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November 30, 2007

Leeland Eisenberg, Alleged Hillary Hostage Suspect, Victim Of Priest Sexual Abuse?

ROCHESTER (NH)
The Huffington Post

Huffington Post | Danny Shea | November 30, 2007 06:31 PM

Leeland Eisenberg, the alleged suspect in the hostage situation at Hillary Clinton's Rochester, New Hampshire campaign office today, may have been sexually abused by a priest in the Boston archdiocese when he was younger.

In September 2002, a Leeland Eli Eisenberg, formerly known as Ralph E. Woodward, Jr., residing in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, filed suit against Boston Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law. The suit alleged that around 1982-1983, Father Richard Buntel, a priest at St. Catherine's church in Westford, Massachusetts, would take Eisenberg to the rectory of the church, offer him alcoholic beverages, bring out pornographic material, and sexually molest him.

On at least one occasion, Eisenberg awoke after drunkenly passing out in Father Buntel's car "to find himself being raped by Father Buntel in the driveway of St. Catherine's rectory," the suit said. At the time, Eisenberg, 21, was "in a state of desperation" over his "homelessness, the loss of his mother, and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his violent, alcoholic father."

Cardinal Law resigned in December, 2002 over sexual abuse scandals in his archdiocese, just three months after Eisenberg filed the lawsuit.

Read the formal complaint here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Hostage Suspect Claimed Priest Abuse

ROCHESTER (NH)
ABC News

By JAKE TAPPER
Nov. 30, 2007

The suspect arrested for allegedly holding hostages at Sen. Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire presidential campaign headquarters claimed a history of abuse at the hands of a priest, who has since been defrocked amid allegations of sexually abusing young men.

Leeland E. Eisenberg, formerly known as Ralph Woodward, sued the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Bernard Law in 2002 for negligence and infliction of emotional distress, alleging that at a young and vulnerable point in his life he was molested by the Rev. Richard Buntel.

Eisenberg claimed in his lawsuit that in or around 1982 or 1983, when he was about 21 years old, he was "homeless and living in abandoned cars in a local junk yard" in Ayer, Mass., at least in part as a result of the death of his mother and a traumatic childhood at the hands of his "violent, alcoholic father." ...

Concerns about Buntel's inappropriate behavior with alcohol and young men had been voiced as early as 1983, according to documents provided on the Web site BishopAccountability.org. A fellow priest, the Rev. John D'Arcy, wrote to the Archdiocese in 1983 (LINK) that "I think that these allegations are true."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Two removed from priesthood over sex abuse allegations

CLEVELAND (OH)
WTOL

Associated Press - November 30, 2007 5:15 PM ET

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Catholic Diocese says the Vatican has removed from the priesthood two men who faced credible complaints of sexual abuse of children.

They are Gary Berthiaume, who was suspended from active ministry in 2002, and J. Brendan McNulty. He was suspended in 2003. The church says they had asked to be removed from the clerical state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Former Minister Accused Of Sexual Abuse At Church

CLARKSVILLE (AR)
KHBS/KHOG

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. -- A former minister remains in jail, accused of sexually abusing five girls under the age of 14.

Jose Banda is accused of sexually abusing girls at the Clarksville Church of Christ, in church vehicles and at a nearby park. Police said they spent weeks investigating the former Clarksville minister before making an arrest earlier this month.

Church leaders said Banda has been fired from his position as pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Sex abuse settlement, the pope's visit and ecumenism: Cardinal Mahony speaks with NCR

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.

Los Angeles is the capital of the world's entertainment industry, and since 1985 the Catholic church there has been led by a figure seemingly made for Tinseltown: Cardinal Roger Mahony, 71, perhaps the most media-savvy American bishop (among other things, Mahony is an Internet adept) and something of a cultural celebrity in his own right. The latest confirmation came earlier this month with the publication of a novel, billed as "reality fiction," by American Catholic writer Robert Blair Kaiser titled Cardinal Mahony. In the novel, the Los Angeles prelate is kidnapped by a group of liberation theologians from Latin America, put on trial in Mexico (after being spirited away in his own helicopter), and converted to the need for sweeping reform. The fictional Mahony apparently ends up leading American Catholics in demanding what the book's publisher describes as "citizenship in their church."

I bumped into Mahony in the Vatican's Synod Hall on Nov. 23, waiting for a meeting of the College of Cardinals with the pope. He said he had read most of the novel during his flight to Rome; asked for a reaction, he simply laughed.

As is often the case with celebrities these days, Mahony is also dogged by his share of controversy. Recently, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles concluded what will almost certainly be the largest single settlement related to the American sexual abuse crisis -- a $660 million payout, shared by the archdiocese, most religious orders sued in California (with the exception of the Salesians), and insurance carriers. That amount reflects not only the size and wealth of the archdiocese, but also a 2002 California law temporarily suspending the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits against private organizations whose personnel abused children. The settlement closes some 500 claims at roughly $1 million each. The process of collecting more than 700 signatures to finalize the settlement was completed in mid-November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Pedophiles have less brain white matter: Toronto study

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | 2:05 PM ET
CBC News
Pedophiles have significantly different brains than people without the condition, indicates new research, suggesting pedophilia may have physical causes.

Pedophiles have considerably less brain white matter than people not sexually attracted to children, says the research released Wednesday from the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

It was published online earlier this week in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Pedophiles `programmed,' study finds

CANADA
Toronto Star

Nov 29, 2007 04:30 AM
Joseph Hall
health reporter

Toronto researchers have found the strongest evidence yet that pedophiles are biologically programmed to desire young children.

Long thought to be an aberration born of childhood head injuries or psychological abuse, pedophilia is actually rooted in significant brain differences that likely exist at birth, a new study out of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health suggests.

"We've previously had very strong hints that (pedophile) brains were formed differently," says centre psychologist James Cantor, the lead study author. "This is by far the most direct evidence that shows the brain is structured differently in pedophiles."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Pedophilia linked to brain development

CANADA
Canada.com

Mark Brennae, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2007
OTTAWA -- Pedophilia may be the result of a person's brain not properly functioning due to faulty connections, according to a report released Wednesday by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

"It's the most succinct proof that pedophilia is in the brain," said Dr. James Cantor, a CAMH psychologist and the study's lead scientist. "For a very long time, people have thought that being a pedophile was the result of being the victim of one's environment," - abused and sexually abused children, for example.

The study, published in the Journal of Psychiatry Research, challenges the commonly held belief that pedophilia is brought on by childhood trauma or abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

'I planned to murder Mondrowitz'

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Aviva Lori

"I wanted to murder him. Or to kidnap him and beat him to within an inch of his life and then dump him somewhere. Or to drag him to the American embassy and then send him back to the United States." The speaker is T., who says he is one of the victims of Avrohom Mondrowitz, the alleged pedophile from Brooklyn who styles himself a rabbi and psychologist, and whose misdeeds were described recently in these pages ("In the basement, behind a closed door," Haaretz Magazine, November 16). T. says that last year he paid someone who came to Israel to come up with an operative plan to assault Mondrowitz. "I sent someone to Israel. An American guy who came on one of the educational programs for American Jews, someone who is not afraid of anything. He did not work alone. He has connections with a few guys in Israel, who were going to do the actual deed."

Then why didn't it happen?

T.: "Mondrowitz was very careful and never went into the street alone. He knows that someone will finish him off one day. Someone who will decide that he doesn't care if he spends the next 50 years in jail. The person I sent on the mission is still in Israel. He sat for four months, preparing a plan - how and where. We found out everything about him, where he lives and how he behaves, but it is very hard to get close to him without anyone seeing, so after four months the guy said he was giving it up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

No punitive damages in church abuse case

BURLINGTON (VT)
Rutland Herald

November 30, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

BURLINGTON — Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese confirmed Thursday that one of its priests sexually abused James Turner as a teenager 30 years ago. But that admission won't be enough for the 47-year-old Northeast Kingdom native to receive punitive damages in a trial under way in Chittenden Superior Court.

"The diocese has clearly conceded that Mr. Turner was abused," defense lawyer David Cleary said of Turner's civil lawsuit against the church. "We don't dispute the allegations."

But Judge Matthew Katz ruled that because the plaintiff can't prove the diocese knew the former Rev. Alfred Willis had a prior history of molesting children, the church shouldn't face expensive financial punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Leniency sought for priest

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

Published November 30 2007

A federal judge should show leniency to the Rev. Michael Jude Fay when the priest is sentenced next week because he's dying of prostate cancer and spent 28 years performing good works, his attorney said in court papers filed this week.

Fay's work with the terminally ill and theatrical productions should be taken into account during his sentencing Tuesday, his attorney, Lawrence Hopkins, wrote in a memo filed in U.S. District Court in New Haven on Wednesday.

"Any significant sentence of incarceration will likely result in defendant's dying alone in prison," Hopkins wrote. "This would be an unduly harsh result in light of Michael Fay's lifelong commitment to comfort the dying."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Lawyers for Man Suing Diocese Rest Case

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - November 30, 2007

Lawyers for a man suing the Vermont Catholic Diocese over a priest's alleged sexual abuse have rested their case.

James Turner is suing the Burlington diocese for one million dollars. He says they covered up a crime 30 years ago, when he claims priest Alfred Willis molested him.

Now the diocese will try to prove they were unaware father Willis was abusive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Prosecutor may refile charges against pastor

PINEVILLE (MO)
News-Leader

Marcus Kabel
The Associated Press

Pineville — The McDonald County prosecutor said she hopes to refile sex abuse charges against the pastor of a southwest Missouri church early next year.

Prosecutor Janice Durbin told The Associated Press on Thursday that her aim is to refile the case against the Rev. Raymond Lambert; his wife, Patty Lambert; and their sister-in-law, Laura Epling.

Before charges were dropped in early November, Raymond Lambert had been accused of abusing two girls over several years and the two women had been accused of helping him in the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

E-mail accusations hit campaign

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By JASON CLAYWORTH • REGISTER STAFF WRITER • November 30, 2007

Caucusgoers beware: It's roughly a month away from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, and the political shenanigans are in high gear.

Such tactics by people who play dirty have moved beyond the destruction of yard signs or push polls that ply caucusgoers with misleading or inaccurate information.

This time, they've taken to the Internet in the form of e-mail accounts made to look like they were sent from campaign officials.

The latest was an e-mail that was sent this week, using the name of a field director for Republican Mitt Romney's campaign and telling voters that one of Rudy Giuliani's advisers is a "pedophile priest."

The e-mail directed voters to a blog item on InsideCatholic.com about Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani's. Placa, who officiated at Giuliani's second wedding and works in his consulting firm, has been accused of molesting two boys in New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

IL PRETE RIBELLE

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

THE REBEL PRIEST

A full immersion in the Chiesa Cattolica dei Peccatori (The Catholic Church of the sinners).

"In the path towards reconciliation," the meeting organized by the rebel priest, the Rev. Sante Sguotti, which will take place tomorrow at the Hotel Sheraton in Padua, presents itself as a real and proper voyage within the "non-official" church. To start, the speech by the Rev. Alessandro Pasquinelli, former priest in Pistoia who in 2005 made a plea bargain for a three-year jail term after having being accused of "sexual abuses against minors."

Three issues will be dealt with in the meeting. The first (9 a.m.-10.30 a.m.) is titled Divorced and remarried: Forgiveness is Possible; from 11 a.m.-12.30 p.m. there will follow: "Testimony from other Christian confessions upon the praxis for dealing with the divorced". Finally , 3 p.m-4.30 p.m., the third and final issue "Divorced and Remarried: A Path Toward Reconciliation with the Ecclesiastical Community." Te public will be invited to ask questions, then there will be announced the proposals for a real acceptance of the divorced in the Catholic church and finally, Rev. Sguotti, as the host of the meeting, will make the closing remarks.

Among the guests will be Serenella Salomoni, sexologist and expert in couples therapy; Paolo Falcone, docent in sociology and expert in canon law and moral philosophy, and other spokespeople from other Christian confessions. From 11.a.m.-12.30 p.m., main speakers like Rev. Lucas Rocco Massimo Giacalone, delegate for Italy of the Bielorussia Orthodox Church, John-Henry Bowden , chaplain of the St. Georges's Anglican Church in Venice, and Caterina Dupre, pastor of the Methodist Church in Padua. There will not be lack of known faces, not only because Rev. Sguotti, after being expelled from his parish, is now part of the renowned "stable" of the famed Vip agent Lele Mora. One of the moderators will also be Raffaelo Tonon, former Big Brother and opinionist of Mediaset (Berlusconi's TV company) and Gianluca Versace, journalist of Canale Italia (Mediaset TV Channel). Today at 6 p.m., after the pause of the past weeks in which Rev. Sguotti kept aloof from the press and from TV stations, the rebel priest will be present at the Mondadori library in Piazza Insurrezione with his autobiographical book called "Il mio amore non e' peccato." (My love is not a sin.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

A Cache Of Porn

WEST HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES, FULVIO CATIVO And WILLIAM HATHAWAY | Courant Staff Writers
November 29, 2007

WEST HARTFORD — - Witness after witness testified before the state medical board in 1993 that Dr. George E. Reardon had photographed them while molesting them in his office.

Attorney Holly Abery-Wetstone, who represented one of the victims in a civil suit, was left haunted by a question: What happened to all those photographs?

"The abuse is bad enough," she told a reporter in 1994, "but to think that there's photographs of it someplace is really eerie."

Reardon died in 1998, five years after resigning from his practice at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, and Abery-Wetstone's question remained unanswered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Betrayal

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Magazine

By Marcia Froelke Coburn

On a hot July morning, the seats in room 208 of the Cook County Circuit Court at 26th and California fill up quickly, long before the lawyers arrive. The small room is lined with wooden benches; a glass wall separates observers from the courtroom, and microphones broadcast the proceedings to them. In many ways, the space resembles the crying room at the back of a church, where parents retreat with babies to avoid disturbing the service. It's an ironic touch, since many of the observers are parishioners from St. Margaret Mary, a Roman Catholic parish of predominantly Irish American families on the Far North Side of Chicago. The personal-injury lawyer Philip Corboy grew up in the parish, and the Cook County state's attorney, Richard Devine, is a current member of the church.

The draw today is the sentencing of the Reverend Mark Sorvillo, 55, the former pastor of St. Margaret Mary. In October 2006, the state's attorney's office charged him with stealing nearly $200,000 from his parish to support a lavish lifestyle of travel, attendance at Lyric Opera, and shopping at luxury department stores. Although not charged with it, Sorvillo also gave parish money to a married friend who lives in Kentucky but frequently traveled to Chicago to perform as a stripper at gay clubs. Sorvillo's looting of the church funds so depleted the finances that the parish school was almost closed.

The parishioners caught Sorvillo through both a rebellion against his decision to close the school and a sting operation that proved he was stealing funds. They turned their evidence over to the Archdiocese of Chicago, which in turn presented it to the state's attorney's office. "It's been a long and emotional road," says Dan McGuire, one of three parishioners who led an internal audit that revealed Sorvillo's financial extravagances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Rudy Giuliani Would Be Our Bill Clinton

UNITED STATES
Town Hall

By John Hawkins

Perhaps the biggest oddity of the Republican primary season so far has been that GOP voters keep saying that they want another Reagan, the candidates keep comparing themselves to Reagan at every opportunity, and yet the man who is leading in the national polls, Rudy Giuliani, is about as far apart from Reagan as it's possible to get ideologically while still remaining in the Republican Party. Rudy Giuliani is no Reagan. What he is, and what he would be if he gets the nomination, is our Bill Clinton.

Consider a few things. ...

We already know about Bernie Kerik, Rudy's pal and business partner who is facing 142 years in prison, but Rudy also continues to be closely associated with Alan Placa, a Catholic priest who has been credibly accused by multiple former victims of child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Death of indicted Blanco County monk ruled suicide

BLANCO (TX)
CBS 42

The death of a monk who faced trial for organized crime and child sex abuse charges has been ruled a suicide.

Blanco County Justice of the Peace Terry Carter ruled the death of Samuel A. Greene Jr. a suicide, based on an autopsy that found large amounts of alcohol, painkillers and other prescription drugs in his system.

Greene was found dead Sept. 16 in his trailer on the grounds of the Christ of the Hills Monastery, which he founded outside of Blanco.

He and several other monks had been accused of sexually abusing novice monks. One monk has been convicted and sentenced to 80 years for sexual abuse; three others await trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES CONSUMER ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR AND STREET FIGHTER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

CALIFORNIA
California Chronicle

Newswire Services
November 29, 2007

Sacramento, Calif. – Every year, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) recognizes one distinguished member lawyer who, in representing his/her clients on a daily basis, has overcome incredible odds to provide justice to victims, and has established precedent that will make a difference in the lives of Californians.

CAOC has announced that the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award was presented to Raymond Boucher for his exceptional work on the Los Angeles County Superior Court Clergy Cases. Additionally, Mr. Boucher achieved this settlement while serving as CAOC President.

Mr. Boucher won the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award for these landmark cases (Coordinated Proceedings: The Clergy Cases 1) on behalf of 508 plaintiffs against the Catholic Church for hiding sexually abusive priests. For hundreds of years, if not longer, the Catholic Church systematically allowed and covered up the rape of children by its clergy because civil justice systems around the world denied victims the opportunity to bring accountability to this institution. Many of the plaintiffs had been denied justice for more than 40 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Sexual Abuse Suit Filed Against Franciscan Brother

CARLSBAD (NM)
KOAT

CARLSBAD, N.M. -- After 30 years, a former Carlsbad resident is taking on the Catholic church.

"I'm not a little boy no more. I'm fighting back now."

In a civil lawsuit, the unnamed plaintiff claims he was sexually abused by Kerry Guillory, a Franciscan brother who accompanied him on a college trip to Albuquerque in 1977.

"We were drinking so much. I think we had a pillow fight that night and we were passed out and that's when he attacked me, when I was passed out face down. And I guess that's when my whole life changed right there," the plaintiff said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Witnesses give conflicting stories in Passmore trial

LIVINGSTON (MT)
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

By SCOTT McMILLION Chronicle Staff Writer

LIVINGSTON - The defense opened Thursday afternoon in the trial of former minister Terry Passmore, who is accused of sexual assault and rape for allegedly fondling three young girls who belonged to his church here nine years ago.

Darrel Harper, a fellow Church of God minister from Kalispell, said he recalled investigating the charges in December 1998. He described them very differently from the way the way two of the girls described them in court this week.

“There wasn't any skin-to-skin contact at all” with the younger of two sisters Passmore allegedly molested, Harper said.

The girl was 12 years old at the time, and Harper said that at that time she accused Passmore, now 49, of putting his hand under her clothes, including once reaching inside the top of her pants. There also was “touching outside the shirt on the breast. That's all I recall.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Dec. 5 slated for Ember Day

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

The Ember Day for Advent will be on Wednesday, Dec. 5. An Ember Day is one set aside for voluntary prayer and fasting.

To fast means to eat only one full meal. The other two meals should be less than the normal amount unless they are already at the minimum for good health. Eating between meals is not permitted, although liquids are allowed.

Archbishop John Vlazny instituted Ember Days in the Archdiocese of Portland in 2002 as days set aside for prayer for victims of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Diocese sells Newport property for $4.3 million

NEWPORT (RI)
Providence Journal

By Gina Macris
Journal Staff Writer

NEWPORT — A total of 13.5 acres of prime real estate at 90 Brenton Rd., the home of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny since the early 1950s, has been sold by the Diocese of Providence for $4.3 million to a corporation linked to the family of Campbell’s Soup heiress Dorrance H. Hamilton.

A diocesan spokeswoman said that the sale price — $4,337,500, according to land evidence records — exceeded the asking price by $387,500 “after negotiations with the parties involved.” The spokeswoman, Karen Davis, did not elaborate.

The diocese sold the property, the former Arthur Curtiss James estate, to help reduce debt partly related to the $14.2-million settlement of the clergy sexual-abuse case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Archdiocese hires counsel, replaces controversial firm

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / November 30, 2007
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, in a step long sought by critics of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, said yesterday that he is hiring a new general counsel who will largely replace the controversial law firm that for years defended the archdiocese against scores of people who said they were sexually abused by priests.

F. Beirne Lovely Jr., a partner at Goodwin Procter, will effectively replace the Rogers Law Firm, which has represented the archdiocese in most legal matters for at least two decades. The Rogers Law Firm, led by lawyer Wilson D. Rogers Jr., has been viewed with suspicion and hostility by many victim advocates and would-be church reformers - in part because of Rogers's close relationship with Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who resigned five years ago at the height of the clergy sexual-abuse crisis, and because Rogers was viewed as an architect of the archdiocese's yearslong adversarial handling of complaints and lawsuits brought by people who said they were sexually abused by priests.

"Wilson Rogers was the iron fist inside Bernard Law's velvet glove, the operative who for many years obstructed and outmaneuvered victims' attempts to hold the archdiocese accountable for sheltering pedophiles," said Anne Barrett Doyle, codirector of BishopAccountability.org, a victim advocacy organization. "God only knows how many children were harmed because of Rogers's success in silencing victims and his ruthless dedication to keeping the archdiocese out of civil courts."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Insurance co. says no coverage for McGuire

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 29, 2007
FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS
The insurance company for the Chicago Jesuits that employed convicted child molester Rev. Donald J. McGuire filed a suit Thursday stating it is not liable for defending the convicted priest or settling the lawsuits filed against him.

Empire Indemnity Insurance Company filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court against McGuire, the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, as well as McGuire’s alleged victims -- John Does 116, 117, and 118.

The company is seeking declaration that they have no duty to defend or cover McGuire for any of the suits filed by McGuire’s alleged victims. John Doe 116 filed a lawsuit against McGuire and the Jesuits on Aug. 21, while John Does 117 and 118 filed a joint lawsuit on Oct. 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Surprise witness backs up priest sex-abuse claim

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Friday, November 30, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

A surprise witness in the case of a Virginia man who says he was molested by a priest in 1977 told the jury Thursday that the priest performed a sex act on him during a children's sleepover at a Burlington church two years earlier.

"I woke up sometime in the night to somebody who was touching me," the witness said.

"Who was that somebody?" asked Jerome O'Neill, a lawyer for James Turner of Virginia Beach, Va.

Turner, 47, has said the Rev. Alfred Willis molested him in a Latham, N.Y., motel room while seven friends and family members slept nearby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

November 29, 2007

Arguments made in abuse lawsuit involving nun

ROCHESTER (MN)
Post-Bulletin

11/29/2007 9:12:06 AM
By Janice Gregorson
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Did the Franciscan Sisters know that one of its nuns had sexually abused children and failed to take action to prevent foreseeable misconduct?

That's at the crux of arguments made Wednesday by attorneys in a lawsuit filed two years ago by a woman who claimed she was repeatedly molested by Sister Benen Kent in the mid-1960s while a student in Chicago.

Kent is now dead, and the lawsuit names as defendant the Franciscan Sisters, doing business as the Sisters of St. Francis, headquartered in Rochester.

The allegations by Christine Bertrand, who now lives in Sierre Madre, Calif., are that the Order and others knew or should have known of Kent's "pedophile impulses and behavior, but failed to act on that knowledge," to prevent future abuse. The lawsuit claims negligence, negligent supervision of Kent and negligent retention of Kent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

¿Quien Es Más Mafia?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

(Tracker note: This newspaper went to press before announcement that the Dec. 3 court hearing was cancelled.)

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 2:00 pm
On Dec. 3, Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown will face what so few of his peers have encountered: a judge ready to throw the book at His Excellency. Brown is accused of sending Monsignor John Urell to Canada so he wouldn’t finish a deposition for a sex-abuse lawsuit alleging church officials protected statutory rapist and former Mater Dei High School boys’ basketball coach Jeff Andrade (see “Bad Moves,” Sept. 27). With the court date, the bishop joins an ignoble field long dominated by Mafia bosses. And by sheer coincidence (or providence?), another Orange County luminary is also charged with Mob-like behavior: Sheriff Mike Carona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

FBI agent testifies in Hosanna trial

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Florida parishes bureau
Published: Nov 29, 2007

AMITE — A former FBI agent testified this morning that Austin “Trey” Bernard III said his job as a youth pastor at the now defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula was to desensitize the children to touch in order to gauge their reaction to sexual contact.

Bernard, 39, of Hammond is the first of the seven former church members indicted in 2005 to go to trial in the 21st Judicial District Court. He is charged with aggravated rape.

Lisa Marie Frietas, who is now a federal prosecutor in Washington D.C., also testified that Bernard said one of the games the children would play was being blindfolded and tickled to judge their reaction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Diocese: Fay still a priest, still getting paid

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter

“It’s not enough to live on.”

That’s how diocesan spokesman Joseph McAleer describes the allowance the Rev. Michael Jude Fay still receives from the Diocese of Bridgeport.

McAleer confirmed that Fay, who will be sentenced Tuesday for stealing millions from his parishioners to fund a lavish lifestyle, still draws a modest salary.

And while it’s “not enough to live on,” that depends on one’s definition of living.

In Fay’s case, for years, living included four star restaurants, world travel, first class shopping, and limousines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Surprise witness testifies in case against Catholic diocese

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2007
A surprise witness in the lawsuit brought a Virginia man who claims he was molested by a Vermont priest in 1977 told the jury Thursday that the same priest performed a sex act on him during a children’s sleepover at a Burlington church two years earlier.

“I woke up sometime in the night to somebody who was touching me,” the witness said.

“Who was that somebody,” asked Jerome O’Neill, a lawyer for James Turner of Virginia Beach, Va., who says he was molested by the Rev. Alfred Willis in a roomful of sleeping friends and family members at a Latham, N.Y. motel in 1977.

“It was Al Willis,” the witness answered. The man’s name was provided to the jury but according to O’Neill he has asked not to have his name released publicly. The Free Press does not disclose the names of victims of alleged sex crimes without their permission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Fay's attorney recommends priest stays out of jail

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

Nov 29, 2007
BREAKING NEWS - THURSDAY

By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter

In response to the U.S. Attorney’s recommended sentence of four to five years of jail time, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay’s attorney has responded with a recommendation of no jail time. The judge presiding over the case is still accepting written information from victims and other interested parties before the sentencing.

Fay’s lawyer, Lawrence Hopkins, filed the sentencing memorandum on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The memo outlines Fay’s service to the dying, including excerpts of letters written in his defense by former parishioners. The memo also describes the dire condition of Fay’s health and the conclusion states that “any significant sentence of incarceration will likely result in the defendants dying alone in prison. This would be an unduly harsh result in light of Michael Fay’s lifelong commitment to comfort the dying.”

Additionally, the memorandum includes exhibits from Fay’s doctor describing his health condition and possible treatments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Ex-Buddhist priest stole ¥150 million

JAPAN
The Japan Times

KYOTO (Kyodo) Police arrested an unfrocked Buddhist priest Thursday on suspicion of embezzling about ¥150 million from the Kyoto headquarters of the Jodo Shu sect.

Yoshifumi Kuwao, 52, is suspected of withdrawing the money from the Buddhist faction's bank account on about 30 occasions from January 2003 to September 2004 and pocketing it while he was in charge of treasury affairs at the headquarters, police said.

Kuwao has owned up to the allegations, they said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Judge cancels contempt hearing of Orange bishop

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

Bishop Tod Brown no longer faces contempt charges, which could have resulted in jail time for the highest-ranking Catholic official in Orange County.

A contempt hearing scheduled for next week – part of sex-abuse litigation between four women and the Diocese of Orange – has been dismissed by a judge. Though the cases were settled for a combined $6.7 million in October, the contempt hearing was set to go forward Monday.

But in a statement today, Brown called the settlements "but one measure of our sincere regret for the events of the past."

"Moreover, they represent my own commitment to preventing events such as these from ever happening again," he added in a prepared statement.

Venus Soltan, one of the lawyers who represented the women, said the hearing would have implicated Brown regarding past sex-abuse cases in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Lawsuit against Fahy is tossed

LODI (CA)
News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow
News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Last updated: Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:54 AM PST

A lawsuit alleging the sexual abuse of a child by the late Father Murty Fahy has been dismissed, according to the Stockton Diocese.

Fahy allegedly abused a girl about 30 times while she was in the second through fifth grades at St. Anne's School in Lodi during the 1990s, according to the $3 million lawsuit filed in December 2006.

"The (diocese) investigation did not reveal any facts which suggested that Father Fahy had ever acted improperly toward children," Bishop Stephen Blaire said in a prepared statement released on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think it's great (news)," St. Anne's Deacon Don Bo said. "I think it'll make everybody who knew Father Fahy feel good, because it is in the past now and I hope whoever brought it forward can find some peace."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

"Usiamo gli aiuti per il bene comune l'Italia dovrebbe ringraziare la Chiesa"

ITALY
La Repubblica

Journalist Curzio Maltese interviewed Monsignor Atuire, director of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, the Vatican world-wide travel company.

The headline is ""WE USE THE HELP FOR THE COMMON GOOD, ITALY COULD BE GRATEFUL TO THE CHURCH"

After a series of articles about how much the Catholic church is costing Italian taxpayers, this journalist gathered reactions, especially one from the Vatican Secretary of State who said, "Let's stop it." Monsignor Atuire was willing to be interviewed on the subject. He is a 40-year-old native of Ghana who became a priest 10 years ago after studying to be an engineer in London and receiving a degree in philosophy from the Pontifical University. Cardinal Camillo Ruini made him CEO of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi six months ago. This is a travel business that serves millions of pilgrims each year. He could be a member of any government in Europe, he speaks half a dozen languages and he is learned in subjects varying from medieval history to the most updated marketing techniques. His only defect, at least for a politician in Italy, is that he has a high sense of humor.

His answers to the charges of the journalist are as follows:

1) It's not true that Luciano Moggi, a very known businessman with a bad reputation, was one of the patrons of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi.

2) It wasn't true that, as the Wall Street Journal wrote in the recent past, the number of pilgrims who travel with the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi reaches 5 million a year.

3) He doesn't share the view that religious tourism gets fiscal privileges, uses unpaid or underpaid workers, doesn't pay taxes and damages fair competition.

4) He recognizes the workers rights, even if they have no trade union affiliates. Maternity leave is guaranteed up to three years. The workers are not exploited and as John XXIII said once, responding to the question,"How many people work in the Vatican?" He answered "half of them."

5) As to real estate tax evasion he denies it, for they use normal touristic structures in Italy and everywhere and they pay taxes according to the laws. They don't run real estate but they only offer services.
.
6) He says there are no privileges and that his work is also meant to help tourism in Italy, which was in the past the first country in the world for tourism but that it has now descended to fifth place. Italy hasn't a real tourism policy. Only sea and mountain resorts are being publicized but other countries like Croatia and Egypt can offer the same at a lower price. The real underestimated and inimitable treasures of Italy are the many little medieval towns, often abandoned or not sufficiently evaluated. The Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi wants to restore those places, in favor of Italy and Europe too. Pilgrimages were for centuries the only way Europeans could know each other, meet each other, speak to each other, in the brief intervals between the wars.

7) He denies they sell false reliquaries, like amulets or fake symbols. Pilgrims are warned in Fatima, Guadalupe and Lourdes that it's not the water which makes miracles. He says it's the private businessmen who make those kind of speculations.

8) It's not true, like Israel's government says, that we want fiscal or exclusive privileges in the Holy Land. The truth is that the primary source for the Palestinians is the presence of the pilgrims in Bethlehem and our bringing them there to buy things in the local artisan shops is the only way for the people to survive. It's true we want to use our guides, because they are trained as Catholics who explain to other Catholics who want to know the places described in the Bible and the New Testament and they are not interested to assume unilateral positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the contrary, they want to be messengers of peace in the Holy Land.

9) He says that the ambiguity and confusion of the roles between state and church in Italy is due to the past history. In other countries, people give their money voluntarily to their church. But in Italy the Vatican state was born after the cancellation of the temporal powers which had been previously exercised by the church. Then there was the signing of the Concordato (The Accord) between Mussolini and the Pope. In Italy, he says there is a kind of conviction that the church is a political institution more than a reality regarding all its citizens. In each country there are historical facts and motivations which brought to the way in which the presence of the church is perceived. He says it would be intellectually honest, however, if there were concrete problems to be solved, to face them with no prejudice and for the common good.

10) He doesn't know if the Concordato must be rewritten but he only knows that dialogue instead of shouting is very important.

11) He doesn't know if his position is shared by the other Catholic hierarchies as well as the journalist can't be sure that his positions are shared by the Italian laity.

The journalist responds he is not sure, too, but that a dialogue can begin. The answer of Monsignor Atuire is that, "In Italy a normal and civil discussion is becoming very difficult. There is always someone ready to brand everything. If you say something you can be branded as a 'clerical.' You say another thing you can be branded 'anti-clerical' and so on for the words fascist, communist etc." For centuries, he says, secular and Catholic people have had a dialogue. "I'm favorable to the recuperation of the pilgrims' streets, not to the crusades.", he concludes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Did Brown really want to clear name?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com

When Bishop Tod Brown appeared in court on Oct. 9, his lawyer, Peter Callahan, insisted Brown wanted to stand before Judge Gail Andler and clear himself of contempt-of-court charges.

Well, that's not going to happen. Andler canceled the Dec. 3 hearing after the monetary part of the molestation lawsuit was settled. Just why and how that came to pass is the subject of debate. Clearly, it was Andler's final decision to make – but would she have done so if Callahan had been as insistent before the court last week as he was on Oct. 9? Let's review.

Victims' attorney John Manly had filed the contempt motion, alleging Brown violated a court order by sending Monsignor John Urell to Canada last summer to keep him from having to testify in the molestation case then pending.

So on Oct. 9, the day the $6.7 million settlement was verbally agreed to in court, the contempt issue was also addressed. "He's here to answer the claims of contempt against him," Callahan told Andler as the bishop stood at his side. "… We are here today for a decision by you."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Victim in sex case ruled not competent

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Nov 20, 2007 - Page: 1B

AMITE — A 7-year-old named as a victim in the Hosanna Church sex abuse case is not competent to testify, state District Judge Doug Hughes ruled Monday.

Hughes issued the written ruling Monday in response to a motion by Austin “Trey” Bernard III’s attorney to quash the testimony of and videotaped statements given by the girl.

Bernard, 39, of Hammond, is one of seven members of the now-defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula indicted in 2005 on charges of having sex with children as part of occult rituals. His trial is set to begin Monday.

Bernard faces one count of aggravated rape, accused of having sex with the girl in 2002 when she was 2. He faces no other charges at trial, but the investigation included two other alleged victims, both boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Testimony set to begin in Hosanna Church case

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Nov 28, 2007 - Page: 4B

AMITE — Competing versions of what really happened at the Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula are expected to start unfolding before a jury today.

Opening statements by the prosecution and defense are scheduled in the state’s first trial growing out of ritual child abuse allegations involving church members.

Austin “Trey” Bernard III, 39, Hammond, is the first of the seven members of the now-defunct church to go to trial on charges of the aggravated rapes of a 2-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy in 2001 and 2002.

The incendiary Hosanna case erupted in April 2005 when the former pastor of the church allegedly confessed to abusing many children as part of occult rituals, such as drinking cat’s blood. Arrests of other church members quickly followed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Church Member Confessed To Abuse, DA Says

AMITE (LA)
WDSU

AMITE, La. -- Opening statements are finished and testimony has begun in the trial for one of seven members of a now-defunct church accused of having sex with children as part of occult rituals.

Austin "Trey" Bernard III, of Hammond, was a member of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula. He is accused of three counts of aggravated rape, including two counts involving a 2-year-old girl and one involving a juvenile boy.

The district attorney's office said in its hour-long statement that Bernard confessed to the FBI and the Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's office.

Nicole Bernard, the ex-wife of the accused, will testify first for the prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Appeal court reverses call on abuse case

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Nov 22, 2007 - Page: 1B

HAMMOND — A 7-year-old girl listed as a victim in the Hosanna Church sex abuse case cannot be ruled incompetent unless the court first reviews evidence about her mental capacity, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge ruled Wednesday.

This decision reversed a ruling state District Judge Doug Hughes made on Monday declaring the child incompetent to testify based on her age at the time of the alleged abuse.

The appellate court also upheld a ruling Hughes made on Oct. 9 that two other listed victims — boys ages 16 and 12 at the time of the alleged abuse — can testify during the Hosanna trial.

The two rulings are part of the state’s case against Austin “Trey” Bernard III, 39, of Hammond, whose trial on charges of aggravated rape of the 7-year-old girl is scheduled to begin next week in the 21st Judicial District Court in Amite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Trial starts in Louisiana occult church child rape

LOUISIANA
New Zealand Herald

10:08AM Wednesday November 28, 2007

LOUISIANA - A trial has started for a man accused of having sex with children as part of occult rituals alleged among members of a now-defunct Louisiana church.

Austin "Trey" Bernard III, 39, faces three counts of aggravated rape involving children, including a 2-year-old girl.

Bernard is the first of seven members of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula to go on trial since the allegations broke in 2005.

The crimes allegedly occurred in 2001 and 2002, amid reports that occult rituals and the killing of dogs and cats were involved. But Don Wall, an assistant district attorney in Tangipahoa Parish, told potential jurors there would be little mention of that at trial because devil worship is not against the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

First witness takes stand in Hosanna Church trial

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Florida parishes bureau
Published: Nov 28, 2007 - UPDATED: 1:25 p.m.

AMITE — Nicole Bernard testified this morning that she discovered her young daughter had been raped by her then-estranged husband when the girl told her about her nightmares.

Bernard, 38, of Ohio, related the scene as the state’s first witness in its aggravated rape case against Austin “Trey” Bernard III, 39, of Hammond, the first of the Hosanna Church sex abuse suspects to go to trial.

He is accused of having oral sex with his then 2-year-old daughter and anal sex with a 12-year-old boy, Assistant District Attorney Don Wall told the jury in his opening statement.

Trey Bernard is one of seven members of the now defunct Ponchatoula church indicted in 2005 for abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Homily for the Red Mass

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
Diocese of Grand Rapids

This links to the full text of the homily Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Chicago gave at the Red Mass in Grand Rapids, Mich. The title was "Carrying the Cross in a Litigious Culture."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Abuse suit against diocese dropped

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

By Anna Kaplan
Record Staff Writer
November 29, 2007 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - A civil suit accusing a deceased Lodi Catholic priest of sexually abusing a second-grade girl was dropped by the plaintiff on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old former parochial school student filed a suit against the Diocese of Stockton in December alleging that the Rev. Murty Fahy sexually abused her for three years, starting when she was in the second grade at St. Anne's Elementary School in Lodi.

He was a priest until his death in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Hold off on the Clinton coronation

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Dan Payne
November 15, 2007
FOR MONTHS, Democrats have asked one another, "Is it over? Does Hillary Clinton have it wrapped up?" For months the answer was, probably. Not any more.

more stories like thisOne night in Philadelphia. You could feel the inevitability slipping from Clinton the night of the Oct. 30 debate in Philadelphia, when she ducked and dodged on allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses. Incredulous, her opponents on the stage pounced immediately. ...

Friends of Rudy. The man who brags about his executive experience may be the worst judge of character in the presidential field. Rudy Giuliani's friend and business partner, Bernard Kerik, was indicted for lying, tax evasion, and taking money from an outfit with mob ties, a situation about which Giuliani had been briefed. Kerik was no ordinary mayoral appointee: Rudy asked him to be his campaign driver; helped him move through law enforcement ranks; named him New York City police chief; then tried to foist him off on the president as Homeland Security director.

Then there's the accused child molester, Monsignor Alan Placa, who admitted that he was implicated in a 2003 grand jury child abuse report but denied molesting children. The statute of limitations had expired. Placa was removed from his parish by the church. He now works at Giuliani Partners in New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Giuliani's best buddies

UNITED STATES
WorldNet Daily

Judith Reisman

The far left press happily ignores Rudy Giuliani's fun-loving cross-dressing and his support of abortion. These, after all, are "liberal" attitudes.
However, on Nov. 10, New York Times columnist Gail Collins writing on "Rudy and Bernie: B.F.F.'s," asks if Americans want a president who "values loyalty above all else."

She answers: No! "Loyalty is a terribly important consideration if you're choosing a pet, but not a Cabinet member." ...

Russell's child pornography crimes are a natural segue to Giuliani's dear old friend Monsignor Alan Placa. A recent ABC News story cited Placa as employed at Giuliani Partners, "though he's been credibly accused by a Long Island grand jury of both covering up and engaging in child abuse," of two former teenage students and an altar boy.

The report noted that Placa toured Italy recently with Rudy and his latest wife. (Collins points out that Placa had Giuliani's 14-year-long marriage annulled after Rudy remembered his first wife was his second cousin.)

Although Giuliani has distanced himself from buddy Kerik, he has stayed loyal to Placa, saying on YouTube: "I know the man. I know who he is, so I support him."

However, one of Placa's accusers, Richard Tollner, says, "This man did unjust things, and he's being protected and employed and taken care of. It's not a good thing." Tollner, now a mortgage broker in Albany, N.Y., testified to the grand jury in 2000 that Placa molested him repeatedly when he was a student at a Long Island Catholic boys high school in 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Mom: Girl's Nightmares Revealed Sexual Abuse

AMITE (LA)
WDSU

NEW ORLEANS -- A mother testified in court Wednesday that her 2-year-old's nightmares tipped her off that the child was being sexually abused by her father.

Nicole Bernard's testimony against her ex-husband came as trial got under way in Amite for Austin "Trey" Bernard III, of Hammond. He is Nicole Bernard's ex-husband and is one of seven members of a church accused of having sex with children in occult rituals.

Austin Bernard is accused of having sexual contact with his daughter and with a boy who was 12 at the time. The crimes allegedly occurred in 2001 and 2002 and there were reports of satanic rituals by church members and the killing of dogs and cats were involved.

Tangipahoa Parish Assistant District Attorney Don Wall said the alleged devil worship will not be a focal point of the trial because such worship is not against the law. The case, he said, will instead focus on the illegal sex acts alleged to have occurred during the rituals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Bill would allow lawsuits in old sexual abuse cases

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By TOM HEINEN
theinen@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 28, 2007
Two Wisconsin legislators introduced a bill Wednesday that would provide a three-year grace period for the filing of lawsuits by victims of childhood sexual abuse whose cases otherwise would be too old to pursue.

And, instead of limiting that window of opportunity to victims of clergy abuse, the bill would open it to people victimized by anyone.

Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) and Rep. Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) also would repeal all time limits, known as statutes of limitation, for civil suits by future victims.

If their bipartisan proposal, called the Child Victim's Act, gains enough traction for approval before the Legislature's session ends next spring - a difficult feat - Wisconsin would join the ranks of a small but growing number of states that have eliminated statutes of limitation for such cases and/or opened the courthouse doors for lawsuits in cases that otherwise would be too old to file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Cardinal Ouellet's apology greeted with praise and suspicion

CANADA
Canadian Christianity

By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

OTTAWA -- Cardinal Marc Ouellet's apology to Quebeckers for the past sins of some Catholics in that province has provoked an unprecedented response -- both positive and negative -- across the country.

Some have described it as risky but prophetic act of leadership. Others have called it a calculating political move in his battle against the mandatory ethics and religious culture course Quebec plans to impose on public and private schools next fall. Others say the apology did not go far enough. Some reports have painted him as isolated -- a lone voice not supported by his brother bishops inside Quebec or the rest of Canada.

On November 21, Ouellet, writing as Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, issued an open letter to Quebec papers inviting Catholics "to perform an act of repentance and reconciliation" that he promised would continue during Lent as a lead-up to the 2008 Eucharistic Congress in Quebec.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Pastor charged with sex crimes

ALABAMA
Press-Register

Thursday, November 29, 2007
By SUSAN DAKER and RON COLQUITT
Staff Reporters
The pastor of a small Washington County Baptist Church was arrested and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy in connection with a nearly 10-year-old incident involving a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.

The Rev. Leonard Frazier, 55, of Stonewall Baptist Church near Chatom, was booked into Mobile County Metro Jail on Tuesday on the basis of a grand jury indictment. He was released on bail totaling $15,000, according to jail records.

A phone call made to Frazier's home in Mount Vernon on Tuesday evening resulted in no comment. No one answered the telephone at the church Wednesday.

The alleged victim is now in her mid-20s, said Steve Giardini, the Mobile County assistant district attorney who prosecutes child-abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Catholic officials gather to consider openness

SHREVEPORT (LA)
The Shreveport Times

November 28, 2007

By Diane Haag
dhaag@gannett.com

Accountability was on the mind of more than 100 Catholic officials gathered at the Shreveport Convention Center for the Conference of Chancery and Tribunal officials.

Clergy and lay people came from 11 dioceses in three states to network and explore the possibility of lifting the attitude of secrecy that has been part of the church’s culture.

“I hope they take away that the church is very serious about accountability and transparency, not only in dealing with the (sex abuse) scandals but dealing with finances and other structures,” said Sister Marilyn Vassallo, president of the conference board.

Bishop Randolf Calvo, of Reno, Nev., gave the keynote address Wednesday. He said he sees individual dioceses more willing to be open. They’re just trying to figure out how.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Court Citation Dropped against OC Bishop

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KNX

LOS ANGELES (KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO) -- A contempt of court citation against the Roman Catholic bishop of Orange County has been dropped, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs in a $7 million sexual abuse lawsuit.

