« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

July 31, 2008

North Plainfield woman charged with stealing $2,500 from home and school association

NEW JERSEY
Home News Tribune

By MICHAEL DEAK • Staff Writer • July 31, 2008

NORTH PLAINFIELD —The former president of St. Joseph School's Home and School Association in North Plainfield has been indicted on a charge of theft following an investigation that revealed more than $2,500 in cash donations were stolen from four school-sponsored events, including an entertainment book fundraiser and a theater field trip.

Gretchen Lee, 37, of Malcolm Avenue, was indicted this week by a Somerset County grand jury.

The charge followed an investigation that began in late March, when Somerset County detectives met with the Diocese of Metuchen's finance director, who alerted authorities that Lee was a suspect in a continuing probe into incidents of theft from the Home and School Association, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

High court: child endangerment law applies to more than just sex abuse cases

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

July 31, 2008 02:44 PM
By Globe Staff

The state's highest court ruled today that a law enacted after the clergy sex abuse scandal to penalize people who endanger a child applies to more than just sex abuse cases.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled in the case of Thomas Hendricks, who led Mashpee police on a chase down a rural road in 2004 while his 3-year-old daughter was in his car. Officers pursued Hendricks into the woods after he left his vehicle and found him, lying on his back, with the child on his chest.

Hendricks admitted to police that he should not have been driving like that with his daughter in the vehicle, the court said in its opinion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Police: Pastor Anthony Hopkins Murdered Wife, Hid Body in Freezer

ALABAMA
TransWorldNews

Atlanta, GA 7/31/2008

An Alabama preacher has been arrested on murder charges after police found his wife’s body in his home freezer. Small-time evangelist Anthony Hopkins was arrested Monday night at a revival in Jackson.

Authorities searched Hopkins’ home after a female relative contacted police claiming the 37-year-old had repeatedly raped her over a period of time. The body of Atletha Hopkins was found in the home freezer during the search. Witnesses say Hopkins had been telling everyone that his wife died in childbirth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Priest accused of stealing $112,000 in church money for gambling

ROSELLE (IL)
Catholic Explorer

Published Jul 31, 2008

ROSELLE, IL -- Fr. John Regan has been put on paid leave as investigators look into allegations that the Catholic priest stole $112,000 that he allegedly used to support a gambling addiction.

Fr. John Regan is pastor at St. Walter Parish in Roselle, IL in the Diocese of Joliet. The Joliet Diocese priest has been pastor at St. Walter Parish since he was assigned in 2006. Prior to his current assignment, Fr. Regan had been the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Joliet.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, Bishop Peter Sartain, informed parishioners of St. Walter that an investigation into bank records suggest that Fr. Regan embezzled the money. As of yet, no criminal charges have been made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Bond denied for Ala. man in body-in-freezer case

MOBILE (AL)
The Associated Press

By GARRY MITCHELL

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A judge denied bond Thursday for a part-time evangelist charged with murder in the death of his wife, a mother of eight whose body was kept in a freezer for at least three years.

Arletha Hopkins, 36, apparently was killed in 2004, but the cause of death remains under investigation, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Rich said. ...

Hopkins was arrested Monday night while preaching at a revival at a rural church in Jackson, which is about 60 miles northeast of Mobile. Authorities said Hopkins preached while holding different jobs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

McCain resists calls to remove embattled Catholic aide

UNITED STATES
The Arizona Republic

by Ronald J. Hansen - Jul. 31, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
For weeks, Sen. John McCain's campaign has quietly resisted calls to dump one of his leading religious representatives who critics say is an inappropriate surrogate because of links to allegations of sexual impropriety.

At least three religious groups have asked the McCain campaign to remove Deal W. Hudson from its national Catholic-outreach group. The groups say Hudson, who quit President Bush's political team in 2004 amid similar calls, lacks the moral authority to represent the campaign on religious issues.

Hudson left a tenured professorship at Fordham University in New York after a 1994 incident in which he was accused of having sex with a freshman. He was never charged with a crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

US female bishop Catherine Roskam: male prelates 'beat up wives'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has challenged an American woman bishop to produce evidence to back up her claim that bishops beat their wives.

Other bishops also criticised the US Episcopal Church's Bishop Catherine Roskam after she said at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury that men beat women "because they can".

She said: "We have 700 men here. Do you think any of them beat their wives? Chances are they do. The most devout Christians beat their wives... many of our bishops come from places where it is culturally accepted to beat your wife."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Priest accused of pilfering funds to cover gambling debts

ROSELLE (IL)
Beep

Elisabeth Mistretta | Daily Herald
Thursday, July 31, 2008
After only two years as pastor of St. Walter Catholic Church in Roselle, Rev. John Regan developed a strong following for his homilies, often using props to engage worshipers.

"I was impressed with him because he did give great sermons and commanded respect with his presence," said Linda Sharp, a member of St. Walter for 35 years.

Today, church members like Sharp are wondering if Regan still deserves their respect; he's on paid suspension after the Diocese of Joliet learned approximately $112,000 was misappropriated from church funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Medical board may eye doctor

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Jayna Boyle
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

If convicted, a polygamist sect's doctor charged with failure to report child abuse may face restrictions on his ability to practice medicine in Texas, according to the state medical board.

Dr. Lloyd H. Barlow, 38, was arrested Monday in Schleicher County and charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Barlow could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Affidavit: Murdered wife saw too much

ALABAMA
Press-Register

Posted by ROBERT McCLENDON July 31, 2008 6:35 AM

Anthony Hopkins killed his wife in 2004 after she caught him sexually abusing one of their daughters, according to a court document used to obtain a warrant to search his house. The day after he is alleged to have killed her, he asked the daughter to help him hide her mother's body in a freezer, the document says.

The 2004 incident wasn't the first time the daughter had been abused by Hopkins, according to the document, which alleges that her father had been raping her since she was 11 years old, though it was never reported.

The body of her mother, Arletha Hopkins, apparently stayed in that freezer, under the same roof as the daughter, her seven siblings and their father, until police discovered the body there Monday night after searching the family's central Mobile house, Chief Phillip Garrett said Wednesday on a national cable television crime talk show.

Hopkins has been charged with murder, as well as several sexual abuse charges, including rape and sodomy. ...

It is known, however, that Hopkins acted as an evangelist, a roving preacher who never stayed in one place for very long, though he had lived the Rylands Street home, where the body was found, since 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Former bishop knowingly recruited priest who liked boys

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, Sun Media

CORNWALL, Ont. — A former Roman Catholic bishop told a Cornwall, Ont., sexual abuse inquiry Wednesday that he knowingly recruited a priest who had left a New York state parish after an “affair with boys.”

Eugene LaRocque said he secured Rev. Carl Stone a position ministering at two facilities in the Cornwall area in 1981 on the condition he never be alone around children.

“I was trying to take every precaution, to give this man a chance,” said LaRocque, 81.

“I was also trying to be as prudent as possible so he wouldn’t do any harm to the people of our diocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 AM

Sex claim against Bullitt youth pastor was false, woman admits

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Melissa Gagliardi • mgagliardi@courier-journal.com • July 30, 2008

The woman who accused a Bullitt County youth pastor of sexually abusing a teen now admits the story was false.

Debra Kay Perez Johnson admitted in a settlement filed yesterday in Bullitt County Circuit Court that she made up the allegation that Clayton Pruett had sexually abused a teen at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where he is a youth pastor.

Johnson, a former Bullitt County school board member, will pay Pruett an undisclosed amount of money, according to the settlement.

“It’s very gratifying that we have this document that shows what we have known all along,” Pruett said. “We can now show without a shadow of a doubt that I am innocent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 AM

Youth Minister Speaks Out On False Sex Abuse Charges

KENTUCKY
WLKY

[with video]

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. -- A Bullitt County youth minister once accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl is speaking out about the former charges against him.

The charges against Clayton Pruett were dropped in January. He was also suing the alleged victim’s mother for the statements she made about him.

As part of a settlement to that suit, the mother admitted everything she said was a lie. She also agreed to pay an undisclosed amount in damages.

Pruett said life for him will never be the same, but he feels the statement from the accuser’s mother admitting what she said was a lie will help bring things back to normal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 AM

Charges dropped against youth minister; parent admits to making up story

KENTUCKY
WAVE

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Charges of sexual abuse against a Bullitt County youth minister have been dropped. Seven months ago, a parent accused the Shepherdsville man of abusing her daughter while at church. WAVE 3's Scott Harvey obtained court documents which show that parent now admits to making up the whole story.

Not only did Debra Kay Perez Johnson admit to lying, she will also pay Clayton Pruett an undisclosed amount according to this settlement. Pruett told me Wednesday he's just glad it's over and knew the truth would come out. ...

Pruett told me the false accusations came after he repeatedly tried to discipline Johnson's daughter at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Shepherdsville.

"When I tried to uphold that obligation that the church wants me to, she responded in a very negative way. A very horrible way."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 AM

Pastor Charged With Lewd Battery

FLORIDA
The Tampa Tribune

By LISA A. DAVIS
The Tampa Tribune

Published: July 31, 2008

LAND O' LAKES - A Hillsborough County minister surrendered at Land O' Lakes Jail on Tuesday evening to face a charge of lewd or lascivious battery - eight months after facing similar charges in Tampa.

The Rev. Daniel A. Gomez, 38, is accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl at her Pasco County home in summer 2005, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Gomez went to the girl's home when her parents were not there and forced himself on her, kissing her and touching her in a sexual manner, a sheriff's office report states. Gomez reportedly took off his pants and removed the girl's pants, too, and attempted to have sex with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 AM

July 30, 2008

Blind Eye To Bullies, Victims

Hartford Courant

ROD DREHER

July 30, 2008

The eighth-grade thugs would pin younger boys to the ground in the locker room. The ringleader would put his fist into a plastic cone and try to shove it into his victims' rectums. His pack stood around and moaned to torment the weaker kids.

This went on almost daily, says one seventh-grader who saw it go down. "We're going to rape you," the bullies would say to the little guys. A Sheriff's Department investigation found that the gang of older boys had sexually terrorized seventh-grade boys at Sunnyvale Middle School near Dallas for most of a year. ...

Years later, when my own heart was broken by the systematic protection of sexual criminals by the Roman Catholic Church, I thrashed around, pinned by rage and panic over what pervert priests had done to children and what bishops who knew better allowed to go unpunished. I left my church to escape the pain like a wild animal chews off its leg to get out of a trap.

The anger that wrecked my faith didn't start with news stories of clerical sex abuse I read. It started the summer before eighth grade, on a hotel room floor. What happened in the Sunnyvale locker room won't stay there. Those brutalized boys will live with it the rest of their lives. So should the adults who failed them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Brooklyn, NY - Dov Hikind: Frum Community Ignorant About Child Molestation, I am Going To Be

BROOKLYN (NY)
Voz Iz Neias

Brooklyn, NY—High-profile Assemblyman Dov Hikind, no stranger to controversial issues, has thrust himself to the forefront of a burning Jewish-community issue once again.

But this time, perhaps, the stakes have never been higher—because Hikind’s target is an issue the long-time activist himself confesses ignorance of until recently: molestation and abuse of children in the Orthodox community.

The saga reignited itself only recently and coincidentally after controversial firebrand Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, who at the minimum deserves some begrudging, backhanded respect for dragging the issue out of the shadows, might have inspired four professional Orthodox therapists to re-launch an abuse hotline and treatment service operated under the auspices of the venerable Beth Israel Hospital after it was closed a few years ago due to lack of funding. The four professionals [ a separate story about this new help line will be posted on VIN in next few days] are Chaya Mermerstein, LCSW and Cheryl Friedman, LCSW, both of Beth Israel’s staff, psychotherapist Yoni Hikind, LMSW, and psychotherapist Dr. Asher Lipner, Ph.D., who specializes in frum survivors of sexual abuse.

Lawsuit over photos of injured bishop settled

GALLUP (NM)
Las Cruces Sun-News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 07/28/2008 11:21:18 AM MDT

GALLUP, N.M.—The city of Gallup has settled a lawsuit that had asked a judge to determine whether photographs of a former Roman Catholic bishop, who was injured in an apparent fall at his home, were public record.

Donald Pelotte, who stepped down earlier this year as bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, was taken to the hospital in July 2007 with heavy bruising across his chest, arms, knuckles, legs and feet. Physicians called police but the bishop told them he had fallen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Former Gallup bishop responds to police photos

GALLUP (NM)
KVIA

Associated Press - July 29, 2008 10:45 PM ET

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) - Gallup's former Roman Catholic bishop admits it's hard to believe that injuries depicted in police photographs taken while he was in the hospital last year could have been caused by a fall at his home.

Donald Pelotte was taken to the hospital in July 2007 with heavy bruising across his chest, arms, knuckles, legs and feet. Physicians called police but the bishop told them he had fallen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

ATTENZIONE, IN UNA PARROCCHIA DI VICENZA OPERA IL PEDOFILO PADRE JAMES TULLY !!

ITALY
anticlericale.net

In fondo si riporta il testo originale di una email inviata da Barb Dorris , attivista di SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, che significa Rete dei Sopravvissuti agli Abusi Sessuali da parte dei preti) riportante l’allarme dato da Bill Nash, una delle vittime di abusi sessuali da parte di Padre James Tully, che continua ad operare indisturbato nei locali di una parrocchia della diocesi di Vicenza.

[background]

This Italian Web site ran an Italian-language version of an announcement by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests that a sidewalk vigil would be held today in front of the chancery in Springfield, Mass., U.S.A. The goal is to call attention to information that the Rev. James Tully, a Catholic priest who has been accused of sexual abuse, lives at a place in Vincenza where youth events are held. The English version of the advisory is also posted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Larry Barker Reports: Evidence points to beating in Pelotte case

GALLUP (NM)
KRQE

[video presentation]

GALLUP, N. M. (KRQE) - The investigator's powerful photos documented critical injuries Gallup Bishop Donald Pelotte suffered in his home last year. He said he fell down a flight of carpeted stairs, but police shot the photos in case his story changed. A year later, after a lawsuit filed to withhold the pictures, investigative reporter Larry Barker has found there may be a more savage explanation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Pelotte photos go prime time

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

[with photo of the bruised bishop]

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — A picture tells a thousand stories, goes one version of an old saying.

Apparently some graphic police photographs — full of bruises, lacerations, and black eyes swollen shut — quickly changed the story that former Gallup Bishop Donald E. Pelotte has been telling since he was found severely injured in his Gallup home on July 23, 2007. Pelotte, along with a chorus of chancery officials who used to work under him, has been claiming that he merely fell down a flight of carpeted stairs.

That was until reporter Larry Barker, of Albuquerque television station KRQE, showed up on the doorstep of Pelotte’s Florida beachfront condominium, armed with an envelope of photographs that Gallup Police officers took of Pelotte in the emergency room last July. The photographs showed Pelotte covered head to toe with critical injuries that a forensic pathologist described as coming from a “savage beating” full of punches and kicks.

With his trademark soft voice, Pelotte admitted that the injuries depicted in the police photographs couldn’t have been caused by a fall.

“When you see those pictures there’s no way that I could have gotten that damage by falling down the stairs,” Pelotte told Barker. “But I don’t remember that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Attorney Jeff Anderson Sues the Hell Out of Clerical Sex Abusers

ST. PAUL (MN)
LawyersandSettlements.com

July 30, 2008. By Brenda Craig

St. Paul, MN: Attorney Jeff Anderson is a genuine firebrand. He has handled not hundreds, but thousands of cases on behalf of sexual abuse survivors across the US, and even outside the US over the last 25 years. “I have sued psychologists, psychiatrists, family members, movie stars, politicians, and every religious denomination you can think of including the Latter Day Saints, the Jehovah Witnesses and the Catholic Church," he says.

Passionate, articulate, appropriately enraged, Anderson is a one-of-a-kind
attorney. He is also one of the first lawyers in the US to take the Catholic Church to court and publicly expose the plague of sexual abuse that had been aided and abetted inside the Catholic Church for heaven knows how long.

It was 1983 when a family walked into Anderson’s office in St. Paul, Minnesota. Bewildered and confused, they began to tell him how a local Catholic priest, Father Thomas Adamson, had plied their son with alcohol, and then had sex with him.

“I learned this priest had a long history of sexual abuse, and the Catholic church had covered it up and concealed it, moving Adamson around from parish to parish for 20 years,” Anderson says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Ex-child bride lawsuit could destroy FLDS trust, lawyers claim

UTAH
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 11:50 a.m. MDT

The future of the Fundamentalist LDS Church's real-estate holdings arm may hang on a lawsuit filed by a former child bride.

That's what attorneys for the court-controlled United Effort Plan Trust claim in new court papers filed in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court. In a renewed motion for summary judgment over a multi-million dollar personal injury lawsuit filed by Elissa Wall, lawyers for the UEP Trust fear that if a judge holds the trust liable — it may not survive.

"Not only would the Trust face significant exposure to the plaintiff in the present case, such a holding would encourage other parties injured by Warren Jeffs' misconduct to pursue claims against the Trust," lawyer Jeffrey L. Shields wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Abuse lawsuit filed against Spokane boys ranch

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

SPOKANE, Wash. —
Another lawsuit has been filed against the Morning Star Boys' Ranch by a man who contends he was physically, sexually and psychologically abused during the two years he lived at the home for troubled boys.

Joseph S. Matherly, 57, contends he was sodomized by ranch employees in the mid-1960s.

Matherly lived at the ranch for 18 months, when he was 14 and 15 years old, according to the lawsuit filed in Spokane County Superior Court last week.

That brings to 19 the number of people who allegedly suffered some form of abuse at the ranch and have made court filings since August 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Senior German priest resigns, accused of fondling boys

GERMANY
Earthtimes

Bamberg, Germany - A 63-year-old senior priest in Germany's Catholic archdiocese of Bamberg resigned Wednesday after four men said he had fondled them as boys when they were attending a Catholic boarding school. The priest headed the diocesan department for pastoral personnel and was on the cathedral council in the Bavarian archdiocese.

Michael Kleiner, deputy spokesman for Archbishop Ludwig Schick, said it was unclear as yet how grave the allegations were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Diocese says Roselle priest gambled $112,000 in church funds

ROSELLE (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Russell Working | Chicago Tribune reporter
12:57 PM CDT, July 30, 2008
Church officials have placed a Roselle Roman Catholic priest on administrative leave after he allegedly misappropriated $112,000 church cash to fund a gambling habit, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Diocese of Joliet Bishop Peter Sartain told worshipers at St. Walter Parish's weekend masses that an audit of bank records turned up evidence that Rev. John Regan had taken the money, spokesman Doug Delaney said.

The allegations came to light when the church's bank reported irregularities to the diocese, Delaney said. Sartain expressed "his deep personal sorrow" in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

RTE action against Complaints Commission settled

IRELAND
RTE News

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

An action taken against the Broadcasting Complaints Commission by RTE over a decision made against its coverage of the Ferns inquiry into sexual abuses has been settled.

A viewer complained about a background image using religious symbols including rosary beads and a priest's collar in a report on the findings of the Ferns inquiry on the Six One news in December 2005. ...

Under the terms of the settlement agreed today RTE is no longer required to broadcast the terms of the BCC's decision, while the status of the proceedings will be detailed in the Commission's annual report and on its website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Police: School employee fired after accusation

INDIANA
Palladium-Item

A staff member at New Creations Christian Boarding School has been terminated after allegedly sharing marijuana and alcohol with juvenile students, according to an incident report.

No arrests have been made in the investigation, Wayne County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jeff Cappa said this week, because New Creations' administration chose to handle the investigation "in-house."

The Palladium-Item typically identifies only those arrested and charged with felony crimes.

The instructor left the school grounds, 6400 National Road E., on July 23 after a sheriff's deputy responded to a call from New Creations Pastor Tim Cummings. Cummings for a few months had been investigating "rumors" about the instructor's possession of marijuana and alcohol and students' use of it, a release states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Former pastor files suit for firing

NORTH CAROLINA
The Daily Reflector

By Kathryn Kennedy
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A former pastor once charged with secretly videotaping women and children is suing the church that fired him, according to documents filed at the Pitt County Courthouse.

Leon Harris, 56, filed a civil suit in superior court last week, claiming Rose Hill Free Will Baptist Church and the Central Convention of Free Will Baptists violated his contract when they fired him in 2005.

Harris entered an Alford Plea last July to four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in connection with the videotaping charges. As part of that plea, 48 counts of felony secret peeping were dropped. The Alford Plea means that while Harris did not admit guilt, he conceded prosecutors had enough evidence to likely convince a judge or jury to find him guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Roselle priest suspended in missing funds case

ROSELLE (IL)
Daily Herald

The Diocese of Joliet announced a priest in the St. Walter Parish in Roselle has been suspended while police investigate $112,000 in missing funds from church bank accounts.

The Rev. John Regan, pastor of St. Walter Parish in Roselle, was placed on administrative leave with pay by Bishop Peter Sartain due to alleged misappropriation of parish funds, said diocese spokesman Doug Delaney.

Roselle police have not charged Regan yet, Delany said, but he added an investigation into the missing money is ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Pastors React To Body Found In Freezer

ALABAMA
WKRG

[with video]

By Kesshia Peyton Anchor/Reporter

Kesshia Peyton Anthony Hopkins was a traveling minister.

He preached at several churches in Southwest Alabama.

Monday night, he was arrested after giving a sermon at a church in Jackson.
Hopkins and seven of his children were there as part of a revival at the Inspirational Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

BODY IN FREEZER AS MAN PREACHED

MOBILE (AL)
Press-Register

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
By ROBERT McCLENDON
Staff Reporter
While Anthony Hopkins was leading a revival in a small church on the outskirts of Jackson, Ala., Monday night, the body of a woman, presumed to be his wife, was stuffed in a freezer at his house in Mobile, waiting to be discovered by police.

Acting on a tip given by Hopkins' daughter, the eldest of eight children, police said they knew where to look and what they were likely to find when they searched the Rylands Street house.

Clarke County Sheriff's deputies found Hopkins at the church a short time later, still preaching and ministering to people in the crowd, according to the pastor of the congregation hosting the revival.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Brothers, bishop meet to discuss settlement

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD - Two brothers who say they were cut out of a 2004 settlement between the local Roman Catholic diocese and alleged clergy abuse victims met with Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell at his home Tuesday.

Standing outside McDonnell's Elliot Street living quarters, Paul M. Herrick, 53, and Peter J. Herrick, 51, said they were excluded from a $7.7 million settlement in 2004, despite being among the first of 46 alleged victims to come forward.

"I asked: 'How could you? How do you stiff people like us - me, especially because I started the whole thing," Paul Herrick said, although both brothers agreed McDonnell was compassionate and responsive during the meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Priest removed due to alleged abuse

DOYLESTOWN (PA)
News of Delaware County

By Bradley Schlegel; Special To The News
DOYLESTOWN - A priest accused of sexually assaulting a minor more than 30 years ago has been relieved of his duties at a parish in Doylestown Borough, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.The Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman was recently removed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish by Cardinal Justin Rigali, pending a formal investigation, the archdiocese announced Monday.

The accusation is the first against Hoffman, who has served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish since 2002, according to a statement released by the archdiocese.

Hoffman has not lived at the parish rectory since last week, according to information from the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

FLDS suspect released on bail

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 07/30/2008 12:05:18 AM MDT

A physician from a polygamous sect was released from the Schleicher County Jail on Tuesday after posting bail, but four other men have not yet been released.

The five men, all members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, appeared before Justice of the Peace James Doyle Tuesday on charges related to sexual assaults of minors.

The men turned themselves into authorities Monday, a week after being indicted.

Doyle ordered the men to avoid their victims, stay in Texas and notify law enforcement before leaving Schleicher County while they await trial. Lloyd H. Barlow, a physician charged with three misdemeanors, posted a $15,000 bail and was released after spending one night in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

5 polygamist sect members arraigned in abuse of girls

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News
eramshaw@dallasnews.com

AUSTIN – Five men from a West Texas polygamist sect were arraigned on Tuesday, the day after they surrendered on charges related to the sexual assault and "spiritual" marriage of underage girls.

As of Tuesday evening, four of the men – members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – remained in custody in Schleicher County. A fifth had posted bail and been released, a sect official said.

A sixth suspect, sect prophet Warren Jeffs, is in jail in Arizona, but could be extradited to Texas to face his sexual assault charge.

Sect leader Willie Jessop, who is speaking for the group in Mr. Jeffs' absence, said he couldn't confirm whether the other men

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Ex-minister sentenced to probation

PENNSYLVANIA
Delco Times

By: Marlene DiGiacomo, mdigiacomo@delcotimes.com 07/29/2008

MEDIA COURTHOUSE - Christine Kuhn was 13 years old when she sought solace in the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield and Gerald Klever, who was then a minister, befriended her.

But instead of finding the "father figure" she so desired in Klever, he preyed upon her and manipulated her by sexually abusing her for years. And he once told her that someday, "you'll look back on all of this and laugh."

Kuhn, now 46, endured years of pain trying to convince others in the church to believe what Klever had done to her. And she went through a period of alcoholism. But her faith and strength in God saw her through.

"I didn't give up. I wouldn't give up," she said as her blue eyes flashed with determination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Ex-Baptist minister pleads guilty to child abuse

MARYLAND
Gazette

by Patricia M. Murret | Staff Writer

A former Baptist minister and youth choir director in Gaithersburg pleaded guilty last week to child abuse of a female youth choir singer that occurred over four years in the 1990s.

Timothy Chun-Chock Mann, 47, of Hoover, Ala., a former minister at First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg, and recent choir director at an Alabama congregation, will be sentenced on Sept. 29 in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Under Maryland code, sexual child abuse is a felony offense that brings a possible 15-year prison sentence.

Third-degree sex offense charges were dropped as part of Mann’s plea agreement, said Seth Zucker, spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office. A copy of a pre-indictment memorandum filed with the court’s assignment office and obtained by The Gazette shows that Mann agreed to plead guilty ‘‘to the sole count of sexual child abuse and the State and Defense will ask the Court to cap any period of executed incarceration at 7 years.” Sentencing guidelines for Mann, who has no previous criminal record, suggest 4 to 9 years in prison, according to the memo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Former Delaware County pastor sentenced for 1980 sexual assaults

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Mari A. Schaefer
Inquirer Staff Writer

Christine Kuhn would not give up. From the time she was 13, she told friends, church leaders, neighbors and therapists how her minister had sexually assaulted her.

"Like a dog with a bone, I was not going to let go," Kuhn said. She always hoped someone would listen and take action.

It took more than 30 years.

Yesterday, Gerald L. Klever, 76, of Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced in Delaware County Court to 10 years' probation, one year of house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service, and restitution of $25,000. In May, he had pleaded no contest to rape and guilty to sexual assault involving Kuhn and another woman, both now in their 40s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former altar boy, 61, sues diocese

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By ESTEBAN PARRA • The News Journal • July 30, 2008

An anonymous 61-year-old man Tuesday became the 14th person to file a sexual-abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The lawsuit, which was filed in New Castle County Superior Court, says the victim was sexually abused by the late Rev. Edward B. Carley at least 100 times when the boy was between 11 and 14.

Carley allegedly assaulted the victim, who is identified in the suit as as John Roe No. 1, while he rode in the priest's car on the way to and from funerals and on overnight trips to seminaries and churches, the suit says.

The assaults occurred from 1952 to 1962 when the victim was an altar boy at St. Ann's Church in Wilmington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

LaRocque set to take the stand today

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

(Staff) -- The man who helmed the local Roman Catholic diocese when a number of sexual abuse complaints were leveled against local priests is expected to appear at the Cornwall Public Inquiry today.

From 1975 until 2002, Eugene LaRocque, now 81, was the bishop of the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese.

In 1993, LaRocque agreed to an out-of-court settlement with David Silmser, who had alleged he was sexually abused when he was an altar boy in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

July 29, 2008

Two Brothers Share Their Story of Abuse by Catholic Priests

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
CBS 3

[with video]

By Justine Judge
Peter and Paul Herrick say they come from a family torn apart by the abuse inflicted upon them more than 40 years ago by Catholic priests.

They say they've never had the chance to share their side of the story until now.

Paul Herrick says, "These were horrendous crimes against young people."

When Peter Herrick and his 3 brothers were children, they were abused by several priests at Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenfield between 1967 and 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 PM

Man arrested for incest and murder

MOBILE (AL)
My Fox Gulf Coast

MOBILE, Ala. -- 7/29/08: Mobile Police just released more details about a murder case, involving a woman’s body found in a freezer.

Investigators believe the victim was Arletha Hopkins, the wife of the suspect, Anthony Hopkins. A woman’s body was found last night in a chest-type freezer at the couple’s home on Ryland Street.

Police say the body was covered in a sheet. It appears to have been in the freezer for several years. Investigators say the discovery was finally made when one of the children accused Anthony Hopkins of sexual abuse. ...

Investigators say Anthony Hopkins is a preacher. At the time of his arrest, Hopkins was found at a church in Jackson, Alabama, where a revival was taking place. Hopkins is charged with murder and sodomy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Accuser: Sex abuse allegations were all made up

KENTUCKY
WHAS11

[with video]

(WHAS11) - Clayton Pruett got a little piece of his life back.

Clayton Pruett said, “It feels great it can show everybody what we’ve known all a long.”

A signed statement tonight says that sex abuse allegations against a Bullitt county youth pastor were all made up.

The mother of the accuser signed that statement today, clearing the name of Pastor Clayton Pruett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Sect men arraigned in abuse case

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

SAN ANTONIO — The five indicted followers of jailed polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs were arraigned Tuesday in Eldorado and ordered to avoid their alleged victims when they post bond.

Raymond Merrill Jessop, 36, Allan Eugene Keate, 56, Michael George Emack, 57, and Merrill Leroy Jessop, 33, appeared at arraignment hearings to be read the charge of sexual assault of a child they each face and to hear their constitutional rights. They'll enter pleas at a later court hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Sect doctor bonds out of jail

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Jayna Boyle
Originally published 05:30 p.m., July 29, 2008
Updated 05:30 p.m., July 29, 2008

Dr. Lloyd H. Barlow, the physician at the FLDS ranch near Eldorado, posted bond after being arrested Monday, a sect spokesman said today.

Barlow, charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse, was released on bond set at $5,000 at an arraignment Tuesday afternoon in the Schleicher County Jail in Eldorado.

Willie Jessop, a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints spokesman, said late Tuesday afternoon that while Barlow has posted bond, the four other FLDS men arrested at the same time - each facing charges related to sexual assault of a child - have not posted bond. Their bonds were set at $100,000 each, according to a statement issued Monday by the Texas Attorney General.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Suburban pastor placed on leave

ROSELLE (IL)
ABC 7

ROSELLE, Ill. (WLS) -- A northwest suburban priest is removed from his post for misappropriation of church funds.

It happened at the Saint Walter Parish in Roselle. A head bishop of the diocese in Joliet has placed Father John Regan on administrative leave

A local bank informed the diocese about irregular banking transactions. The church says it discovered a misappropriation of nearly $112,000. The money was allegedly used for gambling by Father Regan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Former bishop out of his element when it came to handling allegations, says priest who had inside info

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By Trevor Pritchard

Former bishop Eugene LaRocque was “out of his depths” when sex abuse allegations against Rev. Gilles Deslauriers first surfaced in early 1986, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Monday.

Bernard Ménard was a priest with L’Arche – a faith community for disabled people – near Glen Roy from 1979 until 1986, and a family friend of Benoit Brisson, one of Deslauriers’ victims.

Deslauriers pleaded guilty in November 1986 to four counts of gross indecency involving young men, including Brisson.

Testifying largely in French, the 74-year-old Ménard told the inquiry that in January of that year, he received a call from Hubert and Lise Brisson, Benoit’s parents.

They wanted to talk about something “painful,” said Ménard, and asked him to come over to their home. Once there, Hubert and Lise revealed Deslauriers had sexually abused their son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Bishop listens to 2 brothers who said they were victims of sexual abuse by priests

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Tuesday July 29, 2008, 3:41 PM
By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - Two brothers who said they were victims of abuse at the hands of a cabal of pedophile priests met with the Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell at the chancery today.

Paul M. Herrick, 53, and Peter J. Herrick Sr., 51, emerged this morning from an hour-long meeting at McDonnel's Elliot Street residence.

"He was there to listen, and he did. He heard us. ... He heard the pain in our voice," Peter Herrick, of Bangor, Maine, a father of two sons who works security for the federal agency that oversees airline travel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Arizona judge sets hearing in Jeffs case

ARIZONA
Deseret News

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A judge here has scheduled a hearing next month on motions in the criminal case against Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven Conn has set an Aug. 22 hearing on a motion to remand the criminal charges back to the grand jury that indicted him. He will also schedule future hearings at that time.

Jeffs' defense team is seeking to have the grand jury reconsider the case, arguing that the grand jury was not impartial and that prosecutors presented misleading information to jury members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

DELAWARE: Lawsuit claims molestation by priest

DELAWARE
Delmarva

Associated Press • July 29, 2008

WILMINGTON — Attorneys for a man claiming he was molested by a Catholic priest previously identified as a pedophile have filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington.

The 61-year-old man, whose name was not released, alleges in the lawsuit filed today that he was repeatedly molested by the Rev. Edward Carley while he was an altar boy at St. Ann's church 50 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Another Priest Abuse Lawsuit Was Filed Tuesday.

DELAWARE
WILM

By Ted Efaw
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The lawsuit was filed in New Castle County Superior Court against the Diocese of Wilmington and St. Ann’s Church.

The 61-year old victim, whose name wasn’t released, charges Carley with abusing him at least 100-times from 1958 to 62. The abuses began when he was 11 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

14th sex abuse suit filed against Diocese

DELAWARE
WDEL

By Peter MacArthur

A 14th lawsuit is being filed against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and a former priest.

A 61 year old man referred to in the suit as John Roe #1 says he was sexually abused by Reverend Edward Carley between 1958 and 1962 when he was an altar boy.

Carley died in 1998. The suit claims he was independently wealthy and would lure young boys by giving them money and buying them gifts, toys and sports equipment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Former Delco pastor sentenced

DELAWARE COUNTY (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Mari A. Schaefer
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A former pastor who preyed on teenage girls in a church youth group was sentenced today in Delaware County.

In May, Gerald L. Klever, 76, pleaded no contest to rape and guilty to sexual assault involving two women now in their 40s. Klever, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced to 10 years' probation, one year of house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service, and restitution of $25,000.

Both crimes happened in 1980, when he was a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Delaware County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Personal Aside: Rockford Diocese Drops Mundelein for Seminarians

ROCKFORD (IL)
TomRoeser.com

Rockford.

The Rockford, Illinois diocese will not send seminarians to St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein for training. Two upperclassmen propositioned a Rockford youth for homosexual favors. So much for the change that has been promised in archdiocesan public relations pronouncements.

Thus the Rockford diocese has decided it is finished with Mundelein. Thus you have the archdiocese of Chicago where layman Chancellor Jimmy Lago (believe it or not that’s his baptismal name, not to be confused with his brother Timmy, his baptismal name as well)…Jimmy the best precinct captain onetime Democratic Cook county chairman now under indictment Ed Vrdolyak ever had… has been put in charge of combating sexual abuse and the same-old, same-old is happening. Of course the supine Chicago “religious” press is asleep at the switch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

RTÉ challenges religious imagery decision

IRELAND
RTE News

Tuesday, 29 July 2008 17:37
RTÉ has begun High Court proceedings against the Broadcasting Complaints Commission over a decision made against the station in its coverage of the report of the Ferns inquiry into sexual abuse.

The court heard that the BCC upheld a complaint made by one viewer about a background image using religious symbols in a report on the findings of the Ferns inquiry.

The viewer had complained about what he claimed was a 'profane use of the sacramentals' referring to the appearance of rosary beads, a priest's collar and a bible or breviary as a background.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

UCC Renewal Leader Apologizes to Roman Catholic Diocese of Boston

BOSTON (MA)
Christian News Wire

CANDIA, NH, July 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- In an open letter to Boston area Catholics sent to Archbishop Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Rev. David Runnion-Bareford, Executive Director of the Confessing Movement in the United Church of Christ, apologized for the "division and confusion" caused by former Massachusetts UCC President Rev. Nancy Taylor and the UCC related Church of the Covenant who recently welcomed and hosted a schismatic "ordination" by the group "Womenpriests."

Rev. Runnion-Bareford wrote, "Please accept our deepest and sincere apology for the behavior of Rev. Nancy Taylor of Old South Church, UCC and the UCC related Church of the Covenant. They do not reflect the heart and mind of our United Church of Christ whose premise is 'that all may be one.' Those of us who truly value the unity of all Christians and treasure our ecumenical relationships with you as Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ are grieved.

"We are also fully aware that this event was not motivated by a sincere desire to honor the call of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the ministry of committed Christian women. We know that 'Womenpriests' openly include candidates who are engaged in the practice of sexual license. It is significant that the participants would not take the vow of obedience or chastity. We are aware of the statements on their website proclaiming a false gospel of self and mutual affirmation, denying the fall of humanity and our need for repentance from sin and personal transformation through the atoning crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. www.womenpriests.org/body/body_ovr.asp

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Protestant pastor apologizes to Catholics over minister’s role in female ‘ordinations’

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic News Agency

Boston, Jul 28, 2008 / 06:13 pm (CNA).- Just over a week ago, the dissident group Womenpriests claimed to “ordain” three women as priests at a Boston-area Church of Christ location. The move was condemned by the Archdiocese of Boston and now the Rev. David Runnion-Bareford, a Church of Christ minister, is apologizing to the archdiocese for his fellow minister’s sanctioning of the event.

On Sunday, July 20, Roman Catholic Womenpriests held an alleged ordination ceremony of three women at the Church of the Covenant, which is affiliated with both the Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Christ (UCC).

The former president of the UCC in Massachusetts, Rev. Nancy Taylor attended the ceremony to show her support for the women and told the Boston Globe that she saw the women as being discriminated against by the Catholic Church. “Prejudice in liturgical clothing is still prejudice,” she said. ...

Rev. David Runnion-Bareford, Executive Director of the Confessing Movement in the United Church of Christ, responded to the situation by sending an open letter to Boston area Catholics via Cardinal Sean O'Malley. In his letter, he apologized for the "division and confusion" caused by Rev. Nancy Taylor and the Church of the Covenant—the church were the ceremony was held.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Man speaks of priest child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A man who was the victim of sexual abuse by a Church of England priest when he was a boy said it has scarred his life.

He spoke out after Collin Pritchard, of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, admitted seven sex offences against children, in Northamptonshire in the 1970s and 80s.

Pritchard was jailed for five years at Northampton Crown Court on Monday.

Following sentencing, the victim told

BBC Look East: "I have lost faith - he said he was a man of God."

The offences took place while 64-year-old Pritchard was parish priest at St Andrew's Church in Wellingborough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Abuse victim's claims stand up to challenge

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

THE REV. ROBERT M. HOATSON, Special to the Press Heralds

July 29, 2008

As a priest, survivor of clergy sexual abuse and advocate for hundreds of clergy sexual abuse victims, I take exception to Arnold Besier's Maine Voices column in the July 15 edition of this newspaper ("Diocese treated hard-working priest unfairly"). I will attempt to explain to Mr. Besier and readers why he is flat wrong.

I am working with the heroic and brave victim of the Rev. James Robichaud who had the courage to come forward, risk ridicule and contempt, and expose her abuser.

Instead of protecting the priest, Arnold Besier should be traveling to Massachusetts to award her a medal of valor, because children in the United States are safer now than they were in the days before she went public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Sex abuse priest jailed for 5 years

UNITED KINGDOM
Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Published Date: 29 July 2008
By Rob Middleton
A parish priest who sexually abused two young boys while at a Northamptonshire church has been jailed for five years.

The Rev Collin Pritchard, aged 64, was in charge of a church in Wellingborough, when he started repeatedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy more than 25 years ago.

Pritchard, who was educated in Northampton, pleaded guilty at the town's Crown Court yesterday to four indecent assaults of two boys and three acts of gross indecency, dating back to the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests targets Sen. John McCain

ARIZONA
The Arizona Daily Star

07/28/2008 04:24 PM
Stephanie Innes
The national Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests is angry at Sen. John McCain.

Members of the national group say they’ll be holding a media event in Phoenix on Tuesday, July 29, to demand that McCain fire Deal Hudson from his Catholics for McCain steering committee.

The SNAP protestations come shortly after a group called Catholics United, which leans left, also demanded that McCain dump Hudson. Catholics United says Hudson does not represent Catholic values.

The reason? A sex scandal…..

In 2004 the National Catholic Reporter revealed that Hudson had resigned his faculty post at Fordham University a decade earlier — in 1994 — after an 18-year-old student complained that he had sexual relations with her in his office after taking her to a party at a New York bar and getting her drunk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Diocese: Window sale ‘unrelated’ to consolidation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Democrat

BY MIKE FAHER
The Tribune-Democrat

With an engineering study now complete, parishioners soon will have a chance to give their opinions on the planned merger of five Johnstown churches.

But even as that announcement was made Monday, a new controversy illustrated how sensitive and emotional the Cambria City consolidation will be.

Responding to the news that St. Columba is selling some of its stained-glass windows, some suspected that church leaders were forecasting that facility’s demise.

Diocesan officials insist that no decisions have been made on which of the five churches will serve as the neighborhood’s consolidated worship site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Church review nearly ready

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

By JIM WALSH • Courier-Post Staff • July 29, 2008

A review of facilities at two Catholic churches, announced in May after parishioners protested a planned merger, is near completion, according to the Diocese of Camden.

