guilty to battery will find out how long he'll spend in jail.

At first, George Chaanine told the Review Journal he was innocent. But as News 3's Robert Santos reports, he later struck a plea bargain with the District Attorney's Office.

George Chaanine, a Catholic priest, remains jailed at the Clark County Detention Center, after pleading guilty to hitting Michaelina Bellamy in the head with a wine bottle.

Originally, Chaanine was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping. But in exchange for the state dismissing those charges, Chaanine pleaded guilty to battery with a deadly weapon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Friday Roundup: Where is the outrage? Plus, note to those who say childhood sex crime victims should just get over it.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Yes it’s those Salesians, the Catholic order whose sole purpose since the 1800s has been to reach out and uplift young boys from poverty and disadvantaged homes.

It was the Salesians’ attorney who called low income boys from Don Bosco high school “10 year old now 60 year old juvenile delinquents” as he tried to get civil lawsuits dismissed in LA Superior Court Wednesday, lawsuits filed by sex crime victims from Salesian run schools that were not part of the July 16th settlement but are on calendar for a jury trial November 5 in LA Superior Court.

This is from the firm profile of Foley & Lardner LLP, whose partner Stephen A. McFeely represents the Salesians.

"For more than 160 years, Foley & Lardner LLP has delivered legal services. Foley is dedicated to understanding industry issues, government policies, and client goals." Today they represent a religious order many of whose priests it turns out are pedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

German bishop apologises over paedophile priest

GERMANY
Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German Catholic bishop apologised on Friday for reinstating a convicted child molester priest who was charged with a similar crime last month.

Peter Kramer, a priest in the Bavarian town of Riekofen, was arrested on August 30 on suspicion of sexually abusing a minor.

He was convicted of child molestation in 2000, but underwent therapy, received a clean bill of mental health and was reinstated by Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller in 2004.

"I would like to express my deepest regret and sympathy towards those children who have been mentally scarred and their parents," Mueller, bishop of the Bavarian city of Regensburg told a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Monument to Evil

FOREST HILLS (MA)
Jamaica Plain Gazette

By JOHN RUCH September 21, 2007

FOREST HILLS—The former St. Andrew the Apostle Church complex should be preserved as a monument to the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal, according to a mother of local victims.

Mitchell Garabedian, a famous attorney who represented many victims in the case, said St. Andrew’s is a “reminder to the world” and called for victim input about its fate. He also raised the idea of a monument to victims there or elsewhere.

Infamous child-molesting priest John Geoghan, whose prosecution blew open the church cover-up of sex crimes, served at St. Andrew’s from 1974 to 1980. He reportedly molested many children at the church and in the neighborhood. He was murdered in prison following a 2002 conviction for child molestation outside Boston.

“I represented 144 Geoghan victims. Many of them came from St. Andrew’s Parish,” said Garabedian in a Gazette interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Las Vegas priest pleads guilty to battery; sex charges dropped

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KVOA

Associated Press - September 21, 2007 10:44 AM ET

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest arrested near Phoenix has pleaded guilty to felony battery with a deadly weapon.

The Reverend George Chaanine admitted in Clark County District Court that he smashed a wine bottle over the 54-year-old woman's head at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church in January.

Chaanine remained held at the Clark County jail on a $1 million bail pending sentencing November 1st. The battery charge carries a maximum prison term of 6 to 15 years, but Chaanine could be eligible for probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Accused Morris priest sentenced to probation

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Margaret McHugh Friday September 21, 2007, 11:46 AM

A Roman Catholic priest from Morris County was sentenced this morning to five years probation and 300 hours of community service.

The Rev. Richard Mieliwocki, 60, of Madison, was accused of molesting four teenage boys at a drug treatment center but pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse. He was forced to surrender his social work license and can never hold public office. Mieliwocki had worked at Daytop New Jersey in Mendham when the alleged incidents occurred in 2004.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez said her office only agreed to the no-jail plea deal because the case had fallen apart with the death of one of the victims and a partial recantation by a second. The one teen died of a drug overdose, defense attorney Thomas C. Pluciennik said.

Rodriguez said she hated to think that it looks as though Mieliwocki got a slap on the wrist.

Mieliwocki has contended his actions were part of his therapy work with the boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Defrocked priest can take Iowa bar exam

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By ABBY SIMONS
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

The Iowa Supreme Court will allow an Alaska priest defrocked for allegations of sexual abuse to take the Iowa Bar Examination.

Michael Patrick Nash, a graduate of Creighton University law school in Omaha who was denied admission to the Iowa Bar Association in 2006 because questionable moral character based on the purported sexual abuse.

Nash formally left the priesthood in 2005 following allegations that he had sexually abused boys in the remote areas of the Juneau archdiocese in the 1980s. He was never prosecuted or found guilty, but admitted to requesting foot and neck massages, administering bare-buttock spankings and making boys do calisthenics in their underwear as punishment for misbehavior.

In denying Nash to the Iowa bar, the Iowa Board of Law Examiners contended that such actions “raise character concerns adequate to deny him permission to practice in Iowa.”

In a 6-1 decision, the state’s High Court disagreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Vegas Priest Pleads Guilty to Battery

LAS VEGAS (NV)
The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest who smashed a wine bottle over the head of a woman in church pleaded guilty to felony battery with a deadly weapon.

The Rev. George Chaanine admitted Thursday in Clark County District Court that he smashed the bottle over the 54-year-old woman's head at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church in January.

Prosecutors dropped other charges, including attempted murder and sexual assault.

"Our prosecutors analyzed the case, they spoke with the victim, and she thought it was best to resolve this case short of trial," District Attorney David Roger said.

Neither the woman nor her lawyer could be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

McCormack victim to get $1.65 million

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

September 21, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter shogan@suntimes.com
A $1.65 million settlement has been reached between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the family of a boy molested by the Rev. Daniel McCormack, the victim's attorney announced Thursday.

In July, McCormack was sentenced to a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to molesting boys at St. Agatha Parish and Our Lady of the Westside School, now called Saint Agatha Catholic Academy.

Steven Dicker said his client, now 15, was molested by the priest between 2001 and 2005. At the time, the boy was a student of the school and a member of the basketball team that the priest coached, he said.

He praised the boy for speaking out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Diocese bans priest accused of harassment

ARLINGTON (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram staff writer

FORT WORTH -- An Arlington priest accused of sexual harassment was banned Thursday from working in the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, despite the inconclusive results of an investigation.

But diocese officials believed that the two women who accused the priest were intimidated into silence after coming forward. And the priest admitted buying them jewelry.

Bishop Kevin Vann said in a statement that it was in the best interests of the diocese and the priest's divided parish, Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church, for him to permanently remove the Rev. Bartholomew Hoa Thai Do. He was removed in August for the duration of the investigation.

"A pastor is needed who can bring all parishioners together and who has no cloud of past allegations about him, allegations which involve current residents of our diocese," Vann said in the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Media center director calls for return of investigative journalism

KANSAS
Kansas State Collegian

Tough, investigative journalism needs to return to the forefront of the mainstream media, said the director of a renowned investigative journalism center yesterday at the eighth-annual Huck Boyd Lecture on Community Media.

Bill Buzenberg, executive director for the Center of Public Integrity, said the media are too concerned with superficial news about celebrities like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. ...

He said journalists need to return to the muckraking and watchdog journalism of the past. He said reporters should look at the investigative reports of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's Watergate uncovering, and other journalists' work on revealing scandals like child abuse by Catholic priest and the National Security Agency's domestic spying program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Il pm: l'arcivescovo di Siena non è indagato

ITALY
Il Corriere della Sera

Nicola Marini, substitute prosecutor for Siena, yesterday denied he was formally investigating the Siena archbishop.

Il Corriere della Sera and another newspaper reported that Archbishop Antonio Buoncristiani was being investigated for an April 2004 arson on diocesan property. The Rev. Giuseppe Acampa, diocesan administrator, was indicted on charges of arson and slander. He will respond to the accusations on Jan. 22.

Marini said it was false to speak of "red lights parties" and said the current investigation in the Siena diocese had nothing to do with the investigation in the Florence diocese. The magistrate refused to comment further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Ipotesi: don Sante vescovo

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

Reporter Leon Bertoletti tells of a possible scenario in which the Rev. Sante Sguotti will be nominated a bishop on Dec. 2 by Archbishop Emanuel Milingo. Archbishop Milingo, who has been excommunicated by the Catholic church, is founder of a movement called Married Priests Now, and in September 2006 nominated four married priests as bishops. Rev. Sguotti would have announced his official engagement to the woman he loves during his nomination but it is unlikely to happen since his bishop's decree for his removal from his parish will be delivered in a week.

The parish priest from Monterosso will appeal his expulsion from the parish with the help of lawyer Marco Cardinale, who is recognized by the Vatican to take cases to the Sacred Rota, the Vatican tribunal. This action will also impede Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua from appointing another parish priest until the final decision is made. The Rev. Tiziano Vanzetto, chancellor and judicial vicar for the Padua diocese, said the process will be long. "We will proceed in the strictest respect of the Canon Law," he said.

Rev. Sguotti is refusing any contact with the hierarchy. "I'm not eager to go. I even could make some clamorous demonstrations, like chaining myself in front of the church," he said. It will not be easy to convince the priest to leave Monterosso and the passing of time will probably work in the priest's interest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Boy abused by Rev. McCormack settles for $1.6 million

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear Tribune religion reporter
September 21, 2007

A 15-year-old West Side boy and his family will receive $1.65 million from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago for sexual abuse the boy suffered at the hands of a pastor, a lawyer for the victim and his family said Thursday.

The settlement marks the first lawsuit to be resolved since Rev. Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty in July to fondling five boys ages 8 to 12 in housing at St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church.

At least two other suits against McCormack and the archdiocese are pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Sisters about to bid farewell to their own little Eden

NEWPORT (RI)
Providence Journal

NEWPORT — For more than a half-century, 13.5 acres of pastoral and secluded property in one of the most desirable areas of Newport has been home to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny.

It was there that members of the Catholic order took their vows, received their training and managed all of their North American missionary efforts. The nuns not only appreciated the tranquility of their sprawling natural surroundings on Brenton Road, but they also cut loose with an occasional skate on the frozen salt marsh or a toboggan ride down their hill. ,,,

The Diocese of Providence, which acquired the former Arthur Curtiss James estate in 1954, owns the property. It announced on Wednesday that it will sell the Brenton Road property and six others across the state to reduce debt partly related to the $14.2-million settlement of the clergy sexual-abuse case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Very embarrassing, and very painful

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Kern County district attorney, Bakersfield police, say they don’t know if they investigated a claim of sexual abuse against Bishop Tod Brown.

What has been called an unsubstantiated claim of sexual abuse against Orange’s Bishop Tod Brown may never have been investigated by law enforcement, according to recent press reports.

During his Sept. 10 deposition for a sexual abuse lawsuit against his diocese, Brown admitted that he had had an accusation of sexual abuse brought against him in 1997. The accuser, Scott Hicks of Fresno, claimed that in 1965 then-Father Brown had molested him three times at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Bakersfield.

During his deposition, Brown admitted that he never informed the papal nuncio’s office of the allegation (the correct protocol for accused bishops), and that he kept the accusation private because, said Brown, “it was very embarrassing, and very painful.” However, he told plaintiff’s attorney John Manly that he decided not to go public with the accusation because it “was judged not to be credible.” When pressed as to who had reached that conclusion, Brown replied, “The investigation conducted by the Diocese of Fresno.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Providence Diocese To Sell Tract In Westerly

WESTERLY (RI)
The Day

Westerly — Forty-two years ago the Diocese of Providence bought a large piece of land just east of Dunns Corner-Bradford Road with the intent of possibly building a Catholic high school there.

In 1990 it sold some of the land to the local foundation that established the Paul E. Trombino Sports Complex on Moorehouse Road. Now the diocese wants to sell the rest of its property, which totals more than 131 acres. ...

The land is one of seven properties the diocese announced Wednesday it was selling across Rhode Island to raise cash.

Some of the proceeds will go to create an endowment that will pay for the upkeep of hundreds of diocesan properties, according to diocesan communications director Michael Guilfoyle, with the rest helping pay off the diocese's $6 million debt.

Some of that debt was incurred when the diocese paid more than $14 million to people who were sexually abused by diocesan priests and filed lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Lawyers to cut fees in church bankruptcy

SPOKANE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

SPOKANE -- Lawyers involved in the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane have agreed to cut their legal bills by about 5 percent, producing an extra $400,000 for victims of sexual abuse by priests.

If approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams, the agreement would end a dispute among several law firms and the U.S. Trustees Office over how much the lawyers should be paid.

The legal fees fight is one of the last remaining issues in the bankruptcy filed in December 2004.

Spokane Bishop William Skylstad brought the diocese into bankruptcy protection to shield its assets and parishes from dozens of claims alleging sex abuse by priests decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Catholic priest probed for sexual abuse

ITALY
Sowetan

21 September 2007

ROME – The Vatican has ordered an investigation into a sex-abuse scandal implicating a priest in Florence who is already the subject of a criminal investigation, press reports said yesterday.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has sent a prelate to the Renaissance city amid suspicions that the full extent of the scandal surrounding Reverend Lelio Cantini has not been revealed, the daily La Repubblica reported. The envoy will interview Cantini’s victims. He has admitted to coercing girls and women in his parish to have sex with him between 1973 and 1987.

Florentine Cardinal Ennio Antonelli admitted in an open letter in April that the Roman Catholic Church had settled the matter in secret after accusations of former parishioners reached the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Archdiocese reaches $1.65 million settlement with abused teen

CHICAGO (IL)
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier

CHICAGO - The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a $1.65 million settlement with the family of a 15-year-old who was sexually abused as a young boy by a Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty in July to abusing five boys between the ages of 8 and 12 while he served as parish priest at St. Agatha Catholic Church and was sentenced to five years in prison.

The settlement will pay for therapy and let the boy put the abuse behind him, said Steve Dicker, an attorney for the boy's family.

"The victim and his family are relieved that as a result of the settlement the child will not have to testify in either the criminal or civil proceedings," Dicker said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Syracuse teen sues Catholic diocese

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By MIKE CHALMERS, The News Journal

Posted Friday, September 21, 2007

When a New York teenager accused a retired Delaware priest of years of sexual abuse last summer, church officials here reversed a long-standing policy and publicly named 20 priests they believed had molested children over the past 40 years.

On Thursday, that teenager, now-18-year-old Michael Dingle, publicly stepped forward himself and sued those church leaders for allegedly conspiring to keep the abusive priest's past a secret.

Dingle's lawsuit does not target the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca, who was sentenced last week to prison and probation after pleading guilty in New York to sexually abusing Dingle. DeLuca, 77, is Dingle's great uncle.

Instead, Dingle's Superior Court lawsuit focuses on the actions of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Bishop Michael Saltarelli, Monsignor Thomas Cini and former Bishop Robert Mulvee, who headed the diocese between 1985 and 1995. They failed to remove DeLuca from the ministry or warn church officials in Syracuse, N.Y., about abuse allegations against DeLuca that dated back to the 1960s, Dingle's suit claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Gathering resurrects old memories

CANADA
Leader-Post

Kerry Benjoe, Leader-Post
Published: Friday, September 21, 2007
The first day of the provincial healing gathering was greeted with mixed emotions by those in attendance, many of whom revisited old memories.

The Cowessess First Nation is hosting the gathering to help residential school survivors who are applying for their Common Experience Payments under the government-approved settlement.

Carol Lavallee, 56, has a unique perspective of residential schools. She lived through the bad times as a student and as an employee she worked to make it a happy experience for others.

Everyone can recall their first day of school and the excitement surrounding that big day, but for many residential school survivors their memories are not so cheery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Programs in doubt after priest resigns

CANADA
Globe and Mail

SHANNON MONEO

From Friday's Globe and Mail

September 21, 2007 at 4:29 AM EDT

VICTORIA — The hungry, the homeless and abused immigrant women are bearing the effects of the resignation of a charismatic Anglican priest who admitted to sexual contact with an adult female parishioner.

Rev. Antonio Osorio resigned Sept. 12 from St. Saviour's Anglican Church in Victoria. Two days later, he sat down with his superiors to give a detailed account of "substantial sexual misconduct," Ven. Bruce Bryant-Scott said.

"He was very upset. He was contrite," said Archdeacon Bryant-Scott, executive officer for the Victoria-based Diocese of B.C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

'Coward' loses faith in his bishop

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com

Let's end the week with some reflection about what we've learned about the Diocese of Orange.

We learned Bishop Tod Brown withheld that he was accused of molestation once. That he sent a key figure in the molestation scandal, Monsignor John Urell, to a hospital in Canada virtually on the eve of trial. That Brown's Covenant With the Faithful apparently had a little-known codicil: "All of the above is null and void if we get in deep legal trouble again." That diocesan officials had evidence assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade was in a relationship with a girl in the mid-90s and didn't report it to police.

Whew. Makes a Catholic question the moral authority of his religious leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

September 20, 2007

Lawsuit Filed; Fr. Nicholas Graff Accused of Abusing & Trying to Buy Rights to Teen

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Orthodox Reform

Editor’s note: This article and the related television news report on the Graff lawsuit is very troubling. According to a church member, parishioners were told Fr. Graff “retired” in June. To our knowledge, the GOA has not followed its stated sexual misconduct policy in the Fr. Graff case which states “…the disciplining of a Clergyman for Sexual Misconduct should be disclosed to the parish of the Clergyman and to the Church community in general” (source). This appears to follow the pattern of the Nicholas Katinas scandal, where the Hierarchy stated the priest was “retired” and only after legal action was taken did the GOA follow it’s policy and admit the priest was disciplined due to substantiated reports of sexual misconduct.

Is there a coverup? The GOA needs to explain themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 PM

Early identification is crucial

The Tidings

By Michael J. Bland, Psy.D., D. Min.

"Thus has the Lord of Hosts said "dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion to one another."
-Zechariah 7:9

Child sexual abuse is a reality in our society and within our Church. While we may not be able to eliminate this reality from our society, or from our Church, as caring adults we have the ability to recognize questionable behaviors and to identify possible symptoms or behaviors displayed by children who may have been sexually abused.

Awareness and education can be major steps in identifying potential abuse and being able to identify the short-term affects of sexual abuse. Such awareness and education can help in minimizing the long-term affects of sexual abuse, if not the reality of sexual abuse itself.

Sexual abuse may be considered as any sexually related behavior between two or more people where there is an imbalance of power. This can include adult-child, older child-younger child, or any situation where the other person is forced to participate.

Sexual abuse is the offenders' misuse or abuse of power and control. It may be accomplished through grooming processes such as force, deception, bribery, blackmail, or any other means that gives the offender an upper hand. The abuse behaviors may range from peeping, exposing genitals, fondling, oral/anal/vaginal sex, showing or taking pornographic pictures of a child, or any other sexual behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 PM

Arlington Priest Removed After Sex Harassment Investigation

ARLINGTON (TX)
My Fox

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Statement by Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann

The pastor of the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church in Arlington has been removed from office Thursday by Bishop Kevin Vann after an investigation of allegations of past sexual harassment of two women while the priest served a parish in another state.

Bishop Vann informed the superiors of the Congregation of Mother Coredemptrix that he was as of today removing Father Bartholomew Tran from his office as pastor of Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church in Arlington as well as removing his priestly faculties.

Father Tran is a member of the Congregation of Mother Coredemptrix, which ministers at the request of the Bishop of Fort Worth to the Arlington Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 PM

Parishioners Reach Out To Sex Abuse Survivors

PORTLAND (OR)
Oregon Public Broadcasting

By Colin Fogarty
Portland, OR September 20, 2007 4 p.m.

This weekend in Portland, a group of Catholic lay people have organized a symposium on clergy sex abuse.

The event is not put on by the Archdiocese of Portland or the traditional clergy abuse survivor groups. Instead, several parishioners are trying to form a group that they say will fill an important need. Colin Fogarty reports.

Virginia Jones of Portland is a convert to Catholicism. Her devotion to the faith is so fierce that it could not be broken by the clergy sex abuse scandal. It survived the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of Portland.

Jones’s devotion even remained after the priest who baptized her was accused of sex abuse. But Jones felt a deep connection to the victims of clergy sex abuse because she was abused too, although not by a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 PM

Teen Settles With Archdiocese Over Priest Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The family of a teenage boy who says the Rev. Daniel McCormack molested him, has reached a settlement with the Chicago Archdiocese.

The 15-year-old says McCormack sexually abused him on several occasions between 2001 and 2005 at St. Agatha Parish on the city's West Side, where the boy attended school.

A settlement of $1.65 million, the boy's attorney said.

McCormack pleaded guilty on July 2 to sexually abusing five boys -- the youngest only 8, the oldest 11. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Father George Chaanine pleads guilty to battery

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KVBC

A priest accused of attacking a choir member has pleaded guilty to battery. Father George Chaanine had been charged with kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and attempted murder.

In exchange for a guilty plea to the battery charge, those other charges will be dismissed.

Police say Chaanine hit Michealina Bellamy with a wine bottle. He was on the run for about a week following the attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Accused Las Vegas Priest Agrees to Plea Deal

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KLAS

A Las Vegas priest accused of beating a church employee has agreed to a plea deal. Father George Chaanine vanished back in February after a church employee accused him of attacking her with a wine bottle and sexually assaulting her.

He was eventually captured after more than a week on the run outside of Phoenix.

Under the terms of the deal, Chaanine did not plead guilty to the sexual assault charges, but did plead guilty to second degree battery with a deadly weapon.

He could get probation or jail time. Sentencing will be in early November. He'll also have to pay a fine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Lawsuit Claims Priest Sexually Assaulted Teen

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
News4Jax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former parishioner has sued a priest and a Greek Orthodox church on allegations of sexual assault when he was a teen, although the priest's attorney said the lawsuit is frivolous.

The suit against the Very Rev. Nicholas T. Graff, the St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was filed Monday in Duval County Circuit Court.

It does not identify the 22-year-old parishioner or his family members by name.

The suit claims that when the parishioner became a teenager, Graff "began exhibiting undue, obsessive and inappropriate interest" in him, including taking the parishioner to and from school every day and buying him an automobile and clothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Victim of pedophile priest sues church officials

WILMINGTON (DE)
Newsday

By RANDALL CHASE | Associated Press Writer
1:19 PM EDT, September 20, 2007

WILMINGTON, Del. - Attorneys for a young man sexually abused by a former Catholic priest who was also his great-uncle sued church officials Thursday, alleging that they knew for decades that the priest was abusing children but did nothing to warn the public, or even his own family.

Francis DeLuca, 77, was sentenced by a Syracuse, N.Y., judge earlier this month to 60 days in jail for repeatedly molesting his grandnephew, Michael Dingle, 18.

DeLuca, who pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse, two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, returned to his hometown of Syracuse in the early 1990s after being dismissed from public ministry in Delaware, where he was accused of sexually abusing a minor 30 years earlier. He was arrested in October after Dingle told his parents he had been sexually abused by DeLuca from the time he was 12 or 13 until the age of 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Archdiocese settles priest abuse case for $1.65 million

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC7

By Sarah Schulte
September 20, 2007 - The Archdiocese of Chicago has settled the first of several lawsuits involving a priest accused of molesting boys. The settlement is in a case against Father Daniel McCormack, who pleaded guilty to child molestation earlier this summer. The archdiocese has settled the lawsuit for $1.65 million.

The suit claimed Father McCormack abused the boy over a four-year period when he boy attended Saint Agatha Parish on Chicago's West Side.

Father McCormack's guilty plea in criminal court last July paved the way to begin settling at least three civil suits filed against the Archdiocese of Chicago. Thursday's financial settlement goes to a boy that was molested between the years of 2001-2005. The unnamed victim and his family settled because they were anxious to get the case behind them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Boy Settles For $1.65M In McCormack Abuse Scandal

CHICAGO (IL)
KMAQ

CHICAGO -- The first of several child molestation lawsuits against a Chicago priest has been settled following months of negotiations.

Now 15 years old, a West Side boy and his family will receive $1.65 million for the repeated sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of archdiocesan priest Fr. Daniel McCormack between 2001 and 2005 at St. Agatha Parish, where the boy attended parochial school.

Last July, McCormack pled guilty to child molestation after prosecutors alleged he assaulted one 11-year-old boy on a near-daily basis from September 2005 to January 2006. According to a news release, Cardinal Frances George kept the now embattled priest in the ministry despite several written and verbal warnings about McCormack's behavior from a nun seven years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Victim of Clergy Sex Abuse Settles Lawsuit

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Public Radio

Produced by City Room on Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a $1.65 million settlement with a victim of clergy sex abuse. Daniel McCormick pleaded guilty this summer to charges of molesting the 15-year-old victim during basketball practice. The victim attended St. Agatha Parish where McCormick repeatedly abused him from 2001 to 2005. Steven Dicker, the boy's attorney, says the victim wants to put all of the incidents behind him and the money will help him do that.

DICKER: The impetus was to get a fair financial compensation for the boy in order to protect him for future needs such as therapy medication anything that he would need financially we can assist him by getting this sum of money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Lawyers agree to cut fees in Spokane Diocese bankruptcy case

SPOKANE (WA)
The Bellingham Herald

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Lawyers involved in the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane have agreed to cut their legal bills by about 5 percent, producing an extra $400,000 for victims of sexual abuse by priests.

If approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams, the agreement would end a dispute among several law firms and the U.S. Trustee's Office over how much the lawyers should be paid.

The legal fees fight is one of the last remaining issues in the bankruptcy filed in December 2004.

Spokane Bishop William Skylstad brought the diocese into bankruptcy protection to shield its assets and parishes from dozens of claims alleging sex abuse by priests decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Stuck Inside of Memphis With the Catholic Blues Again

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 20, 2007 11:34 AM

Writing from Staxville, on the eve of delivering a lecture about ¡Ask a Mexican! at the University of Memphis...

