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August 31, 2008

Walk Across Oregon

OREGON
Compassionate Gathering

Tentative Itinerary for Walk Across Oregon

Monday, September 1 -- Day 1: Ashland towards Medford. Walkers in Ashland include Virginia Jones and an anonymous mother of two survivors.

We will start on Ashland Street by Albertsons at 8 AM and walk to Siskiyou Boulevard to Triangle Park. We will be at Triangle Park at 9:30 AM. Then we will proceed along Highway 99/South Riverside Drive towards Medford. We will rest at Annie’s Cafe at 723 Main Street in Phoenix at 4 PM.

Tuesday, September 2 -- Day 2: Through Medford on Old 99 to Blackwell Road to Gold Hill. We will be at Mellelo Coffee at 205 S. Central Avenue in Medford at 9 AM.

Wednesday, September 3 -- Day 3: Gold Hill to Rogue River on Old 99. We will be at Patti’s Kitchen on 175 2nd Avenue in Gold Hill at 9 AM.

Thursday, September 4 -- Day 4: Rogue River to Grants Pass on Old 99. We will be at the junction where Rogue River Highway meets Depot Street at 8 AM.

Friday, September 5 -- Day 5: Canyonville segment on Old 99. We will be at Oregon Sunshine Espresso at 340 N. Main Street in Canyonville at 8 AM. Myrtle Creek segment on Old 99. We will be at Suzies at 920 Old Pacific Highway in Myrtle Creek at 3 PM.

Saturday, September 6 -- Day 6: We will start where Old Highway 99 branches off of I-5 and walk through Dillard to Winston. We will be at Sister’s Cafe at 60 SE Main Street in Winston at 4 PM. Virginia Jones is available to speak with the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Church moves to abide by Catholic rules

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

There has been a show of compromise today at a Brisbane church that has been threatened with closure for being out of step with the Roman Catholic Church.

For the first time in many years, St Mary's Church in South Brisbane has used an approved eucharistic prayer and the priest wore an alb and stole during today's mass.

Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby had warned the community of St Mary's that it is not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church if it does not abide by the church rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Pell defends handling of sexual misconduct case

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell has defended his handling of sexual misconduct allegations involving a senior Catholic priest.

Cardinal Pell says he referred sexual misconduct allegations against the priest, Father John Fleming, to the church's internal investigations unit.

Father Fleming, a former high profile Adelaide priest, was appointed to a top teaching job at a Catholic college in Sydney's west.

Father Fleming is now under police investigation over allegations he had sexual relations with a teenage girl in the 1970s, while with the Anglican church in Adelaide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Hands off St Mary’s Church!

AUSTRALIA
Green Left

Paul Benedek, Brisbanet
30 August 2008

“Archbishop [John] Bathersby must have solved all Brisbane problems of homelessness, of abuse, of refugees … if he wants to focus on such idiotic matters”, a St Mary’s parishioner told a 500-strong packed gathering at the South Brisbane church on August 25 in response to the archbishop’s threat to shut the popular, progressive parish down.

The meeting followed Bathersby declaring, in a letter to parish priest Father Peter Kennedy, that St Mary’s was operating outside acceptable Catholic Church practices and policies — complaining of “unorthodox masses” and that “the hierarchical authority of the Church” was not being respected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Fleming 'sickened' by sexual misconduct allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Father John Fleming, a Catholic priest who is the subject of sexual misconduct allegations, has released a public statement denying any wrongdoing.

Father Fleming says he has never been the subject of a police investigation and is shocked and sickened by the allegations of three people in the Sunday press.

Father Fleming, who was a well-known Anglican priest in Adelaide before converting to Catholicism, denies ever engaging in sexual or other inappropriate behaviour with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

NH Bishop McCormack recovering from heart surgery

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WCAX

Associated Press - August 30, 2008 11:55 AM ET

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Roman Catholic Bishop John McCormack is recovering from heart bypass surgery.

The bishop was operated on Friday and the diocese says he is doing well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

No place for faith in classrooms

IRELAND
The Times (United Kingdom)

Matt Cooper
Emboldened perhaps by the weakness of the political establishment in the wake of the Lisbon referendum and the distraction caused by the imploding economy, the Catholic church has been flexing its once-powerful muscles.

First we had Cardinal Sean Brady’s claim that the rejection of Lisbon could be attributed to public dissatisfaction with the secularism of the European project — a contentious claim, to put it mildly. Now the Catholic church is pressurising the state on educational provision, subtly making a claim to re-establish its special status in this area. ...

The 2002 deal struck with the Catholic church on the compensation it should pay to victims of its abuse was brokered in almost scandalous secrecy and on terms that were highly favourable to the guilty party. While Ahern showed himself well able to respect those of different religious faiths north of the border, he was always cognisant of his Catholicism in his legislative and political actions in the south. Would he have pushed the divorce referendum had he been taoiseach in 1995, for example?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

A talk with Sister Camille D'Arienzo

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
August 31, 2008

FORGIVENESS HAS ALWAYS been one of those concepts that vexes Christians.

Central to Christian identity, it is described in the Lord's Prayer - "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" - recited by Catholics and Protestants alike.

But each time there is a horrible crime - the Holocaust, Sept. 11 - religious thinkers are confronted with the question of just what it means to be forgiving.

Two years ago, the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., jolted theologians with a startling real-life example of what it means to take forgiveness seriously, when they publicly forgave the shooter who gunned down five Amish schoolgirls.

Now comes a Catholic nun, Sister Camille D'Arienzo, who is intentionally touching off a new debate about the role of forgiveness in Christendom by asking whether it is time to discuss forgiveness for clergy sexual abusers. D'Arienzo, 75, is a former elementary school teacher and college professor who for a time served as the president of her community, the Brooklyn region of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and as the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. She has been a commentator on Catholic issues who appears weekly on WINS radio in New York; she is also an outspoken critic of capital punishment and the spiritual director to a man on death row in Indiana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Diocese settles abuse claims

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Tom Mooney
Journal Staff Writer

Three lingering cases of alleged priest sex abuse that forced the Diocese of Providence to open some of its decades-old secret files concerning allegations of clergy misconduct have been settled in principle, a lawyer says.

And a fourth case, filed by two sisters on behalf of their dead brother, has also reached agreement in the last several weeks.

Pending court approvals, the four plaintiffs or their estates will split a settlement offer from the diocese of $1,326,000. The individual payoffs range between $100,000 and $400,000 each, said Carl DeLuca, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Paquette's therapist a child molester, lawsuit says

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 31, 2008

A church therapist hired by the state's Roman Catholic diocese to treat the Rev. Edward Paquette for fondling boys in Burlington in the 1970s was himself a child molester, according to court papers on file in Massachusetts.

The therapist, the Rev. Thomas Kane of Whitinsville, Mass., engaged in sex acts with an Uxbridge, Mass., boy for nine years, beginning in 1968 and ending in 1977, a lawsuit filed by Kane's alleged victim said.

At the time of the alleged sexual abuse, Kane was executive director of the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville, where Paquette was sent to be treated in 1974 after the Vermont diocese learned he had molested two boys in Rutland.

There is no evidence that then Bishop John Marshall or church officials in Vermont and elsewhere knew of Kane's alleged sexual misconduct with the Uxbridge boy in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Must Read: The Tenth Circle

Voice from the Desert

The Tenth Circle

By Vinnie Nauheimer

While heading back to his office from lunch, Charlie took notice of the truck making a delivery to Joe’s Deli. Not because it was out of the ordinary, but because there were several boxes precariously perched on the edge of the side door and they were swaying in the strong March breeze. The next thing Charlie saw was a young boy about five or six years old walking past him. The kid was doing a balancing act while walking along the edge of the curb. Just as the boy walked under the boxes, a strong gust of wind blew and the boxes started on their descent to the sidewalk. ...

[excerpt]

Dante told Charlie that it was God’s will that his question be answered and the time was near. Virgil cautioned him to hold onto Innocence’s hand for only Innocence could protect him from the horror he was about to witness. Charlie looked down at Innocence and patted the little hand that rested snugly in his own. At the same time, he felt the incredible strength that flowed from the child to him. Suddenly Charlie and his guides were in the depths of hell. Without being told, Charlie knew they were in the ninth circle. The Circle reserved for the souls who were fraudulent against those to whom they were given a special trust.

“It is here that we will find the priests who have violated children over the centuries”, said Dante.

“Why weren’t they mentioned in the Inferno?” asked Charlie.

Dante replied, “It wasn’t time. The Comedy was written to legitimize the church, not offend it”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

G-G felt sorry for disgraced predecessor

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 31, 2008 - 10:32AM

Outgoing Governor-General Michael Jeffery has expressed sympathy for his predecessor, who left office under a cloud after failing to sack a pedophile priest.

Major General Jeffery, who leaves office this week after five years in the top job, said he felt sorry for former governor-general and Anglican archbishop Peter Hollingworth.

"I'm on the public record frequently saying how saddened I was for Dr Hollingworth and his wife," Major-General Jeffery told Sky News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Catholic Church appoints QC to investigate claims against priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church in Adelaide has appointed a senior QC to investigate allegations against a prominent priest.

In a statement the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, says he has asked Father John Fleming to return to Adelaide from Sydney where he works at a Catholic college.

It is understood the police are looking into allegations dating back to the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Rhode Island Catholic diocese reaches settlement in four abuse suits

RHODE ISLAND
Jurist

Steve Czajkowski

[JURIST] The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence [official website] reached a settlement agreement Friday with four claimants who say they were abused by priests [JURIST news archive] several decades ago and that church officials had taken steps to cover up previous allegations of abuse. Christopher Young, Donald Leighton, Marc G. Banville, and two sisters of a fourth unnamed man who has died, agreed to settle their lawsuits for a total of $1.3 million. Young, Leighton, and Banville filed their claims in 2003 after they failed to reach a settlement with the diocese in 2002, when it settled [NY Times report] the claims of 36 others who said they were victims of molestation for $13.5 million. The men alleged that they were abused by three different priests on different occasions from the 1970's through the 1980's. The Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin [official profile], and diocese officials deny any misconduct in connection with the settlement. AP has more. The Providence Journal has local coverage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Join the Campaign to Restore Simplicity

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

The Campaign to Restore Simplicity

Background: For the past decades, Roman Catholic dioceses across the country have been closing parishes and schools, cutting programs and services and reducing their commitment to local parishes. Some of these reductions have been spurred by lawsuits and settlements for clergy sexual abuse crimes. Because the church’s financial holdings and finances remain largely a mystery to parishioners, we are left wondering whether these reductions were necessary and how much more Catholics will be asked to contribute to maintain the status quo. At the same time that parishioners receive fewer services, the church’s hierarchy has imposed no such sacrificial requirements on its own - the bishops. Lavish residences, wine cellars, personal cooks, maids and drivers are still the norm for many bishops and cardinals. How can an institution that is financed through voluntary contributions indulge its hierarchy as it asks those donors to dig deeper into their pockets to fund the comfortable (even opulent) lifestyles of its leaders?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

August 30, 2008

Preview: Watch City of Angels next week for our take on Cardinal George deposition

CHICAGO (IL)
City of Angels

"I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" --Renault. Casablanca, 1942. . .Sounds eerily like a certain church hierarch answering yet another question from Jeff Anderson in a deposition last January.

Deposition of Cardinal George strutinized and analyzed in an upcoming post at City of Angels Network.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Pastor cries foul at IRS investigation

BROOKLYN PARK (MN)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
August 29, 2008
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — The pastor of one of Minnesota's largest churches said an IRS investigation into his ministry's finances is "politically motivated."

Rev. Mac Hammond is recognizable to a wide audience through Sunday morning TV broadcasts of his services at Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park.

Hammond wrote in a letter to congregants that "enemies of the gospel" are behind the inquiry. He preaches the prosperity gospel, which says that God wants his faithful followers to be rewarded spiritually and financially.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Winnipeg man who kidnapped alleged molesters with sword spared jail

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

James Turner , Winnipeg Free Press
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008
WINNIPEG - A member of a small Sikh sect who claims he was repeatedly sexually abused for years by priests at a Winnipeg temple has been spared jail time after kidnapping two of his alleged abusers while armed with a sword.

The 26-year-old, who pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible confinement and a single count of assault causing bodily harm, was sentenced Tuesday to a suspended sentence and a year of supervised probation for his crimes.

The incident dates back to December 2006, when the man entered the Gurdawara Nanaksar Sikh temple in an effort to confront the priests there for allegedly sexually abusing him for as many as seven years up until he was 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Read Richard's story

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
August 31, 2008 12:30am
VULNERABLE and confused about his sexuality, Richard confided in Father John Fleming.

He expected guidance from a man he held "in awe", but instead ended up in a sexual relationship with the popular priest.

The relationship, which included encounters in Father Fleming's St Mark's College flat, on Anglican camps and later in the carpark of Father Fleming's then parish at Plympton, spanned six years.

While it started in 1975 prior to Father Fleming's marriage and continued after it, the relationship ceased while Father Fleming went overseas for several years in the late 1970s.

After Richard and his wife were married by Father Fleming in 1980, his relationship with him resumed – ending when Richard confided in another Anglican priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Read Jenny's story

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
August 31, 2008 12:30am
JENNY had just one sexual encounter with Father John Fleming, but it has had a profound effect on her life.

When she was aged 17, she went to Father Fleming's Anglican Church-supplied house at North Adelaide seeking counselling after a family argument.

A rebellious teenager who often clashed with her mother, she had on many occasions sought his advice, counsel and reassurance after meeting him at an Anglican youth group in the early 1970s.

But on that day in 1974, what started out as a questionable shoulder massage at Father Fleming's request, ended in a sexual experience.

The act, which is detailed in her police statement, left her feeling stunned. In later years this would turn to anger as the effects of the encounter continued to impact on her life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Read Jane's story

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
August 30, 2008 12:30am
JANE kept her secret for more than 25 years. A sexual liaison with Father John Fleming irreversibly affected not just her formative adolescent years, but also her adulthood.

When she finally took the step in 2000 to tell the Anglican Church what had happened, she had no idea what lay ahead.

Although she said it affirmed what had occurred was illegal, she was advised to contact the Catholic Church because Father Fleming was no longer employed by them.

Her interview with the Catholic Church was a body blow.

"Wasn't he just being inappropriate?" she was asked by a church official.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Father John Fleming involved in sexual misconduct claims

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

[with links to victim statements]

NIGEL HUNT
August 31, 2008 12:30am
EXCLUSIVE: ONE of South Australia's best-known priests was appointed to a prestigious Catholic teaching position despite the church being aware of serious allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Father John Fleming is being investigated by the police Pedophile Task Force over allegations he was sexually involved with a teenage girl in the 1970s.

Detectives have also taken statements from another woman and a man who were allegedly sexually involved with Father Fleming after seeking counselling from him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Answers at last

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

There was never any doubt that the testimony of former Bishop Eugene LaRocque at the Cornwall Public Inquiry would draw attention. After all, he was the man who led the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese between 1974 and 2002, a period of time when many claims were made of improprieties by priests.

Despite the expectations, and misgivings for others, a number of the revelations made by LaRocque can only be described as stunning.

Over his eight days on the stand the inquiry heard that LaRocque had brought into the fold a priest convicted of sexual abuse in the U. S., ignored church protocol when dealing with a claim of impropriety and signed a $32,000 deal that kept an abuse victim from going to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Ex-Hosanna pastor: Confession forced

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Aug 30, 2008 - Page: 1B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — Former Hosanna Church pastor Louis D. Lamonica told a Tangipahoa Parish jury Friday that he falsely confessed to child rape because he thought it would be the only way to get his wife and children back.

Lamonica, 49, of Hammond, is on trial in the 21st Judicial District Court on four counts of aggravated rape of his sons when they were age 11 or younger. Seven church members were indicted in 2005 on charges of molesting children. Lamonica is the second among them to go on trial.

Lamonica’s attorney, Michael Thiel, maintained in questioning his client Friday that Lamonica falsely confessed to child rape because he was being controlled by a woman who claimed to be a prophet of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Muncie pastor faces sexual abuse lawsuit

MUNCIE (IN)
Star Press

By DOUGLAS WALKER • dwalker@muncie.gannett.com • August 30, 2008

MUNCIE -- A couple and their five children have filed a lawsuit against a Muncie pastor, his church and Ontario Systems, where he also works, alleging the clergyman sexually abused the children.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Delaware Circuit Court 1, targets Matthew Kidd, pastor at Freedom Point Apostolic Church (formerly known as the United Pentecostal Church), 6460 E. Jackson St.

Named as defendants along with Kidd and Ontario Systems, where Kidd works as a product director, are the national and state organizations of the United Pentecostal Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Bishop wanted to 'punch' priest convicted of sex abuse

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By DAVID NESSETH, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Present day Bishop Paul-André Durocher took the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Friday to explain his transition into a diocese wrought with scandal.

Durocher, who was coming from Sault Ste. Marie at the time in 2002, shared his thoughts on learning of the local child sex abuse allegations and how as the new Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall he dealt with established diocesan policies on the subject.

"So what was your sense of the whole thing . . . ?" asked Inquiry Commissioner Normand Glaude about Durocher's perusal of a file by Father Gilles Deslauriers, who was convicted on 11 counts of gross indecency and other sexual misconduct in 1986.

"My first reaction was that I wanted to go punch this guy in the face," Durocher responded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

August 29, 2008

Clergy in crisis: Forget Father Ted... Ireland is running out of priests

IRELAND
The Independent (United Kingdom)

Saturday, 30 August 2008

When the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, solemnly ordained this year's crop of new priests in his diocese last month, he called them all by their first names.

This did not involve any great feat of memory on his part since there were, after all, only three of them. Michael, Richard and Dan are the only newly ordained priests for Dublin's million-plus Catholics.

The tiny number is an ominous indication that Ireland, which once exported Catholic clergy around the world, is running out of priests. The manpower crisis for the Irish church is one which may well change its fundamental character. A new order is taking shape in which congregations will be sharing power with an ageing, shrinking priesthood. The faithful are now being invited not simply to be passively supportive, but to help rescue a church in deep trouble. This will represent a huge change for a country which the Rev Ian Paisley used to denounce as "priest-ridden".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

RI diocese pays $1.3M to settle abuse claims

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will pay $1.3 million to four people who claimed they were abused by priests, lawyers said Friday.

The settlements were reached in June and will go to the victims or their estates, said attorney James Murphy, who represented the church.

Three men -- Marc Banville, Donald Leighton and Christopher Young -- sued the diocese starting in 2003 alleging they were abused as children by Roman Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

San Fran radio host faces 7-year sentence for child porn

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
WorldNetDaily

By Drew Zahn
WorldNetDaily

A San Francisco radio host billed by his station as the "Lion of the Left" was sentenced yesterday to seven years of prison on a charge of e-mailing images of child pornography.

Bernie Ward, a former Catholic priest who is now married with four children, hosted a Sunday radio program called "God Talk" on San Francisco-area radio station KGO-AM 810 and another program on weeknights devoted to news and politics. According to several reports, Ward earned his "Lion of the Left" nickname for his outspoken and staunchly liberal viewpoints.

Ward came under FBI investigation last year after a woman with whom he exchanged sexually explicit Internet messages called police, reporting that Ward had sent her a photograph of children engaged in a sex act.

Bay Area television station KTVU-TV reported the FBI used 19 transcribed pages of Ward's conversation with the woman and a search of Ward's computer records in their investigation, leading to the discovery of dozens of child pornography photos. The Associated Press reported some of the images were of children as young as three, while others portrayed masochistic scenes of children bound and gagged. The transcripts also revealed that Ward confessed being sexually aroused by his own children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Facing up to past sins

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

One of the prayers in the Catholic Church asks forgiveness for the sinful things people do, and also what they fail to do. Perhaps jurors in the James Wisniewski civil lawsuit were thinking about that prayer when they awarded him $5 million in damages -- $2.4 million in actual damages, and $2.6 million in punitive damages.

The actual damages may be for lasting effects of the sexual abuse Wisniewski suffered when he was a child at the hands of the Rev. Raymond Kownacki. The punitive damages may be for the abuse of power by the diocesan hierarchy. Rather than call the police or remove Kownacki from the ministry to protect Wisniewski and other children, they moved Kownacki from parish to unsuspecting parish. The jury also ruled the diocese fraudulently concealed the records of the abuse.

This trial makes the Catholic Church and its priests look bad. But most priests are good -- men who have never abused a child and who are also appalled with the hierarchy's failure to protect children. Those priests need the public's support now more than ever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

North Texas Episcopal priest suspended

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

10:22 AM Fri, Aug 29, 2008
Sam Hodges
A North Texas Episcopal priest has been suspended over allegations that he engaged in "conduct unbecoming of a priest."

The Rev. Keith Roberson had been leading both Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Terrell and St. Justin's Episcopal Church in Canton.

Bishop James Stanton of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas said allegations against Father Roberson at the Terrell church triggered a 90-day suspension. A diocesan committee will investigate, assisted by a lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Go Help the Saints this Weekend

SANTA ANA (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
August 29, 2008 7:56 AM

Since we're all staycationing this Labor Day weekend, make yourself useful and show up to Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in SanTana. That's where SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) members will be leafleting outside from 9 a.m. through 11 p.m. to protest the kid's-glove treatment of convicted boy molester Father Luis Eduardo Ramirez. The SNAP people know it's going to be an ugly scene, being Our Lady of the Pillar parishioners sent more than 2,000 letters of support to Ramirez's presiding judge and the church is almost all-Mexican, and Mexican Catholics are the biggest sheep in the Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandal after Mater Dei grads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

The Bruce Ritter case

NEW YORK
Dyneslines

The other night while strolling with a friend in midtown Manhattan I chanced to pass by Covenant House, a charitable institution that helps runaway youths. I remembered that I had once given money to the institution, before the disgrace that enveloped its founder, Rev. Bruce Ritter, in 1989-90. As this affair was a precursor of the pedophile scandals that have since rocked the Catholic church in America, it is worth reviewing the circumstances.

A member of the Franciscan order, Rev. (John) Bruce Ritter (1927-1999) began a one-man outreach to homeless youth in Manhattan’s East Village during the “flower-child” era of the 1960s. To further his work he founded Covenant House in 1968. At its height, Covenant House operated in fifteen cities with a $90,000,000 budget, reputedly spending three times what the federal government did on runaways. Father Ritter's work was held in high esteem by the public, the news media, a multitude of donors, and by president George H. W. Bush, who cited it as one of his "thousand points of light." Father Ritter himself was sometimes mentioned in the same sentence with Mother Teresa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

"A Long Road Ahead"

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Whispers in the Loggia

In a rare civil judgment against a US local church, an Illinois jury yesterday found the diocese of Belleville guilty of "fradulent concealment" of the records of an abusive priest, ordering the diocese to pay $5 million in damages to a survivor who claimed five years of abuse in the 1970s.

After a heated trial -- which included an appearance on the stand by the diocese's former ordinary, now Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta -- plaintiffs' attorneys said they expected the diocese to appeal the judgment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Wealthy city parish to be run by Opus Dei

IRELAND
Herald

By Claire Murphy

Friday August 29 2008

A wealthy Dublin parish is to become the first in Ireland to be run by Opus Dei.

The Catholic movement will run its first Irish church from Merrion Road.

The organisation has been entrusted with the Our Lady Queen of Peach parish by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. ...

She said that the move was made because there was a shortage of priests in the diocese, adding that "the needs of parishes such as Merrion Road are changing", the parish priest was retiring and the Opus Dei priests could provide a wide range of services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Bernie Ward Begins Today His 7-Year-Sentence

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
eFluxMedia

By Michael Todd
14:00, August 29th 2008

Bernie Ward, the 57-year-old former Roman Catholic priest and former San Francisco radio talk show host, was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison under accusations of distributing child pornography.

The trial began in May and the defendant pleaded guilty. The whole incident started in December when the child pornography indictment was made public. At the time, Bernie Ward was hosting a nightly radio show and the station was forced to let him go as soon as the news hit the tabloids.

The police was called in by a Stanislaus County woman who used to exchange explicit Internet messages with him. Unfortunately for Ward, he took it too far and sent the woman a photo of two children engaged in a sexual act. She was extremely upset and outraged by the image and she immediately announced the authorities. In addition to the call, she also helped the police with copies of their conversations, revealing some very disturbing details such as his excitement when his daughter entered the bathroom while he was showering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Hosanna Church rites described as cultlike

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Aug 29, 2008 - Page: 1B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — The Hosanna Church child-rape trial defendant is the former leader of a Christian cult with congregants who veered from mainstream charismatic teachings by focusing on prophetically inspired public confessions and by vomiting in order to cast out demons of sin, three defense witnesses testified Thursday.

Their testimony in the trial of Louis D. Lamonica offered insight into the decline of Hosanna Church from the spiritual center built by Lamonica’s father into a cult that witnesses said had lost touch with reality.

Lamonica’s attorney, Michael Thiel, has maintained that his client falsely confessed to child rape because he was being controlled by a woman claiming to have prophetic visions. The state’s case, presented by Assistant District Attorney Don Wall, includes accusations that children were molested as part of satanic cult rituals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Belleville Diocese faces another suit

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/29/2008

Belleville — The legal problems for the Belleville Diocese didn't end on Wednesday with a massive $5 million verdict for conspiring to hide allegations of sexual abuse by a priest involving a former altar boy.

Another former altar boy — from the same Salem, Ill., parish — filed suit in 2003 making similar allegations against the diocese and the Rev. Raymond Kownacki. That lawsuit is awaiting trial in Belleville.

The lawsuit says Kownacki repeatedly sexually assaulted the boy for three years, starting in 1979 at St. Theresa's in Salem. Further, the suit says Kownacki was shuffled from parish to parish while diocesan officials knew he was a risk to underage boys and girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Convicted local priest charged again

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
WOOD

[with video]

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- A priest who served in West Michigan and currently serving a prison term is facing more charges.

Shamaun Beas has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident with a person under the age of 13 in Kent County. He has been transferred to the Kent County Jail and was bound over to Kent County Circuit Court.

Beas is currently serving five to 20 years in prison for Internet sex crimes that occurred in 2004 in Macomb County. At the time, he was serving an internship as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Church in Portland in Ionia County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Ex-Delco clergyman laicized by Vatican

PENNSYLVANIA
Delco Times

By: PATTI MENGERS, pmengers@delcotimes.com08/29/2008

Forty years after he was accused of sending letters describing sadomasochistic rituals to a school boy, a man who served as assistant pastor at two Delaware County parishes has been removed from the priesthood.

John H. Mulholland, who was assistant pastor at St. Anastasia Church in Newtown Square from June 1968 until June 1973, and at Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Darby from June 1973 until September 1977, has been laicized by the Vatican at his request, said officials in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Accused priest defrocked

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Daily News

John Mulholland, a former Roman Catholic priest who was the subject of a charge of sexual abuse of a minor in 2005, has been granted his request to be removed from the priesthood.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese said that after the charge was received, Muhlolland's ministry was restricted. The Archdiocese investigated the accusation, which later was substantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

LaRocque issues apology

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Eugene LaRocque left the Cornwall Public Inquiry with an apology for the city and a promise to keep its residents in his prayers.

Reading from a prepared statement, LaRocque said he never intended to hurt anyone during his tenure with the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese.

"I want to take this final opportunity to apologize to the community of Cornwall, to all the faithful of the diocese, to all the people in it who were hurt by mistakes I made during my administration," said LaRocque. "I also want to apologize to anyone who was hurt by any action of any priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

PROTEST ROCKS INQUIRY

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Cries of "Free Perry Dunlop" and "Defrock LaRocque" rang through the early morning air at a raucous protest outside the Weave Shed yesterday.

About 60 people sang songs, chanted slogans, and waved signs in support of Dunlop, the former Cornwall cop who has been in jail since March for refusing to testify at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

"They took that man, they ripped his heart out, they trampled him, and then they threw him in jail," shouted Dunlop's wife, Helen.

"We're not so far removed from China as people would like to think," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Attorney says second client was abused by priest

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WTHI

Associated Press - August 29, 2008 6:24 AM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A lawyer whose client won a $5 million verdict against the Catholic Diocese of Belleville over allegations of sexual abuse says he has a second case to bring to trial.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster says he has filed suit on behalf of a second man who claims he was sexually abused by the Reverend Raymond Kownacki decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Former Bucks priest defrocked

PENNSYLVANIA
Bucks County Courier Times

By CAROLYN PERC
Bucks County Courier Times

BRISTOL TOWNSHIP
A Roman Catholic priest who served in Bristol Township's Immaculate Conception parish in the late 1990s and early 2000s has been officially defrocked for alleged sexual abuse at a different parish, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Thursday.

John H. Mulholland's official removal from clerical duties comes three years after he was named in the Philadelphia District Attorney's grand jury report alleging that he and several other priests sexually abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Belleville Diocese may face second sex abuse trial

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK

BELLEVILLE --A lawyer who won a $5 million verdict against the Catholic Diocese of Belleville on behalf of a sexually abused former altar boy said Thursday he's seeking a trial date for a similar lawsuit involving the same priest.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster, who represented James Wisniewski, 47 of Champaign, and his partner Steve Wigginton are handling a second, nearly identical lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by the same priest, the Rev. Raymond Kownacki. The case also would be tried in St. Clair County Circuit Court and again names the diocese as defendant.

The second case is filed under "John Doe" as plaintiff and involves a former altar boy from St. Theresa's Parish in Salem. While Wisniewski was about 13 when he began to be sexually molested by Kownacki at St. Theresa's, the unnamed plaintiff was 12 when the priest allegedly began molesting him in 1979, according to court documents. By that time, Wisniewski has testified, Kownacki had lost interest in him as a target.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

August 28, 2008

‘How could I stay quiet when they have been so brave?’

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

BY LOUISE EDDY
29/08/2008 8:24:00 AM
A FORMER resident of a Catholic orphanage has alleged the abuse of Bathurst children by some members of the clergy dates back to the 1960s.

Sandra Peckham, now 58, was taken to St Joseph’s Orphanage at the top of William Street when she was just six years old.

Her mother had left and her father, a drover, wasn’t around much.

Yesterday she contacted the Western Advocate after reading new claims of abuse at St Stanislaus’ College in the 1970s and 1980s to say she, too, had been a victim of abuse.

“[The orphanage] was supposed to be a better place, but it turned into a nightmare – a nightmare I haven’t woken up from,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Dunlop supporters protest outside Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Thursday, August 28, 2008
CBC News
About 50 people shouted and waved placards outside the Cornwall Public Inquiry Thursday to protest the treatment of a man who refused to testify before the commission and demand his release from jail.

Perry Dunlop, a former Cornwall police officer, is in Toronto serving a six-month sentence for a civil conviction of contempt of court. He is to be sentenced next Wednesday for a criminal conviction of contempt of court.

The inquiry is looking into how authorities responded to allegations that young people were abused in Cornwall by more than a dozen men from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Dunlop's role began when he learned in 1993 that the local Catholic diocese had paid a former altar boy $32,000 to drop his sexual abuse complaint against two priests. He handed the complaint to the Children's Aid Society against orders from his superiors, leading to an OPP investigation.

Dunlop was charged and found guilty of contempt of court in the fall of 2007 after he was summoned by the inquiry from his home in B.C. as witness but refused to testify. He said he believed the inquiry is not about finding the truth and he had lost faith in a justice system that treated him as a bad guy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Priest faces molestation charges

KENT COUNTY (MI)
WWMT

August 28, 2008 - 5:46PM
KENT COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A priest who used to work in Kent County, who is already locked up following an Internet sex sting, faces even more trouble.

The Reverand Shamaun Beas, a native of Pakistan, is facing up to 15 years in prison on a molestation charge.

He was supposed to be spreading the word of God, instead Beas is behind bars these days with a shocking rap sheet of sex crimes. Now he will stand trial on charges that he molested two young girls while he was a priest at the Holy Family parish in Sparta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Sex abuse still pains ex-student

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

29/08/2008 8:05:00 AM
NEW claims that a paedophile ring was active at St Stanislaus’ College during the 1970s and 1980s have prompted a former student to tell his story of abuse.

Thirteen former Stannies’ students have told police they were abused at the college.

A 65-year-old former priest is already facing 33 charges, and police are continuing their investigation.

Another former student, who asked only to be known as ‘John’, told AAP he was sexually abused three times in April 1971 by a priest who left St Stanislaus’ a few years later.

“I still remember it,” John said. “I carry that stench on my back ever since the day it happened.

“I was a day boy and I was not the only victim back then.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Church and pastors sued over alleged sexual abuse of minor

ILLINOIS
Madison County Record

8/28/2008 1:29 PM
By Ann Knef

A civil suit filed against Faith United Baptist Church in O'Fallon alleges a youth minister "initiated sexual contact and impregnated" a minor who had attended the church with her family for eight years.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the church and co-defendant Pastor Willie Brown allegedly knew that Youth Minister Terrance Jenkins allegedly "committed separate and unrelated acts of sexual abuse with other members of the church, including an unknown 9 year old girl while in the employ of Faith United Baptist Church."

The suit claims the church had actual knowledge or should have known that Jenkins was under initial investigation for sexual abuse on or about November 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Bernie Ward sentenced to seven-plus years for child-porn conviction

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, August 28, 2008

(08-28) 12:07 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Bernie Ward, one of the Bay Area's most prominent radio talk show hosts for 15 years, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison by a federal judge today for distributing child pornography on the Internet.

Ward, 57, pleaded guilty to the felony charge in May and admitted sending between 15 and 150 pornographic images by e-mail, which he maintained were for a research project. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco imposed a sentence of seven years and three months, rejecting a defense plea for the minimum five-year term required by federal law. Prosecutors had sought a nine-year term.

Noting Ward's background as a former Roman Catholic priest who discussed child molestation in the church on his radio programs, the judge said he was troubled that Ward didn't "seek treatment, seek help" when he "encountered his own predilection" for child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Former talk show host Bernie Ward sentenced to more than seven years in prison

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Howard Mintz
Mercury News
Article Launched: 08/28/2008 11:52:46 AM PDT

Former KGO radio host Bernie Ward, tranformed from a popular liberal voice on the local airwaves to pariah, was sentenced today to seven years and three months in federal prison for distributing child pornography on the Internet.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker imposed the sentence on Ward, who must turn himself in to U.S. Marshals by noon Friday to begin his prison term. Before the sentence was handed down, Ward spoke briefly, telling the judge, "I regret the harm this has caused my family, my friends, and this community.''

Ward declined to comment after the hearing, where his family and friends sat in the gallery, his wife and son in the front row clutching each others' hands. Ward hugged his family when he emerged from the courtroom and walked away with his lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Bishop Finn answers questions on recent abuse settlement

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Catholic Key

The Catholic Key interviewed Bishop Robert Finn concerning the recent settlement. The following Question and Answer session poses and addresses some of the questions that have most frequently been asked.

Q (Catholic Key): On what authority did you decide to reach this settlement?

A: (Bishop Finn): In accord with Canon law, I am required to work closely with the Board of Consultors and the Diocesan Finance Council to plan for the diocese, particularly in financial matters. Among other responsibilities, these boards assist me in developing and adopting our annual budget. The decision to reach a settlement with these individuals was made in close consultation with both boards. I also sought their counsel on how to meet the obligations of the settlement.

Q: Will parishioners be asked to make special contributions to fund the settlement?

A: Owing to prudent stewardship of resources, it will not be necessary for us to make special requests to fund this settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Diocese settles all clergy abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Catholic Key

By Jack Smith
Catholic Key Editor

KANSAS CITY - Bishop Robert Finn, with the consent of the Board of Consultors and the Diocesan Finance Council, agreed to a settlement of all pending clergy abuse cases against the diocese on August 21.

The cases filed over the last two years include 47 complaints against 10 priests and two members of religious orders. They relate to incidents of abuse taking place between the early 1950s and early 1990s.

At an August 20 press conference, Bishop Finn spoke of his compassion for the "victims of this behavior" and said, "We apologize for the fully unacceptable behavior that prompted these lawsuits to be brought against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Bishop Finn's Update to the Faithful Concerning Recent Abuse Settlements

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Catholic Key

Bishop Robert W. Finn

Over the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak on behalf of our Diocese to individuals harmed by our clergy or former clergy. I have offered an apology to them, and before our whole community, for the fully unacceptable behavior that prompted serious grievances to be brought against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. With compassion for the victims of this behavior and with sadness over any failure by the Diocese to serve as a proper steward of safety and security for our young people and our parishioners, I expressed a sense of institutional accountability for these sad events.

In reaching a settlement with lawyers representing the families involved in these cases, we took painstaking steps to fully vet all issues. Thoroughness was the hallmark of this process, and the agreement represented a resolution of all existing claims against the Diocese and the individual clergy named.

After taking the matter to the Diocesan Finance Council and the Board of Consultors, we agreed to fund $10 million in payments to the victims. The settlement proceeds are to be divided among 47 plaintiffs by means of an independent and binding arbitration process. Based on advice from legal counsel and on prayerful reflection over this most difficult matter, I believe that this settlement, while costly, is a responsible resolution for these individuals and their families and in the best interest of the Diocese. Elsewhere in The Catholic Key today I explain where this money comes from and how it will affect the Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

SF: WARD SENTENCED TO MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS FOR E-MAILING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
CBS 5

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)

Former radio talk show host Bernie Ward was sentenced in federal court in San Francisco today to seven years and three months in prison for sending child pornography over the Internet.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker called the case a "personal tragedy" and said Ward has many laudable achievements related to his charitable work.

But the judge said he was troubled that Ward, a former Roman Catholic priest who crusaded against molestation of children, didn't seek help for his predilection toward pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Man: Jury award in priest-abuse case 'good start'

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Peoria Journal-Star

The Associated Press
Posted Aug 28, 2008 @ 02:18 PM

BELLEVILLE — A former altar boy awarded $5 million by an Illinois jury that found a Roman Catholic diocese hid the sexual abuses of a priest he alleges molested him dozens of times decades ago says he still faces "a long road ahead" in overcoming the trauma.

A jury St. Clair County, Ill., just east of St. Louis, deliberated nearly five hours Wednesday before awarding James Wisniewski $2.4 million in compensatory damages and $2.6 million in punitive damages in his 2002 lawsuit against the Diocese of Belleville, Ill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Group: Ill. diocese should let jury award stand

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WTHI

Associated Press - August 28, 2008 3:04 PM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - An advocacy group for victims of clergy abuse wants a $5 million jury award to be undisturbed for a man who claims he was repeatedly sexually abused by a priest decades ago.

A St. Clair County jury returned the verdict yesterday in favor of James Wisniewski (wihs-NOO'-skee) in his lawsuit against the Diocese of Belleville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Priest removed from clergy for abuse allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Reporter

The Philadelphia Archdioscese announced the removal of a priest who served in several Philadelphia area churches including Norristown and Warrington due to sexual abuse allegations.

John H. Mulholland has been under restrictions since a 2005 allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor, according to the release. The allegation was found to be substantiated since then.

Text of the press release:

The Holy See has notified the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that th request of John H. Mulholland to be removed from the clerical state was granted. In 2005, an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor by John Mulholland was reported to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and his
ministry was restricted. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia investigated the allegation, which was subsequently substantiated, and he sought removal from the clerical state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

What is religon about?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Scott Steinkerchner OP

My heart is heavy this morning because of a collision of many factors. I wonder what exactly is the heart of religion? What is the point? What does God want from us?

I received an email from a faithful Catholic that began, “In my life one of the greatest sources of grief and sadness has been to watch friends and family members fall away from the practice of the Catholic faith.” I wish I had his life. I sometimes wish I did not know the things I know about the world.

I have traveled around the world, helping missionaries in developing nations help the people they serve stave off starvation and try to get out of the abject poverty that grinds them into the dust. (The photo to the right is one I took recently in a clinic in Haiti.) I read in the paper this morning two news articles. The New York Times reported: “Idaho: Death Penalty in Kidnapping and Murder Case.” The story ended, “Jurors viewed a videotape Mr. Duncan had made of his sexually abusing, torturing and hanging Dylan.” This grieves me to my core. What is the world like that created such a person? And what must it have been like to see this videotape? And in what way does killing one more person do anything but make the world more murderous?

Closer to home, the Belleville News-Democrat informs me of the case against the Catholic Diocese of Belleville that has just resulted in a 5 million dollar settlement against the Diocese from a man who had been sexually abused by a priest after the diocese had known of multiple similar allegations against him and yet transferred him without warning his new parishes. In the Church’s defense, “Former Belleville Bishop Gregory says key documents about sex abuse were kept from him.” Testimony revealed that an official of the diocese “knew about detailed reports that Kownacki [the priest in question], had raped a 16-year-old girl and aborted her fetus with his hands,” but did not tell the new bishop.

Now I am really sad. First, sad for these victims. Then sad for those involved who now must see how their actions contributed to the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

DUIN: Secrecy cloaks bishops

UNITED STATES
The Washington Times

Julia Duin
Thursday, August 28, 2008

When I attended my first meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in November 1986, I was very conscious of about 300 men, all dressed in black, scurrying about on very important business.

And then there was I, a religion writer for the Houston Chronicle who had no idea of what was going on.

Back then, the man who headed the press office for the bishops was Russell Shaw, always a helpful soul when I needed guidance on what was what.

His new book, "Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication and the Communion in the Catholic Church," is an amazing read, considering the author was in the belly of the beast for 18 years.

His beef: Despite extravagant promises made in 2002 in the aftermath of the clergy sex-abuse scandal, the doings of the U.S. Catholic Church are as impenetrable as ever. A case in point: the twice-yearly bishops' business meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Australian school at centre of child-sex allegations pulls newsletter mentioning "Penthouse" as recommended reading

AUSTRALIA
Wikinews Reports

The school at the center of child-sex allegations, St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia has removed a newsletter recommending Penthouse magazine as recommended reading for teenage boys. On the schools website, the newsletter has been replaced by a copy which omits these comments.

