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June 30, 2008

Venezuela priests open pro-Chavez church

VENEZUELA
The Associated Press

By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A fledgling church that openly backs President Hugo Chavez is raising the ire of Venezuela's Roman Catholic hierarchy, preaching the Gospel alongside socialism.

Founders of the newly created Reformist Catholic Church of Venezuela, based in the western city of Ciudad Ojeda, say that supporting Chavez's socialist ideals goes hand-in-hand with Christian aims of helping the poor. ...

A group of dissident Catholic priests, Lutherans, and Anglicans quietly formed the church several years ago, but its first three bishops were sworn in last weekend, Albornoz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Parroco accusato da tre donne di violenza

ITALY
Gazzetta di Mantova

Pretendeva favori sessuali in cambio di aiuti per ottenere il permesso di soggiorno. E' la pesante accusa di tre donne straniere rivolta ad un sacerdote di una parrocchia del centro storico cittadino, finito sul registro degli indagati con l'accusa di violenza sessuale e falso.

[translation]

Parish priest accused of sexual violence by three women.

He asked for sexual favors in exchange of help to get the residency permits.

That’s the grave allegation made by three foreign women against a priest of a parish situated in the historical center of the city, which brought to an investigation for sexual violence and false documentation.

Now the investigation is over and in a few days there could be the indictment. Before that, the parish priest - through his lawyers - requested to be interrogated by the prosecutor. That will take place within the next week and it will be conducted by the same prosecutor who started the procedure about the scabrous story, after having followed step-by-step the investigation following the charges made by the three alleged victims of blackmail.

The priest decided to go to the magistrate in order to clarify the story and give some answers to those terrible allegations made by the three undocumented foreign women, who came to Mantua after a harsh life full of difficulties and sacrifices, in the quest for a more acceptable and tranquil future.

They were those who went to the police to accuse the priest for the alleged requests he made in exchange for his help, which would have been a decisive one, for it would have allowed them to start a new life.

According to what they reported, the priest asked for sexual favors in exchange of his involvement in getting the necessary documents - as it was said before - to reside in our country and found a place to live in, a job, which would have allowed them to lead a normal life. Was that a blackmail accepted by the victims? Or did they refuse because they deemed it unacceptable ? Or did they invent the story as a revenge for the fact the priest didn’t keep the promises ?

Just to these questions the priest could give an answer, clarifications, to the prosecutor, who, as it was said before, is going to indict him for committing two crimes: sexual violence and falsity. The latter allegation could be due to the fact he had reported to the police the women intended to leave a prostitution ring.

The story seems to have started a few years ago, soon after followed by the investigations ordered by the Prosecutor, which have just ended. The parish priest was duly informed of that and now, before being indicted, he asked to be interrogated in order to give an answer to the three women’s allegations.

(26 June 2008)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

From Justice Denied: What happened in Ohio 2005 when lawmakers were about to pass SOL reform? And why would bishops even buy sex abuse insurance?

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Reading JUSTICE DENIED, I have to stop and copy this here with permission of Author Marci Hamilton.

It’s in Chapter Six, page 80, “The Ohio Sleight-Of-Hand.” Someone in a position of authority over Ohio Republican lawmakers as well as Roman Catholic hierarchy needs to investigate. Who else can we go to but our federal legislators?

What happened in Ohio when legislators were about to pass a law opening a window to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex crimes in the fall of 2005? What happened overnight in closed door meetings that caused the bill to turn into something entirely different?

Behind closed doors, in secret meetings? This is America, not Louisiana under Huey Long.

As described in Hamilton's book quotes below, Catholic lobbyists at least crossed lines of ethics, if not into criminal activity, in Ohio in 2005, and considering the offender is a tax exempt church, the level of amorality and influence peddling is astounding. When people work hard to get to their state capital and testify, they expect the democratic process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Pedofilia, abusi nell'oratorio Sacerdote arrestato a Roma

ROME
la Repubblica

ROMA - Approfittava del suo abito talare per abusare dei bambini che frequentavano l'oratorio o i campi estivi. E' finito in carcere l'ex parroco della Natività di Maria Santissima a Roma. Cinquantacinque anni, R.C. è stato arrestato con l'accusa di aver violentato almeno sette bambini negli ultimi dieci anni, tra il '98 e il marzo scorso. All'epoca dei fatti le vittime erano minorenni, provenienti da famiglie povere e disagiate. In precedenza, l'ex parroco era stato sospeso un mese dal suo incarico dopo che alcune voci avevano svelato le sue tendenze pedofile. L'indagine è partita dalla denuncia di un altro prete.

[translation]

The former parish priest of a church in the Capital, arrested with the charge of pedophilia.
Seven victims accused him.
Violences also in the mountain summer camps
Pedophilia, abuses in the oratory
A priest arrested in Rome

ROME – He profited from his clerical robe to abuse the children who frequented the oratory or the summer camps. He ended up in jail the former parish priest of the church Nativita’ di Maria Santissima in Rome.

R.C., 50-year-old, was arrested with the charge of having raped at least seven children in the past ten years, in the period between ’98 and last March. When the alleged incidents occurred the victims were all minors, belonging to poor and disadvantaged families. Previously, the former parish priest had been suspended from his activity after some rumors were spread about his pedophile tendencies. The investigation started after he was accused by another priest.

Seven are the accusers but the investigators are afraid that there are many more raped children. The priest chose them among those who frequented catechism classes, inviting them in his home, in the apartment house abutting the church “to eat something together” or to tutor them. But he wasn’t the friendly and jovial chap he pretended to be. When he was alone with the scared boys, often with a fragile personality, he abused them and then “repaid” them back with some money, a CD or a colored T-shirt.

The victims, now between 16 and 24 years old, recall that before being raped he also forced them to watch some pornographic movies. Perhaps they are the same movies the police found in the priest’s home before arresting him.

There are also some victims who accused him of abusing them in the mountain summer camps organized by the parish. The news about the arrest of the former parish priest wasn’t a surprise in that neighborhood because many were those who knew. The priest had already been suspended from his activity because among the faithful word was spread about his non-confessable attraction towards the children.

(Jun 30, 2008)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Church Members Concerned About What Pastor Is Doing With Money

FLORIDA
WFTV

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- Members of a Volusia County church say they are concerned about what their pastor, who has a criminal past, is doing with the church's money.

Laura Jarvi said she rarely missed a service at the Bethel Baptist Church until she found unpaid electric bills. She said she asked Pastor David Transeau where the roughly $3,500 he collected every month was going.

That's when, Jarvi told Eyewitness News, he suddenly took issue with the fact she was living with a man out of wedlock and asked both to leave the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Georgia Sex Offenders Will Not Be Allowed To Volunteer At Church

GEORGIA
Huliq

Sex offenders are suing in Georgia for the right to help out at church. The Southern Center for Human Rights based in Atlanta filed a lawsuit on Tuesday on behalf of 15,400 sex offenders on Georgia’s state registry.

Georgia has some of the toughest sex offender statutes in the United States. The group is hoping to stop one more measure that is set to be placed on July 1, 2008.

That new provision will make it illegal for those convicted of sexual crimes to volunteer at church. That means they will not be allowed to prepare for events, cook meals at a church kitchen or even sing in adult choirs. If a sex offender breaks the laws they face a prison term of 10 to 30 years. The laws are in place to keep children safe says sponsors of it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Archbishop deplores founding of false Reformed Catholic Church in Venezuela

VENEZUELA
Catholic News Agency

Caracas, Jun 30, 2008 / 12:35 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Roberto Luckert of Coro and vice president of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference deplored the founding of the self-proclaimed “Reformed Catholic Church,” whose leaders have aligned themselves publicly with “Bolivarian Socialism” and are receiving financial backing from the government of Hugo Chavez. ...

“The supposed bishop they are going to ordain on July 29 was scandalously living with a woman and her children outside of marriage. His name is Jon Jen Shu Garcia, and he’s a young solider of the National Guard who belongs to the military chaplaincy. The other leader is a former priest who left the priesthood some time ago and married, and during an interview in Panama he said that his vocation was conquered by love. We are dealing with two priests who have resigned.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Il prete cacciato dagli Usa celebra la messa a Vicenza

ITALY
il Vicenza

An Italian newspaper published an extensive article today regarding the Rev. James Tully, who now lives in Vicenza, Italy. William Nash of Ashfield, Mass., is asking that the Vatican defrock the priest who he accused of molesting him as a minor.

The Italian-language newspaper can be downloaded in pdf format. The story, which features a recent photograph of Father Tully in Italy, is on page 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Celibate equals sexless equals an unholy mess

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Robert Blair Kaiser
July 1, 2008

Barnstorming his way across America, the Sydney Bishop Geoffrey Robinson sounded at times like Martin Luther. "Here I stand," he told an audience in Seattle. "I can do no other." He said he knew he was quoting Luther, then announced with a twinkle in his eye to the overflowing crowd, "I am no Martin Luther."

Indeed, in manner, he is no firebrand. In a 15-city speaking tour before audiences clamouring to hear more about his bestseller, Confronting Power And Sex In The Catholic Church, Robinson spoke in a soft Cambridge accent; a tall handsome man in a grey suit and a Roman collar who was often honest enough to answer questions with "I don't know".

But the change-oriented Catholics who crowded into Robinson's talks applauded him for his bluntness. Months ago, Robinson had told an audience in Australia, "John Paul II could have stopped this scandal, and he did nothing." For this he was accused of heresy by a ranking cardinal in Rome and told to scrap his US tour. He came anyway, with a speech in his pocket that blamed the last Pope for contributing to the sex scandal that has shaken the church as seismically as Luther shook it more than 500 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

St. Henry's Catholic Church meeting to be held Monday night

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL

07:32 AM CDT on Monday, June 30, 2008

Local residents fighting to keep St. Henry’s Catholic Church open in the wake of the Archdiocese’s restructuring plan will meet tonight.

The meeting is a scheduled session with facilitators from the Archdiocese of New Orleans to prepare families for the closure of the parish and the merger with the nearby St. Stephen parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

St. Henry Church parishioners may camp in church after meeting

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by The Times-Picayune Monday June 30, 2008, 8:13 AM
Facilitators from the Archdiocese of New Orleans are scheduled to meet with parishioners of St. Henry Catholic Church tonight to prepare families for the church's closure and merger with a nearby church.

But the leader of a group called Friends of St. Henry that is opposed to the church's closing has urged parishioners to bring cots and bedrolls to occupy the church indefinitely if they don't like what they hear during the meeting.

The meeting is a scheduled session at 7 p.m. at the church, 812 Gen. Pershing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Priest’s tribunal postponed

SCOTLAND
Evening Telegraph

An employment tribunal hearing into Monsignor Joe Creegan’s controversial dismissal as a priest in Dundee has been postponed.

The pre-hearing debate was due to take place today, however lawyers acting for both parties had indicated they required further time to prepare their cases.

The parties will now be written to with a new date for the hearing, which a spokesperson for the tribunals office said is expected to be put down for three days. Monsignor Creegan was sacked after having an 18-year affair with a married woman and is suing the Catholic Church for unfair dismissal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Another fleeing cleric arrested for child sex assault in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Brother David Nickerson, a religious order cleric who worked in parishes and schools in Milwaukee, will make his first court appearance for child sex assault while working in the 1980’s at a south side parish and school. Nickerson confessed to authorities last year of the crimes after allowing the wrong man to be convicted.

At simultaneous press events in Milwaukee and St. Louis, victims of clergy sexual abuse will be calling on church authorities to turn over to prosecutors all criminal evidence they have concerning clergy who have fled Wisconsin and other states after committing child sex crimes, especially from church operated facilities like the so-called “Wounded Brothers Project” outside St. Louis. ...

WHEN

Monday, June 30:

-IN MILWAUKEE: Court hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., remarks by SNAP leaders to follow

-IN St. Louis: 2:00 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Ex-polygamist Dan Fischer is a thorn in the side of FLDS

SANDY (UT)
Los Angeles Times

By Miguel Bustillo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 30, 2008
SANDY, UTAH -- The polygamist sect preached that Dan Fischer was a heretic who had turned his back on God's chosen children.

But for Enos Deloy Steed, who was banished at age 17 for kissing a girl, Fischer was like a guardian angel, the kindest man he had ever met.

Steed's father disowned him and left him wandering southern Utah in search of menial work. Fischer gave him a place to live -- and volunteered to put him through college. ...

Fischer learned in 1999 that his 72-year-old father had been stripped of his three wives by sect leaders for supposed disloyalty. FLDS foes estimate that 250 plural families have been similarly torn apart, with wives redistributed like heads of cattle and children told to call a stranger Father.

"In the annihilation of my family, Warren Jeffs called the shots," Fischer said, his voice trembling with evident rage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Priest sacked for affair takes Catholic Church to tribunal

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Published Date: 30 June 2008
By FIONA MACLEOD
A PRIEST is to sue the Catholic Church for sacking him over an 18-year affair with a woman.

Former monsignor Joseph Creegan is the first Scottish priest to take the Church to court, claiming for lost wages via an employment tribunal.

However, it is understood church lawyers will attempt to have the case thrown out, arguing the clergyman did not work for them but for God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Priest to take his case to tribunal

SCOTLAND
Courier

A senior Dundee priest who was sacked after allegedly having an 18-year affair with a married woman is suing the Catholic Church for unfair dismissal.

Joseph Creegan, monsignor and former parish priest of St Peter and Paul’s Church, was stripped of his clerical duties in January by Bishop Vincent Logan of Dunkeld after the woman it was claimed was his long-term mistress gave “undeniable evidence” of the affair to the diocese.

It has been revealed that he is now to claim for lost earnings through an employment tribunal in Dundee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

THE PRIEST WHO 'PREYED'

Atlantic City (NJ)
New York Post

June 30, 2008

An Atlantic City pastor was one of two Catholic monsignors hired by accused con artist Raffaello Follieri, allegedly to dupe real-estate investors into thinking he had close Vatican connections, The Post has learned.

Monsignor William Hodge, of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, was paid with money Follieri obtained from billionaire Ron Burkle, whom Follieri was accused of defrauding to fund his jet-set lifestyle with his then-girlfriend, "Get Smart" actress Anne Hathaway, sources said.

It is not known whether Hodge, a pastor for 10 years, was the same monsignor whom Follieri, according to the criminal complaint, asked to put on the robe of "a more senior clergyman" to create the illusion of having top-level church ties.

Hodge - who has not been charged - has known Follieri since at least 2006, when the Italian national was trying to buy a long-closed Catholic school in Atlantic City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Australian diocese tightens rules on clergy convicted of abuse

AUSTRALIA
Religious Intelligence (United Kingdom)

Monday, 30th June 2008. 12:01pm

By: George Conger.

Adelaide: The Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane has passed legislation requiring the automatic de-frocking of clergy convicted of child sexual abuse.

The June 22 vote by the synod’s 600 delegates was unanimous. Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said the diocesan board will now be “able to proceed straight away to make a determination rather than having to retry the whole matter. "It is a big improvement because it doesn't require victims to have to go through a quite long and arduous church process as well as what they have had to go through in the court,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Last rites

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff and Christopher Baxter
Globe Correspondent / June 30, 2008
The three were the rarest of congregations: the only German Catholic parish in Greater Boston, one of the area's last two Lithuanian churches, and the first local group of traditionalists authorized to pray in Latin.

In each case, a few hundred worshipers were bound by deep connections to history, strong sense of community, and affection for prayer in languages spoken by few in this part of the world.

The Archdiocese of Boston, strapped for cash and priests, decided it could no longer sustain the three congregations, and yesterday, it shuttered the two churches in which they worshiped: Holy Trinity in Boston's South End, home to the German and Latin Mass congregations, and St. Casimir in Brockton, the Lithuanian parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Texas Supreme Court rules church can't be sued in exorcism

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By MAX B. BAKER
maxbaker@star-telegram.com

A divided Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former Colleyville church Friday, saying church members who were involved in a traumatic exorcism that ultimately injured a young woman are protected by the First Amendment.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the Pleasant Glade Assembly of God staff’s efforts to cast out demons from Laura Schubert presents an ecclesiastical dispute over religious conduct that would unconstitutionally entangle the court in church doctrine.

Schubert described a wild night in 1996 that involved casting out demons from the church and two attempts to exorcise demons from her. The incident left Schubert physically bruised and so emotionally scarred she later tried to commit suicide. She was 17 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Fraud arrest kills off Anne Hathaway's Hollywood romance

UNITED STATES
The Times (United Kingdom)

Tony Allen-Mills in New York
It should have been a highlight of Anne Hathaway’s increasingly impressive Hollywood career. Her new film, Get Smart, shot to the top of the US box office rankings last weekend. The 25-year-old actress gaily proclaimed in a magazine interview that she was happy as a clam and house-hunting with her Italian boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri. “I enjoy living with him so much,” she gushed.

By Wednesday the romance was over, Follieri was in a New York jail and the star of such films as The Devil Wears Prada and The Princess Diaries was struggling to avoid the celebrity limelight that only a few days earlier she had been assiduously courting. ...

It all started with sex, although not the kind that is usually portrayed in Hollywood blockbusters. A flood of lawsuits claiming sexual abuse by American priests forced Catholic authorities in America to consider selling off part of their extensive property holdings to finance multi-million-dollar settlements.

Follieri arrived in New York in 2003 claiming to have extensive contacts with Vatican officials who would help him to purchase redevelopment properties at favourable prices. According to an 18-page criminal complaint filed by New York prosecutors last week, Follieri at one point claimed to be the Vatican’s “chief financial officer”, a position that does not exist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Cult expert: Texas shouldn't have released FLDS kids

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 06/29/2008 12:20:21 AM MDT

PHILADELPHIA - By sending the children in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints back home, Texas has opened up the doors to groups who want religious protection for abusing children, a leading church/state scholar said Saturday.
Marci Hamilton, a professor at Princeton and Yeshiva University's Cardozo Law School, told a conference of the International Cultic Studies Association that the Texas Supreme Court's decision to release the FLDS children from foster care paired with a ruling Friday that tossed out an award for injuries a teenager suffered during an exorcism made a dangerous statement.
"When you add yesterday's decision to FLDS, the state of the Texas has just sent out an engraved invitation to any group who wants to abuse children," Hamilton said. The two decisions make "Texas a very dangerous place for children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

St John of God Brothers Statement

NEW ZEALAND
Scoop

Monday, 30 June 2008, 4:57 pm
Press Release: Catholic Communications

Statement from Provincial of the St John of God Brothers

Following the verdict in the Christchurch High Court last week, concerning a member of the St John of God Brother, Rodger Moloney, the head of the St John of God Brothers in the Australia-Pacific region, Br Timothy Graham, said that justice in this matter had been done:

“No-one could possibly say that this matter had not been subject to the most rigorous, the most comprehensive investigation and scrutiny – by the Police, by the media and now by the

He said that long, drawn-out investigations and court procedures and, at times, almost saturation media coverage, had taken their toll on the victims, for whom he had enormous sympathy, and on the Order as a whole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Next Episcopal bishop listens to calls for change

HOUSTON (TX)
Austin American-Statesman

By Eileen E. Flynn
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle's election in May to lead the Houston-based Episcopal Diocese of Texas came as a surprise to many, including him.

For one thing, he is young — at 41, he'll be the second-youngest bishop in the country when he takes over in 2009. For another, his initial support in the election process came overwhelmingly from the laity. One of his opponents, the Rt. Rev. Dena Harrison, a suffragan, or assistant bishop, covering the Austin area, drew more clergy votes. ...

Over the past year, Doyle navigated a sexual abuse scandal involving now-retired priest James L. Tucker. After a church tribunal, which included testimony from several men who said Tucker had molested them while they were students at St. Stephen's in the 1960s, the diocese stripped Tucker of his priestly orders in February. Doyle has continued to work with victims on compensation.

"My heart tells me we did the right thing, as painful as it was for some people," Doyle said, adding that churches cannot hide their problems. "The culture demands a huge amount of transparency. Christianity demands a huge amount of transparency."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

CHURCH MERGER: The faithful say farewell to St. Charles Borromeo

NEW YORK
Niagara Gazette

By Rick Pfeiffer

The choir didn’t seem to want to stop singing.

Nor did the crowd of parishioners who packed the tiny sanctuary at St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church on Sunday seem in any hurry to leave.

Instead, they lingered, exchanging hugs and wiping tears from their eyes as they said good-bye to a congregation that will now exist only as a memory.

“No one wants to give this up and say it’s over,” said Ralph Meranto, a member of the parish for 47 years. “It was always something in the future. Well, the future is today.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 AM

What happened to the boy they couldn't break?

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Kim Bielenberg

Monday June 30 2008

The cruelty inflicted on boys in industrial schools is perhaps the darkest stain on our history since independence. Boys, who were frequently incarcerated at the schools simply because they were orphans, were routinely flogged naked, and many were sexually abused by Christian Brothers. Those in powerful positions in the Catholic church and in government turned a blind eye to the evils inflicted in institutions that have been aptly described as the "Irish gulags''.

Back in the early 1990s, Patrick Touher helped to expose this scandalous abuse with his account of life in Artane Industrial School, Fear of the Collar. The book became a bestseller in Britain, with Patrick characterised as "the boy they couldn't break''.

Now Patrick has written a follow-up, revealing the full story of his life. Scars that Run Deep tells how Patrick struggled to adjust to life after Artane, and also explores some of the terrifying episodes in his boyhood, including how he was seized and taken away from his foster family to become a virtual prisoner in the industrial school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 AM

The Holy Spirit -vs- Ego and Fear

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

[with audio link]

What a fabulous afternoon and evening Amanda and I had yesterday catching up with Robert Blair Kaiser. He's in Australia for a couple of weeks and has a string of almost continuous media appearances for the promotion of his very clever novel, "Cardinal Mahony", which is really a futuristic imaging of a Catholic Church which actually returns to its roots and serves God and the people not its own ego, power and the fears of its leaders losing their moral authority. I recorded a short interview with Kaiser to welcome him to our country and allow him to tell us about the book in his own words. You'll find the recorded conversation at the end of this commentary.

It was the first time Amanda had met Kaiser and as we sat at the dinner table she put her hand on his and said to him how fabulous it was to be sitting with someone who had actually been at the centre of reporting to the world what was perhaps the single most lifechanging event in our lives religiously — the Second Vatican Council. Our dinner conversation became effectively a most invigorating exchange of ideas — Kaiser (yes, most people refer to him via his family name rather than his Christian name) sharing with us some of the excitement that gripped the Church, and the world, in those heady days of the 1960s and the way in which John XXIII's vision, and the collective vision of the assembled leaders of our Church, and more than probably the vision of the Holy Spirit, subsequently got stolen by a coalition of little men with massive out-of-control egos and little men driven by fear and social conformism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 AM

June 29, 2008

Five Closing Churches Celebrate Last Mass

WORCESTER (MA)
TheBostonChannel

[with video]

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Five Worcester churches held their last Mass on Sunday, forced to close their doors because of low attendance and few sacraments.

NewsCenter 5’s Lynn Jolicoeur reported that the closings of St. Margaret Mary, St. Casimir, Ascension, Holy Name of Jesus and Notre Dame des Canadiens follow a five-year review from the Diocese and parish focus groups. ...

The Diocese of Worcester is predicting more closings and consolidations over the next couple of years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Caso Orlandi, il cardinal Bertone attacca: «Il classico scandalo estivo creato ad arte»

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

ROMA - Il «classico caso di scandalo estivo creato ad arte per catturare l'attenzione dei lettori già distratti dalle vacanze. Speriamo sia l'ultimo». È questa l«'impressione» che il cardinale Tarcisio Bertone, segretario di Stato vaticano, ha tratto dal ritorno alle cronache del caso di Emanuela Orlandi, la ragazza scomparsa nel 1983, e dal grande spazio dato dalla stampa alle presunte rivelazioni della ex amante di De Pedis.

[translation]

THE HOLY SEE IS CLOSE TO THE FAMILY OF THE GIRL DISAPPEARED IN 1983

Case Orlandi, the Cardinal Bertone attacks: «The classic summer scandal created artfully"

The Vatican Secretary of State: " We wish the magistrates will bring light to what happened to Emanuela"

ROME - The "classic summer scandal artfully created to capture the attention of the readers already distracted by the vacations. I hope it will be the last one". That's the "impression" that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, took by the return to the chronicles of the Emanuela Orlandi's case, the girl disappeared in 1983, and from the large space given by the press to the alleged revelations of the former lover of De Pedis.

«BRING LIGHT TO WHAT HAPPENED TO EMANUELA" - In an interview to Avvenire (the Italian bishops' newspaper) published on Sunday, Cardinal Bertone thanked the daily newspaper for " the punctual comment about the Orlandi case and in the defense of the memory of the sacerdotal figure of archbishop Paul Casimir Marcinkus", confirming above all the closeness of the Holy See to the Orlandi family with which, the Cardinal reveals, "we share the wish the magistrates can do all is in their power to know what happened to the beloved Emanuela".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Caso Orlandi, Bertone: "Scandalo estivo creato ad arte"

ITALY
Adnkronos

Roma, 29 giu. (Adnkronos/Ign) - ''La Santa Sede ha già fatto conoscere in modo chiaro la propria posizione: condividiamo il desiderio che la magistratura faccia quanto in suo potere per conoscere la sorte della amata Emanuela''. Lo afferma in merito al caso Orlandi il card. Tarcisio Bertone, segretario di Stato Vaticano, in un'intervista ad ''Avvenire''.

Per Bertone ''l'impressione è che si tratti del classico caso di scandalo estivo creato ad arte per catturare l'attenzione dei lettori già distratti dalle vacanze. Speriamo sia l'ultimo''.

[translation]

The brother: "Wojtyla said to us it all was about international terrorism"

Case Orlandi, Bertone: "Summer scandal created artfully"

The comment of the Vatican Secretary of State on the "Avvenire": "They only want to capture the attention of the readers distracted by the vacations". Then he says the Holy See shares the wish of the magistrates to bring light to that episode"

Rome, June 29. (Adnkronos/Ign) - ''The Holy See already made clear its stance: we share the wish the magistrates will do all possible to know what happened to the beloved Emanuela". That's the statement related to the Orlandi's case made by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, in an interview to " Avvenire" (the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops).

According to Bertone '' the impression is that all is about the classic summer scandal artfully created in order to capture the attention of readers already distracted by the vacations. We hope it's the last one".

Meanwhile, Emanuela Orlandi's brother, during the Raiuno TV show 'Saturday & Sunday summer', affirms the answer to the story of her disappearance must be searched "in a scheme between an international plot and the action of the Magliana gang "making it clear he never
forgot the words of pope John Paul II, who, on Christmas 1983, during a visit to our family, spoke to us about the disappearance of Emanuela as a case of international terrorism".

According to judge Ferdinando Imposimato, a guest in the same TV show, "the international plot explaining the Emanuela Orlandi 's case is founded upon objective data, for the messages sent by the kidnappers to the Vatican, since July 5, 1983 and for at least six months in order to blackmail the Pope, were accompanied by uncontroversial documentation".

Among the "uncontroversial" data, Imposimato cites "the card of Emauela Orlandi's enrollment to the Saint Apollinaire's Pontifical Conservatory, a receipt for the money given for the enrollment, which the girl held in her bag when she disappeared, the cassette recorder with Emanuela's registered voice found in the Parliament square according to the indication of the kidnappers. Finally, the descriptions of Emanuela's physical characteristics given by the kidnappers, like six moles she had on her back, which only those who had captured her could know about. Well - the judge concludes - almost all the messages were sent from different parts of the world: Phoenix and Boston in USA, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and imply an
international organization with branches in every part of the world, which badly matches with the local dimensions of the Roman Magliana gang".

According to Imposimato, instead, "the alleged prison in the Gianicolense quarter is disproved by the fact that Danilo Abbruciati, who allegedly trusted Emanuela Orlandi in the hands of Daniela Mobili for her custody, died in 1982: that's one year and half before the kidnapping of Orlandi".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Hopes of papal apology over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Ean Higgins | June 30, 2008
THE most senior Catholic leader in Australia said yesterday he would welcome an apology by the Pope to victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated in church agencies.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, said in a television interview that "if the Pope chose to do that, it would probably be a welcome contribution" at World Youth Day in Sydney next month.

"The Pope I think handled that issue particularly well in the US," Cardinal Pell told the Sky News Sunday Agenda program.

"What he says is his business, but I would hope the whole issue will be dealt with appropriately. It's a significant issue."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Carboni: quella donna mente Mi tirano in ballo perché fa effetto

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

ROMA - «Faccendiere... Ma perché continuate a chiamarmi così? Io ero e sono un imprenditore, un immobiliarista», protesta Flavio Carboni, dopo che il suo nome è tornato ad alimentare le cronache sui misteri di 25 anni fa, con l’intreccio tra la morte del banchiere Roberto Calvi e la scomparsa di Emanuela Orlandi. Nonostante l’assoluzione nel processo di primo grado per l’omicidio Calvi.

[translation]

The interview " I never knew Marcinkus. And don't call me faccendiere (trafficker)"
Carboni: that woman lies

They bring up my name because it stirs curiosity

" Marcinkus was the Vatican's side hostile to Calvi, for that he wasn't useful. The "gang of the Magliana? Never heard of it"

ROME - «Trafficker... Why are continuing to call me that way? I was and I am an entrepreneur, a real estate dealer", Flavio Carboni protests, after his name came back to feed the chronicles on the mysteries of 25 years ago, with the plot between the death of the banker Roberto Calvi and the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi. That notwithstanding his acquittal in the first degree trial for the Calvi homicide.

All right Doctor Carboni. Then, you, as an entrepreneur, have you ever known Ms. Sabrina Minardi?

«No, I don't remember of that».

Yet the witness says she was at dinner in your home, where she met Calvi and monsignor Marcinkus.

«The fact is I never met monsignor Marcinkus. Other prelates and cardinals did, Palazzini, Oddi, Angelo Rossi and others, but Marcinkus, no. Neither he nor Mennini".

That means neither the president nor the administrator of IOR (the Vatican bank). Isn't that strange for a person who was a mediator between the Vatican bank and Calvi?

«No, because Marcinkus and Mennini were hostile to Calvi and for that there was no reason to have to do with them. I was in contact with other people. However I tell you Ms. Minardi lies, for even Calvi never came to my home. I know she says in addition to that that Calvi lent her a plane to go to Paris, but Calvi had no plane, he used mine".

And about Enrico De Pedis, who was Minardi's companion? Have you never seen him, too?

«Never. For me the Magliana was only a Rome neighborhood, I never knew anything about that infamous gang".

Yet you knew Domenico Balducci, assassinated by the Magliana gang. And Pippo Calo', the mafia man who was in contact with the Roman gangsters.

«I knew Pippo Calo' under the name of Mario Aglialoro, and to inform me that behind that name was hidden a mafia boss from Palermo was judge Imposimato. I only made a transaction with him, about which all was clarified. If Calo' made businesses with Balducci, what haveI to do with that? For me Balducci was an entrepreneur who did things which in that period weren't considered as crimes. He had relationships with senators and other personalities, he even presented the vice-chief of the police in Rome to me. I have no idea why they killed him".

There is someone who explained that with an anology with the Calvi homicide: a punishment for money to be laundered and then to be invested but which was never given back.

«You speak about a Calvi homicide, but for me it remains a suicide, one thousand per thousand. If ever a person had good reasons to commit suicide, that day Calvi had all of them, unfortunately".

The ruling which acquitted you and the other defendants confirms it was also a homicide.

«Because it's based upon some technical findings which are contradicted by other ones, including the one I deem to be the most founded and that certifies the suicide. In any case I don't understand why the mafia had to go as far as London to kill Calvi. There are a lot absurdities, which have been persecuting me for 25 years".

The answers to your statements are in the papers of the trial held recently and in those which will be held afterwards . Including the last investigation which includes the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi in the plot which brought to the death of Calvi, as the banker's son assumes. What do you think about that disappearance?

«I don't know what to say. I imagine it could have been a revenge against the Vatican for Pope John Paul II's support to the battle against the Soviet communism, at the same level of the assassination attempt of the Pope and the same scandal of the Vatican bank. I don't know what to say. In all cases Calvi's son was considered by his father as brainless and I don't know anything of the hypothesis that Orlandi could have been kidnapped by mistake, instead of that Mr. Gugel's daughter".

But isn't there in your companies a partner called Rita Gugel?

«I haven't the faintest remembrance of that name".

What kind of life the entrepreneur Flavio Carboni is leading now?

«I'm trying to go back to my world, in the real estate market. But I don't know (he says that laughing) neither Ricucci nor Coppola, nor other belonging to that group of people, otherwise they would have arrested me again. I never saw Pazienza again, who according to me is a victim, too, nor Berlusconi, even if I sold him my villa in Sardinia and sometimes I happen to go to Portofino, where he owns another home. I lead a secluded life, even after 25 years of fantasies about my name there is still someone who accuses me without ever having known me. Evidently I still seem to stir some interest".

Giovanni Bianconi

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

SACERDOTE ACCUSATO DI PEDOFILIA A CASTEL RITALDI, LA VICENDA FINISCE IN TRIBUNALE

ITALY
TuttOggi

Spoleto - 26/06/2008 17:35

La notizia a suo tempo fece molto scalpore. Ora saranno i giudici del tribunale di Spoleto a capire quanto c'è di vero nella delicata vicenda che vede imputato un sacerdote spoletino - ora allontanato dalla parrocchia che reggeva fino a non molto tempo fa - con l'accusa di pedofilia. La vicenda risale ad un paio di anni fa, quando quattro bambine di Castel Ritaldi confidarono ai genitori di aver ricevuto delle attenzioni molto particolari dal loro parroco.Da qui la denuncia che vede imputato il sacerdote per violenza sessuale su minori di 14 anni.

[translation]

PRIEST ACCUSED OF PEDOPHILIA AT CASTEL RITALDI, ALL ENDS BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL

Today the opening of the trial after the charges made by four girls who frequented the parish

Spoleto - 06/26/2008

The news made then much clamor. Now it's up to the judges of the Spoleto tribunal to understand what is true in the delicate story of a priest from Spoleto - now suspended from the parish he ran until not long ago - accused of pedophilia. The facts happened a few years ago, when four girls at Castel Ritaldi (a small town in the Spoleto province) confided to their parents they received very special attention from their parish priest.

Hence the accusation against the priest for committing sexual violence upon minors under the age of 14 years. Today, at the opening of the trial, they'll begin to reconstruct the facts. According to the charges made in the past by the girls, the priest allegedly touched and squeezed their bodies. One of the episodes even occurred on Christmas Eve. During this very delicate trial, which was put off until next February, first must be ascertained the foundation of the charges made by the girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

TOMB CLUE TO KIDNAP

ROME
Sunday Express (United Kingdom)

Sunday June 29,2008
By Nick Pisa

A GANGSTER’S body is to be exhumed in the latest chapter of 25-year-old Vatican mystery.

Enrico De Pedis was shot by his own gang in 1990. His former lover Sabrina Minardi has claimed that Vatican bank chief Paul Marcinkus ordered De Pedis to kidnap schoolgirl Emanuela Orlandi, 15, in 1983.

Two years ago a caller to an Italian TV programme said the mystery would be solved if the De Pedis tomb in Rome was opened.

There has been speculation that Miss Orlandi’s body may have been hidden there.

The daughter of a Vatican employee, she was kidnapped two years after a failed attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II to which Marcinkus was linked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Bishop Burke moves to Vatican position

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Once again, the actions and words of the Catholic hierarchy don't match.

On his recent US trip, the Pope sounded compassionate about the clergy sex abuse crisis. Yet two months later, he promotes an archbishop who deals with the crisis in reckless, callous, and secretive ways.

Under Burke, dozens of proven, admitted, and credibly accused predator priests have been welcomed here. Some are living in church facilities, some aren't. None, in our view, receive adequate supervision. In virtually no case did Burke live up to his promises of being "open and transparent" by notifying parishioners or the public about these dangerous and potentially dangerous criminals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Final chimes

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER— About 80 members of St. Casimir Church - some wearing colorful native garb, some waving yellow, green and red Lithuanian flags - prayed, sang, and offered words of encouragement to each other during a somber vigil held yesterday afternoon to protest the Diocese of Worcester's decision to close the 114-year-old parish.

St. Casimir, which was founded by Lithuanian immigrants and still largely caters to those of Lithuanian descent, is one of five city parishes that will be officially closed Tuesday because of a number of factors including a shortage of diocesan priests, the flight of Central Massachusetts Roman Catholics to the suburbs and dwindling financial resources.

Some parishioners, many of them members of Friends of St. Casimir, have vowed to fight the church closing. ...

At least six members of St. Casimir Church in Brockton showed up at the protest. That church will be closed tomorrow by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Man sues diocese for possession of exorcism recordings

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier

[with link to the official 1999 rite of exorcism]

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Sunday, June 29, 2008

When the man prayed, his hand twitched.

Concerned, the man sought the advice of a priest, who diagnosed him with being possessed by an evil spirit, perhaps the devil.

An exorcism, the priest advised, was the only solution. It was taped. And now the man wants the "tape(s)" and for no one to see it.

The account is detailed in a lawsuit filed last month in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas.

The man, called J. Doe in the suit so that his identity is protected, alleges that his privacy was invaded when the exorcism was filmed by officials of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Disgraced minister appeared to have it all

NEW HAVEN (CT)
New Haven Register

[with links to the video]

The Rev. L. Kenneth Fellenbaum seemed to be living the American dream.

He has a loving family, and was one of the most respected people in the community. He left an indelible mark on thousands of residents in his 21 years behind the pulpit as the pastor at Grace Baptist Church. ...

Then, in one booze-soaked, lurid night on the town, he jeopardized it all.

One night in May, at the Stonebridge Restaurant in downtown Milford, video cameras caught Fellenbaum kissing and hugging a young woman, who was not his wife, in public view. A police officer reported Fellenbaum was so intoxicated that he vomited on him. The officer said he stopped Fellenbaum from getting into a car and drove him home. Fellenbaum was not arrested and Police Chief Keith Mello said his actions were not criminal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Pell backs sex abuse apology

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

June 29, 2008 03:06pm

SYDNEY Catholic Archbishop George Pell has left the door open for the Pope to apologise to Australians who have been sexually and physically abused by Catholic clergy.

Cardinal Pell said would support an apology from Pope Benedict XVI when he visits Australia for World Youth Day (WYD) next month, but is not expecting him to do so.

The Pope apologised to American abuse victims on a visit there in April.

"I'm not expecting him to make any dramatic statements. He is a wonderful teacher and he will give Catholics here plenty to think about," Cardinal Pell said in an interview with Sky News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Exclusive: Love-cheat priest Joseph Creegan sues church for unfair dismissal

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Sunday Mail

Jun 29 2008 By Charles Lavery

A MONSIGNOR sacked after having an affair has stunned the Catholic Church by bringing a landmark action against them - for unfair dismissal.

Joseph Creegan, whose married mistress confessed to their 18-year fling, has rocked the Vatican by seeking cash for lost wages through an employment tribunal.

Lawyers for the church are set to argue that Creegan did not work for them...but for God.

A senior priest and expert in canon law insisted last night: "His relationship is with God, he is a servant of God, not of the diocese or the bishop."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Firenze, parroco accusato di molestie: rimosso dalla chiesa

ITALY
Radionostalgia

Firenze - Nuove ombre sulla chiesa a Firenze. Secondo quanto pubblicato oggi dal quotidiano “il Firenze” dietro la rimozione di un sacerdote di una piccola frazione della provincia di Firenze, non ci sarebbero la stanchezza ne l’esaurimento nervoso ma un processo ecclesiastico, cominciato dopo che alcune famiglie hanno puntato il dito verso il prete, accusandolo di aver abusato dei loro figli, minorenni all’epoca dei fatti.

[translation]

Florence, parish priest accused of sexual molestation: removed from the church

Friday June 27, 2008

Florence - New clouds on the church in Florence. According to what was published today by the daily "Il Firenze", behind the removal of a priest in a little town in the province of Florence, there weren't reasons of exhaustion or nervous breakdown but an ecclesiastical process, started after some families pointed their finger against the priest, accusing him of having sexually abused their children, who were minors when the facts occurred.

A few months after the scandal related to the Rev. Cantini, in this case, too, those boys are now adults. And only now they found the courage to report their being victims of sexual violence on the part of that parish priest. The molestation date back to the beginning of the 90's - when the parish priest, now over fifty years of age, had just taken the orders as a priest - and the end of 2001, when he was transferred to another church, where he remained until a few weeks ago.

According to the daily newspaper of the Epolis group " one of the parents reported those facts to the local superiors of the diocese, after he came to know "casually" what his son had to suffer. The "father-courage" looked for and also found the support of other families of the town in order to denounce the facts to the magistrates. An charge which hasn't been formalized, yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Abusers found on Southern Baptist Convention Web site

UNITED STATES
Memphis Commercial Appeal

By Lindsay Melvin, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have condemned sexual predators and are urging churches to flush out molesters using federal background checks.

But a simple search on the convention's Web site shows they have yet to purge their own house of predators.

SBC's MinisterSearch, a Web database for finding clergy members, contains the names of pastors both indicted and convicted of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Levine's love of the law thriving

NISKAYUNA (NY)
Allbany Times Union

By PAUL GRONDAHL, Staff writer
First published: Sunday, June 29, 2008

NISKAYUNA -- He's regarded as having been one of the most judicious of judges, guided by common sense, fairness and a calm demeanor. ...

He recently headed an independent mediation program that settled claims against the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese by victims of clergy sexual abuse.

"Judge Levine's credentials and credibility gave the program instant recognition and he worked from a deep sense of justice rooted in his Jewish faith," said Bishop Howard Hubbard, who knew Levine as a Family Court judge in the 1970s when they worked together to develop drug treatment programs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

CHURCH ABUSE: Convicted priest accused of abuse in 6th lawsuit

WILMINGTON (DE)
The Daily Times

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A sixth person has filed a child sexual abuse lawsuit against the Reverend Francis DeLuca, a Catholic priest who has already been convicted of molestation.

Sixty-year-old Michael Sowden claims he was abused by DeLuca in 1961 and 1962, when he was 12 and 13 years old. Sowden was an altar boy at St. John the Beloved when he claims DeLuca abused him on church-sponsored trips.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

June 28, 2008

Suspended priest found dead from gunshot wound

MAINE
Kennebec Journal

BY MATTHEW STONE
Staff Writer

A priest suspected of sexually abusing a girl in 1979 was found dead Friday morning in the Dover-Foxcroft rectory where he lived.

Police confirmed the Rev. James P. Robichaud, 56, an Augusta native, committed suicide.

Robichaud most recently served at St. Agnes Parish of Pittsfield and Our Lady of the Snows Parish of Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft and Milo.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland had temporarily suspended Robichaud on Thursday pending an investigation into an allegation he sexually abused a girl 29 years ago, in 1979.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Going to The Woods to research my story next month

ILLINOIS
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Warming back up. I’ve spent a lot of time lately looking at the area of Illinois where I'm going next month after the SNAP conference to investigate my own story. The mansion is still there on Lake Street outside of Bartlett. Today, I can look straight at it on a Google satellite map. Click down you can see details, the surrounding forests, click down again, you see yes, the long driveway is still there, probably paved today.

I expected it would all be developed now, but eerily, it’s not. Lake Street appears to be a four-lane highway today. The turn off to Bartlett looks like just a little road from up here, the satellite view. Back then we joked our neighbors were sheep. There was almost nothing but farmland, and Bartlett, a train stop with a town around it.

I did a short search at bishop accountability and discovered:

After my perp priest left in the 1970s, a new priest, James Ray, took over as pastor until 1988 when he left to go to a parish about 20 miles due north in the tiny town of Wauconda. He was followed at St. Peter Damian Parish by Ray Lupo, who stayed pastor there until 2003.

Lupo “resigned” and Ray was “removed from ministry” Ray in 1991, Lupo in 2001 according to the Chicago Archdiocese announcement in 2006 which began: “The following Archdiocesan priests are no longer in public ministry because an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor has been substantiated.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Lawsuit: Savannah Diocese ignored signs of abuse

SAVANNAH (GA)
Savannah Morning News

Dana Clark Felty | June 28, 2008

A former student of St. James Catholic School is accusing the Catholic Diocese of Savannah of ignoring signs that one of its priests was molesting children.

