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December 31, 2007

Music minister arrested on incest allegations

FORT COLLINS (CO)
THE COLORADOAN

Denver — The music minister at the Heritage Christian Center was arrested Thursday after a 15-year-old relative accused him of sexually assaulting her, the Arapahoe County sheriff said.

James Howard Brown, 38, was arrested for investigation of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, displaying a pattern of sexual assault on a child and aggravated incest.

He was being held under $50,000 bail. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Foster's picks top 20 stories of 2007

DOVER (NH)
FOSTER'S DAILY DEMOCRAT

Financial discrepancies, freak natural disasters, controversy and milestones.

Residents in the region saw a little bit of everything in their news stories of 2007.

. . .

Hostage Crisis

The eyes of the nation were focused on Rochester on the afternoon of Nov. 30 when 46-year-old Leeland Eisenberg walked into Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign office on North Main Street with a bomblike device strapped to his body and took six hostages, including, briefly, a mother and her infant child. The infant and mother were let go almost immediately after Eisenberg entered the building and were able to report the situation to police.

. . .

Eisenberg told Foster's he wanted to "sacrifice" himself to bring awareness to the "plight" of mental health in America. In court proceedings it was learned Eisenberg has an extensive criminal history in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida, which included two rape convictions and charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, thefts, burglary and larceny. Eisenberg also sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in 2002 alleging a priest had molested him in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Former Peoria Priest Promoted to Bishop

PEORIA (IL)
STATION WEEK, NBC 25

By Syreeta Baker

A former Peoria priest breaks the glass ceiling by becoming the first member of the Conventual Order of Franciscans to be elevated to the level of Bishop. Some members of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Peoria say their parish played a key role in Bishop William Callahan's promotion.

Almost every pew at Holy Family Catholic Church in Peoria was filled. Church members were there to see the former Priest turned Bishop that they've heard so much about.

"We were not members of the parish when he was here as a priest. But, we know that his legacy lives on today here in this church," Member Lisa Roder says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Man accusing Mormon missionary of 1960s sex abuse wants trial

SIOUX CITY (IA)
ASSOCIATED PRESS in SIOUX CITY JOURNAL

Sioux Falls SD - A federal lawsuit against the Mormon church should proceed to trial and not be decided by a judge, according to the lawyer for a man accusing a missionary of sexual abuse.

Ferris Joseph, 52, filed the civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in South Dakota against the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, both of Utah.

Joseph said that in the late 1960s, when he was 11 or 12 years old, he was sexually abused by one of the church's missionaries, Robert Lewis White.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Rape counts against authority figures unsettling

YAKIMA (WA)
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

By Rod Antone

A church chaperone, a basketball coach, an elementary school teacher and now a longtime karate instructor are behind a rash of high profile child sex assault cases within the past five months.

The latest case involves a now 18-year-old woman who said she had a sexual relationship with her instructor at the Yakima School of Karate that started when she was 13 and continued for three to four years. Yakima police said the woman came forward last Wednesday and they are looking into whether there may be more victims.

. . .

Jerry Ketzenberg, 36, a former volunteer with the Yakima Bible Baptist Church. Ketzenberg was charged in August with multiple counts of child rape and molestation involving two underage girls from his church between 2002 and 2004. Church officials said Ketzenberg was part of a visitation team that picked up children from their homes for church activities in a church bus and his own vehicle. He's since been charged with communicating with a minor involving a third teenage girl stemming from the same time period, Yakima police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

December 30, 2007

Talk show host Ward charged with Internet kiddie porn

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

By Jaxon Van Derbeken, Elizabeth Fernandez, and Chronicle Staff Writers
December 7, 2007

More than three years ago, Bernie Ward, a popular San Francisco liberal radio talk show host and former Catholic priest, got on the Internet and downloaded and sent out images of child pornography. He even talked about it in an Internet chat room.

The 56-year-old local personality - the host of a nightly news talk program on KGO 810 AM as well as "God Talk" on Sundays - says he was doing research.

But on Thursday, Ward was indicted by a grand jury on two federal counts of Internet child pornography - allegations that he possessed and distributed images using his computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Don Gelmini, chiuse le indagini Otto le presunte vittime di abusi

LA REPPUBLICA

Terni - Sono otto le presunte vittime delle molestie sessuali per le quali è imputato don Pierino Gelmini. La procura della repubblica di Terni ha notificato al sacerdote l'avviso di conclusione delle indagini. Si va verso il rinvio a giudizio del sacerdote. Favoreggiamento personale invece ad altre tre persone, tra cui uno degli attuali collaboratori del religioso della Comunità Incontro, Pierluigi Larocca, e Giampaolo Nicolasi, ex assistente. L'accusa è quella di avere cercato di ostacolare le indagini offrendo anche dei soldi per ritrattare ad uno degli accusatori, la cui madre, Patrizia Guarino, è anche lei imputata di favoreggiamento personale.

Translation: The Terni Prosecutor Office notified the priest the investigation is over
A collaborator, a former assistant and the mother of an accuser are suspected of the crime of "favoreggiamento" (helping to hide a crime)

Terrni - Eight are the alleged victims of sexual violence for which the Rev. Pierino Gelmini has been indicted. The Prosecutor in Terni, following the procedure, sent the priest a letter informing him of the end of the investigation. That means the arraignment of the priest is very near. Other three persons will have to respond instead for trying to cover up the crime: one is the priest collaborator at the Community Incontro, Pierluigi Larocca, and another is a former assistant. Together with the mother of one of the accusers, Patrizia Guarino, who helped the other men to offer money to her son so that he could be convinced to withdraw his accusations, they are charged for trying to impede the investigation.

The sexual violence occurred in the period between 1999 and 2004; two of the victims were then minors. That's what the Procurator has reported; now the papers are going to be examined by the judge who will decide upon the requests made by the prosecutor.

"That infamy doesn't regard me", the 82- years -old priest had said in front of three hundred supporters last August in the main location of his Community Incontro at Amelia, in the Umbria hills. " They believed Rev. Pierino would give up", the elderly priest thundered from the stage. "They thought they had to deal with a rabbit, they found a biting dog instead. They wanted to take over the community", ending his speech using his umbrella menacingly. " I'm bearing the cross: I'm innocent and for that I'm absolutely tranquil".

Yet the charges seem to be very detailed."He was goosing me, kissing me and in many an occasion he forced me to perform sexual acts", that's what Michele Iacobbe, former drug addict, one of the main accusers, reported, and who spent jail time in Teramo for a series of crimes, extortion and calumny included. "That man ruined me", said Iacobbe about Rev. Gelmini."He forced me to do things I would never have wanted to do. Once he told me: cut you hair, I like it short, please kiss me".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Lifetime calling

SACRAMENTO (CA)
SACRAMENTO BEE

By Jennifer Garza
December 30, 2007

This September morning at Woodland Memorial Hospital, the room behind the nurse's station is cool and quiet. A nurse wraps a baby girl in a white blanket with pink and blue stripes. She lays the infant on the counter and steps away.

The Rev. Uriel Ojeda moves closer and makes the sign of the cross. Guadalupe was stillborn less than two hours before. The priest whispers a prayer.

Three times in two months the new priest has been called to bless a baby who died at birth. He has presided over 11 funerals, more death than he expected, more heartache than he imagined. The babies' grieving families visit his dreams.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Parishes collect $8 million: Money goes toward sex-abuse claims

SPOKANE (WA)
SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

By John Stucke
December 29, 2007

Eastern Washington's Catholic community has raised most of the money needed to settle the clergy childhood sex abuse cases, surpassing expectations and ensuring that the diocese will emerge from bankruptcy.

"This could have been very divisive," said Robert Hailey, of the Association of Parishes. "But in the end this was a fundraiser that brought people together. We're overwhelmed by their generosity."

Parishes have collected $8 million of the $10 million pledged.

The money is helping to pay for the overall $48 million settlement needed to end the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane. The rest comes from the sale of diocese property and insurance payments, among other sources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Diocese reports sexual abuse complaint against former priest

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER

The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has announced that it received an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor which allegedly occurred 40 years ago.

In a news release, the diocese reported that the priest accused, Louis Wyrsch, was ordained in 1964, left priestly ministry in 1973 and later married. He was dispensed from the priesthood by the church in 1989 and died in 1997.

Wyrsch served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart parish in Poplar Bluff in 1965, moved to St. Peter's parish in Joplin in 1968, then went on leave from the diocese in 1969. In 1970, he was named chaplain at Southwest Missouri State College.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Biliran bishop accused of sexual molestation

QUEZON CITY (PHILIPPINES)
ABS-CBN

By Ging Reyes

A former missionary in Biliran, Leyte has accused the bishop of Naval town of sexually molesting boys.

Ging Reyes, ABS-CBN News North America bureau chief, reported that Stephen Michael Greinke, an ex-missionary who worked for the diocese of Naval in the Visayas, said he has been calling for the ouster of Catholic Bishop Filomento Bactol for the last seven years.

Greinke alleged that Bactol abused his power and sexually molested young boys.

"I lived with the bishop at his palace. And at night he would have young men sleeping in his bedroom - kids who were under the age of 16 sleeping with him at night. Again I thought that was very inappropriate and it became very 'gossiping, chismoso, around about the bishop's behavior with the children,'" Greinke told Reyes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Church abuse victim receives $45,000

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

By Geesche Jacobsen

A woman has been awarded compensation for repeated sexual assault by a former pastoral assistant and youth leader at a Baptist church more than 20 years ago.

Louise Audet, 41, was awarded $45,000 for the abuse that started in 1982 when Cheryl Groth, 51, was her year 10 teacher at Picton High School.

The abuse continued for about four years when Groth introduced her to Baptist churches where Groth had become involved in music and youth groups, and later as a pastoral assistant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Large demonstration in Madrid in favour of the family

TYPICALLY SPANISH

Thousands of people demonstrated in the centre of Madrid on Sunday in favour of the family. The demonstration was called in the Plaza de Colón, by the Bishops’ Organisation, La Conferencia Episcopal Española, and lead by the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio María Rouca Varela, in favour of the ‘Christian family’, and saw coach loads of supporters being bussed in from across Spain and also Portugal.

. . .

Meanwhile the Minister for Justice, Mariano Fernández Bermejo, has called on the Bishops to reflect after the Bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, compared homosexuality to child abuse, and said that there were teenagers who wanted to be abused and who provoked such abuse. The Minister said the Bishop’s statement was ‘enormously unfortunate’ and ‘difficult to digest’.

The General Secretary of Juan 23rd Theologians Association, Juan José Tamayo, accused the Bishop of Tenerife of ‘demonizing and blaming’ the adolescents who suffer sexual abuse and of excusing the paedophiles. He said the Bishop displayed a deep lack of knowledge of scientific investigations into sexuality, and was moving in a paradigm of homophobia. He added with statements like these it was not strange to see the discredit of the Catholic Church resulting in youngsters ‘leaving in droves as if it was the plague’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Bishop of Tenerife blames child abuse on the children

TYPICALLY SPANISH

Bernando Álvarez said that there are 13 year olds who are wanting to be abused, and 'if you are careless they will provoke you'

There is outrage in parts of Spanish society following declarations made over Christmas from the Bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez.

His comments were that there are youngsters who want to be abused, and he compared that abuse to homosexuality, describing them both as prejudicial to society. He said that on occasions the abuse happened because the there are children who consent to it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Vatican denies exorcist move: Pope has 'no plans for garrisons against Devil'

ANSA

Vatican City, December 28 - The Vatican on Friday denied plans to set up exorcists across the Catholic world.

''Pope Benedict XVI has no intention of ordering local bishops to bring in garrisons of exorcists to fight demonic possession,'' Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters.

On Thursday the Catholic website Petrus said the pope was drawing up plans to install a given number of exorcists in every diocese in the coming months so that 'possessed' people could get prompt treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Sofferto incontro tra don Gelmini e Mons. Paglia: preoccupazione per le presunte molestie sessuali | A painful meeting between Rev. Gelmini and Monsignor Paglia

IL MESSAGGERO

TERNI (26 dicembre) - Risale a 12 giorni fa, ed ha avuto toni sofferti, l'incontro tra don Pierino Gelmini e il vescovo diocesano di Terni, Narni e Amelia, monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, che ha espresso al sacerdote le sue «preoccupazioni e quelle della Chiesa per la vicenda giudiziaria sulle presunte molestie sessuali. Lo ha confermato oggi il vescovo emerito della diocesi, monsignor Franco Gualdrini, in occasione delle celebrazioni in corso nella casa madre della Comunità Incontro, a Molino Silla di Amelia, per il saluto ai ragazzi che lasciano la Comunità dopo aver terminato il loro programma di recupero dalla tossicodipendenza. Don Gelmini, per la prima volta, non era presente perché malato.

Translation: TERNI (December 26) It took place 12 days ago, and it had suffering tones, the meeting between Rev. Pierino Gelmini and the diocesian bishop of Terni, Narni and Amelia, monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, who conveyed to the priest his "concerns and those of the Church for his judiciary vicissitudes related to his alleged sexual violences." The conversation was confirmed today by the emeritus bishop of the diocese, Monsignor Franco Gualdrini, during the celebrations held in the main center of the Community Incontro, at Molino Silla of Amelia, which were dedicated to those young men who had ended their program for overcoming their drug addiction. For the first time Rev. Gelmini wasn't there due to his illness.

Monsignor Gualdrini, who was also symbolically nominated by Rev. Gelmini as a "bishop" of his Community, explained the meeting had been very "painful" and that it had taken place in the bishop's office, at Terni, through the initiative of monsignor Paglia. Beside the bishop and Rev. Gelmini, the same monsignor Gualdrini was present. It was a moment of fraternity and of ecclesiastical communion, monsignor Gualdrini said, but painful ,too, for they spoke about those issues. Even among brothers, the emeritus bishop of Terni added, sometimes it's necessary to speak about unpleasant things.

No indication, however, emerged in the meeting about a possible request to Rev. Gelmini to leave the Community in connection with the possible negative outcome of his trial. And the priest has said to his collaborators he is firm in his intention not to abandon the boys and go back to his lay state "maintaining his total communion with the Lord" to face his judiciary vicissitudes without any interference with the ecclesiastical authority. In the next days there will be the results of the investigations about his alleged sexual violence against some of the former guests of his Community Incontro, for which he always declared his innocence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Identify accused priests to protect kids

PORTLAND (ME)
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD

By Mike Sweatt

Reading “Church complies with safe-child rules” (Dec. 21), one has the impression that all is well at the inn.

Safe environment programs, background checks, etc., covered by the audit – unquestionably, all good stuff.

However, it is well-known that the best line of protection for innocent children begins with identification and notification.

Still today, Bishop Richard Malone refuses to reveal the names and whereabouts of another dozen credibly accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Don't hide abuse issues

CHARLOTTESVILLE (VA)
DAILY PROGRESS

The following is intended to produce caution, not panic:

Nationally, some school systems have engaged in the same kind of cover-up as did the Catholic Church when it discovered pedophile priests.

Some school systems have quietly removed teachers or other staff members suspected of abuse.

Instead of alerting parents or publicly pursuing criminal charges, these schools opted to protect their reputations rather than to protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Affidavit: Church official admitted fondling teen

DENVER (CO)
DENVER POST

By Carlos Illescas

James Howard Brown was relieved of his duties at Heritage. A prominent church music director accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old family member fondled the girl twice in the past month and gave her white pills to "help her sleep," according to court documents.

James Howard Brown, 38, was to be in Arapahoe County District Court on Friday morning, but that was delayed because of a medical hold.

Brown will be advised of the charges against him Monday. He is being held on $50,000 bail on two counts of sexual assault on a child and one charge of aggravated incest. All three are felonies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

2007's top religious story: 'values voters'

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE in ALBUQUERQUE TRIBUNE

By Terry Mattingly

It was a simple commercial, with Mike Huckabee posed in front of a set of scandalously empty white bookshelves that, when framed just right beside a Christmas tree, formed a glowing cross behind the candidate.

. . .

9. Transitions continued at the top of major Evangelical Protestant institutions, as symbolized by the deaths of Jerry Falwell, Rex Humbard, Ruth Bell Graham, D. James Kennedy and Tammy Faye Messner, the ex-wife of Jim Bakker.

10. Roman Catholic leaders in the United States wrestled with the high cost of settling legal cases linked to decades of clergy sexual abuse of children and teenagers. The price tag reached $2.1 billion, with a record $660 million settlement in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Man accusing Mormon missionary of 1960s sex abuse wants trial

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The lawyer for a South Dakota man accusing a Mormon missionary of sexual abuse in the 1960s wants a jury and not a judge to decide the case.

Ferris Joseph filed the civil lawsuit in federal court in South Dakota against the Mormon church, claiming he was sexually abused by missionary Robert Lewis White when Joseph was 11 or 12 years old.

In a deposition transcript filed in court, White denies molesting Joseph or any other boy while serving in Flandreau.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Senior molester claims 4-year-old provoked him

CALGARY (CANADA)
CALGARY HERALD

By Sherri Zickefoose

A Calgary man convicted of molesting a four-year-old Illinois girl blamed the child for acting sexually provocative toward him, before a judge sentenced him Friday to three years in prison.

Kenneth Cooke, a 73-year-old retired pastor, told Judge Joseph Condon in a U.S. courtroom he tried to avoid the encounters.

"On a couple of times, I thought I was being sexually harassed. I think there is psychological evidence today that children, even in their younger years, could become interested in sex," Cooke told the judge, according to the Northwest Herald newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

From wildfire response to political shenanigans, readers mark up 2007's moral report card

SAN DIEGO (CA)
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE

By Sandi Dolbee

First, the good news: You're proud of your community.

. . .

Now, for the low point: The handling of the childhood sexual abuse cases by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego and Bishop Robert Brom.

. . .

2 Catholic bankruptcy: 81 percent gave the church hierarchy's actions a failing grade. "As a Roman Catholic, I am greatly disappointed by the leadership of my church," wrote Patricia Schwab of San Carlos. "Us Catholics should be ashamed of the actions our leaders have shown on this issue. It's hypocritical and unfortunate our religious leaders have not reacted properly," wrote Arturo Martinez of Chula Vista. Several who gave the church a passing grade were critical of the media. "Unbridled and uncontrolled discrimination against the Catholic Church," wrote J.J. Kleinsmith of Cardiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Better take that second look at 2007

PEORIA (IL)
PEORIA JOURNAL STAR

By Michael Miller

At first, it didn't look like 2007 deserved a look back at religion news in Peoria. Then I started going through the archives and realized how much I had forgotten.

. . .

CATHOLICS: The Catholic Diocese of Peoria gave special devotion to the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help as part of a celebration of the 130th anniversary of Bishop John Lancaster Spalding's arrival in Peoria.

Bishop Daniel Jenky also celebrated some anniversaries of his own: his fifth as bishop of Peoria and 10th overall as a bishop.

The diocese was busy on the legal front as well, with several lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct on the part of diocesan priests being refiled early in the year - they had been withdrawn a year earlier - and some new ones being filed. Most of them, however, have been dismissed due to the age of the alleged incidents. Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests representatives continued to demand that the diocese take further steps related to the clergy sex-abuse issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

December 29, 2007

Spanish official rips bishop's statements on sexual abuse

BRISTOW (VA)
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS

Madrid, Dec. 28, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A Spanish bishop has come under heavy criticism for saying that some adolescents who are classified as pedophilia victims might actually be willing participants in sexual activity.

The comments by Bishop Bernardo Alvarez of Tenerife were condemned as "barbaric" by Arturo Canalda, the children's rights advocate for the city of Madrid.

Canalda said that the bishop's statement could be used as a defense of pedophiles. He added that the bishop's claim that some young children fully consent to sexual activity is an argument that echoes propaganda put out by "those who think pedophilia is a good thing." That argument is "perverse," the city official said, because children under the age of 14 -- the legal age of consent in Spain -- cannot possibly give full consent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Vatican to create more exorcists to tackle 'evil'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
THE TELEGRAPH

By Nick Pisa

The Roman Catholic Church has vowed to "fight the Devil head-on" by training hundreds of priests as exorcists.

. . .

A Roman Catholic bishop has caused fury in Spain by claiming that some teenagers "want to be abused".

Bishop Bernardo Álvarez of Tenerife told a newspaper: "There are 13-year-olds who are are in agreement and even want it; even, if you don't watch out, provoking you."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Residents Speak Against Proposed University

NEW YORK (NY)
THE NEW YORK TIMES

By Michael Malone
December 23, 2007

Mount Pleasant - If Westchester University ever gets built, it is hard to imagine that town residents will show up at football games, proudly singing the school fight song.

Dozens of them sang a different kind of fight song during a raucous town hall hearing on Dec. 6, making it clear that they would prefer it if the university never moves beyond the planning stage.

The Legion of Christ, an international order of Roman Catholic priests, is proposing to build a coeducational liberal arts university for about 3,000 students. The priests, also known as the Legionaries, submitted a draft environmental impact statement to the town planning board in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Oregon Catholics plan small-group sessions to focus on reconciliation

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
CATHOLIC INDIA
OFFICE OF THE BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF INDIA

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS): Catholics from western Oregon, who weathered the end of an archdiocesan bankruptcy and $75 million reorganization in 2007, will be meeting in homes and parishes during Lent 2008 to focus on healing and reconciliation.

Parishioners from the Archdiocese of Portland will read and study the Sunday Scripture readings, share faith and daily struggles and work toward making matters right in their personal lives, homes, neighborhoods, churches and the archdiocese.

Catholics in the region have been occasionally gathering in recent years to pray for the healing and reconciliation of victims of clergy sexual abuse and everyone affected by the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Presidential candidates courted the faithful like never before

PROVIDENCE (RI)
THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

By Richard C. Dujardin

It was a year that saw heroic pro-democracy protests in Myanmar led by Buddhist monks, and a new push by Anglican prelates in Africa to force their counterparts in the U.S. Episcopal Church to repent for having allowed the ordination of an openly gay bishop.

It was a year when the pope opened the door for a wider use of the Latin Mass, and when religious leaders took stands on both sides of the issue of illegal immigration.

. . .

Voice of the Faithful, the Catholic lay group born out of the sexual abuse crisis, held its national convention in Providence, with a keynote speaker and theologian arguing for a priesthood that would be open to married men. Across town, the group BishopsAccountability.org said it had found 125 accusations against clergy of the Diocese of Providence over the last half century, more than double the 56 previously acknowledged. To pay the $14.2 million the diocese had paid to abuse victims, Our Lady of Peace Spiritual Life Center and other properties were put up for sale and sold the 13.5-acre convent and provincial house property of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny in Newport for $4.3 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Ex-pastor sent to prison after claiming abuse victim harassed him

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (IL)
DAILY HERALD

By Charles Keeshan

A retired pastor from Canada was sentenced to three years in prison today after telling a McHenry County judge he was sexually harassed by the 4-year-old Lake in the Hills girl he pleaded guilty to molesting.

Kenneth R. Cooke, 73, appeared to have reasonable chance at a probation sentence given his age, health problems and lack of criminal history heading into his sentencing hearing this afternoon.

But the Calgary man who once headed his own ministry likely blew his chance of avoiding prison when he took the witness stand and painted his pre-school age victim as a sexual aggressor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Priest accused of molesting young addicts

LONDON
THE INDEPENDENT

By Peter Popham

One of Italy's most colourful priests and the founder of a network of drug rehabilitation centres is expected to be charged with sexually molesting young recovering addicts at the headquarters of his organisation near Perugia in Umbria.

Monsignor Pierino Gelmini, 82, is a household name in Italy, a strong supporter of the political centre-right and a frequent guest on television chat shows. Politicians have warmly reciprocated his support, and in 2005, the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi famously handed over a cheque for 10 billion lire (equivalent to 1m pounds) to the priest, known as Don Gelmini, on television for the charitable work of his organisation, Comunità Incontro.

Rarely mentioned during his television appearances is the fact that decades ago he was sent to jail for fraud, issuing dud cheques and other offences. And now another scandal appears to be beckoning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Priest in mistrial now rector in Fresno

FRESNO (CA)
THE FRESNO BEE

A Fresno priest accused of molestation in a civil suit that was resolved after an inconclusive trial has been named rector of San Joaquin Memorial High School, a spokesman for the Diocese of Fresno confirmed Thursday.

The Rev. Eric Swearingen, pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fresno's Woodward Park area, had been accused by former altar boy Juan Rocha of molesting him at two other parishes in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Nine of 12 jurors found in favor of the allegations in a Fresno County Superior Court trial one year ago, but only seven jurors concluded that the diocese knew about the abuse, prompting a mistrial. Prior to a new trial, the two sides agreed to binding arbitration and to keep the outcome confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

People of the year | Garcia: He takes the helm of the Diocese of Monterey

SALINAS (CA)
THE SALINAS CALIFORNIAN

In his first year as bishop for the Diocese of Monterey, the Most Rev. Richard Garcia has taken on often controversial issues including immigration and gang activity, topics not commonly addressed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Garcia, the former auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Sacramento, has met with residents to address what can be done. He visited churches, schools, migrant camps, prisons and youth facilities, talking with people who want to make a difference in their lives and in the community.

In July, Garcia called on grandmothers, who have a strong influence on their grandchildren in the Latino community, to help steer young people away from gang influences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Catholic priest tried for abuse to work at Fresno high school

FRESNO (CA)
AP in SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

A Catholic priest tried for molesting a former altar boy has been named the rector of a parochial high school in Fresno.
The Rev. Eric Swearingen is due to start at San Joaquin Memorial High School next month.

Last year, Army staff sergeant Juan Rocha brought a civil suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, claiming Swearingen molested him at parishes in Fresno and Bakersfield in the 1980s and 1990s.

During the civil trial, Swearingen's attorneys said the priest let Rocha sleep in his room at church rectories, but said all behavior behind closed doors was appropriate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Judge: Suit against archdiocese can stand

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

A judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit claiming the Archdiocese of Indianapolis covered up abuse by a former Catholic priest three decades ago.

The ruling by Marion Superior Court Judge David A. Shaheed means the suit could be the first of 13 against the archdiocese to move forward to trial. It alleges fraud, arguing the archdiocese knew of previous abuse by the Rev. Harry Monroe when it moved him in 1976 to St. Catherine's Parish in Indianapolis.

No one disputes that the plaintiff suffered abuse, Shaheed wrote. The former altar boy at the Southside parish is called John Doe NM in court documents.

His abuse-related claims have been withdrawn, since the statute of limitations ran out long ago. But the judge ruled Dec. 20 against the archdiocese's motion for summary judgment, which sought dismissal of the suit, writing that the six-year statute of limitations on fraud began running only in 2005, when the plaintiff learned that the archdiocese had known of other abuse before Monroe's transfer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

December 28, 2007

Tod and Me

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

2007: A year to remember
By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 2:00 pm
When you're a Catholic covering theChurch's sordid sex-abuse scandal, taking a break from your job is not only impossible, but it's also a sin. Years of catechism instilled in me the necessity of good thoughts, good actions and prayer. Especially prayer: Before I sleep and eat, I pray for my mortal soul. While in my car, I grasp the rosary on the rear-view mirror lest it become a blasphemous Dancing Jesus. Even as I write this story at Weekly world headquarters, a Virgin of Guadalupe lined with flashing Christmas lights illuminates my desk. God is love, and He demands mucho genuflection.

Church attendance is another matter. I continue to believe in Jesus, Mary and the saints, but I stopped attending Mass around the time I latched onto the Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal in 2004. I couldn't stand praying among county Catholics since they haven't yet overthrown the amoral hierarchy of Bishop Tod D. Brown. And if a parishioner-led coup didn't happen this year—one that saw the Weekly reveal Brown had never disclosed a molestation allegation against him, paid off an admitted statutory rapist $100,000 without telling his flock, and didn't report two perverted priests as required by law when he served in the Monterey diocese during the 1980s—it'll probably never happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

December 27, 2007

Is Rudy Guiliani Enabling A Sex Offender?

NEW YORK
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

The Awareness Center (the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault) supports SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) efforts in challenging Giuliani to "put up or shut up" about allegations against Msgr. Alan Placa, who was suspended by his bishop yet remains on Giuliani's payroll. Giuliani insists Placa's been falsely accused.

SNAP wants Giuliani to either file a bar complaint against the Long Island prosecutor who publicized the allegations against the Placa or admit that the priest is guilty. As a citizen, a lawyer, an ex-prosecutor and former public official, the group believes Giuliani has a moral and legal duty to take action if he really believes prosecutors and grand jurors have done an injustice to Placa.

In recent months, SNAP has urged Giuliani to fire Placa and apologize for his recklessness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Community college fires instructor

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

By Kavita Kumar
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
12/25/2007

The St. Louis Community College has fired an instructor who was accused of sexually abusing one of his high school students in California nearly a decade ago.

This action comes a month after the college suspended the instructor, Meramec campus choral director Larry Stukenholtz, with pay while it looked into the matter.

The college's board voted to terminate his contract last week in a closed meeting. Bob Nelson, the board chairman, referred calls to the college spokeswoman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Priest endures 'painful journey'

NORTH CAROLINA
The Dispatch

BY JILL DOSS-RAINES
The Dispatch

Christmas came two days early this week for parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary Church when their beloved priest, Father Al Gondek, was allowed to return to the parish cleared of allegations that he sexually abused a boy at a summer camp in 1960.

"We never had any questions (about his innocence)," said Kris Joss, a member of the parish council. "It was never if he comes back, it was when."

For Gondek, it has been the most trying time of his life, he said, while sitting with several members of the council Wednesday afternoon in the parish center. A testament to forgiveness, he and his parishioners said they hold no ill will against the accuser and instead pray for him. Gondek said he would always be thankful for the outpouring of support from not only his parish members, but also the entire Davidson County community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Zambia: Splinter Catholic Church Launched

ZAMBIA
allAfrica

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
Ndola

A SPLINTER Catholic Church called the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia has been launched with Archbishop-elect, Luciano Mbewe, calling for more priests to join the church and fulfill their God-given role by marrying.

Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) spokesperson, Paul Samasumo, said in reaction that he did not have much information about the newly formed church but was aware that the Catholic bishops in Zambia would preside over the matter next month.

Father Samasumo said in an interview in Lusaka that the newly formed church had created parallel structures in the Roman Catholic Church and could not claim to be part of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Asking for trouble?

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

A priest of the Diocese of Fresno found by a superior court jury to have more likely than not sexually molested a young man more than 20 years ago has been named rector of a diocesan Catholic high school.

In December 2006, a superior court jury empanelled in a civil lawsuit against the Fresno diocese voted 9-3 that Fr. Eric Swearingen had molested former altar boy Juan Rocha when Rocha was between 12 and 15 years old.

The December 2007 edition of Central California Catholic Life, Fresno’s diocesan newspaper, reports that Fr. Swearingen has now been named by Bishop John Steinbock as rector of San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, effective Jan. 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

“Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church” Chosen as an Outstanding Book of 2007

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

I have praised Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church by Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea previously on this blog. I am pleased to report that CHOICE Magazine, the magazine of the American Library Association, has chosen Perversion of Power has one of its outstanding books of 2007. Their October 2007 review appears below.

Following that review, is a very positive and detailed review that appeared in the Fall 2007 Newsletter of the Division of Trauma Psychology (56) of the American Psychological Association.

Other reviews have appeared in Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, American Psychological Association Review of Books psychCRITIQUES, and the Newsletter of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Motion filed to unseal records in Jeffs' case

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Published: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007 12:07 a.m. MST

ST. GEORGE — Documents filed under seal by attorneys for polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, who in September was convicted of rape and is now in prison, should be released to the public, according to papers filed in 5th District Court on Wednesday.

Salt Lake attorney Jeffrey Hunt, who represents a media coalition including the Deseret Morning News, filed a motion seeking access to the sealed documents.

Attorneys for Jeffs, who Dec. 4 filed a motion seeking a new trial, also filed under seal a supporting memorandum. In seeking the new trial, Jeffs' defense team argues that "errors and improprieties" occurred that "substantially" affected Jeffs' constitutional right to a fair trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Diocese to pay $13.6M toward bankruptcy settlement

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Diocese of Davenport will pay $13.6 million toward its $37 million proposed bankruptcy settlement, newly filed diocesan financial records show.

The diocese’s insurance company, Travelers, will pay $19.5 million, diocesan attorney Dick Davidson confirmed Wednesday. The sale of the diocese’s headquarters, the St. Vincent Center, will generate an estimated $3.9 million.

Davidson declined to say how the diocese will come up with $13.6 million. While the settlement releases parishes and schools from liability, officials have said that some entities are considering contributions toward the settlement. The diocese has sold a farm and two houses it owned, including the former bishop’s home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Toward the Future: The Lessons of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Report, and the Ways in Which We Can Protect All Children From Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007

Recently, the National Review Board for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released the results of its five-year study evaluating how the hierarchy has handled clergy abuse since the public first learned of its scope and prevalence from the Boston Globe in 2002. The report is just what one would expect from any corporation undergoing a scandal; It details new programs, promises to do better in the future, and admits the problem is complex (which, translated, means that the Bishops have not put the problem behind them, not by a long shot).

As I read the report and reflected upon the last five years, I had very mixed feelings. On the one hand, every American (and even world citizen) should be grateful to Providence (as well as the Globe) for revealing the scope of child abuse and cover-up within the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church. We really did not know, let alone understand, the gravity and extent of the scourge of child sex abuse society-wide until we saw it entrenched in the one institution everyone had trusted - Catholic or not. This was the religious institution whose clergy every lawyer hoped would testify on their side, after all! The point could not have been made more clearly than by the scandal in the Church: Children are being sexually abused everywhere, and the ones not to trust are often the ones we trust the most.

There is another quite different lesson to be learned from the 2007 Bishops' Report, too, however: The bishops are not a terribly important element in the solution to society-wide child sex abuse. Yes, they have instituted programs to protect children, but it was well-known long ago in the public sphere that such programs are crucial. And they have created their Victims Assistance Programs and appointed Directors. Though victims and their families have not found these programs terribly helpful or supportive, at least they exist. Yet, it simply does not matter what program the hierarchy creates for the victims it has generated. Why? Because its victims count for such a small number of child sex abuse victims overall. Even perfect care for all of its victims puts barely a dent in the larger problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Wenatchee settles sex-case settlement with former pastor

WENATCHEE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WENATCHEE, Wash. -- The city of Wenatchee and a former pastor acquitted of child sex charges in the 1990s have settled a court fight for $700,000.

The settlement ends more than 11 years of civil litigation between the city and Robert "Roby" Roberson, who was one of dozens of people arrested during an investigation into an alleged sex ring at the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church.

Roberson filed suit accusing the city of violating his civil rights.

Neither Roberson nor the city would reveal the amount of the settlement earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Police say they have Gleason admission on tape

SKOWHEGAN (ME)
Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN -- Police taped a phone conversation in which Carrabec High School administrator and church pastor Frank "Skip" Gleason admitted to sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student, according to an affidavit filed in Skowhegan District Court.

Gleason, 60, is free on $1,500 cash bail on charges of unlawful sexual conduct and sexual abuse of a minor. The Anson resident is scheduled to make his first court appearance Jan. 23 in connection with the charges.

School Administrative District 74 has placed the Carrabec assistant principal and athletic director on administrative leave, and he has stepped down from his position as pastor of Maranatha Assembly in Anson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

National Catholic Lay Board issues report on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Alaska Public Radio Network

Wed, December 26, 2007

A National Board, appointed by the president to review the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse by clergy has issued a 5-year report. The report looks at accomplishments, unfinished work and challenges related to the abuse that spans several decades, and diocese across the nation, including Alaska.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

December 26, 2007

Popular Nahariya rabbi arrested for alleged indecent acts

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Jack Khoury, Haaretz Correspondent

The arrest of a popular Nahariya rabbi for allegedly committing indecent sexual acts was made public Thursday, after a judicial gag order was lifted.

Rabbi Shimon Gerlick serves as rabbi of the Nahariya hospital as well as rabbi of the city's Amidar neighborhood.

Police arrested him three weeks ago after an 8-year-old girl and 30-year-old woman accused him of indecent sexual acts. Police extended the remand of the rabbi twice before putting him under house arrest last week.
Advertisement

A 15-year-old girl came forward and issued a third complaint against the rabbi while he was under arrest, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Girls who pressed charges against rabbi are ostracized

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Haaretz Staff and Channel 10

Tags: Haaretz.com TV
Haaretz.com/Channel 10 daily feature for December 25, 2007.

For the past six years, two religious teenage sisters have been paying a hefty price for speaking out against a rabbi who was convicted of indecent acts.

The two girls were kicked out of their school two years after their family pressed charges against the Rabbi, and were only allowed to return following judicial intervention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Mission: Bringing Mahony mugger to justice

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

December 23, 2007

Steve Lopez

In the spirit of the season -- and, quite frankly, to save my own soul -- I've embarked on a mission to bring Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's assailant to justice.

For those who missed the news, the man at the helm of the Los Angeles Archdiocese spoke with detectives earlier this month about being attacked in July while mailing a letter near the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Police had contacted the cardinal after learning that he had spoken of the mugging at an October gathering of priests.

Mahony did not report the incident at the time, and please, let's not all sing the easy line about how it's not the first time the cardinal failed to report a crime. It's almost Christmas, a time to celebrate life and spread joy, especially to those we've quarreled with in the past.

Or, as I said in an e-mail to Mahony spokesman Tod Tamberg:

"I've begun a personal manhunt to locate Cardinal Mahony's assailant. Consider it both an olive branch and my Christmas present to him. Please let me know if the cardinal can meet with me and a sketch artist and provide a good description to aid in my investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Giornalista si finge gay con un prete Per sei mesi in "terapia cattolica"

ITALY
La Repubblica

A reporter of "Liberazione" pretended to be a gay with a priest: for six months he was under "Catholic therapy". The "cure" is a very popular in North America
The President of the Arcigay, Mancuso: "The Minister of Health must intervene"

ROMA - He was for six months under a therapy in a ultra-Ccatholic group to cure his homosexuality, following a path started when he met a priest and then a very known professional, Tonino Cantelmi ( a docent of psychology at the Gregorian University), filling out a form with 600 questions and then starting the "restorative therapy." That's what has been reported in "Liberazione" by David Vari, the journalist who pretended to be gay for six months to learn about, as he writes in his article, the Italian circuit of "the thaumaturges of sex deviation." A very popular fashion in North America thanks to the work of many groups tied to the Catholic church which follow the practice of Joseph Nicolosi," a clinical psychologist who vaunts to have treated 500 gay people".

The investigation of the journalist pushed the President of Arcigay, Aurelio Mancuso, to ask for the intervention of the National Order of Psychologists and of the Health Minister, Livia Turco. "An alarming picture", said Mancuso in commenting the article, " with first rate figures involved in the implementation of pseudo therapies to cure homosexuality which derive from therapies imbued with prejudices and common places of a self proclaimed Catholic therapist, the American Joseph Nicolosi."

"The journalist met various psychologists belonging to the team of Tonino Cantelmi, the President and founder of the Italian Catholic Association of Psychologists and Psychiatrists at the Gregorian University, and then participated for six months to therapy sessions. The fact is very grave for - Mancuso explained - we remind everybody that in May 17, 1990, after centuries of persecutions, the World Health Organization defined homosexuality a natural human variance of sexuality."

"We ask for the immediate intervention of the National Order of Psychologists and of the Health Minister Livia Turco, so that these dangerous practices meant to distort people's behavior are immediately ceased. We want to know - Mancuso goes on - if Cantelmi, his collaborators, his individual and collective therapy courses, are in some way recognized or financially supported by the public health system or through funds deriving from the "eight per thousand".

We denounce - Mancuso concludes - that in all our country, as many times was reported by our communications and by other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender associations, groups of Catholic psychologists or doctors, in parishes and in other ecclesiastical environments, propagandize a cure for homosexuality, with no intervention of the authorities who must control and contrast theories which are of high impairment of the dignity of the homosexuals."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Suspende Rivera las conferencias dominicales

MEXICO
La Jornada

Cardinal Norberto Rivera criticized certain journalists for being "prostitutes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Former Ryan principal turns himself in

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By JULIE SHAW
Philadelphia Daily News
shawj@phillynews.com 215-854-2592

The District Attorney's Office got its Christmas wish.

The Rev. Charles Newman, former principal of Archbishop Ryan High School, surrendered to authorities here Monday on felony theft and forgery charges.

Newman, dressed in civilian clothes, entered the D.A.'s Office on South Penn Square in Center City about 8 a.m. with defense attorney Frank DeSimone.

"He surrendered, he cooperated, then he was handed over to the police transport unit" and taken to police headquarters, Deputy District Attorney Charles Gallagher said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

“They don’t care if their victims are innocent”

MEXICO
California Catholic Daily

The cardinal archbishop of Mexico City has indefinitely postponed his weekly meetings with the press, usually held following Sunday Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral, after he rebuked members of the news media for what the archbishop says is a deliberate and unjustified campaign to defame him.

“There are people out there who kill the good name and dignity of other persons,” Cardinal Norberto Rivera told 1,500 inmates during a Dec. 18 visit to Mexico City’s main female penitentiary. He called such persons “male and female communication prostitutes.” ...

The influential Rivera leads the biggest archdiocese in all of Mexico, with nine auxiliary bishops and more than 15 million faithful. His comments made national news. He was referring to a more than year-long campaign by national circulation newspapers, particularly the radical leftist daily La Jornada, which has accused Cardinal Rivera of protecting a homosexual and pederast priest when Rivera was Bishop of Tehuacán in the early 1980s.

On Oct. 16, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle decided he lacked jurisdiction in a civil case accusing Cardinal Rivera of conspiring with Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to protect the child-molesting priest Father Nicolás Aguilar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

"A breakdown in communication"

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Earlier this month, the California Province of the Society of Jesus settled out of court with the family of Jesuit Fr. James Chevedden who, says his family, committed suicide when the Jesuits failed to protect him from sexual abuse.

Chevedden, said a Dec. 14 press release from the California Province, had been diagnosed several years ago with paranoid schizophrenia. According to the Dec. 13 San Jose Mercury News, Chevedden eventually was placed by his order at its Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos. The center houses retired and infirm Jesuits.

Chevedden made four attempts to commit suicide between 1994 and 2005, said the California Province. After one of those attempts in 1998 – the priest jumped off a scaffolding, fracturing his feet – Chevedden was placed in the center’s infirmary. There, according to his family, Jesuit Br. Charles Connor (now 86), who pushed Chevedden in his wheel chair, groped the injured man’s genitals. In 2002, Connor and another Jesuit were convicted of molesting mentally retarded dishwashers at the center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Tom Doyle’s Updated Bibliography of Clergy Sexual Abuse, 11.2.2007

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Recently Tom Doyle sent me an update to his general bibliography on clergy sexual abuse. Here’s what Tom said in his covering e-mail:

I have added some new titles to my general bibliography. This time however I have outlined them in Red to make it easier for anyone who might be looking for the new additions.

I also want to highly recommend the Haworth Press as a very helpful source of journals and titles that focus on the medical/psychological dimensions of sexual abuse. Their web site is www.haworthpress.com. Haworth has published Myra Hidalgo’s outstanding contribution to the literature. It also publishes two (among many) journals that focus on sexual abuse: “Journal on Child Sexual Abuse” and the “Journal of Religion and Abuse.” I have found that both regularly contain excellent articles. Since the weakest area of my own bibliography is that which contains entries on the psychological/emotional aspects of abuse I highly recommend Haworth Press as an excellent source. I have been reading more on the effects of abuse so hopefully I’ll be able to provide more insightful suggestions in the near future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 AM

Post details: Catholic shame

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Ruth's Blog

The Star was right to lead today's paper with a five-column headline above the fold: "RECORDS: EX-PRIEST ADMITS ABUSE," by Robert King.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071214/LOCAL/712140452

The story reverberates with pain at many levels -- for the innocent victims, for practicing Catholics, and, yes, for the church -- but you will never read about it in the Criterion, the Catholic newspaper published by the Indianapolis Archdiocese.

That fact may indicate the level of shame and denial that still exits within the official church structure. But challenging that mindset, thankfully, are many good Catholic laypeople who are members of Voice of the Faithful and other groups and individuals, including religious, who demand accountability of their church.