A diocesan spokesman on Monday declined to indicate if any changes would result from the review. But members of St. Vincent Pallotti parish in Haddon Township said they're hoping for revisions to a pending merger with St. Aloysius parish in Oaklyn.

Bishop Joseph Galante in April announced plans to combine the two parishes as part of a sweeping reconfiguration of the local diocese. Galante said then that St. Aloysius would be the primary worship center for the combined parish, upsetting members of St. Vincent Pallotti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

5 men from polygamist sect surrender in sex assault case

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News
eramshaw@dallasnews.com / The Dallas Morning News
Robert T. Garrett contributed to this report.

AUSTIN – Five men from a West Texas polygamist sect turned themselves in Monday, less than a week after they were indicted on charges related to the sexual assault and "spiritual" marriage of underage girls.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said law enforcement officials and an attorney for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints negotiated the surrender, which came sooner than expected, officials acknowledged.

A sixth sexual assault suspect – sect prophet Warren Jeffs – has already been convicted of similar charges in Utah. He is in jail awaiting trial in Arizona and could still be extradited to Texas.

The arrests follow child welfare investigators' seizure of 440 children and about two dozen women from the polygamist community in April, over allegations the sect permitted a culture of sexual abuse and marriages between young girls and much older men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Children's homes to be licensed, monitored

JAMAICA
The Jamaica Observer

Kimmo Matthews
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MINISTER of Health, Rudyard Spencer, has given operators of children's homes until August 20 to apply for a licence to operate or face closure.

The Child Development Agency (CDA) has also been mandated to institute measures to ensure that places of safety and child care facilities across the island are operating under the Child Care and Protection Act.

The instructions were handed down by the minister at a meeting held yesterday with human rights lobby group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), which expressed concern after an Observer report last week, of allegations of buggery against the superintendent of a St Mary boys' home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Minister Faces Charges Of Molesting Church Member

HAWAII
KITV

HONOLULU -- A Windward Oahu minister on Monday pleaded not guilty to the long-term sexual abuse of a member of his congregation.

Manuel Taboada made his court appearance via closed circuit television from Oahu Community Correctional Center.

He is accused of molesting a girl from age 12 for nearly eight years. The alleged victim was one of many people sharing his large home in Kaneohe, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse

OHIO
WHIZ

By: Mike Partin

A Licking county pastor is accused of sexual abuse of a 5-year old boy.

Michael Lee reportedly failed a lie detector test and is facing one count of gross sexual imposition which is a third-degree felony.

Lee allegedly touch the child inappropriately over a three-year peroid of time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Priest accused of sexual assault removed from parish

PENNSYLVANIA
The Reporter

By Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer 07/29/2008

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a minor more than 30 years ago has been relieved of his duties at a parish in Doylestown Borough, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman was recently removed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish by Cardinal Justin Rigali, pending a formal investigation, the archdiocese announced Monday.

The accusation is the first against Hoffman, who has served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish since 2002, according to a statement released by the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Pastor charged with sexual abuse fails lie-detector test

NEWARK (OH)
Newark Advocate

Advocate staff report • July 29, 2008

NEWARK -- The minister of a Pataskala church who is accused of sexual abusing a 5-year-old boy failed a lie-detector test, according to court documents released Monday.

Pastor Michael Lee of the First Apostolic Church of Pataskala is facing one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, and is accused of inappropriately touching the child during a three-year period immediately preceding March 4.

Lee, who was indicted earlier this month, volunteered to speak with a Newark police detective and denied the allegations, according to Detective Robert Huffman's statement of facts.

His answers to a computerized-voice stress analysis, or CVSA, test were deceitful on all relevant questions, Huffman's report states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Ex-principal of Roman named in sexual-abuse complaint

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Daily News

By JOHN F. MORRISON
Philadelphia Daily News

morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573

The Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman, a former principal of Roman Catholic High School, has been named in a sexual-abuse complaint dating back 30 years and has been removed from duty pending a church investigation.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said that the allegation involves a minor. The church now will determine if the complaint is credible.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, has relieved Hoffman of his assignment as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, in Doylestown. As of a week ago, he no longer lives at the parish rectory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Former Catholic high school principal suspended following abuse allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Cardinal Justin Rigali has suspended the former principal of Roman Catholic and St. Pius X High Schools pending an investigation into allegations he sexually abused a minor many years ago.

Until his removal last week, the Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman, 63, had been serving as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Doylestown since 2002. He is no longer residing at the parish rectory, according to the archdiocese.

In a prepared statement, the archdiocese said the allegation that prompted his suspension was the first it had ever received against Hoffman, who has served in numerous parishes and high schools during his career. It said it had occurred "more than 30 years ago."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Former area principal accused of sex assault

LOWER POTTSGROVE (PA)
Pottstown Mercury

By Michael Hays, mhays@pottsmerc.com
07/29/2008

LOWER POTTSGROVE — A recent allegation of molestation has led to the removal of a former St. Pius X High School principal by Archdiocese of Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali.

Father Gerard J. Hoffman was on the faculty at St. Pius X from 1976 to 1988, according to archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Farrell. Hoffman later served as principal from 1990 to 1993.

He is accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 30 years ago, the archdiocese said in a statement.

"This is the first allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that the archdiocese has received regarding Father Hoffman. Since 2002, he has been assigned as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Doylestown, Bucks County. Father Hoffman is no longer residing at the parish rectory as of a week ago," the release stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Local Priest Named in Sexual Abuse Complaint

PENNSYLVANIA
WFMZ

[video]

A former principal at St. Pius X High School in Pottstown is being investigated by the Catholic Church for sexual abuse. Gerard Hoffman served as principal of the school before moving to Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High School in 1993. He most recently worked at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Doylestown. Hoffman has been removed from duty while the church investigates. The allegations stem from an assault that allegedly occurred more than 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Former vicar jailed over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Telegraph

By Simon Hughes
Corby reporter
A former vicar who admitted sexually abusing two boys over 20 years ago has been jailed for five years.

Rev Colin Pritchard, 64, admitted four indecent assaults of two underage boys and three acts of gross indecency dating back to the early 1980s, at Northampton Crown Court yesterday.

The unmarried retired vicar was in charge of St Andrew's Church, in Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, until 1989 and it was during this period that the abuse happened.

Judge Christopher Metcalf said: "It was the most appalling breach of trust. It's clear to me from the evidence that you have betrayed your calling. You took advantage of young boys who wanted to involve themselves in your church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Priest accused of sexually abusing minor

DOYLESTOWN (PA)
The Intelligencer

By CHRISTINA KRISTOFIC
Bucks County Courier Times

DOYLESTOWN - A Doylestown priest has been suspended pending investigation into allegations that he sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago.

The Rev. Gerard Hoffman, who has served as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel since 2002, moved out of the rectory last week. His suspension was announced to the congregation at Masses on Saturday and Sunday, and counselors from the archdiocese were on hand to talk to parishioners.

This is the first allegation of sexual abuse that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has received about the 63-year-old priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

July 28, 2008

5 polygamist church members jailed

TEXAS
CW33

[with photos of the accused]

July 28, 2008

ELDORADO — Five members of a polygamist sect have turned themselves in to authorities.

They each surrendered Monday afternoon at the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office, after a grand jury indicted them on charges including sexual assault of a child and bigamy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Five FLDS Suspects Surrender

TEXAS
WOAI

By Jim Forsyth
Monday, July 28, 2008
Five members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints surrendered to the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Office to face charges including sexual assault of a child, 1200 WOAI news reports today.

“These are men who obviously have been indicted by a Schleicher County grand jury fro sexually assaulting young children,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “I would be concerned for the safety of any children they would be exposed to.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Indicted FLDS members turn selves in

SAN ANGELO (TX)
Reporter-News

By Paul A. Anthony
San Angelo Standard-Times
Originally published 05:54 p.m., July 28, 2008

SAN ANGELO -- Five indicted FLDS members have turned themselves in.

The men, sought since they were indicted Tuesday on a series of charges relating to alleged sexual abuse at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' Schleicher County ranch, turned themselves in to the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office about noon Monday, said Texas Ranger Capt. L.C. Wilson.

According to the Texas Attorney General's Office, the five men are:

Raymond Merril Jessop, 36, the alleged husband of a 16-year-old daughter of Warren Jeffs, is charged with one count of sexual assault of a child.

Allan Eugene Keate, 56, is charged with one count of sexual assault of a child.

Michael Gorge Emack, 57, is charged with one count of sexual assault of a child.

Merril Leroy Jessop, 33, is charged with one count of sexual assault of a child and bigamy.

Lloyd Hammond Barlow, 38, is charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Alleged child molester in custody, awaits extradition

YUMA (AZ)
Yuma Sun

July 28, 2008 - 1:56PM
FROM STAFF REPORTS
A 75-year-old man is in custody in the San Bernardino County Jail pending extradition to Yuma to face child sex charges.

Aurelio Aguilar was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in Ontario, Calif., last week on a Yuma County indictment charging him with molestation of a child, sexual conduct with a minor and continuous sexual abuse, the Marshals Service said in a news release.

Jennifer Wells, spokeswoman for the marshals' Yuma office, said Aguilar is believed to be a former pastor, although she said she did not know if he had ministered in Yuma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Former Kimberton pastor accused of sex assault

PENNSYLVANIA
Pottstown Mercury

07/28/2008

A former pastor at St. Basil the Great in Kimberton has been accused of sex assault, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Licensing for Child Care facilities

JAMAICA
Radio Jamaica

Monday, 28 July 2008
A licensing regime is to be put in place immediately to ensure that all child care facilities, state-run or private, are operated under the Child Care and Protection Act.

The decision came out of a meeting on Monday with officials of the Ministry of Health, the Child Development Agency (CDA) and other stakeholders.

It was revealed during the meeting that none of the island's childrens' homes is registered. ...

It's reported that a Pastor in the eastern parish of St Mary who is also a supervisor at a boys' home was charged with 30 counts of buggery when he appeared in court last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Ex-Beach pastor stripped home auctioned for debts

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
The Virginian-Pilot

By Steven G. Vegh
The Virginian-Pilot
July 28, 2008
VIRGINIA BEACH

A former pastor charged with embezzling his congregation is accused of yanking fixtures, a sink and appliances out of his home after it was recently auctioned off to pay his debt.

Kenneth L. Montgomery, who faces a criminal trial Aug. 20 in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, also made off with the mailbox, hot tub and kitchen cabinet knobs, according to attorney William Lascara, who oversaw the auction process.

“He took shrubbery, he must have dug up 15 to 20 bushes,” Lascara said.

Last year, a Virginia Beach judge ordered Montgomery to repay Hilltop Community Church more than $131,000 in a civil case. The house sale was arranged to pay back the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

The Child Victim's Act of Delaware

DELAWARE
ChildVictimsVoice.com

Expert panel to discuss law, answer questions

A panel, featuring survivors of childhood sexual abuse and experts in the fields of law enforcement, constitutional law, victims' advocacy and the counseling of childhood trauma victims, will discuss Delaware's Child Victim's Act at its one-year milestone.

When:
Tuesday, August 5, 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Where:
Bernard and Ruth Siegel Jewish Community Center
101 Garden of Eden Road Wilmington, DE 19803

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

5 more arrested from west Texas polygamist sect

TEXAS
The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A state law enforcement official says five indicted members of a polygamist sect in West Texas have turned themselves in to authorities.

The official, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, was not authorized to talk on the record until after a news conference by Attorney General Greg Abbott later Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Philly priest, ex-principal named in abuse probe

DOYLESTOWN (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

The Associated Press

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - A Philadelphia-area priest has been named in a sexual-abuse complaint and removed from duty while the church investigates.

The Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman served as principal of the city's Roman Catholic High School from 1993 to 2002 and previously led St. Piux X High School in Pottstown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Retired priest admits child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A retired vicar has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys when he was at a church in Northamptonshire.

Collin Pritchard, 64, now living in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, admitted seven sex offences, six of which were committed against one boy.

The offences took place while he was parish priest at St Andrew's Church in Wellingborough in the 1970s and 80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Bucks priest suspended following abuse allegation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Cardinal Justin Rigali had suspended from ministry the Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman, former principal of Pius X High School in Pottstown and Roman Catholic High School, pending an investigation into allegations he sexually abused a minor many years ago.

Hoffman, 63, was ordained a priest in 1973 and had served since 2002 as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Doylestown. Since his suspension last week he is no longer residing at the parish rectory, according to the archdiocese.

In a brief statement, the archdiocese reported that the abuse allegation that prompted his suspension was the first it had ever received against Hoffman, who has served in numerous parishes and high schools during his career.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Former vicar jailed for sex attacks on boys

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Telegraph

A retired parish priest from Wellingborough was jailed for five years today after he admitted sex attacks on two young boys.

Collin Pritchard, 64, was in charge of a church in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, in the early 1980s when he committed the offences, Northampton Crown Court was told.

The two victims, now adults, sat in court today to see the ex-clergyman admit four counts of indecent assault and three counts of committing an act of gross indecency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Dedicated St. Louis priest like others you know

ST. LOUIS (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

By TOM FOX, NCR staff writer
Published: July 28, 2008

Fr. Gerry Kleba, pastor of St. Cronan Parish, St. Louis, leads the Palm Sunday procession.If you don’t know Fr. Gerry Kleba you probably know a priest like him.

Kleba is one of those inner-city parish priests we have stumbled across and admired. This “Kleba” has worked tirelessly in the inner city of St. Louis through the last four decades. For the last six years, he has been pastor of St. Cronan parish, which inadvertently brought him unexpected attention after Sister of Charity Louise Lears, a pastoral associate in the parish, was banished last month by St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke. ...

Kleba does not hide his thoughts about Lears’ departure. He says he feels she was treated unfairly by the archbishop.

Speaking about a meeting he had with Archbishop Burke earlier this year, Kleba said, “He called me in and one of the things he wanted me to do was fire Sr. Louise and I said that this case is still open and I have to assume that while I don’t know much canon law, a person is innocent until proven guilty.”

“I told him I couldn’t fire her. He told me to seek out some further advice.”

So I decided to get a lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Churches turning to automated donations

MASSACHUSETTS
The Salem News

By Paul Leighton
Staff writer

BEVERLY — When her family piled into the car on Sunday mornings for the drive to church, Carol Augulewicz knew the question was coming.

"Do you have the envelope?" her husband would ask.

The family no longer has to worry about forgetting the weekly donation. They're still faithful churchgoers, but now their gift to St. Mary Star of the Sea is made automatically, with the click of a mouse instead of the pass of a basket. ...

The Boston Archdiocese's support of electronic payments is not necessarily linked to the drop in donations that resulted from the priest abuse scandal, Landry said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Paternity Test Clears Young Deacon

INDIA
Indian Catholic

CHENNAI, India (UCAN) -- A Catholic deacon in southern India has expressed relief after paternity tests exonerated him of making a schoolgirl pregnant.

I am relieved after the tests have proved my innocence," Amalanathan told UCA News on July 22. But the 26-year-old seminarian of Dharmapuri diocese in Tamil Nadu state said the charges caused him "much" suffering. The diocese is based in Dharmapuri town, 2,250 kilometers south of New Delhi.

A 16-year-old Catholic girl complained to the police on Jan. 10 that the seminarian molested her and made her pregnant. The girl, a student, lives in Savadiyur, a village in the diocese's territory. She was nine months pregnant when she made the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

PASTOR ACCUSED OF STEALING CHURCHS’ MONEY

TEXAS
EURweb

(July 28, 2008)

According to a report by KPRC Local 2 in Houston, Rev. Val Adams was arrested and accused of theft and forgery. The preacher has been accused of stealing from his own congregation.

Rev. Adams took over Canaan Baptist Church when his father, Lonzo Adams, became ill. Church members said that is when money started disappearing.

He is known for his ambitious business ventures. Former members told KPRC, according to an article by Daniella Guzman, that Adam would ask members for money to invest in different business ideas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

A reprieve for church scheduled to close?

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jan Hefler
Inquirer Staff Writer

Parishioners at a Haddon Township church that has been targeted for closure had their spirits lifted yesterday by news that the bishop was asking an advisory group to reexamine the decision.

"It's a ray of hope," said Tricia Newman, a paraplegic woman from Haddon Township who is deeply attached to St. Vincent Pallotti, one of the few Catholic churches in the region fully accessible to the disabled.

In April, Camden Bishop Joseph A. Galante angered many of the Camden diocese's faithful when he proposed merging 124 parishes into 66, one of the largest reconfigurations of Roman Catholic churches in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Call for inquiry on funds to save church

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Daily Post

Jul 28 2008 by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Daily Post

CAMPAIGNERS last night accused Catholic Church authorities of failing to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of parishioners’ money donated to help save a historic Merseyside church.

A pressure group set up to save the renowned SS Peter and Paul’s church in Wirral have now called for an investigation into church leaders by the Charity Commission. The campaigners say they have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds through Gift Aid – which allows the church to reclaim tax on the money – but that money has not been spent as they believed it would be, such as on routine maintenance.

The Catholic authorities refused to discuss the claims last night, and said there was nothing to add to the Bishop’s announced decision to close the church .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Churches can't eradicate abuse, former archbishop says

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY GRAHAM DOWNIE
RELIGION REPORTER

28/07/2008 12:00:00 AM
Even with psychological testing and background screening of clergy, churches could not guarantee sexual abuse would not occur, former Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide Ian George has said in Canberra.

He described as a worthy aspiration demands that the Church prevent any further abuse. Though there was now zero tolerance of abuse, ''I suppose, sadly, it will happen'', he said.

The first thing the Church had learned about abuse was that it happened. ''For a very long time, that wasn't seriously believed,'' he said. In the past it had been either not believed or dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Guilty of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY
28/07/2008 8:43:00 AM
A PRIEST who worked on the Central Coast has been found guilty of sexually abusing seven teenage boys in the 1980s.

A Sydney District Court jury found Paul Raymond Evans, 56, of Saratoga, guilty of 18 sex offences during his time as dormitory master at Boys' Town Catholic boarding school for troubled teenagers at Engadine.

He was in jail on Friday night after a judge refused bail.

The court heard Evans was charged and acquitted of sexual offences involving two teenagers in 1988 and was moved to St Patrick's parish at East Gosford in 1991 where he was assistant priest with the then Father Michael Malone, now the bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

July 27, 2008

Diocese can learn value of disclosure

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Times Staff | Sunday, July 27, 2008
With every detail, the picture of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church gets clearer and clearer.

Four priests — James Janssen, William Wiebler, Francis Bass and Thomas Feeney — account for nearly 100 of the 150 abuse claims reported by the diocese.

The disclosure was provided by the Davenport Diocese following known settlements that total $47 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Renaming a bridge will heal a hole in this man's heart

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

By BILL NEMITZ

July 27, 2008

Maybe it was the stutter. Maybe the Rev. John J. Curran saw 12-year-old Bob Dupuis struggling to get the words out and knew that this one would be easy prey.

"He basically stalked me," Dupuis said. "He knew who he could go after."

Dupuis, now 59, returned to his native Maine from his home in Connecticut last week not to confront Curran, who died in 1976. Rather, he came to dispel a myth.

"He was a pedophile and a child abuser," Dupuis said. "That's what he should be remembered for."

It takes guts to do what Bob Dupuis did last Monday evening. While some in the audience still shook their heads in disbelief, he stood before the Augusta City Council to say that Curran, a local icon if ever there was one, was not the man people thought he was.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

The Pope vs. the Pill

The New York Times

By JOHN L. ALLEN Jr.
Published: July 27, 2008
FORTY years ago last week, Pope Paul VI provoked the greatest uproar against a papal edict in the long history of the Roman Catholic Church when he reiterated the church’s ban on artificial birth control by issuing the encyclical “Humanae Vitae.” At the time, commentators predicted that not only would the teaching collapse under its own weight, but it might well bring the “monarchical papacy” down with it.

Those forecasts badly underestimated the capacity of the Catholic Church to resist change and to stand its ground.

Down the centuries, Catholics have frequently groused about papal rulings. Usually they channeled that dissent into blithe disobedience, though occasionally a Roman mob would run the Successor of Peter out of town on a rail just to make a point. In 1848, Pope Pius IX was driven into exile by Romans incensed at his refusal to embrace Italy’s unification.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Pope may apologize for abuses in Canada: Archbishop

CANADA
The Telegram

NADYA BELL
The Telegram

Returning from a ceremony with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, Newfoundland Archbishop Martin Currie says it’s likely that the pontiff, if he visits Canada, will apologize for the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy in Newfoundland.

The Pope recently apologized for similar abuses in Australia during his visit to that country for World Youth Day, and apologized in April for abuses in the United States.

“I think if he ever gets to Canada he’ll probably incorporate that and Newfoundland and something with the residential schools,” Currie says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Don Mologni: «Infangato da uomini malvagi, ho fiducia nella giustizia»

ITALY
CronacaAqui

IVREA 25/07/2008 - Si dichiara innocente, don Pierpaolo Mologni, il parroco di Ozegna accusato di pedofilia. Ma dichiara anche di aver fiducia nella giustizia.

In clinica Ieri pomeriggio il sacerdote ha lasciato l’ospedale di Ivrea - dove fino all’altro giorno era ricoverato in rianimazione - ed è stato trasporto alla Casa del Clero, dove è attualmente ricoverato.

Una delle ultime persone ad averlo incontrato è stato il suo difensore, l’avvocato Elio uglielmino del foro di Ivrea.

[translation]

The words of the priest from Lombardone accused of sexual abuses
The Rev. Mologni: " Mudded by bad men, I trust justice"

IVREA - He declares to be innocent, the Rev. Pierpaolo Mologni, the parish priest at Ozegna accused of pedophilia. But he also declares to trust justice. Yesterday in the afternoon the priest left the hospital in Ivrea - where until the day after he had been in the ICU - and transported to the House of the Clergy, where he is now under care. One of the last persons to meet him was his defense lawyer, Mr. Elio Guglielmino, from the tribunal of Ivrea. The lawyer found the elderly parish priest in low spirits and in a precarious health condition , but adamant in rejecting all the charges. "I'm am extraneous from all the charges of the prosecutor office in Turin.

On the contrary I'm still unaware of the real reasons for these falsities and of the source these accusations are coming from. I don't know anything about the pedopornographic photos of children. During my life - he goes on - I believe I never committed a crime, I'm firmly convinced to be cleared from this story in the best of the ways for I never committed the acts for which I'm being investigated" . A completely different statement from what is written in the papers of the investigations: " Those are falsities - repeated the priest - I never touched a child in my life and such reports are due to the wickedness of some men . I'm a man of the Church and if I have to bear this Calvary, I do that with the serenity of a person who knows he never did anything wrong. And I now say - the parish priest of Ozegna concluded - I pardon those who orchestrated this painful calumny". Meanwhile the curia rushed to issue a press release, directly attributable to Bishop Miglio and agreed upon with cardinal Bertone, whereby they distance themselves from the investigated priest. "Surprise and suffering came from the accusations to a priest of our diocese - the bishop wrote, as if he wanted to eliminate the suspicion that story was already known in the ecclesiastical environment- he is esteemed and loved by those who know him , and we express our gratitude for the good he did and we
are near him in this particular moment". Bishop Miglio sends an appeal to the judges and the victims of the "alleged' pedophile priest: "We express our trust in the magistrates for their delicate duty, we are close and give our solidarity to those people, especially if minors, for what they had to put up with". And then the final "stroke": " It's very vivid in all of us the echo of the words pronounced by Benedict XVI, both in the recent trip to USA and in Australia for the World Youth Day just concluded", which means: "pedophile priests must be convicted".

25/07/2008

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

July 26, 2008

Married priest assigned to Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WI)
United Press International

MILWAUKEE, July 26 (UPI) -- A married Roman Catholic priest with children will join the Milwaukee Archdiocese for the first time in its history, church officials say.

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan wrote in a letter to his priests that he was "impressed" by the Rev. Michael Scheip and was willing to let the married priest join the archdiocese, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

"He comes with a genuine desire to be of service to the church here in Milwaukee," Dolan wrote.

Scheip, 50, is coming from the Diocese of Venice, Fla., along with his wife of 24 years and will serve at Dolan's parish in Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 PM

Q & A from Archbishop Dolan on married clergy becoming priests

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: July 26, 2008
The following is a Q & A sent by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan to priests and deacons explaining how married clergy can become priests.

Q. We were always taught that married men could not be ordained Catholic priests. How is it possible that we could have a married Catholic priest here in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?

A. Celibacy is a discipline of the Catholic Church practiced universally in the West. Although it is highly valued, Pope Paul VI states that celibacy "is not, of course, required by the nature of the priesthood itself. This is clear from the practice of the early church and the traditions of the Eastern rite churches."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Apology to abuse victims: damned if you do, damned if you don't

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY GRAHAM DOWNIE
27/07/2008 10:08:00 AM
HE MIGHT not have realised it, but World Youth Day coordinator Anthony Fisher touched on an important principle of healing, albeit expressed insensitively.

Having spent most of the past two years preparing for the event in Sydney, Bishop Fisher's frustration at those who spoiled the party by reminding the church of its sins was understandable, if not justified. He certainly reinforced his reputation as a hardline enforcer of church doctrine.

Yet when frustrated by niggling demands for a papal apology over sexual abuse by Australian Catholic priests and religious, Fisher complained the anger and suffering of victims was spoiling World Youth Day for everyone else. That thousands of lives had been scarred by sexual abuse seemed to escape him. The problem, as he saw it, was that these people were dwelling crankily on old wounds.

The question is, what is an apology worth if extracted only by public demands? Surely, a genuine apology is freely offered, not given begrudgingly in response to demands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Ore. pastor gets jail term for stealing

SALEM (OR)
KOMO

By Associated Press
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The former pastor of a downtown Portland church has been given a six-month jail term for stealing $132,000 meant for such programs as helping the poor pay for food, rent and medical bills.

During Friday's hearing, Rex Loy shook his head as the judge imposed the sentence - apparently still denying prosecutors' assertions that he spent the stolen money on strippers, drugs and gambling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Anne Hathaway's Diaries Confiscated by the FBI

NEW YORK
eFluxMedia

By Raoul Railey

Anne Hathaway's diaries have been confiscated by the FBI during a raid at her ex-boyfriend's Manhattan apartment, which the two shared until breaking up. The actress used to date Raffaello Follieri for about four years, and broke up with him just before he had been arrested by US authorities.

The police became interested in Follieri after gaining information that he might have been involved in fraud and money laundering. The Italian citizen had allegedly tricked people into believing he had connections in Vatican that would have allowed him to buy properties below the market price. Some people said that Follieri used to display Vatican robes in his office and that he once hired a priest to pose as a Vatican clergyman to back up his allegations of being a person close to city officials.

Among other things that have been taken from his apartment there were pictures of him and Miss Hathaway as well as the Clintons, Pope John Paul II and the McCains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Sex abuse suspect to be arraigned

SANDPOINT (ID)
Bonner County Daily Bee

SANDPOINT — A Montana man is scheduled to be arraigned next month on allegations he fondled a preteen girl while he was a pastor at Priest Lake several years ago.

Stephen D. Bicknell is charged with sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16, an offense punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Bicknell, a 57-year-old from Libby, is free on bond while the case is pending.

Charging papers said Bicknell fondled the girl’s breasts when she was between the ages of nine and 10. The abuse occurred between 2005 and 2006, when Bicknell was between the ages of 54 and 55, the complaint said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Sex in the Catholic Church”Should Catholics Withhold Money?

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

The contributions of lay Catholics keep the Church functioning, yet contributors have no say in how the Church is run. This is in effect taxation without representation.

Reform efforts (e.g., Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful) have not had a wide appeal.

It’s clear to me that the only leverage reform-minded Catholics have is money, the universal language.

Here’s my idea.

Let’s pick a Sunday (or Sundays) when we send the bishops a message by withholding weekly contributions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Permission needed to go to cops: Legault

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By Trevor Pritchard

The local Roman Catholic diocese’s current committee for handling sexual abuse allegations will only go to police with the alleged victim’s permission, its chair told the Cornwall Public Inquiry yesterday.

But Raymond Legault added the five-person committee delivers every abuse allegation, current or historical, to the Children’s Aid Society.

“Although the law is not absolutely clear on (the requirement to report historical allegations) we want to make sure we do the right thing,” said Legault.

The inquiry is looking at how institutions like the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese responded when people brought allegations of sexual abuse from decades past to their attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Officers search Frontenac church

FRONTENAC (KS)
The Morning Sun

By MATTHEW CLARK
The Morning Sun
Posted Jul 26, 2008 @ 12:00 AM

FRONTENAC — The misuse “tens of thousands of dollars” in church funds has been the centerpiece of a 10-month investigation by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

On Thursday, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Sacred Heart Catholic Church as part of that investigation.

“The entire investigation is geared toward their business manager,” said Crawford County Sheriff Sandy Horton. “Through our investigation we have seen tens of thousands of dollars misused.”
He added that the investigation began after the Sheriff’s Department received information regarding potential misuse of church funds and he said that “I took it from there.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Vt. diocese settles suit

VERMONT
Times Argus

July 26, 2008

Staff, Wire Report

BURLINGTON — Vermont's Catholic Church has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a former Montpelier altar boy who says he was molested by a parish priest in the 1970s.

Neither the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington nor the plaintiff's attorney, Jerome O'Neill, are divulging the amount of the settlement, which comes less than a month before the case was set for trial in Chittenden Superior Court.

"The individual involved did not want it known that he had been molested," O'Neill said of the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Rent boy faces jail for £3k blackmail plot over gay priest

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Daily Record
Jul 26 2008 By Chris Musson

A GAY priest was forced to hand over £3000 by a blackmailing rent boy.

Father Tony Sweeney, 61, quit the priesthood after details of the seedy plot emerged.

And yesterday, rent boy John Gallagher, who tormented the priest for almost three years, was facing jail after admitting blackmail.

Gallagher, 30, met Father Sweeney in 2003 at a meeting point for gay men in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park, the city's sheriff court heard yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Activists press Stafford abuse case

STAFFORD (VA)
Free Lance-Star

Date published: 7/26/2008

BY KEITH EPPS

Members of a national group against sex abuse came to Stafford yesterday to show support for a county man who was sexually abused as a teenager by a minister.

A handful of members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests were at the Stafford Judicial Center yesterday to lobby for a stiff penalty for the Rev. George Lowe, who has pleaded guilty to two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

Lowe molested Ben Marsh multiple times in 1984 and 1985, starting when Marsh was 15. Marsh, who has said he wants his name used, was also on the courthouse steps yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Church's former worker arrested

LONGBOAT KEY (FL)
Herald Tribune

By Michael A. Scarcella

LONGBOAT KEY - The former bookkeeper at St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church was arrested Friday on theft and fraud charges, accused of stealing nearly $330,000 from the Catholic church for personal use.

Margaret Carroll is accused of fraud and theft. Margaret Carroll is accused of fraud and theft.

Manatee County sheriff's detectives say Margaret A. Carroll, 66, whom the Diocese of Venice fired after theft allegations surfaced last year, spent tens of thousands of dollars on home repair and even bought a new car with stolen money. She also wrote checks to family members, authorities say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Sex and the modern Catholic

The Tablet

Publication of Humanae Vitae 40 years ago was a seismic moment in the history of the Catholic Church. Today most practising Catholics ignore its teaching on birth control and more than half think it should be revised. This is the central finding of a major survey commissioned by The Tablet

By the time the contraceptive pill came on the market in 1962, Catholic couples had begun to wonder if it was the answer to their prayers: a reliable and convenient method of birth control they could use with the Church's blessing. The hopes of a great many Catholics were dashed with the publication of Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae on 29 July 1968 which forbad the use of all artificial forms of contraception including the Pill.

Exactly 40 years later, a major study conducted by The Tablet has found that its teaching is ignored by the great majority of Mass-going Catholics. This is one of the main findings contained in part two of our survey of 1,500 Catholics from parishes across England and Wales. Although almost half have never heard of Humanae Vitae, a large majority is aware of the Church's ban on artificial birth control and more than half believe it should be revised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

State cancel interviews on sect raid

TEXAS
Marshall News Messenger

By Corrie MacLaggan
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Saturday, July 26, 2008
State child welfare officials, in anticipation of a possible lawsuit from a polygamous sect, are carefully watching what they say about an April raid on the sect's West Texas ranch.

Through spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman, Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Carey Cockerell and his boss, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins, this week canceled an interview scheduled for July 30 with the American-Statesman and the Houston Chronicle.

Both newspapers have repeatedly asked for the chance to query Hawkins and Cockerell about the decision to seize more than 400 children from the Eldorado ranch owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on suspicions of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Abuse victim seeks punitive damages from archdiocese

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
Posted: July 26

When his childhood priest admitted to sexually abusing boys, a man suing the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said he thought the church also might confess that it should have taken steps to protect him and the other victims.

But so far the church has admitted only that the priest was a molester, accepting no responsibility itself.

So the man known in court documents only as John Doe NM is trying a new tactic to get the church to face its failures. His attorney has filed papers seeking punitive damages against the archdiocese -- raising the specter of the multimillion-dollar jury awards that have punished other dioceses across the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

New lawsuit claims abuse by ex-priest

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

Ashleigh Oldland
Saturday, July 26, 2008

A lawsuit filed Friday against Denver's Catholic Archdiocese alleges the Rev. Harold Robert White, who is now deceased, molested a young man in a Wheat Ridge parish in the 1980s.

The man who filed the suit, now in his 40s and living in California, says that church officials could have prevented the molestation.

White, who died in November 2006, worked in 11 parishes over 33 years. This is the third suit filed against the archdiocese this month naming White, according to a statement issued by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

July 25, 2008

Church funds misused; authorities focusing on person of interest

FRONTENAC (KS)
Joplin Globe

By Greg Grisolano

ggrisolano@joplinglobe.com

FRONTENAC, Kan. — Authorities executing a search warrant Thursday seized financial documents and business records in connection with an investigation into allegations of misuse of church funds by an individual other than the priest, Crawford County Sheriff Sandy Horton said Friday.

Members of the Sheriff’s Department, the Kansas Bureau of Investigations and the FBI served the warrant at the business office of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 100 S. Cherokee St., in Frontenac, Horton said.

No one is expected to be taken into custody yet, but Horton said the investigation points to thousands of dollars in church funds being misused.

“We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars at this point,” the sheriff said. “We want parishioners and the community to know that there are serious financial problems that need to be addressed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Former pastor gets 20 years for committing sex crimes

DAYTON (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Lou Grieco
Staff Writer

Friday, July 25, 2008

DAYTON — A former Riverside pastor convicted of multiple sex crimes against underage females was sentenced Friday, July 25, to 20 years in prison.

"The damage done to the eight victims and their families is enormous," Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Dennis Langer told Dennis Bowling.

Bowling, 47, who had been pastor of Kingdom Harvest Church, 2360 Valley Pike, Riverside, pleaded guilty June 25 to 15 felonies, including two counts of rape of a child under the age of 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Rent boy blackmailed priest for two years

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Published Date: 26 July 2008
By VICTORIA WELDON
A RENT boy tormented a gay Catholic priest for more than two years by threatening to expose his sexuality, a court heard yesterday.

John Gallagher forced the 61-year-old to pay £3,000 for his silence and regularly visited the chapel house in Glasgow to demand cash.

The pair met in Kelvingrove Park in the city's West End, where the cleric often went to use the services of male prostitutes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Sodomy slur on school head

INDIA
The Telegraph

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Gaya, July 25: Chief of a Bodh Gaya-based residential madarsa has been jailed on charges of sodomy.

The madarsa head, Shaheeruddin, was arrested late on Thursday evening after a 13-year-old pupil lodged a complaint against him alleging that the priest had been exploiting him for six weeks.

The victim, a resident of Malmal village of Madhubani district, met senior police officers with his guardian at the janata durbar on Thursday to register the complaint.

According to Bodh Gaya deputy superintendent of police Rajvansh Singh, doctor Sartaj Khan of Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College and Hospital examined the victim. During the test, the doctor saw clear signs of sodomy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Face to faith

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Terry Philpot The Guardian, Saturday July 26 2008

Until 1992 the guidelines about child protection which governed the Catholic church in England and Wales were reactive: they were about what to do if a child was abused. Like the Catholic church in some other parts of the world, notably the US, the church here fell foul of a number of scandals where allegations of abuse were not only not reported to the police but suspect priests were moved elsewhere.

It was cases like these that caused the Bishops Conference of England and Wales in 2000 to set up an independent commission of inquiry under the Catholic peer and judge, the late Lord Nolan. Its majority of non-Catholic members drew up new proposals that enabled the church to adopt a preventative stance: how children and vulnerable adults could be better protected.

The Nolan report was published in 2001 and accepted by the bishops. The Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Adults (Copca) was created, together with a network, at parish and diocesan level and within religious orders, of child protection officers. ...

One of the most serious concerns has been the way that, after Nolan, accused clergy have been dealt with. They are not only suspended but evicted from their homes. Even when accusations are proved false or no conviction is secured in court, they can spend years in an ecclesiastical limbo undergoing psychological risk assessments and never returning to parish and ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Council Fills Out Remaining Seats on the Board of Trustees

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

At its meeting on June 3, 2008, the Board of Trustees appointed Ron DuBois (Region 1) and Ed Wilson (Region 2) as the elected representatives of the National Representative Council to the Board.

The NRC re-elected Ron DuBois to a second term and elected Ed Wilson to fill the seat vacated when Dan Bartley became President in March.

The appointments mean that all eleven seats on the Board are full once again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Bishop Robinson to Cardinal Re: It’s Not So

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

While in the U.S. and Canada, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson avoided responding to pressure from a Vatican official and some fellow bishops to abandon his book tour. But when he returned to Australia, Bishop Robinson posted his thoughts on the Catholica Australia website:

“In his letter asking me to cancel the tour, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, said, ’It has been brought to my attention by some Bishops in the United States who are concerned that you have been invited by some organizations that are not in communion with the Catholic Church…’.

“This is the exact opposite of my experience. The people who came to listen were mainly older people who had spent their lives as faithful and loyal Catholics, raising their children in that faith and supporting the church in every way they could. They still practice their faith. Yes, there were also victims present, and married priests and gay people and three Catholic women ordained as priests. Some of these were angry, some disillusioned and many were struggling hard to keep faith in the church. But even these disaffected people still cared and still wanted to see a better church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Former minister's molestation trial set Sept. 22.

CANTON (OH)
Canton Repository

UPDATE: 5:34 PM, Friday, July 25, 2008

REPOSITORY STAFF REPORT

CANTON A former minister accused of molesting a family member goes on trial Sept. 22.

Peter L. Pilger, 36, of Warren, is charged with three felony counts of attempted rape and single counts of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition in Stark County Common Pleas Court.

Pilger's trial date was set this afternoon by Judge John G. Haas, according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Guilty on 18 charges

AUSTRALIA
The Manly Daily

Rebecca Woolley

26 July 2008

A FORMER Collaroy Plateau priest has been found guilty of molesting seven teenagers when he was a teacher at a Catholic-run school for troubled boys in the 70s and 80s.

Paul Raymond Evans was yesterday convicted of 18 serious child sex offences committed against seven boys as young as 13 who were pupils at Boys' Town, Engadine in Sydney's south.

The 57-year-old, a dorm master and teacher at the school, was in the Salesian of Don Bosco order before becoming a diocesan priest and worked at St Rose of Lima church at Collaroy Plateau in the 1990s.

A jury of five men and seven women delivered their verdict at the Sydney District Court yesterday after taking more than a week to reach a decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

BREAKING NEWS: judge divides FLDS child cases

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Originally published 02:17 p.m., July 25, 2008
Updated 02:17 p.m., July 25, 2008

Nearly four months after the largest child-custody case in U.S. history commenced, 51st District Judge Barbara Walther has broken it up, leaving 244 separate cases involving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Walther split Case No. 2902 - which included more than 300 children - into 110 cases grouped by mother, and Case 2903, which included more than 30 children, into nine cases, also grouped by mother. They join 125 cases filed separately by the state's Child Protective Services agency, which removed nearly 440 children from the sect's Schleicher County compound in early April.

"This is something we've known all along needs to be done," said Tom Green County District Court clerk Vicki Vines. "Nobody had a good enough grasp on it (until now). Everybody's got it a little more under control."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Court lets Catholic brother walk free

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

By JOHN HARTEVELT - The Press | Friday, 25 July 2008

After six years, 125 complaints and more than $5.1 million in compensation, the last of five Catholic brothers accused of sexually abusing disabled boys at a Christchurch school has walked free.

Father Raymond Garchow was given his freedom when the Crown entered a stay of proceedings with the Solicitor-General on Wednesday.

Garchow faced eight charges over the sexual abuse of boys at the Marylands school, run by the Brothers of St John of God Order, in the 1970s.

He was a sick man, and one of the two complainants was also unwell, which contributed to the case being pulled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

DISSIDENT GROUPS ATTACK VATICAN; FOUNDATIONS UNDERWRITE AD

Catholic League

An ad criticizing the Catholic Church for its teaching on contraception was placed today in Italy’s largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera. The “Open Letter to the Pope” is the work of Catholics for Choice and was signed by many dissident Catholic organizations.

Here’s what Catholic League president Bill Donohue had to say about it:

“There are several anomalies here. First, the alleged subject matter of the ad, namely contraception, is a ruse. Second, the mission of some of the groups who signed it has absolutely nothing to do with contraception. Third, the group which promoted it has no members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Catholics to pope: Lift the birth control ban

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — More than 50 dissident Catholic groups from around the world have written an open letter asking Pope Benedict XVI to lift the church's ban on birth control.

