« February 2008 | Main | April 2008 »

March 31, 2008

Voice of the Faithful plans ads about clergy sex abuse for pope's visit (8:30 p.m.)

MASSACHUSETTS
The Standard-Times

By Steve Urbon
Standard-Times senior correspondent
March 31, 2008 8:25 PM
NEW BEDFORD — The worst of the clergy sexual abuse crisis may be over in Massachusetts, but the Boston-based Voice of the Faithful sees a nationwide cancer on the Catholic Church that it plans to advertise during Pope Benedict’s weeklong visit to the United States later this month.
VOTF President Dan Bartley told members in an e-mail today that $51,000 has been raised so far, almost enough to buy a full-page ad in the New York Times. But he added that there is just one day left before the advertising deadline, and the group would also like to take out ads in other national newspapers, such as USA Today.
VOTF communications director John Moynihan told The Standard-Times that the abuse scandals have dropped off the screen in many places. “Being off the newspaper page, it is no longer in front of people’s eyes,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Manifestations, weird interpretations, a priest with ties to predator pedophiles all over LA: Salesian pretrial motions next 2 weeks, trial April 14th

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Document diving begins again at City of Angels Blog with the Salesian cases going to jury trial April 14th in LA Superior Court. The same group of lawyers who battled plaintiffs in San Francisco in 2006 are in LA filing heaps of pretrial motions. On April 10th defendants try to exclude the entire testimony of Tom Doyle, as “The First amendment bars Fr. Doyle’s testimony on Canon Law.”

City of Angels alarms went off reading the names of priests Salesian lawyers don’t want mentioned during the upcoming trial. Number 16 on a list of 20 is George Neville Rucker. This ambisexual predator’s name comes up in a lot of predator priest case files. Rucker got around. He was part of the madness at Mary Star of the Sea Parish in San Pedro, in the fifties and sixties. Rucker is connected to the crimes of Salesian Titian Miani in the April 14th trial.

A trial about the crimes of George Neville Rucker would be going on this spring if the LA cases hadn’t settled out of court last July, leaving only 17 Salesian cases to be argued in court this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Manifestations, weird interpretations, a priest with ties to predator pedophiles all over LA: Salesian pretrial motions next 2 weeks, trial April 14th

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Aretakis to run for Congress

ALBANY (NY)
WNYT

ALBANY - Add another candidate to the list of those who want to the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Mike McNulty.

Along with the two Republicans and five Democrats already in the race, local attorney John Aretakis will announce next week that he is running as well. ...

Aretakis has been an outspoken critic of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, which he claims covered up the abuse of children by members of the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Fifth sex suit filed against N.Y. yeshiva

BROOKLYN (NY)
JTA

Published: 03/31/2008

A fifth lawsuit was filed against a New York yeshiva alleged to have covered up the molestation of several students by a rabbi.

Two Miami attorneys filed the $10 million suit Monday against Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah in Brooklyn alleging that their client, identified only as John Doe No. 6, was abused on multiple occasions as a student in the mid-1990s by Rabbi Yehuda Kolko.

The suit claims that the yeshiva's head administrator, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, who is also named as a defendant, should have been aware of credible accusations against Kolko for at least 25 years prior to the plaintiff's alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Aretakis to join race for Congress

NEW YORK
Daily Gazette

By Michael Lamendola
Gazette Reporter

Another Democrat plans to join the growing field of candidates seeking the 21st Congressional District seat of Rep. Michael McNulty, D-Green Island, who will retire at the end of this term after 20 years. ...

Mark Lyman, a spokesman for Aretakis, said Aretakis wants to address the sexual abuse of children through legislation in Congress, as well as economic issues affecting New Yorkers.

Lyman is co-director of the Albany chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. Lyman hired Aretakis in 2004 to represent him when he filed a lawsuit alleging he was abused by a priest as a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Bishop Nikolai returns to pulpit

ALASKA
KTUU

[with video]

by Leyla Santiago
Sunday, March 30, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A bishop asked to step aside after allegations of verbal and emotional abuse has been allowed to return to his church.

Sunday was Bishop Nikolai Soraich's first day leading a service as the reinstated leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska.

Parishioners say it was wonderful to see the embattled leader back in church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Nun pleads guilty to stealing from archdiocese

OMAHA (NE)
Omaha World-Herald

BY TODD COOPER
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

As a Notre Dame nun, she took a vow of poverty.

Sister Barbara MarkeyShe then took more than $250,000 from the Archdiocese of Omaha and gambled a chunk of it away at casinos, prosecutors said today.

Barbara Markey, the former director of the Catholic Family Life Office in Omaha, pleaded guilty to theft by deception. She faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in July.

In return for her plea, prosecutors and the archdiocese won't oppose probation if the judge deems it suitable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Former Taylor Priest Admits to Sexual Abuse

TAYLOR (TX)
KLBJ

3/31/2008

Newsroom

An eighty year old Taylor man and former Catholic Priest admits to having sex with under-aged girls and fathering at least 8 children. Anthony Gonzales’s relationship with a now-grown woman was the subject of a civil lawsuit filed in a District Court in Bexar County. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has settled with “Jane Doe” for $1.35 million

In a deposition, the woman says she met Gonzales in 1981 while she was living with her mentally ill mother in an abandoned house in Houston. At the time, Gonzales was assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Houston. She says Gonzales had sex with her repeatedly and that by 1983, she was pregnant and in love with him. She says Gonzales told her that when he returned from a trip to the Vatican, he'd leave the priesthood and marry her. But she says he never returned to Houston.

Gonzales, now 80, was forced out of the priesthood in 1985. He currently lives in Taylor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

N.Y. priest investigated for gambling debt

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
UPI

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 31 (UPI) -- The Catholic Archdiocese of New York says it has removed a parish priest while it investigates possible embezzlement to pay gambling debts.

The Rev. Patrick Dunne of Our Lady of Sorrows in White Plains was permanently removed from his duties and ordered into counseling at a rehabilitation center. WABC-TV in New York said the action was taken shortly before Christmas and formally announced to the parishioners Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Catholic Dioceses Promoting Child Abuse Awareness Month

WASHINGTON (DC)
PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic dioceses nationwide will promote Child Abuse Awareness Month in April. Plans call for raising awareness through special prayers during Sunday Masses, diocesan and parish lectures, and other educational activities.

Child Abuse Awareness is a major initiative of the Catholic Church in the United States. As a result, an estimated 1.6 millions persons have undergone background checks; 1.8 million priests, deacons, candidates for ordination, educators, employees and volunteers have gone through safe environment programs and approximately 6 million children in parish school and religious education programs have received age-appropriate instruction in this area.

Some, such as the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas; and Grand Island, Nebraska, also are joining their efforts with the Blue Ribbon Campaign of the National Exchange Club Foundation, which promotes the blue ribbon as a national symbol of child abuse awareness. The foundation produces materials for public awareness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Pastor suspect in theft against church

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
Auburn Citizen

By The Associated Press

Monday, March 31, 2008 11:44 AM EDT

WHITE PLAINS - A long-serving pastor of a Catholic parish is under investigation for using church money to feed a gambling habit and has been permanently removed, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York said Sunday.

The Rev. Patrick Dunne of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in White Plains took a “very significant amount of church money” because of a “very powerful” gambling addiction, Monsignor William Belford told parishioners.

Belford told the congregation that he met with Dunne last year after the archdiocese's finance office told him that undocumented checks were cashed at Our Lady of Sorrow just before Thanksgiving.

Dunne, who had been pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows since 1991, left the church right after Christmas. He is undergoing counseling at a rehabilitation center, where he offers Mass daily, Belford said. His home telephone mailbox was full and was not accepting messages on Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Darien church bookkeeper sues diocese

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Zach Lowe
Staff Writer

Article Launched: 03/31/2008 10:32:17 AM EDT

STAMFORD - The bookkeeper who blew the whistle on a Darien priest who stole $1 million from St. John's Church has filed suit against the church and the Diocese of Bridgeport, claiming they harassed and threatened her after she exposed the thefts.

The suit, filed late Friday by Bethany D'Erario, also sheds light on the lavish spending habits of the disgraced Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who used church money to buy Waterford crystals, gifts for his gay lover and a Burberry coat for his dog, according to the suit.

Fay was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for the thefts.

Fay told D'Erario to "mind her own business" when she questioned his use of church money to pay suspicious credit card bills, the suit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Pastor Allegedly Stole Church Funds To Gamble

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
CBS 5

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBS) ― A beloved White Plains priest has been accused of stealing money from parishioners to feed his gambling habit. Rev. Patrick Dunne may face criminal charges, reports CBS station WCBS-TV in New York.

The evening mass brought bad news for parishioners at the Church Of Our Lady Of Sorrows on Mamaroneck Avenue. They were deeply saddened when they were told Dunne was permanently removed from the church, after accusations of stealing money from the church to feed 'a very powerful gambling addiction.'

"It's very sad," said Carla Iarocci. "Addictions are horrible. We all know that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Parishioners Discuss Priest Controversy

PRICE HILL (OH)
WCPO

Reported by: Jay Warren
Photographed by: Jeremy Glover
Web produced by: Alyssa Bunn

A controversy has started in a local church as the Cincinnati Archdiocese is considering reinstating a priest who was accused of sexual misconduct.

On Sunday, parishioners at the Holy Family Church in Price Hill got the chance to voice their opinions about Father James Kiffmeyer.

Kiffmeyer was accused of sexual misconduct after two 18-years-old male students at Fenwick High School claimed the the priest had sexually assaulted them. Both allegations claimed alcohol was involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Archdiocese Asks For Parish Input

PRICE HILL (OH)
WKRC

[with video]

A small group gathered outside a church in Price Hill Sunday as parishioners inside consider the position of a priest tied to a sex scandal.

Father James Kiffmeyer went on leave in april 2002, after two allegations of sexual misconduct. The allegations involved drinking and both came from students at fenwick high school who were at least 18 years old. Father Kiffmeyer denies that any sexual misconduct occurred, and no criminal charges were ever filed.

Kiffmeyer was reinstated by the vatican in december 2006. Now he is applying to be a pastor at holy family. In a rare move, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has asked the parishioners at Holy Family for their input on Kiffmeyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Congregants offer questions, prayers after Infant Jesus of Prague scandal

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
Southtown Star

March 31, 2008
By Duaa Eldeib, Staff Writer
Parishioners at Infant Jesus of Prague Church on Sunday prayed for forgiveness for anyone who wronged the community.

For at least some of the congregation's members, that prayer included church business manager Beverly Houston, who was charged last week with felony theft and forgery for allegedly stealing more than $259,000 from the Flossmoor church from April 2006 to October 2007 to feed a gambling habit.

Monroe Morgan, a parishioner and usher from Homewood, expressed his adamant disapproval.

"It was a terrible thing to happen," he said. "If she's in jail, I think that's where she should be. The whole thing was disappointing, absolutely."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Warrant expected in church theft case

MANATEE COUNTY (FL)
Herald-Tribune

By Todd Ruger
Published Monday, March 31, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.

MANATEE COUNTY — Investigators and the Diocese of Venice are expecting a grand theft warrant soon for the former bookkeeper of St. Mary's Star of the Sea church on Longboat Key.

Margaret Carroll, 67, is suspected of taking more than $100,000 from the Catholic church since 2002, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

The investigation started when a routine financial review found "financial irregularities," the Diocese of Venice said in a written statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Patterson: Rule of law must apply to all religions, clergy

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Denis Riccitelli, a Mesa Catholic priest, was accused in 2004 of using real estate and check-writing schemes to defraud his parish of $160,000.

Church leaders called in the Mesa police. Evidence was presented to the grand jury, which agreed probable cause existed to bring the case to trial.

The priest argued he was not guilty because under church law, he has the right to spend parish funds as he sees fit, including on himself.

Nothing unusual so far. Priests behaving badly, sadly, are a disappointment but no longer a surprise. Accused criminals devising preposterous, self-serving defenses are common.

But here’s where it gets weird. District Court Judge Sylvia Arellano bought the argument. In fact, she threw out the case because prosecutors “didn’t tell the grand jury about the laws of the Roman Catholic Church, known as canon law.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Garden City parish fights to get back priest

GARDEN CITY (MI)
Detroit Free Press

BY GINA DAMRON • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • March 31, 2008

After a weekend town hall meeting with their embattled priest, parishioners from St. Dunstan Catholic Church in Garden City said Sunday that they plan to keep working to have him reinstated.

And they wanted it on the record that the Rev. Don Demmer does not have a gambling problem, despite an erroneous report in Sunday's Free Press saying he admitted to having one.

He said Sunday that he made a joke at the town hall meeting to the effect of: "I have a gambling problem. You may have read about it in the newspaper."

His remark drew laughs from the crowd, many of whom have made calls and sent letters to the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Church debates hiring priest

PRICE HILL (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY AMBER ELLIS | AELLIS@ENQUIRER.COM

A dozen protesters stood outside a Price Hill Catholic church Sunday as parishioners inside discussed whether a longtime member who faced a sexual misconduct scandal years ago should become the parish's new priest.

The Rev. James Kiffmeyer, who applied for the position at Holy Family Church, was placed on administrative leave for nearly five years after the allegations surfaced. In 2006, the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy found that Kiffmeyer should not be penalized because his accusers waited too long to come forward with details about his alleged misdeeds.

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk asked the Parish Pastoral Council to consult with parishioners - a step forward for the Catholic Church, which as a whole has been criticized since molestation allegations and expensive lawsuit settlements have popped up in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

LEADERSHIP DISREGARD

OAKLAND (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Rob Dennis, Jeremy Herb, Matthew Artz and Chris De Benedetti
STAFF WRITERS

Article Launched: 03/31/2008 03:02:11 AM PDT

For most of its 46-year history, the Diocese of Oakland was led by two men. One did not want even his closest advisers to know that his priests had molested children. The other, his subordinates say, was happier not knowing.

Bishops Floyd Begin, who served until his death in 1977, and John Cummins, who took over for Begin and served until 2003, had vastly different leadership styles, but the result was identical: Priests accused of child molestation were allowed to serve in parishes after they were reported to diocese officials. Some of them continued to abuse again and again.

In a series of depositions obtained by MediaNews reporters, former diocese leaders described a system that allowed at least 10 accused priests to remain in ministry for years -- sometimes decades -- after sexual misconduct was reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

March 30, 2008

Church closing announcements loom in Camden Diocese

NEW JERSEY
The Hammonton News

By JIM WALSH
Gannett News Service

CAMDEN — An announcement of dramatic changes in the Diocese of Camden, including a cutback in the number of parishes will be announced this week.

Bishop Joseph Galante is preparing to decide the fate of each parish in the six-county diocese after soliciting input from parishioners, priests and others over a 15-month period, said spokesman Andrew Walton.

"It’s clear that the status quo is insufficient," said Walton, who noted the diocese must cope with a priest shortage and other concerns. "The traditional model of one pastor, one parish, will be impossible to sustain in every area of the diocese in the future."

Galante’s announcement will be posted at www.CamdenDiocese.org beginning at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Must Read: Catholics Must Get Up and Walk Out of the Church Forever

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Commentary from Bill Maher.

Stop reading now if you can’t handle Maher’s brand of honesty/humor/barroom language.

From 236com, 3.28.2008.


When Barack Obama didn’t hear Reverend Wright say those awful things about America, he still should have rushed the stage, smite Reverend Wright with the cross, and left the church. If there’s anything the right wing can agree on, it’s that. And that gays are going hell, right after they suck them off in the airport bathroom.

But it raises an obvious question, one that I haven’t heard asked, which is strange because it’s so obvious: If you leave a church when the head of the church says bad things about America, what do you do when your church hierarchy is caught up in a systematic and decades-long sex abuse scandal? And did I mention the people being sexually abused were children? Hundreds of them?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Controversy surfaces about priest

PRICE HILL (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY AMBER ELLIS | AELLIS@ENQUIRER.COM

A dozen protestors stood outside a Price Hill Catholic church on Sunday as parishioners inside discussed whether a longtime member who faced a sexual misconduct scandal years ago should become the parish’s priest.

Rev. James Kiffmeyer, who applied for the position at Holy Family Church, was placed on administrative leave for nearly five years after the allegations surfaced. In 2006, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy found that Kiffmeyer should not be penalized because the people waited too long to come forward with details about his alleged behavior.

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk asked the Parish Council to consult with parishioners – a step forward for the Catholic Church, which as a whole has been criticized since molestation allegations and lawsuits have popped up in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Statement of the Diocese of Bridgeport in response to the filing of Bethany D'Erario v. St. John Roman Catholic Church, et. al.

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT, Sunday, March 30, 2008, 12:30 p.m. - In response to the filing of Bethany D'Erario v. St. John's Roman Catholic Church, et. al., the Diocese of Bridgeport has issued the following statement:

"The complaint, Bethany D'Erario v. St. John's Roman Catholic Church, et. al., is without merit.

Bethany D'Erario first threatened to sue St. John's Roman Catholic Church and the Diocese of Bridgeport in January of this year, approximately 17 months after she had voluntarily resigned from her position as the business manager and bookkeeper of St. John's Parish. We reviewed the complaint that had been mailed to us by Ms. D'Erario's attorney and determined that it contained numerous inaccurate allegations.

"Accordingly, our attorney sent a letter [published below] to Ms. D'Erario's attorney, a copy of which is attached hereto, noting some of the significant factual and legal inaccuracies in the complaint and discouraging Ms. D'Erario from proceeding with her meritless complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Former bookkeeper's lawsuit details Fay's life of excess, homosexuality

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

BREAKING NEWS Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Claiming an environment of harassment, verbal abuse, innuendo, and intimidation, former St. John’s Parish bookkeeper Bethany D’Erario filed a civil lawsuit against the church and the Diocese of Bridgeport Friday, citing whistleblower retaliation.

In court documents obtained this weekend by The Darien Times, D’Erario also describes a life of excess and overt homosexuality led by former St. John pastor, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay. The lawsuit says that Fay had a formal commitment ceremony while pastor and among other things, used church money to buy Burberry outfits for his dog.

In the 22-page complaint, D’Erario recalls events surrounding the discovery of Fay’s financial wrongdoing.

In December, a federal judge in New Haven sentenced the former pastor to 37 months in prison for stealing parishioners’ money while serving as pastor of St. John Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Archdiocese says pastor in White Plains, N.Y., stole church funds to gamble

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: March 30, 2008

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.: A New York Roman Catholic Church official says the long-serving pastor of a suburban parish is under investigation for allegedly using church money to feed a gambling habit.

The chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York says the Rev. Patrick Dunne of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in White Plains took a significant amount of church money and has been permanently removed from the parish.

The chancellor, Monsignor William Belford, told members of the parish Sunday that the Westchester County district attorney's office is investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Catholic lay group hopes to run ad timed to Pope's U.S. visit

BOSTON (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

The Associated Press

BOSTON— A Catholic lay group formed after the priest sex abuse scandal is raising money to run a full-page newspaper ad timed to the Pope's U.S. visit.

The Voice of the Faithful says it wants to re-ignite a national dialogue among the laity and clergy by placing the ad in a national newspaper to coincide with Pope Benedict's weeklong visit. The Pope will visit New York and Washington.

The group says the culture of secrecy in the church which helped lead to the clergy sexual abuse scandal still exists and has created financial scandals in some parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Archdiocese: White Plains priest gambled

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
The Journal News

By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon and Gary Stern
The Journal News • March 30, 2008

WHITE PLAINS - The longtime pastor of an affluent Catholic parish is under investigation for stealing "a very significant amount of church money" to feed a gambling addiction, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York announced at Mass yesterday.

The Rev. Patrick Dunne, who has served as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church since 1991, has been permanently removed from his post and is undergoing counseling, Monsignor William Belford told parishioners.

"I've been sent to share with you what we think we know at this point about an ongoing process," he said. "What we think we know is about a gambling addiction that has been very powerful in the life of Father Patrick Dunne."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Legacy of Abuse

CALIFORNIA
Inside Bay Area

This links to a multimedia presentation on alleged abuse by priests in Northern California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Priest discusses money scandal

GARDEN CITY (MI)
Detroit Free Press

BY GINA DAMRON • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • March 30, 2008

For the first time in months, the former priest of Garden City's St. Dunstan Catholic Church stood in front of his parishioners Saturday and led them in a prayer at the end of an emotionally charged town hall meeting in Livonia.

"I'm not ashamed with anything I've done," said the Rev. Donald Demmer, who was criticized by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy after being accused of running up gambling debts and taking trips with personal donations parishioners gave him.

Demmer was not charged because there was insufficient evidence. The church's former secretary, Debra Ann Kilyanek, 54, of Garden City, however, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $100,000 from St. Dunstan. She's awaiting sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Former St. Christopher pastor under fire again

ILLINOIS
Southtown Star

March 30, 2008
By John O'Brien, Staff Writer
The former pastor who oversaw a manager accused of wrongdoing at St. Christopher Church in Midlothian is in familiar territory once again at his new parish.

Beverly Houston, 51, of Chicago, was charged last week with felony theft and forgery, accused of stealing more than $250,000 from Infant Jesus of Prague Church in Flossmoor.

Authorities said Houston stole the money from Infant Jesus of Prague between April 2006 and October 2007 while she was business manager at the parish under the Rev. William Killeen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

SINS, SECRETS AND DENIAL

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By Rob Dennis, Jeremy Herb, Matthew Artz and Chris De Benedetti
STAFF WRITERS

Article Launched: 03/30/2008 03:04:55 AM PDT

MONDAY: The system allowed accused priests to remain in the diocese.

TUESDAY: Members of religious orders are among the most prolific offenders.

WEDNESDAY: Church officials take steps to prevent future abuse.

About the series

To identify the 64 priests and members of religious orders who were accused of molesting children in the Diocese of Oakland, Bay Area News Group reporters scoured tens of thousands of pages of court records filed in Alameda, San Francisco and Contra Costa counties.

To discover where the accused priests served, the reporters built a database of every priest who has served in every parish in the Diocese of Oakland since 1950, using the Official Catholic Directory. Before 1962, those parishes were listed under the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The directory lists where priests were serving on Jan. 1 of the year listed, so in most cases, the priest also served in that parish for at least a portion of the previous year. If a priest is listed as serving in a parish from 1970 to 1975, for example, he likely served there for part of 1969 as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

March 29, 2008

A disturbing trip to Bountiful - abuse in the name of God

CANADA
Toronto Star

Mar 30, 2008 04:30 AM
Kim Hughes

The Secret Lives of Saints:
Child Brides and Lost Boys
in Canada's Polygamous
Mormon Sect

by Daphne Bramham

Random House Canada,

464 pages, $32.95

Suggesting a North American religious group is like the dreaded Taliban is a grave accusation. Fighting words, you might say, and sure to spin heads.

But Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham has plenty of strong language for the polygamous Mormons of Bountiful, B.C., Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz. – members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS for short.

In her riveting and unsettling book, The Secret Lives of Saints, Bramham variously calls them extortionists, misogynists, racists, child abusers and, most disturbingly, pedophiles. She says the Taliban has nothing on the FLDS where revolting attitudes toward women and children are concerned. ...

Winston Blackmore, the so-called Bishop of Bountiful and Canada's self-appointed polygamy poster boy, has publicly admitted to having sex with minors on Larry King Live and elsewhere but has barely faced censure, much less charges or prison time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

O'TOOLE GREW UP WITH CATHOLIC CHURCH ABUSE

contactmusic

PETER O'TOOLE has great sympathy for those abused by Catholic priests as children - because he grew up surrounded by twisted clergy. The movie great admits he was raised as a "holy Roman acolyte" in the 1940s, and though he was never targeted or sexually abused by a priest, he knew a lot of young boys who were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Lawsuit alleges abuse by Lockeford priest

LOCKEFORD (CA)
Lodi News-Sentinel

By News-Sentinel Staff
Updated: Friday, March 28, 2008 8:59 PM PDT

A lawsuit alleges that in the 1980s, Father Michael Kelly, the parish priest in Lockeford, abused a young boy who is now serving with the U.S. military.

The suit filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Wednesday alleges the abuse began when the boy was 7 and lasted until he was 11 during a period from 1982 to 1985. It alleges that Kelly was a priest at Stockton's Cathedral of the Annunciation at the time.

The Stockton Diocese reinstated Kelly to his post in Lockeford after a diocese investigation found no evidence of the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Diocese of Camden to announce parish merger

CAMDEN (NJ)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Troy Graham
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden plans to announce on Thursday a reconfiguration that could merge some of its 124 parishes.

The plan has been under discussion with individual parish representatives for more than a year.

Bishop Joseph Galante plans to make the announcement through a Web cast available at the diocese's Web site http://www.camdendiocese.org/ at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, and his full remarks will be printed in the next day's edition of the weekly Catholic Star Herald, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

A record of abuse

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

Article Launched: 03/28/2008 04:46:48 PM PDT

On a March night two years ago, Bishop Allen Vigneron arrived at St. Raymond's in Dublin to do what he had done so many times in previous months: apologize.

"The record of clerical sexual abuse of children and young people is a heavy burden - a burden for all Catholics in the United States, a burden for the Church in Oakland, and surely a great burden for all who have been directly involved in that history," he told the congregation.

What was left unsaid, however, was that the record of abuse in the Diocese of Oakland has never been fully disclosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

More sex abuse complaints filed

FORT DODGE (IA)
The Messenger

By BILL SHEA, Messenger staff writer
POSTED: March 29, 2008

New sexual abuse complaints against a former Fort Dodge priest and a broadcaster who later became a priest emerged Friday.

In a lawsuit, Joseph Kestel, of Minnesota, accuses the Rev. John Kurzak and John Perdue of getting him drunk and molesting him while he was a young man considering the priesthood in the early 1980s.

Kestel’s case, filed in Woodbury County District Court, also names the Diocese of Sioux City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Faith & Values calendar

CORAL GABLES (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

Charles L. Bailey, author and sexual abuse survivor, 6 p.m. Sunday at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Bailey is the author of In the Shadow of the Cross, about his abuse as a boy at the hands of a priest. Admission free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

This week in religion history

CANADA
The Peterborough Examiner

April 3

In 1992, the Congregation of Christian Brothers formally apologized to victims of physical and sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John's, N.L. The apology came nearly two decades after boys first complained of abuse. The congregation also ordered the 94-year-old building razed to the ground, with proceeds from the sale of the land to aid victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

March 28, 2008

Camden bishop to announce parish mergers, closings

NEW JERSEY
Press of Atlantic City

By ELAINE ROSE Staff Writer, 609-272-7215
Published: Friday, March 28, 2008

7 p.m. Update -

CAMDEN - Southern New Jersey Catholics will know Thursday whether their parishes will remain intact or they will be driving a bit farther to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days, the diocese said Friday.

Bishop Joesph Galante will announce his decision regarding mergers and closings of parishes early Thursday afternoon, diocese spokesman Andrew Walton said Friday. Those who have access to a computer can see a video of the bishop's announcement at 1:30 p.m. at the diocesan Web site, www.camdendiocese.org. The Catholic Star Herald will publish the text of the bishop's message Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

He got to them at Arrow Bear Camp, in his car, in hotel rooms, in his office at St. John Bosco School, in family homes, now Motion to Strike April 1st

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Catholic Church Attorneys try again to have civil cases against them thrown out of court next week in a hearing that was first on calendar April 7th then moved up to March 19th, then slipped to March 21st. Now the Motion to Strike hearing takes place on April Fools’ Day. First jury trial in LA regarding a Salesian pedophile priest is still on calendar April 14th.

Re Father Titian Miani: “The first documented incident of child molestation took place in 1947," reads a plaintiff motion from June 2007. "On a retreat with other clerics Miani ‘attempted a dishonest act’ with a 13 year old boy who ‘knew how to resist.’ (Salesians try again to have the 1947 exhibit dismissed in hearings on motions in limine April 10th.)

In Miani’s personnel file translated into English are several documents from the 1940s from reverends and others with very Italian names that City of Angels unfortunately did not copy into notes last June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Man’s Lawsuit States Priest Molested Him

CHICAGO (IL)
Southwest News-Herald

By CHUCK SALVATORE

A Chicago man has filed a lawsuit against the Augustinians Province of Our Good Mother of Good Council, accusing a former St. Rita priest and a former choir director at the high school of molesting him.

John Johnson, 44, claims he was sexually molested from 1976 to ’79 by the Rev. John D. Murphy and now deceased choir director Brother Mark Thedens.

The Augustinians Province released a statement saying they were regretful to learn of the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Prison date delayed for disgraced Darien priest

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

Donna Porstner
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/28/2008 11:11:21 AM EDT

The priest convicted of stealing $1 million from his Darien church doesn't have to report to prison for another seven weeks, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton delayed the date the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien, begins serving his three-year prison sentence until May 19.

Fay, who has prostate cancer, had been scheduled to surrender this coming Wednesday April 2 but sought a delay to allow him to continue participating in a clinical trial for an experimental drug at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

His attorney, Lawrence Hopkins of New Haven, argued Fay would not live long enough to finish his sentence if he is not allowed to complete the clinical trial. Chemotherapy treatments worsened Fay's condition, the attorney said in court papers filed earlier this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

White preachers get a pass from media

UNITED STATES
Rocky Mountain News

Justin Dick
Friday, March 28, 2008

David Kopel’s March 22 column on media bias bring up the old canard that the media is essentially a covert outlet for the Democratic party’s propaganda. Let’s look at another recent series of stories. This one concerning Obama’s association with a radical religious figure.

Rudy Giuliani’s priest has been accused in grand jury proceedings of molesting several children and covering up the molestation of others. Giuliani would not disavow him on the campaign trail and still works with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Arrested for ‘child abuse’, the veiled queen of modesty

ISRAEL
The Jewish Chronicle

28/03/2008
by Anshel Pfeffer Jerusalem
A mother-of-twelve belonging to a small strictly Orthodox sect was arrested on Tuesday in Bet Shemesh, on the suspicion that she had not reported cases of sibling incest, had beaten her children and prevented them from receiving medical treatment.

The 54-year old woman, whose name has not been published, was arrested following numerous complaints by neighbours and reports of children screaming within the house — and at least one case in which a young child was forced to spend the night outside the house wearing only a vest. When brought before the court, the mother denied the charges but said that she believed in beatings as an “educational punishment”. The woman refused to speak to the judge, saying that her beliefs forbade her to speak to men.

The woman, covered from head to toe in shawls and cloaks, was reported to be Rabbanit Bruria Keren, the leader of a small female sect practising an extreme version of the religious strictures of tzniut (modesty). Last month, the JC reported how this group of women believed in obscuring the shape of their bodies, covering their faces and having no contact with a man not their husband, practices frowned on by most Charedi rabbis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Local minister convicted on criminal charges

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

BLADE STAFF

The associate minister at a local church and a former Toledo Public Schools board candidate was found guilty this morning on misdemeanor charges that he procured prostitution and disseminated pornographic materials to juveniles.

The misdemeanor charges against Richard Brown III, 34, were filed in a bill of information. Previous felony charges of child endangering will be dismissed at his April 30 sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Church: Sailor robbed his flock

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By CAMERON McWHIRTER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 03/27/08

Days before pleading guilty to money laundering earlier this month, former legislator Ron Sailor Jr. secretly took out a $250,000 mortgage on the southwest Atlanta church where he was pastor.

The congregation had no idea what he had done, church leaders say. Now, they say they have no idea where the money is.

The deacons of Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church were scrambling Thursday to piece together what happened and just who was the minister they thought they knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Church Says Sailor Secretly Took Out $250,000 Mortgage

ATLANTA (GA)
WSBT

ATLANTA -- A report out today says former legislator Ron Sailor Junior secretly took out a $250,000 mortgage on the church where he was pastor just days before pleading guilty to federal money laundering charges.

Leaders at Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church in southwest Atlanta say they didn't know Sailor had done it and now don't know where the money is. Sailor had led the church for about a year and took over when its pastor -- the Reverend Leland Jones Senior -- was called up by the Army for service in Iraq.

The church's chairman of the board of deacons -- Jimmie Evans -- tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that church members can't believe what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Judge orders sick priest to report to prison in May

CONNECTICUT
Newsday

March 28, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge has ordered a Darien priest convicted of embezzling $1 million from his parish to report to prison in May.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay was sentenced in December to 37 months in a federal prison. He was due to report to prison next week, but sought a delay while he undergoes an experimental cancer treatment that his attorney says is not available in prison.

Attorney Lawrence Hopkins says Fay will die behind bars if he cannot complete his treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

After three strikes, pastor still is not out

ILLINOIS
Southtown Star

March 28, 2008
By Kim Janssen and Carly A. Mullady, Staff writers
The Rev. William Killeen showed himself unfit to manage a parish before he was transferred by Cardinal Francis George to Flossmoor's scandal-hit Infant Jesus of Prague Church, according to the man who sacrificed $200,000 of his own cash to help rectify one of Killeen's earlier mistakes.

Former Crestwood Mayor Chester Stranczek - a former parishioner of Killeen's at St. Christopher Church in Midlothian - was speaking Thursday after the SouthtownStar learned he was the anonymous donor who stepped in to save the day in 2006 after revelations that St. Christopher's business manager Jim Nelson stole thousands in church funds under Killeen's watch.

Three parish business managers have been accused of wrongdoing at churches run by the Rev. William Killeen (left). Beverly Houston (right) is charged with felony theft and forgery for allegedly stealing more than $259,000 from Infant Jesus of Prague.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Holding Mass was a mistake, admits shamed priest Father Gerry Nugent

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Daily Record

Mar 28 2008 By Karen Bale

SHAMED priest Father Gerry Nugent was lying low yesterday after revelations he's saying secret Masses in his home.

Fr Gerry was sacked by the Catholic Church last year in the wake of the Angelika Kluk murder trial and banned from preaching in church.

And we revealed yesterday how dozens of worshippers flock to his church-owned home in Glasgow for daily Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Diocese to unveil revamp on Thursday

CAMDEN (NJ)
Courier-Post

By JIM WALSH • Courier-Post Staff • March 28, 2008

CAMDEN — Members of a city church took to the streets with prayers and hymns Thursday, making a procession to Diocese of Camden headquarters in an effort to save their parish.

The plea for Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Fatima came just one week before the planned announcement of a restructuring for the diocese, including mergers of some parishes.

Bishop Joseph Galante is to announce the changes in an online video Thursday afternoon, the diocese said.

Church members fear Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Fatima, founded more than a century ago in South Camden, may be absorbed into a parish based at the downtown Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Lawyer: Priest will die if sent to prison next week

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/28/2008 01:00:00 AM EDT

The former church pastor sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling $1 million from his Darien parish will die there if he's not allowed to complete a clinical trial for a new cancer drug, his attorney said this week.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay has prostate cancer, and chemotherapy treatments worsened his condition, his attorney, Lawrence Hopkins of New Haven, wrote in court papers filed Wednesday.

"His present experimental treatment is the only one available which shows any promise of prolonging his life," Hopkins wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Judge won't step down in Robinson case

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The judge presiding in the civil lawsuit against Toledo priest Gerald Robinson yesterday declined a request to voluntarily step down from the case and set a trial date for May 4, 2009.

Mark Davis, the attorney representing the woman who sued anonymously as Survivor Doe with her husband, Spouse Doe, filed a motion last week asking Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks to recuse herself from the case.

The motion questioned the judge's impartiality because of her "immutable Catholic upbringing" and followed a similar recusal request filed in November that cited the judge's husband's role as a police investigator in the criminal case in which Robinson was convicted of murder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

$30M suit claims rape by priest caused HIV

PORTSMOUTH (NH)
Portsmouth Herald

By Karen Dandurant
kdandurant@seacoastonline.com
March 28, 2008 6:00 AM
PORTSMOUTH — A former Seacoast man filed a civil lawsuit against Father John McCormack and the Diocese of Manchester alleging their negligence resulted in his rape by a priest who has since died from AIDS.

Key West, Fla., resident Daniel Brown, 47, who said he is HIV positive, filed suit March 18 in Hillsborough County Superior Court asking for $30 million due to emotional, physical, physiological and financial damages, as well as the loss of enjoyment of life. He said he believes his medical status is a direct result of an assault when he was 16 years old.

Brown alleges he was raped in 1977 at a Cabot Street apartment in Portsmouth by Father Wilfred Houle. A death certificate for Houle from Massachusetts indicates he died on April 30, 1987, from respiratory arrest as a consequence of having AIDS.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

OCA withdraws mandatory leave for diocese leader

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Thursday, March 27th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
It was a short meeting this morning, lasting only a few hours, but long enough for the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops to withdraw Alaska diocese leader Bishop Nikolai Soraich’s mandatory leave of absence.

“The Holy Synod of Bishops is aware of the concerns of clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Alaska,” OCA officials said in a statement posted on the OCA Web site. “It recognizes the expressed desire of their diocesan hierarch to address these concerns, and to take whatever action is necessary to restore peace.”

That action will take the form of an official investigation expected to begin next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Churches 'must take abuse allegations seriously'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Patrice Dougan
A WOMAN who was verbally attacked by fellow Presbyterians for taking a Sunday school teacher who sexually abused her to court, has spoken out about the incident.

Simone Walker, who has waived her right to anonymity to highlight the issue of sexual abuse within religious circles, said a move by the church to remove the abuser – her cousin – from the church committee was merely a "publicity stunt".

Ms Walker, now 24, was abused when she was a child, aged between five and 11, by her cousin, Ivor Hogg, a prominent figure in their local church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Who really can lecture on morality?

SCOTLAND
The Inverness Courier

I'M not a gambling Mann. It's never floated my boat. My parents didn't gamble either, apart from the annual ritual of a half-crown on whatever took our collective family fancy in the Grand National.

As for himself — he's just too tight to give money to bookmakers.

A few years back we went on a family holiday which took in Las Vegas. Naturally we visited Caesar's Palace to show the kids what real glitz is. We put a single symbolic dollar in a fruit machine, duly lost it as expected and spent the rest of the afternoon watching other people losing their money (and very occasionally winning some) on the fruit machines, tables and race-day videos.

So it doesn't put me up nor down that bookmakers were allowed to open on Good Friday this year for the first time ever.

What does tee me off is that the leaders of the Catholic Church should insist that bookies stay shut on Good Friday. ...

The idea that a Church which colluded by its silence in the sexual abuse of small children carried out by its own "celibate" priests should lecture the rest of us on morality is ridiculous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

New: Ex-youth pastor sentenced in sex assault

ILLINOIS
Naperville Sun

March 27, 2008
By Jennifer Golz jgolz@scn1.com
WHEATON – A former youth pastor at a Downers Grove church is the third to be convicted of a sex-related crime, while a fourth awaits trail.

Edward D. Greene, 37, now of Asheboro, N.C., was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday in DuPage County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to criminal sexual assault while in a position of trust, a Class 1 felony.

The one-time youth pastor at Marquette Manor Baptist Church, 333 75th St., Downers Grove, sexually abused a 17-year-old female church member between April 11 and June 7, 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Youth pastor sentenced for sexual assault of minor

DOWNERS GROVE (IL)
Star News

The Associated Press

A former youth pastor at a suburban Chicago church who now lives in North Carolina faces four years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage girl who was a parishioner and student.

Thirty-eight-year-old Edward E. Greene, of Asheboro, N.C., pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal sexual assault.

He was sentenced in DuPage County Circuit Court and faced up to 15 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Ex-youth pastor sentenced to prison for molesting teen girl

DOWNERS GROVE (IL)
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/28/2008

A former Downers Grove youth minister was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for molesting an underage parishioner.

Edward E. Greene, 38, of Asheboro, N.C., pleaded guilty to criminal sexual assault of the 17-year-old girl while she attended Marquette Manor Baptist Church and its school.

The abuse occurred in 1998, but the allegations didn't come to light until several years later after she told a counselor. Greene was charged in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest defrocked after decades-old sexual abuse alleged

BISMARK (ND)
Bismark Tribune

Mar 28, 2008 - 04:05:05 CDT
By KAREN HERZOG
Bismarck Tribune
A man accused of sexual abuse decades ago in the Bismarck Diocese has been officially removed from the priesthood by the Vatican, citing "ecclesiastical crimes against youth."

Joel Melarvie, chancellor of the Bismarck Catholic Diocese, said that an announcement of the laicization (removal from priesthood) of James Pommier was placed in the diocesan monthly "Dakota Catholic Action" to inform people in the diocese of Pommier's status and to offer an opportunity for victims to come forward.

"If anyone has been abused, (we want them) to contact the diocese, to let us know,"Melarvie said. "We want to work with them to come to some resolution for the pain they suffered."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Senate panel approves bills strengthening sex-abuse laws

KENTUCKY
the Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • March 28, 2008

Bills that would toughen penalties against Internet predators, sexual abusers and those who fail to report sexual abusers were approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and are expected to pass the full Senate.

Advocates for House Bills 367 and 211 said tougher penalties are needed in the wake of revelations about sexual abuse of children in churches and schools and predators' use of the Internet to harass and make sexual advances to minors.