Perhaps it is difficult for non-Catholics to understand the issue -- celibate priests and nuns seem "unnatural" in our sex-saturated culture -- but all healthy human beings should be able to comprehend the sin of pride that leads to arrogance that leads to denial. I happen to believe that many of these sexual transgressions have their root in pure pride and arrogance: the belief that "I can have what I want" simply because "I want it." Throw drugs and alcohol into this mix, and the result is out of control.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 AM

Christmas Opinion Piece Favoring Windows Legislation

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish sent the following Opinion Piece to the New York Times and the Washington Post, but she’s heard nothing as of Christmas Day. With Sister’s permission, I am posting it here.

My wish for Legislators as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child -

The banning of the death penalty in New Jersey coming so closely to the celebration of Human Rights Day is certainly something to be thankful for, “Corzine Signs Bill Ending Executions, Then Commutes Sentences of Eight,” (12/18/2007).

We also recently celebrated the International Day of the Child but I can’t remember reading that it was noted anywhere except on the the websites of advocacy groups such as the United Nations UNICEF, CRIN, the Child Rights Information Network and Amnesty International.

If the sexual exploitation of children worldwide were a communicable disease it world be registered as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and it would be duly noted by our own Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta. But we do not as yet have anything that
would be comparable and could be applied to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 AM

Bail set for ex-Archbishop Ryan High president

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Marcia Gelbart
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

The Rev. Charles Newman, former president of Archbishop Ryan High School, was arraigned last night on theft and forgery charges. His bail was set at $50,000.

Newman, a Franciscan friar who led Philadelphia's largest Roman Catholic high school, was accused of stealing $900,000 from the school and providing drugs and money to a former student he allegedly molested.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 AM

Showing of the film "Narrow Bridge"

PIKESVILLE (MD)
The Awareness Center

This is your chance to catch the controversial, acclaimed film that has been making waves in the Orthodox Jewish community. It is the first film of its kind to break the silence on the issue of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:00 PM.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 AM

לשמור על הסוד

ISRAEL
Haaretz

To keep the secret

Rabbi Y, who was abused by (Avrohom) Mondrowitz himself, thinks that one should not expose child abuse in public

Rav Y, 39-years-old, reports on the negative consequences of children in treatment, voluntarily, for Haredi children who suffer the type of abuse that he did. His contact with Mondrowitz began when he was about 12. He was a neighbor, living on the same street, and he was friends with his (Mondrowitz's) children. "One day, When I came to his house, I wanted to play with his kids but found that they were not home. Mondrowitz was there, and he invited me into his office, and he give me money and all kinds of nice gifts. I never took anything from him, and he put his hands where it was inappropriate. After that, I did not want to go there anymore, but he spoke to my father why I did not come over to play with his kids anymore. So my father sent me there, and he did the same thing again. I felt that something was wrong, but I could not tell my father. So I went there, and again he was alone. I seem (to recall) that his family was away on vacation, I do not remember why or how, but I remained with him to sleep over, and I recall that in the middle of the night, I awoke, and he was touching me again. Perhaps, he had given me something so I would continue sleeping. In the morning I got up and went home."

After several times, he stopped going there, and he never told anyone. "Mondrowitz kept contact with my father, requesting that he send me to play with his kids, but I never went again and I stopped playing with his kids altogether. To this day, no one knew anything, not my parents, not my wife, not my kids, but when they started telling about Mondrowitz, I told Amy Neustein that I could believe every word.

Y, personally, did not dream at night about murder, but knew others that would. "I heard that there were many Italians, that were (treated) similar(ly) when they were children, that wanted to kill him." He says, Y, himself a Rabbi, is against publicly exposing atrocities committed by Rabbis, not to protect them, but to protect the children. "To open up to the police and the courts in the US, this is a long multi-year process, and meanwhile the exposure destroys the boy or girl who is an abuse victim even more. Mondrowitz is not forced to come to court, because now, all them are already grown."

Are children in the Haredi community more exposed to abuse? Y tells that 15 years ago, he knew of a pedophile in New Jersey who heard that the Haredi group were tolerant toward pedophiles. He bought an apartment in Brooklyn, grew a beard and payos, and began abusing children. When they caught him and detained him, Y activated his contacts with the police. "I spoke with many chevra who had contacts with the police, and when they brought him to jail, the police shouted out loud, so all the other prisoners would hear, that he was a pedophile and that they would be allowed to do anything to him. After 5 days in jail, he confessed everything. I had contacts with the Brooklyn prosecutor, and I influenced him to work out a deal. The deal stipulated that he cannot live in the city, but only an isolated area. He sold his apartment in Brooklyn, for virtually nothing, and he left there for some rural area. I did not want it to go to trial, so that the children he abused would not have to testify against him."

You helped to cover it up?? (Presumably this is the reporter's question)

"Only so that the children should not have to go through it again. But I advocate fighting from within. With us, if a child tells that someone did soemthing like this, we throw him out of school. They do not want that the school should get a bad reputation. But I advocate removing the stigma from children who are abused. The fault belongs to the schools and yeshivos. It is there, that they need to ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 AM

Carrabec teacher resigns church post

NORTH ANSON (ME)
Kennebec Journal

By Kennebec Journal Staff report
December 25, 2007 01:14 PM

NORTH ANSON — The Carrabec High School administrator accused of unlawful sexual contact with a minor has stepped down as minister of an evangelical church.

Frank “Skip” Gleason, assistant principal and athletic director at Carrabec, resigned Sunday as pastor of Maranatha Assembly on Church Street after the accusations became public.

Meanwhile, supporters of Gleason rallied around him, saying they doubt that the charges are true, but that the publicity has already done irreparable harm to a good man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 AM

Diocese makes cuts, asks for donations to pay for sexual abuse settlement

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: SCOTT MARSHALL - Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO -- A $198 million settlement in 2007 ended years of litigation against the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, but the church continues to feel the effects of the sexual abuse scandal.

Victim advocates say those who suffered sexual abuse may never completely heal. Meanwhile, the settlement's financial costs have begun to affect church projects, among them a plan to build a new Catholic high school in northern San Diego County. Land that the church once viewed as a potential site for the campus will be sold, with the proceeds going to help pay the settlement, a diocese official said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 AM

December 25, 2007

Letter from Fr. Bob Hoatson to Chairman of Bishops’ National Review Board

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Dear Judge Mertz and Members of the National Review Board:
As a priest, survivor of clergy sexual abuse, and advocate for hundreds of survivors of clergy sexual abuse, I feel I must respond to your recently-released report to the Catholic Faithful of the United States regarding the protection of children, teenagers, young adults, and vulnerable adults in the American Catholic Church. Unfortunately, I neither share your optimism nor agree with your conclusions.

The overall tone of the report is of concern to me. There is no acknowledgment of the “epidemic” of clergy sexual abuse that has been exposed and continues to be exposed to this day. The National Review Board was established because the bishops of the country were incompetent to act legally, ethically, and morally toward those who were abused. My experience, research, and immersion in the recoveries of survivors indicate that the climate and culture that created the problem in the beginning are still in place and very much the prevailing practices. The Catholic bishops of the United States, for the most part, have never been held accountable for their illegal, immoral, and unethical methods and practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Priest Released on Bail in Embezzlement Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philadelphia

A priest wanted for allegedly taking $900,000 from a local high school has surrendered to police in Philadelphia.

Officials said Father Charles Newman was arraigned and posted bail Monday after he surrendered to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office.

Last Thursday, District Attorney Lynne Abraham said that Newman is facing six felony 3 counts and one felony 2 count.

Felonies of the second degree are punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison for each count, while felonies of the third degree are punishable by a maximum of 7 years in prison for each count.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Educator accused of theft surrenders

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Robert Moran
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Rev. Charles Newman, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Archbishop Ryan High School and providing drugs and hush money to a former student he allegedly molested, surrendered at 8 a.m. yesterday at the District Attorney's Office.

Newman, 57, a Franciscan friar who became president of Philadelphia's largest Roman Catholic high school, was taken to Police Headquarters to be processed and arraigned, said Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Newman on multiple counts of theft and one count of forgery. Some of the felony counts carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and $25,000 maximum fines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

10 days in jail and HIV testing

HALF MOON BAY (CA)
California Catholic Daily

A Catholic Worker house in Half Moon Bay will continue to operate after its co-founder and current director pleaded no contest to charges of soliciting a woman for sex.

In October, a 35-year old woman filed a complaint with the San Mateo County district attorney, alleging that Michael David Niece, 65, who helped found the Coastside Catholic Worker in 2000, had offered her money if she would agree to have sex with him. The woman had approached Niece in August, asking him for help in finding a job to support her family. Niece reportedly replied to her, “Sure, I can help you find a job and I'll give you $500 to have sex.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Don Gelmini chiede al Papa lo stato di laicità: vuole restare per sempre alla Comunità Incontro

ITALY
Il Messaggero

Rev. Gelmini asks the Pope to be defrocked: He wants to remain in the community Incontro

TERNI (December 23) - The Rev. Gelmini has sent a letter to the Pope asking to be left with his boys of the community Incontro "until his death" and to be defrocked so that he can face the charges at the judiciary level without the involvement of the ecclesiastical authority. That was announced by the spokesperson of the community Incontro, Alessandro Meluzzi, who added not to know anything about a meeting between Rev. Gelmini with the bishop of Terni, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, nor of previous initiatives taken by the Vatican.

"Rev. Gelmini," said Meluzzi, "by his own will" has sent a letter to the Holy Father, meant to guarantee "perinde cadaver" (until his death) his stay with the boys of the community Incontro. Therefore, for the opening of a painful horizon tied to his judiciary vicissitudes, to be freely able to face all the related problems, the Rev. Gelmini asked autonomously "pro gratia" (with no imposition) to the Holy Father to be defrocked and not to become a deacon as it had been erroneously reported."

That means, explained Meluzzi, "maintaining in pain and with his prayer his celibacy vote, in his union with Christ, to be defrocked so that he could defend himself freely without any involvement of the ecclesiastical and canonical authorities in the forthcoming vicissitudes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Don Gelmini scrive a Benedetto XVI "Vorrei essere ridotto a laico"

ITALY
La Repubblica

The priest wants to "defend himself freely from the accusations" without any involvement of the ecclesiastic authorities
The Rev. Gelmini writes to Benedicts XVI "I would like to be defrocked"
The founder of the community Incontro is being investigated for sexual violence after the charges of some of his former guests in his center for rehabilitation from drug addiction

TERNI - He wants to remain with his boys "until death," and if he is defrocked he could face his judiciary vicissitudes without involving the church authorities. These is the requests Rev. Pierino Gelmini, founder of the community Incontro, made in a letter he sent to Benedict XVI. Since last August, the priest, 82-years-old, is being investigated by the Terni prosecutor for alleged sexual abuses, denounced by some of his former guests of his community.

Rev. Gelmini, it was explained in the community, "by his own will sent a letter to His Holiness, finalized to guarantee "perinde cadaver", that's until his death, his remaining with the boys of his community. Therefore "as a painful horizon is directly opening on his judiciary vicissitudes, to be freely able to face all its related aspects, the Rev. Gelmini autonomously asks pro grazia, which means freely, to the Holy Father, to be defrocked, and not to become a deacon, as it had erroneously been reported, so that he can defend himself freely without involving the ecclesiastical and canonical authorities in the future events."

At the beginning of December, the priest was hit by an illness of cardiac origin. His conditions are serious but stable. He refused to go to the hospital "so that he could be near his boys," even if he won't participate to the Christmas celebrations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

December 24, 2007

Priest surrenders on charges he stole from Pa. school

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The News Journal

Associated Press

Posted Monday, December 24, 2007 at 12:10 pm
PHILADELPHIA – A priest has turned himself in on charges that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Roman Catholic high school he led in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors say audits show the Rev. Charles Newman stole $331,000 from Archbishop Ryan High School and more than $550,000 from his religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Ex-Archbishop Ryan High School president surrenders to Phila. DA

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Robert Moran
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

The Rev. Charles Newman, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Archbishop Ryan High School and providing drugs and hush money to a former student he molested, surrendered this morning at the District Attorney's Office, a spokeswoman said.

Newman, 57, a Franciscan friar who became the president of Philadelphia's largest Roman Catholic high school, is at Police Headquarters to be processed and arraigned, said Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne Abraham. He surrendered at 8 a.m.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Newman on multiple counts of theft and one count of forgery. Some of the felony counts each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 maximum fine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Priest Charged With Stealing From School Surrenders To Police

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

A Catholic priest charged with stealing from the school he was running turned himself in to police Monday morning.

The Rev. Charles Newman surrendered to the district attorney's office at 8 a.m.

Newman will be charged with multiple felony counts of theft and forgery.

He spent nearly 20 years as an educator, principal and president of Archbishop Ryan High School.

Investigators said Thursday that it was through a multiyear investigation into missing money that they uncovered new allegations of drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Ex-priest ministers amid sex charges

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 24, 2007 12:00 AM

No one can doubt a charismatic former Catholic priest's ability to attract worshipers, even if his legal status remains in doubt as he awaits trial on misdemeanor sex charges.

Dressed casually in a blue shirt and gray sleeveless sweater, former Monsignor Dale Fushek led a non-denominational prayer service at the Mesa Convention Center on Sunday morning attended by a standing-room-only crowd of about 700 people.

For the second time, Fushek acted in apparent defiance of an administrative suspension from the Diocese of Phoenix that bars him from functioning as a priest or any other form of public ministry.

But Fushek, who was reluctant to comment, said he sent the diocese a letter of resignation a day before his first service on Thanksgiving at a Mesa hotel that also drew a large crowd. He said he's a preacher and he wants to preach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Biliran bishop denies sexual abuse raps

PHILIPPINES
ABS-CBN

A Catholic bishop based in Biliran dismissed allegations that he molested a former missionary, ABS-CBN Regional Network Group reported.

Bishop Filomeno Bactol of the Diocese of Naval said that he never molested the former missionary and other men, correspondent Rico Lucena reported.

The allegations were contained in an e-mail from Stephen Michael Greinke, a former missionary of the diocese.

Father Benjamin Pantas, the diocese's media liaison officer, said that Greinke's allegations were false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

“A more pressing matter”

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

A 38-acre piece of land near Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside once set aside as the site for a new Catholic high school in northern San Diego County will be sold instead to help pay for the diocese’s share of a $198 million settlement with victims of clergy sexual abuse reached in September.

The site had been earmarked for construction of Pax Christi High School, but plans for the new school have been postponed indefinitely, diocesan chancellor Rodrigo Valdivia told the North County Times. “It now looks like it will take much longer than many may have originally hoped,” Valdivia said in an email response to inquiries by a reporter, according to the Dec. 18 Times story.

A diocesan committee decided in 2005 that the Mission San Luis Rey site was too far west, and planned instead to swap the land for a more suitable location, Valdivia told the Times. The land swap was part of a larger diocesan-wide plan that called for the construction of three diocesan high schools in San Diego County. Proceeds from the sale of two other school sites, University of San Diego High and Marian High, which the diocese closed, were to be divided among the three new schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Father Gondek returns to his parish

LEXINGTON (NC)
The Dispatch

Bishop Peter J. Jugis has returned Father Albert James Gondek to the position of pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Lexington. Gondek resumed his duties Sunday.

Gondek and Jugis met with members of the parish at the conclusion of the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday to explain the process leading to the re-instatement.

Gondek was removed from ministry Oct. 12 under provisions of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. At the time of his removal, he denied a sexual allegation made against him by a 59-year-old Delaware man, who claimed Gondek fondled him while both were swimming at a summer camp in 1960.

Gondek was cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation by his religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales (OSFS), and an inquiry by the Review Board of the Diocese of Charlotte. Jugis’ decision came after reviewing the findings of both investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Priest Cleared of Sexual Abuse Charges, Returns to Church

LEXINGTON (NC)
My Fox WGHP

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) -- A Priest accused of sexual abuse has been cleared of any wrongdoing, allowing him to return to the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Lexington.

Father Albert Gondek was accused of sexually abusing a man 47 years ago. After an investigation, the independent investigator and Gondek's religious order cleared Gondek of any wrongdoing.

The Diocese of Charlotte had placed Lexington Priest Albert Gondek on administrative leave while the investigation was conducted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priest is cleared, reinstated in N.C.

CHARLOTTE (NC)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Monday, December 24, 2007

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, N.C., reinstated the Rev. Albert James Gondek as a parish pastor Sunday, saying an investigation had cleared the priest of sexual allegations made by a Delaware man.

Gondek and Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis met with parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Lexington, N.C., after the 10:30 Mass. Gondek later was the celebrant at the 250-family parish's 1 p.m. Mass.

"It is a great joy to return Father Al to ministry," Jugis told parishioners. "The Diocese of Charlotte will make every effort to restore Father Gondek's good name and reputation. While this case does not diminish the suffering that sexual abuse causes people in our society, it is proof that the system in our church works to protect everyone."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Evans makes headlines in '07

COLORADO
The Coloradoan

BY SARA REED
SaraReed@coloradoan.com

It took slightly more than 18 months, but 2007 saw the conclusion of the only Catholic Church sex abuse case to hit the city.

On March 26, Timothy Joseph Evans was convicted by a jury of molesting a teenage parishioner during his tenure from 1998 to 2002 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Two months later, District Court Judge Jolene Blair blasted Evans for his actions, telling him he sullied the names of dedicated clergy and fed the distrust of organized religion before sentencing him to at least 14 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

December 23, 2007

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

The Grand Jury presentment against the Rev. Charles Newman, who is alleged to have stolen nearly $1 million while principal of Archbishop Ryan High School, can be found at this link.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

«Violenza sessuale su bambino di 12 anni»

ITALY
Il Messaggero

"Sexual violence on a 12 years old boy"
A 33 years old priest in jail in the Casertano

CASERTA (December 21) Sexual violence on a 12-year-old boy. With this accusation ended up in being handcuffed a 33-year-old priest, vice parish priest of the Church of SS. Salvatore of Casal di Principe (Caserta).

A carabinieri squad, after receiving a telephone call, surprised the priest, M.C., a teacher of religion in a middle school at Villa Literno, in his parked car on the side of a country road, at a short distance from the provincial road between Casal di Principe and Castelvolturno, laying down on the car seat with the boy on his side.

When he realized the military police was there the priest fled but he was reached after a few kilometers and arrested. The GIP (the judge for the preliminary investigations) of the Tribunal of S. Maria Capua, Raffaele Piccirillo, confirmed the arrest at the end of an interrogation which lasted three hours and during which, according to what was reported, the priest didn't give the investigators any convincing explanations for his behavior.

The accusations appear to be very articulate, based on what was told by the boy, who was assisted by a social worker. The priest's lawyer announced he would ask for the house arrest on behalf of his client. The priest was much esteemed and appreciated for his activity, which was also extended to his work as a volunteer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

In manette un vice parroco E' accusato di violenza su un 12enne

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

The priest teaches religion in a school at Villa Literno, in the Casertano
In handcuffs a vice parish priest
He is accused of violence on a 12 years-old-boy
He was surprised in a car by the carabinieri laying down on the seat with the boy on his side

CASERTA - Three hours of questioning and the the arrest: M.C., a 33-year-old vice parish priest of the Church of SS. Salvatore at Casal di Principe (Caserta) is in jail with the charge of sexual violence on a 12-year-old boy. A carabinieri squad, after receiving a telephone call, surprised the priest, teacher of religion in a middle school in Villa Literno, on one side of a country road, at a short distance from the provincial highway between Casal di Principe and Castelvolturno, laying down on the seat of his car with the boy on his side.

THE FLIGHT AND THE ARREST - When he was aware of the presence of the military police the priest fled but he was reached after a few kilometers and arrested. The GIP (who is the judge for the preliminary investigations) of the Tribunal of S. Maria di Capua, Raffaele Piccirillo, confirmed the arrest after the interrogation during which, according to what was reported, the priest wasn't able to give any plausible explanation for what had occurred; a very articulate set of charges, based also upon what the child reported with the assistance of a social worker. The priest's lawyer announced he'll ask the benefit of the house arrests on behalf of his client. The priest was much esteemed and appreciated for his overall activity and also as a volunteer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Former principal was nothing like a saint

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
phillyburbs

Lou Sessinger

Perhaps it was because I'd recently visited the medieval Italian town of Assisi that I couldn't avoid the disturbing irony in the story about the Rev. Charles Newman, former principal and president of Philadelphia's Archbishop Ryan High School.

Authorities last week charged the priest with stealing at least $900,000 from the Catholic high school and from the Franciscan religious order of which he is a member.

Some of the money, according to the charges, was given to a former student Newman had sexually abused to support the young man's drug addiction.

The man's 2004 lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Franciscan religious order, the high school and church leaders, alleging that Newman repeatedly seduced him with drugs while he was a student between 1994 and 1996, was dismissed because the statute of limitations had run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

LUCINSKI: Looking past the failings of religion

NEW YORK
Niagara Gazette

By Dick Lucinski/lucinskid@gnnewspaper.com
Niagara Gazette

NIAGARA FALLS — The phrase “Happy Holidays” not withstanding, this is a religious time of the year. It is the time when Christians mark when their savior came to earth; when God became man.

If you’re a Christian, that’s a pretty big deal. Many theologians argue that Easter is the biggest event on the Christian calendar because that’s when Christ proved his godliness, coming back from the dead. No one’s topped that one yet. Even so, Christmas is a major religious event.

All of the secular stuff aside, presents, trees, holiday decorations; this is perhaps as good a time as any (and better than most) to think about religion in general; especially organized religion.

Quite frankly, organized religion these days has a public relations problem. And we’re not just talking about Christianity here. But that’s a good place to start.

Most are well aware of the abuse scandals plaguing the Roman Catholic church in the United States. Billions of dollars have been paid in reparations to victims of sexual abuse by priests, not to mention the psychological scars and shattered lives of the victims. That’s not exactly the type of thing an institution dedicated to helping people is supposed to be doing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Saint Francis’ Strategy Aims To Salvage Reputation

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Business

By Mary Johnson
Hartford Business Journal Staff Writer
12/24/07

According to crisis management experts, Saint Francis is moving in the right direction in response to a recent pedophile scandal that has shocked the community.

As of press time, Saint Francis had purchased two full-page ads in The Hartford Courant as well as radio spots on AM station WTIC 1080 during the drive time. It is also addressing the matter on its Web site, promising to do what it takes to resolve the matter.

Until the discovery of thousands of slides and videos of child pornography at the former West Hartford home of the late Dr. George Reardon, former chief of endocrinology at Saint Francis Hospital, the hospital’s communication campaign focused on touting its new joint replacement institute, the construction of a new modern tower and its successful fundraising efforts.

Now, its campaign is in response to an onslaught of civil suits against the hospital, alleging that it was negligent in failing to prevent Reardon’s alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Bishop's birthday revives talk of retirement

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By GARY SOULSMAN, The News Journal

Posted Sunday, December 23, 2007

As Catholics gather this week to retell the story of Jesus' birth, the Most Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli will be preparing Christmas Eve masses in a diocese where plans for his final days as bishop are under way.

Church tradition requires bishops to retire at age 75 and Saltarelli has sent a letter to Rome stating his willingness to step down from the Diocese of Wilmington after his Jan. 17 birthday. ...

However, not everyone welcomes a call from the papal ambassador in Washington. Being a bishop means all responsibility falls on that person, Palmo said.

The job of bishop is far from easy, especially in the wake of the priest-sex abuse scandals, said the Rev. Tom Flowers, pastor of St. Polycarp in Smyrna.

"When you talk with people who've been victimized in these abuse cases, it's a heavy burden you carry," Flowers said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Diocese says suit's time limit has passed

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Evansville Courier & Press

By Bryan Corbin
Sunday, December 23, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis says lawsuits filed against it by 13 men — including six from Perry County — claiming they were sexually abused by a former priest should be dismissed because the civil statute of limitations has expired.

The archdiocese's attorney, Jay Mercer, acknowledged in court in Marion County last week that former priest Harry Elwood Monroe was "a child molester and serial predator," but in seeking a summary judgment argued the time period to file a claim had passed.

The most recent of the accusations against Monroe stem from 1983-84 when he served congregations in Perry County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

December 22, 2007

Internet porn has tempted millions

NEW TAMPA (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By DONG-PHUONG NGUYEN, Times Staff Writer
Published December 22, 2007

NEW TAMPA - The Rev. Brian James' journey down a road of self-described "moral failure" began two years ago when he started viewing pornography over the Internet. But it ended Dec. 10, he said, when staff members of St. James United Methodist Church discovered a pornographic image inside a photocopy machine.

James, who took an indefinite leave of absence, is not alone. Studies show that an estimated 15-million people in America share the same addiction, said Mary Ann Layden, director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, who has testified before Congress on the issue.

"Porn is a drug unlike any other," Layden said. "It's free, it's available 24-7, it's piped into our house, and it gets you up or down. It's a very potent drug."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

11 More Sue Hospital

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES | Courant Staff Writer
December 22, 2007

Eleven more people filed suit against St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford Friday, alleging that Dr. George Reardon sexually abused them when they were children in the 1960s and 1970s.

The latest complaints, four suits filed by individual plaintiffs and one suit with seven plaintiffs, bring the number of plaintiffs to 45 who have filed recent claims alleging that the hospital was negligent because it failed to prevent the prominent endocrinologist from molesting and photographing them naked.

The newest plaintiffs are 10 men and a woman, according to Paul Edwards and Susan Smith, two of the attorneys involved in the St. Francis litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Jesuit priest moved off Bellarmine campus

SAN JOSE (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Kim Vo
Mercury News
Article Launched: 12/22/2007 01:35:28 AM PST

A Jesuit priest living at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose has been moved after religious leaders learned he is being investigated "for an alleged recent incident of sexual misconduct with a minor while on a pastoral assignment," according to a letter Bellarmine's president sent to parents, faculty and alumni.

Father Carlton Whitten, who is semi-retired, had been living part time on the Bellarmine campus, though he was not teaching at the elite school. Instead, the priest recently worked throughout the Western states, filling in for priests on sabbatical or vacation.

It was during one of those assignments in Washington that the alleged misconduct occurred, said Father Al Naucke with the Jesuits California province.

A bishop in Washington informed the California province. Leaders alerted Bellarmine on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Priest under investigation for alleged misconduct

WHITE SALMON (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

By JANE GARGAS
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

A Jesuit priest who was serving a short-term assignment at St. Joseph Catholic Church in White Salmon, Wash., is under investigation for possible sexual misconduct with a minor.

The priest, who's 76, was removed from the church after suspicions were raised about adult
pornography found on a parish computer.

The Jesuit priest had been filling in for the pastor, the Rev. Felix Rodriguez, who had been on sabbatical since late October. The Jesuit was scheduled to serve in White Salmon, which is part of the Catholic Diocese of Yakima, until Jan. 1. But two weeks ago, he returned to his home in Los Gatos, Calif.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Pedofilia, sacerdote arrestato per violenza su dodicenne

ITALY
La Repubblica

The priest has been found by a squad of carabinieri in a car with the boy. He tried to flee but he was arrested.
Pedophilia, a priest arrested for violence against a twelve-years-old boy


CASAL DI PRINCIPE (Caserta) - The questioning of Rev. M.C., 33, vice parish priest of the Church of SS. Salvatore in Casal di Principe (Caserta) lasted three hours after he was arrested for sexual violence against a 12-year-old boy.

A squad of carabinieri, after receiving a telephone call, surprised the priest, teacher of religion in a middle school in Villa Literno, in a car parked on one side of a country street at a short distance from the provincial road on the way between Casal di Principe and Castelvolturno, laying down on the car seat with the boy on his side.

When he was aware of the carabinieri presence the priest fled, but he was caught and arrested after a few kilometers. The prosecutor for the preliminary investigations (GIP) of S. Marfia Capua, Raffaelle Piccirillo, confirmed the arrest after his questioning of the priest, who wasn't able to deny the charges, which were very articulate and based on what the child said to a social worker.

The priest's lawyer has announced he'll ask for his client the benefit of the house arrest. The priest was also much esteemed and appreciated for his activity as a volunteer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Southeastern Seminary student charged with child sex abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Baptist Press

By Hannah Elliott
Published December 21, 2007

RALEIGH, N.C. (ABP) -- Police have charged a Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student with sexually abusing a 10-year-old child at an after-hours YMCA program, re-emphasizing the growing problem of sex abuse among Southern Baptist clergy.

It’s not the first time a student at the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated seminary has faced sex charges. In August, a former Southeastern student, Brian Goodrich, pleaded guilty to “indecent liberties” with young boys. At the time, Goodrich had been working as an intern at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh.

On Dec. 13, current student Justin Eugene Taylor, 27, was arrested on one count of indecent liberties with a child. He was released on a $40,000 bond.

Taylor worked at an after-hours YMCA program at Jones Dairy Elementary School, located near the seminary campus in Wake Forest, N.C. He has since been dismissed from the program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Choir director sexually abused minors, his lawyer says

GREENWICH (CT)
The Advocate

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published December 22 2007

GREENWICH - A church choir director who was caught with child pornography also engaged in sexual conduct with minors, his lawyer acknowledged yesterday, but the incidents did not involve parishioners.

Francis O'Reilly, a Fairfield-based criminal lawyer for former Christ Church Greenwich choir director Robert Tate, said his client has disclosed his actions as part of a treatment program for sexually deviant behavior.

"It is important to understand there were very few instances of any improper sexual conduct by Mr. Tate," O'Reilly said. "Any such instances were many years ago, and there was never any disclosure of him engaging in such conduct with members of the Christ Church community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Church officials deny cover-up

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Times

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published December 22 2007

After being blasted by a federal judge earlier this week, officials of Christ Church Greenwich have sent parishioners a letter blaming the advice of their lawyer for missteps in handling the discovery of child pornography on a laptop computer owned by longtime music director Robert Tate and said the church was not trying to cover up.

In the letter dated Tuesday, Senior Warden Ted Pryor and Junior Warden Timothy Carpenter write the church acted on the counsel of their then-attorney Philip Russell, 48, and that they felt the need to respond to "issues" raised during Russell's sentencing for illegally destroying the computer to prevent law enforcement from finding the pornography.

During the sentencing on Monday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Judge Alan H. Nevas scorned Russell and the church for their decision not to report the child pornography to law enforcement. Nevas said Russell's destruction of the pornography might have prevented the incident from coming to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Case to change venue

MISSOURI
Neosho Daily News

By John Ford
Neosho Daily News
Fri Dec 21, 2007, 05:01 PM CST

Neosho, Mo. -
A change of venue has been granted to a Granby pastor accused of child sexual abuse.

The trial for George Otis Johnston will move to Vernon County on a change of venue from Newton County. According to Bill Dobbs, Newton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, the trial will begin July 14. A week has been set aside for the proceedings, which will take place in Nevada, Dobbs said.

“We anticipate it will go a little shorter than that,” Dobbs said. “But it could easily go four days.”

Johnston, the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church, faces 17 felony charges, including nine counts of first degree statutory sodomy, six charges of second degree statutory sodomy, and two counts of first degree child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Judge rules charge against Elgin minister will stand

ELGIN (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
December 22, 2007
ELGIN - A judge refused Friday to dismiss one of the counts against an Elgin minister charged with spanking a 12-year-old girl whose mother did not believe her claims that she had been sexually abused.

Rev. Daryl Bujak, pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church, faces battery and other misdemeanor charges, including a charge he failed to report the sexual abuse allegations to authorities.

Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles rejected a defense argument that Bujak enjoyed an exemption from the law that mandates teachers, medical professionals and clergy to report abuse. The exception, Boles said, was intended to protect those who confess to clergy -- not to relieve the clergy from reporting sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Judge refuses to dismiss charge against pastor

ELGIN (IL)
Daily Herald

By Gene Haschak | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 12/22/2007

An attempt to dismiss one of the charges against the Rev. Daryl Bujak of the First Missionary Baptist Church of Elgin was denied Friday in Elgin branch court.

Authorities say a 12-year-old McHenry County girl came to Bujak in March 2005 telling him a relative had sexually molested her on several occasions.

After weekly counseling sessions that lasted about two months, Bujak, the pastor of her church, spanked the girl with a 3-foot length of 2-inch wood molding, prosecutors say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Pastor accused of sodomising male nurse

SWAZILAND
Weekend Observer

Stories by Mfanukhona Nkambule

A pastor from one of the well-known evangelical churches in Swaziland, Nazarene, has been suspended from the pulpit on allegations that he sexually abused a church member ,who happens to be a male nurse at Matsanjeni South Clinic.

The pastor reportedly stirred the hornet’s nest when he advised the nurse against marrying a Christian lady from the Zion Sect.

Thereafter, allegations started doing rounds that the pastor was jealous of the nurse because the nurse’s proposed marriage would deprive him of sexual favours from him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Judge: Law requires clergy to report sex abuse

ELGIN (IL)
The Courier News

By David gialanella Staff Writer
ELGIN -- A judge decided Friday that an Elgin pastor's status as a clergyman would not legally excuse him from failing to report the suspected sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl, which authorities have charged him with.

The Rev. Daryl P. Bujak, 30, of the First Missionary Baptist Church, 385 Silver St., also is accused of spanking the girl on several occasions because he believed she was lying about being abused by her stepfather. The stepfather since has been charged in connection with the alleged assaults.

In Elgin Branch Court Friday, Judge Susan Clancy Boles denied a defense motion to dismiss one misdemeanor charge of failing to report a suspected sexual abuse, ruling that Bujak had not met his burden of proof to establish the legally recognized principle of confidentiality between a clergy member and an individual member of the congregation. His lawyer argued that clergyman's privilege -- which cannot be waived, he said -- precluded him from telling anyone what the girl had told him. Prosecutors argued clergy members are "mandatory reporters" under a state law when it comes to suspected sex abuse, and therefore could not have been bound by clergyman's privilege. Bujak also is charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Scandals don't hurt church gifts

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

December 21, 2007
Church donations rose 2.5 percent to nearly $203 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, according to an Archdiocese of Chicago financial report released Thursday.

During that time, the archdiocese said it settled $8.6 million in past clergy sexual misconduct cases. Another $3.7 million in settlements were reached since June.

The archdiocese borrowed money to fund all settlements, which are "repaid from the sale of undeveloped land and recoveries from insurance companies," the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Russell Confined, Not Imprisoned, for Cover-up

By Anne W. Semmes
Article Last Updated: 12/21/2007 01:59:10 PM EST


BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Greenwich Citizen

BRIDGEPORT -- Philip Russell, 49, a prominent Greenwich attorney and Stamford resident, was spared prison in his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas in U.S. District Court Monday. Russell was sentenced to one year of probation, with the first six months confined to his home with electronic monitoring, 240 hours of community service and a fine of $25,000.

The charge against Russell originated over a year ago when Christ Episcopal Church called him in for legal counsel on the discovery of child pornography in the computer of the church's long-time music director, Robert Tate.

Tate is now in a sex-offender treatment center in Minneapolis awaiting sentencing in late January. Church officials had sealed and wrapped Tate's laptop computer, treating it as evidence, but Russell, whose wife, Sally, is a church member and whose daughter, Rachel, sang in the Church choir, chose to destroy the evidence and not report it to the FBI -- to keep the investigation within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Accused priest has his defenders

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

y VALERIE RUSS
Philadelphia Daily News
russv@phillynews.com 215-854-5987

Some former Archbishop Ryan students of Rev. Charles Newman are outraged.
They say the Rev. Newman, accused in a grand jury investigation of stealing nearly $1 million, isn't the same Father Charles they knew.

District Attorney Lynne Abraham said Thursday that a grand jury had found that Newman, 57, took $900,000 from both the archdiocesan high school and his own Franciscan Friars order.

Abraham also said that Newman sexually molested Arthur Bacelice III, a 1996 graduate of Archbishop Ryan, and at least three to four other male students. She said he had given the teens drugs and alcohol to seduce them to engage in sexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

December 21, 2007

Marriage not a Cure for Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

December 21st, 2007 ·
Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed has made some comments on my book. He thinks that having some married clergy would help remedy the situation.I am less certain. Certainly celibacy creates a culture in which many or most clerics have sexual secrets: affairs with men or women, abuse of boys or children (rarely teenage girls, for some reason). But churches that allow married clergy have similar problems, as I document in the book. Married clergy not only have affairs with laypeople but abuse teenage boys and girls. Male clergy are the usual culprits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 PM

In the spirit: Preparing for Christ

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

By BILL CUNNINGHAM
The Orange County Register

As one of the holiest days of the Christian year approaches, Orange County residents are scurrying from mall to mall. Many of these shoppers have a great deal of information about gifts but few facts about the celebration itself.

Despite what Christmas pageants and popular hymns may indicate, the Bible never states that Jesus was born in a stable; or that three wise men showed up at the manger; or even that Dec. 25 was the date of Jesus' birth. We don't even know the year of his birth. ...

The Roman Catholic presence in California began in the 1700s when Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan friar, built a string of missions. San Juan Capistrano's mission was founded in 1776. Two hundred years later, in 1976, Pope Paul VI established the Diocese of Orange. And in 1998, Brown became the third bishop of the diocese.

As bishop, Brown is both pastor and the chief operating officer for the diocese. A difficult role, especially when dealing with parishioners angered over the recent sexual abuse cases and other legal matters that have entangled the church. Brown finds himself seeking guidance through prayers and advisers. "We continue to try to communicate our message and our concern for the victims and their families," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Protesting Clergy Sex Crimes

BOSTON (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

PROTESTING CLERGY SEX CRIMES — Richard Orareo stood outside Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston on the fifth anniversary of Cardinal Bernard Law's resignation. Dominic Chavez / Globe Staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Friars call theft charges against Wis. priest 'very troubling'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WBAY

Associated Press - December 21, 2007 9:55 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Franciscan Friars say it's very troubling that a Wisconsin priest is charged with stealing $900,000 and using some of it to ply a student he had molested with drugs and alcohol.

The Rev. Charles Newman - who once led the largest Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia - was charged in that city yesterday.

The 57-year-old now lives at a Franciscan retirement home in Pulaski, Wisconsin.

The Rev. Leslie Hoppe, Provincial Minister of the Franciscan Friars Assumption BVM Province called the charges against Newman "serious and very troubling."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Alleged sex abuse victims sue Kansas City diocese

MISSOURI
The Examiner

By Toriano L. Porter | toriano.porter@examiner.net

Two victims of alleged sex abuse by a former Roman Catholic priest have filed lawsuits against the priest and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph alleging that the priest sexually abused them when they were altar boys.

John Doe B.B. of Kansas, 52, claims that the Rev. Thomas Reardon abused him in 1968 in the St. Elizabeth rectory in south Kansas City. The alleged victim was 12 years old at the time.

John Doe M.D. of Missouri, 46, claims Reardon abused him at St. Gabriel's the Archangel parish in North Kansas City when he was in the fifth grade. The abuse continued until the victim was in the eighth grade, the suit alleges.

Sources close to the case said one victim came forward just weeks ago, the other months ago. Reardon, who has 14 other such lawsuits pending against him in Jackson County, has denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Portland diocese passes audit on child safety

By Judy Harrison
Friday, December 21, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND (ME)
Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is in full compliance with national protocols set up five years ago to safeguard children, the diocese announced Thursday in an annual audit.

The diocese was one of about a dozen across the country that volunteered to be part of the first expanded audit, which included parishes and schools.

"An examination at that level is where we can really determine if our policies are working," Bishop Richard J. Malone said Thursday. "The churches and schools are where children are on a regular basis. I applaud this initiative to check compliance more thoroughly so that parishioners can be assured their children are safe."

The audits were completed in September and the bishop’s office in Portland recently received the results, according to the press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Priest living at Bellarmine moved after alleged sexual misconduct in Washington

SAN JOSE (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Kim Vo
Mercury News
Article Launched: 12/21/2007 11:37:16 AM PST

A Jesuit priest living at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose has been moved after religious leaders learned he is being investigated "for an alleged recent incident of sexual misconduct with a minor while on a pastoral assignment," according to a letter Bellarmine's president sent to parents, faculty and alumni.

Father Carlton Whitten, who is semi-retired, had been living part-time on the Bellarmine campus, though he was not teaching at the elite school. Instead, the priest recently worked throughout the western states, filling in for priests on sabbatical or vacation.

It was during one of those assignments in Washington that the alleged misconduct occurred, said Father Al Naucke, socius with the Jesuits California province.

A bishop in Washington informed the California province. Leaders alerted Bellarmine on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Priest Accused Of Stealing Nearly $1M From School, Order

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

PHILADELPHIA -- Prosecutors said he took advantage of his position to steal huge sums of money.

The Rev. Charles Newman was a trusted religious figure who spent nearly 20 years as an educator, principal and president of Archbishop Ryan High School.

Investigators said Thursday that it was through a multiyear investigation into missing money that they uncovered new allegations of drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse.

Read: Archdiocese Statement
Images | Video

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Church complies with safe-child rules

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

By DAVID HENCH, Staff Writer

December 21, 2007

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is complying with the Church's child protection measures, according to an outside audit that included checks on several parishes.

The annual audit by the Gavin Group was done in September. This year, the Maine diocese volunteered to be one of the first in the nation to undergo an expanded audit that included visits to parishes to ensure that they are complying with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The charter was adopted in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to the scandal involving priests' sexual abuse of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Sex assault suspect jailed again

COLORADO
Daily Camera

By Vanessa Miller
Thursday, December 20, 2007

Peter Kim apparently thought his appearance in Boulder County District Court on Thursday morning would be a routine rescheduling of a hearing for an alleged bond violation stemming from his arrest on sexual assault charges.

But, after a judge reset Kim's bond-violation hearing for Jan. 4, a prosecutor asked that Kim be held for 15 minutes because there was a new warrant for his arrest. Deputy District Attorney Adrian Vannice said Kim's bond had been revoked -- triggering the arrest warrant -- after he was jailed in November on suspicion of violating the conditions of his bond for the third time. ...

Kim is accused of sexually assaulting a child he met at a Longmont church -- a case that resulted in a deadlocked jury in November. His bond-violation arrest came days after his trial ended.

He was booked on suspicion of violating the terms of his bond by being around minors other than his own children at Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette. His other two bond-violation arrests came after police said he went to his children's elementary school holiday celebration and school sporting events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

No forum on sex charges

WAUCONDA (IL)
Daily Herald

A public forum regarding alleged sexual abuse at a Wauconda church summer camp will not be held. Officials of the Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church said in a release earlier this week they would host a forum Sunday to discuss issues surrounding the recent arrest of a 17-year-old former camp counselor on allegations he abused two children ages 7 and 8. A church employee Thursday said no meeting will be held nor had that been the intent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Educator was thief, abuser, D.A. says

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Michael Matza
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Franciscan friar who taught at Archbishop Ryan High School molested at least three students a decade ago and later, as school president from 2002 to 2003, stole $900,000 from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and his religious order to enrich himself and provide drugs, alcohol and cash for at least one victim, District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said yesterday.

In presenting a grand jury's multi-count theft-and-forgery indictment against the Rev. Charles Newman, 57, Abraham said at least $53,000 in checks and cash went to the late Arthur Baselice, who in the 1990s attended Archbishop Ryan, Philadelphia's largest Roman Catholic high school.

Abraham said that many of the payments were made openly, in front of bookkeepers and other staff who became concerned and complained to administrators about the apparent impropriety.

Before his death of a drug overdose in 2006, which Abraham characterized as "suicide," Baselice filed an unsuccessful civil suit against the archdiocese, saying Newman "routinely performed oral sex" on him while plying him with drugs and alcohol.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Diocese In Compliance With National Charter

PORTLAND (ME)
WMTW

PORTLAND, Maine -- Maine's Catholic diocese said it is in full compliance with national protocols that were set up five years ago to safeguard children from sexual abuse.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said it has been found in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which was adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 in the wake of the church's priest sexual abuse scandal.

The diocese is one of about a dozen across the country that this year participated in an expanded audit, which includes checks on parishes and schools, to examine how well the policies are working.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Priest who headed Philly school accused of stealing $900K

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Centre Daily Times

By MARYCLAIRE DALE- Associated Press Writer
PHILADELPHIA — A priest who led the largest Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia stole $900,000 and used some of it to ply a student he had molested with drugs and alcohol, prosecutors said Thursday.

The Rev. Charles Newman became president of Archbishop Ryan High School in July 2002 but was fired 15 months later when questions arose about his handling of school finances.

Forensic audits show he stole $331,000 from the school and more than $550,000 from his religious order, the Franciscan Friars, District Attorney Lynne Abraham said.

Newman, 57, gave $54,000 to former student Arthur Baselice III, who later sued over what he described as a sexual relationship with Newman that started when he was a high school junior. The pair would meet at Newman's office or residence and often used drugs together while having sex, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Ex-Dolphins Chaplain Accused Of Sex Abuse

MIAMI (FL)
Local 10

MIAMI -- A former chaplain for the Miami Dolphins is accused of sexually abusing a teenage altar boy over a five-year period in the late 1970s.

The allegations are detailed in a $10 million negligence lawsuit filed Thursday against the Archdiocese of Miami.

The Rev. Donald Walk was also a priest at North Miami's St. James Catholic Church, Local 10's Glenna Milberg reported.

The accuser, now 43 years old, is identified in the lawsuit as John Doe No. 42. In a rare move, he came forward publicly Thursday.

"I've spent many years trying to forget about it. I'm just now coming to terms," said Eddy Carvin, who lives in Northwest Florida. "The church is such a big thing in my heart. You think you're doing the right thing no matter what."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Priest Accused Of Stealing Nearly $1M From School, Order

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
MSNBC

WCAU-TV

PHILADELPHIA - Prosecutors said he took advantage of his position to steal huge sums of money. The Rev. Charles Newman was a trusted religious figure who spent nearly 20 years as an educator, principal and president of Archbishop Ryan High School.

Investigators said Thursday that it was through a multiyear investigation into missing money that they uncovered new allegations of drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse.

Newman vowed to live a life of chastity, order and poverty, but Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said the reverend didn't live that life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Man Says He Was Sexually Abused By Former Miami Dolphins Chaplain

MIAMI (FL)
NBC 6

MIAMI -- A dark cloud hung over the Archdiocese of Miami and a former chaplain for the Miami Dolphins after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced once again on Thursday.

A place of peace, refuge and forgiveness became an unholy ground for alleged victim Eddie Carvan, now in his 40s.

"My name is Eddie Carvan, and I'm here today to come forward as a victim of child abuse by a Catholic priest," Carvan said.

Carvan said that, decades ago, the Rev. Donald Walk of St. James Church in Miami, who was also a former team chaplain for the Miami Dolphins, sexually abused him when he was a teenager.

On Thursday he announced that he's fighting back in court. Carvan said he is suing Walk and the Archdiocese of Miami for up to $10 million in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Archdiocese gets financial boost

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez | Tribune religion reporter
December 21, 2007
Increased church contributions and the freezing of a lay pension plan helped boost assets at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago to a record $179 million in the last fiscal year, according to financial reports released Thursday.

But increased costs in medical benefits for retired priests led to a loss of $15 million in parishes' net assets, a drop from $941 million in 2006 to $926 million in 2007. Of the nearly 830 clergy in Chicago's archdiocese, approximately 230 priests are retired, said Susan Burritt, an archdiocese spokeswoman.

Claims related to past sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests continued to impact Chicago's church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Former Dolphins chaplain accused of sexual abuse

MIAMI (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Mike Clary | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 21, 2007

A Catholic priest and former chaplain for the Miami Dolphins was accused in a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Miami Thursday of sexually abusing a 13-year-old altar boy at St. James Catholic Church in North Miami over a five-year period beginning in 1977.

The plaintiff, now 43, alleges that the Rev. Donald Walk took him to Dolphins games and introduced him to players and coaches as he groomed him for abuse.

Walk, now retired and living in Venice, Fla., has been accused of sexual abuse in two other cases filed by the plaintiff's attorney, Jeffrey Herman. The archdiocese settled one of those cases as part of a six-case, $750,000 payment in 2006. The other case is pending, Herman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Two men allege molestation in lawsuit against former priest, Catholic diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star

Two men sued a former Roman Catholic priest and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on Thursday for alleged molestation when the men were altar boys.

John Doe B.B. of Kansas, 52, contends that the Rev. Thomas Reardon sexually abused him in 1968 in the St. Elizabeth rectory in Kansas City after his mother asked the priest to explain “the facts of life” to the 12-year-old boy.

John Doe M.D., 46, of Missouri and his wife contend that Reardon, now 65, abused him at St. Gabriel’s parish in Kansas City when Doe was in the fifth to eighth grades.

According to the lawsuits, Reardon kept the boys quiet by persuading them that the acts were a normal part of life or even beneficial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

D.A.: Priest from Ryan stole 900G

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By VALERIE RUSS
Philadelphia Daily News
russv@phillynews.com 215-854-5987

"Instead of a living a life of poverty, chastity and obedience," as Franciscan friars vow to do, a former Philadelphia Catholic high-school principal "chose a life of sexual debauchery, lechery, lying and stealing," Philadelphia's district attorney charged yesterday.

The Rev. Charles Newman, who taught and worked at Archbishop Ryan High School for more than 20 years, stole at least $900,000 from two religious institutions, D.A. Lynne Abraham said. He faces seven felony theft and forgery charges, she added.

Newman, 57, took more than $331,000 from the archdiocesan high school and more than $550,000 from his own order of Franciscan friars, according to a grand-jury presentment released yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Priest ordered to Delaware court

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Friday, December 21, 2007

WILMINGTON -- For the second time this week, a judge has ordered an out-of-town priest to appear in Delaware to answer questions related to a child sexual abuse lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Judge Sue L. Robinson on Thursday ordered the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca of Syracuse, N.Y., to appear for deposition on or before Jan. 15, unless attorneys for both parties agree to another date.

The order was issued after Wilmington attorney Thomas S. Neuberger complained DeLuca was refusing to come to Delaware for deposition in a lawsuit filed by Robert Quill, who is suing for abuses he says occurred between 1968 and 1975. DeLuca has denied the allegations in court filings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Texas diocese settles 3 Teczar suits

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Lisa D. Welsh and Jay Whearley TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
jwhearley@telegram.com

Out-of-court settlements have been reached in three sexual abuse lawsuits filed in Texas against convicted child molester Thomas H. Teczar, who was stripped of his priestly duties and forced to leave the Catholic Diocese of Worcester in the mid-1980s amid numerous allegations that he sexually assaulted young boys in at least three Central Massachusetts parishes.

Mr. Teczar was convicted in March of the aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy at a parish in Ranger, Texas, where he was serving as priest starting in 1993. Mr. Teczar was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The victim testified during the trial that his attacker used threats, persuasion and the use of his Mercedes automobile to entice him, and at one point told the boy he would have him taken away from his mother if he didn’t continue to have sex and keep it secret.

He was charged in Eastland, Texas with the crime in 2002 and freed on $30,000 bail, then rearrested in December that year at a home he maintained in Dudley, Mass., on a warrant alleging he was a fugitive from justice. He returned on his own to Texas for his arraignment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

December 20, 2007

Archdiocese Statement Regarding Newman

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

Statement Regarding Presentment Against Reverend Charles Newman, O.F.M.

The presentment against Reverend Charles Newman, a Franciscan Friar, issued on December 20, 2007, is the culmination of two independent investigative processes conducted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. The investigations began in late 2003 when the Archdiocese suspected that funds were being misappropriated at Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia. The fraudulent use of funds was a betrayal of trust within the Archbishop Ryan Community; however, the greater tragedy was the sexual abuse of a minor which was discovered by the Archdiocese during the financial audits.

Knowing that child sexual abuse can affect all areas of victims’ lives, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia offers to assist victims of sexual abuse by clergy with their present and future needs. The Archdiocese also recognizes that reports like this can cause a reoccurrence of trauma for other victims of sexual assault. If you are the victim of sexual abuse by a cleric, staff or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and need assistance, please call the Victim Assistance coordinators at 1-888-800-8780. In light of this situation, we are particularly concerned at this time for our former students from Archbishop Ryan High School and invite them to contact us if they need assistance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Archdiocese of Miami Facing Sexual Abuse Suit

MIAMI (FL)
CBS 4

MIAMI (CBS4) ― The Archdiochiese of Miami is facing yet another sexual abuse allegation, after a Miami man who claims he was a victim of sexual abuse came forward after 30 years.

The alleged victim and his attorney Jeffrey Herman held a press conference Thursday announcing the suit against Father Donald Walk a former priest at St. James Catholic Church in Miami.

The suit alleges that Walk, a former Miami Dolphins Chaplain, sexually abused the man for five years beginning in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Wisconsin priest who headed Philadelphia school accused of stealing $900K

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Appleton Post-Crescent

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Wisconsin priest who once led the largest Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia stole $900,000 and used some of it to ply a student he had molested with drugs and alcohol, prosecutors said Thursday.

The Rev. Charles Newman became president of Archbishop Ryan High School in July 2002 but was fired 15 months later when questions arose about his handling of school finances.

Forensic audits show he stole $331,000 from the school and more than $500,000 from his religious order, the Franciscan Friars, Dist. Atty. Lynne Abraham said.

Newman, 57, gave $54,000 to former student Arthur Baselice III, who later sued over what he described as a sexual relationship with Newman that started when he was a high school junior. The pair would meet at Newman’s office or residence and often used drugs together while having sex, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Ex-Archbishop Ryan High president charged with theft

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Michael Matza
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

What began as an investigation into alleged financial fraud quickly snowballed, leading to criminal charges today that the former president of Archbishop Ryan High School, a Franciscan friar, sexually abused at least three students, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in Archdiocesan and Franciscan funds, and gave at least $53,000 to a particular student with whom he had an affair fueled by drug-and-alcohol abuse, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said at a news conference.

An arrest warrant was issued for Rev. Charles Newman, 57, who became president of the high school in July 2002 and was fired in November 2003 following a forensic audit that revealed some of the thefts, Abraham said.

At that time, said Abraham, Newman admitted he had made mistakes and was ordered by the church to undergo counseling and treatment for "sexual predatory conduct."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Dramatic decline reported in L.A. church sex abuse cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

A dramatic decline in cases of sexual abuse by clergy and other church employees in the Los Angeles Archdiocese are the result of the enactment of "ever more effective methods for dealing with claims of abuse," according to Sister Sheila McNiff, Victims Assistance Ministry coordinator for the Archdiocese.

"As the causes and warning signs of abusive behavior became better understood by society and the church, the archdiocese implemented preventive training programs for priests, teachers, other lay employees, volunteers and children," wrote Sister McNiff, in an article and chart published in the Dec. 18 Los Angeles Times. "Fingerprinting and criminal background checks were required for seminarians, priests, lay employees and volunteers."

The chart, details the years during which 254 perpetrators were alleged to have victimized the 553 people involved in the civil cases in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Most of the incidents were reported for the first time as a result of lawsuits filed in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Woman alleges O'Grady abuse in lawsuit

LODI (CA)
News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow
News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Updated: Thursday, December 20, 2007 7:04 AM PST

A 43-year-old woman has sued the Stockton Diocese, claiming that former priest Oliver O'Grady sexually abused her several times while she attended St. Anne's School in the 1970s, according to the diocese and two attorneys.

The woman, whose name was not disclosed, says that while she was punished at school, O'Grady sought her out in the guise of soothing her, according to the plaintiff's attorney, Devin Storey, from the San Diego law firm of Zalkin and Zimmer.

O'Grady had the girl sit on his lap and he would tell her a story, which led to the abuse, Storey said. The alleged abuse ended when she was in about the fifth grade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Ruling awaited in abuse case

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Perry County News

By KEVIN KOELLING
Managing Editor

INDIANAPOLIS - A man who allegedly sexually abused five boys while serving as a priest in Tell City, Cannelton and Troy has admitted to sexually abusing some others and admitted "he may have also had contact with others," according to a lawyer representing 17 people who've accused the former clergyman of the crime.

Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker said Monday afternoon he felt he'd just successfully argued against the first of several summary-judgment requests from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to stop civil suits filed against that organization and former priest Harry A. Monroe.

If granted, a summary judgment would be a declaration that the plaintiff could not pursue a case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Philly priest accused of theft

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Courier-Post

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A priest who was the head of a Catholic school in Philadelphia has been accused of stealing $900,000.

The Rev. Charles Newman was president of Archbishop Ryan High School from July 2002 to November 2003. Prosecutors say he stole $331,000 from the school and more than $500,000 from his religious order, the Franciscan Friars.

He was charged Thursday with six counts of felony theft charges and a count of felony forgery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Cardinal Rivera denounces excesses of reporters who “destroy the reputation of others”

MEXICO
Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Dec 20, 2007 / 12:22 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, denounced the excess of reporters who “destroy the dignity, the good name of people” with no regard for whether they are innocent or not. “They don’t kill man’s body, but they are a snake that destroys the reputation of others.” ...

At the conclusion of his visit, Cardinal Rivera told reporters that his comments about them should not be generalized, “in the same way that when a priest is accused of illicit activities it shouldn’t be said that all are like that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Rabbi Accused Of Molesting Bar Mitzvah Students

PIKESVILLE (MD)
WJZ

PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) ― At a kosher deli off Reisterstown Road in a Pikesville stripmall, Eyewitness News found Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro, a butcher who jumped out from behind his desk and hid from our cameras when we tried to ask him about new criminal charges that he sexually abused two young boys during Bar Mitzvah lessons.

Shapiro never came out, but a coworker did. The man later yelled at Eyewitness News after we walked out the door that the allegations against Shapiro were "fabricated."

City prosecutors say "Over the past several months, police and prosecutors have conducted an extensive investigation that led to the charges."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Costa Rican Convicted in Reporter Death

COSTA RICA
San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

(12-19) 20:28 PST SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) --

A court convicted a businessman of ordering the 2001 murder of a journalist who denounced fraud at a religious radio station, but acquitted a priest of the killing.

The businessman, Omar Chaves, was sentenced to 35 years for paying a gunman to kill Colombian-born journalist Parmenio Medina. The gunman, Luis Alberto Aguirre, got the same sentence.

Chaves ran Radio Maria with Father Minor de Jesus Calvo, who was acquitted in the murder case but convicted of fraud and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Chaves also got a 12-year prison sentence on the fraud count.

Medina's reporting on the misuse of donations solicited by Calvo's radio station was believed to be the motive behind his killing. Medina, gunned down in his car on July 7, 2001 at age 62, ran a radio program called "La Patada," or "The Kick."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Diocese Found Compliant in National Audit

WORCESTER (MA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

November 9, 2007, Worcester, MA – The Office of the Bishop announced today that the Diocese of Worcester was found compliant in the 2007 Audit conducted in early October as part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The bishop was notified of the results in a letter from the Gavin Group, the Boston-based audit firm which was contracted by the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This was the third audit performed since the charter was initially implemented in 2002 and the third time the Diocese of Worcester was found in full compliance. The audit preparation was coordinated by Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, chancellor for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Giuliani, in KC, sets sights on Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By SCOTT CANON
The Kansas City Star
His front-runner status slipping fast, Rudy Giuliani whisked through Missouri Wednesday saying he was the Republicans’ best shot at a “50-state candidate.”

After a fundraising lunch in downtown Kansas City, he told reporters that while his competition continues to concentrate on states that fall earlier in the primary schedule, he was looking more intensely to fare well in Missouri and the load of other states that have lined up for the Super Tuesday primaries on Feb. 5. ...

He was asked as he was leaving the news conference about his relationship with Monsignor Alan Placa, a childhood friend and the man who performed the services at the former mayor’s second wedding.

Placa was barred from the ministry after being accused of sexual abuse and of helping cover up abuse by other priests. Placa is an analyst with the candidate’s Giuliani Partners consulting firm.

“I trust him,” Giuliani said. “I have faith in him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

U.S. priest in court on jogging naked charge

UNITED STATES
RIA Novosti

WASHINGTON, December 20 (RIA Novosti) - A 53 year-old Catholic priest pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent exposure after being caught walking down the street naked in the city of Frederick in Colorado, U.S. media said.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey who was stopped in the street by an off-duty police officer at around 4:30 a.m., told police he liked to jog in the nude.

Whipkey said he went jogging nude because he was "a heavy man and wearing clothing while running makes me sweat profusely," adding that at that time of the morning he was sure he would be the only person around.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Woman Who Stole From Church Gets A Little Help

STONINGTON (CT)
The Day

By Karen Florin , Published on 12/20/2007

Beverly A. Rezendes had the bishop on her side when she appeared before a New London judge Wednesday to be sentenced for stealing $20,000 from St. Mary Church in Stonington.

The 62-year-old former church employee was facing up to three months in prison, but Judge Susan B. Handy gave her a fully suspended sentence, based in part on a request for leniency from Bishop Michael R. Cote of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich.

“You stole from your church,” the judge said. “I mean, it doesn't get much worse than that. You worked there for 13 years.”

Rezendes, who was standing with defense attorney Daniel Cunningham, reached for a tissue as the judge continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Myanmar monks named top US religion newsmakers in 2007

UNITED STATES
Ecumenical News Network

Chris Herlinger
New York (ENI). Buddhist monks who led anti-government demonstrations in Myanmar (formerly Burma) have been selected as the top religion newsmakers of the year, in a poll of secular journalists who write about religion for media in the United States. "More than half of those responding to the survey chose the monks over Pope Benedict XVI, President George W. Bush and US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, among others," the Religion Newswriters Association said in announcing the results of a survey of its members about the top religion stories of the year. ...

10. The continuing financial toll sexual abuse cases are exacting on the US Roman Catholic Church. The financial figure of settled cases surpassed US$2.1 billion in 2007 with settlements that included a record US$660 million settlement involving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Lawyer Deserves Disbarment

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

December 20, 2007

Lawyers have a duty to protect their clients' interests — but not by destroying evidence of child pornography, as attorney Philip D. Russell of Greenwich did. For that, he must be disbarred.

Mr. Russell was charged February with obstructing justice by smashing a laptop computer onto which a choirmaster for a Greenwich church had downloaded child pornography.

An employee of the church had discovered the pornography on Robert Tate's laptop last fall, and church officials quickly hired Mr. Russell as their attorney. Unaware that Mr. Tate was under investigation by the FBI, Mr. Russell referred him to a defense lawyer, then destroyed the laptop without reporting what was on it, to avoid a scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Duddy returns to post at Dignity/USA

MASSACHUSETTS
Bay Windows

by Laura Kiritsy
associate editor
Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

After an absence of several years, Marianne Duddy-Burke of Hyde Park is once again taking over as the executive director of Dignity USA, a national organization of LGBT Catholics. Duddy-Burke will begin her duties on Jan. 3 at Dignity USA’s new headquarters in Boston.

Duddy-Burke stepped down from the executive director position about four years ago, following the birth of her daughter. She led the organization through a difficult period after the priestly sexual abuse scandal unfolded and gay men were scapegoated by the Church hierarchy and its conservative members.

"Honestly, I think that it’s been good for me to have a chance to step away and recharge my batteries," said Duddy-Burke, who has also served in the leadership of Dignity/Boston, the organization’s local chapter. "Being on the frontline, especially during the sexual abuse crisis was emotionally and spiritually very exhausting. Now I’ve got my energy back."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Catholic priest admits sexually abusing at least 25 children

CALIFORNIA
Pravda

By Margarita Snegireva

A woman sued a Roman Catholic eparchy over being sexually abused by a former catholic priest who was defrocked and deported to Ireland for molesting church people.

A 43-year-old woman who preferred to remain unnamed said Oliver O'Grady abused her when she was a child attending a parish in northern California .

O'Grady has admitted to abusing at least 25 children and has cost the diocese millions of dollars in settlements of civil sexual-abuse lawsuits.

A lawyer for the Stockton diocese says three additional suits are pending against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Church not forthcoming with info

WAUCONDA (IL)
News-Sun

December 20, 2007
news-sun staff report
Lake County Sheriff's Office detectives will be meeting with a Wauconda church pastor and his legal advisor today in an effort to get more information about students that were taught by a former counselor arrested for sex offenses.

Zachary Carlson, 17, of 400 N. Main St., Wauconda, is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X felony, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony.

Carlson was working as a counselor at Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, 25225 W. Ivanhoe Road, Wauconda, in August when he allegedly had sexual contact four times with an 8-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl. Both children reported the incidents to their parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Fort Worth Diocese settles abuse case against priest

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

From staff reports

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth has settled another abuse case brought by victims of the Rev. Thomas Teczar. Terms and the three victims' names were not disclosed.

In 2005, the diocese settled a $4.15 million lawsuit brought by victims of Mr. Teczar, who was convicted this year of sexual assault and indecency with an 11-year-old boy in Eastland County. He's serving a 25-year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Woman sues US diocese over alleged sex abuse by priest deported to Ireland

FRESNO (CA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: December 20, 2007

FRESNO, California: A woman has filed suit against a Roman Catholic diocese uin California, claiming she was molested by a former Catholic priest from Ireland who was defrocked and deported for sexual abuse.

The unnamed 43-year-old plaintiff alleges Oliver O'Grady abused her when she was a child attending a parish in Lodi, northern California, in the 1970s, according to the lawsuit filed Oct. 31 against the Diocese of Stockton in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

O'Grady has admitted to abusing at least 25 children and has cost the diocese millions of dollars in settlements of civil sexual-abuse lawsuits.

A lawyer for the Stockton diocese says three additional suits are pending against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Californian woman suing Church over abuse by Irish former priest

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A woman is suing a Catholic diocese in the US, claiming she was molested by a former priest from Ireland.

The unnamed 43-year-old alleges that Oliver O'Grady who was defrocked and deported for sexual abuse, abused her when she was a child attending a parish in northern California.

Oliver O'Grady has admitted to abusing at least 25 children and has cost the Diocese of Stockton millions of dollars in settlements of civil sexual-abuse lawsuits.

He was deported to Ireland in 2001 after a seven-year jail term for molesting two brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Diocese faces new abuse suit

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

By Anna Kaplan
Record Staff Writer
December 20, 2007 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - A new lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Stockton alleges that former priest Oliver O'Grady sexually abused another child while serving in Lodi in the 1970s.

A 43-year-old female plaintiff filed the suit anonymously, claiming she was a student of O'Grady's at St. Anne's parish school in the early to mid-'70s when the abuse took place.

It is one of many such suits against O'Grady, who served prison time for child molestation and then became the subject of an award-winning documentary about his crimes.

O'Grady was convicted in 1993 of molesting two boys, served seven years in Ione's Mule Creek State Prison and was deported to Ireland in 2000. He disappeared after the documentary, "Deliver Us from Evil," came out in theaters, according to reports by U.S. and Irish newspapers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

You could be challenged about that

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Incidents of sexual abuse of minors by clergy have dropped off dramatically since the mid-1980s, said Sister Sheila McNiff, writing in the Dec. 16 Los Angeles Times. Why is this, asked McNiff, coordinator of the Los Angeles archdiocese’s Victims Assistance Ministry? Because, she said, the archdiocese has implemented effective sexual abuse policies.

A graph accompanying McNiff’s article illustrated the rate of alleged abuse 1931-2006. During this period, 254 lay and clergy members allegedly abused the 553 people in involved in the civil cases against the archdiocese. Most of the cases were reported in 2003. “The graph shows that most of the abuse was clustered from the late 1950s to the early 1980s,” wrote McNiff. “…By the mid-1980s, however, the graph shows that incidents drop off dramatically. For instance, while there were 49 offenders who abused victims in 1981, that number dropped to 11 in 1991, and there were none in 2001.”

Cases of abuse dropped off in the mid 1980s, said McNiff, because, “beginning with the first published policies and procedures regarding clergy abuse in 1987, the archdiocese enacted ever more effective methods for dealing with claims of abuse by its priests, religious brothers and sisters and lay employees. These efforts included norms for appropriate behavior with children and young people, as well as the permanent removal from ministry of those found to have committed abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Diocese reaches settlement with priest's accusers

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Thomas Teczar Three alleged victims of convicted child molester the Rev. Thomas Teczar have reached an out-of-court settlement with the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese.

But their lawyer, Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas, says she's prepared to go to trial for a fourth man who says he was abused by Teczar and another priest, the Rev. James Hanlon, who died in 1990.

Financial details of the settlement for the three men, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed at the victims' request. In 2005, the diocese paid $4.15 million to settle a lawsuit by two other men who said they were abused by Teczar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Men File Abuse Lawsuit Against KC Priest

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox Kansas City

Last Edited: Thursday, 20 Dec 2007, 5:11 AM CST
Created: Thursday, 20 Dec 2007, 5:11 AM CST

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sexual abuse allegations have emerged that involve a former Kansas City priest, and this particular clergyman is no stranger to this kind of lawsuit.

Two victims say Thomas Reardon sexually abused them when they were boys, bringing the total number of lawsuits against Reardon to 16.

Reardon, 65, was ordained in 1967, and left the priesthood in 1989. The victims claim the abuse happened while he served at two parishes in Kansas City - St. Elizabeth's and St. Gabriel's during the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

New abuse lawsuit names former priest

LODI (CA)
Modesto Bee

By SUE NOWICKI
snowicki@modbee.com

last updated: December 20, 2007 03:26:38 AM

Another lawsuit has been filed against former Stockton Diocese priest Oliver O'Grady alleging childhood sexual abuse.

This one claims O'Grady molested a girl during the early- to mid-1970s at St. Anne's Parish in Lodi. The unidentified plaintiff is a 43-year-old woman.

It's the first time information about this alleged victim has reached the diocese, said Bishop Stephen Blaire in a statement released Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

December 19, 2007

Priest pleads innocent to jogging nude

GREELEY (CO)
United Press International

GREELEY, Colo., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A Catholic priest arrested for allegedly jogging in the nude in Colorado last summer has pleaded innocent to all related charges.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey entered his plea to the indecent exposure charges this week, disputing a police officer's allegation that he was found completely in the buff on a Frederick city street early one morning, Denver's KMGH-TV reported Wednesday.

Police allege that when Whipkey was stopped by a police officer on the morning of June 22, the priest said he was simply returning home after jogging at a nearby high school.

Based on comments from one of Whipkey's neighbors, the priest allegedly has an affinity for being nude whenever possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Giuliani Defends Employing Accused Child Molester

UNITED STATES
My Fox Kansas City

Presidential candidates promote trustworthiness. As Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stumped for votes in the Metro, he faced questions about why he trusts an accused child molester on his payroll.

Giuliani talked about energy independence, national security and Iraq but the former New York mayor also talked about his life long friend and employee, who was accused of molesting three boys.

David Clohessy from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests wants Giuliani to fire his friend Monsignor Alan Placa. Placa is accused of molesting three boys in Long Island, New York in the 1970's.

"We think it's inexcusably callous and reckless for a man of Giuliani's stature to have on his payroll a priest who has been suspended by his own bishop for molesting kids," Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Diocese reaches settlement through mediation with victims

FORT WORTH (TX)
Houston Chronicle

The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth has reached a settlement with three men who claimed they were sexually abused by priests nearly 20 years ago.

The three, and one other man, filed suit in Eastland County earlier this year. They said they were raped or molested at St. Rita Catholic Church in Ranger, about 80 miles west of Fort Worth, by the Rev. Thomas Teczar in 1989 and 1990. The suit, which said the assaults occurred in the bathroom or rectory, claimed Teczar gave most of them alcohol beforehand.

One of the men claimed he was raped by the Rev. James Hanlon in 1988 and 1989 and believes Hanlon told Teczar about his vulnerability. The unnamed plaintiffs were ages 12 to 18 at the time.

Diocese spokesman Pat Svacina told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the settlement, reached through mediation, involves only the claims involving Teczar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Woman sues Stockton diocese over alleged priest sex abuse

FRESNO (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/19/2007 11:38:22 AM PST

FRESNO, Calif.—A 43-year-old woman has filed suit against the Diocese of Stockton, claiming a former Catholic priest defrocked for sexual abuse molested her.

In the lawsuit filed in October in San Joaquin County Superior Court, the unnamed plaintiff alleges Oliver O'Grady abused her when she was a child attending a Lodi parish in the 1970s.

O'Grady has admitted to abusing at least 25 children and has cost the diocese millions of dollars to settle civil sexual-abuse lawsuits.

A lawyer for the Stockton diocese says three additional suits are pending against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Fort Worth diocese, accusers reach settlement

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

By Darren Barbee
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Three alleged victims of convicted child molester the Rev. Thomas Teczar have reached an out-of-court settlement with the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, where the priest served for a time.

Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed at the victims' request, the diocese said.

Bishop Kevin Vann -- who became leader of the diocese several years after Teczar had come and gone from his assignment in Ranger, Strawn and other Eastland County parishes -- apologized to the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Un gatto morto davanti la casa di don Sante

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

ABANO: THE ANIMAL HAS BEEN PUT IN THE MAIL BOX OF HIS HOME IN LOVERTINO
A dead cat in front of Rev. Sante's home at Albettone

It's not usual to find a dead cat in the mail box. Something to make him shiver along the spine must have been the feeling of the receiver of the macabre "message," Rev. Sante Sguotti, the rebel priest of Monterosso who publicly confessed his love for a woman and to be the father of her child and who is now living with his companion at Lovertino, in the neighborhood of Albettone.

Yesterday morning, Rev. Sante left his home at 7 a.m., his destination being the firm where he got a job as a truck driver, at a short distance from his home. When he noticed his mail box half open he stopped at once. On the mail box door was hanging the dead body of the animal.

"I already got many menaces..." the priest, suspended a divinis, said with a calm voice, "some of them really very heavy." And that cat in his mail box didn't leave him idle. He called the 112 (the police number) at once. When the carabinieri from Campiglia dei Berici arrived there they couldn't do anything but to take the cat as the evidence: "We'll send a report to the prosecutor - one of the carabinieri said - and we'll make the investigations". It seemed the carabinieri didn't take that episode as being very grave: they looked at the killing of the cat (perhaps with one big blow on its neck for no wounds could be seen) in front of Rev. Sante's home like the gesture of some mentally disabled individual.

But that interpretation is not shared by Rev. Sante: '"That scene made me sick, I must admit it," he said."First of all because who did that must be a very cruel person, because he killed an animal. Then there is to consider my particular situation. I knew when I made my choice that bad things could have happened, but what has just happened hurts me very much. When I saw that dead animal my first reaction was to hide it in a field, so that people wouldn't notice. Then I thought it was better not to do that and call the carabinieri. In the next days I'll present my denunciation to the judge. I won't give up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Letter Rudy Guiliani regarding Msgr. Alan Placa

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

December 18, 2007

Dear Mr. Giuliani:

It's time to put up or shut up about the serious allegations against your friend, Msgr. Alan Placa.

He's been accused of molesting kids. He's also been accused of helping to cover up the crimes of other child molesting clergy. These aren't anonymous accusations from questionable sources. They come from impartial grand jurors, professional prosecutors, and at least three victims who have testified under oath about the abuse they suffered. (One of them, Richard Tollner, has identified himself publicly and repeatedly discussed his experiences in interviews.)

You've said you think Placa is innocent. If this is what you truly believe, then you must act. As a citizen, an attorney, an ex-prosecutor and former public official, you have a duty to expose this alleged injustice that has supposedly been done to a professed innocent man. Bring forward evidence that helps to prove Placa's innocence. Explain why and how an impartial panel of grand jurors conducted a thorough, months-long probe and came to the wrong conclusion about Placa. File a bar complaint against the Suffolk County District Attorney for whatever excesses or wrongs he may have, in your mind, committed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims tell Guiliani "Put up or shut up"

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims wants Rudy Giuliani to file a formal complaint against a New York prosecutor or 'stop denying' that Giuliani's close friend molested boys and helped cover up child sex crimes by other Catholic clergy.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are challenging Giuliani to "put up or shut up" about allegations against Msgr. Alan Placa, who was suspended by his bishop yet remains on Giuliani's payroll. Giuliani insists Placa's been falsely accused.

SNAP wants the presidential hopeful to either file a bar complaint against the Long Island prosecutor who publicized the allegations against the Placa or admit that the priest is guilty.

"As a citizen, a lawyer, an ex-prosecutor and former public official, Rudy has a moral and legal duty to take action if he really believes prosecutors and grand jurors have done an injustice to his friend," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's Outreach Director. "If you think serious harm's been done, you have an obligation to try and remedy it, especially if you're a public figure."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Worthy: Donations bought priest porn

GARDEN CITY (MI)
Detroit Free Press

December 19, 2007

BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

An embattled Garden City priest took trips to a clothing-optional Caribbean resort, ran up gambling debts and paid for Internet pornography with the help from personal donations from parishioners, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Nonetheless, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there is insufficient evidence to charge the Rev. Donald Demmer of St. Dunstan Catholic Church with a crime.

Somewhat lost in Worthy's announcement were embezzlement charges filed Tuesday against the fired church secretary, Debra Ann Kilyanek, 54, of Garden City. Kilyanek, who was arraigned Tuesday, is charged with embezzlement of more than $100,000 and using a computer to commit a felony. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Priest appears in court on judge's order

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WILMINGTON -- The former principal of Salesianum School was ordered back to Wilmington on Tuesday morning after he left town, his lawyer told a Superior Court judge, to avoid answering certain questions in a deposition for a civil lawsuit.

The Rev. James W. O'Neill, 68 and a resident of Washington D.C., had come to Wilmington but did not show up for a 10 a.m. deposition Tuesday at the East Seventh Street office of attorneys Thomas S. and Stephen J. Neuberger. The Neuberger Firm represents Eric Eden, a former Salesianum student who is suing the priest, the school, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, alleging he was sexually abused by the priest over a nine-year period and that church and school officials did nothing to stop O'Neill from abusing him and other young males.

O'Neill has denied the allegations in court filings, but refused to answer questions in a deposition last July, invoking his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Priest caught naked pleads not guilty to indecent exposure

COLORADO
News2

by Ginger Delgado, News2

December 19, 2007

A Catholic priest who was busted for jogging naked in the town of Frederick has pleaded not guilty to indecent exposure.

Father Robert Whipkey, 54, of Saint Teresa's parish, was also slapped with a mandatory restraining order against the Frederick police officer who found him naked. In addition to that, the judge also ordered him to get fingerprinted.

Whipkey arrived in court without saying a word accompanied by two lawyers.

It was June 22 when Whipkey was caught walking down a street naked. He told police he had been jogging around the track at Frederick high school at 4:30 in the morning, in the nude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

City bar mitzvah teacher charged with sex offenses

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Melissa Harris | Sun reporter
9:20 PM EST, December 18, 2007

A former bar mitzvah lessons teacher in Baltimore's Orthodox Jewish community has been charged with sex offenses against two boys that are alleged to have occurred more than a decade ago, according to the city state's attorney's office.

The boys were learning to chant passages from the Torah at Israel Shapiro's home on Olympia Avenue on separate occasions in September 1988 and June 1994 when the offenses are said to have occurred, according to court documents.

Shapiro was charged Dec. 4 with felony child abuse, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense in both cases. The boys, who are related, came forward in June, according to Baltimore police spokesman Sterling Clifford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

The Mean Streets of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The American Spectator

By George Neumayr
Published 12/19/2007 12:08:06 AM
In 1998, jurors awarded $30 million to two brothers who had been molested by Father Oliver O'Grady, a priest who served under Roger Mahony in the early 1980s during his tenure as bishop of Stockton. Mahony had to testify in the case, and his testimony went disastrously. As one juror told the press afterwards, "I didn't believe Mahony.... I think it is pretty obvious that none of us [jurors] did."

Not wanting to go through an ordeal like that again and fearing a blizzard of new details about his derelictions of duty, Mahony settled with victims in July of this year on the eve of a Los Angeles trial in which he was scheduled as the first witness. The $660-million settlement left many Los Angeles Catholics and priests flabbergasted and furious. In order to avoid testifying, "everyone feels that he gave away the store," said one priest to me.

In an apparent bid to win sympathy from these priests, Mahony, it was reported earlier this month, informed them during their annual meeting that not long after the July settlement he got beaten up on a street near the Los Angeles cathedral by a man upset over the abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Former Delray priests to dispute report accusing them of stealing

FLORIDA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Nancy L. Othón | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 19, 2007

Defense attorneys for two priests accused of stealing money from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church plan to attack the analyses by the accounting firm that examined the church's financial records, according to court documents released Tuesday.

The trial strategy was revealed in a motion to disqualify Circuit Judge Sandra McSorley, who is married to attorney Joseph McSorley. A year ago, McSorley disclosed to attorneys involved in the grand theft case against the Rev. John Skehan and the Rev. Francis Guinan that her husband has in the past retained Michaelson and Co. as expert witnesses in litigation matters.

Michaelson and Co. is the accounting firm hired by the Diocese of Palm Beach and will be providing testimony on the issue of the alleged theft, according to the motion filed last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Suicide Tries Tied To Alleged Sex Abuse

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES | Courant Staff Writer
December 19, 2007

A Vernon man said he started drinking and using drugs at age 12, and later tried to kill himself three times as the result of being sexually abused as a child by a prominent endocrinologist at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, according to a lawsuit filed in state court.

The plaintiff, now 42, is one of four more people — three men and a woman — who have filed civil suits alleging that Dr. George Reardon sexually abused them when they were children. Reardon died in 1998 at age 68.

The four lawsuits, all filed Tuesday at Superior Court in Hartford, bring the number of plaintiffs who claim the hospital was negligent in failing to prevent Reardon's alleged abuse to 34 — 29 men and five women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Ex-church aide charged

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Norman Sinclair / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Despite demonstrative support by parishioners for the Rev. Donald Demmer, who resigned this summer from his Garden City church, a criminal investigation revealed salacious details about the priest's lifestyle and felony charges against his assistant.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy on Tuesday announced a charge of embezzlement against Debra Ann Kilyanek, 54, of Garden City for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from St. Dunstan Roman Catholic Church.

The church owes more than $1 million in unpaid payroll taxes, interest and penalties.

Worthy said while the investigation revealed questionable conduct, including an admitted gambling habit by Demmer, there was insufficient evidence to charge him with a crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

'Traveling minister' sentenced for sexual misconduct

MINNESOTA
Alexandria Echo Press

By Erin Klegstad, Staff Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A “traveling minister” was sentenced Friday in Douglas County District Court to 90 months in state prison.

Timothy Knut Severud, 42, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct for molesting a 10-year-old Alexandria area girl.

Judge Peter Irvine also ordered Severud to register as a sex offender and serve a 10-year conditional release period after his prison term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Pastor Accused In Two Sexual Assault Cases Appears In Court

HARTFORD (CT)
NBC 30

The Hartford pastor already convicted of raping an 11-year-old appeared in court Monday in connection with the sexual assault of a 13-year-old.

Modesto Reyes was supposed to be sentenced Friday in the first case, where an 11-year-old girl became pregnant by Reyes.

On Friday, a judge put the proceedings on hold after it was announced that a second victim had come forward.

Police said Reyes, 53, also impregnated the 13-year-old girl, but she had a miscarriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Bullitt youth pastor in sex abuse case released from jail

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Daarel Burnette II
dburnette@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

The Bullitt County assistant wrestling coach, substitute teacher and youth pastor who is accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl was released today on $50,000 surety bond, the sheriff’s office said.

Clayton James Pruett, 25, allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with the girl at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where he serves as a youth pastor, said Lt. Detective Scotty McGaha of the Bullitt County sheriff’s office.

He was placed on home incarceration and can’t have any contact with anyone under the age of 18, McGaha said.

He was arrested after the girl and her mother told police that Pruett made inappropriate sexual advances toward the teen at the church, and that the behavior had continued for more than a year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Report: Reyes Urged Abortion

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By TINA A. BROWN | Courant Staff Writer
December 18, 2007

A Hartford minister awaiting sentencing for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl who bore his child last year is also accused of impregnating a 13-year-old in 2005 and urging her to have an abortion.

The older girl, now 15, ultimately had a miscarriage, according to court documents. The younger girl gave birth in May 2006.

The 15-year-old and her mother only came forward to police in November, one month after Modesto Reyes was convicted of assaulting the younger girl. Both girls were members of his congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Guilty plea to sex charges involving 11-year-old girl

HARTFORD (CT)
Newsday

HARTFORD, Conn. - A former pastor of a Hartford church awaiting sentencing for sexually assaulting an 11-year old girl is expected to plead guilty to new charges involving another girl.

The lawyer for 53-year-old Modesto Reyes says Reyes intends to plead guilty to sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor for alleged incidents in 2005 involving a 13-year-old girl who is now 15.

Reyes announced his intention Monday to plead guilty to four counts of sexual assault and four counts of risk of injury to a minor involving the second girl. The new charges came last week as Reyes was about to be sentenced for raping the 11-year old girl, who later bore his child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

'Con man' posing as deacon accused of sexual abuse

ST. PAUL (MN)
Star Tribune

By ANTHONY LONETREE, Star Tribune

Last update: December 18, 2007 - 8:09 PM

During his years at St. Agnes Parish in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood, Thomas Kemp portrayed himself as a deacon and served as general manager of a Catholic TV station that had its high-tech studios there.

"We might be 100 years old, but if you look behind the scenes, we're into the 21st century," he told the Star Tribune in a story published in August 1990.

On Monday, a former altar boy at the church, Benjamin Magler, 26, filed suit in Ramsey County District Court, alleging that he was sexually abused by Kemp for about five years beginning in the late 1980s.

Also named as defendants were St. Agnes Parish and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the latter of which issued a statement Tuesday describing Kemp as an apparent "con man" whose whereabouts now were unknown.

"At no time was he a member of the Catholic clergy here or elsewhere, nor did he have the permission of the Archdiocese to engage in any of the ministerial work of a deacon," Tuesday's statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Church selling land meant for high school

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: SCOTT MARSHALL - Staff Writer

NORTH COUNTY -- The Diocese of San Diego is selling Oceanside land once set aside for a long-awaited Catholic high school in North County.

The millions of dollars to be raised by that sale, plus millions more that the diocese expects to reap from selling two now-shuttered schools, won't go to a fundraising effort for the North County campus, as had once been promised.

Instead, the proceeds will help pay a $198 million settlement to victims of sexual abuse in the church, a Catholic diocese official said Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

December 18, 2007

Priest ordered to talk about allegations

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WILMINGTON -- A Superior Court judge has ruled that a former principal of Salesianum School must answer more questions today about sexual abuse allegations made against him by a former student in a 2004 lawsuit.

Attorneys for the student, Eric Eden of Wilmington, will depose the Rev. James W. O'Neill for the third time today. O'Neill, a priest with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, answered questions about Eden's allegations in the first deposition, taken in September 2004, but invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination more than 190 times in a second deposition last July.

In a Friday hearing before Judge Charles L. Scott Jr., O'Neill's attorneys -- Thomas P. Bernier of Baltimore and John P. Deckers of Wilmington -- argued the priest should not have to answer questions that could be used against him later in criminal proceedings in other states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

Jury will decide priest’s guilt

GREELEY (CO)
Longmont Times-Call

By Victoria A.F. Camron
Longmont Times-Call

GREELEY — A Catholic priest accused of jogging naked before dawn will ask a jury to decide his guilt on a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Rev. Robert Whipkey’s attorney, Matt Giacomini, entered a not guilty plea and requested a jury trial for his client. If he is convicted, Whipkey might have to register as a sex offender.

Whipkey, who was wearing a suit with an open-collared shirt, did not speak during the hearing. He and his attorneys, Giacomini and Doug Tisdale, would not comment as they left the courtroom or the courthouse.

The trial is scheduled for March 25 and 26, but Whipkey is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 31 for a motions hearing and on March 7 for a pretrial conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Monsignor John Urell Speaks!

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
December 18, 2007 1:54 PM

About a week ago, we wondered whatever happened to Monsignor John Urell, the pastor of St. Norbert's Catholic Church in Orange and the longtime keeper of secrets in the Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal. Today, a St. Norbert's parishioner faxed us an update: Urell spoke to his flock this past weekend through the wonders of a church bulletin*.

In it, Urell thanks his supporters for "the many notes that have come to me, usually just at the right time when encouragement was needed." The Orange County native revealed that he had suffered from "psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual turmoil...the last number of years" and told the faithful to await his return "within the first quarter of the new year."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Voice of the Faithful gone but need for reform remains

GLOUCESTER (MA)
Gloucester Daily Times

Usually at this time of year, I write about the joys of Christmas in Rockport: Santa's arrival by lobster boat, the lighting of the tree in Dock Square and the Christmas pageant that turns Rockport into the little town of Bethlehem for several hours - far away from shopping malls and traffic jams.

This year, however, sadness mixed with the joys of the season. As 2007 comes to a close, I mourn the loss of the Rev. Myron Bullock as well as the Cape Ann affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, which held its final meeting last month at St. John's Episcopal Church in Gloucester.

After Cardinal Bernard Law banned us from meeting in our own parishes, more than 70 people showed up at the Rose Baker Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2002, for our first meeting. After that meeting, the Revs. Richard Simeone and Lyn Brakeman invited us to meet at St. John's, and we were grateful for their generosity and ecumenical spirit.

Attendance continued to drop, however, as the ban continued. Voice of the Faithful members were criticized as "dissidents" and Cape Ann churches closed and merged into one parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Prosecutor: St. Dunstan priest's conduct 'disturbing, not criminal'

GARDEN CITY (MI)
Detroit Free Press

December 18, 2007

BY BEN SCHMITT

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

An embattled Garden City priest admitted to investigators that he has a gambling problem and accepted personal donations from parishioners while making numerous trips to casinos at a Caribbean resort that advertises itself as clothing optional, prosecutors said today.

Nonetheless, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there is insufficient evidence to charge Fr. Donald Demmer of St. Dunstan Catholic Church with a crime.

Worthy, meanwhile, today announced embezzlement charges against the fired church secretary, Debra Ann Kilyanek, 54, of Garden City. Kilyanek is charged with embezzlement over $100,000 and using a computer to commit a felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Garden City church employee charged with stealing parish funds

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

norman sinclair / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- A Garden City church employee could face up to 20 years in prison after she was charged today with embezzling more than $100,000 from parish funds.

Debra Ann Kilyanek, 54, was charged by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy with embezzlement over $100 and with using a computer to commit a crime.

Both charges are felonies with the embezzlement count carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. The second charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years and/or a fine of $20,000. ...

The Rev. Donald Demmer, Kilyanek's supervisor in the controversial case, was not charged with a crime but did not escape harsh treatment from the criminal investigation.

Worthy said while there is insufficient evidence that Demmer misappropriated church funds, records showed that he made as many as 200 trips to casinos in Michigan, Nevada and Florida since 2000. In addition, the priest made numerous trips to casinos and resorts in the Caribbean.

Worthy said the investigation showed that Demmer funded his lifestyle in large part by multiple donations from parishioners made to him personally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

SHOCK: $100K Gone, $1M Owed, Nudist Priest

GARDEN CITY (MI)
WXYZ

An investigation by the Wayne County prosecutor is rocking a Catholic parish in Garden City. Among the revelations: a secretary stole $100,000, the church owes $1 million in taxes, and the former priest not only has a gambling problem but also took trips to a nudist resort in the Carribean.
From the Wayne County prosecutor....

CHARGES ANNOUNCED IN ST. DUNSTAN PARISH EMBEZZLEMENT

Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy charged Debra Ann Kilyanek, 54 of Garden City with Embezzlement over $100,000, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and/or $25,000, or 3 times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater and, Using a Computer to Commit a Crime, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $20,000.

In the spring of 2007, the Archdiocese of Detroit conducted an audit of the books at St. Dunstan and uncovered a loss of $111,693.28. The Archdiocese of Detroit turned the matter over to the Garden City Police Department and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation. It was discovered that beginning in October 2005 Ms. Kilyanek began charging her personal transactions to the St. Dunstan Parish checking account. Most of these transactions were either phoned in or paid via the internet using the parish checking account information. Ms. Kilyanek allegedly used parish funds to pay her personal credit obligations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Carità, l'altra faccia dell'obolo così la Chiesa sostituisce lo Stato

ITALY
La Repubblica

Half a million euros, according to ecclesiastical sources, is spent for helping the poor in the world.
A silent accord: The public hand dismantles welfare, the Vatican hand fills the most visible holes

Charity, the other side of the coin
How the Church substitutes the State

by Curzio Maltese

The big state help to the Catholic church, which each year costs 5 billion euros to the Italian taxpayers, shows even a face and noble scope: charity. Data collected from the same church refers to half a billion euros spent by the Vatican and by the Episcopal Conferences for help and assistance given all over the world. The highest amount is delivered by the Italian Episcopal Conference, which assigns a 20 percent of its share of the "eight per thousand" of the income tax paid by the Italian taxpayers, more than 200 million euros, to assistance and charity, of which 115 million euros are destined to Italy and 85 to the rest of the world. But the flow of money for charity comes also through other channels. like Caritas International, the Cor Unum papal fund, associations of volunteers and even the Vatican bank, the IOR (Istituto Opere Religione), and the prelacy of Opus Dei, the last two better known for less benign activities.

In fact, some of the parishes and Catholic missions have been left alone to preside the most desperate borders of society, the same from which the Italian state is retreating. At the origin of the many favors and fiscal advantages granted to the Catholic church, especially in the last 20 years, after the revision of the Concordato (the accord between the Catholic church and Mussolini in 1929), there is not only the frenetic lobbyism of bishops and the race of the political parties to get the now thin but decisive package of votes (estimated between 6 and 8 percent). There exists a silent accord that while the state dismantles the welfare system piece by piece, the Catholic church is charged to do the "dirty job" to fill the widest gaps in the system and build a wall to the increasing growth of people who have no rights, guarantees, protection. Parishes have become centers for immigrants, acting as employment offices both for them and for ex-convicts, consulting offices for families in whose homes live a grandfather with Alzheimer's, drug addict, a mentally disabled person. The Caritas centers in Rome are the only points where "the people in the streets," homeless, beggars and alcoholics abandoned by the state and their families. They have a precious role for gathering data and signal a new emergency, like poverty among the young which is the highest in Europe.

The inability of the governments to adopt a serious policy for immigration has given the priests the charge to face the most important social problem in the last 20 years. In Milan there is Rev. Colmegna who acts like a de facto mayor in the peripheries, mostly inhabited by the immigrants. The community of Saint Egidio in Rome has become an international center for the policies towards Africa and South America. The initiative for the moratorium for death penalty to be voted at the UN on Dec.18, the only one the Italian Foreign Ministry can be proud of, started in this community. The Patriarchate of Venice, particularly with the arrival of Cardinal Scola, is being the fulcrum of a thick network of relationships with Islam, after the failure of the traditional left in this kind of interchange. The formula is "money in exchange for services," fiscal privileges, exemptions, grant of any kind meant to have the Catholic world do the dirty work that the Italian state doesn't know or doesn't want to do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Sexual abuse victim speaks out

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

By REBECCA PAPPRILL - Eastern Courier | Wednesday, 19 December 2007

For 40 years Euan Cameron suppressed the pain from an experience when he was young.

It wasn’t until he ended up in respite care that he was forced to confront his ultimate demon.

At 13 Euan was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at a Wellington day school.

Being brought up in a generation where a "priest wouldn’t do anything bad", he ended up suffering alone with no one to talk to and found solace in alcohol.

"I always knew there was something I was suppressing, but I couldn’t make friends with my demon," he says.

Euan, 61, got to the point where if he didn’t face it, he was going to die "by committing suicide or by drinking myself to death".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Bishop Nikolai Tonsures Registered Sex Offendor

ALASKA
Orthodox Reform

Bishop Nikolai of Alaska (OCA) is recently shown tonsuring Terenty Dushkin to be a Reader of St. Innocent Cathedral (picture above, from the Diocese of Alaska website).

According to Pokrov.org, Dushkin has been convicted of nine felony charges and is required to register as a sex offender.

Additional information may be obtained from the Alaskan sex offender registry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Official Notice: Katinas Defrocked

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

December 13, 2007 |

The December issue of the Greek Archdiocese official publication “The Orthodox Observer” lists clergy updates on page 34. The cite Nicholas Katinas as “Returned to status of layman.”

This is the first official Archdiocese confirmation of an earlier unofficial report that Katinas was defrocked in July, 2007. The December issue of this publication can be viewed online at http://www.goarch.org/en/news/observer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Met. Iakovos: Katinas Was Gone By the Time I Became the Bishop

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

December 15, 2007 |
Author: Theodore Kalmoukos

Date Published: 12/15/2007

Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON, Mass. – In statements to the National Herald, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago said he wanted to clarify his position on the pedophilia scandal allegedly involving Nicholas Katinas, who has been defrocked.

Mr. Katinas is the former longtime pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, also served as parish priest at the Assumption in Olympia Fields, Illinois. He is accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

Metropolitan Iakovos rejected allegations that he knew about Mr. Katinas’ alleged sex abuse of young boys, and that he attempted to cover up Mr. Katinas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Victim of Alleged Sex Abuse Opens Up about his Life’s Nightmare

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

December 15, 2007 |
Author: Theodore Kalmoukos

Date Published: 12/15/2007

Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON – The man who first reported to the Archdiocese that he was allegedly molested as a teenager by then Rev. Nicholas Katinas, who is now defrocked, has broken his long and painful silence in an exclusive interview with The National Herald and described his nearly lifelong nightmare.

The Herald has specific knowledge of the alleged victim’s full identity, but at his request, the Herald will refrain from disclosing his identity at this time, and will instead refer to him as Olympia Fields John Doe. Out of respect for this victim, his family, the Church and the Greek American community, the Herald will also refrain from publishing graphic details about the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Authorities knew of child sex

GREECE
Kathimerini

Authorities had received several complaints over the past four years regarding the abuse of three children, whose alleged exploitation as sex slaves by their mother came to light last Friday, but took inadequate action to protect them, it was revealed yesterday.

At least three people reported their concerns regarding the two brothers, aged 8 and 9, and the 11-year-old sister – one four years ago, the next eight months ago and the latest in October, sources told Kathimerini. ...

The four people charged in connection with the case that came to light in Ilion last week are to face an investigating magistrate tomorrow. They are the mother of the three children, her 42-year-old partner, a 60-year-old priest and an 83-year-old man. The latter two are both alleged to have sexually abused the children as “customers” of the couple.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Lawyer in Pornography Case Is Spared Jail

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The New York Times

By ALISON LEIGH COWAN
Published: December 18, 2007
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Heaping blame on a church in Greenwich for trying to hide the fact that its longtime musical director had child pornography on a computer, a senior federal judge on Monday sentenced a lawyer who took part in the cover-up to home confinement for six months.

“What could you have been thinking?” Judge Alan H. Nevas of Federal District Court said to the lawyer, Philip D. Russell, who took apart the computer and pulverized the hard drive days before federal agents came looking for it.

The church, Christ Church, an Episcopal church, hired Mr. Russell, whose family worshiped there, as its lawyer in October 2006, shortly after an employee found images of naked boys on a laptop used by Robert F. Tate, its longtime musical director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Wauconda student accused of abuse

WAUCONDA (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
December 18, 2007

A Wauconda High School senior accused of sexually assaulting two young girls at a church day camp remained in the Lake County Jail Monday afternoon on $150,000 bail after being arrested Friday at his school, according to the Lake County sheriff's office.

Zachary Carlson, 17, of the 400 block of North Main Street in Wauconda was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse after two girls, ages 8 and 7, said he abused them during four encounters last summer, officials said.

Carlson is accused of abusing the girls while he worked as a counselor for a day school run by the Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, 25225 W. Ivanhoe Rd. in Wauconda Township. The girls reported the abuse to their parents in August, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Wauconda teen accused of abusing girls at church day school

WAUCONDA (IL)
Daily Herald

By Georgia Garvey | Daily Herald Staff

A Wauconda teenager is accused of sexually abusing at least two young girls attending the church day school where he worked as a counselor.

Zachary Carlson, 17, was charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse after Lake County sheriff's police said he abused the children, ages 7 and 8, four times.

The abuse is alleged to have happened during the summer while Carlson worked as a day school counselor for Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauconda, according to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Lawyer who destroyed porn is spared prison

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The Advocate

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published December 18 2007

BRIDGEPORT - A Greenwich attorney escaped prison time yesterday for smashing a laptop computer containing child pornography belonging to former Christ Church Greenwich music director Robert Tate, while prosecutors said they have evidence Tate sexually abused children from Greenwich to Thailand.

In U.S. District Court, Judge Alan Nevas berated Philip Russell and church officials for Russell's decision in October 2006 to destroy the computer.

Nevas called it a blatantly illegal move to avoid public scandal and stymie federal investigators if they investigated Tate for possession of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Lawyer Sentenced To Home Confinement For Destroying Pornography Evidence

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
AHN

December 18, 2007 6:54 a.m. EST

Isabelle Duerme - AHN News Writer
Bridgeport, CT (AHN) - A Connecticut lawyer was sentenced to six months of home confinement Monday after being proven guilty of aiding in the destruction of a laptop that contained child pornography.

Philip D. Russell was sentenced for apparently helping a Greenwich church cover up the fact that its musical director had child pornography in his laptop. Russell reportedly destroyed the laptop and smashed the hard drive before the authorities arrived at the church to investigate.

Russell was hired by the Christ Church, of which he and his family were members, last October 2006 after the pornography was discovered by an employee in the laptop of the church's musical director Robert F. Tate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

11:13 a.m. SW Mo. pastor will plead not guilty to renewed abuse charges

PINEVILLE (MO)
The Joplin Globe

PINEVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The leader of a southwest Missouri church commune plans to plead not guilty to renewed charges of abusing two girls from his congregation.

A defense lawyer for the Rev. Raymond Lambert said the 52-year-old will plead not guilty when his first court appearance is rescheduled.

Lambert had been due for arraignment Monday in McDonald County.

But defense lawyer Duane Cooper said Associate Circuit Judge John LePage recused himself over an unspecified conflict dating back several years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Granddaughter accuses megachurch leader of sexual abuse

ATLANTA (GA)
Ledger-Enquirer

By DORIE TURNER - Associated Press Writer --

ATLANTA --Add an adult granddaughter to the list of women who say the leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch sexually abused them or coerced them to have sex.

Penielle "Penie" White first told WAGA-TV last week and told The Associated Press on Monday that Archbishop Earl Paulk, 80, co-founder of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church, touched her inappropriately when she was about 8 years old. She said she made the allegations in a sworn deposition a few months ago as part of a lawsuit against Paulk, who is accused by a former church member of coercing her into a sexual relationship.

Paulk has been hit by multiple lawsuits, but does not face criminal charges.

"He started out playful, tickling and sort of fondling," White said in a phone interview. "But as a child, you don't know that's what he's doing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

King wants sex criminal to be registered

ALABAMA
Montgomery Advertiser

By Kenneth Mullinax
kgmullinax@gannett.com

The Alabama attorney general's office wants to require a convicted sex offender to register with the state after the state Department of Youth Services allowed him to volunteer at one of its youth facilities without conducting a background check.

Leon Albert Prince was convicted in 1991 of a sexual offense in 1972 against a child who was enrolled in his Sunday school class at the time.

State officials said Prince visited children at the Mount Meigs campus, a detention facility operated by the Department of Youth Services, through his affiliation with a volunteer program at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Lawyer gets probation for porn case

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The Connecticut Post

MICHAEL P. MAYKO mmayko@ctpost.com
Article Last Updated: 12/18/2007 12:36:19 AM EST

BRIDGEPORT — The prosecutor claimed it was a major obstruction in a case that involved child pornography as well as the sexual abuse of children.
The judge said he was "deeply offended that a member of my profession could have acted so irresponsibly."

But in the end, Phillip D. Russell, a prominent criminal defense lawyer, walked out of the courtroom with a sentence of one year's probation for destroying a computer containing child pornography used by the choir director at Christ Church in Greenwich.

"As a lawyer, I am deeply offended that a member of my profession could have acted so irresponsibly," Judge Alan H. Nevas said. "But I must consider your years of good service."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Man alleges sexual abuse in 1980s, sues St. Agnes parish, archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

BY EMILY GURNON
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 12/17/2007 11:25:37 PM CST

A Twin Cities man who claims he was abused by a St. Paul parish deacon beginning in the 1980s has sued the parish, the Roman Catholic archdiocese and the man he considered his "surrogate uncle."

Benjamin Magler, 26, was in grade school when he became close to Thomas Kemp, a deacon who was employed at St. Agnes parish, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court.

Magler attended school at St. Agnes, at 548 Lafond Ave., and served as an altar boy. He sought out Kemp for counseling because of problems he was having at home and developed "great admiration, trust, reverence, respect" for the deacon, the suit said.

But when Magler was in about second or third grade, Kemp began sexually abusing him, and the abuse continued until Magler was between 10 and 13 years of age, the suit alleged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Pilarczyk observes 25 years as head of Cincinnati archdiocese

CINCINNATI (OH)
Beacon Journal

Published on Monday Dec 17, 2007

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk is observing the 25th anniversary of his installation as head of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which includes 221 parishes and about 500,000 Roman Catholics in southwest Ohio.

He celebrated an invitation-only Mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral on Sunday, followed by a public reception at the Duke Energy Center.

In his homily, Pilarczyk expressed gratitude for the highs and lows of his tenure, and joked that he was tempted "to name names and settle scores." He made no direct mention of the church's sexual abuse scandal, priest shortage, closing parishes, consolidating schools, declining donations or rising costs.

Pilarczyk, 73, acknowledged critics "who were (or are) convinced that I am totally unsuited for the responsibilities I have been given." During the abuse scandal, victims accused him of failing to react quickly to allegations against priests.

"He demonstrated absolutely no compassion to sex abuse victims," said Dan Frondorf, co-leader of the Cincinnati chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Supporters said Pilarczyk, in fact, cares deeply about all parishoners.

"He has been guided by his faith," said the Rev. Paul Hurst of St. Bernard's in Springfield. "He believes God is with him. He has the faith all will turn out right by following the Lord."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Woman molested by Pinoy priest receives $500,000 settlement

PHILIPPINES
Balita

December 17, 2007

BY KATRINA ROMERO
Balita News Service

Twenty-three years after being sexually abused by seven different Catholic priests, including a Filipino American priest at a Carson parish, a Southern California woman received a $500,000 settlement from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Dec. 4.
Decades after Rita Milla’s 1984 confession of sexual encounters unfolded a series of confessions from others alleging abuse by priests, the Church is in the midst of a $600,000 settlement to victims.
Rita Milla said she was working for the rectory when she was seduced by Filipino priest Santiago Tamayo at a Carson parish when she was 16 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Church Attorney Admits Priest Molested Boys

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
TheIndyChannel.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- An attorney for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis acknowledged in court Monday that one of its priests "was a child molester and serial predator" of young boys.

Attorney Jay Mercer said that to a judge as he argued that the statute of limitations has run out on a fraud claim charging that the archdiocese deceived an Indianapolis parish that Harry Monroe was suited to minister to young boys.

Monroe has been named in 13 cases that accuse him of molesting boys between 1974 and 1984 at a series of parishes in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and, finally, in remote Perry County along the Ohio River.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Judge: Ex-principal must answer questions about sex abuse claims

WILMINGTON (DE)
CBS 3

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) The former principal of Salesianum School must answer more questions sexual abuse allegations made against him by a former student in a 2004 lawsuit, a Superior Court judge has ruled.

The Rev. James W. O'Neill is expected to be deposed today by lawyers for Eric Eden of Wilmington.

O'Neill is a priest with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. He responded to questions about Eden's allegations in the first deposition, taken in September 2004, but invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination some 190 times in a second deposition in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Church’s admission of sexual abuse not enough, accuser says

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
robert.king@indystar.com

A man who was an altar boy at a Southside parish 30 years ago finally heard the Archdiocese of Indianapolis publicly acknowledge Monday that his former priest was a molester.

As much like a victory as that felt, the man who alleges he was abused and is known in court records as John Doe NM still says there is much more the archdiocese can do to come clean. For starters, he said, it can stop trying to quash his fraud lawsuit based on the technical argument that it was filed after the statute of limitations.

“I can’t believe that they are even trying to fight it,” he said. “What does the church really stand for?”

The scene Monday in Marion Superior Court could become increasingly common: the archdiocese squaring off in court against a former parishioner who claims the church knew the Rev. Harry Monroe was a danger to children but did nothing to spare them from harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

December 17, 2007

Archdiocese admits ex-priest an abuser

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
robert.king@indystar.com

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis admitted through its attorney today that former priest Harry Monroe was "a child molester and a sexual predator." Still, the church attorney said the incidents of abuse took place too long ago for the archdiocese to be held liable in court.

"Harry Monroe was a child molester and sexual predator who committed heinous crimes against young boys in the late 1970s and '80s," said attorney Jay Mercer, in his opening remarks to Judge David A. Shaheed, during a hearing this morning in Marion Superior Court.

The archdiocese had in previous court documents denied the claims of abuse against Monroe. And church leaders have not directly and publicly addressed those claims. But the admission follows the filing last week of a deposition in which Monroe acknowledged under oath that he had engaged in sex acts and lewd behavior with at least five of the 13 men who have sued him and the archdiocese.

Mercer argued that this first case to reach a courtroom involving Monroe -- a claim brought by a man listed anonymously in documents as John Doe NM -- should be dismissed because the statute of limitations expired when the plaintiff turned 20. He is now in his early 40s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Church attorney admits in court that priest was molester

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
WLFI

Associated Press - December 17, 2007 2:34 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An attorney for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis acknowledges 1 of its former priests "was a child molester and serial predator" of young boys.

Attorney Jay Mercer made that statement in court as he argued that the statute of limitations has run out on a fraud claim charging the archdiocese deceived an Indianapolis parish that Harry Monroe was suited to minister to young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Review of Leon Podles, Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Oak Leaves

Leon J. Podles, Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. Baltimore, MD: Crossland Press, 2008

It’s not a sin to be angry. This is evident from the scriptural injunction to “Be angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26), as well as references to God being angry. For Thomas Aquinas, anger is a necessary element of the virtue of fortitude—fortitude isn’t a matter of just putting up with evil, or of enduring sorrow, but includes actively resisting evil, bravery in the struggle, and anger at the evil which has led to sorrow. Summa Theologica, IIa-IIae, Q. 123, Art. 10.

Leon Podles is angry, and wants us to be angry, too. He wants us to be angry at the sin of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy. But more than that, he also wants us to be angry at the bishops and pope for not being angry at that same sin. That’s what irks him about this crisis more than anything else—never have the bishops or popes expressed any anger that priests molested kids or that other bishops covered it up and transferred the predators to new hunting grounds.

Podles had done his work well—as I read, I felt a surge of anger at both the system and my own participation in it as a chancery bureaucrat for nine years. I decided I needed to take a breather before writing this review. I wanted to get some perspective. I read two other books on the sexual abuse crisis, Jason Berry’s 1992 chronicle of the Gilbert Gauthé case in Lafayette, Louisiana, Lead Us Not into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, and Berry’s 2004 book with Gerald Renner, Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II, which concentrates on the Legion of Christ. I’m still angry, but I’m now better able to see what is unique about Podles’ book.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

South Africa: Sex, Murder Scandal Rocks Church

SOUTH AFRICA
allAfrica

Cape Argus (Cape Town)

17 December 2007
Posted to the web 17 December 2007

Durban

A sex and murder scandal in a KwaZulu-Natal church has been exposed in papers before the Durban High Court with allegations that the leader has raped members of the congregation and has hired a hit man to wipe out those threatening to expose him.

The urgent application was brought by five former members of the congregation of the National Christian Assemblies of God in Izingolweni, on the South Coast, against its archbishop, Christopher Sandile Ndlovu, and his sister, Zodwa Kheswa.

Judge Achmat Jappie granted an interdict restraining Ndlovu and Kheswa from assaulting or threatening the five businessmen or hiring anyone else to do it.

The names of the businessmen are being withheld to protect the identities of their wives, some of whom are alleged to be Ndlovu's victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Millions for abused wards of state

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Amanda O'Brien, WA political reporter | December 18, 2007
GENERATIONS of West Australian children who were abused in state care will be offered up to $80,000 each in compensation under the most generous redress scheme in the nation.

Premier Alan Carpenter yesterday apologised unreservedly for the horrors endured by thousands of children in state care dating back decades.

He said $114 million had been set aside for the physical, sexual and psychological harm they suffered. Up to 10,000 former child migrants, members of the Stolen Generation and children abused in foster homes, institutions and non-government or church-based care were expected to be eligible. The Government estimates up to a third suffered sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Loveland pastors enter plea agreement for failure to report abuse

COLORADO
The Reporter-Herald

FORT COLLINS — Three Loveland pastors, accused of failing to report sexual abuse of children by a church member, have entered into plea agreements that could keep their records clean.

James Rice, Thad Gunderson and Eric Mowen all pleaded guilty in Larimer County Court on Nov. 15 to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report abuse.

Each was granted a one-year deferred sentence, which means that if they stay out of trouble, the convictions will be removed from their records in a year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Deal could clear pastors' records

LOVELAND (CO)
The Coloradoan

Three Loveland pastors have pleaded guilty to failing to report sexual abuse by a church member in plea agreements that could keep their records clean.

James Rice, Thad Gunderson and Eric Mowen received one-year deferred sentences after pleading guilty Nov. 15 in Larimer County Court to misdemeanor charges of failure to report abuse.

The convictions will be removed from their records in a year if they stay out of trouble.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

LAT Fails To Identify Public Activism of Letter Writers

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NewsBusters

By Dave Pierre | December 16, 2007 - 19:50 ET
Fervent liberalism is not the only thing that's predictable at the Los Angeles Times. You can bet that when the Times publishes a news article on the Church abuse scandal, rabid letters to the editor that bash the Church will follow a few days later.

Such was the case in yesterday's paper (Sat. 12/15/07). Yet the Times also failed to identify that both letter writers critical of the Church have established records of public involvement and activism in the abuse scandal narrative.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

FATHER, BEHAVE

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Express

Kimberly Castillo

Monday, December 17th 2007

ARCHBISHOP Edward Gilbert yesterday advised parishioners to speak to their priests if they notice that he exhibits signs of selfishness.

He said this was imperative to protect the church against disrespect and scandal.

"People can say gently and privately to a priest: 'what you are beginning to show is unacceptable.'" he said.

Gilbert added that speaking to the priest about a matter beforehand was better than allowing time to lapse.

He said the public had the right to expect holiness and unity within the priesthood and that people should be able to trust that the priests are competent in representing the truth of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Church officials say sexual abuse down dramatically in Archdiocese of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
North County Times

By: North County Times wire services -

LOS ANGELES - Reports of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are down dramatically due to increased church prevention efforts, church officials claimed today.

"As the causes and warning signs of abusive behavior became better understood by society and the church, the Archdiocese implemented preventive training programs for priests, teachers, other lay employees, volunteers and children," wrote Sister Sheila NcNiff, the archdiocese's Victims Assistance Ministry coordinator, in an opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times.

According to McNiff, a chart of reported incidents of abuse show the incidents are clustered from the late 1950s to the early 1980s but drop off steeply by the mid-1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

OSG contests Mormon priest’s acquittal in child abuse case

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Leila Salaverria
Inquirer
Last updated 04:08pm (Mla time) 12/17/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- The Office of the Solicitor General is contesting before the Court of Appeals a regional trial court’s acquittal of a Mormon priest who had sexual relations with a 17-year-old in 2001 and 2002.

The OSG said a minor influenced by an elder cannot validly consent to sexual relations.

The OSG asked the Court of Appeals to convict Gil Anthony Calianga of child abuse and sought to annul the Muntinlupa regional trial court's finding that the 17-year-old and the accused, Gil Anthony Calianga, were sweethearts and their sexual relations were consensual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

December 16, 2007

Audit ordered of church's books

ILLINOIS
The Southtown Star

December 13, 2007
By Emily Udell, Staff writer

The pastor of a Flossmoor Catholic church has been asked to step down amid an investigation by Cook County prosecutors into missing money and an audit of the church's finances by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Rev. William E. Killeen, 58, temporarily has been removed from his position at Infant Jesus of Prague, archdiocesan officials said Wednesday.

Cardinal Francis George announced his decision to ask Killeen to "step back from his responsibilities as pastor" in a letter that was read to parishioners during weekend Masses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Rabbi is indicted on sex charges

GREENSBORO (NC)
News-Record

By Jennifer Fernandez
Staff Writer
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 3:00 am

GREENSBORO — A rabbi accused of having sex with a student at American Hebrew Academy was indicted this week.

The grand jury also returned murder indictments against three men in two separate homicides and against a woman accused of killing one person and injuring five others in a DWI crash during Labor Day weekend.

David Alan Stein, 35, faces eight counts of having sex with a student, records show. He was the school's director of campus life.

Police have said the incidents, which involved a 16-year-old male student, took place on campus sometime during the 2006-07 school year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Naples man, 41, gets eight years for molesting girl, 12

NAPLES (FL)
Naples Daily News

By AISLING SWIFT (Contact)
Saturday, December 15, 2007

A 41-year-old Naples man who molested a 12-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to eight years in a state prison.

Collier Circuit Judge Elizabeth Krier adjudicated Desiderio Novelo guilty of attempted capital sexual battery and also ordered him to serve 12 years of sex-offender probation, which involves an ankle monitor, a curfew, no Internet use, and a prohibition on driving alone without permission. ...

In October 2006, during an interview with the Lee County Children’s Advocacy Center, the girl, then 17, disclosed that when she was a 12-year-old sixth grader, Novelo would molest her and try to have sex with her when she was alone in his home. She said she spoke to a church official about the abuse, but received no assistance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Sexual abuse case: LDS Church wants resolution before trial

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Carson Walker
The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 12/16/2007 12:59:11 AM MST

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A former Mormon missionary accused of molesting an American Indian boy in the 1960s denies the allegation, and the church wants a federal judge to decide the case before it goes to trial.
Ferris Joseph, 52, filed the civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in South Dakota against the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Latter-Day Saints, both of Utah.
He is suing the Mormon church, claiming he was sexually abused by one of its missionaries, Robert Lewis White, in the late 1960s when Joseph was 11 or 12 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Accused priest a Giuliani confidant

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By JOELLE FARRELL
Monitor staff

December 16. 2007 12:20AM

When former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik was indicted last month on 16 federal charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials, Kerik's friendship with Rudy Giuliani, a Republican presidential candidate, drew scrutiny. Rival campaigns questioned Giuliani's judgment, and political analysts wondered if his friendship with Kerik would scare off voters.

But when a handful of protesters gathered outside a Giuliani campaign event in Manchester last month, it was not Giuliani's relationship with Kerik that bothered them. They sought to illuminate Giuliani's allegiance to another friend, holding signs that read, "Rudy, too many children have been hurt. Alan Placa must go."

Monsignor Alan Placa, a priest and lifelong friend of Giuliani, was accused in a 2003 grand jury report of molesting boys and helping to suppress abuse complaints about other priests. Placa was stripped of his priestly duties in 2002 while a special grand jury investigated allegations of sexual abuse at the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island. That year, Giuliani hired Placa, who is also a lawyer, for his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, LLC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

December 15, 2007

Tallying church abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Sheila McNiff
December 16, 2007
During the last few years we have heard many heart-rending stories from those who have been abused by Catholic priests, religious brothers and sisters and lay employees of the church. Their stories have been difficult for them to tell, and for their families and the entire Catholic community to hear.

As coordinator of the Victims Assistance Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I have been privileged to walk with many of these victims, to listen to their stories, to offer support and counseling and to be available to them when needed. Understandably, many victims never spoke of their abuse, even to their own families. Only as adults have many been able to come forward to share what has burdened them for several decades.

The graph below, put together by the archdiocese, charts the years during which 254 perpetrators were alleged to have victimized the 553 people involved in the civil cases in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. If a perpetrator abused a victim over several years, there is a box for each of those years. Most of these incidents were reported for the first time as a result of lawsuits filed in 2003. Each box represents a tragedy and a betrayal of trust. For obvious reasons, no chart could ever fully represent all cases of abuse. However, this chart is important for a number of reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Questionable Conduct

UNITED STATES
Newsweek

By Dan Ephron | NEWSWEEK
Dec 24, 2007 Issue

Ensign P. recalls struggling during his third year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. His mother was dying of an illness back home, and his grades dropped so low in 2004 he was put on academic probation. Raised a Roman Catholic, the 20-year-old cadet started counseling with a military chaplain, Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Mathew Lee. When Lee invited him to dinner off campus, Ensign P. thought it was an honor—officers don't usually socialize with Academy students. In fact, it was an ambush. Lee took the cadet to his apartment after dinner, poured him rounds of beer and Scotch, then began undoing the man's pants. Testifying softly in a military court earlier this month, Ensign P. said the chaplain engaged him in oral sex. Though he asked Lee to stop, for a few dreadful moments he felt too stunned to move: "This is a guy who knows all my darkest secrets."

More than 2,700 military chaplains minister to U.S. servicemen and cadets on bases around the world. Like that between psychologists and their patients, the dynamic between chaplains and the men and women they counsel tends to be marked by an imbalance of power. Chaplains often outrank the people who go to them for help and exert a spiritual authority that, as in Lee's case, can be exploited. During 11 years in the military, Lee sexually abused at least three men, according to his own admission (all three were identified in court only by their ranks and an initial). A judge at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia this month sentenced him to 12 years in prison and discharge without pay or benefits (under a plea agreement, he will serve only two years). In a disturbing twist, Lee is HIV-positive and admits to withholding that information even from men with whom he had consensual sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Legionaries' "private vows" abolished?

MEXICO
Spirit Daily

Mexico City, Dec. 14, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has directed the Legionaries of Christ to do away with the "private vows" by which members of the religious order bound themselves to avoid any criticism of their superiors, according to a Mexican newspaper story.

The Rorate Caeli blog calls attention to a story in the daily La Jornada, which backed reports that circulated earlier this year. The Jornada story said that the Pope had "personally asked for the repeal of the private vows," which had been taken by all Legionaries studying for the priesthood. The Legionaries of Christ have not formally commented on the reports.

The "private vows," which required members to avoid taking part in any conversation involving criticism of the order or its superiors, were regarded by critics as an impediment to reform of the Legionaries. The Jornada story suggests that the abolition of these vows was recommended in May 2006, when the Vatican announced that the founder of the Legionaries, Father Marcial Maciel, had been removed from priestly ministry and asked to spend his remaining days in "penitence and prayer" in the wake of sex-abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Editorial: Cover-up! Navy must not let shame threaten security

MARYLAND
The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - If an enemy agent secretly infected our military personnel with a deadly disease, we would investigate, prosecute and punish him to the maximum. We would spare nothing to help the victims. And we would examine whatever flaws in our defense system allowed the attack.

Why is that not happening in the case of Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee, 42, officer since 1988, priest since 1993, chaplain since 1996 and Naval Academy chaplain 2003-06?

He admitted to endangering an unknown number of servicemen through often predatory sexual contact when he knew he was infected with the HIV virus. He plea-bargained a potential life sentence and actual 12-year sentence for forcible sodomy and aggravated assault down to 19 months by promising to reveal as much as he knows about the identities of partners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Pope condemns child abusers, the sex trade

VATICAN CITY
Western Catholic Reporter

By CAROL GLATZ
Catholic News Service
Vatican City

Lamenting the climate of consumerism and materialism in today's world, Pope Benedict criticized "unscrupulous adults" who victimize children through sexual abuse and prostitution.

Even the most sacred things, "like the human body, temple of the God of love and life," have been turned into objects of consumption, he said before praying the noonday Angelus Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Seminary Student Accused of Abusing Child at YMCA Program

WAKE FOREST (NC)
WRAL

Posted: Dec. 14 4:44 p.m.
Updated: Today at 6:59 a.m.

Wake Forest — A Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student has been charged with abusing a 10-year-old child while working at an after-hours YMCA program at a Wake County elementary school.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office charged Justin Eugene Taylor, 27, of Wake Forest, with one count of indecent liberties with a child. He was arrested on Thursday and was later released on a $40,000 bond.

The arrest warrant – signed out on Dec. 5 – said there was probable cause to believe that Taylor "unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did attempt to take immoral, improper and indecent liberties against (a minor) for the purpose of arousing and gratifying sexual desire."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Wrestling coach arrested on sexual abuse charges

SHEPHERDSVILLE (KY}
WAVE 3

By Scott Harvey
WAVE 3 Investigator

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -- WAVE 3 has learned that a man who is a local high school wrestling coach, a substitute teacher and a youth minister has been arrested. The Bullitt County Sheriff's Department says the Shepherdsville man sexually abused a 15 year old girl at the church. WAVE 3 Investigator Scott Harvey has the details.

We had a chance to speak to the victim's mother who -- obviously distraught -- described 25-year-old Clayton Pruett as a wolf in sheep's clothing. She now has a strong warning for all parents.

"Don't trust people that are alone with your children," said the woman, who asked not to be identified. She says her daughter was the victim of sexual abuse, for more than a year.

"I didn't listen to the little things my daughter was telling me," she said. "That's because I trusted him."

Pruett worked as a youth minister at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Shepherdsville where investigators say he trapped the 15 year old girl inside a room and abused her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Bullitt Central coach charged with sex abuse

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Daarel Burnette II
dburnette@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

A Bullitt Central High School wrestling coach and local youth pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl, the sheriff’s office said today.

Clayton James Pruett, 25, allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with the girl at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where he serves as a youth pastor, said Lt. Detective Scotty McGaha of the Bullitt County sheriff’s office.

Pruett, who also is a substitute teacher at Bullitt Central, is being held on $100,000 cash bond in the Bullitt County detention center, McGaha said.

He was arrested after a 15-year-old girl and her mother told the sheriff’s department yesterday that for more than a year, Pruett made inappropriate sexual advances toward the teen at the Shepherdsville church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Judge pushes for resolution in clerical sex abuse cases

ALASKA
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Staff Writer
Published December 15, 2007

At the third hearing in as many months, Superior Court Judge Niejse Steinkruger worked with attorneys, insurance carriers and representatives for both the plaintiffs and defendants in the Alaska Catholic clergy sexual abuse cases all day Friday in accordance with her long-term plan to try to complete all cases by the end of 2008.

Before setting groups to various tasks, Steinkruger reminded participants that the proceedings were about more than dollars and cents — they were “about real people.”

“This litigation is extremely painful for the people of the State of Alaska … It’s very painful for plaintiffs and members of the Catholic Church and their faith,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Ex-priest testifies he abused boys at Indiana parishes

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Journal and Courier

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

INDIANAPOLIS - A former Roman Catholic priest admitted in a deposition to committing lewd behavior or sex acts with at least five boys in three Indiana parishes, according to court documents.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis and ex-priest Harry Monroe are named in 13 lawsuits from men claiming Monroe sexually abused them between 1974 and 1984 in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Tell City.

A transcript of the deposition was filed in Marion Superior Court this week in advance of a hearing scheduled Monday on the archdiocese's request that one of the lawsuits be dismissed because the statute of limitations has expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Ex-Terre Haute priest admits to molesting children

TERRE HAUTE (IN)
The Tribune-Star

By Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A former Catholic priest who served parishes in Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Tell City has admitted to molesting at least five boys and playing sex games with others, says an attorney who has filed lawsuits on behalf of several victims.

The former priest, Harry Monroe, admitted to the sex acts in a pre-trial deposition filed as part of a case that goes to court Monday, the attorney said. Monroe is the subject of 13 sexual abuse lawsuits that also name the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as a co-defendant.

“It’s a pretty strong deposition,” said Pat Noaker, a Minnesota attorney who filed the lawsuits.

Ordained in 1974, Monroe served in five Indiana Catholic parishes until his priestly faculties were revoked in 1984 because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

A New Emphasis for the Ministry: Management Skills

CHESTNUT HILL (MA)
The New York Times

By KATIE ZEZIMA
Published: December 15, 2007
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — For the last four years, Wendy Samuels has worked in a remote village in Jamaica for Mustard Seed Communities, a Roman Catholic nonprofit group that helps disabled children.

The work is both rewarding and heartbreaking. But some of the most difficult moments came as she managed well-meaning staff members who did not always do their jobs properly.

“If someone is not performing their job, how do you deal with it when there is still so much to be done?” Ms. Samuels said. “I kept wondering, How do you manage persons in a third-world country who work for a charitable organization?”

The quest for an answer led Ms. Samuels to Boston College, a Jesuit institution here, where she is one of seven students in a new graduate program intended to teach management principles to leaders of churches and religious nonprofit agencies. ...

Kerry A. Robinson, executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, a nonprofit organization formed in 2005, said, “Many priests and women religious are not trained in management or finance or human resources development, and seminaries rarely offer this type of curriculum.”

The organization grew out of a conference of lay business leaders concerned about the finances and management of the Catholic Church in the wake of the 2003 sexual abuse crisis involving clergy members.

“The clergy abuse scandal brought forth a recognition that, hey, they’re paying out money under the table to settle some of these lawsuits,” Professor Zech said. “These issues that people didn’t know were going on were brought before the light of day. All of a sudden there was an awareness by folks that there was very little accountability.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Jesuits settle lawsuit over priest's suicide

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Melissa Evans, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 12/15/2007 12:17:00 AM PST

John Chevedden flips through a spiral notebook thick with dated accounts of legal depositions and interviews with psychologists and Catholic leaders charged with his brother's care.

The Redondo Beach resident, along with his 96-year-old father, has been fighting for answers since his younger brother, the Rev. James Chevedden, a Jesuit priest, jumped to his death from a six-story parking garage in 2004.

"This is horrendous," he says, pointing to a paragraph highlighted in his notes. "The psychologist said he wasn't vulnerable. They can't say that. He was supposed to be in an environment that wasn't stressful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Children used as sex slaves

GREECE
Kathimerini

Police have arrested a woman in Ilion, northwest Athens, accused of brutally abusing her three underage children and forcing them to work as sex slaves, police said yesterday.

The woman’s boyfriend was also arrested along with a 60-year-old priest and an 83-year-old man, both allegedly among the couple’s customers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Prosecutors file brief against overturning conviction of priest

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office filed an 80-page brief yesterday detailing its reasons why Toledo priest Gerald Robinson's murder conviction should not be overturned.

The document, filed with Ohio's 6th District Court of Appeals, makes point-by-point rebuttals to arguments Robinson's attorneys made in August claiming the 69-year-old Catholic cleric did not receive a fair trial.

Robinson was convicted in May, 2006, for the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, a 71-year-old Catholic nun who was strangled nearly to death, then stabbed 31 times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

December 14, 2007

Religion's role in U.S. presidential election tops 2007 Religion News Stories of the Year

UNITED STATES
Religion Newswriters Association

A poll of the nation's leading religion writers selected the presidential election and the fight for votes among GOP candidates as the top religion story of 2007. Close behind as the No. 2 story were efforts by Democrats to win over voters by showcasing their faith.

For the top religion newsmaker of the year, the journalists chose the Buddhist monks in Myanmar. Hundreds of monks protested last September in support of democracy but were quelched by the military-backed government. More than half of those responding to the survey chose the monks over Pope Benedict XVI, President George W. Bush and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, among others.

The 2007 Top Religion Stories as selected by Religion Newswriters are: ...

10. The cost of priestly sex-abuse to the Roman Catholic Church in the United States surpasses $2.1 billion with a record $660 million settlement involving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and earlier settlements this year totaling $100 million in Portland, Ore., and Spokane, Wash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Former priest and admitted child molester skips sentencing

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Jeff Diamant/The Star-Ledger Friday December 14, 2007, 2:09 PM

A judge today issued a bench warrant for the arrest of James Hanley after the former priest and admitted child molester failed to appear for his 9 a.m. sentencing on a weapons offense connected to a 2006 incident at a Secaucus hotel.

Hanley, 71, had pleaded guilty Oct. 24 to unlawful possession of a weapon, admitting he used an aluminum bat to intimidate three employees of the Extended Stay Hotel on march 10, 2006.

His lawyer, assistant public defender James Convery, said he was unaware of Hanley's whereabouts and would not comment further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Good report on US bishops’ response to sexual abuse issued, room for improvement remains

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

Washington DC, Dec 14, 2007 / 12:09 pm (CNA).- The National Review Board (NRB) on Thursday made public its five-year report on the American church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse of minors. The board found that the bishops’ overall approach has been “strong”, but that there still remains much work to be done.

The report, addressed to U.S. Catholics, describes itself as “a record of accomplishments, unfinished work, and challenges that lie ahead.”

The National Review Board is a lay body that was established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in response to the sexual abuse crisis among clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

National Review Board praises US bishops' programs

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic World News

Washington, Dec. 14, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The National Review Board (NRB)-- set up by the US bishops' conference to monitor Church efforts to combat the sexual abuse of children-- has issued a 5-year report citing progress but calling for continued efforts.

"Bishops have taken a strong approach to dealing with this crisis,” said Judge Michael Merz, the chairman of the lay board, in introducing the group's report. As evidence the NRB cited the audits that have been conducted in nearly all American dioceses, measuring the bishops' compliance with the national policies that they established in 2002.

[The full report from the NRB is available on the web site of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Greek police arrest woman accused of forcing daughter to work as sex slave

GREECE
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: December 14, 2007

ATHENS, Greece: Greek police arrested a woman accused of brutally abusing her three underage children and forcing one of them to work as a sex slave, authorities said Friday.

The woman's boyfriend was also arrested, along with a 60-year-old Orthodox priest and an 83-year-old man, both allegedly among the couple's customers.

Police said the woman, 33, and other suspects were arrested Wednesday in the west Athens area of Ilion. The three children — brothers aged 8 and 9, and their 11-year-old sister — were taken into state care. ...

Police said the Orthodox priest had sex with one of the girls inside a chapel two years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Best Practices, etc.

UNITED STATES
Father Lasch

This is an interesting ‘take’ on the art of leadership. I don’t think it’s new ‘stuff.’ I’ve heard it all before. My question is this: Is the Church using this as the criteria for ‘best practices’ for bishops and pastors—and for the Pope?

The Laws of Leadership
from William Cohen

The New Art of the Leader

1. Maintain Absolute Integrity
•work to earn the trust and respect of your workers
•never make a worker feel he is being manipulated rather than motivated
•Integrity is the foundation of all that follows. If your workers can’t trust you, you will never be able to motivate them to help you fulfill your goals.
•Integrity is more than telling the truth; it is doing what is right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Letter to Papal Representative, Pietro Sambi

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Archbishop Sambi

We are survivors who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy, we are friends and family of survivors who have watched abuse victims deal with the pain of having their childhood taken away. We have all witnessed the devastation that clergy sexual abuse has on once innocent and trusting children and how difficult it is for them to come forward as adults and tell the world what has happened to them. We have witnessed the response of the church officials as they first deny the allegations and then accuse the victims of being money hungry. We have seen church officials move pedophile priests around and protect them from the legal system.

Only after the revelations that occurred in 1985, and in 1992, and finally again in Boston in 2002 have we finally seen some small belated and begrudging movement by the Catholic hierarchy to enact justice upon these perpetrators. At least now some of the priests have been defrocked. At least some abusive priests have been prosecuted. At least some abusive priests live in church run housing centers for pedophiles. At least some abusive priests, at least theoretically, are being "monitored."

To the best of our knowledge, however, little of this applies or is going on with abusive bishops. No abusive bishops are being defrocked. Few disclose their whereabouts. Fewer still, we fear, are being monitored. No current church officials claim they are actively taking any responsibility for protecting kids from potentially dangerous child-molesting bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Response to National Review Board report

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

Self-praise leads only to reckless complacency. And it rubs salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of hurting victims and betrayed Catholics. When bishops take begrudging, belated steps that largely amount to 'window dressing,' this is no cause for celebration.

Training volunteers and fingerprinting employees and teaching children are primarily common sense legal defense moves and smart public relations gestures. Are they better than nothing? Of course. Do they solve the problem? Absolutely not.

The main cause of this on-going crisis remains untouched: the virtually limitless power of bishops. They still cover up child molestation because they can. The church always has been and still is a monarchy. Bishops answer to virtually no one, and experience no consequences when they shun victims, stonewall prosecutors, deceive parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Statement on 5th anniversary of Cardinal Law's resignation

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

We’re here today with a tribute, a reminder, and a plea.

Our tribute is to the brave, compassionate and determined victims and Catholics, whose actions helped force Law out but more importantly, helped launch a revolution that ultimately saved countless lives, prevented countless crimes, and helped countless other victims.

Our reminder is that Cardinal Law is the norm, not the exception. His crimes and cover ups have been more extensively documented than those of his colleagues. But the same crimes and cover ups are found in virtually every diocese in the US and are being concealed by virtually every bishop in the US.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Group says 9 bishops should be punished

UNITED STATES
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE • REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR • December 14, 2007

Victims' advocates critical of the latest progress report on how U.S. Catholic bishops are handling the child sexual abuse scandal have asked the Vatican to sanction nine bishops who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

"Hundreds of pedophile priests have been suspended, but virtually none of the U.S. bishops accused of child molestation in recent years are being defrocked or supervised. This is inexcusably reckless," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

This year's report shows that 98 percent of U.S. dioceses have complied with the bishops' efforts to protect children and respond to the abuses of the past. The review board urged expanded audits of parishes, greater understanding of victimization and its consequences and improved relationships with Catholic priests, a majority of whom were not involved in the scandal.

"Bishops have taken a strong approach to dealing with the crisis," said Judge Michael Merz, review board chairman. "Bishops as moral leaders must stand in the forefront of protecting children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Church bookkeeper faces theft charge

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte Observer

KARA LOPP
Special Correspondent
A 73-year-old bookkeeper at a Belmont church was arrested Thursday in connection with more than $104,000 that was discovered missing from church bank accounts.

Evelyn Francis Graham of the 200 block of Michael Dominick Road in Belmont is charged with 20 counts of embezzlement, a news release from the Belmont Police Department said.

Graham was suspended as a bookkeeper from Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, 503 North Main St., last week after an audit revealed the missing money.

She is accused of writing 85 checks, totaling $104,290, in her name and other people's names, over several years, the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Family settles with Jesuits over priest's suicide

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 14, 2007
The Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church reached a $1.6-million settlement with the family of a priest who killed himself after accusing a Jesuit brother of molesting him, the family's lawyer said Thursday.

On the second day of a trial assessing damages in the suicide of the Rev. James Chevedden, the California branch of the Society of Jesus agreed to pay the priest's family without admitting liability, said Mark Meuser, the family's attorney.

"My least concern is the money," said Chevedden's twin brother, Paul, 59, of Los Angeles. "But dealing with this issue again brings back the turmoil of Jim's death with such immediacy that I keep getting shaken up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Joliet Diocese is found in “full compliance” of charter protecting youth

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
Catholic Explorer

By Kathrynne Skonicki
Published Dec 12, 2007

ROMEOVILLE—Bishop J. Peter Sartain announced he is “very pleased” that the Joliet Diocese was found in 2007 to be in full compliance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This was the fourth audit for the diocese and the fourth time the diocese has been found to be in full compliance—2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

The Joliet Diocese did not undergo a full-onsite audit in 2006 since it was found to be compliant in 2005, according to Franciscan Sister Judith Davies, who serves as safe environment program coordinator for the diocese. Only 11 archdioceses and dioceses received full on-site audits in 2006 and 18 archdioceses, diocese or eparchies received focused on-site audits in 2006.

The audit conducted by the Gavin Group, Inc., confirms, “The concern of the diocese was, has and continues to be keeping children safe,” commented Sister Davies, chancellor. She added that the review also serves as a good tool for the diocese to ensure it is keeping up with its pledge to create a safe environment for children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Cardinal Law's Resignation: 5-years Later

UNITED STATES
Lifesite

by Phil Lawler
special to CWNews.com

Dec. 13, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Five years ago today, CWN broke the story that Cardinal Bernard Law had resigned as Archbishop of Boston.

At the time, the resignation brought sighs of relief to everyone concerned-- including, I am sure, Cardinal Law himself. It seemed unavoidable: the product of forces that had been building for months, even years.

But as we look back upon it now, with the benefit of hindsight, the ouster of Boston's archbishop leaves one very important question unanswered. If Cardinal Law had to go-- and make no mistake, he did-- why have no other American bishops followed him out the door?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Navy priest’s case raises host of legal concerns

VIRGINIA
Washington Blade

LOU CHIBBARO JR
Friday, December 14, 2007

The case of a local HIV-positive Navy chaplain who pleaded guilty last week in military court to seven violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including forcible sodomy, raises a hornet’s nest of legal and religious questions, many of which have ramifications for sexually active gay men.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, of Burke, Va., was sentenced to two years in prison on Dec. 6 after admitting he had sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing he was HIV-positive and forced himself on a Naval Academy midshipman, according to wire reports confirmed by the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., where Lee was tried.

Lee, who faced life without parole if he’d been convicted on all charges, according to the Army Times, a military newspaper that quoted Lee’s attorney, saw his sentence reduced substantially by entering a pretrial agreement with the government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Ex-priest admits abusing boys

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Starn

By Robert King
robert.king@indystar.com

A former Catholic priest has admitted to lewd behavior or sex acts with at least five boys during his tenure with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, according to records filed this week in a case that goes to court Monday.

Harry Monroe, the subject of 13 sexual abuse lawsuits that name him and the archdiocese as co-defendants, said he no longer contests the allegations against him but can't remember specifics about all the incidents, alleged to have taken place from 1974 to 1984.
Yet the cases may never move to trial.

In a hearing scheduled for Monday in Marion Superior Court, Judge David A. Shaheed will consider the archdiocese's request to dismiss one of the first lawsuits filed. The church argues that, like the statutory limit for criminal charges in the cases, the statute of limitations for lawsuits has expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

December 13, 2007

US Catholic Church Scandal Needs Vigilance

UNITED STATES
Javno

Reuters

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church has made a strong response to the child sex abuse scandal although it must not relax its vigilance, an oversight panel said in a five-year report card issued on Thursday.

Critics said the crisis is far from over, many offenders remain unpunished and there is still a lack of accountability.

Judge Michael Merz, a federal magistrate in Dayton, Ohio, who heads the National Review Board, formed five years ago by the U.S. bishops, said the group commended the bishops for a strong response so far but "efforts for prevention, healing, and vigilance will be demanded for the rest of our days."

"The price of this crime is steep both in the pain felt by victims and the shadow cast on the reputation of innocent Catholic priests. Most priests never have abused a child or even someone's trust in them, but they bear shame by association," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL REVIEW BOARD

WASHINGTON (DC)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

To the Catholic Faithful of the United States:
On the fifth anniversary of its establishment, the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People (NRB) sends this report on its work to the Catholic community. It is a record of accomplishments, unfinished work, and challenges that lie ahead.

The members of the Board, representing the diversity of the Church in the United States, have worked diligently with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) through its Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCYP) to address the nature, causes, and consequences of the sexual abuse crisis and the prevention of such action in the future. The Board concentrates on the responsibilities assigned to it in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

National Review Board Issues Five-Year Report on Church Handling of Clergy Sex Abuse of Minors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Earthtimes

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Review Board (NRB), a lay body appointed by the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to review the church's handling of the sexual abuse of minors by clerics, cited accomplishments and challenges in a five-year report made public December 13.

Judge Michael R. Merz, NRB chair, commended church efforts to date, but said the problem is complex.

"Church efforts for prevention, healing, and vigilance will be demanded for the rest of our days," Judge Merz said. "The price of this crime is steep both in the pain felt by victims and the shadow cast on the reputation of innocent Catholic priests. Most priests never have abused a child or even someone's trust in them, but they bear shame by association. It's not right, but that's the fact."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Report cites accomplishments, challenges in church response to abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Although the church has taken positive steps in its response to the clergy abuse crisis, more needs to be done, according to a five-year report on the crisis released Dec. 13 by the National Review Board, the lay group that oversees the U.S. Catholic bishops' compliance with child protection policies.

The report, addressed to U.S. Catholics on the fifth anniversary of the board's establishment, called the church's response to the abuse crisis "impressive" but also noted that its "work is only beginning."

It said church officials must do a better job of providing victims with the help they need and should also help Catholics at the parish level understand how best to respond to victims and their families. It also recommended church leaders provide "protection and restoration" for priests accused of abuse who are later found innocent and called for "greater speed" in investigating and responding to abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Archdiocese complies on child abuse

CINCINNATI (OH)
The Enquirer

BY DAN HORN | DHORN@ENQUIRER.COM

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is in compliance with national standards for preventing child abuse, church officials said Thursday.

An annual audit found that the archdiocese had corrected problems in the way the church verifies whether volunteers who work with children took part in required child protection courses.

The archdiocese failed that portion of the review last year when auditors could not determine whether as many as 10,000 teachers, coaches and other volunteers took the courses.

Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco said the problem was related to bookkeeping and that most volunteers had taken the courses. He said record-keeping is better now and anyone who could not prove they took the courses had to take them again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Priest pleads guilty of fraud

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

December 13 2007 at 06:58PM

A prominent Anglican priest was on Thursday given a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to misappropriating almost half a million rands in donor funds.

Reverend Matt Esau, a former personal assistant to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was at the time of the offence chief executive of the Career Research and Information Centre (CRIC), a Cape Town-based non-government organisation.

Thursday's conviction, in the Cape high court, was in terms of a plea agreement with the directorate of public prosecutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Mesa priest takes sex case to Supreme Court

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

Jill Redhage, Tribune
The Arizona Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday morning regarding whether a Mesa priest is entitled to a jury trial on misdemeanor charges that could require him to register as a sex offender.

The questions involved the case of the Rev. Dale Fushek, former pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa. Fushek was charged in November 2005 with having sexually related discussions with teenagers during confessions, and exposing himself to teens as he got into a hot tub.

Fushek did not attend Thursday morning's proceedings.

The court barraged each attorney with questions during their 20-minute time slots in an effort to determine what test can be applied to determine whether a punishment limits liberty enough to merit a jury trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Catholic Deacon Arrested, Accused of Incest

SILVER SPRING (MD)
My Fox Washington, D.C.

Last Edited: Wednesday, 12 Dec 2007, 5:32 PM EST
Created: Wednesday, 12 Dec 2007, 4:18 PM EST

A trusted Catholic Church Deacon now under arrest, charged with 10 counts of incest in the 1960s and 70s.

Police are also concerned that 71-year-old Dan Stallings may have had inappropriate contact with children in the parish.

Stallings is a Deacon at St. John the Evangelist Church in Silver Spring, where he is active in the Catholic Youth Organization and has worked with children in other jobs over the years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Church Deacon Charged With Sexual Offenses

SILVER SPRING (MD)
NBC 4

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Police have charged a Catholic church deacon with sexual offenses against a close female relative, who was a minor at the time, and they said he may have had inappropriate contact with more children.

Dan Paul Stallings, 71, of the 10000 block of Woodland Drive in Silver Spring, was charged on Tuesday with 10 counts of incest as a result of incidents that allegedly took place in the 1960s and 1970s.

Related: Watch The Report


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Catholic Church Deacon Charged With Incest

SILVER SPRING (MD)
WTOP

December 12, 2007 - 2:31pm

SILVER SPRING, Md. - A Catholic Deacon is under arrest and charged with 10 counts of incest from alleged incidents that occurred 40 years ago.

Montgomery County Police arrested 71-year-old Dan Paul Stallings at his home in Silver Spring on Tuesday.

Police say during the 1960s and 1970s, Stallings had a sexual relationship with an underage girl in his family. The alleged abuse took place outside of his ministry and did not occur on church property.

Stallings has served as a Deacon at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, located at 10103 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, since 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Tasmanian paedophile priest jailed

AUSTRALIA
ABC

70 year old former priest convicted of maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17 has been jailed in the Launceston Criminal Court.

Gregory Laurence Ferguson was sentenced today to three years imprisonment with an 18 month non-parole period.

Ferguson sexually abused a 12 year old boarder at Burnie's Marist College in 1970, when he was a teacher and priest there.

Ferguson was convicted on two other sexual abuse charges earlier this year, and was jailed for two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Mo. court backs church on sex abuse statute

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

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
12/13/2007

St. Louis — The Missouri Court of Appeals dealt a setback this week to people who claim clergy sexual abuse, reining in an eased deadline for filing lawsuits.

On Tuesday, the court's Eastern District affirmed a trial judge's decision to throw out the case of Herbert Graham, now 35, who said he was abused by Michael McGrath, a former priest in the St. Louis archdiocese who was defrocked in 2005.

Both courts decided that Graham filed too late under the statute of limitations.

It was the first appellate court interpretation of the 2006 Missouri Supreme Court ruling Powel v. Chaminade, which had relaxed time limits for people who claim repressed memories to bring suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Lay Catholic board in US says improved child protection in dioceses since clergy sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
The China Post

Thursday, December 13, 2007
AP

Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. have taught more than 6 million children to protect themselves from sexual predators and have conducted 1.6 million background checks on workers in response to the clergy sex abuse crisis, according to a new report.

Auditors hired by America's bishops have found that nearly all of the 195 U.S. dioceses have policies for reviewing molestation claims and reporting allegations to the authorities, the National Review Board, a lay watchdog group, said in the report released Thursday.

The Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and four Eastern Rite districts called eparchies have not participated in the audits.

Despite improvements, church leaders must do more, including measuring the effectiveness of the safeguards they've put in place and deepening the church's understanding of what victims suffer, the panel said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Jesuits settle suit over priest who killed himself

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By Kim Vo
Mercury News
Article Launched: 12/13/2007 01:31:26 AM PST

Father Jim Chevedden was already mentally fragile when another Jesuit allegedly molested him. But it was his superiors forcing Chevedden to live in the same building as his accused abuser that led him to leap off a sixth-story San Jose garage, his family said, committing suicide on his 56th birthday.

"That's the last place you want someone with psychological problems," his brother John Chevedden said, "living with the person he said sexually assaulted him."

Last week, the Jesuits settled a wrongful-death suit with the Chevedden family for $1.6 million. However, Jesuit officials said the settlement was an offer of "closure," not an admission of culpability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

December 12, 2007

Jesuits settle suit stemming from alleged abuse at Los Gatos retreat

Gatos retreat
CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By Kim Vo
Mercury News
Article Launched: 12/12/2007 03:27:15 PM PST

The Jesuits have agreed to a $1.6 million settlement with the family of a Jesuit priest who committed suicide by leaping off a San Jose parking garage in 2004.

Rev. James Chevedden's family contended that the Jesuits didn't protect the mentally fragile priest, who grew distressed after he was allegedly molested by a fellow priest then forced to live in the same building with his alleged abuser.

The family says Rev. Charles Connor molested Chevedden in 1998, while the wheelchair-bound Chevedden was at Sacred Heart, a retirement center near Los Gatos recovering from injuries incurred when he jumped off scaffolding in a possible suicide attempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Police asked to file FIR against priest

INDIA
Express India

New Delhi, December 12 The Delhi High Court has ordered the police to lodge an FIR against the head priest of the Kalkaji temple who is accused of illegally selling temple property.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul also slapped a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh on the priest for falsely stating that he was not aware of the sale and for wasting the “precious time of the court”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Parroco si sfoga dal pulpito: «Non ho l'amante» L'indiziata ringrazia, i fedeli applaudono

ITALY
Il Messaggero

A parish priest in outburst from the pulpit: "I have no lover." The alleged lover thanks him and the faithful appalud

TRENTO (December 10) - These are very agitated days for the church due to former priests who reclaim: That son is mine and others who from the pulpit strive to deny any relationship with the gentle sex. This time it was Rev. Renato Tomio, parish priest of Storio, a town with 4,500 inhabitants situated in the Trentino region, just near the borders with Lombardy, to have an outburst during the celebration of Mass: "I know voices are circulating in the town about my having a lover and I got even anonymous phone calls: I want assure anyone that I have neither girl friends nor lovers."

The alleged lover, who was present among the faithful, almost gave a breath of relief and she added "Gossips are circulating in the town because Rev. Renato is a friend of my family," she commented. The numerous faithful who were in the church responded to the outburst of their parish priest applauding for a long time. Rev. Renato Tomio, 43, arrived at the parish of Storio two years ago and even if he could count on the esteem and trust of the parishioners, there were apparently some exceptions. In fact the gossiping about his alleged relationship with a married woman had started to circulate in the town, becoming so persistent to force him to openly deny it from the pulpit and asking for those calumnies to stop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

I-Team: Earl Paulk's Daughter Speaks Out

GEORGIA
My Fox Atlanta

She has never spoken publicly about the scandal that has rocked her father's church. But, Archbishop Earl Paulk's daugther says she has remained silent long enough. In an exclusive interview, Beth Bonner details why she left her father's church and why someone in the Paulk family needs to apologize. Investigative reporter Dale Russell is here with the story. Click video for more information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Lawsuit Contains First Rape Allegation Against Reardon

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By HILARY WALDMAN | Courant Staff Writer
December 12, 2007

The case of alleged child molester George Reardon took a new twist Tuesday with an accusation in a lawsuit that the late West Hartford endocrinologist raped a young boy — the first such claim to surface publicly.

The rape allegation is included in the fifth lawsuit filed against St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center over the past two weeks. The suits accuse the hospital of negligence in its supervision and control of Reardon, who practiced at the hospital from 1963 to 1993.

Most of Reardon's alleged victims have said he fondled them and photographed them in suggestive poses, but one of the six plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Tuesday says he was raped at the hospital and elsewhere. He claims the alleged abuse started when he was 10 and ended when he was 13, according to Paul T. Edwards, a lawyer with Stratton Faxon in New Haven.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Accused priest allowed to travel to Ohio for heart treatment

CHICAGO (IL)
ChicagoTribune

Tribune staff report
December 12, 2007

CHICAGO - A Jesuit priest charged last month with traveling to Switzerland and Austria to sexually abuse a teenage boy is being permitted by a federal judge to leave the Chicago area this week for heart treatment.

Rev. Donald McGuire, 77, will travel to a clinic in Cleveland for treatment of congestive heart failure, said his lawyer, Stephen Komie. The priest has a history of heart troubles, and his condition is considered life-threatening, Komie said.

Federal prosecutors did not object to McGuire's motion to the court to allow the trip. He has been confined to a suburban apartment since he was charged last month in federal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Maine diocese investigates sex-abuse charges against former Fall River priest

FALL RIVER (MA)
Standard-Times

By The Associated Press
December 11, 2007 6:00 AM
FALL RIVER — A retired Roman Catholic priest who once served in Fall River has been temporarily removed from ministry in Maine following a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor, church officials said.

While church officials in Maine made the announcement, the abuse allegedly occurred in the early 1980s in Massachusetts.

The Rev. Maurice Lebel was rector of the Jesuit Community at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River from 1973-76 and a counselor for diocesan Catholic Social Services from 1976-86, at its offices in Fall River and then Attleboro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Missing money investigated, pastor removed from Flossmoor Catholic church

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez | Tribune religion reporter
December 12, 2007

Complaints of missing money and financial mismanagement at Infant Jesus of Prague Roman Catholic Church in Flossmoor have led to the pastor's temporary removal, a state's attorney's investigation and an archdiocese audit of church funds.

The first sign of trouble came two years ago when more than $1,000 in cash was missing from Sunday collections. More questions arose after the pastor, Rev. William E. Killeen, installed a wet bar in the rectory and spent $25,000 on new furniture without consulting the church finance council. In November, the church's business manager was suspended, Chicago archdiocese officials said.

In a letter read during masses Sunday, Cardinal Francis George said the archdiocese was undertaking an audit of parish funds and asking Killeen, 58, to step back from his responsibilities as pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

School board member accused of sexual abuse

WAUCONDA (IL)
News-Sun

December 12, 2007
BY NICHOLAS P. ALAJAKIS nalajakis@scn1.com
A Wauconda School Board member who works as a child physical therapist and served a long stint as a youth group supervisor has been charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

Nicholas S. Batson, 45, of 25753 W. Ivanhoe Road in Wauconda Township was arrested by Lake County sheriff's deputies Monday after the girl came forward with accusations of abuse. The girl is an acquaintance of Batson's family.

The young girl told classmates and staff at school that she had been abused by Batson over the course of a few years, said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. Investigators later learned that inappropriate touching occurred in several incidents, including when the two playfully wrestled. There was never any sexual contact between the two, Curran added. ...

From 1997 to 2006 Batson was the director of youth services at Federated Church of Wauconda. A church representative said Tuesday that he has not heard anything about abuse allegations at the church. Curran said the Sheriff's Office has not been in contact with the church, but will investigate any accusations that arise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Two of Six Lawsuits Against Trinity Baptist Thrown Out

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Will the civil cases against Trinity fall one by one? The attorney representing the 6 women suing says, "We're not done yet."

Two judges have dismissed two of the six civil suits filed so far. The new ruling says the cases were filed years too late.

But First Coast News talked with Miami attorney Adam Horowitz, who says there's something new for the cases pending.

It involves a tape, which First Coast News obtained exclusively last month. The tape was not discovered in time for the civil cases already dismissed. (Those, by the way, will be appealed in Tallahassee.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Mark Morford: Priests now coming with warning labels

UNITED STATES
San Francisco Chronicle

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

This is how you know. This is one more of the beautiful bizarre myriad ways the Great Shift signals its imminent arrival, in fits and spurts and wayward sidelong slaps, weird cultural burps and from unexpected places that make you go, wow.

Take the Archdiocese of New York. It has apparently just released new coloring book for kids, all about how to be safe in an age of fear and predation. It is full of nice pictures of kids being sweet and virginal and right, engaging in happy activities that praise Almighty God while protecting themselves from, say, online predators and vegans and atheists. It is about awareness, about listening to your parents and saying your prayers and never, ever being alone with a priest and being nice to animals and never hitting your sister and ...

Wait, what? What was that, about the priests? Oh right. Um, the pedophilia. The sexual molestation and the lawsuits and the hints of deep ongoing perversion for the past, oh, 2,000 years. Yes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

December 11, 2007

Mountain Home priest who engaged in 'misconduct' will get help, diocese says

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

BY BILL ROBERTS - broberts@idahostatesman.com
Edition Date: 12/11/07

A Mountain Home Catholic priest engaged in "misconduct" and will get "professional help," the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise said Monday.

The Rev. Raul Covarrubias, 63, pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish since 1992, was put on paid leave Sept. 14 after allegations initially surfaced. He is not scheduled to return to the church in the near future.

Church officials would not describe the misconduct or the type of professional help Covarrubias will receive.

The allegations were reviewed by the diocesan sexual misconduct review board, which looks into alleged misconduct involving children and young people, church officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Sexual Child Abusers in Every Church--Every Sunday!

UNITED STATES
News Release Wire

Don Boys, Ph.D.

It is almost obscene to think that there are people in Bible oriented churches every Sunday who sexually abuse children; however, it is true even in evangelical and fundamental churches! Yes, Virginia, we have sexual child abusers in our best churches! I had read in mainline media that at least 30% of adult women had been molested in their younger days, but I did not believe it was a valid number. Surely, that was propaganda from the screaming feminists. I discovered that I was wrong.

It is a fact that one-third of all children are sexually abused before age 18: About 40% of all females and 30% of males! That number seemed to be impossibly high; however, my wife and I did a national two-year survey during our Christian Couples’ Conferences in Bible teaching churches, and discovered that the number is right on target.

In the last year or so, I have been outraged by the “soft” approach many pastors take toward sexual abuse of children. One example is the Bob Gray case in Jacksonville where the pastor, a friend of mine, admitted to French-kissing little girls in his Christian school. His large church slapped his wrists in a mockery of church discipline and sent him to Germany as a missionary. He should have gone to jail, not Germany. During a visit to the states in May of 06, he was arrested and died November 11, 2007, just before his trial was to begin. His church still refuses to admit their unseemly, untoward, and unscriptural handling of the sin. Gray’s many victims are seeking satisfaction in civil action that could cost the church millions of dollars if a cover-up is proved in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

RELIGION-MEXICO: Outspoken Bishop Backed by Civil Society

MEXICO
IPS

MEXICO CITY, Dec 11 (IPS) - Former members of the Catholic Church hierarchy and over 100 social organisations closed ranks behind Monsignor Raúl Vera, the only Catholic bishop in Mexico who still adheres to liberation theology, and whose unorthodox stances and confrontational style are disturbing conservative sectors.

"The Vatican is wary of Vera, and there are rumours that proceedings may have been initiated against him. But we want to state that the bishop is not alone, and that we will defend him," the head of the non-governmental Ecclesiastical Observatory (OE), José Guadalupe Sánchez, told IPS.

In an open letter published Monday by several newspapers, social organisations in Mexico and abroad, and bishops like Pedro Casaldáliga of Spain and Samuel Ruiz of Mexico, who are adherents of liberation theology, a progressive theological current in Latin America, declared an "alert" because of the accusations against Vera, whom they call "a pastor and prophet for our time." ...

Vera wrote the foreword to a book about the Church and pederasty, recently published in Mexico, which may have upset his peers. In it, the bishop appears to give credence to reports that archbishop Norberto Rivera, primate of Mexico, might have covered up for a paedophile priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

S. Idaho priest to get counseling for misconduct

BOISE (ID)
Montana's News Station

Associated Press - December 11, 2007 10:14 AM ET

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese in Boise says a priest from Mountain Home who engaged in misconduct is on paid leave and ordered to obtain professional help.

Diocese officials say Rev. Raul Covarrubias, 63, was the focus of allegations examined by the church's sexual misconduct review board. Church officials declined to describe the allegations or the kind of professional help the pastor will receive.

Covarrubias has served as pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Mountain Home since 1992. He was placed on paid leave in September after the allegations surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Abuse victims: One keeps faith, one loses it

ALASKA
Catholic Online

By James DeCrane
12/10/2007
Catholic Anchor (www.catholicanchor.org)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Catholic Anchor) - Anger, betrayal and embarrassment are powerful emotions that James Niksik and Peter Kobuk say plague them every day.

The men shared their thoughts and feelings at a press conference with the media on Nov. 19, after the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, confirmed a $50 million settlement between the Jesuits and more than 100 Native Alaskans.

Of all those victims, many, like Niksik, have left the church, unable to reconcile their Catholic faith with their emotions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Claims against retired priest

MASSACHUSETTS
The Sun Chronicle

BY MICHAEL GELBWASSER SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 12:38 AM EST

A retired Maine priest who once worked in Attleboro and Mansfield has been temporarily removed from the ministry after being accused of sexually abusing a minor while serving in Massachusetts.

The Diocese of Portland, Maine, on Saturday removed the Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, pending an investigation into the complaint.

"The decision to restrict Father Lebel from ministry should not be construed as prejudging the outcome of the investigation" but rather "is intended to facilitate the investigation," the Fall River Diocese said Monday in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Mahony needs to make a report

CALIFORNIA
Stockton Record

Cardinal Roger Mahony, 71, had an obligation to report a beating he says he received in late July or early August.

Instead, the former Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Stockton waited until October and told a private gathering of Los Angeles priests that he was attacked because of the church's sex-abuse scandals.

Los Angeles police have contacted Mahony's office but still are waiting to hear from him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

«Mi confessava e aveva già fatto sesso»

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

"He confessed me and he had already had sex"
A faithful: " If I think I revealed him my secrets then I get sick. Now it's going only to be a bad memory"

Abano Terme

Everything seems to be back to normal in the parish of Monterosso. The square is almost deserted, the elderly ladies bicycling, the mothers go and fetch children from school. Everything appears as if nothing had happened, as if that confession of former parish priest Rev. Sante Sguotti made live on TV at the Buona Domenica show had never been pronounced by him. But it was enough to ask the passerby to just realize all the rage and the intolerance for what had happened. "It makes me throw up! We have had enough of it ! It's better for him to
go!" the few words shouted by an elderly lady on her bicycle who didn't even want to stop and speak. Those same parishioners who at the beginning of last August had unconditionally sworn loyalty to the parish priest now feel to have been betrayed, since it's not true, as Rev. Sante himself had said, that everything was meant to be a "game", a "provocation". Now there was the evidence. And the frustration deriving from the parish priest's betrayal becomes
unbearable when the faithful remember that it was the same Rev. Sante, moreover in their church, to declare he had never "biblically" known his lover. "In life people make their choices," explained the mother of a child attending the elementary school at Monterosso. "Does he want a family? Then he must be a father ! He can then do whatever he wants but he must have the dignity not to make himself be seen here at the parish. I welcome his excommunication!" Not very different are the opinions of the other people who were consulted. "Oh, finally after four months he got his courage and he said the truth, he was a little shy, it seems to me!" added Claudio Babetto, a resident in the neighborhood. "When he was an adolescent he made a
choice, if then at 40 years of age he changes his mind it's his business, he must face the consequences and go. If he wants to be a priest rules are very precise".

And the parishioners, to look well into it, seem to ignore those lines that within tomorrow the "priest - father " has decided to write down to explain to all the community how things stand. To report the opinions of those parishioners who are disgusted from this story you could go on writing many pages. And to support the reverend "father" seem only to remain the "Rev. Sante boys," that small group of very close faithful who would stick to him against anything and anybody. "It's enough! He only must be a father," continued Bruna Arpi, a grandmother of a child attending the school of Monterosso. "He is a man, it's normal he is in love, I'm not such a bigot to point my finger against him, but if he has a child then he must abandon everything. Rules are rules."

Meanwhile Rev. Sante, reached on the phone, explained he would have willingly confessed his paternity but his situation (and his success with the media) didn't allow him that. It comes to the mind that contract he signed with Mediaset which guaranteed three presences of his at Buona Domenica, where it was stated clearly in which day and with which modality he had to make "his revelation" " We are all offended," continued a parishioner who wanted to be anonymous. "He mad fun of us many times. Meanwhile when he confessed me and gave me
the Eucharist he had already made sex with a woman. If I think I gave my confession and I revealed him all my secrets, I feel sick. He made us suffer many times. Now he must go, it's going only to be a bad memory."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Removed from the bishop’s discretion

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

To protect parish and parochial school assets from being used to pay court settlements, San Francisco’s Archbishop George Niederauer has approved modifications to the archdiocese’s corporate structure, said the Dec. 8 Catholic San Francisco.

The status of parochial property has been a contested issue since Archbishop Sean O’ Malley of Boston sold off parish assets and closed 60 parishes to pay off molestation claims against the Boston archdiocese several years ago. In Aug. 2005 the Holy See ruled that the archdiocese of Boston was wrong in thus seizing parish assets.

This ruling did not affect the U.S. courts. Also in Aug. 2005, Spokane U.S. bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams ruled that churches, parochial schools, and such assets as cemeteries belong to the diocese, not to parishes. In declaring bankruptcy over molestation claims in Dec. 2004, the Spokane diocese had argued that its assets amounted to only $10 million in real estate. Lawyers for alleged victims, on the other hand, said that, since parishes, parochial schools, and other property, belonged to the diocese as well, its assets exceeded $80 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Claim: Doctor Wielded Firearm

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By HILARY WALDMAN | Courant Staff Writer
December 11, 2007

New lawsuits filed in the case of alleged child molester George Reardon include accusations that the West Hartford endocrinologist threatened his victims with a gun, rewarded them with cash and molested four brothers in the same family.

The lawsuits, which allege that St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford was negligent in its supervision and control of Reardon, also include what is believed to be the first lawsuit in the Reardon case filed against the hospital by a woman.

The latest suits bring to a dozen the number of adults who claim the hospital shares responsibility for Reardon's actions during the 1970s and '80s, when he allegedly fondled children and photographed them naked in his St. Francis office under the guise of conducting research into human growth and development.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Judges throw out 2 of 6 cases against Trinity Baptist Church

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Dec. 10, 2007
The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two lawsuits against a church have been thrown out because claims stemming from child molestation charges against the church's late pastor were filed too late.

Circuit Judges Peter Fryefield and Charles Mitchell ruled that the women failed to meet a four-year statute of limitations and that each knew her abuser, the Florida Times-Union reported. Mitchell ruled on Oct. 23 and Fryefield's order was filed Thursday.

Robert Gray, the former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, was charged in May 2006 with six counts of capital sexual battery involving four women.

The 81-year-old died last month before the cases went to trial.

The women's lawyer, Adam Horowitz, said Monday that he would appeal. A telephone message left after hours at his office by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Judges side with church in abuse

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
The Times-Union

By Paul Pinkham, The Times-Union

Judges have thrown out two of six lawsuits against Trinity Baptist Church, saying claims stemming from child molestation charges against the Jacksonville church's late pastor were filed far too late.

Similar decisions are pending in three of the other cases, filed by women who say they were sexually abused as children by former pastor Robert Gray in the late '70s and early '80s.

The women's lawyer vowed Monday to appeal.

Gray was charged in May 2006 with six counts of capital sexual battery involving four women. He died last month before the cases went to trial. He was 81.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

December 10, 2007

"Voice of the Faithful" organizer now advising Obama

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

Washington DC, Dec 10, 2007 / 11:24 am (CNA).- A Harvard sociologist who was a major force in organizing the dissenting Catholic group Voice of the Faithful is now advising the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Marshall Ganz helped start Voice of the Faithful, an organization devoted to "structural change” in the Church. It has called for changes in Catholic doctrine and practice, such as the addition of a married priesthood and the popular election of bishops.

Ganz recruited one of his former graduate students, Aimee Caravich, into Voice of the Faithful to develop a training program for regional coordinators and affiliate leaders. In a letter to the organization's members, she wrote, "VOTF can rise to its feet and claim a piece of the power that the Catholic hierarchy currently holds. I am here to get that ball rolling."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Giuliani, Hannity and the Accused Molester

UNITED STATES
Lone Star Times

A funny thing happened on the way home Friday. I left early and tuned in to hear Sean Hannity interview Mike Huckabee. The interview dealt with Huckabee’s role in the parole of Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist. It seemed odd that Huckabee would attempt to defend his role on Hannity’s show, given that Hannity is pushing Rudy Giuliani’s candidacy very strongly.

Sure enough, it was nothing more than a Hannity setup, a blatant attempt to stop Huckabee’s momentum. Perhaps it works, perhaps it doesn’t but that wasn’t the real story. The real story, at least for me, came when a female caller came on the air.

She proceeded to rip Huckabee, saying he never met a tax he didn’t like, that he was “soft” on illegals and criminals and had no foreign policy experience, i.e., the usual distortions. Hannity was eating it up, telling her that he had serious questions in his mind about these issues in regards to Huckabee. So he was feeling pretty chipper.

He then asked the caller which of the other candidates she was for. She proceeded to tell him anyone but Rudy. On no! Hannity went ballistic, carrying on about how he’s the best on crime, talked about his handling of 9/11, etc. The caller interrupted him and told him that she could never vote for Giuliani because he has an alleged child molester on his staff.

Again Hannity exploded, telling her that he knew the priest was innocent. This got my attention. Yes, he “knows” the priest is innocent because….the priest, Fr. Alan Placa, was once his teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Spanish court convicts archbishop

SPAIN
Catholic World News

Madrid, Dec. 10, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A Spanish court has ruled in favor of a Catholic priest who brought a criminal complaint against his own archbishop.

Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez Fernandez of Granada has been found guilty on charges of attempted intimidation, and fined €3,750 (about $5,500). The court rule that the archbishop had illegally sought to stop Father Francisco Javier Martinez Media, a former archdiocesan archivist, from publishing a book about the city's cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Two Italian priests defy bishops on marriage issues

ITALY
Catholic World News

Florence, Dec. 10, 2007 (CWNews.com) - An Italian priest who gained notoriety earlier this year by proclaiming his love for a local woman has now admitted that he is the father of the woman's child.

The former pastor of Monterosso, Italy, Father Sante Squotti, appeared on Italian television station Canale 5 declaring that he is the father of the 15-month old boy. Father Sguotti, who formerly said he did not know the mother of the child “in the biblical sense,” stated, “I am the father of Rocco and was present at his birth.” Father Squotti was suspended a divinis by Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua after he made public his romantic involvement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

It's Dec. 10--Do You Know Where John Urell Is?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
December 10, 2007 11:17 AM

Remember John Urell? Monsignor for the Catholic Diocese of Orange? Who covered up for pedophiles? Whose supporters continuously shot themselves in the foot? Who was whisked off to Canada to--take your pick--combat an "acute anxiety disorder" (according to the diocese) or to evade a deposition (says suing lawyers)? That guy?

Well, it's December 10--and he should be back in town.

So where is he?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Holiday Hiatus, some links for those long nights, see you in 2008

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

City of Angels Blog is going on hiatus until early 2008, but before signing off here are some things to read:

From Tom Doyle’s letter re a "Mass of Remembrance for Sex Abuse Survivors" (that really is how they announced it, a Mass for dead survivors. . . ) which took place November 28 in Newton, Mass.

“One of the fundamental problems with our Catholic approach to serious problems is the belief that some form of liturgy will bring a solution. Many of us believe the only ones who come away from such rituals feeling satisfied are those who planned them or took part in them. The fallacy is that such events effect healing.

“How can you or anyone expect them to take a liturgy seriously when true pastoral care has not only been ignored but refused.

“These efforts would be better spent by the cardinals and bishops in Massachusetts and other States working hard for legislative reform that would enable all sex abuse victims, to find redress and justice in the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Former pastor sentenced for abuse

ALABAMA
Emerald Coast

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A judge has sentenced a former Baker pastor to four years in prison for sexually abusing an 86-year-old woman in her home, according to the Alabama state attorney’s offi ce.

Jerry Hutcheson, who is in his early 50s, was working in Florala, Ala., as a letter carrier when he delivered a package to the woman in November 2004. While he was there, police in Alabama say he took the woman’s hand in his and placed it on her breast while his pants were unzipped.

“This defendant deserves to spend every day of his sentence in prison for a crime that was an appalling violation of human decency,” Alabama Attorney General Troy King said in a statement. “The victim in this case is a brave and honorable lady, and now her assailant faces justice for his despicable and perverted deed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Abuse victims remembered at memorial Mass

NEWTON (MA)
The Pilot

By Neil W. McCabe Pilot Correspondent
Posted: 12/7/2007

NEWTON -- Deceased victims of sexual abuse by clergy were remembered at a Mass sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach at Our Lady Help of Christians Church Nov. 28.

“It is good for us to be here,” said Bishop John A. Dooher, in his homily. “I am humbled to be here and pray with you.”

The bishop concelebrated the Mass with Msgr. Dennis F. Sheehan, Father John Curry and Father John J. Connolly.

“It is a gift and a duty to remember those who came before us,” Bishop Dooher continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

How much longer will priest be banned?

IRELAND
The Northern Echo

By Neil Macfarlane

A PRIEST who was suspended in mysterious circumstances three years ago is banned from returning to church even though all charges against him have been thrown out, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Members of St Augustine's Church, in Darlington, are furious that Father Michael Higginbottom faces his fourth Christmas away from the parish on enforced leave.

Police sources confirmed last night that no allegations of a sexual or violent nature have been made and Fr Higginbottom has never been interviewed.

Father Higginbottom was suspended on December 10, 2004 when the church announced that investigations had begun into "information" received against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Archbishop of Granada found guilty of slandering a priest

SPAIN
Typically Spanish

Judge Miguel Angel Torres, famous for instructing the Marbella Malaya Case, but now working in Granada, has ordered the Archbishop of Granada to pay a 3,750 € fine after finding him guilty of coercion and slandering a priest.

The judge in penal court 5 in the city, considered it proved that Francisco Javier Martínez was guilty of intimidating Javier Martínez Medina, to try to get him to stop the publication of a book on Granada Cathedral.

The archbishop will have to pay the fine at a rate of 10 € a day for 22 months on the charge of slander against the priest and 10 € a day for 15 days on the charge of coercion.

In court the archbishop defended the freedom of his actions as the person being responsible for the diocese, and claimed that he was the victim of a media campaign against him. On two occasions the judge had to call the archbishop to order and called on him not to be ‘so brusque’ with his answers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Il paese sotto shock Don Brusegan: «Basta con le doppie verità» I parrocchiani: «Ora se ne vada per sempre»

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

The town is in shock, said the Rev. Brusegan: "We have enough with double truths." The parishioners: "Now he must go for good'

Abano

Those words "The child is mine and soon we would like to have a second one" didn't leave at all unruffled the parishioners of Monterosso. With the exception of the "Rev. Sante's boys," that is those very faithful to the former parish priest of Monterosso who would never contradict "their spiritual guide," the community of Monterosso is still in shock. For it's one thing, the report of gossip and "rumors," another is to learn that their parish priest is the father of a child and that (contrarily to the sworn statements made by the same Rev. Sante in the church) he knew a woman as "biblically" intended.

In that small town of Monterosso there was yesterday, a little after the live TV show Buona Domenica, a contrasting feeling. Because on one hand the faithful can't deny that Rev. Sante did a lot for the community, but on the other hand they can't justify such a behavior. "It's time he disappears for good," an elderly lady commented. "He made our community suffer too much and now this revelation will hurt us more. It was better he had gone earlier." The choice to become a father isn't in fact so devoid of pain as Rev. Sante described to the TV audience of Buona Domenica. "He is acting against the church," explained the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, the "provisory" parish priest of Monterosso. "Now he can't continue anymore with this double truths, he must assume his own responsibilities". Even if that could mean an excommunication, one would think," he said. "If he continues to celebrate the Eucharist or confession (even privately)," continued Rev. Giovanni, "It would be like a policeman continuing to use his pistol after he was fired." And to be astonished by the stubbornness of the former parish priest is first of all Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo. During his pastoral visit last week the bishop went in fact to knock at the door of the rectory. It's hard to imagine his sourness mixed to surprise when to open the door was one of Rev. Sante's faithful. "Is it right the bishop can't have the keys of a parish which instead can be kept by a girl?" That was the comment of the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Clergy sex abuse complaint aired

PORTLAND (ME)
Boston Globe

By
Associated Press / December 10, 2007
PORTLAND, Maine - A complaint of sexual abuse of a minor that allegedly occurred in Massachusetts has led to the removal from ministry of a retired priest of the Diocese of Portland.

more stories like thisAt the time of the alleged abuse in the early 1980s, the Rev. Maurice T. Lebel was a member of the Society of Jesus, ministering in Massachusetts, Portland diocesan officials said.

In a statement from the Portland diocese, officials said that in March, a report was received by the Archdiocese of Boston and that Massachusetts civil authorities and the Diocese of Portland were notified, although the name of the complainant was withheld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Abuse cases test trust at academy

ANAPOLIS (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Bradley Olson and Josh Mitchell | Sun reporters
December 10, 2007

After years of highly publicized incidents of midshipmen sexually abusing classmates, the Naval Academy appears to have turned a corner with a prevention and education program that has been held up as a model for other universities to emulate.

Studies, including one released Friday by the Defense Department, show that misconduct incidents have dropped at the academy and an insidious macho culture is giving way to more tolerance and self-policing.

But now the academy is reeling from a string of incidents that surfaced during the past year involving sexual misconduct by people in positions of authority - incidents that some fear could reverse the progress and leave midshipmen less willing to report abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Abuse inquiry names retired priest

PORTLAND (ME)
Bangor Daily News

By The Associated Press
Monday, December 10, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — The retired priest who oversaw the $2 million renovation of St. John Catholic Church in Bangor between 1986 and 1991 has been removed temporarily from ministry pending the investigation of a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor in Massachusetts during the early 1980s.

The Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, 74, was removed from ministry in June, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced over the weekend. At the time of the alleged complaint, Lebel was a Jesuit — a member of the Society of Jesus — ministering in Massachusetts.

The Maine diocese is conducting its own investigation because in 1991 Lebel, while he was pastor at St. John’s, left the Society of Jesus and became a diocesan priest, according to a diocesan press release issued Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

December 9, 2007

Maine priest accused of abuse while in Massachusetts in 1980s

MAINE
Journal Gazette

Associated Press
Roman Catholic church officials in Maine announce that a retired priest has been temporarily removed from ministry following a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor that allegedly occurred in the early 1980s in Massachusetts.

At the time, the Rev. Maurice Lebel was a member of the Society of Jesus, Portland diocesan officials said.

In a statement from the Portland diocese, officials said that in March a report was received by the Archdiocese of Boston and that Massachusetts civil authorities and the Diocese of Portland were notified.

In June, the Portland Diocese received more details about the complaint and began its own investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Retired priest restricted

MAINE
Sun Journal

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Rev. Maurice T. Lebel served in Norway, Auburn

PORTLAND - A Catholic priest who formerly served in Auburn and Norway has been temporarily removed from ministry, pending an investigation of alleged sexual abuse of a minor in Massachusetts, the Catholic diocese announced Saturday.

Before his removal, The Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, 74, was retired but serving in southern Maine, regularly ministering at St. Mary's in Wells and All Saints in Ogunquit, the diocese said Saturday in a prepared statement.

In March of this year, the Archdiocese of Boston received a complaint against Lebel from an individual from Massachusetts who claimed to have been assaulted and sexually abused between the ages of 15 and 17 in the 1980s. At that time, Lebel was a priest of the Society of Jesus, a Jesuit ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Two Maine priests accused of sex abuse

MAINE
Maine Sunday Telegram

By BETH QUIMBY, Staff Writer

December 9, 2007

Massachusetts authorities are investigating a complaint alleging sexual abuse of a teenager in the early 1980s by a retired Portland priest who is still active in the ministry in southern Maine.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Saturday that the Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, 74, was removed from the ministry this past summer pending the results of the investigation, which are expected shortly.

At the same time, the diocese announced another complaint of sexual abuse had been made against a deceased Portland priest, the Rev. John J. Curran, who died in 1976 at age 76.

The diocese reported that the complaint against Lebel, initially received by the Archdiocese of Boston in March, involved a Massachusetts resident who claims to have been assaulted and sexually abused by Lebel, then a Jesuit priest, between the ages of 15 and 17.

Bishop Richard Malone restricted Lebel from the ministry in June while Massachusetts authorities investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Don Sante: «Mio figlio ha un anno e mezzo e me ne sono occupato da quando è nato»

ITALY
Il Messaggero

Rev. Sante: "My son is one year and half old and Ii took care of him since he was born"

VENEZIA (December 9) - He wanted that son, and he held him in his arms since he was born, he changed his diapers and he rocked him when he cried. To speak so isn't a common father, but a man who until a short time ago had made a vow of chastity and loyalty to Christ. Rev. Sante Sguotti, former parish priest at Monterosso (Padua), made the admission to be the father of a child who is now 18-months-old. "His name is Rocco and I registered my paternity last week," said Rev. Sante Sguotti, who had been suspended a divinis by the bishop of Padua, Monsignor Antonio Mattiazzo, at the Buona Domenica TV show, making also the point of being in love with his child's mother.

"I'm Rocco's father," he repeated. "I have always been his father. I thank God for I was very lucky. He is a very beautiful child". "This child," he added, "was desired, wanted and welcomed since the first moment he was born. Just because we wished to have two children, being my companion Tamara over 40, we decided to act earlier". As to his love story, Sante Sguotti said that "it was difficult to accept my having fallen in love. It was also a very hard interior fight since Tamara had recently separated from her husband," he concluded, "and the first step was made by her."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Outcome of first case may not be harbinger of trials to come

VERMONT
Boston Globe

By John Curran
Associated Press Writer / December 9, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt.—When a jury finally got his case, a former Northeast Kingdom man who sued the Diocese of Burlington over his alleged molestation by a priest was hoping for a seven-figure payday.

He was awarded only $15,000, though, and may not get even that.

But the church, which has already paid out about $1.5 million in settlements and faces about two dozen more suits by alleged victims of pedophile priests, has bigger challenges in the other suits seeking to hold it liable for the actions of its priests.

Turner's lawyer says that case was the weakest of more than 25 he has filed against the church over sex abuse by rogue priests in that it contained no documented evidence that church leaders had prior notice of sexual misconduct by former Rev. Alfred Willis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Roma, il monito di Benedetto XVI "Bambini vittime dell'amore corrotto"

VATICAN CITY
la Repubblica

The admonition of Benedict XVI
"Children victims of corrupted love"

ROMA - Highly resounding the words of Benedict XVI. At the Angelus pronounced today in Rome in defense of young people "often victims of the corruption of love, deceived by unscrupulous adults," attracted in the "blind alleys of consumerism" in which "even the most sacred realities, as the human body, become consumable objects, often when they are in their pre-adolescent years". Words of alarm which can be thought as related to the tragedy of pedophilia inside the church, in addition to the culture of unchecked consumerism.

The Angelus of Benedict XVI starts from the reflection on the figure of mother who was the Virgin Mary. "What a great gift to have the Immaculate Mary as a mother," he commented. "I think of the youth today, growing up in an environment full of messages proposing false models of happiness: these boys and girls are risking to lose the hope, for they often are orphans of true love, which gives full meaning and joy to life."

And at this point the reflection of Benedict XVI is full of grief: "From the many experiences we unfortunately learned, adolescents, young people and even children are easy prey of corruption of love, deceived by unscrupulous adults who, lying to themselves and to them, attract them in the blind alleys of consumerism."

In the afternoon, respecting the tradition tourists and Romans are fond of , the Pope, aboard his "popemobile" (his special car), went to Piazza di Spagna to deliver a bunch of roses under the column of the Virgin Mary: " The Immaculate Virgin exhorts us to be brothers to each other, all together in the pledge to build a juster world, with more solidarity and peace".

At the end of the ceremony Ratzinger saluted those people in Lourdes who could be seen live in TV for the opening of the 150 years celebrations of the sanctuary, where the Pope is being awaited in the next months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Mahony takes hit for church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

By Doug McIntyre, Columnist
Article Last Updated: 12/08/2007 08:42:20 PM PST

Did you hear the one about the archbishop who went to mail some letters? It goes something like this:

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest Catholic community, goes out to mail some letters in late July and gets roughed up by someone enraged about his handling of the pedophile-priest scandal. According to Father Joseph Shea, pastor of Holy Family Church in Glendale, Mahony did not notify the police because, "he felt he could offer it (the beating) up in reparation for the sins of others."

Talk about taking one for the team! If the Vatican has an employee of the month, I know who won for July.

Any enterprise would want a guy like Roger on their squad. Mahony's not only willing to obfuscate (high class lie), stonewall (buy time while you think up a lie), lie (low-class obfuscation), or simply malign the victims of his callous indifference to the sexual molestation of children, he's even willing to take a street thumping for the cause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Tough road ahead for state diocese

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Sunday, December 9, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The state's Roman Catholic diocese is fresh from a jury verdict in a priest molestation case that one of its lawyers called gratifying, but the church continues to face a litany of lawsuits.

A review of the docket at Chittenden County Superior Court shows that 17 of the 24 pending priest sex abuse cases filed against the diocese involve molestation claims against the former Rev. Edward Paquette, including 11 of the next 13 cases on the docket.

Paquette's conduct and the diocese's knowledge of it -- he allegedly molested boys in two other states prior to incidents in Rutland, Montpelier and Burlington in the 1970s -- led the church in 2006 to settle the first Paquette case on the docket for $965,000, by far the diocese's largest settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Suit: Church Knew Ex-Priest Aggressive

BARTOW (FL)
The Ledger

By Dana Willhoit
The Ledger

BARTOW | The Catholic Church knew that a former priest who was transferred from Newark to Lakeland had a history of sexual aggression toward women but did nothing about it, a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Orlando and the Archdiocese of Newark claims.

The Rev. Walter Fisher, 51, who pleaded guilty in August to aggravated stalking, sexually assaulted a woman who was a member of the Church of the Resurrection in Lakeland where he worked.

According to the lawsuit filed in Orlando, Fisher, also known as Wladyslaw Gorak, was a Catholic priest ordained in Poland in 1982.

He was employed by the Archdiocese in Newark and assigned to numerous parishes from 1998 to 2003, the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Women abused as youths by priests deserve equity

WATERLOO (IA)
Courier

By PAT KINNEY, Courier Business Editor

WATERLOO --- A victim of child sex abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church says women in her position deserve as much attention as their male counterparts.

Rosalyn Zieser believes society tends to focus on male victims of clergy sex abuse --- possibly because such reports have been more prevalent. She also thinks some may consider the thought of male priests abusing boys more aberrant than priests abusing girls.

Zieser was born in Iowa but lives in Unity, Wis. She said she is glad she went through the claim and settlement process in her own case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

A diligent detective traces an abusive priest's victim

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 9, 2007
Los Angeles Sheriff's Det. Mario Loffredo spent six months looking for a boy who didn't exist -- and found him.

As one of the detectives investigating former Roman Catholic priest and pedophile Michael Stephen Baker, Loffredo was told to find a potential molestation victim named in an internal church document.

The document, which the archdiocese was forced to turn over after a long court battle, was in Baker's personnel file and showed that church officials had looked into -- and dismissed -- an allegation that the priest had a boy in his room at a South Los Angeles parish church in 1996. According to the document, which was described to The Times by authorities, the boy, the boy's sister and their mother were all interviewed, and all denied that there was an improper relationship.

Detectives didn't buy it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Churches must be honest in sex-abuse cases

LIVINGSTON (MT)
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

By SCOTT McMILLION Chronicle Staff Writer

LIVINGSTON - For at least a decade, the news and controversy surrounding church-related sexual abuse of children focused on Catholic priests. But it happens in religious settings of all sorts.

Support groups and informational Web sites exist for sexually abused Presbyterians and Baptists, Buddhists and Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses and Lutherans -- and many others.

Last week, a Livingston jury convicted former Church of God minister Terence Passmore of three counts of sexual assault and one count of rape for fondling two sisters in 1998. The six-day trial was long, draining and intense.

Testimonies contradicted each other in many ways, but there was one topic of agreement: The whole thing should have been handled years ago, when details were fresh and before memories blurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Portland priest investigated for alleged sex abuse

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

By Beth Quimby Portland Press Herald Staff Writer
December 08, 2007 09:39 PM

Massachusetts authorities are investigating a complaint alleging sexual abuse of a teenager in the early 1980s by a retired Portland priest who is still active in the ministry in southern Maine.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced today that the Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, 74, was removed from the ministry this past summer pending the results of the investigation, which are expected shortly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Verdict is a short-term victory for diocese

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

December 9, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer

For Vermont's Catholic Church, the trial may be over, but the test has just begun. The statewide Roman Catholic Diocese spent much of the past two weeks in Burlington's Chittenden Superior Court defending itself against a civil lawsuit by James Turner, who charged the church with negligent supervision after the former Rev. Alfred Willis sexually abused him as a teenager 30 years ago.

A jury ruled Tuesday for the plaintiff but, in a surprise twist, said his case was too old to prosecute under the state's statutes of limitations — in effect negating its seemingly small award of $15,000 in compensatory damages to the 47-year-old Northeast Kingdom native.

Vermont's largest religious denomination still faces 25 other priest misconduct lawsuits. Church lawyer David Cleary of Rutland hopes last week's verdict will result in swift settlement of the remaining cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

December 8, 2007

Usa, violentata da sette preti risarcita con 500mila dollari

LOS ANGELES (CA)
la Repubblica

USA: raped by seven priests, she gets 500 million dollar in compensations

Los Angeles - She was raped for years by seven priests and she gets a record compensation. Rita Milla, who is now 46-years-old, was subject to sexual violence since the age of 16; but today the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, under the tenure of Cardinal Roger Mahony, had to take out from its coffers half a million dollars. And the same cardinal had to face the anger of people upset about the sexual scandals in the California Catholic church. Last year the cardinal was the victim of a violent aggression committed by a man he had met in a street, according to some priests to whom he had confided the incidence.

The case of Rita Milla, reported by the CBS network and in all US newspapers, is particularly brutal: the woman gave birth to a baby girl after violence on the part of a priest, and after she got pregnant again by another priest she was induced to receive money to get an abortion in the Philippines.

That is only the last chapter of a long series of sexual abuses in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Recently the Catholic church of the Californian metropolis has paid high sums of money for innumerable episodes of sexual violence made by the clergy. The aggression to Cardinal Mahony is to be viewed in this context: it happened last year, after the diocese made an accord to pay 660 million dollars to compensate sexual abuses on minors which had taken place in its community. It was the highest sum of money ever paid by the Catholic church in USA. The aggression to the cardinal, which had been a secret until now, was reported by some priests who were present when the cardinal spoke about it. No official comment today on the part of the cardinal, who, according to what was reported, recuperated his health only after one month from the assault.

Rita Milla's lawyer, Gloria Alfred, revealed some details of the judiciary story. The victim was sixteen when the priest, Santiago Tamayo, started to molest her sexually and then had a relationship with her. Afterwards Tamayo made her meet six other priests, one of whom made her pregnant.

Before his death, in 1999, Rev. Tamayo offered his excuses to the woman and gave information that brought to the indictment of the other priests for sexual violence. In 2003 another tribunal of the stte of California ascertained that the father of the victim's daughter was one of the priests, Valentie Tugade.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles didn't want to comment on the scandal, but Cardinal Mahony made a statement to reconfirm the pledge of the US Catholic Church to protect children in order to prevent their sexual abuse.

Only a few days earlier another case of sexual abuse had hit the US catholic church. The Diocese of Davenport, in Iowa, had made a 37-million-dollars legal settlement to reimburse damages suffered by 156 victims from sexual abuses committed by priests in the period between 1930 and 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

New inquiry move

AUSTRALIA
Sunday Mail

NIGEL HUNT
December 09, 2007 12:15am
THE conduct of disgraced priest John Mountford may be fully examined for the first time by an internal Anglican Church inquiry.

If the Professional Standards Committee inquiry proceeds, it may result in Mountford being stripped of his priesthood – preventing him from acting as a priest ever again.

Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide Jeffrey Driver has formally asked the Professional Standards Committee, which is an independent body within the diocese, to "consider whether it is now appropriate" for an inquiry into Mountford's conduct to be held.

If the committee agrees, which is highly likely, it would launch the first formal inquiry into allegations the former St Peter's College chaplain sexually abused students at the school in 1991 and 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Lawsuits against priest settled

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
St. Cloud Times

By David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Two civil lawsuits accusing a Crosier priest of defamation for a book he wrote about the 1957 death of a Foley teenager have been settled, according to the priest's attorney.

Several people who were identified by fictional names in the book "Raising Roger's Cross" sued the Rev. Charles Kunkel in Hennepin County District Court. In the book, Kunkel claimed that Roger Vaillancourt was tortured and castrated before he was hit by a car and died.

Three people identified in the book by the fictional names "Mack," "Dewey" and "Cindy" sued Kunkel. The attorney representing those who sued Kunkel claimed the three did nothing wrong, and they sued the publisher AuthorHouse and the Crosier Fathers and Brothers as well as Kunkel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Residential students may not get full claim: advisor

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Friday, December 7, 2007 | 3:06 PM CT
CBC News
Poor government records may prevent some former residential school students from receiving their full compensation from the federal government, according to the Assembly of First Nations.

About 60 per cent of compensation claimants are not receiving the full amount they are requesting because the federal government cannot find records proving their attendance at a residential school, said Ken Young, a legal adviser for the assembly.

But he said it should not be up to claimants to prove when they went to school.

"Canada is responsible for the records," Young said Thursday. "For Canada to now attempt to place the onus on survivors [is] totally unacceptable, and that actually lets Canada off the hook."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

24 Years Later: Man Arrested for Sexual Abuse

MONCKS CORNER (SC)
ABC News 4

Moncks Corner, SC -

He's accused of sexually abusing children more than 20 years ago and tonight, he's back in town.

56-year-old Thomas Flack faced a judge in Moncks Corner tonight and faced several of his accusers.

Flack was living in Asheville, North Carolina, but sheriff’s officials say 24 years ago, Flack was living in Goose Creek and sexually abused six boys.

Sheriff's officials say Flack was involved with a Goose Creek church in the late 70's where he started a singing quartet with young members of the church.

"He is a religious man. He's always worked. He’s always done his fair share for the community. He's always contributed," said Flack’s attorney, Lauren Williams.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Judge divvies up San Diego clergy abuse settlement

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: TERI FIGUEROA - Staff Writer

A judge on Friday divvied up a nearly $200 million settlement won by scores of abuse victims of Catholic priests from the Diocese of San Diego ---- and noted that he wanted to award more, given the large number of egregious cases.

"There was simply not enough money to compensate all of the high-end victims with a high-end dollar amount," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter D. Lichtman said in his order, issued Friday. "The range, extent and depth of abuse in the San Diego cases are unlike any that this court has previously seen."

Plaintiff Barbara Yoes of San Diego said she was repeatedly raped at an area Catholic school between the ages of 10 and 12. She was unsure Friday of her settlement amount.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Judge determines, seals abuse victims' allocations

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

December 8, 2007

In an order startling for its frank conclusions, a Los Angeles judge said yesterday that he had determined the specific settlement awards in each of 144 child-sexual-abuse cases filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

Victims of the most egregious abuse, including such acts as sodomy, torture and oral copulation, will receive up to $2.1 million, according to the order by Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman. The diocese has agreed to pay a total of $198.1 million.
The specific amounts, and the range of awards to victims suffering lesser abuse, such as “fondling over clothes” and “forced to watch masturbation,” were placed under seal by Lichtman, who cited confidentiality laws.

The settlement was reached in September between diocese attorneys and those representing men and women abused decades ago by priests and other church workers. It ended the Chapter 11 case the diocese filed in federal bankruptcy court in February in lieu of civil-court trials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

December 7, 2007

Matano memo surfaces in Rhode Island priest abuse case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Bishop Salvatore Matano, head of the state's Roman Catholic diocese since 2005, helped a Rhode Island priest accused of fondling boys find another parish assignment, according to court documents in a Providence, R.I., court case.

A lawyer for the Providence diocese, however, claims Matano did not know about the priest's background at the time he made the request.

Matano was director of the Providence diocese's priest personnel office in 1980 when he wrote to Bishop Louis Gelineau and suggested that the Rev. Roland Lepire be given another parish after Lepire was removed from parishes in Woonsocket and Cranston, R.I.

"During my conversation with Father, he expressed a strong desire to return to parish ministry," Matano wrote to Gelineau on July 22, 1980, in a memo on file with the Providence Superior Court. "Perhaps if the psychiatrist's report is positive, Father Lepire could be considered for a parish assignment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Group wants more action against priest

ANAPOLIS (MD)
Capital

By EARL KELLY, Staff Writer
Published December 07, 2007
A group that advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests this morning called on civilian authorities to pursue criminal charges locally against an HIV-positive Catholic priest who pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually abusing midshipmen in Annapolis and at the Naval Academy.

At the same time, a former midshipman who was dismissed from the academy for being homosexual blamed the situation partly on military rules that force homosexuals to hide their actions.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee, 42, was a Catholic priest assigned to the Naval Academy form 2003 to 2006. He pleaded guilty at the Quantico Marine Corps Base yesterday to forceful sodomy and was sentenced to two years in military prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

A Peek at the Bishop's Past

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Friday, December 7, 2007 - 3:00 pm
It’s hard to get worked up each time a sordid revelation surfaces in the Catholic Diocese of Orange’s sex-abuse saga, but what’s recently emerged about Bishop Tod D. Brown should anger even the most jaded observer.

Last week, Brown made headlines when diocesan attorneys announced he no longer faced a Dec. 3 date in Orange County Superior Court for contempt charges involving an aborted deposition by Monsignor John Urell for a molestation lawsuit (see “Fiddlin’ in St. Augustine,” Oct. 11). But the local media overlooked another deposition, one involving Brown on Nov. 19 for a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Monterey. In it, a man identified in court documents as John Doe claims priests John Velez and Juan Guillen molested him around 1990 when he served as an altar boy at Christ the King Church in Salinas.

Brown’s attorneys tried to prevent His Excellency from testifying in the case by arguing the bishop—who served in the Monterey diocese from 1963 until becoming the Bishop of Boise in 1989—wasn’t around when Doe’s alleged abuse occurred. The strategy didn’t work: Doe’s Newport Beach-based attorney, Vince Finaldi, convinced a judge to allow the deposition since Brown held two of the Monterey diocese’s most-powerful positions during his stay—Vicar of Clergy (which oversees the well-being of priests) from 1973 through 1982, and Vicar General (the bishop’s right-hand man) from 1982 through 1989. It’s Finaldi’s contention that Brown set the sex-abuse policies that allowed Velez and Guillen to work in Monterey when they allegedly abused the plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Comparative Table of Selected Settlements

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

This links to a comprehensive list of major settlements by dioceses in the United States. Co-Director Terence McKiernan said an updated and more complete list should be ready sometime in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

It’s likely there are thousands more crime victims of pedophile priests in LA, considering case #BC307934 alone

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
My sister in is a news junkie. Every morning she goes out and walks up Haight St. to get the NY Times, the Chronicle, and a stack of the free dailies they have in San Francisco. Yet until we talked last week, she had never even heard about the one-year window in 2003 that allowed persons in California to file lawsuits against the Catholic Church, no matter how many years or decades back their rape by pedophile priests took place.

California Seminarians recruited boys into the priesthood and pedophilia at the same time. The older pedophiles developed younger pedophiles who then became parish priests around Southern California. Church hierarchy did not just allow pedophilia to take place, but they regularly promoted known perpetrators to high places in Education, Recruiting, and Advocacy, with titles such as Director of the Office of Family Life.

Known California pedophile priests instead of going to prisons, got new assignments where they’d have even more access to children, and more freedom to propagate their crimes. There was more going on here than benevolent neglect.

A quick read of just one complaint filed in the LA clergy cases leaves one thinking there are probably thousands more crime victims of Baker, Rucker, Boyer, Wempe, Loomis, Martini, Miani, Roemer, Hagenbach, Reilly, Burbank, Caffoe, Henry, Miani, Rodriguez, Falvey and the other Jesuits at Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood -- the list of perpetrator priests is lo-o-o-o-o-ong in LA alone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Men can aid Bayley-Ellard accuser

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

BY PEGGY WRIGHT
DAILY RECORD
Friday, December 7, 2007

A jury can hear claims by two men that former Bayley-Ellard High School Principal Frank Mattiace was sexually inappropriate with them if he goes to trial on charges of fondling a student at the Madison-based Catholic school in 2003, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Superior Court Judge John J. Harper in Morristown issued a written decision that allows Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Smith to introduce so-called "prior bad acts" by Mattiace at his trial on charges of child endangerment and criminal sexual contact against a 17-year-old student. The school since has closed for financial reasons.

No date has been set for Mattiace, a 71-year-old married Montville resident, to go on trial. Defense lawyer Gerard Hanlon contends that the Bayley-Ellard accuser is a psychologically troubled person who was kicked out of several schools before his admission to the private school in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Former high school coach guilty in sex assault trial

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

BY MICHAEL DEAK
GANNETT NEW JERSEY
Friday, December 7, 2007

Former Immaculata High School girls basketball and girls lacrosse coach Pamela Balogh is facing five to 10 years in state prison after she was found guilty Thursday on four of five counts in her trial for sexually assaulting one of her students.

The jury found Balogh, 40, not guilty of the most serious charge, first-degree sexual assault of a minor under 16. If convicted of that charge, Balogh could have faced 10 to 20 years in prison with a requirement to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence.

Balogh's $100,000 bail was revoked by Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman following the verdict. Balogh, of Bethlehem, Pa., showed no emotion as she was led away in handcuffs to the Somerset County Jail after the jury delivered its verdict. The jury deliberated Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

St. Francis Places Ad Regarding Child Pornography Case

HARTFORD (CT)
NBC 30

St. Francis Hospital placed a full-page ad in a newspaper offering a phone number for victims in a West Hartford child pornography case.

A few weeks ago, more than 50,000 images of child pornography were found in a prominent doctor’s former home.

West Hartford police said the slides belonged to Dr. George Reardon, who practiced medicine at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for more than 30 years, serving as chief of endocrinology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Hospital offers counseling to doctor's patients

HARTFORD (CT)
WTNH

Posted Dec. 6, 2007
11:43 AM

Hartford (WTNH) _ Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford is trying to make amends for the actions of a former doctor.

The hospital has taken out a full page ad in the Hartford Courant about alleged abuse inflicted by Dr. George Reardon.

Earlier this year thousands of slides and a dozen of movies containing child porn were found hidden inside Reardon's former home in West Hartford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

More Suits Against Hospital

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By HILARY WALDMAN And MATTHEW KAUFFMAN | Courant Staff Writers
December 7, 2007

Two more men who say they were sexually molested by Dr. George Reardon filed lawsuits Thursday against St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, claiming the hospital was negligent in its supervision of the doctor during the 30 years he practiced there.

In the latest suits, the men say Reardon fondled and photographed them in his private St. Francis office during the 1970s or early 1980s. One suit claims Reardon took as many as 1,000 "sexualized" pictures of the plaintiff, both alone and posed with his three brothers.

The suits follow last week's revelations by West Hartford police that a homeowner renovating his basement had discovered a stash of pornographic slides and 8mm films hidden in a false wall of his basement. Police traced the images to Reardon, who owned the house on Griswold Drive until his death in 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Hospital Takes Out Ad After Doctor Allegations

HARTFORD (CT)
WFSB

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Facing at least one lawsuit and possibly many more, St. Francis Hospital is on damage control after hundreds of thousands of child pornography slides and films were found in the home of a former staff physician.

The hospital took out a full-page in Thursday's Hartford Courant. The ad contained a letter written by hospital president and CEO Christopher Dadlez.

"Recent news stories have disclosed the disturbing discovery of slides and films in the former home of a physician," Dadlez wrote in the letter.

The slides and films were found in a hidden room of a West Hartford home formerly owned by Dr. George Reardon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

“Not meant to be public”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Cardinal Roger Mahony told a conference of priests he was attacked and knocked to the ground by a man angry about the sexual abuse scandal, the Dec. 4 Los Angeles Daily News reported.

According to Father Sal Pilato, a high school principal who attended the October conference during which Mahony reportedly made the comments, the cardinal said the attack occurred in July near Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles. The cardinal said he was dropping off letters at a mailbox when a man recognized him, began shouting expletives and knocked him to the ground.

"It was shocking because it was an act of violence and it was someone we know and respect,” Father Pilato told the Daily News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Preacher guilty in sex abuse

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Friday, December 07, 2007
AIMEE GREEN The Oregonian Staff
A 32-year-old Portland street preacher known for haranguing passers-by about their souls will spend more than five years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Danny Alan Howe, a Pioneer Courthouse Square regular who lectured about Jesus, sin and the dangers of alcohol, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree sexual abuse and attempted second-degree rape in a plea deal.

The teenage victim was a daughter of Howe's friend and was entrusted to stay with him, said Greg Moawad, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case. Although her father couldn't be reached for comment, he told authorities that she has been deeply traumatized by the crimes and has attempted suicide several times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Alleged victim wants friar relieved of duties

CARLSBAD (NM)
Current-Argus

By Tom Moody
Article Launched: 12/06/2007 09:12:15 PM MST

CARLSBAD — The Franciscan friar accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a Carlsbad teen in the 1970s should be removed from his church duties, attorneys for the alleged victim said Thursday.

At a news conference held outside the Catholic archdiocese office in Louisville, Ky., attorney Kevin McGuire said Brother Kerry Guillory, former Carlsbad church youth worker, should be immediately suspended, based on alleged sexual assaults here in the late 1970s.

"I have been told that the Franciscans said they removed Guillory from his duties within hours of our complaint being filed," said McGuire. "They still have an obligation to ensure he does not come back into service in the diocese here, and I know for a fact they have not taken that step yet. They must insure other children are kept safe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Priest found guilty of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Macarthur Advertiser

A CATHOLIC priest accused of sexually abusing a 12-year- old boy was yesterday found guilty in the Launceston Supreme Court.

Gregory Laurence Ferguson, 70, was convicted on one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

During the week-long trial, the court was told of seven separate instances of alleged abuse which took place while Ferguson was was a teacher at Marist College in Burnie between 1970 and 1971.

Ferguson had pleaded not guilty to the charge and categorically denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Priest sex abuse victim tells how he tried to 'numb the pain'

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Posted December 7, 2007 12:13:00

The Launceston Criminal Court has heard an emotional victim impact statement from the sexual abuse victim of a former Tasmanian priest.

Gregory Laurence Ferguson was found guilty yesterday of maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17.

70 year old Ferguson was a priest and teacher at Burnie's Marist College when he abused the 12 year old boy in 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Navy Chaplain Gets Two Years for Sex Abuse

QUANTICO (VA)
Truthdig

Posted on Dec 6, 2007

A 42-year-old Navy chaplain has been sentenced for a range of sexual crimes committed at the Quantico Marine base and the Naval Academy. In one episode, Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee forced oral sex on a 20-year-old midshipman. So much for moral superiority.

Lee, who is HIV-positive, had 10 years knocked off his sentence, but he’ll have to provide the names of his sexual partners over the last four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

California: Cardinal Won’t File Attack Report

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By REBECCA CATHCART
Published: December 7, 2007
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Los Angeles told the police that he was assaulted by a man who shouted angry statements about the scandal of sexual abuse by members of the clergy but does not plan to file a report. The bishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony, first reported the attack to fellow priests at a gathering in October, but not the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

L.A. archdiocese seeks restraining order

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:42 PM PST, December 6, 2007
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has sought a temporary restraining order against a man it says made threats against Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other employees of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

The request for the order, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks to prohibit 61-year-old Edward Filek from stalking, phoning or writing Mahony and two monsignors assigned to his staff. He also would have to stay 100 yards away from where they live, work or visit.

The filing is unrelated to a July attack on the cardinal in which he said he was punched and kicked while mailing letters near the cathedral. Mahony told the Los Angeles Police Department he did not wish to pursue that matter with police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Navy chaplain gets 2 years for sex abuse

QUANTICO (VA)
Los Angeles Times

From the Washington Post
December 7, 2007

WASHINGTON -- A Navy chaplain was sentenced to two years of confinement Thursday for exposing a fellow officer to HIV, forcing a midshipman to have oral sex and urging lower-ranking officers who sought his guidance to photograph him while he was naked.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee, who had been stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy and Marine Corps Base Quantico, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, forcible sodomy, conduct unbecoming of an officer and misuse of government computers. He was sentenced to 12 years of confinement, all but two of which were suspended.

"I would like to apologize for all the harm I have done," Lee, a 42-year-old Catholic priest, said at his court-martial in Quantico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Dead men don’t talk

STOCKTON (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire has issued a brief press release noting that a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against his diocese has been dismissed.

The Nov. 28 news release dealt with the case of Father Murty Fahy, who died in 2001 at age 70. Fahy had been accused of sexually abusing a student at St. Anne's School in Lodi during the 1990s. Fahy allegedly abused the girl about 30 times while she was in the second through fifth grades at St. Anne's School in Lodi.

The alleged victim claimed that Fahy molested her in the confessional and in a school music room. A police investigation failed to turn up enough evidence to charge Fahy with a crime.

The alleged victim then filed a $3 million civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Stockton and the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. That lawsuit was “dismissed without prejudice” in November, prompting the diocesan news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Talk show host Ward charged with Internet kiddie porn

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Jaxon Van Derbeken,Elizabeth Fernandez, Chronicle Staff Writers

Friday, December 7, 2007

(12-07) 04:00 PST (12-06) San Francisco - -- More than three years ago, Bernie Ward, a popular San Francisco liberal radio talk show host and former Catholic priest, got on the Internet and downloaded and sent out images of child pornography. He even talked about it in an Internet chat room.

The 56-year-old local personality - the host of a nightly news talk program on KGO 810 AM as well as "God Talk" on Sundays - says he was doing research.

But on Thursday, Ward was indicted by a grand jury on two federal counts of Internet child pornography - allegations that he possessed and distributed images using his computer.

Ward's attorney, Doron Weinberg, said Thursday that for the past three years, he and other attorneys have been trying to convince the federal government that Ward is not a sexual predator, that he was simply doing research for a book on hypocrisy in America and was not engaged in anything more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Restraining order sought against man accused of threatening Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

By Thomas Watkins, The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 12/06/2007 11:15:29 PM PST

Attorneys have requested a temporary restraining order against a man they claim threatened Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church officials after he was kicked out of church for allegedly using drugs.

Edward George Filek, 61, allegedly "made general threats" against Mahony and other cathedral workers, according to documents filed in a petition for a restraining order dated Wednesday. The petition asks the court to order Filek to refrain from assaulting, stalking or phoning Mahony and two monsignors, and to stay at least 100 yards away from them.

Mahony recently told fellow priests that he was attacked earlier this year because of the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal. Filek was not linked to that attack.

Filek was thrown out of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on Sunday after he started "doing drugs" during Mass, according to a report filed with the petition, which says he returned to the cathedral later in the day and security guards called police when he refused to leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Academy ex-chaplain sentenced to 2 years

QUANTICO (VA)
Baltimore Sun

By Josh Mitchell | Sun reporter
December 7, 2007

A Catholic Navy chaplain was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday after admitting that he forced himself on a Naval Academy midshipman, coerced a Marine he was counseling to take nude photos of him and had sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing he was HIV-positive.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee, 42, pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including aggravated assault, fraternization, forcible sodomy, conduct unbecoming an officer and wrongful use of his government computer, as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Marine Corps Col. Steven Day also ordered him to reveal the names of all of his sex partners going back to 2005, when Lee learned he had the virus that causes AIDS, and suspended 10 years of a 12-year sentence on the condition that Lee complies with the terms of the deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Second complaint accuses local friar of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

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

A local Franciscan order is investigating a second complaint against a friar recently accused in a lawsuit of sexual abuse.

However, the order hasn't been able to determine whether the two complaints are from the same man or two different men.

Yesterday, advocates for the man accusing Brother Kerry Guillory held a press conference in Louisville and released letters and photos that they said corroborated the lawsuit alleging he provided a teen with alcohol and molested him in the 1970s, when Guillory was stationed in New Mexico.

The developments follow a lawsuit filed Nov. 28 in New Mexico containing the allegations against Guillory, who in recent years managed the Franciscan Shelter House, a social service center in Smoketown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Priests Have Always Fathered Kids

CALIFORNIA
Beyond Chron

by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca‚ Dec. 07‚ 2007

Mama was right. She always told my sister and me that in Basilicata in southern Italy, where her side of the family is from, it was common for priests to have children. At the time I didn’t know whether to believe her or not. I knew Mama wouldn’t lie about something like that, but it sure went against the image I had of the nuns and priests in the South Philly parish where we lived.

Now comes word that Rita Milla, a medical assistant in Southern California, has been granted $500,000 as part of a global settlement reached between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and a multitude of plaintiffs who say they were sexually abused by priests. The total amount of the settlement is $660 million, quite a chunk of change even for the Catholic Church, which has untold numbers of bank accounts and assets here and in other countries.

What makes Milla’s case particularly interesting is that she claims a priest, Valentine Tugade, fathered her daughter, Jacqueline. DNA tests in 2003 apparently confirmed his paternity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

December 6, 2007

KGO Host Bernie Ward Indicted

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KGO

KGO night-time talk show host Bernie Ward was indicted in Federal Court today on two counts of child pornography using the Internet. Ward’s attorney says the incidents are from more than four years ago and were a part of research for a book.

KGO’s Operations Director Jack Swanson says, “Bernie Ward has been a valued, long-time employee of KGO Radio. We were just recently made aware of these serious charges and are surprised and concerned by their nature. As the matter is currently pending in federal court, we will have no additional comment at this time. A substitute host will do the 10pm – 1am, Monday – Friday broadcast and the Sunday morning Godtalk broadcast."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

THE MICHAEL BAKER TIMELINE: A FEW DETAILS

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The District Weekly

Rachel Powers
Thu. December 06

On Monday, when Will Swaim and I first wrote about admitted child molester Michael Baker and his plea deal, we knew relatively little about his personal history: simply that he had done terrible things, that some of those things had taken place in Long Beach, and that church officials had allowed him to retain everything that he had ever needed to abuse children (chiefly clerical authority, access to minors, and a succession of positions throughout the southland.)

There are still a lot of gaps, but we’ve learned a few things:

In December of 1986, 21 years ago, Baker met with Cardinal Mahoney and confessed to his attraction to children, and to his abusive relationships with two different boys over a 7 year period. (Baker later described Mahoney as having been “very solicitous and understanding” during the meeting.) After a 5-month stay at a residential treatment facility for priests with such difficulties, and with orders to avoid minors, Baker went back to work. Over the next 14 years he served in at least 7 different parishes.

In 2000, after the church was forced to make a confidential $1.3 million payout to the family of two boys who had been victimized by Baker at the ages of 5 and 7, Mahoney gave up. Baker was “laicized”–defrocked–and sent on his way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

KGO talk show host Bernie Ward indicted on child porn charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/06/2007 03:39:12 PM PST

SAN FRANCISCO - A San Francisco radio talk show host and former Catholic priest has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.

The operations director for KGO-AM 810 says Bernie Ward surrendered to federal authorities today.

The specifics of the allegations against Ward remain under seal.

In a statement on KGO's Web site, Operations Director Jack Swanson said: "Bernie Ward has been a valued, long-time employee of KGO Radio. We were just recently made aware of these serious charges and are surprised and concerned by their nature. As the matter is currently pending in federal court, we will have no additional comment at this time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Navy chaplain pleads to forcible sodomy

QUANTICO (VA)
United Press International

QUANTICO, Va., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- An HIV-infected U.S. Navy chaplain who pleaded guilty to forcible sodomy was sentenced Thursday to serve two years in a military prison.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, of Burke, Va., accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors that suspended 10 years of a 12-year sentence, dismissed him from the Navy and required him to forfeit future pay and benefits, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Lee, a Roman Catholic priest, admitted forcing himself on a gay Naval Academy midshipman whom he counseled and to having sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing he was HIV-positive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Bernie Ward, Liberal Talk Show Host, Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
TransWorldNews

Bernie Ward, a liberal talk show host out of San Francisco, turned himself in to federal authorities earlier today to face two charges of child pornography using the internet.

The 56-year-old former Catholic priest is believed to have downloaded images of child pornography. A charge his lawyer contends was for a book Ward was writing on hypocrisy in America.

Ward had hosted a nightly news program on KGO 810 AM and has been a popular spokesman on liberal issues in the Bay Area. A statement released by the station’s operation director read, “Ward has been a valued, long-time employee of KGO Radio. We were just recently made aware of these serious charges and are surprised and concerned by their nature.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

KGO Host Indicted on Child Porn Charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KCBS

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- Longtime Bay Area talk show host Bernie Ward has been indicted on two federal Internet child pornography charges. In a brief court appearence this morning he pled not guilty.

Ward, a self described progressive and former Catholic priest, hosts the weeknight Bernie Ward Show and the Sunday morning Godtalk show on KGO Radio.

Ward’s criminal attorney, Doran Weinberg, told KCBS that Ward was researching child pornography for a book four years ago. He said Ward's actions caught the attention of federal authorities then, but charges weren't filed until now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Iowa: Some parishes will be asked to help pay

IOWA
Telegraph Herald

By The Associated Press

IOWA CITY -- The Diocese of Davenport will ask only some parishes -- but no schools -- to help pay for a $37 million settlement with clergy-abuse victims, its attorney said.

Richard Davidson said that Bishop Martin Amos will determine in the next month or so which of the diocese's 83 parishes would be asked to contribute. "And there's probably only a handful," he said.

The diocese has 23 schools, but none will be asked for money.

A settlement was reached last week and announced Monday. In all, 156 victims of clergy abuse are expected to receive funds from the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

L.A. archdiocese seeks restraining order

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:42 PM PST, December 6, 2007
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has sought a temporary restraining order against a man it says made threats against Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other employees of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

The request for the order, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks to prohibit 61-year-old Edward Filek from stalking, phoning or writing Mahony and two monsignors assigned to his staff. He also would have to stay 100 yards away from where they live, work or visit.

The filing is unrelated to a July attack on the cardinal in which he said he was punched and kicked while mailing letters near the cathedral. Mahony told the Los Angeles Police Department he did not wish to pursue that matter with police.

In the more recent case, according to the request for the restraining order, the incident began Sunday when Filek was escorted from the cathedral after allegedly refusing to leave. The LAPD arrested him that day, the court filing says. He allegedly broke into the cathedral the next day when it was closed, setting off the alarm. He was again arrested, the report says. On Wednesday, the document says, Filek again returned to the cathedral and, when escorted out, said, "You'll be sorry."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Archdiocese in compliance with Charter; settlement payments made

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was found to be in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, it was announced this week.

In a Nov. 30 letter to Cardinal Roger Mahony, William A. Gavin, head of The Gavin Group Inc., stated: "Based on the analysis of the results of the 2007 Full Audit of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, you have been found to be in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

"The conclusions reached as to the compliance of your Archdiocese with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are based on the completeness and accuracy of the information furnished by the Archdiocese to the Gavin Group Inc. during the course of this audit."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

SF radio personality Bernie Ward indicted on child porn charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, December 6, 2007

(12-06) 14:40 PST San Francisco - --

Bernie Ward, a popular San Francisco radio talk show host and former Catholic priest, has been indicted on federal child pornography charges, authorities said today.

Ward, 56, surrendered to federal authorities earlier today but the specifics of the allegations against him are under seal, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Restraining order sought against man who allegedly threatened Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: December 6, 2007

LOS ANGELES: Attorneys have requested a temporary restraining order against a man they claim threatened Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church officials.

Edward George Filek, 61, allegedly "made general threats" against Mahony and other cathedral workers, according to documents filed in the restraining order petition, dated Wednesday.

Filek was thrown out of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on Sunday after he started "doing drugs" in the cathedral during Mass, according to an incident report filed in the restraining order petition. He returned to the cathedral later in the day and security guards called police when he refused to leave.

He came back again Monday and made more threats and stated "you will be sorry," documents state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

TRO sought against man who allegedly threatened Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/06/2007 01:00:59 PM PST

LOS ANGELES—Attorneys have requested a temporary restraining order against a man they claim threatened Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church officials.

Edward George Filek allegedly broke into Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral early Monday and "made threats" against Mahony and other cathedral workers, according to documents filed in the restraining order petition, dated Wednesday.

Mahony recently told fellow priests that he was assaulted earlier this year in the wake of the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal. Filek is not linked to that attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Navy Chaplain Gets 2 Years for Sex Crime

QUANTICO (VA)
ABC News

QUANTICO, Va. Dec 6, 2007 (AP)
An HIV-positive Navy chaplain was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to forcible sodomy and other charges.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 41, of Burke, Va., was sentenced after entering a plea agreement at his court-martial at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in northern Virginia. Lee admitted having sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing that he had HIV and forcing himself on a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.

Lee, a Catholic priest, was assigned to the academy from 2003 to 2006 and later to Quantico. He was ordained as a priest in 1993 and began serving as a military chaplain in 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Navy chaplain sentenced to 2 years in prison at court-martial

QUANTICO (VA)
Daily Press

By MATTHEW BARAKAT | Associated Press Writer
December 6, 2007

QUANTICO, Va. - An HIV-positive Navy chaplain was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday after admitting that he forced himself on a Naval Academy midshipman and had sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing his HIV status.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, of Burke, Va., was sentenced after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors at a court-martial at Quantico Marine Corps Base, south of Washington.

Lee, a Roman Catholic priest, was assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy from 2003 to 2006 and later to Quantico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Clergyman admits to sex abuse

NEW YORK
Times Ledger

BY M. JUNAID ALAM
12/06/2007

The pastor of American Martyrs church has been stripped of his duties as a priest after he acknowledged sexual abuse allegations levied against him were true, although none of the victims are Bayside parishioners, the diocese said.

Msgr. George F. Zatarga, who presided over the Bayside church for the past two years and once served as chaplain of Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, resigned as pastor after he "acknowledged the inappropriate behavior" presented in allegations brought to the Diocese of Brooklyn's attention, a diocese statement said.

Zatarga has been placed on administrative leave and will be barred from presenting himself as a priest, celebrating mass in public, administering sacraments or wearing clerical attire, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn, which also covers Queens.

He will, however, be permitted to celebrate Mass privately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

HIV-positive Navy priest gets 2 years for sex crimes

QUANTICO (VA)
Navy Times

By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Dec 6, 2007 13:40:37 EST

Quantico, Va. — An HIV-positive Catholic Navy chaplain will serve two years in prison for sexual misconduct with a Marine, an Air Force officer and two Naval Academy midshipmen, due to a plea agreement reached with the Marine Corps.

Military judge Col. Steven Day had recommended Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee serve 12 years for manipulating a midshipman and a Marine corporal into having sexual relations with him, but that was reduced to two years because of the plea agreement.

Lee pleaded guilty to a total of 11 counts related to his charges of sodomy, aggravated assault, indecent assault, fraternization and conduct unbecoming a military officer.

As part of the agreement, Lee promised to provide names, e-mail addresses, screen names or user names of as many sex partners as he could remember since he learned he was HIV-positive in 2005. The government will notify those people of his HIV status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Navy Chaplain Faces Court Martial for Gay Sexual Assaults

QUANTICO (VA)
EDGE Boston

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Thursday Dec 6, 2007

A HIV-positive priest and former Navy chaplain has been charged with sexually assaulting midshipmen, including men sent to him for counseling as part of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" ban on openly gay servicemembers.

The Baltimore Sun reported on the story today (www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-chaplain1205,0,6685772.story?coll=bal-baltimorecounty-storyutil), saying that Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, who is a Roman Catholic priest, was expected to plead guilty today to the charges as part of a plea agreement.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, came into contact with some of his alleged victims, including gay midshipmen, after they were referred to him for counseling under the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy on homosexuality, sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Former Navy Chaplian will spend two years in jail

QUANTICO (VA)
Potomac News

Amanda Stewart
Staff writer
Thursday, December 6, 2007

A former Navy chaplian pleaded guilty today to charges that include forcible sodomy, aggravated assault and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Military officials said Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 41, a Catholic priest, used his position as a chaplain at the U.S. Naval Academy and at the Quantico Marine Corps base to persuade male subordinates to perform sex acts with him and to take pornographic pictures of him.

The aggravated assualt stemmed from allegations that Lee had consensual sex with an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, without telling him that he is HIV-positive. According to military law, the sex act can be forceable sodimy if one individual has a higher rank than the other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Navy chaplain sentenced to two years in prison

QAUNTICO (VA)
Baltimore Sun

By Josh Mitchell | Sun reporter
3:10 PM EST, December 6, 2007

QUANTICO, Va. - A Catholic Navy chaplain who admitted forcing himself on a gay Naval Academy midshipman sent to him for counseling and having sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing he was HIV-positive was sentenced today to serve two years in a military prison.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, of Burke, Va., accepted a plea deal with Marine Corps prosecutors that suspended 10 years of a 12-year sentence, dismissed him from the Navy and required him to forfeit all future pay and benefits.

The chaplain said during his court-martial at Quantico Marine Corps base that he had sex with an Air Force officer last year without revealing he had HIV. He had known he was carrying the virus, which causes AIDS, since at least 2005, but said he used a condom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

New dates for Salesians cases, but Salesian victims get their checks with the rest of LA plaintiffs

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
April 14 and August 25, 2008 are new jury trial dates for LA civil cases regarding the Salesians religious order, in Judge Emilie Elias' court, Division 310.

However, LA plaintiff attorneys, savvy from watching the Salesians’ past performance avoiding final justice, negotiated payments for the 17 Salesian related plaintiffs to be part of the total LA settlement. In other words the 17 Salesian victims whose cases go to trial in 2008, did get settlement checks this week with the rest of the LA plaintiffs.

“The Archbishop is to pay an average of $1.502 million to each of the 17 plaintiffs with claims against the Salesians,” as spelled out in Judge Haley Fromholz’ final order regarding the Clergy Cases, November 27th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Ex-principal faces prison for stealing

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Sam Wood
Inquirer Staff Writer

The former principal of a Burlington County high school would serve five years in state prison, and pay back more than $400,000 from school accounts, under a plea agreement reached this week.

Joseph Lemme, 50, was hired in 2002 to head Holy Cross High School in Delran, the only Roman Catholic high school in the county.

During his four-year tenure, Lemme was hailed by the Diocese of Trenton for raising academic standards and creating a new media center and dance studio at the 750-student school.

He was fired in November 2006 after the diocese discovered "financial irregularities" in accounts to which he had exclusive access.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

A fall from grace: Was justice served?

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter

Forgiveness. Justice. Restitution.

From the beginning of the case of the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, these words have been used often.

The teachings of Jesus Christ in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as any other faith in which He plays a part, are about love, faith and forgiveness.

In Tuesday’s court proceedings, Fay said he was unable to ask for forgiveness from his parish at the time of his resignation. He said he wrote a letter, but it was not allowed to be published. Fay didn’t say who refused it or why.

At the same time, the Diocese of Bridgeport not only presented St. John Parish with a letter of forgiveness from the Rev. Michael Madden; it was issued as a press release. Madden was the priest who, with the church bookkeeper, hired the private investigator who uncovered the lifestyle Fay was living off the church’s money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Ex-minister sued in sex-assault case

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By MAX B. BAKER
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH -- A former Methodist minister who pleaded no contest last year in a sexual-assault case is being sued by the victim.

The lawsuit by the victim, referred to only as P.G. in court documents, says that James Leonard Finley's conduct was "so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency."

The family is seeking money to pay for medical expenses, including counseling, said Chuck Noteboom, the family's attorney. When reached at his home in Cleburne, Finley, 70, declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

ALLO SHERATON

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

AT THE SHERATON

"Excuse me, can you take a photo with me and Rev. Sante?" "But I really am a journalist and I'm waiting to interview him". "Please, I'm a fan of Rev. Sante since the first day." A few months ago it would have been unthinkable to see that "anonymous" country priest put his autograph on books, being photographed with his fans and having a personal agent. And to be aware of that it was enough to look into the corridor of the Sheraton Hotel, which brought to the room where the rebel priest had organized a meeting titled: "In the path towards reconciliation". It was sufficient to look at those big posters of Rev. Sante hanging on the walls of that corridor to notice what a big phenomenon he represents. Inside the room, where not more than 50 people were gathered in the morning, some historians, experts in sociology, witnesses from other Christian confessions (The Rev. Lucas Massimo Giacalone for the Biolorussian and Slavic Orthodox Church or the Rev. John-Henry Bowden for the Methodist Anglican Church) but also some "perfectly unknown people," who had perhaps by chance contacted the priest and sharing his views had decided to tell their stories. The debate, very interesting and articulate in the speeches, held by experts in subjects which couldn't be considered superficial or discounted, started in the morning and, lunch break included, it lasted until 4.30 p.m. The only negative note came from the presence of Francesco Chiesa Soprani, a publicity agent for stars or for actors of Big Brother's reality shows, who was allegedly involved in a past police investigation regarding girls participating as extras in TV shows, and now acting as the agent for the priest. In addition, there were six or seven sexy hostesses who were receiving the participants to the meeting. Perhaps without these last presences things would have been much better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Jeffs resigns key position in FLDS faith

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 12/05/2007 03:31:07 PM MST

Warren S. Jeffs Posted: 3:01 PM- Polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs issued a statement this afternoon saying he resigned two weeks ago as president of the business entity of the Fundamnetalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The statement was sent to media Wednesday by Jeffs' Salt Lake City attorneys, Walter F. Bugden and Tara Isaacson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

“Three liberation theologians who look like terrorists”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Robert Blair Kaiser, a veteran religion writer who covered the Second Vatican Council for Time magazine, has written a curious new novel about Cardinal Roger Mahony. The book, Cardinal Mahony, tells the story of “a new Cardinal Mahony,” who works, says a blurb on Kaiser’s web site, “to give Catholics a voice, a vote, citizenship in the Church.” But only after the cardinal undergoes a harrowing experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Mahony gives police details about assault

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Andrew Blankstein, Times staff writer
December 6, 2007
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony spoke with Los Angeles Police Department detectives Wednesday after it was revealed that he told a group of priests he had been assaulted last summer by a man who was angry about the clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

Mahony spoke informally with detectives during a telephone conversation and did not want to pursue an investigation, LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.

The cardinal was simply responding to a phone call from police, who learned of the assault from news reports, Vernon said.

Mahony said he was attacked shortly after a July announcement by the church that it had reached a $660-million settlement with abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Mahony talks to police about alleged assault outside church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/06/2007 02:16:22 AM PST

LOS ANGELES—Cardinal Roger Mahony has spoken with police detectives after several priests said they were told by him that he had been assaulted last summer by someone upset over a sex-abuse scandal.

Mahony talked with police on Wednesday during a telephone conversation and indicated he did not want to pursue an investigation, police Lt. Paul Vernon said.

Mahony responded to a phone call from police who learned about the alleged assault from news reports, Vernon said.

The 71-year-old cardinal told colleagues about the attack during a conference in October, saying he was assaulted because of the church scandal. His remarks were first reported Tuesday by the Daily News of Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Croatian priest jailed 3 years for sexual molestation of boys

CROATIA
Sun2Surf

ZAGREB (Dec 6, 2007): A Croatian court has sentenced a Catholic priest to three years in prison for sexual molestation of five boys, local newspapers reported yesterday.

Drago Ljubicic, 63, a priest on the Adriatic island of Rab, was convicted of molesting boys aged between five and 12. The trial was held behind closed doors and the boys testified via a video-link.

Though he was sentenced, Ljubicic was allowed to return to a monastery on another island, Krk, pending an appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Former priest convicted of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A former Catholic priest has been found guilty in the Launceston Criminal Court of sexually abusing a student almost 40 years ago.

Gregory Laurence Ferguson, 70, was charged with maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Mahony tells police about attack in July

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

By Rick Coca, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 12/05/2007 10:16:55 PM PST

Cardinal Roger Mahony told police Wednesday he was shoved to the ground and kicked by an angry man in a July attack but said he would not file a police report.

Mahony told Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Paul Vernon by phone that he was dressed casually in a sports shirt as he walked toward a mailbox near Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral at dusk last summer.

"A man approached him and said: `You're the cardinal, aren't you?"' Vernon said Mahony told him. "The man shouted at him. It happened very quickly and the man just went off on him - shoved him, knocked him to the ground and kicked him a couple of times."

Mahony said that since he takes blood thinners, he bruises easily, but he didn't feel the need to visit a hospital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Lawyer: Priest will plead guilty to sex charges

VIRGINIA
Navy Times

By Andrew Tilghman and Chris Amos - Staff writers
Posted : Wednesday Dec 5, 2007 20:54:49 EST

An HIV-positive Catholic Navy chaplain plans to plead guilty Thursday to charges involving sexual misconduct with an unspecified number of men, according to his attorney, who said the priest has known of his HIV status for more than two years.

The chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee, 42, is facing a general court-martial in Quantico, Va. He had been charged with sodomy, aggravated assault, indecent assault, fraternization and conduct unbecoming a military officer, according to a Marine Corps statement. His attorney, David Sheldon, said Lee will plead guilty to “many” of those charges, but would not say which. Three witnesses will testify Thursday, he said.

Marine officials refused to release Lee’s charge sheet, which typically would give the number of specifications, explain why he is being charged and how much jail time he faces if convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 AM

Preventing Abuse

ALBANY (NY)
WTEN

Video
Click on Top Videos - then scroll to Tuesday 12/4/2007

Scroll to:
Preventing Abuse: Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Looks to add controversial comic book.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 AM

Priests: L.A. cardinal was assaulted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Centre Daily Times

- The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — An attack on Cardinal Roger Mahony by one or more people upset over the Roman Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal was never reported to police, who Wednesday were trying to contact Mahony for questioning.

Detectives cannot investigate until the crime is reported, said Capt. Jodi Wakefield, commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department's central area.

"He's the victim. He has to make a crime report and that's what we're trying to find out, what he wants to do," Wakefield said.

She said police had contacted church officials and were waiting to hear from Mahony himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 AM

Ex-Naval Academy chaplain to plead guilty in sex abuse

VIRGINIA
Baltimore Sun

By Josh Mitchell and Bradley Olson | Sun reporters
9:55 PM EST, December 5, 2007

A Roman Catholic priest and former chaplain at the Naval Academy who is HIV-positive is expected to plead guilty Thursday to exploiting his position of authority to have sexual relations -- both forced and consensual -- with male service members, according to military officials and sources familiar with the case.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, came into contact with some of his alleged victims, including gay midshipmen, after they were referred to him for counseling under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on homosexuality, sources said.

"He is deeply remorseful for his actions, both as a chaplain and as a naval officer," said Lee's attorney, David P. Sheldon, who said his client would plead guilty but declined to discuss details of the plea agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 AM

Ex-priest pleads guilty to molestations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Wave

From CITY NEWS SERVICE
LOS ANGELES — A former Southland Catholic priest pleaded guilty Monday to molesting two teenage boys more than a decade ago and was sentenced to 10 years and four months in state prison.

Michael Stephen Baker, 59, pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.

Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe gave Baker credit for 717 days served behind bars, as well as 358 days credit for good behavior since his Jan. 19, 2006, arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 AM

Jury about to retire to consider priest sex case

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Posted December 6, 2007 14:07:00

The closing arguments in the sexual abuse case against former priest Gregory Laurence Ferguson have been heard in the Launceston Supreme Court this morning.

The jury is expected to retire shortly to consider its verdict.

Justice Ewan Crawford told the jury they must be sure that 3 of the alleged 7 unlawful sexual acts occurred, and that the jury must agree on the same 3 acts to find the accused guilty of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

Ferguson was a teacher at Burnie's Marist College when the abuse allegedly happened in 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 AM

CHURCH WILL TOWER AGAIN, BUT BEFORE IT DOES A PURGE IS NEEDED -- AND URGENTLY

Spirit Daily

It is going to look like a disaster but in the end the Church will rise.

Count on that. But also count on things looking yet more dismal. ...

For the Church is still in the midst of a grinding, excruciating purification. That will be followed by persecution.

To wit, in just the past few days:

-- A priest who is a Navy chaplain is court-marshaled for sexual abuse -- while he had HIV.

-- A woman who was sexually abused by seven Roman Catholic priests in Los Angeles (and had a baby by one of them) received a $500,000 settlement, it is revealed.

-- Also in L.A.: word that last summer Cardinal Roger Mahony was physically assaulted on a street in the wake of that diocese's huge abuse settlement (of $660 million).

-- A Croatian priest is sentenced for gay abuse as a popular Arizona priest who was once featured on TV is ready to go to trial (and despite that is still holding prayer services).

-- A priest is linked to both child pornography and a photo showing him holding a rifle in Afghanistan. This too makes the news. Oh, the news!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 AM

December 5, 2007

SULKY LA DIOCESE SPOKESPERSON WANTS US ALL TO KNOW THAT THE PARTY’S OVER

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The District Weekly

Rachel Powers
Wed. December 05

Note to Archdiocese: When you guys finally get around to cleaning house, you may also want to sack your PR people.

As news of the church’s $660 million payout spread, spokeswoman Carolina Guevara was quick to reassure us all that the Los Angeles Diocese will not be filing for bankruptcy. Investments and real estate sales will fund the settlement, and all schools and parishes will remain intact.

And she parted with a zinger: the church will continue to reevaluate “all of our ministries and services since we will not be able to offer them at the same levels as in the past.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 PM

Smarrito tra i troppi spot

ITALY
Il Gazzettino

Lost among the many ads
by Rev. Marco Pozza

Now who is going reimburse all those newsmen? The appointment was for December 2 at Monterosso, a town which went under the spotlights so quickly that one would think it would plunge into anonymity at the same speed. It was announced 100 days ago , emphasized by the alleged and cumbersome presence of Emmanuel Milingo (the bishop could now be still fighting at the borders for a revoked passport), it was launched as a titanic defiance which could have made the church crumble, the same church the rebel priest had chosen freely, but it ended up being announced in the newspapers in a very subdued manner.

The official engagement of the rebel priest to his lover has been postponed because he said he was too busy. A very shocking a concise way to say that ! Disconcerting because to judge the usual behavior of men in their daily life, you can discover that for love everything happens: You cancel pledges and you delay any program, you sign contracts and you resign from any previous duty. You change office, work objectives and secretaries. You travel, rest, sweat. You get angry, you stand firm, you fight. You invent new jobs, change your hobbies and preferences. The power of love is incredible. But for the rebel priest love seems not to breathe with some life ! He started in mid-August transforming Love by excellence (that's for God) in something very relative, even if that's an absolute love, now even the other love has become relative for him. His behavior is more related to the fixed syndrome "of the ever present guest" in the TV stardom system. Once the curtain of a more or less successful debate at Sheraton Hotel in Padua closed down, there remains the sadness to see a fellow priest lost under the waning lights, discolored applause, soon to disappear smiles. Only the tender remarks by Rev. Vinicio Albanesi at the recent TV Matrix show remain :"the fact that not all priests are faithful to celibacy is not a valid reason to discolor its millenary ideality". But then the Rev. Sguotti changed subject and spoke about the problem of priests' pedophilia, the abuses committed in the construction of the Seminary Minor of Tencarola, the bad moral conduct of other Fathers, his request to the curia for the money due to him for having been fired, his letters to the bishop, his writing an instant book with the pretense to make it pass as a new Decameron! What was important for him was to shoot, using the name of Saint Lorenzo Milani, the prophet of disobedience. But the priest of Monterosso can't be compared to the priest of Barbiana: even if you stay in the same waters it doesn't mean you learn to swim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 PM

Priest's sex abuse case collapses

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest accused of the attempted rape of a child has had the case against him dropped after the prosecution said it did not have any evidence.

Father John Herve, vicar at St Agatha's Church in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, had been suspended from his position while the alleged offences were investigated.

The trial of the 57-year-old, of Stanhope Street, Highgate, Birmingham, collapsed on its first day.

The Diocese of Birmingham said it would meet with Fr Herve as soon as possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Police Investigate Cardinal Mahony’s Assault Claims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
eFluxMedia

by Chris Georg 19:35, December 5th 2007

Police launched an investigation following a series of accusations made by a group of priests who claim that Cardinal Roger Mahony, the leader of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, reportedly confessed to them that he was assaulted last summer by a man enraged by the Roman Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal, Los Angeles Daily News reported.

According to Andrew Smith, assistant commanding officer for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Bureau, LAPD detectives found no reports about an assault on Mahony and contacted church officials to ask them about it.

"If it came to my attention that something happened to Cardinal Mahony, I would have called him and offered my assistance and assured that it was fully investigated ... which is exactly what we're going to do now," Smith said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Navy chaplain charged with sex offenses

VIRGINIA
Baltimore Sun

By Bradley Olson and Josh Mitchell | Sun reporters
1:39 PM EST, December 5, 2007

A Navy chaplain and Catholic priest who recently served at the U.S. Naval Academy is scheduled to be court-martialed tomorrow on charges that he had sexual encounters with men, according to a news account and military officials.

The allegations of consensual and nonconsensual sex involving Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee, 41, took place over a number of years, and were not limited to his time at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va., where the military trial will take place, said Maj. Timothy Keefe, a spokesman at the base.

Lee has been stationed at Quantico for the past eight months, and served at the academy from 2003 to 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Court-martial of Navy chaplain to begin tomorrow

VIRGINIA
Potomac News

Staff reports
Potomac News
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A general court-martial of a Catholic priest serving as a Navy chaplain on charges of sodomy, aggravated assault, conduct unbecoming of a military officer as well as indecent assault and fraternization is scheduled to begin Thursday morning at the Quantico Marine Corps base.

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee was a base chaplain at Quantico until he was relieved of his duties in June, according to the Quantico Public Affairs Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

'We are not done,' said the LA DA. No wonder people want to beat up Mahony when they see him on the street

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
After Michael Baker’s sentencing Monday, the DA said, “I have reason to believe there are other victims who have not identified themselves to law enforcement, or to our office. I hope those victims be willing to disclose to sheriff’s investigators what happened to them.”

In other words if we want Baker to stay in prison longer than two years, and other priests and hierarchy to join him, more victims have to come forward and talk to the Target Crimes division of the DA’s office.

Meanwhile, it's no wonder people want to beat up Roger Mahony when they see him on the street, after watching the Cardinal orchestrate limp justice in the clergy cases the past five years.

Former priest Michael Baker, who preyed on Southern California and Arizona parishes for decades, looked healthy and happy in court Monday as he was sentenced to 10 years 8 months, knowing that with time off for good behavior he’d be out in about two years. Baker was clean and fresh, serene, self-assured. Plus his sentencing was cut and dried, a bureaucratic procedure really. For the first hour or so a prosecutor stood at a podium droning out rote wording, “You will report to your parole officer within five days of your release, you will report every time you change addresses.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

DYING PRIEST SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS FOR THEFT

NEW HAVEN (CT)
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN Post Correspondent
December 5, 2007 -- NEW HAVEN - A terminally ill gay priest who swindled his church out of $1.3 million was sentenced to 37 months in jail yesterday after a federal judge in Connecticut rejected pleas for mercy.

But the Rev. Michael Jude Fay won't have to begin serving his time until April, and that's enough of a delay to let him enter an experimental treatment program for his spreading prostate cancer, Judge Janet Bond Arterton said.

Fay pleaded guilty in September to siphoning the cash from St. John Church in Darien into secret bank accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Croatian priest sentenced for sexual molestation of boys

CROATIA
Earthtimes

Zagreb - A Croatian court has sentenced a Catholic priest to three years in prison for sexual molestation of five boys, local newspapers said Wednesday. Drago Ljubicic, 63, a priest on the Adriatic island of Rab, was convicted of molesting boys aged between five and 12. The trial was held behind closed doors and the boys testified via a video-link.

Though he was sentenced, Ljubicic was allowed to return to a monastery on another island, Krk, pending an appeal.

When the scandal involving Ljubicic erupted in June, his Rijeka diocese said that "adequate steps" would be taken against the priest in the event of his being found guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

LI bishop to head national Catholic panel

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY BART JONES | bart.jones@newsday.com
8:55 PM EST, December 4, 2007

Bishop William Murphy has been elected head of a prestigious domestic policy committee that will help the U.S. Catholic church shape positions on issues ranging from welfare to health care to the death penalty.

Murphy, the head of Long Island's 1.4 million Catholics, was elected to the post by fellow bishops on Nov. 15 during their general meeting in Baltimore, the Diocese of Rockville Centre announced Tuesday. ...

Phil Megna of the Long Island Voice of the Faithful, a group of Catholics calling for greater accountability from the church hierarchy, said Murphy and others had lost credibility because of the sex abuse scandal and cover-up, among other reasons. "The problem is nobody listens [to them] because they don't have their own house in order," Megna said.

But others said Murphy remains highly regarded by many of his fellow bishops, reflected in his election to the new post, which he will hold for the next three years effective immediately.

Phyllis Zagano, a senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University who specializes in Catholic studies, said Murphy has an excellent grasp of Catholic doctrine that will serve him well in the post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Sexual danger of suspect probed

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— Despite two rape convictions, Leeland E. Eisenberg, the man accused of taking hostages last week at Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign office in New Hampshire, was determined not to be a sexually dangerous person more than 20 years ago, court records show.

On April 15, 1987, Mr. Eisenberg, who changed his name from Ralph E. Woodward Jr., pleaded guilty in Worcester Superior Court to charges of aggravated rape and assault with a dangerous weapon (knife), stemming from an armed sexual assault that occurred on Nov. 8, 1986, in Leominster.

A prosecutor in Rochester, N.H., said yesterday that the 46-year-old Mr. Eisenberg committed the Leominster rape after being sentenced for a 1985 sexual assault in Worcester and escaping from a halfway house in Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Hillary bomber hooked on drugs & booze; abused, homeless, tried suicide

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New York Daily News

By STEPHANIE GASKELL in SOMERSWORTH, N.H.,
and LARRY McSHANE in NEW YORK
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Sunday, December 2nd 2007, 3:10 AM

When he was 21, Leeland Eisenberg was a homeless drunk and drug abuser, driven from home by a brutal father and living inside abandoned cars at a Massachusetts junkyard.

Then his life took a turn for the worse. And another. And yet another.

Desperate for help, he sought refuge at a local church - where he allegedly was molested by a priest. A failed suicide attempt followed, as did a conviction and jail time for forcing a woman - at knifepoint - to perform oral sex on him outside a Holiday Inn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Connecticut police in North Country investigating deceased doctor's former cabin

BRANT LAKE (NY)
Capital News 9

Updated: 12/4/2007 10:09 PM
By: Jessica Mokhiber

BRANT LAKE, N.Y. - The Connecticut doctor who made national headlines in the 90's amid accusations of child abuse, is making headlines again, As more than 50,000 pictures and video reels of children were found in a secret room in his former Hartford home.

The case has crossed state lines. George Reardon vacationed here in Brant Lake while he was alive And some of his victims say he brought them here under the pretense that he was doing research on growth and development. Now cops want to know if there's more evidence of abuse here in the North Country.

West Hartford Police Department Sergeant Jeff Rose said, "After this case was made public, we've had a lot of victims come forward and people they said they've been up here, otherwise we wouldn't have come up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

MORNING UPDATE -- Connecticut police spend second day in area

HORICON (NY)
Post-Star

By Don Lehman
dlehman@poststar.com
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2007 6:31 AM EST

HORICON -- Detectives from the West Hartford, Conn., Police Department will spend a second day Wednesday in the Brant Lake area talking to former neighbors of a seasonal resident who has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of children.

Connecticut police spent much of Tuesday talking to former neighbors of the late Dr. George Reardon. The Warren County Sheriff's Office is assisting West Hartford detectives as they work to figure out who Reardon's victims were over the years.

Police from Connecticut came from the area after a huge collection of child pornography that the late endocrinologist allegedly made using his child patients was found in his former West Hartford, Conn., home.

West Hartford Detective Frank Fallon said investigators talked Tuesday to a number of people who live in the Horicon Birches area of the lake and recalled Reardon's years there. He owned the home for at least 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Diocese, school are hit with abuse suit

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Rev. Francis L. Norris died about 20 years ago, an attorney for his former order says.
A former Salesianum School football star filed suit Friday in Superior Court against the school, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, alleging that he was sexually assaulted in 1962 by a priest who taught at the school.

In the suit, James E. Sheehan, 61, alleges that the late Rev. Francis L. Norris, an Oblate who taught Latin at the school, assaulted him and tried to rape him after school when he was a 14-year-old sophomore. He also claims officials of the school, the religious order and the diocese had prior knowledge that Norris had molested boys.

Attorney Mark Reardon, who represents Salesianum and the Oblates, said he had not seen the suit and could not comment on it. Sam Waltz, spokesman for the Oblates, said the Oblates had not seen the suit and would not comment on its allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Justice, Not Mercy, For A Priest

DARIEN (CT)
Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY | Courant Staff Writer
December 5, 2007

A Catholic priest who stole more than $1 million in charitable contributions from his Darien church to finance a lavish, globe-trotting lifestyle was sentenced to three years and a month in prison by a federal judge Tuesday.

Michael Jude Fay, former pastor of St. John's Roman Catholic Church, pleaded guilty in September to a single charge of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. Under his plea bargain with federal prosecutors, Fay admitted using $34,000 in church money for the down payment on a Philadelphia condominium.

But other information made public in court and by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport shows a seven-year pattern of fraud against his church that was far more extensive than Fay's condominium purchase.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Stricter abuse vigilance pledged

ASHEVILLE (NC)
Citizen-Times

by Leslie Boyd, LBOYD@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM
published December 4, 2007 12:15 am

ASHEVILLE – The Asheville-based Baptist Ministers Union president pledged Monday to find more ways to help churches protect children from abuse.

The Rev. L.C. Ray said he has met stinging criticism since appearing as a character witness for a church youth leader who pleaded guilty last week to five counts of indecent liberties with a child.

The plea bargain sent Leonard Smith, 53, a former music director who worked with youths at Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ in Asheville, to jail for at least 14 years.

It also allowed him to avoid three more serious charges that could have sent him to prison for decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Charges refiled in church sexual-abuse case

PINEVILLE (MO)
The Joplin Globe

By Derek Spellman
dspellman@joplinglobe.com

PINEVILLE, Mo. — The McDonald County prosecutor’s office has refiled eight sexual-abuse charges against the pastor of a fringe church.

A detective from the McDonald County Sheriff’s Department, meanwhile, has complained to the state oversight board for attorneys about Prosecutor Janice Durbin’s handling of two separate cases.

Durbin’s office on Monday filed four counts of second-degree child molestation, three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and one count of sexual abuse against Raymond Lambert, 52, pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church. Lambert is accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl several times between February 1995 and April 2003, according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Charges refiled in Ozarks child abuse case

PINEVILLE (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
12/05/2007

PINEVILLE, Mo. — A high-profile child abuse case in an isolated Ozarks religious community took another sudden turn when the prosecutor who dropped all charges a week ahead of trial last month refiled the case against the church's leader.

Court records showed Raymond Lambert, 52, was charged with four counts of second-degree child molestation, three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and one count of sexual abuse. The charges were filed Monday with as little fanfare from the prosecutor as when similar counts were dropped a month ago.

Lambert had pleaded not guilty to the original counts filed in August 2006. Lambert's attorney did not return a phone call for comment on the renewed charges. Lambert is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Healing Mass at noon today for victims of abuse

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Argus Leader

By Steve Young
syoung@argusleader.com

The Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese is holding a Mass of healing today geared to people victimized by abuse from within the church and from society in general.

The service, which begins at noon at St. Joseph Cathedral, is meant to help foster spiritual, emotional and physical healing, Bishop Paul Swain said.

In referencing victims of sexual abuse by priests or other people in the diocese, Swain said the church "must acknowledge our part in creating the need for this healing."

In that vein, "I again offer my own apology to anyone harmed by a person in authority in the church," Swain said. "I would like to offer that apology, if possible, in person."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Boston College makes plans for church land

BOSTON (MA)
USA Today

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald, Special for USA TODAY
For nearly six years, Boston-area Catholics have asked what good, if any, could come of the devastating clergy sexual abuse crisis that began there. Today, Boston College announced its $400 million answer.

That's how much the school intends to spend to develop 65 acres and 14 buildings acquired in deals with a cash-strapped and scandal-weary Archdiocese of Boston. The archdiocese got $172 million from the sale, more than enough cash to finance its $84 million settlement with abuse victims; the college got a key parcel for advancing a $1.6 billion, 10-year strategic plan to be announced Wednesday.

As dioceses around the country weigh how to pay settlement debts in the tens and hundreds of millions, some observers are pointing to what's playing out in Boston as a model worth emulating: The new owner of the archdiocese's former headquarters and adjacent grounds is a Catholic institution (a Jesuit university) with ambitious plans. An ornate mansion, which became a symbol of clerical aloofness when Cardinal Bernard Law lived there, will find rebirth as a conference center; there will be new playing fields, an athletic complex, dormitories and offices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Cardinal Mahoney Reveals That He Was Assaulted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Advocate

Cardinal Roger Mahoney revealed to fellow priests that he was assaulted this past July. His announcement came just days before the Los Angeles diocese began mailing out payments in a sexual-abuse settlement.

Mahoney, who did not go to the police about the incident, shared his experience with fellow priests during a conference in October at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, according to a report from the Los Angeles Daily News. Four of the priests present at the conference, which was attended by hundreds more, revealed news of the assault on Monday, the same day the diocese mailed out more than $500 million in checks to some of the 508 recipients of a $660 million settlement in the Catholic priests sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Catholic Cardinal speaks of attack by man outraged over sex abuse scandals

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Monsters & Critics

By M&C US News Dec 5, 2007, 3:47 GMT

Leading U.S. Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony was attacked on the street by a man outraged by the Church's sex abuse scandal just days after his Los Angeles diocese agreed to make a record payout to more than 500 victims, the Los Angeles Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Mahony, 71, revealed the July attack at a recent conference of priests and said it gave him insight to the suffering endured by victims of an endemic sex scandal that plagues the entire Church worldwide, stemming from the forbidding of men and women serving the Church to marry or have any normal sexual relations.

According to reports, Mahony was dropping off letters at a mailbox near the downtown Los Angeles cathedral when the attack occured.

"Somebody recognized him and attacked him. It was shocking because it was an act of violence and it was someone we know and respect," a priest told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Shattered Faith

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Daily Breeze

Nick Green
Staff Writer

Mass was under way when 40-year-old Rita Milla walked through the doors of Carson's St. Philomena Church.

Last month's visit was the first the Carson resident had made to a Catholic church in two decades. Her visit was a personal exorcism of a sort, but she did not stop and pray.

The once devout Catholic forced herself to visit the room where in 1978 the then 43-year-old Rev. Santiago "Henry" Tamayo seduced the dowdy, insecure 16-year-old.

The liaison, Milla has long-maintained, led to a five-year cycle of abuse in which the vulnerable adolescent who once wanted to become a nun had sex with seven different priests on the pretext that it would "help them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Cardinal Tells of Assault Over Sexual-Abuse Cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By REBECCA CATHCART
Published: December 5, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 — Cardinal Roger Mahony, the leader of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, told fellow priests that he was assaulted last summer by a man who yelled angry statements about the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests.

Cardinal Mahony first spoke about the attack at an annual gathering of local priests in October, according to priests who attended the meeting. The cardinal described being approached last July by an unidentified man outside Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, said the Rev. Michael Gutierrez, who was at the meeting.

“He went down there to drop something off at the mailbox when this guy approached him, saying some stuff,” said Father Gutierrez, pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church in Santa Monica. “Then, boom, the guy was on him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

US woman awarded $500,000 in church abuse case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: December 5, 2007

LOS ANGELES: A woman who was sexually abused by seven Roman Catholic priests and had a baby by one of them received a $500,000 (€339,190) settlement from America's largest archdiocese.

Rita Milla, now 46, first filed her case in 1984 after she says she was abused as a teenager by priests in the Los Angeles area. The payment was part of a $660 million (€447.73 million) global settlement the diocese reached collectively with past abuse victims.

"I'll never escape the memories and I'll always be fighting the after effects of the trauma I went through, but now I can work on healing," Milla said Tuesday at a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

$500,000 Settlement in LA Archdiocese Sex Case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KNX

LOS ANGELES (KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO) -- A woman has been awarded half a million dollars as settlement for a 23-year-old sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Rita Milla, now 46, said she was sexually victimized by seven priests beginning in 1980, when she was 16.

Milla received the $500,000 payment in a news conference held at her attorney's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Accused priest is cleared

CLEVELAND (OH)
Beacon Journal

Published on Wednesday, Dec 05, 2007

Beacon Journal staff report

CLEVELAND: A former associate pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cuyahoga Falls has been reinstated as an active priest in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, after being cleared of an allegation that he sexually abused a child in the late 1980s while assigned to the parish.

The Rev. Patrick O'Connor, who declined to comment Tuesday, was placed on leave on Sept. 3, 2003, after a diocesan review board determined that the allegation against him was credible enough to warrant a full investigation.

At the time of his suspension, he was preparing to begin his third year of teaching religious studies at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe.

The investigation into the allegation concluded that ''no instance of sexual abuse of a minor had been established and that there were no factors shown that should prevent the return of Father O'Connor, 49, to priestly ministry that includes regular contact with children,'' according to information released by the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

OK, SO MAYBE BAKER’S 10-YEAR SENTENCE DOESN’T MEAN WHAT WE THINK IT MEANS

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The District Weekly

Rachel Powers Tue. December 04

Just to get some sense of how it balances out…

As reported by Will Swaim, defrocked priest Michael Stephen Baker accepted a plea deal on Monday, exchanging the grudging acknowledgment of his abuse of two boys for a prison sentence of ten years and a $20k payout to one of the victims.

We’ve all grown accustomed to the gross inadequacy of sentences for violent crimes, including sexual sadism practiced on children. But let’s not get so used to it that we file the whole thing aways as “2 kids, 10 years.” There were many, many other victims. And when it is all said and done, Baker may trolling the slums of Thailand before the decade is out.

Baker is alleged to have abused more than 20 minors in 26 years, but the statute of limitations prevents the majority of these victims from seeing the criminal prosecution of their cases. So prosecutors were forced to focus on just four of those 26 years and two of those 20 children, resulting in the following charges: one count of oral copulation with a minor, one count of sexual penetration of an unconscious person with a foreign object, and three counts of sodomy of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Mahony tells priests he was assaulted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Rebecca Trounson and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
December 5, 2007
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony told a recent gathering of priests that he was assaulted last summer by a man enraged about the Roman Catholic Church's clergy abuse scandal, according to several sources familiar with the discussion.

Mahony, 71, told priests attending the Los Angeles Archdiocese's annual pastoral meeting in October that he had been knocked down and badly bruised in July, near the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown L.A.

No assault was reported to police, and Mahony's statements stunned those in attendance at the Oct. 1 conference, one participant said Tuesday.

"Everyone was just shocked," said the priest, who asked that his name not be used because the cardinal had asked participants to keep the discussions private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Legal battle finally ends for victim of priest abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Susannah Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 5, 2007
Rita Milla's story rocked the Archdiocese of Los Angeles when she first told it 23 years ago. Seven Roman Catholic priests, she said, had sexually abused her when she was a teenager, with one eventually fathering her child. The devout young woman who had once hoped to become a nun instead gave birth in secret in the Philippines.

On Tuesday, her decades-long legal battle came to an emotional end.

Looking somber and relieved, Milla received $500,000 from the archdiocese, part of a $660-million settlement between the church and hundreds of people alleging abuse by priests.

The church "didn't care about the children's souls," Milla, 46, said Tuesday. "The only thing they understood was the money."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

“The horrific damage he has caused”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Defrocked priest Michael Stephen Baker pleaded guilty on Monday, Dec. 3, to molesting two boys over a two-year period beginning in 1996. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Curtis B. Rappe sentenced Baker, 59, to 10 years and four months in prison and ordered him to pay $20,000 to one of the victims.

In 2002, Cardinal Roger Mahony said Baker’s case was the one “that troubles me the most.” In December 1986, Baker met with Mahony “to discuss [Baker’s] relationship with two boys from 1978 to 1985,” says the Los Angeles archdiocese’s 2005 Addendum to the Report to the People of God. Baker told the Los Angeles Times in 2002 that he had admitted molesting “two or three” boys, but that Mahony did not ask for specifics and appeared willing to let Baker remain a priest. Baker recalled that when an archdiocesan lawyer suggested reporting Baker to the police, Mahony said, “No, no, no.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Jury gives mixed verdict in priest case

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

December 5, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

A jury ruled late Tuesday night that Vermont's Catholic Church was negligent in supervising a pedophile priest, but, in a surprise twist, said a victim's news-making civil lawsuit was too old to prosecute under the state's statutes of limitations.

A 12-person panel deliberated for eight hours in Burlington's Chittenden Superior Court before finding the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese liable for charges against the former Rev. Alfred Willis, a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Milton before being defrocked in 1985.

The jury awarded James Turner, a 47-year-old Northeast Kingdom native, a seemingly small $15,000 in compensatory damages for his claims that the diocese failed to protect him from Willis, who allegedly performed oral sex on the plaintiff when he was 16 and sleeping at a Latham, N.Y., hotel in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

LAPD investigates attack on Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

By Rick Coca, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 12/04/2007 09:25:20 PM PST

LAPD detectives Tuesday began investigating reports that Cardinal Roger Mahony told hundreds of priests he was assaulted by a man angered over the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal, police said.

Police found no reports regarding an assault on Mahony and contacted church officials to ask them about it, said Andrew Smith, assistant commanding officer for the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Bureau. ...

Smith said while Mahony's under no legal obligation to cooperate in an investigation, he hopes that the cardinal does.

"What I'd really like to do is find out who the guy who did it was," Smith said. "Maybe he's going around and assaulting priests all over the diocese. ... Despite whatever your personal feelings are about the Catholic Church or the abuse, you can't walk up to anybody on the street and assault them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Jury issues split decision in priest molestation case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The jury in a priest molestation trial issued a split decision Tuesday night, ruling that the state's Roman Catholic diocese did not adequately supervise the offending priest but saying the victim filed his lawsuit too late to receive a damage award.

The Burlington jury did award $15,000 in compensatory damages to the victim, James Turner, 47, of Virginia Beach, Va. The diocese, however, will not have to pay him the money unless the judge rejects the jury's statute of limitations finding regarding the lateness of the lawsuit, diocesan lawyer Tom McCormick said.

Turner claimed he was molested at a Latham, N.Y., motel in 1977 by the Rev. Alfred Willis after a religious ceremony for Turner's brother, who was about to become a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priests: L.A. Cardinal Was Assaulted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cardinal Roger Mahony was attacked last summer by one or more people apparently angered by the Roman Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal, according to priests who say they have heard him discuss the assault.

Mahony, 71, told the priests about the attack during a conference in October, said the Rev. Joseph Shea, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale. The cardinal said it occurred in late July or early August as he was dropping off letters at a mailbox near Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, Shea said.

"The comments people made as they kicked him were connected to the sexual abuse lawsuits," he told The Associated Press.

Shea said Mahony was so badly beaten that the cardinal was hospitalized, and that it took him weeks to recover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Priests are happy without wives

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

December 5, 2007
ANDREW GREELEY agreel@aol.com
It is time that knee-jerk Catholic liberals give up their knee-jerk response to the sexual abuse problem. "Let priests marry, let them have legitimate sexual pleasures and then they won't become pederasts."

This argument, heard usually from those who would claim to be feminists, reduces the wife in a marriage to the role of satisfying a man's sexual needs so he won't have to victimize little or teenage boys. The recent study of schoolteachers as pederasts leaves little doubt that some married men and women will prey on students whenever they think they can get away with it. Nor are such predators necessarily gay. They might just be the kind of people who enjoy variety in their sexual partners.

I never have been able to understand lay folk who are obsessed with the abolition of celibacy. It may well be an appropriate modification of the church in a time when most American young men do not find the priesthood an attractive way to spend their life. However, a cursory reading of the research literature on the personal and professional satisfaction among the clergy and reports from the spouses and children of Protestant (and Greek Orthodox and rabbinic) clergy indicates that family relations are an enormous problem for many of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

December 4, 2007

Victim on cardinal's beating: 'This is karma'

CALIFORNIA
KABC

By John North

GLENDALE -- Major developments on Tuesday in the clergy abuse scandal. As the victims received their first checks from the abuse settlement, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony revealed he'd been attacked by a man enraged by the Catholic Church scandal.
Cardinal Mahony recently surprised hundreds of priests when he told them he had been injured during an attack outside the cathedral. This comes as the first checks are mailed and deposited in the $660 million settlement with victims of priest sex abuse.
Mahony told a gathering of priests about being attacked by someone upset over the sex abuse. One of the priests was Father Joseph Shea of Holy Family Catholic Church, who says they were all shocked by the news. Some were surprised Mahony didn't report the attack to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Jury says suit too late, but awards $15,000 in damages

BURLINGTON (VT)
WAVY

Associated Press - December 4, 2007 10:05 PM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A jury in Vermont has found that a Virginia man who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington for his alleged molestation by a priest 30 years ago should have done so years earlier.

After almost eight hours of deliberations, jurors tonight found that the Diocese had failed to adequately supervise now-defrocked Reverend Alfred Willis and awarded his accuser, James Turner, $15,000 in compensatory damages.

But it also found that under the statute of limitations, he should have brought the claim by 1998 -- six years before he did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

New York Archdiocese Employs New Method To Warn Kids Of Sexual Predators

NEW YORK
NY!

December 04, 2007

The Archdiocese of New York began distributing a coloring book Tuesday meant to teach children to be wary of adults, and it doesn't exactly exclude priests from that group. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

Instead of simply teaching kids how to color within the lines, a new coloring book called "Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic" is meant to teach them to be wary of adults who may be out-of-line, strangers or people they know, who may be targeting them for sexual abuse.

"Make sure that everybody knows what the nature of the problem is, and how to protect kids, and how to create a safe environment," said Ed Mechmann of Safe Education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Snap Poll

NEW YORK
NY1

Is it appropriate for the coloring book to refer indirectly to the priest sex abuse scandal?

Poll active DECEMBER 04TH, 2007 - DECEMBER 09TH, 2007

NY1 News has launched our "Snap Poll" feature, which allows Time Warner Digital Cable subscribers in New York City to use their remote control to answer poll questions that appear on their TV screen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Comprehensive sex abuse settlement reached in Davenport

DAVENPORT (IA)
Catholic News Agency

Des Moines, Dec 4, 2007 / 11:31 am (CNA).- The Diocese of Davenport, one of five U.S. dioceses to file for bankruptcy under the weight of sexual abuse cases, reached a $37 million agreement with the victims and their attorneys at 1 a.m. on Thursday, November 29.

Under the settlement, persons abused, or their relatives can request a letter of apology from the bishop of Davenport, Martin J. Amos.

According to the Associated Press, the negotiation of the agreement took place over four days in Chicago and will address the claims of 156 victims of abuse who have come forward. The pact also makes provision for any additional abuse claims by setting aside a portion of the money.

Reaching the settlement makes the Iowa diocese the last of the five dioceses around the country to complete this necessary component of filing for bankruptcy.

In a statement, Bishop Amos, said that the agreement offers "the best opportunity for healing" for victims of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Mahony and Me

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
December 4, 2007 3:32 PM

Recent news that Archdiocese of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony claims he was assaulted by someone angry with his treatment of sex-abuse survivors brings back memories of my own obnoxious attack on His Eminence over the rapes of innocents. It was in October of 2005, and I was spending a week in Los Angeles as part of the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism's seminar on the Latinization of Arts in America. Seminar organizers kicked off the week with a visit to Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, the cathedral better described as the Rog Mahal. I protested loudly to no avail and looked on glumly as some diocesan hack went on about the cathedral's architecture, doors, blah, blah, blah.

We were allowed to explore the cathedral on our own for a bit--and that's when I saw my chance for some payback.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Fay: Former Darien pastor sentenced to 3 years

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Darien Times

NEW HAVEN — Michael Jude Fay, the former pastor of Darien's St. John Roman Catholic Parish was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison today for stealing parishioners' money for his own use. And he was ordered to pay restitution of $1,027,989.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven federal court. Fay, 56, pleaded guilty in September to one count of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. He was facing up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

The former pastor won't have to report to prison until April 2 so he can have extra time to continue with an experimental medical treatment for his cancer.

In May 2006, it was discovered that Fay had been using church money to support his lavish lifestyle, which included trips to Europe, the Caribbean and other parts of the United States. A private investigation — prompted by another church priest and its bookkeeper — also discovered that Fay was in a romantic relationship with a Philadelphia event planner, Cliff Fantini. Fay resigned shortly after the news broke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Judge sentences Darien priest to just over three years in prison

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Advocate

Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

Published December 4 2007

NEW HAVEN - A federal judge sentenced the former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien to 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling parish money to lead a lavish lifestyle.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay also must repay St. John's the $1 million he owes, Judge Janet Bond Arterton said during his sentencing Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Upon his release, Fay is not allowed to make credit card charges above $200, and he is not allowed to open new credit cards or lines of credit without approval from the probation office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Priest who stole from parish sentenced to 37 months in prison

NEW HAVEN (CT)
Newsday

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN | Associated Press Writer
6:08 PM EST, December 4, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Darien priest who stole about $1.3 million from his parish to support a luxurious lifestyle was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison. The Rev. Michael Jude Fay was also ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.

Fay, who pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge in September, set up secret bank accounts to pay for travel around the world and to buy a condominium, authorities say. He resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church.

In a courtroom apology, the 56-year-old Fay said his mistakes have brought shame to his parishioners, his family and friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

First charged in devil worshiping rituals convicted

LOUISIANA
KATC

NEW ORLEANS -- The first of seven Hosanna Church members accused of molesting children as part of a devil-worshipping ritual was in jail Tuesday after being found guilty of molesting his daughter and a boy.

A state district court jury in Amite voted unanimously Monday to convict Austin "Trey" Bernard III in the rape of his 2-year-old daughter. All but one of the 12 jurors found him guilty in the rape of a 12-year-old boy, District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said. Ten votes were needed to convict.

Bernard, 39, denied the charges, but three earlier confessions and a journal that seemed to detail the practices of the group were too much to overcome, said Al Bensabat, the public defender who represented him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Catholic Church’s Coloring and Comic Books Take Aim at Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Sewell Chan

A program by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York to distribute educational materials — a coloring book and a comic book — to children to help them avoid becoming victims of sexual abuse has drawn attention in Newsweek and The New York Post. An independent expert said that the books could send the wrong message if not accompanied by proper context and guidance from adults.

In one page of the coloring book — for students in the first through fifth grades — a smiling angel tells an altar boy who is putting on a vestment: “For safety’s sake, a child and an adult shouldn’t be alone in a closed room together. If a child and an adult happen to be alone, someone should know where they are and the door should be open or have a big window in it.”
The angel adds, “Remember, it’s always safer with a group of people you know, but if you are alone with an adult, make sure others know where to find you.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Catholic coloring book warns US kids of pedophile priests

NEW YORK
AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) — New York's Roman Catholic Church is trying a novel approach to alert children to the danger of being sexually assaulted by a priest, with an abuse-themed coloring book, officials said Tuesday.

"Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic," was distributed earlier this year to several hundred schools in the New York area as part of the church's Safe Environment Program, a spokeswoman from the city's Archdiocese said.

One image in the book features a guardian angel hovering over an altar boy with a priest lurking in the background.

"For safety's sake, a child and an adult shouldn't be alone in a closed room together," the angel counsels. In another, the angel warns of a sexual predator attempting to chat with a child over the Internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

LA cardinal was assaulted over Church abuse: paper

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

Tue Dec 4, 2007 3:52pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Leading U.S. Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony was attacked on the street by a man enraged by the Church's sex abuse scandal just days after his Los Angeles diocese agreed to make a record payout to more than 500 victims, a Los Angeles newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Mahony, 71, spoke of the July attack at a recent conference of priests and said it gave him a deeper understanding of the suffering endured by victims of the nationwide scandal.

Father Sal Pilato, principal of Junipero Serra Catholic High School in Los Angeles who heard Mahony speak at the conference, said the cardinal was dropping off letters at a mailbox near the downtown Los Angeles cathedral where he lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Color Your Way To Safety

NEW YORK
Wonkette

The Catholic Church has gotten tired of all the complaints about priests abusing children and of having to work so hard to keep priests from abusing little kids and to kick them out and stuff. So, the Archdiocese of New York is conducting a cartoon campaign to teach kids how to avoid being abused, because it’s easier to teach a child to fear a priest than to teach a priest to not fuck a child.

In addition to sunny posters teaching children the basics of avoiding sexual abuse featuring that cute little red-headed angel with slight emerging breasteses, the Archdiocese is distributing a coloring book throughout churches in New York called Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic. A page for you to print out and color with your child appears below!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Woman awarded $500,000 in church abuse, paternity settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/04/2007 01:21:21 PM PST

LOS ANGELES—A woman who says she was sexually victimized by seven Roman Catholic priests and who had a baby by one of them has received a $500,000 settlement from the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Rita Milla, now 46, was awarded the payment Tuesday at the office of her attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles.

Milla's case against the archdiocese was first filed in 1984.

A state court found in 2003 that Roman Catholic priest Valentine Tugade fathered Milla's daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Rudy's Friend: The Accused Pedophile Priest

NEW YORK
The Village Voice

posted: 9:44 AM, December 4, 2007 by Michael Clancy

Many Voice readers may be aware of Rudy Giuliani's longtime friendship with Msgr. Alan Placa, a priest accused of not only molesting four minors on Long Island but covering up other child abuse cases that he was supposed to investigate for the Catholic Church. Wayne Barrett wrote about Giuliani and Placa in June in a larger article about Rudy's campaign on his supposed Catholic record.

Special grand jury reports from the Suffolk County Supreme Court, which were released in 2003, shed more light on Placa's alleged misdeeds with little boys.

A little background on Placa from the Barrett story:

Alan Placa is not just a major figure in Giuliani's marital life: He baptized both of Giuliani's children, and though already stripped of his priestly powers, he was given special dispensation from his bishop in Long Island to preside at Helen Giuliani's September 2002 funeral. A month earlier—despite still-pending allegations that he'd groped four minors in Long Island's Diocese of Rockville Center—he was hired as a three-day-a-week consultant at Giuliani Partners, where he remains today. Michael Hess, the managing partner of Giuliani's firm and the city's former top lawyer, represents Placa in the ongoing cases. When first reached by a reporter at Giuliani Partners, Placa claimed that he was only visiting—a falsehood quickly reversed by a firm spokeswoman....Indeed, even if one assumes that America won't be offended by the contradiction between Giuliani's marital choices and his professed Catholicism, that will almost certainly change as the country learns more about his best friend, business associate, and lifelong link to the church. New York papers have reported some devastating details, drawn largely from a Suffolk County grand jury report issued in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

CARDINAL MAHONY SAYS HE WAS ASSAULTED

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The District Weekly

Will Swaim
Tue. December 04

Key word: “says”

Here’s what the Daily News writes in breaking the story:

“Cardinal Roger Mahony was physically assaulted by a man enraged by the Catholic Church’s sexual-abuse scandal within days of a record settlement with hundreds of victims, the Daily News has learned.”

But that’s not what the Daily News learned. In fact, it learned through four priests that Mahony CLAIMS he was attacked. That comes out in the second paragraph:

“Mahony, 71, revealed the attack during an annual conference in October before hundreds of stunned priests, saying a man assaulted him because of the scandal, according to four priests who attended the conference.”

The claim came out as part of Mahony’s attempt to show he now really understands the feelings of child victims of predator priests. He’s just like them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Settlement to be discussed in priest abuse case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KESQ

Associated Press - December 4, 2007 12:44 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A woman who claims she was abused by seven priests -- one the father of her daughter -- is expected to discuss a settlement with the L.A. archdiocese today.

Lawyer Gloria Allred says Rita Milla received a check in the mail from the archdiocese today as part of the settlement.

Milla's expected to reveal how much she's getting at a news conference today.

Milla's case against the archdiocese was first filed in 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Jury begins deliberations in priest sex trial in Burlington

BURLINGTON (VT)
Boston Globe

December 4, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt.—A jury has begun deliberations in the case of a man who blames the Diocese of Burlington for his alleged molestation by one of its priests 30 years ago.

After closing arguments, the nine-woman, three-man jury in Chittenden County Superior Court retired at 1 p.m. to begin considering the case.

James Turner, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, claims that a now-defrocked priest performed a sex on him in a Latham, New York, motel room in 1977.

The 47-year-old former Derby man blames the diocese for failing to adequately supervise the Rev. Alfred Willis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

TRANSCRIPT: Victim impact statements from Dec. 3 sentencing of Michael Stephen Baker

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Rough transcripts of victim impact statements from Matt Severson, Mary Grant, Vicki Martin, Unnamed Child, Virginia Zamora, Frank Zamora, and James Brown who spoke to the ex-Father Mike at his sentencing hearing in Los Angeles Monday. The ex-priest preyed on at least 15 parishes between Southern California and Arizona in the eighties and nineties, continuing to create victims long after he’d admitted to and been treated for child molestation. -- ke

MATT SEVERSON: “I’d be getting ready to say 10 AM Mass and there’d be a 20 dollar bill on the pillow next to me”

In 1976 Michael Stephen Baker entered my life. I was nine years old. He paid a lot of attention to me and the other young boys, tickling us. His tickling felt different to me, he’d go close to the groin, but I didn't say anything.

Father Mike became more and more a part of our lives. He became close to my parents, and offered to baby sit --

I remember the first time, he took off my pajamas during the night, and he’d have his mouth close to my hear and whisper oh Matt how I love you. The touching escalated to masturbation and oral sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Hospital Sued Over Sex Abuse Claims

HARTFORD (CT)
CBS News

HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 4, 2007

(CBS/AP) A man who claims he was one of Dr. George Reardon's many child sexual abuse victims sued St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center on Monday, saying the hospital failed to protect him from the doctor.

The plaintiff, listed in the lawsuit as John Doe No. 1, claims the hospital knew, or should have known, that Reardon "had a propensity to sexually batter minors" but failed to do anything to stop the abuse.

The filing in Hartford Superior Court came nearly a week after West Hartford police announced that a huge collection of child pornography was found in a hidden storage space in Reardon's former home earlier this year. The cache included 50,000 35mm slides and more than 100 8mm movie reels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Hosanna Church Member Guilty Of Sex Abuse

LOUISIANA
WDSU

PONCHATOULA, La. -- A jury found former Hosanna church member Trey Bernard, 39, guilty on charges of sexually abusing children.

Bernard took the stand in his own defense before being found guilty of aggravated rape Monday.

Since last Wednesday, a jury of eight women and four men listened to eight prosecution witnesses, hours of taped interviews with children and Bernard’s taped confessions, as well as his testimony.

The prosecution also presented hundreds of pages of written confessions by Bernard and two children detailing the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Cardinal Mahoney Tells Priests He Was Assaulted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS 2

LOS ANGELES (CBS) ― Within days of a record settlement with hundreds of victims, Cardinal Roger Mahony was assaulted by a man enraged by the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal, it was reported Tuesday.

Mahony, 71, talked about the attack during an annual conference in October before hundreds of stunned priests, four priests who attended the gathering at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles told the Daily News.

News of the assault emerged Monday as the bulk of the church's $660 million settlement with victims began being paid out, with more than $500 million in checks going out in the mail, the newspaper reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

‘You're not worth the spit on the sidewalk.’ Victims speak at Baker’s sentencing: For nine counts he gets ten years of which he'll serve two

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Ex-priest Michael Baker did not seem like a guilty man facing a just penance as he sauntered out of court Monday afternoon. Several victims at his sentencing observed he looked more like a guy leaving a business meeting, a successful one. Baker shook hands “so long” with his attorneys and left court with a lilt in his gait. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for oral copulation of two boys under age 18, but at a press conference after the hearing, Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman, calculated the amount of time Baker will actually serve.

“If he, in a sense, keeps his nose clean in prison, he will be entitled to 50 percent credits, that's good time and work time credits,” said Hodgman, who is head of target crimes in LA County.

“It appears the amount he will serve will be like a couple more years,” Hodgman said.

Baker gets 717 days served and work time, totaling 1075 days credit. Baker looked well fed and rested from his stay in LA county jail.

DA Michael Beart informed the slouching former priest that he’d have to register as a sex offender five days after release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Lawyers Debate Hospital Liability

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES | Courant Staff Writer
December 4, 2007

The top lawyer at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford says the hospital had no specific information about Dr. George Reardon's alleged sexual abuse of children before complaints surfaced in medical hearings in the early 1990s.

But experienced civil litigation lawyers, some of whom are suing the hospital or evaluating potential complaints, say that might not matter.

They say that plaintiffs might be able to make a case that the hospital is liable because St. Francis employed Reardon and gave him privileges in its facilities. Or the plaintiffs could prevail, the lawyers say, by arguing that the hospital should have known what Reardon was doing — especially since he was dealing with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

NOTORIOUS LB PRIEST GETS 10 YEARS

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The District

Will Swaim
Mon. December 03

One of the most notorious priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese accepted a 10-year prison term in exchange for his guilty plea today in the molestation of two boys, one of whom, The District has learned, he raped in Long Beach in the 1990s.

Father Michael Stephen Baker’s surprise deal with the Los Angeles County District Attorney allowed the diocese to avoid a lengthy trial. But victims present for the sentencing at the Criminal Courts Building downtown still had their chance to describe Baker’s impact on their lives, some tracing responsibility for Baker’s attacks to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony himself.

According to documents reviewed by The District, Baker visited Cardinal Mahony on Holy Thursday, just a few days before Easter 1987, and told the top archdiocesan official that he had molested children. According to victims’ attorney John Manly, Mahony sent Baker to the Servants of the Paraclete, a pedophile treatment facility run by the Catholic Church.

(Full disclosure: Manly is a District investor.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Former principal admits theft

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

By CHARLES WEBSTER IV
Gannett New Jersey

FREEHOLD
The former principal of Holy Cross High School in Delran pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $415,000 from the school and now faces a five-year prison term.

Joseph R. Lemme, 50, of the Allenwood section of Wall, admitted he took $415,848.88 from the school and transferred it into a personal account he controlled in Monmouth County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

COLORING BOOK TELLS KIDS TO . . .

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JEREMY OLSHAN
CARDINAL EGAN
Approved book.December 4, 2007 -- A new coloring book being distributed by the Archdiocese of New York teaches children to protect themselves from adults - including, apparently, priests - who cannot stay within the lines.

Although priests are never explicitly the villains of "Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic," the female guardian angel who narrates the morality tale warns on one page that an altar boy should never remain alone in a room with any adult unless the door is open.

"If a child and an adult happen to be alone, someone should know where they are, and the door should be open or have a big window in it," the smiling angel says in the panel as she floats above an altar boy donning his church smock, apparently in a church sacristy, as a man who seems to be a priest looks at him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Ex-priest pleads guilty in molestation scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 4, 2007
Former Roman Catholic priest Michael Stephen Baker, who authorities say ranks among the Los Angeles Archdiocese's most prolific child molesters, pleaded guilty Monday to sexually abusing two boys and was sentenced to 10 years and four months in prison.

The 59-year-old defrocked priest, who was wearing a jail-issued orange jumpsuit, sat impassively as some of his accusers and their supporters testified about how he had ruined the lives of innocent children.

"I felt trapped in an alternate universe of fear and silence," said Matt Severson, who has accused Baker of molesting him as a boy. "As a result of this, I was deprived of much of my adolescence and the ability to mature and grow as a normal teenager."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Prosecutor Refiles Sex Charges Against Ozarks Pastor

MISSIOURI
KSPR

By KSPR News

McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney Janice Durbin has refiled sex charges against pastor Raymond Lambert.

Lambert is the pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church. He has been charged with four counts of child molestation, two counts of statutory sodomy, and one count of sexual abuse. The charges are in connection with the ritual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

No verdict yet in Passmore sex abuse case

LIVINGSTON (MT)
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

By SCOTT McMILLION Chronicle Staff Writer

LIVINGSTON - After nearly 10 hours of deliberations, a jury failed to reach a verdict on any of the eight felony sex charges against former Church of God pastor Terrance Passmore and was sent home for the night just before 11 p.m. Monday.

"You put in a brutally long day," presiding judge E. Wayne Phillips told the eight women and four men on the jury. They had begun their work at 9 a.m., listening to jury instructions and closing arguments that lasted until 1 p.m.

Passmore, 49, is facing six counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape for allegedly fondling three former female parishioners in 1998. The girls were between 12 and 14 years old at the time of the alleged assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Diocese in Iowa Settles With Abuse Victims for $37 Million

DAVENPORT (IA)
The New York Times

By DAN FROSCH
Published: December 4, 2007
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, has reached a $37 million settlement to compensate victims of sexual abuse by clergy members and let the diocese emerge from bankruptcy, the two sides announced yesterday.

The money will be divided among 156 people who say they suffered sexual abuse by priests and lower-level employees dating from the late 1930s. Part of the settlement will be set aside for victims who may still come forward.

The diocese is the last of five to reach such a settlement after filing for bankruptcy rather than face what would probably be a deluge of suits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Hostage suspect’s rap sheet long, grim

ROCHESTER (NH)
Boston Herald

By Dave Wedge
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 - Updated 9h ago

ROCHESTER, N.H. - The troubled, bogus bomber who allegedly held Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign workers hostage is a two-time rapist who once tried to cash in by selling cloth from a seat used by Mother Teresa.

Leeland Eisenberg, also known as Ralph Elliot Woodward, served about 20 years in Bay State prisons for rapes in Worcester in 1985 and Leominster in 1986. The Leominster attack, at knifepoint, occurred after he escaped from prison while serving 10 years for the Worcester rape, authorities said.

According to published reports, in 1988, while serving an 11- to 20-year sentence for the Leominster rape, he and another inmate hatched a plan to sell pieces of cloth from a seat cover used by Mother Teresa during a visit to MCI-Concord. In a 1988 newspaper interview, Eisenberg said he and the other inmate were going to sell 50 squares for $1,000 each and would use the money to better themselves upon their release.

“We just feel that this is a blessing bestowed upon us,” Eisenberg, who used his former name in the interview, told the newspaper. “The fact that she came here is a miracle and now we have the cloth, well, it’s just phenomenal.”

Eisenberg, who apparently told the paper he was serving time for breaking and entering, not rape, claims to have been a survivor of the priest sexual abuse scandal and reportedly won a settlement from the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002. In a lawsuit, Eisenberg alleged that the Rev. Richard Buntel of Chelmsford got him drunk, showed him porn and molested him. Buntel has denied the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Baker pleads guilty

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Whittier Daily News

By Ruby Gonzales, Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES - A former priest pleaded guilty Monday to molesting two boys he met at churches in Pico Rivera and Los Angeles and was sentenced to more than 10 years in state prison.

Michael Stephen Baker, 59, of Long Beach admitted to committing 12 felony counts of oral copulation on a person under 18 at a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Among those who spoke at the hearing was Matthew Severson, a former altar boy at St. Paul of the Cross in La Mirada who said he was molested by Baker nearly 30 years ago.

Severson was not named as a victim in the criminal case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Mahony assaulted near L.A.'s cathedral

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

By Rick Coca, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 12/03/2007 11:11:44 PM PST

Cardinal Roger Mahony was physically assaulted by a man enraged by the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal within days of a record settlement with hundreds of victims, the Daily News has learned.

Mahony, 71, revealed the attack during an annual conference in October before hundreds of stunned priests, saying a man assaulted him because of the scandal, according to four priests who attended the conference.

News of the assault comes as the bulk of the church's $660million settlement with victims began being paid out Monday, with more than $500million in checks going out in the mail. The settlement with 508 alleged victims was approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge July 16.

The attack on Mahony occurred in July near Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, and it took the cardinal about a month to heal, said the Rev. Sal Pilato, principal at Junipero Serra Catholic High School in Gardena. The cardinal was dropping off letters at a mailbox when he was assaulted, priests said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Priest abuse case goes to jury today

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning in the trial of a Virginia man who says the state's Roman Catholic diocese is at fault for his molestation by a priest in 1977.

James Turner, 47, of Virginia Beach, Va., claims that the Rev. Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him at a Latham, N.Y., motel room as family and friends who had attended a religious ceremony for Turner's brother slept nearby. Turner was 16 at the time of the incident.

The diocese does not dispute the molestation claim but has contended it had no knowledge of Willis' potential for sexual misconduct prior to the incident with Turner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Rev. Patrick O'Connor cleared of sexual abuse claim, is reinstated

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Tuesday, December 04, 2007
David Briggs
Plain Dealer Religion Reporter
The Cleveland Catholic Diocese has reinstated a priest accused of sexually abusing a minor, the first time such action has been taken since the U.S. Catholic Church adopted a zero-tolerance policy on abuse.

The Rev. Patrick J. O'Connor, on leave since September 2003, was cleared by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reinstated in late September, the diocese said.

O'Connor has been appointed chaplain to the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, both in Euclid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Monsignor removed from parish after admitting misconduct from 30 years ago

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY PETER KADUSHIN and ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Tuesday, December 4th 2007, 4:00 AM

A Brooklyn monsignor has been yanked from his parish after admitting "inappropriate behavior" with up to five young people more than 30 years ago, authorities said.

Msgr. George Zatarga, 65, admitted allegations of sexual misconduct when he was a relatively new priest in the Diocese of Brooklyn in the late 1970s, according to a letter the Bishop of Brooklyn Nicholas DiMarzio sent to Zatarga's flock.

A law enforcement source said investigators also were checking out more recent abuse allegations. Zatarga served as chaplain at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn from 1971 to 1979, and chaplain at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens from 1979 to 1989.

An adult victim broke the silence with a call to the diocese's toll-free sexual assault hotline two weeks ago, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Parish, school help sought for abuse pay

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE • REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR • December 4, 2007

Catholic parishes and schools in the Davenport Diocese will be asked to pay part of the $37 million bankruptcy settlement to victims of sexual abuse by clergy that was announced Monday.

In return, the congregations and schools will be cleared of all liability for cases of child sexual abuse by priests that occurred before the diocese filed bankruptcy Oct. 10, 2006.

"In the beginning, the Diocese of Davenport alone entered bankruptcy," Bishop Martin Amos, who heads the diocese, said in a news release. "But we were able to include all other Catholic entities in the diocese (in the agreement) so that they all will be protected from future claims."

The agreement dwarfs a $9 million settlement reached in 2004 between the diocese and abuse survivors. Before filing for bankruptcy, the diocese had paid out $10 million to 43 people who claimed they were abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Davenport Diocese reaches $37 million settlement with priest abuse victims

DAVENPORT (IA)
Courier

By HENRY C. JACKSON, Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES --- The Diocese of Davenport's $37 million settlement agreement with clergy abuse victims offers plenty in the way of finality.

Comfort, for all parties, is more scarce.

A year of legal wrangling ended when the settlement was reached last week and announced Monday.

For the Diocese of Davenport, the short-term future is fairly clear cut -- it is on to bankruptcy court. With a financial reorganization plan in place, the slow struggle to regain its financial footing can begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

December 3, 2007

Investigators Questioned on Pastor Gray's Arrest

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Roger Weeder
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Investigators who handled and built a case against former Trinity Baptist pastor Bob Gray were questioned by defense attorneys about the process and evidence.

Pastor Gray died last month before his trial for allegedly molesting children decades ago.

Police say the case started on May 13, 2006 when they responded to a call from the Justice Coalition to meet with an alleged victim. The victim said she had been French kissed decades earlier.

Six days later, Gray was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 PM

Teenager testifies pastor fondled her, asked for sex

HAMILTON (OH)
The Western Star

By Lauren Pack
Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

HAMILTON — A teenage girl testified Monday that a Hamilton pastor fondled her and asked her for oral sex during an encounter this year at her parent's home.

The 17-year-old testified in Butler County Common Pleas Court for three hours during the trial of Rev. Bruce Alvin Curtis, 54, a religious leader at Community Friendship Church of God in Christ in Hamilton, who is charged with attempted sexual battery, a fourth-degree felony, and sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor.

The alleged incident occurred on Feb. 21 at Curtis' residence in the 1000 block of Chestnut Street in Fairfield. Police detectives say Curtis inappropriately touched the victim and the crime was elevated because of his authority over her as a pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 PM

Jurors find man guilty in sex-abuse case at defunct church

AMITE (LA)
The Journal Gazette

Associated Press
A jury late Monday convicted a man on three counts of aggravated rape of children for his role in the sex abuse case surrounding the now-closed Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula.

Austin Trey Bernard III, 39, of Hammond, was the first of seven members of the church to go on trial. He was accused of raping his daughter, who was 2 at the time, and a 12-year-old boy.

Jurors - eight women and four men - deliberated about two hours before delivering the verdict. District Judge Doug Hughes set sentencing for Jan. 16.

Since Wednesday, the jury has listened to witnesses for the state, at least six hours of taped interviews of children and Bernard's taped confessions to law enforcement authorities. They also read hundreds of pages of written confessions by Bernard and two children detailing the alleged abuse. The two young men, who are among the three children the state maintains were raped, also testified but recanted past statements of alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 PM

Former Catholic Priest Pleads Guilty To Molesting Boys

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KNBC

LOS ANGELES -- A former Southland Catholic priest pleaded guilty Monday to molesting two teenage boys more than a decade ago and was sentenced to 10 years and four months in state prison.

Michael Stephen Baker, 59, formerly of Long Beach, pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe gave Baker credit for 717 days served behind bars, as well as 358 days credit for good behavior since his Jan. 19, 2006, arrest.

Along with the prison term, the judge ordered the former priest to undergo HIV/AIDS testing, register as a sex offender for the rest of his life upon his release from prison, and pay one of the victims $20,000 for mental health counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Iowa Diocese Reaches $37M Sex Abuse Pact

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Associated Press

By HENRY C. JACKSON

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport agreed Monday to pay out $37 million to more than 150 sex abuse victims under a settlement that requires the bishop to personally apologize to any accusers or relatives who ask.

The deal, hammered out over four days of negotiations in Chicago, will address the claims of 156 victims of abuse who have come forward, with a portion of the money set aside in the event that more victims come forward.

The agreement completes a necessary step for the Davenport diocese, which filed for bankruptcy last year after allegations of abuse against former clergy members, some dating back nearly 70 years. The diocese is expected soon to file a formal plan for reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that will include the settlement agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 PM

Former L.A. priest pleads guilty to sexual abuse of boys

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Keith St. Clair
ASSOCIATED PRESS

6:41 p.m. December 3, 2007

LOS ANGELES – A former priest who figured prominently in the sex abuse scandal that plagued the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese pleaded guilty Monday to molesting two boys and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Michael Stephen Baker, 60, was sentenced as part of a plea deal entered in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The announcement of the agreement came on the same day the archdiocese paid a large share of the $660 million it has agreed to provide to settle cases with more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse.

About $500 million was wired to victims as part of the largest payout by any diocese since the scandal emerged in Boston in 2002, said Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 PM

Alleged Victim In West Harford Child Porn Case Files Lawsuit

WEST HARTFORD (CT)
NBC 30

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- An alleged victim and former patient of a West Hartford doctor filed a lawsuit in court Monday after more than 50,000 images of child pornography were found in the doctor’s former home last week.

The new owners of Reardon’s home on Griswold Drive found the slides in May during renovations.

The former patient of Dr. George Reardon is seeking compensation from both Reardon’s estate and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where Reardon worked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Hospital sued over doctor's alleged sexual abuse of children

HARTFORD (CT)
Newsday

By DAVE COLLINS | Associated Press Writer
4:17 PM EST, December 3, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. - A man who claims he was one of Dr. George Reardon's many child sexual abuse victims sued St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center on Monday, saying the hospital failed to protect him from the doctor.

The plaintiff, listed in the lawsuit as John Doe No. 1, claims the hospital knew, or should have known, that Reardon "had a propensity to sexually batter minors" but failed to do anything to stop the abuse.

The filing in Hartford Superior Court came nearly a week after West Hartford police announced that a huge collection of child pornography was found in a hidden storage space in Reardon's former home earlier this year. The cache included 50,000 35mm slides and more than 100 8mm movie reels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Mom convicted of rape out of jail

KENTUCKY
The Cincinnati Post

Post staff report

Jeni Lee Dinkel is out of jail, but the 51-year-old Northern Kentucky woman convicted of raping a 15-year-old boy still faces a lawsuit filed by the boy's mother.

Dinkel, of Villa Hills, wife of former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Tom Dinkel, was released Saturday from the Kenton County Jail, where she served 60 days as ordered by Kenton Circuit Judge Greg Bartlett.

Pending is a lawsuit filed three weeks ago against Dinkel, her husband, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, Covington Catholic High School Principal Michael Clines and Park Hills Police Chief Rick Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Diocese to pay $37M more to abuse survivors

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

The Davenport Catholic Diocese and its insurance carriers have agreed to a $37 million bankruptcy reorganization plan that will benefit approximately 156 people who say clergy and other diocesan personnel sexually abused them, lawyers for the victims said this morning.

In a news release, lawyers Pat Noaker, Craig Levien and Hamid Rafatjoo said the Committee of Unsecured Creditors reached an agreement with the Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport last Thursday, Nov. 29.

The committee represents 156 people who are listed as creditors in the diocese's bankruptcy proceedings. A year ago, the diocese listed assets of $9 million and said it would sell its headquarters and three homes, including the bishop's residence, to pay creditors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Diocese bankruptcy settlement 'best opportunity for healing'

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Gazette

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

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport would pay up to $37 million to sexual abuse victims under a plan revealed Monday that paves the way for the diocese to emerge from bankruptcy protection after 14 months.

The agreement, which still must be approved by a judge, was reached at 1 a.m. Nov. 29 after four days of mediation in Chicago between attorneys for the diocese and the case's creditors committee, which is made up of alleged abuse victims. Bishop Martin Amos also was involved.

The diocese and its insurance carriers would pay the money, and some individual parishes may also contribute. The agreement also includes several non-monetary terms, including Amos agreeing to write a personal letter to any victim, or relatives of victims, who requests one.

"The settlement provides the best opportunity for healing and for the just and fair compensation of those who have suffered sexual abuse by priests in our diocese," Amos said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

New set of legal woes for Bishop Brown

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com

You know how Bishop Tod Brown won't have to face contempt charges today? Well, not so fast. In another courtroom this morning, in a completely different case, a completely different plaintiff's attorney will ask for sanctions against Brown and the Catholic Diocese of Orange for allegedly violating a completely different court order.

This has nothing to do with molestations – at least not sexual molestation. But what do you call allegedly selling a widow's grave out from under her and her late husband? Perhaps out from under many widows and their late spouses? And not telling them until they show up, grieving, two days before the funeral and then shuffling them off to some weed-strewn area?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Davenport Diocese reaches settlement agreement with abuse victims

DES MOINES (IA)
ABC 5

Associated Press - December 3, 2007 1:04 PM ET

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Diocese of Davenport has agreed to a $37 million settlement for victims of sexual abuse by its clergy.

Martin J. Amos, the bishop of Davenport, said in a statement released Monday that the settlement offers "the best opportunity for healing" for victims of clergy abuse. He also says it's the best route to allow the Davenport Diocese to continue its mission.

The church expects to include the settlement in a reorganization plan it will file in bankruptcy court. Church officials expect distribution of the money to begin by July of next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Payouts in L.A. priest abuse scandal set for today

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
11:11 AM PST, December 3, 2007
About $500 million in damages was to be paid out starting this morning in the final settlement of a 5-year-old sexual abuse scandal that has gripped the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles .

More than 500 individuals will receive up to $4 million each for the injuries they said they suffered at the hands of priests and lay employees, mostly from the 1950s into the 1980s.

The church and its insurers agreed to a universal settlement last summer that called for total payments of $660 million to the accusers.

"I honestly truly feel thankful," said Matt Severson, who says he was raped as an altar boy by former priest Michael Baker. "At this moment, it will truly be a new chapter in my life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Priest aided investigators in nun's murder case

TOLEDO (OH)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
December 3, 2007

The following is Chapter 25 of David Yonke's book Sin, Shame, and Secrets: The Murder of a Nun, the Conviction of a Priest, and Cover-Up in the Catholic Church (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006), which will be available in paperback on February 15, 2008. It is reprinted with Mr. Yonke's permission. [Warning: contains disturbing descriptions.]

Chapter 25

Sergeant Forrester called Father Michael Billian at the Catholic Center in Toledo and said he had a few questions about the occult. He offered no further explanation, but the chancellor assumed it had something to do with the Father Robinson case.

Father Billian suggested he call Father Jeffrey Grob, a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago who was researching his doctoral dissertation on the ritual of exorcism. Father Grob was the associate vicar for canonical services for the archdiocese and also served as assistant to the exorcist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Gun priest keeps links

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

SAM RICHES, POLICE REPORTER
December 03, 2007 07:10pm
A GUN-WIELDING Catholic priest at the centre of an investigation into child pornography has continued his association with the Church.

Father Tony Pearson agreed to stand aside 12 months ago from his chaplaincy at the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry when the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide became aware of a police investigation following from information provided to the the Mulligan inquiry. As part of that investigation, police raided Father Pearson's office at the Otherway Centre, allegedly uncovering pornographic material and weapons photographs taken in Afghanistan.

The weapons pictures have been referred to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Despite agreeing to stand aside pending the outcome of the police investigation, Father Pearson has continued his association with the centre, mounting presentations displaying photographs of his trips to Afghanistan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Little Italy priest

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

Dan Rodricks

Maria Serafini, a parishoner at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Little Italy, passes along this information about the ousted pastor, Father Mike Salerno, who was removed from the parish because of an allegation that he sexually abused a teenage boy in New York some 30 years ago:

For all of us who are concerned, here's some information on Fr. Mike:
He is being "well cared for" by the Pallotines.
He was able to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with his family.
He has been receiving his letters and gifts from the parishioners through the rectory--including some cigars. (On Wednesdays, Fr. Sal delivers the letters/packages to Fr. Sticco, who then delivers the package to Fr. Mike).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Radicali: stop esenzione Ici Chiesa

ITALY
ANSA

Radicali: a stop to the ICI exemption for the church

ANSA - ROME, December 2 - A stop to the ICI (local real estate tax) exemptions granted to the church for those buildings used for businesses is an amendment to the 2008 Italian state budget law presented by the members of the Italian Parliament belonging to the Radical Party, who together with the members of the Socialist Democratic Italian party form a group denominated Rosa nel Pugno (The Rose in the Fist). If the amendment is approved, it will repeal a privilege granted to the church by Berlusconi's government in 2005. The main chapters under discussion are related to civil rights, taxation, health, justice, local governments, communication, a minimum of 700 euros set for the lowest pensions, new rules for the Italian State TV obligatory membership fee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Hosanna jury likely to get case

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Dec 3, 2007 - Page: 3B

AMITE — A Tangipahoa Parish jury is likely to decide today whether Austin “Trey” Bernard III committed aggravated rape on two children, a 2-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy.

The trial for Bernard is expected to resume at 10:30 a.m. today in the 21st Judicial District Court.

Bernard, 39, of Hammond, is the first of the seven members of Ponchatoula’s now-defunct Hosanna Church to go on trial on charges of sexually abusing children, who made their allegations in 2005.

Since Wednesday, a jury of eight women and four men has listened to eight prosecution witnesses and at least six hours of taped interviews of children and Bernard’s taped confessions to law enforcement authorities. They also read hundreds of pages of written confessions by Bernard and two children detailing the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Dr. Reardon's Depravity

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

December 3, 2007

From beginning to end, the case involving West Hartford physician George E. Reardon was sordid and unsatisfying. Once chief of endocrinology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Dr. Reardon resigned in disgrace in 1993 as a series of witnesses testified before the state Medical Examining Board that he had photographed and molested them as children. The case dragged on for years; incredibly, the board dropped the matter in exchange for a promise from Dr. Reardon, who had already retired, that he would no longer practice medicine.

The arrangement was a sham. Dr. Reardon denied the allegations of sexual misconduct, but the charges against him went back more than four decades and involved dozens of accusers. Yet the board essentially entered into a gentleman's agreement in which he was politely escorted from the examining room with no finding of wrongdoing. Dr. Reardon maintained his pretense of innocence until his death in 1998.

Now, that past has come spilling into the present. A homeowner renovating Mr. Reardon's former house on Griswold Drive in West Hartford uncovered a cache of child pornography hidden inside a basement wall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

“Shock and disbelief”

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Plaintiffs’ attorneys in several sex-abuse cases recently settled out of court by the Diocese of Orange have decided not to pursue a contempt-of-court citation against Bishop Tod Brown, but say the diocese coerced their decision.

The lawsuits in question alleged that four women were sexually molested as students by two faculty members at Mater Dei High School, a teacher at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, and a choir director at St. Timothy and St. Edward's parishes.

Msgr. John Urell, former Orange diocesan chancellor under Bishop Norman McFarland, was deposed in July in one of the cases. He became so upset by questions about his handling of sex-abuse complaints as chancellor that he walked out of his unfinished deposition, crying. Later it was learned that Bishop Brown had agreed to send Urell to the Southdown Institute near Toronto, Canada, for treatment of an emotional condition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Lawsuit In Sex Abuse Case

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES | Courant Staff Writer
December 3, 2007

Lawyers for a man who says that Dr. George Reardon molested and photographed him naked 30 years ago say they plan to go to court today to lodge what is believed to be the first lawsuit claiming that St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center shares responsibility for Reardon's alleged abuse.

The man, identified only as John Doe in the complaint the lawyers plan to file, was from Reardon's community, while a number of the alleged victims who came forward previously had been hospital patients of his. The plaintiff was between 12 and 14 years old when Reardon sexually abused him several times in Reardon's hospital office, according to Paul Edwards, a lawyer representing the man.

Now in his early 40s and living with his family in the Hartford area, the plaintiff in the lawsuit was among at least a half-dozen boys and girls the lawyers say Reardon recruited from the community and molested in his hospital office under a guise of conducting childhood sexual development studies at St. Francis.

Edwards and other lawyers in his firm and elsewhere are evaluating complaints from other people who say Reardon abused them, and more lawsuits against the hospital are expected. The Joe Doe lawsuit will also name Reardon's estate as a defendant. ...

"With respect to allegations against St. Francis itself, based on what we know back in the early '90s we don't believe that St. Francis acted inappropriately in any respect