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October 31, 2008

Priest, diocese want lawsuit dismissed

QUEENSBURY (NY)
WNYT

[with video]

QUEENSBURY - A libel case against a local priest who was dismissed from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany was heard Friday in Warren County Court.

This was just a day after rape charges against the Rev. Gary Mercure came to light in Berkshire County.

The alleged crimes in Berkshire County were discussed in court Friday and the defense was not happy.

The attorneys for the Albany Diocese and Mercure refused to speak to reporters as they walked to their cars after court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Religion may also be a mask

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

The Associated Baptist Press recently posed the question of whether there should be a religious “test” for public office.

Suzii Paynter, director of the public policy & moral concerns arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, gave a “yes” sort of answer, stating that religious convictions can reveal “valuable insights into a candidate’s character….”

“When people reach a certain level -- whether in politics, business or any other powerful enterprise -- there’s always a temptation to see themselves as above the rules that apply to others,” she noted, apparently concluding that a religious “grounding” might improve their “public ethic.”

I pondered Suzii’s comments. If we could understand how people like Suzii Paynter think, perhaps we could figure out how to persuade Baptist leaders to actually take action against clergy sex abuse.

Remember Suzii “Because-there-are-no-bishops” Paynter?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Judge denies Diocese's request for a new trial

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

By George Pawlaczyk

BELLEVILLE -- A judge today denied a motion by attorneys for the Catholic Diocese of Belleville to set aside a $5 million civil jury verdict against the church for damages suffered by a former altar boy or to order that a new trial be held.

Circuit Court Judge Lloyd Cueto issued his one-sentence order this afternoon that legally clears the way for an appeal to the Fifth Appellate Court in Mount Vernon.

As for whether an appeal will be filed, St. Louis attorney David Wells, who represents the diocese, said, "That up to the diocese."

Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton, who approved filing the motion for a new trial, will make the final decision on an appeal. He could not be reached.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Suspended Albany priest indicted on child rape charges

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Catholic Culture

Father Gary Mecure, a priest permanently suspended by the Diocese of Albany in August amid child sex-abuse allegations, has been indicted on child rape charges by a Massachusetts grand jury. According to a lawsuit filed in May, Bishop Howard Hubbard was informed in 1994 of a homosexual relationship involving Mecure; the other man in the relationship reportedly showed Bishop Hubbard graphic photographs of a man whose image resembled Mecure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

SNAP wants investigation of priest who fathered triplets

BALTIMORE (MD)
Daily Record

CARYN TAMBER
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
October 31, 2008 12:49 PM
The Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests is asking the Catholic Church to find out whether a priest accused of molesting two of his own children abused anyone else.

Men from SNAP gathered in front of the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s headquarters Friday morning for a news conference regarding Fernando Cristancho, who once served as a pastor at St. Ignatius Church in Forest Hill.

“I’m horrified that the Church continues to do nothing to put a substantial end to [clergy] sex abuse,” SNAP member Frank Dingell said.

Cristancho’s name became public this week when the Court of Special Appeals upheld a judge’s decision to give custody of 6-year-old triplets to the woman who gave birth to them, Dalia Fernandez, a platonic friend of Cristancho. The children — two boys and a girl — were conceived using his sperm and eggs from an anonymous donor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

A Matter of Faith

UNITED STATES
The New York Observer

by Charles Taylor | October 31, 2008
This article was published in the November 3, 2008, edition of The New York Observer.

Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans
Talk About Change in the Church
and the Quest for Meaning
By Kerry Kennedy
Crown, 247 pages, $24.95

Kerry Kennedy’s book may be called Being Catholic Now, but her opening is pure chutzpah. Given an audience with Pope Benedict a few years back, she asked him, “In view of the tragedy unfolding in Africa, for the sake of the sanctity of life, would you consider changing the Church’s position on the use of condoms?” It’s a great, inescapable moment, one of those times the powerful are called on their own hypocrisy and given the chance to rise above it. At Ms. Kennedy’s audience, His Evasiveness merely “gazed beneficently, imparting ‘God bless you’ as he passed.” ...

That scandal is implicit in Ms. Kennedy’s scathing treatment of Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Boston archbishop whisked to a job in the Vatican beyond the reach of investigators just as his involvement in covering up the Boston child rape scandals were leading some to speculate that he’d be indicted. Ms. Kennedy, who is Bobby Kennedy’s daughter, recalls the archbishop as a publicity-hungry martinet barging into the spotlight after the suicide of her brother David.

LIKE MANY OF THOSE she interviewed, Ms. Kennedy seems to think it imperative for Catholics to stay in the church because she believes that the presence of such Catholics will finally compel change. But while I respect the work she’s done here—the honest attempt to grapple with the reconciliation of spiritual calling and social progressivism—I can’t help but feel that she and her interviewees are deluding themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Church-run homes investigated for abuse

GERMANY
Anglican Journal (Canada)

Nov 1, 2008
Trier, Germany
Protestant leaders in Germany say they will investigate and expose past cases of mistreatment in church-run children’s homes after an investigation found that children had been physically and sexually abused in such institutions.

“We have established to our horror that even in church-run homes children were brought up with violence,” Bishop Margot Kässmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover said Sept. 22. -

The bishop’s comments follow the preliminary findings of an investigation she commissioned into claims of violence and abuse at children’s homes run by the social welfare agency of the Hanover church in the 1950s and 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Death In The Nunnery

INDIA
Tehelka

The suicide of a nun has shocked Kerala, leading the state Women’s Commission to recommend new laws to protect their rights, reports KA SHAJI

AFTER THREE decades of service, Sister Jesmi decided to leave the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC), an order of nuns under the Catholic Church in Kerala. Citing mental harassment from her superiors as the reason, she also took voluntary retirement from the principal’s post she held at St Mary’s College in Thrissur, one of the state’s best institutions of higher education. Sister Jesmi preferred to leave even though she knew she would have nowhere, apart from her sister, to turn for survival. Ineligible for benefits from the church, she is also debarred from demanding the return of her parental property, bequeathed to the church when she joined the order.

Four months ago, a 37-year-old nun from Alappuzha in southern Kerala was found filmed in a pornographic clip circulating via MMS, and was defrocked and sent home. The nun, who worked as a receptionist at a CMC mission hospital near Kochi, was having an affair with the hospital driver, but claimed she had no idea he was filming her. Today, nobody has a clue as to her whereabouts, or even whether her home has accepted her. She, too, has no claim over the property her parents gave the church.

In August this year, Sister Anupa Mary from Kollam in southern Kerala hanged herself in her convent room, leaving a suicide note blaming the Mother Superior, Sister Albeena. Anupa’s father, Pappachan, alleges that Albeena subjected his daughter to sexual abuse, and claims Anupa spoke of it a few weeks before she died to her mother and sister, though they kept quiet about it. There is now a police investigation against Albeena, but it is moving at a grinding pace.

Nuns who give up their vows, whether from choice or compulsion, have a bleak future in Kerala as there is no mechanism for their rehabilitation. The faithful and the Church view them with contempt; often, so do their families. Survival becomes extremely difficult leaving, in many cases, suicide as the only solution, one that has claimed the lives of 15 nuns over the last 14 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

North Side Woman: I Will Be a Catholic Priest

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

By Matt Bartosik

A Chicago woman is taking her belief to another level. She intends to become a priest, regardless of what The Vatican says.

Can women be ordained to the priesthood? The Catholic Church has always answered "No," but at least one woman in Edgewater begs to differ.

Barbara Zeman is planning to fight women's exclusion from priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church this weekend. On Saturday, the activist group Roman Catholic Womenpriests will hold a ceremony at a Protestant church where they will pronounce Zeman a Catholic priest.

"I am disobeying an unjust law," Zeman, 60, told the Chicago Tribune. "I'm not doing this for myself. I'm doing this for the generations of women to come, because I don't want those women to have the fight I've had."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Pueblo Diocese Pays Out $4 Million

PUEBLO (CO)
KKTV

[with video]

Reporter: Danielle Saar
Email Address: dsaar@kktv.com

Twenty-three victims who say they were sexually abused by a former Catholic high school teacher, will now split a four million dollar settlement.

That settlement was announced Thursday from one of the attorneys representing those 23 alleged victims.

The lawyer who was speaking on behalf of the 23 accusers says he has worked on many sexual abuse cases, but never had this many victims come forward from one alleged predator.

On the steps of the Pueblo County Courthouse, Adam Horowitz, attorney for the plaintiffs announced the 4-million dollar settlement of 23 lawsuits brought against the Diocese of Pueblo and the Marianist religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Pueblo Sex Abuse Case Settled

PUEBLO (CO)
KRDO

[with video]

By SCOTT HARRISON
s.harrison@krdo.com

PUEBLO - 16 residents will share in a $4 million settlement for sexual abuse they say they suffered 40 years ago from a Catholic teacher. The settlement was announced Thursday on the courthouse steps by a Miami-based attorney representing 23 victims.

The settlement ends a two-year lawsuit by the victims against the Pueblo Diocese and the Marianist order, connected to Brother William Mueller. The statute of limitations makes seeking a criminal prosecution difficult.

Victims say they were abused between 1966 and 1971 at the former Roncalli High School, which closed in 1971 and is now Roncalli Middle School. Mueller was a religious and music teacher who allegedly stunned teen males with a chemical and took them into soundproof band rooms so that no one could hear him, claiming he was performing experiments in trust and confidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

NY bans Pinoy priest who had affair with divorcee

NEW YORK
abs-cbn (Philippines)

abs-cbnNEWS.com | 10/31/2008 5:12 PM

Officials in New York's Diocese of Brooklyn have barred a Filipino priest from serving in New York City after his seven-month affair with a divorcee was uncovered in court papers this week.

An Associated Press report said Rev. Fr. Elvis Elano has been accused in the $25-million lawsuit for having an affair with Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn.

The woman reported the affair in August. She, however, refused to identify the priest until his name was uncovered when the suit was filed this week before the Brooklyn State Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Judge sets new trial date for evangelist Alamo

TEXARKANA (AR)
KFSM

TEXARKANA - A federal judge has moved a trial for jailed evangelist Tony Alamo to Feb. 2.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes issued an order Thursday moving the date of the trial, which was to begin Nov. 19. In his order, Barnes said that "the ends of justice served by the granting of the continuance outweighs the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Ex-priest facing child rape charges

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Friday, October 31, 2008

PITTSFIELD - A former Roman Catholic priest has been indicted on charges that he raped two children in the Berkshires during the late 1980s.

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless announced on Thursday that 60-year-old Gary Mercure was indicted this month by a grand jury on four felony counts, including three counts of rape of a child with force and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Nov. 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Church settles with abused former students

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

Three years after their lawsuits were filed, and about four decades after they say they were sexually abused by a teacher at Roncalli High School, 23 plaintiffs finalized a $4 million settlement Thursday with the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo and the Society of Mary religious order.

The suits accused former Marianist Brother William Mueller, a teacher at the all-boys high school while it was open from 1966-71, of convincing students that he was conducting trust experiments, then rendering them helpless with ether and molesting or raping them.

According to court records in Missouri and Pueblo, Mueller's Marianist supervisors were aware of allegations that he had behaved inappropriately with teenage boys beginning in 1958 when he was studying toward acceptance into the order. Mueller left the Society of Mary voluntarily in 1986 after complaints against him continued, despite two trips to a New Mexico treatment center for troubled clergy. Leaders of the order were aware of complaints about Mueller at every high school where he was assigned before and after his stay at Roncalli, according to depositions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Sex tests for Catholic priests

VATICAN CITY
Religious Intelligence (United Kingdom)

By: Toby Cohen.

Sex tests will be applied to men wishing to become Catholic priests, according to new guidance issued by the Roman Catholic Church yesterday.

After a series of sex-scandals involving priests, Pope Benedict XVI has authorized a new strategy which will aim to root out applicants with devious sexual urges. The guidance states the tests should also aim to vet for those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies”. ...

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a US-based group of victims of sexual abuse, released a statement saying the new measures would fail to deal with the problem of sex abuse in the Church: “Catholic officials continue to fixate on the offenders and ignore the larger problem: The Church's virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Vatican urges screening for priests

VATICAN CITY
Boston Globe

By Frances D'Emilio
Associated Press / October 31, 2008

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians yesterday - the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates after a series of sexual abuse scandals.

The church said it issued the guidelines to help church leaders weed out candidates with "psychopathic disturbances." The scandals have rocked the church in recent years, triggering lawsuits that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.

The guidelines "became ever more urgent because of the sexual scandals," Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues said. He stressed, however, that psychological testing was used in some seminaries since the 1960s - or at least a decade before the sexual abuse scandals exploded in public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Bucks ex-prosecutor charged with sex crime

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Kristin E. Holmes
Inquirer Staff Writer

A former top prosecutor in the Bucks County District Attorney's Office yesterday was charged with having a sexual relationship with a minor while volunteering in a church youth group.

Anthony Cappuccio, 31, of Hilltown Township, was charged with three counts each of endangering the welfare of children, corrupting minors, and furnishing alcohol to minors.

Cappuccio and the 17-year-old boy were discovered partially dressed at about midnight Sept. 5 in a car parked at a shopping center in Quakertown, according to court documents. Cappuccio resigned from his post as a chief deputy district attorney the next day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Victim's apology sent to accused

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By SAM PAZZANO

A parishoner, who testified that a United Church minister engaged her in a lengthy sexual relationship under the guise of counselling, wrote an apology letter to him and his wife, court heard yesterday.

Rev. William Major is alleged to have masturbated, had oral sex and fondled her for several years during counselling sessions aimed at dealing with the woman's childhood sexual abuse. Major also had intercourse once with the witness.

Major, now 65, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman from Jan. 1, 1996 to Dec. 20, 2005.

But the physical intimacy between Major and the witness ended after Major's wife Doris cancelled the counselling sessions in the spring of 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Marianists settle suits for $4 million

TEXAS
San Antonio Express

By Abe Levy and Todd Bensman
- Express-News

Almost two dozen men who implicated a former Catholic clergyman from San Antonio in sexual-abuse lawsuits will split $4 million under a settlement announced Thursday in Pueblo, Colo.

The lawsuits claimed San Antonio resident William Mueller, 70, under the guise of doing psychological experiments, used ether on students at an all-boys Catholic high school to render them unconscious before fondling or sexually molesting them.

“Horrific things were happening to boys put into a Catholic school by their families, which is disgusting,” said Jeff Herman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “To me, (the settlement) is validation of wrongdoing, and that the writing was on the wall.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Church to pay $4 million in Pueblo cases of sexual abuse

COLORADO
The Denver Post

By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/31/2008 12:51:36 AM MDT

The lawsuits of 23 men who alleged they were sexually abused by a Marianist brother who taught at Roncalli High School in Pueblo have been settled for $4 million.

The settlement with the Diocese of Pueblo and Marianist Religious Order was announced Thursday by a Florida law firm representing the men.

Between 1966 and 1971, according to the plaintiffs, they were sexually abused by Brother William Mueller at the all-boys high school, said attorneys Jeffrey M. Herman and Adam D. Horowitz of Miami.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Charges filed against defrocked Troy priest

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Albany Times Union

By JIMMY VIELKIND, Staff writer
Last updated: 11:40 p.m., Thursday, October 30, 2008

PITTSFIELD — A defrocked Catholic priest who was a pastor at two Troy parishes has been indicted in connection with sexual abuse against two boys during the 1980s, prosecutors said.

Gary Mercure, 60, was indicted on three counts, including child rape, according to Frederick Lantz, spokesman for Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless.

Mercure allegedly raped two men. The first, involving a man who is now 33 years old, occurred in the Great Barrington area in the fall of 1986, Lantz said. The second alleged rape occurred in February, 1989 in New Ashford. The alleged victim is now 32 years old, Lantz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Vatican advises 'psychological evaluations' for seminarians

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

THE VATICAN'S Congregation for Catholic Education yesterday released a document recommending that seminary candidates undergo "psychological evaluations" with regard to potential personality disturbances as well as to their ability to live a celibate life.

The document seems to follow on from one issued by the congregation in 2005 which said the Catholic Church cannot ordain men who are active homosexuals or who have "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies.

This new document argues that if seminary students demonstrate areas of grave immaturity, then "the path of formation will have to be interrupted". Such areas of "immaturity" included deep-seated homosexual tendencies, unclear sexual identity, difficulty with the celibate life, excessive rigidity of character and lack of freedom in relations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Priest faces rape charges

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

By Conor Berry, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Friday, October 31
PITTSFIELD — District Attorney David F. Capeless announced yesterday that his office will prosecute a former Roman Catholic priest accused of raping two children in the Berkshires in the 1980s.

Gary Mercure, who avoided prosecution after coming under fire in the Albany, N.Y., clergy abuse scandal, now faces sexual assault charges in the Berkshires, where two men in their early 30s claim the priest forcibly raped them in 1986 and 1989. The circumstances surrounding the alleged incidents were unclear.

Mercure, 60, was indicted this month by a Berkshire grand jury on four felony counts, including three counts of rape of a child with force — a crime punishable by possible life imprisonment — and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Sex, Priests, and the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Daily Contributor (Philippines)

31 October 2008 Comments
Posted by Sherwin

The present crisis of sexual abuse by priests has shaken the self confidence of the Catholic Church.

On Thursday, the Vatican has issued guidance for future priests to have psychological exams to get rid of those unable to control their sexual urges.

The guidance says the voluntary tests should also aim to check for those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies”. Meaning, men with homosexual tendencies should not be allowed to train for the Catholic priesthood even if they seem able to stay celibate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Supreme Court hears priest abuse case appeals

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

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

MONTPELIER -- Lawyers for the state's Roman Catholic diocese told the Vermont Supreme Court that the case of an altar boy molested by a priest in 1977 should be thrown out because the victim waited too long to file his lawsuit.

The case was appealed to the high court from Chittenden Superior Court by the diocese and lawyers for the victim, James Turner of Virginia Beach, Va., following a contentious 2007 trial that ended with a $15,000 jury award for Turner.

Attorney Kaveh Shahi argued that Turner was obligated to begin pursuing his claims against the church within six years of 1981, when he was notified that the priest who molested him, the Rev. Alfred Willis, had been caught fondling altar boys in Milton. He learned of the Milton incident from his brother, the Rev. Bernard Turner, a diocesan priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

October 30, 2008

Queens Priest Used Confessional To Pick Up Woman

NEW YORK
WCBS

[with video]

A Queens priest who worked as a chaplain at a hospital has been suspended after apparently using his confessional booth to take advantage of a vulnerable parishioner and engaging in a sexual relationship with her.

The alleged affair began at the Our Lady of the Snows Church in Glen Oaks, where Rev. Elvis Elano practiced. It was in a confessional there where the illicit liaison between the Catholic priest and a woman going through a divorce began.

"For lack of a better word, he was hitting on her," said the woman's attorney, Andrew Laufer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 PM

Benedictine Hospital suspends priest accused of sexual liaison in NYC

KINGSTON (NY)
Daily Freeman

Staff and wire reports
10/30/2008

A PRIEST accused of having a sexual liaison with a parishioner in New York City has been suspended from his role as a chaplain at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston.

The Rev. Elvis Elano came to Benedictine, a Catholic hospital on Mary's Avenue, in August and was suspended on Thursday, according to Sean Casey, the hospital's spokesman.

"Father Elano has been suspended from his duties at Benedictine Hospital, where he provided pastoral care to our patients since August 2008," Casey said in a prepared statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Psychological screening will bar gays from being priests

VATICAN CITY
Scotman

By Emily Pykett
MEN who want to be ordained as Catholic priests will be vetted by psychological tests designed to "screen out" homosexuals and those who will find it impossible to stay celibate, it has emerged.

The new guidelines were issued by the Vatican yesterday, in the second document in three years intended to deal with the effects of a sex abuse scandal that rocked the Church six years ago. Officials stated they had a duty to ensure candidates' suitability.

Psychological tests have been used in some seminaries as far back as the 1960s. A 2005 Vatican document allowed men to become priests if they had suppressed homosexual urges for three years.

But the new guidelines stress that if a future priest shows "deep-seated homosexual tendencies", his training "would have to be interrupted". They go on to state that men should also be barred from entering the priesthood if the tests show it is "evident that the candidate has difficulty living in celibacy: that is, if celibacy for him is lived as a burden so heavy that it compromises his affective and relational equilibrium".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 PM

Ex-priest guilty on all 10 counts; jury recommends 200 years

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

A Louisa County jury found former Catholic priest Rodney L. Rodis guilty today of stealing from two parishes he served as pastor.

The jury reached its verdict on all 10 felony theft counts at about 6:30 p.m., after deliberating for a little less than an hour.

At 8:30 p.m., jurors returned with a sentencing recommendation of 20 years per count for a total of 200 years, the maximum allowed. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

Babeu wants upgrades in Pinal sheriff's office

PINAL COUNTY (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Devon Hersom, Tribune
Paul Babeu, the Republican candidate for Pinal County sheriff, brings backgrounds in both politics and law enforcement to his bid for the position that requires the skills in both.

His first elected office was as a city councilman in a small Massachusetts town at the age of 18.

As a Chandler police officer, Babeu became president of the agency's union, the Chandler Law Enforcement Agency. ...

The following year, Babeu went public with allegations that as a child he had been sexually molested by a Catholic priest. Several other victims soon came forward and began a lawsuit against the priest. Babeu also filed a lawsuit in early 2000, which was settled out of court.

"It was part of my healing and a part of me helping others," he said. "I knew what they were going through."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 PM

Rodis Found Guilty on All Charges

LOUISA (VA)
NBC 29

Rodney Rodis has been found guilty on state charges of embezzling a half million dollars from his two Louisa County churches. The former Roman Catholic priest was already convicted on federal charges.

Rodis faced 10 state charges in all for alleged embezzlement occurring from 2003 to 2006. Thursday, the second day of the trial, a 12 person jury found him guilty on all charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 PM

Church officials bar NYC priest accused of affair

NEW YORK
USA Today

NEW YORK (AP) — A visiting Catholic priest accused in a $25 million lawsuit of luring a distraught divorcee into having a seven-month affair has been barred from serving in the city, church officials said Thursday.

The accuser, Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn, reported the affair in August but refused to out the priest, said the officials, who learned it was the Rev. Elvis Elano when the suit was filed earlier this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

COMPLEANNO FRATELLO PAPA COSTA 100.OOO EURO A DIOCESI

ITALY
la Repubblica

La festa di compleanno in Vaticano di George Ratzinger, fratello maggiore di Benedetto XVI, costera' 100.000 euro alla diocesi di Ratisbona, in Baviera. Georg, presbitero e direttore di un coro tedesco, compira' 85 anni il prossimo 15 gennaio e, secondo il settimanale tedesco 'Focus', vuole che la Messa in Do minore di Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sia eseguita nella cappella Sistina.

[translation]

POPE’S BROTHER BIRTHDAY COSTS 100,000 EUROS TO DIOCESE

Georg Ratzinger’s birthday party, who is the elder brother of Benedict XVI, will cost 100,000 euro to the diocese of Regensburg, in Bavaria. Georg, a priest and director of a German choir, will be 85 years-old on January 15 and, according to the German weekly ‘Focus’, wants to celebrate it with a Mass in Do minore by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to be performed in the Sistine Chapel. In order to achieve that the German diocese has planned to pay the air tickets for 90 choir members and 37 musicians of the Linz symphony orchestra, in Austria. The expense, according to the weekly, is raising polemics in Regensburg, where the diocese’s funds mainly originate from the taxpayers and property’s rents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Former Glens Falls area priest charged after investigation into child sexual abuse allegations

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Glens Falls Post-Star

By DON LEHMAN
dlehman@poststar.com
Updated: Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:50 PM EDT

A former Catholic priest from the Glens Falls area has been indicted on charges he raped two boys in the Pittsfield, Mass., area more than 20 years ago.

Gary Mercure, who was removed from the ministry earlier this year by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany amid allegations of child sexual abuse, is accused of taking boys he met through his church duties to Massachusetts and having sexual contact with them there in 1986 and 1989.

He faces two charges of rape of a child by force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, all felonies, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Priests to face 'sex drive tests'

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Roman Catholic Church has issued guidance for future priests to have psychological tests to weed out those unable to control their sexual urges.

A senior churchman said a series of sex scandals had contributed to the rewriting of the guidelines.

The authors said screening would help avoid "tragic situations" caused by what they termed psychological defects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Vatican: Future Priests Need More Than Prayer Life

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A priest should not just have a solid spiritual life, but also psychological and affective maturity, Vatican officials reiterated today.

This affirmation was among the main points at a press conference in the Vatican for the presentation of "Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood," from the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, prefect and secretary of that dicastery, presented the report with consultor and psychologist, Father Carlo Bresciani.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Church Sex Abuse Victim Appeals To Supreme Court

VERMONT
WPTZ

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Attorneys for priest sex abuse victim James Turner are appealing their case to the state supreme court, arguing that his recent civil case was tainted by a catholic parishioner who sat on the jury.

Turner sued Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese last year, claiming that the diocese knowingly hired a pedophile priest who sexually abused Turner 30 years ago when he was a member of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Jury in Rodis trial to hear closing arguments today

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

LOUISA -- Prosecution and defense lawyers presented their cases today in the embezzlement trial of Rodney Rodis, the former Catholic priest accused of stealing more than $1 million from two county churches.

The jury will hear closing arguments later today and may begin deliberations this afternoon.

Parishioners attending the trial today looked on in disbelief at a picture of a luxury beach home in The Philippines allegedly bought with stolen money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Randy priest popped Viagra, said affair 'ordained by God,' parishioner says

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY ERICA PEARSON and BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Wednesday, October 29th 2008, 10:42 PM

A Viagra-popping vicar from a Queens Catholic church seduced a parishioner by insisting it was "ordained by God," the woman charged in a lawsuit.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn slapped the Rev. Elvis Elano, formerly of Our Lady of the Snows Church in Floral Park, with a $25 million lawsuit, charging he used his collar to coax her into bed.

In the suit filed Monday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Rodrigues-Lytwyn, 50, said the unholy shenanigans have left her with "severe stress" and "shame."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Priest suspended from job at hospital after former Queens parishioner files lawsuit

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MIKE JACCARINO AND CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Thursday, October 30th 2008, 4:23 PM

Father Elvis has left the hospital.

The romancing reverend accused of seducing a Queens parishioner was booted Thursday from his new gig as chaplain to the upstate Benedictine Hospital.

The Rev. Elvis Elano transferred to Kingston, N.Y., before Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn slapped him and the church with a $25 million lawsuit on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

We first want to applaud the courage and strength of Fr. Teczar’s brave victims

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We first want to applaud the courage and strength of Fr. Teczar's brave victims, especially Dave Lewcon, who devoted time, energy and effort into getting this dangerous predator off the street. When victims and witnesses speak up, there's at least a chance for healing, justice and prevention. But when they stay silent, predators walk free and kids get hurt. Catholics and citizens, in both Texas and Massachusetts, owe Dave and his caring colleagues a debt of gratitude.

We also want to commend the Texas prosecutors who have agreed to re-try him.

We hope he's found guilty again. Until that happens, we worry about the safety of kids near him, whether in Texas or in Massachusetts, and worry that he'll flee to another country to avoid justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Vatican issues screening guidelines for priests

VATICAN CITY
NPR

VATICAN CITY October 30, 2008, 04:15 pm ET · The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians Thursday — the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates following a series of sex abuse scandals. ...

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the Vatican needs to go beyond screening seminarians to end what the group calls the church's "virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy" that left dangerous priests in parishes.

"Every barrel will always have some bad apples," the Survivors Network said. "Real change requires effectively reforming the barrel and those who oversee it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Former prosecutor charged with corrupting minors

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Kristin E. Holmes
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A former Bucks County prosecutor who resigned one day after police discovered him half-dressed in a parked car with a minor was charged today with endangering the welfare of children and corrupting minors.

Anthony Cappuccio, 31, of Hilltown Township, and a 17-year-old boy - both part of a church youth group - were found at about midnight Sept. 5 parked at a shopping center in Quakertown, according to court documents. Cappuccio was a volunteer with a group at First United Methodist Church in Perkasie, and the boy was a member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Troy priest indicted on rape charges involving young boys

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Schenechtady Gazette

By Jill Bryce
Gazette Reporter

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Troy priest has been indicted on charges related to the alleged rape of two minors in the late 1980s in western Massachusetts.

Rev. Gary Mercure, 60, was indicted by a Berkshire County grand jury on two counts of rape of a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14. He is also charged with one count of rape with force for an incident involving a 13-year-old boy in 1989.

Mercure got to know the minors while working in New York parishes and took them to Massachusetts when the alleged rapes occurred, according to authorities.

Berkshire County District Attorney's Office spokesman Frederick A. Lantz said today the charges are the result of an investigation by Massachusetts state police. He was not sure when the investigation began, however.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

VIDEO: Diocese sued by man claiming abuse

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with video]

By Carl Kanefsky

Another law suit names the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington as a defendant, claiming officials covered up the sexual abuse of a child by a parish priest.

Supporters of sexual abuse survivors held a small vigil outside of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington Thursday morning, shortly after a lawsuit had been filed on behalf of Robert Kohr, a man claiming he was repeatedly abused by the late Father Carmen Vignola.

Michael Reck, an attorney representing Kohr says the abuse began in the 1980s when Kohr was 14 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Troy man indicted in 1986, 1989 child sex assault cases

PITTSFIELD (MA)
CBS 6

October 30, 2008 - 3:14PM
CBS 6 News
A 60-year-old Troy man has been indicted by a Berkshire County grand jury on charges of sexually assaulting a child in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred in 1986 and in 1989.

Gary Mercure, who was a priest at the time of the incidents, has been charged with two counts of raping a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred in Great Barrington, Mass. or Monterey, Mass. between Sept. 1, 1986 and Dec. 31, 1986, said Berkshire County District Attorney Frederick Lantz.

The alleged victim in the case, a male, is now 33 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Settlement in Roncalli suit expected today

COLORADO
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

A press conference is scheduled today to announce the $4 million settlement of 23 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of students at Roncalli High School by a clergyman teacher.

The settlements average $173,913 per plaintiff, however it has not been announced whether each accuser will get an equal share of the sum or what portion will be applied to their legal fees.

The plaintiffs accused Brother William Mueller, a music and religion teacher at Roncalli while it was open from 1966-1971, of subduing them with ether under the guise of conducting psychological experiments. While they were helpless, the men contend they were molested and raped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Viagra-popping priest named Elvis accused of seducing parishioner in the confessional is sued for

NEW YORK
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:15 PM on 30th October 2008

A Catholic priest in New York is being sued by one of his parishioners who claims he seduced her in the confessional box.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn has launched a $25million lawsuit against Father Elvis Elano following their seven-month affair which ended when he told her about a nasty rash on his private parts which she contends came from another woman.

According to Rodrigues-Lytwyn, she was pouring her heart out about her sorrow over her divorce during confession when Father Elano told her he loved her.

Priest charged with raping boys

PITTSFIELD (MA)
WNYT

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A priest suspended by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has been indicted on sex charges in Berkshire County. The Rev. Gary Mercure of Troy, N.Y. is now accused of raping two boys there in the 1980s.

Mercure is charged with three counts of rape of a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Two of the rape charges and the assault charge relate to incidents that took place in 1986 in Great Barrington. The district attorney's office says the victim in that case is now 33 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Diocese in Colorado settles abuse lawsuits

COLORADO
United Press International

PUEBLO, Colo., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A Florida law firm said Thursday 23 priest abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, Colo., and Marianist Religious Order have been settled.

Attorneys Jeffrey M. Herman and Adam D. Horowitz confirmed that a $4 million settlement has been reached in a series of lawsuits against the diocese in Pueblo over alleged abuse committed by Brother William Mueller, The Denver Post said.

The plaintiffs in the 23 lawsuits had accused Mueller of molesting them at Pueblo's Roncalli High School between 1966 and 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Despite court record, priest’s suit not yet settled

MARYLAND
Daily Record

DANNY JACOBS
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
October 29, 2008 6:49 PM
A priest’s defamation lawsuit against a former school admissions director who accused him of inappropriate conduct toward her was incorrectly listed Tuesday in court records as settled, lawyers for both sides said.

Attorneys for the Rev. Timothy J. Fell and [Name 2 Redacted] said talks continue between the two sides. Baltimore County Circuit Court records indicate the case is “closed/inactive” because of a settlement approved on the record Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Lay leaders defend suspended Kerala bishop, allege Vatican acted in haste

INDIA
Catholic Culture

October 30, 2008
Two lay leaders quoted by UCA News allege came to the defense of Bishop John Thattumkal of Cochin, a diocese located in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. Bishop Thattumkal was suspended on October 23 following his September 9 adoption of Sony Joseph, the 26-year-old daughter of a Syrian Orthodox priest. Bishop Thattumkal met Ms. Joseph during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in April, and her purported visions, according to earlier reports, helped the bishop uncover financial corruption among the priests of his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Attorneys: $4M settlement in sex-abuse lawsuit

COLORADO
KRDO

Associated Press - October 30, 2008 10:24 AM ET

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) - Attorneys say they have reached a $4 million settlement for 23 men who claim they were sexually abused when they attended a Catholic high school in Pueblo.

Details of the settlement are to be announced Thursday in Pueblo by attorneys Jeffrey M. Herman and Adam D. Horowitz of Miami.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Vatican Issues New Psychological Screening to Weed Out Pedophiles

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians Thursday — the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates following a series of pedophile scandals.

The church said it issued the new guidelines to help church leaders weed out candidates with "psychopathic disturbances." Sex abuse scandals by pedophile priests have rocked the church in recent years, triggering lawsuits that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Vatican recommends some use of psychological testing in seminaries

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican document said seminary candidates should undergo psychological evaluations whenever there is a suspicion of personality disturbances or serious doubts about their ability to live a celibate life.

In assessing the capacity for celibacy, it said, the church needs to evaluate a seminarian's sexual orientation, and make sure that uncertain sexual identity or "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" are not present.