"Children in our schools, youth sports leagues, 4-H, Scouts etc. deserve to be protected from people in positions of trust and authority," said Shannon Whelan of the group Protect Our Children KY, who applauded both bills.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

March 27, 2008

Orthodox Church reinstates Alaska bishop

ALASKA
Fort Mills Times

(Published March 27, 2008)
KODIAK, Alaska — The Orthodox Church in America's Holy Synod of Bishops has withdrawn the mandatory leave of absence for Alaska diocese leader Bishop Nikolai Soraich.

The Holy Synod of Bishops said in a statement posted on the church's Web site Thursday that it is aware of the concerns of clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Alaska, and will do what it takes to restore peace.

An official investigation is expected to begin next week, involving the church's bishops from Detroit and Philadelphia. Their report is expected in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Orthodox Church reinstates bishop during inquiry

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com

Published: March 27th, 2008 11:43 AM
Last Modified: March 27th, 2008 11:46 AM

Leaders of the Orthodox Church in America have backed off their demand for Alaska Bishop Nikolai Soraich to step down while they investigate accusations leveled against him by clergy and laity.

The church's Holy Synod of Bishops, meeting in New York today, issued a statement saying that Archbishop Nathaniel and Bishop Tikhon will travel to Alaska next week to "inquire into these concerns." They will report at the next regular meeting of the synod in May.

"The Holy Synod of Bishops, accepting the assurances of His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of full cooperation with the bishops being sent, withdraws the leave of absence previously imposed," the leaders said in the statement posted on the church Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Bishop Nikolai can stay during investigation

ALASKA
The Bristol Bay Times

By Alex DeMarban
alex@alaskanewspapers.com

March 27, 2008 at 11:58AM AKST

Bishop Nikolai Soraich, the top Russian Orthodox official in Alaska, won’t have to leave the state after all.

National church leaders for the Orthodox Church of America announced on their Web site today that they are withdrawing their request, made earlier this month, that Soraich leave the state while the church conducts an investigation.

Soraich has been the subject of letters and complaints from Alaska priests and parishioners which state that he’s intimidated and insulted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Resentment in Search of a Grievance:

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Chicago Daily Observer

By Charlie Johnston
Posted in Our Columns on March 27, 2008

For two years now nearly half the priests in the Southern Illinois diocese of Belleville have been in rebellion against their bishop, Edward K. Braxton. Among the priestly complaints against Braxton are that he does not consult them, has misappropriated funds, and is pretentious and arrogant. On Wednesday, March 12, the rebellion led to a letter signed by 46 of the diocesan priests (nearly half) calling for the bishop’s resignation. What is most peculiar – and perhaps most revealing – about the nature of this rebellion is that it began three months before Braxton was even installed as bishop. On Good Friday, March 21, Braxton broke the long-standing silence he has maintained on the subject in a letter to parishioners and priests of the diocese.

The tale Braxton tells is astonishing, perhaps even unprecedented. The Bishop says that days before his installment, he met with a group of diocesan priests at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belleville. He says they demanded he refuse the appointment, threatening to release incriminating information about him if he did not submit. The priests told him there was a ‘firestorm of hatred’ against him in the diocese and that he was not welcome there. After listening to them rant for several hours, Braxton did refuse – to give in to their threats, that is. He promised he would serve as Bishop “…for as long as the Holy Father wants me to.” He adds that shortly after the meeting he received an anonymous phone call telling him that, “…we will not rest until we get rid of you.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Ex-youth minister in Downers Grove gets 4 years for sexual abuse

DOWNERS GROVE (IL)
Chicago Tribune

A former Downers Grove church youth minister was sentenced to 4 years in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting an underage female student.

Edward E. Greene, 38, of Asheboro, N.C., pleaded guilty Thursday in DuPage County Circuit Court to criminal sexual assault while in a position of trust with the girl, who was 13 to 17 years old when she attended Marquette Manor Baptist Church and its school in Downers Grove.

The abuse took place in 1997 and 1998, but no charges were filed until 2005 after the girl told a counselor about the incident. Greene faced up to 15 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Sean Hannity, Pastors, And Associations

UNITED STATES
The Daily Dish

Perhaps the loudest voice in the Wright controversy has belonged to Fox News's Sean Hannity. No one in the media has been more insistent that a politician's choice of pastor is relevant to the campaign; and I cannot think of anyone more outraged by Wright and more determined that this should be a defining issue in discussing the candidacy of Obama. It seems to me worth pointing out therefore that Hannity himself had a candidate in this race not so long ago, and even headlined a fundraiser for him. That candidate was Rudy Giuliani.

It also happens that Giuliani has long been more attached to a pastor than even Obama is to Wright. Monsignor Alan Placa married Giuliani to his second wife, Donna Hanover, and is actually employed by Giuliani Associates. Placa has been credibly accused of serial molestation of teenage boys, was in charge of handling molestation accusations in Long Island in the heyday of the church's cover-up of child abuse and was eventually suspended by the church from priestly duties for those reasons. The credible charges were made after the statute of limitations had passed and so no legal recourse was possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Senate panel backs tougher abuse penalties

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • March 27, 2008

Bills that would toughen penalties against Internet predators, sexual abusers and those who fail to report sexual abusers were approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning and are expected to pass the full Senate.

Advocates for House Bills 367 and 211 — which have already passed the House — said tougher penalties are needed in the wake of revelations about sexual abuse of children in churches and schools and predators’ use of the Internet to harass and make sexual advances on minors.

“Children in our schools, youth sports leagues, 4-H, scouts, etc., deserve to be protected from people in positions of trust and authority,” said Shannon Whelan of the group Protect Our Children KY, who applauded both bills.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

VOTF meeting is April 6

FALMOUTH (MA)
Wicked Local

The Upper Cape chapter of Voice of the Faithful will hold a Survivor Support DVP presentation Sunday, April 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Falmouth Senior Center, 300 Dillingham Ave., Falmouth.

The program was presented at the National Voice of the Faithful Convention in Providence, R.I., this past October. In it, a gentleman tells his story, for the first time before a large audience, of being abused by his local parish priest. He also explains that coming forward has helped both he and his family recover.

In addition, David Clohessey, national director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Clergy) will discuss both the progress made and the work that needs to be done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

'Haredi code of silence must be broken in abuse cases'

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By RUTH EGLASH

The code of silence that exists in ultra-Orthodox communities regarding physical and sexual abuse against children must be broken, and ordinary citizens as well as professionals should be prosecuted for not reporting such cases to the authorities, Welfare and Social Services Ministry officials and child activists told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

In light of at least two cases of extreme child abuse and incest exposed in the last two weeks - both of which took place in ultra-Orthodox families - those working with children told the Post that there must have been signs these atrocities were being committed, but neighbors, extended family, educational professionals and rabbis did nothing to alert the authorities.

"I don't believe that no one knew what was going on in these families," Hannah Slutzky, national supervisor for child affairs in the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, said in an interview. "It is not only the perpetrators of the acts who need to be brought to justice, but also the people who fail to report such crimes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Lawyer: Priest will die of cancer if sent to prison next week

STAMFORD (CT)
The Advocate

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/27/2008 12:05:16 PM EDT

STAMFORD - The former church pastor sentenced to three years in jail for embezzling $1 million from his Darien parish will die in prison if he¹s not allowed to complete a clinical trial for a new cancer drug, his attorney said this week.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay has prostate cancer and chemotherapy treatments worsened his condition, his attorney, Lawrence Hopkins of New Haven, wrote in court papers filed Wednesday.

'His present experimental treatment is the only one available which shows any promise of prolonging his life,' Hopkins wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

One church in Vermont loses 27 years of a pedophile priest personnel files. Who can believe anything the Catholic Church says today?

VERMONT
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has found 27 years' worth of files on a priest accused of child sexual abuse, documents the church had previously said didn't exist.” One sentence in a 2006 news article in a Vermont newspaper reveals everything that's wrong with the Catholic Church's handling of pedophiles in their midst. If the bishops had just been forthcoming and honest from the start, we wouldn’t today suspect that everything they do is a criminal act.

“We asked for discovery. They sent what they had and it had a large gap in his personnel file,” explained Mary Lou Marsh of attorney Jerome O'Neill’s office. “We questioned it. Then they came up with subsequent records, and explained they found them in the parish files.” The 27 years missing from an accused priest's records, miraculously found -- with nothing incriminating, by the way.

That's the official story. There was a change in chancellors right after plaintiffs noticed the gap. Cleaning out his desk, the new chancellor found the papers that were missing from George A. Paulin’s personnel file, all 27 years worth of it filed in the wrong place. Miracles do happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Rabbis urge victims to speak out

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

ASHLEY BROWNE

REPORTS of alleged sexual abuse by the former principal of the Adass Israel girls school have sparked Melbourne’s Orthodox rabbis into action amid reports that another high-profile figure within the community has been engaging in inappropriate behaviour.

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) has shored up its processes and is seeking to reassure the community that victims of abuse can come forward and seek assistance from qualified legal, psychological and rabbinical authorities in a confidential manner.

The high-profile figure in question is not affiliated with the Adass school or congregation, nor a member of the RCV, but the person’s identity and details of alleged inappropriate behaviour have been the subject of widespread speculation throughout Melbourne’s Orthodox community for the past few weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Church leader busted

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
Southtown Star

March 27, 2008
By Carly A. Mullady And Kim Janssen, Staff Writers
When evil things happen in church settings, it takes faith to get back on track.

And although the business manager of Infant Jesus of Prague Church in Flossmoor appeared in court Wednesday on charges of stealing $250,000 to feed a serious gambling habit, church officials said the parish already has taken steps to get back on track.

Beverly Houston, 51, of the 9300 block of South Paxton Avenue, Chicago, was ordered held on bail of $100,000 during a brief hearing Wednesday morning at the Markham courthouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Phoenix parishes to be separate corporations

PHOENIX (AZ)
Catholic Online

By J.D. Long-García
3/27/2008
The Catholic Sun (www.catholicsun.org)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (The Catholic Sun) - The Phoenix Diocese is undertaking a comprehensive restructuring process so that its civil organization matches the one already in place canonically.

Currently, the diocese is a corporate sole — a legal entity consisting of a single incorporated office occupied by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. From now through July 1, Church leaders will be preparing each individual parish to become a separate, non-profit corporation.

Little will change in day-to-day parish operations, according to diocesan officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Shamed priest ruined by Angelika Kluk scandal gives secret Masses

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Daily Record

Mar 27 2008 Exclusive by Karen Bale

THE shamed priest who had sex with murder victim Angelika Kluk has admitted holding secret Masses at his home for a band of devoted followers.

Father Gerry Nugent was effectively sacked by the Catholic Church after he was convicted of giving evasive evidence at the trial of Angelika's killer.

He later admitted he was an alcoholic and confessed he had used prostitutes in his church house.

Fr Gerry, 63, was banned last year from preaching in church and condemned to "compulsory retirement".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

2nd church run by priest ripped off

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

March 27, 2008

BY ERIC HERMAN AND STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporters
For the second time in a row, a Catholic parish run by the Rev. William Killeen has allegedly been ripped off by a greedy business manager.

Beverly Houston, former business manager of the Infant Jesus of Prague parish in south suburban Flossmoor, appeared at the Markham courthouse Wednesday on charges she stole more than $259,000 from the church.

Infant Jesus of Prague has been roiled by rumors of financial wrongdoing since late last year, when Killeen was temporarily removed and the Archdiocese of Chicago announced an audit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Police Say Teacher Arrested For Possessing Child Pornography

SPRINGDALE (AR)
The Morning News

SPRINGDALE - An elementary teacher at Salem Lutheran School was arrested Wednesday in connection with felony distributing, possessing, or viewing child pornography, said police.

Richard Smith, 53, of 4077 Glen Stone Terrace, who teaches fourth and fifth grade at the Springdale school was arrested after a tipster told police Smith had images of child pornography on his home computer, according to police.

A news release from the school said Smith was fired as of Wednesday. Smith had been a member of the faculty of Salem Lutheran for three years, according to the release, signed by Jeff Bladdick, church president.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Victimised twice: by pervert cousin and church-goers

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A victim of sexual abuse has waived her right to anonymity to tell of the ordeal she was subjected to by her cousin, who holds a senior position in a north Antrim Presbyterian church.

Simone Walker (24) also told of the vicious outburst she was subjected to when church members attended the trial of her older cousin Ivor Hogg recently.

The incidents began when Miss Walker was five and her cousin was 13 and continued until she was 11 and Hogg had reached 19 or 20.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Teacher, 53, faces child-porn charge

SPRINGDALE (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2008

SPRINGDALE — A male teacher at a private church school was arrested Wednesday on a child-pornography charge.

Richard Smith, 53, of 4077 Glenstone Terrace, Apt. A, faces a charge of distributing, possessing or viewing child pornography, according to a police news release.

Police executed a search warrant at Smith’s home, and he admitted downloading computer images of girls in sex acts, the release states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Curse threats led to sexual abuse by pastor

CANADA
Timmins Daily Press

Posted By Sam Pazzano

A pastor who impregnated a woman he terrorized into a sexual relationship by threatening curses was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison.

Justice Edward Belobaba said Rev. Frank Seeko Lawrence "grossly abused his position of trust as her pastor and spiritual healer and threatened her with evil spirits if she didn't acquiesce to his sexual advances.

"He intentionally had unprotected sex with her because as he said to her, 'My seed cannot be wasted.' He clearly intended to make her pregnant and warned her that, 'If you're using any birth control, the spirits will know!'" the judge said in sentencing Lawrence for sexual acts ranging from fondling to five to 10 incidents of intercourse from April to November 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Creating a stronger Catholic Church

OCEAN VIEW (DE)
The Daily Times

Staff Writer

OCEAN VIEW — One local group is encouraging their peers to communicate with their clergy and share responsibility for the impact of sexual abuse.

Coastal Delmarva Voices of the Faithful — a group of Catholics who meet monthly — said their goal is to effect positive change within their churches.

“We are fully faithful to all the doctrine in our church and we are not attempting to deal with any faith questions,” said Skip Sullivan, the group’s chairperson. “We are not questioning our creator, we are simply questioning the current structures within the church that permitted this abuse to happen.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Report shows allegations of misconduct by priests

NEW YORK
Press & Sun-Bulletin

By William Moyer
Press & Sun-Bulletin

The two dioceses that cover Catholic churches in the Southern Tier both received "credible allegations" in 2007 of alleged priestly sexual misconduct, although no incidents were related to priests currently serving in either jurisdiction.

In the Syracuse Diocese, which covers Broome and Chenango counties, four "credible allegations" were received last year, according to Danielle Cummings, assistant chancellor and director of communications. All were related to incidents that occurred at least 30 years ago.

Three "credible allegations" were filed in 2007 against former priests in the Rochester Diocese, which includes five churches in Tioga County, said Doug Mandelaro, director of communications. Two allegations were lodged against a deceased priest; one was filed against an individual who is out of the ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

March 26, 2008

Disgraced priest's Mass

SCOTLAND
Teletext

A disgraced priest forced to quit over claims he had a sexual affair with murder victim Angelika Kluk is said to be celebrating Masses in his home.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, resigned from his Glasgow parish ahead of evidence as a witness at the murder trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Lawyer: Father Fay would die in prison

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter

BREAKING NEWS Wednesday 4:57 p.m.

Former St. John Roman Catholic Parish pastor Michael Jude Fay’s experimental cancer treatment can only be administered outside of prison, according to an addendum filed by his attorney.

Lawrence Hopkins, Fay’s lawyer, previously filed a motion to delay the former pastor’s reporting to prison next week in order to continue the treatment. The U.S. District Attorney’s office asked for more evidence before making any decision.

“Fay has repeatedly tried to avoid any prison sentence for his six years of criminal conduct, stealing more than $1 million, not to mention the sacred trust, from the parishioners he was privileged to serve,” the response to Fay’s motion said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Church Worker Charged With Stealing Quarter of a Million Dollars

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
WBBM

Bond was set at $100,000 on Wednesday for the business manager of Infant Jesus of Prague church, who is accused of stealing a quarter-million dollars from the congregation.

Beverly Houston, 51, was charged Tuesday with stealing more than $250,000 from the Flossmoor church to feed her gambling habit. She could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

A public defender asked that Houston be released on her own recognizance, noting she does not have a criminal record and has relatives in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Kansas Pastor Charged With Forging $100G Check

NEOSHO (MO)
Fox News

NEOSHO, Mo. — The pastor of a Kansas church whose father is a judge is charged in Missouri with forging a woman's name to a check for $100,000.

Randy Baldridge of Carl Junction, Mo., was due in Newton County court for arraignment Wednesday on a felony forgery charge.

He's accused of forging Joplin resident Nancy Sarduk's name without her permission and trying to use the check to secure an investment note from AG Financial Solutions of Springfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Bail is set for ex-church worker accused of stealing nearly $260,000

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Matt Walberg | Tribune reporter
11:52 AM CDT, March 26, 2008

A Chicago woman with an apparent gambling habit who is accused of stealing nearly $260,000 from a south suburban Catholic parish was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail Wednesday.

Beverly Houston, former business manager of the Infant Jesus of Prague Roman Catholic Church in Flossmoor, was charged with theft of more than $100,000 from a place of worship, a Class X felony, authorities said. She was also charged with forgery, authorities said.

In December, complaints of missing money and financial mismanagement led to the removal of the church's pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Alpharetta pastor accused of molestation released

ALPHARETTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By MARCUS K. GARNER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 03/26/08

An Alpharetta minister arrested for allegedly molesting two teens over eight years is out of jail.

The Rev. Derek Gillett, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Forsyth County, was released from the Cherokee County jail last week on $50,000 bond.

Gillett, who had been a one-time Christian youth leader at another Forsyth County church, was charged earlier this month with two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of sodomy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Videos at City of Angels Blog

City of Angels

Watch "Breaking the Silence in Tennessee" a montage of SNAP demonstrators in Nashville, November 2005, plus a report from an Oregon TV news station on a survivor of Michael Harris. The account sounds eerily like Ryan DiMaria's story of abuse by Michael Harris at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, CA, reported here at City of Angels 3 last year.

We also feature a report from Nug News Network, the last half of which is a clip from Amy Berg's documentary from 2006, "Deliver Us From Evil."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

In video interview, Zimbabwean archbishop admits he had affair

ZIMBABWE
Catholic News Service

By Bronwen Dachs
Catholic News Service

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube, who resigned as archbishop of Bulawayo last year after a sex scandal, has admitted he had an affair with a woman.

The archbishop, one of the most outspoken critics of Zimbabwe's political leadership, made the admission to Frontier Africa TV, an independent film production company, in Zimbabwe before he boarded a plane for Rome in November 2007. One of the directors of Frontier Africa TV, Fred Bridgland, released the archbishop's remarks from the interview in a March 23 story in the Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald.

In the piece, Archbishop Ncube also spoke out against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who was widely expected to win re-election March 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Prosecutors want priest in the dock

ITALY
IOL

March 26 2008 at 02:47PM

Rome - Italian prosecutors have called for an octogenarian priest known for his work with drug addicts to stand trial concerning allegations of child molestation, local media reported on Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Terni in central Italy made the request following a probe into accusations against Father Pierino Gelmini, 82.

The investigation began after sex abuse allegations emerged involving 10 young residents of his Incontro (Encounter) Community to assist drug addicts and others in need, La Repubblica newspaper reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Church worker charged with stealing $250,000

FLOSSMOOR (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

March 26, 2008

BY ERIC HERMAN Criminal Courts Reporter eherman@suntimes.com
The business manager of a south suburban Catholic parish could face up to 30 years in prison if she's found guilty of stealing more than $250,000 to feed her gambling habit, officials said.

Beverly Houston, 51, was arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing the money from Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church in Flossmoor, according to John Gorman, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney.

Houston, of the 9300 block of South Paxton in Chicago, is charged with theft and forgery. She will appear in court in Markham this morning, Gorman said. Houston was being held Tuesday night at the Flossmoor police station.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Beleaguered church leader to meet with national officials

ALASKA
KTUU

by Angela Blanchard
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Three weeks after being ordered to step down, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska says he's finally going to meet with national church officials.

Bishop Nikolai Soraich says he's traveling to New York Wednesday to discuss his status in the Alaska Diocese with leaders from the Orthodox Church of America.

Nikolai was placed on a mandatory leave of absence after national church officials received hundreds of letters accusing him of abuses of power, intimidation and disrespect for Native culture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priests were told by church leaders: Meet with bishop

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --A group of priests who met with then Bishop-designate Edward Braxton and asked him not to accept his appointment to head the Belleville Diocese was advised to seek the meeting by two of the Catholic Church's highest officials in the U.S.

The Revs. Jerry Wirth of Olney, Marc Stec of Ridgeway and Edward E. Schaefer of St. Rose said they were among seven Belleville Diocese priests who first met with Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, who provided an introduction to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, then the papal nuncio or U.S. representative of the pope. Both advised them to meet with Braxton about their concerns, the three priests said.

"We felt we had to meet with the bishop because of what George and the nuncio told us," Schaefer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Catholics fear possible church closures in S.J.

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

By JIM WALSH • Courier-Post Staff • March 26, 2008

An announcement of dramatic changes in the Diocese of Camden, including a cutback in the number of parishes, could come "as early as next week," a diocese spokesman said Tuesday.

Bishop Joseph Galante is preparing to decide the fate of each parish in the six-county diocese after soliciting input from parishioners, priests and others over a 15-month period, said spokesman Andrew Walton.

"It's clear that the status quo is insufficient," said Walton, who noted the diocese must cope with a priest shortage and other concerns. "The traditional model of one pastor, one parish, will be impossible to sustain in every area of the diocese in the future."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

St. Joseph’s Abuse Follow-up

OWEGO (NY)
News Channel 34

A Town of Owego family's lawsuit against Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church parish in Endicott and the Syracuse Diocese will move forward.

The Stepanik's five year-old son had attended the school more than a year ago.
After a number of months they say they realized he was being molested by another young student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Youth minister’s molestation confession upheld

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

Tessa Darling, Allison Douglas, Tribune
A judge refused Monday to throw out the confession of a Gilbert youth minister accused in the sexual abuse and molestation of a 13-year-old deaf girl.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in the trial of James Ward Chapman III, 40, who goes by the name Ward. Chapman was a youth adviser at First United Methodist Church of Gilbert when he was arrested July 14.

His defense attorney, Amy Sitver, argued Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court in Mesa that her client's confession was coerced by a Gilbert police detective who intimidated her client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Ex-volunteer minister's molestation trial begins

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

David Biscobing, Tribune
James Ward Chapman III was a trusted family friend. The parents of a 13-year-old girl who claims Chapman molested her often dropped her off at his home on weekends.

The girl had known him since she was 4 years old and considered his wife and children friends. She was even in the Chapmans' wedding.

However, that all changed one night in December 2006, when Chapman crawled into bed with the girl, removed her shirt and fondled her, prosecutor Amy Sitver told a Maricopa County Superior Court jury in Mesa on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Minister arrested, charged with sex offense

MARYLAND
News-Post

By Sonia Boin
News-Post Staff

ROCKVILLE -- An ordained minister has been arrested on charges of sex offense and child abuse of a female church choir member in Gaithersburg who was 14 at the time.

Montgomery County detectives had Timothy Chun-Chock Mann, 47, arrested in Hoover, Ala., where he was director of the choir with a Birmingham, Ala., congregation.

Police in Alabama served Mann with a warrant as a fugitive from justice in conjunction with the Maryland arrest warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses elders must testify in Murrieta molestation case, judge rules

MURRIETA (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

Leaders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation must reveal what a Murrieta man suspected of molesting two girls told them, despite their claims the conversation were protected by clergy confidentiality, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The congregation leaders must testify in the man's trial on child-molestation charges, said Riverside County Judge F. Paul Dickerson.

The defense attorney says he will appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Some defendants out in sexual abuse lawsuit

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Argus Leader

staff reports • Argus Leader • March 26, 2008

A judge has removed some defendants from a sex abuse lawsuit involving the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese.

Tom Gust, 53, filed suit in February, claiming his O'Gorman High School typing teacher, Bob Krantz, sexually assaulted him in 1970.

U.S. Circuit Judge Karen Schreier on Monday granted a motion to remove three defendants: the Rev. Howard Carroll and Bishops Lambert Hoch and Paul Swain. Carroll and Hoch are dead, Schreier wrote, and Gust made no allegations regarding Swain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Breaking the silence about abuse; Collection of poems to be released April 10

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Posted By ERICA BAJER

An area poet put pen to paper to shed light on the suffering of women abused as children by pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre.

When Angels Weep, to be released April 10, is a collection of 81 poems written by Windsor resident and former nun Mary Ann Mulhern.

"It's another way of breaking the silence about this issue," she told The Chatham Daily News in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

March 25, 2008

Mother of 12 suspected of abusing kids

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

A 54-year-old Israeli mother of 12 was under arrest Tuesday for allegedly severely abusing her children, police said.

The mother was also suspected of failing to report multiple cases of incest among her children. ...

The teenage boy who was removed from the house told social workers that he had sexual relations with his 18-year-old sister, and that he had told his parents as well as his Rabbis, but the latter told him not to tell anybody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Former Minister Charged With Sex Abuse

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (MD)
ABC 2

Reported by: Meg Jollett
Email: meg.jollett@wmar.com
Last Update: 11:27 am

A former Montgomery County minister has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl was he was an ordained minister at the First Baptist Church in Gaithersburg.

Timothy Chun-Chock Mann, 47, currently lives in Hoover Alabama. He joined the church in 1991 as the Minister of Music, where he directed the church's youth choir. Police say between December 1992 and the summer of 1996, Mann sexually assaulted the youth who was a choir member. The abuse started when the girl was 14 years old and occurred mostly in Mann's office at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Mercer Co. pastor sentenced in church theft

MERCER (PA)
6 ABC

MERCER, Pa. (AP) - March 25, 2008 -- The former pastor of a Mercer County church has been placed on probation and must repay $18,000 he stole from the church.
Fifty-year-old Sidney Walker, of White Oak, took the money in March 2006 from a bank account belonging to First Baptist Church of Farrell. He pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced Tuesday.
Walker will be on probation for five years. Some congregants and prosecutors had asked that he be sent to jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Some defendants removed from lawsuit involving Catholic Diocese

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Times Argus

Josh Verges • jverges@argusleader.com • March 25, 2008

A judge has removed some defendants from a sex abuse lawsuit involving the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese.

Tom Gust, 53, filed suit in February, claiming his O’Gorman High School typing teacher, Bob Krantz, sexually assaulted him in 1970.

U.S. Circuit Judge Karen Schreier on Monday granted a motion to remove three of the defendants: Father Howard Carroll and Bishops Lambert Hoch and Paul Swain. Carroll and Hoch cannot be sued because they are dead, Schreier wrote, and Gust made no allegations regarding Swain, who became bishop in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Counselor sentenced for sexual misconduct

SANDPOINT (WA)
KXLY

SANDPOINT -- A 70-year-old Bonner County counselor has been sentenced to up to five years in prison for sexual misconduct with a pair of 17-year-old students.

Louis Ladenburger was charged with inappropriately touching one 17-year-old male student and having oral sex with another. He was acting as a counselor and therapist for the boys at Elk Mountain Academy, a school for kids addicted to drugs and alcohol, when the incidents occurred sometime over the first quarter of 2007. ...

Ladenburger, a former Catholic Priest, admitted to detectives last year that he has a sex addiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Salesian attorneys toasted their victory before the verdict in a bar near the courthouse, but their million dollar defense did not persuade the jury

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

“At my trial they put Brother Sal Valenti on the stand to testify against me. My attorney Richard Simmons says, have you ever been arrested and Valenti says yes. Simmons says what for. Child molestation, says Brother Sal. They lost the case.”

In 2002 the one-year window in the statute of limitations resulted in 170 cases against the San Francisco Archdiocese, all of which settled in 2006 except those with the Salesians Religious Order. Their website claims the Salesians “stand in solidarity with the victims of sexual abuse.” Joey Piscitelli talks about his trial and battles with the Salesians up north in this interview (continued from March 18 post) in Joey’s own words.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Survey: Most Americans have positive view of Catholic Church, pope

UNITED STATES
The Earthtimes

Washington - Most Americans have a positive view of the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI, ahead of his visit to the United States next month, despite years of negative publicity resulting from the US priest abuse scandal, a survey said Tuesday. "Some of the results may be a bit surprising to those who tend to assume that the church's critics are representative of American public opinion as a whole," said Carl Anderson, head of the lay organization Knights of Columbus, which commissioned the poll.

The survey conducted in late February and early March showed 65 per cent of Americans have a positive view of the Catholic Church, while 28 per cent have a negative view. Hispanics, people over 65 and regular church attendees had the most favourable views of the church.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents had a positive view of Benedict, and 13 per cent had a negative opinion of him, but the vast majority admitted they knew little about him and fully 17 per cent had never heard of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Scituate parishioners see another Easter Mass without a priest

SCITUATE
The Patriot Ledger

By Kaitlin Keane
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Mar 25, 2008 @ 06:24 AM

SCITUATE — The days leading up to Easter at St. Frances X. Cabrini Church had all the familiar rituals of Holy Week at a Catholic parish, including prayer on Palm Sundayand observance of the Stations of the Cross. After Easter Mass, there was an egg hunt for children.

What was missing has also become familiar to parishioners. For the third year, the Boston archdiocese denied parishioners’ request for a priest to say Easter Mass. ...

On Sunday, Bishop Robert Hennessey said Easter Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Boston, another closed church.

Rogers said parishioners saw the choice as “a classic example of the old boys’ network granting privileges to some churches and not to others.”

But archdiocesan spokesman Terrence Donilon denied that the church plays favorites and said the church aims to be “consistent” by denying priests to closed parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

School helps in pastor rape case

HUNTINGDON (TN)
Jackson Sun

By TONYA SMITH-KING
tsmithking@jacksonsun.com
March 25, 2008

Huntingdon Special School District Superintendent Lynn Twyman said Monday school authorities are cooperating in an investigation of a custodian and church pastor accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at Huntingdon High School.

Christopher Johnson, 42, of McKenzie, worked at Huntingdon High through the Knoxville-based GCA Services Group and is charged with rape in the case.

Twyman said whenever there is such an allegation the school has to contact the state Department of Children's Services.

"We're just cooperating fully with the police department and the (state) Department of Children Services," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Florida Minister Charged with Soliciting Teen

SEMINOLE COUNTY (FL)
WOFL

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida. (WOFL FOX 35, Orlando) --A Central Florida pastor is behind bars in St. Lucie County after authorities arrested him Monday afternoon and charged with Internet solicitation of a teenager.

According to investigators, 46 year old Jack Aldrich used the internet to make sexual advances to someone he thought was a 15 year old girl from Port St Lucie in an internet chat room. The ‘girl’ was actually an undercover St. Lucie County Sheriff’s detective.

Monday representatives from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Lake Mary Police Department and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office made the arrest of Aldrich at his home in Lake Mary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Ex-pastor pleads guilty to defrauding Pa. flock

WILLIAMSPORT (PA)
York Daily Record

The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 03/25/2008 06:48:54 AM EDT

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.—The former pastor of a Northumberland County church acknowledges using parishioners' personal information to obtain credit cards.

The Rev. Raymond Clayton pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Williamsport to a charge of access device fraud. He awaits sentencing in June. The 43-year-old Clayton is the former pastor of Grace Fellowship Church near Mount Carmel.

Following the plea, 83-year-old church member Patricia Tomedi said, "Thank God." Tomedi says she's lost 20 pounds since Clayton was charged with stealing church members' identities. Her's was one of the Social Security numbers he used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Abuse Cases To Be Mediated

WATERBURY (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DANIEL P. JONES | Courant Staff Writer
March 25, 2008

WATERBURY - — Lawyers representing more than 75 plaintiffs, who say they were sexually abused by Dr. George Reardon, agreed Monday with lawyers for St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where he practiced medicine, to try to resolve the cases through mediation.

"I think this is a wonderful development," said Susan Smith, an Avon lawyer who represents 34 people suing St. Francis. "I think everybody is working together to streamline the process and to minimize the burden on the plaintiffs, if possible."

More than 75 people have sued the hospital in state Superior Court, alleging St. Francis was negligent in not preventing Reardon, a prominent endocrinologist at St. Francis since deceased, from abusing them when they were children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Church chancellor collects testimony from clergy in Kodiak

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Monday, March 24th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
Orthodox Church in America officials may expand the investigation of Bishop Nikolai Soraich to include possible malfeasance, church chancellor Archpriest Alexander Garklavs said in an interview in Kodiak, Friday.

Fr. Alexander made the statement in response to recent allegations by supporters of Bishop Nikolai during a public relations blitz earlier this month that cash-strapped OCA leaders want the Alaska diocese leader gone to get the money Alaska lands produce.

It’s an accusation Fr. Alexander flatly denied.

“First of all, there is absolutely no truth whatsoever that any of the actions taken by the Holy Synod, my assignment or my being here has anything to do with trying to establish control over or get revenue from lands that the church owns here,” he said. “In fact, there have been some allegations of the possibilities of some irregularities in management of church-owned lands by the present administration.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Zimbabwe: I Committed Adultery -- Pius Ncube

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

25 March 2008
Posted to the web 25 March 2008

Harare

Former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube has admitted to failing "to keep God's commandment with regard to adultery" for which he apologised profusely and appealed for prayers from sympathisers.

Bishop Ncube's adulterous escapades were exposed in July last year by a private investigator who had been hired by the husband of one of his lovers. In an interview with Frontier Africa TV, an independent broadcast company based in London and Johannesburg in South Africa at the weekend, Bishop Ncube who resigned last year after the exposure said: "It is true.

"I do admit that I did fail in keeping God's commandment with regard to adultery. "Having failed in keeping the Seventh Commandment - Thou shalt not commit adultery - I would like to apologise that so many of you were praying for me, for the fact that so many of you standing with me in fact suffered so much," he was quoted as saying. Ncube reportedly made the revelations while on his way to the Vatican where he was summoned by Pope Benedict XVI to present his case in November last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Archbishop Ncube admits to breaking vow of celibacy

ZIMBABWE
Catholic News Agency

Harare, Mar 24, 2008 / 05:49 pm (CNA).- With elections in the beleaguered African country of Zimbabwe less than one week away, Archbishop Pius Ncube has admitted to committing adultery, according to Frontier Africa TV.

Prior to the allegations of a two year sexual affair with Mrs. Rosemary Sibanda, the archbishop was the most vocal opponent of President Robert Mugabe.

On September 11, 2007, the Vatican press office released a letter written by the archbishop in which he wrote that he offered his resignation to Vatican officials in July to prevent the Church’s image from being tarnished. "In order to spare my fellow bishops and the body of the Church any further attacks, I decided this was the best course of action," he wrote. ...

A clip of the interview on Frontier Africa TV can be found at: http://frontier-africa.tv/film/Pius%20Ncube/

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Pedophile priest's victim: 'You can't have 30 victims and have remorse'

ILLINOIS
Chicago Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/25/2008 12:02 AM

Brian was just 10 the first time he heard his name called on the school loudspeaker.

His priest at St. Isaac Jogues Elementary School in Hinsdale wanted to see him in the rectory.

There, the Rev. Fred Lenczycki told him to disrobe for a costume fitting for a school play.

He recalls that the priest's touch made him uneasy, but it would be several more years before Brian realized he was being molested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Victim's statement in Lenczycki trial

ILLINOIS
Chicago Daily Herald

An edited text of the victim's statement about being molested by Rev. Fred Lenczycki. It was read to a judge during the priest's 2004 sentencing hearing in DuPage County:

Imagine being violated by the very person who is there to teach you morals, ethics and religion. One may say, "How is it possible?"

We all know this is very rampant in our society today and has been for years in churches everywhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Sex-abuse case against religious order settled

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By ESTEBAN PARRA • The News Journal • March 25, 2008

A Wilmington man who said he was sexually abused over a nine-year period by a former Salesianum School principal received a written apology, a vow his abuser will never work with children and an undisclosed amount of money in a settlement announced Monday.

Eric Eden, 40, settled with Salesianum, the Oblates of Saint Francis deSales and various Oblate officials, his attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger, said in a statement released after the parties met with Superior Court Judge Calvin L. Scott Jr. on Monday morning.

"I now hope to obtain the medical help necessary to begin addressing the many problems I have suffered since childhood," Eden said in the statement. "This money will be placed in trust for the benefit of my wife and children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Future of journalism series: Jaroslaw Kurski - Gazeta Wyborcza

POLAND
The Editors Weblog

Posted by Jean Yves Chainon on March 25, 2008 at 9:39 AM
The Editors Weblog is running a series of exclusive interviews about the future of journalism with top editors at leading newspapers around the world. Here is the latest installment with Jaroslaw Kurski, first deputy editor-in-chief, Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland. ...

We live in the world of global economy and large corporations that affect people's lifes and business. We need investigative journalists to provide us all with reliable information to make better decisions.

On Monday (March 10) we broke an exclusive news about a Catholic priest who reportedly sexually abused young boys and about three bishops who - although informed and alerted about the abuses - have been reluctant to investigate the case for 13 years! We publish Gazeta Wyborcza also to uncover stories like this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Ex-residential school students may sue Ottawa

CANADA
Leader-Post

Rod Nickel, Saskatchewan News Network; Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
SASKATOON -- Former students of two northern residential schools may take legal action against Ottawa, after a federal department refused to add the Ile a la Crosse boarding school to a list of schools covered by a settlement.

Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada posted online March 14 an updated list of decisions about hundreds of Canadian Indian schools applying for compensation.

The Ile a la Crosse school will not be added because it was operated by a religious organization, not the federal government, according to the department. Other Saskatchewan schools have been rejected if they didn't house students overnight or if the province operated the school. Decisions on dozens of other Saskatchewan schools are pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Del. man agrees to settlement in childhood sexual abuse case

WILMINGTON (DE)
Myrtle Beach Online

The Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. --A man who said he was sexually abused by a former North Carolina pastor received a written apology, a promise that his abuser will never again work with children and an undisclosed amount of money, according to a settlement announced Monday.

Eric Eden, 40, said he was abused by former Rev. James W. O'Neill over a 9-year period beginning when he was 8 years old in 1976. The abuse occurred at his family's home, in O'Neill's rectory bedroom and in an office at Salesianum School in Wilmington, Del.

O'Neill was relieved of his duties as pastor of a Greensboro, N.C., church in 2003 after officials learned of allegations of "inappropriate behavior."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Salesian press release contradicts current Salesian court arguments and apologizes on behalf of worldwide congregation for sexual abuse, however. . .

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Doing research for an upcoming post I came across this press release at donboscowest dot org. It's dated 2004, still it is the featured press release when you click News at the Western Province website. Re the trial coming up April 14, the Salesians currently say, when it comes to financial discovery, they are not part of Salesian Rome headquarters. Their own press release says otherwise. Here is the "Statement of US Salesian Provincials Re Dallas Morning News Articles" from June 20, 2004. Sorry, Church Attorneys, but you can't have it both ways. Maybe you should stop and read this apology to the crime victims yourselves.

"The Salesians of Don Bosco are deeply sorry. We are sorry for the sexual misconduct of some of our members, for the unspeakable violation of the young whom we have harmed rather than served. We express our profound apologies to the victims and their families. They put their trust in us, and we have failed them grievously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

'He has truly got what he deserves'

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
10:41 PM CDT, March 24, 2008
Article tools

Brian says he was 10 years old in 1982 when a Roman Catholic priest called him to his office, had him try on a skimpy costume, then fondled him.

Brian, now 35, sat in a DuPage County courtroom last week for three days and saw a jury declare Fred Lenczycki a sexually violent person who should be committed to a mental institution for an undetermined amount of time, maybe for the rest of his life.

"He has truly got what he deserves," Brian, who now lives Downstate, said Monday. "He is a serial molester. He belongs in jail forever."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

March 24, 2008

Two parishioners kicked out of church for protesting to the priest

CANADA
Canada.com

By Kate Webb, Vancouver Province
Published: Sunday, March 23, 2008

The tears of two Catholic Métis sisters spilled onto the sidewalk outside Vancouver's Holy Rosary Cathedral today after they were yanked out of mass by police for objecting to a statement read by the priest.

Ellen and Tatyana Dobrowolski, who were removed but not arrested, said they made plans to attend the Sunday Easter Mass at the cathedral without prior knowledge of a scheduled native protest that was under way when they arrived.

The protest, one of several organized in recent months by a group called Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared, was held to draw attention to alleged "germ warfare" that lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of native children in residential schools between the 1890s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Predator Priest crime victims Have To read between the lines, and often those lines are redacted. It takes a kind of fiction to tell the true story

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Okay I admit the headline on last Thursday’s post was too tabloid. In the 1950 letter you have to read between the lines to know the Salesian President in Rome talked with the American consul about pedophile priest Titian Miani coming to America. However, sometimes reading between the lines is all a pedophile priest crime victim can do. Plaintiffs from the LA settlement last July tell me they've yet to see any personnel files on their perpetrators, although release of documents was part of the settlements with the LA Archdiocese. What documents do come out have maybe three words at the beginning of a paragraph then marker lines and lines through whole paragraphs at a time, almost everything is redacted. What can victims of Sex Crimes in the Catholic Church do but read between the lines and create a kind of fiction based truth, spiced with gut and instinct?