Yesterday, the law firm of Manly, McGuire & Stewart filed a contempt of court order against Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown, the latest salvo in the Jeff Andrade case. Manly and amigos are arguing that the Orange diocese purposefully whisked Monsignor John Urell to Canada to avoid finishing a deposition that he couldn't continue back in July after breaking down in tears. The diocese denies the charges, and Urell's personal lawyer, Patrick Hennessey, issued a statement that Urell suffers from an "extremely serious anxiety disorder" and can't give a deposition for "a minimum of least three months...Attorneys for the Diocese of Orange were never consulted about where he should receive hospitalization and treatment."
Both Hennessey and Orange diocesan spokesperson Ryan Lilygren are furiously spinning for Urell. Hennessey got an entire column with Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit yesterday where he said that he noticed Urell "was in distress" in late August and tried to get an appointment with a psychiatrist over Labor Day weekend. On Sept. 4, the psychiatrist concluded after "20 minutes" that Urell needed immediate hospitalization; Urell left for Canada's Southdown Institute on Sept. 6. Lilygren chirped in with his already infamous Sept. 14 "Spin/Facts" memo on the diocesan website:

"The recommendation to place Msgr. Urell in a residential treatment facility was made by Msgr. Urell himself, his doctors, his family and close friends and the diocesan Vicar for Priests, Father Christopher Smith. At no time was the diocesan legal team involved in making this decision."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Movie plot stirs opposition in Naugatuck

NAUGATUCK (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

Hollywood may receive stiff resistance from Naugatuck educators over a controversial movie that could be filmed at Salem School. The principal and at least two Board of Education members do not want Miramax Films to shoot scenes at the school for a movie called "Doubt," starring Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The film is based on a 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning play set at a Catholic school in the Bronx, N.Y. It is about a nun who becomes suspicious when a priest takes too much interest in the life of the school's first black student. In the play, the nun suspects that the priest gave the boy alcohol and may have sexually molested him, though the script never definitively says whether the claims are true.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Teen sexually abused by priest sues diocese, officials

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By MIKE CHALMERS, Staff reporter

Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 11:34 am
An 18-year-old New York man who was sexually abused by a former Delaware priest sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and its leaders today for letting the priest quietly retire despite knowing about similar abuse allegations here.

In the suit, Michael Dingle, of Liverpool, N.Y., claims diocesan leaders should have notified their counterparts in upstate New York of abuse allegations against the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca when he retired there in 1993.

Instead, DeLuca retained the stature of priesthood and used it to sexually abuse Dingle more than 300 times from age 12 or 13 until age 17, said his attorney, Stephen Neuberger. DeLuca knew Dingle and his family because he is Dingle’s great-uncle, Neuberger said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Nun Accused Of Sexual Abuse Turns Self In

MILWAUKEE (IL)
More TV 32

MILWAUKEE -- A Roman Catholic nun turned herself in Wednesday to face charges of indecent behavior with children in a case dating back 40 years, WISN-TV in Milwaukee.

A Milwaukee County warrant was issued last week for the arrest of Sister Norma Giannini.

Her lawyer claimed that two court appearances scheduled for this month were missed because of the 79-year-old nun's ill health.

But faced with a bench warrant and the threat of arrest, she appeared in court unannounced Wednesday and was ordered to be there again when her trial starts in November, the television station reported.

"There had been so many instances of her not showing, it was a good thing for us," Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge M. Joseph Donald said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Supporters Rally for Evicted Nuns

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
The Santa Barbara Independent

Thursday, September 20, 2007
By Nick Welsh

Ernie Salomon, Santa Barbara’s curmudgeonly crusader and outspoken public-access talk show host, has jumped into the fray to save the three Sisters of Bethany nuns from being evicted from their digs at 250 North Nopal Street, next to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Salomon — along with the owner of Anthony’s Christmas Trees and 15 other community members — has formed Save Our Sisters (SOS) to fight the nuns’ planned December eviction at the hands of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, headed by Cardinal Roger Mahony. According to initial reports, Sister Angela Escalera and the other two nuns were told to move so that the property could be sold to help defray the costs associated with the recent $660-million settlement the archdiocese entered into with 508 individuals claiming to be victims of priestly sexual abuse. (Of those 508, seven men complained they’d been molested by Farther Matthew Kelly of Our Lady of Guadalupe.) Of that sum, the archdiocese is responsible for paying $250 million, the rest to be covered by insurance carriers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Per don Sante Sguotti ancora una settimana. E se Milingo lo fa vescovo?

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti has been ordered to leave the parish of Monterosso, a small town near Abano in the Padua province. The diocese in a week will sent him the official decree ordering him out of the parish. A new scenario may loom. Rev. Sguotti could be made a bishop by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, founder of a movement for married priests. Rev. Sguotti has declared his love for a woman and wants to remain as a priest in his parish. Archbishop Milingo, who married a woman, has been excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Monk's final pill-popping is detailed

BLANCO (TX)
Express-News

Zeke MacCormack
Express-News Staff Writer

Before mixing a cocktail of painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs late Sunday, admitted child molester Samuel Greene Jr. had been drinking heavily and was very depressed by the prospect of being ordered to prison at a hearing Friday.

The account of "Father Benedict's" final hours came from his caretaker, Anthony Allen, who found Greene's body Monday morning at Christ of the Hills Monastery and reported the suspected suicide, Blanco County sheriff's investigator W.T. Smith said.

Allen, aka Father Moses, said Greene rebuffed his questions about the large number of pills he'd poured into a cup about 11 p.m. Sunday.

"He asked, 'Isn't that too many?' and Sam Greene gave him a look like he knew what he was doing," Smith, quoting Allen, said Wednesday.

He said Allen told authorities Greene became angry, then directed him to throw away six empty pill bottles, which Allen did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Jacksonville priest target of suit

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
The Times-Union

By Jim Schoettler, The Times-Union

A Jacksonville priest and his church have been sued by a former parishioner and his family who allege he was sexually assaulted and also the subject of a bizarre adoption attempt by the priest.

According to the lawsuit first reported by the Times-Union's news partner First Coast News, the allegations are against the Very Rev. Nicholas T. Graff and the St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church at 3850 Atlantic Blvd. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was also named as a defendant and accused of knowing about the misconduct.

The suit, filed Monday in Duval County Circuit Court, does not identify the 22-year-old parishioner or his family members by name. The family is identified as his mother and her parents.

Phone calls by the Times-Union to Graff's home were unanswered, and a message left on a cell phone was not returned. His attorney, Tom Fallis, declined to discuss the details of the suit.

"The suit is completely without any merit and ultimately [Father Nikos] will be vindicated of all these spurious allegations in the proper form, not the press," Fallis told the Times-Union. "Unfortunately anybody can file a lawsuit and people in the position of a priest are more vulnerable than most."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Woman's suit against priest, archdiocese closer to trial

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

Elizabeth Allen
Express-News Staff Writer

A judge cleared the way Wednesday for a lawsuit against a local priest, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart religious order and the Archdiocese of San Antonio to head to trial in Bexar County.

The lawsuit, filed in 2004 by Theresa Gomez, alleges that Father Michael O'Brien used his position as her counselor to manipulate her into a sexual relationship.

Gomez alleges O'Brien began counseling her in 2000 on various issues, including her ongoing grief over the death of her husband eight years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Lawsuit Alleges Priest Sex Abuse

WILMINGTON (DE)
WPVI

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - September 20, 2007 - Another lawsuit is being filed against a former Wilmington priest accusing him of sexually abusing a boy over several years.

Attorney Tom Neuberger says his client was molested by Francis DeLuca over a four year period. More details are expected at a news conferences this morning.

Neuberger, who's representing other clients in similar suits against Diocese priests, claims DeLuca has a 40 year history of pedophilia.

DeLuca, relocated to Syracuse, New York, after retiring from a 35 year career as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. He is now 77, and was sentenced last week to jail time for sexually abusing a Syracuse boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Brown abuse claim a mystery

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
The Orange County Register

BY RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

Bakersfield police may never have investigated an old claim that now-Bishop Tod Brown of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange molested a boy 42 years ago.

Bakersfield Police Sgt. Greg Terry said Tuesday a former lieutenant in charge of the sex-crimes unit in 1997 – around the time when church officials say the accusation was reported to the Kern County District Attorney – did not recall getting the case from prosecutors. Nor did police have paperwork that shows if an investigation was ever done.

“It's either the investigation was never done or one was done but it was unsubstantiated,'' Terry said.

Brown, the highest-ranking Catholic official in Orange County, testified last week that he was told by the Diocese of Fresno in 1997 that they just received a claim alleging Brown abused a boy at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Bakersfield in 1965. Brown, who used to be a priest in Bakersfield, denies the claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Estorsione, indagato arcivescovo di Siena

ITALY
Il Corriere della Sera

Fiorenza Sarzanini reports that in addition to investigation of Florence Auxiliary Bishop Claudio Maniago, another investigation involves Bishop Antonio Buoncristiani of Siena and there could be connection between alleged crimes committed by both bishops. These allegations involve administration of real estate and money belonging to the church in addition to organzing sexual encounters with other priests.

The Siena bishop is also accused of arson in order to destroy compromising documents to cover up gains made in administration of church property. He is also being investigated for extortion and for attempts to force witnesses to give false information to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

"Il vescovo e il suo vice devono andarsene"

ITALY
La Stampa

Guido Ruotolo writes that anonymous parishioners and priests have come forward with information about Florence Auxiliary Bishop Claudio Maniago, who they say refused to take action against the Rev. Lelio Cantini for physical and sexual violence. Rev. Cantini is his former teacher and mentor.

Rev. Cantini was head of an "integralist Catholic movement" which wanted to form new priests in opposition to so-called modernism. One anonymous witness, an important priest, said the real scandal that is emerging does not relate much to sexual abuse but to a church which was founded upon power, money and conspiracy of silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Controversial Attorney Sanctioned For Katrina Victim Claim

NEW YORK
North Country Gazette

NEW YORK—A controversial attorney known for his sex abuse litigation against Roman Catholic leaders has been fined $10,000 by a federal judge for what was deemed a frivolous lawsuit and using the case to advance his own agenda. He could have to reimburse opposing counsel over $15,000 in fees spent to defend the action bringing the total sanction to $25,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Vatican investigates Florence sex scandal

ITALY
Sowetan

20 September 2007

ROME - The Vatican has ordered an investigation into a sex abuse scandal implicating a priest in Florence who is already the subject of a criminal investigation, press reports said today.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has sent a prelate to the Renaissance city amid suspicions that the full extent of the scandal surrounding Reverend Lelio Cantini has not been revealed, the daily La Repubblica reported.

The envoy will interview the victims of Cantini, who has admitted coercing girls and women in his parish to have sex between 1973 and 1987.

Florentine Cardinal Ennio Antonelli admitted in an open letter in April that the Roman Catholic Church had settled the matter in secret after accusations of former parishioners reached the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Motion Filed to Hold Bishop in Contempt

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Associated Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Attorneys for a woman who alleges sexual abuse by a lay teacher at a Roman Catholic high school asked a judge Wednesday to hold the bishop of the Diocese of Orange in contempt of court.

The motion, filed in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, alleges that Bishop Tod D. Brown sent a key church official to Canada for unspecified medical treatment one week after a judge ordered him to complete a sworn deposition in the case.

Plaintiff's attorneys had stopped an earlier deposition by Monsignor John Urell after he became distraught. According to the filing, Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler ordered Urell to complete his testimony at a hearing on Aug. 30, but Urell left the country on Sept. 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Pennies from heaven

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Even though the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh was not legally obligated, we commend it for settling 32 of the 35 cases of people claiming to have been abused by priests.

But considering seven other payouts from the Catholic Church nationwide -- from Boston to Los Angeles -- for settlement of sexual abuse claims, how much praise is deserved by the local diocese is problematic.

The $1.25 million settlement -- from the Pittsburgh diocese's insurance-funded Outreach Fund -- is roughly $39,000 per person. However, that does not include attorney fees. And since a retired Allegheny County judge will decide who gets what, some victims could get less.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Police Investigating Sex Abuse Case At Encino Catholic School

ENCINO (CA)
KNBC

ENCINO, Calif. -- Los Angeles police detectives asked for the public's help on Wednesday, in finding additional alleged victims of a physical education teacher and athletic director at Crespi Carmelite High School.

The school is under investigation on suspicion of sexually abusing a student.

Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit on Aug. 8 began interviewing a former student at the Encino all-boys Catholic school, who said he was sexually abused by the teacher, police said.

The man is now 25-years-old and said the abuse occurred during the 1997-98 school year.

The Los Angeles Times and Daily News identified the teacher as Richard Dornan, the athletic director and once the school's basketball coach. Dornan, a nephew of former Rep. Robert K. Dornan, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Lawyers seek contempt of court order against O.C. bishop

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 20, 2007
Lawyers for a former Mater Dei High School student suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in a sex abuse case are seeking to hold Bishop Tod Brown in contempt of court, arguing that he allowed his chief investigator of molestation complaints to be sent to a Canadian treatment center so that he could avoid testifying.

Msgr. John Urell is under a court order to complete a deposition that abruptly ended in July after about six hours of questioning, when he became overwhelmed with emotion and walked out in tears, telling the judge he was unsure whether he would ever be able to finish.

Brown later testified during his deposition that he made the decision this month to send Urell to Southdown Institute, a facility that treats clergy for a variety of conditions, knowing at the time that the monsignor was required to resume his deposition.

Brown "has acted with knowing and willful contravention of a court order for the further deposition of Msgr. Urell, by intentionally removing him from the country and therefore the jurisdiction of this court, for the apparent purpose of depriving plaintiff of the testimony," the student's attorneys argued in court papers filed Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Documenting monsignor's breakdown

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com
I have only read about 250 pages of Monsignor John Urell's testimony from two depositions in Diocese of Orange sex-abuse cases. But that included the entirety of the one he walked out of in late July and never finished. And it provides insight about his breakdown.

One of the striking things about the deposition is that while it went on for nearly five hours, Urell was hardly illuminating, answering limited questions on limited topics. Most of the deposition consisted of his lawyers arguing with plaintiff Jane C. R. Doe's lawyers about what he could be compelled to testify about. By my count, Urell's lawyer instructed him not to answer 32 times. One more strike against the Covenant with the Faithful's vow of openness.

And what's more, this was done in the presence of a court-appointed referee, a retired judge named Robert Jameson. He was brought in by trial Judge Gail Andler specifically so she wouldn't have to get involved every time lawyers argued about whether a question was within the permitted scope of inquiry. Yet, right off the bat, they were talking about whether to phone her on a particular question. It was 47 minutes before Urell was allowed to answer his first question about sexual abuse problems at Mater Dei.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Sex abuse probe wrecked family’s life, former cop’s wife says

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By Sun Media

CORNWALL, Ont. — Death threats against her husband and children, emotional health issues, and multiple court cases have been a major part of her life for the past 14 years, the wife of a former city police officer told an inquiry on Wednesday.

Helen Dunlop said the family’s life changed when her husband, Perry, first told her about allegations of child sexual abuse.

In 1993, he stumbled upon police files detailing allegations of abuse levelled against a city priest.

The file suggested the alleged victim had received $32,000 from the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese and the investigation had been terminated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Award Cut in Mormon Church Abuse Case

SEATTLE (WA)
The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Part of a $4.2 million award in a sexual abuse-related lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been overturned on appeal.

A three-judge panel of the Washington state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Tuesday that the church still owed slightly more than $1.2 million to two sisters who said a Mormon bishop had kept one of them from reporting sexual abuse by their stepfather, Mormon high priest Peter N. Taylor.

However, the panel also ruled that the church was not financially responsible for Taylor's liability and returned the case to a trial court for a decision on liability beyond the $1.2 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

No idea when he’ll return

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Orange diocese’s former chancellor, Msgr, John Urell, who was former Bishop Norman McFarland’s point man for dealing with sex-abuse allegations, is in a Canadian treatment center and doesn’t appear likely to be returning soon -- a possible setback for for the plaintiff in a sex-abuse lawsuit against the diocese in which Urell’s testimony is considered critical.

During a July deposition in a case against the diocese involving allegations of sexual abuse by a former Mater Dei High School assistant coach, Urell was so upset by questions about his handling of sex-abuse complaints as chancellor that he walked out of his unfinished deposition, crying. It was later learned that Urell had checked into the Southdown Institute near Toronto, Canada.

Urell, the pastor of St. Norbert’s Church in Orange, remains on temporary medical leave from the diocese, and his attorney, Patrick Hennessey, has written the plaintiff’s attorneys to tell them that Urell cannot finish his deposition due to an undisclosed medical condition. The judge has ordered Urell to specify his condition; but, so far, he has not complied.

Sex abuse victims’ lawyers have charged that, as chancellor, Urell was among the diocesan officials who kept priests in active ministry even after receiving reports of their past abuse. Last fall, Urell came under more fire when he was considered for re-nomination to the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Complaints from abuse victims forced Urell to withdraw his name from consideration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Salesian Cases head for trial in LA November 5th and Church reveals Salesians’ concern for underprivileged boys in 2007

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

From Catholic Encyclopedia: “In the first half of the nineteenth century Italy had not recovered from the French Revolution. Education, morality, and religion were then at their lowest ebb. To save the rising generation the Salesian Society was founded. In 1844 Don Bosco began to gather together poor and neglected boys. In 1845 the first night-school was opened at Valdocco. . .” and the Salesian tradition of bringing young boys up from poverty began.

A church attorney demonstrated that concern for poor young boys by Salesians in the 21st century this morning in court: “If these 10 year old now 60 year old juvenile delinquents are to be believed, he says he saw Miani abusing a child. Then he says he saw the Archbishop. This goes past the credibility issue to the crux of the problem. Most of those men are long dead.”

JUDGE: I’m curious as to why you rely on Mr. (Plaintiff) for that information?”

CHURCH ATTORNEY MCPHEELY: “I’m not relying on Mr. P for much.”

That last line delivered with all the contempt you’d expect from an old retired Irish cop in a t-shirt hollering at his TV set. I have to admit I like this church attorney for the Salesians McPheely (McFeely?) as he doesn't even try to act smooth and cool, like Hennigan’s minions. No designer labels here, strictly Hollywood Suit Outlet and “I’m going to be as much of an asshole as I want to be” attitude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 AM

September 19, 2007

First Coast Priest Sued, Accused of Abusing and Trying to Buy Rights to Teen

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Jackelyn Barnard
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- First Coast News has learned a Jacksonville priest has been sued along with his church and the church's archdiocese.

The lawsuit centers around the St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church of Jacksonville and its former priest, Nicholas T. Graff.

A church member tells First Coast News Graff was a priest at the church for the last 17 years and retired in June.

According to court documents obtained by First Coast News, Graff met a boy, labeled in the lawsuit as "John Doe," twelve years ago. At the time, the boy was ten-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Government is misdirected, says Catholic bishop

ZIMBABWE
The Zimbabwean

HARARE - A senior Roman Catholic priest of the Harare diocese has slammed the Zimbabwean government for its persecution of retired Archbishop Pius Ncube.
The Bishop was speaking from Johannesburg where he was giving another view on allegations of a sex scandal involving Archbishop Ncube to South African human rights organisations.
"Archbishop Ncube's case is reminiscent of that of the MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai who, in 2002, was arrested after similarly inaudible video footage was said [to reveal a plot] to assassinate President Robert Mugabe," said the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Defense rests in Jeffs case; closing arguments slated for Friday

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

ST. GEORGE - After calling just 10 of its 70 listed witnesses, the defense has rested in the trial of Warren S. Jeffs, the polygamous sect leader accused of being an accomplice to rape.
The prosecution planned to call one, unidentified rebuttal witness. After that, 5th District Judge James Shumate said, jurors will go home, take Thursday off while jury instructions are being drafted, and then return Friday to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations. ...
Steed said his first sexual encounter with Doe, which occurred about three weeks into their marriage, was initiated by her. He offered jurors a starkly different account of what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Police have no record of investigating bishop

SANTA ANA (CA)
Union-Tribune

ASSOCIATED PRESS

10:52 a.m. September 19, 2007

SANTA ANA – Police have no records indicating they investigated sexual abuse allegations against a Roman Catholic priest who is now the bishop of the Diocese of Orange.

Bishop Tod Brown, the highest-ranking church official for Orange County Catholics, said during a deposition last week that he was falsely accused in 1997 of molesting a young boy in the 1960s.

Brown said an internal investigation by the Diocese of Fresno, where he worked at the time of the alleged molestation, turned up no evidence to support the claims. The Diocese of Orange said last week that the internal report had been handed over to Kern County prosecutors, who declined to press charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Appeals court reduces award in abuse case against Mormon church

SEATTLE (WA)
The Bellingham Herald

SEATTLE -- Part of a landmark $4.2 million award in a sexual abuse-related lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been overturned on appeal.

A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Tuesday that the church still owed slightly more than $1.2 million to two sisters who said a Mormon bishop, Bruce Randall Hatch, had kept one of them from reporting sexual abuse by their stepfather, Peter N. Taylor, a Mormon high priest in suburban Federal Way.

However, the panel also ruled that the church was not financially responsible for Taylor's liability and returned the case to King County Superior Court for a decision on liability beyond the $1.2 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

10 mentiras sobre la demanda contra el Card. Norberto Rivera en Los Ángeles

MEXICO
Desde la Fe

Church leaders in Mexico are quoted in the official newspaper of the Mexico City archdiocese that a survivor of clergy sexual abuse brought a lawsuit against Cardinal Cardinal Norberto Rivera for the purpose of monetary gain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

MEXICO: Church Lashes Out at Sex Abuse Victim

MEXICO
IPS

By Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, Sep 19 (IPS) - Catholic Church leaders in Mexico accused a victim of sexual abuse, who brought charges in a U.S. court against Mexican Cardinal Norberto Rivera for protecting an alleged pedophile priest, of seeking economic gain.

An article published in the Mexico City Archdiocese’s weekly publication Desde La Fe on Tuesday says that "a majority of the civil lawsuits brought in the United States are aimed at obtaining large sums of money, and 95 percent of these suits are won by the plaintiffs. It's a sure thing."

The article, which at no point laments the victim’s suffering or offers solidarity, states that "the real reason that Joaquín Aguilar filed the lawsuit was because of the juicy opportunity represented by bringing a civil suit in the United States."

"We are talking about millions of dollars! Money that he could never hope to obtain in Mexico," says the article.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Fired exec sues Catholic group Life Teen

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

Trevor Guyette, For the Tribune
The former executive of a Catholic youth organization in Mesa filed a civil complaint this month against the group, claiming he was wrongfully terminated for reporting illegal accounting practices.

James Thorpe, former chief financial officer for Life Teen, Inc., said in his complaint that the nonprofit corporation violated Arizona law and public policy by firing him for reporting illegal activities. Thorpe alleges in the complaint that he raised concerns about Life Teen in August 2006 and was fired less than two weeks later on Sept. 8, 2006.

Thorpe filed the civil lawsuit on Sept. 7 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Life Teen was started at St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa and now has programs in 20 countries, according to the corporation’s Web site. Wade Swanson, a Life Teen attorney, declined to comment on what he called a “personnel issue” and said Life Teen had not been informed about the complaint as of Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

No children involved in sex assault allegations against priest, say police

CANADA
Times Colonist

Louise Dickson, Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2007
A Victoria police investigation into sexual misconduct by Rev. Antonio Osorio involves a woman at St. Saviour's Church in Vic West, Sgt. Grant Hamilton said yesterday.

"It's not anything to do with kids," said Hamilton. "Last week, the church notified the department about the priest's relationship with an adult female. We're just reviewing that information. We're trying to determine if there is something of a criminal nature."

The complaint concerns only one woman, he said.

Osorio resigned his position at St. Saviours's on Sept. 12 after admitting to sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Trial begins in church finance scandal

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

By BILL FROGAMENI

In the latest chapter of a massive financial scandal plaguing the Cleveland diocese, Anton Zgoznik, a former assistant diocesan treasurer, has gone on trial in federal court, charged with participating in a $17.5 million kickback scheme dating from 1997 to 2004.

Also implicated in the scheme is Joseph Smith, the former chief financial officer of the diocese, who left in 2004 after his dealings with Zgoznik were reported in the media.

Zgoznik’s trial, which began Aug. 20, was expected to last several weeks. Smith faces trial at a later date.

While working as an outside accounting contractor for the diocese, Zgoznik (who at one time was employed directly by the diocese) received $17.5 million in diocese money steered to him by Smith. In return, Zgoznik kicked back $784,000 to Smith, according to the federal indictment. In addition, Zgoznik and Smith allegedly failed to report some of their diocesan-derived income to the Internal Revenue Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

SNAP Calls for 'Open and Transparent' Study of Sex Abuse by Clergy

NASHVILLE (TN)
Ethics Daily

Bob Allen
09-18-07
A victims' advocacy and support group on Monday asked Southern Baptist Convention leaders to seek input from outside experts and victims in developing a denomination-wide response to sexual abuse by clergy.

In June SBC messengers referred a motion to the SBC Executive Committee requesting "a feasibility study concerning the development of a database of Southern Baptist clergy and staff who have been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse and that such a database be accessible to Southern Baptist churches."

"Baptist believers have spoken, and it is time for their leaders to listen," Christa Brown, Baptist outreach leader for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said in a sidewalk press conference outside SBC headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

E-mails from readers

PENNSYLVANIA
Renew America

Rosemary Jorden, of Altoona, Pa., wrote:
I just finished reading the article concerning Father Rosensteel. I am sitting here with a pit in my stomach.

I was born and raised as a Catholic in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese. Throughout the last decade, our diocese has been hit very hard with allegations of abuse by priests. At last count, I believe there are at least 25 who have been accused. One was my principal at Bishop Guilfoyle High School, Father Skupien. Another was the pastor at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, where my mother taught kindergarten for more than 20 years. A man that I attended BGHS with was abused and represents one of the most publicized cases of abuse in our diocese.

I think of the lives that have been ruined and it is heartbreaking. I find it completely appalling that the abuse in our diocese was simply ignored for so long and the abusers were just shuffled from one parish to another, allowed to continue to destroy lives. Bishop Hogan was an abomination of a man. He chose a life of being committed to God. I am not quite sure what god he worshiped, but it certainly isn't the God I worship. These men are to represent Christ. They are to set an example for others to follow. These abusers along with those who turned a blind eye are the most unchristian human beings on earth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Pastor’s suspension puts church outreach programs in jeopardy

CANADA
Victoria News

By Keith Vass
News staff

Sep 19 2007

As the congregation at Saint Saviour’s Anglican church struggles to deal with the loss of its leader, Rev. Antonio Osorio, two outreach programs run from the Vic West church hang in limbo.

The Anglican diocese of B.C. suspended Osorio pending investigation into allegations of a breach of diocese’s sexual conduct policy. Osorio admitted to the allegation and resigned last Wednesday.

While the church has not specified the nature of the complaint, a letter read to parishioners Sunday said the diocese’s sexual conduct policy prohibits “any form of sexual contact with an adult by a professional person, cleric or anyone in a position of authority... whether or not there is consent from the individual.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

New claims of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

GAVIN LOWER, COURT REPORTER
September 20, 2007 02:15am
A MAN who alleges he was sexually abused by children's TV presenter Ric Marshall 30 years ago says he was also abused by two Anglican Church figures, a court heard yesterday.

The District Court was told a priest admitted to church authorities he had abused the man as a child after the man wrote a letter to him.

The court heard that the man claimed he had no sexual experience before Marshall allegedly had sex with him at Marshall's Gilberton home in September, 1973.