The document, released at the Vatican Oct. 30, was prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education and approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

NY Parishioner Sues Priest For Luring Her Into Sex

NEW YORK
CBS

NEW YORK (CBS) ― A woman is suing her parish priest, claiming he lured her into having sex that he said was "ordained by God." Instead, she says, he took advantage of her when she sought spiritual solace after her divorce.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn filed her $25 million lawsuit in Brooklyn state Supreme Court. She says the seven-month affair left her feeling "severe stress" and "shame."

The 50-year-old parishioner charges the priest with using his collar -- and Viagra -- to seduce her.

She had gone to confession at Our Lady of the Snows Church in Queens and told the priest about her divorce from an abusive husband, when she says he began "encouraging her to engage in a sexual liaison with him to assist her in overcoming her pain associated with her husband and because it was 'ordained by God,"' according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Alleged Abuse Victims Urge Going to Police

NEW YORK (NY)
The Jewish Week

By Hella Winston and Larry Cohler-Esses

October 30, 2008

A group of alleged survivors of sexual abuse from strictly Orthodox backgrounds and victim advocates have joined together to encourage Orthodox victims to seek justice in New York’s secular courts, rather than quietly within their communities.

The new group, Survivors for Justice, will also lobby the state legislature to pass a long-pending bill to extend the statute of limitations on such crimes so that victims can get into court. The organization, the first of its kind, will work to break an intimidating communal code of silence, said Mark Weiss, one of its founders.

“It’s about time that people start recognizing the destructive effects of people’s fear of being stigmatized for talking about this issue,” said Weiss. “People need to realize that being associated with [the issue of sexual abuse] creates a stigma only if they allow it to. Fear and intimidation under the guise of upholding the reputation of the Torah should have no place in our midst.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:18 AM

Pueblo diocese settles priest abuse suit for $4 million

COLORADO
The Denver Post

By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post

A Florida lawfirm has reached a $4 million settlement of 23 priest abuse lawsuits against the Diocese of Pueblo and Marianist Religious Order.

The plaintiffs alleged they were sexually abused by William Mueller at Roncalli High School in Pueblo between 1966 and 1971, attorneys Jeffrey M. Herman and Adam D. Horowitz of Miami announced today.

The victims alleged they were molested by Mueller in the band room of the school.

According to the lawsuits, Brother William Mueller told each of the students that he was performing a confidential experiment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Priest loses custody of triplets fathered by donating sperm - accused of abusing those children

MARYLAND
Examiner

By Carolyn Peirce
Examiner Staff Writer 10/30/08

A Catholic priest found to have sexually abused two of his 6-year-old triplets lost custody this week to the woman who gave birth to the children using his donated sperm and another woman’s eggs.

The state’s second-highest court held Monday that Fernando Cristancho, 52, of Bel Air, is unfit to parent the triplets, two boys and a girl, and granted custody to Dalia Fernandez, 57, the woman who gave birth to them using in vitro fertilization.

The decision affirmed the ruling of Harford Circuit Judge Emory Plitt Jr., who said Fernandez deserved the children because she was a de facto parent acting as their mother even though she was unrelated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

JURY SELECTED IN PRIEST'S TRIAL

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

BY ELLEN BILTZ

LOUISA

--The jury trial for former Catholic priest Rodney Rodis got off to a slow start yesterday with only the completion of jury selection.

Rodis, 52, is charged with 10 counts of embezzlement from two Louisa County Catholic churches.

His trial was set for yesterday and today, but after the court finally completed jury selection at about 6 p.m., Judge Timothy K. Sanner suggested the trial may last into Friday.

Nine women and five men were selected for the jury. Two of the jurors will be used as alternates in case of sickness or another emergency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Jury selected to try ex-priest

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By CALVIN R. TRICE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Lawyers chose 12 jurors and two alternates to hear evidence in the case of a former priest accused of stealing money donated to two Louisa County churches he led.

Opening statements in the embezzlement case against Rodney L. Rodis, 52, are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today in Louisa County Circuit Court.

Rodis faces 10 felony theft counts accusing him of diverting money intended for Immaculate Conception and St. Jude Catholic churches while he was pastor of both. . Authorities believe he stole as much as $1 million from the two parishes as he solicited money for major capital campaigns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Parishioner sues priest for luring her into sex

NEW YORK
Philly.com

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - A woman is suing her parish priest, claiming he lured her into having sex that he said was "ordained by God." Instead, she says, he took advantage of her when she sought spiritual solace after her divorce.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn filed her $25 million lawsuit in Brooklyn state Supreme Court. She says the seven-month affair left her feeling "severe stress" and "shame."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

US law firm hunts Limerick-born priest

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Published Date: 30 October 2008
By Anne Sheridan
FIVE new lawsuits against a Limerick paedophile priest are pending from a legal firm in the United States, which is considering hiring a private detective to track him down.

Defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady, 62, returned to live in the Mid-West in 2001, after being deported from the United States, where he was convicted on four counts of lewd and lascivious acts on two males.

The law firm Manly, McGuire and Stewart in California now has enough evidence to proceed with more civil actions against him. Two further victims have come forward alleging that Mr O'Grady assaulted them when they were altar boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest's Alleged Affair Sparks Lawsuit

NEW YORK
ABC News

By SCOTT MICHELS
Oct. 30, 2008

A Catholic priest allegedly seduced a distraught woman after hearing her confession, telling her to have an affair with him because it was "ordained by God," the Queens, N.Y., woman claims in a lawsuit.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn claims the ensuing affair caused her to suffer "severe stress, anxiety, guilt, fear, humiliation and shame," the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, Father Elvis Elano professed his love for her immediately after her first confession at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Queens, N.Y.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Proposal floated to restart truth commission

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

By The Canadian Press
Thu. Oct 30 - 4:47 AM
TORONTO — Lawyers participating in the commission into Indian residential school abuse have tabled a proposal aimed at moving the stalled process forward.

The $60-million, five-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission was derailed only months after it began when its head, Justice Harry LaForme, suddenly resigned last week.

Lawyers for the federal government and representatives from the Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches gathered in a closed-door meeting in Toronto on Wednesday to discuss the proposal with members of the Assembly of First Nations and Inuit officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Vatican urges psychological tests on future priests

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Candidates for the Catholic priesthood should undergo psychological tests to screen out heterosexuals unable to control their sexual urges and those with strong homosexual tendencies, the Vatican said Thursday.

A new document was the second in three years to deal with the effects of a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Church six years ago.

It said the early detection of "sometimes pathological" psychological defects of men before they become priests would help avoid tragic experiences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Groups request church warning

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— A coalition of groups that offer support for victims of sexual abuse by priests yesterday called on Bishop Robert J. McManus to use the chancery’s resources to warn the public about the possible jail release of the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar, a Roman Catholic priest formerly of Worcester who was found guilty last year of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy from Ranger, Texas, in 1990.

Earlier this month, a Texas appeals court found that the judge who handled Rev. Teczar’s court proceedings had committed errors and the panel ordered a new trial.

Eastland (Texas) Criminal District Attorney Russ Thomason has said that he will retry the case, but there’s concern among the support groups that the priest will be released, pending a new trial.

Representatives of the groups — at a press conference held outside the chancery complex on Elm Street — also renewed their long-standing request that church officials identify all diocesan priests accused of sexual improprieties and provide the addresses where the clerics live.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Arrest uncovers accusations of sex abuse ring at Portland commune

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

By DAVID KROUGH, kgw.com Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Detectives said there were more victims and more than a dozen new suspects worldwide in a suspected sex abuse ring operating out of a former Northeast Portland church.

Police think that the commune operated in the mid-1990s, involving at least 80 people living in four Northeast Portland homes.

The investigation started in 2007, when two young girls walked into a Central precinct station to report they had been sexually abused between 1998 and 2000 while they and their families attended “The Peach House” ministries in Northeast Portland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Former Oregon youth pastor held on sex charges

BAKER CITY (OR)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAKER CITY, Ore. -- A Baker County grand jury has indicted a former Nazarene Church youth pastor on 23 sex crimes, 13 more than police had originally charged him with.

Dean B. Barnes, 35, was arraigned last week before Judge Greg Baxter and is held in the Baker County Jail with bail set at $750,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Woman tells of sex with minister

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By SAM PAZZANO, COURTS BUREAU

A United Church minister abused his position of trust by having a long-term sexual relationship with a parishioner, a woman told court yesterday.

The now 54-year-old woman said Rev. William Major masturbated, had oral sex and fondled her during counselling sessions designed to deal with her childhood sexual abuse.

The woman said she and Major only had intercourse once during the six-year physical relationship which was followed by a few years of "phone sex" contact.

Major, now 65, was a federal candidate for the NDP in Sudbury during the 1988 election and has worked extensively for anti-poverty groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

OPP lawyer attempts to allay fears about new inquiry deadlines

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

An Ontario Provincial Police lawyer tried to allay fears Wednesday that new deadlines imposed on the Cornwall Public Inquiry would harm the quality of evidence given by his institution's witnesses.

Speaking before the first OPP witness began testifying, Neil Kozloff pledged that the OPP would "do our utmost" to meet strict orders handed down last week by the Ministry of the Attorney General mandating that the final inquiry witness leave the stand no later than Jan. 30, 2009.

"The volume of work that remains to be done has not changed. We are concerned about the time limits imposed and the effect it will have on this inquiry's work," said Kozloff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bishop Braxton asked to drop state supreme court appeal of abuse case

BELLEVILLE (IL)]
Catholic Culture

October 29, 2008
An alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse has hand-delivered a letter to Bishop Edward Braxton’s secretary in which David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, asked the Illinois bishop not to pursue a legal appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

CAS worker denies allegations

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A local Children's Aid Society worker denied she ever told David Silmser the agency wasn't interested in hearing his allegations of sexual abuse.

Carole Leblanc told the Cornwall Public Inquiry that during the four months she spent as an intake worker in 1991 and 1992, she couldn't recall anyone with Silmser's name coming to the agency, nor could she remember anyone alleging abuse at the hands of a priest.

Silmser, a former altar boy, went to the Cornwall Police Service in December 1992 alleging that Rev. Charles MacDonald had sexually abused him in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

October 29, 2008

Abuse victim groups decry Teczar decision

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— A coalition of groups that offer support for victims of sexual abuse by priests today called on Bishop Robert J. McManus to use the chancery’s resources to warn the public about the possible release from jail of the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar, a Roman Catholic priest formerly from Worcester who was found guilty last year of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy from Ranger, Texas, in 1990.

Earlier this month, a Texas appeals court found that the judge who had handled Rev. Teczar’s court proceedings had committed errors, and the panel ordered a new trial.

Eastland (Texas) Criminal District Attorney Russ Thomason has said that he will retry the case, but there’s concern among the support groups that the priest will be released pending a new trial.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, which documents cases of abuse on its Web site, said Rev. Teczar is “wily” and “resourceful” and would pose a threat to children, if he were to return to Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

2 New Orleans parishes ‘occupied’; parishioner wins ‘cat-and-mouse game’ with archdiocese

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Catholic Culture

October 29, 2008
Parishioners at two recently closed parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans-- St. Henry and Our Lady of Good Counsel-- have begun vigils in an effort to keep them open. When archdiocesan officials changed the locks at the latter church on Monday morning, they were unaware that at least one parishioner had spent the night hidden in the church. The church doors with new locks were then opened from the inside, allowing the ‘occupation’ to begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Priest Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge, Pays Fine

CHARLESTON (WV)
WSAZ

Reporter: Anna Baxter
Email Address: anna.baxter@wsaz.com

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A priest in South Charleston facing drug charges has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Father James O'Connor was arrested on felony drug charges last month after police say they found seventy-three grams of marijuana in his car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Greek Orthodox church settles Dallas lawsuit alleging sex abuse by longtime priest

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com

A lawsuit alleging child sex abuse by Nicholas Katinas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in North Dallas, is headed for an out-of-court settlement.

“An agreement in principle has been reached,” said Tahira Khan Merritt, lawyer for five plaintiffs, including former altar boys, who claimed they were abused by Mr. Katinas in the early years of his long tenure at Holy Trinity. “It’s subject to court approval.”

Ms. Merritt said she and lawyers for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America agreed to keep confidential the amount of the settlement. The settlement must be approved by State District Judge Karen Johnson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Archdiocese to pay millions to Katina’s victims

UNITED STATES
National Herald

(subscription required to read the entire article)

By Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the five alleged victims of former priest Nicholas Katinas reached an out-of-court settlement. Terms of the settlement were not immediately disclosed, but sources from within the Archdiocese told The National Herald that the amount will be in th ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

FOR THE DEFENSE

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post Dispatch

Acclaimed St. Louis defense attorney Scott Rosenblum has been retained to represent defrocked priest Joseph D. Ross on 11 counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy and child molestation. Ross was arrested in Arkansas last month and waived extradition to return here to face the charges. Ross was the first priest from the Archdiocese of St. Louis who was defrocked for abusing minors. He was laicized in August 2002. The current charges allege that Ross abused a minor between 1998 and 2000 in the 1200 block of Boyle Avenue in St. Louis. St. Cronan Parish, where Ross was a pastor at the time the alleged abuse took place, is at 1202 South Boyle Avenue. Rosenblum also defended Bryan Kuchar, who was suspended by the archdiocese in 2002 and found guilty in 2003 of abusing a St. Louis County boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Rodney Rodis embezzlement trial in Louisa today

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

A former priest accused of stealing up to $1 million from the two Louisa County parishes he led is to stand trial today in Louisa Circuit Court on 10 embezzlement counts.

Rodney L. Rodis, 52, is already serving a five-year prison term on federal court convictions of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering that occurred during his time as pastor of Immaculate Conception and St. Jude Catholic churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Judge lets Jeffs' attorneys talk to Texas officers

KINGMAN (AZ)
The Associated Press

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — The judge overseeing the Arizona trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs ruled Tuesday that his defense attorneys can interview Texas law officers about their raid on a sect-owned ranch.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven Conn said he wasn't convinced when prosecutors in the Jeffs' case said they weren't planning to use evidence seized when the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado was raided in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

2 new pics of my perp - look what I found!

BARTLETT (IL)
City of Angels

Feels good to post these. I was going through boxes of pictures and found two shots of Father Thomas Barry Horne. With drinks on the table in front of him he grins for the camera at a party c. 1953 at right, and with a drink in his hand he toasts during his retirement in 1974 below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Judge rejects parishioners' lawsuit against archdiocese

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By Bruce Nolan
A state court judge on Tuesday threw out a civil lawsuit by parishioners of Our Lady of Good Counsel aimed at keeping their parish open.

Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese said four parishioners who brought the suit were not members of the legal corporation that constitutes the church parish, and thus had no standing to sue. The suit was filed in response to an Archdiocese of New Orleans consolidation plan.

The corporation members include the archbishop, his vicar general, the pastor of Good Counsel and two lay members of the parish. The lay seats apparently have been vacant for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Court Frees Pastor On Indecent Assault Charge

GHANA
Graphic

The Kumasi Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged a popular Kumasi-based pastor, Odiyifo Kwadwo Atta, who was arraigned on charges of trial by ordeal and indecent assault.

Although the pastor admitted inserting his fingers into the private parts of a 24-year-old woman to remove some cowries which he tendered in evidence, the court upheld his defence that it was done with the consent of the woman’s relatives who were physically present.

Odiyifo Atta, who is the Founder and Leader of the Holy Michael Miracle Church and also the Dwantoafohene of the Bechem Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region, was, therefore, acquitted and discharged by the court, presided over by Mr Agyei Frimpong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Former Ore. youth pastor held on sex charges

BAKER CITY (OR)
OregonLive

10/29/2008, 12:26 a.m. PDT
The Associated Press

BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — A Baker County grand jury has indicted a former Nazarene Church youth pastor on 23 sex crimes, 13 more than police had originally charged him with.

Dean B. Barnes, 35, was arraigned last week before Judge Greg Baxter and is held in the Baker County Jail with bail set at $750,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

October 28, 2008

Two New Orleans churches occupied in defiance of archdiocese

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday October 28, 2008, 7:15 AM

Parishioners occupying two Catholic churches in defiance of closure orders from the Archdiocese of New Orleans began laying plans Monday to live there in shifts -- in one case after parishioners apparently played cat and mouse with archdiocesan officials who thought they had locked them out.

At the end of the day, parishioners at St. Henry and Our Lady of Good Counsel were inside their churches and organizing to remain.

In addition, parishioners from both communities met Monday night with Peter Borre, a Boston energy consultant who has been involved in Boston parishes' resistance to a wave of parish closings Cardinal Sean O'Malley ordered in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Church Loses Court Battle With Archdiocese

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU

NEW ORLEANS -- Parishioners at two New Orleans Catholic churches are asking their lawyers whether they can appeal a judge's ruling in the battle to keep their places of worship open.

On Tuesday, a civil court judge refused to grant an injunction against the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Parishioners filed the legal action in hopes of keeping Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Henry open.

Judge Kern Reese told the church members he sympathized with their arguments but could find no legal standing to keep the buildings open.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Archbishop Hughes: Parishes will remain closed

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL

The following is a statement issued by Archbishop Alfred Hughes Tuesday afternoon regarding the closing of several local churches and the sit-ins that have been staged since.

Last weekend, the celebration of the Eucharist was held for the final time at three church buildings in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. It is never a happy occasion when a parish has to close. Throughout this process our priority has been the pastoral care of the parishioners and a responsible distribution of priests. We believe that by merging parishes together, stronger communities of faith with more spiritual, pastoral and social outreach resources. My prayer now is that we can all move forward together to a transition in which parishioner vigils may come to a peaceful end and all may come together at the new parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

St. Peter's Prep, SPC say child-porn priest did no wrong at schools

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

by Paul Koepp/The Jersey Journal

Officials at St. Peter's College and St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City say there's no indication that a priest who recently confessed to possessing child pornography did anything wrong in connection with his work at those schools.

The Rev. James Kuntz, 59, pleaded guilty Sept. 30 in federal court to possession of child pornography. A raid of his home on Feb. 27 uncovered 63 explicit images on a computer, according to his plea agreement.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000 when he is sentenced Jan. 12 by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Greenaway Jr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Team formed to probe suspended Indian bishop; Kerala lay leader alleges financial corruption

INDIA
Catholic Culture

October 28, 2008
Felix J. Pullooden, president of the Latin Catholic Association, has linked purported financial corruption among the clergy of the Diocese of Cochin with the suspension of Bishop John Thattumkal for adopting a 26-year-old woman as his daughter. Mr. Pullooden said that complaints about the adoption arose after ‘the bishop unearthed multi-million-rupee financial irregularities.’ Earlier reports had stated the woman’s alleged visions had helped the bishop uncover financial irregularities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Parish paying pastor convicted of molesting child

CANADA
Vancouver Province

By Katie Mercer, Vancouver Province
Published: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

VANCOUVER -- A Delta youth pastor convicted of child sex abuse in Mexico -- and wanted in B.C. for child pornography -- is still being paid by his parish.

Brad Firth, 41, the former supervisor of youth activities at St. David's Anglican Church in Tsawwassen, has been receiving "compassionate pay" of $1,000 a month since being arrested in the Baja Peninsula, near Tijuana, in 2004.

"He is suspended with reduced pay," Rector Rev. Paul Woehrle said yesterday. "We are giving something to support him and his son."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Former school secretary sentenced for forgery conviction

PENNSYLVANIA
WHP

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A former secretary of a Wilkes-Barre Catholic school has been sentenced to five years of probation for her conviction on forgery charges.

Fifty-one-year-old Michele Hivish of Wilkes-Barre pleaded guilty in September to forging checks totaling nearly $50,000 over five years from several bank accounts of St. Aloysius Elementary School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Convicted Virginia Priest Heads Back to Court

LOUISA (VA)
CBS 6

A former Roman Catholic Priest goes back to court in Louisa County Wednesday. Rodney Rodis has already been convicted of embezzlement in federal court, now he's facing state charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

SNAP urges Bishop Braxton to drop appeal of sex abuse case

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY SCOTT WUERZ - News-Democrat

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Monday delivered a letter to Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton asking him to drop an appeal aimed at throwing out a 1984 abuse case brought by an O'Fallon man's case.

"Just six months ago, during his U.S. visit, the pope told bishops and Catholics to 'do everything possible' to help victims of pedophile priests heal," David Clohessy, national director of SNAP wrote to Braxton. "Do you think he meant forcing victims like Chris Amenn to wait years and years for healing, justice and closure?"

A reporter who visited Braxton's office Monday seeking a response was told by a secretary that he was not available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Monday Night: Alleged Church Groper Faces New Charges

NEW YORK
Fox 28

St.Lawrence County man - already accused of fondling two girls in church - now faces more charges.

Robert Storie, 59, was charged by state police with three additional counts of sexual abuse, third degree, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The latest charges involve girls aged 12, 14 and 15 and incidents over the last two years. The incidents took place both at church and at Storie’s home on Clinton Street in Gouverneur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

London diocese faces lawsuits

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

By ERICA BAJER, THE DAILY NEWS

Gerald Joseph Lozon hadn't heard from his brother Reginald in 18 years.

When Reginald, 62, finally called him it was to talk about the sexual molestation he suffered at the hands of a priest.

Reginald told Gerald, 60, about the alleged abuse -- details that hit close to home.

Gerald said Father Lawrence C. Paquette also abused him when he served as an altar boy 50 years ago at St. Philippe's Roman Catholic Church in Grande Pointe.

The two men, along with four other men, have each filed $2-million lawsuits against the Diocese of London in connection with alleged sexual misconduct by Paquette, who died in 1986. The allegations, which have not been proven in court, range from fondling to sex acts. The alleged incidents took place between the mid-1950s and early 1970s. Five of the six men claim the abuse happened while Paquette served in Grande Pointe between 1955 and 1967.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Watersmeet priest removed from ministry

MICHIGAN
Iron County Reporter

MARQUETTE—Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette has temporarily removed Father Aloysius J. Hasenberg, 86, from priestly ministry and his residence at the rectory of Immaculate Conception Parish in Watersmeet.

After a preliminary investigation and consultation with the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, Bishop Sample determined that there is sufficient evidence that sexual abuse of a male minor had occurred.

The allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Hasenberg dates back a number of years. The bishop will now send the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as required by the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons. The congregation will then give further direction on how the bishop should proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Six men file lawsuit claiming sexual abuse by Catholic priest

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By THE CANADIAN PRESS

A half dozen men claiming they were molested as altar boys by a priest who served in southwestern Ontario have filed lawsuits against the Diocese of London.

The six men have each filed $2-million lawsuits against the Diocese of London in connection with alleged sexual misconduct by Father Lawrence Paquette, who died in 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

CAS' Abell said he couldn't recommend Dunlop for award

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Former Cornwall police officer Perry Dunlop acted out of a "genuine commitment to the safety of children" when he revealed his force was not charging a local priest accused of sexual abuse, the former director of the Children's Aid Society once believed.

Nevertheless, Richard Abell could not recommend Dunlop and his wife, Helen, for a high-profile award for merit in 2001 because their subsequent behaviour "badly tarnished" whatever good was accomplished by turning over David Silmser's statement to the CAS, the Cornwall Public Inquiry learned yesterday.

Abell ran the local CAS branch from 1990 until retiring last year. Monday was his third day on the stand at the inquiry, which is probing how a number of Cornwall-area institutions handled allegations of historical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

October 27, 2008

Watersmeet priest accused of sexual abuse of a male minor.

WATERSMEET (MI)
WLUC

Monday, October 27, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.

WATERSMEET -- Father Aloysius J. Hasenberg, 86, has been removed from priestly ministry and his residence at the rectory of Immaculate Conception Parish in Watersmeet by Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.

After a preliminary investigation and consultation with the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, Sample decided that there was sufficient evidence that sexual abuse had occurred. However, it should be noted that this is not a final determination of guilt; as in civil law, a priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor is presumed innocent under Church law until proven otherwise.

"This situation and others like it are very painful for everyone," said Sample. "My first concern must always be for the victims/survivors of abuse, and I pledge to do everything in my power to help them on their journey toward healing and peace. At the same time, we must follow the procedures that have been set in place to afford justice to the accused."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Catholic Bishop Suspends Michigan Priest Over Child Sex Abuse

WATERSMEET (MI)
AHN

AHN Staff
Watersmeet, MI (AHN) - Roman Catholic Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Diocese of Marquette has suspended 86-year-old Father Aloysius J. Hasenberg from his priestly ministry over allegations of child sex abuse.

Sample, who did not disclose details of the allegation, said there was enough evidence that the sexual abuse happened. The diocese received a complaint last September and it has already extended counseling to the victim.

The Catholic Church's Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People investigated the allegation, and the case has been sent to the Vatican and to civil authorities. Hasenberg will go through church and civil court trials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Police arrest teacher, priest

FIJI
The Fiji Times

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A METHODIST church minister and a secondary school teacher accused of punching a school student were arrested from Bua College yesterday.

Reverend Kalivati Sotia and woodwork teacher Aminiasi Mateiwai have been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Divisional Crime Officer Northern Luke Rawalai said a team of Criminal Investigation Department officers left Labasa early yesterday to make arrests at the school compound where the teacher and minister lived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

UP priest accused of sexual misconduct

MICHIGAN
Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
3:41 PM CDT, October 27, 2008

MARQUETTE, Mich. - An 86-year-old Catholic priest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has been removed from duty after being accused of sexually molesting an underage boy.

The Rev. Aloysius J. Hasenberg served the Immaculate Conception Parish in Watersmeet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Priest loses custody dispute to woman who bore triplets with donor eggs

MARYLAND
Daily Record

CARYN TAMBER
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
October 27, 2008 6:54 PM
The state’s second-highest court has upheld a judge’s decision to give custody of 6-year-old triplets to the woman who gave birth to them using another woman’s eggs and the sperm of a Catholic priest.

Dalia Fernandez deserves custody because the priest, Fernando Cristancho, was found to have sexually abused two of the triplets, the Court of Special Appeals held.

Margaret Attanasio, the Harford County lawyer who argued the case for Fernandez on appeal, said she expected the court to decide the case in favor of her client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop Bennison prevails in fraud suit

PENNSYLVANIA
Episcopal Life

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, October 27, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] A Montgomery County, Pennsylvania jury decided October 24 that inhibited Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. did not commit fraud when he deposed a diocesan priest six years ago.

The Rev. David Moyer claimed that Bennison should not have deposed him using the "abandonment of communion" provision in the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. He claimed that Bennison, "motivated by secular animosity," had "wrongfully" sought to "force [Moyer] out of his vocation, his church, his congregation and his home."

Moyer had asked for damages for loss of employment and mental suffering. The jury, sitting in Norristown, deliberated for a few hours before ruling against Moyer's claims, which are detailed here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Catholic priest named in sex abuse suits

CANADA
Sarnia Observer

By Erica Bajer
Sun Media

A Roman Catholic priest who served in Sarnia for five years has been named in a series of $2-million lawsuits against the Diocese of London for alleged sexual abuse.

Father Lawrence C. Paquette, who died in 1986, served at St. Thomas Aquinas parish between 1975 and 1980.

Six men have each filed $2-million lawsuits against the Diocese, alleging Paquette engaged them in activities ranging from fondling to sex acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Schools commission to examine 'disappearances of children'

CANADA
Globe and Mail

BILL CURRY AND JOE FRIESEN

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

October 27, 2008 at 8:01 PM EDT

OTTAWA and TORONTO — The commission examining Indian residential schools is launching a massive new research project to find out who is buried on school grounds and what happened to the young aboriginal boys and girls who left for boarding schools and never returned home.

Kimberly Phillips, a spokesperson for Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said the expanded research has been approved by Claudette Dumont-Smith, one of the commissioners.

The “Missing Children Research Project,” as it has been named, will include “an examination of the number and cause of deaths, illnesses and disappearances of children at the residential schools as well as the location of burial sites,” Ms. Phillips said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Boston parishioners hold 4-year vigil

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

Monday, October 27, 2008

By Bruce Nolan
Four years after they spontaneously occupied their church to save it from closing, hundreds of members of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini parish in suburban Boston still occupy the building around the clock, sleeping there in shifts and worshipping together on priestless Sundays.

They are among five Boston-area parishes still holding out -- literally -- against Cardinal Sean O'Malley's reorganization of parish life in 2004.

Now two New Orleans parishes have opted for the same course of action. Leaders at Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Henry parishes said Sunday they will have teams in those churches around the clock to prevent the Archdiocese of New Orleans from closing them as part of a massive reorganization plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Parishioners vow to stay despite order

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

Monday, October 27, 2008

By Bruce Nolan
Three Catholic communities that for more than 100 years supported New Orleans families through the joys and wounds of childbirth, death, love and heartbreak celebrated Mass on Sunday for what may be the last time, many of their members red-eyed or silent and grim-faced, standing on the steps of the churches.

But at two of the parishes, some defied archdiocese officials and stayed.

At St. Henry, an Uptown parish of about 325 families, a handful of parishioners took the first overnight shift of what they described as an open-ended occupation intended to save their church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Church Fights Closure

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU

[with video]

NEW ORLEANS -- Several members of St. Henry's Catholic Church are holding a vigil to keep the church open.

They plan to have two or three people sit in the uptown church for four-hour shifts.

The New Orleans Archdiocese ordered the church to close after Mass on Sunday as part of a reorganization plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Area men say they were abused by priest

CANADA
London Free Press

Mon, October 27, 2008

By JOE BELANGER, SUN MEDIA

Six men filed lawsuits today each seeking $2 million against the Roman Catholic Diocese of London alleging they were abused as boys more than 50 years ago by a priest at small parishes across the Chatham and Windsor area.

The lawsuits were unveiled at a press conference in Chatham held by the London law firm Ledroit Beckett, which specializes in abuse cases, especially involving priests.

The five men, who join a lawsuit launched earlier this year by Wayne Thibert, were boys between the ages of nine and 12 serving as alter boys at various parishes where Father Laurent (Lawrence) C. Paquette served between 1955 and his death in 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

DR PAUL COLLINS...

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

[This is the link to the document: http://www.catholica.com.au/breakingnews/Episcopal%20Questionnaire%2008.pdf]

CATHOLICA EDITORIAL COMMENT: It is almost beyond belief that the Vatican uses a document of this slant in the selection of bishops around the world. From other versions that have been leaked in other countries and languages it is clear that the Australian document is a slightly modified version of the document used elsewhere. Do the men who compose such documents ever stop and think of the accountability they might one day face from Almighty God for the abysmal state Catholicism has descended into throughout the Western world over the last 200 years? That is a serious question. One presumes in their conservatism they continue to believe in some form of final judgment. Do they, even for a moment, ever stop to consider the accountability they might eventually be called to for this constant pandering to this dwindling rump of the insecure and what Pope Benedict calls "the little people" while the rest of the baptised Catholic population are effectively told "go to Hell. We do not care about you at all"?

The sort of leadership this document calls for is what drives most intelligent people out of the Catholic Church. It is time for these kindergarten-level games of "playing Church" and "playing priests and bishops" to stop. We urgently need in the Church men and women as spiritual leaders who can lead — not men who are forever running around trying to prove to their often long-dead mothers what "good citizens" they turned out to be, what nice little social conformists they are, or what bullies or how tough they are. Jesus Christ did not go through what he went through to teach us social conformism and how to be "nice" to one another.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Mass graves uncovered in Canada?

CANADA
Western Standard

Aboriginal children went into residential schools, sometimes against the wishes of their parents. Some of them didn't come out again. So what happened to them? That's the question of this Globe and Mail article raises for me.

The federal government is mapping burial sites at former residential schools as researchers try to identify how many of the estimated thousands of native children who went missing from the schools are buried in unmarked or anonymous graves.

Cemeteries scattered across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have been identified by researchers. Some of the graves have single white wooden crosses bearing no name. Others do not include even a cross.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

U.P. priest removed from duties

MICHIGAN
The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - A Watersmeet priest has been removed from his position after alleged sexual misconduct came to light in September.

The Rev. Father Aloysius J. Hasenberg , 86, was removed from priestly ministry and his residence at the rectory of Immaculate Conception Parish in Watersmeet by Bishop Alexander Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette, the diocese announced today.

After a preliminary investigation and consultation with the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, Sample determined there is sufficient evidence that sexual abuse of a male minor had occurred, according to a diocese statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

TIMOR LESTE UCAN Column - Young Priests Challenged To Sanctify Local Church

TIMOR
Union of Catholic Asian Newsr

By Hipolito Aparicio
October 27, 2008

DILI (UCAN) -- Lay Timorese, even very simple Catholics living in villages, have been talking intensively for nearly a year about a Church in crisis.

The crisis was caused by clergy sexual abuse, which led to some priests and nuns abandoning their vocations or Religious commitments during the past year.

The bishops of Dili and Baucau dioceses have not publicly responded to the issue, but the "public secret" is constantly discussed on every street corner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Former Catholic priest found guilty of sexually abusing minors

CHICAGO (IL)
Media Newswire

(Media-Newswire.com) - CHICAGO - A defrocked Catholic priest was found guilty by a federal jury here Friday on two counts of sexually molesting a minor boy who lived periodically with him in Evanston, Ill., and accompanied him on interstate and international religious retreats. This guilty verdict resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Donald J. McGuire, 78, from Chicago, was convicted of one count of traveling to Switzerland and Austria in December 2000 to engage in sexual activity with a minor, and one count of traveling to Buffalo, Minn., in August 2001 for the same purpose with the same victim. McGuire, a former spiritual advisor to Mother Teresa, was ordained in 1961 and was affiliated with the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus ( the Jesuits ) until he was defrocked last February.

During the three-week trial, five men testified that the former Jesuit priest had exploited and molested them when they were teenagers as they traveled with him on religious retreats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Pastor Says He's Not Guilty

WEST VIRGINIA
WCHS

A Kanawha County pastor denies charges that he sexually assaulted and abused several young boys more than a decade ago.

Former Shrewsbury Church of God Pastor Sandy Cook pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Monday morning in Kanawha County Circuit Court. Cook was recently indicted on charges of sexual abuse by a guardian and third degree sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Priest accused of sexual abuse

WATERSMEET (MI)
NBC 25

Monday, October 27, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.

WATERSMEET -- Father Aloysius J. Hasenberg,86, has been removed from priestly ministry and his residence at the rectory of Immaculate Conception Parish in Watersmeet by Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.

After a preliminary investigation and consultation with the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, Sample decided that there was sufficient evidence that sexual abuse had occurred. However, it should be noted that this is not a final determination of guilt; as in civil law, a priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor is presumed innocent under Church law until proven otherwise.