In the same newsletter, principal of the college John Edwards informs the school community that The Daily Telegraph had contacted him regarding sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Bathurst sex abuser now helping police

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By Gemma Jones

August 29, 2008 12:00am

A CONVICTED paedophile teacher from St Stanislaus College is assisting police with an investigation into allegation of a child sex ring at the school.

Stephen Joseph Wade broke his silence yesterday through lawyer Mark Walsh to say he now held concerns about a former priest from the school who is facing 33 child sex charges.

Priests, teachers 'in paedophile ring'

Wade served 15 months for his own sex attack on a then Year 7 student in 1986, which was around the same time Brian Spillane, 65, from Riverwood, is alleged to have committed the offences.

Wade said yesterday he was worried his life would be ruined by the new airing of his crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Former Walworth County youth pastor denies sexual abuse charges

ELKHORN (WI)
Janesville Gazette

By TED SULLIVAN Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008

ELKHORN — A Lake Geneva teen attended youth group in the 1970s to learn about God and Christianity, but she claims a counselor had sex with her after playing a “trust” game.

The woman, now 49, for the first time Wednesday confronted the man accused of assaulting her, pointing toward him in Walworth County Court, saying he had sex with her 34 years ago when she was 15 and 16.

“It happened multiple times,” she testified during a preliminary hearing.

Russell J. Lesser, 63, Bryson City, N.C., is accused of having sex with the woman 40 to 60 times, including one time at his house on the girl’s prom night, according to the criminal complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Imprisoned priest faces trial on molestation charges

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
Muskegon Chronicle

Posted by Chronicle News Service August 28, 2008 07:14AM

GRAND RAPIDS -- After emotional testimony from a pair of teenage sisters, a Catholic priest with local ties, who already is in prison following an Internet sex sting, now faces trial here for allegedly molesting the girls.

The Rev. Shamaun Beas, 39, on Wednesday was ordered to stand trial in Kent County Circuit Court on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Beas earlier had worked out a plea deal to exchange a guilty plea for the alleged molestation of one of the sisters for a one-year jail sentence. But a Circuit Court judge last month rejected that deal -- and Beas then took back his guilty plea -- sending the case against the Pakistan native back to Rockford District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Jury Gives $5-Million to Clergy Abuse Victim

BELLEVILLE (IL)
My Fox St. Louis

By Chris Regnier

(KTVI - myFOXstl) --
A multi-million dollar verdict Wednesday against the Belleville Diocese in the case of a child abused by a predator priest in the 1970's.

That victim Jim Wisniewski is now 47 years old and living in Champaign, Illinois.

He's married with two adult kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Bishop of Allentown, PA, Owns Three Properties Worth $2.35 Million

PENNSYLVANIA
Voice from the Desert

The following Letter to the Editor of the Morning Call (Allentown, PA) seems to indicate that the Bishop of Allentown, PA owns three properties, two of them at the New Jersey Shore, worth $2.35 Million.

Of course, the bishop may have been born into money or made a bundle before entering Holy Orders.

On the other hand, do the people of the Allentown diocese know of these three properties? Do they care? Are there any hungry people in Allentown that could be helped if the bishop sold one or two or all three of the properties and gave the money to the poor?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

MORE SHOCKING DISCLOSURES IN CLERGY SEX ABUSE TRIAL

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Illinois Lawyer Blog

Posted On: August 27, 2008 by Mark P. Loftus

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, there was some absolutely jaw-dropping testimony yesterday in a clergy sex abuse case trial currently underway in St. Clair County, Illinois. James Wisniewski, 47, is suing the Belleville, Illinois Diocese for for damages arising out of the years of sexual abuse committed upon him by Rev. Raymond Kownacki in the 1970's. Wisniewski has testified that Kownacki abused him some 40-50 times over a 5 year period beginning in 1973. Wisniewski further testified that Kownacki told him that the church "condoned" sexual abuse of minors and that if Wisniewski told anyone about the abuse, Kownacki would kill the boy's parents and ruin their business. To drive home the point, Kownacki showed Wisniewski a handgun. In addition, there has been evidence that Kownacki raped a 16 year old girl and aborted her fetus with his hands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Defendant’s sons: No abuse

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Aug 28, 2008 - Page: 1B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — The elder son of Louis D. Lamonica said on the witness stand Wednesday that his thoughts of being raped by his father and others are fuzzy because he made them up.

As they did in a previous trial, both of Lamonica’s sons recanted on the witness stand their previous allegations that they had been sexually abused by their father.

Lamonica, 49, of Hammond, on trial for the aggravated rape of his two sons, is a former pastor of the now-defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula. Seven members of the Hosanna Church congregation were indicted in 2005 on charges of sexually abusing three children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Church and teachers in battle over school roles

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Walshe Education Editor

Thursday August 28 2008

Teachers are on a collision course with the Catholic Church over the future control of new primary schools.

The Church will today launch a strong defence of denominational schools, but the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) says separate schools for different faiths are not needed in new areas.

It is the first major public disagreement about who will run the up to 400 new schools which will open over the next decade, catering for 100,000 additional pupils.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Editorial: New era begins for Catholics of region

GREEN BAY (WI)
Green Bay Press-Gazette

August 28, 2008

For Catholics in Northeastern Wisconsin, a new era begins today. And because members of the faith are so numerous here, today's events are likely to have a wide-ranging impact.

David Ricken completes the journey that began in early July, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the new bishop of Green Bay. For the past eight years, Ricken has served that role for the Diocese of Wyoming, in the Rocky Mountain territory where he has spent most of his life. ...

The test of his mettle in more sobering issues will come soon enough. The Midwest director for The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has already sent Ricken a letter, urging the new bishop during his first 100 days to release more records regarding past cases of sexual assault by clerics in the Green Bay Diocese.

Ricken said the issue is "a big priority for bishops throughout the country" and added, "I hope I can be actively engaged in a healing process that actually works." It's clear SNAP will hold him to those statements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

PROJECT WALK ACROSS OREGON

OREGON
SNAP-Great Plains

What:
Walk Across Oregon to raise awareness about child sex abuse.

Where:
We will start in Ashland, Oregon, on September 1, 2008, and end in Portland tentatively on September 29, 2008.

Who:
Survivors of sex abuse and clergy abuse, family members or survivors and supporters from the community.

- - Wintre's Wishes ( www.wintreswishes.org)

- - Compassionate Gathering (www.compassionategathering.org)

- - National Association to Prevent Sex Abuse of Children (www.napsac.org)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Investigation into incidents of sexual assault ongoing

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Clair County Journal

By J.W. Campbell
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 9:16 AM CDT

The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate a former volunteer with connections to an area youth ministry after a second round of sexual assault charges were leveled against him on Aug. 21.

Terrance Jenkins, 36, of East St. Louis, was charged in connection with the August 2006 sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. The most recent charges come on the heels of a July 23 arrest of Jenkins for the alleged sexual abuse of a 7-year-old girl in December 2007.

"Any time you have allegations of two separate incidents involving criminal sexual assault, it's natural to investigate further to see if there are additional incidents," said Capt. Steve Johnson of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. "Right now, our investigation is ongoing. I can't say much more than that. I'm not allowed to comment on evidence nor can I say more about the victims."Investigation into the latest allegations began shortly after a complaint was filed with the Sheriff's Department in December 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Ex-pastor welcomes prison

CANADA
London Free Press

By JANE SIMS

Disgraced Baptist pastor Royden Wood seemed unconcerned he may end up in jail next week.

With a bravado he showed during his trial, Wood, 58, the former senior pastor at the now-defunct Ambassador Baptist Church, said he "enjoyed jail" outside court after his sentencing hearing yesterday.

"It was fun. It doesn't scare me a bit," he said, his wife Linda by his side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Didn’t offer documents about priest to police, former bishop tells probe

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, Sun Media

CORNWALL, Ont. — A former eastern Ontario bishop withheld documents from police that showed one of his priests was on probation for abusing boys in the U.S., a long-running sexual abuse probe heard Wednesday.

Eugene LaRocque told the Cornwall Public Inquiry he still complied fully with all the requests he received from officers with the Ontario Provincial Police’s Project Truth team, even if he didn’t volunteer additional information.

“I was asked for a photograph — I gave them a photograph. I was asked for a curriculum vitae — I gave them a curriculum vitae,” said LaRocque, who ran the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese from 1974 until 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Catholic community in shock

AUSTRALIA
Central Western Daily

BY JANICE HARRIS
28/08/2008 12:20:00 PM
ORANGE’s Catholic community has been shocked by revelations a police investigation is underway into alleged sexual abuse and gross acts of indecency against former students of St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

A police probe into the claims involves three former staff, St Stanislaus College principal John Edwards says.

A 65-year-old former priest at the private school is facing 33 charges, following allegations of a paedophile ring comprising priests and teachers at the school during the 1980s.

For decades many Orange parents have sent their sons to the all-boys college in Bathurst, as weekly boarders or travelling daily by bus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Jury awards $5 million

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/28/2008

BELLEVILLE — A St. Clair County jury on Wednesday evening ordered the Belleville Diocese to pay $5 million to a former Salem altar boy who claimed he was sexually abused by a priest decades ago.

The verdict is believed to be the largest jury award in a local priest-abuse case.

The jury found that the diocese conspired to hush sex abuse allegations and allowed the priest free rein in the diocese — even after, court records show, church officials knew he couldn't control his sexual urges toward young boys and girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Judge declares mistrial in church abuse case

VERMONT
Times Argus

August 28, 2008

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

BURLINGTON — A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday after a Chittenden Superior Court jury remained deadlocked on whether Vermont's Catholic Church was negligent in hiring and supervising a pedophile priest.

A five-man, seven-woman panel had deliberated for 16 hours over three days when Judge Matthew Katz received a note at noon saying, "We do not agree and can no longer proceed. Question — how do we proceed?"

The judge's answer: "I don't have a magic bullet — I'm going to declare a mistrial." ...

"There was a lot of opinion, a lot of confusion, a lot of emotion, a lot of minds that were not made up as to the charge of negligence," said one juror, who asked not to be identified. "In the spirit of cooperation, we moved on to talking about dollars."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Mistrial is declared in Vt. abuse case

VERMONT
Boston Globe

By John Curran
Associated Press / August 28, 2008

BURLINGTON, Vt. - A mistrial was declared yesterday after jurors deadlocked in the case of a former altar boy who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, saying he had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a parish priest 30 years ago.

Three months after a similar case led to an $8.7 million damage award against the church, jurors in Chittenden County Superior Court could not return a verdict on the suit of a Waitsfield man who said the church was partly responsible for his molestation by a priest and should be held liable for damages.

They had deliberated for 16 hours over three days.

It was a legal victory for the church, but Bishop Salvatore Matano, the spiritual leader of Vermont's 118,000 Catholics, stopped short of calling it a relief.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Hung jury in clergy sex abuse case leads to mistrial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway, Free Press Staff Writer • August 28, 2008

The case of a former altar boy allegedly molested by a priest in the late 1970s was declared a mistrial Wednesday by Judge Matthew Katz after the jury signaled that it was unable to come up with a verdict following 16 hours of deliberation.

Katz dismissed the panel shortly after noon after the jury sent him a note saying “We cannot agree and we can no longer proceed.” The judge received the note an hour after he sent his own message to the panel, imploring the jurors to keep talking.

“You’ve given it your all, and that’s all we can ask of you,” Katz told the jury.

Joseph Rossner of Essex Junction, who served as the jury foreman, said in an interview later Wednesday that the panel tried several different ways to compromise on a verdict, without success.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Jury awards $5 million to former altar boy in priest abuse case

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --A jury awarded $5 million to a former altar boy Wednesday, validating arguments by his attorneys that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki sexually abused him and other youths and that top officials of the Belleville Diocese covered it up for decades.

James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign, was awarded damages in a civil trial resulting from a lawsuit he brought in 2002. It alleged that when Wisniewski was a 13-year-old altar boy at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem in 1973, his pastor, Kownacki, began repeated sexual abuse that spanned five years.

The damages to Wisniewski include $2.4 million for compensatory losses including medical costs and emotional duress and $2.6 million for punitive damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

August 27, 2008

Investigation into sexual assault claims broadens

AUSTRALIA
Daily Liberal

Dubbo Catholic priest Father Paul Devitt yesterday spoke in support of St Stanislaus’ College at Bathurst as police broadened an investigation into alleged sexual assaults at the prestigious boarding school 30 years ago.

A 65-year-old former priest has been charged with 33 counts of sexual assault and gross acts of indecency on five juveniles, aged between 10 and 18.

The man has faced court and is scheduled to reappear next month. Since then, more people have come forward alleging similar assaults by a paedophile ring comprising priests and teachers.

The St Stanislaus’ investigation is ongoing and people with concerns are urged to contact police.

Father Devitt stressed the alleged assaults happened during the 1970s and 80s and police were not looking into anything in the current day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Priest pleads guilty to child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Miki Perkins
August 28, 2008 - 9:40AM
A Catholic priest from the Melbourne archdiocese has pleaded guilty to 10 child sex and pornography charges in the County Court.

Father Edmund John Haines, 62, served the district near Geelong for 12 years, including the towns of Meredith, Winchelsea, Anakie and Bannockburn.

The Geelong resident, who is known by his middle name, pleaded guilty to six counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16, committing an indecent act with a child aged 16 or 17 who was under his care, procuring a child to make pornography, and producing and possessing child pornography.

Haines was also a chaplain at St Joseph's College in Geelong and had worked as a priest in Papua New Guinea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Jurors find for plaintiff in Belleville abuse case

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WTHI

Associated Press - August 27, 2008 8:34 PM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A St. Clair County jury has awarded $5 million to a man who sued the Diocese of Belleville, saying it covered up alleged sexual abuse by a priest in the 1970s.

The jury on Wednesday evening found the diocese "fraudulently concealed" James Wisniewski's (wihs-NOO'-skees) claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Jury Impasse Triggers Mistrial

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - August 27, 2008

A former altar boy's sex abuse lawsuit seeking millions in damages from the Vermont Roman Catholic Diocese ended Wednesday with a hung jury and a mistrial.

Members of the jury say they all agreed that the diocese should pay damages to the former altar boy who was molested by a Vermont priest 30 years ago. But the jurors could not agree on the amount.

The jury returned to the courtroom Wednesday afternoon after announcing they were irrevocably stalemated and unable to reach a verdict after 16 hours of deliberation over three days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

VICTIMS URGED TO CALL POLICE

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

BY LOUISE EDDY
28/08/2008 8:20:00 AM
STRIKE Force Heador detectives are appealing for members of the public to come forward with information relating to an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at St Stanislaus’ College in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thirty-three charges have already been laid against 65-year-old former priest Brian Joseph Spillane, a teacher at the school during this time.

Spillane was charged in May and has been granted conditional bail. He will appear in Bathurst Local Court on September 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Abuse allegations shock Old Boys

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

BY BRIAN WOOD
28/08/2008 8:25:00 AM
THERE was a feeling of shock among several ex-students of St Stanislaus’ College yesterday following revelations police were investigating several former staff members over claims of sexual abuse dating back more than 20 years.

Police yesterday confirmed they were speaking to 13 people who had contacted them with allegations they were victims of abuse.

However, they would not rule out the possibility of others also coming forward as their investigations widen.

A 65-year-old former priest at the Catholic private school is facing 33 charges following investigations into allegations of a paedophile ring comprising priests and teachers at the school during the 1980s.

Local businessman Pip McIntosh attended Stannies from 1979-1984.

He said yesterday he never had any idea, or heard any rumours, of the allegations which have surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Jurors mulling priest sex abuse case in Belleville

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WTHI

Associated Press - August 27, 2008 5:14 PM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A St. Clair County jury is deliberating the case of a man suing the Diocese of Belleville over sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of a priest in the 1970s.

James Wisniewski's (wihs-NOO'-skee's) attorney asked jurors to award more than $5 million in damages to his client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

St Stanislaus co-operating withh abuse investigation

AUSTRALIA
ABC (AM)

AM - Wednesday, 27 August , 2008 08:03:00
Reporter: David Mark
TONY EASTLEY: The principle of St Stanislaus' College says the school is co-operating with police investigations into paedophile activity.

John Edwards is speaking here with AMs David Mark.

JOHN EDWARDS: We have very limited information. What's taken place is that a search warrant was served on the school in early July that listed the names of a number of former students and the names of three former staff members. We've assisted police in their enquiries in this matter.

DAVID MARK: Can you tell me whether those other two staff members were teachers?

JOHN EDWARDS: Um, one of them was a former teacher at the school, and the other person worked in other capacities at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Church hit by claims of sex rituals at college

AUSTRALIA
New Zealand Herald

4:00AM Thursday August 28, 2008
By Greg Ansley
CANBERRA - Australia's oldest Catholic boarding school has been rocked by a sex scandal that has led to charges against one former priest and may spread to others.

St Stanislaus College in the New South Wales country city of Bathurst has promised full co-operation in a police investigation that so far includes allegations of abuse of 13 former students in the 1980s.

"It is imperative that the Catholic Church addresses issues of alleged sexual misconduct towards children as openly and as comprehensively as possible," principal John Edwards said. ...

Edwards confirmed allegations of late-night sexual abuse committed during prayers and chanting, and said he had passed internet material received several years ago to the police.

Former priest Brian Joseph Spillane, 65, appeared in Bathurst Local Court in July charged with 33 offences, including sexual intercourse with boys aged 10 to 16 under his authority, six counts of sexual intercourse with students aged 11, 12 and 13, and other offences involving gross indecency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Mistrial declared in ex-altar boy’s suit

VERMONT
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

BURLINGTON, Vt. - A mistrial has been declared in the case of a former altar boy who sued the Diocese of Burlington for negligent supervision of a priest he accused of molesting him.

After about 16 hours of deliberations over three days, jurors said Wednesday they were hopelessly deadlocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

$5.6 million sought in priest sex abuse trial

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

By George Pawlaczyk

BELLEVILLE — Plaintiff's attorneys today asked for $5.6 million in damages in a civil trial where the Diocese of Belleville is accused of covering up a priest's sexual abuse of a minor.

James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign, is suing the Diocese of Belleville for psychological damage he alleges was caused by sexual abuse beginning in 1973 when he was about 13 that was inflicted by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto explained instructions to the jury of 12 with two alternates. The case is expected to be given to the jury today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Mistrial declared in case of former altar boy suing Diocese of Burlington

VERMONT
NECN

(NECN: Burlington, VT) - A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a former altar boy suing the Diocese of Burlington.

The man, now a 40-year-old Waitsfield resident claims he suffered sexual abuse as a child. He says the church failed to adequately supervise Reverend Edward Paquette and that Paquette molested him up to 50 times when he was a fourth-grade altar boy at Christ the King church in Burlington in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Hung jury in clergy sex abuse trial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Free Press Staff Report • August 27, 2008

BURLINGTON -- A jury that had been deadlocked since Tuesday in its deliberations in the clergy sex abuse trial was unable to come back with a verdict today.

Judge Matthew Katz this morning had suggested jurors consider how much it would award in punitive damages before it worked out compensatory damages.

The judge's suggestion was opposed by attorneys for the plaintiff and the Diocese. Jerome O'Neill, who represents the plaintiff in the case, declined to elaborate.

Kaveh Shahi, an attorney for the Diocese, said he suspected a mistrial would be declared if the jury failed to make progress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Jurors Unable to Reach Verdict

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - August 27, 2008

Jurors in the latest priest sex abuse lawsuit were unable to reach a verdict.

Jurors were deliberating the case of a 40-year-old former altar boy, who wants Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese to pay him up to $14 million because he was molested by Reverend Edward Paquette 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

School urges students to read Penthouse

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

August 28, 2008 12:01am

THE police sex crimes squad has been called in to investigate a flood of new abuse claims involving St Stanislaus College as a former college boarder subjected to horrific late-night prayer sessions told his story yesterday.

Dallas McInerney, 35, condemned the Bathurst school - which only this week was allegedly encouraging its students to read Penthouse magazines - for retaining the Vincentian Fathers as governors while police investigated claims up to four staff were involved in abuse of students.

School principal John Edwards confirmed yesterday the school was served with two warrants on July 2, with the names of three former staff members listed under the title "accused" and that the police were seeking documents and material from the school which was referred to as a crime scene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Evil spirit, broken children, empty lives

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By Gary Schoener

August 28, 2008 12:00am

OVER the years I have dealt with around 2000 victims of child sex abuse involving clergy.

I've assisted people in bringing complaints about all manner of religious organisations and groups - from Catholic dioceses to Anglican, Jewish organisations and Lutheran Synods.

Most people would be familiar with the US Catholic Church scandal uncovered in the Archdioscese of Boston involving a secret settlement of child molestation claims against at least 70 Catholic priests.

The story made world headlines with some calling it the worst crisis in the Catholic Church in 500 years.

Contrary to what most believe, most victims were known only to their attorneys and the church. Those 500-plus cases in Boston were, for the most part, not public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Mistrial declared in priest abuse trial

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

12:39 p.m.
August 27, 2008

Staff

A mistrial has been declared in the case of a former altar boy who sued the Diocese of Burlington over sexual abuse he claimed happened to him while he was a boy.

The jury deliberation began Monday afternoon, continued throughout the day Tuesday and resumed this morning at 9:45 a.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Man at the centre of an unholy scandal

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Dylan Welch, Linda Morris and Terry Jones
August 28, 2008

FOR years Father Brian Spillane presided over a flock of young, impressionable boys at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

A chaplain and a teacher, he officiated at school Masses, led the pupils in prayer and gave them religious guidance.

He also, according to allegations by 13 former students, repeatedly sexually assaulted them.

One alleged victim, who completed year 7 at the well-known Catholic boarding school in 1986 before being expelled, blew the whistle on 65-year-old Spillane's alleged sex offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Abuse at St Stanislaus College 'involved night orgies'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Angus Hohenboken | August 28, 2008
ORGIES involving up to 60 schoolboys, priests and teachers are among allegations levelled at former staff members of a NSW Catholic boarding school.

The Seven Network last night reported claims that nine former teachers and priests from St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, in eastern NSW, had committed sexual abuse on students during "hypnotic" night prayer services in the 1980s.

An alleged victim, whose identity was withheld for legal reasons, said the number of victims involved in the encounters had grown over time.

"It started out on a one-on-one basis and then in small groups of between eight and 12, and then on one occasion there was a large group of at least 60."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Nun seeks anticipatory bail in junior’s suicide case

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOLLAM (ICNS): Sister Albina Mary, superior of a convent under of Kollam diocese, appealed for an anticipatory bail in Kerala High Court in a case connected with suicide of junior nun in her convent.

The senior nun in her petition on Monday pleaded for anticipatory bail saying that she is of ill health and is under treatment. Besides her ill health, her availability for investigation and willingness to cooperate with it be considered for granting her anticipatory bail, she pleaded.

The nun’s move is considered a precaution against police arresting her in connection with the Aug. 11 suicide of Sister Anoopa Mary, a 23-year old nun. The junior nun’s suicide note had accused the superior of harassing her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Experts testify on abuse

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Aug 27, 2008 - Page: 1B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — After a young boy with mental problems confided in his therapist that his father, Louis D. Lamonica, did not abuse him, the boy’s disorders only grew worse, a therapist testified in 21st Judicial District Court Tuesday.

Lamonica, 49, is being tried on four counts of aggravated rape of both of his sons when the boys were 11 years of age or younger. The former Hosanna Church pastor is the second of seven members of the now-defunct Ponchatoula church indicted in 2005 for sexually abusing children.

Most of the witnesses presented by District Attorney Don Wall on Tuesday are people to whom the boys, in spring 2005, disclosed their alleged abuse: their regular psychiatrist, a forensic pediatrician, a therapist hired by the state for the younger boy’s treatment and a recorded statement made at the Child Advocacy Center in Livingston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Judge: Church jury is 'at odds'

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

August 27, 2008

By Kevin O'Connor Herald Staff

BURLINGTON — A jury was deadlocked Tuesday after 13 hours of deliberation on whether Vermont's Catholic Church should pay for negligence in hiring and supervising a pedophile priest.

A five-man, seven-woman panel has spent two days considering whether the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese is liable in the Chittenden Superior Court case of Thomas Murray, a 40-year-old Waitsfield man who says the former Rev. Edward Paquette abused him 20 to 50 times as an altar boy in 1977 and 1978.

The jury has a three-part job. First, it must determine whether the diocese failed to protect Murray when he was a 9-year-old parishioner at Burlington's Christ the King Church. If the jury finds negligence, it then must decide how much to award Murray in compensatory damages and, if warranted, additional punitive damages.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, Judge Matthew Katz announced that the jury, deliberating behind closed doors, sent him a note saying it couldn't agree on what to award in compensatory damages and wanted his advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Obama's Pick for Vice President Is Catholic. But the Bishops Deny Him Communion

UNITED STATES
Chiesa (Italy)

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, August 27, 2008 – On the eve of the Democratic party convention in Denver, the party's candidate for president of the United States, Barack Obama, chose a Catholic as his vice presidential running mate, Senator Joseph Biden (in the photo).

The choice immediately reignited the controversy over whether or not Eucharistic communion should be given to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Biden is one of these. The son of working class Irish parents, as a boy he thought about entering the seminary and has his rosary always in his pocket. He goes to Mass every Sunday and receives communion at his parish, St. Joseph's in Greenville, Delaware.

But as a politician, he has always vigorously upheld the Roe v. Wade decision of the supreme court, which opened the way to legal abortion in the United States. He says that he accepts the teaching of the Catholic Church on life, beginning from conception, and he voted for a law prohibiting abortion in the last weeks of pregnancy, but he maintains that the Roe v. Wade decision is correct for a society that has different views on abortion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Sacred Heart/St. John’s parishioners outraged at how their church’s closing is being handled

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY ROBERT OLSEN
CORRESPONDENT
Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 4:14 AM EDT
WILKES-BARRE — Disappointment, anger and sadness filled the hearts and minds of Sacred Heart/St. John’s parishioners at they exited St. Stanislaus Kostka Church Tuesday night following a parish meeting to discuss the closing of their church.

The meeting, which was closed to the press, was supposed to further address the reasons why the Scranton Diocese made a preliminary recommendation to consolidate the church with St. Stanislaus Kostka. Church officials also were instructed not to comment afterwards.

Sacred Heart/St. John’s parishioners, however, were still outraged at how the closing was being handled. Some questioned the rationale behind closing a larger church with many amenities such as handicap-access and safe, accessible parking to keep open a smaller church that doesn’t even provide a restroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Diocese wise to amend plan for closing some churches

CAMDEN (NJ)
Courier-Post

CourierPOstOnline.com • August 27, 2008

The Camden Diocese has answered the call of parishioners by keeping some churches open for Mass.

For some of those Catholics saddened and/or angered by the spring announcement of dozens of church closings in the Diocese of Camden, Tuesday's formal announcement that some churches will remain open was surely an answer to their prayers.

Among the most notable, St. Vincent Pallotti Church in Haddon Township will remain open as a worship site, as will St. Catherine in Clayton. In Camden, the historically African-American St. Bartholomew Church will remain open and Father Gerard Marable of that church will be the priest convener in charge of the merger of St. Bartholomew and St. Joan of Arc churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Psychiatric assessment of Meredith priest for child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

27/08/2008 11:00:00 PM
FORMER Meredith priest Edmund John Haines will undergo a psychiatric assessment before being sentenced for child sex and porn offences next month, a court heard yesterday.

Haines, 62, yesterday pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria to 10 charges including committing an indecent act on a child under 16 and making child pornography.

The crimes, involving two boys, occurred in Bannockburn, Winchelsea and Geelong between March 2006 and February 2008.

He was found with seven videos and 30 still photographs in his possession, the court was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Galante relents on some parishes

CAMDEN (NJ)
Courier-Post

By ADAM SMELTZ • Courier-Post Staff • August 27, 2008

CAMDEN — UPDATE: Click here to find a list of the newly selected conveners.

Two more South Jersey parishes will retain their independence, bringing to 68 the number of parishes under a revised plan to reorganize the Camden Diocese, Bishop Joseph Galante announced Tuesday.

The revisions also will allow at least a half-dozen more churches to continue hosting worship services, Galante said. He also announced the appointment of 41 "priest conveners," pastors who have been named to help lead parishes through the merger process.

Galante said that in tweaking the plan, he responded to new information that parishioners have shared with him since April 3, when he announced the initial concept. Mostly through mergers, that plan would have left the diocese with 66 parishes in two years -- down from the current 124.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

LaRocque ignored church protocols regarding accused priests

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By Trevor Pritchard, Standard-Freeholder

A former Catholic bishop allowed a city priest facing sexual abuse charges to continue celebrating mass because he was “morally certain” the man had been falsely accused, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Tuesday.

Eugene LaRocque admitted he did not remove Rev. Rene Dube from Sainte-Croix parish in 1999, despite having signed off on a protocol three years earlier requiring him to do just that.

“I was morally certain . . . that he was completely innocent,” said LaRocque, 81, who ran the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese for nearly three decades until retiring in 2002.

Tuesday was LaRocque’s sixth day testifying at the inquiry, which is exploring how institutions like the church handled allegations of historical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Coded diary reveals secret sex scandal that haunted Methodist co-founder Charles Wesley

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Neil Sears
Last updated at 11:53 AM on 27th August 2008

As a founding father of Methodism, Charles Wesley has been revered for centuries as a deeply holy man.

But a secret code in his 270-year-old diaries has been cracked - revealing that he was dogged by sexual scandal and feuded with his church leader brother John.

In the 18th century, Charles joined John on a missionary trip to a new British colony in America but mysteriously returned after just a few months.

The decoded diaries reveal that he fled home amid allegations that he had sex with a colonist after trapping her husband under a tree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Sex-abuse case gets testimony

NORTH CAROLINA
Winston-Salem Journal

By Dan Galindo | Journal Reporter

Published: August 27, 2008

An 18-year-old man testified yesterday in Forsyth Superior Court that he regularly had sex with his pastor over a three-year period, from when he was 15 to 17.

The man is the first of two people expected to testify this week that they had sex with Rodney Keith Boothe, 40, a former pastor at Greater Church of Deliverance on North Cherry Street, which also is known as Christ Cathedral Church of Deliverance. Boothe faces 42 sex-related charges.

The second person expected to testify is a 15-year-old boy whose family took in Boothe's family for a week in 2006 when the Boothes were kicked out of their home for not paying rent. The 15-year-old is expected to testify that the sex acts happened when he was 13 and 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Samoa Victim Support Group works with police on sexual abuse cases

SAMOA
Radio New Zealand

Posted at 08:27 on 27 August, 2008 UTC

Samoa’s Victim Support Group says a large proportion of people seeking their help are victims of sexual abuse or rape.

The group want police to investigate the alleged rape of a woman by a church minister earlier this month, the second incident involving a church minister in weeks.

The group’s spokesperson Iosefa Tautua says about 90-percent of referrals are females aged between 3 years and 40 years, and a collective effort is needed.

“We are working closely with police, very closely with police of Samoa, and that is very good. And also with the Attorney General office - we work together with those people. And there’s a lot of domestic violence and sexual abuse like rape or attempted rape. All sorts of sexual abuse situations. There’s a lot in Samoa and we are dealing with those things.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Schenectady lawsuit against Catholic diocese dismissed

SCHENECTADY (NY)
Daily Gazette

By Michael Lamendola
Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY — A state Supreme County judge dismissed negligence charges against the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese and Bishop Gibbons High School in connection with a $2 million civil lawsuit filed by the family of a teenage girl who said she was inappropriately touched by Armando Tebano.

Judge Richard Aulisi ruled the girl’s family failed to establish a proper reason to sue the two Catholic institutions, saying the family’s claims fell more under a breach of contract scenario than one of negligence.

Aulisi’s decision, issued last month, affects the diocese and the high school. The family is also suing Tebano for negligence and he remains a party to the suit, said the family’s attorney, John Aretakis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

SNAP Asks Bishop Ricken to Get Involved in Its Battle

GREEN BAY (WI)
WBAY

[with video]

As Bishop Ricken is learning about the Green Bay diocese, members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking the new Catholic leader to step up and help in its battle.

Tuesday SNAP presented the diocese with a letter asking Bishop Ricken to take action on five requests with regard to allegations of sexual abuse in the diocese.

"I think it's important to families of survivors and survivors in Green Bay to understand that the bishop takes this seriously and cares about it and wants that known," SNAP's co-director in Green Bay, Alice Hodek, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Action against diocese tossed

SCHENECTADY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By MARC PARRY, Staff writer
First published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SCHENECTADY -- A state judge has dismissed a complaint against the Albany Catholic Diocese and Bishop Gibbons High School in a case that involved a teenage girl who accused a former county politician of sex abuse.

The girl alleged that former Schenectady County Republican Chairman Armando Tebano fondled her in 2005 while they watched a movie at his home. She was 14 at the time.

The lawsuit, which also named Tebano, said Bishop Gibbons kept her from attending school because of the case. The suit, filed by attorney John Aretakis, sought $2 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

School sex-abuse victims urged to come forward

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 27, 2008 - 8:18PM

Police suspect dozens of boys may have been abused during hypnotic "prayer" sessions at a top NSW boarding school.

St Stanislaus' College at Bathurst, in central west NSW, is reeling after 13 former students alleged sexual abuse by staff during from the 1970s and into the early 1980s.

A 65-year-old former priest is facing 33 charges, after allegations a pedophile ring of priests and staff operated at the school, which has both boarders and day students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Priest defrocked for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

THE Anglican Church has defrocked a Brisbane priest convicted of child sex abuse.

The church today confirmed it had deposed Robert Francis Sharwood from his holy orders.

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

He was released from jail in November last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Bathurst head 'not aware' of current sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The principal of Bathurst's St Stanislaus College says he is not aware of any current paedophile activity at the school.

John Edwards says he received information several years ago about alleged sexual misbehaviour at St Stanislaus during the 1980s, and forwarded it to police.

In May, police charged a 65-year-old former priest with 33 counts of sexual assault and gross acts of indecency against five boys.

Another eight men are now alleging similar abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Former priest facing 33 sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

By Vincent Morello and Danny Rose

August 27, 2008 11:50am
A 65-YEAR-old former priest is facing 33 charges, following allegations a pedophile ring of priests and teachers had operated at an lusive private school in central west New South Wales.

Shocking allegations have surfaced about years of sex abuse at St Stanislaus' College in Bathurst from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.

At least 13 alleged victims have come forward since local police were first alerted last year by men claiming to have been abused while they were students at the private school. Police are now urging all victims of the alleged pedophile ring to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Gregory: Diocese should be held responsible for abuse

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/27/2008

Belleville — Former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory walked into a Belleville courtroom on Tuesday with the same tough confidence that has made him a celebrity in the Roman Catholic church.

"So help me God," he said with extra emphasis while taking the oath, cueing onlookers to the drama that would unfold.

Gregory, widely praised for his openness involving church abuse, coolly testified for more than an hour, saying he didn't know about many of the sexual abuse complaints against the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

A file folder with two complaints against Kownacki was handed over to a review board investigating sex abuse by priests. Other complaints had been made against the priest, but they weren't in the priest's personnel file, which Gregory said was a violation of the Belleville Diocese policy on sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Anglican Church strips priest over sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC Brisbane

The Brisbane Diocese of the Anglican Church has stripped Robert Francis Sharwood of his Holy Orders.

Sharwood was convicted in November 2006 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in the 1970s.

Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall removed Sharwood's licence to operate as a priest in the diocese in 2002, but he remained an ordained Minister.

In March, the Church's professional standards board recommended Sharwood's Holy Orders be removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Gregory says he didn't keep info from review board

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WTHI

Associated Press - August 26, 2008 11:24 PM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory has testified that he didn't see documents detailing alleged sexual abuse by some priests while leading the Belleville Diocese.

Gregory testified Tuesday in a civil lawsuit that a former vicar general who's now deceased compiled the documents. He says the papers weren't filed properly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Former staff at middle of St Stanislaus investigation

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Angus Hohenboken | August 27, 2008
A POLICE investigation into claims of sexual abuse at a NSW catholic school involves a number of former staff.

St Stanislaus College principal John Edwards today said he was served with a search warrant last month which listed the names of three former staff members.

"There were three former staff members who were listed on the search warrant that was served on me in early July, and we facilitated the gathering of material for police," Mr Edwards told Fairfax Radio Network.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Man Sues Catholic Diocese for Sexual Abuse

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

A 48-year-old man who claims he was sexually abused by a Memphis Catholic priest when he was a teenager is suing the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

The John Doe lawsuit filed this month in the Circuit Court of Tennessee for the 30th Judicial District at Memphis is the latest of five involving the Rev. Paul W. St. Charles. The other four were settled in the summer of 2007 along with several other sexual abuse lawsuits naming other Memphis priests.

St. Charles, who at one time was the head of youth activities for the Diocese, was suspended in 2004 by Memphis Bishop J. Terry Steib. The suspension from all priestly duties came before any lawsuits were filed against him. It came after a Diocesan Review Board concluded it was “more likely than not” that St. Charles had sexually abused a sixth teenager during the 1970s. The sixth teenager filed a complaint with church officials three years before the suspension and since has reached a private settlement. He has not filed a civil suit or criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Atonement services start this week

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Thomas Geyer | Tuesday, August 26, 2008 11:13 PM CDT

Diocese of Davenport Bishop Martin Amos has scheduled a series of atonement services that will be held at parishes where sexual abuse by a priest occurred.

The first service is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Victory, 1627 W. 42nd St., Davenport.

The visits are a non-monetary requirement of the diocese’s $37 million bankruptcy settlement. The diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after it lost its first civil sex abuse trial. The diocese, its insurance company and the creditors committee agreed to a $37 million settlement. The settlement included a list of 18 non-monetary agreements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Lawyer warns media over coverage of claims against priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC (The World Today)

The World Today - Wednesday, 27 August , 2008 12:22:00
Reporter: David Mark
ELEANOR HALL: The sexual assault case against a former priest at one of the country's leading boarding schools could be prejudiced by media coverage of the story.

That's the warning today from the defendant's lawyer, as reports emerge that the New South Wales police are investigating allegations from 13 former students of Bathurst's St Stanislaus' College.

The 65-year-old former priest was arrested in May and charged with 33 counts of sexual assault and gross indecency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

13 former students allege abuse at Australian Catholic school

AUSTRALIA
AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian police said Wednesday they were investigating allegations that 13 former students were molested at a private Catholic boarding school for boys nearly 30 years ago.

The abuse allegedly occurred at the prestigious St Stanislaus' College in Bathurst, west of Sydney, for about six years between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

"At this stage we're looking at 13 victims and we're following up those lines of inquiry at the moment," Detective Superintendent Michael Goodwin said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Jury still out in clergy sex abuse case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 27, 2008

A jury deadlocked over how to reach a verdict in a clergy sex abuse trial will enter a third day of deliberations this morning in Chittenden Superior Court in Burlington.

"They're being conscientious. I appreciate the effort they're making," attorney Jerome O'Neill said as he prepared to leave the courthouse Tuesday evening.

O'Neill represents a former altar boy who alleges he was molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette between 20 and 50 times at Christ the King Church in Burlington in the late 1970s. The Burlington Free Press does not identify the alleged victims of sexual abuse without their consent.

Tom McCormick, a lawyer for the state's Roman Catholic diocese, declined comment on the length of the jury's deliberations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Group seeks bishop's help with prosecuting offenders

GREEN BAY (WI)
Green Bay Press-Gazette

By Tony Walter • twalter@greenbaypressgazette.com • August 27, 2008

The organization representing victims of clergy sexual abuse has asked incoming Catholic Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken to side with it in continuing efforts to prosecute offenders.

"He's coming in as one of the experts on this problem," said Peter Isely, Midwest director for The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

Isely cited Ricken's role in dealing with offenders during his tenure as the leader of the Catholic Church in Wyoming. His organization wants Ricken to take action in several areas during his first 100 days as the bishop of the Green Bay Diocese.

Ricken, who will be installed as the diocese's 12th bishop Thursday, said in a Tuesday morning interview that he hasn't had a chance to fully study the issue as it relates to the Northeastern Wisconsin diocese

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Former Belleville Bishop Gregory says key documents about sex abuse were kept from him

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

[with video]

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

Former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory testified Tuesday that key documents concerning an accused priest were kept from him while he was leading an investigation into sexual abuse of minors in the 1990s.

Gregory, now archbishop of Atlanta, testified for the defense during a civil trial that began Aug. 18 resulting from a 2002 lawsuit brought by James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign.Wisniewski alleges he was psychologically damaged beginning at about age 12 or 13 because of five years of sexual abuse by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki in the 1970s. The Belleville diocese is the sole defendant in the first trial stemming from a priest sex scandal in the diocese.

Plaintiff's attorney Mike Weilmuenster asked Gregory that if church officials kept transferring Kownacki in the years before Gregory came to the diocese, knowing that the priest was responsible for sexually abusing and raping minors as testimony showed, then should the diocese be responsible for what happened to Wisniewski?

"If all of those things are true, I would have to agree with you," Gregory said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Top NSW school reels over sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Stuff

AAP | Thursday, 28 August 2008

Police suspect dozens of boys may have been abused during hypnotic "prayer" sessions at a top NSW boarding school.

St Stanislaus' College at Bathurst, in central west NSW, is reeling after 13 former students alleged sexual abuse by staff during from the 1970s and into the early 1980s.