Roger Mahony stated last January “Everyone agreed we had to get this scandal behind us,” and I said, huh? I didn't agree to that. The scandal has yet to happen. But listening to the Cardinal you understand why the documents he did release are full of Sharpie lines, as each page probably holds clues to further Sex Crimes in the Catholic Church. I'm amazed plaintiffs in LA believed anything the Archdiocese told them while settling. Did Mahony have a record of cooperating with the courts before last July?

The 1950 letter is an exhibit in plaintiffs’ motion for discovery on the total Salesians, not just the Western Province, for the trial coming up in April. The letter says: “Rev. Brother Miani is coming to this country solely and entirely to continue his studies in view of ordination to the Salesians Priesthood, and for no other purpose whatsoever.” The letter reveals the Salesians in Rome dumped a pedophile on the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Adass denies paying for principal to flee

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

NAOMI LEVIN

ADASS Israel girls school did not pay for former principal Malka Leifer to return to Israel, according to the school’s spokesperson, Norman Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum said it was “categorically just not true” that the school purchased Leifer’s ticket to Israel after she resigned amid still unconfirmed rumours that she behaved inappropriately toward students.

Meanwhile, a prominent Orthodox psychologist, Zipporah Oliver, has encouraged anybody who feels traumatised by the events to seek help in a culturally appropriate way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Man sues former St. Rita priest

CHICAGO (IL)
The Southtown Star

March 21, 2008
By Rummana Hussain, Sun-Times News Group
A Chicago-area man filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing a former Augustinian Roman Catholic priest of molesting him when he was a teenager.

Between 1976 and 1979, John Johnson, now 44, allegedly was assaulted by St. Rita of Cascia Parish priest John D. Murphy, who also was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by 13 other male victims in 2003. The Augustinian order settled with the men a year later.

Johnson also was sexually abused by St. Rita High School's choir director during a semester in his freshman year, according to Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Closed Church Welcomes Bishop

EAST BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

[with audio]

By Shannon Mullen

EAST BOSTON, Mass. - March 24, 2008 - The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston allowed a bishop to say Easter mass at an East Boston parish that's been closed for nearly four years.

Parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel have been holding vigil in the church since 2004, longer than any of the other four parishes still appealing their closures to the Vatican.

The archdiocese allowed Bishop Robert Hennessy to say Easter mass there, and some in the community thought that might be a signal Mount Carmel could be re-opened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Former Baptist pastor in court for alleged rape

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 03/21/2008 03:14:14 PM MDT

The former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City appeared Friday in 3rd District Court on charges he attempted to sexually assault a woman Sunday at his Midvale home.
Scott Weisser, 52, is charged with attempted rape, a first-degree felony, and class B misdemeanor assault in connection with the March 16 attack.
During Friday's court hearing, Weisser, who resigned this week as pastor, was declared indigent and a public defender was appointed to defend him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

First Nations protesters demand to know location of residential school graves

CANADA
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Two dozen First Nations protesters rallied outside Easter services at Vancouver's Roman Catholic cathedral on Sunday demanding to know where the bodies of children who died in residential schools are located.

Friends and Family of the Disappeared served the church with an eviction notice in a similar protest on March 16. Now, the group says the church is a squatter because the deadline to vacate was last Wednesday.

Spokesman Kevin Annett said Sunday's protest was designed to draw attention to the plight of children who were forced into both Catholic and Protestant residential schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Defiant parish welcomes bishop's presence, chafes at message

EAST BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By David Abel
Globe Staff / March 24, 2008
When the man in the flowing white robes and pink skullcap stood at the pulpit yesterday, many parishioners saw his presence as a gesture of good will, a rare sign of compassion from the archdiocese for their defiant parish.

They appreciated that Bishop Robert Hennessey would come to Our Lady of Mount Carmel to say Easter Mass, marking the first time the Archdiocese of Boston sent one of its representatives to host a Holy Week Mass since the 103-year-old East Boston church began holding vigil in October 2004. Until yesterday, the church offered weekly services with a lay minister, but it has only held Mass a few times because the archdiocese has refused parishioners' requests for Mass on Christmas and Easter.

But some bristled at the message delivered by Hennessey, an auxiliary bishop who was pastor for 12 years at the nearby Most Holy Redeemer Church.

"My presence today is a pastoral statement; my presence today does not change the policy, doesn't affect the status of the church, this community," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Sex case against local priest settled

WILMINGTON (DE)
6 ABC

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - March 24, 2008 -- A Wilmington legal firm representing a former Salesianum School student is announcing a settlement of the man's childhood sexual abuse claims.

According to a news release issued Monday by The Neuberger Firm, Eric Eden settled his case against Salesianum, the Oblates of Saint Francis DeSales and various Oblate officials for an undisclosed amount of money.

The news release says the case against the remaining defendant, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, is scheduled to go to trial October 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

the heavens open for pope's mass

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday March 24 2008

John Cooney

The head of the scandal-ridden diocese of Ferns has again apologised to sex abuse victims for their "crucifixion" by priests and for the failures of his two predecessors in addressing the abuse crisis.

In his Easter Vigil sermon, Bishop Denis Brennan urged Catholics in Wexford to continue increasing their understanding of the sexual abuse of children by some local priests, and not to turn their backs on the horror.

Addressing a wider audience through national television on Saturday evening, from St Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy, Bishop Brennan said the scandals amounted to "a crucifixion of the diocese", especially for those who suffered the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Beatings, deadly exorcisms, con artists

CANADA
The London Free Press

By RANDY RICHMOND AND JENNIFER O'BRIEN, SUN MEDIA

Welcome to church: enter at your own risk.

That's hardly a fair sign to post on most of the churches in Ontario's Bible belt.

But with so many varieties of Christianity and so many churches in this region, the dark side of going to church has surfaced from time to time.

Since 2001, several scandals behind church doors have opened to public horror -- including the death of a teenager during an exorcism, an Aylmer church rallying around parents who beat their children, and criminal and civil cases over sexual abuse from Catholic church leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

March 23, 2008

Bishop Pius Ncube confesses adultery on Easter Sunday

ZIMBABWE
ZimDaily

HARARE - Archbishop Pius Ncube has used Easter Sunday to confess that he had an adulterous relationship with a married woman.

Ncube, who is currently in the Vatican where he has been summoned by the Pope, is set to offer an explanation to the Holy See concerning his breach of his vow of celibacy.

He will remain in the Vatican until December, so that he grows in faith, according to official Vatican sources.

Ncube was felled by an adultery scandal spearhead by Zimbabwe ’s notorious spy Central Intelligence Organisation and State-owned media, which threw away all pretense at professionalism and did a hatchet job on the archbishop. The State media published compromising photos - apparently taken by cameras planted by security agents in the ceiling of the Bulawayo cleric’s bedroom - depicting him having sex with a married woman. Ncube has since stepped down from his archbishopric and is now a mere bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Bishop of Ferns focuses on child abuse

IRELAND
RTE News

Sunday, 23 March 2008 07:50
The Bishop of Ferns has urged all Catholics in the diocese to continue to increase their understanding of the sexual abuse of children by some local priests, and not to turn their backs on the horror.

Dr Denis Brennan told a congregation at Easter Vigil Mass that the scandals amounted to a crucifixion of the diocese, most especially for those who had suffered the abuse. And he reiterated the Church's apology to them.

Bishop Brennan was the main celebrant at the 11pm Mass, which was broadcast by RTÉ Television from St Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Priest will return to court April 28

CANADA
Le Soleil

Michel Thibault

A priest from Sainte-Martine accused of sexual aggression is expected to return to court April 28 to undergo a preliminary hearing.

At this stage in the judicial procedure the tribunal must determine whether the evidence is sufficient to move forward.

Priest Denis Tremblay was arrested last December 10, in Sainte-Martine. The 70-year-old man is facing charges of sexual aggression, gross indecency and indecent exposure. The alleged acts committed against a single individual are purported to have taken place between 1968 and 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Pius Ncube admits sex scandal on video

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe Guardian

Itayi GARANDE

Sun, 23 Mar 2008 13:24:00 +0000

DISGRACED Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube made a shocking admission to the sex allegations involving a married woman despite his earlier claims that the charges were orchestrated by the state in order to prevent him from speaking out on human rights, the Zimbabwe Guardian can reveal.

Archbishop Pius Ncube, for long the most outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe made the shocking revelation to Frontier Africa TV — an independent film production company — just before he boarded a plane for the Vatican in November 2007.

The video has now been released only a week to the crucial harmonised elections in Zimbabwe.

In the video, Ncube apologised and spoke out fiercely against President Mugabe ahead of the March 29 elections.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Child abuse scandal 'our Calvary' - Bishop of Ferns

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Bishop of Ferns has urged Catholics not to turn their backs on the horror of child abuse by some local priests in the diocese, describing the suffering of the victims as "our Calvary".

Dr Denis Brennan told the congregation at Easter Vigil Mass in St Aidan's Cathedral last night that people in the Ferns diocese had "experienced our own Calvary - most especially those who have suffered abuse by some of our priests - and the whole country is aware of it".

But he urged that people would try to continue to understand what had happened in Ferns and that understanding would help them "continue to grwo and inform us all as we go forward".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

One in Four calls for publications of Ferns abuse audit

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Sunday, March 23, 2008

There are calls for an audit to be published on the way in which each diocese in the country handles allegations of child abuse.

The support group for victims of clerical sexual abuse, One In Four, said that this was promised over two years ago.

The group said today that it welcomes an apology by the Bishop of Ferns Dr Denis Brennan during his Easter vigil mass last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Bloomington minister's case delayed; accused of sedating, molesting boys

BLOOMINGTON (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. --A Bloomington minister accused of sedating and molesting four boys has seen his local case delayed again while a related federal case against him continues.

Thirty-eight-year-old James Love faces federal charges of production of child pornography. He also faces charges of aggravated sexual assault charges in McClean County in central Illinois.

Court proceedings on the local charges were continued yesterday until June 20th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Churches to merge in mass shake-up

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

By Jenny Simpson
A string of Preston churches look set to merge in a move which could spell the end of service at one of the city's most iconic buildings.

A review by a leading Lancashire cleric have recommended Sunday masses come to an end at St Walburge's in Ashton and that the listed church be merged with Sacred Heart.

A new report says the St Walburge's building is too big and expensive to maintain - but leaves the final decision on its fate up to church leaders.

More than a dozen other Roman Catholic parishes in Preston could also merge under revised proposals by the cash-strapped Diocese of Lancaster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Tax-cheat curate pulls out of ceremonies

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday March 22 2008

THE Catholic curate who was fined €6,000 after reaching a €213,000 tax settlement with the Revenue Commissioners will play no part in his parish's Easter ceremonies.

Parishioners of Whitechurch, Co Cork, were told that Fr Tadhg O'Donovan has requested some private time and will not be participating in the Easter ceremonies.

The Diocese of Cloyne and Whitechurch Parish was informed that Fr O'Donovan was withdrawing his services as a priest over this weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Oregon educator picked to lead Maryknoll High

HAWAII
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Alexandre Da Silva
adasilva@starbulletin.com
A man who successfully led a Catholic high school in Oregon while the Archdiocese of Portland was going through bankruptcy caused by a priest sex-abuse scandal will become president of Maryknoll High School on July 1, the school has announced.

Perry K. Martin, principal and acting president of Marist Catholic High School in Eugene, Ore., will replace Mike Baker, who held Maryknoll's top post for 11 years.

Martin headed Marist High during a three-year bankruptcy that cost the Archdiocese of Portland millions of dollars to settle claims of sex abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Are More Teachers Crossing The Line?

TAMPA (FL)
Tampa Tribune

By KAREN BRANCH-BRIOSO
The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 22, 2008

TAMPA - The headlines are enough to make a parent shudder:

"Teacher, Boy Had Affair, Officials Say." "Another Educator Facing Sex Charges."

In the past week, two Hillsborough County public schoolteachers, former Davidsen Middle School math teacher Stephanie Ragusa and Freedom High English teacher Mary Jo Spack, were arrested and charged with having unlawful sex with underage students. ...

Most seem to agree, though, that reporting of such crimes is on the rise, and they attribute it to a number of things. In the wake of the sexual abuse scandals that shook the Catholic Church, the once-taboo subject of challenging trusted authority figures' relationships with underage children is far less taboo.

It's easier to question a priest's relationship with a minor, and it's OK to challenge a schoolteacher, too.

The price the Catholic Church paid in the wake of those scandals also is having the effect of motivating more schools to actively seek prosecution of teachers who stray, says David Finkelhor, a University of New Hampshire sociology professor and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

PIUS NCUBE - SILENCED

ZIMBABWE
Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

The winner of Scotland’s Burns Humanitarian Award, Archbishop Pius Ncube was Zimbabwe’s most eloquent spokesman for human rights and Robert Mugabe’s most powerful opponent ... until a sex scandal tarnished his reputation. In an exclusive interview, Ncube for the first time admits his ‘human weakness’ and we reveal how the Vatican insisted he give up his battle for democracy.

From Fred Bridgland In Johannesburg

IN ADVANCE of Zimbabwe's presidential election, the Vatican has silenced Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube, for long the most outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe - whose autocratic rule seems certain to be extended in the controversial poll next weekend.

The Vatican summoned Ncube - recipient of Scotland's Robert Burns International Humanitarian Award and widely tipped as a future Nobel Peace Prize winner - following allegations he had an affair with a married parishioner. Sources in Rome close to the Holy See said Ncube has been ordered to stop speaking out about conditions in his devastated country, which has the world's lowest life expectancy and highest inflation rate.

The Vatican requires an explanation from Ncube concerning allegations by Mugabe that the archbishop broke his vow of celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

In Cambria City, challenges can lead to opportunities

CAMBRIA CITY (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

BY CHIP MINEMYER

On this Easter Sunday, I’m reminded that even the darkest and most challenging times can lead to second chances and new opportunities.

Folks who attend each of five Roman Catholic churches in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood are battling to save their places of worship as well as a parochial school.

And while people can say it’s not a church structure that’s important, but rather the congregation, those who attend a church for a period of time do become attached to it, both spiritually and emotionally.

Each of those Cambria City churches represents a place where couples were married, their children baptized and their loved ones memorialized. And churches, although just buildings, are indeed the places where many people’s lives are changed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

March 22, 2008

UPDATING THE PRIEST ABUSE SCANDAL

UNITED STATES
Bill's 'Faith Matters' Weblog

Each of the last several years, in response to the Catholic priest child abuse scandal, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a report that details the status of the scandal and the effectiveness of the church's response.

The scandal itself was horrendous. For decade after decade, priests got away with abusing innocent children and bishops sometimes protected them by simply moving them from one position to another without fixing the problem or removing the priest from the priesthood.

The church's response has ranged from excellent to poor, depending on the circumstances and the area being considered. But these annual reports certainly keep the issue alive and provide members of the church enough data at least to ask more questions and to pressure local congregations, church leaders and others to stay on top of this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

La explotación de la fe

Proceso

Rodrigo Vera
Los salesianos: pederastia solapada (Proceso 1637/16 de marzo de 2008)

Casos documentados de abuso sexual contra menores de edad implican a los salesianos, la congregación religiosa fundada a mediados del siglo XIX por San Juan Bosco. En su libro La explotación de la fe, que acaba de ser puesto en circulación por Ediciones B, el investigador Jorge Erdely afirma que el sacerdote Juan Manzo Cárdenas abusó de 50 menores en una escuela-orfanato que los salesianos tienen en León, Guanajuato, con la protección, nada menos, que del rector mayor de la orden.
...

This is a review of a recently published Spanish-language book called "The Exploitation of
Faith" by Jorge Erdely (reviewed in Proceso by Rodrigo Vera) March 16,
2008.

Mr. Erdely discusses cases of sexual abuse against minors by Salesians, a religious congregation founded in the mid-19th century by St. John Bosco. One priest, Juan Manzo Cardenas, is said to have abused 50 children in a school-orphanage and the crimes were concealed for years by rector of the global order, Pascual Chavez Villaneuva, a Mexican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Abuse bill stalls in Senate

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

A bill that would toughen penalties for sexual abuse and those who fail to report it has stalled in the Senate, three weeks after passing the House on a 96-0 vote, with support from the state's Catholic bishops and the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

House Bill 211, inspired in part by the crisis of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic and other clergy, would make felonies out of various types of sexual offenses against minors -- including that committed by an adult in a position of trust such as a coach, teacher or clergy member.

The bill remains in the Senate Judiciary Committee and has not had a hearing. Sen. Robert Stivers, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, had not had a chance to study the bill and has been busy with the budget, according to Lourdes Baez-Schrader, spokeswoman for the Senate Republican majority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Priest from STL area is ruled as sexually violent offender

WHEATON (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ASSOCIATED PRESS
03/20/2008
WHEATON, Ill. A DuPage County jury has ruled that a Roman Catholic priest who spent a decade in the St. Louis area before he was convicted of sexually abusing school boys in the 1980s must stay in state custody because he is a sexually violent person.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the Rev. Fred Lenczycki is the first clergy member committed under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

The law allows prosecutors to seek commitment in a state facility of sex offenders they believe will re-offend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Children Deserve Better

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Media Monitors Network

by Nicholas Vakkur
(Friday, March 21, 2008)

"Going as far back as 1991, as many as 56 of the 710 priests active in LA archdiocese were sexual abusers. Mahony, according to released court records, actively sought to cover up the activity of his priests who raped or molested children."

Not too many Americans ever receive such a revealing, intimate view of the illicit and potentially criminal activities of a high ranking Catholic official, as have Los Angeles residents regarding the ongoing sexual scandals plaguing Cardinal Mahony and the LA archdiocese. Going as far back as 1991, as many as 56 of the 710 priests active in LA archdiocese were sexual abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Sex abuse victims sue city church

ASHEVILLE (NC)
Citizen-Times

by Leslie Boyd
published March 22, 2008 12:16 am

ASHEVILLE – For years, three members of the Clement family endured sexual abuse by their church’s music minister.

Leonard Smith was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison Nov. 29 for crimes that spanned 20 years.

But the family also wants the Church of God in Christ held responsible, and on Thursday, the family filed suit in Guilford County against Smith, Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ in Asheville, and the state and national organizations governing it.

Alvin Clement, now a state trooper in Guilford County, filed suit with four John Does and Sylvia Clement, guardian for a minor John Doe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Rev. Bento Fraga timeline

TAUNTON (MA)
Wicked Local

By Rebecca Hyman
Thu Mar 20, 2008, 04:46 PM EDT

TAUNTON - The Diocese of Fall River announced Monday the Rev. Bento Fraga has been removed from the ministry following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in 1979. Fraga, a Taunton native, was the pastor at St. Paul’s on Tremont Street from 1992 until his retirement in 2005 and has since been residing at St. Anthony’s Parish on School Street.

1956 Ordained as a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Fall River
1956 to 1969 Assistant priest at St. John of God in Somerset
1969 to 1972 Assistant priest at St. Joseph’s on Kilmer Avenue in Taunton

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Network Calls Secrecy and Pedophilia Rampant

SALEM (OR)
Salem-News

(SALEM, Ore.) - Members of SNAP, the Priest sex abuse network, say the Portland, Oregon Archdiocese is harboring pedophile priests and failing to comply with a court order to disclose private records. And they have been saying it for a while.

For those who have not seen it or are not extremely familiar with the story, you may want to check this Salem-News.com article and video and see how the church was ordered to disclose the coveted records. (see: Oregon Sex Abuse Victims in Catholic Church Scandal Awarded Over $50 Million)

This article from April 18th 2007 gives the impression that transparency may at last be at hand as the church handed over millions to abuse survivors who took the time to take their cases against the Portland Archdiocese to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

March 21, 2008

Marianists' investigators contact plaintiffs' family, associates

PUEBLO (CO)
Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Relatives and acquaintances of men who are suing a religious order and the local Catholic diocese have reported that investigators representing the order have visited them at their Pueblo homes seeking information.

In at least one case, an investigator reportedly outed the accuser to someone who didn't know their relative had been an alleged victim of sexual abuse.

According to another plaintiff's relative, the investigator said she represented the Society of Mary religious order, better known as the Marianists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Yonkers Franciscan monk pleads guilty in abuse of 4 boys

YONKERS (NY)
The Journal News

By SHAWN COHEN AND REBECCA BAKER
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original Publication: March 21, 2008)

YONKERS - A Yonkers monk has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing four boys from the same family last year, authorities said yesterday.

Dominick Bokulich, 34, also known as Brother Leopold, was living at St. Felix Friary at 15 Trinity Plaza in Yonkers at the time of the incidents, which took place during 2006 and 2007, Yonkers police said.

Bokulich, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal who is originally from Sullivan County, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree sexual abuse and course of sexual conduct, felonies, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors, before Westchester County judge Jeffrey A. Cohen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Alaska diocese official visits Kodiak as worshippers continue to commemorate bishop put on leave

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Thursday, March 20th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
Orthodox Church in America officials confirmed Wednesday that Archpriest Alexander Garklavs is now in Alaska and one of his first stops was Kodiak.

Church leader Metropolitan Herman appointed Fr. Garklavs administrator of the Alaska diocese on March 8, after Bishop Nikolai Soraich was put on mandatory leave for refusing to depart Alaska during an investigation into alleged charges of abuse.

The bishop, who still refuses to leave, said on Wednesday that he would be happy to meet with Fr. Garklavs, but hasn’t as of Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Two Priests, Sioux City Diocese Named In Abuse Lawsuit

IOWA
KTIV

The Sioux City Catholic Diocese, and two of its former priests, are being sued by a former parishioner, who says he was sexually abused.

Jeffrey Steinke, who now lives in Montana, grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa and graduated from Saint Edmond High School in 1982. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Steinke claims John Kurzak, a priest at Corpus Christi church at the time, and John Perdue, a seminary student, performed a sex act on Steinke against his will when he was a minor.

And, Steinke says they coerced him to engage in sex acts by violating a position of trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Former FD man files against church

FORT DODGE (IA)
The Messenger

By BILL SHEA Messenger staff writer
POSTED: March 21, 2008
A former Fort Dodge man has filed a lawsuit claiming that a Roman Catholic priest and another man sexually abused him nearly 30 years ago.

In the suit filed Thursday, Jeff Steinke, of Billings, Mont., accuses the Rev. John F. Kurzak and John Perdue of molesting him.

Kurzak was an assistant pastor at Corpus Christi Church, 402 N. Eighth St., from 1979 to 1981. He joined the Air Force in August 1981 to become a chaplain. He is still in the Air Force and is now a colonel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Legal teams clash again in case of 'Father Bob'

BELVEDERE (NJ)
The Express-Times

Friday, March 21, 2008
BY SARA K. SATULLO
The Express-Times
BELVIDERE | A Warren County assistant prosecutor has refuted accusations of witness tampering in the case of a Warren County priest accused of awarding over $1 million in church raffles to fake winners.

Manhattan-based defense attorney Melvin M. Wright Jr. is seeking to dismiss two charges in a multi-count indictment that Robert J. "Father Bob" Ascolese bilked a corporate matching gift program on the grounds that the prosecution tampered with witnesses.

In a response to a defense motion, Warren County First Assistant Prosecutor Craig Barto contends there was no witness tampering on his part. Barto maintains the tampering claim is a stall tactic by the defense, which would like to find a prosecution more pliable to its needs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Sioux City Diocese Hit With Sex Abuse Lawsuit

SIOUX CITY (IA)
KCAU

The Diocese of Sioux City is facing a sex abuse lawsuit.

A man claims he was molested by clergy members, and the Diocese knew about it, but did nothing.

Jeffrey Steinke says when he was growing up in Fort Dodge, Iowa his priest and a seminary student would invite boys over, get them intoxicated, force them to watch pornography, take inappropriate pictures, and molest them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Braxton says he won't resign

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/21/2008

Bishop Edward Braxton rejected calls for his resignation Thursday and claimed priests attempted to blackmail him three years ago.

The charges are contained in a letter to be read or distributed to Catholics in the Belleville diocese on Easter weekend or the weekend after.

"It is my intention to serve as Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville for as long as the Holy Father wants me to do so," Braxton wrote in the letter.

The letter also says Braxton received threatening, anonymous phone calls to his residence. And he recounts a secret meeting with his priests — one "perhaps unprecedented in the history of the Church in the United States" — in which he was blackmailed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Braxton's letters to Belleville Diocese priests, parishoners

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

The following includes the text of Belleville Bishop Edward K. Braxton's letter released Thursday to priests and the text of the letter the bishop asked to be distributed to parishioners:

Dear Father; Dear Parish Life Coordinator,

I would like the substance of this letter to be communicated to your parishioners this weekend. You may duplicate it and insert it in your bulletin or have it distributed to the faithful and placed on tables at the entrance to the church. You may choose simply to read key paragraphs. Knowing that this is a very busy weekend, you may choose to distribute it next weekend. If that is the case, I would ask you to communicate the substance to your parishioners this weekend.

"Bishop Braxton has sent a letter to all the parishes expressing his deep gratitude to all of those who have written to him to share their sorrow on learning of the death of his mother, Evelyn K. Braxton. In the same letter he states that, though he is aware that he is a "redeemed sinner" like all other Christians, it is his intention to continue his service as Bishop of Belleville for as long as our Holy Father wishes him to do so."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Belleville bishop won't step down; says local priests threatened him in 2005

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Days before Bishop Edward K. Braxton was installed in 2005, diocese priests called him to St. Peter Cathedral rectory and threatened to reveal incriminating information about him if he didn't refuse the appointment, Braxton said Thursday in a letter to parishioners.

The revelation was contained in a six-page statement to parishioners released Thursday in which Braxton states he will not resign -- his first response to a request signed by 46 priests and made public March 14 that he step down.

Braxton thanked parishioners who have supported him during disputes with priests who accused him of misusing public funds and failing to communicate. He also thanked those who sent condolences after the recent death of his mother in Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Head flees over school scandal

AUSTRALIA
The Jewish Chronicle

21/03/2008
by Dan Goldberg Sydney
An Israeli principal at the centre of an alleged lesbian sex scandal at a strictly Orthodox girls’ school in Melbourne has fled the country amid allegations of molestation.

Malka Leifer, head of the Adass Israel Girls’ School for five years, flew home on March 5 — less than 24 hours after the school board confronted her with allegations of sexual misconduct.

She denied any wrongdoing, according to Binyomin Koppel, the president of the Adass Israel community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Axe hangs over 14 Catholic churches

UNITED KINGDOM
Blackpool Gazette

By Jacqueline Morley
THE axe today remained hanging over 14 Catholic churches across the Fylde coast.

Diocese leaders have revised initial closure plans, but while some churches win reprieves, Good Friday brings dark tidings for others – many in some of the coast's most socially deprived areas.

The Gazette revealed last summer how 12 churches – stretching from Blackpool to Fleetwood and rural Fylde and Wyre – had been placed on a hit-list by leaders of cash-strapped Lancaster Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Lawsuit accuses priest, music teacher of molestation

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

March 21, 2008

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter rhussain@suntimes.com
A 44-year-old Chicago area man filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing a former Augustinian Roman Catholic priest and a former St. Rita High School choir director of molesting him when he was a teenager.

Between 1976 and 1979, John Johnson was allegedly assaulted by then-St. Rita of Cascia parish priest John D. Murphy, who was also named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by 13 other male victims in 2003.

The Augustinian order assigned to the South Side parish settled with the men a year later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

One down, two to go

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

A former Sacramento diocesan priest who fled to Mexico 17 years ago when police began investigating charges of child molestation against him has been arrested.

The Rev. Gerardo Beltran, 50, started working in the Diocese of Sacramento in 1982. His parish assignments were St. Dominic’s in Orland (west of Chico), St. Joseph’s in Sacramento, and St. Anthony’s in Winters (west of Sacramento, in Yolo County).

According to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, Beltran has been charged with four counts of child molestation involving two victims for incidents that allegedly occurred between 1989 and 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Belleville bishop says he won't resign, despite demands of priests

BELLEVILLE (IL)
KFVS

Associated Press - March 21, 2008 3:14 AM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Roman Catholic Bishop Edward Braxton has written a letter to parishioners saying he will not resign his post despite the demands of 46 priests.

In the letter, released yesterday (Thursday), Braxton also revealed that before he was installed in 2005, diocese priests threatened to reveal incriminating information about him if he didn't refuse the appointment.

Braxton thanked parishioners who have supported him during disputes with priests who accused him of misusing public funds and failing to communicate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Child porn vicar is sacked

UNITED KINGDOM
Burnley Express

By Suzanne Harvey
Parisioners at a Leyland church are looking to the future after their disgraced vicar was sacked.

It is business as usual over Easter at St Ambrose Church as the congregation works to put the past behind them.

The church, in Moss Lane, hit the headlines when its vicar, Paul Battersby, was charged with possessing child porn images on his laptop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Sentence cut for preacher who abused girl

DELAND (FL)
News-Journal

By PATRICIO G. BALONA
Staff Writer
DELAND -- A self-proclaimed Internet minister who used Biblical teachings to justify sexually abusing a girl had a 30-year prison sentence reduced to 9 1/2 years Thursday.

With credit for more than 2 1/2 years he has already served, Charles Balfe stands to get out in just under seven years.

But Balfe, 63, was expecting to get less time, his attorney Jeffrey Dees said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Charges against former LDS general authority dismissed

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 03/21/2008 12:33:26 AM MDT

Charges of failing to register as a sex offender have been dismissed against a former LDS Church general authority in connection with his 1994 conviction for fondling a 12-year-old girl.
George Patrick Lee, 64, was charged last year by Washington County prosecutors with a class A misdemeanor, because he had changed his address and been unaccounted for since July 2004.
Prosecutor Zachary Weiland said the charge was dismissed after his office received proof Lee has a "severe medical issue that interfered with his ability to remember things."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Former Internet evangelist re-sentenced for abuse

DeLAND (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

Ludmilla Lelis | Sentinel Staff Writer
March 21, 2008

DeLAND - The young woman once again had to face the man who had twisted Bible teachings with beatings and sexual abuse during five of her teenage years.

But she told a judge that the strength of her character helped her as she returned to court Thursday for Charles Michael Balfe's sentencing.

"Despite his best attempts, he didn't destroy my character," she said. "It is that strength that allowed me to go on the stand and tell complete strangers what he did to me without breaking down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

The case of the kidnapped cardinal

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

NJ Voices
Raymond Schroth

Perhaps you remember the story, reported here some months ago, of how President Bush, kidnapped by Iranians, was interrogated in Tehran for two months, after which he confessed to a long list of crimes, from starting the Iraq War to assassinating John F. Kennedy. His captors maintained that he was not torturned, since they merely followed the methods of the CIA.

A similar story broke recently in Los Angeles.

Roger Cardinal Mahony, longtime LA archbishop, was kidnapped by a conspiracy of liberation theologians and flown to a secret camp in Ciapas, Mexico, where he was put on public trial, televised worldwide, for his sins.

The interrogation was brutal: they showed him filmed testimony from the victims of sexual abuse where he had covered up the crimes by shifting abusing priests from one parish to another. ...

Cardinal Mahony is, of course, a novel (Humble-bee Press) -- part satire, part editorial -- by veteran Vatican correspondent Robert Blair Kaiser, in which the fictionalized Mahony is a symbol, a metaphor for what, in Kaiser's vision, the church most needs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

The case of the kidnapped cardinal

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

NJ Voices
Raymond Schroth

Perhaps you remember the story, reported here some months ago, of how President Bush, kidnapped by Iranians, was interrogated in Tehran for two months, after which he confessed to a long list of crimes, from starting the Iraq War to assassinating John F. Kennedy. His captors maintained that he was not torturned, since they merely followed the methods of the CIA.

A similar story broke recently in Los Angeles.

Roger Cardinal Mahony, longtime LA archbishop, was kidnapped by a conspiracy of liberation theologians and flown to a secret camp in Ciapas, Mexico, where he was put on public trial, televised worldwide, for his sins.

The interrogation was brutal: they showed him filmed testimony from the victims of sexual abuse where he had covered up the crimes by shifting abusing priests from one parish to another. ...

Cardinal Mahony is, of course, a novel (Humble-bee Press) -- part satire, part editorial -- by veteran Vatican correspondent Robert Blair Kaiser, in which the fictional

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Teen's suit claims church failed to stop sexual abuse

OREGON
The Oregonian

Friday, March 21, 2008

AIMEE GREEN The Oregonian Staff
A teenage boy is suing New Song Community Church for $2.1 million, claiming the church didn't do enough to stop a youth pastor who the lawsuit says sexually abused him on a camping trip.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims that pastor Jeremey S. Thompson gained the trust of the boy, then 16, because of his position at the church.

In late July 2006, Thompson took the boy and two others on an overnight camping trip to Bagby Hot Springs. The suit claims he forced the boy to undress, have his photo taken and engage in sexual games.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Putnam pastor, wife on witness lists in sexual abuse civil case

CHARLESTON (WV)
West Virginia Record

3/21/2008 6:45 AM
By Lawrence Smith -Kanawha Bureau

CHARLESTON - The names of a Putnam County minister and his wife, whose son is accused of repeatedly violating a domestic violence protective order, have surfaced in a civil suit alleging one of their former parishioners sexually abused a teenage girl at an Upper Kanawha Valley Pentecostal church in 2006.

A recent deposition taken of the former parishioner shows him accusing the couple of telling lies about him, and that they aided in fostering the sexual abuse allegations.

Recently, The West Virginia Record reported on the various charges pending against Jonathan D. Carter for domestic violence-related crimes. Carter's history of domestic violence, court records show, included protective orders he and his parents, William and Dixie Carter, filed against each other in 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Retired priest accused of sexual abuse in 1979

TAUNTON (MA)
Wicked Local

By Rebecca Hyman
Thu Mar 20, 2008, 04:43 PM EDT

A retired Taunton priest has been removed from the ministry following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in the late 1970s.
The alleged incident took place in a private residence on Cape Cod, not in Taunton, as was widely reported, said John Kearns, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Fall River.
The Rev. Bento Fraga, who was pastor at St. Paul’s on Tremont Street from 1992 until his retirement in 2005, has denied the allegation, but the Diocese’s Review Board determined it was “credible” following a full investigation, Kearns said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Former Sioux City diocese priests accused of sexual abuse

SIOUX CITY (IA)
KPTM

Associated Press - March 20, 2008 8:54 PM ET

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two former priests of the Sioux City Diocese are accused of sexually abusing a former parishioner.

A lawsuit filed Thursday names the diocese, John Kurzak and John Perdue.

The men are accused by a former Fort Dodge man of abusing him while he was a minor.

According to the lawsuit, Kurzak was a priest at Corpus Christi church at the time, and Perdue was a seminary student. The man claims Kurzak and Perdue would have gatherings where they encouraged men to engage in homosexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

March 20, 2008

EDITORIAL: Sorting through the Fraga case

MASSACHUSETS
The Sun Chronicle

Friday, March 21, 2008 1:22 AM EDT

Regarding charges of sexual misconduct against a minor by a former Attleboro priest, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River acted with a commendable degree of transparency.

It was just two months ago, in January, that a man brought allegations to the diocese that the Rev. Bento Fraga, then pastor of Holy Ghost Parish, had abused him in 1979 at a location that has not been disclosed, other than that it was in the Cape Cod and the Islands region.

Acting with a speed that a civilian court could not match, a tribunal issued its findings last week that the allegations are credible, despite Fraga's denial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Archdiocese document dispute to enter hearings and mediation

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

By Ed Langlois
A Portland attorney who refused to enter talks over an Archdiocese of Portland document release is continuing a solo legal venture.

Erin Olson hopes to publicize thousands of pages of clergy personnel information.
Olson, who represented multiple accusers during the archdiocese’s three-year bankruptcy, came before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris last week to push her point about the documents.

Perris has set up a hearings schedule that aims to settle Olson’s request by fall.
“It’s been a long time,” Perris told lawyers last week, urging them to find a resolution on documents soon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

The Church's Sinful Secret

POLAND
Gazeta Wyborcza

Roman Daszczyński, Paweł Wiejas
2008-03-10, ostatnia aktualizacja 2008-03-10 10:08

Many priests knew about it, as did three bishops. For years, the horrible truth could not be revealed - a story about how the Catholic Church covered up a child-molestation scandal in Szczecin in Monday's Duży Format supplement.

Father Andrzej, director of a centre for difficult young people in Szczecin, accused of paedophilia. People demanding that the truth be revealed had been hearing for thirteen years: do not act to the Church's detriment.

'I came to the centre in 1992. I was fifteen. Father Andrzej asked me to his room. He started groping me, touching my genitals, encouraging me to do the same (I didn't, I just lay there, helpless). He made me come. When I got up, he told me to hit him for hurting me'. This is one of the confessions made by the wards of the St. Brother Albert Centre in Szczecin. The alleged molester was Father Andrzej, the Centre's founder and then-director. The boys told their tutors, and they, in 1995, notified Bishop Stanisław Stefanek, the hierarch in charge of educational matters at the Szczecin archdiocese. Bishop Stefanek dismissed the depositions as non-credible and refused to talk to any of the boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Buddhist sect, woman reach settlement over priest's 'purification' sex assault

JAPAN
Mainichi Daily News

CHIBA -- A woman has received a 1 million yen payout from a Buddhist priest who indecently assaulted her during what he called a "purification ritual" in a settlement mediated by the Chiba District Court.

The 36-year-old woman received the cash payment from the 75-year-old former head priest of the Komeizan Saizenji Temple in Isumi, Chiba Prefecture.

In return she dropped a lawsuit she had filed against the priest and the Tendai Buddhist sect to which he belongs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Most clergy can't hold a candle to Fr O'Donovan

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney
Thursday March 20 2008

FATHER Tadhg O'Donovan's conviction for tax offences is the most spectacular court case involving a cleric in recent times.

Not many, if any, of Ireland's 4,000-plus priests would be as well off as the diocese of Cloyne curate.

But a junior priest such as Fr O'Donovan would be on an average stipend of around €20,000-€25,000 a year, with parish priests probably hitting between €30,000-€40,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Pedophile priest appeals

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

March 20, 2008 04:54pm

A CONVICTED pedophile Anglican priest has appealed a decision by an independent board to recommend his defrocking.

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 8:37 AM

Parishioners in shock as 'respected' curate found guilty and fined €6,000

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ralph Riegel
Thursday March 20 2008

PARISHIONERS of a quiet village were in shock yesterday at the revelation their curate has made a €213,000 tax settlement with the Revenue Commissioners.

But residents of Whitechurch in Co Cork refused to speak about Fr Tadhg O'Donovan's financial affairs -- describing him as "a highly respected priest totally devoted to his ministry".

Locals privately expressed shock at the news their curate had been fined €6,050 in Cork District Court for a tax offence, but steadfastly refused all public comment on their priest.

"He is very popular around here -- and we've nothing to say," one man declared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Priest pays €213,000 in settlement of property rents scam

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ralph Riegel
Thursday March 20 2008

A tax-dodging priest sprinted from court yesterday after being fined for failing to declare thousands of euro in rental income.

The Cork priest was fined €6,000 after reaching a €213,000 settlement with the Revenue Commissioners over cash earned from 11 properties.

Despite earning just over €30,000 a year for his priestly duties, Fr Tadhg O'Donovan had an interest in a total of 13 properties in various parts of Cork dating back to 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Judge's removal sought from priest's suit

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The attorney for a woman suing Toledo priest Gerald Robinson after accusing him of satanic ritual abuse has filed a motion asking Judge Ruth Ann Franks to voluntarily step down from the case because of her Catholic upbringing.

Attorney Mark Davis, representing the Toledo woman who sued anonymously as Survivor Doe with her husband Spouse Doe, said in a motion filed Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court that Judge Franks "may not be able to separate her immutable Catholic upbringing from the claims asserted" and that "this judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

Survivor Doe's suit was given the go-ahead last week by the Ohio Supreme Court, which refused to hear an appeal by Robinson's attorney seeking to dismiss the case. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 27 before Judge Franks.

Robinson's attorney, John Donahue of Perrysburg, called Judge Franks "a very, very fair person. … Even suggesting that she would somehow be biased or partial to one side or another in any case is absurd."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Salesians hold world record for pedophile priests -- guest writer Joey Piscitelli lists their names and connections to William Levada

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Joey Piscitelli
The Salesians Clergy of California have shattered the World Record for the most accused child molesters in one area, by a landslide. There is no religious order in the world that we know of that is even remotely close in the number of accused molesters. And the list is growing. At latest count, there are 21 local (California) Salesians accused and/or convicted pedophiles, 19 of them named as child molesters in lawsuits! This tally is so far off the charts.

The following Salesians have been accused of sex crimes in California, including abuse, molestation, rape, sodomy, lewd and lascivious conduct, felony child abuse, copulation, and sexual deviation: Fr. Larry Lorenzoni, Fr. Richard Presenti, Fr. Bernard Dabbenne, Fr. Steve Whelan, Bro. Sal Billante, Bro. Jesse Dominguez, Fr. Jim Miani, Fr. Harold Danielson, Bro. Mark Epperson, Fr. Mario Blanco, Bro. Anthony Juarez, Bro. Ernie Martinez, Fr. Emanual Palayo, Fr. Juan Sanchez, Bro. John Verhart, Fr. Fleming, Fr. Al Mengon, Bro. John Vas, Bro. Ralph Murguia, Bro. Dan Pacheco, and Mr. Sam Vitone.