Allan Carl Ranta Jr., 39, filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas in Jasper County, S.C., in which he says former Savannah priest Wayland Y. Brown sexually abused him more than 25 years ago.

In April, the court denied a request by the diocese to dismiss the case, arguing that Brown at the time was working outside the scope of his ministry when he took Ranta to South Carolina.

"We hold that the diocese is not responsible for criminal acts committed by a priest employee outside the scope of his employment, the same as any employer would not be responsible for the actions of an employee outside the scope of his employment," said diocese spokeswoman Barbara King.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Fulton Catholic church to close

FULTON (NY)
The Post-Standard

by Renée K. Gadoua Saturday June 28, 2008, 9:00 AM
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse today made public its decision to close Holy Family/St. Michael Church in Fulton.

That parish will merge with Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton and will be known as Holy Trinity Church.

Parishioners were informed of the decision today in a letter from Syracuse Bishop James Moynihan, and priests were to announce the decision during Masses at both churches this weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Web lights up with commentary on Archbishop Burke leaving St. Louis

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

By Kurt Greenbaum
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

As you might imagine, there is no shortage of opinion out on web about the departure of Archbishop Raymond Burke from St. Louis. The Talk of the Day topic we posted on STLtoday had 33 comments within 90 minutes of posting it — and it’s still going strong.

And even if Twitter is being a pain in the neck today, subscribers’ comments are sneaking through. Readers found plenty to say (here’s a link to my Summize search on the topic of Burke — limited to the St. Louis area).

Most of the comments on Twitter were either announcements — or not favorable to Burke. Examples were along these lines:

mpsecondjournal: OMG I’m so excited Archbishop Burke is leaving St Louis.. happy dance in my chair!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Statement on Archbishop Burke's Discipline of Sister of Charity

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Zenit

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, JUNE 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the statement published Thursday by the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding Archbishop Raymond Burke's canonical discipline of Sister Louis Lears, a Sister of Charity.

The archbishop decided the case while still serving the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Today the archbishop was named the prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the supreme court of the Church.

* * *
After a canonical process of several months, Archbishop Raymond Burke has, today, decided the case of Sister Louise Lears, S.C., a member of the “pastoral team” at Saint Cronan Parish, who was accused of four delicts, all connected with her encouragement of, promotion of and participation in the attempted ordination of two women to the Sacred Priesthood at a local synagogue in November of last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Archbishop Burke Disciplines Sister of Charity

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Zenit

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, JUNE 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Raymond Burke has disciplined a Sister of Charity who has promoted and participated in an attempt to ordain two women to the priesthood.

Sister Louise Lears was accused of four delicts connected to her "encouragement of, promotion of and participation" in the attempted ordination of two women to the priesthood in November 2007.

The decree of extra-judicial adjudication regarding the sister was published Thursday, the day before the archbishop of St. Louis was named the prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the supreme court of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Sunday editorial: The true believer

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

By Editorial Board

In his four and a half years as head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Raymond Leo Burke became a hero to traditionalist Catholics in the United States. One conservative commentator went so far as to call him “the new John Fisher for our times,” the original one having been beheaded in 1535 for his opposition to King Henry VIII’s creation of the Church of England.

Archbishop Burke has been promoted to prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, a Vatican post roughly analogous to chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The only higher legal authority in the church is the man who promoted Archbishop Burke: Pope Benedict XVI.

The prefect’s post generally guarantees elevation to cardinal, which means that Archbishop Burke, who turns 60 Monday, would be part of the conclaves that choose popes until he reaches the customary retirement age of 75.

Although he is regarded as among the American church’s most conservative bishops, it’s not out of the question that Archbishop Burke could be considered papabili — papal material — himself. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI three years ago, also was regarded as among the church’s most conservative theological voices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Victims alarmed former La Crosse Bishop will head Vatican Sex abuse trials

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

- - Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, Milwaukee, June 27, 2008 - -

The appointment today by the Vatican of the controversial Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, and the former Bishop of the Lacrosse diocese to run, among other things, the Vatican’s worldwide sex abuse court is troubling.

Burke announced his appointment today as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and will be reassigned to Rome. The position is somewhat like the chief justice of a global clerical supreme court, although it has no actual civil legal authority at all, except in the Vatican state.

Burke’s abysmal track record in Wisconsin before his appointment to St. Louis four years ago is well documented. (See the link below to a lengthy investigative piece published in the River Front Times of St. Louis which also documents his poor treatment of victims and his refusal to provide restitution and counseling to those harmed.)

Under a unique Wisconsin 1st amendment court ruling no victim of child rape by clergy can bring a civil case against a bishop or ordained official who covered up or transferred a clerical child molester. Burke, in other words, has never once had to testify under oath or release documents concerning how he handled priest sex offenders here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Christian chief Horgan quits amid breast-groping claims

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

The West Australian

SEAN COWAN CHIEF CRIME REPORTER EXCLUSIVE [Published: Sat 10 May 2008]

A Perth Christian group with strong links to the Catholic Church has been rocked by allegations that its long term leader regularly groped the breasts of female members and encouraged many of them to have breast enlargement operations.

Kevin Horgan, the brother of Catholic benefactor and Leeuwin Estate owner Denis Horgan, resigned last month after two women came forward at the Bethel Covenant Community's regular Sunday gathering to complain about his actions.

In the following days, another six members and eight former members also complained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

What lessons can we learn from the Bethel Covenant Community?

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

Last Monday the leading current affairs program on Australian national television, Four Corners, ran a disturbing documentary "The God of Broken Hearts" which examined the damage and pain caused to individuals and families by Christian Fellowship churches in Australia — an evangelical grouping amongst the Protestant churches.

The Four Corners website blurb introduces the program with these words:

"Four Corners has presented several reports dealing with emotional abuse by other church groups such as the Exclusive Brethren. Despite exposure, some groups persist in doing harm – while governments and mainstream churches are loathe to interfere. Chris Masters' compelling report asks whether some self-proclaimed houses of God really deserve the freedom and protection they are getting."

Readers of Catholica might like to view that program online, or read the transcript as it provides uncomfortable parallels to what this editorial is about — similar allegations and controversy that surround a group in Perth Western Australia known as the Bethel Convenant Community which is Catholic and has operated with canonical status for some three decades under the supervision of the Archdiocese of Perth. The Four Corners website containing links to the video and the transcript can be found HERE. Two months ago The West Australian newspaper (www.thewest.com.au) published a sensational two-page investigative report on the happenings at Bethel. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the Church and those who might be deemed as having something to answer for) the report was not published on the internet. Catholica did publish the text of the article in the days following its publication but for copyright reasons we restricted it to the Members' Forum. Today we are releasing that article into the public forum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Burke leaving St. Louis

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

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/28/2008

Archbishop Raymond Burke may have been the most polarizing leader in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in St. Louis. With Pope Benedict XVI's announcement Friday that Burke will head the Vatican's highest judicial court, Burke also may be the most powerful Catholic alumnus St. Louis has ever seen.

Burke — who as of 5 a.m. Friday was no longer the archbishop of St. Louis — is the first American to head the Vatican's version of the supreme court.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, of the Woodstock Theological Institute at Georgetown University, said the appointment is evidence that Benedict continues to reach into the American hierarchy for help governing the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Reaction to Burke's departure

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

By Paul Hampel, Doug Mooreand Jordan Wilson
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/28/2008

Even the staunchest supporters of Archbishop Raymond Burke said he is divisive and controversial, but they also said Friday that it is his passion as a religious leader that matters most.

"I respect that the archbishop stood up for what he believed in, and I'll miss him," said Helen Adam of Richmond Heights. "But I won't miss the controversy."

Adam learned that Burke is leaving St. Louis for a high Vatican office when Monsignor John B. Shamleffer made the announcement at a noon Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clayton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Burke's tenure here was never dull

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

06/29/2008

After breaking down in tears Friday as he announced to the press and his supporters that he was leaving for a job in Rome, Archbishop Raymond Burke asked Catholics in St. Louis to pray for him.

He promised to remember the St. Louis archdiocese in his prayers every day for the rest of his life. "I will never, ever, lose the deep affection I have for the archdiocese of St. Louis," he said.

Burke's relatively short tenure in St. Louis, just 4 ½ years, was marked by controversies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Maine priest facing abuse claim commits suicide

DOVER-FOXCROFT (ME)
Rutland Herald

June 28, 2008

The Associated Press

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Roman Catholic priest committed suicide after he was informed that he would be suspended pending an investigation of his alleged sexual abuse of a minor 29 years ago, the Diocese of Portland said Friday.

The body of the Rev. James Robichaud, 56, was found Friday morning in the rectory of Our Lady of the Snows in Dover-Foxcroft. He learned of the allegation the day before. ...

The diocese said there is not enough information at this point to substantiate or dismiss the allegation. Bishop Richard Malone asked that prayers be said for all involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Sins of the Brothers

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

28/06/2008 12:00:00 AM
It's 7.30 on a cold winter morning, and the first of Canberra's Marist College students are filtering in to the Pearce school. A 12-year-old boy makes his way towards the monastery, where the school's resident brothers live.

The brothers' residence is strictly out of bounds to all students at all times. About 20 rothers live here at any given time in the dormitory-style accommodation. Although located on the school premises, between the secondary and primary buildings, the monastery is their home, and students are promptly ushered away if they even loiter near it.

But this boy has special permission it's his job to wake up Brother Kostka Chute. Most people would use an alarm clock, but Brother Kostka prefers one of his Year 7s to greet him first thing in the morning. It seems unusual, staff think, but then Brother Kostka does have a special bond with the boys. There's nothing sinister, right?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

State overseer of child protection agency retiring

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Corrie MacLaggan
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The commissioner who oversaw the controversial removal of more than 400 children from an Eldorado ranch owned by a polygamous sect will retire Aug. 31, he announced Friday.

Carey Cockerell, 61, of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, told his staff in a memo that he has been considering retirement since late last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Plantiff says he wants to save Catholic Church

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

NANCY KING
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — Ron Martin says he’s not out to get the Catholic Church, he’s out to try to save it.
This week, Martin filed a class-action lawsuit against the Diocese of Antigonish claiming it failed to protect the children in its care when it became aware of sexual abuse by some of its priests, and also names the Roman Catholic Church and a church official.

Martin was a 12-year-old children’s choir member at St. Agnes parish in New Waterford when he claims he was abused by Rev. Hugh Vincent MacDonald. For years, the only person Martin told about the abuse was his wife. Then, in 2002, his brother David committed suicide, leaving behind a note disclosing he had also been abused by MacDonald when he was an altar server. Martin had never known about had happened to his younger brother.

“I went through a tremendous amount of guilt because of that — I thought, what if I had said something years ago?” Martin says. “I’ve taken a long time to work through that guilt and now I’m not going to own that guilt. That guilt belongs to the people who were responsible for all of this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Episcopal assisting bishop to continue in role

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Episcopal Bishop Allen L. Bartlett Jr., who has been handling the liturgical and sacramental duties of the diocesan bishop during the suspension of Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., has agreed to continue that role through the rest of the year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Mathews: Other ways to address alleged abuse case

LAKEPORT (CA)
Lake County News

Written by Kelly Mathews
Saturday, 28 June 2008

To the St. Mary's Pastoral Advisory Council:

First, please let me extend my deep sympathy for your suffering regarding the recent removal of Fr. Ted.

I have read you recent letter of public support for Fr. Ted at the Lake County News Web site and you church web pages.

Please take into consideration that somewhere in your parish community, today, right now, there is a young boy being abused. He may be a victim of sexual assault by his sitter or family friend. He may not understand what us adults are talking about but he will remember that coming forward to share his secret is pointless. No one will believe him nor support him. He has learned this because he has seen how the community supports the alleged abuser and not the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Diocese had doubts on claim

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

BY TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Church officials left a 1993 meeting with serious doubts about David Silmser's sexual abuse allegations against a local Roman Catholic priest, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Friday.

"We felt that some details were not given possibly because he didn't want to or that they had slipped his mind or that perhaps many things had been dreamed up," Rev. Denis Vaillancourt wrote in a September 1993 letter to the Children's Aid Society.

Vaillancourt, the chancellor for the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese, met with Silmser and two other church officials at the diocese's Cornwall office in January 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

June 27, 2008

Former La Crosse bishop first American to head Vatican tribunal

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Capital Times

Associated Press
— 6/27/2008 6:14 pm

ST. LOUIS -- Archbishop Raymond Burke, whose outsized personality tangled with celebrities and politicians over Catholic teaching, was named Friday as the first American to lead the Vatican supreme court. ...

Some see him as a champion of orthodoxy who represents a refreshing return to church values. Others view him as sorely lacking as a pastor, an unbending stickler for the letter of the law. His targets said he fought them using arcane, medieval church codes they could barely decipher.

"I've been getting phone calls since 6 o'clock this morning from parishioners singing 'Ding, dong, the archbishop is gone,"' said the Rev. Marek Bozek, who, along with his parish board, were excommunicated by Burke after a long-simmering dispute over control of St. Stanislaus Kostka's assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse Commits Suicide

MAINE
WBZ

DOVER-FOXCROFT, MAINE (AP) ― A Roman Catholic priest has been found dead in the rectory of a Maine church, one day after being informed of an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of a minor nearly 30 years ago.

Police said the Rev. James Robichaud committed suicide. ...

The allegation came to the diocese from the Oblates, a religious order of men with whom Robichaud was serving in Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

ORLANDI CASE: DE PEDIS CORPSE TO BE REMOVED FROM CHURCH

ROME
AGI News

(AGI) - Rome, 27 June - The grave of Enrico De Pedis will not be inside Sant'Apollinare's church anymore, it was announced by the family's lawyer. De Pedis, who was one of the main members of the 'Magliana gang', was apparently involved in the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi in 1983, and was then killed in 1990. In a statement made on the Italian TV channel La7 news, the lawyer Lorenzo Radogna explained that "the corpse of Enrico De Pedis will be cremated and removed from the grave in the Sant'Apollinare's church", but he did not provide any further information regarding the future place of the ashes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

On Sex Abuse: The Pope, the Bishop and the Mexican Priest

SAN DIEGO (CA)
La Prensa San Diego

By Mark R. Day

If Pope John Paul II fails to get on the fast track to sainthood, it could have something to do with how he handled sex abuse charges against one of Mexico’s most influential priests: the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionnaires of Christ.

At least that’s the opinion of retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney, Australia, who spoke to an overflow crowd recently at the University of California at San Diego. Robinson’s talk drew considerable media attention since three local Catholic prelates forbade him from speaking in their dioceses: Bishops Robert Brom of San Diego, Tod Brown of Orange, and Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles.

Asked why these and other bishops interdicted him, Robinson shrugged his shoulders and said, “You’ll have to ask them.” But a sharper response came from a nearby panelist: “He asks too many questions,” piped in Dominican Father Thomas Doyle, a world renowned canon lawyer who has written extensively about the church’s mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Maine priest kills self after learning of sex-abuse inquiry

MAINE
USA Today

A priest in Maine has committed suicide a day after learning he was being investigated for sexual abuse of a boy nearly 30 years ago.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said the body of the Rev. James Robichaud was found today in the rectory of Our Lady of the Snows in Dover-Foxcroft. The diocese told The Associated Press that the cause of death was unknown, but police confirmed it was suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Maine priest facing abuse claim commits suicide

MAINE
Boston Globe

June 27, 2008
DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine—A Roman Catholic priest committed suicide after he was informed that he would be suspended pending an investigation of his alleged sexual abuse of a minor 29 years ago, the Diocese of Portland said Friday.

The body of the Rev. James Robichaud, 56, was found Friday morning in the rectory of Our Lady of the Snows in Dover-Foxcroft. He learned of the allegation the day before.

Robichaud died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, said Sgt. Gary West of the Dover-Foxcroft police. He said an employee at the rectory found the body in a second-floor bathroom, and it was believed that the shooting took place Thursday evening. No suicide note was found, West said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

DELAWARE: Seventh lawsuit claims abuse by priest

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By Beth Miller • The News Journal • June 27, 2008

WILMINGTON — A seventh sexual-abuse lawsuit related to the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca was filed today against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, this one by a 60-year-old Delaware man who says DeLuca abused him for two years starting in 1961.

Michael Sowden filed the complaint in Kent County Superior Court against the diocese and St. John the Beloved Church, claiming they knew DeLuca was abusing boys but allowed him to continue ministering. Sowden says he was a 12-year-old altar boy at St. John the Beloved when the abuse began.

The suit says the alleged abuse caused Sowden problems in relationships, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, flashbacks and loss of his religious faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Last Week for 13 Catholic Schools

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM

(Rochester, N.Y.) -- School’s out forever this week at 13 Rochester-area Roman Catholic schools.

Earlier this year, the Roman Catholic Diocese announced that they were closing the schools due to low enrollment.

Many families fought the changes and tried to come up with alternatives, but the diocese ultimately stayed true to its original plan. Different schools are planning events for Friday and this weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

New superintendent of schools at Catholic Diocese of Rochester

ROCHESTER (NY)
Rochester Homepage

Reported by: WROC-TV
Thursday, Jun 26, 2008 @01:20pm EST

Anne Willkens Leach has been named the new superintendent of schools for the Rochester Catholic Diocese.

Willkens Leach will take over a school system that's gone through sweeping changes in 2008. Bishop Matthew Clark and the Diocese decided to close 13 Catholic schools in Monroe County, citing declining enrollment. Many of those schools had their final day of classes this past week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

State Supreme Court says clergy can’t flee allegations by leaving state

WISCONSIN
New Richmond News

Wheeler News Service
Published Friday, June 27, 2008

Clergy members cannot escape old sexual abuse allegations by fleeing Wisconsin before the statute of limitations expires.

That’s what the State Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the case of Father Bruce MacArthur, 86, of St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Victim's group says ruling only part of solution

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Radio Network

By Brian Moon
The Wisconsin Supreme Court decided Thursday that clergy members cannot escape old sex abuse allegations by leaving Wisconsin before the statute of limitations expires.

Ted Thompson, President of the National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children, says the ruling only affective addresses offenders that leave Wisconsin. He says perpetrators can still "ride the clock" by staying in state and can avoid prosecution by hiding behind the six year statute of limitation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Byrne Reveals Childhood Abuse

IRELAND
Irish Voice

June 26, 2008

Edited by Debbie McGoldrick

GABRIEL Byrne was in Ireland last week and made the headlines big time for his advocacy of dying with dignity . . . and revealing for the first time that as a child, he experienced abuse at the hands of a priest.

Byrne gave a gripping in-depth interview on Saturday to RTE Radio where he opened up about what happened to him when he was only 11 years old. The horribleness Byrne experienced, he said, didn’t inflict long term damage, but it stayed with him to the point where he actually contacted the criminal cleric some years ago in a retirement home.

“I was taken advantage of in a very vulnerable situation where I was being told the facts of life,” Byrne said. “Physical boundaries were crossed, let’s say.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

New vicar for Rome diocese

VATICAN CITY
Catholic World News

Vatican, Jun. 27, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has named a new vicar for the Rome diocese, to replace the retiring Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, will be the new vicar for Rome. His appointment confirms rumors that have circulated in Rome for several weeks. The Italian prelate will be replaced at the Apostolic Signatura by an American prelate, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.

The son of an Italian police officer who was deported during World War II, Cardinal Vallini was ordained a priest of the Naples archdiocese in 1964, and became auxiliary bishop there in 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Catholic show of faith for Pope as worshippers decline

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Marcus Kuczynski
June 28, 2008 12:00am

A GIANT altar for 500 cardinals and bishops was raised this week for what is being heralded as the biggest event in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics.

When Pope Benedict XVI pays his first visit to Australia for World Youth Day, to be held from July 15-20, it will be an opportunity for the Catholic Church in Australia to showcase its faith and might, and also show that it can still draw a crowd - anticipated to reach close to 500,000.

But the church's influence in Australian society is waning.

The 2006 Census shows more than 5 million Australians claim to be Catholic, but a national count of mass attendance found the percentage of the Catholic population attending mass on a typical weekend had slid from 15.3 per cent in 2001 to 13.8 per cent in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

PRETE PEDOFILO AMERICANO TROVA RIFUGIO A VICENZA.

ITALY
L'Inferno Degli Angeli

This Italian Web site is reporting on Bill Nash of Ashfield, Mass., and his attempt to have the Pope defrock the priest he accused of sexually abusing him when he was a child. Blogger Massimiliano Frassi has been following the situation since he was contacted by Mr. Nash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Archbishop Burke appointed to head Vatican ‘Supreme Court’

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Catholic News Agency

St. Louis, Jun 27, 2008 / 10:50 am (CNA).- Today the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. The archbishop, one of the leading experts of Canon law in the United States will leave the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri to take up his new post in Rome near the end of August.

The appointment came on the same day that Pope Benedict named Cardinal Agostino Vallini, current prefect of the Supreme Tribunal, as the vicar general for the Diocese of Rome - the highest diocesan administrator. The position was previously held by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, whose resignation was accepted by Benedict XVI upon reaching the age of 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

St. Louis archbishop to head Vatican tribunal

VATICAN CITY
San Francisco Chronicle

Friday, June 27, 2008

(06-27) 07:48 PDT VATICAN CITY, (AP) --

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, a church law expert known for his tough stance that politicians who support abortion rights be denied Holy Communion, was named Friday to head the Vatican's supreme court.

Pope Benedict XVI's appointment of the American prelate was part of a small shuffle; the previous head of the court, Italian Cardinal Agostino Vallini, was named as the pontiff's assistant for the diocese of Rome.

Vallini replaces Cardinal Camillo Ruini, a powerful figure in the Italian church over the past 17 years, as the pope's vicar for Rome. Ruini is retiring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Goodbye, St. Louis: Holy Father Tabs Archbishop Burke as Prefect of Apostolic Signatura

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Catholic

Today brings the confirmation of the long-rumored appointment of Archbishop Burke to be the head of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. From the Vatican website:

NOMINA DEL PREFETTO DEL SUPREMO TRIBUNALE DELLA SEGNATURA APOSTOLICA

Il Santo Padre ha nominato Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica S.E. Mons. Raymond Leo Burke, finora Arcivescovo di Saint Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Sexy priest push too secular for some

AUSTRALIA
ninemsn

12:00 AEST Fri Jun 27 2008
By Wade O'Leary and Emily O'Keefe, ninemsn

A calendar featuring Rome's sexiest priests has hit Australia, no doubt causing pious women across the land to pray for defrocking but disappointing some in the Catholic Church.

Calendario Romano is into its sixth edition on the back of worldwide sales of 70,000 last year and can expect to do good business here on the back of World Youth Day.

But local Catholics are strangely silent on the subject of the sexy celibates — WYD organisers refused to comment despite distributing the calendar and calls to the Sydney archdiocese were not returned.

Melbourne-based Catholic priest and radio pundit Father Bob Maguire said the marketing strategy smacked of desperation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Il figlio di Calvi: la Orlandi rapita per intimidire la Santa Sede

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

ROMA - Un segmento dell’indagine ancora aperta sull’omicidio di Roberto Calvi —il presidente del Banco Ambrosiano trovato impiccato sotto il ponte dei Frati neri a Londra — porta alla scomparsa di Emanuela Orlandi, e all’intreccio tra i due fatti avvenuti a un anno di distanza uno dall’altro. Il banchiere fu ucciso il 18 giugno 1982, la ragazza fu sequestrata il 22 giugno 1983. Carlo Calvi, figlio di Roberto, ha dichiarato ai magistrati che tuttora cercano la verità sull’omicidio del padre: «Il rapimento della Orlandi è un messaggio teso a intimare al Vaticano il silenzio su certe questioni molto delicate, come quelle di natura finanziaria, che hanno visto il coinvolgimento di banche, mafia, partiti politici.

[translation]

The disappeared girl. For the past two months the investigators are verifying the connection with the death of the banker Roberto Calvi

Calvi's son: Orlandi was kidnapped to intimidate the Holy See
A new lead: she was taken by mistake, a partner of Flavio Carboni under scrutiny

ROME - A segment of the investigation still open about the homicide of Roberto Calvi - the president of the bank Ambrosiano found hanged under the bridge of the Black Friars in London - leads to the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, and to the connection between the two crimes, which happened a year apart. The banker was killed on June 18, 1982, the girl was kidnapped on Jun 22, 1983. Carlo Calvi, Roberto's son, told the magistrates who are still trying to find the truth about his father's death: "The kidnapping of Orlandi is a message sent to the Vatican in order to keep silent about some very delicate matters about financial transactions, involving banks, mafia and political parties.

These obscure events, as the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, will always result connected to my father's death and to the end of the banco Ambrosiano" (the banco Ambrosiano is an important bank in Milan which went bankrupt in those years). Starting from that statement and from other information resulting in an investigation which started two years ago, the anti-mafia investigative Directory received an authorization from the Rome Prosecutor's office to give a better look to an hypothesis which not only keeps the two facts together, but demands a new inquiry on Flavio Carboni, the businessman the lower court already declared innocent for Calvi's death, the Appellate Court's decision still pending.

The new required investigation derives from the hypothesis, already made in the past, that the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican's employee, was a mistake and was meant for another girl: The designed victim was to be Raffaela Gugel, a girl much resembling Emanuela, living in the same building and at the same floor. The father of that girl who by chance avoided being kidnapped is Angelo Gugel, Pope John Paul II' s personal assistant and previously - according to what the Roman magistrates have learned - "a close collaborator of Marcinkus", the monsignor who was the former president of the IOR, the Vatican bank. Angelo Gugel had already been the "chamber help" of Pope Luciani, who was the pontiff for 33 days in 1978, in the period between the advent of Paul VI and John Paul II. Gugel was also a collaborator of Benedict XVI. Which is the hypothetical connection between Calvi's death and the Ambrosiano bank story? The fact that in the various business companies Flavio Carboni was interested in - the man must still be cleared of the Calvi's homicide notwithstanding the decision of the lower court - among the partners there was a certain Rita Gugel: the identical name of the Pope's assistant, even if not very known in Italy. The investigators must ascertain if that Rita Gugel, Carboni's partner, is an Angelo's relative, and that must be found through researches in the registers of birth and in the chambers of commerce.

The investigative hypothesis is therefore to find a possible connection between Carboni and a man - or a family - very near the Pope, the deeds made by monsignor Marcinkus on behalf of the Vatican finance in the period between the end of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's, when the IOR, the Vatican bank, was strictly related to the Calvi's and the banco Ambrosiano's story. The kidnapping of the girl, even if by error was made against the wrong person, was meant to be a signal sent to the Vatican from the Magliana gang. Sabina Minardi, the former lover of the Magliana gangster Enrico De Pedis, some weeks ago gave the Police an account about the kidnapping (and according to her, the killing) of the girl. She didn't say anything about a possible mistake of the kidnappers. But she reported monsignor Marcinkus (who died in 2006) as the author, whom she said she had met as well as Carboni and Calvi. In a confused and contradictory way, summing up some confirmed leads and some unfounded ones, she said monsignor Marcinkus had asked De Pedis and his friends to kidnap the girl. She gave vague explanation for that order, as documents in possession of the girl's father or money in possession of the prelate-banker. The investigators deemed those explanations very weak. The woman also revealed her bringing some prostitutes to Marcinkus's home, describing the monsignor's apartment house and giving some details of it.

If the connection with "the Magliana gang" in the Orlandi kidnapping is still an hypothesis, the one about the Ambrosiano-Calvi's story is instead certified by the death of one of the gangsters, killed in Milan after he shot the vice-president of the banco Ambrosiano, Rosone. " It was a warning for Calvi, who was then considered untrustworthy", explained his friend and colleague De Pedis, according to what the repentant gangster Maurizio Abbatino said to the police. Two months later Calvi was killed, one year after Emanuela Orlandi disappeared: the new investigation will try to verify eventual connections Abbatini and the other repentant gangsters never spoke about.

Giovanni Bianconi

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

New lawsuits accuse priests of abuse

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

Alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse filed two new suits Thursday against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

William Prather, a 61-year-old Colorado man, alleged that Monsignor Thomas J. O’Brien sexually abused him at a Catholic high school in 1961. O’Brien has been the target of numerous such suits in recent years.

“If I can, with my actions, prevent this kind of abuse and activity from being put upon other potential victims in the future, it’s worth it,” Prather said in a phone interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Lawyer for FLDS teen refuses to testify

TEXAS
United Press International

SAN ANGELO, Texas, June 26 (UPI) -- A lawyer representing the teenage daughter of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs said she has refused to appear before a Texas grand jury.

The grand jury is investigating allegations that the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints forced underage girls into "spiritual unions" with older men. Natalie Malonis, the court-appointed lawyer for Teresa Jeffs, 16, told the Deseret Morning News in Utah she refused to testify because of lawyer-client privilege.

"The client has to be able to communicate with an attorney and know that those communications are kept confidential," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

GATHERING WITH BISHOP GEOFF ROBINSON

CALIFORNIA
Voice from the Desert

Monday, June 9, 2008 in La Jolla, California

Reflections - Thomas Doyle

1. Geoff Robinson’s US speaking tour presented an opportunity for a meeting with some of the attorneys who have been deeply involved in the clergy sex abuse crisis in the U.S. as well as some of the experts who have been part of the overall response to this crisis.

Some of us originally hoped that we would be able to provide Geoff with significant factual information on the U.S. bishops’ response to the crisis. We hoped he might be able to take this information and share it with higher ranking officials in the Vatican curia. This hope was born from our realization that the Vatican’s information sources are limited for the most part to bishops whose reports are understandably subjective and inaccurate.

We began with this hope, however our expectations were changed once we had conversed with Geoff and had realized that he is clearly not an “insider” in the hierarchy and certainly not the Vatican. The U.S. papal nuncio had asked Geoff to cancel his tour. The prefect of the Congregation for the Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Re, had initiated the move to try to convince Geoff not to speak. The archbishops and bishops of every diocese where Geoff was scheduled to speak sent letters which were made public. These letters were consistent in saying the same thing: a) Geoff was not allowed to speak in any Catholic building in the diocese, b) He should cancel his entire speaking tour, c) His book is causing confusion among the laity and disunity.

Geoff did not cancel his tour. He maintained the original speaking schedule with the talks being given in venues that were not controlled by the Catholic Church. In the west the secular press provided excellent coverage however their primary interest was the “dispute” as they saw it, between Bishop Robinson and Cardinal Mahony. Geoff took the “high road” and did not respond directly to any invitations by media to escalate the “dispute.” Geoff expressed it thus: he is here to speak about clerical sexual abuse and the need to explore two areas of systemic causality: the exercise of power by Church authorities and the official teaching on sex and sexuality. He was not here to engage in a dispute with Cardinal Mahony or any other hierarch. Throughout his visit to the U.S. his conversations with the media were consistently dignified, insightful and forthright.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Bennison convicted of conduct unbecoming a clergy member

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Episcopal Life

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, June 26, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] An ecclesiastical court has found that Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison engaged in conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy.

Bennison, 64, faced two counts of the charge. The first count of the presentment that formed the basis of a recent four-day trial dealt said that 35 years ago when Bennison, as rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Upland, California, failed to respond properly after learning that his brother, John Bennison, a 24-year-old newly-ordained deacon whom he had hired as youth minister, was "engaged in a sexually abusive and sexually exploitive relationship" with a 14-year-old parishioner. The abuse lasted for more than three years.

The presentment also said Charles Bennison failed to discharge his pastoral obligations to the girl, the members of her family, and the members of the parish youth group after he learned of his brother's behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Why The Costs of Sexual Abuse and the Costs of Non-Enforcement of Anti-Sexual-Abuse Laws Are Too High

TEXAS
FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Jun. 26, 2008

Recent reports indicate that the state of Texas spent many millions handling the events involving the FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas. The money went to pay for attorneys’ fees for the state’s lawyers and the private lawyers appointed to represent the children, for DNA testing, and for the costs of overseeing foster placement for the over 400 children from the compound while they were being protected by the state.

The implicit message of the headlines about these costs is that this is a large and perhaps unacceptable amount to spend in this context. But how much money would be too much to spend to protect hundreds of children from pervasive statutory rape, sexual abuse, underage polygamous marriage, and a system of grooming boys to participate in abuse?

Or let me put the question more bluntly – for those implying that the rescue of these children was not worth the cost: Do you mean to say that Texas should have saved its money by ignoring what everyone knew was happening to these children? There is little question that the Yearning for Zion Ranch was a hornet’s nest, once jostled never to be made the same again, but that does not mean it should have been left to its crimes against children. The choice of insularity does not confer legal immunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

SoCal pastor convicted of sexual molesting 2 girls

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 06/26/2008 09:03:20 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—A former pastor was convicted Thursday of multiple counts of sexually molesting two adolescent girls who attended his church in the San Fernando Valley.

A Superior Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before finding Joseph Gary Torres guilty on 11 counts, including continuous sexual abuse, oral copulation and sodomy by force, Deputy District Attorney Carolyn McNary said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Landry Sr., priest cases in 'different ballpark': Repa

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

BY TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Potential obstruction of justice charges against former police chief Earl Landry Sr. were in a "completely different ballpark" than the 1995 sexual abuse investigation into a Roman Catholic priest, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Thursday.

Retired police chief Anthony Repa used that metaphor to explain why the Cornwall Police Service investigated Landry Sr. in 2000 and 2001, while asking the Ontario Provincial Police to handle the allegations against Rev. Charles MacDonald -- despite the fact the service was being sued in both cases.

"Had any of (my officers) come to me and said, 'I am uncomfortable with investigating (Landry Sr.),' it would have gone to another police service," Repa testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Episcopal Church convicts Pa. bishop of cover-up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

By JOANN LOVIGLIO

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An Episcopal bishop was found guilty by a church panel of covering up his brother's assaults of a teenage girl in the 1970s.

Charles E. Bennison Jr., 64, was convicted of two counts of engaging in conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy, according to his attorneys and the church verdict, dated Tuesday and released Thursday. He could be reprimanded, suspended or ousted from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Bishop convicted of concealing abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
United Press International

PHILADELPHIA, June 26 (UPI) -- An Episcopal Church court has found a Pennsylvania bishop guilty of concealing his brother's sexual abuse of a minor during the 1970s.

Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. could be suspended or removed permanently from ministry, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.

Bennison's lawyers said they planned to appeal the decision. A sentence is not likely to be handed down before late August, the newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Court Revives School Abuse Lawsuit

PIERRE (SD)
Yankton Press & Dakotan

By CHET BROKAW
Associated Press Writer
Published: Friday, June 27, 2008 12:17 AM CDT

PIERRE — The South Dakota Supreme Court has reinstated a lawsuit filed by some former students who allege they were sexually abused decades ago at an Indian boarding school in Marty on the Yankton Sioux Reservation.

But in a second case, the high court on Thursday said two former students at an Indian boarding school in St. Francis on the Rosebud Sioux reservation cannot proceed with their.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Wis. court allows old clergy abuse prosecutions

MADISON (WI)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press

Last update: June 26, 2008 - 4:24 PM

MADISON, Wis. - Clergy can be prosecuted for decades-old sexual abuse if they left Wisconsin before a six-year statute of limitations expired, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

One victim's advocacy group said the decision strengthens the convictions of a dozen religious workers already serving prison time and the prosecutions of three others can move forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

'Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church' by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Los Angeles Times

By William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 27, 2008

It was easy to let my imagination run wild about "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus," written by retired prelate Geoffrey Robinson, auxiliary Catholic bishop of Sydney, Australia, for two decades.

The book has generated swift reaction and harsh words from leaders in the Roman Catholic Church. Robinson's fellow bishops in Australia labeled his positions problematic, claiming that his views question "the authority of the Catholic Church to teach the truth definitively."

And the Vatican and a dozen American bishops -- including Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Tod Brown of Orange and Robert Brom of San Diego -- recently asked him not to speak out on his book tour lest he "be a source of disunity and cause of confusion among the faithful," in Brown's words. (He ignored their wishes.) ...

It's a little disappointing, because the boogeyman created by church leaders turns out to be a thoughtful, gentle, humble theologian and canonlawyerwith a deep love and respect for the church. His scary ideas that caused so much consternation within the Vatican and among fellow bishops can be boiled down to one premise: The church needs to understand and address the root causes of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in order to heal itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

B.C. priest ordered to pay $415,000 for abusing niece

CANADA
Leader-Post

David Wylie, Canwest News Service
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008
A once-esteemed B.C. Sikh priest and his wife have been ordered to pay their niece $415,000 after she was sexually abused for more than a decade while living on their farm.

In a civil judgment released Thursday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nancy Morrison found Karamjeet Kour Singh, 50, is still suffering from low self-esteem, depression, flashbacks and nightmares because of the years of abuse.

"The plaintiff's problems are many," she said. "First and foremost, she has suffered a loss of innocence and the loss of a normal childhood."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Episcopal court finds bishop guilty of cover-up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

An Episcopal church court has found Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. guilty of concealing his brother's sexual abuse of a minor many years ago and keeping his role secret from church leaders.

The court must now decide whether to remove Bennison permanently from all clerical office, or suspend or reprimand him. A sentence is not likely before late August, and Bennison may appeal the verdicts or his sentence.

Bennison's lawyers said yesterday they planned to appeal. Bennison was unavailable for comment but "obviously disappointed," said John McDonald, a lawyer with the firm. Bennison has said he will return to the office of bishop if the courts allow him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Clergy-abuse prosecution limits clarified

MADISON (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Associated Press and Journal Sentinel
Posted: June 26, 2008
Madison - Clergy can be prosecuted for decades-old sexual abuse in Wisconsin if they left the state before a six-year statute of limitations expired, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The decision came in an appeal brought by Father Bruce Duncan MacArthur, 86, who was charged in 2006 with sexually assaulting girls who were patients at a Beaver Dam hospital where he was a chaplain between 1965 and 1972.

The court ruled that the statute of limitations is in effect for all crimes that happened before 1989, when the law was changed, but that the clock stops ticking when someone no longer lives in Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Canadian Sikh priest fined $415,000 for sexually abusing niece

CANADA
Thaindian News

June 27th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS

Vancouver, June 27 (IANS) A court here has ordered a Sikh priest and his wife to pay $415,000 in damages to their niece for sexually abusing her for over a decade. Karamjeet Kaur, who is 50 now and known as Vicky Waters after her marriage to a white man, was sexually abused by the ‘granthi’ who along with his wife adopted her following her mother’s death in an accident.

In its judgment Thursday, the provincial British Columbia Supreme Court said Joginder Singh Bains, now 77, began sexually abusing Kaur when she was just eight on their farm at Fraser Valley near Vancouver.

Judge Nancy Morrison said the adopted girl was subjected to oral and anal sex, apart from beatings. To prevent pregnancy when she reached puberty, the couple had an IUD inserted in Kaur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Court: Sex abuse case against priest can move forward

MADISON (WI)
The Reporter

By Colleen Kottke • The Reporter ckottke@fdlreporter.com • June 27, 2008

MADISON — A case against a former priest accused of sexually assaulting three Beaver Dam girls more than 40 years ago will go forward.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its opinion Thursday afternoon in the Dodge County criminal case against Bruce Duncan MacArthur, 86. Former Dodge County District Attorney Steven Bauer filed charges more than two years ago against the former priest who worked as a chaplain during the mid-1960s at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Duncan, who resides in a nursing home in Missouri, is charged with two counts of sexual intercourse with a child, four counts of indecent behavior with a child and one count of attempted indecent behavior with a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

June 26, 2008

The Hammer Drops

Pertinacious Papist

by Dale Vree

Leon J. Podles, in his new book Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (2008, Crossland Press, www.CrosslandFoundation.org), hammers the point home that most Catholic bishops "hate confrontation." This goes a long way toward explaining their reluctance to discipline predatory priests. It also goes a long way toward explaining the sorry state of the Church today. Fortitude, one of the four cardinal virtues, is sorely lacking among the current leaders of the U.S. Church.

This cowardly attitude also explains why several U.S. bishops shrugged off the recent and numerous invalid attempts at priestly "ordination" of women by the rogue Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement. As we wrote in our New Oxford Note "A New Catholic Community" (Oct. 2006), Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose, California, "has no plans to reprimand or excommunicate or in any other way acknowledge" the woman in his diocese who claims to have been "ordained" a Catholic priest and who has been offering an invalid "mass" at San Jose State University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Bail for sex charge pastor

FIJI
The Fiji Times

SERAFINA SILAITOGA
Friday, June 27, 2008

A CHURCH pastor accused of having a sexual affair with his daughter in the Northern Division was granted bailed yesterday by the Labasa Magistrates Court.

The Assemblies of God Church pastor appeared before Magistrate Anare Tuilevuka but no plea was taken.

His Legal Aid rep Malcolm Maitava asked for bail and assured the court his client would not interfere with the witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Decision could deter child sex assault prosecution

WISCONSIN
The Capital Times

Pat Schneider — 6/26/2008 1:05 pm

A ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a priest sex abuse case will cut off access to the courts for many adult victims of child sex abuse, one justice cautions.

The decision, released Thursday, may yet allow the prosecution of retired Catholic priest Bruce Duncan MacArthur, 86, on charges of sexual assault of a child between 1965 and 1972. The court sent the case back to Dodge County Circuit Court for further proceedings that will determine that.

But in an opinion concurring with the majority court's findings, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley raised concern that in adopting a "bright line" rule to determine which in a complicated series of revised and amended versions of the statute of limitations to apply to the MacArthur case, the court may be incorrectly interpreting the intent of the Legislature and slamming the door on other child sexual assault cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

New Alaska bishop seeks to heal rift in Orthodox congregation

ALASKA
The Seward Phoenix Log

MARY LOCHNER

June 26, 2008 at 10:26AM AKST

The Russian Orthodox Church in America retired former Alaska diocese Bishop Nikolai Soraich Tuesday, May 13 after its Holy Synod of bishops investigated allegations he behaved insensitively in regards to Alaska Native culture and responded insufficiently to a priest’s report of sexual misconduct by one of his assistants.

The Holy Synod in New York is the church’s governing body in America. It has provisionally appointed Bishop Benjamin Peterson of the diocese of the West as bishop of the Alaska diocese.

Bishop Ben served as dean in Kodiak from 2002-04 and was elected bishop at Berkeley in 2004. He retains his duties as bishop of the diocese of the West while serving as bishop to the Alaska diocese and said the post is a provisional one until the church finds a permanent bishop for Alaska.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

WI Supreme Court rules clergy offenders who left state can be prosecuted

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director - - - Contact: 414-429-7259

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today that child sex offenders can be prosecuted for assaulting children, even if the crime occurred decades ago, but only if the offender left the state of Wisconsin before the criminal statute on the offense expired.

The court was ruling in a criminal case brought by Juneau County officials against Fr. Bruce McArther. McArther raped children at parishes in Milwaukee and as a hospital chaplain in Beaver Damn in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He was transferred out of Wisconsin to new assignments in several states where he continued to sexually assault children. He now lives in a priest’s residence in Missouri.

The ruling also means that some 15 criminal cases brought against clergy who fled Wisconsin, including three current ones awaiting trial, have been upheld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Wis. high court rules against priest in abuse case

MADISON (WI)
Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
11:10 AM CDT, June 26, 2008
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Supreme Court says a retired priest accused of sexually assaulting girls four decades ago can be prosecuted.

The Rev. Bruce Duncan MacArthur is charged with sexually assaulting girls who were patients at a Beaver Dam hospital where he was a chaplain between 1965 and 1972.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Inquiry call sits with lawyers

NEW ZEALAND
The Press

Kim Thomas and John Hartevelt - The Press | Friday, 27 June 2008

The Crown Law Office is reviewing the case for a wholesale inquiry into institutional care of children after this week's findings of sexual abuse against a St John of God brother.

St John of God Brother Rodger William Moloney, 73, was this week found guilty of three charges of indecent assault and four of inducing boys to do an indecent act.

He was acquitted on a further 16 charges.