Attorneys for the four alleged victims asked for the citation after Bishop Tod Brown sent a church official and potential witness to Canada for unspecified medical treatment, rendering them unavailable to testify in any potential trial.

The diocese says the plaintiffs and the diocese finalized the settlement on November 20th which included the dismissal of the citation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

THE SOULVINE

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Wave

By BETTY PLEASANT, Contributing Editor
SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN — AGAIN — Turn we now to the Roman Catholic Church. Specifically, the Los Angeles Archdiocese of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. The church agreed earlier this year to pay $660 million in damages to more than 500 men and women who were sexually abused by Catholic priests when they were children. Now it’s time to start coming up with the money and the church is doing it to the children again.

Insurance companies will pay half that money, but the archdiocese has to come up with cold, hard cash to pay the other half. And where will the church get it? From the only place it can: It has to sell some of the many pieces of property it owns throughout this vast region. And what property is it selling? That little rectory in Oxnard where the three nuns live and Daniel Murphy High School, the last remaining predominantly African-American Catholic high school in the central city.

Last month archdiocese officials announced it was closing the school on account of a decade of declining enrollment. They didn’t mention the fact that the school sits on a big chunk of prime real estate in the Hancock Park area and that its sale would fetch a substantial sum toward meeting its $330 million settlement debt. Since that announcement, hundreds of the school’s alumni, parents and outraged inner-city Catholics and others of goodwill have mobilized to force archdiocesan officials to consider alternatives and reconsider their decision to close the school. They have met with Msgr. Royale Vadakin, moderator of the curia, and Nancy Coonis, superintendent of secondary schools, to discuss options to the school’s closure. But no dice. Every alternative the parents and alumni et al. have suggested has been shot down as not open for discussion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Man sues over alleged sexual abuse by Franciscan brother

CARLSBAD (NM)
KDBC

Associated Press - November 28, 2007 10:25 PM ET

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A former Carlsbad resident who claims a Franciscan brother sexually abused him as a teenager in the late 1970s is suing the brother, the order he belongs to and two local parishes.

The civil lawsuit was filed today in state district court in Carlsbad.

It names brother Kerry Guillory, the Conventual Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Consolation, the San Jose Catholic Church of Carlsbad and St. Edward Catholic Church of Carlsbad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Contempt Citation Against Bishop Dropped

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Associated Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Lawyers said Wednesday that a contempt-of-court citation against the Roman Catholic bishop of Orange County was dropped as part of the completion of a nearly $7 million sexual abuse settlement.

Even as the sides announced the citation against Bishop Tod D. Brown was being dropped, they bickered over how that came about, with a plaintiffs' attorney insisting it was tied to the church's pursestrings.

Attorneys for four plaintiffs who allege they were abused by Diocese of Orange lay workers had asked a judge to hold Brown in contempt after he abruptly sent a high-ranking church official and potential witness to Canada for undisclosed medical treatment before trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Lawsuit claims sex abuse in Carlsbad Catholic churches

CARLSBAD (NM)
Carlsbad Current Argus

By Tom Moody
Article Launched: 11/28/2007 08:56:06 PM MST

CARLSBAD — In a lawsuit filed here Wednesday, a former Carlsbad resident claims he was sexually abused by a Franciscan brother while he was a teenage student and parishioner at San Jose and St. Edward Catholic churches.

The civil suit seeks unspecified damages for alleged sexual assaults by Brother Kerry Guillory during the years between 1975 and 1978, when the victim was age 13 to 17. As a result of the years of abuse, the plaintiff claims, he now suffers a host of emotional problems, including difficulty with relationships and trust.

Guillory was working with the Catholic Youth Organization in Carlsbad at the time the alleged abuse took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Contempt citation against O.C. bishop dropped

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By David Haldane, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 29, 2007
A contempt-of-court citation against the Roman Catholic bishop of Orange County has been dropped as part of a nearly $7-million sexual abuse settlement, attorneys said Wednesday.

But the opposing sides disagreed over what led to the action.

Lawyers for the four women allegedly molested by Catholic school and parish employees said the diocese forced them to drop their bid for the citation.

"The diocese insisted that it be done this way or they would have refused to pay our clients," said John Manly, a spokesman for the women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Suit accuses Catholic brother of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

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

A Roman Catholic Franciscan brother who manages a Louisville shelter is being accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed yesterday in New Mexico.

The lawsuit accuses Brother Kerry Guillory of sexually harassing and abusing a teenage boy in 1976 and 1977 when Guillory was assigned to parishes in that state.

The plaintiff -- who goes by the name "John GE Doe" in the lawsuit -- alleges that Guillory sexually harassed, abused and sodomized him when Guillory was supervising Catholic youth activities in New Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

City inquiry bill $4.3M

CANADA
The Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Posted By Elisabeth Johns

The Cornwall Community Police has spent more than eight other parties combined at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

And the total bill for the inquiry itself sits at $11.96 million.

To date, the city's costs at the inquiry through the police service, has totalled some $4.3 million, it was announced Wednesday.

The province covered $3.2 million of the city's tab, up until March 31, 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

DOWN AND DIRTY

UNITED STATES
The American Spectator

The Romney campaign has continued to shop negative stories about former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to reporters on the road and in the national media. Earlier in the week, the Romney team was pushing stories about Giuliani's relationship to a Roman Catholic priest suspected of being part of a sexual abuse scandal in New York. And the campaign continues to push storylines around indicted former Giuliani partner, Bernard Kerik.

The Romney campaign is also being credited for pushing stories about Giuliani's ties to the largest shareholder of al Jazeera TV, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, who has reportedly steered security contracts with Qatar government and a Qatar-based petroleum company to a subsidiary of Giuliani Partners.

"The Romney campaign has been the best research staff on the campaign trail now," says a source inside another campaign. "They have the money to spend to get the information they need and to get it out there."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Accuser takes stand in church abuse case

BURLINGTON (VT)
Rutland Herald

November 29, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

BURLINGTON — James Turner sat on the same witness stand and told the same story alleging how a Vermont priest sexually abused him as a teenager 30 years ago.

But unlike the first time Turner testified last June, Wednesday didn't end in a mistrial.

Instead, the 47-year-old Northeast Kingdom native told a new judge and jury about his claim that the former Rev. Alfred Willis — a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Milton before being defrocked in 1985 — performed oral sex on him when he was 16, and why he's holding the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese responsible in a civil lawsuit in Chittenden Superior Court.

"I was taught that a priest was God's representative on Earth," Turner said. "You were taught you could trust a priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

How the Push for Religious Accommodation Can Go Too Far: Two Important Recent Examples

UNITED STATES
FindLaaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007

I wrote my 2005 book, God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law, to introduce the public to the fact that religious entities have sought and received numerous privileges to get around important laws, and that a number of these exemptions have the capacity to harm others. I catalogued dozens of examples, including faith-healing interests who pushed to legally immunize parents who medically neglected their children, religious organizations that argued they should not be liable for the child sex abuse they caused, and churches that demanded the right to trump local zoning laws. A year and a half after the book was published, the New York Times ran an excellent series by Diana Henriques pointing to the same phenomenon, entitled "In God's Name."

Unlike Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins, who would like to rid the world of religion and God-talk, I'm a believer - but a hardheaded one, who knows full well that religious believers are perfectly capable of abusing the power they wield in our culture. Wearing rose-colored glasses when it comes to religion is hazardous, to say the least.

Today, in 2007, the problem only continues. Indeed, there are two striking recent examples of such overreaching. ....

The Second Example: The Roman Catholic Church Hierarchy's Attempt to Revive the All-But-Dead Doctrine of Charitable Immunity to Avoid Liability for the Childhood Sexual Abuse It Fostered

There is no need here to reiterate the mountain of facts that proves, beyond any doubt, that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has hidden the identities of child predators among its clergy for decades. Over the last decade or so, the Church has had to come to terms with the United States' legal system, which imposes criminal and tort liability on organizations that foster child abuse. The practice has hardly ended: Cardinal Francis George, the new head of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops hid the identity of an abusing priest within the last couple of years. Moreover, the Jesuits, until very recently, resolutely shielded one of the worst predators of all, Fr. Donald J. McGuire, creating opportunities for him to sexually abuse one child after another, sometimes for years.

The Church hierarchy has also fought tooth and nail to avoid its well-deserved liability, in the courts and in the court of public opinion. Untold millions have been spent on public relations and lawyers to persuade the courts and the public that the hierarchy will go "bankrupt" if it is forced to face all of the harm it produced. Now, we have a fresh proposal from Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, to immunize the Church from liability. He delivered his message at a Red Mass in Grand Rapids on October 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Man suing Vermont diocese takes stand

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The man suing the state's Roman Catholic diocese for failing to protect him from being molested by a priest in 1977 said Wednesday he didn't talk about it afterward because he was embarrassed and unsure anyone would believe him.

"Who was going to believe me, a kid?" James Turner, 47, of Virginia Beach, Va., asked a Chittenden Superior Court jury in Burlington on Wednesday. "I wouldn't know how to say it. I didn't know how to deal with what happened."

Turner claims he awoke in a Latham, N.Y., motel room to find the Rev. Alfred Willis performing a sex act upon him. Willis was in the room with seven Turner family members and friends who were asleep after attending a religious ceremony for his brother, who was about to become a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

November 28, 2007

Contempt Citation Against Bishop Dropped

SANTA ANA (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

(11-28) 18:22 PST Santa Ana, Calif. (AP) --

Lawyers said Wednesday that a contempt-of-court citation against the Roman Catholic bishop of Orange County was dropped as part of the finalization of a nearly $7 million sexual abuse settlement.

Attorneys for four plaintiffs who allege they were abused by Diocese of Orange lay workers had asked for the citation after Bishop Tod D. Brown abruptly sent a high-ranking church official and potential witness to Canada for undisclosed medical treatment before trial.

The dismissal was announced in a statement by the Diocese of Orange and confirmed by plaintiffs' attorney John Manly.

The accusers and the diocese finalized the settlement on Nov. 20, which resulted in the dismissal of the contempt citation, said Ryan Lilyengren, spokesman for the diocese. He said the dismissal of the citation was not required for the victims to receive money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

Meramec College Suspends Choral Director

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Webster-Kirkwood Times

November 23, 2007
St. Louis Community College officials have suspended the choral director at the Meramec campus in Kirkwood after receiving documents from a sex abuse case presented to them from the plaintiff, Sarah Gray.

Larry Stukenholtz, a music teacher named in a suit by Gray for alleged abuse when she was a student of his in California, was suspended with pay on Friday. The suspension will continue while college officials review Gray's accusations that he had sex with her when she was his high school student at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Santa Ana, Calif.

In a statement released Friday, Community College spokeswoman Pat Crowe noted that "the alleged misconduct took place while Stukenholtz was employed as a high school music teacher in California during the 1990s. The college will make a decision about Stukenholtz's employment status upon the conclusion of the review of the relevant information."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Richard Roberts says God told him to resign

TULSA (OK)
The Oklahoman

TULSA (AP) - Richard Roberts told students at Oral Roberts University Wednesday that he did not want to resign as president of the scandal-plagued evangelical school, but did so because God insisted.

Roberts told students in the university's chapel that God told him on Thanksgiving morning that he should resign the next day.

Roberts said he resisted the idea, and that "every ounce of my flesh said 'no,'" and prayed over the decision with his wife, Lindsay Roberts, his father, Oral Roberts, and his children Friday morning.

He said God told him he would "do something supernatural for the university," if he stepped down from the job he held at the 5,700-student school since 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Diocese considering action against indicted priest

ARIZONA
KVOA

Associated Press - November 28, 2007 9:24 AM ET

PHOENIX (AP) - A priest awaiting trial on misdemeanor sex charges could be facing punishment from the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

Monsignor Dale Fushek (FYOO'-shek) defied his administrative suspension and led a non-denominational service in Mesa on Thanksgiving Day.

A diocese spokesman says officials are looking into the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Franciscan brother accused of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier Journal

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

A Roman Catholic Franciscan brother who manages a Louisville shelter is being accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New Mexico.

The lawsuit accuses Brother Kerry Guillory of sexually harassing and abusing a teenage boy in the 1976 and 1977 when Guillory was assigned to parishes in that state.

The plaintiff -- who goes by the name "John GE Doe" in the lawsuit -- alleges that Guillory sexually harassed, abused and sodomized him when Guillory was supervising Catholic youth activities in New Mexico.

The plaintiff, who said he was about 16 at the time, says Guillory provided him alcohol and marijuana to weaken his resistance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Rudy Giuliani, Teflon Candidate

UNITED STATES
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

By Steve Rendall

Does Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani have some dirt on the press corps? How else to explain the free pass journalists have repeatedly granted him on stories that would threaten to sink less-favored candidates, particularly of the Democratic variety? (See sidebar.)

If Ronald Reagan was the “Teflon president” to whom no bad news would stick, then Giuliani would seem to be the Teflon candidate. ...

Defining ‘family values’ down?

The South Carolina scandal was just one of the seemingly juicy stories about Giuliani that political reporters didn’t bite at. On June 22, for example, Salon reporters Alex Koppelman and Joe Strupp revealed that Giuliani employs an old friend who has been linked to child sexual abuse:

Giuliani employs his childhood friend Monsignor Alan Placa as a consultant at Giuliani Partners despite a 2003 Suffolk County, N.Y., grand jury report that accuses Placa of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests.

The reason Placa wasn’t indicted, according to a National Catholic Reporter article (2/21/03), is because the suspended priest, who is also an attorney, expertly stalled his case and those of other accused priests beyond the statute of limitations. Through his office, Giuliani has said he believes Placa is falsely accused, though Placa’s efforts to thwart lawsuits by sex abuse victims are a matter of public record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Another dirty trick against Mitt in Iowa?

UNITED STATES
Jonathan Martin's Blog

Watch out South Carolina, Iowa is shaping up to be just as down and dirty this cycle.

Hawkeye State Republicans received an e-mail yesterday purportedly from David Overholtzer, co-chair of the Pottawattamie County GOP and a paid Romney-backer there.

"Giuliani and his Pedophile Friends," read the eyebrow-raising subject line of a message that was forwarded by one of Romney's rivals in Iowa.

"If Rudy becomes president, is he planning on putting people like Catholic priest Msgr. Alan Placa in his Cabinet?" asked the person claiming to be Overholtzer in the body of the message, imploring fellow Iowans to keep Placa in mind when they vote and to pass the word about this association.

Placa, of course, is the longtime friend of Giuliani who has been accused of child molestation. Giuliani has stood by Placa and the former priest works for the former mayor's consulting firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Romney Campaign Blasts 'Dirty Trick' E-Mail

WASHINGTON (DC)
Fox News

WASHINGTON — The Romney campaign is incensed over what they are calling a "dirty trick" involving an e-mail attributed to one of its operatives that questions Rudy Giuliani's friendship with a Catholic priest accused of pedophilia.

The e-mail supposedly was sent out by David Overholtzer, co-chair of the Pottawattamie County GOP in South Carolina and a paid Romney backer. The e-mail asks the question: "If Rudy becomes president, is he planning on putting people like Catholic priest Msgr. Alan Placa in his Cabinet? I hope not! Remember Fr. Placa when you go to the caucuses, and make sure your friends know, too!"

Placa, who was suspended after a New York grand jury investigation of priests suspected of molesting young boys referred to him as one of the perpetrators, is a childhood friend of Giuliani and had been working for the former New York City mayor's consulting firm for the last five years. Giuliani has steadfastly stood by his friend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Judge Haley Fromholz, retiring this week, issues one last order to stop Salesians from holding up entire LA settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Judge Haley Fromholz retires this week and his last act in the Clergy Cases was to stop the Salesians from holding up all 500-plus payments in the $660 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

In a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Fromholz’ court, attorneys for Salesians Religious Order argued that the July settlement was illegal as it included payment to the 17 cases involving their religious order which are yet to be resolved, because the Salesians refused to settle.

In the courtroom yesterday it was Hennigan’s firm for the Archdiocese on the defense against Steve McFeely and Robert Leventhal from Foley & Lardner for the Salesians. Several plaintiff attorneys were in the viewing area, occasionally jumping up to join the fray in front of the judge.

Tony DeMarco, plaintiff liaison, explained: the archdiocese is guaranteeing payment of the 17 Salesian cases “but plaintiffs are still obliged” to go forward pursuing their case against the religious order. The settlement as it is written is “a guarantee of payment by the archdiocese.” He added that the checks will go out to all the LA plaintiffs soon after December 1st.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Spokane bishop begins apologies

SPOKANE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPOKANE -- At a prayer service in a Roman Catholic parish where at least two priests who sexually abused children once worked, Bishop William Skylstad apologized and asked parishioners' forgiveness.

Tuesday's visit to Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Parish in northwest Spokane, where Skylstad once served as pastor, was mandated by terms of a $48 million bankruptcy settlement.

Skylstad plans similar prayer services in about 30 of the 82 parishes in his Eastern Washington diocese. The services are part of a settlement to bring the diocese out of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that was precipitated by lawsuits filed by people who had been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Louisiana church member faces charges for allegedly abusing girl in occult ritual

LOUISIANA
Pravda

A member of a former church in Louisiana was charged with sexual abuse of children as part of occult rituals.

Austin "Trey" Bernard III, 39, who was a member of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula, is accused of one count of aggravated rape of a 2-year-old girl in 2002. Conviction would mean life in prison since prosecutors decided against seeking the death penalty.

About 80 potential jurors showed up at the courthouse.

Bernard, of Hammond, is one of seven Hosanna members indicted in 2005 on charges of having sex with children. The case also includes allegations of the ritual killings of dogs and cats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

COMMENTARY: Follow the Money - A Call to Action

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Online

By Miguel Cantamara
11/28/2007

LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online) - As the Presidential primary season approaches, it is time for Catholics to become aware of the sources of campaign finances for all of the candidates. One question which should be asked is whether there is money from the abuse settlements against the Catholic Church which has found its way into the coffers of any of the current political candidates?

The reason this question becomes particularly apropos is a recent discovery made in the current political field. One of the Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama, has as what some call his campaign ‘architect’ the same man who was the architect of a movement against the Catholic Church for the past five years: Marshall Ganz.

A union activist and a community organizer, Ganz teaches organizing for change at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He helped to organize a movement against the Catholic Church in which innocent faithful suffered harassment for doing nothing more than what Americans are promised in the U.S. Constitution, exercising their freedom to worship.

The Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) website proclaims Marshall Ganz's role in its formation. The organization is a Trojan horse which hid its ulterior motives in a contrived concern for the Church and the victims of abuse. Many good Catholics could see through VOTF, the problem is that there are few such wise Catholics in main stream American journalism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Silver lining for struggling dioceses

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Thomas J. Healey
November 28, 2007
WHEN THE Catholic Archdiocese of Boston advanced the cause of financial transparency last year by releasing volumes of once-tightly kept information, it was an extraordinary step for the entire US Catholic Church. At the same time it was facing up to its own mounting fiscal problems brought on by the sexual abuse crisis, the archdiocese was sending a signal to the rest of the church that a new era is dawning in terms of responsible financial stewardship and accountability.

It's a message the Church can ill afford to ignore. Beset with rising costs, dwindling reserves, and insufficient income, dioceses around the country are being forced to shut down schools and parishes, dismiss loyal staff members, and cut back on the evangelical work of the Church. In some cases, they've been reduced to once-unthinkable insolvency.

If there's a silver lining in all this, it's that financial distress is opening the door to uncommon opportunities for those dioceses and parishes willing to improve management of their temporal affairs. This means embracing the principles of not just financial transparency, but of effective long-range planning, enlightened fund-raising, personnel empowerment, and diocesan-wide economies of scale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

“Just go find another parish”

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
California Catholic Daily

A poster promoting a 2006 parish carnival at Hollywood’s Blessed Sacrament Church has provoked a series of escalating problems – to the point that some parishioners have asked the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to reign in their pastor.

Parishioner Larry Bugbee, spokesman for the “Committee of Hundreds of Parishioners and Friends” of Blessed Sacrament parish, says that their pastor, Fr. Michael Mandala, S.J., has promoted indecent entertainment at the last two parish carnivals, which included scantily-clad dancers making sexually suggestive movements in front of an audience of all ages.

The committee’s foremost complaint is over a poster promoting the 2006 carnival, which prominently displayed photographs of scantily clad women in suggestive poses. When a similar poster was circulated for the 2007 carnival, Fr. Mandala told one parishioner, “It’s not as bad as last year’s.”

According to the Los Angeles archdiocese’s document Respecting the Boundaries, “sexual abuse can include… showing sexually suggestive objects or pornography." Bugbee says the carnival poster fits that description. “All the children of Blessed Sacrament Parish were able to see this poster inside and outside the Church and school buildings,” he said. “Any child and any adult anywhere in the world was able to look at this poster for most of a year on the Blessed Sacrament website.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Retrial a first for priest molestation cases

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The Burlington retrial of a case involving claims by a Virginia man who says he was molested as a 16-year-old by a priest in 1977 might be history in the making, says the director of a national group that monitors priest sex abuse lawsuits.

David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Tuesday that few such lawsuits ever go to trial and none of the cases has ever been the subject of a retrial.

"It's definitely an anomaly, but a significant one," Clohessy said. "It shows that there is increasing resolution on the part of survivors of priest sexual abuse to use the legal process to expose the complicity of church officials in such cases."

James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., contends he was molested by the then-Rev. Alfred Willis in a Latham, N.Y., motel room and that Willis later tried to molest him again at his family's home in Derby before Turner rebuffed him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Did his past come back to haunt him?

STOCKTON (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire failed to win the chairmanship of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People -- though he has served on the committee for several years.

Instead, at their semi-annual meeting in Baltimore on Nov. 20, 130 U.S. bishops voted to give the committee chairmanship to Bishop Blaise Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota. Blaire, who is also president of the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, received the support of 101 bishops.

Blaire’s candidacy to head the committee, which is tasked with developing policies dealing with clergy abuse of minors, was opposed by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which describes itself as a “volunteer self-help organization of survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their supporters.”

SNAP opposed Blaire in part because he had wanted a California law that removed the statute of limitations of one year in cases of sexual abuse of minors to be overturned, according to the Nov. 14 Stockton Daily Record. The state law in question removed for 2003 the statute of limitations both in criminal and civil cases involving sexual abuse. In June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that removing the statute of limitations in criminal cases was unconstitutional. The court’s ruling did not affect civil cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Ex-priest's sentencing is set for Jan. 4

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

A sentencing date of Jan. 4 has been set for former Roman Catholic priest Daniel C. Clark, who pleaded guilty last week to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

Clark pleaded guilty in Bullitt Circuit Court shortly before he was scheduled to be retried on charges of abusing two Bullitt County brothers.

The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned his 2003 conviction in the case earlier this year, after he had served nearly four years of his 10-year sentence. The court said improper instructions were given to the jury and one of the witnesses should not have been allowed to testify

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Senator investigating Hinn, other television ministries

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christian Examiner

WASHINGTON — The leading Republican on the Senate Finance Committee is investigating prominent televangelists and their financial conduct, pursuing reports of elaborate private jets, Rolls Royces and indulgent salaries.

"It is important that the Congress and the public have confidence that public charities, which benefit from very significant tax breaks, are operated in a manner that promotes continued trust," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a Nov. 5 letter to the TV preachers.

Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn are among representatives of six ministries asked to hand over their records of expenses and compensations to Grassley. Because of their non-profit "church status," all of the ministries are tax-exempt and not required to submit their financial information to the Internal Revenue Service.

"I don't want to conclude that there's a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more," Grassley said. "I'm following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries."

Other ministries that Grassley has identified for investigation are Paula and Randy White, in Tampa, Fla.; Gloria and Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark, Texas; Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., and Creflo Dollar of World Changers International in College Park, Ga. who also sits on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 AM

Embattled Oral Roberts University getting $70M

TULSA (OK)
The Journal Record

by Kirby Lee Davis
The Journal Record November 28, 2007
The owners of the Hobby Lobby and Mardel retail chains pledged $70 million Tuesday to help the embattled Oral Roberts University from financial straits.

Mart Green said the Green family would provide $8 million now to help the Tulsa university handle short-term liquidity problems in the face of an estimated $52 million shortfall.

Pastor George Pearsons, chairman of the ORU Board of Regents, said the Christian school also had received a $2 million donation Tuesday from an unnamed source.

“ORU must restore its broken trust,” said Green, who voiced his support for the university’s spiritual mission. “Now is the time for healing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 AM

Former counseler pleads guilty to assault charges

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

Rob Kauder / Internet Content Manager, KXLY.com

SPOKANE -- A day before jury selection was set to begin in Bonner County, Louis Ladenburger, a former Catholic priest and counselor at a North Idaho private school, has pled guilty to aggravated assault against a minor.

Ladenburger pled guilty to aggravated assault on Monday. Jury selection in his trial was set to begin Tuesday.

Ladenburger,70, was arrested by the Bonner County's Special Victims Unit on May 30th following three weeks of investigations into allegations involving his Clark Fork, Idaho.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 AM

"Father Dale" Fallout

MESA (AZ)
12 News

Rich Dubek
12 News
Nov. 27, 2007 04:32 PM

Father Dale Fushek is still waiting on the courts to decide if he is eligible for a trial by jury. But Fushek is not waiting to conduct services again. The former St. Timothy's priest has opened his own prayer and worship center, a non-denominational service at the Mesa Convention Center. More than 500 people attended his first service on Thanksgiving day and he plans on holding more services in December.

But according to the Diocese of Phoenix, Fushek is still officially a priest on administrative leave and he has been specifically instructed not to conduct public or sacred ministries.

Those concerns were also communicated to St. Tim's parishioners on Sunday, when current St. Timothy's Pastor Jack Spaulding told churchgoers "he could not and would not support him in this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 AM

Diocese: Fushek’s service violated directives

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
The Rev. Dale Fushek, former pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa, violated terms of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, when he conducted a Thanksgiving Day service at the Mesa Marriott at the Mesa Convention Center, the bishop’s office said Tuesday.

Fushek, 55, who has been indicted on seven misdemeanor counts related to inappropriate sexual behavior with teens from 1984 to 1994, “conducted a praise and worship service in opposition to directives given to him to cease all public and sacred ministries,” the statement read.

Fushek was put on administrative leave in December 2004 and is awaiting a date to make arguments before the Arizona Supreme Court for a jury trial, rather than have his case heard by a judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 AM

Fushek faces new punishment after launching worship center

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 27, 2007 06:24 PM

A Roman Catholic priest awaiting trial on misdemeanor sex charges broke the rules of his administrative suspension by leading a non-demonimational service in Mesa on Thanksgiving Day and faces possible additional punishment.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, who once was second in command at the Diocese of Phoenix, was placed on administrative leave in December 2004 after he was accused in a civil suit of watching while another priest has sex with a boy. He was ordered not to function as a priest or any other form of public ministry.

"He's not supposed to engage in public ministry. It doesn't matter if he is acting as a priest," said Jim Dwyer, diocese spokesman. "They are in conversations with him about his status as priest. Obviously, what he did Thursday may affect his status as a priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 AM

November 27, 2007

State Convention Resolutions Indicate Increased Awareness of Baptist Clergy Sexual Abuse, Victim Advocate Says

UNITED STATES
Ethics Daily

Bob Allen
11-26-07
Recent Baptist state convention resolutions indicate growing awareness of the reality of sexual abuse of children in the Southern Baptist Convention, says a victims' advocate, but they don't go nearly far enough to ensure that all churches in the nation's second-largest faith group are safe places for kids.

Southern Baptist state conventions in Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Louisiana all passed resolutions this month urging churches to take safeguards against child molesters, including background checks for prospective children's workers and reporting of suspected crimes to law enforcement authorities.

The Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Association of Virginia challenged leadership to take "proactive steps" like training and workshops to better "protect our churches from sexual predators."

Some state groups, including the Missouri Baptist Convention, have negotiated contracts with private companies for discounted rates on background checks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Priest sentenced for molesting altar boy

POLAND
The News

27.11.2007 15:26
The District Court in Czluchow, north-central Poland has sentenced Piotr T., former parson of a parish near Czluchow, to four years in prison for molesting an altar boy and two other minors and giving them drugs.

“Additionally, the priest has also been banned from contacting the molested teenager for the next four years”, informed the spokeswoman for the District Court in Slupsk, judge Danuta Jastrzebska, quoted by “Rzeczpospolita”.

The trial of the 38-year old priest started in March this year. For the sake of the three teenagers involved, the hearings were held behind closed doors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Authorities: Priest who stole from parish should serve jail time

CONNECTICUT
Newsday

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN | Associated Press Writer
12:54 PM EST, November 27, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Darien priest who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his parish to support a luxurious lifestyle should be sent to prison for about four years, prosecutors said, arguing that such crimes hurt charitable giving.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge in September, will be sentenced Dec. 4. Fay, 56, resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church.

Authorities say Fay set up secret bank accounts to pay for a life of luxury, including traveling around the world and buying a condominium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Authorities seek prison term for Darien priest

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

Published November 27 2007

Federal prosecutors are recommending that the pastor who embezzled from his Darien church serve at least three years and eight months behind bars.

The case of the Rev. Michael Jude Fay meets the guidelines for 46 months to 57 months in prison, based on federal sentencing guidelines for thefts of $1 million to $2.5 million, according to court papers filed Monday.

Fay is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4 in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Giuliani cozies up to convicted moneyman

UNITED STATES
The Carpetbagger Report

Way back in June, Time’s David Von Drehle asked an interesting question: “How many alleged criminals can a law-and-order candidate be associated with before it starts to hurt?” The question, of course, was in reference to Rudy Giuliani, after Thomas Ravenel, the chairman of Giuliani’s presidential campaign in South Carolina, was indicted on cocaine distribution charges, which, of course, came on the heels of revelations about Giuliani’s connections with Bernard Kerik.

But Von Drehle posed the question far too early — the number of alleged criminals with close ties to Giuliani has gone up considerably since then. ABC News has the latest. ...

* Alan Placa was accused by a grand jury report of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests. Giuliani then put Placa, his life-long friend, on the payroll of Giuliani Partners. (Adds Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks suspected priest abuse, “I think Rudy Giuliani has to account for his friendship with a credibly accused child molester.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Pedofilia, arrestato vicedirettore del seminario della diocesi di Brescia

ITALY
la Repubblica

PEDOPHILIA, THE VICE-DIRECTOR OF THE SEMINARY IN THE DIOCESE OF BRESCIA HAS BEEN ARRESTED

The Rev. Riboldi: "Just for a bad apple you can't throw mud to everybody"

BRESCIA: The vice-director of the seminary in the Diocese of Brescia, Marco Baresi, 38, was arrested by the police for pedophilia, according to an order for a cautionary custody of the priest issued by the GIP (The Judge for the Preliminary Investigations) of that city in the Lombardia region. The priest was accused of aggravated sexual violence to a 14-year-old minor and possession of pornographic material.

The bishop of Brescia, Luciano Monari, and the General Vicar, Monsignor Francesco Beschi, issued a note of comment about the arrest, which was described "hard and painful" and where they wished that "the facts and the responsibilities can be known the soonest as possible. We show our solidarity with the Rev. Baresi, his family, the seminary and all the people involved", the two prelates emphasized.

"The news we learned." the Bishop and the General Vicar explained. "gave us much pain. The Rev. Marco Baresi is known and esteemed by many people. The duties entrusted to him are the expression and recognition of a very widespread and valued esteem. The grave level of the charges must be carefully evaluated. The drama of a victim of pedophilia cannot be underestimated or eluded especially when a priest is involved, as well as the gravity of the situation of those who are accused and are innocent of such a serious misdeed."

Monsignor Antonio Riboldi, the emeritus bishop of Acerra, added his own observations, too: "The church has 'no peli sulla lingua' (literally: has "no hair on its tongue", it means the church is outspoken) and if it will be proven that the priest has made a mistake, he will be condemned. In any case the church must not be criminalized even if we know a diabolic strategy to attack it in its entirety is being pursued. Just for a bad apple you can't throw mud to everybody."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Dear Cardinal George: Please take my call

CHICAGO (IL)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I have new hope with Cardinal Francis George stepping in as President of the American bishops, either new hope or I’m totally spun by the Roman Catholic Church PR machine. We'll see.

What gave me this hope was a show of spontaneity by George as reported by John Allen in National Catholic Reporter November 20th: The John Jay Report had just excused pedophilia in the church as no worse than in other places, plus free love in the sixties is the real culprit. Allen wrote, “Just as the session was drawing to a close, George, unprompted, signaled that he wanted to add something.” George said:

"The question is whether or not the church herself, particularly priests and bishops, should be held to a moral standard higher than the general populace. Is religion an independent variable? Or is it simply reduced to a cultural reality? If that's the case, secularists shouldn't be disturbed about religion, because it has nothing original to say anyway, and it's not going to impose itself on anybody's behavior.”

Cardinal George can show he has something original to say by taking my call next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Giuliani's accused-priest problem.

NEW YORK
dotCommonweal

November 27, 2007, 10:55 am
Posted by Grant Gallicho

Andrew Sullivan links to Deal Hudson's post on Rudy Giuliani's paid consultant (and childhood friend) Msgr. Alan Placa, who was accused of sexual abuse in a 2003 grand-jury report and has been suspended from ministry for the past five years. Andrew asks the right question: Where's the press on this story?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

"One Of The Finest People I Know."

NEW YORK
The Daily Dish

Deal Hudson airs the story that the MSM is so leery of: Rudy Giuliani's close association with, employment of and loyalty to a priest credibly accused of child molestation. Money quote:

Since 2002, Msgr. Alan Placa has worked for Rudy Giuliani as a consultant at Giuliani Partners. In 2003 a grand jury report of Suffolk County, NY, accused Placa of sexually abusing multiple victims.

A spokeswoman for Giuliani Partners told Salon Magazine that the former New York City mayor believes Placa was "unjustly accused." The grand jury report contains accusations from three alleged victims, including two children (Placa is named as "Priest F" in the report.) According to testimony before the grand jury, "Everyone in the school knew to stay away from Priest F."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Safe Environment established in the Diocese of Salt Lake City since 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Intermountain Catholic

by Colleen Gudreau

SALT LAKE CITY — A recent national poll conducted by the Center for Applied Research indicates that only one-third of Catholics had heard of the U.S. bishops’ policies to prevent child sex abuse and respond to abuse allegations. The bishops of the Diocese of Salt Lake City have strongly supported the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The Charter was adopted in June 2002 and in August 2002, Bishop George Niederauer, who was one of the writers of the Charter, appointed a diocesan review board to advise him on diocesan polices and procedures for dealing with sexual abuse of minors as well as his assessment of allegations of abuse.

He also established the position of diocesan director of the safe environment program to oversee implementation of the Charter throughout the Diocese. Since his installation earlier this year, Bishop John C. Wester has actively supported implementation of the Charter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Parishioners at Saint Leo Hold Vigil for Popular Priest

BALTIMORE (MD)
ABC 2

Reported by: Delia Gonçalves
Email: Goncalves@wmar.com
Last Update: 11/26 10:38 pm

On a raw and rainy Monday evening in Little Italy, the faithful filed into Saint Leo’s Catholic Church with umbrellas and heavy hearts, to pray for Father Michael Salerno.

Rosa Aquia has been a parishioner more than 50 years and says no one has done more for the church or the community than Father Mike. “Please God, bring back my son, he’s my son. Somebody has stolen Father Mike. He’s innocent. He’s an angel,” she cries.

No one has had contact with the priest who was removed from the church November 18th, after a New York man accused him of sexual abuse back in Brooklyn during the 1970's.

Nick Diliello says Father Mike has been close to his family and late father for many years. He says, “If the allegations are true it seems to me this guy is going after for some kind of money, I don't know."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

TIES THAT BIND

NEW YORK
The American Spectator

Against the advice of some of his campaign advisers, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has kept a suspended Catholic priest and childhood friend on the payroll of Giuliani Partners as a consultant. The priest has been caught up in the continuing sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

Msgr. Alan Placa, who was suspended from his priestly duties back in 2002 and who has also served as a practicing attorney, has worked on a consulting basis with Giuliani Partners. In 2003 a grand jury in Suffolk County, New York, accused Placa of sexually abusing multiple victims. That report was posted by the Bishop Accountability Project. According to the report, Monsignor Placa has been identified in media reports as "Priest F."

Giuliani has defended Placa, whom he has known going back to their days growing up together in Brooklyn. Placa now lives in a parish in Great Neck, New York, run by a fellow Monsignor, Brendan Riordan, who himself was named in a sex lawsuit that was filed against the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts. Placa and Riordan are business partners in several real estate ventures in and around New York City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Man blames diocese for alleged molestation

BURLINGTON (VT)
Boston Globe

By John Curran
Associated Press / November 27, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt. - A man who blames the Diocese of Burlington for a priest's alleged molestation of him more than 30 years ago returned to court yesterday, five months after a judge declared a mistrial in his case.

more stories like thisJames Turner, 47, of Virginia Beach, Va., sat quietly as lawyers delivered opening statements focusing on whether the diocese can be held accountable for the actions of now-defrocked Rev. Alfred Willis.

Willis, who was originally named in Turner's suit but settled out of court, is not on trial. The diocese is, for what Turner's lawyer told jurors yesterday was a pattern of protecting pedophile priests and covering up their crimes out of concern for church liability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Second trial in priest molestation case gets under way

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The case of a man who says the state's Roman Catholic diocese failed to protect him from being sexually molested by a priest in 1977 went on trial Monday in Burlington for the second time in five months.

James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., claims former Rev. Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him in a Latham, N.Y., motel room following a religious ceremony for Turner's brother, who was about to become a priest.

Turner also alleges Willis attempted to repeat the molestation at the Turner family home in Derby three months later but that Turner fought him off.

The diocese does not dispute the incidents occurred but a church lawyer told jurors Monday that it had no evidence at the time of the incidents that Willis might molest children. Turner was 16 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Ex-priest's plea may end jail time

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

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

Former Roman Catholic priest Daniel C. Clark has pleaded guilty to two charges of sexually abusing boys in Bullitt County under an agreement that could spare him further time in prison.

Clark was scheduled to face a retrial beginning today on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse after the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned his original conviction in 2003.

He already had served nearly four years of his 10-year sentence before the court overturned the conviction, citing errors the trial judge made in instructions to the jury and in allowing testimony from a previous victim of Clark.

Under the plea agreement, Clark would serve probation for the remainder of his sentence, Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Mann said. Clark also would have to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Ex-priest pleads guilty to abuse, gets out of prison

KENTUCKY
Lexington Herald-Leader

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SHEPHERDSVILLE --A former Roman Catholic priest whose conviction on sexual abuse charges was overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court pleaded guilty in exchange for being released from prison.

Daniel Clark, 59, will serve five years of probation and five years under court supervision. He was given credit for four years and 10 months in prison before the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned his 2003 convictions on first-degree sexual abuse for molesting two boys between 1999 and 2002.

Mike Ferguson, an assistant commonwealth's attorney in Bullitt County, said Clark entered the plea on Nov. 21.

Clark, whose trial was scheduled to begin today, also will undergo a sex offender evaluation, Ferguson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Former colleague declines to endorse Fushek

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
The Praise and Worship Center in Mesa, started recently by indicted priest Dale Fushek, is getting no endorsement from his longtime friend, the Rev. Jack Spaulding of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa.

Indicted Mesa priest starts new ministry

Spaulding told parishioners neither he nor the parish support the new ministry that Fushek is billing as a nondenominational ministry that can “complement” whatever anyone may be experiencing spiritually elsewhere.

Fushek was pastor at St. Timothy’s from 1985 to late 2004 when he was put on administrative leave after allegations first surfaced of sexual misconduct with teens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Former colleague declines to endorse Fushek

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
The Praise and Worship Center in Mesa, started recently by indicted priest Dale Fushek, is getting no endorsement from his longtime friend, the Rev. Jack Spaulding of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa.

Indicted Mesa priest starts new ministry

Spaulding told parishioners neither he nor the parish support the new ministry that Fushek is billing as a nondenominational ministry that can “complement” whatever anyone may be experiencing spiritually elsewhere.

Fushek was pastor at St. Timothy’s from 1985 to late 2004 when he was put on administrative leave after allegations first surfaced of sexual misconduct with teens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Former colleague declines to endorse Fushek

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
The Praise and Worship Center in Mesa, started recently by indicted priest Dale Fushek, is

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

November 26, 2007

Priest abuse trial reconvenes in Burlington

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Monday, November 26, 2007
The retrial in the case of a man who claims the state’s Roman Catholic diocese failed to protect him from being sexually molested by a priest in 1977 got under way today in Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington.

James Turner, of Newport Beach, Va., claims former Rev. Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him in a Latham, N.Y., motel room after a religious ceremony for Turner’s brother, who was about to become a priest.

The diocese does not dispute the molestation occurred, but told jurors during opening arguments today that it had no previous evidence at the time of the incident that Willis might molest children. Turner was 16 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Seares: Is Saavedra getting away with libel?

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Pachico A. Seares
News Sense

IF you are a Gov. Gwen Garcia ally, you’ll probably hit the roof, as lawyer-consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda did after a panel of fiscals threw out her complaint for libel against businessman Cris Saavedra.

Rory Jon says civic duty is not a defense in libel, calling the dismissal “really crazy.”

It cannot be any crazier though than the fiscals’ ruling on the sexual abuse complaint against Fr. Ben Ejares.

They cleared Fr. Ben by saying the priest is Jesus Christ’s alter ego when he hears confession while fiddling with the penitent teenager’s bra and playfully touching her arm and neck.

The public hissed at the ruling that cleared Fr. Ejares. Would the panel’s finding for Cris be better accepted?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Diocese: We can’t be held accountable for accused priest

BURLINGTON (VT)
Times Argus

November 26, 2007

By JOHN CURRAN
Associated Press Writer

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A man who blames the Diocese of Burlington for a priest’s alleged molestation of him more than 30 years ago returned to court today, five months after a judge declared a mistrial in his case.

James Turner, 47, of Virginia Beach, Va., sat quietly as lawyers delivered opening statements focusing on whether the diocese can be held accountable for the actions of now-defrocked Rev. Alfred Willis.

Willis, who was originally named in Turner’s suit but settled out of court, is not on trial. The diocese is, for what Turner’s lawyer told jurors Monday was a pattern of protecting pedophile priests and covering up their crimes out of concern for church liability.

Turner says Willis molested him in a Latham, N.Y., hotel room in 1977 after the two joined with members of Turner’s family for the ordination of Turner’s older brother, Bernard Turner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Giuliani Adviser is an Accused Pedophile Priest?

NEW YORK
Inside Catholic

by Deal W. Hudson
11/26/07

Since 2002, Msgr. Alan Placa has worked for Rudy Giuliani as a consultant at Giuliani Partners. In 2003 a grand jury report of Suffolk County, NY, accused Placa of sexually abusing multiple victims.

A spokeswoman for Giuliani Partners told Salon Magazine that the former New York City mayor believes Placa was "unjustly accused." The grand jury report contains accusations from three alleged victims, including two children (Placa is named as "Priest F" in the report.) According to testimony before the grand jury, "Everyone in the school knew to stay away from Priest F."

Placa has been suspended from his priestly duties for the past five years. He is "priest in residence" at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, NY. The pastor, Msgr. Brendan Riordan, is a close friend. In fact, Placa and Riordan co-own a penthouse apartment in Manhattan. The $555,000 apartment is one of six properties the two priests have owned together since the late 1980s. They also co-authored a book in 1977 called Desert Silence: A Way of Prayer for an Unquiet Age.

Monsignor Riordan himself was named in a sex abuse lawsuit against the Diocese of Worcester, MA; it was settled in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Immagini pedofile, prete condannato

ITALY
L'espresso

The Rev. Hansjorg Rigger, teacher of theology, sentenced to one year-and-a-half in jail.

Pedophile images, priest condemned. He was denounced two years ago, due to internet connections and photos unloading.

BOLZANO. A well-known priest from Alto Adige was sentenced yesterday by the Siracusa tribunal to one-and-a-half years in jail (with the penalty suspended) for detention of pedo- pornographic images. The priest is the Rev. Hasnsjorg Rigger, dean of the academic and theological studio of Bressanone where he is a tenured professor for New Testament and Holy Scripture. Two years ago, he was indicted following a carabinieri investigation of the exchange of pedo-pornographic material through the internet. The investigators were able to identify an illegal site and to denounce 186 users who were in possession of the secret password.

Rev. Hansjorg Rigger had never accepted his role of first being investigated and then accused of the crime. He behaved as if those accusations by the Siracusa prosecutor weren't related to him, even if he had to accept the fact that his computer (which had been sequestered during a blitz by the carabinieri) contained hundreds of images of pedophilia and pornography content. The images represented children and boys in sexual postures. The carabinieri had traced his computer after having connected to the illegal site with a password which allowed the contextual electronic unloading of the images. The site also contained films on sexual abuse, mistreatments and torture of girls between ages 4 and 8.

The story deetails a complex investigation (in which which two other Italian priests wee involved) and showed the priest from the Alto Adige region wasn't able to defend himself very well. The priest didn't want to have a lawyer and didn't want to be present at the process, thinking he probably would avoid the arraignment. In fact, all the technical data in the memory of his computer proved he unloaded those images. The ruling issued yesterday accepted the request by the adjunct prosecutor of Siracusa, Giuseppe Toscano, and of his substitute, Antonio Nicastro. In addition to jail terms, the priest was ordered to pay a fine of 2,000 euros. He will also have to pay for the expenses sustained by the association "Telefono arcobaleno" (Rainbow telephone), which was considered as one of the offended party.