Taking a half-page ad in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the groups said Friday that the Church's ban on artificial birth control has had "catastrophic effects," particularly in the fight against AIDS.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the accusation was "clearly unfounded" and insisted the Church is active in combating AIDS.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

More St. Stanislaus members reconcile with Catholic Church

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

by Joseph Kenny, Review Staff Writer

Three more St. Stanislaus Parish Corporation board members have reconciled themselves with the Catholic Church.

Bernice Krauze, Stanley Rozanski and Robert Zabielski met privately and individually with Archbishop Raymond L. Burke in June and are now in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Those three and another member, who also recently reconciled with the Catholic Church, are part of a lawsuit they hope will lead to the re-establishment of the Northside parish as a parish of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

They hope a court ruling will nullify changes made by the St. Stanislaus board in recent years in the 1891 agreement between the civil corporation and Archbishop Peter Kenrick that established St. Stanislaus Kostka as a parish serving primarily Roman Catholics of Polish heritage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Advocates: Another abuse case filed over priest

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 07/25/2008 08:59:57 AM MDT

DENVER—Advocates for victims of sexual abuse say another lawsuit is being filed against the Archdiocese of Denver.

It's the third suit to be filed this month accusing the archdiocese of covering up abuse by ex-priest Harold White. He was removed from ministry in 1993 and died in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Priest convicted of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By Kim Arlington

July 26, 2008 12:00am

THERE were emotional scenes in the District Court yesterday as a Catholic priest was convicted of sexually abusing seven of his charges at a school for troubled boys.

Father Paul Raymond Evans, 57, a former dormitory master at Boys Town in Engadine, stood trial accused of molesting and raping students between 1977 and 1988.

After a week of deliberations, the jury convicted him of 18 charges, including homosexual intercourse by a teacher and indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

I called out, Pray for Those Raped by Pedophile Priests. Damaged. Still trying to live. Response at my perpetrator church was silence.

BARTLETT (IL)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels

As we drove to morning mass at my perpetrator church Wednesday, we joked we were a vocal act, me in the lead, the three women from Geneva my backup singers. Inside the church, they got to the part where people call out, pray for this, pray for that, and the people say, "Lord hear our prayer." I thought, why not, and bellowed: “For all of us who were raped by pedophile priests as children and as a result live with damaged lives, but we still keep living.”

Silence. I saw bodies in front of me tighten. Silence continued. Finally one of my backup singers chanted, “Lord Hear our prayer” and the people in the church came back to life, responded with her, and they all then went on with their requests. No one looked at me, no one was curious. I know if I’d been in an evangelical church and said that, I’d be surrounded by women wanting to comfort me. Instead, I went outside and talked to God through a tree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

AG testifies before U.S. Senate

ARIZONA
Kingman Daily Miner

Friday, July 25, 2008

Aaron Royster, Miner Staff Reporter

Attorney General Terry Goddard gave testimony at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on polygamy related crimes.

In Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Goddard discussed his office's work to combat abuse and fraud in the communities of Colorado City and Hildale, Utah, during the past five years.

From the outset, Goddard said he wanted to make sure the committee understood he wasn't talking about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Second, the work being done by my office in Colorado City is not about religion, culture or lifestyle," Goddard said. "Rather, it is about protecting women and children from domestic abuse and sexual violence; combating fraud and public corruption; enforcing civil rights laws; upholding peace officer standards; and ensuring that the rule of law is applied equally and comprehensively throughout our land."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Why cannot women be ordained?

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

Dale O’Leary

The Catholic Church has never ordained women to the priesthood and never will. However, with all the changes in the roles of women in the world, it is not surprising that some asked: Is the Church’s restriction of the priesthood to men ordained by God or merely an accommodation to culture?

In his letter on the dignity and vocation of women, John Paul II explained the reason for this practice:

“Since Christ, in instituting the Eucharist, linked it in such an explicit way to the priestly service of the Apostles, it is legitimate to conclude that he thereby wished to express the relationship between man and woman, between what is ‘feminine’ and what is ‘masculine.’ It is a relationship willed by God both in the mystery of creation and in the mystery of Redemption. It is the Eucharist above all that expresses the redemptive act of Christ the Bridegroom towards the Church the Bride. This is clear and unambiguous when the sacramental ministry of the Eucharist, in which the priest acts ‘in persona Christi,’ is performed by a man.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Accuser could face evaluation in Bayley-Ellard fondling case

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

By Peggy Wright • Daily Record • July 25, 2008

The lawyer for ex-Bayley-Ellard High School Principal Frank Mattiace told a judge on Thursday that he plans to request a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation of a former student who accused the administrator of fondling him.

At a brief conference in state Superior Court in Morristown, defense attorney Gerard Hanlon told Judge John B. Dangler that he will file a motion seeking an evaluation of the now 22-year-old accuser. The accuser said Mattiace was sexually inappropriate with him on school grounds on several occasions in 2003.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Smith said she will oppose the request, which Dangler said he would hear on Oct. 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

MARILYN GRAY HAS BEEN PAID COMPENSATION FOR SUFFERING AT NATIVE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

CANADA
The Sarnia Observer

Posted By CATHY DOBSON, THE OBSERVER

It took two years and a lot of persistence but Sarnia's Marilyn Gray has finally been paid full compensation for the years she suffered at a native residential school.

"It's such a relief," said the 73-year-old Gray. "They said they couldn't find my papers. They didn't do anything for so long. Now I've finally been able to pay some of my bills."

Gray applied to Service Canada after Ottawa approved a compensation agreement in 2006 for residential school survivors. It promised $19,000 for the four years she spent at St. Mary's School in Spanish, Ont., far from her home at the Cape Croker reserve near Wiarton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Board members from breakaway St. Louis parish reconcile with Church, join lawsuit

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Catholic News Agency

St. Louis, Jul 25, 2008 / 02:30 am (CNA).- Three members of the board from the breakaway St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in St. Louis have reconciled with the Catholic Church. The trio has also joined former parishioners in a lawsuit asking the civil corporation which owns the parish to adhere to its 1891 bylaws that require it to encourage attendance at Roman Catholic religious services.

Bernice Krauze, Stanley Rozanski, and Robert Zabielski, all members of the Board of Directors of Saint Stanislaus Parish Corporation, met on June 10 with then-Archbishop of St. Louis Raymond F. Burke to be reconciled with the Church. Their meeting followed the June 2 reconciliation of former board member Edward Florek.

The three board members reportedly personally asked Archbishop Burke for help in reconciling the parish with the Church.

The lawsuit filed by former parishioners, contributors, and board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka or its corporation asks the Saint Stanislaus Parish Corporation to adhere to its 1891 bylaws which, according to the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ website, deem the corporation’s purposes to include: to unite Polish Roman Catholics in a church congregation; to maintain a Polish Roman Catholic Church; and to encourage attendance at Roman Catholic religious services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Exclusive: Pastor stands down after getting Big Brother bully Alex's sister pregnant

UNITED KINGDOM
Croyden Today

A pastor has stood down after a relationship with one of his congregation - Big Brother bully Alexandra de Gale's sister - left her pregnant.
Leon Richardson, of El-Shaddai Outreach Ministry, confessed to his West Croydon congregation that he had been seeing Donna de-Gale.
Although the minister, who has three children from a previous failed marriage, has stood down he continues to attend church activities and was at a bible reading session this Tuesday.
As a result around half a dozen church-goers have left the ministry in London Road as they objected to his continued presence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Pope should apologize to Newfoundland abuse victims

CANADA
The Telegram

BRIAN JONES
The Telegram

Every time Pope Benedict XVI apologizes somewhere for the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy, the ongoing silence of the Roman Catholic church in Newfoundland becomes more noticeable and despicable.

This week, the pope was in Australia, where he issued the apology at a public mass attended by thousands of people.

As quoted by The Associated Press, he said: "I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured. I assure them as their pastor that I too share in their suffering."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Heated exchange outside FLDS task force hearing in D.C.

WASHINGTON (DC)
azfamily

[with video]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Polygamy is taking center stage in our nation’s capital in what is being called a historic hearing.

This was all at the request of Utah Senator Harry Reid, who said the polygamous followers were experts at committing crimes. Senator Reid introduced a bill to form a federal task force to address the crimes associated with polygamy, including violating child labor laws and tax evasion.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard also testified Thursday. The polygamous followers of Warren Jeffs were not allowed to address the committee but they were at the hearing. They called it nothing more than religious persecution.

3TV ‘s Mike Watkiss reports there was plenty of damning testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee involving allegations of wrongdoing within the FLDS sect and against polygamous leader Warren Jeffs.

These allegations were vigorously denied by and FLDS spokesperson today by a man by the name Willy Jessop, who called the allegations nothing more than a witch hunt. He said that before a throng of reporters outside the hearing room. A rather heated and bizarre exchange took place once 3TV’s Mike Watkiss began asking some tough questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Reconfiguration brings change, challenge, hope

NEW JERSEY
Catholic Star Herald

Published by D. A. Barsotti
Thu, July 24 2008
Merging parishes requires time and work and, as Bishop Joseph A. Galante acknowledged in announcing plans for the reconfiguration of the Diocese of Camden, it also requires sacrifice and a willingness to work for the greater good.

“Shortly after the bishop announced the reconfigurations, we held a grief-sharing night,” said Father William C. Pierce, pastor of St. John Bosco Parish, Millville. “With help from diocesan facilitators, participants were given the opportunity to get out their feelings. It was very powerful. We were all in tears.”

At this point, people are coming to terms with the need to reconfigure parishes and more accepting, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Catholic priest guilty of 18 child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

July 25, 2008 04:13pm
A 57-year-old Catholic priest has been remanded in custody after a Sydney jury found him guilty of 18 sex offences involving seven boys.

After almost seven days of deliberations, the New South Wales District Court jury today found Father Paul Raymond Evans guilty of nine counts of homosexual intercourse by a teacher, seven counts of indecent assault and two acts of indecency.

He was found not guilty of one homosexual count and one indecent assault.

Evans, a member of the Catholic order the Salesians of Don Bosco, had been a dormitory master at Boys Town, Engadine, in Sydney's south.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

School writes to parents about coach photo scandal

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Jewish Standard

By Lois Goldrich

In a letter sent on Tuesday by Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein, dean of the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, and Eli Weber, the school’s president, parents were notified that Adam Melzer, the River Edge school’s former basketball coach, had been arrested for child endangerment.

According to a statement from Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli, Melzer, a married Teaneck resident, allegedly targeted at least four former RYNJ students, securing nude photos of the teens — then between the ages of 14 and 16 — by claiming that blackmailers already had pictures of the boys naked.

The prosecutor’s office also reported that four boys involved in the investigation stated that the conversations they had with Melzer regarding the photos he requested, as well as the actual taking of the photos, took place in 2006 and 2007, when Melzer was a supervisor at a youth basketball program in River Edge where they served as volunteers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Lawmakers move to fight suspected crimes by sect members

WASHINGTON (DC)
Austin American-Statesman

By Jason Embry
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Friday, July 25, 2008

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants the federal government to use more muscle to fight possible organized crime among polygamists, such as those living at the Yearning For Zion ranch in West Texas.

Reid, D-Nev., has introduced legislation that would launch a federal task force, which would be made up of several agencies, to combat what Reid described as a broad pattern of crimes, including child abuse, welfare fraud, corruption and tax evasion.

Reid found a supporter of his plan in Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that more federal help is needed because polygamists' alleged activities often cross state lines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Boys' home scandal

JAMAICA
The Jamaica Observer

Carl Gilchrist, Observer staff reporter gilchristc@jamaicaobserver.com
Friday, July 25, 2008

A pastor of a church in rural Jamaica, who is also a supervisor at a boys home, has been charged with 30 counts of buggery, allegedly committed against boys at the institution.

The accused, who was originally charged with one count of buggery, appeared in the Richmond Resident Magistrate's court on Wednesday.

It was during the proceedings that it was revealed that other incidents had allegedly taken place between the accused and other boys at the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Day-care worker accused of raping boy

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
News-Leader

Ashley Wiehle • News-Leader • July 25, 2008

A Springfield day-care worker and teacher has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and sodomy of a now 11-year-old boy who said the woman --his baby sitter --repeatedly assaulted him over a two-year period.

Laura Kirkland, 25, was being held in the Greene County Jail Thursday evening in lieu of $75,000 bond after being arrested Wednesday night. She is charged with two counts of statutory sodomy with a person less than 14 years old and one count of statutory rape with a person less than 14 years old. ...

Kirkland was employed by Nurturing Place in Springfield and as a fifth-grade teacher for Christian Schools of Springfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Cash crisis ends sex counselling for priests

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Joel Gibson
July 25, 2008

THE Catholic Church's national sexual abuse assessment and treatment facility this month consists of one volunteer in Kincumber on a mobile phone.

Encompass, which treated more than 1100 Catholic clergy for psychosexual and other mental health issues, closed on June 30 after the church hierarchy decided against spending $200,000 a year to keep it going.

In the meantime, a former board member, Timothy O'Hearn has been left to answer Encompass's phone, referring church employees with mental health issues to private treatment.

Professor O'Hearn is on leave from his job as dean of students and director of ministry at the Australian Catholic University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Abuse victim: why won't Pell see me?

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Arjun Ramachandran
July 25, 2008 - 12:48PM

A former Catholic school student says he was sexually abused by a priest and was "gut wrenched" to discover a number of classmates had also been abused.

The man told ABC 702 radio this morning that he had made at least 50 attempts to speak with Cardinal Pell and World Youth Day spokesman Bishop Anthony Fisher, since four other people in his class also claimed to be abused by the same priest.

The man, who identified himself as Paul, said he had tried to contact Bishop Fisher at his office at Watson's Bay, and had also called the Archdiocese of Sydney, St Mary's Cathedral and phoned and emailed the WYD information line.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Vote a green light to rename city bridge

MAINE
Kennbec Journal

After the unanimous vote Monday night by the Augusta City Council urging state legislators to rename the city's Father John J. Curran Bridge, we see no obstacle to lawmakers doing just that when they reconvene in January.

At least two people have come forward and claimed that Curran, an Augusta priest who died in 1976, sexually abused them when they were children. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland investigated both claims; spokeswoman Sue Bernard says the diocese believes one of the two formal accusations to be true and if Curran were alive today, the diocese would ask the Vatican to prevent him from ministering.

That has already led the University of Maine at Augusta to remove Curran's name from a scholarship there. The Calumet Club in Augusta also recently removed the priest's name from a scholarship it offers through its educational foundation, although foundation leaders say it was not related to the allegations of abuse. And Bishop John Malone, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine, joined Calumet Club President Patrick Boucher in expressing support for the council's resolution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Archdiocese of Milwaukee faces lawsuit for fraud in sex abuse case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By MARIE ROHDE
mrohde@journalsentinel.com
Posted: July 24, 2008
A man who says he was sexually abused in a state school by a Catholic priest with a history of earlier misconduct has filed a fraud lawsuit seeking damages from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

While most lawsuits involving sexual abuse that occurred decades ago are barred by the statute of limitations, the state Supreme Court last year opened the door to some cases, saying the church could be sued if fraud was proved. Those abused must show that church officials were aware of the misconduct and did not warn others.

The new lawsuit was filed by Donald Marshall, an adult living in Wisconsin who was a student at the Lincoln Hills School in the late 1970s when he said he was abused by Father Lawrence Murphy.

Murphy, who died in 1998, was believed to have molested dozens of boys at St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, a residential facility for deaf children where he worked for 24 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Catholic priest guilty over decade of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

A catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing seven boys whilst teaching at a boarding school for troubled teens.

Father Paul Raymond Evans would assault the boys when on school camping trips or in the dormitory at Boys Town, at Engadine in Sydney's south.

Throughout the five week trial the 57-year-old denied he molested the boys and engineered situation so he could indulge his sexual interest in the young victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Arizona may seek court order to get evidence from YFZ Ranch

ARIZONA
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Friday, July 25, 2008 12:14 a.m. MDT

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard may go to court to get evidence seized from the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch shared with states conducting investigations into alleged crimes within the polygamous sect.

"We haven't gotten the information that we've asked for. We have been pushing Texas, and federal authorities there, to try to release and help us evaluate some of the evidence," Goddard said in an interview with the Deseret News shortly after testifying in Washington, D.C., before a senate panel on polygamy-related crimes. "We may have to get a court order to do it."

Nearly 1,000 boxes of evidence were seized in the April raid on the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Texas. Some of the evidence that has been made public includes documents that reference underage marriages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Diocese settles abuse case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • July 25, 2008

The state's Roman Catholic diocese has agreed to an out-of-court settlement in a case filed by a man who alleged as a Montpelier altar boy he was repeatedly molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette in the mid-1970s.

Lawyers for the diocese and man, identified in court papers only as "John Doe," confirmed Thursday that the two sides had agreed to a financial settlement Wednesday, but each declined to say how much money was involved.

"I'm not going to do that," said Jerome O'Neill, the man's lawyer, when asked what the settlement figure was. Tom McCormick, a diocesan lawyer, said the figure would be made public once the settlement paperwork was finalized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Priests still suffering from effects of Humanae Vitae dissenters, Vatican cardinal says

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Jul 25, 2008 / 04:08 am (CNA).- Today marks the 40th anniversary of the often debated papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Church’s teaching against contraception. Looking back at the events as he experienced them, Cardinal James Francis Stafford writes that the reaction by dissenters to the papal document involved a level of infidelity which divided the ranks of the clergy to such an extent that they have still not recovered.

The recounting of the events of 1968 by Cardinal Stafford-who was the Archbishop of Baltimore at the time of the encyclical’s release-is eloquent, laced with scriptural allusions and the insights of a scholar. He set out to peer into the summer of 1968, “a record of God’s hottest hour,” as he dubs it, at the request of L’Osservatore Romano and has made his submission available to CNA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Catholic priest found guilty of child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Victims of a Catholic priest say they are elated that he has been convicted of child sex offences after 30 years.

Seven former students of a boy's school in Engadine in Sydney's south accused Father Paul Evans of rape and sexual assault.

He pleaded not guilty, telling the court he hugged and comforted the boys but did not touch them in a sexual way.

Today, a jury found him guilty of 18 offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Voice of Faithful name Ellsworth man president

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison
Friday July 25, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

An Ellsworth man has been elected president of the Maine Chapter of Voice of the Faithful.

Bob McAteer, 70, is the first person to serve as president who lives in northern Maine. He also is the spokesman for VOTF-Maine.

The organization elected new officers earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

July 24, 2008

Church abuse protocol is no joke

AUSTRALIA
Online Opinion

By Frank Brennan - posted Friday, 25 July 2008

It is very gratifying that Pope Benedict took the opportunity of his World Youth Day visit to apologise to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel. He ended his visit by celebrating mass with some victims, having already made his own courageous decision to say sorry for the pain and suffering endured.

His apology was heartfelt and included a clear directive to the local church to extend compassion, care and justice to the victims.

During his visit, some persons expressed dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church's protocol Towards Healing, which sets out the principles and procedures for the Church response to complaints of abuse against Church personnel. Father Chris Riley went so far as to label it “a joke”, with the perpetrators being the only winners.

I beg to differ. Towards Healing, established in 1996 and revised in 2000, is continually reviewed. There may well be defects in the protocol's application by some church authorities. But it would be a disaster for victims of abuse if the church were to dismantle Towards Healing leaving victims to rely solely on the civil law. The protocol and its application need to be assessed against the backdrop of Australian law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Coach sentenced to 9 months for sex with female students

CALIFORNIA
Napa Valley Register

By MARSHA DORGAN
Register Staff Writer
The former St. Helena High School wrestling and volleyball coach and youth pastor convicted of sexually molestation two of his students was sentenced Wednesday to 270 days in Napa County Jail and five years probation..

The probation department recommended the court find that Herschel Sandler, 45, had served his time and allow him to leave the courtroom a free man.

Napa County Superior Court Judge Rodney Stone, however, disagreed, ordering Sandler to serve the nine months in the county jail. He must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Woman sues archiocese over priest abuse of her father

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A woman has sued the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle claiming her father was sexually abused by two priests employed by a North Seattle parish, P-I reporter Levi Pulkkinen reports.

In a lawsuit filed July 11, the woman says her father was sexually molested during the late 1960s and 1970s by Desmond McMahon and James McGreal, both ordained priests then working at the Saint Catherine of Siena parish.

The woman asserts she was deprived of a normal relationship with her father because of the abuse made possible by the church's attempts to cover up the behavior of McMahon and McGreal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Reid: Polygamous groups are criminal gangs

WASHINGTON (DC)
United Press International

WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- Polygamous groups are criminal gangs that commit welfare fraud and tax evasion as well as sexual abuse, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

Reid, D-Nev., a Mormon, spoke at the opening of a Judiciary Committee hearing on the communities, the Deseret Morning News reported. He said he was glad the hearing was being held on Pioneer Day, a Utah holiday commemorating the arrival of the Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City.

"I am here to tell you that polygamist communities in the United States are a form of organized crime," he said. "The most obvious crime being committed in these communities is bigamy, child abuse -- teen and preteen girls are forced to marry older men and bear their children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Reid: Time for Congress to step in, crack down on polygamists

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 07/24/2008 03:53:56 PM MDT

Posted: 3:53 AM- WASHINGTON -- Polygamous groups have formed into a "sophisticated, wealthy and vast criminal organization" that the federal government must aggressively pursue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid testified Thursday.
Despite opposition by polygamist sects and wariness from federal prosecutors, that action will happen either within the next five months or with a new administration, Reid vowed after the first congressional hearing on polygamy in more than a half-century.
"The lawless conduct of polygamous communities in the United States deserves national attention and federal action," Reid told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a nearly three-hour hearing where witnesses tossed out allegations of pervasive criminal activity in the sects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Abbott testifies

WASHINGTON (DC)
Times Record News

[with video]

Trish Choate/Scripps Howard News Service
Thursday, July 24, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott believes the YFZ Ranch would never have sprung up outside Eldorado if the federal government had formed a task force 10 years ago to help states handle crimes suspected of polygamist sect members who set up housekeeping in his state.

In testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Abbott painted a picture of a mobile Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints whose members and resources slip easily across state and international borders to escape crackdowns.

The task force proposal explored during the hearing would give prosecutors more tools to deal with challenging investigations, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Polygamist sects likened to organized crime rings

WASHINGTON (DC)
McClatchy Newspapers

By By DAVE MONTGOMERY | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON - A Senate committee on Thursday heard appeals for the creation of a federal task force to combat polygamist sects that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described as sophisticated organized crime rings.

WASHINGTON - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose office has received nationwide attention for its investigation of a sect in Texas, was among those backing legislation sponsored by Reid, D-Nev. The bill would establish a task force in the U.S. Department of Justice and assist victims of polygamist groups.

The hearing, which included testimony from two former sect members, spotlighted the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints (FLDS) led by Warren Jeffs, who was once on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. Jeffs and four of his followers were indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in Texas for felony assault of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearings on Polygamy Crimes: What Needs to Be Done at the Federal Level to Protect Children from Abuse and Neglect

WASHINGTON (DC)
FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

The tide is turning in favor of protecting children in polygamous communities – as several new developments evidence. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on the crimes that occur in polygamous communities today. I have submitted written testimony to the Committee regarding this matter, which is reproduced below. As regular readers of this column know, I have been very concerned about the plight of children in these communities and, most recently, in the issues arising out of the Texas authorities' rescue of children from the FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas. In prior columns, I covered both the initial Texas decision in that case, and the decision of the Texas Supreme Court.

Second, Texas authorities now have indicted six of the men from the FLDS compoundon a variety of counts, including child sex abuse, bigamy, and failing to report child sex abuse to the authorities. These indictments alone confirm the high level of risk faced by the children in the self-isolated FLDS, and should give fresh ammunition to Texas CPS authorities to protect the children from future abuse.To put the numbers in perspective, there were approximately 420 children rescued from the compound, a group the size of an entire small elementary school. Imagine if there were six teachers in your child's elementary school who sexually abused their students or failed to report abuse. That is the situation in which these FLDS children live daily, except that the children live at home with their abusers, and do not just see them at school.

Third, Sen. Harry Reid will be introducing a bill today that would establish a Task Force to investigate crimes in polygamous communities. While a Task Force is a great idea, there is a risk that the issue will be studied to death, without action ultimately being taken. In my testimony, reproduced below, I therefore ask the Judiciary Committee to charge the Task Force with consideration of three avenues of legal reform that would provide ways to punish and deter child abuse and neglect in polygamous (and other) communities: (1) amend the civil and criminal RICO laws to encompass child abuse and neglect; (2) incentivize the states to eliminate the statutes of limitations on child abuse and neglect; and (3) amend the tax laws to revoke the tax-exempt status of any organization that fosters or furthers child abuse or neglect. (I also suggest prohibiting federal agencies from doing business with organizations that foster or further child abuse or neglect.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

SNAP Wants New Name For Cousin's Center

MILWAUKEE (WI)
TMJ4

Katie DeLong

MILWAUKEE – The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests wants a new name for the Cousin’s Center.

That’s the headquarters for the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

SNAP says the late Father Lawrence Murphy is accused of molesting dozens of boys at St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis.

Arthur Budzinski says he was abused as a child. His daughter spoke on his behalf Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Abuse comments fuel sectarian prejudice

Eureka Street

Irfan Yusuf July 25, 2008

When it comes to sensitivity toward victims of sexual abuse and assault, Australian religious leaders could learn a thing or two from Pope Benedict. As could some allegedly conservative commentators and political leaders of all persuasions.

In the past two years, two prominent Australian religious leaders have seemed to cast aspersions on sexual assault victims and their families — former Mufti Sheik Hilaly and Catholic Bishop Anthony Fisher.

Hilaly used a Ramadan address in 2006 to suggest that some women ask to be raped by displaying themselves like 'uncovered meat'. He said this before a few hundred people in a Sydney mosque in Arabic, a language spoken by a minority of Australian Muslims. His remarks only came to general attention once translated into English and reported in the media.

Last Wednesday Fisher, the Australian bishop responsible for organising World Youth Day, responded to questions about the case of two girls repeatedly raped by priest Kevin O'Donnell between 1988 to 1993, when they were primary school students, by saying: 'Happily, I think most of Australia was enjoying, delighting in, the beauty and goodness of these young people (at WDY) ... rather than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Four Sfumature from the Pope’s trip to Sydney

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.
Friday, July 25, 2008 - Vol. 7, No. 44

Benedict XVI is back in Italy (at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, to be exact), following the ninth, and longest, foreign trip of his papacy. In Australia, the pope turned in what was, by most accounts, another bravura performance.

A measure of the success of these outings, at least at the level of public relations, is whether the local media feels obliged afterwards to run a feature story along the lines of "Erstwhile enforcer shows human face." The Germans wrote such stories in 2005 after World Youth Day in Cologne, the Spaniards did them after the pope's visit to Valencia in 2006, and the Americans followed suit three months ago.

Sure enough, Monday's Sydney Morning Herald featured the now-predictable headline: "From theologian to pope of the people."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

List of Accused Davenport Clergy and Allegations

DAVENPORT (IA)
BishopAccountability.org

On July 17, 2008, the Diocese of Davenport released two versions of a list of accused priests to fulfill one of the nonmonetary requirements of its bankruptcy settlement. See List released of accused clergy and List of Credible Allegations Against Priests. This list is useful, but it explicitly excludes some accused priests and all nonparish assignments and chancery appointments.

In order to provide a more complete picture of the accused priests and their assignments, we have supplemented the diocese's list by adding 1) all accused priests whose names are known, 2) all nonparish assignments and 3) chancery positions within the diocesan management. We have used the color-coding so that our supplements in the table below are clearly marked. If you scroll through the table, the red and purple additions will show how incomplete the diocese's original list was.

Why does this matter? Many accused Davenport priests worked and offended in school settings, and the diocesan offices that some priests held provided them with increased opportunities to offend, as well as the ability to help themselves and other offenders. An unusual number of accused Davenport priests held chancery offices, including the offices of vicar general, chancellor, dean, youth director, Boy Scout director, vocations director, and the like. See our lists of chancery officials and deans. It appears that the culture of child abuse pervaded the Davenport hierarchy to a degree difficult to match in other U.S. dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Clergy sex abuse tracking group adds details to diocese's list of credibly accused

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Wednesday, July 23, 2008 8:01 PM CDT
A database of accused clergy in the Diocese of Davenport, created by an organization that tracks the sex abuse crisis nationwide, offers a more complete picture of where the clergy served than the diocesan-released listing, the group’s president says.

The new database, posted on the Bishop Accountability Web site, lists the schools, leaves of absences, leadership positions, out-of-diocese appointments and a couple of parish assignments within the diocese. They were not included by the diocese when it recently released a listing of parish-only assignments of credibly accused clergy, said Terence McKiernan, the director of Bishop Accountability.

The Bishop Accountability database also includes priests who have been publicly accused but not-yet listed as credibly accused by the diocese, including now-retired Bishop Lawrence Soens. More clergy could be added to the “credibly accused” list, the diocese has said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Texas Attorney General wants federal help to fight polygamy

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Dallas Morning News

BY SUZANNE STRUGLINSKI / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON – State authorities need federal help in fighting polygamy, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told a Senate panel Thursday, as members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints fought to get their opinions heard.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining state and federal coordination in pursuing crimes associated with polygamy, Mr. Abbott said that the church members' mobility and far-reaching size, makes it difficult to investigate and press appropriate charges.

"This group moves seamlessly from state to state, location to location and has the infrastructure necessary to thwart law enforcement," Mr. Abbott said. "Even Warren Jeffs, who has achieved international notoriety, managed to hide from authorities for over a year –and he was on the FBI's most wanted list."

On Tuesday, Mr. Abbott announced charges against Mr. Jeffs, the sect’s incarcerated leader, and five other church members, including felony sexual assault of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Arizona AG pleads for federal help in dealing with polygamists

WASHINGTON (DC)
KTAR

July 24th, 2008 @ 9:13am
by KTAR.com

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard went before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to ask for more federal help in dealing with the polygamist communities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, on the Arizona-Utah border.

Goddard told the committee that a partnership between his office and that of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, began in 2003, has made important changes, but ``a great deal of work still lies ahead."

He said the polygamist communities of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have existed for years and, ````What has taken a century to build cannot be changed overnight."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Concerns about FLDS kids relayed by Mohave Valley Chamber speaker

NEVADA
Mohave Daily News

By NEIL YOUNG/The Daily News
Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:17 AM CDT

FORT MOJAVE - Expressing concerns about the health and welfare of the children in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) in the far-flung Mohave County community of Colorado City, k.Dee Ignatin spoke at the Mohave Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday.

The FLDS is a breakaway sect of the mainstream Mormon church - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - which renounced polygamy more than a century ago.

The FLDS, based in northern Arizona and southern Utah, believes polygamy brings glory in heaven. Male church members have been known to take several wives, many of them minors. Its former leader, Warren Jeffs, 52, occupies a cell in Mohave County Jail in Kingman, awaiting trial on charges he was an accomplice in committing four counts of incest and four counts of sexual contact with a minor in Arizona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Woman who fled FLDS seeks help for members

WASHINGTON (DC)
NECN

(NECN: Washington) - Law enforcement officials were joined by former members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on crimes associated with polygamy.

The committee heard from United States Attorney Brett Tolman, who described the difficulty of cracking down on religious groups who support polygamy as well as Carolyn Jessop, who fled the FLDS with her children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Senate committee holds hearing on FLDS church

WASHINGTON (DC)
KSL

[with video]

July 24th, 2008 @ 11:45am
By Nicole Gonzales
The Senate Judiciary Committee today is discussing the possibility of a federal investigation of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church is suspected of federal crimes, possibly including racketeering.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requested the panel and was joined by a group of former polygamists, law enforcement officials, attorneys and authors to discuss a federal-state partnership aimed at policing polygamist communities.

Reid, who is a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the committee that polygamy is a form of organized crime.

"Witnesses at this hearing will describe a web of criminal conduct that includes welfare fraud, tax evasion, massive corruption and strong-arm tactics to maintain what they think is the status quo," Reid said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Senator: Polygamous sects are 'form of organized crime'

WASHINGTON (DC)
CNN

[with video]

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Polygamous sects that have spread throughout the United States and beyond are "a form of organized crime," largely unchecked by law enforcement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

Sen. Harry Reid says polygamous sects have "wrongly cloaked themselves in the trappings of religion."

He is proposing a federal-state partnership aimed at policing such communities.

"The lawless conduct of polygamous communities in the United States deserves national attention and federal action," Reid said before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sects such as the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have "wrongfully cloaked themselves in the trappings of religion" to conceal crimes such as bigamy, child abuse and statutory rape, the Nevada Democrat said. In such communities, teenage or preteen girls are forced to marry older men and bear their children, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Hawaii pastor accused of molesting girl for years

HAWAII
Honolulu Advertiser

By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Staff Writer

An O'ahu grand jury indicted a Kane'ohe pastor yesterday on charges of sexually molesting a member of his ministry over an eight-year period, starting when she was 12.

Manuel Guillermo Taboada, 56, also known as "Memo," was charged with seven counts of first- and second-degree sexual assault for allegedly molesting a member of a family that belonged to his ministry. The victim told police she and her family lived with Taboada in a Kane'ohe home, according to court filings.

Taboada was arrested Monday at Honolulu International Airport and is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

Authorities said yesterday they also are working with police in Portland, Ore., where Taboada is said to be facing similar allegations. However, officials declined to say how many other alleged victims, if any, are involved, saying they are still investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Notifying insurance firm useless: former bursar

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By Trevor Pritchard

Cornwall

The local Catholic diocese’s insurance company would have launched their own investigation into abuse allegations against Rev. Charles MacDonald had they been informed in September 1993, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Wednesday.

But Rev. Gordan Bryan said it would have been “useless” from a financial perspective for the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese to contact those insurers after striking a $32,000 settlement with David Silmser.

“I should have,” said Bryan. “But I also know once you’ve made a (settlement) your insurance company doesn’t cover it. So it would have been useless.”

As the diocese’s bursar from 1982 to 2005, Bryan managed many of the church’s financial affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Lowestoft priest is jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Lowestoft Journal

24 July 2008

A respected Roman Catholic priest who stole more than £90,000 left to his church in a will has been sent to jail.

Eric Woodhead, aged 60, was the parish priest at the Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church in Lowestoft when he stole the money with 28-year-old Christopher Myhill.

A hearing at Ipswich Crown Court today heard that Myhill, who is of Queens Road, Yarmouth, helped Woodhead to set up a secret bank account so that £91,963 from a parishioner's will could be paid in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Ex-priest's extradition a step closer

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

Jul 24 2008 By Emma Stone, Crime Reporter

THE extradition of a former Coventry priest, who is accused of abusing altar boys 25 years ago, has moved a step closer.

Specialist lawyers working for West Midlands CPS in London are considering the case of James Robinson who now lives in California.

They will decide whether West Midlands Police has a strong enough case to request the former priest's extradition back to the UK to face abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Nun Asks To Take Back Guilty Plea

OMAHA (NE)
KCCI

[with video]

OMAHA, Neb. -- An Omaha nun who was sentenced to prison for theft said this week that she wants to change her guilty plea.

Sister Barbara Markey, 73, was convicted of embezzling more than $250,000 from the Omaha archdiocese. She was sentenced to three to five years in prison. ...

"We felt we were misled in a number of respects," Gallup said. "First of all, we had an agreement with the church that they wouldn't do anything to oppose probation, and the church didn't. But some priest, on his own, sent a letter critical of the sister to the probation office, and we feel that's a breach of the agreement we had with the church."

Gallup also said dollar amounts of the embezzled money are in dispute and that new information from the IRS would have helped Markey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Former priest jailed over theft

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Roman Catholic priest has been jailed for two and a half years for stealing £90,000 of church funds.

Father Eric Woodhead, who was the minister at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Lowestoft, Suffolk, had admitted the offence earlier this year.

Ipswich Crown Court had heard the money had been left to the church in a will.

Woodhead, 60, had resigned as parish priest in June 2007. Rt Rev Michael Evans, Bishop of East Anglia, said he received the news with "great sadness".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Lawsuit could resolve dispute

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

By Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/24/2008

St. Louis — The Archdiocese of St. Louis and six current and former members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church filed a lawsuit Wednesday that they believe will lead to a compromise on how the parish will be managed.

The plaintiffs are asking a judge to restore the structure of the parish to the way it was before 2001, when the St. Stanislaus board controlled the property and assets while the archbishop appointed board members and a pastor.

Archdiocese officials said St. Stanislaus would be unlike any other parish in St. Louis under this structure. They hope the lawsuit will lead to a compromise, one that the archdiocese is willing to make if it leads to reconciliation with the historically Polish parish, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Former Cape priest guilty of raping boys

BOSTON (MA)
Cape Cod times

July 23, 2008
BOSTON — The Rev. Frank Genevieve, a Franciscan priest from New York, has pleaded guilty to charges of raping three teenage boys during overnight trips to Boston in the 1970s and 1980s.

Genevieve served as an assistant priest at St. Margaret's Parish in Buzzards Bay in the late 1990s, according to WCVB-TV in Boston. He also had ties to Massachusetts as a former teacher at Christopher Columbus High School in Boston.

Genevieve, 52, avoided prison time during sentencing at Suffolk Superior Court yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Archdiocese, parishioners sue St. Stanislaus

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

By CHERYL WITTENAUER
Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS --The Archdiocese of St. Louis and several parishioners on Wednesday sued St. Stanislaus Kostka parish, seeking to regain control of the Polish-heritage parish.

The lawsuit seeks to have the parish revert to its 1891 bylaws, which would give the Roman Catholic bishop authority to name the pastor and the parish corporation's board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Ex-Coach, Youth Pastor Sentenced On Underage Sex Counts

NAPA (CA)
NBC 11

NAPA, Calif. -- Former St. Helena High School coach Herschel Sandler was sentenced to nine months in the Napa County jail and five years probation Tuesday for two counts of oral copulation with two girls younger than 18 years of age 10 years ago.

Sandler, 45, a wrestling and volleyball coach at the school, was arrested April 2 and pleaded no contest in May to the two charges. ...

Cathy Capponi, secretary to Allan Gordon, Superintendent of the St. Helena Unified School District, said Sandler coached the girls' varsity volleyball team at the high school and the boys' wrestling team at the high school and middle school between March 1995 and October 2007 when he resigned. He also was a youth pastor at St. Helena Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Sex abuse victim takes solace in guilty plea from ex-Troy priest

NEW YORK
Troy Record

By:Tom Caprood, The Record 07/23/2008

A former Troy Franciscan priest that used to work in Troy pleaded guilty in a Massachusetts court to raping three teenage boys during overnight trips to Boston in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Rev. Frank Genevieve, 52, a former associate pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church, at the corner of Third Avenue and State Street, and a former teacher at La Salle Institute, was sentenced by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock to a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years in prison, with five years probation.
Genevieve was also ordered to have no contact with the victims or any minors, to register as a sex offender and wear a GPS device to monitor his whereabouts.
Mark Lyman, of Stillwater, who was abused by Genevieve at the age of 14, serves as an activist for local abuse victims as the upstate coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Pastor Accused of Molesting Young Church Member

HAWAII
KGMB

[with video]

Written by Tina Chau - tchau@kgmb9.com
July 23, 2008 10:33 PM

You may have seen him on an Olelo channel preaching messages of salvation.

As of Wednesday night, pastor Manuel Guillermo Taboada is inside the Oahu Community Correctional Center.

An Oahu grand jury indicted him on charges he sexually molested a young member of his church. The deputy prosecutor on the case said he separated her from her family and then allegedly molested her over an eight year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Kaneohe ministry leader is indicted in sex assault

HAWAII
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

A minister who leads a Kaneohe commune is in jail on $2 million bail, accused of multiple sexual assaults against one of his young female followers.

City prosecutors allege that Manuel Guillermo Taboada, 56, also known as Memo Taboada, first assaulted the girl when she was 12 years old and continued the attacks over eight years.

He was indicted yesterday on four counts of sexual assault in the first degree and four counts of sexual assault in the second degree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Polygamous Sect to Defend 6 Members in Court and Its Practices on Capitol Hill

TEXAS
The New York Times

By GRETEL C. KOVACH
Published: July 24, 2008
DALLAS — Texas Rangers and prosecutors prepared Wednesday to arrest five members of a polygamous sect indicted the day before with their imprisoned leader on charges relating to under-age marriages and bigamy.

Also Wednesday, supporters and critics of the sect converged on Washington for a Senate committee hearing on “crimes associated with polygamy.”

The Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, had announced the indictments by a Schleicher County grand jury late Tuesday, which accused the sect leader, Warren Jeffs, and four other members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of sexual assault. One of those men was also accused of bigamy. A sixth man was charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse.

The indictment against Mr. Jeffs, the only one yet made public, charges him with first-degree felony sexual assault involving a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Hosanna rape trials to remain in Amite

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Jul 24, 2008 - Page: 6B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — The upcoming trial of one of the Hosanna Church sex-ring suspects will remain in Amite despite concerns raised by defense counsel over pretrial publicity, state District Judge Zoey Waguespack ruled Wednesday.

Louis D. Lamonica, 49, of Holden, is scheduled to be tried on Aug. 18 on charges of aggravated rape of his two sons, age 11 or younger at the time of the abuse.

Lamonica is among the seven members of the now-defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula indicted in 2005 in an investigation of alleged sexual abuse involving Lamonica’s minor sons and a 2-year-old girl related to another member of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Charges in Texas: Indictments begin to hold FLDS to account

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

Tribune Editorial
Article Last Updated: 07/23/2008 11:20:40 PM MDT

One of several troubling aspects of the raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch by Texas authorities has been the absence of criminal charges. If children of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all were in imminent danger of being made victims of systematic sexual abuse, as Texas child-protection authorities repeatedly argued, why was no one charged with a crime?
Now, more than three months after the April 3 raid, the state of Texas has begun to answer that fundamental question. A grand jury has indicted the polygamous sect's prophet, Warren Jeffs, and five other men on charges related to sexual assaults on underage girls. Presumably the charges arise from arranged marriages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Texas still looking for 5 indicted FLDS men

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Pat Reavy and Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:11 a.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — The search continues for five members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church who were indicted by a grand jury here.