But it was later revealed that the man had alleged to police that in January that year he had been sexually abused by former priest and pedophile Robert Brandenburg, who died in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Polygamous leader's flock testifies FLDS sect embraces kindness, not forced sex

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 09/19/2007 06:43:04 AM MDT

ST. GEORGE - Faithful followers of polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs gave jurors another view of their religion Tuesday, saying it is based on love and kindness, makes women partners in marriage and gives them ultimate say in sexual matters.
Women are taught to be obedient to a husband only as long as he lives righteously, the nine witnesses said.
"We were taught there is no force in the Celestial Kingdom," said Margaret Thomas, 31. ''If we want to be there, we have to be there by our own choice."
The sect members testified about their courtships, marriages, intimate relations and counsel they received from Jeffs when difficulties arose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Don Gelmini, parla Salvia: «Impossibile archiviare Spero che altri ragazzi escano allo scoperto»

ITALY
Il Messaggero

Marco Salvia, writer and journalist, tells of what he learned from boys living in drug rehabilitation communities. These communities include Incontro, the drug rehabiliation center founded by the Rev. Pierino Gelmini. Rev. Gelmini is under investigation by prosecutors in Terni after a number of men have said they were sexually abused by the priest when they were residents at Incontro. Salvia has written a book about the experiences of boys in rehabilitation communities.

After two hours of questioning by Terni investigators, Salvia said there is no doubt that Rev. Gelmini will be arraigned on charges of sexual abuse, he said in answering questions from the Ansa news agency.

Some parents of boys living at Incontro had defended the priest until their sons told them what happened, he said. Sexual violence against community residents will continue unless there is reform because these groups are secretive and inaccessible even to police, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Don Sante presenta ricorso

ITALY
Il Mattino di Padova

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the parish priest who has professed his love for a woman, on Sept. 17 visited Marco Cardinale, a lawyer who is approved by the Vatican to represent clients at the Sacra Rota in Rome. The Sacra Rota is the Vatican tribunal which decides, among other things, annulment of Catholic marriages.

The priest said a decision by Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo to expell him from his parish at Montrerosso was not valid under canon law and he wanted to continue being priest in that parish. Rev. Sguotti said it is not lawful under rules of the church to stop celebrating Mass and giving Communion to the faithful.

Cardinale has offered his help to the priest and does not want payment for his services to the priest. Cardinale said he believes the priest is innocent. The difficulty will be to prove among other things that Rev. Sguotti can be a parish priest while being officially engaged to the woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Abusi su minori. Staderini: perché il Comune di Roma non si costituisce parte civile?

ITALY
Radicali

Officials of the City of Rome have traditionally supported local women who were victims of sexual violence. The city, represented by its lawyer, is there for the offended party as is allowed in the Italian Constitution. Mario Staderini, Radical party representative of the group called "La rosa nel pugno" of the First Municipal Zone said the city did not do the same in the case of a parish priest from Rome who was recently accused of sexually abusing two 10-year-old girls during confession. He has asked the Rome City Council to give the girls the same protection it gives to women because they are also in the same weak position outlined in the Constitution. Staderini has asked that the city lawyer to be present on behalf of the victims at the trial. The council will act once it receives the right number of signatures on the petition and it is forwarded to its offices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Former Dubuque principal charged

DUBUQUE (IA)
Telegraph Herald

By MADELIN FUERSTE TH staff writer

A former elementary school principal with ties to Dubuque faces charges of soliciting a minor for sex on the Internet.

Louis Stroschein, who was principal at St. Anthony Catholic School in Dubuque from 2004 to 2006, was arrested by deputies from the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department Friday in Waterloo, Iowa.

Stroschein, 31, was in his second year as principal at Shelby County Catholic School in Harlan, Iowa. The school is in the Des Moines Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Pope likely to visit District

VATICAN CITY
Washington Times

By John Phillips

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI is expected to visit Washington early next year during an apostolic journey to the United States that will feature a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Vatican sources say.

The Vatican formally has offered no details of the trip other than confirming that Benedict plans to speak at the United Nations in April. ...

Some reports — such as one in Whispers in the Loggia, a popular Catholic blog — said Benedict will visit Boston on April 20, the day before the Boston Marathon, partly to heal the wounds of the priestly sexual-abuse scandal there.

The scandal forced the resignation of Archbishop Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who subsequently was effectively exiled to a largely ceremonial post at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

'Doing the right thing' cost officer his career

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Graham Hughes, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2007
CORNWALL . After former Cornwall police officer Perry Dunlop refused for a second day yesterday to speak to a judicial inquiry on the sexual abuse of children, his wife agreed to take the stand.

In three hours of often tearful testimony, Helen Dunlop told Peter Engelmann, the lead commission counsel, how "doing the right thing" had cost her husband his career, damaged his health and hurt the family.

"Perry loved being a cop," she said, and "everybody liked working with him."
He had many friends on the force and was active in the community.

That changed in the fall of 1993, when her husband came home one afternoon and said he'd just received information that would change their lives.

He had obtained a copy of a complaint made by a former altar boy that charged a Cornwall priest, Charles MacDonald, had sexually assaulted him. The complainant also implicated a probation officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Pro Bono Assignment on Behalf of Hurricane Katrina Client Leads to Sanctions

ALBANY (NY)
Law.com

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
September 19, 2007

A pro bono assignment to defend a woman displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina against being evicted in the Albany, N.Y., area has left attorney John A. Aretakis facing a $10,000 court fine and a bill for as much as $16,678 in attorney fees.

Northern District of New York Judge Gary L. Sharpe rebuked Aretakis for fighting the eviction of Tina Zlotnick by filing suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Bishop Howard Hubbard, the United States and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It was the latest in a five-year series of actions brought by Aretakis against the Catholic Church, most involving allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. In this case, Aretakis named the Albany diocese and its bishop as defendants because Zlotnick was being evicted from a church-owned property that the diocese was selling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Wife of former Cornwall cop testifies at inquiry after husband refuses

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

CORNWALL, Ont. — For the second day in a row, a former city police officer refused to testify at an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.

“Are you prepared to answer my questions?” Peter Engelmann, lead commission counsel, asked Perry Dunlop on Tuesday. “No,” said Dunlop. “I’m not.”

At one point, Dunlop was asked if he intended to say anything and he reached towards a pocket inside his suit jacket and began to pull out a small piece of paper from which he’d read Monday while on the stand.

At that time, Dunlop said he had no faith in the inquiry, its mandate or the Ontario criminal justice system and had nothing further to say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

New sex abuse claims in ex-TV host's trial

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By court reporter Andrew Dowdell

A court has heard that a boy who was allegedly sexually abused by a children's television host in the 1970s also claims to have been abused by a notorious paedophile and an Anglican priest.

The allegations emerged during the trial of former children's entertainer and theatre identity, Ric Marshall, who is charged with sexually abusing the boy for four years from when he was aged 11.

The District Court in Adelaide had heard the alleged victim told police the incidents with Marshall were his first sexual encounters.

But Marshall's lawyer tendered a letter from the alleged victim, in which he claims to have been raped by notorious paedophile Robert Brandenburg eight months before the initial abuse by Marshall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Violation of the Covenant?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
California Catholic Daily

In 2004, Bishop Tod Brown of Orange issued his Covenant with the Faithful, which reads, in part: “We will be open, honest and forthright in our public statements to the media, and consistent and transparent in our communications with the Catholics of our Diocese.”

On Sept. 10, legal counsel for plaintiffs in a sex abuse case against Jeff Andrade, a former coaching assistant at Santa Ana’s Mater Dei High, deposed Brown about his knowledge of Andrade’ alleged abuse of a female student in the 1990s. Except for testimony about an auto accident in the 1960’s, Brown had never been questioned under oath before. The most recent questioning, however, forced Brown to revisit charges of sexual abuse against himself.

At the beginning of the deposition, plaintiff’s attorney John Manly had Bishop Brown pledge not to employ “mental reservation” (withholding information for a perceived higher moral good, according to Manly) in his testimony. Manly then questioned Brown extensively about various priests accused of sexual abuse in the dioceses of Boise (Brown’s previous diocese) and Orange. Manly asked Brown about his knowledge of the whereabouts of former diocesan chancellor Monsignor John Urell, whose deposition was cut short in July by his admission to a Canadian treatment center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Urell's lawyer says absence is legitimate

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com
Does Monsignor John Urell finally have the loyal and independent counsel he needs to fight baseless allegations that he fled the country to avoid testifying in a molestation case? Or, as his detractors say, has he sucked in another well-meaning soul who refuses to believe that such a charming man could have wrongly withheld the nastiest of Diocesan secrets for decades?

I got a note from Urell's lawyer, Patrick Hennessey, asking me to examine some documents and allow him to set the record straight. Hennessey and Urell met at the gym more than 25 years ago and became friends. The lawyer is a Catholic but has never been a parishioner of Urell's. They usually talk once or twice a week.

"I have many acquaintances but very few friends, and this is one of my best ones," Hennessey told me as we sat in the 13th-floor conference room of his Irvine law firm. "What is happening to him now is breaking my heart, because it is not right."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

September 18, 2007

Salesians fight hard and heavy, with onslaught of motions, re summary judgment in Titian Miani cases, hearing Wednesday morning

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Hearings continue in the Clergy Cases in Los Angeles as Catholic orders such as the Claretians, Oblates, Bendectines, Salesians, and Piarists try to get their portion of the LA settlements dismissed or otherwise thrown out of court.

Wednesday September 19th lawyers will argue a motion for summary judgment of the Salesians’ share of responsibility for 50 years of sex crimes carried out in the Southern California Catholic Church, at a hearing in Dept 20 of Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Fromholz still presiding.

Salesian priest Titian Miani preyed on children in Los Angeles from 1957 until he was arrested in 2003. “The Salesians are the third largest Religious Order in the world and the most aggressive defense we've seen,” a plaintiff attorney told me.

Remember the deposition where church attorneys rep blocked the door to keep plaintiffs from questioning an aging priest? That was regarding Titian Miani. Salesians have worked doubly hard to block depositions and prevent discovery of documents in the Clergy Cases Los Angeles 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 PM

Sheriff: Monastery leader's death might have been suicide

BLANCO (TX)
American-Statesman

By Patrick George
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The death this week of Samuel Greene, the founder of the Christ of the Hills monastery outside Blanco who was facing charges of sexually assaulting children, might have been a suicide, according to the Blanco County sheriff.

Sheriff Bill Elsbury said Greene was discovered by his caretaker, a fellow monk, in a trailer near the now-defunct Russian Orthodox monastery Monday. The man called police and said Greene committed suicide, Elsbury said. The embattled monastery leader had apparently mentioned suicide to the caretaker in the past, Elsbury said.

"(The caretaker) said (Greene) was seriously considering taking pills," Elsbury said. "It has all the appearances of a suicide. He was scheduled to be in court Friday, he had all kinds of legal problems. He may have been facing a lengthy sentence."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Blanco County monk suspected in the sexual assault of several boys may have committed suicide

BLANCO (TX)
KLBJ

Authorities say a monk from the Christ of the Hills monastery in Blanco County -- accused of sexually assaulting boys may have committed suicide. Investigator W.T Smith with the Blanco County Sheriff's office says they recovered several pill bottles near the body of Samuel Greene, and suspect several of the pills were dissolve in water for digestion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Abuse Survivor Describes Events Behind Katinas Suspension

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Interview with ‘DZ’, whose reports of abuse by Fr. Nicholas Katinas led to Fr. Katinas’ eventual suspension.

DZ: The reason I have decided to give an interview at this time is to attempt to clarify many of the misconceptions and misinformation that have been said or omitted by the GOAA, Metropolitan Isaiah and the media.

Question: Can you give us a timeline of the events after you reported the abuse?

DZ: First of all, I cannot refer to Nicholas Katinas as Father because in my eyes he is no longer a priest, regardless of what the GOAA and others may say. In the remainder of this interview, I will refer to him as NK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Fox 5 in Las Vegas: Former ‘Orthodox’ Priest Seeks Teaching Permit

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Orthodox Reform

A special news report on Fox 5 in Las Vegas drew attention to former priest James Beine has in the past been associated with groups that use “Orthodox” in their names. Orthodox, and especially Orthodox seekers, in the Las Vegas area should be on the look out. Additional background and pictures are available at pokrov.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

St. Basil On Protecting The Abused

Orthodox Reform

Today’s reading from the Prologue from Ohrid reminds us that while we are called to forgive those who sin against us, we are also as a church called to champion justice, protect the innocent, and discipline the unlawful. It is a lesson sadly ignored by many of our modern day Bishops. Saint Nikolai Velimirovic describes St. Basil’s teaching on this subject:

Christianity has uprooted many barbaric customs from the society of man. But some of those customs-praiseworthy from the pagan point of view, but shameful from the Christian point of view-are, even to the present day, like hidden corruption oozing from a supposedly healed wound.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

San Francisco Priest Admits his Infidelity

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Orthodox Reform

By Theodore Kalmoukos
The National Herald

BOSTON, Mass. – Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco is in turmoil after disclosures that its priest, Rev. Michael Pappas, who by all accounts was thought to be one of the most prominent and active clergymen in the Archdiocese of America, is at the center of a sex scandal.

Father Pappas – in his forties, married and a father of three underage children, two of which are twins – admitted he had extramarital affairs. In a letter dated this past August 21, he informed members of his parish of his “unfaithfulness” to his wife.

Father Pappas said zeal for his ministry made his marriage suffer and led him astray, telling his parishioners that, “over these last 15 years, in my zeal to excel in ministry, I have neglected the garden of my marriage, and as a result, it has withered on the vine. In those moments of hunger, I have sadly strayed from faithfulness and dishonored the sanctity of the gift of a precious wife and treasured children. Today, I am haunted by the Lord’s words, “physician heal thyself.’ Had I listened more carefully to the words I preached, perhaps the irreparable damage done to my marriage and the divorce, which will now sever an almost 20-year relationship, might have been avoided. For this painful reality, I take full responsibility.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Patriarchate Defrocks Rev. Nick Katinas

Orthodox Reform

By Theodore Kalmoukos
The National Herald

BOSTON – The Holy & Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople defrocked Rev. Nicholas Katinas and returned him to the rank of the laity. Rev. Katinas has been accused of sexual misconduct with minors while shepherding the Greek Orthodox parishes of the Dormition in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Holy Trinity in Dallas, Texas.

The National Herald has learned that the Patriarchate defrocked (now former) Father Katinas on July 11, though nothing had been announced by the Archdiocese, thus far. The Orthodox Observer had not published anything about the decision in its July-August issue.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who presides over the Synod and sets its agenda, had placed the defrocking of Mr. Katinas among the first items of discussion. None of the members of the Synod expressed any objection. They all knew the issue, since the Patriarch had often furnished them with copies of the National Herald’s articles about the Katinas case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

…And, What About the Misconduct Advisory Board?

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

By Paul Cromidas

September 15, 2007

The recent sad news about Fr. Michael Pappas of San Francisco admitting infidelity and leaving his position as a priest, also contained the ironic information that he had been a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s (GOA) Advisory Board on Clergy Sexual Misconduct.

It may be too early to know just how this matter will turn out, although his bishop, Metropolitan Gerasimos, while expressing deep sadness, also said he would be moving toward Spiritual Court and defrocking for Fr. Pappas.

In the meantime, the question can be raised: what about the Advisory Board? What do we know about it and what has it been doing? The short answer is that we know little about it and, from what we know, it has been doing virtually nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Court hears former legal adviser urge Jeffs to continue underage polygamy

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Canada.com

Daphne Bramham, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Article tools

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The prosecution abruptly wrapped up its case against polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs Tuesday morning after playing a tape of Jeffs's former legal adviser predicting a criminal prosecution like this one.

Jeffs, who leads the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is charged with two counts of being an accomplice to rape in the arranged marriage of a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old first cousin. Jeffs officiated at the marriage.

On the tape, former Colorado City town marshal Sam Barlow urged FLDS to continue to practise polygamy and the marriages of underaged girls.

“In a country where Congress can make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, how can it legislate to pre-determine what age a person can make a religious covenant (such as marriage)?” Barlow is heard saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Trial date set for former priests facing 30 years in jail for grand theft

DELRAY BEACH (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Missy Diaz | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
6:08 PM EDT, September 18, 2007

A Feb. 7 trial date has been set for two former priests of Delray Beach's St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church who are each facing 30 years behind bars if convicted as charged of grand theft over $100,000.

But the prosecutor on Tuesday said that due to a five-year statute of limitations, the state has reduced the amount of money allegedly stolen by the Rev. John Skehan --who headed the large parish for some 40 years-- by more than $1 million.

"The statute of limitations only allows (the state) to go back five years from the time of the filing (of charges)," Assistant State Attorney Preston Mighdoll said. "We're limited to the statutory time frame we're criminally prosecuting, which is approximately $370,000 for Father Skehan, which is lower than what was appearing to be about $1.5 million we saw earlier."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Ex-Jeff Co. pastor faces child-sex counts

MISSOURI
St.Louis Post-Dispatch

09/18/2007

Authorities in California have charged a Baptist minister who once served in Jefferson County with 107 felony counts of sexually molesting two girls under the age of 14.

The Fresno (Calif.) Bee identifies the minister as the Rev. John Bonine, 43, known as "Pastor Jeb."

Before Bonine moved to Fresno in recent years to take over the Sierra Heights Baptist Church, he was the pastor of Sandy Baptist Church in Hillsboro. Before that, he was pastor of McCroskie Creek Baptist Church in Carrollton, in west-central Missouri.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Pastor Accused Of Abuse

HILLSBORO (MO)
KCTV

HILLSBORO, Mo. -- Authorities in Fresno charged 42-year-old John Bonine, of Dittmer, Mo., with more than 100 counts of child molestation.

Bonine, who used to lead the Sandy Baptist Church in Hillsboro, is accused of sexually abusing two girls under the age of 14 for five years.

Investigators said they believe some of the abuse started in Missouri, then continued when Bonine moved to California in 2003 to lead another church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Priest faces criminal investigation, police say

CANADA
Times Colonist

Louise Dickson, Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Victoria police are investigating a criminal complaint against Rev. Antonio Osorio, pastor of St. Saviour's Church in Vic West, Sgt. Grant Hamilton confirmed yesterday.

"I can't comment on the nature or the details of the allegation," said Hamilton.

Osorio resigned from his position last week after admitting to sexual misconduct, but a project he was involved in to build a tranisition house will continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Zambia: Korean Bishops Warn Against Ex-Bishop Milingo

KOREA
allAfrica

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007

Seoul

The Catholic bishops of South Korea have warned the faithful against activities of the excommunicated former Archbishop of Lusaka, Emmanuel Milingo, whose wife is Korean.

Milingo, they said, "is a danger to South Korea's Catholics, who must avoid him and above all not become involved in his activity, clearly condemned by the Universal Church". The Korean Bishops Conference issued the warning in its weekly bulletin. ...

The former prelate has repeatedly asked the Vatican to allow priests to marry, and founded the movement 'Married Priest Now', in which he illicitly ordains married priests and bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Zimbabwe: Basotho Bishops Support Ncube and Catholic Church

LESOTHO
allAfrica

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

18 September 2007

Maseru

The Catholic bishops of the Southern African Kingdom of Lesotho have expressed solidarity with former Zimbabwean Archbishop, Pius Ncube, who resigned last Tuesday.

The Basotho bishops said they learned of Archbishop Ncube's stepping down "with shock and great sadness".

In a statement signed by Bishop Evaristus Bitsoane, President of Lesotho Catholic Bishops' Conference, the church leaders also conveyed their support for the Zimbabwean Catholic Church, which had "gone through disquiet, trials and great distress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Archbishop planning presidential race in Zimbabwe?

ZIMBABWE
Catholic World News

Harare, Sep. 18, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Archbishop Pius Ncube, who resigned last week as head of Zimbabwe's Bulawayo archdiocese, may run for the presidency of the African country, according to an online report in the Christian Post. ...

The prospect of a presidential campaign by a Catholic prelate would undoubtedly raise concerns at the Vatican. In February of this year the Vatican announced the suspension of Bishop Fernando Lugo Mendez, the former leader of the San Pedro diocese in Paraguay, after Lugo rejected a Vatican order to end his own presidential race.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Abuse prevention strengthened

WILSONVILLE (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

By Ed Langlois

WILSONVILLE — Catholic ministers in western Oregon are getting a new look at how to recognize and prevent sexual abuse of children. Clergy, religious and a large corps of lay workers in parishes and schools will bring the knowledge to volunteers, parents and youngsters in the coming months.

“Other denominations and faiths are looking to Catholics as a model,” sex abuse expert Christy Schiller told 170 church workers gathered for a workshop here Monday.

Renewed, mandated training of ministers and volunteers marks a definitive next step in the Archdiocese of Portland’s effort to block sex abuse, which harmed scores of Catholic children in past decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

A taste of what's ahead in church trial

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com

Something tells me the Diocese of Orange is going to settle this lawsuit before we get to trial on Oct. 9. Too much bleeding already, and with the judge now indicating it could drag on through Christmas, I don't see Bishop Tod Brown having the stomach for it.

Also, it's not like there's any question former Mater Dei assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade carried on a two-year affair with the plaintiff, who was 15 when it started. This is just a matter of how much culpability the church has here and what it's willing to pay the woman to go away.

Fairly key to how quickly the Diocese caves, I'm guessing, is a major pretrial ruling Judge Gail Andler will be asked to make within the next few days. Attorneys for the victim, Jane C. R. Doe, will ask Andler to allow the jury to award punitive damages in addition to actual damages. The psychological therapy the now 26-year-old woman will undergo for the rest of her life would amount to substantial actual damages on its own – "in the millions," her attorney, Venus Soltan, told me. But if the jury finds the Diocese responsible and can levy punitive damages – well, the sky's the limit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Group Urges Database For Clergy Sex Abuse

NASHVILLE (TN)
WSMV

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Members of a self-help group are urging the Southern Baptist Convention to release information about a study they're conducting to address sex abuse by clergy.

One part of the process is to study the feasibility of creating a database for clergy who have been accused, convicted or confessed to sexual abuse.

Some members of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests or other clergy said they want the SBC to hold public and private hearings with victims, experts and other religious leaders who have dealt with this issue for that database.

The group hand delivered a letter to the committee that's doing the study while they were at the SBC headquarters Monday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Case of child molestation by a Jesuit elicits tough questions

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The Marquette Tribune

By Eric Lombardi

Dear Jesuits,

I have some very important questions to ask you, starting with this one: are you freakin' kidding me?

Are you ever going to do anything to get rid of the criminally convicted child molester the Rev. Donald McGuire?

McGuire, a member of the Society of Jesus and former spiritual mentor of Mother Teresa, has been convicted of two criminal cases of molesting male minors in Wisconsin and is currently undergoing at least three other civil cases of child molestation.

Yet, he has not been removed from the priesthood, the Society of Jesus, and is even still being allowed to dress as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Former Archbishop Set to Run for Zimbabwean Presidency

ZIMBABWE
Christian Today

by Jennifer Gold
Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2007, 11:16

The former Zimbabwean Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, who recently resigned amid allegations of adultery, is reportedly preparing to run for presidency to overthrow current President Robert Mugabe.

According to reports Ncube is set to head up a sensational new political movement in Zimbabwe, and is likely to be a popular candidate in the elections next spring against controversial Mugabe.

Sources close to Ncube say his plans are already far advanced. Meetings have been held with the Zimbabwe African People's Union Federal party (ZAPU-FP) and the Patriotic Union of Matabeleland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Sydney priest to plead guilty to indecent assault

AUSTRALIA
LiveNews

Emily Smith

18/09/2007 12:20:00 PM.

The lawyer for a Sydney priest accused of indecently assaulting young boys has indicated the 52-year-old will plead guilty to some of the charges.

Ross Francis Murren is facing 21 charges of indecent assault on a boy dating back three decades.

Murren’s accused of assaulting eight boys at a primary school in 1974, when he was a 19-year-old teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

City diocese settles abuse cases

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post-Gazette

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has agreed to pay a total of $1.25 million to 32 people who say they were abused by 17 priests between the 1950s and 1994.

The money will be distributed by an independent arbitrator, former Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Alan S. Penkower, based on a review of each claim.

The settlement was in the works before July's announcement that Bishop David Zubik would be installed here next week, but Bishop Zubik said yesterday that he gave the settlement "complete support."

"I think it is paramount that as Church, we do what we can to bring healing to people who have been harmed," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Former diocesan accountant tries to fire attorney mid-trial

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by James F. McCarty
September 17, 2007 20:00PM

The federal court trial of a former accountant for the Diocese of Cleveland was postponed Monday after the defendant, Anton Zgoznik, refused to participate and tried to fire his lawyers.

Court officials characterized Zgoznik's problem as a panic attack on the morning he was scheduled to mount his defense against charges he paid $784,000 in kickbacks to the diocese's former top lawyer and chief financial officer, Joseph Smith.

Zgoznik's supporters said he didn't panic, but feared he would be convicted and imprisoned for crimes he maintains he didn't commit.

Smith, who has attended the four-week trial in U.S. District Court, said Zgoznik had grown increasingly dissatisfied with his defense attorneys, Robert Rotatori and Susan Gragel. The defendant was especially upset with Rotatori's restrained cross-examination of Bishop Anthony Pilla and the Rev. John Wright about two weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Festini e minacce a Firenze L'indagine porta alla Curia

ITALY
Il Corriere della Sera

Police are investigating Auxiliary Bishop Claudio Maniago of Florence for alleged participation in "red lights parties." They have talked to five people who are alleged to have witnessed these parties, which are sexual orgies. The parties allegedly were organized by his former teacher, Rev. Lelio Cantini, who was found guilty by the Ecclesiastical Tribune last spring. Rev. Cantini's accusers include 20 women who said they had been raped when they were minors. In addition to sexual violence, Rev. Cantini was found guilty of having forced some parishioners to cede their properties. The church court found Bishop Magnago to be innocent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Cleveland Catholic Diocese kickback trial postponed

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter
The federal court trial of a former accountant for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese was postponed Monday after the defendant, Anton Zgoznik, refused to participate and tried to fire his lawyers.

Court officials characterized Zgoznik's problem as a panic attack on the morning he was scheduled to mount his defense against charges he paid $784,000 in kickbacks to the diocese's former top lawyer and chief financial officer, Joseph Smith.

Zgoznik's supporters said he didn't panic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Monk accused of molesting boys dies

BLANCO (TX)
American-Statesman

By Patrick George
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The leader of a Blanco County monastery racked with sexual abuse scandals died Sunday night on the same property where monks were accused of molesting young boys.

The body of Samuel Greene was found Monday morning by a fellow monk who was his caretaker, said Greene's friend and former attorney Michael White. Greene was 63. He was found in his bed in a double-wide trailer near the closed Christ of the Hills monastery, White said.

The Blanco County sheriff's office, which is investigating Greene's death, could not be reached for comment.

"He was massively overweight, about 400 or 500 pounds," White said. "He had digestive problems. He was limited in walking around."

Greene also had heart problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Blanco monks' leader is dead

BLANCO (TX)
San Antonion Express-News

Zeke MacCormack
Express-News Staff Writer

Samuel A. Greene Jr., whose charisma carried him from being a land pitchman to leader of a monastery outside Blanco, was found dead Monday, just days before facing up to 180 years in prison for allegedly violating his probation.