A 65-year-old former priest is facing 33 charges, after allegations a pedophile ring of priests and staff operated at the school, which has both boarders and day students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

August 26, 2008

Police broaden probe into school sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Police in New South Wales have broadened their investigation into alleged sexual assaults at a Catholic boarding school in Bathurst around 30 years ago.

Earlier this year police charged a 65-year-old Sydney man with 33 counts of sexual assault and gross acts of indecency on five juveniles aged between 10 and 18.

The offences allegedly occurred at St Stanislaus College in the 1970s and 80s.

The man has faced court and is scheduled to reappear next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Former staff in abuse case - principal

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

August 27, 2008 08:26am
A POLICE investigation into claims of sexual abuse at a New South Wales Catholic boys school involves a number of former staff, the school's principal says.

St Stanislaus College principal John Edwards today said he was served with a search warrant last month which listed the names of three former staff members.

"There were three former staff members who were listed on the search warrant that was served on me in early July, and we facilitated the gathering of material for police," Mr Edwards told Fairfax radio.

"I'm not able to comment any further."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Still No Verdict in Priest Abuse Case

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - August 26, 2008

A jury in Burlington completed a second day of deliberations in the priest sex abuse case against Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese and there is still no verdict.

Jurors are trying to decide how much the diocese should pay in damages to a former altar boy who was abused by a Vermont priest 30 years ago. And it's clear they are having a very tough time agreeing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

More sex abuse allegations at top school

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Georgina Robinson and Alex Tibbitts
August 27, 2008 - 8:52AM

Do you know more? Message 0424 SMS SMH (+61 424 767 764) or email us with information.

New South Wales Police have confirmed they are investigating further allegations of sexual abuse at the prestigious St Stanislaus Catholic College in Bathurst.

Chifley local area commander, Detective Superintendent Michael Goodwin, said the investigations formed part of Strike Force Heador.

In May this year a 65-year-old Sydney man was arrested as part of the operation and charged with more than 33 alleged offences relating to the sexual assault and gross acts of indecency of juveniles aged between 10- and 18-years-old.

Superintendent Goodwin said investigations were continuing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Priest Sex Abuse Case Goes to Jury

VERMONT
WCAX

[with video]

Burlington, Vermont - August 25, 2008

A Burlington jury is deliberating how much the Vermont Diocese will pay in damages to a former altar boy who was sexually abused by a priest 30 years ago.

The plaintiff is a 40-year-old former altar boy who was fondled and groped 30 years ago by Father Edward Paquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

13 boys allegedly molested at Australian school

AUSTRALIA
International Herald Tribune (France)

The Associated Press
Published: August 27, 2008

SYDNEY, Australia: A former Roman Catholic priest has been charged with sexually abusing children as police investigate allegations that 13 boys were molested at an exclusive Australian boarding school more than 20 years ago, officials said Wednesday.

The 65 year old Sydney man, whose name has not been released, was charged in May with 33 child sex offenses as a result of a police investigation into allegations of abuse St. Stanislaus' College in the city of Bathurst, 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Sydney, police Superintendent Michael Goodwin told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Ex-priest faces child sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 27, 2008 - 6:18AM

A former NSW catholic boys school priest has been charged with 33 counts of sexually abusing students as police investigate further assault allegations at the exclusive college.

A former teacher from St Stanislaus' College at Bathurst, in central western NSW, has already been convicted of several charges, while two other teachers from the school are under investigation, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports on Wednesday.

The 65-year-old former priest, who now lives in Sydney, worked at the school in the 1980s and was arrested in May this year. He was charged with 33 offences relating to sexual assault and gross acts of indecency against children aged 10 to 18 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Bathurst school under investigation over paedophile ring claims

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

27/08/2008 7:30:00 AM. | Amie Meehan

As many as 40 former students of an exclusive catholic school in central west NSW have accused their teachers of raping them.

St Stanislaus' College in Bathurst has a reputation for sporting excellence, but that has been marred by allegations of a paedophile ring operating in the school for almost a decade, during the 1980s.

One of the 40 students has spoken out about the alleged abuse, telling News limited, boys were hoarded into prayer rooms and raped.

They were said to have been forced into horrendous acts with the priest and each other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Priest abuse jury seeks guidance on damages

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

August 26, 2008

The Chittenden Superior Court jury deliberating in the priest abuse case asked the judge shortly after 3 p.m. today for guidance on the subject of compensatory damages.

“The question is ‘Can I help you?’ Unfortunately, the answer is no. I can’t give you a ballpark number. That’s your job,” Judge Matthew Katz told the jurors who had filed back into the courtroom to hear his response.

Compensatory damages are those awarded to compensate the victim of an action for his or her losses. The case involves claims former Rev. Edward Paquette molested a Burlington altar boy in the late 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

CAMDEN: Priests named to oversee parish mergers

NEW JERSEY
The Daily Journal

From staff and wire reports • August 26, 2008

Bishop Joseph Galante this morning announced the appointments of 41 "priest conveners," leaders who will help guide Camden Diocese parishes through a two-year merger process.

Galante, in a letter to parishioners today, indicated that the priest conveners are likely to "be the pastors of the new parishes once they (the new parishes) are established by decree."

But "current pastors and administrators will remain in place in the meantime to oversee the pastoral care of the people as parish life continues," Galante wrote. "The conveners, in collaboration with pastors, administrators and a core team of parishioners from the merging parishes, will focus on the specific work related to parish merger(s)."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Camden Diocese merger plan undergoes revision

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Bishop Joseph Galante announced today that St. Vincent Pallotti Roman Catholic Church in Haddon Township will remain open as a secondary worship site in a modified plan for reconfiguring the Camden Diocese.

The change is one of a number of revisions in a massive diocese restructuring program announced April 3 that was to cut the number of parishes from 124 to 66 over two years. In today's announcement the diocese said that the mergers will now result in 68 parishes.

St. Vincent's pastor and some of its parishioners had publicly pleaded with Galante to keep the church open after learning that their parish would be merged with St. Aloysius parish in Oaklyn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Jury deliberations continue in priest sex abuse trial

VERMONT
Fox 4

Associated Press - August 26, 2008 2:45 PM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Jurors deliberating a sex abuse case against the diocese of Burlington still haven't reached a verdict.

The jury in Chittenden County Superior Court has deliberated for 10 hours over two days and is still at work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Letter from Bishop Joseph A. Galante

NEW JERSEY
Catholic Star Herald

Published by Star Herald Webmaster
Tue, August 26 2008
August 2008

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Since I announced my intentions for the reconfiguration of parishes in the diocese last April, I have been greatly encouraged by the commitment and deep faith of the Catholic people in South Jersey. Even in the disappointment some have expressed, I have heard your great love for the parish communities that have sustained you and your families and nourished you on your faith journey.

The challenges we face as a diocese have not arisen overnight. The decline in the number of diocesan priests available for ministry has been a long-term trend, a trend affecting this diocese and many others. The changes and shifts in population and decline in religious practice also have occurred over many decades. Likewise, the need for better outreach and expanded ministries that will serve the needs of the people has grown over a period of many years. While we may wish that these matters had been addressed decades ago, or wish that they could be deferred, we must focus our energies on what we can do now to strengthen and revitalize our Church. In doing so, we are sustained by prayer and the sacraments, as we place our trust in the Spirit who guides us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Priest Convener Appointments by Deanery

NEW JERSEY
Catholc Star Herald

Published by Star Herald Webmaster
Tue, August 26 2008
The Priest Conveners for merging parishes are named below by deanery, with modifications to parish configurations noted in italics.

Deanery I

Father Matthew Hillyard, OSFS has been named the Priest Convener for the merger of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Camden), Holy Name (Camden) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel/Fatima (Camden).
Father William Moore has been named the Priest Convener for the merger of St. Cecilia parish (Pennsauken) and St. Veronica parish (Delair) with the parish located at St. Cecilia. It is Bishop’s intention that St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, which was to merge with St. Cecilia and St. Veronica, will remain a stand-alone parish.
Father Gerard Marable has been named the Priest Convener for the merger of St. Joan of Arc (Camden) and St. Bartholomew (Camden). It is Bishop’s intention that the location of the parish be at St. Bartholomew, with a worship site at St. Joan of Arc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Bishop Galante names "Priest Conveners" to guide parishes through reconfiguration

NEW JERSEY
Catholic Star Herald

Published by Star Herald Webmaster
Tue, August 26 2008
Bishop modifies certain parish configurations to address concerns about worship sites and to ensure the pastoral care of parishioners

Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D., Bishop of Camden, today announced the appointment of 41 “Priest Conveners” who will help guide merging parishes through the reconfiguration he announced on April 3.

The reconfiguration of parishes will address the declining number of diocesan priests available for ministry, changes and shifts in population, and will strengthen parishes to enable them to advance the pastoral priorities identified by parishioners at Speak Up sessions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

One man's fight for justice against Catholic school

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By Gemma Jones

August 26, 2008 12:00am

HIS life ruined by alleged sexual abuse, a former student of St Stanislaus college went to Bathurst armed with leaflets and a hope justice would be served.

He put his leaflets, which detailed abuse allegations and his website address, in letter boxes and handed them out on the street "to everyone" he could.

Many people had written the now 35-year-old off as crazy but his brave quest to Bathurst in September last year prompted the school to call in police.

"The police rang me up and said 'What is going on, do you want to make a complaint'. By Friday they said people were going to make statements. Going to Bathurst to hand out leaflets was my last recourse." he told The Daily Telegraph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Priests, teachers 'in paedophile ring' at St Stanislaus school

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By Gemma Jones

August 26, 2008 12:00am

POLICE are investigating claims that up to 40 boys were sexually abused over a seven-year period by a paedophile ring comprising priests and teachers within this exclusive private school.

The walls of St Stanislaus college in Bathurst have housed budding Wallabies players and the bravest of war correspondents but an unimaginable secret has been stored for more than 20 years. A former priest at the school has been charged with 33 counts, a former teacher has already been convicted of several offences and two other teachers are under investigation.

In his first interview, a brave young man who used the internet to expose the abuse revealed the full extent of the horror at the school. He is one of two victims who have told The Daily Telegraph how they were herded into a prayer room by a priest chanting "hypnotic" spells in tongues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Accused priest allowed on school grounds of St Stanislaus

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By Gemma Jones

August 26, 2008 12:00am

THE former priest facing 33 child sex offences was allowed on to the grounds of St Stanislaus College last month after appearing in court in Bathurst.

One of the man's alleged victims yesterday said he was stunned the former priest was allowed into the grounds while the case was before the courts. Principal John Edwards said the 65-year-old - who worked at the school in the 1980s - came to collect paperwork and was escorted while on the grounds.

"He came up to the school after his case in Bathurst seeking some documentation from the school he required for his defence," Mr Edwards said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Allegations surface St Mary's church married divorcees

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

By Emma Chalmers
August 27, 2008 12:00am

THE crisis at St Mary's Church has divided Catholic priests across Brisbane after allegations that the controversial parish has married divorcees.

While some priests claimed St Mary's at South Brisbane had become "a joke", others urged the Roman Catholic hierarchy to use quiet diplomacy to resolve the impasse.

The future of the parish is at crossroads after Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby warned at the weekend it had become an "authority to itself" and must toe the Vatican line or shut down.

In addition to concerns over unorthodox masses and baptisms, one parish priest, who did not wish to be named, yesterday said he was aware that some divorced Catholics had been allowed to remarry at St Mary's without having their first marriage annulled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Deliberations resume in trial for altar boy

VERMONT
Fox 44

Associated Press - August 26, 2008 10:25 AM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A jury is back at work trying to reach a verdict in the case of a Waitsfield man who blames the Diocese of Burlington for sexual abuse he says he suffered as an altar boy 30 years ago.

The jury, which spent five hours on the case Monday without reaching a verdict, resumed deliberations early Tuesday in Chittenden County Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Forty students allege sex assault

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Alex Tibbitts
August 27, 2008

ABOUT 40 students have alleged they were sexually abused by staff at the prestigious St Stanislaus Catholic College in Bathurst.

It is understood NSW Police are investigating the allegations but police media would not confirm the service's involvement last night or comment on Channel Seven's report.

A case involving the alleged abuse of five former students in 1986 is in the courts pending a full brief from the Department of Public Prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Priest questioned over sexual harassment claims

CYPRUS
Cyprus Mail

A PRIEST was yesterday released from police custody after allegedly blackmailing his female business partner by SMS and sexually harassing her.

Famagusta CID arrested the 35-year-old cleric in the early hours of Saturday morning after receiving a complaint from a 30-year-old divorced woman that he was blackmailing her via text messaging.

The two have a business together in the free Famagusta area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Wife says she'll stand by fraud pastor Michael Guglielmucci

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

REBEKAH DEVLIN
August 27, 2008 12:30am
THE wife of fraud pastor Michael Guglielmucci has vowed to try to save their marriage, despite the humiliating revelations of his cancer hoax and pornography addiction.

Speaking exclusively to The Advertiser, Amanda Guglielmucci, 29, defended her husband, who faked a two-year battle with cancer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

SNAP presents new Green Bay bishop benchmarks for his “first 100 days”

GREEN BAY (WI)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT

Leaders of the nation’s oldest and largest self help group of clergy sexual abuse survivors will hold a sidewalk news conference and deliver a letter to the newly appointed bishop of Green Bay outlining 5 simple and measurable anti-abuse goals they feel can be met during his “first 100 days as bishop” if child protection from predatory clergy is to be his “first priority and lasting legacy.”

SNAP will also release previously secret church documents from the Chicago archdiocese which detail the involvement between Chicago and Green Bay church officials to exert backdoor influence and pressure on Wisconsin correction officials and the governor’s office to spring from prison one of Chicago’s most notorious pedophile priests, after he was sentenced to 20 years in 1995 for assaulting children in Winnebago County.

WHERE

In front of headquarters of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese, 1919 Webster Avenue

WHEN

Tuesday, August 26, 1:30 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

You are wrong, court tells CBI in nun’s death

INDIA
Sindh Today (Pakistan)

Aug 26th, 2008 | By Sindh Today
Kochi (Kerala), Aug 26 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team investigating the mysterious death of a nun, Sister Abhaya, was told Tuesday by a judge of the Kerala High Court that their statement regarding the number of CDs on the narco-analysis test was wrong.

CBI official R.K. Aggarwal was asked Tuesday by Justice V. Ramkumar how many CDs were there and he replied one.

To which the judge expressed his displeasure and said there were three CDs and said that certain vital information was missing about the narco-analysis test in the single CD that the CBI had given to the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Joey Piscitelli email to Diocese of San Francisco

CALIFORNIA
SNAP-Great Plains

Dear Bishop Niederauer,
Cardinal Levada,
and the San Francisco Diocese,

I told you 4 years ago what had happened to me as a child, and how I was violated by that sick, lewd, perverted, detestable, filthy, disgusting Fr. Whelan, and you gave me the impression that you possibly might care.

Bishop Wester even pretended he listened. But in reality, this is actually what happened:

Bishop Wester left that perverted child molester Whelan in ministry with kids.

Bishop Levada left that perverted child molester Whelan in ministry with kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Priest admitted he engaged in homosexual acts, says LaRocque

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A retired priest and accused sexual abuser told his bishop he'd had trysts with other men, including parishioners, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Monday.

But the sexual relationships Rev. Charles MacDonald admitted to after a heated discussion between former bishop Eugene LaRocque and the city's police chief were all consensual, LaRocque testified yesterday.

"I cannot recall that at any time he had said that he assaulted, that he had forced, anyone," he said.

LaRocque, who ran the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese from 1974 until 2002, returned to the stand as the inquiry resumed after a three-week summer hiatus.

The long-running tribunal is probing how institutions like the church reacted when it received allegations of historical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Hundreds attend 'improper' Brisbane church meeting

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video and audio]

More than 500 people attended a meeting last night about the future of St Mary's Church in South Brisbane.

Brisbane's Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby has asked the community of St Mary's to decide whether it wants to break away from the Roman Catholic Church.

Archbishop Bathersby said yesterday the wording of prayers and the placement of what he believes is a Buddhist statue in the church are unorthodox.

However St Mary's priest Father Peter Kennedy said the statue in question was a young monk praying, not a Buddha.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Sacred Heart group confronts closure

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Leader

JOHN BALOGA Times Leader Correspondent

WILKES-BARRE -- The Sacred Heart Foundation and members of the Sacred Heart/St. John’s parish vented issues they have about the Scranton Diocese’s plan for closing the church and consolidating the parish and moving to St. Stanislaus of North Wilkes-Barre.

During the presentations, Noreen Foti, the founding member of the Sacred Heart Foundation argued that the parish is growing again in members and its financial situation has improved due to its efforts and the closure of the elementary school in 2007.

She said, however, that “the Scranton Diocese’s business plan is not a rational plan.” Her husband, architect Tony Foti, explained that although the Sacred Heart Church building is older and has need of certain repairs to its bell tower and roof, the parish is the larger of the two proposed to be merged and it has undergone renovations in 1983, installation of an elevator for handicap accessibility and other repairs since then.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Suit accuses retired priest of abuse

MEMPHIS (TX)
Memphis Commercial Appearl

By Lindsay Melvin, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Once again, allegations of sexual abuse have surfaced against a retired Catholic priest.

The allegations are contained in the sixth lawsuit accusing former Memphian Rev. Paul W. St. Charles, 70, of child molestation.

In a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, a Bartlett man identified as "John Doe" alleges he was abused during the 1970s when he was in the eighth grade and was an altar boy at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Frayser. St. Charles was director of a youth organization at the church.

The suit claims the abuse occurred in the front seat of St. Charles' car at a drive-in movie.

"He's abused a ton of people," said David Brown, coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in Memphis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Taped confessions argued

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Aug 26, 2008 - Page: 1B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — Louis D. Lamonica told detectives in two taped statements played in court Monday that he voluntarily confessed to raping his sons because he felt guilty and he wanted to get the boys away from their mother and a satanic child-sex cult.

The defense, however, claims the former Hosanna Church pastor was psychologically coerced by church members to confess to crimes the defense says never happened.

Lamonica, 49, of Hammond, is on trial in state 21st Judicial District Court on four counts of aggravated rape of his sons when they were ages 11 or younger. Lamonica is the second of seven members of the now-defunct Ponchatoula church indicted in 2005 to stand trial in the child sex scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Jury out on church trial, returns today

VERMONT
Times Argus

August 26, 2008

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

BURLINGTON — A jury failed to reach a verdict Monday night on a call to fine Vermont's Catholic Church up to a record $14.3 million in a priest misconduct trial under way in Chittenden Superior Court.

Lawyers for 40-year-old Burlington native Thomas Murray, in closing arguments earlier in the day, said the state's largest religious denomination must pay for its negligent hiring and supervision of former priest Edward Paquette, who allegedly sexually abused the plaintiff when he was a 9-year-old altar boy.

Attorney John Evers said his client, now of Waitsfield, went on to have nightmares, avoid religion and turn to alcohol and drugs and, more recently, suffer from anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and problems with physical intimacy, leading to a divorce with the mother of his child. The plaintiff's lawyer, suggesting the figure of $10,000 per incident of abuse or per year of suffering plus 30 years of interest, proposed compensatory damages of $886,000 to $2.3 million and additional punitive damages of $6 million to $12 million.

"Those are big numbers," Evers said. "They should be — because of what happened."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Portland-area track coach linked to sex abuse of young runner

PORTLAND (OR)
KATU

By KATU Web Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland-area youth track coach was arraigned Monday on charges of sexually abusing a teen runner.

Askia Brown, 33, was arrested Friday after the 14-year-old girl told police that he molested her during a private coaching session, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Detective Brett Hawkinson.

KATU is not naming the girl due to the nature of the crime. Brown is the founder of the Portland Track Club and was a temporary coach for the spring season at Central Catholic High School, according to that school's athletic director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Former talk show host Bernie Ward to be sentenced in child porn case

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Californian

Bay City News • August 25, 2008

Former radio talk show host Bernie Ward is due to be sentenced in federal court in San Francisco on Thursday for sending child pornography over the Internet.

Ward, 57, a former host on KGO Radio in San Francisco, will be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. He admitted to one count of e-mail distribution of child pornography at a hearing before Walker in May.

The federal charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

But prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice have asked for a sentence of nine years.

They told the judge in a filing last week that the nine-year sentence is needed to reflect the seriousness of the crime and the victimization of the children who were depicted. Ward e-mailed the images to at least 10 other people, according to the prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Clergy abuse survivor wins in court -- again

CALIFORNIA
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott Ma
August 26, 2008

From an Aug. 21, 2008 SNAP news release:

'A California appeals court has upheld a lower court's finding that a Catholic priest molested a boy and his church colleagues and bosses were responsible for the crimes.

'Joey Piscitelli charged, in a civil case, that he was molested by a Salesian cleric in the Bay Area and that the priest's supervisors could and should have prevented the abuse. He was awarded a six figure verdict. The Salesians appealed the case, claiming there wasn't a fair trial.'

The appellate court's decision can be read by clicking this link (PDF format).

In addition, Mr. Piscitelli provided me with the following statement (edited):

'The vindictive, hateful battle of five years brought by the Salesians has culminated in an appellate court decision in my favor, but the Salesians still will not apologize, and never will. I was continuously molested by a Salesian priest when I was a child and was forced to keep quiet. The abuse started when Father Whelan masturbated in front of me, while his friend, convicted molester Brother Sal Billante, witnessed the incident and did not report it. The abused then escalated into sexual physical abuse and attacks in the school that lasted two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Archbishop Gregory to testify in sex abuse case against Belleville Diocese

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Archbishop Wilton Gregory is scheduled to take the witness stand today in a St. Clair County civil trial involving a former altar boy who alleges that beginning when he was 13, he was sexually abused for years by a Belleville Diocese priest.

Gregory, who served as bishop of Belleville from 1993 to 2004, is now archbishop of Atlanta and has been mentioned in media reports to be in line for the vacant position of archbishop of New York City. Such a position could lead to Gregory being named a cardinal.

The lawsuit, brought by James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign, alleges that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki sexually abused him during 1973-1978, causing psychological damage that manifested as post traumatic stress disorder in 2002.

St. Louis attorney David Wells, who represents the diocese, told Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto at the close of trial Monday, that Gregory would be one of two defense witnesses to take the stand today. The other is former vicar general Monsignor James Margason, who already has testified for the plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

UPDATE: Jury retires for night in priest abuse case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

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

The jury in a clergy sex abuse trial, unable to reach a verdict Monday night, will reconvene this morning to continue deliberations in the case involving claims former Rev. Edward Paquette molested a Burlington altar boy in the late 1970s.

“They’re going home for the night,” Rosaire Longe, a court officer, told lawyers in the case at 8:50 p.m. Monday, nearly six hours after the jury began their deliberations.

Neither lawyers for the alleged victim or the state’s Roman Catholic diocese would comment on what they thought of the time the jury was taking to decide a verdict. A jury in May decided a similar clergy abuse case in about five hours.

Just before the jury broke for the evening, it asked for a clarification on a church document connected with the diocese’s decision to hire Paquette in 1972.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

August 25, 2008

Man who claims he was abused by priest changed, wife testifies

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Carol Wisniewski testified today that her husband's personality changed dramatically for the worse after he told her in 2002 he had been sexually abused as a boy by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

"The husband I fell in love with and married is not the same person," she said.

Wisniewski's testimony came during a civil trial that began Aug. 18 in St. Clair County Court before Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto. The diocese of Belleville is the sole defendant.

David Wells, an attorney for the Belleville Catholic Diocese, sad it is not known whether former Bishop Wilton Gregory, who now is the head of the Atlanta Archdiocese, will testify in the trial, which continued Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Bernie Ward to be sentenced Thursday

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
ABC 7

Bay City News

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former radio talk show host Bernie Ward is due to be sentenced in federal court in San Francisco on Thursday for sending child pornography over the Internet.

Ward, 57, a former host on KGO Radio in San Francisco, will be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. He admitted to one count of e-mail distribution of child pornography at a hearing before Walker in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Former altar boy's case goes to jury

VERMONT
Times Argus

Associated Press

BURLINGTON - Calling it the Diocese of Burlington's "day of reckoning," a lawyer for a former altar boy asked a jury Monday to award up to $14 million in damages in a priest sex abuse case, telling jurors to punish the church for hiring and protecting a pedophile priest at the expense of child victims.

A church lawyer, meanwhile, called former Diocesan Bishop John Marshall "well meaning but ill-advised" but urged the panel to be fair in assessing blame for the actions of former priest Rev. Edward Paquette, whom he hired.

'This wasn't an errant priest," said John Evers, an attorney for the plaintiff. "This wasn't just a bad apple. The folks in charge of the apple tree weren't paying attention."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Jury starts deliberations in priest sex case

VERMONT
Brattleboro Reformer

The Associated Press

Monday, August 25
BURLINGTON - The latest priest sex abuse case against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is now in the hands of the jury.

The jury began deliberations at about 3:20 p.m. Monday following closing arguments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

We love the Vatican II, say St Mary's parishioners

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Tony Moore | August 26, 2008 - 5:05AM

A crowd of almost 500 parishioners sang the anthemic “We are Called” as an emotion-charged meeting at St Mary's Catholic church came to a dramatic close last night.

The group had come together to debate a challenge from Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby, who this week called on the popular church, with a parish of more than 700, to toe the Catholic line or close.

It is the second time in four years Archbishop Bathersby has questioned the church’s behaviour.

St Mary’s champions social justice issues, embraces homosexual couples and allows women to preach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Behind the Cloak of Polygamy

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

By Andrea Moore-Emmett, Ms. Magazine. Posted August 24, 2008.

Deference to religion and parental rights must sometimes take a back seat to protecting women and children's safety. Tools

The full text of this article appears in the Summer issue of Ms. magazine, available on newsstands and by subscription from store.msmagazine.com.

In 1953, Gov. John Howard Pyle of Arizona tried to rescue 263 children living in the fundamentalist Mormon polygamist community of Short Creek, near the Utah border of Arizona. His effort failed, as the press and public sentiment turned against him. Children who had been removed from their families were returned, and the governor's political career effectively ended.

In the 55 years since the abortive Short Creek incident, politicians in Arizona and Utah have been reluctant to challenge the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a polygamy-practicing group that broke away from the Mormon Church (formally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). But in early April, a similar sort of child-rescue effort took place, this time at the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas -- reportedly the new headquarters of the FLDS. Texas child-welfare authorities, acting on an abuse complaint from an anonymous caller, eventually removed more than 450 children from the property and put them in foster care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

With Biden pick, America's bishops face a familiar headache

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Denver

As the Democratic National Convention opens in Denver, here’s an irony worth pondering: Perhaps the most disappointed group in America over the choice of a Roman Catholic as the party’s nominee for Vice-President may well be the country’s Catholic bishops.

That’s not necessarily any reflection on the personal merits of Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, but rather what kind of Catholic he is, and what that means for the American bishops between now and November 4 (and perhaps for four or eight years after that).

As is well known, Biden is solidly pro-choice, which puts him at odds with official Catholic teaching on abortion. In that regard, he is akin to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, another pro-choice Catholic, whose nomination for president four years ago unleashed what came to be known colloquially as the “Wafer Wars.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Sexual Misconduct at Church

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

by Marian V. Liautaud

A new study of self-described "active Christian women" shows more than a quarter personally experienced sexually inappropriate behavior, and one fourth of those that experienced it said it happened in a church or ministry setting. The survey, based on answers given last fall by 779 American women to NationalChristianPoll.com, was designed to capture the range and extent to which women encounter unwelcome, gender-based behaviors by their male counterparts, either in the workplace or within a church or ministry setting. Commonly reported inappropriate behaviors include sexual advances, touching or sexual contact, suggestive jokes, glances with sexual overtones, and demeaning comments.

It's Not Funny
While some may take suggestive jokes or demeaning comments to a coworker or ministry colleague lightly, this kind of behavior can create a stressful environment. Joy Thornburg Melton, an ordained minister and attorney who currently serves in the United Methodist Church as chief resource officer for PACT (United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust), says these survey results are "interesting, but not surprising." Based on the anecdotal reports she receives from individual women in a wide variety of ministry settings, she says, "There is a lot of inappropriate 'conversation' being tolerated by women so as not to antagonize men in their workplaces."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Prosecuting Attorney Office and Victim Lawyer of Recent Pedo-Priest In Good Standing With Bishop Brown

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
August 25, 2008 6:17 AM

After years of dormancy regarding the Diocese of Orange Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal, the Orange County Register is doing a great job with the case of Father Luis Eduardo Ramirez, the scummy chap to the left who pleaded guilty to attempting to molest a 17-year-old boy last week. On Friday, crime reporter Rachanee Srisavasdi dug through the case's police report and implicitly left this question for readers to ponder: why did prosecuting attorneys let Ramirez off with a relative slap on the wrists? Sure, he has to spend 180 days in jail (and prison-rape jokes aside, honor amongst criminals thankfully doesn't look too fondly on pedo-priests), but Ramirez doesn't have to register as a sex offender and the Anaheim City Attorney office dropped three misdemeanor charges against Ramirez (furnishing/selling alcohol to a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and annoying or molesting a child), much to the chagrin of the Anaheim Police Department detectives.

The answer can be found on October 6, the date of the diocese's infamous Red Mass, which acknowledges local law enforcement. Being acknowledged that day are the very people who should've ensured Ramirez get treated with the hell he deserves.

As usual, Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown found prominent sponsors for his spectacle, and the expected pedo-apologists coughed up funds: longtime diocesan legal counsel/current Weekly Scariest Person Peter Callahan, Wylie Aitken, church attorney Maria Schinderle, wacky Catholic/developer Tim Busch and other such spinners. But a curious name is in the realm of the Gold Sponsors, the highest possible level: prominent SanTana civil rights attorney Federico Sayre. He was the lawyer of Ramirez's victim and previously funded a television puff piece on the Orange diocese. Hey, Fred: why do you give money to an institution that didn't alert county Catholics about another pedophile in their parishes until months after his arrest? And why did you not criticize Ramirez's plea bargain? Are you happy that Anaheim city attorneys don't think Ramirez should be on the sex offender list?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Juror replaced in priest sex case

VERMONT
Fox 44

Associated Press - August 25, 2008 11:05 AM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A juror hearing a priest sex abuse case against the Diocese of Burlington has been dismissed for sleeping through parts of the trial.

Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Matthew Katz says the man "frequently dozed" during testimony. Katz replaced the juror with an alternate on Monday before closing arguments in the trial were due to begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Plaintiff wants up to $14 million in priest abuse case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

August 25, 2008

The plaintiff in a priest-abuse trial wrapping up at Chittenden Superior Court asked the jury today to consider as much as $14 million in damages.

Attorney John Evers said in a closing argument this morning that such damages were appropriate because the state's Roman Catholic diocese's cover-up of abusive behavior by a parish priest was worse than its decision to bring him to Burlington in the first place.

The trial, entering its sixth day, concerns allegations that Rev. Edward Paquette molested an altar boy in the 1970s at Christ the King Church. The plaintiff, now 40 and living in Waitsfield, was 9 years old when the alleged abuse began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Father Dobson sides with exiled church

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

By Damian Bathersby

Caloundra's Catholic leader Father John Dobson has championed the right of besieged South Brisbane parish St Mary’s to remain part of the Roman Catholic church.

Members of the 700-strong parish met last night to consider an ultimatum from Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby, who has threatened to close the church if it continues to operate outside the accepted practices of the Catholic church.

At St Mary’s, unorthodox masses are conducted, women can preach and homosexual couples are blessed.

But Archbishop Bathersby’s warning contained in a three-page letter delivered to St Mary’s parish priest Father Peter Kennedy last Friday came following a parishioner’s complaint about a statue of a Buddhist monk praying which had been placed inside the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Closing Arguments Expected at Priest Abuse Trial

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - August 25, 2008

Closing arguments begin this morning in another priest sex abuse lawsuit.

The plaintiff is a former altar boy who claims that 30 years ago, former Vermont Bishop John Marshall knowingly failed to protect him from pedophile priest Edward Paquette.

After two weeks of testimony the case is expected to go to the jury later today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Diocese’s recommended consolidations reflect move away from ethnic parishes

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY ERIN MOODY
STAFF WRITER
Published: Monday, August 25, 2008 4:10 AM EDT
The preliminary recommendations and the inevitable consolidations for the Scranton Diocese are facilitating a move away from national, or ethnic, parishes built by and for people who wanted and found comfort in being surrounded by people who spoke their language, shared their traditions and understood their values.

According to the diocese’s suggestions for restructuring, 29 of the remaining 34 national parishes in the southern region would be consolidated. The southern region makes up the majority of Luzerne County.

The diocese is encouraging a merging of people and traditions in a time when priests, parishioners and donations are spread too thin to maintain a sprawling and segregated Catholic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Locals vow to fight sale of church in holy row

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Anita Guidera

Monday August 25 2008

A HOLY row has erupted between parishioners fighting to keep a small church open and the priest who wants to sell it.

Father Seamus Dagens gave parishioners at Drumholm, Ballintra, Co Donegal, a chance to oppose the sale of the disused church by writing 'No' on their collection envelopes at Mass yesterday. But most refrained from writing anything, thus apparently, giving the go-ahead for the building to be sold.

The priest angered some of his flock a week ago when he removed the tabernacle from the tiny St Colmcille's chapel, where there has been no Sunday Mass celebrated for five years.

He then asked parishioners who disagreed with his proposal to sell the church to write 'No' on their envelopes during the weekend collection from Mass goers at the much larger St Bridget's church near Ballintra village.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Carmelite group vows to continue

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— There might be a lull or two, but it’s a given that at just about any time of the day, the telephone at the former convent building on Chrome Street that now houses the Community of Teresian Carmelites will ring with a caller reaching out for spiritual help.

It might be a call from a parent concerned about a very sick child or from a person losing a battle to alcoholism or drug abuse.

“The phone might be quiet for some time but then it will ring and ring,” said Arlene Wyrzkowski, a lay member of the religious community. “There’s always someone asking that we pray for them, someone looking for help. And we’ll always be there.”

Despite recently losing their formal church recognition, members of the Carmelite community said they won’t disband and have vowed to continue their ministry.

“We’ll continue to exist as a private association of Christ’s faithful, without the bishop’s recognition,” said Brother Dennis Wyrzkowski, the community’s prior and the son of Mrs. Wyrzkowski. “Our baptism and canon law give us the right to continue our work.”

On Aug. 14, Bishop Robert J. McManus officially dissolved the diocese’s recognition of the Carmelites, saying the community was too small to sustain itself and there was little possibility of growth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Rogue church 'disrespecting' Vatican: Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

[with link to the letter from Archbishop John Bathersby]

Christine Kellett | August 25, 2008

A South Brisbane church, in hot water with the Vatican over its liberal practices, is thumbing its nose at Roman Catholicism by establishing "its own brand of religion", Brisbane's most senior cleric has claimed.

St Mary's Catholic Church in Merivale Street has been threatened with closure following complaints over rogue liturgy, leaders without authority and the placement of a Buddhist statue inside the building.

In a sternly-worded three-page letter to parish priest Father Peter Kennedy at the weekend, Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby called on the church to make up its mind about its allegiance, amid threats it may be cut off by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Parish rejects church practices are 'improper'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A member of St Mary's Church in South Brisbane says most parishioners do not want to break away from the Roman Catholic Church.

Brisbane's Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby says the parish is not in line with the church and he has asked it to decide whether it wants to operate independently.

Archbishop Bathersby says the wording of prayers and the placement of what he believes is a Buddhist statue in the church are unorthodox.

"At the present time they're not in communion with the church and they have to make that significant decision about it," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Rebel Catholic Church faces closure

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

MEMBERS of a renegade Catholic church will meet tonight to consider an ultimatum from Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby to toe the line or face closure.

In a three-page letter delivered to parish priest Father Peter Kennedy on Friday, Archbishop Bathersby called the 700-strong parish of St Mary's South Brisbane "an authority to itself".

"The question for me is not so much whether St Mary's should be closed down, but whether St Mary's will close itself down by practices that separate it from communion with the Roman Catholic Church," Archbishop Bathersby wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Foundation will meet tonight to devise plan to preserve 100-year-old church

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY DENISE ALLABAUGH
STAFF WRITER
Published: Monday, August 25, 2008 4:10 AM EDT
Sacred Heart of Jesus/St. John’s parishioners are trying to save their 100-year-old church on North Main Street in Wilkes-Barre.

The Scranton Diocese last month made a preliminary recommendation to consolidate the church with the smaller St. Stanislaus Kostka parish on North Main Street and locate the new parish at the St. Stanislaus site. The move is strongly opposed by parishioners who make up the Sacred Heart Wilkes-Barre Foundation.

The foundation scheduled an “urgent” meeting for today at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre to discuss their efforts to preserve their historic church founded by the Rev. Joseph Murgas, a biologist, botanist and an international pioneer in radio and wireless telegraphy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

August 24, 2008

Bishop Wilton Gregory Released Priest File with Information Missing

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Voice from the Desert

The following note and 8.23.2008 story from the Belleville (IL) News-Democrat are from Peter Isely, SNAP’s Midwest Director.

Thanks, Peter.

* * *
Note: Testimony in a clergy sex abuse civil trial in Missouri is confirming what has been long been suspected, that the so-called “review boards’ required by the bishops’ 2002 Dallas Charter to be set up in every diocese to “independently” review sexual abuse reports by “qualified” lay people are very little more than window dressing so that the bishops could continue with business as usual. The Belleville (IL) trial is especially important because it directly involves Bishop Wilton Gregory. Gregory, now archbishop in Atlanta, was elected, as many of you may recall, in the midst of the sexual abuse crisis by his fellow bishops to be president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, both during the year the Dallas Charter was put into effect (2002) and the crucial years following. Gregory was positioned by the church’s PR machine as a reformer who, as the head of the Belleville diocese, instituted one of the first “civilian” review boards to assure that abuse reports would be forwarded to law enforcement and not covered-up, that abusive priests would be removed from ministry, and victims treated with fairness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

A Survivor of Clergy Sex Abuse Asks: Is There Really a God?

CALIFORNIA
Voice from the Desert

In a previous Voice from the Desert post, we proclaimed that Kids Are Safer Because of Joey Piscitelli.

Below, read about Joey’s battle against the Salesians, the second largest Catholic religious order in the world, and how a perpetrator Salesian priest, Father Steve Whelan, sexually abused young Joey and changed his life forever.

* * *
The State of California High Appellate Court this week decided unanimously against the Salesian Catholic Order of Priests in the case of Joey Piscitelli vs. Salesians Society. This decision has culminated the 5- year battle that was launched in the California Courts in July of 2003.

There have been many times in my life that I doubted the existence of “God,” most notably when I was being repeatedly molested by the deranged Vice Principal of Salesian High School, Fr. Steve Whelan. That doubt was magnified when I realized that the Salesian Order was riddled with serial molesters who supported and covered for each other at my school, committing countless unconscionable deviate acts against children, with no regard to whether there was a God “watching” them, or not.

It was inconceivable to me as a child how a Salesian Priest could commit vile perverted acts against me one moment, and then say holy Mass and give out Communion moments later. This disturbing fact led me to believe that there could not possibly be a “God,” who would permit this sick behavior, and not intervene. It also occurred to me that the sociopathic lives of the many Salesian Priests who committed these acts were completely acceptable to them, and surely the Divine Creator would not tolerate such rampant deviant behavior, at the cost of the destruction of so many innocent children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Church rape trial resumes Monday

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Florida Parishes bureau
Published: Aug 24, 2008 - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.

AMITE — Testimony is scheduled to resume Monday in the aggravated rape trial of the former pastor of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula.

Louis D. Lamonica, 48, of Holden, is being tried on four counts of aggravated rape for allegedly abusing his two young sons when they were 11 years old or younger.

Under Louisiana law, an aggravated rape conviction carries an automatic life sentence in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Ex-Sunday school teacher facing prison in molestation case

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jennifer D'Ottavio - Aug. 22, 2008 06:46 AM
The Arizona Republic
A former volunteer Sunday school teacher pleaded guilty Thursday to five counts involving the sexual molestation of young children who were under his care during classes at a Chandler church, the Maricopa County Attorney's office said.

Police arrested Terence Greenwood, 63, last December in connection with the molestation of a 5-year-old girl.

The abuse occurred during church services in a classroom designated for children's Sunday school sessions at the Chandler United Methodist Church, which at the time was on Chandler Boulevard near Arizona Avenue. The abuse also happened at Greenwood's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Diocese invites parents to program on technology safety

TRENTON (NJ)
The Times

TRENTON -- Keeping children and families safe in a technologically advanced age will be the focus when the Diocese of Trenton opens a new season of its Child Protection Lecture Series Sept. 12 in the diocese's Pastoral Center, Lawrenceville, from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

Part of its ongoing initiative to create safe environments for children and youth, the free seminar, "Technology Safety and Security," is open to any parent or concerned adult. Developed by VIRTUS, the organization that created Protecting God's Children, TSS provides information, resources and training to help build adult awareness about ways to protect young people in the world of electronic communications.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Diocese sued for first time for sexual abuse

DELAWARE
The News Journal

The News Journal • August 24, 2008

Attorneys announced Friday they have filed the first lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington for childhood sexual abuse by one of its priests, now deceased, who was stationed at St. Francis de Sales Church in Salisbury, Md.