"No one has been arrested yet," Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said Wednesday.

The names of the men will remain sealed by court order until they are in custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Texas goes after FLDS suspects

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 07/24/2008 12:37:18 AM MDT

Texas authorities began efforts Wednesday to apprehend men from a polygamous sect who face charges of sexual assault, bigamy and failure to report child abuse.
Dirk Fillpot, a spokesman with the Texas Attorney General's Office, said the search is being "coordinated with multiple law enforcement agencies to ensure all the suspects are taken into custody quickly."
Texas Ranger Capt. L.C. Wilson told the San Angelo Standard-Times on Wednesday that authorities will first try to contact the men through attorneys they are believed to have retained.
FLDS member Willie Jessop said that once the sect learns who is named in the indictments it will make arrangements for the men to turn themselves in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Closed churches are 'hot properties'

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Joseph Fuisz
July 24, 2008
In 2005, the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on Pedophilia in the Philadelphia Diocese provided a window on Bishop Edward Cullen and where his sympathies lay in the Philadelphia sex scandal. The Morning Call wrote: ''Cullen is portrayed as perpetuating an unwritten policy of obfuscation and excuse-peddling in dealing with sexually abusive priests.'' His priority was not to protect vulnerable members of the flock, but rather to attempt to insulate the church hierarchy from the scandal.

Three years later, Bishop Cullen is closing almost a third of the parishes of the Allentown Diocese, including nearly all of the ethnic parishes. This will destroy the communities centered on the ethnic parishes. Again, Bishop Cullen places the interests of the hierarchy, in this case financial, over the good of the people. In response, the Coalition of Churches was founded by members of closed parishes to appeal the closings to the Vatican.

In a videocast on the Allentown Diocese Web site, Bishop Cullen calls on the faithful to ''bear the cross'' of the closings. He says that the closings are the necessary result of an aging clergy and a lack of vocations to replenish the ranks. He says that missionary priests from abroad should not and cannot be brought to bolster the ranks of priests. The Father, Bishop Cullen tells us, will provide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Local priest's name could be pulled from Augusta bridge: Decision comes after he was accused in sexual abuse case

SOUTH BERWICK (ME)
Foster's Daily Democrat

By JASON CLAFFEY
jclaffey@fosters.com

Article Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Allegations of sexual molestation by a priest who served two local churches prompted members of the Augusta City Council to recommended removing the priest's name from a bridge there.

Rev. John J. Curran served at both St. Michael's Church and St. Ignatius, in Sanford, during his 41 year career and at one point had a bridge in Augusta named in his honor, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

On Wednesday, the Augusta city council unanimously supported a resolution urging the state Legislature to change the name of the bridge, a little more than a year after Robert Dupuis, of East Lyme, Conn., said he was sexually abused by Curran in 1961 at St. Joseph's Church in Old Town.

Any name change to the bridge would have to be approved in the form of a bill. The Legislature is currently out of session for the summer and will reconvene in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

FLDS: More indictments likely for sect

TEXAS
Abilene Reporter-News

By Paul A. Anthony
panthony@gosanangelo.com
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SAN ANGELO -- More indictments against members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are likely as investigators pore over mountains of evidence seized from the polygamous sect's Schleicher County ranch, said one of the case's lead investigators Wednesday.

A day after a Schleicher County grand jury returned seven indictments against six members of the FLDS, Texas Ranger Capt. L.C. Wilson said the investigation is by no means over.

"I think I could safely say that," Wilson said when asked if more indictments could be expected. "There's certainly other persons of interest and other suspects in this case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 AM

July 23, 2008

Nun Wants Trial After Sentenced to Prison

OMAHA (NE)
Action 3 News

Omaha, NE -- Headed for prison, a nun second guesses her decision to make a plea deal. Sister Barbara Markey admits she stole from the archdiocese. But didn't expect the judge at the Douglas County Courthouse would order prison time for the crime. So Wednesday, as Markey gets sent to the women's detention center, her attorney sends a rare motion to the judge.

"It's a long shot but it's something we have to do because it was an aberration to give her this sentence under these circumstances," says Bill Gallup.

The facts according to Gallup, that one, Markey only admits she stole six thousand dollars. And two, a prison sentence goes against the precedent set by other judges only ordering probation for catholic priests guilty of nearly the same crime. ...

In other similar cases judges chose probation over prison. In 2007 father Stephen Gutgsell admitted to stealing 125 thousand dollars from Saint Patrick Parish and Judge Russell Bowie sentenced him to five years probation.

And in 2006, church business manager Cory Pelnar stole 180 thousand dollars from Saint Bernadette's in Bellevue, getting the same, five years probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 PM

The wrong and right way to address people

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

By Verity James

July 24, 2008 11:00am
DOES Verity James have the right to be disgruntled by Sydney Archbishop George Pell?

This may seem a small point, even trivial. It could have been a slip of the tongue. It might not have been meant as it sounded, which does happen in TV interviews. It concerns Sydney Archbishop George Pell and his interview with The 7.30 Report.

Actually there were lots of things to be concerned about: his apparent total misreading of the situation, which he claims was an innocent mistake; his complete support of his priest, despite evidence to the contrary; and only when he was told he could listen to recorded phone discussions that may prove otherwise did he really seem to question himself.

Perhaps in some ways we should laud such loyalty to his employees and his organisation after all there have been so many bosses who in the face of criticism crumble like a creme brulee. Maybe he is just unbelievably loyal.

The crux of my discomfort is nothing more than he failed to address the man, the victim, by anything other than his surname as though Cardinal Pell was a senior prefect regarding a lesser being. He referred to him only as "Jones", three times. Not his first name, not "Mr", not the "poor soul" nothing but "Jones", and it rankles, at least with me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 PM

Deaf Sex-Abuse Victims Demand Milwaukee Archbishop Dolan Rename New HQ

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Voice from the Desert

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference in front of the Archbishop Cousins Center , victims of sexual abuse by clergy will discuss a just filed new fraud lawsuit concerning the archdiocese most notorious priest pedophile, Fr. Lawrence Murphy.

A DVD with footage of a 1997 confrontation between deaf victims from St. John and Murphy at Murphy’s cabin in northern Wisconsin will be made available.

Murphy, who died in 1998, was known by former Archbishop William Cousins, to have sexually assaulted dozens of deaf youngsters at the former St. John’s School for the deaf. Murphy was reassigned to parishes in northern Wisconsin , where the plaintiff in Thursday’s lawsuit, Donald Marshall, was molested, when Murphy was a chaplain at a residential facility for youth in Alma, Wisconsin.

WHERE

Outside the front door of the Archbishop Cousins Center , 3501 S. Lake Drive , St. Francis. After making remarks, survivor will attempt to deliver a letter to Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

WHEN

Thursday, July 24, 10:00 a.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 PM

Attorney objects to polygamous sect's exclusion from Senate hearing

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

A Senate hearing set to take place Thursday perpetuates a long history of persecution of a religious minority, according to a spokesman for a polygamous sect.
In a three-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Salt Lake City attorney Rod Parker said it is "unfortunate" that the panel will meet to discuss polygamy without allowing the subjects of the hearing to respond.
"History is replete with examples of misinformation becoming the foundation of persecution and hysteria, leading in turn to real harm to real people," his letter said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada requested the hearing in his effort to get federal assistance to investigate the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on racketeering and other alleged crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 PM

Texas Ranger: More FLDS indictments likely

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Originally published 04:15 p.m., July 23, 2008

A day after a Schleicher County grand jury indicted six members of a polygamous sect, one of the leaders of the investigation said he expects further charges.

Texas Ranger Capt. L.C. Wilson told the Standard-Times this afternoon that investigators have almost finished reviewing the roughly 300 boxes of paper evidence retrieved from the YFZ Ranch in the state's investigation into alleged sexual abuse among followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but that terabytes of digital evidence remain.

"We look for future indictments," said Wilson, who is based in Midland. "There's a lot of paper and documents. As we get the evidence, we'll present the cases to the grand jury."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 PM

Texas authorities begin pursuit of indicted sect members

TEXAS
The Olympian

By EMILY RAMSHAW | The Dallas Morning News • Published July 23, 2008

Authorities began their pursuit Wednesday of five members of a West Texas polygamist sect accused of committing crimes against children, but acknowledged the men - some of whom are believed to be influential elders who married underage girls - could be difficult to find.

By Wednesday evening, no arrests had been made, and state and county law enforcement officials said they had no timetable for completing them. Officials close to the investigation said the names weren't being released because the suspects are considered a flight risk - and some of the men haven't been seen in Texas since this spring's raid on the compound.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 PM

Who's on first: Can women be priests?

BOSTON (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN) - The organization is called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. It is not recognized by the Roman Catholic church. And yet, they went ahead with a ceremony of ordination this week at a packed Protestant church in Boston. At the key moment, the women were vested with priests' robes, given a standing ovation, and declared to be priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Media crucifying innocent priests

AUSTRALIA
Star

A DANDENONG priest celebrating 50 years of service to the Catholic Church says the media has unfairly linked priests to child abuse.

Father Anthony Guelen, 80, this year celebrates his jubilee 50th year as a priest, which includes 23 years of service to Dandenong’s St Mary’s Catholic Church.

Fr Guelen said he was glad that Pope Benedict XVI this week apologised to victims of child sex abuse on behalf of the Catholic Church.

But he said media coverage had unfairly targeted all priests when the large majority were innocent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 PM

Archdiocese sues St. Stanislaus

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

By Tim Townsend and Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/23/2008

The St. Louis Archdiocese filed suit today against the St. Stanislaus Kostka church in an attempt to regain control of the former Polish parish.

Six parishioners, including three recent board members, joined the archdiocese in the suit. They are asking a St. Louis judge to void any changes to the St. Stanislaus' bylaws since 2001 and give the archbishop the authority to appoint a pastor and board there.

Last month, the St. Stanislaus board voted 4-3 to dissolve itself and allow parishioners to elect a new board at its annual meeting in August. Eight St. Stanislaus board members had been declared excommunicated by Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

St. Louis diocese sues Polish parish

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Tom Heinen
Wednesday, Jul 23 2008, 04:36 PM
The Archdiocese of St. Louis and six members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church filed a lawsuit today seeking to regain control of the rebellious Polish parish, which has been locked in a dispute with Archbishop Raymond Burke over its management and property.

The archdiocese reported on its Web site that three former members of the parish board had reconciled their excommunications with Burke and joined in the suit. If the lawsuit is successful, the archdiocese is prepared to appoint a Jesuit priest, the Rev. Michael Marchlewski, to the parish as administrator, the statement on the Web site says.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on its Web site that the three former parish board members were secretly reconciled with the Roman Catholic church last month in a meeting with Burke before Pope Benedict XVI re-assigned Burke - the former bishop of La Crosse and an expert in church law - to a new position at the Vatican as head of the supreme court. Last month, another former board member also reconciled with the church. ...

The Rev. Marek Bozek, a Polish-born priest who was excommunicated after he left a different diocese in Missouri without permission to become pastor of St. Stanislaus, is scheduled to speak in the Milwaukee area at 7 tonight at a Voice of the Faithful reform group meeting open to the public at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1750 N. Calhoun Road, Brookfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Omaha Nun Says Priest Interfered With Sentencing

OMAHA (NE)
KPTM

OMAHA (KPTM) - The Omaha nun sentenced 3-5 years for embezzling money from the Catholic Church now claims the priest of the judge who sentenced her influenced her sentence.

73-year-old Barbara Markey was sentenced two weeks ago for stealing $250,000 from the Archdiocese.

Markey's attorney tells KPTM FOX 42 News that he has filed to withdraw her guilty plea, and is asking for the court to reconsider her sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Prison-bound nun seeks to withdraw plea

OMAHA (NE)
World-Herald

BY CHRISTOPHER BURBACH
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

An Omaha Catholic nun who was sentenced to prison for embezzlement from the church is seeking to withdraw her guilty plea and either be resentenced or take her case to trial.

Sister Barbara Markey did not enter the plea knowingly, her attorneys contend in motions filed in Douglas County District Court. The attorneys also argue that the sentencing judge, Thomas Otepka, was unduly influenced by a letter from the Archdiocese of Omaha, and that the letter violated an agreement that had settled a civil suit between Markey and the archdiocese.

The motions were filed Monday. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Such motions are rarely granted. J. William Gallup, one of Markey's attorneys, acknowledged that on Tuesday, saying: "It's always tough to get a plea withdrawn. But sometimes judges will let you have a re-hearing on certain facts."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Sentenced Omaha nun now wants to pull theft plea

OMAHA (NE)
NTV

Associated Press - July 23, 2008 2:45 PM ET

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A 73-year-old Omaha Catholic nun sentenced to three to five years for theft is now saying she wants to withdraw her plea.

Sister Barbara Markey says she wants a new trial or to receive a new sentence.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Professor Marci Hamilton’s Testimony in U.S. Senate on Polygamy Crimes

WASHINGTON (DC)
Voice from the Desert

Received via email from Marci Hamilton, 7.23.2008.

Note that the following is an advance copy of Professor Hamilton’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow, 7.24.2008.

It is published here with Professor Hamilton’s permission.
...

Testimony Before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Hearing on Crimes Associated with Polygamy: The Need for a Coordinated State and Federal Response

Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:00 a.m.

Marci A. Hamilton

Thank you for permitting me to submit written testimony regarding the serious problems created by the criminal activity of polygamous groups. I hold the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. My primary area of expertise involves the constitutional doctrines involving religious groups and individuals who violate the law and, in particular, child abuse and neglect within religious organizations. I have served as the constitutional law litigator for numerous victims of clergy abuse within numerous organizations. ...

My testimony will focus on the child abuse and neglect crimes that arise out of polygamous communities and suggest legislative solutions to these serious problems. As is well known, religious polygamous communities have exhibited a disregard for the laws of marriage, child sex abuse, statutory rape, and criminal child neglect.

The problems for children in these groups arise directly from the desired proportion of men to women in the groups. At the base line, girls and boys are usually born in about equal proportions. In order to have as many women to choose from as possible, girls are married to men as soon as they are of childbearing age and forced to have as many children as possible. To keep the number of men low vis-à-vis the women, select boys are discarded.

No civilized society can permit such practices – once known – to continue.

I applaud Senator Reid for introducing a bill to institute a federal task force to study abuse, extortion, embezzlement, and other illegal activities associated with polygamous groups. I strongly recommend that the Committee charge the Task Force with consideration of the following proposals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Is Anti-Catholicism Dead?

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Sewell Chan

When Gov. Alfred E. Smith ran for president in 1928, his candidacy was derailed in large part by anti-Catholic prejudice. It has been nearly 48 years since John F. Kennedy became the first (and so far only) Roman Catholic president, but experts say that anti-Catholic sentiment — much of it originating in, or as a response to, immigrants in New York — remains an enduring force in American culture.

That was the consensus of a panel assembled at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday night to consider the question, “Is Anti-Catholicism Dead?”
The panel is part of the exhibition, “Catholics in New York, 1808 to 1946,” which runs through Dec. 31. ...

It was only during the question-and-answer session that the church’s child sexual-abuse scandal came up. Mr. Steinfels said the scandal put fundamental issues about “sexuality, celibacy and the priesthood” before the public, while Father Neuhaus received applause when he said that Catholic bishops should have responded early in the scandal by acknowledging the extent of the scandal and begging for forgiveness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Polygamist Jeffs Indicted On Child Assault Charges

ELDORADO (TX)
NPR

[with audio]

Morning Edition, July 23, 2008 · A grand jury in El Dorado, Texas, has indicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and a group of his followers on charges of sexual assault of a child. They're members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Archbishop Raymond Burke goes to Rome

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The University News

Kenneth L. Parker

Like many faithful Catholics in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, I wish Archbishop Raymond Burke well as he prepares to take up his duties at the Vatican and assume a role for which he is eminently qualified. This is no doubt a great honor for him and the pinnacle of a canon lawyer's vocational aspirations. His emotional farewell address - clearly heartfelt - was received by a gathering of Catholics who shared a profound regard for the work he did in the archdiocese over the last four years and five months.

Indeed, he has been a great pastor for a portion of the flock in this archdiocese. He has provided clear and decisive judgments on thorny matters. This has pleased some. For those who long for pre-Vatican II liturgy, he created intentional parishes and has brought in religious communities devoted to that purpose. Anti-abortion and anti-stem cell research advocates have found him an unwavering leader. Those who have had the privilege to meet Burke have found him personable, quiet and humble. ...

I hope for a man who comprehends the pain of a flock that has been wounded by wave after wave of revelations that bishops-our bishops-have conspired in the concealment of the sexual abuse of our children; a leader who understands, in this context, the genuine concern over hierarchical decisions that affect parish property and resources. I pray that the next archbishop will not make our archdiocese notorious as a haven for priests who have faced sexual-abuse charges elsewhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Support for survivors

FORT DODGE (IA)
The Messenger

By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer POSTED: July 23, 2008

An abused person needs someone to talk to, someone with empathy, someone who cares.

Often that person is a good friend, a minister or a priest. But sometimes the abuser is the clergy.

That's where SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - steps in. With groups across the country to help those who have been victimized by clergy, SNAP offers support to survivors of abuse and their families.

In Fort Dodge, abuse survivor Janet Clark is heading a SNAP group that will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Those interested in attending the support group may call 573-4536 to get the location.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Mordechai Gafni Is Back, And Going On Offense

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

by Gary Rosenblatt
Editor and Publisher

The last time Mordechai Gafni was in the news was two years ago, when the charismatic and controversial rabbi accused of sexual misconduct here and in Israel was dismissed as the rebbe of Bayit Chadash, a spiritual renewal community in Tel Aviv.

Faced with sexual abuse complaints filed with the police in Israel by several women who were former students or employees of Bayit Chadash, Gafni came to the U.S., issued a public statement apologizing to those he had hurt, said he was “sick” and needed treatment, and disappeared.

At the time (June 9, 2006), I wrote: “In the past, when Gafni said he had made mistakes in his life but that he had done teshuva, some were ready to believe him; others were not. At some point in the future he is sure to reappear, eager to resume his role of spiritual guide and teacher, insisting he has gone through therapy and is cured.
“Will we believe him then?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Former Cape priest convicted of serial child rapes

MASSACHUSETTS
Cape Cod Today

[with video]

A New York priest has pleaded guilty to four counts of rape and another count of rape and assault while on field trips with children in the Bay State in the late 1970s. The Rev. Frank Genevieve, 51, who now lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., was charged with taking children from his Troy, N.Y., parish on field trips to Massachusetts during a period of several years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Priest admits abuse of 3

BOSTON (MA)
Albany Times Union

By MARC PARRY, Staff writer
First published: Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three Capital Region residents had their abuse claims vindicated in a Massachusetts courtroom Tuesday when a New York priest admitted sexually assaulting them decades ago during repeated trips from Troy to the Bay State.

The Rev. Frank Genevieve, 52, a former associate pastor at Troy's St. Anthony of Padua Church and teacher at La Salle Institute, entered a surprise plea of guilty to five counts of statutory rape. ...

Mark Lyman was 14 when he spent the night with Genevieve in a North End rectory, according to the district attorney's office and Lyman. Genevieve shared a bed with Lyman and sexually assaulted him as he tried to sleep.

Thirty years later, Lyman is an activist for priest abuse victims. A Stillwater resident who works for the state, Lyman called Tuesday's plea "a tremendous weight off our shoulders."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

NY priest pleads guilty to raping 3 teenage boys

BOSTON (MA)
Sun Herald

The Associated Press

BOSTON --A Franciscan priest from New York pleaded guilty to raping three teenage boys during overnight trips to Boston in the 1970s and 1980s and was ordered Tuesday to serve time on probation.

The Rev. Frank Genevieve avoided prison time as a Suffolk Superior Court judge sentenced him to a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years, with five years' probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Norwich Diocese: Tears flow over plans for churches

THOMPSON (CT)
Norwich Bulletin

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
dracioppi@norwichbulletin.com; (860) 774-5585
Posted Jul 23, 2008 @ 02:30 AM

Thompson, Conn. — The collective grumbling Monday night at St. Joseph Church wasn’t so much because the parish will combine with St. Stephen and with Sacred Heart Mission Church in September.

And the tears shed by some of the nearly 100 parishioners in the basement at St. Joseph in North Grosvenordale weren’t because there will be fewer Masses celebrated.

The frustration, tears and anger were for St. Stephens’ priest, the Rev. Arul Peter, who will no longer be part of the local parish.

Peter is one of many priests with a future of service in an uncertain place, after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich announced this month it will close five churches in the Putnam Deanery and combine several others because of a priest shortage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Statement from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

TEXAS
North Texas e-News

"Earlier today the Schleicher County Grand Jury issued seven indictments containing nine counts of sexual assault, bigamy, and related charges against six individuals who are associated with the YFZ compound near Eldorado."

"The six suspects facing indictments include Warren Jeffs, who was charged with sexually assaulting a child, a first-degree felony. Four additional suspects were indicted for sexually assaulting young girls under the age of 17. Each of those suspects faces one felony count of sexual assault and one of the suspects faces an additional charge of bigamy. Another defendant has been charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse."

"The indictments issued today are part of an ongoing and continuing criminal investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Six indicted in FLDS

ELDORADO (TX)
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Matt Phinney
Originally published 10:00 p.m., July 22, 2008

ELDORADO - A Schleicher County grand jury Tuesday handed down seven indictments, including one against Warren Jeffs, imprisoned leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The indictments alleged a total of nine counts of sexual assault, bigamy and related issues against Jeffs and five other FLDS members whose names were not disclosed.

It was the second full day of testimony in grand jury proceedings stemming from an April raid on the polygamist sect's YFZ Ranch near Eldorado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Sect teen still looks to drop lawyer

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

Staff Report

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

While a grand jury in Schleicher County deliberated over possible criminal charges against members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the attorney for one of the children in the case was attempting to keep her client.

Teresa Jeffs, 16, filed a motion in Schleicher County court, according to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune, seeking to have her court-appointed attorney, Natalie Malonis, dismissed. The motion, the paper said, included allusions to Malonis' personal life, including a divorce, to argue that the Flower Mound lawyer was unsuited to represent Jeffs.

"I don't know what my divorce has to do with Teresa's custody case," Malonis told the Standard-Times on Tuesday. Referring to the motion, she said, "It's not accurate, and it's a ridiculous tactic."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Polygamist Is Indicted in Assault of a Child

ELDORADO (TX)
The New York Times

By JOHN DOUGHERTY
Published: July 23, 2008
A Texas grand jury handed up an indictment Tuesday against a Mormon polygamist leader who is already serving time in prison, accusing him of sexually assaulting a girl under 17.

The defendant, Warren S. Jeffs, 52, was convicted last year of two counts of rape as an accomplice and sentenced to 10 years to life in prison in Utah. He is being held in Mohave County, Ariz., awaiting trial on charges of arranging underage marriages. He also faces federal fugitive charges in Utah.

Five other members of Mr. Jeffs’s church, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were also indicted by the grand jury, in Schleicher County. Four were accused of sexually assaulting girls under 17, with one also charged with bigamy. The fifth was charged with failing to report child abuse. The names of those indicted were sealed until arrest warrants could be served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Retired cleric caught with graphic images avoids jail

IIRELAND
Irish Independent

By Barry Duggan

Wednesday July 23 2008

A FORMER Church of Ireland rector who was caught with 210 images of graphic child pornography has received a three-year suspended prison sentence.

Former rector of Roscrea, Co Tipperary, Canon Joseph Condell pleaded guilty in Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court to knowingly possessing child pornography consisting of still images and movie files on the hard drive of his computer and on a disc.

Some of the images uncovered by gardai included children as young as two engaged in sex with adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

GOD'S Purpose: Healing the Catholic Abuse Victims

American Chronicle

Eric Swenson
July 22, 2008
The Catholic youth conference in Australia has once again become a focus for the sexual misconduct scandals that have distracted the Catholic Church from performing its mission to spread the gospel of our LORD, JESUS CHRIST. Until the Catholic Church hierarchy fully comprehends the full measure of what it has done to the victims, the church's own purpose and the purpose of the victims will be denied. To understand what the church, the Pope, the priests and the victims need to do is clearly stated in the Biblical Scriptures, which makes it so disturbing that the Catholic Church has not healed these wounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Jeffs, FLDS members indicted in TexasJeffs, 5 others indicted

ELDORADO (TX)
Deseret News

By Pat Reavy and Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:11 a.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs could be served with a grand jury indictment today in his Arizona jail cell, charging him here with sexual assault, a first-degree felony.

A Schleicher County grand jury indicted Jeffs late Tuesday, alongside five other FLDS members. Their indictments remain sealed because they have not been taken into custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Grand jury indicts Jeffs, 5 others

ELDORADO (TX)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 07/23/2008 12:56:34 AM MDT

ELDORADO, Texas - A Schleicher County grand jury indicted polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs and five other FLDS men Tuesday on charges related to sexual assaults on underage girls.
The grand jury handed down seven indictments, which contained a total of nine charges. Jeffs, currently awaiting trial in Arizona, is accused of one first-degree felony count of sexually assaulting a child.
Four other men were indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting girls under the age of 17. Each of those suspects faces one felony count of sex assault, and one faces an additional charge of bigamy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

TASK FORCE: Polygamy crime bill proposed

WASHINGTON (DC)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By STEVE TETREAULT
STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON -- A bill to be introduced in the Senate today would establish a federal task force to combat polygamy-related crimes while offering grants to social service agencies that help former members of polygamous sects.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was preparing to submit the bill and to promote it at a polygamy hearing the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled for Thursday at his request.

The "Victims of Polygamy Assistance Act of 2008" would establish a task force to focus on abuse, extortion, witness tampering, embezzlement and other illegal activities suspected to be associated with polygamous groups, according to Reid's office.

"The federal government has a duty to help fight the serious state and federal crimes committed by these groups," said Reid, who is one of 16 Mormons in Congress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Texas grand jury indicts polygamist sect members

ELDORADO (TX)
The Charleston Gazette

By MICHELLE ROBERTS
Associated Press Writer

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) -- Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, already convicted in Utah of rape as an accomplice and awaiting trial in Arizona on other charges related to underage marriages, is now accused of assaulting a girl in Texas in January 2005.

A grand jury in this tiny western Texas ranching community indicted Jeffs and four of his followers Tuesday on charges of felony sexual assault of a child. Another was indicted for failing to report child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Polygamist sect leader indicted for sex abuse charges

TEXAS
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Lee Glendinning and agencies
Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs and four of his followers have been indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of sexual assault of a child after state officials raided a polygamist ranch near Eldorado in April.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the five men have been formally accused of one count of sexually assaulting girls under 17. One of them also faces an additional charge of bigamy.

Abbott said a sixth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse.

Jeffs, 52, the controversial spiritual leader and self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has already been sentenced in a Utah court to 10 years to life in prison as an accomplice to rape for forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old first cousin. He is in jail in Arizona awaiting trial on similar charges for arranged marriages there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

On this Day

MASSACHUSETTS
News 24 (South Africa)

2003 - Massachusetts Attorney General's office issues a scathing report following an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse cases by the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Boston. Clergy members and others in the archdiocese are believed to have sexually abused more than 1 000 people over a period of six decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Frankly Speaking

NASHVILLE (TN)
Nashville Scene

Henry Walker
Published on June 06, 2002
After 12 years as a Tennessean photographer and assistant photo editor, Rick Musacchio left the paper in 1998, still on good terms with his former colleagues and bosses. Now the spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville is reluctant to communicate with Tennessean managing editor Dave Green or reporter Laura Frank, except by e-mail.

“I feel like I have been repeatedly misquoted,” Musacchio says, “so I want everything in writing.”

Since January 1999, the newspaper has published more than 60 stories about Edward McKeown, a defrocked priest now serving time for child molestation, and two $35 million lawsuits accusing the Nashville Diocese, in essence, of trying to cover up McKeown’s pedophilia. Frank, whose work on the earlier stories was commended in the Scene, wrote about half of them.

“I’m not afraid of fair reporting,” Musacchio says, “but after a long history of unfair and biased stories [by Frank], you begin to draw certain conclusions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

NY priest pleads guilty to raping 3 teenage boys

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Maddie Hanna
Globe Correspondent / July 23, 2008
A New York priest accused of raping three teenage boys in Boston during the 1970s and '80s pleaded guilty yesterday, in a deal that will spare him time in prison and the victims the anguish of testifying about their ordeal.

The Rev. Frank Genevieve nodded as Suffolk Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock gave him a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years.

Genevieve, 52, who was removed from active ministry in 2002, was also put on five years probation and barred from contact with the victims or with children under 16. He also was ordered to register as a sex offender, to receive sex offender therapy, and to wear a Global Positioning System monitoring device during the probation, said Erika Gully-Santiago, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk district attorney's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Silmser's abuse allegations rebuffed by priest: Schonenbach

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

"What do you expect me to do?"

Those were the words David Silmser heard when he first brought sexual allegations against a local priest to the attention of the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese, according to the handwritten notes of an Ottawa priest who testified Tuesday at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

Msgr. Peter Schonenbach was the Ottawa archdiocese's delegate on sexual abuse matters when Silmser called in December 1992, alleging he'd been assaulted decades earlier by Rev. Charles MacDonald at St. Columban's Church in Cornwall.

Silmser would settle in September 1993 for $32,000 with the local diocese in exchange for not pursuing criminal or civil charges against MacDonald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Church considered another payout

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Eight years before David Silmser's $32,000 payout became public in 1994, church officials considered negotiating a similar settlement with another abuse victim, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard yesterday.

Sr. Claudette Pilon was one of three people assigned by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese to look into sexual abuse allegations against Rev. Gilles Deslauriers in 1986.

Among the witnesses the ad hoc committee -which also included Msgr. Bernard Guindon and diocesan lawyer Jacques Leduc - met with was Benoit Brisson, one of Deslauriers' victims.

Pilon said the committee was "really afflicted" after hearing Brisson's story and wanted to come up with a way to help him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

July 22, 2008

NY priest pleads guilty to raping 3 teenage boys

BOSTON (MA)
The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A Franciscan priest from New York pleaded guilty to raping three teenage boys during overnight trips to Boston in the 1970s and 1980s and was ordered Tuesday to serve time on probation.

The Rev. Frank Genevieve avoided prison time as a Suffolk Superior Court judge sentenced him to a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years, with five years' probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

U.S. Attorney for Utah predicts polygamy-related prosecutions

UTAH
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 4:52 p.m. MDT

The U.S. Attorney for Utah predicts prosecutions against members of polygamous sects as part of a multi-state cooperative investigation into crimes associated with polygamy.

"I absolutely think that there will be charges," Brett Tolman said Tuesday. "They may range in nature and scope, but there will be charges."

It comes as a coalition of law enforcement from several states are beginning to share information about crimes within polygamy. Federal, state and local authorities from Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Texas met in Las Vegas last month to discuss crimes within polygamy — particularly the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Polygamist sect leader Jeffs, 5 others indicted

ELDORADO (TX)
Guardian (United Kingdom)

By MICHELLE ROBERTS
Associated Press Writer

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) - A Texas grand jury Tuesday indicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs on a charge of felony sexual assault of a child. Five of his followers have been indicted as well.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said four of Jeffs' followers are charged with one count of sexually assaulting girls under the age of 17. One of the four faces an additional charge of bigamy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Texas grand jury indicts Jeffs for felony sexual assault

ELDORADO (TX)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

5:57 PM- ELDORADO, Texas -- A Schleicher County grand jury indicted polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs and five other men today on charges related to sexual assaults on underage girls.
The grand jury handed down seven indictments, which contained a total of nine charges. Jeffs, currently awaiting trial in Arizona, is accused of one first-degree felony count of sexually assaulting a child.
Four other men were indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting girls under the age of 17. Each of those suspects faces one felony count of sex assault, and one faces an additional charge of bigamy.
The final defendant has been charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Priest admits raping two minors from Troy parish

BOSTON (MA)
Schenectady Gazette

By Jill Bryce
Gazette Reporter

BOSTON — A Franciscan priest from New York state with ties to Massachusetts pleaded guilty today to five counts of statutory rape of two minors from a Troy parish during trips to Boston over a 12-year period.

Rev. Frank Genevive, 53, who lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls and once worked in a Troy church, entered a guilty plea as part of a plea agreement just before his trial was expected to start today in Suffolk Superior Court.

One of his victims, Mark Lyman of Stillwater, Saratoga County, who is the co-director of the Albany chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, was in court and preparing to testify, when Genevive pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain.

“It is a victory. I have been vindicated,” said Lyman. “Today I go from an alleged victim to a victim. I've always had a problem with that word alleged.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Priest 'not prepared' to deal with allegations of abuse

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A North Stormont clergyman told the Cornwall Public Inquiry he was "not at all prepared" to handle abuse allegations he received in the 1950s and 1960s against his fellow priests.

Msgr. Réjean Lebrun, who was ordained by the Alexandria- Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese in 1962, told a lawyer for a community group he didn't turn over complaints against Paul Lapierre, Lucien Lussier, and Carl Stone to the authorities because of his inexperience.

"I was not at all prepared for that type of situation," said Lebrun, 73.

"It was completely beyond me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Priest convicted of rape gets suspended sentence

BOSTON (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Brad Puffer, Boston, Mass.) - A former New York priest was sentenced in a Boston courtroom today for raping children 30 years ago. Several of his victims showed up in court.

51-year-old Frank Genevieve allegedly took the victims on field trips to Boston and would abuse them in the rectory across the street from Christopher Columbus High School in the North End.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Leafleting focuses on former United Church of Christ, Methodist minister

WAUKESHA (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Tom Heinen
Tuesday, Jul 22 2008, 03:18 PM
Members of a victims' advocacy group distributed fliers over the weekend at First United Methodist Church of Waukesha to call attention to the fact that a minister who served as the church's pastor in the mid-1980s was convicted and sentenced last week for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy in 1987 while pastor of First United Methodist Church of Rice Lake. He has not been accused in Waukesha.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests wanted to point out, among other things, that child sexual crimes are "not just a Catholic problem" as the group continues to seek support for a Wisconsin Assembly bill that would require all religious denominations to provide the identities and case summaries of clergy, lay teachers, and employees who had sexually assaulted children but were not reported to the police.

The minister, Angel R. Toro, is noteworthy for another reason. After leaving Wisconsin in about 1989, he was granted ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ in 1997 and rose to national leadership positions in that denomination while serving as pastor of Chapel on the Hill in Seminole, near St. Petersburg, Fla. Acclaimed for increasing attendance there from about 30 people to 500 people, Toro served on the denomination's 90-member executive council, was on the team that implemented the "God is still speaking" national identity campaign in 2004 and is a past president of the Local Church Ministries Board, one of the denomination's four national ministry boards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Priest admits abusing teens

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

July 22, 2008 03:26 PM
By Maddie Hanna, Globe Correspondent

A New York priest pleaded guilty today to raping three teenagers in the 1970s and 1980s while on trips to Massachusetts, admitting that he abused the boys in his car and at a rectory in Boston’s North End.

Rev. Frank Genevive nodded his head as a Suffolk Superior Court judge gave him a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years. Before the sentencing, two victims addressed the packed courtroom and spoke about the sentence they approved of to avoid rehashing their ordeal in a trial.

"He should have gotten longer," said one victim, David Landfear, 40, reading his impact statement as he looked at Genevive. "You ruined my life. Period."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

A bad story gets better

BOSTON (MA)
GetReligion

Posted by Mollie

Many readers submitted a piece from the Boston Globe this weekend about the ordination of women claiming to be Roman Catholic priests. Some said the story was horrific. Others said it was fantastic. Turns out there were two stories. The first is not so good.

Reporter Michael Paulson’s piece was headlined in the manner to which we’ve become, sadly, accustomed with these stories:

3 women to be ordained Catholic priests in Boston
Excommunication automatic, church warns

The subhead is fine and good. The main headline has problems. Will these women be ordained Catholic priests or does a group claim that they will be ordained Catholic priests? The lede compounds the problem:

Three aspiring Catholic priests will be anointed and prayed over this weekend in an ordination liturgy that will resemble the traditional in most ways but one: The three being ordained are women.

It isn’t until the 9th paragraph that we’re told that the ordinations are being done by Roman Catholic Womenpriests. And the article, while mentioning that actual Roman Catholic officials oppose the ordinations, doesn’t do a good job of explaining that such ordinations are not considered valid, licit, legal, etc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Priest Pleads Guilty To Raping Boys In Mass.

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel

BOSTON -- A New York priest has pleaded guilty to four counts of rape and another count of rape and assault while on field trips with children in the Bay State in the late 1970s.

Rev. Frank Genevieve, 51, who lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., was charged with taking children from his Troy, N.Y., parish on field trips to Massachusetts over several years time. Once here, according to the victims, he would abuse them.

The boys were between 13 and 16 years old at the time. One boy was raped three times and another boy once at an unnamed rectory in the North End or in Genevieve's car in downtown Boston, said a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

If it is from God, you can’t stop it

BOTSWANA
Sunday Standard

by SAONE NONOFO-MOREBOLOKI
22.07.2008 6:33:04 P

Even after last week’s historic vote by the General Synod of the Anglican Church to allow women to hold Episcopal office, there is near consensus that the debate that has besieged the worldwide Anglican Communion will not go away soon.

To be fair to the Anglicans, the question of the status of women in the ministry is a hot potato for many other Christian denominations, – including the world’s largest Christian formation, the Catholic Church.

So what is the cause of the hardened positions? The conservative voice within the church argues that Christ’s timeless Church is not subject to shifts of social fashion. On another level, the scripture is shoved into the faces of advocates of women’s ordination. Didn’t Christ commission 12 men as disciples and promote them to apostles? Didn’t St Paul say that the man “is the head of the woman” and much else besides about a woman knowing her place? If it is so clear cut, what’s the basis for the argument?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Culture of grief never resolved

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

July 23, 2008 12:00am
HERE'S just the latest example of how our victim industry works, feeding on problems and starving on solutions.

Flying to Sydney for World Youth Day, the Pope told reporters he wanted to express regret to victims of priests who abused them.

But Broken Rites, the victims' group, said this was not enough, and he must "formally apologise". Said spokesman Bernard Barrett: "He made some general remarks about regret to reporters and that's not good enough."

All right: in Sydney, the Pope gave a formal apology.

But Broken Rites said this was now not enough, and he must apologise directly to a few representative victims. Said another spokeswoman, Chris MacIsaac: "It really needs to be delivered directly to the people who suffered that abuse. They could have looked some victims who represented all victims in the eye and said, the Pope could have said 'I am truly sorry'."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

FLDS' former law firm fights UEP subpoenas

UTAH
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:00 a.m. MDT

The law firm that once represented the Fundamentalist LDS Church is fighting subpoenas to hand over documents to the court-controlled real estate arm of the polygamous sect.

Lawyers for the United Effort Plan Trust served the subpoenas on Snow, Christensen & Martineau, seeking to compel the law firm into handing over documents. The firm is resisting, arguing attorney-client privilege.

"It is impossible to characterize legal advice given to FLDS leadership regarding the UEP Trust as having been given to them in any particular capacity," attorney Rod Parker wrote in documents filed last week in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Mad Over Benedict

AUSTRALIA
CounterPunch

By BINOY KAMPMARK

The usual recipe of the zealous World Youth Day advocate rarely changes. Travel to distant locations for these pilgrims often results in headaches for local officials charged with the mission making things most comfortable for both Pontiff and standard devotees. Problems in the Catholic Church are given a cosmetic touch-up.

Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Sydney, which now draws to a close, was no exception. The Catholic Church proudly notes that World Youth Day in Sydney has brought more visitors to the city than the Olympic games of 2000. Numbers are rough, but some make it 125,000.

In countries where a notionally progressive protest movement can be organized, pro-contraception activists (amongst others) muster rallies and dispense condoms. Their aim is to convince starry-eyed pilgrims seduced by the stupefacient called Papal love to abandon their sunny optimism for darker appraisals of Church policy. ...

But World Youth Day always masks the deeper grievance. The pope’s journey to Australia was best characterised by the floundering antics of Sydney Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell. Prior to WYD, it surfaced that Pell had been mind numbingly insensitive over a case of child abuse. In time, it became obvious that Pell had been complicit in inflicting suffering on one victim in particular, dismissing his charge of abuse against a priest, Father Terence Goodall. The encounters had been ‘consensual’ in character.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Texas AG appears at FLDS grand jury

ELDORADO (TX)
Deseret News

By Pat Reavy
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 8:11 a.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — A grand jury investigating alleged crimes within the Fundamentalist LDS Church reconvened here today, with the Texas Attorney General making an appearance.

FLDS member and spokesman Willie Jessop has been subpoenaed to testify. Some FLDS women have also appeared at the memorial building.

Jessop was en route to the grand jury this when he was pulled over in a traffic stop. Asked why he was stopped, Jessop chuckled to reporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Texas grand jury resumes criminal hearings into polygamous sect

ELDORADO (TX)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 07/22/2008 09:12:00 AM MDT

Updated: 8:53 AM- EL DORADO, Texas -- FLDS spokesman Willy Jessop was pulled over and handed a subpoena early Tuesday morning to appear before a grand jury considering criminal charges against members of his polygamous sect.
Jessop, who has become the public face for the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints since sect leader Warren Jeffs was convicted of being an accomplice to rape and jailed, later spoke briefly to reporters outside the Schleicher County Courthouse.
"We'll see how it all turns out," was all he would say when questioned about the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

A mutilated reading from the Book of Matthew at my perpetrator church where I have to run out of the building grasping for air. . .