The carabinieri investigation had been dubbed as "video prive" and was meant to explore the "stato profondo" (deep in the profundity) of the world Web, where only special users could have access to the international organizations for the promotion and exchange of pornographic and pedophilic images. At this point the reaction of Rev. Hansjorg Rigger is being awaited: the priest, until yesterday, didn't make any statement and will have to decide for a possible appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Church official fights firing

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 26, 2007
BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter/spatterson@suntimes.com
The criminal case is over, and the embarrassment that the Rev. Mark Sorvillo brought to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church is in the past.

But a cloud follows Jim Brockhagen.

Brockhagen was business manager at St. Margaret Mary -- the Northwest Side parish Sorvillo was convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from. In that role, Brockhagen was responsible for overseeing financial records.

Sorvillo, it later emerged, was spending lavishly on himself and a male stripper he met at a gay club.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

New trial in priest sex case begins today

VERMONT
Vermont Public Radio

Monday November 26, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP)

A 46-year-old Virginia man will be back in court today, suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont over alleged sexual abuse by a priest 30 years ago.

A mistrial was declared last spring in the suit brought by James Turner of Virginia Beach, Va., which alleges the diocese covered up abuse by former priest Alfred Willis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

First Hosanna Church trial set to begin

LOUISIANA
Journal-Gazette

Associated Press
The trial of the first sexual abuse suspect in the 2005 Hosanna Church case is set to begin this week, two years after seven members of the now-defunct Ponchatoula church were accused of having sex with children as part of occult rituals.

Austin "Trey" Bernard III, 39, of Hammond is accused of one count of aggravated rape of a 2-year-old girl in 2002. Under Louisiana law, an aggravated rape conviction carries an automatic life sentence in prison.

Bernard is one of seven members indicted in 2005 on charges of having sex with children as part of occult rituals. The case includes allegations of the abuse and killings of animals, specifically dogs and cats.

Bernard's trial, presided over by state District Judge Doug Hughes, begins Tuesday with jury selection, barring any last minute appeals or judicial rulings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

In effect, archdiocese gives sexual predators a pass

PHILADLEPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
is a Delaware educator and victims' advocate who testified in support of the recently signed Delaware Child Victims Law

There should be no statute of limitations where the sexual abuse of children is concerned, period.

The sexual abuse of children is a major epidemic going on in our country, a pandemic if one considers it in its worldwide proportions.

So it is hard to believe, in light of the statement above, that we continue to have churchmen who actually oppose the removal of statutes of limitations regarding the sexual abuse of our children.

It is unconscionable that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia apparently is still of the opinion that sexual predators and abusers should not be held accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Priest guilty of abuse faces prison sentence

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Phil Campion
Monday November 26 2007

A PRIEST who sexually abused boys aged between eight and 13 over 30 years ago has finally been brought to justice.

Fr John Benedict Corrigan (71), who retired to Galway in 1994, was extradited to England where he pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault against altar boys.

Speaking outside the court one of his victims said he hoped officials "lock him up and throw away the key".

Between 1967 and 1972 while working in England, Corrigan abused one boy aged between 12 and 13, another aged eight, and a third aged between 10 and 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

November 25, 2007

Must Read: VOTF and Sexual Politics in the Priesthood

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

VOTF and Sexual Politics in the Priesthood is the work of John Shuster of Port Orchard, Washington.
Thank you, John, for your challenging statement.
* * *
VOTF AND SEXUAL POLITICS IN THE PRIESTHOOD

I believe there is a direct relationship between sexual politics in the priesthood/hierarchy and any reform group’s ability to change the church. The key to VOTF’s survival and success lies in backing the right issues, understanding the needs and culture of the priesthood/hierarchy that owns and controls the church, and being relentless in the art of polite public confrontation that exposes sexual and financial improprieties and compels other Catholics to join and support you for change through strategic action.

Sexual politics in the priesthood/hierarchy

The myth of sexuality in the priesthood is that it is comprised overwhelmingly of straight men who are 99.9% sexually chaste in faithfulness to their promise/vow of celibacy. Mandatory celibacy is part of the power base of the priesthood/hierarchy. Because it serves a political function, a priest’s sexuality is not private, but a public issue. Catholics have been taught to honor and support priests because they profess to have forgone a traditional family to lead sexually chaste lives in prayer and service to the people of the church. That’s the ideal. The reality is quite different.

For centuries, gay men have been beaten, burned at the stake, tortured and killed for being whom God made them. They have suffered great loss personally and collectively. Like any group of persecuted people, they have sought safe places to hide and thrive. The priesthood, with its public and mandatory promise/vow of celibacy, became a perfect haven of safety and instant respect for gay men. It serves them well because it’s socially acceptable for them not to marry a woman and they live in-close with other men - somewhat beyond suspicion. They enjoy a comfortable lifestyle replete with the adulation of parishioners who have been taught to believe in the myth of total sexual abstinence within the clerical celibate lifestyle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 PM

Anglican Bishop accused of fresh cover-up

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Jeremy Roberts
November 26, 2007 02:00am

THE embattled Anglican Bishop of the Murray, Ross Davies, faces further claims of a cover-up of sexual misconduct allegations against a senior priest, deepening divisions in the troubled South Australian diocese.

The diocese was shaken in July by revelations that Bishop Davies failed to act against Archdeacon Peter Coote in 2005, despite a church investigation finding "credible" complaints from three female parishioners alleging they had been subjected to unwanted sexual advances from Archdeacon Coote.

Archdeacon Coote was suspended and the revelations sparked two separate reviews into the handling of the complaints by Bishop Davies and the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

St. Leo's Has First Week Without Accused Priest

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― It is the first week without their priest for parishioners at a Catholic church in Little Italy. Reverend Michael Salerno has been removed from his post after allegations of child sex abuse going back more than 30 years. Some members at St. Leo's Church tell Tim Williams it will not be the same.

Parishioners walking to Saint Leo's Catholic Church passed signs of support for Father Michael Salerno.

A member of St. Leo's Catholic Church hands out window signs door to door in Little Italy. They say "We Support Father Mike" and, in Italian, "Come Back Soon."

"A bunch of us thought we have to support this man somehow. I mean, he has been so supportive of everyone down here. For good or for bad," said parishioner Givanna Blattermann.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 PM

Moving the church into the future

CANADA
The Gazette

JOHN ZUCCHI, The Gazette

Cardinal Marc Ouellet took Quebec by surprise with his letter asking forgiveness for the past wrongs of religious and lay members of the Catholic Church in the province, including bishops. It is an impressive, bold and courageous statement, and recalls Pope John Paul II's plea for forgiveness in 2000. The cardinal's statement is unprecedented; he was speaking not only as a bishop but also as primate of Canada.

The prelate's letter acknowledges that much damage was done and offence given by the narrow attitudes of some church members, including leaders. These attitudes fostered racism, an insensitivity to women, an unChristian treatment of homosexuals, Jews and natives, and a regrettable undue exercise of power over individuals in the area of employment or even in the intimate choice of family size.

Members of the church erred on many levels, but perhaps the most serious sin in the years of the grande noirceur was the willingness of priests, nuns, bishops and even lay Catholics to collude with power on every level - political, economic and cultural. They might have placed their bets on accruing advantages to the church through this route, but in the long run the consequences were serious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Nuns On The Run In Africa

SCOTLAND
Sunday Mail

Nov 25 2007 By Marion Scott

Exclusive Scots Sisters Flee Orphanage In Zambia Amid Cruelty Claims Official Says Kids 'Starved' In 'Concentration Camp' Conditions

TWO elderly Scots nuns were forced to flee Africa after being accused of cruelty to children in the orphanage they founded.

Dorothy Clark, 65, and Jane Burchill, 76, ran the Little Sisters in Jesus orphanage in central Zambia.

The country's human rights commission are investigating, although the women deny reports that include:

The conditions were like something out of a "concentration camp".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Saucy priest banned

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Sun

Nov 25 2007

by Phil Doherty, Sunday Sun

A NORTH vicar who sent saucy cards and letters to a parishioner’s wife has been barred from acting as a priest for four years.

Reverend David King, 54, of Egton, North Yorkshire, was found to have had an “improper, intimate and physical relationship” with Tracy Byrne, 47, a married mum of four.

However, a Church of England tribunal at Leeds Crown Court accepted the 2004 relationship was not sexual.

Mr King’s lawyer, John Lodge, said his client, a father of three, would carry “the mark of Cain” on him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Lawsuits alleging abuse are nearer to trial

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The boys called them the party priests.

They held pool and lake galas where drinks were freely flowing, even for their teenage guests. They let the young boys drive and smoke in their cars, left dirty magazines around the rectory for them to read, and talked openly in graphic terms about sex.

For boys just entering the awkward stages of adolescence, nothing seemed cooler than hanging out with Monsignor Thomas O’Brien and Father Thomas Reardon of Kansas City.

Except for the price that many of the boys — now men — say they paid. They allege that the priests used their positions of power to prey on the youngsters, plying them with alcohol, groping them and offering them money for sex.

Though the alleged incidents occurred years ago, they are haunting both priests and the diocese today. A dozen lawsuits against either O’Brien or Reardon are winding their way through the courts, painting a graphic picture of lewd behavior involving scores of young men spanning several decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Missing mother, daughter found in Spokane

SPOKANE (WA)
The Seattle Times

By Dan Hansen
The Spokesman-Review

A 16-month search for an American girl taken from her father in Germany ended Friday in Spokane.

A security guard walking the grounds at Sacred Heart Medical Center recognized Megan Mulczynski, now 13, from missing-person fliers, according to a Spokane Police Department press release.

The girl's mother told police that a Catholic priest from Germany was helping the two of them relocate in Spokane under false names. The mother, 50-year-old Gail Elk Canno Mulczynski, was booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of custodial interference. ...

Tom Mulczynski contends that earlier in the decade, through the counseling of the Rev. Clement Marcantonio, an Air Force chaplain, Gail Mulczynski had come to believe that she'd been the victim of "horrific sexual and physical satanic ritual abuse by every member of her family and two Catholic priests in Chicago, where she grew up." ...

In addition to Marcantonio, Gail Mulczynski was counseled by the Rev. Tom Doyle, according to the Web site.

Doyle gained notoriety in America several years ago with the disclosure that in 1985 he had written a 200-page report warning American Catholic bishops that some priests were abusing children and that the church was complicit. Doyle, whom a bishop removed from the chaplaincy at Ramstein in 2003, has since spoken on the subject of priest sex abuse, including last year in Spokane.

Although a Spokane police press release doesn't say whether Gail Mulczynski identified the priest who helped her relocate to Spokane, her ex-husband says that Marcantonio persuaded members of his parish to hide her when she disappeared with her daughter in 2004. According to Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for members of the U.S. military, German authorities searched Marcantonio's home after the mother and child abandoned their German apartment for good in July 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Priest retrial set to replay abuse claims

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

By KEVIN O'CONNOR
Staff Writer

Before last summer's mistrial, it was billed as the first recent priest misconduct case to reach a Vermont jury. Now, a retrial this week is about to bring a replay.

Literally.

Lawyers for a man accusing Vermont's Catholic Church of child sexual abuse say they'll show testimony recorded at the original trial rather than call several witnesses back to speak before a new judge and jury.

James Turner, a 47-year-old Northeast Kingdom native, alleges in a lawsuit that the former Rev. Alfred Willis — a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Milton before being defrocked in 1985 — performed oral sex on him when he was 16 and staying at a Latham, N.Y., hotel in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

November 24, 2007

Priest indicted in sex case opens worship center

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
When 550 people turn up for a first-time worship service on a Thanksgiving morning, the question is asked: Where did they come from?

The magnetism and the following that Catholic priest Dale Fushek developed during 20 years as pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa may still be alive two years after he was indicted on seven misdemeanor charges of sex-related behavior with male teens on that campus between 1984 and 1994.

Fushek is on administrative leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and cannot represent himself as a priest, pending the resolution of his case.

Though he waits for the Arizona Supreme Court to rule on whether he should be allowed to have a jury trial, Fushek is applying his personal style of spirituality to the Praise and Worship Center, which was launched Thursday morning at the Mesa Convention Center with a twohour service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

Protecting Michigan's Children presentation Wednesday

MICHIGAN
Midland Daily News

The MidMichigan Voice of the Faithful will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Blessed Sacrament Church.

Kathy McCreedy, member of Protecting Michigan's Children, will give a presentation describing its mission. The group is a statewide coalition of citizens who support lawns and education that will better protect Michigan's children from sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Move follows lawsuits, allegations

TULSA (OH)
Tulsa World

By ZIVA BRANSTETTER World Projects Editor
11/24/2007

Embattled Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts resigned Friday following nearly two months of allegations that he and his family misused university and ministry resources.

In his resignation letter, Roberts states: "I love ORU with all my heart. I love the students, faculty, staff and administration and I want to see God's best for all of them."

Roberts' letter, sent to the Board of Regents, states his resignation was effective Friday. The board is meeting Monday and Tuesday to determine its search process for a new president, university spokesman Jeremy Burton said in a statement.

"Executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will continue to assume administrative responsibilities of the office of the president, working together with Chancellor Oral Roberts, until the regents meeting," Burton stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Richard Roberts quits ORU post

TULSA (OK)
The Oklahoman

By Tony Thornton and John Estus
Staff Writers
TULSA — Richard Roberts, the embattled president of Oral Roberts University, resigned Friday, two days after a former school accountant said the televangelist ordered him to "cook the books” to cover up improper spending.

ORU regents Chairman George Pearsons confirmed Roberts' resignation Friday evening and said regents will meet Monday and Tuesday to discuss the first steps in the search for a replacement.

Pearsons said Roberts resigned through a letter that read in part, "I love ORU with all my heart. I love the students, faculty, staff and administration, and I want to see God's best for all of them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Ouellet apology is a step forward

CANADA
The Gazette

Published: Friday, November 23
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who as primate of Canada is the senior Roman Catholic churchman in the country, struck a nerve this week in his home province and across Canada by issuing an apology for a wide range of abuses committed in the Roman Catholic Church before 1960.

In a letter published Wednesday in the French-language press, Ouellet said he recognized that the "narrow attitudes of certain Catholics," before 1960, "fostered anti-Semitism, indifference toward First Nations people, (and) discrimination toward women and homosexuals." He also acknowledged "abuses of power and cover-ups."

A statement of regret for actions that undeniably harmed a large number of people is always welcome. Sorry is one of the hardest words for most people to pronounce. It is unlikely to be any easier to say for an archbishop or for the institution he represents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Embattled Mesa priest returns to preach

MESA (AZ)
ABC 15

He was one of the most charismatic, charming, and popular priests in the Valley, but Monsignor Dale Fushek’s career as a priest took a tumble following his arrest on several charges connected to sex abuse crimes with minors.

That was in 2005 when he was serving at St. Timothy’s Parish in Mesa.

Since then, the Diocese has placed him on administrative leave and he is now awaiting trial.
Three years later and Monsignor Fushek is once again giving sermons.

This time it is through his so-called Prayer and Worship Center. His first service was on Thanksgiving morning at the Marriott in Mesa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Workshop for abused men

CANADA
Bayshore Broadcasting

Written by Daryl Morris

A Grey Bruce group is hoping to reach out to men who have been sexually abused in their childhood or teen years.

Hearing, Healing, Hope is a pilot project in Grey-Bruce, with funding from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Co-ordinator May Tettero says there have been outreach programs for women who have been sexually abused, but no real program for men. ...

Tettero says guest speaker Michael Church will be there. Church is a survivor of sexual abuse and an advisor to the Cornwall Inquiry -- a special government commission that looked into allegations of abuse of young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Oral Roberts President Resigns

TULSA (OK)
The Associated Press

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — For many, the resignation of Oral Roberts University's embattled president, Richard Roberts, seemed to be a question of when, not if, amid the financial scandal that hit the school nearly two months ago.

Roberts, facing accusations in the lawsuit that he misspent school funds to support a lavish lifestyle, resigned Friday.

"Those who have seen what we have seen won't have any surprise about the fact that Richard has stepped down," said attorney Gary Richardson, who brought a wrongful termination lawsuit against Roberts last month on behalf of three of the university's professors. "There was no option, period."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

November 23, 2007

Diocese to investigate local Seeds of Hope prayer group

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Terence Hegarty

SPRINGFIELD Responding to the concerns that a local prayer group known as The Seeds of Hope is harmful to Catholics, Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell has launched an investigation into the group's activities, the diocese announced Nov. 14.

"In light of questions and concerns raised about the Seeds of Hope group, led by Neil Harrington Jr., Bishop McDonnell has appointed the former judicial vicar for the diocese and a member of the chancellor's office to investigate this matter and report back to him," said Mark E. Dupont, diocesan spokesman.

The matter involves a weekly prayer cenacle and activities surrounding it in which Neil Harrington Jr., a Springfield resident and leader of the group, claims to have received messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi. Harrington claims that Mary appeared to him and related messages to him in his parents' Enfield, Conn., home from 1991 until 1997. ...

Two months ago, the Seeds of Hope was again in the media spotlight when it was reported that a priest who had been forbidden to act as a priest since 1988 due to credible sexual abuse allegations, had been celebrating sacraments at Harrington's Springfield home.

In late September, Bishop McDonnell received evidence that Father John J. Szantyr, a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Mass., who is facing criminal charges of molestation in Worcester District Court, had been celebrating Mass in Harrington's Springfield home.

Bishop McDonnell immediately sent a letter to both Father Szantyr and Harrington letting each know that this cannot continue and that Father Szantyr is forbidden to "undertake any sacramental functions."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Vicar banned after 'improper' affair

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

A MARRIED Yorkshire priest who had an affair with another woman has been banned from being a vicar for four years.

In the first case of a clergy member facing a Church of England disciplinary tribunal, Reverend David King, 54, from Egton, was found to have had an "improper, intimate and physical relationship" with married mother-of-four Tracy Byrne.

Both were still married when the affair started in December 2004. In the same month Mrs Byrne split with her husband but Mr King did not leave his wife until July the next year. Both couples are now divorced.

Mrs Byrne's husband James, 52, blamed the vicar for the breakdown of his marriage. He complained to the Church of England and Mr King was suspended on full pay in February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Faith-Based Spending Goes Relatively Unchecked

UNITED STATES
Truthout

By Thomas D. Williams
t r u t h o u t | Report

Friday 23 November 2007

For the past six years, President George W. Bush's administration has spent billions of dollars to largely aid Christian faith-based groups, in assisting prison inmates as well as the poor and less-fortunate persons here and worldwide. Yet many experts and investigators nationwide agree government controls auditing this spending, or checking into whether the religious groups are illegally using this federal funding to promote their faiths, are weak or nonexistent. ...

More recently, in November, the leaders of six faith-based organizations have come under scrutiny by Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa. He is investigating a half-dozen television evangelists to find out if they avoided taxes on for-profit activities or used their ministries for personal gain. While religious organizations are mostly exempt from federal taxes, they must pay taxes if they are involved in for-profit businesses, and employees can't use church property primarily for personal gain.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said: "I'm following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries. The allegations involve governing boards that aren't independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces. I don't want to conclude that there's a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more. People who donated should have their money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code." The allegations are yet to be validated or dismissed as unreliable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Indicted Mesa Priest Preaches Again

MESA (AZ)
KPHO

MESA, Ariz. -- The former pastor at a Mesa Catholic church who faces seven misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct has started a new worship center and conducted his first services.

More than 500 worshippers gathered to hear Dale Fushek conduct a service at a Mesa hotel Thursday.

Known as "Monsignor Dale" during his 20 years at St. Timothy's, Fushek co-founded the national Life Teen program and served as vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

But all that came tumbling down in late 2005, when he was arrested on one count of assault, five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of indecent exposure. He is accused of engaging in sexually related discussions with teenagers during confessions and exposing himself to teens as he got into his hot tub.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Nalzaro: Has the cardinal lost control of Fr. Ejares?

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Bobby Nalzaro
Saksi

SO it is not true that the controversial priest, Fr Ben Ejares, has been temporarily stripped of his priestly functions, as claimed by our Church leaders.

A report said Ejares celebrated mass at the parole and probation office inside the Palace of Justice last week in honor of an office employee who died of heart attack. I was also informed Ejares officiated mass in Tayud, Consolacion last Sunday.

Ejares reportedly fled the country after he was accused by female students of Abellana National School of sexual misconduct during a Life in the Spirit seminar last year. A complaint for acts of lasciviousness was filed against him but prosecutors dismissed it.

The complainants, with the help of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, filed a motion for reconsideration. The city prosecutor is yet to resolve the motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

[Erin] Preconceived notions of child abuse

Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

We've talked a lot, on this blog, about clerical sexual abuse of children, particularly about the Scandal in the Catholic Church. I don't think anyone would categorize me as an apologist for priests who abused children or bishops who failed to take the problem seriously; I'm not overly inclined to point, for example, at similar abuse situations among other groups of people (e.g. public school teachers) as an indication that we should overlook the abuse committed by priests. To be blunt, this really isn't the kind of thing for which "everybody's doing it!" is a valid excuse.

That said, there's a growing understanding that the problem of child abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. We open the newspapers on a near-daily basis to read horrific stories of the molestation and/or murder of tiny innocents, the most vulnerable members of the human family. Our disgust, outrage, and fervent desire to protect these innocent children unites us across the political divides that normally separate us; we want these crimes to stop, and we're starting to have the will as a society to take strong and decisive action against anyone guilty of these terrible acts against children.

We Catholics have been facing up to the reality of clerical child abuse for the past several years now. Some of us were unafraid to confront it; others wanted to deny it or excuse it; but the fact remains that we know more about the problem than we ever did, and it will be increasingly difficult for situations to occur where the abuse of children by a priest can go on unnoticed and unchecked. We have a long way to go; but in order to get where we are now, we had to set aside our own presumptions and wishful thinking and look at the problem as it actually existed. To the extent that's been done solutions are possible; to the extent it hasn't, solutions will remain elusive, because unless we know what we're dealing with and why, we won't be able to take action honestly and completely against the underlying causes of the abuse of children by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Catholics at war over priest crisis

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
November 24, 2007

CULTURE wars in the Catholic Church came to a rowdy head in Camberwell this week when a group of protesters disrupted a meeting held to gather support for ordaining married men.

Organiser Paul Collins said the busiest of the 700 people who went to Camberwell Civic Centre on Thursday night were the two security guards.

More than 20 protesters waving placards with slogans such as "we obey the pope" heckled and shouted, preventing most of the discussion, Mr Collins said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Indicted Mesa priest starts new ministry

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Christina Vanoverbeke, Tribune
Dale Fushek, the former pastor of Mesa’s St. Timothy’s Catholic Community, who was indicted on sexually-related misdemeanor charges in November 2005, was back before a congregation Thursday for the first time in three years.

Dale Fushek, the former pastor of Mesa’s St. Timothy’s Catholic Community who was indicted on sexually related misdemeanor charges in November 2005, was back before a congregation Thursday for the first time in three years.

Although he sent out no invitations, instead letting supporters spread news of his return, more than 550 people attended the first service of the nondenominational Praise and Worship Center at the downtown Mesa Marriott hotel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Minn. priest: 'celibacy is largely a myth'; Report: Benedict XVI canceled two private vows of the Legionaries of Christ; New book critiques 'Golden Compass'

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
November 23, 2007

I received the following (edited) e-mail from Father Jack Nordick, of the New Ulm, Minn., Catholic diocese:

"What we need to consider is that priests are as human as all the rest of you, and indeed subject to the same foibles. That means that celibacy is largely a myth, with perhaps no more that 15 percent of all priests actually maintaining celibacy throughout their entire careers. As Jesus himself noted, (Mathew 19; 8-12) celibacy is not something that can be imposed but is a gift given to few. Considering other life situations, one wonders why celibacy for priests matters so much.

"As such, those of us who, at least up to now, have succeeded in keeping our promise of celibacy should not think of that as something we did on our own or a reason for greater honor. It is only a gift, and as all gifts, one that still needs to be cherished and honored. That doesn't make me a prude, or perfect, or without sexual interest or reactions. Only that somehow, and not because of some greater will power, I have never found myself in a situation where I could not say no. I do not regard as inferior, those who responded to life's urges in a different way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Canada's senior Catholic apologizes for sins

CANADA
Globe and Mail

INGRID PERITZ AND TU THANH HA

November 22, 2007

MONTREAL -- Canada's senior Roman Catholic clergyman has issued a sweeping apology for the church's historical sins in Quebec, trying to rehabilitate the institution's image just as debate rages in the province over religion and identity.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec City and primate of Canada, admitted that some Catholics' narrow-minded attitudes in the past bred anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination against women and homosexuals.

The cardinal's mea culpa, expressed in a letter to newspapers in the province, also recognized that priests sexually abused children and scolded women for not bearing more children.

"These scandals shook the confidence of the people toward religious authorities, and we understand that," Cardinal Ouellet wrote. "Forgive us for all this harm!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Surprised by reactions, cardinal insists apology was an 'act of peace'

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Thursday, November 22, 2007 | 4:06 PM ET
CBC News
Cardinal Marc Ouellet said he's a bit stunned by the negative reaction to his public apology for the Catholic Church's past "errors," but he said he stands by his mea culpa, which he called the "first step in a journey."

The archbishop's open letter of apology, published in Quebec francophone newspapers Wednesday, set off a storm of criticism from gay groups to women's organizations, who downplayed the act of contrition.

Even elected politicians reacted politely to the cardinal's words of remorse, with Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget reminding that sorry doesn't change the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Quebecers not in forgiving mood

ROME
Ottawa Sun

By CP

ROME -- Canada's top Roman Catholic official says he's surprised by negative reaction to his open letter in which he asked Quebecers to forgive errors committed by the church before 1960.

Marc Cardinal Ouellet admitted in a letter published in Quebec newspapers Wednesday scandals have tarnished the image of the church in Quebec and "we must humbly ask forgiveness."

Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec City and Roman Catholic primate of Canada, wrote "abuse of power" -- including sexual assaults by priests against children -- has shaken public faith.

Contacted in Rome by Quebec TV stations, Ouellet said yesterday he hopes his critics will make an effort to open a dialogue with the church.

"I am aware that some people are not satisfied with what I did or maybe they criticize what I did but it is a first step in a journey of dialogue in order to understand each other better," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

‘These are the voices that need to be heard’

SCOTLAND
The Herald

DAVID LEASK

November 23 2007

Sorry. Elizabeth McWilliams is sick of the word. She said it when she was lied to. She said it when she was beaten. She said it when she was raped aged nine. Now she thinks it's time somebody else apologised.

Ms McWilliams was one of the children - their number simply unknown - who were physically, sexually and emotionally tortured in Scottish care homes. And then told they had only themselves to blame.

Yesterday she sat through the first independent report into Scotland's "national shame", a half-century of abused youngsters whose cries for help were ignored.

"I hope society can now accept this once and for all," Ms McWilliams, 70, told the report's author Tom Shaw. "I hope I am going to get an apology."

The Shaw report - officially titled Historical Abuse Systemic Review - was not the full-fledged public inquiry Ms McWilliams and hundreds of fellow campaigners had wanted. It was certainly not an apology. But it remains the biggest public acknowledgement of children's suffering to date.

Mr Shaw, a former teacher and schools inspector from Northern Ireland, named no names. Nor did he hazard a guess at the scale of the abuse in the period he covered, 1950 to 1995. Instead he gave voice to the unheard. A whole chapter of his report was devoted to the words, anonymous but strong, of those who survived abuse.

One of those voices was Ms McWilliams. For around 16 years, from 1939 to 1954, she lived - and suffered - in the Quarriers Village in Bridge of Weir, a Christian community of cottages, each with their own mother and father, that was supposed to replace the horrors of mass orphanages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Clergy abuse suit back on Vt. docket

VERMONT
Boston Globe

By
Associated Press / November 23, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt. - A man suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington over alleged sexual abuse by a priest returns to court Monday, five months after a judge abruptly declared a mistrial in his case.

The civil suit brought by James Turner, 46, a former Derby man who now resides in Virginia Beach, Va., will be tried again in Chittenden County Superior Court. It still will involve the same lawyers, some of the same witnesses, and the same issue - but with a new judge presiding.

Opening statements to the 10-woman, four-man jury, including two alternates, are set for next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Second trial to begin for accused priest

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Friday, November 23, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The judge in the upcoming second trial involving claims of long-ago child sexual molestation by a Roman Catholic priest has ruled that church lawyers cannot shift blame for the alleged abuse to a relative of the alleged victim.

"Court will not permit implication that plaintiff's brother caused the harm," Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Matthew Katz wrote in a final pre-trial ruling this week prior to Monday's opening arguments in the case brought by James Turner of Virginia Beach, Va.

Turner, who grew up in Derby, has claimed he was molested by the former Rev. Alfred Willis in a Latham, N.Y. motel room in 1977 and that the diocese was to blame because it failed to supervise Willis properly. Willis settled separately with Turner last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

November 22, 2007

Final payments being made in Covington church abuse case

KENTUCKY
Lexington Herald-Leader

By BRETT BARROUQUERE
Associated Press Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. --The final payments are going out to victims of sexual abuse in the $85 million class-action settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

Each of the more than 350 victims in the case will receive 100 percent of what two special masters determined they should get.

While the money helps, it doesn't heal old wounds caused by sexual abuse and doesn't absolve the church from its responsibility to victims, say two abuse victims who now work as advocates for others.

"Sadly, settlement alone does not equal recovery," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, who works as outreach coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Re-trial starts Monday in priest sex case

BURLINGTON (VT)
Boston Globe

By John Curran
Associated Press Writer / November 22, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt.—A man suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington over alleged sexual abuse by a priest returns to court Monday, five months after a judge abruptly declared a mistrial in his case.

more stories like thisThe civil suit, brought by former Derby man James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., will be tried again in Chittenden County Superior Court, with the same lawyers, some of the same witnesses and the same issue at hand -- but with a new judge presiding.

Opening statements to the 10-woman, four-man jury -- including two alternates -- are set for Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Spokane WA bishop begins parish tour

SPOKANE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPOKANE, Wash. -- At a prayer service in a Roman Catholic parish where at least two priests who sexually abused children once worked, Bishop William Skylstad apologized and asked parishioners' forgiveness.

Tuesday's visit to Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Parish in northwest Spokane, where Skylstad once served as pastor, was mandated by terms of a $48 million bankruptcy settlement.

Skylstad plans similar prayer services in about 30 of the 82 parishes in his Eastern Washington diocese. The services are part of a settlement to bring the diocese out of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that was precipitated by lawsuits filed by people who had been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

ST. LOUIS: New suit alleges abuse at Cardinal Ritter Prep

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

11/22/2007

A Missouri man sued the St. Louis Archdiocese and a Jesuit priest Wednesday, alleging that the priest abused him 20 years ago at Cardinal Ritter College Prep.

The suit says the man, referred to only as John Doe 114, was sexually abused by Chester E. Gaiter between 1985 and 1987 at Gaiter's residence and other locations.

The suit says that the Archdiocese should have been aware of previous sexual misconduct involving Gaiter and other priests. The suit also names Archbishop Raymond Burke and the Jesuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Diocese using insurance to pay $3 million sex-abuse settlement

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY ERIN L. NISSLEY
STAFF WRITER
11/22/2007

The Diocese of Scranton has released new information about how it plans to pay a $3 million settlement to a man who was sexually abused by a priest and filed a federal lawsuit claiming church leaders did nothing about it.

The diocese will use money from a self-insurance fund and insurance carriers, according to spokesman Dan Gallagher.

The $3 million settlement came after three days of testimony at a trial earlier this month. The plaintiff, identified as “John Doe” in court filings, claims former priest Albert M. Liberatore Jr. sexually abused him from 1999 to 2002, beginning when the plaintiff was 14.

The suit also named the diocese, Sacred Heart, retired Bishop James C. Timlin and the Rev. Joseph R. Kopacz, the diocesan vicar of priests when the abuse occurred, for allegedly failing to heed warnings about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Detective fights for investigation documents

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Kate Uebergang

November 23, 2007 12:00am
A POLICE detective has appealed against a tribunal decision that refused him access to documents about an internal investigation into claims he had perverted the course of justice.

Det Sgt Lance Marke was cleared of any wrongdoing after he was alleged to have hindered an investigation into an Anglican priest accused of sex crimes against altar boys.

The Supreme Court heard yesterday Det Sgt Marke was wrongly denied access to documents relating to an Ethical Standards Department investigation of him.

Lawyer Jason Pizer, for the detective, told the court the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal had erred in law when it ruled personal privacy exemptions applied to some of the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Graphic Depositions Released in Bob Gray Investigation

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

Bob Gray Deposition (Warning: Mature Content) (PDF)

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- They paint a picture which will never be given in criminal court: 400 pages of sworn depositions from alleged victims of Bob Gray.

However, some of the allged victims say, they are looking ahead now to the civil suits against Trinity Baptist Church.

Former Trinity pastor Bob Gray died within 48 hours of when his trial was supposed to start.

He's charged with sexually molesting children several decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Jeffs is now an inmate at Utah State Prison

UTAH
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Published: Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 12:09 a.m. MST

ST. GEORGE — Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs is now at the Utah State Prison, where he will begin serving his 10-years-to-life sentence for rape as an accomplice.
The polygamous sect leader was quietly and quickly escorted from his sentencing at the 5th District Courthouse late Tuesday to a Utah Department of Public Safety airplane waiting for him at the St. George Airport.

"We were able to get him changed out of his suit into prison clothes, moved him up to the airport, put him on a fixed-wing aircraft and flew him out," Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith told the Deseret Morning News on Wednesday.

Upon arriving in Salt Lake City, state corrections officials said, Jeffs was driven to the Utah State Prison. Authorities described the FLDS leader's mood as "down."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Jeffs could be in Ariz. in 2 to 6 months

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Amanda Lee Myers
Associated Press
Nov. 22, 2007 12:00 AM

It could take between two and six months for polygamous-sect leader Warren Jeffs to be brought to Arizona to face charges involving marriages between two teenage girls and older men, an Arizona prosecutor said Wednesday.

Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith said prosecutors are eager to move forward but the longer it takes for Jeffs to be brought to Arizona, the longer attorneys will have to prepare their cases.

"We're working on the cases now, so this is just more time for us to prepare, too," he said. "That's not a bad thing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Justice Delayed - And Possibly Denied

NEW YORK
The Jewish Press

By: Editorial Board

As is being widely reported, longtime fugitive from justice Avohom Mondrowitz has been detained in Israel in anticipation of his extradition to the United States to answer to charges of sexual abuse that were lodged against him 22 years ago.

According to the Israeli court decision ordering his detention, Mr. Mondrowitz fled to Israel following his indictment in New York in 1985 on eight counts of child abuse and five counts of sodomy involving five boys ages 9 to 15. The court decision notes that because Israeli extradition law was recently revised, Mr. Mondrowitz can now be extradited to New York to stand trial on the charges for which he was indicted.

Though there are questions as to whether the statute of limitations has run on the charges, his detention and probable extradition are all to the good. The charges lodged against him were of the most horrific nature, and it is inconceivable that he should not be required to answer for them in a court of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Extradition Decision Renews the Focus on Alleged Sex Abusers

NEW YORK
Jewish Exponent

November 22, 2007

Ben Harris
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
New York
An Israeli court's decision last week to extradite an accused pedophile to the United States is giving renewed impetus to another sex-abuse case that activists say has languished for more than two decades.

Activists concerned about sexual abuse in the Orthodox community held a news conference last Friday in New York to renew pressure for action in the case of Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Israel in the 1980s to escape prosecution for abusing several underage boys.

The news conference comes just days after a Jerusalem court ruled that Stefan Colmer, who was indicted on charges that he abused two haredi Orthodox boys in Brooklyn, should be extradited to the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

“Perdonate alla Chiesa cattolica gli errori del passato”

CANADA
Radicali

La Stampa

"FORGIVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST"

"Forgive us for all the pain we gave you," is what Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, writes in a letter published by the newspapers of that Canadian province, bearing on his shoulders the difficult duty to apologize for the mistakes made by the Catholic Church in the past.

These include anti-Semitism, racism, discrimination against women and homosexuals, but above all sexual abuses and mistreatment committed on children. The list, in his mea culpa, is long and it brings to light the dark period before the ''70s, a period followed by the so called "Silent Revolution," which brought to an end the stifling dominion of a "deviated" moral Catholicism in the very religious Quebec society.

In particular, there emerges the story of the "Duplessis's orphans," in the '40s and '50s, the children of unmarried girls who were by then Prime Minister Duplessis trusted in the hands of the Catholic authorities, who not only abused them sexually but were made pass as mentally sick to get more subsidies from the state.

When the truth was finally known, people reacted by withdrawing their trust from the clergy and the Catholic church, the archbishop affirmed, hoping however to recuperate it by sending an appeal to the betrayed faithful: "It's time to put the past aside and start again" he wrote in his letter.

The archbishop affirms he was inspired by John Paul II, who in the year 2000 apologized for all the sins committed by the catholic church. Until that date, the American Catholic church - and, in a lesser measure, the Canadian Catholic church - had to pay hundreds million dollars for the innumerable lawsuits for sexual abuses committed by the clergy and high prelates.

But Ouellet's words don't seem to be convincing. Bruno Roy, the president of the committee representing the "Duplessis's orphans" has labeled the archbishop's letter as a shameful attempt to reinvigorate the Catholic influence on society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Sex shame of priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Chronicle

Nov 22 2007 by Brenda Hickman, Evening Chronicle

SHAMEFUL sex sins caught up with a former Tyneside priest who molested altar boys.

Father John Benedict Corrigan is facing jail – 40 years after abusing youngsters.

The 71-year-old clergyman, who is retired, dodged justice while his victims kept silent.

But after years of negotiations, Fr Corrigan was extradited from Ireland to face Newcastle Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Quebecers asked to forgive Church for clergy wrongs

CANADA
National Post

Graeme Hamilton, National Post
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2007
MONTREAL - In an effort to bring Quebecers back to Catholicism, the Church's top bishop in the province has issued a sweeping apology for historical wrongs committed by clergy.

"As archbishop of Quebec City and Primate of Canada, I recognize that narrow attitudes of certain Catholics, before 1960, favoured anti-Semitism, racism, indifference toward the First Nations and discrimination toward women and homosexuals," Marc Cardinal Ouellet wrote in an open letter published in newspapers across Quebec yesterday.

He dwelled on the Church's opposition to increased rights for women, including the right to vote and to work outside the home.

Such "abuses of power" tarnished the image of the clergy and undermined its moral authority, he said: "Mothers were rebuffed by priests with no consideration for the family obligations they had already assumed; youth suffered sexual assaults by priests, causing serious damage and trauma that ruined their lives! These scandals shook people's confidence in religious authorities, and we understand! Forgive us for all this harm!"

To some, the appeal might seem late, coming nearly 50 years after the Quiet Revolution began to shake the Catholic Church's grip on society and close a period of Quebec history now referred to as the Grande noirceur (Great Darkness).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Cardinal Marc Ouellet's open letter to Catholics of Quebec

CANADA
National Post

The following is the full text of Cardinal Marc Ouellet's letter to the Catholics of Quebec. The Cardinal's letter brings to light many of the church's past shortcomings but also how the Catholic church can play a role in that province's future.

Open letter to the Catholics of Quebec
In search of Quebec pride

Following my intervention at the Bouchard-Taylor commission, your comments have been many and varied. I have read all of them with great care, whether they came in the mail or through the media. I thank you for the messages of support, I also thank you for the criticism which has made me reflect and prompted this open letter, which seeks to deepen reflection, dispel misunderstandings and promote dialogue in a spirit of peace and reconciliation.

In response to my analysis of the Quebecois malaise I have heard “finally, it’s about time!” as well as “what a step backward!” Let’s be clear. I am not asking for Quebec society to go back to 1950. From a sociological and cultural point of view, pluralism and secularism have made their home in Quebec and we must be proud of the gains made in the areas of the economy, health, culture, social services, education, politics and dynamism of Quebec society. Quebec has an enviable living standard, a culture of liberty and tolerance, an openess to immigration and a load of talent in arts and culture. But a fact remains: its search for spirituality is languishing. Perhaps was it impeded by the excessive authority of the Church? Or perhaps has it not received the education necessary to its needs? The spiritual void which I have mentioned is the fruit of the spirit of the world which, by wanting to eliminate God, suggests, in a thousand ways, that we become our own God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Quebec cardinal repentant for Catholic wrongs

CANADA
Reuters

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The senior Roman Catholic clergyman in Canada, seeking to get rid of church baggage and turn over a new leaf, asked forgiveness on Wednesday for sexual abuse and discrimination committed by Catholics in the past.

In an open letter published in newspapers in the province of Quebec, Quebec Archbishop Marc Ouellet said that society in the Canadian province was burdened by wounded memories and that the Roman Catholic Church's moral authority had been damaged.

"It is time to take stock and make a fresh start," Ouellet wrote. "Mistakes have been made which have tarnished the image of the Church and for which I humbly ask forgiveness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Delay granted in trial of minister accused of sex abuse

BLOOMINGTON (IL)
WQAD

Associated Press - November 21, 2007 4:14 PM ET

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A Bloomington minister accused of sedating and molesting four boys has been granted a delay in his trial until federal charges are settled.

McLean County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Fitzgerald granted a delay request from defense attorney Steve Skelton.

Skelton said his client, James Love, would have a better chance of getting a concurrent sentence if his state trial comes after he faces charges in federal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Que. archbishop asks forgiveness for church's sins

CANADA
CTV

CTV.ca News Staff

The archbishop of Quebec City is seeking forgiveness for the Catholic Church's handling of sex scandals and its treatment of minorities.

Marc Cardinal Ouellet issued a wide-ranging mea culpa Wednesday, admitting that "errors were committed" in the past by certain Catholics and other church officials.

Ouellet's open letter was published in Quebec newspapers on Wednesday and addressed attitudes prior to 1960 that he said favoured "anti-Semitism, racism, indifference to First Nations and discrimination against women and homosexuals.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Quebec cardinal seeks forgiveness for his church

CANADA
Toronto Star

Nov 22, 2007 04:30 AM
Sean Gordon
Quebec Bureau Chief

MONTREAL–Canada's senior Roman Catholic clergyman has issued an extraordinary mea culpa for a host of historical misdeeds from sex abuse of children to anti-Semitism – raising hackles for critics of Quebec's church-dominated past.

In an open letter to media, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec and Roman Catholic primate for Canada, wrote: "Errors have been committed that tarnished the church's image, and for which we must humbly ask forgiveness.

"I recognize that the narrow attitudes of certain Catholics prior to the 1960s favoured anti-Semitism, racism, indifference towards the First Nations and discrimination in regards to women and homosexuals," he wrote.

He also indicated Catholic teachings on women's rights were out of step with society and in some cases "didn't conform even to the social doctrine of the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Prelate admits wrongdoing

CANADA
The Province

CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2007
QUEBEC city -- Marc Cardinal Ouellet, the Catholic primate of Canada, has issued a wide-ranging apology for past wrongs committed by church members.

In an open letter, printed in Quebec French-language newspapers, Ouellet asks for forgiveness for anti-semitism, racism, mistreatment of aboriginal peoples and discrimination against women and homosexuals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Critics dismiss cardinal's plea for forgiveness

CANADA
London Free Press

Thu, November 22, 2007

By DENE MOORE, CP

MONTREAL -- An apology from Canada's top Roman Catholic official for the failings of the church means little to some of those he admitted have been hurt by the church's abuse of power.

Marc Cardinal Ouellet admitted in an open letter published in Quebec newspapers yesterday that scandals have tarnished the image of the church in Quebec and that "we must humbly ask forgiveness."

Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec and Roman Catholic primate of Canada, wrote that this "abuse of power" -- including the sexual aggression of priests against children -- have shaken public faith.

"I recognize that the narrow minds of some Catholics, prior to 1960, encouraged anti-Semitism, racism, indifference toward First Nations and discrimination toward women and homosexuals," Ouellet wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Vigil for Father Mike

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

Dan Rodricks

This Just In, from a supporter of the Rev. Michael (Father Mike) Salerno, the pastor of St. Leo's in Little Italy who stepped down midst allegations that he sexually abused a teenager some 30 years ago in New York:

On Monday, November 26th at 6:30pm we will be gathering at the corner of Stiles and South Exeter Street (outside the church) to hold a Prayer Service/Candlelight Vigil in support of Fr. Michael Salerno, the St. Leo's Community and victims of sexual abuse. Fr. Mike worked so hard to build a strong parish and community. Let's come together to show him our support, continue his work, and to help everyone heal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Ouellet speaks only for himself: bishops

CANADA
The Gazette

MARIANNE WHITE, CanWest News Service

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the association of Quebec bishops refused yesterday to stand behind Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who apologized Tuesday for the past sins of the Catholic church. The bishops stressed he "spoke only on his behalf."

In his wide-ranging mea culpa, Ouellet said "errors were committed" by Catholics and church officials prior to 1960 in Quebec. He cited the handling of sexual- abuse scandals and attitudes that favoured "anti-Semitism, racism, indifference toward First Nations and discrimination against women and homosexuals."