Autopsy results are pending on Greene, 63, who was found dead in his bed at his home on the grounds of Christ of the Hills Monastery, which shut after a July raid by officers investigating claims of sex abuse and mail fraud.

Blanco County Sheriff Bill Elsbury said Greene's death bears "all the appearances of suicide," but he stressed that officials must see autopsy results from the Travis County medical examiner before making a ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Woman says she didn't tell family she was being raped

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Las Cruces Sun-News

By The Associated Press
Article Launched: 09/18/2007 06:46:49 AM MDT

By The Associated Press

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A defense attorney picked over the testimony of a key witness in the trial of a polygamous-sect leader Monday, looking for discrepancies in her story about being under overwhelming pressure to marry an older cousin when she was 14.

During cross-examination, the woman, now 21, was put through a series of yes-or-no questions about many issues, from her civil lawsuit against Warren Jeffs to whether she told her mother about unwanted sex.

"I never told anyone," the woman replied when asked if she talked about her belief that she was being raped by the 19-year-old cousin.

Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is charged with two counts of rape as an accomplice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Founder of scandal-plagued Central Texas monastery dies

BLANCO (TX)
KVUE

08:20 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Associated Press

BLANCO, Texas - Samuel A. Greene Jr., the founder of a monastery that closed amid scandal over the alleged sexual abuse of novice monks and a fraudulent weeping Virgin Mary painting, has died. He was 63.

Greene's death was being investigated as a suicide, but officials were waiting for autopsy results before ruling on the cause of death. Greene's body was found Monday morning in his home on the grounds of Christ of the Hills Monastery.

The monastery was allied with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia from 1991 to 1999, but the church broke ties with the monastery when allegations surfaced of indecency by Greene with a juvenile novice monk.

Greene, who founded the monastery in 1981, pleaded guilty in 2000 to indecency and was sentenced to 10 years probation. In 2006, Greene told his probation officer in a secretly taped interview that he had sexual contact with boys over a 30-year period starting in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Monk Accused Of Abuse Dies

BLANCO (TX)
The Post Chronicle

by Staff

A monk facing new charges of abuse has died on the property in Texas where he and four other monks were accused of molesting boys.

Samuel Greene's body was found Monday at the closed Christ of the Hills monastery in Blanco County, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesmen reported Tuesday. Greene was "massively overweight" and had heart problems, said Greene's former lawyer Michael White.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Sisters Banned From City

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
The Santa Barbara Independent

Monday, September 17, 2007
By Barney Brantingham

Sisters Banned From City: The Sisters of Bethany must not only leave their Eastside Convent, but they can’t relocate anywhere within the city limits either, sources tell me.

That’s the word I get from community members close to the controversy about three Sisters being evicted from the modest convent the order has occupied since the 1950s.

The L.A. Archdiocese sent word recently that the building next to Our Lady of Guadalupe must be sold to help pay for the multi-million-dollar settlements of sexual abuse claims being made against priests. After decades of work with Santa Barbara’s poor, the order must leave the convent — and the city — by December 31.

Criticism continues to mount in Santa Barbara that while the Archdiocese insists on selling the convent, which resides in a mixed industrial neighborhood and is worth perhaps $750,000, Bishop Thomas Curry lives alone in a magnificent mansion in a prime San Roque neighborhood. The place is speculated to be worth $3 million or more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Church leaders head back to school on Internet safety

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
Catholic Explorer

By Kathrynne Skonicki
Published Sep 18, 2007

ROMEOVILLE—Close to 100 catechetical leaders, principals and other ministers convened in a classroom of sorts as students were arriving Sept. 11 at their respective schools in the Diocese of Joliet. The lesson was about Internet safety and Robert Farley, a consultant in crimes against children, was the teacher at Lewis University in Romeoville.

Members of the Joliet diocesan Safe Environment Committee coordinated the event that resulted in three presentations by Farley, a retired commanding officer of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department Child Exploitation Unit. Those in attendance at the morning session moved to St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Center in Romeoville for catechetical breakout sessions and other meetings in the afternoon. Farley told the Catholic Explorer, “What I want to do is bring everybody up in knowledge of what kids are doing and how to protect them from online sexual predators.”

More than 60 priests attended an afternoon presentation and over 240 deacons and diaconate candidates attended an evening discussion that covered boundaries for clergy and protecting kids online. Moments before his first presentation, Farley said he intended to share with clergymen how to be aware of child sexual abuse, identify child sexual abuse, report it and protect against false allegations. He said, “I am going to talk about putting yourself in a position where nobody can finger point at you or say you did anything wrong because we’re all going to be on the same page.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Report: Pope To Visit Boston Next Year

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- Pope Benedict XVI may be making a stop in Boston during an apostolic journey to the United States next year, according to a published report.

The trip is tentatively scheduled for April 15 to 20, and it includes visits to Boston, New York, Washington, and possibly Baltimore, the Catholic News Agency reported. The trip will be centered around a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"Nothing official has been said, but those responsible for doing the planning have definitely mentioned it as a possible candidate for a visit," said David Uebbing, of the Catholic News Agency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Report: Pope Benedict to Visit Boston

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

According to a report by the Catholic News Agency, via WCVB, Pope Benedict XVI will be making a trip to Boston in April, 2008 as part of an East Coast swing that will also include stops in New York, Washington, D.C. and maybe Baltimore. The report goes on to say that Benedict will perform a Mass on Boston Common and address the sexual abuse scandal. The Archdiocese has not commented other than to say that any comment is premature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
WOAI

Reported by: Leila Walsh
Email: LeilaWalsh@woai.com
Last Update: 9/17 11:50 pm

The woman says a priest bought her jewelry and gifts. But she says the courtship ended with abuse. A woman says she was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in San Antonio. Now, her lawsuit is going to court.

The woman says the priest bought her jewelry and gifts. But she says the courtship ended with abuse.

Court papers show the woman was going through tough times and was looking for someone to talk to. She decided to confide in a priest, a man who had been to her house to perform the sacrament of the sick, when her husband was dying.

"He appeared to be a good and trustworthy priest," said the woman who filed suit, Theresa Gomez.

Theresa saw Father Michael O'Brien again, eight years after her husband's death. O'Brien was performing a wedding ceremony. At the time, she thought he might be able to help her through some difficult times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Lawyer told to pay $24,310

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer

First published: Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ALBANY -- A local attorney must pay more than $24,000 for filing a baseless lawsuit against the Catholic Church and U.S. government on behalf of a refugee from Hurricane Katrina.

The lawyer, John Aretakis, had "no legitimate, factual or legal basis" for the suit, filed earlier this year on behalf of Tina Zlotnick, U.S. Judge Gary L. Sharpe told the attorney on Sept. 6.

"It's clear to me," Sharpe said, "that this lawsuit was filed because you have your own personal agenda and you were able to find a client that would foster your own personal agenda."

About three-quarters of the lawsuit focused on sexual abuse in the church -- and had nothing to do with Zlotnick, the judge said in U.S. District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Pope visit to U.S. in spring may help heal wounds

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict will make his first trip to the United States next spring in a visit that will likely try to heal some of the wounds caused by recent sexual abuse scandals.

The Pope will visit New York and several other cities in the East, Vatican sources said on Tuesday, adding that the itinerary was still being worked out.

The main purpose of the trip, expected for the second half of April or the start of May, will be to address the United Nations at the invitation of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Ex-officer's refusal to testify shocks Cornwall sex abuse hearing

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Graham Hughes, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, September 17, 2007
CORNWALL . When Perry Dunlop and his wife, Helen, walked into an inquiry room Monday, they received a standing ovation from members of the public gallery.

Two hours later, Mr. Dunlop was dismissed and told to think overnight about his refusal to testify at the probe into the official response to allegations of sexual abuse of children in the city.

When he took the stand, the former Cornwall police constable asked inquiry Commissioner Normand Glaude whether he could read a statement.

He said he'd "been lied to and forced to be here today."

He said he'd had to leave his children, home and business in British Columbia and that he feared for his own life and those of his family members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh settles sex abuse cases for $1.25M

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

By Craig Smith
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A $1.25 million resolution of civil lawsuits filed by those who claimed they were sexually abused by priests of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh was the best deal they could get, attorneys said.

"It is with mixed feelings that we are settling these cases. The courts and Legislature have disfavored these cases," said attorney Alan Perer, representing 26 men and nine women who sued the diocese in 2004, alleging they were abused by priests.

Despite the odds against them, three plaintiffs opted out of the settlement in order to keep their cases active, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Won't help sex-abuse inquiry, ex-officer says

CANADA
Globe and Mail

TERRI SAUNDERS
Canadian Press

September 18, 2007

CORNWALL, ONT. -- A former city policeman whose investigations sparked a widespread probe of alleged sexual abuse in the region wouldn't answer questions at the Cornwall Public Inquiry yesterday and said he's willing to go to jail rather than participate in a process in which he says he has no faith.

Perry Dunlop repeatedly refused to answer questions put to him by Peter Engelmann, lead commission counsel, at the start of hearings on the institutional response to allegations of sexual abuse in the area. He was later told that he could face contempt-of-court charges under the Public Inquiries Act.

"I would," Mr. Dunlop said, when asked if he was willing to go to jail.

Mr. Dunlop and his wife, Helen, both spent time in the witness box yesterday, although neither of them directly answered questions related to what is believed to be the central role they played in uncovering decades of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

September 17, 2007

Pittsburgh diocese creates $1.25M fund to settle abuse cases

PITTSBURGH (PA)
The Sentinel

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI

Last updated: Monday, September 17, 2007 3:43 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Monday it has created a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.

The victims' attorney, Alan H. Perer, said the settlement was being announced with mixed feelings because the money does not fairly compensate the victims for the abuse they suffered.

Pennsylvania's highest courts had dismissed the cases, citing the statute of limitations, which gives victims of sexual abuse who are minors until their 20th birthday to file claims. The cases in Pittsburgh are from the 1950s through the late '80s, and most of the victims are in their 40s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 PM

Pittsburgh diocese to settle clergy abuse claims for $1.25M

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Jurist

Katerina Ossenova

[JURIST] The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh [diocesan website] Monday announced the creation of a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests. Even though Pennsylvania's statute of limitations barred many victims from filing personal injury claims, the diocese has created the fund and will also offer a program of counseling and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 PM

Diocese will pay in sex-abuse cases

PENNSYLVANIA
Times

By: Bill Vidonic, Times Staff
09/17/2007

Barbara Ann Katekovich says she still suffers from panic attacks and other emotional distress brought on by sexual abuse at the hands of a priest decades ago.

The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese on Monday announced that suits filed by Katekovich, 52, of Conway, and 31 others claiming sexual abuse or injury by priests would be settled with payments totaling $1.2 million.

Katekovich said she would have welcomed her day in court, to tell how, at the age of 12, she was molested by a priest at an Ambridge church.

"What he did to me is terrible," Katekovich said. "I couldn't have children all these years. My marriage fell apart because of this. It's just not fair. I'm very angry with this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 PM

New PR Flack For OC Diocese, Same Idiocy

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 15, 2007 1:19 PM

Long-time observers of the Catholic Diocese of Orange pedo-priest scandal no doubt remember Father Joseph Fenton, the former director of communications who was an unrepentant asshole and didn't mind using sex-abuse survivors when convenient for Bishop Tod. D Brown. He's no longer the Orange diocese's PR flack; that dirty work now falls to one Ryan Lilyengren. And the man is earning whatever Brown pays him.

On Thursday, after Brown's deposition for a civil lawsuit filed against former Mater Dei boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade revealed that Brown allowed a confessed pedophile to continue working in Orange County parishes and also revealed a sex-abuse allegation against His Excellency, Lilygren released a statement that read, "Bishop Tod D. Brown has served with distinction for 43 years and is today widely recognized by Catholics and those of other faith communities as a progressive church leader committed to transparency and accountability." Oh, the lies and hyperbole in that statement! Rather than go link-crazy, just read through the Weekly's years-long coverage of the Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal--you shan't be disappointed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Bench warrant issued for arrest of nun

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WKBT

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A bench warrant has been issued for a 79-year-old nun charged with inappropriate behavior after she failed to appear at a hearing.

Norma Giannini is charged with two counts of indecent behavior with a child stemming from incidents involving boys at a school where she had been principal.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Paul Tiffin said Monday the warrant was issued after Giannini failed to appear at a hearing Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

SNAP Meeting in New Concord

NEW CONCORD (OH)
WHIZ

By: Kelly Gilmartin

A national organization for victims of clergy abuse and their families is holding a meeting tonight in New Concord.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is holding a meeting at the Muskingum County Library New Concord Branch from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight to give victims a chance to come forward and talk about their abuse.

“What we do is we give them a guidance as to where to go. We also tell them that they're not alone and we also let them be able to talk with us and know that we believe them, you know that they have been abused,” said Helen Schoeppner, Steubenville SNAP leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Southern Baptist pastor in California charged with sexually abusing two girls

FRESNO (CA)
Associated Baptist Press

By Hannah Elliott
Published September 17, 2007

FRESNO, Calif. (ABP) -- Another Southern Baptist pastor has been charged with child molestation.

Police arrested John Bonine, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church in Fresno, Calif., at his home Aug. 10. The 43-year-old father of eight is accused of sexually abusing two girls under the age of 14, according to the Fresno Bee.

Mansel Trimble, the church’s youth pastor, told the local ABC television affiliate, KFSN, that the church has not fired Bonine and will wait until “knowing all the facts, and where this is going” before taking action. Glen Paden, a former president of the California Baptist Foundation, preached in Sunday services Aug. 16.

The arrest adds to a growing list of Southern Baptist pastors charged in the last year with sex abuse. Scandals in Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kentucky have led advocate groups to pressure SBC officials to conduct a nationwide investigation into the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Why did cases settle when the Catholic Church had no defense at all? Many questions as LA hearings begin again this week. Plus: What Would Mahony Say?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

(Hearings in LA Clergy Cases begin again tomorrow in Judge Fromholz’ Court, with two motions on calendar for Tuesday September 18th. The City of Angels will be there and continue reporting in this blog.)

In the LA clergy cases settled July 16th, the Archdiocese used more than 18 law firms to fight claims made by sex crime victims in its own churches, to fight families and family members in its own parishes. The settlement was $660 million and the LA Archdiocese may have spent another $660 million preventing justice from going forward.

Out of those 18 law firms not one cogent legal argument against a plaintiffs’ case ever came forward. Church Attorneys never denied that the rapes and satanic acts on children’s bodies took place. They just got cases dismissed for missed deadlines or because of plaintiffs' confusion as to which is the correct defendant church parish or other entity on which to serve a subpoena.

I’m still trying to understand why plaintiffs settled when the church really had no case at all? At the same time plaintiffs were ready to show a jury shocking evidence and put on testimony that would have blown the roof off cathedrals across the country. One Clinton Hagenbach case alone names 28 priests who were part of an inner circle of pedophiles in Southern California. Many of these inner circle pedophile pederast priests came from Our lady of the Angels Junior Seminary. Testimony would have showed how the church aided and abetted these criminals. With the cases settled how will we get that evidence now?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Pa. Catholic diocese sets up $1.25 million abuse fund

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Reuters

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:59pm EDT

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has voluntarily set up a $1.25 million fund to aid the victims of 32 cases of clergy sexual abuse, an attorney for the victims said on Monday.

The fund will be distributed by an independent arbitrator based on each victim's age, the type of abuse and how it has affected the person's life, said Alan Perer of the Pittsburgh law firm SPK. Victims also will be given generous counseling, he said.

Perer said he had "mixed feelings" about the settlement because he would like to have obtained more for his clients. But he said the Pennsylvania courts had barred lawsuits because the alleged abuses, most of which occurred during the 1960s, were too long ago.

The victims were 23 men and nine women who are mostly now in their 40s and 50s, Perer said. Three other men withdrew their claims. The abuse was committed by about 20 clergy, many of whom are now dead, Perer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

B.C. priest resigns after admitting misconduct

CANADA
Anglican Journal

Staff
Sep 17, 2007

Rev. Antonio Osorio, a well-known priest in the diocese of British Columbia who championed the cause of same-sex blessings in the church, has resigned from his post after admitting to sexual misconduct.

The diocese issued a statement Sept. 5 that Mr. Osorio, rector of St. Saviour’s church, had been suspended from his duties pending an investigation into allegations he had violated the church’s sexual misconduct policy. His resignation was announced Sept. 14.

The diocese did not elaborate on the nature of the complaint filed against Mr. Osorio, who came to Canada as a refugee fleeing political persecution in Colombia. Mr. Osorio was unavailable for comment. Local newspapers in Victoria said the church’s parishioners were “devastated” by the news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Zubik comments on Pittsburgh diocese abuse settlement

GREEN BAY (WI)
WKBT

Associated Press - September 17, 2007 3:35 PM ET

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The outgoing bishop of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese will have a lot of work to do when he gets to his new post.

Next week, Bishop David Zubik will be installed as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Today, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced it has created a fund worth more than $1 million to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.

Zubik said in a statement he had been informed along the way as the resolution came about. He says he hopes the settlement would help rebuild trust in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Diocese resolves 32 priest abuse lawsuits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Monsters and Critics

Sep 17, 2007, 19:37 GMT

PITTSBURGH, PA, United States (UPI) -- The Diocese of Pittsburgh says it has resolved 32 lawsuits dealing with allegations of abuse or injury by priests.

The diocese and attorneys for the plaintiffs announced the suits have been withdrawn and a $1.25 million Outreach Fund has been established by the diocese to be distributed to the plaintiffs based on reviews of each claim, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.

Pennsylvania courts have ruled that the suits were invalidated by the state`s statute of limitations. The courts declared that the alleged abuses took place too long before the suits were filed against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Finding God away from Catholicism

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Southtown

September 17, 2007
I felt like I was cheating. As I walked into the church with my family, I found myself furtively looking around, wondering if I was going to see anyone I knew.

I felt guilty but excited. It felt forbidden and a little bit naughty to be entering a church that wasn't Catholic, but I knew we had to try something new.

For the past several years, it's been harder and harder for me to support the Catholic Church. There have been too many sexual abuse cases nationwide for me to proudly be a parishioner anymore and too many antiquated church laws that make it difficult for me to be a good Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

OC Diocese Paid Admitted Child Molester $100,000

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 17, 2007 10:17 AM

Back in 2004, the Catholic Diocese of Orange quietly settled a lawsuit filed against former Mater Dei boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade. To quote from my 2006 story regarding a current molestation lawsuit against Andrade:

"In 2003, Mater Dei officials admitted to Orange County Register reporter Jim Hinch that they dismissed Andrade because of his relationship with [a 15-year-old student0]. Andrade sued Mater Dei and the Orange diocese...for invasion of privacy, stating in his argument that "the disclosure of any facts pertaining to [Andrade’s] employment at Mater Dei is not newsworthy.” The diocese shot back in a demurrer that Andrade “had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Andrade had been accused of a sexual relationship with a student. He could not reasonably believe that the mandatory reporting of this conduct would remain private.” The suit was resolved but the outcome remains confidential, and the local media never reported on the case."

The amount that Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown paid out to Andrade has remained a mystery--until last week.

That's when Brown was deposed by John Manly, the famed Newport Beach attorney that has pursued clerical sex-abuse cases across the world. On page 26 of the deposition, longtime diocesan lawyer Peter Callahan tried to argue before a judge that certain parts of Brown's manuscript should be under seal because of "privileged information in a personnel file about somebody's medical condition.

"The last time this came up in the framework of this particular case, confidential information was mentioned from a personnel file of Andrade," Callahan told Judge Robert Jameson. "We were challenged why don't we tell people who are accused, et cetera. And then Andrade sued us, and it cost us a hundred thousand dollars."

$100,000. $100,000 to a man who admitted to molesting the Mater Dei student. $100,000 to a man the Orange diocese continues to protect. $100,000 to a man that shamed the Orange diocese--yet Bishop Brown and Callahan relish the day they can go to trial against Andrade's victim. That $100,000 figure, by the way, was supposed to be under seal--guess it's not anymore!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

«Ecco gli obiettivi della Chiesa dei peccatori»

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti again celebrated Mass in his parish on Sunday in defiance of his bishop. He said it is not good to be a sinner but it is the only way to be part of Jesus' church.

He announced on his Web site at http://www.chiesacattolicadeipeccatori.it that the section on objectives has been completed. His first objective was the face the unbearable situation of divorced Catholics or those who are now separated and living with another woman. The second objective is to face the issue of pedophilia in the clergy and the religious world. The third is to deal with the theme related to the priests.

He believes it is appropriate to look at the ecclesiastical hierachy throughout the world to find out how many are accused of sexual abuse of minors, are HIV positive, frequent prostitutes, support one or more children, are mentally ill, alcoholic, property owners, homosexuals, who have had at lest one affair, who have left the priesthood along with other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Diocese Creates Settlement Fund

PITTSBURGH (PA)
New York Sun

By Associated Press
September 17, 2007 posted 12:38 pm EDT

PITTSBURGH - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said today it has created a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.

In a joint statement with an attorney for the plaintiffs, the diocese said it wanted to settle even though Pennsylvania's statute of limitations barred many victims from filing personal injury claims.

Plaintiff's attorney Alan H. Perer said he appreciated the gesture but said the sum does not fairly compensate the victims for the abuse they say they suffered.

The victims feel the courts and laws of Pennsylvania did not offer them protection, Mr. Perer said at a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Lawsuits Against Diocese Of Pittsburgh Withdrawn

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI

PITTSBURGH -- More information about dozens of abuse lawsuits against the Diocese of Pittsburgh is expected to be released on Monday.

Resolutions have been reached in 32 cases. Courts in Pennsylvania ruled the suits could not be heard because of the statute of limitations.

"The Pennsylvania courts' rulings preclude our clients from pursuing their claims," said Alan H. Perer, a senior partner at the Law Firm of SPK who represents all of the plaintiffs. He said the "gesture by the Diocese is very much appreciated."

The diocese has established an outreach fund worth more than $1 million. Each plaintiff in the lawsuits will also be invited to take part in a program of counseling and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Pittsburgh Diocese to Settle Abuse Cases

PITTSBURGH (PA)
ABC News

PITTSBURGH Sep 17, 2007 (AP)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Monday it has created a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.

In a joint statement with an attorney for the plaintiffs, the diocese said it wanted to settle even though Pennsylvania's statute of limitations barred many victims from filing personal injury claims.

Plaintiff's attorney Alan H. Perer said the gesture "is very much appreciated."

"Often institutions brush these sorts of things under the rug as soon as possible," Perer said in the statement. "It was important and admirable for the Diocese to step forward and offer these people help and some form of compensation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Pastors giving new meaning to "Laying on of Hands"

UNITED STATES
The Louisiana Weekly

By Dr. Barbara Reynolds
NNPA Religion Columnist

If Jesus Christ would show up in some of our churches, would He shed tears and walk out the door?

Once upon a time, church sanctuaries were treated as hallowed ground and the ordained clergy representing God and the people of God were viewed as the best examples of godly living.

Today, a demonic spirit of sexual perversion, prosperity, blindness and power-tripping is creating a sense of shame and cynicism among rank and file Christians that is actually driving some from the pews.

For example weeks after Atlanta police and witnesses report how Bishop Thomas Weeks savagely choked, kicked in the stomach and stomped his televangelist wife, Juanita Bynum in a hotel parking lot, the bishop is still in his pulpit at Global Destiny church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Trust evaporating – Poll finds clergy trustworthiness slips precipitously

CANADA
Catholic Online

By Michael Swan
9/17/2007
The Catholic Register (www.catholicregister.org)

TORONTO, Canada (The Catholic Register) – It may well be a greater compliment to be trusted than to be loved. If so, is it a greater heartbreak to watch trust evaporate? For an answer, one might ask a parish priest. Canadian trust in clergy has been slipping at an alarming pace over the past five years.

The 2007 Leger Marketing “Profession Barometre” finds that 61 percent of Canadians say they trust church representatives — not even close to the 97 percent who trust firefighters or 94 percent who trust nurses, Canada’s most trusted professions.

However, Canadians still rank clergy more trustworthy than pollsters at 59 percent, journalists at 48 percent or politicians, who garner the trust of just 15 percent of Canadians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Sex priest's victim slams sentence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

September 17, 2007 05:42pm
A PRIEST who raped and sexually abused four boys over 12 years has been jailed for more than seven years.

One of his victims criticised the sentence, saying the Catholic priest should have been locked up for life.

Terrence Melville Pidoto, 62, was found guilty of 11 charges including rape, indecent assault and buggery by a Victorian County Court jury in July this year.

Today, Judge Ross Howie said Pidoto - who had denied all charges - had abused his position of trust and influence, adding that his actions were "a shocking betrayal of your vocation".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Former priest sentenced for sex assault

AUSTRALIA
ABC

By Danny Morgan

A former Melbourne Catholic priest has been sentenced to seven years and three months jail for sexual assaulting several young boys.

A County Court jury found Terence Pidoto of Bacchus Marsh guilty of a total of 11 charges, including rape and buggery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Victims angry at sex priest jail term

AUSTRALIA
The Age

September 17, 2007 - 2:11PM

A priest who raped and sexually abused four boys over 12 years has been jailed for more than seven years.

One of his victims criticised the sentence, saying the Catholic priest should have been locked up for life.

Terrence Melville Pidoto, 62, was found guilty of 11 charges including rape, indecent assault and buggery by a Victorian County Court jury in July this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Psychologist's case shows limits of law

CANADA
Times Colonist

Lindsay Kines and Jeff Rud, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, September 17, 2007
He was once the "Saint of Saskatchewan," a Catholic priest whose work with troubled teens earned him the Order of Canada and a citizen-of-the-year award.

But Father Lucien Larre has been dogged by controversy in recent years.

In 1992, a Saskatchewan jury convicted him on two counts of physically abusing children in his care at Bosco Homes and acquitted him on nine other charges. Larre was sentenced to one day in jail and paid a $2,500 fine for one charge of common assault and one charge that he forced pills down the throat of a teenager to teach her a lesson about drug abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Uganda: Catholic Priest Held Over Defilement

UGANDA
allAfrica

The Monitor (Kampala)

17 September 2007

Robert Muhereza
Kabale

THE police in Kabale District are holding a priest on allegations of sexual assault and defilement. Rev. Fr. Augustine Safari, the parish priest of Maziba Catholic parish, allegedly attempted to murder a girl who resisted his sexual advances. Relatives recorded a statement at police indicating that the priest attempted to burn the girl's private parts after she rejected his sexual proposals.

The girl (names withheld) is a student of Maziba Secondary School. The officer in charge of criminal investigations at Kabale police station, Mr Silver Tumwesigye, confirmed the priest's detention on Friday. "Investigations into the matter are in progress," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Uganda: Priest Defrocked Over Sexual Assault in Kabale

UGANDA
allAfrica

The Monitor (Kampala)

17 September 2007

Robert Muhereza
Kabale

THE Church of Uganda Diocese of Kigezi has defrocked a priest over accusations of defilement. Rev. Kenneth Edison Byaruhanga allegedly defiled and impregnated an under age girl in 2005 when he was the parish priest at Rubaya centre in Ndorwa West, Kabale District.