David Dixon, 50, of Peoria, Ariz., claims the Rev. Leonard J. Mackiewicz took him from his Salisbury home, drove him across state lines to the priest's mother's house in Sussex County and sexually abused him when he was 12 years old, according the suit filed Friday in Sussex County Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

August 23, 2008

Confermate le accuse di pedofilia a don Ruggero Il Riesame: «Impressionante numero di abusi»

ITALY
Il Messaggero

ROMA (6 agosto) - «Nel complesso le accuse appaiono gravissime perchè riferiscono di un numero impressionante di abusi sessuali compiuti sui minori». Questo uno dei passaggi contenuti nelle sei pagine di motivazioni depositate dal Tribunale del Riesame di Roma che nei giorni scorsi ha confermato la misura cautelare in carcere per don Ruggero Conti, il sacerdote, ex parroco della chiesa di Selva Candida, alla periferia della Capitale, arrestato il 30 giugno scorso con le accuse di violenza sessuale. Il collegio presieduto da Antonino Lo Surdo si spinge ad ipotizzare «una condanna altamente probabile» per Conti, detenuto nel carcere di Regina Coeli.

[translation]
Confirmed the allegations of pedophilia to the Rev. Ruggero
The Tribunal for the reexamination: "An impressive number of abuses"

Rome (August 6) - " On the whole the allegations appear very grave for they refer to a very impressive number of sexual abuses performed on minors". That is one of the passages contained in the six pages of motivations deposited by the Tribunal for the Reexamination of Rome which in the past days confirmed the cautionary measure to keep in jail the Rev. Ruggero Conti, the former parish priest of the church of Selva Candida in the periphery of Rome, arrested on last Jun 30th after being accused of sexual violence. The group of judges, under the presidency of Antonino Lo Surdo, went so far as to hypothesize " a very likely conviction" for the Rev. Conti, now detained in the Regina Cieli's jail.

The defensive strategy. The defendant's lawyers - composed by Riccardo Olivo, Anna D'Alessandro and Giancarlo D'Onofrio - had brought during the Reexamination procedure numerous parents of boys who witnessed in favor of the priest. Among them there a was a
cleaning lady who said the priest had often paid for her son's vacations.

The charges. In the Reexamination's ordinance, instead, it can be read the sexual abuses " even if they weren't accompanied with physical violence and menaces were possible because the victims were in a state of subjection and the Rev. Conti profited from that without any moral and material restrain deriving from his role and the condition of the boys".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Settlement leaves victims of abuse by priests cold

CHEYENNE (WY)
Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

By Bill McCarthy
bmccarthy@wyomingnews.com

CHEYENNE - Three men who allege sexual assault by former Wyoming Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Hart said Friday that the $10 million settlement of a lawsuit is small comfort compared to a lifetime of suffering.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph, where Hart served as a priest early in his career, has agreed to settle sexual--abuse claims against the diocese and 12 priests brought by 47 victims who said the incidents occurred between 1951 and 1992.

Diocese spokeswoman Rebecca Summers said Bishop Robert W. Finn received unanimous recommendations from two diocese boards Thursday to approve the settlement - a stipulation of church law, The Associated Press reported.

"I would trade all the money if I could make it so that it never happened," said Mike Hunter, 59, who alleges Hart abused him and his brother as boys dating back to 1963.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

'Abused student' mystery

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

August 24, 2008 - 6:24AM

A MAN who has alleged a priest abused him at St Joseph's Nudgee College in Brisbane was not a student there, school officials say.

Paul Fauth, who said he was 59 and now lived in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, told ABC Radio Sydney last month that a priest had molested him at the school in the 1950s.

He said he had discovered during World Youth Day events that others in his class had also been abused and four had committed suicide.

Mr Fauth later told The Sun-Herald the abuse had occurred at Nudgee College.

A spokesman for the school said he could not confirm Mr Fauth's allegation but last week the spokesman said records showed no one by that name had attended the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

An American Catholic tragedy

CHICAGO (IL)
GetReligion

Posted by Mark Stricherz

Have you read Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy? The book is a favorite of mine. Its greatness lies not only in the story, but also its accumulation of detail. In reading the book I felt as if I knew all about Clyde Griffiths— his shame at his poor Christian parents, his envy of the wealthy guests at the Kansas City hotel where he worked, his cold-blooded plan to murder his working-class pregnant girlfriend.

I had a roughly similar feeling while reading The Chicago Tribune’s expose of the Chicago archdiocese’s mishandling and cover-up of its sex-abuse scandal.

Granted, reporters Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear were fortunate to hit the journalist’s equivalent of a jackpot: the release of Cardinal Francis George’s deposition. Yet give the reporters credit for describing and quoting from the deposition’s testimony in detail. Consider the passage below about how the Rev. Edward Grace, the archdiocese’s vicar for priests, coached accused abuser Father Joseph Bennett:

In 2002, a male victim voluntarily underwent a lie-detector test that showed he was telling the truth. The cardinal says he never received that information. In 2003, a female victim tells archdiocese officials specific details about freckles on Bennett’s scrotum and a round birthmark on his back that led an archdiocese review board to conclude that sexual abuse “did happen.”

Grace advised Bennett on how to handle the victim’s knowledge of his private parts, according to a memo. According to the testimony, Grace told Bennett in November 2005 to get a note from a dermatologist questioning whether the scrotum marks might be “aging marks” and may not have been present at the time of the allegation.

The victims’ attorney, Anderson, asks the cardinal about the freckles matter, saying: “Grace is—looks like he’s trying to explain it away. Do you read it that way?”

George responds: “It could be read that way.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Non-Monetary Commitments of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

KANSAS CITY (MO)
SNAP-Great Plains

1. Through a press statement to the secular media and through publication in The Catholic Key, the Diocese will continue to publicly acknowledge the wrongfulness of sexual abuse by the perpetrators, and will acknowledge that its own response to reports of sexual abuse has, in the past, been wrong.

2. The Diocese will continue its long-standing offer to provide counseling to all victims of sexual abuse and their immediate family members, at the expense of the Diocese. The plaintiffs collectively shall appoint an individual of their choice to act as an intermediary between plaintiffs and the Diocese in order to facilitate the provision of independent therapy for any plaintiff for a maximum of twenty four (24) sessions.

3. The Diocese will not provide a reference or recommendation for purposes of prospective employment with respect to any priest, nun, deacon, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse. If the Diocese receives a request for such a reference or recommendation, the Diocese will respond that it will not provide such a reference or recommendation, except in the case where a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse has been filed, in which case the Diocese will inform the prospective employer of that fact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Man, 77, on sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
August 24, 2008 12:30am
POLICE have charged an Oaklands Park man, 77, with numerous sex offences in connection with the abuse of young boys who were wards of the state.

The offending allegedly occurred from the early 1960s to the late 1970s at the Glandore and Somerton Park boys' homes, where the man was employed.

The victims, aged between eight and 13 at the time, gave evidence to the Mullighan inquiry. ...

His arrest is the latest in a series for historical sex offences made by task force detectives this month.

The others include:

A FORMER Anglican priest, 73, charged with indecent assault and unlawful sexual intercourse in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Preacher 'never saw a doctor'

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

ELISSA LAWRENCE
August 24, 2008 12:30am
MICHAEL Guglielmucci hung around in doctors' waiting rooms as part of a web of lies to convince followers that he was dying of cancer.

Family members of the fallen Christian superstar were also convinced God had healed him of some of the debilitating effects – including broken bones – of his fake battle with cancer.

Details have begun to emerge about how Mr Guglielmucci deceived those close to him. A friend of 15 years, Adelaide motivational speaker Colin Pearce, revealed his adult sons had been fooled by Mr Guglielmucci.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Disgraced pastor 'porn addict'

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

ELISSA LAWRENCE
August 24, 2008 12:30am

THE father of disgraced pastor Michael Guglielmucci has revealed his son has been addicted to pornography since the age of 12.

Danny Guglielmucci – whose high-profile preacher son this week admitted his two-year battle with cancer was fake – said the "severe addiction to pornography" was part of a bizarre double life his son had been leading.

Mr Guglielmucci said Michael had made a full confession to his family about his past, including revelations about the 16-year porn obsession and the lies over his supposed battle with terminal illness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Pastor Senyonga arrested in USA

UGANDA
The New Vision

Friday, 22nd August, 2008

BY L. NAMUBIRU AND AGENCIES

America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is probing allegations that Pastor Jackson Senyonga of Christian Life Ministries in Kampala molested a 13-year-old girl on a flight last Saturday, the Associated press has reported.

The Associated Press is an international news agency based in the US.

Senyonga was accused of fondling the girl, who was seated next to him during the flight from Denver to Oakland.

When the flight landed, he was arrested by Oakland authorities, then he was questioned and released on bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Lawsuit claims abuse by former city priest

SALISBURY (MD)
The Daily Times

By Earl Holland • Staff Writer • August 23, 2008

SALISBURY -- An Arizona man has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington, claiming he was molested by a priest assigned to a city church nearly 40 years ago.

David Dixon, of Peoria, Ariz., filed the suit Friday in Sussex County Superior Court charging that he was molested in 1970 by Leonard Mackiewicz, a former priest at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.

The lawsuit also claims that Mackiewicz, who died in 1994, was a serial abuser of both boys and girls during his 30 years as a priest in churches throughout the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland and most of Delaware.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Diocese mulls local church reconfiguration Valley, Towanda, Canton and Wyalusing could be affected

SCRANTON (PA)
The Daily Review

BY TIFFANY PEDEN
STAFF WRITER
Published: Saturday, August 23, 2008 4:31 AM EDT
The planning commission of the Diocese of Scranton recently recommended the potential reconfiguration of Catholic churches in seven Bradford County communities.

As part of the diocese’s project “Called to holiness and mission: pastoral planning in the Diocese of Scranton,” a preliminary recommendation was made to reconfigure churches in Sayre, Athens, South Waverly, Bentley Creek, Towanda, Canton and Wyalusing, according to statements from the Diocese of Scranton Planning Commission on the Diocese of Scranton’s Web site.

The project is to focus on the “effective revitalization of all parishes,” the release stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Nun's suicide: petition challenges compensation

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOCHI (ICNS): A petition has challenged the compensation of 200,000 rupees that the state government offered to pay to the family of the nun who committed suicide in Kerala.

The Marxist coalition government in the state promised the compensation to the parents of Sister Anoopa Mary, who was found hanging on Aug. 11 from the ceiling of a room in her St Mary's Convent in Kollam.

The petition filed by Peter George, a teacher in Kochi, wanted the Kerala High Court to prevent the misuse of public money offered as financial assistance to undeserved people.

The suicide note of the nun had accused the convent superior of harassing her. Her father Pappachan accused the convent authorities of sexually harassing the nun and met state chief minister seeking action against the convent authorities. The chief minister promised to pay the compensation Aug. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Jury convicts ex-secretary of stealing from churches

HAWAII
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Tom Finnegan
tfinnegan@starbulletin.com
LIHUE » Daria Bruce, longtime secretary of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Kalaheo, was found guilty in Circuit Court of stealing money from two churches' donations.

After a three-week trial and two days of deliberation, a jury found this week that Bruce, 62, diverted nearly $85,000 from the churches, first to the Filipino Catholic Club and then to herself.

Bruce, 62, could receive up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine when she is sentenced Dec. 4, as well as being forced to pay restitution.

County Deputy Prosecutor Mauna Kea Trask said Bruce was secretary of Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo and Sacred Heart Parish in Eleele from 1998 until 2005. She routinely commingled funds between the church and the Filipino Catholic Club, of which she was treasurer and president. Then, prosecutors said, she allegedly wrote checks from the club's account to herself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Jeffs, 2 other FLDS leaders charged with bigamy

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By LISA SANDBERG
San Antonio Express-News

Bigamy charges have been filed in Texas against jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and two other members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

All three men were charged last month with sexual assault of a child in connection with underage marriages.

Charged along with Jeffs on Thursday were Raymond Merril Jessop, 36, and Michael George Emack, 57. The pair surrendered to Schleicher County authorities Friday afternoon, said the sheriff there, David Doran. Both were released after each posted $10,000 bond, Doran said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Jeffs, 2 others indicted on felony bigamy counts

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 12:34 a.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs and two of his followers are the latest to be indicted by a grand jury here on third-degree felony bigamy charges.

The indictments were unsealed after Raymond Merril Jessop, 36, and Michael George Emack, 57, surrendered to authorities at the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office Friday afternoon. They were booked and released after each posted $10,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Joseph Biden: a frank and abiding faith

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Christian Science Monitor

By Gail Russell Chaddock | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the August 27, 2007 edition

Washington - From his childhood bedroom in a treeless industrial suburb of Wilmington, Del., Joe Biden looked out on Archmere, an Italianate mansion and Catholic boys high school that he called "the object of my deepest desire, my Oz."

Archmere was also the home of financier John Jacob Raskob, who ran the 1928 campaign of Gov. Al Smith (D) of New York, the first Roman Catholic to become the presidential nominee of a major US political party. ...

Biden is troubled, too, by ongoing sexual-abuse scandals involving children within the church. But he says his commitment to church remains unchanged. "This is my church as much as it is the church of a cardinal, bishop, or janitor, and I'm not going anywhere," he said. I care a great deal about my faith."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

AP: Obama Chooses Biden

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

By: Mara Vanderslice

I think Biden is a great choice for the Obama campaign! His working class roots in Scranton, PA, foreign policy bona fides and deep Catholic faith- that you can just tell is in his bones- will be a great addition to the ticket. ...

There will be a lot more discussion on these topics in days to come, but in the meantime, check out this great Christian Science Monitor piece on Biden's faith: "Joseph Biden: A Frank and Abiding Faith". ...

Biden is troubled, too, by ongoing sexual-abuse scandals involving children within the church. But he says his commitment to church remains unchanged. "This is my church as much as it is the church of a cardinal, bishop, or janitor, and I'm not going anywhere," he said. "I care a great deal about my faith."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Sex charge against missionary dropped

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Melinda Rogers
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 08/23/2008 01:26:36 AM MDT

Charges were dropped Friday against a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was accused of fondling a 12-year-old Salt Lake County boy he had recently baptized.

Third District Judge Judith Atherton dismissed a first-degree felony count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child against Kyle Saucier after prosecutors said they could not go forward because of "witness problems."

Prosecutor Alicia Cook said there was "a refusal to participate in the process" by the boy and his mother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Texas drops cases involving 49 more kids

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Child welfare authorities have moved to drop cases involving another 49 children from a polygamous sect.

Requests to dismiss the cases were filed in Tom Green County Court Friday, said Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for Texas Child Protective Services.

To date, CPS has dropped cases involving approximately 150 FLDS children removed last April from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

What of victims when inquiry wraps?

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The room is at the end of a hallway, its door adorned with a simple sign marked "Private."

Inside, Colleen Parrish has placed a coffee pot, a box of Kleenexes, and some of her own magazines. Two of her husband's paintings hang on the otherwise bare walls.

"It was really unattractive," she explains. "If I was a person who was going to come in for counselling support or witness support, I wouldn't have wanted to be in the room."

It's not hard to view the changes Parrish has made to the Cornwall Public Inquiry's support room as a microcosm of the greater changes she'd like to see take place in the city. As policy director, Parrish oversees Phase 2 of the inquiry, which has a mandate to foster healing and reconciliation in a community that's struggling to cope with decades of sexual abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Attorneys File Sex Abuse Case Against Diocese of Wilmington

DELAWARE
WBOC

08/22/2008 7 PM ET

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington alleging child sexual abuse against one of its former priests.

Lawyers say their client was abused in 1970, when he was 12 years old, by the Rev. Leonard Mackiewicz at St. Francis de Sales Church in Salisbury, Md. The priest died in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Video helps tribal leaders educate about sex abuse

MONTANA
Billings Gazette

By DIANE COCHRAN
Of The Gazette Staff

After 14 children in an Alaska Native community were sexually abused by one person, tribal leaders began looking for ways to educate and heal their people.

But most officials who address sex crimes in Alaska's native communities are white, said Diane Payne, a children's justice specialist with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in Anchorage.

Tribal members wanted a resource that used native voices.

"We created a tool that can be used on the community level," Payne said in Billings Friday. "It doesn't require people from outside or people with degrees to come in and use it." ...

The interviews in the production were conducted by Elsie Hardin, a Yup'ik social worker who told the audience Friday that she was sexually abused by a Catholic priest.

"Sexual abuse is not a cultural practice," Hardin said. "It is not something we pride ourselves in or want to teach our children. But it is a part of our history as native people, and it is part of our reality today."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Abuse victims say Diocese is delaying settlements

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Trevor Wilhelm, The Windsor Star
Published: Friday, August 22, 2008

Frustrated victims of pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre say the London diocese is prolonging their pain by dragging its feet over compensation and forcing them to repeatedly relive the horrors of their youth.

"I feel like I'm being raped again," said Lou Ann Soontiens, who was assaulted from about age 11 to 17, when she had a forced abortion.

"Bishop (Ronald) Fabbro made comments of a speedy resolution and compassion. Where's the compassion? We want to move on with our lives and we've got this hanging over us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Information on priest wasn't given to review board

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/23/2008

BELLEVILLE — Margaret Mensen said she was supposed to investigate allegations of misconduct by priests for the Belleville Diocese and interview victims. But she couldn't investigate them all, she said, because she didn't know some existed.

Mensen, the former administrator for a civilian review board investigating priestly misconduct, told a St. Clair County jury on Friday that a file containing complaints against Rev. Raymond Kownacki didn't include information about numerous people who claimed abuse.

The file was given to her by former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory, she said.

Mensen said she only got information about two possible victims — even though diocesan documents displayed in court show there were many others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Priest abuse settlement to include apologies

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By KEVIN MURPHY
The Kansas City Star
A $10 million settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph includes commitments for apologies, counseling and a promise not to refer to plaintiffs’ abuse claims as “alleged.”

Two diocese boards Thursday night approved the settlement with 47 plaintiffs who filed sexual abuse lawsuits.

On Friday, lawyers for the victims outlined 19 non-monetary commitments by the diocese.

“These are the most far-reaching, non-monetary commitments that have ever been negotiated between a diocese and victims of childhood sexual abuse in the United States,” said Rebecca Randles, lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Sex abuse case filed against diocese

DELAWARE
Annapolis Capital

WILMINGTON, Del. - Attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington alleging child sexual abuse against one of its former priests.

Lawyers say their client was abused in 1970, when he was 12 years old, by the Rev. Leonard Mackiewicz at St. Francis de Sales Church in Salisbury. The priest died in 1994.

Bob Krebs, a spokesman for the diocese, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The lawsuit alleges that the diocese had prior knowledge that the Rev. Mackiewicz was sexually abusing young children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Clergy abuse trial headed to jury on Monday

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 23, 2008

The jury in the Burlington clergy sex abuse trial will begin deliberations Monday in the case of man who claims the state's Roman Catholic diocese is to blame for his molestation as an altar boy by the Rev. Edward Paquette in the late 1970s.

Lawyers for the diocese and the former altar boy rested their cases Friday and the jury was sent home for the weekend by Judge Matthew Katz shortly before 1 p.m. Katz scheduled closing arguments for 9:30 a.m. Monday.

"If we were to try to get everything done today, you probably would not get the case until late in the afternoon," Katz told the six-man, six-woman jury. "That's not the right way to start deliberations in a trial that has lasted six or seven days."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Testimony: Gregory released priest file missing information on other victims

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

[with link to the transcript of testimony by the Rev. Joseph Schwaegel]

By George Pawlacz
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --After former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory reviewed personnel files of priests suspected of sexually abusing minors, the only one he turned over to a special review board was missing key reports about other victims, according to testimony Friday in a civil trial in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The omissions prevented the board from investigating and offering counseling to at least four potential victims, testified Margaret Mensen, the panel’s civilian administrator from 1993 to 1998. The seven-member board of civilians and Catholic clergy was created in 1993 to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Gregory, now archbishop of Atlanta, could not be reached for comment.

Mensen testified that any diocesan employee, including a bishop, who does not immediately make known all information about alleged sexual abuse of minors, even if the allegations go back many years, violates church law and special regulations connected to the review board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

'Basic Instinct' author writes book about faith

OHIO
Toledo Blade

Joe Eszterhas' latest book is a shocker, but not the kind that made him rich and famous.

The upcoming release from the man who penned dark thrillers such as Basic Instinct and Jagged Edge tells the story of his spiritual conversion and his newfound devotion to God and family. ...

He and Naomi have been faithfully attending Catholic Mass on Sundays ever since, and as the book title states, Joe carries the cross down the aisle. He asserts his nonconformity, however, by wearing jeans and Rolling Stones T-shirts when he does it. Despite the rebel attire, he says he carries the cross with more reverence than most.

Although he is a devout Catholic, Mr. Eszterhas writes bluntly of his disgust for priests who are pedophiles and bishops who have covered up for them. He and Naomi decided they could not, in good conscience, donate a dime to the church because of the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

He also writes about the inner turmoil he felt when he took his boys to catechism classes or other church events and kept a protective eye on them the whole time, making sure they were never alone with a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

August 22, 2008

Sex Abuse Trial Takes Bizarre Twist

AMITE (LA)
WGNO

Jon Huffman,

August 22, 2008

AMITE — THE TRIAL OF A FORMER PASTOR FROM PONCHATOULA ACCUSED OF MOLESTING HIS TWO YOUNG SONS TOOK A STRANGE TWIST THIS MORNING.

IN OPENING STATEMENTS, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS PORTRAYED THE CHARGES AS THE DEMENTED FANTASIES OF ONE POWERFUL CHURCH MEMBER WHO CONVINCED OTHER CONGREGANTS IT WAS TRUE.

THEY PAINTED A PICTURE OF THE HOSANNA CHURCH AS AN ALMOST JIM JONES-LIKE CULT HEADED BY A CHARISMATIC LEADER.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Statements delivered against pastor

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DEBRA LEMOINE
Florida Parishes bureau
Published: Aug 22, 2008 - UPDATED: 3:50 PM

AMITE — Louis D. Lamonica confessed to raping his two young sons because he was manipulated by a self-proclaimed prophet who had visions of Lamonica’s sins and insisted he admit them to be cleansed by God, defense counsel Michael Thiel said in opening statements this morning.

Assistant District Attorney Don Wall, however, told the jury in his opening statements that Lamonica is a pedophile who began having sex with his sons starting when they were 5 years old. Lamonica not only confessed these crimes to law enforcement personnel but also wrote about them “to a nauseating extent,” Wall told the jury.

Lamonica, 48, of Hammond is being tried in the 21st Judicial District Court in Amite on four counts of aggravated rape of his two sons. He is the second of seven members of the now-defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula indicted in 2005 on charges of sexually abusing children to be tried.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Court: Conversations with pastors not always privileged

NEW JERSEY
USA Today

By Kate Coscarelli, Religion News Service
A conversation with a religious leader is not protected from being revealed in court unless it occurred in private and the leader was acting as a spiritual adviser, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that a pastor's testimony should be allowed at a trial in which a father is facing charges of sexually molesting his two daughters.

While the conversation occurred in private, the pastor did not offer to keep it confidential. Nor did he purport to be acting in the role of a spiritual adviser, and he explicitly refused to counsel the man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Former Fairy Meadow priest on sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

BY JODIE MINUS AND MICHELLE HOCTOR
23/08/2008 4:00:00 AM
A retired Catholic priest from Fairy Meadow has been charged with a string of child sex offences after a former altar boy complained to a victims support group.

Kelvin Gerald Sharkey, 81, was charged by Lake Illawarra detectives earlier this month with two counts of buggery and 10 counts of indecent assault.

He has been summonsed to appear in Wollongong Local Court on September 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Clergy Sex Abuse Is Measured: Arbitrator Calculates

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCUR

[with audio]

Dan Verbeck, KCUR news
KANSAS CITY, MO.
A contract is sealed between forty seven men and women and the Kansas City St. Joseph Catholic diocese. Bishop Robert Finn admits plaintiffs suffered sexual abuse when they were young boys or girls and over a period that spanned five decades.

Outside Crown Center District law offices where arbitrations are deciding how $10 million in church funds will be divided among the forty seven, lawyers say the atmosphere inside is so charged nearly everyone has been weeping. The independent arbitrator is hearing descriptions of abuse and gauging duration and severity. But the outside subject is the non money settlement, point after point detailed by attorney Rebecca Randles who says, "these are the most far reaching non monetary commitments that have ever been negotiated between a diocese and the victims of childhood sexual abuse anywhere in the united states and as far as we know, anywhere in the world."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Local priest accused of sexual assault flees to Brazil

MASSACHUSETTS
O Jornal

By: Lurdes C. da Silva 08/22/2008

Hyannis - A Brazilian priest who celebrated a weekly Mass in Portuguese at Saint Francis Xavier in Hyannis has fled to Brazil after being accused of sexually assaulting a minor in Connecticut.
Father José Afonso Lima had been placed on temporary leave from ministry by Fall River Diocese Bishop George W. Coleman last week.
"At this point, there have been absolutely no allegations about Father Lima's misbehavior in our diocese," John Kerns, director of communications for the Fall River Diocese told O Jornal.
"All reports [about Fr. Lima] around here are in fact very positive," added Kerns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

No excuse for inaction

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

Fifteen years ago, Southern Illinois residents reacted in stunned disbelief when the Belleville Diocese started removing priests accused of sexual misconduct. The civil trial this week brought by James Wisniewski, who said he was abused by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki in the early 1970s, has brought back that punch-in-the-gut feeling.

The general allegations were bad enough. But to listen to diocesan leaders testify they knew Kownacki was accused of abusing young boys and simply moved the priest to unsuspecting parishes is in some ways worse. Wisniewski's attorney on Thursday produced records during testimony that showed similar patterns with three other priests.

Church leaders had an obligation to call the police about Kownacki. At a minimum they should have kept him away from children. They did neither.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Diocese meets with area parishes for long-term planning

MICHIGAN
Cheboygan Daily Tribune

By RICH ADAMS
Tribune Editor

GAYLORD, Mich. - A series of parish town hall meetings are being scheduled throughout Northern Michigan to determine the future of the various Catholic churches in the Diocese of Gaylord.

A shortage of clergy is prompting the Diocese to look at each church and come up with a list of long-term goals.

But that doesn't necessarily mean church closings, as was the case in the 1990s in Cheboygan County.

“The Parish and Personnel Task Force has been working for about two years,” said Candace Neff, director of communications for the Diocese. “It is made up of people throughout the Diocese. It has worked on short-term goals, and is now working on the long-term goals.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Ex-priest's trial on sex charges to start Nov. 17

MESA (AZ)
Fox 11

MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- The trial of a former Roman Catholic priest charged with seven misdemeanor sex-related crimes has been pushed back to November.

A three-week postponement was granted Thursday for the start of the trial for Monsignor Dale Fushek, former pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa.

San Tan Justice of the Peace Samuel Goodman moved the jury trial from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17 because of court calendar conflict. The cases were filed almost three years ago.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers wrangled over a motion on whether Fushek would get a fair trial if all five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one count of assault and one of indecent exposure were heard at one trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Lawyers rest cases in church abuse trial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Both sides in the clergy sex abuse trial in Burlington rested their cases today after showing jurors videotaped testimony addressing allegations the state’s Roman Catholic diocese covered up sexual misconduct by priests.

Lawyers for the alleged victim in the case given the jury presented a pre-recorded interview of former Bishop Kenneth Angell and lawyers for diocese showed testimony by Judge Mark Keller and the Rev. Phillip LaMothe.

After the final videotape was shown, Judge Matthew Katz dismissed the jury for the weekend and told them they will begin deliberations on the case after hearing closing arguments from the lawyers Monday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Testimony Ends in Church Abuse Civil Suit

VERMONT
Fox 44

Testimony wrapped up Friday in the latest civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

The jury heard testimony by video from now retired Bishop Kenneth Angell about how the Diocese of Burlington handled the situation involving allegations of a priest molesting altar boys.

On videotape, Bishop Angell said there was no procedure to handle these types of situations in the 1970s. He said he would have gotten advice from his lawyers before alerting police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Psychiatrist says former altar boy suffered long-term damage

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

By George Pawlacz
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --A St. Louis psychiatrist testified today during a civil trial involving a lawsuit against the Diocese of Belleville that former altar boy James Wisniewski suffered long-term damage from sexual abuse by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

The trial, before St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto, heard testimony from Dr. Stephen E. Petersen. He stated that Wisniewski was 13 when he was first assaulted by Kownacki who, sexually molested him at the rectory, or priest's residence, of St. Theresa's Parish in 1973. Petersen said after examining Wisniewski for more than eight hours, that he believes the former altar boy is telling the truth and will require medication and treatment for at least five to 10 years.

Petersen told plaintiff's attorney Mike Weilmuenster of Belleville, that Wisniewski suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other psychological damage. The psychiatrist testified that while Wisniewski did not recognize that he had been damaged until 2002, when reports of priest sexual abuse in Boston became national news, such a delayed reaction was common in cases of sexual abuse of boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Catholic priest tried to order porn movie and lied to victim's parents

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – A Catholic priest sentenced to 180 days in jail this week for taking a 17-year-old parishioner to a motel room had tried to rent a pornographic movie and lied to the victim’s parents about the teen’s whereabouts, according to court records made public today.

The Rev. Luis Eduardo Ramirez, ousted from Our Lady of the Pillar in Santa Ana after his January arrest, told the victim’s parents that he was bringing their son to a youth seminar the night of Jan. 3, wrote Orange County Deputy Probation Officer Vicki L. Pedrin in a Aug. 7th probation report.

Instead, the priest drove to a restaurant in Orange where he ordered two margaritas for the victim, then brought the boy to Cortona Inn and Suites in Anaheim, the report says. There, the priest rented a room, and tried to order a pornographic film.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Diocese boards approve priest abuse settlement

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

Two boards of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have approved a $10 million settlement with 47 plaintiffs in sexual abuse lawsuits against priests.

The Board of Consulters and the Diocese Finance Council affirmed the agreement Thursday evening, said Rebecca Summers, spokeswoman for the diocese. Bishop Robert W. Finn said Wednesday he would sign the agreement once the two boards affirmed it.

Twelve priests were accused in lawsuits of abusing the plaintiffs as children, mostly between the 1950s and early 1980s. The suits were filed beginning in 2002 in Jackson County. An arbiter will determine how much each plaintiff will receive, after about 40 percent is taken out for legal fees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Public invited to workshop on pastoral planning process

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

The public is invited to a series of workshops to be held in the first week of September on the pastoral planning process underway in the archdiocese.

In May 2007, at the request of Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, the 15-member Pastoral Planning Committee produced the report, “A Church Continually Being Reborn,” a roadmap for how parishes in the archdiocese will have to adapt to future realities.

Since its release, pastors and parish leaders have used this report as a starting point for parish and inter-parish meetings to discuss its contents and implications.

To begin this process, Cardinal O’Malley identified three areas of pastoral life he considers particularly challenging for the archdiocese: faith formation, marriage, and pastoral planning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Former priest charged with sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Alex Tibbitts and Georgina Robinson
August 23, 2008

A former Wollongong priest has been charged with a series of sex offences dating back to the 60s.

Kelvin Gerald Sharkey, an 81-year-old retired Catholic priest who now lives in Victoria, has been charged with 10 counts of indecent assault and two counts of buggery of an altar boy at St John Vianney's, Fairy Meadow, which runs a primary school.

Police allege the offences occurred from 1969 to 1976, starting when the victim was 10 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Bruce guilty of church theft

HAWAII
The Garden Island

by Michael Levine - The Garden Island

After more than two weeks of evidence presentation and testimony, and two days of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict of guilty for Daria Bruce — the former Westside church employee who had been accused of stealing donations — yesterday in 5th Circuit Court.

Bruce stood completely still and showed no emotion as her attorney, William Feldhacker, requested a polling of the 12-member jury, requiring them to stand, one by one, and confirm that they agreed with the guilty verdict.

The verdict was unanimous.

“The jury did their job,” said deputy prosecuting attorney Mauna Kea Trask. “They listened to all the evidence and they made their decision.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

IRS goes to court over Brooklyn Park church's records

MINNESOTA
The Bemidji Pioneer

The Associated Press - Friday, August 22, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS

The Internal Revenue Service is looking into financial dealings between a Twin Cities church and its pastor.

The Star Tribune reports the IRS is investigating whether compensation and loan deals between the Living Word Christian Center of Brooklyn Park and its pastor, the Reverend Mac Hammond, violated laws for tax-exempt organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Molestation suspect nabbed at Oakland airport heads Ugandan megachurch

OAKLAND (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Gideon Rubin
The Daily Review
Article Launched: 08/21/2008 04:44:36 PM PDT

OAKLAND — A man arrested Saturday on suspicion of molesting a 13-year-old East Bay girl on a flight from Denver to Oakland is the minister of a Ugandan megachurch and is known internationally as a poverty-relief advocate.

Jackson Senyonga, 41, of Uganda was arrested by sheriff's deputies at Oakland International Airport on suspicion of fondling a girl seated next to him on the flight, sheriff's deputies said.

Alameda County prosecutors have since declined to charge Senyonga because of jurisdictional issues, but have referred the case to the FBI, Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Thursday.

Senyonga was initially taken to Santa Rita jail in Dublin, but was released after posting bail on a date not immediately known, Nelson said Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Sessions until Christmas: Engelmann

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Black binders containing reports, memos, and personal e-mails surround Comm. Normand Glaude's desk at the Cornwall Public Inquiry. More than 2,000 exhibits have been entered into evidence since the inquiry's first witness testified in early 2006.

With the Beijing Olympics in full swing, perhaps it's not surprising that athletic metaphors are on Peter Engelmann's mind.

"What you typically see in a public inquiry, towards the end, (is) a bit of a sprint," says Engelmann, lead counsel for the city's own olympian undertaking, the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

Hearings have been on hold since Aug. 1, when former Bishop Eugene LaRocque left the stand, complaining of fatigue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Clergy sex abuse victim wins appeal

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[with link to court document]

A California appeals court has upheld a lower court's finding that a Catholic priest molested a boy and his church colleagues and bosses were responsible for the crimes.

Joey Piscitelli charged, in a civil case, that he was molested by a Salesian cleric in the Bay Area and that the priest's supervisors could and should have prevented the abuse. He was awarded a six figure verdict. The Salesians appealed the case, claiming there wasn't a fair trial.

The 13 page order, in favor of Piscitelli, was apparently issued late yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Lawsuit against diocese involving ex-Dover priest dismissed

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Foster's Daily Democrat

By AARON SANBORN
asanborn@fosters.com

Article Date: Friday, August 22, 2008
A lawsuit against the Diocese of Manchester, claiming a former Dover priest raped and infected a man with HIV, has been dismissed.

Officials at Hillsborough County Superior Court confirmed the case's dismissal on Thursday afternoon but could give no further information because the dismissal is under seal.

The diocese's attorney, Brian Quirk, declined to comment about any aspect of the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

“Tough to swallow"

SACRAMENTO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Authorities in Mexico have released a former Sacramento diocesan priest who was awaiting extradition to California to face charges of having sexually abused minors.

Mexican authorities arrested Gerardo Beltran, 51, in March and have been holding him in a Mexico City jail. "Our understanding is that he was released from custody when Mexican courts ruled that he couldn't be extradited because the statute of limitations had run out," Jeff Galvin, assistant information officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, told the Sacramento Bee.

Beltran started working in the Diocese of Sacramento in 1982. He fled to his native Mexico in 1991 when Sacramento police began investigating allegations that he had molested two girls. After Beltran’s flight, the Sacramento diocese removed his faculties.

Beltran has been charged with four counts of child molestation involving two victims for incidents that allegedly occurred between 1989 and 1991. Media coverage this year brought forward two more accusers, and Beltran faces three additional charges for alleged acts of abuse between 1988 and 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Grand jury returns three more indictments in FLDS case

ELDORADO (TX)
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Friday, August 22, 2008

ELDORADO - A Schleicher County grand jury returned three more felony indictments against members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, bringing to 12 the number of charges affiliated thus far with the April raid on the polygamist sect.

The indictments were against three people, District Clerk Peggy Williams said, but she declined to discuss any further details - including even whether the indictments name any of the same men charged by the grand jury at its July meeting.

"I'm not going to go into that until these people have been arrested," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Ex-youth minister charged with another sexual assault

EAST ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY JENNIFER A. BOWEN
News-Democrat

A former O'Fallon church youth minister charged last month with assaulting an 8-year-old girl has been charged again with sexually assaulting another youngster.

Terrence Jenkins, 36, of 542 N. 14th St. in East St. Louis, was charged Thursday by St. Clair County prosecutors with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. The girl was 14 when assaulted on Aug. 11, 2006, the charges state.

He is accused of molesting both girls while he served as a youth minister with Faith United Baptist Church in O'Fallon, according to the court documents. Jenkins is no longer with the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

More charges filed against Metro East youth pastor

EAST ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fort Mill Times

(Published August 22, 2008)
BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A former O'Fallon church youth minister already facing charges of assaulting an 8-year-old girl has been charged again with sexually assaulting a second youth.

Thirty-six-year-old Terrence Jenkins of East St. Louis was charged Thursday with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. According to the charges, the girl was 14 when assaulted on August 11, 2006.

According to court documents, Jenkins is accused of molesting both girls while he served as a youth minister with Faith United Baptist Church in O'Fallon. Jenkins is no longer with the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Witness: Ex-altar boy shows signs of abuse

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 22, 2008

A Burlington altar boy allegedly molested between 20 and 50 times by the Rev. Edward Paquette in the 1970s continues to suffer low-grade depression and post-traumatic stress 30 years later, a psychologist testified in court Thursday.

"His claim of experiencing anxiety and depression is borne out not only in his verbal report but in his test results," Dr. Joseph Hasazi of Burlington told the jury during the sixth day of a clergy sex abuse trial at Chittenden Superior Court.

The alleged victim was a 9-year-old fourth-grader when he says the incidents occurred at Christ the King Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Judge orders Aretakis to pay for 'bogus' suit

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
First published: Friday, August 22, 2008

ALBANY -- In a scathing decision, U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe has given attorney John Aretakis 20 days to pay $12,368 for a "bogus federal lawsuit."

The judge minced no words in ordering Aretakis to fork over legal fees and costs totaling $10,000 to the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese and $2,368 to the federal government.

"It is absolutely improper for a trained lawyer to file a bogus federal lawsuit in an effort to vent about his personal dissatisfaction with government," Sharpe wrote in a 46-page decision released Aug. 18. "Furthermore, if a client wishes to file a bogus lawsuit, it is the responsibility of a trained professional to dissuade her from doing so."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Priest: Sex allegations were hushed up

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/22/2008

BELLEVILLE — Alleged sexual abuse by a priest within the Belleville Diocese was hushed and treated as dirty laundry, a former high-ranking diocesan official testified in court on Thursday.

"Like any family, you don't go hanging your dirty laundry all over the line," the Rev. Joseph Schwaegel, a former vice chancellor in the diocese, testified on Thursday.

A former altar boy is suing the Belleville Diocese, alleging that it covered up sexual abuse involving the Rev. Raymond Kownacki. The altar boy, now 47, says in the suit that Kownacki repeatedly molested him throughout the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Priest charged with child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Friday, 22 Aug 2008 02:56pm

Lake Illawarra detectives have charged an 81-year-old retired Catholic priest with a series of child sex offences, dating back almost 40 years.

The former clergyman, now living in Victoria, has been issued with a summons to appear in a New South Wales court after investigators travelled to Melbourne to follow up numerous complaints to a victim’s support group.

The charges relate to the repeated sexual assault of a former altar boy on the state’s south coast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Retired priest charged with assaults

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Georgina Robinson
August 22, 2008

Police have charged a retired Catholic priest with a string of child sex offences against an altar boy that date back almost 40 years.

The 81-year-old former clergyman, who now lives in Victoria, was alleged to have repeatedly sexually assaulted the boy over a seven-year period on the New South Wales south coast.

The boy was 10 years old at the time and served as an altar boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

NSW priest faces 12 child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 22, 2008

An 81-year-old retired Catholic priest has been ordered to appear in a NSW court to face a series of child sex charges.

The charges follow an investigation into claims of altar boy abuse, which date back almost 40 years, in NSW's Lake Illawarra district, south of Sydney.

The clergyman - formerly based in the area but now living in Victoria - has been issued with a summons to appear in Wollongong Local Court on September 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Despite complaints about molestations, diocese put priest near two Belleville schools

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --When it came time to finally decide what to do with a priest who was the subject of complaints over 15 years that he raped and sexually molested minors, diocese officials sent him to live next door to hundreds of Belleville elementary and high school students.

"You put him right in the heart of a grade school and a high school?" attorney Steve Wigginton loudly asked the Rev. Joseph Schwaegel, a witness Thursday in a civil trial stemming from a 2002 lawsuit.

In a barely audible voice, Schwaegel, who was removed from ministry in 1994 because of sexual addiction not involving a minor, said "yes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Clive (13) had visions of monsters -- but the truth was even worse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

All names have been changed

Friday August 22 2008

The Occupational Therapy Unit at St Vitus's, an adult psychiatric hospital, was a long room with a dirty, vinyl floor and high windows, the lower panes of which were obscured by opaque plastic sheets.

I was there to see a 13-year-old boy named Clive Plummer. (All names have been changed). He had been committed due to the terrible, demonic hallucinations he experienced after the death of his mother.

I had been asked to meet him by his sister, Roberta, whom I had been to college with. She was convinced there was more to his apparent breakdown than met the eye -- I wasn't so sure, but wanted to help her.

Clive was in terrible physical shape -- thin, hollow-eyed and scarred from self-harming. He wore an expression devoid of feeling, and sat perfectly still, gazing unblinking into space.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Mother of abuse victim calls for George's resignation

CHICAGO (IL)
Southtown Star

August 22, 2008

By Andrew Herrmann, Sun-Times News Group

Reading her Chicago Sun-Times last week, Diane Houston lingered over a prison photo of the Rev. Norbert Maday, his mug shot showing the convicted sex abuser with a black eye and a swollen lip.