While it is highly unusual for a bishop to make a public statement about the church's past wrongdoing, the Quebec church spoke out in 1990 to mark the 50th anniversary of women in Quebec gaining the right to vote in provincial elections, but did not address the issue of sexual offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Bishop Michael Warfel prepares to leave Juneau

JUNEAU (AK)
Juneau Empire

KIM MARQUIS
JUNEAU EMPIRE

Bishop Michael Warfel, the first Catholic priest in Southeast Alaska elevated to that position, leaves Juneau in January for reassignment to the Diocese of Billings in Great Falls, Mont.

The decision by Pope Benedict XVI was announced Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

"I'm sad to leave but also excited for new challenges," Warfel said Tuesday from Billings, Mont., where he made a short visit for the announcement.

Warfel, 59, ministered in Alaska for more than 30 years and in Juneau for 11. During his tenure in Southeast, he oversaw the construction of a large Catholic church in the Mendenhall Valley and improvements at the Shrine of St. Therese. He became a mediator in a heated subsistence debate and dealt with two sex abuse scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Support ebbs in abuse case

CANADA
Toronto Star

Nov 22, 2007 04:30 AM
Isabel Teotonio
Staff Reporter

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by accused child molester Pedro Briceno is relieved to hear that some in Toronto's Chilean community are no longer rallying behind the popular photographer after two other women came forward this week with allegations of assault.

The woman's comments yesterday come nearly two weeks after a fundraiser was held at St. Paul's Anglican Church for the wife and two children of the 64-year-old, which was attended by prominent members of the Hispanic community as well as the parish priest.

"At first there was a lot of anger," said the 24-year-old, adding she was especially "disturbed" to learn Father Maurice Francois told the crowd of about 45 in attendance that one of the Ten Commandments was not to bear false witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

November 21, 2007

OC Teen Molestor Suspended from Work in St. Louis

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
November 21, 2007 12:59 PM

Remember Larry Stukenholtz? Probably not. The former Mater Dei choir teacher didn't get as much attention as his fellow molestor, former assistant boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade. But Stukenholtz was also part of the most recent sex-abuse settlement by the Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Stukenholtz is now a music professor at St. Louis Community College, and sex-abuse victims have long tried to get the man fired.
Last year, when Sarah Gray filed a lawsuit against Stukeholtz claiming he abused her at Mater Dei during the 1990s, Stukeholtz dismissed the claims as "ridiculous."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Extradition Decision Renews the Focus on Alleged Sex Abusers

NEW YORK
Jewish Exponent

November 22, 2007

Ben Harris
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
New York
An Israeli court's decision last week to extradite an accused pedophile to the United States is giving renewed impetus to another sex-abuse case that activists say has languished for more than two decades.

Activists concerned about sexual abuse in the Orthodox community held a news conference last Friday in New York to renew pressure for action in the case of Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Israel in the 1980s to escape prosecution for abusing several underage boys.

The news conference comes just days after a Jerusalem court ruled that Stefan Colmer, who was indicted on charges that he abused two haredi Orthodox boys in Brooklyn, should be extradited to the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Must Read: A Victim’s Father Writes to the Priest Who Abused His Son

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

OPEN LETTER TO:

November 21, 2007

“Reverend” (?) Donald J. McGuire
The Most Dangerous Priest in America
Oak Lawn, Illinois

Congratulations! You have successfully accomplished much of the work of your spiritual mentor, Lucifer. For at least 40 of your 46 years of Satan inspired priesthood you have ruined the lives of countless of young boys and their family’s with your forced pedophilia. A special place in Hell waits, unless before death, you repent and seek forgiveness. I never imagined so much evil could exist in one individual as it does in you, Donald McGuire!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Researchers miss cause of abuse

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

November 21, 2007
BY ANDREW GREELEY
I was troubled by the meeting of the Catholic bishops last week, not because the new president and vice president are both Chicago priests. It was a perfect Chicago balanced ticket -- one Cub fan and one White Sox fan, good men both despite the calumny spread about them. It seemed to me, however, that the bishops backed off on both their opposition to the war (consistent, if unheard) and that the people who are doing research for them on the cause of pedophilia were telling them what they thought the bishops wanted to hear instead of what they needed to be told.

They now are calling for a "responsible exit" from Iraq, which sounds dangerously like what we hear from the White House and the Pentagon these days. "Responsibility" seems to mean a process of climbing out of the Big Muddy that would take years and endless continuation of the "long war." Because the United States created the mess in Iraq, it has a moral obligation to undo the mess, by which the White House and Sen. John McCain mean "victory." In fact the only responsible exit would be one that was as quick as possible. Our invasion and occupation were irresponsible and our behavior there will not become responsible unless and until we get out and leave the country to the Iraqis to whom it belongs. We will not expiate our sins by lingering -- and creating an even deeper Big Muddy.

The team searching for an explanation of pederasty gave a verbal preview of their findings to be reported in full later in the year. The cause of the problem seems to be change in sexual morals and media imagery. The bishops will love that and so will the Vatican -- a cause of the problem that is external to the Church. Blame the people for their sexual mores and the media for their exploitation of the human body, not why so many bishops denied the problem for so long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

NEWS

ITALY
Chiesa Cattolica dei Peccatori

The Rev. Sante Sguotti has posted on his Web site a copy of the five-page letter he send to Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua. He answered the request to describe his economic conditions to determine if the rebel priest, who is suspended "a divinis," expelled from his parish and waiting for possible excommunication, has the right to get a monthly check from the Padua diocese.

Readers can unload the letter by clicking the link "lettera al vescovo" on the right side.

The priest justifies his ownership of six apartment buildings, his bank accounts and extra income. The first home was bought in 1997 where the Welcome association resides. Women from foreign countries who entered Italy illegally and were forced to work as prostitutes are taught the Italian language and get minimum education so they can get documents and a job. The priest got a loan from a bank and he is repaying it. He has to pay back to the bank about 10,000 euros. Some of the women who live in the home now have a job and contribute to expenses. The association is now giving him monthly rent of 870 euros, which is much lower than the market rent of 1,800 euros.

The second home was given to an Albanian illegal immigrant who could not get a bank loan. The priest helped him with the home and the man eventually got a job and bought the home. The remaining homes were bought for other illegal immigrants from Morocco and Romania, etc., who are giving him a monthly payment for the mortgage or who have become owners of the homes, paying themselves or the mortgage directly to the banks.

The priest explained the bank accounts, some of which have a few hundred euros and some accounts are used to pay the mortgages. He makes a list of all income derived from his TV appearances, affirming the money will go to the Chiesa Cattolica dei Peccatori and to charities. He believes his job as a truck driver will give him monthly income of 1,000 euros.

In conclusion, he asks the bishop to consider his previous activity in the parish as being like a normal employee and he asks for all the rights due to a normal employee according to Italian labor laws. This would include severance payment for which he has started a lawsuit to claim.

Rev. Sguotti ends by saying, "If you were intellectually honest you wouldn't only give me what has been established by the canon law, but you would add much more, for if with a little monthly stipend of 1,000 euros I got in the past I was able to accomplish so much, I would with a little more money be able to accomplish much more."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Earl Paulk at the Center of New Southern Megachurch Sex Scandal

GEORGIA
Cleveland Leader

Archbishop Earl Paul at the Chapel Hill Harvester Church located just outside Atlanta is at the center of a new sex scandal set to rock the megachurch. Paulk's family stood in front of their parish a few Sundays ago and revealed his dirty secret: their 80-year-old leader had years earlier slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.

The secret was exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test, and although this is not Paulk or the church's first brush with scandal, Paulk could find himself in trouble with the law this time for lying under oath about the affair.

Proof of the affair and lie is Paulk's 34-year-old son, D.E. Paulk, who was known for years publicly as his nephew. D.E. Paulk said that he did not know that Earl Paulk was his father until the paternity test: "I was disappointed, and I was surprised," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Earl Paulk timeline

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 11/20/07

May 30, 1927: Earl Pearly Paulk Jr., is born in Appling County, Ga., to a prominent minister in the Church of God.

1952-1960: Paulk graduates from Emory University's Candler School of Theology and pastors Hemphill Church of God, now Mount Paran Church of God.

1960: Paulk and his family leave Hemphill under a cloud of scandal. Paulk later admits that he had an extramarital sexual encounter. Paulk returns later in the year to found Gospel Harvester Church in Inman Park.

1973: Paulk's church moves to south DeKalb County as Chapel Hill Harvester Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Want Salvation? Have Sex With Me, Commands Septuagenarian US Church Leader!

UNITED STATES
Medindia

Church leaders in the US make news for all the wrong reasons all the time. Here is the case of a 80-year-old priest of Atlanta who slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.

Earlier he had promised a church employee salvation in exchange for sex. In fact that was the only path available for her, he said and succeeded in coaxing her! He was well beyond his seventies when the affair took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

VIDEO: SLCC Professor Suspended for Sexual Abuse At Previous School

ST. LOUIS (MO)
PubDef

By Gabe Bullard

Filed Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 11:14 PM

Earlier this week, St. Louis Community College (SLCC) suspended music professor Lawrence Stukenholtz for sexual misconduct. Stukenholtz was not suspended for any misdeeds at SLCC, but for incidents at Matter Dei High School in California, a Catholic institution.

Court records show that after reports of sexual relationships and abuse with female minors, Stukenholtz was offered the chance to resign or else face a full investigation. He resigned and eventually wound up teaching music at SLCC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Judge says Jeffs doesn't have to pay for security

ST. GEORGE (UT)
KVOA

Associated Press - November 20, 2007 9:34 PM ET

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A judge rejected a request that a polygamous-sect leader pay $111,000 in security costs related to his case.

The request came from St. George police and the Washington County sheriff's office. Fifth District Judge James Shumate said no, but he did order Warren Jeffs to pay $1,000 for his transfer to Utah from Nevada.

That's where he was captured in August 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Polygamist Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The New York Times

By JOHN DOUGHERTY
Published: November 21, 2007
ST. GEORGE, Utah, Nov. 20 — The polygamous leader of a fundamentalist Mormon sect was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years to life in prison for forcing a 14-year-old girl to “spiritually” marry her 19-year-old cousin and commanding the naïve bride to submit to sexual relations against her will.

The defendant, Warren S. Jeffs, 51, was convicted by a jury in September of two counts of acting as an accomplice to a rape. Judge James L. Shumate of the Fifth District Court imposed two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison. The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has the authority to parole Mr. Jeffs at any time, but a spokesman, Jack Ford, said it would be unlikely to do so before his first hearing in three to four years.

Mr. Jeffs remained seated, his face expressionless, as Judge Shumate announced the sentence. He declined the judge’s offer to address the court, and his defense lawyer, Walter Budgen, said Mr. Jeffs did not want to say anything publicly because he still faced criminal charges for arranging under-age marriages in Arizona. In Utah, Mr. Jeffs faces federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Prison bound: Warren Jeffs sentenced to 2 terms of 5 to life; he plans appeal

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Nancy Perkins and Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 12:08 a.m. MST

ST. GEORGE — Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs could spend the rest of his life in prison under a sentence imposed Tuesday, as a judge ordered him to serve two prison terms of five years-to-life for performing a child bride marriage.

Defense attorney Wally Bugden said Jeffs will seek a new trial and file an appeal within a week.

"We just don't agree with the charge of accomplice to rape. We don't agree with the verdict. We intend to do everything we can to reverse the verdict," he told reporters outside of court.

A request to allow Jeffs to stay at the Purgatory Jail until his appeal was ready was denied by 5th District Court Judge James Shumate. He also denied a motion by defense attorneys seeking to set aside the jury's verdicts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Polygamist goes to jail

UNITED STATES
Malaysia Star

The leader of a U.S polygamist sect has been sentenced to jail as an accomplice to rape, after forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her cousin.

A Utah court jailed Warren Jeffs, who was once on the FBI’s ‘most wanted’ list, to five years jail.

The self-proclaimed prophet was found guilty in September of encouraging the girl to have sex against her will.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Polygamist leader sentenced for his role in child rape case

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Los Angeles Times

By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 21, 2007
ST. GEORGE, UTAH -- - The leader of a polygamous cult was sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison Tuesday for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl he forced to marry her 19-year-old cousin.

A gaunt Warren Jeffs, 51, sat silently as Judge James L. Shumate handed down the sentence. Prosecutors had urged the judge to make an example of Jeffs, who is seen as a prophet by about 10,000 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon splinter group that has been disavowed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"There needs to be a message sent . . . that you cannot hide behind your position as a religious leader," prosecutor Ryan Shaum said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Warren Jeffs jailed for forcing girl to marry

UTAH
Telegraph

By Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles
Last Updated: 8:54am GMT 21/11/2007

Warren Jeffs, the polygamous sect leader, yesterday received the maximum sentence of five years to life in prison for forcing a teenage girl to marry her cousin.

The so-called “prophet” of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) was convicted in September of two counts of rape as an accomplice for presiding over the arranged marriage of 14-year-old Elissa Wall to Allen Steed, 19.

James Shumate, a Utah district judge, yesterday imposed consecutive sentences of five years to life for both convictions stemming from the 2001 wedding he performed in a Nevada motel room, the harshest punishment available.

Jeffs, a self-proclaimed prophet whose followers believe he is a descendant from Jesus Christ is expected to be detained in a maximum security unit for his own protection with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole ultimately determining how long he spends in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Diocese details sources for $3M

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

By Mark Guydish mguydish@timesleader.com
Education Reporter

SCRANTON – The Diocese of Scranton has released more details on how it will pay the $3 million settlement of a lawsuit that had accused diocese officials of ignoring signs that former priest Albert Liberatore was sexually abusing a minor.

In a written statement circulated in weekly church bulletins, the diocese repeated its “deep regret and sincerest apology to the victim and his family members who were so grievously harmed,” and strengthened its contention that no money from parishes would be used in the settlement.

Specifically, the statement said the settlement would use: no parish assessments paid to the diocese; no Diocesan Annual Appeal funds; assessments for Catholic education; no parish funds on deposit with the diocese and no proceeds from the sale of parish or diocesan properties.

“This settlement will be paid from the diocesan self-insurance fund and insurance carriers,” the statement said, noting the diocese has run a self-insurance program for 33 years “whereby a deductible is paid for workers’ compensation, property and liability coverage, which includes a limited amount for sexual misconduct.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Jeffs draws 2 terms in prison

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Arizona Republic

Staff and Wire Services
Nov. 21, 2007 12:00 AM

A Utah judge Tuesday sentenced polygamous-sect leader Warren Jeffs to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison for his role in the arranged marriage of a 14-year-old follower.

Jeffs, 51, was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the marriage of the 14-year-old and her 19-year-old cousin in 2001. It will be up to the Utah parole board to decide how long Jeffs stays behind bars.

Jeffs' attorney, Wally Bugden, had asked the judge for concurrent sentences.
"This was all about religion," Bugden said outside court. "The foundation of this case was the prosecution of Mr. Jeffs because of placement marriages."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

More Women Accuse Charismatic Archbishop Of Sexual Abuse

DECATUR (GA)
AHN

Jessica Pupovac - AHN News Writer
Decatur, GA (AHN) - The charismatic figurehead of a multi-million dollar mega-church in suburban Atlanta is embroiled in a collosal sex scandal that now involves at least ten women, including his sister-in-law.

Beginning in 2002, women began coming forward, accusing 80-year-old Archbishop Earl Paulk, co-founder of Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church, of coercing them into having sex with him, telling them that it was "God's will." Another woman, now in her early 20s, claimed that as a young child, Paulk molested her.

However, it was not until a paternity test, ordered in late-October, revealed that Paulk had fathered a child with his brother's wife, Clariece Paulk, that the scandal exploded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

The Kleenex option a cardinal rule, Wilf

SOUTH AFRICA
Mail & Guardian

Khadija Bradlow: IVORY TOWER

20 November 2007 11:59

His Eminence Cardinal Wilfred Napier OMI
Head of the Roman Catholic Church
C/O Cover-up Cottage
Silence Street
Diocese of Denial
South Africa

Dear Brotha’ Wilf

Hoping you’ll pardon the familiarity, taking liberties with your first name and all. But in my business, as you know, everyone is on a first name basis. You know, “Leonardo”, “Angelina”, “Paris”.

Though I haven’t yet been graced with the pleasure of having you on my couch, I feel like we really know each other. For one, we have more in common than you’d believe ...

Though I’m not around much -- except maybe by teleconference -- I’ve been reading about yet another sex scandal to rock the Church in South Africa. Involving one Bishop Reginald Orsmond.

He, like me, was in charge of a haven of shelter for vulnerable underlings at Boys Town. Now some former pupils are coming forward saying he abused them. Just like that dreadful so-called matron at my academy.

Unfortunately, Wilf, it seems that’s where the similarities end. I’m talking, Wilf, about the shockingly stony-faced approach to matters. Matters which, if what I read is to be believed, are shockingly common in your neck of the woods.

I’m not here to judge -- after all, the Bible does remind us: “Lest ye also be judged ...” I’m just here to offer you a few tips on the finer arts of remorse, and winning over the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

DUNLOP FOUND GUILTY; Nailed on contempt count, returning to inquiry

CANADA
The Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Posted By Terri Saunders

Perry Dunlop has been found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to testify at the Cornwall Public Inquiry and has been ordered back to the stand in the new year.

A panel of three judges at the Ontario Divisional Court in Toronto took "just a few moments" to find Dunlop guilty of contempt, a commission lawyer who attended the hearing said Monday afternoon.

"This is what we were expecting," said Peter Engelmann, lead commission counsel. "I don't think it was a difficult decision for the court to make."

Dunlop, a former city cop who conducted his own investigations in the 1990s into historical child sexual abuse in Cornwall, has been ordered by the divisional court to return to the inquiry Jan. 14 to testify. A date for sentencing on the contempt conviction is expected to be set following that appearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Jesuits settle with more than 100 victims in sexual abuse case

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

by Megan Baldino
Monday, Nov. 19, 2007

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- In a settlement announced Sunday, The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province agreed to pay $50 million to more than 100 victims, for sexual abuse at the hands of their priest.

But the victims say it is now time for the Catholic Church to do the same.

In November of 2004, Peter Kobuk was just coming to terms with a past he thought he could keep hidden in an old, locked-up church in St. Michaels.

He relived his memories as he walked through the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Bishop prays, asks for forgiveness and healing

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

Erik Loney / KXLY4 Reporter
Last updated: Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 11:34:23 PM

SPOKANE -- Spokane Catholic bishop William Skylstad held a prayer service Tuesday night to pray for the clergy sex abuse crisis that rocked the diocese and cost it more than $50 million.

One of the mandates of the bankruptcy settlement is Bishop William Skylstad must visit every parish in the diocese where an abusive priest worked. He will visit 30 parishes over the next couple months.

Tuesday, he was at Assumption Parish in North Spokane, and announced two former priests, Patrick O'Donnell and Garry Boulden both worked here at one time, and have credibly been accused of abuse.

"In your church priests have abused your children, in your name we beg your mercy for this sin," Skylstad told everyone at the service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Bishop from Juneau to lead Great Falls-Billings Diocese

JUNEAU (AK)
Helena Independent

By STEVE QUINN
JUNEAU, Alaska - A man who once took a crash course in Spanish so he could perform a baptism will become the bishop to the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in Montana.

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Bishop Michael W. Warfel, of the Diocese of Juneau, will take over in Montana early next year after spending 11 years in Southeast Alaska.

"Alaska has been very much a part of what I envisioned in a priesthood location," Warfel said. ...

"It's about being involved with their lives and helping them grow into their faith, get through problems of life and help them with the spiritual dimension of life."

Warfel also had to tackle the same issue that surfaced in much larger dioceses, the issue of sexual abuse in the church.

Last year, Warfel notified the Vatican that there was sufficient evidence that former priest Michael Patrick Nash had sexually abused minors.

"That's probably the most difficult matter any bishop has been involved in," Hurley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Alaskans Recall Alleged Abuse by Jesuits

ALASKA
The Guardian

Wednesday November 21, 2007 9:31 AM

By TIM FOUGHT
Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Holding photos of themselves as children, Elsie Boudreau and James Niksik described what they said were years of sexual abuse by Jesuit priests that led to the announcement of a $50 million settlement.

They said Tuesday that their abusers were venerated in the isolated western Alaska villages where they grew up.

``This is a crime that our parents and our grandparents couldn't even conceive of,'' said Boudreau, who said her photo was taken for her first communion in the village of St. Mary's.

The press conference was held two days after the announcement of the $50 million settlement with the Pacific Northwest branch of the Society of Jesus, which includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The Jesuit organization's settlement covers 110 Alaska Natives who say they were abused by more than a dozen priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Victims of abuse speak out

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com

Published: November 21, 2007
Last Modified: November 21, 2007 at 12:18 AM

James Niksik was a boy growing up in the village of St. Michael when he tried to tell his father that a Catholic missionary was sexually abusing him.

The reaction? His father beat him for saying such a terrible thing about Joseph Lundowski.

"Because he said I was lying about the people at the church. He said church people don't do that," said Niksik, who is now 48.

His parents were devout Catholics. "From the beginning of the day to the end of the day, we prayed at least eight times."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Fr Shay writes: abused children can become violent adults

Independent Catholic News

From 35 years experience helping young people overcome the traumatic effects of childhood violence be it psychological, verbal, physical, economic, military, emotional and sexual abuse seriously damages lives, restricts full human development, reduces potential and can lead to childhood psychosomatic illness. It causes teenagers to become violent, bullies, teenage shooters, indulge in criminal behavior and suffer from adult neurosis. In others, children grow into aggressive and violent teenagers and adults. The absence of parental and family acceptance, understanding, nurturing, and affirming love creates a vacuum and vulnerability for negative and violent influences to dominate the lives of these children and youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

November 20, 2007

Priest abuse cases still pending in Fairbanks diocese

FAIRBANKS (AK)
KTUU

Associated Press - November 20, 2007 7:24 PM ET

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Victims of sex abuse by Alaska-based Jesuit priests have settled for $50 million in a lawsuit against a Catholic organization in Oregon.

That leaves the diocese in Fairbanks as the sole defendant in the case.

The Fairbanks Catholic Diocese is facing approximately 150 unresolved clerical sexual abuse claims.

It's pondering several options, including reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Salesians Trial Update

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

As of November 14th the Salesians Jury Trial has moved moved to Dept. 308, Central Civil West Courthouse, 600 South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, Judge EMILIE H. ELIAS. No trial date has yet been set. Key persons in that court are on vacation until the end of the month. City of Angels will get more details soon. Happy Thanksgiving. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Jeffs given two consecutive 5-to-life terms for rape as accomplice

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 11/20/2007 03:21:47 PM MST

ST. GEORGE - A Utah judge Tuesday gave polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs two 5-years-to-life prison sentences.

Fifth District Judge James L. Shumate ordered that the terms be served consecutively.

Jeffs, found guilty Sept. 25 on two counts of rape as an accomplice, will be transported to the Utah State Prison, where he will serve his time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

US polygamy sect leader sentenced

ST. GEORGE (UT)
BBC News

A US polygamist sect leader has been sentenced to five years to life in jail as an accomplice to rape for forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her cousin.

A Utah court said the state board of pardons would ultimately determine how much time Warren Jeffs would serve.

The self-proclaimed prophet spent 15 months on the run before his arrest in August 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Polygamist leader Jeffs sentenced to 5 years to life

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Arizona Republic

Associated Press
Nov. 20, 2007 03:44 PM

ST. GEORGE, Utah - A judge sentenced a polygamous-sect leader to five years to life in prison for rape as an accomplice Tuesday, the result of a marriage arranged for a 14-year-old follower and her 19-year-old cousin.

Warren Jeffs, convicted on two counts in September, was ordered to serve the sentences consecutively. It will be up to the Utah parole board to decide just how long he stays behind bars.

Jeffs, 51, is head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose members practice polygamy in arranged marriages that often involve placing young girls with older men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Concerns In The Catholic Church

WEST VIRGINIA
WTOV

The subject of sexual misconduct is a sensitive one to church leaders, parishioners and especially the victims; however, it’s one that cannot be ignored.

NEWS9’s Allison Latos uncovered there are two ongoing complaints being investigated in the Wheeling-Charleston diocese and asked Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese about local allegations.

According to Monsignor Fred Annie of the Office of Safe Environment, the complaints span the past two years and the diocese notified public authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

OC Diocese Not Paying Sex-Abuse Victims?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
November 20, 2007 12:45 PM

On Oct. 5, Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown announced that the Orange diocese had settled four molestation claims against former lay employees for $6.685 million. Today, the Orange diocese is supposed to pay up--but plaintiff's attorney John Manly says Bishop Brown and his cronies have delayed too long. This morning, Manly sent out a letter to longtime diocesan lawyer (and Orange County's 14th scariest person this year) Peter Callahan expressing outrage over the fact he's not returning Manly's calls regarding the transfer of funds.

"There is no excuse for you or the Bishop to hold the settlement up," Manly writes. "From my past dealings with your firm, I view this as just one more instance of your and your client's desire to further inflict pain on these poor women and further the truth." Manly went on to describe the Church's inaction actions as "toxic vindictiveness that is simply difficult to understand."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Priest Shares His Side of the Story

MARTINS FERRY (OH)
The State Journal

Story by Steven Centofanti

MARTINS FERRY, OH -- Bishop Daniel Conlin of the Diocese of Steubenville has relieved father Gary Zalenski of his duties as a pastor. Conlon releasted a statement saying he has a credible accusation regarding Zalenski sexually assaulting a minor in 1991.

Father Zalenski called the accusation a lie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Expedite Probe Involving Priest

OHIO
The Intelligencer

By The Intelligencer POSTED: November 19, 2007

We suspect that shock was just the beginning of emotions felt by many Ohio Valley residents, upon hearing that a priest serving in Neffs has been removed from duty because of an allegation that he sexually assaulted a minor in 1991.

The Rev. Gary A. Zalenski has been removed from his post at Sacred Heart Parish in Neffs, the Diocese of Steubenville announced. Bishop R. Daniel Conlon explained that the action was taken because of a “credible” allegation that Zalenski assaulted a girl while he was serving as a pastor in Guernsey County.

Few details of the allegation against Zalenski have been made available. It needs to be remembered that thus far, he is the subject only of an allegation. Regardless of the gravity of an accusation, the focus of it is innocent until proven guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Priest Faces Allegation Of Sexual Assault; Community Support Group Gathers

OHIO
WTOV

Rev. Gary Zalenski said he was shocked and devastated after learning that an allegation of sexual assault had come forward against him. He's been placed on administrative leave, and he explained to NEWS9 exactly what he's going through.

"I have become more and more emotional and trying to calm down and get somewhat of a control of my life," Zalenski said. And his parishioners tells NEWS9 they feel emotional as well.

"It's awful, I can't believe all this has happened," parishioner Marilyn Olexa said. "We said a prayer for Father Gary to give him strength to get through this. He's a wonderful priest."

Word of the allegation against Zalenski is quickly spreading across the valley, and this isn't the first time an allegation has surfaced from within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Priest Defends Himself

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
The Intelligencer

From staff reports POSTED: November 20, 2007

STEUBENVILLE — The Belmont County Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a minor 16 years ago said Monday he is innocent.

The Rev. Gary A Zalenski issued a statement late Monday through his attorney declaring weekend comments by Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of the Catholic Diocese of Steubenville as “damaging to my reputation and is not properly made in accordance with church policy.”

According to a statement issued late Saturday from the diocesan communications office, Conlon announced he had withdrawn Zalenski from active ministry “as the result of a credible allegation of his having sexually assaulted a minor in 1991.”

“The allegation was brought to the Diocese of Steubenville by a woman who was a young parishioner at SS Peter and Paul Parish in Lore City where Father Zalenski was pastor at the time. All information about the matter obtained by the diocese has been communicated to the Guernsey County prosecutor,” Conlon declared in his statement. According to Zalenski’s statement, “I have not yet been tried and convicted of anything either inside or outside of the church. Further, I maintain my complete innocence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Cardinal George views election as voice of God

BALTIMORE (MD)
Youngstown Vindicator

MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

BALTIMORE — In the past three years, Cardinal Francis George helped choose a new pope, weathered a sex abuse scandal in his archdiocese and rallied to a full recovery after surgery for bladder cancer.

For the next three years he will serve as the spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in America, including accompanying Pope Benedict XVI on his first papal pilgrimage to the U.S.

On Tuesday, nearly 85 percent of the nation's Catholic leaders meeting here chose George to serve as the next president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The vice president will be Tucson, Ariz., Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who became a bishop in Chicago under the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

"I take it as a calling because I was elected and that's the voice of God speaking through my brother bishops," said George, 70, who balked at the idea of laying out his own vision for leading the conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

U.S. bishops project 'air of unity'

BALTIMORE (MD)
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Baltimore

Efforts to grapple with two defining traumas of recent American Catholic experience, the sexual abuse crisis and political tensions between pro-lifers and peace-and-justice advocates, took center stage at the Nov. 12-15 fall meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore. ...

On the sexual abuse crisis, the bishops heard preliminary findings from a $2 million study on the “causes and context” of the scandals by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Early results appear to suggest the crisis mirrored broad patterns in American society, such as the sexual revolution of the 1960s, rather than arising from unique forces within the church. “This is in conflict with the idea that there is something distinctive about the Catholic church that led to the sexual abuse of minors,” Karen Terry, a researcher with John Jay College, told the bishops.

Speaking after the session with the bishops, Margaret Smith of John Jay College said that while the researchers do not have hard data on sexual abuse in other institutions, nothing they’ve seen suggests that the problem has been proportionately worse in the Catholic church than in other sectors of society.

While many bishops appeared to welcome the findings, a few warned that they offer no more than cold comfort.

“It’s a bit like my doctor telling me that my cancer is no worse than my hospital roommate’s cancer. ... Our situation should be much better,” said Bishop Robert Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Former local priest accused

OHIO
The Daily Jeffersonian

John Lowe/The Daily Jeffersonian

A priest who served in the Lore City parish more than a decade ago was removed from a parish in Neffs over the weekend after allegations of sexual impropriety involving a minor were conveyed to the Diocese of Steubenville.

Father Gary A. Zalenski, 56, was reassigned from active ministry Saturday by Bishop R. Daniel Conlon.

The church relayed information about the allegation to Guernsey County Prosecutor Dan Padden, who turned it over for investigation to Guernsey County Sheriff Michael McCauley.

McCauley said this morning that he has received no formal complaint from the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

If You Can't Covet Your Neighbor's Wife, Is Your Brother's Ok?

GEORGIA
Wonkette

This has been a really bad week for D.E. Paulk, the head pastor at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church (a megachurch outside of Atlanta). The church at which he is head pastor has been engulfed in a series of sex scandals due to the actions of his uncle and, to a lesser degree his father. Only — whoops — it turns out the two men were kind of hard to tell apart (at least for his mother).

See, way back in 1973, D.E.’s “Uncle” Earl was banging his mother, Clariece, who was (unfortunately) married to D.E.’s “father” Don. It was the seventies, though, so who knows who knew what about whom back then — though, probably the parishioners of the church, which was founded in 1960, didn’t know. Why did this all come up now? That’s even juicier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Usa, missionari pedofili tra gli eschimesi I gesuiti pagheranno i danni

UNITED STATES
la Repubblica

The sum of money, 50 million dollars, is the highest ever paid by a religious order
The victims lawyer: "the priests who gave trouble were sent to Alaska"

USA, pedophile missionaries among the eskimos
The Jesuits will pay for the damages

from our own correspondent MARIO CALABRESI

NEW YORK - The Society of Jesus will pay 50 million dollars as penalty damages to 110 Eskimos who were sexually abused by Jesuits priests when they were children or adolescents, in the period between 1961 and 1987.

The scandals in the American Church continue to reveal new and unexpected stories, which started to be known in 2002 in Boston. Those scandals seemed to have ended last summer, when the Los Angeles diocese made a settlement with 508 victims who had been sexually molested or raped during the last seventy years.

But now from Alaska comes the news that for the last 30 years, in 15 small villages among the most isolated and remote in the world, inhabited by the Yupik, who together with the Inuit form the Eskimo population, about ten priests belonging to the society founded by Ignazio de Loyola committed repeated sexual violence and abuses.

Those accusations were made four years ago but before the process started there was a plea bargain, which according to the Eskimos' lawyer, Ken Roosa, constitutes a record payment for a religious order, having each victim been offered half a million dollars to avoid the arraignment and pleading guilty on the part of the Jesuits.

The Society of Jesus's provincial father of Oregon, John Whitney, who is also responsible of Alaska, was very upset for the publicity given to the plea bargain, defining that announcement as "premature" and denying the Jesuits had sent to exile for many years priests whose sexual tendencies were already known, as was reported by some of the victims.

On the contrary, the Society of Jesus affirms that Northwest state, being one of the most difficult place for their mission, is where only the most proficient and courageous missionaries are being sent.

At St. Michael, a small island 15 km. long located on the North sound, the bay of the Bering Sea discovered by James Cook in 1778, the Deacon Joseph Lundowski abused almost all children from Stebbins and St. Michael, two minuscule villages inhabited by 150 families.

Lundowsky was accused by 34 people, who reported the violence occurred in a small church after catechism lessons, during the dark afternoons of the Alaskan winter. The man was a bald blue-eyed giant and he worked as a deacon in the diocese, even if the Jesuits denied any tie with their order and that they even didn't know who he was. He left the island in 1975 and it was discovered he died 10 years ago in Chicago at the Pacific Garden Mission, a religious shelter with a cafeteria and a dormitory. Most of the accused priests are now dead and their victims, who were then between 5 and 15 years old, are now between 30 and 60 years old.

The money the Jesuits will pay is due to the their responsibility for lack of control and for covering up the scandal for years. In 2004 there was added the accusation of their having burned and destroyed documents which showed their real behavior. Among the accused there was the Rev. James Poole, founder of the Catholic radio in the North of Alaska, now living in a retirement home. According to the plaintiffs, the Jesuits knew of his "inappropriate behavior" but even when he was sent back to Portland they let him continue his teaching to the children.

The victims' lawyer, from his studio in Anchorage, tells nobody had the courage to denounce those episodes until the news of the priests sexual scandals in the Boston diocese erupted. Since then stories of alcoholism, desperation and suicides emerged. "In some eskimos' villages," Roos said. "It's rare to find an adult who wasn't sexually abused.The Jesuits have never admitted that priests with a sexual problem were sent to Alaska. Now for my clients this accord means their stories of abuse , always denied, are finally made public," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Sex Scandal Hits Atlanta-Area Megachurch

DECATUR (GA)
My Way

By DORIE TURNER

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.

Members of Archbishop Earl Paulk's family stood at the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church a few Sundays ago and revealed the secret exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test.

In truth, this is not the first - or even the second - sex scandal to engulf Paulk and the independent, charismatic church. But this time, he could be in trouble with the law for lying under oath about the affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Residents rally around priest

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Sumathi Reddy | Sun reporter
November 20, 2007

By 8:30 a.m. yesterday, the first sign had already gone up.

"God bless father Michael Salerno

We love and support you!"

Mary Ann Campanella, a third-generation Little Italy resident, had taped the homemade sign in a window of her rowhouse, above her late mother's statue of the Virgin Mary. The inquiries soon followed.

A few hours later, Campanella, 66, and Giovanna Blattermann, 60, had distributed hundreds of signs to parishioners of St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church, aghast at the news that the Rev. Michael Salerno was removed as pastor because of an allegation that he sexually abused a teenage boy in Brooklyn, N.Y., more than 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Fr. Ejares holds Mass at Palace of Justice

PHILIPPINES
Cebu Daily News

By Nilda Gallo
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 12:05pm (Mla time) 11/20/2007

CEBU CITY, Philippines - After lying low for over a year, Fr. Benedicto Ejares, the Catholic priest who was accused of sexual misconduct by high school girls, was seen presiding over Holy Mass at the Marcelo Fernan Hall of Justice last Thursday.

This despite an earlier announcement by the Archdiocese of Cebu the priest was prohibited from hearing confession or celebrating Mass in public.

Ejares celebrated Mass for employees of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) at the fourth floor of the Hall of Justice in memory of an employee who died of a heart attack last month.

An employee of the PPA said the priest had a very light demeanor, even managing to joke during the mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Not so pleasant in Pleasanton

OAKLAND (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Despite opposition from a small but vocal group, the Diocese of Oakland continues to back Fr. Padraig Greene, arrested in 1999 for lewd behavior in a public restroom.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, members of the Northern California Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) distributed flyers at St. Augustine’s church to protest the appointment of Greene as pastor there. (See “We are all dealing with dysfunctional secrets,” California Catholic Daily, Nov. 13, 2007.)

In the online bulletin of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton (comprising St. Augustine’s and St. Elizabeth Seton’s parishes), under the heading “Notes from the pastor for this week,” current pastor Fr. Dan Danielson said that recent protests required him to reveal what Greene did in 1999. “I would not do this ordinarily any more than I would ‘out’ the sins of anyone else who had a position of leadership in this community,” said Danielson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

“Severe financial challenges”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

On Saturday, Nov. 17, about 200 parents, students, and alumni of Daniel Murphy High School in Los Angeles, carrying signs reading “Don’t Make the Children Pay” and “No More Victims,” marched from Pershing Square to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

The parents are pushing the Los Angeles archdiocese to keep the 53-year-old Catholic high school open. Last month, the archdiocese announced it would close the school, located at Third and South Detroit streets. An October archdiocesan news release cited “severe financial challenges” as a reason to close the school.

Though the archdiocesan news release did not say so, proceeds of the sale of the high school could go to help pay off the archdiocese’s estimated $373 million portion of a $660-million settlement with victims of molestation by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Brooklyn Prosecutors Seek Extradition of ‘Rabbi’ in 1984 Sex Abuse Case

BROOKLYN (NY)
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

by AP (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 11-19-2007

BROOKLYN (AP) — A man accused of sexually abusing children in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn more than two decades ago has been taken into custody in Israel, authorities said Friday. U.S. officials said Abraham Mondrowitz, 60, described as a self-styled rabbi, was arrested under provisions in a new extradition treaty with Israel.

“Immediately after a new treaty went into effect in January, we made an application for extradition and we are currently awaiting the outcome of that process,” the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said in statement. “We are prepared to prosecute Mondrowitz, if and when he is brought back to this country.”

The Brooklyn prosecutors declined to detail the charges, saying an indictment handed up in 1984 was still under seal. A Justice Ministry spokesman in Israel confirmed Mondrowitz was awaiting a court appearance there, but gave no further details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

FUGITIVE 'PERVERT' RABBI HELD

JERUSALEM
New York Post

By PHILIP MESSING

Jailed in Israel after 22 yrs.November 17, 2007 -- A disgraced self-proclaimed rabbi who police suspect molested hundreds of children in Brooklyn is finally behind bars after evading justice for more than 20 years, authorities said.

Avrohom Mondrowitz, 60, fled the United States for Israel in 1985 after he was indicted for sexually abusing four children in his Borough Park community, where he reportedly worked as a counselor with bogus credentials.

"My reaction was, 'Finally!' " said one of Mondrowitz's alleged victims, Mark Weiss, 40. "We have a monster that has been taken off the streets."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Ex-Brooklyn rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz faces extradition to U.S. on kid-sex rap

JERUSALEM
New York Daily News

BY MATTHEW KALMAN
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Monday, November 19th 2007, 4:00 AM

JERUSALEM - A Jerusalem magistrate Sunday ordered a former Brooklyn rabbi accused of raping several boys 20 years ago to jail while American and Israeli officials finalize a U.S. request for his extradition.

Avrohom Mondrowitz, a father of seven, faces extradition to stand trial in New York to answer a 1985 indictment on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

Mondrowitz, 60, once a popular child psychologist and youth counselor in Borough Park, allegedly sodomized the boys after befriending them or after taking them on trips to the movies and amusement parks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Church leaders meet with parents to discuss O'Brien stalking scandal

STONEHAM (MA)
WHDH

STONEHAM, Mass. -- The local priest accused of stalking Conan O'Brien was the focus of a meeting Monday between church leaders and parents.

Father David Ajemian had been allowed to chaperone field trips at St. Patrick's Church in Stoneham.

Parents demanded to know why, given his history of mental health issues.

"There has never been the suggestion that Fr. Ajemian's presence in the parish would constitute even the slightest risk to young people or anyone else," The Archdiocese said in a statement released on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Diocese gives precedence to background checks

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
Catholic Explorer

By Paul Storer
Published Nov 19, 2007

ROMEOVILLE—A potential predator will “think twice” before attempting to gain a paid or volunteer position that calls for him or her to work with children at parishes in the Diocese of Joliet, said Franciscan Sister Judith Davies, chancellor of the diocese, speaking about background checks that are mandatory for staff and volunteers who deal with youngsters in church or school settings.

“They are good deterrents,” the church leader, who serves as safe environment program coordinator for the diocese, told the Catholic Explorer Nov. 8.

Article 13 of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People states: “Dioceses/eparchies are to evaluate the background of all incardinated and non-incardinated priests and deacons who are engaged in ecclesiastical ministry in the diocese/eparchy and of all diocesan/eparchial and parish/school or other paid personnel and volunteers whose duties include ongoing, unsupervised contact with minors. Specifically, they are to utilize the resources of law enforcement and other community agencies. In addition, they are to employ adequate screening and evaluative techniques in deciding the fitness of candidates for ordination.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Fallen Priest Faces Molestation Charges

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KTLA

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest will be in court Nov. 30 to answer charges he molested two boys a decade ago, some 8 years after he admitted to then-Bishop Roger Mahony that he had molested children, it was reported today.

Michael Stephen Baker is charged with molesting boys at St. Hillary Church in Pico Rivera during the 1990s, and remains jailed with an $800,000 bail.

One of the priest's victims, now a La Mirada resident, revealed the sexual abuse to his parents after he bumped into his former sexual tormenter in a county jail. His parents told the San Gabriel Valley News that their son started drinking and committing crimes as a result of mental anguish caused by being abused by his priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

What CEOs Can Learn from Oprah's Sex Abuse Scandal

SOUTH AFRICA
The Huffington Post

When Oprah Winfrey admitted at a press conference that girls at her $40 million leadership academy in South Africa claimed they were sexually abused, it could have been a media feeding frenzy.

Two weeks ago, Winfrey called the scandal "one of the most, if not THE most devastating experience of my life."

Other than routine national coverage as soon as she broke the news, we've heard nary a whimper from the media, including the gossip rags and shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.

Was a hands-off-Oprah policy the reason?

It certainly wasn't back in January when The Smoking Gun uncovered "A Million Little Lies" about author James Frey's memoir A Million Little Pieces, touching off months of controversy and commentary from journalists, the publishing community and Winfrey's groupies.

This time, however, Winfrey handled the sexual abuse scandal so quickly, thoroughly and deftly that there's nothing more for anyone to say. Here's what CEOs everywhere can learn from the Queen of Daytime TV when they find themselves in the middle of a crisis:

--In early October, when Winfrey first heard allegations of sexual abuse, she immediately hired her own independent investigative team, headed by a former detective and commander of the Child Exploitation Unit of the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago.

Lesson: Involve law enforcement as soon as you smell a whiff of wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

For sex abuse victims, settlement doesn’t mean case is over

ALASKA
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
msmetzer@newsminer.com
Published November 20, 2007

For James Niksik of St. Michael, it’s not about the money but the acknowledgment that he was sexually abused by a Catholic cleric as a child.

“I tried telling my father when I was a kid, and he beat me,” Niksik said. “He said I was lying about the people at the church. He said the church people don’t do that, and he took it out on me.”

Niksik is one of 110 Alaska Natives who will share the recent $50 million settlement with the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.

The Fairbanks Catholic Diocese, co-defendants in the numerous child sexual abuse civil suits, has approximately 150 cases still pending against it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Diocese ponders bankruptcy in dealing with settlement

ALASKA
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
msmetzer@newsminer.com
Published November 20, 2007

The $50 million Jesuit settlement for more than 100 Alaska Native sexual abuse victims leaves the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese, as the sole defendant, with approximately 150 clerical sexual abuse claims unresolved.

“It’s great that they settled,” said Robert Hannon, special assistant to Catholic Bishop Donald Kettler, “but it doesn’t change too many things for us.”

The diocese has been exploring other options, including reorganization of the diocese under Chapter 11.

More than a year ago, the diocese took on extra counsel, hiring a Tucson, Ariz., law firm for settlement litigation as well as reorganization advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

A time to heal: abuse victims attend special service

JASPER (IN)
WFIE

Reporter: Alex Shabad
New Media Producer: Rachel Beavin

Update: A healing service Sunday for the alleged victims of a Jasper, Indiana priest.

Monsignor Othmar Schroeder allegedly abused boys during his 28 years at Holy Family Church church.

Officials say this abuse has really damaged their reputation partly because it was a secret for so long, that's why they are more than ready to begin healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

RELIGION-BALKANS: Bishop to Be Retried For Sexual Abuse

SERBIA
IPS

By Vesna Peric Zimonjic

BELGRADE, Nov 19 (IPS) - The Supreme Court of Serbia recently announced that a local court in the southern city of Nis did not play strictly by legal rules when it pronounced a bishop of the influential Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) innocent in a sexual abuse case brought by four young men last year.

The man accused of sexual harassment and abuse of the four young students of a religious school beginning in 1999 is bishop Pahomije, the head of the southern Vranje diocese of SPC. Vranje is some 350 kilometres southeast from the capital of Belgrade.