The Diocesan Secretary, Rev. George Tumwine, confirmed Rev. Byaruhanga's dismissal on Thursday and said he is expected to hand over all the clerical tools to the diocesan offices without fail.

"We suspended the man in 2005 after receiving claims that he impregnated a minor at his work station. Investigations have been carried out and the final decision of defrocking him has been agreed upon," he told Daily Monitor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Pittsburgh Diocese to Settle Abuse Cases

PITTSBURGH (PA)
The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Monday it has created a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.

In a joint statement with an attorney for the plaintiffs, the diocese said it wanted to settle even though Pennsylvania's statute of limitations barred many victims from filing personal injury claims.

Plaintiff's attorney Alan H. Perer said the gesture "is very much appreciated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

“Porta Pia, la breccia della libertà”

ITALY
Radicali

The Radical Party and other organizations will gather at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in front of Porta Pia. These groups will demonstrate against fundamentalism in all its forms and, as it has done each year, call for the end of the temporal power of the Vatican upon the city of Rome, honor the concept of religious freedom against the official state religion and its privileges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Fresno Church Congregation Turns To God During Difficult Time

FRESNO (CA)
ABC 30

By Maureen Naylor
09/16/2007 - Accusations of child sexual abuse rocked a Fresno church earlier this week. For the first time since the allegations came to light the church congregation met for Sunday services with a message of faith for church members.

Church leaders say they are praying for his family, trying to heal, and focusing on faith.
An interim pastor took over the 10:30 Sunday service at the Sierra Heights Baptist Church, usually presided over by Pastor John "Jeb" Bonine. Glen Paden encouraged the congregation to turn to God during this difficult time when many are questioning why.

"The congregation sets a very high standard for pastor, for a spiritual leader, when those are broken, when they fail, when they fall, there is remorse, there is disappointment," says Pastor Paden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Ncube’s exit good for the Church

ZIMBABWE
The East African

POPE BENEDICT XVI has done the best thing to rest the adultery case of Buluwayo Archbishop Pius Ncube by accepting his resignation. His resignation will go down well with President Robert Mugabe , whom he did not see eye-to-eye with.

Although his fellow bishops had defended him, claiming he did not commit adultery, Bishop Ncube said in a written statement he was stepping down to spare his fellow bishops and the body of the Church any further attacks.

Accepting his resignation, the Vatican cited a church canon that “earnestly” requests the resignation of a bishop “who has become less able to fulfil his office because of ill health or some other grave cause.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Ditched by their Pope

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Mirror

Anna Smith 16/09/2007

IF anything is to shake the McCanns' unswerving Catholic faith, it must be the Pope ditching them from the Vatican website.

In their dark hours, it was faith that kept them going. They had nowhere else to go. ...

This, from an organisation that for generations swept sexual abuse under the carpet, and gave shelter to paedophile priests who ruined hundreds of lives, from Glasgow to Boston to Donegal.

Shame on them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Lawyer calls priest in sex abuse suit 'sociopathic'

NEW HAVEN (CT)
New Haven Register

By Abbe Smith, Register Staff
09/17/2007

NEW HAVEN - A New Haven lawyer said the priest implicated in a clergy sex-abuse lawsuit filed in August against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford was "one of the most sociopathic abusers" he has dealt with as an attorney.

The suit, filed in Superior Court in New Haven, alleges that the Rev. Ivan Ferguson, now deceased, sexually abused a teenage boy from New Milford for about a year in the late 1970s. According to court documents, the alleged victim's mother worked at St. Bernard's Catholic Church in the Tariffville section of Simsbury in 1977 and 1978, when the abuse was supposed to have taken place.

The lawsuit states that Ferguson befriended the 16-year-old and, while his mother worked, took the boy upstairs to his second-floor bedroom in the rectory and repeatedly sexually abused him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Priest on leave after child sex abuse claims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday September 17 2007

A Catholic priest in Co Cavan has stepped aside from parish duties, pending the outcome of a garda inquiry into allegations that he sexually abused a 15-year-old boy.

The priest, thought to be in his 40s, was arrested on Saturday and interrogated by gardai, who are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, confirmed that one of his diocesan priests was under suspicion, and he called on anyone with a concern for the safety of children to come forward with any information relevant to the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

September 16, 2007

Prete pedofilo, scandalo a Ratisbona

GERMANY
Radicali

Il Messaggero reported on Sept. 14 that police in the Bavarian town of Riekofen on Aug. 31 arrested a priest identified as Peter K., 39, and charged him with sexual abuse of at least one boy. The town is near the Bavarian city of Ratisona where Pope Benedict XVI and his brother Georg were once university professors.

The 800 inhabitants of the town were appalled by the scandal and actions of the bishop, the newspaper said. Police determined that the abuse had gone on for months or possibly years. The priest is also alleged to have abused another boy in 1999 in the Baviarian town of Viechtach. The priest in 2000 was sentenced to one year in year, probation and a fine of for abusing a boy in his religious education class.

Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller of Ratisbona three years later transferred the priest to the parish of San Giovanni in Rieikofen based on a report from a psychiatrist that the priest had overcome his problem. People in the town said the priest wanted to deal only with boys in the parish and he organized parties and picnics for them. Parishioners said the priest fired the female workers in the parish. They added no one was informed of the priest's past abusive incidents.

Town residents are accusing the bishop, who just finished writing a book about the theology of the current pope, with covering-up the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Bishop facing threat of tribunal

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Greg Roberts | September 17, 2007
THE head of the Anglican Church in Australia is considering setting up a special tribunal to examine complaints against an Anglican bishop and determine if he should be stripped of his holy orders.

Anglican Primate Phillip Aspinall and Archbishop of Adelaide Jeffrey Driver have received a submission from parishioners urging them to establish the tribunal to determine the suitability of Ross Davies, Bishop of The Murray in South Australia, to continue in office.

If the tribunal finds against Bishop Davies, he could become only the second bishop of any denomination in Australia to bedefrocked.

The submission by a group of Murray diocesan parishioners called the Voice of the Laity said the bishop had a "history of bullying, verbal and emotional abuse". The submission said there was concern at the support Bishop Davies had given the US-based ultra-conservative Traditional Anglican Communion, including his registration of TAC priests to practise in thediocese.

It said there had been a cover-up of alleged sexual abuse by former diocesan vicar-general Peter Coote. Bishop Davies was forced to stand down Mr Coote in July following revelations by The Australian of allegations against him by three women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Judge Issues Arrest Warrant For Nun Accused Of Sexual Assault

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County judge has issued an arrest warrant for a nun accused of sexually assaulting two boys at a Milwaukee school in the 1960s.

Sister Norma Giannini was supposed to appear in court Friday morning for a pre-trial hearing and did not show up, citing health reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Today's editorial: Diocese hasn't learned futility of concealment

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

An Orange County Register editorial

Public-relations executives often explain that the quickest way to turn a scandal into a publicity nightmare is to engage in deceit and cover-up. It's one of the most basic lessons in government, the corporate world and nonprofit organizations. Yet the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has ignored those lessons and has caused a much-deserved furor over its latest mishandling of the child-rape and abuse scandal.

Like other dioceses nationwide, the Orange diocese for years has been dealing with an onslaught of lawsuits accusing various priests and church leaders of rape and sexual abuse. One current lawsuit involves a woman who was sexually abused by a former assistant basketball coach at church-owned Mater Dei High School when she was 16. Bishop Tod Brown was called to testify under oath about what he knew about sex-abuse accusations, and the diocese strenuously fought the public release of his deposition. That was a foolish move, and it gave observers good reason to wonder what the diocese was hiding.

We learned the answer Thursday when Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler rightly ordered the public release of the deposition. In it, the bishop admitted that he personally was accused in the 1990s of molesting a boy many years earlier – a charge that law enforcement said was not corroborated and that church leaders determined to be without merit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Don Sante: «Vivo alla giornata»

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

Riccardo Bastianello reports that the Rev. Sante Sguotti, the parish priest who has professed love for a woman he wants to marry, faces an uncertain future. The priest said he lives day by day without ability to plan for a vacation or spiritual retreat. Rev. Sguotti said he intends to make public in coming days the possibility of making peace with his bishop. He would not give details. He said he wants to reach out to the Bishop of Padua, who has removed him from priestly duty and has ordered him out of the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

TERNI: PORTAVOCE DON GELMINI, STANNO UCCIDENDO UN SANT'UOMO A PAROLE

ITALY
IGN

Alessandro Muluzzi, spokesman for the Rev. Pierino Gelmini, said allegations of sexual misconduct being made against the priest are killing him. The bullets are words and paper which penetrates soul and flesh, he said. The audio interview is also available at this site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Parishes facing big tax bills for churches closed by Diocese of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz and Brian Meyer - News Staff Reporters
Updated: 09/16/07 7:05 AM

Catholic church buildings slated for closure could still end up costing parishioners hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes if the properties aren’t sold or converted for other tax-exempt uses.

City officials say church buildings will be added to the tax rolls within a year or so after they close.

The buildings have been exempt from property taxes for decades because of their religious purpose. But state law dictates that such properties get taxed when they’re no longer being used by a church. ,,,

“Unfortunately, this is what happens when the Catholic Diocese makes decisions in a vacuum,” said Joseph Golombek Jr., North Council member, who has been highly critical of the diocese’s restructuring, known as “Journey in Faith and Grace.” “They’ve closed four out of six churches in our neighborhood without looking at the long-term impact.”

Sixteen Catholic churches in Buffalo – as well as several of their ancillary buildings — that closed recently or are scheduled to be shut down have an assessed value of $12.4 million, according to city assessment records.

Based on the city’s nonhomestead tax rate of $32.76 per $1,000, those properties would be subject to a combined city tax bill of more than $400,000. That figure doesn’t include Erie County taxes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Sexual abuse victims should alert diocese - Bishop of Kilmore

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Bishop of Kilmore has encouraged anyone with any concerns in relation to sexual abuse to come forward.

It comes following yesterday's revelation that a priest in the Diocese has stepped down from his duties, following an allegation that he sexually abused a child.

It is understood the allegation was made by a 15-year-old who lives in the Diocese of Kilmore - which includes parts of counties Cavan, Leitrim, Meath and Fermanagh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Priest stands aside over sex claim

IRELAND
The Press Association

A priest at the centre of a sexual abuse allegation has agreed to stand aside from his duties. The man, who it is understood is in his 40s, is from the Diocese of Kilmore.

He was questioned by gardai in Co Cavan before being released without charge. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions, a garda spokesman said. It is believed the allegation came from a 15-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Bishop: Sexual abuse victims should alert diocese

IRELAND
Evening Echo

16/09/2007 - 9:52:41 AM

The Bishop of Kilmore, Leo O'Reilly, has encouraged anyone with any concerns in relation to sexual abuse to come forward.

It comes following yesterday's revelation that a priest in the Diocese has stepped down from his duties, following an allegation that he sexually abused a child.

It is understood the allegation was made by a 15-year-old who lives in the Diocese of Kilmore - which includes parts of counties Cavan, Leitrim, Meath and Fermanagh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

September 15, 2007

Priest steps down amid sex-abuse allegations

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A priest in the Diocese of Kilmore has stepped down from his duties following an allegation that he sexually abused a child.

Gardai have confirmed that an investigation is underway and a file on the case is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosections.

The Bishop of Kilmore issued a statement earlier today, confirming that gardai are investigating a complaint against a priest in his Diocese.

It's understood the allegation of sexual abuse was made by a 15-year-old who lives in the Diocese, which includes parts of counties Cavan, Leitrim, Meath and Fermanagh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Catholic school principal accused of enticing girl

WATERLOO (IA)
Courier

WATERLOO, Iowa - A Catholic school principal was charged Friday with trying to meet a 16-year-old girl for sex.

Louis Stroschein, principal for Shelby County Catholic School in Harlan, was booked at the Black Hawk County Jail and charged with enticing away a minor.

Stroschein is accused of trying to arrange a sexual meeting with the girl he chatted with over the Internet. Sheriff's Lt. Kent Smock said Stroschein knew the girl was 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Retired priest accused of sex crimes in 1950s

OTTAWA
Times Colonist

Andrew Seymour, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, September 15, 2007
OTTAWA -- A retired Ontario priest is facing criminal charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a young boy more than five decades ago.

Cornwall-area priest Lucien Lussier, 84, was charged by Ontario Provincial Police Tuesday, with three counts of indecent assault on a male after a man stepped forward to police last month alleging he was sexually assaulted by a priest in the 1950s.

According to police, the alleged incidents occurred in Alexandria and area between 1954 and 1960.

OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae said the alleged assaults started when the male was young and continued into his teenage years. She would not elaborate on the nature of the alleged assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Victim’s fury at priest who defended paedophile Cotter

UNITED KINGDOM
North-West Evening Mail

A PRIEST is under fire for describing his paedophile predecessor as “popular” and “hard working”.

Father Edmund Cotter is in prison for indecently assaulting 11 children near Preston.

Father William Glasswell, Cotter’s replacement at Our Lady of The Rosary Church, in Ulverston Road, Dalton, has leapt to his defence.

But a victim of Cotter’s — the woman who tracked him down to Dalton — is furious her attacker is being supported.

The woman, now a mum-of-two, said: “It has taken nearly two years to complete the case and has caused myself and my family much distress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Head nun planned to sell Calif. convent before abuse settlement

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 09/15/2007 12:30:30 AM PDT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—The head nun of the Sisters of Bethany said she had considered selling the convent even before the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced that the structure would be sold to help pay for the multimillion-dollar priest sex abuse settlement.

Sister Angela Escalera said last week that she and two other nuns were stunned when they received a letter from the archdiocese telling them they had until Dec. 31 to move out. The convent would be sold to help pay for the $660 million settlement between the archdiocese and clergy sex abuse victims, the letter said.

The convent, which sits on a quarter of an acre, is valued at $97,746, though the county assessor's office said it will likely sell for more.

Escalera, the order's local superior, said she was hurt to learn of the sale in a letter from the archdiocese's vicar general. She said she was also hurt that she had to sacrifice her home to help pay for the sins of pedophile priests. The letter offered no recourse for the nuns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

In the interest of truth, justice, balance and fair play.

NEW JERSEY
Father Lasch

Saturday September 15, 2007
In his commentary on my involvement in the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church in general and in the Diocese of Paterson in particular over a period of over twenty years, Abbot Koloff attempted to capture the highlights of my experience.

I agreed to the interview because of the surrounding publicity attached to my having been nominated along with two other priests for the “Priest of Integrity” award by the National Voice of the Faithful. The awards are typically presented at the annual meeting of VOTF that will take place this year on October 19 – 20 in Providence, RI.

This is the third time the nomination was submitted by the New Jersey Chapter of VOTF and the second time by the National Office. I declined the nomination all five times and declined it again this year. It was only after the insistence and persistence of the nominating committee that I reluctantly agreed with on condition that I might not be able to be present for the actual presentation of the award.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Priest pays price for speaking about abuse

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

Friday, September 14, 2007

Monsignor Kenneth Lasch said he once overheard fellow priests talking about him.

"Why doesn't Lasch keep his mouth shut?"

Lasch said he wrote those priests to suggest getting together to explain why he had become an advocate for victims of clergy sexual abuse. No one took him up on the offer, he said, and even priests who remained his friends became quiet when he brought up the issue. He wrote for years to the present bishop, Arthur Serratelli, asking for a meeting.

Lasch said an attorney wrote back telling him that wasn't going to happen.

So Lasch became in some ways an outsider in the church he says he loves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Prophetess' case highlights domestic violence in faith communities

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By S.A. REID
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 09/14/07

Televangelist Juanita Bynum, now the self-described "new face" of domestic violence, has vowed to use her popular ministry and new celebrity victim status to heighten awareness about the issue.

The high-profile case involving Bynum and her husband, Bishop Thomas W. Weeks, experts say, underscores that domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is no respecter of gender, social-economic status or even religious faith.

"When it happened that day in the parking lot it was happening all over the country with someone," said the Rev. Aubra Love, executive director of the Atlanta-based Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Former Minister Faces Sex Abuse Charge

CHARLESTON (SC)
ABC News 4

Charleston -

A former minister faces a charge of sexual assault against a minor.

George Weld, 61 years old, is out on bond tonight.

According to the police report, the victim says he was assaulted twice once in 1989 and again in 1992.At the time, the victim was between 10 and 12 years old.

In May 2006, after years in the dark, the victim in this case finally came forward during an interview with the Charleston County Sheriff's Department.

The victim says George Weld fondled him and took his picture while he showered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Young bride felt 'numb, dirty, used'

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Vancouver Sun

Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, September 15, 2007
ST. GEORGE, Utah - Jurors in Warren Jeffs' trial as an accomplice to rape have the whole weekend to consider the uncontested, dramatic and emotional testimony from the alleged victim, who they heard from Friday.

The credibility of the witness is essential to the state's case against Jeffs and her testimony was so important that Utah Attorney-General Mark Shurtleff came from Salt Lake City to hear it.

The woman, known as Jane Doe, described how she was forced at 14 to marry her 19-year-old cousin by Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the largest polygamous group in North America and how her husband later forced her twice to have sex with him.

A few weeks after the wedding in April 2001, her husband told her it was time for her to be a wife.

"I wasn't completely sure what he was doing. But I said, 'Please don't do this.' He just ignored me and came over and undressed me and undressed himself. . . . I was sobbing. My whole entire body was shaking because I was so scared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Former Minister Charged

JOHNS ISLAND (SC)
WCBD

By Andy Pierrotti

A former Johns Island minister faces sexual allegations with a minor. He bailed out of jail Friday morning, but he’s not in the clear.

Charleston County investigators arrested 60-year-old George Weld yesterday. He's charged with committing a lewd act on a minor.

Weld presided over the congregation at St. Johns Episcopal Church from 1987 to 1995. The victim claims the molestation happened during his church tenure. The church temporarily suspended him after sexual harassment allegations were brought forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

O.C. bishop's accuser identifies himself

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 15, 2007
The man who accused Bishop of Orange Tod Brown of sexually abusing him in the 1960s spoke publicly for the first time about his allegations Friday, saying he was molested three times when he was a boy living in Bakersfield.

Scott Hicks, 54, said he decided to go public with his identity to lend credibility to his allegations.

Brown has adamantly denied the accusation, and church leaders dismissed Hicks' allegations as baseless.

"I have never abused any person sexually or any other way," Brown said in a recently released court deposition stemming from an unrelated molestation case in Orange County. Brown added that he was "shocked by the accusation" when church officials first brought it to his attention in July 1997.

Kern County Dist. Atty. Edward R. Jagels said Thursday that he vaguely remembered his office reviewing the case and determining that it amounted to a "completely uncorroborated allegation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

For the Record

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

September 15, 2007

Bishop's deposition: An article in Friday's California section about the unsealing of Bishop Tod Brown's deposition in a civil sexual abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange identified Norman MacFarland as a former monsignor of the diocese. He is a former bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Lawsuit Alleges Abuse By Priest

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY | Courant Staff Writer
September 15, 2007

A former New Milford man claims in a lawsuit filed Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford that he was repeatedly abused by a Simsbury priest 30 years ago.

Niles Mallory charges that, beginning when he was 16 years old, the Rev. Ivan Ferguson assaulted him in Ferguson's bedroom in the rectory of St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in the Tariffville section of Simsbury.

The sexual assaults took place in 1977 and 1978, according to the suit.

Before he died at age 68 in 2002, Ferguson was sued for similar behavior. A $22 million settlement between the Hartford Archdiocese and 43 victims in 2005 was designed in part to compensate an unspecified number of Ferguson's victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Brown served at northeast church

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
The Bakersfield Californian

BY LOUIS MEDINA, Californian staff writer
e-mail: lmedina@bakersfield.com | Friday, Sep 14 2007 9:35 PM

PDF:
Read the deposition of Orange County Bishop Tod Brown, formerly a Bakersfield


Orange County Bishop Tod Brown, who was accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old Bakersfield boy in the 1960s, served for at least four years as an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.

The current pastor, Monsignor Michael R. Braun, who has been at the church since 1987, said Brown was ordained in 1963.

"His first assignment as a priest was at Our Lady of Perpetual Help," Braun said. He said Brown performed his first baptism at the parish on May 11, 1963, and his last baptism on Oct. 1, 1967. These dates are closely indicative of his span of service at the church, he said.

"When you're appointed a pastor, the date of your appointment and your departure are always available readily," Braun said. "But to find out when an associate (or assistant) pastor served we go to our sacrament books."

The allegations against Brown, which were brought up in 1997, were promptly reviewed and dismissed as not credible by the Diocese of Fresno, according to a formal statement from the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Bishop may convene rare ecclesiastical court

CANADA
Globe and Mail

MICHAEL VALPY

September 15, 2007

The Anglican priest alleged to have abused students through cult practices at an Eastern Ontario elite private school may face a rare ecclesiastical court convened by the bishop who is investigating his behaviour.

The judicial procedure - almost never used in the Anglican Church of Canada - would be triggered by Rev. Charles Farnsworth's refusal to accept either a finding by the bishop that the allegations are substantive or a sentence of punishment that the bishop might impose.

It has been used perhaps half a dozen times over the past 170 years.

Mr. Farnsworth, in a Globe and Mail interview, has denied any knowledge of students being abused sexually, psychologically or physically during the two decades ending in 1997 when he was headmaster of Grenville Christian College near Brockville, Ont. He also has denied the specific allegations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

September 14, 2007

El Arzobispado aparta a un sacerdote de su parroquia por tener mujer e hijo

SPAIN
La Nueva Espana

The Rev. Juan Antonio Menendez has been removed from priestly duties after admitting that he maintains a stable relationship with a woman and has a son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Priest removed from his Parish after Archbishop discovers he is a father

SPAIN
Typically Spanish

The Archibishop of Oviedo has removed a priest from a parish in Asturias after discovering that he had been in a stable relationship with a woman and was father to a child.

The Asturias newspaper, ‘La Nueva España’ carries the story and says that the Vicar-general of the diocese, Juan Antonio Menéndez, said the fact the priest was a father was not the determining factor in his removal; it was really for the failure to obey the rule of celibacy.

He continued that the decision had been taken in agreement with the priest, who he described as as a ‘good, honourable and coherent’ person.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Sexual abuse settlement leaves Santa Rosa diocese mired in debt

SANTA ROSA (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 09/14/2007 04:37:19 PM PDT

SANTA ROSA, Calif.—The Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa will be deeply in debt after it pays more than $5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by sexual abuse victims.

The Santa Rosa diocese owes about $5 million to other dioceses that loaned it money during its near financial collapse under Bishop Patrick Ziemann.

The diocese had planned to pay off the debt with more than $5 million it received from the sale of property next to the Cathedral of St. Eugene in Santa Rosa.

But most of the proceeds from that sale will now be used to pay to pay $5,020,000 to 10 people who claim they were abused by Sonoma priest Father Xavier Ochoa, who is believed to have fled the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Vic West priest resigns amid misconduct allegation

CANADA
Times Colonist

Published: Friday, September 14, 2007
Vic West priest Rev. Antonio Osorio has admitted contravening the sexual misconduct policy of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia and resigned from his position.

Osorio had been suspended from his duties as rector of the parish of St. Saviour's Victoria West on Sept. 5, pending investigation into an allegation of misconduct.

The diocese issued a statement today saying there will be no further comment regarding the investigation until it is completed. Osorio was unavailable for comment.

The Reverend David Opheim has been appointed interim priest-in-charge for the parish of St. Saviour's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

RAPE HORROR TO BE MADE INTO FILM

SCOTLAND
Daily Express

Saturday September 15,2007

A DOCUMENTARY which will include a horrific reconstruction of the rape and murder of Angelika Kluk by serial sex offender Peter Tobin, has been commissioned by a Canadian filmaker.

Tobin was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh iin May to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 21 years, for the rape and murder of the Polish student.

In a six-week trial that shocked Scotland, the court heard that Angelika was raped, gagged and tied up and then stabbed 16 times before her body was dumped in an underground chamber. ...

The church was also left reeling by a string of lurid revelations as court also heard shamed priest Father Gerry Nugent confess to an affair with Angelika.

After the verdict was delivered, Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, apologised to “all who have been hurt or scandalised by what has been revealed to have taken place”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

OPP charge priest, 84, with sex assault

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Published: Friday, September 14, 2007
Ontario Provincial Police have charged an 84-year-old priest with sex assault against a young boy in the 1950s.

According to police, the alleged incidents occurred in Alexandria and area between 1954 and 1960.

In August 2007, the OPP began an investigation into a complaint that Father Lucien Lussier had sexually assaulted a young teen boy while he was visiting Lussier in Alexandria decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Ont. priest charged half a century after alleged sexual assaults on teen

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Friday, September 14, 2007 | 11:09 AM ET
CBC News
A priest in eastern Ontario has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy more than 50 years after the first of the alleged incidents took place.

Rev. Lucien Lussier, 84, is to appear in court in Alexandria, Ont., on Nov. 7 to face three charges of indecent assault on a male that were laid Tuesday, said an Ontario Provincial Police news release.

He has been released with conditions.

Police began investigating in August after the victim complained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Priest, charged with sex crimes, says he's innocent

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Friday, 12:30 p.m.
By SUN MEDIA

An 84-year-old Eastern Ontario priest says he is innocent of sex-related charges laid earlier this week in connection with alleged incidents from about 50 years ago.

OPP announced this morning that they have charged Father Lucien Lussier three counts of indecent assault after allegations of incidents over several years in the mid-to-late 1950s in the Alexandria area.

When contacted by the Sun today, Lussier proclaimed his innocence.

"The charges are false," Lussier said, adding that he is surprised about the allegations. "The truth is I'm innocent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Lawyer: Priest too ill to testify

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

A priest has acute anxiety because of his past role handling child sex-abuse complaints and cannot comply with a judge's demand to give pretrial testimony in an ongoing Catholic school sex-abuse lawsuit, his lawyer said today.

Monsignor John Urell, pastor at St. Norbert's Church in Orange, broke down and left a deposition last month while being asked about earlier sex-abuse claims in the diocese.

Urell, like other high-ranking church officials, was ordered to give testimony as part of lawsuit brought by a former Mater Dei High School student, who alleges she had a two-year sexual relationship with then-assistant coach Jeffrey Andrade when she was 15, starting in 1995. The jury trial is scheduled for next month.

Andrade, who is also a defendant in the case, has admitted in depositions to having sex with the girl. He was never criminally charged.

Last week, Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod Brown sent Urell to Southdown Institute in Canada – a facility that treats clergy for psychological issues. Urell is on medical leave from the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Deposition: Bishop let priest accused of rape work

SANTA ANA (ca)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA - Bishop Tod Brown, the highest-ranking Catholic official in Orange County, admitted in a sworn deposition that when he became bishop he allowed a priest accused of raping a 15-year-old girl to work at a parish with an elementary school.