Cardinal William Levada shielded and covered for so many Salesian accused molesters that victims of the Salesians have nicknamed the Salesian pedophiles -"Levada’s Boys". Still, Levada has shown no shame or remorse, nor has he apologized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Exhibit: Salesian President warned US consul about Titian Miani in 1950. Scanned here, click to enlarge. . .

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

At left (Click to enlarge) is an exhibit acquired by City of Angels Blog from the Titian Miani cases going to trial April 14th. The letter written by Ernest Giovannini, President Salesian Society and sent to the American Consul in Genoa, Italy, has the tone of a warning. Read between the lines and you know a lot was discussed about pedophile priest Titian Miani before this letter was written. It reads: "I can assure you, (Miani) is not being brought to this country at his own request. He has a vow of obedience and is only assigned where his superiors desire him," and it continues:

"His assignment to our Seminary here in the United States for studies has not been at his request but at the decision of his superiors here and abroad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Reverend waives hearing on theft, forgery charges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By JULIE SHAW
Philadelphia Daily News

shawj@phillynews.com 215-854-2592

The Rev. Charles Newman - accused of stealing more than $900,000 from two religious institutions - waived his preliminary hearing in court yesterday on felony theft and forgery charges.

The former president of Archbishop Ryan High School allegedly gave $54,000 of that money to a former student whom he is accused of having sexually abused.

Newman, 57, dressed in a dark blue sweater and black pants, stood next to his attorney, Frank DeSimone, during the brief proceeding.

He affirmed to Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield that he intended to waive his hearing. When asked if he suffers any mental-health problems, Newman told the judge: "I have been treated for depression in the past."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Legacy of residential schools remembered

CANADA
Canadian Christianity

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski
Prairie Messenger

SASKATOON -- Some 500 people attended the Saskatoon portion of a national 'Remembering the Children' tour of Aboriginal and church leaders, held as a promotion and preparation for the much-anticipated Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The establishment of the commission is one element of an Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement reached between the government, churches and Aboriginal organizations in 2006. Once established, the commission will spend five years promoting public education and awareness of the residential school system and its legacy, as well as providing former students, families and communities with an opportunity to share their experiences.

Aboriginal leaders joined church leaders from the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and United Church denominations in the tour, which also included stops in Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Priest declared sexually violent person, to stay in Ill. custody

ILLINOIS
WQAD

Associated Press - March 19, 2008 9:24 PM ET

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) - A DuPage County jury has ruled that a a Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing school boys in the 1980s must stay in state custody because he is a sexually violent person.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the Reverend Fred Lenczycki (len-ZICK'-ee) is the first clergy member committed under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

The law allows prosecutors to seek commitment in a state facility of sex offenders they believe will re-offend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Suffer the little children

ALASKA
Anchorage Press

By Tony Hopfinger

In the Yupik Eskimo village where Tom Cheemuk lived as a child in the 1960s, there was no running water. Homes in the tiny Norton Sound community of St. Michael were lit with gas lamps and generators. The town shared a single telephone. As a boy Cheemuk picked berries and gathered goose eggs on the pockmarked Alaska tundra and fished for tomcod on the windy shores of the Bering Sea. He raised a pet fox on table scraps and, in summer, often worked at the old fish cannery. One of his fondest memories was riding up the Yukon with his father, an engineer on a barge, and delivering fuel to the villages.

And, too, like most other children, he spent many days inside the weather-beaten little Catholic church, helping the Jesuit missionaries who held powerful sway over Eskimo life. Helping meant doing what you were told—even if it was wrong. Cheemuk’s mother was a devout Catholic. Attending church was given. So when bad things began happening with church volunteer Joseph Lundowski, Cheemuk felt he had no choice but to stay silent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

DuPage priest who molested 3 boys to remain locked up

DuPAGE COUNTY (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
March 20, 2008

A Roman Catholic priest who served a prison sentence for molesting three Hinsdale Catholic school boys from 1982 to 1984 will remain incarcerated for the near future after a DuPage County jury Wednesday declared him a sexually violent person under Illinois law.

Fred Lenczycki, 63, is the first member of the clergy to be committed under the decade-old Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act. The jury deliberated for two hours before deciding he remains a threat to the public and has a probable chance of committing another sexual offense.

Lenczycki hugged attorneys and waved to relatives after the verdict was read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Appeals court dismisses sex abuse suit

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Thursday, March 20, 2008
ASHBEL S. GREEN The Oregonian Staff

The Portland Archdiocese won a rare legal victory Wednesday when the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against two priests accused of sexually abusing a boy in the 1950s.

The suit named the Rev. Clement Frank and the Rev. Louis Charvet, Mount Angel Abbey priests who are now dead.

The plaintiff claimed that after he fell down while roller-skating in Mount Angel in the early 1950s Frank happened to walk up, took him to a church and sexually assaulted him. The Court of Appeals ruled that the church cannot be held responsible because Frank did not use his position as a priest to gain access to the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

'Sexually violent' priest won't go free

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

March 20, 2008

BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter/drozek@suntimes.com
He has served his prison sentence for molesting three boys, but a Roman Catholic priest will remain behind bars after a DuPage County jury concluded Wednesday he still is dangerous.

The Rev. Fred Lenczycki, who has admitted fondling as many as 30 young boys, is the first clergyman in Illinois -- and possibly in the country -- to be confined as a sex offender in a locked mental health center after completing his prison term.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours before determining the 63-year-old Lenczycki is a "sexually violent person" who poses a threat if he is released from custody. Lenczycki sat stoically as the verdict was read in a Wheaton courtroom after four days of testimony about his psychological condition and 25-year history of molesting young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

March 19, 2008

Prominent music minister faces molestation charges

ALABAMA
Associated Baptist Press

By Robert Marus
Published March 17, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (ABP) -- An Alabama music minister prominent in moderate Baptist life has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor while he was employed in an earlier position in Maryland.

Tim Mann, who has been minister of music at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover, Ala., since 2001, was released on $10,000 bond March 14 by a Jefferson County, Ala., judge, according to the Birmingham News. He was ordered to report to officials in Montgomery County, Md., by March 21.

Mann was arrested March 13 on a warrant from Maryland and sent to the county jail. Hoover is a Birmingham suburb.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

DuPage jury decides sex-offender priest should be committed

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
5:25 PM CDT, March 19, 2008

A DuPage County jury took two hours Wednesday to decide that a Roman Catholic priest should be declared a sexually violent person under Illinois law and be committed to a state mental institution for further treatment.

Fred Lenczycki, 63, who served time in prison after his 2004 conviction of molesting three Catholic school boys in the 1980s, is the first member of the clergy to be committed under the decade-old Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act because he remains a threat to the public.

Lenczycki showed no emotion as he hugged attorneys and waved to relatives after the verdict was read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Roundtable recommends fiscal standards for church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

The eruption of the clerical abuse scandal in 2002 brought an unprecedented level of scrutiny to how the Catholic church operates. One result was the much-needed purge of abusive priests. The greatest legacy, however, may be the widespread recognition that the scandal was largely the result of a lack of transparency that affects so many other levels of the church’s operations, especially finances.

Lay groups such as Voice of the Faithful, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Call to Action and FutureChurch have strongly advocated for church reform, but these organizations have often been at loggerheads with bishops. And none of those groups has offered the kind of comprehensive, hyper-detailed “Standard for Excellence” recently released by the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

Founded in 2005, the roundtable is a diverse nonprofit collective of lay and religious leaders who helped formulate the group’s recently released Standards for Excellence, a guiding set of principles and practices written to aid dioceses, parishes and other Catholic institutions. Among the roundtable’s directors are Leon Panetta, President Clinton’s former chief of staff; Paul Reilly, chief executive officer of Korn/Ferry International; Fr. J. Donald Monan, chancellor of Boston College; and Fr. Edward Malloy, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. Besides the standards, the roundtable offers ongoing support to Catholic organizations seeking guidance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

The pitfalls of shrouded finances

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

By BILL FROGAMENI

Santiago “Charlie” Feliciano spent two decades working as an in-house lawyer for the Cleveland diocese. When he finally left in 2000, he had been the general counsel, Bishop Anthony Pilla’s main legal adviser, for 16 years.

Feliciano held one of the top posts in the diocese’s Financial and Legal Office. Yet, talk to Feliciano and he’ll tell you how large swaths of diocesan finance remained a mystery to him.

He paints a picture of himself as a man who was inside, but really on the outside. Someone who should have known the details of questionable schemes then being cultivated -- schemes that later mushroomed into the ugliest diocesan-level money scandal to hit American Catholicism in decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Judge drops 2 of 10 Arizona charges against Warren Jeffs

KINGMAN (AZ)
The Salt Lake Tribune

The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 03/19/2008 02:15:01 PM MDT

Posted: 2:15 PM- KINGMAN, Ariz. -- An Arizona judge has dismissed two of 10 charges against polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs at the request of the prosecuting attorney.
Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven Conn agreed Monday to dismiss one charge each of sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
The charges stemmed from the arranged marriage of a 16-year-old girl with an older Jeffs presided over the marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Jewish School’s Sex Scandal Rocks Australia

AUSTRALIA
Forward

By Dan Goldberg
Wed. Mar 19, 2008

Sydney, Australia — Australia’s tight-knit ultra-Orthodox community is being roiled by allegations that the principal of a girls’ high school molested a number of her former students.

Malka Leifer, the headmistress of Melbourne’s Adass Israel Girls’ School for the past five years, left the country within 24 hours of board members confronting her with allegations of sexual misconduct on March 4, according to school board members.

Her departure is particularly controversial due to allegations that she left with up to $100,000 borrowed from community members. A teacher at the school told the Forward that Leifer borrowed money from members of the community who were unaware of the impending furor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Priestin' Ain't Easy

DELRAY BEACH (FL)
New Times

By Amy Guthrie
Published: March 20, 2008

It all began with an anonymous letter from "a concerned parishioner."

There was a small matter of missing funds from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. Would Palm Beach County state attorney Barry Krischer care to take a look?

By then the Diocese of Palm Beach had removed the church's head pastor, 65-year-old Francis Benedict Guinan, while it tried to determine whether he and his predecessor, John Skehan, now 80, had pocketed church funds, and the parishioner feared a whitewash from the diocese.

That was three years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Priest waives evidence hearing in $880k theft case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

MARYCLAIRE DALE
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - A priest charged with stealing more than $800,000 from two Catholic institutions has waived an evidence hearing.

Prosecutors say the Rev. Charles Newman used some of the money to ply a student he allegedly molested with drugs and alcohol.

Newman is a former principal at Archbishop Ryan, the largest high school in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

City prosecutors say he stole about $330,000 from the high school and $550,000 from his religious order, the Franciscan Friars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Bishop Nikolai supporters respond to criticism

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
Disputed Alaska diocese leader Bishop Nikolai Soriach has received a lot of bad press lately, rightly deserved, his critics say.

However, slowly his supporters are standing up becoming just as vocal as his detractors.

In Kodiak, freelance writer Judy Fulp sent in a letter in support of Bishop Nikolai to the Orthodox Church’s leader, Metropolitan Herman.

“I have covered many stories about the seminary and the pilgrimage every year since Bishop Nikolai was installed,” she said. “He has been very gracious to me and many, many others in Kodiak and around Alaska. He is a good bishop and has done amazing things for Alaska and has many friends and a few enemies.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Bishop’s supporters stand by him.

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

Bishop’s supporters stand by him. A Kodiak Daily Mirror story this week notes that Bishop Nikolai Soraich’s supporters are “slowly” coming forward to back the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska. One fan quoted in the story says that the bishop, who has refused to step down from his position despite pressure from national leaders to do so, “is a good bishop and has done amazing things for Alaska and has many friends and a few enemies.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Archbishop Talks Holy Week, Politics, Fundraising Among Scandals

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

[with audio link]

By Jay Sorgi

Story Created: Mar 19, 2008

This week of course is Holy Week, the end of Lent, the time for Christians to make sacrifices in their lives.

Even as a very Irish Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan did his thing for St. Patty's Day.

When asked on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" what he did for St. Patrick's Day, Dolan stated, "none of your business," which garnered hearty laughs in the studio. ...

"With all the torture, all the scandal and the bad news that we're hearing about the church, (parishoners) still love the Church, and they still want to support it," says Dolan even during a time when they're trying to sell the Cousins Center to raise money, and Archdiocese cash is going out for legal battles regarding priest sexual abuse scandals.

That's not stopping the Archdiocese from holding its "Faith in the Future" fundraising campaign.

"It's the people's money, and we leaders in the Church have to be scrupulous about the accounting of it," admits Dolan.

So, the Archbishop says, people who give to that should know it's not going to lawyers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Oregon Court of Appeals rejects claims against archdiocese

PORTLAND (OR)
OregonLive

3/19/2008, 10:32 a.m. PDTThe Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals says there is a limit to how much responsibility the Archdiocese of Portland must take for the conduct of its priests.

The court ruled Wednesday that allegations of a single incident of sexual abuse against one Roman Catholic priest and a claim that another once masturbated in front of a teenager failed to establish liability for the archdiocese.

A man claimed that one priest, who has since died, abused him once when he was about 7. He claimed the other priest called him into his office as a freshman in high school and masturbated in front of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Jurors deliberate pedophile priest's fate

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/19/2008 2:29 PM | Updated: 3/19/2008 2:52 PM

A DuPage County jury began deliberating this afternoon in a civil trial for the first member of the clergy in Illinois to face possible commitment if deemed too dangerous to be set free.

The Rev. Fred Lenczycki, 63, was due to be paroled in May 2006 after serving part of a five-year prison term for fondling three Hinsdale altar boys decades ago. But a month earlier, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett filed a legal petition seeking to have him civilly committed under the state's sexually violent person's act.

The Roman Catholic priest has been housed since then in a secured state treatment facility in downstate Rushville, near Springfield.

A jury of seven women and five men listened to four days of mostly psychological testimony in which experts offered differing opinions about the priest's risk to re-offend. Members began deliberating about 2 p.m. today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Vicar turned in by wife after stepson discovers horrific child porn on vicarage computer

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

A senior Church of England vicar was ordered to attend a sex offenders programme today for viewing shocking internet pictures of a young girl being sexually abused by a paedophile.

Rev Paul Battersby, 58, was turned in by his wife after his 17-year old stepson spotted pornographic images on the clergyman's computer.

The former Church of England National Youth Officer typed "paedo" into a search engine so he could access sordid images titled "10 year old kiddie - she wants all kind of fun with no illusions".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Child porn vicar's suspended sentence

UNITED KINGDOM
The Blackbourne Citizen

By Sally Henfield

A former Blackburn vicar has been given a suspended prison sentence for downloading child pornography images at his vicarage.

One video viewed by the Rev Paul Battersby, 58, vicar of St Ambrose Church, Leyland, showed the brutal rape of a 10-year-old girl by her father.

Sentencing Battersby to 34 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, Judge Philip Sycamore said: "You have breached the duty of responsibility in a most disgraceful way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Diocesan sex abuse charter

ILLINOIS
The Daily Journal

Peter Sartain, bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, has written his first report in a diocesan series titled the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter is essentially a blueprint stating how to respond to sex abuse problems by clergy. Each diocese in the United States is responsible to adhere to the charter.

"The Diocese of Joliet has been found to be in full compliance with the charter since the auditing process began in 2003," Sartain writes in the charter. "Our latest audit took place in October of 2007, and once again we were found in full compliance."

To the best of his knowledge, there are no priests or deacons in the Joliet diocese with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. If anyone has knowledge that indicates otherwise, Sartain writes to contact him or his vicar general, the Rev. Joseph Tapella. Sartain invites any victims of sex abuse by a clergy member to contact the diocese's victim assistance coordinator, Barbara Jarvis Pauls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

Teacher is jailed over pupil affair

UNITED KINGDOM
Birmingham Mail

Mar 19 2008 By Jane Tyler

A MATHS teacher at a Catholic school in Birmingham has been jailed for three years for having an affair with a pupil.

David Ablett (57) had a sexual relationship with the teenage girl at Bishop Walsh Catholic Arts College and Sixth Form Centre in Sutton Coldfield, a court heard.

But their six month affair ended when the pupil's mother found out and reported him to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Polish bishop speaks on abuse accusations

POLAND
Catholic World News

Szczecin, Mar. 19, 2008 (CWNews.com) - A Polish bishop has spoken out about sex-abuse accusations that have troubled the Archdiocese of Szczecin and raised questions about a possible public inquiry.

A day after a whistle-blower Dominican priest spent several hours conferring with a prosecutor, a retired bishop offered his own perspective on the problem of sexual abuse. In an interview with the Dziennik newspaper, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek said: "Everywhere, in each society, there are deviations, which are the result of the imperfection of man."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Retired priest accused of sexual misconduct

PROVINCETOWN (MA)
Provincetown Banner

By Sally Rose
Banner Staff

A retired priest, Father Bento R. Fraga, who formerly served in Provincetown in the late 1980s and early ’90s, has been removed from the ministry after an investigation into an allegation of improper sexual conduct determined the allegation to be “credible.”

According to a press release sent out by the Fall River Diocese, the accusation is a single claim of sexual misconduct with a minor that allegedly occurred in 1979 at a private residence. At the time, Fraga was serving as pastor at Holy Ghost Parish in Attleboro.

Fraga served at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Provincetown for about five years, from 1987 to 1992. He retired in 2005 after service in Taunton. Fraga was ordained in 1956.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Expert: Pedophile priest feels true remorse for his crimes

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/19/2008 12:12 AM

The clinical psychologist has interviewed hundreds of sexual offenders, but Fred Lenczycki's remorseful response when asked about the harm he caused rang true to the skeptical professional.

He said the pedophile priest described the emotional torture his victims still likely endure as adults and, because of him, must struggle with their faith in God.

Lenczycki spoke of all the babies he baptized, the couples he married and parishioners he buried. Did his followers think it was all a lie?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

What is priest's punishment for embezzlement?

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Quinton Mtyala

March 19 2008 at 11:20AM

The Anglican priest convicted of embezzling almost R500 000 from an NGO advising disadvantaged pupils on careers, forcing it to close, has been given a slap on the wrist by his church four months after his criminal conviction.

Matt Esau, a former personal assistant to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, was convicted of misappropriating donor funds after reaching a plea-bargain agreement with Directorate of Public Prosecutions during his trial at the Cape High Court in December last year.

He was ordered to pay R100 000 to USAid and to do 104 hours community service at St George's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

St. Louis Archbishop Excommunicates Catholic Women Priests

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Huffington Post

Angela Bonavoglia

Adding to his string of interdictions, suppressions, canonical admonitions and excommunications, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke on March 14 issued an ominous written "Declaration of Excommunication" [PDF] against two St. Louis women who dared to join the arbitrarily all male, hopelessly depleting ranks of the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Ordained last November at the Central Reform Synagogue in St. Louis, these are the unlikely faces of the new schismatics. Elsie McGrath is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, with an MA in theology and 30 years of devotion to Catholic lay ministry. Rose Marie Hudson is a mother and grandmother, too, with a masters in pastoral studies from Loyola University and 12 years in prison ministry. They are part of the growing and exuberant Roman Catholic women priests' movement, which carries forward the tradition of women deacons, priests and bishops that dates back to the ancient Church.

But Archbishops Burke didn't stop there. He also excommunicated the leader of the women priests' movement, Bishop Patricia Fresen, who ordained the two. She is a former Dominican nun who lost everything--her religious community of 45 years, her home, her job and her country, South Africa--to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest, and then, a bishop. (Fresen's episcopal ordination was conferred by a Roman Catholic bishop in good standing, whose identify she and the other women have agreed to protect.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

To Archbishop Burke, Women Priests a Greater Crime Than Men Who Are Criminals

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Voice from the Desert

From Barbara Dorris via email, 3.18.2008. ...

Archbishop Raymond Burke moved quickly to excommunicate two local women who declared themselves to be ordained Catholic priests. (“Women ordained as priests are declared excommunicated,” 3/14). They weren’t criminally charged or civilly sued or deemed guilty of any crimes, nor did they admit to any. Yet over the past 20 years, we can’t recall a single other priest here who was ever excommunicated, even those clearly and repeated charged, accused, sued or deemed guilty of heinous crimes.

Not one priest who pled guilty to child sex crimes here (James Beine, Felix Bland and James A. Funke), was convicted here of child sex crimes (Bryan Kuchar, Thomas Graham and Gary Wolken), or was convicted elsewhere of sex crimes (Fred Lenczycki, Gregory Sutton, and Romano Ferraro).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Sex-abuse case naming former priest is too old

OHIO
Toledo Blade

By KATE GIAMMARISE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Accusations of abuse against a former Catholic priest have been dismissed by a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge because the statute of limitations has expired.

The lawsuit, brought under the name John Doe, was filed last year by a former Toledoan now living in Illinois.

Attorney Catherine Hoolahan, one of two attorneys representing John Doe, said she will file a motion for reconsideration with Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Doneghy within a few days and is hopeful that on appeal there will be a different outcome. Judge Doneghy ordered the dismissal last week.

The suit contended the unidentified man was sexually abused several times by Thomas Meiring, who at the time was a Catholic priest, during retreats at St. Mary's Church and rectory in Sandusky during the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

SNAP looking to use billboard, encourage victims to come forward

OHIO
Zanesville Times Recorder

Staff reports

CAMBRIDGE - Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a press conference Tuesday at the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office to urge past victims of abuse to come forward.

A former priest in the Steubenville Diocese, Father Gary Zalenski, was reported to the sheriff's office in January after a woman came forward to accuse Zalenski of abusing her as a child.

Zalenski has served as a priest and teacher at churches and schools in Guernsey and Noble counties. He was suspended from active parish duty in November 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Former choir director pleads guilty to sexual assault

LINCOLN (NE)
KPTM

Associated Press - March 18, 2008 9:45 AM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A 28-year-old former Lincoln choir director has pleaded guilty to sexual assault and child abuse.

Benjamin Truska is a former Lincoln Public Schools employee and had been the choir director for Indian Hills Community Church when he was fired in 2005 for looking at pornography on his church computer.

He was charged last fall with two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and two counts of sexual assault of a child. Police say he assaulted at least four boys between 1996 and 2006 at the church and elsewhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Deacon Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse

ROCKVILLE (MD)
WTOP

March 18, 2008 - 11:54am

Neal Augenstein, WTOP Radio

ROCKVILLE, Md. - More than 40 years after the crimes started, a former Catholic deacon admitted he abused his stepdaughter more than 60 times.

The admission from Dan Paul Stallings, 72, came in Montgomery County Circuit Court Tuesday as Stallings pleaded guilty to five counts of incest and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Prosecutor Donna Fenton told Judge S. Michael Pincus that Stallings began abusing his stepdaughter in 1963, when the girl was 8. The abuse occurred through the girl's high school years at the family's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Sex attacker escapes jail

UNITED KINGDOM
Eastbourne Today

A former school governor from Seaford who pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a thirteen-year-old boy has escaped a jail sentence.

Allan Whitty, 44, formerly of Kammond Avenue, Seaford, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years after admitting assaulting the boy in January this year.

He also made inappropriate remarks to the boy in an earlier incident, Lewes Crown Court, was told.

When the boy's parents found out what had happened and telephoned police, Whitty went to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and told staff that he had a problem and needed help.

Whitty, who was a governor of Annecy Catholic School in Seaford, had previous convictions for gross indecency in 1987 and 1991. He claimed that even though he had been married for 22 years he was a homosexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Group wants names of accused clergy published

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By TERRY LEE GOODRICH
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

A national support group for people molested by clergy is urging leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas to disclose the names of ministers reported for child molesting to protect potential victims. But convention leaders, who received the written demand Tuesday morning, said they will not publish unsubstantiated claims.

The names of those convicted are already posted on the convention's Web site, said Emily Prevost, the convention's associate coordinator of leader research.

And information on individuals who have confessed to abuse or been reported by a church for sexual misconduct is available to people holding "duly elected church offices," such as pastors, deacons and members of personnel committees, Prevost said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Groups, churches remain vigilant

SALT LAKE CITY
Desert Morning News

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

By Dennis Romboy
Deseret Morning News
Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:22 a.m. MDT

Guarding against sexual abuse has become a matter of vigilance for churches and organizations that involve children.

"It's just something we're constantly trying to get better at," said Debbie Haycock, risk manager for the Utah Youth Soccer Association.

UYSA does criminal background checks on coaches and administrators and has just implemented the policy for referees as well. It discourages coaches from driving players to and from practice. If a player needs a ride, it advises coaches to have at least one other person in the vehicle.

"It's never a one-on-one situation, ever," Haycock said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

A sudden switch

MEADVILLE (PA)
Erie Times-News

BY ED PALATTELLA
ed.palattella@timesnews.com

MEADVILLE -- In a sudden reversal, Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz has withdrawn child-corruption charges that state police filed against a former Roman Catholic priest over incidents that occurred nearly 40 years ago.

The withdrawal came six days after police filed the counts.

Schultz said he misinterpreted the law regarding the statute of limitations in having state police on March 12 charge Thomas E. Smith with fondling a boy between 1968 and 1970, when Smith was a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Charges against ex-priest dropped

PENNSYLVANIA
Meadville Tribune

By Ryan Smith

03/19/08 —
Crawford County’s district attorney said there’s evidence against a former Catholic priest accused of molesting a boy nearly 40 years ago, but the case against the man has been dropped due to an expired statute of limitations.

Francis Schultz requested Tuesday that Pennsylvania State Police withdraw corruption of children charges filed Monday against Thomas Edward Smith, 67, of 716 Innis St., Apt. 38, Oil City. The charges alleged Smith molested the boy — who is now a 50-year-old man — at a Paden Road, East Mead Township, residence over a two-year period while Smith was serving as a Catholic priest between Oct. 10, 1968, and Oct. 10, 1970.

Under state law enacted in 2007, alleged victims of abuse against children now have until age 50 to file related charges. The case against Smith was withdrawn, however, because the state’s original statute of limitations for charges to be filed had already expired and the expanded limit applies only to incidents that occurred after the new law took effect, according to the district attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

March 18, 2008

Our Sincerest Apologies to Catholic Readers...

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
March 18, 2008 5:12 PM

...For denying you the pedophile-apologist stylings of Father Christopher Heath, priest at St. Edward the Confessor in Dana Point. A faithful reader turned us on to Heath's blog today, where he reveals that Monsignor John Urell is back after skipping out to Canada for half-a-year to deal with the anxiety brought on by his pedo-protecting ways. Rather, that's the truth: Heath's spin is Urell is "healing from the horrible stress of accusations and media attention."

"Accusations and media attention," Chris? That's not what Urell said during his deposition last fall in the Jeff Andrade matter. Besides, what exactly were the accusations? That Urell shielded pedophiles? In his own writing. And media attention? If we left it up to officials at your employer, the Diocese of Orange, it would be like the good ol' days of sealed settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

If Salesians lose April 14 Jury Trial in LA, Cardinal Mahony will probably want his $21.5 million back. Will he send someone to break their legs?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
The first jury trial regarding 17 plaintiffs raped by pedophile clergy in the Salesian Religious Order comes up April 14th in LA , and I'm trying to get smart in preparation. About ten pages into the 1.5-inch thick "Plaintiffs’ Motion to Allow Discovery Relating to the Salesian Society” you can’t help but go -- “What?” In January plaintiffs won the right to pursue punitive damages against the Salesians, so now Salesian attorneys claim the Western Province has nothing at all to do with the Salesian Society in Rome, so there’s no reason to look at financial records from anything other than the California branch of the order.

City of Angels Blog readers may remember last fall when the Salesians claimed they had nothing to do with the Los Angeles Archdiocese. (See October 14, 2007 Post, "Extra: Salesian Religious Order Not Part of Catholic Church.") Last fall Salesians attorneys filed Motion in Limine #5 asking the judge to “exclude reference to The Catholic Church, the Vatican, the Pope, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or Cardinal Mahony,” in the trial then scheduled for Nov. 5, as those Catholic entities have nothing at all to do with the Salesians. Soon after that post, all the Salesian Motions in Limine from October went off calendar.

In December the LA Archdiocese paid $21.5 million to the 17 Salesian plaintiffs as part of the global settlement of the LA Clergy Cases. So now if the Salesians lose this trial in April, Roger Mahony is going to want his money back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Charges against ex-priest dropped

MEADVILLE (PA)
Meadville Tribune

March 18, 2008 —
Recently-filed charges against an Oil City man accused of molesting a 10- to 12-year-old boy nearly 40 years ago have been withdrawn.

The charges, filed Monday by Pennsylvania State Police at Meadville, alleged Thomas Edward Smith, 67, of 716 Innis St., Apt. 38 molested the boy — who is now a 50-year-old man — at a Paden Road, East Mead Township, residence over a two-year period while Smith was serving as a Catholic priest between Oct. 10, 1968, and Oct. 10, 1970.

Under state law enacted in 2006, alleged victims of clergy abuse now have until age 50 to report their allegations. The case was withdrawn, however, because the original two-year statute of limitions in effect during the period in question had already expired, said Francis Schultz, Crawford County district attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Crawford County DA drops old charges against ex-priest

MEADVILLE (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

The Associated Press

MEADVILLE, Pa. - The Crawford County district attorney has dropped molestation charges against a former Catholic priest because the prosecutor says he misinterpreted a recent law expanding the statute of limitations for such crimes.

District Attorney Francis Schultz says he was wrong to file corruption of minors charges against 67-year-old Thomas E. Smith of Oil City, for allegedly fondling a boy four times between 1968 and 1970.

In filing the charges last week, Schultz cited a law that took effect last year that extends the statute of limitations until the alleged victim turns 50.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Charges withdrawn against ex-priest

MEADVILLE (PA)
Erie Times-News

MEADVILLE -- In an abrupt reversal, Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz today said he is withdrawing child-corruption charges that state police filed against a former Roman Catholic priest over incidents that occurred nearly 40 years ago.

Schultz said he misinterpreted the law regarding the statute of limitations in having state police file charges against Thomas E. Smith on Wednesday.

"I made a mistake in applying the statute of limitations in the case," Schultz said today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

SNAP continues local efforts

CAMBRIDGE (OH)
Zanesville Times Recorder

Staff reports

CAMBRIDGE — Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a press conference Tuesday at the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office to urge past victims of abuse to come forward.

A former priest in the Steubenville Diocese, Fr. Gary Zalenski, was reported to the sheriff’s office in January after a woman came forward to accuse Zalenski of abusing her as a child.

Zalenski has served as a priest and teacher at churches and schools in Guernsey and Noble counties. He was suspended from active parish duty in Nov. 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Appeals court revives man's sexual-abuse lawsuit

MOUNT VERNON (IL)
WTHI

Associated Press - March 18, 2008 11:54 AM ET

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) - An attorney for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville says it will appeal an appellate court's decision to revive an Illinois man's sexual-abuse lawsuit against that diocese and two others.

A trial judge threw out the lawsuit by 37-year-old Christopher Amenn in 2006, ruling that the O'Fallon man waited too long to file it in 2003 over abuse he says the Reverend Kenneth Roberts inflicted on him in 1984.

Amenn says he didn't understand the harm he suffered until he sought counseling in the late 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Polish priest gives evidence on sex-abuse charges

POLAND
Catholic World News

Szczecin, Mar. 18, 2008 (CWNews.com) - A Polish prosecutor in Szczecin spent 4 hours interviewing a whistle-blower priest on Monday, March 17, seeking information about allegations of sexual abuse at a home for children there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Maryknoll has a new leader

HAWAII
Honolulu Advertiser

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Perry K. Martin, who has been guiding the Archdiocese of Portland through the first bankruptcy ever declared by a Roman Catholic diocese, following a priest sex abuse scandal, will take over as president of Maryknoll School on July 1.

Maryknoll officials yesterday said the school's board of directors selected Martin to succeed retiring president Mike Baker.

Martin is the principal of Marist Catholic High School in Eugene, Ore., and has been performing the duties of president of the school, a property of the Archdiocese of Portland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Burke declares two more St. Stan's board members excommunicated

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

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/18/2008

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has declared the two new lay board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka church excommunicated.

Bernice Krauze, 65, of St. Louis, and Stan Rozanski, 60, of south St. Louis County, received declarations of their excommunications, delivered by courier, Thursday night.

In the declaration, Burke said each was "guilty of having committed the canonical crime of schism" and that they had excommunicated themselves from the Roman Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Psychologist says priest is unable to control urges

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/18/2008

In their interview, the Rev. Fred Lenczycki told a clinical psychologist that he knew fondling boys was wrong, but that he couldn't help himself.

The psychologist testified Monday that it's his opinion the 63-year-old disgraced priest still can't control his sexually violent urges.

Ray Quackenbush is the second state-hired expert to tell a DuPage County jury that Lenczycki because of a pedophilic disorder is predisposed to reoffend and should remain in a treatment facility rather than be set free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Retired city priest faces sexual misconduct claims

ATTLEBORO (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

[with link to a letter to parishioners of Holy Ghost Church from Bishop George Coleman]

BY JIM HAND AND GEORGE W. RHODES SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 12:55 AM EDT

ATTLEBORO - A retired priest who was stationed at Holy Ghost Church in the 1970s has been stripped of his authority to minister following allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor, the Fall River Diocese announced Monday.

The allegations against Rev. Bento Fraga have also been referred to the district attorney for Cape Cod and the Islands.

The diocese said Fraga has denied the allegations, but a review board found them credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Ex-priest charged in old molestation case in Crawford County

MEADVILLE (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

The Associated Press

MEADVILLE, Pa. - A former Catholic priest has been charged by state police under a recent law that expanded the statute of limitations for cases involving child molestation.

The former priest, 67-year-old Thomas E. Smith of Oil City, is charged with corruption of minors for allegedly fondling a boy four times between 1968 and 1970.

The former law prevented police from prosecuting people once their accusers turned 30. A new law that took effect last year lets police bring charges until the alleged victim turns 50. Police filed the charges in this case two days before the alleged victim turned 50.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Several area priests call for bishop's resignation

BELLEVILLE (IL)
The Southern

BY ADAM TESTA, THE SOUTHERN
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 7:15 AM CDT
BELLEVILLE - The list of 46 priests calling for the resignation of Bishop Edward Braxton of the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, released Monday, includes several names from Southern Illinois.

Church leaders cite misappropriation of funds and a lack of transparency as the reasoning behind their call for Braxton to step down from his position.

Two months ago, the bishop publicly apologized for spending about $18,000 of restricted funds, which he later repaid with a "secured gift," according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Group backs priests' stand on Braxton; names of those calling for resignation are released

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Voice of the Faithful, a national Catholic lay organization, has issued a statement supporting 46 Belleville Diocese priests who have asked Bishop Edward K. Braxton to resign.

A list of the 39 active and seven retired priests was made public Monday. Their letter calling for Braxton to step down because of misuse of donated funds and failure to communicate with priests was made public Friday.

The Rev. Jerry Wirth, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Olney and head of the diocese's Prebyteral Council, was one of the 46 signers and released the list of names to media. He said he will not comment further until after Easter.

John Ryan, chairman of Voice of the Faithful's National Priest Support Working Group, called the priests courageous in a written statement issued Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

In appeal, attorney blasts 24-year delay in priest's case

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

Associated Press - March 18, 2008 7:35 AM ET

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The attorney appealing a Toledo priest's conviction for murdering a nun has told a panel of state appeals court judges that Rev. Gerald Robinson did not get a fair trial two years ago, primarily because his arrest came too long after the killing.

Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found dead over Easter weekend of 1980 in the chapel of Mercy Hospital near downtown Toledo. Lawyer John Donahue argued Monday that the case was not handled properly to begin with. He says if it had been, Robinson would not have been convicted.

The priest was not in court. He was arrested in April 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Former P'town priest removed from ministry

FALL RIVER (MA)
Cape Cod Times

By Karen Jeffrey
STAFF WRITER
March 17, 2008
FALL RIVER – A priest who spent five years at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Provincetown has been removed from the ministry following an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse, according to the Diocese of Fall River.

The Rev. Bento R. Fraga denied the allegation, but an investigation by the Diocesan Review Board found it to be credible. According to an announcement by the Diocese, the alleged abuse occurred in 1979 at a private residence.

Fraga, who first came to Provincetown in 1987, moved to St. Paulo Parish in Taunton where he served as pastor until his retirement in 2005 at the age of 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Ex-priest charged with child sex abuse in landmark case

MEADVILLE (PA)
Erie Times-News

BY ED PALATTELLA
ed.palattella@timesnews.com [more details]

MEADVILLE -- An ex-priest in the Catholic Diocese of Erie has been charged with fondling a boy nearly 40 years ago in what is believed to be the first criminal case of its kind in the state.

The boy was between 10 and 12 years old at the time. State police were able to file charges against the former cleric, Thomas E. Smith, because of a 2006 Pennsylvania law that expanded the statute of limitations in the prosecution of sexual-abuse cases involving children.

The previous law limited the prosecution of sex crimes to the date when the victim turned 30. The new law, passed partly in response to the Roman Catholic priest child sex-abuse scandal, extends the prosecution of sex crimes to the date when the victim turns 50.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Priest's appeal in nun's death heard by panel

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

Defense and prosecuting attorneys gave oral arguments yesterday in Toledo priest Gerald Robinson's appeal of his 2006 conviction for the 1980 murder of a nun.

John Donahue of Perrysburg, representing the 69-year-old Catholic priest, argued before a three-judge panel of the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals that his client was denied a fair trial for several reasons, most notably the 24-year gap between the nun's murder and the priest's arrest.

"Have you ever seen anything like this case?" Mr. Donahue asked Judges Mark Pietrykowski, Peter Handwork, and William Skow.

He cited "the quarter-century delay" before charges were filed; the "pervasive" media coverage of the trial; the national clerical sexual abuse scandal's impact on the case, and the state's references that Sister Margaret Ann Pahl may have been murdered in an occult ritual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Retired priest removed from ministry after ’credible’ allegation

FALL RIVER (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

FALL RIVER - A retired priest who worked for more than 50 years in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River has been removed from ministry following an allegation of sexual abuse.

No criminal charges have been filed against the Rev. Bento Fraga, and the priest has denied the allegation.

Diocesan spokesman John Kearns says the complaint involved a minor and occurred nearly 30 years at a private residence in Taunton. Kearns says the allegation first surfaced in January and a probe by a review board found it to be credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 AM

Retired city priest accused of abuse

TAUNTON (MA)
Taunton Daily Gazette

By Staff reports
GateHouse News Service
Posted Mar 17, 2008 @ 11:10 PM

TAUNTON — A popular retired priest who ministered in Taunton for years has been stripped of his affiliation with the Catholic Church, the Diocese of Fall River announced today. Rev. Bento Fraga is accused of an improper sexual conduct with a minor nearly 30 years ago, according to a release from the Diocese.
He was removed from ministry in accordance with the Diosese’s and U.S. Bishops’ regulations.
Fraga can no longer perform duties or live at St. Anthony’s Rectory, where he’d been residing since his 2005 retirement, marking the end of a nearly 50-year priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 AM

Former New Bedford pastor removed from ministry amid sex probe

FALL RIVER (MA)
SouthCoast Today

By KAREN JEFFREY
Cape Cod Times staff writer
March 18, 2008 6:00 AM
FALL RIVER — A Catholic priest who served as pastor of a New Bedford church i n the mid-1980s has been removed from the ministry after an investigation into alleged sexual abuse in Taunton 29 years ago.

No criminal charges have been filed against the Rev. Bento R. Fraga, but notice of allegation has been sent to district attorneys in Barnstable and Bristol counties, where Fraga served in churches from 1956 to 2006.

Fraga worked in the Fall River diocese more than 50 years. He was pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in New Bedford from 1985 to 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 AM

March 17, 2008

Father Robinson Appeal

TOLEDO (OH)
WTVG

WTVG -- Fr. Robinson's attorney is fighting to have his conviction overturned, and the case went before the 6th District Court of Appeals today.
The Father Gerald Robinson murder case was back in a courtroom today. His attorney is fighting to have his conviction overturned, and today both sides argued their cases before the 6th District Court of Appeals.
There were more than 2 decades between the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl and the conviction of Father Gerald Robinson, and that time lapse is one of the arguments presented here at the Court of Appeals today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 PM

Priest qualifies for confinement, jury told

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
7:42 PM CDT, March 17, 2008

A second psychologist testified Monday that Rev. Fred Lenczycki qualifies to be incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

Lenczycki was convicted in 2004 of molesting three Hinsdale Catholic school boys and was sentenced to five years in prison. In 2006, shortly before he was due for parole, authorities invoked the law that allows prosecutors to seek continued civil commitment of sex offenders who they believe will reoffend.

Lenczycki, 63, could become the first Illinois clergy member to be considered a sexually violent person under the state law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 PM

Retired priest is removed from ministry

ATTLEBORO (MA)
Providence Journal

01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Rev. Bento R. Fraga, who allegedly committed sexual misconduct with a child while he was a pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in Attleboro in 1979, has been removed from the ministry, the Diocese of Fall River said yesterday in a news release. Father Fraga is retired.

“After a full investigation, although Father Fraga has denied the allegation, [the diocesan review board] has determined that the allegation is credible,” the statement said.

The statement did not go into specifics of the allegations, but said it was a “single claim of sexual misconduct with a minor.” The diocese said it has reported the allegation to the Barnstable County District Attorney’s office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 PM

Priest Abuse Allegations

ATTLEBORO (MA)
WPRI

Attleboro, M.A. - (WPRI) -- Priest abuse allegations. Father Bento Fraga has been removed from ministry following an investigation of an allegation of improper sexual misconduct dating back to the late 1970s.

A formal an investigation was launched 2 months ago after someone came forward accusing the retired priest of sexual misconduct. For years Father Bento Fraga served as pastor of the Holy Ghost Church in Attleboro.

Barnstable County District Attorney is now investigating. The diocese won't say if the alleged victim is male or female. But they believe at this point, it was an isolated incident though Fraga had retired from his pastoral duties back in 2005 he was still assisting with mass and living at Saint Anthony's Parish in Taunton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Lawyers argue imprisoned Toledo priest needs new trial

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

[with video]

TOLEDO -- We could know in the next few months if a Toledo priest convicted of murder will receive a new trial.

Fr. Gerald Robinson's lawyers are working on an appeal, saying the original jury did not hear the full story, which indicates another killer, reports News 11's Lisa Rantala.

For 15 minutes straight, Robinson's attorney explained why his client is innocent and gave the name of another priest he said really killed Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl. Pahl was killed the day before Easter in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Former Somerset preist removed after abuse alleged

SOMERSET (MA)
Wicked Local

By Will Richmond
Mon Mar 17, 2008, 05:47 PM EDT

Fall River - A retired priest who once worked in Somerset has been removed from the ministry following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against him, the Diocese of Fall River announced Monday.
The diocese announced Monday the Rev. Bento R. Fraga was removed after it determined an allegation brought against him in January was credible. Fraga is accused of a single claim of sexual misconduct at a private residence in 1979, when Fraga served as pastor at Holy Ghost Parish in Attleboro.
Following the accusation, the matter was turned over to the diocese’s Review Board, which conducted a full investigation. Fraga denied the charge, but the veteran clergy member was removed, as required by diocesan policy and the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Priests who asked Braxton to resign are identified

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
gpawlaczyk@bnd.com

The names of 46 priests who signed a letter asking Belleville Bishop Edward K. Braxton to resign were released today.

On Friday, the priests, who represent more than 60 percent of the active priests in the diocese, asked Braxton to step down, "...for his own good, for the good of the diocese and for the good of the presbyterate," or priests.

Braxton was criticized for misusing about $17,100 in restricted funds he used to buy new ceremonial garments and new office furniture and for not communicating with priests. Regarding the misuse of funds, he publicly apologized and said the money will be repaid from other funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Child abuse: Sins of the Fathers?

POLAND
Warsaw Business Journal

by John Young

The Catholic Church in Poland is facing another child-abuse scandal

A new child-abuse scandal rocked the Catholic Church last week. Daily Gazeta Wyborcza first reported claims of four former children from the St. Brother Albert shelter in Szczecin, who accused priest Andrzej, a helper at the shelter, of sexual harassment, psychological abuse and rape.

All major dailies covered the incidents last week. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, the Church authorities in Szczecin were informed of the situation in 1995 but did not act on it for years. "The youngest of the children was, at the time, 13 years old," said Father Mogielski, who learned of the issue in 2003 and filed a report with the Church. The prosecutor in Szczecin is investigating the matter, while Father Andrzej has denied all accusations. The Church removed him from his duties as an educator in 2007.

This is not the first time the Church has been accused of ignoring reports of priests abusing minors. In March of last year, Archbishop Stanisław Wielgus of the Diocese of Płock came under attack, alongside other diocese officials, following claims that they had known about priests abusing minors for at least six years, but had failed to intervene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Retired city priest removed from ministry following abuse allegation

ATTLEBORO (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

Monday, March 17, 2008 11:51 AM EDT

ATTLEBORO - A retired priest from Holy Ghost Church in Attleboro has been removed from the ministry following allegations of improper sexual assault dating back to the late 1970s, the Diocese of Fall River announced today.

The Rev. Bento R. Fraga has denied the allegations, but in accordance with diocesan and U.S. bishops' policy he has been stripped of church "faculties."

That means he is not allowed to minister as a priest, live in housing affiliated with a parish or live at a priests' retirement facility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Tolle: 'I think the church loses its great value to society by getting entangled in laws'

CALIFORNIA
LA Daily News

By Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/16/2008 10:14:54 PM PDT

Keep atheists out of the Oval Office. Put God above yourself. Help the disenfranchised any way you can.

That's part of the evangelical message the Rev. Jim Tolle preaches - in English and Spanish - to thousands of parishioners every Sunday at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys. ...

Q: Surely your numbers have benefited from the fact that the U.S. Catholic Church is emerging from one of the most costly and embarrassing chapters in its history. Do you think some former Catholics have joined your congregation because of the sexual-abuse scandal?

A: I would say a minuscule, a small amount. ... A true Catholic loves his or her church and can see the difference between those that study the faith wrongly and the true essence of the Christian faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Healing from crushing native wounds

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By ANDREW HANON

Ray Harris is working hard to repair his relationship with his adult children.

The 64-year-old is also determined not to repeat with his grandchildren the mistakes he made with his kids.

"I go skating with them, go sledding, I go to hockey tournaments," he says. "We have a lot of fun together. I'm much more patient than I used to be."

When he was raising his own children, it was a different story. Harsh, strict, unyielding - he raised them the way he was raised in native residential school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Protest over native school victims disrupts worship

CANADA
Toronto Star

Mar 17, 2008 04:30 AM
Ashante Infantry
Staff Reporter

A small but determined group of protesters interrupted Palm Sunday services at St. Michael's Cathedral yesterday to demand national religious institutions disclose the burial sites of children who died at Indian residential schools.

"We come with heavy hearts because the spirits and bodies of more than 50,000 innocent aboriginal children who were abducted from their homes ... did not survive the tortures inflicted upon them during a 100-year reign of terror," said Carrie Lester, 47, reading from a prepared statement.

Lester was one of seven members of Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared: Indian Residential School Survivors and Victims who crashed the standing-room-only gathering just after 1 p.m. Wearing white sweatshirts splattered with mock bloodstains, three of them, including Lester, unfurled a banner in the midst of the church near Shuter and Bond Sts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Former FBI agent helping Catholic church protect kids

RAPID CITY (SD)
Rapid City Journal

By Kayla Gahagan, Journal staff Monday, March 17, 2008

Through her work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Walt Disney Co. and the Catholic church, Kathleen McChesney said she has seen the best and worst in people.

All it takes is a little bit of grace to cultivate more of the good, she told a packed room at the annual Catholic Social Services Palm Sunday Brunch at the Ramkota Hotel.

The brunch, themed "Amazing Grace," was one of two annual fundraisers for the CSS, which provides social services to the community.

McChesney spent 24 years with the FBI, where she retired as Executive Director for Law Enforcement Services - the third highest position in the organization - before retiring to serve as the Executive Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2002 to 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Wisconsin: Justice bows out of clergy-abuse cases

WISCONSIN
Telegraph Herald

By The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has recused himself from the two cases on the docket this session that involve the Catholic Church and allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

The quiet withdrawals this month followed reports that he declined to prosecute a priest accused of child molestation while District Attorney in Outagamie County in the 1970s.

The priest was convicted of the charges 25 years later.

Prosser's seat was empty when justices gathered to hear the second case, Hornback v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Diocese of Madison. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson said Prosser would not be participating in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

“Painful and difficult process”

STOCKTON (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Another priest once accused of sexual misconduct has been cleared of wrongdoing and reinstated to active ministry. The decision by Bishop Stephen Blaire of the Diocese of Stockton marks the second time in less than a month that a California bishop has exonerated and reinstated an accused priest. On Feb. 23, Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron made a similar finding regarding a priest of that diocese.

On Friday, March 14, Bishop Blaire released a statement to the press announcing his decision to reinstate Fr. Michael Kelly, pastor of St. Joaquim’s parish in Lockeford since 2004. Fr. Kelly was accused in September 2007 of molesting a 10-year-old boy more than 20 years ago. The alleged wrongdoing supposedly occurred between 1984 and 1986 when Fr. Kelly was assigned to the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

“We investigated as thoroughly as possible under these circumstances,” Bishop Blaire said in the statement. “A professional investigator was engaged by the Diocese. His investigation did not reveal any evidence of sexual abuse on the part of Father Kelly. After discussing the matter carefully with the Diocesan Review Board, I have made the decision to restore Father Kelly to active priestly ministry in the Diocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Approaching abuse cases

WISCONSIN
The Capital Times

An editorial — 3/17/2008 6:10 am

State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser needed to recuse himself from two cases involving the Catholic Church and allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

At issue was the fact that, when serving as Outagamie County district attorney in the 1970s, Prosser declined to prosecute a priest accused of child molestation.

Almost three decades later, the priest who was given a pass by Prosser was convicted on the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

March 16, 2008

Priest-abuse suit can be heard, Illinois appeals court rules

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Michael Higgins | TRIBUNE REPORTER
March 17, 2008

In a decision that may aid victims of childhood sexual abuse, an Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that an Illinois man who waited 19 years to sue a priest over alleged sexual abuse can have his day in court.

Christopher Amenn, 37, of O'Fallon, Ill. -- whose suit was thrown out by a trial judge in 2006 -- said Friday that he was pleased with the ruling.

"I was glad to see that it finally looks like there's going to be some accountability," said Amenn, a firefighter near St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Man pleads not guilty to sex charges

LEXINGTON (KY)
The Richmond Register

By Bryan Marshall
Register News Writer

LEXINGTON — A 39-year-old Greensburg man pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to using a computer to entice a 14-year-old Madison County girl to engage in sexual activity.

Timothy Scott Richerson was detained after a hearing at which a Kentucky State Police detective testified that the victim met Richerson on one of his MySpace pages where he represented himself as a 16-year-old male.

Richerson, a former youth minister at Freedom Baptist Church in Campbellsville, allegedly communicated with the victim via computer and telephone during the summer of 2007, and in September, he traveled to the victim’s residence in Madison County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Executing child molesters shouldn't be our top priority

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

By BARBARA DORRIS
SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD

I was sexually abused as a child. I work for a support group for abuse victims. So you might think I support Mississippi lawmakers who want to see some child molesters be executed. You'd be wrong.

Legislation to send some child predators to their death passed the Mississippi State Senate last week. It may sound like a good move at first glance. But I'm convinced it is at best a distraction and at worst a step backward.

Only 10 percent of all child molesters are ever brought to court. Ninety percent of sex offenders walk free among unsuspecting neighbors, family, friends and co-workers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Former Boca church youth director pleads no contest to sex charge

BOCA RATON (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By DWAYNE ROBINSON
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A priest who resigned as a youth director of a Boca Raton church last year after he was charged with soliciting sex pleaded no contest to the allegations Thursday.

The Rev. Michael Royce Penland, 47, will not go to jail as a result of the June 28 charge of soliciting sex from an undercover male officer in a park restroom in Waynesville, N.C., his attorney said.

"I think he's relieved it's over," North Carolina attorney Albert Marvin Messer said. The court did not issue a judgment of guilty or not guilty, Messer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Rod Dreher: A change in belief

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

Truth is subjectivity

There was a time when I thought nothing could change my mind about the Roman Catholic Church, of which I was a staunch and intellectually convinced communicant.

And then, in 2001, Father Tom Doyle, the Catholic priest who has crusaded for clerical sex-abuse victims, told me that I'd better be careful if I pursued the abuse story further. "It will take you places darker than you can imagine," he warned.

He was right, but as a journalist and a Catholic, I believed I had a moral obligation to go there. Four years later, I came out the other end of the dark cave he'd warned me about. My faith in Catholicism had been shattered. I left the Catholic Church but remained a Christian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Ex-music minister in Alabama charged with Maryland sex crime

HOOVER (AL)
al.com

3/15/2008, 1:13 p.m. CDT
The Associated Press

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — A man facing child abuse and sex offense charges in Maryland has resigned after more than six years as music minister at the 1,700-member Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover.

Timothy Mann, 46, who was arrested Thursday morning in Hoover, was being held in the Jefferson County Jail, awaiting extradition to Maryland. A warrant issued Tuesday in Montgomery County, Md., shows Mann is charged with child abuse and a third-degree sex offense, Hoover police Capt. Jim Coker said.

Officer Melanie Hadley of the Montgomery County Police Department said she could not release details on the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

For closed parish, a prayer answered

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Tania deLuzuriaga
Globe Staff / March 16, 2008

Every Holy Week for the past three years, parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel have stayed true to the traditions of their 103-year-old church, passing out palms, shrouding the saints' statues on the altar, and setting up the large wooden cross on which they place candles in memory of loved ones. The only thing missing was a priest.

But this year will be different.

Bishop Robert Hennessey will say Easter Mass at the East Boston church next Sunday, marking the first time since the parish went into vigil in October 2004 that the church has hosted a Holy Week Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

March 15, 2008

Prosser recuses himself from 2 cases involving Catholic Church

WISCONSIN
WBAY

Associated Press - March 15, 2008 1:35 PM ET

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has recused himself from the two cases on the docket this session that involve the Catholic Church and allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

The quiet withdrawals this month followed reports that he declined to prosecute a priest accused of child molestation while District Attorney in Outagamie County in the 1970s.

The priest was convicted of the charges almost 30 years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Female principal at Jewish school stood down over claims of inappropriate conduct

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Broadcast: 15/03/2008

Reporter: Conor Duffy

The female principal of a private orthodox Jewish girls school has returned to Israel 24 hours after being accused of inappropriate conduct with students.

Transcript
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: The principal of an Orthodox Jewish girls' school in Melbourne has been stood down after being accused of inappropriate conduct with students.

The president of the Adass Israel Congregation has confirmed that the allegations are being investigated and says the principal left the country 24 hours after the accusation was made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Baker could be paroled Aug 2011, another early release, one of many patterns we see over and over in Sex Crimes in the Catholic Church

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Michael Stephen Baker will be eligible for parole August 18, 2011. He’s at California Correctional Institution, Tahachapee, but is subject to transfer at any time, or he could stay there for the next three and a half years. Baker’s sentence December 3, 2007, was 8 and a half years. In California there is no parole hearing where victims can speak unless the convict had a life sentence but you can send Victim Impact Statements to Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services, PO 942883, Sacramento, California, 94283-0001. Refer to his CDC # F96146, and his birth date, which is 12/26/1947.

Like most convicted predator priests, Baker will serve half his term because every day that he shows “good behavior” in prison is a day taken away from his sentence. Baker as an LA priest managed to assault dozens of boys while convincing parents, other priests, and hierarchy that he was innocent. Who is more equipped to work the system to get the maximum time off for “good behavior” than a predator Catholic priest? Once again the pedophile manipulates the justice system in its favor and DA’s, judges, attorneys, everyone just shrugs.

I’m starting to take note of patterns we've seen in sex predator priest crimes as the stories come out through documents. One is Church Attorney techniques: Postpone, avoid and do whatever you can to keep the plaintiffs from getting discovery. Usually this goes on right up to the week before a trial. Then days before the trial they settle. So depositions of hierarchy never take place although they are subpoenaed over and over again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Prete pedofilo condannato in Germania a tre anni di carcere

GERMANY
RaiNews

L'ex parroco di Riekofen, un piccolo villaggio della Baviera (Sud della Germania), è stato condannato oggi a tre anni di reclusione per avere abusato sessualmente di un chierichetto dal 2003 al 2007.

[translation]

Pedophile priest sentenced in Germany to three years of jail
The minor victim of the abuses is now 15 years old

The former parish priest of Riekofen, a little village of Bavaria (South of Germany), was today sentenced to three years of jail for having sexually abused an altar boy in the period between 2003 and 2007.

The clergyman, forty-years-old, was found guilty of having abused the child, who was 11-years-old in the period of the first attack, which were repeated for 22 times. In addition to jail time, the sentence provides for a period of stay in a clinic for psychiatric treatment.

The priest was arrested on August 30, 2007, but in the year 2000 had been sentenced to one year of jail for sexual abuses on children and notwithstanding that he was afterwards made a parish priest again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

BREAKING: Lawyers Against Kolko Seek Additional Victims; Trial Set For March 31

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston
Special to the Jewish Week

Lawyers representing "several men" and "two young boys" who were allegedly sexually molested by a teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn sent a letter March 13 to the families of more than 600 male students who had Rabbi Yehuda Kolko as an instructor.

The letter, from attorneys Jeffrey Herman and Michael Dowd, is "seeking any information that may be helpful to these important cases, including information that staff at Torah Temimah and/or [founder and head of school] Rabbi [Lipa] Margulies was aware of allegations against Rabbi Kolko."

According to the letter, "Two of the boys allege they were abused by Rabbi Kolko while attending the yeshiva during the past few years. Others allege they were abused by Rabbi Kolko at the yeshiva during the 1980s."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Stockton Diocese reinstates priest to duties in Lockeford

STOCKTON (CA)
Lodi News-Sentinel

By News-Sentinel Staff
Updated: Saturday, March 15, 2008 7:18 AM PDT

Father Michael Kelly has been reinstated to his post as priest at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Lockeford after an investigation by the Stockton Diocese found no evidence of sexual abuse by Kelly.

Kelly had been on paid administrative leave since October 2007, when a 33-year-old man claimed he had been abused by Kelly sometime between 1984 and 1986.

In a statement released Friday, Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire said the diocese "investigated as thoroughly as possible" but found no evidence to support the abuse claim.

The attorney representing the alleged victim, however, is not backing down from those claims and questioned the thoroughness of the church's investigation.

"If people believe Bishop Blaire is qualified to investigate sex abuse, then they would probably believe Saddam Hussein is qualified to investigate sex abuse," said Attorney John Manley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Prosecutors: Priest doesn't deserve prison delay

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Donna Porstner
Staff Writer

Published March 15 2008

Federal prosecutors say the former pastor of a Darien church doesn't deserve to stay out of jail another six months because he's shown no remorse and no proof he can't receive cancer treatment behind bars.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who was convicted of stealing $1 million from St. John Roman Catholic Church from 1999 to 2006, filed a motion this week seeking to postpone the date he reports to jail, now scheduled for April 2.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton sentenced Fay to 37 months in jail, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to repay the parish $1 million restitution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Accused priest is reinstated

STOCKTON (CA)
Modesto Bee

[with statement from Bishop Stephen Blaire]

By KEN CARLSON
kcarlson@modbee.com

last updated: March 15, 2008 02:59:21 AM

The Rev. Michael Kelly was reinstated Friday as pastor of a church in Lockeford after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton found no basis for an allegation that he sexually abused a child in 1984.

Kelly, 58, a well-known priest who has served at parishes in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties over 35 years, was placed on administrative leave in September while the diocese investigated the charge.

Although the bishop cleared Kelly of wrongdoing, the attorney for the man who leveled the charge said he will file a lawsuit. Kelly returned to his duties at St. Joachim's Catholic Church on Friday morning and is expected to say Mass and oversee a St. Patrick's celebration Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Hearing to commit priest convicted of sexual assault begins

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
March 15, 2008

As opening statements in his civil commitment hearing began Friday with explicit details of his sexual abuse of more than a dozen young boys, Rev. Fred Lenczycki silently bowed his head.

"A leopard doesn't change its spots," said Illinois Assistant Atty. Gen. Michael Kress, who addressed the DuPage County jury in his effort to make Lenczycki the first member of the clergy in Illinois to be incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

"A man who doesn't learn from his history is doomed to repeat it," Kress said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

45 priests call for Braxton's resignation

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

[with link to the priests' statement]

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Most of the priests of the Belleville Diocese want Bishop Edward K. Braxton to resign.

They told him so in a strongly worded letter made public Friday that claimed the leader of Southern Illinois' Roman Catholics has lost the "moral authority to lead and govern."

The one-page statement, sent electronically to media at noon, was signed by 45 priests, or about 60 percent of those regularly assigned to the diocese. It was delivered to Vicar General the Rev. John McEvilly on Thursday and presumably forwarded to Braxton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 AM

Youth ministries director gets 1 year in prison

BOULDER (CO)
Longmont Times-Call

BOULDER — A former church worker accused of having a sexual relationship with a teen in his charge accepted a plea deal Friday that will send him to prison for a year.

Peter Kim, 40, pleaded guilty to violating bail bond conditions, sexual exploitation of a child, and attempted sexual assault by a person in a position of trust. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped several additional charges.

Kim was the director of youth ministries at Longmont’s Central Presbyterian Church and the girl was a member of the youth ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 AM

Lawsuit settled in sex-abuse case

NASHUA (NH)
Nashua Telegraph

By ANDREW WOLFE Telegraph Staff
awolfe@nashuatelegraph.com
NASHUA – The New Hampshire Conference United Church of Christ has settled a lawsuit by a Nashua-area man who claimed a church camp counselor sexually abused him, court records show.

The lawsuit was filed anonymously against the church and the counselor, Jonathan Tanguay of North Conway, in the fall of 2006 in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Lawyers for both sides had been slinging paper, arguing over whether a judge should dismiss the case on legal grounds, when they reached a settlement March 7, court records show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 AM

Fugitive Sacramento priest accused in sex case arrested in Mexico

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza - jgarza@sacbee.com
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, March 15, 2008
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A1

A fugitive Sacramento priest, who fled the country 17 years ago after allegations he sexually abused two young girls, has been arrested in Mexico and may soon be extradited to the United States.

Gerardo Beltran, 50, is charged with four counts of child molestation occurring between 1989 and 1991 and involving two victims, according to a press release issued by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office late Friday.

Beltran, who started serving in the diocese in 1982, disappeared in 1991 after Sacramento police began investigating allegations that he abused two former child parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 AM

Sexual assault case may involve multiple victims

ARKANSAS
Northwest Arkansas Times

BY KATE WARD Northwest Arkansas Times

Posted on Friday, March 14, 2008

Fayetteville police are seeking additional victims who may be linked with an area youth minister accused of sexual assault.

Keith Daniel Kiger, 31, of ®94 U. S. 71 South in Winslow, was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of first-degree sexual assault.

"We're focusing the rest of our investigation on finding any additional victims," Detective David Williams said. "If there are any, we plan to seek them out and get statements."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 AM

Prosecutors: Priest Should Remain Jailed

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC 5

[with video]

CHICAGO -- DuPage County prosecutors said Friday that a suburban priest still poses a threat to the community, and should remain imprisoned.

NBC5's Alex Perez reported that jurors spent the day listening to a clinical psychologist testify in the trial of Fred Lenczycki. The psychologist, who evaluated Lenczycki, described the 63-year-old priest as a pedophile who had a hard time controlling his urges. The clinical psychologist said she did not believe Lenczycki had enough treatment to stop his pattern of abusing boys.

Prosecutors argued that Lenczycki is a threat, and should remain jailed under a special monitoring program, even though he has served his time, and is eligible for parole.

This is the first time prosecutors are evoking the law, which was passed in 1998.

"He's a shrewd serial predator," said Barbara Blaine of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "We know that he engaged in extremely bizarre behaviors with children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 AM

Diocese announces new school in Cranston; will close St. Leo’s

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, March 15, 2008

By Richard C. Dujardin
Journal Religion Writer

PROVIDENCE — As it announced plans for a new Catholic school in Cranston and granted reprieves to two schools that were in danger of closing, the Diocese of Providence disclosed yesterday that another school, St. Leo’s in Pawtucket, will close at the end of the school year.

The moves — coming just a day after Bishop Thomas J. Tobin joined with Governor Carcieri at the State House in a celebration of Catholic education — helped to underscore the depth of the challenges facing Catholic schools here and elsewhere.

Sheila Durante, superintendent of Catholic schools, said unlike a half-century ago when a cadre of religious order sisters and brothers taught in Catholic schools at very little pay, today’s Catholic schools, with primarily lay faculties, must pay higher wages and much higher health-care costs, putting tuition out of reach for an increasing number of families. ...

Durante said she does not believe that the church’s sexual-abuse scandal was a factor in the more recent decline, saying she believes it has more to do with demographics and economics. She believes those two factors have particularly hampered the growth in Rhode Island’s cities such as Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

Investigation exonerates former Sonora priest

STOCKTON (CA)
The Union Democrat

Published: March 14, 2008

By TERESA CHEBUHAR
The Union Democrat

The Rev. Michael Kelly was back at work at 9 a.m. today, after being exonerated by the Diocese of Stockton following an investigation of sex-abuse allegations.

It is not immediately known if Kelly, removed from his priestly duties last September, will assume his former role as pastor of St. Joachim in Lockeford, said Sister Terry Davis, director of communications for the Diocese of Stockton.

"I'm glad to hear that (about Kelly)," said Leon Casas Jr., parish administrator at St. Patrick's Church in Sonora where Father Kelly served for 10 years as pastor. "I'm supportive of the reinstatement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 AM

San Joaquin County priest reinstated after investigation into allegation

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By Daniel Thigpen
Record Staff Writer
March 15, 2008 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - The Diocese of Stockton has restored a Lockeford priest to active ministry after completing an investigation of a sexual abuse allegation.

The diocese had placed the Rev. Michael Kelly on administrative leave in October after a then-33-year-old man claimed he was sexually abused by the priest sometime from 1984 to 1986, when Kelly was a priest at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

Since 2004, Kelly has served as the priest at St. Joachim's Church in Lockeford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 AM

March 14, 2008

Sacramento priest arrested in Mexico to face molestation charges

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 03/14/2008 06:45:04 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO—The Sacramento District Attorney's Office says Mexican authorities have arrested a priest wanted since 1992 on child molestation charges.

Gerardo Beltran had been living and working as a priest in a remote Mexican village. He was arrested this week.

Beltran served in the Catholic Dioceses of Sacramento from 1982 until 1991, when he fled as police began to investigate him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 PM

Former Sacramento Priest Gerardo Beltran Arrested

SACRAMENTO (CA)
CBS 13

[with video]

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ― Former North Sacramento priest, Gerardo Beltran, has been arrested in Mexico based on child molestation charges filed in Sacramento County.

Beltran, who was a priest in North Sacramento, has been charged with four counts of child molestation involving two victims he allegedly victimized between 1989 and 1991. The case against him was filed in 1992.

The Federal Bureau of investigation Legal Attaché Office in Mexico City was of great assistance in locating and arresting Beltran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Sex Abuse Victims Blast Catholic Officials for Not Releasing Secret Records

PORTLAND (OR)
Salem-News

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Almost a year after they were promised, secret records with the Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon are still secret. A group representing sex abuse victims from the Catholic Church says the blame lies squarely with Portland's archbishop, John George Vlazny.

Clergy sex abuse victims continue to harshly criticize Portland Catholic officials for "continuing to keep long-secret records about alleged pedophile priests and corrupt church supervisors hidden." They urged a judge to release the documents as soon as possible.

Bill Crane with SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, tells Salem-News.com that the whole thing is baffling, as the abuse at the hands of priests here in Oregon and elsewhere is problematic, sometimes in numbers that leave your head spinning. The Oregonian and other major media seem reserved in their reporting when it comes to the Catholic Church. No doubt its influence is far reaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

New Sex Abuse Allegations Against Defrocked Priest

ILLINOIS
CBS 2

Mike Puccinelli

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) ― New sex abuse allegations are surfacing against a defrocked priest accused of molesting dozens of boys.

They came to light at a hearing to determine whether he should stay behind bars.

CBS 2 West Suburban Bureau Chief Mike Puccinelli reports those in Wheaton Friday for Father Fred Lenczycki's court hearing weren't taking questions inside or outside the courthouse.

That as a civil commitment hearing got underway to determine whether the 63-year-old should be locked up potentially for the rest of his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 PM

Former North Sac Priest Arrested In Mexico

SACRAMENTO (CA)
KCRA

MEXICO CITY -- A priest accused of child molestation in Sacramento County was arrested Friday in Mexico, District Attorney Jan Scully said.

Gerardo Beltran was charged with four counts of child molestation in 1992 and is accused of touching two victims. The alleged molestations took place between 1989 and 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Fugitive priest arrested

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

Bee Metro Staff -
Published 5:28 pm PDT Friday, March 14, 2008

Fugitive Sacramento priest Gerardo Beltran, who has been wanted since 1992 on child molestation charges, has been arrested in Mexico by FBI agents, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office says.

Beltran, who had reportedly been living and working as a priest in a remote Mexican village, had been a priest in North Sacramento until 1991, when he fled while police began investigating allegations that he had molested two girls.

He had served in the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento from 1982 until 1991 and, in 1992, was charged with four counts of of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Fugitive Sacramento Priest Arrested in Mexico on Child Molestation Charges

CALIFORNIA
News 10

Written by Jason Kobely, Internet News Producer

SACRAMENTO, CA - After 17 years on the run, a Sacramento Roman Catholic priest accused of child molestation charges was arrested in Mexico this week, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

District Attorney Jan Scully said Gerardo Beltran, 51, was arrested on four counts of child molestation involving two Sacramento County girls between 1989 and 1991.

Following the arrest, U.S. and Mexican authorities began working out extradition proceedings, authorities said.

Scully said the FBI's Legal Attache Office in Mexico City was instrumental in helping locate and arrest Beltran 17 years after the priest fled the U.S. Beltran served in the Catholic Dioceses of Sacramento from 1982 until 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Polish archbishop questions sex-abuse whistle-blower

POLAND
Catholic World News

Szczecin, Mar. 14, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Archbishop Zygmunt Kaminski of Szczecin-Kamien, Poland, has reportedly asked the provincial of Poland’s Dominican province to take action in the case of a Dominican priest who called public attention to clerical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Prosecutors want proof before priest can postpone prison date

DARIEN (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Darien priest who stole more than $1 million from his parish to support a luxurious lifestyle should show proof before he is allowed to postpone his reporting date to prison due to poor health, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay was sentenced in December to 37 months in prison. Fay's lawyer did not explain why Fay wanted to push back his surrender date from April 2, but Fay has said he's dying from cancer.

Fay, who pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge in September, set up secret bank accounts to pay for travel around the world and to buy a condominium, authorities say. He resigned in 2006 as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Stockton diocese restores priest to duties in Lockeford

LOCKEFORD (CA)
Lodi News-Sentinel

By News-Sentinel staff
Updated: Friday, March 14, 2008 2:59 PM PDT

Father Michael Kelly has been restored to his post as priest at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Lockeford after an investigation by the Stockton Diocese found no evidence of sexual abuse by Kelly.

Kelly had been on administrative leave since October 2007 when an adult man claimed he had been abused by Kelly sometime between 1984 and 1986.

In a statement released today, Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire said the diocese "investigated as thoroughly as possible" but found no evidence to support the abuse claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Church Clears, Reinstates Lockeford Priest After Abuse Allegation

STOCKTON (CA)
News 10

Written by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

STOCKTON, CA - A Lockeford parish priest accused of child abuse involving a 10-year-old more than 20 years ago has been reinstated to his post.

Last October, Father Michael Kelly was placed on administrative leave from St. Joachim's Church while the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton investigated the abuse accusation. The allegation stemmed from when Kelly served as a priest at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

In a statement issued Friday, diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire said the alleged victim and another individual who had made the abuse claim had declined to give additional information. Blaire said the diocese had hired an outside investigator to check the allegation as much as possible under the circumstances. The bishop said no evidence of sexual abuse by Kelly was found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Forsyth pastor arrested on molestation charges

ALPHARETTA (GA)
NorthFulton

by Jason Wright

March 13, 2008
ALPHARETTA – A Forsyth County pastor has been arrested on charges he allegedly molested two young teenage girls.

Derek Gillett, 38, of Alpharetta was arrested at his home in Cherokee County near the Forsyth County line March 7 on two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of sodomy.

Gillett is the pastor of the Cornerstone Community Church in Forsyth County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Hoover man charged in Maryland child abuse case resigns as music minister at Shades Crest Baptist

HOOVER (AL)
The Birmingham News

Posted by Birmingham News staff March 14, 2008 4:05 PM

A Hoover man arrested Thursday on charges of child abuse and a third-degree sex offense in a Maryland case had resigned from his job as music minister at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover on Saturday, the church's pastor said today.

Timothy Mann, 46, was arrested at his home and is expected to be extradited to Maryland, Hoover police Capt. Jim Coker said.

Shades Crest Baptist Church Pastor Dennis Foust said Mann informed him of the pending charges in Maryland on Saturday. Mann had been music minister at the church since December 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Former treasurer of Lutheran group charged with $1M embezzlement

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Leader

By MARK SCOLFORO

(AP)

The former treasurer of a 261-congregation Lutheran church synod was charged Thursday with embezzling more than $1 million in an alleged scheme to buy classic automobiles.

Barry R. Herr, 61, was charged by Lower Paxton Township Police with 36 counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of theft by deception. Police said he made online credit card payments with stolen funds.

Herr served for 28 years as treasurer of the Harrisburg-based Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which has 122,000 members in nine south-central Pennsylvania counties. Authorities allege that the scheme dates back to 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Former synod officer accused of funds theft

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

Friday, March 14, 2008BY MATTHEW KEMENYOf The Patriot-News

Since 1991, leaders of the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had assumed that millions in endowment money was going to missionary work overseas and to pastors in need of financial assistance.

Barry R. Herr, the synod's treasurer for 28 years, was responsible for making sure it did.

Instead, Herr funneled more than $1 million into a bogus bank account, transferred it to his personal account and used it to buy classic cars, police and church officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

ELCA Synod Bishop Issues Statement after Arrest of Former Treasurer

PENNSYLVANIA
Worldwide Faith News

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. B. Penrose Hoover, bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Lower Susquehanna Synod, Harrisburg, Pa., shared his sadness in a pastoral letter March 13 regarding events surrounding the charges and arrest of Barry R. Herr, the synod's former treasurer.

Herr, 61, was arrested March 13 and charged with misappropriation of church funds. The charges stemmed from months of investigation by the synod and the Lower Paxton Township Police Department into the misappropriation of endowment funds for which Herr was responsible. It was estimated that those funds were in excess of $1 million and that wrongdoing began in 1991.

Herr was arraigned March 13 in the court of Magisterial District Judge Joseph S. Lindsey, Harrisburg, on 36 counts of criminal use of a communication facility (electronic transfer of funds) and one count of theft by deception. Each charge is a felony of the third degree. Lindsey set bail at $25,000. Herr was released on his own recognizance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Police: Exec stole $1M from churches

DAUPHIN COUNTY (PA)
Lancaster Online

By P.J. REILLY, Staff

Dauphin County authorities Thursday arrested an East Lampeter Township man for allegedly stealing more than $1 million from hundreds of area churches.

Lower Paxton Township police said Barry R. Herr, 61, of 2119 Creek Hill Road, allegedly stole the money over the past 17 years while working as treasurer for the Harrisburg-based Lower Susquehanna Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The synod is composed of 261 churches in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Franklin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York counties, including Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on Greenfield Road, where Herr is a member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Accused Lutheran official fancied fine cars

PENNSYLVANIA
Lancaster Online

By CHAD UMBLE, Staff

For years, when area Lutheran church members willed money from their estates to the church, Barry R. Herr took charge of the funds.

As treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church's 261-congregation Harrisburg-area synod, Herr handled endowment money destined to aid global missions or help pastors in need of assistance.

But police say that since 1991 Herr diverted more than $1 million of that money from those church interests to one of his own: expensive luxury cars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Abuse audit and survey find soaring costs, fewer allegations

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Patricia Zapor

The costs to the Catholic Church for legal settlements in abuse cases, therapy for victims of sexual abuse, support for offenders and legal fees soared to more than $600 million in 2007, the fourth year of reporting on the handling of abuse cases by U.S. dioceses and religious orders.

The 2007 Survey of Allegations and Costs released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops March 7 also reported a continued decrease in the number of new credible allegations of abuse: 599 new allegations were made in 2007, compared with 635 in 2006, 695 in 2005 and 898 in 2004, the first year of the survey.

Only five of the new allegations involved abuse that occurred in 2007. As in past years, most allegations involved abuse that took place before 1985. Of the 599 new credible reports, only five cases among religious orders and 38 involving diocesan clergy were reported to have occurred since 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Majority of Belleville priests ask Braxton to resign

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/14/2008

Nearly two thirds of the pastors in the Belleville diocese have signed a letter to Bishop Edward Braxton requesting his resignation.

The letter was delivered to Braxton after a meeting of priests in Germantown Wednesday. The 44 priests who signed it released the letter publicly today. The Rev. Dennis Voss said the letter would also be forwarded to Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican’s representative in Washington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

44 priests call for Braxton to resign

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Bellville News-Democrat

[with link to priests' statement on Bishop Braxton]

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --A statement issued at noon today and signed by 44 priests asked Bishop Edward Braxton to resign, "...for his own good, for the good of the diocese and for the good of the presbyterate," or priests.

The priests met Wednesday in Germantown and agreed to what they called "a plan of action" but would not reveal it until today.

Braxton could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Auditors Document Moynihan Stole $529K From Parish

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Citizen

By PATRICIA McCORMACK
Article Last Updated: 03/14/2008 01:37:22 PM EDT

A web of deceit self-woven over years by the Rev. Michael Moynihan, ex-pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church on North Street, was broken last Friday when auditing reports showed that the priest cannot account for $529,000 in disbursements.

The reports included one from the Parish Audit Committee. That dovetailed with and was reinforced by conclusions in a review by two public accounting firms put on the Moynihan case:

". . .we can only conclude that Father Moynihan has engaged in a pattern of self-dealing, deceit, and submitting falsified and misleading documents to the substantial detriment of our Parish," it was stated in the Parish Audit Committee report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Bringing Clergy Abuse Out of the Darkness

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Citizen

By Christine Chagaris
Article Last Updated: 03/14/2008 01:33:14 PM EDT

Those gathered in the auditorium of Greenwich's Christ Church Saturday listened attentively as John Marshall Lee, chairman of Voice of the Faithful's Diocese of Bridgeport chapter, addressed a topic that is current and weighty.

The topic concerned abuses across the board - from sexual to financial - in the Catholic Church, abuses both alleged and those proved by the courts over the last 60 years.

Lee acknowledged that it is vital to have all of the facts for each abuse case but noted grimly, "Many survivors of abuse have lawsuits that follow after three decades, because people in the Church hierarchy, such as bishops, generally don't seem to want to acknowledge anybody over the age of 25 with any kind of payout."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Priest who abused young boys has day in court

DuPAGE COUNTY (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
2:36 PM CDT, March 14, 2008

As opening arguments in his civil commitment hearing began Friday with explicit details of his sexual abuse of more than a dozen young boys, Rev. Fred Lenczycki silently bowed his head.

"A leopard doesn't change its spots," said Illinois Assistant Atty. Gen. Michael Kress, who addressed the DuPage County jury in his effort to make Lenczycki the first member of the clergy in Illinois to be incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

"A man who doesn't learn from his history is doomed to repeat it," Kress added, claiming that despite Lenczycki's completion of a prison term for the criminal sexual abuse of three Hinsdale Catholic school boys in the 1980s, he remains a high risk to re-offend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Priest convicted in Hinsdale sex abuse may get extended jail stay

DuPAGE COUNTY (IL)
Chicago Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

A trial opened today for the first clergy member in Illinois to face possible civil commitment if a jury finds the convicted priest too dangerous to be set free.

The Rev. Frederick Lenczycki served his time behind bars for molesting three Hinsdale altar boys, but as he prepared to go home, prosecutors sought to have him civilly committed under a law for those deemed sexually violent.

Lenczycki, 63, was due to be paroled in May 2006 after serving part of a five-year prison term. But a month earlier, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett filed paperwork seeking to have him held.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Archdiocese outlines financial recovery strategy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

By Ellie Hidalgo

A financial recovery strategy in response to the formidable financial challenge faced by Archdiocese of Los Angeles, following its settlement of hundreds of lawsuits stemming from the sexual abuse crisis, was outlined recently at a series of meetings throughout the Archdiocese.

The recovery plan increases parish assessments by two percent; continues to reduce costs at the archdiocesan Administrative Office by 10 percent; and request grants, pledges and loans from parishes.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, auxiliary bishops, several members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, archdiocesan leaders and parish staffs conducted 19 presentations in deaneries throughout the five regions to detail the plan. (Deaneries 1 and 2 held a combined meeting.) The meetings, held from late January to early March, were attended by more than 3,000 parishioners who serve as members of parish councils, parish finance councils and parish staffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Lockeford priest reinstated after abuse allegations

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By The Record
March 14, 2008 3:39 PM
STOCKTON – The Diocese of Stockton has restored Lockeford priest Father Michael Kelly to active ministry after completing an investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse.

The diocese placed Kelly on administrative leave in October 2007 after a then-33-year-old man claimed he was sexually abused by the priest sometime between 1984 and 1986. Kelly had been serving as the priest at St. Joachim’s Church in Lockeford.

The diocese reported it used a professional investigator to examine the facts of the case and had some difficulty when the claimant declined to speak to officials. The investigation did not find any evidence of sexual abuse on the part of Kelly, Bishop Stephen Blaire said in a press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Catholic diocese reinstates priest accused of sex abuse

STOCKTON (CA)
Modesto Bee

last updated: March 14, 2008 10:28:19 AM

[with statement from Bishop Stephen Blaire]

STOCKTON -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton announced today that it is reinstating Rev. Michael Kelly as pastor of St. Joachim parish in Lockeford. Kelly had been on administrative leave while the church investigated an allegation of sexual abuse.

Since the accusation in September, the diocese has found no basis for the claim, according to a press release Bishop Stephen Blaire issued this morning.

The statement said the alleged victim and a third party who informed the diocese of the claim refused to speak further about the matter. The diocese said it investigated as thoroughly as possible under the circumstances, even hiring a professional investigator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Historic Moment: Priests of Belleville, IL, Diocese Call on their Bishop to Resign

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Voice from the Desert

Statement from the Priests in the Diocese of Belleville

March 12, 2008

As priests serving in the Diocese of Belleville, we have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of collaborative and consultative leadership of Bishop Edward K. Braxton since his installation in June 2005. Our repeated attempts to work cooperatively with Bishop Braxton through the Presbyteral Council, Diocesan Pastoral Council, Diocesan Finance Council, Priests’ Personnel Board and annual Priests Convocation have proven futile. Because of the Bishop’s lack of cooperation, consultation, accountability and transparency, it is the judgment of a great number of the presbyterate that he has lost his moral authority to lead and govern our Diocese. Therefore, it is requested that Bishop Braxton resign from his office as Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville for his own good, for the good of the Diocese and for the good of the presbyterate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Priest pleads guilty to charges from sex sting

WAYNESVILLE (NC)
Citizen-Times

by Josh Boatwright
published March 14, 2008 1:15 pm

WAYNESVILLE – An Episcopal priest found guilty Thursday of soliciting sex from undercover Waynesville police officers is the last of seven men to make guilty pleas after being charged in a sting operation last summer in park restrooms.

Michael Royce Penland, 46, pleaded guilty to soliciting crimes against nature and was ordered to pay court costs and stay away from Haywood County recreation property, according to the Haywood County clerk of courts office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Are the bishops a bunch of nuts? Do they really think predator pedophile priest rape survivors want to go on a retreat with a bunch of priests?

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Two items today on Abuse Tracker really got my craw to the point that I’ve got to sneak away from work to write a post about them.

All those people watching their churches and parochial schools close while the archdioceses sell the real estate need to step in and stop them. Those churches belong to the people who go to them and families that have been tithing to them for generations.

How preposterous that the church can say we're closing these churches and schools due to the sexual predator clergy crisis, and then sell all the real estate (prime $$$$) and keep the profits.

Doesn't anyone else see something a little bit wrong with that?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Judge takes on clergy abuse records dispute

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard

Published: March 14, 2008 12:00AM

PORTLAND — Lawyers who charge the Archdiocese of Portland is going back on a promise to open its records about priests who sexually abused children were back in court Thursday to ask a judge to decide what should happen to thousands of documents in question.

The judge set a schedule for hearings that should settle the controversy in October.

The disputed records were part of an April settlement in the archdiocese’s historic bankruptcy reorganization, the first in the nation by a Catholic diocese facing lawsuits that sought millions of dollars in damages for sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Catholic church denies cash-in claims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Jane Metlikovec

March 15, 2008 12:00am
THE Catholic church could reap tens of millions of dollars by selling eight Melbourne schools it has recently closed or is closing.

Parents with children at St John the Evangelist Primary School in East Melbourne and St Brigid's Primary School in North Fitzroy have been told this month that both schools will close.

Inner-city real estate agents said St John the Evangelist and St Brigid's -- which has uninterrupted views of the city -- would together be worth more than $20 million.

St Brigid's will amalgamate with St John's Primary in Clifton Hill, and St John the Evangelist will merge with Trinity Primary in North Richmond, where St Ignatius Primary students were sent when the Richmond school closed in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Church offers abuse victims counseling, support groups

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Patricia Zapor

Counseling, retreats, support groups and spiritual direction are among the types of assistance U.S. dioceses have offered to victims of sexual abuse, notes a new audit report.

Such services were offered to more than 3,200 victims of abuse and their families, including 951 people who came forward since the last report, said the "2007 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" released March 7 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The audit by the Gavin Group analyzed how 190 dioceses stacked up against the standards of the 17 articles of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." The 2007 audit covered a period as long as 22 months for some dioceses, as the audit program shifted to a standard fiscal year. It was released the same day as the 2007 Survey of Allegations and Costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

'Misbehaving' teacher leaves for Israel

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Larissa Ham
March 13, 2008 - 3:29PM

A senior staff member at an Elsternwick Jewish school's girl's campus has left amid allegations of "misbehaviour" involving students.

The head of campus for Jewish studies at Adass Israel Girls School, Malka Leifer, was forced to resign last week and left for Israel shortly after, school committee member Issac Benedikt told The Age.

"It came both at the same time, she was told she can't be at the school, she said in that case I'm resigning," Mr Benedikt said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Adass principal flees Australia in disgrace

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

NAOMI LEVIN and ASHLEY BROWNE

THE principal of the Adass Israel Girls School in Elsternwick has returned to Israel amid allegations of improper behaviour towards students.

Malka Leifer, who joined the school as a teacher eight years ago and has been principal for five years, had her employment terminated and left Melbourne within 24 hours of being investigated by the school board.

President of the Adass Israel congregation, Benjamin Koppel, told The AJN that the school first acted on Tuesday last week after receiving a call suggesting that inappropriate behaviour may have taken place with one or more of the school’s current or former students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Principal 'molested schoolgirls'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz and Bridie Smith
March 14, 2008

THE principal of a private Jewish girls' school in Melbourne has fled Australia facing accusations that she sexually molested some of the students.

Outraged parents claim that the Adass Israel Girls' School in Elsternwick paid for Malka Leifer, a mother of eight, to return to Israel before reporting the complaints to the police.

She left Melbourne on Wednesday last week, 24 hours after being investigated and sacked by the school's board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Isolated from the rest of the world, and proud to be so

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 14, 2008

Melbourne's Adass community is secretive and reclusive. That's how its members like it, writes Barney Zwartz.

THEY could be called the Amish of the Jewish community: ultra-orthodox, ultra-reclusive and ultra-strict. On the Jewish Sabbath and holy days, the men of Melbourne's Adass community stand out with their tall fur hats and long, black silk coats, while the women usually cover their heads with a scarf or hat.

There's no TV or iPods, no skimpy clothing, no children's stories in which boys and girls are friends, no sex education before marriage — and almost no drop-outs from the community. The strict seclusion works.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Claims female Jewish school principal molested students, fled

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

March 14, 2008 08:10am
THE former principal of an exclusive Melbourne private Jewish girls' school was sacked this week and has left Australia amid accusations she molested students.

Fairfax media reported today that mother-of-eight Malka Leifer was dismissed as principal of the Adass Israel Girls' School in Elsternwick last Tuesday week, and returned to her native Israel a day later.

The Adass community is described as a small, ultra-orthodox and reclusive group of about 150 families based in Elsternwick and Ripponlea who have little contact with the wider Jewish community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

School principal flees after claims she molested students

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS.com.au

3/14/2008 9:15:00 AM.

The principal of an exclusive Melbourne private Jewish girls' school has reportedly been sacked and left Australia this week, amid claims she molested students.

The Age newspaper reports the woman was dismissed by the Adass Israel Girls' School in Elsternwick a week ago last Tuesday and returned to her native Israel a day later.

The Adass community is described by The Age as a small ultra-orthodox and reclusive group of about 150 families based in Elsternwick and Ripponlea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Allegations send principal packing

AUSTRALIA
JTA

Published: 03/13/2008

Allegations of inappropriate behavior have forced the principal of an Australian girls' school to leave her post.

Malka Leifer, the head of the fervently Orthodox Adass Israel Girls School in Melbourne for five years, returned to her native Israel last week following an internal investigation.

According to the Australian Jewish News, the allegations concern inappropriate behavior between Leifer, a mother of eight, and several students. Some parents are believed to have notified police, although it is unclear if an official investigation is under way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Jewish school 'devastated'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Beck Eleven
March 14, 2008 - 1:04PM

A spokesman for the Jewish school at the centre of an alleged student molestation case said the community was "devastated".

The scandal erupted after the principal of the Adass Israel Girls' School in Elsternwick fled Australia facing accusations that she sexually molested some of the students.

Outraged parents claim that the private Jewish girls' school paid for Malka Leifer, a mother of eight, to return to Israel before reporting the complaints to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Truth and Justice Award to NH Attorneys General and Their Staffs

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Voice of the Faithful

New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) honored current and former New Hampshire attorneys general and their staffs for bringing about the unprecedented release of 9,000 pages of secret Catholic Church records detailing clergy sex crimes.

Six years ago, in the wake of horrific disclosures about sexual abuse and cover ups in Boston, New Hampshire’s attorney general launched a grand jury investigation into the Manchester diocese. Pursuant to a court order, top church officials turned over thousands of pages of long-secret records, which provided evidence of child endangerment that the Diocese admitted was likely to result in a conviction. In lieu of indictment, an agreement was negotiated that led, among other things, to the document release by the Attorney General’s office.

The files are available online at the department of justice website (www.doj.nh.gov/publications/reports.html) and the Manchester archives section of www.BishopAccountability.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Clarksburg man says priest abused him

WHEELING (WV)
The Record

3/14/2008 7:00 AM
By Cara Bailey -Ohio Bureau

WHEELING - A Clarksburg man is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, claiming a priest sexually harassed him for more than three years, which led him to depression and suicide attempts.

Due to the sensitive nature of the suit, the plaintiff is identified as John Doe.

The suit was filed in Ohio Circuit Court against the Diocese, Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop Bernard William Schmitt, and Barbara Jane Arbogast, executrix of the estate of the late Charles E. McCallister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

School acting on claims, says lawyer

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Beck Eleven
March 15, 2008

THE lawyer for an ultra-orthodox Jewish school said yesterday that no representative had yet spoken to the former principal accused of molesting students.

Parents say the Adass Israel Girls' School in Elsternwick paid for its principal, Malka Leifer, to return to Israel after sexual molestation allegations emerged against her last week. She left Melbourne 24 hours after being investigated and sacked by the school's board.

The Adass community is a small, ultra-orthodox and reclusive group of about 150 families based in Elsternwick and Ripponlea. The school monitors its own curriculum, down to morals and dress code.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Belleville Priest Call For Braxton's Resignation

BELLEVILLE (IL)
My Fox St. Louis

(KTVI - myFOXstl.com) --
Priests in the Belleville diocese have asked Bishop Edward Braxton to resign.

On Wednesday, nearly half the priests of the Belleville diocese met to discuss what to do about Braxton who's accused of misusing funds to buy furniture and ceremonial vestments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Kentucky Bar Association investigates two presidents-elect

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Andrew Wolfson
awolfson@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

In two unrelated cases, the Kentucky Bar Association is investigating alleged ethics violations by its own future president as well as another lawyer who was slated to become president of the Louisville Bar Association next year.

The two accused attorneys have responded quite differently.

Maria Fernandez, who was president-elect of the Louisville Bar Association, said in an interview that she resigned last week to avoid embarrassing the bar over a court's ruling that she charged an excessive fee in settling the estate of Claudia Sanders, the widow of the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder.

But Barbara Bonar, the KBA's president-elect, said she plans to assume the presidency of the 15,544-lawyer state organization in June, despite a judge's findings last year that she acted unethically in the priest-abuse litigation against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. A judge referred those allegations to the KBA last May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Bishop, OCA in open battle over Alaska diocese

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Thursday, March 13th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
The battle for the Russian Orthodox Diocese in Alaska continues into its ninth day today with the disputed Alaskan leader, Bishop Nikolai Soraich, still refusing to leave Alaska as ordered.

On Wednesday, Bishop Nikolai called a press conference to reiterate that he would not step down, accusing Orthodox Church Leader Metropolitan Herman and the Lesser Synod of Bishops of causing the current crisis by not following proper church protocol.

“For the first time in the history of the church in North America, a lesser synod has attempted to effectively depose a bishop and to place an administrator in authority over an entire diocese,” the bishop said in his opening statement. “This non-canonical innovation is not only a moral threat to the church in Alaska, it is a mortal threat to the Orthodox Church throughout North America.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Priests discuss asking Braxton to resign

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

[with link to statement from the diocesan priests]
[contains link to newspaper ad supporting Bishop Braxton]

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Nearly half the priests of the Belleville Diocese met Wednesday and discussed asking Bishop Edward K. Braxton to resign, said the lone priest who defended the bishop.

When the two-hour closed session of 37 priests ended, the Rev. Richard Weidert, a retired priest from Belleville, said he saw his fellow clergymen signing a sheet that would be attached to a letter calling for Braxton's resignation. The meeting was held at the American Legion Hall in Germantown.

"They talked about asking the bishop to resign, but I have no way of knowing exactly what the letter will say," said Weidert, 75, who before his ordination at age 63 was a lawyer in St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Priest seeks to postpone prison surrender date

DARIEN (CT)
Newsday

March 14, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Darien priest who stole about $1.3 million from his Darien parish to support a luxurious lifestyle has asked a judge to postpone the date he must report to federal prison.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fare was sentenced in New Haven federal court in December to 37 months in prison.

Fay's lawyer did not explain why Fay wanted to push back his surrender date from April 2. Fay has said he's dying from cancer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Ex-school governor spared jail for sex assault on boy

UNITED KINGDOM
Observer

A former school governor from Seaford who pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a teenage boy aged under 16 has escaped a jail sentence.

Allan Whitty, 44, formerly of Kammond Avenue, Seaford, was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years after admitting assaulting the boy in January this year.

He also made inappropriate remarks to the boy in an earlier incident, Lewes Crown Court, was told. ...

Whitty, who was a governor of Annecy Catholic School in Seaford, had previous convictions for gross indecency in 1987 and 1991. He claimed that even though he had been married for 22 years he was a homosexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

German priest convicted of 22 cases of sexually abusing minors; sentenced to 3 years in prison

GERMANY
PR-Inside

2008-03-13 21:00:46 -

BERLIN (AP) - A Regensburg court convicted a Roman Catholic priest Thursday of sexually abusing minors in his former parish and sentenced him to three years in a state-run psychiatric ward.
The priest, identified only as 40-year-old Peter K., confessed to abusing the now 15-year-old former victim, who filed the charges with the Regensburg state
court, and apologized to him.
«It happened, he's sorry,» Alois Koebl, an attorney for the priest, told reporters after the trial, adding that his client suffered from psychiatric problems.
Several other victims also came forward, leading the priest to face 22 counts of sexual abuse of minors, including one count of severe abuse of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Supreme Court justice recuses himself in church sex abuse cases

WISCONSIN
The Capital Times

Pat Schneider — 3/13/2008 9:06 pm

State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser recused himself from the two cases on the docket this session involving the Catholic Church and allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

His quiet withdrawal followed media reports that while District Attorney in Outagamie County in the 1970s, he declined to prosecute a priest accused of child molestation. The priest was convicted of the charges almost 30 years later.

Prosser was on the bench to hear the first case scheduled for oral arguments before the court today. When justices assembled to hear the second case, Hornback v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Diocese of Madison, Prosser's high-backed leather chair in the court's ornate chamber was empty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Joliet diocese releases report on priest abuse

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Russell Working and Art Barnum | Tribune reporters
March 14, 2008

The diocese of Joliet released a two-year progress report Thursday on protecting children, and Bishop J. Peter Sartain will distribute it in an unusually broad way, said diocese spokesman Doug Delaney.

"He's trying to be as completely open as he can," Delaney said. "This is a risk on our part, to be honest with you. ... This will be available in the Catholic newspaper, in the back of churches, on the Web site."

The report lists the numbers of allegations against priests in two recent fiscal years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Release of files in abuse cases up to judge

PORTLAND (OR)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PORTLAND -- It may take until October to find out what kind of files the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland keeps on priests accused of sexual abuse.

A federal bankruptcy judge said Thursday she is inclined to agree with an attorney for abuse victims, who argued against sending church documents to another judge to act as a "special master" to resolve a dispute over their public release.

But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris said she will give both sides until the end of August to argue the case. She scheduled a hearing Sept. 30 to decide whether to lift her protective order sealing the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

School governor guilty of sex attack on boy

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

By Alison Cridland

A paedophile was a governor at a primary school despite having two convictions for sex crimes.

Father-of-two Alan Whitty was a pillar of the community but hid a sordid secret from teachers at Annecy Roman Catholic Primary School.

Yesterday the married driving instructor was exposed as a child abuser after he admitted an attack on a 13-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Court rules sex abuse lawsuit against priest can go forward

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --An appellate court has ruled that a 2003 lawsuit brought by a now 36-year-old St. Louis area firefighter, who alleges he was sexually abused in Belleville as a youth, can go forward despite the statute of limitations.

The firefighter, who lives in Illinois, was previously known in court papers as John Doe. However, at a news conference in St. Louis on Thursday, Christopher D. Amenn, of O'Fallon, appeared publicly with his wife.

"I'm glad there is finally going to be some accountability," Amenn said. "My reason on following up on this for so long is to protect kids like those who couldn't protect themselves back then."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

In the Vineyard

NEWTON UPPER FALLS (MA)
VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL

By Peggie Thorp

Lost and Found in New Hampshire: “Truth and Justice”; VOTF Ireland seeks a meeting with the Pope during his upcoming visit to Ireland – a first papal visit in 29 years; Fr. Bozek continues to hold his ground against his bishop; VOTF Priest Support Working Group will attend the NFPC meeting in April; the 2007 audit of 195 US dioceses for their compliance with the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is available; new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details the religious affiliation of the American public and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape; and more.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:52 AM

March 13, 2008

April 18 Vigil in New York, anyone want to do same in LA and other cities to send message to visiting pope re what predator priests did to us?

NEW YORK
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Just heard that A Matter of Truth is holding a vigil next April in New York City at the same time the Pope is tromping 'round the town, and I thought what a good idea. I want to be outside the LA cathedral at the same time that day. We can bring cell phones and send videos back and forth between the vigil in New York and in LA and maybe other cities as well. So if anyone wants to join me and A Matter of Truth in LA and thinks this is a good idea, please email me through the link on the left.

On April 18th, I want to be holding candles and singing gospel songs very loud, (not Catholic ones, the other ones) outside the architectural mess at 555 W. Temple Street downtown. I want to hold a sign that says, “Dear Pope, The Bishops Let Pedophile Priests Rape Children” and “How could you guys think this was okay?” Signs like that.

In New York City on Friday April 18 there will be a candlelight vigil at 7PM Eastern at Lott Gallery, 443 W. 18th St. with live readings. They will also have open books where you can leave a personal message for the Pope and an exhibit of portraits from the Crosses project, in the gallery from 6 to 9 PM.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Father Fay wants to postpone jail check-in date

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter

BREAKING NEWS Thursday 12:01 p.m.

Former St. John Roman Catholic Parish pastor Michael Jude Fay filed a motion Thursday morning to delay the date he reports to federal prison, The Darien Times has learned.

Fay also filed a motion with the U.S. District Court of Connecticut to seal his request to delay his surrender date, which was scheduled for April 2. The reasoning, for that request, according to court papers obtained by The Times, is because the contents contain “confidential information regarding the defendant’s current circumstances which warrants the documents be filed under seal.”

Fay, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, was sentenced in December. A federal judge in New Haven sentenced the former pastor to 37 months in prison for stealing parishioners’ money while serving as pastor of St. John Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Paedophile priest jailed for three years in Germany

GERMANY
The EarthTimes

Regensburg, Germany - A priest who sexually molested an altar boy after his bishop reassigned him to a new parish following a previous conviction for paedophilia was jailed for three years on Thursday. The 40-year-old clergyman pleaded guilty to 22 counts of abuse over a three-year period starting when the boy was 10.

He was arrested in August 2007 after the offences came to light in the parish of Riekofen in the southern German state of Bavaria.

The priest was given a probationary sentence in 2000 in another sex-abuse case involving a 12-year-old and ordered not to work with young people again.

His bishop transferred him to another parish without telling the community about his past and he began working with altar boys and organizing youth camps in defiance of the court's instructions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Convicted Darien priest asks to postpone surrender date

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

Zach Lowe
Staff Writer

STAMFORD -- The former pastor convicted of stealing at least $400,000 from St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien asked a judge Thursday to postpone the date when he must report to federal prison, court documents show.

The lawyer for the Rev. Michael Jude Fay did not explain why Fay wanted to push back his surrender date from April 2. But Fay said at sentencing he was dying from terminal cancer and would seek a postponement if he qualified for a new clinical trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center in New York, where he is being treated.

Fay's attorney, Lawrence Hopkins of New Haven, filed the motion under seal, meaning its contents are secret. Hopkins motion seeking permission to keep the reasons for the delay request secret states that the request "contains confidential information regarding (Fay's) current circumstances."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Judge sets church document release schedule

OREGON
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian March 13, 2008 13:06PM

A federal bankruptcy judge today set a schedule for deciding whether to release about 2,000 pages of documents related to priest abuse in Oregon.

A final decision is not likely until the fall.

The Portland Archdiocese emerged from bankruptcy last year after agreeing to pay priest accusers more than $50 million. Church officials and attorneys for most of the plaintiffs also agreed on a process for releasing secret church personal files.

The church released some files last year, but no agreement has been reached on thousands of other pages. Mediation is scheduled to begin in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Church leaders lack courage, Polish lawmaker charges

POLAND
Catholic World News

Warsaw, Mar. 13, 2008 (CWNews.com) - In an interview with the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, a Polish Catholic lawmaker has accused Church leaders of abdication of leadership in response to sex-abuse problems.

Jaroslaw Gowin, a member of the Polish parliament, said that the Catholic Church in Szczecin, Poland had lacked courage in the case of alleged sexual molestation at the city’s St. Albert home for troubled youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Court allows sex abuse lawsuit to proceed despite the statute of limitations

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --An appellate court has ruled that a 2003 lawsuit brought by a now 36-year-old St. Louis area firefighter, who alleges he was sexually abused in Belleville as a youth, can go forward despite the statute of limitations.

The firefighter, who lives in Illinois, was previously known in court papers as John Doe. However, at a news conference in Belleville today, Christopher D. Amenn of O'Fallon appeared publicly and gave his name.

"I'm glad there is finally going to be some accountability," he said.

In a 2-1 decision written by Justice Melissa Chapman of the Fifth Appellate District in Mount Vernon, the court ruled that Amenn's lawsuit against "Playboy Priest" Kennewth Roberts can proceed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

German priest sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual abuse

GERMANY
TV 3

Fri, 14 Mar 2008 08:57a.m.

A Regensburg court convicted a Roman Catholic priest Thursday of sexually abusing minors in his former parish and sentenced him to three years in a state-run psychiatric ward.

The priest, identified only as 40-year-old Peter K., confessed to abusing the now 15-year-old former victim, who filed the charges with the Regensburg state court, and apologized to him.

"It happened, he's sorry," Alois Koebl, an attorney for the priest, told reporters after the trial, adding that his client suffered from psychiatric problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Peter Kramer: A Case Study of Sexual Abuse

GERMANY
Leon J. Podles

Peter Kramer, ordained in 1997, abused two boys in 1999. In 2000 he was convicted in a non-public trial, sentenced to probation, and ordered to go to therapy and keep away from children. Within months he and first communicants were photographed together. No one noticed or cared.

His bishop, relying upon a good report from the therapist, appointed Kramer a pastor in 2004, two years after German bishops solemnly promised never again to appoint a convicted abuser to work with children. The bishop told no one about the conviction and Kramer dedicated himself to working with the boys of the parish. Kramer’s past was revealed in summer 2007, and by fall 2007 he was accused of abuse in his new parish. His bishop said that he acted properly in appointing Kramer; Pope Benedict seemed to agree.

Early Career

In June 1997, Peter Kramer, a former auto mechanic, was ordained by Bishop Manfred Müller for the diocese of Regensburg in southern Germany. In September 1997, he was stationed at the village of Viechtach.

A year and a half later, on March 31, 1999, the Wednesday of Holy Week, thirty-one-year-old Kramer abused two boys. While their parents, Joanna Treimer, a music teacher, and her husband, were at an event at the Kolpinghaus community center, Kramer played a game of tag with nine-year-old Daniel and his brother, twelve-year-old Benedikt. Kramer lured the boys into a corner, caught them, and groped their genitals. Their eleven-year-old sister Franziska saw this and reported it to their parents. The next day, the Treimers confronted Kramer. He denied everything. Joanna and her husband then told their pastor, who believed them and contacted the chancery on April 1, 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Trial Opens Against Priest Accused of Abusing Minor Altar Boy

GERMANY
Deutche Welle

A court in southern Germany on Thursday, March 13, heard the confession of a pedophile priest accused of sexually abusing an alter box more than 20 times.

The 40-year-old priest of the parish of Riekofen in Bavaria, southern Germany, stands accused of sexually abusing an altar boy 22 times since 2003. The victim was 11 years old at the time the assaults began.

The trial opened with the priest confessing to the crime, saying he wanted to spare his victim from giving a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Alaska land grab cited in bishop's fight with church

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By MEGAN HOLLAND
mholland@adn.com

Published: March 13th, 2008 12:17 AM
Last Modified: March 13th, 2008 12:46 AM

The power struggle at the top of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska continued Wednesday with fresh accusations across the sparring leadership.

Bishop Nikolai Soraich, head of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska, said he will not step down despite mounting pressure from national church leaders to do so and an assertion from their office that he is no longer the leader.

An aide to Soraich accused the national church of coveting diocesan land in Alaska, and said its leaders had long been trying to get rid of the bishop in order to take control of what little assets the Alaska branch has.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

From the Bishop

JOLIET (IL)
Catholic Explorer

Published Mar 13, 2008

Dear Friends in Christ,

In recent years, reports of the sexual abuse of young people by members of the clergy and others have brought great scandal and sadness to us Catholics and others. Having met with some victims over the past several years, I have heard first-hand heart-wrenching stories of abuse. I join my brother bishops in a profound apology to you and all those who have experienced the deep pain and scars of sexual abuse inflicted by anyone acting in the name of the Church.

This report is the continuation of a series of diocesan reports and is the first to be issued since I became bishop of Joliet in the summer of 2006. It gives me an opportunity to be accountable to you for the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

First, if you were ever the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy serving the Diocese of Joliet or another person acting in the name of the Diocese, please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Mrs. Barbara Jarvis Pauls. You have my word that you will be treated with love and respect, and we will offer any help that we can. Something precious has been stolen from you. We pray that God will restore your peace and that you will forgive us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Donegal priest mounts appeal against rape conviction

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lawyers for a Donegal priest who is serving a seven-year jail term for raping a teenage girl in a church sacristy are challenging his conviction and sentence on the grounds that a number of statements read out to the jury should not have been admitted in the trial.

Forty-nine-year-old Daniel Doherty, of Derriscleigh, Carrigart, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury in May 2006 on two charges each of raping and indecently assaulting the girl on dates in 1984 and 1985.

The statements counsel for Doherty, Alex Owens, is referring to were those of witnesses two and three in the trial who were unavailable as they were in the US at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Fr. Ejares asks DOJ to junk Sellon’s ruling

PHILIPPINES
Cebu Daily News

First Posted 11:47:00 03/13/2008

CEBU CITY, Philippines - Father Benedicto Ejares has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reverse the Feb. 28 resolution of Cebu City Prosecutor Nicholas Sellon that found probable cause to charge him in court for child abuse.

Ejares, through his lawyers Antonio Bacalso and Gregorio Bacolod, filed a petition for review, asking the DOJ to adopt the July 4 and Sept. 29 resolutions of the City Prosecutor’s Office junking the complaint for acts of lasciviousness and unjust vexation filed by seven high school students of the Abellana National School.

In a 17-page petition dated March 10, lawyers of the priest said that Sellon committed “manifest errors” in changing his finding from “inappropriate acts” to “other acts of child abuse” without sufficient basis and contrary to jurisprudence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Carrigart Priest to appeal rape sentence

IRELAND
Highland Radio

A Donegal Priest who is serving a 7 year jail term for raping a teenage girl in the church sacristy over 20 years ago is due to appeal his sentence and conviction today.

49 year old Fr Daniel Doherty of Derriscleigh, Carrigart was convicted by a jury in May 2006 on two charges each of rape and indecent assault on dates in 1984 and 1985.

In May 2006 a central criminal court jury found Daniel Doherty guilty on two charges of raping the then 13 year old girl in the church sacristy in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Windsor meetings for male sex abuse victims

CANADA
Windsor Star

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A free 12-week support group for men who suffered sexual abuse as children will begin March 26 in Windsor.

The Men Moving Toward Healing Group is a partnership between the London Diocese and the Silence to Hope project, which was developed to help sexual abuse survivors.

The group will offer a safe environment to men explore the impacts that sexual abuse had on them, then help them heal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

SF Archdiocese Cited For Noncompliance of Anti-Abuse Measures

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KCBS

San Francisco (KCBS) -- The San Francisco Archdiocese was cited Wednesday for not complying fully with the church's new rules on preventing sexual abuse.

The latest audit of 190 diocese around the country found all but 12 were following the rules. The San Francisco Archdiocese was one of those that were out of compliance on teaching children, parents and volunteers how to maintain a "safe environment." It was also one of only two diocese that weren't adequately checking the backgrounds of employees and volunteers.

Deacon John Norris, director of the San Francisco church's Office of Child and Youth Protection chalked it up to bad record keeping and assured parents and churchgoers that their children are safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Suspended priest faces new sex abuse rap

LONG ISLAND (NY)
New York Daily News

by Brian Harmon
DAILY NEWS LONG ISLAND BUREAU CHIEF

Thursday, March 13th 2008, 4:00 AM

A suspended Catholic priest already accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy has been hit with sexual abuse charges that he forcibly touched a man.

The Rev. Gerald Twomey, 53, of Uniondale, was arraigned in Suffolk County 1st District Court in Central Islip Wednesday on charges of forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse, said Robert Clifford, spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. The alleged incident occurred in "a private home in 1996," Clifford said.

Twomey, the former pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Manorhaven, was placed on administrative leave in June after allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused a 10-year-old boy while he served at St. Anne Church in Brentwood 10 years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Priest fails in bid to halt abuse case

COLUMBUS (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday allowed a Toledo woman's lawsuit against Gerald Robinson to continue in which she claims she repeatedly was raped and tortured by the Toledo Catholic priest in satanic rituals when she was a child.

In a 4-2 decision, the state's high court declined to hear an appeal filed by the priest's attorneys seeking to dismiss the suit.

Robinson, 69, was convicted in a separate, high-profile case in 2006 of murdering Sister Margaret Ann Pahl 26 years earlier. He is serving a sentence of 15 years to life in the Hocking Correctional Facility in southern Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Bishop orders Alaska clergy not to obey national leader

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
The Orthodox Church in America is in chaos as the power struggle between church leaders and Alaska Diocese leader Bishop Nikolai Soraich continues to unfold.

The eventual winner of the struggle will receive as a prize Alaska, the birthplace of the OCA in America with its nearly 100 parishes, missions and institutions, more than 40 clergy and 25,000 members.

The latest development adding to the confusion is an open letter by Bishop Nikolai to the clergy of Alaska ordering them not to obey Metropolitan Herman, the OCA leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 AM

Orthodox bishop refuses to yield

ALASKA
The Cordova Times

ALEX DEMARBAN

March 12, 2008 at 3:12PM AKST

Bishop Nikolai Soraich, head of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska, said in a press conference today he won’t leave the diocese until he’s deposed.

National church leaders have ordered him take a mandatory leave of absence and to leave Alaska while the church conducts an investigation stemming from claims by Alaska priests and parishioners that he’s intimidated and insulted them.

He held a press conference in Anchorage on March 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 AM

Long Island priest is arrested on sex abuse charges

GARDEN CITY (NY)
amNew York

By FRANK ELTMAN | Associated Press Writer
March 12, 2008
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish who was placed on administrative leave last year was arrested Wednesday on misdemeanor sex abuse and forcible-touching charges, prosecutors said.

The Rev. Gerald S. Twomey, of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Manorhaven, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court May 1.

Twomey is accused of accosting a man in a private home in Islip in March 2006, said Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 AM

Arraignment in Central Islip for suspended priest

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Empire State News

RIVERDALE - A Long Island priest was to be arraigned in Suffolk County District Court Wednesday on one charge of forcible touching and one count of third-degree sexual abuse.

The charges against Father Gerald Twomey, 53, of Front Street, Uniondale involved an adult male victim. The incident occurred in a private home in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 AM

Bishop sees ‘mortal threat’ to Orthodoxy in America

ALASKA
The Artic Sounder

March 12, 2008 at 3:21PM AKST

Here are Bishop Nikolai Soraich's opening and closing statements, which he read during a March 12 press conference in Anchorage.

National church leaders with the Orthodox Church of America have ordered him take a mandatory leave of absence and leave the state while the church conducts an investigation, following claims from Alaska priests and parishioners that he’s intimidated and insulted them.

Bishop Soraich, head of the Alaska Russian Orthodox diocese, is refusing to leave. He held a press conference in Anchorage on March 12 to explain why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 AM

March 12, 2008

Cairns link to priest pedophile

AUSTRALIA
Cairns.com.au

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A GRIEF-stricken father is calling for the victims of a pedophile who reportedly taught in Cairns more than 25 years ago to alert authorities.

Ross Francis Murrin, 52, was on Monday sentenced in the Sydney District Court to a maximum three years and three months after pleading guilty to 17 charges of indecent assault.

He will serve a minimum of 18 months.

Murrin molested eight students, aged between nine and 11, after he was appointed a teacher at the Marist Brothers’ school Daceyville, in Sydney’s east, in 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 PM

Uniondale priest accused of molesting man

UNIONDALE (NY)
Newsday

BY LUIS PEREZ AND BART JONES

luis.perez@newsday.com
bart.jones@newsday.com

9:38 PM EDT, March 12, 2008

A priest who once called for reforming the Catholic Church amid the growing sex abuse scandal has been charged with molesting a man, months after he was accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.

Gerald S. Twomey was arrested at his Uniondale home Wednesday afternoon, and within hours appeared handcuffed in a tweed sport coat in First District Court in Central Islip, facing charges of forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse, both misdemeanors.

According to a criminal complaint, Twomey fondled the man and put his "tongue in the mouth" of the victim. If found guilty, Twomey faces up to a year in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 PM

Like waves on the ocean, priest rape survivor memories ebb and flow, and sometimes it takes 50 years to file charges and a lawsuit.

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Spent a weekend at the sea and at one point ended up beating down ugly flashbacks, this damn story follows me everywhere I go. If anyone wonders why a 71 year old woman would file a lawsuit like Kay Goodnow did last Friday, about rape by a priest when she was 15 years old, more than 50 years ago, try going on a trip like I did last week and I'm 59 raped by a priest 54 years ago. I'm in Ensenada and I see a hotel where a horrible thing happened to me when I was still "in the life" so of course all of a sudden I remember the whole experience in one flash. Yes, priest rape as a child can still taint your life and your vacation, even 50 plus years later.

Kay Goodnow of Kansas City was already my hero because only last year at age 70 she filed a police report regarding Predator Priest Jack Baskett and his sexual assaults on her 50 years ago, and as a result his name went up on Bishop Accountability. Jack Baskett entered Goodnow’s life when she was 15 years old and raped her. Then he would drop back in as she became an adult, just long enough to confuse her and mess with her life again. She filed suit against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last week.

The Kansas City Star put the story up around 12:01 AM, “Lawsuit accuses priest of sexual abuse in 1952” and by 4:24 AM there were four vicious comments after the article, the first by someone who called themself, “sue the dead.” However, by the time they closed the comments, there were five screens, and in the end supporters outnumbered the stalkers. One of the last comments, posted by Vatican2Catholic copy and pasted an article by Sister Maureen Paul Turlish from National Catholic Reporter, October 28, 2005. (All 47 comments are copy and pasted at the end of this post for your reading pleasure.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Pedophile Protector Apologist of the Day...

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
March 12, 2008 8:40 AM

...Is Patrick Redmond of Newport Beach! Today, the Orange County Register prints his letter blasting star columnist Frank Mickadeit for his supposed "umbilical fascination" with famed Catholic Church sex-abuse victim's attorney John Manly. The trigger for such a clever twist of words? A March 7 column Mickadeit wrote about the return of Monsignor John Urell, the longtime Catholic Diocese of Orange priest who lost it in a deposition regarding his pedophile-protecting past, in which he quoted a Manly statement criticizing Urell's scheduled return to St. Norbert in Orange.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

An Open Letter to the Clergy and Faithful of the God-Protected Diocese of Alaska

ALASKA
Diocese of Alaska

Bishop Nikolai said in part, "You have received instructions (albeit through Internet postings and newspaper reports) from His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman to cease the commemoration of your Bishop in the Divine Liturgy. All of this has been done without a meeting of the synod, with no formal charges addressed to me, and without the canons of the Church being observed. Nevertheless, I have been ordered to take a “mandatory leave of absence” and to summarily vacate the Diocese. This – have no illusions about this – is an ecclesiastical punishment without trial… and that is nothing less than the rejection of Church discipline for some cause other than the integrity of our Lord’s Church. If you comply with the innovations presented to you by Metropolitan Herman, you will severely wound the very Church which you so highly prize."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Bishop responds to church leadership

ALASKA
KTUU

by Maria Downey
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's Russian Orthodox bishop says the church's followings are at risk and questions whether it will become a church body that follows a corporate model.

The Right Rev. NIKOLAI wrote an open letter that was posted on the Russian Orthodox website Tuesday.

Last week, national church leaders ordered the bishop step down while an investigation is underway about his leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Season of Lent marred by Orthodox infighting

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK
ebluemink@adn.com

Published: March 12th, 2008 12:58 AM

The head of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska and national church leaders, who want him to step down while they investigate charges against him, are locked in a standoff that is intruding on the church's holy season.

To serve in the bishop's place, the church's top national official, Metropolitan Herman, has appointed the Rev. Alexander Garklavs, chancellor of the New York-based Orthodox Church in America, to serve as interim administrator for Alaska. A Pennsylvania priest named last week asked to be released from the duty, citing a need to remain in his parish, according to Garklavs.

But in an open letter on Monday, Bishop Nikolai Soraich, head of the diocese, said Alaska priests should continue to recognize him in church services as their rightful bishop and confront him "directly and personally with your view of my shortcomings and offenses."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Orthodox church names fill-in for Alaska bishop

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer

Maintain faith and love.

That was the message sent by Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, to Alaskans, in an effort to begin the healing process.

Fr. Garklavs was appointed administrator of the Alaska Diocese on Monday. He replaces Archpriest Eugene Vansuch, who declined the appointment over the weekend.

An administrator was appointed for the diocese after the church placed Bishop Nikolai Soraich on mandatory leave of absence and ordered him to leave Alaska while church officials investigate accusations of physical and mental abuse and abuse of power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Sin Comes of (New) Age

NEW ZEALAND
Scoop

Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 1:33 pm
Press Release: Libertarianz Party

Primitive superstition meets contemporary vacuousness in the revised list of mortal sins issued by the Vatican, observes SOLO Principal Lindsay Perigo.

"Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Catholic Church's Apostolic Penitentiary, arguably the world's foremost conclave of witch doctors aside from the Iranian parliament, has just announced some 'cool' new sins because the old ones were becoming 'like, so not this week' in this, the Age of the Airhead," scoffs Perigo.

"The Pope's Chief Witch Doctor and enforcer if not author of Crimen Sollicitationis, the secret document in which Bishops were instructed to protect the Roman Catholic Church and priests at all costs in cases of sexual misconduct and child abuse confesses his sins once a week," Perigo notes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Advocates upset over rabbi’s plea deal

BALTIMORE (MD)
Examiner

Mar 12, 2008 4:00 AM (3 hrs ago) by Luke Broadwater, The Examiner
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - A group of Jewish advocates against sexual assault is angry over a plea deal for a Baltimore City rabbi who pleaded guilty to abusing young boys but avoided jail time.

“I’m very upset about it,” said Vicki Polin of the Awareness Center in the city.

“He should go to jail. I’m also very upset that he won’t be on the sex offender registry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Married bishop quits over claims of affair with female vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By GWYNETH REES

Last updated at 08:55am on 12th March 2008

Leave of absence: Bishop Cooper has stepped down after talks with the Archbishop of Wales
He claimed that his 25-year marriage ended due to "difficulties" and that no one else was involved.

But last night, in an embarrassing retreat, the Right Reverend Carl Cooper, the Bishop of St David's in west Wales, announced he is stepping down from his post over rumours of an affair with a female vicar.

The bishop split from his wife Joy last month - with both sides claiming that the decision was mutual and neither side had cheated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Tears, anger, forgiveness mark end of residential school tour

CANADA
CBC News

Emotions ran high as a cross-Canada tour of church and aboriginal leaders paying tribute to residential school survivors wrapped up in Winnipeg on Monday night.

The Remembering the Children tour kicked off in Ottawa last week, and visited Vancouver and Saskatoon before its final stop in Winnipeg, where about 300 people assembled at The Forks national historical site.

"The Anglican Church of Canada has so much for which to be ashamed and so sorry," Rev. Fred Hiltz said at The Forks, reiterating comments he made throughout the tour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Abuse suspect worked as pastor, police say

WINFIELD (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Alison Knezevich
Staff writer
WINFIELD - A man accused of sexually abusing four young girls in Putnam County worked as a pastor and could have more victims, police said.

Paul D. Smeltzer, 40, formerly of Scott Depot, has been arrested twice in the past year on charges that he sexually abused female relatives: first in May 2007, and again last Thursday.

Smeltzer "was involved with" church activities in Kanawha and Putnam counties, Putnam Sheriff Mark Smith said Tuesday. He worked as a pastor at one of the churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

March 11, 2008

Priest told to refund sh10m

UGANDA
The New Vision

Tuesday, 11th March, 2008

By Chris Ahimbisibwe

THE West Ankole Diocese has ordered a priest to refund sh10m. In a February 29 letter signed by the diocesan secretary, the Rev. Can. James Rutaraka, the Rev Edward Tumwesigye was given 14 days to repay the money.

“If you fail to comply, legal action will be taken against you,” Rutaraka’s letter read.

Tumwesigye, who was the Kyangyenyi parish priest, and the treasurer, Mburura Baguma, allegedly withdrew the money from the church’s account in Stanbic Bank illegally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Polish paper charges bishops in abuse cover-up

POLAND
Catholic World News

Warsaw, Mar. 11, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza charges that three bishops knew about the sexual molestation of four boys by a priest who founded a home for troubled youth in Szczecin.

The newspaper alleges that Bishop Stanislaw Stefanek, currently bishop of Lomza, was informed of the sexual abuse in 1995. In 1996, Archbishop Marian Przykucki was also informed, the paper says.

The accused priest was removed from his post at the home for troubled youth, but assigned to Catholic High School in the city in northwestern Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Padre Fedele: ''Mi vogliono vendere come hanno fatto con Gesù''

ITALY
L'Unione Sarda

Continua a dichiararsi innocente il frate cappuccino accusato, insieme al suo segretario Antonio Gaudio, di aver violentato una suora. Questa mattina si è tenuta la prima udienza del processo, già aggiornato al prossimo 9 aprile

''Io sono in galera perché ho difeso i bambini e i poveri”. Sono queste le poche parole rilasciate da padre Fedele Bisceglia durante una pausa della prima udienza del processo che lo vede imputato per violenza sessuale. Secondo l’accusa, il frate, insieme al suo segretario Antonio Gaudio, avrebbe abusato di una suora.

[translation]

Father Fedele: "They want to sell me as it was done with Jesus"

The Capuchine friar continues to proclaim his innocence from the charge of having raped a nun together with his secretary, Antonio Gaudio. The first day of the trial was this morning and it was adjourned to April 9. "I'm in jail because I defended the children and the poor". These are the few words said by Father Fedele Bisceglia during a pause of the first hearing of the process in which he was charged for sexual violence. According to the allegations, the friar, together with his secretary Antonio Gaudio, abused sexually a nun.

This morning the trial began at the Tribunal of Cosenza but it has already been adjourned to the next April 9. The phase assigned to the debate, as it was requested by the plaintiff's lawyer, will take place beyond closed doors. "The request made by the nun - said her lawyer Ms. Marina Pasqua - is made according to the law, which in case of sexual violence allows the respect of the privacy of the offended party". That request was shared by the lawyer of the Anti- Violence Center, which had been found by the same Father Fedele, "in order to respect the privacy of the woman-nun who made the accusation". The priest didn't agree with that decision by saying: " This trial is proceeding well but for the fact they want to make it beyond closed doors, we instead want to make it openly", he underlined. " I'm innocent. Some people want to sell me as it was done with Jesus Christ . But we always must say the truth. I'm in jail because I defended the children and the poor of the Pope John's Institute". According to Father Fedele there exists a conspiracy: "The attachment to money and arrogance are at the basis of this plot. I deeply trust the magistrates and I'll always love my Order because I never committed that sin, I even never thought of it". The clergyman was today wearing a cassock but not a frock. The Capuchine Order in fact had already expelled him.

At the entrance of the Tribunal in Cosenza, some supporters held some banners in defense of the priest: "Free Father Fedele, the slanderers in jail" and also " Hands off the Oasis, hands off from Cosenza".

Meanwhile today was rejected the preliminary request made by the defense to shift the trial to the city of Salerno. It will be a very exacting trial with 140 witnesses both belonging to the plaintiff and to the defendant. The judges accepted all the witnesses notified by the two parties while some documental evidence was accepted with reservation, waiting for the outcome of the interrogations of the related witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Teacher of bar mitzvah lessons pleads guilty to sex offense

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By a Sun reporter
1:44 PM EDT, March 11, 2008

A former bar mitzvah lessons teacher active in Baltimore's Orthodox Jewish community pleaded guilty yesterday to sexual child abuse and a third-degree sex offense after having been accused of abusing two boys more than a decade ago, according to city prosecutors.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge John P. Miller sentenced Israel Shapiro to a suspended five-year prison term and five years of probation. The judge ordered Shapiro to stay away from the victims, to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, pay $10,800 in restitution to one of the boys and perform 300 hours of community service.

The judge also ordered Shapiro to undergo sex offender screening and treatment, but he will not have to register as a sex offender with the state because the registry was not in existence when the crimes occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Church leaders order Alaska bishop to leave

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK
ebluemink@adn.com

The top church official of Alaska's oldest Christian faith was put on mandatory leave of absence Friday and ordered to leave the state.

The Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska has been in turmoil for weeks as priests and laity complained to national leaders about their Bishop, Nikolai Soraich.

They accused him of intimidation, abuse, disrespect and forcing priests and their parishioners to adhere to outmoded 19th-century religious rituals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Russian Orthodox Church places top bishop on leave

ALASKA
Juneau Empire

By Alan Suderman | JUNEAU EMPIRE
When he speaks to his congregation at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church this morning, the Rev. Michael Spainhoward said he will be asking the members of the church to pray for its future.

That's because the church's top state official, Bishop Nikolai Soraich, has been ordered by national church leaders to take a leave of absence following recent complaints by priests and church members in Alaska about his leadership.

Spainhoward, who supported placing Nikolai on leave, said the move was necessary but painful. ...

Last month, Bishop Nikolai was accused in a lawsuit of helping his second-in-command fire a church worker who accused the bishop's aide of sexual harassment, a claim Bishop Nikolai has denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Sex abuse charges against former minister to go to grand jury

BOLIVAR (TN)
Jackson Sun

By TYRONE TONY REED JR.
ttreed@jacksonsun.com

BOLIVAR — Former minister Brian A. Riley has waived his preliminary hearing in Hardeman County General Sessions Court on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual battery by an authority figure.

The case will go to the Hardeman County grand jury, which will decide whether to indict Riley.

The Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church removed Riley's minister credentials after his second arrest in connection with sexual exploitation of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Alaska Orthodox bishop defies order to leave the state

ALASKA
Kodiak Daily Mirror

Article published on Monday, March 10th, 2008
By RALPH GIBBS
Mirror Writer
Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, a chancellor with the Orthodox Church in America, confirmed today that Archpriest Eugene Vansuch has decided not to accept an appointment as administrator of the Alaska Diocese, temporarily replacing Bishop Nikolai Soraich.

“I believe there was just a change of plans,” Archpriest Garklavs said. “I haven’t spoken with him directly, but it sometimes happens, a reconsideration for personal reasons.”

On Friday, the Lesser Synod of Bishops ordered Bishop Nikolai, clerical leader of the Alaska Diocese, to leave the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Bishop’s replacement won’t take job.

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

A Kodiak Daily News story says that the man appointed to replace Alaska Bishop Nikolai Soraich will not take the job, further complicating the administrative picture of the Alaska Diocese. Though Bishop Nikolai has been ordered by church authorities to leave, he has refused to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Pastor 'groomed' teen for sex, suit claims

CARBON COUNTY (PA)
The Morning Call

By Andrew C. Martel | Of The Morning Call
March 11, 2008

A Carbon County woman is suing her pastor and church and its regional and national denominations, saying the preacher ''groomed'' her as a young teen for a physical relationship that began soon after she turned 18.

Shayna Werley, 20, of Summit Hill says in her lawsuit that the Rev. Jeremy W. Benack, 30, used his authority at First Baptist Church of Lansford to exploit and manipulate her ''to satisfy his own sexual desires.''

The suit, filed Feb. 19 in Carbon County Court, says Benack sent Werley explicit pictures of himself by cell phone and performed a ''marriage ceremony'' that he said would let them be sexually intimate without violating church laws, even though he's married. He told Werley he expected his pregnant wife would die in childbirth and they could spend their lives together, the suit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Polish priests accused of covering up sexual harassment

POLAND
The News

11.03.2008 15:09
Police from Szczecin, north-western Poland, are investigating allegations of sexual harassment of children by a priest and covered up by church officials for over 13 years.

The prosecutor's office will interview the friar who wrote down the accounts of the victims, and then the victims themselves.

Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported on events which happened at the beginning of the 1990s in a centre for delinquent youths and troublesome children in Szczecin, whose head at the time, Father Andrzej D., allegedly sexually harassed the boys under his charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Listing sins is not characteristic of Orthodoxy - the Moscow Patriarchate

RUSSIA
Interfax

Moscow, March 11, Interfax – The Russian Church doubts the necessity to list sins and notes it’s not characteristic of Orthodox religious tradition.

“Orthodoxy has spiritual, theological and pastoral attitude to sin that doesn’t require any strict arrangement or regulation. Are the lists indeed necessary?” the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations secretary for inter-Christian affairs Fr. Igor Vyzhanov told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

SNAP Press Statement

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It's alarming that two of the nation's largest six dioceses are still failing to meet this simple, low bar (Boston and Rockville Centre/Long Island).

Six years after America's bishop pledged to make child safety their top priority, it is simply inexcusable that any bishop can't keep his simple promises.

We're especially upset that in Boston, church officials in 64 out of 295 parishes refuse to teach abuse prevention to kids. O'Malley has had six years to get them on board or devise alternative programs. But he tolerates recalcitrance and recklessness, while pretending to be helpless to stop them. It's disingenuous and dangerous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Shapiro Found Guilty

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Jewish Times

Phil Jacobs

Former bar mitzvah lessons teacher Israel Shapiro was found guilty of child sexual molestation and given five years probation last Monday morning, March 10, in an Alford plea entered before Judge John P. Miller in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

With an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to a crime and asserts innocence but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could probably convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.

Emotions ran high in the packed courtroom as Mr. Shapiro, a resident of Olympia Avenue in Upper Park Heights who currently works in a butcher shop, was also sentenced to performing 300 hours of community service and paying $10,800 in restitution to his victims. In addition, he was ordered by the court to keep away from anyone under the age of 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Cathedral cleaner jailed for child abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jane Stinson

An Adelaide District Court judge has described the actions of a 77-year-old former cathedral cleaner who sexually abused a school girl as 'cunning' and 'premeditated'.

Croatian immigrant Mato Karapandzk was today sentenced to nine years jail with a non-parole period of four years, for abusing the then 12-year-old girl in the early 1980s.

Karapandzk met the victim at St Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Victoria Square in 1981, while she was taking a wheelchair-bound nun to pray at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Archbishop gives warning of 'new sins'

VATICAN CITY
The Washington Times

By Julia Duin
March 11, 2008
As if the seven deadly sins were not enough, a Vatican official has suggested more transgressions to confess.

Illegal-drug use, genetic manipulation, polluting the environment and a variety of social and economic injustices are today's "new sins," said Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary — a Vatican body that grants absolutions and issues decisions on matters of conscience. ...

When a reporter asked him about clergy sexual abuse, the archbishop said the Vatican already responded "with strict actions and initiatives to protect the image of the church itself and for the good of God's people." He then faulted the news media for overemphasizing the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Lawsuit names former bishop

GULFPORT (MS)
Sun Herald

By ROBIN FITZGERALD
rfitzgerald@sunherald.com

[with link to letter to the diocese from Bishop Thomas J. Rodi]
[includes link to the lawsuit]

GULFPORT --A Gulfport man has accused a former Catholic bishop of sexual assault while the man underwent medical treatment for drug addiction, according to a civil lawsuit.

The alleged victim, identified in court papers as John Doe 1, seeks an unspecified amount in damages and a jury trial for an incident he claims happened Jan. 4, 2007. The lawsuit alleges retired Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze touched and kissed private parts of his body while the man underwent a regimen with clonidine, a prescription medication.

Also named as defendants are the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi and the Roman Catholic Church. Police and state prosecutors on Monday said they had not received a criminal complaint regarding the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Law on sexually violent could get its first priest

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/11/2008

The Rev. Frederick Lenczycki served his time behind bars for molesting three Hinsdale altar boys, but as he prepared to go home, prosecutors wouldn't give the imprisoned priest their blessing.

Instead, they sought to have him civilly committed under a law for those deemed sexually violent.

After nearly two years of legal wrangling, jury selection begins this morning in the long-awaited civil trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Ex-priest is guilty of sexual assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
Reading Evening Post

By Linda Fort
11/ 3/2008

A priest who served at churches in Reading is facing jail for sexually abusing two teenagers in the 1980s.

A jury at Southampton Crown Court found Brian Rutledge, 69, guilty on Friday of a serious sexual assault on a boy of 17.

He also admitted sexually assaulting the victim in the same incident after getting into his bed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Big Isle man sues Catholic Church

HAWAII
Honolulu Advertiser

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i — A Big Island man who claims he was molested and sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest nearly two decades ago is suing the Roman Catholic Church and the priest.

The suit filed by an unidentified Big Island resident using the pseudonym "John Doe" in Hilo Circuit Court on Friday alleges Doe met priest Eugene Blazek as a boy sometime between 1979 to 1982 and that Blazek "engaged in a series (of) unwanted and unlawful sexual advances" directed at the boy over the course of more than a year.

Those advances allegedly included "having plaintiff become intoxicated and then sexually assaulting plaintiff," according to the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

March 10, 2008

Molestation suit names priest

HAWAII
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Rod Thompson
rthompson@starbulletin.com
HILO » A man identified only as "John Doe" has filed suit in Circuit Court in Hilo alleging that he was sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest for more than a year sometime during or after 1979.

The suit identifies the priest as the Rev. Eugene Blazek and states that he is believed to be living in North Carolina, where he is a chaplain with the U.S. armed forces.

The suit was filed on behalf of Hawaii County resident Doe by Honolulu attorneys David Gierlach and Brian Duus against Blazek, the church and other unknown defendants who might have had some responsibility for the alleged acts against Doe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Mo. ex-mayor faces trial in Internet child sex sting

NEOSHO (MO)
KHQA

NEOSHO, MO. (AP) -- A former small-town Missouri mayor and pastor faces trial over allegations he made sexual advances in an Internet chat room to a detective posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Allen Kauffman's lawyer said the 62-year-old expects to plead not guilty at an arraignment set for April 14 by an associate circuit judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Macon Pastor Found Guilty of Fraud

MACON (GA)
Today's MGT

Today a Macon Pastor is facing time behind bars, after a federal jury found him guilty of 54 charges. Those charges range from bank fraud to money laundering.

Pastor Onslow D. Ross of Reaching Souls Cathedral of Praise Apostolic Church illegally used the church's insurance check.

In 2005, the church received a check for $389,000 after the roof collapsed. According to testimony, Ross put the money into a construction account. Through a series of transactions, he then used the money for personal expenses and gave some to relatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Moynihan investigation reveals priest stole church money

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Post

By Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

The results of two financial reviews of St. Michael the Archangel have found that former pastor Michael Moynihan stole almost half a million dollars from the church during his service. According to the Diocese of Bridgeport he “engaged in a pattern of self-dealing, deceit and submitting falsified and misleading documents to the substantial detriment of our Parish.”

The diocese reviewed more than $2 million in expenses and found that more than $400,000 could not be documented as a legitimate church expense. A summary of the findings released by the diocese say Father Moynihan made large payments to his personal credit cards, cash or to himself and that he submitted falsified and misleading documents in an effort to justify the expenditures. This includes the allegation that the signature of a former judge was forged onto a document.

Father Moynihan had been pastor at St. Michael’s from 1992 until his resignation in Dec. 2006 when a diocese audit showed he had opened up two “off the books” accounts while managing church finances despite having denied they existed. In February, Father Moynihan lost his ability to serve as a priest after the diocese learned he was engaged in a relationship with another man, which the diocese had ordered him to end. Father Moynihan has reportedly been sharing an apartment in New York City with Michael Fawcett, a former child’s choir director at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Pastor Accused Of Raping Teenage Girl

DELAWARE (OH)
WBNS

DELAWARE, Ohio — A pastor posted bond and was ordered on house arrest after a teenager girl claimed that he raped her inside a church office last Thursday.

According to prosecutors, a 15-year-old girl met pastor Brian Williams inside the Grace Brethren Church last week to discuss school grades, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

The next day the girl told police that Williams had raped her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Delaware County pastor charged with rape

DELAWARE COUNTY (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Monday, March 10, 2008 2:42 PM

A Delaware County pastor accused of raping a 15-year-old member of his congregation on Friday was released from jail today after posting bond.

Brian L. Williams, 45, of 3159 Berlin Station Rd., is a pastor with Sunbury Grace Brethren Church. He was arrested and charged with one count of rape, a first-degree felony, in Delaware Municipal Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Adulterous vicar, David King, loses appeal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times
A vicar who was sacked for having an affair with a married mother-of-four today lost his appeal against the ruling.

The Rev David King, 54, was, from today, removed from his post as Vicar of Middle Esk Moor near Whitby in North Yorkshire and banned from working as an Anglican priest for four years.

Mr King was the first Church of England cleric to face a tribunal under the new 2003 Clergy Discipline Measure which came into effect two years ago and supersedes the old consistory court system for dealing with "conduct unbecoming a clerk in Holy Orders."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Married priest loses appeal over affair scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

A MARRIED priest who had an affair lost his appeal today against a tribunal decision to ban him from working as a vicar.

The Rev David King, 54, from Egton, North Yorkshire, was found to have had an improper, intimate and physical relationship with Tracy Byrne, 46, a married mother-of-four.

Mr King was suspended on full pay in February last year after Mrs Byrnes husband James, 52, complained to the Church of England about Mr King's relationship with his wife, which began in December 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Pedofilia, prete condannato: la Curia di Bolzano accusa lo Stato: «Non rispettato il Concordato»

ITALY
Il Messaggero

BOLZANO (4 marzo) - La Curia di Bolzano è irritata per la condanna a un anno e mezzo di carcere inflitta a Siracusa al sacerdote altoatesino Hansjoerg Rigger per possesso di materiale pedopornografico. Lo Stato - sostiene la Curia dopo avere preso visione delle motivazioni della sentenza - non ha rispettato gli obblighi del Concordato. Il sacerdote è accusato possesso di materiale fotografico e di video a fondo pedofilo e pornografico.

[translation]

Pedophilia, priest sentenced: the Curia of Bolzano accuses the Italian State: "The Concordato (the constitutional accord between the State and the Vatican) wasn't respected"

BOLZANO (March 4) - The Curia of Bolzano is irritated for the sentence of one-year-and-half of jail given to a priest from Alto Adige (the Italian region bordering with Austria) by a court in Siracusa (Sicily). The priest, Hans Rigger, was tried for possession of pedophilic and pornographic material. The Italian State - according to the Curia after the sentence was read - didn't respect the obligations set by the Concordato. The priest was accused of possession of photographic material and videos representing pedophilia and pornography.

"While the Church and the Curia of Bolzano - says the note - always deeply respected and respect the Italian civil and penal law, the same wasn't done by the Italian State's justice, which didn't respect the Concordato's rules, omitting to issue the formal communications at the beginning and at the end of the trial".

Moreover the Curia reminds that the priest "was always convinced of his innocence and as such he always proclaimed to be" and it affirms "having very grave and founded doubts of the veracity of the facts, so much so as to deem the jail sentence as the result of an error, determined by a superficial and contradictory technical consultancy ".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

13 years on, Polish priest is to be investigated over sex claims

POLAND
EarthTimes

Warsaw - Thirteen years after first complaints of sexual abuse of children were made against a Polish priest, a public prosecutor is to investigate the allegations, it was stated Monday. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office in the northern city of Szczecin confirmed this after Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported "years of cover-up" by a church establishment for problem children.

The newspaper said four alleged victims complained in 1995 to staff who informed the bishop responsible for the establishment - but he dismissed the claims as lacking credibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Bishops urged to comment on child protection delays

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

Ireland's Catholic bishops have been asked to comment on the fact that, while they took out insurance against liability for clerical child abuse in 1987, no child protection measures were put in place by them until 1996.

They have also been asked to explain why none of them have yet commented on a conclusion of the 2005 Ferns report that "bishops placed the interest of the church ahead of children . . ."

In an open letter to the Irish Bishops' Conference, signed by 19 people including clerical child sex abuse victims and members of the Voice of the Faithful Ireland group, the bishops have been asked to comment, particularly in the light of knowledge that as far back as AD 309, church authorities knew about clerical sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Anglicans to rule on pedophile after Easter

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Alison Sandy
March 10, 2008 11:00pm

CONVICTED pedophile Robert Francis Sharwood is expected to be defrocked after Easter following the outcome of an independent hearing.

The Brisbane diocese's professional standards board, headed by Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins, has recommended the Anglican Church strip him of his holy orders, but Sharwood has been given a fortnight to appeal.

Bishop John Parkes said he could not comment on the matter until the formal process was completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Vatican official lists new areas of sinful behavior

VATICAN CITY
USA Today

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican official has listed drugs, pollution, genetic manipulations as well as social and economic injustices as new areas of sinful behavior.

Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti said in an interview published Sunday by the Vatican's daily newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, that known sins increasingly manifest themselves as behavior that damages society as a whole.

"While sin used to concern mostly the individual, today it has mainly a social resonance, due to the phenomenon of globalization," said Girotti, who heads the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican body that issues decisions on matters of conscience and grants absolutions. ...

Girotti said the Catholic Church continued to be concerned by other sinful acts, including abortion and pedophilia.

He said Church authorities had reacted with "rigorous measures" to child abuse scandals within the clergy, but he also claimed that the issue had been excessively emphasized by the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Vatican Adds Seven New Deadly Sins Including Abortion, Contraception and Drug-Dealing

ROME
Fox News

By Richard Owen

ROME — Drug pushers, the obscenely rich, environmental polluters and “manipulative” genetic scientists beware — you may be in danger of losing your mortal soul unless you repent.

After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession and penitence. ...

He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion, which offended “the dignity and rights of women,” and pedophilia, which had even infected the clergy itself and so had exposed the “human and institutional fragility of the Church.”

The mass media had “blown up” the issue “to discredit the Church,” but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it, according to Girotti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

List of mortal sins gets longer under Vatican overhaul

VATICAN CITY
The Age

March 10, 2008 - 4:11PM

There used to be just seven, but the list of sins that could threaten your mortal soul just got a whole lot longer.

The Vatican has overhauled its list of mortal sins, adding several more to cope with the age of globalisation. ...

Also new to the list are paedophilia, abortion, and social injustices that cause poverty or "the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Decree of extra-judicial adjudication in the matter of the Reverend Marek Bogusław Bozek

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Voice from the Desert

From the website of St. Louis Review Online, the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, 3.7.2008.

* * *
March 7, 2008

Decree of Extra-Judicial Adjudication
In the matter of the Reverend Marek Bogusław Bozek

Whereas I have diligently examined and considered all and each of the indications [indicia] and proofs, which have been assembled and certified in the acts of the case in question, and which have been lawfully presented before me in the extra-judicial penal process held regarding the Reverend Marek Bogusław Bozek of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation, domiciled at 1413 North Twentieth Street in the City of Saint Louis, with the postal code of 63106-3256, who has been accused of having committed the following canonical delicts:

1) Protracted contumacy in schism (cf. can. 1364, §2);

2) Pertinacious rejection of the Church’s doctrine, referenced in can. 750, §2, infallibly set forth, that women cannot validly receive the Sacrament of Ordination to the Priesthood; and refusal to retract the rejection of Church doctrine after due admonition by myself as Ordinary (cf. can. 1371, 1);

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Father Marek Bozek press conference transcript, 3.5.2008

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Voice from the Desert

From the website of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish, St. Louis, Missouri.

* * *

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

As a Catholic priest I am often called “Father.” Being a relatively young person, for a long time I have felt somewhat uncomfortable with this title, maybe realizing that the depth of the spiritual journey of many people from all my parishes is something that I can only admire and aspire to. However, in recent weeks and months I have been finding myself using the metaphor of the family more frequently than ever. I guess it just grows on you. After hearing it and saying it so many times, one cannot help but start thinking of the Church in terms of a family, especially when one speaks of a Parish family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to close 2 schools

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Chris Togneri
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 10, 2008

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will close two schools, one each in Russellton and Elizabeth Borough, at the end of June and merge two others as officials deal with declining enrollment and rising costs.

The school closures and merger were announced Sunday at Masses in four parishes.

Transfiguration Catholic School in Russellton and St. Michael School in Elizabeth Borough will close, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

West End Catholic backers’ meeting set

CAMBRIA CITY (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

A meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in Cambria City, to discuss the recent announcement by the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese that it intends to merge five parishes in that part of Johnstown into one congregation by July 2009.

The West End Improvement Group is organizing the meeting, Joe Hochstein, a member of West End Catholic school board, told The Tribune-Democrat Sunday night.

St. Stephen’s Catholic Church is home to West End Catholic and is one of the five parishes facing merger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

PRINCIPAL'S PAL WAS BIG MAN ON CAMPUS

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN

March 10, 2008 -- A young man who lived at a Catholic high school without being either a student or employee also walked in the St. Patrick's Day Parade with the principal and band, participated in a graduation ceremony and once was listed as an exam proctor, The Post has learned.

"Everybody thought it was bizarre," said a former Cardinal Hayes HS staffer about Anthony Mills' presence at the Bronx school's events.

Mills, now 25 and a basketball player at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Piermont, Rockland County, lived at Cardinal Hayes during the 2004-05 school year on the same floor as then-Principal Christopher Keogan, a member of the Christian Brothers religious order, sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Leaders seek apology

CANADA
The StarPhoenix

Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix
Published: Monday, March 10, 2008
Church and aboriginal leaders joined together Sunday and demanded Prime Minister Stephen Harper issue a formal apology for Canada's former "flawed system" of Native residential schools and the policy of assimilation it espoused.

The leaders, meeting in Saskatoon to raise awareness of Canada's Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), also called on the federal government to take the long-awaited step of appointing its three commissioners and getting started on the expected five-year process.

"We can't have a commission without commissioners. The churches, along with survivors across the country and also our leaders, (are) putting pressure on the government to appoint the commissioners and get the commission on the road," said Ted Quewezance, executive director of the National Residential Schools Survivors Society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Natives march on church

CANADA
The London Free Press

Mon, March 10, 2008

By JENNY YUEN, SUN MEDIA

TORONTO -- They call it an "Aboriginal Holocaust."

The group Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared claim thousands of Native children died or went missing after attending church-run Indian residential schools until they closed in 1940.

About 15 Aboriginal supporters gathered outside the Metropolitan United Church on Queen Street East yesterday demanding the church disclose to families where their dead are buried.

"We gave the United, Anglican and Catholic churches 30 days to respond and we haven't heard anything," said organizer Kevin Annett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Group wants church to reveal burial sites at residential schools

CANADA
The North Bay Nugget

The church should disclose the burial sites for thousands of aboriginal children who died or went missing after attending church-run residential schools, an aboriginal rights group said Sunday.

Supporters from Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared gathered outside the Metropolitan United Church Sunday to protest what they say is church inaction on the issue.

"We gave the United, Anglican and Catholic churches 30 days to respond and we haven't heard anything," said protest organizer Kevin Annett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

March 9, 2008

Report: U.S. Church’s abuse costs in 2007 nearly half a billion dollars

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

Washington DC, Mar 9, 2008 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- A new report on the ongoing response to the sexual abuse crisis in the United States Catholic Church shows that, while only five credible accusations of abuse were made against diocesan clergy in 2007, that year’s expenses for past and present abuse allegations approached half a billion dollars.

Released on March 7, the “2007 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” examined new allegations of abuse, diocesan and eparchial compliance with child protection measures, and the financial costs related to sexual abuse allegations.

The report was produced by the National Review Board, which is chaired by Judge Michael Merz. The report evaluated dioceses’ and eparchies’ compliance with the bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” It included audit results of 190 of 195 dioceses and eparchies in the United States, in addition to results from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), based at Georgetown University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 PM

Ex-DuPage priest faces trial over release from custody

DuPAGE COUNTY (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
8:50 PM CDT, March 9, 2008

Jury selection begins Monday in the DuPage County civil case of a priest who has been paroled after serving time for sexually abusing Hinsdale Catholic school boys in the 1980s but whom authorities are seeking to keep imprisoned because they contend he remains a threat.

Rev. Fred Lenczycki, 62, is the first member of the clergy in the state to face incarceration under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act. The law, which took effect in 1998, allows prosecutors to seek continued civil commitment of sex offenders they believe will re-offend because of a mental disorder.

However, a high legal bar is set for prosecutors to meet, and relatively few sexual offenders have been fully committed under the act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Pope could face protests in Ireland over abuse cases

IRELAND
The Guardian

Henry MacDonald, Ireland correspondent
The Guardian, Monday March 10 2008

The first papal visit to Ireland in 29 years could be marred by protests if the Pope refuses to meet victims of sexual abuse by priests over many years.

An organisation representing some of the victims of paedophile priests has written to the Irish Conference of Catholic Bishops asking for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI during a visit expected to take place next year.

The bishops were to receive the warning during a special session held today to discuss matters including ongoing paedophile scandals.

Sean O'Conaill, the coordinator of Voice of the Faithful in Ireland, which includes Catholic priests as well as abuse victims, said that if the bishops refused to arrange a meeting between the victims and the Pope there would be "outrage and disgust".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

Protesters go inside Toronto church to raise awareness about residential schools

CANADA
The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Demonstrators protested inside a Toronto church today to raise awareness about the aboriginal children that they say disappeared from Canada's residential school system between 1840 and 1940.

The protesters have demanded that the federal government and leaders of several churches reveal the locations of unmarked graves where tens of thousands of children were buried near residential schools.

About two dozen protesters rallied outside the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto, and a few went inside to display a banner at the front of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Former church camp leader pleads guilty to sexual abuse charge

BECKLEY (WV)
Herald-Dispatch

Mar 09, 2008 @ 06:04 AM
Herald-Dispatch.com
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A former Appalachian Bible College youth camp leader has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse by a custodian.

Sixty-one-year-old Thomas Duncan was indicted in 2004 on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of sexual abuse by a custodian. The allegations involved the inappropriate touching of girls between the ages of 8 and 12 while Duncan was working with ABC’s Alpine Bible Camp.

He was fired after college officials were made aware of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Lawyer in sex abuse suit deems case typical

VALE (OR)
Argus Observer

By JESSICA KELLER
ARGUS OBSERVER
Sunday, March 9, 2008 4:58 AM PDT

VALE - The attorney for the Portland man suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America said his client is typical of many who come forward later in life with sexual abuse lawsuits aimed at individuals employed or formerly employed by high-profile entities.

Portland attorney Kelly Clark, a child sex abuse attorney and former Oregon state legislator, filed a lawsuit in Malheur County Circuit Court Feb. 21 on behalf of a Portland-area man seeking nearly $5 million in general damages from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America.

The man, referred to in court documents only as Tom Doe, asserts he experienced abuse from an LDS youth leader and Boy Scout troop master named Larren Arnold, as a youth in Nampa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Tumult over a resting place

BRIGHTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / March 9, 2008
The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston's sale of land in Brighton to Boston College had one rather unusual condition: Church leaders would have to remove the remains of a long-dead cardinal entombed in a mausoleum on the grounds.

But four years later, the body of Cardinal William H. O'Connell is still encased in the earth beneath the limestone mausoleum, guarded by statues of angels and lions, on a quiet hilltop near where BC proposes to build dormitories and athletic fields.

The move is proving to be a complicated one - far more than a previous exhumation on the same property some 80 years ago. Back then, when O'Connell himself moved to Lake Street, he demanded that the bodies of Sulpician priests be dug up and removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Former student to lead St. Meinrad seminary

ST. MEINRAD (IN)
The Courier-Journal

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

[with video]

ST. MEINRAD, Ind. -- The hilltop monastery of St. Meinrad Archabbey can appear removed from time, its cloisters, courtyards and turreted buildings a piece of the Middle Ages transplanted amid the cornfields of Middle America.

But to the Rev. Denis Robinson, who will take over as president of the abbey's Roman Catholic seminary 20 years after he first visited the grounds as a student, "everything has changed." ...

The recent sexual-abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church also made it a dark time for seminarians to be studying for the priesthood.

The scandal prompted the seminary to focus its required psychological screenings for candidates more closely.

The crisis, though, made students more determined to "step up to the plate" and serve the church, O'Keefe said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Bishops issue tally on sex-abuse cases

UNITED STATES
The Washington Times

By Julia Duin
March 8, 2008
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said yesterday there were 12 credible accusations of sexual abuse committed in the past 22 months in the nation's 195 Catholic dioceses, six of which were committed by priests from other countries.

One in every five priests serving in the United States is from another country, said the report, which included statistics from the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).

Fifty-five minors — split almost evenly between boys and girls — made accusations of sex abuse that they said had occurred in that 22-month period. Among those 55 complaints, 24 were judged as unfounded and 12 as credible. Six others were still being investigated and 13 were categorized as "other" because of insufficient data.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Lawyer known to stir the pot

ALBANY (NY)
Daily Gazette

By Jill Bryce
Gazette Reporter

ALBANY — A top ranking Albany County prosecutor vowed to sue John Aretakis after the attorney claimed that false testimony was allowed into a murder trial last year. Aretakis, Mark Harris said during the sentencing in Albany County Court last week, is a “disgrace” to the criminal defense bar.

It’s not the first time Aretakis has been in the spotlight for his legal maneuvering.

To some, Aretakis is a tireless advocate for childhood victims of sexual abuse who has effectively raised awareness about sexual abuse by priests right in our own backyard. Others question the merits of some of the lawsuits he’s filed since the priest sexual misconduct scandal erupted in the Roman Catholic Church. ...

Mark Lyman, co-director of the Albany chapter of the Surviviors Network of Those Abused by Priests, hired Aretakis in 2004 to represent him when he filed a lawsuit alleging that he was abused by a priest as a child.

“He’s had legal battles in courtrooms,” said Lyman. “Yes, he’s been sanctioned, fined, hammered by a significant number of judges in the area, but at the same time, I don’t see anyone else who is out there trying to bring forth cases for their clients the way John is,” said Lyman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

March 8, 2008

"Truth and Justice" Awards

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Released at the presentation of the "Truth and Justice" Awards to New Hampshire attorneys general and their staffs on March 6, to indicate the truth that their historic "Report on the Investigation of the Diocese of Manchester" brought to light.
Examples of the truth revealed by the New Hampshire Attorney General
(in documents released March 3, 2002)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Former Biloxi Bishop Accused Of "Inappropriate Behavior" With An Adult Man

BILOXI (MS)
WLOX

[with link to copy of a letter Bishop Thomas Rodi has written regarding the situation]

[includes video]

Posted: March 7, 2008 08:19 PM EST

BILOXI (WLOX) -- WLOX News has learned that a complaint has been filed in Circuit Court alleging retired Biloxi Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze engaged in inappropriate conduct with an adult man. The incident allegedly took place in January 2007.

According to the Biloxi Diocese, a video tape recorded the event in question, but it does not clearly show what happened.

Bishop Thomas Rodi has written a letter addressing the situation, which will be read at all Masses this weekend in the Diocese of Biloxi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Mixed reviews on Rockville Centre diocese audit

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Newsday

BY BART JONES | bart.jones@newsday.com
8:47 PM EST, March 7, 2008

Catholic groups and children advocates Friday offered mixed opinions on an audit on the Rockville Centre diocese's adherence to a charter on child protection adopted after the church sex abuse scandal.

Some said the diocese, which for the first time in five years was found not to be in compliance with the charter, should be applauded because it passed 98 percent of the review. Others said the audit underscored serious shortcomings.

The audit, officially released Friday, found Rockville Centre could not provide documentation that 2,300 of 64,000 volunteers had undergone Virtus "safe environments" training on how to prevent child sex abuse. Nationwide, 12 of 190 dioceses studied were found not to be in compliance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Church likely to investigation private life of Bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
icWales

Mar 8 2008

THE Archbishop of Wales is likely to launch a formal investigation next week into concerns about the friendship between the Bishop of St Davids and a married woman priest.

Yesterday it emerged that 23 clerics in the Diocese of St Davids had signed a letter requesting such an inquiry into the private life of Bishop Carl Cooper.

Last month the Bishop, 47, and his wife Joy announced they were separating after a 25-year marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Burke formally seeks Bozek's removal

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

By Tim O'Neil
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/08/2008

Archbishop Raymond Burke has formally declared that defiant Rev. Marek Bozek, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, is improperly representing himself as a Catholic priest and is recommending his removal from the priesthood.

Burke made formal his recommendations after Bozek refused to meet with him Wednesday to discuss the long-running dispute. The archdiocese released the text of Burke's decree in Friday's edition of the St. Louis Review, the local Catholic weekly newspaper.

On Wednesday, Bozek said he would not meet with Burke to answer the charges, saying, "I will not subject myself any more to this humiliating process." Burke said a few hours later that he will proceed with a church judicial process that would lead to Bozek's removal from the priesthood, unless he repents. ...

Bozek said his own church lawyer has advised him "that I am not guilty of any single one of these charges. I believe I am not, and that's my lawyer's advice." His adviser is the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a Dominican and canon lawyer in Virginia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Survivor finds sincerity, churches call for action in Vancouver

CANADA
The Anglican Church of Canada

ALI SYMONS
GENERAL SYNOD WEB WRITER

MARCH 7, 2008 -- "Remembering the Children" has been a sombre tour: stories of abuse in residential schools, apologies from churches, and a commitment to a long and difficult walk of healing. But when the Aboriginal and Church leaders made their second stop in Vancouver March 5, there was evidence of real hope.

"When I was invited to a ceremony called 'Remembering the Children' I wasn't too excited to go to it," Ted Quewezance, executive director of the National Residential School Survivors' Society, confessed to the crowd of 200 at Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology. "The last people who I thought would ever come to the plate were the churches, but as I listened to [the church leaders] in Ottawa, I cried when I heard each of them speak, and I'll tell you, each gentleman here that represents the churches, the sincerity is there. I know there's sincerity because I've talked to them."

Mr. Quewezance, who attended an Anglican school and suffered sexual abuse for six years, is one of hundreds of Canadians who have heard the church leaders' apologies for their involvement in the schools, and their commitment, along with Aboriginal leaders, to participate in the upcoming Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a five-year listening and educating process to uncover the legacy of residential schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Catholic Church pays $655m in abuse cases

UNITED STATES
NEWS.com.au (Australia)

From correspondents in Washington
March 08, 2008 10:44am

THE Roman Catholic church in the United States paid out $A665 million last year for child sex abuse cases involving members of the clergy, or 54 per cent more than the previous year.

Of the monies paid out by the church, $568 million went to settling cases - almost double the amount paid out in 2006, according to the report commissioned by the church.

About $23 million was paid out for therapy for victims or support for accused offenders, and $64 million for legal fees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Former area priest faces new abuse allegation

MICHIGAN
Muskegon Chronicle

Posted by Chronicle News Service with local reports March 07, 2008 21:29PM

Four new sex-abuse allegations were brought last year against three former priests of the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese, diocesan officials said today.

The accused priests previously were removed from ministry and the allegations are of abuse that occurred between 35 and 50 years ago, said Mary Haarman, diocesan spokeswoman.

They include Michael McKenna, a former priest in Muskegon Heights' Sacred Heart Catholic Church who was removed from public ministry in 2006 amid other allegations of sexual abuse of boys in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Abuse prevention program requires ongoing commitment

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
Grand Rapids Press

Saturday, March 08, 2008

By Charles Honey
Press Religion Editor

GRAND RAPIDS -- It takes a lot of record-keeping and time, but the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese's Child and Youth Protection abuse-prevention program is well worth it, the Rev. Mark Przybysz says.

"We were all taught as kids not to take candy from strangers or get in a car with somebody," said Przybysz, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Grand Rapids. "This is just a reinforcement of that and going to a new level."

The 11-county diocese spent $66,000 on the program last year, up from $48,500 in 2006, according to a national report released Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Church's Sex Abuse Payouts Hit Record

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

Staff And Wire Reports
March 8, 2008

The Roman Catholic Church paid out more than $526 million to settle sex abuse claims against clergy last year — including at least $3.8 million to victims of Connecticut priests.

The statistics are included in a new report for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that measures how the church is dealing with a sex abuse scandal that continues to plague parishes across the United States. Although the number of sex abuse claims dropped for the third consecutive year, payouts to victims nearly doubled, to their highest level ever.

The report, released Friday, does not break its findings down by diocese, or even by state, but officials with the Hartford and Norwich dioceses said they paid out $1.3 million and $2.5 million respectively in 2007.

Seven new and credible claims of sexual abuse were reported to the Hartford Archdiocese last year, said its spokesman, the Rev. John Gatzak. Norwich reported no new claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Priest faces jail for sex assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Hampshire

By John Hoskins

A DISGRACED priest has been told he faces a prison sentence for the historic sex abuse of two teenagers.

Brian Rutledge was found unanimously guilty by jurors who spent four hours deliberating at Southampton Crown Court.

After last night's verdict, the Bishop of Portsmouth condemned the retired cleric for his betrayal of trust and promised he would never again serve as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

D.M. diocese passes audit related to abuse charges

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

By TODD ERZEN • REGISTER STAFF WRITER • March 8, 2008

The Diocese of Des Moines passed its fourth audit in four tries as it continues to deal with the fallout from the priest abuse scandal that surfaced in 2002.

The audit was conducted on behalf of the U.S. Bishops Conference Office of Child and Youth Protection and pertains to a period between August 2005 and June 2007.

Six accusations against five different diocesan priests were reported during that time regarding the abuse of a minor. The alleged incidents took place between 10 and 40 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

March 7, 2008

Pilot parishes key to campaign's $16.7 million start

WISCONSIN
Catholic Herald

By Brian T. Olszewski
Catholic Herald Staff

ST. FRANCIS - From its inception, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan has said the Faith in Our Future capital campaign was not just another fund-raiser.

"This is not a bake sale on steroids," the archbishop reiterated last week.

In fact, it has no resemblance to a bake sale. It has a $105 million goal, and is, according to its promotional materials, designed to "further the education in and practice of stewardship." To get it launched, the archdiocese depended upon 12 parishes to pilot the campaign near the end of 2007 and to test its process before three subsequent waves of parishes began to participate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Recalcitrant priest faces Church sanctions

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

by Joseph Kenny, Review Staff Writer

Disappointed that Father Marek Bozek has refused to return to his home diocese to be reconciled with the Catholic Church, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke said March 5 that he is forced to proceed with the canonical process of dismissing Father Bozek from the clerical state.

Father Bozek was scheduled to attend a hearing with Archbishop Burke and two canon lawyers assessing the case March 5. In a press conference just before the meeting, the Polish-born priest announced that he would not attend.

The results of the canonical process begun by Archbishop Burke are in a decree on page 6 in this week’s Review.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Vicar to hear of fate at appeal

UNITED KINGDOM
Whitby Gazette

By Staff Copy
A WHITBY vicar will discover his fate on Monday when a tribunal will hear an appeal after he was removed from office for having an affair with a married woman.

Rev David King was banned from practising for four years following a Church of England disciplinary tribunal in November last year for the relationship with mother-of-four Tracy Byrne.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Burke recommends Bozek be removed as priest

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

By Tim O'Neil
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/07/2008

Archbishop Raymond Burke has formally declared that defiant Rev. Marek Bozek, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, is improperly representing himself as a Catholic priest and is recommending his removal from the priesthood.

Burke made formal his recommendations after Bozek refused to meet with him on Wednesday to discuss the long-running dispute. The archdiocese released the text of Burke’s decree in today's edition of the St. Louis Review, the local Catholic weekly newspaper.

On Wednesday, Bozek said he would not meet with Burke to answer the charges, saying, "I will not subject myself any more to this humiliating process." Burke said a few hours later that he will proceed with a church judicial process that would lead to Bozek’s removal from the priesthood, unless he were to repent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Clergy Sex Abuse Payouts Nearly Double

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

By RACHEL ZOLL

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of sex abuse claims against Roman Catholic clergy dropped for the third consecutive year, but total payouts to victims nearly doubled to reach their highest level ever, according to a new report for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dioceses and religious orders received 691 new allegations last year, compared with 714 in 2006. The overwhelming majority of claims date back decades. Settlements with victims increased by 90 percent over the same period, to more than $526 million — the largest amount for one year.

The findings, released Friday, are part of an annual review the American bishops commissioned in 2002 as the abuse crisis consumed the church. A companion audit of bishops' child safety policies found that nearly every diocese was following the plan. ...

"It's tempting but irresponsible to assume progress has been made at this very premature stage," said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "There always has been and always will be a lag time in reporting abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Priest failed to account for parish money, investigators say

GREENWICH (CT)
The Advocate

Associated Press

Published March 7 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A Greenwich priest failed to account for more than $400,000 in church funds he kept in secret accounts and engaged in a pattern of deception when confronted, an investigation by church officials concluded Friday.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport said it has provided its findings to federal authorities after investigating the Rev. Michael Moynihan. He resigned last year as pastor of St. Michael Church in wealthy Greenwich and was stripped of his priestly authority last month after he was found living with another man.

The FBI had contacted church officials about the secret accounts, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

St. Stanislaus Priest Found Guilty Of Church Crimes

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KTVI

Created: Friday, 07 Mar 2008, 4:33 PM CST

(KTVI -- MyFOXstl.com) --
St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has found father Marek Bozek guilty of eight church crimes.

In a decree published in the St. Louis Review Friday, Burke says the St. Stanislaus priest is guilty of breaking with the Catholic Church, its teachings, sacraments and governance. A ninth accusation is pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Parents of boy slain in '72 seek answers

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Bellingham Herald

By STEPHANIE REITZ
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- When 13-year-old Danny Croteau was found bludgeoned to death in 1972, the boy's father asked a priest to go with him to identify the body.

The slaying went unsolved for lack of evidence, but it was continually surrounded by rumors and innuendo about the priest's relationship with the teen, who served as an altar boy when he was killed.

That speculation only intensified when the Rev. Richard Lavigne was convicted of molesting other altar boys and later defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

USCCB report hails compliance with Dallas Charter, says resistance "scandalizes the faithful"

UNITED STATES
Catholic World News

Washington, Mar. 7, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Most of the Catholic dioceses in the US are in compliance with the requirements of the "Dallas Charter" established by the American bishops as a response to the sex-abuse crisis, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reports.

However, one diocese-- Lincoln, Nebraska, under Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz-- and four Eastern Catholic eparchies still refuse to submit to the audits suggested by the USCCB as a follow-up to the Dallas Charter.

Michael Merz, the chairman of the National Review Board-- the group empaneled by the USCCB to oversee the implementation of the Dallas Charter-- argues in a letter to the American bishops that this resistance to audits "scandalizes the faithful." The Catholic people of the US, Merz insists, cannot understand a few bishops' "resistance to a simple measure for the protection of children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

US Catholic church paid 615 mln dlrs for abuse cases in 2007: report

UNITED STATES
AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Roman Catholic church in the United States paid out 615 million dollars (400 million euros) last year for child sex abuse cases involving members of the clergy, or 54 percent more than the previous year, a report showed Friday.

Of the monies paid out by the church, 526 million dollars went to settling cases -- almost double the amount paid out in 2006, according to the report commissioned by the church.

Around 23 million dollars was paid out for therapy for victims or support for accused offenders, and 60 million dollars for legal fees. ...

According to Terry McKiernan, president of "Bishop Accountability," which documents the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic church, more than 5,000 priests out of the 42,000 across the United States have been denounced for sexual abuse.

"We know that the number is considerably over 5,000 now, and that on the basis of annual adjustments since the John Jay report came out in 2004," McKiernan told AFP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

More allegations of priest abuse surface

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
WOOD

GRAND RAPIDS - The Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese said four new allegations of sexual abuse by priests were made against three former diocese priests.

The former priests are Michael McKenna, Louis Baudone and Stanislaus Bur, and all the incidents happened between 35 -50 years ago.

McKenna was removed from the diocese in 2006, Baudone in 1993. Bur was removed by the Saginaw Diocese, but served in Grand Rapids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Oblates knew for years about priest's sexual escapades

TEXAS
Express-News

Web Posted: 03/07/2008 09:22 AM CST

John MacCormack
Express-News

The year was 1983, and the homeless, pregnant teenager already had lost her heart and virginity to Father Tony, the compassionate assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Church on Harrisburg Boulevard in Houston.

"You remind me of the Virgin Mary, and I've never seen anyone so beautiful," she later recalled him saying.

Nearly four decades her senior, Anthony Gonzales had given her an engagement ring and promised her, upon his return from a trip to the Vatican, to leave the priesthood so they could wed in a prestigious church ceremony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

UNITED STATES
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

This links to the annual report issued today by the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the National Review Board regarding compliance of American dioceses with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Annual abuse audit and survey find soaring costs, fewer allegations

UNITED STATES
Catholic Courier

(Publication Date: 03-07-2008)

By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The costs to the Catholic Church for legal settlements in abuse cases, therapy for victims of sexual abuse, support for offenders and legal fees soared to more than $600 million in 2007, the fourth year of reporting on the handling of abuse cases by U.S. dioceses and religious orders.

The 2007 Survey of Allegations and Costs released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops March 7 also reported a continued decrease in the number of new credible allegations of abuse: 599 new allegations were made in 2007, compared with 635 in 2006, 695 in 2005 and 898 in 2004, the first year of the survey.

According to the survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, dioceses and religious institutes paid $615 million for legal settlements, therapy, support for offenders, attorneys' fees and other costs. In the four previous years of the survey, the highest amount paid out was $466 million in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Voice of the Faithful to meet tomorrow

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Post

Voice of the Faithful will hold a meeting tomorrow to provide an update on the on-going Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandals and their consequences.

The presentation will be given by Anne Barrett Doyle and Terry McKiernan, founders of Bishop Accountability of Waltham, Mass., and Helen McGonigle, an attorney and abuse survivor from Brookfield. The meeting will be held from 10 to 2 at Christ Church Greenwich.

BishopAccountability.Org was founded in 2004. It archives court records and public documents that track and identify clergy, religious and others in United States Dioceses accused of abusing children or teens or aiding abusers. The organization takes no position on the root causes and does not advocate particular remedies. It contends that when the facts are fully known, both the causes and remedies will become clear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Dioceses Compliant With Charter; Outreach Extensive

UNITED STATES
EarthTimes

Posted : Fri, 07 Mar 2008 14:54:04 GMT

WASHINGTON, March 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Virtually all U.S. dioceses and eparchies are compliant with the U.S. bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," according to audits of dioceses and eparchies in 2007.

The report also noted that outreach to victims/survivors and their families characterizes diocesan responses. http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/annualreport.pdf

The audit results appear in the 2007 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report is produced under the direction of the National Review Board, chaired by Judge Michael Merz. It includes the audit results of 190 of the 195 dioceses and eparchies in the United States as well as data collected for calendar year 2007 by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) in its Annual Survey of Allegations and Costs. The report was released March 7.

The report noted diocesan outreach efforts.

"In general," it said, "healing initiatives focus on psychological/therapeutic counseling and spiritual care." The report also said that "recognizing that healing can take many forms and the needs of victims can take many forms, dioceses/eparchies are offering outreach in the form of rent, transportation, no interest loans and employment counseling."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Boston child protection audit figures released

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

By Antonio M. Enrique
Posted: 3/7/2008 BRIGHTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced March 4 that the U.S. bishops’ annual audit has found it in compliance with 12 of the 13 articles of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” that were audited.

The archdiocese made its announcement in advance of the national results, which are expected to be released March 7.

The annual audit process was established in 2003 to monitor the implementation of the charter, which was approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 in response to unprecedented revelations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The audits are conducted nationally by the Boston-based Gavin Group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Clergy Sex Abuse Payouts Nearly Double

UNITED STATES
San Francisco Chronicle

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

Friday, March 7, 2008

(03-07) 08:21 PST New York (AP) --

The number of sex abuse claims against Roman Catholic clergy dropped for the third consecutive year, but total payouts to victims nearly doubled to reach their highest level ever, according to a new report for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dioceses and religious orders received 691 new allegations last year, compared with 714 in 2006. The overwhelming majority of claims date back decades. Settlements with victims increased by 90 percent over the same period, to more than $526 million — the largest amount for one year.

The findings, released Friday, are part of an annual review the American bishops commissioned in 2002 as the abuse crisis consumed the church. A companion audit of bishops' child safety policies found that nearly every diocese was following the plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Diocese denies having role in identification of plaintiff

PEORIA (IL)
Peoria Journal Star

Friday, March 7, 2008

PEORIA - Catholic Diocese of Peoria officials said they took no part in a priest's effort to force a plaintiff in a sexual misconduct lawsuit to identify himself.

At a news conference Wednesday, representatives of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests castigated Monsignor Norman Goodman for requesting that Richard Jones, who claims Goodman abused him, be identified in court records.

SNAP also said the Diocese of Peoria should have compelled Goodman not to take such an action.

In a fax sent to the Journal Star on Thursday, diocesan chancellor and attorney Patricia Gibson said the diocese has no authority over Goodman in the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

NH officials honored for work on state's clergy sex abuse allegations

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Manchester, NH) - It was five years ago this week that the New Hampshire attorney general's office released 9,000 pages detailing accounts of clergy sex abuse in the Manchester Diocese. Today, seven members who worked on the case were honored in Concord.

In March of 2003, the AG's office released 9,000 pages of church records -- an unprescedented account of abuse claims and the Diocese of Manchester's response to the cases.

The attorney general had been prepared to indict the diocese on child endangerment charges. Instead, there was a settlement. The diocese agreed among other things, to release its documents on sex abuse claims and submit an annual performance audit to the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

St. Paul Parish suit dismissed

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

By JEAN PRESCOTT
jtprescott@sunherald.com

Judge Thomas L. Zebert this week dismissed the lawsuit filed by 157 members of the former St. Paul Catholic Parish against the Diocese of Biloxi, Bishop Thomas J. Rodi and the Rev. Dennis Carver, citing, among other points, excessive entanglement.

Eric Wooten, attorney for 156 of the 157 plaintiffs, issued a news release Thursday afternoon saying he had already filed an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Shirley Henderson, speaking for the Diocese, said: "We are pleased to learn that the court ruled in favor of the church's motion to dismiss. In its decision the court ruled that it lacks jurisdiction to consider this church dispute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Diocese shouldn't close church in Pottsville

POTTSVILLE (PA)
The Morning Call

March 7, 2008

The parishioners of Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Pottsville feel that the restructuring process of the Diocese of Allentown for the churches in Schuylkill County and in particular the closing of our church, is not only an unnecessary evil, but will be detrimental to our community.

This is the only Catholic church on the North Side of Pottsville. It has 850 worshipers and provides services for disabled and elderly Catholics, many of whom do not have transportation or cannot physically go to another parish. It provides many services for the poor, has strong organizations and is an important part of this community. Most Saturday night masses are approximately 70 percent filled, compared to other Catholic churches in the area that are scraping by with 20 percent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Urell back; W. F. B fondly remembered

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

FRANK MICKADEIT
Register columnist
fmickadeit@ocregister.com

A day to catch up. It didn't take long for plaintiff's attorney John Manly to react to the return of Monsignor John Urrell.

"The people of Orange County, and most importantly the Catholic community, should remember that Monsignor Urell allowed numerous priests and employees of the Diocese of Orange to have access to children after it was well known they had molested children," Manly blasted in an e-mail.

"If Bishop Brown and the Diocesan hierarchy had any real concern for children, they would have sought Monsignor Urell's retirement long ago. The fact that they honor him clearly shows that nothing has changed in the Diocese of Orange and children remain at risk."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Audit: Rockville Centre diocese falls short in volunteer checks

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Newsday

BY BART JONES | bart.jones@newsday.com
March 7, 2008

For the first time, the Diocese of Rockville Centre has failed a review by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of its adherence to the church's Charter for the Protection of Children.

The charter was drawn following the sex abuse scandal that involved scores of Catholic priests nationwide. It is aimed at preventing further abuse through such mechanisms as background checks on church workers and volunteers, and mandatory reporting of suspected abuse to civil authorities.

The local diocese said it passed virtually every aspect of the conference's 13-article audit with one exception. One of the five parishes surveyed did not take sufficient action to train church volunteers in "safe environments," said diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan, who declined to name the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest underwent therapy for attraction to young boys

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Echo

By Clare Kennedy

A former Catholic priest charged with a serious sex offence against a male teenager today admitted undergoing therapy for his sexual attraction to young boys.

Brian Rutledge, 69, admitted that he had carried out unlawful activities on boys before 1990.

Southampton Crown Court was told how in every parish he served, including several in Hampshire, he set up boys clubs and football teams.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Officials commended for sex abuse investigation

CONCORD (NH)
Nashua Telegraph

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN Telegraph Staff
klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com
CONCORD – Two groups supporting sex abuse victims of Catholic priests honored state officials for their investigation and landmark settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester.

The Voice of the Faithful and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests presented plaques to seven state prosecutors and investigators who released 9,000 pages of church records detailing clergy sex crimes.

New Hampshire was the first state to bring about a comprehensive, performance audit of church operations as part of a settlement the state reached with church administrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Alleged raffle scheme defended

NEW JERSEY
the Star-Ledger

Friday, March 07, 2008
BY MIKE FRASSINELLI
The Star-Ledger

BELVIDERE | A Warren County priest accused of misappropriating nearly $1 million through church raffles with fake winners, legally bought tickets in the names of "alter egos" only so he could support his charities, his lawyer said Thursday.

"Like Robin Hood?" Superior Court Judge John Pursel asked.

"I've heard that phrase," replied Melvin M. Wright Jr. of New York City, Robert J. "Father Bob" Ascolese's lawyer.

Saying that buying the raffle tickets was a legal way the priest could help his financially troubled Catholic school in Washington Borough, Wright is seeking to dismiss all but 11 of the 32 charges against Ascolese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Bishop’s chaplain says she is to split from husband

UNITED KINGDOM
icWales

Mar 7 2008 by Martin Shipton, Western Mail

THE woman priest whose friendship with the Bishop of St Davids has prompted calls for him to face a formal investigation revealed yesterday that she is to separate from her husband.

Last month Bishop Carl Cooper and his wife Joy announced they were separating after 25 years of marriage. They said no one else was involved in the split.

A number of clerics in the Diocese of St Davids have called on the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, to launch an inquiry to establish whether Bishop Cooper has given “just cause for scandal”.

Yesterday, in a written statement to the Western Mail, the Rev Mandy Williams-Potter, the Bishop’s chaplain and communications officer, said she was separating from her husband, but dismissed speculation she was having an affair with the Bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Disgraced vicar is still in the parish magazine

UNITED KINGDOM
Worcester News

By Claire Fry

A PARISH magazine is still listing a convicted sex offender as the team vicar - despite him being suspended six months ago.

The disgraced Rev Nduna Mpunzi, who was vicar of St Barnabas, Rainbow Hill and Christ Church, Tolladine, Worcester, was found guilty in February of a sex attack on a teenage girl and is currently in custody awaiting sentence.

However, despite the 61-year-old being suspended from his duties in August 2007, following the allegations, the parish magazine - The Magazine - still has the name of the Rev Mpunzi printed as team vicar on the inside cover, together with his contact details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Lawyers seek to have charges against former priest dismissed

WASHINGTON (NJ)
The Morning Call

By Jay Richards | Special to The Morning Call
March 7, 2008

Attorneys for Robert Ascolese, the former priest accused of embezzling nearly $1 million from a Washington, N.J., church, and his co-defendants asked a state judge Thursday to dismiss the charges.

Superior Court Judge John Pursel said during a hearing in Belvidere, N.J., that he would rule on the request later.

The defense lawyers accused Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Craig Barto of giving the grand jury only theories but no evidence of lottery rigging.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Canadians Split on Apology to Aboriginals

CANADA
Angus Reid Global Monitor

March 07, 2008
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Adults in Canada are divided on whether their government should follow Australia’s example and offer an apology to its Aboriginal population, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 42 per cent of respondents think an official apology is warranted, while 39 per cent disagree.

For over 60 years and into the 1970s, the Australian government—and Catholic Church missions—forcibly removed Australia’s Aboriginal children from their families and placed them in institutions or with foster families.

In 1995, a national Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission was established to look into the problems caused by the policy. A report released by the commission two years later concluded that the removal of children was a "violation of basic human rights" that amounted to genocide, because it sought to eliminate an ethnic group. The government began to work on several policies for the return of the "lost" children, as well as the reconciliation between Australians of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal origin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Church not the only culprit in abuse saga

JERSEY
Irish Independent

By David Quinn
Friday March 07 2008

THE child abuse scandal unfolding in Jersey and now, it appears, in Guernsey as well, has a hideous familiarity about it.

First of all there is the institution in which the Jersey abuses are alleged to have happened, namely Haut de la Garenne. Physically it is exactly like the institutions in this country to which tens of thousands of Irish children were sent down the years.

It was, in fact, an industrial school just like our industrial schools and it was founded in 1867, around the time many Irish industrial schools were being founded. There is no coincidence here. The industrial schools were an invention of British law and were considered at the time the best way to deal with abused or neglected or delinquent children. It was better than leaving them on the streets, or with abusive or neglectful parents, or putting them into adult prisons, the thinking went. In the context of their time they were seen as progressive, as amazing as that seems to us now. ...

So far, so very, very familiar. But there is one very big difference that must be noted. Haut de la Garenne was not run by the Catholic Church, or any other church for that matter. In common with most industrial schools in Britain it was lay-run. Currently Justice Sean Ryan and his commission are investigating the way in which industrial schools in this country were run and a report should be published before too much longer. As we know, the vast majority of such schools in this country were run by 18 Catholic religious orders and for this reason a special blame attaches to the Catholic Church, as it must where abuses occurred. But there is an added temptation, and that is to suggest that there is something intrinsic to Catholicism, intrinsic to its structures, intrinsic to the religious life, intrinsic to the way the Church is run that is responsible for what happened in the institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Man sues for alleged abuse by Mormon youth minister in the 1970s

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by Aimee Green, The Oregonian March 06, 2008 20:56PM

A man who claims he was molested as a boy by a representative of the Mormon church in Southeast Portland is suing the church for $20 million.

The man, whom The Oregonian isn't naming because he's an alleged victim of sexual abuse, claims that he was repeatedly abused in the 1970s by James Hogan, a volunteer youth minister in the Twelfth Stake in the 2900 block of Southeast Harrison Street.

Randall Vogt, the attorney who filed the suit, said Hogan was a Boy Scout leader, but abused the boy while working as a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The abuse is alleged to have happened for four years, starting when the boy was 9.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Dunlop saga trumps inquiry

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Despite what his legion of loyal, diehard supporters contend, Perry Dunlop is in jail today, many miles away from his family, because he has foolishly defied the justice system by refusing to answer a demand that he testify at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

For that act of defiance, the former Cornwall police officer is paying a severe penalty. He will spend at least the next six months in jail.

Unfortunately for the inquiry, established to delve into institutional - police, Roman Catholic Church, probation office, children's aid society and others - response to complaints of sexual abuse, Dunlop's defiance and subsequent jailing has created a sideshow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Parishes disagree over abuse prevention program for children

MASSACHUSETTS
MetroWest Daily News

By Nancy Reardon
GateHouse Media News Service
Posted Mar 06, 2008 @ 11:02 PM

BOSTON — Nearly a decade after the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, local parishes still disagree over the best way to implement an abuse prevention program for children.

At issue among parents, pastors and religion educators is whether the ultimate responsibility to teach children how to recognize and report inappropriate sexual touching lies with the church or with parents.

The archdiocese was expected today to release a list of 64 parishes that do not comply with its abuse prevention program, based on a nationwide curriculum called “Talking about Touching.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Lawsuit accuses priest of sexual abuse in 1952

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
A 71-year-old Lenexa woman on Thursday sued the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph because she contends a priest sexually abused her when she was a teenager.

The priest, John C. Baskett, retired in 1975 and died in 1995. He is not a defendant in the case.

Katherine Goodnow, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, contends that Baskett was about 35 and she was 15 when he got her drunk at a Christmas party and sexually assaulted her in a car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

NH AGs, staffs recognized by victim advocacy groups

CONCORD (NH)
New Hampshire Union Leader

By TOM FAHEY
State House Bureau Chief

CONCORD – Two victim advocacy groups gave "Truth and Justice" awards yesterday to prosecutors who pressed child molestation cases against the Catholic Diocese of Manchester.

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the release of an Attorney General's report and 9,000 pages of documents that detailed the way the church handled complaints it received of sexual abuse by priests. New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) used the occasion to honor the current and former attorneys general and their staffs for their work in the case.

Carolyn Disco of Voice of the Faithful said reading through boxes of documents, turned over to the Attorney General's Office under court order, "is a sickening, infuriating experience." In thanking Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and former AGs Peter Heed and Philip McLaughlin, Disco said, "because you painstakingly gathered the facts, researched applicable case law, and were willing to follow through, you wrested a virtual admission of guilt from the Diocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Superior of Ex-Priest Claims He Lied to Pope

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

A Dominican priest has claimed he lied to now-deceased Pope John Paul II when he told the pontiff in a letter that he had tried to get other church assignments for a Memphis priest who sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in 2000.

The passage from the 2007 deposition of Father Alberto Rodriguez is one of several recent disclosures made in the nearly four-year-old John Doe lawsuit filed against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, the Dominican order and former priest Juan Carlos Duran.

Those disclosures show Duran's Dominican superiors were warned of other sexual abuse allegations and Memphis Diocesan officials didn't investigate a resume that listed nothing before 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

'Two sides to every story': Aikman

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Posted By Trevor Pritchard

Testimony over the next month or two at the Cornwall Public Inquiry should help counter "misinformation" that former cop Perry Dunlop spread about the police force, the force's deputy chief says.

Danny Aikman said civil lawsuits and the OPP's Project Truth investigation prevented the force from commenting on some of the more widespread allegations - in particular, that the Cornwall Community Police Service was trying to cover-up sexual abuse cases. "We've always said we welcome a public inquiry (so we can give) our version of the events," said Aikman.

"Hopefully at the end of the inquiry, the public and the commissioner will see that there were two sides to every story."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

March 6, 2008

Church combats child sex abuse

HARTFORD (CT)
WTNH

[with video]

By Chief Capitol Correspondent Mark Davis
Posted March 6, 2008
7:20 PM

(WTNH) _ Connecticut's Archbishop says the Catholic Church is doing more to combat child sex abuse than any institution in the nation. The remark comes just one day after another sex abuse settlement.

The church agreed just yesterday to settle a case with a former altar boy who is one of several grown men who have claimed a priest, who was at one time the State Police Chaplain, was a child sex abuser.

The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut were at the State Capitol lobbying legislators in favor of a state earned income tax credit for the poor, compassion on the issue of immigration and counseling for teenagers receiving abortions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Audit Reveals No Wrongdoing At Sts. Peter, Paul

CINCINNATI (OH)
WLWT

CINCINNATI -- An independent audit turned up no budgetary improprieties at Saints Peter and Paul Church, according to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

A 2007 newspaper report revealed that complaints about church spending practices had been filed with Reading police and the archdiocese, and an investigation was launched.

Certified public accountants from Collins Heeb Miller & Company, Inc. audited the parish’s financial records covering a period of June 30, 2006, through June 30, 2007, and found no evidence of theft or other misused funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Involving Yakima Diocese

YAKIMA (WA)
KAPP

YAKIMA -- The Washington State Supreme Court Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by a former employee of the Catholic Diocese of Yakima who alleged he was forced out of his job in retaliation for complaining about the way the church handled the investigation of one of its priests. Tuesday’s ruling, by a five-judge panel of the court, means that Robert Fontana will have no more opportunities to argue his case. Mr. Fontana resigned from his job as diocesan director of evangelization in the summer of 2005. He later filed suit alleging “constructive discharge.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

Chaplain denies bishop 'rumours'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The chaplain to the Bishop of St David's says there is no truth in rumours about their relationship.

The Reverend Mandy Williams Potter is chaplain and communications officer to Bishop Carl Cooper.

It follows the bishop's announcement he was separating from his wife Joy after 25 years of marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Purported visionary bows to diocese

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - The weeping Madonna at 33 Garland St. has shed its last tear.

Purported messages from the Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi delivered through a postal carrier also have been quieted, per order of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

After an investigation into a home-based Catholic prayer group called "Seeds of Hope," run by Neil Harrington Jr., the diocese recently took the unprecedented measure of effectively shutting it down. ...

The pair said they became disillusioned with Harrington after internal tensions erupted and upon discovering the group's former "spiritual leader," the Rev. John Szantyr, had been stripped of his priestly faculties in the late 1980s and was charged in Worcester Superior Court for allegedly molesting altar boys in the 1980s.

That case is pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Priest takes last stand against archbishop

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

By Tim O'Neil
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/06/2008

The Rev. Marek Bozek, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka church, refused Wednesday to appear before Archbishop Raymond Burke for a formal process that is likely to lead to his dismissal from the active priesthood.

"I will not subject myself to any more of this humiliating process," Bozek said in a news conference at the Polish-heritage church, just northwest of downtown.

Bozek was to meet Burke at the chancery office next to the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica on Lindell Boulevard. After Bozek made his intention clear, Burke said he had begun "the process for the dismissal of (Bozek) from the clerical state."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest got into bed with me, boy claims

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Anna Cox

A Joburg Catholic priest is to be charged with indecent assault.

The priest allegedly climbed into bed with some youngsters wearing only boxer shorts during a church camp last month.

The parent of a 9-year-old said the priest lay in bed with the boy and snuggled up to him. The boy managed to free himself with the help of some classmates. The priest then allegedly got into bed with another boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Cleared priest says scars of his ordeal will never go away

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

By Staff Reporter

A PRIEST who was cleared of sexually abusing two young boys in Bury has said the "scars" of his ordeal will never go away.

Father John McCollough (63) spoke of his relief after being found not guilty but also of the stress and heartache of being arrested, charged and standing trial.

Mr McCollough had been accused of performing sex acts with young boys while he was an Anglican rector at Christ of King with Holy Trinity Church in Spring Street during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Special terms if girls testify

PHILIPPINES
Cebu Daily News

By Doris C. Bongcac, Bernadette Parco
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 12:22:00 03/06/2008

CEBU CITY, Philippines - If the child abuse case against Fr. Ben Ejares goes to trial, the seven high school girls who complained of being traumatized by him in 2006 will have to testify about their experience.

But since they are below 18 years old, special arrangements are provided under the law to protect them.

For example, their statements will be heard in the privacy of the judge’s chambers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

State court dismisses firing appeal

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald-Republic

By ROSS COURTNEY
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

The Washington State Supreme Court will not hear a lawsuit by Robert Fontana claiming he was unfairly forced out of his job at the Yakima Catholic Diocese.

The state's highest court dismissed Tuesday an appeal by Fontana, who worked as the director of evangelism until summer 2005.

Fontana says he is disappointed but does not plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

St. Cecilia principal fired

INDEPENDENCE (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY WILLIAM CROYLE | WCROYLE@NKY.COM AND AMANDA VAN BENSCHOTEN

INDEPENDENCE - Felony criminal charges are being pursued by Independence police against Clint Green, who was fired Monday from his job as principal of St. Cecilia School.

Green, 33, was terminated "due to financial impropriety," according to a letter sent to parents Tuesday by the Rev. Mario Tizziani, the parish's parochial administrator.

Independence Police Captain Tony Lucas said Wednesday that the department was notified by the parish a week ago that funds, believed to be in excess of $300, were missing from either the church or school. Lucas said two detectives have been assigned to the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Editorial: Help children; don’t hide crimes

MARYLAND
Examiner

Mar 6, 2008 3:00 AM by The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien told The Examiner he was “sorry” for the victims of sexual abuse by priests. “As a church we cannot say this is enough.”

We wonder then, because the church worked tirelessly to kill a brief window in the statute of limitations to allow abuse victims of all faiths to sue in civil court, what is enough?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses elders refusing to testify in Murrieta molestation case

CALIFORNIA
The Press-Enterprise

By TAMMY McCOY
The Press-Enterprise

A legal battle is looming over Riverside County's need to protect children, and people's right to practice religion without government intrusion.

A prosecutor wants leaders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation to testify about what a Murrieta man accused of molesting two girls told them. So far, two of the elders who oversee the Windsong Valley Congregation in Wildomar say that defendant Gilbert Simental's statements are confidential and they do not want to testify.

Simental's attorney Miles Clark says his client is innocent of the molestation charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Extension of sex-abuse victims' claims falters

COLORADO
The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 03/06/2008 12:51:57 AM MST

For the second time in three years, lawmakers have killed a bill that would have given victims of childhood sex abuse more time to file civil claims against their alleged abusers or the institutions that may have harbored them.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 8-2 Wednesday against House Bill 1011, which would have lifted the statute of limitations for any new or recent sexual-abuse case. It also would have created a two-year window so that victims whose statute of limitations has run out could still file a case. "The people who were assaulted as children bare those scars the rest of their lives," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Former Oregon pastor sued in sex abuse case

OREGON
KGW

03/06/2008

Associated Press

A multimillion dollar lawsuit has been filed on behalf of three sisters against a pastor accused of sexually assaulting them between 1996 and 2001.

The lawsuit filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court claims Alfredo Hinojosa Soto, a minister at the former Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen in Cornelius, caused the girls to suffer physical, emotional and psychological injury.

Soto, 83, was arrested in 2002 and charged in Yamhill County with sodomy and sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty to attempted sex abuse and attempted sodomy, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years' probation. At the time of the incidents, Soto lived in Gaston, as did the girls, who were all younger than 10 and members of Soto's church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Former linebacker encourages child sexual abuse victims to speak out

WILMINGTON (DE)
ESPN

Associated Press

Updated: March 5, 2008, 6:07 PM ET

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Former NFL linebacker Al Chesley said Wednesday he was sexually abused as a teen and is encouraging victims of child sexual abuse to step forward and tell their stories.

Chesley, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1979-82, joined members of the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in praising a new Delaware law that allows victims of child sexual abuse to seek civil damages for abuse that occurred years ago.

"I'm 50 years old and I'm finally able to talk. ... I'm not so ashamed of my past," he said.

Chesley said he was abused as a young teen by a member of the Washington, D.C., police department. Recounting his abuse for the first time publicly, Chesley said it was only within the past year, after meeting SNAP San Diego chapter director Paul Livingston, that he began to feel comfortable talking about his past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Judge questions Davenport Diocese's $37 million settlement

DAVENPORT (IA)
WHO

Associated Press - March 5, 2008 9:04 PM ET

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - The Davenport Diocese's $37 million settlement with victims of clergy abuse is being questioned by a bankruptcy judge.

Today Judge Lee Jackwig refused to approve the disclosure statement that explains the diocese's reorganization plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Jackwig says the statement needs to better explain the relationship between the diocese and its 83 parishes -- something attorneys said they would do.

The statement must be approved before the plan can be voted on by the diocese's creditors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Cheers from public gallery as priest is cleared

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

By Staff Reporter
CHEERS from the public gallery greeted the jury's decision to clear Catholic priest John McCollough of allegations that he sexually abused two boys.

The 63-year-old had been accused of preying on the youngsters during his stint as minister at Christ the King with Holy Trinity Church more than 15 years ago.

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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

16 parishes balk at abuse prevention classes

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / March 6, 2008
Sixteen of the 295 parishes in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston have declined to offer instruction to young children on how to identify and report inappropriate touching by adults, the archdiocese said yesterday.

The parishes have apparently not implemented the child abuse prevention program, despite direct requests to do so from Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and his auxiliary bishops, because of concerns about whether it is an appropriate subject to teach children as young as 5, the archdiocese said. In two cases, it said, priests have refused to support the program; in the other 11 cases, either parents or educators are responsible.

Church officials disclosed the gap in the archdiocese's abuse prevention program during an interview with the Globe yesterday about its progress over the last year on abuse-related issues. The officials said the archdiocese has been declared out of compliance with the national abuse prevention measures adopted by the nation's bishops because of the holdouts against the program for young children, as well as because in another 48 parishes, teacher turnover and other issues have caused problems with maintaining the prevention program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Harsher penalties sought for teachers, clerics in minor sex

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Daniel Scarpinato
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.06.2008

PHOENIX — Teachers, ministers and priests who engage in sexual conduct with high-school-age youths will face tougher penalties if a proposal before state legislators today becomes law.

Senate President Tim Bee, R-Tucson, is trying to make it harder for educators and clergy members to plead down cases when they've been accused of having sexual conduct with youths ages 15 to 17 — resulting in a minimum of four years in prison.

"As parents, when we send our children to school we're entrusting them to the care of somebody else who is responsible for teaching them, and I think we certainly have the expectation that our children are safe in those circumstances," Bee said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

John Smallwood: Former Eagle Chesley opens up about sexual abuse

DELAWARE
Philadelphia Daily News

By John Smallwood
Philadelphia Daily News

Daily News Sports Columnist

TO BE HONEST, Al Chesley says he doesn't know how much the terrible secret he kept within affected his life.

The former Eagles linebacker won't say it was the root of the alcohol and drug abuse that might have cut short his NFL career.

He doesn't know how much it contributed to his issues with anger management or with authority figures. He doesn't know if it caused him to be a womanizer. ...

Paul Livingston, who is the San Diego director of SNAP, said Chesley's story is not uncommon. Livingston, who said a janitor at his school sexually abused him when he was 7, said pedophiles count on their victims being too ashamed or afraid to speak out.

"These predators are vicious and vindictive," Livingston said. "They groom us, threaten us not to speak out. We end up blaming ourselves our whole lives."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Ex-Eagle lends his voice, story

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Thursday, March 6, 2008

WILMINGTON -- A former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker spoke out for the first time Wednesday on the sexual abuse he endured as a teen in Washington, D.C., and urged other abuse victims to come forward, too.

Al Chesley, 50, spoke outside the Wilmington Public Safety Building with two California sexual abuse victims, representing the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). They urged other victims to take advantage of Delaware's new law, the Child Victim's Act, which allows victims two years to file civil suit in child sexual abuse cases that previously had been barred by the statute of limitations.

They also urged law enforcement officials to use records unveiled in civil suits to investigate and prosecute other molesters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Bishop Nikolai fires critic from teaching position

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK
ebluemink@adn.com | ebluemink@adn.com

Published: March 6th, 2008 12:02 AM
Last Modified: March 6th, 2008 12:18 AM

National leaders of the Russian Orthodox church were meeting this week in New York, wrestling with chaos in their Alaska diocese as the man in the middle of the turmoil defended his leadership.

Among the grumblings about Alaska Bishop Nikolai Soraich is that he fired a popular priest from a teaching post after the priest criticized him in a newspaper story published Friday.

Priests and parishioners from around the state petitioned church leaders to remove Bishop Nikolai in a series of letters and e-mails over the past several weeks. They accuse the bishop, who has served in Alaska for seven years, of abuse, intimidation and disrespect for Native culture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Abuse Lawsuit Settled

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI And ELIZABETH HAMILTON | Courant Staff Writers
March 6, 2008

The Archdiocese of Hartford agreed Wednesday to pay $599,000 to a former Bloomfield altar boy who charged that a former state police chaplain had sexually abused him in the 1970s.

The settlement avoids a civil trial that could have provided damaging details about how the Catholic church handled sex-abuse allegations, such as those levied against the Rev. Stephen Foley.

F. Glenn Sutherland put his head in his hands as Superior Court Judge Lois Tanzer announced in Hartford that the case had been settled and that a group of potential jurors was no longer needed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Hartford Archdiocese settles sexual abuse lawsuit

HARTFORD (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Archdiocese of Hartford says it will pay nearly $600,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who claimed he was sexually abused by a priest in Bloomfield in the 1970s.

The settlement involves allegations against the Rev. Stephen Foley. It's the 12th settlement the archdiocese has paid to settle sexual abuse claims against Foley.

F. Glenn Sutherland had filed suit in 2002 claiming he was sexually molested by Foley while he was an altar boy at Christ the King Church in the early 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Perry Dunlop being persecuted as a whistleblower; Former officer's actions have taken courage

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

There was a time unfortunately, when I could have been excommunicated from my church for writing this letter, and might even have found myself the star attraction at a local community barbecue.

Those days are part of history now, at least as far as my faith and religion are concerned. Pope John Paul himself, on one occasion, pleaded publicly with Catholics and Christians to study their own history in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

Not an easy task. His critics within the church were quick to shut him up, but at least he had the courage to face that past and speak out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Former city cop could be jailed until September, or longer, for failing to testify at inquiry; Dunlop's disobedience 'open, continuous and flagrant': judge

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Posted By Trevor Pritchard

Former city police officer Perry Dunlop was handed a six-month jail sentence Wednesday for refusing to testify last October at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

The Ontario Divisional Court also convicted Dunlop,