The Court quoted "serious breaches of legal procedures" last week and suspended one of the judges who took part in the controversial trial, which means the case could see a re-trial in the near future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Pastor removed after sexual abuse allegations

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Nov 20, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago) by Jessica Novak, The Examiner
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - When confronted with sexual abuse claims, Little Italy’s Rev. Michael Salerno did not admit or deny abusing his accuser.

This is according to a statement released by the Pallottines, a religious order that oversees St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church, where Salerno was pastor.

The Pallottines barred Salerno from serving as a priest while they investigate claims he abused a teenage boy in the 1970s. When the alleged abuse occurred, Salerno was a Pallottine brother at All Saints Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Jesuit abuse settlement aims to heal

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com

Published: November 20, 2007
Last Modified: November 20, 2007 at 02:05 AM

The head of a religious order sued by dozens of Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and volunteers apologized to the victims on Monday and said the church had failed to protect vulnerable children all those decades ago.

"I think what happened in Alaska, and in other places as well, in terms of people being harmed, I am deeply sorry for that," said the Rev. John Whitney, officially the provincial superior for the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, also known as the Jesuits.

The order will pay $50 million to settle the claims, many out of Western Alaska villages, Whitney confirmed Monday.

The settlement was announced Sunday by lawyers for the plaintiffs to the annoyance of the Jesuits. One sign of continuing tensions between the two sides: no joint news conference to announce the deal, as often happens in high-publicity cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

November 19, 2007

Sex Abuse Settlement In NKy

KENTUCKY
WCPO

Contributor: Kevin Delaney
Email: kdelaney@wcpo.com
Contributor: Ian Preuth
Last Update: 4:19 pm

Victims of sexual abuse in Northern Kentucky will receive settlement checks by the end of the month.

Last year, the Diocese of Covington reached an $85 million settlement with nearly 400 people who claimed they were abused by priests in the last 50 years.

Despite the action, the survivors network of those abused by priests says the Bishop's responsibility does not end now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

Editorials: Archdiocese and complainants

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

MSGR. Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer of the Cebu archdiocese, must have meant well when he asked complainants against Fr. Benedicto Ejares to “see” them.

Dakay’s call came after Dr. Frederick Boholst submitted a report to the city prosecutors’ office on the psychological condition of the girls after November’s incident.

While the report was only meant to support the motion for reconsideration filed by the girls after prosecutors dismissed the complaint against Ejares, it was revealing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

No date yet for Salesians trial so reading about Mahony’s lies under oath, predators in Confessionals, priests who skin cats alive -- I need a break

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

The Salesians cases November 5 jury trial still has no trial date and if that sounds Alice in Wonderland to you, it’s regular MO for the Salesians, according to Joey Piscitelli who battled the religious order in 2006 in San Francisco.

“Haven’t you noticed,” Piscitelli said, “there were hundreds of cases in LA that settled without even beginning depositions, those orders just accepted the agreement and settled, but not the Salesians.

“They take depositions of your cousins, uncles, parents, grandparents, grade school teachers, and they try over and over again to get the case dismissed.”

When I called the court clerk November 6th, he said, “Oh that case is trailing, it happens all the time. They're just waiting for a room to open up.” When I called last week his answer was more like, I have no idea what's going on. So I called Joey.

“They're stalling,” he said. “The first court date I had was in 2004, they postponed it to 2005. There were three different dates in 2005 that got postponed and then two different court dates in 2006 and when it finally went to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Stop the murder of young souls

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

BY THE REV. ROBERT HOATSON
Sunday, November 11, 2007

When the rumors about the sexual abuse of minors by Monsignor Ronald Tully became rampant almost five years ago, I decided to bring those rumors to him, face-to-face, in the rectory of Sacred Heart Parish in Dover. It was a brisk, sunny winter's day. I rang the bell to the parish office. A worker answered the door and immediately escorted me into the office of Monsignor Tully, a dank, dirty, smoke-filled room that was also, strangely, the office of the parish's music director.

Tully thought I was asking to see him so he could hear my confession. It is not uncommon for priests to seek out unfamiliar priests for confession, especially if they have something serious to confess. I proceeded to get right to the point. I asked Tully if the strong rumors I had heard that he was a sexual abuser of minors were true. He answered, "I would never do anything like that, and have you contacted the bishop?" I told him I couldn't contact the bishop since I had no definitive proof that he was a molester, but he asked me more than three times to speak to the bishop.

His demeanor told me he was guilty, but he would never admit it. He chain-smoked, fidgeted and requested of the music director that she confirm that he was not a pedophile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Report: $50M settlement for priest abuse

ALASKA
United Press International

SEATTLE, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A tentative $50 million settlement involving Alaskan Natives claiming sexual abuse by Jesuit priests has been reached, The Seattle Times said Monday.

Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa showed the newspaper an -email from a lawyer representing the northwestern Jesuits that said: "This e-mail will confirm that a settlement has been reached. ... The settlement calls for $50 million to be paid to the plaintiffs/claimants."

The suit by 110 Alaskans, most from remote coastal villages, alleges abuse by 15 Jesuit priests, brothers and Jesuit workers between 1961 and 1987, the newspaper said.

A Jesuit official told the newspaper Sunday the announcement was premature and "there are still many issues that need to be finalized before it is appropriate to make an official announcement about a settlement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

U.S. Jesuits to pay $50 million in Alaska abuse cases

ALASKA
Reuters

By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An agreement by Oregon Jesuits to settle sexual abuse claims in Alaska is the largest ever by a Roman Catholic religious order and one of the few successful settlements against any order, lawyers and victims rights advocates said on Monday.

"It seems that Alaska was a dumping ground for predators," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abuses by Priests, commenting on Sunday's announcement of a $50 million settlement by the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.

Lawyers said the settlement covers 110 victims in native Alaska villages where priests and volunteer missionaries were assigned by the Oregon Jesuit community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

The Other Health Crisis

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Commonweal

Paul Stanosz

It’s been a rough year in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, where I have been a priest since 1984. Recently the archdiocese announced the closing of the academic program at its 151-year-old seminary. Its central offices-on forty-four acres of prime real estate-are for sale to pay clergy sexual-abuse claims, and bankruptcy looms because a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in July opened the possibility that the statute of limitations on abuse cases may be extended.

Among priests, meanwhile, there is much talk of high stress, poor health, and low morale. More and more are battling burnout and depression as well as suffering heart attacks and dying prematurely. Two have committed suicide in recent years. At the archdiocese’s spring assembly of priests last May, I heard a lot of talk about how the limitations of canon law and parish structures add to the administrative burden and stress experienced by priests. There was a keen sense of the many pitfalls and the growing personnel crisis within the priesthood, and of the polarization that exists between recently ordained and long-time priests-what some call JPII priests and Vatican II priests, respectively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Plaintiffs say Jesuits to settle sex claims for $50 million

ALASKA
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Staff Writer
Published November 19, 2007

A $50 million agreement to settle 110 claims of clerical sexual abuse filed by Alaska Natives against the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus has been reached, the attorney for the plaintiffs said Sunday.

The Jesuits took issue with the statement by Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa, however, and issued their own statement.

“While the Jesuits have been dedicated to finding a just and timely solution to these cases, it is my understanding that there are still many issues that need to be finalized before it is appropriate to make an official announcement about a settlement,” the Rev. John Whitney, Oregon Province provincial, said in the statement. “When those issues are resolved, we will be available for a more complete discussion of the matter.” ...

Roosa and California attorney John Manly issued a joint statement later Sunday, calling the Jesuits’ denial of a settlement “baffling, sad and hurtful to the victims of predator priests in Alaska, especially since the Society’s own lawyer concedes that the Jesuit leadership agreed to the settlement. Now it seems that the Jesuits want to use silence and denial to allow time to spin the agreement as their move towards justice and healing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Key witness at Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry found guilty of contempt

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Monday, November 19, 2007 | 3:46 PM ET
CBC News
A former Cornwall police officer has been found guilty of contempt of court after refusing to testify as a key witness before a public inquiry into sexual abuse allegations in the eastern Ontario community.

An Ontario court ruled against former police investigator Perry Dunlop in a Toronto courtroom on Monday, and ordered him to appear before the commission on Jan. 14, 2008, to answer its questions.

Perry Dunlop, shown here after he first refused to testify in September, has been given a court order to answer the Cornwall commission's questions in January.

(CBC) The provincial inquiry is looking into the way sexual abuse allegations made in the Cornwall area over decades were handled by authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Cardinal George Ready To Take On New Duties

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC 5

Nov. 16, 2007
As Cardinal Francis George prepares to take on a prominent role, he talks to NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Israel May Extradite Sex Abuse Suspect

JERUSALEM
The Associated Press

By REGAN E. DOHERTY

JERUSALEM (AP) — A man who fled the U.S. for Israel more than two decades ago amid accusations he sexually abused children while pretending to be a rabbi and psychologist appeared in court in Jerusalem — a step toward his possible extradition.

Abraham Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Gur Hasidic Jewish sect, arrived in court Sunday after his arrest in Jerusalem on Friday. He is accused of abusing children while running an unlicensed private clinic in Brooklyn during the 1980s.

The father of seven fled to Israel in 1985 as New York police investigated charges against him.

The judge extended Mondrowitz's detention until Nov. 27, at which point he will decide whether Mondrowitz will remain in jail or be placed under house arrest.

Mondrowitz's attorney, David Ofek, said he plans to appeal the decision to keep him in custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

J'lem court extends remand of alleged U.S. sex offender

JERUSALEM
Haaretz

By Haaretz Correspondent and AP , By Aviva Lori

A Jerusalem court yesterday ordered a local resident who was arrested Friday, two decades after fleeing the United States to escape sexual abuse charges, to remain in custody locally until November 27. At that point the court will decide whether to keep Avrohom Mondrowitz in jail or release him to house arrest.

Two months ago ago the U.S. resubmitted an extradition request that was first made in 1985, months after Mondrowitz, now 60, fled Brooklyn for Israel, Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen said.

A search of Mondrowitz's apartment last May turned up four pornographic movies featuring children. On the basis of these findings, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Shimon Feinberg ruled yesterday that "there is a reasonable basis to suspect that he is still an active or potential pedophile." He said the fact that Mondrowitz was not charged with sexual abuse in Israel does not mean that he is not dangerous - particularly in light of the closed nature of the ultra-Orthodox society in which he lives, where sexual offenses are usually dealt with without police involvement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Fr. John Trigilio comments on Fr. Francis Mary Stone; Catholic activist: hierarchy knew of now-defrocked monsignor's problems

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott Matt C. Abbott
November 19, 2007

In addition to Father J. Patrick Serna, I asked Father John Trigilio, author, EWTN personality, and president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, to comment on the sudden departure of Father Francis Mary Stone from EWTN. The following is Father Trigilio's statement:

"Father Francis is indeed in my prayers. We were taught a saying when I entered the high school minor seminary in 1976, 'There but for the grace of God, go I.' This means that we are all in need of prayer and in need of divine grace. Father Francis needs our prayers and so do all priests. All of us are tempted from time to time. All of us have weaknesses, vunerabilities, and our own demons. We know too well that we all make mistakes, are imperfect and have numerous idiosyncrasies since many cannot wait to point them out to us. Original Sin produced concupiscence which plagues every human being who has a wounded human nature. Only Our Lady and Our Blessed Savior had been spared this due to the miracles of the Immaculate Conception and the Incarnation. The rest of us men and women have to fight the good fight which is more often a battle inside ourselves and with ourselves, i.e., our own desires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Deal reported in abuse cases

ALASKA
Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times religion reporter

Attorneys for more than a hundred people who say they were victims of abuse involving Jesuits in Alaska announced Sunday they have reached a $50 million settlement with the regional Jesuit province, though the Jesuits would neither confirm nor deny the settlement.

The 110 people, all Alaska Natives, said they were abused by 15 Jesuit priests, brothers or those supervised by Jesuits from about 1961 to 1987, said Ken Roosa, their Anchorage-based attorney.

Roosa said his clients ranged in age from about 5 to 16 when they were abused and said the abuse occurred in remote villages along the coast of Western Alaska and along the Yukon River.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

St. Leo priest faces abuse allegation

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Liz F. Kay | Sun reporter
November 19, 2007

A popular priest has been removed as pastor of St. Leo Roman Catholic Church, the cornerstone of Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood, because of an allegation that he sexually abused a teenage boy at a parish in Brooklyn, N.Y., more than 30 years ago.

The Rev. Michael Salerno, who parishioners said has revived St. Leo's during his 10 years as pastor, neither admitted nor denied that the abuse had taken place, according to a statement read by the Rev. Peter Sticco at a parish meeting yesterday.

Some in the crowd gasped as they heard Salerno's name. Some began to cry, and a few walked out after listening to Sticco.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

ANCHORAGE: Roman Catholic order to pay $50 million to victims

ALASKA
The News Tribune

THE NEWS TRIBUNE Published: November 19th, 2007 01:00 AM

A Roman Catholic religious order has agreed to pay $50 million to dozens of Alaska Natives who were victims of sexual abuse by Jesuit priests, their lawyer said Sunday.

The settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus is the largest one yet against a Catholic religious order, said Anchorage lawyer Ken Roosa.

The Oregon-based province covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

He called the settlement “a great day” for the victims in which the truth of what had occurred over many years was recognized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Baltimore Pastor Removed Pending Probe Of Abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

BALTIMORE (AP) ― The pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood has been removed amid an allegation that he abused a teenage boy in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1970s.

The Reverend Michael Salerno has been pastor at St. Leo for ten years. His removal was announced Sunday at a parish meeting.

The abuse allegedly occurred while Salerno was a lay member of a religious order known as the Pallotines, before his ordination in 1993.

He is not facing criminal charges, but the allegation has been reported to civil authorities in New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Bishop renews apology over sex crimes vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Gazette

Nov 19 2007 by Alli Pyrah, Evening Gazette

CHURCH goers spoke of their desire to move on from a dark past after a public apology by the Bishop of Whitby for sex crimes committed by a former vicar.

The Rt Revd Robert Ladds made a public apology for the crimes committed by Trevor Ward during a special service at his former church in Easterside, Middlesbrough.

Ward, who was vicar of St Agnes’ Church between 1981 and 1987, was convicted of sexually abusing children in March 1988.

He was sentenced to seven years in jail and stripped of his priestly orders before his death in December 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Jesuits will pay abuse settlement, lawyers say

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By BETH BRAGG
bbragg@adn.com

Published: November 19, 2007

A settlement of $50 million will be paid to 110 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests who preyed on children in rural Alaska, lawyers representing the plaintiffs said Sunday.

Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa said the settlement is the largest against a single religious order since stories of clerical abuse began to emerge around the country several years ago.

The provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus -- also known as the Jesuits -- called the announcement of an agreement in the civil case premature.

"It is my understanding that there are still many issues that need to be finalized before it is appropriate to make an official announcement," the Very Rev. John D. Whitney, provincial for the order, said in a written statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Settlement Reached In Priest Abuse Case in Alaska

ANCHORAGE (AK)
eCanadaNow

Anchorage (eCanadaNow) - A settlement has been reached between a Roman Catholic religious order and Alaskan Natives who stated that they were abused sexually by Jesuit priests. The religious order has to pay $50 million to over 100 people.

Over 100 Alaska Natives are going to be getting paid in the settlement as they all claimed that they were victims of sexual abuse by the Jesuit priests.

The settlement was reached with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.

Anchorage lawyer Ken Roosa stated it was "a great day" for the 110 victims receiving payment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

To the rescue

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Three nuns to whom the Los Angeles archdiocese sent an eviction notice last June have found a temporary home -- with an order of Episcopal religious sisters.

In June, the Catholic Sisters of Bethany received a letter from the archdiocese telling them to vacate by Dec. 31 – sooner if possible -- the Santa Barbara convent their congregation has occupied since 1952. Though the house was built for the Sisters of Bethany, it remained archdiocesan property. The archdiocese wants the money from the sale of the house to help cover the $660-million settlement it reached with victims of clergy molestation.

Three Sisters of Bethany -- Angela Escalera, 69, Consuelo Cardenas, 55, and Margarita Antonia Gonzalez, 49 -- have worked from the house with poor and undocumented immigrants on Santa Barbara’s east side. Since they received their notice of eviction, the sisters have been looking for another place to live.

Hearing of their plight, the Sisters of the Holy Nativity, an Episcopal Church order based in Wisconsin but with a retreat house in Santa Barbara, offered to give the sisters temporary lodging. The Sisters of Bethany will be able to stay at the Episcopal order’s St. Mary’s Retreat House, near Mission Santa Barbara, for as long as they need to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

LoHud Happenings: Westchester and Putnam

LARCHMONT (NY)
The Journal News

Today
Larchmont: Voice of the Faithful of Westchester. Speaker: Carmine Galasso. Topic: "Crosses: Portraits of Clergy Abuse." Free. 7:30 p.m. Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church, 60 Forest Park Ave. 914-834-2183.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Jesuits say no settlement yet over sex abuse claims

ALASKA
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Staff Writer
Published November 18, 2007

A $50 million agreement to settle 110 claims of clerical sexual abuse filed by Alaska Natives against the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus has been reached, the attorney for the plaintiffs said today.

A statement from the Jesuits, however, took strong issue with the statement by Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa that a settlement had been reached.

“While the Jesuits have been dedicated to finding a just and timely solution to these cases, it is my understanding that there are still many issues that need to be finalized before it is appropriate to make an official announcement about a settlement,” the Rev. John Whitney, Oregon Province provincial, said in the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

$50M Priest Abuse Deal Reached in Alaska

ANCHORAGE (AK)
The Associated Press

By MARY PEMBERTON

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Roman Catholic religious order has agreed to pay $50 million to more than 100 Alaska Natives who allege sexual abuse by Jesuit priests, a lawyer for the accusers said Sunday.

The settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus is the largest one yet against a Catholic religious order, said Anchorage lawyer Ken Roosa, who called it "a great day" for the 110 victims.

"These are people who were altar boys and altar servers and altar girls," Roosa said. "These are people who tried to tell their story and in many instances were beaten or told to shut up and told, 'How can you say such things about a man of God?'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Service offers 'healing'

JASPER (IN)
Courier & Press

By THOMAS B. LANGHORNE

JASPER, Ind. — Norbert Schroeder had a different perspective than any of the other roughly 100 people who came to St. Joseph Church on Sunday for a prayer service for abuse victims.

The 2 p.m. service, which the church billed as a "prayer service of healing," came months after the Diocese of Evansville disclosed allegations that a priest had molested more than 10 people.

The priest — Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, who died in 1988 — was Norbert Schroeder's older brother.

"A lot of the people here knew who I was," Schroeder said Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

More sexual abuse allegations surface against former priest

MARYLAND
The Frederick News-Post

By Ron Cassie
News-Post Staff

Allegations that the Rev. Aaron Cote sexually abused two young Massachusetts boys, though reported to police more than a year ago, were never mentioned in a local lawsuit against the former Montgomery County priest's religious order that was settled this summer.

The Dominican order agreed in July to pay $1.2 million to Brandon Rains, 20, after Rains' 2003 allegation that Cote had molested him when Rains was a teenage altar boy at Mother Seton parish in Germantown.

Brother Ignatius Perkins, a spokesman for the Dominican Fathers and Brothers Province of St. Joseph, based in New York City, confirmed Friday that a Massachusetts family alleged in the spring of 2006 that Cote had abused their two young sons. The family also reported those allegations to local police at that time, Perkins said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

$50 million for Alaskan abuse plaintiffs

ALASKA
Los Angeles Times

By William Lobdell and Stuart Silverstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
November 19, 2007
The Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church has agreed to pay $50 million to 110 Eskimos to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests and missionaries in some of the world's most remote villages.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs announced the settlement Sunday, calling it a record payout by a Catholic religious order. However, officials for the Jesuits -- formally called the Society of Jesus -- said there were "still many issues that need to be finalized."

"We are disappointed by today's actions by the plaintiff's attorneys, which we see as premature and detrimental to the work of healing about which we are all concerned," said John D. Whitney, the provincial superior of Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, in a written statement.

E-mail between the Jesuits' and victims' attorneys indicated a deal was in place, though some details needed to be worked out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Jesuits tentatively settle Alaska sex abuse cases

OREGON
The Oregonian

Monday, November 19, 2007

ASHBEL S. GREEN The Oregonian Staff
An Oregon-based Jesuit province has tentatively agreed to pay a record $50 million to settle 110 claims of child sexual abuse in remote Alaska Native villages, attorneys for the accusers said Sunday.

The settlement is the largest ever involving a Catholic religious order, according to a statement issued by plaintiffs' attorneys.

The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, with headquarters in Portland, includes in its territory Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. It is separate from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, which earlier this year agreed to pay clergy accusers up to $75 million to emerge from bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

HAUNTED BY PAST

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN

November 19, 2007 -- A Roman Catholic brother credited with turning around an all-boys Harlem high school was removed as principal after someone complained that he had been arrested two decades ago for allegedly soliciting a boy for sex, The Post has learned.

A gadfly priest charges that Christian Brother John Walderman - who spent 12 years at Rice HS before his abrupt removal last spring - should never have been permitted to work there because his superiors knew of the arrest when it occurred.

"This is another case of the Christian Brothers coddling a sex abuser," said the Rev. Bob Hoatson, a former Christian Brother and an advocate for clerical sexual-abuse victims.

The 1986 solicitation case against Walderman was dismissed a year later, court records show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

November 18, 2007

Fallen Priest to Face Charges of Molestation

CALIFORNIA
ABC 7

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18, 2007 (CNS) - A defrocked Roman Catholic priest will be in court Nov. 30 to answer charges he molested two boys a decade ago, some 8 years after he admitted to then-Bishop Roger Mahony that he had molested children.

Michael Stephen Baker is charged with molesting boys at St. Hillary Church in Pico Rivera during the 1990s, and remains jailed with an $800,000 bail.

One of the priest's victims, now a La Mirada resident, revealed the sexual abuse to his parents after he bumped into his former sexual tormenter in a county jail. His parents told the San Gabriel Valley News that their son started drinking and committing crimes as a result of mental anguish caused by being abused by his priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Healing asked for abuse victims

JASPER (IN)
Courier & Press

Courier & Press staff report
Originally published 04:15 p.m., November 18, 2007

JASPER,Ind. - What the Catholic Church called a "prayer service of healing" for abuse victims drew more than 100 people to St. Joseph Church here this afternoon.

The Diocese of Evansville held the 2 p.m. prayer service months after disclosing allegations a Catholic pastor had molested more than 10 people. The allegations against Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, who died in 1988, are the most against a priest in the diocese's 64-year history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Large settlement reached in priest abuse cases

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

Associated Press - November 18, 2007 5:24 PM ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A large settlement has been reached in the cases for 110 Alaska Natives who were victims of sexual abuse -- most of them victimized by Jesuit priests.

The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus has agreed to pay the victims $50 million.

Attorney Ken Roosa who represented the victims says the settlement is the largest one reached against a Catholic religious order.

Even so, Roosa says the settlement does not include the Diocese of Fairbanks. Those cases are still in litigation. The diocese owned and managed the churches in the villages where the Jesuit priests and volunteers were assigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Ted Olson makes a funny

UNITED STATES
The Carpetbagger Report

Of all the ways to introduce Rudy Giuliani, this has to be the least sensible. From the Federalist Society’s 25th anniversary conference:

Just a week after the indictment of former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, [former Solicitor General Ted Olson] said Giuliani had shown “the wisdom and humility to surround himself with talented, dedicated and energetic people” as mayor.

Seriously? Giuliani’s strength is his choice in associates? Let’s put that to the test:

* Giuliani inexplicably backed Bernie Kerik, and made him the city’s police commissioner, after he’d been briefed on Kerik’s organized crime connections.

* Alan Placa was accused by a grand jury report of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests. Giuliani then put Placa, his life-long friend, on the payroll of Giuliani Partners. (Adds Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks suspected priest abuse, “I think Rudy Giuliani has to account for his friendship with a credibly accused child molester.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

The John Jay study of clergy sex abuse challenges evangelical Catholics

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.
Friday, November 16, 2007 - Vol. 7, No. 11

Perhaps it's a measure of how badly the image of American Catholicism has been tarnished as a result of the sexual abuse crisis that so many bishops, meeting in Baltimore Nov. 12-15, could seem relieved at the news that the church's record on the abuse of minors is actually no better, but also no worse, than anybody else's.

That seemed the bottom line from preliminary results of a study presented to the bishops on Monday by Karen Terry and Margaret Smith of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on the "causes and context" of the crisis. Terry said their research suggests that the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, which peaked numerically in the mid-1970s, for the most part reflected "overall changes in behavior, attitudes, and media representations in American society during this time period."

"This is in conflict with the idea that there is something distinctive about the Catholic church that led to the sexual abuse of minors," Terry said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Ex-parishioners in Junction seek injunction

JUNCTION (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

JUNCTION, Ohio — Members of a closed Catholic parish, who twice chased away workers hired to remove the church’s historic stained-glass windows, have gone to court to bar the Toledo diocese from removing items from the church.

A motion for an injunction and a temporary restraining order was filed Friday afternoon by Janet Sholl, a former parishioner of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, against the Toledo diocese and Bishop Leonard Blair.

The documents ask Paulding County Common Pleas Court to bar the Toledo diocese and Bishop Blair “from removing any fixtures, windows, or building components” from the church property.

“It’s more or less a question of who owns the church — is it the diocese or is it the parishioners?” said Ms. Sholl, a member of St. Mary’s since 1962.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

US haredi Jew charged with sexually abusing dozens appears in J'lem court

JERUSALEM
YNet

Associated Press Published: 11.18.07, 19:11 / Israel Jewish Scene

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who fled the United States for Israel two decades ago to avoid sexual abuse charges was brought to court in Jerusalem on Sunday, a step toward his possible extradition.

Abraham Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the Gur Hasidic Jewish sect, was arrested in Jerusalem on Friday for allegedly abusing dozens of children at his unlicensed private clinic at his Brooklyn, New York home during the 1980s. He fled to Israel in 1985 as police were investigating charges against him.

At the downtown Jerusalem court building, Mondrowitz - small, slightly stooped and dressed in a black suit - was led into the hearing room with hands and ankles shackled, while four burly guards in khaki uniforms stood watched at the door.

The judge extended Mondrowitz's detention until November 27, at which point he will decide whether Mondrowitz will remain in jail or be placed under house arrest. Mondrowitz's attorney, David Ofek, said he plans to appeal the decision to keep Mondrowitz in custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Use of funds irks former parishioners

KANSAS (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

KANSAS, Ohio - Members and supporters of the former St. James Parish, a rural church closed by Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair in July, 2005, have pitched in more than $60,000 to sue the Toledo Catholic Diocese, claiming their old church and property belong to the ex-members and not the bishop.

But the former parishioners were outraged to discover recently that money they donated to their parish while it was open is now being used by the diocese to pay attorneys who are fighting them in court.

Documents obtained by the plaintiffs and The Blade show that the Diocese of Toledo has transferred at least $44,990 from St. James' account to the Toledo law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick to pay legal fees involving St. James' lawsuit in Seneca County Common Pleas Court.

"It doesn't seem right," said Ginny Hull, a plaintiff along with her husband, James. "The diocese never put a cent in. The people bought the property. They bought the property before the Toledo diocese was even formed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Bishop's abuse remarks rile some

MICHIGAN
The Grand Rapids Press

Saturday, November 17, 2007

By Charles Honey
The Grand Rapids Press
Remarks by a Chicago bishop to West Michigan Catholic lawyers and judges have stirred a national discussion about the church's legal liability for sexual abuse and other lawsuits, and whether that liability jeopardizes its good works.

Some see in Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki's October 15 homily at St. Andrew's Cathedral a blaming of abuse survivors for the heavy financial hits dioceses have taken. Others say he raises points that ought to be considered in weighing plaintiffs' rights to compensation against the church's ability to feed the hungry, protect children and other charitable work.

Based on the intensity of the chatter, one thing is clear: Five years after the abuse scandal broke, many Catholics still don't trust the bishops' methods and motives in responding to this tragedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

La situazione è grave ma non è ...

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

"The situation is grave but it's not serious," said the Rev. Sante Sguotti. (This phrase is used when one wants to make fun of a certain situation).

One would think the story of the rebel priest would end and that he would withdraw and reflect in silence. On the contrary, here is Rev. Sante, former parish priest of Monterosso, continuously under the limelight, a guest on national and local TV, in the daily newspapers and in the tabloids, releasing interviews (perhaps well-paid) and now with a book where his intimacy is described with no decency. It's very sad.

There is no real teaching on the part of the priest who founded the Chiesa Cattolica dei Peccatori Association (Catholic Church of the Sinners.) We are all sinners and we are already part of this Catholic and Apostolic Church, being aware that humility, charity and obedience are still virtues.

The priest tries to be visible like commercials. He seems to be possessed by an unlimited ego, by the wish to appear on the stage continuously, and at any cost, and he speaks, speaks, speaks.

He is far from the humility showned by Rev. Oreste Benzi, who recently passed away. He dressed in worn-out clothes, with the rosary in his hand, and with a sincere and open smile, living his priesthood in full faith and a total love for God that was shown in his prayers and his dedication to the hapless creatures he found in the streets and to whom he gave help and the hope deriving from his faith. There is no space for shows, disobedience to his bishop and satanic pride. But the Rev. Benzi was a real man of God. He was a saint. This other priest is only...Sante.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Priest saddened by EWTN priest's departure

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
November 18, 2007

Recent news that Father Francis Mary Stone has stepped down as host of EWTN's Life on the Rock youth program — after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a woman — has surprised and saddened many Catholics.

I asked Father J. Patrick Serna, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Banquete, Texas, if he had a comment on the matter.

Father Serna's statement (via e-mail) is as follows:

"It is always sad to see someone walk away from promises, especially solemn ones, which were made if front of the Altar of God, with Jesus in the Tabernacle as witness. This holds true for Father Francis Mary Stone, for others who have gone down that road, and it also holds true for those who have decided to choose divorce. I am reminded of Genesis 25:29-34, when Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for some bread and lentil soup.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Choral director suspended during sex investigation

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Springfield News-Leader

The Associated Press

St. Louis — The choral director at St. Louis Community College at Meramec has been suspended with pay as administrators look into claims he had sex with one of his high school students nine years ago.

Larry Stukenholtz was told of the decision Friday afternoon following a meeting of the college's board of trustees, said community college system spokesman Pat Crowe.

"The college will make a decision about Stukenholtz's employment status upon the conclusion of the review of relevant information," Crowe told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Catholic bishops vs. grown-ups

UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

By Eugene Cullen Kennedy
November 18, 2007

The nation's Catholic bishops warned their people last week that the choices they make in the voting booth are something like the sins they admit in the confessional. In an approach that even friendly commentators would hardly describe as subtle, the bishops warned that how a Catholic votes will have "an impact ... on the individual's salvation."

The bishops feel pretty good about themselves regarding this action, according to reports.

Russell Shaw, their former information director, says they are "looking for hopeful signs that they have turned the corner" from the sex-abuse crisis and regained the moral influence they had a generation ago when they issued thoughtful pastoral letters on nuclear war and the economy.

The bishops have turned a corner all right, but it is into the same blind alley in which they have been milling about, unsure of what to do, since the still-unresolved sex-abuse crisis exploded almost six years ago.

The reason they feel good is not because they seek to be visionary leaders but because they think they have reasserted control over their people. Their idea of what has been wrong with the church is what other authorities, including church teaching, declare to be right: that mature faith is integrated as a master motive into the lives of believers so that, on their own, they consult theological principles and follow their consciences in making moral choices that include how they vote on Election Day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Church lawyers challenge constitutionality of new Delaware law

DELAWARE
CBS 3

DOVER, Del. (AP) A new Delaware law that allows victims of child sexual abuse to seek damages for abuse that occurred years ago is facing constitutional challenges from attorneys representing Catholic church officials.

The legal fight centers on a provision in the law that allows a two-year ``lookback'' period during which lawsuits previously barred by the statute of limitations can be brought again.

Attorneys for the church officials believe the provision violates the defendants' constitutional rights to due process.

Attorney William Kelleher says it could set a precedent for reviving other lapsed actions. And he says similar laws in other states have been found to violate due process rights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Kicanas: Bishops' guide about values for voters

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.18.2007
A voting guide for Catholics approved last week by U.S. bishops is not meant to tell people how to vote, says Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas.

Rather, it is meant to give Catholics "guiding values" on such issues as abortion as they decide for themselves how to vote, he said in an interview after returning from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' meeting in Baltimore. ...

Kicanas sat down Friday with the Star to answer questions about his new role, the bishops' goals, and ongoing criticisms of the Church's handling of sexual abuse by priests — which victims voiced again after the bishops elected their officers last week.
Here are excerpts from the interview: ...

The Chicago Sun Times ran a story this week about the Rev. Daniel McCormack, who is now in prison for molesting five boys. The vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago was quoted as saying McCormack should never have been ordained. You were the rector of Mundelein Seminary when McCormack studied and was ordained. There were accusations of sexual improprieties against him while he was a seminarian. Do you regret ordaining him?

"What the vicar general said, looking back, I totally agree with. The McCormack situation is a tragedy for the children who were harmed, for this person. One has to say with great regrets that he was ordained. His life has become tragic. I don't know the history of it, I don't know the circumstances of what actually took place, but clearly it was a tragic situation and looking back, clearly he should not have been ordained. …

"It's a terribly difficult decision to make, if in the context of the whole individual, the whole person, he is able to be ordained. I compare it maybe a little bit to Peter and Judas. They both had difficulties. Peter ended up being the rock of the church and Judas became the betrayer. How do you know clearly, as you are looking forward, whether some things that have taken place should prevent a person from being ordained or not?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Popular ex-priest hid dark side

CALIFORNIA
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Ruby Gonzales, Staff Writer

He was known as Father Mike, a popular priest at St. Hilary in Pico Rivera and at St. Paul of the Cross in La Mirada.

But Michael Stephen Baker hid a dark side.

The ex-priest once admitted to having relationships with boys. Children in parishes he served accused him of molesting them as far back as 1974.

Since last year, the defrocked clergyman has been in a Los Angeles County jail as a second molestation case against him winds its way through the courts.

Prosecutors allege that the 59-year-old Long Beach man molested two boys from 1994 to 1998 while assigned to churches in Pico Rivera and Los Angeles. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will return to Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 30 for a hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Church founder charged with sex abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 18, 2007
BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter spatterson@suntimes.com
For half of his life, a young Chicago man feared that if he told his secret, he'd be humiliated in front of his family.

Maybe even deported.

That, he says, was what his church pastor told him.

And that's what he says drove the 22-year-old to tell no one that the Rev. Jose Rolando Morales had regularly molested him for 11 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Pastor Removed After Sexual Assault Allegation

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
The State Journal

STEUBENVILLE -- STATEMENT OF BISHOP R. DANIEL CONLON DIOCESE OF STEUBENVILLE REGARDING REV. GARY A. ZALENSKI

NOVEMBER 17, 2007

Effective today, I have withdrawn Father Gary A. Zalenski, who is currently serving as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Neffs, Ohio, from active ministry, as the result of a credible allegation of his having sexually assaulted a minor in 1991. He may not present himself as a priest or carry out any public function as a priest. Within a few days he will move from the rectory at Sacred Heart to a private residence of his own choosing.

The allegation was brought to the Diocese of Steubenville by a woman who was a young parishioner at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Lore City, Ohio, where Father Zalenski was pastor at the time. All information about the matter obtained by the diocese has been communicated to the Guernsey County Prosecutor.

The matter will be referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an office of the Holy See in Rome, for further action. This could take some time. In the meantime, Gary Zalenski will remain a priest of the Diocese of Steubenville, and the diocese will provide material assistance to him as needed.

This matter is being handled in full accord with the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”, which was adopted by the Catholic bishops of the United States in 2002, the “Essential Norms”, which are special laws approved by the Pope for the United States to deal with child abuse, and the Diocese of Steubenville’s “Decree on Child Protection”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Liberatore trod a well-traveled path to abuse

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

By Terrie Morgan-Besecker tmorgan@timesleader.com
Law & Order Reporter

SCRANTON – For more than a decade, the Rev. Albert Liberatore was viewed as a rising star within the Diocese of Scranton.

From the day in 1989 when he was ordained by then Bishop James Timlin, Liberatore was known as a charismatic, compassionate priest who had a gift for motivating people – talents that earned him several prestigious appointments within the diocese.

But there was a dark side to Liberatore as well – one that he revealed to three impressionable young men he mentored in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Those men would learn that the respected clergyman – who on Sundays preached chastity and abstinence from alcohol – was himself an excessive drinker who engaged in sexual activity with other men, according to their sworn testimony in court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

November 17, 2007

Pope removes Illinois monsignor from priesthood

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
ABC 7

November 17, 2007 (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) - Pope Benedict XVI has removed an Illinois monsignor from the priesthood following allegations of sexual misconduct, church officials said.

Monsignor Eugene Costa, 57, of Springfield, is the former pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Sherman and Holy Family Church in Athens, and has been on leave since January 2005.

Because the pope removed him, the action can't be appealed, said Kathie Sass, a spokeswoman the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said on Friday.

Costa, once chancellor of the Springfield diocese, is also no longer permitted to perform priestly ministries or call himself "father," she said.

"Catholics believe the holy order leaves a permanent mark on the soul," she told the (Springfield) State Journal-Register. "In one sense, he will always be a priest. But this has removed him from the clerical state permanently."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Bishop says sorry for sex abuse priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Herald

By James Hamilton

A BISHOP made a public apology yesterday for the child sex abuse committed by a former vicar in his diocese 20 years ago.

The Bishop of Whitby, the Right Reverend Robert Ladds, said he was sorry to the individuals affected by the actions of former Middlesbrough clergyman Trevor Ward.

Ward's victims were invited to the special service to pray for a return of trust to the parish of the Church of St Agnes in Easterside.

Ward was jailed for seven years and stripped of his priestly orders after being convicted of nine counts of sexual abuse in March 1988. He died last December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Pope Removes Priest

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
WEEK

By News 25 Staff
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield says Pope Benedict The Sixteenth has removed Monsignor Eugene Costa from the priesthood. The 57-year-old Costa is the former pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Sherman and Holy Family Church in Athens.

Costa was beaten by two men in a park in December of 2004. He was later accused of soliciting the two men for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Belmont County Priest Removed After Allegation Of Sexual Abuse

OHIO
WTOV

A Belmont County priest was removed from active ministry on Saturday after an allegation of sexual abuse.

According to Bishop Daniel Conlon, Father Gary Zalenski, the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Neffs, was withdrawn from active ministry as a result of a credible allegation of having sexually assaulted a minor in 1991 when he was a pastor in Lore City, Ohio.

NEWS9 is told that Zalenski, 56, will remain a priest in the diocese and that the case has been handed over to the Guernsey County prosecutor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Priest says clerical sex abuse issue not over

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

A Catholic priest, who for over 20 years has been a leading advocate of the rights of people sexually abused by clergy, has warned the worst is not over where the issue is concerned.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," US Dominican priest Fr Tom Doyle has said. A canon lawyer and former US air force chaplain, in 1985 he helped draft a report on clerical child sex abuse for America's Catholic bishops. He is a regular visitor to Ireland.

"It [clerical child sex abuse] may not be front-page news, but the nightmare is still going on. We are only starting to see the extent of clergy abuse in non-English speaking countries.

"We'll continue to see victims come forward because the sickness is far deeper and wider than anyone can imagine."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Former priest pleads guilty to sex assaults

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

A former priest yesterday pleaded guilty at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee, Co Kerry, to 53 counts of indecent assault against three females and two males.

The offences occurred in Co Kerry between 1965 and 1973 and there were 32 counts of indecent assault on one of the boys and 16 on one of the girls.

The court was told the victims were all from one family. They did not wish to be identified and naming the accused would identify them, prosecuting counsel Tom Rice said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Archdiocese to Settle Misconduct Cases

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 11/16/2007
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON - The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is about to agree to an out-of-court settlement concerning two old cases of sexual misconduct involving former priests – archimandrites from California – according to information obtained by the National Herald. The cost for the settlement is expected to exceed the sum of $2 million, plus legal fees of $300 thousand.

One case concerns the late Stanley Adamakis, who was murdered in 2003 by a person with whom he had a special relationship. Mr. Adamakis had pled guilty to charges in 1990 that he had sexually molested two teenagers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

It’s Always the Cover-up That Gets Them

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

The Orthodox of America are asking themselves many questions regarding the scandals of our day. What did the Orthodox Hierarchs know about the unethical practices of our clergy, and when did they know it? The National Herald today asked:

Did members of our Church’s ecclesiastical framework, at various levels of the Church’s administrative strata, have prior knowledge of priests with certain proclivities and records of abusing minors? After all, this is what the lawsuits are alleging to justify pursuing reparation from other than those who are allegedly directly responsible.

We hope the Church is simply acting in its own defense, but circumstances being what they are, and the spirit of the times being what it is (e.g., the Roman Catholic Church’s sex scandals), we are raising these questions in the hope of helping our community search for answers to effectively confront this grave challenge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Give church a chance to help you, Dakay tells priest’s complainants

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

“COME and see us,” Msgr. Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer of the Cebu Archdiocese, advised the teenage girls who complained they were harassed by a priest last year.

Dakay said they want to talk to all the girls who accused Fr. Benedicto Ejares of acts of lasciviousness, child abuse and sexual harassment so the archdiocese can help them.

Originally, seven high school students of the Abellana National School complained that Ejares touched them inappropriately when he heard their confessions during a Life in the Spirit seminar in school last Nov. 14.

Dakay refused to comment further on the recent report Dr. Frederick Boholst submitted to the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor, in which he said that five of the high school students suffered from “considerable psychological distress.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Ruling on Child Sex Abuse Revives Stalled Cases

UNITED STATES
NPR

by Frank Morris

Listen Now [4 min 35 sec] add to playlist

All Things Considered, November 16, 2007 · Last year, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse cases should start ticking when the victim realizes he or she was hurt, rather than a set time after the incident. As a result, dozens of long-stalled priest sexual abuse cases are moving ahead in the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Posters to fight abuse; available around diocese

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Three new posters aimed at eliminating sexual abuse will soon be made available throughout the Diocese of London.

The posters are part of a new sexual abuse policy being developed by a From Isolation to Action (FITA) committee established in the diocese.

Chatham-Kent Crown Attorney Paul Bailey and other committee members unveiled the posters Friday in Chatham.

The colourful stained glass background for one of the posters is a window at St. Ursula's Church in Chatham. The message is: "Our first duty is to protect the children.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Springfield's Monsignor Kicked Out Of Priesthood

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
CBS 2

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) ― The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield says Monsignor Eugene Costa has been removed from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI.

The 57-year-old Costa is the former pastor of St. John Vianney Church in downstate Sherman and Holy Family Church in downstate Athens, and has been on leave since January 2005. Because his removal was made directly by Pope Benedict, it cannot be appealed.

Costa was once chancellor of the Springfield diocese. His problems began when he was beaten by two young men in a park in December of 2004. It was later alleged that he had solicited the two for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Group takes priest case to Oakland

OAKLAND (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Meera Pal, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 11/17/2007 02:36:35 AM PST

A small but emotional group gathered outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland headquarters Friday to question why a priest with a public lewdness arrest was chosen to oversee the Pleasanton parish.

Instead of Bishop Allen Vigneron, who is in Washington, D.C., the group faced the Rev. Mark Wiesner, a spokesman for the diocese, who reiterated the bishop's support for the Rev. Padraig Greene.

Greene, who on Jan. 1 will become pastor of St. Augustine and St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic churches in Pleasanton, was arrested in 1999 for performing a sex act on himself in a public restroom at an Oakland hills sports center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Ex-Brooklyn rabbi likely to be dragged back to Brooklyn to face kid-sex charges

BROOKLYN (NY)
New York Daily News

BY MATTHEW KALMAN in Jerusalem, JOE GOULD and DAVE GOLDINER in New York
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Saturday, November 17th 2007, 4:00 AM

An Ex-Brooklyn rabbi accused of raping several boys more than 20 years ago has been arrested in Israel and could finally face justice.

Avrohom Mondrowitz, 60, a married father of seven, could be headed back to Brooklyn because a new agreement with the U.S. allows extradition for the sodomy and sex abuse counts he faces from a 1985 indictment.

"I don't see it as a moment for celebration," said Michael Lesher, who represents six adult men who claim to have been abused by Mondrowitz.

"This is a moment of gratitude to victims who came forward, who were willing to expose their pain."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

FUGITIVE 'PERVERT' RABBI HELD

BROOKLYN (NY)
New York Post

By PHILIP MESSING

November 17, 2007 -- A disgraced self-proclaimed rabbi who police suspect molested hundreds of children in Brooklyn is finally behind bars after evading justice for more than 20 years, authorities said.

Avrohom Mondrowitz, 60, fled the United States for Israel in 1985 after he was indicted for sexually abusing four children in his Borough Park community, where he reportedly worked as a counselor with bogus credentials.

"My reaction was, 'Finally!' " said one of Mondrowitz's alleged victims, Mark Weiss, 40. "We have a monster that has been taken off the streets."

Mondrowitz, who once hosted a radio show in the city, was arrested in Jerusalem yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Case continues for ex-priest

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Whittier Daily News

By Ruby Gonzales, Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES - A former priest accused of molesting two boys he met while serving at churches in Pico Rivera and Los Angeles will return to court Nov. 30.