"This situation and others like it are very painful for everyone," said Sample. "My first concern must always be for the victims/survivors of abuse, and I pledge to do everything in my power to help them on their journey toward healing and peace. At the same time, we must follow the procedures that have been set in place to afford justice to the accused."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Atoning for priests' sins an on-going process

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Hawk Eye

By MOLLY ROSSITER
Cedar Rapids Gazette

Bishop Martin Amos is sorry.

He's sorry for the "inappropriate action or inaction" some of his predecessors at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport displayed after early reports of sex abuse. He's sorry victims and their families were left without help or a place to turn within the diocese when the abuse happened.

Mostly, he's sorry the abuse happened at all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Reward for finding sex abuse priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday October 27 2008

LAWYERS in the United States are considering offering a reward for information on the whereabouts of defrocked paedophile priest Oliver O'Grady.

O'Grady was deported to Ireland in 2000 after spending seven years in prison in the US for sexually abusing two boys.

Now solicitors representing child abuse victims in the US are to take out ads in Irish newspapers in an attempt to serve him with papers relating to more civil actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Team formed to probe suspended bishop

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOCHI (ICNS): A three-member probe panel of bishops has been formed to investigate the allegations against suspended bishop John Thattumkal of Kochi.

Bishop Thattunkal who has been involved in a controversial adoption affair was suspended Oct. 23, subject to investigations. The Vatican also appointed Verapoly Archbishop Daniel Acharuparmbil administrator of Kochi.

On Oct. 25, the archbishop appointed the three-member bishops committee comprising of Bishop Francis Kallarakkal of Kottapura, Bishop Sebastian Thekkethecheril of Vijayapuram and Bishop Vincent Samuel of Neyyatinkara.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Priest Sex Abuse Case Goes to Vt. Supreme Court

VERMONT
WCAX

Montpelier, Vermont - October 27, 2008

A priest sex abuse case is going to the Vermont Supreme Court.

Last year, 47-year-old James Turner sued Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese claiming that 30 years ago, they knowingly hired a pedophile priest.

A jury agreed and awarded him $15,000. But the jury also found that Turner filed his suit after the statute of limitations expired, and denied him the money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

News Story...

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

[with link to the questionnaire]

Following is the text of an email that Catholics for Ministry are in the process of sending out to the signatories of the petition that went to the Australian Bishops last year. Tomorrow we will be publishing a more extended commentary from Dr Paul Collins that explains the process of how bishops are selected and the significance of this development today. Dr Collins informed me a little while ago that he has had a very friendly exchange of correspondence with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Lazzarotto, following their communication of their concerns to him. …Editor

Covering letter to Petition signatories…

Dear Signatory,

We are writing to you as a signatory to the Petition to the Australian Bishops on the future of the Eucharistic and sacramental ministry in Australia, or as one who responded to the Catholics for Ministry homepage (www.catholicsforministry.com.au) contact address.

A document headed 'Questionnaire for Episcopal Candidates' came into our possession some four weeks ago. A copy of the Questionnaire is attached as a pdf document (See: www.catholica.com.au/breakingnews/Episcopal Questionnaire 08.pdf). This is the document that is sent out by the Papal Nuncio to carefully selected people (mainly bishops and priests) sounding out their views as to the suitability of specific priests for Episcopal office in Australia. You will notice it is headed 'sub secreto pontificio'. We have been assured that canonically this is a meaningless phrase. We have already informed the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, that we have a copy of the Questionnaire.

We pointed out to Archbishop Lazzarotto that we were dismayed and scandalized by the Questionnaire. It seems to us a totally inadequate way of choosing candidates for the episcopate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Book about assaults by pedophile priest gets published and 30 more victims of same perp come forward, probably just the tip of the iceberg

NEW YORK
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

"I’ve sent the bishop eight survivors of Neary and each one said the bishop told them they were the only person that had come forward about Neary," said Charles Bailey, pictured at right. He is getting justice today for brutal sex crimes committed against him at age ten by Father Thomas Neary, by putting his story out in the public. His book In The Shadow Of The Cross gives graphic shocking disgusting PTSD-inducing detail of the serial felonies, and you cannot put it down. More alarming, Bailey went on a small book tour in the Syracuse area where the book takes place, and in venue after venue, people came up after he spoke and said, "my brother was also raped by Neary," or my uncle, my husband, my dad - dozens of people with the same horrid story of the same horrid modus operandi.

With young Bailey and numerous others, Neary insinuated himself into families, convinced reverent mothers that their young boys were almost perfect for the priesthood, they just needed personal counseling. In household after household in towns like Onondaga Hill, Hannibal, Jordan, and Skaneateles, Father Neary convinced mothers to keep the rest of the children aside as he took a 9 or 10 year old boy into a room - then while reciting The Lord’s Prayer he sodomized them, prepubescent boys, or forced his face-sized penis into the their mouths, all the time telling the boys that sodomy and fellatio are part of their training to be a priest.

In the Shadow of the Cross tells so outlandish a story, even I began to wonder if it could be true, especially since Charles Bailey says probably 30 people have come to him so far, saying they or a family member were assaulted by Neary. Yet, NONE OF THEM will tell their story alongside Charlie in public, or even to a reporter or blogger like me, even if we keep details anonymous.

No one will go public yet at least.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

It's the Catholic Church, Not Corporation

UNITED STATES
Business Week

By Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz

Catholic bishops are having a hard time finding candidates who can manage as well as they preach, but they're also finding it hard to find ones who can preach, period. The preaching is primary, and management way down on their list of priorities. After all, Jesus didn't say, "Go out to all the world and manage well."

That's not to say the Catholic Church should ignore sound business practices. Contrary to common perception—and some of the readers who responded to Douglas MacMillan's "A Business Plan for the Catholic Church" (BusinessWeek.com, 9/30/08)—the Church has had human resource and finance "departments" for her entire 20 centuries of existence.

If you think of Peter as the first "shop floor manager" and Judas Iscariot as the CFO for Jesus and the Apostles, then Judas showed no loyalty to his CEO and betrayed the whole enterprise during the high point of the world's most famous company retreat. The Acts of the Apostles and St. Paul's letters record numerous instances of collections, the buying and selling of houses, and other monetary transactions by the first Christians. Monasteries became and remained places of production and commerce, as witnessed by the enormous success of the Cistercian monastery in Sparta, Wis., that started LaserMonks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Not the Catholic Church? (Part III): LAT Misses Further Sex Abuse Charges Against School Aide

LOS ANGELES (CA)
News Busters

By Dave Pierre
October 26, 2008 - 23:05 ET

A man who was a special education aide for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) "already accused of videotaping himself molesting teenage girls in his private basketball program," was charged October 17 with "having sexual contact with four more, including one who says he took her to a local hotel room for a weekend of sex" (LA Daily News). "In all, seven girls, most about 15, [have] told police [the man] had talked dirty, fondled or performed sexual acts on them ... [T]he former Birmingham High assistant football coach faces 14 felony and three misdemeanor charges, and more than 30 years in prison if he's convicted, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Alisanne Scolnik."

Yet one place you won't read about this story is in the Los Angeles Times. Do you think if this man were a Catholic priest, the Times would fail to report these new awful allegations against this guy? Of course not. The guy was arrested originally back in June, stemming from charges involving a single girl. Indeed, the Times did report the original arrest. But where's the follow-up?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

October 26, 2008

Wisconsin: Religious leader dies after beating

WISCONSIN
Telegraph Herald

AUGUSTA, Wis. (AP) -- The founder of a small religious group that opposes embalming has died 10 days after being beaten at her Augusta home.

Sheriff's officials said they forwarded reports on the death of Kathryn Padilla, 62, to the Eau Claire County district attorney for possible additional charges against a man accused of the beating. ...

She was in the news six years ago when charged with two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct for writing threatening letters to two funeral homes in Eau Claire.

The letters were delivered just days after two funeral home workers were killed in Hudson, about 65 miles away. Padilla initially was considered a suspect in the slayings, but police found no evidence of involvement by her or her followers.

A judge has since reviewed all the evidence and concluded that the Hudson deaths were committed by a Catholic priest who later committed suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

100,000-euro birthday bash for pope's brother: report

GERMANY
AFP

BERLIN (AFP) — A diocese in southern Germany plans to spend 100,000 euros (130,000 dollars) on a birthday bash at the Vatican for the Pope Benedict XVI's elder brother, a magazine report said Sunday.

Georg Ratzinger, who is himself a priest, turns 85 on January 15 and wants Mozart's Mass in C-Minor performed for him in the world-famous Sistine Chapel, German weekly Focus reported. ...

The bill is causing some irritation in Regensburg where the diocese's main sources of income are church tax and rent on properties that it owns, the magazine said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Catholic Group Slams Costly Rome Mass for Pope's Brother

GERMANY
Deutche Welle

Plans for a costly mass in Rome to celebrate the birthday of Pope Benedict's elder brother have been criticized by a Catholic lay group in Germany, the weekly news magazine Focus reported Sunday.

Georg Ratzinger, a retired priest and the former music director of the world-famous Regensburg Cathedral Boys Choir, will celebrate his 85th birthday on Jan.15. He still lives in Regensburg.

The Catholic Diocese of Regensburg plans to spend 100,000 euros ($126,000) flying 90 boy choristers and 37 musicians to Rome to perform a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart mass in the Sixtine Chapel in the Vatican especially for him. Ratzinger reportedly chose the Mozart mass when asked what he would like for this birthday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Plea proposed in sex abuse case

SANDPOINT (ID)
Bonner County Daily Bee

By KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor

SANDPOINT - A plea agreement is pending in the case of a Montana man accused of fondling a preteen girl while he was serving as a pastor at Priest Lake several years ago.

Stephen D. Bicknell pleaded guilty earlier this month to a reduced charge of aggravated battery as part of a plea agreement. His sentencing is set for Nov. 20 in 1st District Court.

The defense and the state asked District Judge Steve Verby to bind himself to the sentencing recommendations without the defendant undergoing a psychosexual evaluation.

Bicknell pleaded guilty to the amended charge on Oct. 10, but Verby declined to guarantee he would adopt the agreement without reviewing the results of a presentence investigation or a psychosexual evaluation, which assesses a defendant's sexual behaviors and risk of re-offending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Church will sell land to pay victims of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Gavin Lower | October 27, 2008
THE Anglican Church in Adelaide has voted to sell off part of its historic archbishop's residence, freeing up money to pay compensation commitments to church sex abuse victims.

Synod members met yesterday and agreed to break up Bishop's Court, the home of Adelaide's Anglican archbishops since 1856, by subdividing a 1000sqm section of the grounds that used to be a tennis court.

Archbishop Jeffrey Driver said the decision to subdivide theproperty, near St Peter's Cathedral in North Adelaide, was subject to approval from another church body and himself. However, Archbishop Driver said he had indicated he would consent to the sale of the land, expected to fetch about $1.4 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Report Lists Alamo’s Properties

ARKANSAS
Times Record

Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:24 AM CDT
By Amy Sherrill

TIMES RECORD • ASHERRILL@SWTIMES.COM

As Fort Smith police continued to search Friday for a follower of evangelist Tony Alamo accused of beating a 17-year-old boy, details of the organization’s local ties were released.

Eight residences, two warehouses, two businesses, an apartment complex and a church are listed as owned by the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, according to documents released by authorities.

The church at 4401 Windsor Drive is the most well-known property as it is listed on the Christian Ministries Web site. Two warehouses are at 800 S. Fourth St. and 2921 State Line Road. Jeanne Apartments, 5201 Spradling Ave., and businesses in the 300 block of South 10th street and the 3100 block of North 50th Street are among the organization’s Fort Smith properties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Tony Alamo

ARKANSAS
Log Cabin Democrat

There is too much advance hoo-raw leading up to Halloween, and now we have this Tony Alamo unpleasantness with us.

Golly, we may have dozed, but we thought we got rid of this particular creep years ago when he slipped away from that Alma compound under cover of night. Now he pops back up in another corner of Arkansas, at Fouke, south of Texarkana, and news reports tell us that some operations have been going on at Fort Smith too.

Very quickly here, let us express our strong belief in freedom of religion. It's guaranteed in the United States Constitution, but Tony Alamo and religion are apples and oranges.

Somebody who promotes, encourages and enforces the practice of taking Barbie dolls away from young girls and pushing them into beds of middle-aged men isn't pursuing a religious practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Rapist pastor faces 10 years in prison

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

October 26 2008 at 01:42PM

A Johannesburg pastor accused of the rape and indecent assault of his secretaries is facing a possible 10 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of rape.

Pastor Errol Jacobs, a pastor at the Family Worship Centre in Hurst Hill, will know his fate next month when Magistrate Naomi Manaka will hand down his sentence.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Bishop: Accept church merger

COLONIE (NY)
Schenectady Gazette

By Tatiana Zarnowski
Gazette Reporter

COLONIE — A Rochester bishop who was raised in Saratoga County implored members of his home diocese to accept changes next year with an open heart.

Bishop Matthew H. Clark, who was initiated in St. Mary’s parish in Waterford and now heads the Rochester Diocese, addressed head-on the Albany Diocese plan to consolidate churches starting next year.

“I would guess that you all have mixed feelings about this,” Clark said during his keynote address at the annual Parish Convening of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany at Christian Brothers Academy on Saturday.

Clark, who is a friend of Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, addressed the difficulty local Catholics will face as their parishes undergo change as part of the “Called to BE Church” pastoral planning process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Convicted Catholic priest faces indefinite custody, Winnebago County jury to decide fate

WISCONSIN
The Northwestern

By Jennifer K. Woldt • of The Northwestern • October 26, 2008

A Winnebago County jury will decide next month whether a Catholic priest who sexually assaulted two boys in the 1980s meets the criteria to be classified as a sexually violent person and remain in custody indefinitely.

Father Norbert Maday, 70, the former associate pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge parish in Chicago Ridge, Ill., was convicted of sexually assaulting two altar boys while on a church outing to The Place 2B in 1986. Maday was sentenced to 20 years in prison on two second-degree sexual assault convictions in 1994.

Prosecutors filed a petition to classify Maday as a sexually violent person on Oct. 6, 2007, less than one month before Maday was scheduled to be released from Stanley Correctional Institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Utah residents make polygamy forefront of AG race

UTAH
Fox News

Saturday, October 25, 2008

By BROCK VERGAKIS, Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY — Polygamy is never far from the minds of Utah residents _ even when it occurs in another state.

A raid on a polygamist compound in Texas earlier this year that put more 400 kids in state custody has become one of the biggest issues in the race for Utah attorney general.

Republican Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Democratic challenger Jean Welch Hill both told The Associated Press that the first question they are asked by voters is always about polygamy, even as they try to focus on other issues.

"They all want to know what we're doing and continue to plan to do in regard to the polygamy issue," Shurtleff said. "They encourage us to make sure we go down that road and hold these guys responsible who use religion to hurt kids."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

More girls cite abuse by Storie

GOUVERNEUR (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2008
GOUVERNEUR — Several more girls have come forward alleging they were victimized by Robert D. Storie, a state police investigator said Friday.

The Gouverneur man is accused of repeatedly fondling two girls at Richville Baptist Church. The 59-year-old was charged Tuesday with five counts of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of child endangerment, all misdemeanors.

He is accused of fondling the girls — ages 15 and 12 — after coaxing them to hug him while attending the church at 209 Main St. during the past two months, state police investigators said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Jury: Bishop did not commit fraud

PENNSYLVANIA
Observer-Reporter

Associated Press
NORRISTOWN - An Episcopal bishop did not commit fraud in the process that led to the defrocking of a priest in his Pennsylvania diocese, a jury found.

The Rev. David Moyer had alleged in a civil lawsuit that Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. fraudulently removed him from the priesthood in 2002. He asked for unspecified damages for loss of employment and mental suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

October 25, 2008

Southern Baptist mission board to screen those going abroad

UNITED STATES
Winston-Salem Journal

By Journal Staff

Published: October 25, 2008

The Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board has requested that participants in its short-term mission trips pass background checks before leaving for the field.

The new child-protection policy, which is not mandatory and would not apply to missions trips taken independently of the mission board, was approved at a September meeting of trustees. It will become effective Jan. 1, the board announced.

The process will include references, a criminal background check and an interview by local churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

2 lawyers in FLDS custody case quit

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News
Published: Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008

Two of the government lawyers handling the massive child custody case involving the Fundamentalist LDS Church have quit.

"It is with great regret that I hereby tender my resignation as staff attorney for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, effective Nov. 1, 2008, or at whatever earlier date may be most convenient and least disruptive to the operations of the agency," Charles Childress wrote in a resignation letter obtained by the Deseret News.

Childress, a highly regarded family law attorney who wrote many of the agency's courtroom policies when he worked there from 1997-2001, was brought back specifically to handle the FLDS case in July. Contacted by the Deseret News on Friday, Childress would not say why he was leaving.

"I really can't talk about it at all," Childress said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Ex-church official pleads guilty to sexual assault

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
The Gazette

October 24, 2008
DENNIS HUSPENI
THE GAZETTE
A former associate pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church pleaded guilty late Thursday to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old parishioner and will likely serve no more than 60 days in jail.

Jon Moore, 52, of Colorado Springs pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. That felony normally carries a range of up to 12 years in prison, but Moore will serve 60 days in jail or nine months with work release if 4th Judicial District Judge Larry Schwartz approves the agreement.

The deal was mediated by Senior District Judge Richard Toth, according to court records.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Debbie Pearson said Friday the victim and her family agreed to the plea deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Jury finds Episcopal bishop did not commit fraud in defrocking of priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Ledger-Enquirer

By DAVID O'REILLY - The Philadelphia Inquirer --
Related Content
http://www.philly.com/

PHILADELPHIA --In a verdict based on a narrow legal question, a Montgomery County Court jury in Pennsylvania found Friday that Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. did not commit fraud in the process that led to the defrocking of a priest in the Pennsylvania Diocese.

In a potentially precedent-setting civil case, the Rev. David Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, alleged that Bennison, head of the five-county diocese, fraudulently removed him from the priesthood in 2002. Moyer's lawsuit asked for unspecified damages for loss of employment and mental suffering.

Moyer v. Bennison attracted international attention, especially in the theologically fractured Anglican Communion, to which the 2 million-member Episcopal Church USA belongs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Is religion becoming a form of mind control?

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Religion & Spirituality Examiner

October 24, 11:03 AM
by Kevin Masterson, Los Angeles Religion & Spirituality Examiner
It really scares me to see how religion appears to becoming more & more a form of mind control of people. Growing up Catholic, I was taught that I had a “free will.” Yet a great deal of what I was taught did not teach me to think for myself, but instead to just “do what I was told” by those in authority—nuns, priests & the hierarchy of the Catholic Church—mind control.

Under the Constitution, we are given the right to do our own thinking, to have freedom of religion & most importantly to have separation of church & state. However more & more religious leaders are telling their “followers” how to vote. I just watched a documentary, “Friends of God”. Jerry Falwell tells the students at Liberty University “that the school can’t tell people how to vote, but I can” to thunderous applause. The pastor of Wasilla, AK Assembly of God told his congregation in 2004 that people who voted for John Kerry would “burn in hell.” Catholic bishops in “swing states” such as Pennsylvania, Ohio & Colorado have publicly denounced pro-choice candidates in this election. They say “vote your conscience” which would be free will but they are leading them to only vote for “pro-life” candidates. They are really not allowing their congregations to really make their own decisions as they are emotionally manipulating them through guilt, a form of mind control. ...

Given the Catholic Church’s horrific track record with the clergy sexual abuse crisis, they can no longer claim to hold a position of “moral authority” on anything. How can they argue that they are trying to keep a baby safe, when they don’t believe in keeping young children safe from pedophile & ephebophile priests?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Priest Guilty Of Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

Defrocked Catholic priest Donald McGuire was convicted Friday of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him.

The jury deliberated a total of less than three hours Thursday and Friday before convicting the former priest of both counts in the indictment.
The trial before U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer lasted 2 1/2 weeks.

McGuire sat stoically as Pallmeyer announced the verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Groups ask Diocese to stop priest's Mass

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

By TERRY BIBO
of the Journal Star
Posted Oct 24, 2008 @ 08:01 PM

PEORIA — Four religious groups have asked Catholic Diocese of Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky to stop a priest accused of sexual misconduct from saying a special Mass today.

The Fellowship of Southern Illinois Laity, Voice of the Faithful and Call to Action joined with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests to issue a joint statement and letter. They want to keep the Rev. Thomas Szydlik from celebrating Mass with Jenky for the 100th anniversary of Sacred Heart Mission in Dallas City.

"For the sake of his accuser, clergy sex abuse victims and Peoria Catholics, we beg you to stop the priest from participating in the mass," says a portion of the letter sent to the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Illinois: Ex-Priest Guilty of Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
The New York Times

By CATRIN EINHORN
Published: October 24, 2008

A once prominent Jesuit priest was convicted in federal court in Chicago of engaging in sexual activity with a teenage boy who accompanied him on religious trips to Europe and Minnesota in 2000 and 2001.

Prosecutors described the priest, Donald J. McGuire, 78, who was defrocked in February, as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who used his position to gain the trust of families and then sexually abused boys under the guise of teaching them lessons and making them more spiritually pure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Jury convicts ex-Jesuit priest of sex abuse of 13-year-old boy

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen and Manya Brachear | Tribune reporters
October 25, 2008

Donald McGuire sat hunched in his wheelchair in a federal courtroom Friday with his face locked in a frown, a shell of the charismatic priest who traveled the world to hold religious retreats and advise Mother Teresa.

McGuire listened as a federal jury convicted him of traveling to engage in sex acts with a teen he had taken on trips to Minnesota, Switzerland and Austria.

It was the latest dark chapter for a 78-year-old former clergyman described by authorities as one of the most prolific sexual predators ever to hide behind a priest's robes. He is thought to have abused dozens of victims since joining the Jesuit order more than four decades ago, investigators have said.

He was convicted in 2006 in Wisconsin of molesting two students from Loyola Academy in Wilmette during trips near Lake Geneva in the 1960s and sentenced to 7 years in prison. He also faces additional criminal charges in Arizona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Abell's testimony contradicts remarks of Shaver, Dunlop

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The former head of the local Children's Aid Society gave the Cornwall Public Inquiry his own slant Friday on the early stages of his agency's 1993-94 investigation into abuse allegations involving a local priest.

Parts of Richard Abell's testimony contradicted remarks made by Claude Shaver, chief of the Cornwall Police Service from 1984 until 1994,when he took the stand at the inquiry in June, as well as a sworn statement by former cop Perry Dunlop.

In 1993, Dunlop showed Abell a copy of the allegations that David Silmser, who had been an altar boy at St. Columban's Church in the 1960s and 1970s, had made to the CPS that previous December.

Silmser had alleged that Rev. Charles MacDonald, a parish priest, had sexually abused him when he was a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

October 24, 2008

Teacher sentenced in child rape

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazete

By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
sfoskett@telegram.com

WORCESTER— A former Seven Hills Charter Public School music teacher pleaded guilty today to child rape charges in Worcester Superior Court.

Tyrone D. Forbes, 49, of 84 Chatham St., Apt. 2, was arrested in April on three charges of child rape involving a 15-year-old boy who was not a student at the school. ...

Mr. Forbes was arrested during the early morning hours of April 3 after he and the boy were found together in the teacher’s pickup in the parking lot of Bennett Field on Main Street. Prosecutors at Mr. Forbes’ arraignment said that Mr. Forbes, who was also an elder at Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ on Wellington Street, admitted to investigators that he had been involved in a five-month sexual relationship with the teenager. Prosecutors said he had acted as a “mentor” for the boy, who attended the same church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

NORRISTOWN, PA: The Trial of Charles E. Bennison - Day Five

PENNSYLVANIA
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
10/24/2008

The verdict came in less than three hours after the jury recessed to consider the case of fraud brought against Charles E. Bennison, the deposed Bishop of Pennsylvania, by Fr. David L. Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA

There were five charges. On the first charge of fraud - the false termination of employment of Fr. Moyer by Bennison - the gatekeeper charge - the jury simply said no. The vote was 10 no, 2 yes.

Four other charges were then considered null and void.

The defeat took everyone by surprise. Bennison turned and kissed his counsel Mary Kohart on the cheek. Fr. Moyer and his wife Rita hugged each other. She was in tears.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Alamo follower faces charges he hit people at church

ARKANSAS
KTBS

An alleged enforcer for jailed evangelist Tony Alamo faces a felony battery charge after former followers told authorities he beat members of Alamo's church.

Authorities said John Erwin Kolbeck of Fort Smith has not been seen since federal and state agents searched Alamo's compound in Fouke last month.

Reports released by police in Fort Smith, where Alamo has a church, said one teen told detectives Kolbeck beat him with a board until it broke earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

SA Anglicans spend $5m on sex abuse settlements

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide says progress is being made in settling sexual abuse claims against the church.

Jeffery Driver says the church has spent more than $5 million on settlements - not including legal costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

More abuse allegations surface

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Men claiming to be sexual abuse victims of a priest who served in Grande Pointe 50 years ago will appeal for information about the man at a news conference Monday.

The men all served as altar boys at St. Philippe’s parish.

Rob Talach, a lawyer with London firm Ledroit Beckett, said five lawsuits are being filed concerning alleged sexual misconduct by Father Lawrence Paquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Priest was among first to address abuse issue

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune

Last update: October 24, 2008 - 2:35 PM

The Rev. Michael O'Connell has gotten plenty of public acknowledgment for launching the Basilica Block Party, a concert designed to raise awareness and money for the Basilica of St. Mary that in the process has turned into an annual musical highlight.

Now he's finally getting accolades for something he did in private. On Sunday afternoon at the basilica, he will receive a Priest of Integrity award for leading the charge in dealing with clergy sexual abuse issues, not only in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis but also nationwide.

"It was through his efforts that this archdiocese was one of the first to have a policy on education of all church leaders as well as clear steps for reporting any abuse," said the Twin Cities chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, a Roman Catholic lay group, in nominating O'Connell for the award. "Had other dioceses moved as quickly and openly, perhaps the abuse would have been mitigated much sooner than it was."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Friday: More Victims For Church Groper?

NEW YORK
Fox 28

As many as four more girls may have been victimized by a man at the Richville Baptist Chapel, state police said Friday.

Investigators told 7 News reporter John Friot the girls have come forward in the wake of the arrest earlier this week of Robert Storie, 59, of Gouverneur.

Storie was accused of fondling two girls - one age 12 and the other 15 - while attending church. The incidents took place up until last week, when the girls went to their parents, police said.

Storie was charged with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Greek priest convicted of arson

GREECE
PR-Inside (Austria)

2008-10-24 21:41:02 -

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) - A court has convicted a Greek Orthodox priest for arson after he firebombed the car of a man he accused of having an affair with his wife.

Officials at a court in the northern city of Veroia said the 60-year-old priest was convicted Friday and sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for the 2006 attack. He was released from prison pending appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

25th Annual Fordham Debate: Polygamy

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
S.J. Quinney College of Law
University of Utah

October 22, 2008

Video of a debate between Marci Hamilton and Kirk Torgensen, Utah's Chief Deputy Attorney General

Marci Hamilton is the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and author of God vs. Gavel and Justice Denied, which address the dangers authoritarian religions pose for children.

Kirk Torgensen is Chief Deputy Attorney General Office of the Utah Attorney General, who assisted in the two highest-profile prosecutions of Utah polygamists.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:34 PM

Prominent former priest convicted of abusing boy

CHICAGO (IL)
The Associated Press

By MIKE ROBINSON

CHICAGO (AP) — A prominent former Roman Catholic priest was convicted Friday of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him.

Donald McGuire, 78, was convicted after jurors deliberated less than three hours Thursday and Friday in the 2 1/2-week trial. The federal charge involved taking a minor across state lines for sex.

The white-haired former priest sat stoically in his wheelchair as U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer read the verdict that could result in a 30-year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

'Adoption' bishop gets suspended

INDIA
BBC News

The Vatican has suspended a Catholic bishop in India who adopted a young woman as his "spiritual daughter", sparking outrage in the community.

Bishop John Thattungal, 58, from the southern state of Kerala met the 26-year-old unmarried woman on a pilgrimage and decided to adopt her.

He said the relationship had given him a "spiritual renewal", citing the woman's extraordinary spiritual powers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Pope summons Bishop to Vatican, committee appointed

INDIA
Zee News

Kochi, Oct 24: Pope Benedict XVI has summoned Kerala's suspended Bishop John Thatunkal, who is at the centre of a row over adoption of a 39-year-old woman, even as a three-member committee was today appointed to probe into the allegations against him.

"The Pope has summoned Thatunkal to the Vatican to gather first hand information about the adoagencieson row and other allegations against him," Kerala Catholic Bishops council (KCBC) secretary and spokesperson Father Stephen Althara told agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Former priest convicted of sexual abuse of minor

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 24, 2008

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former Catholic priest Donald McGuire was convicted Friday of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him.

The jury deliberated a total of less than three hours Thursday and Friday before convicting the former priest of both counts in the indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Defrocked Priest Guilty Of Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Defrocked Catholic priest Donald McGuire was convicted Friday of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him.

The jury deliberated a total of less than three hours Thursday and Friday before convicting the former priest of both counts in the indictment.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer lasted 2 1/2 weeks.

McGuire sat stoically as Pallmeyer announced the verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Ex-priest found guilty in sex trial

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

October 24, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Donald McGuire, the defrocked Jesuit priest who once served as a spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa, was convicted today in federal court in Chicago of engaging in sexual acts with a minor during trips abroad between 2000 and 2002.

The victim, identified in court only as Dominick, testified the abuse started when he was 13.

To buttress the government case, four additional witnesses testified that McGuire also molested them during overseas trips when they were underage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Cross purposes

NEWBURYPORT (MA)
Wicked Local Newburyport

By Alyson Aiello
Fri Oct 24, 2008, 10:15 AM EDT

Newburyport -
When shopping season begins to slow in the Port and snow covers the sidewalks, you’ll still find Helen Wisocki-Tierney working at her store, Headlines Boutique, at Merrimac Landing. But rather than setting up a new display or pricing new arrivals, you might find her leaning closer to her computer screen, writing.

Wisocki-Tierney, who had always wanted to write a book but never found the right inspiration, fell into fiction writing by accident in 1999. She had traveled to her hometown of Dearborn, Mich., to attend her 30th high school reunion, where she reconnected with an old classmate, Curt Szajnecki. The two had “an instant attraction,” she said. They spent the evening catching up, and she found herself especially interested in the story Szajnecki told of his recent divorce.

The story begins when Szajnecki and his wife started attending a new church with their four daughters. The family, who Wisocki-Tierney described as devout, quickly became active members in the church. It was Szajnecki’s wife, however, who became especially attached.

According to Wisocki-Tierney, the pastor of the Methodist church, who was 20 years the woman’s senior and whose wife was dying of cancer, took a particular liking to Szajnecki’s wife and began “grooming” her for increasing involvement in the church. The events that followed are described by Wisocki-Tierney as a “methodical dissection” of the family at the hands of the pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Priests’ convocation to focus on trauma

OHIO
The Catholic Telegraph

By Eileen Connelly, OSU

DAYTON DEANERY — When the priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati gather for their annual convocation at Incarnation Parish in Centerville on Oct. 29, they will hear about a subject particularly relevant to their ministry today. Father Kenneth Schmidt, a licensed mental health professional and co-founder of the diocesan Trauma Recovery Program in Kalamazoo, Mich., will speak to the clergy members on the topic of "Trauma and Pastoral Care: How We Handle Stressful Situations and Help Others do the Same."

Father Schmidt, who also serves as pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish in Kalamazoo, said his talk would focus on "how we, as priests, are handling the trauma that is going on in the church, and how we are going to be good pastoral caregivers to others."

Since 2002 the Trauma Recovery Program in Kalamazoo has reached out to any adult Catholic who is a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect. In a 2005 article, "Signs of Unresolved Trauma," Father Schmidt notes that, depending on the definition used, 10 to 50 percent of children experience some form of trauma. "Untreated childhood trauma affects an adult’s ability to be a healthy and productive member of society," he wrote. "The effects of trauma include injury to the mind and spirit as well as the physical body. Survivors of trauma commonly and consistently display recognizable and predictable patterns of unhealthy behavior that can be changed and healed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Meredith priest jailed on child porn charges

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Joel Cresswell

October 24th, 2008

BREAKING NEWS A FORMER Meredith priest who kept images of a boy masturbating has been held in custody ahead of sentencing next month.

Edmund John Haines has pleaded guilty to six counts of an indecent act with a child under 16, procurement of a minor for child pornography and possessing child porn.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Ex-priest pleads guilty to sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Age

October 24, 2008

A former priest who kept slow-motion footage of a boy masturbating among his child-porn stash has been held in custody before being sentenced next month.

Edmund John Haines, 62, has pleaded guilty to six counts of an indecent act with a child under 16, procurement of a minor for child pornography and possessing child porn.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Vatican suspends Kerala bishop over adoption issue

INDIA
The Times of India

KOCHI: A bishop who raised a storm following his decision to adopt a young woman as his daughter has been suspended.

The order to suspend bishop John Thattunkal of Kochi was issued by Pope Benedict XVI and conveyed to Verapoly Arch Bishop Daniel Acharuparambil, who is the supreme head of the Latin Catholics in Kerala, and conveyed later this evening.

The Arch Bishop has been appointed as Apostolic administrator of the Kochi Dioceses with full authority, sources close to the Arch Bishop said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Vatican suspends Indian bishop over "adoption" row

INDIA
Reuters

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India (Reuters) - The Vatican has suspended a bishop in the south Indian state of Kerala after a furore over his adoption of a young woman as his "spiritual daughter," the state's Catholic bishops' council said.

Bishop John Thattungal, 58, of the diocese in Kochi city, met the 26-year old unmarried woman on a pilgrimage, and adopted her, saying she had extraordinary spiritual powers and that the relationship had given him a "spiritual renewal."