Though the Homewood woman is the mother of one of the dozens of boys believed to have been raped by Maday, the picture of the jailed Chicago priest didn't bring her any solace.

Her reaction: "He was beaten up but not beaten up enough for me.''

On Thursday, Houston, whose son John committed suicide years after he was abused by Maday, called on Cardinal Francis George to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

August 21, 2008

Former Altar Boys Testify at Priest Sex Abuse Trial

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - August 21, 2008

The jury in Vermont's third priest sex abuse lawsuit could begin deliberations by Friday.

The plaintiff is a former altar boy who claims former Vermont Bishop John Marshall knowingly failed to protect him from pedophile priest Edward Paquette 30 years ago. He is one of 18 former altar boys who have filed suit making the same claim.

Thursday, four of the others told the jury what Paquette did to them when they were 10 and 11 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Friday's editorial: Priest abuse settlement

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

It took years and dozens of lawsuits, but the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has tentatively agreed to a $10 million settlement for 47 people who said they were sexually abused by priests.

In a news conference Wednesday, Bishop Robert W. Finn apologized for the “fully unacceptable behavior that prompted these lawsuits to be brought against the Diocese …” He expressed compassion for the victims and “institutional accountability” for the cases.

It was a long time coming. Assuming the settlement is approved by two diocesan boards, the agreement should help close an ugly chapter in the history of the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Feds seek nine years for former KGO talk host

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
CBS 2

Associated Press - August 21, 2008 6:44 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Federal prosecutors are recommending a 9-year prison sentence for Bernie Ward, the liberal radio talk show host who pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography.

The 57-year-old Ward spent 24 years with KGO-AM in San Francisco before being fired in December over the child porn charges. He pleaded guilty in May to one charge of distributing child pornography in exchange for dismissal of 2 other related charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

More Alleged Priest Sex Abuse Victims Take the Stand

VERMONT
Fox 44

Dramatic testimony Thursday from four men who say they were molested as young boys by Father Edward Paquette.

"He would constantly grab me in what he called wrestling where he would pick me up with one hand on my genitals and one hand on my back asking me how old i was," said a former alter boy.

4 men who served as altar boys at Christ the King Church in Burlington in the late 1970's took the stand Thursday.

Each one, who asked we not reveal their identities, described in detail how they say they were sexually abused by Father Edward Paquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Mother of abuse victim calls for cardinal's resignation

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The mother of a victim of sexual abuse by a priest is supporting calls for Francis Cardinal George to resign.

Leaders of the reform group Voice of the Faithful asked for the resignation earlier this week.
Diane Houston's son John was molested by Father Nobert Maday as a child. Six years ago, he committed suicide. Maday is serving a 20-year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Family of abuse victim sues archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

The family of a boy allegedly molested by a convicted Catholic priest is now suing the Chicago Archdiocese.

The lawsuit claims Daniel McCormack molested the boy at school in 2004 and then at a White Sox game the next year. The family's attorney said he expected the lawsuit to be resolved in a settlement next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Grand jury issues 3 indictments in polygamist case

ELDORADO (TX)
The Associated Press

By MICHELLE ROBERTS

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) — A grand jury issued three new felony indictments Thursday against members of a polygamist sect raided here in April.

Schleicher County Clerk Peggy Williams confirmed the grand jury issued indictments against three individuals. She would not say who was indicted or what the indictments allege, other than that they are felonies.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, which is handling the prosecution of the case, also declined to comment on what the indictments allege or who the accused are.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

3 more FLDS followers indicted in Texas

ELDORADO (TX)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 5:30 PM- ELDORADO, Texas - A Texas grand jury on Thursday indicted three FLDS members on unspecified felony charges, according to a county clerk.

The indictments came at the end of a day-long session before a grand jury in Schleicher County. Five FLDS women - all who had appeared at two previous sessions - and sect spokesman Willie Jessop appeared before the jury.

"This has been a very painful process for the people, and it certainly had a tremendous toll on everyone involved," Jessop said after his approximately 40-minute appearance. "We'll get through it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

The Worst OC Catholic Molesting-Priest Apologists Are Mater Dei Monarchs And...

SANTA ANA (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
August 21, 2008 2:46 PM

Mexicans!

Yesterday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen sentenced Luis Eduardo Ramirez, an Augustinian who was serving at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in SanTana, to 180 days in jail for attempting to molest a 17-year-old boy in an Anaheim motel. Ramirez plead guilty to taking the parishioner to the hotel, putting his head in his lap, and reaching up his shirt. This admission did not stop parishioners from getting angry at the conviction.

"When the judge announced his decision, two burst out sobbing," wrote Orange County Register writer Rachanee Srisavasdi. "One supporter had to be dragged outside, his face red with anger. 'He's a good man,' said another parishioner, Leonardo Cortez. 'These are lies.' Ramirez's attorney, Gary Pohlson, presented more than 2,000 parishioner letters to Jensen in an attempt at leniency.

Letters, angry Mexicans, an admitting molester--where have we heard this story before? Oh, yes: Gerardo Tanilong!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Government aid to bereaved family challenged

INDIA
Newindpress

KOCHI: A public interest writ petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court praying to quash the State Cabinet’s decision to grant an assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the parents of Sr Anupa Mary, an inmate of St Mary’s Convent, Kollam, who committed suicide on August 11, 2008 allegedly due to the mental torture meted out to her from the superiors.

The petitioner, Peter George of Edakochi, a teacher by profession, has also prayed to direct the government to prepare proper guidelines for financial assistance to the dependents of any person committing suicide or meeting with accidental death, and publish them for public knowledge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Bishop at the centre of killer rapist horror

KENYA
Daily Nation

By FRED MUKINDA and MACHARIA MWANGI (email the author)

Posted Thursday, August 21 2008 at 19:17

A religious cult angle is emerging in the serial killings and rape, accompanied by drinking of human blood in Naivasha.

On Thursday, police interviewed a bishop on suspicion the suspected rapist often delivered human blood and body organs to his church.

As he was being locked up, the bishop (name withheld) told the Nation: “The man who has been drinking blood in Kihoto brought police to my house saying he had been supplying blood to us.”

The suspect behind the bizarre affinity for human blood and sexual extremity lived in Kihoto estate.

According to police officers, the bishop will be held in custody since his house had been mentioned in investigations into the killing of a woman found buried in a shallow grave in the suspect’s house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Round Rock pastor pleads guilty

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Isadora Vail | Thursday, August 21, 2008, 11:30 AM

A Round Rock pastor who admitted to stealing more than $500,000 from his church pleaded guilty today in District Judge Ken Anderson’s court.

Donald Clyde, 49, turned himself in last August after he told officials he took money from the Forest Creek Church in Round Rock to buy vacations, property, horses and boats. He told police that he used the church’s bank accounts and credit cards for the purchases.

A church accountant noticed some strange charges on the accounts, and when a leadership group began looking into the case, Clyde stepped down. He had been with the church, which has a membership of about 1,500, since 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Swedish 'cowboy church' called abusive

SWEDEN
United Press International

MALMO, Sweden, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A Swedish church that operates out of a cowboy theme park is being accused by former members of being a violent religious sect.

The Kingdom Center's pastor, Christer Segerliv, who calls himself the Sheriff of Lone Star, allegedly bullies members and their children to work long hours at the theme park and conference center. He also forces participation in extremist exorcism ceremonies, said former church members interviewed on a Swedish public service broadcast Tuesday.

One former congregation member who declined to give her name, alleged that Segerliv forced her to be part of one bizarre ceremony, The Local reported Thursday.

"He was supposed to pray for me but instead he threw himself on top of me and knocked me to the ground", she said on the program. "It was very violent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Swedish pastor accused of leading violent 'cowboy sect'

SWEDEN
The Local

Published: 21 Aug 08 08:46 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/13836/

A southern Swedish religious congregation based at a cowboy-themed conference centre has been accused of harbouring a violent and extreme religious sect.

A show aired on Tuesday by public service broadcaster SVT contained interviews with former Kingdom Center members who accuse the group of being a sect, guilty of performing violent exorcism ceremonies and using child labour, Expressen reports.

According to religious affairs programme Existens, members are often bullied into working long hours at the centre, and children are taken out of school and made to work at the cowboy-themed Lone Star park and conference centre in Höör, 50 km north of Malmö.

One woman who did not want her child to work there said they threatened to take her children away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Secretary: Ex-pastor mixed church school, personal funds

FULLERTON (CA)
The Orange County Register

By JON CASSIDY
The Orange County Register

FULLERTON – A former secretary of Calvary Christian School in Yorba Linda testified this week that the school's director, a former pastor at Calvary Baptist Church of Yorba Linda, mixed school funds with his own money, paid for personal expenses with a school credit card, and deposited his own money into the school account when it ran low.

The testimony came during the first of two days of a preliminary hearing at North Justice Center in the criminal case against Richard and Philip Cunningham, a father and son who resigned as pastors at Calvary Baptist in 2006 after a private investigation concluded that millions in church and school funds were misspent. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

The court also heard testimony from a former church board member who said the board exercised no oversight of the accused pastors; and from a retired Anaheim police captain whose private investigation found that more than $3 million had been misspent from 1998 to 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Ex-pastor blamed for sex assault

FIJI
The Fiji Times

Friday, August 22, 2008

A FORMER Pentecostal Church pastor is being investigated for an alleged claim of indecent assault against a patient admitted in hospital last week.

Although divisional crime officer northern Luke Rawalai said they have not received a report, police sources said yesterday that a report was lodged and being investigated by a group of Criminal Investigation Department officers in Labasa.

It is understood the patient, a woman in her 40s, was admitted at the women's ward of the Labasa Hospital with a fractured ankle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Ex-pastor gets four months for voyeurism

BRADENTON (FL)
Bradenton Herald

By NATALIE NEYSA ALUND - nalund@bradenton.com

BRADENTON - A former youth pastor accused of secretly taping Bible study students changing clothes in his Ellenton home was sentenced today to four months in jail and two years probation.

Matthew C. Porter, 31, of Ellenton, pleaded no contest to nine counts of misdemeanor voyeurism on July 7.

Circuit Judge George Brown issued the sentence at the Manatee County Judicial Center.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Local pastor pleads guilty to felony thefts

TEXAS
KXAN

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) -- A local pastor plead guilty Thursday in Williamson County court to two felony theft counts after church members accused him of stealing.

Donald Roger "Roddy" Clyde, 48, is charged with theft more than $200,000 and turned himself into the Williamson County jail Wednesday.

Clyde waived his right to a trial by jury scheduled for Aug. 25 and has already paid back $343,000 of the $476,694.36 of the stolen money by selling land, a trailer and a business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Manatee youth pastor gets jail time for secretly videotaping girls

BRADENTON (FL)
Herald Tribune

By Frank Gluck

BRADENTON — A former youth minister was sentenced this afternoon to 120 days in the Manatee County jail and two years of probation for secretly videotaping girls as they undressed in his homes in Bradenton and Ellenton over a two-year period.

Matthew Porter, 31, was found guilty of nine counts of voyeurism, a misdemeanor. He had admitted to hiding video cameras in his bathroom and bedroom and taping girls between the ages of 12 and 16 changing clothes. Porter was a pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Bradenton.

Porter, who had sought to avoid jail time, apologized to family members of the victims who attended sentencing in the Manatee County courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Youth minister charged with second sexual assault

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY JENNIFER A. BOWEN
News-Democrat

A former church youth minister charged last month with assaulting an 8-year-old girl has been charged again with sexually assaulting another youngster.

Terrence Jenkins, 36, of 542 N. 14th St. in East St. Louis, was charged Thursday by the St. Clair County State's Attorney with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. The girl was 14 when assaulted on Aug. 11, 2006, charges state.

He is accused of molesting both girls while he served as a youth minister with the Faith United Baptist Church in O'Fallon, according to the court documents. Jenkins is no longer with the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Man Accused In Oak Harbor Molestations Contacts Minors; Bail Revoked

ISLAND COUNTY (WA)
KIRO

ISLAND COUNTY, Wash. -- Bail was revoked for an Oak Harbor man charged with 30 counts of child sexual abuse after he contacted one of the minors involved in the case, said Colleen Kenimond, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.

In an emergency hearing Wednesday, a judge decided to hold Nathan Martinez, 21, without bail pending his trial. ...

Martinez met his alleged victims through his activities at the Living Faith Christian Center in Oak Harbor.

He baby-sat the 10 alleged victims, boys and girls, ranging in age from 3 to 13, until one of them complained about Martinez to a parent, Banks said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Lawsuit Alleges Priest Molested Boy at 2005 White Sox Game

CHICAGO (IL)
Deadspin

The lawsuit was filed against the Chicago Archdiocese yesterday. The alleged molester, priest Daniel McCormick, has already been the subject of a lawsuit settled on behalf of the archdiocese last week. In that case 11 priests were sued by 16 children. The alleged molestation occured in August of 2005 which was, of course, the year the Chicago White Sox finally won a World Series.

The lawsuit claims McCormack molested the unnamed boy at Our Lady of the Westside School in September 2004 and again at a White Sox game in August 2005. Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan said the lawsuit is "not a new case" of abuse. She said the lawsuit is the "finalization of a legal process on this particular case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Psychologist: Alleged priest abuse victim still suffers

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

August 21, 2008

The former Burlington altar boy still suffers low-grade depression and post-traumatic stress 30 years following his molestation by the Rev. Edward Paquette at Christ the King Church, a local psychologist testified in court on Thursday.

“His claim of experiencing anxiety and depression is borne out not only in his verbal report but in his test results,” Dr. Joseph Hasazi told the jury in the clergy sex abuse trial. Hasazi was hired by the man’s lawyer and performed a forensic evaluation of him in preparation for the trial.

Tom McCormick, a lawyer for the state’s Roman Catholic diocese, got Hasazi to concede the man had a learning disability that preceded the time Paquette allegedly abused him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Petition backs feminist theologian for USD chair

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sherry Saavedra
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

11:30 a.m. August 21, 2008

SAN DIEGO – A petition demanding that Catholic feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether be allowed to assume an endowed chair at University of San Diego was delivered to the president and provost offices Thursday morning.

The petition, which contains more than 2,000 signatures, including 50 from USD faculty, was delivered by members of the nonprofit Call to Action of San Diego County, which advocates on Catholic social reform issues. ...

The petition was sponsored by the national Women's Ordination Conference, an advocacy group for female priests, deacons and bishops; and the national Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, a multi-religious feminist educational center with Catholic co-directors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Priest jailed over church theft

EDGEWATER (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 21, 2008

By RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter
Bail was set at $25,000 today for a Roman Catholic priest who prosecutors say swiped thousands of dollars from his former Edgewater parish to pay for his vacations, massages and other luxury items.

Rev. Steven Patte, 64, is charged with theft, money laundering and wire fraud. Prosecutors said he issued checks and and wired money to his personal accounts as reimbursement for expenditures that never occurred while he was St. Ita’s Parish between July 2001 and August 2005.

He then used the money, splurging on trips to California, laptops, computer accessories, massages and personal training sessions, according to his indictment. During that period, Patte dissolved the church’s finance committee, which had overseen the expenditures, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Start of trial postponed in Fushek sex case

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

August 21, 2008 - 11:54AM

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
A three-week postponement was granted Thursday, Aug. 21, for the start of the trial of Monsignor Dale Fushek, former pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa, who is charged with seven misdemeanor sex crimes.

San Tan Justice of the Peace Samuel Goodman moved the jury trial from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17 to give more time to hear and rule on motions in cases brought almost three years ago related to Fushek’s conduct around minors in his role as a Roman Catholic priest.

Defense and prosecuting attorneys Thursday morning wrangled for an hour on a motion on whether Fushek would get a fair trial if all five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one count of assault and one of indecent exposure were heard at one trial. The complaints were brought by five men who were minors in the 1980s and early 1990s when the incidents allegedly took place on St. Timothy’s campus where Fushek founded and led the Life Teen movement for Catholic youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Schwaegel: Priest's abuses well known to church leaders in 1982

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

By George Pawlaczyk

BELLEVILLE -- Former monsignor Joe Schwaegel testified today that when parents wrote him in 1982 that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki had sexually molested two boys, he did nothing other than tell the parents to forget the issue.

"By this time (1982) everyone in archdiocese command knew this guy was a child molester, isn't that right?" plaintiff's attorney Steve Wigginton asked Schwaegel.

Schwaegel's barely audible answer was "Yes."

The trial, that began Monday in St. Clair County Circuit Court, involves a lawsuit filed in 2002 by the former altar boy, James Wisniewski of Champaign, that accuses the Belleville Diocese of covering up widespread sexual child abuse by priests for decades and failing to investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

$25,000 bail set for priest accused of stealing from Edgewater parish

EDGEWATER (IL)
Chicago Tribune

THE BLOTTER
10:21 AM CDT, August 21, 2008
Bail of $25,000 was set Thursday for a Chicago-area Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing from his former North Side parish.

Rev. Steven Patte, 64, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges of theft, money laundering and other financial crimes.

Authorities say Patte stole a little more than $12,000 from St. Ita's Parish in Edgewater between May 2004 and July 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Pastor Addresses Abuse Case At Weekend Masses

JONESBORO (GA)
The Georgia Bulletin

MARY ANNE CASTRANIO, Staff Writer

Published: August 21, 2008

JONESBORO—Parishioners at St. Philip Benizi Church heard a message of explanation, sorrow and prayer from their pastor, Conventual Franciscan Father Gregory Hartmayer, this past weekend. The priest spoke in both English and Spanish at the conclusion of all seven weekend Masses at the Jonesboro church on Aug. 16-17, addressing the concerns and questions of parishioners following recent news reports that a contract musician at the church was arrested on child sexual abuse charges.

Rafael Rojas-Lopez Garcia, 40, who directed an adult Hispanic choir at St. Philip Benizi, was arrested in Clayton County Monday, Aug. 4, on multiple counts of felony child sex abuse. He has been charged with sexual battery, enticing a child for indecent purposes, child molestation and sexual exploitation of children. Garcia is in the Clayton County Jail, without bond, as the investigation continues.

According to published news reports, Garcia molested at least one and perhaps up to three children in the home of a local family where he had rented a room for the past two and a half years. He also taught private music lessons at the home. Family members, who are not parishioners at St. Philip Benizi, discovered the abuse of their child and reported it to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Group Decries Catholic Diocese On Child Abuse Case

SANTA ANA (CA)
CBS 2

SANTA ANA A support group for people abused by clergy said Thursday the case of a Santa Ana priest who tried to seduce a 17-year-old boy with alcohol "smacks of collusion and secrecy on the part of both Catholic and secular authorities."

The Rev. Luis Eduardo Ramirez, the former youth director at Our Lady of the Pillar parish in Santa Ana, took a 17-year-old parishioner to a motel room on Jan. 3, gave him alcohol and then tried to grope him.

In June he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, the Orange County Register reported. As part of a plea bargain with the Anaheim City Attorney's Office, three other misdemeanors -- furnishing/selling alcohol to a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and annoying or molesting a child -- were dropped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Clergy abuse victim advocate: Catholic Church engaged in “shameful secrecy”

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

August 20th, 2008, 12:13 pm ·
posted by Rachanee Srisavasdi

I got an email today from David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, who read my story today about Father Luis Eduardo Ramirez facing sentencing today for bringing a youth unattended to a motel room.

Ramirez was removed from Our Lady of the Pillar in Santa Ana after his January arrest.

“This shameful secrecy by church officials violates every pledge they’ve made to be ‘open and transparent.’” Clohessy wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

St. Vincent Pallotti members appeal to Vatican

HADDON TOWNSHIP (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Saying Bishop Joseph Galante has failed to justify his plans to merge their parish, members of St. Vincent Pallotti Roman Catholic Church in Haddon Township have petitioned the Vatican to halt the merger.

They announced this week that they had filed a canonical appeal with the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, citing Galante's "lack of transparency" and his "questionable decisions" regarding their 42-year-old, handicapped-accessible parish, which they say fills an essential need.

"We feel pretty confident," Ed Pierzynski, vice president of Friends of St. Vincent Pallotti Inc., said yesterday. "We intend to follow through on this and think it will be accepted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Scandal in Chicagoland

CHICAGO (IL)
Beliefnet

Wednesday August 13, 2008

David Gibson

The Chicago Tribune has the disturbing deposition by Cardinal Francis George and other coverage detailing what is being described as a "cover-up" of an abusive priest--but AFTER George presided over the passage of the 2002 charter to protect children, and AFTER he said he had cleared out any abusive priests in accord with the charter. And George is now present of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and was the churchman who welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to the U.S. in April and assured everything was being done to make sure the scandal never happened again. The this comes out in the wake of this week's civil settlement with victims. Here's the Trib on a couple of cases, namely convicted child molester Daniel McCormack:

In his deposition, George revealed under oath the steps, missteps and lies that led to McCormack's tenure at St. Agatha years after initial allegations of misconduct surfaced during his seminary days. According to the document, as many as 23 people have alleged abuse by McCormack, who is now serving a 5-year prison sentence.

The allegations against McCormack spurred the archdiocese to commission an independent 2006 audit of what went wrong in the case.

In the deposition, the cardinal also detailed church deception and coverup in the Bennett investigation--facts omitted from that audit. ...

This could explode, especially if criminal charges come in under the statute of limitations. It could also seriously undermined much of the progress that has been made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Hindu guru can't go back to temple, Hays judge says

TEXAS
American-Statesman

By Eric Dexheimer
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A judge on Wednesday denied the request of a Hindu guru accused of groping two minor girls in the mid-1990s that he be permitted back at the ashram, or spiritual retreat center, that he founded nearly two decades ago.

Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his devotees as Shree Swamiji, was arrested this spring after a Hays County grand jury indicted him on 20 counts of indecency with a minor. He was released on $1 million bail.

In May, he requested permission to travel abroad, which state District Court Judge Charles Ramsay granted after one of the guru's devotees posted a $10 million personal bond guaranteeing Prakashanand's return to Hays County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Belleville Diocese leaders failed to investigate priest sex abuse, former vicar general testifies

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK

BELLEVILLE --While reports that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki was sexually molesting minors were piling up, Belleville Diocese bishops and other top church officials failed to investigate and routinely reassigned the priest six times to unsuspecting parishes, former vicar general Monsignor James Margason testified Wednesday.

Margason, now pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Shiloh, was on the witness stand for more than three hours during a civil trial in St. Clair County Circuit Court stemming from a 2002 lawsuit brought by James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign. Wisniewski claims that beginning in the early 1970s, when he was an altar boy at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem, Kownacki sexually molested him for five years. ...

While on the witness stand, Margason, who was not in a leadership position when some of Kownacki's alleged abuse occurred, testified that:

• Detailed reports kept by Sullivan, which were kept in a secret archives, were kept from the review board.

• A key 1982 report from a Salem family complaining that their son was molested by Kownacki and mentioning Wisniewski for the first time, was kept from Margason and the review board.

• If diocese officials had acted when the reports about the molestation of one of the twins and the 16-year old girl and others had been investigated, Kownacki might never had met Wisniewski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Plaintiff testifes at priest-abuse trail

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 21, 2008

The alleged victim in a clergy sex abuse trial in Burlington testified Wednesday that the Rev. Edward Paquette molested him at his first altar boy training session at Christ the King Church in the fall of 1977.

"I was a little confused by it," the former altar boy, now 40 and a resident of Waitsfield, told the six-man, six-woman jury. "I wasn't quite sure why he'd do that."

The man said he was a 9-year-old fourth-grader when he went to the sacristy at the church, a room near the pulpit, for the training session.

He said he was clothed when Paquette picked him up and held him with one hand over his genitals and one hand over his mouth and then swung him in the air for about a minute. He said the incident was the first of between 20 and 50 similar molestations that occurred over the next six months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Church settles abuse claims

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Casper Star-Tribune

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Roman Catholic diocese has tentatively agreed to pay $10 million to settle 47 pending sexual abuse claims against the diocese and 12 of its priests, including former Wyoming Bishop Joseph Hart. ...

Finn will recommend to the Diocese Tribunal and to the Vatican that the accused priests have their holy orders removed, an action known as laicization, he said.

Hart was among the priests named in the lawsuits. At least five people had sued claiming they had been molested by him when they were children while he was bishop in Wyoming and as a priest in the Diocese of Kansas City.

Hart had repeatedly and adamantly denied the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Family of alleged McCormack victim sues archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 21, 2008

BY MARK J. KONKOL Staff Reporter
The family of a boy who allegedly was molested by former Catholic priest and convicted sexual abuser Daniel McCormack filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Archdiocese on Wednesday.

The family's attorney, Kenneth Cunniff, said he expects the lawsuit will be resolved in a "substantial settlement" next week. Cunniff declined to elaborate.

The lawsuit claims McCormack molested the unnamed boy at Our Lady of the Westside School in September 2004 and again at a White Sox game in August 2005. Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan said the lawsuit is "not a new case" of abuse. She said the lawsuit is the "finalization of a legal process on this particular case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Priest faces jail for abusing youngsters

UNITED KINGDOM
South Manchester Reporter

21/ 8/2008

A PRIEST who sexually abused a string of boys at a top Catholic school more than 20 years ago has finally been brought to justice.

Father William Green, 67, who took physical education classes at St Bede's College in Alexandra Park, Manchester, has admitted 27 assaults on children who were aged between eight and 16. He faces a ‘significant’ jail sentence.

Green, who was a priest at the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, Wigan, made excuses to see boys on their own, taking them to a room where he indecently assaulted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Another priest sex abuse lawsuit filed in Denver

DENVER (CO)
9 News

DENVER (AP) - Another lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a late priest has been filed against the Archdiocese of Denver.

The lawsuit was filed in Denver this week. A man identified only as John Doe 2D alleges he was abused by Harold White at St. Catherine's parish in Denver in 1960 or 1961.

The lawsuit cites a church record from February 1961 which says White admitted to molesting five or six children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Statement from Bishop Robert Finn

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox Kansas City

Statement of the Most Reverend Robert W. Finn Bishop of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph:

"We apologize for the fully unacceptable behavior that prompted these lawsuits to be brought against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. With compassion for the victims of this behavior and with sadness over any failure by the diocese to serve as a proper steward of safety and security for our young people and our parishioners, I am here as an individual leader of the diocese to demonstrate institutional accountability for these sad events. I pray that with the settlement of this matter, the healing for all may truly begin.

In reaching a settlement with lawyers representing the families involved in this case, we took painstaking steps to fully vet all issues enabling thoroughness to be the hallmark of this process. Assured that we have met that standard, we have agreed to fund $10 million in payments to the victims and to adhere to a number of nonmonetary stipulations that should assure our community, our congregation and these families that the diocese will continue in its exercise of vigilance and in its devotion to training and education so that we may be confident there will never, ever be a repeat of the behaviors, the offenses, or the claims that have been associated with this matter.

A priest is ordained with the privilege of celebrating the Church's sacraments by nothing less than a holy order. The behaviors attributable to certain priests involved in this matter not only betray those holy orders, but diminish the stature of the faithful and responsible priests who dispatch their ministry effectively and faithfully day in, day out. For that reason, although the statute of limitations prevents man's law from moving forward with any criminal proceedings here, I-as bishop of this diocese-will present to the Diocesan Tribunal and ultimately to the Vatican the recommendation that these priests see their holy orders removed from them. In the church's vernacular, this is called laicization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 AM

Bishop Regrets: Apologizes for Clergy Sex Abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCUR

Dan Verbeck, KCUR news
KANSAS CITY, MO.

During a hastily called meeting with reporters,the Catholic bishop of the Kansas City-Saint Joseph Diocese says it happened, it shouldn't have and he's making amends. Bishop Robert Finn acknowledges the $10 million settlement of lawsuits against a dozen present and former clergy, accused of sexual abuse. Forty seven boys, survivors who are now men, filed suit in Jackson County Missouri Circuit Court claiming abuse beginning as far back as fifty years. The diocese was accused of negligence. Now all are settled. Bishop Finn will recommend to the Vatican the clergymen be stripped of priestly powers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 AM

Judge gives priest 180 days, calls his actions a 'double betrayal'

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – In a case the judge called a "double betrayal," a Catholic priest who took a 17-year-old parishioner to a motel room, gave him alcohol and then tried to grope him was sentenced Wednesday to 180 days in jail for the crime.

The Rev. Luis Eduardo Ramirez, ousted from Our Lady of the Pillar parish in Santa Ana in January after his arrest, stood quietly as Orange County Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen rendered his decision.

"The victim and his family have been abused by (both) someone they trust and a person in their religious faith," the judge told the priest. "Your actions have ostracized the family from their Catholic faith."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 AM

Sources: Fugitive Priest Beltran Out Of Jail

SACRAMENTO (CA)
CBS 13

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ― CBS 13 has confirmed through inside sources that Gerardo Beltran, a former Sacramento priest accused of molesting children, has been released from a Mexican jail.

Beltran was once a priest in the Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese before fleeing to Mexico after allegations surfaced that he was sexually molesting children.

Beltran had been arrested in March for charges filed in Sacramento County on behalf of two victims he allegedly victimized between 1989 and 1991. The Sacramento District Attorney's office had been trying to extradite Beltran back to Sacramento "to be held accountable for his conduct."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 AM

Mexico frees ex-priest in molest case

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza - jgarza@sacbee.com
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mexican authorities have released a former Sacramento priest who was awaiting extradition to California on charges that he sexually abused two minors nearly 17 years ago.

Sacramento church officials said they have no idea where Gerardo Beltran has gone since his release last week from a Mexico City jail, where he had been held since March.

Diocesan officials said they had been working with the Vatican for nearly two years to remove Beltran and two others – Jose Luis Urbina and Francisco Javier Garcia – from the priesthood. All three worked in the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento and had fled to Mexico after being accused of sexually molesting minors.

On Wednesday, diocesan officials announced that the three men have been laicized, or barred from serving as priests anywhere in the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 AM

“A good way to scare and control people”

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

San Damiano Retreat center in Danville -- 42 miles east of San Francisco -- hosted a retreat this month with a Franciscan sister who, with her priest team-teacher, has addressed numerous Catholic audiences on the subject of sex. Sr. Fran Ferder led a women’s retreat, “Awaken to the Sacred,” at the center Aug. 8-10, according to the “Administrative Weekly,” an official communication of the Oakland diocese. ...

Ferder deplores the “dualism” of Catholic sexual teaching. Dualism, that has been present in Christianity for centuries, Ferder said in a 2003 interview with U.S. Catholic, and which, she said, “divides body from soul.” Though Christianity itself is “incarnational, embodied, fleshed,” many Christians, she said, “labor under messages that sexual mistakes, even small ones, are about the most offensive thing that one can engage in relationship to God.”

Church leaders, she said, reinforce this message. “My personal belief is that these negative messages have to do with control and maintaining power,” she said. “The patriarchal dominance in the hierarchy is incredibly strong, and sexual mandates are a good way to scare and control people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

“Canonical warning”

UNITED STATES
California Catholic Daily

A Maryknoll priest who earlier this month participated in the attempted ordination of a “womanpriest” has said a subsequent meeting with his superiors over the affair was “productive.”

On Aug. 8, Fr. Roy Bourgeois joined Dana Reynolds, a Carmel-by-the-Sea woman who claims to be a Catholic bishop, in the attempted ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska at a Unitarian church in Lexington, Kentucky.

In his homily during the ordination service, Bourgeois equated the Holy See’s teaching that the Church has no authority to ordain women with the segregation of African-Americans in his home state of Louisiana. “No matter how hard we may try to justify discrimination, in the end, it is always wrong and immoral,” said Bourgeois. “As Reverend Nancy Taylor of Boston put it, ‘Prejudice in liturgical clothing is still prejudice.’”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 AM

OC priest gets 6 months in jail for taking teen to motel

CALIFORNIA
Las Vegas Sun

The Associated Press

Thu, Aug 21, 2008 (12:18 a.m.)

A Roman Catholic priest accused of trying to molest a boy he was asked to counsel was sentenced Wednesday to six months in jail.

The Rev. Luis Eduardo Ramirez reached a plea deal with prosecutors in June in which he admitted he took a 17-year-old parishioner to an Anaheim motel, tried to grope him and gave him alcohol.

Ramirez was arrested days after the incident in January and was later ousted from the Our Lady of the Pillar parish in Santa Ana, where he served as the church's youth director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 AM

Warrant orders DNA sample from FLDS man

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008 5:33 p.m. MDT

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A member of the Fundamentalist LDS Church indicted on a sexual assault charge was forced to give a DNA sample, a newly unsealed search warrant states.

The search warrant was filed with the Schleicher County Court in Eldorado, Texas, on July 29 but was made public Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 AM

No FLDS insiders expected by grand jury

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By LISA SANDBERG
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

SAN ANGELO — When a West Texas grand jury reconvenes today to consider evidence against members of a polygamist sect, it's not likely to hear from any insiders.

Not a single follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints appears to have stepped forward to cooperate with authorities pursuing criminal charges against their peers, law enforcement authorities concede.

"No one is talking to me," Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran said Wednesday. "They do not open up to law enforcement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 AM

More FLDS indictments today?

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008 12:27 a.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — A grand jury investigating alleged crimes within the Fundamentalist LDS Church will meet here again today, with the possibility of more indictments being handed up.

Six men, including FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, have already been indicted on charges ranging from sexual assault to bigamy and failure to report child abuse. If evidence entered into court in nearby San Angelo is any indication, more members of the Utah-based polygamous sect can expect to face criminal charges.

Marriage records, bishop's records, dictations, love letters, diaries and photographs were among the hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence seized during the April raid on the church's YFZ Ranch. Some of that evidence has been used in child-custody cases that played out this week in nearby San Angelo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 AM

Capital Region attorney sanctioned by judge

NEW YORK
WNYT

[with video]

A well known Capital Region attorney is defending himself and the cases he takes, after a judge stands by his decision to sanction him.

The high profile attorney is John Aretakis.

He's made a name for himself in clergy sex abuse cases against the Albany Catholic Diocese.

The case that got him sanctioned by the court involved the church as well, but not sex abuse. It revolved around a relocated Hurricane Katrina victim.

Earlier this week, a federal judge re-affirmed his decision to sanction Aretakis, saying the lawsuit was frivolous and baseless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 AM

Should priests give kids piggyback rides?

Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear

Priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati may shake children’s hands, pat them on the head, and give high-fives.

But they are forbidden to kiss them, tickle them and give them bear hugs or piggyback rides, according to a renewed Decree on Child Protection.

Are the new rules an example of good judgment or an irrational response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis that has plagued the Catholic Church?

The new safety precautions are taking effect in Cincinnati as the Chicago Archdiocese still reels from last week's decision by Cardinal Francis George to release a legal deposition that explained how priests accused of abuse were permitted to remain in ministry. Some Catholics found the deposition so "damning" that the Boston-based church reform group Voice of the Faithful on Tuesday called for George to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 AM

Aretakis slapped with sanctions

ALBANY (NY)
Troy Record

By:Kathryn Caggianelli, The Record 08/20/2008

ALBANY - A federal judge Wednesday stood by his original decision to sanction Albany attorney John Aretakis for initiating law suits with no basis in law or fact and for singling out the Catholic Church for its involvement in unrelated sexual abuse matters.

The sanctions originally included a $10,000 fine and $14,310 in legal fees incurred by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Aretakis, who has represented several alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse, filed a $2 million lawsuit in April 2007 against the diocese, Catholic Charities, the federal government and Federal Emergency Management Agency on behalf of New Orleans resident Tina Zlotnick who was displaced from her home during Hurricane Katrina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 AM

St. Frances fundraiser is Aug. 22

SCITUATE (MA)
Wicked local Scituate

By Brian P. Nanos
Wed Aug 20, 2008, 02:12 PM EDT

Scituate -
Since October 2004, when Archbishop Sean O’Malley of the Boston Archdiocese closed St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate, parishioners have been running the church — holding weekly lay-led services, planning CCD classes and manning a 24-hour vigil — while at the same time fighting appeals of O’Malley’s decision.

On Friday, Aug. 22, the 1,397th day of that vigil, the Friends of St. Frances will be holding the annual fundraiser that pays for most of these efforts, an “Under the Summer Stars” event at the Scituate Country Club from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person.

According to Maryellen Rogers, who with her husband Jon often acts as a spokesperson for the group, the event will be the largest fundraiser held by the Friends this year. Last year’s event, she said, was very successful.

“I don’t want to talk all about money, but people have been very generous,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 AM

Plaintiff Testifies in Clergy Abuse Trial

VERMONT
Fox 44

The man suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington took the witness stand Wednesday and described the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of Rev. Edward Paquette.

The plaintiff, who asked the media not to use his name or image, said Paquette molested him several times in the 1970s, when he served as an altar boy at Christ the King Parish in Burlington.

Damage done by the abuse has limited the plaintiff's ability to sustain a relationship, the plaintiff said. He is currently divorced and has 40 percent custody of his young son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 AM

Lawyer Sanctioned for 'Hijacking' Case for His Own Cause

NEW YORK
Law.com

Mark Hamblett
New York Law Journal
August 21, 2008

An attorney who used his pro bono representation of a woman in a state eviction proceeding to attack the Roman Catholic Church for clergy sexual abuse and the federal government for its response to Hurricane Katrina has been hit with heavy sanctions.

Northern District of New York Judge Gary Sharpe blasted attorney John A. Aretakis in a 46-page opinion Monday that cited the lawyer for "scurrilous" claims and "monstrous" allegations in his representation of Tina Zlotnick, who was relocated to church-owned property in the Albany area after being evacuated in the wake of Katrina.

Sharpe ordered Aretakis, of Albany and Manhattan, to pay a total of $16,678 in attorney fees to his adversaries and gave him a strict warning to avoid all sanctionable conduct in the future.

"There was nothing in the assignment and nothing in Ms. Zlotnick's legal dilemma that should have caused Mr. Aretakis to hijack her litigation for his own personal reasons," Sharpe said in Zlotnick v. Hubbard, 07-CV-405.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 AM

Records show repeated complaints

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/21/2008

BELLEVILLE — Documents released in court Wednesday show that the Belleville Diocese moved the Rev. Raymond Kownacki from parish to parish — even as evidence grew that he couldn't control sexual urges toward underage boys and girls.

Complaints of sexual abuse against Kownacki dated to the late 1960s, the documents indicate, and from Mexico to nearly every corner of Southern Illinois. It took more than 20 years for the priest to be removed from active ministry, according to the internal memos that were displayed before a St. Clair County jury.

A former altar boy is suing the Belleville Diocese for allegedly covering up Kownacki's sex abuse. He says in the lawsuit that Kownacki repeatedly molested him throughout the 1970s, but that he never told his parents or authorities.

Defense attorneys for the diocese say the statute of limitations for the altar boy to sue has run out. They argue that many of the diocesan officials involved in the early complaints against Kownacki are dead, and that the diocese ultimately removed the priest from active ministry in 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 AM

August 20, 2008

Diocese Sex Abuse Scandal Settlement May Bring Help to Victims

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- A pending settlement in a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal could be the first of its kind in Missouri.

The settlement includes 47 persons who have sued the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese. The Diocese is expected to finalize it by Thursday.

As part of the settlement, the Bishop will apologize to the victims who have filed lawsuits. Counseling will be made available to them, and the victims will no longer be called "alleged" victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Faith healer Todd Bentley separates from wife, draws criticism from charismatics

UNITED STATES
Church Executive

By David Roach

NASHVILLE, TN--With controversial faith healer Todd Bentley announcing that he is separating from his wife, charismatic leaders J. Lee Grady and Stephen Strang have reacted by saying someone should have raised questions about Bentley earlier.

Grady, editor of the popular charismatic magazine Charisma, said the way thousands celebrated Bentley despite his moral and theological shortcomings demonstrated a lack of discernment that pervades the charismatic movement. ...

On Aug. 15, the board of Fresh Fire released a statement saying it had learned Bentley had been involved in "an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff." The statement said Bentley had agreed to "to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Fired Pastor Becomes Controversial Hire At nearby Church

ORLAND HILLS (IL)
NBC 5

ORLAND HILLS, Ill. -- When the Rev. George Thomas was booted from a south suburban church last year for allegedly diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal use, the last place the congregation expected to see him next was at the pulpit of an affiliated church.

That's why they were stunned to learn that Thomas recently was hired as school principal and associate pastor at Christian Hills Church in Orland Hills.

"I was quite shocked," said Gregory Morris, president of the board of directors of All Nations Community Church in Homewood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Canadian revivalist resigns from ministry over 'unhealthy relationship' with woman

CANADA
The Canadian Press

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Todd Bentley, the Canadian revivalist whose tactics drew protest from some fellow Pentecostals, has resigned from public ministry after acknowledging an "unhealthy relationship on an emotional level" with a female staff member.

The board of Bentley's Fresh Fire Ministries announced the resignation last Friday, saying the pastor has agreed to "receive counsel in his personal life." Days earlier, the board of directors had said that Bentley, 32, and his wife Shonnah had separated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Former Morris priest pleads guilty

MINNESOTA
Morris Sun Tribune

Published Thursday, August 21, 2008

A former Morris priest charged with possessing pornographic images of children on computers has pled guilty as part of a plea agreement.

John Lloyd Caskey, 53, was charged with 20 counts of possessing child pornography in Stevens County District Court earlier this year.

On Wednesday, he pled guilty to the first three counts and admitted possessing the images of minors, according to Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Former Catholic school principal pleads guilty to theft

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Jennifer Golson/The Star-Ledger
Wednesday August 20, 2008, 4:03 PM
A former Catholic school principal admitted this afternoon to taking more than $8,000 from two institutions in the Diocese of Metuchen.