Clad in an orange Los Angeles County Jail jumpsuit, Michael Stephen Baker, 59, appeared Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court for a hearing. However, the matter was continued and Baker's case transferred to another courtroom.

He allegedly molested the two boys from Jan. 1, 1994, to Sept. 3, 1998, according to the criminal complaint. Prosecutors have charged him with nine counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object and three counts of sodomy of a person under 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Sex allegation leads to suspension

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

By Tim O'Neil
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/17/2007

Larry Stukenholtz, choral director at St. Louis Community College at Meramec, was suspended with pay Friday while administrators review the accusation that he had sex with one of his high school students in California nine years ago.

"The college will make a decision about Stukenholtz's employment status upon the conclusion of the review of the relevant information," said Pat Crowe, spokeswoman for the Community College system.

Crowe said the administration informed Stukenholtz of the suspension Friday afternoon and that he soon departed the campus where he has worked since 2001. He could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Bond set at $400,000 for pastor accused of sexual assault

CHICAGO (IL)
WAND

Associated Press - November 16, 2007 7:24 PM ET

CHICAGO (AP) - A 49-year-old Chicago pastor is free on bond after being charged with sexually assaulting a young male church member over several years.

Jose Rolando Morales of Mount Prospect has posted ten percent of his $400,000 bond and has been released. He's charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of criminal sexual assault.

He is accused of abusing the church member starting in 1996 when the young man was eleven years old. The alleged victim is now 22.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Girl accuses pastor of rape

STAMFORD (CT)
The Advocate

By Zach Lowe
Staff Writer

Published November 17 2007

STAMFORD - A pastor in Bridgeport faces sexual assault charges after a 14-year-old member of his congregation accused him of raping her twice this year, court records show.

Yves Jerome, 49, of 66 W. North St., Stamford, is accused of raping the girl while he was baby-sitting her in February. He allegedly climbed into bed with the girl and fondled her before forcing her to have sex with him two nights in a row, according to a recently unsealed arrest warrant.

Jerome is a pastor at Igles de Jes de Besta Haitian Church in Bridgeport, according to court records. The church does not have a listed address or phone number and is not a member of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport Inc., according to the council's Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Church leader accused of sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

By John Garcia
November 16, 2007 - The minister of a storefront church on Chicago's Northwest Side is charged with sexually abusing a young boy. Jose Morales is the pastor. Authorities say the abuse went on for years

Jose Morales is 49 years old. He founded this nondenominational church about a decade ago and authorities say that's also about the time he started abusing the young boy, whose family had just moved here from Venezuela.

No one was at the church Friday night on Montrose, but authorities say it's a closely knit congregation and their pastor is a spiritual leader they look to for guidance.

Authorities say that made it all the more difficult for the young boy to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Mt. Prospect man accused of sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

By Rob Olmstead | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 11/17/2007 12:36 AM

A Mount Prospect man was accused of sexually abusing a boy from his Chicago church repeatedly over the past 11 years, Cook County sheriff's police said Friday.

Jose Rolando Morales, 49, of 2257 S. Lexington Court, was arrested Wednesday at his home after a couple in the church noticed "an unusual closeness" between Morales, the founder of the nondenominational church, and a young church member, Sheriff Tom Dart said.

The couple reported it to the sheriff's office, which interviewed the victim, Dart said.

Although the victim is now 22 and a consenting adult, the abuse started when he was 11, Dart said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Diocese doesn't file bankruptcy plan

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Gazette

By Gregg Hennigan

The Gazette
gregg.hennigan@gazettecommunications.com

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport did not file its bankruptcy reorganization plan Friday despite a deadline and indications from a diocese official earlier in the day that it would do so.

The diocese issued a news release Friday afternoon saying it had agreed with the case's creditors committee to delay filing the plan, which was due Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

The plan will detail how the diocese expects to emerge from bankruptcy and how much it will pay its creditors, most of them being people who have accused diocese priests of sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Costa removed from priesthood

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
State-Journal Register

By CHRIS WETTERICH
STAFF WRITER
Published Saturday, November 17, 2007

Monsignor Eugene Costa has been removed from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI, Kathie Sass, a spokeswoman for the Springfield Catholic Diocese, confirmed Friday.

Costa, 57, the former pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Sherman and Holy Family Church in Athens, has been on leave since January 2005. His laicization came at the request of Springfield Bishop George Lucas, Sass said. Because the action came directly from Pope Benedict, it cannot be appealed.

Costa is not permitted to perform priestly ministries or call himself "father."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

November 16, 2007

Israeli police detain self-styled rabbi charged with sexual abuse

NEW YORK
Pravda

11/16/2007 15:55 Source: AP ©

New York police charged a self-styled rabbi with sexually abusing children, but only Israeli police arrested him on Friday.

It was not immediately clear if the ultra-Orthodox Israeli-born Abraham Mondrowitz would be extradited to the United States. The spokesman for the Justice Ministry, Moshe Cohen, said the suspect would be remanded on Sunday.

Mondrowitz, 60, is wanted in New York for molesting hundreds of children under the guise of a rabbi and psychologist who became highly revered among the Gur Hasidic sect in Brooklyn for his expertise with minors, the Haaretz newspaper reported Friday.

The U.S. Justice Department had two months ago resubmitted a 22-year-old request to Israel to extradite the suspect, Haaretz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Prosecutors seek extradition of 'rabbi' in 1984 sex abuse case

NEW YORK
Newsday

NEW YORK (AP) _ A man accused of sexually abusing children in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn more than two decades ago has been taken into custody in Israel, authorities said Friday.

U.S. officials said Abraham Mondrowitz, 60, described as a self-styled rabbi, was arrested under provisions in a new extradition treaty with Israel.

"Immediately after a new treaty went into effect in January, we made an application for extradition and we are currently awaiting the outcome of that process," the Brooklyn District Attorney's office said in statement. "We are prepared to prosecute Mondrowitz, if and when he is brought back to this country."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

Mondrowitz arrested in Israel

JEW YORK
JTA

Published: 11/16/2007

Accused pedophile Avraham Mondrowitz was arrested in Israel.

Mondrowitz, a fervently Orthodox hasid who fled to Israel to escape arrest on charges that he molested underage boys, was apprehended Friday by Israeli authorities. Mondrowitz's extradition had been requested earlier this year by the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles Hynes, according to a spokesperson.

The arrest came just hours before a scheduled press conference in New York meant to intensify public pressure for action on the case. Michael Lesher, an attorney who represents six of Mondrowitz's alleged victims, told reporters he was grateful for the arrest, but that celebrations were premature.

"There is too much left to do," Lesher said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Breaking: Activists Cheer Arrest of Monrowitz in Israel

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Adam Dickter
Assistant Managing Editor

The fugitive chasidic man accused of abusing four boys whose parents brought them to him for psychotherapy was arrested in Israel today and now awaits extradition to the U.S., a step his accusers have been seeking for more than 20 years, Haaretz reported.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who worked in Borough Park, is a member of the Gur sect who fled to Israel in 1985 after being indicted on eight counts of child abuse and four counts of sodomy. The alleged victims ranged in age from 9 to 15.

One of the accusers claims he came to Mondrowitz to be treated after being abused by a teacher, only to then be abused again by Mondrowitz, whose credentials as both a rabbi
and psychologist have been disputed by critics who have delved into his background.

The case has been a political thorn in the side of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes for years as sex-abuse watchdogs accused him of reluctance to apprehend and prosecute Mondrowitz for fear of offending Orthodox voters. The case has also been notorious because of allegations that teachers and rabbis in Mondrowitz’s community looked the other way when confronted with accusations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 PM

LA judge dismisses second suit against Mexican cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Friday that accused Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera of conspiring with Roman Catholic officials in the United States to shelter an a suspected pedophile priest.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ralph Dau issued his ruling at a brief hearing, said Steve Selsberg, a U.S.-based attorney for Rivera.

It marked the second time a Los Angeles judge has dismissed a civil suit filed against the Mexican cardinal by a Mexican citizen.

"We think justice was served," said Selsberg. "The case had no business being filed in state court in Los Angeles."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Bond Set At $400K For Pastor Accused Of Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Bond was set at $400,000 Friday for a church pastor accused of sexually assaulting a young boy over a period of several years.

Jose Rolando Morales, 49, of Mt. Prospect, was charged Thursday with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and criminal sexual assault. Morales is the founding pastor of Ashland Christian Ministries, a non-denominational church located at 3637 W. Montrose Ave. in the Albany Park neighborhood, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.

Police said the victim was a member of the church and belonged to its youth group. He was 11 when the abuse started and is now 22, the sheriff's office said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

No delay for Fay

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter

A federal judge denied a request by the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who pleaded guilty to stealing up to $1 million from St. John Roman Catholic Parish, to delay his sentencing due to his cancer.

The denial was filed on Oct. 25.

Federal prosecutors opposed the request, saying the former pastor of Darien’s oldest Catholic church began his criminal activity in 1999 and his victims should not have to wait longer for justice.

In September, Fay pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. He resigned last year as pastor of St. John Parish.

Fay, who faces up to 10 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Dec. 4. He asked that his sentencing be delayed until April, saying his prostate cancer has spread to his bones and lymph nodes and has become resistant to chemotherapy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

For 2 students, level of trauma comparable to that suffered by poisoning victim

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Karlon N. Rama
Sun.Star Staff Reporter

HE MAY, in the words of government prosecutors, have been the “alter ego of Jesus Christ.” But to five teenage girls he allegedly “touched,” confession with Fr. Benedicto Ejares was anything but a divine encounter.

In a report signed by Dr. Frederick Boholst and submitted to the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor yesterday, all five of the teenagers were found to have suffered from “considerable psychological distress.”

For two of the girls, the psychologist’s report revealed, the effect was similar to that suffered by victims of poisoning or those who have witnessed classmates die.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Police arrest purported rabbi charged with sexual abuse

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police arrested on Friday a self-styled rabbi, a spokesman said, twenty-three years after New York police charged him with sexual abuse.

Abraham Mondrowitz will be remanded on Sunday, said the Justice Ministry spokesman, Moshe Cohen. He could not give further details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Israel Police arrest alleged child molester wanted in the U.S.

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Aviva Lori, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service

Avrohom Mondrowitz, a Gur Hasid suspected of sexually abusing Haredi children in the United States, was arrested Friday morning pending extradition orders to the U.S.

Mondrowitz fled the U.S. over 20 years and has been hiding in Israel ever since. The U.S. Justice Department two months ago submitted a request to Israel to extradite the suspect.

The spokesman of the Justice Ministry confirmed the arrest.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Gur Hasidic sect who styles himself a rabbi and a psychologist, was a highly influential figure in the Gur community of Brooklyn in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Nuns facing eviction get help

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 15, 2007
Three Roman Catholic nuns who learned last summer that their Santa Barbara convent would be sold to help cover the costs of Los Angeles' multimillion-dollar abuse payout have been offered a temporary home by an order of Episcopal nuns in the same city.

The three Sisters of Bethany will move around Thanksgiving to St. Mary's Retreat House, an Episcopal center near the Santa Barbara Mission, according to the nuns' spokesman and to a relative of one of the nuns. The center is a ministry of the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity, an order based in Wisconsin.

The offer is temporary, but open-ended.

"They've been told they are welcome to stay as long as need be," said Rosemary Escalera Gutierrez of Hacienda Heights whose sister is the Catholic nuns' local superior, Sister Angela Escalera. Gutierrez said her sister and the others were grateful for the offer and relieved to find a place to live, even on an interim basis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Diocese, Plaintiffs, Settle Lawsuit In Employment

RIDGELY (MD)
WJZ

RIDGELY, Md. (AP) ― The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has reached an out-of-court settlement with a former parish official in Caroline County and her husband, a church deacon.

Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. The (Easton) Star Democrat reports attorneys declined comment.

Plaintiffs Jaynie and Bradley Taylor filed the suit seeking $12 million in January against the Saint Benedict's Church of Ridgely; its pastor, the Reverend Norman Carroll, the bishop and the diocese. Jaynie Taylor claimed she lost her job as parish director of religious education after she refused to ignore hiring policies for a convicted sex offender and after Carroll allegedly made her take responsibility for an adult youth minister believed to be in a relationship with an underage girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

The Parish Reconfiguration Fund Oversight Committee’s Final Report

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

The Parish Reconfiguration Fund Oversight Committee (PRFOC), under a three-year charter negotiated by PRFOC Chair David Castaldi and the former Vicar General, Bishop Richard G. Lennon, D.D., began work in September 2004 to conduct an independent review of the financial aspects of parish reconfiguration. Each of the five geographic regions encompassing the Boston Archdiocese as well as the Archdiocesan Finance Council was represented. PRFOC members were drawn from both open and closed parishes.

The PRFOC’s mission was advisory in nature and included assessing and making recommendations regarding the integrity of the process used to handle and dispose reconfiguration assets and liabilities, the financial reporting of this information to Catholics in the Archdiocese, and operational improvements. This report concludes the PRFOC’s mission. The PRFOC’s complete charter can be found on the web at http://www.rcab.org/Pilot/2004/ps041203/charterofreconfiguration.html.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Chancellor comments on reconfiguration report

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

By Antonio M. Enrique
Posted: 11/16/2007 The Pilot spoke with James McDonough, chancellor of the archdiocese, Nov. 11 on the conclusions of the final report of the archdiocese’s Parish Reconfiguration Oversight Committee. The committee, which released its report this week, was formed in 2004 to independently verify the financial aspects of the parish reconfiguration process.

Q.-With this report, the Parish Reconfiguration Oversight Committee concludes its task to oversee the integrity of the financial aspects of the reconfiguration process. Can you evaluate the work of the committee?

Chancellor - Even before evaluating their work I would like to say how appreciative we are of the committee, which has invested so much time and expertise overseeing these matters that were very difficult and complex.

In terms of the quality of their work, I was very impressed. I think the committee in its findings stated that the archdiocese handled the sales of those properties in an adequate fashion, and we certainly agree with that. The committee found no evidence of misappropriation of funds, and we agree also with that. The committee states that no reconfiguration funds were used to cover clergy abuse settlements and also commended Cardinal Seán’s financial disclosure initiatives and his policy of openness. We appreciate the great work and the support for the practices that we’ve used as the result of reconfiguration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

22 Years Later, a Child Abuse Suspect’s Extradition Is Sought

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By TINA KELLEY
Published: November 16, 2007
Prosecutors in Brooklyn said yesterday they were pursuing the extradition of a man who fled to Israel more than 20 years ago after being accused of molesting young boys.

The man, Avrohom Mondrowitz, 59, was indicted in 1985 on eight counts of child abuse and five counts of sodomy involving four boys ages 9 to 15. He left for Israel before he could be arrested.

Michael Lesher, a lawyer for six other men who said they had been molested by Mr. Mondrowitz, said that Mr. Mondrowitz was believed to have sexually assaulted boys while posing as an educator or psychological counselor in Borough Park, Brooklyn. ...

Amy Neustein, an author who is editing a book on rabbis and pedophilia, who has researched Mr. Mondrowitz’s case, said that Mr. Mondrowitz claimed to have a degree in psychology from a New York university but that the university stated in writing that he had never been a student there. She said that he also posed as a rabbi, but that his credentials were from a nonexistent rabbinical school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

(Ri.Ba.)«Non si placheranno ...

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

"They will never stop harassing and intimidating me until someone will take the initiative to make weak-minded people, so much stirred by this charged atmosphere, to give up their willingness to mail me gun bullets or sealing the entrance to the rectory," said the Rev. Sante Sguotti.

The rebel priest from Monterosso said someone on Tuesday glued the rectory door, an eloquent way to make him understand he must stop using the parish facilities. Rev. Sguotti, notwithstanding his suspension "a divinis," had in fact continued to use the rectory for his activities and someone decided to put an end to it.

The curia, profiting from that vandalism, changed the lock (obviously they did not give a copy of the new keys to the rebel priest). To sum it up, some weeks after the bishop decided he had to leave the parish, he has now been forced out of it completely. "I have decided to sue the curia for the damage I received, for my computer cannot be used anymore by the girl who helps me organize the coming event on Dec. 1," he said. Forty people have until now asked to participate in the one-day event, which is advertised on his Web Site, though the names of the experts who will introduce various aspects of the debate are not yet known.

Meanwhile, Rev. Sante on Sunday will officiate at another "counter-Mass." As was decided, the event will take place every other week in the form of a private ceremony to be held in the home of a Monterosso parishioner and in presence of a limited number of faithful. "Very limited" is the best way to describe it for only three persons have decided until now to participate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Priest pleads guilty to child porn charge

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

First published: Friday, November 16, 2007

ALBANY -- A 50-year-old Roman Catholic priest from Columbia County pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to downloading child pornography, authorities said Thursday.

The Rev. Raymond Ethier, who had been serving as pastor of St. John Vianney in Philmont, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography before Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. He faces up to 10 years in prison. He remains free pending sentencing on Dec. 10.

Ethier was arrested in late May by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, State Police and Hudson police. According to court papers, he admitted to downloading pornographic images depicting young children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Diocese plans service for abuse victims

JASPER (IN)
Indianapolis Star

JASPER, Ind. -- The Diocese of Evansville will hold a prayer service this weekend for victims of abuse, months after disclosing allegations that a revered, longtime Catholic pastor had molested more than 10 people, but a victims group demanded that its bishop do more.

The allegations against Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, who died in 1988, are the most against one priest in the diocese's 64-year history. Schroeder founded Holy Family Church in Jasper in 1947 and served there 28 years before being reassigned to Sacred Heart Church in nearby Schnellville.

The diocese will make counselors available after what it calls the "prayer service of healing," which will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Priest pleads guilty to downloading child porn

HUDSON (NY)
Daily Freeman

HUDSON - A 50-year-old priest pleaded guilty to charges he possessed child pornography that he downloaded on his computer.

Raymond Ethier, of Hudson, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Albany to a one count charging him with the possession of child pornography. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Ethier was living in Hudson when his computer was recovered from his residence and forensically examined. During the investigation, 21 computer videos and a number of still images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were recovered, the release said. The release said that while there were 21 videos, there were only seven separate and distinct ones because some had been downloaded multiple times.

Ethier downloaded the videos and images from a file sharing program and some came from individuals outside the state, the release said. The release also said the videos and still images and the computer used to obtain them were transported in interstate and foreign commerce and were produced using materials that had been mailed or shipped or transported in interstate and foreign commerce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Priest pleads guilty in child-porn case

NEW YORK
The Daily Star

Staff Report

A former associate pastor at St. Mary's Church in Oneonta pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Albany to one count of possession of child pornography.

The Roman Catholic priest, Raymond Ethier, 50, of Hudson, was arrested in May. At the time of his arrest, he was pastor at St. John Vianney in Philmont.

He was at St. Mary's from 1990 to 1995.

In May, Ethier admitted to investigators that he engaged in sexually explicit conversations online that sometimes featured children, but said the conversations were "merely fantasy" and never involved actual children, according to the felony complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Many back contested priest appointment

PLEASANTON (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Meera Pal, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 11/16/2007 02:34:34 AM PST

Parishioners at St. Augustine Catholic Church are praying, now more than ever, that their faith will guide them through a time of turmoil.

News continues to spread through the close-knit congregation that the pastor chosen to lead the parish was arrested several years ago in a case involving a lewdness allegation.

While some families feel they have lost all faith in the Roman Catholic Church and renounced their association with a religion that has guided them for decades, many others have vowed to stand behind the Rev. Padraig Greene, calling him a kind and generous man.

Greene, who will become parish priest Jan. 1 for the Catholic Communities of Pleasanton, was arrested in 1999 on suspicion of committing a lewd act in a public restroom in an Oakland hills park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Confront sexual abuse, don't manage it

UNITED STATES
Eureka Street

15-Nov-2007

By Geoffrey Robinson

The Cardinal Secretary of State at the Vatican is usually thought to hold the second highest office in the Catholic Church. The present Secretary, Cardinal Bertone, was a personal appointment by the pope. So it was disheartening when, on a recent visit to the United States, he was asked about sexual abuse and first blamed the media, then greedy lawyers, then said that the Church had “faced this trial with great dignity and courage” and hoped that “other institutions and social agencies will face the same problem with their members with an equal degree of courage and realism as the Catholic Church has done.” I believe that most of the Australian bishops had moved beyond this point more than a decade ago, so it is discouraging to hear that it still prevails at the highest levels. It is a typical example of seeking to manage rather than confront a problem.

As long as the Church seeks to manage rather than confront, the devastating effect the scandal has had on the Church will continue and will cripple other activities. Of what use is it to proclaim a “new evangelization” to others if we are not seen to have confronted the suppurating ulcer on our body? In all our preaching to others, we would lack credibility. Cardinal Bertone does not seem to realize just how much credibility the Church has lost over the last twenty years and how seriously we must act in order to regain it.

Over that time most of the blame has been poured onto the bishops. I am not simply seeking to divert this blame, far less to defend every action of every bishop, if I say that it is important to understand that, within the present structures of the Church, the pope alone has the power to confront this problem in its deepest sources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Personal Aside: The Lavender Priesthood.

UNITED STATES
TomRoeser.com

Tom Roeser

Lavender.

Any doubt that the Catholic bishops really don’t get it…and are as a group almost to a man (with notable exceptions) wanton in their disregard for abused children while at the same time protecting their predatory clerical fellows…vanished yesterday when Bishop Gerald Kicanas spoke to the “Sun-Times’” religion writer, Susan Hogan-Albach.

And it proves also that while the “Sun-Times” is reeling from earlier mismanagement, it can still turn out excellent work. Susan Hogan-Albach is a prime example.

The next bishop in line, elected vice president of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) is Gerald Kicanas, bishop of Tucson, Arizona. Kicanas was an auxiliary bishop in Chicago and before that was rector of Mundelein seminary. Another prelate-product of our environment so to speak.

As rector he was a key part of the most egregious example of the Chicago archdiocese’s abject negligence and willful dereliction of duty. He headed the seminary passed up a number of chances to prevent the ordination of the self-confessed child predator Fr. Daniel McCormack. It stunned Catholics in 2006 because it showed that with all the pro-and-con sophist parsing, (having been told too often they’re the smartest one in the room) the same-old, same-old goes on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

College trustees urged to fire teacher

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

By Tim O'Neil and Terry Hillig
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/16/2007

A woman told St. Louis Community College trustees Thursday that they should fire the music director at the college's Meramec campus, a man she says sexually abused her nine years ago when she was a high school student in California and he was one of her teachers.

Sarah Gray, now 27, called the teacher, Larry Stukenholtz, "a sexual predator and a danger to your community."

Gray attended a board of trustees meeting with David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. Clohessy urged the board to fire Stukenholtz or suspend him immediately.

Earlier Thursday, SNAP delivered to Community College headquarters a copy of a sworn statement in which Stukenholtz's former boss in California confirmed his resignation in 1999 over allegations of sex with a former student. The institution said it would investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Zambia: Pastor Has Case to Answer for Sexual Abuse

ZAMBIA
allAfrica

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

16 November 2007
Posted to the web 16 November 2007

Ndola

A LUSAKA magistrates court yesterday found a 64-year-old pastor with a case to answer on five counts of sexually abusing five girls at Bethel Orphanage in Kafue.

Magistrate Aridah Chulu, found Pastor James Gondwe with a case to answer on all the five counts and put him on his defence.

Mrs Chulu said the prosecution team had adduced sufficient evidence against Gondwe to warrant him to be put on his defence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Hub diocese releases reports criticizing its parish closings

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / November 16, 2007
The Archdiocese of Boston, in an unusual act of public self-scrutiny, is releasing two reports highly critical of how the church handled several aspects of the parish closings process over the last several years.

The archdiocese is publishing in its weekly newspaper, the Pilot, a report by a lay panel, the Parish Reconfiguration Fund Oversight Committee, which was handpicked by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley to review the use of funds generated through the closing of parishes. Even though O'Malley chose to establish the committee, its members said that O'Malley's former aides were not forthcoming with financial information and not responsive to advice from the panel.

The second report, by a retired judge picked by the lay committee to review the sale of one closed church in East Boston, sharply criticizes the archdiocese for its handling of that transaction. That report, being posted on the Pilot's website, describes how the photographer who purchased St. Mary Star of the Sea Church bought the building last November for $850,000 and then sold it three weeks later to an evangelical congregation for $2.65 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Impact of bishop's suspension

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans

Episcopalians in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and elsewhere have spent the past couple of years engaged in overt and behind-the-scenes conflict focused on the contentious figure of our diocesan bishop, Charles E. Bennison Jr.

But for any healing to happen in this divided and disenchanted judicatory, we are going to have to turn the analytical lens on ourselves.

Bennison currently is under ecclesiastical inhibition, or suspension. In articles, he has been dubbed as "disconnected," a "weak Christian," and a man "void of substance" - and that's just a sample from a flood of condemnatory adjectives.

Why is Bennison forbidden from exercising the office to which he was duly elected by clergy and lay delegates at a special convention back in 1997?

The bishop was investigated by church authorities at the highest levels of the United States Episcopal hierarchy for allegedly covering up his brother's sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl in the early 1970s. Apparently, there is plenty of evidence to initiate an ecclesiastical trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Suit tries new tactic on clergy sex abuse

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

By TREVOR MAXWELL Staff Writer

November 16, 2007

An Augusta man is suing four leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Maine who he says should have protected him from sexual abuse by a priest in the 1980s.

William Picher's claim is the first in Maine in which supervisors of an accused priest have been sued individually. It could clear the way for others who seek to hold church officials accountable.

Picher has a separate lawsuit pending against the Rev. Raymond Melville and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

In court papers filed Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court, Picher names the Rev. Joseph Ford of Falmouth, the Rev. James Morrison of Norway, the Rev. Rene Mathieu of Saco and Sister Rita-Mae Bissonette of Portland. Ford was chancellor of the diocese and the others were co-chancellors at the time of the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Diocese rues benefit for charged photog

CANADA
CNews

By JONATHAN JENKINS, SUN MEDIA
The Toronto Sun

A benefit for accused child molester Pedro Briceno -- held at St. Paul's Anglican Church and attended by the parish priest -- was regretable, the Anglican diocese of Toronto said in a statement yesterday.

"As with most fundraisers that are held in individual parishes, the Anglican diocese of Toronto was not informed of the Nov. 10 event," the statement said.

"The diocese has a strictly enforced, zero tolerance policy in regard to improper sexual conduct. This policy is available on our website at toronto.anglican.ca.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Burnout on the God beat - second top religion writer calls it quits

Reuters

November 15th, 2007, filed by Tom Heneghan
Covering religion may be harmful to your faith. Two leading religion journalists — one in Britain, one in the United States — have quit the beat in recent months, saying they had acquired such a close look at such scandalous behaviour by Christians that they lost their faith and had to leave.

Stephen Bates, who recently stepped down as religious affairs writer for the London Guardian, has just published an account of his seven years on the beat in an article entitled “Demob Happy” for the New Humanist magazine. Bates followed the crisis in the Anglican Communion for several years and even wrote a book on it, A Church At War: Anglicans and Homosexuality.

“Now I am moving on,” his article concludes. “It was time to go. What faith I had, I’ve lost, I am afraid – I’ve seen too much, too close. A young Methodist press officer once asked me earnestly whether I saw it as my job to spread the Good News of Jesus. No, I said, that’s the last thing I am here to do.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Collateral Damage

UNITED STATES
The Atlantic

Ross Douthat

My mother (yes, even I have a mother) has a web essay over at First Things on the impact of the Catholic sex abuse scandal on the laity, and the creeping tyranny of the insurance industry over the life of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Protecting Children and Imagining the Worst

UNITED STATES
First Things

By Patricia Snow

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 7:58 AM
Eight years ago in our urban Catholic parish in Connecticut, a teenager I’ll call Elizabeth started a club for girls. Small but fortunate in its members, the club survived Elizabeth’s departure for the Naval Academy. Another well-formed, homeschooled teenager took her place, and when she in turn left for Franciscan University in Steubenville, my daughter, who will be entering college in the fall, became president.

In the beginning, the club met in the Parish Hall. Anywhere from six to twelve girls, aged ten to eighteen, would sit around a small table, reading the Bible together or making cards for the residents of a nursing home they visited monthly. They would share snacks and devise skits, pray the rosary, and celebrate one another’s birthdays. The older girls mentored the younger girls, modeling for them the endangered truth that a girl can be both sophisticated and innocent, devout and fun. On Holy Days, they attended Mass together. They studied the saints, went on field trips, dedicated themselves to Mary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Woman Files Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against SK Pastor, Church

PORT ORCHARD (WA)
Kitsap Sun

By Josh Farley
Originally published 05:47 p.m., November 15, 2007
Updated 05:47 p.m., November 15, 2007

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COPY OF THE LAWSUIT (3 MB PDF FILE)

PORT ORCHARD

A sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against a now-jailed former pastor and the South Colby church he once led, according to documents filed Wednesday in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The lawsuit names Robbin L. Harper, 60, his wife, Christine Harper, and The Church in South Colby as the defendants, and it accuses the church of taking "no steps to protect its female members from the abuse" alleged to have been committed by Harper.

Harper has already been charged by Kitsap County prosecutors with eight felonies stemming from the rape and molestation allegations 10 women and girls who once attended the church. He's being held on $500,000 bail and his next appearance in the criminal case will be Nov. 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Prosecutor says church sex-abuse case remains under review

PINEVILLE (MO)
The Joplin Globe

By Jeff Lehr
jlehr@joplinglobe.com

PINEVILLE, Mo. — The McDonald County prosecutor said Thursday that it was a technical issue that forced her to drop sexual-abuse charges against a minister and members of a fringe church near Powell, and not a lack of cooperation on the part of the alleged victims.

Prosecutor Janice Durbin was responding to criticisms leveled by an attorney representing one of two alleged victims in the case that was dismissed Nov. 6.

“It was a technical issue and not a personal one with the victims,” Durbin said.

She also said the charges may yet be refiled against Raymond Lambert, pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church; his wife, Patricia Lambert; and his sister-in-law, Laura Epling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Diocese Issues Statement In Sexual Abuse Case

COVINGTON (KY)
WCPO

Contributor: Tasha Thomas
Email: tthomas@wcpo.com

The Catholic Diocese of Covington is responding to a lawsuit filed by the family of a sexual abuse victim.

Jeni Dinkel is serving a 60 day sentence for her sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy.

The lawsuit names her, her husband, the principal of Covington Catholic High School, the Park Hills Police Chief and the Diocese itself as defendants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

$1.1 million settlement in sexual abuse case

WASHINGTON
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

P-I STAFF

A Skagit County man who said he was sexually abused 27 years ago by a former principal has reached a $1.1 million settlement with the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese and the Christian Brothers, a worldwide order of the Roman Catholic Church.

In the summer of 1980, the man was a prospective student at St. Alphonsus Parish School in Ballard and Brother Edward Courtney was on his way out as principal following multiple allegations of abusing other students there, said Mike Pfau, the victim's attorney.

Pfau said students also had accused Courtney of abuse at O'Dea High School, which is owned by the archdiocese but operated by the Christian Brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Book review: The Rite of Sodomy

UNITED STATES
Spero News

By George Kocan

TV cameras recently caught the Archbishop of San Francisco giving Holy Communion to men dressed up like what can best be described as blasphemous clowns. They wore heavy make-up to hide their sex and costumes to make them look like nuns. No one could miss the fact that homosexuals staged this hateful stunt to mock the Catholic Church.

Yet, Archbishop George Niederauer dutifully presented the sacred hosts as if nothing was wrong. Later on, he apologized, pleading ignorance. We are to believe that after living for two years in San Francisco, Niederauer does not know who or what the self-styled “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” are. Naturally, intelligent Catholics and other observers of the culture wars are mystified. They just do not understand. . .

However, Catholics do exist who understand and would be more than willing to clarify the issue. Steven Brady understands. An owner of a pizza delivery service, Brady devoted nearly all of his spare time to exposing the predatory homosexuality of his prelate, the Bishop of Springfield, Il, Dan Ryan. Ryan became notorious for cruising for teenaged boys and even trying to force himself on his priests. As of this writing, Brady is recovering from severe injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident.

Fr. Alfred Kunz understood. He helped blow the whistle on Ryan by collecting Brady’s information and contacting the right people in the Vatican to take action. Police found his body in his rectory in a Wisconsin parish, dead of multiple stab wounds. Fr. John Hardon, one of the top Jesuit theologians in the country, understood. Also having good contacts, he and Fr. Kunz planned on going to Rome together to persuade the Vatican to do something. Presumably, Fr. Hardon died of natural causes. He was in his 80’s. The Vatican eventually removed Ryan from his position. Yet, he still enjoys all the perks of a priest and bishop in good standing with the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Church sex suit widens

MAINE
Kennebec Journal

By TREVOR MAXWELL
Blethen Maine Newspapers

An Augusta man is expanding his legal battle against the Catholic Church, suing four church leaders who he says should have protected him from the alleged sexual abuse of a priest in the 1980s.

William Picher's claim is the first in Maine in which supervisors of an accused priest have been sued individually. It could clear the way for others who seek to hold church officials accountable.

Picher has a separate lawsuit pending against the Rev. Raymond Melville and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

In court papers filed Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court, Picher names the Rev. Joseph Ford of Falmouth, the Rev. James Morrison of Norway, the Rev. Rene Mathieu of Saco and Sister Rita-Mae Bissonette of Portland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

November 15, 2007

Archbishop accused of bullying fails to avoid being tried in secular court

SPAIN
The Independent

By Elizabeth Nash in Madrid
Published: 16 November 2007
The Archbishop of Granada has caused a stir in the Catholic hierarchy by becoming the first Spanish cleric of his rank to stand trial in a secular, rather than religious, court.

Archbishop Francisco Martinez made his historic appearance at Granada's criminal court, accused of bullying, moral assault, insults and slander against a fellow priest.

The case, which finally reached court this week after months of obstructions by religious authorities, was brought by the former archivist and canon of Granada cathedral, Javier Medina, whom the archbishop had stripped of all religious duties.

The ousted priest told the court on Tuesday that the archbishop had said: "You are not boss here. You are a bad, disobedient priest and I'm going to teach you obedience with the whip."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

New Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese

PORTLAND (ME)
WMTW

PORTLAND, Maine -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is facing another lawsuit, but this one involves a familiar plaintiff.

William Picher, 33, of Augusta, already has filed suit against the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese and the Rev. Raymond Melville.

On Wednesday, Picher's lawyers filed a new lawsuit naming four priests and a nun. Named in the suit areMonsignor Joseph Ford, of Falmouth, the Rev. James Morrison, of Norway, Monsignor Rene Mathieu, of Saco, and Sister Rita-Mae Bissonette, of Portland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Petey Callahan At it Again

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
November 15, 2007 3:31 PM

On the eve of a December 3 contempt-of-court hearing against Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown, longtime diocesan lawyer (and Orange County's 14th Scariest Person for 2007) Peter Callahan remains brazenly arrogant in discussing his client's terrible role in protecting pedophiles and statutory rapists. This time around, Callahan granted an "interview" to the Orange diocese's website (if by "interview," you can accept it as "shameless attempt at spin paid for by the faithful's donations"). Let's eviscerate Petey's claims, shall we?

Callahan starts by describing the molestation of Christina Ruiz by former Mater Dei boys' basketball assistant coach (and admitted statutory rapist) Jeff Andrade as a "sexual relationship." We'll leave it to the Orange County Register's Steve Greenhut to express the disgust we feel at Petey's wink-wink attitude toward sexual abusers. Callahan claims that Mater Dei officials reported Andrade to Child Protective Services as required by law in 1995 when the molestation allegations first arose, but a spokesperson with the agency told us in 2004 no such records existed in their files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Retired priest jailed for 'appalling' abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Crawley Observer

A retired Catholic parish priest from Surrey has been jailed for 16 years for a series of sex attacks on two young brothers stretching back more than 30 years.

Father Dermot Keaveney, 72, was convicted of 15 counts of indecent assault and other sexual offences between 1975 and 1982 following a two-week trial last month.

Sentencing him at Brighton Crown Court, Judge Paul Tain said Keaveney's "quite appalling breach of trust" had profound lifelong effects on his victims.

One of them has not married nor had children and has been to prison as he struggles psychologically to cope with being abused as a child, the judge said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Ex-Sacred Heart pastor barred from ministry

BROOKLYN (NY)
Times Ledger

BY M. JUNAID ALAM
11/15/2007

A former pastor at Bayside's Sacred Heart parish has been barred from presenting himself as a priest or administering sacraments after an investigation by the Diocese Review Board found "sufficient evidence of sexual abuse of minors," the Diocese of Brooklyn has announced.

John Abrams, who presided over the 215-35 38th Ave. church from 1979 to 1982, was accused of sexually abusing minors during his tenure, but the allegations were not brought forward until the U.S. Bishops "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" was implemented, the diocese said. That measure was approved in June 2005.

Bayside parishioners were informed of the diocese's findings during Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 masses by Msgr. Sean Ogle, the Episcopal vicar for the Queens North Vicariate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Church leaders support 'redeemed' priest; others want him out

PLEASANTON (CA)
Pleasanton Weekly

by Jeb Bing
Pleasanton Weekly Staff

Church leaders are speaking out in support of a newly-designated parish leader for the Catholic Community of Pleasanton after members of a nationally-affiliated group protested his appointment because of an arrest for indecent exposure eight years ago.

Joey Piscitelli, Northern California Director for an organization called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said the Rev. Padraig Greene was arrested in Oakland March 2, 1999 for lewd sexual conduct at a sports facility frequented by children. Piscitelli said Greene admitted to the conduct and spent six months in a rehabilitation center in St. Louis.

Greene was recently named by Bishop Allen Vigneron of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland to succeed the Rev. Dan Danielson, longtime parish leader of the Catholic Community, which includes St. Augustine and St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic churches in Pleasanton. Danielson is scheduled to continue celebrating Mass for parishioners through the Christmas holidays, and to officially turn his duties as Parochial Administrator over to Greene on Jan. 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Victims of a dead priest prepare to heal

JASPER (IN)
WFIE

Reporter: Shannon Samson
New Media Producer: Rachel Beavin

The deeds of a long dead priest haunt a Tri-State community.

The healing process is going public in Jasper, Indiana as the Catholic Diocese comforts the victims of Monsignor Othmar Schroeder.

The church is holding a special service Sunday at St. Joseph Catholic Church to deal with the growing number of sexual abuse allegations against Schroeder who died in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

McGuire: Jesuits 'can't abandon me.'

CHICAGO (IL)
dotCommonweal

November 15, 2007, 12:33 pm
Posted by Grant Gallicho

The convicted sexual abuser Rev. Donald McGuire plans to fight the Jesuits' decision to dismiss him from the order. No surprise there. "They can't abandon me," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. Sure they can. The conviction isn't going to help his cause when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviews his case. Note McGuire's narcissism. "I'm losing friends because people don't know my side of the story." Well, no. He had his day in court. He lost.

There is of course a legitimate question about how the church ought to handle convicted or admitted abuser-priests. If the perp is a seriel abuser, laicizing him and cutting him loose could put the public at risk. But what is the church to do with a man like McGuire who has been convicted in Wisconsin of molesting two boys, who has been accused of abuse for years, who is now up on federal charges for allegedly traveling internationally to have sex with a minor, who has defied the orders of his Jesuit superiors regarding his contact with minors, and who refuses to admit the abuse of which he has been convicted?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Editorial: What about real help for abuse victims?

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - It is simple justice: Extend the statute of limitations for abused children. Maryland’s General Assembly repeatedly refuses to do so under pressure from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the final day of its fall meeting here today can serve God and justice by issuing a statement renouncing interference in affairs of state to cover up criminal conduct.

Give some solace and hope to the suffering victims past, present and future. Reassure millions of the faithful. Help all institutions more effectively deal with a scourge that too often is covered up until the law allows criminals to evade justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

In the basement, behind a closed door

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Aviva Lori

A few years ago, A. came to Israel with one mission: "To find him and kill him." He didn't think twice, he says; he really intended to do it. "My wife understood. She knew what I felt and she called friends in Israel, who never left me alone for a minute. They saved me from myself. If not for them, it would have ended in murder for sure."

A. is not the only one to have harbored thoughts of cold-blooded murder for more than 20 years. There are several hundred others, he says: men now in their thirties and forties who two or three decades earlier were students at yeshivas in Brooklyn. They say they were victims of Avrohom Mondrowitz, who lives in Jerusalem's colorful Nahlaot neighborhood.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Gur Hasidic sect who styles himself a rabbi and a psychologist, was a highly influential figure in the Gur community of Brooklyn in the early 1980s. He had a yeshiva and a private clinic in which he treated mostly children in distress. But the Brooklyn police suspect that instead of educating and helping, he sexually abused his pupils, his patients, children in the neighborhood and friends of his own children. The venues were varied: his office, his home, the yeshiva, his car, the family's summer cottage in the Catskills, amusement parks and public parks. In short, everywhere. Day and night. The respected rabbis of the community modestly averted their gaze. They knew, they saw, they were silent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

SNAP members hold conference in front of pastoral offices; seek publicity about Dominican priest who served in diocese

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Rebecca Drake

SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) organized a late morning press conference Nov. 7 in front of the pastoral offices of the Springfield Diocese on Elliot Street, here.

The group sought to bring attention to Dominican Father Aaron Joseph Cote, a native of the Springfield Diocese, who ministered as a parochial vicar in the Springfield Diocese, from 1991-1995. Although not currently allowed to present himself as a priest, Father Cote had a history of reported inappropriate behavior with young boys both before and after his time in the local diocese.

Speaking to reporters from local newspapers, television and radio stations, SNAP President Barbara Blaine began by identifying herself as a clergy sex abuse victim, having been abused by a priest in Toledo, Ohio, when she was a youngster. Holding a photo of herself as a child, she noted that she started SNAP in 1988 as a self-help group for clergy abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Fecteau tapped for state bench

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— The Superior Court’s loss would be the Appeals Court’s gain.

That was the reaction yesterday from members of the local bar to news that Judge Francis R. Fecteau, a Superior Court judge from Worcester, had been nominated by Gov. Deval L. Patrick as an associate justice of the state Appeals Court. ...

Criminal defense lawyer John H. LaChance of Framingham, a self-styled “adopted son of Worcester,” said he has tried many cases before Judge Fecteau. One of the more notable was the 2006 trial of Joseph L. Druce, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2003 prison slaying of priest John J. Geoghan.

“I’ve found him to be extremely bright and knowledgeable on the law,” Mr. LaChance said of Judge Fecteau. “He’ll make a wonderful Appeals Court judge. The only thing is, he’s a terrific trial judge and we are going to miss him on the Superior Court,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Defiant molester: 'I will always be a priest'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 15, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter shogan@suntimes.com
The Rev. Donald J. McGuire, convicted of molesting two boys, said Wednesday that he's fighting an effort by Chicago's Jesuits to expel him from their religious order.

"They can't abandon me," a defiant McGuire told the Chicago Sun-Times in a rare interview.

Last year, a Wisconsin jury convicted McGuire of molesting two boys from Loyola Academy in Wilmette in the 1960s.

He now faces lawsuits on a string of new child molestation accusations as well as a federal indictment that alleges he traveled overseas with a minor with an intent of having sex with him.

McGuire wouldn't discuss the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

He'll Also Always Be a Child Molester

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicagoist

In an interview in today's Sun-Times the Reverend Donald McGuire, who was convicted of molesting two boys at Loyola Academy in the 1960s and now faces federal charges of traveling overseas with a minor to engage in sexual conduct, said that he's appealing an expulsion decree levied by Chicago Jesuits to the Vatican and that, regardless of Rome's final say, he will "always be a priest." This despite criticism from numerous people, including a nephew representing McGuire's accusers.

McGuire was suspended from publicly performing as a priest by the Chicago Jesuits four years ago. Citing confidentiality, sources could not confirm whether the Jesuits are seeking to expel McGuire from the priesthood. Defiant (some might say "oblivious") to his current situation, McGuire said that he hasn't been able to tell his side of the story on advice of legal counsel. When asked point blank if he ever molested children, McGuire declined comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Archbishop in court on assault charges

SPAIN
IOL

November 15 2007 at 03:14PM

Granada - The archbishop of the Spanish city of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, has become the first high-ranking churchman to appear before a court in Spain, press reports said on Thursday.

Martinez, whose trial started on Thursday in the southern Spanish city, is believed to have harassed a priest and stands accused of insult, assault and injury.

The alleged victim is a priest whom the archbishop removed from his position and fired.

The priest said at the opening of the trial that Martinez systematically humiliated him and falsely accused him of misappropriating church property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Priest jailed over boy sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Catholic parish priest has been jailed for 16 years for a string of sex attacks on two young brothers.

Retired Father Dermot Keaveney, from Hindhead, Surrey, who was convicted of 15 offences against the boys in a trial last month at Lewes Crown Court.

Keaveney, 72, was serving at churches in Brighton and Hove when the offences happened between 1975 and 1982.

Judge Paul Tain said the "quite appalling breach of trust" had profound lifelong effects on his victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Pedophile 'should be in court'

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

COLIN JAMES
LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR
November 16, 2007 01:15am
ANGLICAN priest John Mountford was a pedophile with a history of sexually abusing young boys, State Parliament has heard.

Premier Mike Rann yesterday criticised the former St Peter's College chaplain for verbally attacking one of his alleged victims before he left Australia last month after child sex charges against him were dropped.