BARTLETT (IL)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
Bartlett, IL

“One of the worst faculty offenders was Fr. Donal Collins, teacher and then principal,” writes Joe Rigert about St. Peter’s College Seminary in Ireland. “In a bizarre manifestation of his perversion, Collins would visit a dormitory at night to measure the penises of the boys under the pretext of ascertaining whether they were growing normally.”

The image of a little Irish priest in his night vestment with a nightcap on, maybe shaped like a leprechaun, approaching the boys’ dorm beds with his fingertips dancing, a Dr. Seuss villain grin on his face as he sings, “I'm coming to measure your penis tonight” -- that image kept bouncing into my head making me sit upright and laugh, brought me back to life Monday night.

I went to Mass, or tried to go to Mass, at the church my perpetrator priest founded last Sunday. I ended up having to run out of the church doubled up in pain. I sat in the back, knowing I might need to make a fast exit. Every five minutes one of the ushers would come up to me, “Do you want me to deliver to you the Holy Eucharist?” They kept saying that to me like Communion was this mystical magical almost scary thing. I sat through a sermon where the guy twisted the meaning of a Bible passage, I listened to a reading from The Book of Wisdom thinking wha-? Now they even make up their own books of the bible?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Apology Fails to Restore Trust

AUSTRALIA
The Epoch Times

By Sonya Bryskine
Epoch Times Staff Jul 22, 2008

The week-long World Youth Day (WYD) events in Sydney were a huge success, said the organisers, but for the victims of Catholic priest sex abuses, the Papal apology was not enough.

An estimated 400,000 people packed the Randwick Race Course as the German Pontiff made his final appearance for the July 20 Sunday Mass. ...

Broken Rites, a Melbourne-based network for victims of church-related sexual abuse, has received “thousands and thousands” of calls, says Mrs MacIsaac. Over the past decade, the group has lobbied for the conviction of 107 brothers and priests, many of whom were repeat offenders.

Of all the victims who contacted Broken Rites, more than half were males and were sexually assaulted in their childhood. Some remained silent for decades before speaking out about their experiences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Congregation ousts pastor for failing to reveal charges

WHEATON (IL)
Naperville Sun

July 22, 2008

By RON PAZOLA rpazola@scn1.com
A local civil rights leader and longtime Wheaton minister is no longer pastor of Second Baptist Church in Wheaton. He was arrested last year on charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

The congregation voted Saturday to remove the Rev. Andre Allen from his position as the church's senior pastor. Allen, 54, was pastor at the church for 23 years.

Allen was arrested in November after two women accused him of touching them inappropriately while he claimed to be a self-defense instructor at a Lifetime Fitness in Schaumburg. Because Allen pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Jan. 18 for impersonating a health club employee, prosecutors agreed to drop the battery charge. He was sentenced to a year of court supervision and 60 hours of community service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Local church youth group under investigation on allegations of child abuse

RAPID CITY (SD)
Rapid City Journal

By Mary Garrigan, Journal staff Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A church youth group at First Assembly of God in Rapid City is being investigated on unspecified allegations of child abuse, the Rapid City Police Department confirmed Monday.

"We are not able to make any comment on that case, because it is an open investigation," Capt. Deb Cady said.

Cady said no arrests and no criminal charges have been filed in the investigation, which has been ongoing for more than two weeks.

Two members of the church who asked not to be identified said the investigation involved an all-night youth group activity called "Underground Church" that is designed to teach youth about the persecution of Christians in countries where religious freedom is not allowed by the government. The event took place June 13-14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Accuser speaks in Mansfield sex case

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

By MARK CAUDILL
News Journal

MANSFIELD -- Only when John Picard left Mansfield did one of his alleged victims feel strong enough to talk to police.

"It helped when he moved. The only contact we had was over the phone," the 28-year-old woman said. "It gave me the space I needed to come forward."

The News Journal is not identifying the woman because she's the alleged victim of a sex crime.

A former Mansfield youth pastor, Picard, 40, of Springboro pleaded innocent Monday to 10 counts of sexual battery at his arraignment in Mansfield Municipal Court. Magistrate Don Teffner set a $250,000 cash bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Judge postpones former priest’s plea hearing

LOUISA (VA)
Star Exponent

Media General News Service
Published: July 21, 2008

A judge postponed a plea hearing scheduled for yesterday for the former Catholic priest accused of stealing from two Louisa County churches. Prosecutors expect to change the dates on some of the 13 embezzlement charges against the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis (left).

Lawyer John R. “Jack” Maus said his client would need extra time to consider the changes. Rodis’ arraignment has been rescheduled until Sept. 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Polygamy hearing's witness list released

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 07/22/2008 01:01:57 AM MDT

The witness list for Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on polygamy includes U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman and law enforcement from around the West.
The hearing, requested by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., will explore "Crimes Associated with Polygamy: The Need for a Coordinated State and Federal Response."
Reid, who has pushed for a federal task force, is expected to be the first witness. He will be followed by Tolman; Gregory Brower, the U.S. Attorney for Nevada; Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Polygamy hearing: There may be a role for federal government

WASHINGTON (DC)
Deseret News

When someone mentions an organized crime family, certain names come to mind. Corleone. Genovese. Gambino.
Not Barlow, Jessop or Jeffs.
Unless you are U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.
Reid, the U.S. Senate's majority leader, has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to conduct a hearing this Thursday on how to coordinate a state and federal response to crimes associated with polygamy.
Reid contends that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a crime syndicate that has engaged in bribery, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, witness tampering and labor violations. In other words, a crime family. He wants the Justice Department to launch a federal racketeering investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Former youth leader guilty of killing teen; gets life without parole

TAMPA (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By Colleen Jenkins, Times Staff Writer
In print: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TAMPA — For a moment Monday, the only sound in Courtroom 52A was the clerk reading the jury's verdict form in the first-degree murder trial of Joshua Rosa. In an even voice, she rattled off the formal charge and case number.

Then one word shattered the quiet.

"Guilty," she said.

Rosa's jaw dropped. The 22-year-old former church youth leader hung his head.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Senate investigation to look into polygamy and federal crime

WASHINGTON (DC)
Times Record News

Trish Choate
and Daniel Collins
Times Record News Washington Bureau
Monday, July 21, 2008

WASHINGTON - A Senate investigation into polygamy and federal crime will take place in three acts Thursday and will star a powerful senator angling for a federal task force, high-level federal and state prosecutors, two former sect members turned outspoken critics of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a true-crime author who wrote a book about imprisoned FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs.

No FLDS members in good standing are on the witness list for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill, but members of the breakaway Mormon sect, including FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop, will attend.

"They're not going to give us an opportunity to say anything, but we're going to at least be there," Willie Jessop said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Jeffs case may hinge on diaries, dictations

ELDORADO (TX)
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:05 a.m. MDT

Diaries and dictations may be used to build underage marriage cases against Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs as a grand jury meets today in Eldorado, Texas.

Court documents obtained by the Deseret News focus on three marriages allegedly performed by Jeffs on July 27, 2006, including one in which Jeffs himself is purported to have been "sealed" to a then-12-year-old girl.

"I seek unto the Lord for his Spirit to be with me and guide this record-keeping," Jeffs began a dictation recorded that night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Texas grand jury to reconvene in FLDS case

ELDORADO (TX)
Deseret News

By Pat Reavy and Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:05 a.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — A grand jury is expected to reconvene here today to continue investigating possible crimes by members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

Some familiar with the grand-jury proceedings have said it is possible that indictments could be issued by the end of the day. However, those indictments may remain sealed until warrants and summons are issued.

"There are a lot of issues to work through here. To the extent that they're relying on member witnesses, they've got to deal with an immunity issue," said Rod Parker, a Salt Lake attorney acting as a spokesman for the FLDS Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Antonie Dixon's sister gives evidence in court

NEW ZEALAND
3 News

[with video]

When Antonie Dixon told the jury an astonishing tale of sexual abuse by his mother and beatings at the hands of Jehovah's Witnesses, they must have wondered whether any of it was believable.

Today they heard from someone else who was there at the time and she confirmed much of what he said.

According to Dixon's sister Carla, he was dubbed "devil spawn" by their mother.

Carla Dixon-Foxley says she was his closest friend and ally, but from a young age she knew something was not quite right with her baby brother.

"He used to bash his head on the couch and he used to just sit there and like that, bashing, bashing, bashing," Ms Dixon-Foxley says.

Ms Dixon-Foxley says Dixon was abused by their mother, who would tie him to a clothesline outside their Grey Lynn house and invite fellow members of the Jehovah's Witness church to beat him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Grand jury hearings to resume in polygamist sect case

ELDORADO (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News
eramshaw@dallasnews.com

ELDORADO – When a grand jury reconvenes here today to hear evidence of alleged sexual abuse inside a West Texas polygamist community, the state's chief law enforcement official will be in the courtroom – Attorney General Greg Abbott, two officials said.

Though Mr. Abbott's office declined to comment on whether he would be in town, two law enforcement sources close to the massive child welfare investigation confirmed that he was coming, a move they indicated could signal indictments.

Jerry Strickland, a spokesman with Mr. Abbott's office, said on Friday that the DNA samples taken from parents and children at the Yearning For Zion ranch had been sent to the court "in the last week," though he wouldn't speculate about whether that meant criminal charges were on the way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Pope coverage on balance

AUSTRALIA
GetReligion

Posted by Mark Stricherz

Like political conventions and track-and-field meets, Papal visits deserve multiple story lines. Focus on one angle and the story is bound to be incomplete. Focus on several angles and the reader will get a broad view of reality.

In examining the coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s weekend appearance at World Youth Day, I conclude that only one story met this standard of success. The article, by Tim Johnston of The New York Times, began with the Pope’s speech:

In his final address to hundreds of thousands of young Catholics gathered in Australia, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday sharply criticized the violence and materialism of the modern age. ...

The Los Angeles Times, for example, wrote almost entirely about the sex-abuse scandal. It story included this voice-of-God line:

[A]s in his spring visit to the United States, one theme loomed over Benedict’s weeklong pilgrimage to Australia: the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

A careful reader will wonder who determined that this theme loomed. Was it the media, victims and alleged victims, political activists (as tmatt’s story suggested), or mainstream Catholic leaders? Without an answer, it’s difficult to support the reporters’ thesis. Yes, reporters Traci Wilkinson and Jennifer Bennett did give readers a statistic about the number of convicted priests, but the time line was never mentioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Onaiyekan decries international media's reportage of religion

NIGERIA
Daily Triumphy

Archbishop John Onaiyekan, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Abuja decried the way the international media report religious events.
Onaiyekan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that their reports most times were dictated by their own agenda.
`` The areas they are interested in are not the ones we are interested in and any intelligent person, who tunes to CNN and BBC, should put that at the back of his head that what we are seeing is the world as seen by BBC or CNN,'' he said.
Onaiyekan cited the issue of sexual abuse among some priests as related to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Sydney, as an example.
``Though it is bad if any priest engages in such but that was not the focus of the Pope's visit to Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Event the answer to the Church's prayers?

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY JAMES MASSOLA

22/07/2008 12:00:00 AM
Two thousand years after the crucifixion, can World Youth Day help the Catholic Church in Australia rise again?

Church officials certainly hope so.

While senior church figures, including Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony Fisher, bore the brunt of questions about the Church's handling of sexual abuse cases, World Youth Day organisers battled to accentuate the positives of the just-completed Catholic fiesta.

And despite the attempts of protesters and victim support groups to sully the event, the six days in Sydney were a triumph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Let abuse victims seek justice

WISCONSIN
Leader-Telegram

The Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down a significant ruling last month allowing prosecution of a sex offender to move forward. The case is against an 86-year-old priest for sexually assaulting girls between 1965 and 1972.

The court ruled that sex offenders can be prosecuted for decades-old cases if they left the state before the expiration of the six-year statute of limitations in effect at the time. Fortunately for victims of sexual abuse after 1989, the law now allows prosecutions until age 45.

Ironically, the decision struck a cruel blow to the victims of childhood sexual abuse who only recently have come to terms with their abuse, but whose abusers stayed in Wisconsin and are well beyond the six-year time limit in effect before 1989. Simply because their perpetrators stayed within state lines, they have no ability to pursue justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Pope's meeting with victims fails to quell ire

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY DANNY ROSE AND NICK RALSTON

22/07/2008 12:00:00 AM
The Catholic Church has been accused of ''hand-picking'' four victims of clergy sex abuse for a secretive meeting with the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI met the victims and their supporters after holding a private mass for them at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney early yesterday morning, before he flew out of Australia. ...

The 30-minute meeting was not made public until after it had occurred, but Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell said it had been weeks in the planning. It was one of the pontiff's last acts before jetting out of Australia at the conclusion of the World Youth Day program.

Support group Broken Rites said the meeting was more about managing the media than addressing concerns over the Church's continued handling of child sex abuse by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Church errs in casting out women, but not predator priests

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Margery Eagan
Tuesday, July 22,

The latest uppitty women to get whacked by the Roman Catholic Church are would-be priests Judy Lee of Florida, Gloria Carpeneto of Maryland and Gabriella Verlardi Ward of New York.

Sunday in Boston all three were “ordained” in a ceremony run by a pro-women priest organization. The Archdiocese of Boston promptly declared that the women had automatically excommunicated themselves by such action. Their excommunicable sin: yearning to dedicate themselves to the church and faith they love.

Meanwhile, here’s who hasn’t been excommunicated: hundreds of priests and bishops who’ve admitted to or been accused of multiple sexual assaults on children and teenagers. Some resign. Some are defrocked. But many more remain Catholics in good standing or even retain their titles, their pay, their clerical trappings and the support of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Council backs name change

AUGUSTA (ME)
Kennebec Journal

BY MATTHEW STONE
Staff Writer 07/22/2008

AUGUSTA -- A push to rename the city's Father John J. Curran Bridge gained momentum Monday night, as city councilors unanimously backed a resolution urging legislators to rename the downtown bridge.

The issue could next see life in the state Capitol, where legislators have the power to authorize a name change for the bridge.

The Augusta Council's endorsement of the resolution Monday night followed an emotion-filled discussion in the council chambers in which an alleged survivor of sexual abuse by the Rev. John Curran urged councilors to call for removing the late priest's name from the bridge. The discussion also featured a handful of residents who fondly recalled Curran as a priest who worked tirelessly for his community. ...

Robert Dupuis told councilors of suffering sexual abuse by Curran in 1961, when he was a 12-year-old altar server in Old Town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

New molestation suit filed against archdiocese

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

An anonymous plaintiff sued the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver on Monday, alleging he was molested as a 12-year-old altar boy by now-deceased priest Harold Robert White at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Loveland around 1969.

Since 2005, the archdiocese has settled 43 claims for more than $8.3 million.

White retired from active ministry in 1993 and was stripped of his priesthood by the church in 2004. He died in November 2006 at age 73 while vacationing in Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Another sex abuse lawsuit for Denver archdiocese

DENVER (CO)
KJCT

DENVER (AP) - Another man has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Denver alleging he was abused by an ex-priest about 40 years ago.

The lawsuit identifies the alleged victim only as "John Doe 2B". The man claims he was abused by the late Harold White around 1969 when he was 12 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Loveland. ...

A spokeswoman says Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP'-yoo) and the archdiocese are open to meeting with victims of sexual abuse by clergy members and continue to offer help to those who come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

July 21, 2008

New abuse lawsuit filed against church

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 07/21/2008 05:36:53 PM MDT

"John Doe 2B," the latest in more than 30 cases of childhood sexual abuse against deceased ex-priest Harold Robert White, sued the Archdiocese of Denver today in Denver District Court. The anonymous plaintiff said he was molested as a 12-year-old altar boy at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Loveland around 1969.

A support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse demanded at a news conference today outside the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, that Archbishop Charles Chaput stop keeping secrets about accused priests and personally visit the parishes of known pedophiles to urge any victims to come forward.

"The archdiocese has refused to take meaningful action. It's time for Chaput to come clean," said Kirsten Boyd, a Denver spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of Those Accused by Priests, or SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

FORMER PRIEST ON SEX CHARGES

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

22/07/2008 8:28:00 AM
A FORMER teaching priest appeared before Bathurst Local Court yesterday facing 33 charges of sexual assault on five students, dating back to the 1980s.

Former St Stanislaus’ College teacher Brian Joseph Spillane has not entered pleas on any of the 33 charges.

Red-haired and bespectacled, Spillane – from the Sydney suburb of Riverwood – wore a dark suit with a tartan pattern scarf and sat quietly behind Sydney lawyer Greg Walsh in Bathurst Local Court.

Magistrate Thomas Hodgson conducted yesterday’s hearing in open court and ordered nothing be published that might identify the alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Sydney, il Papa incontra vittime dei preti pedofili

AUSTRALIA
la Repubblica (Italy)

SIDNEY - Prima di ripartire da Sydney, Benedetto XVI ha incontrato una rappresentanza delle vittime dei preti pedofili. Il Papa ha celebrato questa mattina una messa con un gruppo di persone che hanno subito abusi sessuali da parte di religiosi cattolici, "ha ascoltato le loro storie e li ha consolati assicurando la sua vicinanza spirituale".

[translation]

A little time before leaving for Rome, Benedetto XVI celebrated mass with some persons who were sexually abused by the clergy Sydney, the Pope meets the victims of pedophile priests
The issue dominated all the time of the visit in Australia for the World Youth Days

SIDNEY - Before leaving Sydney, Benedetto XVI met a group representing the victims of
pedophile priests. The Pope celebrated this morning a mass in the presence of a group of persons who were sexually abused by the clergy, "he listened their stories and he consoled them, assuring his being spiritually near them".

"Assuring his spiritual vicinity - a note of the Vatican press room explains - he promised to continue praying for them, for their families and for all the victims". With that paternal gesture
- the note adds - the Holy Father wanted to show once more his solicitude towards those who
suffered from sexual abuses".

The meeting took place this morning at 7 a.m. Australian time in the chapel of the Cathedral
House where the Pope was lodged in these days. Four victims were present: two women and
two men, together with two assistants and the priest who accompanied them Benedetto XVI celebrated with the cardinal of Sidney George Pell, with the substitute secretary of State monsignor Fernando Filoni and with two secretaries.

At the end of the mass the guests were allowed to speak separately with the Pontiff , who said
"affectionate words of participation and comfort". The meeting ended a short time before 8 a.m. and " everything happened in a respectful climate, in spirituality and intense commotion".

The Vatican press release explains that "as it was already done in USA the Pope wished to meet some of the victims as a concrete gesture to express those feelings he had already
manifested many times during his interventions on the drama of the sexual abuses". In Australia he wished to do that after the conclusion of the World Youth Days, being that the reason for his trip".

The scandal of pedophilia in the church of Australia was in the background of Pope Ratzinger's trip. When he was in the plane, while flying towards Sydney, the Pontiff admonished that
" pedophilia was incompatible" with priesthood. And last Saturday, in front of the Australian clergy, he harshly condemned sexual abuses, defining them "misdeeds which constitute a grave betrayal of trust". "These misdeeds, he went on, must be condemned in the most unequivocal way. They have caused great pain and damaged the witnessing of the church. The victims must receive compassion and care and those responsible of these evils must be brought to justice. It's an urgent priority to promote a safer and sounder environment , especially for the youth". These words were accompanied however by the polemics about his not having already met with the victims of sexual abuses. In the end the Pope decided to
satisfy those requests.

In Australia the convictions for sexual abuses by the clergy have been 107 until now but many other cases are still waiting for the conclusion of the trial.

(21 luglio 2008)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights: Neither Religious nor Civil

UNITED STATES
Catholics for Choice

[with link to the full pdf-format report]

The latest report in the Opposition Notes series examines the work of the Catholic League and its president, Bill Donohue, who has waged a long and lonely campaign to bully into silence anybody he deems to have insulted the Catholic church. According to an annual report put out by the League, the number of examples of anti-Catholicism grew from 140 in 1995 to 320 in 2006, yet the only thing that seems to have actually increased is the League's definition of what constitutes anti-Catholic activity.

from the report:

Another attempt to silence the loyal opposition involves the pedophile scandal that has dominated news about the church over the past few years. Unable to explain away the Catholic
church’s embarrassing pedophilia scandal, Donohue tried to turn it back on progressive Catholic activists, claiming that they were exaggerating the scandal to try and bring down the church: “For the past few decades, so-called progressive Catholics have been itching for large-scale reform in the Catholic church. What they object to most of all is the church’s teaching on sexuality. Representative of the fringe, they are now seizing the moment to install their agenda…Make no mistake, the Catholicbashers are loving this moment.”61

Overall, Donohue has been an apologist for the church on the issue of clergy sexual abuse and echoed the conservative line that the problem was not one of pedophilia or mandatory celibacy but of homosexuality: “For 2000 years, the Catholic Church has been the subject of countless lies, especially on issues that touch on sexuality. Today, the biggest lie is that the Church suffers from a ‘pedophilia’ problem. And now that the Vatican has released its document on
homosexuals in the priesthood, look for the lie to grow like a cancer.”62 In advance of two major studies on the extent of sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, the Catholic League
produced a study which appeared to be trying to whitewash the scandal by claiming that the rate of sexual abuse in the church was no higher than in other religious denominations: “the incidence of the sexual abuse of a minor is slightly higher among the Protestant clergy than
among the Catholic clergy, and it is significantly higher among public school teachers than among ministers and priests.”63 The study also claimed that “almost all the priests who abuse
children are homosexuals.”64 In fact, studies have shown that many child molesters don’t have an adult sexual orientation at all, so they cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals
or heterosexuals. Their sexual attraction is based on age, not gender, so the data suggest that gay men are not any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children.65

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Catholics for Choice take on the Catholic League

UNITED STATES
Arizona Daily Star

Stephanie Innes
I don’t know for certain, but my guess is that pretty much every religion reporter in the country is well-acquainted with the ultra-conservative Catholic League.

They fax press releases with a regularity that’s unmatched by any other religious group, at least in my experience. The group caught my notice for its rants on pop culture.

Known for its staunch defense of the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic League expresses frequent outrage at what it considers ‘slights’ against Catholicism. ...

Catholics For Choice — Catholics who support legalized abortion — have now taken on the Catholic League in a 25-page report. The length and effort that went into the report speak to the magnitude of the Catholic League’s media.

We media types like getting the “other side” and Donohue provides ready-made if not convenient fodder for controversy.

Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien says that when the media covers the “tempests that Donohue manages to whip up from time to time, few ever stop to examine the most basic premise of his objections — they just cover the dog fight.”

The Catholics for Choice report says that the Catholic League uses, “intimidation, bullying and distortion to suppress critics of the Catholic Church, the Vatican and the church’s many controversial policies.”

Catholics for Choice also says one of Donohue’s most heinous faults is turning the Catholic church’s sexual abuse scandal back on progressive Catholic activists, claiming they were exaggerating the scandal to try and bring down the church.

Donohue has been a particularly harsh critic of the national Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests — SNAP. He says that SNAP should disband because the abuse crisis is all but obsolete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

I Accuse! (Io accuso!)

ITALY
Fai Notizia

Vinnie Nauheimer's article called I Accuse , posted yesterday on this site, was translated into Italian and appears on this Web site.

di Vinnie Nauheimer (19 luglio 2008)

(La seguente e’ la traduzione dall’inglese dei primi paragrafi dell'articolo qui segnalato, un convincente atto di accusa nei confronti della Chiesa Cattolica Romana, definita “Organizzazione Criminale Internazionale”)

"Vi siete mai sentiti come quel ragazzo che grida, “L’imperatore e’ nudo?” Avete mai gridato a voi stessi , “per la miseria, questa cosa e’ sbagliata!”? Avete mai visto qualcosa di cosi’ chiaro e vivido tanto da chiedervi, “Com’e’ che nessuno se ne accorge?” Se la stessa cosa succede molte volte e di continuo, in una citta’ dopo l’altra, in uno Stato dopo l’altro, in un Paese dopo l’altro, perche’ non chiamamo le cose con il loro nome? Se l’atto e’ un atto criminale, perpetrato dai membri della stessa organizzazione e nascosto da coloro che la dirigono, perche’ non possiamo semplicemente chiamarlo un crimine organizzato a livello internazionale?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Cardinal: Pope's Meeting With Abuse Victims Positive

AUSTRALIA
Zenit

By Anthony Barich

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 21, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal George Pell said the private pastoral visit Benedict XVI had with victims of sexual abuse by clergy was positive and particularly moving.

The Pope celebrated Mass and had a meeting with four Australian victims of sexual abuse by clergy on Monday morning local time at St. Mary’s Cathedral House in Sydney.

The Pontiff was in Australia to preside at the World Youth Day celebrations, which end Sunday. He left Monday evening for Rome.

Cardinal Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, said the visit with four victims -- two men and two women aged 30 and over, chosen by the Professional Standards Office of New South Wales -- had been organized over a number of weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Bruised bodies, broken spirits

Wheeling News-Register

Momsense

In Cleveland, a Catholic priest who was reinstated after a sexual abuse claim resigns after another abuse victim comes forward.

In Australia, the Pope celebrates Mass before "a representative sample" of two men and two women who were sexually abused by priests.

And here in the Ohio Valley, a former Martins Ferry pastor is accused of raping a female family member over a period of six years, while a Neffs priest remains on leave as the Guernsey County prosecutor's office investigates allegations of sexual abuse against a young girl.

Once again, I find myself asking why and wondering if anyone is safe in this messed-up world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Louisa Priest Jailed for Embezzlement Returns to Court

LOUISA COUNTY (VA)
WCAV

July 21, 2008

A former priest convicted on federal charges of stealing from two Louisa County churches appeared back in court Monday morning.

Rodney Rodis now faces multiple state charges in Louisa County.

The 13-count indictment accuses Rodis of embezzling money from two Louisa County parishes between September 1995 and September 2006.

Rodis' lawyer explained why his client did not enter a plea to the charges Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Second lawsuit in 6 days names former Loveland priest

LOVELAND (CO)
Coloradoan

By Douglas Crowl • Loveland Connection • July 21, 2008

A victims advocate group has announced the second lawsuit in six days regarding child molestation against the Archdiocese of Denver connected to a one-time Loveland priest.

The lawsuit involves Harold Robert White allegedly molesting a 12-year-old boy in 1969 while he served at St. John the Evangelist Church in Loveland, said Jeb Barrett, the Denver leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP.

The group plans a press conference detailing the lawsuit at 1:30 p.m. today at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Ex-church youth leader guilty of boy's murder

TAMPA (FL)
Miami Herald

TAMPA -- A jury has convicted a former church youth leader of strangling a teenage boy.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente on Monday sentenced Joshua Rosa to life in prison without parole after the 22-year-old was convicted of first-degree murder.

A message left for Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner was not immediately returned, and defense attorney Brian Gonzalez was not available for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Local priest charged with groping teenager

MANVILLE (NJ)
The Manville News

Monday, July 21, 2008 2:19 PM EDT
By Eileen Oldfield Staff Writer

Christ the King Church Assistant Pastor Tomasz A. Zielinski, 31, a Polish citizen, has been removed from church duties after being charged with simple assault July 11 for allegedly groping a 16-year-old girl.

The incident allegedly occurred during a July 5 LOT Polish Airlines flight from Warsaw, Poland, to Newark Liberty International Airport.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court on July 11 said the Rev. Zielinski admitted to the incident during a July 9 investigation that involved the FBI, the Manville Police Department, and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Youth Pastor Joshua Rosa Found Guilty on Murder Charges

TAMPA (FL)
Associated Content

By Rosa Hayes, published Jul 21, 2008

It is a sad day in Pentecostal church history and even more sad for the family members of Stephen Tomlinson, as youth pastor Joshua Rosa is found guilty of first degree murder in Stephen Tomlinson's death on Monday morning. Joshua Rosa was charged after 13-year-old Stephen Tomlinson's body was found at Logan Gate Park in Hillsborough County, Florida, in December. Stephen Tomlinson was strangled to death in 2005, according to ABC Action News.

The medical examiner on the case against Joshua Rosa said of the allegations that Rosa had stated where false. Rosa had said he was trying to help young Stephen Tomlinson when he died and not trying to injure him. But the medical examiner's testimony proved otherwise, as reported by Tampa Bay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Joshua Rosa found guilty of murder

TAMPA (FL)
ABC Action News

Reported by: Keith Baker
Email: kbaker@abcactionnews.com

TAMPA, FL -- Youth minister Joshua Rosa was found guilty of first degree murder Monday morning in the strangulation death of 13-year-old Stephen Tomlinson of Citrus Park.

The jury reached a verdict after deliberating Friday afternoon but postponed further proceedings until Monday.

Rosa appeared visibly upset as the verdict was read. Several family members cried as the jury was polled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Ex-Youth Pastor Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Charges

MANSFIELD (OH)
WBNS

MANSFIELD, Ohio — A judge on Monday set bond at $250,000 for a former youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting a teenager.

John Picard is accused of having sexual relations with a girl starting in 1992 when she was 13 and continuing until she reached adulthood when he was at Mansfield's Grace Brethren church, 10TV News reported.

Picard pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of sexual battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Bond set $250,000 for former youth pastor

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

BY MARK CAUDILL
News Journal

MANSFIELD — Bond was set at $250,000 this morning for a former Mansfield youth pastor accused of 10 counts of sexual battery involving a teenage parishioner.

John Picard, 40, of Springboro pleaded innocent before Mansfield Municipal Court Magistrate Don Teffner to the 10 counts, all third-degree felonies. He is accused of having sexual relations with a girl starting in 1992 when she was 13 and continuing until she reached adulthood. Picard was youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue at the time.

Police said they think there are other victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

'Ordained' women Catholic priests excommunicated

BOSTON (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Boston, Mass.) - The Catholic Church has excommunicated three women who said they were ordained as priests in Boston.

An activist group says it ordained the women Sunday at a Protestant church. The group, known as Roman Catholic Women Priests, is pushing the Vatican to drop its ban on female clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Disappointment over Papal apology

AUSTRALIA
ABC (AM)

[with audio]

AM - Monday, 21 July , 2008 08:16:00
Reporter: Paula Kruger
TONY EASTLEY: When the Pope apologised on Saturday to people who had been sexually abused by Catholic clergy it caught many by surprise.

The Pontiff's words went much further than an expression of regret he gave during a recent visit to the United States.

Victims groups in Australia liked what they heard but they are upset the statement wasn't made directly to the people affected by abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Arraignment for former priest postponed

VIRGINIA
Richard Times-Dispatch

A Louisa County judge postponed an arraignment hearing today for former Catholic priest accused of stealing from two local parishes he pastored.

Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas A. Garrett Jr. intends to change the dates of some of the 13 felony embezzlement charges against the Rev. Rodney Rodis.

Rodis' attorney, Jack Maus, asked to postpone the plea hearing because of the last-minute change by the commonwealth's attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

World Youth Day a logistical success

AUSTRALIA
ABC (The 7.30 Report)

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 21/07/2008

Reporter:
The Pope's visit to Sydney was a logistical success for the organisers of World Youth Day. While the planned protests had virtually no impact the church did face once major obstacle during the week, the issue of sexual abuse.

Transcript
KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: After a jubilant weekend culminating with more than 400,000 young Catholics from 170 nations at the Randwick Racecourse mass, Pope Benedict's last day in Australia was somewhat more subdued.

SHARON O'NEILL: Before he left Sydney this morning that Pope still had one piece of unfinished business. In a private gathering and mass at Cathedral House he met four hand picked victims of sexual abuse who wish to remain anonymous.

GEORGE PELL: They were chosen by our Professional Standards Officer. We have a system to deal with these problems and they do this well and sensitively, they chose these people.

SHARON O'NEILL: The victims did not include Anthony and Christine Foster, whose two daughters who were raped by a Catholic priest while in primary school. The Fosters flew into Sydney last week hoping for a meeting with the pope.

ANTHONY FOSTER: I think it is simply underhanded, sneaky and everyone involved in it should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Seares: When a Pope apologizes

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Pachico A. Seares
News Sense

IT WAS the second apology from Pope Benedict XVI when he said Saturday during World Youth Day that he was “deeply sorry” about sex child abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Australia.

In April this year, during a US visit, Pope Benedict also said he was “deeply ashamed” about the sex scandal involving American priests.

Pope John Paul II, whom Pope Benedict succeeded, made the same apology for erring priests at least 10 times from 1992 to 2001, according to an Associated Press listing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Rape victim gets into argument at church

SEMINOLE (FL)
Bay News 9

[with video]

SEMINOLE (Bay News 9) -- A man who was raped by a minister in 1987 traveled to the Bay area to reach out to other possible victims, but the peaceful mission turned into a screaming match Sunday at a church in Seminole.

"I'm here for the survivors," Douglas Guillen said. "Me, it's history; I want to know who else did he hurt."

Six days ago, former Chapel on the Hill United Church of Christ in Seminole minister Angel Toro pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Guillen at a Wisconsin church when Guillen was 17 years old. Toro resigned from the Seminole church in 2007.

Guillen says he was ordered to leave the church Sunday while he was handing out fliers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Burning Question

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Neil Ormerod

July 22, 2008 12:00am
DESPITE my own apprehensions, the overall organisation and executionn of the World Youth Day week was excellent.

It went off without a major hitch and much of the credit for this must go to Bishop Anthony Fisher and the team gathered around him. ...

I would have hoped that the church leaders would be media-savvy enough to have prepared a response to those who took this opportunity to raise abuse scandals.

Instead, they appeared to be caught off guard, leaving the impression that they still don't "get it".

In his defence, it should be noted that Bishop Fisher's remarks about dwelling on old wounds were directed at the style of media reporting -- not the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

2nd Suit Filed Against Archdiocese After Settling

DENVER (CO)
CBS 4

DENVER (AP) ― Advocates for sex abuse victims say another person is filing a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Denver.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Monday that the latest suit involves the late ex-priest Harold White. The suit alleges that White abused a 12-year-old boy around 1969 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Loveland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Augusta council to consider naming rights

AUGUSTA (ME)
Maine Today

By Keith Edwards
July 21, 2008 10:45 AM

Augusta City Councilors meet tonight to discuss whether the name of the Father Curran Bridge should be changed.

Councilors are scheduled to discuss whether the bridge over the Kennebec River in downtown Augusta should be renamed due to allegations of sexual abuse by the late priest. The business meeting begins at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Demand for review of priestly celibacy

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday July 21 2008

A CATHOLIC bishop has claimed that Pope Benedict's sincerity in cleaning up the Catholic Church of clerical sexual abuse will remain questionable until he orders a full-scale review of obligatory priestly celibacy.

Australian Catholic Bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, yesterday welcomed Pope Benedict's apology on Saturday for the sexual abuse of children by some Catholic priests in Australia.

Speaking on RTE radio, Bishop Robinson said that allowing priests to marry would not of itself resolve the abuse issue, but it would help to restore the church's credibility. Bishop Robinson said until the Catholic Church puts celibacy on the table for serious discussion, people would not believe it was serious about abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Pope's secret Mass inflames row over abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Joel Gibson, Paola Totaro and Annabel Stafford
July 22, 2008

THE Catholic Church has defended its handling of a secret Mass involving the Pope and four victims of sexual abuse early yesterday amid criticism that the sunrise meeting excluded hundreds of abuse survivors, their families and support groups.

At 7am, hours before he flew out of Sydney, the Pope conducted a private Mass in a chapel attached to St Mary's Cathedral.

But a Melbourne man, Anthony Foster, whose two daughters were repeatedly raped by a Catholic priest at primary school, and who had returned from Europe to seek a meeting with the Pope, said he was disgusted that he and other vocal victims had been sidelined from the meeting.

"I'm happy for the people who did meet him, if it helped them. But I think [the church] has lost an opportunity to speak to people like us and Broken Rites [a support group] who truly represent the needs of all victims," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Sexual abuse victims groups criticise Pope's 'cynical' meeting

AUSTRALIA
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Monday July 21, 2008

Pope Benedict met victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy in the last hours of his nine-day visit to Australia, underlining his earlier public apology for the pain they have suffered.

But his efforts have been criticised by victim support groups, who accused the church of stage managing the meeting, choosing people who would not speak out.

The Pope held a private mass in a chapel at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney and then spoke privately with four representatives of abuse victims – two men and two women - for around an hour "as an expression of his ongoing pastoral concern for those who have been abused by members of the church", the Vatican said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins pope in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Boston Herald

By Herald staff and wire reports
Monday, July 21, 2008

SYDNEY, Australia - Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of the Boston archdiocese traveled with several hundred young parishioners to Australia and yesterday stood alongside Pope Benedict XVI, who reportedly met with victims of clergy child sex abuse in the country.

The pontiff held a Mass yesterday with two men and two women who represented the victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests as a gesture of consolation and his concern about the issue, the Vatican said in a statement.

It was unclear whether O’Malley had a role in the Mass. Archdiocesan spokesman Terrence C. Donilan said he had not been briefed on O’Malley’s itinerary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Chester man who alleged abuse by priests has died

CHESTER (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

A man who sued the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and other defendants in 2003, alleging two priests abused him decades earlier, has died.

Stephen Edward Kopalchick Sr., 55, died Friday at his Chester home. He was a former plant manager at Berry Plastics Corp., a deacon at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Colonial Heights and a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

He made news when he filed a $5 million suit alleging he was abused by two priests from 1962 to 1966. The suit alleged that officials of the diocese knew the two priests were pedophiles but only moved them to different positions when questions arose. Mr. Kopalchick said publicity about sexual abuse by priests in Boston in 2002 stirred memories of the molestation he endured.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Abuse meeting was no whitewash: Pell

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church's most senior figure in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, has defended the selection process for four victims of sexual abuse who met the Pope this morning.

Pope Benedict celebrated mass with two men and two women selected by the church's Professional Standards Office about 7:00am (AEST) at St Mary's Cathedral before leaving the country.

He then spoke to the two men and two women for half an hour. The pontiff listened to their stories and promised to pray for them, their families and all victims.

The Pope's office says the unscheduled meeting demonstrated the pontiff's deep concern for all those who have suffered sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Pope's response compassionate, sex abuse victims say

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Two victims of sexual abuse have released a statement about their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Sydney this morning.

The Pope celebrated mass with two selected men and two women about 7:00am (AEST) at St Mary's Cathedral before leaving the country

The two, who wish to remain anonymous, say the Pope twice told them abuse must be stopped at the Seminary training stage.

They say the second time the pontiff directed his comments towards clergy who were standing a short distance away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

WYD: Pope meets with sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

According to a Vatican statement released early Monday morning in Australia, Pope Benedict XVI has met with four victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, listening to their stories and celebrating Mass for them.

The meeting came at the end of Benedict's July 12-21 visit to Sydney, Australia, for World Youth Day. On Saturday, the pope delivered a public apology for the sex abuse crisis, saying he was "deeply sorry" and that he shared the suffering of the victims.

The meeting in Sydney marks the second time Benedict XVI has encountered sex abuse victims, following a similar session during his mid-April visit to the United States. As in that instance, neither the Vatican nor the Australian victims issued any notice of the meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Renewed attacks on church after Pope meets abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

July 21, 2008 - 6:50PM
The Catholic Church has been accused of "hand-picking" four victims of clergy sex abuse for a secretive meeting with the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI met the victims and their supporters after holding a private mass for them at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney early this morning, before he flew out of Australia.

The Vatican said the pontiff held the meeting to reiterate his deep concern following his apology to sex abuse victims on Saturday.

"He listened to their stories and offered them consolation," the Vatican said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Church abuse victims still seeking payment

CANADA
The Western Star

ST. JOHN'S
EVERTON MCLEAN
The Telegram

Sean Walsh emerges from his basement apartment in Mount Pearl with two documents in hand - an apology from Roman Catholic Bishop Douglas Crosby for abuses Walsh received from a priest as a young man, and a copy of settlement he got for those abuses in 2005.

"They're not worth the paper they're written on," he says, flipping through them.

More than three years after the settlement, he's still waiting on 40 per cent of his money from the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. George's - as are about 40 other victims of sexual abuse.

Walsh was abused by former priest Gary Hoskins while in the Deer Lake area during the summer of 1983, on a weekend trip to learn more about the priesthood. At the time, he was thinking of joining the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Pope's 'sorry' fails to satisfy Oz abuse activists

AUSTRALIA
The Star (South Africa)

July 21, 2008 Edition 4

Sydney - Four victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests who met Pope Benedict XVI before his departure from Australia, today were hand-picked by the church and not representative, an activist said.

Anthony Foster, who travelled from Britain in the hope of meeting the religious leader during his visit to Australia, said the pope's failure to meet him or to inform activists of the meeting showed a lack of compassion.

The four had clearly been "hand-picked by the church" and judging by past experience, the church was unlikely ever to say even who they were, Foster told AFP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Victims defend Pope's 'stage-managed' meeting

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Annabel Stafford
July 22, 2008

TWO victims of church sexual abuse who met the Pope in a secret Mass just hours before his departure yesterday morning have said they spoke to the Pontiff on behalf of all victims.

The two, believed to be siblings, also pleaded with other victims to respect their need for anonymity.

In a statement released via the Sydney Archdiocese, the victims said they had provided the Pope with written accounts of "the abuse to which we were subjected and its effect on our lives" prior to the Mass held at 7am in a private chapel at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

July 20, 2008

Pope's apology a 'job half done'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Hunter Valley man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has labelled the Pope's apology for sexual abuse as a "job half done".