The bishop’s 4½-hour testimony, which also includes his admission that a boy accused him of sexual abuse in 1965, highlights some older sex-abuse allegations at the diocese, what Brown knew of such claims and how he did not immediately disclose a report against him publicly.

“I think earlier on with regard to molestation cases, that a lot of bishops, including myself, were not fully aware of the seriousness of the problem in terms of putting other people at risk,” Brown testified Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Fresno pastor pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

FRESNO (CA)
The Fresno Bee

By Louis Galvan and Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee
09/14/07 05:34:25

The pastor of a northeast Fresno church pleaded not guilty Thursday to 107 felony counts of sexual misconduct involving two girls.

John Bonine, 43, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church, is charged with lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under the age of 14 over a period of nearly five years. The two girls are now in their early teens.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Houry Sanderson set bail at nearly $5.5 million. Bonine is being held in Fresno County Jail.

"It is a sad situation for us," said Fermin Whittaker, executive director of the California Southern Baptist Convention, of which Sierra Heights is a member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Zimbabwe: British Bishops Express Solidarity With Archbishop Ncube

UNITED KINGDOM
allAfrica

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

14 September 2007
Posted to the web 14 September 2007

London

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have urged people in Africa and around the world to pray for Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, saying his resignation on Tuesday was a cause of "enormous sadness".

The bishops praised Archbishop Ncube for his outstanding defence of Zimbabweans in the face of misrule. "No one could have done more to highlight the plight of that country's suffering people and I can only stand in admiration of his courage and in gratitude to him for all that he has achieved," said Bishop Chrispian Hollis, chairman of the Department for International Affairs of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Engalnd and Wales.

"It is good to know that, far from being silenced, he will continue to campaign vigorously and courageously for justice for the oppressed people of Zimbabwe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Diocese of Fresno Lies to OC Weekly, Spins for Brown

FRESNO (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 14, 2007 12:27 PM

Back when I reported about the molestation allegation lodged against Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown that suddenly has everyone in a tizzy, I gave Jesse Avila a call. Avila is the communications director for the Diocese of Fresno and also the chancellor, which means he's in charge of all priestly personnel files and investigations. I asked Avila about Brown's allegations, which date back to when he served in Bakersfield during the 1960s (Bakersfield is part of the Fresno diocese). "This is the first time I heard of this,” Avila told me and promised he’d look through the diocesan archives for copies of the letters regarding the allegations. Avila never called back.

Flash forward to today. Avila tells the Bakersfield Californian that the Fresno diocese "promptly initiated an investigation" when the allegation first surfaced in 1997 (Avila wasn't working with the diocese at that time). Reports Louis Medina, "The diocese conducted 'several documented interviews of the complainant [sic] and others,' Avila said, but the investigating board found 'absolutely no factual or credible basis whatsoever' in the accusations. This was communicated to the accuser, Avila said, and all investigative reports were turned over to the Kern County District Attorney's office."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

«Don Gelmini molestò minori stranieri»

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

Police from Terni who are investigating the Rev. Pierino Gelmini said that he may have sexually abused minors in Bolivia and Thailand. They have attempted to reconstruct the priest's activities as founder the the Incontro drug rehabiliation community. The investigators have identified potential victims. They are also looking at other activities that may be illegal andare looking at roles his collaborators may have played, especially in trying to convince alleged victims to withdraw their allegations. Journalist Fiorenza Sarzanini said one investigation focuses on Pierluigi Rocca, who is accused of dictating the text of a letter one alleged victim wrote to recant what he previously told the prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Board Reviews Allegation Dating to 1960s

ARLINGTON (VA)
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

September 13, 2007 - Board Reviews Allegation Dating to 1960s

The Arlington Diocesan Review Board has completed its review of an allegation that the late Rev. Msgr. William T. Reinecke sexually abused a female minor in the late 1960s. Based upon the available evidence, a majority of the Review Board members determined it to be a “credible accusation” under the diocese’s Policy on the Protection of Children/Young People and Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and/or Child Abuse.

Msgr. Reinecke committed suicide in 1992. Following his death, the diocese received allegations that he had engaged in sexually abusive conduct with male minors. The recent allegation against him, brought forward in 2006, is the first to be made that involved a female. Upon learning of the allegation, the diocese met with the individual, provided assistance with counseling, and notified the Diocese of Richmond. At the time of the alleged abuse, Msgr. Reinecke was assigned to St. Mary’s parish in Alexandria, which was then a parish of the Richmond Diocese. The Diocese of Arlington was established in 1974.

Msgr. Reinecke served as pastor, St. James, Falls Church, 1990-92; pastor, St. Ambrose, Annandale, 1980-90; in residence, Our Lady of Lourdes, Arlington, 1979-80 and 1974-75; in residence, Queen of Apostles, Alexandria, 1976-79; associate pastor, St. Charles Borromeo, Arlington, 1969-74; and associate pastor, St. Mary, Alexandria, 1965-69. He also served in various roles in the diocesan chancery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

ABANO

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti celebrates his 41st birthday tomorrow but he is not planning a party. He has been threatened with a lawsuit for defamation, procedure for his removal from his church is going ahead, and Armando Villani, a man to whom he refused to see some land, is threatening new revelations about the priest's past conduct. Rev. Sguotti, who has fallen in love with a woman he wants to marry, is saying he will reveal further information about priests who have had relationships with women or minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Witness recounts 'complete despair,' betrayal in testimony against polygamist leader Jeffs

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Published: Sept. 14, 2007 1:40 p.m. MDT

ST. GEORGE — The star witness in the state's case against polygamist-sect leader Warren Jeffs testified on Friday she felt "complete despair" the night before her arranged marriage at age 14 to a first cousin.

"I was completely emotional," the now 21-year-old woman testified. "I felt betrayed by the people I trusted most."

Among those trusted people was Jeffs, who was then the first counselor to the Fundamentalist LDS Church's prophet, Rulon Jeffs, Warren Jeffs' father.

"Warren completely overlooked the fact that it was something that I did not want to do or was willing to do," she testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Gracias, Frank Mickadeit...

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 14, 2007 11:34 AM

...for acknowledging in his Orange County Register column today that the Weekly broke the Bishop Tod Brown molestation allegation five months ago. We e-mailed Mickadeit, his colleague Rachanee Srisavasdi, and Los Angeles Times Orange County editor (and former religion reporter) William Lobdell and asked them to acknowledge the Weekly in reporting about the Brown deposition; only Mickadeit complied with the truth.

But then, Mickadeit went further:

"And in our own nod to openness, we must report that Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly reported the accusation in April, but the diocese refused to comment, and other media didn't pay much attention. Let's just say the mainstream media in this county, myself included at times, has a history of failing its readers/viewers/listeners by not following some pieces the Weekly breaks. A column for another day."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Zimbabwe: Pius Saga - Time for Soul-Searching

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

OPINION
14 September 2007
Posted to the web 14 September 2007

Stephen T. Maimbodei
Harare

September 11 2007 was a dramatic day for Zimbabwe. While the United States of America observed the sixth anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Centre, Zimbabweans got breaking news from Pope Benedict XVI informing them and the world that Pius Ncube had "resigned" from his position as Archbishop of Bulawayo.

The goings-on in the Catholic Church worldwide seem to be giving Pope Benedict sleepless nights. Faced with falling congregational figures, there are, on one hand, dissident priests who are clamouring for the reformation of the Church's celibacy rule. In July, a whopping US$600 million was paid out to men and boys all over the USA who were abused by a priest, now an archbishop. Soon after that, another Catholic priest in Latin America was jailed for 55 years for allegedly murdering his 16-year-old son. And, this past weekend, another priest got the thumbs-up from his congregation in Rome for the open love relationship he is having with a single mother.

And now, he has to contend with Pius Ncube in Zimbabwe, who has declared an all-out war on another Catholic who happens to hold a leadership position just like him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

El Paso diocese cooperates in priest investigation

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

By Tammy Fonce-Olivas / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 09/14/2007 12:00:54 AM MDT

The Rev. John Stowe, moderator of the Curia/vicar general for the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, said the church is cooperating with officials in the arrest of a visiting priest on sexual-assault charges that stunned parishioners.

The Rev. Philip Taban, 39, of the 12000 block of Picasso, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of sexual assault and was jailed. His bonds are set at $50,000.

Stowe said Taban is from Arua, Uganda, and was working with the diocese this summer by serving at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church in East El Paso. The church, at 12200 Vista Del Sol, is also known as Mother Cabrini.

"All I can say is it's under investigation by the district attorney's office, and we are cooperating with their investigation," Stowe said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Deposition reveals abuse allegations against O.C. Bishop Brown

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 14, 2007
As the Diocese of Orange's written pledge of transparency was burned to ashes by protesters outside an Orange County courthouse, a judge unsealed testimony Thursday revealing that Bishop Tod Brown had been accused of molesting a boy early in his priesthood.

The allegation was privately denied by Brown when it was lodged 10 years ago, dismissed as baseless after an internal investigation by church officials, and a short time later found not credible by police and prosecutors who looked into the complaint.

But lawyers representing a woman suing the diocese in a sex-abuse case argue that Brown's decision to keep the accusation from the public contradicts a central tenet of his "Covenant With the Faithful" promising openness with followers.

They say his suppression of the information also raises questions about his leadership and about what else he and church officials might be hiding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

The Annotated Bishop Brown Deposition

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
September 13, 2007 10:46 PM

Today, Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler ruled that a Sept. 10 deposition of Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown for the Jeff Andrade case be released to the public. As a public service announcement, the Weekly presents an annotated version after the jump with beaucoup hotlinks. Warning: the spin of Brown and diocesan attorney Peter Callahan will cause nausea worthy of Magic Mountain.

Pg. 13: Brown claims he “was not aware of [sex abuse] problems that preceded me” when he became the Diocese of Orange bishop in 1998 following the retirement of Norman McFarland. But Brown contradicts himself on page 16, when His Excellency admits he learned of the Ryan DiMaria/Michael Harris case once he arrived, a problem that indeed “preceded” him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Abuse settlement drains SR Diocese's fund to repay loans

SANTA ROSA (CA)
The Press Democrat

By MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Friday, September 14, 2007

The more than $5 million received by the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese from the sale of a featured property was originally to be used to pay back millions of dollars owed to other dioceses that loaned the local church money during its near financial collapse under Bishop Patrick Ziemann.

But the bulk of the sale will now be used to settle a lawsuit brought by alleged sexual abuse victims of Sonoma priest Father Xavier Ochoa, leaving the diocese strapped for cash and without a clear way to pay back the debt.

In his first public comments about the settlement, current Santa Rosa Diocese Bishop Daniel Walsh said he has "not a clue" how that debt will be paid off.

"I leave that in God's hands," said Walsh, who contributed $20,000 of his own money to help spur the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Bookkeeper accused of stealing $30,000 from Denville church

DENVILLE (NJ)
Star-Ledger

Friday, September 14, 2007
BY BILL SWAYZE AND PAULA SAHA
Star-Ledger Staff
A church's part-time bookkeeper has been charged with theft and forgery after issuing $30,000 worth of checks to herself over a two-year period, police said yesterday.

Patricia Cielinski bilked Saint Mary's Church in Denville little by little, writing some 30 checks to divert the funds to her personal ac count, police said. She was ar rested a week ago and released, police said.

Cielinski, a mother of five in Dingman's Ferry, Pa., said she is fighting the charges. "It is all hear say," she said. "I didn't steal anything."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

California Southern Baptist Pastor Charged With Molestation

FRESNO (CA)
Ethics Daily

Bob Allen
09-14-07
A Southern Baptist pastor in Fresno, Calif., was arrested Monday on felony charges of child molestation.

John Earl ("Jeb") Bonine, 43, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church, remained in jail Thursday, where he is held on $500,000 bond. He is charged with two counts of continual sex abuse of a child, two counts of sexual penetration by force and two counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age.

Sierra Heights Baptist Church is a 1,000-member church founded in 1957. It is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, California Southern Baptist Convention and Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association.

Fresno TV station CBS-47 said the charges involved two children, both girls, and alleged acts that occurred over the course of several years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

First witness takes the stand

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 09/14/2007 02:34:20 AM MDT

ST. GEORGE - As a young girl, Jane Doe was taught there was a high price for disobeying her religious leaders: Loss of heavenly salvation.
The consequences of disobedience were driven home by polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs in school lessons, church sermons and personal interviews, Doe said.
"The prophet was a God to us, God on Earth," she said, and his counselors were the same.
"We were to follow them obediently as though we were led by a hair," she said, a hair that if snapped would cause them to "forfeit our chance at an afterlife."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Southern Baptist state convention offers anti-sex-abuse measures

GRAPEVINE (TX)
Associated Baptist Press

By Hannah Elliott
Published September 13, 2007

GRAPEVINE, Texas (ABP) -- Two groups affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention are attempting to respond to the problem of child sexual abuse in churches by recommending a company that does background checks.

However, clergy sex-abuse activists say the solution is insufficient given the scope of the problem.

Officials of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention have named Child Guard Systems of Richardson, Texas, as a resource for congregations that want to ensure “safety for children and integrity for ministries.” The Sept. 12 announcement came three months after the Louisiana Baptist Convention began offering its churches a similar option -- also through Child Guard -- for stemming sex-abuse.

The conventions took action after a spate well-publicized abuse case involving Southern Baptist ministers. Recent scandals in churches in Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kentucky have led advocate groups to pressure SBC officials to conduct a nationwide investigation into the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Ex-choir director admits child abuse

AUGUSTA (GA)
Times-Union

By Sandy Hodson, Morris News Service

AUGUSTA - A former Augusta church choir director and teacher's aide admitted Wednesday what he has denied for years - that he is a child molester.

For taking responsibility for what he did, Carlton Johnson, 46, was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by seven years' probation by Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet.

Johnson was back in court because the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed his conviction in January. The court ruled that Johnson was unfairly convicted in early 2003 because Judge Overstreet forced his defense attorney to try the case after the attorney told the judge he wasn't prepared.

Johnson's eight-year sentence was shorter than the 10-year prison term he received in January 2003 for child molestation. At that sentencing, Johnson said he believed he had been a help to the victim's family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Diocese looks to sell church; Protestant buyer possible

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY NICHOLE DOBO
STAFF WRITER
09/14/2007

The Diocese of Scranton is in talks regarding the sale of the now-vacant St. Vincent de Paul Church, the newest Catholic church built in the city.

"Discussions are under way with a potential buyer for the church, but I can't comment beyond that," diocese spokesman Bill Genello wrote in an e-mailed response to questions.

The church has been empty since June, following a merger with the St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph parishes. ...

The Scranton diocese has been struggling with money, stemming from sexual abuse lawsuits, declining parish membership and upkeep of antiquated buildings. The diocese had a deficit of more than $1.3 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Ochoa case costs diocese $5 million

SANTA ROSA (CA)
Index-Tribune

By David Bolling INDEX-TRIBUNE EDITOR

The Santa Rosa Diocese has reached a $5 million out-of-court settlement with alleged sex abuse victims of fugitive Sonoma priest Xavier Ochoa. Daniel Walsh, the bishop of Santa Rosa, contributed an additional $20,000 of his own money.

Ochoa remains at large, presumably in Mexico, while law enforcement officials continue a so far fruitless effort to secure an extradition agreement from the Mexican government. He has been charged with 10 felony counts of sex abuse against three victims.

The civil settlement came after a lengthy mediation between the diocese and attorneys for nine plaintiffs who filed a suit Oct. 10 of last year. A 10th plaintiff was added to the settlement, according to attorney Michael Meadows, because there was significant evidence he had been abused but he had not yet decided to file charges and all parties wanted to close the case.

Meadows, whose Walnut Creek law practice has specialized in priest abuse cases, expressed satisfaction with the settlement and said it would not impinge on the ability of the diocese to continue normal operation of church activities. Going in, said Meadows, "(we knew) we couldn't tap into their operating budget."

Settling the Ochoa case brings to nearly $25 million the publicly acknowledged cost to the Santa Rosa diocese for resolving at least eight priest abuse cases. Diocese attorney Dan Galvin said the Ochoa settlement will leave the diocese "financially strapped" but that the price per plaintiff was "lower than the statewide average."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Deposition of Bishop Tod D. Brown

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Bakersfield Californian

PDF:
Read the deposition of Orange County Bishop Tod Brown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Bishop says he was falsely accused of abuse

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Bakersfield Californian

BY LOUIS MEDINA, Californian staff writer
e-mail: lmedina@bakersfield.com | Thursday, Sep 13 2007 11:10 PM
Last Updated: Thursday, Sep 13 2007 11:13 PM

A Catholic bishop was accused of sexually abusing a boy while serving as a priest in Bakersfield in the 1960s, according to a deposition unsealed in Orange County on Thursday.

In the deposition, Orange County Bishop Tod Brown acknowledged that he knew of child sexual abuse accusations made against him personally, that he knew the alleged victim and his family and that he taught catechism at the parish where the child attended church. The allegation was later dismissed as not credible by the Diocese of Fresno.

The deposition concerns the case of "Jane Doe vs. the Diocese of Orange," in which the accused is not Brown, but rather a coach named Jeff Andrade, who allegedly abused a 16-year-old in the mid-1990s, while he worked at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, according to Joelle Casteix of the Orange County office of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

"As a part of that lawsuit, (the plaintiff's) lawyers fought to depose Tod Brown about what he knew about abuse in the (Orange) diocese," Casteix said. "The diocese fought not to give those depositions," she said, adding that this information was published recently in major Southern California-area newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Sex-abuse lawsuits proceed

COLORADO
Denver Post

By Electa Draper
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 09/14/2007 02:22:00 AM MDT

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday rejected a motion by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver to end litigation of 40-year-old sexual-abuse cases against two priests.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput had asked the court to intervene in the litigation process so that about 15 cases from the 1960s and 1970s against Harold White and the late Leonard Abercrombie would not proceed in trial courts because of timeliness issues.

"The archdiocese continues to believe that lawsuits are not the best way to help all involved," the archdiocese said a statement Thursday.

"During this appeal, and throughout the litigation, the archdiocese has settled with many of the plaintiffs, and will continue to try to help victims of sexual abuse," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Priest’s ‘trail of tears’

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

September 14, 2007
By Susan Hogan/Albach Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
The Rev. Donald McGuire has been convicted of molesting two boys in Wisconsin, faces a new accusation of sexual abuse, and his Jesuit religious order privately settled yet another complaint, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Yet the Jesuits, known as the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, haven't stopped him from dressing as a priest and won't say whether they're seeking to have him laicized -- removed from the priesthood.

"When he wears that collar, he wears the authority of the church, which he used to abuse kids. It's time we took that away," said Kevin McGuire, the priest's nephew and a lawyer for "John Doe 116," who's suing the priest and the Jesuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Court clears way for lawsuits against Denver archdiocese

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News
September 14, 2007
The Colorado Supreme Court this week rejected an appeal by the Denver Catholic Archdiocese, clearing the way for 15 child sex-abuse lawsuits to go forward.

The cases involve alleged sexual abuse by the late Harold Robert White and Leonard Abercrombie, two priests who have been accused of sexually abusing dozens of altar boys and other youngsters.

White, a defrocked priest, was 73 when he died last November of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Mexico. Abercrombie died in 1994.

The archdiocese asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the cases - some dating to the 1960s and 1970s - because too much time had elapsed between the alleged offenses and filing of the lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

September 13, 2007

Protesting Bishop Tod Brown

CALIFORNIA
Orancge County Regsiter

Video: Activists held a protest today in front of the Orange County courthousee and burned a copy of Bishop Tod Brown's covenant in which he promised openness and justice to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 PM

Checkmate for the archbishop

ZIMBABWE
Economist

THE Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, has joined the crowded ranks of those felled for speaking out against Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe. In July, the state-run media aired photographs that they said showed the archbishop in a compromising position with a married secretary of his parish.

His supporters said it was a conspiracy to discredit him; Zimbabwe's Catholic church also stood by him. For many years he has criticised Mr Mugabe's regime in the strongest possible terms. But this week, facing adultery charges in court, he stepped down as archbishop of Zimbabwe's second largest city, denouncing the “crude machinations of a wicked regime”.

The 60-year-old explained his decision as a move to protect his fellow bishops and the Catholic church. The government said his resignation was an admission of guilt. Some people believe he was, indeed, the victim of a cleverly-sprung government honey-trap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

SABC fires Supa Mandiwanzira

SOUTH AFRICA
ZimDaily

Thu, 13 Sep 2007 00:05:00

Spiwe Ncube

GRAHAMSTOWN – South Africa’s State broadcaster SABC has taken a decision to fire its Zimbabwe correspondent Supa Mandiwanzira for his alleged involvement in a Zanu (PF) and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) sting operation against Roman Catholic prelate Bishop Pius Ncube.

Speaking at the sidelines of the ongoing Highway Africa, a conference of 500 top African journalists meeting here, senior SABC sources told ZimDaily that Mandiwanzira’s fate had been sealed over his “appalling and unprofessional conduct” in his handling of the Catholic Bishop’s sex scandal.

The SABC sources said the communication had been sent to Mandiwanzira, but ZimDaily was unable to immediately establish if he had received his dismissal letter as he was said to be in the US at the time of going to print.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Charamba fires broadside after Ncube scandal

ZIMBABWE
IOL

September 14 2007 at 01:54AM

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's spokesperson on Thursday lashed out at the Roman Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, which has rallied behind a tough-talking archbishop forced to resign over adultery allegations.

George Charamba said the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference (ZCBC) had no business to defend and protect Pius Ncube, the archbishop of Bulawayo who resigned on Tuesday.

"The good work being done by the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe in the provision of health and educational institutions could not be attributed to Bishop Ncube but to the church alone," the official Herald quoted Charamba as saying.

The authorities have been angered by the support shown towards Ncube, who was well known both in and outside Zimbabwe for his fearless criticism of Mugabe over alleged rights abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Support Priests of Integrity Working Group Update

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

The committee for the Goal Two Working Group is pleased to make the following announcement:

It is our intent to honor all the priests who have been nominated for a Priest of Integrity award (and who have agreed to accept such recognition). But how to do so is a challenge. We had the daunting responsibility of identifying one of the nominees to receive an award at the Providence Convention. It proved impossible to name just one, and so we will honor three priests at the award ceremony. They are:

Fr. Ken Lasch (St. Joseph's Parish, Mendham, New Jersey): A priest who has spoken at VOTF gatherings, supported survivors unhesitatingly beginning in 1995, and who continues to speak out both for survivors and the reforms of Vatican II. He is also a founder of Project Millstones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Catholic priest charged with sexual assault in El Paso

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

By Tammy Fonce-Olivas / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 09/13/2007 01:49:07 PM MDT
.
Philip Taban, 39, of the 12000 block of Picasso, was arrested by police on Wednesday on two counts of sexual assault. He is currently in the El Paso County jail on bonds totaling $50,000.

Taban was serving as a visiting priest at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church, at 12200 Vista Del Sol. The church is also known as Mother Cabrini.

El Paso Police spokesman Officer Chris Mears said police received information suggesting a priest sexually assaulted a local parishioner.

"Through their ongoing investigation, detectives identified the victim and Philip Taban as the suspected priest," Mears said. "The investigation revealed an 18-year-old Hispanic female met with Taban for spiritual counseling. During two of these meetings, Taban sexually assaulted the victim."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Visiting priest charged with sexual assault

EL PASO (TX)
KVIA

EL PASO, TEXAS - A visiting Catholic Priest was arrested Wednesday afternoon on two counts of Sexual Assault.

Crimes Against Persons (CAP) detectives have charged 39-year-old Philip Taban, a visiting Catholic Priest from Uganda, with two counts of Sexual Assault. The El Paso Police Department received information suggesting a priest sexually assaulted a local parishioner.

Through their ongoing investigation, which began Monday morning, September 10, detectives identified the victim and Philip Taban as the suspected priest. Taban had suspended since September 7 and no prior record of incidents involving parishioners. The investigation revealed an 18-year old Hispanic female met with Taban for spiritual counseling. During two of these meetings, Taban sexually assaulted the victim earlier in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Catholic clergy sex abuse lawsuit to proceed

DENVER (CO)
KJCT

Associated Press - September 13, 2007 4:14 PM ET

DENVER (AP) - A consolidated lawsuit accusing two Roman Catholic priests of sexually abusing youngsters will proceed after the Colorado Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the Denver Archdiocese.

The court without comment rejected the archdiocese's claim that a district judge erred when he ruled the plaintiffs waited too long to sue. The ruling was issued Monday and made public today.

The 11 cases allege the archdiocese was negligent in supervising two priests, Harold R. White who died in November and the Reverend Leonard Abercrombie who died in 1994. White was removed from public ministry in 1993 and left the priesthood in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit May Proceed, Court Rules

DENVER (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

DENVER -- A series of lawsuits alleging Roman Catholic priests sexually abused youngsters may proceed after the Colorado Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the Archdiocese of Denver.

In a ruling issued Monday and made public Thursday, the high court, without comment, rejected the archdiocese's claim a Denver district judge should have dismissed the 11 lawsuits because the plaintiffs waited too long to file suit. The judge earlier ruled the statute of limitations did not apply in the cases.

The plaintiffs said they now can proceed with getting statements from church officials and establishing a schedule for evidence exchange.

"We certainly see this as a major victory for victims of Colorado," Miami attorney Jeff Herman who represents some of the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Testimony of Orange County Roman Catholic bishop ordered released

LOS ANGELES (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 09/13/2007 12:31:54 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—A judge ordered the release Thursday of testimony by Orange County's Roman Catholic bishop after church attorneys had tried to keep portions out of the public eye, citing privacy concerns.

Bishop Tod Brown gave the testimony at a deposition earlier this week as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit against a former coach and driving instructor at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. The lawsuit alleges that in the late 1990s teacher Jeff Andrade had sex with a 16-year-old female student multiple times over an 18-month period.

The former student's attorneys wanted to know what, if anything, Brown knew about other sexual abuse complaints made against the Diocese of Orange in that era.

Andrade has admitted in a deposition to having sex with the student, who is now 26. He was fired in 1997, but police didn't file charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

O.C. Bishop Allegedly Abused Boy In Bakersfield

SANTA ANA (CA)
CBS 2

(CBS) SANTA ANA, Calif. The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange was accused of abusing a boy while serving as a priest in Bakersfield, according to a deposition given by the bishop and released Thursday.

The allegation was revealed in a deposition given Monday by Bishop Tod Brown in the case of a now 26-year-old woman who is suing the diocese claiming she was abused by Mater Dei High School assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade.

The diocese asked to keep the deposition sealed, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler Thursday ordered it to be made public.