"He is meant to be a man of prayer but instead he preys on young people," Mr Rann told the House of Assembly.

"I would like to see this man cross-examined in a court of law."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Notes on a Scandal

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Daily

These are not good times for the Catholic Church, especially in Boston. Just yesterday, Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested that Dorchester’s Caritas Carney Hospital may be in trouble, and, of course, Pope Benedict XVI will not be coming to Boston.

Regardless of how you feel about the pope’s snub, the logical conclusion one can draw is that Benedict wanted no part of dealing with the priest sex scandal. Which brings us to the word, “scandal,” and to Cardinal O’Malley’s unfortunate choice of words.

In a front-page, above the fold story in today’s Globe, O’Malley takes Democrats to task for their stance on abortion and suggests that Catholics supporting Democratic candidates “borders on a scandal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Patterns of Perversion

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

When sixth grade teacher Kelsey Peterson fled to Mexico with her 13 year old "lover" late last month, my heart told me it was time to speak out. But fear told me not to; in today's PC world, there's no sin so great as speaking the truth. Then, last night, I opened the paper to find that Norma Giannini, a 79 year old Roman Catholic nun had pleaded no contest to repeatedly sexually abusing two middle school boys.

But it's time that somebody spoke up for our children, and pulled them out of the clutches of these sick, perverted heterosexual women. Let the "straight" apologists say what they will, but the simple truth of the matter is that most child molesters are heterosexual. The only unusual aspect of these cases is that the perpetrators were female, while the vast majority of child sexual abusers are heterosexual males. And yet we still are asked to put our children in the hands of these heterosexual deviants each day we send them to school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Il convegno di don Sante si farà allo Sheraton ma durerà solo un giorno

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

Rev. Sante Sguotti's meeting will take place at the Sheraton hotel but it will be only a one-day event.

One week ago and without any states reasons, the rebel priest was denied a permit previously given to hold a conference on the premises of the renowned spa "Abano Terme." The planned three-day event was "In cammino verso la riconciliazone" (In the path towards reconciliation). The priest-in-love was forced to ask for "asylum" at the Sheraton in Padua. The meeting is for Catholic people who are separated from their married partners and are now living with another person and to those Catholics who divorced and are now remarried.

The conference will now take place Dec. 1. It has been transformed out to necessity to a one-day event. The program is published in his web site http://www.chiesacattolicadeipeccatori.it/home-page.asp. It's rich in participation and witnessing but even now, at a distance of a little more than two weeks, it seems to be a little vague.

On the Web site you can read "round table where various theologians will express their position on the sacrament of matrimony" or "round table with a theologian, a liturgist, a psychologist, a jurist and other experts" and so on. The names of the main speakers are not mentioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Catholic bishops say voters' souls at stake

BALTIMORE (MD)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune religion reporter
November 15, 2007

BALTIMORE - Proclaiming a sense of new energy and empowerment, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops on Wednesday issued instructions to Catholic voters that their eternal salvation could be at stake when they cast ballots. ...

Russell Shaw, information director for the bishops' conference from 1969 to 1987, said it's too soon to tell whether the bishops have emerged from the sexual abuse crisis and entered a new era of influence. But the bishops' optimism is clear.

"They are looking for hopeful signs that they have turned the corner," said Shaw, who observed the meeting this week.

Fighting back from financial woes caused by the abuse crisis, the conference reorganized last year, resulting in a more collaborative process to develop such statements. They debated the statement publicly for the first time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Priest Pleads Guilty To Prison Sex Abuse

FORT WORTH (TX)
CBS News

FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 15, 2007

(CBS/AP) A Roman Catholic priest who worked as a chaplain at a women's federal prison pleaded guilty Wednesday to having sex with two inmates.

Vincent Inametti, 48, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty in federal court to two counts of sexual abuse of a ward, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper said.

Inametti, who remains free on bond, is to be sentenced in March.

Authorities received a complaint earlier this year that Inametti was having sex with one inmate at Federal Medical Center Carswell, and further investigation revealed that he was involved with two women. Both were serving federal sentences for drug distribution conspiracy convictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Settlement of $1.1 million in Catholic school sexual-abuse case

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times religion reporter

A Skagit County man who was sexually abused years ago by a former Seattle Roman Catholic school principal is receiving one of the largest single-plaintiff settlements — $1.1 million — in this state in the Catholic Church sex-abuse cases.

The former St. Alphonsus School student says he was abused in 1980 when he was 13 by Brother Edward Courtney, who belonged to the Congregation of Christian Brothers religious order.

Court documents show some church leaders knew for years that Courtney sexually abused students, yet allowed him to continue teaching at school after school, including at O'Dea High School and at St. Alphonsus School, both in Seattle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

O'Brien urges priest back to fold

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Liz F. Kay | Sun reporter
November 15, 2007

The pastor of three Catholic parishes in South Baltimore is welcome to return to active ministry after undergoing counseling, said Archbishop Edwin O'Brien.

"I made it clear I want him back in active ministry," the archbishop said during an interview at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting at the Inner Harbor.

O'Brien made the Rev. Ray Martin resign last week after reports of liturgical and administrative offenses committed over more than a year. Since 2002, Martin had served as pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Holy Cross and St. Mary, Star of the Sea parishes, each of which has about 250 members.

Martin's reported offenses included hiring a maintenance man with a criminal record and allowing an Episcopal priest to read the Gospel and receive communion at a funeral Mass last month for Locust Point community activist Shirley Doda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Ex-chaplain pleads guilty to sex with inmates

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Bryon Okada and Sarah Bahari
Star-Telegram staff writer
FORT WORTH -- A former chaplain pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to two counts of sexual abuse of an adult ward in custody at Federal Medical Center Carswell.

Vincent Inametti, a Catholic missionary from Nigeria who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was the chaplain at FMC Carswell from Aug. 13, 2000, to Sept. 26, 2007. Carswell is the Bureau of Prisons' main medical and mental health facility for female offenders.

Court documents indicate that while at Carswell, Inametti twice did "engage and attempt to engage in a sexual act with another person." The two victims were female inmates. One incident happened in February 2006. The other was in June or July 2006.

Tahira Merritt, an attorney for one of the women, said her client is pleased with the guilty plea but is worried that Inametti will be given probation instead of prison time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

November 14, 2007

Funeral Services Set for Pastor Bob Gray

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Funeral services have been set for Dr. Bob Gray, the former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church.

Gray died last weekend. The cause of death has not been released. He was 81.

Gray's funeral is Thursday at 10 a.m. at Trinity Baptist Church on Hammond Boulevard.

Reverend Tom Messer will preside over the services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 PM

Baptists urge abuse awareness

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

The state's largest religious body is urging its churches to take sweeping steps to prevent sexual abuse in its congregations -- an action that an advocate for victims calls a good first step but fails to enact other needed policies.

The Kentucky Baptist Convention approved a resolution yesterday that urges churches to increase their awareness of the issue and to obtain professional background checks on all staff members and volunteers who work with minors. The resolution (seen on page 4 of this link) came a day after the convention's executive Mission Board adopted a more detailed report calling for such policies.

The convention also says it will use ads, news stories, direct mail and training sessions to educate churches about the threat of sexual abuse and how to detect it.

And it has brokered a deal with Protect My Ministry, a company that does background screening, to give Kentucky Baptist churches reduced rates for checks of potential workers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Former Queens Pastor on Leave from Ministry

BROOKLYN (NY)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn has announced that an investigation by the Diocesan Review Board has found sufficient evidence of sexual abuse of minors by a former Queens pastor.

In a letter to parishioners of Sacred Heart parish in Bayside, the Bishop stated that John Abrams, now retired, is “on leave from the public exercise of sacred ministry.”

According to the report of the Diocesan Review Board, the sexual abuse took place more than 25 years ago when he was the pastor there.

Bishop DiMarzio said he is not permitted to present himself as a priest, wear clerical attire, celebrate Mass or administer the sacraments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 PM

Brothers sue over alleged molestation by priest

HARTFORD (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

HARTFORD, Conn. - There brothers have sued the Hartford Archdiocese, alleging that they were molested by a priest 30 years ago.

Richard, Paul and Niles Mallory say in separate lawsuits filed in New Haven Superior Court that Ivan Ferguson knew them when they accompanied their mother to St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in Simsbury in 1977 and 1978.

The men accuse Ferguson of threatening to fire their mother, who worked for the church, if they reported the abuse.

Ferguson died in 2002 at age 68.

Thomas McNamara, the lawyer for the Mallory brothers, said the abuse ranged from improper touching to sodomy. He said the priest took advantage of the Mallorys' reliance on their mother's job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

An update we missed: Diocese of Tucson responds to criticism

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.14.2007

In a story yesterday about Bishop Gerald Kicanas' being chosen as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests criticized the choice. A later version of that story, which was not posted on StarNet, included a response from the Diocese of Tucson, which is printed here.

"I challenge (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests national director, David) Clohessy to be specific about anything in Bishop Kicanas' record that is terrible," said diocesan spokesman Fred Allison.

"This is a broadside statement that has no basis in fact. We at the diocese could not be more proud and pleased that Bishop Kicanas has been elected as vice president."

In Baltimore, where the conference met, Kicanas expressed gratitude at his peers' decision. If tradition holds, Kicanas would be chosen three years from now to step up to the presidency, but he said, "that's not an automatic."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Priest pleads guilty to having sex with two inmates

FORT WORTH (TX)
Houston Chronicle

2007 The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Roman Catholic priest who worked as a chaplain at a women's federal prison pleaded guilty Wednesday to having sex with two inmates.

Vincent Inametti, 48, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty in federal court to two counts of sexual abuse of a ward, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper said.

Inametti, who remains free on bond, is to be sentenced in March.

Authorities received a complaint earlier this year that Inametti was having sex with one inmate at Federal Medical Center Carswell, and further investigation revealed that he was involved with two women. Both were serving federal sentences for drug distribution conspiracy convictions.

One inmate met Inametti in 2004 after attending church services and becoming involved in the choir and Bible study classes, authorities said. The other met the priest a few months later after being assigned as a clerk for the prison's religious services department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Ex-chaplain pleads guilty to sex abuse of female inmates at Fort Worth prison

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By WENDY HUNDLEY / The Dallas Morning News

A former prison chaplain pleaded guilty Wednesday of sexually abusing two female inmates at a federal women’s prison in Fort Worth.

Vincent Inametti, a Catholic priest, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex abuse of an adult ward in custody while working at the Carswell Federal Medical Center, which provides health services to female offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Jesuit Priest Is Back In Oak Lawn Awaiting Trial

OAK LAWN (IL)
Southwest News-Herald

By CHUCK SALVATORE

The Oak Lawn Jesuit priest who was convicted for molesting two young boys is back in Oak Lawn awaiting trial.

The Rev. Donald McGuire, 77, is back at his home on the 9500 block of South New England Avenue. McGuire was given bail Nov. 6 in a Wisconsin court and allowed to return to his home.

A federal judge ordered two of McGuire’s friends to monitor him to make sure he does not have any contact with children under the age of 18. The judge also ordered McGuire to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.

The Jesuit order sent McGuire a notice last week informing him of his termination, which still needs Vatican approval.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Former Quincy priest named in sexual abuse complaint

ILLINOIS
Madison County Record

11/14/2007 1:26 PM
By Steve Gonzalez -Edwardsville Bureau

A man currently serving time for a sexual abuse conviction claims he was abused by a Catholic priest, according to a civil rights suit filed in Madison County on Nov. 8.

Gary Lange lodged his handwritten complaint against former priest Walter Weerts, the Catholic Archdiocese of Springfield, Jane Doe and John Doe, alleging he was sexually abused by Weerts from 1968 through 1970.

Lange claims that due to the alleged sexual abuse, he suffers from guilt, anger, frustration, sexual identity issues and chemical imbalances which led to him being sentenced to federal prison.

According to federal court documents, Lange was convicted of sexual abuse and was sentenced to serve at least 15 years in prison. At the time he filed his Madison County suit, he was incarcerated in Pekin. However, he is now located in Oklahoma City. He is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

George Is New Face Of Catholic Church In America

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

Bernie Tafoya Reporting

CHICAGO (WBBM) - Cardinal Francis George says his job as the newly-elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is largely a symbolic one but it will make him the point man, the spokesman for the Catholic Church in the United States for the next three years.

George spoke with WBBM's Bernie Tafoya.

As he has here in Chicago, Cardinal George, and the bishops’ group, will continue to deal with the priest sex abuse crisis. A report is due in 2009 on what caused priests to molest children.

Preliminary results of that study were given to bishops this week during their meeting in Baltimore. Cardinal George says the preliminary results seem to indicate the majority of sex abuse incidents involving children were happening at a time when there was an increase in child sex abuse in society in general.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Critics note papal visit excludes Boston

BOSTON (MA)
United Press International

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Some Roman Catholics questioned why Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. itinerary next April excludes Boston, a hotbed of sexual abuse allegations against priests.

The papal visit was announced this week and includes visits over five days to Washington and New York to address the United Nations and to visit the site where terrorists brought down the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

But sexual abuse victims advocates, including the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, claim the 80-year-old pontiff is missing a "golden opportunity" to confront the crisis head-on, Time magazine reported.

The same year as the terror attacks, Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law was forced to resign after admitting he'd defended a priest who he knew had sexually abused young members of his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

ארה"ב ביקשה הסגרת חשוד בעשרות מקרי אונס והתעללות מינית

ISRAEL
Haaretz

This links to the Hebrew version of the story on efforts of the U.S. Justice Departments to extradite Avrohom Mondrorwitz, who was indicted for sex crimes against boys in Brooklyn but fled to Israel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

U.S. asks Israel to extradite ultra-Orthodox Jew accused of child abuse

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Aviva Lori, Haaretz Correspondent

The U.S. Justice Department has asked Israel to facilitate the extradition of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man suspected of raping and sexually abusing dozens of boys.

Avrohom Mondrowitz was investigated by the New York Police Department in the 1980s and was indicted for sex crimes against four boys in Brooklyn, N.Y., but fled to Israel before he could be arrested.

According to witness reports, 60-year-old Mondrowitz, a married father of seven, would pose as a psychologist specializing in the treatment of children that suffered sexual abuse.

One of Mondrowitz's victims, 40-year-old Chicago resident Mark Weiss, who, as a child, was sent by his parents to New York for therapy with Mondrowitz after he had dropped out of several educational frameworks, recounted his ordeal. "[Mondrowitz's] family was at a cottage in the Catskills and I was sleeping at his house. at night he suddenly touched me. I was naive. I thought he was being nice, that he was trying to make me feel better," said Weiss. "It was all a big Fraud," he concluded.

Regarding the way the affair was handled by rabbis within the community, Weiss said: "[The rabbis] paralyzed an entire generation. When one of them destroys another person, they do nothing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Catholic priest charged with raping woman

CANADA
National Post

A retired Roman Catholic priest is accused of raping a woman who belonged to his downtown parish forty one years ago.
Francais John O’Neill, now 78 years old and living in Oakville, turned himself in to 51 division on Friday at the request of police. He has been charged with assault, buggery and rape. The latter two are criminal code offences that existed at the time of the alleged incident, but that would now amount to a charge of sexual assault.
Police would not divulge more information about the circumstances of the assault, which is alleged to have happened in 1966 to a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, located on Sherbourne Street and one of the oldest parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
“That would identify who she is and what exactly it was about and she doesn’t want to do that,” said Detective Sergeant Neil Corrigan, with 51 Division’s Criminal Investigation Bureau. The victim was in her twenties at the time, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Chicago cardinal to lead U.S. bishops

BALTIMORE (MD)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DANIEL BURKE
Religion News Service

BALTIMORE -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Cardinal Francis George of Chicago as its next president Tuesday, choosing a Vatican veteran to lead it through deep cuts in staff and mission.

George, elected by 85 percent of the bishops meeting in Baltimore this week, is known for his incisive mind and occasionally sharp tongue. ...

Two Catholic lay groups, however, pressed the bishops not to elect George, saying he had mishandled sexual abuse claims against Chicago clergy.

Ahead of the Baltimore meeting, the lay group Voice of the Faithful sent letters to nearly 300 U.S. bishops, including George, urging them to reject the cardinal's candidacy.

Protesting outside the meeting, representatives from Voice of the Faithful and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the cardinal's moral leadership is in doubt.

"George is the last person the bishops should be electing as their president," said Mary Pat Fox, president of Voice of the Faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Church to hold service for abuse victims

JASPER (IN)
Courier Press

The St. Joseph Church in Jasper will hold a service of healing for abuse victims Sunday afternoon.

The service is in response to the Catholic Diocese of Evansville's revelations in August that more than 10 victims have come forward alleging abuse at the hands of a deceased Dubois County priest.

The allegations concern Monsignor Othmar Schroeder, who founded Holy Family Church in Jasper in 1947. In 1975, Schroeder moved to Sacred Heart Church in Schnellville, Ind. He died in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

ABANO

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

If the Rev. Sante Sguotti, the rebel priest, thought he could end his religious career and start to be a writer now has reasons to change his mind. It is true his first career is almost ended, but it is almost sure his debut as a writer was disappointing. Traveling around Padua and its province, where the main book shops are located, it is easy to notice there were not many buying of his book. At 9 a.m., there were piled stacks of "Il mio amore non e' peccato" (My love is not a sin). .

But after the normal eight-hour business day many of those stacks were not touched by readers. Most visitors stopped in front of the books, perusing them in a bored way and then going on. Many of them wanted to know in recent days the day of its release but the curiosity they had shown seemed to have disappeared. At the Moderna book shop in Abano only five books were sold yesterday. Less lucky was the newspaper stall at Monterosso where no copies were sold. The Mondadori book shop in piazza Insurrezione (where they sell books of Rev. Sante's publisher) was a little better. "There is much curiosity," the Padua book shop employees explained. "Many people had come here to be informed about the book but the sales today weren't so many as expected," the employee said.

To sum it up, it is likely Rev. Sante will have to continue his career as a truck driver, waiting for a possible income deriving from his book: only two/three euros for each copy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

St. Francis Mary Stone; EWTN Priest Steps Down

UNITED STATES
Steve Ray's Blog

Update Nov 8: I kind of thought there would be an update on today's Life on the Rock but nothing yet. Only a request at the opening of the show for continued and needed prayers for the Franciscan brothers for undefined reasons.

We have seen Fr. Francis Mary as host of EWTN's popular weekly show Life on the Rock. We were also poised to invite him as Spiritual Director for a large Holy Land pilgrimage. Today I received an with a copy of a letter from Fr. Francis Mary which was read on EWTN announcing he was stepping down from his involvement at EWTN.

I have had other independent confirmation of the validity of the e-mail. It is sad to hear this kind of news, but I pray he will be treated with mercy and God's will will be done in his life. Here it is the letter read on EWTN:

Dear Family: Regretfully, I have a message that does not come without significant pain to both you and me. I have to tell you in all honesty and truth, that I have been personally involved with helping a widow and her struggling family. Over the course of time, the mother and I have grown very close. As a result, I am compelled to take some time off to prayerfully and honestly discern my future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Fr. Benedict Groeschel admonishes Catholic bloggers on discussing Fr. Francis Mary's leave: Don't engage in detraction

UNITED STATES
Te Deum laudamus!

The humble priest, at the end of yesterday's Sunday Night Live, made an appeal to Catholic bloggers: Don't engage in detraction, and if you have, know that it is a mortal sin. As Father pointed out, even if something is true, it can be a mortal sin to pass it along. I must say that Father appeared disappointed, and was firm in his catechesis on detraction which is not well understood these days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Bishop: I was more worried about priest's drinking

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 14, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter shogan@suntimes.com
While rector of Mundelein Seminary in the 1990s, Bishop Gerald Kicanas says he knew about three reports of "sexual improprieties" against then-seminarian Daniel McCormack.

Still, Kicanas supported McCormack's ordination, he told the Sun-Times.

"It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him," said Kicanas, now bishop of Tucson, Ariz., who was interviewed Tuesday after his election to vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

McCormack went to prison in July for molesting five boys while assigned to a West Side parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

George elected to lead bishops

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 14, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter shogan@suntimes.com
Hoping the clergy-child molestation scandals were behind them, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Cardinal Francis George as their new president on Tuesday.

But ongoing scandals in the Archdiocese of Chicago dampened the moment for George, who was grilled by reporters for his handling of recent cases and statements criticizing victims' lawsuits.

"Protections are in place that are extraordinary," the cardinal shot back in an effort to show the bishops as proactive on the issue.

During this week's fall assembly in Baltimore, the bishops said a preliminary study they commissioned indicates the molestation crisis in the church mirrored society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Three Brothers Claim Priest Abused Them

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

By ELIZABETH HAMILTON | Courant Staff Writer
November 14, 2007

Three brothers whose mother worked for a Catholic church in the late 1970s were all molested by a priest who threatened her job if they reported the abuse, a series of lawsuits against the Hartford Archdiocese contends.

Richard, Paul and Niles Mallory allege in separate lawsuits that Ivan Ferguson, who died in 2002 at age 68, got to know them individually when they accompanied their mother to St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in the Tariffville section of Simsbury in 1977 and 1978.

Ferguson, the priest in charge of youth activities and altar boys at St. Bernard's, expressed an interest in their hobbies, then took the boys up to his second-floor bedroom in the rectory at different times and molested them, the lawsuits say. In order to keep the abuse a secret, the lawsuits allege, Ferguson told each of the brothers he would have their mother fired from her job as director of religious education if they told anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Judge denies sentencing delay for former Darien priest

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

Published November 14 2007

The Darien priest who admitted to stealing from his wealthy parish will be sentenced next month despite his efforts to delay the hearing because of his failing health.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay pleaded guilty in federal court Sept. 15 to siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from St. John Roman Catholic Church. According to prosecutors, Fay deposited more than $980,000 from church funds into two secret bank accounts he used mostly for personal expenses.

A glimpse of Fay's credit card records obtained by The Advocate shows the priest had a taste for designer clothing, expensive jewelry and the finest restaurants.

Fay faces up to 10 years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines when sentenced Dec. 4.

Last month, Fay asked to delay his sentencing until April so he could complete chemotherapy treatments for prostate cancer. He said the cancer had spread to his bones and lymph nodes and that he is dying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Bishop explains apology over abuse vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Gazette

Nov 14 2007 by Simon Haworth, Evening Gazette

A BISHOP today shed further light on why the church is apologising for the actions of a disgraced vicar 20 years after he was arrested for child abuse.

The Rev Trevor Ward was removed from his post and jailed for seven years after being convicted of abusing young boys.

On Saturday, the Bishop of Whitby, the Right Rev Robert Ladds, will make a public apology for the child sex abuse committed by Ward while he was a vicar in Middlesbrough.

The service will be held at 2pm at St Agnes’ Church in Easterside, and will include prayers for the cleansing of the church and reconciliation with the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Tape Recording Called "Smoking Gun" in Alleged Trinity Cover-up

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Did Trinity leaders know about allegations that former pastor Bob Gray was an alleged pedophile and covered it up for years?

A First Coast News investigation has uncovered an audio tape recording of a meeting at Trinity about a few weeks before Gray's arrest in 2006.

The husband of an alleged victim of Gray says he's the one who recorded the meeting.

We're calling the man "John" because he wants to remain anonymous.

"John" says an important point about him is that he and his wife are not part of civil litigation against Trinity. They aren't suing for money. In fact, "John" says, "I want people to understand we're not out to take a ministry down."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Criminal Charges Against Pastor Bob Gray Dismissed

JAKCSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- All criminal charges against former Trinity Baptist Church pastor Dr. Bob Gray have been dismissed. Gray died Saturday.

The State Attorney's office said "all cases died with the defendant."

Jury selection in the criminal trial was supposed to begin today.

Gray was charged with sexually molesting children years ago. More than twenty women and one man came forward in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Polygamist Leader Wants Verdict Tossed

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Associated Press

By JENNIFER DOBNER

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Attorneys for a polygamous sect leader convicted of rape by accomplice are asking a judge to set aside the jury's verdict, saying the evidence was insufficient and circumstantial at best.

"We think it's the wrong result," Wally Bugden told The Associated Press.

"Performing a marriage ceremony, urging people to stay in the marriage relationship, should not constitute the crime of rape," he said Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Parents of sex abuse victim sue Concord man guilty of 4 assault counts

CONCORD (NH)
Concord Monitor

By ANNMARIE TIMMINS
Monitor staff

November 14. 2007 12:45AM

A former church leader charged in January with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl at his home has pleaded guilty to some of the charges. The girl's parents, meanwhile, are suing the man for abusing their daughter.

Peter Barton, 51, of Concord, pleaded guilty Nov. 5 to four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault for assaulting the girl over a six-month period. As part of the plea agreement, the Merrimack County Attorney's Office dropped four other sexual assault charges involving the same girl.

Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Philip Mangones sentenced Barton to a total of 15 to 40 years in the state prison. If he hadn't pleaded guilty, Barton would have gone to trial yesterday.

When he was arrested in January, Barton was a leader with the New Life Fellowship Church in Concord, but the abuse did not happen at the church or relate to his role as a church leader. Barton resigned his role immediately after his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Nun Pleads No Contest to Allegations of Sex Abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
eFluxMedia

by Charlie Brett 12:17, November 14th 2007

A septuagenarian Roman Catholic nun pleaded no contest Monday to indecent behavior with a child for alleged sexual abuse of two boys while she was principal and teacher at a Catholic school in Milwaukee in the 1960s.

Norma Giannini, 79, is accused of having repeatedly assaulted two male students at St. Patrick School in the 1960s, while she was principal and teacher there. A criminal complaint filed by the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office asserts that the abuse included numerous sexual encounters with Giannini, including intercourse, and occurred in several locations, including a convent and a classroom, reports the New York Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Ex-church elder pleads in molestation

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star

By Robert Annis
robert.annis@indystar.com

A former elder at College Park Church in Carmel faces 10 years in prison after pleading guilty today to molesting a 3-year-old girl he had been baby-sitting.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Terry Van Gorp, 57, Carmel, will be sentenced to 15 years, 10 to be served in prison and five years of probation. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6. - Star file photo

Terry Van Gorp, 57, pleaded guilty to a Class A felony charge of child molesting in Hamilton Superior Court. Prosecutors dropped two other felony charges of child molestation.
The original charges carried a penalty of 42 to 108 years in prison, but under terms of a plea agreement, Van Gorp will be sentenced to 15 years, 10 to be served in prison and five years of probation. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6.

Van Gorp was ordered to report to the Hamilton County jail at 6 a.m. Friday, when his bond will be revoked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Abuse victim speaks out

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Nov 14, 2007 3:00 AM (3 hrs ago) by Jessica Novak, The Examiner
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - When Kurt Gladsky, Baltimore native and sexual abuse victim, heard about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore and the impending presidential election of Cardinal Francis George, he jumped in his car and drove 14 hours to the conference from his Florida home.

Standing outside the hotel where more than 250 bishops converged, Gladsky said he was sexually abused by a brother at Calvert Hall College High School in 1967 and has been offered money through an arbitrator for Calvert Hall.

“Only the most vocal people were offered money, but it’s not about money for me,” he said “It’s about justice, protecting Maryland’s children and extending the statute of limitations [on pedophilia.]”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Bishop Kicanas and his old boss make national news

UNITED STATES
Arizona Daily Star

2007-11-13
Stephanie Innes
Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and Archdiocese of Chicago Cardinal Francis George are taking some heat for their new leadership posts with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

George will be the new president and Kicanas, a Chicago native, will be vice president.

Both have been criticized by the national Survivors Network of Those Abused by priests for not being accountable enough to victims of clergy sexual abuse.

I’m in Chicago this week and the issue here is particularly heated, as George has been critical of a proposed bill in the Illinois state legislature that would allow victims of clergy abuse to file civil suits even after the criminal statute has tolled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Some angry over election of cardinal

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

Ed Stannard, Register Metro Editor
11/14/2007

Roman Catholics in Connecticut who are survivors of clergy sexual abuse were dismayed Tuesday by the election of Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to lead the nation’s bishops.

George, 70, was elected with 85 percent of the vote to serve as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the next three years.

"I’m not really surprised that he was elected — he was the next in line — but (I’m) very disappointed," said Kathy Rector of Southington, co-leader of the Connecticut chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"He’s got a history of essentially not dealing with priests who have abused kids," Rector said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Kicanas elected VP of bishops conference

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

Staff and wire reports
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.14.2007
Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas was elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Tuesday in Baltimore, putting him in position to become president of the group.

The vice presidency is a three-year term and typically leads to the presidency. The conference president does not set policy but acts as a national spokesman for the bishops and represents the U.S. church in meetings at the Vatican. ...

In 2004, in his current post as leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, Kicanas became the second bishop in the country to have his diocese file for bankruptcy because of lawsuits concerning sexual abuse of children by priests. Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland, Ore., was the first.

The survivors group and other critics say the bankruptcy process is a way to blame victims for financial problems and to avoid embarrassing trials.

However, Kicanas said Tuesday that the Tucson diocese has come a long way since the scandal became public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Controversy surrounds U.S. Bishops Conference

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Nov 14, 2007 3:00 AM (3 hrs ago) by Jessica Novak, The Examiner
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Despite protests from sexual abuse victims, Chicago Cardinal Francis George was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the group’s annual fall meeting in Baltimore.

He comes to the office after serving as conference vice president for three years. As president, George will serve as the spokesman for the bishops and represent the U.S. church in Vatican meetings.

But according to Barbara Blaine, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who was sexually abused at age 13, Cardinal George allowed the Rev. Daniel McCormack, a Chicago pastor, to serve in a ministry position, despite the fact he knew McCormack had molested children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Late priest named in abuse lawsuit

SEATTLE (WA)
The Daily News

By Leslie Slape

A former priest at St. Rose Catholic Church in the 1950s, now deceased, has been named in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Archdiocese of Seattle based on childhood sexual abuse.

The plaintiff, a Port Orchard man, alleges the Rev. Edward Boyle began sexually molesting him in the early 1970s when Boyle was working for the Archdiocese at Holy Trinity Church in Bremerton. The man said the abuse began at about age 13 when he was an altar boy.

Last month the Archdiocese settled out of court another lawsuit that named Boyle. The victim in that case said Boyle molested him for 11 years, beginning in 1956, at Immaculate Conception Church in Everett. The victim received a $270,000 settlement.

In the early 1950s, Boyle had been assigned to St. Rose Parish in Longview, according to the Fleck Law Firm in Seattle. He died in 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

“A critical witness”

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Bishop Tod Brown is “very respectful of the law, but he follows his own conscience… and he’s going to do what he believes is right and not what is popular or which may get him off a hot spot,” explained Diocese of Orange litigation counsel Peter M. Callahan in the November Orange County Catholic, the diocesan newspaper.

Callahan was referring to Brown’s decision to send former diocesan chancellor Msgr. John Urell for treatment in Canada at a time when, according to plaintiffs’ lawyers, Urell could have given important testimony in a sexual abuse case against the diocese.

Last July, Urell was deposed in a civil case involving allegations of sexual abuse by a former Mater Dei High School assistant coach. Disturbed by questions about his handling of sex-abuse complaints as chancellor, Urell walked out of his unfinished deposition, crying. Urell then checked into the Southdown Institute near Toronto, Canada.

As chancellor, Urell took part in processing sexual abuse claims against clergy -- a task to which he responded “with compassion, sensitivity, and appropriate action,” said Callahan. Urell, however, “had no legitimate involvement” in the Mater Dei case at all. In fact, said Callahan, as chancellor, Urell “had very little involvement in claims of wrongdoing involving lay personnel.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Key bishop voices alarm over Iraq

BALTIMORE (MD)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / November 14, 2007
BALTIMORE - Increasingly frustrated by the war in Iraq and worried about bellicose talk toward Iran, the outgoing president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops described the situation in Iraq yesterday as "unacceptable and unsustainable" and called for the Bush administration to work with Iran and Syria to stabilize the region.

Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, in one of his last acts as president of the bishops conference, issued a public letter saying the bishops are "alarmed by the political and partisan stalemate in Washington" and declaring "our country needs a new direction." ...

Skylstad's three-year tenure at the helm of the bishops' conference ends tomorrow; the bishops yesterday overwhelmingly elected Cardinal Francis E. George, the archbishop of Chicago and an ally of Pope Benedict XVI, as the next conference president. His first task will be to help the Catholic Church of the United States prepare for Benedict's first papal visit, which is scheduled for April in Washington, D.C., and New York.

George is highly regarded as an intellectual and a doctrinal conservative. But victim advocacy groups have criticized his handling of several allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Chicago.

"As archbishop of Chicago, Francis George's recent record on the crisis has been characterized by an inexplicably high tolerance for priests credibly accused of sexually assaulting children," said Anne Barrett Doyle, codirector of BishopAccountability.org, an Internet archive of abuse related documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

'PERV' CLERIC, 83, LOSES PRIESTLY POWERS

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN
November 14, 2007 -- An elderly Queens priest has been stripped of his powers as a cleric after Catholic officials found there was "sufficient evidence" that he sexually abused several boys 25 years ago.

The alleged assaults by the Rev. John Abrams occurred when he was pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Bayside, according to the Brooklyn Diocese, which oversees the parish.

Abrams, who turns 83 next month, served at Sacred Heart from 1979 until 1982, said diocese rep Frank DeRosa. After Abrams' stint at Sacred Heart, he served seven or eight years at St. Patrick's Church in Bayside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Stockton bishop loses vote for post

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

By Rick Brewer
Record Staff Writer
November 14, 2007 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - According to a Chicago-based advocacy organization for people sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests, the Rev. Stephen Blaire, bishop of the Stockton Diocese, was defeated in an election for chairmanship of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People on Tuesday during the semiannual U.S. Conference of Bishops meetings in Baltimore.

The Rev. Blaise J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., was elected to the post by the nationwide body of Catholic bishops.

The Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, declared its opposition to Blaire's candidacy to head the committee charged with developing policies and procedures that respond to allegations of clerical sexual abuse of minors.

Blaire, a former chairman of the conference's ecumenical and interfaith dialogue committee, has served on the protection of children and youth committee for several years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

2 more lawsuits claim sexual abuse by now-dead priest

NEW HAVEN (CT)
New Haven Register

Abbe Smith, Register Staff
11/14/2007

NEW HAVEN — Two brothers have filed lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford alleging sex abuse by longtime priest the Rev. Ivan Ferguson.

The new lawsuits come months after a third brother filed a lawsuit against the diocese in August.

All three lawsuits, filed in Superior Court in New Haven, claim Ferguson, now deceased, sexually abused the teenage brothers from New Milford for a period in the late 1970s. According to court documents, the boys’ 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Church wants to write own script

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 14, 2007
BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist
Jim Cummins died 18 days before this week's meeting of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. But if it's possible to rage in heaven, then surely Jim is raging now at Chicago's Cardinal Francis George.

Cardinal George, just elected president of the bishops' conference, is a brilliant man who can be warm, thoughtful and funny. But he can also be dismissive, distant and icy, particularly when it comes to questions of the church's accountability and transparency on the issue of sex abuse by clergy.

As the bishops met in Baltimore on Tuesday, Sun-Times religion reporter Susan Hogan/Albach broke the story of a letter the cardinal sent earlier this year to parents of a victim. While apologizing for "the terrible abuse" suffered by their now-adult son by two Chicago priests when he was a child, the cardinal combined his heartfelt apology with an equally heartfelt denunciation.

Money, the cardinal wrote, was behind proposed Illinois legislation that would waive the statute of limitations, allowing adults to come forward years after abuse occurred and sue their abusers. "This is irresponsible, is not about the safety of children as the sponsor claims and is clearly, to me at least, about money," George wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

November 13, 2007

NBC News anchor schmoozes Giuliani, badgers Democrats

UNITED STATES
Media Matters

by Eric Boehlert

Searching for more proof that celebrity Beltway journalists enjoy warm, friendly relations with Republican presidential hopefuls? Look no further than last week's cozy sit-down between NBC News anchor Brian Williams and GOP front-runner Rudy Giuliani.

According to the running tally posted at MSNBC.com, where video of the full 34-minute interview is hosted, the Q&A has been viewed less than 6,000 times. But it deserves far more attention since it conveniently captures how the media landscape is unfolding for the 2008 campaign, where prominent Democrats are bedeviled by all sorts of probing press inquires while their Republican counterparts skate through the primary season without a media care in the world.

And that's thanks to people like Brian Williams. ...

Williams did not ask Giuliani why his private consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, continues to employ his childhood friend Alan Placa even after a Long Island grand jury report in 2003 accused Placa, a Catholic priest, of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Abuse study expected to reveal insights about societal effects

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- An ongoing study of the "causes and contexts" of the sexual abuse crisis in the church will touch on societal influences, the role of various aspects of seminary life and how church leaders' response was a factor, according to the staff of the New York-based John Jay College of Criminal Justice in a report to the U.S. bishops Nov. 12.

In a briefing during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall general meeting in Baltimore, researchers Karen Terry and Margaret Smith outlined the types of information being gathered since the bishops agreed at the same meeting a year ago to spend $335,000 to cover the first phases of the detailed study.

Research falls into six categories, Terry explained: a historical overview of social and political events since 1950; recruitment and seminary training; leadership; victimization; a clinical analysis using data from three treatment centers; and a discussion of prevention and education tactics.

Terry said early research seems to indicate that the patterns of sexual abuse within the church are consistent with the experience of society as a whole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Chicago cardinal elected head of US bishops' conference

UNITED STATES
AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, was Tuesday elected head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, drawing anger from critics who say he ignored cases of sexual abuse of children by priests.

George, who had served as vice-president of the bishops' council -- seen as an automatic ticket to the presidency -- won 85 percent of votes cast by his fellow bishops at their annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, the USCCB said.

George served in Rome between 1974 and 1986 after being elected Vicar General of the Oblates. In 1990 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Bishop of Yakima, Washington. In 1995 he was named archbishop of Chicago, and was also elevated by John Paul to the College of Cardinals in 1998.

But the election of the 70-year-old Chicago native, who is seen as a Vatican loyalist, came as a blow to the Voice of the Faithful group, which was set up to help victims of sex abuse scandals which rocked the US Catholic church in 2002.

"We are naturally disappointed that Cardinal George was elected. We would have hoped they would have elected someone with a better record on child protection," Voice of the Faithful president Mary Pat Fox told AFP.

"We sent a letter to all the bishops in August, requesting that they think about this, talk amongst themselves and hopefully come to the same decision as we have -- that Cardinal George was not the right choice to head the USCCB," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Report: Pope Snubbing Boston Over Abuse Scandal

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- Priest abuse survivor groups are criticizing the Roman Catholic Church's decision to have Pope Benedict XVI skip a visit to Boston next year, saying the pontiff is snubbing the city because of its history as a center of priest sex abuse scandals, according to a Time.com report.

Benedict is planning to visit New York and Washington next April 15-20 during his first United States trip. The trip will include stops at the White House, the United Nations and the site of the World Trade Center tragedy. It will include two stadium open-air Masses.

But the 80-year-old church leader announced he will not be stopping in Boston, where details of the priest sex abuse scandal first emerged in 2001. The head of the Boston archdiocese, Cardinal Bernard Law, eventually resigned after admitting he had protected a priest whom he knew had sexually abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Cardinal George elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 13, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter
Cardinal Francis George, a staunch Vatican loyalist, was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today.

This elevates George’s profile in the American church. But the position is more symbolic than powerful since the Vatican approves all major decisions.

The conference is the organization by which U.S. bishops conduct business, such as implementing Vatican guidelines for liturgy or developing sexual abuse policies.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, left, president-elect of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, signals thumbs up after the conference's election Tuesday morning in Baltimore.

George, 70, was elected to a three-year term by bishops meeting in Baltimore for their fall assembly. He received 85 percent of the vote over nine other candidates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Jesuit faces federal sex abuse charges

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Jesuit Fr. Donald J. McGuire is facing federal charges of traveling to another country with a minor for the purpose of committing sex acts, according to court documents filed in Chicago Nov. 1.

Documents filed with the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois say McGuire traveled from Chicago to Switzerland and Austria in December 2000 and sexually molested a boy he took with him.

The complaint by an accuser identified as Victim A says that McGuire sexually abused him from 1999 to 2003 in 12 states and six countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Bishops elect Cardinal George as new president

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The U.S. bishops Nov. 13 elected Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago as their president and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., as their vice president.

Using an electronic voting system, the bishops voted on the second day of their Nov. 12-15 fall general meeting in Baltimore.

Cardinal George won on the first ballot with 188 votes, or 85 percent. He is completing his three-year term as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the first cardinal to be elected president or vice president of the conference since 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Kicanas elected bishops' VP, draws fire from critic

TUCSON (AZ)
KVOA

Associated Press - November 13, 2007 12:54 PM ET

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Bishop Gerald Kicanas has been elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, normally the post leading to subsequent election as president.

Kicanas follows Chicago Cardinal Francis George, who on Tuesday was elected president of the conference.

Kicanas led the Tucson diocese through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization proceedings during 2004 and 2005 in response to a priest sex abuse scandal that resulted in a wave of lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

LAT Spreads Church Abuse Falsehoods But Ignores Teacher Abuse Study

UNITED STATES
NewsBusters

By Dave Pierre | November 13, 2007 - 14:25 ET
An opinion article by author Jason Berry in Sunday's Los Angeles Times (11/11/07) claims that United States Catholic bishops "released data [in 2004] showing that they had identified about 4,400 abusive U.S. priests." The truth? That number refers to the number of priests who had allegations of abuse.

This discrepancy is significant for a number of reasons:

A priest "with an allegation" does not necessarily represent "an abusive priest." An allegation is not a presumption of guilt. The 2004 John Jay study, to which Berry alludes, defined an allegation as "any accusation that is not implausible" (link)
As we reported in this post over the summer, a number of priests have vehemently denied the allegations against them. (In the post I identified one Los Angeles-area priest whose accuser received a settlement despite the priest's vociferous denial.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

New Leader of U.S. Bishops Faulted in Abuse Case

UNITED STATES
NPR

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

Morning Edition, November 13, 2007 ·

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday. George has been an outspoken advocate for cleaning up the sex-abuse crisis in the church. But critics say he ignored complaints that a priest in his own archdiocese was actively abusing boys in a case as recent as last year.

After the church sex-abuse scandal broke five years ago, Cardinal George led the push for a zero-tolerance policy against abusive priests. His policies for Chicago became the model for reform nationwide. George himself traveled to Rome to persuade the Vatican to accept them.

Jimmy Lago, the chancellor of the archdiocese, says those policies are simple: When a minor reports abuse, the church immediately tells the police and yanks the priest from his job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Woe to Him by Whom Scandal Comes

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Observer

By Jim Bowman

There is no joy in Jesuitville today, or less of it than a week ago when another Rev. Donald McGuire sexual-abuse victim filed suit. This one is not proven as victim, like those who testified in McGuire’s conviction last year in Wisconsin, but far more recently abused – 1999 to 2003 – per the complaint, and in Cook County, coming well under the statutory limitation, which heretofore has ruled prosecution out here.

The Jesuits heard the accusation, by a 21-year-old college student, in January and informed the office of Loyola Academy alumnus and state’s attorney Dick Devine soon afterward, they say. This was news to the state’s attorney’s people, who say they learned from complainants’ lawyers only this week.

It was also news to the Wisconsin court where McGuire was sentenced to seven years in prison and 20 years probation. If Wisconsin had known about the accusation, a prosecutor said, McGuire would have had to escape to Wisconsin from Oak Lawn, where he’s been staying in a private home.

McGuire’s freedom during his appeal, handled by a new lawyer after he fired famed Milwaukee criminal lawyer Gerry Boyle, has been impossible to discover in Internet-available news accounts. But now it’s being reported, along with the accusation by a 21-year-old student of what he says he experienced at McGuire’s hands and where – in 13 states, including Wisconsin, and six countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

The Pope's US Trip: Avoiding Boston?

UNITED STATES
Time

Critics are saying one important city is missing on Pope Benedict XVI's coming visit to the United States. In April, he will fly to Washington and New York, in his first U.S. visit as pope, and the first papal trip to the U.S. since Sept. 11. Stops at the White House, the United Nations and the site where the World Trade Center once stood were confirmed this week by the U.S. Bishops conference. Each of those appearances offers an opportunity for the 80-year-old Pope to address international affairs, and the unique role of the American superpower, while two open-air masses at baseball stadiums will allow the Catholic flock in the U.S. to pray with their visiting pastor-in-chief.

Still, the announcement Monday of Benedict's five-day American itinerary is a reminder that 2001 was also the year of a different kind of "9/11 moment" for the U.S. Catholic Church. That year saw the first revelations of what would become a devastating priest sex abuse crisis. But the Ground Zero for that tragedy — Boston, the stronghold of American Catholicism — is one city the Pope will not be visiting.

Boston was where the first spiral of revelations from victims of abusive clerics began to emerge, and where the head of the Archdiocese, Cardinal Bernard Law, was eventually forced to resign after admitting that he'd protected a priest whom he knew had sexually abused young members of his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Cardinal George to lead U.S. bishops

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear | Tribune religion reporter
9:15 AM CST, November 13, 2007

For 10 years, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops have looked to the archbishop of Chicago for his leadership and a link to Rome.

Today, they elected Cardinal Francis George to serve as their next president.