Thattungal's move created an uproar in the regional media in Kerala, which recently celebrated India's first woman saint Alphonsa, who also hailed from the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Adoption row: 3-member council to probe

INDIA
Kerala Online

Kochi, Friday, October 24, 2008: It has been decided that a three-member Bishops council, appointed by Verapoly Arch Bishop Daniel Acharuparambil, will probe the allegations against Bishop John Thattunkal in the adoption issue and submit its report to the Arch Bishop. Which would be later send to Pope.

The Bishop council consist Kottapuram Bishop Dr Francis Kallarackal, Vijayapuram Bishop Sebastian Thekethecherriland and Dr Vincent Samuel.

Meanwhile, the Pope has summoned Bishop John Thattunkal to Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Judicial independence key to LaForme's resignation

CANADA
Globe and Mail

JOE FRIESEN
From Friday's Globe and Mail

October 23, 2008 at 8:58 PM EDT

As Mr. Justice Harry LaForme agonized over whether to stay on as chairman of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he was faced with the question of whether he wanted to spend five years fighting for his own independence and authority.

The 61-year-old Ontario Court of Appeal judge consulted commission counsel Owen Young, whom Judge LaForme had stood by despite the opposition of some native groups to his hiring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Record beyond reproach

CANADA
Globe and Mail

JOSEPH DI LUCA

October 24, 2008

Toronto -- Justice Harry LaForme's resignation as chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission is truly a troubling event (Native Leaders Divided Over Future Of Residential Schools Panel - Oct. 22). More troubling is the unhelpful comments of some leaders of the aboriginal community.

Bill Wuttunee suggested that Judge LaForme was less than qualified for the position. He then asked if Judge LaForme had "the enthusiasm to work in that position or was he too lazy?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

SBC Urges Background Checks for Short-Term Missions

UNITED STATES
Crosswalk

Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

October 24, 2008

(RNS) -- The Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board has requested that participants in its short-term mission trips pass background checks before leaving for the field.

The new child protection policy, which is not mandatory and would not apply to missions trips taken independently of the IMB, was approved at a September meeting of trustees. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2009, the board announced.

"Children are a precious resource entrusted to us and their care and protection is a top priority," reads an executive summary of the policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Arrest Warrant Issued For Employee Of Tony Alamo Ministries

ARKANSAS
KHBS/KHOG

John Erwin Kolbeck, of Fort Smith, is wanted on charges of beating a young man who once belonged to evangelist Tony Alamo's Ministry.

According to a police report, Seth Calagna was beaten while working at a salvage warehouse in Fort Smith earlier this year.

Calagna told police the beating happened after he made a sarcastic remark after being told that he resembled the fictional wizard character Harry Potter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Fr Mpinganjira shamed in another adulterous case

MALAWI
Nyasa Times

Nyasa Times 24 October, 2008 01:57:00

Malawi Roman Catholic priest, Father Joseph Mpinganjira who is at the centre of many accusations for his sexual romps with married women, has been named again in another case of causing break down of marriage.

The hot-blooded priest is named as causing the break down of marriage of Dora ‘Nachanza’ Salamba and Danny Makwinja.

Fr Mpinganjira sired a child with Dora who lives in Area 3 in Lilongwe. Makwinja has since written the head of Roman Catholic church, His Grace Archbishop Traciscious Ziyaye to complain about the issue.

Nyasa Times has in possession Makwinja’s letter and a reply from the Archbishop acknowledging receipt of the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Jury deliberating in McGuire case

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen | Tribune reporter
October 24, 2008

A federal jury Thursday began deliberating the fate of a former Jesuit priest accused of molesting boys during religious retreats after lawyers clashed over whether the accusers made up the abuse to make money.

The two-week trial was highlighted by the testimony of the chief victim, known as Dominick, and four others who claim Donald McGuire, 78, engaged in sexual conduct with them. McGuire, once a spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa, was portrayed by prosecutors as a serial molester leading a double life who used his travels to isolate the minors from their trusting parents.

In her closing argument, Assistant U.S. Atty. April Perry called McGuire "a sexual predator disguised as a priest" and said Dominick was repeatedly abused "by a man that he called 'Father.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Judge set to rule on whether Belleville Diocese will get new trial on sex abuse case

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK - News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- During a brief hearing Thursday, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto said he would rule within a week on whether the Belleville Diocese will be granted a new trial regarding a 2002 lawsuit brought by a former altar boy who said he was sexually abused by a priest.

St. Louis attorney David Wells, who represents the diocese, and Mike Weilmuenster, who appeared on behalf of plaintiff David Wisniewski, declined to make oral arguments and said they would depend on their submitted motions.

Wisniewski won $5-million in damages on Aug. 27 after an eight-day trial. Testimony indicated that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki sexually abused Wisniewski for five years beginning when he was 13 and that diocesan officials covered up the abuse went unrefuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Jail for former Christian Brother, teacher

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

24th October 2008, 17:30 WST

A former teacher and Christian Brother has been handed a jail term after admitting he sexually abused two young boys during Catholic school camps in the mid 1980s.

The 57-year-old, who was working at a WA Catholic boys’ college in the mid 1980s when he molested two 10-year-old students in separate school camps, was sentenced to ten months jail in the District Court after pleading guilty to both crimes.

The term will be served on top of a two-and-a-half year sentence handed to him last year for sex crimes against three other boys at the college during the mid 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

October 23, 2008

Pope suspends Bishop of Cochin

INDIA
Indian Express

Shaju Philip
Posted: Oct 24, 2008 at 2300 hrs IST

Thiruvananthapuram, October 23 : The Vatican on Thursday suspended Bishop John Thattunkal of the Latin Catholic diocese of Cochin on charges of adopting a young woman for his “spiritual refreshment”, marking the first action against a prelate in the 2000 years of the Catholic Church in the country. In another coincidence, the beleaguered Cochin diocese, established in 1557, is the first diocese in India.

“The Bishop has been suspended from the administrative responsibility of Cochin diocese; instead Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil, of Verapoly Archdiocese, has been given charge of the diocese. The suspension would come into effect from tomorrow itself,” said the Archbishop’s public relations officer Fr Yesudas Pazhambally, quoting the communiqué from Pope Benedict XVI.

A three-member Bishops’ panel would conduct a detailed inquiry into the adoption, which had snowballed into a major scandal. But Thattunkal could continue as a bishop until the final verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Pope suspends Kochi Bishop

INDIA
Hindustan Times

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times
Thiruvananthapuram, October 24, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday suspended Kochi Bishop Mar John Thattumkal, who is in the eye of a storm for adopting a young woman. The Pope has also constituted a three-member panel to probe the charges against the bishop.

“Verapoly Arch-Bishop Father Daniel Acharuparapbhil has received a papal decree on Thursday evening. He has been asked to give give the charge to Verapoly Bishop immediately,” Kerala Catholic Bishop Council spokesman Father Stephen Althara said in Kochi.

Bishop John Thattumkal, also a known Canon law expert, had earlier called a meeting of parish priests and vicars to discuss the issue. At the meeting many priests had demanded the bishop to step down but he said he would if the Pope so desired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Pope bars bishop for adoption

INDIA
The Telegraph

JOHN MARY
Thiruvananthapuram, Oct. 23: Pope Benedict XVI has suspended a Kerala bishop for adopting an unmarried woman in violation of canon law and ordered a three-member panel to probe all the charges against him.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council spokesperson, Fr Stephen Alathara, said Kochi bishop John Thattungal today received a papal decree asking him to hand over charge to his immediate senior, Archbishop Daniel Acharuparampil.

Bishop Thattungal, 58, had adopted Sonia, 26, as his spiritual daughter at the office of the sub-registrar in Mattancherry on September 15. The woman spent a few days at the guest house on the premises of Bishop’s House. A priest of the Orthodox Church who had adopted Sonia as a child was also with her at the guest house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Bishop Bennison’s defense rests case

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

Montgomery County Court Judge Joseph Smyth, who is overseeing a unusual civil lawsuit brought by an Episcopal priest against his bishop, sent jurors home this afternoon after defense lawyers representing Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. rested their case.

John Lewis, who is representing the plaintiff, the Rev. David Moyer, told Smyth he was surprised by the suddenness of the defense's action and was not prepared to make closing arguments today.

Smyth ordered the trial to reconvene at 9 a.m. tomorrow for closing arguments and his instructions to the jurors, after which they will start deliberations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Kerala bishop suspended

INDIA
CathNews (Australia)

Published: October 24, 2008

Pope Benedict yesterday suspended Kochi, Kerala Bishop John Thattunkal pending an investigation of charges that he adopted a young woman for "spiritual refreshment".

The Indian Express reports it is the first action against a prelate in the 2000 years of the Catholic Church in India. In another coincidence, the beleaguered Kochi diocese, established in 1557, is the first Latin diocese in India, the paper says.

"The Bishop has been suspended from the administrative responsibility of Cochin diocese; instead Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil, of Verapoly Archdiocese, has been given charge of the diocese. The suspension would come into effect from tomorrow itself," said the Archbishop's public relations officer Fr Yesudas Pazhambally, quoting the communiqué from Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Jury deliberates priest abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

A jury is now deliberating the fate of former priest Donald McGuire.

During closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors told the jury that McGuire is a sexual predator who was disguised as a priest.

Defense attorneys say the alleged victim went to a civil lawyer to file a claim first before seeking anyone who would criminally prosecute the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Arrivederci: Anne Hathaway's Ex Headed to Prison

NEW YORK
E! Online

Today 3:28 PM PDT by Natalie Finn

Well, we know someone who won't be paying Raffaello Follieri any conjugal visits.

Despite his appeal for leniency, Anne Hathaway's Italian ex-boyfriend was sentenced to four and a half years in prison Thursday for bilking investors of $2.4 million by posing as an attaché for the Vatican in order to snatch up unused Roman Catholic Church property on the cheap.

On Sept. 10, Follieri, 30, pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud, five counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As part of the deal, the disgraced businessman, whom prosecutors called a "sophisticated scam artist," also agreed to forfeit all the money he "made," as well as 12 watches and nine pieces of jewelry purchased with shadily obtained sums. ...

"I have dishonored my family name and embarrassed the church I love," Follieri, speaking in Italian, said in a statement through an interpreter in the Manhattan courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Priest sex abuse retrial decision to be made within a week

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- During a brief hearing today, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto said he would rule within a week on whether the Belleville Diocese will be granted a new trial regarding a 2002 lawsuit brought by a former altar boy who said he was sexually abused by a priest.

St. Louis attorney David Wells, who represents the diocese, and Mike Weilmuenster, who appeared on behalf of plaintiff David Wisniewski, declined to make oral arguments and said they would depend on their submitted motions.

Wisniewski won $5-million in damages on Aug. 27 after an eight day trial. Testimony that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki sexually abused Wisniewski for five years beginning when he was 13 and that diocesan officials covered up the abuse went unrefuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Fort Worth priest's conviction in child abuse case tossed

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
shodges@dallasnews.com

A Texas appeals court has overturned the child abuse convictions of a Catholic priest who worked in the Fort Worth Diocese.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar remains in prison, but will get a new trial on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. He's alleged to have abused an 11-year-old boy in Eastland County, about 120 miles west of Dallas, in 1990.

The Court of Appeals of Texas, 11th District, ruled that a witness in Father Teczar's 2007 trial was not qualified to testify as an expert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Prosecutor blasts ex-priest in closing argument

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

October 23, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Closing arguments in the federal trial of former Catholic priest Donald McGuire have begun with prosecutors urging the jury to recognize him as "a sexual predator disguised as a priest."

Assistant U.S. Atty. April Perry verbally attacked the former spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa, pointing directly at him while accusing him of exploiting and abusing teenage boys whom he isolated on religious retreats.

McGuire, a now-defrocked Jesuit priest, is accused of traveling with an alleged victim, known in court as Dominick, to engage in sexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Cardinal's dismaying lapse on sex offender

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 23, 2008

For several months, Cardinal Francis George appeared to have learned from his failures in dealing with the child sex abuse scandal afflicting the Archdiocese of Chicago.

He apologized repeatedly for the church's failures in stopping criminal priests from molesting children. In August, he released his own confidential lawsuit deposition, which detailed his failures, as part of a $12.6 million settlement with 16 sexual abuse victims suing the church.

We were encouraged that the cardinal finally seemed to appreciate the depth of the problem and was doing his utmost to resolve it.

That is until this week, when the troubling news came that a Roman Catholic priest who had pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage boy was back working for a publishing arm of the archdiocese after the cardinal had assured his parishioners the man would not be returning to Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Fr. Mark Schmeider – A Priest of Integrity

OHIO
In the Vineyard

Submitted by Svea Fraser

The Priest Support Working Group honors selected clergy with a “Priest of Integrity” award for their noted courage and compassion in their ministry. But there are many untold stories of priests doing heroic service in their communities. We hope that highlighting the ones we have come to know will give us examples to follow and build hope in the often-unseen goodness that abounds.

In this issue, our spotlight shines on another of those priests: Fr. Mark Schmeider. Fr. Schmeider was nominated last year by the Cincinnati Westside Affiliate for the Priest of Integrity award given at the VOTF conference in Providence, R.I. In recognition of his service, and with support and appreciation, we honor him here in this edition of In the Vineyard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Bishops ask taxpayers to fund research on pedophile priests. Just cooperate with subpoenas, testify under oath, and no study would be needed

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

In St. Anthony Messenger released this morning an interview explains the Catholic Church's next step in bandaging its hemorrhage with pedophile priests, by doing a study as to why there are pedophile priests. The Roman Catholic Church wants American taxpayers to pay for its research.

"We’ve made applications to several federal agencies that would ordinarily fund studies of this kind, like the Centers for Disease Control," says Judge Michael R. Merz, the current chair of the Catholic's own National Review Board, in the November issue of the Catholic's own magazine released this morning.

Come on, bishops. Stop hiding behind the First Amendment and priest-penitent privilege every time someone asks a question as to what you knew about pedophiles proliferating in the inner sanctums of the church. Or fire the PR Firms and three fourths of the lawyers the bishops hire to fight the crime victims, and the Church will have plenty of money to fund its studies.

Shoot, just tell the truth and you do not need to do any study.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Cathedral offers garden to sex abuse victims

OAKLAND (CA)
CNN

From Peter Ornstein
CNN

OAKLAND, California (CNN) -- Terrie Light stands outside Oakland's stunning new modern cathedral in a first-of-its-kind garden that honors victims of clergy sexual abuse. She was abused by a priest at age 7.

"It's a really small, important physical representation of a horrific thing that happened in many places," she told CNN.

She says the garden's centerpiece, a symbolic low stone sculpture that's broken, is fitting for those whose lives were shattered by priests. "The energy that the artist put was this circular stone trying to pull itself to become unbroken. That is our journey. That is what we try to do every day -- is to try to be unbroken."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Ronnie Polaneczky: Fight of our Fathers: Who's more Catholic?

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Daily News

By Ronnie Polaneczky
Philadelphia Daily News

Daily News Columnist

THE MORE the Rev. Jim St. George read the letter, the more steamed he got.
"Dear Reverend St. George," the brief note begins. "We, the Roman Catholic priests of the East Falls, Manayunk and Roxborough areas, respectfully request that your listing in The Review be placed under an appropriate heading. Some people might be mislead [sic] into thinking that St. Miriam is a Roman Catholic institution. You and we certainly don't wish to misrepresent ourselves to the public."

It listed the names of 10 priests, including Monsignor Joseph McGeown, who wrote the note and was the only one to pen his signature.

"It was so arrogant," says Rev. Jim, whose Manayunk church, St. Miriam Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch, opened eight months ago in space rented from Mishkan Shalom synagogue at Freeland Avenue and Shurs Lane. "Their churches aren't more Catholic than mine! They don't own the word 'Catholic.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

To Norwich Cops, Witch Is Nothing But A Stalker

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

By Kenton Robinson Published on 10/23/2008

Norwich - The real name of the Witch of Baltic is Rusty.

And as to his witch credentials, well, there is some question of that.

But Rusty Lee Freeman, aka the Rev. Rapid Cabot Freeman, has been arrested for stalking a Norwich teacher.

Freeman appeared in a story in The Day Tuesday, claiming he was a victim of religious discrimination in Sprague.

The first selectman, he said, had thwarted his plans to perform a demonstration of witchcraft for kids and their parents in that town's public library on Halloween.

But no sooner had the story appeared in The Day than Norwich police, who'd been seeking him on a warrant since July, arrested and charged him with second-degree harassment of Kelly Hajduk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Prosecutors seek 1 trial in priest abuse case

ARIZONA
KTAR

October 23rd, 2008 @ 5:43am
by Associated Press

Prosecutors are asking a Maricopa County judge to overturn a justice of the peace's ruling that allows five separate trials against a Roman Catholic priest.

In the 27-page appeal of a Sept. 16 ruling by San Tan Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman, Deputy County Attorney Elizabeth Burton Ortiz asks for a reversal of Goodman's order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Preventing Clerical Sex Abuse: How Are the Bishops Doing?

UNITED STATES
St. Anthony Messenger

By Barbara Beckwith
In Dallas in 2002, the U.S. bishops initiated a comprehensive plan to stop the sexual abuse of children by priests or anyone representing the Church. Here, the chair of the National Review Board assesses their progress.

Released in March 2008, the 2007 Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People sums up five years of accomplishments in the U.S. dioceses and eparchies to ensure that no child in a Catholic setting is ever molested again. It also points out the challenges that remain.

The Charter requires that “for even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor, which is admitted or established,...the offending priest or deacon is to be permanently removed from ministry and, if warranted, dismissed from the clerical state.” When an allegation is made, he is usually put immediately on administrative leave until the facts can be established. To extend the umbrella of safety for children and young people, the Charter prescribes background checks for all who work with children in the Church and training on how to provide a safe environment. (The Charter text is available at www.usccb.org/ocyp/charter.shtml.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Abuse panel chairman sees progress, pain

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson October 22, 2008 10:44 PM

The new edition of St. Anthony Messenger features an interview with Judge Michael R. Merz (right), a federal magistrate in Ohio who is the chairman of the National Review Board, the panel that advises the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on preventing the sexual abuse of children. Merz describes himself as a survivor of sexual abuse by a church employee. An excerpt from the interview:

"When you see people who have been so badly hurt by folks acting in the name of the Church, it’s a trial, it’s a test. It’s not ever pleasant work and it challenges your loyalty to the institution. But it doesn’t challenge my faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

AFN meddling blamed for exit of commission's chairman

CANADA
Globe and Mail

JOE FRIESEN

October 23, 2008 at 12:35 AM EDT

Harry LaForme quit the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission over interference from the Assembly of First Nations, commission counsel Owen Young, speaking on Judge LaForme's behalf, said yesterday.

Judge LaForme's position as commission chairman became untenable once it was clear that the two other commissioners, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley, shared AFN national chief Phil Fontaine's vision of a commission centred on telling the stories of survivors, rather than a commission focused more heavily on reconciliation, Mr. Young said.

“In a nutshell, this isn't government interference, it's AFN interference,” Mr. Young said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Judge decides to keep hearing church case

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Midway through a civil trial in which a priest is suing the Episcopal bishop who defrocked him, the judge hearing the unusual case suggested yesterday that the dispute might belong in a church court, and he appeared close to throwing it out of Montgomery County Court.

The Rev. David Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, alleges that Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., suspended head of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, "fraudulently" removed him from the priesthood six years ago without a hearing before diocesan officials. Moyer seeks unspecified damages for loss of employment and mental suffering.

The case could establish a legal precedent allowing clergy in hierarchical religious institutions to sue their superiors in civil court. American courts have a long tradition of not intervening in churches' internal affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Residential-school hearings must go ahead

CANADA
The Gazette

The Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a good idea when it was set up, and it is a good idea still. If the three commissioners cannot themselves reconcile their problems well enough to accomplish the goals set out for them, then they should get out of the way and let somebody else handle this.

Harry LaForme, an Ontario appeals court justice and a member of the Mississauga First Nation, resigned this week as chairman of the commission, saying the other two - Claudette Dumont-Smith, member of a Quebec first nation and a health expert, and Jane Brewin Morley, a B.C. lawyer - "have come to show disrespect for me, personally and as chair."

If so, then Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl should move quickly to find three new commissioners who can make this work, and not only because the TRC is part of a court-approved agreement, reached 13 months ago, in the legal aftermath of the residential schools tragedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Bail denied for Ark. evangelist in sex abuse case

TEXARKANA (AR)
The Associated Press

By CHUCK BARTELS

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — A federal magistrate called Tony Alamo a flight risk Wednesday as he ordered the evangelist held without bail until his trial on charges that he took a minor across state lines for sex.

The ruling came after Alamo's former followers testified at a hearing that they were often beaten at his instructions and one said Alamo practiced polygamy with several females, including a 9-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Teacher charged with unlawful sex with 17-year-old boy

FLORIDA
News-Journal

By LYDA LONGA
Staff Writer

They had sex anywhere they could, police said -- in the parking lots of grocery stores and under a bridge.

The arrest Wednesday of a Warner Christian Academy teacher, who police say was having sex with one of her 17-year-old students, has unleashed a series of details that reveal a steamy relationship between the teen and the 45-year-old woman.

An eight-page arrest affidavit released by Port Orange police paints a picture of a teacher engaging in a variety of sexual acts with the boy in her car and inside low-budget motels on Ridgewood Avenue and International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach.

The documents also detail the sexually charged text messages Cynthia Horvath routinely sent to the high school senior, praising his sexual prowess but also warning him to "keep quiet" about their affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Police: man fondled girls at church

NEW YORK
Watertown Daily Times

By DAVID WINTERS
TIMES STAFF WRITER
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2008

RICHVILLE — A Gouverneur man has been accused of repeatedly fondling two girls at Richville Baptist Church.

Robert D. Storie, 59, was charged Tuesday with five counts of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of child endangerment, all misdemeanors.

He is accused of fondling the girls — ages 15 and 12 — after coaxing them to hug him while attending the church at 209 Main St. during the last two months, state police investigators said in a press release. The investigation is continuing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Gozo priest implicated in third sex abuse case in Miami

MALTA
The Times of Malta

Claudia Calleja

An elderly Gozitan priest who has been involved in two sex scandals in the US has now been implicated in a third case, this time involving a 15-year-old boy in Miami.

Court officials are expected to travel to Malta next spring to take his deposition.

Jeffrey Herman, the lawyer who is representing the alleged victim, filed a lawsuit in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Miami claiming it allowed Fr Anthony Mercieca, a retired priest of the Archdiocese, to sexually abuse the boy in 1977.

Fr Mercieca, who is in his 70s and resides in Gozo, was at the time stationed at St James church in north Miami.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Texas appeals court tosses priest's sex conviction

EASTLAND (TX)
The Associated Press

EASTLAND, Texas (AP) — A Texas appeals court has thrown out the conviction of a former priest accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in the early 1990s.

The ruling last week says a trial judge erred by allowing an advocate for victims of priest abuse to testify as an expert in the trial of the Rev. Thomas Teczar (TEK'-zahr).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Eastland DA plans to retry priest

EASTLAND (TX)
Abilene Reporter-News

By Jane Pratt
Reporter-News correspondent
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Eastland County district attorney said he plans to try for a second conviction in a sexual assault case against a Catholic priest after the first conviction was reversed last week by the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland.

The court reversed the trial court conviction of Thomas H. Teczar, who was found guilty of the sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in the 1990s, and sent the case back to trial court for a new trial.

The three-member court of appeals overruled Teczar's assertion that he was denied due process because the prosecuting attorneys represented the victim in a suit for damages against him and the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.

However, the court sustained the assertion that the trial judge made an error in admitting evidence from David Lewcon as an expert witness and allowing testimony about alleged abuse for which Teczar had not been charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Former Fort Worth priest's sexual assault conviction overturned

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
dbarbee@star-telegram.com

The aggravated sexual assault conviction of the Rev. Thomas Teczar has been overturned by an appeals court, but the Eastland County district attorney said the priest, formerly of the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, will be tried again.

Teczar was sentenced last year to 25 years in prison on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency, convicted of molesting and raping an 11-year-old boy in Ranger in the early 1990s. Teczar was a priest at the time in several parishes in Eastland County, about 90 miles west of Fort Worth.

The 11th Court of Appeals found that the trial court erred by allowing a witness — a man who said Teczar abused him — to testify as an expert about the sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

October 22, 2008

Prosecutors challenge Fushek ruling

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jim Walsh - Oct. 22, 2008 12:21 PM
The Arizona Republic
Prosecutors are asking a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to overturn a ruling that granted a suspended priest separate trials on misdemeanor sex charges.

The ruling by San Tan Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman in September damaged the ability of prosecutors to show that Monsignor Dale Fushek had a pattern of abusing the trust of teenaged boys for sexual gratification.

Fushek founded the Life Teen Program during his 20 years as pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa, where his sermons packed the church. He angered the Diocese of Phoenix last year by preaching at a new ministry founded by his former parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Aventura Lawyer Goes After Pedophile Priests

FLORIDA
Miami New Times

By Gus Garcia-Roberts
Published on October 23, 2008

The pope probably doesn't much like Jeffrey Herman. The 48-year-old Aventura attorney has won settlements from the Catholic Church totaling more than $5 million in recent years. In one 2005 lawsuit, he garnered $1.5 million from Central Florida Archdiocese. This past July, his clients were among those rewarded $5.5 million from a settlement with the church in Denver.

Come to think of it, most religious leaders probably bear little affection for this guy. He has litigated against rabbis, Methodist and Baptist leaders, and Mormon bishops.

His workday last Thursday would have been momentous by most people's standards. He announced the filing of a case alleging that a now-middle-age man was traumatized after being repeatedly raped by a perverted priest 30 years ago. As a boy, the client would burn the clothes he was molested in. As an adult, he can't talk on the phone without scrubbing his ears, or allow a visitor into his home, or hold a job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Litigating clergy sex abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Reviewed by DARRELL TURNER
Publication date: October 22, 2008

HOLDING BISHOPS ACCOUNTABLE: HOW LAWSUITS HELPED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONFRONT CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE
By Timothy D. Lytton
Harvard University Press, 286 pages, $35

JUSTICE DENIED: WHAT AMERICA MUST DO TO PROTECT ITS CHILDREN
By Marci A. Hamilton
Cambridge University Press, 160 pages, $22

SACRILEGE: SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
By Leon J. Podles
Crossland Press, 675 pages, $22.95

One of the missions of the church is to bring light to the world, but sometimes things work out the other way. This is demonstrated by three recently published books that show how the civil justice system has helped to expose the dark secrets of clergy sexual abuse in the last quarter-century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Priest row: Bishops council goes to Vatican

INDIA
Indian Express

Shaju Philip
Posted: Oct 23, 2008 at 2308 hrs IST

Kochi, October 22 : The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council has urged the Vatican to take action against Cochin Bishop John Thuttunkal, who has landed in a scandal for adopting a young woman for “spiritual enrichment”, at the earliest.

If Thuttunkal faces action from the Vatican, he would go down in the history of the Catholic Church of India as the first bishop to unceremoniously quit the post. Bishops Council secretary Fr Stephen Alathara told The Indian Express that they have sought a decision on the issue. “By offering apology, the bishop has already admitted to the offence. Hence, an action would be inevitable,” said Stephen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Texas court tosses priest's sex conviction

EASTLAND (TX)
GMA News (Philippines)

10/23/2008 | 02:18 AM

EASTLAND, Texas - An appeals court has thrown out the conviction of a former priest accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old Texas boy in the early 1990s.

The 11th Court of Appeals ruled last week that the trial judge erred by allowing an advocate for victims of priest abuse to testify as an expert and by allowing testimony about abuse allegations for which the Rev. Thomas Teczar wasn't charged.

Teczar was convicted last year on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to 25 years on each assault charge and 15 years on the indecency count. The sentences were concurrent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Former pastor given four life sentences for raping his two sons

LOUISIANA
WAFB

PONCHATOULA, LA (WAFB) - A former pastor at the now defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula will serve four life sentences for raping his own two sons.

Louis Lamonica was convicted last month of four counts of aggravated rape. Lamonica abused his two sons when they were 11 and younger.

Investigators say the allegations were stemmed from an investigation of occult rituals at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Teen tells of beatings at evangelist's compound

TEXARKANA (AR)
The Associated Press

By CHUCK BARTELS

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — A teenager described being beaten at Tony Alamo's compound as he testified Wednesday as a witness for prosecutors seeking to block the evangelist from being released from jail while awaiting trial.

Spencer Ondirsek, 18, testified that he left the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound last year after living there for seven years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Alamo compound searched today

FOUKE (AR)
Texarkana Gazette

Arkansas State Police are currently searching the gymnasium at Tony Alamo Ministries’ compound in Fouke, Ark.

"We're executing a search warrant for possible evidence involved in a case we're working," said Lt. Glenn Sligh, commander of Company C C.I.D for the Arkansas State Police Wednesday morning.

Sligh declined to specify what type of evidence they are seeking. The FBI Evidence Response Team is helping in the search.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Tony Alamo set for detention hearing in Texarkana

ARKANSAS
KSLA

By Katrina Webber

FOUKE, AR (KSLA) - Controversial minister Tony Alamo is due in federal court Wednesday morning for a hearing to determine whether he'll be released from jail, pending his trial. The detention hearing is scheduled for 9 a. m.

Alamo has been in custody in Texarkana since earlier this month when federal agents tracked him down n Flagstaff, AZ and arrested him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

NORRISTOWN, PA: The Trial of Charles E. Bennison - Day Two

PENNSYLVANIA
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
10/21/2008

Charles E. Bennison, the deposed Bishop of Pennsylvania took the stand in the second day of his trial today and adopted what has became famously known as the (Alberto) Gonzales Defense.

On innumerable occasions, while being grilled by Fr. David E. Moyer's attorney John H. Lewis, Jr., Bennison replied, "I don't recall," "I don't remember," or "I don't know."

In 2002, Bennison inhibited and later deposed Fr. Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA using the Episcopal Church Canon Law [Title IV, Canon 10, Sec. 1], barring Fr. Moyer from serving his congregation and exercising his ordained ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Baker City man accused of sexual abuse

BAKER CITY (OR)
OregonLive

10/21/2008, 7:07 p.m. PDT
The Associated Press

BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — A former youth pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.

Baker City Police arrested 34-year-old Dean B. Barnes at his home after he returned from a trip to Israel this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Native leaders divided over future of residential schools panel

CANADA
Globe and Mail

JOE FRIESEN and JACQUIE MCNISH AND BILL CURRY
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

October 21, 2008 at 10:49 PM EDT

OTTAWA — As one of the commissioners put it Tuesday, how can it be that the commission given the historic task of helping Canada toward a national reconciliation on Indian residential schools was ultimately unable to reconcile with itself?

Justice Harry LaForme's sudden resignation as commission chair Monday, in which he cited an intractable power struggle with the other two commissioners, has at a single stroke thrown the entire process into doubt. One native group, Ontario's Anishinabek Nation, said Tuesday it has lost confidence in the commission and that the two remaining commissioners must be fired.

The commission's unravelling was swift, according to Jane Brewin Morley and Claudette Dumont-Smith, the two women who Judge LaForme said repeatedly challenged his authority and vision, dooming the group to failure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

National Chief Issues Statement on Resignation of Justice Harry LaForme as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

CANADA
CNW

OTTAWA, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - "The Assembly of First Nations was disappointed to learn about Justice Harry LaForme's resignation yesterday as the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). We fully supported his appointment and held high hopes for the success of the TRC with him as one of three commissioners.

While it is very unfortunate that Justice LaForme felt he had to resign, the TRC is a court-supervised body that is governed by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The TRC is intended to serve living and deceased survivors, their families, and all Canadians as we move towards achieving reconciliation of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. The needs and concerns of Survivors must remain our central focus as we move forward.

The AFN has been in constant communication with other parties to the Settlement Agreement and we remain committed to working together, including with the Government of Canada, to ensure that the TRC is a success.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Bishop, ex-priest spar at trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Taking turns yesterday on the witness stand, the Rev. David Moyer and Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. each sought to present himself as the more pastoral, principled clergyman in their unusual civil trial.

Moyer, conservative rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, is suing Bennison, the suspended bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, on grounds that the more liberal Bennison improperly defrocked him as a priest six years ago.

He seeks unspecified damages, saying that Bennison improperly denied him a church trial and appeals process that could have vindicated him and kept him a diocesan priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Man Sentenced To 17.5 Years For Child Pornography

FRANKLIN (TN)
News Channel 5

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - A Williamson County judge sentenced a Spring Hill man to 17.5 years in prison for making child pornography.

In 2005, James Sells, Jr., worked at comic book and collectibles store in Spring Hill when police found more than 4,000 images and videos of child pornography.

Police said he also met some of his victims at a Brentwood church where he worked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Long search for truth

CANADA
The Expositor

The quest for healing for survivors of native residential schools took a step backward Monday. Harry LaForme, a respected member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit and the first native judge to serve on the Ontario Court of Appeal, resigned as chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In a letter to Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, LaForme said the commission was doomed to fail because his two commissioners would not accept his authority.

LaForme's resignation was bad news for the 80,000 survivors of residential schools who have waited decades for their stories to be told. The commission's work will be delayed for weeks while a replacement is sought.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Alamo defense granted access to documents

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Over the objections of prosecutors, a federal judge on Tuesday said Tony Alamo should have immediate access to documents related to the search of Alamo’s religious compound in southwest Arkansas.

The Sept. 20 search in Fouke involved more than 100 federal and state police officers and child protective services caseworkers. It resulted in the removal of six girls, ages 10 to 17, who authorities say were sexually or physically abused and who are now in foster care. Alamo, 74, was arrested in Arizona five days later on charges that he transported a minor across state lines for illegal sexual activity.

Prosecutors filed the search warrant and supporting documents under seal, citing the need to protect an ongoing FBI investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Evaluation ordered for ex-teacher in child sex-abuse case

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Mark Havnes
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 10/21/2008 01:17:38 PM MDT

ST. GEORGE - A 34-year-old Washington City man scheduled for sentencing Tuesday on two counts of third-degree felony attempted sexual abuse of a child was ordered to undergo a diagnostic evaluation instead.

Gabriel E. Carlin appeared before 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow, who ordered Carlin to turn himself in at the Washington County jail Friday by 6 p.m. to be taken into custody by the Department of Corrections, which will perform the evaluation.