Michelle Little, 40, of Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to third- and fourth-degree theft for the incidents that occurred at Holy Family Academy in Bound Brook and the now-defunct Corpus Christi Elementary School in South River.

Little and her defense attorney Eric B. Morrell appeared before Superior Court Judge Paul Amstrong in Somerville. Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole McGrath handled the case for the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Ex-principal in Bound Brook, South River pleads guilty to theft charges

NEW JERSEY
Home News Tribune

SOMERVILLE —The former principal of two parochical schools in Middlesex and Somerset counties pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of theft.

Michelle Little, 40, of Tobyhanna, Pa., pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Paul Armstrong in Somerville that as principal of Corpus Christi Elementary School in South River, she stole approximately $241.48 between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, from the principal's petty cash account.

While employed as the principal of Holy Family Academy in Bound Brook, she admitted to stealing approximately $7,787.00 between July 1, 2007 and March 13, 2008 from the principal's petty cash account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Hindu leader not allowed in festival

TEXAS
KXAN

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - In a hearing Wednesday afternoon, a Hays County judge denied a Hindu leader's request to attend Janmashtmi, one of the greatest celebrations of the Hindu community on Aug. 23. Prakashanand Saraswati, also known as Shree Swamiji or Swami Ji, was charged with 20 counts of indecency with a child back in May.

According to the indictments, Saraswati was accused of groping two girls younger than 17. He was charged with 10 counts of indecency with each girl. Court documents stated the indecency incidents happened twice a month over six months, dating back to 1993.

Saraswati, 79, founded the Barsana Dham temple in Hays County in 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Mexico church assailed for maligning miniskirt

MEXICO
Los Angeles Times

Last week's condemnation of the miniskirt by the Mexican Catholic Church has enraged some Mexican women, who say the church's statement that women should wear less provocative clothing makes it easier to justify rape and other forms of violence against them.

Last week's statement, which advised women not to get into "spicy" conversations with men if they wanted to avoid rape and violence, said:

If you want to avoid sexual aggression ... do not use provocative clothing ... watch your glances ... don't be alone with a man, even if you know him ... don't permit spicy chats or jokes ... look for help when you suspect bad intentions.

Women protested in front of the cathedral in Mexico City's Zocalo over the weekend — wearing miniskirts of course — and the statement has been lambasted by newspaper columnists and women's rights activists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Diocese Sex Abuse Scandal Settlement May Bring Help to Victims

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- A pending settlement in a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal could be the first of its kind in Missouri.

The settlement includes 47 persons who have sued the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese. The Diocese is expected to finalize it by Thursday.

As part of the settlement, the Bishop will apologize to the victims who have filed lawsuits. Counseling will be made available to them, and the victims will no longer be called "alleged" victims.

Many of the people who took the Diocese to court said St. Elizabeth's Rectory is where a lot of the abuse went on. In fact, there is a group of victims and family members who have asked the Bishop to demolish the rectory.

David Biersmith wishes the memories could be wiped away as easily as a building. Among the 47 people who sued the Diocese was David Biersmith's son Christopher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Priest sex-abuse trial begins in Belleville

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/20/2008

BELLEVILLE -- The Belleville Diocese has covered up decades of sex abuse by priests, an attorney said this morning during opening arguments in a civil lawsuit filed by a former altar boy who says he was abused by a priest.

Michael Weilmuenster, representing the former altar boy, told jurors that his client was molested by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki just months after the Belleville Diocese had received complaints that Kownacki raped a girl and tried to perform an abortion on her.

Weilmuenster said in an opening statement this morning that Kownacki told his client, who was 12 years old at the time: "The Catholic church condones this, other priests do it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Tentative $10M settlement in KC church abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph says a tentative $10 million deal has been reached to settle 47 sexual abuse claims against a dozen clergy or former clergy.

Bishop Robert W. Finn tells priests in a letter released late Tuesday night that the agreement is subject to his approval after he consults with two diocese boards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Agreement in works in priest abuse case

MISSOURI
The Examiner

By Debbie Coleman-Topi - deborah.topi@examiner.net
The Examiner
Posted Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:19 PM

Eastern Jackson County — A tentative agreement was put in place late Tuesday in which the Catholic diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph agreed to pay about $10 million to 47 alleged victims of sexual abuse or misconduct, according to a diocese spokesperson.

“The conversations have been taking place, but the bishop (Robert Finn) hasn’t executed an agreement,” said Rebecca Summers, director of communications for the diocese.

However, the bishop released a letter late Tuesday night to area priests, updating progress on the case. The letter states that diocese officials and legal staff are negotiating a group settlement of all existing lawsuits. The cases involve 47 victims and 12 clergy or former clergy and are said to have occurred between 1951 and 1992, the letter states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Kansas City diocese settles abuse suits

KANSAS CITY (MO)
United Press International

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A tentative settlement has been reached between the Roman Catholic diocese of Kansas City and 47 people who claim they were molested by priests.

Under the agreement announced late Tuesday, the victims would receive a total of about $10 million, the Kansas City Star reports.

If the settlement is approved by Bishop Robert Finn and other church officials, it would settle lawsuits filed over abuse that allegedly occurred in Jackson County, Mo., from 2002 to 2008, lawyers said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Another priest sex abuse lawsuit announced

DENVER (CO)
Fox 21

DENVER (AP) -- Advocates for victims of sex abuse say another lawsuit is being filed against the Archdiocese of Denver.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Wednesday the latest case involves a man identified only as John Doe. He alleges he was abused by the late priest Harold White at St. Catherine's parish in Denver in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Former principals testify

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

August 20, 2008

Two Roman Catholic priests who have served as principals at parochial high schools in Vermont, told a Burlington jury Wednesday they would never have hired someone with a history of sexually abusing children to teach in their schools.

“No, I would not have,” said the Rev. Roland Rivard, a former principal of Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington. Asked why not, Rivard said “Because of the threat of potential harm to the students.: The Rev. Richard LaValley, a former principal at Mount St. Joseph Academy in Rutland, agreed. “I wouldn’t want to take that risk,” he said.

The two priests’ testimony came on the fifth day in the trial involving claims by a Waitsfield man who says that, as an altar boy at Christ the King Church in the late 1970s, he was molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette between 20 and 50 times.

According to church records shown the jury in the case, the diocese hired Paquette knowing he had molested boys at parishes in Massachusetts and Indiana before coming to Vermont.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Diocese leaders covered up for priests, attorney in trial says

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --High-ranking church officials "aided and abetted" and "enabled" one of its priests to engage in criminal sexual molestation of minors, an attorney said today in opening statements of a trial in a lawsuit brought by a former altar boy.

The lawsuit, filed in 2002, names the diocese as defendant and alleges that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki, who was removed from ministry in 1995, sexually abused James Wisniewski of Champaign, 47, for five years beginning when he was 13.

Kownacki, of Dupo, recently suffered a stroke and is unable to attend the trial.

In a Power Point presentation on a screen to the jury, Weilmuenster reviewed what he called a "paper trail" of documents that he said will prove that the diocese for 30 years covered up detailed reports of sexual abuse of minors by Kownacki and other priests who have since been removed from active ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Out-of-court deal appears likely in sex allegations against ex-Wyo. Bishop Hart

WYOMING
Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

By Michael Van Cassell
mcassell@wyomingnews.com

CHEYENNE -- Sexual abuse allegations against former Wyoming Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Hart may soon be settled out of court, along with dozens of related lawsuits.

According to an attorney for the plaintiffs, a settlement is expected in Missouri civil lawsuits involving allegations of sexual abuse and cover-ups against Hart and other priests in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The Kansas City Star reported on its Web site late Tuesday that 47 plaintiffs have agreed to settle for about $10 million.

Six of the cases involving the Kansas City diocese name Joseph Hart, who served as the Diocese of Cheyenne's bishop from 1978 to 2001, when he retired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Atlanta archbishop to testify in sexual misconduct trial

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By CHRISTOPHER QUINN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta has been called to testify in a civil suit over allegations of sexual misconduct by an Illinois priest.

Gregory served as Archbishop of Belleville, Ill., from 1994 to 2004.

According to a report in the Belleville News-Democrat, an attorney for Wisniewski told jurors Wednesday morning in opening arguments that church officials covered up evidence of the abuse for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

THE POPE’S VISITS: A REFLECTION ON WAITING

VERMONT
Voice from the Desert

August 20, 2008

Thomas Doyle

This past Monday I testified at a trial. The diocese had ample notice that the abuser-priest was a danger to minors. The former bishop of the diocese being sued had received this priest from another diocese and that diocese in turn had received him from his home diocese. In the first diocese the bishop kicked him out after he had sexually assaulted boys in three out of the four parishes to which he had been assigned. He found a new bishop who took him in. In that diocese he sexually assaulted boys in each of the four parishes to which he had been assigned. That bishop gave him his walking papers and he ended up in the last diocese. There he sexually assaulted boys in the first two parishes to which he was assigned and was sent to a third. That’s where he assaulted the plaintiff in the case. The bishop knew all of this but, to use his own words, he was willing “to take the risk.” Sounds like a slam dunk doesn’t it? It gets better. This is the third trial for this diocese. They have already lost in two. They are about 20 more projected for victims of the same priest.

The trials are a nightmare for the victims and their families. They are expensive as well. The lawyers who represent the diocese get paid one way or the other. The lawyers for the victims are on contingency. The church lawyers’ fees come from the donations of the people. If the jury gives a big award, some people will get bent out of shape and complain about how much the payments to the victims cost the diocese. They really ought to complain about the payments to the lawyers which are totally unnecessary.

I learned during a break that the little guy in the black outfit sitting at the corner of the defense table was the bishop. I also learned that neither he nor any of his predecessors had ever reached out to any of the victims. Throughout the day as I sat on the stand and answered questions I looked at the victim on my left and the bishop on my right. What was wrong with that picture? Simple! The bishop was in the wrong place. He should have been sitting next to the victim offering support, sympathy, kindness and hope. Instead he was on the other side, probably worrying that the testimony was not making his diocese look too good.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Sex abuse and the Catholic Church: No change

CALIFORNIA
William Lobdell

August 20th, 2008

If you’re Catholic and think the clergy sexual abuse scandal is behind you, think again.

Here’s a “post”-scandal story of Father Luis Eduardo Ramirez, who was arrested in January in Anaheim for suspicion of child annoyance or molestation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The city of Anaheim didn’t publicize the case, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange — which fancies itself as being “open and transparent” when it comes to priests who mess around with children — only placed an item in the church bulletin of the accused priest’s church, Our Lady of the Pillar.

As a sexual abuse expert will tell you, the vast majority of molesters have many victims. The idea of being open and transparent is so a) the community is warned and b) other victims can come forward. A single article in a parish bulletin doesn’t cut it. What if another victim left the church? Or didn’t go to church that Sunday? Or wasn’t a member of that parish?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Padre Minor Gets Sentence Increased On Appeal

COSTA RICA
Inside Costa Rica

Catholic priest, Padre Minor de Jesús Calvo, looking to reduce his sentence lived yesterday what perhaps can be described as the worst day in his life, in hearing the decision of the Sala Tercera de Casación Penal in reviewing his appeal.

The Sala III decided to upgrade his sentence from "estafa" to "estafa agravada", along with that an increase in the sentence.

The Sala III magistrates decided not annul the sentence for 'estafa" of donations made to the Radio María radio as claimed by Calvo in his appeal, but instead ratified the lower court sentence and elevated it to a higher level of "agravada".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Aretakis sanctioned again in lawsuit against diocese

ALBANY (NY)
Daily Gazette

[with link to the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ALBANY — The controversial Albany attorney who has represented several alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse has been sanctioned a second time for bringing what a federal judge called "scurrilous allegations" against the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese in a lawsuit filed by a survivor of Hurricane Katrina.

John Aretakis filed a lawsuit in April 2007 against the diocese, as well as Catholic Charities, the federal government and Federal Emergency Management Agency on behalf of Tina Zlotnick. The lawsuit alleged that the church broke its agreement to provide charitable housing to Zlotnick, who had lived in New Orleans and was forced to leave her apartment because of Hurricane Katrina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Archdiocese paid out $467,500 in abuse settlements last year

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KCUR

AP/KWMU
ST. LOUIS

(2008-07-08) The Archdiocese of St. Louis said it has mediated and settled nine cases of clergy sexual abuse for more $467,500 in the last fiscal year.

Archdiocesan attorney Bernard Huger says the average settlement was $52,000.

Settlements, ranging from $20,000 to $90,000, came from insurance, investments, and the sale of archdiocesan buildings, not from parishes and weekly collections, the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

$10 Million Settlement in Clergy Sex Abuse Case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCUR

[with audio]

Dan Verbeck
KANSAS CITY, MO

A tentative settlement has been reached between 47 men and the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic diocese. Lawyers for plaintiffs say the diocese will pay ten million dollars. And money is not the key. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports;

After months of negotiations the settlement began taking form late yesterday. Some of the charges date back four and five decades. Plaintiffs attorney Patrick Noaker says the chief goal was reform.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Mexico church assailed for maligning miniskirt

MEXICO
The Associated Press

By MARY CUDDEHE

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Catholic priest's condemnation of miniskirts on an official church Web site is causing outrage among some Mexican women, who say the Roman Catholic Church is making it easier to justify sexual violence against women. ...

Guadalupe Loaeza, a renowned Mexican social commentator, said she worries the priest's statements will be taken seriously and make it acceptable to blame the victim.

"It gives rapists permission to say, 'Well, she had on a miniskirt,'" Loaeza said. "What the church says has credibility — that's why this type of statement is so dangerous."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Mexican Priest Blames Rapes On Women Wearing Miniskirts

MEXICO
News Blaze

By Robert Paul Reyes

"A Catholic priest's condemnation of miniskirts on an official church Web site is causing outrage among some Mexican women, who say the Roman Catholic Church is making it easier to justify sexual violence against women.

The Rev. Sergio G. Roman sounded the alarm against miniskirts in an online publication to prepare Catholics for a church family-values forum next year in Mexico City.

'When we show our body without prudence, without modesty, we are prostituting ourselves,' wrote Roman, a Mexico City priest.'" Quotation from Associated Press/Mary Cuddehe

I thought that this type of sexist mindset no longer existed, even in the reactionary Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Sex Charges Dropped Against OC Priest

CALIFORNIA
KTLA

ANAHEIM -- An Orange County priest accused of child sex charges has been placed in an area monastery pending his sentencing in the case.

The Rev. Luis Eduardo Ramirez, has worked at Our Lady of the Pillar parish since 2003.

In January he was arrested by Anaheim police on suspicion of child annoyance or molestation after taking a 17-year old boy to a motel room.

He pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor battery and burglary in a plea bargain with prosecutors who dropped the sex charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Maryknoll priest warned against supporting women priests

UNITED STATES
Indian Catholic

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois has received a canonical warning from his order's leadership council because of his involvement in a reported ordination ceremony sponsored by Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

The warning came during a four-hour meeting Aug. 18 between Father Bourgeois and Maryknoll Superior General Father John Sivalon and the two other members of the order's General Council in Maryknoll, N.Y.

The meeting was called to discuss Father Bourgeois' role in what Roman Catholic Womenpriests considers the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska to the priesthood nine days earlier in Lexington, Ky.

A canonical warning informs a person of a violation of church law. Any future violation of canon law could lead to additional penalties such as the opening of dismissal procedures or excommunication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Priest guilty of abusing schoolkids

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

20/08/2008

COURT

A paedophile priest faces jail after he was convicted of preying on boys at a leading Catholic school.

Father William Green, 67, molested at least six victims over 10 years at the £7,995- a-year, 920-pupil St Bede's College in Manchester.

The attacks were in the 70s and 80s at the school where former pupils include Doctor Who actor Colin Baker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Another clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit is filed

DENVER (CO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will announce another child molestation lawsuit against the Denver archdiocese. They will also urge local Catholic officials to

-- disclose whether they have or are trying to get any convicted predators out of prison early, and

-- ask a recently convicted Colorado sex offender priest to voluntarily give the bishop his passport, so he won't have a chance to flee the country (as several pedophile priests have done recently).

The request comes on the heels of shocking court documents that surfaced last week in Chicago showing that the head of the US bishops' conference spent nearly a decade trying to get a convicted serial pedophile priest an early release from prison. It is timely because of the recent case of Fr. Whipkey, who was convicted of indecent exposure, may be jailed.

WHEN

Wednesday, Aug. 20, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE

Outside the Colorado Catholic Conference Offices, 1535 Logan St, (on the side of the Cathedral, in downtown Denver

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Cape priest flees country after abuse accusation

CAPE COD (MA)
Boston Globe

By David Abel
Globe Staff / August 20, 2008
A Cape Cod priest fled to his native Brazil after being accused of sexually assaulting a child in Connecticut, church officials said yesterday.

The Rev. Jose Afonso Lima, 46, of South Yarmouth was suspended last week from his work ministering to the Brazilian community at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis, St. Patrick's Church in Falmouth, and Good Shepherd Parish on Martha's Vineyard, said John Kearns, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River.

Church officials said Lima learned of the allegations when he received a letter last week from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Kearns said that Lima promptly alerted church officials about the allegations and denied them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Parish appeals merger to Vatican

HADDON TOWNSHIP (PA)
Courier-Post

By JIM WALSH • Courier-Post Staff • August 20, 2008

HADDON TWP. — A parish here has asked the Vatican to enter its dispute with Bishop Joseph Galante over a planned reconfiguration of the Diocese of Camden.

Lay leaders at St. Vincent Pallotti have filed an appeal with the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, seeking to block a merger with St. Aloysius of Oaklyn.

"None of it makes sense," Ed Pierzynski, a St. Vincent Pallotti parishioner, said of the merger, which would end the use of the Westmont church as a worship site. The planned merger is part of a program, announced by Galante in April, to cut the number of parishes in the diocese from 124 to 66 over a two-year period.

The appeal is meant to freeze the merger process in the two parishes "until the whole administrative recourse process has come to conclusion in Rome," said Pierzynski. He expressed confidence that the Vatican body "will be an advocate for our parish rights."

But church law won't allow that yet, said Andrew Walton, a diocesan spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Victims of abuse by clergy get support

NEW YORK
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 08/20/08 7:11 AM

A national support and advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is starting a chapter in Western New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, held its first meeting last week in Amherst.

The meeting was organized and led by Mark Lyman, volunteer director of a SNAP chapter in Albany. Five people attended, although organizers expect the number to grow with increased awareness of the group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Kansas City Priests, Abuse Victims Reach Agreement

KANSAS CITY (MO)
My Fox Kansas City

Although the bishop hasn't signed off on it yet, lawyers for victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Kansas City area said they came to an agreement Tuesday night. One of the major points is a forthcoming apology.

"The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will apologize for the wrongful abuse by its priests," attorney Patrick Noaker said.

In addition to the public apology, the Diocese will not recommend anyone accused of such crimes for other jobs, especially ones involving children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Testimony to start today in priest suit

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --A jury was seated Tuesday, and opening statements are set to begin this morning in a civil trial where a former altar boy is claiming he was psychologically damaged when a priest sexually molested him.

The trial involves a lawsuit filed in 2002 by James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign, who alleges that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki, of Dupo, molested Wisniewski beginning at age 13 at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem.

Kownacki, who was removed from active ministry in 1995, has said he will not comment on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Diocese tries to use confidential records to aid its case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 20, 2008

The clergy sex abuse trial in Burlington took an unexpected turn Tuesday when a lawyer for the state's Roman Catholic diocese had a church official review confidential personnel records of six former priests accused of molesting children.

"I'm going to show you documents that were not shown you yesterday," attorney Tom McCormick told former diocesan Vicar General Wendall Searles as he put into evidence a series of letters and memos detailing the diocese's response to molestation allegations involving the priests.

The move by McCormick was a surprise because the diocese has, over the years, strongly opposed having its priest personnel records become public.

In previous trials, including one in May that ended with an $8.7 million verdict, the diocese did not rely on the documents as part of its defense. That verdict, which stunned the diocese at the time, has been appealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Accountability and the church

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

August 20, 2008

By SISTER MAUREEN PAUL TURLISH

Pedophile priest Edward Paquette is an archetypal figure, a product of the clerical system that spawned him or at least enabled and protected him. He speaks to the tragic need to change all states' inadequate childhood sexual abuse statutes for the protection of everyone.

To even consider that Paquette would really remain a priest even though removed from ministry because the church teaches that there is an indelible priestly character taken on by the soul during ordination ceremonies is appalling.

It is insulting to the priests I know, especially those I have met across the country who attempt to minister to two and even three parish communities in rural areas of Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and Minnesota. These men, these priests, represent the spiritual underpinning of the church, at least in the Roman Catholic Church I know.

Sexual abusers like Paquette and his ilk are men of unrelenting depravity and as such have abrogated any claims to such an appellation by the perfidy of their actions in the sexual abuse of numerous children, young people or vulnerable adults of either sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Catholics must have courage to speak out

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Herald

The deposition of Cardinal George sadly points to an endemic problem in the Catholic Church.

It is replicated in city after city (Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc.) with the same chants of theatrical apologies and settlements.

This is about morality, the very attribute that they chide us to live by.

There is no integrity among thieves. They treat us as second class citizens, lie to us, betray us and steal from us and we take it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 AM

News Story...

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholica (Australia)

In a significant escalation of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the United States the lay movement formed in the wake of the Abuse scandal, Voice of the Faithful, has published a media release today calling for the Archbishop of Chicago and President of the American Catholic Bishops Conference, Cardinal Francis George, to resign. Following is the text of the media release.

Text of Media Release from Voice of the Faithful

The recently revealed deposition by Cardinal Francis George is a clear indictment of his pastoring skills and his inability to lead the people of Chicago. His repeated failures in both the Bennett and McCormack cases indicate a trend to disregard advice from outside clerical circles and continue to follow precedents of deceit, cover-ups and secrecy (imbedded in the clerical culture) in lieu of protecting innocent children from irreparable harm.

Voice of the Faithful, reviewing the concrete revelations in the deposition, has no choice but to ask the Cardinal to step down. We call for his resignation.

We also call for a criminal investigation of the actions within the Archdiocese revealed in this deposition. (325 IL. Comp. Stat. Ann.5/4 (West, WESTLAW through 2003 Reg. Sess.))

We ask, “Where is the criminal justice system in light of demonstrated criminal failings repeated across the country, diocese after diocese? When will Catholic citizens demand morality and justice in our own Church?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 AM

Priest facing criminal charges placed in monastery

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

A Roman Catholic priest facing criminal charges for taking an unaccompanied youth to a motel room was removed from his Santa Ana parish and placed in an area monastery pending his sentencing today in the case.

The Rev. Luis Eduardo Ramirez, a member of the Augustinian Recollects order who has worked at Our Lady of the Pillar parish since 2003, was arrested by Anaheim police Jan. 8 on suspicion of child annoyance or molestation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The case has not been publicized, other than a diocese announcement in the church bulletin.

Ramirez was arrested after taking to a motel room a 17-year-old boy whose mother asked Ramirez to counsel, said his attorney Gary Pohlson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 AM

UNFIT TO LEAD

CHICAGO (IL)
Voice from the Desert

The recently revealed deposition by Cardinal Francis George is a clear indictment of his pastoring skills and his inability to lead the people of Chicago . His repeated failures in the both the Bennett and McCormack cases indicate a trend to disregard advice from outside clerical circles and continue to follow precedents of deceit, cover ups and secrecy (imbedded in the clerical culture) in lieu of protecting innocent children from irreparable harm.

Voice of the Faithful, reviewing the concrete revelations in the deposition, has no choice but to ask the Cardinal to step down. We call for his resignation.

We also call for a criminal investigation of the actions within the Archdiocese revealed in this deposition. (325 IL. Comp. Stat. Ann.5/4 (West, WESTLAW through 2003 Reg. Sess.))

We ask, “Where is the criminal justice system in light of demonstrated criminal failings repeated across the country, diocese after diocese? When will Catholic citizens demand morality and justice in our own Church?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 AM

Reform group urges Cardinal George to resign

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
11:48 PM CDT, August 19, 2008
A lay reform group on Tuesday called on Cardinal Francis George to leave his post as Chicago's Catholic archbishop, saying recent revelations about his handling of sexual abuse allegations against priests were intolerable.

Leaders of the Boston-based Voice of the Faithful said they can't understand why the cardinal ignored advice to remove from ministry two priests accused of abusing minors or why he worked to reduce the prison sentence of a convicted child molester—actions the cardinal disclosed last week as part of a $12.7 million settlement involving 16 abuse victims and 11 accused priests.

Colleen Dolan, communications director for the Chicago archdiocese, said the cardinal has not considered resigning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 AM

Tentative settlement reached in KC priest abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

[with link to video giving comments from lawyers for the plaintiffs]
[with link to a list of the priests involved]

The Catholic Diocese in Kansas City and more than 40 victims of clergy sexual abuse tentatively agreed late Tuesday to settle lawsuits against the church for about $10 million.

The settlement — which still must receive final approval by Bishop Robert Finn and two church boards — also requires the diocese to take new steps to prevent further molestation by priests. The settlement could become final by Thursday, lawyers said.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs described the settlement as the largest by the church in Missouri and said it would resolve claims filed in Jackson County from 2002 to the present. The lawsuits alleged clergy sexual abuse beginning almost 60 years ago and continuing into the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 AM

$10M Settlement Made In Clergy Sex Abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

[with video]

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on Tuesday agreed to a $10 million settlement in a clergy sex abuse case.

The $10 million will settle 47 claims of child sexual abuse against 12 priests.

KMBC's Martin Augustine reported that it will settle everything on file in Jackson County District Court. Some of the claims date back 50 years.

In addition to the $10 million payment, the settlement includes 19 noneconomic points, including that the bishop write letters of apology to the victims and their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 AM

6 sect youths return to custody of state

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Originally published 12:00 a.m., August 20, 2008
Updated 12:36 a.m., August 20, 2008

A series of agreements and a ruling by state District Judge Barbara Walther placed six children from the FLDS in state custody. However, only one - the 14-year-old girl alleged to have been married to polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs at age 12 - will be placed in foster care.

A gaggle of attorneys representing the state's Child Protective Services agency, four sets of parents and seven children arrived at three agreements Tuesday afternoon covering five of the children.

Earlier in the day, Walther ordered the alleged Jeffs bride to be removed from the custody of her parents, leading sect couple Merril and Barbara Jessop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 AM

August 19, 2008

Newish Lawsuit Filed Against Mater Dei Statutory Rapist Jeff Andrade

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
August 19, 2008 3:52 PM

The pedophilic piñata that is Mater Dei High School just keeps on producing lawsuits alleging sex abuse. Recently revealed is yet another one filed May 31 (but recently unsealed) in Orange County Superior Court by a former Mater Dei student against former assistant boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade (pictured).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Speak Out At San Fernando Cathedral

TEXAS
WOAI

Clergy sex abuse victims speaking out in front of San Fernando Cathedral Tuesday.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or S.N.A.P., believe Catholic officials have not done enough to protect children from abuse.

They say 3 local predator priests fled San Antonio to other countries.

"And we want the mothers who have children that are near these men to know about their history," said Barbara Blaine, President of S.N.A.P.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Jeffs' alleged child bride taken from mom

TEXAS
United Press International

SAN ANGELO, Texas, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A teenage girl who was allegedly married to polygamist leader Warren Jeffs at 12 must return to state custody, a Texas judge ruled Tuesday.

The girl, now 14, is the daughter of Merril Jessop, head of the Yearning for Zion Ranch, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. She and an 11-year-old brother had been living in San Antonio with their mother, Barbara Jessop, instead of returning to the ranch.

Judge Barbara Walther allowed the boy to remain with his mother, although she set additional restrictions. But she found that Barbara Jessop cannot guarantee her daughter's safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Youth worker had child porn on computer

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh Evening News

A CHURCH youth worker and school music teacher has admitted having thousands of pictures of child pornography on his home computer.

Jamieson Sutherland, 40, worked with children as young as four while a youth worker at two Edinburgh churches and in his part-time role as a school music teacher.

Sutherland, who is also a professional choir singer, was caught when police searched his home and seized his computer after a tip-off in January.

Investigators found the laptop contained more than 4,000 images of children being abused, four of which showed the most severe level of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Priest admits 27 sexual assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest who sexually abused boys at a Manchester Catholic school in the 1970s and 1980s has admitted 27 assaults on children at Manchester Crown Court.

Father William Green, 67, of Cale Lane, Aspull, Wigan, admitted the assaults on children aged between eight and 16.

Green took physical education classes at St Bede's College in Alexandra Park, Manchester, when the assaults happened and has also worked at other schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Catholic Diocese Safe Environment Audit Scheduled 8/19/08

SAN ANGELO (TX)
CBS 7

August 19, 2008

During the week of August 25th, auditors from the Gavin Group of Boston, an independent firm commissioned by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), will visit the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo to evaluate its Safe Environment Programs to insure compliance with the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Charter, originally adopted by the USCCB in November 2002, setsd forth specific requirements which enable dioceses across the country to establish safe environment programs to protect children and youth from sexual abuse. During this audit, Diocesan Safe Environment Policies; Safe Environment Programs for chuch personnel, parents, and children; as well as procedures for assisting victims of abuse will be examined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Argentine priest on trial for sexual abuse

ARGENTINA
The Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — An Argentine priest went on trial Tuesday, charged with 17 counts of sexual abuse and corruption of three young boys.

Prosecutors say Julio Grassi, 52, abused three boys — including two minors — who attended his well-known "Happy the Children" Foundation for underprivileged youth. The boys are on a list of more than 350 witnesses who will testify against Grassi over the next few months. The archbishop of Buenos Aires is also on the list.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Girl, 14, Allegedly Married To Jeffs Gets Foster Care

TEXAS
KPHO

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- A Texas judge has ordered a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly married to polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, who's in jail in Kingman, to be placed in foster care.

The judge ruled there is "uncontroverted evidence of the underage marriage."

Under the ruling, the girl's 11-year-old brother can stay with his mother.

Meanwhile, lawyers reached settlements for three other girls from polygamous families. The children can stay with their mothers, if the women restrict contact with men accused of being involved in underage marriages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Sex abuse trial against Belleville Diocese priest to begin Wednesday

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --A jury has been seated and opening statements are set to begin tomorrow morning in a civil trial where a former altar boy is claiming he was psychologically damaged when a priest sexually molested him.

The trial involves a lawsuit filed in 2002 by James Wisniewski, 47, of Champaign, who alleges that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki of Dupo molested Wisniewski beginning at age 13 at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem.

Kownacki, who was removed from active ministry in 1995, has said he will not comment on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Maryknoll's Bourgeois calls meeting with order 'productive'

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By TOM ROBERTS
Published: August 19, 2008

Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who concelebrated a Mass at a women’s ordination ceremony earlier this month, has met with leaders of his religious community, calling the meeting “productive.” At the same time, Bourgeois told his superiors he did not recant his actions and urged a continuing dialogue about the place of women in the church.

In a phone interview Aug. 19, Bourgeois said that he and Maryknoll leadership, including Superior General Fr. John Sivalon, had agreed that in the future they would engage in “collective discernment” over issues of justice, including the role of women in the church.

Maryknoll spokeswoman Betsey Guest said Bourgeois and Maryknoll leadership released a joint statement following their meeting that states, “An investigation has been carried out as to the true facts of the August 9 event in Lexington, Ky., A report of that investigation will be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Charles Lewis: Love the sinner, hate the sin

National Post (Canada)

Charles Lewis

In the most recent issue of America Magazine, a Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits, Sister Camille D’Arienzo has written a compelling and courageous piece called Mercy Toward Our Fathers. It opens up the highly controversial subject of offering forgiveness to priests who abused children.

In 2002, massive allegations came to the surface of abuse by Catholic priests, especially in the Los Angeles and Boston areas. In Los Angeles, for example, the Church paid out US$100-million to compensate 87 sex abuse victims. And then spent millions more to compensate scores of further victims across the country. It remains an especially painful issue, given that many abusers were shuttled from parish to parish in the hopes they would vanish quietly into the system.

This is not an issue that will dissipate any time soon. Last week, for instance, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati published new guidelines for what priests could do with children. It prohibits big hugs, lap-sitting and putting children on one’s shoulder or back, as well as bans on kissing, tickling or wrestling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Pastor charged with murder and incest

ALABAMA
The Voice (United Kingdom)

BY Marcia Dixon

AN AMERICAN preacher was arrested for murder, sodomy and incest whilst holding a revival at the Inspiration Tabernacle Church, in Jackson, Alabama.

Police stormed the small revival church where father of eight Rev Anthony Hopkins was preaching on July 28, armed with guns, and arrested him in front of the 50-strong congregation.

They had received a tip off from Rev Hopkins’ 19-year-old daughter, who told police at a child Advocacy Centre what had been happening at her home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Belleville Diocese abuse trial set to start

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/19/2008

Opening statements in a sex abuse lawsuit against the Belleville Diocese and a retired priest will begin tomorrow morning.

The suit is filed by a former altar boy who alleges he was sexually abused in the 1970s by Rev. Raymond Kownacki, now a retired priest. He also alleges the Belleville Diocese covered it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Waukesha psychologist (and former priest) loses license

WISCONSIN
Public Investigator Blog (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

By Keegan Kyle
Tuesday, Aug 19 2008, 09:41 AM
A Waukesha psychologist borrowed thousands of dollars from his patients and gave at least one advice on where to find a great strip club, according to a state investigation.

Those professional transgressions cost David Mannelli his psychology license last month.

Public Investigator occasionally reports disciplinary actions from the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing to keep consumers up-to-date on licensed businesses and professionals. (check out an older story about hair salons or our continuing coverage of a high-priced foot doctor.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Day 4 of trial focuses on priest misconduct

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

August 19, 2008

The alleged sexual misconduct of several priests now retired or deceased became the focus of testimony Tuesday in the fourth day of a trial on claims by a Waitsfield man who alleges that, as Christ the King Church altar boy in the late 1970s, he was molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette.

Attorney Jerome O’Neill, representing the Waitsfield man, questioned the Rev. Wendall Searles, a former vicar general for the state’s Roman Catholic diocese, about the diocese’s investigation into complaints about the Rev. George Paulin, who had his priestly duties suspended in 2002.

Tom McComick, a diocesan lawyer, then had Searles review other documents regarding Paulin, the late Rev. Forrest Rouelle and Benjamin Wysolmerski that indicated the diocese’s concern about sexual misconduct allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Scheidler v. Trombley (Planned Parenthood) update; Author's case studies of murdered priest, hanged priest

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
August 19, 2008

Catholic author Leon J. Podles has completed case studies of the 1998 unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz and the subsequent double homicide investigation of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison, which ultimately led to the suicide of Father Ryan Erickson. Both cases, while not connected, occurred in Wisconsin. The case study of Father Ryan Erickson contains certain details of which I was not previously aware.

The following are links to said case studies in PDF format:

Father Alfred Kunz

Father Ryan Erickson (contains graphic and disturbing language)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Sex-abuse liability case sent to state's top court

AUGUSTA (ME)
Portland Press Herald

By BETTY ADAMS, Blethen Maine News Service

August 6, 2008

AUGUSTA — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will be asked to rule on whether supervisors can be held liable for an unlimited period of time for sexual-abuse acts by individuals who work for them.

Two men are seeking money for alleged sexual abuse by priests, and their attorneys want the court to rule that the priests' supervisors can also be held accountable indefinitely.

Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Joseph Jabar decided Tuesday that he will forward the question to the supreme court, as requested by Gerald Petrucelli, an attorney representing the defendants.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Keith Varner, opposed going to the court for a ruling. Varner maintains that a law governing the filing of civil lawsuits -- which says "actions based upon sexual acts toward minors may be commenced at any time" -- applies to supervisors as well as alleged perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Sex abuse victims want Superior Bishop to investigate Eagle River Church

EAGLE RIVER (WI)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Eagle River, Wisconsin, August 19, 2002 - The nation's largest self help organization of victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy are calling on the Catholic Bishop of the Superior, Wisconsin diocese to explain how a convicted child molester could have been hired to help staff a Catholic parish and then go on to sexually assault a girl who was a member of the choir.

On Monday, in Vilas County, "Ziggy" Stardust, who co-wrote a popular church song performed before Pope Benedict XVI at the World Youth Day last month in Sidney, Australia, was convicted to 17 years in prison for sexually assaulting a girl whose family belonged to St. Peter the Fisherman Parish in Eagle River.

Stardust was hired as the church's choir director in 2000 although he had a previous sex assault conviction in Dane County. He was arrested in 2005 for five felony counts of child enticement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Sex Abuse Victims Criticize Michigan Governor, Senator for Praising Admitted Child Molester

MICHIGAN
Voice from the Desert

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking two Michigan politicians to distance themselves from a teacher who admitted molesting a child.

Last year, Senator Carl Levin and Governor Jennifer Granholm sent commendation letters to Dr. Thomas Hodgman, who is a music professor at Adrian College in Adrian. (The letters are on the college’s website - http://www.adriancollegemusic.org/Gov%20letter.htm)

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing Levin and Granholm, asking them to rescind the praise.

“These politicians will likely say these letters are somewhat ‘routine,’ but it’s still hurtful and intimidating to victims when high profile figures endorse a child molester -,” said Claudia Vercellotti, who heads the Toledo SNAP chapter. “It’s bad enough when religious officials applaud predators. It’s even worse when secular officials do the same.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Absolute Must Read: An Ill Wind Blows for Children of Chicago Catholics

CHICAGO (IL)
Voice from the Desert

By Vinnie Nauheimer

Where would you look to find the church’s most skilled buck passer, second only to the pope? Where would you look to find the master of denial with a straight face, who arguably sports the best razor sharp convenient memory in all of Chicago? You have to go no farther than Chicago’s own Cardinal George. Like the pope, he would have us believe that he was never consciously in the business of hiding sexually abusive priests. He deserves special attention not only because of his condescending and despicable attitude towards children, civil law, church law and God, but because he is also the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops whose stated purpose is:

The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place.1

As such, Cardinal George will be responsible for policy in the United States for the next three years and his minions will do the same into the foreseeable future.

Cardinal George has proven himself particularly adept at fittingly adapting things to fit the circumstances of his view on clerical sexual abuse. The USCCB is the august body that created the very superficial and now legless Dallas Charter of 2002. It has subsequently been trampled upon by the Cardinal. How ironic is it that George led the delegation to Rome to receive the Vatican’s stamp of approval for the Dallas Charter?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Custody of two FLDS children in judge's hands

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008 10:33 a.m. MDT

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A judge has taken under advisement a custody case involving two children taken in the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch.

The hearing over the two children of Barbara Jessop and her husband, ranch leader Merril Jessop, ended with Jessop's attorney calling no witnesses and urging the judge to create a "starting point" with conditions for Barbara Jessop to follow so she will not lose her children.

"We are asking the court to give Ms. Jessop a starting point so she can begin doing what they want her to do," said Gonzalo Rios, Jessop's attorney

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Story cannot be ignored

CANADA
Sarnia Observer

An important event took place on Sarnia's waterfront over the weekend. Victims of the late Charles Sylvestre, a disgraced pedophile priest, gathered at Dow People Place for an emotional ceremony.

The women, who were abused by Sylvestre as children, contributed panels to a quilt that was unveiled during the event.

The gathering included a song and poems specifically written about Sylvestre's victims and their experiences.

And there were a lot of victims. Sylvestre pled guilty to molesting 47 girls over three decades when he served at parishes in Sarnia, Chatham, Windsor and Pain Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Cape Cod priest faces assault allegation

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

The Associated Press

BARNSTABLE, Mass.— Church officials say a Cape Cod priest has gone to his native Brazil after being accused of sexual assault of a minor.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River says the Rev. Jose Afonso Lima left for Brazil after being notified by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families that an abuse allegation against him had been substantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Expert Witness Testifies in Priest Sex Abuse Trial

VERMONT
Fox 44

An expert witness, a catholic priest who specializes in counseling victims of clergy sexual abuse, testified Monday that the Catholic Diocese of Burlington was negligent in its handling of Father Edward Paquette in the 1970s.

A former altar boy at Christ the King in Burlington claims the diocese acted irresponsibly when it hired Paquette even though it knew of reports of sexual abuse at parishes in Massachusetts and Indiana.

Bishop John Marshall made that decision and then moved Paquette from parishes in Rutland to Montpelier and then finally Burlington as accusations of molestation arose at those places.

Father Thomas Doyle said in Chittenden County Superior Court that evidence showed Paquette had a history of abusing boys in the Diocese he previously worked in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Adams' St. Stan's to fight closing

ADAMS (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

By Meghan Foley, North Adams Transcript

Tuesday, August 19
ADAMS — Parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka, like their counterparts at St. Francis of Assisi in North Adams, will fight the Diocese of Springfield's decision to close their church.

About 150 parishioners met at the Elks Lodge for an often emotional discussion Sunday night about what the next steps should be for the Polish parish, the only one of its kind in the Berkshires.

"It's very important. I feel like our heritage is being ripped away from us," Becky Zepka of Cheshire said.

"We want to keep our church," said Joan Maznicki of Adams.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Ex-pastor hopes that resurfacing of '86 conviction will "set me free"

COLORADO
The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 08/19/2008 01:23:23 AM MDT

Baptist Pastor David Slone dreamed of leading a church where people could expose and heal any sin or dark secret without fear of judgment or rejection.

But a decades-old secret Slone kept from his Lafayette congregation surfaced last month, not through his testimony, but through anonymous letters mailed to church deacons, to newspapers and to a local chamber of commerce.

In 1986, Slone had been convicted, after pleading guilty, to two counts of child molestation in Oklahoma. He was 22 and served a year in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Ex-Palestine youth pastor arrested on sex charges

TEXAS
Palestine Herald Press

By NICOLE HINES
Cedar Creek Pilot

MABANK — First Baptist Church of Mabank youth minister Joshua Neal Ponder, 32, was arrested Aug. 13, for sexual assault of a teenager.

Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee said Ponder confessed to charges related to a 16-year-old male victim.

The assault allegedly occurred April 8 but was not reported until Aug. 8, according to reports.

The teenager is not a member of the church.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Deposition exposes Cardinal George

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Herald

The truth only emerges when abuses are dealt with through settlements and bankruptcies. What a sad day for our faith.

We must accept some of the blame for believing our pastoral leaders, revering them until the truth finally emerged.

Well the jig is up. The exposition of Cardinal George's deposition testimony reveals information unavailable to Catholic citizens in the past.

No surprise. The clerical culture is rife with secrecy, lies and cover ups the likes of which Catholics are only now uncovering through our legal system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Priest admits 27 cases of attacks on children

UNITED KINGDOM
Wigan Today

A priest from Wigan who has admitted 27 sex assaults on children probably wrecked even more young lives, it was claimed today.

Father William Green, 67, a priest at the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, New Springs, Wigan, has admitted 27 assaults on children who were aged between eight and 16. He faces a "significant" jail sentence.

The charges relate to alleged incidents while he worked as a physical education teacher at St Bede's School in Manchester in the 1970s and 80s. He asked to see boys on his own and then took them into a room where he indecently assaulted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Ex-youth pastor faces new charges of sex battery

MANSFIELD (OH)
CentralOhio.com

By MARK CAUDILL
News Journal

MANSFIELD — Another person has come forward in the John Picard sexual battery case.

Picard, 40, of Springboro, was arrested last month and charged with 10 counts of sexual battery. He is accused of having sexual relations with a teenage parishioner 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.

Picard was charged with six more counts of sexual battery in indictments released Monday. If convicted on all 16 counts, he could receive up to 80 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Women’s forum asks police to reopen murder probe

INDIA
The Peninsula (Qatar)

Source ::: THE PENINSULA. / By John Mary
Thiruvananthapuram • Kerala’s State Women's Commission has asked the Crime Branch police to re-open the investigation into the mysterious death of a Catholic nun ten years ago and asked for details of the probe, if any, from the diocesan authorities in north Kerala.

Sister Jyothis of the Scared Heart Convent under the Thamarassery diocese in Kozhikode was found murdered on the premises of the convent ten years ago. The post mortem report confirmed multiple wounds on the body but the Crime Branch had failed to make much headway in the case. The Commission yesterday ordered a notice to the Bishop of Thamarassery diocese, seeking to know whether the diocese had probed the death and what was the outcome. The diocesan reaction was not readily available but commission member T Devi said the death had occurred at a time when such tragic events never had got the prominence they deserved. Hence, the commission, based on complaints, asked the agencies concerned to review the probe.

It was only last week that the commission and the Catholic diocese in the southern district of Kollam confronted each other on the 23-year-old Sister Anupa Mary. The Vimala Hridaya Congregation, to which the nun belonged, expressed disappointment over the Commission's "sweeping comments on the harassment inside convents".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Priest testifies against diocese

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 19, 2008

A priest who has been a national critic of his church’s handling of clergy sex abuse cases said Monday that the state’s Roman Catholic diocese was irresponsible in handling molestation reports in the 1970s involving the Rev. Edward Paquette.

“They were in some sort of vacuum,” the Rev. Thomas Doyle told a Burlington jury. His testimony came during the third day of a trial on claims by a Waitsfield man that as a Christ the King Church altar boy he was molested by Paquette between 20 and 50 times in 1977 and 1978.

“In my opinion, they were irresponsible,” Doyle said of the Vermont diocese. “Their concern was for the image of the institutional church. I’ve seen this in more instances than I can count.”

Doyle, a former Air Force chaplain and Vatican embassy aide in Washington, D.C., has researched the issue of clergy sex abuse records for 24 years and written extensively on the subject. He is an advocate for the victims of such abuse and testified Monday on behalf of the Waitsfield man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Sect hearings make halting progress

TEXAS
Abilene Reporter-News

Monday, August 18, 2008

By Paul A. Anthony
San Angelo Standard Times

Three times, the state's attorney asked Barbara Steed Jessop the question, stated slightly differently: Have you ever left your residence overnight while your two children remained?

The answers varied.

"We are there by ourselves," the 55-year-old woman said once during Monday's hearing. "I stay with my children," she said when asked again. The third time, she replied, "My daughters live there also."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Child porn Scout leader must never work with children again

UNITED KINGDOM
Worcester News

By Jack Blanchard

A FORMER scoutmaster who downloaded sickening porn from the internet has been banned from working with children for life.

Police found 363 photographs of boys and girls as young as 12 on Graham McKeown's computers and 17 videos.

His home in St George's Walk, Barbourne, Worcester, was raided after a mother became suspicious when he took her son on a trip to a red light district during a holiday abroad, said prosecutor Ian Ball. ...

The 45-year-old, an assistant leader at the 6th Worcester (Kempsey) troop for 26 years and a youth volunteer at St Peter’s Baptist church, Worcester, could have been jailed for his crimes, said Judge Andrew Geddes. He said: “These were revolting images of children being degraded and suffering terrible trauma. You contributed to that kind of intolerable behaviour.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Hearing to resume in new polygamist sect case

TEXAS
The Associated Press

By MICHELLE ROBERTS

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — A mother accused of abuse for allegedly allowing her then-12-year-old daughter to marry polygamist leader Warren Jeffs plans to call in her defense a stepdaughter who returned voluntarily to the polygamist community.

Barbara Jessop is fighting a request by the state to take away her now 14-year-old daughter and the girl's 11-year-old brother. Witnesses for the state argued Monday that Jessop isn't a suitable caregiver because the girl and several other children were involved in underage marriages. The 14-year-old allegedly married Jeffs, 52, in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Knowledge is best defense against sex abuse, say experts

VERMONT
Times Argus

August 19, 2008

By Peter Hirschfeld Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER – At the Park Street Program in Rutland, Chuck Laramie works five days a week with teenage boys accused of sex crimes against children.

His work as their teacher, he said, has offered him insight into the minds and behavioral patterns of known abusers. And his informed assessment of the problem elicited audible gasps from an audience Monday.

"In every single town in Vermont today, a kid is being sexually assaulted," Laramie said during a presentation on child sex abuse at the Statehouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Former Bishop Gregory on pretrial witness list

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Former Bishop Wilton Gregory is on the defense list of potential witnesses in a civil trial involving a Belleville Diocese priest accused of sexually molesting an altar boy, prospective jurors were told Monday.

The trial involves a lawsuit brought in 2002 by James Wisniewski of Champaign, who alleges that when he was a 13-year-old altar boy at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem in the early 1970s, he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki. Named as defendants are Kownacki and the diocese. Kownacki has stated he will not comment.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster, who represents Wisniewski, asked potential jurors Monday whether they would give added weight to the testimony of witnesses who are or were officials of the Diocese. He mentioned four witnesses on the defense list -- Gregory, now archbishop of Atlanta, former vicar general Monsignor James Margason, current chancellor the Rev. Ken York, and Monsignor Joseph Schwaegel, who was removed from active ministry in the mid 1990s for a sexual addiction not involving a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Priest admits molesting schoolboys

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Exclusive by Nicola Dowling
18/ 8/2008

A PRIEST who sexually abused a string of boys at a top Catholic school more than 20 years ago has finally been brought to justice.

Father William Green, 67, who took physical education classes at St Bede's College in Alexandra Park, Manchester, has admitted 27 assaults on children who were aged between eight and 16. He faces a `significant' jail sentence.

Green, who was a priest at the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, Wigan, made excuses to see boys on their own, taking them to a room where he indecently assaulted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Former Vatican counsel castigates Vt. church

VERMONT
Times Argus

August 19, 2008

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

BURLINGTON — A former Vatican canon lawyer testified Monday that Vermont's Catholic Church was "irresponsible" and "negligent" in dealing with a pedophile priest who's now the focus of 20 civil lawsuits.

"The concern was for the image of the institutional church — 'How are we going to look?'" said the Rev. Thomas Doyle. "What I didn't find was any serious effort to sit down with the families to provide pastoral care, to consider the harm that had been done to these victims."

Doyle said he spoke from experience: Working for the pope in Washington a quarter century ago, he helped write a confidential report that documented the then-secret details of sexual abuse by U.S. priests and warned it could cost the church more than $1 billion — a figure reached three years ago.

"They knew that this man had repeatedly acted out in every assignment in spite of intervention," Doyle said of the Vermont diocese. "But I didn't see any indication that either the pastors or communities were informed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

August 18, 2008

Cape priest flees to Brazil after child sex allegation (9:15 p.m.)

MASSACHUSETTS
SouthCoast Today

By PATRICK CASSIDY
Cape Cod Times staff writer
August 18, 2008 9:13 PM

BARNSTABLE — A Brazilian priest who celebrated Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis and other Cape churches has fled the country after being accused of sexual assault of a minor in Connecticut.

The Rev. Jose Afonso Lima was placed on temporary leave Wednesday after the allegation came to light, Catholic Diocese of Fall River spokesman John Kearns said today.

“At this point, we don’t know all that much,” Kearns said of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 PM

Pastor Cries, Apologizes To Teen Victim

DELAWARE COUNTY (OH)
NBC4i

[with video]

By Donna Willis

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio -- A former Delaware County pastor who pleaded guilty to sexual battery was in court Monday to receive his sentence.

BOTTOMLINE: Brian Williams will spend eight years behind bars; he was sentenced to four years for each of two counts of sexual battery. The two four-year sentences will be served consecutively.

The Delaware County Prosecutor's Office said Senior Pastor Brian Williams attacked a 15-year-old girl during a scheduled appointment in early March at the Sunbury Grace Brethren Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Ex-Pastor Sentenced For Sexually Abusing 15-Year-Old Girl

DELAWARE (OH)
WBNS

DELAWARE, Ohio — A former pastor who admitted sexually abusing a teenage member of his congregation was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison.

Brian L. Williams, the former pastor of Sunbury Grace Brethren Church, pleaded guilty in June to charges of sexual battery.

The plea came after a 15-year-old girl accused Williams of raping her inside a church office.

The girl told investigators that the assault happened on March 6 when she went to see Williams to talk about her grades, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Former Pastor Sentenced To Prison

OHIO
WTVN

By WTVN Newsroom
Monday, August 18, 2008
A former Delaware County pastor who pleaded guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at his church was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison.

Brian Williams, the former head pastor at Sunbury Grace Brethren Church, told the girl she wasn't to blame for what happened. He also apologized to his congregation.

"When that openness and that trust is violated in this most intimate and most-personal kind of way, it's an especially egregious offense," said Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Some priests take vow they can't keep

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 18, 2008

BY LAURA BERMAN laura@bermancenter.com

On Tuesday the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that the Catholic Church will award $12.6 million to victims of sexual abuse involving priests.

This landmark settlement serves as validation for victims who feel that the church too often brushed aside their claims, but the money will be of little consequence to those who lost decades of their lives to silent suffering and shame.

The church's requirement that priests remain celibate is a key factor behind some priests' aberrant sexual behavior. Celibacy may create an unnatural situation that increases the likelihood of these abuses. In a perfect world spirituality can overcome something as basic as our sex drive; however, we don't live in a perfect world. The abuse victims speak volumes to this reality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Texas seeks custody of teen Jeffs allegedly wed

TEXAS
The Associated Press

By MICHELLE ROBERTS

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for Texas child welfare authorities began presenting evidence Monday at a hearing on whether a girl allegedly given in marriage at age 12 to jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs should be returned to foster care.

The state wants to remove the girl, now 14, and an 11-year-old brother from the care of her mother, saying the woman has refused to guarantee the girl won't have contact with men accused of being involved in underage marriages. The girl's father allegedly blessed her marriage to Jeffs and the underage marriages of at least two sisters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Ill. SupCo lets priest abuse case go forward

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WREX

Associated Press - August 18, 2008 1:44 PM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Supreme Court says it won't intervene in a 47-year-old Champaign man's lawsuit against the Diocese of Belleville over sex-abuse allegations decades ago.

The state's high court didn't comment in declining the diocese's request to dismiss James Wisniewski's (wizh-NEW'-skees) 2002 lawsuit against the diocese and the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Former Pastor To Stand Trial In Child Sex Case

LOUISIANA
WSDU

NEW ORLEANS -- The former pastor of a Ponchatoula church is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in Amite, accused in a 2005 child sexual abuse case.

Pretrial proceedings took place Monday for Louis Lamonica, the former spiritual leader of the now-defunct Hosanna Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Sex abuse lawsuit against Belleville Diocese moves ahead; jury selection underway

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- The Illinois Supreme Court has denied a request by the Diocese of Belleville to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a 47-year-old former altar boy who alleges he was sexually assaulted beginning at age 13 by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

The high court also denied a request to postpone the trial that began this morning with jury selection. The denials, which were filed today, were issued without comment.

Wisniewski filed suit in 2002, claiming Kownacki molested him at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem during 1973-78.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

This summer has been a bad one for the truth

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

By Chuck Goudie | Columnist
Published: 8/18/2008

LAS VEGAS - Unlike Chicago, whose motto is "The City that Works," Las Vegas could rightly be called "The City that Plays."

But Vegas doesn't need a catchy new jingle. It already has a world-famous slogan in "What Happens Here, Stays Here."

If truth was actually required in advertising, that would only be half of the phrase. The entire refrain would be: "What Happens Here Stays Here, Only if You Tell Some Lies to Cover It Up but Probably Not Even Then."

Such a full and exact statement might not attract as many tourists though and it would certainly cut into the call-girl business. Besides, "What Happens Here Stays Here, Only if You Tell Some Lies to Cover it Up but Probably Not Even" wouldn't fit as well on billboards. ...

The season has been rough on the truth and last week was particularly jagged.

• The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced another multimillion dollar settlement paid to more than a dozen victims of pedophile priests.

The tally for Chicago Catholics is now $65 million over three decades, handed out in more than 250 sex abuse claims.

The root of this evil has been years of enabling perverted priests by church officials from the very top on down, through lies, deceit and cover-ups.

Lest you think the truth has won out, consider a statement from archdiocesan officials that none of the millions of dollars used to pay settlements to sex abuse victims come from parish collection baskets. All the payoffs, they said, would be from the sale of church real estate holdings.

"We just felt it was very important that parishioners understand that this is not money that is coming from their local parish," said Jimmy Lago, archdiocese administrator.

This has been a common untruth put forth by church officials in Chicago and elsewhere for years. Who do you think paid for all the prime property owned by the Archdiocese? Caesar of Augustus?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Expert Witness Testifies in Priest Sex Abuse Trial

VERMONT
Fox 44

An expert witness, a catholic priest who specializes in counseling victims of clergy sexual abuse, testified Monday that the Catholic Diocese of Burlington was negligent in its handling of Father Edward Paquette in the 1970s.

A former altar boy blames the Diocese for sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of the priest.

Father Thomas Doyle said in Chittenden County Superior Court that evidence showed Paquette had a history of abusing boys in the Diocese he previously worked in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Controversial religious group to return funds

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By MAEVE SHEEHAN

Sunday June 01 2008

THE House of Prayer has offered to return donations to its aggrieved followers amid a growing number of complaints about the vast wealth accumulated by the prophetic religious group.

Donations of up to €90,000 to the Catholic religious outfit are being investigated by gardai and the taxman, after allegations about its vast wealth emerged earlier this year.

Four donors have now made formal complaints to gardai, alleging they gave the money in the belief that the House of Prayer was in need of it. At least three more complaints are expected to follow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Survivors unite at unveiling

CANADA
The Sarnia Observer

By SHAWN JEFFORDS, THE OBSERVER

They are survivors.

Their shattered lives held together by a common thread. And now that thread has given way to a patchwork collection of their grief, pain and fledgling recovery. It's a creation that is helping the victims of disgraced pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre move from "isolation to action," said Sarnian Irene Williams.

She and dozens of other women who were abused by the priest as children contributed panels to a quilt that was unveiled during an emotional ceremony at Dow People Place Saturday.

"We thought art was a good forum for our voices to be heard," she said.

Those voices, after decades of being ignored by church authorities, police and sometimes even family members, are now finally being acknowledged, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Peter Popham: Rome Notebook

ITALY
The Independent (United Kingdom)

Monday, 18 August 2008

Italy is the land of great speed and great sloth. The new Fiat 500, as this paper noted last week, is surprisingly fast. Its sibling the new Fiat Bravo is about the fastest thing on the road, as I discovered when I hired one the other day. Its designers have succeeded in transplanting the coglione of a Ferrari into a sub-compact saloon.

But other things go incredibly slowly, if they move at all. Twenty-five years ago, in June 1983, a teenager called Emanuela Orlandi, daughter of a Vatican employee, was abducted by someone driving a large grey BMW 745i. She was never seen again. The most popular theory about the kidnapping is that it was a bid by the Mafia to stop the Vatican blabbing about the death of fugitive banker Roberto Calvi, found under Blackfriars Bridge in London.

We don't know what happened to the unlucky Miss Orlandi, but somebody knows about the car: Rome's police were tipped off last week that it was parked in a certain bay in the multistorey car park under Villa Borghese, Rome's most important park. Police duly found it and are investigating.

The new discovery may lead somewhere or nowhere. But what is very Italian is that the car had been parked in the same bay for 13 years. Rome is a nightmare for parking, as the world knows. "You turn any street corner in Rome," wrote Bill Bryson, "and it looks like you've just missed a parking competition for blind people ... Romans park their cars the way I would park if I had just spilled a beaker of hydrochloric acid on my lap."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Back to school for girls serving Togo's voodoo priests

TOGO
AFP

TOGOVILLE, Togo (AFP) — Hundreds of young girls will be able to abandon their roles serving Togo's voodoo priesthood and go to school, ending what some rights campaigners blasted as a deeply abusive system.

After a three-year campaign, rights groups claimed victory over a way of life that they said cut the girls off from their own families, sometimes involved ritual scarring -- and occasionally led to sexual abuse.

But it took some intense lobbying of political and religious authorities in this small west African state -- and, it would seem, the voodoo divinities -- to get there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Cardinal's depositions shows good -- and bad

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 14, 2008

Because Cardinal Francis George is a good and decent man, so it is all the more disheartening to learn just how horribly he failed his parishioners and their children in the church's child sex-abuse crisis.

The details are revealed in a confidential court deposition released Tuesday as part of an agreement to settle the legal claims of 16 victims for $12.675 million.

The cardinal's 305-page deposition shows what he is -- and is not.

George is not one of cardinals who covered up for pedophile priests by transferring them from church to church, one step ahead of scandal, supplying fresh victims along the way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

St. Stanislaus' Parishioners Seek Solution

ADAMS (MA)
iBerkshires

By Tammy Daniels - August 18, 2008
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS — Nearly 200 people packed the front hall of the Elks Club on Sunday night hoping to find a way to keep their parishes open.

They left after three hours with a sense of purpose.

"It's given us some hope," said Linda Zepka Chalifoux as she and family members conferred with other St. Stanislaus Kostka parishioners outside the Elks. "Maybe we can do something."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Catholic Priest Abuse Case – How Many More Victims?

UNITED KINGDOM
WebWire

Monday, August 18, 2008

A top Manchester solicitor acting for former children abused by Catholic Priest, Father William Green, says there may be more victims yet to come forward to testify against the priest who was charged at Manchester Crown Court with 33 counts of indecent assault on boys in an around the Manchester area from the 1960’s to the mid 1980’s. He pleaded guilty to 27 counts.

Richard Scorer, a Partner with Manchester law firm, Pannone LLP and an acknowledged expert in abuse cases, said, “The judge indicated that there was an overwhelming likelihood that Green will face an immediate and significant sentence of imprisonment when he is sentenced next month. This can only be right and proper, given the dreadful abuse he subjected a succession of young boys to.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Tales of horror from 500 abused children

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Tony Prytz

August 18th, 2008

ANGELA Sdrinis has heard more tales of horror than most people could bear.

The Melbourne lawyer has become one of the leading advocates for people who were abused in state care as children.

She is currently acting for about 500 former wards of the state.

About 50 of those are from Geelong and Colac.

The claims relate to St Augustine's run by the Christian Brothers, Glastonbury run by the Anglican Church, Kardinia Children's Home run by the Salvation Army, the State Government institution Pirra and St Cuthbert's in Colac run by the Anglican Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Hearing today on sect custody cases

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Michelle Roberts
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Monday, August 18, 2008

SAN ANGELO — More than two months after being forced to give children from a polygamist sect back to their parents, Texas child welfare authorities want eight of the youngsters, ranging in age from 5 to 17, put back in foster care.

Individual hearings for the four mothers of the children are set to begin today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Hosanna Church pastor goes on trial Monday

AMITE (LA)
WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The pastor at the center of the scandals surrounding the now defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula goes on trial in Amite on Monday.

Louis Lamonica, 49, is among the seven members of the defunct Hosanna Church indicted in the 2005 sexual abuse case involving Lamonica's minor sons and a 2-year-old girl related to another church member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Victim criticises diocese's sex abuse therapies

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Catholic diocese in New South Wales has been criticised for offering inappropriate therapies at its unit set up to help victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

Zimmerman House was established by the Maitland/Newcastle Catholic Diocese last year.

Earlier this month, the diocese's Bishop Michael Malone apologised to abuse survivors. He was the only Australian bishop publicly calling for the Pope's World Youth Day apology to abuse victims.

Victims such as Peter Gogarty applauded the bishop for dealing with the issue.

But Mr Gogarty has raised concerns about Zimmerman House, saying it has a mostly female staff and the meditation, art and gardening therapies are not beneficial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Talking Sex and Power in the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Foreign Policy

Posted August 2008

What might drive a committed Roman Catholic bishop to resign his office after almost 25 years and denounce his church? In the case of Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney, it was the church’s meltdown during the recent sexual abuse scandals. In the September/October issue of FOREIGN POLICY, John Allen says Robinson’s recent book about his ordeal “will keep an important conversation alive.” Now, Robinson discusses his journey from consummate insider to persona non grata.

Foreign Policy: Without fundamental changes, what do you believe is the future of the Catholic Church?

Geoffrey Robinson: I see this whole question of sexual abuse and the response to it as crippling much of the work of the church. When the local church speaks out on some other question, I’m afraid nobody is listening. Until this is confronted, I’m afraid that loss of credibility will continue and get worse. The same problem exists internally. Authorities within the church have lost credibility with their own members. One similarity between [the United States and Australia] is that what’s keeping the church strong, numerically speaking, is the great migrant factor. Take that away, and you have a quite steep decline.

FP: What’s the first thing the pope should do to resolve the sexual abuse crisis?

GR: I will know the Catholic Church is truly serious when it places obligatory celibacy on the table for discussion. I don’t believe the celibacy requirement is the sole cause of abuse, but it has become a litmus test.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Take these steps to protect children

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Herald

Daily Herald Editorial Board
Published: 8/18/2008

Nothing ever will heal the scars of those who were raped and molested by their Catholic priests when they were children.

No apology, no amount of money, ever will be enough.

Robert Brancato was violated by both a priest and a principal at St. Joseph the Worker Church and school in Wheeling when he was 13 years old. As he put it last week, "It's become part of my DNA. You never get over it."

Brancato spoke as Cardinal Francis George gathered the media together to announce the Archdiocese of Chicago had agreed to pay $12.7 million to Brancato and 15 other men and women who were sexually abused by their spiritual counselors when they were children. George also apologized. And he took the rare step of releasing to the public a 307-page deposition describing the steps the church hierarchy has taken to try to respond to complaints of sexual abuse. Lawyers say the publishing of the deposition was only the second of its kind. Another such document was released during a clergy abuse trial in California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Confession and consequences

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

August 18, 2008
"There are certainly consequences even after sin is forgiven. So we have to deal with those consequences . . . and they can be severe, as they must be."

—Cardinal Francis George, June 9, 2002

On the day he spoke those words at Chicago's St. Juliana Parish, Cardinal George was talking about clerics who had sexually abused children. This wasn't his only invocation of "consequences" in that dramatic week. As U.S. bishops of the Roman Catholic Church gathered in Dallas, the cardinal also proposed unspecified "consequences" for bishops who mishandled abuse cases.

Unfortunately, George's brethren in the U.S. and in Rome didn't follow his lead and enact any such policy. A 2004 report from a National Review Board of lay Catholics chosen by the bishops defined the roles of some bishops in tolerating felonious behavior:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

August 17, 2008

Tom Doyle on The Dishonoring of My Regiment

Voice from the Desert

DISHONORING MY REGIMENT
A Response and Reflection by Thomas Doyle

August 16, 2008

I became part of the “regiment” as a Dominican priest in May, 1970. I first became aware of the reality of sexual abuse of minors by priests before I was ordained through rumors and stories about certain priests in the Order who “liked altar boys.” I never knew that “liking altar boys” went far beyond touching until after I was ordained. I learned the disgusting extent of “liking altar boys” in 1984 when I was working at the Vatican embassy and first became involved with the whole issue of clergy sex abuse. That was when I was asked to manage the file of Gilbert Gauthe, the notorious priest from Lafayette LA. My direct involvement increased with each month and each year and continues today.

Let me start out by offering my conclusion. The “regiment” truly is dishonored. It is dishonored in part by the thousands of priests who have raped and abused innocent boys, girls, men and women…..and in doing so have ravaged their souls and the souls of those who loved them. But the regiment is dishonored even more by the bishops, archbishops, cardinals and popes, who have enabled, covered up, lied, manipulated, ignored and responded in anything but a Christian manner. They have really dishonored the regiment because they have knowingly turned their backs on that which the regiment is really all about, namely following the example of Christ. They can’t fall back on the excuse that they suffer from a sexual disorder or are impaired by substance abuse. Their impairment is a moral impairment and there is no excuse for that. Two recent examples: the first I will cite is the total lack of hierarchical integrity in Chicago! Cardinal George is a criminal and a traitor to the regiment……but will the members of the regiment who are so concerned about its honor step up and call him on it? No! Why not? Fear, timidity, irrelevant respect for the office? Pick one. They are all irrelevant to the facts. The second example is the famed Msgr. Wally Harris is New York. The hero of Harlem was interviewed by the John Jay Study people and complained about the number of false accusations…..all the while knowing he was guilty himself.

The regiment has also been dishonored by the thousands of priests who knew that others were abusing children and did nothing. It is dishonored by the thousands who looked the other way and failed to speak out in support of the victims. It is dishonored by the many priests who stood by in silence while their bishops ran roughshod over victims, lying to them, lying to the public and lying to the clergy because of their obsession with their image and their power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Mass goes on at St. Teresa of Avila

ALBANY (NY)
Capital News 9

[with video]

By: Jessica Mokhiber

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A local priest has been permanently removed from the priesthood because of sex abuse allegations.

The Albany Catholic Diocese says it has reason to believe Reverend Gary Mercure, 60, sexually abused a minor more than 20 years ago. Bishop Howard Hubbard says the allegations stem from Mercure's time as a priest at St. Theresa of Avila in Albany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Jackson Man Says He Helped Feed Hopkins’ Children

ALABAMA
WKRG

[with video]

By Steve Alexander Reporter

People who live in Jackson, Alabama were shocked by details of Wednesday afternoon's testimony in the Anthony Hopkins case.

One person said he knew Hopkins and helped feed his children.

Daniel Maharrey said he and his wife knew the Hopkins family when they lived at 401 Commerce Street.

Maharrey said three weeks before the discovery of Arleltha Hopkins body, Anthony Hopkins was at his place of business.

Maharrey said, "He (Hopkins) was not a preacher. He was a man that was going to use whoever for whatever gain he could get out of life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

The dilution of a sex offender

COLORADO
Daily Camera

By Erika Stutzman
Sunday, August 17, 2008

The term "sex offender" has the tendency to, quite rightfully, strike fear in parents' hearts, cause countless Web sites to track registries (complete with searchable maps), and inspire the citizenry to distribute fliers and call public meetings. And we're not making light of any of it -- the Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute estimates that two of every 10 girls and one of every 10 boys will be abused by the end of their 13th year.

It is terrifying, and often has a lifetime of repercussions for the victims.

That's why diluting the term by adding a whole host of criminals to the database is a scary proposition indeed.

And that includes naked priests.

This week, a court declined to downgrade the conviction of Rev. Robert Whipkey, 53, to a petty offense of public indecency. Whipkey, a Catholic priest who has been on administrative leave from the archdiocese since his arrest, was charged with indecent exposure after being caught running naked around the Frederick High School track last June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Shamed priest Joseph Creegan is to marry after being sacked over affair

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Sunday Mail

Aug 17 2008 By Charles Lavery

A PRIEST sacked over an 18-year affair with a married parishioner is to marry another woman.

Monsignor Joseph Creegan will wed Anne Marie Ogden whom he counselled during her marriage breakdown.

Friends say the couple plan to elope abroad for a secret ceremony next month.

The revelations prove that Creegan, 67, and Ogden, 49, are more than just the good friends they have claimed to be.

An insider said: "It is going to be a civil ceremony because despite his huge ego he can't find anyone to marry him locally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Change of heart

BRAINTREE (MA)
Boston Globe

By Matt Carroll
Globe Staff / August 17, 2008
The Archdiocese of Boston has thrown open the doors of its new facility in Braintree, completing a historic shift from the Brighton headquarters of the past 80 years.

While construction continues, most notably in the chapel, the administrative heart of the church is up and running in a modern office building on Brooks Drive, near South Shore Plaza and overlooking Interstate 93. A series of inaugural events to introduce the building to parishes and priests will be held in the fall.

The gleaming new "Pastoral Center" is a far cry from the dowdy "Little Vatican" chancery in Brighton. Not only is it technologically advanced, it is designed to draw in the faithful - as its new name suggests - rather than function just as an administrative center. ...

The archdiocese sold its Brighton property to Boston College for $172 million. The sale was largely the result of the sexual abuse crisis, which caused financial turmoil for the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Posts Archbishop Burke’s “Ten most reckless & callous actions”

CHICAGO (IL)
Voice from the Desert

For immediate release: Sunday, Aug. 17

SNAP posts Archbishop’s “Ten most reckless & callous actions”

Group blasts Burke for “letting accused sex offenders work and live here”

As Archbishop Raymond Burke celebrates his last mass in St. Louis , leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims are releasing a list of his ten “most reckless and callous actions in clergy sex cases here.”

The new list is posted at SNAPmidwest.org and is included below.

SNAP criticizes Burke for paying $500,000 to free a convicted predator priest, for moving a priest who’s been accused of molesting at least three boys, and for bringing a number of proven, admitted and credibly accused priests from elsewhere to live and/or work here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Mergers leave parishes with prime real estate

NEW JERSEY
Press of Atlantic City

By JULIET FLETCHER Staff Writer, 856-237-9020

Published: Sunday, August 17, 2008

Silvia Rodriguez was married under the steeple of Our Lady of Victories, a white clapboard Catholic church near her home in Buena. She has worshipped there for about 40 years and recently began attending Tuesday evening Mass, where she prays in Spanish.
Like many, the news that the church might be vacated within a year seemed to have passed her by.

"Oh, no!" she said when she heard of a proposed parish-merger plan that would move services to a nearby parish yet to be named. "No, because - what about all the years?" Standing on the church's neatly tended brick path, she appeared to mentally tally the years. "It's like our house." ...

An analysis of tax rolls across the diocese's territory reveals churches worth a total of about $59 million. Add other parish holdings - from rectories to gardens to vacant lots, as well as affected missions that are expected to merge with parishes - and the land is worth more than $89 million.

These lots cover hundreds of acres across six counties and occupy sites next to highways and bayside towns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Church merger stumbles on cultural issues

CAMDEN (NJ)
Courier-Post

By KIM MULFORD • Courier-Post Staff • August 17, 2008

CAMDEN — About 20 parishioners from St. Bartholomew Church in Camden say they were slowly accepting Bishop Joseph Galante's plan to merge their historically black congregation with St. Joan of Arc in Fairview until some of them visited Mass at the mostly white and Hispanic church in late April.

Rather than nurturing a new relationship between the two churches, the parishioners said the worship service exposed wounds carved long ago.

Some said St. Joan congregants did not drink from the communal cup during the Eucharist. And during the sign of the peace, a point in the service when Catholics typically greet one another, some visitors from St. Bartholomew said they received a cold shoulder.

"People would not even turn to us and acknowledge that we were even there," said Charlene A. Morris, a 62-year member of St. Bartholomew and a Bellmawr resident. "There was no recognition."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Priest takes center stage in controversy

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY BART JONES | bart.jones@newsday.com
August 17, 2008
One of James Lisante's tasks when he was in the minor seminary in the 1970s was to get a public figure to come speak each year. The one he remembers best was Frank Capra, the film director whose works included the Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life."

As Msgr. Lisante tells the story, the two became friends, vacationing together in California. Capra, who died in 1991 at age 94, gave him advice that stuck.

"He would say to me, 'It's good to be a priest but ... if St. Paul lived now there's no doubt that rather than float around the Mediterranean in a ship, he'd be using the popular media'" to spread God's word, Lisante said. ...

Parishioners were upset at the actions of the Rev. Matthew Blockley, who was brought to the parish by longtime friend Lisante. Among other things, parishioners accused Blockley of having a popular statue removed. Earlier this month, Blockley, who did not have permission to be in the diocese, was expelled by Bishop William Murphy and sent home to the Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific. The controversy follows another in May when Lisante publicly endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president. ...

"It's gotten the attention of our membership," said Phil Megna of Voice of the Faithful, a group of laypeople demanding more accountability from the church hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Catholic, Christian schools begin to see end of dramatic enrollment declines

UNITED STATES
The Grand Rapids Press

by Beth Loechler | The Grand Rapids Press
Sunday August 17, 2008, 4:42 AM

There once was a time when most Catholics sent their children to Catholic schools. Tuition was minimal -- many of the schools were free or nearly free -- and classrooms were filled to overflowing.

In 1960, Catholic churches couldn't build schools fast enough to accommodate the growth. Nearly 50 years later, the schools face an entirely different challenge.

Nationwide, enrollment has dropped by half. Other religious schools, too, are shrinking, forcing leaders to hike tuition, curb costs and close buildings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Killer helps jail child sex abuser

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

5:00AM Sunday August 17, 2008
By Stephen Cook

Convicted murderer Antonie Dixon has turned whistleblower on a member of the Jehovah's Witness church now serving three years in prison for historic sexual offences against him and two others.

John Olav Beaver, 56, was jailed after admitting to a raft of sexual abuse charges against Dixon and two other complainants, whose cases came to light only when Dixon detailed the offending in a letter shortly after his rampage in 2003.

Dixon, 40, is awaiting sentencing on eight charges, including the murder of James Te Aute, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and causing grievous bodily harm, following a samurai sword attack on two women on the Coromandel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Safe Sanctuaries

ROGERS (AR)
The Morning News

By Bettina Lehovec
The Morning News

ROGERS - Once upon a time, church communities knew the people in their midst.

Fellow worshippers were friends and neighbors. Parents felt comfortable leaving their children with Sunday school teachers. No one thought twice about an adult volunteer helping toddlers on the potty or driving teens to an event.

"Those things have changed," said Karen Anderson, children's education director at Central United Methodist Church in Rogers. "We have so many new faces and so many people moving in and out of this area. ... There are lots of people coming (to church) that we don't know."

Central United has joined a growing group of area churches in implementing a safe environment policy for the children in its care. The Safe Sanctuaries program requires all who work with children to attend a three-hour training, undergo a background check, wear a photo badge and follow staff supervision guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

REMEMBERING FATHER MAC

CANTON
Boston Globe

Selectmen recently held a moment of silence for the late Rev. Bernard McLaughlin, a Roman Catholic priest at St. Gerard Majella Church for more than a decade. "The people of Canton just loved him," said John J. Connolly, chairman of the Board of Selectmen. The priest, known as "Father Mac," was known for his personal interest in people and for being among the first priests to call for the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law amid the sexual abuse scandal in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

August 16, 2008

Contact Information for Priests Named in Settlement Posted Online

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Public Radio
Produced by Stephanie Lecci on Friday, August 15, 2008

[with audio]

The contact information for several priests named in a recent settlement with Chicago's Catholic Archdiocese is now online.

Minnesota-based attorney Jeff Anderson represented some of the victims who settled with the Archdiocese for $12.7 million. He says he wanted the Archdiocese to post the addresses and phone numbers of the priests on its Web site as part of the settlement. It didn't. He says as a result, he felt a "moral imperative" to post the last known contact information for the priests on his Web site.

ANDERSON: We don't want other kids hurt by any of these offenders. They frankly belong behind bars and not in the community. We can't put them behind bars, but we can alert the communities to protect other kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Former Catholic priest, 86, gets jail time for sex assaults

WISCONSIN
The Reporter

BY COLLEEN KOTTKE • AND SHARON ROZNIK • August 16, 2008

JUNEAU — An 86-year-old former Catholic priest will spend six months in jail plus an additional month each year for six years for sexually assaulting three young girls in the 1960s and 1970s.

Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Brian Pfitzinger sentenced Bruce Duncan MacArthur on Friday for several sex crime convictions, including two counts of sexual intercourse with a child, four counts of indecent behavior with a child, and attempted indecent behavior with a child.

Prison terms totaling 80 years were imposed and stayed, but Pfitzinger honored a request from one of the victims, now 53-years-old, that MacArthur meet with her at least 10 times for two hours to discuss the assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

A Garden of Healing Can Divide as Well

OAKLAND (CA)
The New York Times

By JESSE McKINLEY
Published: August 16, 2008
OAKLAND, Calif. — Rising on the shores of Lake Merritt, the Cathedral of Christ the Light in downtown Oakland is striking. Its glass exterior shimmers, its nave is ringed in Douglas fir, and a high-tech image of Jesus floats above its marble altar.

But for all that, what may be most remarkable about the $190 million Roman Catholic cathedral, now nearly completed, is a small garden devoted to a group whose very existence was long hidden from view: victims of sexual abuse by priests.

While some parishes have offered exhibits, small memorials or apology Masses dedicated to victims, the “healing garden” here will be the largest and most prominent recognition of the scandal ever built at an American cathedral.

Even before its scheduled opening in October, the garden has touched on the delicate and often contentious issue of how to acknowledge a scandal that has shattered the Roman Catholic church for much of the decade. Its presence has divided some church members as well as victims and their advocates, who feel that the display threatens to cast a note of closure over an issue they consider still painfully alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Protestors Demand More on Sex Abuse Settlement

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2

Reporting Susan Carlson

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Despite a major sex abuse settlement this week, victim's advocates are demanding more from Francis Cardinal George. They claim the archdiocese is protecting priests who are accused of abuse and they want names, as CBS 2's Susan Carlson reports.

Demonstrators were handing out flyers right before the 5 p.m. mass at Holy Name Cathedral urging Catholics to contact the cardinal demanding answers.

The Survivors Network of those Accused by Priests (SNAP) is calling on Cardinal George to release the names of any priest who is accused of sexual abuse and may still be in a parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

'I trusted in the system'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
6:31 PM CDT, August 16, 2008
In the deposition, Cardinal Francis George explained why he did not more quickly remove Daniel McCormack, a former priest at St. Agatha Church on the West Side:

"I had the usual conduits of information that I relied on. I ask myself now why I did not more aggressively pursue it. . . . I trusted in the system that I thought had served us well and I'm sorry that I did."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

FROM THE DEPOSITION

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
6:32 PM CDT, August 16, 2008
Cardinal Francis George was asked about Norbert Maday, a former priest serving a 20-year prison sentence for sexual abuse, and letters from the cardinal to Maday were introduced:

Letter from George to Maday dated March 6, 2000: "As you know, we are trying to make some definite effort to have a sentence reduction in your case. Hopefully, some good souls will see that the 6 years of incarceration you have already endured are enough to satisfy the state and any sense of justice."

Letter from George to Maday dated Feb. 4, 2002: "We have tried a number of avenues to see if your sentence might be reduced or parole be given early. So far, we have not had any success but we'll keep trying and I personally hope that you will not lose hope."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Release of Cardinal George's deposition revealing

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear | Chicago Tribune reporters
6:30 PM CDT, August 16, 2008

When Cardinal Francis George released his deposition on the sexual abuse scandal last week, he offered an unprecedented look into the Roman Catholic Church's shameful actions and also into his own mind.

Many Catholics were appalled to learn the cardinal worked to reduce the 20-year prison sentence of a convicted child molester, Norbert Maday.

Others were infuriated by evidence of his repeated refusal to follow recommendations and promptly remove abusive Chicago priests from ministry.

In his own words throughout the testimony, he often appeared deeply conflicted between his concern for children and his duty to defend accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Pastor rapes girl to death inside church

NIGERIA
Vanguard

Written by Evelyn Usman
Saturday, 16 August 2008
The gory sight of nine-year-old Covenant Elijah in one of the rooms of a church in Iyana-Era area of Badagry Lagos, was not only mind blowing but ear-tingling. A teeming sympathetic crowd had quickly gathered with eyes bugling to behold the lifeless, violated body of an innocent girl whose mother, out of determination to find a spiritual solution to her daughter’s strange behaviour, only ended up in the claws of the devil himself, thereby sending her not just only to an untimely grave but with an untold torture and excruciating pains which could only be imagined than described.

Covenant’s unprepared journey to the land of the great beyond started few years after her mother Mrs Arit Bassey, reportedly noticed some strange behaviour in her. Efforts to proffer a lasting solution, saw her taking her daughter from one spiritual home to the other, until she landed at Miracle Deliverance Church International, where to her greatest shock, rather than living up to its name, the reverse was the case, as Covenant was found stone dead in the pastor’s room naked, with blood gushing out of her virgina.