Another St John of God priest, Father Raymond Garchow, 59, will stand trial next month on eight historic indecency charges after, like Moloney, losing a protracted battle against extradition from Australia in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Lahey pledges commitment of the Diocese of Antigonish to helping victims of abuse

CANADA
The News

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish remains committed to helping all genuine victims of sexual abuse, says Bishop Raymond Lahey.

A class action lawsuit is proceeding against the Diocese and the office of Bishop with respect to priests alleged to have sexually abused children of the Diocese several decades ago.

"The Diocese of Antigonish acknowledges that sexual abuse did occur with certain priests, some of whom have already been criminally convicted and punished for such horrific crimes" said Lahey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Catholics close treatment centre for sex offender clergy

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Linda Morris Religious Affairs Writer
June 27, 2008

THE treatment and assessment centre set up by the Catholic Church in Australia 11 years ago to deal with clergy who admit to sexual abuse is to shut its doors.

The closure comes at a sensitive time, on the eve of Pope Benedict's visit to Sydney when the Vatican is under intense pressure to issue a public apology to Australian victims of clerical sex abuse.

Encompass Australasia, which operates from a private psychiatry clinic in Ashfield, has told its clients it will close pending a restructure on June 30 because a "significant downturn in business" means it is no longer able to financially support its services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Sex abuse victims react to new Supreme Court ruling re death penalty/child sex crimes

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Research shows that only 10% of all child predators are ever convicted. So let's hope this ruling will prod lawmakers to stop enacting increasingly draconian penalties for this tiny minority and focus on real reforms that will help catch the 90% who escape detection and consequences for these horrific crimes.

Legislators seem increasingly obsessed with playing 'I'm the toughest on child molesters ' rather than taking the most effective step to protect kids: eliminating or extending the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statutes of limitations, which prevent most victims from exposing predators in court.

We urge death penalty advocates to re-focus their energies on broader proven strategies that better safeguard kids rather than just please voters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

What About the Good Samaritan? Part 2

UNITED STATES
Faith Trust Institute

June 19, 2008 - 9:29pm

Four teenage girls were molested by their youth pastor. When one teen finally disclosed, the senior pastor fired the youth pastor and reported him to the police. He was charged and prosecuted for sex with a minor. So far, so good.

But someone on the parish council decided to “help out.” He sent an email from the church to the members requesting that they write letters of support for the fired youth minister and send them to the judge. Thirty church members did so. The perpetrator was convicted, but the teens were devastated by the actions of their church. They have left the church and may never return.

So twice within a few weeks I find myself pondering how a congregation could abandon their own members who have been victims of abuse? Just at the time that these young women needed all the support they could get, just at the point that they had taken a huge risk to come forward and disclose, their pastor believed them, supported them and took action. The action their church took harmed them immeasurably.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

BISHOP BANNED: Parishioners don't want him at St. Casimir's last Mass

BROCKTON (MA)
Wicked Local Brockton

By MARIA PAPADOPOULOS

St. Casimir Catholic Church will have its final Mass on Sunday, but parishioners won’t allow the regional bishop and other clergy to attend.

Parishioners voted recently to not allow Bishop John A. Dooher, the Rev. Allan Butler, administrator for St. Casimir Church, and the Rev. Francis J. Clougherty, regional vicar and pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, to attend the final Mass at the church, said the church’s cantor, Maryte Bizinkauskas.

“We ask that they don’t show up because we just don’t want them there,” Bizinkauskas said Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Suit: Savannah diocese ignored warnings about priest

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Thursday, June 26, 2008

A lawsuit filed by a local attorney alleges that the Catholic Diocese of Savannah ignored warnings about a priest many thought was dangerous to children.

Allan Carl Ranta Jr., a student in schools operated by the diocese, was repeatedly taken across state lines into South Carolina and molested by Wayland Yoder Brown, a priest many in the diocese had worried about for years before the abuse, the lawsuit alleges.

The suit against the Diocese of Savannah was filed in the Jasper County Court of Common Pleas because the alleged abuse occurred there, attorney Larry Richter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Jindal signs chemical castration bill

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

By MICHELLE MILLHOLLON
Advocate Capitol News Bureau
Published: Jun 26, 2008 - Page: 6A - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

Characterizing sex offenders as monsters, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation Wednesday that would force convicted rapists and others to undergo chemical castration.

“I am glad we have taken such strong measures in Louisiana to put a stop to these monsters’ brutal acts,” the governor said in a prepared statement. ...

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D-Meaux, did not return a call for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

During the legislative session, Gautreaux said the bill was inspired, in part, by the crimes of the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe.

Gauthe, a Roman Catholic priest, pleaded guilty in 1985 to molesting a number of boys in Vermilion Parish. He was arrested earlier this year near Galveston for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Parish group keeps up its opposition to church merger plan

NEW JERSEY
Gloucester County Times

Thursday, June 26, 2008
By Stephanie Brown
sbrown@sjnewsco.com
Local Catholics continued to speak out against diocesan plans to consolidate parishes by holding another demonstration at a local church Wednesday.

Holding signs the read "Save St. John Vianney" and "No Merger for Queen of Peace," more than 20 Catholics gathered at St. Agnes Parish Center in Blackwood to picket a meeting of the bishop and representatives from parishes across the diocese to discuss charity funds.

It was the 11th demonstration held by the group, called the Council of Parishes of Southern New Jersey, since Camden Bishop Joseph Galante announced plans in April to cut the number of parishes in the six-county diocese from 124 to 66. And while their pleas went largely unacknowledged, council members said they plan to keep fighting to stop their churches from being closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Priest on sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancaster Guardian

A Wigan priest has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing boys on 38 occasions.

Father William Green, priest at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, New Springs, was arrested late last year over allegations dating back to the 1970s.

Fr Green, 67, first appeared before Manchester magistrates last week facing six indecent assault and gross indecency charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Convicted Catholic brother sex abuser maintains innocence

NEW ZEALAND
The New Zealand Herald

Catholic brother Rodger William Moloney maintains his innocence of child sex abuse charges but it is too early to say if he will lodge an appeal, his lawyer says.

Moloney was last night found guilty of seven charges of sexually abusing boys at the former Marylands special school in Christchurch in the 1970s.

The 73-year-old was acquitted of another 16 charges.

Justice Graham Panckhurst bailed Moloney until sentencing but told him he should not take any message about the likely sentence from that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Two Portland men join sex-abuse lawsuit against Boy Scouts, Mormon church

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by Peter Zuckerman, The Oregonian June 25, 2008 15:00PM

Two Portland men filed an $8.5 million lawsuit today against the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts, bringing to eight the total number of former Boy Scouts alleging sexual abuse by Timur Van Dykes, who was a church and scout leader in the 1980s and early 90s.

The lawsuit contends that Timur Van Dykes molested Boy Scouts in Troop 719, which was supervised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dykes, a registered sex offender who now lives in Southwest Portland, has been convicted of at least 26 sex crimes since 1983.

Together, the pending abuse cases filed in Multnomah County Court against the scouts and the church seek $33.5 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

A Review of Marci Hamilton's Justice Denied: What America Must Do To Protect Its Children

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By THOMAS P. DOYLE, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.

Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2008

The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a remarkable surge of concern for the rights and welfare of children. Parallel to this concern there has been unprecedented scholarly activity into the history of this subject. Though not as extensive as one would expect, the scholarship has revealed that children’s rights and the very comprehension of the emotional, psychological and moral development of the child has been severely limited. The innocence of children and young adolescents was not presumed, in fact there is evidence that the canonists, perhaps the most significant group of lawyers in the middle ages, presumed that children and minors were always prone to do wrong.1

Western society looks with pride on the many sources of proof that we are indeed enlightened about children and do, in fact, put into practice the often heard saying that “Children are our most important resource because they are our future.”

Marci Hamilton has shared her intense and vast experience in working for children’s rights in a book that makes clear that in spite of our society’s sense of self-satisfaction, in some ways we have not advanced that far from the middle ages. Justice Denied is about one of the most horrendous offenses against children short of murder: child sexual abuse. It is about the chasm that exists between the lofty sentiments expressed by civil and religious leaders when it comes to the rights of children, and the dark reality of a court system that still reflects ignorance about both the devastating nature of sexual abuse and the compulsive nature of sexual perversity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Unholy system of self-loathing

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

'How many times can you apologise?'' Mark Coleridge, our Catholic Archbishop asked a little waspishly on the ABC yesterday, commenting on the latest child sex abuse case involving a religious brother. Seeming to realise almost immediately that this could be taken out of context, he added that mere apologies were not enough, and that what mattered was action.

There will be more apologies, for, no doubt, there will be more cases, if only as part of the clean-up of a nightmare that has yet to end. In certain respects, however, one might expect that the years ahead will produce fewer fresh cases, if only because the structure of Catholic schools is now so much different, with very few nuns, brothers and priests still engaged. Most schools are now firmly under the practical control of lay teachers. There will still be cases of such abuse - which has never ever been confined to Catholic schools, Catholic religious, or cultures of shame, secrecy and denial - but we can all hope that the worst days of an abusive culture are behind us.

The Catholic Church, perhaps more than other churches, has been through a well deserved hell, accused of helping create the culture in which abuse could flourish undetected, of denial or inadequate responses, of seeking to protect itself rather than reaching out to victims. In the United States, bishops have had to resign, and dioceses rendered virtually bankrupt by litigation. More damaging, church credibility has suffered and the message, not least about sexuality and love, seriously weakened by the obvious reproach about the conduct of church servants. The credibility of many great social works of the church, not least in educating more than a million citizens is undermined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

2 more ex-Scouts say leader molested them

OREGON
The Oregonian

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PETER ZUCKERMAN
The Oregonian Staff

Two Portland-area men filed an $8.5 million lawsuit Wednesday against the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts, bringing to eight the number of former Scouts alleging sexual abuse by former troop and church leader Timur Van Dykes.

The eight men are seeking a total of more than $33 million in damages.

The lawsuits, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, contend the abuse began in the early 1980s, ended in the early '90s and involved Boy Scout Troops 478 and 719, both of which were sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Boy Scouts has been part of the Mormon church's official men's program since 1913.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

FLDS hearing before grand jury a 'slow grind'

ELDORADO (TX)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 06/26/2008 12:59:42 AM MDT

ELDORADO, Texas - Seven FLDS women made brief appearances Wednesday before a Texas grand jury that ended the day without issuing any indictments.
But the panel's work is not over: The jury will meet again on July 22 as a criminal investigation into the polygamous sect continues.
The women went one-by-one before the jury in the afternoon and spent about the same amount of time - roughly 40 minutes - inside the Schleicher County Courthouse, which was cordoned off by crime scene tape and heavily guarded by state troopers throughout the proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Former priest faces two new sex abuse suits

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

By LUISA YANEZ
lyanez@MiamiHerald.com
A former Catholic priest -- already facing criminal charges in Broward County and a dozen lawsuits over sexually abusing several boys in South Florida -- is being sued by two new victims.

At a news conference Wednesday, attorney Jeffrey Herman, who is representing two cousins from Miami-Dade, said details of the Rev. Neil Doherty's abuse of them mirrors that of 12 other victims who have already filed suits against the priest.

Doherty, 65, who worked as a priest until 2004, is living in retirement in Palm Beach County.

''Father Doherty targeted vulnerable boys, offering to help then,'' Herman said. ``After gaining their trust and that of their parents, he sexually abused the boys.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Former chief faced unprecedented situation with Project Truth

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

BY TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Few events in Anthony Repa's three previous decades of police work could have prepared him for what he'd face running the Cornwall Police Service.

That was the gist of the testimony that Repa, the city's police chief from 1995 until 2003, delivered Tuesday at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

"To become the chief of police of a service that was now going to undergo its third police investigation, basically on the same issues . . . it was a very unique situation," said Repa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Charges fly in suit over Catholic Diocese settlement

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Thursday, June 26, 2008

A class-action settlement hashed out between victims of sexual abuse and the Catholic Diocese of Charleston over the course of three years has prompted more acrimony and lawsuits, even after the diocese has distributed $10.3 million to class victims and their attorneys. The ongoing fallout is delaying payment to a group of victims who struck a separate deal.

Charleston attorney Gregg Meyers, who negotiated the separate settlement with the diocese for seven clients who opted out of the class, is accusing the church of delaying payment of $1.375 million and colluding with class counsel and Diane Goodstein, the circuit court judge in Dorchester County who presided over the class-action case.

"Apparently all counsel were colluding to move settled cases to Dorchester County to get the cases to Judge Goodstein, or to get them away from any judge who might preside in Charleston County," Meyers stated in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Diocese seeks delay in clergy sex abuse cases

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • June 26, 2008

A lawyer for the state's Roman Catholic diocese has asked a judge to delay an upcoming clergy abuse trial until the Vermont Supreme Court rules on the church's appeal of an $8.7 million jury verdict from a similar case decided in May.

In papers filed at Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington, diocesan attorney Kaveh Shahi said Judge Matthew Katz made errant rulings that led to the $8.7 million verdict.

Shahi argued it would be wrong to stage another trial until questions about the earlier case are resolved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Lawyer expects more sex abuse victims to join class action

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

NANCY KING
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY —The lawyer who filed a class action lawsuit against the Diocese of Antigonish says he’s been contacted by a number of people saying they’re survivors of sexual abuse by priests and he knows there are others out there.
John McKiggan filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Ronald Martin, a native of New Waterford. Martin’s brother, David, killed himself in 2002, leaving behind a suicide note which led to charges of sex crimes against former priest Hugh Vincent MacDonald. Ronald Martin says he also endured abuse from MacDonald.
The former priest was facing 27 charges when he died in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Leaving 'Little Rome' for Braintree

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

[with video]

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / June 26, 2008

They said goodbye to Little Rome yesterday.

Eighty years ago, Cardinal William H. O'Connell could look across the rural area at the western edge of the city, home to Boston College, St. John's Seminary, and St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and declare "every hilltop now for miles around gleams the sacred sign of our redemption." He saw the area as the capital of Catholic Boston, a mini-Vatican of sorts, and hence the nickname, "Little Rome."

O'Connell built a mansion grand enough to reflect the stature of a cardinal-archbishop of Boston, a limestone office building that would house the administration for the growing Archdiocese of Boston, even a mausoleum to house his body upon his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Victims of priest abuse will get 'fair treatment,' diocese says

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

By CATHY VON KINTZEL Truro Bureau
Thu. Jun 26 - 5:12 AM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish said Wednesday it’s committed to providing compassion, compensation and counselling to victims of sexual abuse and regrets the matter is the focus of a new class action lawsuit in Nova Scotia.

"The Diocese of Antigonish acknowledges that sexual abuse did occur with certain priests, some of whom have already been criminally convicted and punished for such horrific crimes," Bishop Raymond Lahey said in a written statement.

"The victims deserve a fair hearing and fair treatment, and they must be treated with respect and with dignity," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Former Broward priest faces two lawsuits om molestation charges

MIAMI (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

BY ANDREW BA TRAN | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 26, 2008
MIAMI - Two men filed suit Wednesday against a former Broward County priest awaiting trial on sexual molestation charges, accusing him of paying them for sex with cash and toys when they were children.

The Archdiocese of Miami knew the Rev. Neil Doherty was sexually abusing the boys in the 1980s but covered it up, according to the lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Doherty, 65, a former pastor at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate, is awaiting trial in Broward on multiple counts of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts and molestation in a separate case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

June 25, 2008

Mazomanie church nixes altar girls

MAZOMANIE (WI)
The Capital Times

Pat Schneider — 6/25/2008 5:07 pm

Members of St. Barnabas Parish in Mazomanie say they are stunned to learn that the priests leading their Catholic community will no longer allow their daughters to be servers at Mass. From now on, only boys will be able to assist priests in the ancient religious rite.

The new policy was announced at a meeting with parents Tuesday by Rev. John Del Priore, who was assigned to the parish on June 1.

"It's an outrage," said Tammy Parks. "They said it was a good way for boys to be indoctrinated into being a priest." ...

Parents at St. Barnabas are so distressed that there is talk of having the boys boycott altar duty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Catholic Court Battle

CHARLESTON (SC)
WSCC

By News Two's Meryl Conant
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The issue at hand was not abuse directly but their claim the church has not lived up to the settlement agreement to pay them.

The topic in court Tuesday specifically had to do with what county should hear this case. But the bigger issue here is the agreement reached between 11 victims and the Diocese last summer.

While it states money was supposed to reach victims starting in January. Now, on June 23, the issue still is in court.

“I have yet to get any satisfaction, compensation, apologies, anything from the Diocese of Charleston,” said Larry Mullen, who says from 12 to 18 years old, an employee of the church, an elementary school teacher, molested him. “I hid it for all my life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Vatican: Reporting on '83 Kidnapping "Sensationalism"

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican is calling into question the "serious and professional ethics" of some Italian journalists, who have refocused attention on the case of the 1983 disappearance of a daughter of a Vatican employee.

Press reports have brought attention to the case of Emanuela Orlandi, who was 15 when she disappeared in 1983. The reports air an accusation that the late Archbishop Paul Marcinkus ordered the girl's death. Illinois-born Archbishop Marckinkus died in early 2006, at age 84.

Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the girl's disappearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Supreme Court outlaws death penalty for sex offenders

WASHINGTON (DC)
KGNS

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the death penalty for those convicted of raping a child.
In a five to four vote the Supreme Court outlawed executions for these cases.
Here in Laredo, the Children's Advocacy Center treats children who have been sexually abused.
Last year alone 661 children were treated, a 31 percent increase from the previous year.
Executive director Sylvia Bruni says the mission is justice and the public being educated about the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

HC ruling on child rape draws criticism

WASHINGTON (DC)
PRESS TV (Iran)

A US Supreme Court ruling to scrap the death penalty for a child rapist has drawn criticism with critics saying it harms the victims.

The Supreme Court by one-vote majority of 5-4 ruled Wednesday that a man convicted of raping a child cannot be sentenced to death, saying capital punishment must be reserved for murder cases.

It said child rapists cannot be sentenced to death because the Eighth Amendment prohibits the capital punishment for crimes that do not involve murder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Supreme Court strikes down death penalty for child rape

WASHINGTON (DC)
Reuters

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court in a major capital punishment decision struck down on Wednesday the death penalty for child rape, its first ruling in more than 30 years on whether a crime other than murder can be punished by execution.

The nation's highest court ruled by a 5-4 vote that the death penalty for the crime of raping a child violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Constitution barred a state from imposing the death penalty for the rape of a child when the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the victim's death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Pastor charged with incest

FIJI
The Fiji Times

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A church pastor accused of having a sexual affair with his daughter in the Northern Division has been charged with two counts of incest.

Divisional crime officer north Luke Rawalai said police charged the Assemblies of God church pastor yesterday and kept him in police custody.

Mr Rawalai said the pastor will appear in the Labasa court today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Class-action filed against N.S. Catholic diocese

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

Canwest News Service

ANTIGONISH, N.S. - A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish for compensation for alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests from the diocese.

The Roman Catholic Church, the bishop of Antigonish and the diocese "kept the priests' sexual deviance secret and failed to warn or protect children within the diocese," states a release on the website of Halifax lawyer John McKiggan, who represents the plaintiff, Ronald Martin.

Martin's brother, David, committed suicide six years ago, leaving behind a note that alleged he had been sexually abused by Father Hugh Vincent MacDonald, a former priest of the Antigonish Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Diocese named in sex abuse suit offers court alternative

CANADA
AOL News

Source: CBC News
Posted: 06/25/08 3:59PM

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish says he remains committed to helping everyone "genuinely victimized" by sexual abuse.

Bishop Raymond Lahey issued a statement Wednesday, following the launch of a class-action lawsuit by people claiming they were sexually abused by priests in the diocese over several decades.

"The victims deserve a fair hearing and fair treatment," Lahey said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

CASO ORLANDI: DA INVESTIGATORI IPOTESI ISPEZIONE TOMBA DE PEDIS, IL 'NODO' DEL VATICANO

ROME
Adnkronos

Roma, 24 giu. - (Adnkronos) - La Procura della Repubblica di Roma e gli investigatori della Squadra Mobile starebbero prendendo in considerazione, nell'ambito della nuova indagine sulla scomparsa di Emanuela Orlandi avvenuta il 22 giugno del 1983, il suggerimento dato nel 2006 da uno sconosciuto che telefono' alla trasmissione 'Chi l'ha visto', e cioe' di ispezionare la tomba del boss della banda della Magliana Enrico De Pedis, detto 'Renatino'.

[translation]

THE ORLANDI CASE: THE INVESTIGATORS COULD INSPECT THE TOMB OF DE PEDIS, THE "KNOT" OF THE VATICAN

ROME, Jun 24 - (Adnkronos) - The Prosecutor of the Republic in Rome and the Police investigators are examining the possibility, as one of the initiatives in the new investigation about the disappearance of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi on June 22, 1983, to follow the
suggestion given by an anonymous telephone caller of the popular TV show "Chi l'ha visto?" (Who saw him?). That's to inspect the tomb of the Magliana gang boss Enrico De Pedis, nicknamed 'Renatino'. The name of De Pedis came under scrutiny after the testimony of Sabrina Minardi, the new super witness, who said the boss, acting on behalf of cardinal Marcinkus, kidnapped Orlandi and killed her throwing her body in a cement mixer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Ex-Priest Faces More Sex Abuse Lawsuits

MIAMI (FL)
CBS 4

MIAMI (CBS4) ― More allegations of sexual abuse have been levied at a retired South Florida priest.

On Wednesday, a Miami law firm announced the filing of two more lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Miami in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of young boys by father Neil Doherty.

According to the documents filed with the court, Doherty met the two boys in the 1980s while he was performing outreach into the community. The two boys are cousins and relatives of other men who have filed sexual abuse claims against Doherty and the archdiocese. Doherty reportedly used his position to gain the boy's trust and eventually abused them. The alleged abuse occurred in the rectory at St. Mary Cathedral, in a private home and in his car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

N.S. Roman Catholic bishop says church open to helping sexual abuse victims

CANADA
The Canadian Press

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia, named in a class action lawsuit that alleges five of its priests sexually abused children, issued a statement Wednesday that says it remains committed to helping the victims.

Bishop Raymond Lahey acknowledged past wrongs in the statement, released a day after the class action was filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Heavy security as grand jury looks into Texas sect

ELDORADO (TX)
The Associated Press

By MICHELLE ROBERTS

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) — Dozens of state troopers and sheriff's deputies surrounded the town square in this tiny ranching hamlet as a grand jury opened its investigation into a polygamist sect accused of forcing underage girls into marriage and motherhood.

The main square in Eldorado was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a sheriff's department worker snapped photos of anyone who attempted to talk to sect members who arrived at the courthouse Wednesday and may be grand jury witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

New sex abuse lawsuits filed against former Margate priest

MIAMI (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Andrew Ba Tran | Sun-Sentinel.com
1:54 PM EDT, June 25, 2008
MIAMI - Two lawsuits were filed today against a former Broward County priest awaiting trial on sexual molestation charges, accusing him of paying two men for sex with cash and toys when they were children.

The Archdiocese of Miami knew the Rev. Neil Doherty was sexually abusing the boys in the 1980s but covered it up, according to the lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade court.

Doherty, 65, a former pastor at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate, is awaiting trial in Broward for multiple counts of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts and molestation in a separate case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Gangster's tomb may be opened in hunt for missing Italian girl

ROME
The Times (United Kingdom)

Richard Owen Rome
Magistrates are to ask the Vatican for permission to open the tomb of a murdered gangster in the crypt of a Rome church to check whether it contains the remains a teenage girl who vanished 25 years ago, according to Italian reports.

Magistrates have re-opened the inquiry into the 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, in the light of new evidence. Sabrina Minardi, former girlfriend of Enrico De Pedis, boss of the notorious Magliana Gang in Rome, has told investigators Ms Orlandi was kidnapped as part of a Vatican-linked plot, but was killed and thrown into a cement mixer at a building site on the coast near Rome.

Two years ago an anonymous caller to presenters of an Italian television programme on missing persons suggested they should "take a look" at the tomb of De Pedis in the crypt of the church of Sant' Apollinare (Saint Apollinaris) near Piazza Navona. The church is next to the music school where Ms Orlandi attended a flute lesson before she was spotted by a policeman getting into a dark green BMW with a man, the last time she was seen alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Vatican disappointed in Italian media’s handling of Orlandi case

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Jun 25, 2008 / 10:57 am (CNA).- The Vatican has said it regrets the speculation in the Italian media that the deceased Archbishop Paul Marcinkus was involved in the disappearance of a Vatican employee’s daughter in 1983.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Holy See Press Office Director, spoke about how the case of 15 year-old Emanuela Orlandi’s has been handled by the media.

According to Lombardi, the recent disclosure of confidential testimony to the media “has come about in a striking way, with the widespread journalistic disclosure of confidential information, information that remains completely unverified and that proceeds from a witness of extremely dubious credibility.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

No decisions have been made in church closing

TOWER CITY (PA)
The Citizen-Standard

By: Linda Schylaske The Citizen-Standard Staff - 6/25/08

Over 20 members of Ss. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church met Wednesday, June 18 in the basement of the church on Grand Avenue in Tower City to discuss their course of action pertaining to the proposed closing of the church.

Tessa Stauffer, a member of the church who has spearheaded the appeal to have the church remain open, spoke to the group and told them that she had spoken Monsignor David James of the Allentown Diocese that day and his answer to her inquiry about the petition that the group filed was answered, “It is still under review.” ...

Another question that was brought up at the meeting, had to do with the fact that Rev. John F. Gunniff, a former priest who served the church, was buried in front of the building in 1937.

“We have a former priest buried here,” said Stauffer. “If we have to sell the church, where will he go? What will they do with him and who will pay if they have to exhume him?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

WASHINGTON (DC)
The New York Times

By DAVID STOUT
Published: June 26, 2008
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, on Wednesday that sentencing someone to death for raping a child is unconstitutional, assuming that the victim is not killed.

The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court. He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

The court overturned a ruling by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which had held that child rape is unique in the harm it inflicts not just upon the victim but on society and that, short of first-degree murder, no crime is more deserving of the death penalty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Ashfield man pushes for laicization of Xavarian priest

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Father Bill Pomerleau

SPRINGFIELD – An Ashfield man, supported by the local chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called a press conference outside the chancery of the Diocese of Springfield to call for the laicization of a religious priest who he said sexually molested him when he was a seminarian in the 1980s.

William J. Nash, who grew up in Westfield’s Blessed Sacrament Parish, told news media June 24 that within two weeks of entering the Xavarian seminary in Franklin, Wis., Father James Tully “spent most of an evening groping me and sitting on me.

“He later barged into my room and exposed himself,” Nash said.

Nash also recounted how several months later, as a 21-year-old Xavarian novice, he was groped in the back seat of a car by a drunken Father Tully.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

MORE PROOF: Scanning and uploading documents will be ongoing at City of Angels 11, here is a sampling, more on Servants of the Peraclete this week

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
We continue to scan and upload Paracletes Documents at City of Angels 11 (linked above) over the next week, then we'll leave those and other documents at that site for the next few months. So if anyone needs proof that Roman Catholic hierarchy knew there were pedophile priests raping children in American parishes as far back as the 1950s, click on a document to enlarge it, and while you are at it, print it and show it to your US representative. Here is a sampling of what you will find at City of Angels 11 this week: (By the way, Comments are once again open here at City of Angels 4.)

Add the letter on the right in with Island Letters from a previous post. Here we see the Paracletes have to get rid of the Island of Tortola, where they have sent problem priests to keep them away from the public. Dated November 1960. (Click to enlarge and print)

The second page, 1960 technology photocopy is at right. Father Gerald worked hard to establish these colonies to keep the pedophiles away from parishes, but by 1960 he was losing to a secular AA 12 step influenced form of treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Sex-abuse suit alleges conspiracy by Catholic Church

CANADA
AOL News

Source: CBC News
Posted: 06/25/08 8:16AM

The Roman Catholic diocese of Antigonish, N.S., is facing a class-action lawsuit from people who say they were sexually abused by priests who operated under the protection of the church over several decades.

The lawsuit was initiated by Ron Martin, a New Waterford man who claims he was abused as a boy by priest Hugh Vincent MacDonald.

His brother, David Martin, made the same claim in a suicide note in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Pressure mounting for a proper apology from the Pope to Australian victims

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

In June 2008, a month before the Pope was due to visit Australia, Broken Rites Australia asked the Vatican to arrange for a deputation of Australian church sex-abuse survivors to have a meeting with the Pope in Sydney.

Broken Rites made the request in a letter, dated 7 June 2008, sent to the Vatican’s representative in Canberra, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto.

Archbishop Lazzarotto replied to Broken Rites, in a letter dated 16 June 2008, saying: “I thank you for your letter dated 7 June, and I would like to assure you that the issue you raised in your letter has already been presented to the attention and consideration of the competent office of the Holy See.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Marist Brothers 'ignored' complaints about sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Marist College in Canberra allowed one of its Marist Brothers to continue working with boys even after the school learned that he was molesting students, a court has been told.

Marist Brother John William Chute, aged 75, whose "religious" name is "Brother Kostka", pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court to committing indecent acts with pupils between 1985 and 1989 when they were aged 13 and 14.

On 23 June 2008, Kostka was sentenced to a total of six years jail, with the first two years in full-time prison, the third year to be served by weekend detention, and the remaining three years to be fully suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Lockport parishioners magnify protest

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz
Updated: 06/25/08 7:24 AM

A few blocks from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo chancery offices on Main Street, a large billboard reads:

“Why Should St. Marys, Lockport CLOSE? Over 1,000 Families Want To Know.”

Members of the Lockport parish have been fighting the decision to close the Saxton Street church since Bishop Edward U. Kmiec made the announcement last October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Alleged abuse victim calls for priest to be defrocked

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

By STEPHANIE BARRYsbarry@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD - Standing outside the Roman Catholic chancery yesterday, an alleged clergy abuse victim implored local church officials to support his bid to get a priest defrocked.

William J. Nash, 41, of Ashfield, said he was repeatedly assaulted by the Rev. James Tully, a member of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers, while Nash was a student at the order's seminary in Milwaukee, Wis.

Tully could not be reached.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Sex-pest priest exposed on TV

TENERIFE
Think Spain

A Tenerife priest has resigned after being caught making inappropriate sexual suggestions to a woman by a TV documentary team using a hidden camera.

After viewing the report, that was broadcast last Monday evening, the bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, confirmed that the priest has been "suspended as a precautionary measure" from his parrochial duties while the matter is investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Catholic clergyman guilty of sex attacks on handicapped boys

NEW ZEALAND
Monsters and Critics

Wellington - Rodger Moloney, a 73-year-old Catholic clergyman, was found guilty Wednesday on seven charges of sexually abusing intellectually handicapped boys at a boarding school in Christchurch 30 years ago, news reports said.

A Christchurch High Court jury cleared Moloney on 16 other charges. Moloney was prior of the St John of God order, which ran the school. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Priest in Waterford Lismore diocese steps down after allegation made

IRELAND
WLR

Wednesday, June 25th 2008

A Garda investigation is taking place into an allegation made against a priest in the diocese of Waterford and Lismore.

The priest has stepped down from his duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Priest in court on abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Don Frame
25/ 6/2008

A PRIEST has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing young boys on almost 40 occasions while he was at St Bede's School in Manchester.

The earliest of the alleged offences involving a number of boys under-16, took place 31 years ago, and it is claimed that his offending went on until 1987.

Fr Bill Green 67, from Middleton, first appeared before Manchester city magistrates last week facing six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency between 1977 and 1981. Today he faced a further 32 similar counts dating between 1968 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Brazil: ‘Rabbi’ Elior Chen hires local attorneys to prevent extradition to Israel

ISRAEL
YNet News

Published: 06.19.08, 18:56 / Israel News

“Rabbi” Elior Chen, suspected of heading a group of religious parents who tortured their children under his tutelage, who was recently arrested in Brazil, has announced his refusal to turn himself in to Israeli authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

ORLANDI: WITNESS, WAS TAKEN ON ORDERS BY MARCINKUS

ROME
AGI

(AGI) - Rome, June 23 - Allegedly Emanuela Orlandi was taken by Renatino De Pedis who was acting on behalf of monsignor Marcinkus, who at the time presided the IOR.

This is one of the revelations made by a super witness on the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi while talking to detectives of the special investigations tea, on March 14. Agi learnt that, when specifically asked the question as to who had asked Renato to pick up the girl, the witness replied: "through the IOR... that monsignor Marcinkus... Renato would occasionally confide".

As for the reasons for the kidnapping, she added: "I think that they were tracing back to because for me she wasn't taken for ransom, she was taken for a purpose. I'm saying monsignor Marcinkus because I don't know who is behind it all but I met him at dinner with Renato... They took Emanuela to send a message to someone". The witness emphasises that she does not know who effectively took Emanuela.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Lawyer for FLDS teen alleges threat

TEXAS
United Press International

SAN ANGELO, Texas, June 24 (UPI) -- A Texas lawyer representing the teenage daughter of jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs claims she has received death threats.

Natalie Malonis told the Deseret Morning News the threats began last week when she asked a court to keep a leader in the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter-Day Saints away from her client.

She was to have an armed guard for a hearing Tuesday on whether her client must testify before a grand jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Teen girl a key player in criminal case against sect

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Michelle Roberts
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SAN ANGELO — A teenage member of a polygamous sect says she's never been married and doesn't have a baby. She denies church elders are influencing her, and she wants to fire her lawyer.

The 16-year-old daughter of jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs is a key player in court cases in West Texas this week as the state's case against members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints moves into criminal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Church 'working hard' to prevent abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Archbishop of Canberra says the church is doing everything it can to ensure there is no repeat of the sexual abuse of pupils at the city's Marist College.

Former teacher John William Chute, 76, - who is also known as Brother Kostka - was jailed for two years earlier this week after pleading guilty to molesting six students at the school in the 1980s.

The Marist Brothers have apologised to the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Restraining order extended in polygamist case

TEXAS
Abilene Reporter News

By Paul A. Anthony
panthony@gosanangelo.com
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Walking tentatively down the hall of the Tom Green County Courthouse, the 16-year-old girl in a pastel prairie dress and intricate blond braid paused.

Asked by a group of reporters whether she had anything to say, the girl -- after six hours in court -- seemed to be speaking for the dozens of attorneys and observers who had endured another twist-filled FLDS-related hearing.

"What can I say," she replied, staring at the ceiling, "except that I'm sick of everything."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Catholic brother guilty of abusing Marylands' school boys

NEW ZEALAND
The New Zealand Herald

7:20PM Wednesday June 25, 2008

Catholic brother Rodger William Moloney has been found guilty of seven charges of sexually abusing boys at the former Marylands special school in Christchurch near Halswell in the 1970s.

He is on bail awaiting sentence.

After a day-and-a-half of deliberations, a jury in the High Court at Christchurch delivered its verdicts at 6.15pm, finding the 73-year-old guilty on seven but acquitting him on the remaining 16 charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

AUSTRALIA Pressure builds for Papal apology

AUSTRALIA
Special Broadcasting Service

Tuesday, 24 June, 2008

There is mounting pressure for the Pope to apologise to victims of Church sex abuse when he is in Sydney for World Youth Day (Getty Images) There is mounting pressure from victims' advocate groups for the Pope to apologise to victims of Church sex abuse in the lead up to World Youth Day (WYD).

With just weeks to go until the Holy See's arrival in Sydney for the massive Catholic event, various organisations are vociferously calling for an official apology, much like that given to Aboriginal Australians by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Recently, Pope Benedict visited the United States and expressed his regret at the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Report: Baptist site lists alleged sex offenders

NASHVILLE (TN)
AL.com

6/24/2008, 4:30 p.m. CDT
The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The names of at least 10 ministers convicted of or indicted on charges related to sex crimes involving minors were found on an online search directory on the Southern Baptist Convention Web site.

The Tennessean reports that number includes three ministers in Tennessee. One has been convicted while the two others listed in the directory of ministers have been indicted but not convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priest resigns after sex proposal is taped

TENERIFE
IOL

Madrid - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spain's Canary Island of Tenerife said Tuesday it had accepted the resignation of a priest who was seen making sexual propositions to a woman in a tape broadcast on local television.

Bishop Bernardo Alvarez of Tenerife also suspended the priest from his religious duties as a precaution while the incident is investigated, the diocese said in a statement posted on its website. ...

The images of the priest sexually harassing the women were recorded using a hidden camera and broadcast on Monday night on Television Canaria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Russert a model for ideal bishop

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

June 25, 2008

BY ANDREW GREELEY
The obsequies for Tim Russert were a wonderful showcase for the Catholic heritage. They were the celebration of our memory of a man who exemplified the role of a Catholic layman and also a demonstration of how Catholics cope with death.

The Irish laughed at death while they were still pagans. When they became Catholic, this laughter turned into a privileged symbol of that faith. It's not everyone's symbol of death -- and it has its own imperfections -- but it is profoundly Catholic.

The Catholic Church has not looked too good in public lately -- it has often seemed mean-spirited, punitive, arrogant, insensitive. It seems not to understand what the sexual abuse crisis has done to its public image. Hopefully many who are not Catholic came to realize last week that there was more to be said about the Catholic heritage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Wounds run deep for two-time abuse victim

WINONA COUNTY (MN)
Post-Bulletin

By John Weiss
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Tom Mahowald spoke slowly, without emotion: "I'm a victim of abuse twice. Both were very violent."

He was an altar boy in a town near this region and when he was 14, the priest asked him to take some boxes into the basement. He pushed Mahowald into a room and locked the door. "I tried to push him away. I told him no. He told me God wanted me to do this for him. He raped me."

When Mahowald, who lives in Alma, Wis., and works in Winona County, tried to get away, the priest crushed one of his testicles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 AM

Parishioners come home empty-handed

PENNSYLVANIA
Standard Speaker

By JILL WHALEN
Staff Writer
A contingent of parishioners from the McAdoo area didn’t get what they were looking for Tuesday from the Allentown Diocese.
About 15 individuals from six McAdoo-area churches facing consolidation hoped to meet with the Rev. Monsignor David James to obtain a copy of the building study used to determine which church would remain open after the planned merger.
Vicki Gennaro, a parishioner who made the hour-long trip, said there are concerns about the condition of St. Patrick’s Church in McAdoo — the church chosen to house the mixed congregations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 AM

Ex-Pastor Convicted Of Sex Assault Dies In Prison

BEEVILLE (TX)
Tyler Morning Telegraph

BY KENNETH DEAN
Staff Writer

BEEVILLE — A former Dogwood City pastor convicted of molesting small children while in his day care has died in prison.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons confirmed that Jefferson Marion Moore Jr., 60, (Brother Jeff) died in his cell in the McConnell Unit late last month.

“Officers were doing a routine head count on May 26 about 5:23 a.m. when Moore’s cellmate told them Moore was unresponsive in the cell,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 AM

Vatican defends reputation of ex-banker

VATICAN CITY
United Press International

VATICAN CITY, June 24 (UPI) -- The Vatican says claims that the former head of the Vatican bank was involved in kidnapping a teenage girl in 1985 are "infamous."

Monsignor Paul Marcinkus, the U.S. priest who headed the Institute for Religious Works at the time, "has been dead for some time and cannot defend himself," the Catholic Church said in a statement.

The claims are believed to have come from leaked testimony by Sabrina Minardi, ex-wife of soccer star Bruno Giordano and later girlfriend of Enrico De Pedis, a Roman mobster, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Minardi is said to have testified that De Pedis was behind the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 AM

Priest resigns after sexual proposal aired

TENERIFE
Ninemsn (Australia)

12:30 AEST Wed Jun 25 2008

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spain's Canary Island of Tenerife has accepted the resignation of a priest who was seen making sexual propositions to a woman in a tape broadcast on local television.

Bishop Bernardo Alvarez of Tenerife also suspended the priest from his religious duties as a precuation while the incident is investigated, the diocese said in a statement posted on its website.

"The priest mentioned in the news report expressed to the bishop his desire to step down from the parish where he carried out his pastoral duties. The bishop immediately accepted his resignation," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 AM

Archbishop ‘ordered’ teenager’s kidnapping

ROME
Gulf Times (Qatar)

Published: Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 02:33 AM Doha Time

By Tom Kington in Rome
THE unsolved case of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Rome 25 years ago has been dramatically reopened.
A woman has told police that the girl was kidnapped by a criminal gang on the orders of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the disgraced former head of the Vatican’s bank who was linked to the death of the Italian banker Roberto Calvi.
The disappearance in June 1983 of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, has previously been linked by criminal informants to the Rome-based Banda della Magliana gang. But new details supplied by Sabrina Minardi, former girlfriend to the gang’s boss, Enrico De Pedis, now ties in the Holy See official.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 AM

Class-action suit filed against Roman Catholic diocese in N.S. over alleged abuse

CANADA
The Canadian press

HALIFAX — The brother of a man whose suicide note led to charges of sex crimes against a Nova Scotia priest has filed a class action against the Diocese of Antigonish, claiming it failed to protect the children in its care when it became aware of the abuse.

The class action, filed Tuesday by Ronald Martin, also names the Roman Catholic Church and a church official.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 AM

Ashfield Man Wants His Alleged Abuser Defrocked

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
CBS 3

[video presentation]

An local victim of clergy abuse is asking the bishop for help defrocking an alleged pedophile priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 AM

New Allegations Revive an Italian Mystery of the 1980s

ROME
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
Published: June 25, 2008
ROME — On June 22, 1983, Emanuela Orlandi, 15, was walking home in central Rome from a music lesson when she vanished.

Home was inside Vatican City, since her father was a Vatican employee. And that transformed what might have been a straightforward missing-persons case into one of Italy’s most enthralling and enduring mysteries.

It was resuscitated this week after the news media here reported a witness claiming, among other things, that Emanuela had been kidnapped on the orders of an American archbishop, Paul Marcinkus, a former president of the Vatican bank. Linked to a major Italian banking scandal in the 1980s, Archbishop Marcinkus died in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 AM

A lack of anger in the room…

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Catholica (Australia)

We held over Tom McMahon's commentary on Sunday for fear of information overload. Today's commentary is not a replacement. It is a special report Tom filed yesterday on two meetings he attended at the University of San Francisco last week. One with Bishop Geoffrey Robinson and the other with author of "Catholicism at the Crossroads", Paul Lakeland. Given the present crisis in Catholicism, Tom has come away wandering what level of anger it takes to motivate the people to do something?

Twice in two days I journeyed to the University of San Francisco where our family boasts of eight grads, including myself; Friday evening I heard Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson and on Sunday author Paul Lakeland. Surveying the listeners I remark "the usual suspects were rounded up and their gray hair was apparent; a young audience, the hoped for future of Roman Catholicism may have in wind and fog lost their way to the Hilltop. I offer here no comment on the content of the two talks. I offer more on the people's reaction. I observed a common denominator, "a lack of anger in the room". Jesuit educator Eugene Schallert in the late '60's coined and used this term in referring to the people's reaction to Vatican Two education. My wife speaks of being excited about religion as one of Gene's students … more than likely her last religious excitement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 AM

June 24, 2008

Star's Ex Arrested On Charges Of Fleecing Churches

PITTSBURGH (PA)
ThePittsburghChannel

PITTSBURGH -- Police arrested an Italian businessman on Tuesday who once dated a Hollywood star and was accused of lying about connections to the Vatican to allegedly fleece wealthy investors in a real estate company that sought to buy and redevelop Roman Catholic Church property.

Raffaelo Follieri, actress Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend, faces fraud charges for squandering millions of dollars meant to redevelop church properties -- including several in the Pittsburgh area. ...

Among the churches bought by Follieri's company include St. Stephen in McKeesport and St. Clement in Tarantum. He also agreed to buy St. Canice in Knoxville and historic St. Nicholas on the North Side, but he never closed on those deals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Sexual Abuse Class Action filed against R.C. Diocese of Antigonish and Cape Breton

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

Posted On: June 24, 2008 by John McKiggan

Our firm has filed a class action against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish for compensation for victims of sexual abuse by priests from the Diocese.