In a statement released by the diocese, spokesman Bryan Lilyengren said the allegation was investigated by the diocese of Fresno and law enforcement, which both determined there was "no credible basis" to the claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Girl, 14, begged polygamy leader not to be wed

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Reuters

By Alexandria Sage

ST. GEORGE, Utah (Reuters) - The leader of the largest U.S. polygamist sect who arranged a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin, told the girl it was her religious duty to give herself "mind, body and soul" to her husband, a Utah court heard on Thursday.

In opening statements at the trial of Warren Jeffs, 51, prosecutors said the "prophet" of the breakaway Mormon clan was an accomplice to two counts of rape after orchestrating a 2001 marriage between the girl and her cousin.

"(The accuser) will testify she got down on her knees and begged -- 'he's my first cousin, I think I'm too young, I don't want to be rebellious but can't we find someone else or postpone it?'" prosecutor Brock Belnat told jurors.

"What Warren Jeffs told her is: 'Your heart is in the wrong place. This is your mission and duty to do'," Belnat added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Visiting priest arrested on sexual assault charges

EL PASO (TX)
Houston Chronicle

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Associated Press Writer

The Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas — A Catholic priest from Uganda has been arrested on charges accusing him of sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman, El Paso police said Thursday.

The Rev. Philip Taban, a visiting priest from Arua, Uganda, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of sexual assault.

Officer Christopher Mears, a police spokesman, said Taban was accused of twice sexually assaulting the woman, who had sought spiritual counseling. The assaults allegedly took place at a parochial house where Taban was staying, Mears said.

Mears said the assaults took place on two different occasions, though jail booking records show he is accused of committing both assaults Sept. 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Weekly Story on Bishop Brown Pedophile Allegation Proven Right

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by R. Scott Moxley
September 13, 2007 12:06 PM

Five months ago, OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano broke the news that despite his promises of complete public accountability on the Catholic Church sex scandals, Bishop Tod Brown himself continued to hide accusations that he molested a 12-year-old boy in the 1960s.

According to subsequent court transcripts, Orange diocese attorney Peter Callahan snorted that the Weekly's reporting couldn't be trusted because the paper is distributed at coffeehouses and carries massage ads*. Callahan predicted the "legitimate press" would ignore Arellano's story.

But today, Rachanee Srisavasdi of The Orange County Register--which also runs massage ads!*--reported:

Bishop Tod Brown testified under oath that he was accused of molesting a boy while he was a priest at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, but that he didn't report it because he found it embarrassing...

Srisavasdi got her story after Brown's deposition was unsealed this morning in part of an ongoing sex-abuse lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Bishop 'eager' to settle case

SANTA ROSA (CA)
The Press Democrat

By MARTIN ESPINOZA
AND RANDI ROSSMANN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

More details were revealed Wednesday in the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese's $5.02 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by alleged victims of fugitive Sonoma priest Xavier Ochoa, even as local Sonoma Catholic faithful and clergy victim's advocates applauded the payout.

Diocesan attorney Dan Galvin said the majority of the $5,020,000 settlement will come from the sale of St. Eugene's orchard property, which was sold in 2005 for $5.2 million. The property is located next to the Cathedral of St. Eugene on Montgomery Drive in Santa Rosa.

The rest comes from the church's self-insurance funds, but Galvin said he would not specify what percentage of the payout was covered by orchard property proceeds and what was covered by insurance because the settlement agreement precluded disclosure of such information.

Unique in the settlement is the $20,000 that's coming from Bishop Daniel Walsh himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Orange Diocese bishop once accused of molestation, lawyer says

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

Bishop Tod Brown testified under oath that he was accused of molesting a boy while he was a priest at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, but that he did not report it because he found it embarrassing, according to a plaintiff's attorney.

A diocese spokesman could not give immediate comment on Brown's testimony.

The deposition of the highest-ranking church official was unsealed today as part of an ongoing sex-abuse lawsuit. Attorneys for the Diocese of Orange sought to keep parts of Brown's testimony – his first-ever testimony regarding abuse allegations – under wraps, citing privacy concern regarding Msgr. John Urell.

Brown testified Monday that he was accused of molestation while he served at the Diocese of Fresno more than 25 years ago. He said the accusation was investigated internally by the church, but never disclosed to police, attorney Vince Finaldi said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Judge unseals O.C. bishop's testimony

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
10:07 AM PDT, September 13, 2007
An Orange County judge today unsealed testimony that Bishop Tod Brown gave this week as part of a civil lawsuit accusing a former assistant basketball coach at Mater Dei High School of sexually abusing a 16-year-old student.

Under the order of an Orange County Superior Court judge, Brown was deposed Monday by the student's lawyers, who want to know what he knew about other sexual abuse complaints made against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange during the 10 or so years that Jeff Andrade worked at the Santa Ana school as a coach and driving instructor.

The judge had issued a temporary seal of Brown's testimony at the request of lawyers for the diocese.

Venus Soltan, a lawyer for the student, said Brown was also asked in the deposition about allegations of sexual abuse made against him in Bakersfield in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Rabbi Yehuda Kolko accused of molesting boy

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY SCOTT SHIFREL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, September 13th 2007, 4:00 AM

A rabbi in a tallith, black hat and handcuffs was hauled before a Brooklyn judge hours before the Jewish New Year yesterday for allegedly molesting another boy at a Midwood yeshiva.

Rabbi Yehuda Kolko - already out on $10,000 bail on charges of sexually assaulting two other male students - rocked back and forth on his feet as his lawyer argued with the judge about bail on new charges that he molested a first-grader at the school in 2005.

"This is the holiest time of the year and to [increase] bail at this time is punitive," lawyer Jeffrey Schneider said, arguing that the charges stemmed from a malcontent who had it in for the 61-year-old Kolko. "[The higher bail is] just bizarre."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Priest in Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Case Worked in Sun Valley

CALIFORNIA
The San Fernando Valley Sun

Written by MARIANNE LOVE
Thursday, 13 September 2007

A pending lawsuit against a priest, accused of molesting a woman who once worked under Cardinal Roger Mahony at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in SunValley, is expected to go before a Texas judge next spring.

Theresa Gomez of San Antonio, Texas is accusing Father Michael O'Brien, an ordained Catholic priest since 1973 and a member of the Missionaries of the Scared Heart order, of using his position as a priest to seduce her beginning July, 2001, according to the complaint filed with the District Court of Bexar County, Texas.

Irish Province of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Patrick Flores, Archbishop of San Antonio and the Archdiocese of San Antonio are also named in the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Fresno pastor arrested on felony child molestation charges

FRESNO (CA)
The Fresno Bee

By James Guy / The Fresno Bee
09/13/07 04:58:59

The pastor of a north Fresno church remained in Fresno County Jail Wednesday night on felony charges of child molestation.

John Bonine, 43, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church, was arrested Monday, according to jail records.

Fresno police officials released no information on the arrest, but in a message directed to church members, Mansel Trimble, youth pastor at Sierra Heights, confirmed the charges and called the situation "difficult and painful" for the church community and Bonine's family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Zimbabwe's dirty tricks brigade

ZIMBABWE
BBC News

Joseph Winter
BBC News

Pius Ncube is widely believed in Zimbabwe to be the latest victim of dirty tricks by the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Bishop Ncube, who has just resigned as the Archbishop of Bulawayo, has been a vocal critic of the government.

In July this year, he called for foreign intervention to remove President Robert Mugabe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Zimbabwe: Zimbabweans Slam Ncube's Attitude

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

13 September 2007
Posted to the web 13 September 2007

Harare

Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde George Charamba said the Catholic Church and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference had no business to defend and protect disgraced former Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube.

In an interview, Cde Charamba said Bishop Ncube's alleged adulterous affair with a married woman was not an issue for the whole church but the particular individual implicated.

He said the good work being done by the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe in the provision of health and educational institutions could not be attributed to Bishop Ncube, but the church alone. He said indigenous people, including forefathers, were not mere beneficiaries of the church institutions but also broke their backs in the construction and establishment of the institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

South Africa: SABC Backs Off On 'Sting'

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Business Day (Johannesburg)

13 September 2007
Posted to the web 13 September 2007

Sarah Hudleston
Johannesburg

THE SABC has distanced itself from its Harare correspondent, Supa Mandiwanzira, who has been implicated in an alleged campaign to discredit a fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe, Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube.

Ncube, who resigned on Tuesday, has been embroiled in a sex scandal involving an adulterous affair which was allegedly caught on tape.

A trust set up to support the embattled cleric, the APN Solidarity Trust, wrote to Snuki Zik alala at the SABC saying that through Mandiwanzira's involvement in the so-called sting operation, the South African state broadcaster was perpetuating injustices in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Zimbabwe's Mugabe accuses media of biased coverage

ZIMBABWE
IC Publications

President Robert Mugabe on Thursday fired a broadside at western media for biased coverage of events in Zimbabwe, ignoring an adultery case involving his staunch opponent, former archbishop Pius Ncube.

"If one of my own ministers does mischief and takes another person's wife, it will be carried on television and they will say this is what Mugabe's ministers are doing," Mugabe said.

"It will be carried on BBC, CNN, everywhere, but let the man who speaks their language and does their work, even if he is archbishop, commit adultery they will not publish it," he said at the official launch of the country's Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Priest’s day in court delayed

WAYNESVILLE (NC)
Citizen-Times

by Jon Ostendorff, jostendorff@citizen-times.com
published September 13, 2007 12:15 am

WAYNESVILLE — A judge Wednesday agreed to postpone the court date for an Episcopal priest charged with sex solicitation in a Waynesville park restroom.

The Rev. Michael Penland will appear Nov. 7 for a hearing on the misdemeanor charge. He resigned from his post as director of youth ministry at a church in Florida on Sunday.

Penland listed an address in Candler’s Biltmore Lake development at the time of his arrest and had worked at a church in Tryon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Parishioners hope to put events into the past

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Stephen P. Clark
Staff Writer

Published September 13 2007

Longtime parishioners of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien felt surprise, relief and sadness yesterday when they heard their former pastor, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, admitted in federal court that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from them to take exotic vacations, buy a condominium and shop for designer clothes.

"I'm shocked. I didn't realize it was that serious," said John Franko, 77, a 20-year parishioner who has been a staunch defender of Fay. "I think he's a good guy. He just went astray."

Fay was pastor of St. John from 1991 until he resigned last year. According to Fay's plea agreement, in 1999 he began to siphon church money into two secret bank accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Darien pastor admits to stealing

NEW HAVEN (CT)
Greenwich Times

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

Published September 13 2007

NEW HAVEN -- A former Catholic pastor admitted in federal court yesterday he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his wealthy Darien church to buy a Philadelphia condominium and lead a life of luxury.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton.

By accepting a plea agreement, Fay prevents a grand jury from reviewing evidence in the case and avoids a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Father Fay admits it

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Darien Times

By Terri Miles, Joshua Fisher and Susan Shultz, The Darien Times

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, former longtime pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, admitted yesterday in federal court to taking possibly more than $1 million of parishioners’ contributions for his personal use.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven, Fay, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. He will also be required to pay the money back to St. John Parish.

In May 2006, it was discovered that Fay had been using church money to support his lavish lifestyle, which included trips to Europe, the Caribbean and other parts of the United States. An private investigation — prompted by another church priest and its bookkeeper — also discovered that Fay was in a romantic relationship with a Philadelphia event planner, Cliff Fantini. Fay resigned shortly after the news broke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Ex-Priest Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Associated Press

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN – 1 hour ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A former priest pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church by setting up secret bank accounts to pay for a life of luxury, including traveling around the world and buying a condominium.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, pleaded guilty Wednesday to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and must pay restitution.

Prosecutors said Fay took between $1 million and $2.5 million over seven years, but the priest has disputed that. He admitted taking between $400,000 and $1 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Orange County bishop seeks to redact testimony in abuse case

ORANGE COUNTY
San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

(09-12) 19:10 PDT Santa Ana, Calif. (AP) --

A judge will decide Thursday whether to censor certain portions of testimony given by Orange County's Roman Catholic bishop in a sexual abuse lawsuit because of privacy concerns.

Diocese attorney Peter Callahan asked Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler to review the deposition testimony by Bishop Tod Brown because of concerns that it touched on a diocese employee's medical records. Andler is expected to decide at Thursday's hearing whether those portions can be made public.

The court ordered Brown to give the deposition as part of a lawsuit involving a former coach and driving instructor at Mater Dei High School. The lawsuit alleges that teacher Jeff Andrade had sex with a 16-year-old female student multiple times over an 18-month period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Documents show Mexican, U.S. church leaders helped accused priest, survivors’ group says

MEXICO
Catholic Online

By Jonathan Roeder
9/13/2007
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

MEXICO CITY (CNS) – Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests released documents they say prove that top Catholic officials in Mexico and the United States sought to help a Mexican priest accused of sexual abuse evade the law.

In response, a legal representative of the Mexico City Archdiocese and a spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese denied the allegations and accused SNAP of trying to win its case in the media, rather than in the courts.

The documents, made public in Mexico City Sept. 11, include letters between Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, along with Mexican police reports involving Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, who has been accused of abusing minors in both countries. Also included were transcripts of Cardinal Rivera's declaration before the Superior Court of the State of California in Los Angeles Aug. 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Reform Group Calling On Bishop Brom To Release Documents

SAN DIEGO (CA)
News 8

A local Catholic reform group is calling on Bishop Robert Brom to release documents that will help expose the truth about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups.

Members of VOTF, or Voice of the Faithful, dropped off a letter to Bishop Brom Wednesday. They're asking him and other church authorities to disclose records about pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Timeline of the troubles at St. John

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

Published September 13 2007

April 28, 2006 - Bishop William Lori meets with St. John Roman Catholic Church bookkeeper Bethany D'Erario and the parochial vicar, the Rev. Michael Madden, who detail their concerns about how the pastor, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, spent parish money. Over the next four days, Lori freezes parish accounts and removes Fay as signatory but does not remove him as pastor.

May 9, 2006 - Lori summons Fay to diocesan headquarters in Bridgeport from his vacation home in Florida. Fay returns to Florida the same day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Outspoken, liberal bishop to speak in Marion

MARION (MI)
Cadillac News

By Mardi Suhs, Cadillac News

MARION — Renee Watkins of Marion calls herself a peace activist and serves as the social justice chairperson at her church, St. Agnes in Marion.

One of the peace activists she admires most is Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a controversial, liberal Catholic whose awards include the Pope Paul VI Teacher of Peace and the National Peace Foundation Award - just two accolades in a long list of humanitarian and lifetime achievements. ...

Last year, after serving 23 years as pastor of an inner-city parish in Detroit, he was replaced. Although his removal was said to be due to a requirement for all bishops to submit their resignation to the pope at age 75, Gumbleton addressed his congregation and said, “I did not choose to leave St. Leos. It’s something that was forced upon me as a consequence of speaking out on victims of sexual abuse in the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Csm, scontro tra magistrati Rimosso il pm che indaga don Gelmini

ITALY
La Repubblica

Prosecutor Carlo Maria Scipio, who has been investigating the Rev. Pierino Gelmini for allegations of sexual abuse, has been replaced by Fausto Cardella, former prosecutor of Perugia. The move was made by the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, the constitutional agency that decides controversies between judges and other issues. Cardella had argued that he was legally entitled to be prosecutor in Terni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

La lettera con cui il vescovo caccia don Sante

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti of Monterosso has received a letter of dismissal from Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua, dated Sept. 5. Main reason cited for his dismissal from priestly duties was his refusal to refrain from celebrating Mass, which the bishop said has caused grave damage and perturbation to the church community. Rev. Sguotti has professed his love for a woman and wants to marry her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

OC Bishop Seeks To Censor Testimony In Abuse Case

SANTA ANA (CA)
CBS2

(AP) SANTA ANA, Calif. A judge will decide Thursday whether to censor certain portions of testimony given by Orange County's Roman Catholic bishop in a sexual abuse lawsuit because of privacy concerns.

Diocese attorney Peter Callahan asked the judge to review the deposition testimony by Bishop Tod Brown because of concerns that it touched on a diocese employee's medical records. The judge is expected to decide Thursday whether those portions can be made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Is diocese hewing to 'Covenant'?

ORANGE (CA)
Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com
I drove to Holy Family Cathedral on Glassell in Orange yesterday morning to see whether the large white placard bearing Bishop Tod Brown's Covenant with the Faithful was still right where he nailed it with great sincerity and humility (and media coverage) on Jan. 18, 2004.

Indeed it was, all seven theses. Let's review a few.

No. 1: "We will continue to do everything possible to help the healing process of the victims of sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Church Abuse Victims Want Diocese To Release Documents

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC Sandiego

SAN DIEGO -- Victims of clergy sex abuse want the San Diego Catholic diocese to release thousands of documents containing the details of the scandal.

More than 100 local victims will soon get their share of a $198 million legal settlement with the diocese, but some of them want more than money.

On Wednesday, a group representing sexual-abuse victims delivered a letter to Bishop Robert Brom, urging him to open church files on the abuse cases. The victims claim that the paperwork will reveal how the church protected the accused priests and moved them to other parishes, where they allegedly molested other victims.

"We want to see the lay Catholic in the community know exactly just what transpired and just why it's transpired here," said Paul Livingston of the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Church official refuses to finish deposition

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

A high-ranking Catholic official accused of covering up child sex-abuse claims broke down crying during recent testimony and refuses to finish the deposition, citing an undisclosed medical condition.

Monsignor John Urell, the pastor at St. Norbert's Catholic Church in Orange, is also on temporary medical leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, diocese attorney Peter Callahan said.

Urell used to be the gatekeeper of sex-abuse complaints against the diocese. In 2005 he was identified as one of the diocese officials who let priests stay in ministry despite reports of past abuse, according to church records made public during the diocese's $100 million settlement with 90 sex-abuse complainants in 2005.

Lawyers representing a former Mater Dei Catholic High School student have asked a judge to force Urell to finish his testimony. Today's hearing will deal with the recent deposition of Bishop Tod Brown, which is temporarily under seal at the church's request. Lawyers representing the former student and other plaintiffs have publicly demanded Brown's entire deposition – the bishop's first testimony on the issue – be made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 AM

September 12, 2007

Fr Cleary's silence in face of evil

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

There is an element of rewriting history in the recent focus on the life and times of Fr Michael Cleary. While people mull over whether he was a lying hypocrite or merely a sad victim of the Catholic Church's hard line on priestly celibacy, there is a crucially important part of his legacy that has been forgotten, writes Mary Raftery

Michael Cleary was guilty of covering up the most heinous of criminal activity. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Cleary was senior curate in Ballyfermot.

It was a position of some authority - Ballyfermot was at the time the largest parish in Dublin, with some five or six priests and a veritable army of upwards of 60 altar boys.

One of the priests there at that stage was Tony Walsh, recently ordained and full of energy.

Walsh was put in charge of the altar boys and ran the very popular children's Mass. He joined the All Priests' Show and was, like Cleary, a well-known entertainer.

He was also a serial child rapist, one of the most vicious in the history of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Abused woman attacks Church for blocking trial

IRELAND
One in Four

The Examiner

AN American woman allegedly molested repeatedly by an Irish priest over a six-month period when she was a teenager has attacked the Catholic Church in the US for not allowing her to have her day in court.

The Diocese of San Bernardino has announced it will pay $15.1 million in out-of-court settlements to 11 people who say priests abused them.

In making the announcement, the Bishop of the Diocese, Gerald Barnes, said: “To the victims I pray that God of mercy and light will walk with you on your journey towards healing. I am so sorry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

The tyrant and the archbishop: How a good man was silenced by scandal

ZIMBABWE
Independent

Pius Ncube was one of Africa's most respected churchmen. Then he dared to challenge Robert Mugabe's tyranny. Now his life is in ruins.

Basildon Peta on a nasty tale of Zimbabwean realpolitik

Published: 13 September 2007
When Pius Ncube lamented what he perceived as the lack of an inspirational Zimbabwean leader in the mould of Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, a visionary who might lead the people in a revolution against the tyranny of Robert Mugabe, many of his countrymen wondered why he needed to look any further than himself.

"Why don't you emulate [the priest] Jean Bertrand Aristide's example in Haiti and lead this revolution. We will all follow you," a Zimbabwean journalist in exile at one of the Archbishop's regular press conferences in Johannesburg, suggested.

As the Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, the second highest Roman Catholic official in a predominantly Catholic country Ncube's word certainly carried immense influence. And with his fierce criticism of Mr Mugabe, the cleric had become, in the place of a weakened and fractured political opposition, the most articulate and outspoken figure of resistance to the regime, frequently condemning the 83-year-old President as a "megalomaniac" and encouraging worshippers to pray for Mr Mugabe's death. World leaders hailed his courage. The former US secretary of state Colin Powell called the Archbishop "one of the bravest men I have ever met".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Bishops' Conference statement on Archbishop Pius Ncube

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

Bishop Crispian Hollis, Chairman of the Department for International Affairs of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales issued the following statement yesterday.

I heard the news of Archbishop Pius Ncube's resignation from the diocese of Bulawayo with enormous sadness.

For many years, he has been outstandingly brave in the way that he has confronted the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.

No one could have done more to highlight the plight of that country's suffering people and I can only stand in admiration of his courage and in gratitude to him for all that he has achieved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Santa Rosa Diocese to pay $5 million to settle sex-abuse lawsuit

SANTA ROSA (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

(09-12) 12:37 PDT SANTA ROSA - The Santa Rosa Roman Catholic Diocese has agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle a sexual-abuse lawsuit involving a fugitive priest, and $20,000 will be paid by Bishop Daniel Walsh personally, a diocesan attorney said today.

The diocese will pay the settlement to 10 people, with the help of its insurance carrier and proceeds from a real-estate sale.

The money will settle a lawsuit that targeted the Rev. Francisco Ochoa-Perez, said Dan Galvin, an attorney for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

SONOMA CO.: DIOCESE SETTLES PRIEST'S SEXUAL ABUSE CIVIL SUIT FOR $5 MILLION

SANTA ROSA (CA)
CBS5

09/12/07 10:50 PDT
SANTA ROSA (BCN)

The Santa Rosa Roman Catholic Diocese has agreed to a $5 million settlement of a lawsuit alleging former priest Francisco Xavier Ochoa sexually abused 10 underage parishioners since 1984.

Dan Galvin, attorney for the Diocese, said the settlement was reached Aug. 27. He said Bishop Daniel Walsh will personally contribute $20,000 in stipends he has earned for his services at weddings and funerals toward the settlement.

The settlement means the Diocese has paid nearly $25 million to settle civil suits alleging sexual abuse by 17 priests during the past 40 years.

Galvin said this morning the Diocese "made a good faith effort to settle the suit early on" so as much money as possible would go to the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

California diocese to pay $5 million in priest sex abuse settlement

SANTA ROSA (CA)
Live-PR

12.09.2007 21:49:10

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa has agreed to pay more than $5 million (¤3.6 million) to settle a sex abuse lawsuit involving a fugitive priest and 10 alleged victims, lawyers and the diocese said Wednesday.
The diocese will pay the plaintiffs $5 million from insurance funds and proceeds from the sale of property, and Bishop Daniel Walsh will pay another $20,000 (¤14,404) from his own pocket, said Dan Galvin, lawyer for the diocese.
The agreement must be approved by a judge, who will decide how to distribute the money among the victims, who primarily belong to two families, lawyers said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Former Darien pastor pleads guilty to stealing money

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

Editor's note: The following is a copy of a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Full coverage of today's guilty plea by the former Darien priest will be in tomorrow's Darien Times.

Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Michael Jude Fay, age 56, the former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to one count of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud arising from his multi-year scheme to use funds donated to the Parish for personal use.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, Fay was employed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport and served as the pastor at St. John’s Church in Darien from 1991 to 2006. Fay's responsibilities included ensuring that monies provided to St. John’s by parishioners be maintained for the benefit of the Parish and its parishioners.

In pleading guilty, Fay admitted that he used parishioners’ contributions to the Parish to fund personal expenses, including trips to Europe, the Caribbean, and other parts of the United States. From 1999 to 2006, FAY used two bank accounts, the existence of which he did not disclose to the Parish Finance Council, to deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars of parishioner contributions that he later used for his personal benefit. FAY also admitted that, in March 2006, he instructed an employee of the Parish to transfer $34,000 from a Parish bank account in Connecticut to his personal bank account at Wachovia Bank in Florida. The $34,000 represented Parish funds that were needed to pay Parish expenses including salaries of Parish employees. Immediately after the $34,000 was transferred to FAY’s personal account at Wachovia Bank, Fay admitted that he caused these funds to be transferred in interstate commerce to a company in Pennsylvania. The $34,000 represented part of a $39,558 down payment for the purchase by FAY of a Philadelphia condo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Former Darien pastor admits he stole about $1 million from church

CONNECTICUT
The Advocate

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

NEW HAVEN — A former pastor today admitted in federal court that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his wealthy Darien parish to buy a Philadelphia condo and other personal items.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton.

As part of a plea agreement, he waived indictment, which prevents a grand jury from reviewing evidence in the case and avoids the possibility of a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Priest pleads guilty to spending church money

DARIEN (CT)
Stamford Times

DARIEN — A former Darien priest accused of spending more than $1 million of church money on luxuries has pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud.

The Reverend Michael Jude Fay is the former pastor of Saint John Roman Catholic Church.

Investigators working for the Bridgeport Diocese last year said that Fay set up secret bank accounts to hide church money that he used for limousine rides, stays at top hotels around the world, jewelry, clothing from Italy. He also bought a condominium in Florida with another man. In December, Fay transferred his half to the parish to pay back some of the missing money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Orange County bishop seeks to seal testimony in abuse case

SANTA ANA (CA)
Union-Tribune

ASSOCIATED PRESS

1:35 p.m. September 12, 2007

SANTA ANA – A judge has temporarily sealed testimony from Orange County's Roman Catholic bishop in a sexual abuse lawsuit at the request of church attorneys.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler barred public access to the testimony shortly after Bishop Tod Brown gave a deposition Monday, said plaintiff's attorney John Manly. She scheduled a full hearing on the issue for Thursday, he said.

The court ordered Brown to give the deposition as part of a lawsuit involving a former coach and driving instructor at Mater Dei High School. The lawsuit alleges that teacher Jeff Andrade had sex with a 16-year-old female student multiple times over an 18-month period.

The student's attorneys want to know what, if anything, Brown knew about other sexual abuse complaints made against the diocese during the decade that Andrade worked at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Former Priest Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $1M In Church Money

CONNECTICUT
NBC 30

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A former Darien priest, accused of spending more than $1 million of church money, has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, the former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, made the plea in New Haven federal court on Wednesday, NBC 30 News reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Longtime priest accused of sexual harassment

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Jeanette Rundquist
Wednesday September 12, 2007, 6:36 PM

The sexton of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Peapack-Gladstone has filed suit against the rector emeritus of the parish, alleging the clergyman sexually harassed him more than a decade ago.

The Rev. Canon John Morrow, who was rector of the Somerset County church for more than 30 years before retiring in 1996, and who has since led worship at other Episcopal churches and chapels in the state, is named in the suit along with St. Luke's and the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.