Carlin, a former teacher, pastor and day-care operator, was originally charged with four counts of first-degree felony aggravated child sex abuse for kissing and fondling an 11-year-old girl in March 2006. At the time, Carlin owned the now-defunct East Harbor Christian Academy in Washington City where the victim was a student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Russell bound over

NEOSHO (MO)
Neosho Daily News

By Staff reports
Neosho Daily News
Tue Oct 21, 2008, 02:03 PM CDT

Neosho, Mo. -
A rural Neosho self-proclaimed pastor was bound over for trial on two felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor Monday, while six counts of possession of child pornography have been refiled.

Randall “Danny” Russell, 49, pastor of Acts II Church in rural Neosho, was bound over on two Class B felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor during a preliminary hearing held Monday morning in Newton County Associate Circuit Court Judge Greg Stremel’s courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Evaluation ordered for St. George pastor, former teacher

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret News

By Nancy Perkins
Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 3:48 p.m. MDT

ST. GEORGE — Sentencing for a St. George man who earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child, both third-degree felonies, was delayed on Tuesday for at least 90 days.

Gabriel E. Carlin, 35, pleaded guilty in March 2006 to the lesser charges as part of a plea bargain. He originally was charged with four counts of first-degree felony aggravated sex abuse of a child. Carlin was booked into jail at the time and released on $100,000 bail.

Court records indicate Carlin was charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old female student who attended East Harbor Christian Academy in Washington. Information about Carlin's ministry can still be found online at eastharbor.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Judge dismisses sexual abuse case against former youth pastor

CHARLESTON (WV)
Daily Mail

by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A circuit judge has dismissed the criminal case against a former Chesapeake youth pastor accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl, but her mother is hopeful he can still be brought to trial.

Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Drummond said the state would present charges again to a grand jury to get a superceding indictment against Timothy C. Edmonds, 37, a former pastor at Chesapeake Apostolic Church.

Edmonds was scheduled to go on trial Monday. Police arrested him in May 2006 after the girl's family provided a letter she wrote detailing the abuse and they conducted an investigation. He was indicted in July of this year and pleaded not guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Baker City man accused of sexual abuse

OREGON
KGW

10/22/2008

Associated Press

A former youth pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.

Baker City Police arrested 34-year-old Dean B. Barnes at his home after he returned from a trip to Israel this week. ...

Barnes was a youth pastor at a Baker City church until July, and he knows the alleged victim through that role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

10th man claims abuse by late priest

SEATTLE (WA)
Post-Intelligencer

By JOHN IWASAKI
P-I REPORTER

A Seattle man has sued Seattle University and the provincial Jesuit order, the 10th man to claim the late Rev. Michael Toulouse abused him.

The man, now in his early 50s, said the priest abused him in 1968 or 1969 when he was in the eighth grade.

He said that Seattle University, where Toulouse worked, and the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, which oversees Jesuits in Washington and four other states, knew of the abuse but failed to protect the plaintiff and other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

A story of abuse

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

By JUSTIN LATIF - Western Leader | Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Ex-nun Pauline Grogan never wanted to tell anyone she’d been sexually abused by a priest.


But an extraordinary friendship in the years that followed made her realise that her story needed to be told.

Now the inspirational 63-year-old is coming to the Glen Eden Playhouse to recount her experiences on stage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Jesuit School Sheltered Molesters, Groups Say

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: October 21, 2008
Two Roman Catholic priests who until recently lived on the campus of Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx sexually abused teenagers there in the 1960s and ’70s, two groups that advocate for sex-abuse victims said on Tuesday.

Leaders of the two groups — the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and BishopAccountability.org. — who said they were making the accusations public for the first time, criticized the school’s administrators for allowing the priests to reside there for years after the abuse complaints were made known.

One of the priests, the Rev. Eugene O’Brien, was the principal and president of Fordham Prep in the early ’70s, when one accuser said he was molested, the groups said. A lawsuit the accuser filed was settled in 1997 for $25,000 by the school, the Archdiocese of New York and the Order of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, which runs Fordham Prep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Texas throws out priest’s conviction in child sex case

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

An appeals court in Texas has thrown out the conviction of the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar, a Roman Catholic priest formerly from Worcester who was found guilty last year of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy from Ranger, Texas, in 1990.

The three-member Court of Appeals for the 11th District in Eastland County last Thursday found that state District Judge Steven Herod had committed errors during Rev. Teczar’s court proceedings and ordered a new trial.

The priest had waived his right to a jury trial and was found guilty by Judge Herod of three counts of aggravated assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Altar boy's story sounds truthful: Bell

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The sexual abuse allegations levelled against a local priest by David Silmser had all the hallmarks of someone telling the truth, said the retired Children's Aid Society caseworker who interviewed him.

In 1993 and 1994, Greg Bell co-led the agency's Project Blue investigation into allegations that Rev. Charles MacDonald had abused Silmser decades earlier, when he was an altar boy at St. Columban's Church in Cornwall.

"(Silmser's story) was certainly consistent with my experience in disclosures made by adults who had been sexually abused as children," Bell told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

October 21, 2008

Priests' group lauds panel for 'protesting' Braxton's spending

PADERBORN (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK - News-Democrat

PADERBORN -- A priests' association has presented an award to members of the diocesan finance council for "protesting" the expenditure of funds by Bishop Edward Braxton that were intended for education and to help the poor.

The ICHTFUS Award, based on the Greek word for "fish," an early Christian symbol, was presented Sunday by the Rev. Clyde Grogan on behalf of the Southern Illinois Association of Priests during its annual Family and Friends Dinner. The association, which has about 20 members and was founded in 1968, met at St. Michael's Parish Hall.

Braxton, who has stated he does not speak to local media, could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission - News Release

CANADA
CNW

OTTAWA, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Commissioners Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley, Q.C. announced today that they were disappointed and saddened to learn of Justice LaForme's decision to resign as Chair of the TRC, effective October 20, 2008.

Justice Harry LaForme, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley, Q.C., were appointed as Commissioners by Orders-in-Council after a selection process involving representatives of all the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The Commission was established on June 1, 2008.

"The TRC process, designed by the parties to the Settlement Agreement of the Indian Residential Schools class action suit, is unique and has never been tried before in Canada or the world. It is not surprising that we have had some growing pains," commented Commissioner Dumont-Smith. "It is unfortunate that we had not met as a Commission since August 26. Had we met more often I am sure that we could have worked through any issues we were facing," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Father Fay reports to prison

DARIEN (CT)
Darien Times

Written by Susan Shultz
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Breaking News | Tuesday 1:18 p.m.

After seven delays and 10 months since he was sentenced, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay reported federal prison today, Tuesday, Oct. 21, to begin a 37-month prison sentence.

Fay, who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from St. John Roman Catholic Church while he was its pastor, is serving his sentence at the Bureau of Prisons’ FMC Devens facility in Ayer, Mass. Fay’s trial prostate cancer treatment will be transferred from Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Case of priest facing drug charges continued

URBANA (IL)
The News-Gazette

By Mary Schenk
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:24 PM CDT

URBANA – It will be at least early next year before there's any resolution of the case of a Catholic priest from Champaign accused of using and dealing cocaine.

The Rev. Christopher Layden, 33, formerly a resident of the Newman Center on the University of Illinois campus, made his first court appearance Tuesday morning since being charged in Champaign County Circuit Court on Sept. 11 with delivery of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Case of RC priest charged with sexual assault due back in court next month

CANADA
The Telegram

The case involving a Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a young woman will be fast-tracked.

Rev. Patrick Robert Offin faces a single charge of sexual assault stemming from an incident that happened Aug. 21.

The 55-year-old — who is from Ghana, West Africa — was serving a two-month stint at Holy Cross parish in Holyrood when the incident allegedly occurred at the priest’s residence.

When Offin’s case was called in provincial court this morning, he wasn’t there, but was represented by his lawyer Gerald O’Brien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Priest loses appeal on fraud conviction

CANADA
The Mississauga News

By: Louie Rosella

October 21, 2008 02:08 PM - A Mississauga priest found guilty of defrauding an elderly woman and parishioner out of close to $100,000 has lost his bid to have his conviction overturned.

The Ontario Court of Appeal today dismissed Mark Proctor's appeal bid.

In the spring of 2007, a jury found Proctor guilty of fraud over $5,000 after taking $90,000 from 82-year-old Marita Archibald, of Mississauga.

The two met at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Mississauga where Proctor served as a Melchizedek priest. He drove Archibald home on a regular basis, the appeal court heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Convicted Darien priest begins prison sentence

CONNECTICUT
The Advocate

By Monica Potts
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 10/21/2008 02:43:50 PM EDT

STAMFORD - After six delays, a Roman Catholic priest convicted of stealing more than $1 million from his Darien church began his three-year prison sentence Tuesday, according to federal prison officials.

Michael Jude Fay, a former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, was processed at 12:56 p.m. at a federal medical facility in Massachusetts, said a spokesman for the facility, FMC Devens.

His surrender date was delayed six times as Bureau of Prisons officials and Fay's doctors at Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in New York discussed how to continue his experimental treatment for prostate cancer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

People who still bring children to Catholic events must have cataracts filtering truth from their brains

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Nothing has changed really. The elements that allowed the pedophile priest who got to me are all still in place, in spite of recent "reforms" done by Catholic dioceses. All the new sex education classes and screenings are for the lay teachers, the coaches.

None of the reforms can keep the kind of men who enter the priesthood to have access to children from entering the priesthood. Plus no religious orders have agreed to go along with the Dallas Charter from 2002.

The whole reason they invented altar boys was to give "celibate" priests an outlet, with medieval values of children that carried over into the Twentieth Century. Culturally children were disposable, not too many centuries back. The current Catholic Church response with reform has literally been to do as little as they can get away with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Gouverneur Man Arrested on Counts of Sexual Abuse at Richville Church

GOUVERNEUR (NY)
Fox 28

State Police in Gouverneur arrested Robert D. Storie, 59, of Gouverneur on five counts of sexual abuse in the second degree, three counts of sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Investigation revealed Storie subjected two girls, ages 12 and 15, to sexual contact several times while attending Richville Baptist Chapel over the last two months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Alamo seeks search warrant material

TEXARKANA (AR)
WXVT

Associated Press - October 21, 2008 10:14 AM ET

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Evangelist Tony Alamo is seeking documents that detail evidence the government has against him ahead of tomorrow's hearing on whether he can be released from custody pending trial.

Alamo is charged in federal court with violating the Mann Act, which prohibits children being moved from one state to another for sexual purposes. He also faces a count of aiding and abetting the violation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Local Pastor Set to be Arraigned on Sex Abuse Charges

WEST VIRGINIA
WSAZ

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A local pastor accused of sexual abuse will be back in court on Tuesday.

Sandy Cook is set to be arraigned on charges of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and third degree sexual assault. He was indicted on those charges back in September.

Cook was the senior pastor at Shrewsbury Church of God in eastern Kanawha County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Clergy sex group appeals to NYC Cardinal

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

What:
At a Manhattan sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast New York Cardinal Edward Egan for
-- not disclosing the whereabouts of a high-profile, recently-suspended pedophile priest, and
-- letting parishioners erect a ‘shrine’ to the accused predator and make harsh public comments about his victims, creating an atmosphere that intimidates other victims into staying silent.

Later they will hand out fliers door-to-door in Harlem near a parish where the priest worked. (In recent weeks, he’s been accused of molesting at least ten boys). The leaflets urge Catholics to

-- ask everyone they know if they were molested by two pedophile priests who worked there,
-- urge victims and witnesses to call police and get independent help, and
-- defend their accused pastor privately, so other victims aren’t intimidated from speaking up

When:
TODAY, Tuesday, Oct.21

Where:
Noon – In Manhattan, outside archdiocesan chancery office, 1011 First Ave at 55th
2:00 p.m. - In Harlem, outside Church of St. Charles Borromeo, 211 W. 141st St. (near 7th Ave.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

NORRISTOWN, PA: The Trial of Charles E. Bennison - Day One

PENNSYLVANIA
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
10/20/2008

Charles E. Bennison came dressed in a plain suit and tie.

Fr. David Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, came dressed in his clericals, an odd juxtaposition but understandable since Bennison has been officially deposed by The Episcopal Church. He is appealing his verdict.

Bennison, 63, looked a sad and pathetic figure as he sat alone in court room No. 8 in Norristown, PA, surrounded only by his legal team. His wife was oddly absent as were all the clergy of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Nobody apparently wants to know him or be seen with him. Bennison, the once feared, loathed and despised former Bishop of Pennsylvania, is on his own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Madison Diocese, fundraising firm dispute was over 'misunderstanding'

WISONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

By DOUG ERICKSON Wisconsin State Journal
In a joint statement, the Madison Catholic Diocese and the fundraising firm that sued it say a "misunderstanding" led to an allegation that Bishop Robert Morlino sought confidential survey information on priests who criticized him.

The statement will be the final public comment on the matter, both sides said.

In June, Phoenix Fundraising Council of Madison alleged in a civil lawsuit that the diocese was refusing to pay it for work on a feasibility study for a new cathedral. The lawsuit accused Morlino of seeking confidential information from parishioner and priest surveys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Expert Vatican psychiatrist: "Celibacy is a provocation" to a superficial world

ITALY
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Oct 20, 2008 / 11:39 pm (CNA).- Manfred Lutz, a psychiatrist with the Congregation for the Clergy, has responded in an extensive article to those who consider celibacy not to be "natural" and explained that the discipline is not only necessary for priests and religious to fully live out their vocations, but that it is also a "provocation" to a superficial world that does not believe in life after death.

In the article published by the L'Osservatore Romano, Lutz commented that celibacy represents "a permanent protest against collective superficiality." It proclaims that "the earthly world, with its joys and sufferings, is not all there is."

One who cannot renounce the exercise of sexuality is not capable "of joining in a marital union" either, Lutz continued. Looking upon women as "the object of satisfaction of a personal impulse plays a key role in the criticism of celibacy," he stated. Lutz also noted that there are even times when spouses cannot "fully exercise their sexuality, as in the case for example of a temporary illness or a permanent handicap. In these cases, a spousal relationship that is truly profound is not destroyed but rather enriched.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Trial date for Newman priest could be chosen at hearing

ILLINOIS
Daily Illini

By Mark Rivera

Tuesday marks the next step in a Newman priest's trial.

The Rev. Christopher Layden, priest at the St. John's Catholic Newman Center, will appear before a judge at the Champaign County courthouse for a felony pre-trial hearing.

Layden was arrested on Sept. 11 after police found three grams of powdered cocaine during a search of Newman and its rectory. He was charged with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, according to the State's Attorney's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Ex-Philadelphia youth minister charged in New York with e-mailing porn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Dwight Ott
Inquirer Staff Writer

A former priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been charged in New York City with e-mailing pornographic videos to a Colorado detective posing as a 14-year-old.

An announcement concerning the charges against the Rev. Charles T. Plock was distributed in the four parishes in which Plock served during his time in Philadelphia, from September 1996 to December 2000.

Plock, 63, a youth minister at St. John's University, was arrested this month and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court. He was released on $150,000 bail on condition that he check into St. John Vianney Center, a psychiatric facility for the clergy in Downingtown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

An Introduction

PENNSYLVANIA
Off My Knees

October 14, 2008 by Michael

A recent article in the Scranton Times-Tribune identified another priest in the Diocese of Scranton who has been accused of sexually abusing children. The headline accompanying the story exclaimed “The Diocese comes clean on Abusive Priest”. The Diocese did not really come clean, they were forced to respond to a reporter’s inquiry about allegations that Father Robert Gibson had sexually assaulted a 13 year old boy in 1973-1974. As a result of the article, Father Gibson is no longer flying under the radar. His dirty little secret is out in the open and the Diocese of Scranton has had to admit that they were hiding another pedophile.

The 13 year old boy in the story was me. For more than 30 years I kept that secret to myself. I was confused, ashamed and embarrassed by what happened. Mostly I was convinced that no one would believe my story, after all this was a popular priest at my school and in the community. I was raised in an Irish Catholic family where priests and nuns were held in reverence. Priests were seen as God’s representative on earth. We were taught at an early age that we were to obey them, without question. Father Gibson knew this all too well and exploited it for his perverse pleasure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

No public apologies for men

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

Posted By CAROL MULLIGAN, THE SUDBURY STAR

Written apologies have been issued to two men who settled lawsuits with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie for childhood sexual abuse by a diocesan priest almost 40 years ago.

But a public apology won't be forthcoming from the diocese nor will money be contributed to a program to help men suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of abuse by priests.

Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, head of the diocese, said an apology has been issued "to the individuals concerned" -- Robert Berube and a man known only as Claude -- for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Father Jean- Claude Etienne, who died in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Clergy-Abuse Victims Aim Protest At Hartford Archdiocese

HARTFORD (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By ELIZABETH HAMILTON | The Hartford Courant
October 21, 2008

Clergy sex abuse victims called on Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell Monday to use the power of his office to more aggressively protect the public from accused priests, particularly in the case of the Rev. Stephen Foley.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) staged a protest in front of the Cathedral of St. Joseph Monday afternoon because of what they called Mansell's continuation of "passive, failed policies" where Foley and other accused priests are concerned.

Foley, a priest who is accused of abusing boys he lured through his work as a state police and fire chaplain, moved out of Connecticut last year after Mansell ordered him to leave St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. Mansell's order came after The Courant reported Foley was driving a Ford Crown Victoria similar to the car used by state troopers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Priest sex-assault trial hears unusual witness

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen | Chicago Tribune reporter
October 21, 2008
Lawyers opened their defense Monday of a former priest accused of sexually assaulting a teen with an unusual witness: an alleged victim's father-in-law.

Donald McGuire, 78, a former spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa, is on trial on charges he engaged in sex acts with a male identified in court only as Dominick in overseas trips when the alleged victim was a minor.

Peter DeMarco of New York, the father-in-law, testified Monday that he has difficulty trusting Dominick, who married his oldest daughter last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Resignation paralyzes residential schools panel

CANADA
Globe and Mail

JOE FRIESEN

October 21, 2008

Harry LaForme, chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, abruptly resigned yesterday, throwing the truth-gathering process into disarray and presenting a political obstacle for the Conservative government.

Mr. Justice LaForme said he was unable to continue because an "incurable problem" doomed the commission to failure. In a letter to Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, he said his two fellow commissioners didn't agree with him on the commission's purpose and wouldn't defer to his authority.

The commissioners, Jane Brewin Morley and Claudette Dumont-Smith, openly and repeatedly challenged his judgment and were determined to outvote him on every issue, Judge LaForme said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Head of commission examining Canadian church-run schools resigns, says authority questioned

CANADA
Star Tribune (United States)

Associated Press

Last update: October 20, 2008

TORONTO - The head of a Canadian commission examining the consequences of a decades-long government policy that required Canadian Indians to attend Christian schools resigned Monday, saying the panel did not accept his authority.

In his resignation letter, Justice Harry LaForme, of the Ontario Court of Appeal, said the panel was on the "verge of paralysis."

LaForme was appointed in April as chairman of the truth and reconciliation commission, which is documenting the experiences of former students, many of whom were abused while attending the schools where the goal was to assimilate them into Canadian society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Sask. church failed to report sexual abuse: Victims

CANADA
Canada.com

Lori Coolican , Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, October 20, 2008
SASKATOON - Two women who were sexually abused in their adolescence by a trusted older relative say elders of the small-town Jehovah's Witness church in which they were raised did not report the situation to police after he admitted touching them inappropriately during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"We were left to endure years of guilt and shame," one of the women wrote in a victim-impact statement read aloud by Crown prosecutor Krista Zerr during the man's sentencing hearing in Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench on Monday.

"I felt like damaged goods."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Pastor bound over for trial on more charges

NEOSHO (MO)
The Joplin Globe

NEOSHO, Mo. — A Neosho man who has been identified as a self-proclaimed pastor of a fringe church and who already was awaiting trial on a dozen felony counts was bound over Monday for trial on two more charges.

Randall “Danny” Russell, 49, pastor of the Acts II Church in rural Neosho, was charged in August with six counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The charges stem from photographs investigators reportedly found on Russell’s laptop computer, which Newton County authorities seized earlier this year while executing a search warrant at a compound that includes Russell’s home and business.

Russell was bound over for trial on the two charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, both Class B felonies, after a preliminary hearing Monday, said Assistant Newton County Prosecutor Bill Dobbs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

US urges no leniency for actress's ex

NEW YORK
The Associated Press

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors said Monday they were surprised the former boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway sent a judge a photo of himself and the pope while seeking leniency for cheating investors of millions of dollars by claiming he could buy Catholic Church property on the cheap.

They urged the judge Thursday to impose the more than four years in prison that Raffaello Follieri agreed to when he entered a guilty plea last month rather than the three years his defense lawyers requested in a recent submission of their own.

The prosecutors said Follieri included pictures of the pope and other clergymen even though his claims of Vatican ties were the foundation of his fraud.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Bishops asked to reprimand Fr Mpinganjira over sexual woes

MALAWI
Nyasa Times

Malawi Catholic Bishops have been persuaded to reprimand Father Joseph Mpinganjira over sexual scandals.

In a letter written to the head of Catholic church in Malawi, His Grace Archbishop Traciscious Ziyaye, the Catholic Christians have asked the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) to discipline Fr Mpinganjira.

According to Sunday Times newspaper, Fr Mpinganjira is being sued in the High Court of Malawi for causing break down of marriage of Mr & Mrs Mtande. He is being accused of adultery for sleeping around with the wife of Mr Mtande.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Civil trial opens for embattled Episcopal bishop

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Lawyers in the civil trial of suspended Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., who is being sued by a priest he defrocked, painted sharply different pictures yesterday of villain and victim in a decade-long feud.

The unusual trial could establish a precedent for clergy in hierarchical religious institutions to turn to civil courts to challenge their superiors over personnel matters.

In his opening statement at the Montgomery County Courthouse, lawyer John Lewis portrayed his client, the Rev. David Moyer, as the target of a cynical plot by Bennison to "fraudulently" remove him from the priesthood.

Head of the five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania for 10 years, Bennison deposed Moyer in 2002 as a priest and rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont. Moyer, a conservative, had publicly clashed with the more liberal Bennison over the ordination of women and the acceptance of homosexuality and had repeatedly accused him of dishonesty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Group wants records on priest

WISCONSIN
Baraboo News Republic

By Brian D. Bridgeford / News Republic

Catholic Church authorities in Madison will not release their files about the case of suspended Baraboo priest Rev. Gerald Vosen as was requested Monday by an anti-abuse group, a diocese spokesman says.

Members of the nationwide group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests hand delivered a letter to offices of the Diocese of Madison asking Bishop Robert C. Morlino to release details of sexual abuse allegations and church deliberations involving Vosen, said Peter Isely, Midwest director of SNAP. However, he also said SNAP is defending Morlino in the face of criticisms made by Vosen in his book "Pick a Number: Stories of Faith," which he is releasing to the public this week.

"We've disagreed with Bishop Morlino on how he's handled victims in some of these cases, not releasing files and documents and so forth, so it is unusual we're kind of finding ourselves defending him," Isely said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

October 20, 2008

Ex-monk pleads to reduced charge

JOHNSON CITY (TX)
San Antonio Express

JOHNSON CITY — Only one of five former Christ of the Hills Monastery monks accused in 2006 of sexually abusing novices there in the 1990s remains to be prosecuted after Hugh B. Fallon pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of attempted aggravated assault.

Prosecutor Cheryl Nelson said Tuesday the deferred adjudication plea bargain calling for Fallon to pay a $5,000 fine, undergo a psychological evaluation and serve five years probation was fitting because his offense involved an isolated incident of consensual sex, and the complainant couldn’t testify.

Fallon, 42, aka Father Tihkon, was initially charged with sexual assault of a child for an incident in June 1995.His attorney, Jack Furlong, described Fallon as “cognitively challenged” and said his client’s life was “torn apart” when he became “caught up in the cult” of monastery founder Sam A. Greene Jr., who killed himself last year while awaiting trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Champaign, Ill. Church Still Reeling From Allegations Against Suspended Priest

CHAMPAIGN (IL)
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 10/17/2008
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON – The Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox parish in Champaign, Illinois has faced a huge crisis the past year due to allegations of a sexual nature made against its priest of more than nine years, Fr. George Pyle. He has been placed on suspension as of June 16, 2008 according to the Orthodox Observer July-August 2008 edition.

The allegations were made by former campers at the Athenagoras Camp and retreat Center of Wyoming where Fr. Pyle was its program director some 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Questions Haunt Two Of Reardon's Earliest Victims

ALBANY (NY)
Hartford Courant

By HILARY WALDMAN
October 19, 2008

ALBANY, N.Y. - By the time she reached her mid-30s, Ellen Manning had a degree in English and a respectable job with the state of New York. She had a large group of friends, a supportive family, a nice house and a cat she loved.

Still, she had always felt somewhat adrift.

She had dated, but never fallen in love. She didn't have a family of her own. She wondered if, perhaps, she might have been able to accomplish more.

Those aren't especially unusual thoughts for someone moving into the early throes of middle age. But there was something else lurking in the back of Manning's mind. And, in 1987, as she watched and read stories about child sexual abuse and its emotional consequences, the memories of her own past came bubbling forward.

Manning couldn't help but wonder if her own melancholy might have something to do with a man who lived next door when she was growing up, a young medical student named George Reardon.

Manning is among the first known victims of the late Dr. George Reardon, former chief of endocrinology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center who has been accused of sexually molesting an untold number of children during his 30-year career in Hartford. For her it is too late to join more than 100 other victims who are now suing St. Francis, saying the hospital was negligent in its supervision of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Alleged priest abuse victim's father-in-law testifies

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

The defense called the father-in-law of the accuser Monday in sex abuse trial of a former Jesuit priest.

Donald McGuire is accused of traveling outside the U.S. and across state lines to have sex with a teenager between 2000 and 2003.

The father-in-law of the alleged victim says his son-in-law has trouble telling the truth. Under cross examination, he admitted his opinion was based on family situations and not the sex abuse case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Men relive stories of abuse at hands of priest

CANADA
Northern Life

Date Published | Oct. 20, 2008

BY LAUREL MYERS

Two more men have come forward in a series of lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. The pair are seeking justice and healing for the sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of their parish priest.

On Thursday morning, Robert Bérubé and Claude (last name withheld), sat at a table with their lawyer, Rob Talach, in a meeting room at the Radisson Hotel in Sudbury. As numerous members of the media listened, the two men retold their stories of sexual abuse as young boys in Warren, at the hands of their parish priest, Father Jean-Claude Etienne, who died in 1999.

“Initially I was on a quest for many things,” Bérubé said. “The quest was for justice and healing, it was never a thing for money.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Group files suit over church closing

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WXVT

Associated Press - October 20, 2008 3:04 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Some members of a Catholic church in New Orleans have filed a lawsuit over plans by the Archdiocese of New Orleans to close the church.

Several members of the congregation of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church said Monday they're suing the Archdiocese and Archbishop Alfred Hughes. Their lawsuit says that the congregation owns the church, not the Archdiocese; and that the church exceeds the benchmark number of families the Archdiocese set as it made plans to close and consolidate parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Justice Harry S. LaForme resigns as Chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission

CANADA
CNW

TORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Justice Harry S. LaForme today resigned as Commission Chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, citing an "incurable problem" that has led him to conclude that the Commission "as currently constituted" will fail.

"At the heart of it is an incurable problem. The two Commissioners are unprepared to accept that the structure of the Commission requires that the TRC's course is to be charted and its objectives are to be shaped ultimately through the authority and leadership of its Chair," he said in a letter to Chuck Strahl, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

The other two commissioners are Jane Brewin-Morley and Claudette Dumont-Smith. They have "repeatedly and openly" rejected the proposition that the Chair was to shape the Commission's course, Justice LaForme said in the letter. He was chosen as Chair on April 28, 2008. He is a judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Head of commission into residential schools resigns

CANADA
Globe and Mail

TAMARA KING
The Canadian Press

October 20, 2008 at 4:53 PM EDT

TORONTO — The head of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission resigned Monday over what he suggested was an internal leadership struggle.

Justice Harry LaForme of the Ontario Court of Appeal was appointed in April as chairman of the commission, which is tasked with documenting the experiences of former students.

In a letter sent Monday to Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, Justice LaForme said the commission is on the “verge of paralysis” because its commissioners do not accept his authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Priest resigns after porn surfing revealed

SWEDEN
United Press International

STRANGNAS, Sweden, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Swedish priest has resigned after allegedly downloading a computer virus picked up from pornography Web sites, officials said.

The Church of Sweden clergyman from Strangnas admitted to surfing porn sites and has resigned from his post because of the virus, which disabled his church's computer network, the Swedish Web site The Local reported Monday.

"He recently decided to resign," Charlotta Novosel, a legal spokeswoman for the church, told the newspaper Metro, adding that church authorities haven't decided if the clergyman should be defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Plainfield priest accused of abuse getting 'lots of community support,' attorney says in court

ELIZABETH (NJ)
Home News Tribune

By BRANDON LAUSCH • Staff Writer • October 20, 2008

ELIZABETH —A well-known figure in Plainfield's religious community who is accused of molesting six young girls is "getting a lot of support from his family, friends and community,'' the man's attorney said Monday morning.

George C. Benbow, 56, made his first appearance in state Superior Court to answer charges that he molested six girls during an eight-year span while serving as founding pastor of Christian Fellowship Gospel Church.

During a two-minute appearance before Judge Joan Robinson Gross, Benbow's defense attorney, Philip Nettl of New Brunswick, waived a reading of the four counts of second-degree sexual assault on a minor and two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child that the pastor is facing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Witness questions truthfulness of priest's accuser

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

October 20, 2008 at 12:12 PM

The father-in-law of a man who alleges he was abused by a Jesuit priest testified today that he has difficulty trusting the young man who married his oldest daughter.

Peter DeMarco testified for the defense at the ongoing trial of Donald McGuire, now defrocked and accused of abusing boys in his care. McGuire's chief accuser, known in court as Dominick, testified earlier this month that McGuire had sexual contact with him beginning in 1999, when the accuser was 13.

DeMarco told jurors that Dominick married into his family last year and that there has been a strain on their relationship caused by Dominick's difficulty telling the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Controversial Kerala bishop ready to withdraw adoption

INDIA
The Times of India

20 Oct 2008, 1717 hrs IST, IANS

KOCHI: A Catholic bishop in Kerala, caught in a row for adopting a woman, in a written letter circulated Monday among the priests said he was willing to withdraw from the adoption if the church decides that he had erred.

Kochi bishop John Thattumkal, 58, came under a lot of flak after he told the priests from his diocese that he had adopted the woman, from a non-Catholic Christian family in Pathanamthitta district, as a measure of spiritual renewal.

He is reported to have met the woman during a pilgrimage to Europe last April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

SNAP Asks Catholics To Complain To Pope About Molester Priest's Former Archdiocese Job

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

[with audio]

Steve Miller Reporting
WBBM Newsradio 780

CHICAGO (WBBM) - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is asking Roman Catholics to write the Pope to complain that a priest who pled guilty to molestation was allowed to spend time in Chicago working for a branch of the archdiocese.

After Rev. Kenneth Martin pled guilty to molesting a teenage boy in Baltimore, Chicago's Francis Cardinal George said Martin wouldn't be coming back to Chicago.

Then came reports that Martin did work for the Chicago archdiocese-owned Liturgy Training Publications and that Martin met with LTP here in Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

In unusual move, clergy abuse victims group defends Madison bishop

MADISON (WI)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHO
After a brief sidewalk remarks, Wisconsin leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including its long time Midwest Director, will attempt to hand deliver a letter to Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison urging a more forceful response to published attacks against him, the diocese, and sex abuse victims published over the weekend in a new book by priest sex offender, Fr. Gerald Vosen.

WHERE
Headquarters of the Madison Catholic diocese, 702 South High Point Road, Madison

WHEN
Monday, October 20th, 1:30 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Group demonstrates against Cardinal George

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

CHICAGO -- Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, say Cardinal George is not keeping a promise he made when he said that a priest convicted of molestation would not return to Chicago.

Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, say Cardinal George is not keeping a promise he made when he said that a priest convicted of molestation would not return to Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Many suspended priests live - and work - quietly near their former South Shore parishes

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

By Elizabeth Crowley and Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger

The Rev. Daniel Graham is long gone from the pulpit, but he hasn’t left home.

Six years after the Boston Archdiocese removed him from public ministry as part of its new zero tolerance policy toward child molesters, the former pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is living quietly in Quincy, still praying with people in their homes but no longer administering the sacraments.

Within a matter of months, as the clergy sex abuse scandal reached its height in 2002, hundreds of priests in the archdiocese were pulled from their parishes and dropped out of sight – among them were dozens who had been assigned to South Shore churches.

Most, like the Rev. Graham, never faced criminal charges, often because the statute of limitations ran out long before the allegations became public. But they did face a wrenching end to their way of life. As priests they were respected, even revered. As alleged or admitted pedophiles, they now live under a cloud of shame and suspicion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

African-American clergy abuse survivor tells his story

NEWARK (NJ)
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

"I am a survivor of clergy sexual abuse," writes Richard C. Gee.

In July of this year, Mr. Gee gave a statement to the review board of the Newark, N.J., Catholic archdiocese, alleging that he was abused by "Father X," a priest of said archdiocese.

(For prudential reasons, I'm not revealing the name of the accused priest, who is deceased, or the locations at which Mr. Gee claims to have been abused. When asked by me for comment on the matter, James Goodness, director of communications for the archdiocese, said in an e-mail: "Because the matter is before the review board now, I cannot provide any comment.")

Father Robert Hoatson, advocate for Mr. Gee, says that Father X was a priest "in good standing" with the archdiocese up to the time of his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Unusual civil trial reflects Episcopal divide

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Just three weeks after a church court ruled that he should be removed from office, Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. faces the start of an unusual civil trial today that could cost the financially struggling Diocese of Pennsylvania millions of dollars.

Bennison, 63, is being sued for damages in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas by the Rev. David Moyer, who alleges that Bennison used fraud and deception to defrock him as a priest of the diocese six years ago.