The claim is the first class action in Nova Scotia filed under the new Class Proceedings Act.

The representative plaintiff is Ronald Martin. Ron's brother of David Martin committed suicide 6 years ago. David's suicide note revealed that he had been sexually abused by Father Hugh Vincent MacDonald, a former priest of the Antigonish Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Ga. sex offenders challenge church volunteer ban

GEORGIA
The Associated Press

By GREG BLUESTEIN

ATLANTA (AP) — Five sex offenders filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming that a tough new Georgia law that bans them from volunteering at churches also robs them of their right to participate in religious worship.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Rome, claims the Georgia law effectively "criminalizes fundamental religious activities" for sex offenders and bars them from serving as a choir member, secretary, accountant or any other role with a religious organization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Vatican: Church defends Marcinkus

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, June 24 - The Vatican has lashed out at allegations that a former head of the Vatican bank may have been involved with the kidnapping of a 15-year old girl 25 years ago.

The Vatican said the accusations were ''infamous and without foundation'' and made against someone ''who has been dead for some time and cannot defend themself''.

''We do not wish to interfere in any way with the efforts of the judiciary to ascertain facts and responsibilites.... but at the same time we cannot help but express our firm disapproval for the way certain information has been made public, in a manner more bent on sensationalism than ethical and professional sincerity''. Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, disappeared in May 1985 and has never been seen or heard of since. It was initially thought that she was taken hostage in order to be exchanged with Ali' Agca, the Turkish terrorist who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Police in Rome re-open kidnap case 25 years on

ROME
The Times (United Kingdom)

Richard Owen in Rome
Twenty five years after the mysterious kidnapping in Rome of a teenage girl magistrates have re-opened the inquiry into the crime, which is thought to be linked to the attempt on the life of John Paul II in 1981.

Police said a woman member of the Banda della Magliana (Magliana Gang), Rome's most notorious underworld gang, had come forward to testify that she was involved in the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15 year old daughter of a Vatican employee, on 22 June 1983.

Reports said the woman, said to be the wife of a gang leader, had driven one of the cars used in the abduction. She had given police "other details" of the crime which justified re-opening the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Disgraced Vatican chief 'ordered the murder of teenager'

ROME
The Scotsman (Scotland)

Published Date: 24 June 2008
By Nick Pisa
A DISGRACED senior Vatican official ordered the kidnap and murder of teenage girl, it was claimed last night.

Monsignor Paul Marcinkus was the controversial head of the Vatican Bank at the time of the murder of "God's banker", Roberto Calvi, who was found hanged under London's Blackfriar's Bridge in 1982.

Now the former lover of a dead gangster has told police that Emanuela Orlandi, who disappeared 25 years ago, was kidnapped on Mgr Marcinkus's orders and murdered.

The investigation into Ms Orlandi's disappearance was secretly reopened this month and key witnesses questioned again – including Sabrina Minardi, the former lover of gang godfather Enrico de Pedis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Girl missing since 1983 was kidnapped on Vatican archbishop's orders, police told

ROME
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Tom Kington in Rome The Guardian, Tuesday June 24, 2008

The unsolved case of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Rome 25 years ago has been dramatically reopened.

A woman has told police the girl was kidnapped by a criminal gang on the orders of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the disgraced former head of the Vatican's bank who was linked to the death of the Italian banker Roberto Calvi. ...

Minardi has claimed De Pedis snatched the girl on the orders of Marcinkus "to send a message to someone above them" as part of a "power game", La Repubblica newspaper reported yesterday, quoting her testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Vatican official accused of ordering teen girl's murder

ROME
Irish Independent

By Malcolm Moore in Rome

Tuesday June 24 2008

A FORMER senior Vatican official was accused yesterday of ordering the murder of a teenage girl who disappeared 25 years ago.

Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, was 15 when she vanished after a flute lesson in central Rome. She was last seen at a bus stop on her way home on June 22, 1983.

The investigation into her disappearance was reopened this week following new evidence from the former girlfriend of Enrico De Pedis, a Roman mobster. ...

The archbishop was investigated by the Organised Crime office of the US Justice Department after they found a request for $950m (€612m) of counterfeit bonds made on Vatican notepaper.

In 1982, Marcinkus was implicated in the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano and the death of Roberto Calvi, the head of the bank, whose body was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

ORLANDI: KIDNAPPED BECAUSE FATHER SAW DOCUMENTS

ROME
AGI

(AGI) - Rome, 24 June - Emanuela Orlandi was reportedly kidnapped because her father Ercole, a clerk in the Prefecture of the Vatican reportedly was in possession of documents that he should not have seen. This was declared to investigators by Sabrina Minardi, ex girlfriend of the Magliana gang boss Enrico De Pedis known as Renatino.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Vatican attacks Archbishop link to girl 'thrown into cement mixer'

VATICAN CITY
The Times (United Kingdom)

Richard Owen in Rome
The Vatican today angrily rejected the accusation that a former official was behind the kidnap and murder of a 15-year-old girl in Rome 25 years ago.

In a statement it attacked the claim as an "infamous and baseless charge against a man who is dead and cannot defend himself".

Sabrina Minardi, the former mistress of Enrico De Pedis, a Rome criminal boss, has told police that Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, was kidnapped by De Pedis on the orders of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus. ...

Inexplicably De Pedis, who had a long record of serious crime involving drugs trafficking, was buried in the church of Saint Apollinaris in Rome in a crypt normally reserved for prelates and saints after he was shot dead in a Rome street in 1990. A stylish underworld figure, he is alleged to have had close contacts with Church prelates and to have been "very religious". According to Ms Minardi Archbishop Marcinkus helped to launder money on De Pedis's behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Kidnap testimony revives enduring Italian mystery

ROME
International Herald Tribune (France)

By Elisabetta Povoledo Published: June 24, 2008

ROME: On June 22, 1983, Emanuela Orlandi, 15, vanished off a central Rome street while she was on her way home from a music lesson.

Home was inside Vatican City, since her father was a Vatican employee. And that transformed what might have been a straightforward missing persons case into one of Italy's most enthralling - and enduring - unsolved mysteries.

It was resuscitated this week after the news media here reported a witness claiming, among other things, that Orlandi had been kidnapped on the orders of the American archbishop Paul Marcinkus, a former president of the Vatican bank. Linked to a major Italian banking scandal in the 1980s, Marcinkus died in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Vatican calls claims linking U.S. prelate to kidnapping 'defamatory'

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican called recent accusations linking the late U.S. Archbishop Paul Marcinkus to an Italian girl's disappearance "defamatory (and) without foundation."

The allegations based on testimony revealed recently by Italian media have caused pain to the girl's family and show a lack of "respect and humanity toward people who have already suffered so much," said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican press office, in a June 24 statement.

Emanuela Orlandi, a Vatican City resident and the daughter of a Vatican employee, disappeared in Rome June 22, 1983, when she was 15 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Ashfield man calls on church to defrock priest he says abused him

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - An Ashfield man announced his intention today to put pressure on the Roman Catholic church to defrock a priest he says abused him in the late 1980s.

William J. Nash, 41, spoke with reporters outside the offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield to talk about his chronicles of alleged abuse before mailing several copies of his request to defrock the Rev. James Tully to church officials in this country and in Rome.

Nash also called upon the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, the Bishop of the Springfield diocese, to support his petition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

The Southern Baptist Convention's Unconvincing Claims as to Why It Cannot Effectively Report or Prevent Clergy Child Abuse – and How Insurance Companies Can Exert Pressure to Ensure Better Sy

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Jun. 12, 2008

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has recently proven why it is that children are at risk for sexual abuse in our society: It’s easier not to protect them, and especially easy to issue ineffectual platitudes while looking the other way.

According to the Associated Press, the SBC has concluded that its decentralized structure of independent churches makes it impossible for it to establish a website of pastors credibly accused of child sexual abuse, or even to require the reporting of such crimes to the police. Yes, you read that right: The SBC is citing these lame procedural reasons for not taking the most basic steps to protect children from devastating abuse that can have repercussions that leave victims suffering for a lifetime (and that severely taxes society in medical and other resources).

In this column, I’ll rebut the Convention’s claims that policing and reporting abuse is an impossible task to put on its shoulders, and also describe how change in this quarter needs to come from what may seem like an unlikely source: the insurance industry.

Key teen witness in sect case denies Texas' claims

TEXAS
The Associated Press

By MICHELLE ROBERTS

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — A 16-year-old girl is a key witness in the state's effort to pursue criminal charges against members of her polygamist sect, even though she denies investigators' claims that she was abused.

The girl, a daughter of the sect's jailed prophet, says she's never been married and doesn't have a baby. She denies church elders are influencing her and wants to fire her lawyer. The state can't even prove her alleged abuse happened in Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Italian accused of cashing in on fake Vatican ties

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: June 24, 2008
Filed at 5:18 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- An Italian businessman who once dated actress Anne Hathaway was arrested Tuesday on charges he posed as a representative of the Vatican to fleece wealthy investors in a real estate company that sought to buy and redevelop Roman Catholic Church property. ...

Prosecutors allege that Follieri embellished his slim connections to the Vatican to make it seem he was so powerful that the Catholic church would sell him property at a deep discount.

He is accused of keeping various ceremonial robes, including the robes of senior clergymen, in his Manhattan office, and of hiring two monsignors to accompany him during his business dealings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Vatican defends late banker from murder accusation

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Phil Stewart

VATICAN CITY, June 24 (Reuters) - The Vatican defended the late archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the head of the Vatican Bank whose tenure was marred by financial scandal, from media reports on Tuesday that he ordered the killing of a 15-year-old girl in 1983.

Marcinkus, an American who died in Arizona in 2006 at the age of 84, was accused by the girlfriend of a slain mobster of hiring hitmen to kidnap and kill Emanuela Orlandi in 1983, the Italian media and some foreign newspapers said.

"Defamatory, baseless accusations were published regarding Mons. Marcinkus, who has been dead for some time and is unable to defend himself," responded the Vatican in a statement chiding the media for publishing the accusations "without any checks".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Church Abuse Case In Court

CHARLESTON (SC)
WCBD

By Meryl Conant

Some victims of childhood sexual abuse spent the day battling the Catholic Diocese of Charleston in court. The issue at hand was not abuse directly but their claim the church has not lived up to the settlement agreement to pay them.

The topic in court Tuesday specifically had to do with what county should hear this case. But the bigger issue here is the agreement reached between 11 victims and the Diocese last summer.

While it states money was supposed to reach victims starting in January. Now, on June 23, the issue still is in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

When Bishops Fight

CALIFORNIA
Washington Post

Anthony Stevens-Arroyo

Cardinal Roger Mahony invoked Canon Law to ban Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Australia from speaking on Church property in Los Angeles.

“Canon 763 makes it clear that the Diocesan Bishop must safeguard the preaching of God's Word and the teachings of the Church in his own Diocese,” wrote the Cardinal in his May 9 letter. “Under the provisions of Canon 763, I hereby deny you permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” he concluded.

Robinson came to Southern California anyway and spoke at non-church locations in San Diego and Costa Mesa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Zen to testify in child-abuse suit

HONG KONG
The Standard

Staff reporter

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun is set to testify in a case against the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese brought by a man who was sexually abused in his youth by a former priest.

High Court Judge John Saunders has set the hearing for July 7.

The victim is suing former clergyman Michael Lau Ka-yee and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong for damages. He claims that sexual offenses allegedly committed against him by Lau have contributed substantially to his prolonged mental illness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Speedy resolution of MP priest's rape case sought

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

THE Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the rape case filed against a priest assigned in Mountain Province (MP) should be resolved immediately in order to minimize the negative effects it would bring on those who are involved.

Bishop Leonardo Medroso, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Canon Law, said the case of Fr. Gabriel Madangeng Jr. of the Sta. Rita Parish Church "is "scandalizing. That's why there is a need that the case be resolved immediately so that we'll know the truth to allegations."

He said under the church rules, the bishop of the diocese where the cleric belongs holds the jurisdiction over the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Search for solution turns to quality of seminary applicants

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

Third part of series
Standing in front of a microphone at the opulent Toledo Club, the Rev. Jim Bacik told a lunchtime gathering of Toledo's movers and shakers that the Catholic Church is in need of "radical reform."

A theologian and pastor of Toledo's Corpus Christi University Parish, Father Bacik said one of the root causes of the current sex scandal is the low standard for admission to Catholic seminaries. About 90 percent of applicants are accepted, Father Bacik said, adding: "Imagine if that were the acceptance rate for medical schools."

However, part of the reason for the high-acceptance figures may be to meet the needs of parishes. The number of Catholic priests in America has dropped sharply over the last several decades while the number of American Catholics continues to rise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

A little autonomy can be a scary thing in fighting predators

UNITED STATES
Winston-Salem Journal

By John Railey | Local Editorial Writer

Published: June 22, 2008

The Southern Baptist Convention has finally rediscovered its once-cherished concept of the autonomy of the local church and put it to a strange use. The SBC says, in effect, that the principle prevents it from doing all it can to help expel predators from its churches.

But that same principle hasn't stopped the top-heavy SBC from telling its churches what to do on a wide variety of other issues, ranging from condemning homosexuality to keeping women from leading churches.

Holy hypocrisy.

When the SBC held its annual meeting in Indianapolis earlier this month, its executive committee shot down the idea that the denomination create its own database to help its churches identify predators. The committee did rightly condemn sexual abuse. But "the principal reason the executive committee is not recommending that a database of sex offenders be developed for the convention is our belief in the autonomy of each local church," Morris Chapman, the head of the executive committee, told the convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

New child sex abuse lawsuit filed against notorious serial predator priest

RHODE ISLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit involving a notorious predator priest who once worked in Langdon North Dakota has been filed in Rhode Island.

The now deceased cleric molested at least 50 victims including at least eight kids in the Providence Diocese. It's unclear whether he assaulted any North Dakota children.

In the 1960s, Fr. Brendan Smyth, a native of Ireland, repeatedly molested young Jeff Thomas, a second grader at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in East Greenwich, RI. Thomas, who now lives in Massachusetts, repressed the memories of the crimes until just last year.

The lawsuit was filed and discussed Monday, June 16, at a sidewalk news conference outside the Providence County Superior Court in Providence RI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Self-described bishop Sava Cosas charged with ID fraud

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sarena McRae
Plain Dealer Reporter
A Cleveland man who calls himself a bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Exile was arraigned Monday on two cases involving theft and stolen identity.

Sava Cosas, 51, is charged with identity fraud, telecommunications fraud, misuse of credit cards and theft.

Cosas opened a credit card using another man's name and personal information in April 2007, said Ryan Miday, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office. He used the card to make purchases totaling $6,721.34, authorities say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Fay’s fourth request to delay prison is denied

DARIEN (CT)
Darien Times

Written by Susan Shultz
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 10:34

In early May, Judge Janet Bond Arterton set former St. John’s pastor Michael Jude Fay’s prison reporting date for July 8.

After several delays since his original sentencing at the end of last year, the judge set the date for July saying that it would be plenty of time to get the court copies of medical records for Fay, who is suffering from prostate cancer. Plenty of time for the bureau of prisons to review the protocol for the experimental treatment Fay is receiving. Plenty of time for a decision to finally be made as to whether or not that treatment could be administered and Fay could finally start serving his sentence for a crime he committed over two years ago.

But she was wrong.

On Thursday, Fay’s lawyer, Lawrence Hopkins, filed a short motion to extend his client’s reporting date for another six months, “because nothing has changed since the hearing date of May 6, 2008.” This is the fourth time Fay has requested an extension since his original sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Former deputy police chief offers blanket apology

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By BY TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The city's former deputy chief of police offered a blanket apology at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Monday to any sexual abuse complainants he had "offended" while serving as the force's second-in-command.

Joseph St. Denis told Comm. Normand Glaude he was in a "healing mode" as he shouldered some of the blame for investigations that were later found to have been flawed or mismanaged by the Cornwall Police Service.

"Yes, some mistakes were made. Yes, there were some mismanagement of files. But overall, Mr. Commissioner, that represented in my opinion less than one or two per cent of the overall workload at the time," St. Denis told inquiry commissioner Normand Glaude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Former deputy police chief offers blanket apology

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By BY TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The city's former deputy chief of police offered a blanket apology at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Monday to any sexual abuse complainants he had "offended" while serving as the force's second-in-command.

Joseph St. Denis told Comm. Normand Glaude he was in a "healing mode" as he shouldered some of the blame for investigations that were later found to have been flawed or mismanaged by the Cornwall Police Service.

"Yes, some mistakes were made. Yes, there were some mismanagementof files. Butoverall, Mr. Commissioner, that represented in my opinion less than one or two per cent of the overall workload at the time," St. Denis told inquiry commissioner Normand Glaude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Dolan's 5th year sees record breaking drop in church attendance

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP-Great Plains

Stunning 600 percent plummet in weekly attendance from previous year

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director

According to figures buried in a story today in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by religion reporter Tom Heinen, over the past year the archdiocese of Milwaukee has experienced a record breaking six-fold decrease in weekly church attendance from the previous year -- the greatest reported yearly loss in archdiocesan history.

To see the magnitude of this extraordinary and sudden loss, while 3,957 Catholics stopped attending services last year, a staggering 26,398 members have left this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Judge orders embezzler priest to begin jail term

CONNECTICUT
The Advocate

By Stephen P. Clark
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 06/24/2008 01:00:00 AM EDT

After two delays, a Catholic priest who embezzled more than $1 million from his Darien church must begin serving his three-year sentence July 8, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church on the Post Road, last week asked to delay the start of his prison term another six months so he can receive an experimental drug to treat his prostate cancer.

But U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven ruled that Fay failed to provide "any medical testing update, any medical rationale for the six months extension requested" and any documents showing that the Bureau of Prisons cannot administer the drug.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 AM

More civil claims to be lodged against Marist Brothers

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A class action against Marist Brothers and the Catholic Church will come to a head in Canberra this week when about 20 claims of sexual abuse are lodged in the ACT Supreme Court.

Three civil claims have been lodged in the ACT Supreme Court against the Trustees of the Marist Brothers and about 20 more are expected to be lodged by the end of the week.

The victims are seeking compensation for the abuse they suffered by John William Chute who taught at Marist College as well as the late Paul Lyons who taught at Marist and Daramalan colleges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 AM

Jury retires in church sex abuse trial

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

Tuesday, 24 June 2008
The jury in the Christchurch historic sex abuse trial has retired to consider its verdicts.

Rodger William Moloney, 73, a former prior of the Order of St John of God, which ran Marylands Special School, denies 23 charges of sexual abuse of nine boys at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 AM

Church Web site hasn't purged alleged predators

UNITED STATES
The Tennessean

By BOB SMIETANA • Staff Writer • June 24, 2008

Southern Baptist Convention leaders are railing against sexual predators, calling upon local churches to drive out anyone accused of sex crimes against children, but a quick Internet search shows the organization has not cleansed its own Web site.

An online minister search directory on the Southern Baptist Convention Web site contains the names of at least 10 Baptist ministers convicted of, or indicted on charges related to, sex crimes involving minors — including three in Tennessee.

Allowing those preachers to remain on the ministers directory angers Wade Burleson, an Oklahoma pastor who has pushed the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee to weed out church leaders accused of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 AM

Jury pushes for 11 years in prison for minister

RADFORD (VA)
The Roanoke Times

Shawna Morrison

A Radford jury on Monday recommended that a minister spend 11 years in prison for molesting a young girl eight years ago.

Hawthorne Reed Jr., 63, was convicted late Friday night of two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of aggravated sexual battery dating back to July 2000.

The girl is now 16. She doesn't live in Virginia. The Roanoke Times does not name the victims of sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 AM

Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth settles priest sexual abuse lawsuit for undisclosed amount

FORT WORTH (TX)
KDBC

Associated Press - June 23, 2008 10:25 PM ET

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth says it has settled an accuser's lawsuit alleging abuse by a priest who died in 1999.

The diocese says in a statement that the plaintiff in the lawsuit, whose name was not released, claimed to be abused by Monsignor James Reilly. The diocese declined to disclose the settlement amount but said the plaintiff received an amount "in the five figure range."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 AM

June 23, 2008

Pastor: Haggard has left 'restoration program'

COLORADO
San Francisco Chronicle

By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press Writer

Sunday, June 22, 2008
(06-22) 17:59 PDT DENVER (AP) --

The evangelist forced out of his job after being caught up in a sex scandal involving a male prostitute has left a "spiritual restoration program" and no longer has any ties to the megachurch he founded, the congregation's new pastor said Sunday.

Under a severance deal that Ted Haggard reached with the church in 2006, he agreed to leave Colorado Springs and not talk about the scandal publicly. The deal expired at the end of 2007. New pastor Brady Boyd said Haggard was now free to live where he wanted and has returned to Colorado Springs. ...

Haggard then moved to Phoenix with his family to begin what church leaders called a spiritual restoration program, which was expected to include counseling and prayer and last five years or longer. Boyd said Haggard asked to released from the restoration program in January and is no longer connected with New Life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Prete innamorato, vescovo caccia il giornalista dello scoop

ITALY
la Repubblica

di FILIPPO TOSATTO

PADOVA - Vade retro, stampa. L'arcivescovo di Padova, Antonio Mattiazzo, ha cacciato platealmente dalla chiesa il giornalista autore dello scoop sulla vicenda di don Sante Sguotti, l'ex "parroco innamorato", padre di un bambino, ora ridotto dal Papa allo stato laicale.

[translation]

Padua, expelled from the church. "Here I'm the boss". The journalist: "he humiliated me"

Many protest against the decision of the monsignor: "An intolerable and unacceptable act"

Priest in love, the bishop expels the journalist who made the scoop

By FILIPPO TOSATTO

PADUA - Vade retro, press (Go away, press). In a theatrical move the archbishop of Padua, Antonio Mattiazzo, expelled from the church the journalist who first made the scoop about the Rev. Sante Sguotti's story, the former "parish priest in love" and father of a child, now reduced to the lay state by the Pope.

It happened yesterday morning in the Saint Bartolomeo chapel at Monterosso on the Euganei's Hills, where Sguotti had been the parish priest until a year ago. The bishop, entering the church, asked aloud if among the people there there was Gianni Miasetto, the "Mattino di Padova" correspondent, and after having seen him he took his arms and brought him outside, intimidating him by saying: "You can't stay here. I'm the boss and now you must go". A scene which ended with the raised finger of the prelate, who admonished the newsman not to come back and with the embarrassed silence of the faithful.

"I felt offended and humiliated - commented journalist Biasetto - evidently the bishop thinks I, too, am an emissary of the "prince of darkness", an epithet the bishop had used in a letter sent to the Rev. Sante. I'm a Catholic faithful and what has happened is much embarrassing, for I was finger-pointed as unworthy to be inside the church in front of all the community. My only fault, provided it's to be considered as such, which I don't believe so, is to have done my job and to have reported the simple truth".

The behavior of the bishop (which in the Curia they define "exasperated" by the prolonged attention the media gave to the "priest-father" case) provoked a storm of protests: "A very grave attack to the free and correct information in a lay state where a dialogue and a discussion between citizens, bishops included, must be based upon the reciprocal respect and tolerance", that's was the condemnation expressed by the committee of journalists Finegil (the group for which Biasetto is working), the union of journalists of the Veneto region and the Unione Italiana Cronisti (Union of the Italian newsmen)".

"Intolerable and unacceptable.There are no other adjectives to define what happened in the church of San Bartolomeo at Monterosso of Abano" affirmed Guido Columba, the leader of the Unione Italiana Cronisti. "The only charge made against the journalist is to have done his job reporting the evolution of a story which was in all the national and international newspapers".

(June 23, 2008)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Abusava dei ragazzini in oratorio: Condannato un altro prete pedofilo

ITALY
Cronacaqui

MILANO 19/06/2008 - Molestava i ragazzi che frequentavano l’oratorio che gestiva. Ieri la prima sezione della Corte d’Appello, quella specializzata sugli abusi sessuali, ha confermato la condanna inflitta in primo grado a due anni e 8 mesi per un sacerdote, F.C., del varesotto.

I fatti sarebbero avvenuti fino all’11 febbraio 2004 nei confronti di 4 ragazzi, tutti sotto i 14 anni. Non ci sarebbero stati episodi di vera e propria violenza sessuale, ma toccamenti e situazioni che la legge, fino a qualche tempo fa, qualificava come molestie o atti di libidine. A carico del religioso, che ha ammesso l’illecito comportamento, anche l’accusa di pedopornografia per la detenzione di immagini trovate nella su abitazione che ritraevano minorenni.

[translation]

Sentenced to 2 years and 8 months: the priest admitted the sexual abuses.

He abused the boys in the oratory: another pedophile priest convicted.

MILAN - 6/19/2008 – He molested the boys frequenting the oratory he was running.

Yesterday, the first section of the Appeal Court, specializing in sexual abuse, confirmed the lower court’s 2 –year-8-month sentence to a priest, F.C., in the Varese province.
The alleged abuse took place before Feb. 11, 2004.

The victims were four boys, all under 14 years . There weren’t episodes of a real sexual violence, but situations which the law, until the recent past, considered as molestation and lewd acts. The priest, who admitted his illicit behavior, was also charged with “pedopornography” for the detention in his home of compromising photos of minors .

Yesterday, the substitute Prosecutor General Armando Perrone, underlining the foundation of the charges and deeming the jail sentence was at the lowest level set by the law, confirmed the ruling of the Varese Tribunal against which the priest had appealed, there being no ground for a further reduction of jail time. The Court, which through judge Bellerio had reconstructed the facts in the minutest details, ruled the Varese Tribunal’s previous decision was well-grounded. In addition, the Court ruled the defendant had to pay for the additional expenses related to the appeal.

The defense lawyers will decide if to proceed for a further appeal to the “Cassazione” (The highest level of justice which only controls if the formal procedure was correct) or give up, being the conviction under three years, a circumstance which could allow the priest to avoid jail.

Annibale Carenzo

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Bishop awaits outcome of trial

PENNSYLVANIA
Religious Intelligence (United Kingdom)

Monday, 23rd June 2008. 4:40pm

By: George Conger.

The trial of the Bishop of Pennsylvania for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy has concluded, with a plea from the defendant’s lawyer not to judge the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison Jr., for the crimes of his brother, the Rev. John Bennison.

Bishop Bennison was accused of failing to discipline his brother John, who as a seminarian served as his youth minister in the 1970’s at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Upland, California. John Bennison, who resigned from the priesthood in 2006, was accused of having seduced a teenage member of his parish youth group---and that his brother, Charles, had knowledge of the affair, but took no action.

In testimony before the nine-judge court in Philadelphia, the victim—now in her 50’s recounted the abuse at the hands of John Bennison. John Bennison’s former wife also gave testimony confirming the former priest’s sybaritic lifestyle that included serial adultery, an “open marriage”, while one document alleged John, while serving as an assistant at a second Los Angeles area parish, procured the abortion of a young women whom he had seduced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Abuse Victims Urge Charlotte Catholic Diocese To Do More

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WSOC

Video presentation.

Clergy sexual abuse survivors speak about what the diocese could do to better protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Priest rebailed over abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Ealing Times

By Alex Hayes
A PRIEST arrested in January after claims of sexual assault from a pupil of a top school in Ealing has been rebailed.

Police swooped on Ealing Abbey in Charlbury Grove and arrested the 66-year-old man, after accusations were made by someone about offences dating back to 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Former Pueblo priest accused of sexual abuse

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

A new lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, alleging sexual abuse by a former diocesan priest in the late 1970s.

The suit was filed by a Pueblo man known as "John Doe," who claims he was abused by Rev. Michael Kurz. Kurz now serves as a vicar in Rockford, Ill.

The alleged victim says the abuse initially occurred in 1976 when he was in his early teens and continued through his first two years in high school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Missing jewellery found in former Bodh Gaya priest's room

INDIA
The Bihar Times

Patna, June 23 :Missing precious ornaments and jewellery donated by devotees to the Bodh Gaya Mahabodhi temple, among the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, have been recovered from the room of a former chief priest. He was earlier indicted for chopping a branch of the revered Bodhi tree.

Gaya district administration officials recovered the missing items, including a heavy gold crown, after they opened a locked wooden box in the room of Bhadant Bodhipal at Bodh Gaya, about 110 km from here, two days ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Catholicism should lower the drawbridge

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
June 24, 2008

Some changes to church doctrines would make it more appealing.

IN LESS than a month, Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass in Sydney before an expected congregation of 500,000 — the high point of the week-long World Youth Day celebration that the Catholic Church in Australia hopes will revitalise church attendance and religious commitment.

Secular critics fear that — helped by an ever-rising injection of Government funds, so far about $130 million — it may. Many Catholics are sceptical. Yes, there will be a media-fuelled surge of interest. Devout young Catholics will find their faith affirmed, and some less-committed will be reached. But many young people will attend in the same spirit as a concert — an interesting event, but not life-changing. ...

The issues today are as serious as any in the past: plummeting Mass attendance, the dramatic decline in priests and religious orders, the advance of secularism, the challenge of Islam, and especially the alienation of ordinary Catholics from the institutional church. Disenchantment over such issues as contraception, the place of women, authoritarianism and the sexual abuse crisis have left millions still believing in Jesus but not the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Row over convicted Brisbane priest

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

A row has broken out in Brisbane over the role of a priest convicted of abuse who continues to say Mass privately in conflict with a papal directive to exclude pedophile priests from the ministry.

The Brisbane Times reports the Archdiocese of Brisbane continues to allow a convicted pedophile to remain a priest and celebrate Mass next to a school in defiance of a papal directive.

It quotes the Sydney Sun-Herald as saying the priest, Fr Ronald John McKeirnan, 69, of Toowong, in Brisbane's inner west, enjoys the support and protection of high ranking Cchurch officials, including Archbishop John Bathersby, despite having served a year in prison in 1998-99 for the sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Haggard returns to Colorado

COLORADO
KVOA

Associated Press - June 23, 2008 3:53 AM ET

DENVER (AP) - The megachurch pastor forced out of his job after being caught up in a sex scandal involving a former male prostitute has returned to Colorado.

Ted Haggard, the former leader of New Life Church, answered the phone at his Colorado Springs telephone number yesterday. He confirmed he was in the city but said he couldn't talk to reporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Pope denies Berlusconi communion

ITALY
BBC News

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's hopes of seeing communion extended to divorcees like himself have been quashed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Newspapers reported on Sunday that while attending a ceremony in Sardinia Mr Berlusconi had asked a bishop when the Church planned to change the rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Sun.Star: Another teen cries rape vs priest

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - Seventen-year-old “Twinkle" (not her real name) filed five counts of rape and seven counts of acts of lasciviousness against Fr. Gabriel Madangeng Jr, the second complaint to be filed against the priest.

Madangeng earlier face rape charges filed by 15-year-old “Crystal" (not her real name). He filed a petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to Crystal’s complaint.

"I want him to be imprisoned because if he will only be suspended he will do it again to (somebody else)," Twinkle said in her statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Teen at hub of FLDS fight is subpoenaed

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Monday, June 23, 2008 12:23 a.m. MDT

A 16-year-old girl at the center of a legal fight has finally been subpoenaed to testify before a Texas grand jury investigating members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

The girl's mother was given a subpoena on Saturday, the girl's court-appointed attorney told the Deseret News. It orders the girl to show up this week to testify in Eldorado before a grand jury considering criminal charges stemming from the raid on the FLDS Church's YFZ Ranch.

In an e-mail forwarded to the Deseret News and posted on pro-FLDS Web sites, the girl demands that her court-appointed attorney step aside.

"It feels like you are trying to restrict me from every person in my life that I want to talk to or have anything to do with and you want to be the decider of what I do and who I have to do with," she wrote to Natalie Malonis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Marist Brothers apologise for sexual abuses

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Marist religious order has apologised to the victims of sexual abuse by a former teacher of Canberra's Marist College.

John William Chute will spend two years in jail for molesting six students in the 1980s.

The 76-year-old, who taught under the name of Brother Kostka, was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court today for sexually assaulting students of his religion class who were aged between 12 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

June 22, 2008

Catholics try new ways to solve priest shortage

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By TOM HEINEN
theinen@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 22, 2008

With 77 diocesan priests reaching the optional retirement age of 68 within the next five years, change isn’t just in the wind for more Catholics in southeastern Wisconsin.

It’s percolating in parish offices as the region’s largest denomination strives to invigorate its flock while creatively countering the priest shortage, declining Mass attendance counts, the impact of the sexual abuse crisis and the deficit-driven downsizing of its central offices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Broken Trust Part 3

TEXAS
blip.tv

[video presentation]

Authors Patrick Fleming and Sue Lauber-Fleming give a talk on the issue of the priest sexual abuse crises of the Catholic Church in a presentation at the Oblate Seminary in San Antonio Tx, March 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Do Not Exit

St. John's Valdosta Blog

from Catholic Replies
by James J. Drummey
The Wanderer

Q. A friend of mine who had been a faithful Catholic all his life was so upset by the sex abuse scandal and the failure of the bishops to deal with it properly that he has stopped going to Mass. What can I say to get him back to church?

A.First of all, you can agree with him that the immoral and criminal actions of some priests and the bishops' failure to rid the Church of these predators, were disgraceful, not only because children were not protected form sexual abuse, but also because the abuse was allowed to continue and to become widespread. No faithful Catholic can be anything but ashamed and angry at the way in which some bishops facilitated this tragedy.

Having said that, we must distinguish between the Church herself, which is always holy, and members of the Church, who have on many occasions over the centuries besmirched her good name and cause people to stay away fomr her life-giving sacraments. Turning one's back on the Church that Jesus founded to help us get to Heaven because some members of the Church have failed in their duty would be like rejecting one's own family because one or more members of the family had done something terrible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Re-assessing celibacy in the Catholic Church

The Other I

Since the documentary last week about Father Cleary, I have been re-evaluating my thoughts about clerical celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the fact that recent popes have adamantly refused to consider a married clergy, it is worth remembering that even in the RC Church, clerical celibacy did not become a requirement until the 13th century, when it was imposed in an attempt to control wide-spread abuse. Additionally, it is a practice which has never been introduced by the Orthodox Catholic Church, and a requirement which is not being universally imposed on some converts from among the Anglican clergy who are already married. So clerical celibacy is not in that circle of doctrinal beliefs like the divinity of Christ, for instance, or the Trinity of God, which Rome believes could not be changed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Crimen Sollicitationis

Minor Heresies

June 22nd, 2008
By now, the concept of a pedophile priest is not surprising. Articles about complaints, prosecutions and lawsuits related to priestly sexual misconduct appear in the news media every week. Back in 2006, the British television news program Panorama broadcast a special program on the way the Catholic Church handled abusive priests, a program that resulted in the resignation of an Irish Bishop. They provided a copy of a secret church document, the Crimen Sollicitationis (Crime of Solicitation), which outlined Vatican policy on dealing with priests who commit sexual crimes. The document, written and distributed in 1962, was updated in 2001 by none other than Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict. (If you can handle the Latin, here’s the now-public update, I believe) The document lays out an entire formalized judicial process for prosecuting priests who solicited and/or engaged in sexual acts. The penalties are entirely canonical, ranging from a rebuke to removal from office. This document is significant, not only in how it defines the relationships within the church, but also between church and state. (There is evidence of a previous version of the document from 1922, “De modo procedendi in causis sollicitationis.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Defrocking priests won't be retrospective: Aspinall

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Posted June 23, 2008 07:23:00

The Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane says a decision to automatically defrock priests convicted of child sex abuse will not be retrospective.

Over the weekend, 600 church members met in Brisbane for their annual synod.

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall says taking immediate action against offenders will ensure victims are not subjected to further stress and pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Jeffs daughter trying to dump court-appointed guardian

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY — A daughter of convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs says she doesn't need protection from church leaders and wants her court-appointed attorney to step down for asking for it.

"I have asked her many times to please step aside," Teresa Jeffs told The Associated Press by telephone on Sunday from Texas. "I need more help. I want my attorney to listen to me."

Jeffs, 16, is one of hundreds of West Texas children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with an attorney appointed by a state judge as part of a child welfare investigation into alleged abuse. Her father is Warren Jeffs, the church's imprisoned president and prophet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Nepalese priest held for rape attempt

NEPAL
NDTV

Press Trust of India
Sunday, June 22, 2008 (Kathmandu)

A 30-year-old priest, residing in Pashupatinath Temple area, has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a minor girl, police said on Sunday.

The accused, identified as Baba Bisnu Das, had molested the six-year-old girl after locking her inside his ashram on Saturday, they said. ...

Police records show that the Baba had been arrested for at least three times previously on charge of making similar attempts. Each time he had been released after promising not to repeat such acts in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Bishop, flock at odds over vision for diocese

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

By JIM WALSH • Courier-Post Staff • June 22, 2008

Over the next year, South Jersey's Catholics will experience a wave of dramatic -- and sometimes traumatic -- change.

Long-beloved churches will close. Parishes that helped define a spiritual community will disappear. And parochial schools that once rang with the sounds of children will sit silent.

Those losses -- which some observers compare to a death in the family -- will be controversial casualties in an ongoing campaign by the Diocese of Camden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

A hearing for St. Teresa's

PITTSFIELD (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle

Editorial
Article Last Updated: 06/21/2008 08:07:48 AM EDT

Saturday, June 21
The closing of six of Pittsfield's 10 Catholic churches has been accompanied by remarkably little drama, for which the Springfield Diocese should be grateful. The Boston Archdiocese wishes it had been so fortunate. Given the relative ease in which the process has gone forward, it shouldn't be too much to ask of the Springfield Diocese to give a full hearing to a committee from St. Teresa's Church that still hopes the church will remain open.

There are a variety of reasons why attendance at Pittsfield's Catholic churches has dropped dramatically, among them the decline of the city's population and the fewer number of Catholics who attend church regularly. While the diocese seems reconciled to this situation, Walter Doerle, one of seven members of the Parish Closing Committee, takes a more optimistic approach, pointing out in yesterday's Eagle that closing six churches leaves no room for future growth. Even with the status quo, having only four churches could lead to overcrowding and a lessening of the religious experience for parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Elior Chen opposing extradition from Brazil

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

Rabbi Elior Chen, the suspected ringleader and spiritual mentor in one of the worst child abuse cases in Israeli history, will fight his extradition from Brazil, his Israeli attorney said Sunday.

Chen, 28, was arrested in Sao Paolo on June 3 after his local lawyer called Brazilian police with information about his whereabouts.

"We do not agree to the extradition," his Israeli lawyer, Ariel Atari, said in an interview after returning from a visit to Chen in Brazil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Strong Recommendation for “Justice Denied,” by Marci Hamilton

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

It’s impossible for me to recommend more highly Marci Hamilton’s new book, Justice Denied. Along with her previous work, God v the Gavel, and her many columns at Findlaw.com and numerous op ed pieces and essays published across the United States, Professor Hamilton has set the agenda for urgently needed legal reform of child sex abuse laws in the United States.

Marci has virtually become a Wisconsin resident over the past several years, three times arguing for clergy abuse victims before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. You know she’s persuasive because even Justice Prosser (and Crooks and Wilcox) agreed with her to open WI courts to clergy abuse victims to file fraud case against religious leaders who covered up child sex crimes. That was a landmark, unanimous decision and as Churchill would say, not the end or even the beginning of the end, but maybe, for Wisconsin’s long suffering survivors, the end of the beginning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

STLCC still pays full salary of former choir director

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Montage

Carlos Restrepo

Within the next 30 days, the fate of Dr. Larry Stukenholtz, former choir director at STLCC-Meramec, will be decided, said Roy Shanenberg, senior manager of employee relations at STLCC.

Six months ago, Stukenholtz was terminated shortly after being suspended with pay when a student from Stukenholtz's former school in California raised allegations of sexual abuse. Stukenholtz filed a grievance in January 2008 and he is still being paid his full salary and benefits during the grievance process.

Stukenholtz's annual salary is $60,700. As of May 2008, he had received approximately $25,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Pelotte photo case: Stalling or settling?

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff Writer

GALLUP — The civil lawsuit concerning the release of Gallup Police photographs of former Bishop Donald E. Pelotte continues to lurch along in stop-and-go fashion.

Attorneys for Albuquerque television news reporter Larry Barker had requested a change of venue, and a hearing on that motion had been set for Thursday, June 19. On Wednesday, however, Barker’s attorneys, Martin R. Esquivel and Denise M. Chanez, faxed a motion to vacate and reset the hearing. District Judge Grant L. Foutz then granted the motion to vacate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Bishop of Liverpool in call to resign after tribunal ruling

UNITED KINGDOM
Religious Intelligence

Sunday, 22nd June 2008. 6:43am

By: Toby Cohen.

UK: THE Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, has been called on to resign by his former communications officer who has been awarded over £14,500 at an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal by the diocese.

The Rev David Johnston exposed the Bishop as a liar and revealed his chagrin at not being appointed Archbishop of York and his subsequent dislike for Liverpool.

Mr Johnston was initially suspended after the Sunday People wrote in November 2006 that he was having an affair with his assistant Diane Pendleton despite still being married to his wife Margaret. The lawyers for the diocese admitted that it “may or may not have been written by the Bishop”. In fact, the Johnstons’ marriage had irretrievably broken down sometime before the relationship with Ms Pendleton began, and Mr Johnston had kept his employers informed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Legacy of Smyth abuse still felt as new lawsuit filed

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Jerome Reilly

Sunday June 22 2008

WHEN Fr Brendan Smyth left America in 1968, the local paper praised his pastoral works and the "hour after hour of unofficial attention to the girl scouts".

Now 40 years on, another wave of litigation against his Order has begun in Providence, Rhode Island, where Smyth was sent from Ireland -- despite his previously known prediliction for sexually abusing children. ...

Rev Smith stated in a letter to UTV television about Smyth's time in America: "On neither occasion was the bishop of the diocese to which he was sent notified of [Smyth's] propensity to molest children."

"On both occasions, Fr Smyth offended against young parishioners," the abbot said. "I acknowledge that I, as his religious superior, committed a grave error in sending him abroad without warning the bishop to whom I sent him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Bishop, Peoria Diocese seek dismissal from priest sex abuse suit

PEORIA (IL)
Madison County Record

6/20/2008 11:17 AM
By Steve Gonzalez

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria and Bishop Daniel Jenky filed a Section 2-619.1 motion to dismiss from a civil suit filed by an Edwardsville woman who claims her priest impregnated her and then coerced her into an abortion.

Represented by Joseph Feehan of Heyl Royster of Peoria, Jenky argues the the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution.

Holly Force filed suit March 31, and is joined in the suit by her husband, Chris Force, against the Rev. Thomas Szydlik and Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Catholic churches fight on for survival

NEW JERSEY
Gloucester County Times

Sunday, June 22, 2008
By Stephanie Brown
sbrown@sjnewsco.com
Leah Vassallo's great-grandparents helped build St. Mary's Church in Malaga more than 80 years ago. Her parents and sisters were all married there, and it was St. Mary's where the family held funeral Mass for her grandparents.

So when the Malaga resident first found out the church that has held so many memories for her and her family was to close as part of diocesan plans to consolidate parishes, she said she knew she had to fight it.

Not just for her, but for others parishioners in other churches also slated to merge as part of Camden Bishop Joseph A. Galante's plans to cut the number of parishes from 124 to 66.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Anglican church gets tougher on sex offenders

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Anglican Church in Brisbane has voted to automatically de-frock priests who are jailed for child sex offences.

The unanimous decision was made at the Annual Synod in Brisbane this afternoon, along with the passing of a law which paves the way for women to become Bishops in the Brisbane diocese if a position becomes available.

The change on sex offences only applies to future convictions and does not affect the case of paedophile priest Robert Sharwood who has been released from jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Legal web around FLDS trust growing tangled

UTAH
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Sunday, June 22, 2008 12:10 a.m. MDT

The legal web surrounding the Fundamentalist LDS Church's real-estate holdings arm continues to grow, with subpoenas, filings, counterfilings and depositions under way.

Lawyers for a former child bride who testified against FLDS leader Warren Jeffs want to keep the United Effort Plan Trust on the hook for any potential damages arising from her multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit against the polygamous sect. In a motion opposing the UEP Trust's request for summary judgment, attorneys for Elissa Wall argue the UEP was intertwined with the FLDS Church and leadership.

"The Church and the Trust were always administered by the same person to achieve the same purpose: to preserve and advance the religious doctrines and goals of the (church)," said a declaration by ex-FLDS leader Winston Blackmore included in the court papers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Bishop spoke out about politics, church doctrine

PUEBLO (CO)
Denver Post

By Virginia Culver
The Denver Post
Article Launched: 06/22/2008 12:30:00 AM MDT

Charles Buswell was not a predictable Catholic bishop: He believed women should be ordained, was arrested for protesting the Vietnam War and often volunteered in soup kitchens.

Buswell, who was bishop of the Pueblo Diocese from 1959 until 1979, died June 14. He was 94. ...

In 1994, when Pope John Paul II said there would be no further discussions about women in the priesthood, Buswell said, "I really think we're guilty of some sort of sexism if we refuse to allow women to be priests."

In 1995 he signed a statement, along with 39 other Catholic bishops throughout the country, that said the Vatican and U.S. bishops "have a credibility problem," alleging that church leaders refused to discuss some of the church's most pressing issues: pedophile priests, rights of women, abortion and contraception.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Australian apology over child care scandal

AUSTRALIA
Religous Intelligence (United Kingdom)

Saturday, 21st June 2008. 1:24pm

By: George Conger.

AUSTRALIA: The premier of South Australia has offered a formal apology on behalf of the government and the Anglican, Roman Catholic and other churches to children in foster care who suffered abuse at the hands of sexual predators.

On June 17 Premier Mike Rann read the joint apology before the state parliament saying the government and churches acknowledged that “that some children and young people who were placed in our care suffered abuse that has impacted their lives. This should never have happened.”

"We are sorry and we express deep regret for the pain and the hurt that they experienced through no fault of their own. To all those who experienced abuse in state care, we are sorry. To those who witnessed these abuses, we say sorry. To those who were not believed, when trying to report these abuses, we say sorry,” Mr. Rann said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Fairbanks Catholic Diocese seeks victims of clergy sex abuse

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer

Published Sunday, June 22, 2008

FAIRBANKS — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks is undertaking a massive advertising campaign looking for more potential sexual assault victims as it moves forward in settling abuse claims as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization case in the federal bankruptcy court.

Robert Hannon, special assistant to the Fairbanks bishop, said the diocese is putting notices in newspapers across the state and the Pacific Northwest, including USA Today, and is contracting with some in-state radio and TV stations to run ads.

“Beyond that, we are sending mailings out to all the Native corporations, regional and village, and AC stores and post offices in the diocese,” Hannon said. “We are trying to reach out to as many people as possible and working with the court to that end,” Hannon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Church gets tough on sex offenders

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 22, 2008
THE Anglican Diocese of Brisbane has toughened its policy on sex offenders, banning priests from the church as soon as they are convicted.

The synod of the diocese, sitting in Brisbane this weekend, amended the professional standards to strengthen current protocols for dealing with sex offenders.

Brisbane Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall said the changes meant a clergy person convicted of a criminal offence by a court would be removed as a priest much faster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Clark: A terrible lesson for sex abuse victims

LAKE COUNTY (CA)
Lake County News

Written by Janet Clark
Sunday, 22 June 2008

An open letter to the St. Mary's Parish Board:

I learned of the situation regarding the priest at St. Mary's who is accused of sexually abusing a child (now grown) through an article on the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Web site.

There are many things I could say to you: I could tell you of my own struggles as the survivor of sexual assault by a priest, or I could refer you to the SNAP Web site, where you would find an article that could help you deal with your feelings when your priest is accused of sexual assault, or I could tell you how I felt when I read the glowing eulogy for the priest who raped me, a eulogy written by an archdiocese that knew the priest had sexually assaulted at least seven girls.

But instead I will just offer you this fact: One of every four girls and one of every six boys sitting in your church is the victim of sexual abuse. One in five children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

June 21, 2008

Youth Day suits a new kind of 'sorry'

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Linda Morris Religious Affairs Writer | June 20, 2008

PRESSURE is mounting on the Pope to offer an apology during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day, with leading specialists saying that the Pope's unequivocal condemnation of abuse would aid healing and that the children of the most devout church followers remained at risk.

A conference into religious-based sexual abuse, organised by the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, will be told today that churches have failed to learn the lessons from massive compensation payouts.

Professor Freda Briggs, emeritus professor of child development and a lecturer at the University of South Australia, said churches were disregarding the habitual nature of sex offenders and were welcoming back convicted clergy. ...

Broken Rites, the Australian victim support group, wrote to the Vatican's representative in Canberra, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, on June 7, requesting a private papal audience in Australia for a small group of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Bishop backs pedophile, defies Pope

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Kate Dennehy | June 22, 2008 - 7:10AM

THE Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane - in defiance of the Pope - continues to allow a convicted pedophile to remain a priest and celebrate Mass next to a school.

The Sun-Herald has learnt the priest - Father Ronald John McKeirnan, 69, of Toowong, in Brisbane's inner-west - enjoys the support and protection of high-ranking church officials, including Archbishop John Bathersby, despite having served a year in prison in 1998-99 for the sexual abuse of children.

Their decision to support Mr McKeirnan conflicts with a statement by Pope Benedict XVI in April that the church "would absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry ... who is guilty of pedophilia cannot be a priest".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Woman alleges gang rape, police file molestation complaint

INDIA
Thaindian News

June 21st, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS

Noida, June 21 (IANS) A 22-year-old woman was gang raped by a ‘godman’ practising occult and his associates but the Uttar Pradesh Police registered a complaint of molestation, the victim’s family alleged here Saturday. Om Prakash, the victim’s husband, said his wife had gone to Jhulla, a neighbour in village Sirsa Khanpur of Greater Noida district, to get medicines for him Thursday night.

“The ‘tantric’ (occult practioner) asked me to accompany him to a forested area to collect herbs for the medicines to cure my husband,” the 22-year-old victim told IANS.

“On reaching the spot I found two men already there. Both were drunk. The three then raped me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Convicted priest still serving

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Kate Dennehy | June 22, 2008

THE Australian Catholic Church has been embroiled in controversy, three weeks before the Pope makes his historic visit to Australia, over a convicted pedophile who is still serving as a priest.

In defiance of the Pope, the Archdiocese of Brisbane continues to allow a convicted pedophile to remain a priest and celebrate Mass next to a school.

The Sun-Herald has learnt that the priest - Ronald John McKeirnan, 69, of Toowong in Brisbane's west - enjoys the support and protection of high-ranking church officials, including Archbishop John Bathersby, despite serving a year in prison in 1999 for molesting nine boys in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

After rise, then turmoil, lay Catholic group finding footing

BOSTON (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By JAY LINDSAY Associated Press Writer

BOSTON— Long gone are the founder's dreams of millions of members, but gone too are the infighting and financial woes that shook the lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful just a year ago.

The group founded in the worst days of the church's clergy sex abuse scandal to give laity a greater role has come through some bad times of its own, including financial problems and confusion over its future.

Its finances are sound and the spring visit by Pope Benedict allowed the group to reassert its relevance in a media campaign that it says drew hundreds of new members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Episode 48 - docPod The Diocese of Charlotte Podcast

CHARLOTTE (NC)
thedocpodcast

[podcast]

SNAP delivers a letter to the Diocese of Charlotte, an interview about the "Choose Life" license plates and a Scripture reading from Cheryl Corallo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Former youth pastor pleads guilty to sex crime

ARKANSAS
Northwest Arkansas Times

BY SCOTT F. DAVIS Northwest Arkansas Times

Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2008

A former youth pastor was sentenced on Friday to six years- three years in prison and three years suspended- for his sexual involvement with a 14-year old girl.

Keith Daniel Kiger, 31, of Winslow entered a negotiated plea of guilty to reduced charges of sexual indecency with a child before 4 th Judicial Circuit Judge William Storey. He was initially charged with second-degree sexual assault.

Kiger was a youth minister at a church the victim had attended only a few times, so it would have been hard to prove he committed the act while being in a position of trust, said Fourth Judicial District deputy prosecutor David Harris.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Wanted: Speedy church justice

ARLINGTON (VA)
Spero News

By Mary Ann Kreitzer

Dear Friends:

Check out Julia Duin's new column at The Washington Times particularly her article about Fr. Haley and Fr. Clark. See: Washington Times

She's the catalyst for this column. All three words in the title, Speedy - Church - Justice, are significant. First, speedy: It's been almost seven years since Fr. Haley was booted from the St. Mary's rectory in Fredericksburg and forced into a nomadic life on the road for giving Bishop Loverde unwanted evidence of rampant sexual immorality in several Church rectories.

It's almost four and a half years since the tribunal, headed by Bishop Thomas Doran, met in Philadelphia to decide Fr. Haley's fate. There is something seriously wrong when a bishop can throw out a faithful priest on a trumped up charge and leave him in limbo for seven years. Justice delayed is justice denied. Such a delay is incomprehensible. (Unless, as one individual suggested, it ensures the statute of limitations will prevent any action in civil court.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Jury to decide fate of former Cleveland Diocese employee Joseph Smith, charged with fraud

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Saturday, June 21, 2008
Damian G. Guevara
Plain Dealer Reporter

Joseph Smith violated the trust of Cleveland's top Catholic clergy, including former Bishop Anthony Pilla, when he devised a kickback scheme to steal $784,000 from the church's coffers, prosecutors said Friday.

"He breached that trust . . . all in the name of wanting more," federal prosecutor Jerrod Patterson said during closing arguments at the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Cleveland.

A jury is now deciding the fate of Smith, 51, of Avon Lake, following a five-week trial. He is charged with fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Priest in court on child sex charge

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

21/ 6/2008

A PRIEST has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing a young boy 31 years ago.

William Green, 67, of Lyme Clough Way, Middleton, faces six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency between 1977-81.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Sexual abuse lawsuit settled

LANCASTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Karen Nugent TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

LANCASTER— A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against a former Atlantic Union College choir director and music professor alleging sexual misconduct with four students and a consultant.

In a letter released yesterday to students, faculty and staff, College President Norman L. Wendth said the lawsuit against Francisco de Araujo was resolved through mediation. The terms and conditions of the agreement, he said, are confidential and would not be made public by mutual consent among the five male plaintiffs and Mr. de Araujo.

“I personally believe the agreement is as fair as these things can be, and is sensitive to the feelings and needs of all involved,” Mr. Wendth said in the letter.

Nance Lyons, a Boston lawyer representing the five plaintiffs, who all used the last name “Doe” in the lawsuit, confirmed yesterday afternoon that a settlement was reached through mediation June 12. She declined to release details, referring to the no-public-disclosure agreement, but said the agreement was satisfactory to all five plaintiffs. She declined to say if cash was part of the agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Jury: Minister abused girl

RADFORD (VA)
The Roanoke Times

By Shawna Morrison
381-1665

RADFORD -- After a trial that lasted late into the night Friday, a jury found a minister from Radford guilty of sexually abusing a girl in 2000 when she was 8 years old.

Hawthorne Reed Jr., 63, was found guilty on two counts of forcible sodomy and one of aggravated sexual battery. The girl said the events happened in 2000, but she didn't tell anyone until six years later.

The Roanoke Times is not identifying the girl because of the nature of the case. She doesn't live in Virginia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

L.A.-area clergy abuse victims sue financial firm, broker over award money

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 21, 2008

They thought the years of painful legal battles were over.

Instead, three men who received a combined $11.5 million as part of last year's historic settlement of clergy sex abuse cases involving the Los Angeles Archdiocese find themselves preparing to go to court once again.

This time, Salvador Tenerelli and brothers Stephen and Michael Trerotola have filed a lawsuit alleging that they were defrauded by the financial brokers who invested their settlement money.

The suit names as defendants the Swiss financial services firm UBS and several individual brokers who worked for the firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Catholic Church under fire in abuse cash row

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

Published Date: 21 June 2008
By Rob Waugh
EXCLUSIVE: The Roman Catholic Church has been accused of "prolonging the agony" of 163 alleged abuse victims by attempting to block the biggest compensation claim of its kind the country has seen.

The claim, which could total up to £4m, focuses on the systematic, largely sexual abuse of deprived and damaged children at a former children's home in East Yorkshire spanning a 30-year period up to 1992, when it closed.

But the two Catholic organisations held principally responsible for running the St Williams Community Home in Market Weighton have so far refused to accept liability and the specialist solicitor running the claim believes the Church, which has been the focus of a series of abuse scandals in the United States and Ireland, is merely paying lip service to institutional expressions of sorrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Bishops begin dialogue with priests on fallout from scandal

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien

In the aftermath of the clergy sex abuse crisis, the U.S. bishops are working to rebuild relations with some unanticipated victims: their priests.

Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of Austin, Texas, and other members of the bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, met June 12 in Orlando with representatives of half of the nation's priests to begin a dialogue on issues that arose during and after the sex abuse scandal.

"Some felt guilty by association," while others felt their fellow priests who were accused of wrongdoing were not treated fairly or with pastoral concern, Bishop Aymond told Catholic News Service after the closed-door listening session at the spring general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Anglican Church to vote on priest sex offender laws

AUSTRALIA
ABC Brisbane

The Anglican church in Brisbane is expected to vote today on major changes to the way it deals with clergy convicted of child sex abuse.

The Diocese of Brisbane is holding its annual Synnod this weekend and a vote is to be taken on amending church law on professional standards.

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall says currently in Queensland if a priest is convicted of child abuse there is a separate church process to decide if they should be expelled from the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Sex abuse records on priest who served in Arlington and Bedford should be released, court says

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
dbarbee@star-telegram.com

Confidential files containing allegations that a priest who served in Arlington and Bedford sexually abused two sisters should be opened to the public, the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth ruled this week.

"Protection of children from abuse is of the utmost importance in Texas," the state court wrote. "We, therefore, conclude that the [priest’s] . . . files are of legitimate public concern."

The court also wrote that the Rev. Joseph Tu Ngoc Nguyen’s conduct, which Tu conceded was "inappropriate and unacceptable," falls within the Texas Family Code’s definition of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Diocese faces new priest abuse lawsuit

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • June 21, 2008

WILMINGTON -- Another former altar boy, now a middle-aged man, stepped forward Friday to file suit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington over acts allegedly committed by convicted child sexual abuser the Rev. Francis DeLuca.

John Michael Vai, 56, stood silently alongside his attorney Stephen J. Neuberger, who detailed crimes Vai said DeLuca committed against him between ages 13 and 17.

Neuberger said Vai had repressed memories of what happened when he was living in Wilmington and was an altar boy at St. Elizabeth's Church from 1966 to 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

A tepid acquittal

OHIO
Toledo Blade

SEXUAL-abuse cases are usually highly emotionally charged. When a verdict is announced, it is very rare to have it accepted as fair by all sides. So it is no wonder that past victims of sexual abuse and their families find themselves distressed that a Roman Catholic priest was acquitted on a misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition. However, Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge James Jensen found that the prosecution failed to prove that the actions of the Rev. Frank Murd offended the victim. The judge then found the priest not guilty in a bench trial.

The accusation stemmed from a March incident involving a 27-year-old man at the JCC-YMCA in Sylvania Township. During a police interview, Father Murd, former pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Maumee, initially denied that he inappropriately touched the man, but then admitted that he did and apologized. When the victim explained during the trial why he didn’t immediately rebuff the priest, he said he was shocked by his actions and froze before objecting. The man asked a facility attendant for the identity of the priest. He went home and called his psychologist, who instructed him to notify police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

June 20, 2008

Diocese faces another suit over priest abuse

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • June 20, 2008

WILMINGTON — Another former altar boy, now a middle-aged man, stepped forward today to file suit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington over acts allegedly committed by convicted child sexual abuser the Rev. Francis DeLuca.

John Michael Vai, 56, stood silently alongside his attorney Stephen J. Neuberger, who detailed crimes Vai said DeLuca committed against him between ages 13 and 17.

Neuberger said Vai had repressed memories of what happened when he was living in Wilmington and was an altar boy at St. Elizabeth’s Church from 1966 to 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

FLDS spokesman ordered to stay away from Warren Jeffs' daughter

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 7:20 PM- A Texas judge has temporarily barred an FLDS spokesman accused of intimidation from contacting a daughter of polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs.
Attorney Natalie Malonis, joined by guardian ad litem Connie Gauwain, filed a motion Friday asking for a restraining order against Willie Jessop.
Fifty-first District Judge Barbara Walther granted the request just before court closed. The judge also ordered Annette Jeffs, the girl's mother, to notify law enforcement if Jessop attempts to contact her. Walther set a hearing on the matter for next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 PM

Parish won't surrender

PITTSFIELD (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle

By Derek Gentile, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Friday, June 20
PITTSFIELD — Although the decision to close six city churches in the next few weeks appears inexorable, a small group of parishioners at one of the churches facing deletion says it still is brainstorming ways to avoid that finale.

"I don't know if we can stop this," conceded Gerard Miller of Velma Avenue, a member of St. Teresa's Church. "It's a very uphill battle."

Miller is one of a seven-member Parish Closing Committee that has been lobbying the Diocese of Springfield to keep its 1,000-member church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

An Overview report for Australian readers by Richard Sipe…

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

Geoffrey Robinson the author of Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, delivered 16 presentations across the United States; mostly at non-Roman Catholic venues because of instructions from Rome and local Ordinaries forbidding him to speak on church grounds, but people came in droves to hear him, an estimated 3,500 in all. A consortium of Catholic lay groups sponsored his lecture in San Diego: The local chapters of Call to Action; Dignity; VOTF; and SNAP.

Reporters in Philadelphia and Toronto, Canada, articulated Robinson's demeanor throughout the tour, "the intent and praxis of Bishop Robinson does not to seek to harm the church, but to create a better church. Bishop Robinson responded to a variety of questions in a quiet, thoughtful way, never once showing disrespect to his fellow bishops, but always keeping in mind the dictate that we are a church semper reformanda."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Closing arguments in church kickback trial

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Damian G. Guevara June 20, 2008 16:25PM

Federal prosecutors said Friday that Joseph Smith violated the trust of Cleveland's top Catholic clergy, including former Bishop Anthony Pilla, when he devised a kickback scheme to steal $784,000 from the church's coffers.

"He breached that trust...all in the name of wanting more," federal prosecutor Jerrod Patterson said during closing arguments at the U.S. District Courthouse downtown.

A jury is now deciding the fate of Smith, 51, of Avon Lake following a five-week trial. He is charged with several counts of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Prostitution Charge Against Pastor Jump Bound Over

TENNESSEE
The Chattanoogan

posted June 20, 2008

A charge of patronizing prostitution against a local minister was bound to the Grand Jury without a hearing on Friday morning.

The Rev. Frank Jump of Signal Mountain appeared before General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell.

He was one of those arrested last November in a prostitution sting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Analysis of U.S. sex abuse crisis, solutions

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

Reviewed by Jerry Filteau

Before Dallas: The U.S. Bishops' Response to Clergy Sexual Abuse of Children
By Nicholas P. Cafardi. Paulist Press (Mahwah, N.J., 2008). 272 pp., $27.95.

When Nicholas P. Cafardi was named to the National Review Board that the U.S. Catholic bishops formed at their landmark June 2002 meeting in Dallas to stem the crisis of American priests' sexual abuse of children, he brought a unique perspective.

The bishops established the all-lay board to monitor their compliance with unprecedented national church policies they had just approved to protect children from sexual abuse by priests, to respond pastorally to those abused by church personnel and to remove any abusive priest from ministry. ...

He notes that just as the bishops began to recognize the issue as a national problem in the mid-1980s, one of their most effective practical tools for dealing with it under church law was removed.

"Under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, when a diocesan bishop was aware that a priest had sexually abused a minor, he had the ability to suspend that priest 'ex informata conscientia'" --- out of an informed conscience, without undertaking a formal penal process, Cafardi writes. When the new Code of Canon Law was issued in 1983, that option was no longer available, and the penal process for removing a priest was (and remains) difficult and cumbersome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Abuse charges rabbi to fight extradition

ISRAEL
JTA

Published: 06/20/2008

An Israeli rabbi who fled to Brazil amid child-abuse allegations is fighting extradition.

Ha'aretz on Friday quoted Elior Chen's Israeli lawyer, Ariel Atari, as saying that Chen denies the charges. Atari returned this week from visiting Chen, 29, in Brazil.

Earlier this year, Israel issued an international arrest warrant for Chen, who fled the country after he was alleged to have counseled his followers to severely beat and burn children in order to rid them of the devil. Other children allegedly were forced to drink alcohol and turpentine until they vomited.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Sect chief's daughter seeks order against FLDS official

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By TERRI LANGFORD and LISA SANDBERG
Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News

A lawyer for the 16-year-old daughter of polygamist group leader Warren Jeffs is requesting a restraining order to prevent a spokesman for the group from intimidating and harassing the girl.

The request for a restraining order against Willie Jessop was filed in San Angelo today by Natalie Malonis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Diocese considers options to beat debt

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

By Hamish McNeilly on Sat, 21 Jun 2008

The Otago-Southland Roman Catholic diocese is not in financial crisis despite being several million dollars in debt, a spokesman says.

"We are asset rich, cash poor - and in debt," diocese general manager Stuart Young said.

The situation may force the diocese to borrow money from other regional counterparts to pay off debt, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Pedophile priest target of a Delaware lawsuit

DELAWARE
WCAX

Associated Press - June 20, 2008 11:45 AM ET

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was sexually abused by a former Syracuse priest who worked for the Diocese of Wilmington.

Fifty-6-year-old John Michael Vai alleges that as a teenage altar boy, he was abused by the Reverend Francis DeLuca more than 100 times. Defendants in the lawsuit filed Friday are the diocese and Saint Elizabeth's Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Romanian church denounces formation of clergy trade union

ROMANIA
Ecumenical News International

Jonathan Luxmoore

Warsaw (ENI). The Romanian Orthodox Church has condemned the formation of a trade union among its clergy, and has said that priests should follow church procedures in making demands and airing grievances.

"Certainly, some Orthodox priests have trouble making ends meet, especially those with families," said Constantin Stoica, a spokesperson for the Bucharest patriarchate, which governs the church, "but we have ways of solving their problems inside our church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Priestly Pedophilia Concealed in Italy

ITALY
Tradtion in Action

[with list of accused priests in Italy]

Atila S. Guimarães

Due to a quite busy schedule, I have collected a pile of books and articles to read when spare time appears. In that mound was a long article published two years ago by the well-informed Rome bulletin Adista reporting on the pedophilia crisis in the Italian clergy. Recently I found time to read it. It was, in my opinion, very revealing of the duplicity of the Italian Episcopate, the Vatican included. They pretend that pedophilia does not exist around them: it is an American problem...

It seems useful to portray a sampling of the Italian reality for the TIA American audience. I am basing myself on the information presented in a report by Emilio Carnevali entitled “Pedophile Priests in Italy: The Hierarchy Minimizes the Problem, but It Exists - Data from the Last Years” (Adista, May 13, 2006, pp. 11-14).

We are all aware of the extreme complacency of the Vatican in dealing with the pedophilia crisis in the U.S. It has always covered for the priests and blamed the critics, as if they were trying to destroy the Church. I mention just two facts to refresh my reader’s memory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Three things to understand about the Legionaries of Christ

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr.

Last week I published a lengthy, and remarkably candid, interview with Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore about a set of directives he’s issued for the Legionaries of Christ and their lay movement, Regnum Christi. Specifically, O’Brien demanded an accounting of all personnel and activities in his archdiocese from both groups, and he barred Legionaries and Regnum Christi members from one-on-one spiritual counseling with anyone under 18. ...

In the meantime, the Legionaries have issued a statement on O’Brien’s directives. Here is the full text of the statement, which comes from Communications Director Jim Fair:

“Father Alvaro Corcuera [Superior of the Legion of Christ] met June 6 with Archbishop Edwin O’Brien. They had a fruitful and substantive discussion that laid down the groundwork for the Legion’s continued ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. They were able to clarify issues and came up with concrete points that we will work on. We would hope that all Regnum Christi members will also see this as an occasion to love and serve the Church.

“We look forward to supporting the Archbishop’s efforts to spread the Gospel in this great and historic Archdiocese. We pray for Archbishop O’Brien and Fr Alvaro that the Lord may bless them abundantly for the tremendous leadership they give to us. As you can see from the archbishop’s published letter, there have been serious issues regarding the Legion’s work. We are grateful for the opportunity to address these matters.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Paedo pastor’s teen pic stash

UNITED KINGDOM
Epsom Guardian

By Paul Teed
The minister of Brentford Free Church has said the "thoughts and prayers" of the church community are with those involved in the case of pastor Andrew Gilroy, who was jailed for child sex offences last Friday.

Rev David Beazley said the paedophile pastor of the Syon Mission had been a "colleague and friend".

He said: "We share the sadness of the whole situation, and our hope is that there will now be opportunity for all those directly and indirectly affected to move on."

Gilroy abused his position to befriend teenage boys and invite them to his home for photographic sessions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Martin County pastor again accused of beating daughter, 16

SEWALL'S POINT (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Keona Gardner | Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
June 20, 2008
SEWALL’S POINT - A local pastor and civic activist in St. Lucie and Martin counties is facing an allegation of child abuse for the second time in three months.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office arrested Rodney McGill, 41, pastor of New Hope Outreach Center in Jensen Beach, on Thursday and charged him with aggravated child abuse. He originally was arrested in April in St. Lucie County after being accused of beating his daughter, 16, with an extension cord. He denied the allegation, and prosecutors dropped the charges May 20.

Two days after the charges were dropped, according to a Sewall's Point Police report, the daughter was asked to leave the home after she did not put away milk. The girl was returned to the home by a deputy. After the deputy left, McGill grabbed the teenager, choked her and pushed her into the house, causing an abrasion on her back to reopen, according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Brentford 'paedo pastor' jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
The Hounslow Chronicle

Jun 20 2008 By Robert Cumber

A minister at a Brentford church has expressed his sadness after a former pastor was jailed for taking thousands of indecent photos.

Andrew Gilroy, who spent more than a decade at Syon Mission Church in Beech Avenue, Brentford, abused his position to befriend teenage boys and invite them home for photo sessions.

By the time police caught up with him, the 46-year-old had amassed more than 3,000 images of the boys, who were aged 16 and 17 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Researcher says days of Catholics who 'pay, pray and obey' are gone

MIAMI (FL)
Catholic News Service

MIAMI (CNS) -- The days of Catholics who "pay, pray and obey" are gone and likely never coming back, according to a sociologist who has studied the beliefs and practices of American Catholics for more than two decades. As a result, the church must find ways to reach new generations of Catholics who "don't think church leaders are any wiser or any holier than they are," said Purdue University's James Davidson, who spoke at the opening session of the annual gathering of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children

UNITED STATES
Book TV on C-Span 2

Author: Marci Hamilton

Upcoming Schedule
Saturday, June 28, at 11:00 PM
Sunday, June 29, at 8:00 AM
Monday, June 30, at 4:45 AM

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

LA PROOF: Ties between St. John Seminary, LA Archbishop, & Paracletes rehab center for pedophile priests shown in deposition testimony & letters

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

The bishops claim times were different back then, how could they know about pedophile priests? Truth is in the 1960s Timothy Manning, Archbishop of Los Angeles, was sending so many priests to Via Coeli in New Mexico, (in photo below right), he was talking with center director Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald about opening a branch of the rehab center near Los Angeles.

Fitzgerald's assistant, Fr. Joseph McNamara, even made a trip to San Bernardino to meet with Bishop Phillip Straling about opening up such a branch.

Below, McNamara testifies for the LA Clergy Cases about the relationship between the LA Archdiocese and Via Coeli in a June 2007 deposition. He confirms he and Father Gerald took bishops from all over the country on tours of the rehab center. Also below, Letters from 1959 and 1960 reveal a regular conversation between hierarchy "padres" about the pedophile priest problem in the LA Archdiocese and at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo Ca. (A young McNamara is pictured at right.)

Click the docs here to enlarge, read them, print them, there are more to come next week from this Paracletes Collection. You should be able to print a copy of the enlarged docs for yourself from your screen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Former Neb. choir director sentenced to prison

LINCOLN (NE)
KPTM

Associated Press - June 19, 2008 4:15 PM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A 28-year-old former Lincoln Public Schools employee and church choir director has been sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison for first-degree sexual assault of a child.

Benjamin Truksa also was sentenced to five years Thursday on a child abuse conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

New lawsuits filed against clergy

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star
New allegations of clergy sexual abuse emerged in lawsuits filed Thursday against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

One lawsuit alleged that Stephen Wise, a Lee’s Summit man who left the clergy in 1986, molested a boy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the late 1970s.

A second lawsuit accused Monsignor Thomas O’Brien and Father Thomas Reardon of propositioning and sexually abusing a boy for several years beginning in the late 1970s. Both O’Brien and Reardon have been the targets of numerous similar lawsuits in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Author: Ending celibacy would make more men enter priesthood

UNITED STATES
Abilene Reporter-News

By Nicole Neroulias
Religion News Service
Thursday, June 19, 2008

During his recent trip to America, Pope Benedict XVI attended a youth rally at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. -- the same school where enrollment has dwindled to the point that no new prospective priests are enrolled next fall.

As the U.S. church ordains its crop of some 400 new priests in the coming weeks, church leaders hope Benedict's words of encouragement will inspire more men to consider the priesthood. The Rev. Donald Cozzens of John Carroll University, however, believes it will take a major change in Vatican policy on celibacy to revitalize the priesthood.

Cozzens, 69, has tracked the decline in vocations for more than a decade, including as rector of Cleveland's St. Mary Seminary from 1995 to 2000. In his 2006 book, "Freeing Celibacy," and in lectures all over the country, he argues celibacy should be optional for Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Bishop will not face charges of misappropriating funds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A special committee of the Episcopal Church USA has found no basis to try Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. on charges of misappropriating assets of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

In November 2006, the diocesan standing committee filed a formal complaint with the presiding bishop's office in New York alleging that since 2000 Bennison had used millions of dollars without canonical authority or the required consent of the standing committee. It asked for a church trial to remove Bennison as head of the five-county diocese.

However, the attorney for the review committee concluded that "Bishop Bennison committed no offense in these matters" and the committee voted at its May 21 meeting not to issue any indictment. That decision was announced today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 AM

June 19, 2008

Church not ready for sexual abuse apology: Quebec archbishop

CANADA
AOL News

Source: CBC News
Posted: 06/19/08 6:40PM

Cardinal Marc Ouellet said the Roman Catholic Church is not prepared to apologize publicly for sexual abuse committed by priests because it's not the right time.

The archbishop of Quebec City made the statement Thursday at the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City after a small group of people protested outside the gathering, demanding the church acknowledge past abuses toward aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples.

The week-long congress is not the proper venue for such discussions, Ouellet said at a news conference. "We are in spiritual reflection and renewal. I think that from what we are living, there will be concrete actions afterwards with other people, with other initiatives," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 PM

Texas grand jury to begin hearing evidence involving polygamous sect

ELDORADO (TX)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 06/19/2008 03:47:20 PM MDT

Posted: 2:36 PM- A grand jury will meet next week in Eldorado to hear testimony that could lead to indictments of members of a polygamous sect.
A Schleicher County clerk confirmed the grand jury has been called in but would not say why or when it would meet. But The Salt Lake Tribune has learned the hearings are related to the investigation of residents of the YFZ Ranch, all members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Expected to be subpoenaed as witnesses are mothers who conceived or gave birth when they were minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

National People’s Synod

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

By Susan Vogt

Periodically, Popes call Vatican Councils and Bishops call Diocesan Synods. Sometimes the voices of lay people are heard through these forums but too often it is a gathering of church professionals and clerics with a tightly orchestrated agenda and predetermined outcomes. It is a breath of fresh air when this doesn’t happen (like Vatican Council II) but that was over 40 years ago. The time has come for a different kind of council – a people’s synod. This is consistent with VOTF’s philosophy of being a vehicle for the voices of the faithful and working toward common ground together.

A national gathering of Catholics has also been on the minds of many Catholic organizations for awhile and VOTF has taken the role of midwife. Thus, a National People’s Synod – a potentially transformative project for the Church in the U.S. – is ready to launch. Although we are walking into an unknown future, one thing we do know is that a synod will happen best if it is not solely a VOTF project but rather a collaborative partnership with the support of a wide spectrum of Catholic leaders and organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Group sponsors movie about abusive priest

TRAVERSE CITY (MI)
Record-Eagle

FROM STAFF REPORTS

TRAVERSE CITY -- "Deliver Us From Evil," an Oscar-nominated documentary about the Rev. Oliver O'Grady, an abusive Catholic priest, will be screened at the June 30 Community Film Night at the State Theatre.

The film is sponsored by SASATEAM, Survivors Against Sexual Abuse.

Barb Russell, director of the group, said she saw the film during last summer's Traverse City Film Festival. She was later inspired to form SASATEAM after hearing festival founder Michael Moore tell a group of film festival volunteers, "We either stand for something, or we stand for nothing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Texas Pastor Arrested On Child Sex Charge

FORT WORTH (TX)
KWTX

(June 19, 2008)--A Fort Worth pastor was free on bond Thursday after he was charged in connection with the sexual assault of a girl who attends his church.

James "Jay" Virtue Robinson IV, pastor of Southwood Baptist Church, surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail Wednesday after an arrest warrant charging sexual assault of a child was issued.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Robinson was freed after he posted a $20,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

More Abuse Lawsuits Filed Against Kansas City Diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox Kansas City

[with video]
[with link to statement of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph]

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- The Kansas City Catholic Diocese is facing more lawsuits in the priest abuse scandal. And, victim advocates said since the Papal Visit to the U.S. in April, more people have come forward with cases. Advocates said these latest cases make four new ones in the past two weeks in the metro. FOX 4's Paul Herdtner reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

'Rabbi' Chen to fight extradition from Brazil

ISRAEL
Ynet News

Efrat Weiss Published: 06.19.08, 20:22 / Israel News

'The Rabbi' Elior Chen, who is accused of being responsible for the abuse of two young boys in Jerusalem, announced on Thursday that he would not turn himself over to Israeli authorities.

Chen was arrested in the streets of Sao Paulo by Brazilian police, ending the extensive manhunt that spanned several weeks.

His lawyer, Ariel Atari, traveled to Brazil for a week-long visit to confer with Chen. Atari confirmed his client has retained a team of local attorneys to combat his extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Okogie To Expel Randy Catholic Priests

LAGOS
The PM News

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

His eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, is very angry with priests engaging in sexual perversion in the Catholic Church, and has vowed to expel any priest henceforth caught in the immoral act.

Okogie, at a news conference to mark his 72nd birthday in Lagos yesterday, lamented that the newspapers were replete with stories of priests engaging in sex scandals. “There have been reports of priests engaged in sexual abuse. The law of celibacy is there to correct these happenings. The law is not force, the priests are well aware of it before their ordination. “Priests involved in such act lack self-control, they lack discipline. But any of our priests involved in such acts would be shown the way out,” he warned.

“We admonish our priests to keep to the vows of poverty, chastity and loyalty to the church. People should refrain from tempting priests; after all they are human beings. But the onus is on the priests to prove that they are thoroughly disciplined, chaste and virtuous,” he stated.

Okogie also called on the Federal Government to ban the use of condom nationwide as well as condom advertisements in the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

John Bennison, Choirboy

UNITED STATES
Stand Firm

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 • 8:18 am

We posted this recently as part of a stack of links about the John Bennison case, but given yesterday's events we thought it deserved a second look:

Church documents show that even though he was married, Bennison had sexual relationships with other vulnerable women at St. Mark's, including a 35-year-old mother of three going through a divorce.

The behavior continued at All Saints By The Sea in Santa Barbara with a 21-year-old who went to Bennison for marriage counseling. The documents also show he paid for an abortion for an 18-year-old girl with church money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Pedophile-Priest Victim Describes Meeting Pope

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
Santa Barbara Independent

Thursday, June 19, 2008
By Nick Welsh

Olan Horne does not mince words. “I’ve dealt with a lot of bishops, liars, and bullshitters in my time,” said the burly ex-Catholic who has spent the last eight years butting heads with the Boston Archdiocese over pedophile priests. But reigning Pope Benedict XVI, Horne said, does not fall within their ranks. Horne enjoys the rare, if painful, distinction of being one of the few sexual abuse victims to have met the new pope during his April visit to the United States. “You know what’s PR and what’s not. He seemed sincere,” Horne said. “He was heavy. It was sitting on his shoulders. I mean, how do you come to terms with what these priests and the church have done and look us in the face?”

Likewise, the question confronting Horne and many victims of priestly pedophilia is how exactly they should look back at their tormentors and the church out of which they sprang — in anger or forgiveness? In rage or reconciliation? “I’m not saying there isn’t reason here for bitterness and rage,” said Horne, who will be speaking in Santa Barbara on June 20 and 21, “but if you’re a survivor and you don’t want to be angry, then you forgive.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Bishop condemns Dipolog priest’s misconduct in US

PHILIPPINES
Tempo

Dipolog City Bishop Jose R. Manguiran has revoked the faculties earlier bestowed on a New Jersey-based priest due to allegations of abuses and misconduct.

In his report submitted to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Manguiran saidhe has sanctioned 37-year-old Fr. Reynaldo M. Pardillada and restricted him to the Catholic convent of his local church over the priest’s alleged abuses and misconduct while serving at the Epiphany Church, in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

KPSC Radio Manila in Southern California first broke the news over Catholic-run Veritas 846 last June 9 after the Archdiocese of Newark suspended the concerned clergyman from is ministry on a complaint from a 32-year old woman who also hails from Dipolog City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Priests recruits military

MASSACHUSETTS
Washington Times

Jay Lindsay, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thursday, June 19, 2008

METHUEN, Mass.

The Rev. John McLaughlin never served in the military, but he's faced unexpected, violent death in the way troops do. Decades ago, Father McLaughlin lay bleeding on a Boston street after being stabbed from behind. The prayer-filled moments that followed, when Father McLaughlin believed he might die, changed his life and ultimately led him to God. Now, in a newly created job, he'll be trying to recruit military personnel to the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Diocese assembles manual for priests

PENNSYLVANIA
Standard-Speaker

Thursday, 19 June 2008
By DUSTIN PANGONIS
Staff Writer

Schuylkill County priests affected by the Diocese of Allentown’s consolidation plan met with diocese officials Wednesday in Kutztown to discuss a Parish Restructuring Manual intended to help priests during the transition.

The Rev. Edward B. Connolly, pastor of St. Joseph, Pottsville, and St. Francis de Sales, Mount Carbon, said several diocese officials reviewed the manual and a new packet containing information on the final Masses for those churches that are closing.

Connolly will become pastor of St. Joseph and St. Vincent de Paul, Girardville, on July 15.
The 59-page document details the consolidation process, ranging from personal matters, like dealing with pastor and parishioner grief, to the logistics of parish property, finances and employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Jury finds Frederick priest guilty of indecent exposure

GREELEY (CO)
Brighton Standard-Blade

By Allen Messick
06/19/2008

GREELEY – If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to witness it, does it make a noise?

That was the defense Father Robert Whipkey, 54, of Frederick, used last week as he stood trial on charges of indecent exposure stemming from a June 22, 2007, incident when he was seen by Frederick off-duty police officer Zach Hahn.

His reasoning: Walking naked in the middle of the night can’t hurt anyone because no one would be out to see him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Aikenite gets 25 years for porn, sex charges

AIKEN (SC)
Aiken Standard

By MIKE GELLATLY
Staff writer
An Aiken native and former school teacher and pastor was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Wednesday on child pornography and child sex charges.

Timothy Lynn Brumit, 48, was sentenced for attempting to entice a person he believed to be a 13-year-old boy to engage in illicit sexual conduct and for transporting child pornography via the Internet.

According to information presented in court, Brumit, who was arrested Jan. 24, used "Hello.com," a website operated by Google, Inc., to communicate with a person whom he believed to be a 13-year-old boy located in Stafford, Va.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Ex-pastor faces more sex-crime charges

TUSCALOOSA (AL)
Tuscaloosa News

By Stephanie Taylor Staff Writer

TUSCALOOSA | A former Bibb County pastor accused of having sex with an underage girl faces additional charges in Tuscaloosa.

Timothy Fulgham, 40, waived a preliminary hearing in Bibb County District Court on Tuesday on charges of second-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and enticing a child for immoral purposes, said Bibb County Assistant District Attorney Tim Evans.

Fulgham was arrested in March on those charges, which stem from events that are alleged to have occurred last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Fairbanks diocese gives abuse victims notice

ALASKA
KTUU

by Channel 2 News staff
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks is looking for additional sexual assault victims as it moves forward with the settlement of abuse claims.

The diocese is working with attorneys representing clients who claim sexual abuse by clergy between 1950 and 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Diocese seeks assault victims

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

The Associated Press

Published: June 19th, 2008 12:38 AM
Last Modified: June 19th, 2008 12:38 AM

FAIRBANKS -- The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks is launching a multistate search for possible sexual assault victims as it moves forward with the settlement of abuse claims against it.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. It is working with attorneys representing clients who claim sexual abuse by clergy between the 1950s and 1980s.

About 150 people have filed claims, seeking millions in compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Man stops sex-abuse suit against ex-Toledo deacon

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

A Cleveland man has dropped a sexual abuse lawsuit against a former Toledo Catholic deacon because the statute of limitations has expired.

Tom Ferguson, 48, a former Toledoan living in Cleveland, filed the lawsuit Feb. 11 in Lee County Common Pleas Court in Florida against Dr. Glen Shrimplin, a retired dentist and former ordained deacon in the Toledo Catholic Diocese.

In his lawsuit, Mr. Ferguson stated that he was repeatedly sexually abused at age 15 when Dr. Shrimplin took him to Florida for Christmas vacation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Council voices support for Father Ted Oswald

LAKE COUNTY (CA)
Lake County News

Written by Saint Mary’s Pastoral Advisory Council
Thursday, 19 June 2008

Father Ted,

In discussions with the Pastoral Advisory Council, the Council decided it was appropriate to provide you with a strong indication of our support and commitment to you through this current time.

Some of the quotes from the members of the Council are:

“Let father know he can count on my support unconditionally.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Bishops look for forgiveness as World Youth Day looms

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Marcus Kuczynski
June 19, 2008 12:00am

THE Catholic Church is seeking forgiveness for past hurts as part of its biggest initiative to attract lapsed members back to its fold.

Comparing the church with any family which has its differences, the nation's Catholic bishops have embarked on a national outreach to non-practising members ahead of World Youth Day, which will bring 250,000 young followers to Sydney from July 15 to 20. ...

While it is still unknown whether the Pope will make a formal apology to victims of sexual abuse during his visit, the bishops have sought forgiveness for any unspecified past hurts which may have been caused through the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Catholic sex abuse crisis far from over in Vermont diocese

VERMONT
Contra Costa Times

By John Curran
Associated Press
Article Launched: 06/18/2008 04:07:07 PM PDT

By John Curran

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Many Roman Catholics believe that the worst of the clergy sex-abuse scandal is over. But in the Diocese of Burlington, it's deepening.

The case of one cleric, assigned to Vermont parishes in the 1970s despite warnings from an Indiana bishop that the priest was suspected of molesting boys, is battering the local church.

Last month, a former altar boy who said the Rev. Edward Paquette molested him repeatedly three decades ago won an $8.7 million jury verdict in a negligence lawsuit against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Latest UK safeguarding report released

UNITED KINGDOM
Total Catholic

Thursday, 19 June 2008 09:09
The latest report detailing safeguarding work within the Catholic Church of England and Wales has been released.

Highlights in the COPCA Report for 2007 include the fact that the number of parishes with at least one local child protection representative is at its highest point ever at 2,494.

In addition, nearly 19,500 further Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks have been made throughout the year to ensure the Church’s recruitment procedures are consistent with government guidance and good practice in secular organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

June 18, 2008

Priest in sex scandal sacked

PHILIPPINES
Global Nation

By Margaux Ortiz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:02:00 06/19/2008

MANILA, Philippines—A Catholic priest from Dipolog City has been sanctioned and restricted to the convent for alleged sexual misconduct while serving in a United States parish.

Bishop Jose Manguiran of the Diocese of Dipolog has revoked the priestly offices and functions of Fr. Reynaldo M. Pardillada, 37, who is accused of having an illicit affair with a married Filipina while serving at the Epiphany Church in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

Pardillada was last week expelled by the Archbishop of Newark after the New Jersey-based 32-year-old Filipino woman, who also happened to be from Dipolog, reported the affair to church authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Appeal from SNAP Mexico

MEXICO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Joaquin and I are working with a group of Senators and Federal Deputies in updating the criminal statues as they relate to child sexual abuse, pedophilia and child pornography. Our hopes are to introduce some legislation along with 300 other Community Based Organizations by the beginning of summer.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are looking for:

1) Laws written in different states/countries that address the elimination of the Statute of Limitations on child sex abuse, pedophilia and child pornography (I heard something about the statute work in Ireland/Australia/Canada?)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Prosecutor Wants Bountiful Polygamous Probe Reopened:

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

The special prosecutor who has been asked to investigate the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community in Bountiful, British Columbia plans to ask the RCMP to reopen their criminal investigation into the polygamous religious community.

The Globe and Mail reported that Vancouver lawyer, Terry Robertson says that:

"The law says it is an offence for a person in a position of authority over another to sexually touch someone if they are under 18,"
Women who have left the community of Bountiful have said that girls as young as 14 have been married to men more than 20 years older, who are elders in the religious community.

Robertson also intends to look at whether the law against polygamy breaches the freedom-of-religion provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Music Video: Roger Mahony Hymn (aka Help Us Jesus) featured today up top at City of Angels Network

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

[with link to the music video]

By Kay Ebeling
Time for a mid-week music break from reading all these documents. Click the video box above the headline to watch the music video of a song written by an LA musician after seeing the movie Deliver Us From Evil.

The song is “Roger Mahony Hymn (aka Help Us Jesus)” and the band is The Wrynkles.

“We are musicians from the seventies now in our fifties," said, Ron Frederick, band leader and vocalist, "and we spell the band’s name that way instead of other people making jokes about old men playing music."

What inspired the song? “About six months ago, I was going to write a sarcastic song about Jerry Falwell, around the time he died. I was sitting at work and coincidentally that day Deliver Us From Evil came in the mail from NetFlix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

New Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Former Basketball Coach, Mater Dei, Diocese of Orange

CALIFORNIA
Manly & Stewart

June 18, 2008 | By Manly & Stewart
Attorneys for an alleged victim of childhood sexual molestation filed a second sex abuse lawsuit against a former Mater Dei High School basketball coach, the school and the Diocese of Orange.

The suit, which alleges that former coach and admitted molester Jeffrey Andrade sexually abused the victim while she was a young teenager and student at the school, was filed in Orange County Superior Court in May. The last multi-million dollar case against Andrade settled in October 2007.

"Andrade was a serial predator," said John C. Manly, the Newport Beach attorney for the alleged victim. "What's even more appalling is that Mater Dei officials knew that Andrade was a threat, and did nothing to stop him. In fact, they invited him back on campus."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Utah birth records sought to probe FLDS couples' ages

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 06/18/2008 03:14:48 PM MDT

Posted: 2:19 PM- Utah birth certificates may be playing a significant role in an investigation into possible sexual abuse at a polygamous sect's Texas ranch, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
An Arizona investigator requested copies of birth certificates for approximately 25 FLDS couples from the YFZ Ranch - about 50 people in all - to confirm their dates of birth, according to Jeff Duncan, director of the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics.
Gary Engles, a special investigator for Mohave County, Ariz., made the request for information first to the Utah Attorney General's Office, which referred him to the vital statistics office.
"I never heard anything directly from the state of Texas," Duncan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Save Yourselves

UNITED STATES
Nashville Scene

by Elizabeth Ulrich

Last week, Southern Baptist officials stood before a sea of church members and representatives more than 7,000 strong and announced a plan to confront the recurring threat of pastoral sexual abuse within the denomination’s churches: They would do nothing at all.

Charged with studying the feasibility of creating a database of known abusers and credibly accused ministers, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) executive committee dropped the responsibility of protecting the denomination’s most vulnerable into the laps of local churches themselves. Morris Chapman, president of the executive committee, recycled the old excuse that the autonomous nature of Southern Baptist churches prevents the convention from stepping in.

“Baptists do not recognize any ecclesiastical authority outside the local church,” read a report issued by Southern Baptist leaders. “This precludes the convention from having any authority to require local churches to report instances of alleged sexual abuse....”

It was roughly one year ago that 8,600 church representatives, men and women from around the country who bear the name “messengers,” asked the executive committee to look into creating a denomination-wide database of “Southern Baptist ministers who have been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Protesters greet bishop at Vineland tent revival

VINELAND (NJ)
Press of Atlantic City

By JULIET FLETCHER Staff Writer, 856-237-9020
Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

VINELAND - As Anthony Mecca watched the head of the Camden Diocese begin his slow walk across the field next to Our Lady of Pompeii Church, he held aloft his hand-drawn sign, written in Latin.

"Pater, dimitte Galante," it began. Underneath, the translation read, "Father, forgive Galante."

Mecca, a 40-year parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Pitman, Gloucester County, had driven in to catch Bishop Joseph Galante before a special outdoor Mass in St. Padre Pio parish.

"It's the parish mergers," he said, when asked what had brought him cross-county. The church was slated to be merged with Our Lady of Lourdes in neighboring Glassboro, under diocese plans that reduce 124 parishes to 66. Most rankling to Mecca and his fellow protesters, they said, was that the bishop had been invited to come to address the parish following that announcement and had declined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

The dark side of class action settlements

CANADA
Globe and Mail

JACQUIE MCNISH
jmcnish@globeandmail.com

June 18, 2008

The social healing began almost immediately after Stephen Harper made his historic apology last week for abuses suffered by former students of residential schools.

It will take more than words, however, to mend the cracks revealed in Canada's class action system after some of the country's smartest and most devoted legal champions struck a legal settlement last year to compensate aboriginals for cruelties endured in isolated boarding schools.

Late last year, provincial and territorial judges approved Canada's largest and most intricate class action settlement by agreeing to a plan that would give lump sums of cash to every surviving native relocated to residential schools.

An estimated 90,000 people have applied for claims and so far more than $1.3-billion has been paid. Over the next few years, the governments' bill could swell by another billion or two.

The problem with directing such a large river of money to Canada's most remote corners is that few of the beneficiaries have the financial or legal expertise to shield windfall payments, averaging about $25,000 a person, from abuse by individuals and organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Jury told of church payments to abuse complainants

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

High Court jury has heard evidence about the "pastoral gesture" process carried out by the Order of St John of God, in which boys alleging sexual abuse at Marylands School were interviewed and received payments from the church.

The process itself has been raised during the three-week trial of the former prior of the order at Marylands, Rodger William Moloney, 71, who denies 28 charges of sexual abuse of boys at the school near Christchurch in the 1970s.

Michelle Mulvihill, an Australian psychologist who was employed as an adviser and complaints manager by the order when the abuse claims arose, gave evidence before Justice Graham Panckhurst and the jury on the seventh day of the trial, Christchurch Court News website reports.

She was asked about the amount she had been paid for her work for the order over a seven-year period. She gave figures, which had been said early in the trial to add up to nearly $1 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Sexual predators in our midst

UNITED STATES
Florida Baptist Witness

By JAMES A. SMITH SR.
Executive Editor
Published June 19, 2008

Just three days after the Executive Committee reported on June 10 in Indianapolis its response to the Southern Baptist Convention concerning a motion seeking creation of a database of Southern Baptist ministers guilty or accused of sexual abuse, a Baptist minister in southeast Texas was indicted on three charges of allegedly molesting two boys.

The arrest of a minister who allegedly took advantage of his sacred duties to satisfy his basest desires is just the latest case of sexual abuse by a minister. It was Texas, but it could have been (and, tragically, has been) Florida—and every other state.

Although the minister is not a Southern Baptist, his arrest is a fresh reminder of the importance of the Executive Committee’s exhaustive report and recommendations that churches take seriously the matter of sexual predators in our midst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Executive recommends DOJ database for sex abuse prevention

INDIANAPOLIS
Florida Baptist Witness

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)—The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee passed a recommendation June 9 urging churches to screen prospective volunteers and employees with the U.S. Department of Justice’s national sex offender database and said it believes the “potential threat of sex abuse” on the local church level “is tragically underappreciated.”

At six pages, the Executive Committee’s report on child sexual abuse—adopted after two years of study—also said it is “strongly persuaded that no church or Baptist entity should employ a known sex offender.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Diocese moves toward abuse settlement

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Fort Mill Times

(Published June 17, 2008)
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks is launching a multistate search for possible sexual assault victims as it moves forward with the settlement of abuse claims against it.

The Diocese filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. It is working with attorneys representing clients who claim sexual abuse by clergy between the 1950s and 1980s.

About 150 people have filed claims, seeking millions in compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Church cuts funds to unit handling abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Daily

Australian Anglican leader Archbishop Philip Aspinall has backed a cut in the budget of the body charged with handling sexual abuse matters in his own diocese.

The Brisbane diocese's annual parliament, or synod, will meet this weekend to approve the church's budget for 2009.

Budget papers show the diocese's professional standards unit will take a 30 per cent cut, from $195,000 to $135,000, in 2009 despite ongoing public concern over the church's handling of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

June 17, 2008

20 child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Manly Daily

Rebecca Woolley

18 June 2008

A FORMER Collaroy Plateau priest engaged in sex acts with seven teenage pupils while he was a teacher at a school for troubled boys, a court has heard.

Paul Raymond Evans, who was a priest at St Rose of Lima church at Collaroy Plateau, has pleaded not guilty to 20 serious child sex charges allegedly committed while he worked at Boys' Town at Engadine, in Sydney's south, between 1977 and 1988.

Yesterday the Sydney District Court heard Mr Evans gave special treatment to several pupils taking one on a trip to Queensland, allowing others to drink alcohol and drive a school vehicle around a national park who he molested, abused and sexually assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Ahern 'surprised' by £30,000 in briefcase

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Fiona Gartland

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said he was surprised when Manchester-based businessman Michael Wall gave him £30,000 in a briefcase.

Mr Ahern told counsel for the tribunal Henry Murphy SC he was not surprised that Mr Wall was going to make a contribution toward the work required on the house he was to buy at Beresford, but he was surprised by the size of the contribution. ...

He also said that he expected to become Taoiseach that weekend, but that was "blown out of the water" on the following Monday morning when Geraldine Kennedy wrote a "lovely article" and "Dick Spring ran".

Mr Ahern was referring to the November 1994 decision by former tánaiste and Labour Party leader Dick Spring to pull out of an agreement to support Fianna Fáil in government, after a breakdown in trust surrounding the appointment of Harry Whelehan as attorney general and the handling of critical information surrounding the extradition of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

The Impact of Time on Our Understanding of Child Sexual Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
tfdl

Philadelphia, PA

Last week I happened to find myself sitting in the audience listening to the closing arguments in the case involving Charles Bennison, the Episcopal bishop who is before a tribunal investigating allegations that he did nothing to intervene when his brother (a youth minister at the time) was sexually involved with a fourteen-year old girl. I decided to attend because I was intrigued to see what it is like for a bishop, rather than a priest, to be in this situation. Curiosity perhaps. To see what it is like for one with so much power to be humbled. At least that is what I thought as I sat there waiting for the tribunal to begin the afternoon session.

The judges processed in - all in purple robes - and walked up the steps of the dais at the front of the room. They sat in their assigned seats and settled themselves, as the one presiding called on the church's attorney to begin his closing arguments. It occurred to me that the bishop was probably more accustomed to that view from above than he was from his seat at the defense table. I tried to get a good look at him, but he only allowed a partial view of his face as he sat with his gaze fixed a bit to one side. I did get a clear enough view to see a rather unremarkable face. Grandfatherly perhaps. Not a particularly wise face. Ordinary actually.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Parishes moving ahead into incorporation

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

Archdiocese of Portland officials have been meeting with parish leaders across western Oregon, helping them learn what needs to happen now that the parishes are separately incorporated.

“We are here this evening not to change church order,” Msgr. Dennis O’Donovan told one group. Vicar general of the archdiocese, Msgr. O’Donovan explained that parishes will still be connected to their bishop and to the pope and will operate according to church “doctrines, teachings, traditions and polity.” The new corporate status simply puts the parishes’ civil structure in line with long-standing church law, he said.

Separate incorporation was one part of the bankruptcy settlement reached last year. It clarifies that parish assets belong to the parishes, not the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

The news and the church

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

From David Hains, director of communication, Diocese of Charlotte:

Returning from lunch on Wednesday, I was surprised to find a group of reporters and photo journalists on the lawn of the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Charlotte. Obviously something was going on.

The journalists were there at the invitation of three men, victims of sexual abuse, who were making demands of Bishop Peter Jugis. They hadn't given Bishop Jugis, or anyone else from the Diocese, a heads-up and didn't look online to see if the bishop was even in town, which he wasn't. Given the past trauma of these gentlemen, the oversights are understandable.

The reporters listened to the demands and dutifully sought to balance their stories by obtaining comments from me. One television reporter told me that the story wouldn't get much play because it lacked dramatic visuals. Thank goodness for that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Dossiers based on 'paranoia,' FLDS attorney says

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:10 p.m. MDT

An attorney for the Fundamentalist LDS Church says Utah authorities are preading "slanderous statements" and jeopardizing public trust by profiling members of the polygamous sect.

Reacting to a Deseret News report about dossiers of FLDS members deemed a potential threat, FLDS spokesman Rod Parker sent a letter to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap and Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith. Copies of the letter were also sent to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., St. George's mayor and police chief, the Washington County Commission and the director of the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training, which certifies and disciplines police officers.

Parker said he wrote the letter on behalf of FLDS member Willie Jessop and others who were identified in the profiles given to Texas authorities by Utah law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

FLDS: Fix statements about alleged dangerous sect members

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 5:55 PM- A Salt Lake City attorney has asked three Utah officials to "immediately correct" misstatements about FLDS members in profiles provided to Texas authorities.
The profiles, given to Texas law enforcement prior to custody hearings for some 450 children from the polygamous sect's YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, were based on "unsubstantiated or from unreliable sources," said Rod Parker, an FLDS spokesman, in a letter distributed today.
"As public servants, sworn to serve and protect the citizens, the spreading of slanderous statements such as these jeopardizes the trust of county officials, state officials, law enforcement and government officials of neighboring states, and private citizens," the letter states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

FLDS: Utah's warnings about church were slanderous

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Mercury News

By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 06/17/2008 12:24:27 PM PDT

SALT LAKE CITY—An attorney for a polygamous sect is accusing Utah police and prosecutors of abusing their authority and slandering sect members by passing on bad information about them to Texas authorities.

Authorities in Utah sent Texas officials dossiers that described 16 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as threatening religious fanatics who may be willing to die for their cause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Lawsuit Filed Alleging Abuse By Priest 30 Years Later

PUEBLO (CO)
KRDO

By Jenn DeHaan
j.dehaan@krdo.com

PUEBLO - More than 30 years after his alleged molestation by a Pueblo Diocese priest, a victim is stepping forward to file a lawsuit. The victim, who is remaining anonymous, claims beginning in 1976, then-Father Michael A. Kurz repeatedly sodomized and abused him at the age of 13. At the time, Kurz was a priest at Christ the King Catholic Church in Pueblo. Currently, Kurz is a Judicial Vicar in the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois and has recently been promoted to monsignor.

According to the lawsuit, the sexual abuse took place on outings with Kurz and continued until the victim was in high school. It also claims Kurz "abused other minors at his church in the same or similar manner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Information on Filing a Claim Against the Diocese of Fairbanks

ALASKA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks

[with links to various documents need for filing a claim]

Sexual and Non-Sexual Claim Filing Deadline:

ALL CLAIMS MUST BE FILED BY DECEMBER 2, 2008

Use the following documents and forms to file a claim (either sexual or non-sexual) against the Diocese of Fairbanks (also known as Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska). Please read and carefully follow the instructions and filing directions by December 2, 2008, as per court order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Fairbanks Catholic Diocese begins sexual abuse settlement process

ALASKA
Alaska Public Radio Network

[with audio and podcast]

The Fairbanks Catholic Diocese is beginning a massive outreach effort as it moves forward with the settlement of sexual abuse claims against it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Fairbanks Catholic Diocese starts massive outreach for abuse victims.

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

KUAC in Fairbanks reports that the diocese, which has declared bankruptcy, wants the word out on a deadline for victims of sexual abuse to bring forward their case. That date is Dec. 2. To that end, it has placed notices in newspapers and electronic media across the state and into the Pacific Northwest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Ex-vicar who branded his bishop a "liar" wins £14,500 for wrongful dismissal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
A former vicar and Church of England communications officer who branded his bishop “a liar” won a claim for wrongful dismissal and was awarded more than £14,500 at an employment tribunal yesterday.

The Rev David Johnston, 56, immediately called for the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, to resign.

Mr Johnston also claimed the Bishop did not like being in Liverpool and was "unhappy" that he was not appointed Archbishop of York. Dr John Sentamu was appointed to the second-highest post in the Church of England instead.

Bishop Jones became involved after a Sunday newspaper published an article in which it was claimed that Mr Johnston had been unfaithful to his wife Margaret and was having an affair with his personal assistant, the unmarried Diane Pendleton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Justice Denied

CONNECTICUT
Fairfield Weekly

By Daniel D'Ambrosio

John Conran and Jennifer Aparicio appear to have little in common. Aparicio, 35, is a stay-at-home mom in Manchester. She watches over not only for her own two boys, but also the entire neighborhood.

"I'm the fill-in, part-time babysitter because day care is so gosh-darn expensive," said Aparicio. "I get a lot of, 'What would we do without you?'"

Conran, 49, still lives at home with his 77-year-old mother in Avon, and readily admits he's led a solitary life.

"I just haven't made a go of things," he says, his downcast, bookish features fixed with a permanent look of mild shock.

Aparicio, by contrast, has an open, sunny face, big hazel eyes and a forthright manner.

But beneath the surface, Conran and Aparicio share a terrible secret and a gut-wrenching frustration. Both say they were sexually abused as children, and both say they are unable to seek justice because the state statute of limitations ran out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Sect leader says teen released by state

CLAYTON (NM)
KOB

CLAYTON, N.M. (AP) - The leader of an apocalyptic sect who fasted to force the state to release a teenager taken from the group’s compound near Clayton says the state has released the girl to her parents.

Wayne Bent - who is accused of sex crimes against underage female followers - posted a note on the group’s Web site saying the girl, whom he identified as Willow, was released Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

WYD - a whiff of incense and power

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

Tony Smith

Who said: 'I love the smell of incense in the morning. It's the smell of power'?

As World Youth Day draws closer, the nature of the celebration is taking firmer shape. Hopefully, visitors will have a safe and fulfilling time in Sydney and locals will enjoy the vibrancy of the period. There are however, very mixed signs about the possible long term impact on the Australian Catholic community. World Youth Day has similarities to the Olympic Games in that it could create opportunities for understanding and cultural development, or it could be exploited as a propaganda tool. ...

Recently Sydney Bishop Geoffrey Robinson wrote a book called Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church. Other bishops have been so alarmed at the prospect of a demand for a Papal apology that they have distanced themselves from Robinson. It is interesting that Robinson has been criticised for being 'uncertain'. In an age when ideological fanaticism threatens peace and well-being, a degree of uncertainty does not seem a bad thing. Besides, those who criticise Robinson have more to fear from his certainties and the undeniable truths behind his charges that the Church culture has failed to deal adequately with abuse.

The attack on Robinson might well be a pre-emptive strike. If so, then the retreat to exclusive authority could dominate Youth Day and undermine its liberating potential. If the hierarchy emphasises its claims to exclusive authority, then it appears that the Church cannot justify its existence in any other way. Authority so easily deteriorates into pragmatic power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Victims' group to unveil allegations against Rockford-area priest

ROCKFORD (IL)
Rockford Register Star

RRSTAR.COM STAFF REPORTS
Posted Jun 17, 2008 @ 08:11 AM
ROCKFORD — Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will conduct a news conference today outside the Rockford Diocese to announce new allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest who now works in the Rockford area.

The media event will be at 11:15 a.m. at the diocese, 555 Colman Center Drive.

In a statement released by SNAP this morning, the priest sexually abused a 13-year-old boy in Colorado in 1976. SNAP reports that the man now is a judicial vicar in the Rockford diocese and has been promoted to monsignor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Voice of the Faithful Petitions Pope to Hold Bishops Accountable for their Actions in Abuse Crisis

NORTH AMERICA
Voice of the Faithful

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) has sent a petition to Pope Benedict XVI signed by nearly 8,000 North American Catholics that asks the Pope to:

1. Treat survivors of sexual abuse with the justice and compassion our faith demands.

2. Hold bishops accountable to the people they serve.

3. Embrace full participation of Catholic men and women in Church decision-making.

4. Require full transparency and accountability in all governance matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Fylde's Catholic church closure battle

UNITED KINGDOM
Blackpool Gazette

Published Date: 17 June 2008

By Jacqueline Morley
OUR church is NOT closing.

Fighting talk as up to 60 parishioners meet for Mass at one of 14 local catholic churches likely to shut on Sundays under a mission review.

St John Southworth, North Drive, Cleveleys, was built in the 1970s as an optimistic church responded to new housing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Sacked Horwich vicar's job appeal victory

UNITED KINGDOM
The Bolton News

By Staff Reporter
A VICAR was sacked from his job after church bosses believed rumours he was having an affair with his secretary, a tribunal heard.

The Rev David Johnston, of Chorley New Road, Horwich, was working as director of communications for the Liverpool diocese when he was fired.

He claimed yesterday he was made to "feel a leper" by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Women claim ordination, are expelled from church

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
NANCY HAUGHT The Oregonian Staff
Background: In July 2007, Toni Tortorilla of Portland became -- in the eyes of many -- Oregon's first woman Roman Catholic priest. In a ceremony not recognized by the official church, she was ordained by a woman bishop active in Roman Catholic Womenpriests. The ceremony was in front of 200 friends and supporters in a Gresham United Church of Christ.

Update: In late May, the Vatican decreed that women who attempt to be ordained as priests, and those who try to ordain them, are automatically excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. The church believes that only men may become priests. ...

What's next: Tortorilla, who works as a counselor and spiritual director, ministers to about 90 people in Portland and in Eugene who call themselves the Sophia Christi Catholic Community. They meet monthly in borrowed sanctuaries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Sex abuse: State says sorry

AUSTRALIA
News 24 (South Africa)

Sydney - An Australian state government and several churches issued a joint apology on Tuesday to children who were sexually abused while in their care.

South Australia Premier Mike Rann told state parliament in Adelaide the findings of a three-year inquiry into claims of abuse involving hundreds of children from the 1930s to the present were "shocking".

The inquiry heard from 792 children who said they had been sexually abused while in state or church care by 1 733 alleged perpetrators from the 1930s onwards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Baptists need national sex-offender database

UNITED STATES
The Baptist Standard

The Southern Baptist Convention missed a great opportunity to protect its members when the SBC Executive Committee declined to create a sexual-offender database.

Executive Committee President Morris Chapman cited “belief in the autonomy of each local church” as the rationale against creating a system to help churches identify sexual predators. Chapman made the announcement during the Executive Committee’s report to the SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis last week.

But the Executive Committee’s logic is faulty. The Baptist General Convention of Texas operates a similar database that not only honors church autonomy but also aids churches in their quest to weed out people who pose as ministers while preying on the weak, vulnerable, young, gullible and simply innocent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Pastor gets 5 years in prison in sex abuse case

PENSACOLA (FL)
WWSB

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A Pensacola pastor who authorities say molested a 17-year-old boy has been sentenced to five years in state prison and 10 years probation.

The judge also ordered Monday that Pastor Leon Rankins III of the Restoration Full Gospel Baptist Church is required to register as a sexual predator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Clueless on Catholicism IV: More Dishonest, Error-Laden Articles From LAT

CALIFORNIA
NewsBusters

By Dave Pierre | June 16, 2008 - 23:57 ET

Using the sexual abuse scandal as a backdrop, a dissident former bishop from Australia, Geoffrey Robinson, has penned a book on the Catholic Church. As a Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference clearly articulates, Robinson's book is riddled with serious theological and doctrinal concerns. The Conference also concluded that Robinson's book ultimately questions a number of Catholic fundamentals, including:

the nature of Tradition;
the inspiration of the Holy Scripture;
the infallibility of the Councils and the Pope;
the authority of the Creeds;
the teaching authority of the Church;
the nature of the ministerial priesthood; and
central elements of the Church’s teaching of faith and morals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Lawsuit filed over abuse allegations

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

By Tom Mooney
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — A Massachusetts man yesterday filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Providence, alleging he was molested as a second grader in the late 1960s by an Irish priest who served as pastor at Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich.

The accused priest, the Rev. Brendan Smyth, became a notorious figure in the annals of clergy abuse before his death in prison in 1997. His admissions to assaulting numerous children in Ireland are said to have figured prominently in the collapse of the coalition government there in the 1990s.

Smyth’s cases in Ireland also included an extraordinary written acknowledgment on the part of one of his supervisors that he and others had known for decades about Father Smyth’s “problem” with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Council can speak for city in renaming bridge

AUGUSTA (ME)
Kennebec Journal

Leaders at the University of Maine at Augusta acted decisively and appropriately after they were approached in May by advocates for the victims of sexual abuse by clergy. Those advocates asked UMA officials to remove the Rev. John J. Curran's name from a scholarship granted by the university and last week, they did. That move now paves the way for other public institutions named after Curran to be changed.

Curran, who died in 1976, had been accused by at least two people of sexual abuse while he was the priest at St. Augustine Church in Augusta. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine corroborated one of the accusations against Curran and says that were Curran alive today, it would ask the Vatican to remove him from the priesthood.

Victims' advocates say that in light of Curran's deeds, naming a student scholarship after him was not only wrong, it was an insult to Curran's victim and other victims of clergy sexual abuse. That's a compelling argument that applies similarly in other cases where Curran's name has been given to a public institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

June 16, 2008

Diocese faces another suit alleging child abuse by priest

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI

[with video]

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Massachusetts man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was molested by a late Roman Catholic priest who caused a scandal that brought down an Irish government.

Jeffrey Thomas filed the lawsuit Monday in Providence Superior Court against the Diocese of Providence and others. He claims he was abused at an East Greenwich parish school by the Rev. Brendan Smyth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Man claims he was abused by priest

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Turn to 10

[with video]

PROVIDENCE -- A Massachusetts man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was molested by a late Roman Catholic priest who caused a scandal that brought down an Irish government.

Jeffrey Thomas filed the lawsuit Monday in Providence Superior Court against the Diocese of Providence and others.

He claims he was abused when he was a second-grader at an East Greenwich parish school by the Rev. Brendan Smyth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Man Recalls Alleged Abuse By Priest from 40-years Ago; Sues Providence Diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
ABC 6

[with video]

John Eagan

Standing outside Providence Superior Court, 47-year old Massachusetts resident Jeff Thomas with his wife Deb by his side, filed suit, saying he was molested 40 years ago by a Catholic priest.

Thomas says Father Brendan Smyth, a priest visiting from Ireland, sexually assaulted him at Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich, throughout 1968 he was in the 2nd grade.

The lawsuit is aimed at holding the Bishop of Providence accountable for allowing this Norbertine father into a local parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Man files lawsuit alleging abuse by Irish priest

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

June 16, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A Massachusetts man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was molested by a late Roman Catholic priest who caused a scandal that brought down an Irish government.

Jeffrey Thomas filed the lawsuit Monday in Providence Superior Court against the Diocese of Providence and others. He claims he was abused at an East Greenwich parish school by the Rev. Brendan Smyth.

A diocesan spokesman said church lawyers had not yet reviewed the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Pastor gets 5 years in sex abuse case

PENSACOLA (FL)
Pensacola News Journal

Kris Wernowsky • kwernowsky@pnj.com • June 16, 2008

Circuit Judge Nick Geeker sentenced Pastor Leon Rankins III today to five years in state prison and 10 years probation.

Rankins, 36, of the Restoration Full Gospel Baptist Church in the 900 block of West Cervantes Street, is also required to register as a sexual predator.

Rankins pleaded no contest in April to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim over the age of 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Ex-priest accused of stealing from 2 Va. parishes

LOUISA (VA)
WVEC

06/16/2008

Associated Press

A court hearing for a former Roman Catholic priest convicted on federal charges of embezzling from two Louisa County churches has been postponed.

Rodney Rodis was to appear in Louisa Circuit Court on Monday to be arraigned on 13 state charges, but it was rescheduled for July 21.

His appearance was postponed because the 52-year-old defendant was not brought from a federal prison in North Carolina for the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Benedict, John Paul II, And Child Abuse

The Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan

[with video]

If you want to know how the current Pope handled very credible, very well-documented and overwhelming evidence that a very powerful associate had long been a child-abuser, check this clip out:

The abuse-case that caused the Pope to lose his temper - to the point of a prissy smack - was Father Marcial Maciel. Until his death earlier this year, Maciel ran a large, far-right Catholic cult called the Legionaries of Christ. The Legionaries and their lay counterpart, Regnum Christi, are very powerful entities in the new Catholicism, given special protection by Pope John Paul II and much favor under his successor. And at the core of the Legionaries, like many religious cults, was a sexual abuse ring designed to please the founder. Secrecy was maintained by indoctrinating many members at a young age, and enforcing vows of silence on all topics related to Maciel. This cult-like stricture is still causing grief and suspicion in many parts of the Catholic world, most recently in the Baltimore archdiocese.

The reason I bring this up today is because journalist Jason Berry, of the Hartford Courant, has a new and gripping documentary on Maciel and the abusive cult-like practices he pioneered. It's called "Vows Of Silence" and it carefully exposes the appalling facts of the enmeshment of the last two Popes in covering up sexual abuse and protecting a serial predator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

PROOF: Bishops knew about pedophile priests as far back as 1950s and worked to keep the problem secret. Documents here, click to enlarge

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

[PARACLETES DOCUMENTS will live at http://cityofangels11.blogspot.com/ for continued reference. See June 16 post]

By Kay Ebeling

The documents scanned in below prove the Catholic Church hierarchy knew pedophile priests were a problem as far back as the 1950s. Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, director of Via Coeli in New Mexico, (pictured at right) realized after years of treating sexually deviant priests that there was no “cure” and wanted to put the predator priests on a remote island where they could do no damage. He pled his case to bishops all over the country with personal visits and correspondence back and forth, some of which is scanned in below. But a growing belief in 12-step programs and surprisingly secular treatment concepts defeated Fitzgerald. Via Coeli instead in the sixties began treating pedophile priests as men with “issues” in need of talk therapy.

Not only did the church know there were pedophiles among the priests, but Catholic Church hierarchy had been well educated in pedophilia by Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald. Documents here show that bishops kept Via Coeli and its work with problem priests secret from the parishes. Meanwhile bishops were touring the Northern New Mexico treatment center and sending pedophile priests to Via Coeli, beginning in the 1950s, as these documents prove.

This is a long post with only a sampling of the documents from a lawsuit against the Paracletes in the 1990s in New Mexico, which were released to the public in June 2007, see the court order insert at right. (Click to enlarge.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Rymer Case Settled

CALIFORNIA
Orthodox Reform

Date Published: 6/10/2008
Publication: Pokrov

Subject to court approval, the lawsuit against the former Archimandrite Michael Rymer and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco has been settled. The complaint in this case had alleged that Fr. Michael sexually abused a mentally incompetent man.

Since the plaintiff in this case is an adult with a disability, any compromise of the claim must be reviewed by a judge. A hearing for this purpose has been scheduled for August 5, 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Former Catholic priest faces 13 more charges at court hearing today

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Monday, Jun 16, 2008 - 06:07 AM Updated: 07:02 AM

Former Catholic priest Rodney Rodis, convicted in federal court of defrauding two local churches of hundreds of thousands of dollars, is due back in court Monday June 16, 2008 on 13 more charges.

However, he was not brought to Louisa County from federal prison in North Carolina today, so another court date must be set.

Rodney L. Rodis, 51, was sentenced in February to five years in federal prison for diverting for personal use money donated to the two county parishes he headed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

More than apologies

CANADA
The Edmonton Journal

Paula Simons, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Monday, June 16, 2008
By now, the story of the damages done by the residential schools is all too well-known. Over decades, thousands of children were taken from their parents and communities and raised in church-run boarding schools. The avowed intent of the schools was to prepare Indian children for life in a white world, to teach them English, to give them an education, to provide them with a marketable trade, and, of course, to convert them to Christianity.

In many cases, let it be said, the people who oversaw the schools had the best of intentions. But their actions were often disastrous. Children were ripped from their families, their culture and their language, thrust headlong into a terrifying, disorienting foreign world. And frequently, the schools themselves were anything but idyllic centres of learning.

Children were beaten for speaking their native languages. They were often malnourished. Epidemics such as measles and tuberculosis killed many. Others -- a disturbing number -- were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the very people who were supposed to be their trusted mentors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Putting the pain behind

CANADA
The Barrie Examiner

OUR OPINION

The treatment of Canadian aboriginals at residential schools is a black mark on our history that we all have to bear. The concept of the schools was wrong, the placement of native children in the schools was wrong and the treatment of the students was reprehensible.

It is something we can't hide from.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper, showing uncharacteristic humility last week, at least did something in this sad saga right when he delivered a sincere and heartfelt apology to the people who endured years of physical, mental, emotional and sexual torture and abuse -- and to the memory of those children killed while at tending the schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

June 15, 2008

Robinson forced to choose loyalty

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Concluding his US tour, retired Sydney priest Bishop Geoffrey Robinson says that he was forced to choose between loyalty to abuse victims and loyalty to the pope.

The Age reports Bishop Robinson told a US audience last week that as a bishop, he took an oath of loyalty to the Pope.

But he was a victim of abuse himself, and during the nine years that he investigated clerical sex abuse cases in Australia, as a member and then chairman of a Church-appointed committee, he found himself trying to choose his side.

"I had to choose between loyalty to the Pope, or loyalty to the victims," he said. "The victims of abuse were on one side, and on the other, total silence from Rome. Nothing. John Paul II simply gave no support. He had done nothing with this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Prete condannato per pedofilia

ITALY
Corriere Fiorentino

Chi lo conosce dice che ha accolto la condanna come fosse una liberazione. Sacerdote accusato di aver abusato di un bambino di 13 anni. Confessati altri 38 casi

Chi lo conosce dice che ha accolto la condanna come fosse una liberazione. La seconda dopo l’arresto, nel 2005, con l’accusa di aver abusato di un suo parrocchiano, un bambino di 13 anni. «Finalmente qualcuno mi ha aiutato» disse il sacerdote quando i carabinieri andarono a prenderlo. Dopo anni di buio, ieri l’ex parroco di Farneta, una frazione di Cortona (Arezzo), Pierangelo Bertagna, 46 anni, è stato condannato, con rito abbreviato, a otto anni di reclusione. Era accusato di violenza sessuale su 16 minori, abusi che lo stesso sacerdote confessò al magistrato.

[translation]

The ruling
PRIEST GUILTY OF PEDOPHILIA
"Only now I feel to be free"

Those who know him say he accepted the verdict as if it was a liberation. The priest was accused of having abused a 13-year-old boy. He confessed to be the author of other 38 similar cases.

Those who know him say he accepted the guilty verdict as if it was a liberation. The second one after he was arrested, in 2005, with the charge of having abused a parishioner, a 13-year-old boy. "Finally someone helped me" said the priest when the carabinieri (the military police) went to arrest him. After years of dark, yesterday the former parish priest of Farneta, near Cortona (province of Arezzo), Pierangelo Bertagna, 46-years-old, was sentenced to 8 years in jail, with the abbreviated procedure. He committed sexual violence against 16 minors, as the same priest confessed in front of the judge. According to the report of a psychologist, deposited by the defense lawyers Francesca Mafucci and Annelise Anania, it emerged that in the '80s the priest had confided his attraction towards children to some people he trusted and who like himself belonged to the community "Ricostruttori nella preghiera", led by Gian Vittorio Cappelletto,

4 OUT OF THE 16 CASES CONFESSED REGARD 10 -YEAR- OLD MINORS. Most of the episodes happened near Cortona and in the Lazio region. When in 2005 the facts were discovered and the priest was arrested by the carabinieri, the town residents reacted harshly against him. Afterwards it was found out the 13-year-old boy had told his mother about his having been abused sexually and the parish priest admitted his responsibility and apologized. Later he confessed to the magistrate Ersilia Spena. "It was a kind of liberation -his defense lawyers said - for the priest had always looked for someone who could help him, but until then, those who had listened to his outbursts never moved a finger". It's being told that 38 were the cases confessed by the priest, not always against minors, not always using violence. The violence consisted of very profound caresses or some deeper contact; never, it seems, they consisted of a full intercourse. After the arrest, the bishop of Arezzo, Gualtiero Bassetti, suspended him "a divinis". Afterwards the priest asked the Pope to be reduced to the lay state and Benedict XVI dispensed him from all the obligations pertaining the priesthood. Bertagna was born at Gardone Val Trompia (Brescia) and his childhood was very difficult because he had also been sexually abused. Before entering the seminary (he became a priest when he was 39 years old) he had some odd jobs as a carpenter. Later he was appointed as a parish priest at Farneta. "Since he was arrested - concluded defense lawyer Maffucci - he spent his time in hermitages and doing volunteer activity. He never went back to Farneta. Paradoxically, now that he is under control and living in a protected place, Bretagna feels himself really free".

June 13, 2008

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Regarding Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch's Guidelines for Calling the Police

Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

Vicki Polin - CEO, The Awareness Center, Inc.

It saddens me a great deal to read the posting on Daas Torah's blog. With all the information and education that is available to our rabbonim it appears that they are still refusing to learn from their past mistakes. I'll admit that I have never heard of Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch until I received an e-mail with the link to this blog. (Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, senior member of the Jerusalem Beit Din Tzedek (Jewish Religious Court)

My hope by providing the following information will help to prevent one more child from being harmed and that those who are already victims of sex crimes, the will be able to receive the proper help.

It's obvious that Rabbi Sternbuch is lacking basic knowledge about sex offenders and the needs of those who have been sexually violated as children. The most important message that needs to get out is that each of us should consider ourselves mandated reporters. This basically means if you SUSPECT a child is in danger you have to call your local hotline, rape crisis center or police. You don't go to a rabbi to get permission or have them make the call. The key word here is "SUSPECT." We need to leave all the investigating and fact finding/gathering to law enforcement and not our rabbonim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Questions linger after local nurse's 1950 death

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Foster's Daily Democrat

By MARK GOSZTYLA
Special to the Citizen

Article Date: Sunday, June 15, 2008

Over the past 25 years, Pat Boyle, Jim Boulanger and his sister, Ann Boulanger, have spent too much time wondering about the circumstances surrounding Shirley Thomas, the owner of a trunk discovered in 1983 containing the remains of five infants, as well as Irene Copeland, a Somersworth District Nurse rumored to be somehow connected to the performing of abortions in the late 1940s, and the possibility of a connection between the two.

The three agree the truth has never been told. They believe Copeland's death was a murder and that powerful people in the communities of Dover and Somersworth secreted that truth away.

Banished and forgotten

In 1997, Mike Milotte, a senior current affairs reporter for the Irish TV network RTE, unraveled the story of more than 2,000 Irish-born children who were illegally adopted by U.S. citizens between the 1950s and 1970s. The book he wrote about this story, "Banished Babies: The Secret History of Ireland's Baby Export Business," detailed how the Irish-Catholic church facilitated the birth and adoption of these children using "mother and baby homes" run by nuns in Ireland, and the United States Catholic Charities organization to select "proper" parents.

In a 1998 NPR interview, Milotte said about his book, "it's a bit too easy and perhaps unfair to criticize Ireland's Catholic leaders for running this baby trade … I think, in justice, I do try to show their side of the story as well. And there is always a danger in writing historical works of this nature that, you know, one is judging the past with the benefit of hindsight. They had a problem on their hands that in a society where birth outside marriage was frowned upon, they were the only ones providing facilities for these women. Now I would say that the answer to that is not that one applauds what they're doing, but that one criticizes the society that failed to provide alternative solutions."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

‘No one wants to close parishes’

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Republican & Herald

BY BRIAN K. SMITH
CITY EDITOR
bsmith@republicanherald.com
Published: Sunday, June 15, 2008 4:27 AM EDT

Editor’s note: On Thursday, City Editor Brian K. Smith traveled to Allentown with Photo Editor Nick Meyer to interview the Most Rev. Edward P. Cullen, bishop of the Allentown Diocese, about a plan announced two weeks ago to close 32 Roman Catholic churches in Schuylkill County by July 15. The text of the hour-and-15-minute interview has been edited for space and content.

ALLENTOWN — The Most Rev. Edward P. Cullen, bishop of Allentown, seldom gives personal interviews.

But due to the gravity of the parish reconfiguration, he made an exception.

“This is really a historical period in the history of the diocese and certainly for Schuylkill County and anything that can assist in our endeavor to carry out our mission there. . . this will be helpful, this information,” he said Thursday in his office in the Diocesan Chancery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Pastor pleads to sexually abusing girl

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret News

ST. GEORGE — Gabriel Carlin, a St. George pastor who is charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old female student at a Christian school where he worked, has pleaded guilty to two felonies.

Carlin, 34, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 3 before 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow.

Carlin pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sex abuse of a child, both third-degree felonies, as part of a plea bargain. Originally, he was charged with four counts of first-degree felony aggravated sex abuse of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

New Lawsuits Accuse KC Diocese Of Covering Sex Abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two more lawsuits have been filed accusing the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph of covering up sexual abuse by two priests nearly three decades ago.

The lawsuits, filed Friday, accuse two priests who worked at St. Elizabeth Parish in Kansas City during the 1970s.

One lawsuit was filed by the mother of man who allegedly was abused by Monsignor Thomas O'Brien, who has been named in at least a dozen similar cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

June 14, 2008

Forsaken

UNITED STATES
ctlnyc.com

This links to a trailer for a movie called Forsaken, which discusses clergy sexual abuse. According to writer Matt C. Abbott, who appears in the trailer along with several others, the still-in-production documentary focuses on events involving St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva, Ill. QuickTime player is needed to view the film preview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 PM

Group Drawing Attention to Sexual Abuse in the Church

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WCCB

[with video]

WCCB-TV Charlotte --
The Charlotte Diocese has to do more. That’s what SNAP, the Survivors Network, of those Abuse by Priest is saying after a former Charlotte priest is charged with having sex with a child. The group brought a letter to the Charlotte office for the Bishop today. Bishop Jugis was not in town.

Father Robert Yurgel is facing multiple charges for taking indecent liberties with a child and rape. Yurgel was at Saint Matthew Church in South Charlotte in the late 1990’s. The victim just recently came forward.

SNAP’s national director came to Charlotte Wednesday. David Clohessy feels confident there are more victims out there, “It would be extraordinarily unusual if Father Yurgel molested one child, one child only and did it in complete secrecy and no one had a clue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Ascheri "Ho messo a nudo la casta di Siena"

ITALY
La Stampa

GIUSEPPE SALVAGGIULO

INVIATO A SIENA
Come nella favola di Andersen, in cui tutti vedono il re nudo ma nessuno lo dice tranne un bambino, a Siena c’è voluto un «bambino» di 38 anni per mettere nero su bianco quello che tanti sanno ma nessuno dice. Raffaele Ascheri, insegnante di italiano-storia-geografia nella scuola media Cecco Angiolieri, ha messo a nudo il re uno e trino (Partito democratico, Montepaschi, Chiesa) che governa questa città-Stato opulenta e permalosa.

This is translation of two paragraphs from along article in which journalist Giuseppe Salvaggiulo describes content of a new book written by writer Raffaele Ascheri regarding dealings of those who retain real power in the city of Siena.

[translation]

"Ascheri " I stripped naked the privileged caste in Siena"

The secrets about the Church, the financiers and the PD (Democratic Party). A professor discombobulates the city.

by GIUSEPPE SALVAGGIULO
Correspondent from Siena

As in the Andersen tale, where everyone can see the king is naked but nobody, except a child, has the courage to say it, there was the need of a 38-year-old "child" to put in black and white what everybody knows but doesn't dare to say. Raffaele Ascheri, teacher of Italian-history-geography in the middle school Cecco Angiolieri, stripped naked the king, in its trinity (PD, Montepaschi (the powerful bank), the Church, which are the three entities governing this opulent and touchy city-state.

He did that with a book titled "La casta di Siena", which in five months has became a big success: he printed it using his money because no publisher was found, now the book has been reprinted four times for 5000 copies were sold in a city with 54 thousand inhabitants. The local mass media ignore it. The powerful pretend not to mind about it: "Those are things already known". Yet the citizens buy it and present it to their friends. As a "forbidden book".

The three faces dwelling in the Palace

The book is forbidden because it describes the story of the powerful in the city as the manifestation of an oligarchy founded on mutual help. There is an ample chapter about the environment, describing the paving over with cement of the Siena's agricultural land (from the town of Monticchiello to the town of Casole d'Elsa) decided by both the city and provincial administrators. There is the criticized enlarging of the airport decided by the politicians and supported by the Montepaschi (the local powerful bank). There are the judicial misadventures of Monsignor Giuseppe Acampa (treasurer of the Curia and archbishop Antonio Buoncristiani's pupil) now being tried for the fraudulent administration of the ecclesiastical patrimony, for having put on fire the Curia's documents (arson) and accusing the archivist for that (calumny). Moreover there are described the privileges and the waste of money, the "home made" contractors, the monthly 15.000 euros given under the formula of "expenses as a representative" to the President of the Province, Fabio Ceccherini.
The place where all the dealings are made is the Foundation which controls the Montepaschi, the third Italian bank group. Since 2001, the Foundation is run by the City and the Province (in the hands of the former communist party (DS) which has now changed into PD, Partito Democratico, after a merger with a part of the former Christian Democratic Party), The Curia , too, has its own representative. Each year the Foundation distributes about 200 million euros of contributions: it's unavoidable that there reigns an absolute accord. The PD appointed the President of the Montepaschi, Giuseppe Mussari. The Curia "flirts" with the former communists. And Mussari, who is also a criminal lawyer, is defending the Curia now under trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Primo, non pubblicare

ITALY
La Stampa

CARLO FEDERICO GROSSO

Almeno sui tempi Berlusconi è stato anche questa volta di parola. Aveva promesso che il primo Consiglio dei ministri avrebbe approvato il disegno di legge sulle intercettazioni ed è riuscito a realizzare questo suo proposito. Non è invece riuscito a fare approvare lo specifico testo che aveva in un primo tempo prospettato.

Quantomeno alcuni reati gravi di criminalità comune e la corruzione sono stati, infatti, specificamente esclusi dal divieto di intercettare. Lo hanno imposto la Lega e, forse, un po’ di sopravvenuto buon senso.

[translation]

First, don't publish

In this editorial by journalist Carlo Federico Grosso there are the comments relative to the pros and cons of a new emergency bill Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants urgently to be approved by the Italian Parliament, meant to restrict the wiretapping of conversations ordered by the magistrates only to those crimes which are punished for more than ten years of jail. In the bill there is the following proposal, which is reported in the next to last paragraph of the article:

"È, per altro verso, assolutamente peculiare che il governo nella nuova normativa sulle intercettazioni, pensando forse ai reati di pedofilia ed alle relative, frequenti, indagini penali, si sia specificamente preoccupato di dettagliare che, quando emerge un reato nei confronti di un sacerdote, dev’essere immediatamente avvertito il vescovo, e quando emerge un reato a carico di un vescovo dev’essere avvertito il Vaticano."

[translation]

"It's on the other end absolutely peculiar that the government, in addition to the new rules about the wiretappings, thinking perhaps to clergy pedophilia and to the related frequent criminal investigations, was preoccupied to make it clear that when a crime is allegedly committed by a priest, then the bishop must be informed and in case the crime is allegedly committed by a bishop then the Vatican must be informed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Former Nipomo priest pleads no contest to lewd conduct

CALIFORNIA
Adobe Press

By Samantha Yale/Staff Writer

A former assistant priest at Nipomo’s St. Joseph Catholic Church has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of engaging in lewd conduct and a misdemeanor count of soliciting another person to engage in lewd conduct in connection with an incident almost a year ago in which he allegedly fondled an undercover sheriff’s deputy at Pirates Cove.

Geronimo Cuevas, 52, entered the plea Monday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, said the case prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Craig VanRooyen.

A count of sexual battery was dismissed, VanRooyen said.

Cuevas was sentenced to three years’ probation, was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and attend an AIDS education class. He was also banned from Pirates Cove.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Church chose to stay quiet on sex abuse

NEW ZEALAND
Sunday Star-Times

by Karen Arnold - Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 15 June 2008

THE CHURCH of Latter-day Saints knew its Sunday School teacher Raphael Caccioppoli had a history of sexual offending against boys but didn't tell police because it did not think it legally had to.

Neither did the Mormon hierarchy tell the parents of the children he was left to supervise on his own.

Instead, it excommunicated the Justice Ministry judicial officer following a church court hearing in June last year.

Police become aware of his offending only after a tip-off from one of his associates in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

'Troublesome priest' will not be bowed

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Age (Australia)

Gerard Wright, Los Angeles
June 15, 2008

AFTER he was introduced to the crowd of nearly 200 in the conference room of the motel, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson stood up and took off his jacket.

In other times and other circumstances, this would be a signal among gentlemen that fisticuffs would soon begin.

But Bishop Robinson, a retired auxiliary of the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney, is 70, and the only violence he does now is to the golf ball. But he also gives the impression of someone who would not only seek trouble, but meet it head on.

This explains why the mainstream Catholic Church is treating him as a troublesome priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Catholic priest acquitted on sex imposition charge

OHIO
Toledo Blade

By MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to fondling a man in a public hot tub in Sylvania Township was found not guilty yesterday on a misdemeanor sexual imposition charge.

The Rev. Frank Murd was acquitted by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Jensen of any wrongdoing in the incident, saying the prosecution failed to prove the priest's actions were offensive to the man.

The verdict followed a bench trial on Wednesday on an accusation stemming from a March 18 incident at the JCC/YMCA, 6465 Sylvania Ave., involving the 27-year-old Sylvania man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

3 local churches appeal closings

PENNSYLVANIA
Standard-Speaker

Saturday, 14 June 2008
By JIM DINO
Staff Writer
Parishioners at St. Kunegunda’s Church in McAdoo and both churches in Tresckow have appealed closings ordered by the Diocese of Allentown.
Appeals have been filed from about a dozen churches in Carbon and Schuylkill counties, Matt Kerr, communications director for the diocese, confirmed Friday.
Among them is St. Kunegunda’s, which under the diocese plan would merge with St. Patrick’s and St. Mary’s Slovak in McAdoo and St. Bartholomew’s and St. Michael’s in Tresckow as the new All Saints parish.
”We are still a vibrant parish, We still financially support our parish,” said Vicki Gennaro, a parishioner of St. Kunegunda’s who noted that many civic groups, including Boy Scouts, use the church hall for meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Archdiocese: Priest still on leave

COLORADO
Daily Camera

By Vanessa Miller
Saturday, June 14, 2008

Although the Vatican is the only entity with power to take away a priest's title, a former Catholic leader of parishes in Erie, Mead and Frederick won't lead any more Masses after being convicted this week for jogging nude in public, church officials said.

Robert Whipkey, 53, was placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Denver in August after he was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure for jogging nude around a high school track in the town of Frederick early one morning last summer.

A Frederick police officer saw a naked Whipkey walking home from the high school about 4:35 a.m. June 22, and Whipkey eventually admitted to the officer that he runs nude because he "sweats profusely."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Pastor accused in sex assaults

SOUTH CAROLINA
Aiken Standard

By KAREN DAILY
Staff writer
A North Augusta pastor has been accused of sexual assaults a teenage girl for approximately five years, dating back to 1990, but investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office say they suspect there are more victims who have yet to come forward, according to officials.
Lawrence Smith Jr., 69, of Bradleyville Road in North Augusta, is charged with three counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of lewd act upon a child and three counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
Aiken County Sheriff's Office investigators arrested Smith at his home Thursday, said Lt. Michael Frank, a sheriff's office spokesperson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Quiet final day for Shaver

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By BY TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

After four days of emotional speeches, impassioned denials, and surprising admissions, former police chief Claude Shaver's final day on the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry was a muted affair.

Lawyers cross-examine Shaver, who served with the Cornwall Police Service from 1983 to 1994, about his role in a number of historical sexual abuse investigations the force undertook during his tenure.

But there were no moments as shocking as Shaver's revelation Thursday that he had paid for his own lie detector test -the results of which were never made public - before arriving at the inquiry.

Nor did the emotional former chief come close to tears, as he appeared to be Wednesday while denying online rumours he was part of a pedophile clan that allegedly operated in the Cornwall area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Baptists miss an opportunity

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

Close observers of the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis know that a key reason Catholics have been hit so hard by lawsuits has to do with the church's bureaucratic structure. Officials of the church kept meticulous records, so they knew – or should have known – they were assigning people accused of being sexual predators to run parishes. Many Protestant denominations lack such records. Some reformers in the Southern Baptist Convention proposed creating a database that congregations could check for potential ministers or church employees. But this week, the SBC's executive committee shot that down, saying it would compromise the autonomy of congregations – a key Baptist principle. Too bad. Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson got it right when he said: "A database is only information. What a church does with that information is their decision."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Former church aide admits abuse

CANADA
Calgary Herald

Daryl Slade and Michelle Butterfield, Calgary Herald
Published: Saturday, June 14, 2008
A former youth ministry volunteer has admitted to sexually abusing three teenage girls over an eight-year period starting in 1994.

Kelly Malcolm Grant pleaded guilty on Friday in Court of Queen's Bench to three counts of sexual touching of the girls under 14 years old and two counts of sexual exploitation while being in a position of trust.

The charges against Grant, which were laid last October, stem from allegations of abuse against the girls, two of them sisters, at Centre Street Church between 1994 and 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Pastor could face 60 years if convicted of indecency

KOUNTZE (TX)
The Beaumont Enterprise

By: AMY COLLINS, The Enterprise
06/14/2008
Updated 06/13/2008 11:36:43 PM CDT

KOUNTZE - The children that Silsbee minister Lester L. Banks is accused of molesting were two males under the age of 17, according to the three indictment papers the Hardin County District Court released Friday.

Banks is accused of engaging in oral sex with one of the youths and touching the genitals of the other, according to court documents.

Because the youths are between the ages of 5 and 17, Banks was indicted on three second-degree felonies, according to the Texas Penal Code.

If convicted, Banks faces up to 60 years, with each charge carrying a maximum punishment of 20 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Two sue area Catholic diocese, alleging sexual abuse

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star
Two people Friday sued the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, alleging clergy sexual abuse at a local parish.

In one case, the mother of a man who died in 1999 makes accusations against Monsignor Thomas O’Brien, who has been named by at least a dozen other men in similar suits. In the other case, a man accuses Earl Johnson, a member of the Capuchin order, of sexually abusing him 30 years ago.

According to the suits, both clergymen worked at St. Elizabeth Parish in Kansas City during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Priest named in new suit

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • June 14, 2008

A third anonymous lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse by the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca was filed Friday in Delaware Superior Court against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

In the suit, the 56-year-old plaintiff alleges more than 100 acts of sexual abuse by DeLuca from 1962 to 1965, starting when the alleged victim was 10 years old. According to the suit, the victim was an altar boy supervised by DeLuca at St. John the Beloved Church.

The suit, filed in Kent County, is the third anonymous DeLuca-related complaint filed this year and the fourth since Delaware's Child Victim's Act went into effect last July. The law eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year "window" during which previously time-barred complaints could be filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

My Turn: Priest judgment hurts innocent the most

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Kelly Bartlett • June 14, 2008

Recently some of my children helped out at the local food shelf. One had volunteered in order to fulfill community service hours for the Confirmation program at St. Thomas parish in Underhill. Two others went because community service is for people of all ages. In fact, my daughter considered this work so important that she asked if they could volunteer next month as well.

During a recent Sunday Mass, we listened to Bishop Matano's letter about the sexual abuse case in Burlington. This issue is disturbing to all. We mourn the plaintiff's lost innocence. We are appalled to hear the nature of the abuse reported in the papers. We pray not only for this plaintiff, but also for all victims of sexual abuse, especially children. ...

I urge Judge Katz, the jury and the plaintiff to let the punishment fit the crime. Which persons are responsible for this crime? The perpetrator in the abuse that occurred 30 years ago is no longer a practicing priest and no longer lives in Vermont. The bishop of 30 years ago is now deceased. And who knows where the psychiatrist who deemed the pedophile cured is?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Lawyer seeks meeting with Vatican insider

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

Andrew Seymour, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, June 14, 2008
The lawyer for nearly a dozen victims of pedophile priest Msgr. Bernard Prince is hoping to meet with the former private secretary for Pope John Paul II to learn what the Vatican knew about the now disgraced former priest and his sexual abuse of young boys.

Lawyer Rob Talach said yesterday he is seeking to interview the Archbishop of Krakow, Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, about what, if anything, he knew about Msgr. Prince, a former Vatican official and friend of Pope John Paul II who was convicted in January of 13 charges of indecent and sexual assault.

Msgr. Prince and helped arrange personal meetings with the Pope for Msgr. Prince's friends, is conducting mass in St. Mary's Parish in Wilno today and will be in Canada until next Saturday. Cardinal Dziwisz was the private secretary to Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II, for 40 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

June 13, 2008

SC pastor charged with assaults on teenage girl

AIKEN (SC)
WBTV

Associated Press - June 13, 2008 5:05 PM ET

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - A North Augusta pastor has been accused of sexual assaults on a teenage girl that started 18 years ago.

Sheriff Michael Hunt says 69-year-old Rev. Lawrence Smith is charged with three counts each of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree; performing a lewd act on a child; and aggravated assault and battery.

The State newspaper of Columbia reported investigators arrested Smith at his home Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Deacon faces multiple sex charges

HIGH POINT (NC)
News 14

06/13/2008 05:06 PM
By: Jonathan Lowe

HIGH POINT -- A local businessman and deacon is facing numerous sex charges.

Detectives arrested 65-year-old Guy Ellis Carr Jr. Thursday at his business. While the number of sex charges – 32 – may be surprising to some, Carr’s employees say they’re even more shocked he’s the suspect. ...

Carr is a deacon at Emerywood Baptist Church. While police officials won't say if Carr committed any crimes there, Emerywood senior pastor Bob Ferguson told News 14 Carolina Friday the church is not involved in the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

North Augusta pastor faces sex charges

NORTH AUGUSTA (SC)
NBC Augusta

By NBC Augusta Staff

North Augusta pastor Lawrence Smith is charged with several counts of sexual assault.

Deputies say some of the assaults involve a teenage girl and date back to 1990.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office says one victim was assaulted several times between 1990 and 1995.

Sheriff Michael Hunt says the sheriff's office knows for a fact there are more victims. He says some victims have moved and others don't want to cooperate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Suppression letters to be sent next week

WORCESTER (MA)
The Catholic Free Press

By Tanya Connor

WORCESTER – Written decrees of suppression and merger will be sent to the pastors of closing and welcoming parishes next week, Msgr. F. Stephen Pedone, diocesan judicial vicar/vicar for canonical affairs, told The Catholic Free Press Wednesday.

He explained this process, and the process of petitioning the Vatican, when asked about statements by members of St. Casimir Parish who oppose Bishop McManus’ decision to suppress their parish and merge it with St. John Parish.

The “Friends of St. Casimir’s Lithuanian Parish” committee, which is trying to keep the parish open, is waiting for the bishop to respond to its May 27 letter and is planning to take its plea to the Vatican, Frank P. Statkus, chairman, said Tuesday. He was talking about their next steps after Bishop McManus reiterated his decision Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Three more held in Thoppumpady sex racket

INDIA
Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

By our correspondent

14 June 2008

TRIVANDRUM — Three persons, including a priest and a film director, were arrested in connection with the sensational Thoppumpady sex racket case, involving the sexual exploitation of a minor girl.

A special police investigation team constituted on the orders of the high court attested the priest Fr Kuriakose Mangalath and a Congress worker Shibhu from Kottayam and the filmmaker Mohan Sithara from Trichur.

With this the number of persons arrested in the case has gone up to 16. The court had directed the Director General of Police to constitute a special team, headed by a senior police officer with integrity and efficiency, to probe the case on a writ petition filed by Visalam, mother of the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Father Murd trial

OHIO
WTVG

[with video]

WTVG -- A judge found catholic priest Father Frank Murd not guilty of sexual imposition today.
A judge found catholic priest Father Frank Murd not guilty of sexual imposition today. The diocese removed Murd from Saint joseph's in Maumee in April. That's when Murd was first accused of improperly fondling another man in a hot tub.
Lawyers for both sides agree Father Frank Murd fondled another man in a JCC hottub. Prosecutors could not convince judge James Jensen that the accuser clearly objected to Murd's actions. "We disagree with the judge's decision," says Mike Loisel of the Lucas County Prosecutor's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

DUIN: Speedy church justice missing

ARLINGTON (VA)
The Washington Times

Every priest in the Diocese of Arlington knows of Father James Haley. And the Rev. Joseph Clark.

What both priests have in common is that their careers have been destroyed by one man - Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde.

Bishop Loverde was not amused when, starting in 1999, Father Haley began supplying him with names of adulterous priests, homosexual clergy and priests with a predilection for child porn.

Instead of immediately removing these clergymen, the bishop on Oct. 23, 2001, gave Father Haley four hours to move out of his rectory and suspended him from all priestly functions.

A lawyer who got wind of this compelled Father Haley to testify in 2002 in a lawsuit involving a priest who had run off with a female parishioner. Father Haley's 233-page deposition, filed in Arlington County Circuit Court, was filled with salacious details about his fellow clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

More Catholic details, please — revisited

ARLINGTON (VA)
GetReligion

Posted by Mark Stricherz

On Monday, I criticized a Los Angeles Times story for failing to provide essential details to readers. Today, I criticize a Washington Times column for . . . failing to provide essential details to readers.

Like the LAT’s Duke Helfand, the WT’s Julia Duin began her column with a bang and a flourish:

Every priest in the Diocese of Arlington knows of Father James Haley. And the Rev. Joseph Clark.

What both priests have in common is that their careers have been destroyed by one man - Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde.

But like the early dance scene in Fitzgerald’s “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” the music stopped. Or at least the story had no more than one or two notes in it. Duin told the column almost entirely from the perspective of the two priests and presented their claims with insufficient skepticism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

New appeals process in child protection system

UNITED KINGDOM
Total Catholic

Friday, 13 June 2008 21:21
Priests who say they have been wrongly accused of child abuse will be allowed a right of appeal against any alleged mistreatment by their bishops.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales will introduce review panels in September to examine complaints made by priests who insist they are innocent but say they have been sacrificed to save their superiors.

The measure was announced at a June 12 press conference in London. It was recommended after a review of child protection procedures last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Controversial Bishop to Speak in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KCBS

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KCBS) - An Australian bishop with controversial ideas about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal is scheduled to speak in San Francisco Friday night, in defiance of the local Archbishop.

The Vatican had actually pressured the priest to cancel his American tour. But, the bishop intends to speak out anyway.

The defiant bishop thinks the Catholic Church needs to reconsider celibacy for priests.

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robison of Sydney is making international waves with his book "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church," in which he argues that forcing Catholic priests to remain celibate may contribute to abuse of young parishioners by clergy. "This is the first time a bishop has written a book that dares to question some of the institutional problems in the church that have contributed to the crisis," argues Bob Rowden with Voice of the Faithful, the Catholic reform group that invited Robinson to America for a speaking tour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop continues defense in sexual abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Episcopal Life

By Jerry Hames, June 13, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] The ecclesiastical trial of Bishop Charles Bennison concluded June 12 with the bishop saying he would do nothing different than what he did 35 years ago when he learned that his younger brother, John Bennison, who he had hired as a youth group supervisor, seduced a 14-year-old girl in his parish.

Charles Bennison, now bishop in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, said he was made aware of the situation shortly before John's ordination as priest. He said he confronted him in a field outside St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Upland, California, but John denied repeatedly any improper conduct. The bishop said he ordered John to leave the church, but it was two more months before his brother departed, while continuing his abuse of the girl.

Under cross-examination, when he was asked if he believed that his brother's manner of life was suitable for a person to be ordained, Charles Bennsion said he felt "a little bit" uncomfortable, but maintained that he knew of no impediment or criminal action to prevent John's ordination. As a result, he testified, he presented his brother for ordination by his father, Bishop Charles Bennsion Sr., at a service in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

New Lawsuits Assail Diocese

MISSOURI
KCUR

Dan Verbeck, KCUR News
KANSAS CITY, MO
(2008-06-13) Barbara Dorris outlines molestation claims outside Kansas City Catholic Chancery kcur photo by Dan Verbeck Two more lawsuits are being filed against current and former Roman Catholic clergy and the Kansas city-St. Joseph diocese, alleging child sex molestation and coverup.

Neither plaintiff is named. One Jackson County Circuit Court case accuses Msgr Thomas O'Brien in the case of a 12 year old boy allegedly abused at that age, and then over years, from the rectory at St Elizabeths Parish.The purported victim died in a car crash 9 years ago. The suit asks damages for his 5 surviving children. Barbara Dorris of the support group known as survivors network of those abused by priests says the other accused was a Capuchin Order Brother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Festini e minacce a Firenze L'indagine porta alla Curia

ITALY
Corriere della Sera

FIRENZE — La sentenza di condanna del tribunale della Chiesa sembrava aver chiuso la vicenda. E invece l'inchiesta penale su don Lelio Cantini, il parroco di Firenze di 82 anni riconosciuto colpevole dai suoi superiori di abusi sessuali nei confronti di alcune ragazze, adesso entra nelle stanze della curia. Esplora i rapporti tra il prete e quello che era il suo allievo prediletto, il vescovo ausiliare del capoluogo toscano Claudio Maniago. Verifica alcune denunce che lo coinvolgono in festini a luci rosse e tentativi di plagio di alcuni fedeli per costringerli a cedere le loro proprietà. L'alto prelato non risulta iscritto nel registro degli indagati, ma nei suoi confronti sono già stati disposti accertamenti e controlli. I magistrati hanno acquisito i tabulati delle sue telefonate e ora si concentrano sui conti correnti bancari proprio per stabilire la fondatezza delle accuse.

[translation]

Five witnesses accuse bishop Maniago
Parties and menaces in Florence
The investigation leads to the Curia

The Rev. Cantini, the parish priest who is now being investigated, was already condemned by the Church's tribunal. He is accused by twenty women.
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT


FLORENCE — The sentence issued by the Church's tribunal seemed to have ended the story. Instead the ongoing crime investigation about the Rev. Lelio Cantini, the 82-year-old parish priest in Florence who was found guilty by his superiors of sexual abuses against some girls, is just entering the Curia's rooms. It's going deep into the relationship between the priest and his once favorite pupil, the auxiliary bishop of the Tuscan capital, Claudio Maniago, who allegedely participated to the so called "red-light-parties" (sex parties) and attempted to plagiarize some faithful in order to force them to donate their properties. The high prelate's name isn't yet formally listed in the register of those to be investigated, but a preliminary search and some controls are going on. The magistrates have now the data about his telephone calls and are checking the bank current accounts in order to ascertain if the allegations were founded.

Last spring, three years before the first accusations were made, the Rev. Cantini and his "perpetua" (the caretaker of the parish), Rosanna Saveri, took refuge in a convent to avoid the clamor arisen by the fact that more than twenty women were accusing the priest of having raped them when they were minors. Numerous parishioners reported of having been brainwashed and forced to donate money and real estate. The Rev. Lelio's declared objective was to create a new "uncorrupted" Church and to find "boys to send to the seminaries in order to colonize the ecclesiastical structure". The alleged victims went to the curia and then they wrote a letter to the Pope soliciting the sanctions set by the ecclesiastical tribunals, pending the decisions of the ordinary magistrates. The facts had occurred many years before and they were afraid some crimes couldn't be tried due to the statute of limitations. Meanwhile the Church decided to intervene. On April 2 the bishop of Florence Ennio Antonelli and his auxiliary Maniago were received in the Vatican by Benedict XVI just to deal with that problem and eventually decide some disciplinary actions. The penal administrative process authorized by the Congregation for the doctrine and the faith had already been going on.

Its conclusions came some weeks after with a ruling the same Antonelli defined «exemplary»: the Rev. Cantini is guilty not only of sexual abuses, but of "false mysticism and conscience control". That meant brain washing. The parish priest won't be allowed to perform any activity, in short he was interdicted. The cardinal's ruling ended in defense of the seriousness, dedication and loyalty of bishop Maniago". But in the prosecutor's office some witnesses reported a different truth. Two Curia employees and two priests accused Maniago of having always known about the Rev. Cantini's real activity, being the latter his spiritual father, and of having "protected" him. Above all they accused him of having participated to the administration of the real estate patrimony taken away from the parishioners. Then they went on saying that the bishop, too, had participated to the "red-light-parties". They referred to a number of episodes, the last one occurring in 2003. "In more than one occasion - they affirmed - he menaced us in order to force us to be silent, but now we can't go on".

The magistrates deemed the accusations were founded and organized some verifications. They came in possession of the data regarding the the curia's cell phone in Florence, which was used by bishop Maniago. They checked the calls made and received between January and June last. They found out many calls were made between him and the "perpetua" and they discovered that at least twice the high prelate contacted the convent where the Rev. Cantini had fled to. They tried to understand the reason for those conversations. That's if the calls were made in connection with the ongoing process or if instead there was the will to make an accord between the two. On April 21 a man, whose name is Paolo C., went to the prosecutor, saying he had decided to speak after having read the newspapers and learned what was happening. And he reported what had occurred ten years before. On August 1996 - he told the prosecutor — being a gay, I put a notice on a newspaper, in the section 'sado-maso encounters' ". Through my post office mail-box I was contacted by a person who asked to meet me at the Certosa. When he arrived there I saw he was a priest. He led me near Cecina where there was a summer dormitory. He told me he was the Rev. Andrea. There we met another priest and two boys, who were from southern Italy. I had sexual intercourse with the Rev. Andrea, and I spent the night there. The day after they told me a person they called "the boss" would arrive. In the evening we had a sex party. I recognized the priest when I saw him in the photo. He was Claudio Maniago".

The man entered into the details. "At a certain point I said I had enough, I couldn't go on like that". Paolo C. recalled his flight, his crisis. He said he spoke of the matter with the Rev. Andrea "who later contacted me a certain number of times". He added: "They offered me money, then they transferred it into my bank account. I was afraid that could seem to be a kind of extortion to buy my silence, but they said they only wanted to make an offer to me". It consisted of a little more than three million lires. The witness gave the data to ascertain the bank operation, the prosecutors asked the police to make the due checks. The passage of money appeared on the records of the Banca delle Marche. Now other patrimonial checks are going on to find out if similar transactions were made in the past. When the picture will be completed a decision will be taken for an indictment. Before the formal registration of the bishop's name in the list of those to be investigated, the magistrates want to make some cross-references of the data at their disposal and make other research.

Fiorenza Sarzanini

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Woman arrested for stealing cash from school that is being shuttered

NEW JERSEY
Home News Tribune

By BRANDON LAUSCH • STAFF WRITER • June 13, 2008

Somerset County authorities today announced that the president of St. Joseph School's Home and School Association in North Plainfield has been arrested and charged with theft following an investigation that revealed more than $2,500 in cash donations were stolen from four school-sponsored events, including an entertainment book fund-raiser and a theater field trip.

Gretchen Lee, 37, of Malcolm Avenue in North Plainfield, turned herself into authorities this morning, police said. She was charged with third-degree theft, processed and released, according to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

No Fla. meeting between McCain, bishops

ORLANDO (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By George Bennett | Friday, June 13, 2008, 01:28 PM

A meeting in Orlando between presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Catholic bishops has been scrubbed because of logistical problems, an organizer said.

McCain planned to meet tonight at a private reception with bishops who are in Orlando for the semiannual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But an official with the Catholic Citizens Committee, which was organizing the meeting, said his group ran into trouble putting the event together on relatively short notice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Asshole of the Week

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Phillyist

Some topics just automatically lend themselves to generating Assholes of the Week, and this week, it's the topic of clergy abuse scandals that provides our dishonoree. Charles E. Bennison, the suspended Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia, testified in his church tiral. Bennison is accused of helping to cover up abuse his brother, John, committed 35 years ago against a 14-year-old girl.

Now, we're some of the first people to jump in line to make clergy molestation jokes. But to some extent, we can understand covering for your brother, no matter how awful the acts committed were. It's human instinct to not throw a family member under the bus. (We're not in any way saying that we condone the cover-up—only that we can understand how Bennison would be reluctant to report his brother's crimes.) But it's not what Bennison actually did by participating in the cover-up, deplorable though that is in and of itself. No, rather, what's landed Charles Bennison on these pages is the asinine things he said in his testimony. We realize that 35 years is a long time, and that memories fade, but one would think you'd remember some of the details of your brother molesting a teenage girl. Apparently, we're wrong:

I can't remember what I've forgotten.... I do think I have an amnesia problem. I don't remember a lot of this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

3rd John Doe suit alleges sex abuse by priest

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • June 13, 2008

A third anonymous lawsuit charging sexual abuse by the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca was filed today against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and St. John the Beloved Church.

In the suit, the 56-year-old plaintiff alleges more than 100 acts of sexual abuse by DeLuca, from 1962 10 1965, starting when the alleged victim was 10 years old.

The suit is the third anonymous DeLuca-related complaint filed this year and the fourth since Delaware’s Child Victim’s Act went into effect last July. The law eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year “window” during which previously time-barred complaints could be filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Murd found not guilty

OHIO
Advertiser-Tribune

A Roman Catholic priest was found not guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of a misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition.

Father Frank Murd, a former priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tiffin, was found not guilty Friday morning by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Jensen, a spokeswoman in Jensen's court confirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Vatican rejects parish closure appeals

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

By Christine Williams
Posted: 6/13/2008 BRIGHTON -- The Apostolic Signature, the Catholic Church’s supreme court, has rejected appeals of eight parish suppressions, the Archdiocese of Boston confirmed June 10.

The former parishes are: Infant Jesus-St. Lawrence in Brookline, Our Lady of Lourdes in Revere, St. Anselm in Sudbury, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate, St. James the Great in Wellesley, St. Jeremiah in Framingham, St. Mary Star of the Sea in the Squantum section of Quincy and St. Michael in Lynn.

A ninth appeal for St. Jeanne d’Arc Parish in Lowell was rejected by the Apostolic Signature in February. Representatives from all the former parishes will ask the court to reconsider their appeals, according to Brother James Peterson, assistant to the moderator of the curia for canonical affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Priest's name removed from scholarship

MAINE
Kennebec Journal

By Kennebec Journal Staff report
June 13, 2008 12:02 PM

AUGUSTA — The University of Maine at Augusta has changed the name of a scholarship it has offered in honor of the Rev. John J. Curran.

The change follows a push by advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests to remove the late priest’s name from scholarship awards offered by UMA and the Calumet Educational and Literary Foundation.

UMA will continue to offer the scholarship award and is now calling it the Leadership and Service Scholarship. The scholarship’s name has already been changed on the university’s Web site.

“We think this is a good resolution and outcome,” UMA President Allyson Hughes Handley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Third man files sex abuse suit against Diocese

WILMINGTON (DE)
WDEL

By Peter MacArthur

Another person is coming forward, suing the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington for being the target of more than a hundred incidents of sexual abuse he says were forced on him by a former priest.

The man, known as John Doe #3 in the suit, claims he was molested by the Reverend Francis DeLuca between 1962 and 1965 when the victim was a 10 to 13 year old altar boy.

The suit claims, as two previous ones have, that the Diocese was aware of what DeLuca was doing but let him remain a practicing priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Bishops begin dialogue with priests on fallout from sex abuse scandal

ORLANDO (FL)
Catholic Explorer

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien (Catholic News Service)
Published Jun 13, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- In the aftermath of the clergy sex abuse crisis, the U.S. bishops are working to rebuild relations with some unanticipated victims: their priests.

Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of Austin, Texas, and other members of the bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, met June 12 in Orlando with representatives of half of the nation's priests to begin a dialogue on issues that arose during and after the sex abuse scandal.

"Some felt guilty by association," while others felt their fellow priests who were accused of wrongdoing were not treated fairly or with pastoral concern, Bishop Aymond told Catholic News Service after the closed-door listening session at the spring general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Murd found not guilty of misdemeanor sexual imposition

OHIO
Toledo Blade

BLADE STAFF

A Roman Catholic priest accused of fondling a man in a hot tub in a Sylvania Township YMCA facility was acquitted on Friday of misdemeanor sexual imposition.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Jensen issued his decision in the case of the Rev. Frank Murd after hearing testimony during a bench trial earlier this week.

Father Murd, 66, resigned as pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Maumee about a month after a 27-year-old man reported the incident that occurred at the JCC/YMCA, 6465 Sylvania Ave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

Political Excommunication

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Doug Kmiec is a former appointee of the Reagan and Bush I administrations, a former dean of Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, currently a professor of law at the conservative Pepperdine University and a longtime pro-life activist. In February, to the surprise of his colleagues, he announced his support of Barack Obama for president. Professor Kmiec reasons that after more than three decades seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is time to look at alternative approaches to preventing abortions. Among these is Obama’s recommendation for community education of pregnant mothers. “Good, evenhanded information and genuine empathy and love,” Kmiec has said, “save more children than hypothetical legal limits—which, as best as I can tell, have saved: well, zero.” For that political offense a priest whom he will not identify denied Kmiec Communion at a private Mass celebrated in advance of an event at which the lawyer was to speak.

The denial of Communion to a committed pro-life activist who, after firsthand experience of the political wars, judges new options must be tried demonstrates the absurd and uncharitable extremes to which the pastoral practice of excluding Catholics from Communion on political grounds can descend. Furthermore, after three professedly anti-abortion administrations since 1981 have failed to end abortion, one must in all honesty ask whether a hard-line pro-life position within the church serves as a Trojan horse for other, more partisan political goals. The church must continue to form the consciences of politicians, and anything-goes, pro-abortion politicians should not expect the church’s blessing. Nonetheless, such a denial of the sacrament in the election season remains both politically inept and pastorally offensive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Blaming the Victim -- Again

UNITED STATES
New Oxford Review

"Yesterday, before he landed in the U.S., Pope Benedict XVI said he was 'deeply ashamed' of predatory priests, adding that pedophiles would be rooted out of the Church. Today, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is holding a press conference in Washington criticizing the pope for not doing enough."

So begins an April 16 news release from the Catholic League. William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, comments, "Any minor who has been sexually molested deserves our compassion. But what SNAP is doing, aided and abetted by angry Catholics and ex-Catholics, deserves not our understanding, but contempt. This is a group which has a deep ideological and financial investment in painting the Catholic Church as a villain."

Donohue says, "SNAP's ideological basis stems from the fact that it positively refuses to recognize the incredible progress that has been made -- exactly five priests out of more than 40,000 had accusations made against them for abusing a minor in 2007 -- yet for SNAP it's never enough. Financially, it derives much of its funding from the steeple-chasing lawyers who have fleeced the 'deep-pocket' Catholic Church. It's time we dismiss these professional victims' advocates for what they are -- activists whose goal is to discredit the Church."

Leon J. Podles, a former federal investigator, senior editor of Touchstone magazine, and a former Catholic seminarian, has written a new book titled Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (2008, Crossland Press, PO Box 26290, Baltimore MD 21210, www.Cross­landFoundation.org). He tells the now-familiar story of how the U.S. bishops stonewalled, threatened, and ignored the victims of clerical sexual abuse and their families, while protecting predatory priests with impunity. But he tells the story in graphic detail. "Bishops," he writes, "knew about the abuse and sometimes took part in it…. Most bishops were not interested in protecting children." Podles quotes Frank Keating, one-time head of the U.S. bishops' National Review Board (fired by the bishops), as saying that the bishops "cared more for the…reputation of the Church than for the ravaged and frightened souls of children." This is the mentality on display in Donohue's press release. "Meanwhile," writes Podles, "the children were left with their secrets, without help, in the darkness of their souls."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Former business manager spared worst in church thefts

NEW YORK
The Buffalo News

By Matt Gryta NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 06/13/08 8:23 AM

Randall Kozlowski stole nearly $400,000 from his church, a crime that could have put him in prison for 15 years.

Instead, a judge Thursday sent him to a local jail cell for no more than a year and ordered him to repay about 15 percent of what he took.

A tearful Kozlowski, 49, told State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski he was “very sorry” that, because of his “gambling addiction,” he took the money while he kept the books for Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Cheektowaga.

Kozlowski’s lawyers turned over a bank check for $10,000 to begin the court-ordered restitution. Michalski ordered Kozlowski, the church’s former business manager, to pay $400 a month for the next 120 months, the amount that John C. Doscher, chief of the Erie County district attorney’s White-Collar Crime Bureau, sought.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Possible embezzlement at St. Paul church is under investigation

ST. PAUL (MN)
Star Tribune

St. Paul police are investigating the possible embezzlement of tens of thousands of dollars from St. Bernard's Catholic Church in the North End neighborhood, police spokesman Peter Panos said.

He said that church officials, including the Rev. Mike Anderson, its pastor, contacted police Wednesday after the money was discovered missing from church accounts.

The church also identified a possible suspect, Panos said, but no arrest has been made.

Officials were alerted to the possible theft after the church's bank called a trustee, saying, "You don't have enough money to pay your bills," Panos said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Fight for your churches, N.O. faithful urged

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWLTV

Drastic measures that have succeeded in keeping some Boston Catholic churches from closing could be used here in similar situations, an advocate for the Boston Council of Parishes told interested parishioners of churches slated to be shuttered here.

Peter Borre of the Boston Council said parishioners of some Boston churches filed lawsuits and even occupied and stayed inside some of the buildings around the clock to prevent their closure.

“We learned something, which I think a lot of you good people in this city learned the last few years,” he said.

Borre said the decision on four of the churches slated for closure has been reversed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

The Lay Scandal

National Catholic Register

BY The Editors

June 15-21, 2008 Issue | Posted 6/10/08 at 10:09 AM

According to conventional wisdom, the biggest sexual-abuse scandal of our time is clergy abuse. Those who have studied it will add, “And it wasn’t just the relatively small percentage of abusers that was the problem. It was the bishops who did nothing to stop it.”

As Pope Benedict XVI pointed out when he visited the United States in April, that conventional wisdom speaks truth.

But there’s a much deeper and wider scandal that this conventional wisdom misses entirely.

Said Benedict on April 16: “What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today?”

The deepest, widest sexual scandal in the Church has nothing to do with priests. It’s the scandal of laypeople who themselves indulge in the sexual excesses so prevalent in our day, or who train their children to, whether by example, timidity or a blind eye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Nude jogger found guilty

GREELEY (CO)
The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 06/13/2008 12:32:12 AM MDT

The Rev. Robert Whipkey, whom a police officer found walking in the nude, was convicted Thursday of indecent exposure. The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning the verdict.

Whipkey, 53, could be sentenced to anywhere from probation to 18 months in jail and could be fined from $500 to $5,000. He will be sentenced Aug. 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Priest in dock for alleged sexual assault

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Anna Cox
June 13 2008 at 09:37AM

A Catholic priest charged with three cases of sexual assault has appeared in court.

He was not asked to plead.

Most of the day in the Brits magistrate's court on Thursday was taken up with the priest's advocate, Graham Kerr-Phillips, trying to get the state to release the full Child Protection Unit's docket to him.

Only the first section, known as "A" was released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Ex-pastor guilty of exposure

GREELEY (CO)
Longmont Times-Call

By Eric Barendsen
and Victoria A.F. Camron
Longmont Times-Call

GREELEY — The Rev. Robert Whipkey was convicted of indecent exposure Thursday evening after a one-day trial.

The jury of four women and two men found the former pastor guilty after about two hours of deliberations, following a trial that lasted about five hours.

Whipkey, 54, did not show any reaction when the verdict was read, and he left the courtroom stone-faced with his eyes lowered. He faces between six and 18 months in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

COPCA child protection report published

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

The sixth annual report from COPCA was released today, providing details relating to the work of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults within the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

The annual report of 2007 further demonstrates the progress being achieved in safeguarding vulnerable people, work central to the Church's ministry.

It shows that: The number of parishes with at least one Local Child Protection Representative is at its highest point ever at 2494. This is a vital volunteer role which raises awareness about safeguarding and advises and assists with parish activities to ensure that the activities for Children and Vulnerable Adults are safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

High court upholds ruling: New trial for accused Edison piano teacher

MIDDLESEX COUNTY (NJ)
Home News Tribune

By KEN SERRANO • STAFF WRITER • June 11, 2008

MIDDLESEX COUNTY —The state Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that gives a new trial to an Edison piano teacher accused of molesting a 9-year-old girl, saying a jury should have heard testimony that the defendant suffers from Asperger's disorder, a mild form of autism.

Franklin "Jack'' Burr II, 62, was convicted in October 2004 of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Assaults were alleged to have taken place in Edison when the girl took lessons with Burr at East Coast Piano and later at the Jewish Community Center, where Burr rented space to conduct his classes. Burr was accused of inappropriately touching the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

US Bishops Meet in Florida for Spring Meeting

ORLANDO (FL)
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(13 June 08-RV) The U.S. Catholic bishops spring conference began yesterday in Orlando, Florida. During the meeting which will continue until tomorrow bishops will vote on a proposed statement concerning embryonic stem cell research. But they will also look at issues including medically assisted nutrition and hydration, and clergy sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

State is liable for sex abuse in schools, court told

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tim Healy

Friday June 13 2008

It is "grossly utilitarian'' to argue that the State should have no liability for the sexual abuse of children in national schools because this would lead to many other claims relating to events in such places, the Supreme Court was told yesterday.

The claim came on day two of a case taken by a woman sexually assaulted by a national school principal as a child.

Louise O'Keeffe has asked the Supreme Court to rule that the Minister for Education and the State are liable for the assaults.

The State and taxpayer benefited from the national school system of education which was a public project and it was "just and proper'' that the State should pay the cost of the few children sexually abused while attending those schools, counsel for Ms O'Keeffe argued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Why does sex play such a large role for fringe sects?

UNITED STATES
Abilene Reporter-News

By Kimberly Winston
Religion News Service
Thursday, June 12, 2008

What is it with sects and sex?

The Texas probe into alleged child abuse at a polygamous compound started with an anonymous phone call about underage girls having sex with adult men. Reports circulated of rumpled bed linens inside the sect's glistening temple.

Its imprisoned leader, Warren Jeffs, reportedly has dozens of wives and would grant and deny wives to his male followers depending on their perceived worthiness. Without multiple wives, he taught, they could never achieve salvation.

Yet Jeffs isn't the first sect figure to come under legal scrutiny for sexual practices that outsiders might consider unusual, immoral or even abhorrent. Indeed, many new religious movements -- NRMs in scholar-speak -- are distinguished not only by their unconventional beliefs but also by the sexual proclivities of their male leaders.

All of which raises the question: Why do people join or remain members of a group that practices unusual sexual behaviors? And what's more, what kind of sexual power do the leaders of NRMs hold over their followers?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Episcopal Bishop Verdict Due In July

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Bulletin

By: Bradley Vasoli, The Bulletin
06/13/2008

Philadelphia - Ecclesiastical Court proceedings to determine whether Charles Bennison may remain Episcopalian bishop in the five-county region concluded yesterday.

Two counts against Bp. Bennison concern whether he committed "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy." Church prosecutors allege that he failed to protect underage parishioner Martha Alexis from sexual predation by John Bennison, his younger brother, and kept the matter a secret from the girl's parents.

The abuse continued nearly throughout Ms. Alexis's high school years in the early 1970s when John served as youth group leader in St. Mark's Church in Upland, Calif. The elder Bennison, then rector of the church, hired his brother for the job as he worked on his seminary studies.

If the panel of nine priests and bishops finds that Bp. Bennison failed in his priestly duties, he could lose his standing as bishop and face further sentencing. They will issue their ruling within 30 days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Church and former pastor named in sexual abuse suit

MADISON COUNTY (IL)
The Record

6/12/2008 6:10 AM
By Steve Gonzalez

The mother of a 13-year-old boy claims her son suffers from permanent emotional injuries after having been sexually abused by his youth pastor, according to a lawsuit filed June 4 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Jane Doe claims Anthony Muzzarelli was a youth pastor at Mt. Zion General Baptist Church in Granite City and worked directly with her son. The child had been invited him to Muzzarelli's home as part of the ministry, the lawsuit claims.

Doe claims her son was sleeping at Muzzarelli's home on Feb. 25, 2006, and was awakened when Muzzarelli allegedly started to fondle him.

She claims the alleged incident occurred during the course of Muzzarelli's employment with Mt. Zion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Molestation lawsuit against ex-deacon living in Bonita Springs dropped

BONITA SPRINGS (FL)
News-Press

BY PAT GILLESPIE • pgillespie@news-press.com • June 13, 2008

An Ohio man dropped a lawsuit against a former Catholic deacon living in Bonita Springs because the statute of limitations ran out.

Tom Ferguson, 48, filed a lawsuit in February against Glen Shrimplin, alleging Shrimplin molested him as a teenager on a trip to Florida in 1975 or 1976. He was seeking damages in excess of $15,000.

"My lawyer advised me that because of the statute of limitations, it wasn't going to be feasible," Ferguson said Thursday from Ohio. According to Florida law, the statute of limitations for most civil lawsuits is four to seven years.

Efforts to reach Shrimplin on Thursday were unsuccessful. In 2003, when a different lawsuit alleging abuse was filed in Ohio, Shrimplin, 74, told The News-Press he was "shocked" and "at a loss" and denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Statement: Eric Robinson reacts to apologies

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

Thank you Mr. Speaker

As a survivor of a Canadian policy designed to strip my people of our collective identity, it is with mixed emotion that I rise today to respond to the apology delivered by the Prime Minister yesterday in the House of Commons.

I would like to first acknowledge our honoured guests in the gallery. Grand Chief Ron Evans, Treaty Commissioner Dennis Whitebird, Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand, Keewatin Tribal Council Grand Chief Arnold Ouskan, respected elder and Order of Manitoba recipient Ed Wood, and all First Nations Chiefs in attendance.

Most importantly, I want and convey my deepest and heartfelt respect to the elders and survivors who have joined us in the public gallery here today, and honour those who sadly never lived to see this day. Also I must acknowledge the children of survivors for their courage and commitment to a brighter future. I would like to also mention some old buddies whose friendship helped me survive my time at residential school, Elijah Joseph Harper, who is here today, also Robert Paynter and David Menow who still live in Norway House.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

From apology to action: A response to the Residential Schools Apology

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

Grand Chief Edward John, Vancouver Sun
Published: Thursday, June 12, 2008
I am Akile Ch'oh, Dene Zah (hereditary chief) and I proudly acknowledge that I am from Tl'azt'en Nation, Dakelh Territory. Many of you will know me as Edward John, Grand Chief, Tl'azt'en Nation and an elected member of the First Nations Summit. In days gone by I was #34 at Lejac Indian Residential School where I was sent at a very young age.

I wish to acknowledge the people and Council of Squamish Nation on whose territory we gather today. Over the years they have been the gracious hosts of our many important deliberations and we are very grateful for their generosity. Today we gather again at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre at this defining moment in our collective history and of our relationship with Canada.

We have a destiny with Canada and Canada has a destiny with its historic treatment of our peoples. Already Canada has extended much welcomed apologies to the Chinese for the head tax, to the Japanese for their wartime internment and to the East Indians for the Komagata Maru incident. As well, we acknowledge our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Australia, particularly the members of the Stolen Generations and their families, to whom Prime Minister Rudd apologized on February 13, 2008. We understand their situation deeply.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Bishop in abuse case: 'I can't remember what I've forgotten'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By NICOLE NORFLEET
Philadelphia Daily News
norfleen@phillynews.com 215-854-5444

For much of the 32 hours of witness testimony and lawyer statements this week, the audience's view of suspended Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. was restricted to the shiny bald spot in the back of his head.

Yesterday, the last day of his church trial, spectators got a glimpse of the 64-year-old bishop's perspective on his brother John's sexual abuse of a teen-age girl as he testified - sometimes forgetting the order of critical points of the case.

"I can't remember what I've forgotten," he answered during questioning by church attorney Ralph A. Jacobs.

His response elicited a few soft chuckles from the crowd inside the Center City Marriott.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Protesters target abusive priests

ORLANDO (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

Victor Manuel Ramos | Sentinel Staff Writer
June 13, 2008

A small but vocal group of protesters stood in the midday sun Thursday outside a meeting of Catholic bishops to remind them that sexual-predator priests are still claiming victims.

Just four demonstrators showed up outside the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is convening in Orlando for its semiannual meeting through Saturday. David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he made the trip from St. Louis to let the bishops know that the problem of sexual abuse has not gone away. He carried a sign that read: "Bishops: supervise predators."

Clohessy's organization has been following a trail of cases of suspended priests who, they say, continue to commit sexual crimes in other communities. The activists want to see the establishment of a priests' offender registry and supervised treatment facilities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

June 12, 2008

Alessandra Borghese: the prodigal daughter

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

European aristocrat, Princess Alessandra Borghese, talks to Peter Stanford about her well-documented return to Catholicism

The reformed rake is a familiar figure in the religious canon from the parable of the prodigal son onwards.

Princess Alessandra Borghese, 44-year-old scion of one of the grandest of Italian noble families, famous for its popes, cardinals and glorious villa and park in the centre of Rome, may never quite have been a rake, but otherwise neatly fits the mould.

In the 1990s, she was one of those European aristocrats whose names we came to know only because they were forever appearing in glossy magazines, attending all the right grand weddings and openings. She even published an A-to-Z guide to good manners with her great friend, the German Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, better known in the society pages as the 'punk princess' or 'Princess TNT'. ...

Her 2004 book, With New Eyes, the story of her return to the fold, was a bestseller in her home country and over much of Catholic Europe. She has followed it with four other equally successful, equally personal, devotional works, including In The Footsteps of Joseph Ratzinger, her first outing in English, published this month. ...

Her distaste for such a notion is immediately apparent but is revealed in full later, when the question of women priests -banned by Catholicism - comes up. 'If you're Catholic and want to be a woman priest,' she protests, 'join the Anglicans or the Protestants. Why do you want to change the Catholic tradition according to your point of view? If you look at Holy Mary, you see that her grandeur was not because she did anything, but because she was able to stand behind something bigger.' It is not a position that sits easily with contemporary secular norms, but Borghese has a rather aristocratic disdain for conventional wisdom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

Priest found guilty of indecent exposure

GREELEY (CO)
The Tribune

David Young, dyoung@greeleytribune.com
June 12, 2008

It took a jury less than three hours to find a priest guilty of indecent exposure for jogging naked.

Whipkey and his defense attorney Harvey Steinberg did not comment following the verdict.

Around 6:30 p.m. today jurors reached the verdict in the trial of Rev. Robert Whipkey, 53, who told Frederick police officer Zacheria Hahn in June of 2007 he was jogging nude early in the morning at the high school track because he sweats profusely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

PHILADELPHIA: Bennison's Lawyer Files Motion for Dismissal Citing Statute of Limitations.

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
6/12/2008

Lawyers for Charles E. Bennison, the inhibited Bishop of Pennsylvania, filed a motion arguing that the trial against him should be declared null and void saying the Statute of Limitations has been violated because of "half truths and factual inaccuracies alleged in the Presentment."

James Parabue, Bennison's attorney walked across the courtroom, at the conclusion of the trial Thursday, and presented the court with a 22-page document claiming that the Presentment against Bishop Bennison for Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Clergy was "within, or continued up to, ten years immediately preceding the time of receipt of a Charge."

"This belated attempt by political forces within the Diocese of Pennsylvania to force Bishop Bennison out of his position using decades old charges should be summarily rejected on the grounds that these charges were not brought within the acceptable time period."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 PM

Bishop in sex case contends 1970s were different

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

On the last day of a very unusual trial, Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. continued to defend himself against charges that he concealed his brother's sexual abuse of a minor decades ago, saying today that he acted within the standards of the times.

"As poorly as I handled it," he said, "if I had applied today's protocols then, things might have turned out worse."

In October, the Episcopal Church USA suspended him as head of the five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania on the ground that he engaged in "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy" for failing to protect the girl or report his brother's misbehavior. The church alleges that Bennison did so in order to advance his career.

The trial that resulted was just the third Court for the Trial of a Bishop in the 232-year history of the Episcopal Church USA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Parents' suit intended to 'alarm' diocese

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

By ANDY KRAVETZ
Journal Star
Posted Jun 11, 2008 @ 02:53 PM
Last update Jun 11, 2008 @ 10:06 PM

PEORIA — Parents of a former Normal boy allegedly abused years ago by a parish priest say they hope a lawsuit filed today will serve as an "alarm" for the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

Dave and Joanne Ward, parents of Andrew Ward, stood outside the Peoria County Courthouse shortly after lunchtime to meet with reporters about the suit filed against the church and Monsignor Thomas Maloney, who they claim sexually abused their child in late 1995 and early 1996 at Epiphany Church in Normal.

"The church that I have given my life to is now fighting against me and ruined my son's childhood," Joanne Ward said through tears.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

Insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against retired priest

NORMAL (IL)
Pantagraph

By Edith Brady-Lunny
eblunny@pantagraph.com

NORMAL -- The McLean County state’s attorney’s office found insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against a retired local priest accused in a civil lawsuit this week of molesting a former second-grader at Epiphany Grade School.

The civil lawsuit naming the diocese and retired Msgr. Thomas Maloney was filed Wednesday in Peoria by Andrew Ward, a 20-year-old Michigan man who attended the school in Normal. Ward has accused Maloney of molesting him when he was 8 years old, between 1995 and 1996, in the church sanctuary.

The allegations involving Maloney were investigated by the Normal Police Department after the Ward family filed a report in January 2007. Assistant Police Chief Kirk Ijams confirmed Thursday that investigators interviewed two individuals who were alleged victims of molestation by Maloney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

Ten U.S. bishops ask retired Sydney bishop to cancel book tour

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Catholic News Service

Ten U.S. bishops called on Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, retired auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia to cancel his controversial U.S. book tour so as not to promote disunity and confusion in the church. However, Bishop Robinson said he would continue his speaking engagements about his 2007 book, "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus."

In their letter to Bishop Robinson, dated May 9, the U.S. bishops noted that the Australian Bishops Conference Committee on Doctrine and Morals called attention to the "problematic positions" Bishop Robinson has taken on women's ordination, celibacy and conscience formation. They also pointed out that the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops wrote to the bishop asking him to cancel his U.S. visit.

"Lest your visit and talks be a source of disunity and cause of confusion among the faithful of the particular Churches we serve, we ask you to abide by the request of the Congregation for Bishops and cancel your speaking tour in the United States," wrote the U.S. prelates.

The letter was signed by Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, Archbishop Alex Brunett of Seattle, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, and Bishop Robert Brom of San Diego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 PM

US dioceses rarely told results of priest abuse probes: study

ORLANDO (FL)
AFP

ORLANDO, Florida (AFP) — US Catholic officials told families the outcome of their probes into accusations of sexual abuse by priests in less than one-third of the cases, a study said Thursday.

Unveiled during a Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Orlando, Florida, the preliminary study into the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church showed that 40 percent of cases were reported between 1988-1998.

During that decade, nine out of 10 US dioceses received reports of sexual abuse by priests, said the study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.

Families of alleged victims had to make more than one effort to contact the diocese in 60 percent of the cases, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Lord Patten: Let women and married men become Roman Catholic priests

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 8:47PM BST 12/06/2008
Thousands of leading Roman Catholics including Lord Patten and Baroness Williams are calling on the Church to allow women and married men into the priesthood.

Senior clergy are also among the 2,000 who have so far signed a petition demanding that action be taken to tackle the "major crisis" of dwindling numbers of Catholic priests.

They claim that there is no real barrier to married men being ordained, despite it being part of the Church's teaching throughout its history, given that married former Anglicans who convert to Catholicism are allowed to become priests.

And in a further controversial move, they also want Catholic leaders in England and Wales to discuss the possibility of women becoming priests, an issue which has already been hugely divisive in the worldwide Anglican Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Schedule for C-Span2 Booknotes Program for Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

I received the following information in an email from Professor Marci Hamilton today, 6.12.2008.

C-Span2 will air its Booknotes book event for Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children at the following times and dates. The focus of the event (and the book) is on statutes of limitations reform for all childhood sexual abuse survivors.

http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9480&SectionName=&PlayMedia=No

Saturday, June 28, at 11:00 PM
Sunday, June 29, at 8:00 AM
Monday, June 30, at 4:45 AM

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Silsbee pastor indicted on three counts of indecency with child

SILSBEE (TX)
The Silsbee Bee

By GERRY L. DICKERT
The Silsbee Bee

(4 p.m., Thursday, June 12, 2008) Silsbee pastor Lester L. Banks has turned himself in to the Hardin County Sheriff's Office after a warrant was issued for his arrest on three counts of indecency with a child.

This Tuesday, the Hardin County Grand Jury returned three indictments against Banks, the 52-year-old pastor of Union Baptist Church in Silsbee.

The indictments accuse Banks of three counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. All are second-degree felonies and each carried a $150,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

PRIEST ARRESTED ON SEX CRIME CHARGES

BROOKLYN (NY)
Queens Ledger

Father Augusto Cortez, a priest who interacts with students at a Bushwick Catholic school has been arrested on suspicion of committing a sex crime. The 44-year-old priest, who worked at St. John the Baptist School, is charged with groping a 12-year-old student’s breast on May 29.
The Diocese of Brooklyn was the first to hear of the student’s accusations, and, following a previous agreement with the Kings County district attorney, notified that office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Jury deliberating in naked priest trial

GREELEY (CO)
The Tribune

David Young, dyoung@greeleytribune.com
June 12, 2008

The jury is deliberating in the trial of a priest charged with indecent exposure for jogging naked.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey, 53, told Frederick police officer Zacheria Hahn he was jogging nude at the high school track because he sweats profusely.

In closing statements Whipkey’s defense attorney Harvey Steinberg argued Whipkey did not intend to show his genitals to anyone and covered up when Hahn spotted him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Man Accused Of Secret Peeping Was Church Youth Leader

YADKIN COUNTY (NC)
WXII

YADKIN COUNTY, N.C. -- The husband accused of filming his wife's friends while they used a tanning bed in the couple's basement and sexually assaulting two minors was a longtime member and youth leader at Peace Haven Baptist Church, WXII12 News has learned.

More than 100 charges were filed this week against Tony Gray Sloop, 49, of Hamptonville, including sexual abuse of two girls under the age of 13 and secret peeping.

The photos and videos, which allegedly were taken from cameras installed in pinholes in a basement and a bathroom and according to investigators, show women of a variety of ages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Anti Abortion Vigil to be Held at Catholic Bishops Conference in Orlando June 13-14; Ad to Run in Orlando Sentinel: 'In Search of 12 Apostles'

ORLANDO (FL)
Christian Newswire

WASHINGTON, June 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Friday, June 13 (10 a.m. -- 4 p.m.), and Saturday, June 14, (10 a.m. -- 1 p.m.), Catholic pro-life activists will hold a vigil in front of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress during the bi-annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Address: 1 Grand Cypress Blvd, Orlando FL, 32836.

Also on June 13, the following newspaper ad, In Search of 12 Apostles, will run in the Orlando Sentinel. See ad at www.ahumbleplea.com/OrlandoAd.htm

The ad shows the photos of prominent "pro-choice" politicians, and compares them to Herod - the King who ordered the death of the infants in Bethlehem. The ad begins:

"Bishops: Should we vote for Herod after he slaughtered the Holy Innocents?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Bishops want Catholics back

UNITED STATES
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/11/2008

From as long ago as he can remember, Josey Baker's mom took him to Mass each Sunday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Columbia, Ill. From kindergarten through fifth grade, he went to Mass with his classmates every day at Immaculate Conception's school. From first grade through his senior year at Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo, Baker took religious education classes alongside math and English.

But as he grew into adulthood, the church became less important to his faith. "A lot of people say, 'You're not Catholic because you don't abide by the pope's every rule,'" said Baker, who is now 27. "But I don't feel like just because I don't go to church I'm going to hell. I can have my own relationship with God without going to church every week."

Baker said "the majority" of his friends from grade school and high school feel the same way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Extremists Pressure Catholic Bishops to Use Communion as Political Weapon

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Chris Korzen

A radical arm of the pro-life movement attacked the Catholic Church this week. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gathered in Orlando for its bi-annual meeting, a group called the "Society for Truth and Justice" launched an ad campaign encouraging the bishops to deny Communion to "pro-abortion politicians," and even to condemn Catholics who vote for those same politicians. Others planned a protest outside the bishops' meeting on Friday.

The far right's attempt to use Catholic teaching to malign progressive candidates and drive wedges between voters is nothing new. In 2004, right wing "Catholic" groups worked hand in hand with the Republican Party on a well-funded and well-organized campaign to cast Kerry as a bad Catholic - an effort that may in fact have made the difference in Ohio. Contrary to conventional wisdom, only a handful of the hundreds of U.S. Catholic bishops subscribed to this theologically inaccurate mode of political engagement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Bishops to analyze Mass attendance, recent data on U.S. Catholic Church

ORLANDO (FL)
Catholic News Agency

Orlando, Jun 12, 2008 / 01:56 pm (CNA).- Today the U.S. bishops are gathering to discuss current issues relating to the American Catholic Church at the spring meeting of the United States Conference of Bishops. In addition, CARA, a Georgetown-based research center will present findings from its study, “Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice Among U.S. Catholics.”

Over the course of their two day meeting in Orlando, the bishops will discuss a variety of pertinent topics to the American Catholic Church such as embryonic stem cell research, updates on the sexual abuse scandal, and the new translation of the Proper of the Seasons of the Roman Missal.

Not to be overlooked amidst the high profile issues are two presentations from the well-known research groups Pew and CARA, which will help the bishops take the pulse of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Sex abuse, liturgy, stem cells on bishops' agenda at spring meeting

ORLANDO (FL)
Catholic News Service

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- Opening their spring general meeting in Orlando, members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops got an interim report on the causes and context of child sexual abuse by priests and made quick work of proposals to revisit the ethical guidelines on feeding tubes and to declare a National Catholic Charities Sunday in 2010.

In the first morning session of the June 12-14 assembly at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, the bishops also took a preliminary look at two documents they will vote on later in the meeting. The first was a 700-page draft translation of the proper prayers in the Roman Missal for each Sunday and feast day during the liturgical year.

The other was a seven-page policy statement from the Committee on Pro-Life Activities that calls embryonic stem-cell research "a gravely immoral act" that crosses a "fundamental moral line" by treating human beings as mere objects of research.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Catholic bishops aim to improve priest morale

ORLANDO (FL)
The Associated Press

By RACHEL ZOLL

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Meeting for the first time since Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S. and spoke of the deep shame he felt over clergy sex abuse, America's Roman Catholic bishops Thursday began discussing how they can repair relations with priests after six years of scandal.

A small group of bishops and clerics, over a private lunch, started talks about the pain and trauma clergy have suffered since the crisis erupted in 2002. Embarrassment ran so deep that many priests stopped wearing their Roman collars in public at the height of the scandal.

Archbishop Roger Schweitz of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, said bishops are trying to learn directly from clergymen what church leaders should do to improve morale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Officer “shocked” by naked priest

GREELEY (CO)
The Tribune

David Young, dyoung@greeleytribune.com
June 12, 2008

A Frederick police officer testified in a priest’s indecent exposure trial this morning that he was shocked when he saw the man walking down the street completely naked.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey, 53, is charged with indecent exposure for jogging naked in June 2007 in Frederick, according to police.

Frederick police officer Zacheria Hahn was off duty when he spotted the nude man, he identified as Whipkey, walking along Fifth Street around 4:30 a.m.

“I was honestly shocked. At first I didn’t know what to think,” Hahn said. “I couldn’t believe this man was walking down the street naked.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Baltimore archbishop demands greater accountability from Legionaries of Christ

ORLANDO (FL)
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Orlando, Florida

Demanding what he calls greater “transparency and accountability” from the controversial religious order known as Legionaries of Christ and their associated lay movement, Regnum Christi, Archbishop Edward O’Brien of Baltimore has directed both groups to disclose all activities within his archdiocese, and to refrain from one-on-one spiritual direction with anyone under 18.

The ban on counseling minors, O’Brien said in an interview with NCR on Wednesday, is related to concerns that the Legionaries and Regnum Christi practice “heavily persuasive methods on young people, especially high schoolers, regarding vocations.”

Both the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order of priests, and the lay-led Regnum Christi are typically seen as part of a galaxy of “new movements” within Catholicism. Both are known for missionary zeal, as well as staunch traditionalism in faith and practice.

In a June 11 interview on the margins of the spring meeting of the U.S. bishops in Orlando, Florida, O’Brien said he’s prepared to take the “next step” of barring the Legionaries and Regnum Christi from the archdiocese entirely if they do not comply. ...

In the NCR interview, O’Brien also expressed skepticism that the Legionaries will be able to implement needed reforms until they come to terms with seemingly persuasive evidence that Maciel, the founder, engaged in activity that was “less than honorable, and maybe even sinful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Witnesses: Priest often in the nude

GREELEY (CO)
Denver Post

By Monte Whaley
The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 06/12/2008 02:31:37 PM MDT

A Frederick priest had a habit of walking around nude, according to testimony at an indecent exposure trial today.

Robert Whipkey, 53, was arrested when he was seen heading home on June 22 last year after a pre-dawn jog in the buff.

A police officer today testified he was stunned to see a large nude man walking down the street near his home that morning.

"I have seen lots of things in my line of work," said Officer Zachariah Hahn. "But I was shocked to see a man walking completely nude down the street."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Former priest slams diocese

IRELAND
Wexford People

Wednesday June 11 2008

A PRIEST defrocked by the Pope has accused the Diocese of Ferns of a serious miscarriage of justice'.

Fr. John Kinsella, who served as a curate in Enniscorthy in the ealy 1970s and the Ballagh from 1991, says the first he knew of his defrocking was when he read about it in a newspaper.

Despite overhwhelming evidence against the accusers, the Diocesan Authority callously pursued the path of a kangaroo court to judge me in the harshest way possible,' he claims in a letter sent to this newspaper.

The priest, who was formerly accused of child sex abuse offences against boys from the Enniscorthy area, said allegations were invstigated by the Gardai in 1996, were subsequently investigated by the Garda authorities and dismissed by the DPP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Former Phoenix Diocese administrator faces Oct. trial

ARIZONA
KVOA

Associated Press - June 12, 2008 3:14 PM ET

CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) - An Oct. 27 trial date has been set for a suspended well-known Phoenix-area Catholic priest who faces misdemeanor sex charges.

Dale Fushek's (FYOO'-shekz) case has been interrupted by two years of pretrial appeals, in which Fushek ultimately won his fight to have a jury trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Attorney: Naked jogging priest 'didn't mean to expose himself'

GREELEY (CO)
Daily Camera

By Vanessa Miller
Originally published 01:55 p.m., June 12, 2008
Updated 01:55 p.m., June 12, 2008

GREELEY -- A seven-person jury this morning heard testimony that a Catholic priest arrested for jogging nude thought he was alone and “didn’t mean to expose himself.”

The Rev. Robert Whipkey was serving at three parishes in Erie, Mead and Frederick at the time of his arrest on suspicion of indecent exposure early June 22, 2007.

His attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said during Whipkey’s trial -- which began today in Weld County District Court -- that when a police officer spotted him walking down a main street in the Frederick at about 4:30 a.m., he covered himself up.

“At 4:30 a.m., when no one else is out, he’s walking naked, and as soon as someone sees him, he covers up,”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Priest Jogs Naked Because He Says He Gets 'Too Sweaty'

GREELEY (CO)
City News

Thursday June 12, 2008
CityNews.ca Staff
The Reverend Robert Whipkey will be facing a much different audience than he's used to Thursday. Instead of a prayerful congregation, the priest will be facing a courtroom after a few police officers got an eyeful at a high school track.

It seems the Reverend gets a little hot under his (clerical) collar when he goes for his pre-dawn run. His solution? Jogging nude.

And his explanation, according to Colorado officers? He runs naked because he gets "too sweaty" otherwise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Church lawyer questions bishop in trial over hidden abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KSWT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A church lawyer suggests an Episcopal bishop is experiencing selective amnesia in his recall of his brother's alleged sexual abuse.

Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania is the subject of a church trial. He is accused of hiding abuse by his brother, a fellow priest, in Upland (California) in the 1970s.

The victim, now 50, says Bennison knew firsthand of their relationship. But Bennison says he only heard rumors.

Under cross-examination Thursday, Bennison was asked about his 1997 writings on abuse and memory. Bennison had written that people who harbor secrets about clergy sexual abuse sometimes confuse reality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Case against priest finally going to court

PHOENIX (AZ)
3TV

By 3TV

PHOENIX - After years of being held up in pre-trial appeals the case of a Phoenix priest is heading back to court this morning.

Monsignor Dale Fushek is charged with indecent exposure, assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The claims date back more than 20 years and came to light in a 2004 civil suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Yonkers monk gets 7 years for sexually abusing boys

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Louis Buccheri • The Journal News • June 11, 2008

A Yonkers monk who sexually abused four boys from the same family was sentenced yesterday to seven years in state prison, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

Dominic Bokulich, 35, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree sex abuse and course of sexual conduct, felonies, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Bokulich sexually abused the boys at their home and at a retreat operated by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, the Roman Catholic congregation of which he was a member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop defends actions in sexual abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Episcopal Life

By Jerry Hames, June 12, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] On the third day of his ecclesiastical trial for conduct unbecoming a clergy person, Bishop Charles E. Bennison of the Diocese of Pennsylvania testified that he acted in a way he thought was sufficient 35 years ago when he realized that his brother, a 24-year-old deacon in the parish, might be engaged in sexual abuse with a teenage girl in the youth group.

Bennison was rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Upland, in the Diocese of Los Angeles at the time. Secrets kept over 30 years are emerging at the trial of the 62-year-old bishop being conducted at the Marriott hotel in downtown Philadelphia.

The court has been told that beginning in 1973, John Bennison began making sexual advances to Martha Alexis, then 14. A sexual relationship between the two continued until Martha's first year of college.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Oct. 27 trial date set for Fushek on sex charges

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jim Walsh - Jun. 12, 2008 12:10 PM
The Arizona Republic
A suspended Roman Catholic priest is scheduled to go on trial Oct. 27, nearly three years after a he was charged in a criminal complaint with a series of misdemeanor sex crimes that could result in jail time or registration as a sex offender.

San Tan Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman set the trial date Thursday at a pre-trial conference. The hearing's purpose was to get the case back on track after two years of delays from pre-trial appeals.

Monsignor Dale Fushek won a key victory when the Supreme Court ruled that he is entitled to jury trial, rather than a bench trial, on all charges.
Jury selection is scheduled for two weeks before the trial, which is expected to last three weeks, court spokeswoman J.W. Brown said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

While Attacking Obama’s Credentials, Giuliani Inadvertently Casts Doubt On McCain’s, Too

UNITED STATES
News Hounds

Rudolph Giuliani was the sole guest for a "fair and balanced" discussion about last night’s (6/11/08) top story on Hannity & Colmes, that a member of Barack Obama’s VP search team had resigned. It was obvious that Giuliani, a former GOP candidate now campaigning for John McCain, knew very little about the issue. Instead, Giuliani criticized Obama for not having enough experience. Giuliani repeatedly talked about the importance of executive experience as a critical qualification for being president. It seems he forgot that McCain had none, either. With video.

Despite Sean Hannity’s ceaseless and melodramatic Hanctimony over Obama’s associations, Hannity remains curiously unconcerned about Giuliani’s. Alan Colmes laudably mentioned Bernard Kerik, but it was in passing. “You had to defend yourself against Bernie Kerik,” Colmes said to Giuliani (though not on Hannity & Colmes did he have to). But neither the extent of Kerik’s wrongdoings nor the extent of Giuliani’s relationship were given to the “we report, you decide” network’s audience. So while we viewers have been endlessly subjected to speculation about the implications of Obama’s casual association with “unrepentant terrorist” William Ayers, Hannity & Colmes viewers have yet to hear about how Giuliani appointed a crook as police commissioner, recommended him to head the Department of Homeland Security, and was in business with him and a priest accused of sexually abusing children and helping to cover up other abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Priest Confesses to Stealing Parish Money

OMAHA (NE)
Action 3 News

[with video]

Posted: June 11, 2008 06:36 PM EDT

Omaha, NE - A Catholic priest accused of stealing from his parish turns himself in to police. Last month Father Rodney Adams, an Omaha priest, resigned from the church accused of taking thousands of dollars. This morning, he walked into the Omaha police station and within a few hours stood before the courts.

From a Roman collar, to an orange colored jump suit. Father Rodney Adams walked into court today admitting he stole money from his church. When Father Adams came to St. Bridgets he told the bookkeeper to cut him a check for both churches he was serving. That included St. Rose, but St. Rose was still paying him. That went on for nearly five years. Plus, he wrote about 32,000 dollars in bad checks from the church's bazaar fund.

But while he pleaded guilty to the courts he had nothing to say to us. He did tell the judge he was diagnosed as bi-polar three weeks ago. As for if this is the defenses strategy? "The only strategy at this point was for Father Adams to accept responsibility for what he did and that's what he's wanted to do for the last month month and a half," says his attorney, Jim Schafer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

In early statements, Fr. Murd admitted to hot tub fondling

SYLVANIA (OH)
WTOL

[with video]

SYLVANIA -- The trial of the former pastor of Maumee St. Joseph Parish got underway on Wednesday, reports News 11's Jonathan Walsh. Fr. Frank Murd has been charged with sexual imposition.

The prosecution said Murd would hang out in YMCA locker rooms and that on March 18 of this year, he had a plan.

"This defendant used the JCC as a playground, a hunting ground to look for his next victim," one prosecuting attorney said of Murd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Archbishop of Baltimore asks Legionaries to report area activities

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Agency

Baltimore, Jun 12, 2008 / 05:34 am (CNA).- Edwin F. O’Brien, the Archbishop of Baltimore, has written to the Superior General of the Legionaries of Christ, Monsignor Alvaro Corcuera Martinez del Rio, asking the leader of the prominent religious order to identify all Legionary-associated clergy, ministries, apostolates and youth programs in the archdiocese. The archbishop also asked Father Alvaro to impose certain restrictions on vocations promotion in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Some critics of the Legionaries of Christ have said that the order recruits people under age 18 for vocations and doesn’t explicitly identifying groups and apostolates associated with the order.

In his June 6 letter to Father Alvaro, Archbishop O’Brien noted the importance of ecclesial movements and communities and the calling of bishops to “reach out to those groups with love.” He then made several specific requests from Father Alvaro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Catholic priest confessed sexual assault to police

OHIO
Toledo Blade

By MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Roman Catholic priest and former pastor of a Maumee church accused of sexually assaulting a man in a hot tub at a recreational facility in Sylvania Township confessed to police that he fondled the victim, according to testimony yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

In an interview three weeks after the March 18 incident, the Rev. Frank Murd apologized for touching the 27-year-old man at the JCC/YMCA, 6465 Sylvania Ave., and assured a Sylvania Township police detective that he would tell Bishop Leonard Blair about the incident.

"I did touch him. … I want to apologize. It is inappropriate. It is wrong," the 66-year-old priest told Detective Jim Rettig in an audio recording played before Judge James Jensen, who will decide whether Father Murd is guilty of misdemeanor sexual imposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Jury selection begins

GREELEY (CO)
Longmont Times-Call

By Kacia Munshaw
Longmont Times-Call

GREELEY — The defense attorney for a Frederick priest facing an indecent exposure charge on Wednesday questioned a witness’s claim that seeing the priest naked caused alarm.

The trial for the Rev. Robert Whipkey, 54 — who police said they discovered jogging in the nude at 4:30 a.m. June 22, 2007, near Frederick High School — started slowly at the Weld County Courthouse on Wednesday.

Because police said a witness felt alarmed when they saw Whipkey nude, the priest faces the misdemeanor indecent exposure charge. Defense attorney Harvey Steinberg questioned that criteria at the start of the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

"WRITE TO THE POPE"

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

In the wake of the "disappointing" response from the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops last week, Dr Paul Collins and Frank Purcell, the organisers of a petition to the Australian Catholic Bishops last year, last night announced a new campaign to generate at least a thousand letters which they hope to have delivered to Pope Benedict during his visit to Australia next month. The letter they are suggesting people write addresses the looming crisis in Ministry this nation faces with a lack of priests to officiate at weddings, funerals and Sunday liturgies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Why Abuse of Secrecy In The Catholic Church Is The Real 'Scandal Behind The Scandal'

UNITED STATES
Clerical Whispers

Though matters of liturgy,stem-cell research, and language will dominate the upcoming U.S. bishops meeting June 12 -14 in Orlando, continued discussion about clergy sex abuse will be priority -- especially its causes, context, and recommendations for communication between priests, bishops and Catholic laity.

And so, the root of the problem will be further exposed -- despite much of the three-day meeting being closed to media, as has been the case for many years.

"The very worst scandal of the Catholic Church isn't just the clergy sex-abuse crisis, but the catalyst behind it," says Russell Shaw, author of the newly released Nothing To Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 174 p.).

Shaw, a former insider privy to the workings of the Catholic Church's hierarchy and bureaucracy, discusses in the book "the very worst scandal of our times" and what can be done to turn it around for good.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Retired Clergyman Acused of Abuse

PEORIA (IL)
WMBD/WYZZ

Reported by: News Staff
Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 @11:02pm CST

WMBD/WYZZ TV - PEORIA -- The Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is calling attention to a new lawsuit filed against a retired clergyman for abuse that allegedly occurred almost a decade ago. Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the alleged victim says the boy was sexually abused twice by Monsignor Thomas Maloney at Epiphany Catholic Church in Normal. The alleged victim would have been nine-years-old at the time.

According to the lawsuit, Maloney also allegedly abused at least one other child in the late 1970s, and a third child reportedly told the diocese that Maloney molested her, too, and that the diocese did nothing.

Anderson said: "That's really the sad and disturbing thing - not just that a child was raped by a priest, but that the priest was a known offender."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Bishop meets with Wildwood Crest parishioners opposed to church merger

WILDWOOD CREST (NJ)
Press of Atlantic City

By TRUDI GILFILLIAN Staff Writer, 609-463-6716
Published: Thursday, June 12, 2008

WILDWOOD CREST - Hundreds of parishioners from the Church of the Assumption gathered at the church Wednesday night to let Bishop Joseph A. Galante know that they opposed what one church member called "this half-baked idea of merger."

The parish is slated to merge with St. Ann's Church in Wildwood under a plan announced April 3 by Galante.

Since then, parishioners have pleaded for their parish to continue running as is, and on Wednesday many of them spoke passionately about the effect of the merger.

They pointed to the church's strong and growing attendance, its many cherished programs such as the annual Christmas concert and the logistical problems that would arise if the church's more than 1,200 families tried to attend church at St. Ann's, given its lack of parking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

'It bothered me every day of my life'

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

HUBERT BAUCH, The Gazette

The better part of a lifetime later, Kakaionstha Deer is still haunted by the shattering experience of being packed off to an Indian residential school when she was 6 years old.

She's 70 now, but still bears the scars of the three years she spent there.

"It's bothered me every day of my life," she said yesterday as she prepared to watch the prime minister's apology at her Kahnawake home with a group of fellow residential school survivors.
She and her sister, who was a year older, were sent to a school for native girls in Spanish, Ont., run by the Catholic church, where she was sexually abused by one of the nuns who she said was a predatory pedophile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Apology should be backed by action, says Grand Chief Thompson

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

(Staff) -- An apology to former students of the Indian Residential School program from PM Stephen Harper was greeted with guarded optimism by the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

"It was an apology long overdue to the people of First Nations and survivors of the residential school system," said Grand Chief Tim Thompson. "Was it sincere? Only time will tell. The government has to back its apology with action."

Roughly 150,000 native children were forcibly taken from their families starting in the 1840s through to the 1970s and often subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse at the hands of their keepers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Charges dropped against pastor accused of abusing girls

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By KEVIN MURPHY
The Kansas City Star
Prosecutors have dropped charges against a southwest Missouri pastor accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls at a rural church community.

The case against Raymond Lambert, filed in 2006, drew wide attention but was dropped because the alleged victims didn’t want to endure the “scrutiny and pressures” of a trial, McDonald County prosecutor Janice Durbin said in a statement released this week.

“This has been a long and difficult case for everyone involved,” Durbin said. She said the dismissal doesn’t mean the charges were not valid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Historic apology to residential schools students seen as a beginning

CANADA
Anglican Journal

Art Babych
Jun 11, 2008

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, today said he was moved by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology to victims of residential
schools and is optimistic that the historic apology – made on behalf of the Canadian government – will be followed by action.

“I was equally grateful for the apologies – and that’s what they were – offered on behalf of the other political parties," he said in an interview with the Anglican Journal on Parliament Hill after Mr. Harper delivered the apology in the House of Commons June 11, followed by apologies from the other party leaders. "I was very encouraged by their determination to make sure that this apology is seen as a beginning, and that it will be accompanied by actions that will significantly improve the quality of life for First Nations people in this land," the primate said. The government’s apology was directed at the generations of victims of what Mr. Harper called "a sad chapter in our history" and asked for forgiveness for the students’ suffering and for the damaging impact the schools had on aboriginal culture, heritage and language.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Woman says State must pay for abuse nightmare

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tim Healy

Thursday June 12 2008

A WOMAN who was sexually assaulted by a national school principal at the age of eight has asked the Supreme Court to rule that the Minister for Education and the State are liable for the assaults.

More than 200 cases are awaiting the outcome of the test action by Louise O'Keeffe which, the State says, could lead to it being held liable, not just for past abuse, but for "a whole host" of events occurring daily in more than 3,000 national schools.

The five judge court yesterday began hearing the appeal by Ms O'Keeffe (43), of Thoam, Dunmanway, Co Cork, against a High Court decision that the State is not vicariously liable for 20 assaults inflicted on her by Leo Hickey at Dunderrow National School, Co Cork, from January to September 1973. The State and the Minister for Education deny any liability on grounds that national schools are not State-run but are controlled on a daily basis by church appointees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Catholic rebels with a cause

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

June 12, 2008

Considering that they had come to hear a forbidden Roman Catholic speaker, the people at the UC San Diego faculty club didn't look like rebels. They were mostly older, conservative in dress, sedate in manner. At a reception before the speech Tuesday evening, as they sipped French roast coffee and nibbled cheese cubes, they professed their continuing love of the Catholic religion -- but also deep turmoil and anger about sexual abuse by priests. Or to be more exact, about church leaders who put protecting predator priests and the church's image over protecting children.

And when they settled in for the speech, there were so many of them that people stood, lining the walls of the room and spilling onto the patio beyond it.

They had brought their troubled hearts and disturbing questions to retired Australian auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, whose work with abuse victims led him to believe that the celibacy rule for priests, their status as authority figures "above" others and the church's emphasis on appearances contributed to the molestation scandal. Four Roman Catholic bishops in California told him to stay out of the state on his nationwide speaking tour, saying he could be a source of disunity and confusion for Catholics. "I hereby deny you permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles," Cardinal Roger M. Mahony wrote to Robinson, whose U.S. tour is scheduled to end tonight with a talk in Culver City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Bishop defends handling of sex scandal involving his brother and teen girl

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By NICOLE NORFLEET
Philadelphia Daily News
norflen@phillynews.com 215-854-5444

Wearing his clerical collar and ring, suspended Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. tried to explain why he had not told anyone that his brother was sexually abusing a high-school student in the 1970s.

"People would not have seen it as abuse," Bennison, 64, said yesterday in a deep voice. "They would have seen it as immoral behavior on [the victim's] part."

It was the first time Bennison had taken the microphone in his ecclesiastical trial, which began Monday and will determine his fate as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Until yesterday, he had quietly listened to witnesses testify about his handling of his brother's affair with a teenage parishioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Ronnie Polaneczky: Bishop's very public trial a first for the church

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By Ronnie Polaneczky
Philadelphia Daily News
Daily News Columnist

SOMETHING extraordinary is going on at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel: A bishop is being called on the carpet for not alerting church authorities, parents or police that a church youth-group leader at his church was having sex with a teenage member.

More extraordinary still is that the proceedings are public. Anyone can enter the Marriott ballroom and see the robed, nine-member jury of Episcopal leaders presiding over the church trial of Bishop Charles Bennison.

They can wince as the victim, now 50, haltingly describes her childhood abuse as "degrading."

They can hear her abuser's ex-wife describe the horror she felt when she realized her former spouse was actually a sexual abuser, not a philanderer.

They can watch as a distraught Bennison explains why he didn't help the young victim. ...

How ironic that it's unfolding in a city where Catholic bishops responsible for covering up past sex abuse in the Philly Archdiocese have yet to be held publicly accountable by name, by their church, for the pain their complicity perpetuated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Exclusives : PHILADELPHIA: Witnesses Expose Bennison's Venality in Brother's Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
6/11/2008

A witness for Charles E. Bennison turned on the inhibited Bishop of Pennsylvania by telling the court that based on what he knows now, he would never have voted for Bennison's elevation to bishop.

The Rt. Rev. Harold A. Hopkins, former Bishop of North Dakota and Executive Director of The Office of Pastoral Development during the reign of Presiding Bishop Ed Browning, said that consecrating Charles Bennison was a mistake because of his handling or non-handling of his brother's situation which reflected poorly on his judgment.

When pressed by Bennison attorney James Parabue as to why he would not vote for Charles Bennison, Hopkins replied "(for) not taking immediate steps to -- not separating physically somehow John from the roles that he had in the Church and not reaching out to the family as well."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Bishop implores Catholic church to re-examine what led to sex-abuse scandal

COSTA MESA (CA)
The Orange County Register

BY VIK JOLLY
The Orange County Register

COSTA MESA - In a standing-room only community hall Wednesday night, a retired Australian bishop asked not to speak about the Catholic clergy sexual abuse by some American bishops outlined his theory on its causes and how to move forward.

The Most Rev. Geoffrey Robinson said his own experience of being abused at a young age – not at the hands of a priest – and listening to hundreds of sexual-abuse victims for about nine years starting in 1994 when he was put in charge of a task force to develop guidelines for dealing with clerical sex abuse cases in Australia, convinced him that the issues needed to be dealt with head on.

He grew certain that there must be a study of immediate causes of abuse, including what he termed the unhealthy psychology, unhealthy ideas on power and sex and unhealthy living conditions among priests, Robinson told the more than 100 gathered at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Center.

"I am suggesting that when these three things come together, we're most likely to find the murky world out of which abuse arises," said the silver-haired Robinson, who is on a monthlong tour of the United States to promote his book "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Bennison defends covering up brother's abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., on trial within his church for concealing his brother's sexual abuse of a minor, testified yesterday that he learned about the abuse only when the girl was 17 and at the time believed he had "acted appropriately."

"I never thought my conduct was problematic," Bennison, 64, said during direct examination by his attorney.

Bennison was the