Crime Guard investigation revealed that the unsuspecting mother was introduced to the Edo State-born Pastor Henry Ovotoka by one Essi, a member of the church, last month. The clergy man reportedly asked that the child be brought for deliverance with an assurance that all would be well at the end of the deliverance exercise. Mrs Bassey then left the church after the visit with a resolve to bring her daughter, little knowing that her predicament then was nothing compared to what awaited her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Youth pastor arrested on sex charges

TEXAS
Athens Daily Review

By Nicole Hines Cedar Creek Pilot

MABANK — First Baptist Church of Mabank youth minister Joshua Neal Ponder, 32, was arrested Aug. 13, for sexual assault of teen-ager.

Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee said Ponder confessed to charges related to a 16-year-old male victim.

The assault is alleged to have happened April 8, but it was not reported until Aug. 8, according to reports. The teen is not a member of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Pastor denies acts

WINDSOR (PA)
York Daily Record

By TED CZECH
Daily Record/Sunday News

Article Last Updated: 08/16/2008 12:46:15 PM EDT

A Windsor pastor -- accused earlier this week of inappropriate contact with two teenage girls -- denied the charges in an e-mail sent Friday.

"Things have been said that I have never said and accusations made that are simply not true," Scott Allen Snyder, pastor of New Beginnings Bible Fellowship, wrote.

Snyder confirmed during a phone call with the York Daily Record on Friday night that he wrote the e-mail. He also said the word "accusations" referred directly to the two counts of corruption of minors charges filed Monday by Pennsylvania State Police.

He had no further comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Trial set for Monday raises questions about Atlanta archbishop

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A civil child sex abuse trial set to begin on Monday raises troubling questions about how Atlanta’s Catholic archbishop handled child molestation reports in his former diocese.

In a recently released sworn deposition, a former Belleville Diocese official says that then-Bishop Wilton Gregory failed to turn over several cases of alleged clergy sex crimes to a church panel as required by diocesan policy.

Margaret Mensen, the long time head of the diocesan sex abuse review board, repeatedly said under oath recently that neither Gregory nor his second-in-command, Fr. James Margason shared information about reported sex abuse charges. Her deposition was reported publicly on Saturday in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Belleville News Democrat.

The board also got no documents about abuse claims prior to 1993, Mensen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Priest removed by Diocese

ALBANY (NY)
Capital News 9

By: Web Staff
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A priest has been removed from the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese after being accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago. Reverend Gary Mercure has been permanently removed from the ministry by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard. He can't publicly act as a priest under Hubbard's ruling.

Mercure has been on leave since January when the Diocese received a complaint that he had engaged in sexual acts with a minor in the mid 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Former bishop provides some intriguing testimony

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

By CLAUDE MCINTOSH

Eugene LaRocque, former bishop of Cornwall-Alexandria Diocese, looked anything but comfortable during his first four days on the witness stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

It was anything but a stellar performance.

On the fourth day the inquiry adjourned early when a haggard-looking LaRocque informed Commissioner Normand Glaude he was too tired to continue.

LaRocque is, after all, 81 years old. ...

Perhaps Father Deslauriers missed his real calling -- selling Florida swamp land.

Just as intriguing was testimony that an American priest landed in Cornwall after being declared persona nongrata by his U. S. bishop for messing around with young boys.

The priest -- a classic bad actor -- not only got work with the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese, but was given a federal ministerial permit . . . and it would be extended by the immigration minister of the day.

LaRocque made a horrible error in judgment by hiring the U. S. priest, but a bigger question is how in Hades the guy got a work permit . . . not once, but twice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

The healing power of forgiveness

CALIFORNIA
San Diego Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
RELIGION AND ETHICS EDITOR

August 16, 2008

Paul Livingston doesn't look like a victim. At 6-foot-7 and 330 pounds, he is taller than Michael Jordan and big enough to play offensive tackle for the San Diego Chargers. But 36 years ago, when he was only 6 years old, he became prey for a pedophile custodian at a Catholic school in Orange County.

Last summer, his lawsuit was one of more than 500 claims in a record $660 million settlement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Then, in May, he took another step toward healing: During a weeklong program at a private institute near Napa, Livingston forgave his now-dead abuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Local priest removed from ministry

ALBANY (NY)
Troy Record

ALBANY - A pastor of Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy, who was been on administrative leave since January pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor, was permanently removed by the Albany Diocese Friday.

Rev. Gary Mercure, 60, served since his ordination 33 years ago in the Troy parishes, St. Mary's in Clinton Heights, Our Lady of Assumption in Latham, Our Lady of Annunciation in Queensbury, St. Teresa of Avila in Albany and St. Mary's in Glens Falls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Kerala's Women’s Commission criticizes convents

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOCHI (ICNS): The head of Kerala’s Women Commission has publicly criticized convent life, saying it is a matter of “serious social concern” when a nun commits suicide unable to withstand harassment inside her own convent.

Commission head D. Sreedevi, a former judge was speaking at a press conference after the commission members visited the house of a nun who committed suicide early this week in a convent in Kollam diocese.

Sister Anoopa Mary, 23, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of convent on Aug.11. He suicide note said he took the extreme step unable to suffer mental harassment from convent superiors. Her father Pappachan later accused the nun was also sexually harassed inside the convent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Vicki Polin - CALL TO ADULTS WHO WERE SEXUALLY ABUSED AS CHILDREN IN DELAWARE

DELAWARE
The Awareness Center

[video presentation]

This links to a speech given by Vicki Polin at an event at the Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, Del. about the Child Victim Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Trial set to begin Monday in lawsuit alleging sex abuse by priest in Belleville Diocese

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Despite a request filed with the Illinois Supreme Court by the Catholic Diocese of Belleville to throw out a lawsuit alleging that one of its priests sexually abused an altar boy, a civil court trial is scheduled to begin next week in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster said that at a pretrial hearing today, Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto told attorneys for both sides to be ready to pick a jury Monday.

On Aug. 8, attorneys for the diocese asked the Supreme Court for a supervisory order, an unusual procedure, dismissing the case on statute of limitations grounds or that failing, to postpone it. As of this afternoon, the case was still scheduled to begin Monday.

The lawsuit, filed in 2002, alleges that beginning when he was 13, James Wisniewski. of Champaign. was sexually molested by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki, 73, of Dupo. at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem from 1973 to 1978. Kownacki was removed from ministry in 1995 by former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Church founder: Victims are 'great kids;' couple get lawyers

MARYVILLE (TN)
Knoxville News Sentinel

[with video]

By Robert Wilson
Originally published 12:33 p.m., August 15, 2008
Updated 01:38 p.m., August 15, 2008

MARYVILLE - A judge today appointed attorneys for a pair of church youth ministers charged with sexual abuse of teenage girls.

General Sessions Court Judge William R. Brewer appointed attorney Stacey Nordquist to represent Laura Lee Click Salazar.

Attorney Troy Boling will represent her husband, Michael R. Salazar. Both are 35.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Grand jury gets church sex abuse case

MARYVILLE (TN)
WZTV

August 15, 2008 13:35 EDT

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge in Maryville has sent a church sex abuse case to a Blount County grand jury.

Michael Salazar and Laura Lee Click Salazar were charged by police with statutory rape and sexual battery against three teenage girls in the youth program at Lord's Disciples Ministries of Whosoever Will church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Attorneys appointed for couple accused of sex crimes

MARYVILLE (TN)
WZTV

August 15, 2008 16:21 EDT

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge has appointed attorneys for a pair of church youth ministers charged with sexually abusing teenage girls.

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that General Sessions Court Judge William R. Brewer appointed attorney Stacey Nordquist of the public defender's office to represent Laura Lee Click Salazar. Attorney Troy Bowlin of Knoxville will represent her husband, Michael R. Salazar. Both are 35.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Freezer Murder: History Of Domestic Violence

ALABAMA
WKRG

[with video]
[with link to the Jackson police report]

By Jessica Taloney Reporter

A shallow grave marks the spot where investigators believe a travelling preacher buried his wife before digging her back up and stuffing her body in a freezer.

The hole, partially covered by planks of wood lies just a few hundred feet behind a Jackson, Alabama church Anthony Hopkins, 37, and his family frequently attended.

Prosecutors say Hopkins and his family lived in Jackson in 2000 and 2001 before moving the Mobile. News Five obtained an exclusive copy of a police report filed while the couple lived in the small town. In the report, Anthony claimed he was attacked by Arletha while he was trying to leave for work, calling his wife "belligerent" and claiming she scratched him. The report was filed in July 2001, just one year after police say Anthony Hopkins began raping his daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

How Arizona's polygamist raid paved the way to Texas

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jaimee Rose - Aug. 16, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

It's hard to see your way in polygamist country, always has been. The nights are dark, and street lamps rare or absent altogether. The people prefer to be guided by God's light, leaning on the moon and stars to show the way.

The first time the children were taken, in the summer of 1953, police crept into town beneath an eclipsed moon. A trail of sedans bounced over the muddy road from Fredonia to Short Creek, Ariz., with headlights dimmed. Their mission hinged on surprising the polygamists before they could flee. Overhead, a full moon glowed with a ruddy red light then faded slowly into the Earth's shadow.

The airwaves hummed in the dark. Ham-radio operators were carrying messages from Gov. Howard Pyle to the police and relaying news from Short Creek's sheriff to the Arizona attorney general. Pyle had vowed to shatter the serenity of Short Creek, where nary a girl had reached age 15 "without having been forced into a shameful mockery of marriage," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Court lets CPS end oversight of 34 FLDS children

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By LISA SANDBERG
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — A West Texas judge on Friday agreed to end court oversight of 34 children from a polyamist group.

Child Protective Services indicated last week that it would no longer pursue legal action against the parents of 34 children because the agency felt they were not in immediate danger. On Friday, State District Judge Barbara Walther agreed to the motion, without comment.

Friday's court action doesn't mean CPS ends its involvement with the 10 families of the 34 children, all members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a group that allegedly practices underage marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

FLDS hearing held in closed court

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008 12:32 a.m. MDT

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Lawyers for a member of the Fundamentalist LDS Church may be trying to prevent that person from testifying before a grand jury investigating crimes within the polygamous sect.

A hearing on a motion to quash a subpoena was held behind closed doors here on Friday. Little else is known about what happened at the hearing or why there is concern about anyone's testimony.

A Deseret News reporter was not allowed inside the courtroom on Friday afternoon because the hearing involved matters of grand-jury secrecy, a bailiff said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Former BD priest convicted

WISCONSIN
Beaver Dam Daily Citizen

By AARON MARTIN
Staff Reporter

JUNEAU — A former Catholic priest was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting three girls while he worked as a chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital in Beaver Dam in the 1960s and 70s.

Bruce Duncan MacArthur, 86, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse with a child, two counts of indecent behavior with a child, one count of attempted indecent behavior with a child and he entered an Alford plea on an additional count of indecent behavior with a child.

Dodge County Circuit Judge Brian Pfitzinger sentenced MacArthur to six months in jail and 10 years of probation. Pfitzinger also ordered MacArthur to serve an additional 30 days in jail to begin on Aug. 15 for each of the next six years. Pfitizinger said that component of the sentence was because he wanted "the year to go by with you (MacArthur) thinking about it as much as they (the victims) have thought about the crimes committed upon them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Woman sues diocese over alleged sex assault

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • August 16, 2008

Attorneys on Friday announced they had filed the first lawsuit by a female victim of an alleged pedophile priest in Wilmington.

Mary Dougherty, 55, charged in court papers that in 1966, when she was 13, the Rev. Leonard J. Mackiewicz sexually assaulted her on several occasions, and tried to rape her.

At the time, she was a member of the Catholic Youth Organization under Mackiewicz at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Former priests accused of sexual abuse 'a bad situation'

LAKE COUNTY (WI)
Lake County News-Sun

August 16, 2008

By FRANK ABDERHOLDEN fabderholden@scn1.com
Local law enforcement has had an especially difficult time dealing with priests and former priests who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.

They have never been criminally charged because of the statute of limitations.

The recent revelation that two former priests who were accused of sexually abusing minors now live in Lake County has not slipped under the radar of law enforcement.

Because they have never been criminally charged, they do not have to register as sex offenders. But their presence in the county is still bothersome to Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and Mundelein Police Chief Raymond Rose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Priest pulled from duties

NEW YORK
Glens Falls Post Star

By NICK REISMAN
reisman@poststar.com
Published: Saturday, August 16, 2008

A priest who served at parishes in Queensbury and Glens Falls has been removed from the ministry after church officials found reasonable grounds to believe he sexually abused a minor, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese announced on Friday.

The allegations against the Rev. Gary Mercure date back to the 1980s when he was serving as a pastor at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany. Mercure, 60, was placed on a paid leave of absence in January when the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese received the complaint.

After the complaint was made public, other allegations against Mercure were received, according to the diocese. The diocese said all the reports were turned over to law enforcement officials and some are still being investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

August 15, 2008

Exclusive: Priest Sentenced For Sexual Abuse

DODGE COUNTY (WI)
TMJ4

Tom Murray
Katie DeLong
Erin Drew Kent

DODGE COUNTY - A TODAY’S TMJ4 exclusive: a woman finally confronts the Catholic priest who she says sexually abused her more than 40 years ago.

Late Friday afternoon, a judge convicted a former Catholic priest of sexually abusing three young girls decades ago.

Now in his 80s, Father Bruce MacArthur is on his way to jail.

We heard riveting testimony Friday from a victim who says the sexual assaults she endured more than forty years ago still haunt her today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

La Cei: la pedofilia non ci riguarda

ITALY
Fai Notizia

Oggi, 15 agosto 2008, ho inviato il seguente email a benedettoxvi@vatican.va

Carissima Sua Santita' Benedetto XVI,

pochi anni fa ho letto il seguente articolo di Marco Politi sul giornale "La Repubblica";

http://www.repubblica.it/online/cronaca/papapreti/cei/cei.html?ref=search

[translation]

Today, August 15, 2008, I sent the following email to: benedettoxvi@vatican.va

Your Holiness Benedetto XVI,

A few years ago I read the following article by Marco Politi in the newspaper "La Repubblica":

http://www.repubblica.it/online/cronaca/papapreti/cei/cei.html?ref=search

The assembly of the Italian bishops deems the problem "extremely limited" and it's not going to perform any "monitoring" The CEI (Italian Bishop's Conference): Pedophilia has nothing to do with us.

The only alarm is for the lower number of priests, which in 20 years will diminish of one third
By MARCO POLITI

Your Holiness,

Don't you think there is the need of intervention towards the CEI (Italian bishops' conference) so that what they then affirmed con be corrected?

Many greetings

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

'I doubt Pell's sincerity': Jones

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

By Tonia Moorton
ABUSE victim Anthony Jones has received confirmation from Cardinal George Pell that an internal investigation into how his claims were handled has begun.

The 54-year-old disabled pensioner, who lives near Nimbin, was sexually assaulted in 1982 by Fr Terence Goodall.

The leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal Pell, has denied trying to cover up allegations of sexual abuse against Fr Goodall.

When the allegations against Fr Goodall were investigated by the church and police, the priest was stood down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Albany Diocese priest defrocked

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By JIMMY VIELKIND, Staff writer
Last updated: 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 15, 2008

ALBANY Officials of the Albany Diocese have defrocked a priest accused of sexually abusing boys in the early 1990s.

Rev. Gary Mercure, 60, was suspended from the ministry in January. The permanent removal which will be announced to parishioners in Troy, Albany, Latham, Clinton Heights, Glens Fals and Queensbury at Masses this weekend is a sign that a diocesan review committe found ``reasonable grounds'' for sexual abuse, according to Rev. Kenneth Doyle.

The Diocese investigated an incident relating to ``misconduct with a minor'' at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany in the mid-1980s, Doyle said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Albany Diocese Removes Priest from Ministry

ALBANY (NY)
WRGB

August 15, 2008 - 7:10PM
The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has permanently removed the Reverend Gary Mercure, 60, from the ministry, announced Bishop Howard J. Hubbard.

Mercure has been on administrative leave since January when the Diocese received a complaint alleging that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor in the mid-1980s at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany. The allegations are still being investigated.

Mercure has served at Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy, St. Mary's in Clinton Heights, St. Mary's in Glens Falls, Our Lady of Annunciation in Queensbury, St. Teresa of Avila in Albany, and Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Roman Catholic priest removed from ministry amid sex allegations

ALBANY (NY)
Daily Gazette

By Jill Bryce
Gazette Reporter

ALBANY — A priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has been removed from ministry after it was determined he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1980s, officials said.

Gary Mercure has been on administrative leave since January when the diocese received a complaint alleging Mercure had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor in the mid-1980s at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany.

Other allegations were made about Mercure, and diocese officials said they turned information over to police and the allegations are being investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Woman's suit alleges priest tried to rape her

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O’SULLIVAN • The News Journal • August 15, 2008

Attorneys announced the first lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington by a female victim of an alleged pedophile priest today in Wilmington.

In court papers, Mary Dougherty, 55, charged that in 1966, when she was 13, the Rev. Leonard J. Mackiewicz sexually assaulted her on several occasions, and attempted to rape her.

At the time she was a member of the Catholic Youth Organization under Mackiewicz at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Woman Claims Priest Tried to Rape Her as Child

WILMINGTON (DE)
WBOC

08/15/2008 11:27 AM ET

WILMINGTON, Del. (WBOC/AP)- A 56-year-old Delaware woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she was abused by a priest when she was a child, and that another priest intervened when her tormentor tried to rape her on a beach.

Attorneys filed the lawsuit Friday in Sussex County Superior Court on behalf of Mary Dougherty against the Diocese of Wilmington and Holy Rosary Church.

Dougherty, a divorced mother of two daughters, charges that beginning in approximately the summer of 1966, the Rev. Leonard J. Mackiewicz, her Catholic Youth Organization director and a long-time Boy Scout chaplain, began to sexually abuse her in the church basement, at CYO events, and on CYO trips, among other places.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Lawyer Posts Addresses of Alleged Pedophile Priests on Website

CHICAGO (IL)
ABA Journal

By Debra Cassens Weiss

A Minnesota lawyer for victims of pedophile priests has posted addresses and some phone numbers of alleged Chicago abusers on his website.

Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul told the Chicago Sun-Times that he posted information about nine men yesterday to protect the public. Anderson represented victims in a $12.7 million settlement with the Chicago archdiocese that cited the men.

Some of the alleged abusers are in jail but at least one was never criminally charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Second priest charged

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 16, 2008

THE Vicar-General of the Catholic Church's Maitland-Newcastle diocese has become the second priest to be arrested and charged in the past two days by police investigating child sexual abuse allegations in the Hunter region.

Father Tom Brennan, 70, the most senior priest in the diocese after Bishop Michael Malone, was charged with perverting the course of justice by detectives from Strike Force Georgiana at Toronto police station yesterday.

Police said the charge related to a statement he made during a police investigation in 1998 into a complaint against a fellow priest who was a teacher at St Pius X Catholic Boys High School at Adamstown. Brennan was headmaster at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

DELAWARE: Woman claims priest tried to rape her as child

DELAWARE
The Daily Times

Associated Press • August 15, 2008

WILMINGTON — A 55-year-old Delaware woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she was abused by a priest when she was a child, and that another priest intervened when her tormentor tried to rape her on a beach.

Attorneys filed the lawsuit today in Sussex County Superior Court on behalf of Mary Dougherty against the Diocese of Wilmington and Holy Rosary Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Woman sues diocese claiming sexual abuse

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with audio]

By Carl Kanefsky

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington faces another lawsuit, this one by a female claiming she was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

Mary Dougherty says she was 13 years old when Reverend Leonard Mackiewicz sexually abused her several times, claims she says her mother failed to believe.

Dougherty's attorney, Stephen Neuberger, says the abuse culminated in the summer of 1966 when Mackiewicz allegedly attacked Mary on the beach, choking her and trying to rape her, forcing Mary to address the issue herself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Kanawha man indicted on sex abuse charges

WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Record

8/15/2008 7:00 AM
By Lawrence Smith -Kanawha Bureau

CHARLESTON - A grand jury has indicted a youth pastor of an upper Kanawha Valley church for allegedly sexually abusing a former student of the church's affiliated school.

On July 31, the Kanawha County grand jury returned two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian against Timothy C. Edmonds of Chesapeake.

The indictment does not give many specifics except that Edmonds "did engage in or attempt to engage in an act of sexual intercourse with ... Angel Green ... while [she] ... was in the care, custody and control of [Edmonds]."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Forgive them, father

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 16, 2008

Cardinal George Pell's determination to deny compensation to an abuse victim was uncompromising, writes Erik Jensen.

The cardinal was not budging. Anthony Jones, a religion teacher at a Catholic high school in Sydney's south when he claimed he was the victim of attempted rape by a Catholic priest 26 years ago, would be offered no church compensation. Not a cent.

According to correspondence seen by the Herald, George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, took the Jones case particularly personally, rejecting internal advice that payment be made. He was not at all concerned by negative publicity, of which there would be plenty at a time most sensitive to the Catholic Church - the eve of the Pope's visit to Sydney in July to celebrate World Youth Day. Just why Pell dug in his heels so emphatically is not explained, but the Jones scandal soured at least the entree to a feast that should have been the church's unmitigated blessing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Abuse settlement is only a beginning

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Herald

Chicagoland Voice of the Faithful is grateful that this (Archdiocesan sex abuse) settlement of $12.6 plus million was finally reached.

We applaud the courageous survivors who came forth to continue to speak the truth to the world and the attorneys who fought for justice for them.

We, too, hope this settlement will indeed help somewhat in their healing from "soul murder."

Questions remain: How many more victims are out there? How will these victims be treated? Will anything change or will the Archdiocese fight tooth and nail until it is seen it cannot "win" in court and therefore offers financial settlements?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Father Flim Flam finds new flock

NEW ROCHELLE (NY)
New York Daily News

By Edgar Sandoval, Veronika Belenkaya and Tracy Connor
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Friday, August 15th 2008, 12:56 AM

Father Flim Flam has gone from making confessions to taking them.

Msgr. John Woolsey, who copped to stealing from a Manhattan parish, has found a new job as associate pastor of a Westchester church.

"He's paid the price. He knows he has done wrong," said Msgr. Ferdinando Berardi, who didn't hesitate to offer Woolsey the No. 2 slot at Holy Family in New Rochelle.

"He's in pain for what he has done, but he needs to begin a new life," Berardi added. "He can be a very effective priest because he is one who has suffered."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Former NYPD officer says he was molested by Msgr. Wallace Harris

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY OREN YANIV
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, August 14th 2008, 8:35 PM

A retired city cop bared his private pain Thursday, claiming he was molested by a popular Harlem priest who was recently bounced from the pulpit amid charges he fondled children for decades.

Breaking nearly 30 years of silence, former NYPD Officer Eric Crumbley Sr. said Msgr. Wallace Harris baptized him, taught him - and tormented him.

"I was sexually molested numerous times on various occasions," said Crumbley, 42.

Crumbley said in an interview that the abuse started in 1979, when he was 13, and lasted until he was 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

State Commission visits house of nun committed suicide

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOLLAM (ICNS): Three members of Kerala State Women's Commission visited the house of the nun who committed suicide apparently to enquire about the allegations of convent authorities harassing the nuns.

Commission chairperson D. Sreedevi and members T. Devi and Meenakshi Thampan visited the house of deceased nun Anoopa Mary’s house in Kollam diocese’s Kanjiracode parish.

The nun’s father Pappachan had alleged in the media that his 23 year daughter hanged inside her convent on Aug.11 unable to suffer the sexual and mental harassment from convent superiors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Judge rules archdiocese’s insurance not liable for fraud-based claims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By MARIE ROHDE
mrohde@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Aug. 14, 2008
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be solely responsible for paying any potential settlements or judgments in at least four lawsuits involving clergy sexual abuse because its insurance policies don’t cover intentional acts such as fraud, a judge ruled Thursday.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jean DiMotto made no findings about whether the archdiocese committed fraud in moving abusive priests without notifying new parishioners of prior allegations, which is the claim underlying the lawsuits.

Around the country, insurers have generally paid 50% or more of multimillion-dollar settlements or judgments in clergy sex abuse cases, most of them based on negligence claims.

John Rothstein, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said he would consult with his client about a possible appeal of the decision or other possible actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

West Warwick church worker accused of stealing from collection plate

WEST WARWICK (RI)
Providence Journal

By Talia Buford
Journal Staff Writer

WEST WARWICK — An employee of SS. John & James Church stole thousands of dollars in collection plate money from the parish over the past year, the state police said yesterday.

Evan Berger, 18, of 152 Newell St., a salaried parish sexton — whose duties include maintenance as well as helping to coordinate Sunday collections — was arrested Aug. 7 on a felony charge of larceny over $500, said Capt. Stephen Lynch. Berger is free on his own recognizance pending action by the attorney general’s office, according to Lynch, who said a felony screening is scheduled for Aug. 28.

The arrest was made the day troopers went to the church in response to a report by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Lynch said. After interviewing a number of employees, including Berger, the troopers seized $2,500 from the sexton’s home, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Public Nuisance Complaint

CALIFONIA
Santa Barbara Independent

Thursday, August 14, 2008
By Nick Welsh

A 50-year-old woman now living in Northern California claims that she was forced repeatedly to strip naked in front of the prying eyes of a Franciscan brother when she was a six-year-old girl growing up in Santa Barbara in 1964. The lawsuit, filed by Maria Cunningham against the Franciscan Friars of California, claims that an unnamed Franciscan had her undress in front of him and at least one other friar in what became a “pedophile peep show,” that he frequently fondled her to the point where her genitals became raw, and that she was forced on at least 10 occasions to masturbate this man. The lawsuit describes Cunningham, then the child of a single mother struggling to raise three kids, as perfect pedophile prey. She alleged that her alleged victimizer — whom she said she met while at the Girls Club — groomed her by praising her, buying her candy, and taking her to the beach and to the zoo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Merger protests shadow Galante

WILDWOOD (NJ)
Press of Atlantic City

By TRUDI GILFILLIAN Staff Writer, 609-463-6716

Published: Friday, August 15, 2008

WILDWOOD - A small but persistent band of protesters follows Bishop Joseph A. Galante wherever he goes.

On Thursday, Galante, head of the Diocese of Camden, came to St. Ann's Church here to celebrate a Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and then the procession to the ocean for the Wedding of the Sea.

The protesters took their places about a half-hour before the 7 p.m. Mass was to begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

New rules for priests

UNITED STATES
San Francisco Chronicle

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a detailed list of inappropriate behaviors for priests, saying they should not kiss, tickle or wrestle children. The archdiocese's Decree on Child Protection also prohibits bear hugs, lap-sitting and piggyback rides. But it says priests may still shake children's hands, pat them on the back and give high-fives. — Associated Press

The archdiocese of Boston, notorious in the past decade as the most pedophilic and scandal-plagued of all, having currently paid out over $136 million to more than 1,000 victims of sexual abuse, has quietly issued strict new guidelines for all its remaining pastors.

The Decree on Creepy Overlong Stares states that, in the rare instances when a Boston-area priest must look straight into the eyes of a child, said pastor must first don a pair of specially designed sunglasses, the lenses of which have been coated in a compound harvested from the sweat glands of ascetic eunuchs who live deep in the Catacombs of Agony just beneath Vatican City. The active ingredient of the special compound reportedly dims the bright light of a child's tantalizing innocence, thus making the youth appear just as old and soiled and sinful as, well, everyone else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Suspect arrested in Fla. on suspicion of St. Mary embezzlement

GAYLORD (FL)
Gaylord Herald Times

By Chris Engle, HT Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:38 PM EDT

GAYLORD — The woman officials believe embezzled $295,000 from St. Mary Cathedral over a 2 1/2-year period was arrested Friday in Florida.

Those stolen funds include donations to the church and school tuition, as well as fundraiser and event proceeds.

Though local officials decline to identify the suspect, staff at Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, Fla. confirmed Shelly Jean Patterson, 44, was arrested Friday on a fugitive of justice warrant out of Michigan. A letter sent Friday by the Diocese of Gaylord to parishoners of St. Mary Cathedral said the parish’s former business manager, Shelly Patterson, had “recently been arrested” as a result of an investigation into embezzlement of approximately $295,000. The letter states Patterson had resigned in September 2007 to accept an out-of-state position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Archdiocese of Chicago arrives at $12.6 million sexual abuse settlement for victims

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic News Agency

Chicago, Aug 15, 2008 / 12:00 am (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a settlement totaling $12,675,000 with 16 victims of clerical sexual abuse. Speaking about the settlement, Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Cardinal George said he has to “accept the blame” for the abuse which occurred during his tenure.

Fourteen of the cases relate to abuse by ten different priests in incidents occurring between 1962 and 1994. Two relate to Daniel J. McCormack, who in 2007 pled guilty to having abused five children. With the new settlement, the archdiocese has settled four of the five cases to which McCormack pled guilty.

“My hope is that these settlements will help the survivors and their families begin to heal and move forward,” said Cardinal George in an archdiocesan press statement. “I apologize again today to the survivors and their families and to the whole Catholic community. We must continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the children in our care.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Pastor Steps Forward With New Claim of Past Sexual Abuse by Harlem Monsignor

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: August 14, 2008
A Harlem pastor and retired police officer said on Thursday that he was sexually abused as a teenager by Msgr. Wallace A. Harris, the prominent and popular priest who was suspended indefinitely by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York two weeks ago on the basis of similar complaints by two other men.

The pastor, Eric C. Crumbley Sr., 42, who leads a nondenominational storefront congregation known as the Harlem Faith Center, said his motivation in coming forward with the accusation now was to lend moral support to the two men, the first of whom contacted the archdiocese in June. The second was located by the Manhattan district attorney’s office as it investigated the first man’s claim; prosecutors determined that the statute of limitations had lapsed for the two complaints, which concerned events about 20 years ago.

Neither man has been identified by prosecutors or archdiocesan officials, and Mr. Crumbley says he does not know who they are, either.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Abuse probe snares second Catholic priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

A Catholic priest has been charged with perverting the course of justice as part of an investigation into sexual abuse in the New South Wales Hunter region.

Police are revealing few details but say the offence relates to a statement provided to a police investigation in 1998.

The 70-year-old man has been bailed to face Newcastle Local Court on September 9. ...

Acting Police Commander Gary O'Dell this morning hinted there would be further arrests.

"We're certainly looking at a number of further allegations and making inquires in relation to that," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Strike force charges second priest

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 15, 2008 - 3:52PM

A second Catholic priest has been arrested and charged by NSW police in relation to a child sexual abuse investigation centred on the Newcastle region.

The 70-year-old man was today charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to a statement he provided to a police investigation in 1998.

The priest was bailed to appear at Newcastle Local Court on September 9, 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Former bishop feared scandal over Paquette

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 15, 2008

Bishop John Marshall in the late 1970s feared what would happen to the state's Roman Catholic diocese if people knew he had employed a priest who was molesting altar boys, a former diocesan chancellor acknowledged Thursday.

Monsignor John McSweeney made the admission under questioning by Jerome O'Neill, an attorney representing a Waits- field man who has sued the diocese, claiming that, as an altar boy in the late 1970s, he was molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Lawyer posts abusive priests' phone numbers

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 15, 2008

BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter/aherrmann@suntimes.com
An attorney who represented victims of pedophile priests in a settlement with the Archdiocese of Chicago posted on his Web site Thursday the addresses and, in some cases, phone numbers of some of the alleged offenders.

"I have no problem people calling them and asking them if they're still abusing kids,'' said attorney Jeff Anderson, who posted the names of nine men cited in the $12.7 million settlement.

Pedophiles have high recidivism rates, "and they live in somebody's neighborhood," said Anderson, who posted the names on his site, andersonadvocates.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Diocese's study to assess support for fundraising

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By ERIN JORDAN • ejordan@dmreg.com • August 15, 2008

The Catholic Diocese of Davenport will launch a study to see whether there is support for a major fundraising drive to recover from bankruptcy after a clergy abuse scandal, officials announced Thursday. The diocese, which includes 83 parishes in the southeastern quarter of Iowa, has also hired a development director to lead fundraising efforts.

"After the first of the year when we began to realize we'd be coming out of bankruptcy, we saw a need for us to get back on our feet," Monsignor John Hyland said in a statement. "The only way that could take place was to begin the process of a campaign to raise money for the needs of the diocese."

The diocese has hired Sister Laura Goedken of Iowa City to be its first development director. Goedken, who will start work Oct. 1, has been the director of evangelization and stewardship for the Iowa City Catholic parishes since 2004, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

August 14, 2008

Plaintiff: Bishop Marshall Could Have Done More

VERMONT
Fox 44

On day two of the trial Thursday, attorneys for the plaintiff in the latest lawsuit against the Diocese of Burlington pointed fingers at the late Bishop John A. Marshall, who presided over the statewide diocese in the 1970s, when Rev. Edward Paquette allegedly molested several young boys.

The plaintiff claims Paquette abused him when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at Christ the King Parish in Burlington. The lawsuit is one of 22 pending against the Diocese of Burlington. Some of the others also involve Paquette.

During one mid-afternoon exchange, Jerome O'Neill, an attorney for the plaintiff, peppered Rev. John McSweeney as he sat on the witness stand. McSweeney served as diocese's chancellor - the equivalent of a clerk - during the 1970s. ...

It was not until 1978 that Rev. Thomas Kane, who counseled Paquette at the House of Affirmation in Massachusetts, wrote against Paquette's reassignment to another parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Vermont diocese covered up scandal

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway, Free Press Staff Writer • August 14, 2008

Bishop John Marshall in the late 1970s feared what would happen to the state’s Roman Catholic diocese if people knew he had employed a priest who was molesting altar boys, a former diocesan chancellor acknowledged today.

Monsignor John McSweeney made the admission under questioning by Jerome O’Neill, an attorney representing a Waitsfield man who has sued the diocese, claiming that, as an altar boy in the late 1970s, he was molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette.

"The concern was, if the people of this diocese knew that Father Paquette and other priests were molesting boys and that Bishop Marshall was covering it up, people would leave the diocese in droves, would they not?" O’Neill asked.

"That was what Bishop Marshall was worried about," McSweeney answered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Former Texas church planter files libel suit against BGCT, others

TEXAS
Associated Baptist Press

By Vicki Brown
Thursday, 14 August 2008
EDINBURG, Texas (ABP) -- A former Hispanic church planter implicated in a 2006 Baptist General Convention of Texas scandal has filed a defamation lawsuit against the BGCT and several other Texas Baptist entities and individuals.

Otto Arango, founder of the now-defunct Piper Institute of Church Planting, was one of three pastors accused in 2006 of misappropriating funds the Texas convention provided for new Hispanic church starts.

In addition to the BGCT, the lawsuit names the Baptist Standard, the BGCT’s news journal; David Montoya and Calvary Baptist Church in Mineral Wells, Texas, where he is pastor; Palo Pinto Baptist Association, which includes the Mineral Wells church; David Tamez and Dexton Shores and the Rio Grande River Ministry for which they worked; Roberto Rodriguez and the church he serves as pastor, Primera Iglesia Bautista in Harlingen, Texas; and Eloy Hernandez.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Priest to meet Maryknoll leaders over role in Womenpriests' ceremony

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois will meet Aug. 18 with the three members of his order's General Council to discuss his participation in a recent ceremony sponsored by Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

The Aug. 9 ceremony involved what Roman Catholic Womenpriests considers the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska to the priesthood.

The organization, which is not recognized by the church, has sponsored numerous ceremonies since 2002 involving reported ordinations of women deacons, priests and bishops. These ceremonies have led to the excommunications of all involved because women cannot be ordained Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Bail hearing canceled for FLDS men

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008 2:40 p.m. MDT

ELDORADO, Texas — A court hearing for four men from the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch indicted by a grand jury here was canceled after they hired lawyers and bailed out of jail.

A bail reduction request for Raymond Merril Jessop, 36; Merril Leroy Jessop, 33; Allan Eugene Keate, 56; and Michael Emack, 57, was scheduled to be heard Thursday. However, court clerks said the hearing was canceled at the last moment when attorneys entered notices of appearance, and by the fact that the men had posted $500,000 in bail nearly a week ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Davenport diocese looks at restoring money paid out in abuse cases

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

ERIN JORDAN • ejordan@dmreg.com • August 14, 2008

The Catholic Diocese of Davenport will launch a study to see if there is support for a major fundraising drive to help the diocese recover from bankruptcy after a clergy abuse scandal, officials announced.

The diocese, which includes 83 parishes in the southeastern quarter of Iowa, has also hired a development director to lead fundraising efforts.

“After the first of the year when we began to realize we’d be coming out of bankruptcy, we saw a need for us to get back on our feet,” Msgr. John Hyland said in a prepared statement Thursday. “The only way that could take place was to begin the process of a campaign to raise money for the needs of the diocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

FLDS questions state management of trust

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Houston Chronicle

By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer
Aug. 14, 2008, 2:57PM

SALT LAKE CITY — A spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was in state court Thursday to ask a judge if members can ultimately own their homes, now held by a state-managed church trust.

A state-appointed accountant has managed the $110 million United Effort Plan Trust for three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Archdiocese updates Child Protection Decree

CINCINNATI (OH)
Catholic Telegraph

ARCHDIOCESE — The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a new version of its Decree on Child Protection, the protective policies, procedures and recommendations that apply to all of its parishes, schools, agencies and institutions.

The original Decree on Child Abuse was promulgated by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk in March, 1993. It became the Decree on Child Protection in 1997 and was last updated in 2003 in line with archdiocese policy that the Decree be updated every five years in the light of experience.

The new booklet containing the Decree is 52 pages long than the former 44 pages. More than 600 church personnel attended 12 workshops outlining the changes. Among dozens of additions and alterations in the latest version are the following:

The addition of a statement that, "It is the intention of the archdiocese that no person who has been convicted of sexually abusing a child will work with children at an office, parish, school, agency or institution of the archdiocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Phone Numbers, Addresses of Accused Priests Posted On Web

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM
CHICAGO (WBBM) -- The addresses and phone numbers of eight Chicago priests and a Catholic school principal have been posted on the Web - two days after the archdiocese announced a $12.6 million dollar settlement of sex abuse cases involving those men.

It was not the archdiocese that posted the addresses and phone numbers. It was the attorney for the sex abuse survivors, Jeff Anderson.

"We feel there is a moral imperative to protect others."

Anderson says he has no problem releasing the addresses and phone numbers of the nine men - eight priests and a former Catholic school principal - even though only three have ever been convicted of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Deposition of Cardinal Francis E. George with 74 Exhibits, Including Documents from Maday, Bennett, and McCormack Personnel Files

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: Below we present the deposition of Cardinal Francis E. George, O.M.I. in several download sizes, and the 74 individual deposition exhibits in easy-to-download formats, bundled and also listed with individual descriptions. The exhibits include documents from the personnel files of Norbert Maday (15 exhibits), Joseph R. Bennett (33 exhibits), and Daniel McCormack (14 exhibits).

Francis Cardinal George gave a deposition on January 30, 2008 as part of the mediation of a group of legal claims brought by victims of childhood sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of Chicago. The purpose of the deposition was to allow the victims' attorney, Jeffrey R. Anderson, to ask Cardinal George questions to assist in resolving those claims fairly and promptly.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:18 PM

Thompson allowed convicted priest to hold memorial service in prison

WISCONSIN
Jackson County Chronicle

By JASON STEIN | Lee Newspapers

MADISON — Former Gov. Tommy Thompson played a key role in arranging an unusual memorial service for the mother of a former Catholic priest and convicted child molester inside a Wisconsin prison, according to documents that surfaced this week as part of a legal settlement.

The documents also provide a fuller picture into the efforts by Catholic officials to win better treatment and even early release for the former priest.

In a September 8, 1997, letter to Thompson, Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, thanked the then-Republican governor for "personal thoughtfulness in granting an extraordinary permission" for the body of the priest’s deceased mother to be brought into the prison. ...

The letter drew sharp criticism from Peter Isely of Milwaukee, the Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who said it showed the special treatment priests can receive from public officials.

"The unwritten law has been, unfortunately, that clearly priests and bishops are treated differently, even if they’ve raped children, than other citizens. And that has to change," Isely said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

LAST KNOWN CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PERPETRATORS

CHICAGO (IL)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

The contact information listed below is the contact information as Jeff Anderson, attorney for the Plaintiffs, believes it to be based upon available public record. Anderson cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information because changes in addresses or phone numbers may not be reflected in public records. ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Attorneys for Clergy Sex Victims Release Predators' Addresses

CHICAGO (IL)
Market Watch

CHICAGO, Aug 14, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- For the sake of 'public safety,' attorneys who negotiated a settlement with the Chicago Catholic archdiocese this week are making public the last known addresses of 8 current and former priests who molested kids, as well as 1 former Catholic school principal also named in the settlement.

"The victims we've helped have told us time and time again that their main goal is to make sure other children don't suffer as they have and still do," said Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN. "This step will hopefully prevent future devastating child sex crimes."

Anderson and his firm have represented hundreds of sex abuse victims who were hurt in church and school settings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Abusive dad's confession kept secret by priest

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A FATHER who sexually abused his one-year-old daughter confessed to a minister but the matter was never reported to police.

The man, who cannot be named, told police of his crimes after further abusing the girl when she was just four.

The Melbourne father told the minister at a small evangelical Christian church that he had committed offences against his young daughter in 2004.

The clergyman allegedly advised the family to stay with him in order to address the offending. The family lived with the minister for about two weeks.

Posted by Ka