Moyer's attorney, John Lewis, said that Moyer v. Bennison appears to be the first trial in American jurisprudence involving "the ecclesiastical discipline of a priest in a hierarchical church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Abuse victims settle with church, dollar amount not disclosed

CANADA
Northern News

Posted By CAROL MULLIGAN, OSPREY NEWS NETWORK; SUDBURY STAR

There isn't enough gold in the Vatican to erase the suffering two men endured as child sexual abuse victims of a Roman Catholic priest in Warren almost 40 years ago, says one of the men.

But now that their legal battle with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie is over, they intend to focus on healing and reaching out to help other victims.

Robert Berube, 53, and a man who wishes only to be known as Claude, 49, held a news conference in Sudbury on Thursday to talk about their fight for justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

October 19, 2008

Church officials probe Indian bishop's adoption of 26-year-old woman

INDIA
NZ Catholic (New Zealand)

Monday 20 October 2008
TRIVANDRUM, India (CNS) - Catholic officials are investigating the controversial adoption of a 26-year-old woman as the daughter of a Catholic bishop in southern India.

Bishop John Thattumkal of Cochin, a 58-year-old canon law expert, registered the adoption with a government office on September 9, giving the woman the right to inherit his personal assets, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News.

Controversy erupted when some priests in the Cochin Diocese opposed the adoption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Get to know next archbishop

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • October 19, 2008

The Most Rev. Dennis Schnurr has about a year to get to know the Archdiocese of Cincinnati before he takes over as leader of the region's 500,000 Catholics.

He said he will spend the next several months traveling the archdiocese's 19 counties and learning as much as he can, as fast as he can, so he'll be ready to take over for the retiring Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk. ...

How will he handle the clergy abuse scandal?

The problem was much less severe in Duluth than in Cincinnati, where more than a dozen priests have been suspended for alleged misconduct. In Duluth, the most recent accusation came in 1995 - six years before Schnurr took over as bishop. But he said helping victims heal and move on is crucial.

"I encourage priests to meet with these individuals and I have met with these individuals, just to listen and to apologize on behalf of the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Russell to face hearings Monday

NEOSHO (MO)
Neosho Daily News

By Staff reports
Neosho Daily News
Sat Oct 18, 2008, 11:15 PM CDT

Neosho, Mo. -
A Neosho self-proclaimed pastor facing various charges of child sexual abuse, forgery and possession of child pornography will be back in court Monday for a number of hearings.

Randall “Danny” Russell, pastor of Acts II church in rural Neosho, is expected to be in Newton County Division II Associate Circuit Court Judge Greg Stremel’s courtroom Monday morning for a preliminary hearing on six Class D felony counts of possession of child pornography and two Class B felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. The latter two charges carry a penalty of five to 15 years in prison if a conviction is reached, while the Class D felony charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison on each charge.

A pre-trial conference on a felony forgery charge is also slated for Monday morning in Judge Stremel’s courtroom, according to electronic court documents filed on Case.Net. And Russell will also have a pre-trial conference on a misdemeanor charge of second-degree child molestation later that morning, also before Judge Stremel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

New diocese case charges 1968 abuse

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • October 19, 2008

A 58-year-old Delaware man is the latest to file an anonymous civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Wilmington alleging childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.

The man, called "John Coe No. 1," charges that the late Rev. Eugene F. Clarahan repeatedly sexually assaulted him in his cell at the New Castle County Correctional Institution in 1968.

John Coe was 17 at the time, according to the lawsuit filed in New Castle County Superior Court, and was in jail for being a minor in possession of alcohol. Clarahan was the chaplain at the facility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Gozo priest faces new charge of sex abuse

MALTA
The Malta Independent

Father Anthony Mercieca, the priest from Gozo who spent some years in Miami, is now facing a new charge of sex abuse.

US lawyer Jeffrey Harman said on Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit against the Miami archdiocese alleging that a 15-year-old boy was sexually abused in 1977 by a priest at St James Church in North Miami.

The unidentified youth alleges that the abuse began after he went to confession and met the Rev. Anthony Mercieca. He accuses Mercieca of gaining his trust and grooming him, which led to sexual assaults over a two to three-year period inside the church and in the priest’s car, according to the suit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

October 18, 2008

My first singing gig in years - and it is in a church - Yikes!

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I haven't been able to post in more than a week. I was beating on a pillow at 3:00 in the morning, crying through gritted teeth, “What they did to us was heinous and they're getting away with it.” Then at 3:20 I was standing beside the bed laughing out loud. No I can’t just put it behind me, this pedophile priest rape survival experience follows me wherever I go.

For years I haven’t been able to walk into a church, so instead I found storefront parishes, living room Bible studies. A few months ago I started singing with Hollywood Mass Choir. We sing black rooted gospel songs like the ones I feature in videos here at City of Angels 4. A big highlight of my little old lady life lately has been Wednesday night practice with this choir. I'm opening up the voice I got as a gift and putting it to use again. I used to sing Joni Mitchell songs and pass the hat as a hippie, so singing with Hollywood Mass is reawakening the performer in me, opening up my voice so I can hit those notes, singing this music that to me is as passionate as anything that came out of the sixties, or HAIR! I think black gospel music is going to accompany America’s recovery from 8 years of Bush, and this music is Hot- I Mean! Janet Jackson born again now talking to God is what I channel as I belt out those high notes, “Emanuel” --

At 3:20 in the morning other day I realized, oh no, singing in a choir, that means I'm going to be performing in churches. I'm being forced to return to a church, not as a parishioner, but through the back stage entrance, up on the altar, performing.

This experience should be empowering - if I don't have to run out in the middle of a song and puke on the doorstep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Another sex abuse lawsuit against ex-priest

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with audio]

By Frank Gerace

A third sexual abuse lawsuit's been filed against a former Diocese of Wilmington priest.

The suit filed Friday by alleged victim John Coe Number 1 accuses Father Eugene Clarahan of abusing him in 1968, when Clarahan was a prison chaplain and Coe was a 17-year-old inmate.

Coe, now 58, claims he's been addicted to alcohol and drugs and hasn't been able to hold down a job, sustain a marriage or even trust anyone since he was abused, and has suffered from depression and anxiety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Former Teen Inmate Files Sex Abuse Suit Against Late Catholic Priest In Wilmington, Delaware

DELAWARE
AHN

AHN Staff
Wilmington, DE (AHN) - The late Roman Catholic priest Rev. Eugene Clarahan of the Diocese of Wilmington appears to have molested a number of minors as another sex abuse victim filed a lawsuit against the ex-priest.

The case was filed Friday by alleged victim John Coe Number 1, 58, which accused Clarahan of abusing him in 1968. Clarahan was then a prison chaplain and Coe was a 17-year-old inmate.

This was the third sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Clarahan in a span of three weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Fleeing Jewish school teacher jailed in US

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

James Campbell

October 19, 2008 12:00am
A SECOND case has emerged of a teacher at a Jewish school fleeing Australia after allegations of inappropriate behaviour with students.

David Kramer - a former teacher at Yeshiva College in Caulfield - was jailed in July for seven years in St Louis, Missouri, US, after pleading guilty to two counts of child molestation.

Allegations were made in the 1990s that Kramer, now 47, had abused boys while teaching at Yeshiva. ...

Vicki Polin, of the US-based International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault, said she had been contacted by several former pupils and parents of the school.

"I have been told that Kramer abused over 30 boys in his time at Yeshiva," Ms Polin said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Priest who molested teen returns

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 18, 2008

BY MIKE THOMAS Staff Reporter mthomas@suntimes.com
A Roman Catholic priest from out of state who pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage boy and was barred by the Vatican last month from presenting himself as a priest has resumed a consulting post here with a publishing arm of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Rev. Kenneth J. Martin, from the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., "won't be coming back to Chicago, obviously," Cardinal Francis George said in 2003.

That was in response to reports in the Chicago Sun-Times that Martin had been working as a consultant for Liturgy Training Publications on the Northwest Side since May 2002 and, while in Chicago, regularly staying at the cardinal's Gold Coast mansion despite having pleaded guilty in December 2001 to sexually abusing a former student of his from the teenager's sophomore year in 1977 until he was a senior, in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

For controversial Kerala bishop, it’s business as usual

INDIA
Sindh Today (Pakistan)

Kochi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Kerala bishop who is caught in a controversy over adopting a woman was back to visiting his parish Saturday. It has also emerged that another priest had earlier been stripped off his parish duties because of his alleged relations with her.

In the morning, 58-year-old Kochi bishop John Thattumkal belonging to the Verapoly Latin Archdiocese arrived at St. Lawrence Church here. He not only led the mass but also delivered a message dropping hints that even though he was being hounded, he would come out unscathed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Diocese clears priest of charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Bucks County Courier Times

By BEN FINLEY
Bucks County Courier Times

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania said it has cleared one of its Bucks County priests of any wrongdoing after finding no truth to allegations that he offered massages “with something extra afterwards” on an online classified site.

Allen Bartlett, assisting bishop of the diocese of Pennsylvania, said a diocesan committee conducted a lengthy investigation into Michael Ruk, 34, the priest-in-charge of two churches in Falls — St. Paul's in Levittown and All Saints in Fallsington.

“Our church attorney looked into it with great thoroughness and talked to all parties that she could find,” Bartlett said. “She made a report and the committee received it and they decided that there are no charges that need to be considered.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Ex-church official sentenced for sex crime

WHEATON (IL)
Naperville Sun

October 17, 2008

By BILL BIRD bbird@scn1.com
WHEATON – The last of four former officials of a Downers Grove church to be convicted of sex-related crimes was sentenced Friday to serve a year in the DuPage County Jail work-release program.

Presiding DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Kathryn E. Creswell also placed the man, John Puga, on four years of sex offender probation, according to Paul Darrah, a spokesman for State's Attorney Joe Birkett. Creswell also ordered Puga to register as a sex offender and provide a sample of his DNA for a state criminal database, Darrah said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

A home for the Great Spirit

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By GEORGIA PABST
gpabst@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Oct. 17, 2008

The drumming signals the start of Sunday Mass at the Congregation of the Great Spirit.

Father Edward Cook sits in the circle at the front of the church where he and the drummers play a song of welcome.

Inside the small, white stone church at 1050 W. Lapham Blvd., where Lithuanians once worshipped, more than 100 people come to pray at one of the few urban churches in the country to blend the Roman Catholic Mass with American Indian traditions. ...

But the archdiocese has had to make drastic budget cuts because of settlements paid to victims of sexual abuse by priests. The Congregation of the Great Spirit was notified that as of July 1, the supplemental funding would end.

“Historically, we as a diocese don’t pay the salary of parish priests,” said Julie Wolf, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese. “Philosophically, it’s the responsibility of each church to cover those costs as stewardship.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Terrorist links to child porn networks uncovered

Independent (Ireland)

By Richard Kerbaj and Dominic Kennedy

Saturday October 18 2008

A link between terrorism plots and hardcore child pornography is becoming clear after a string of police raids in Britain and across the Europe.

An investigation has discovered images of child abuse during Scotland Yard anti-terrorism swoops and in big inquiries in Italy and Spain.

Secret coded messages are being embedded into child pornographic images, and paedophile websites are being exploited as a secure way of passing information between terrorists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Sunday school teacher charged with molesting girl, 12

CALIFORNIA
Daily Bulletin

By Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Article Created: 10/17/2008 10:06:15 PM PDT

ONTARIO - A 44-year-old married father of six who teaches Sunday school at a Corona church is facing criminal charges of molesting a 12-year-old girl in 2003.

Prosecutors say John Calvin Savage taught the girl in Sunday school at Grace Baptist Church and touched her inappropriately when she visited his Ontario home to do chores.

Savage was arrested Wednesday and was being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

4:51 p.m. - Tony Alamo in Court

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Matters

Reported by: Lauren Trager, KARK 4 News
Friday, Oct 17, 2008 @04:51pm CST

Nearly a month after his arrest in Arizona and the raid on his compound in Fouke, evangelist Tony Alamo was in court for the first time today.

The judge set his trial to start November 19th.

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom today and federal officials kept him from view when they brought him in and took him out. ...

“It's less than I expected having read the initial complaint. I expected three charges not two. The government seemed to have enough to allege 3, but they chose not to," said Alamo’s lead attorney, John Wesley Hall, Jr.”

Hall says he believes the charges stem from a complaint from a 16 year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Pope names Duluth bishop coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (OH)
The Catholic Telegraph

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Duluth, Minn., who is treasurer of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati.

The appointment was announced Oct. 17 in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States. ...

In 2003 in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Archbishop Pilarczyk took the unusual step of pleading no contest on behalf of the archdiocese to five misdemeanor counts and accepted responsibility for charges of failing to report sexual abuse involving priests and minors. The archdiocese was fined $10,000 for the violations, which occurred from 1978 to 1982 while then-Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin headed the local church. The charges did not cite specific cases of abuse.

He subsequently established a $3 million fund to compensate victims abused as minors by clergy or other agents of the local church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Bishop named for SW Ohio diocese

DAYTON (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Khalid Moss
Staff Writer

Saturday, October 18, 2008

DAYTON — Southwestern Ohio's half-million Catholics got a glimpse of the future Friday, Oct. 17, when Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cincinnati introduced Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Duluth, Minn., as his successor. ...

Kris Ward, chairman of the Dayton affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, questioned Schnurr's ability to lead a large, diverse diocese. Voice of the Faithful is a lay reform group founded in 2002 in response to the church's sex-abuse scandal.

"It appears this bishop has a mostly administrative background, so I would hope he would take time in the next year to improve his pastoral skills," Ward said. "He could start by meeting with survivors of sexual abuse. I would also like to remind him that it is a 19-county diocese. Sometimes archbishops think of it only as Cincinnati."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Bishop to leave Catholic Diocese of Duluth to become archbishop of Cincinnati

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

By: Sarah Horner , Duluth News Tribune
Bishop Dennis Schnurr, who has been instrumental in growing the number of priests in the Catholic Diocese of Duluth, soon will be leaving his post to become the archbishop of Cincinnati. ...

Challenges will be waiting for Schnurr in Cincinnati, where the archdiocese is still reeling from the priest sexual abuse scandal, said Dan Andriacco, the Cincinnati church’s communications director. The archdiocese set up a $3 million fund as part of a 2003 plea agreement to end a prosecutor’s investigation of whether the church failed to report sexual abuse of children to authorities, the Associated Press reported. The church pleaded no contest and was fined $10,000.

“The sexual abuse situation in the church is a tragedy and is a deep wound, and deep wounds take a long time to heal,” Schnurr told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

But David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the News Tribune Schnurr has done little to curb abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Priest's book rebuts allegations

BARABOO (WI)
Baraboo News Republic

By Brian Bridgeford and George Althoff

BARABOO - The Rev. Gerald Vosen has vivid recollection of that September day in 2003. It was a "bright and glorious fall day" and he had just conducted a funeral Mass for Chappie Fox, one of the founding fathers of Circus World Museum. A procession of horse-drawn circus wagons carrying Fox's remains had left St. Joseph's Catholic Church headed to the cemetery, while the strains of "Amazing Grace" emanated from a calliope.

Vosen had returned to the Baraboo church's rectory to prepare for another funeral the next day. About 2:30 p.m., the phone rang, It was Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison. Morlino had just come from a hearing at the state capitol at which an allegation of child sexual abuse had been leveled against Vosen.

By the next morning, Vosen was gone from St. Joseph's parish. Using words from singer Don McLean, Vosen says that day -- Sept. 18, 2003 -- was "the day the music died."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Catholics to get new bishop

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • October 18, 2008

The next leader of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati arrived Friday to applause, accolades and an invitation to try the city's famous chili.

The Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, the bishop in Duluth, Minn., since 2001, will soon take the reins of an archdiocese that is seven times larger and facing greater challenges than the one he is leaving.

The new archbishop will have to contend with stagnant revenue and rising costs, lingering anger over the clergy abuse scandal, changing demographics that have led to parish closings and a shortage of priests that threatens the spiritual heart of the Catholic Church. ...

"One man is not going to change the world, but maybe together we can," said Christy Miller, co-leader of the Cincinnati chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "We hope it's a good thing. It can't be any worse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

October 17, 2008

Supporters of Bishop Morlino to publish open letter

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

DOUG ERICKSON
608-252-6149
derickson@madison.com
Supporters of Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino say they are fed up with people bashing their religious leader and will publish an open letter to the bishop thanking him this weekend.

The group also has launched a Web site where people can post testimonials about how Morlino or a diocese priest has blessed them.

The steps come a week after a small group of Morlino critics paid for the publication of an open letter in the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal alleging low priest morale and criticizing his leadership as heavy-handed and lacking compassion for those who disagree with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Local Catholics react to archbishop announcement

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Khalid Moss
Staff Writer

Friday, October 17, 2008

The half-million Catholics in the diocese of southeastern Ohio got a glimpse into the future of the church on Friday, Oct. 17, when Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cincinnati, announced that bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Duluth, Minn., will succeed him.

Pilarczyk turns 75 next year reaching the mandatory retirement age for Catholic bishops. Local reaction to the news that Pilarczyk is leaving after 25 years is mixed.

Kris Ward, chair of the Dayton affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, questioned Schnurr's ability to lead. Voice of the Faithful is a lay reform group formed in 2002 in response to the church's sex-abuse scandal.

"It appears this bishop has a mostly administrative background so I would hope he would take time in the next year to improve his pastoral skills," Ward said. "He could start by meeting with survivors of sexual abuse. I would also like to remind him that it is a 19-county diocese. Sometimes archbishops think of it only as Cincinnati."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

St. Anthony Messenger interviews Judge Merz

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Telegraph

The National Review Board, established in 2002 in Dallas by the U.S. bishops who met to coordinate their efforts to end the sexual abuse crisis, continues to monitor progress. They are completing goals established in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People to eliminate abuse by priests or others who work for the church.

An interview with Judge Michael R. Merz, chair of the National Review Board since June 2007 and a survivor of sex abuse by a church employee, is featured in the November issue of St. Anthony Messenger.

After October 20, the article will be posted at: http://www.AmericanCatholic.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Ex-coach pleads guilty to abusing girl

DOWNERS GROVE (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

October 17, 2008 at 12:22 PM
John Puga, a former youth basketball coach at a Downers Grove church, pleaded guilty today to sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl and was sentenced to a year in the DuPage County Jail work release program. He was the third official at that church to be convicted of a sex crime.

Puga, 36, of Aurora, also was placed on four years of sex offender probation and has to register with his local police department as a sex offender.

Puga was a coach at Marquette Manor Baptist Church and school in Downers Grove when he had an improper relationship with the girl -- a church member and student -- from November 2001 to May 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Evangelist Tony Alamo in court on Mann Act charges

TEXARKANA (AR)
The Associated Press

By CHUCK BARTELS

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Evangelist Tony Alamo appeared in court Friday for a five-minute hearing on a federal charge accusing him of transporting minors across state lines for sex.

It was Alamo's first appearance since his Sept. 25 arrest in Arizona, five days after his compound in Fouke was raided and six girls were taken into protective custody. A federal grand jury indicted Alamo on the charge that he violated the Mann Act that prohibits bringing children across state lines for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Minnesota bishop named next Cincinnati archbishop

CINCINNATI (OH)
Ohio.com

By KANTELE FRANKO Associated Press Writer

Published on Friday Oct 17, 2008

A Minnesota bishop was introduced Friday as the next leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Bishop Dennis Schnurr, 60, who has led a diocese in Duluth, Minn., since 2001, will assist Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and succeed him when he retires next year.

Pilarczyk is 74. Bishops are required to submit their resignations at age 75.

Schnurr helped organize the 1993 World Youth Day that brought Pope John Paul II to the U.S. He's also the treasurer of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Minnesota bishop named next Cincinnati archbishop

CINCINNATI (OH)
KARE

CINCINNATI -- The Vatican has named a Minnesota bishop as the next leader of the Cincinnati Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Dennis Schnurr to assist current Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and succeed him when he retires next year. Schnurr has been the bishop in Duluth, Minn., since 2001. ...

Pilarczyk is in his 70s and has been archbishop for nearly 26 years.

He faced harsh criticism from victims of the church's sexual abuse scandal who accused him of reacting slowly to allegations against priests. Other challenges have included a priest shortage, closing parishes, declining attendance and rising costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Vatican announces new Cincinnati Archbishop

OHIO
The Western Star

By Khalid Moss
Staff Writer

Friday, October 17, 2008

DAYTON — The Vatican announced today, Oct. 16, that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr to succeed of Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk.

Schnurr will assist and then succeed him upon Archbishop Pilarczyk's retirement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

7:00 a.m. - Alamo to Appear in Texarkana Court Today

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Matters

Reported by: RNS
Friday, Oct 17, 2008 @07:00am CST

Evangelist Tony Alamo is expected to make a court hearing in Texarkana today where he will be arraigned on federal charges of transporting minors to other states for sexual purposes.

The 74-year-old Alamo was being extradited Thursday from Arizona where he was arrested late last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

New Accusations of Sex Crimes Cover-Up

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WCCB

[with video]

WCCB-TV Charlotte --

A former Charlotte priest accused of sex crimes. Now new accusations of a cover-up. Top leaders in Charlotte's Catholic community are named in a civil lawsuit. The suit claims red flags were ignored.

David Fortwengler with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says, "We're talking about the Diocese failing to cooperate with a criminal investigation in 2008."

Father Rober Yurgel is charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy he met while working at St. Matthew Catholic Church. A civil lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the church knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Diocese denies knowing of priest's molestation

COLORADO
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
In its response to a Denver man's lawsuit alleging years of sexual abuse by a former priest, the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo denied the allegations and claimed it did not know of any earlier accusations against the priest.

The response, filed this week in Pueblo district court, contradicts earlier statements by a diocesan official that he believed Matt Cortez's claims that he had been sexually abused by Andrew Burke. Twice Monsignor Mark Plewka told The Pueblo Chieftain that he believed Cortez's allegations against Burke were truthful.

Plewka was out of the diocesan offices Thursday, according to a receptionist. He could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

A Loss of Nerve?

UNITED STATES
New Oxford Review

Some readers have wondered why we haven't devoted much attention to Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the U.S. this past April. The reason is simple: The Pope's visit has been analyzed to death in both the secular and Catholic press; what good would yet another analysis do?

But we haven't completely ignored his visit. We quoted from Pope Benedict's speech to Catholic educators in our September New Oxford Note "A Question of Conviction," and Lucy Carroll comments on the papal Masses in Washington, D.C., and New York City in her article "Why the Music Is so Bad" in this issue (p. 32). And we did have occasion, in our June New Oxford Note "Blaming the Victim -- Again," to address what we perceive to be the most significant aspect of his visit: "The clerical sex-abuse scandal was a recurring theme of Pope Benedict's visit. He spent time praying with a few hand-selected abuse victims on April 17, his third day in the U.S. The Pope had told U.S. bishops the previous day that the problem of predator priests had been ‘very badly handled,' and at the April 17 stadium Mass in Washington, D.C., he called on the Church ‘to do what you can to foster healing and reconciliation, and to assist those who have been hurt' by abusive priests."

It was an unprecedented gesture and a valiant breaking of the long papal silence on the most horrendous scandal to hit the Church in modern times. It speaks to Benedict's change of heart in regard to the nature of the clerical abuse: When the scandals broke in 2002 he dismissed the "constant news" of clerical sexual abuse as being "intentional, manipulated" attempts by the secular media to "discredit the Church." He said, inaccurately, that "less than one percent of priests are guilty of acts of this type." But he later called his Friday-morning duty, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to examine the seemingly endless number of files on abusive priests his "Friday penance." Then on Good Friday in 2005 he famously bewailed the "filth" in the priesthood. Clearly this Pope grasps the gravity of the crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Father Fay would serve term closer to home

DARIEN (CT)
Darien Times

Written by Susan Shultz
Friday, October 17, 2008
After seven delays, it appears that the Rev. Michael Jude Fay is getting closer to beginning his 37-month prison sentence while still receiving his experimental cancer treatment.

Fay, who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from St. John Roman Catholic Church, would now serve his prison sentence in Massachusetts rather than North Carolina.

After a conference call with all interested parties on Tuesday, Oct. 7, Fay’s prison reporting date was reconfirmed for Oct. 21, at noon. However, he will now report to the Bureau of Prisons’ FMC Devens facility in Ayer, Mass. Fay’s trial cancer treatment will be transferred from Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Priest from Ghana facing sex assault charge in N.L. involving young person

CANADA
The Canadian Press

HOLYROOD, N.L. — A priest from Ghana serving in Holyrood, N.L., has been relieved of any public pastoral duties after being charged with sexually assaulting a young person.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Martin Currie says the church is following protocol in dealing with the matter, alleged to have occurred in August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Revelations put nun’s life in danger

INDIA
Express Buzz

G Rajiv

ISTTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A nun’s life is under threat following her revelations about the alleged abortions performed on nuns and the "limitless"’ affairs the priests were having with nuns of the Congregation of Daughters of Mary Convent, Anchal.

Following a complaint from the nephew of this nun, the State Women’s Commission member P.K.Sainaba met the nun at a mental hospital in Thodupuzha.

Her nephew has alleged that she has been forcibly admitted to the mental hospital by the Convent authorities.

The complaint makes an even more serious charge that one of the nuns of the congregation, Sister Serenna Jacob, had committed suicide unable to bear the trauma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Case of David Kramer

AUSTRALIA
The Awareness Center (United States)

This links to The Awareness Center's report on David Kramer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Former Melbourne Jewish school teacher jailed in the United States

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

NAOMI LEVIN

A FORMER Yeshivah College teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation and was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in the United States, The AJN learnt this week.

David Kramer was jailed in St Louis, Missouri, in July, after a local psychologist and the community’s rabbi raised concerns about his conduct.

Former Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Avrohom Glick confirmed this week, that for a short time in the early 1990s, Kramer had taught Jewish studies to boys in years 5 to 8. It is understood Kramer was asked to leave the school, and the country, immediately following an alleged incident, which was not formally investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Group still seeks Brenkle's removal

CALIFORNIA
The Weekly Calistogan

By Jesse Duarte
The Weekly Calistogan
Thursday, October 16, 2008
An advocacy group for those who have been abused by priests is still calling for Monsignor John Brenkle to be removed from his position as head of a sex abuse review panel — even though the altar boy who was the subject of a false accusation against Brenkle is asking them to leave Brenkle alone.

Luke Wilmoth, now 27 and living in Las Vegas, maintains that the accusation by his father that Brenkle lured him into his sacristy under false pretenses was unfounded, and that Brenkle never abused him. He wants the advocacy group — Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP — to retract its call for Brenkle to be removed as the head of the Santa Rosa Diocese’s sex abuse review panel.

SNAP representatives say they’re not reversing their position on Brenkle. Just the fact that Brenkle said he was accused should be enough to disqualify him from heading the board, they say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Woman speaks out about sexual abuse, wants suspect off the streets

SHREVEPORT (LA)
KSLA

[with video]

By Tania Francois

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A woman who says for years she was abused by her father is speaking only to KSLA News 12. Amanda Law says from the time she was a small child until she was a freshman in high school, Terry Lynn Terry sexually abused her.

Law says, "This man is your best friend. He is the neighbor that helps your children with (their) homework. He is the best employee you could ever have. Very intelligent. Everyone loves him but he's a very manipulative man that befriends people and ruins lives."

Police have a warrant out for the arrest of Terry, 47. He's accused of molesting three children and investigators fear other victim's could be out there. Law says her father was an evangelist in a Shreveport Baptist church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Miami Archdiocese Apologizes In Sex Abuse Lawsuit

MIAMI (FL)
CBS 4

[with video]

MIAMI (CBS4) ― A Miami attorney said the Miami Archdiocese settled a case against his client, a teenage girl known as "Jane Doe", who alleged that the Rev. James Fetscher at St. Louis Catholic Church was aware of sexual misconduct by its youth minister, Anthony B. Ricco, then 19, as far back as 2004 but did not report it to authorities as required by law.

The apology from the Catholic Church is being called "unprecedented" and reportedly came as part of a settlement with the young woman.

Jeffrey Herman, the attorney representing the 15-year-old teenager, claimed the Miami Archdiocese received numerous complaints in 2004 that Youth Minister Anthony Ricco at St. Louis Catholic Church in Pinecrest was sexually abusing young girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Catholic diocese settles sex abuse cases

CANADA
SooToday

By SooToday.com Staff
SooToday.com
Friday, October 17, 2008

Two men who launched multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, claiming sexual abuse at the hands of one of its priests, have reached a settlement with the regional church authority.

The two accusers - Robert Berube and a man who identifies himself only as Claude - allege that Father Jean-Claude Etienne of Warren, near Sudbury, abused them more than three decades ago.

Etienne is no longer living.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Abuse victims settle with church

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

By CAROL MULLIGAN, THE SUDBURY STAR

There isn't enough gold in the Vatican to erase the suffering two men endured as child sexual abuse victims of a Roman Catholic priest in Warren almost 40 years ago, says one of the men.

But now that their legal battle with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie is over, they intend to focus on healing and reaching out to help other victims.

Robert Berube, 53, and a man who wishes only to be known as Claude, 49, held a news conference in Sudbury on Thursday to talk about their fight for justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

No public apologies for men

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

By CAROL MULLIGAN, THE SUDBURY STAR

Written apologies have been issued to two men who settled lawsuits with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie for childhood sexual abuse by a diocesan priest almost 40 years ago.

But a public apology won't be forthcoming from the diocese nor will money be contributed to a program to help men suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of abuse by priests.

Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, head of the diocese, said an apology has been issued "to the individuals concerned" -- Robert Berube and a man known only as Claude -- for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Father Jean- Claude Etienne, who died in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Sault Diocese knew of sex abuse -- lawyer

CANADA
The Sault Star

By CORINA MILIC, THE SAULT STAR,, CAROL MULLIGAN, SUDBURY STAR

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie knew Father Jean-Claude Etienne of Warren was abusing altar boys as far back as 1970, a lawyer for two sexual abuse victims said Thursday.

Robert Berube, 53, and a second man known as Claude, recently reached a settlement with the diocese for an undisclosed amount. Berube launched a $3.1-million lawsuit three years ago, followed in 2007 by Claude, who sued for $4.5 million, based on alleged abuse they endured 30 years ago.

The "most dramatic of all the information" discovered was a letter from then-Bishop Alexander Carter warning Etienne to stay away from a number of boys at St. Thomas Apotre Parish, said lawyer Rob Talach at a press conference Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

October 16, 2008

Miami Archdiocese issues rare apology in sex-abuse case

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com

In a rare act of public contrition regarding a sexual abuse claim, the Archdiocese of Miami has issued an apology in a settlement with a teenage girl who claimed a Pinecrest Catholic Church youth minister assaulted her during a 2006 field trip.

Last year, the teenage girl, whose name was not made public, alleged in a lawsuit that the pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church, the Rev. James Fetscher, was aware of sexual misconduct by the youth minister, Anthony B. Ricco, then 19, as far back as 2004 but did not report it to authorities as required by law.

She claimed Ricco had assaulted her during a Vermont field trip and other activities in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Judge rips former Catholic priest at sentencing for 10th sex crime

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
The Grand Rapids Press

by The Grand Rapids Press
Thursday October 16, 2008, 2:34 PM

GRAND RAPIDS -- A former Catholic priest who served at a Sparta church in 2001 was sentenced to 16 to 24 months in prison today for sexually molesting two girls six years ago.

Shamaun Beas, 39, already is serving six to 20 years in prison from a 2004 Internet sex sting in which police say he tried to solicit who he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sexual purposes.

Beas, a Pakistan native, stood before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock on Thursday for the 2002 molestation of two sisters. One was 17 when she testified earlier this year at a hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Film breaks usual Vatican secrecy

ITALY
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Previously unpublished details of an assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II in Portugal in 1982 have been revealed in a film based on the memoirs of the Pope's former private secretary.

In the film, due to be shown at the Vatican this week, the late Pope's aide Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz tells how a deranged priest drew blood when he tried to kill John Paul with a bayonet during a religious ceremony at the Fatima shrine. ...

I was covering the event for the BBC from Portugal at the time of the attack, and reported immediately from Lisbon the rumours that there had been another attempt on the Pope's life.

It came exactly a year after a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, had shot and wounded the pope in Saint Peter's Square in Rome.

Attack denied

But that same evening, the Vatican formally denied there had been another assassination attempt.

The following day, Portuguese television broadcast footage of the attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Film breaks usual Vatican secrecy

ITALY
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Previously unpublished details of an assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II in Portugal in 1982 have been revealed in a film based on the memoirs of the Pope's former private secretary.

In the film, due to be shown at the Vatican this week, the late Pope's aide Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz tells how a deranged priest drew blood when he tried to kill John Paul with a bayonet during a religious ceremony at the Fatima shrine. ...

I was covering the event for the BBC from Portugal at the time of the attack, and reported immediately from Lisbon the rumours that there had been another attempt on the Pope's life.

It came exactly a year after a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, had shot and wounded the pope in Saint Peter's Square in Rome.

Attack denied

But that same evening, the Vatican formally denied there had been another assassination attempt.

The following day, Portuguese television broadcast footage of the attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Film breaks usual Vatican secrecy

ITALY
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Previously unpublished details of an assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II in Portugal in 1982 have been revealed in a film based on the memoirs of the Pope's former private secretary.

In the film, due to be shown at the Vatican this week, the late Pope's aide Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz tells how a deranged priest drew blood when he tried to kill John Paul with a bayonet during a religious ceremony at the Fatima shrine. ...

I was covering the event for the BBC from Portugal at the time of the attack, and reported immediately from Lisbon the rumours that there had been another attempt on the Pope's life.

It came exactly a year after a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, had shot and wounded the pope in Saint Peter's Square in Rome.

Attack denied

But that same evening, the Vatican formally denied there had been another assassination attempt.

The following day, Portuguese television broadcast footage of the attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

The Torn Messiah

AUSTRALIA
Hybrid Publishers

Yvonne Fein
$29.95 AUD

The novel, set in contemporary Melbourne. tells the tale of a charismatic New York rabbi who arrives with his guitar and a beautiful voice. He teaches sweet, seductive Torah to the wild and vulnerable youth of Melbourne, brought up on an austere diet of Holocaust survival and Zionism. In introducing the mysteries of Kabalah, among other questionable activities, he causes havoc and even death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Sex and the synagogue

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Liz Porter
September 21, 2008

He seduced vulnerable women who came to him for spiritual enlightenment. Now Rabbi Hershy Worch is the one being exposed and shamed.

RABBI Hershy Worch did not look like a serial seducer. Short, fat and married, he favoured the white silk stockings, knee breeches and big fur hat - or "shtreimel" - worn by ultra-Orthodox Jews on the Sabbath.

But the rabbi could sing magnificently - and played a mean guitar. He was also an inspiring teacher of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical doctrine famously studied by Madonna. Talented and charismatic, despite his homely looks, the "singing rabbi" attracted crowds of students of both sexes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Prayer group outrage over child priest sex video

SWEDEN
The Local

Published: 16 Oct 08 14:26 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/15002/20081016/

A vicar from northern Sweden has been blasted by a prayer group for allowing a rock band to film a video in an area church.

“Both suicide and sexual assault are in the video that was recorded in Njurunda Church. That is totally unacceptable,” said Karin Olofsson of the Betel prayer group to the Sundsvalls Tidning newspaper.

Two years ago, the group Angtoria asked Njurunda Church vicar Olof Lönneborg for permission to record a video in the church.

The video is for a song entitled ‘God has a plan for us all’, and deals with a 5-year-old girl who is sexually molested by a priest and later commits suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Unprecedented lawsuits target Pope’s US representative & USCCB; Sex abuse victims respond

WASHINGTON (DC)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Today is the six month anniversary of the Pope's visit to America. When the Pope was here last spring, he repeatedly brought up the church's on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. He made some compassionate remarks. But he also issued some clear directives. One of them still rings in our ears. The full church, but especially bishops, he said, should "do everything possible" to help victims heal. ...

In fact, in the legal arena, we've seen more aggressive efforts to dodge blame, avoid accountability, and attack victims, rather than help victims.

We're troubled, for example, by what we saw last week in Davenport Iowa. A bankruptcy trustee took unprecedented legal action that may force top Catholic officials to return more than $200,000 to this country.

Lawsuits filed late last week charge that money was perhaps improperly sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Vatican's US representative. The Davenport diocese made the payments in the fall of 2006 leading up to its bankruptcy filing stemming from more than 100 clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Former Civil Rights Leader Gets 15 Years for Sex With Daughter

LEESBURG (VA)
Washington Post

By Jonathan Mummolo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 16, 2008; Page B01

Former civil rights leader James L. Bevel was sentenced in Loudoun County yesterday to 15 years in prison for having sex with one of his daughters, despite the 71-year-old's testimony that he recently learned that he has pancreatic cancer and may have only weeks or months to live.

Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill told Bevel that his health and past accomplishments alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did not change the fact that Bevel abused his position as a leader and father.

"You sexually abused your daughter," McCahill said. "You are the problem. Your daughter is harmed for life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Bevel Sentenced To 15 Years For Incest

LEESBURG (VA)
Leesburg Today

By Erika Jacobson

(Created: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:35 PM EDT)

A Circuit Court judge Wednesday upheld the jury-recommended sentence of James L. Bevel, a former top lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr., who was convicted of incest in April. Judge Burke F. McCahill sentenced Bevel, 71, to 15 years in prison and ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine as well as assorted court costs.

Wednesday's sentencing hearing was colored by Bevel's recent diagnosis of end-stage pancreatic cancer, but McCahill said Bevel's health should not play a factor in the way in which he was sentenced.

"This trial was not and is not about your health, nor is about your accomplishments in life," McCahill told Bevel. "In reality, this was really only designed to gratify you at the expense of a child."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

One-time MLK lieutenant gets 15 years for incest

LEESBURG (VA)
The Associated Press

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — A one-time top lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for having sex more than a decade ago with his then-teenage daughter.

The Rev. James L. Bevel, 71, a key architect of the 1963 Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Ala., and other pivotal moments of the civil rights movement, was convicted earlier this year of a single count of incest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Ex-priest to go before Louisa jury

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

BY ELLEN BILTZ

A Louisa County judge denied a motion yesterday to dismiss charges against former Catholic priest Rodney Lee Rodis.

Rodis' defense attorney, John Maus, argued that Rodis, who is charged with 13 counts of embezzlement from two Louisa churches, should not be tried in a criminal court based on the Constitution's provision for separation of church and state.

But Judge Timothy K. Sanner denied Maus' motion, saying he believed Rodis, 53, could be fairly tried without violating rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

More cases against FLDS dismissed

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Launched: 10/16/2008 12:04:32 AM MDT

Texas officials dismissed child welfare cases involving 29 children from a polygamous sect on Wednesday, the largest number dropped in a single day from the state's massive investigation.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has steadily nonsuited cases since June, when 439 children were returned to their parents after two months in state custody.

The cases are closed after officials determine the children are safe or have turned 18, according to Patrick Crimmins, DFPS spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Death of accused puts new twist in AME sex abuse case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Wave

By BETTY PLEASANT, Contributing Editor
The passing of Sylvester Laudermill Jr. comes as case involving defrocked pastor goes to trial.

Funeral services were held Wednesday for Sylvester Laudermill Jr., the defrocked former pastor of Ward AME Church, who died just as a sexual molestation lawsuit against him was scheduled for trial.

Laudermill, 50, died Oct. 9 in a local hospice of complications from cancer treatments. According to a Ward AME spokesperson, Laudermill had been afflicted with cancer for several years, which had gone into and out of remission at least twice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Self-described pastor guilty of sex assault against child

CANADA
The North Bay Nugget

MONTREAL -- A self-described Montreal pastor who says a so-called marriage to a 10-year-old girl gave him the right to have sex with her has been found guilty of sexual assault.

Daniel Cormier, 56, was convicted by Quebec court Judge Sylvie Durand Wednesday after a five-year trial rife with legal wrangling.

Cormier, who headed the now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal and who once ran for mayor of Montreal, showed no emotion as Durand read her ruling in court, staying two other charges of sexual touching and invitation to touching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Sex abuse allegations were not investigated by CAS

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Sexual abuse allegations that came to light thanks to a lawsuit filed by former cop Perry Dunlop were never investigated by the local Children's Aid Society, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard yesterday.

Bill Carriere testified the agency had doubts about the allegations -- which were disclosed to the CAS in 1997 by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese -- because they originated with Dunlop, who was suing a number of people and organizations he believed were conspiring to cover up the existence of an alleged pedophile clan in the Cornwall area.

"In light of the context, yes, we wondered about (the alleged abuse)," said Carriere, who spent 33 years with the CAS before retiring in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Alleged priest sex abuse victim sues Charlotte diocese

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WCNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A civil lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte and a priest accused of child molestation.

Father Robert Yurgel was arrested in April in New Jersey and accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1999 in Charlotte.

Now, the Charlotte diocese is accused of aiding in a cover-up. A support group for sexual abuse victims called SNAP held a press conference on Wednesday to explain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

At defrocked priest's trial, ex-aide recounts body massages and sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

By Jeff Coen and David Heinzmann

Peter was just out of high school when he began work as an assistant to Donald McGuire, then a renowned Jesuit priest who traveled the globe for spiritual retreats.

It was an honor to care for McGuire—until the priest began asking for body massages with baby oil, Peter told a federal jury in Chicago on Thursday.

"He laid on his stomach," said the witness, who was permitted by the judge to use only his first name to keep his identity confidential. "He told me to start with the buttocks because it was the largest muscle and work out from there."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Priest file ruling expected

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

A federal bankruptcy judge in Portland will issue a ruling on whether to release additional files about priests accused of sexual abuse.

The awaited decision from Judge Elizabeth Perris follows the Archdiocese of Portland’s $50 million settlement with accusers last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Man Accuses Priest Of Abuse, Files Lawsuit Against Catholic Church

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WSOC

[with video]

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A man who said a Charlotte Catholic priest molested him is filing a civil suit.

The suit is 50 pages long and full of explicit details. It was filed Wednesday in superior court. The lawsuit accused Father Robert Yurgel of sexually molesting the then 14-year-old boy. It also accused the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte and the religious order that sent Yurgel to St. Matthews church of collaborating and conspiring to conceal the abuse.

The lawsuit said the abuse started in 1999 when Yurgel befriended the boy and his family. It alleged the first incident happened when Yurgel volunteered to take the boy home from youth group. Instead of going straight home, the lawsuit said Yurgel brought the boy into the church office and fondled him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Jesuits respond to N. Idaho abuse allegation

IDAHO
The Seattle Times

LEWISTON, Idaho —
A representative of the Jesuit order of Catholic priests says the Jesuits will fully investigate allegations by a north Idaho woman who has filed a lawsuit contending she was raped by a priest when she was 7 years old.

The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, issued a statement Tuesday in response to the lawsuit filed last week in 2nd District Court by Kim "Mia" Sonneck, who is asking for damages in an amount exceeding $10,000.

"The Oregon Province takes these allegations seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent," Provincial Rev. Patrick Lee said in the statement, the Lewiston Tribune reported. "The Province is committed to a just and healing course in all cases of priest misconduct."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Hartford Archdiocese, Saint Mary's Hospital named in suit alleging abuse by priest

WATERBURY (CT)
Republican-American

BY ROBYN ADAMS REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
WATERBURY — Two men have filed lawsuits against the Hartford Archdiocese and Saint Mary's Hospital charging that a Catholic priest sexually assaulted them 30 years ago.

The suits, filed in Waterbury Superior Court, charge that the Rev. Raymond F. Paul sexually abused them when they were 8 to 13 years old. Paul, who is now retired, was one of the priests named in 2005 in the Hartford Archdiocese's $22 million settlement of sexual abuse allegations.

The cases, filed Sept. 29, say that Paul was assigned by the diocese to be chaplain at Saint Mary's Hospital between 1973 and 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Book review - Nobody Heard Me Cry, John Devane

IRELAND
Adelaide Independent Weekly (Australia)

STEPHEN DAVENPORT
16/10/2008 12:23:00 PM
Nobody Heard Me Cry lifts the lid on the sordid underworld of paedophilia in Ireland. This is a shocking memoir that palpates the wounds of growing up abused and raped by neighbours, family friends and a paedophile ring that included lawyers, police and the clergy.

That John Devane survived his early life is wonder enough but as an adult he became a lawyer and altruistically represented one of the men who abused him. His exposé reveals how vulnerable some children are and just how terrible the cost of an unstable childhood can be. He was only eight years old when a neighbour molested him and a chain of sexual abuse began, and would sadly continue throughout his youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Former altar boy sues priest, diocese

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008

A 24-year-old Charlotte man who says he was sexually molested in 1999 by a priest at St. Matthew Catholic Church filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the priest and accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte of covering up abuse.

The unnamed plaintiff was a former altar boy who was 14 when the alleged incidents occurred. His lawsuit says that the Rev. Robert Yurgel – arrested in April on charges of having sex with the plaintiff when he was a minor – initiated sexual contact on many occasions throughout 1999.

Several of the incidents, the suit says, happened on diocesan church property: in Yurgel's office at St. Matthew, in Ballantyne; in a room behind the altar at St. Matthew; in the rectory at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Charlotte, where Yurgel was reassigned in July 1999; and in a car parked at St. Michael Catholic Church in Gastonia, where Yurgel sometimes traveled to say Mass in Spanish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Lawsuit claims 13 years of clergy abuse

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • October 16, 2008

In the ninth civil lawsuit naming convicted abuser Francis DeLuca, along with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, an anonymous 40-year-old plaintiff claims the former priest abused him for 13 years, beginning when he was 11.

DeLuca moved from the Wilmington area to Syracuse., N.Y., in 1993, the year after the plaintiff alleges the abuse ended.

DeLuca was convicted in New York in 2007 of abusing a child and was sentenced to 60 days in prison. He was "defrocked" by the church in August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

October 15, 2008

Fort Myers resident arrested in child sexual battery case

FORT MYERS (FL)
The News-Press

A 51-year-old Fort Myers man has been arrested for sexual battery of a victim under the age of 12 by a custodian. ...

The girl told her mother the next day, who then contacted a pastor, who then urged her to file a report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Montreal pastor who took child bride convicted of sexual assault

CANADA
CBC News

The head of a defunct church in Montreal who claims to have married a 10-year-old girl has been found guilty of sexual assault.

Daniel Cormier, 56, was convicted by a judge in provincial court in Montreal Wednesday.

The self-declared pastor alleges he married the girl in 1999, when she was 10, although the girl — now 19 — has testified that she didn't believe they were married at that time.

Cormier declared the union gave him the right to have sex with her. The girl said Cormier sexually assaulted her repeatedly until she was 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Former altar boy sues diocese over priest sex abuse

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008

A 24-year-old Charlotte man who says he was sexually molested in 1999 by a priest then assigned to St. Matthew Catholic Church filed a civil suit today against the priest, his New Jersey-based religious order and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, which the suit says engaged in a “cover-up” of the case.

The lawsuit, filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court, asks for a jury trial and damages to be determined by the jury.

The unnamed plaintiff, a former altar boy who was 14 when the alleged incidents occurred, charged in the lawsuit that the Rev. Robert Yurgel – arrested in April on charges of having sex with a minor – initiated sexual contact on several occasions throughout 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Tony Alamo to be arraigned on Friday in Texarkana

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 10/15/2008

Bernie LaZar Hoffman, commonly known as Tony Alamo, will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant Friday for arraignment in Texarkana, Ark., said Bryant’s staff.

Alamo is accused of bringing minors across state lines for sex.

The controversial evangelist, who has denied any wrongdoing, will be asked to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty to the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

John Paul was wounded in 1982 stabbing, aide reveals

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The late Pope John Paul was wounded by a knife-wielding priest in 1982, a year after he was shot in St Peter's Square, but the injury was kept secret, his former top aide says in a documentary film. ...

On May 12, 1982, the pope was visiting the shrine city of Fatima in Portugal to give thanks for surviving a first assassination attempt a year earlier on May 13, 1981, when he was shot in St Peter's Square by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca.

A crazed ultra-conservative Spanish priest, Juan Fernandez Krohn, lunged at the pope with a dagger and was knocked to the ground by police and arrested. The fact that the knife actually reached the pope and cut him was not known until now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Call for women priests renewed in Rome

ITALY
ABC 13
October 15, 2008 10:29 EDT

ROME (AP) -- Catholic women seeking to be priests took their campaign near the Vatican today, chanting slogans and accusing the Vatican of "injustice" and "sexism."

The women represent Catholic organizations from around the world. They marched across the Tiber close to St. Peter's Square, some draped in a purple cloth and wearing signs with the names of prominent women from the early days of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Kerala Bishop in trouble over adoption of young woman

INDIA
IBN Live

Kochi: A Catholic Bishop in Kerala has landed in trouble after he decided to adopt a 26-year-old woman as his daughter, with some priests openly questioning the act saying adoption was against the Canon Laws.

Archbishop of Verapoly, Daniel Acharuparambil, the supreme head of the Latin Catholics in the state, has already questioned the decision of 58-year-old Kochi Bishop John Thattungal and submitted a report to Papal representative Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana.

The report has been forwarded to the Vatican. The adoption was registered at the Mattancherry Sub-Registrar's office in September. The woman is the daughter of an orthodox priest hailing from Pathnamthitta district, church sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Stand against Prop. 8 costs priest dearly

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Duke Helfand and Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 13, 2008

A week ago, Father Geoffrey Farrow stood before his Roman Catholic parishioners in Fresno and delivered a sermon that placed him squarely at odds with his church over gay marriage.

With Proposition 8 on the November ballot, and his own bishop urging Central Valley priests to support its definition of traditional marriage, Farrow told congregants he felt obligated to break "a numbing silence" about church prejudice against homosexuals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

“Suspended as a priest and removed as pastor”

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Bishop John Steinbock has removed a priest who told parishioners to vote against Proposition 8 and confessed on a television newscast to being a homosexual from his post as pastor of the St. Paul Newman Center in Fresno.

The bishop also took away Fr. Geoffrey Farrow’s diocesan salary and health benefits, and told him not to return to the Newman Center or any other parish in the diocese he had served at previously.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Bishop Steinbock as saying in a letter to Fr. Farrow, “Your statement contradicted the teaching of the Catholic Church and has brought scandal to your parish community as well as the whole Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Bishop of Fresno removes priest who opposes Prop. 8

FRESNO (CA)
Catholic News Agency

Fresno, Oct 14, 2008 / 08:20 pm (CNA).- Bishop of Fresno John Steinbock has removed and suspended from the priesthood a pastor who told parishioners to oppose Proposition 8 and declared himself to be a homosexual. The bishop’s letter to the priest charged him with contradicting the teaching of the Catholic Church and bringing scandal to the parish and to the whole Church.

Proposition 8 is a ballot measure for California which, if passed, will amend the state Constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. The California Supreme Court had imposed same-sex marriage on the state in a May decision.

On October 5 Father Geoffrey Farrow, who until recently pastored the St. Paul Newman Center in Fresno, told parishioners he opposed the marriage initiative after his homily at the 11 a.m. Mass, the California Catholic Daily reports. In a television interview before the Mass on KFSN-TV in Fresno, the priest admitted his own homosexuality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Bishop John Steinbock is a Disgusting, Pedo-Priest-Loving, Hypocritical Sinner

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano
October 15, 2008 6:49 AM

Greatest-Religion-Reporter-Ever William Lobdell alerted me to the story of Diocese of Fresno Bishop John Steinbock removing Father Geoffrey Farrow from the diocese and his salary and health benefits for speaking out against the gay-marriage-banning Proposition 8 and coming out as a homosexual. That alone is a dick move, but Steinbock's rationale is stunning: in a letter to Farrow, His Excellency wrote “Your statement contradicted the teaching of the Catholic Church and has brought scandal to your parish community as well as the whole Church."

Scandal? Contradicting Church teachings? Perhaps Steinbock's getting senile and forgot that he's a prime target for such verbal lashes. Sex-abuse victims remember Steinbock for protecting Father Eleuterio Ramos, the most prolific pedo-priest in Orange County history. When Ramos admitted to Steinbock--then auxiliary bishop and Bishop Michael Driscoll (now Bishop of Boise) that he molested a boy while serving at St. Anthony Claret in Anaheim, it was Steinbock who suggested Ramos get sent to "vacation immediately" instead of turning him over to the cops; Ramos would go on to minister to children in Tijuana and never served a day in jail for molesting at least 25 boys. Steinbock also knew about pedophile allegations lodged against Richard Coughlin when the Archdiocese of Boston sent him to Orange but didn't do anything about them; here, Coughlin continued his boy-buggering ways.

And it was Steinbock who led a haphazard investigation into allegations that Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown (a classmate of Steinbock's at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo) had abused a boy while in the Diocese of Fresno during the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

After Outcry, the Vatican Cracks Down

ITALY
Whispers in the Loggia

Almost a year and a half after the story broke in the Italian press, the multiply-accused Florentine cleric whose victims went public after what they deemed an insufficient response from church officials has been laicized:

An Oct. 12 statement by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, former archbishop of Florence, said that in a decree dated Sept. 19, the pope also ordered Father Lelio Cantini, 85, be confined under surveillance to a private residence and dedicate himself to prayer and penance.

Cardinal Antonelli, whom the pope appointed to head the Pontifical Council for the Family in June, said he had asked the pope to laicize Father Cantini, reported the Italian daily La Repubblica Oct. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

A second victim of alleged predator priest comes forward

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A second women is reporting that she was molested as a child by a Steubenville Catholic priest, while a former Guernsey county woman has posted on line a ten minute video describing her childhood victimization by the cleric.

And even though a grand jury recently declined to prosecute the priest, the two women are hopeful that other victims and witnesses of his crimes will surface soon.

Earlier this month, the Guernsey County jurors opted to not charge Fr. Gary Zalenski with child molestation based on the testimony of Beth Rocker. In January 2008, Rocker filed a police report saying Zalenski molested her several places, including at Seneca Lake on his pontoon boat in 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

First-ever lawsuits seek money back from Pope's US rep & all US bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will

-- announce and discuss an unprecedented legal action that may force top Catholic officials to return more than $200,000, and

-- urge those officials to voluntarily return the disputed funds, instead of fighting the request.

On the six month anniversary of the Pope’s visit to America, they will also blast

-- US church leaders for ignoring the Pope’s plea to “do everything possible” to heal victims, and

-- an Iowa bishop for “legal maneuvering” designed to reduce payments to dozens of sex abuse victims.

WHEN
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 1:45 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Papal Nuncio, (Vatican Embassy) 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, in Washington DC

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Bishop stirs trouble after he adopts 26-year-old

INDIA
Thaindian

October 15th, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS -
Kochi, Oct 15 (IANS) A bishop in Kerala has stirred controversy by adopting a 26-year-old woman, prompting the archbishop of the area to hold an inquiry after priests in his diocese made a complaint. The issue of 58-year-old Kochi bishop John Thattumkal adopting a 26-year-old woman has been probed by the Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil of the Verapoly Archdiocese near Kochi and the report has been sent to the Vatican.

The archbishop was told about the adoption after some priests in the Latin Catholic Diocese of Kochi came out against Thattumkal’s action saying that it was against Canon Law. The affairs of the church are run under the Canon Law, an elaborate system of church jurisprudence, which bounds a Catholic priest to celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Priest held on molestation charges

INDIA
Express Buzz

ISTROURKELA: A temple priest was arrested by the Sector-15 police today for allegedly molesting three women. He has been identified as Harihar Padhi in early 40s. As per reports, the three girls had visited the nearby Shiva temple on October 7 and 8 to observe Astami and Nabami pujas when the priest allegedly molested them. Although the victims initially remained silent due to fear, they later informed their parents, who registered a police case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

The Culture in Action - How Abuse is Covered Up

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Paul Cromidas
Date Published: 10/13/2008
Publication: Pokrov

In a recent news article about the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese settling a case of sexual misconduct by a priest, it was reported that two prominent clergymen, Metropolitan Gerasimos and the former Fr. Michael Pappas, knew about the situation and had said respectively that the matter was “not a subject of my immediate concern” and “I didn’t think it was my business”.

The case involved the San Francisco Metropolis, or diocese. The accused was Michael Rymer, now defrocked, and said to have AIDS. Metropolitan Gerasimos, now head of the Metropolis, apparently knew of the situation before he became a bishop. Michael Pappas has since been defrocked after admitting extra-marital relations. Pappas had also been a member of the archdiocese advisory committee on clergy sexual misconduct.

I submit that these examples typify what is referred to as the “culture of the organization” or, in other words, “how the system works”. It is common behavior in many organizations to cover-up wrong-doing because it is seen as “not my business”. With the revelations of the past few years, attention has been focused on church organizations and how they too have hidden misconduct, usually in the name of “not hurting the church”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Two area parishes being merged

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

By HOWARD DUKES
Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — The decision to merge Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Jude parishes was a difficult one that was driven by a desire to relieve the stress on priests, according to the Most Rev. John M. D'Arcy, bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

The decision to merge the two parishes, D'Arcy said, was guided by a concern that some priests might be spread too thin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Pope names new bishop for Winona diocese

MINNESOTA
Fort Mill Times

(Published October 15, 2008)
WINONA, Minn. — Pope Benedict XVI has named Auxiliary Bishop John Quinn of Detroit as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.

The 62-year-old Quinn will serve with, and then succeed, Bishop Bernard Harrington, who submitted his request for retirement to the Vatican when he turned 75 last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Alamo judge delays two girls’ abuse hearings

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hearings on abuse allegations involving two girls taken from Tony Alamo’s religious compound in southwest Arkansas will be postponed to give attorneys for the Arkansas Department of Human Services time to take sworn depositions from out-of-state witnesses, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The girls are among six, ages 10 to 17, who were removed from the compound in Fouke during a raid on Sept. 20. All the girls are now in foster homes.

Alamo, the 74-year-old head of a ministry that also has operations in Fort Smith, California and New Jersey, was arrested in Arizona on Sept. 25 on a federal charge of transporting minors across state lines to engage in sexual activity. Authorities have not elaborated on what Alamo is accused of doing or whether the charges relate to the girls now in foster care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

October 14, 2008

Madison-area Catholics decry Morlino's leadership in open letter

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

DOUG ERICKSON
608-252-6149
derickson@madison.com
A group of Madison-area Catholics says in an open letter to Bishop Robert Morlino that he is ignoring the input of clergy and lay people, causing some parishioners to stop attending Mass and hurting the morale of priests.

The letter writers point to priests banding together for fear of retribution if they dissent, pursuit of a new cathedral despite opposition, the firing of an openly gay music director, the hiring of priests who ban female altar servers and the alleged alienation of Catholics who disagree with church doctrine as examples of problems in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Bishop adopts 26-yr-old woman, Kerala smells a scandal

INDIA
Indian Express

SHAJU PHILIP
Thiruvananthapuram, October 14 A Catholic bishop in Kerala has sparked off a controversy and embarrassed the Church by adopting a 26-year-old woman.

Following complaints from priests, the Latin Catholic Church has initiated a multi-level probe into the adoption by John Thattunkal, 58, the Bishop of Cochin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Priest Abuse Revisited

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

BY Willard M. Oliver

October 19-25, 2008 Issue | Posted 10/14/08 at 10:52 AM

When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in June 2002, they adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” One of the goals of the charter was for a nationally reputable research entity to collect information from the Catholic dioceses in order to develop a database for assessing the extent of past priest sexual abuse. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York was given that responsibility and in 2004 they released their findings to the bishops and the public in their report titled “Nature and Scope of the Sexual Abuse Crisis.”

As this report was largely descriptive in nature, two years later, a supplementary report was also issued by the researchers at John Jay that presented more analysis of the data. Derived from these findings was a series of research led by one of the prominent researchers at John Jay College, Karen Terry, all of which was recently published in the May issue of the journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior (Vol. 35, No. 5).

The findings from these newly published articles present key information related to the offenses, how they were reported, the characteristics of both victim and offender, the organizational behavior exhibited by the Catholic Church, and they suggest ways in which policies can be implemented to help reduce sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Idaho woman sues Jesuit order, claims child abuse

LAPWAI (ID)
The Olympian

The Associated Press • Published October 14, 2008
LAPWAI, Idaho – A woman who says she recently recovered memories of being raped by a priest as a child has filed a lawsuit against the Oregon-based Catholic Jesuit order that the priest belonged to.

Kim "Mia" Sonneck filed the lawsuit against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province in 2nd District Court late last week. In the lawsuit, Sonneck claims that the Rev. A.J. Ferreti started abusing her around 1973 - when she was about 7 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

More details in sexual abuse case against priest revealed in trial

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 14, 2008

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter
As his confessor, the Rev. Donald McGuire allegedly told a 15-year-old boy he needed to be counseled on his masturbation.

To adequately do it, McGuire had a suggestion.

“Put off masturbating on my own and do so later in the evening when he was present,” John, now 32, testified Tuesday in federal court. Identified only by his first name, John worked as a personal assistant to McGuire, traveling extensively with him.

John said he twice masturbated while in bed beside McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Which priest is the real sinner?

CALIFORNIA
williamlobdell.com

Last week, Fresno Bishop John T. Steinbock removed Father Geoffrey Farrow, 50, as pastor of the St. Paul Newman Center, which primarily serves students and faculty at Cal State Fresno, because he came out against the California initative that will ban gay marriages. He also admitted that he was gay. According to the Los Angeles Times story, the bishop also stripped the priest of his pay and benefits and barred him from ministry.

“Your statement contradicted the teaching of the Catholic Church and has brought scandal to your parish community as well as the whole Church,” Steinbock wrote in a disciplinary letter that also admonished Farrow against “using the Internet as a means of continuing your conflict with the Church’s teaching.”

The righteous Steinbock, when adminstrator with the Diocese of Orange, was hip-deep in the church’s attempt to protect rapist priests and mislead the families of victims.

“It is hard to believe that our spiritual leaders would knowingly sacrifice lives of innocent children … to keep up the façade and [live] a lie,” a woman wrote in a 1986 letter to Steinbock, after learning that Andrew Christian Andersen, a Huntington Beach priest who allegedly molested her son in 1983, had gone on to sexually abuse three more boys despite the church knowing credible allegations had been made about the cleric for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

BB&N issues apology for abuse

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Boston Globe

By Eric Moskowitz
Globe Staff / October 14, 2008

The administration at a prestigious Cambridge private school has apologized to alumni and the school community for mishandling reports of sexual abuse of students by a middle school teacher more than 20 years ago.

Writing on behalf of the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and its board of trustees, the school's leader apologized to the victims and the entire BB&N community and encouraged any victims of former teacher Edward "Ted" Washburn who have not come forward to do so, offering anonymous, school-funded counseling for all abuse victims. ...

Weinreb's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented more than 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse, agreed with Weinreb that the letter marked a step and not an end to the process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Priest held on molestation charges in Orissa

INDIA
The Times of India

ROURKELA (Orissa): A priest has been arrested for allegedly outraging the modesty of some tribal girls at Tumkela area near here, police said.

According to the complaint lodged by three tribal girls, the 40-year-old man Harihar Padhy molested them on October 7 and 8 when they had visited a temple during Durga puja.

The priest allegedly called the girls to his room, adjacent to the temple and made indecent advances towards them, police said on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Parish community shocked

AUSTRALIA
Myall Coast Nota

LYNN PINKERTON
14/10/2008 4:29:00 PM
MEMBERS of the Bulahdelah Catholic Parish are shocked to learn former parish priest, Father Peter Brock has been charged with 22 counts of child sex charges.

Father Brock was well known within the Bulahdelah Parish and held the overall respect of parishioners.

One parishioner, who didn’t wish to be named, said people admired him for his translation of the bible and his manner of delivering it during his sermons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Lapwai woman claims priest abused her 33 years ago

LAPWAI (ID)
KLEW

[with video]

By Matt Loveless

LAPWAI - A Lapwai woman is making serious allegations against her former priest and church for incidents she says happened in the 1970s.

Mia Sonneck said Monday she's ready to face a 33-year-old demon.

"He took advantage of the situation and me," said Sonneck.

Sonneck, her family and her lawyer stood in front of a closed Nez Perce County courthouse Monday with a ten-page lawsuit in hand against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

October 13, 2008

Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Slapped With 23 Molestation Lawsuits

DELAWARE
AHN

AHN Staff
Wilmington, DE (AHN) - The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is again under fire after it received two lawsuits in a span of seven days, one from a 57-year-old Delaware woman and another from a Colorado judge, involving alleged sexual abuse by the late Rev. Eugene Clarahan.

Lawyer Thomas S. Neuberger, representing the alleged sexual abuse victims by the Catholic clergy in Wilmington, already has 23 lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic Church.

The woman, known in court papers as Jane Coe No. 1, filed a case last Friday at the New Castle County Superior Court. She alleged that Clarahan molested her three times in 1965 and 1966.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Official says deposits in Vatican bank are safe

VATICAN CITY
San Francisco Chronicle

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer

Monday, October 13, 2008

(10-13) 11:33 PDT ROME, Italy (AP) --

A top official of the Vatican bank has offered assurances that its deposits are safe from the world financial meltdown, an Italian Catholic magazine said Monday.

Angelo Caloia said in interview released Monday, days ahead of publication in Famiglia Cristiana magazine, that the bank only makes safe investments.

"Our assets are solid and we have no lack of liquidity," said Caloia, president of the supervisory council of the Institute for the Works of Religion — the bank's official name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Priest case adjourned

AUSTRALIA
Star

By Kath Gannaway

14th October 2008 02:04:48 AM

FORMER St Brigid’s Parish priest Paul Pavlou will face trial in November on two counts of indecent acts with a child under 16, and with possession of child pornography.

The trail originally set down for 30 September at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court was adjourned to a contested hearing on 11 November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Ex-husband in FLDS rape case seeking info from Jeffs' trial

ST. GEORGE (UT)
KTAR

October 13th, 2008 @ 9:33am
by Associated Press

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- An attorney for the ex-husband of the former teenage bride whose court testimony helped send polygamous church leader Warren Jeffs to prison wants a 5th District judge to force the Washington County Attorney's Office to provide evidence gathered during Jeffs' prosecution.

Allen Glade Steed, now 26, is charged with one count of first-degree felony rape for his sexual relationship with Elissa Wall after the couple married in a 2001 religious ceremony. She was 14 and he was 19, and both were members of Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

St. Henry's pastor says he won't leave church

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by Valerie Faciane, The Times-Picayune
Monday October 13, 2008, 7:46 AM

The pastor of the Church of St. Henry has publicly thrown his support behind his parishioners in their fight to keep their parish church open.

Monsignor Henry Engelbrecht has told his parishioners and Archbishop Alfred Hughes that he is not prepared to be reassigned elsewhere in the archdiocese, despite Hughes' request that he indicate in writing by Oct. 15 where he would like to take up residence.

In an Oct. 8 letter from Engelbrecht to Hughes, the pastor repeated that he is "not prepared at this time to request residence or assignment elsewhere in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. . . . I am obligated to remain in residence 'in a rectory near the church.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

OUR VIEW: This prison sentence is well deserved

CULPEPER (VA)
Star Exponent

Staff Editorial
Published: October 12, 2008

» SUMMARY: We’re glad a corrupt preacher will spend 4 years behind bars.

One of the most disturbing chapters in recent Culpeper history came to an end Wednesday when Charles Shifflett, pastor at First Baptist Church of Culpeper, was sentenced to four years in prison and $52,500 in fines for obtaining money by false pretenses, tax fraud and filing false workman’s compensation claims.

We speak for most everyone in this community when we say: Hallelujah.

It’s ironic how Shifflett met the same fate as another bully and swindler, the infamous mobster Al Capone. Their legal troubles have interesting similarities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Ex-priest's sex-abuse trial under way in Illinois

CHICAGO (IL)
The Arizona Republic

Two men testified before a Chicago jury Friday that the same Jesuit priest accused of molesting two Phoenix brothers had forced them to engage in various sexual activities.

Donald McGuire, 78, is on trial in Illinois, accused of sexually abusing a young teenager whose mother sent him to live with the priest in 1999. The now 22-year-old testified that the abuse lasted through 2003.

Two Phoenix men came forward earlier this year after learning that a Chicago man had levied similar accusations against McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Former area Catholic priest barred from ministry

OHIO
WFIN

A retired Fostoria and Columbus Grove Catholic priest has been barred from ministry for a credible allegation of sexual abuse.