Peter Gogarty from Vacy has spent months calling for a papal apology.

At the weekend mass, the Pope said he was "deeply sorry" for sexual abuse committed by priests and other Catholic figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 PM

Pope can't meet all victims - Pell

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

IT was not possible for the Pope to make a personal apology to every Australian victim of sex abuse by Catholic clergy, the Archbishop of Sydney says.

Pope Benedict XVI met four victims of sex abuse by the clergy this morning after celebrating a private mass for them in Sydney.

The victims and their supporters joined the Pope for mass at St Mary's Cathedral before meeting him for up to half an hour in a last minute addition to the 81-year pontiff's itinerary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 PM

Balt. Woman 1 Of 3 To Become Catholic Priest

BOSTON (MA)
WJZ

BOSTON (WJZ) ― A Baltimore County woman along with two other women became Catholic priests Sunday.

Of course, the Roman Catholic church has a long-standing prohibition against female priests.

But the group of three held an ordination ceremony in Boston Sunday morning at a Presbyterian church, defying the Vatican's ban.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 PM

Pope accused of PR in meeting victims

AUSTRALIA
The Age

July 21, 2008 - 11:35AM

A support group fears only victims of clergy abuse who were satisfied by the Catholic church's handling of their complaints were hand-picked for Monday's meeting with the Pope.

The two men and two women who met with Pope Benedict XVI were nominated by the church's Professional Standards Office, a body established to deal with responses to church-related abuse complaints.

The victims and their supporters joined the Pope for mass at St Mary's Cathedral at 7am (AEST), before meeting with him for up to half an hour in an emotional last-minute addition to the 81-year-old's itinerary.

"I'm afraid that what they've done is selected victims who have agreed with what the church's policies are," Broken Rites spokeswoman Chris MacIsaac told AAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

WOMAN SAYS RAPE HAS RUINED HER LIFE

AUSTRALIA
The Northern Advocate

19.07.2008
by Lindy Laird
As speculation mounts over whether the Pope will deliver an apology to victims of sexual abuse, a Whangarei woman is among those waiting for an apology from the Catholic Church.

Ann - who for legal reasons cannot be identified - said she had lived for more than 50 years with the trauma of being raped by a priest in 1956.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Three women ordained as Catholic priests

BOSTON (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN) - The ceremony in Boston's Back Bay is already underway tonight -- at a Protestant church.

The three women -- from Maryland, Florida and New York City -- have been working with a group that opposes the church's ban on female priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

POPE Benedict XVI meets clergy abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

July 21, 2008 08:39am
POPE Benedict XVI has met Australian victims of clergy sex abuse in a surprise move on the last morning of his Australian visit.

The victims and their supporters joined the Pope for mass at St Mary's Cathedral at 7am, before meeting with him for up to half an hour in a last-minute addition to the 81-year-old's itinerary. ...

"Assuring them of his spiritual closeness, he promised to continue to pray for them, their families and all victims.

"Through this paternal gesture, the Holy Father wished to demonstrate again his deep concern for all those who have suffered sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Pope meets Australian victims of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict met victims of sexual abuse by the clergy in Australia on Monday at a private mass, an unscheduled meeting that followed his public apology at the weekend to all Australian victims.

"A group of victims attended a papal private mass this morning," the Vatican said in a statement. "With this fatherly gesture the Holy Father wanted to once again show his concern for all those who had suffered sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Pope meets sex abuse victims in Australia: Vatican

AUSTRALIA
AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI on Monday held mass with four Australian victims of sexual abuse by priests and listened to accounts of their ordeals, papal spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi told journalists.

The meeting with victims came two days after the pontiff issued a historic apology for what he described as the "evil" of sex abuse by clergy, saying he was "deeply sorry" and calling for those responsible to be punished.

"With regard to abuses by members of the clergy, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on Monday morning celebrated mass with a group of representatives of victims of sexual abuse," Lombardi said in a message to reporters in Italian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Pope meets child sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

Pope Benedict XVI has consoled four victims of sex abuse by the clergy after celebrating a private mass for them in Sydney.

The victims and their supporters joined the Pope for mass at St Mary's Cathedral at 7am (AEST) on Monday, before meeting with him for up to half an hour in a last-minute addition to the 81-year-old's itinerary.

The Pope was scheduled to leave Australia at 10am after bringing World Youth Day (WYD) to a close on Sunday with a huge open-air mass at Randwick Racecourse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Pope meets sex abuse victims: Vatican

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Pope Benedict XVI met a small number of Australian victims of sexual abuse by the clergy at a private mass in Sydney this morning, the Vatican says.

The Pope listened to the stories of the victims and offered them consolation in the chapel of St Mary's Cathedral.

The unscheduled meeting followed his public apology at the weekend to all Australian victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Vatican: Pope meets victims of clergy sex abuse in Australia

AUSTRALIA
USA Today

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI met with victims of clergy child sex abuse in Australia as a gesture of consolation.

The pontiff held a Mass on Monday with two men and two women who represented victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests. The Vatican said in a statement Monday that the pope wanted to show his concern about the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Pope meets victims of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Radio New Zealand

Published at 11:02am on 21 July 2008

Pope Benedict XVI met victims of sexual abuse by the clergy in Australia on Monday at a private mass.

The meeting followed a public apology at the weekend to all Australian victims.

The pontiff issued the apology on Saturday, on the eve of his World Youth Day open-air mass in Sydney.

There have been 107 convictions for sexual abuse in the Catholic church in Australia but victims groups say there may be thousands of cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

AKERMAN: Catholic church unfairly treated

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

July 21st, 2008

THE Roman Catholic Church has played a huge role in the evolution of Australia's cultural environment. However, if one was a subscriber solely to the Fairfax newspapers or watched and listened only to the ABC, one could come away with the view that every child who received a Catholic education had been subjected to abuse at the hands of the Catholic clergy.

But that is patently not so. While some children undoubtedly suffered miserably and horribly, it is notable that the ABC chose to prosecute the case of a man who was nearly 30 when he was attacked by a notorious priest some 26 years ago. A man, moreover, who has taken the matter through the civil processes and received court-ordered compensation.
The importance of victimhood is as important to the taxpayer-funded broadcaster and Fairfax as maintaining the Church as the unforgivable perpetrator. One might also be led to believe that Australia was a bastion of prejudice against Roman Catholicism but that, too, would be untrue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Pope 'meets clergy abuse victims'

AUSTRALIA
BBC News (United Kingdom)

Pope Benedict XVI has met victims of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy at the end of his visit to Australia, the Vatican has said.

In a statement, the Vatican said a group of victims met the Pope, who wanted to show his concern for those who had suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Pope meets sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Special Broadcasting Service

Monday, 21 July, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI this morning met with a four people who have been abused by Catholic clergy in Australia, in a private mass at St Mary's.

SBS World Youth Day correspondent Auskar Surbakti reports the meeting took place in the chapel of St Mary's Cathedral this morning where the Pope conducted a private mass.

There were four victims present -- two men and two women. The victims were accompanied by their supporters and at least one priest was present and one senior Seloni (an interior Vatican secretary).

The names of victims were not yet known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Victim not convinced about Pope's apology

NEW ZEALAND
NZ City

21 July 2008
A woman who was sexually abused by a priest doubts the Pope's apology will do any good.

As part of World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney, Pope Benedict apologised to Australian victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

Wairarapa woman Ann-Marie Shelley was abused by a priest while she was a student at Lower Hutt's Sacred Heart College in the 1970s and eventually received an apology and compensation from the Catholic Church. She says the Pope's apology was far too little, far too late, as the church took no action on allegations against the clergy for many years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Sex abuse apology to 'galvanise Church'

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY KAREN DAVIS

21/07/2008 12:00:00 AM
The Pope's apology to sexual abuse victims will galvanise the Catholic Church in Australia to improve the way it deals with such evil, a bishop says.

The Pope apologised on Saturday for the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy in Australia, saying he was ''deeply sorry'' for the pain and suffering victims had endured.

''These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation,'' the pontiff told a congregation of 3400 people, including Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell, bishops, seminarians, and religious and school groups.

''Those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.''

World Youth Day coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher said yesterday he joined with the general community in welcoming the pontiff's ''heartfelt'' words.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

«Ragazza credibile, indizi sufficienti»

ITALY
L'Espresso

Mario Bertoldi
Per la condanna di don Giorgio Carli è bastata la parola della presunta parte offesa. Decisivi anche i consulenti dell’accusa:
la Corte ha accolto in pieno il teorema della Procura
Nessun dubbio sulla veridicità dei ricordi riemersi grazie alle cure psicoanalitiche

[translation]

THE APPEAL RULING - Published yesterday after three months the reasons for which the priest was considered guilty «The girl was credible, and the leads were enough»
the guilt of the Rev. Giorgio Carli was proven by what was said by the alleged offended party. A decisive role was played by her consultants: the Court fully accepted the thesis brought forward by the Prosecutor. No doubt upon the veracity of the remembrances thanks to the psychoanalytic therapy

BOLZANO. Linear remembrances, never contradictory. It was the story told by the offended party to be decisive for the sentence issued by the Appeal Court on last April 16, in which the Rev. Giorgio Galli was given 7-years-and-half in jail after he had been acquitted by the Tribunal of first degree (the judges were all women) from the charge of having sexually abused a parishioner for some years, in the period of her childhood. The Court says her report was founded, with a full probatory basis.

According to the Court, therefore, what the girl had told was sufficient to demonstrate the facts really occurred. In the sentence the judges say her "behavior during the trial was very balanced" and underlined that nothing in her story emerged due to some particular interests which could push her to tell something untruthful. Not only that. Her indications related to the time, places, people and things are all correct. Her remembrances, emerged first thanks to the interpretation of a dream and then through a long and articulate psychological therapy, and the details she furnished were numerous, precise and correct. Perfectly anchored to reality - the Appeal judges wrote - were also what the offended party (who was to be considered in a perfect mental condition) are her descriptions of the personal and parish activities.

«Confused and evasive» were considered the reports of two other witnesses the first degree Tribunal had judged positively. The witnesses were the Rev. Gabriele Pedrotti and the catechist Culati Vigni, tied by intimate and affectionate relationship. Their previous reports were defined "intrinsically contradictory and in contrast with the acts of the process, in respect to the different statements made during the preliminary investigation, which had been denied in an illogical and unconvincing way".
(16 luglio 2008)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Absolute Must Read: I Accuse!

Voice from the Desert

By Vinnie Nauheimer 7/19/08

Have you ever felt like the boy who yelled, “The Emperor has no clothes?” Did you ever scream to yourself, “Damn, this is wrong!”? Have you ever seen something so clear and vividly that you wondered, “How come everyone doesn’t see this?” If the same thing happens time and time again, in city after city, in state after state, and in country after country, why do we fail to call it what it is? If the act is a criminal act, perpetrated by members of the same organization, and covered up by the management of said organization, why can’t we just call it organized international crime?

We label those dealing in cocaine, the South American Drug Cartels. We label terrorists with cells in multiple counties with names like Al Queda. There is the Golden Triangle that supplies heroin to Southeast Asia and then there is the Illicit Drug Trade that refers to the heroin coming out of Afghanistan. All encompassing multinational criminal enterprises have names like the Mafia, Triad, Cosa Nostra, Yakuza etc. Even stand up institutions like banks have been referred to as Money Launderers. So why haven’t we labeled and pursued the Catholic Church for their worldwide sexual abuse of children?

The crime of clerical sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests has been publicly documented in the following countries around the globe: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Venezuela.1 This should put an end to the fallacious argument used by the last pope that clergy sexual abuse was strictly an American phenomenon. Sexual abuse reported in 28 countries can hardly be called an American problem. ...

Further proof of the international scope of these criminal activities comes to us in the form of a secret instruction sent to all bishops around the world in 1962. It also cites an 1887 document as seen below. The operative word here is secret. One of the hallmarks of any organized criminal element is their fanatical obsession with secrecy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Wheaton's Second Baptist Church votes to oust Rev. Allen

WHEATON (IL)
Daily Herald
By Melissa Jenco and Justin Kmitch | Daily Herald Staff

After three hours of heated debate, Second Baptist Church in Wheaton voted Saturday to oust the Rev. Andre Allen as its pastor.

The decision was sparked by news that Allen, who has been at the helm for 23 years, was arrested late last year on battery and disorderly conduct charges.

"This is a very difficult and emotional time," Deacon Frank Jarrett said after a special church meeting Saturday. "But this evening the people have spoken and made a choice to move on without Pastor Allen. The majority of parishioners wanted him dismissed. We are praying for Pastor Allen. We love Pastor Allen."

Church leaders only learned of Allen's Nov. 2 arrest last month and asked Allen to resign two weeks ago but he refused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Ballarat abuse victims welcome Pope's apology

AUSTRALIA
Ballarat Courier

21/07/2008 12:16:00 AM
BALLARAT victims of clerical sexual abuse have welcomed a papal apology made to Australian victims.

But they say the Pope's words must be backed up with "action" from the Catholic Church.

On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI said he was "deeply sorry" for the suffering endured by victims of abuse by Catholic priests and brothers in Australia.

"Indeed I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering," Pope Benedict said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Victims hope for papal audience

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

PAOLA TOTARO AND JOEL GIBSON
21/07/2008 12:00:01 AM

THE Pope has left the door open for a face-to-face meeting with Australian victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy, with victims' groups calling on him to follow up Saturday's apology with concrete action to reform the church's complaint handling procedures.

The pontiff's spokesman, Padre Federico Lombardi, said yesterday he would not rule out a private meeting between the Pope and sex abuse victims or their families despite the Pope's departure this morning. He pledged to provide details of any meeting, but said: "The last word will only occur when the plane leaves, when the door closes."

Senior Vatican press members were told informally early yesterday an unscheduled, informal meeting with representatives of sex abuse victims in Sydney might be on the cards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

7 churches become one in Allentown diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

7/20/2008, 9:42 a.m. EDT
The Associated Press

MAHANOY CITY, Pa. (AP) — Seven parishes are now one in the Diocese of Allentown.

Members of the former St. Fidelis, St. Canicus, Sacred Heart, Assumption BVM, St. Casimir and St. Joseph churches in Mahanoy City and the former Our Lady of Siluva, in Maizeville, have merged into the congregation of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The union was celebrated with a symbolic ceremony Saturday at the former St. Joseph Church building.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Called to Holiness and Mission: Pastoral Planning in the Diocese of Scranton

SCRANTON (PA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton

This links to the preliminary recommendation for parish reconfiguration in the Scranton diocese and to Monsignor Vincent J. Grimalia's letter regarding the recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Scranton Diocese cluster recommendations on Web site

SCRANTON (PA)
Standard Speaker

BY KELLY MONITZ
STAFF WRITER
Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:24 AM EDT
The Scranton Diocese Planning Commission made preliminary recommendations on church restructuring in an 11-county area available on its Web site on Friday.

Half of the Roman Catholic churches in Hazleton will close in the next three years through the restructuring process with some churches being merged into new parishes, others linked through a shared pastor and still others partnered with other churches sharing services.

Being consolidated are Sacred Heart in Harleigh, St. Mary’s in Lattimer Mines and Our Lady of Grace in Hazleton; St. Nazarius in Pardeesville and Good Shepherd in Drums; Holy Trinity (Slovak), St. Stanislaus and St. Joseph’s, all in Hazleton; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Gabriel’s in Hazleton; and Ss. Peter and Paul in Hazleton, St. Francis of Assisi and Transfiguration, both in West Hazleton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Pastor ousted from Wheaton church for arrest

WHEATON (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
5:18 AM CDT, July 20, 2008
WHEATON, Ill. - The Second Baptist Church has voted to oust the Reverend Andre Allen as its pastor.

The decision Saturday was sparked by news that Allen, who has been at the helm for 23 years, was arrested last November on battery and disorderly conduct charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Church prepares for time of change

MICHIGAN
Jackson Citizen Patriot

The following is a Jackson Citizen Patriot editorial for July 20:

We cannot pretend to read the mind of Bishop Earl Boyea, but we can hazard a guess as to how he might act in the months and years to come. The region's Catholic Diocese is almost certain to lose parochial schools or even parishes in response to declining numbers of parishioners and priests.

Catholics can expect major changes, but the result can be a stronger community of faith despite any losses.

The Jackson area's still-sizable Catholic population should prepare for that future with faith that the Church can emerge stronger after any changes. A report crafted with input from 94 of the diocese's 97 parishes landed in Bishop Boyea's hands this month. He suggested that he will act on its ideas now and over the next few years. He has little choice.

In the Jackson area, he must consider these two facts:

• The area's 10 Catholic churches lost 2,000 members from 1995 to 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Personal blog raises question about objectivity

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

Jack Lessenberry

To blog or not to blog.

That's a question facing newsrooms - and editors and reporters - across the nation. Should reporters be allowed to maintain individual "blogs"? (Blog to the non-Internet savvy, is an abbreviation for "Web log.")

Normally, blogs are sort of a diary, or running commentary, that appears on the Internet. While The Blade has officially sanctioned blogs that can be found on the newspaper's Web site (Toledo blade.com), other reporters and editors maintain their own private blogs.

David Yonke, religion editor for The Blade, has a blog. And Sally Oberski, communications director for the Diocese of Toledo, doesn't like it.

"[In] several instances on his blog, he reflects his personal opinion on many issues of our diocese. I clearly see this as a conflict while he remains as religion editor. While he offers his personal opinion regarding issues of the diocese on his blog, I can't help but think this clouds his objectivity as a writer/editor on the same subjects," she wrote to me.

Ms. Oberski then sent me a long list of examples where she felt Mr. Yonke showed bias. For the record, your ombudsman has no dog in this fight. I am not a Catholic, nor an anti-Catholic, nor a member of any religious faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

New Evidence Released Against Warren Jeffs

TEXAS
KWES

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs says he never married his underage daughter to an adult, but officials say they have found evidence to the contrary.

Photos, diaries, and a marriage record all suggest that Jeffs' daughter who was 15 at the time, married a 34-year-old man.

The documents were filed in a report by the girl's guardian and given to a San Angelo court.

Members of the FLDS sect said in past interviews that no marriage had existed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Pope protest celebrates civil liberties win

AUSTRALIA
Green Left

Jay Fletcher & Kerry Smith, Sydney
19 July 2008

A spirited rally of 1500 people protesting against the pope’s reactionary policies took place on July 19 against the backdrop of an important civil liberties victory in the courts.

“We won the battle in court”, Rachel Evans, one of the rally organisers, told the crowd. “This is not just a victory for the NoToPope Coalition (NTPC), or just for the queer community, or just for campaigners for reproductive rights. This is a victory for all protesters.”

Evans was referring to the July 15 Federal Court ruling that overturned part of the state Labor government’s World Youth Day (WYD) laws that would have made “annoying” Catholic pilgrims during WYD activities a crime punishable by fines of up to $5500.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Suits filed under Child Victim's Act

DELAWARE
The News Journal

The News Journal • July 20, 2008

Suits filed to date -- in U.S. District Court and Delaware Superior Court -- under Delaware's 2007 Child Victim's Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year "window" that allows previously time-barred suits to be filed.

(Three suits filed before the act passed were amended to incorporate the provisions of the new law.)

Jan. 8, 2004: Eric Eden v. the Rev. James W. O'Neill, Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Salesianum School, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, abuse by O'Neill 1976-85. Settled with Salesianum and Oblates on March 24, 2008, and with the diocese on May 15, 2008, with apology, revocation of O'Neill's authority to minister in the diocese, and an undisclosed sum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Pope sorry over sex abuse, victims want more

AUSTRALIA
Special Broadcasting Service

[with video]

A "deeply sorry" Pope Benedict XVI issued a landmark apology to thousands of Australians sexually abused as minors by clergymen, but disappointed victims said they wanted much more than words.

The Pope's apology, on the eve of his concluding mass for half a million pilgrims attending the Catholic Church's World Youth Day (WYD) in Sydney, went further than a similar apology in the US earlier this year.

The Pope not only called for care and compassion for victims but said the perpetrators of the "evil" of church-related abuse should be brought to justice urgently for their "grave betrayal of trust".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Pope's apology gets nod from Australian victims

AUSTRALIA
Canada.com

Chris McCall , AFP
Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008
SYDNEY - Pope Benedict XVI's historic apology for child sex abuse by Catholic priests should have been made to a cathedral full of victims rather than clergymen, activists said at the weekend.

The pope told Catholic bishops, seminarians and novices in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral on Saturday he was "deeply sorry" for the abuse of children by predatory priests in Australia and called for the guilty to be punished.

"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious (order members) in this country," Benedict told the gathering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

NSW government: defending the indefensible

AUSTRALIA
Green Left

Kerry Smith
19 July 2008

The fact that the NSW Labor government’s World Youth Day laws — which would have made “annoying” Catholic pilgrims during WYD activities a crime punishable by fines of up to $5500 — was a failed attempt to silence criticisms of the Catholic Church was brought home when WYD organiser Bishop Anthony Fisher effectively dismissed criticism of the church’s handling of cases of child sexual abuse by clergy.

Responding in part to public criticisms by Andrew Foster, whose two daughters had been repeatedly abused by Catholic priest Father Kevin O’Donnell, Fisher said on July 16 that some victims were “crankily dwelling on old wounds”. One of Foster’s daughters committed suicide and the other was permanently disabled in a car accident after a long struggle with alcoholism.

Foster requested a formal apology from the church and a meeting with the pope, and insisted that the church ends its policy of covering up and resisting compensation claims by victims.

On July 19, the pope included in his address to pilgrims an apology to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy, however, individual victims and their families have not been allowed to meet with him. Foster said that the pope’s apology was inadequate in the absence of serious action by the church to redress the wrongs and stop further abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Bishop apologises to abuse victims over "cranky" remarks

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

World Youth Day organiser Bishop Anthony Fisher has apologized about comments he made about victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Bishop Fisher was widely criticised for comments he made earlier in the week that people complaining about sexual abuse cases by Catholic priests were “dwelling crankily on old wounds”.

He’s used a closing World Youth Day press conference to clarify his comments, saying he was referring to the media and not victims of sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

From Australia, pope apologizes and calls for unity

AUSTRALIA
Los Angeles Times

By Jennifer Bennett and Tracy Wilkinson, Special to The Times
July 20, 2008
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- Pope Benedict XVI chose this land of majestic natural beauty to condemn the squandering of the planet's resources. He used a gathering of tens of thousands of Catholic youths to warn against sterile materialism and the exploitative manipulation of mass media and the Internet.

But, as in his spring visit to the United States, one theme loomed over Benedict's weeklong pilgrimage to Australia: the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

On Saturday, the pope delivered one of his most forceful and personal apologies for the scandal that he said had brought shame and pain to the Roman Catholic Church. He said those responsible must be brought to justice, their victims given "compassion and care."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

State's child abuse law becomes model

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • July 20, 2008

In the year since Delaware adopted the Child Victim's Act, considered the nation's toughest law against child sexual abuse, three men have won financial settlements, public acknowledgement of their childhood abuse and apologies from the institutions that once supervised their abusers.

Ten other men, claiming abuse that occurred as far back as 1954 and as recently as 2006, are awaiting their days in court.

Considered a national model by some children's advocates and a dangerous constitutional precedent by some defense attorneys, the law eliminated the state's two-year civil statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases and provided a two-year window -- ending July 10, 2009 -- during which cases previously barred by the time limit can be filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Pope says 'spiritual desert' is spreading

AUSTRALIA
The Times (United Kingdom)

Roy Eccleston, Sydney
The Pope launched a fresh assault on consumer culture and materialism today, warning of a “spiritual desert” spreading across the world in a speech to a sprawling, flag-waving crowd of about 400,000 worshippers at a mass in Sydney.

Benedict XVI, who yesterday apologised to children abused by paedophile priests, challenged young people to help build a “new age” by rejecting the “indifference, spiritual weariness and blind conformity” of the times. He also urged them to fill the growing gaps in the ranks of priests and nuns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

July 19, 2008

Pope leads World Youth Day Mass after apology for 'evil' of clergy sex abuse in Australia

AUSTRALIA
PR-Inside (Austria)

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday leads a huge open-air Mass marking the culmination of the World Youth Day festival he has been attending in Australia.
The Mass, at a horse racetrack in Sydney, follows a forceful apology Saturday for the sexual abuse of children by Australia's Roman Catholic clergy, keeping up efforts begun in the United States to publicly atone for what he called evil acts by priests.
But the pope's apology was not enough to satisfy representatives of the victims of clergy sexual abuse, who said it must be backed by Vatican orders to Australian bishops to stop what they say are efforts to cover up the extent of the problem and to block survivors' attempts to win compensation.
The pope flew in a helicopter _ dubbed the «holy-copter» _ over the crowd of pilgrims, estimated at more than 200,000 at the track and overflowing into a nearby park. He then drove slowly through the crowd in the popemobile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Papal apology a way forward on abuse shame

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

20/07/2008 10:01:00 AM
WITH expectations in the past week waning that Pope Benedict XVI might say sorry to sex abuse victims of clergy, it was heartening to see yesterday's decisive apology.

It has been the elephant in the room throughout what has been an overwhelmingly celebratory week for the Catholic Church during its World Youth Day activities.

The pontiff's apology was unequivocal such abuses were a source of shame, deserving of condemnation, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

He described the ''evil'' acts as a grave betrayal of trust. The issue of sex abuse has shadowed the Catholic Church for too long. Stories of young victims surface, sometimes years after the fact, and accusations of mishandling of many allegations have been a blight on the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Pope Still Making Limited Apology to Conceal Church's Role

AUSTRALIA
Watching the Watchers

Commentary By Lee Russ
Watching the Watchers

I've complained before about the Pope's carefully tailored apology for the abuse of children by Catholic priests. It's good to know the Pope pays no attention to me--he just reiterated the same limited apology which puts all the wrong on the priests who directly committed the abuse, whitewashing the church bureaucracy that fostered it and allowed it to continue so much longer than it otherwise could have.

Speaking in Sydney, Australia, the Pope made the following apology:
I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country.
I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured. I assure them as their pastor that I too share in their suffering.

Those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice.

The last line is promising, until you realize once again that he's only talking about the clergy who directly perpetrated the abuse. Once again, no need to find, name, and punish those who made the abuse possible by concealing it and continuing to allow the abusers access to more children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Toward Never Another Sexual Abuse Crisis

AUSTRALIA
Zenit

Interview With President of Australia's Episcopal Conference

By Catherine Smibert

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI apologized on Saturday to the victims of sexual abuse in Australia, a gesture the Pope also said must be supported by measures to prevent the crisis from happening again.

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, the president of the Australia's episcopal conference, agrees that the Church needs a plan to not only respond, but also to prevent these acts from happening in the future.

During the past week Archbishop Wilson has been personally accompanying the Pontiff as he presides at the World Youth Day celebrations, which will culminate on Sunday with the closing Mass.

In this interview with ZENIT, the archbishop comments on the concrete measures needed to prevent a future sexual abuse crisis, as well as the effect World Youth Day has had on Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Meanwhile the Diocese of California Makes a Mess

CALIFORNIA
Three Rivers Episcopal

"James Tramel went from convicted murderer to priest while in prison, a transformation that the Episcopal Church used to successfully lobby for his parole and celebrate him before politicians and the press.
But the church is now grappling with the sexual abuse of a parishioner under his care. Tramel has been suspended for sexual misconduct, temporarily stripped of his priestly authority and left searching for a new job."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Paroled To Sin Again

CALIFORNIA
Skeptico

Don't you just love those stories about how some criminal found Jesus while in prison, and gave up his criminal ways? No, me neither. But the religious do. Specifically, the Episcopal Church, who converted the convicted murderer James Tramel. Tramel was convicted in the stabbing death of a homeless man in 1985, but apparently he found love for Jesus in prison, to the extent that the Episcopal Church ordained him as a priest. The Church naturally lobbied for Tramel to be paroled, and only four months after his release in 2006, they made him rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in San Francisco.

What a heartwarming story. What could possibly go wrong? Try sexual abuse of a parishioner:

It's [at the Church] that the victim said Tramel, who is married and has a young child, took advantage of her during counseling sessions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Trying to dig my story up from under 55 years of bulldozing, I accidentally video a teenage boy running in the back door of the rectory. . .

BARTLETT (IL)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels

Considering the subject matter, Catholic priests who rape children, I often think there's a spiritual force pointing me in the next direction I should go to pursue these stories. So when I looked out my hotel window and saw just past the duck pond the beige façade and proud cross of Evangel Church, I thought it was a sign, the next step to take. I made an appointment with Pastor Ron, introduced myself and said, I always do what God puts in front of me and so I'm contacting you. Pastor Ron towered over me, but wilted as I spoke of my mission to write about pedophile priests. “I have a wife and three children,” he interjected into the conversation in what was to me a non sequitur. I said, "There have been three pedophile priests in the Catholic Church in Bartlett and I'm here to write that story. I contacted you to try to find other victims like me, uh, you see, because I’m always attracted to fundamentalist evangelical churches like yours, I mean like this church, um, so I thought there might be, you know, other pedophile priest victims here". . .we weren’t connecting.

“I want my secretary to be in here taking notes to document everything you say,” Pastor Ron spewed. “If you contact other pastors the way you've contacted me, they're going to wonder what your real motives are.” He was looking down at me like he was wondering himself, just what is your motivation, ma’am. So I made a fast exit. Curiously the sidewalk surrounding Evangel Church in Hanover Park is covered with little turds, probably from the geese. Okay maybe every sign isn’t from God, sometimes it’s just a sign painted on the side of a building.

Downtown Bartlett, after several hours wandering around town, I was hot tired and thirsty. Walked into Bartlett Tavern and ordered both an ice tea and a beer and a couple patrons made a joke about me as a two-fisted drinker. That opened a conversation. I said I'm a journalist in town working on a story. After talking to a woman in the group I purred, you're one of the lucky ones, able to be a housewife and stay home with your kids. Yeah, she said, although you can find me here most afternoons. “My kids are in the children’s program at St. Peter Damian Church,” she giggled. I gulped. Later she asked me, what are you writing about? I said St. Peter Damian Church. Both of us darted our eyes away from each other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

The Pope, negative press and World Youth Day, Sydney

AUSTRALIA
The Times (United Kingdom)

The media has given unfair coverage of World Youth Day focussing on paedophile scandals rather than the joy of pilgrims says the Abbot of Worth
The Abbot of Worth, Christopher Jamison

Sydney has never seen anything like it since the Olympics. Not even that event, however, could match the spectacle of a papal ‘boatacade’ gliding past the bridge and the opera house to deliver Pope Benedict into the cheering embrace of 150,000 young people from around the world. The Pope’s arrival at World Youth Day had a theatrical quality worthy of the media world in which today’s young people live. By contrast, his message to them was delivered in a self-effacing, direct manner, making clear that the Pope refuses to cast himself as a rock star; he is a teacher and he set about teaching. The young listened with great respect, some closing their eyes, concentrating deeply on his words. He commended to them the care of the planet that he had flown over, inviting them to live by the values of truth, beauty and goodness as the way to heal the scars not only of our planet but also of our souls. Cries of delight erupted as the Pope concluded by greeting the different language groups. The final singing of the World Youth Day anthem, Receive the Power of the Holy Spirit, had the crowd in full voice, hands lifted high and swaying gently in time with the simple alleluia of the chorus, all nationalities united in one word and one gesture.

You would have to be hard hearted not to be moved by so many young people singing their hearts out affirming their acceptance of the Pope’s demanding invitation to follow Christ. Yet hard hearted is exactly the quality that has characterised the Australian media coverage leading up to the event. The city’s leading daily, the Sydney Morning Herald, has for weeks been pursuing an agenda highlighting the civic disruption, the cost to the taxpayer and a whole host of local concerns summed up in the headline ‘The Stations of the Very Cross.’ In parallel, the national TV channel, ABC, led a concerted attack on Cardinal Pell, with ‘Lateline’ (think Newsnight) running negative stories about his alleged mishandling of cases of clerical abuse. All the perpetrators had gone to jail but the Cardinal was still in the firing line from the victims or their families. Insensitive remarks by church spokesmen prolonged the agony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Secrecy, Communication and Communion in the Catholic Church

Ignatius Press

Author: Russell Shaw

Shaw, widely known Catholic writer, speaker and former communications director for the U S Bishops, discusses the abuse of secrecy in the Church, the scandals it has caused and the serious problem of mistrust that exists in the credibility of the Church. Not concerned with the legitimate secrecy that is necessary to protect confidentiality and people’s reputations, Shaw is rather concerned here with the stifling, deadening misuse of secrecy that has done immense harm to communion and community in the Church in America.

Shaw shows the secrecy issue is a theological as well as practical problem that raises such questions as: What kind of Church do we want our Church to be, open or closed? What kind of Church should it be? And how much secrecy is compatible with having such a Church? As Pope Benedict XVI has stated, “The consequence is clear: we cannot communicate with the Lord if we do not communicate with one another.”

The Church is a communion, not a political democracy, and thus openness and accountability are even more crucial for the life of the Church than they are in a democracy. In a talk he gave many years before he became the current Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had this to say about the reality of ecclesial communion: “Fellowship in the Body of Christ and receiving the Body of Christ means fellowship with one another. This of its very nature includes mutual acceptance, giving and receiving on both sides, and readiness to share one’s goods . . . In this sense, the social question is given quite a central place in the theological heart of the concept of communion.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Youth Day dampened by more allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Lateline)

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 18/07/2008
Reporter: Virginia Trioli

Channel Seven has reported Catholic priest Michael Endicott, seen here indulging his interest in photography at this week's Youth Day celebrations, recently came to the attention of Queensland police for taking pictures of naked teenage boys.

Transcript
VIRGINIA TRIOLI, PRESENTER: World Youth Day celebrations have been dampened by allegations a Catholic priest taking part in the event took pictures of naked teenage boys. Channel 7 is reporting tonight that Father Michael Endicott, seen here indulging his interest in photography at this week's Youth Day celebrations, recently came to the attention of Queensland Police. The allegations were made by three former students at Villanova Catholic College in Brisbane.

ANONYMOUS FORMER STUDENT, VILLANOVA CATHOLIC COLLEGE: He liked to photograph naked boys.

CHANNEL 7 JOURNALIST: And you were one of them?

ANONYMOUS FORMER STUDENT: I was.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Pope sorry for 'pain and suffering'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
July 20, 2008

WITH much-anticipated words, Pope Benedict XVI has apologised to Australia's victims of sexual abuse by clergy and people in religious orders, declaring abuse an "evil" whose perpetrators must be "brought to justice".

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering," he said.

The words of apology yesterday were not included in his planned speech, which "acknowledged the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious", but the Pope departed from the script to add the actual words of apology and to identify personally with victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Adelaide victim says Pope's apology 'meaningless'

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

July 20, 2008 12:30am
THE Pope's apology will be "meaningless" to those whose lives and faith have been destroyed by their abuser, according to an Adelaide victim.

"Michael", who was indecently assaulted by a Catholic priest while a student at Salesian College at Brooklyn Park in the 1960s, said such an apology "was just words".
"I just think rhetoric is worth nothing," he said. "What it says to people like me is that it's okay to go and do what you want, as long as you say you are sorry. It is a start, it's a recognition."

Michael, 57, who gave evidence to the Mullighan inquiry about his experiences at Salesian College, said his dealings with church officials had left him feeling bitter and questioning its motives and purpose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Pope acknowledges the 'shame'

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Sarah Price
July 20, 2008

IT WAS much longed for and, when it came, Pope Benedict XVI's apology to victims of clerical abuse took everyone by surprise.

The lines of apology were not included in the text given to journalists before the Mass at St Mary's Cathedral but were added by the pontiff during his homily, to the joy of victims watching around the world.

Before 3400 guests, including cardinals, bishops, Australian seminarians, victims and pilgrims from around the world, he said: "Here, I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Not enough, says Emma Foster's father

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

James Campbell

July 20, 2008 12:00am
THE father of two girls raped by a Melbourne priest said the Pope's apology to the Catholic Church's victims did not go far enough.

Emma Foster killed herself in January and sister Katherine was left disabled when hit by a drink driver in 1999.

"It was a reasonable level of apology, but it was restricted to minors," Anthony Foster said.

"And it was just words; there was no instruction and no guarantee that help for victims would be unlimited. The victims need unlimited practical, psychological and emotional help."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

SA bishop's vow to care for victims

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

CHRIS PEPPER, MICHELE CAZZULINO in SYDNEY
July 20, 2008 12:30am
ADELAIDE'S Catholic leader yesterday promised Pope Benedict XVI that the church in Australia would treat sexual abuse victims with care and compassion.

Archbishop Philip Wilson, in an address in front of the Pontiff just hours after his historic apology to church sex victims, vowed every effort would be made to respond to sexual abuse cases.

In the speech at a St Mary's Cathedral House lunch attended by the Pope and Australian bishops, Archbishop Wilson said: "The terrible scandal of sexual abuse carried out by some clergy, religious and church personnel and the way these issues were addressed in the past, has had deep and lasting consequences.

"Holy Father, I can assure you we are all making every effort in our response to cases of sexual abuse, with compassion and care for victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Pope Apologizes for Clerical Sexual Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Online

SYDNEY (Catholic Online) - His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today delivered a heartfelt apology to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy in Australia.

Departing from his official homily, the Holy Father said: “Indeed, I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured, and I assure them that as their Pastor, I too share in their suffering.”

The apology was delivered during a special service at St Mary’s Cathedral – the Dedication of a new altar before seminarians and other young religious people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Apology welcome, but what next?

AUSTRALIA
The Age

July 20, 2008

THE papal apology to the thousands of Australians who have been victims of predatory priests was genuine and heartfelt. Benedict XVI is apparently much more determined to tackle the problem of clerical sexual abuse than was his predecessor.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the department he used to head as Cardinal Ratzinger, has spent much more time on this issue since he became pope, and much less on heresy-hunting.

It is hard to imagine a bigger insult to victims than John Paul II gave when he appointed the disgraced Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, to a sinecure as archpriest of one of Rome's most important basilicas, Santa Maria Maggiore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Bishops urged to show remorse

AUSTRALIA
The Press Association (Ireland)

Catholic bishops and priests have been urged to demonstrate true remorse for clerical child sex abuse after Pope Benedict publicly apologised to victims in Australia.

Ireland's One-in-Four support group welcomed the Pope's strong apology but warned previous words had not been matched by actions in the church's hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Court guardian: Sect girl wed to man

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Originally published 10:30 p.m., July 18, 2008
Updated 11:06 p.m., July 18, 2008

It is not in the best interests of Warren Jeffs' 16-year-old daughter to remove the girl's attorney or replace her with one hired by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the girl's court-appointed guardian determined Friday.

In documents filed in state district court in Tom Green County, the guardian presented evidence that the girl was married to a 34-year-old sect official just after her 15th birthday and that the ceremony was officiated by her father, the now-jailed leader of the polygamous sect.

"If (the girl)'s preferences were allowed, it would place her in a dangerous environment and subject her to sexual abuse," according to the report, filed by Court-Appointed Special Advocate Connie Gauwain and obtained by the Standard-Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Excommunicated St. Louis priest stresses truth over obedience

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By TOM HEINEN
theinen@journalsentinel.com
Posted: July 18, 2008
Excommunication has not eroded the personal beliefs of the Rev. Marek Bozek, a Polish-born priest who butted heads with Archbishop Raymond Burke and the Vatican by leaving his assignment in a different Missouri diocese to become the pastor of a rebellious parish in St. Louis.

Comparing his situation to the underground Solidarity Movement in Poland during communist rule, he still insists that individual conscience trumps authority.

Bozek, 33, the pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, will reflect on that in a talk titled “The Odyssey of Joseph the Dreamer: A Reflection on Those Who Care to Dream” at a Voice of the Faithful reform group meeting open to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1750 N. Calhoun Road, Brookfield.

Burke, former bishop of La Crosse, recently was named to head the Vatican’s supreme court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Diocese chooses own plans

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

By Mark Guydish mguydish@timesleader.com
Education Reporter

SCRANTON – The Diocese of Scranton Planning Commission “respectfully” disagreed with proposals on church consolidations submitted by 21 of the 50 parish clusters in the 11-county diocese.

The diocese released the recommendations issued by the planning commission Friday. Those recommendations were a response to recommendations submitted by cluster teams composed of representatives from parishes in those clusters.

While the diocese had issued guidelines and some restrictions on the configurations cluster teams could submit, the teams were free to give their own proposals. The planning commission either affirmed those proposals or disagreed, and offered its own plan.

The diocese divided the cluster teams into four regions, with the South region covering most of Luzerne County except for four Hazleton area clusters. In the South region, with 15 clusters, eight of the cluster team recommendations were accepted and seven rejected. Among the Hazleton area clusters, three were rejected and one was accepted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Pope Acknowledges Shame at Sex Abuse Scandal

AUSTRALIA
Zenit

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 18, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is praying that this period of purification after the clergy sexual abuse scandal will lead to reconciliation and greater fidelity to the Gospel.

The Pope said this Saturday morning local time in a brief mention of the scandal during his homily at Mass with Australian clergy.

"Dear friends, may this celebration, in the presence of the Successor of Peter, be a moment of rededication and renewal for the whole Church in Australia," the Holy Father said. "Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Polito pushes crime bill

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Shaun Sutner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
ssutner@telegram.com

With a new child sex crime bill based largely on the efforts of state Rep. Karyn E. Polito, R-Shrewsbury, awaiting the governor’s signature, the legislator has reason to be pleased — but not too much.

Ms. Polito has over the last three years advocated for a stricter version of the measure known as “Jessica’s Law,” named after a 2005 law in Florida. A weaker version was approved Tuesday by the state Senate.

The legislation calls for mandatory minimum sentences of 10 and 15 years for aggravated rape of a child and for sexual assaults on children by offenders such as teachers or guidance counselors, and gives district attorneys more authority in prosecuting child sex abuse cases by not requiring approval of a judge to subpoena witnesses.

Ms. Polito, who has sent a letter to Gov. Deval L. Patrick urging him to sign the bill into law, said that while she is disappointed that even stricter provisions such as mandatory 10-year sentences for any rape of a child were not included, she sees the bill as a major improvement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Lawyer defends Leduc's oversight

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By DAVID NESSETH, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Why, asked lawyer Marie Henein, would her client open a document restricted to special eyes, when he wasn't one of the privileged two allowed to do so?

The Cornwall Public Inquiry has heard how former diocese lawyer Jacques Leduc did not read the final version of a $32,000 settlement between the diocese and a man allegedly abused by a city priest.

"It's written in giant letters on the envelope, 'private and confidential, to be opened by Bursar or Bishop only,' right?" Henein asked Friday.

Leduc said he never prevented either the bursar or the Bishop from examining the document, but didn't open it himself, which he now regrets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Pope apologises for 'evil' child abuse by clergy

AUSTRALIA
Al Jazeera (Qatar)

[with video]

Pope Benedict XVI has apologised for sexual abuses committed by Roman Catholic priests in Australia.

During a mass in Sydney, the pope described the acts as "evil", a grave betrayal of trust and as bringing great shame on the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Anti Pope rally in Brisbane

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

July 19, 2008 06:47pm
PROTESTERS are rallying in Brisbane against Catholic policies, hours after Pope Benedict XVI apologised to sexual abuse victims.

One of several rallies taking place in capital cities across the country by the NotoPope Coalition, the Brisbane rally opposes the Catholic Church's stance on issues such as same-sex marriage, adoption rights, abortion and contraception.

Thousands of protesters are rallying in Brisbane.

Rally organiser Paul Benedek said the Pope's apology was unacceptable unless it was matched with serious action that supported the victims, rather than the priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Full text of pope's sex abuse apology

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

19th July 2008, 12:15 WST

The following is the full text of the homily given by Pope Benedict XVI in Australia in which he issued his first full and explicit public apology to victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters, In this noble cathedral I rejoice to greet my brother bishops and priests, and the deacons, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

“In a very special way, my greeting goes to the seminarians and young religious who are present among us. Like the young Israelites in today's first reading, they are a sign of hope and renewal for God's people; and, like those young Israelites, they will have the task of building up the Lord's house in the coming generation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Activist wants abuse compensation

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

July 19, 2008 02:33pm
CHILDREN'S rights activist Hetty Johnston wants compensation for people sexually abused by Catholic clergy following the Pope's apology to victims.

Earlier today, Pope Benedict XVI apologised during a ceremony to consecrate the altar of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney as part of World Youth Day activities.

"Indeed I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering," Pope Benedict said in his homily.

Executive director of the child sexual assault advocacy group Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, is considered one of the most powerful lobbyists against child sexual abuse in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Papal apologies have been few in church's history

Welt (Germany)

Papal apologies have been few in the long history of the Vatican, though Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II in recent years have admitted errors by the church. Here are some examples:

July 19, 2008: Says he is „deeply sorry for the pain and suffering“ of victims of child sex abuse by clergy in Australia. Here is the relevant passage: „Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy ... in this country.

„Indeed I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering.

„These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. „They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church's witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Archdiocese releases annual financial report

BRAINTREE (MA)
The Pilot

By Meghan Noé
Posted: 7/18/2008

BRAINTREE -- The annual financial report released on July 10 for fiscal year 2007 shows an increase in parish donations and donations to the annual Catholic Appeal, a fully funded pension fund for more than 6,500 retired lay employees, and realistic plans to balance the budget by 2010. This is a drastic change from five years ago -- when Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley was sent to lead the Archdiocese of Boston in 2003, he described the financial situation of the archdiocese as dire. Still in the midst of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, finances quickly took a turn for the worse in order to settle with victims and begin to heal as an archdiocese. At that time, financial health seemed a distant illusion, but now there is promising news.

“We are committed to improving the services provided to our parishes, schools and agencies and to responsible planning,” said Cardinal O’Malley upon release of the figures. “As we continue the archdiocese’s journey of healing and rebuilding, we offer a message of hope to all. To those who are actively engaged in parish life and Christian service, please know how much we value and appreciate your presence. For those who have been absent from the life of the Church, allow me to personally share that you are welcomed and needed.”

Father Richard Erikson, vicar general and moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Boston, said that the increase in parish giving is a positive sign of the climate in the archdiocese even though many parishes have been closed. He is optimistic that hope and confidence is being restored and he described the archdiocese as being on the road to fiscal health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Pope Benedict Apologizes to Australian Abuse Victims

AUSTRALIA
Bloomberg

By Jacob Greber and Ed Johnson

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI apologized to victims of childhood sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church's Australian clergy, saying those responsible should be brought to justice.

``I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering,'' the pontiff said today at a mass in Sydney. ``I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy'' in Australia.

Australian support group Broken Rites, which says more than 3,500 people have sought its help during the past 15 years, demanded ``action, not just words,'' and said the Catholic Church must make it easier for victims of sexual abuse to take action in the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Apology not enough, say victims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

By Adam Bennett | July 19, 2008
A MAN whose daughters were raped by a Melbourne priest says the Pope's apology to abuse victims is disappointing in that it offers no practical help to those who have suffered.

Pope Benedict XVI, in Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations, today apologised to people sexually abused by members of the clergy in Australia.

"I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country," Pope Benedict said in his homily at St Mary's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Pope apologises to child victims of sex abuse, but critics say too little too late

AUSTRALIA
The Times (United Kingdom)

Roy Eccleston, Sydney
The Pope has apologised for the “evil” perpetrated on Australian child sex abuse victims by paedophile priests, admitting it had seriously damaged the church and calling for those responsible to be brought to justice.

But his comments were immediately rejected by some victims’ families and rights groups as a missed opportunity to prevent further abuse.

Benedict XVI issued the apology at a mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on Saturday morning attended by seminarians and young priests, declaring he felt the pain of the victims.

“I would like to … acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country,” the Pope said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Pope apologizes to Australia for sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
United Press International

SYDNEY, July 19 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI made a public apology Saturday for clerical sexual abuse in Australia, speaking to an audience that was largely Catholic religious.

Benedict echoed a similar apology made during his first visit to the United States as pope this year, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported.

"I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country," he said. "These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church's witness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Apology prompts compensation calls

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

By staff writers and wires

July 19, 2008 02:09pm
ONLY hours after Pope Benedict XVI apologised to victims of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy, calls for compensation have begun.

The Pope apologised this morning during a ceremony to consecrate the altar of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney as part of World Youth Day activities.

"Indeed I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering," Pope Benedict said in his homily.

Hetty Johnston, executive director of the child sexual assault advocacy group Bravehearts, applauded the Pope but said the next step must now be taken.

"The victims should now be properly compensated and the church needs to deliver all allegations to police for investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

'CURRAN' BRIDGE BEFORE COUNCIL

AUGUSTA (ME)
Kennebec Journal

BY KEITH EDWARDS
Staff Writer

07/19/2008

AUGUSTA -- The city is considering whether the name of the Rev. John Curran should be removed from the Father Curran Bridge.

Rep. Patsy Crockett, D-Augusta, has asked councilors to weigh in on whether they think the bridge's name should be changed, in the wake of allegations linking the priest to sexual abuse.

Renaming the state-owned bridge ultimately would require legislative action, according to Mayor Roger Katz.

A Connecticut man who claims he was sexually abused by Curran at the age of 12 is expected Monday to ask councilors to remove Curran's name and memorial plaque from the bridge that carries traffic across the Kennebec River in downtown Augusta, according to the Maine director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Apology puts Pell and Fisher on notice: victim

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

19th July 2008, 12:15 WST

The Pope's apology to victims of clergy sexual abuse has put his subordinates on notice, a victims' advocate says.

Pope Benedict XVI, in Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations, today apologised to minors sexually abused by members of the clergy in Australia.

John Hennessey, a spokesman for victims of abuse at the hands of Christian Brothers schools across Australia, said the pontiff's apology had “practically chastised” the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, and World Youth Day coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher.

“I thought that Cardinal Pell and Bishop Fisher were going to win in the end, but the Pope has taken over as the leader and he's put them all on notice,” Mr Hennessey said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Victims disappointed

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

19/07/2008 12:38:07 PM

A man whose daughters were raped by a Melbourne priest says the Pope's apology to abuse victims is disappointing because it offers no practical help to those who have suffered.

Anthony Foster and his wife Christine this week cut short their UK holiday to fly to Sydney in the hope of securing an audience with the Pope or Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell.

Melbourne priest Kevin O'Donnell raped the couple's two daughters, Emma and Katherine, when they were in primary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Pope apologises for 'evil' of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI offered a historic full apology for child sex abuse by predatory priests Saturday, saying he was "deeply sorry" and calling for those guilty of the "evil" to be punished.

The pope strayed from a prepared speech to express shame and make his first direct and explicit apology to victims of predatory clergymen in Australia, during a mass attended by local bishops, priests and novices.

His remarks in a homily in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral were the strongest he has used in confronting the scourge which has rocked the Catholic church globally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Pope Apologizes for Sexual Abuse in Australia

AUSTRALIA
The New York Times

By TIM JOHNSTON
Published: July 19, 2008
SYDNEY — Pope Benedict XVI, in Australia to celebrate the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, publicly apologized on Saturday for the sexual abuse of children by members of the Church here and called for the perpetrators to be “brought to justice.”

“I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country,” he told a congregation that included a large number of seminarians and novices thinking of taking up offices in the Church. “These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church’s witness.”

Last week, an Australian news program raised questions over the way the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, had handled allegations of sexual abuse leveled against a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Apology must go further: victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC

[with video]

Support groups for victims of sexual abuse by clergy have branded Pope Benedict's apology as meaningless and called on him to say sorry to victims in person.

Speaking at a mass to dedicate an altar at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral this morning, the Pope said he was "deeply sorry" for sexual abuse committed by priests and other Catholic figures in Australia.

"Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice," he told an audience of Australian bishops, seminarians, and novices.

But Anthony Foster, whose two daughters were repeatedly raped by a Melbourne priest as children, says the Pope's apology was "remote" and "limited" and does not ease their suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Pope apologises for 'pain and suffering' of Catholic church's sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Barbie Dutter in Sydney
Last Updated: 11:30AM BST 19/07/2008
The Pope issued a powerful apology to victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy, damning paedophile priests for their "evil" acts and insisting that they be brought to justice.

In his most strongly-worded statement yet on the crisis that has engulfed the church globally, Pope Benedict XVI strayed from a prepared homily to castigate abusive clergy and other Catholic personnel for their crimes.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured, and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering," he said during a mass in Sydney, where he has spent the past week for World Youth Day celebrations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Pope apologizes for Priests' sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Pope Benedict XVI has told Australians he is deeply sorry for the sexual abuse of children by some Catholic priests.

Speaking at a gathering of bishops in Sydney, the Pope spoke of the "shame we have all felt" and called for abusers to face justice.

A campaign group criticised the speech, saying the Pope should have met some victims to apologise in person.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Pope apologises for Church sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
EcoDiario (Spain)

By Philip Pullella

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Saturday apologiseddirectly for the first time for sexual abuse of minors byCatholic clergy, but victims groups in Australia said theywanted action and not words.

The pope, making some of his most explicit comments on thesexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Church in severalcountries, also said unequivocally that those responsibleshould be brought to justice.

Benedict made a last-minute addition to his prepared homilyin St. Mary's Cathedral, adding one powerful and personalsentence -- using the word "I" three times -- the Vatican hadhoped would satisfy victims groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Pope apologizes for the 'evil' of clergy sex abuse in Australia

AUSTRALIA
PR-Inside

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI made a forthright apology Saturday to victims of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Australia, calling the mistreatment evil and a grave betrayal of trust that has disgraced the church.
Victim support groups said they wanted more _ a commitment from the pontiff to stop what
they allege is an ongoing cover-up of the scale of the problem and for the church to stop fighting compensation claims in the courts.
«I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy ... in this country,» Benedict told Australian bishops and other seminarians at a Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Pope 'Sorry' for Child Sex Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Islam Online (Qatar)

IslamOnline.net & News Agencies

SYDNEY — Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday, July 19, offered a historic full apology for child sex abuses by predatory priests, but drew fire from parents of the victims as not enough.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured," Benedict said in a homily in Sydney, reported Reuters.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

July 18, 2008

Texas child advocate's report claims underage marriage in FLDS case

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Friday, July 18, 2008 6:37 p.m. MDT

Court-appointed child advocates for a 16-year-old daughter of Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs allege she was married a day after her 15th birthday to a 34-year-old man, a court report obtained by the Deseret News said.

The report was filed late Friday in a San Angelo, Texas court. The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is weighing in on who should represent Teresa Jeffs in court proceedings.

The girl is seeking to replace her court-appointed ad litem, Natalie Malonis, whom she has accused of not obeying her wishes. Jeffs has asked to meet in chambers with Judge Barbara Walther to make a renewed attempt to replace Malonis.

In the report filed by CASA, which is an independent organization appointed by the courts to act on behalf of a child's best interests, it said that if Jeffs' wishes were followed, "it would place her in a dangerous environment and subject her to sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

13-year-old reports sexual assault at church

CAMPOBELLO (SC)
The Greenville News

By Nathaniel Cary • STAFF WRITER • July 18, 2008

The pastor of a church in Campobello said the church is installing a new security system following a 13-year-old girl’s claim that she was raped while attending vacation Bible school at the church in June.

Rev. George Searles, pastor of New Pilgrim Baptist Church, 5040 Rainbow Lake Road, said security equipment should be installed by next week and that church staff has double-checked doors to make sure they’re locked.

“We’re just making sure we keep our eyes open and do the things we can do now to ensure safety,” Searles said.

A girl told authorities she was sexually assaulted by a man in the basement of the church while everyone else was outside at about 8:30 p.m., June 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

3 women to be ordained as priests

BOSTON (MA)
United Press International

BOSTON, July 18 (UPI) -- Three women who plan to be ordained as Catholic priests in a ceremony in Boston have been warned that they face excommunication.

The ordination is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the Church of the Covenant, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church, The Boston Globe reported.

Gabriella Velardi Ward of New York, Gloria Carpeneto of Baltimore and Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly of Newton, N.J., say that they believe they have been called to the priesthood. Dana Reynolds, a California woman consecrated as a bishop in Germany, will perform the ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Insufficient evidence against priest accused of photographing naked boys

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Queensland police say allegations that a Catholic priest took pictures of naked schoolboys were investigated, but there was insufficient evidence to support the claims.

Channel Seven reported last night that the priest, who had been attending World Youth Day in Sydney, recently came to the attention of Queensland police.

The allegations were made by three former students at Villanova Catholic college in Brisbane and date back more than 20 years.

Police have confirmed that three complaints were made in 2003 and 2004, but there was not enough evidence to pursue the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Accused clergy's assignments, number of abuse claims released

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

[with link to data on accused priests]

By Ann McGlynn | Friday, July 18, 2008 6:29 PM CDT

Twenty-two priests assigned to dozens of Diocese of Davenport parishes abused more than 150 children beginning in the 1940s, according to additional information released Friday by the diocese about their credibly accused clergy.

Two members of the order of Franciscan Brothers of Christ the King also are accused of abusing two people — one teen and one young man in their order. The order no longer is recognized by the Catholic church.

Sixty parishes are on the list of assignments for the accused. Twenty-one of those parishes have closed or consolidated. The diocese now has 83 parishes.

Four of the priests — James Janssen, William Wiebler, Francis Bass and Thomas Feeney — account for nearly 100 of the claims. The remaining 20 have between one and six claims against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Pope 'sorry' for abuse

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Pope Benedict XVI has apologised to people sexually abused by members of the clergy in Australia.

He raised the issue during a ceremony to consecrate the altar of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, where the Pope has been participating in World Youth Day activities.

"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country," Pope Benedict said in his homily.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Abused girls' father seeks Pope apology

AUSTRALIA
National Post (Canada)

Lawrence Bartlett, Agence France-Presse, with files from news services
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008

SYDNEY - Pope Benedict XVI was confronted with the scandal over child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests yesterday as he prepared to take centre stage at the world's biggest Christian festival.

While more than 200,000 young pilgrims attended beach concerts, barbecues and religious classes, the Pope and Cardinal George Pell, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, faced criticism from the parents of two victims of abuse.

The pilgrims are in Sydney for World Youth Day celebrations, which will be led by the Pope today as he concludes four days of rest at a retreat on Sydney's outskirts.

The sex-abuse scandal has overshadowed the festival, despite the Pope's pledge to apologize to victims, as he did on a visit to the United States in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Pope says sorry for 'evil' of clergy sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
CNN

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI apologized Saturday to victims of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy, describing their acts as "evil" and a grave betrayal of trust.

Pope Benedict XVI apologized for the "pain" that sexually abusive clergy has caused.

"I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country," Benedict said during an address at a Mass in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Pope apologizes for church sexual abuse in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

By Michael Perry

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict apologized on Saturday for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia, saying those responsible should be brought to justice.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured," the pontiff said in a homily in Sydney.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation," he said. "Those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Text of Pope's apology for sexual abuse in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:42pm EDT

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Here is the text of Pope Benedict's apology for sexual abuse of minors by clergy in Australia. The pope read the comments in a section of a sermon of a Mass in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral on Saturday:

"Dear friends, may this celebration, in the presence of the Successor of Peter, be a moment of rededication and renewal for the whole Church in Australia!

"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. Indeed, I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that as their pastor I too share in their suffering.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church's witness. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Pope sorry for priests' sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
BBC News (United Kingdom)

Pope Benedict XVI has told Australians he is deeply sorry for the sexual abuse of children by some Catholic priests.

Speaking at a mass during his visit to Australia, the Pope spoke of the "shame we have all felt" and called for abusers to face justice.

He said the deeds of abusive clergymen were a great betrayal of trust, which damaged the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Pope 'deeply sorry' for 'evil' of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video and audio]

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his "shame" over child sex abuse by Catholic clergymen in Australia and called for those responsible for the "evil" to be brought to justice.

The Pope made his comments during a mass to dedicate a new altar at Sydney's St Mary's cathedral.

"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country," he said.

"Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Expert: Churches should be stringent with youth pastor checks

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

BY MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • July 18, 2008

MANSFIELD — A national expert recommends more stringent background checks of youth pastors.

David Allburn, executive director of Safe Harbor Resources and the National Foundation to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, is critical of the process, although background checks are required for youth pastors.

“The scope and content of the checks is usually superficial,” Allburn said. “Faith groups are especially vulnerable to cherishing the myth that ‘it can’t happen here,’ so their leaderships usually feel that background checks are a routine to be accomplished as fast and cheap as possible.”

Former Mansfield youth pastor John Picard, 40, was arrested Thursday in Springboro on 10 counts of sexual battery reportedly involving a teenage parishioner. He is accused of having sexual relations with a girl starting in 1992 when she was 13 and continuing until she reached adulthood. Picard was a youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Former Youth Pastor Accused Of Sexual Abuse

MANSFIELD (OH)
NBC 4i

By Denise Yost

MANSFIELD, Ohio -- An alleged sex abuse case involving a former youth pastor is coming to light -- 16 years after the alleged incident and police fear there are more victims.

Police said 40-year-old John Picard was a youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church of Mansfield in 1992. Detectives said that's when Picard began a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in his youth group.

"(He) misrepresented quotes from The Bible for his own sexual gratification," said Detective Jeff Shook. "It's gone from … the time she was 13 until pretty recent. Now, she's quite a bit older. So the manipulation continued on into her adulthood."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Documents could play role in criminal probe of FLDS sect

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By TERRI LANGFORD
Houston Chronicle

Warren Jeffs married his underage daughter to the 34-year-old son of his chief deputy, one day after she turned 15, according to pictures, diaries and a marriage record kept by Jeffs' polygamist sect obtained Friday by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

The documents were attached to a report filed Friday by Court-Appointed Special Advocates in San Angelo, the girl's guardian, in a battle over who represents represents her in court. The CASA report contradicts both interviews the girl and members of her church, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have given denying that she was ever placed in a "spiritual marriage" with an adult member of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Huge Catholic teen conference at UA next weekend

ARIZONA
Tucson Citizen

RENÉE SCHAFER HORTON
Tucson Citizen
Many teenagers reject organized religion because they see it as nothing but a bunch of "thou shalt not" rules.

Steubenville West, a weekend Catholic youth conference held at the University of Arizona, aims to change that. ...

Hart said the conference has not been marred by the controversy over Life Teen's founder, the Rev. Dale Fushek, who is credited with revitalizing youth ministry in the Catholic Church and was revered as a religious "rock star" by youth ministers nationwide.

Fushek was placed on administrative leave by Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted in December 2005 after Fushek was accused in a lawsuit of sexual misconduct with minors.
Although expressly forbidden by the Phoenix Diocese from conducting public ministry Fushek started holding his own non-denominational prayer and worship services at the Mesa Convention Center in 2007.

"We at Life Teen have made it very clear that we are a movement of the Holy Spirit and not a ministry of Father Dale," said Hart. "We stand with the Diocese of Phoenix and in obedience with the Church. And I think it is a real testament that Life Teen is a movement of the Holy Spirit because the conferences keep growing. It didn't belong to him or it would have died."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Minister accused of sex abuse fit to stand trial

BLOOMINGTON (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
2:48 PM CDT, July 18, 2008
PEORIA, Ill - An ex-minister and former substitute teacher from central Illinois has been found competent to stand trial on federal child pornography charges.

Thirty-eight-year-old James Love of Bloomington was indicted last year on charges that he produced pornographic images of two minors, and is scheduled to stand trial in October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Wheaton church to consider booting pastor over improper conduct allegations

WHEATON (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Russell Working | Chicago Tribune reporter
3:06 PM CDT, July 18, 2008
A Wheaton congregation will meet Saturday to consider whether to dismiss its pastor for improper conduct after several women accused him of improperly touching them in a gym.

Rev. Andre Allen, pastor of the 101-year-old Second Baptist Church of Wheaton, faces a backlash after members recently learned he was charged with battery and disorderly conduct at a Schaumburg gym in November.

Allen, 54, a longtime leader on civil rights issues in DuPage County, was accused of disorderly conduct and battery after he allegedly touched three women in a provocative manner, according to Schaumburg police. Allen said that, under a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty only to falsely presenting himself as an employee of the gym.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Woman awarded €90,000 over phone-tap articles

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARY CAROLANA woman has been awarded €90,000 in damages after the High Court ruled that newspaper articles about her relationship with a priest based on unlawfully tapped phone conversations were a breach of her constitutional right to privacy.

The award is believed to be the first against a non-State entity arising from illegal phone tapping.

The behaviour of Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd in publising articles based on unawfully tapped phone conversations between Michelle Herrity and Fr Heber McMahon in Ireland on Sunday was “nothing short of outrageous” and could not be condoned in any way whatsoever, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said. ,,,

The judge said the articles about the relationship between Ms Herrity and Fr McMahon, then a parish priest at Brackenstown, Swords, Co Dublin, were one-sided, based solely on Ms Herrity’s husband’s version of events, and a "deliberate, conscious and unjustified" breach of Ms Herrity’s right to privacy on foot of transcripts of illegally tapped phone calls.

Their publication over a three-week period was designed to extract “maximum value” from the taped conversations and the articles

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Associated pays out in Irish privacy case

IRELAND
Media Guardian

July 18, 2008 6:27 PM
In advance of next week's judgment on the Max Mosley versus News of the World privacy case comes this interesting court ruling in Ireland. A woman was today awarded €90,000 (£71,000) damages against Associated Newspapers for publishing newspaper articles about her relationship with a priest based on unlawfully tapped phone conversations.

The articles which appeared in the Ireland on Sunday (the paper now renamed the Irish Mail on Sunday) were ruled to be a breach of the woman's constitutional right to privacy.

The judge, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, said the paper's behaviour in publishing the contents of conversations between Michelle Herrity and Father Heber McMahon, was "nothing short of outrageous" and could not be condoned in any way whatsoever".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Actions of church defended in abuse case

NEW ZEALAND
The Southland Times

By AMY MILNE and JARED MORGAN - The Southland Times | Saturday, 19 July 2008

A church acted within the law when dealing with a former member found guilty of child abuse, despite criticism levelled at it by a district court judge, a church spokeswoman said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was criticised for trying to deal with sexual offending by Raphael Guiseppe Caccioppoli, 37, who was sentenced to five year's jail when he appeared in the Invercargill District Court on Thursday. Caccioppoli had been a member and Sunday school teacher with the church.

He appeared for sentence on indecency, sexual and violence offences before Judge Robert Wolff who blasted the church.

Defence counsel Bill Dawkins said in court his client had disclosed details of his offending to his church as early as a month after he committed an indecent act on a 12-year-old boy in 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Out of Touch? The Scandal of Leon Podles

UNITED STATES
Fringe Watch

In this post we take a break from the political periphery to look at some religious fringe behavior. At the beginning of this year Touchstone magazine came out heavily endorsing Leon Podles' new book Sacrilege (Crossland Foundation), which claims to expose, in excruciating detail, the Catholic clerical sex scandals.

Plenty of reliable and faithful Catholic writers have grappled with this problem. But Podles goes even further and indulges in unsubstantiated reports which undermine his credibility. This even prompted Fr. John Neuhaus at First Things, in his January 2008 commentary, to say:

It is a rambling essay of more than five hundred pages on a potpourri of items picked up from the public media and the blogosphere, including, along with the kitchen sink, stomach-turning details of abuse, mainly with boys, and a scathing, if familiar, indictment from a conservative perspective of liberal depredations that brought things to this sorry pass. Regrettably, the tone is shrill, and even righteous anger does not justify the author’s suspension of caution and charity in attributing motives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Episcopal Church under fire for parolee priest

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Religion Writer

Friday, July 18, 2008

James Tramel went from convicted murderer to priest while in prison, a transformation that the Episcopal Church used to successfully lobby for his parole and celebrate him before politicians and the press.

But the church is now grappling with the sexual abuse of a parishioner under his care. Tramel has been suspended for sexual misconduct, temporarily stripped of his priestly authority and left searching for a new job.

The San Francisco-based Episcopal Diocese of California now faces questions of whether, in its haste to proclaim Tramel's story, it redeemed and promoted him too quickly. ...

The diocese acknowledges that Tramel abused his power and committed sexual misconduct, according to diocesan spokesman Sean McConnell, as well as a letter from diocesan Chancellor William Orrick and other documents. Tramel has been suspended for two years, but he can apply for reinstatement after the suspension is served. Tramel did not return calls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Searching for the hows, whys of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.

This week, Benedict XVI once again finds himself in a nation whose Catholic community has been rocked by repeated sexual abuse scandals, and once again the pope appears determined not to duck the issue. As he did in his mid-April trip to the United States, Benedict addressed the crisis before he even arrived, taking a question aboard the papal plane en route to Australia for World Youth Day.

Echoing points he made in the United States, the pope told reporters that it's "essential for the church to reconcile [with victims], to prevent, to help, and also to see guilt in these problems." In a little-noticed coda, however, Benedict went a step further than he did in America, identifying a potential culprit underlying the crisis: a moral theory known as "proportionalism."
Here's what the pope said, in English, according to the official Vatican transcript of his remarks:

"We have to reflect on what was insufficient in our education, in our teaching in recent decades. There was, in the '50s, '60s and '70s, the idea of proportionalism in ethics: It held that nothing is bad in itself, but only in proportion to others. With proportionalism, it was possible to think for some subjects -- one could also be pedophilia -- that in some proportion they could be a good thing. Now, it must be stated clearly, this was never Catholic doctrine. There are things which are always bad, and pedophilia is always bad. In our education, in the seminaries, in our permanent formation of the priests, we have to help priests to really be close to Christ, to learn from Christ, and so to be helpers, and not adversaries of our fellow human beings, of our Christians."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Pell war a cardinal shame

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Christopher Pearson | July 19, 2008
ABC television's Lateline is well-nigh indispensable viewing for anyone who takes an interest in Australian politics. The program makes the most of the luxury of examining complex issues in depth. While there can be no mistaking the broadly left-liberal sympathies of its host and the team who produce it, the debate it encourages is on the whole urbane and well-informed.

I've had occasion to single out Lateline for praise, especially in its determined pursuit of the scandalous sexual abuse and violence against children in remote indigenous communities. Once Tony Jones, its main presenter, had aired and then overcome his reservations about the political incorrectness of the subject matter, the show's coverage left no stone unturned.

Unfortunately, the program also has a relentlessly secularist agenda and a markedly hostile attitude toward the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell. In 2004, when the opportunity arose to suggest that there had been a conservative conspiracy to buy the Catholic vote at a mid-election meeting between Pell and the Coalition's health minister at the time, Tony Abbott, Lateline stooped to the worst kind of "gotcha!" tabloid tactics. That the meeting was before the election being called and concerned a personal matter -- both facts readily available if a journalist had cared to ask -- wasn't allowed to get in the way of a good story that favoured federal Labor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

3 Women To Be Ordained Catholic Priests

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel

[with links to a statesment from the Boston archdiocese and the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Web site]

BOSTON -- Three women will be ordained as Catholic priests in a Back Bay neighborhood church this weekend, despite the Vatican's admonition that the trio will be excommunicated if they do so.

"Excommunication or not, I will still be a validly ordained priest and still will be able to serve the people of God," said Gabriella Velardi Ward, 61, a Staten Island architect and mother of two.

Also a grandmother of three, Ward said she has wanted to be a priest ever since she was five years old and once considered becoming a nun, but felt the priesthood was her true calling because she wants to be able to celebrate the sacraments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Hudson rebuffs calls to resign from McCain campaign

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News

by Tim Murphy
Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Four years after he was forced to step down from President Bush's re-election campaign, Catholic scholar Deal Hudson is facing calls to resign as an adviser to Sen. John McCain's campaign.

Catholics United, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said Hudson should resign from the Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee because of a 1994 sexual harassment claim filed by a college student.

"Unlike the Bush campaign in 2004, Sen. John McCain seems to believe that Hudson's political value outweighs any of his past indiscretions," said Chris Korzen, executive director of the progressive Catholics United.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

A sticky moment for Boy George

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Mike Carlton
July 19, 2008

Battling the evil that lies in the hearts of men, the Caped Crusader and his youthful assistant were all over Gotham City this week. The new Batman movie? No, it was Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony Fisher, joint impresarios of Pontifex Maximus '08, the Papal Tour Down Under. There was nowhere to hide from the daring duo.

Pell, stooped and greying, is a dour figure. Fisher, his heir apparent, is a bouncy Dominican friar, aged 47, with the sort of toothy grin not seen at St Mary's since the late Cardinal Norm "Smiler" Gilroy went to his maker. His part of the act was to ratchet up the gaiety with some pop hagiography.

The Pope, he assured us, had shown fantastic energy after his long flight from Rome. He was tremendously excited to be here. Truly, it was amazing how well informed he was, just incredible how much he knew about Australia. There was His Holiness, 81 years old yet - you could hardly believe it - he, Bishop Fisher, had trouble keeping up when they went for a walk. How wonderful that the Holy Father plays the piano and likes cats.

It was The Catholic Weekly meets Who Weekly. Was there no end to Benedict's glittering talents, his charismatic appeal to young and old? Toss the Vicar of Christ a Fender Strat and watch him hack out Keith Richards's opening riff to Start Me Up.

The bonhomie came badly unstuck on Wednesday when Fisher was asked at a press conference about a man whose two young daughters had been raped by a priest in Melbourne. One girl eventually committed suicide. The other turned to alcohol, but now she needs 24-hour care after being struck by a drunk driver.

The reply was a crass insult.

Before he took the cloth, Fisher was a lawyer at the high-flying firm of Clayton Utz. His words had all of the lawyer about them and nothing of the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Cardinal Pell missed perfect chance to wash stain away

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Madonna King
July 19, 2008 12:00am

AS POPE Benedict XVI began his first official day by congratulating Australia on its apology to Aborigines this week, a Sydney jury was retiring to consider its verdict.

The trial was like many others before. It related to a Catholic priest accused of raping and indecently assaulting boys.

Father Paul Raymond Evans has pleaded not guilty in the New South Wales District Court to 20 charges involving seven boys between 1977 and 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

3 women to be ordained Catholic priests in Boston

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / July 18, 2008
Three aspiring Catholic priests will be anointed and prayed over this weekend in an ordination liturgy that will resemble the traditional in most ways but one: The three being ordained are women.

The ordination ceremony Sunday, at a historic Protestant church in the Back Bay, is the first such event to take place in Boston, one of the most Catholic cities in the nation.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, in accord with Vatican teaching, says the participants in the ordination ceremony will be automatically excommunicating themselves.

But the women being ordained say they are acting because they feel called to the priesthood and compelled to resist what they view as a wrong church teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Claim of priest abuse dismissed

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • July 18, 2008

A suspended Cincinnati priest was reinstated Thursday after church officials said they could not prove a claim that he abused a boy in the 1950s.

The Rev. Robert Stricker, 85, had been on administrative leave for two months and is now cleared to return to ministry. He is retired, but has worked for years as a priest at St. Therese, the Little Flower in Mount Airy.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk's decision to reinstate Stricker ended an investigation into one of the oldest abuse allegations in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Priest denied plea deal in criminal sexual conduct case

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
The Grand Rapids Press

Posted by The Grand Rapids Press July 18, 2008

GRAND RAPIDS -- A former Portland priest accused of using the Internet to solicit a teen for sex was denied a plea deal that would have had his jail sentenced capped at one year.

Kent County Circuit Judge Mark Trusock said he would not accept the plea agreement reached in Rockford District Court, so the Rev. Shamaun Beas, 39, withdrew his guilty plea to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a girl younger than 13.

Beas served at Holy Family Catholic Church in Sparta in 2001. He later served at St. Patrick's in Portland in 2004, where he was nabbed in a state Attorney General's office bust of alleged child predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Woman wins €90,000 damages over newspaper articles

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 18 July 2008

The High Court has ordered Associated Newspapers to pay a Dublin woman €90,000 in damages after finding that a number of articles printed about her private life breached her right to privacy.

The articles, published in Ireland on Sunday in 2003, detailed the contents of private telephone conversations she had with her lover, a priest who has since left the priesthood.

The first article bore the headline "Husband accuses priest of dirty dealing with his wife."

Ms Justice Dunne said the publication of the transcripts of the conversations, which were given to the paper by her estranged husband, were a deliberate, conscious and unjustified breach of her right to privacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

The Church likened to a giant iceberg…

UNITED STATES
Catholica (Australia)

Icebergs are handy for metaphors because, as everyone knows, the great bulk of any iceberg is hidden; only the very top can be seen. A Google search returns 3.3 million hits for the phrase "tip of the iceberg". If more than a handful of those refer to an actual iceberg, I'll be astonished.

But icebergs have another feature almost equally useful to the maker of metaphors. They shrink in a very irregular fashion. Icebergs change shape all the time, through bits breaking off, through wind and wave erosion, through localised melting. The result is that an iceberg's centre of gravity is constantly shifting.

Most of the time this isn't noticeable but, when the centre of gravity shifts just far enough, an iceberg will roll over without warning. If you happen to be nearby when that happens, you'll certainly notice. An iceberg can weigh up to 200,000 tonnes, and it displaces a similar mass of water. That makes for some very big waves when a berg rolls. If you survive the turmoil, when the waves die down you'll see what looks like a completely different iceberg.

For Robert Blair Kaiser, the American church is an iceberg, just waiting for the choppy wave, or the slightly warm wind from the right quarter, or the fracture at just the right point which will nudge the centre of gravity past the tipping point. And then the berg will roll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Pilgrims line streets for Stations of the Cross

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Crowds of World Youth Day pilgrims and onlookers gathered in Sydney's CBD for the Stations of the Cross, the re-enactment of the last days of the life of Jesus Christ.

About 80 performers took part in the re-enactment at various landmarks across central Sydney as part of Friday's World Youth Day celebrations. ...

Meanwhile, a small group of people in Sydney's Hyde Park attempting to highlight the issue of sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy have come up against regulations introduced to protect pilgrims.

The six protesters were told by police that if they wished to hold up their signs they would have to move to a new location at the other end of the park and away from the crowds.

Chris McIsaac from the Broken Rites support group says it is another sign that the Catholic Church is unable to deal with the issue of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Pope visit 'marred' by sex abuse protest

AUSTRALIA
IOL (South Africa)

Sydney - Australian police on Friday moved activists protesting sexual abuse in the Catholic church away from a cathedral where Pope Benedict XVI is staying during World Youth Day celebrations.

Seven members of Broken Rites, a support group for victims of abuse by Catholic clergy, said they were told to leave an area of parkland opposite St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Protester attacked by pilgrims

AUSTRALIA
Special Broadcasting Service

By Anthony Macdonald from PROJECTeye

A protester from Queensland was set upon by a group of pilgrims when she held up a sign as the Pope’s convoy passed Dawes Point.

The woman, Mary Adams, waited hours for the Pontiff to pass in the boat-a-cade, before holding up her handmade sign that said ‘Ratzinger condones paedophilia’.

Adams was yelled at by a group of pilgrims as soon as she held up the sign, and was forced to flee the area as the group continued to yell while trying to rip the sign out of her hands and shove her.

“I’ve worked on a sexual abuse hotline and I’ve seen suicides because of the cover-ups Ratzinger has been involved in,” Adams said after fleeing the local area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Ex-minister in court today on sex charges

OHIO
Canton Repository

Friday, July 18, 2008
REPOSITORY STAFF REPORT

CANTON A former minister accused of molesting a family member will be in court today.

Peter L. Pilger, 36, of Warren, will be arraigned on three felony counts of attempted rape and single counts of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition in Stark County Common Pleas Court.

According to court records, Pilger, a former Jackson Township resident, sexually abused a girl during a six-year period ending in April. The girl is now 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Pastor Faces Rape Charge

OHIO
Wheeling News-Register

By GABE WELLS POSTED: July 18, 2008

Allegations of sexual abuse against a former Martins Ferry pastor came to light during a child's sleepover confession, according to reports.

Peter Pilger, 36, of Warren, Ohio, will be arraigned today in Stark County Common Pleas Court on multiple charges of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition, according to a spokeswoman in the Stark County Prosecutor's Office.

Pilger was arrested July 2 on allegations he sexually abused a female family member who is now 12 years old over the course of as many as six years. Reports indicate the allegations came to light in April, when the alleged victim made the claims to friends while playing a game called "Deep Dark Secrets." Those friends encouraged the alleged victim to tell her mother of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Jury commits ex-pastor sentenced for sex abuse

FLORIDA
Pensacola News Journal

From staff reports • July 18, 2008

A jury decided Thursday that a former Pace pastor accused of molesting at least five women during the 1980s and 1990s should be deemed a sexually violent predator and committed indefinitely.

Floyd W. Linder, 62, will enter into Florida's Commitment Center in Arcadia and will not be released until officials say it is safe for him to return to the community. A judge will make the final decision.

Linder's commitment falls under Florida's Jimmy Ryce Law, named for a boy who was murdered by a sex offender who recently had been released from prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Evangelist Todd Bentley brings healing ministry to Louisville

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • July 18, 2008

After more than two hours of hard-driving worship music and preaching at Evangel World Prayer Center, evangelist Todd Bentley began laying his hands on people in wheelchairs, disabled children held limp in their parents' arms and others with serious ailments.

Deloris Halstead was waiting.

She and two friends had driven more than 500 miles from Missouri to experience in person what they had been seeing on TV and video.

"We believed that we would be helped," said Halstead, 75, who said her lungs had been scarred by blood clots and she needed oxygen to breathe. ...

But it's also drawn controversy over Bentley's claims and practices, which he has said include hitting or smacking people to heal them. Bentley also has acknowledged a sordid past as a drug user and criminal, including a conviction when he was a juvenile for sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Former Mansfield youth pastor faces 10 sex-related felonies involving girl

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

By MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • July 18, 2008

MANSFIELD -- A former Mansfield youth pastor was arrested Thursday in southwest Ohio on 10 sex-related felonies reportedly involving a teenage parishioner.

John Picard, 40, of Springboro, has been charged with 10 counts of sexual battery, all third-degree felonies. He is accused of having sexual relations with a girl starting in 1992 when she was 13 and continuing until she reached adulthood. Picard was a youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue at the time.

Police said they think there are other victims.

"He's probably one of the most despicable pedophiles that there can be," Mansfield police Lt. Allen Vandayburg said. "It's a sad, sad state of affairs when somebody of trust can't be trusted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Priests call for change in abuse processes

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Geelong priest Fr Kevin Dillon yesterday called on priests to stop trivialising sexual abuse allegations while Sydney's Fr Chris Riley says that the Church's Towards Healing process is a joke and should be scrapped.

Fr Chris Riley, who heads Youth Off The Streets, a Sydney welfare service that assists homeless, drug addicted and abused young people, said the Towards Healing program hurt the Church's credibility and meant victims often did not have their day in court, reports say.

He told the Nine Network that any family confronted with sexual abuse should go straight to the police and have the matter dealt with in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

A week of stupendous stupidities

Edmonton Sun (Canada)

By LYN COCKBURN

It's been a good week for stupid. First, the New Yorker, that august magazine which some people buy maybe once a year - for the articles, of course - came out with a supposedly satirical cover. ...

Next, Bishop Anthony Fisher, the youngest bish in Australia, couldn't wait to exercise his right to perpetrate idiocy once the Pope announced he is likely to apologize (the latest word is that Benedict may not actually use the word "apologize") to those Australians whom Catholic priests have sexually abused.

Get over it, was the bishop's message as he admonished people to stop "dwelling crankily" on sexual abuse.

He made these remarks as he was being questioned by the press about Melbourne priest Kevin O'Donnell who repeatedly raped two little girls some years ago. One of the two, who were sisters, committed suicide earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Former Lewiston priest is punished

LEWISTON (ME)
Sun Journal

By Mark LaFlamme , Staff Writer
Friday, July 18, 2008
LEWISTON - A former Lewiston priest was disciplined Thursday for sexual abuse of his relatives, nearly half a century after the abuse allegedly began.

The Vatican assigned Marcel L. Robitaille, 70, to a life of prayer and penance.

He is barred from celebrations of the Eucharist and administration of the sacraments. He cannot wear clerical garb or present himself publicly as a priest. He must obtain pre-approval from the bishop of Portland for travel beyond his daily routine and he is required to make daily holy hours and monthly days of recollection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Ex-priest released on bond

IOWA
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:41 PM CDT

A defrocked priest who was charged last week with three counts of perjury is out on bond.

James Janssen, 84, left the Scott County Jail Thursday morning. The bond on the three charges was $5,000. He completed a 180-day sentence for contempt of court on Tuesday.

The attorney Janssen indicated he would hire to represent him, Michael McCarthy, could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Father Kevin Dillon urges Church colleagues to stop trivialising sex abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Aleks Devic

July 18th, 2008

GEELONG's top Catholic priest yesterday spoke out against members of the clergy who have tried to trivialise sexual abuse allegations troubling the church.

With Pope Benedict XVI in Australia for this week's World Youth Day celebrations, Father Kevin Dillon said the attitude of some of his colleagues made him cringe with embarrassment.

"Sexual abuse can't be written off, it's never old, it's always fresh," he said.

"People have been violated, it has affected their families, their loved ones and it's turned their lives upside down."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 AM

Abuse victims' parents await papal apology

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY VINCENT MORELLO

18/07/2008 12:00:00 AM

Without a public apology from the Pope, the Catholic Church will never give effective help to victims of abuse by clergymen, the father of two girls raped by a Melbourne priest says.

Anthony Foster and his wife Christine flew into Sydney yesterday for World Youth Day after cutting short a holiday in London.

The couple said they were worried by a ''back-pedal'' by Pope Benedict XVI on a public apology for victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 AM

Maine priest assigned to prayer and penance

PORTLAND (ME)
Boston Globe

July 17, 2008
PORTLAND, Maine—A Maine priest accused of sexual abuse dating back to 1959 has been assigned a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said Thursday that 70-year-old Marcel Robitaille's restrictions include no public celebrations of the Eucharist or administration of the sacraments.

He also can't wear clerical garb or present himself publicly as a priest, he must obtain approval from the bishop for travel beyond his daily routine, and he must make daily holy hour and monthly day of recollection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 AM

Manville priest charged with groping girl on plane indicted

MANVILLE (NJ)
Home News Tribune

By PAMELA SROKA—HOLZMANN • STAFF WRITER • July 17, 2008

MANVILLE —A federal grand jury has indicted a priest from a borough Catholic church on charges he groped a 16-year-old girl sitting next to him on an airplane flight.

The Rev. Tomasz Adam Zielinski, 31, a Polish citizen staying in the United States on a religious visa, surrendered to special agents of the FBI on July 11 following an investigation of events on a Polish Airlines aircraft that arrived July 5 in Newark. Zielinski was charged with one count of abusive sexual contact aboard an aircraft, which departed from Warsaw, Poland and was bound for the United States.

Zielinski appeared in federal court on July 11 and was released by a federal magistrate judge on a $10,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with minors.

Joanne Ward, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Metuchen, said Zielinski has since been removed from his position at Christ the King Church, 211 Louis St. Zielinski had served since April as a parochial vicar in assisting the Rev. Boguslaw Augustyn - the pastor at both the Christ the King and Sacred Heart churches - however, Zielinski's duties were solely at Christ the King, Ward said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 AM

S.F. priest accused of molesting minors in 80s

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Times-Standard

By JASON DEAREN Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 07/17/2008 05:03:26 PM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO—U.S. and Mexican authorities are searching for a Catholic priest who is believed to have fled the country after learning that he was accused of sexually abusing several minors in San Diego two decades ago, church officials said.

The Rev. Jose Chavarin, 59, apparently left town last month, several days after officials with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where he's worked for the past 11 years, confronted him about the allegations, diocese spokesman Maurice Healy said. Officials there got two phone calls shortly after, saying Chavarin was in Mexico, Healy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 AM

Lawyer tells inquiry about misplaced trust

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008
CORNWALL - A former lawyer for the Alexandria-Cornwall Catholic diocese who failed to read the final version of a $32,000 non-disclosure agreement told a public inquiry Thursday the move had "disastrous" consequences for him professionally.

Jacques Leduc, a Cornwall lawyer who acted for the diocese "from time-to-time" between 1978 and 1994, took the stand Thursday for the forth day in a row. Mr. Leduc acted as a lawyer for the diocese in 1993 when it negotiated a $32,000 settlement with David Silmser, who agreed to withdraw a criminal complaint against Rev. Charles MacDonald. Mr. Silmser was a former altar boy who alleged he had been sexually abused by the priest.

Mr. Leduc said Father MacDonald's lawyer, Malcolm MacDonald, drafted the non-disclosure document. After the final version was signed in September 1993, Mr. Leduc said he handed it over, unopened, to a church official because he trusted Mr. MacDonald, a man he testified to having "sporadic" interactions with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 AM

Qld man seeks abuse compo from Pope

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A north Queensland man is launching a legal battle against the Catholic Church to gain compensation for sexual abuse he allegedly suffered in the 1980s.

Mackay resident Eric Fleissig says Father Paul Rex Brown regularly abused him at the Futcher House youth refuge in Lismore between 1982 and 1985.

Father Brown died in 2005.

Mr Fleissig says the Pope declined to meet with him during the World Youth Day events and he feels isolated from the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 AM

Police 'preventing' WYD abuse protest

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A group of victims of church sexual abuse say they are being prevented from holding a peaceful protest in a park opposite today's World Youth Day activities at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral.

Six protesters have travelled from Melbourne to Hyde Park and say police are telling them they can not hold up signs calling for the Pope to apologise for sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy.

Chris McIsaac, from the Broken Rites support group, says the demonstrators are waiting for a final decision from police, but she hopes they will not be deprived of their right to protest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 AM

Pope unlikely to offer apology

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with videos]

Jano Gibson
July 18, 2008

The Pope has been informed of current allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy but it remains unclear whether he will offer an apology to victims during his time in Australia, his spokesman says.

In the lead up to, and during, World Youth Day, the Catholic Church, and in particular, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, have had to fend off allegations that cases of sexual abuse by priests were not handled appropriately.

At a press conference this afternoon, Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said the pontiff's entourage had kept him abreast of recent developments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 AM

Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse Returns To Active Ministry

CINCINNATI (OH)
Local 12

A retired priest, accused of sexual abuse, is returned to active ministry for a second time.

A man first claimed in 1993 that Reverend Robert Stricker abused him at Price Hill's St. William Parish in the 1950's.

The archdiocese concluded that accusation was unsubstantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 AM

July 17, 2008

List released of accused clergy

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Catholic Messenger

The Diocese of Davenport has prepared the following list of clergy who have been found to have credible allegations of sexual abuse against them. The list is being released as part of the diocese’s non-monetary undertakings of its bankruptcy settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse. [The list includes parish assignments.]

[ Francis Bass | Herman Bongers | Bernard Brugman | Sylvester Conrad | Orville DeCoursey | Paul Deyo | Thomas Feeney | Fidelis Forrester OSB | Theodore Geerts | Thomas Hackett | James Janssen | Raymond Kalter CSSR | John Kennedy | Placidus Kieffer OSB | James Leu | Frank Martinez | Carl Meinberg | Donald Redmond OSB | Br. Francis Skube | Louis Telegdy CPPS | Br. Mark Quillen | Alphonse Wagner | Richard Welsh | William Wiebler ]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:36 PM

Some wounds are too painful to heal

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

July 18, 2008

The papal apology is more important than ever

IT takes only a smidgin of compassion to appreciate the hurt and pain of Christine and Anthony Foster as they see images of thousands of exuberant young people revelling in the camaraderie of World Youth Day. Had it not been for the depravity of a Melbourne priest, John Kevin O'Donnell, who raped their daughters, Emma and Katherine, at primary school, the girls might have been among the crowds. Tragically, Emma committed suicide earlier this year at 26, after battling depression, anorexia, self-harm and drug abuse for years. Katherine drank heavily before being disabled when hit by a drunken driver in 1999. O'Donnell died in prison 10 years ago. He was jailed in 1995, aged 78, after pleading guilty to abusing two girls and 10 boys in the parishes of Chelsea, Seymour, Dandenong, Hastings and Oakleigh over three decades.

The fact that O'Donnell was moved around so much, and allowed near children in parish after parish, exemplifies all that was wrong with the church's furtive cover-ups of abuse in the past. Amid the current fracas, timed by the Fosters and the ABC's Lateline program to capitalise on the Pope's presence in Australia, it should be acknowledged that the church has lifted its standards in handling complaints in the past decade.

A year after O'Donnell went to jail, George Pell became archbishop of Melbourne and established an independent investigation commission headed by Peter O'Callaghan QC. The rest of the church adopted the Towards Healing protocol. Dr Pell apologised to the Fosters in 1998 and stands by that apology. They rejected the $50,000 compensation offered under the Melbourne scheme, as was their right, and pursued the matter through the courts. After eight years, they received a large payout, but they remain unhappy with the church's attitudes to victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Polish Priest Accused Of Groping Teen Girl On Plane

NEW JERSEY
WNBC

NEW YORK -- A Catholic priest faces up to two years in a federal prison after being indicted Thursday with sexually abusing a 16-year old girl aboard a flight from Poland to Newark Liberty International Airport on July 5, prosecutors say.

US Attorney Christopher J. Christie said Tomasz Adam Zielinski, 31, was traveling to the US on a religious visa when the incident occurred. Zielinski is associated with a church in Manville, New Jersey.

Court papers say Zielinsli was seated next to a 16-year old girl on the flight from Warsaw when he reached under her blanket and began touching her thigh. The girl blocked his hand and approached the flight crew who changed her seat.

Later in the flight, Zielinski approached the girl, said he was sorry and asked for forgiveness, the court papers say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Anti-pope protesters will have their say

AUSTRALIA
The National (Abu Dhabi)

SYDNEY // Protesters angry at Pope Benedict XVI’s attitudes to birth control and homosexuality will try to hand condoms to young Catholic pilgrims at the height of World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.

Demonstrators have accused Pope Benedict of being a bigot and have promised to make their complaints heard during the Catholic Church’s international festival of faith. ...

The anti-pope lobby scored a significant win this week when they persuaded Australia’s federal court to overturn controversial legislation that made it an offence to upset or harass World Youth Day participants.

Under the measures, a protester handing a condom or leaflet to festivalgoers could have been fined more than US$5,300 (Dh19,500).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Priest reinstated; abuse claim unproven

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • July 17, 2008

A suspended Cincinnati priest was reinstated today after church officials said they could not prove a claim that he abused a boy in the 1950s.

The Rev. Robert Stricker, 85, had been on administrative leave for two months and is now cleared to return to ministry. He is retired, but has worked for years as a priest at St. Therese, the Little Flower in Mount Airy.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk’s decision to reinstate Stricker ended an investigation into one of the oldest abuse allegations in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Parents of abused girls demand papal apology

AUSTRALIA
Gulf Times (Qatar)

Published: Friday, 18 July, 2008, 01:02 AM Doha Time

SYDNEY: The angry parents of two Australian girls abused by a Catholic priest flew to Sydney yesterday to demand that Pope Benedict XVI make good on a pledge to apologise to victims of predatory clergymen.

The Pope’s visit to Sydney for the World Youth Day celebrations has been marred by continuing controversy over the church’s response to abuse and allegations it tried to cover up sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Polish priest charged with groping girl on plane

NEW JERSEY
USA Today

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest from Poland has been indicted on charges he fondled a 16-year-old girl while aboard a flight to New Jersey.

The Rev. Tomasz Adam Zielinski could face up to two years in federal prison if convicted on the charge of abusive sexual contact.

A message seeking comment from his public defender was not immediately returned after the indictment was handed up Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Prosecutors Wrap Up Case Against Youth Minister Accused In Boy's Death

TAMPA (FL)
The Tampa Tribune

By THOMAS W. KRAUSE | The Tampa Tribune

Published: July 17, 2008

TAMPA - Prosecutors called their final witnesses today — several experts who testified about DNA links and bloodstain patterns — then rested its murder case against youth minister Joshua Rosa.

The defense is expected to rest its case Friday morning, allowing for a possible verdict by the end of the day. It remains unclear whether Rosa will testify on his own behalf.

Rosa, 22, is charged with murder in the death of Stephen Tomlinson. Prosecutors say Rosa killed the 13-year-old at Logan Gate Park No. 3 in northwestern Hillsborough County on Dec. 8, 2005. A medical examiner testified that Stephen was strangled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Suspended Priest Reinstated

CINCINNATI (OH)
WLW

( Cincinnati ) A retired priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has been returned to ministry after Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk found "not sufficient substanstiation of the allegations to warrant sending the case to the Vatican or continuing Fr. Stricker's administrative leave."

A man had reported in 1993 that Fr. Stricker had sexually abused him in the 1950's when he was an associate pastor at St. William Parish in Price Hill. Stricker denied the allegation. Stricker had been placed on administrative leave since May when new information was submitted from the same man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Accused Catholic priest restored to ministry

CINCINNATI (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein
Staff Writer

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk has restored a suspended priest to ministry after an investigation failed to substantiate an allegation that he sexually abused a boy in the 1950s.

It's the second time the Cincinnati archdiocese investigated the same complaint against Rev. Robert A. Stricker — the first time was in 1993 — and determined the allegation was unsubstantiated.

Stricker, 85, had been on administrative leave since May, when the purported victim renewed his allegation with new information.

"After further investigation, it did not seem appropriate to send the case to the Vatican" for a possible defrocking of Stricker, archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco said Thursday, July 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

One abuse case dismissed, another filed

WISCONSIN
USA Today

The Associated Press
A lawsuit brought against two Roman Catholic dioceses by five men sexually abused by a Catholic school teacher was dismissed Wednesday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The move came a day after a man sued the archdiocese of Denver over sexual abuse after seeing documents released as part of a big settlement last month that name the same priest he says molested him as a teenager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Disgraced Rabbi Seeks to Relaunch Career, Despite Sex Allegations

UNITED STATES
Jewish Exponent

July 17, 2008

Ben Harris
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

NEW YORK

A disgraced American rabbi with a tangled history of alleged sexual misdeeds is relaunching his career as a religious mentor and backtracking from an apparent confession he signed two years ago.

Rabbi Mordechai Gafni acknowledged his "sickness" in 2006, after several students at his Israeli institute claimed they were lured into sexual liaisons through deception and psychological manipulation. For decades, Gafni had been dogged by claims that he engaged in improper sexual activities, including allegations that he molested two teenage girls.

Now he is back with a new Web site that directly challenges the claims against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Pope visits Sydney

AUSTRALIA
ABC (The 7.30 Report)

Half a million people from here and abroad have poured into Sydney today to officially welcome the pope to Australia. For the vast majority it has been cause for celebration but for some it has been a day of disappointment.

Transcript
ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: It was a widely anticipated event and for the overwhelming majority of people who turned out for the occasion, it didn't disappoint.

This afternoon, Pope Benedict XVI delivered his first formal address to hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, gathered in Sydney for World Youth Day. ...

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Let this be the message that you bring from Sydney to the world.

SHARON O'NEILL: But for those who were hopeful the Pope would use his opening address to apologise to the victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy, there was disappointment.

CHRISTINE MACISAAC, BROKEN RITES: The Pope, not to respond, just further shows that the Catholic Church do not take this issue of sexual abuse of children by priests and brothers seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Clergy sex abuse victims urge McCain to oust adviser

WASHINGTON (DC)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference, while holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will call on Senator John McCain to dismiss a key advisor who’s been accused of sexual misconduct and apologize for giving the prominent Catholic a role on a national campaign committee. They will also publicly urge others who saw, suspected or suffered sexual misconduct by the predator to come forward, get help and call police.

WHEN: Thursday, July 17, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: On the sidewalk in front of the headquarters of The Republican National Committee at: 310 First Street in Washington DC.

WHY: Yesterday, a group called “Catholics United” called for presidential hopeful John McCain to dismiss a prominent Catholic advisor, Deal W. Hudson, from the Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee.

In 2004, Hudson resigned as Catholic outreach adviser to President George W. Bush's re-election campaign, after an independent Catholic newspaper (the National Catholic Reporter) disclosed that Hudson was accused of sexual misconduct with an 18 year old college student at Fordham University in New York in 1994. That same year, Hudson left Crisis Magazine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

PHONY ASSAULT ON DEAL HUDSON

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

July 17, 2008

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded today to a story last night by CNN’s Anderson Cooper on attempts by some Catholics to get the McCain campaign to oust Catholic author and activist Deal Hudson from the Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee:

“Anderson Cooper said last night that those opposed to Hudson were citing two reasons why he should be dumped from the McCain campaign as an advisor: Hudson ‘harassed an 18-year-old female college student 10 years earlier,’ and his ‘brokering a deal between a meeting of conservative Catholics and San Antonio mega-preacher John Hagee.’

“There is nothing Catholic about these charges. Catholics put a premium on forgiveness and reconciliation—they do not conduct vindictive campaigns of personal destruction under the guise of promoting the Catholic cause. Hudson has made several public statements of apology regarding his improper sexual encounter with a coed in 1994. What are we to do as Catholics—say it isn’t enough? Ted Kennedy belongs to Barack Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council. Should he be criticized? Certainly: I did just that when I cited his 100 percent NARAL record. What I didn’t do was cite his past sexual indiscretions, one of which left a young woman dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Parents' plea for a papal audience

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Joel Gibson
July 18, 2008

AFTER 33 hours travelling from Scotland via England, Japan and Cairns - and 20 years after the futures of their two daughters had been stolen by a serial rapist in priest's clothing - Anthony and Christina Foster landed in Sydney yesterday morning.

They were here on a mission for their late daughter, Emma.

Their faith in God had disappeared, Mr Foster said, since they learnt a five-year-old Emma was repeatedly raped at a Melbourne Catholic primary school by a serial abuser of 50 years named Father Kevin O'Donnell.

They later learnt her sister, Katie, had been raped by the same priest at the same school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Catholic church easy target for bigots

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt

July 18, 2008 12:00am
THE reporter on the ABC's 7.30 Report sounded sad. The Catholic Church couldn't find enough men keen to be priests, she sighed.

Gosh. Wondered why? Then check, say, the reports the ABC's Lateline ran to welcome the Pope and thousand of Catholic pilgrims to Sydney.

"Exclusive documents reveal church ignored abuse allegations", "New evidence in church abuse case", "Broken Rites president joins Lateline", "Demonstrators oppose Catholic Church policies", "Father of assault victims to visit Pope".

And so on.

Hmm. Now why aren't more Australians joining up to be vilified?

It hardly needs saying that I despise pedophiles and rapists. But even as a non-Christian, I smell bigotry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

A Matter of Justice

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish • Reader Submitted • July 16, 2008

Where is the world is John A. Di Mondi coming from?

Perhaps various denominational leaders would have us believe that the sexual abuse problems affecting their churches today is an American problem, a result of Woodstock or the permissiveness of the people living in Massachusetts.

Some churchmen have actually said as much nationally and internationally since 2002.

However, inflammatory rhetoric is just what is not needed if justice and compassion are the goals both of societal and religious institutions.

Why, one should ask, when the rape of children is addressed, is the pursuit of justice labeled a "witch hunt" or do children simply have no civil rights? The latter really appears to be Di Mondi's thinking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Diocese failed to follow protocol

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese failed in 1993 to follow its own protocol for dealing with priests suspected of sexual abuse, its former lawyer told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Wednesday.

Jacques Leduc had been retained by the diocese to help negotiate a settlement with David Silmser after the one-time altar boy at St. Columban's Church accused Rev. Charles MacDonald of sexually abusing him in the 1960s and 1970s.

Leduc, 57, testified that a press release the diocese issued in January 1994, after the story of Silmser's $32,000 settlement hit the national media, was inaccurate.

The church's protocol was breached twice, said Leduc: no one was designated to take Silmser's complaint to the Children's Aid Society, nor did the diocese generate a written report on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Sex abuse victims 'denied proper compensation'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
July 18, 2008

MELBOURNE'S "unjust" system for dealing with sexual abuse had probably saved the Catholic Archdiocese more than $40 million that should have gone to victims, the father of two schoolgirls who were repeatedly raped by a priest suggested yesterday.

Anthony Foster said that only in Melbourne, under the system set up by now Sydney Archbishop George Pell, was compensation capped (at $50,000). There was no cap in the Towards Healing protocol that applied in the rest of the Catholic Church in Australia or in the civil courts.

"When we went to court — as invited to by Cardinal Pell — they settled for a much larger sum. It's all about saving money," Mr Foster said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Doubts over Pope's apology enrage sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Hannah Davies and Vincent Morello
July 18, 2008 12:00am

DOUBTS over whether Pope Benedict XVI will offer sexual abuse victims an apology have enraged Australian victims of abuse by clergymen.

The Vatican yesterday poured cold water on expectations the Pope would apologise during a World Youth Day speech.

Queenslander Eric Fleissig, 41, is the latest victim to come forward after suffering years of sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile priest.

He said the church was treating its victims with contempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Teen reports rape at church

CAMPOBELLO (SC)
Spartanburg Herald Journal

By Craig Peters
craig.peters@shj.com

CAMPOBELLO — Spartanburg County investigators are looking for a man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl last month during vacation Bible school at a church in a rural area of the county.

A 13-year-old girl has reported she was raped last month during vacation Bible school at New Pilgrim Baptist Church.The teen said a black male with very dark skin and large buck teeth with a substantial gap between them raped her about 8:30 p.m. on June 17 in the basement of New Pilgrim Baptist Church at 5040 Rainbow Lake Road, Campobello. The man is believed to be between 30 and 40 years old.

The teen said she didn't tell her mother about the incident until June 30 because she was worried she would get in trouble.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Diocese to downsize parishes Southern region

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY ERIN MOODY
STAFF WRITER
07/17/2008

In three years, there could be half as many churches in the southern region of the Diocese of Scranton, which makes up most of Luzerne County.

Under preliminary recommendations from the diocese, the southern region will go from having 72 parishes to 33 parishes three years after the plan goes into effect.

Diocese spokesman Bill Genello stressed the recommendations are preliminary and subject to change before the final approval.

The diocese had no comment on specific recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Pilgrims debate sexuality at blacklisted forum

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

By youth reporter Michael Turtle

A gay and lesbian Catholic forum that World Youth Day organisers tried to shut down has gone ahead in a different venue without official support.

The organisers of the forum had tried to have the event included in the event's Youth Festival but were told it did not fit within church policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Accused of abuse in '80s, priest may have fled

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Religion Writer

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has reported that one of its priests has probably fled to Mexico after being accused of sexually abusing several minors.

The alleged incidents involving the Rev. Jose Chavarin were committed in the 1980s in the Diocese of San Diego. But the allegations emerged only in June, according to Maury Healy, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Chavarin has been a part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco for 11 years, mostly in administrative roles.

On June 20, the Diocese of San Diego notified the Archdiocese of San Francisco about the allegations by the victims, who are now adults. Chavarin was called to meet with Archbishop George Niederauer the next day, when he denied the abuse allegations, Healy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Former Milwaukee Priest Accused of Child Abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wisconsin Public Radio

By Hannah Schtein
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
(MILWAUKEE) A Massachusetts man who says he was abused by a priest has come to Wisconsin for help.

Yesterday, Bill Nash asked Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to help remove a priest who formerly worked in the area. Nash says Father James Tully abused him in 1986 when he was a child, and continues to have access to children at his current job in Italy.

Nash is asking the Archbishop to forward Tully's criminal records to the Vatican. Nash hopes this will prompt Pope Benedict to act on his promise to remove all pedophiles from the priesthood.

"I provided him with documented evidence, including criminal records, settlements. And with that evidence, which is very clear, he should act and put the words that he spoke to the world to action," Nash said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Pope speaks out against sex, violence in the media

AUSTRALIA
Radio Australia

Pope Benedict has used his first address at World Youth Day to warn pilgrims of the dangers of sex and violence in the media.

More than 100,000 young people packed into the World Youth Day site in Australia's largest city, Sydney, to hear the Pontiff speak.

The Pope told the crowd of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, which he said threatened to corrode the good in people.

And he asked why violence and sexual exploitation were so often portrayed on television and the internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

VIDEO: Another suit for Diocese of Wilmington

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with video]

By Carl Kanefsky

A victim of childhood sexual abuse sues the Diocese of Wilmington claiming officials covered up the actions of a child abusing priest.

Sixty year old Michael Schulte says not only was he abused by Francis DeLuca when he was a teenager, but he and his parents reported the incidents to the Diocese.

Schulte reported the abuse again in 1993 and 2002, with Diocese officials encouraging him to talk to a counselor at Catholic Charities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Diocese: Vatican recommended indicted developer

NEW JERSEY
Newsday

By GEOFF MULVIHILL | Associated Press Writer
July 16, 2008

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - The Follieri Group's first call to Camden Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph A. Galante back in 2004 went unreturned.

But the next call regarding the fledgling land developer got the bishop's attention: It was from the office of the Secretary of State at the Vatican, according to the diocese.

"He was told about the work of the Follieri Group and the fact that they worked specifically with church organizations, that they did development that would benefit the community," said diocese spokesman Andrew Walton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Ex-pastor gets 40-year terms for sex assault

TEXAS
News-Journal

By RANDY ROSS

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The former pastor of a Gladewater church has been sentenced to two 40-year prison sentences for sexually assaulting two young sisters in the late 1990s.

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated about 15 minutes Wednesday before handing down the sentences for Larry Jackson, 55, who was pastor at the Gladewater Church of Christ on Main Street.

County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Alfonso Charles originally said the sentences would be served consecutively. Assistant District Attorney Jenny Huckle said she thinks the sentences will become concurrent because of the law at the time of the abuse. Charles is expected to make a decision today. Huckle said Jackson would be eligible for parole in 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Dismissal of lawsuit against two Catholic dioceses upheld

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By MARIE ROHDE
mrohde@journalsentinel.com
Posted: July 16, 2008

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against two Catholic dioceses, ruling that the Madison Diocese did not have a broad duty to warn potential future employers of a teacher’s past sexual abuse of children.

However, the court split 3-3 on whether to let the suit proceed against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, where church officials had begged parents not to report the teacher to police and promised he would be sent for treatment and not allowed to have contact with children. The tie affirms the decision to dismiss the case against the archdiocese.

The suit had been filed by five men who were victimized as children at a Catholic school in Kentucky by a teacher after he had committed similar abuses in Wisconsin in the 1960s.

The court did not decide two key issues: Whether the church has immunity from lawsuits under the First Amendment protection guarding the practice of religion and whether the statute of limitations prevents such claims to be litigated decades after the abuse, said Marcie Hamilton, a New York lawyer who argued the case for the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Don’t blame celibacy

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Catholic ethicist says retired Australian bishop wrong about cause of sexual abuse crisis

“Annoying and misleading” is what Sulpician ethicist Fr. Gerald Coleman has called a retired Australian bishop’s attempt to link celibacy with clergy sexual abuse of children.

Writing in the July 11 San Francisco archdiocesan Catholic San Francisco, Coleman, the former rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park and currently the vice president for ethics for the Daughters of Charity Health System, challenged Geoffrey Robinson, a former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia. In May, Cardinal Roger Mahony forbade Robinson to speak in the Los Angeles archdiocese, as did Bishop Tod Brown in the Diocese of Orange and Robert Brom of the San Diego diocese. Robinson ignored his fellow bishops.

Robinson has recently completed a speaking tour on his book, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, in which he calls for a reexamination of Church teachings on extramarital sex, women’s ordination, homosexuality, and papal power in order to properly respond to sex abuse by clergy. Robinson formerly headed the Australian bishops’ conference’s committee that drew up policy to respond to sexual abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Diocese erred: lawyer

CANADA
Peterborough Examiner

By THE CANADIAN PRESS
An eastern Ontario Catholic diocese failed in 1993 to follow its own protocol for dealing with priests suspected of sexual abuse, its former lawyer told a Cornwall public inquiry yesterday.

Jacques Leduc had been retained by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese to help negotiate a settlement with David Silmser after the former altar boy accused Rev. Charles MacDonald of sexually abusing him in the 1960s and 1970s.

Leduc said the diocese breached its protocol twice: no one was designated to take Silmser's complaint to the Children's Aid Society, nor did the diocese generate a written report on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Bishop Fischer’s comments on sex abuse case criticized, cardinal responds

AUSTRALIA
Catholic News Agency

Sydney, Jul 16, 2008 / 09:42 pm (CNA).- Bishop Anthony Fisher, the auxiliary bishop of Sydney and coordinator of World Youth Day, is under fire for his remarks about World Youth Day being overshadowed by “old wounds” related to clerical sexual abuse. Cardinal Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, has responded to the situation by repeating his apology about the case in question.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports that when asked about the Church’s response to the crimes of Father Kevin O'Donnell in Melbourne, Bishop Fisher responded:

“Happily, I think most of Australia was enjoying delighting in the beauty and goodness of these young people and the hope - the hope for us doing these sorts of things better in the future - as we saw last night, rather than, than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Raped girls' 'disgusted' parents land at WYD

AUSTRALIA
ABC Melbourne

A couple whose daughters were raped by a Catholic priest while they were in primary school has arrived in Sydney to try to meet with the Pope, "disgusted" by comments made by the head of World Youth Day.

Anthony and Christine Foster have travelled 33 hours from London, hoping to urge the pontiff to not just apologise to sex abuse victims but to reform the way the Catholic Church deals with them.

Two of the Fosters' three daughters were raped by abusive priest Father Kevin O'Donnell at a Melbourne primary school.

One daughter, Emma Foster, committed suicide at the age of 26 in January after suffering from anorexia and drug abuse.

Her younger sister, Katherine Foster, turned to alcohol and now needs 24-hour care after being hit by a car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Alleged abuse victim denied audience with Pope

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Evan Schwarten | July 17, 2008 - 3:03PM

A man allegedly subjected to repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest says he is devastated that church leaders have rejected his request to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.

Mackay resident Eric Fleissig, 41, who was allegedly abused for two years while at a Catholic youth refuge at Tweed Heads, in northern NSW, first requested a meeting with the pontiff in March last year.

However, yesterday he received an email from the office of Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell advising him his request to meet the Pope, who is in Australia for World Youth Day, had been denied.

"It's just devastating. Absolutely and utterly devastating," he told AAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Final settlement not read, lawyer admits

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

Neco Cockburn, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008
A former lawyer for the Alexandria-Cornwall Catholic diocese says he should have reviewed a settlement between religious officials and a former altar boy who alleged he had been sexually abused by a priest before he passed the agreement along to his client.

Jacques Leduc told a public inquiry that he did not read the final copy of the $32,000 non-disclosure agreement, which included an illegal undertaking that prevented complainant David Silmser from pursuing criminal charges against Rev. Charles MacDonald.

Mr. Leduc said he told Father MacDonald's lawyer, Malcolm MacDonald, who drafted the document, that he should exclude references to criminal actions. But after the final document was signed in September 1993, Mr. Leduc claimed he handed it over, unopened, to a church official.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

The Pope

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

Nick Bryant

The Pope in Australia. So much to talk about. So much to blog about.

I thought by now that I would be reporting on the first arrests under those highly-contentious special regulations brought in for Catholic World Youth Day, which threatened hefty fines for annoying or causing inconvenience to a pilgrim. They made an offence of causing offence.

Secretly, I'd rather hoped that the police would carry out a dawn raid on the surf school at Bondi that has been offering "walk on water" lessons for visiting pilgrims. But those killjoys at the federal court have spoiled all our fun, by ruling that the special laws brought in by the New South Wales parliament impinge of the right of free speech. Who would have thought it? ...

But it's the headlines that arouse anger rather than amusement which are impossible to ignore. Earlier this week, I wrote about the sexual abuse scandal that threatened to overshadow this event, but since then there have been fresh allegations against Cardinal George Pell's handling of it.

They came from Anthony Foster, whose daughters were raped repeatedly over five years by a Melbourne parish priest, Kevin O'Donnell, while they were at primary school. Emma Foster never recovered and, after years of drug abuse, committed suicide earlier this year at the age of 26. His sister, Katherine, developed a dependency on alcohol before being hit by a drunk driver and left physically and mentally disabled. She now requires 24-hour care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Scrap sex abuse program - priest

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

July 17, 2008 07:30pm
THE Catholic Church should scrap its program to investigate sex abuse within the church because victims have been denied justice, a maverick Sydney priest says.

Father Chris Riley, who heads Youth Off The Streets, a Sydney welfare service that assists homeless, drug addicted and abused young people, said the Towards Healing program hurt the church's credibility and meant victims often did not have their day in court.

He told the Nine Network tonight that any family confronted with sexual abuse should go straight to the police and have the matter dealt with in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Rudd: Catholic church should react to sexual abuse by clergy

AUSTRALIA
The Journal of Turkish Weekly (Turkey)

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Thursday the Catholic Church should react to every case of sexual abuse by clergy, reports AFP.

"It is important that the church reacts in every single case of sexual abuse, perpetrated by clergymen", stated the PM.

Pope Benedict XVI attends the catholic church youth festival in Australia, where he is to voice his stance on the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

DELAWARE: Diocese faces eighth sex-abuse lawsuit

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • July 17, 2008

A 60-year-old Virginia man Wednesday filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington -- the eighth person to allege he was sexually abused by the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca.

Michael Schulte, who was an altar boy at St. John the Beloved Church in Milltown, says DeLuca abused him twice in 1961 and 1962, when he was 13 to 14 years old. The suit, which names the church as a co-defendant, says the abuse contributed to numerous problems in Schulte's life, including alcohol abuse, two failed marriages, depression, anxiety and other mental-health issues.

With Schulte's suit, filed in Kent County Superior Court, victims have claimed abuses by DeLuca covering a 45-year span, from 1961-2006. In the most recent case, DeLuca was arrested in Syracuse and convicted of abusing a teenage relative there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

July 16, 2008

Jury out in priest's rape trial

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

July 17, 2008 11:21am

A JURY has retired to consider its verdict at the trial of a Catholic priest and dormitory master accused of raping and indecently assaulting boys.

Father Paul Raymond Evans has pleaded not guilty in the New South Wales District Court to 20 charges involving seven boys between 1977 and 1988.

Father Evans, a member of the Catholic order the Salesians of Don Bosco, is accused of 10 counts of homosexual intercourse by a teacher, eight counts of indecent assault and two acts of indecency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Father questions Bishop's credibility

AUSTRALIA
The Age

July 17, 2008 - 11:17AM

The father of two girls repeatedly raped by a Melbourne priest has questioned the credibility of Bishop Anthony Fisher and his role in the Catholic church and World Youth Day (WYD).

Bishop Fisher, who is WYD coordinator, on Wednesday said media attention paid to the abuse of sisters Emma and Katherine Foster was detracting from the positivity of the massive Catholic youth festival under way in Sydney.

"I think most of Australia was enjoying, delighting in the beauty and goodness of these young people ... rather than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds," he said. ...

Mr Foster said the fact Bishop Fisher's comments came in direct response to questions about his family took them "from outrageous to disgusting, given that our daughter only died six months ago".

"It's incredibly insensitive," he told AAP.

"I really wonder about the credibility of the man to hold the position he does both in the church and in World Youth Day."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

I am a Catholic Boy

MARYLAND
The Sentinel

By Brian J. Karem

I'm redeemed through pain and not through joy.

At least according to the Jim Carroll Band and their song "Catholic Boy" that's the fate of those raised Catholic.

It seems appropriate considering the news of late.

It's not that we of the Catholic faith must once again moan as allegations of abuse are made against a priest - such as the recent allegations in Germantown. It isn't that the archdiocese didn't know about the priest, nor is it the fact that it appears the priest was shuffled from parish to parish across the country. ...

One day I found myself walking in lower Manhattan with a lobbyist for NAMBLA - the North American Man/Boy Love Association who was trying to convince me that the age of consent laws should be lowered so he could legally engage in physical relations with extremely young children.

I cringe almost as much now thinking about it as I did then when I interviewed the man. In retrospect it may have been one of the most important interviews I ever conducted.

Why? Because I came to learn something the Catholic Church should know and something we all should remember. Priests do not become pedophiles.

Pedophiles become priests. They also become teachers and coaches and anything else that will put them in close contact with our children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 PM

Accounts of victims heard in abuse case

AUSTRALIA
The Manly Daily

17 July 2008

A TEENAGER burned down his house and had to live on the streets after his father laughed at claims he was sexually abused by a former Collaroy Plateau priest, a court has heard.

Paul Raymond Evans, a former priest at St Rose of Lima church at Collaroy Plateau, has pleaded not guilty to 20 serious child sex charges allegedly committed against seven boys in his care.

During a five-week trial the Sydney District Court has heard the alleged abuse occurred during the '70s and '80s while they were pupils at Boys' Town at Engadine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Accused chaplain, priest have ties to same church

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WCNC

[with video]

By MARIO ROLDAN / WCNC
E-mail Mario: MRoldan@WCNC.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A former Boy Scouts chaplain accused of child pornography spent time at the same south Charlotte church where a former priest is accused of molesting a teen.

“How much contact the two may have had is impossible for me to say,” said David Haines with the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte.

Charles Knight, 62, is accused of having child porn on his home computer.

"I'm a gentle person. Please let's not make this any worse," said Knight Tuesday while denying the charges against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Youth Day coordinator 'misspoke on abuse'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video and audio]

World Youth Day organisers say comments made by the event's coordinator about victims of sexual abuse do not represent his true attitude, as the Vatican casts doubt on whether the Pope will offer them a full apology.

Bishop Anthony Fisher yesterday said some people were "dwelling crankily on old wounds", in response to fresh criticism about how the Catholic Church handles abuse by the clergy.

The remarks enraged advocates for sex abuse victims.

Bishop Fisher was referring to the case of two sisters who were repeatedly raped by abusive priest Father Kevin O'Donnell in Melbourne while they were in primary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Pope Benedict XVI praises Australia's 'courage' for apologizing to Aborigines for past wrongs

AUSTRALIA
International Herald Tribune (France)

The Associated Press
Published: July 17, 2008

SYDNEY, Australia: Pope Benedict XVI praised the Australian government Thursday for its "courageous' apology to the country's indigenous Aborigines for past injustices, saying it offered hope to all the world's disadvantaged peoples.

The remarks came in the pope's first public appearance on a 10-day visit to Australia to lead the Roman Catholic church's youth festival, which has drawn more than 200,000 pilgrims to Sydney from across the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Abuse comments were 'aimed at media'

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

July 17, 2008 10:08am

A CATHOLIC bishop accused of making insensitive comments about sex abuse victims was referring to the media, not victims, when he said some people were "dwelling crankily ... on old wounds", World Youth Day organisers say.

WYD coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher, questioned yesterday about the case of two girls raped by a priest, criticised those "dwelling crankily....on old wounds".

The remarks angered sex abuse victims groups and the parents of Emma and Katherine Foster, who were sexually assaulted by a Melbourne priest while in primary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Yes, the Vatican Is Still Scarred By The Sex-Abuse Scandals

Digital Journal (Canada)

After several months since Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States, the Vatican is still plagued with the scars of the sex-abuse scandals.

For the early part of 2008, the Vatican has been scarred with the reports of sex abuse within the American Catholic clergy. During his first-ever visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI spent the time to meet with the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy.

Benedict explained that such scandals have hurt the Catholic Church. Even though this was several months ago, the Vatican is still plagued with those scandals. It is safe to say that the Catholic Church will be scarred for a very long time. The scars are so great that they were resent at its World Youth Day celebration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Fisher cranky over critics

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Published: July 17, 2008
WYD Coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher has stirred up a hornet's nest with comments criticising people concerned with clerical abuse for "dwelling crankily on old wounds".

The Age reports Bishop Fisher, made the remarks in response to questions about two Melbourne women who were repeatedly raped by priest Kevin O'Donnell when they were pupils at Sacred Heart Primary School in Oakleigh from 1988 to 1993.

The case was detailed on ABC's Lateline on Tuesday, but Bishop Fisher told the World Youth Day daily media briefing that he had not seen the program. ...

Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning Herald reports Bishop Geoffrey Robinson who set up the Church's Towards Healing system for helping sexual abuse victims said Bishop Fisher would be "deeply regretting having said those words by [this] morning … if he actually said them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

First Nations leader says Pope might eventually apologize to Cdn natives

CANADA
The Canadian Press

QUEBEC — The head of the Assembly of First Nations says there is a possibility the Pope could eventually apologize for the poor treatment of aboriginals in residential schools in Canada.

The schools, which were run by religious orders, were federally funded and aimed at assimilating natives. AFN chief Phil Fontaine admits such an apology would not be easy for Pope Benedict XVI to make.

Speaking to reporters in Quebec City, he said work would first have to be done with the clergy across the country to determine if such action is possible.

<