Sexton Richard Young, 68, of Chester, who still works at St. Luke's, charged in the lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Morris County that from 1984 to 1996, he was subjected to unlawful touching on his chest and torso, inappropriate questioning about his sex life and abuse of control by Morrow. An alleged sexual assault took place at the clergyman's Shore house, while Young was undressing to take a shower, the suit said.

State court records showed no record of any criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Program to offer early alerts on possible abusers, victims

BEND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

By Bishop Robert Vasa
BEND — It has been several weeks since the completion of the filming phase of the Healthy Families - Safe Children series. The editor continues to do what editors do and others are pursuing the necessary facets of production, marketing, advertising and distribution. Work is actively being done on the accompanying workbook with the hope that both final DVD and Workbook can be ready within six to eight weeks. I have no idea how realistic this time estimate is but it is our hope that we can begin an active marketing program this fall. The premise of the program is that there are early childhood indicators of propensities to either victim or bullying behaviors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

La "chiesa cattolica dei peccatori" raccoglie fondi

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the Monterosso parish priest who has confessed his love for a woman, is now getting contributions to found a Catholic Church of the Sinners. He said that some parish priests have accepted his invitation to confess their sexual relationships with women, and in some case minors. The priest said he believes the scandal related to pedophile priests will get bigger. Rev. Sguotti said he has not yet been removed from his church because the hierarchy has given him until Sept. 20 to leave the church. Presence of a carabinieri (a branch of police) car in front of the church could not be confirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Priest Expected To Plead Guilty

CONNECTICUT
WNBC

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A former Darien parish priest accused of spending church money to pay for limousine rides, restaurants and real estate is expected to plead guilty Wednesday, a federal official said.

Rev. Michael Jude Fay, former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, is accused of spending $1.4 million dollars of church money for luxuries like hair appointments and rides for his mother.

The former clergyman is expected to plead guilty to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud in federal court Wednesday, a court clerk said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Anti-Mugabe cleric expected to remain defiant

ZIMBABWE
Reuters

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state media on Wednesday cheered the resignation of Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube over a sex scandal, but commentators doubt the fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe will be easily stifled.

The 60-year-old head of the southern Bulawayo archdiocese resigned on Tuesday, two months after being sued for adultery in a case which he called a vicious government smear campaign.

Ncube said he was quitting to protect the Church and to face the adultery allegations as an individual.

Government-run newspapers hit hard. They alleged Ncube, who has tirelessly challenged Mugabe in street protests at home and through lobbying abroad, had been forced by the church to resign in disgrace on moral grounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Did Vatican press Zimbabwe archbishop to resign?

ZIMBABWE
Catholic World News

Sep. 12, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A state-run newspaper in Zimbabwe claims that Archbishop Pius Ncube was asked by the Vatican to resign in light of adultery charges against him. The country's episcopal conference denies that report.

The Harare Herald, which has given sensational coverage to charges that the archbishop had an affair with his secretary, said that Ncube's resignation, which was announced on September 11, came at the request of the Holy See.

The Vatican announcement on September 11 had indicated only that Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) had accepted the archbishop's resignation. Archbishop Ncube himself told reporters that he had submitted the resignation shortly after the publication of charges against him; he said that he did so in order "to spare my fellow bishops and the body of the Church any further attacks."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Police say Darien priest spent $1.4 million of church money

CONNECTICUT
News Times

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW HAVEN -- Federal authorities say a former Darien parish priest accused of spending $1.4 million of church money on luxuries is due in court Wednesday to enter a guilty plea, a court clerk said.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, is expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in New Haven to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud, according to the clerk.

A message seeking comment was left for his attorney.

Last July, the Bridgeport Diocese released the results of an investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

California diocese to pay $5 million in priest sex abuse settlement

SANTA ROSA (CA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: September 12, 2007

SANTA ROSA, California: A California diocese has agreed to pay more than $5 million (€3.6 million) to settle a sex abuse lawsuit involving a fugitive priest, according to a media report.

The attorneys said the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese will pay ten people $5 million (€3.6 million) out of church insurance funds and proceeds from the sale of orchard property adjacent to a local church, The Press Democrat reported.

Bishop Daniel Walsh will pay another $20,000 (€14,400) from his own pocket, Adrienne Moran, a lawyer for the diocese, told the newspaper.

"That shows the length that he's willing to go to compensate the victims and resolve their claim," Moran said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

FIRM MERGER

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

FIRM MERGER: Two law firms with successful track records in David v. Goliath-type cases are moving and now sharing office space in Clayton. One is Thomas E. Kennedy III of Alton, specializing in disability rights and known for taking on Jeff City bureaucrats wanting to cut social services. The other is the U. City-based Chackes, Carlson, Spritzer and Ghio, which handles employment discrimination cases and has represented more than 100 clergy sex abuse victims battling the church hierarchies, especially the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Settlement in sex abuse suit

SANTA ROSA (CA)
The Press Democrat

By Martin Espinoza
The Press Democrat
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese has settled a sex abuse lawsuit involving fugitive priest Xavier Ochoa for $5,020,000 - with $20,000 coming from Bishop Daniel Walsh's own funds.

The diocese will pay 10 people from insurance funds and proceeds from the sale of orchard property adjacent to St. Eugene's church in Santa Rosa, according to attorneys for both sides of the suit.

Ochoa, who most recently was a priest at St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma, remains at large and is thought to have fled to Mexico in May 2006, a week after admitting to Walsh and other church officials sexual improprieties with several children.

Diocesan attorney Adrienne Moran of Santa Rosa said no parish, school or other ministry funds were used to settle the case. She said the settlement came after mediation between the two sides on Aug. 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Zimbabwe Archbishop Resigns

ZIMBABWE
The New York Times

By MICHAEL WINES
Published: September 12, 2007
JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 11 — The Zimbabwean cleric and opponent of President Robert G. Mugabe who was accused of adultery after what was apparently a government sex sting said Tuesday that the Vatican had accepted his resignation as archbishop of Bulawayo.

In a written statement, the bishop, Pius Ncube, said he was stepping down “to spare my fellow bishops and the body of the Church any further attacks.” The Vatican confirmed the announcement in its own one-sentence statement, citing a church canon that “earnestly” requests the resignation of a bishop “who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause.”

Bishop Ncube said he would remain a Catholic bishop. Some of his supporters predicted that his resignation would leave him freer to raise the humanitarian and human rights issues that had become the preoccupation of his work as archbishop in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Archbishop, a Critic of Mugabe, Quits After Sex Scandal

ZIMBABWE
The New York Sun

by PETA THORNYCROFT and SEBASTIEN BERGER
The Daily Telegraph
September 12, 2007

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The archbishop of Bulawayo — the most outspoken and enduring critic of the Zimbabwean president — stepped down yesterday over a sex scandal. The resignation was seen as a stunning propaganda coup for Robert Mugabe.

Archbishop Pius Ncube, who has in the past been quoted as saying that a British invasion would be justified to oust Mr. Mugabe, stepped down two months after allegations emerged of an affair with a church employee, Rosemary Sibanda.

Mrs. Sibanda's estranged husband sued him for about $160,000 in damages for "loss of companionship," and the scandal was given blanket coverage in the state press, with full pages of broadsheet newspapers devoted to grainy photos allegedly showing the cleric naked in bed with the woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Zimbabwe: Pius Forced to Resign

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

12 September 2007
Posted to the web 12 September 2007

Isdore Guvamombe
Harare

Disgraced Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Diocese, Pius Ncube (60), has been forced to resign by the Vatican, nearly two months after a Bulawayo man filed a $20 billion lawsuit against him for adultery.

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father Martin Schupp to act until the Holy See makes a substantive appointment. Roman Catholic Church priests are sworn to a vow of celibacy, meaning that they must never marry and must never engage in sexual intercourse.

Ncube is embroiled in a $20 billion lawsuit brought against him by Mr Onesimus Sibanda, who alleges in papers filed at the High Court in Bulawayo in July that the cleric had an adulterous relationship with his wife, Mrs Rosemary Sibanda, who is also a member of his parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Zimbabwe: Two Press Statements, One Office

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

12 September 2007
Posted to the web 12 September 2007

Harare

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference Press Statement (August 31 2007) Recent events relating to Archbishop Pius Ncube

The recent attacks by some politicians and the State media on the person of Archbishop Pius Ncube are outrageous and utterly deplorable. They constitute an assault on the Catholic Church, to which we take strong exception. The Catholic Church has never been and is not an enemy of Zimbabwe.

We are serving the people of our country pastorally and in many other ways, through over 60 mission hospitals, many orphanages and 174 primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions. Our record during the years of the liberation struggle speaks for itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Zimbabwe: Did Archbishop Ncube Buckle Under Mugabe Onslaught?

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

EDITORIAL
11 September 2007
Posted to the web 12 September 2007

Nairobi

In the Zimbabwean context of needy and brutalized citizens, a broken political opposition, silenced independent media and repressed civil society, the Catholic Church's relentless voice against misrule remains Robert Mugabe's worst headache.

Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has for years represented that voice and embodied the desire of the Zimbabwean people for a truly democratic and prosperous nation.

His resignation on Tuesday over unproven allegations will no doubt shock many people who looked up to him for inspiration amidst the tragic reality of Zimbabwe. Catholics, ordinary Zimbabweans and all civic forces that have refused to die under the Mugabe onslaught might feel abandoned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

'Love nest' photos fell Mugabe critic

ZIMBABWE
Ottawa Citizen

The Los Angeles Times
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2007
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A secret camera planted in the bedroom of Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube has felled President Robert Mugabe's most prominent and outspoken critic.

The Vatican announced yesterday that it had accepted Archbishop Ncube's resignation from his leadership post, which came after the Zimbabwean state media in July splashed photographs and video footage of a naked man resembling the archbishop in what they called his "love nest."

The stories, and a civil lawsuit filed at the same time, accused him of breaking his vows of celibacy and having sex with a married woman, Rosemary Sibanda. They also claimed that she was not the only woman he had slept with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Vatican 'forced' anti-Mugabe archbishop to resign: report

ZIMBABWE
IC Publications

Former archbishop Pius Ncube, a leading critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who resigned after an adultery scandal, was forced out by the Vatican, a news report here said Wednesday.

In an article headlined "Pius forced to resign", the state-run Herald newspaper said Ncube, 60, whose resignation as archbishop of Zimbabwe's second largest city Bulawayo was announced on Tuesday, had been pressured to leave by the Vatican.

"(Ncube) has been forced to resign by the Vatican," reported the paper, which in July published some allegedly compromising pictures, claiming to depict the Bulawayo archbishop having sex with the wife of another man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Don Gelmini, collaboratori indagati

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

Close collaborators of the Rev. Pierino Gelmini are being investigated by Terni magistrates. Legal officials are told the collaborators offered money and favors to those who could help stop indictment of Rev. Gelmini on charges of sexual violence. Rev. Gelmini will also have to respond to his attempts for protection from prosecutor Cesare Martellino of Terni. The prosecutor in 2002 had a similar case of sexual violence but deemed there was not sufficient evidence to justify an indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Girl, 14, fled abuse, 'mind control' of polygamy

UNITED STATES
CNN

From Amanda Townsend and Agnes Pawlowski
CNN

(CNN) -- Sara Hammon saw some of her sisters pulled out of school to be married to men they didn't know. She dreaded a similar fate. And so, she ran away from home before she was old enough to drive legally.

She left behind 19 mothers, 74 siblings, and a father she says could never remember her name, even though he repeatedly molested her.

And, she left behind a culture she says was oppressive for young women.

Hammon recently gave CNN a deeply disturbing account of her life inside the polygamous sect whose leader, Warren Jeffs, goes on trial this week in Utah.

Jeffs is accused of being an accomplice to rape. The charge stems from his alleged practice of arranging polygamous marriages between child brides and older male followers.

Hammon is not directly involved in the charges against Jeffs, which concern an arranged marriage between a girl, 14 and her 19-year-old cousin. She left the sect before she could be placed in an arranged marriage. But she is one of its most outspoken former members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Woman files suit against church in sex-abuse cover-up

LOVELAND (CO)
CW2

by Ginger Delgado, News2

September 12, 2007

LOVELAND (KWGN) — A mother is demanding justice tonight in what she says is a church cover up. She says her 10-year-old son was molested by a youth leader and claims the church knew the alleged predator had done it before. The boy's mother filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday against the youth leader, the church and three of its pastors, arguing the ministers knew about the sexual abuse and did nothing about it.

The boy's mother spoke to News2, but to protect her son, we're not identifying her. The mother says it was July 3, just over two months ago, inside a small barn, on the grounds of the Gateway Baptist Church in Loveland, that she claims her 10 year old son was sexually assaulted by 23-year old Paul Lavertu, a church youth leader and a man her son loved and trusted.

"I hold my son at night, he cries and he doesn't understand why this happened to him," she said. She claims the church knew about the suspected abuse against her son -- and other kids -- but instead of contacting police, they chose to handle it themselves, by "laying hands" on Lavertu and praying for him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

O.C. diocese moves to seal bishop's testimony in abuse suit

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 12, 2007
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is seeking to permanently seal testimony that Bishop Tod Brown gave this week as part of a civil lawsuit accusing a former assistant basketball coach at Mater Dei High School of sexually abusing a 16-year-old student.

Under the orders of an Orange County Superior Court judge, Brown was deposed Monday by the student's attorneys, who want to know what he knew about other sexual abuse complaints made against the diocese during the 10 or so years that Jeff Andrade worked at the Santa Ana school as a coach and driving instructor.

Brown's attorneys immediately sought and won a temporary order sealing the deposition, according to John Manly, an attorney representing the accuser. A full hearing on the sealing motion is scheduled for Thursday, Manly said.

Manly declined to comment further, citing a gag order that restricts him from discussing elements of the case that are not already public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Archdiocese faces new sex abuse suit

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By MARIE ROHDE
mrohde@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 11, 2007
A civil lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee by two women who contend they were abused as children by Father Bruce MacArthur, a priest with an admitted history of sexual abuse who served a prison sentence for attempting to assault a disabled mute woman in Texas.

Buy a link hereAlso named in the lawsuit is the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., where MacArthur was ordained. Both Milwaukee and Sioux Falls settled a lawsuit with a victim of MacArthur's in South Dakota in late 2005.

The assaults occurred while MacArthur was a chaplain at the old St. Joseph's Hospital in Beaver Dam and the two victims were patients, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Group: Mexican Cardinal Knew of Abuse

MEXICO
The Associated Press

By JESSICA BERNSTEIN-WAX

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A victims' group said Tuesday that newly released documents support its claim that Mexico's most prominent cardinal knew a Mexican priest was suspected of molesting children but transferred him to the United States anyway.

The group, Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, made public written correspondence between Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. It also released a 1986 Mexican police report in which witnesses alleged the suspect spent the night with young boys while working as a priest in the central state of Puebla.

The documents were filed as part of Rivera's defense in a lawsuit against him in Los Angeles Superior Court that alleges he and Mahony conspired to protect the suspect, the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar. It wasn't immediately known why the documents were filed by the defense, but it could be because they suggest Rivera warned Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Victims seek place at pope's memorial

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Nikki Renner
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 12, 2007 12:00 AM

A group that helps victims of sexual abuse by priests delivered a letter to the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix on Tuesday seeking permission to speak at a weekend event in memory of Pope John Paul II's Phoenix visit.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, wants to have one or two sexual-abuse victims speak at the Saturday service about how the late pope took steps to address sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

"We want to be here (at the memorial) because we thought he was a man who did speak out against the crimes of the church," Ken Babb, Phoenix director of the organization, said as he stood outside the doors of the diocese on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

September 11, 2007

Diocese investigates abuse claims

CANADA
Anglican Journal

Marites N. Sison
staff writer
Sep 11, 2007

The Anglican diocese of Ontario has launched an investigation into allegations of psychological and physical abuse involving two of its priests, one of whom served as headmaster for 20 years at Grenville Christian College, a recently-closed private school in Brockville, Ont., in eastern Ontario.

George Bruce, the diocesan bishop, said he has received a number of written complaints from former Grenville students about two clergy, “one retired, and one on leave from the diocese to become headmaster of Grenville Christian College.”

The church denies that Grenville was an Anglican school, but former students dispute this, citing the frequent attendance at school ceremonies by senior Anglican dignitaries, the former headmasters who were Anglican clergy and compulsory Anglican worship in the school’s chapel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

Pastor Sexually Abused by Another Pastor: Proves Lessons of Sexual Abuse

CANADA
John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

Mike Lewis, Pastor of the New Life Center in Cedar Grove, released a statement confirming he was one of the boys whom Shrewsbury Church of God pastor Sandy Martin Cook is charged with sexually assaulting over a decade ago.

Cook is charged with three counts of sexual abuse by a person of trust and 44 counts of third-degree sexual assault.

“For 13 years I have hidden this secret in the deepest part of my being, never to let it out,” Lewis said in a public statement. “Over these past years I have shared this secret with no one. Not my wife, parents, family or leaders.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Advocates for sex-abuse victims seeks place at Pope John Paul II memorial

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Nikki Renner
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 11, 2007 01:34 PM

An organization that helps victims of sexual abuse by priests delivered a letter to the Phoenix Diocese on Tuesday seeking permission to speak at a memorial for Pope John Paul II.

The organization, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, wants to have one or two sexual abuse victims speak at the memorial service about how John Paul II took steps to address sexual abuse by priests in the church.

"We want to be here (at the memorial) because we thought he (Pope John Paul II) was a man who did speak out against the crimes of the church," Ken Babb, Phoenix director of the organization, said as he stood outside the doors of the diocese on Tuesday.

Babb said that when victims speak out, it encourages other victims to come forward too. He also wants people to know that there is more the Catholic Church can do for the victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Victims' group: Documents show Mexican cardinal knew of sexual abuse before priest sent to US

MEXICO
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: September 11, 2007

MEXICO CITY: A victims' group said Tuesday that newly released documents support its claim that Mexico's most prominent cardinal knew a Mexican priest was suspected of molesting children but transferred him to the United States anyway.

The group, Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, made public written correspondence between Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. It also released a 1986 Mexican police report in which witnesses alleged the suspect spent the night with young boys while working as a priest in the central state of Puebla.

The documents were part of Rivera's defense in a lawsuit filed against him in Los Angeles Superior Court that alleges he and Mahony conspired to protect the suspect, the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar. SNAP represents the victim named in the lawsuit, Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, who is no relation to the accused priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Loveland pastors face civil suit for failing to disclose abuse

LOVELAND (CO)
The Coloradoan

BY SARA REED
SaraReed@coloradoan.com

A civil suit has been filed against three Loveland pastors for failing to disclose alleged sexual abuse by a church member.

In July, pastors Jim Rice, Thad Gunderson and Eric Mowen of Gateway Baptist Church were charged with misdemeanors for failing to report a series of alleged sexual assaults by Paul Lavertu, a member of the church. Those alleged assaults date back to 2005, according to police.

Today, Jim Avery filed a civil suit against the three pastors for failing to report the abuse to police when they became aware of it. Avery represents the parents of a 10-year-old boy who was allegedly assaulted by Lavertu in early July, after the pastors became aware of the past alleged incidents.

"The pastors were still in a position to stop the abuse," Avery said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Don Gelmini, 50 le denunce per abusi

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

At leat 50 people have now accused the Rev. Pierino Gelmini of sexual abuse. The priest operates a chain of drug addiction rehabilitation centers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

«Ho ricevuto segnalazioni di preti pedofili»

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, a parish priest in the Padua diocese, said some priests and lay people have spoken to him recently about priests who sexually abused children. Two of the accused are still in ministry although some incidents happened years ago, he said. Rev. Sguotti recently went public with his love for a woman who he wants to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

DON GIOVANNI BRUSEGAN

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, a senior official in the Padua diocese, has called on the Rev. Sante Sguotti to turn away from his present course of action. Rev. Sguotti has fallen in love with a woman and wants to marry while remaining a priest. The bishop has removed Rev. Sguotti from ministry but Rev. Brusegan noted Rev. Sguotti celebrated Mass this past weekend. Rev. Brusegan blamed Rev. Sguotti's actions on moral relativism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Child Sex Charges Dropped Against Lakewood Pastor

LAKEWOOD (CO)
CBS 4

(AP) LAKEWOOD, Colo. Criminal charges have been dropped against a Lakewood pastor accused of sexually assaulting two children in his wife's home day care at least a dozen years ago.

Jefferson County prosecutors say they didn't have enough evidence to proceed with the case against Stephen Heese, 40.

An affidavit says a 17-year-old girl and her 20-year-old brother told authorities last year that they had been assaulted between 1992 and 1994. The girl told an official at her school, who in turn told police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Lakewood pastor's sex-assault charges tossed

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Rocky Mountain News
September 11, 2007
Jefferson County prosecutors have dismissed charges of sexual assault on children against a Lakewood minister after they concluded they didn't have enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

Prosecutors dropped the charges Thursday, Pam Russell, a Jefferson County district attorney spokeswoman, said Monday.

Stephen Heese, 40, had been facing two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and two other counts of sexual assault on a child while showing a pattern of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Zimbabwe archbishop Ncube resigns

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 11 - Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube, an outspoken opponent of President Robert Mugabe and the central figure in a recent sex scandal in his country.

Last July, state-owned media in Zimbabwe published poor quality pictures which it said showed the 61-year-old archbishop of Bulawayo in bed with a married woman.

Ncube opposed the re-election of Mugabe in 2005 and after the polls he accused the president of rigging the vote in order to extend his 25-year stretch in power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Pope Accepts Zimbabwean Prelate's Resignation

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Archbishop Pius Ncube, an outspoken critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Archbishop Ncube of Bulawayo, 60, said in a press statement issued today that the Vatican accepted a request he made in July to leave office, the Catholic Information Service of Africa reported.

The resignation follows allegations publicized by state-run media that the archbishop had an adulterous affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Breaking: OC Diocese Lawyers Seek to Seal Bishop Brown Deposition

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano
September 11, 2007 3:15 PM

Over the weekend, attorneys with the firm of Manly, McGuire & Stewart deposed former Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Norman McFarland and current bishop Tod D. Brown as part of the firm's ongoing lawsuit against the Orange Diocese, Mater Dei High School, and former boy's basketball coach Jeff Andrade (click here for the Weekly's coverage of the lawsuit). Now, sources tell the Weekly that lawyers for the Orange diocese successfully convinced a judge to stop Brown's deposition midway through his testimony and obtained a temporary sealing order. On Thursday, they'll seek to turn the "temporary" label on the deposition into "permanent." All of this begs the obvious question: what did Bishop Brown reveal that would make him break No. 5 of His Excellency's much-ballyhooed Covenant with the Faithful? For those of you who forgot the theses, here it is:

"We will be open, honest and forthright in our public statements to the media, and consistent and transparent in our communications with the Catholics of our Diocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Where do we go from here? Just keep telling the stories. A good place to start is “Sacrilege” by Leon Podles

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Around mid-July the tone of this blog changed as I began reading a new book “Sacrilege” by former federal investigator Leon Podles. A few chapters in and I began to see obvious patterns in pedophile priest rape crime across the country. The more I read the more I realized, in city after city for the last half century kids in Catholic churches were raped, perpetrators were enabled to continue raping, victims and victims’ families were shut up. And most astonishing, bishops and other hierarchy lied many times under oath, or conveniently forgot, and documents disappeared.

The way the pattern of crime is laid out in “Sacrilege” the logical next step from here should be federal indictments and Senate hearings to expose the true reasons these crimes were able to continue for more than 50 years in the United States.

“Sacrilege” came out September 1st (for more information see the left column of this blog). Reading the book you get blatant proof that these crimes are not just about “a little fondling.” In case after case priests whispered to children that the sex acts they were doing were a kind of religious rite of passage. In more than one case children's murders go unsolved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Mugabe critic resigns over sex case

ZIMBABWE
Al Jazeera

Pius Ncube, a prominent Zimbabwean archbishop and critic of the country's president Robert Mugabe, has resigned two months after being implicated in a sex scandal that he says is an "attack" engineered by the government.

The move comes after Zimbabwean state-run media published photos in July allegedly showing Ncube in bed with a woman who was married to one of his parishoners.

However Ncube, the head of the Catholic church in the Bulawayo diocese, insisted he had "not been silenced by the crude machinations of a wicked regime."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

The costs of church scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

September 11, 2007

Obviously, the principal victims of abuse by the Catholic clergy are the members of the faithful, many of them children, who were betrayed by wolves in shepherds' clothing. But the civil lawsuits that have provided those victims with a measure of compensation also create collateral damage, even when steps are taken to protect core church activities.

Insurance policies provide the church with only some of the resources it needs to settle these claims. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, which on Friday agreed to pay nearly $200 million to victims of sexually abusive priests and church workers, said it will defray much of the rest of the costs through loans and the sale of assets. A diocesan official said there were no plans to close parishes or schools, but Bishop Robert Brom conceded that there will be "some damaging consequences for the mission of the church in this diocese."

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which has agreed to pay $764 million to victims of abuse, has engaged in similar damage control, saying it will sell off non-parish property, including its administrative headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard. But an affecting article last week by Times staff writer Rebecca Trounson demonstrated that sales of "assets" can have human consequences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Priest pleads guilty to molesting girl

CANADA
The Gazette

Philippe de Maupeou, an activist Montreal priest in Montreal's Plateau Mont Royal district, pleaded guilty yesterday to sexual touching of a girl under the age of 10 during a camping trip in the Lanaudière region in 2002.

De Maupeou, 47, entered his plea at the Joliette courthouse to one count of sexual touching. The crime carries no minimum sentence but a maximum of 10 years in prison, his lawyer, Yves Duceppe, said yesterday.

The incident occurred when de Maupeou, who was administrator of the Immaculée Conception parish, took children on an outing to a summer camp near St. Alphonse Rodriguez.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Retired priest's jailing stirs man's emotions

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By Jim O'Hara Staff writer
Mike Schulte appeared to be struggling to hold back tears and keep his anger in check as he stood outside a Syracuse City Court room Monday afternoon.

He had nothing to do with the case that had just been heard inside. But he had made the trip to Syracuse from Virginia hoping for some closure in his own life.

After all, the man who was being sentenced by Judge Kate Rosenthal was the retired Roman Catholic priest Schulte says molested him when he was just a 13-year-old altar boy in Delaware back in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Jury selection begins in trial of one of America’s 10 Most Wanted

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Canada.com

Daphne Bramham, CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, September 10, 2007 Article tools

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Jury selection for the trial of Warren Jeffs — one of America’s 10 Most Wanted — has entered its second phase.

Eleven of the 230 potential jurors were interviewed in Judge James Shumate’s chambers Monday by lawyers for the state and for Jeffs, the so-called prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jeffs is charged in Utah with two counts as an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl. Jeffs is alleged to have forced the girl to marry her 19-year-old first cousin and then counselled the husband to impregnate her. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is life in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM