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February 29, 2008

Extension for sex-abuse victims fails again

MARYLAND
Examiner

Filed under: BALTIMORE , Jaime Malarkey , Statute of Limitations

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Facing staunch opposition from the Catholic Church, Del. Eric Bromwell withdrew a bill this week that would have suspended time limits for sex-abuse victims to file lawsuits against their alleged molesters.

Under existing law, civil suits for child sex-abuse claims must be filed by the victim’s 25th birthday. Bromwell’s bill — which was co-sponsored by five other lawmakers — would have opened 2009 to lawsuits, regardless of the victim’s age. After 2009, the statute of limitations would extend until the victim’s 50th birthday.

Bromwell initially proposed the bill to help victims who are often not ready to come forward until decades after their abuse. He said Wednesday he would give “serious consideration” to sponsoring it during the next General Assembly session. It is the second year in a row that the bill died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Not guilty - priest cleared of indecency charges

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

By Terry Morgan

A PRIEST accused of abusing young boys in Bury has been cleared of all charges.

John McCollough was found "not guilty" this afternoon (Friday Feb 29) at Bolton Crown Court of 11 indecent assaults and one act of gross indecency against a child.

The jury of seven men and five women was out from 10.30am to 3.45pm today, and returned not guilty verdicts.

Mr McCollough told the Bury Times: "I am extremely relieved. At the end of the film US Marshal, Wesley Snipes was asked the same question "how do you feel?", and his response was "righteous"."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Priest cleared of sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Chester Evening Leader

A priest has been cleared of the sexual abuse of two boys in Bury.

Father John McCollough, 63, had been accused of preying on the youngsters while a minister at Holy Trinity Church in the 1990s.

But after a two week trial at Bolton Crown Court he was found not guilty of 11 counts of indecent assault and one charge of gross indecency.

Both youngsters, now adults, claimed he had abused them by touching them sexually on numerous occassions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

On the Death of Legion of Christ Founder Fr. Marcial Maciel

In the Vineyard

Carolyn Disco, VOTF NH

Many obituaries for Legion of Christ founder Father Marcial Maciel, who died January 30, 2008, noted the sexual abuse charges against the priest by eight former seminarians in the 1940s and 1950s; his restriction to a life of penance by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006; and the suspension of the canonical case against him due to age. None went into much detail about the survivors, whose stories deserve recognition on the occasion of Maciel’s passing.

The church never adjudicated the sexual molestation charges, leaving those survivors in limbo. Who are they? They include a Mexico City university professor with a doctorate from Harvard; a faculty member at the US Defense Languages Institute in Monterey, CA; a retired priest in Madrid; a professor of psychology and sociology in Westchester County, New York; and also in Mexico, a lawyer, rancher, former university president, and private school professor.

All wanted to forget what happened and get on with their lives after leaving the Legion. It took many decades of chance encounters for them to find each other, gradually share their abuse histories, and only as Maciel continued gallingly to reap high praise from Pope John Paul II did they finally galvanize and file a canon law case in Rome. None wanted money; they only wanted justice, racked as they were by horrific memories, and fear for other victims after them. How many might there be? To date, John Allen, the veteran journalist at the National Catholic Reporter, reports Vatican sources cite “more than 20 but less than 100” victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Priest accused of sex abuse posts bail

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (NY)
Press & Sun-Bulletin

By Eric Reinagel
ereinagel@pressconnects.com
Press & Sun-Bulletin

A former Vestal priest posted bail Thursday at Montgomery County Jail after being charged with inappropriate sexual conduct with at least four children ages 5 to 11.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicholville, was charged with three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, one count of sexual abuse in the second degree, both felonies, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanor, according to State Police Investigator Paul Cituk.

The charged stem from a complaint that State Police received from a Montgomery County family. The parents called Broderick their “spiritual advisor” and stated that Broderick befriended the family, according to Cituk. Cituk said over the course of several month in 2007 Broderick inappropriately had sexual contact with at least four family members at the family’s home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Breslin announces retirement

ILLINOIS
Catholic Explorer

ROMEOVILLE—Mary Breslin, editor and general manager of the Catholic Explorer since June 1, 1998, announced Feb. 22 that she will retire from the leadership position at the diocesan newspaper. ...

In 2001, when news of the sexual abuse scandal in the church first surfaced, on the recommendation of the Explorer Advisory Board, Breslin established an editorial policy of transparency, establishing and encouraging an environment of credibility in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Tom Economus would be 52 years old today, Feb. 29, an unusual birthday for an unusual man

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
At age 10 Tom Economus was traveling companion for a pedophile priest, doing scams at fundraisers by day and getting alcohol and raped by night. Then as a young adult Tom sought counseling and his therapist, another priest, stripped down to his underwear and begged Tom for help with his own sex identity crisis. Still spiritually passionate, Tom entered a seminary where he got hit on for sex right and left. He dropped out, sank into drugs and alcohol, made it to rehab, became ordained with the Independent Catholic Church and in 1992 was named director of Linkup, one of the first organizations for survivors of Catholic priest sex crimes.

An email came in to City of Angels Blog yesterday: “Tom Economus’ Birthday Tomorrow: An unusual birthday.. An unusual man. A fierce warrior for our cause. Must never be forgotten by us!!"

JAY NELSON: “I still miss Tom's sense of humor, his fearlessness. He would wear his Roman collar to meetings with Bernardin just to drive the hierarchy crazy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Cardinal Hayes principal forced out of other Catholic school earlier in career

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY ERIN EINHORN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, February 29th 2008, 4:00 AM

The principal forced out of Cardinal Hayes High School for "inappropriate images" on his computer was removed from another Catholic school earlier in his career for mishandling funds.

Christopher Keogan also hired a teacher at Hayes last September knowing he had been charged with a felony for stealing from his ex-girlfriend, a soldier serving in Iraq.

Keogan admitted both improprieties in an interview with the Daily News.

He said he was caught mishandling money at Newark's Essex Catholic High School in 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Holy Trinity Anglican Church sweeps priests sins under carpet

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Alison Sandy
February 29, 2008 11:00pm

BRISBANE'S Holy Trinity Anglican Church has been dubbed the "Unholy Trinity" after it has been revealed a pedophile, an alleged pedophile and a practising priest with his own seedy past are leading its Sunday services.

Following revelations in The Courier-Mail this week that convicted pedophile priest Robert Sharwood, who was released from jail only three months ago, has been allowed to sing in the choir with children, it has now been discovered that Canon Barry Greaves, who will stand trial on child sex charges in August, participates in bible readings.

Their role in the Fortitude Valley church has been approved by the Parish Council, headed by rector Trevor Bulled, who was convicted of indecent behaviour in a public toilet almost 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Vatican rejects appeal of Lowell parish closure

LOWELL (MA)
The Pilot

By Christine Williams
Posted: 2/29/2008 BRIGHTON -- The Apostolic Signature, the Catholic Church’s supreme court, has rejected an appeal of the suppression of St. Jeanne d’Arc Parish in Lowell, the Archdiocese of Boston confirmed Feb. 27.

In 2006, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy denied the appeals of St. Jeanne and about a dozen other former parishes that were closed in the process of archdiocesan reconfiguration. Representatives from 10 other parishes still have pending appeals to the Apostolic Signature, said Kathleen Heck, special assistant to the moderator of the curia.

Heck said the archdiocese received the St. Jeanne ruling in Latin and the translation to English was completed Feb. 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Hearing held to see if retired priest can stand trial

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— A psychiatrist testified yesterday that he found the Rev. John Szantyr mentally competent to stand trial on child sexual assault charges in an evaluation conducted last summer.

A hearing got under way yesterday in Central District Court to determine whether Rev. Szantyr, a 76-year-old retired priest now living in Waterbury, Conn., is competent to stand trial on charges of sexually assaulting two altar boys more than 20 years ago in Worcester. The assaults allegedly occurred in the 1980s, when Rev. Szantyr was assigned to Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish on Ward Street. The charges were lodged in 2003.

In September 2006, Judge Dennis J. Brennan, since retired, found Rev. Szantyr mentally incompetent to stand trial based on an evaluation done at that time by Dr. John Murphy, a neurologist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

“I had to let the process run its course”

OAKLAND (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Following three-year investigation, Oakland bishop reinstates priest once accused of molesting minor

Bishop Allen Vigneron, heeding the recommendations of a Diocese of Oakland review panel, has reinstated to active ministry a priest once accused of molesting a minor.

“I think it is a disgrace, an utter disgrace,” Joey Piscitelli, Northern California director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the Feb. 26 San Jose Mercury News, referring to Vigneron’s decision.

Piscitelli opined that "it's because of a shortage of priests" that dioceses reinstate priests like Franciscan Father Chris Berbena, who will shortly resume ministry at St. John Vianney parish in Walnut Creek. Berbena was parochial vicar there until 2004, when the diocese put him on a leave of absence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Commentary - Marci A. Hamilton: Killing abuse suit bill puts children at risk

MARYLAND
Examiner

Filed under: BALTIMORE , Marci A. Hamilton , BA Opinion

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Under pressure from the Catholic Church, Maryland lawmakers shelved legislation to identify predators among us. With HB858, Maryland was part of a national movement to eliminate statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. This bill offered the hope of a “window” to allow claims previously barred.

Our legal system favors predators over the protection of children. By the time victims are capable of coming forward, the law lets predators escape through the statute of limitations — again and again.

Those predators now live and work near — often with — our children, but we do not know who they are because we keep the courthouse locked against victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

'CARDINAL' SIN: 10G FOR FURNITURE

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN
KEOGAN

February 29, 2008 -- A Bronx Catholic HS principal who resigned last week amid allegations of inappropriate photos on his work computer used $10,000 from a charity set up to aid the academy to buy furniture for his own apartment, The Post has learned.

Christopher Keogan, the ousted principal of Cardinal Hayes HS, was given the money at about the same time that he was moving out of his residence on the school campus, several sources said.

Keogan was listed as a director of the nonprofit charitable foundation the Cardinal and Gold Fund Inc. at the time the group is said to have authorized the payout.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Sex abuse statute of limitations considered by Mo. Supreme Court

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Belleville News Democrat

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER
Associated Press Writer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --A former Catholic school student in suburban St. Louis should have quickly realized that a Marianist brother's back-room "experiments" on the boy were a form of sexual abuse, an attorney for the religious order argued Thursday before the Missouri Supreme Court.

Robert Visnaw, a former student at St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood, sued William Mueller in 2006, more than two decades after the alleged abuse occurred.

Visnaw argued that he didn't remember any sexual acts until a year before filing suit. The religious order countered that Mueller's alleged behavior - which reportedly included blindfolding Visnaw and stripping the teen to his underwear while holding a knife to his throat - were clearly sexual in nature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Suit Against Priest To Involve Church Officials

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI | Courant Staff Writer
February 29, 2008

A rare civil trial involving a priest and a former altar boy began playing out in a Hartford courtroom Thursday, with signs that the case could provide explosive details about how the Catholic church has dealt with sex-abuse allegations.

F. Glenn Sutherland claims that the Rev. Stephen C. Foley molested him in the 1970s while he was an altar boy at a Bloomfield church and that the Archdiocese of Hartford did nothing about it.

Foley, who also served as state police and fire chaplain, has been sued by 11 men who say he molested them when they were children. All but Sutherland and one other have settled, with the archdiocese paying hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

House OKs tougher sex-offender penalties

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

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

The Kentucky House approved a bill yesterday that would strengthen penalties for sexual abusers and those who fail to report them to authorities.

The vote on House Bill 211 -- which now goes to the Senate -- was 96-0.

Passage came after the bill's sponsor told colleagues of the decades of turmoil his late father had suffered after being molested as a boy by a Roman Catholic priest in 1930.

"A tragedy occurred that night," said Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville. "In his 70s, he told his family about this tragedy and how upsetting it was and how really it impaired his relation to God as well as to his church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Priests seek ouster of bishop

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com | ldemer@adn.com

Published: February 29th, 2008 12:27 AM
Last Modified: February 29th, 2008 01:01 AM

The Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska is in turmoil. Priests from around the state are seeking removal of the top official here, Bishop Nikolai Soraich. They say he is hurting the church and ruling by intimidation.

"The clergy and probably a large percentage of the laity in the church have reached the point where they believe they can no longer serve with or under Bishop Nikolai Soraich," said the Rev. Michael Oleksa, archpriest at St. Alexis in Anchorage and the best-known Orthodox pastor in Alaska. ...

Some of the discord arises from a May 2007 situation in Kodiak involving allegations against the second-ranking church official in Alaska, Chancellor Archimandrite Isidore, of drunken sexual misconduct. The accuser, Paul Sidebottom, a teacher at St. Herman's seminary, has filed a sexual harassment complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to The Associated Press, the complaint alleges he was fired by the chancellor and bishop after complaining to Metropolitan Herman.

Bishop Nikolai said an investigation by the church's New York headquarters has already found the allegations unsubstantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 AM

Church to decide sex abuse priest's fate

AUSTRALIA
The Age

An Anglican Church board will hear evidence on Saturday which could lead to a priest jailed over child sex offences being stripped of his orders.

Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, of Brisbane, was jailed for 12 months in November 2006 after being found guilty of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in Brisbane more than 30 years ago.

Sharwood was released from jail in November last year, attracting calls by child protection advocates for him to be immediately stripped of his holy orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 AM

Religious order says time ran out for abuse victim

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Virginia Young
POST-DISPATCHJEFFERSON CITY BUREAU CHIEF
02/29/2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Robert Visnaw says he never forgot the secret psychology "experiments" conducted by Brother William "Bill" Mueller when Visnaw was a senior at Vianney High School in Kirkwood.

Visnaw alleges in court documents that in one incident in 1985, Mueller told him to strip down to his underwear, blindfolded him, held a knife to his throat and made him hyperventilate to the point of unconsciousness.

What Visnaw didn't remember for many years was the sexual abuse that went along with the experiments, he says. That memory surfaced in 2005, he says, when he read a Post-Dispatch article recounting other allegations against Mueller.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 AM

Woman alleges sexual abuse against former Salesian High clergyman

RICHMOND (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Scott Marshall
STAFF WRITER

Article Launched: 02/28/2008 08:41:18 PM PST

RICHMOND -- A woman came forward Thursday and alleged that she was sexually abused by a Catholic clergyman at Salesian High School in the 1960s, during visits to the school with her family and also at her home.

It was the second public allegation against the former clergyman, John Vas, now 86 and living in Florida, who formerly was a band instructor at the private school and a brother in the Salesian order.

Since the 1950s, when Salesian was a seminary, six clergymen there have been accused of abuse. Another three who once worked there were accused after they left the campus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 AM

February 28, 2008

FORMER SHELBY COUNTY YOUTH MINISTER RECEIVES SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR CHILD MOLESTATION

MACON (MO)
Macon Chronicle

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2008 11:16 AM CST

Christopher C. Sprinkel, 32, formerly of Shelbina was sentenced in Macon County Circuit Court yesterday in front of Judge Hadley E. Grimm. Sprinkel was sentenced to eight years, execution of sentence suspended, but was placed on five years probation for felony child molestation.

He was found guilty of child molestation in the first degree charge at a trial on Jan. 3 and 4 at the Macon County Courthouse on a change of venue from Shelby County. A jury found Sprinkel guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 14 on or about Jan. 9, 2006.

Sprinkel, formerly served as youth minister at the United Methodist Church of Shelbina according to a February 2006 article from the Shelbina Weekly newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Oregon attorney challenges Portland archdiocese over documents

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

2/28/2008, 12:39 p.m. PST

By WILLIAM McCALL The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An attorney for victims of alleged sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests is challenging an Archdiocese of Portland request to appoint a federal judge to decide whether to release church documents on the priests.

The archdiocese settled about 175 lawsuits last April for $50 million to end the first bankruptcy in the nation filed by a Catholic diocese.

As part of the settlement, the archdiocese agreed to release documents that victim advocates say will show church leaders knew more about the abuse than they have acknowledged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

House backs tougher sex-abuse penalties

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

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

The Kentucky House voted 96-0 today to approve a bill that would toughen penalties on sexual abusers and those who fail to report them to authorities.

The bill — which now goes to the Senate — passed after its sponsor told colleagues of the decades of turmoil his late father had suffered after being molested as a boy by a Roman Catholic priest in 1930.

“A tragedy occurred that night,” said Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville. “In his 70s, he told his family about this tragedy and how upsetting it was and how really it impaired his relation to God as well as to his church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Parishioners of St. Frances Cabrini seek control of church property

SCITUATE (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

By Kaitlin Keane
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Feb 28, 2008 @ 12:22 PM

SCITUATE — Their churches were closed by the Boston Archdiocese more than three years ago, but parishioners believe the churches and their assets should belong to them.

More than 60 parishioners from St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in Scituate and St. Jeremiah Church in Framingham packed a courtroom at the state appeals court in Boston Wednesday as lawyers again argued that church assets should belong to parishioners, not the archdiocese.

In January 2007, a Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by parishioners against Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Parishioners appealed the decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Vatican Approves Church Merger

BUFFALO (NY)
WNED

Chris Caya
BUFFALO (2008-02-28) For the second time in just a few months, Church officials in Rome have agreed with Bishop Edward Kmiec's decision to merge St. Adalbert and St. John Kanty.

The Vatican's highest canonical court notified the Diocese earlier this week that it has upheld a December ruling by the Congregation for the Clergy and the Court has rejected the latest appeal made by some parishoners of St. Adalbert.

Diocesan Spokesman Kevin Keenan says now it's up to the parishes to set a timetable for moving forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Court allows sex abuse charges in St. Columbkille’s case

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local

By Jessica M. Smith, Staff Writer
Thu Feb 28, 2008, 11:21 AM EST

Allston-Brighton - A former Brighton man who alleges that he was abused by three St. Columbkille’s priests won an intermediate judicial victory in Superior Court.

The victim, who spent his childhood in Brighton, told the court that he was sexually abused by two priests in the rectory of St. Columbkille’s Parish and by a third priest outside Brighton.

The accused clergy, named as defendants in court documents, are Father Eugene Sullivan and Father Edward T. Kelly. Sullivan and Kelly were seeking a summary judgment, which is when a judge decides the case before it goes to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Gilyard's former counselor speaks

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Fox 30

[video]

Don Simpkins says he counseled former Pastor Gilyard years ago, but eventually turned him in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Appeal date for vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
Whitby Gazette

By Staff Copy
A LOCAL vicar fighting for reinstatement after he was removed from office for having an affair with a married woman will have his appeal heard next month.

Reverend David King was banned from practising for four years following a Church of England disciplinary tribunal held in November last year – the first Church of England disciplinary tribunal of its kind.

The Chancery Court of York will sit at Leeds Combined Court Centre on Monday 10 March to hear the appeal by Rev King.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Catholic Priest Jailed on Accusations of Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
WTEN

Posted: Feb 28, 2008 08:23 AM EST

A Roman Catholic priest is in jail this morning, facing several felony sex abuse charges. Father John Broderick, who is in the Montgomery County Jail, is accused of having inappropriate contact with at least four children, all of them in the same family.

Police say the alleged abuse took place over the course of several months last year. The victims' parents tell investigators that Broderick was a trusted friend.

NEWS10's Demetra Ganias has more on the relationship between Broderick and his alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Catholic priest arrested in Massena

MASSENA (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

By CHRIS GARIFO
TIMES STAFF WRITER
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2008
MASSENA — A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested here on several felony counts of having sexual contact with children, state police in Montgomery County said.

John W. Broderick, 47, Nicholville, was arrested Monday on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The sexual abuse charges are all felonies and the endangering of a child charges are misdemeanors.

Broderick was arraigned in the town of Palatine Court and was sent to the Montgomery County Jail, Fultonville, where bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

State police made the arrest on a complaint from a Montgomery County family. The victims' father said Broderick befriended his family and had become its spiritual adviser, state police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

'DIOCESE LET SCHOOL BIG SLIDE'

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN

February 28, 2008 -- The former principal of a prestigious Catholic high school who resigned amid allegations of inappropriate images on his work computer was allowed to stay on the job for nearly five months after a priest wrote the New York Archdiocese accusing him of serious misconduct, The Post has learned.

"It's just another stall tactic," said the Rev. Robert Hoatson of the slow response by the archdiocese to his Oct. 5, 2007, letter to Cardinal Hayes HS principal Christopher Keogan.

He claimed copies of the note were sent to the archdiocese, the Bronx school's superintendent and president, and prosecutors.

"The church wants to minimize its damage, and they continue to cover up and coddle these people until something more dramatic comes up and then they have to make a move," Hoatson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Catholic Principal Was Fired Over Photos, Official Says

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By CARA BUCKLEY
Published: February 28, 2008
The principal at a prominent Catholic boys’ high school in the Bronx was ousted late last week after photos of nude men were discovered on his computer, a law enforcement official confirmed on Wednesday.

No criminal charges were filed against the principal, Christopher Keogan of Cardinal Hayes High School, because the photos were of adults.

The dismissal, reported in The New York Post on Wednesday, deeply shook morale at the school, which prides itself on upholding strict codes of discipline and ethics, and sees its mission as plucking boys from struggling city neighborhoods and shaping them into ambitious young men. Among the school’s alumni, who refer to themselves as “Hayes Men,” are Regis Philbin, Martin Scorsese and the novelist Don DeLillo. George Carlin, the comedian, lasted three semesters at Cardinal Hayes before getting kicked out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Bullying, harassment, intimidation continue to this day at St. Peter, Geneva, Illinois -- Comment from Integrity

GENEVA (IL)
City of Angels

(This came to City of Angels Blog email, signed by “Integrity”)

One time the Geneva Police came into Saint Peter Church during Mass because a man in his late 60's was stalking a woman going to mass. This is not the first time this man has stalked and harassed women going to mass or attending mass at St. Peter. Another time someone locked the bathroom doors at St. Peter during mass. Later that day it was posted on CTL: hope the people who were at mass and needed to use the washroom wet their pants.

Monsignor Jarmoluk was seen at the Fall '07 St. Peter Barn Sale leading fake "CTL NYC" camera men around the grounds. Monsignor Jarmoluk was conducting interviews with unsuspecting parishioners (adults, children, teens). The so-called CTL camera crews (who knows who these men really are) filmed the interviews. As far as we know these children and teens were interviewed and filmed without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Bronx Catholic school principal blames smear campaign for his ouster

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY ERIN EINHORN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, February 28th 2008

The Bronx Catholic school principal forced to resign over alleged "inappropriate images" on his computer has been accused by former staffers of other improprieties.

Two ex-faculty members and a priest familiar with the school have accused former Cardinal Hayes High School Principal Christopher Keogan in letters and affidavits of theft, an affair with a male subordinate and of faking transcripts to help that man get into college.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News yesterday, Keogan denied all the allegations and said he is the victim of a smear campaign by disgruntled employees and others carrying out a "vendetta" against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest charged with abuse

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (NY)
Capital News 9

[with video]

Updated: 02/27/2008 09:35 PM
By: Web Staff
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.Y. -- A local priest is facing sex abuse charges after accusations he had inappropriate contact with several members of a family, who considered him their spiritual advisor.

Parents of the victims, who range from five to eleven years old, said John Broderick, 47, of Nicholville abused the children over the course of several months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

No response from diocese prompts priest to write public letter to Martino

SCRANTON (PA)
The Citizens Voice

[with letter]

After the rejection of several requests to speak with Bishop Joseph F. Martino and other Diocese of Scranton officials, King’s College professor, the Rev. Patrick J. Sullivan, C.S.C., Ph.D., is speaking out against the bishop’s rejection of the teachers union.

“The Church has already suffered from too many losses and scandals. May we not add more pain and shame,” Sullivan wrote in a letter directed to Martino, sent to Times-Shamrock Newspapers on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Priest who abused boy loses court appeal

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

February 28, 2008

A former Anglican priest convicted of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy has lost his appeal to the High Court.

Raymond Frederick Ayles was sentenced to four years' jail after pleading guilty to two of six counts of indecent assault but not guilty to the four other counts and two counts of buggery.

The charges date back to 1971, and took place between then and 1973, when Ayles was a priest at Para Hills in Adelaide and the victim was from a family of his parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Pastor guilty of child abuse

KITSAP COUNTY (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By CLAUDIA ROWE
P-I REPORTER

A pastor described by police as charismatic and controlling pleaded guilty Wednesday to numerous counts of child rape and molestation involving five young girls in Kitsap County.

Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, leader of a fringe religious group called The Church, faces more than 26 years in prison, though prosecutors and his own lawyer have agreed to recommend a 23-year term when Harper is sentenced April 9.

"We're happy with this," said Brenda, the mother of one victim, who asked that her last name not be published in order to shield her daughter's identity. "Everybody is relieved. My daughter is happy about it, too."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

City lawyer decides not to return to inquiry

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

A city lawyer who felt he was treated unfairly at the Cornwall Public Inquiry last November has turned down an opportunity to return to the stand.

Sean Adams had been seeking another chance to answer questions about his involvement in a $32,000 settlement between an alleged sexual abuse victim and the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese.

In December, Gordon Cameron, one of Adams' attorneys, filed a motion with the commission that stated questions posed by lead counsel Peter Engelmann had done "irreparable harm" to his client's reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Police Charge Priest with Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
WSYR

[with statement from the Diocese of Syracuse]

Fonda, New York (AP) - An upstate New York Roman Catholic priest is facing several counts of felony sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

State police say Father John Broderick engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with at least four children in a Montgomery County family over the course of several months in 2007. The children range in age from 5 to 11. The victims' parent told investigators Broderick befriended his family and was considered their spiritual adviser.

Broderick left the area sometime in May and was associated with the Holy Name of Jesus Academy in Massena. He was arrested Monday without incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Priest arrested in Massena

MASSENA (NY)
News 10 Now

[with video]

02/27/2008 09:38 PM
By: Web Staff
MASSENA N.Y. -- A priest is arrested in Massena on sex abuse charges after accusations he had inappropriate contact with the children of a Montgomery County family.

Police said John Broderick of Nichoville in northern New York, had sexual contact with the children over the course of several months. The victims range in age from five to eleven-years-old.

Broderick was arrested at the Holy Name of Jesus Academy in Massena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Priest arrested for abusing children in Montgomery County

PALATINE (NY)
WNYT

[with video]

PALATINE - A priest is accused of sexually abusing at least four children in a Montgomery County family. Father John Broderick now faces felony charges. According to the attorney representing the family of the children, Father John Broderick was treated like a family member until the mother of the children became suspicious.

State police say Broderick had inappropriate sexual contact with at the four siblings who ranged in age from five to 11. The charges range from sexual abuse to endangering the welfare of a child. State Police say Broderick was the spiritual advisor to the mother of the children who they say Broderick abused. That is confirmed by the attorney who now represents the family. He says at first other family members became suspicious of Broderick's behavior but it wasn't until the mother became suspicious, that police were asked to investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Priest denies indecent acts

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

By Staff Reporter

A PRIEST has rejected claims he abused two young boys at a vicarage in Bury and on trips to London.

John McCollough gave evidence at Bolton Crown Court on Monday, accused of 11 indecent assaults and one act of gross indecency against a child.

It is alleged he performed sex acts with the young boys, touched them inappropriately and tried to kiss them while McCollough was an Anglican rector at Christ of King with Holy Trinity Church in Spring Street, Bury, during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Priest accused of child molestation

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer

First published: Thursday, February 28, 2008

PALENTINE -- A priest accused of molesting at least four children in a Montgomery County family he had befriended has been charged with four felonies, State Police said.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicholville, was considered the family's "spiritual adviser" when the alleged abuse occurred over several months last year, according to State Police. The children's ages range from 5 to 11.

State Police said Broderick is assigned to the Syracuse Diocese of the Catholic Church, though he was suspended earlier this year. It wasn't clear why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Police: Priest abused kids

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (NY)
Daily Gazette

By Steven Cook
Gazette Reporter

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — A Catholic priest acting as a Montgomery County family’s spiritual adviser has been arrested, accused of sexually abusing the family’s four children, state police said Wednesday.

John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicholville, St. Lawrence County, is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with the children, ages 5 to 11, over several months last year.

State police in Fonda began investigating after receiving a complaint from a Montgomery County family. The parent told police Broderick befriended the family and became their spiritual adviser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

February 27, 2008

Syracuse Diocese priest accused of abuse in Montgomery County

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

Posted by Renée K. Gadoua February 27, 2008 8:25PM

Syracuse, NY -- A priest of the Syracuse Diocese has been charged with felony sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child in Montgomery County.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, was suspended from ministry early this year for incidents unrelated to sexual abuse, said Danielle Cummings, assistant chancellor and diocesan spokeswoman. She said she could not discuss specifics, but confirmed that Broderick was disciplined for "lack of pastoral judgment."

Cummings said she and diocesan officials learned today about Broderick's arrest on Monday.

State police in Fonda say Broderick engaged in inappropriate sexual contact last year with at least four children, ages 5 to 11. The victims' family told investigators Broderick was considered their spiritual adviser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

OUR OPINION: A criminal abuse of power

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

MASSACHUSETTS — It shouldn’t have to take a legislative act to warn teachers they cannot use their positions to engage students, even if they are over the age of consent, in a sexual relationship.

But apparently it does. The Legislature held a hearing Tuesday on a bill that would criminalize sexual relations between teachers and students younger than 18. ...

If it sounds familiar, one only has to go back to the clergy sex abuse scandal and see many of the young victims had emotional upheaval in their lives and the priests who were supposed to be the shepherds became wolves.

The bill should be expanded to include anyone in a position of authority – coaches, counselors, administrators – who has contact on a regular basis with a teen. The measure should also cover any type of sexual contact, not just intercourse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Bankruptcy court to mull release of more sex abuse documents

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

A federal bankruptcy judge in Portland will hold a hearing next month to decide if hundreds more Archdiocese of Portland documents pertaining to clergy sex abuse should be unveiled for public view.

The archdiocese last June released scores of decades-old private letters, formal depositions and memos. The documents, posted on the Internet, show that church officials at the highest levels often knew about abusive priests, but operated under the standards of the times and attempted to handle matters internally.

Lawyers for accusers have been negotiating for more documents to be released, but a key attorney, Kelly Clark, left the talks, despite archdiocesan officials’ belief that the process was working. Erin Olson, a Portland attorney representing accusers, refused to enter negotiations. She has asked Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris to unseal many of the same documents that were being considered in the talks. Perris has set a hearing for March 13. The archdiocese has asked that Perris appoint U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan to decide the question, delay action until mediation and arbitration are complete, or take no action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Priest charged in child molesting case

PALATINE (NY)
Albany Times Union

By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer

Last updated: 4:08 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PALENTINE -- A priest accused of molesting at least four children in a Montgomery County family he had befriended has been charged with four felonies, State Police said.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicholville, was considered the family's "spiritual advisor" when the alleged abuse occurred over several months last year, according to State Police. The children's ages range from 5 to 11 years old.

State Police said Broderick is assigned to the Syracuse Diocese of the Catholic Church, though his faculties were suspended earlier this year. It wasn't clear why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Sexual abuse bill to cover church

MASSACHUSETTS
Metro

BOSTON. The clergy sex abuse scandal may not make daily headlines anymore, but the need to protect children from pedophiles is something that will not be pushed to the background. Victims and advocates converged on the State House yesterday, pushing for stricter child protection laws.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary yesterday held a hearing on more than a dozen proposed bills concerning child sex abuse and sex offenders. Among them was comprehensive legislation drafted in the wake of the Catholic church abuse scandal — which prompted scores of victims to come forward over the past decade.

“This bill is about helping children. ... It’s about prevention. It’s about deterrence,” said Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who has represented more than 100 victims in suits against the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Plea Deal Reached in SK Pastor Sex Abuse Case

SOUTH KITSAP (WA)
Kitsap Sun

By Josh Farley
Originally published 09:30 a.m., February 27, 2008

A plea deal has been struck between Kitsap County Prosecutors and Robbin L. Harper, a former South Kitsap pastor accused of the sexual abuse of at least 10 girls during the time he was head of The Church in South Colby.

Prosecutors and Harper's attorney, Tom Weaver, will both recommend to Judge Karlynn Haberly that Harper be sentenced to 279 months incarceration — about 23 and 1/4 years — when he is sentenced April 9 in Kitsap County Superior Court.

Harper, 60, was charged Nov. 1 by prosecutors with eight felonies that emerged from accusations of molestation or rape by five women or girls, all members of the South Kitsap church Harper is said to have established.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Priest charged with sex abuse in Montgomery County

PALATINE (NY)
Daily Gazette

PALATINE — A priest now living in the Massena area has been charged with having sexual contact with four young members of one Montgomery County family.

State police investigators in Fonda say Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicolville, just south of Massena, befriended a family and served as a spiritual advisor while living in the area in 2007. But over several months, investigators said, Broderick had sexual contact with four members of the family, ranging in age from 5 to 11.

Investigators said Broderick left the area in May 2007 and was found by state police at the Holy Name of Jesus Academy in Massena, where he was arrested. Broderick was assigned to the Syracuse Diocese at the time of the alleged abuse, investigators said, though he was not assigned to a specific church or school. Investigators said his official faculties were suspended earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Vatican won't block parish merger

BUFFALO (NY)
Business First

The Diocese of Buffalo said Wednesday that a Vatican office has upheld the decision of Bishop Edward Kmiec to merge St. John Kanty and St. Adalbert parishes located in the City of Buffalo.

In a decree written on Feb. 13, 2008, and delivered to diocesan officials on Feb. 25, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest canonical court, upheld an earlier Vatican ruling, stating "The recourse presented has been rejected."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Bill would extend deadline for sex abuse lawsuits

MARYLAND
Baltimore Messenger

02/27/08
by Bryan P. Sears

The General Assembly is considering legislation to extend the statute of limitations on filing sexual abuse lawsuits.

But the bill, sponsored by Del. Eric Bromwell, is drawing opposition from the head of Calvert Hall College high school in Towson.

Bromwell wants to give people alleging sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Parishioners Upset About Priest Investigation

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ―
There's anger from members of one Baltimore Catholic church. Their priest was removed after he was accused of sexually abusing a teenager.

Denise Koch reports months later, these parishioners say they're being kept in the dark and they're demanding answers.

"You know, the light shines on this candle but certainly we're not getting any light from our council or our church," said Giovanna Blatterman.

There's outrage from members of Saint Leo's Roman Catholic Church over the abrupt departure of their beloved priest Father Mike Salerno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Anonymous keeps tapping the keys, and Rocky hits home harder on his webcast, as the comments saga here and attacks on advocates in Illinois continue

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
"A more clear question for ‘Anonymous:’ how has the PRIESTHOOD where all of this filth thrived been changed? How has the training and recruitment of priests changed? What has the LA Archdiocese changed in priests' lives to ensure your priests aren't wacko sickos who only come to the church because they know that there, in the seminaries and confessionals, they can get away with all these sex crimes and NO ONE WILL STOP THEM?

“How has the archdiocese addressed that problem, the real problem that exists in the Catholic church and the Catholic church alone, because of its sick preoccupation with sexuality in the first place. Phew.”

The above quote is my response to a person called “Anonymous” who jumps in to the comments section here at City of Angels Blog after almost every post. He/she copy and pastes articles from The Tidings and archdiocese press releases to show what a great job Roger Mahony and the bishops have done handling perpetrator priests. The more he posts, the more I see the holes in the church’s claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Ex-priest probed over abuse claim

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Police have agreed to re-examine allegations of child abuse made against a former Roman Catholic priest.

West Midlands Police is reviewing the case after admitting it failed to investigate when a complaint was made about Father James Robinson in 2003.

Father Robinson, who denies the claims, worked in Sutton Coldfield, Cradley Heath and Newcastle-under-Lyme, but moved to California in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Ex-Coventry priest in sex abuse probe

UNITED KINGDOM
icCoventry

Feb 27 2008

By Emma Stone, Crime Reporter

A FORMER Coventry priest faces extradition from California, 25 years after allegedly abusing altar boys.

Fr James Robinson was assistant parish priest at St Elizabeth's, Eld Road, Foleshill, Coventry, during the early 1980s.

At least two men in the city claim they were sexually abused as boys by him and have been given compensation by the archdiocese of about £25,000 apiece.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

National view: Shedding light on abusers is key to protecting children

UNITED STATES
Duluth News Tribune

Kristine Ward, Duluth News Tribune
Published Wednesday, February 27, 2008
To heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.” That is the mission of a sometimes controversial, mainly volunteer-led support group called SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. I have known of, supported, and followed SNAP’s work for years.

Sometimes SNAP gets criticized for helping to expose credibly accused child molesters who haven’t been formally sued, suspended or charged. I understand such criticism. Sometimes SNAP gets blasted for helping to expose alleged sexual predators whose cases — whether criminal, civil or canonical — haven’t yet been finally resolved. That’s somewhat understandable.

But I’ve never seen SNAP get attacked for shedding light on the whereabouts or activities of convicted child-molesting clergymen, especially when those men used religious titles and positions to hurt children and still have religious titles and positions. Not until the News Tribune’s Feb. 13 editorial, “Little gained by exposing abusers on sex offender list.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Inmate pleads guilty to extortion involving prison chaplain

EBENSBURG (PA)
PennLive

by The Associated Press Wednesday February 27, 2008, 7:46 AM
EBENSBURG -- A state prison inmate pleaded guilty to extorting money from a chaplain accused of having sex with him at the prison.

William Victor, 37, was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to theft by extortion on Monday in Cambria County Court. The sentence will begin after he completes a term of more than 42 years for sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint and trying to rob the woman and her husband at a resort in the Poconos.

Prosecutors said Victor extorted $7,600 from the Rev. Gerard M. Connolly, a Franciscan priest who was a chaplain at the State Correctional Institution-Cresson. Connolly, 66, of Altoona, faces trial on 12 counts of institutional sex assault and five counts of taking contraband alcohol into prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Priest can't be prosecuted for failing to report abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Mark Buttler

February 28, 2008 12:00am
A MELBOURNE priest did not report a child sex abuse confession by a parishioner who went on to strike again.

But clergymen are not subject to mandatory reporting laws and the priest will not be charged.

The case has stirred debate over the role of the church in handling confessions by lawbreakers.

The allegations came to light when a Croydon man recently went to a police station and told officers he had sexually assaulted his daughter, believed to be aged four.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Did church act responsibly on ex-abusers? Yes: Church has safeguards in place

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

Published Friday, February 22, 2008

I applaud the good work of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group better known as SNAP. The organization has done much good in exposing clergy sexual abuse, secrecy and cover-up by authorities in the church and in demanding policies and practices to guard against abuse and cover-up. The group also does a great service in assisting the victims of clergy sexual abuse with financial settlements, counseling and healing. I have been involved with the good work of SNAP.

The Feb. 12 story, “Group criticizes involvement of convicted child molesters in state Episcopal diocese,” reported that two priests convicted of the sexual abuse of minors have been involved in the Episcopal diocese. One of them, a former Episcopal priest, led a workshop at a retreat house in Collegeville, Minn. The other, a former Catholic priest, served on a diocesan council. It was important to note that no children or young adults were involved in either the workshop or the council. Neither man is a clergy person any longer. Both have been deposed, or removed from the clerical state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

CHURCHES: St. Mary's appeals merger; All Saints administrator named

LOCKPORT (NY)
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Staff Reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

The Rev. Daniel A. Young, who has served as pastor of St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony’s parishes, has been appointed temporary administrator of the new All Saints Parish at St. Patrick’s.

St. Joe’s, St. Anthony’s and St. Patrick’s merged into All Saints, at the site of St. Patrick’s on Church Street. St. Mary’s was to be the fourth parish to combine into All Saints. However, St. Mary’s is appealing the Diocese of Buffalo decision to close the church on Saxton Street.

The Rev. Francis Schimscheiner has been serving as pastor of St. Patrick’s.

“Priests will have applied for that position,” said Kevin Keenan, director of the diocese Office of Communications. “The Priests Personnel Board will make the decision, and it will be announced at a later date. Father Young will run the parish.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

HS HONCHO GETS BOOT

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN

February 27, 2008 -- The principal of one of the city's premier Catholic high schools was forced to resign over the weekend after inappropriate images were found on his computer at the Bronx school, The Post has learned.

Christopher Keogan's abrupt departure from the all-boys Cardinal Hayes HS, where he had worked for 18 years, caught teachers and students by surprise, and led to a firestorm of rumors as school officials refused to tell them yesterday why the Catholic brother quit.

"[He] is no longer the principal, and that's all I'm going to say at this point," said Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the New York Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

New Book on Warren Jeffs' Polygamy Sect Provides Insight into Lives of Women Enslaved by Fundamentalist Group

UNITED STATES
PR-inside

Business Wire 2008

2008-02-27 14:24:38 -

- The Bohle Company Kelly Taylor, 310-785-0515, ext. 207 kelly@bohle.com

A new book, Inside the World of Warren Jeffs, by author Dr. Carole A. Western, takes the reader inside Short Creek, two nearby communities in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., where the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) leader ruled until his arrest and conviction in the fall of 2007 as an accomplice in the rape of a 14-year-old girl.

Western details the experiences of several young women enslaved in Short Creek and lets them tell in their own words how they were coerced into virtual servitude and forced into unwanted pregnancies by the "husbands" they were ordered to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Polygamist Leader Faces Ariz. Charges

KINGMAN (AZ)
The Associated Press

By AMANDA LEE MYERS

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was handed over to Arizona authorities Tuesday to face sex charges stemming from the arranged marriages of two teenage girls to older relatives.

He already has been convicted in Utah in connection with one of those cases, involving a 14-year-old girl.

Deputies from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office took custody of Jeffs from Utah officials, sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter said. He was booked into the county jail, where he will be kept separate from other inmates, said sheriff's department Capt. Greg Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

When Child's Plea Goes Unheard; Another Pedophile May Go Free

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

Susan Campbell
February 27, 2008

My mother married her second husband against the wishes of just about everyone, including her three children. Love might be blind, but a child sees all.

Things got so bad at home that I broke the code. I went outside the family for help, stepped up to my fourth-grade teacher's desk and told her that my stepfather was hurting me.

She looked confused, so I said it again, as loudly as I dared, considering that the kids in the front row could hear, and then know. ...

Some of the sad victims of George Reardon, too, tried to tell someone that the respected St. Francis Hospital endocrinologist was hurting them. Maybe they spoke as inexpertly as I, but you can forgive us because children are not supposed to know how to deal with sexual abuse. When it happens — and it does — it's up to a caring adult to step in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Diocese says grand jury has cleared Piscataway priest of sexual misconduct

NEW JERSEY
Home News Tribune

STAFF WRITER
A Middlesex County grand jury has declined to indict a Roman Catholic priest who had been accused of sexual misconduct, according to the Diocese of Metuchen.

In a brief written statement released late today, the diocese said Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski had been informed of the finding.

A male employee of the diocese had initiated the accusation against the Rev. Edgardo D. Abano, 51, pastor of a church in Piscataway. The diocese informed law enforcement authorities of the complaint.

Abano has been pastor of St. Frances Cabrini R.C. Church since 1992. He was arrested on the charge in October 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Vatican ruling bad news for parish-closing opponents

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

[Ruling by Apostolic Signatura Latin (PDF) | English (Word)]
[Brief submitted by parishioners Latin (Word) | English (Word) ]

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / February 27, 2008
In a decree that is dimming the hopes of Catholics who have challenged the closings of parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, the Vatican's highest tribunal has refused an appeal brought by parishioners whose church in Lowell was closed by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley four years ago.

Parishioners fighting the closings said they would continue their effort in the Vatican and in civil courts in Boston. But they acknowledged that the ruling, issued in Latin, dismisses their arguments that O'Malley violated canon laws by closing the church, and instead expresses support for O'Malley's argument that he needed to close parishes for the good of the archdiocese.

Although the ruling applies only to St. Jeanne d'Arc in Lowell, the advocates for Catholics fighting parish closings view the ruling as a likely indicator of how the Vatican will rule on other challenges brought in response to O'Malley's 2004 decision to close scores of parishes. Parishioners from 10 of those closed parishes have appealed their closings to the Vatican tribunal, called the Apostolic Signatura. Five closed parishes have been occupied by protesters for as long as 40 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Former cop's psychologist should testify: attorney

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

The Cornwall Public Inquiry needs to hear from the psychologist who diagnosed a former Cornwall cop as medically unfit to take the stand, an attorney representing a citizens' group argued Tuesday.

Frank Horn, a lawyer for the Coalition for Action, said that Heidi Sebalj's involvement with at least four alleged abuse victims makes her a "very important witness" for the inquiry to hear.

The coalition is made up of people concerned that institutions like the city police might have covered up historical allegations of sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.

"By her not being here, all we have to go on is documents. And we can't question documents," Horn told the Standard-Freeholder yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Timeline: the Silmser investigation

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

In the coming weeks, the 1993 investigation by Cornwall police into allegations made by David Silmser of sexual abuse will be coming under close scrutiny at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

On Monday, it was revealed that the officer who conducted the investigation, Heidi Sebalj, is medically unable to take the stand at the inquiry.

Yesterday, the commission received an 18-page document that outlines how Sebalj handled a nine-month investigation that ended with no charges being laid against the two alleged abusers, Rev. Charles MacDonald and probation officer Ken Seguin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Oakland Diocese reinstates accused priest

OAKLAND (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Barbara Grady
STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is reinstating a priest once accused of sexual misconduct with a minor after an investigation found the allegation could not be substantiated, the diocese said.

The Rev. Chris Berbena will return to St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Walnut Creek where he had been in ministry as a parochial vicar before the diocese removed him in 2004. That year, his name appeared on a list of priests accused of sexual misconduct in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The list, posted on the Archdiocese Web site, cited him as accused of a single incident in 1980.

But the Oakland Diocese Review Board began an investigation and could not find any evidence an incident had occurred. It returned Berbena to ministry, only to again remove him in 2006 when he became part of a settlement reached by the Franciscan Order and plaintiffs alleging misconduct by 10 Franciscan priests in the Los Angeles area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

State inmate gets probation in extortion case

EBENSBURG (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

By SANDRA K. REABUCK
The Tribune-Democrat

EBENSBURG — A state inmate pleaded guilty Monday to extorting hush money from a chaplain who reportedly had sex with him at the State Correctional Institution-Cresson.

William Victor, 37, who is now at SCI-Huntingdon, was sentenced immediately by Judge Gerard Long to two years’ probation, to be served after Victor is released from state prison.

Victor is serving 423/4 to 861/2 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint and trying to rob her and her husband at a Pocono Mountain resort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Festival rolls out red carpet to draw more film business to Salem

SALEM (MA)
The Salem News

By Chris Cassidy
Staff writer

SALEM — To attract film producers and directors to Salem for the week, the city is rolling out the red carpet.

Literally.

A Hollywood-style red runway will guide guests tomorrow night into CinemaSalem, where more than two dozen independent films and documentaries will be screened over seven days. ...

To attract filmmakers, Salem resident Joe Cultrera invited some of the producers and directors he met two years ago while traveling the country showing his documentary "Hand of God," about the sexual abuse of his older brother by a Salem priest.

"I've been amazed at what's been put together in a short amount of time doing this," Cultrera said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Meeting irks backers of beset priest

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Michael Hill | Sun reporter
February 27, 2008

Several dozen members of St. Leo's Catholic parish gathered in front of the Little Italy church last night, hoping to find out answers about the fate of the Rev. Michael Salerno, the priest ousted last fall after an allegation of sexual abuse, but were barred from entering a meeting of the parish council.

They gathered because an e-mail circulated among the parishioners saying the Rev. Peter Sticco, head of the Pallottine Fathers, the order that runs the church, would be at the meeting called to discuss the parish's finances. But one of the church's pastors, identified as the Rev. Louis Rojas, refused to allow anyone not on the council to enter the rectory.

"Shame!" several of those on the street shouted as the door closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

February 26, 2008

Meeting Planned About Priest Investigation

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

BALTIMORE (AP) ―
Members of a Baltimore Catholic parish hope to learn more about a priest who's been relieved of his duties in the wake of sexual abuse allegations.

Reverend Mike Salerno, of Saint Leo's Parish in Little Italy, was removed after allegations surfaced that he abused a teenage boy in Brooklyn, N.Y. in the 1970s.

Church members have posted fliers for the 6:45 p.m. meeting at the church's hall asking whether Salerno will return to St. Leo's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Priest arrested in Jakarta over child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jakarta correspondent Geoff Thompson

A former Catholic priest from South Australia has been arrested near Jakarta and may be extradited to Australia to face child sex charges dating back to the 1970s.

Indonesian police arrested the 66-year-old man after a request from Australia.

He was once a Catholic priest in the Port Pirie area of South Australia but for the past 12 years he has been living in Indonesia running a garment business and working as an English teacher.

A week ago, he was arrested by Indonesian police in Depok, just south of Jakarta, following an extradition request from Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Trinity Baptist Faces Court in October

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Jane Doe #3 is her protected name in the civil suit. She alleges Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville knew former pastor Bob Gray was an alleged child molester and did not protect her as a child.

Now Jane Doe #3 will get her day in court in civil action.

Today a judge set the trial date the week of October 13th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Americans spurn church as land of evangelicals loses its Christian faith

UNITED STATES
Scotsman

By Richard Luscombe
IT'S A religious awakening in a land where Bible thumpers have held sway for centuries and Christian evangelicals have dominated White House politics for almost a decade.

Americans are turning away from the Church at a rate never seen before, according to the surprising results of a major study of the country's religious landscape. And many of those who remain are switching between faiths as freely as flicking television channels. ...

The Catholic Church, riven by recent sex-abuse scandals that have cost it millions of dollars in compensation, fared even worse.

Of the one in three who said they were brought up as Catholics, fewer than one in four is still practising today. It means 10 per cent of Americans are former Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Who's watching the collection plate?

ILLINOIS
Southtown Star

February 24, 2008
By Steve Metsch, Staff Writer
It happens in most Christian churches on any given Sunday. Call it the weekly envelope, free-will offering, donation - chances are a collection plate will be passed your way during a worship service. You place an envelope or spare change in and off it goes. But how do you know it goes where it should?

In the Southland, pastors at two churches recently were asked to step down amid allegations of missing money.

Investigations are ongoing at All Nations Community Church in Homewood and at Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church in Flossmoor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Bussman found guilty of sexual misconduct

MINNESOTA
Star News

Tuesday, 26 February 2008
A former Hassan Township and Rogers priest has been found guilty of third-degree sexual conduct.

On Tuesday, Feb. 12 inside a Hennepin County District Court room, John Bussmann was found guilty of using his position to have sex with vulnerable female parishioners.

The main issue surrounding the case was whether the involved women were seeking religious or spiritual advice, aid or comfort at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Archdiocese Deal Breaking Down In Dispute Over Documents

PORTLAND (OR)
OPB News

By Pete Springer

Portland, OR February 25, 2008 4:18 p.m.

Negotiations to release documents related to the Portland Archdiocese clergy sex abuse cases have broken down and will likely end up in mediation next month. Pete Springer reports.

Attorney Kelly Clark is representing more than a hundred abuse victims. He says nearly a year after reaching a legal settlement with the Archdiocese of Portland, very few documents have actually been released.

Clark says the release of the documents was key to settling the sex abuse lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Faith is fluid to many in US

UNITED STATES
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY ERIC GORSKI | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND JOHN JOHNSTON

The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving the faith tradition of their upbringing to either switch allegiances or abandon religious affiliation altogether, a new survey finds.

The study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is unusual for it scope, relying on interviews with more than 35,000 adults to document a diverse and dynamic U.S. religious population. ...

The Roman Catholic Church has lost more members than any faith tradition because of affiliation swapping, the survey found. While nearly one in three Americans were raised Catholic, fewer than one in four say they're Catholic today. That means roughly 10 percent of all Americans are ex-Catholics.

Reasons for leaving vary. Janet Steele of Springfield Township cites the priest sex abuse scandal and the church's teachings on birth control among the reasons she's no longer Catholic. Her family joined Forest Chapel United Methodist Church in Forest Park, where she is now lay leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Former SA priest held in Jakarta

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

February 26, 2008 02:25am
AN Australian man, believed to be a former South Australian priest, has been arrested in Bali for pedophile offences on nine boys.

The man, 66, was arrested in the West Jakarta suburb of Depok on February 20 and is being held at the police station in South Jakarta.

Depok police said last night that Australian authorities, who requested his arrest, had told them he was suspected of offences against nine Australian boys aged 12 to 17 years between 1979 and 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

VOTF 2008 Election Results

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

This links to official results of the recent national election of officers for Voice of the Faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Monk was arrested in sex sting here

LOUISIANA
The Shreveport Times

February 26, 2008

By John Andrew Prime
jprime@gannett.com

One of three men arrested last week at a local adult video store was a Benedictine monk from south Louisiana, The Times has learned.

Michael Kavanagh, 62, who gave Shreveport police an address on River Road in "Lake Benedict" when he was booked on an obscenity charge late Wednesday, is Father Aelred Kavanagh, then a member of the faculty at St. Joseph's Abbey and Seminary in St. Tammany Parish. The Benedictine abbey and the seminary are on River Road near Covington.

"Father Aelred Kavanaugh, O.S.B., whose lay name is Michael Kavanaugh, has resigned from his position on the faculty of Saint Joseph Seminary College," abbey Director of Development Vanessa Crouere told The Times in response to e-mail and phone queries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

A look at diocese's long struggle with closures

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Democrat

By SUSAN EVANS
The Tribune-Democrat

The Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has been struggling with church closings since 1994, when a plan was drafted to deal with a declining population and fewer priests.

During the past seven years, 25 parishes in the eight-county diocese have closed.

The cutback specifics in Greater Johnstown:

– In 1994, the diocese closed Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist in Central City, Somerset County, and merged them to become Our Lady Queen of Angels. Also, Holy Child in Windber closed and merged into SS. Cyril and Methodius.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Catholic diocese to shutter 4 churches

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

By SUSAN EVANS
The Tribune-Democrat

Four of the five Roman Catholic churches in Johnstown’s historic Cambria City section will close next year, and the last remaining Catholic school in the neighborhood is shutting in June.

The announcement of the closings, made by Bishop Joseph Adamec late Monday after word leaked during the weekend, rocked the neighborhood best known for its annual church-based ethnic festival.

Which one of the five churches will survive has not been decided and will depend on an engineering study to evaluate each structure, said Adamec, leader of the eight-county Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Anglican Dean quit Catholic Church 'over celibacy rules'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney
Tuesday February 26 2008

A priest has told how compulsory celibacy was part of his personal journey away from the Catholic "church of his youth" towards the Anglican ministry.

The Very Reverend Dermot Dunne also spoke of his concerns over the Catholic Church's teaching against birth control, on not allowing divorce to couples in broken marriages, as well as its refusal to admit women to the priesthood.

He was speaking in Dublin yesterday at the announcement of his appointment as Dean of the Church of Ireland's Christ Church cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Sex trial priest 'wanted to help'

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Andy Russell
26/ 2/2008

A PRIEST accused of child abuse has denied sexually molesting two boys, saying he just wanted to help them `to be happy'.

Former Church of England rector John McCullough, 63, who later became a Roman Catholic priest, admitted one of the boys had regularly stayed at his vicarage in Bury.

Mr McCullough also admitted sharing a twin bed hotel room on a pilgrimage to Lourdes with the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Marist faces 'dozens' of claims

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Victor Violante

Marist College was told as early as the 1970s that Brother Kostka Chute was molesting young students, but he was allowed to teach for a further 15 years, according to a civil claim seeking compensation for one of his alleged victims.

Also, dozens more claims will be lodged against the Marist Brothers organisation relating to alleged sexual offences by Kostka and two other former teachers at the Canberra school one, a former brother who taught in the 1970s, and the other Paul Lyons, who committed suicide in 2000 after he was charged with molesting a Daramalan College student in the 1990s.

Porters Lawyers partner Jason Parkinson, who is representing "dozens" of alleged victims in civil claims against the Marist Brothers organisation, told The Canberra Times yesterday that two further civil claims relating to alleged child molesting offences by Kostka will be lodged today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Back in Court

WEST VIRGINIA
WTAP

[with video]

Steve Benyo appeared before Judge Robert Waters Monday to make a motion to have the alleged abuse victim's psychological records released in the trial.

Judge Waters denied Benyo's request. The case heads to trial on Tuesday.

This all stems from an incident where police say former church pastor Jeffrey Nolte and Benyo had an improper sexual relationship with the boy at Sand Hill United Methodist Church in Boaz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

In Painful Retrospect

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

February 26, 2008

With excruciating hindsight, it is now clear that the state Department of Public Health should have trusted the victims rather than the forensic experts who said, two decades ago, that Dr. George Reardon was not a pedophile.

The Courant reported on Sunday that a psychologist and psychiatrist from the Institute of Living in Hartford concluded in 1988 and again in 1991, after examinations spanning weeks, that the doctor could safely continue practicing medicine even though victims kept coming forward. Dr. Reardon was stopped two years later when one of the Institute's experts, given additional evidence, changed his mind and testified against him.

The discovery last year of a huge cache of child pornography hidden in the former home of the late doctor appears to validate claims that he fondled and filmed children in suggestive poses for decades. The experts now look so wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Ex-city cop won't testify

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Posted By Trevor Pritchard

The former city cop who handled the allegations of a number of sexual abuse victims, including David Silmser, will not be taking the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

Inquiry commissioner Normand Glaude excused Heidi Sebalj from testifying after receiving a psychologist's report Monday on her mental and physical well-being.

"You'd have to know Heidi at the present time. She's just not capable," said Sebalj's husband, Peter Huffrey, who delivered the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Disconnect between pew, pulpit

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By JENNIFER L.W. FINK

Posted: Feb. 25, 2008
My son was a student at St. Mary's/St. Andrew's Catholic School in LeRoy about four years ago when Father Franklyn Becker moved in next door.

Buy a link hereBecker, a former archdiocesan priest who has been accused of sexual abuse of children, quietly moved into the rectory, an unassuming brick home just feet from the school. The defrocked priest was within spitting distance of a school full of children ages 2 to 8.

It was only after parents found out through the grapevine and complained that a letter was sent home. The letter urged parents to have compassion, to practice Christian charity and to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

John Doe lawsuits allege sexual abuse by priests years ago

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
Two new John Doe lawsuits filed Monday allege that Kansas City priests sexually abused children decades ago.

For the first time, accusations are raised against James Lawbaugh, who left the priesthood 39 years ago. A lawsuit contends he molested a 10-year-old Baptist boy at St. Vincent’s Church at 31st Street and Flora Avenue in 1968.

That boy, now 50, says the abuse happened in a short-lived Catholic program for inner-city youths during and after the riots that followed Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

Reached by phone Monday at his Florida home, Lawbaugh denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Oakland Diocese Reinstates Priest Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

OAKLAND (CA)
KTVU

OAKLAND -- A priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor is being reinstated after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland ruled the allegation could not be substantiated.

Father Chris Berbena began working for the Diocese of Oakland in 1997 and was removed twice since February 2004 after his name popped up on a list of alleged sexual abusers posted on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Web site, where Berbena once worked, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland.

He was reinstated within the month in 2004 because an investigation by the diocese could not turn up the name of the accuser or details of the alleged incident of sexual abuse, according to the Diocese of Oakland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

E. Bay Priest Reinstated After Sex Abuse Probe

OAKLAND (CA)
CBS 5

[with video]

OAKLAND (BCN) ― A priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor is being reinstated after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland ruled the allegation could not be substantiated.

Father Chris Berbena began working for the Diocese of Oakland in 1997 and was removed twice since February 2004 after his name popped up on a list of alleged sexual abusers posted on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Web site, where Berbena once worked, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland.

He was reinstated within the month in 2004 because an investigation by the diocese could not turn up the name of the accuser or details of the alleged incident of sexual abuse, according to the Diocese of Oakland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

February 25, 2008

Student testifies of bizarre abuse

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

By JANE SIMS The Canadian Press
Thu. Feb 14 - 6:13 AM

LONDON, Ont. — The trial for a teacher accused of bizarre abuse at a defunct Baptist school began this week amid allegations of students standing at attention for hours on end, having facial hair plucked with pliers and a greeting that involved fondling the breasts of parishioners.

Royden Wood, a church pastor and teacher at the school, has pleaded not guilty to 10 assault charges, two sexual assault charges and one charge of sexual interference.

A man who is now 35 years old testified Tuesday about the alleged abuse he suffered as a boy at the alternative school which ran out of the basement of the Ambassador Baptist Church from about 1985 to 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Many Americans switch religious denominations, study finds

UNITED STATES
The Christian Science Monitor

By Jane Lampman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the February 26, 2008 edition

Reporter Jane Lampman talks about the results of a new survey on religion in America.A panoramic snapshot of American religious life in 2008 reveals an extraordinary dynamism that is reshaping the country's major traditions in historic ways.

Almost half of Americans have moved to a different religious denomination from that in which they were raised, and 28 percent have switched to a different major tradition or to no religion (i.e., from Roman Catholic to Protestant, Jewish to unaffiliated). ...

Perhaps the big surprise, though, relates to Roman Catholicism, which experienced the greatest net loss. While 31.4 percent of adults say they were raised Catholic, today only 23.9 percent identify as Catholic, a net loss of 7.5 percent.

"The Catholic numbers are eye-popping," says Dr. Lugo. "One out of every 10 people you meet on the street is a former Catholic." ...

"Scandals and conflicts lead some to distance themselves even though they still hold Christian beliefs," says Darren Sherkat, a sociologist at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, who has studied the unaffiliated. "A perhaps growing percentage are disaffiliated because they don't hold Christian beliefs."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Ex-priest probed over abuse claim

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Police have agreed to re-examine allegations of child abuse made against a former Roman Catholic priest.

West Midlands Police is reviewing the case after admitting it failed to investigate when a complaint was made about Father James Robinson in 2003.

Father Robinson, who denies the claims, worked in Sutton Coldfield, Cradley Heath and Newcastle-under-Lyme, but moved to California in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Young sex-abuse victims need extension of time for suits

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Paula Ruddy
Monday, Feb. 25, 2008
How many victims of sexual abuse in childhood are competent by the age of 24 to know how damaging the abuse has been to their lives? Yet in Minnesota, child victims of sex abusers currently have to file suit in civil court to cover the costs of injuries within six years after they "knew or had reason to know" that the injury was caused by the sexual abuse, according to Minnesota Statutes, Section 541.073 Subd.2(a).

The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that a child can't know or have reason to know that he or she has been injured by sexual abuse until the age of 18. But unless another disability is proven, the court's decision is read to give victims six years after the age of 18 to sue for damages. In most cases, by the age of 24 the person's right to sue is foreclosed. This statute applies not only to suits against an abuser but it also applies in Subd.3(2) to suits against a person who caused the injury by "negligently permitting sexual abuse against the victim to occur." The employer who was negligent in hiring an abuser and placing children in harm's way is protected by this statute, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Calif. woman sentenced for allowing son to be sexually abused

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, February 25, 2008

(02-25) 11:59 PST SACRAMENTO, (AP) --

Irene Hunt, the common-law wife of a self-styled religious leader, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for transporting her 7-year-old son to have sex with an adult.

Hunt's common-law husband, 60-year-old Allen Harrod of Sacramento, was found guilty earlier this month of transporting minors for sexual activity.

He was accused of engaging in ritualistic sex acts with children from two families for more than a decade as part of a religion he claimed to have started. One of his followers, 48-year-old Michael Labrecque, also was previously convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Priest dismisses sexual abuse allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Fleetwood Weekly News

A priest has dismissed allegations he sexually abused a boy in his care, when he was a minister in Greater Manchester, while visiting the house of a judge.

Father John McCollough, 63, denies claims he preyed on youngsters, while he was the minister at Holy Trinity Church in Bury, in the 1990s.

One alleged victim, a heroin addict since the age of 14, claimed to have been attacked while on trips to Lourdes and London with the priest.

Giving evidence from the witness box at Bolton Crown Court, McCollough agreed the two had stayed with Deborah Champion, a barrister, from Putney, London, on one visit in May 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Cameroon: Priest Accused of Mismanaging Harvest Thanksgiving Fund

CAMEROON
allAfrica

The Post (Buea)

25 February 2008
Posted to the web 25 February 2008

Kini Nsom, Leocadia Bongben & Edith Wirdze

The Parish Priest of the St Joseph's Anglophone Parish in Mvog-Ada Yaounde, Mgr Joseph Befe Ateba, has been accused of mismanaging harvest thanksgiving funds.

The accusations are contained in a petition some Christians wrote to the Yaounde Archbishop, Mgr Victor Tonye Bakot, recently.The mismanagement allegations that have since been making rounds in the parish rated as the richest in the country, indict the priest for living an extravagant life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

CONNECTICUT: Former music director sentenced on child pornography charge

GREENWICH (CT)
Episcopal Life

By Lisa B. Hamilton, February 25, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] The former music director of Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut was sentenced February 22 to 5 1/2 years in prison for possessing child pornography, according to reports.

Robert F. Tate, 66, is also required to pay a $50,000 fine and continue treatment for sexually deviant behavior. Once he is released from prison, Tate will be under supervision, requiring him to register as a sex offender, have his Internet usage monitored, and barred from spending time with children under the age of 18 unless accompanied by a responsible adult aware of his conviction. Tate is not expected to appeal.

Tate, who was music director at the church for 34 years, has admitted to possessing child pornography, having sex with boys in Thailand, the Philippines and Costa Rica and having sex with boy prostitutes from New York in his church apartment. He maintains he never assaulted members of the church's choirs, but knowingly hired two pedophiles to work in the choir.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Church sex abuse dispute erupts

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard

Published: February 25, 2008 10:19AM

Negotiations to unveil court documents about the role of church leaders in the Archdiocese of Portland’s priest sex abuse scandal have broken down and the issue is headed back to court next month.

Release of the documents was a key to settling lawsuits last April enabling the archdiocese to pay 175 claims by sex abuse victims and to continue operations without selling local parish or school properties.

The Portland archdiocese in 2004 became the first Catholic organization to file for bankruptcy protection on the eve of trials in multimillion-dollar lawsuits over child sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Commissioner to rule on mandate change for Cornwall sex abuse inquiry

CANADA
CBC

The commissioner of a public inquiry into sexual abuse in eastern Ontario was to decide Monday whether to throw out certain evidence the commission has heard and limit future evidence after a ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Justice Normand Glaude was to respond to a ruling issued Jan. 18 by a three-member panel of judges that narrows the mandate of the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

For two years, the inquiry has been looking into the response by the justice system and other public authorities to dozens of allegations of sexual abuse against members of the community in Cornwall and surrounding areas over decades, starting in the 1950s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Watchdog Group Concerned That Accused Priests Not Being Watched Closely Enough

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

CHICAGO (WBBM) - The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests handed out hundreds of flyers Sunday morning in front of Holy Name Cathedral.

WBBM’s Jennifer O’Neill reports.

They were asking parishioners to join them to trying to keep vulnerable kids protected from predator priests.

SNAP President Barbara Blaine says two Chicago Jesuit priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct are not being monitored.

Father Donald McGuire was officially defrocked on Friday, following a conviction stemming from sexual misconduct in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Sex-offender law ignores real harm

UNITED STATES
Philadelphia Inquirer

Sarah Tofte
is a U.S. researcher for Human Rights Watch

State lawmakers will need to decide whether to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act on sex offenders or lose federal money for law enforcement. The choice for states is to dramatically increase their registration and community-notification requirements for convicted sex offenders by 2009 or lose significant federal law enforcement grant money.

It doesn't seem like a difficult choice. Who wouldn't want to support laws targeting convicted sex offenders and be paid for it? Yet legislatures from Arizona to Illinois to Rhode Island are leaning against implementing the law. Because once you get past the painful emotions and look hard at the problem of child sexual abuse, it turns out that sex-offender registration and community-notification laws might not actually prevent sexual violence.

Sex-offender laws are based on two popular myths about child abuse: that children have most to fear from strangers, and that sex offenders will repeat their crimes. In fact, more than 90 percent of child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows. And authoritative studies show that three out of four sex offenders do not re-offend within 15 years of release from prison. In fact, 87 percent of sex crimes are committed by people with no previous sex-offense convictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Graphic list of abuse to settle claims

CANADA
Globe and Mail

KATHERINE O'NEILL

February 25, 2008 at 4:42 AM EST

EDMONTON — It's a scorecard ranking unspeakable acts.

From sodomy to severe beatings causing disfigurement to persistent fondling - the list is graphic and disturbingly thorough.

It's all part of a complicated compensation system that a court-ordered independent program is now using to settle serious sexual- and physical-abuse claims by former residential-school students.

The majority are aboriginal. All were either children or teenagers when they were assaulted, often by the adults paid and trusted to look after or teach them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Church is paying a high price for its celibacy rule

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney
Monday February 25 2008

The appointment of a former Catholic priest as the Anglican Dean of Dublin's Christ Church cathedral is an example how the obligatory rule of celibacy of the Roman priesthood is losing clergy to the more liberal Church of Ireland.

After his marriage to his wife Celia, and his resignation as a priest of the Catholic diocese of Cork and Ross, Dean Dermot Dunne has been ministering as an Anglican rector in the diocese of Ferns, Remarkably, Dean Dunne discovered that three of his 11 colleagues had also left the ranks of the Catholic clergy.

A number of nuns and Catholic laity have also found a spiritual haven in becoming members of the Church of Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Greenwich church hopes to restore 'circle of trust'

GREENWICH (CT)
The Advocate

By Hoa Nguyen
Staff Writer

Published February 25 2008

GREENWICH - Officials at Christ Church Greenwich are searching through old employment files to find any trace of two pedophiles said to have assaulted choirboys when they worked at the church three decades ago.

The records have so far yielded no information on the two men, Tim Carpenter, a senior warden at the church, said yesterday.

"Nobody knows what the deal is," he said. "This was a rude awakening for us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Abuse led church's female assistant pastor to enter priesthood

CANADA
Northumberland Today

She's continuing her journey with God in a new church that will accept her as the shepherd of its flock.

Marie Evans Bouclin, an ordained priest with the Roman Catholic Women Priests organization, was inducted into Christ the Servant Catholic Church in Cold Springs Sunday. ...

She heard about women who were being sexually abused by priests.

"I felt a call to minister to these women," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Biloxi Bishop Sends Letter To St. Paul's Parishioners Asking Them To Drop Lawsuit

MISSISSIPPI
WLOX

[with video]

For almost a year , they've met on the steps of their hurricane battered church every Sunday morning, hoping for an answer to their prayers. But the only answer they received recently, came in the form of a letter from Bishop Thomas Rodi, implying that Pope Benedict himself wants them to end their disagreement with the church.

"There was 3 scriptural passages, and his urgent request that we drop the lawsuit," says Parishioner Frank Schmidt.

The lawsuit, brought by parishioner Frank Schmidt along with 155 others, came as an appeal of the Diocese's decision to merge St. Pauls with Our Lady of Lourdes and build a new church away from the beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Local Parish Fine Despite Church Scandal

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUMW

[with audio]

The Catholic Church in Milwaukee is facing a long and tough road. That’s because of settlements stemming from sexual abuse cover-ups and new legislation that could open the church up to more litigation. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis visited a local parish to find out what churchgoers think about the state of Catholicism in Milwaukee given the controversy.

The sentiment was the same from most members of Saint Martin de Porres on Milwaukee’s north side. The fallout from years of sexual abuse on the part of some priests, covered up by the Milwaukee Archdiocese, hasn’t waivered their faith, at least not for long. JC McClendon is a longtime church member.

“I was an alter boy. I went to a Catholic school my entire life and the priest had a big part of my life. It was kind of devastating at first, but when you think about it, it’s a personal thing. It doesn’t have anything to do with my Catholicism or my belief in the lord. Man is not perfect,” McClendon says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Faithful must make church change its ways

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David Clohessy
Three decades after he was first reported as a child molester, David Sicoli, a Philadelphia Catholic priest, was finally defrocked last week by the Vatican. The move has renewed debate over what should be done with the dozens of sexually abusive priests, ex-priests, nuns and seminarians who have been deemed guilty of child-sex crimes by civil or church authorities. They are walking free - often among unsuspecting neighbors - largely because of Pennsylvania's archaic child-molestation laws.

State laws often require that child victims of sexual abuse take legal action quickly, usually by the time they turn 20 or 21. That restrictive deadline gives predators (and those who employ or shield predators) strong incentives to intimidate victims, deceive parents, threaten witnesses and destroy evidence, to help "run out the clock" and escape detection and prosecution. Such laws also deny victims the necessary time to learn how severely they have been hurt, and to gather the strength and courage it takes to report horrific and embarrassing crimes by powerful adults.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a measure that would temporarily suspend the statute of limitations, giving more child-sex-abuse victims a chance to expose their predators in court. Despite vehement opposition from the state's Catholic bishops, I hope that measure soon passes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Dealing with the demons

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

Mon, February 25, 2008

By ANDREW HANON

For years, Joe Courtoreille refused to go into St. Albert.

"I just couldn't come through on that road," he says. "Too many bad memories. I'd always have to go around."

Just thinking about the nine years he spent "imprisoned" at St. Albert's Indian Residential School used to anger Courtoreille.

"It was awful," he says, "just like jail."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

February 24, 2008

McGuire removed from priesthood

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

A Jesuit priest convicted of molesting Chicago-area students in the 1960's has been removed from the priesthood.

Donald McGuire was officially defrocked Friday, according to the Chicago order of the Society of Jesus.

On top of his 2006 molestation convictions, McGuire has also been accused in cases involving other children between the 1960s to 2002.

Sunday, the activist group Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said not enough is being done to deter priests from abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Priest runs pub with divorcee

SCOTLAND
The Courier

By David Clegg
THE CATHOLIC Church in Dundee has been rocked once more after it emerged a priest who retired on health grounds is running a pub in Spain with a divorcee.

Father Eugene O’Sullivan, former parish priest of St Francis in Tullideph Road, confessed to a Sunday tabloid that he was also living with 41-year-old Fiona Aitken from Forfar—but denied they were having a sexual relationship.

The 61-year-old said he was in the process of leaving the priesthood and refused to rule out the possibility he would marry in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Church hears evidence in child sex case

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

February 25, 2008 - 11:05AM

An Anglican Church tribunal this week will hear evidence which could lead to a priest jailed for child sex being stripped of his orders.

Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, of Brisbane, was jailed for 12 months in November 2006 after being found guilty of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in Brisbane more than 30 years ago.

Sharwood was released from jail in November last year, attracting calls by child protection advocates for him to be immediately stripped of his holy orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Jesuits defrock priest who abused 2 boys

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 24, 2008
BY MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporter/mjthomas@suntimes.com
A once-prominent Jesuit priest convicted of molesting two boys in the 1960s was officially defrocked Friday.

The Rev. Donald J. McGuire has been permanently expelled from his religious order and removed from all clerical duties, according to a statement from the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus.

The Rev. Edward Schmidt, head of the Chicago Jesuits, said the order is "outraged and saddened that any abuse ever took place."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Father Haley's cryptic message; SNAP director writes Cardinal Maida

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
February 24, 2008

Over the last couple of years, I've received e-mails asking about the status of Father James Haley, the priest whose story is detailed in this 2004 Washington Times article, and whom I've quoted in previous columns.

In late November 2007, I e-mailed Father Haley to ask how he's doing and if there's been any new development(s) in his case, which had essentially placed him in canonical limbo. I also e-mailed him earlier this month about another matter.

Father Haley responded on Feb. 19, 2008 (slightly edited):

"I wanted to acknowledge these two emails, but I have nothing to say at this point in time. Well, other than I have heard nothing, absolutely nothing from the Church since Wednesday Nov. 30, 2005 at 12:37 p.m. Please keep me on your radar — 'it' will be the big blip that suddenly appears after so many warnings. And thanks for your work on this vital issue."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Vizcaya priest finally charged for kissing, biting GRO’s lips

PHILIPPINES
ABS-CBN

By CHARLIE LAGASCA
The Philippine Star

BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya – After almost six months, police and social welfare officials filed a case of unjust vexation before the provincial prosecutor’s office against a Catholic priest who reportedly bit a guest relations officer (GRO) on the lips while he was drunk inside a videoke bar here in July last year.

The case, docketed as I.S. No. 5356-B-2008, was transmitted last Feb. 20 by Chief Inspector Joseph de la Cruz, this town’s police chief, and Myrna Pinaroc, municipal social welfare officer, against Fr. Elmer Saludares, parish priest of Saint Anne Parish in Barangay Malasin in neighboring Dupax del Norte town.

Saludares was accused of biting the lips of Genalyn Abella while at the Estrella’s Videoke Bar in San Antonio on July 17 last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Norwich Diocese faces another sexual abuse lawsuit

CONNECTICUT
Newsday

NEW LONDON, Conn. - A 49-year-old woman has sued the Norwich Diosese of the Roman Catholic Church, alleging she was the victim of years of sexual assaults at the hands of a priest in Groton.

The woman says the Rev. James Curry began the assaults at St. Mary's Church in 1966 when she was 8-years old during private counseling sessions. The lawsuit alleges that Curry sexually assaulted the girl in the church sacristy and rectory, in the church center and in his car.

The abuse continued on a regular basis for the next eight years and involved hundreds of sexual assaults, according to the woman's attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

St. John Bosco holds final Mass

SHERIDAN (NY)
The Observer

By SHIRLEY WEST

2/24/2008 - OBSERVER Staff Writer

SHERIDAN — St. John Bosco Roman Catholic Church held its final Mass on Saturday afternoon to an overflowing crowd of dedicated, and slightly heartsick, parishioners.

The lovely stone-faced church left its doors wide open during the Mass, welcoming any who would wish to say goodbye to what was to many “a home away from home.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Why Wasn't He Stopped?

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

By HILARY WALDMAN And DANIEL P. JONES | Courant Staff Writers
February 24, 2008

During the same stretch of time that Dr. George Reardon was allegedly fondling youngsters in his office at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, a psychologist across town at the Institute of Living reached this conclusion:

"Dr. Reardon is not a pedophile."

Sparked by complaints, the state Department of Public Health — which has the authority to lodge formal charges against doctors and initiate disciplinary hearings — had asked the prestigious institute to examine Reardon to determine whether he was a child molester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

'Ill' Priest And Secret Partner Run Pub In Spain

SCOTLAND
Sunday Mail

Feb 24 2008 By Charles Lavery

A PRIEST who left his Scottish parish on health grounds is running an Irish bar in Spain with his secret partner.

Father Eugene O'Sullivan, 61, hopes to wed Fiona Aitken, 41, who he met as a young bride when he conducted her wedding in 1985.

O'Sullivan's former parishioners will be stunned by the truth about where their priest has gone. They thought he was terminally ill and planning to spend his remaining time in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Our View - Sunday

COLORADO
Colorado Springs Gazette

Save the children. We must save them from the Catholic Church and its predatory pedophile priests. If we care about kids, we’ll support House Bill 1011. That’s what the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden, wants us to believe. The law would be a gift to predatory plaintiff’s lawyers who are getting rich by emptying the coffers of the Catholic Church.

The law would open a two-year window in which plaintiffs could sue private organizations for allegations of past sexual misdeeds of their employees. It would hold private organizations (read: the Catholic Church) accountable for the actions of the accused “even though the perpetrator of the offense is deceased or incapacitated.”

A dead priest is completely incapable of putting on a defense. He’s equally useless for paying damages a judge or jury might award. Under the proposed law, therefore, those who failed to properly manage long-dead allegedly predatory priests would be held liable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Shamed Cleric Joseph Creegan In Battle To Keep Flat

SCOTLAND
Sunday Mail

Feb 24 2008

A MONSIGNOR sacked over an 18-year affair with a parishioner is battling to stay in his grace-and-favour home.

We revealed that Joseph Creegan was sacked by Bishop Vincent Logan over "irrefutable proof" that he had an affair with a married woman.

But last week Creegan sparked a row with the bishop that could go all the way to the Vatican.

Creegan was sacked after the spurned woman at the centre of the affair confessed all to Bishop Logan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Fewer priests for local Catholics

MAINE
Sun Journal

By Daniel Hartill, Staff Writer
Sunday, February 24, 2008

LEWISTON - The number of Catholic priests in the city will shrink again.

Lewiston parishioners were told Saturday that Monsignor Marc B. Caron and two parochial vicars will lead services at the city's five churches: Holy Family, Holy Cross, St. Patrick's, St. Joseph's and the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Four priests currently share the duties.

In addition, a single priest will soon be responsible for churches in Lisbon and Sabattus and a mission in Greene.

The announcement came in the form of a letter distributed to parishioners Saturday and signed by Bishop Richard Malone, the leader of Maine's Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Church accepts convicted pedophile priest into choir

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Tanya Chilcott and Alison Sandy
February 24, 2008 11:00pm

A CONVICTED pedophile priest is being allowed to sing in a choir with children at one of Brisbane's most distinguished Anglican churches.

Robert Francis Sharwood, who was released from jail three years ago after serving a year for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, sang in the third row of the Holy Trinity Church choir in Fortitude Valley yesterday.

A 14-year-old and 16-year-old girl sang in the front, while infants and children, including young boys, were present in the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Speaker to address behavior problems

HELENA (MT)
Billings Gazette

HELENA - Toni Cavanagh Johnson, Ph.D., a leading authority on children with sexual behavior problems, will speak in Helena on March 7-8 at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel. The event, which is open to the public, is presented by Intermountain. The registration fee is $150; to register, go to www.intermountain.org.

The conference will be beneficial for juvenile justice workers, health care professionals, social workers, child care workers and church leaders in understanding normal vs. problematic sexual behavior in children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Tate's apology at sentencing prompts questions

GREENWICH (CT)
The Advocate

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published February 24 2008

Jack Bausman heard Robert Tate, former Christ Church Greenwich choir director, confess Thursday to viewing child pornography and committing decades of sexual abuse of minors. But Bausman said he still has questions about Tate's admission that he had hired two pedophiles who preyed on choir boys.

At his sentencing Thursday, Tate, 66, apologized for knowingly hiring the two unidentified men and called himself "a coward" for firing the men but not turning them into police when they molested boys in the choir.

Bausman, a Christ Church parishioner who has known Tate for 34 years, said he had hoped for the benefit of parishioners that authorities would identify the men and say when they had worked at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

WORKSHOP ON SEXUALITY, CELIBACY AND BOUNDARY VIOLATIONS

INDIA
Don Bosco India

Hyderabad, Feb. 23. Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi Province, celebrated its 10 years of service to the Province and the Church with a well attended 3 day workshop on Sexuality, Celibacy and Boundary Violations: Understanding and Helping the Victim and the Offender. The programme started on 18th February morning and ended on 20th evening. The resource persons were Dr. Tony Robinson, clinical psychologist and CEO and Dr. Gerardine Taylor, Clinical Director, of Encompass Australasia. Encompass is a residential treatment centre in Sydney, Australia for professionals, clergy, religious men and women who are struggling with sexual issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Lawsuit Accuses Ex-priest Of Abuse

GROTON (CT)
The Day

Groton — One day in 1966, 8-year-old “Mary Doe” went to confession at St. Mary's Church where the Rev. James Curry told her that she should later speak to him in private.

Doe, who helped her mother clean the church and rectory, went to several private counseling sessions with the 42-year-old priest. During those sessions, Curry prayed with the girl while massaging her shoulders, stroking her hair and kissing her forehead. He told her she was special and to “trust in the Lord.”

Those details come from a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Norwich last week in New London Superior Court. During the third or fourth such session, according to the suit, Curry had the girl drink the sacramental wine used at Mass before they engaged in oral sex, and he raped her. That pattern continued on a regular basis for the next eight years and involved hundreds of sexual assaults, according to attorneys for the now 49-year-old woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Rev. James Curry Had Faced A Separate Rape Allegation

GROTON (CT)
The Day

By JOE WOJTAS
Day Staff Writer

Groton — The lawsuit newly filed by “Mary Doe” is not the first time the late James Curry, formerly a priest in the Norwich diocese, has been accused of raping a young girl.

In 1981 a Groton woman who had worked as Curry's housekeeper filed a criminal complaint against Curry with the town police. In it she alleged the priest had raped her 11-year-old daughter on various occasions in 1980 and 1981.

Curry resigned from the church that fall, while denying the allegations. Diocesan spokesman Michael Strammiello said Friday that records show the Norwich diocese removed Curry from his ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

February 23, 2008

Attack of the Bishops: What happens when you advocate for sex crime victims in the Catholic Church in Geneva, Illinois

ILLINOIS
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
One priest ranted in daily Mass sermons against “those who go to the media.” The monsignor visited choir practice and called them sons and daughters of Satan. Their sin? When they found out Father Mark Campobello who taught at their high school was an ephebophile with a predilection for eighth grade girls, they wanted to help the victims. Then the Rockford Diocese refused to cooperate with the local DA and a few church members spoke to the media. St. Peter’s parish responded by attacking the crime victims and anyone brave enough to be a victims’ advocate.

Campobello was released from prison in Illinois last week, after serving four years of an eight year sentence, and he now lives in Crystal Lake where he’s registered as a sex offender, but the damages his crimes caused at St. Peter’s parish are probably permanent.

“There’s people in the pews snapping pictures of us,” Frank Bochte said. A website obviously connected to the parish then prints the stalker photos. You can also listen to voice mail messages Bochte and his wife Kate left with St. Peter's parish priests with one click at the CTL-NYC website, so much for confidentiality. In the forum section at CTL, someone slyly identified a Campobello victim by stating her father’s job title. A “film crew” from CTL points cameras in advocates’ faces -- with press badges at the last SNAP meeting in New York last year. They claim to be making a documentary. . . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

I Voted for Obama. Will I Go Straight to. . . ?

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Joe Feuerherd
Sunday, February 24, 2008; Page B05

Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the recent Potomac Primary. By doing so, according to the leaders of my church, I put my soul at risk. That's right, says the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- tap the touch screen for a pro-abortion-rights candidate, and you're probably punching your ticket to Hell.

For a church that "thinks in centuries," things sure are moving quickly. Back in 2004, as Washington correspondent for the independent National Catholic Reporter, I covered what Comedy Central's Jon Stewart dubbed the "wafer wars." A handful of conservative bishops warned Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, a pro-abortion rights Catholic, that they would deny him Communion should he attempt to receive the church's most sacred sacrament. ...

This fire-and-brimstone approach to the ballot box is the long-term bequest of a conservative pope, John Paul II, enacted by a U.S. hierarchy appointed during his 27-year tenure and now by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. John Paul's key criterion in choosing the men who lead the United States' 194 dioceses was their vocal support for church teachings that have been rejected in whole (birth control) or in part (women's ordination and abortion) by many Catholics in the pews and the broader American culture. John Paul gave little weight to management or pastoral experience, as evidenced by the bishops' handling of the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Diocese sells school site to The Irvine Co.

LINDA VISTA (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mike Freeman
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

February 23, 2008

The Irvine Co. has purchased the University of San Diego High School site in Linda Vista from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego for $50 million.

The Newport Beach-based real estate giant plans to build 533 apartments at the former private Catholic school site, which closed in 2005 when the diocese opened Cathedral Catholic High in Carmel Valley.

Known as “Uni,” the high school site was the most high profile of the church-owned properties involved in the diocese's bankruptcy filing last year. Proceeds from the sale will go toward paying the $198 million settlement the diocese reached in September with victims of sexual abuse by clergy members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Catholic Churches Must Decide Future

NEW YORK
WBNG

[with video]

By Gabe Osterhout

Dozens of Catholic Churches are close to a deadline to decide their future.

The Syracuse Diocese picked parishes to merge or link.

Their plans are due next month.

Our Lady of Angels Church in the Town of Union was built in the 1960s, as an offshoot to Christ the King Church.

Now the two parishes will again be one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

New Documents Released in Decades Old Murder

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
CBS 3

[with video]

By Matt DeLucia
More than 35 years after the death of 13 year-old Danny Croteau, a Springfield altar boy, documents that have never been seen before by the public have finally been released.

Croteau's family sees this latest development as a big victory, while the Hampden County District Attorney's office fought hard to keep the documents from the public eye.

It was just last month when a Hampden County Superior Court Judge ordered the District Attorney's office to turn over dozens of pages of witness statements related to the murder. This week, those documents became public for the first time in over three decades. Documents the Croteaus say will help them form an independent investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Fleecing the sheep

VIRGINIA
The Free Lance-Star

Date published: 2/23/2008

FORMER Louisa County priest Rodney Rodis rendered unto both God and Caesar. He rendered perfidy and criminal offense. On Thursday Caesar, at any rate, rendered back.

In Richmond, federal Judge Richard Williams sentenced Rodis, a shepherd who took the sheep for a fleecing, to 63 months in prison--a term exceeding the customary guidelines, exceeding even what prosecutors sought--minus the nine months Rodis has sat in jail. Judge Williams gave the crooked cleric the maximum, the jurist said, specifically because in his role as parish priest Rodis "abuse[d] a sacred trust."

That abuse was calculated, long-lasting, and severe. Rodis is slammer-bound technically because in 2002 he stole almost $600,000 from the two Catholic churches he "served" much as a wolf serves itself mutton--Immaculate Conception and St. Jude. But he actually swiped perhaps a million dollars or more over four years, both sending the money back to his native Philippines to acquire land and, more remarkably, financing a Spotsylvania County household that included a wife and kids. That Louisa and Spotsylvania counties fall under different Catholic dioceses facilitated the charade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Vatican defrocks convicted priest Donald McGuire

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Karoun Demirjian | Tribune reporter
February 23, 2008

A Jesuit priest convicted of molesting students at a Chicago-area Catholic school in the 1960s was officially defrocked Friday.

Donald J. McGuire has been permanently removed from all clerical functions, said a statement from Rev. Edward Schmidt, the head of the Chicago order of the Society of Jesus to which McGuire belonged.

"We are outraged and saddened that any abuse ever took place," Schmidt said. "[McGuire] has terribly abused the trust [the victims], and we, put in him. And the church, by the action taken today, has demonstrated that same belief."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Two Endwell parishes to become one

ENDWELL (NY)
Press & Sun-Bulletin

By William Moyer
Press & Sun-Bulletin

Not that parishioners didn't see it coming, but the long-time priests at two Catholic parishes in Endwell have announced their retirements, which has triggered a diocesan-mandated formal process to merge the churches into a single parish.

The Rev. Thomas F. Hobbes, at Christ the King, and the Rev. John D. Roock, at Our Lady of Angels, informed parishioners that they will retire in July or August, depending on a still-to-be-determined and diocesan-approved timetable for merging the two parishes.

"Anything else would have been wishful thinking; it would have kept (Christ the King) open for a while, but people knew what was in the works," Hobbes said about the timing of the two priests' retirements. "People want some roots and to know what parish is going to be there for their children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Firm: Keep St. Ann’s as Freeland's church

FREELAND (PA)
Standard Speaker

Saturday, 23 February 2008
By TOM RAGAN
Staff Writer
The Roman Catholic Community of Freeland knew for months that four of its long-standing churches would be reduced to one.

They now know which one is likely to survive.

About 200 parishioners attended a Friday night meeting to hear the Rev. John Melnick announce that he would recommend St. Ann’s Church on Centre Street serve the parish and be renamed Immaculate Conception Church.

Under the recommendation, the other three churches – St. Casimir’s, St. John’s and St. Anthony’s – would be closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Justice sought in Croteau case

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Saturday, February 23, 2008By BUFFY SPENCERbspencer@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD - Investigators have worked persistently during the past 35 years to find the killer of altar boy Daniel Croteau, but have been thwarted at every turn by a lack of physical evidence to link a suspect to the crime, Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett said. ...

In the documents released this week, one witness told police in 2004 she had seen a boy in a yellow rain coat lying beneath the bridge where Croteau's body was found. A priest was standing over him, she said.

Her statement recounts the encounters with then-Bishop Christopher J. Weldon and then-District Attorney Ryan.

The witness told police that Weldon threatened to excommunicate her father, and that Ryan told her there was no evidence to support her claim. Ryan, according to the woman's statement, said he could arrest her for filing a false report if she pursued her claims.

Yesterday, Mark E. Dupont, spokesman for the Springfield diocese, said, "Diocesan legal counsel has reviewed the witness statement which alleges involvement by the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon. There are a number of notable discrepancies in this witness' statement relative to dates and circumstances which call into question its overall reliability."

"We maintain complete confidence that the office of the district attorney and state police would have pursued this matter had it been deemed credible," Dupont said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Church closings a new chapter in sad history

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

Marvin Read

The announcement this week that the Pueblo Catholic Diocese is shuttering two parishes - St. Patrick and Our Lady of the Assumption - is disappointing to the members of those congregations but no surprise.

The closures represent locally the latest in a string of events that are changing the face of Roman Catholicism and that will, at some point, force church officials at every level to reconsider how to run that billion-member monolith. ...

The pedophile scandal of the last decade was seen by many as a coup de grace as more priests disappeared from the ranks, exposed for their abuse, defrocked and some jailed. Their bishops and other church officials were demeaned for their complicity and ineffectiveness in dealing with pervert priests. Dioceses were drained financially - some to the point of bankruptcy - to pay victims and their attorneys for abuse and sins of the past. The clergy, the episcopacy and the institution lost even more prestige than money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

DA releases documents related to 1972 unsolved altar boy slaying

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Examiner

Feb 22, 2008 3:57 PM (15 hrs ago) By STEPHANIE REITZ, AP
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Map, News) - Newly released documents related to the 1972 murder of a 13-year-old altar boy include dozens of pages of witness statements and police reports, but have left his aging parents still hoping for the information that could bring their son's killer to trial.

"Somebody out there knows something, and hopefully they will finally tell. That's what we've been desperately hoping for," said Bernice Croteau, 71, whose son, Danny, was killed more than three decades ago. "We've been waiting such a long time."

Danny's body was found on the banks of the Chicopee River on April 15, 1972, after someone fatally bludgeoned him. Police think a bloody rock left at the scene may have been the murder weapon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Psych tests for man who sexually abused daughter

CANADA
Calgary Sun

By KEVIN MARTIN, SUN MEDIA

Psychological testing has been ordered for a Calgary man who sexually abused his developmentally delayed adult daughter.

Provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk yesterday asked that a report be prepared after the 60-year-old man entered a guilty plea to sexual assault. ...

The assaults came to light after the woman disclosed the abuse to her pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Bishop's lack of good judgment outrageous

MAINE
Kennebec Journal

When do good men stop being good men? At what point should good people examine the dark side of inaction? Both the Bible and the incarcerated make it clear how disgusting sexual abuse against children is, but inexplicably the Catholic Church continues to act as if this horror is mostly just an embarrassment to be worked around.

Bishop Richard Malone's recent decision allowing former priest Paul Coughlin to resume duties, three years after resigning for covering up sex abuse charges against a church volunteer, is another example. The volunteer who Coughlin allowed to reside in the church rectory went to the Maine State Prison, having been convicted of the pedophilia Father Coughlin tried to hide. Not surprisingly, Coughlin himself was found to have had "inappropriate physical contact" with a minor at his church years earlier.

If an administrator allowed this to happen in a local school, public outrage would demand the expulsion of the perpetrator and administrator. Why then should Bishop Malone not be expelled for his apparent lack of good judgment?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priest honored for work helping clergy fill roles

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

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

It was challenging enough to recruit young men for the Roman Catholic priesthood at a time when few were heeding such a call.

But the Rev. Ronald Knott's job with the Archdiocese of Louisville became nearly impossible when the crisis of sexual abuse by clergy and others in the church hit its peak in 2002 and 2003.

The crisis also threw Knott into the lowest point of his career, a depression he said many priests experienced then. But it got him thinking deeply about how many priests are overworked, isolated from each other and their parishioners and -- in the case of new priests -- poorly prepared for the realities of life as a pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

February 22, 2008

Appeal against conviction for false accusation fails

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

The Court of Criminal Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a man against his conviction for falsely accusing a priest of child sexual abuse.

Paul Anderson (34), Crumlin Park, Crumlin, formerly of Fatima Mansions and Iveagh Trust Flats, New Bride Street, Dublin, was convicted last June after a 17-day trial of making the false claim. He was jailed for four years by Judge Patricia Ryan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Abuse advocacy group wants a stronger response from the church

FALL RIVER (MA)
Wicked Local

By Grant Welker
Fri Feb 22, 2008, 05:20 PM EST

Fall River - A national group for people abused by priests has asked Diocese of Fall River Bishop George W. Coleman to visit former parishes of Father Maurice T. Lebel, who was suspended in December for allegedly molesting a minor during his time in the diocese.

The diocese says it has already taken steps recommended by the group, Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests, but SNAP’s national director thinks the diocese hasn’t done enough.

The response from the diocese was “hardly a sincere, passionate plea for victims to step forward and get help, or for witnesses to call police,” said national director David Clohessy Friday. “If the bishop found out that a priest was performing gay marriages, the response would be very different.”

SNAP asked Coleman in the e-mail letter to ask any victims or those with knowledge of abuses to come forward. Lebel worked in the Diocese of Fall River for 13 years and began at the Diocese of Portland, Maine, in 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Diocese issues statement on abusive priest

PROVIDENCE (RI)
The Rhode Island Catholic

Posted Feb. 21, 2008

PROVIDENCE — Former diocesan priest Rev. Philip A. Magaldi, the target of three separate allegations of sexual misconduct in Rhode Island, recently confessed to officials in the Diocese of Fort Worth that he is HIV Positive.

In 1998, 2002 & 2007, the Diocese of Providence received allegations of sexual misconduct relative to the priest, who had left nine years prior to the first allegation, as he had requested a transfer to the Diocese of Ft. Worth, Texas. He returned to Rhode Island in 1992 to serve time in prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement charges at a North Providence parish. Following release, he returned to Texas.

At the time the complaints against him were made known to the Diocese of Providence, the Office of Education and Compliance investigated the allegations and then shared the findings with officials in the Diocese of Ft. Worth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Exonerated priest returned to ministry

CINCINNATI (OH)
The Catholic Telegraph

ARCHDIOCESE — Father Raymond Larger, who in 2005 was found by a judge to be not guilty of criminal charges that he sexually abused a minor, has been reinstated as an active priest following a review of his case by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Father Larger, 56, will be given an assignment for priestly ministry at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati and will work at the chancery of the archdiocese, according to a statement released by the archdiocese on Feb. 14.

"We are grateful to the Holy See for their interest in this matter, and we believe they have handled it thoughtfully and with justice," said Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. "I believe in Father Larger’s innocence and am thankful that the clearing of his name makes possible his return to a ministerial role."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

D.A.: Croteau case frustrates investigators

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By BUFFY SPENCER
bspencer@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett said this morning that all of the investigators who worked to try to find the killer of 13-year-old Daniel Croteau over the past 35 years have wanted to hold someone accountable for the young boy's death.

"We tried every DNA test you can think of," Bennett said at a press conference at his office. "Every time we go down a particular path we come up empty."

Bennett held the press conference in response to media inquiries that arose from the release this week of documents, many of which dealt with the Croteau investigation, in response to a judge's ruling in a civil case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Clergy Abuse Victim Donates Settlement Money

WISCONSIN
WISN

For years, WISN 12 News has reported stories of sexual abuse of children by clergy members, but 12 News reporter Nick Bohr has a different story to report -- the story of the journey of a teenage boy victimized by a Wisconsin priest and the remarkable thing he's doing that's helped him to heal.

Bohr traveled to California to bring the story to life.

The victim was hesitant to tell his story, not because of the nature of what happened to him, but because he didn't want to draw attention to himself for what he's chosen to do with a massive financial settlement he's received.

It was an ideal childhood, growing up in San Diego just a few blocks from the beach. But for then 15-year-old Nick Jordan, his idyllic childhood crashed to an end in of all places in a place where he had every right to feel the most secure -- his church.

"When someone is raped by a priest, they're raped body and soul. And that's the situation," Jordan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Diocese denies suspending Willington pastor

WILLINGTON (CT)
Journal Inquirer

By: Kym Soper, Journal Inquirer
02/20/2008

Officials from the Norwich Diocese deny that the former pastor of St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Willington has been either suspended or granted a leave of absence for disobeying Bishop Michael Cote's transfer orders.

What the Rev. Thomas Sennik is, according to diocesan officials, is a "priest in transition."

Sennik told worshippers at Mass on Sunday, Feb. 10, that Cote had suspended him for refusing to take on a larger and more demanding parish, St. Maurice Church in Bolton. Sennik said he refused because it would leave him little time to care for his aging invalid mother and chronically ill sister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Diocese decision leaves Bolton parish temporarily without pastor

BOLTON (CT)
Journal Inquirer

By:Kym Soper, Journal Inquirer
02/16/2008

BOLTON - The congregation at St. Maurice Roman Catholic Church is reeling this week over a staffing decision by Norwich Diocese Bishop Michael Cote that has left it, for now, without a permanent pastor.

The congregation's plight is the direct result of the reassignment and apparent subsequent suspension of the Rev. Thomas Sennik, who until earlier this week was pastor at St. Jude's in Willington for the last 16 years.

Parishioners say Sennik refused Cote's order to move from the smaller Willington church to head up the much larger Bolton parish, as it would leave him little time to care for his invalid mother and chronically ill sister. He is now living in Middletown taking care of the two women full time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Willington pastor suspended as two parishes yoked

WILLINGTON (CT)
Journal Inquirer

By: Kym Soper, Journal Inquirer
02/13/2008

The longtime pastor of St. Jude Catholic Church in Willington has been suspended for refusing to take on a more demanding parish that would leave him little time to care for his aging, invalid mother and chronically ill sister.

Parishioners learned Sunday that the Rev. Thomas Sennik was suspended - without pay, pension, or health care - for refusing Norwich Diocese Bishop Michael Cote's order to go to St. Maurice Church in Bolton.

The congregation also learned from Cote in a letter read during Sunday's Mass that their church would share a pastor - be "yoked" in church parlance - with St. Philip the Apostle in Ashford until a permanent decision is made about the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Ex-priest gets four years for sexually assaulting children

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday February 22 2008

A former priest in the diocese of Kerry who pleaded guilty to 53 counts of sexual assault has been given a four-year prison sentence. John Brosnan carried out the offences against five members of the same family, aged between nine and 16, on dates between 1965 and 1973. The court heard that the family are sincere people who did not want to upset the Church.

In previous evidence, Detective Garda John Evans told the court that Mr Brosnan began abusing the children when they were about nine years of age and continued with the abuse until they were in their mid-teens.

The court heard John Brosnan showed one of the victims pornographic images and that the victims had suffered profound psychological effects from the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Collegeville / Group decries defrocked priest's visit

COLLEGEVILLE (MN)
Pioneer Press

BY DAVID HANNERS
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 02/21/2008 11:30:56 PM CST

A group representing victims of clergy sex abuse is raising new concerns about the scheduled appearance of a defrocked minister — and registered sex offender — at an Episcopal retreat in Collegeville this weekend.

It is the second year the group, Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, has complained about a visit by Lynn Charles Bauman, who lives in Texas.

Bauman, 65, and his brother, Ward Bauman, are leading a four-day seminar on dreams that began Thursday at the Episcopal House of Prayer, which Ward Bauman runs.

Lynn Bauman is on 10 years' probation for a 1999 Texas conviction for molesting an 8-year-old boy on a religious retreat. He resigned from the priesthood and pleaded guilty, but in a letter he wrote to friends after he was charged, he said the accusations stemmed from "a serious misunderstanding," according to news reports at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Woman: Dunlop needs to follow in the footsteps of others who have bared it all on the stand

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

When Holly Desimone spent a week in 1996 testifying against the man who raped her, nothing was off limits.

She was asked detailed questions about her medical and sexual history. She recalled facing a defence attorney so aggressive that he practically had his finger "up (her) nose."

The court learned how her boyfriend left her after she came forward with the allegations.

And if she could survive that, said Desimone, then former city cop Perry Dunlop should find the Cornwall Public Inquiry a breeze.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

SNAP Leaders Ask Patterson to Apologize for 'Evil-Doers' Remark

NASHVILLE (TN)
Ethics Daily

Bob Allen
02-22-08
A self-help group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is asking the head of a Southern Baptist seminary to apologize for calling their organization "evil-doers." The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also requested a face-to-face meeting with Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Patterson's comments, reported last week in a Nashville newspaper and EthicsDaily.com, were from personal e-mails with an abuse survivor who turned them over to SNAP, which last month sent a letter asking Southwestern trustees to investigate Patterson's handling two decades ago of allegations of sexual abuse by a former protégé now facing a criminal lewdness charge.

Patterson characterized SNAP as "evil-doers" lacking integrity and "just as reprehensible as sex criminals."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Ex-priest's suit makes porn claim

MANCHESTER (NH)
New Hampshire Union Leader

By GARRY RAYNO
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER – A former Catholic priest has sued the Diocese of Manchester, Bishop John McCormack and the Rev. Edward Arsenault, claiming he was improperly dismissed after alerting the church to a pornography collection he discovered in a rectory.

The Rev. Thomas Coover claims the church covered up the information, falsely had him committed to the State Hospital, forced him to leave the priesthood and had him fired from a job he had obtained with the state.

Filed in July in Hillsborough County Superior Court North, the suit also claims Coover learned of "highly sensitive information relating to defendant Bishop McCormack and Father Paul Shanley of Boston."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

EX-PRIEST GETS 63 MONTHS

RICHMOND (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

BY ELLEN BILTZ

The former Catholic priest who embezzled money from two Louisa County churches will spend five years in prison.

Despite recommendations for less time from Rodney Rodis' defense attorney, as well as from federal prosecutors, Judge Richard L. Williams sentenced the 51-year-old to 63 months in prison, with credit for time served.

He was also ordered to pay about $590,000 to the Catholic diocese of Virginia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Va. Priest Sentenced in Donation Theft

RICHMOND (VA)
The Associated Press

By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A retired Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to 63 months in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his parishioners, money he used in part to support his secret family.

Rodney Rodis, 51, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering in October in the theft of more than $600,000 in donations from St. Jude Church and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Louisa County between 2002 and 2006.

U.S. District Judge Richard Williams on Thursday issued the maximum punishment under federal sentencing guidelines and gave Rodis credit for time already served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Diocese will lose parishioners if consolidation occurs

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republican & Herald

This is an open letter to the Catholics attending Mass in Saint Clair:

Since September 2007, and particular Survey Sunday, the most talked about topic among Catholics in the Diocese of Allentown is the restructuring of parishes.

The Diocesan Pastoral Council of the recently held synod of the Allentown Diocese set up guidelines or criteria for parish restructuring. This included the closing, merging or consolidating of churches and reducing the number of priests by assigning one priest to one parish and administrating to 2,400 souls. Also taken into consideration would be financial status, location, condition of the buildings, size, accessibility for the disabled, parking, etc.

Looking at the number of parishes in Schuylkill and Carbon counties, it appears these counties will feel the brunt of restructuring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

For local Catholics, time of tribulation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republican & Herald

In hindsight, his remarks seem prophetic.

For the 88th anniversary celebration of Lithuanian Independence Day in February 2006, the Rev. James C. Bechtel, then pastor of St. George Roman Catholic Church, Shenandoah, spoke about the upcoming second synod of the Allentown Catholic Diocese and the need to adjust to whatever changes will occur as a result of it.

Is it possible he could have known then what was coming?

Maybe everyone should have known.

Part of the synod involved the restructuring of churches and parishes in light of a declining population, declining vocations and declining finances. Translation: Parishes will be consolidated and churches will close in a process that is now at hand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

'Repeated abuse' by priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Paul Britton
22/ 2/2008

A SECOND man has told a jury how he was repeatedly sexually abused as a young boy by a priest.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a court John McCollough, 63, sexually abused him on a number of occasions at the vicarage of Christ The King With Holy Trinity Church in Bury.

McCollough was minister there, where Catholics and Protestants worshipped, between 1985 and 1995.

The man said he was abused by him from the age of eight or nine to 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Priest back in court on sexual assault charges

CANADA
Northern Life

Date Published | Feb. 21, 2008

The case of Father Bernard Cloutier, 66, of North Bay, who is facing allegations of sexual impropriety, returned to Sudbury court Wednesday afternoon.

Cloutier has been charged with five counts of indecent assault on a male and five counts of gross indecency, involving three victims. The incidents are alleged to have taken place between 1979 and 1983 while Cloutier was a parish priest in Chelmsford, and later in Espanola.

He turned himself into police, in the company of legal counsel, two weeks ago after being contacted by an investigating officer with the Greater Sudbury Police Service that charges had been laid against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

DA releases documents related to 1972 unsolved altar boy slaying

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Friday, February 22, 2008

SPRINGFIELD - The Hampden district attorney’s office has released 115 pages of documents related to the 1972 unsolved slaying of 13-year-old altar boy Danny Croteau.

The documents include witness statements from family, friends and strangers, and even an astrologer’s offer of help.

The files were ordered released by a Superior Court judge in a civil dispute between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield and its insurance carriers.

The documents include an interview with Croteau’s parents describing the boy’s demeanor after an overnight stay with their priest, Richard Lavigne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Court documents reveal altar boy's ordeal

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - About a week before Daniel Croteau's lifeless body was recovered under a bridge in 1972, he returned home listless and nauseous from an overnight visit with his parish priest.

According to a statement his mother gave to police that year, the 13-year-old had left his house, smartly dressed, one night in April.

"He wore his knit shirt, tie, and herringbone jacket with a fur collar. He said that he was going to go someplace with Father Lavigne," the statement by Bernice Croteau, taken on Aug. 7, 1972, reads. "That was the last we heard of him that evening until we received a call from Father (Richard) Lavigne, it was around 11:30 p.m. ... and the father asked me if (Danny) could stay over that night."

The statement was among 115 pages of documents released by the Hampden County district attorney's office this week after a judge ordered the files unsealed. The documents include an overture to investigators from an astrologer, witness statements recounting dream visions and dying wishes, a jailhouse interview with a convicted priest from California, and wrenching accounts of Daniel Croteau's allegedly volatile relationship with Lavigne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Diocese selling 4 city churches

BUFFALO (NY)
The Business Journal

Four Buffalo churches built in the late 1800s and early 1900s but closed in the past year by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo are being put up for sale.

The churches have been listed with McGuire Development Co. The future of the buildings will be up to the individual buyers.

"We're certainly open to talking to people about creative re-uses," said Steve Roth, Diocese property manager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Accuser files sex abuse lawsuit

IDAHO
Idaho Press-Tribune

and The Associated Press

BOISE — A man has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the Boy Scouts and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contending they didn’t do enough to stop a Scout troop leader from sexually abusing children.

Scout and church officials said the organizations take such allegations seriously and will investigate the claims even though they happened decades ago. But an LDS church spokesman criticized the plaintiff’s attorney for going to the media before taking the claims to church.

The plaintiff in the suit, only identified as “Tom Doe” in the legal documents, is a 53-year-old man who was born and raised in Nampa, according to his attorney, famed sex abuse claims attorney Kelly Clark.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Choir's Ex-Director Sentenced

GREENWICH (CT)
Hartford Courant

Associated Press
February 22, 2008

BRIDGEPORT — - A former music director at a prominent Greenwich church was sentenced Thursday to 5 1/2 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Robert Tate, 66, must also pay a $50,000 fine, register as a sex offender and participate in sex-offender treatment.

Tate pleaded guilty in January 2007 to possessing child pornography and then spent several weeks at long-term treatment centers for sexually deviant behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Mormons, Boy Scouts targets of new suit

Friday, February 22, 2008

PETER ZUCKERMAN The Oregonian Staff

The Boy Scouts of America and the Mormon church face another lawsuit for alleged child sexual abuse.

The $5.1 million case filed Thursday by a Portland man alleges that Larren Arnold, a Boy Scout and Mormon youth leader, abused him as a Scout in Idaho and Oregon between 1967 and 1970.

Arnold, now 72, was convicted in Bannock County, Idaho, in 1985 of felony child abuse in an unrelated case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

‘Deeply ashamed’ Tate sentenced to five and a half years

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Post

By Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

Robert Tate, former musical director of Christ Church, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

In addition to the 66 months in prison, Mr. Tate, who is 66-years-old, will have to pay a $50,000 fine and be under supervised release for the rest of his life. Once he is released from prison, he will have to register as a sex offender wherever he works or lives, have monitored Internet usage and be barred from spending any time alone with children under the age of 18 unless there is a “responsible adult” present who is aware of his conviction, among other conditions imposed by Senior United States District Judge Alan Nevas.

Mr. Tate had faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He pleaded guilty to the charge in January 2007 after being arrested in November 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Portland Man From Nampa Suing LDS & Boy Scouts

NAMPA (ID)
KTRV

Nampa, Idaho -- A former Nampa teenager is suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and the Boy Scouts for 5-million dollars, claiming he was sexually abused.

The man who's now 54-years-old, says it happened decades ago.

Why is the lawsuit being filed now?

The Idaho and Oregon statute of limitations allows it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

SNAP raps Fall River Diocese on abuse allegations

FALL RIVER (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

BY GLORIA LaBOUNTY SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Friday, February 22, 2008 12:43 AM EST

FALL RIVER - A national support group for sexual abuse victims is alleging the Fall River Diocese has not done enough to inform the public about allegations against a Maine priest who once served in the Fall River and Attleboro areas, but diocesan officials say they already have done everything the group is now demanding.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said this week in a letter to Bishop George Coleman that more should be done to find other possible victims of the Rev. Maurice Lebel, who has been accused by one person of abuse in Massachusetts in the early 1980s.

That was when Lebel was a counselor with the Fall River and Attleboro offices of Catholic Social Services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

February 21, 2008

Catholics petition to save churches

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republican & Herald

BY KENT JACKSON
TIMES • shamrock writer
kent.jackson@standardspeaker.com

02/21/2008

McADOO — Catholics in Schuylkill County have signed a petition and a letter aimed at keeping open churches that the Allentown Diocese expects to close later this year.

In a countywide petition, a group of church members asked Bishop Edward Cullen to request transfers of priests to Schuylkill from around the world.

A separate letter, signed by parishioners in the McAdoo area, asked Monsignor Edward Zemanik, local pastor, for more openness in the process of deciding where they will worship. They found out at Masses on Jan. 6 that five of the six churches in McAdoo, Kelayres and Tresckow might close.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Former priest sentenced on fraud, money-laundering charges

RICHMOND (VA)
WDBJ

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A former Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to 63 months in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural Virginia parishes.

Rodney Rodis pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering in October in the theft of more than $600,000 in donations from St. Jude Church and Church of the Immaculate Conception in Louisa County between 2002 and 2006.

U.S. District Judge Richard Williams on Thursday also ordered Rodis to repay the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond more than $591,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Former priest Rodis sentenced to 63 months

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Former Louisa County priest Rodney L. Rodis was sentenced today to 63 months in prison, a tougher sentence than even prosecutors had requested.

He was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams to pay $591,484 in restitution to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

He pleaded guilty last October to one count each of fraud and money laundering. He faced a maximum of 20 years in prison for each charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Catholics fight bill on abuse

MARYLAND
The Jeffersonian

02/21/08
by Bryan P. Sears

A bill that would extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits is drawing opposition from the head of Calvert Hall College high school.

Del. Eric Bromwell, a Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would give people alleging sexual abuse more time for filing lawsuits.

Opposing the bill is Brother Benedict Oliver, the president of Calvert Hall, which has not been immune to the allegations of child sexual abuse that have hit the Catholic Church nationwide. ...

Oliver has e-mailed several former and current Calvert Hall students about the bill. He did not return a call from a reporter seeking comment.

About a month ago, Oliver and a lobbyist for the Archdiocese of Baltimore met with Bromwell and asked him not to sponsor the bill, the delegate said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Would Tod Tamberg Say That? Catholic PR Spin Machine Works Overtime on the Internet

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

“No decent human being should ever lose his or her initial revulsion at the accounts of children being offered up to predators again and again, over decades. It is not a ‘problem’ - it is debased behavior that should not be known to man.”

Marci Hamilton put into words what I’ve been trying to say for months in the quote above from "How to Solve the Appalling Problem of Child Sex Abuse: Why Catholic Priest Andrew Greeley Is Very Wrong to Suggest Church Self-Policing Is the Answer," posted on FindLaw today and immediately linked by Kathy Shaw in Abuse Tracker. In the article, Hamilton takes off on the Greeley piece with an argument against “self policing,” but in the quote above she points out the emptiness of Greeley’s referring to decades of organized crime in the Catholic Church as a “problem.”

The Catholic hierarchy must be spending millions in public relations to create this spin, that sex crimes by five thousand priests on God knows how many children, just in the last 60 years alone, is a “problem.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Baptism by Fire

NASHVILLE (TN)
Nashville Scene

by Elizabeth Ulrich

When I settled into my seat at Tuesday's meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention work group—convened to discuss its study on the feasibility of a database to warn churches of known sexual predators among SBC clergy—I figured most of the members had read last week's cover story. And those who hadn't certainly had an opportunity to do so when the chairman of the committee gave the crew a good 15 minutes to read it in the middle of the meeting. The sideways glares that followed were an indication of the hellfire and condemnation to soon come the way of this reporter.

For the entirety of this post, you won't read any direct quotes. And you certainly won't find any of the indirect quotes attributed to SBC officials. When it comes to reporting on meetings of the executive committee, those are just the rules. We can't report exactly what was said by whom. But you can check out the entire roster of the SBC executive committee and guess. A handful of these folks are a part of the work group that met Tuesday.

But it's just as well that we can't report on this meeting in the way we're accustomed to because there wasn't much news to report anyway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Petey Callahan Bilks OC Catholics But Good

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 21, 2008 1:00 PM

It's been a rough half-year for Peter Callahan of the Tustin law firm Callahan, McCune & Willis, mostly because of his big mouth. The head lawyer for the Catholic Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandal unwittingly revealed in September the sealed amount Bishop Tod D. Brown gave to a statutory rapist, barked at a sex-abuse survivor during a press conference, and did enough other wackiness to earn the title of one of our Scariest People late last year.

Through it all, diocesan apologists said nothing. But with Callahan's latest actions, perhaps they'll finally ask Brown to dump the guy--unless Orange County's 1.3 million Catholics like getting ripped off.

On February 15, Callahan filed a motion of opposition in Monterey County Superior Court regarding the continued fight he's waging against the law firm of Manly and Stewart. The Newport Beach attorneys want Brown to reveal the names of priests he investigated for sexual molestation while serving in the Monterey diocese during the 1980s; Callahan doesn't want that to happen and is asking the presiding judge to lay sanctions on Manly and Stewart for continuing to "harass" Brown. The amount: $11,916, what Callahan says is the amount he's billing Brown for work on this case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Cosponsor of statute of limitation bill speaks out

MARYLAND
The Catholic Review

By George P. Matysek Jr.
The Catholic Review

ANNAPOLIS – Although he said he understands concerns raised by the Catholic Church that House Bill 858 could devastate parishes, schools and church outreach ministries, one of the cosponsors of a state bill lifting the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil cases still favors it because he is a “believer in victims’ rights,” he said.

In a Feb. 18 interview with The Catholic Review, Del. Steven DeBoy of Baltimore County said the measure is needed because it isn’t right to put a time frame on when abuse victims can step forward to receive cash settlements.

Current law allows abuse victims to pursue civil lawsuits until age 25. The proposed law would effectively lift the statute of limitations, creating a one-year window during which individuals claiming to be sexually abused as children could file civil suits against the perpetrator and private institutions such as dioceses, parishes and schools regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Catholic diocese to close two parishes in Pueblo

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By MARVIN READ
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Two of the churches that constitute the three-parish complex known as the Historic Southside Community are scheduled to close shop after services on March 30, the Sunday following Easter.

That means that approximately 226 households belonging to St. Patrick Church, 226 Michigan St., and about another 240 family units who pray at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 900 E. Routt Ave., will have to worship at St. Mary Help of Christians Church, 307 E. Mesa Ave., or at other churches of their choosing.

Members of the parishes were notified at Masses last weekend of the Pueblo diocese's decision to close the churches. A press release was e-mailed to The Pueblo Chieftain on Tuesday morning over the signature of Barbara Duff, who is in charge of the diocese's business and finance office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Church closure decisions coming next year

NEW YORK
Daily Gazette

By Jill Bryce
Gazette Reporter

AMSTERDAM — With a shortage of priests and dwindling attendance at Masses, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has not ruled out church closings, but parishioners will have to wait until January 2009, when he announces which churches will close or be consolidated.

Diocesan spokesman Ken Goldfarb said on Tuesday that Hubbard will receive recommendations from parishes in June. After that, a panel will convene to review the recommendations and Hubbard is expected to announce closures at the start of 2009.

It’s part of the diocese’s two-year restructuring initiative “Called to Be Church” that was first announced in June 2006 to address declining Mass attendance, a shortage of priests and changing demographics within the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Diocese shake-up?: Local churches may merge under new recommendation

NEW JERSEY
The Daily Journal

By TIM ZATZARINY Jr.
Staff Writer
tzatzariny@thedailyjournal.com

VINELAND -- Several church parishes in Cumberland County may eventually merge as the Diocese of Camden wrestles with a shortage of priests and changing demographics.

By April, Bishop Joseph Galante will make the decision on which parishes will merge based in part on recommendations from deaneries with representatives from each parish throughout the diocese.

If the bishop accepts the recommendations, the landscape of Catholic churches in the county could change drastically.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Sex case man acquitted

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Courier

A MAN has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

Ian Sykes, 63, of Savile Row, Savile Park, Halifax, had denied touching the girl's breasts at his home on June 3 last year.

He was found not guilty and discharged at Bradford Crown Court.

Mr Sykes had been a Scout leader at Holy Trinity Church, Swires Road, Halifax, for more than 30 years where he was also a former church warden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Father John Haines quits St Joseph's College after child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Daniel Breen

22Feb08

CHILD sex abuse allegations have forced Father John Haines to quit as chaplain at St Joseph's College.

The Meredith parish priest had already tendered his resignation to Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart but it was yesterday revealed he had also resigned from his post at the all-boys college.

St Joseph's, which has more than 1300 students, prepared a statement about Fr Haines' departure on Monday but waited until it was contacted by the Geelong Advertiser yesterday to release it.

Colac police charged Fr Haines with possession of child pornography, transmitting child pornography, procuring a child for child pornography and attempting to procure a child for child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Bishop hits back in priest row

SCOTLAND
Evening Telegraph

The Bishop of Dunkeld today said he is “convinced” a senior Dundee priest had engaged in a relationship with a married woman (writes Graham Huband and Graeme Strachan).

Bishop Vincent Logan was responding to a public attack from his former right hand man, Monsignor Joe Creegan. The retired priest has accused him of a “gross breach of natural justice” by suspending him without carrying out a full and proper inquiry.

The move came after the Diocese of Dunkeld issued a statement on January 27 saying the bishop had acted after being presented with “specific and irrefutable evidence” of Mgr Creegan’s misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

US prosecutors drop charges against Kilkenny priest

IRELAND
Kilkenny Advertiser

Prosecutors in the US have dropped charges against a Catholic priest from Kilkenny and a second Irish priest who were accused of pilfering church funds in Florida.

It had been alleged Fr John Skehan, a retired priest originally from Johnstown county Kilkenny, and Offaly priest Fr Francis Guinan had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church of St Vincent Ferrer, Delray in Palm Beach, Florida.

Last week state prosecutors made a decision to drop the charges against the two Irish priests, but not without a warning that the state attorney intended to refile the charges against Fr Skehan once prosecutors were prepared to try him, possibly in May or June this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Diocese to inform former students about priest

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

At the urging of a sex-abuse victims group known as SNAP, the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese will send an e-mail to former students at Nolan Catholic High School concerning allegations about a priest who worked there from 1983 until 1990. Out of an abundance of caution, an e-mail will be sent in the next couple of days about the Rev. Daniel A. Triulzi, said diocese spokesman Pat Svacina. Triulzi, a priest of the Marianist order, was removed from St. Mark Catholic Church in Denton in 2005 after an Indiana man filed a lawsuit against him alleging sexual abuse in another state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

How to Solve the Appalling Problem of Child Sex Abuse: Why Catholic Priest Andrew Greeley Is Very Wrong to Suggest Church Self-Policing Is the Answer

FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008

Last week, the Chicago Sun Times published an Op Ed by sociologist, novelist, and Roman Catholic Church priest Andrew Greeley, entitled "Celibacy Isn't Cause of Sex Abuse." Greeley is right on that point, but he is also extremely misguided about the scourge of child sex abuse in this country, as I will explain.

Greeley states in his Op Ed, "I contend that the problem will be solved only when priests assume full responsibility for self-policing. The current response of many a priest is to wash their hands of the crimes and blame the bishops…."

These sentences, written by an important public intellectual within the Church who has been critical of the hierarchy's handling of abuse, deserve very close analysis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Suspended priest’s anger at bishop

SCOTLAND
The Courier

By Graham Huband
AN UNHOLY row threatened to divide the Catholic church in Dundee last night after a suspended senior priest launched a stinging attack on his bishop.

Monsignor Joseph Creegan was effectively sacked by Bishop Vincent Logan last month after allegations in a national Sunday newspaper that he had been having an affair with a Fife divorcee and had conducted an 18-year relationship with a married woman.

An official statement released by the Diocese of Dunkeld on January 27 said the bishop had acted after receiving “specific and irrefutable evidence” of Mgr Creegan’s misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Catholic Marianists settle lawsuit alleging abuse by former Fort Worth and Denton priest

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

From staff reports

The Catholic order known as the Marianists has settled a lawsuit alleging sex abuse by one of its St. Louis priests who also worked in Fort Worth and Denton.

The Rev. Daniel Triulzi was accused of abusing a student at a Missouri prep school in the 1990s. The case was settled last year for an undisclosed amount.

Plaintiff's attorney Ken Chackes said Wednesday that the victim only recently agreed to publicity about the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Mercy sought for Rodis

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By FRANK GREEN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
In a handwritten letter, Joyce S. Rodis pleads for mercy for her husband, who will be sentenced in Richmond today for fraud and money laundering.

"Rodney is a very good parent to his children. He adores them. The girls miss him and need him so much. We all want to be together as a family again," she wrote in the Jan. 18 letter to the court.

She does not mention that until last year, her devoted husband, Rodney L. Rodis, was a Catholic priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

BRAZILIAN PRIESTS ASK POPE TO REMOVE CELIBACY REQUIREMENT

BRAZIL
AGI

(AGI) - Madrid, 21 Feb - Brazilian priests have spoken directly to Pope Benedict XVI to ask him for a revision of the canonical law obliging celibacy for those carrying out priestly functions. The decision appeared in the final document of the 12th National Meeting of Priests, which ended on Tuesday in the Itaici monastery in the Indaiatuba municipality (in the state of Sao Paulo). Therequest will be sent to the Holy Congregation for the Clergy under the direction of Claudio Hummes, former archbishop of Sao Paulo and previously one of the potential candidates for the role of pope in the conclave in which the German Cardial Joseph Ratzinger was elected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Abuse group calls again for priest's prosecution

WISCONSIN
Green Bay Press-Gazette

By Andy Nelesen
anelesen@greenbaypressgazette.com

Documents made public in a Delaware civil lawsuit showed a Norbertine priest known to have assaulted children was relocated to the St. Norbert Abbey in the mid-1980s.

The documents — provided by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — included letters and notes about the Rev. Edward Smith, who in 2007 was held liable for sexually assaulting now-39-year-old Ken Whitwell 240 times over a three-year period in the 1980s.

Some of the assaults occurred during a visit to the St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere in 1984, according to testimony in the federal case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

'I'm sorry' simple words not often heard

MAINE
Morning Sentinel

This week, the new Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, did an increasingly rare thing: He apologized, without caveat or qualification.

Rudd publicly declared to the nation's Aborigines: "We apologise for laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians." ...

Contrast Rudd's frank apology with the less-than-satisfying one given recently by Maine's Bishop Richard Malone.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that Malone gave permission for the Rev. Paul Coughlin, 73, to act as a fill-in priest at parishes in certain communities around the state, despite the fact that Coughlin resigned as a priest in 2004 at Malone's request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Group alleges that De Pere ministry protected pedophile priest

DE PERE (WI)
WCCO

DE PERE, Wis. (AP) The director of a support group for people abused by priests called on St. Norbert Abbey officials on Wednesday to explain why a suspected child molester was apparently allowed to transfer to their ministry in the mid-1980s.

Officials with the De Pere ministry had to know the background of Rev. Edward Smith, said Peter Isely, the Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

''Father Smith was known and confirmed to be a child sex molester,'' Isely said. ''They deliberately and knowingly transferred him to Green Bay in 1986.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Ex-cop Dunlop says he doesn't have the heart to face grilling at sex abuse inquiry

CANADA
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - After steadfastly condemning a public inquiry largely of his own making, Perry Dunlop presented himself Wednesday as a proud but emotionally fragile man without the heart to face a roomful of lawyers probing allegations of systemic sexual abuse in eastern Ontario.

It was 1993 when Dunlop, a former police officer, first made his explosive allegations of a pedophile ring operating in the city of Cornwall, Ont., south of Ottawa. Police investigations have since failed to uncover any evidence to support his claims.

Dunlop, now convicted of contempt of court, faces the prospect of six months in jail for his steadfast refusal to testify at a public inquiry now probing how authorities in the community responded to the allegations he first made some 15 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Queen asked to apologize for residential schools

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By Alexandra Paul

The Grand Chief of 30 of the most remote northern First Nations in Canada is asking the Queen to do what no Prime Minister will: Apologize to aboriginal people for Indian residential schools.

Northern Manitoba Grand Chief Sydney Garrioch’s letter asks the Queen to say “Sorry” since none of the country’s prime ministers will.

A copy of the Feb. 21 letter was sent to the Free Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Bill toughens penalties for sexual abusers

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A bill strengthening penalties for sexual abusers and those who fail to report them passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously yesterday.

The vote came after committee members listened in somber quiet to the gripping testimony of abuse victims and their advocates.

House Bill 211 now goes to the full House and could be voted on within the next week, said its lead sponsor, Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Dunlop locked up for 14 days

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Perry Dunlop will spend two more weeks behind bars while a Toronto court decides his punishment for not testifying at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

The Ontario Divisional Court refrained from sentencing the former city cop Wednesday and remanded him back into custody.

That means Dunlop, who was arrested at his Duncan, B.C. home over the weekend, will not learn his fate until March 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Group blasts diocese for handling of sex abuse complaints

FALL RIVER (MA)
Standard-Times

By Steve Urbon
Standard-Times senior correspondent
February 21, 2008 6:00 AM
FALL RIVER — The Diocese of Fall River has a brief answer for critics who are demanding that it step up efforts to find possible victims of a pedophile priest: Everything on your list has already been done.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, sent Bishop George Coleman a letter this week declaring that, "in the past few weeks, your staff has pretended to be powerless, blamed the victim and done virtually nothing to reach out to possible victims of and witnesses to alleged sex crimes" committed by the Rev. Maurice Lebel.

Lebel was removed from duty in December in Maine after a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Priest gets 2 years for child porn, abuse

CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague Daily Monitor

By ČTK / Published 21 February 2008

Plzen, West Bohemia, Feb 20 (CTK) - The Plzen-mesto district court Wednesday sentenced Czech priest Zbynek Schneider to the 2-year suspended sentence for dissemination of child pornography, sexual abuse of underage girls and harming their morals.

The former educator in the Plzen Salesian Youth Centre could have been sentenced up to eight years in prison.

The court ruled that Schneider, 39, was guilty of dissemination of pornography and other criminal acts. He was ordered compulsory sexological treatment and banned his profession for ten years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Priest's victim glad he spoke up

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

One of the victims of a former priest who sexually abused students at Burnie's Marist College in the 1960s and '70s says he's glad his abuser has finally been brought to justice.

72-year-old Roger Michael Bellemore has been sentenced to four years imprisonment, with a two-year non-parole period.

Bellemore sexually abused three male students when he was a teacher, priest and football coach at Marist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Order settles suit with man claiming abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News Democrat

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS --A Roman Catholic religious order based in St. Louis has settled with a man over claims he was abused a decade ago by a priest at his private school in the 1990s.

The Rev. Daniel Triulzi, who was on staff at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis County at the time, is not serving as a priest or in a capacity that would put him near young people, said Brother Stephen Glodek, provincial for the Marianist Province of the U.S.

He is living in St. Louis in a Marianist community which is not near a school or day-care center, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

February 20, 2008

Executive Committee Still Studying Feasibility of Clergy Sex-Offender Database

UNITED STATES
Ethics Daily

Bob Allen
02-20-08
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention isn't yet ready to respond to a motion referred from last year's convention calling for a feasibility study of a denomination-wide database of clergy sex offenders, a work group studying the proposal said Tuesday.

Stephen Wilson, chairman of the bylaws work group, told EthicsDaily.com the Executive Committee will respond at a meeting June 9, on the eve of this year's Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, to Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson's motion about the feasibility of a database of "Southern Baptist clergy and staff who have been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse."

Wilson, vice president of academic affairs at Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Ky., said a potential database is only one component of response to the problem of sexual abuse by Baptist clergy, and that developing resources and helping churches will be an ongoing concern for the Executive Committee. "I want it to be ongoing," Wilson said. "It has to be."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Former priest may serve 51 months on federal counts

VIRGINIA
The Free Lance-Star

Date published: 2/20/2008

The former Catholic priest who pleaded guilty last year to wiring money embezzled from two Louisa County churches could serve up to 40 years in prison on two federal convictions.

But at Rodney Rodis’ sentencing tomorrow, federal prosecutors are expected to recommend 51 months.

Rodis, 51, pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering in a plea agreement last October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

StL priest sex abuse case settled

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

By Cheryl Wittenauer
ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/20/2008

ST. LOUIS -- A Roman Catholic religious order based in St. Louis has settled with a man over claims he was abused a decade ago by a priest at his private school in the 1990s.

The Rev. Daniel Triulzi, who was on staff at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis County at the time, is not serving as a priest or in a capacity that would put him near young people, said Diane Guerra, spokeswoman for the religious order, the Marianists.

He is living in St. Louis in a community of Marianist brothers, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

House panel approves measure to toughen child sexual abuse laws

KENTUCKY
Kentucky.com

By ROGER ALFORD
Associated Press Writer

FRANKFORT, Ky. --A measure that would hold teachers, priests and others in positions of authority more accountable for child sexual abuse has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The House Judiciary Committee approved legislation on Wednesday, sending it to the full House for consideration.

Louisville Democratic state Rep. Jim Wayne said the measure is crucial if Kentucky children are to be protected from sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Former Cornwall officer's contempt hearing delayed

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

CanWest News Service
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
TORONTO - A Divisional Court hearing to determine whether Perry Dunlop, a former police officer who has steadfastly refused to testify at a Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry, is guilty of contempt of court has been delayed for two weeks.

The 43-year-old, who was arrested on Sunday in Duncan, B.C., on a Canada-wide warrant, will remain in custody until his next court appearance.

An Ontario judge issued the warrant for Dunlop's arrest after he disobeyed a court order to appear before a public inquiry into sexual-abuse allegations that he helped to investigate as a police officer in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

After parole, ex-priest Campobello moves to McHenry County

ILLINOIS
Rockford Register Star

Feb 20, 2008 @ 02:50 PM

By Geri Nikolai
RRSTAR.COM
ROCKFORD -
Mark Campobello, the former Catholic priest who was in prison for four years for sexual abuse of two teenage girls, has been living in McHenry County since he was paroled last week.

Campobello, 43, was required to register on the state’s sex offender list and listed an address in Crystal Lake. His residence was approved by corrections authorities before he was released.

Campobello was ordained in the Rockford diocese in 1991 and served at Holy Family and St. Peter parishes and St. James in Belvidere. He was arrested while in Belvidere for sexual assaults that occurred in 1999 and 2000 when he was at a parish and Catholic high school in Geneva and Aurora.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Rogers, Hassan former priest found guilty on retrial of sex-abuse case

MINNESOTA
Star News

Wednesday, 20 February 2008
A former Hassan Township and Rogers priest has been found guilty of third-degree sexual conduct.

On Tuesday, Feb. 12 inside a Hennepin County District Court room, John Bussmann was found guilty of using his position to have sex with vulnerable female parishioners.

The main issue surrounding the case was whether the involved women were seeking religious or spiritual advice, aid or comfort at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Panel backs tougher penalties for abuse

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A bill strengthening penalties for sexual abusers and those who fail to report them passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously this afternoon.

The vote came after committee members listened in somber quiet to the gripping testimony of abuse victims and their advocates.

The bill now goes to the full House and could be voted on within the next week, said its lead sponsor, Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Philip Anthony Magaldi

UNITED STATES
Leon J. Podles

A Case Study of Sexual Abuse
by Leon J. Podles

Philip Magaldi broke several commandments in serious ways: by stealing from his parish, by abusing teenage boys, and by bearing false witness in an attempted murder trial. Like other priests, he was protected from the consequences of his actions. He claimed he pled guilty to theft only to protect his bishop from insinuations. His narcissism and sense of immunity led him to fondle a boy in front of a bishop. Only after a long career of abuse was he suspended, and he is now dying of AIDS.

View the complete case study at this Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Meredith Catholic priest on child porn charges

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Daniel Breen

21Feb08

MEREDITH Catholic priest John Haines has quit his post after police charged him over a series of alleged indecent acts with children.

Police raided Fr Haines' home last Friday, seizing images of children before taking him in for questioning at Colac police station.

The 61-year-old was later charged with possession of child pornography, transmitting child pornography, procuring a child for child pornography and attempting to procure a child for child pornography.

He was also charged with two counts of indecent assault with a child under 16 and one count of indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

House mulls canceling church's tax privileges

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

THE House of Representatives is considering the idea of revoking all the tax privileges of the Catholic Church and all religious institutions that engage in politics following the call of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for a "new brand of people power."

"In other countries like America, I am informed that once the church enters the political arena, they are stripped of their tax privileges but here in the Philippines, this is not the case. I do not know of any precedent here. Maybe it's worth studying by our political scientists," said House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

The church and all the institutions under its auspices such as schools and broadcast stations are all free of taxes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Church Choir Director Hired a Pedophile, Prosecutors Say

CONNECTICUT
The New York Times

Published: February 20, 2008
NEW HAVEN (AP) — A former music director at a prominent Greenwich church who was convicted of possessing child pornography hired a pedophile and failed to tell the authorities when that man sexually assaulted a choirboy, prosecutors disclosed on Tuesday.

The music director, Robert F. Tate, faces 9 to 11 years in prison under federal guidelines when he is sentenced on Thursday, prosecutors said in court papers.

Mr. Tate, 65, was choir director for 34 years at Christ Church, an Episcopal church, and he created a music program that gained an international reputation. Former President George H. W. Bush attended the church while growing up, and funeral services for his parents were held there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Wrestling coach fired over alleged incident

HAMMONTON (NJ)
Daily Journal

By BEN MERITT
Staff Writer

HAMMONTON -- An assistant wrestling coach at St. Joseph High School was dismissed from his duties following an investigation of allegations of inappropriate behavior toward students on the school wrestling team.

Joseph Mauro, who also teaches math, was terminated from his positions Feb. 7, following an investigation by the school, according to Andrew Walton, a spokesman with the Diocese of Camden.

School principal Lynn Domenico addressed the situation in a Feb. 7 letter to parents of students at the school.

"While this has been difficult for everyone involved, the action was necessary given the standards of conduct expected of our school faculty and the mutual respect we have for each other in our school community," Domenico said in her letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Principal jailed for stealing from Catholic school

FREEHOLD (NJ)
The Times

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
BY LINDA STEIN
FREEHOLD -- A former principal of Catholic high schools in Hamilton and Burlington County was sentenced to five years in prison Friday for stealing $414,848 from Holy Cross High School in Delran.

Joseph Lemme, 50, of Wall Township, claimed in his defense that he had been sexually abused repeatedly while studying as a seminary student at three Catholic institutions, and that a court dismissal of his claims of abuse drove him to embezzle from Holy Cross, where he was working at the time.

Lemme alleged that the sexual abuse continued from his early teens until after high school graduation.

He had pleaded guilty to two theft charges in December for stealing $415,848 from Holy Cross, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. Lemme must also repay the money, Superior Court Judge Francis P. DeStefano ordered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Remembering Father Kunz

WISCONSIN
Spero News

By Matt C. Abbott

On March 4, it will be ten years since the murder of Father Alfred Kunz. The case remains unsolved.

Jacek Cianciara remembers Father Kunz fondly.

"It is because of Father Kunz that I came back to the Catholic Church, after many years of wandering in the 'wilderness' of our secular world," wrote Mr. Cianciara, who also related the following anecdotes. ...

'On Tuesday, March 3, 1998, he was dropped off at his parish by a fellow priest. On the morning of March 4, the first Wednesday in Lent, a young teacher found Father's body on the floor in the school wing of St. Michaels.

'Father Kunz was a friend of the late renowned theologian Father John Hardon, S.J., the late Father Charles Fiore, and the late Catholic author Malachi Martin.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Priest sues Manchester diocese, bishop

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
February 20, 2008

REVEREND THOMAS COOVER vs. ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MANCHESER d/b/a DIOCESE OF MANCHESTER; BISHOP JOHN B. McCORMACK; and, REVEREND EDWARD J. ARSENAULT.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Rogers priest guilty of one count in retrial of sex-abuse case

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis Star Tribune

By ROCHELLE OLSON, Star Tribune

Last update: February 20, 2008 - 12:44 AM

In his second sex-abuse trial, former priest John Bussmann was acquitted Tuesday on one count and found guilty on a second alleging that he used his position to have sex with vulnerable female parishioners.

A Hennepin County District Court jury took barely two hours to reach a verdict after about a week of testimony.

In 2005, Bussmann was found guilty of two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct while he was a priest at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Rogers and St. Walburga Church in nearby Hassan Township. The state Supreme Court set aside those convictions in November and ordered a new trial. The court took issue with extensive evidence introduced at the first trial regarding the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine on the power of priests over parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Diocese on no moral high ground

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

By Carol Dunn | Reads Landing, Minn.

Well, what a mess.

A single Catholic school teacher signed a contract to be a moral example. She had sex. She got pregnant. She didn’t abort the child. Her bosses requested her resignation. She went to the media.

The teacher told her story using that New Testament term “forgiveness.” The principal and priest — part of a well-sued organization—made no comment.

Critics noted the church declaring “No abortions!” tripped over itself again.

The teacher broke contract: Protecting life and telling truth don’t trump “the big nasty.”

The bosses had no choice. The Winona Diocese requires this contract to insure children good moral examples.

What a pile of hypocrisy!

A priest is arrested for soliciting gay prostitutes; he’s moved to a new parish and school. A teacher has extra-marital sex; she must resign. For the priest, the official Diocesan spin is, “We must forgive.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

(UPDATE) Speaker mulls scrapping of church’s tax privilege

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:31:00 02/20/2008

MANILA, Philippines -- House Speaker Prospero Nograles on Wednesday said he wants a study on the possible revocation of the tax privileges of religious institutions that engage in politics.

Nograles’ notion came after the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, called for a “new brand of people power” as the administration continues to be besieged by charges of corruption, the latest being the national broadband network (NBN) deal scandal.

“In other countries like America, I am informed that once the church enters the political arena, they are stripped of their tax privileges,” Nograles said in a text message Wednesday. “But here in the Philippines, this is not the case. I do not know of any precedent here. Maybe it’s worth studying by our political scientists.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Former priest Rodis to be sentenced today

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

A former Louisa County priest is to be sentenced today in Richmond federal court for fraud and money-laundering convictions.

Rodney L. Rodis, 51, is alleged to have stolen $515,000 in donations from two churches in Louisa.

Parishioners also knew nothing about his secret life as a family man 50 miles away in Fredericksburg.

Rodis entered guilty pleas last October to one count of fraud and one of money laundering. He has admitted stealing at least $400,000 since 2002. The money was used to support his family and some was wired to a bank in his native Philippines where relatives used it to purchase real estate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Fighting church closings a tough task

NEW YORK
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 02/20/08 7:21 AM

Despite a minuscule chance of success, parishioners of St. Mary Catholic Church in Lockport and St. Adalbert in Buffalo have filed formal appeals to keep their churches open — and members of at least three other area parishes are seriously considering the tactic.

If history is any guide, the appealing Catholics are facing extremely long odds.

“Pretty close to zero,” Charles Wilson said of the success rate of parish closure appeals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Neighbors unaware of priest's past

PENNSYLVANIA
Bucks County Courier Times

By BEN FINLEY
Bucks County Courier Times

When David Sicoli was a priest at Bristol Township's Immaculate Conception BVM church, he allegedly would take boys to his Shore house, get them drunk and molest them.

Sicoli was eventually transferred to another parish in the early 1980s. But as late as 2001, fellow priests were warning the Philadelphia archdiocese about Sicoli's unhealthy relationship with boys.

Sicoli is now a defrocked priest accused of abusing 11 children. And he still reportedly owns property at the Jersey Shore — located across from a playground, tennis courts and softball fields.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Former bishop denies fraud charges

JERUSALEM
Religious Intelligence

By: George Conger.

THE FORMER Bishop in Jerusalem has denied accusations of fraud and theft brought by his successor. In a Feb 6 statement the Rt Rev Riah Abu al-Assal disputed the financial misconduct charges leveled by the Rt Rev Suheil Dawani, hitting back with his own charges of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.

In a Jan 29 statement given to The Church of England Newspaper Bishop Dawani alleged that shortly before Bishop Riah’s retirement in 2007, Bishop Riah transferred the assets of the diocesan school to a charitable trust.

“Members of the charity include Bishop Riah's wife and nephew. Through this charity, Bishop Riah, is collecting the tuition from the students and is not depositing the monies in the school's official bank account, whilst, all the employees at the school are official Diocesan institution employees and receive their salaries from the Diocese,” he said.

The issue was brought to a head, Bishop Suheil said, when Bishop Riah refused to vacate the diocese’s Nazareth offices, claiming they were his own property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Meredith priest on child porn charges

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Daniel Breen

20Feb08

MEREDITH Catholic priest John Haines has been charged over a series of alleged indecent acts with children.

Police raided Fr Haines' home last Friday, seizing images of children before taking him in for questioning at Colac police station.

He was later charged with possession of child pornography, transmitting child pornography, procuring a child for child pornography, attempting to procure a child for child pornography, two counts of indecent assault with a child under 16 and one count of indecent assault.

Fr Haines led the St Joseph's Catholic parish, which takes in Meredith and surrounding areas including Winchelsea, Bannockburn, Lethbridge, Inverleigh and Anakie, for 12 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Enough already: Dunlop must testify

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Kelly Egan, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Perry Dunlop can come down off his cross anytime now. Excessive martyrdom is a tedious spectacle.

Mr. Dunlop, 43, was arrested in B.C. on Sunday on a Canada-wide warrant that was issued for his refusal to testify before a provincial inquiry into a sexual abuse scandal in Cornwall.

The atmosphere, in the words of one reporter, was "almost circus-like." Almost? When was the last time an hour-long support rally was organized, culminating in a plea to police to arrest the guest of honour?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Pastor pleads not guilty to child sex crimes

MISSOURI
KOAM

The southwest Missouri church pastor facing child sex abuse charges appeared in a McDonald County courtroom Tuesday.

Raymond Lambert pleaded not guilty to charges refiled in the county: four counts of child molestation, three counts of statutory sodomy, and one count of sexual abuse.

Lambert is pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

SNAP: David Clohessy

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

By Deb Peterson
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/20/2008

SNAP: David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is challenging the Rev. Robert Osborne's representation of himself following the Kirkwood slayings. Osborne, the former president of Vianney High School in Kirkwood, came out from behind the police tape to talk with reporters following the shooting. He identified himself as a chaplain for the Kirkwood Police Department. Detective Mike Bales of the Kirkwood police, who is also the department's Public Information Officer, said Tuesday that "he (Osborne) is not the chaplain." Osborne disagrees. He says he has been a chaplain for the department for most of the past 40 years and even has an identification card to that effect issued by the Police Department on Oct. 19, 1999, and signed by Chief Jack Plummer. "If they've revoked it, I don't know about it," Osborne said Tuesday. Osborne left Vianney after he was accused by a teen of sexual abuse. The civil case was settled out of court and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, saying "there was no evidence at all of criminal conduct," declined to file charges. Osborne is listed on a website for St. Peter Catholic Church in Kirkwood as a "visiting priest." Clohessy said SNAP is contacting each media outlet to ask for a correction about Osborne's identification as a police chaplain. Osborne insisted that Chief Plummer could clarify his status with the department. The chief could not be reached Tuesday night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

February 19, 2008

A Record Broken, A Promise Kept

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 19, 2008 3:45 PM

I didn't think it would happen, but it finally did: the back-and-forth between Catholic sex-abuse survivor advocates and a bunch of idiots posted yesterday is now the most-commented story in Navel Gazing history, beating Scott Moxley's news of Carona's indictment. Congrats, wackies!

In better news, we finally have an entrant in our Mater Dei High School apologist contest: the anonymous commentator who calls himself "Annoyed" sent the Weekly a copy of angry letters he (she?) sent to Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown and Mater Dei officials regarding the sex-abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Bill Will Extend Child Sex Abuse Civil Suits

MARYLAND
Baltimore Jewish Times

Barbara Pash
Associate Editor

A bill to extend the statute of limitations in civil suits related to child sexual abuse is being considered in the Maryland General Assembly. The bill was introduced by Del. Eric Bromwell (D-8h), of Baltimore County. It is based on a similar bill that was unsuccessfully introduced last year by Sen. James Brochin (D-42nd), also of Baltimore County.

“The two bills are slightly different in wording,” Mr. Bromwell said of his HB 858 and Mr. Brochin’s 2007 SB 575, “but the intent is the same.”

HB 858 would increase the statute of limitations within which a victim may bring a civil claim from the current seven years after turning age 18 to 32 years after age 18. In order to qualify, the victim must provide a certificate of merit from an attorney and a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

The sisters' story retold

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By MARLENE SWEENEY

I recently left Sunday Mass shaking my head. Walking to the car I found myself ranting to my 23-year-old daughter. “Until we teach and encourage women to advocate for themselves, life in our church will not change.” She looked at me somewhat startled.

We had just sat through a talk for Catholic Schools Week. The speaker (a woman) had made references to “the good sisters” of days past who, she reminded us, had once ruled our schools with a firm hand and a wooden ruler when necessary. The speaker’s reference to “good sisters” was anything but good. The perpetuation of an old stereotype of women religious instilling fear in children and subjecting them to cruel and harsh punishment needs to be laid to rest. My adult daughter had no idea what the speaker was referring to when she mentioned “the look” (apparently a religious woman’s ability to radically change another’s behavior by gazing in their direction).

“Isn’t it time we give it up?” I found myself mumbling. Have you ever heard a speaker at church make light of a priest’s unbecoming behavior toward children? Of course not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Priest denies sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Paul Britton
19/ 2/2008

A MAN who was allegedly abused by a priest he regarded as a `grandfather figure' launched an verbal attack on him as they came face-to-face for the first time in 15 years.

The alleged victim was giving evidence at the trial of John McCollough, 63, a former Church of England rector who later became a Catholic priest.

He broke down in tears as he took the oath before the jury and then launched two emotional outbursts at Bolton Crown Court, shouting at McCollough: "God help you in the afterlife."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

God help you in afterlife, 'abuse' priest told

UNITED KINGDOM
Fleetwood Today

A witness giving evidence against a Bury priest accused of sexually abusing him more than 15 years ago has attacked him during emotional evidence, saying: "God help you in the afterlife".

John McCollough, 63, who now lives in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend, is charged with indecently assaulting two parishioners during his time as minister at the Holy Trinity Church in Bury.

His first alleged victim, a 29-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, has made two emotional outbursts at Bolton Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Former secretary at St. Aloysius Elementary School charged with theft...

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Times Leader

Edward Lewis

WILKES-BARRE - A former secretary at St. Aloysius Elementary School in South Wilkes-Barre surrendered on charges she stole more than $49,000 from the school.

Michele A. Hivish, 50, of Maple Lane, Wilkes-Barre, was charged with theft and forgery. She surrendered on the charges at District Judge William Amesbury's office in Wilkes-Barre at about 11:20 a.m.

Wilkes-Barre police accused Hivish of forging the name of former school leaders on checks that she cashed. She is also accused with stealing money from two scholarship accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

In a face-off with authority, Polish priest stands to be defrocked

ST. LOUIS (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

By JEANNETTE COOPERMAN
St. Louis

Two years ago, when Fr. Marek Bozek left his diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., to follow his heart and conscience to a Polish parish in St. Louis, he says he didn’t expect his kindly Springfield bishop, John Leibrecht, to suspend him. Nor did he expect that he would soon be cast by Catholic hopefuls as David to Archbishop Raymond Burke’s Goliath on a national stage. All he wanted, he says, was to provide the sacraments for a group of proud Catholic Poles, whose parish he believed had been unjustly suppressed.

In an unusual arrangement dating back 200 years, St. Stanislaus Kostka, a large inner-city church near St. Louis’ downtown, controlled its own property and assets, estimated when Bozek arrived in December 2005 at about $9 million. Burke, St. Louis archbishop, said the parish’s governance structure as a nonprofit group run by a lay board was outside church law, which calls for a bishop to have ultimate authority over parishes. When St. Stanislaus refused to comply, Burke pulled out the parish’s priests. By the time Bozek arrived, St. Stanislaus had been without a priest for two years.

Bozek, then 29 and a native of Poland, hoped to remain in St. Louis just long enough to effect a compromise, perhaps a year or two. Leibrecht urged Bozek not to go. Bozek went anyway, in violation of his priestly vow of obedience to his bishop, and was immediately suspended. Leibrecht says Bozek was warned. Bozek felt he had to go. He found it outrageous that, as he saw it, people would be denied sacraments in a worldly struggle over money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Man tells of priest's 'sex abuse'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An alleged child abuse victim broke down as he gave evidence against a priest accused of a series of abuse charges against schoolboys.

John McCollough, 63, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, is charged with eight counts of indecent assault and four of gross indecency with children.

The incidents allegedly took place during his time as minister at the Holy Trinity Church in Bury, Gtr Manchester.

The 29-year-old man was giving evidence at Bolton Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

German Archbishop's Statement On Priest Celibacy Sparks Controversy

GERMANY
AHN

Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer
Freiburg, Germany (AHN) - He is barely one week on the job as president of the German Episcopal Conference, but Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is stirring controversy with his statements about priestly celibacy. Zollitsch said celibacy is a gift, but is not essential to the priesthood.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Zollitsch said dissolution of the celibacy tradition will be a revolutionary move on the part of the Catholic church.

His statements drew a reply from Regensburg Bishop Gerhard-Ludwig Muller. In a press statement, Muller reminded Zollitsch, "All of the specifics of being a priest and the corresponding rules of celibacy could not be expanded upon, as a theological context would require, in a quick interview."

Muller pointed to the Second Vatican Council as his main argument for celibacy, that being unmarried "is and will remain the policy of the Catholic Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Priest's alleged abuse victim breaks down in court

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

BY TERRY MORGAN.

ONE of two victims of child abuse, allegedly committed by a former Bury priest, broke down in tears in court as he accused the man of wrecking his life.

The reformed heroin addict, who is now aged 29, was just a primary school pupil when he claimed to have suffered at the hands of Father John McCollough. He came face-to-face with his alleged abuser for the first time today (Tuesday) as he entered the dock to give evidence.

In an emotionally charged opening of a Crown Court trial, the male, who cannot be named, shouted at McCollough: "Why? Why? You don't know what you have done to me. You don't know what I have lost. And you just stand there and look at me like that!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

SEX ABUSE LAW IN MARYLAND FLAWED

MARYLAND
Catholic League

February 19, 2008

Maryland lawmaker Eric Bromwell has introduced legislation that would suspend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases for almost two years. It would allow alleged victims to sue the predator and the organization where the abuser worked. The bill, however, does not apply to public institutions, which are subject to less punitive measures.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue spoke against the proposed legislation today:

“Unlike some lawmakers in other states who have sought to penalize private [read: Catholic] schools while giving public schools a pass, Delegate Bromwell appears to have benign motives. But he is wrong on the issue nonetheless. It is simply intolerable to allow one set of penalties for private institutions and another for public institutions. If protecting students is the goal, then justice demands that all institutions be treated equally. It is mind-boggling to think that a young person who was previously abused by a public school teacher should be afforded less justice than a neighbor who was molested by a Catholic school teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Former priest pleads guilty to indecent assault; DA: He served in Milton, Stoughton parishes

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

By DON CONKEY
The Patriot Ledger

A former South Shore priest has pleaded guilty to indecent assault and battery on a person under 14, among other charges, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s office.

John Keane, 69, now a Florida resident, was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail on Jan. 24 in Norfolk Superior Court, said David Traub, spokesman for Norfolk County District Attorney William Keating.

Traub said that Keane pleaded guilty to all charges, which included indecent assault and battery on a person under 14 and three counts of assault and battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Former Espanola priest facing additional sex charges

CANADA
The Mid-North Monitor

Posted By Rosalind Raby

A Roman Catholic priest who has already been charged with sexual assault is facing 10 new charges of sexual impropriety filed by the Greater Sudbury Police Service.

Father Bernard Cloutier, 66, was charged earlier this month with five counts of indecent assault and five counts of gross indecency against three male teenaged victims.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred in the 1970s while Cloutier was at Paroisse St. Joseph in Chelmsford and later, at St. Louis de France Church in Espanola.

Staff Sgt Sheilah Weber of the Sudbury police said Cloutier turned himself into police Tuesday, February 5, accompanied by his lawyer, after being notified he was facing more charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Calvert Hall president opposes extending statute of limitations on lawsuits

MARYLAND
Towson Times

02/19/08
by Bryan P. Sears

A bill that would extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits is drawing opposition from the head of Calvert Hall College high school.

Del. Eric Bromwell, a Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would give people alleging sexual abuse more time for filing lawsuits.

Opposing the bill is Brother Benedict Oliver, the president of Calvert Hall, which has not been immune to the allegations of child sexual abuse that have hit the Catholic Church nationwide.

Bromwell, who graduated from Calvert Hall in 1994, said people who are abused “should be able to seek justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Principal’s theft “indefensible,” diocese says

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Sam Wood and Troy Graham
INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS

The theft of $415,000 of student funds by the former principal of a Roman Catholic high school in South Jersey was called "indefensible" this morning by spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton.

Joseph Lemme, 51, said he embezzled the money from Holy Cross High School in Burlington County partly to get back at the church for sexual abuse he endured as a teenager at a New York State seminary.

An attorney for Joseph Lemme raised the alleged abuse in a plea for leniency at Lemme's sentencing in Superior Court last week.

"None of this has ever had anything to do with the Diocese of Trenton or any of its parishes or schools," said Rayanne Bennett, the spokeswoman for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Editorial: Priest Defrocked

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

That it took three decades before a Philadelphia priest first accused of sexually abusing boys was finally defrocked explains why so many have lost faith in the Roman Catholic Church's ability to police itself.

The move to defrock David Sicoli comes as too little too late for at least 11 minors he allegedly abused from 1977 to 2002, according to a grand jury report.

Sicoli's case further underscores the need for the state to pass a law that would allow victims to sue abusers after the statute of limitations has passed.

California and Delaware have passed laws that provide a "window" of up to two years to file civil suits regardless of when the assaults occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Catholic priest faces child sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Leader

A Catholic priest charged with a series of child abuse offences against schoolboys in Bury is going on trial.

John McCollough, 61, of Lymington Avenue, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, is charged with eight counts of indecent assault and four of gross indecency with children during the 1980s and 1990s.

The offences are alleged to have taken place while McCollough was an Anglican rector at Christ the King with Holy Trinity Church in Spring Street, Bury.

The alleged attacks spanned a six-year period while he was rector at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

New German Catholic Church Chief Stirs Up Traditions

GERMANY
Deutche Welle

Having just taken office, the new head of the German Catholic Church, Robert Zollitsch has already caused controversy. His peers have frowned over his suggestion that clerical celibacy is not "theologically necessary."

In an interview with the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, 69-year-old archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, who is now head of the German Catholic Church, said that celibacy and the unmarried lives of priests were a "gift," but not essential.

Furthermore, he said it would be a "revolution" if the celibacy tradition within the Catholic Church were dissolved.

Upon this week's publication of the interview, Regensburg's bishop, Gerhard-Ludwig Müller, said in a prompt press release: "All of the specifics of being a priest and the corresponding rules of celibacy could not be expanded upon, as a theological context would require, in a quick interview."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Media exaggerated coverage of abuse cases in the Church, says Cardinal Hummes

BRAZIL
Catholic News Agency

Brasilia, Feb 18, 2008 / 02:33 pm (CNA).- The prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, said pedophilia is one of the gravest problems of sexual misconduct, but he asserted that the media exaggerated the number of priests involved in such cases, which in reality involved less than 1% of the clergy.

Speaking to some 450 participants at the 12th National Priests Meeting, the cardinal noted that worldwide the clergy numbers 406,000 priests, with 18,000 in Brazil.

Later on during his remarks, he called on priests to provide ministry to the divorced and then remarried, noting that their situation prevents them from receiving the Eucharist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Director: Man 'highly recommended"

DELHI (NY)
The Daily Star

By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau

The director of a century-old boys camp in Delhi said there was no indication a former choir director had an interest in child pornography.

Charles L. Burks, 28, formerly of Slingerlands, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy in federal court in Albany last week on his guilty plea to a charge of receipt of child pornography.

James Adams, Lake Delaware Boys Camp director, said Monday that Burks was well-known in the choir world and came highly recommended to the camp. ...

The camp runs for five weeks each summer, with 85 to 95 boys spending five weeks in a highly structured, military based program. The camp also has a religious component and is affiliated with the Episcopal Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

priest convicted on sex chrges

AUSTRALIA
Village Voice

Nick Clark

A Lane Cove resident and former Marist College priest in Tasmania was found guilty in the Supreme Court in Launceston last week of sex offences - two years after first being convicted.

Tasmania's Mercury newspaper reported that Roger Michael Bellemore, 72, of Lane Cove, was found guilty of three counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with young boys in the early 1970s.

He was a priest at Marist College in Tasmania's Burnie and committed a series of sexual assaults against boys aged between 11 and 13 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Ex-Burlco principal: Thefts prompted by abuse as

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Sam Wood and Troy Graham
Inquirer Staff Writers

The former principal of Burlington County's only Catholic high school said he embezzled from the school partly to get back at the church for sexual abuse he endured as a teenage seminary student.

An attorney for Joseph Lemme raised the alleged abuse in a plea for leniency at Lemme's sentencing in Superior Court last week.

Lemme, principal at Holy Cross High School from 2002 to 2006, received a five-year prison term on Friday for stealing more than $415,000 from the school, which struggled with declining enrollment and financial problems during Lemme's tenure.

February 18, 2008

To the Anonymous, Mater Dei-Loving Faxing Coward

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 18, 2008 11:13 AM

Over the years I've covered the Catholic Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandal, I've found few people braver than Joelle Casteix. She's one of Orange County's most prominent sex-abuse survivors (a choir director repeatedly raped Casteix while she was a student at Mater Dei High during the 1980s) and frequently stands outside churches to demand clueless Catholics hear the voices of the Orange diocese's molestation victims. For her work, Casteix has endured taunts, slurs, screams and even the occasional shove--and on Navel Gazing, anonymous cowards leave snide remarks.

Now, Casteix must deal with anonymous faxes to me.

Late last Friday, someone sent the Weekly a fax of an op-ed piece Casteix wrote as a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the early 1990s regarding the abortion she underwent due to the abuse. "I assume you have never seen this article," a cover letter stated, and the sender went on to rail about Casteix's supposed hypocrisies. "Joelle has made a career out of being a victim of 'rape' and professes to want to protect other children from the administrator who failed to protect her almost 20 years ago," the anonymous faxer wrote. The person then suggested I ask Casteix why she never brought criminal charges against her molester, why she allows Santa Margarita High Assistant Principal of Admission Lucretia Dominguez to continue working since the writer claimed Dominguez knew about Casteix's abuse yet did nothing about it, and some other crap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Priest held for robbery

SOUTH AFRICA
iafrica

Mon, 18 Feb 2008

A 40-year-old priest and three other men have been arrested in connection with a rape and robbery at a church in Orange Farm, Gauteng police said on Monday.

Orange Farm police Captain Johannes Motsiri said the men were arrested on Sunday following a break-in at a church a week ago during which two women were raped and electrical appliances stolen.

He said the priest allegedly arranged with the three to break into the church in an attempt to "fix" the other priest with whom he had a disagreement about funding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Police admit failings over child abuse investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Birmingham Mail

Feb 18 2008

WEST Midlands Police today admitted failing to investigate the Catholic church properly over child abuse allegations against a priest in the 1970s and 80s.

They said crucial documentation had been lost.

It follows a 20-year campaign for justice by an alleged victim of Fr James Robinson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Men claim physical abuse at defunct school

CANADA
North Bay Nugget

When his pastor and teacher told him to hold his hands behind his back, the man said he complied.

He said he wasn't expecting Royden Wood to lunge behind him and grab his hands so he could not move them.

Wood then used his free hand and "came with his closed fist and punched me in the abdominal area," the man testified.

"I asked 'What are you doing?"' the man, now 34, said Wednesday.

"He said 'Never mind' and did it again," the man said, before hitting him twice more.

The man was describing what he, his older brother and another friend called "the basement treatment," the most excessive of a wide array of physical assaults they said they endured as Wood's students at the Ambassador Baptist Church's alternative school between 1985 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Catholic diocese sees financial gain

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
State Journal-Review

By CHRIS DETTRO
STAFF WRITER
Published Monday, February 18, 2008

A year can make a lot of difference financially, as the Springfield Catholic Diocese can attest. About this time last year, the diocese reported its general operating fund had lost $2.3 million during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007, however, the fund showed net income of $5.7 million.

And although an upturn in the stock market contributed to last year’s improvement, the market’s dismal showing so far this year hasn’t erased all the positive gains, according to the diocesan annual financial report, which was issued in January.

“A quick review of the diocesan statements shows that we are holding our own or that we are having a normal year,” John Maxwell, director of finance for the diocese, said recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Names of plaintiffs in sex-abuse case to be released

PUEBLO (CO)
Denver Post

PUEBLO — A religious order and the Pueblo Roman Catholic Diocese will learn the names of men alleging abuse by a former teacher at a parochial school, a judge has ruled.

Twenty-four men have sued the diocese and Marianist order over claims that they were abused by former Marianist brother and teacher William Mueller when they attended Roncalli High School.

Most of the plaintiffs identified themselves only by their initials or as John Doe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Cleric wrote letter of support for sex offender

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Seán McCárthaigh
A SENIOR cleric, who was forced to retire as head of a religious order in 1994 over his role as superior of the infamous paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth, has recently provided a character reference to another notorious sex offender facing a criminal prosecution.

Fr Kevin Smith, the former head of the Norbertine Order in Ireland, gave a letter of support to Simon McGinley — convicted of raping the 13-year-old girl at the centre of the “C” Case where she won the right to go to Britain for an abortion — for his appearance before Monaghan District Court on a drink driving charge last month.

The 77-year-old cleric retired as abbot of the Norbertines’ Irish headquarters at Holy Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Co Cavan, in 1994 as a result of his role as the late Fr Smyth’s superior for 25 years. During the controversy, which led to the resignation of Albert Reynolds as taoiseach in 1994, Fr Smith was blamed for covering up his colleague’s sexual abuse of children by arranging to have him moved to institutions in Ireland, Britain and the US.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Church spreads word about HIV priest accused of sexual misconduct

TEXAS
WFAA

By MONIKA DIAZ / WFAA-TV

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth is spreading a different kind of word after learning a former priest - under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct - is HIV positive.

Church leaders made their first stop in North Richland Hills.

Parishioners at Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church learned about father Philip Magaldi's health during mass.

"The inactive priest, Philip Magaldi, has been diagnosed as HIV positive," said Rev. Richard Collins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Ex-cop taken away by Mounties

CANADA
The Province

Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, February 18, 2008
DUNCAN -- RCMP arrested former Cornwall, Ont., police officer Perry Dunlop yesterday as about 75 supporters looked on.

Shouts of, "You're our hero!" and, "We love you, Perry!" came from the crowd as Dunlop walked arm-in-arm with his wife, Helen, to a squad car outside their Duncan home.

The RCMP were executing a Canada-wide warrant for Dunlop, 43, who has refused to testify at a Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Former Ontario police officer surrenders

CANADA
Times Colonist

Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, February 18, 2008
Amid a bizarre, almost circus-like atmosphere, Duncan RCMP arrested former Cornwall, Ont., police officer Perry Dunlop yesterday as about 75 supporters looked on.

"You're our hero!" and "We love you, Perry!" came shouts from the crowd as Dunlop walked arm-in-arm with his wife, Helen, to the squad car at the end of their driveway.

The RCMP were executing a Canada-wide warrant issued last month for Dunlop, 43, who has refused to testify at a Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

February 17, 2008

Oberster deutscher Katholik hält Zölibat für "nicht notwendig"

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

In this German-language story, Bishop Robert Zollitsch, new head of the German Bishops' Conference, said the link between priesthood and celibacy is not theologically necessary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

I vescovi tedeschi aprono a unioni gay e ai preti sposati

GERMANY
il Giornale

Si dice disponibile a discutere il celibato dei preti, apre al riconoscimento delle coppie omosessuali, critica la Cdu di Angela Merkel per il suo essere troppo «neoliberista». Nella prima lunga intervista dopo l’elezione, il nuovo presidente della potente Conferenza episcopale della Germania, il sessantanovenne arcivescovo di Friburgo, Robert Zollitsch, si presenta nel segno della continuità con il predecessore, il cardinale Karl Lehmann, dimessosi dopo vent’anni di guida dell’episcopato tedesco per problemi di salute.

[translation]

The German bishops open to gay unions and married priests

He says he is available to discuss the issue of priestly celibacy, he is open to recognize gay unions, he criticizes Angela Merkel's CDU party for being "too much neo-liberalistic ". In his first long interview after being elected, the new president of the powerful Episcopal Conference of Germany, the s69-nine-year-old archbishop of Friburg, Robert Zolitsch, presents himself in the sign of continuity with his predecessor, Cardinal Karl Lehamann, who retired for health problems after having led the German Episcopate for twenty years.

Answering the questions posed by Der Spiegel, Zollittsch affirmed "to be contrary to the prohibition to reflect" upon the possibility to abandon the obligation of priests' celibacy. A debate that also the Synod of Bishops two years ago didn't deem to open. The newly elected President of the German Episcopal Conference has a different opinion: " We constate the diminishing of the vocations, because the Gospel's challenge is difficult to pass along. It's obvious that the connection between being a priest and celibacy is not theologically necessary". The Archbishop of Friburg , with that statement, intends to stress the fact that celibacy is an ecclesiastical norm but it's not connected to the essence of faith. Benedict XVI, expressing his thinking about that issue in his Sacramentum caritatis post-synodal exhortation, had however pointed out that celibacy was " an incalculable wealth " and it represented " a special adherence to the life's style of Jesus himself ".

Monsignor Zollitsch, on the contrary, even if he admits that allowing priests to marry "would be a revolution that a part of the church wouldn't accept", is more favorable. He affirms however that "you can't change anything unless a new Vatican Council is called, for the abolition of celibacy would much influence the internal life of the Church". And for the time being, as it's already known, a Vatican council III, many times invoked by the most open wing of the Church, is not in the agenda.

As to what concerns gay unions, the new president of the German bishops explains that's a "social reality" even if as "a catholic" his ideal vision is "obviously for marriage and the family". But, he adds, "if there are people with this predisposition, the State can adopt opportune rules, even if I consider a mistake the concept of homosexual marriage, for it puts it at the same level of the marriage between a man and a woman". "Yes" to the adoptions of rules, "no" to the equivalency to marriage.

Less decisively open, instead, Zollitsch appears for the issue of women's priesthood. For that the archbishop doesn't even make a small opening: "Jesus Christ called only men to be his apostles. The priestly function and the episcopal one remain reserved to men, even if in certain religious ceremonies women can preach. We are interested to have women as spiritual assistants". Finally the president of the German bishops takes into account how weakened is the bond between the catholic church and the Christian-Democratic party, because, he explains, "the CDU is now more strongly connected to a neo-liberalistic stance and it risks not to take any more into account the market social economy and the social themes. These are the reasons for which there is less connection between the catholic church and the CDU". On the other hand, the prelate concludes, "the SPD and the other parties have adopted more than in the past some policies we deem to be important. Today the Greens have our same outlook as to what regards the protection of life".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Trinity fans' jeer hits a nerve

MANCHESTER (NH)
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008

MANCHESTER – Trinity High School students were banned from attending last night's basketball games because they taunted a rival parochial school team last week with the chant "Your priests touch you," the school principal confirmed yesterday.

The taunting took place Feb. 8, when Trinity was playing Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, according to Trinity Principal Denis Mailloux and several students. Mailloux said administrators from Bishop Guertin contacted Trinity this week about the matter.

"It wasn't a prolonged thing, but it was something certainly our colleagues at Bishop Guertin took exception to. Rightly so. We think our kids are above that," Mailloux said.

Bishop Guertin, which is run by the Rhode Island-based Brothers of the Sacred Heart, has settled lawsuits brought by several former students who allege they were fondled by Brother Guy Beaulieu, who taught at the school from 1971 to 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Vescovo, esaminare tema celibato

GERMANY
ANSA

(ANSA) - BERLINO, 16 FEB - Il nuovo presidente della conferenza episcopale tedesca si dichiara aperto a esaminare la questione del celibato sacerdotale.

[translation]

The Bishop, let's examine the celibacy issue
The president of the German Episcopal Conference says celibacy is not necessary

(ANSA) _BERLIN, FEB 16 - The newly-elected president of the German Episcopal Conference declares he is open to examine to priest's celibacy issue. In an interview to the weekly magazine Der Spiegel to be issued next week Robert Zollitsch (69-years-old) affirms the bond between priesthood and celibacy is not necessary under the theological point of view even if he admits that renouncement of celibacy "would be a revolution which wouldn't be accepted by a part of the church".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

How bishops formed strategy to fight claims of child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor
Wednesday February 06 2008

Legal advice obtained by the Archdiocese of Dublin was circulated to every bishop in Ireland to help dioceses negotiate insurance policies to protect them from child sex abuse claims.

Access to "privileged" documents, including those relating to insurance matters, has formed the central plank in Cardinal Desmond Connell's unprecedented legal row with a state inquiry investigating the handling of complaints in the diocese of Dublin.

Cardinal Connell has recently claimed that certain documents are confidential and subject to solicitor-client privilege that can only be waived by him.

But the Irish Independent has learned that during 1988, the year Cardinal Connell was appointed as Archbishop of Dublin, diocesan insurer's Church & General sought and obtained permission from the the Dublin diocese to circulate the opinion of its lawyers among the country's bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Shamed Monsignor Gets Job As Taxman

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Mail

Feb 17 2008 By Charles Lavery

A PRIEST sacked by the Catholic Church for having an 18-year affair with a married gran has a new job - chasing tax dodgers.

Shamed Monsignor Joseph Creegan has swapped his calling for an Inland Revenue call centre.

The Sunday Mail revealed last month how the 66-year-old had been sacked over his relationship with the married parishioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Italian Bishops Demand Actors Refuse To Take Part In Sex Scenes

ITALY
American Chronicle

By Robert Paul Reyes
February 17, 2008
"A row has erupted over 'Vatican interference' after the Italian Synod of Bishops appealed to actors to exercise their consciences and refuse to take part in 'vulgar and destructive' erotic scenes in films.

The appeal follows public condemnation by the bishops of an explicit sex scene in Caos Calmo, starring the Italian actor and director Nanni Moretti, which has just been released....

Father Nicolò Anselmi, head of the youth section of the Italian Bishops Conference, said that Moretti was normally noted for his 'idealistic and sensitive' films. But the 'gratuitous' sex scene with Isabella Ferrari, his co-star, would have an undesirable effect on the "impressionable young" since it was shown without any context involving love or tenderness."

Quotation from TimesOnline.Com

The Italian Synod of Bishops should concern themselves with weeding out vulgar and destructive pedophile priests and stop interfering with works of art.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Rent a priest

ILLINOIS
The Southtown Star

February 17, 2008
By Rena Fulka, Staff Writer
The Rev. Terrance McNicholas left his position as an associate pastor in the Archdiocese of Chicago more than a decade ago.

Yet he continues to say Mass alone every day in his Hyde Park home.

"It's part of my routine. It's who I am," said the clinical social worker with a private practice in Chicago, Arlington Heights and Palos Heights.

He also conducts weddings and officiates at funerals through Rent A Priest, a service of Celibacy is the Issue Ministries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Diocese, Marianists to learn plaintiffs' identities in abuse case

PUEBLO (CO)
KRDO

Associated Press - February 16, 2008 10:44 PM ET

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) - A judge says a religious order and the Pueblo Roman Catholic Diocese will learn the names of men alleging abuse by a former teacher at a parochial school.

Twenty-four men have sued the diocese and Marianist order over claims that they were abused by former Marianist Brother and teacher William Mueller when they attended Roncalli High School. The school closed in 1971. Most of the plaintiffs identified themselves only by their initials or as John Doe.

A judge ruled this week that the names of the plaintiffs must be provided to the defendants, but they will not be released publicly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Cultural and sexual victimisation of Canadian aboriginals

NORTH AMERICA
merinews

Monica Davis, 17 February 2008, Sunday

Long before laboratories and official psyops projects existed, natives in the United States and Canada were victimised by biological warfare and cultural genocide. Targeting and abusing children for subjugation was rampant.

THOUSANDS OF Canadian Aboriginal Residential school survivors have received proceeds from a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit, where the churches and government shared the blame in a multi-generational orgy of sexual predation, physical and mental abuse and even murder. While many have claimed their part of the settlement, others claim they have been wrongly denied participation in the suit, and still others never bothered to claim the money, because they just don’t want to drudge up the painful memories.

For nearly 200 years, the United States and Canada have sought to eliminate the ‘Indian Problem’ with a series of military, educational and genocidal policies, which were designed to eliminate aboriginal people in North America as a viable threat to the Crown and to American society. In addition to a military campaign that lasted generations, both countries sought to deculturalise natives through a series of educational and religious policies, which attempted to dissolve native culture by removing native children from their families and tribes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Globe columnist receives ASNE award

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

February 17, 2008
The American Society of Newspaper Editors selected Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen as this year's recipient of the Batten Medal for his reporting on people facing adversity.

Kevin Cullen was this year's recipient of the Batten Medal for reporting on people facing adversity. ...

In his career at the Globe, Cullen has been a police reporter, covered Ireland before becoming London bureau chief, and was a member of the Spotlight teams that exposed the FBI's corrupt relationship with Whitey Bulger and uncovered the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Cullen was a Nieman fellow in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Tate awaits sentence

CONNECTICUT
Greenwich Times

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published February 17 2008

Cooperating with federal authorities and receiving medical treatment might help former Christ Church Greenwich music director Robert F. Tate's prospects for avoiding prison for possession of child pornography this week, attorneys said.

More than a year after pleading guilty, the 66-year-old former music director of Christ Church Greenwich faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport on Thursday.

Last January Tate admitted to having collected more than 150 sexually explicit images of children, some of them under the age of 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Haitian pastor, Trinity Broadcasting Network at odds on hospital project

HAITI
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Sunday, February 17, 2008

CARREFOUR, Haiti – The plan was to build the first children's hospital in this slum of half a million people. But the project has collapsed in recriminations between the key players: a prominent Haitian pastor and Trinity Broadcasting Network, which is the world's largest religious broadcaster and has a major Dallas-area studio.

All they have to show for the $2.5 million already spent is a half-built structure with a giant cross-shaped hole in one wall.

Archbishop Joel Jeune of Haiti's Charismatic Church says the feud began over sexual abuse allegations. He said Trinity co-founder Jan Crouch erupted in anger when he told her that some Haitian boys guarding the construction site had accused a Trinity missionary of making sexual advances.

Trinity lawyer John Casoria, Ms. Crouch's nephew, denounced the sexual allegations as "absolutely false." Network executives say the falling-out occurred when they accused the archbishop of siphoning off donations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Document found in church sex cases

COLORADO
The Pueblo Chieftain

By ROBERT BOCZKIEWICZ
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
DENVER - A 35-year-old insurance policy, highly important to lawsuits of former Roncalli High School students in Pueblo who claim a teacher abused them, recently was found in an Avondale church.

The liability insurance policy, issued to the Pueblo Catholic Diocese, also is an issue in a coverage dispute between the diocese and the insurance company responsible for the policy.

The diocese and the Marianists, a religious order that operated Roncalli for the diocese, contend the policy obligates North River Insurance Co. to cover the costs of the ex-students' lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Builds Priest Rape Crime Victim Rehab Centers, but in the end, it’s all a dream, or is it...

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
TY PENNINGTON: We're here today to visit the Ebeling family in Los Angeles and here’s the deal. Kay, the mother, is a single mom who works two jobs, and not only has she raised her children to be promising adults, but she’s done so while dealing with sometimes devastating physical and mental problems. Kay was raped by a Catholic priest at age five and has been diagnosed with long term PTSD, in her case 40-plus years of PTSD, her nerves damaged from responding to the crime for 40 years. Long term PTSD is a diagnosis many priest rape victims receive, so we wanted to see what we could do about that here at Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Now, normally you would expect an organization like the Catholic Church to step forward in a case like this, since, well, they are a church. So we sent two members of our design team over to meet with Cardinal Roger Mahony at the temple on Temple Street in Los Angeles. We wanted the cardinal to tell us how he thought we should design the recovery center and how much the church would participate in the costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

February 16, 2008

Accuser of priests agrees to settle

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

A man who accused two Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese priests of abusing him when he was a teenager has tentatively agreed to an out-of-court financial settlement, his lawyer said Thursday.

Terms of the settlement will not be disclosed, said his Dallas attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt.

The man, who is currently in a prison mental facility, said in two lawsuits that he was abused beginning when he was 13 by the Rev. James Hanlon and the Rev. Thomas Teczar. The men, at different times, led St. Rita's Catholic Church in Ranger, about 90 miles west of Fort Worth.

Hanlon, who died in 1990, served as administrator in Ranger and surrounding parishes from August 1988 to January 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 PM

Finding the rights path

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

17 February 2008
Amnesty’s new executive director in Ireland aims to put human rights back on the agenda, writes Martha Kearns.

Colm O’Gorman’s office is stark. A lonely plant, sent by a friend that morning, sits atop a single filing cabinet beside a small figure of a person crouching with their head in their hands.

His computer had been set up just hours before we met, but his email inbox was already filling up with tasks to start him off in his new role as executive director of the Irish section of Amnesty International.

O’Gorman’s path to the job was high-profile and rocky at times. He initially came to public attention as the first victim of paedophile priest Fr Sean Fortune to come forward. He subsequently initiated a lawsuit against the Bishop of Ferns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

SPECIAL: Paperwork documents Soens case

IOWA CITY (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Saturday, February 16, 2008

Retired Bishop Lawrence Soens is the only accused clergy member named in the Diocese of Davenport’s bankruptcy reorganization plan. In it, the diocese agreed to forward a report to the Vatican’s U.S. representative about the abuse accusations.

About 25 people have come forward with accusations against Soens, said Craig Levien, an attorney who represents several diocesan sex abuse victims. The majority are from the time Soens was Regina High School principal. Most of them remain anonymous, although their affidavits and depositions are included in the lawsuit of one former student, Michael Gould.

Mike Dalton of West Branch, Iowa, who settled a claim with the diocese in October 2004 for $20,000, is another former student. The announcement of that settlement by the diocese in January 2005 was the first public acknowledgement that Soens had been accused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

SPECIAL: Agitated phone calls in 2002 launched Soens investigation

IOWA CITY (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Saturday, February 16, 2008

One Saturday morning in April 2002, a man called Regina High School in Iowa City over and over again.

A few of the calls were answered. Otherwise, he left voicemails that now-retired Bishop Lawrence Soens twisted his nipples more than once and ran his finger, outside of his pants, along his genitals while the two stood near Soens’ office in the high school.

Soens touched him while Regina principal in the mid-1960s, he said. Nearly 40 years later, the man, off his anti-anxiety medication, called. And called. And called.

The man demanded a conversation with now-retired Bishop William Franklin by the following Tuesday, otherwise “he would be in front of the school with a sign making a public allegation,” an investigation report says.

The calls prompted a flurry of meetings and a diocesan investigation. The calls also are the first publicly known sex abuse accusation against Soens, who now has two dozen such claims to his name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

SPECIAL: Florida man was the first to file lawsuit against retired Bishop Lawrence Soens

IOWA CITY (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Saturday, February 16, 2008

The teenager bit his lip, grinding on it until it bled.

He stood in the principal’s office. The principal sat directly in front of him, asking questions.

How was your summer?

How’s your family doing?

The principal of Regina High School in Iowa City was Father Lawrence Soens. Soens fondled Gould while he asked the questions, Gould said.

“This guy was a priest,” Gould said. “He was the principal, let alone a Catholic priest who was the principal. He’s got all the cards, all the power. There’s nothing you can do except stand there.”

Soens went on to become bishop of the Sioux City Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Abuse Lawsuit Against Catholic Order Can Seek Punitive Damages

TAMPA (FL)
The Tampa Tribune

By Valerie Kalfrin of The Tampa Tribune

Published: February 14, 2008

TAMPA - A man suing a former Catholic school regarding sexual abuse he said he suffered can seek punitive damages, a Hillsborough County Circuit Court judge determined.

The man, known in court papers as S.A., was a seventh-grade altar boy at the now-closed Mary Help of Christians School in 1983. In 2005, he filed a lawsuit seeking $5 million in compensatory damages against the school and the Catholic order that operated it, the Salesian Society and the Salesian Society of Florida.

Last week a judge ruled that S.A. and his attorneys also can seek punitive or exemplary damages. These are defined in Barron's Law Dictionary as an "excess enhancement to the injured … awarded only in instances of malicious and willful misconduct."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Theft case against Delray Beach priests suspended for time to prepare

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

By Peter Franceschina And Nancy L. Othón | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
February 16, 2008

Prosecutors dropped criminal charges Friday against two priests accused of stealing from St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Delray Beach, but they say the charges will be refiled in a few months when they are ready for trial.

State Attorney Barry Krischer said it was a tactical decision because neither the prosecution nor the defense was ready to go trial as scheduled next week.

Prosecutors made the decision after Palm Beach Circuit Judge Sandra McSorley did not rule Friday on a motion by both sides to continue the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Theft charges dropped against priests, but state attorney vows to refile

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Saturday, February 16, 2008

WEST PALM BEACH — With a trial bearing down and a judge and lawyers at loggerheads, prosecutors on Friday dropped the charge against a Catholic priest facing prison for allegedly bilking a Delray church of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

State Attorney Barry Krischer signed the document himself - with an assurance of refiling the charge against the Rev. John Skehan when prosecutors are prepared to try him for the alleged crime, likely in June.

Krischer also dropped the charge against the Rev. Francis Guinan with an assurance of refiling it, a state attorney's office spokesman said. Both priests could face up to 30 years in prison on the charge of grand theft over $100,000.

Skehan, 80, and Guinan, 65, had been scheduled to face a jury this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Diocese responds to McParland case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Herald

The Diocese of Erie issued the following statement on the Kevin McParland case:

Any allegation of moral misconduct on the part of clergy is deeply disappointing and dealt with seriously and promptly by the diocese.

While it is the policy of the Diocese of Erie not to discuss personnel matters publicly, the allegation brought against Father Stephen Jeselnick by Kevin McParland received some public attention in the media and the diocese has always felt a clarification and statement is warranted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Dominatrix reported Bernie Ward, police say

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The federal child-pornography charges filed against former radio talk show host Bernie Ward came about after he engaged in sex chats with an online dominatrix and allegedly sent her pictures of children engaged in sexual activity, according to a police report released Friday.

The woman, who lives in Oakdale (Stanislaus County), became concerned after Ward allegedly sent her pictures in December 2004 showing children "engaged in or simulating sexual acts with adults or other children," Oakdale police Officer Benjamin Savage wrote in a report.

An America Online chat-room user by the name of Vincentlio engaged in sexually explicit chats with the woman in December 2004 and January 2005, Savage wrote. Vincentlio addressed the woman - whose screen name was Sexfairy2005 - as "mistress," while she addressed him as "slave," the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Falsely accused priests are also victims

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

Your voice: Susan M. Frazier

Many years ago, the brother of a friend of mine was abused by a priest. The psychological wounds he and his family suffered from that violation remain unhealed.

I also have a priest friend who was falsely accused of that abominable act, and who has lived a nightmare as he has defended himself against the abhorrent claim.

Now, finally, after being found without guilt by the archdiocesan tribunal, the criminal court, the civil court (upheld by the appeals court), and ultimately the Vatican, the Rev. Ray Larger is returned to priestly ministry. And thank goodness for that.

Because he was innocent of this charge, I had faith exoneration would come. But while one can be restored to ministry, it's almost impossible to fully restore a good name. Some people will always remember the accusation, and not the exoneration. Nor can restoration erase the dreadful memories, the wounding things said about him, the embarrassment and pain of not exercising his calling, the long fear for his future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Davenport bishop wants abusive priest defrocked

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By ERIN JORDAN • REGISTER IOWA CITY BUREAU • February 15, 2008

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has requested that the Vatican defrock a priest who sexually abused children more than 30 years ago.

Bishop Martin Amos announced Thursday he would follow the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board by requesting that the Vatican defrock the Rev. Gerald Stouvenel.

Amos placed Stouvenel on administrative leave in July while an investigation was done regarding the credibility of four claims of abuse that arose as part of the diocese's bankruptcy proceedings. The review board evaluates the claims and makes recommendations to the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Diocese statement called ‘misleading’

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Saturday, February 16, 2008

One of the co-chairmen of the committee representing the 156 claimants in the Diocese of Davenport’s bankruptcy says there were no intentions of suing individual parishes for sex abuse allegations, calling the diocese’s assertion that several Catholic entities would be sued “misleading.”

Furthermore, the insurance company, Travelers, not the diocese, insisted on protecting all Catholic entities from liability for abuse that happened before October 2006, the filing of the bankruptcy.

“If lawsuits were filed against parishes, they most certainly would have been against every parish in which abuse occurred, that would be in over 60 percent of the parishes in the diocese,” said Mike Uhde, co-chairman of the committee. “The committee had no intentions of suing the parishes, for that would mean targeting the parishioners who are as much victims in this matter as those the committee represents.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Benten Retreats

MINNESOTA
Anglicat

Folks in Minnesota have the rare opportunity to attend no less than three retreats this year lead by a convicted child abuser and registered sex offender. House of Prayer Director Ward Bauman is once again importing his brother Lynn Bauman all the way from Texas to lead the retreats February 21-24, and then twice more in the summer of 2008.

SNAP (the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests) has registered their concerns about these retreats with the Diocese of Minnesota, but the Diocese has "no plans to change the faculty for the retreats." An official statement from the Diocese claims that Mr. Bauman's service as a retreat leader in the past was "open and forthright," yet retreatants heard nothing of the former Rev. Bauman's criminal history until it was disclosed by SNAP to the newspapers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Dunlop is expected to turn himself in

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

The lead commission counsel for the Cornwall Public Inquiry expects B.C. resident Perry Dunlop to turn himself over to police early next week to attend a contempt hearing Wednesday morning at a divisional court in Toronto.

Peter Engelmann said it's either that or the RCMP will arrest Dunlop Monday or Tuesday, then accompany him to the hearing.

"I anticipate he'll turn himself in," Engelmann said of the man credited with revealing allegations of historical sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.

Wednesday's hearing will determine a penalty for Dunlop's 2007 contempt charge and decide if he was in contempt for not showing up to testify at the inquiry on Jan. 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Wineke: Sadly, the parishioners pay

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

Bill Wineke
bwineke@madison.com
Of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony said: "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred in their bones."

Milwaukee's Archbishop Timothy Dolan must cogitate on the truth of Shakespeare's words as he tries to juggle all the balls left in the air by his predecessor, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who had the unfortunate habit of moving pervert priests from parish to parish.

Dolan is now trying to raise money to pay off multi-million dollar settlements to persons harmed by several priests. His diocese faces a $3 million budgetary shortfall this year, which means Dolan will have to curtail services to those Catholics who remain faithful, and his spokesmen warn that further judgments might force the diocese into bankruptcy.

Dolan is, at one and the same time, trying to reassure his people that he will be honest and straightforward with them while hoping to block any further suits against the diocese that might tip it over the financial edge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

DELAWARE: Diocese reaches settlement in priest sex abuse lawsuit

DOVER (DE)
The Daily Times

By Randall Chase
Associated Press

DOVER – The Diocese of Wilmington has reached a settlement with a Florida man who claims he was the victim of a former Catholic priest already convicted of child molestation.

The settlement between the diocese and Robert Quill, 52, of Marathon, Fla., also involves St. Elizabeth's church, where, according to Quill, he and other boys were molested by the Rev. Francis DeLuca in the 1960s.

At the time, DeLuca was serving as an assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth's and as a religion teacher at the parish elementary and high schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

More sex abuse allegations against Spokane Diocese boys' ranch

SPOKANE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Three former residents of a boys' ranch operated by the Spokane Catholic Diocese have filed suit, alleging they were physically and sexually abused by priests and a volunteer.

In the lawsuit filed Friday in Spokane County Superior Court, the men accuse Morning Star Boys Ranch of negligent supervision and knowingly allowing employees to sexually abuse residents.

A former Morning Star director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, is among three defendants named in the suit, which seeks unspecified damages. Weitensteiner resigned in 2006. He has denied abusing ranch residents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Texas diocese settles priest abuse suit

FORT WORTH (TX)
Tri-City Herald

The Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Texas The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth has settled another lawsuit alleging abuse by a priest now serving prison time for raping a boy, church officials said Friday.

The plaintiff, whose name was not released, said he also was abused by the Rev. Thomas Teczar, who was a visiting priest in the Fort Worth diocese in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The diocese declined to disclose the settlement amount.

Last year in Eastland, Teczar was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child involving incidents with an 11-year-old boy in 1990. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. A few months later, the diocese reached an undisclosed settlement with three men who said they were raped by Teczar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Victim of clergy abuse shares his story

PENNSYLVANIA
The Meadville Tribune

By Pat Bywater
The Meadville Tribune

The Roman Catholic faith had always played a central role in Kevin McParland’s life.

He served as an altar boy for several years and attended a Catholic school through sixth grade. For years his mother, a Eucharistic minister, gathered the family together each night to pray the Rosary for her husband, who, since a 1972 heart attack, experienced bouts of failing health. When McParland’s father, a medical doctor who often provided free care to priests and nuns, was too sick to attend church, she arranged for a priest to deliver the sacraments in their home.

Even when McParland left home to study at Penn State University’s main campus, he remained dedicated to the church, regularly attending services.

As he returned from college in the summer of 1980, the 20-year-old sophomore was worried about his father once again. McParland’s dad had just suffered another heart attack, and McParland did not know how he could cope if he ever lost his father and the close relationship they enjoyed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Vatican defrocks priest who brought boys to Sea Isle home

NEW JERSEY
Press of Atlantic City

By BRIAN IANIERI Staff Writer, 609-463-6713
Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Vatican said recently that it defrocked a Philadelphia priest who was cited in a grand jury report for getting boys drunk at his beach home and then molesting them.

David C. Sicoli, 60, still owns a condominium in Sea Isle City across from a playground on Central Avenue.

He was among dozens of priests at the center of a Philadelphia grand jury report in 2005 detailing allegations of decades of child abuse by clergy.

An internal investigation by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia found the allegations against Sicoli were true, according to a statement. But Sicoli has not been charged with any crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Phoenix author imagines changed Catholic Church in America

CALIFORNIA
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
Forty-five years ago, Robert Blair Kaiser was a young journalist covering the heady and historic Vatican Council II in Rome for Time magazine. Since then, the Phoenix journalist and Jesuit-educated Catholic has written 11 books, including four that deal with a call for church reform in the spirit of that council.

His latest, "Cardinal Mahony," Kaiser's first novel, takes the real-life 17-year Roman Catholic cardinal and archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, and sets him in November 2008 for a tale of ecclesiastical power turned to give wide authority to lay Catholics.

Mixing facts of the cardinal's troubled tenure over alleged cover-ups of priest sexual abuse cases, Kaiser has Mahony kidnapped from a California ski trail by three "liberation theologians," then transported in his own helicopter to a secret southern Mexican jungle compound. His captors are from a revolutionary group, Para los Otros (For the Others), which calls for sweeping changes in the church. In Mexico, Mahony is put on trial for his failings and sins as archbishop. It is broadcast live worldwide by satellite television, with Vatican officials especially glued to what is said. Six retired Latin American bishops serve as the jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Former R.I. priest tests positive for HIV

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

A former priest accused of sexually abusing boys in Rhode Island and Texas, including a former Worcester resident who died in 2000, has tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, Catholic diocese officials in Forth Worth, Texas, have acknowledged.

Thomas A. Marks, the alleged Worcester victim of the Rev. Philip A. Magaldi, was 42 when he died at his parents’ home in Fall River. The cause was non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to the death certificate.

Phil Saviano, a founder of the New England chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests who met Mr. Marks shortly before his death, said the Texas diocese officials’ admission that Rev. Magaldi, 71, has the virus appears to contradict the church’s longstanding denials that the former priest ever abused anyone.

Church leaders in Texas said Thursday they were alerting victims and parishes in the Providence diocese, where the priest served from 1960 to 1990, and in the Fort Worth area, where he was posted from 1990 to 1999. He was removed as a priest in 1999 amid claims of sexual misconduct in Providence. He served prison time in 1992 after pleading guilty to embezzling about $123,000 from a Rhode Island parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

February 15, 2008

In the Vineyard

NEWTON UPPER FALLS (MA)
VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL

Edited by Peggie Thorp

Have you sent any inquiries to our national officer candidates or watched/heard any of the debates? It’s not too late to learn about the candidates in the VOTF national elections Feb. 10-24; a quick look at then and now in terms of membership; a victory for the laity in Maine, for vigilance everywhere and, yes, for bishops who listen (DIOCESE/State Watch); “seeds of hope” among younger Catholics? See Book Alert in this issue AND a review of Voices of the Faithful; BishopAccountability.org has built an archive of truth (SITE-Seeing, Etc.); suggestions for VOTF Lenten Action; ever wonder about the accomplishments of the 2005 Accountability Now campaign; and more.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:06 PM

DELAWARE: Diocese reaches settlement in priest sex abuse lawsuit

DOVER (DE)
The Daily Times

By Randall Chase
Associated Press

DOVER – The Diocese of Wilmington has reached a settlement with a Florida man who claims he was the victim of a former Catholic priest already convicted of child molestation.

The settlement between the diocese and Robert Quill, 52, of Marathon, Fla., also involves St. Elizabeth's church, where, according to Quill, he and other boys were molested by the Rev. Francis DeLuca in the 1960s.

At the time, DeLuca was serving as an assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth's and as a religion teacher at the parish elementary and high schools.

Quill's attorneys did not disclose the amount of the settlement and said his lawsuit against DeLuca will continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Diocese: Parishes likely would have lost lawsuits

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Friday, February 15, 2008

The Diocese of Davenport agreed to pay $5.5 million more in its $37 million bankruptcy settlement to ensure that parishes, schools and other Catholic entities would not face lawsuits they would have likely lost, diocesan officials said in a statement released Thursday.

The money, and its release from liability for all abuse that occurred before the diocese filed for bankruptcy in October 2006, was an “insurance policy for every parish and all other Catholic entities in the diocese” and allowed them to avoid lawsuits.

“Legal fees alone would have been ruinous and it is highly likely that the lawsuits would be lost, threatening the very survival of these parishes and other entities,” leaders said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Former Holy Cross principal gets 5 years for stealing $415,848 from school

FREEHOLD (PA)
Burlington County Times

FREEHOLD — The former principal of Holy Cross High School was sentenced today to five years in prison for stealing $415,848 in school funds from the Delran parochial school.

Joseph Lemme, 50, of Wall Township was also ordered to pay full restitution to the school.

The sentence was handed down by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis P. DeStefano as part of a plea agreement between Lemme and prosecutors. The former principal plead guilty in December to one count of second-degree theft by failure to make a required disposition and once count of second-degree misapplication of entrusted property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Texas priest accused of sex crimes has HIV

FORT WORTH (TX)
United Press International

Published: Feb. 15, 2008 at 11:21 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, announced that a priest, who was accused by several people of sexual misconduct, has HIV.

The Rev. Philip Magaldi, who provided service at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills, informed the diocese Feb. 7, that he is HIV-positive, the diocese said in a release on its Web site.

Since diocese officials became aware of the infection, which some believe Magaldi has had since 2003, they have reportedly contacted three individuals who accused him of sexual misconduct. The diocese chose to release the information about Magaldi's health to provide safety for people with past involvement with him, the Rev. Michael Olson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Inside The IMs That Led To Bernie Ward's Arrest On Child Porn Charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Huffington Post

San Francisco's ABC affiliate, KGO, has uncovered the instant messages that led up to the arrest of radio host (and former priest) Bernie Ward on child pornography charges. From KGO:

It's Christmas week, three years ago. Ward's on his home computer using the screen name "Vincentlio." He begins the chat with "Good afternoon, mistress." The woman using the name "Sexfairy" answers, "How was your day, slave?" In explicit detail, Ward describes being humiliated sexually. At one point, he asks, "Are you going to make me feel dirty, mistress?" "Sexfairy" answers, "Yes, I am."

Ward discusses group sex he had at an infamous porn theater in San Mateo. Then, nearly an hour into the conversation, he brings up photographs, "I love trading pictures." "Sexfairy" answers, "and why haven't I gotten any pics, slave? Send me some."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

More Heartbreak at St. Michael, Diocese

CONNECTICUT
Greenwich Citizen

By PATRICIA McCORMACK
Article Last Updated: 02/15/2008 09:18:40 AM EST

Three Diocese of Bridgeport bishops - one deceased and another promoted to cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York - figure in heartbreak of gargantuan size gripping Greenwich's St. Michael the Archangel Church and 86 other parishes across Fairfield County.

The dead bishop's name is the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis. The name of the bishop promoted to cardinal is the Most Rev. Edward M. Egan. The name of the third is the current bishop, the Most Rev. William E. Lori.

No solution is in sight. The scandal involving sex and millions of dollars continues to bubble up. The latest? The New York Post, in its Feb. 4 edition, blew an unseemly situation out of the water involving St. Michael's former pastor, Rev. Michael Moynihan.

In a "slash and burn" dispatch, the Post's reporters knocked the socks off St. Michael parishioners and shook folks with their hands on the levers at Diocesan headquarters in Bridgeport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Diocese embraces a familiar role

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Times Staff | Friday, February 15, 2008

With one decree, the Davenport Diocese will transform from being perceived as a protector of child sex abusers to one of our community’s most conspicuous defenders of children.

The diocese’s proposed reorganization plan disclosed this month goes to extraordinary lengths to reach out to past victims and prevent future ones. Our entire community should pay attention. We all can learn from the healing exercise the diocese has committed to for at least the next 20 years.

Under terms of the agreement, the bishop will visit every church where abuse has occurred, identify the perpetrators by name and listen to victims who choose to publicly speak out. The bishop will send a letter of apology to any victim who ask. The diocese will print victims’ stories in the diocesan newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Davenport bishop wants abusive priest defrocked

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By ERIN JORDAN • REGISTER IOWA CITY BUREAU • February 15, 2008

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has requested that the Vatican defrock a priest who sexually abused children more than 30 years ago.

Bishop Martin Amos announced Thursday he would follow the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board by requesting that the Vatican defrock the Rev. Gerald Stouvenel.

Amos placed Stouvenel on administrative leave in July while an investigation was done regarding the credibility of four claims of abuse that arose as part of the diocese's bankruptcy proceedings. The review board evaluates the claims and makes recommendations to the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Accused priest has HIV, says diocese

FORTH WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH -- The Rev. Philip Magaldi, who has been accused by several people of sexual misconduct while he served as a priest, is HIV-positive, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth announced Thursday.

Magaldi, who served at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills, told the diocese on Feb. 7 about his infection. Since then, the diocese says, it has contacted three people who have made accusations against Magaldi. Church officials in Rhode Island, where Magaldi previously worked, said they also plan to contact his accusers to tell them about his infection.

Fort Worth Diocese officials said they don't have access to Magaldi's medical records but believe he has had the virus that causes AIDS since at least 2003, said the Rev. Michael Olson, the diocese vicar general. Magaldi lives in an assisted living facility in North Richland Hills, a diocese spokesman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Help sought in priest inquiry

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By MARC PARRY and DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writers

First published: Friday, February 15, 2008

WILTON -- State Police investigators in Saratoga County want to talk to anyone who might have been a victim of a New York City monsignor already on administrative leave from the Diocese of Brooklyn amid allegations he sexually abused boys.

Monsignor George Zatarga owns a home in Greenfield, and State Police based at the Wilton barracks on Thursday issued a news release asking for the public's help with their investigation. It was the first sign local investigators are conducting their own probe of Zatarga.

Zatarga, 65, was placed on administrative leave in December after he admitted to "inappropriate behavior" with at least five young men during his 40-year career, according to the New York Daily News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Witness describes torment by pastor

CANADA
London Free Press

By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA

The grown-up student made it clear to his former church pastor and teacher that he recalled no bad behaviour during classes in the basement of Ambassador Baptist Church.

"Were you an unusual group of kids?" asked Royden Wood, 57, who is defending himself at his assault and sex trial.

"Yeah," Jon Franson, 35, answered yesterday. "We were terrified of you."

Franson testified at Wood's Superior Court trial about watching Wood discipline three boys, who Wood called The Three Stooges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Diocese of Fairbanks to file for bankruptcy

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Catholic News Agency

Fairbanks, AK, Feb 15, 2008 / 02:33 am (CNA).- The bishop of Fairbanks announced on Wednesday that the failure of negotiations to settle dozens of sexual abuse claims means the Diocese of Fairbanks will have to file for bankruptcy, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

The negotiations allegedly failed because one of the diocese’s insurance carriers did not “participate meaningfully.”

More than 140 people have filed claims against the diocese alleging sexual misconduct by priests or church volunteers in incidents from the 1950s to the early 1980s. Though a handful of claims have been settled, most are still pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Archdiocese reinstates controversial priest after Vatican ruling

CINCINNATI (OH)
Beacon Journal

Published on Thursday Feb 14, 2008

A Roman Catholic priest who was fined for soliciting sex in a park and later acquitted of separate charges that he raped a boy has been reinstated, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced Thursday.

The move came after the Vatican reviewed the case and gave approval for the Rev. Raymond Larger to be returned to active duties. Larger, 56, will be assigned to the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains downtown and will work at the archdiocese chancery office.

"I believe in Father Larger's innocence and am thankful that the clearing of his name makes possible his return to a ministerial role," Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Diocese: Priest Accused of Abuse Has HIV

TEXAS
Lexington Herald

The Associated Press

A former priest accused of sexually abusing children in two states is HIV positive, Catholic diocese officials said Thursday.

Last week, a leader in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth heard someone mention that the Rev. Philip A. Magaldi has the virus that causes AIDS, said diocese spokesman Pat Svacina. The diocese leader then got verbal confirmation from Magaldi as well as a letter from his doctor who said he has HIV, Svacina said. Church officials said they believe he has been HIV positive since 2003.

The diocese then alerted the alleged victims - at least five minors in two states - and the parishes where Magaldi served for nearly four decades, Svacina said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Cornwall cop didn’t botch sex abuse investigation, witness admits

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, Sun Media

CORNWALL, Ont. — A supposedly botched investigation by city police into a December 1992 sexual abuse allegation wasn’t nearly as ineffective as an Ottawa police officer made it out to be, a public inquiry heard Thursday.

During his cross-examination of retired Supt. Brian Skinner, Cornwall police attorney John Callaghan suggested that lead investigator Const. Heidi Sebalj was a competent officer who worked hard to build a good rapport with the complainant, David Silmser, over the span of the nine-month investigation.

Skinner spent eight days in Cornwall in January 1994 exploring how the force handled Silmser’s accusations that he had been sexually abused by city priest Charles MacDonald and probation officer Ken Seguin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Former R.I. priest HIV positive

FORT WORTH (TX)
Providence Journal

Journal staff and wire reports

FORT WORTH, Texas — A priest accused of sexually abusing at least five minors in Rhode Island and Texas is HIV positive, Catholic diocese officials said yesterday.

Pat Svacina, a spokesman for the Diocese of Fort Worth, said diocese officials first learned last week that the Rev. Philip A. Magaldi — who had been removed as a pastor in 1999 and is in the process of being laicized — could be HIV positive. HIV is a retrovirus that may lead to AIDS.

Fort Worth Vicar General Michael F. Olson then got verbal confirmation from Magaldi as well as a letter from his doctor saying Magaldi is being treated for HIV but not AIDS, Svacina said.

Based on private interviews, Svacina said diocese officials believe Magaldi has been HIV positive since at least 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Years after abuse complaints, priest defrocked

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By WENDY RUDERMAN & WILLIAM BENDER
Philadelphia Daily News
rudermw@phillynews.com 215-854-2860

The Vatican has defrocked a Philadelphia priest with a long and sordid history of sexually molesting altar boys after plying them with alcohol and forcing them to sleep in his bed, archdiocese officials announced yesterday.

But the decision to cast David C. Sicoli out of the priesthood came three decades after archdiocese officials first received complaints about him and almost four years after they launched an investigation into allegations that he molested at least 11 boys.

Victims' groups expressed outrage yesterday - saying the Vatican's move was too little, too late and failed to heal the wounds of those he allegedly abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Vatican defrocks Phila. priest over abuse of minors

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Enquirer

By Sam Wood and Rita Giordano
Inquirer Staff Writers

A Philadelphia priest whose archdiocesan file, according to a grand jury report, showed "a long history of abusive and manipulative relationships with adolescents" has been defrocked by the Roman Catholic Church.

David C. Sicoli, 60, a parish priest from 1975 to 2004 in Philadelphia, Ambler, Levittown and Yeadon, was officially "removed from the clerical state" by order of the Vatican, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia disclosed yesterday. Sicoli volunteered for laicization after the archdiocese substantiated accusations that he had abused several boys.

No criminal charges were ever lodged against Sicoli.

However, a 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report found that despite numerous complaints about his alleged misconduct with boys and even warnings from other priests, the church transferred Sicoli to different parishes as scandal pursued him. Diocese officials did nothing to intervene, the report stated. Instead, they named him associate director of the CCD youth program for the entire Philadelphia area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

State police seeking other alleged victims of NYC priest

NEW YORK
WCAX

Associated Press - February 15, 2008 3:15 AM ET

WILTON, N.Y. (AP) - State police in Saratoga County have launched investigation involving a New York City clergyman accused of sexually abusing boys.

Monsignor George Zatarga was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Brooklyn in December amid the sex abuse allegations.

The 65-year-old owns a home in Greenfield, near Saratoga, and state police are now looking into his activities upstate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Fort Worth diocese: Priest accused of sexual abuse is HIV-positive

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News
begerton@dallasnews.com

Fort Worth Catholic officials said Thursday that one of their most notorious predator priests has the virus that causes AIDS and has refused to tell them how long he has been infected.

The officials view the situation with great concern, given that the Rev. Philip Magaldi worked in ministry for many years despite repeated complaints about his conduct with boys and young men.

"This is very troublesome" for Bishop Kevin Vann, spokesman Pat Svacina said. He said the bishop is flying Monday to Rome, where he will urge the Vatican to speed the process – begun in late 2006 – of removing Father Magaldi from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

A Legacy of Misconduct

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

Here are key dates in the Rev. Philip Magaldi's career as a priest:

1990 – Hired in the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese while under criminal investigation for embezzling from a church in Rhode Island.

1992 – Pleads guilty to embezzlement, with prosecutors saying he spent some of the money on boys. Serves a short prison sentence – then returns to duty, working with boys, in the Fort Worth Diocese.

1997 – Confidential Fort Worth church investigation finds him "guilty of sexual exploitation" after he admits paying an older teen to administer enemas. He denies sexual harassment allegations and remains on duty in North Richland Hills.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Ex-priest faces 2nd sex case

GARY (IN)
Post-Tribune

February 15, 2008
By Andy Grimm Post-Tribune staff writer

A second Florida man claims he was sexually abused by priest Richard Emerson for years in Emerson's parish in Orlando, Fla., and the abuse continued after Emerson was transferred to the Gary Diocese.

The civil lawsuit filed by an unnamed man in Orange County, Fla., claims Emerson, a 56-year-old Hammond native, began molesting him in 1987 and that the relationship continued after the priest was transferred to the Gary Diocese in 1991.

"(Emerson) would send bus tickets to get them from Florida to Indiana, for camping trips," Joseph Saunders, attorney for both plaintiffs, said, elaborating on charges contained in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Vatican reinstates priest

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY DAN HORN | DHORN@ENQUIRER.COM

The Vatican reinstated a Cincinnati priest Thursday after concluding there was no merit to accusations of sexual abuse against him.

The decision came more than two years after a judge dismissed criminal charges against the Rev. Raymond Larger, the only priest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to face trial since the clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

Larger, who has been suspended with pay for three years, now may preside at Masses and perform other priestly duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

February 14, 2008

Police seek information on alleged sexual abuse by priest

GREENFIELD (NY)
Post-Star

GREENFIELD — State Police in Wilton are asking anyone with information regarding the possible sexual abuse by a 65-year-old priest with area ties to contact local investigators.

Last December, Monsignor George F. Zatarga was placed on administrative leave from his role as pastor of American Martyrs parish in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens.

Zatarga’s leave was coordinated shortly after he acknowledged his "inappropriate behavior" in the wake of sexual abuse allegations that were reported to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Diocese: Accused priest who served in Fort Worth has HIV

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com

Officials of the Catholic Diocese of Forth Worth say a priest who served there and faces sexual misconduct allegations has recently acknowledged that he has tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Father Philip Magaldi worked in the Fort Worth Diocese from 1990 to 1992, and again from 1993 to 1999.

"Magaldi acknowledged to me that he is HIV positive. We do not know when Magaldi was diagnosed as HIV positive," Fort Worth Vicar General Michael F. Olson said in press release.

Father Olson said the diocese does not have access to Mr. Magaldi's medical records, because of privacy laws. But he said the diocese believes Mr. Magaldi has been HIV positive at least since 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Priest in indecency case reinstated

CINCINNATI (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein
Staff Writer

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Rev. Raymond E. Larger, the Catholic priest who was convicted of public indecency in Dayton's Triangle Park but acquitted of a separate accusation of child sex abuse in suburban Cincinnati, has been reinstated to active priesthood by the Vatican, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced today, Feb. 14.

Larger will be assigned to ministry at Cincinnati's Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains and also will serve as an administrative assistant in the archdiocese's chancery, said spokesman Dan Andriacco.

In a statement, Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk said Vatican officials handled the matter "thoughtfully and with justice. I believe in Father Larger's innocence and am thankful that the clearing of his name makes possible his return to a ministerial role."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Once accused, priest reinstated

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY DAN HORN | DHORN@ENQUIRER.COM

The Vatican reinstated a Cincinnati priest Thursday after concluding there was no merit to accusations of sexual abuse against him.

The decision came more than two years after a judge dismissed criminal charges against the Rev. Raymond Larger, the only priest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to face trial since the clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

Larger, who has been suspended with pay for three years, now may preside at masses and perform other priestly duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Priest accused of abuse is HIV positive, diocese says

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

By Darren Barbee
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

The Rev. Philip Magaldi, who has been accused by several men of sexual misconduct while he served as a parish priest, is HIV positive, the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese announced today.

Magaldi, who served at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills, told the diocese on Feb. 6 of his infection. Since then, the diocese says it has contacted three people who have made accusations against Magaldi.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, R.I., where Magaldi has served, has also been contacted about Magaldi’s status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Catholic diocese officials say priest HIV positive

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

02/14/2008

Associated Press

Catholic diocese officials say a priest accused of sexually abusing minors is HIV positive.

After the Reverend Philip Magaldi recently told another priest that he has the disease that causes AIDS, the diocese alerted people who have lodged allegations against him.

The diocese in Fort Worth said it also notified parishes where Magaldi served.

Church officials say they believe Magaldi has been HIV positive since 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Ex-priest HIV positive

TEXAS
Times Record News

Officials of the Diocese of Fort Worth revealed Thursday that a Catholic priest who served communities in North Texas and was removed from the priesthood on allegations of sexual misconduct, is HIV positive.

The announcement came from Vicar General Michael F. Olson.

In the early 1990s, Philip Magaldi served at churches in Henrietta, Montague, Nocona and Bowie.

“We do not know when Magaldi was diagnosed as HIV positive,” Olson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Your Voice: Diocese provides another lesson for parishioners

CONNECTICUT
The Connecticut Post

JOHN MARSHALL LEE
Article Last Updated: 02/12/2008 11:29:42 AM EST

One more chapter in the story of a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport was revealed on Feb. 4. The New York Post featured new details on Father Michael Moynihan, resigned pastor of St. Michael in Greenwich. Financial mismanagement, including multiple accounts of $500,000 or more involving disobedience of Diocesan directives and/or possible financial mismanagement, caused his removal in January. The article reported a long-term habitation of a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment by Moynihan and a roommate, Michael Fawcett, an actor and singer. Previous denials by Father Moynihan of stories about this relationship proved false. The diocese promptly suspended Father Moynihan's public ministry and sacramental functions. Yet there is as yet no financial report after a year of research and review of parish records by the diocese on whether there was any financial abuse by Moynihan, and, if so, the real extent or nature of it. There has been no statement as to whether legal authorities are or have been involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Local Priest Defrocked Following Sex Assault Investigation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

A local priest has been defrocked following an investigation into a series of alleged sexual assaults.

David Sicoli, served in a number of local churches for nearly 30 years, asked to be removed from cleric state after an Archdiocese of Philadelphia investigation confirmed the claims that he sexually assaulted a number of minors during his time served as priest.

Sicoli is no longer incardinated in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and he is unable to function as a priest anywhere, according to an Archdiocese news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Davenport diocese recommends accused priest be defrocked

DAVENPORT (IA)
Courier

DAVENPORT, Iowa - The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport is recommending that a priest accused of sexually abusing children be defrocked.

Bishop Martin Amos says on the Web site for the dioceses' newspaper, the Catholic Messenger, that the Diocesan Review Board has recommended that the Rev. Gerald Stouvenel be defrocked.

Stouvenel was placed on leave last year after four people filed sexual abuse claims against him, claiming he abused them more than 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Bernie Ward, "Sexfairy," and Damning Evidence

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
SFist

As many of you know, Bernie Ward, former Catholic priest and KGO 810 AM host, was fired from his job after the Feds hit him with charges of child pornography. Although he used the Pete Townsend defense that he merely doing a little kiddie porn research, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Dan Noyes, who takes on the difficult task of having to do an investigatory report on a former colleague, says that the initial complaint against Ward was filed by a woman in Oakdale, who chatted with him online using the screen name “Sexfairy.” During her online chat with Ward, she claims to have received an "e-mail message and pornographic material involving juveniles" from the former talk show host.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

A Challenge to Mater Dei Apologists

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 14, 2008 12:07 PM

Congratulations, Mater Dei alumni, students, and anyone who has any pride because of your relationship to the Catholic high school! My open letter to current Monarchs quarterback Matt Barkley asking him to think twice about lending his prodigious arm to a school that long tolerated rapist teachers and administrators is now the second-most-commented post in Navel Gazing history ever (the record holder is Scott Moxley's news of former Orange County sheriff Mike Carona's indictment). Most of the commentators were MD alumni outraged that I dared put all the blame of the school's crimes on all Monarchs instead of just the few powerful bad seeds at the school. Many expressed anger at the administration, even prayed about the problems. Some even called for jail time for such crimes. And all said what a wonderful school Mater Dei is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Church defrocks Philadelphia priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Sam Wood
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A Philadelphia priest, accused in 2004 of molesting at least 11 boys, has been defrocked by the Roman Catholic Church, archdiocese officials announced today.

David C. Sicoli served as a priest from 1975 until July 2004 at numerous parishes in Philadelphia, Ambler and Yeadon.

Sicoli was "officially removed from the clerical state" by order of the Vatican after the Archdiocese substantiated accusations he had abused several boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Court finds right to jury trial if sex offender registry at stake

ARIZONA
azcentral

Associated Press
Feb. 14, 2008 11:14 AM

The Arizona Supreme Court says misdemeanor defendants are entitled to jury trials if they could be required to register as sex offenders if convicted.

The court's ruling Thursday comes in the case of Dale Fushek. The indicted Roman Catholic priest awaits trial on charges that include contributing to the delinquency of minors while he was a parish priest in Mesa in the 1980s and 1990s.

Most of the misdemeanor charges against Fushek don't carry jail time long enough to trigger the constitutional right to a jury trial, but prosecutors asked that Fushek be found to have acted with sexual motivation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Accused priest Fushek wins right to jury trial

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Nick R. Martin, Tribune
The embattled but still-popular Mesa priest Dale Fushek won his bid on Thursday to have a jury decide whether he is guilty of several criminal charges, including exposing himself to a minor.

The Arizona Supreme Court gave Fushek the opportunity to face a jury instead of a lone judge -- as prosecutors had hoped -- because a conviction comes with the possibility he would have to register as a sex offender.

“That’s good news,” Fushek said when reached by phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

The Fairbanks bishop claims he’s protecting church assets.

ALASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

The Fairbanks bishop claims he’s protecting church assets. He’s not. He’s protecting his reputation.

If money was indeed, the issue, Kettler had many options he never pursued.
He could have revealed his diocese’s wealth, to show he’s poor. He didn’t.
He could have sought a bank loan, if need be (like Orange County). He didn’t.
He could have sought a loan from church sources (like Boston). He didn’t.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Diocese makes group for abused males

CANADA
The Sarnia Observer

The Diocese of London is helping create a regional support group for male victims of sexual abuse.

The diocese has doubled its investment from last year, providing $60,000 to the Silence to Hope project.

The project is being co-ordinated through Hope & Healing Associates in Chatham-Kent.

Project co-ordinator Tom Wilken said the funding will assist men in their healing journeys through no-cost support groups. The project serves nine counties, including Lambton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

More on the Tom Doyle-Bill Casey Dialog

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

I recently received via email the following letter to VOTF Board of Trustees Chair Bill Casey from Voice from the Desert reader Vincent J. Nauheimer.

This letter extends the dialog, started on this blog, about priorities among VOTF’s three goals: 1) supporting survivors of clergy sexual abuse; 2) supporting priests of integrity; and 3) shaping structural change in the church.

* * *
Dear Mr. Casey,

Oh that the VOTF would write a cardinal or bishop with such fervor and distance themselves from them as easily as they do Tom Doyle. I pause to click my heels, yet I am still here. Such an ardent plea to remain the same, with the same institutions, the same leaders and the same blindness; it tears at my heart. Every person in my family was a victim of the insidious evil perpetuated by a corrupt hierarchy and yet they are still here. No one, including VOTF, likes to hear that they have failed. Yet failed they have; the proof of failure lies in the fact that the current church officials are the same ones who were in power in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Group targets Sisters of Mercy

CHICAGO (IL)
Southtown Star

February 14, 2008
By Stephanie Gehring, Staff writer
An organization for those sexually abused by clergy is calling for action to be taken against the Sisters of Mercy in Chicago.

"The Sisters of Mercy are not doing the right thing," Barbara Blaine, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Wednesday after a news conference in Chicago's Mount Greenwood community.

SNAP called upon the Sisters of Mercy to compensate the two men who were abused by Sister Norma Giannini during the 1960s while she was principal at a Catholic school in Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Sister Maureen Asks: What About Accountability and Transparency in Wisconsin?

WISCONSIN
Voice from the Desert

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish

WHAT ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY?

Recent news stories coming out of Wisconsin illustrate the tragic need to change that state’s inadequate childhood sexual abuse statutes for the protection of everyone.

Wisconsin’s laws have been among the most ineffective in the nation, allowing little civil action in older cases. Wisconsin victims have been virtually barred from suing the church because of court decisions issued in 1995 and 1997.

The situation in Wisconsin is much like the situation in many religious denominations across the United States, not just in the Roman Catholic Church. Because of the magnitude of the sexual abuse problems in the church, however, along what may prove to possible collusion between a former district attorney who is now a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and the
Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the sexual abuse problems have now been ratcheted up a level.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Catholic church complains about bad press

SWITZERLAND
swissinfo

The Swiss press commission is looking into the recent coverage of paedophile priests after complaints from the church that all priests were being tarred.

In an open letter Roland Trauffer, vicar general for the diocese of Basel, criticised "patterns of editorial thinking that boost circulation" which "assume guilt until proven innocent".

Trauffer added that certain media were painting all Catholic priests as "potential child abusers".

Trauffer's comments follow the revelation of several cases of child abuse by Catholic priests. In the most widely publicised case, a Swiss priest was moved to France by superiors who knew he had already sexually abused at least one child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Diocesan publication: Request made to defrock priest

IOWA
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Thursday, February 14, 2008

A priest who became the leader of the Keokuk, Iowa, region for the Diocese of Davenport will be recommended for defrocking, the diocese’s official newspaper is reporting.

The Rev. Gerald Stouvenel was placed on leave last year after four people filed sex abuse claims against him in the diocese’s bankruptcy. They claimed he abused them three decades ago.

A message from Bishop Martin Amos on the Catholic Messenger Web site says, “The Diocesan Review Board has recommended that I request the Vatican to laicize Father Gerald Stouvenel. I have accepted this recommendation and the request is being sent to the Vatican for review and decision. During this process, Fr. Stouvenel will continue his leave from ministry while working at the St. Vincent Center in Davenport where he is being supervised.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Ex-priest on parole after serving time

ILLINOIS
Herald News

February 14, 2008
By STEVE LORD sun-times news group
A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting teenage girls in Geneva and Aurora was released from prison and started his parole Wednesday.

Mark Campobello, 43, left the Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton Wednesday as scheduled, Derek Schnapp, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections, confirmed.

Campobello was imprisoned for three years and eight months after he pleaded guilty in 2004 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl between January and May 1999 while he lived at the rectory of St. Peter Church in Geneva.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Sex abuse victims want payoff from nun's order

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 14, 2008
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporter mihejirika@suntimes.com
At age 55, Jerry Kobs still faces the emotional scars of his sexual abuse at the hands of Sister Norma Giannini.

Carrying the secret as he raised his own two kids, Kobs hopscotched jobs as he sought work allowing him to keep close tabs on them.

"It was hard. I didn't trust anyone, not priests, coaches, teachers, not any adult around them," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Fairbanks Catholic Diocese filing for bankruptcy

ALASKA
KTUU

by Megan Baldino
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It was a tough day for the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks.

The organization is filing for bankruptcy after negotiations to settle sexual abuse claims failed.

More than 150 claims were filed against the church for alleged crimes at the hands of clergy or church workers between the 1950s and 1980s.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Bishop Donald Kettler says the Diocese's insurance company is not covering the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Session at diocese offices turns tense

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

An Ohio man who filed a lawsuit in Florida against a former Toledo Catholic deacon called on the Toledo diocese yesterday to help prevent more abuses by the ex-deacon and to encourage more victims to step forward.

Tom Ferguson, 48, a former Toledoan living in Cleveland, said during a news conference on a snowy sidewalk outside the Catholic Center in Toledo that he was sexually abused at age 15 by Dr. Glen Shrimplin, a former Toledo-area dentist and ex-deacon, during a vacation in Fort Lauderdale during the 1975-76 Christmas break.

Surrounded by his wife, two brothers, and a sister, Mr. Ferguson read a statement calling Dr. Shrimplin "a sexual predator who had abused many, many children over so many years."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

2nd Lawsuit Filed Against Priest

ORLANDO (FL)
WESH

[with video]

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A new lawsuit has been filed accusing a former Roman Catholic priest in Central Florida of sexual abuse on a child.

Attorney Joe Saunders filed the papers in circuit civil court that claim a former priest in the Orlando Catholic Diocese molested a boy beginning at age 9.

"It's left him emotionally very damaged," Saunders said.
Rev. Richard Emerson was a religion teacher at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in College Park, where the alleged victim attended school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Kentucky Catholic Bishops Back Bill to Increase Sentences for Sex Offenders

KENTUCKY
Lifesite

By Hilary White

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, February 13, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A statement from the four Catholic bishops of Kentucky says the Church supports a bill in the House of Representatives that seeks to increase sentences for those convicted of sexual abuse of minors.

The bishops said that House Bill 211 "will effectively protect young people from sexual predators and … will encourage public and private institutions to be vigilant in protecting children entrusted to their care."

Bishops of the Archdiocese of Louisville and the Dioceses of Covington, Lexington, and Owensboro, wrote that the bill "appropriately increases the penalty for acts by a person in a position of authority or position of special trust as a way to hold those persons accountable."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Ex-priest convicted of sexual abuse paroled

ROCKFORD (IL)
Rockford Register Star

Feb 13, 2008 @ 08:08 PM
RRSTAR.COM STAFF REPORTS
ROCKFORD -
Former Rockford Catholic priest Mark Campobello, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexual abuse of two teenagers, was released Wednesday from the Illinois River State Prison near Canton.

Campobello, who reported to prison June 2, 2004, was paroled after serving half of his sentence and being given credit for time served in a county jail.

According to Derek Schnapp, Department of Corrections spokesman, Campobello was paroled after the state approved his residence plans. Schnapp said Campobello plans to live in Illinois.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Cop: Cornwall probe bungled from start

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Thu, February 14, 2008

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA

CORNWALL -- The Cornwall police investigation into sexual abuse allegations made in 1992 by David Silmser was "inept and ineffective" but there was no evidence of a coverup, a public inquiry heard yesterday.

Supt. Brian Skinner, a now-retired Ottawa police officer, came to Cornwall for eight days in 1994 to examine how the local force responded to the complaints Silmser made against Father Charles MacDonald.

"Systemic" problems with the nine-month investigation, including potential witnesses going uninterviewed and a lead investigator who didn't have the proper training, were summarized in a report Skinner compiled in January 1994 and which was entered into evidence yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Abuse probe weak: officer

CANADA
The Peterborough Examiner

A former Ottawa cop says the investigation by Cornwall police into a 1992 allegation of sexual abuse was ineffective, but he didn't see any indications of a coverup.

Retired superintendent Brian Skinner testified at a public inquiry yesterday that they were asked to look at how a sex abuse complaint against a city priest was handled in Cornwall.

He told the inquiry they were asked to look into whether there was evidence of a coverup by Cornwall police in relation to David Silmser's allegation against Rev. Charles MacDonald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

After Cardinal Connell’s faux pas, what can we expect from philosophy ?

IRELAND
The Southern Star

By Editor Saturday February 16th, 2008

IF the Catholic Church in Ireland, over recent decades, has lost its moral authority, due to child sexual abuse, allied to an ongoing authoritarian governance mode, it was with disbelief that the nation last week learned about the High Court proceedings taken by 81-year old Cardinal Desmond Connell, challenging the right of present Archbishop of Dublin Dr. Diarmuid Martin to release diocesan files to a Government-backed commission of inquiry into allegations of rape and child sexual abuse.

Then, just a week later, came the news on Monday that the cardinal had withdrawn his bid to stop the commission examining the child abuse files and, suddenly, what was described as an attempt to promote secrecy was halted which, after a predictable storm of protest, must raise just as many questions. Has the Church learned anything after its years in denial and of turning a blind eye to horrendous abuse? Furthermore, what has years of teaching philosophy (or the ‘love of wisdom’) taught an aged academic whose conception of truth and justice seems so desperately wanting ? No wonder one columnist contended that the situation indicated ‘a shocking moral vacuum at the heart of the clergy and hierarchy in this country.’

‘Years of privilege blinded the bishops’ commented Professor Colum Kenny of Dublin City University who also contended that such a court case would be ‘a milestone on the road to their self-destruction’. While the Catholic Church’s influence has declined in the Western World, its position in Ireland is more unusual in that, from being persecuted and discriminated against under British rule, it was catapulted, on national independence, into a dominant position where it could challenge, and often did, the legitimate authority of elected governments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Former O'Gorman student sues diocese

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Argus Leader

By Josh Verges
jverges@argusleader.com
PUBLISHED: February 14, 2008

A former O'Gorman High School student has filed suit against the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese, alleging he was sexually assaulted by a teacher in 1970.

Tom Gust, 53, said his typing teacher, Bob Krantz, assaulted him after school one day and that school officials refused to take action.

Gust left South Dakota in 1972 and now lives in Escalon, Calif. He said he blocked the events from his memory until 2005, when he was surfing the diocese Web site and learned about dozens of abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 AM

New Hampshire Catholic Bishop John McCormack to agree to the New Hampshire attorney general’s request for a fourth state audit

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Voice of the Faithful

February 8, 2008 - It took the pressure of an impending court hearing this coming Monday to force New Hampshire Catholic Bishop John McCormack to agree to the New Hampshire attorney general’s request for a fourth state audit. McCormack had declined since 2006 to commit to such an audit, and last May refused outright to cooperate with the state after December 31, 2007.

McCormack has engaged in a pattern of obstruction since December 2002 when he signed a plea bargain agreement that prevented prosecution of the Diocese for criminally endangering children, with perjury as part of the indictment. The agreement called for five annual audits through December 2007, to assure effective implementation of the Diocese’s sexual abuse policy. McCormack’s unsuccessful court challenge of the comprehensive audit the state desired delayed the process for over two years, and resulted in the decision by the state to reduce the number to four.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 AM

Fairbanks diocese plans to file for bankruptcy

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News | ldemer@adn.com

Published: February 13th, 2008 09:37 PM
Last Modified: February 13th, 2008 09:42 PM

The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks intends to file for bankruptcy reorganization within the next few weeks because negotiations to settle dozens of sexual abuse claims failed, the bishop announced Wednesday.

More than 140 people have filed claims against the diocese alleging sexual misconduct by priests or church volunteers that stretch back decades, from the 1950s to the early 1980s, according to the diocese. Most of those claims are still pending though a handful have been settled.

"We acknowledge that harm was done to people and this is, we think, the most pastoral way to address those hurts," said Robert Hannon, chancellor and special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 AM

Catholic diocese to file bankruptcy

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

By Chris Eshleman

Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Catholic Diocese of Northern Alaska will file for reorganization under federal bankruptcy law, Bishop Donald Kettler announced in a news release this evening.

The news is the latest blow for an institution still facing numerous sexual abuse claims filed in court by Alaska Natives.

Kettler said in the release that the Chapter 11 bankrtuptcy filing will likely take place in the next five weeks. He said he made the decision after reflecting on the needs of those abused by church workers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 AM

Alaska Diocese to File for Bankruptcy

FAIRBANKS (AK)
San Francisco Chronicle

By MARY PEMBERTON, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

(02-13) 21:16 PST Anchorage, Alaska (AP) --

The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks plans to file for bankruptcy after negotiations to settle sexual abuse claims failed, the bishop said Wednesday.

Bishop Donald J. Kettler said he anticipates filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within five weeks.

"I am legally and morally bound to both fulfill our mission and to pursue healing for those injured," he said in a prepared statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 AM

February 13, 2008

Pedophile Priest Paroled, Out of Prison

CANTON (IL)
WBBM

CANTON, Ill. (STNG) -- A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting two teenage girls in Kane County was released on parole Wednesday.

Mark Campobello, 43, left the Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton, where he was imprisoned for more than three years, according to Derek Schnapp, a spokesman with the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Campobello must register as a sex offender within five days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Pins of Penance

OREGON
Willamette Week

BY SHEFALI KULKARNI | skulkarni at wweek dot com
[February 13th, 2008]

In a small room at Ascension Catholic Church in Southeast Portland last Saturday, a half-dozen people listened to Steve Fearing recount the childhood sexual abuse he suffered in middle school at the hands of a priest.

Fearing, a 52-year-old teacher, spoke to a small group of Catholics remorseful about decades of sex abuse by some priests. The group, founded last fall, calls itself Compassionate Gathering and meets monthly as a support group for the church’s sex-abuse victims.

The fledgling organization claims only a handful of members. But during Lent from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 6, through Easter, March 23, some members are broadening their visibility by wearing—and urging other Catholics to wear—small burlap pins as penance for sex abuse victims such as Fearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Former Ottawa police officer slams local force's investigation of sexual abuse claim

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

The Cornwall police force's investigation into sexual abuse allegations made in December 1992 by David Silmser was "inept and ineffective” but there was no cover-up, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Wednesday morning.

Supt. Brian Skinner, a retired police officer with the Ottawa police force, came to Cornwall in 1994 to examine how the police responded to allegations made by Silmser against city priest Charles MacDonald and probation officer Ken Seguin.

Among his findings, Skinner told commission counsel Ian Stauffer, were that the principal investigator, Heidi Sebalj, was “far too junior” to conduct an investigation of that magnitude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Lawsuit: Now-Deceased Priest Abused Boy

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
News4Jax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Attorneys representing a man who claims he was abused by a priest while attending St. Mary's Academy filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Fr. William Weinheimer, the priest named in the lawsuit, is deceased.

The suit claims Weinheimer abused Gregory Peake in 1954 when the victim was 9 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Lauto finanziamento. La Chiesa cattolica e le tasse degli italiani

ITALY
Radio Radicale

Clicking the link you can listen to the Italian-language public debate held on Feb.12, 2008 by the Fondazione Critica Liberale Fondazione Critica Liberale www.criticaliberale.it/ (a Foundation which wants to promote and spread the thought and the practice of liberalism) and the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (one of the three most important labor unions in Italy) on the theme: L’auto finanziamento. La Chiesa cattolica e le tasse degli italiani (Auto financing. The Catholic Church and the Italian taxpayer).

Here is a concise report of the 1 hour 49 minutes debate, which was recorded by www.radioradicale.it (the radio run by the Italian Radical Party). The relator is Mario Staderini, a councilman of the First Municipality of Rome (the one responsible for the center of the city), and the representative of the political party “La Rosa nel Pugno”. In 2004 Mario Staderini wrote of a book describing the illegal way the Italian State is implementing the 1984 revised accord of the 1929 “Concordato” ( the pact between the State and the Catholic Church stipulated by Dictator Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri).

Mario Staderini divides the financing of the Catholic Church by the Italian State, at the national and local level, into three main branches: “direct”, “indirect” and “black financing”

“Direct”: it’s the so called “8 x thousand”: a taxpayer, even he isn’t charged directly, can indicate to the Italian State in his tax form if a charity of 8 euros for each 1000 euros calculated on his earned income must be given by the Italian Government to the Catholic Church or to other 5 recognized churches. There is a major controversy on how this law must applied because the Italian Government has invented a way to correspond that sum of money mostly to the Catholic Church even when there is no explicit will expressed by the taxpayers. Since 1990 the Vatican has received for that about ten billion euros.

This system of direct financing has worsened the 1929 “Concordato” with Mussolini because at least the money before was given directly to the priests in the form of a stipend. Now instead the money is given to the Italian conference of Bishops (CEI) and only the high hierarchy can decide how it must be used: if a parish priest or a bishop is not following the “orders” from above then they can be punished or black mailed by not receiving the money promptly or even be deprived of it.

Most of the money sent to Africa or to other underdeveloped regions all over the world is not spent for charity but mostly for propaganda purposes, for recruitment and for political reasons.

This money has allowed the Vatican to enter the Italian political scene and support only those members of the Italian Parliament who follow the directives of the Vatican.

“Indirect”: fiscal advantages by the Italian State and local government institutions like free building of church facilities, payment of religious teaching in the classrooms, Italian police and traffic police employed for the necessities of the Vatican in case of big events. The hospitals and schools belonging to the Vatican have a convention with the Italian State or the local administrations and they are financed by the taxpayers’ money. Yet they don’t provide all the services which the State schools or hospitals provide to the Italian non catholic citizens.

Moreover most of the historical real estate in downtown Rome belongs to the Vatican.Those buildings used by the Catholic Church when the Pope ran Central of Italy before 1860 remained in the ownership of the Vatican. Only important people connected with the Vatican can get an apartment in one of these historical buildings. Yet the Italian State spends the taxpayers’ money to restore those buildings: for example the “Propaganda Fide” palace in Piazza di Spagna was restored using 6 million euros of the taxpayer’s money .

While all basilicas and all catholic landmarks are being restored at the taxpayer’s expense to allow the Vatican to make money from the tourism organized by the “Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi “ (the Vatican’s tourism enterprise), the restoration of other public touristic landmarks like the Colosseum or the walls of ancient Rome is being almost completely ignored and sometimes made with private money. The shuttle bus “Roma Cristiana” (Christian Rome) run by the Vatican connecting all the Basilicas of Rome is mostly made at the expense of the City of Rome.

“Black financing” : the possibility for the IOR (Istituto Opere religione, that’s the Vatican Bank) to operate without any respect of international Law and get money and transfer money of the “well connected friends” all over the world.

Those written above are only some of the main points debated. After Mario Staderini’s introductions there were the comments of the other participants, who added their own accounts about the situation described. Proposals were made for initiatives to be taken in the next future in order to eliminate the privileges of the Vatican. The hope is that the European authorities will intervene in the near future to order the Italian Government not to allow the Vatican to run businesses in unfair competition with the other normal private business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

First Coast Diocese Sued for Ignoring Abuse

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

[with video]

By Kristin Smith
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A man who says he was abused more than 50 years ago is coming forward now.

Gregory Peake says it all started when he was nine.

His attorney, Joseph Saunders, showed First Coast News letters Peake said came from Father William Weinheimer in 1954.

"Basically love letters to Mr. Peake, telling him that he should burn the letters so his parents wouldn't see them, reminiscing about the bed in the back room where they had their siestas, and telling him that he loved him," said Saunders about the content in Weinheimer's letters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Former priest to be paroled

ILLINOIS
Kane County Chronicle

By KATE THAYER - kthayer@kcchronicle.com

Former St. Peter priest Mark Campobello is expected to walk out of prison today, his sentence for a sex abuse conviction complete, but one parishioner says the turmoil from the abuse is far from over.

Campobello, 43, who came to the Geneva church in 1994 and also taught at Aurora Central Catholic High School, pleaded guilty in 2004 to abusing two teenage girls and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Derek Schnapp said Tuesday that Campobello already went before the prisoner review board and was scheduled to begin four years of parole today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Celibacy isn't cause of sex abuse

Chicago Sun-Times

ANDREW GREELEY agreel@aol.com
A couple of weeks ago I challenged the conventional wisdom of some Catholic liberals that celibacy is the cause of sexual abuse of children and young people by priests. I pointed out that it was also a problem for married Protestant clergy. What was unique for Catholics was the cover-up by church authorities -- a strategy that worked for a long, long time. Celibacy does not cause abuse, and marriage is not a cure for it.

I was deluged with hate mail from angry priests and laity. It was obvious, they ranted, that celibacy was the cause of abuse. Yet a Greek Orthodox priest wrote me an e-mail asserting that "even the married Greek clergy are not immune from pedophilia." He referred me to the Web page the Orthodox Church maintains about its problems, www.orthodoxreform.org. My ranting critics ridiculed my sociological data about the professional and personal happiness of priests in comparison with ministers. I suggest they look up the Greek Web page.

The Greeks are transparent about their problems. They don't seem to rally around their offenders in protective circles of denial. Quite the contrary, they seem to distance themselves from the abusers. They don't argue, as I heard several years ago from an Irish priest, "Father, they are PRIESTS!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Group threatens to take Canada to world court

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

Jorge Barrera, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
A group representing a segment of residential school survivors says it is preparing to take the federal government to international criminal court and disinter bodies of native children.

As part of a growing campaign to seek redress for crimes it claims were committed during a dark chapter in Canadian history, the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared Residential School Children plans to disinter the bodies during a March media event at an unmarked gravesite in B.C. where members believe native children who died in a residential school are buried, said Kevin Annett, the group's spokesman.

The group is also planning to file an application against the federal government and the Roman Catholic Church at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. It accuses the federal government of being complicit in crimes against humanity, said Mr. Annett, a former United Church minister who has been campaigning on the issue for more than a decade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Crown argues control abusive

CANADA
London Free Press

By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA

For hours, three boys stood military-style -- shoulders back, feet together, thumbs along their pant seams.

Their teacher was Royden Wood, their London church pastor and leader, whom they dared not disrespect.

Wood cheerily referred to the boys, 12 to 14 at the time, as "the Three Stooges."

He sometimes slapped them playfully on the face and pulled them out of the congregation on Sundays at the Ambassador Baptist Church to show members the success of his "self-control training program."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Former Catholic deacon sued again for sexual abuse

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

[with video]

TOLEDO -- A former Toledo deacon in the Diocese of Toledo once sued for allegations of sexual abuse is facing another lawsuit, reports News 11's Lisa Rantala.

The plaintiff in the suit was raised in Toledo and now lives in Cleveland. After 30 years, he says it's time to come forward.

"I was 14 years old when he groomed me, and 15 and 16 when he started abusing me," said Tom Ferguson on Tuesday. The former Toledoan says he's been haunted for years by memories of the abuse by former Toledo deacon, Glen Shrimplin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Former youth minister facing sexual abuse allegations

FLORIDA
WBBH

[with video]

LEE COUNTY: A former Catholic youth minister is accused of sexual assault. An Ohio man filed a lawsuit claiming he was abused more than 30 years ago. The accuser says it took him this long to get the courage to come forward. We found out this was not the only allegation to surface.

Haunted by his past, Tom Ferguson spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday.

"I am a victim and survivor of childhood sexual assault," said Ferguson.

The Ohio man says it was at the hands of a man he looked up to and trusted. Ferguson says it was his former Catholic youth minister, a deacon named Glen Shrimplin who is now 74-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Strengthen Kentucky's anti-child abuse laws

KENTUCKY
Cincinnati Enquirer

Did you know that the laws for cockfighting in Kentucky are tougher than the laws for sexually abusing a 12-year-old?

Sexual abuse of children by trusted adults -- whether clergy, educators, family members or others -- is not a cock and bull story. Reports of these terrible crimes have peaked during the past few years as hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Catholic dioceses, other churches, and institutions in Kentucky and across the United States. The Diocese of Covington has the unhappy distinction of being the first diocese to face a class-action suit of more than $82 million due to sexual abuse.

A growing number of Kentuckians are saying, "Enough." It is time for Kentucky to do a much better job of protecting our children. A coalition of Kentucky citizens, Protecting Our Children, has formed to do something about it. With the help of local legislators, we have drafted House Bill 211, which would strengthen the child sexual abuse legislation in Kentucky. So far it has been co-sponsored by 13 Kentucky legislators and supported by the Kentucky Education Association, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, and Northern Kentucky Voice of the Faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Lawsuit accuses former Toledo deacon of sexual abuse

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

A former Toledo Catholic deacon and dentist living in Bonita Springs, Fla., was sued yesterday by an Ohio man who claimed he was sexually abused during Christmas break in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., more than 30 years ago.

Tom Ferguson, 48, a former Toledoan living in Cleveland, said in the lawsuit filed in a Circuit Court in Florida that Dr. Glen Shrimplin took him to Florida on a vacation when he was 15 years old and repeatedly molested him.

He said Dr. Shrimplin gave him alcoholic beverages by the pool during the day and then abused him at night in the hotel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Bonita retiree accused of sexual abuse

BONITA SPRINGS (FL)
Naples Daily News

By KATHLEEN CULLINAN
9:14 p.m., Tuesday, February 12, 2008

As a teenager in working-class, 1970s Toledo, Tom Ferguson was all curly red hair, a middle child of seven kids, searching for something solid outside his splitting home.

His parents were in the middle of a divorce. Ferguson’s older brothers, he says, had their own concerns. He wanted to set an example for his kid siblings, so on Monday nights he joined a local youth group at Immaculate Conception Church.

There, Ferguson says he became closer to his longtime family dentist, Glen Shrimplin -- then a deacon, now a 74-year-old Bonita Springs retiree. Ferguson traveled to Lee County this week to file suit against Shrimplin claiming, 30 years later, sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Former Geneva priest up for parole

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Adam Kovac | Daily Herald Staff

Mark Campobello, the ex-Geneva priest who thrust Kane County into abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic church when he was accused of molesting two teenaged girls, is eligible for parole from a state prison today.

Campobello, 43, likely will be released on schedule from the Illinois River Correctional Center near Canton, where he has spent roughly the past 3½ years, said Derek Schnapp, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections.

In May 2004, Campobello acknowledged he abused the girls in 1999 and 2000, but his guilty plea did not end controversy over the allegations, which fractured St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva and sparked a legal battle with the Rockford Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Our view: Little gained by exposing abusers on sex offender list

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008
A former Duluth Catholic priest — former in the sense that he is no longer a priest, no longer Catholic and no longer living in Duluth — convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy 12 years ago has resurfaced as an office-holder in the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota.

Also, the Minnesota Episcopal Church has allowed a former priest of its own who molested an 8-year-old boy in Texas to lead a retreat in Collegeville, Minn.

Is the Episcopal Diocese hiding something or sheltering other sexual offenders under the cover of the cloth?

That’s what the public has a right to know, says the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the group that outed the pair Monday. In a protest at the diocese’s Minneapolis headquarters, the group called on the church hierarchy “to warn their flocks about both predators and to ‘come clean’ about any other proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters who have worked or do work nearby,” a SNAP statement read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

February 12, 2008

Dear parishioners, please pray for your vicar ... he's ran off with his deputy

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By CHRISTIAN GYSIN, NICHOLAS McDERMOTT and GWYN REES

Last updated at 21:33pm on 12th February 2008

As parishioners arrived for early Sunday worship at the country church, they expected an uplifting sermon from long-serving vicar Jim Tipp.

But Canon Tipp, 62, failed to turn up and a spokesman for the diocese told the congregation he was "unavailable".

Under normal circumstances his deputy, the Reverend Elaine Northern, 45, would have stepped in. But she, too, was "unavailable".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

The Cardinal Connell Child Sex Abuse Files

IRELAND
That's Ireland

Bizarrely, apologists for Cardinal Connell seem to be suggesting that the reason he is trying to hide files from the child abuse Commission is that he wants to protect the confidentiality of the victims of these crimes. However, Connell already has form in concealing knowledge of serious sexual crimes from the police, and the effect of this has been to protect the criminals and the Catholic Church, not the victims.

So what is in the files that Cardinal Connell is trying to hide? Well, the Commission is examining how the Dublin Archdiocese responded to a representative sample of complaints against priests. If those samples are similar to cases we already know about, the files could contain such behaviour as refusing to tell the police that a priest had admitted sexually abusing a sick child in a hospital and photographing the abuse, telling a victim of child sexual abuse that she was trying to ruin the good name of her abuser, lending money to a paedophile priest to settle a legal case against a victim then telling the media that he had not compensated anybody, appointing a paedophile priest as chaplain to a hospital without telling the hospital why, deciding to have a particularly vicious paedophile priest defrocked then letting him continue as a priest while appealing the decision thus enabling him to sexually assault the grandson of a deceased person after a funeral, and generally moving paedophile priests from parish to parish to continue sexually abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Colleges Seek to Protect Church Tills

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

By KATHY MATHESON

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The globe-trotting priest from Connecticut drove a Jaguar, shopped at Bergdorf Goodman and bought jewelry from Cartier, all of it with money stolen from his church's coffers. By the time the parish finance council caught on, he had embezzled $1.3 million.

Many U.S. churches have been victims of embezzlement over the years, reflecting not just moral weakness on the part of the wrongdoers, but lax financial controls. Often, church budgets are overseen by volunteers or employees with little guidance or professional training.

Now, some colleges are hoping to prevent such faith-shattering abuses by offering programs devoted specifically to managing church finances and personnel.

Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and Boston College started programs in September, and Villanova University outside Philadelphia is offering an online master's degree in church management beginning this summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Former priest's sex shame

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

NICK CLARK

February 13, 2008 12:00am
A FORMER Marist College priest was found guilty in the Supreme Court in Launceston yesterday of sex offences -- two years after first being convicted.

Roger Michael Bellemore, 72, of Lane Cove in Sydney, was found guilty of three counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with young boys in the early 1970s.

He was a priest at Marist College in Burnie and committed a series of sexual assaults against boys aged between 11 and 13 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Bonita man faces lawsuit for alleged molestation

BONITA SPRINGS (FL)
The News-Press

By news-press.com
Originally posted on February 12, 2008

A Bonita Springs man who is a former Catholic deacon is being sued for allegedly sexually molesting a teen more than 30 years ago.

Tom Ferguson filed the lawsuit in Lee County circuit court Monday, alleging that Glen Shrimplin, 74, a former dentist living in Bonita Springs, molested him on a trip to Florida in 1975 and 1976. Ferguson spoke to reporters today in downtown Fort Myers, accompanied by supporters from SNAP — Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Ferguson alleges in the lawsuit — in which he is seeking more than $15,000 — that Shrimplin, a deacon at Immaculate Conception Church in Toledo, Ohio, took him to Fort Lauderdale for a trip when Ferguson was a teen and molested him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Diocese bankruptcy: Man continues to battle to collect judgment

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The sister of a defrocked priest ordered by a judge to hand over assets to her nephew to satisfy a $1.4 million judgment against her brother is appealing the decision, as well as an injunction issued freezing her finances.

Dorothy Janssen, 4315 W. High St., Davenport, was ordered to hand over her house, her car and more than $350,000 in cash and bonds to James Wells in a January ruling by Scott County District Court Judge Mary Howes. The judge found Dorothy Janssen helped James Janssen hide his assets after the first of several lawsuits alleging sex abuse was filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

An Open Letter to Mater Dei Quarterback Matt Barkley

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Dear Matt,

Congrats on all your success: Gatorade High School Football, Player of the Year (first junior so honored ever), the early commitment to USC, the many prep titles--oops, scratch that last one! And we loved the profile that the New York Times did on you yesterday. We especially were excited about your commitment to Jesus Christ, “Jesus Christ is No. 1 to me,” you told the Times. “That’s who I play for.” Heaven knows this world needs more upstanding young athletes like you. Which leads to the following question: if the Nazarene is your man, why on Earth do you play for Mater Dei?

Matt: Mater Dei is as far removed from God as Gomorrah. It openly protects statutory rapists who help its athletic programs win. School administrators consistently try to brush asides its cover-up-plagued past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Faith in the future

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

By Jenn Smith, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Article Last Updated: 02/12/2008 06:31:39 AM EST

PITTSFIELD — Their wait over, the city's Catholics are working on reconfiguring their parishes upon news that a majority of their churches are closing.

Yesterday morning, clergy and church officials from the Diocese of Springfield formally announced the decision to close six of its 10 churches in Pittsfield.

The churches slated to close on or by July 1 are All Souls' Mission at 51 Pembroke Ave., Holy Family at 133 Seymour St., Mount Carmel at 359 Fenn St., St. Francis' at 80 Morningview Drive, St. Mary's at 665 Tyler St. and St. Teresa's at 290 South St.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Vallario, Frosh and child predators

MARYLAND
The Washington Times

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in Annapolis has introduced legislation to make Maryland a little less criminal-friendly, at least when it comes to the early release from prison of sexual offenders who prey on children. Sen. Nancy Jacobs, Harford Republican, has introduced legislation (S.B. 5) to end the practice of giving sexual predators credits for good behavior in prison, which can reduce their sentences by close to one-third. Delegate John Olszewski, Baltimore County Democrat, and House Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell, Calvert Republican, are among those who have also introduced legislation to end the practice. Mr. O'Donnell's bill (H.B. 252) has 48 cosponsors including Democrats like Delegate Curt Anderson, chairman of the Baltimore City delegation in Annapolis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Cardinal's 'martyrdom' may have a final twist

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By JOHN COONEY
Tuesday February 12 2008

WHEN the Pope as the sovereign head of the Catholic Church creates a cardinal, the newly ennobled Prince of the Church vows to die a martyr in the defence of his faith, if persecution befalls him.

Yesterday Cardinal Desmond Connell suffered his personal martyrdom when his legal team withdrew his High Court application to block examination of key documents relating to his handling of clerical child abuse scandals which he once agonisingly admitted had "devastated" his period as Archbishop of Dublin in the turbulent years of the fall from grace of the Irish Church -- 1988 to 2004.

No reason for this dramatic withdrawal was advanced by the 81-year-old cardinal's legal counsel in an action which only a week ago attempted to block over 5,000 documents which were privileged to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Parishioners were 'left in the dark'

UNITED KINGDOM
Worcester News

By Claire Fry

A SHOCKED parishioner has accused the Church of keeping Nduna Mpunzi's flock in the dark about the allegations against him.

Mpunzi was vicar of St Barnabas with Christ Church from September 2004 until August 2007 when he was suspended following the allegations.

The woman, who attends the church, said parishioners were suspicious when they asked questions about his absence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

The correct decision

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tuesday February 12 2008

CARDINAL Desmond Connell has done the right thing by withdrawing the High Court application in which he sought to prevent the examination of more than 5,000 documents by the commission of investigation set up to inquire into clerical sex abuse scandals in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

He committed a serious error by making the move in the first place. By withdrawing the application, he has rectified his mistake. He must have had to summon up great courage. He must also have reflected on the likely harm to the Catholic Church caused by the appearance of yet another attempted cover-up of these appalling events.

Cover-ups have occurred, on a vast scale, in several countries. But the effects were probably more terrible in Ireland than anywhere else, by reason of the shocking extent of the crimes and the deplorable behaviour of a secretive Church towards the victims and the people at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Decision Coming Soon On Trinity Lawsuit

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- An update now on the civil suits filed against Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

Today the action revolves around Jane Doe #2, who's suing Trinity.

She alleges Trinity knew its former pastor, Bob Gray, was an alleged child molester and did nothing to protect her.

The attorneys for Trinity today argued her case was filed years too late.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

5 molestation victims may get $1 million each

YUMA (AZ)
Yuma Sun

Five men who say they were sexually abused as minors by a former Yuma priest stand to receive payments toward a total $1 million each under a settlement with the Tucson Diocese.

They were among 26 victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the diocese who will share $800,000 of the $1 million released recently by a judge.

The $1 million comes from a $5 million "future claims" fund in connection with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Of that $1 million payout, $800,000 will go to people whose claims of abuse were deemed valid in the bankruptcy case, said diocese bankruptcy attorney Susan G. Boswell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Episcopal chuch court covicts priest of sexual misconduct

HOUSTON (TX)
KGBT

Associated Press - February 12, 2008 3:55 AM ET

HOUSTON (AP) - An ecclesiastical court in Houston has found a retired Episcopal priest committed sexual misconduct while he was a school chaplain.

The religious court of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas found the Rev. James L. Tucker guilty of immoral behavior and conduct unbecoming of a clergyman.

That's according to diocese spokeswoman Carol Barnwell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Proposed Colo. Sex Offenders Law Sparks Controversy

COLORADO
The Bulletin

By Joe Murray, The Bulletin
02/11/2008

In a move that has created a political clash between advocates of victim's rights and defenders of the Catholic Church, a Colorado lawmaker has introduced a bill in the Colorado General Assembly aimed at giving victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue both the abuser and the organization employing the abuser.

"Most children who are abused by a person who is in a position of trust are not able to come forward until they are in their 40s, 50s, 60s," Colo. State Rep. Gwyn Green (D), the key sponsor of the bill, told The Denver Post. "And by then the statute has long since run out.

Meanwhile, those pedophiles who assaulted them as children are continuing to assault other children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Deacon on trial for sexually assaulting teen

GASTONIA (NC)
WCNC

By WCNC Staff
E-mail Us: NEWS@WCNC.com

GASTONIA, N.C. -- A former church leader accused of sexually assaulting a teen is now on trial. His attorneys are calling him a good family man, but the prosecution says that’s not the case.

Prosecutors say the victim’s parents considered Paul Shives family. They’ve known each other for years.

Then, when the victim turned 12, prosecutors say Shives’ relationship with the child changed into something sexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Offenses by priests and leadership test faith

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By JEFF M. JENSEN

Posted: Feb. 11, 2008
Civil war author and journalist Ambrose Bierce called religion "the daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable." Known for his sarcastic and caustic wit, Bierce's definition might be easily dismissed as superfluous. Still, until a better one comes along, it works for me.

Buy a link hereI grew up in the Catholic faith, and doing so in the 1950s meant being burdened with guilt, evidenced in a thousand manifestations. Though I didn't attend a parochial school, my weekend catechism classes put me in touch with priests and nuns who did their best to literally scare the hell out of me.

In an almost mathematical exercise, I was encouraged to score my behavior in order that I might be given a "thumbs up" when I finally arrived at the Pearly Gates. Misdeeds (sins) were ranked according to the volume of penance it took to expunge them from my celestial record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

CARROLL: Hardly evenhanded

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Vincent Carroll, Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In the two years since the state legislature first took up proposals to lift the statute of limitations on lawsuits involving the alleged sexual abuse of children, dozens of public employees or teachers in Colorado have been charged with sexual crimes against children.

This week, for example, a lab worker at a school in Highlands Ranch is scheduled to appear in court on felony counts for alleged offenses dating from 2000.

There's no doubt, in other words, that public institutions are just as capable of hiring and harboring sexual predators as private organizations.

As my column last Friday explained, Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden, professes to be so concerned about allegations of sexual abuse of children by dead priests that she is sponsoring House Bill 1011 to lift the statute of limitations for civil suits against the Catholic Church and other private groups. And to placate critics of this extraordinary gift to trial lawyers, she has filed another bill to address sexual abuse in the public sector. My column mentioned this second bill only in passing, but House Bill 1239 deserves a closer look because it illustrates the shameless double standard at play in the desired treatment of private vs. public institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Parents: St. Paul Lutheran school covered up sexual abuse

McALLEN (TX)
The Monitor

Jeremy Roebuck
February 11, 2008 - 10:22PM
McALLEN — A group of parents sued St. Paul Lutheran private school on Monday accusing administrators of covering up repeated acts of sexual abuse a 5-year-old student allegedly
committed.

The parents claim school employees knew about at least eight instances of purported sexual molestation since September and did not notify the victims’ parents.

In one case, administrators allegedly ordered a teacher to lie about the severity of the accusations, according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Church pastor indicted in McDonald County

PINEVILLE (MO)
The Joplin Globe

By Jeff Lehr
jlehr@joplinglobe.com

PINEVILLE, Mo. — The pastor of a fringe church has been indicted by a McDonald County grand jury on eight sexual-abuse charges that will supersede the eight counts filed late last year by the prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutor Janice Durbin said the grand jury on Friday handed down 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 two teenage girls several times between February 1995 and April 2004, according to court documents.

Durbin’s office had filed the exact same eight charges against Lambert on Dec. 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Lawyers block records naming accused priests

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

STEVE WOODWARD The Oregonian Staff
Lawyers for priests accused of sexual abuse, as well as for the Archdiocese of Portland and other Catholic organizations, are scrambling to prevent the release of hundreds of documents that reveal the priests' identities.

Erin K. Olson, an attorney who represents five child-abuse plaintiffs, threatened to make public 1,760 pages of sealed U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents today. But motions by the archdiocese, the Franciscan Friars, Mount Angel Abbey and three priests identified as Mr. H, Father M and Defendant Smith have automatically stopped the release.

The documents, which include personnel files of an undisclosed number of accused priests, were put under seal in 2005 during the course of the archdiocese's bankruptcy. Even though the archdiocese emerged from its bankruptcy last year with a $75 million recovery plan, the documents will remain confidential until both sides agree on their release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Priest Sex Abuse

FLORIDA
WJHG

[with video]

A Bonifay couple has filed suit against the Catholic Church for failing to prevent their 15 year daughter from being abused by a priest. The suit names a priest who has since moved to India as part of a plea agreement in the case, as well as the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and Bishop John Ricard.

The parents, who are not being identified because it would identify their daughter, say their daughter was kissed and then assaulted.

Sexual intercourse did not take place. The biggest concern says the parents and their lawyer, is how the church has responded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Primate urged Cardinal Connell to drop action

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Cardinal Desmond Connell was visited in Dublin at the weekend by Catholic Primate Cardinal Seán Brady who encouraged him to drop his High Court action claiming privilege over documents before the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation, The Irish Times has learned.

It is understood that Cardinal Brady pointed out the damage the action was doing where victims of clerical child sex abuse were concerned and to the Catholic Church itself.

In the High Court yesterday Roddy Horan, senior counsel for Cardinal Connell, withdrew the action initiated on January 31st when the cardinal sought judicial review over a commission decision to itself arbitrate on the status of 5,586 documents over which he claimed privilege.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Guilty verdict for former priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Criminal Court jury in Launceston has found a 72-year-old former priest guilty of sexual abuse.

The jury considered its verdict for two-and-a-half hours before finding Roger Michael Bellemore guilty of three counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Senior clergy settle sex abuse dispute out of court

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney, Dearbhail McDonald and Tim Healy
Tuesday February 12 2008

A potentially explosive dispute involving Cardinal Desmond Connell and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin over the release of secret church sex abuse files was resolved after crunch talks between the two men.

The pair met at a Dublin nursing home more than a week after Cardinal Connell began a court action to prevent Dr Martin's Dublin diocese handing over thousands of documents to a State inquiry into clerical sex abuse.

That action was dramatically struck out at the High Court yesterday after lawyers for the churchmen agreed to seek a resolution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Group criticizes involvement of convicted child molesters in state Episcopal diocese

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

Nina Petersen-Perlman, Duluth News Tribune
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Members of the Minnesota chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests protested on Monday the involvement of two convicted child molesters — one a former priest in Duluth — in the Minnesota Episcopal Diocese.

The international sexual abuse prevention and advocacy group planned to deliver a letter to Minnesota Episcopal officials to “blast” them for their secrecy regarding Mark Makowski and Lynn Bauman and ask that they disclose the names of any other known child predators working in the diocese, according to their news release.

After receiving SNAP’s letter Monday, the state Episcopal Diocese issued a statement that said it would respond after carefully considering the letter and taking it under advisement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Irish cardinal ends legal dispute over sex abuse documents

IRELAND
Catholic News Agency

Dublin, Feb 12, 2008 / 02:47 am (CNA).- Cardinal Desmond Connell, former archbishop of Dublin, has withdrawn his attempt to prevent a government sexual abuse inquiry from examining documents provided by his successor, the Irish Times reports.

Cardinal Connell’s lawyers had previously secured a temporary order blocking the release of the files. They claimed the documents were privileged or protected by lawyer-client confidentiality.

Diarmuid Martin, the present Archbishop of Dublin, had provided the documents in obedience to an order from the Commission of Investigation into Sexual Abuse. The documents dated from 1975 to 2004 and related to claims of child abuse against a representative sample of 46 priests in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Speaking about events with priest therapeutic for ex-local man

PENNSYLVANIA
Meadville Tribune

Published February 11, 2008 09:00 pm - After two sexual encounters with his parish priest in Jamestown that Kevin McParland, then a 20-year-old college sophomore, said were unwanted, he saw his life unravel.

By Pat Bywater

02/12/08 —
After two sexual encounters with his parish priest in Jamestown that Kevin McParland, then a 20-year-old college sophomore, said were unwanted, he saw his life unravel. He had become a sometimes homeless drug and alcohol abuser with no hope or direction.

McParland had attempted suicide twice and nearly killed himself with an accidental drug overdose after the death of his beloved father.

That it took getting that low to shake McParland out of his downward spiral is no surprise to David Clohessy, director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

February 11, 2008

Standing Committee Responds to Old Abuse Case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

This links to an official apology given to Ralph E. White Jr. of Philadelphia, who was sexually abused more than 60 years ago by an Episcopal priest. The diocesan Standing Committee said the denomination failed to respond adequately to what happened to Mr. White.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Clerical abuse challenge dropped

IRELAND
BBC News

By Diarmaid Fleming
BBC News

A court action over access to documentation linked to clerical sex abuse in Dublin has been dropped.

Cardinal Desmond Connell withdrew a legal action he had begun to stop documentation being handed over by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

It was to be passed to a child abuse investigation.

A commission of inquiry set up by the Irish government is investigating allegations of child abuse by priests and clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

TEXAS: Priest-chaplain found to have molested students faces loss of orders

TEXAS
Episcopal Life

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of Texas Bishop Don Wimberly said February 8 that the diocese's ecclesiastical court will convene in a month to consider the priestly orders of a retired priest who was found to have molested students in the 1960s.

"We are committed to protecting all of God's children, and I am grateful to both the Standing Committee and to the Ecclesiastical Court for their time and thoughtful deliberation. I am especially grateful to the victims who traveled here today to give their testimony," Wimberly said in a news release. "While the statute of limitations has passed for the victims to press formal criminal charges, the Ecclesiastical Court provides a measure of accountability."

The court February 7 returned a summary judgment against the Rev. James L. Tucker, finding him guilty of immoral behavior and conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy after hearing testimony from three men who said that Tucker had repeatedly molested them in the 1960s while they were students at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in West Austin. Tucker was a chaplain at the school Austin from 1960-1968.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Connell withdraws legal challenge

IRELAND
Irish Health

The former Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, has withdrawn his bid to stop the commission investigating clerical sexual abuse in Dublin from examining certain diocesan files.

Last month, Cardinal Connell went to the High Court to get an injunction against the commission. The injunction restrained the commission from examining specific documents, which had already been handed over by Cardinal Connell’s successor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Cardinal Connell insisted that the documents were legally privileged or that he had a duty of confidentiality in relation to them. However today, the case was struck out after senior counsel for the cardinal said that he was withdrawing his application.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Irish cardinal drops court appeal; documents released

IRELAND
Catholic World News

Dublin, Feb. 11, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Desmond Connell, the retired Archbishop of Dublin, has withdrawn a court appeal in which he had sought to stop the release of some documents relating to archdiocesan handling of sex-abuse cases.

By dropping his appeal the cardinal averted a legal showdown with his successor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who had agreed to turn over the documents to an independent investigating commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Attorneys to discuss child molestation lawsuit against Catholic priest

TALLAHASSEE (FL)
Tallahassee Democrat

By Tabitha Yang
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER

Clergy sex abuse victims and an attorney discussed a new child molestation lawsuit against a Catholic priest and the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese this afternoon in front of the Leon County Courthouse on Monroe Street.

Fr. Vijaya "Vijay" Godugunuru sexually abused a then 15-year-old girl twice in June 2006 - once in the Blessed Trinity rectory in Bonifay and once in the back seat of the girls' parents' van, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

The girl's family are devout Catholics who belong to the parish. Godugunuru was arrested and charged wih lewd behavior. He eventually pled no contest to a charge of aggravated assault. He was not required to serve any jail sentence but has since been ordered to leave the United States and return to India, his native country, according to SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Don Marco verso il rito abbreviato

ITALY
Il Mattino

MARILÙ MUSTO Casal di Principe. Una località segreta, mantenuta tale dal muro di silenzi alzato da una comunità ecclesiastica, ma i guai giudiziari nei quali DON MARCO CERULLO si è cacciato per una storia di presunti abusi su un suo alunno, potrebbero raggiungerlo anche lì, nel luogo segreto in cui il viceparroco sconta gli arresti domiciliari circondato da sacerdoti che hanno offerto di ospitarlo.

[translation]

The Rev. Marco towards the "rito abbreviato" (trial with an abbreviated procedure)

by MARILU' MUSTO, Casal di Principe.

A secret location, protected by the silent wall raised by an ecclesiastical community. But the judiciary woes the Rev. Marco Cerullo is now facing for his alleged sexual abuses of one of his pupils could reach him even there, in that secret locality in which the vice parish priest is kept in house arrest, surrounded by those priests who offered him hospitality.

After almost two months after the arrest, prosecutor Antonio Ricci, in the locality of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, is now asking the judge to follow the procedure of the "incidente probatorio", which can be adopted in cases of sexual crimes committed against a minor who is also going to be called as a witness. In fact, the lawyer of the pupil's family, Costantino Puocci, asked to adopt that procedure on December 24, 2007, and the prosecutor had then deemed important to evaluate the psychological state of the victim. A prudent and gradual step before he could find all the evidence of a sad and unpleasant truth.

A different stance was taken by the Rev. Marco's lawyer, Carmine Ucciero, who didn't exclude asking for a trial with an abbreviated procedure once he had received a copy of all the official documents in possession of the judges. That would imply the admission of guilt by the Rev. Marco, who when he was caught by the carabinieri just when he was committing the crime on December 19, 2007, burst into crying and admitted being the author of sexual abuse against his pupil. But after he was interrogated by the judge for the preliminary investigations he recanted and said he "had only given the boy an affectionate hug".

The carabinieri have now stopped investigating those hugs and the additional ones the Rev. Marco might have given to other pupils or parish boys. The subsequent searches in the church and in the home of the priest didn't give any other results and that stopped the hopes that further allegations could reach the military police's barracks. That wall of silence didn't fall down.

If the abbreviated procedure will be adopted it could allow the priest a jail term discount of one third and the punishment could range between a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve years of jail; if the prevailing "generic mitigations" were applied the minimum penalty could be lowered to five years of jail. And there is even the eventuality the Rev. Marco would never see the jail bars. In case of abbreviated procedure all the papers could be transferred in the hands of prosecutor Francesco Chiaromonte.

The judiciary vicissitudes and the hypothesis on how this case is going to be shaped are intertwined with what is going to happen in the parish of the Santissimo Salvatore in Casal di Principe. For the last two months the church is deprived of a vice parish priest and it's run by the Rev. Carlo Aversano, who was left alone and still in pain for what had happened. Only the teacher of catholic religion in the elementary and middle school of Villa Literno seems to have been replaced.

The pupil who was the victim of sexual violence, without the permit of his parents, would have never been allowed to leave the premises of the school, for the permit given by the school's vice manager was only limited to the shift of the pupils from one class room to another in order to implement the "progetto Natale" (Christmas plan). That was the legal reason for which the lawsuit against the Rev. Marco started: "profiting from his role of priest and teacher of religion, he lead his pupil, using a stratagem, to a zone in the periphery of the city and abused him sexually".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Sacred Heart Cathedral to provide $1M to settlement

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

UPDATED: Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport will give $1 million toward the $37 million Davenport Catholic Diocese bankruptcy settlement, making it the last of four churches involved to be publicly identified.

St. Anthony’s in Davenport also will provide $1 million. St. Mary’s in Iowa City will give $650,000. Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf will donate an unspecified amount, officials said. However, the diocese has said the four parishes will be providing $2.9 million, which would make Lourdes’ portion $250,000.

Clergy at those churches have been involved in some of the most severe claims of sex abuse among the 156 filed as part of the diocese’s bankruptcy, leaders say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Catholic parishes contributing to settlement named

IOWA
Des Moines Register

ERIN JORDAN • REGISTER IOWA CITY BUREAU • February 11, 2008

Four Roman Catholic parishes in Davenport, Bettendorf and Iowa City will contribute nearly $3 million to the diocese's $37 million bankruptcy settlement with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The churches are: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport, $1 million; St. Anthony Church, Davenport, $1 million; Our Lady of Lourdes, Bettendorf, undetermined gift; and St. Mary, Iowa City, $650,000, Diocese Spokesman Deacon David Montgomery said today.

The diocese announced in masses on Feb. 1 that the four parishes would contribute $2.9 million to the global settlement, which protects the diocese, its parishes and schools from liability from past priest abuse. These parishes had the most serious claims of clergy abuse and stood to lose the most if the diocese had not reached a financial settlement, the diocese has said.

The diocese declined to name the contributing parishes until all leaders had told parishioners. At least one of the four parishes, St. Mary's, announced their donations Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Statute of Limitations: Questions and Answers

MARYLAND
BishopAccountability.org

The handout distributed with church bulletins in all parishes of the Archdiocese of Baltimore at Masses on Feb. 9 and 10, 2008 can be found at this link.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Israel can extradite alleged N.Y. serial molester

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Ofra Edelman

Alleged child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz can be extradited to the United States, the Jerusalem District Court ruled yesterday.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Ger Hassidic sect in Brooklyn who posed as a rabbi and psychologist specializing in treating troubled children, fled to Israel in 1984 as New York law enforcement authorities were preparing to arrest him. Advertisement

In 1985 he was charged with sodomy and other sex crimes against five minors, aged 9 to 15, from the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. The case first came to light after a report in Haaretz Magazine (Nov. 17, 2007).

The U.S. Justice Department twice applied for his extradition, but legal hurdles prevented this until now. The first extradition request was denied because at the time, 22 years ago, sodomy was not an extraditable offense under the Israeli-American extradition treaty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexual abuse loses extradition battle

ISRAEL
New York Daily News

BY MATTHEW KALMAN in Jerusalem and DAVE GOLDINER in New York
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Monday, February 11th 2008, 4:00 AM

An Israeli judge ruled Sunday that a disgraced Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexually abusing children more than two decades ago can be extradited to the U.S.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to the Jewish state in 1984 to avoid prosecution, could now be headed back to Brooklyn within a matter of months to face sodomy and sex abuse charges.

"It's good news," said Michael Lesher, who represents several of the rabbi's alleged victims. "This order means he'll be on the way back to face trial."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

SNAP members bring awareness to their cause

QUEENSBURY (NY)
Capital News 9

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. -- Some members of SNAP bear the wintry weather early in the morning outside Our Lady of Annunciation Church in Queensbury to bring awareness to their cause.

Organizers of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, say they want to get the word out to people who have been abused by a priest to stand up and speak out.

The Upstate Coordinator for SNAP says so far 11 men have identified Father Gary Mercure as the priest that sexually abused them. Organizers believe dozens of others may have also been abused by Mercure or other area priests and urge survivors to get help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Proposed legislation won't protect youths, would harm Church

MARYLAND
The Catholic Review

[See also Archbishop O'Brien's handout, which was distributed at Masses.]

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien
The Catholic Review

When you attend Mass this weekend, you will likely receive a letter from me informing you about expected state legislation that would pose a real and significant threat to our Church, including its parishes, schools, and other ministries. I urge you to read it carefully, as well as the additional materials that accompany it. They relate to the sad and painful issue of child sexual abuse in our Church.

Before I explain further about the legislation and why the Church is opposed to it, I wish to state from the outset that pastoral outreach to victims and protection of children must continue to be our touchstones in responding to this scandal. I am profoundly sorry that children have been abused by clergy and other representatives of our Church. When I first arrived in Baltimore, I was gratified to be fully informed about the long-standing policies and procedures of our Archdiocese to protect children. I was introduced to the safe-environment (STAND) training initiative that is required of all who work and volunteer with children on behalf of the Church, and I experienced firsthand the mandatory fingerprinting and background checks. I have also interacted with our Independent Review Board, which includes predominantly lay Catholic and non-Catholic individuals who oversee our child protection efforts by reviewing how each case is handled and making recommendations for improving our practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Archbishop tight-lipped over state of relations with Connell

IRELAND
Irish Independent

John Cooney

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin last night refused to comment on his relations with Cardinal Desmond Connell ahead of today's High Court hearing on his predecessor's application to prevent examination of sensitive Dublin diocesan files.

Yesterday, Archbishop Martin presided at a World Day of the Sick service in Kimmage Manor.

The Archbishop would not say if he had made a pastoral visit in recent days to the 81-year-old Cardinal, who is currently receiving treatment at a nursing home in Raheny after suffering a fall two weeks ago in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Jury retires to consider verdict in sexual assault case

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Launceston Criminal Court jury will tomorrow begin considering its verdict in the case of a former Burnie priest, accused of sexually assaulting 3 boys.

72 year old Roger Michael Bellemore has stood trial in the Launceston Criminal Court the past week.

He's denied 3 counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Healing sought at Greenwich church after former priest is defrocked

GREENWICH (CT)
The Advocate

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published February 11 2008

GREENWICH - Monsignor Peter Cullen asked for understanding from parishioners at St. Michael Church yesterday, saying it was regrettable if they learned from newspaper articles that former pastor Michael Moynihan had been cast out of the priesthood.

"I am a wounded healer and I am deeply hurt as you are deeply hurt," Cullen said at the 11 a.m. Mass. "Let's heal each other."

Cullen invited the congregation to seek out himself and other priests of the parish to share their reactions after the Diocese of Bridgeport defrocked Moynihan, after the New York Post reported the 55-year-old priest was living in a New York City apartment with a man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Top clerics abandon court fight

IRELAND
The Press Association

A potentially bitter court battle involving two of Ireland's most senior clerics in a dispute over the release of secret church files has been withdrawn.

Cardinal Desmond Connell had attempted to stop Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin handing over thousands of documents to a state inquiry into clerical child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Connell withdraws legal bid to keep documents secret

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, February 11, 2008

The former Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, has withdrawn his High Court bid to stop an inquiry into allegations of clerical child abuse examining certain documents.

The documents were handed over to the Government's inquiry into allegations in the Dublin Archdiocese by Cardinal Connell's successor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

At the end of last year, Archbishop Martin gave a disc containing thousands of files to the government-appointed commission of investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese's handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations.

However, late last month, Cardinal Connell's legal team secured a temporary injunction preventing the commission from beginning an examination of the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Group demands answers in residential school deaths

CANADA
CTV

toronto.ctv.ca

Protesters gathered at Toronto's Metropolitan United Church Sunday, demanding answers about the treatment of First Nations children.

The group planned protests in front of Anglican and Roman Catholic churches to pressure the government to disclose where children from First Nations communities may have been buried after attending residential schools.

The deaths occurred over a century, protesters said. Residential schools have been accused of a number of human rights violations including physical and sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Natives recall school horrors

CANADA
Toronto Sun

Mon, February 11, 2008

By MARC KILCHLING, SUN MEDIA

First Nations chanting and drumming tried to outdo church bells at the Metropolitan United Church on Queen St. E. yesterday.

About 20 protesters gathered to raise awareness of the lost children from Canada's residential school system, many of whom died and were buried without the knowledge of their parents.

"The first time I went into the residential school system was when I was about 6 years old," said Gary Wassaykeesic, 46, a member of the Mishkeegogamang First Nations.

"At that time, I had no comprehension of what was going on, that I was leaving my family. I was told I was going on a long trip."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Book documents schools' crimes

CANADA
The Expositor

To those nay-sayers and doubters, the book, A National Crime by John S. Milloy will reveal other pertinent supporting data and facts concerning the crime of genocide as claimed by both Kevin Annett and Milloy. It is another shame for non-native society (of the time) to bear responsibility for.

The cries and pleas of we Onkwehonwe of Six Nations and other Indian nations across Canada went unheeded - no, were ignored.

Indeed, there are many stories from Mush-hole survivors (of the Mohawk Institute) where no violence nor sexual abuse was claimed against school staff. Why? I can't say for sure. Perhaps school staff had their "favourites." It wouldn't take too much watching and stalking on the part of school staff to determine which among our children would be too frightened or timid to have the courage to report them. These children suffered in silence, and many to their very deaths.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Iowa City church to help pay priest abuse settlement

IOWA CITY (IA)
The Gazette

IOWA CITY - St. Mary's Church of Iowa City will contribute $650,000 toward a settlement of claims against the Diocese of Davenport by individuals who were sexually abused by priests.

According to a statement in Sunday's church bulletin, St. Mary's finance committee has tentatively approved the payment "pending verification of potential claims." The money will come from parish savings.

Diocese officials unveiled a plan last week for a $37 million settlement they hope will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy protection. The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2006, claiming it did not have the money to settle claims from its clergy sexual abuse scandal. The diocese had already paid nearly $10.7 million to 45 victims since 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

St. Mary's to pay $650K in settlement

IOWA CITY
Iowa City Press-Citizen

By Kathryn Fiegen
Iowa City Press-Citizen

St. Mary's Church in Iowa City will have to contribute $650,000 to help pay a $37 million settlement between the Davenport Diocese and people who allegedly were sexually abused by priests, the church told its parishioners Sunday.

St. Mary's, 302 E. Jefferson St., has been chosen because four individuals in the suit claim they were sexually abused by Msgr. Carl Meinberg, a pastor there from 1940 to 1967, according to a church bulletin posted online.

Father Kenneth Kuntz didn't return messages seeking comment. The bulletin said the church's Finance Council has agreed to pay the money pending verification of the potential claims and approval of the release documents. The contribution will come from the parish's savings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Connell withdraws legal challenge on documents

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Former archbishop of Dublin Cardinal Desmond Connell, has withdrawn an attempt to stop documents handed over by his successor from being considered by the Government's inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Cardinal Connell had previously secured a temporary order blocking the release of the Church files

The withdrawal of the legal challenge avoids a potentially bitter court battle involving Cardinal Connell and current Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The judicial review at the High Court in Dublin was struck today out after lawyers for the two clerics agreed to seek a resolution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Former local man recounts life-altering events with parish priest that sent him into downward spiral

PENNSYLVANIA
Meadville Tribune

By Pat Bywater

02/11/08 —
Editor’s note: This is the first part of a two-part series.

The Roman Catholic faith had always played a central role in Kevin McParland’s life.

He served as an altar boy for several years and attended a Catholic school through sixth grade. For years his mother, a Eucharistic minister, gathered the family together each night to pray the Rosary for her husband, who, since a 1972 heart attack, experienced bouts of failing health. When McParland’s father, a medical doctor who often provided free care to priests and nuns, was too sick to attend church, she arranged for a priest to deliver the sacraments in their home.

Even when McParland left home to study at Penn State University’s main campus, he remained dedicated to the church, regularly attending services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Victims of church abuse to receive more money

ARIZONA
azcentral

Associated Press
Feb. 11, 2008 06:16 AM

TUCSON- The 26 victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Tucson Diocese will be getting more money after a judge released $1 million from a victim's fund.

The payout brings the total per-person settlement money for five men who say they were abused by a priest in Yuma to more than $900,000.

The $1 million comes from a $5 million "future claims" fund, in connection with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

February 10, 2008

Only 1 in 4 priests agree with cardinal

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
ONLY a quarter of parish priests in Cardinal Desmond Connell’s diocese support him in his High Court battle to keep secret files on clerical child sex abuse under wraps.

A survey by Newstalk found that a mere 25% openly supported the cardinal’s stance while 45% openly opposed him, with the remaining 30% unable to make up their minds.

When asked to choose between Cardinal Connell and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, one of the cardinal’s strongest critics in the controversy, just 20% plumped for Connell while 42% backed Martin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

The Gay Priest problem

Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Well, it is Ash Wednesday, so let's talk about something difficult, something that requires penitential self-examination.

Father Neuhaus calls "The Faithful Departed" by Phil Lawler "the best book-length treatment of the [Catholic] sex abuse crisis, its origins and larger implications, published to date." Again, let me commend this excellent book to all Christian readers, not just Catholics, who want to know how it is that a church's leadership class can become corrupted by trading fidelity to the church's true mission for worldly power and comfort. Here's a quote Neuhaus cites from Lawler's book, one that originated in "The Gay Priest Problem," a powerful Catholic World Report essay from the year 2000, by the Jesuit Father Paul Shaughnessy:

If we examine any trust-invested agency at any given point in its history, whether that agency be a police force, a military unit, or a religious community, we might find that, say, out of every hundred men, five are scoundrels, five are heroes, and the rest are neither one nor the other: ordinarily upright men who live with a mixture of moral timidity and moral courage. When the institution is healthy, the gutsier few set the overall tone, and the less courageous but tractable majority works along with these men to minimize misbehavior; more importantly, the healthy institution is able to identify its own rotten apples and remove them before the institution itself is enfeebled. However, when an institution becomes corrupt, its guiding spirit mysteriously shifts away from the morally intrepid few, and with that shift the institution becomes more interested in protecting itself against outside critics than in tackling the problem members that subvert its mission. For example, when we say a certain police force is corrupt, we don’t usually mean that every policeman is on the take—perhaps only five out of a hundred actually accept bribes—rather we mean that this police force can no longer diagnose and cure its own problems, and consequently, if reform is to take place, an outside agency has to be brought in to make the changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

Convicted Jesuit Priest Back In Court

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- A convicted pedophile priest was back in federal court in Chicago today, answering the latest charges against him.

WBBM's Regine Schlesinger reports.

The U.S. attorney's office has added three new counts to the indictment against Father Donald McGuire, alleging that he travelled with a minor across state or international lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts.

Father McGuire, a Jesuit priest who had close ties to Mother Teresa, is accused of molesting boys and was convicted last year in a separate case in Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Priest faces more sex charges

ILLINOIS
Southtown Star

February 2, 2008
Convicted sex offender Rev. Donald McGuire faces more charges in another federal indictment returned Thursday accusing him of traveling overseas several times with minors with an intent of having sex with them.

McGuire, 77, of Oak Lawn, traveled between Chicago and Zurich, Switzerland and Salzburg, Austria between Dec. 18 and Dec. 28 of 2000 to have sex with minors, according to the new three-count indictment.

He also traveled to Buffalo, Minn. in August 2001 and to Managua, Nicaragua between May 2002 and June 2002 for the same reason, the indictment said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Time won’t heal Catholic bishops’ sins

MAINE
GetReligion

Columnist Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald wrote a story that blasted Catholic Bishop Richard Malone for reinstating a sexually deviant priest. Nemitz was too easy on the bishop. Instead of blasting Malone as irresponsible and tone deaf, Nemitz might easily have accused him of violating Church doctrine.

Nemitz’s story was interesting, if numbingly familiar: Bishop Malone had allowed the Rev. Paul Coughlin to resume his priestly duties, only to backtrack when local Catholics howled in protest. Nemitz’s summary is concise and revealing:

Coughlin, 73, was ordered by Malone in 2004 to resign as pastor of two South Portland churches for not reporting allegations of sexual abuse against a church volunteer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

New mystery for Catholics to ponder

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BILL NEMITZ

February 10, 2008

So much for testing the waters. When it comes to the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, rest assured they're still boiling.

Bishop Richard Malone found that out the hard way last week. First, he announced that he was letting the Rev. Paul Coughlin return to the pulpit; then, just two days later, he did an about-face and put Coughlin back in pastoral limbo.

"The public outcry over my decision to allow (Coughlin) some public ministry has made it clear I misjudged the possibility of an effective ministry for Fr. Coughlin," Malone said in a prepared statement Friday. "And it's clear that many are deeply angry and hurt that I took such action."

Less clear is why Malone didn't see this coming.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Kathy Shaw is back at Abuse Tracker: The tracker lady just has to keep on tracking

MASSACHUSETTS
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
It has taken a string of miracles, what atheists call coincidences, for the pedophile priest story to unfold. The internet allowed individuals to find each other, persons were in the right place at the right time, others persevered.

A key player from the beginning has been Kathy Shaw, who covered the story from the beginning working the religion beat for Worcester Telegram & Gazette. A resourceful reporter, Shaw found Abuse Tracker as soon as Poynter Institute started it as a research tool for journalists in 2002. Shaw was one of the first to contribute to the Tracker and she just stayed with it.*

Today Shaw produces the daily Abuse Tracker, a 24-hour 7-day a week volunteer post which was covered by Anne Barrett Doyle and Terry McKiernan of Bishop Accountability the last six weeks while Shaw recovered from a fall on “black ice” that left her with two broken bones in her right wrist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

«Stavo per scoperchiare una pentola pesante»

ITALY
L'espresso

Nicola Filippi
Incontro gay, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico parla a ruota libera. E va all’attacco

TRENTO. E' molto provato, monsignor Tommaso Stenico. Nel suo appartamento di Roma, l'alto prelato di Telve Valsugana sta riposando e cercando di ritrovare la forza per poter affrontare di petto quell'ondata di polemiche scatenate dopo il servizio in tivù di "Exit", sull'incontro gay avvenuto nel suo appartamento presso la Santa Sede.

[translation]

"I was taking the lid off a too heavy pan"
By NICOLA FILIPPI

Gay meeting, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico speaks out freely and goes on the attack

TRENTO. He is very worn out, monsignor Tommaso Stenico. In his apartment in Rome, the high prelate from Telve Valsugana is resting and trying to find the force to face the wave of polemics unchained after the "Exit" TV show, featuring the gay meeting happened in his apartment , which is located in the premises of the Holy See. "I feel to be the object of a reality which doesn't belong to me", he tells on the phone. Monsignor Stenico is not accustomed to give up and he retaliates: " I was stopped because i was taking the lid off a too heavy pan".

As an expert in the world of information and of human psychology, monsignor Tommaso Stenico says he "was a victim of his will to clarify things related to the continuous attacks against the Church". He, who ended up under a hidden camera for a homosexual encounter with a young man (who was instead a journalist of the TV network La7), is now much at odd with the present sudden and unexpected wave of "celebrity". In his hometown, Telve Valsugana, incredulity reigns, and many friends have called him on the phone to express their support, give him their trust, as his friend the Rev. Franco Torresani and Giacomo Bezzi, a member of the Italian Parliament representing the party for the autonomy of the Trento region. Monsignor Stenico however doesn't give up: " I got near a very heavy pan and I got the impression someone suspected about it and tried to make me fall into a big trap".

What monsignor Tommaso Stenico is anticipating, after all the story will be clarified with his superiors, seems to be an authentic cataclysm. " That's because there are too many attacks against the Church and the sacred world". Here is in a nut what monsignor Stenico was trying to ascertain: " I didn't want to speak about sex or homosexuality in the Church. My objective was different: it was related to finding out the strategy behind it. That troubled me very much. There is no doubt, it's enough to look around you and notice there is such an attack against the Church and to all which is sacred. I wasn't investigating the concept of sexuality, heterosexuality, homosexuality in the Church: what was important for me, having a kind of certainty and an internal awareness, was the uncovering of that strategy of attack against the sacred and the Church. In the right moment i could even name names" - he explains in a very decisive and fiery accent.

" I was along that path. Better, I'm still along that path , because i don't intend to give up my fight. I'm not a loser, I have never been one. I'm a priest, I love the Church, i defend my faith, my Church, my catholicity, whose values I defend even if now they are weakening. I'm not the first to say so, due to the indubitable frontal attacks against the sacred coming from the USA and here . I don't want to deal with the concept of sexuality, I want to find out the reasons, the organization behind it, for this attack to the sacred".

About who these people are, these organizations who are trying to undermine the Church's foundations, monsignor Stenico doesn't want to say much. But he insists: " People love the church, love the priests, people are good towards the church, people love the Pope. I think we are at the white collar level, and at the ultras' level, but that's something I am going to say in the right moment, when I'll reach the end of my investigation, but it's sure the attack and the strategy come from a very high level. Now I told you too much".

(October 15 2007)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Suspended priest resigns, ending battle to return to ministry

WORCESTER (MA)
WHDH

WORCESTER, Mass. -- A Worcester priest suspended after allegations of bizarre sexual misconduct has resigned, ending a long battle for reinstatement.

The Rev. Joseph Coonan was suspended in August 2002 after alleged victims said Coonan abused them as teens while he was working as a camp counselor and teacher in Oxford in the 1970s.

They accused Coonan of sexually touching them and urging them to urinate, masturbate or defecate in his presence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Connell to miss court hearing due to ill health

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

10 February 2008 By Kieron Wood
Cardinal Desmond Connell, the former Archbishop of Dublin, is under medical supervision in a nursing home and will be unable to attend the High Court tomorrow, for his action against the diocesan commission on clerical child abuse.

Connell has brought an action against commission chairwoman Judge Yvonne Murphy and barrister Ita Mangan, to prevent them examining documents over which he claims legal professional privilege.

Connell’s successor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, has said that he wants the commission to examine tens of thousands of diocesan documents, relating to allegations of child abuse by clergy. It is understood that he has given the commission around 5,000 documents relating to Connell, but that the cardinal is claiming privilege in relation to less than two dozen of those.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

When justice for all means anything but

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Colum Kenny
Sunday February 10 2008

So many lawyers were trying to get into Court 13 for the first session of Cardinal Connell's case last week that a queue formed in the corridor.

Meanwhile, Irish people were kept in the dark and fed confusion about what is really going on.

Connell seems to be playing hard ball. Reports that he has said that he is prepared to go to jail to defy the State's child abuse investigation will not only appal Catholics, they also put pressure on the State, and even on the High Court, to think twice before forcing such an unseemly confrontation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Cardinal tries to promote secrecy

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sunday February 10 2008

Cardinal Desmond Connell has struck a damaging blow against his own church by launching a High Court action to prevent thousands of documents being studied by the commission investigating child abuse by Catholic priests.

Cardinal Connell's motives may be based on narrow legal interpretations, or even his own interpretations of his moral obligations, but they are wholly wrong.

He cannot escape the strong possibility that the outcome of his actions and of those who support him could be to conceal the full extent of the abuse carried out by his priests and covered up by his church. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is still on probation and its good faith cannot be taken for granted. For years it chose to live in denial, turning a blind eye to the abuse and the abusers in its midst, or even worse, lending support and succour to men who should have been serving their time in jails, not parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Spotlight in priest scandal shifts to choir director

GREENWICH (CT)
The Advocate

By Hoa Nguyen
Staff Writer

Published February 10 2008

GREENWICH - Before his picture appeared in the New York Post, Michael Fawcett called his employer to say the tabloid was set to publish a potentially embarrassing piece about him.

The story appeared the next day, linking Fawcett, 54, to the Rev. Michael Moynihan, the55-year-old Greenwich pastor who was forced to resign more than a year ago amid allegations of financial mismanagement at St. Michael Roman CatholicChurch.

"It did catch us by surprise," said Peter Calamera, a New York-based composer and musician who hired Fawcett five months ago to direct the choral section of his New Age band, which is performing in a show called "Forever and Beyond."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Clergy abuse victims to get more money

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.10.2008

Twenty-six victims of sexual abuse by local Catholic clergy will be getting more money.

The payout brings the total per-person settlement money for five men who say they were abused by a priest in Yuma to more than $900,000.

The extra money comes after a federal judge ordered the release last week of $1 million from a $5 million "future claims" fund, in connection with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Abuse group protests at local church

QUEENSBURY (NY)
Post Star

By NICK REISMAN
reisman@poststar.com
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2008

QUEENSBURY --

Saturday Mass was beginning soon, but Tim Sawicky stood outside Our Lady of Annunciation Church, snow piling up around his feet, with cars inching by on Aviation Road.

Sawicky, along with about half dozen other demonstrators Saturday afternoon, were protesting the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese handling of an area priest who has been accused of sexually abusing a minor.

The Diocese announced last month that the Rev. Gary Mercure, the pastor of Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy, is under investigation by the Diocese's Sexual Misconduct Review Board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Catholic Church settles case with payment, not apology

VERMONT
Times Argus

February 10, 2008

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer

Vermont's Catholic Church, two months after it was found liable in the first priest misconduct case to reach a Vermont jury, will pay $170,000 to settle the most recent case. It faces more than two dozen similar lawsuits.

The statewide Roman Catholic Diocese was set to defend itself Monday in the Chittenden Superior Court case of John Perrotte, a 41-year-old South Hero man who charged the church with negligent supervision of the former Rev. Alfred Willis, a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Milton before he was defrocked in 1985.

Perrotte, once a parishioner of Milton's St. Ann Church, alleges that Willis kissed him on the lips at age 13 and later groped him when the two were sleeping in a tent on the boy's 14th birthday in 1980 — two years after the diocese, according to its records, learned Willis had sexually abused youth elsewhere but transferred him without warning anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Vt. diocese settles abuse suit for $170k

BURLINGTON (VT)
Boston Globe

By
Associated Press / February 10, 2008
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Three days before it was to go to trial, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who blamed the church for his 1980 molestation by a priest.

The case, filed by John Perrotte, 41, of South Hero, centered on allegations that Alfred Willis, who has been defrocked, sexually abused Perrotte and that the acts caused Perrotte lifelong pain. The diocese didn't dispute Perrotte's contention; Willis, who now lives in Virginia, settled out of court with Perrotte for what his lawyers say was a "modest amount."

The settlement was reached Friday. Perrotte's case was to go to trial tomorrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

St. Anthony’s to provide $1M towards bankruptcy settlement

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn

The Diocese of Davenport’s oldest parish, St. Anthony’s in Davenport, will provide $1 million toward the bankruptcy settlement between victims, the diocese and its insurance company, a letter sent to parishioners says.

Meanwhile, parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf are learning this weekend they are one of the four parishes to provide money as well. The church will host a meeting with Bishop Martin Amos on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. to discuss the issue. A dollar amount was not provided.

Additionally, the bulletin posted on the Web site for St. Mary’s Church in Iowa City says that parish was asked for $650,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

February 9, 2008

Protect Adrian’s Kids

CALIFORNIA
Protecting Adrian's Kids

In 2005, after an almost 20-year battle to expose the man who molested her when she was a teen, Joelle Casteix was awarded $1.6 million and access to the documents that proved Thomas Hodgman - a professor at a Methodist College in Michigan - admitted raping her and another student.

Chruch and college officials know of Hodgman’s admission, yet continue to let him be around kids.

The Diocese of Orange and Mater Dei High School kept these documents hidden and never alerted authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Skip Shea performs one-man show with art, his story of pedophile priest rape survival, now at City of Angels Blog

MASSACHUSETTS
City of Angels

Click the video square at the top of this blog to watch nine minutes of "Catholic Surviving Abuse," a theatrical memoir of original art and poetry as performed by Skip Shea of Uxbridge. In the segment at the top of this page, Shea discusses his rape by a Worcester priest and his later discovery as a teenager that "you can communicate through art."

Shea conducts this one-man show with art and music in venues around Boston. He tells his story of molest at St. Mary's Parish in Uxbridge, diving right into some of the most wretched details, still being able to make the viewer laugh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Bishop rescinds priest's resumption of duties

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

By David Hench Portland Press Herald Staff Writer
February 08, 2008 11:05 AM

PORTLAND — Maine’s Roman Catholic bishop has rescinded his decision to allow a controversial priest to resume priestly duties.

Bishop Richard Malone announced this morning that reaction to his decision to let Rev. Paul Coughlin resume limited duties led the bishop to reverse his decision.

“Now, the public outcry over my decision to allow him some public ministry has made it clear that I misjudged the possibility of an effective ministry for Father Coughlin,” Malone said in a statement. “And it’s clear that many are deeply angry and hurt that I took such an action. For these reasons I informed Father Coughlin today that his ministry is once again completely restricted in the interest of the common good.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Parishioners publicly owning church's sin of clergy sex abuse

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

By Ed Langlois

This Lent, some Portland Catholics are repenting for horrific sins they never committed.

As clergy sex abuse lawsuits emerged over the past decade, news reports said the problem was something to be addressed by “the church.” The media and the their audience, including many Catholics, thought the term referred only to diocesan officials.

But Catholics like Ann and Quenton Czuba know better.

The Northeast Portland grandparents believe in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized that the church is the whole body of believers — laity, religious, clergy and hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

DA’s office opposes Sica’s motions, denies misconduct

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times-Tribune

BY DAVE JANOSKI
STAFF WRITER
02/09/2008

Prosecutors in the perjury case against the Rev. Joseph F. Sica have asked the state Supreme Court to reject Father Sica’s request that it review his case before a preliminary hearing can be held.

The Rev. Sica was arrested Jan. 2 and charged with lying to a grand jury that subsequently recommended perjury charges against his friend, Dunmore businessman and Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis A. DeNaples.

The priest’s attorney, Sal Cognetti Jr., has asked the state Supreme Court to intervene and dismiss the charges against his client, who serves as chaplain at Mercy Hospital. He is free on $20,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Accused charismatic priest resigns

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER— The Rev. Joseph A. Coonan, the once popular Roman Catholic priest who was suspended from his priestly duties after allegations of bizarre sexual misconduct involving teenagers surfaced in 2002, has ended his long battle to persuade church officials that he should be allowed to resume his ministry.

Raymond L. Delisle, a spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester, said the Rev. Coonan has formally resigned as pastor of St. John Church on Temple Street. That action effectively ends the charismatic priest’s reinstatement efforts.

Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, then head of the Worcester Diocese, removed Rev. Coonan in August 2002 after church officials decided that the allegations against the priest, known for his inspirational sermons and work among the downtown poor, were credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Gothenburg sex scandal dean replaced by woman

SWEDEN
The Local

Published: 9 Feb 08 10:55 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/9929/

Karin Burstrand has been appointed as the new Dean of Gothenburg - the first time a woman has been appointed to the post. The Church of Sweden has gone for Burstrand following the shock resignation of her predecessor in a church sex scandal.

The Local reported on February 5th that the then Dean of Gothenburg, the second most senior priest in the diocese, had been forced to resign following allegations of repeated sexual harassment involving several women, including teenagers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Decision on return of priest reversed

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison
Saturday, February 09, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

BANGOR, Maine — The head of Maine’s Roman Catholics announced Friday that he has reversed his decision to reinstate a former Bangor priest to the ministry in response to a public outcry.

Bishop Richard J. Malone said that in allowing the Rev. Paul Coughlin, 73, to serve as a fill-in priest he had "misjudged the possibility of an effective ministry for Father Coughlin."

Malone said Thursday that Coughlin, who is retired, could act as a fill-in priest at parishes around the states except in Bangor, South Portland and Wells where he was associated with a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Best-selling author to visit Norfolk bookstore

NORFOLK (VA)
Daily Press

NORFOLK - Author Kimberla Lawson Roby, whose books have been on the Essence magazine and New York Times best-sellers lists, is making an appearance in Norfolk today as part of her book tour for her latest work, "Sin No More."

Roby's book revisits the character the Rev. Curtis Black, who is caught up in all kinds of behavior unbecoming of a reverend. She's been interviewed as a source for her opinion on church corruption, preachers falling from grace, infidelity, domestic violence, sexual abuse, social status and discrimination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Five name college in sex abuse suit

LANCASTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Karen Nugent TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

LANCASTER— A lawsuit has been filed in Worcester Superior Court against Atlantic Union College and its well-known former choral director and music professor, Francisco de Araujo, for allegedly sexually abusing four students and a consultant in 2005 and 2006.

The complaint, filed Jan. 30 by Boston lawyer Nance Lyons, also alleges that college officials not only ignored the men’s accusations but had them expelled and spread rumors and slander that made it difficult for them to get jobs.

The complaint also alleges that college employees and contractors who complained about the sexual abuse on behalf of the students were fired and that college officials were well aware of Mr. Araujo’s alleged previous history of predatory sexual behavior with students.

“Doe” is used for the last name for the five plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Ms. Lyons said yesterday.

Besides Mr. Araujo, who retired last summer, and the college, the complaint names former college president George P. Babcock and Donald G. King, president of the Lancaster-based Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which oversees the Adventist college. Mr. King is chairman of the college’s board of trustees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Pastor gets 24 years in prison for sexually assaulting 2 girls

HARTFORD (CT)
Newday

HARTFORD, Conn. - A Hartford pastor has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for sexually assaulting two girls who became pregnant after the abuse.

Modesto Reyes, a Pentecostal pastor at Iglesia De Dios Te Llama, appeared in Hartford Superior Court on Wednesday as his relatives and parishioners looked on. Judge David Gold gave Reyes consecutive 12-year prison terms, one for each girl.

Both girls belonged to the congregation. Police and prosecutors say one of them was only 11 when Reyes befriended her, and she gave birth to a boy in May 2006. DNA tests confirmed the 53-year-old Reyes was the father.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Ex-youth pastor says devil led him astray in sex assault

HAWAII
The Maui News

Second Circuit Judge Joel August also ordered Kaipo Cabanting of Haiku not to have contact with the minor, with whom he developed a relationship from attending church.

August said he takes Cabanting’s religious beliefs seriously but the explanation Cabanting gave in a letter blaming the devil is “not completely satisfactory to the court.” August said that people make conscious decisions in committing criminal acts.

Cabanting was sentenced on two reduced counts of second-degree sex assault, with additional prison terms for third-degree sex assault to run at the same time. The charges were for incidents in 2006 and 2007, when the victim was 13 and 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Church official accused of rape

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Gus G. Sentementes | Sun reporter
February 9, 2008

The 31-year-old music director of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal, an influential West Baltimore church, was in jail yesterday on charges that he raped and abused a 12-year-old female parishioner during three encounters, city police and church officials said.

Timothy D. Price III of Owings Mills has been held in lieu of $1 million bail at Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center since he was arrested Wednesday, according to court records. He was charged with second-degree rape, assault, child abuse and multiple sex offenses.

"For everybody involved, it is a great tragedy," said the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, the church's pastor. "He had a good reputation, as far as I was aware. ... The people loved him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Time to light up dark corners?

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, February 07, 2008

By Eamonn McCann

It's hard to look away from the spectacle of two bishops head-butting one another, metaphorically speaking, but we should.

In the Dublin High Court on Monday, Cardinal Desmond Connell sought an order preventing the Archdiocese Commission of Investigation from examining a dossier of more than 5,000 documents relating to alleged instances of child abuse by clergy between 1975 and 2004.

The case was adjourned for a week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Catholic Church Crisis Could Have Been Avoided

MASSACHUSETTS
OpEd News

by Sherwood Ross

A Massachusetts School of Law Report

The Roman Catholic Church is facing an unnecessary crisis “that could have been averted if the overriding priority in recent years had been the welfare of the church’s children rather than the welfare of its priests and its assets,” a prominent religious authority writes.

The Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, founder of the FaithTrust Institute and editor of “The Journal of Religion and Abuse,” said, “Not reporting allegations of child abuse to authorities, secret settlements which place gag orders on survivors, harassment of complainants, retention of pedophile priests, and secret placement in new parishes---these are the outcomes for which dioceses have paid a high price---mostly to their lawyers.”

In an article in “The Long Term View,” a publication of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover(MSL), Dr. Fortune, a minister in the United Church of Christ, writes, “From east to west, we are learning information that some dioceses not only kept these crimes a secret for decades, but they also misrepresented facts to survivors and used depositions to harass and blame victims for their victimization.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Bishops meet with Assembly of First Nations chief for first time


CANADA
Canadian Christianity

By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

ONE of seven Catholic bishops who met for the first time with the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) January 29 said he hopes upcoming Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings will be "balanced."

Keewatin-The Pas Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie said he hopes the hearings will include not only the experiences of victims of abuse at the aboriginal residential schools but also those of the religious sisters and brothers and priests who gave their lives to working in the schools.

"There was a lot of good intentions," Lavoie told a news conference following the meeting. "And sometimes the very people staffing the schools were perhaps in some ways victims themselves of a flawed system, of unreal expectations and certainly perhaps very unjust working hours."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Cardinal Mahony must go!

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Spero News
By Dennis Jarrad

When Sen. Larry Craig was arrested in an airport restroom, I marveled at how easy it was to bust someone for lewd conduct simply by interpreting the movements of his hands and feet. Yet I knew that his reputation was ruined and that he'd be convicted, no matter how ambiguous the evidence.

This arrest got me thinking back, oddly enough, to when I was Chairman of Roger Cardinal Mahony's now-defunct Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. What does Sen. Craig's arrest have to do with Cardinal Mahony and pornography? Plenty.

His Archdiocese includes the Los Angeles area, which is the world capital of pornography. Every year, Southland pornographers pour out billions of dollars worth of DVDs, videos, magazines and other items filled with this mental poison. Ads, catalogs and more than one million Internet sites then spew these products at millions of children and adults throughout his Archdiocese and at billions more around the world. ...

The leader in the fight against this illegal industry should be the head of the largest church in Los Angeles. But that won't happen as long as the discredited Roger Mahony stays in office. His repeated shielding of clerical sex criminals makes it impossible for him to preach against sexual evils. And he can hardly be a moral leader after spending three-quarters of a billion dollars to whitewash his own wrongdoing and keep his job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

In pastoral letter, Bishop Lucas extends invitation to reconciliation

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Catholic Times

Written by Kathie Sass
02/10/2008
Marking the 155th anniversary of the diocese, Bishop George J. Lucas has written a pastoral letter on reconciliation, inviting all to "come to Jesus Christ and to be reconciled to God and to one another in him."

The full text of the letter is available in this issue of Catholic Times and is available online at www.dio.org . ...

To those who have been victims of sexual abuse of children or adolescents by clergy, religious or lay leaders in the church, Bishop Lucas acknowledges that "the hurt is deep and it is ongoing." He asks forgiveness for past offenses and pledges that the diocesan church will continue to take allegations seriously. He outlines some of the steps taken to protect young people from abuse, and urges anyone who has been abused to contact the diocesan victim assistance coordinator, if they have not already done so, to talk about how the church can help. "We wish to make amends so that real healing in Jesus Christ may take place," he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Group calls for boycott over sex abuse scandal

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

By YVONNE MARTIN - The Press | Saturday, 09 February 2008

A Christchurch men's support group is urging Catholics to boycott the collection plate at Mass tomorrow in protest at how a long-running historic sex abuse scandal is being handled.

The Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust made the call in response to a High Court judge excusing a member of the St John of God Order from standing trial because of a four-year delay in the case going to court.

A permanent stay was granted on Thursday and the jury panel stood down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Where are their children buried?

CANADA
The Tribune

Members of First Nations communities and their supporters are demanding to know what happened to thousands of aboriginal children who died at government- and church-sponsored residential schools.

Letters have been sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the heads of the Anglican, Catholic and United churches of Canada asking them to disclose the locations of unmarked graves where the children were buried.

Kevin Annett led protests at the offices of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto and the Anglican Church of Canada, which will continue Sunday confronting the United Church of Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Arizona man sues Hartford archdiocese for alleged abuse by priest

CONNECTICUT
Newday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Hartford archdiocese is being sued again for alleged sexual abuse by a priest, this time by an Arizona man.

Edward Cerninka claims he was sexually abused in the 1970s by the Rev. Louis Paturzo, a priest who worked with Hartford troubled youth until the first accusations against him surfaced in 2002.

Cerninka was a seventh-grade student at The Reverend Daniel Barry Junior High School in Hamden when he says he was molested by the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Critics blast decision to let priest return to part-time ministry

PORTLAND (ME)
Foster's Daily Democrat

Article Date: Thursday, February 7, 2008
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Critics are blasting a decision to let a Roman Catholic priest who let a sexual offender live in a church rectory return to part-time ministry.

Paul Kendrick of Freeport, a prominent advocate for abuse victims, says the reinstatement of the Rev. Paul Coughlin represents "a return to the ways of the past" when church officials covered up for priests who abused children.

Coughlin was removed from the parishes of Holy Cross and St. John in South Portland in 2004 as the church investigated complaints involving a volunteer who was later sentenced to prison for sexually abusing two boys he met through church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Davenport Diocese files reorganization plan in bankruptcy court

DAVENPORT (IA)
Catholic News Service

By Barb Arland-Fye
Catholic News Service

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) -- Fifteen months after the Diocese of Davenport filed for bankruptcy, it submitted a reorganization plan with the committee that represents most of its creditors -- 156 survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The proposal, filed Jan. 31 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa after months of arduous negotiations, could be confirmed later this spring, said Dick Davidson, the diocese's bankruptcy attorney.

At a March 5 hearing, Judge Lee Jackwig will consider approval of the diocese's disclosure statement. The 73-page document provides a summary of the 84-page reorganization plan, which outlines the process for distributing a $37 million settlement among creditors and identifies 17 nonmonetary measures the diocese will take to foster healing and to prevent abuse in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Sex abuse case leads to $2 million suit

SCHENECTADY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By LAUREN STANFORTH, Staff writer

First published: Friday, February 8, 2008

SCHENECTADY -- The teenage girl who accused a former county politician of sex abuse says Bishop Gibbons High School kept her from attending last fall because of the case, according to a lawsuit.

John A. Aretakis, an attorney who has repeatedly filed lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany on behalf of alleged victims of priest sex abuse, filed the complaint in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County in November.

The lawsuit, which seeks $2 million, names the high school, the Catholic diocese and former Schenectady County Republican Chairman Armando Tebano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Bishop considered suing Indiana diocese

BURLINGTON (VT)
INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The head of Vermont's Roman Catholic diocese considered suing an Indiana diocese to get it to share the costs of a 2006 court settlement in a priest molestation case, saying it withheld information about the priest, newly released court documents showed.

In 2006 letters included in court papers filed this week in another priest molestation case, Bishop Salvatore Matano said the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese should pay part of a $965,000 settlement in the case of Michael Gay of South Burlington because Gay would have been successful had he pursued damages against that diocese.

Bishop John N. D'Arcy, of the Indiana diocese, rebuked Matano for considering legal action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Supreme Court upholds dismissal of woman’s sex abuse lawsuit

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The state Supreme Court upholds the dismissal of a woman's lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest.

Mary Ryan said she had been raped by a priest in 1982, ending a four year sexual relationship that began when she was 17 years old. She sued in 1995, and a judge dismissed it because he said it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired.

The court agreed with that decision in its opinion yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Joel McNally: California church case reveals what Wisconsin conceals

WISCONSIN
THE CAPITAL TIMES

Joel McNally — 2/09/2008 7:11 am

It's hard to sympathize with the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese claim that it could face financial ruin as a result of paying for its past misdeeds when it continues right up to the present day attempting to cover up those misdeeds.

For years, the church here had plenty of powerful co-conspirators helping them keep crimes against children quiet. Documents just made public in a California lawsuit settlement reveal that Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann, a devout Catholic, advised the diocese to remove a priest accused of sexual abuse from the ministry "for about five years, and if no complaints come forth in that time perhaps he can be given another chance."

That priest ultimately was accused of sexually abusing 10 teenagers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Court rejects case against diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

By Edward Fitzpatrick

The state Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal by a Burrillville woman whose lawsuit against Roman Catholic Church officials was dismissed because she waited too long to sue after she was raped by a priest in 1982.

Mary Ryan was the only one of 38 alleged victims of sexual abuse who did not accept part of a $13.5-million settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in 2002. Ryan said she wanted to continue the legal battle so she would have her day in court and prompt full disclosure.

But the Supreme Court said Ryan and her husband, Thomas Ryan, filed their lawsuit more than a decade past the statutory deadline.

Msgr. Louis Ward Dunn Jr., a former pastor of St. Thomas Church in Providence, was convicted of first-degree sexual assault for forcing Ryan to have intercourse in June 1982, so Ryan had until June 1985 to sue, the high court said. But the Ryans filed their civil suit in 1995.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:18 AM

Marcial Maciel (1920-2008): Controversy Dogged Legionaries Founder, Who Was a Holy Man to Many Followers

NEW YORK (NY)
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By José de Córdoba

Father Marcial Maciel, 87, the founder of a powerful and wealthy Roman Catholic religious order, was a holy man to thousands of his followers but an unrepentant sinner to former seminarians who accused him of sexual abuse.

. . .

But for other Catholics, Father Maciel was a fraud, a morally corrupt man and a prime example of the scourge of child-abuse scandals and coverups that have plagued the Church in recent years. In 1997, eight former Legionaries -- one an active priest -- accused the founder, in a lengthy article published in the Hartford Courant, of having molested them as young seminarians during the 1940s and 1950s. Father Maciel denied the accusations. The following year, the Vatican organization that investigated such charges -- then under the direction of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI -- tabled a formal canonical complaint filed with Church authorities.

But even as John Paul lay dying in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger, who has recently revived the inquiry, sent a top investigator to interview Father Maciel's accusers in Mexico City and New York. Soon after, Father Maciel, citing his advanced age, resigned as head of the Legion. In 2006, in a move that surprised many, the Vatican, under Pope Benedict, ordered Father Maciel to "a life of prayer and penitence," and prohibited him from holding Mass in public. Noting his age and failed health, the Vatican dropped the canonical proceeding against him.

For some of his accusers, the Vatican rebuke didn't go far enough. But the Legion has never accepted Father Maciel's guilt. At the time of the Vatican announcement, Father Maciel refused to defend himself and said he was accepting his "new cross" with a tranquil conscience. For many of his most militant followers, Father Maciel is the victim of a conspiracy of false accusations made by the former seminarians. They believe that history will prove Father Maciel innocent and that eventually he will be canonized a saint.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:10 AM

Swiss confront scandals

JOHANNESBURG (SOUTH AFRICA)
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE in THE TIMES

By Patrick Baert

Geneva - Switzerland’s Catholic Church is embroiled in a series of sex scandals, with some priests denouncing media intrusion while others say past sins and abuse must be confronted.

One 45-year-old priest committed suicide last Sunday after what his family denounced as a "media hunt," when it was revealed he had been accused in 2001 of indecent behaviour with a minor back in the 1980s, before he had been ordained.

Some 600 people attended his funeral in the western city of Neuchatel, and heard a message from the local bishop Bernard Genoud denouncing the "intolerable" media pressure on the dead man.

"Rumours can kill," Genoud subsequently told a television programme, adding that the dead man had admitted his guilt at the time, and had been cleared for work in the priesthood by psychiatric authorities.

The case came hot on the heels of another scandal involving a 67-year-old monk now living in Switzerland and accused of abusing a 12-year old boy in France in the early 1990s.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:05 AM

Diocese settles priest molestation case for $170,000

BURLINGTON (VT)
BURLINGTON FREE PRESS

By Sam Hemingway

The state's Roman Catholic diocese agreed Friday to pay $170,000 to settle another lawsuit involving claims it was responsible for the long-ago molestation of a child by a parish priest.

The deal, reached late Friday afternoon, came three days before a trial was set to begin in Burlington in the case of John Perrotte, 41, of South Hero. He claimed the diocese was to blame for his 1980 molestation in Milton at the hands of the Rev. Alfred Willis.

"Bishop Salvatore Matano deeply regrets any hurt that John Perrotte has experienced because of the actions of Alfred Willis," the diocese said in a statement released by church lawyer Kavi Shahi. "The Bishop sincerely prays for John Perrotte and all victims of sexual abuse."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:01 AM

February 8, 2008

Former Priest Named in Archdiocese Records Alleging Sexual Abuse

GREEN BAY (WI)
WBAY-TV - ABC2

[Includes video]

By Natalie Arnold

The recent release of hundreds of secret documents by the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese has people in Mayville on edge again. The records, which detail numerous allegations of child sexual abuse, center on Mayville resident and former priest Franklyn Becker.

Many in Mayville say they had no idea that an ex-priest accused of child sexual abuse was living in their community.

. . .

But the city's police chief says Becker was on their radar as soon as he moved to the Dodge County community about ten years ago.

"That came out of a warrant from California that we were going to serve on him," Chief Bill Linzenmeyer said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:30 AM

Bishop McCormack: Diocese to Participate in Fourth Audit; Cites Progress in Protecting Children

MANCHESTER (NH)
DIOCESE OF MANCHESTER

[See also McCormack's 12/10/02 agreement with the attorney general, committing the diocese to five annual audits and other agreements in order to avoid prosecution for violation of New Hampshire's child endangerment statute. That agreement also resulted in the attorney general's report and the release of 9,000 pages of diocesan and investigative files.]

Bishop John B. McCormack said the Diocese of Manchester will participate in a fourth audit by the Office of the Attorney General regarding the efforts the diocese takes to protect children.

“I know that the Attorney General desires a 4th audit, and I have assured her office that the diocese will willingly participate in it,” said Bishop McCormack.

“I am confident that the report from last year’s audit and this one will demonstrate how serious we are in ensuring that our ongoing practices and procedures are a permanent part of our diocesan policies. We dedicate a great deal of personnel and resources to train thousands of employees and volunteers in child protection, and we also perform background checks on them. With the assistance of other audits and reviews, we review our policies and practices in an effort to make them more effective. We continue to cooperate with civil authorities and report to them all incidents of suspected abuse of a minor by a minister or volunteer of the Church. We also continue to assist persons who report being harmed as a result of actions by church personnel.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:06 AM

Former Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing a Clarksburg Teen

CLARKSBURG (WV)
WBOY-TV - NBC12

[Includes the text of the complaint and a video that shows the church where the abuse is alleged to have occurred.]

* Lawyers say the boy was abused at least 50 times over a 3 year period.

Wheeling -- Lawyers for a Clarksburg man have accused a Catholic priest of sexually abusing their client over a three year period, starting in 2003.

They say Father Charles McCallister molested their client, who was 15 years old when the alleged abuse began.

McCallister was a priest at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksburg at the time.

He died in 2007.

The victim's lawyers said that they filed a lawsuit Thursday in Ohio County Circuit Court, that names the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, current Bishop Michael Bransfield, former Bishop Bernard Schmitt and the executor of McCallister's estate, as defendants.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:59 AM

Man sues W.Va. diocese over alleged abuse by priest

CHARLESTON (WV)
ASSOCIATED PRESS in CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL

A Clarksburg man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest as a teenager is suing the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Ohio County Circuit Court accuses the diocese of negligence. It also claims church officials covered up the alleged sexual abuse by the late Rev. Charles E. McCallister.

"At all times material, the Diocesan Defendants knew (or had constructive knowledge) that Father McCallister's conduct constituted a breach of duty and was harmful, yet the Diocese Defendants assisted and encouraged Father McCallister to maintain his activities as a priest, including working with directly with children, by assigning him to serve at parishes and/or schools, and encouraging him to conceal his pedophiliac propensities by their actions,'' the lawsuit said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:53 AM

February 7, 2008

Accused Mater Dei Statutory Rapist Loses Again

SANTA ANA (CA)
ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 7, 2008 5:59 PM

It hasn't been a good couple of months for Larry Stukenholtz, a former Mater Dei High choir director whom the school canned in the late 1990s for carrying on a relationship with a student. In October, his victim was part of a $6.685 million settlement that the Catholic Diocese of Orange reached with four girls molested by diocesan employees. Stukeholtz also lost his job as a music teacher at St. Louis Community College after its Board of Trustees unanimously voted to boot the bum out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Lawmaker wants to eliminate statute of limitations on sex abuse lawsuits

DENVER (CO)
KUSA-TV - NBC 9NEWS

[Includes video]

By Anastasiya Bolton

A state legislator wants to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil actions when it comes to sexual assaults on children.

She says current law doesn't consider that sexual abuse is often not reported by children and is remembered much later in life.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:35 PM

Ritrattare? Neanche se ...

ITALY
IL GAZZETTINO

Abano
Ritrattare? Neanche se ne parla. Come previsto don Giovanni Brusegan non è stato così bravo da convincere il prete papà a tornare sui suoi passi. O meglio, come previsto, don Sante Sguotti non si è lasciato convincere né dal sacerdote né dal rito delle ceneri di ieri sera, nella parrocchia di Monterosso affollata da una trentina di fedeli.

[translation]

Retractation? No way...

Retractation? No way..I won't even speak of it. As it was predicted, the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan wasn't so good as to convince the priest father to go back on his steps. Or better, as it was predicted the Rev. Sante Sguotti wasn't convinced neither by the priest nor by yesterday's ash ceremony in the parish of Monterosso, crowded by about thirty faithful. And once more the rebel priest will clash with the wrath of bishop Antonio Mattiazzo. Today will expire one of the many ultimatums offered by the bishop to the rebel priest: either go back on his steps, relegating his family to his past and abandoning the woman he loves, or be reduced to the lay state. "We'll see if ash Wednesday is going to make my mind clearer", was the provocatory answer of the priest father. Useless to say. The "miracle" didn't happen. The Rev. Sante went to the ceremony at 9 p.m. as a normal parishioner. He received the ashes, he listened to the sermon but he didn't show any sign of repentance.

" In effect it was very difficult the Rev. Giovanni could be so convincing as to change my mind - the Rev. Sante explained - I'll repent later in case I'll find out I'm making a mistake. Two years ago I started having a family and I continued to be a parish priest as if nothing had happened. Nobody was aware I was in love with a woman. I clearly demonstrated that to be a parish priest and a husband and a father is possible".

Even today bishop Antonio Mattiazzo could decide to defrock the rebel priest. But that doesn't preoccupy the rebel priest very much. "Will I be defrocked? Won't I be a priest anymore? I'll continue to be a priest no matter what - he explained - as far as there will be a flock behind me I'll continue to be a pastor for their souls. Anyone can be a pastor of souls, no permit is necessary".

And you mustn't be an expert to understand that it's very difficult to define these statements in line with the dogma of the Catholic church. Just these words could push him nearer to the definitive excommunication, as it happened to his comrade- in-fight Emmanuel Milingo.

Riccardo Bastianello

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Former Premier Accused of Sexual Abuse Cover Up

CANADA
Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

The former premier of the Northwest Territories, Joe Handley, has been accused of covering up allegations of sexual abuse of Inuit students in isolated Arctic schools.

The Globe and Mail has reported that lawyer Geoffrey Budden represents 69 Inuit who say they were victims of convicted sex offender Ed Horne when they were between six and 17 years old. Mr. Horne was their teacher in the 1970s and 1980s.

Budden claims:

"Rather than the school reporting it to the police, the teacher being fired and investigated and charged, the practice seems to have been to allow the teacher to resign or perhaps transfer."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Lawmaker wants to eliminate statute of limitations on sex abuse lawsuits

DENVER (CO)
KUSA-TV - NBC 9NEWS

By Anastasiya Bolton

A state legislator wants to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil actions when it comes to sexual assaults on children.

She says current law doesn't consider that sexual abuse is often not reported by children and is remembered much later in life.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:14 AM

Sex Crimes Victims Ask for Help from Legislators: Former Miss America Tells Lawmakers to 'Stop It Now'

DENVER (CO)
7NEWS

[Includes video with additional interview excerpts]

By Russell Haythorn

A bill being discussed before state lawmakers would effectively end the statute of limitations for child sex crimes.

During a committee hearing Wednesday afternoon, lawmakers heard from dozens of victims, including former Miss Colorado and Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur.

Van Derbur is an incest survivor and quite possibly the nation's most recognizable and outspoken victim of sexual abuse on a child.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:09 AM

Lawmakers consider abolishing limits on sex abuse lawsuits

DENVER (CO)
ASSOCIATED PRESS in SUMMIT DAILY NEWS

People who said they were sexually abused as children urged state lawmakers Wednesday to change the law to allow victims to sue as adults.

"Children cannot tell. We are ashamed. We are terrified," said Marilyn Van Derbur, who said her father began abusing her when she was 5.

Van Derbur, a former Miss America, and others told the House Judiciary Committee that child-abuse victims are often in their 40s or older before they can come to terms with what happened.

Currently victims have until age 24 to sue an alleged molester and the institution he or she worked for. A proposal (House Bill 1011) by Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden, would get rid of that time limit in future cases.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:05 AM

Cardinal willing to go to jail rather than release files

DUBLIN, IRELAND
IRISH INDEPENDENT

By John Cooney

Cardinal Desmond Connell has told friends that he is prepared to go to jail rather than release confidential diocesan files.

The cardinal is said to have told friends in Rome that he would risk prosecution, and was prepared, if necessary, to go to jail rather than breach the confidentiality of Dublin diocesan files relating to victims of alleged abuse, as well as some accused priests.

A report in today's edition of 'The Irish Catholic' says that the 81-year-old cardinal acted as a man of principle rather than covering up secret files about his handling of complaints by victims of paedophile priests.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:27 AM

Irish cardinal would risk jail in confidentiality dispute

BRISTOW (VA)
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS

Cardinal Desmond Connell, the retired Archbishop of Dublin, has told friends that he would rather go to jail than release confidential documents to a commission investigating sexual abuse by clerics, Ireland's largest Catholic newspaper reports.

The Irish Catholic reveals that Cardinal Connell-- who has appealed to the High Court to block release of certain documents to the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigations-- feels himself obligated to honor promises of confidentiality that he made while he was Archbishop of Dublin.

The cardinal is unhappy that his successor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, has agreed to release the confidential documents. Further, the Irish Catholic reports, although the investigating commission indicated a willingness to consult with the former archbishop about the documents to be released, that message may not have been relayed to Cardinal Connell.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:25 AM

Lawmakers consider ‘window’ for victims of child sex abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
THE EXAMINER

By Jaime Malarkey

Victims of child sex abuse — no matter how long ago — may get to pursue legal action against their molesters during a yearlong window in which some lawmakers hope to suspend Maryland's statute of limitations.

The proposal introduced this week before the state's General Assembly would eliminate the statute of limitations -- the maximum period of time that legal proceedings can wait after the incident -- for child sex abuse victims in 2009. Thereafter the statute would be extended from the victim's 25th birthday, to his or her 50th.

While similar legislation has failed during other sessions, bill sponsor Del. Eric Bromwell, a Baltimore County Democrat, said the bill will help victims who are suffering the lifelong effects of abuse, many who are not ready to file civil suits until decades later.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:19 AM

Bill would make it easier to file sex-abuse suits

BALTIMORE (MD)
THE BALTIMORE SUN

A Baltimore County legislator has introduced a bill that would make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to sue for damages, despite pressure brought on him not to do so by the Catholic school from which he graduated.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Eric M. Bromwell, would extend the statute of limitations on filing lawsuits claiming sexual abuse in childhood.

Bromwell, a Democrat who graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in 1994, said he has been flooded with calls and e-mail from alumni and families of students of the school.

Calvert Hall's president recently sent a letter to school supporters warning that the bill could cause "a severe, perhaps fatal, decline in enrollment" by opening up the Towson school to lawsuits by people contending that they were molested years ago by two former priests once assigned to Calvert Hall.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:07 AM

Restrictions Eased for Retired Priest

PORTLAND (ME)
DIOCESE OF PORTLAND

After three years of being restricted from ministry, Fr. Paul Coughlin has received permission to exercise priestly ministry, except in Wells, Bangor and South Portland.

Fr. Coughlin was temporarily removed from ministry in August of 2004 in order for the diocese to investigate his association with John S. Skinner, Sr. who had been indicted for sexually assaulting a teenager. Skinner admitted to abusing young people and has since completed serving a prison term.

In 2004, the diocesan investigation found that Fr. Coughlin failed to follow a diocesan policy when, in 1989, he failed to report receiving information from a minor who had been abused by Skinner, and further, that he failed to take steps to provide assistance to that victim.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:02 AM

Bishop restores priest linked to sex offender

BANGOR (ME)
BANGOR DAILY NEWS

By Judy Harrison

The priest remembered by Bangor Catholics as the man who helped St. Mary Catholic Church rebuild and relocate after the Feb. 3, 1978, blaze that destroyed the 105-year-old landmark on Cedar Street may administer the sacraments again. Just not in Bangor, South Portland or Wells.

Bishop Richard J. Malone announced Wednesday that the Rev. Paul Coughlin, 73, had received permission to exercise priestly ministry again.

Coughlin, who left Bangor in 1987, was temporarily removed from his South Portland pastorate in August 2004 when church officials began an investigation into whether he put children at risk by allowing John Skinner Sr., 65, to live with him at the St. John’s rectory between 1999 and 2001.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:59 AM

Nun Is Found Guilty in Sex Abuse Cases

CHICAGO (IL)
SOUTHWEST NEWS-HERALD

By Chuck Salvatore

A nun who used to teach in the Chicago area and now resides in Oak Lawn has been found guilty of sexual molestation.

Sister Norma Giannini, 79, was sentenced to one year in prison and 10 years probation on Friday, Feb. 1, in a Milwaukee courthouse after pleading not guilty in November. Giannini was found guilty of having sexual intercourse with two boys who were 12 years old in the 1960s.

During the 1960s, Giannini was a principal of St. Patrick School in Milwaukee. According to reports, more than 160 allegations of sexual molestation happened during the span of four years.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:53 AM

Third speaker denied platform by Catholic diosese

NAPLES (FL)
NAPLES DAILY NEWS

By Victoria Macchi

For the third time in less than a year, a speaker brought to Naples by the lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful Southwest Florida was denied a platform at area Catholic churches by the Diocese of Venice.

Instead of speaking at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, as Voice of the Faithful and church pastor the Rev. Thomas Glackin had officially requested in late 2007, embattled Catholic theologian the Rev. Charles Curran will speak Thursday evening at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in North Naples.

Voice of the Faithful, which has held speaker events since 2002, received official correspondence from the Diocese on Jan. 2, 2008, that their request for Curran to speak on his book “Loyal Dissent: Memoir