With 85 percent of the vote, George moved from his post as vice president to serve as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the next three years. Tucson, Ariz., Bishop Gerald Kicanas, formerly from Chicago, was elected vice president. Both will take office on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Angry Letter Overshadows Cardinal's Election

BALTIMORE (MD)
CBS 2

BALTIMORE (CBS) ― Francis Cardinal George has just been elected president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, winning about 85 percent of his colleagues' votes.

But his election was overshadowed by a letter from earlier this year in which a published report said George said state legislation regarding sexual abuse was "about money."

George received 188 of 222 votes for the presidency at the bishops' conference in Baltimore.

George succeeds Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, who is ending his term. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., a former auxiliary bishop in the Chicago Archdiocese, was elected as the new vice president.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Cardinal Is Catholic Bishops' President

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

By RACHEL ZOLL – 1 hour ago

BALTIMORE (AP) — Chicago Cardinal Francis George, a defender of Catholic orthodoxy with extensive experience in Rome, was elected Tuesday as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

George won overwhelmingly in a vote at the fall meeting of the nation's bishops.

He had served the last three years as the conference vice president. The prelate holding that job customarily is elected to the top post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Oakville priest charged in 1966 rape of parishioner

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Press

November 13, 2007

A Catholic priest from Oakville has been charged with raping a member of his parish in 1966.

The sexual assault allegedly happened when the man was a priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Toronto. Since it allegedly occurred in 1966, the charges are historical - including rape, indecent assault on a female and buggery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Cardinal: Sex-abuse bill 'about money'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 13, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
Cardinal Francis George and one of his top bishops are stirring up controversy because of statements they recently made criticizing lawsuits from victims of priest sexual abuse.

In a letter obtained by the Sun-Times, the cardinal earlier this year wrote to the parents of a victim and apologized "for the terrible abuse suffered by your son at the hands of Ken Ruge and Robert Becker," two Chicago area priests who are now dead.

The cardinal also wrote that money was the motivation for proposed state legislation that would allow adults who were abused by priests as children to sue their perpetrators in cases where statutes of limitation have expired.

"This is irresponsible, is not about the safety of children as the sponsor claims, and is clearly, to me at least, about money," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Ex-wife of slain man says he molested daughter

NEW YORK
amNew York

BY MARIA ALVAREZ | Special to Newsday
November 9, 2007

The mother of a 4-year-old who witnessed the slaying of her father in a Queens playground last month testified Thursday that she had stayed married to the the father, despite allegedly seeing him molest the girl, because her rabbi counseled the couple to stay together.

"We went to the rabbi and discussed this," said Dr. Mazoltuv Borukhova, 33, who is fighting for full custody of her daughter. Her ex-husband, Daniel Malakov, 34, an orthodontist, was gunned down last month.

"He said this was his way of showing his love and affection," Borukhova testified. "I asked him please find other different ways to show your affection."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Don Sante fa causa alla Curia

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The rebel priest about to be excommunicated is more decided than ever to create difficulties for Bishop Mattiazzo.

Rev. Sante sues the Curia.

"I've been fired 'senza giustificazione' (meaning without reason)," he said. "I also want the TFR (a yearly fund any employer must put aside on behalf of each of his employees and restituted back to them when for any reason they quit their job).

Lawyers are continuing to work for Rev. Sante Sguotti. In addition to their request to have the priest's suspension a divinis decree withdrawn, they are now working on a labor dispute. In the secular world, it is called "licenziamento ingiustificato." The rebel priest does not give up and is continuing his attack pending excommunication. He has given a mandate to his lawyers to start a labor civil suit on the ground he was fired from the parish "without any justification."

Meanwhile, the former parish priest delivered to the curia a dossier about his economic status. This is meant to back his right to get a monthly check which the curia pays in some cases and a kind of unemployment compensation.

"I decided I don't want anything from the bishop. What is due me must be given me according to Italian laws. I have a college degree which is not needed in the labor market and having lost my stipend and my home, I am now full of pain for being forced to sleep in the cascina at Lovertino. (A cascina is a barn-like structure where in the past peasants lived with their animals.) In addition, he also wants the money which according to the labor laws is granted to any worker when he is terminated or resigns. The law says that a certain percentage of what is earned each year must be put aside by the employer and given to his employee when he stops working for any reason," the priest said.

His book will be released this morning. It tells about all the phases of his love story, of the temptations of the flesh he had to bear (if it's true what he says he never had any sexual intercourse with his lover) and his existential crisis which brought him to his rethinking of the idea about priestly celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

E. Bay Priest Under Fire For Lewdness Allegations

PLEASANTON (CA)
CBS 5

(CBS 5 / KCBS / BCN) PLEASANTON A clergy-abuse advocacy group claims the priest poised to take the lead of Pleasanton’s two Catholic churches has a criminal past. They also accuse the Oakland Bishop of not doing and enough to inform the public.

The Rev. Padraig Greene has been appointed the church's incoming pastor and is set to take lead Jan. 1, said current Pastor Daniel Danielson.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says Greene was arrested in 1999 for lewd behavior in public.

Greene was arrested during a sting operation in a restroom at the North Oakland Sports Center, according to SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Catholic Bishops Choose New Leader

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

By RACHEL ZOLL

BALTIMORE (AP) — The nation's Roman Catholic bishops, gathered for their fall meeting, are urging U.S. lawmakers to end partisan bickering and stop the violence tearing at Iraq.

Bishop William Skylstad, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will release a statement Tuesday calling on Democrats and Republicans to fulfill a moral oligation to end the chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Skylstad, of Spokane, Wash., is ending his three-year term as conference president.

Chicago Cardinal Francis George is expected to succeed him in voting Tuesday. George is now vice president, and the prelate holding that job customarily is elected to the top post. ...

However, the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests have criticized his record on the molestation crisis.

The archdiocese waited months to remove an accused parish priest in Chicago, the Rev. Daniel McCormack, who was criminally charged last year and pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys ages 8 to 12. George has acknowledged that he failed to act soon enough in McCormack's case.

The conference has commissioned a new study from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on the individual and sociological factors underlying the clergy abuse crisis.

Researchers told the bishops Monday that preliminary findings indicate that the pattern of abuse in the church was consistent with trends in broader society, challenging the "popular notion that there was something distinctive about the Catholic Church that led to the abuse of minors." The study will be completed in two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

“We are all dealing with dysfunctional secrets”

PLEASANTON (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Members of the Northern California Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) distributed flyers at a Catholic parish in Pleasanton on Sunday, Nov. 11, to protest the appointment as pastor of a priest who was arrested in 1999 for lewd behavior.

On Jan. 1, 2008, the Rev. Padraig Greene will take over the leadership of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, a parish cluster including St. Augustine’s and St. Elizabeth Seton’s Catholic churches. On Sunday, Northern California SNAP director Joey Piscitelli and others were at St. Augustine’s to alert parishioners of Fr. Padraig’s past.

Piscitelli told the Nov. 12 San Jose Mercury News that Greene’s appointment is “a red flag for us as a survival group. We're also worried the bishop of Oakland would make him the top man in Pleasanton.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Nun Pleads No Contest in Sex Abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The New York Times

By CATRIN EINHORN
Published: November 13, 2007
A Roman Catholic nun pleaded no contest yesterday to two counts of indecent behavior with a child in connection with accusations from the 1960s when she was a principal and teacher at a Catholic school in Milwaukee.

The nun, Norma Giannini, 79, faces up to 20 years in prison for what prosecutors say was sexual abuse of two male students.

Although dozens of nuns have been accused of sexual abuse, often in civil lawsuits, Sister Giannini is one of the first to face criminal charges, said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that compiles reports about abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Conference addresses sex abuse of children within the church

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

by Laura Duffy, The Examiner
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Five years ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to the riveting news of child abuse.

Leaders produced the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, specifically designed to quench abuse within the Catholic Church.

Yesterday the USCCB continued their general meeting to address issues such as the sexual abuse of children within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Abuse Claims Don't End With Pastor's Death

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
News4Jax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Despite his death, accusations that the Rev. Robert Gray molested children decades ago while he was pastor at Trinity Baptist Church will not go away.

Gray was taken off life support equipment last week and died Saturday. He was 81.

Gray's trial on four counts of sexual battery was scheduled to begin this week were postponed after he went into the hospital. While those criminal charges will not go forward, six civil cases filed against the church he led for nearly 40 years will continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Pope to visit US amid anger over pedophile priests

UNITED STATES
Brisbane Times

Pope Benedict XVI will stage his first visit to the United States next April, officials said Monday, as the US Catholic Church struggles to overcome a damaging pedophile scandal.

The German-born pontiff will visit Washington and New York April 15-20 to celebrate Masses with the US faithful and to address the United Nations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that Benedict would miss a "golden opportunity" by failing to visit Boston, the epicenter of the scandal involving decades of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Nun Pleads No Contest In Sex Abuse Case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
CBS News

(AP) A 79-year-old Roman Catholic nun pleaded no contest Monday to two counts of indecent behavior with a child for alleged sexual encounters with two male students at a church convent and school where she was principal during the 1960s.

The nun, Norma Giannini, and her attorney left the courthouse without comment after entering the pleas in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Giannini faces a maximum 10 years on each count when sentenced Feb. 1.

According to the criminal complaint, the two men told authorities they had dozens of sexual encounters with Giannini, including intercourse, while attending St. Patrick's School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Nun, 79, declines to fight sex case

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez | Tribune religion reporter
9:13 PM CST, November 12, 2007

A nun who taught in Chicago-area Roman Catholic schools for more than three decades pleaded no contest Monday to molesting two teenage boys at a Milwaukee elementary school in the 1960s.

Sister Norma Giannini, 79, was scheduled to go on trial Monday at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. But instead she entered the no-contest plea and now stands convicted of two felony counts of indecent behavior with the underage victims.

Victims' advocates said they believe that if she had gone to trial, Giannini would have been the first nun in the country to face a jury for sexually abusing children. She faces up to 20 years in prison when she is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 1 by Circuit Judge M. Joseph Donald in Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Pope to visit U.S. for first time

WASHINGTON (DC)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate his 81st birthday and the third anniversary of his election on an April 15-20 visit to New York City and Washington, D.C. It will be his first to the United States. ...

Archbishop Sambi spoke of the visit as an invitation to fallen-away Catholics to return to the church -- "a new Pentecost, a new spring" that would show the "youthfulness" of the church.

He called on Catholics "to think less of the suffering of the past and more to the program of the future. According to my information, the Holy Spirit is ready. The answer depends on us," he said.

The reference to "the suffering of the past" likely was the sexual abuse crisis of recent years, which had its epicenter in the Archdiocese of Boston. Earlier speculation about the pope's visit had suggested that he might go to Boston to promote healing, but it was not on his schedule. Bishop William Skylstad, president of the bishops' conference, said only that many archdioceses had vied for the pope to visit, but at 81 years of age he needed to limit his travel to two cities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Pope passes on Hub visit

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Jessica Van Sack
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI is skipping Boston on his first trip to America as pontiff, bypassing the Red Sox [team stats] faithful for an appearance at Yankee Stadium instead.

But experts say Bostonians - even those who think Red Sox Nation is the closest thing to heaven on Earth - shouldn’t take it personally as the pope plans trips to New York and Washington, D.C. ...

Echoing a strong pitch by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, former Vatican Ambassador Raymond L. Flynn visited the Vatican last month and lobbied for a papal appearance, partly to celebrate the Archdiocese of Boston’s bicentennial.

Flynn pitched a Boston visit as a chance for the pope to help the archdiocese heal wounds left by the sexual abuse crisis.

“It certainly would have been an opportunity to reach out to victims and their families and address that issue,” Flynn said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Nun pleads no contest to child sex abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By DERRICK NUNNALLY
dnunnally@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 12, 2007
On the morning she was to go to trial on charges that she molested two teenage boys 40 years ago, Sister Norma Giannini pleaded no contest Monday to two felony counts of indecent behavior with a child.

The former principal of the St. Patrick's Congregation grade school, 79, spoke with a firm voice that faltered nearly to a whisper as she answered Milwaukee County Circuit Judge M. Joseph Donald's questions about her change of plea, which puts her at risk of up to 20 years in prison.

The charges she was convicted of say Giannini initiated sexual contact with both of the boys in the 1960s and had repeated sexual encounters with them, sometimes at her house.

In 1996, when the Milwaukee Archdiocese Response to Sexual Abuse panel questioned her, she said, "I thought I was in love with both of them," according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Pope will bypass Boston in US visit

BALTIMORE (MD)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / November 13, 2007
BALTIMORE - Pope Benedict XVI will visit New York and Washington next spring, but will not come to Boston, the Vatican's top diplomat in the United States announced yesterday.

In his first US visit as pope, from April 15 through 20, Benedict will speak at the United Nations, visit ground zero, and meet at the White House with President Bush. He will also celebrate Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York and at the new ballpark under construction in Washington for the Washington Nationals baseball team.

The decision is a disappointment for Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who had pushed hard for Benedict to visit Boston, which will be celebrating its bicentennial as a Catholic diocese next year. O'Malley had spoken with the pope several times to press the invitation and had spoken with Vatican officials in Rome and Washington. He said that he believed Boston was seriously considered, but that Vatican officials were concerned about overtaxing the pontiff, who is 80.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Date set for clergy abuse suit

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
By BUFFY SPENCER
bspencer@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - It will be another year before any trial in a 2-year-old civil case in which more than 40 people say they were abused by Catholic clergy.

Unless mediation succeeds between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, insurers of the diocese and the claimants, the trial will go forward on Nov. 3, 2008.

After a trial the court would determine how much of the $7.7 million in previous claims settled by the diocese in 2004 must be reimbursed to it by insurers and what insurers must pay toward the new claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Former priest faces sexual abuse civil suit

LAFAYETTE (IN)
WTHR

Updated: Nov 13, 2007 05:33 AM EST

Lafayette - A former Lafayette Catholic priest is the target of a sexual abuse civil suit. Though he no longer wears the Roman collar, he still works with youth and adults in Indiana.

Father Charles Cichanowicz was stationed at two churches in the Lafayette Catholic Diocese, St. Boniface and late St. Lawrence, between 1987 and 1991. The Franciscan priest left his religious order, but stayed in Lafayette and is a counselor at Alpine Clinics.

He is now a focus of a civil lawsuit alleging he sexually molested a young man. The suit says it happened on the Navajo reservation in the town of Ship Rock, in northern Arizona. Cichanowicz was working at Christ the King Church in Ship Rock in 1984 when he allegedly molested the boy twice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Chicago's Cardinal George A Shoe-In For Top Spot

BALTIMORE (MD)
CBS 2

BALTIMORE (CBS) ― Chicago's Francis Cardinal George is in Baltimore Monday night on the eve of what many believe will be his election to president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on what the election will mean for the pope's upcoming visit to America next year. ...

Cardinal George seems to be a shoe-in, despite the protest Monday by groups unhappy with his handling of the case of Daniel McCormack, the Chicago priest allowed to remain in contact with children despite charges of sexual abuse.

"He's certainly been articulate on the subject of sexual abuse here and also in the Vatican trying to help the Vatican officials understand what this has meant to the church," said Father Gerald Kicanas of Tuscon, Ariz., a former Chicagoan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Seattle archbishop to make recommendation to Vatican on Mercer Island priest's case

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By JOHN IWASAKI
P-I REPORTER

Seattle Catholic Archbishop Alex Brunett will make a recommendation to the Vatican regarding the case of a Mercer Island priest accused of improper conduct with a minor.

A review board of the Archdiocese of Seattle, which includes clergy and several experts on sexual abuse, has finished deliberating the case following an investigation of the Rev. Dennis Kemp, Brunett told parishioners at weekend Masses at St. Monica Catholic Church.

Brunet did not disclose his recommendations. Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Magnoni said the case is confidential at this point.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Catholic bishops issue call for Iraq 'transition'

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Decrying "political stalemate" in Baghdad and Washington, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will reiterate its call for a "responsible transition" that gets U.S. troops home without a sudden, precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. ...

Still, the issue of sexual abuse clouded the bishops' agenda. Outside their hotel, abuse survivors protested the expected ascension of Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to their presidency, because they believe he has mishandled cases in Chicago.

In their meeting, the bishops received a report from researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, who they commissioned to do a study on what led some priests to abuse minors and why more bishops didn't intervene sooner.

Although the researchers cautioned that they have just begun their three-year study, they said early findings contradict some common assumptions. While many people believe there is something unique about the pattern of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, their preliminary studies indicate that the pattern of abuse -- which peaked in the 1970s -- parallels trends in the wider society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Child abuse in church found to mirror society

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Lynn Anderson | Sun reporter
November 13, 2007

An increase in reported incidents of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in recent decades mirrors a jump in such incidents in society as a whole, according to preliminary findings by researchers hired by the Catholic Church to find answers to the abuse crisis.

The findings, released yesterday at the Fall Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, worried advocates for abuse victims, who said they hoped that sexual abuse by priests would not be played down just because other members of society did the same.

"We believe that bishops and priests should be above reproach," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a Chicago-based organization that is in Baltimore for the assembly.

Blaine said her group opposes the expected election today of Chicago Cardinal Francis George as president of the assembly. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday that George knew that a priest he oversaw was abusing at least one youth and actively pursuing a second but that he ordered only a minimal inquiry and did not tell civil authorities or immediately strip the man of his ability to perform priestly duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

New pastor causes rift in parish

PLEASANTON (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Meera Pal, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 11/13/2007 02:36:58 AM PST

PLEASANTON — After a lifetime as a devout Catholic, Theresa Aimar is renouncing the church.

Aimar and her husband made the difficult decision to leave their faith after learning the Rev. Padraig Greene, the pastor-in-waiting at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Pleasanton, was arrested several years ago on lewdness allegations.

Greene, who will be named parish priest for the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, still has the support of the Rev. Dan Danielson and Bishop Allen Vigneron of the Diocese of Oakland.

Shocked, angry and feeling betrayed, Aimar said she felt sick to her stomach upon hearing of the 1999 incident in which Greene was arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act in a public restroom at an Oakland hills park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Miami priest tries to clear his name in abuse cases

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Nov. 13, 2007
BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com

DAVID SANTIAGO/EL NUEVO HERALD
A tribune last week heard from the Rev. Alvaro Guichard, his accusers and other witnesses on decades-old sexual abuse allegation.

The Rev. Alvaro Guichard has been trying to clear his name for years, ever since five men accused the Catholic priest of sexually abusing them as boys decades ago.

Last week, before a first-ever canon tribunal in the Archdiocese of Miami, Guichard finally got the chance to defend himself against the allegations.

The closed-door tribunal, conducted at the archdiocese's headquarters in Miami Shores, heard testimony from Guichard, his accusers and other witnesses. The Catholic tribunal is a panel of three canonical judges who are priests. They will soon decide Guichard's fate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

November 12, 2007

Cardinal: Abuse suits about money

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 12, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
Cardinal Francis George and one of his top bishops are stirring up controversy because of statements they recently made criticizing lawsuits from victims of priest sexual abuse.

In a letter obtained by the Sun-Times, the cardinal earlier this year wrote to the parents of a victim and apologized “for the terrible abuse suffered by your son at the hands of Ken Ruge and Robert Becker,” two Chicago area priests who are now dead.

The cardinal also wrote that money was the motivation for proposed state legislation that would allow adults who were abused by priests as children to sue their perpetrators in cases where statutes of limitation have expired.

“This is irresponsible, is not about the safety of children as the sponsor claims, and is clearly, to me at least, about money,” he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Pope Benedict XVI to visit Yonkers

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By GARY STERN
THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: November 12, 2007)
Pope Benedict XVI will visit St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers on the afternoon of April 19 as part of six-day trip to Washington and New York that will also take him to Ground Zero.

He will meet with youth and seminarians at St. Joseph's. Pope John Paul II visited the seminary, known in the Catholic world as Dunwoodie, in 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Papal Trip to U.S. Confirmed for April '08

UNITED STATES
Zenit

BALTIMORE, Maryland, NOV. 12, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The dates for Benedict XVI's upcoming trip to the United States were confirmed today; the Pope's visit is scheduled for April 15-20.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, confirmed the dates for the six-day trip when he participated in the opening of the U.S. episcopal conference's fall meeting under way in Baltimore.

Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary-general, last April officially asked the Pope to visit the United Nations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Group critical of Lincoln Diocese turned away at bishops' meeting

LINCOLN (NE)
Beatrice Daily Sun

By NATE JENKINS
Monday, November 12, 2007 4:45 PM CST

LINCOLN, Neb. - A group critical of the Lincoln Diocese for being the only one in the nation not to participate in a sex abuse survey said it was turned away Monday when it tried to hand-deliver petitions to bishops from across the country.

The Catholic reformist group Call to Action instead planned to use a person not known as a member of the group to sneak roughly 1,000 petitions into the hotel where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was meeting in Baltimore, said a member of the group.

"It's been very discouraging to us that our own bishops won't meet with us," said Call to Action national organizer Nicole Sotelo, who was in Baltimore.

A spokesman for the Lincoln Diocese called the attempt in Baltimore a publicity stunt, saying that the group's motivation is not protecting children, but attacking Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz. Members of Call To Action, who have long been critical of how the Catholic church handled allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests, were excommunicated by Bruskewitz in 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

U.S. Bishops' Fall Assembly Starts With Call to Leadership

BALTIMORE (MD)
Zenit

BALTIMORE, Maryland, NOV. 12, 2007 (Zenit.org).- As the president of the U.S. bishops' conference ends his term, he is calling for his brother bishops to imitate the leadership of Jesus.

Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane made this appeal today at the opening of the annual Fall General Assembly of the U.S. bishops' conference, under way through Thursday in Baltimore. The meeting began with a confirmation of the dates for Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to the United States, April 15-20. ...

The bishops also heard today an update on research for the Causes and Context Study of the clergy sexual abuse of minors by John Jay School of Criminal Justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Pope accused of ignoring abuse victims

UNITED STATES
News.com.au

From correspondents in Washington
November 13, 2007 08:53am

POPE Benedict XVI was accused today of ignoring the US victims of decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests as his first trip to the United States was announced.

Groups representing abuse victims noted that Benedict's April 15-20 schedule would take him to Washington and New York but not Boston, the epicentre of the pedophilia scandal.

"Boston still has a lot of people who are justifiably outraged so I'm guessing that he is afraid of protests," said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the website Bishop Accountability.org.

She said that Cardinal Edward Egan of the New York archdiocese had refused to release documents on accused priests, unlike Boston, which revealed in 2002 that it had hushed up its knowledge of pedophile priests for decades.

"So the pope is sending the signal that he is honouring the cardinal who may be his most successful keeper of secrets, who has suppressed the crisis and silenced the victims most successfully," Ms Doyle said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Nun who taught in Chicago pleads no contest to abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
1:24 PM CST, November 12, 2007

A Sister of Mercy nun who taught in Chicago-area Catholic schools for more than three decades has pleaded no contest to two counts of indecent behavior with a child.

The incidents involved male students at a Milwaukee elementary school where she was principal in the 1960s.

A complaint filed against 79-year-old Norma Giannani says many of the incidents took place at a church convent and the St. Patrick's School office while the boys were middle school age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Bishops turn away group critical of Lincoln Diocese

LINCOLN (NE)
KPTM

Associated Press - November 12, 2007 3:35 PM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A group critical of the Lincoln Catholic diocese for not participating in a sex abuse survey says it was turned away when it tried to hand-deliver petitions to bishops meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

The group Call to Action instead planned to sneak the petitions into the hotel where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is gathered.

The Lincoln diocese was the only one in the country last year not to participate in the audit in which bishops were asked to report new cases of reported sexual abuse. The petitions called on the diocese to start doing so. The group wants the bishops to pressure the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting

BALTIMORE (MD)
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address delivered today by Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, president of the U.S. episcopal conference, to the opening session of the fall meeting of the U.S. bishops, being held in Baltimore, Maryland, through Thursday. ...

In a particular way, during the term of my predecessor, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, as well as during my own tenure, the sexual abuse crisis in our Church has given us a tremendous opportunity for a lesson in humility as well as in needed leadership action. We were humbled by the tears of those who had been hurt so profoundly by a small number from among our clergy. We are continually challenged to bring about reconciliation and healing, and to encourage and defend the thousands of exemplary priests and deacons who are faithful to their vows.

While much remains to be done, and we can never forget what has happened in the past, I am most sincerely grateful for all that has been accomplished in the past five years. The steps that the Church has taken have been remarkable. The light that we are shedding on this dark corner of humanity is making a difference. Things will never be the same for the next generation of children. They will be better; and for that, we as a Church can be very proud.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Pope to visit US amid anger over pedophile priests

UNITED STATES
Citizen

Pope Benedict XVI will stage his first visit to the United States next April, officials said Monday, as the US Catholic Church struggles to overcome a damaging pedophile scandal.

The German-born pontiff will visit Washington and New York April 15-20 to celebrate Masses with the US faithful and to address the United Nations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that Benedict would miss a "golden opportunity" by failing to visit Boston, the epicenter of the scandal involving decades of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clerics.

However, Church elders said the first papal visit to the United States since 1999 was an occasion to rejoice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Pope will pass on Boston, visit New York and D.C. instead

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

November 12, 07 11:10 AM
By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff

BALTIMORE -- Pope Benedict XVI will visit New York and Washington, D.C., in the spring, but will not come to Boston, the Vatican's top diplomat in the United States announced this morning.

In his first visit to the United States as pope, Benedict will speak at the United Nations, visit the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Manhattan, and meet at the White House with President Bush. He will also celebrate Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York and at the new Nationals baseball stadium, which is now under construction in Washington.

The decision is a blow to Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who had pushed hard for Benedict to visit Boston, which will be celebrating its bicentennial as a Catholic diocese next year. But Boston was a controversial option because of its prominence as the city in which the clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Pope to visit Washington and New York in April

UNITED STATES
AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI will stage his first visit to the United States next April, officials said Monday, as the US Catholic Church vies to overcome a damaging pedophile scandal.

The German-born pontiff will visit Washington and New York April 15-20 to celebrate Masses with the US faithful and to address the United Nations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said. ...

The Catholic Church counts some 69 million followers across the United States, but has been rocked by the revelations of decades of abuse by priests in many areas of the country.

The scandal finally broke when the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, confessed in early 2002 that he had protected a priest whom he knew had sexually abused young members of his church.

According to the group "Bishop Accountability" some 3,000 priests out of the 42,000 across the country have since been denounced. Some were legally investigated and sentenced, but no action was taken in other cases which dated back to the 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Two reasons why church settlement isn't fair

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

November 12, 2007

Logan Jenkins

Two months ago, 144 sexual-abuse victims celebrated V-RC Day.

Victory over the Roman Catholic Church.

The San Diego diocese, after playing hard-nosed defense in bankruptcy court, agreed to a $198 million payout. The war was over.

Saints of the settlement be praised!

OK, you know all that. What you probably don't know is that two victims who legally, ethically and logically belonged in the so-called “global” settlement were left out.

Let's go back in time.

On Dec. 30, 2003, Brian Campbell, a Needles attorney, filed a lawsuit on behalf of two men who alleged that in the mid-1970s William Valverde, the pastor at St. Ann's Church, repeatedly exposed them and other Catholic adolescents in Needles to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and deviant sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Nun Accused Of Sexual Abuse Pleads No Contest

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

MILWAUKEE -- A 79-year-old nun has pleaded no contest to two counts of indecent behavior with a child for incidents involving male students at a Milwaukee elementary school where she was principal in the 1960s.

A complaint filed against Norma Giannini said many of the incidents took place at a church convent and the St. Patrick's School office while the boys were middle-school aged.

The two boys, who are now adults, say Giannini had sexual contact with them dozens of times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

"Ordinare preti sposati? Parliamone"

ITALY
La Stampa

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
ROMA

French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and dean of the Sacred College, affirmed in an interview the feasibility of discussion within the church the issue of ordaining married priests. "This issue can be dealt with in the same way as it was for the Greek Catholic Church. But it must be clear that it won't solve the problem of the vocational crisis," he said.

The carefully worded statement is kindling again the hopes of those organizations that are battling against priests' celibacy. "It's a big opening and we confide this to be the first step for a change of laws in the church," said the Rev. Giuseppe Serrone, president of the Associazione Sacerdoti Lavoratori Sposati (Association for the Working Married Priests). The sensibility of Cardinal Etchegaray brings back to attention this issue after the negative stance taken by the bishops synod in the past, he said.

In the past, some progressive leaders of the Sacred College expressed their position in favor of married priests including Cardinal Godfried Danneels, primate of Belgium, who said priests celibacy in the church can be modified. Most in the ecclesiastical hierarchy are against the end of mandatory celibacy on the grounds that "priests celibacy is so much an ancient practice that it is impossible to change it," as was affirmed by the conservative Opus Dei Cardinal Julian Herranz, one of the most influential jurists of the city beyond the Tiber. He is also president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Curia. "It's sure there is a difference between dogmas and laws in the church. The laws can even be changed but that doesn't mean it's always opportune or convenient to do that. The abolition of celibacy would make the life of the church tremendously poor. People love more priests who have decided to donate their life completely. The world is not all eros and sex," he said. The same is said by SIR, the Conference of Italian Bishops agency: "Chastity for the Reign of Heaven is part of the 'evangelical advice' indicated by Jesus to his disciples. That 'advice' bit by bit matured in the course of time as a crescent praxis until the Western church made it a positive norm for the priests belonging to the Latin liturgy in contrast to the norms regulating the life of the priests belonging to the Oriental liturgy."

There are about 5,000 married priests and their women in Italy and 50,000 throughout the world. To be again under the sun is still kind of a chimera. For the time being those families for the church do not exist. The Vocato association, in the name of human rights and evangelical clarity, made three requests of the Pope. 1. To concede to those priests who want to marry the dispensation without humiliation and without waiting Biblical times; 2. that those priests were allowed to perform their sacerdotal duties according to the scriptures and for pastoral reasons (due to the present lack of priests); 3. the decentralization of the church's administration and the concession of a major role to women. "We are the Church of Silence," said those priests who were forced to abandon their priesthood in order to get married. A married priest is sent away from his ministry and must start his life again, trying to find a home and job, banned from the ecclesiastical communities or badly tolerated at its margins.

The dispensation, which allows a priest to get married, is conceded only by the Pope. It is difficult to get and the waiting period is increasingly longer. Pope Paul VI handled the process quickly with no difficulty to priests who requested it, but his two successors have behaved in the opposite way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Group protests Pleasanton church bringing in priest with prior arrest

PLEASANTON (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Scott Marshall
STAFF WRITER

A group distributed fliers Sunday morning at a Pleasanton Catholic Church because the priest selected to lead the parish was arrested several years ago in a case involving a lewdness allegation.

Church leaders defended him.

"He wouldn't be here if I weren't satisfied and the bishop," said the Rev. Dan Danielson, who is stepping down.

The Rev. Padraig Greene takes over Jan. 1 at the Catholic Communities of Pleasanton, which includes St. Augustine Catholic Church and St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Bishop apologies to Teesside paedophile priest victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Gazette

Nov 12 2007 by Andy Passant, Evening Gazette

A PUBLIC apology will be issued by a bishop 20 years after a Teesside vicar was exposed as a paedophile.

Former Middlesbrough vicar Trevor Ward was jailed for seven years in 1988 after being convicted of abusing young boys.

Ward was the vicar of St Agnes’ Church in Easterside until his sordid secret came to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

'STALKER' PRIEST IS PRAISED

STONEHAM (MA)
New York Post

By MATTHEW NESTEL in Stoneham, Mass., and DAN MANGAN in N.Y.

November 12, 2007 -- Parishioners at a Boston-area Catholic church last night lauded their former priest, who has been busted for stalking TV host Conan O'Brien.

The Rev. David Ajemian "was the greatest," said Jack Garvey, 72, before Mass at St. Patrick's Church in Stoneham, Mass. "The guy was unbelievable. If they showed me a roster of all the priests, he would be at the top. That's how good he was."

Garvey said Ajemian - who abruptly left St. Patrick's in June after a short stint - had a talent for preaching. "It came from the heart."

Patty Bourell, 59, said Ajemian was also pretty entertaining.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Israel OKs extradition of Brooklyn pedophile suspect

ISRAEL
New York Daily News

BY MATTHEW KALMAN
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Monday, November 12th 2007, 4:00 AM

JERUSALEM - A suspected Brooklyn pedophile hiding from sex abuse charges in Israel will become the first American extradited to the U.S. under a revamped treaty, a Jerusalem court ruled Sunday.

Stefan Colmer, 30, was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges he sexually abused two 13-year-old boys from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn where he lived. ...

The Justice Department also has requested the extradition of another alleged Brooklyn child molester, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Jerusalem 23 years ago amid allegations the former counselor and principal molested four boys.

Mondrowitz was arrested last month by Israeli police but was released. The Israeli Justice Ministry has refused to comment on the case. Attorney Michael Lesher, who represents six men who have accused Mondrowitz of molesting them as children, said Mondrowitz must be returned to face charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Sect member charged with child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Michael Bachelard
November 12, 2007

AN ELDERLY Exclusive Brethren man who is a former church leader and trustee of a Queensland Brethren private school, has been charged with sexual offences against a child.

It is the third case of alleged sexual abuse of children to emerge from the secretive sect in the past 12 months, but church elders deny any pattern of behaviour. And the hierarchy of the church has denied any prior knowledge of the alleged abuse by the Queensland man.

"[World leader] Bruce Hales has never been aware of this until The Age wrote to me," a spokesman, Tony McCorkell, said. "I can clearly say to you that Mr Hales did not know about this, and has not sought to cover it up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

North County students to pay for sex-abuse scandal

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: CHARLES S. SMITH - Commentary

Bishop Robert H. Brom of San Diego has launched a campaign using letters and personal meetings in the parishes to explain to the laity how the Diocese of San Diego will pay off the sexual abuse settlement. The total liability of $183 million will be settled as follows: insurance ($76 million), religious orders ($17 million), unrestricted diocesan assets and properties ($25 million), high school properties ($40 million) and fundraising ($25 million).

The Secondary School Initiative, a corporation sole, was established in 2003 to help build three diocesan high schools: Mater Dei (south), Cathedral (central) and Pax Christi (north). It was anticipated that the proceeds of approximately $75 million realized by selling the former sites of USD and Marian high schools would assist in the building of these three new high schools. The North County site was 38 acres owned by the diocese and located adjacent to the San Luis Rey Elementary School in Oceanside.

It was anticipated the diocese would donate the 38 acres and the Secondary School Initiative would contribute $25 million to begin construction of Pax Christi. Twenty-five million dollars has already been committed to Cathedral and $25 million to Mater Dei. The only change in this understanding was that if North County Catholics wished that Pax Christi be located further inland, then the 38-acre Oceanside property would be traded for a more geographically convenient site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Chicago archbishop poised to lead U.S. bishops

CHICAGO (IL)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO -- The nation's Roman Catholic bishops are expected to elect Chicago's archbishop to lead the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the once powerful body that's bidding to restore the church's credibility after years of sexual abuse scandals. ...

Mary Pat Fox, president of Voice of the Faithful, a group formed in response to the sexual abuse scandal, said George has never fully appreciated the gravity of clergy sex abuse.

"The U.S. bishops cannot elect a known enabler of clergy sex abuse as president of the (conference) if they are ever to regain the trust of American Catholics," Fox said.

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

The $3 million question: Who really pays? MARK GUYDISH OPINION

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

So, $3 million.

The Diocese of Scranton settles the lawsuit regarding sexual abuse by Father Albert Liberatore for that whopping sum and issues the statement: “It is certain that absolutely no parish funds of any kind will be used to satisfy the settlement.”

Sounds like a tired semantic trick, and the faithful deserve a more honest accounting. I’m sure that, technically, the claim is true, but let’s toss a few numbers around. The diocese, after all, is funded through parish income.

According to diocese financial documents, churchgoers forked over $3.5 million in “parish assessments” to the diocese in the fiscal year that ran June 2005 to June 2006. Imagine how much healthier local parishes could be if, for just one year, that assessment was cut by $3 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

November 11, 2007

Rev. Michael Pappas To Be Defrocked

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Orthodox Reform

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 11/09/2007
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON, Mass. – Rev. Michael Pappas, former parish priest of Holy Trinity Church in San Francisco, is going to be defrocked and returned to the ranks of the laity, according to Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco.

In an interview, Metropolitan Gerasimos told the National Herald, “As I had said during our last interview that, upon my return from the Synaxis of the hierarchy at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I was planning to sent Father Pappas to Spiritual Court, and I did so. The Court has decided to recommend his defrocking. The issue was discussed at the recent meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Church in America, and it was decided that his name be sent to the Patriarchate to be defrocked.”

The Herald has also learned that Father Pappas has obtained a new position as the executive director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, of which he was a member of the board as ecumenical officer for the Metropolis of San Francisco. He has also been appointed to the Mayor’s Sister Committee with Assisi, Italy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Repubblica insiste tra bufale e svarioni

ITALY
L'Avvenire

By Umberto Folena

L'Avvenire posted an article today responding to accusations made against the Catholic church in Italy for alleged unlawful tax privileges granted by the Italian state.

The writer described the case of the Abbey of Chiaravalle, which was cited as an example of a luxurious hotel run by the monks and where undue tax evasion took place. According to L'Avvenire, it is only a place where pilgrims can be guests in seven small rooms, where there is only a sink and a closet, paying only 30 euros a day, food included. In case they do not have all the money, the amount charged can be even less.

There are other examples of what the newspaper said is distorted information such as the one regarding the convent of the Orsoline nuns in Cortina or the monastery of Camaldoli near Arezzo, which according to the writer are all spartan lodges, where students pay only 80 euros a day for full room and board, with a 50 percent discount for families.

As for Mistral, the low-cost air company, its flights are only operated by a 737-300 and not a 707-200 and the main partner of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, Cardinal Ruini's tourist organization, is Alitalia, the Italian airline, which cannot provide all necessary flights and has forced the ORP to ask for help from other foreign airlines, including El Al, Sirian Airline, Air Jordan, Aeroflot, etc. It is true ORP belongs to the Holy See, but it is not true that it does not pay taxes for it relies for its travel on normal hotels where taxes are paid. The story follows a long list of imprecisions about the property of some hotels, some of them situated in former monasteries which previously were sold to private businesses. Besides the money that was given to the Catholic church by the Italian state for the 2000 Jubilee (35,000 billion lires) was used mainly to restore convents, abbeys and other places of cult and not to organize the tourism activity.

In addition to this priests and nuns whose work is accounted as free cost to their congregations, is more than they would have cost according to the unions' contracts. It's not true, Avvenire says, that the children's hospital in Rome, Il Bambino Gesu', has been
granted special advantages, with a status which can be changed only with a special accord with the Italian Foreign Ministry. That hospital, envied all over the world for its efficiency and for the high quality of services, where all Italian children and from all over Europe can be admitted, has a convention with the Lazio region and rules on its functioning are dealt with its President.

La Repubblica pretends not to know all the economic advantages which the religious tourism is providing to the Italian regions, provinces and cities because 60 percent has cultural and religious motivation. The tourism does not exploit Italy but enriches it. Social tourism allows travel to people who cannot afford five-star hotels and some of those exemptions given by the state are just benefiting those kind of people. It's the people's tourism for its advantages go to the poor people too. This kind of tourism is not competing with tourism for the rich.

The article ends by saying that contrary to what Le Repubblica affirms there have always been precise answers and clarifications to the accusations made against the church. If, however, Le Repubblica want a formal letter with a return receipt requested than that can also be provided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Pastor reportedly admitted abuse

RIVER FOREST (IL)
Journal of Oak Park and River Forest

By BILL DWYER

Officials of the Dominican order received word in the spring of 2002 that a priest who served as pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest and who supervised accused pedophile Brother Gilbert Hensley, was himself forced to resign his pastoral position at a Michigan parish after reportedly admitting to sexual abuse of a boy.

Rev. Vincent W. Bryce, who was St. Vincent's pastor from 1970 to 1979, resigned as pastor of churches in Edmore and Stanton, Mich. in April, 2002 after being accused of sexually abusing a boy in a diocese "in the Midwest 25 years ago," according to the Grand Rapids Press.

An attorney for Bryce's accuser contacted the Chicago headquarters of the Dominican order in March, 2002 with his client's accusations. According to the Press article, the order's vicar provincial at the time, Rev. David Wright, said Bryce admitted his guilt and was ordered to return to Chicago.

In the wake of Bryce's admission, the Grand Rapids Diocese opened its files on priests found to have committed sexual abuse, dating back to the 1950s, to the Kent County, Mich. prosecutor's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Conan stalker back in Hub

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Laura Crimaldi
Sunday, November 11, 2007

A strange twist in the saga of the alleged “priest stalker” ended quietly last night as Boston police called off a two-hour manhunt for the Rev. David Ajemian, the Stoneham clergyman accused of stalking late-night comic Conan O’Brien.

A few hours later, Ajemian volunteered to be admitted to a psychiatric ward, Boston police said.

Ajemian had returned to the Bay State from New York late Friday after being released on bail into the custody of Boston relatives.

He was staying with family in the Back Bay when he abruptly took off about midday. His sudden disappearance prompted his father to call police at 3:35 p.m. and report the 46-year-old as missing, said police officer Ed Crispin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

When and what did archdiocese know?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 11, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
A concerned dad notified the Archdiocese of Chicago in December 2002 that the Rev. Donald McGuire was sharing a bed with his son and "overwhelming" another teen with porn and sex talk.

But the archdiocese appears to have done only a minimal inquiry, didn't tell civil authorities or immediately strip McGuire of his ability to perform priestly duties in the region, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Rather, the matter was referred back to the priest's religious order -- the Chicago Province of Jesuits -- even though the dad wrote that the order hadn't been responsive to his concerns.

Had the archdiocese been more proactive, it may have prevented the third teen, a minor, from being abused well into 2003, abuse prevention advocates say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Il celibato dei preti? Per controllarli

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti presented his book "Il mio amore non e' peccato" (My love is not a sin) yesterday in Verona. It will be released on Monday.

"If Jesus had been married and bad been the father of a son, would his message have been less valuable?" That the question Rev. Sante asked when he presented his book at the Gran Guardia titled "Il mio amore non e' peccato" during a meeting promoted by L'Inchiostro, the literary magazine. The book, published by Mondatori, will be sold in book shops starting tomorrow.

Not many people there were listening to the former parish priest of Monterosso, who has been suspended a divinis. "The bishop suspended me because someone reported I had a woman who was pregnant with my child. But I'm still waiting to know from the bishop the woman's name, not to speak about the child," he said in a subdued and firm voice as he answered questions from newsmen and about 40 people who were present. "I am not that kind of person who suddenly begins to speak about an issue he never mentioned before. Since I was attending the seminary I have been fighting to change what I don't think is right in the church. For the last 10 years I have been trying to open a discussion in my parish and with the bishop about the issue of priests' celibacy, but to no avail. I'm profiting now from the clamor deriving from this story of my being in love and of having a child. What else could I have done? Be silent? Give up and abandon the church according to the wishes of the Vatican and the ecclesiastical authorities? No and thanks also to my parishioners who showed to trust me. I'm performing my duty, fighting to change a situation which I deem to be absurd. In the Bible marriage is considered one of the most meritorious things. In the first centuries, the church chose its bishops only among married people because they had shown to be able to be part of a family. Today, instead, nobody can even think of speaking about this problem. In Italy there is no liberty. In the church there is no democracy."

Responding to criticism of those who made him notice how he was in the company of a TV agent, had a Web site and behaved like a star, Rev. Sante said, "If you are sick you go to the doctor? Don't you? A friend of mine, who knows how to make a Web site, told me: 'Rev. Sante, if you want, we can lead our battle in the internet too,' and I answered for him to do it," he said. "I'm a priest who lives in today's world, the world of communication, and I need to say what I think. The book I'm presenting is meant to do that. The same happened when I received the help of a lawyer credited at the Sacra Rota tribunal who called me on the phone and said, 'I share your views. If you want I can support your ideas and your battle at the legal level. The same applies to the TV agent," he said.

To those who asked why then priests' celibacy has been adopted by the church, Rev. Sante answered: "It's simple. It's meant to control them. If you deprive a person of his sexuality, his affections, what does it remain to him? His work, his career, obedience to the rules. Besides not to be involved in a family makes you more available, and above all you cost less. Those reasons do not take into account, however, if you are able or not to transmit the Christian values in every day life. I believe a married priest would better understand his parishioners and live among them," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

The Impression Pedophilia is a Catholic Sin

UNITED STATES
Opinion Editorials

Kevin Roeten

Shockingly, AP breaks out of their typical liberal mold and reports(10/20/07) that sexual abuse of minors has been rampant. But in their statement, they indirectly say members of the Catholic Church are not the majority abusers.

AP discusses the raw numbers from three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America (Church Mutual, GuideOne, and Brotherhood Mutual), and say they typically receive 260 reports/year of young people under 18 being sexually abused. Compare that with ~228 credible accusations/year against Catholic clerics since 1950(abuse records).

Together with that information, it is known that the Catholic Church greatly outnumbers any Protestant churches, and that the data for Protestant churches is available only for the last five years.

Without a doubt, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the most despicable crimes and sins that man can perpetrate. There aren’t too many sins one can commit that can compare their sexual abuse. But predators seem to thrive in an atmosphere where the base congregation is one of the most trusted organizations that exist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Former Pastor Accused Of Sex Abuse Dies