The Toledo diocese says the Reverend Lawrence Varney was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor almost 30 years ago.

Varney had been an instructor at Toledo's Central Catholic High School at the time the alleged abuse occurred. A spokesperson said the case is just now coming to light because a victim recently came forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Women abused as children begin to come forward

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish • Reader Submitted • October 12, 2008

In the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware as in dioceses across the country the swath of damage caused by sexual predators has broadened so that it no longer includes only men, "Woman says priest assaulted her as teen," (10/12/08).

Women are beginning to feel empowered, believed and supported enough to come out of the shadows and speak the truth about what was done to them.

It has been a long time coming.

The leadership of our church should be doing all that it can to encourage as many victims of sexual abuse to come forward as possible by publicizing the existence of abuse support groups in the diocesan newspaper, The Dialog, in the church bulletins of every parish and from the pulpit of all churches as well as recognizing and dialoging with members of the church who belong to groups such as Voice of the Faithful, which was founded in 2002 fully in accord with the church's Canon Law especially Canon 212:3 which says:

"In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, the Christian faithful have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence towards their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

October 12, 2008

Mata ‘raped’ by temple priest, trustee

INDIA
The Statesman

JAJPUR, Oct. 12: With the controversy surrounding the rape of a nun in the strife torn Kandhamal district yet to die down, a similar incident involving a Mata (God woman) has come to the fore in Jajpur district.

The police took up investigations only after a month of the reported incident. A rape case was registered with Dharmasala police station following the direction of the court of Judicial Magistrate, first class, Chandikhole, after the complainant knocked its door.

The local police under the direct supervision of the Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) would conduct the investigation, district police sources said.

According to the complaint, the 55-year-old Mata used to stay at Gokarneswar temple situated on the river bank of Brahmani near Jaraka under Dharmasala police station limits in the district. She was allegedly raped by the priest of the temple and subsequently by the trustee who happens to be a government servant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Don Cantini "spretato" su ordine di Benedetto XVI

ITALY
Il Repubblica

ROMA - Il Papa, su proposta della Congregazione per la dottrina della fede, ha ridotto allo stato laicale don Lelio Cantini, il sacerdote di 85 anni ritenuto responsabile di abusi sessuali e psicologici negli anni 1973-1987 nella sua parrocchia fiorentina della Regina della Pace. Quattordici anni di abusi sessuali e ricatti e pressioni psicologiche che hanno trovato la forza di emergere solo nel 2004 quando le denunce delle stesse vittime hanno finalmente trovato ascolto.

[translation]

The Florentine parish priest, now 85-years-old, has been held responsible for sexual abuses against his young parishioners in the years between 1973 and 1987.

The Rev. Cantini “defrocked” by order of Benedict XVI.

A first “sentence” in 2005 was considered too weak and ineffective. The faithful requested a supplementary investigation and the direct intervention of the Pontiff.

ROME – The Pope, after a proposal of the Congregation for the Doctrine and Faith, has reduced to the lay state the Rev. Lelio Cantini, the 85-year-old priest considered responsible for sexual and psychological abuses in the years 1973-1987 in his “Regina della Pace” Florentine parish. He was accused of 14 years of sexual abuse and blackmail and psychological pressure, which emerged only in 2004 when the denunciations of the same victims finally found attention.

The sentence puts an end to a vicissitude which has shocked the Florentine church and which exploded in April 2007 after some parishioners denounced their having been the victims of those abuses and provoked an investigation by the Florence Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation at the basis of the Pontiff’s decision is the second one the curia had made against the priest. “There emerged additional confirmations which added up new repercussions to the case,” according to Monsignor Charles Scicluna, promoter of justice at the Congregation for Doctrine and Faith, who spoke last September. He is the Holy See’s “Public Prosecutor” who valued the voluminous dossier containing the findings of the supplementary investigation imposed by Rome to the Florentine curia after insistences made by the victims and who was conducted by the Carmelite Father Francesco Romano.

In 2005, in fact, then Cardinal Antonelli had ended the investigation following a simple administrative canonical process, at the end of which, even if he acknowledged the Rev. Cantini was guilty of “criminal sexual abuses, false mysticism and domain of consciences”, condemned the old priest to a minimum penalty which was the prohibition to celebrate mass in public and the obligation to recite litanies to the Virgin Mary. A light penalty, which didn’t keep into consideration, for example, the perverse psychological mechanism the Rev. Cantini used to force his victims to commit those crimes. That was the most painful part of the story.

Faced by Cardinal Antonelli’s caution, the victims, who had already sent letters to the Holy See, again asked the Congregation for the Doctrine and Faith for an additional investigation. Using the maximum discretion Father Romano listened to their voices again and also for the first time the many people who knew what had happened in the parish of “Regina della Pace”. In the end, the voluminous dossier containing the findings of the investigation was delivered to the bishop. That brought to the decision of the Pontiff.

For that story the victims accused the auxiliary bishop Claudio Maniago (who was educated in that same parish “Regina della Pace”) of having undervalued the case. Since last December the Rev. Cantini has taken shelter for health reasons in the Florence’s ecclesiastical boarding school.

(October 12th, 2008)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

St. John's University Chaplain Arrested For Emailing Video Pornography

NEW YORK
AHN

AHN Staff
New York, NY (AHN) - Students and faculty members at the St. John's University in Queens, New York City were shocked after authorities arrested university chaplain Father Charles Plock for allegedly emailing pornographic videos to an investigator guised as a 14-year-old.

Plock, 64, was charged after a Colorado police detective posing as a young boy received two home video containing scenes of Plock masturbating in his bathroom's apartment inside the campus.

Plock was arraigned Friday night at the Queens Criminal Court, and is scheduled for his next hearing on November 11.

Plock was later released after fellow priests were able to collect a $15,000 for his bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

St. John's priest in cybersex video sting sent to cushy clergy retreat near golf courses

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY KATHLEEN LUCADAMO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Sunday, October 12th 2008, 1:23 AM

A St. John's University arrested in a cybersex sting was allowed to trade in his jail cell for a treatment facility in a leafy town known for its country clubs.

St. John Vianney Center in Downington, Pa., specializes in counseling clergy with sexual and other psychiatric disorders.

The Rev. Charles Plock, 63, was ordered to check into the residential facility after being released on $150,000 bail late Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Bar leader tried to stall abuse deal, records show

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Andrew Wolfson • awolfson@courier-journal.com • October 12, 2008

The president of the Kentucky Bar Association allegedly tried to block the $84 million settlement of the Diocese of Covington priest-abuse case so she could extract a larger fee for herself, according to affidavits filed in bar proceedings.

The documents allege that Barbara Bonar, working behind the scenes, helped write an objection for a former client to the settlement and tried to drum up negative news stories to derail it -- even though she had been a lead lawyer for the 380 victims.

Ethics experts say that even as their former attorney, she had a duty not to hurt their cause. ...

In the prepared statement, Bonar noted that she has appealed McGinnis' findings and believes she will "ultimately be vindicated" in her pursuit of her "rightful share of Diocese class action from Mr. Chesley and his firm." The appeal notes that another judge had given her permission to represent her individual clients.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Youth Minister Charged With Sexual Abuse

DECATUR (AL)
WAAY

DECATUR,AL- A youth minister is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy. 23-year-old Robert Poitier was arrested last night after the pastor had contacted police several months ago.

Investigators say Poitier used his position as a youth pastor to gain trust at the church and be left alone with children.

Police say Poitier has worked at other churches in the area and want to know if anyone else has been harmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Religious Interference in the American Election

UNITED STATES
Chronicle of Higher Education

Laurie Fendrich

As I understand things, the Vatican is a sovereign state—i.e., it has its own laws, administration, and police, and is diplomatically recognized by other countries, including the United States. We maintain an embassy in the Vatican and appoint an ambassador to the Holy See. (The current one is Francis Rooney, a Bush appointee.) In other words, the Vatican is technically a foreign country in the same sense that England, France and Germany are.

So imagine for a moment that a spokesperson for the English, French or German government had issued a statement during our current election campaign saying that the Democratic Party in the United States is “the party of death.” What would our reaction be? I think it would be, “Who the heck are they to interfere in our domestic affairs? We don’t tell the English, French, or Germans how to regard one of their own political parties.” Yet “party of death” was the phrase used to describe the Democratic Party in a statement issued by the Vatican. ...

In the case of the Scranton bishop’s instructions, the Catholic Church, in effect, ends up functioning as if it were a political party. And just as a political party can be dragged publicly over the coals for evidence of corruption—without recourse to pleading that public opprobrium amounts to religious bigotry—so can the Catholic Church, particularly for its horrendous record of sexual abuse (including rampant pedophilia) in this country and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Oakland church's garden of healing and memory

OAKLAND (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, October 12, 2008

(10-11) 19:27 PDT OAKLAND --

Some three years after Jennifer Chapin first proposed that a memorial to victims of clergy abuse be included in Oakland's new Christ the Light Cathedral, a healing garden she helped plan was dedicated Saturday afternoon in the cathedral's shadow.

Yet moments before the dedication ceremony began, Chapin had yet to set foot inside.

It didn't feel right, she said. Not yet.

The day had been "a long time coming," in the words of Terrie Light, a member with Chapin of the Healing Garden Committee and, like her, a victim of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Catholic program teaches warning signs of child sexual abuse, preventive measures

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez Tribune reporter
October 12, 2008
The child molester spoke of his obsession with children and how he used a photo album to lure them into his hands. Later in the video, another abuser said he waited patiently for the right moment to touch a child. A little girl who had been abused said she hadn't understood what was happening.

Sitting with other Catholic parents in Chicago's Queen of Angels parish hall, we watched in sadness and disgust. We knew that learning about the evils of sexual abuse was necessary to protect our children, but how had we come to this point?

In the wake of the clergy abuse crisis, all church employees and parents who volunteer at Catholic schools must attend a three-hour sexual abuse training session known as the Virtus program, as well as undergo criminal background checks. The program is designed to help adults recognize the warning signs of child sexual abuse, learn the ways offenders work and take steps to prevent abuse from occurring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Woman says priest assaulted her as teen

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By RYAN CORMIER • The News Journal • October 12, 2008

The Delaware woman, suing anonymously and known in court papers as Jane Coe # 1, says she was abused sexually by the Rev. Eugene F. Clarahan.

Last week in another lawsuit, a Colorado judge claimed that he, too, had been sexually abused by Clarahan.

The most recent suit, filed Friday in New Castle County Superior Court, alleges that Clarahan molested the woman three times in 1965 and 1966, when she was 14 and 15, in a barn on her parents farm in southern Delaware.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Retired Toledo priest barred from ministry

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

y DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The Rev. Lawrence Varney, a retired Toledo Catholic priest, has been barred from ministry for a credible allegation of sexual abuse.

The 75-year-old diocesan priest was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor almost 30 years ago, the Toledo diocese said in a statement issued late Friday night.

The Diocesan Review Board, a panel appointed to hear allegations of clerical sexual abuse, deemed the allegation to be credible, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

October 11, 2008

Agawam parishioners plead with diocese officials not to close All Saints Parish

AGAWAM (MA)
The Republican

By DAVID BERGENGREN
dbergengren@repub.com

AGAWAM - A church official has told the members of All Saints Parish - slated to close along with its two churches Jan. 1 - that he will convey to Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell their request to keep one church open as a chapel and create a new parish in conjunction with the congregation at Sacred Heart on Springfield Street.

With more than 100 parishioners present at St. Therese Catholic Church on Bridge Street Thursday night, Monsignor John J. Bonzagni, director of pastoral planning for the Springfield Diocese, fielded sometimes heated questions and comments for about two hours.

Referring to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield's pastoral reorganization plan announced in August, Bonzagni said, "With only about 65 priests (expected to be available) in about five years time, we're trying to design something that 65 priests can serve, without killing them." The diocese has nearly 100 active ordained priests at present.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

New York Priest Charged With E-Mailing Porn

NEW YORK
Fox News

Saturday, October 11, 2008

NEW YORK — A priest who serves as a youth minister at a Roman Catholic university is charged with e-mailing pornographic videos to a Colorado detective posing as a 14-year-old.

Authorities say the Rev. Charles Plock, a chaplain at St. John's University in Queens, shot the masturbation movies in the bathroom of his on-campus apartment. The priest's face is clearly visible, according to investigators.

As part of an online sting operation, police in Colorado's Adams County traced the e-mail to St. John's. In New York, the NYPD investigators armed with a search warrant seized Plock's computers along with the homemade footage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Witnesses say priest taught sex 'lessons'

CHICAGO (IL)
Times of the Internet

Sat Oct 11 2008 Posted by Staff in nation.

CHICAGO, Oct. 11 (UPI) --
Two alleged victims of child sex abuse at the hands of a former Evanston, Ill., Jesuit priest maintain the clergyman shamed them into accepting sex lessons.

Two men, now adults, testified Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago that as 13- and 14-year-olds, the Rev. Donald McGuire admonished them they were addicted to masturbation and needed to be cured through sexually explicit lessons, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Queens School Priest Arraigned On Porn Charges

NEW YORK
NY1

By: NY1 News

A priest at St. John's University was arraigned on charges that he e-mailed pornographic videos of himself to a Colorado detective posing as a 14-year-old boy.

Police told the Daily News that the Reverend Charles Plock, who serves as a chaplain and youth minister at the school, taped himself in the bathroom of his on-campus apartment.

The 63-year-old was arraigned last night and released on $150,000 bond, on the condition he report to a residential psychiatric facility for clergy in Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Diocesan bankruptcy trustee goes after pre-filing payments

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Friday, October 10, 2008 9:41 PM CDT
The trustee who oversees the $37 million Diocese of Davenport bankruptcy settlement is going after payments the diocese made in the months leading up to its filing in October 2006, documents show.

The payments include nearly $20,000 for prepayment of a funeral for retired Bishop William Franklin, more than $100,000 in tuition payments made on behalf of men studying to become priests, at least $135,800 paid to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and nearly $73,000 to the liaison between the Vatican and the Catholic Church of the United States, among others.

Other payments include more than $12,200 for a new computer system and more than $73,000 to the Diocese of Peoria for reimbursement of expenses for a newly ordained priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Two more St. Stan's members excommunicated

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

By Tim Townsend

10/11/2008

Keeping track of excommunications at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church can be a full-time job. On Friday, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced on its website that two more members of the Polish church just north of downtown St. Louis had been declared excommunicated.

These were the first excommunications in the four-year battle over the church's property and assets that were declared by someone other than former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Burke began a new job in Rome recently as the head of the Vatican's supreme court, and the latest St. Stanislaus excommunications were declared by Bishop Robert Hermann, who is acting as the administrator of the archdiocese until Pope Benedict XVI names Burke's successor.

Richard Lapinski, 62, of St. Charles, and Janice Merzweiler, 70, of St. Louis, were elected to the St. Stanislaus lay board in August. In a statement on the archdiocese's website, Hermann said he'd informed Lapinski and Merzweiler "that the board of Saint Stanislaus Parish Corporation is in schism, that the parish has been suppressed, and that if they joined the board, they would be knowingly joining a sect that is not in communion with the Catholic Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

NY priest charged with e-mailing porn to teenager

NEW YORK
Newsday

October 11, 2008
NEW YORK - A priest who serves as a youth minister at a Roman Catholic university is charged with e-mailing pornographic videos to a Colorado detective posing as a 14-year-old.

Authorities say the Rev. Charles Plock, a chaplain at St. John's University in Queens, shot the masturbation movies in the bathroom of his on-campus apartment. The priest's face is clearly visible, according to investigators.

As part of an online sting operation, police in Colorado's Adams County traced the e-mail to St. John's. In New York, the NYPD investigators armed with a search warrant seized Plock's computers along with the homemade footage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

St. John's University priest accused of sending homemade smut to 'teen'

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY ERICA PEARSON, KERRY BURKE AND ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Saturday, October 11th 2008, 1:15 AM

A St. John's University chaplain was charged Friday with transmitting an obscene Webcam image of himself to someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy, police sources said.

The Rev. Charles Plock, 63, picked the wrong "teen" to e-mail his homemade masturbation movies, authorities said. The recipient was actually Detective Mark Michieli of the Adams County, Colo., sheriff's office, who pretended he was a youth in an online sting operation.

Cops traced Plock's e-mail to St. John's, the Catholic university in Queens, where he is a chaplain and youth minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Exclusive: Sacked priest Gerry Nugent in row over hospital communion claim

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Oct 11 2008 By Lachlan Mackinnon

SHAMED priest Gerry Nugent caused uproar in a cancer hospital over claims he tried to give communion to patients.

The alcoholic 64-year-old, who was sacked by the Catholic Church in the wake of the Angelika Kluk murder trial, visited Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow.

Nugent is said to have distressed patients and unsettled staff after turning up at the hospital's Beatson Oncology Centre last Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Diocese: Beach houses privately owned

PENNSYLVANIA
Republican & Herald

BY PETER E. BORTNER
STAFF WRITER
pbortner@republicanherald.com
Published: Saturday, October 11, 2008 4:21 AM EDT
Many people love to go to the beach, and the Most Rev. Edward P. Cullen is no exception.

Cullen, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown, owns two properties at the Jersey Shore, and church members are questioning why parishes are closing if the bishop appears to have wealth to spare.

With the diocese having closed 47 churches, including 32 in the Schuylkill County region this year, many Catholics reacted with dismay to the disclosure that Cullen owns the properties. However, the diocese has attributed the church closings to the shortage of priests and changing populations.

Cullen owns a house at 4660 Dune Drive, Avalon, N.J., and a condominium at Golden Shores Condominium, 8001 Second Ave., Stone Harbor, N.J., with a combined value of almost $2 million, according to Cape May County property records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Whispers about Burke’s replacement in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Voice from the Desert

From the Whispers in the Loggia blog, 10.9.2008.

Over recent weeks, three independent sources in divergent locales have indicated a surprise front-runner for the vacant archbishopric of St Louis: Bishop Salvatore Matano of Burlington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Bishop should not hide behind the law

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

In a very real sense, Maine's 200,000 Catholics have joined together to deny fair and just reparation for the trauma, harms and injuries inflicted upon a victim of priest sexual abuse.

Catholic parishioners are complicit in their silence. They stand by disengaged and silent while their bishop unleashes the church's legal team against a single victim of child sex abuse.

Bishop Richard Malone is hiding behind the doctrine of charitable immunity, a civil law technicality that, in the bishop's mind, gives him permission to avoid his moral and ethical obligation to gospel values such as truth, responsibility and accountability.

A Maine Supreme Judicial Court justice recently argued that if there is no charitable immunity, entities like the Grange could be out of business. However, in a different case involving the same priest abuser, the Court ruled in 2005 that the protections of church leaders are limited when weighed against the welfare of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Attorney: Priest passed lie-detector test

NEW YORK
The Leader-Herald

By KERRY McAVOY/The Leader-Herald
POSTED: October 11, 2008

An attorney for a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse said his client passed a lie-detector test "with flying colors."

The Rev. John Broderick took the test two and a half weeks ago at the home of attorney John J. Broderick in Syosset. The priest and his attorney are not related.

The Rev. Broderick, 47, of Nicholsville, St. Lawrence County, is accused of sexually abusing three Montgomery County children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Investigation of Texas Polygamist Sect Is Likely to Spill Into Utah, Arizona

UNITED STATES
Wall Street Journal

By STEPHANIE SIMON

Six months after they raided a polygamist sect's compound, Texas authorities have brought bigamy and child-abuse charges against members of the group as part of a criminal investigation that could soon expand to Utah and Arizona.

During the raid, Texas authorities took the controversial step of seizing more than 400 children, contending they were endangered by the group's practice of marrying young girls to much older men. All but one of the children have since been returned to their families.

But state officials have held on to the hundreds of documents and computer files they took during their search of the sprawling Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.

Prosecutors in three states hope to use that evidence to press a wide range of criminal charges -- from tax evasion to sexual assault -- to break open the secretive Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which split from the mainstream Mormon church decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Ex-coach ordered to pay victim $751,257

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

October 11, 2008
Former Pottsville Nativity High School track coach Daniel M. Shields Jr. was ordered Thursday to pay $751,257 in compensatory and punitive damages to a Schuylkill County girl he molested and secretly videotaped undressing.

A headline in Friday's editions listed an incorrect amount. The Allentown Catholic Diocese and Pottsville Nativity reached a confidential settlement in May with the girl, but that amount was not disclosed, at the girl's request.

The complete cost of the settlement with the diocese and school was funded by the diocese's insurance program, according to diocese spokesman Matt Kerr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Explicit talk about abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By David Heinzmann | Chicago Tribune reporter
9:25 PM CDT, October 10, 2008
While an ex-priest's lawyer tried to present his client's chief accuser as a gold digger pursuing a lawsuit, prosecutors bombarded jurors Friday with explicit testimony about how Rev. Donald McGuire talked constantly of sex with adolescent boys in his care and exposed them to pornography and daily nude rubdowns with baby oil.

The sexual environment created by McGuire confused the boys about his advances and made them feel shameful and fearful about speaking out, two of the priest's former teenage "personal assistants" testified at his federal trial.

Jurors sat stone-faced for much of the graphic testimony, but by the end of the afternoon, many appeared to stare at the 78-year-old defendant for long periods.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Diocese bars retired priest amid allegations

OHIO
My Fox Toledo

Retired Toledo Catholic Diocese priest Lawrence F. Varney, 75, was placed on administrative leave and was barred from any public ministry Friday amid sexual allegations of misconduct with a minor involving the priest in the 1970s, said Bishop Leonard Blair.

The Diocesan Review Board found the allegations credible and submitted their findings to the diocese and the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Former Sandusky St. Mary priest accused of sexual misconduct

OHIO
Sandusky Register

Saturday, October 11, 2008 12:31 AM EDT

A catholic priest who served as an assistant pastor at the Sandusky St. Mary’s parish in the 1960s has been placed on leave due to an allegation of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. Lawrence F. Varney, 75, also is barred from any public ministry, according to a news release from the diocese.

The alleged incident took place “almost 30 years ago” but was found to be credible, according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Retired Toledo priest disciplined for alleged sexual abuse

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The Rev. Lawrence Varney, a retired Toledo Catholic priest, has been barred from ministry for credible allegations of sexual abuse.

The 75-year-old diocesan priest was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor almost 30 years ago, the Toledo diocese said in a statement issued late Friday night.

The Diocesan Review Board, a panel appointed to hear allegations of clerical sexual abuse, deemed the allegations to be credible, the statement said.

Bishop Leonard Blair placed Father Varney on administrative leave and barred him from public ministry in compliance with diocesan policy, according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Priest's defense fund probed

NEW YORK
Watertown Daily Times

By DAVID WINTERS
TIMES STAFF WRITER
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2008
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va., is looking into a legal defense fund created by a former St. Lawrence County priest accused of sexually abusing three children in New York.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, whose last known address was Nicholville, was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury last month on three felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. He is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with three children, ranging in age from 5 to 11, over a few months in 2007.

The priest was involved with the Dominican Sisters — a Catholic group not recognized by the Vatican — who run the Holy Name of Jesus Academy in Massena. He worked there from mid-2007 until his arrest in February at the school. No complaints were filed against him in Massena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

2 say priest 'educated' them on masturbation

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter aherrmann@suntimes.com
Two men who say they were molested as teens by the Rev. Donald McGuire testified Friday that the now-defrocked priest convinced them that they were "addicted" to masturbation and needed to be "educated" on how to stop it.

The "education" included looking at sexually explicit magazines such as Playboy and Playgirl and watching X-rated films.

One alleged victim, identified in federal court only as Dominick, now 22, said McGuire had him masturbate just short of climax.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Victims reach deal with church

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

Posted By CAROL MULLIGAN, THE SUDBURY STAR

The battle of a former Sudbury- area man who launched a $3.1-million lawsuit three years ago against the Roman Catholic Church and one of its priests is drawing to a close.

Robert Berube, 53, and a second man known only as Claude, who filed a similar claim two years later, have reached a settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.

Their lawyer announced Friday the men will hold a news conference next week in Sudbury to discuss their "long journey for truth, healing and justice."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

October 10, 2008

'Victim' pleads: Leave Brenkle alone

CALIFORNIA
St. Helena Star

By Jesse Duarte
STAFF WRITER
Friday, October 10, 2008
An advocacy group for those who have been abused by priests is still calling for Monsignor John Brenkle to be removed from his position as head of a sex abuse review panel — even though the altar boy who was the subject of a false accusation against Brenkle is asking them to leave Brenkle alone.

Luke Wilmoth, now 27 and living in Las Vegas, maintains that the accusation by his father that Brenkle lured him into his sacristy under false pretenses was unfounded and Brenkle never abused him in any way. He wants the advocacy group — Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP — to retract their call for Brenkle to be removed as the head of the Santa Rosa Diocese’s sex abuse review panel.

SNAP Representatives say they’re not reversing their position on Brenkle. Just the fact that Brenkle said he was accused should be enough to disqualify him from heading the board, the group says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Witness alleges frequent sexual abuse by priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

October 10, 2008 at 1:43 PM
Donald McGuire's lawyer peppered the defrocked priest's accuser with questions today about why years passed without the young man seeking help or confiding his allegations of sexual abuse to anyone.

The witness, identified only as Dominick, told the jury he kept quiet for years because he felt intimidated by McGuire's stature in Catholic circles.

During the cross-examination, Stephen Komie, McGuire's lawyer, honed in on Dominick's lawsuit seeking money from McGuire and the Jesuit religious order.

Komie argued that Dominick did not approach law enforcement until after he had hired a private attorney to pursue damages. Dominick acknowledged that he went to authorities last year on the advice of his private attorney, Kevin McGuire, a nephew to the defrocked priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

2nd lawsuit filed against ex-diocese priest

DELAWARE
WDEL

By Mellany Armstrong

A second lawsuit has been filed accusing a former Diocese of Wilmington priest of sexual abuse.

A 57-year-old Delaware woman says the Rev. Eugene Clarahan molested her in a barn on her parents' farm in lower Delaware when she was a teenager. The woman says Clarahan also sexually abused her older brother. She claims in the suit that Clarahan was counseling her brother, who became an alcoholic at age 16 and died in a car crash while driving drunk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Church-merger pace surprises some

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

Friday, October 10, 2008

By Bruce Nolan
The Archdiocese of New Orleans appears poised to close two small Uptown Catholic parishes within weeks, rather than waiting for the end of the year, as many parishioners expected.

Monsignor Henry Engelbrecht, pastor of St. Henry Parish, confirmed Thursday that Archbishop Alfred Hughes disclosed that the parish rectory and the church were to be closed at the end of this month or in early November.

Engelbrecht declined to give other details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Trials & Tribulations: Feds could put ex-KJ rabbi in prison for years

NEW YORK
Times Herald-Record

By Oliver Mackson
October 10, 2008
The feds have much more than just a five-count indictment against Rabbi Israel Weingarten. They've got a pile of court papers that include allegations of misdeeds done to his fellow Satmar Hasidim in Kiryas Joel years before the indictment was unsealed Monday. And that's why two federal judges have ordered Weingarten to be held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, after FBI agents had to kick down two doors to arrest the barricaded Weingarten at his home in Monsey Monday morning.

Weingarten is accused of taking a teenage relative overseas for the purpose of sexually abusing her in 1997. A federal grand jury indicted him in Brooklyn Aug. 18 on five charges of traveling across U.S. borders and overseas to have sex with the relative. Brooklyn also has a large Satmar community, and Weingarten once taught in a private religious school there.

Weingarten's accuser came forward in 2003, when she was 22, according to court papers. She told the FBI that Weingarten began abusing her when she was 9, according to a memo prepared by federal prosecutors Rachel Nash and Andrea Goldbarg to support their request for Weingarten to be held without bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Ex-altar boy describes massaging 'holy priest'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 10, 2008

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com

Each morning and each night, a 17-year-old boy who worked as a personal assistant for a world-renowned priest said he had to follow a certain routine.

The boy brought out balms and baby oil, and, as the Rev. Donald McGuire lay naked, he massaged him, the former altar boy testified Thursday in federal court.

From his bed, McGuire would direct the boy, identified only as Peter, to massage his private areas and tell him how to do it, Peter testified. When they traveled, the balms and oils came along too, in a plastic bag.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Clericalism versus religion

The Nut Graph (Maylasia)

10 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By Aloysious Mowe
editor@thenutgraph.com

I GAVE a presentation a couple of weeks ago on some of the problems associated with so-called Islamic finance and its roots in the shariah. After the session, a professor of political science said to me: "It's such an insoluble problem. I don't know how Islam can resolve the issues and difficulties in its law and practice. At least the Catholic church has a clear structure of authority so that decisions can be made that are binding on everyone."

He clearly regarded the hierarchical structure in the Catholic church, with its pope, bishops, and priests ruling the church from above, as a positive element in its governance and decision-making.

The problem with hierarchical structures is that the people at the top begin to see themselves as superior in some way to those below. We have this phenomenon in civil society. The people we elect to Parliament to serve us in government are mysteriously transformed into Datuks and Tuns, who go about in Mercedes Benzes and always seem to end up wealthier than the rakyat. The convention of calling the workers in government offices "civil servants" seems to many of us, given the usual state of the "service", to be an abuse of language. ...

That sense of entitlement leads us to believe that we can behave in any way we like. I have heard bishops blaming the phenomenon of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy on the greater degree of sexual permissiveness in the world today. This is errant nonsense. The majority of the cases that have come to light seem to have happened 30 to 40 years ago, or even further back in time, as can be seen from the ages of the perpetrators who have been brought to book.

I believe that clericalism, coupled with the kind of arrested sexual development that can occur when you deny your basic sexual identity, can be found to be at the root of much of the terrible abuse that has occurred. The automatic trust and respect given to priests by their people also meant that parents unquestioningly and recklessly trusted them with their children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Child-abusing priest Shea dies in Manchester

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Union Leader

MANCHESTER – One of the first New Hampshire priests to be prosecuted in an early wave of revelations of sexually abusive priests died yesterday at Catholic Medical Center.

The Rev. Leo Shea, 82, had been living at the Peterson Residence, a home for infirm and aged priests.

In 1994, Shea was sent to state prison for three to six years after pleading guilty to sex crimes involving a 14-year-old altar boy from a parish in Troy in 1982. At the time of his conviction, authorities said 35 to 40 other victims had surfaced from several communities in New Hampshire. He was paroled in 1997, according to www.bishopaccountability.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

FBI, Calif child services visited Alamo compound

ARKANSAS
Enterprise-Record

By JON GAMBRELL Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 10/09/2008 05:42:28 PM PDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—California social workers and FBI agents were investigating possible abuse of children at a Tony Alamo Christian Ministries facility in that state just after authorities raided one of the evangelist's two Arkansas compounds, officials said Thursday.

Louise Grasmehr, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, said social workers took no children into custody at the compound near Santa Clarita, Calif. Investigators arrived in the early morning hours of Sept. 21 to find only a few adults and a 14-year-old boy, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Pro-Obama Catholic lawyer resigns board

OHIO
The Associated Press

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A Catholic law professor who served on a high-profile panel formed to address the church's clergy sexual scandal has resigned from the board of a conservative Catholic university after writing a column supporting Democrat Barack Obama and declaring the abortion battle lost.

Nicholas Cafardi, former dean of the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, voluntarily offered to resign from the board of trustees at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the school said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Wife testifies she saw no signs of sexual abuse by her husband

CALIFORNIA
The Press-Enterprise

By TAMMY J. McCOY
The Press-Enterprise

The wife of a Menifee man charged with raping one of their foster daughters testified Thursday there were no signs the little girl was ever abused by anyone during the 40-plus days the child lived with them in 2005.

In prior testimony, the child said Joseph P. Billock, the defendant, sexually assaulted her in a second-floor bedroom and stopped when his wife, Wendy Billock, announced from downstairs that dinner was ready.

In her testimony during Billock's first trial, the girl said her bedroom door was open. ...

This is the second trial for the ordained minister with the Church of the Nazarene. A jury in March was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

FLDS girls to attend classes on underage marriage

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 10, 2008 12:30 a.m. MDT

Girls from the Fundamentalist LDS Church are being required to attend classes in Texas that address sexual abuse, underage marriage and the law.

"These are sessions that deal with issues related to state laws on underage marriages and sexual abuse, along with ways to identify, protect, prevent and report sexual abuse," Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for Texas Child Protective Services, wrote in an e-mail to the Deseret News. "The goal of the sessions are to educate girls who are at risk or who have been sexual abuse victims and to deal with any emotional issues related to this topic."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Pastor on sexual abuse charges in court

JAMAICA
Radio Jamaica

Thursday, 09 October 2008
A pastor accused of molesting several boys appeared in the Port Maria Resident Magistrate's court Thursday.

The case against Donald Stewart, who is facing 30 counts of indecent assault and buggery, is set for hearing on December 11.

Stewart was granted bail in July in the matter which is being heard in-camera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

Former St. Louis pastor and community activist dies at 50

LOS ANGELES (CA)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

10/10/2008

Former St. Louis pastor and community activist Sylvester Laudermill died Thursday in Los Angeles, his church confirmed. He was 50.

Church leaders declined to specify the cause of death.

From 1994 to 2004, Laudermill was pastor of St. Peter American Methodist Episcopal Church at Margaretta and Shreve avenues in St. Louis. ...

In 2004, he was transferred to Ward AME Church in Los Angeles, the second-largest AME congregation in the city, but was forced to step down in 2006 after accusations in both St. Louis and Los Angeles that he had sexually abused minors.

Laudermill was investigated by civil authorities in both cities, but criminal charges were never filed. A civil trial against him and the AME Church in the California case was scheduled to begin later this month. In the St. Louis case, Laudermill's alleged victim agreed to a settlement with St. Peter's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 AM

At defrocked priest's trial, ex-aide recounts body massages and sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen and David Heinzmann | Chicago Tribune reporters
October 10, 2008
Peter was just out of high school when he began work as an assistant to Donald McGuire, then a renowned Jesuit priest who traveled the globe for spiritual retreats.

It was an honor to care for McGuire—until the priest began asking for body massages with baby oil, Peter told a federal jury in Chicago on Thursday.

"He laid on his stomach," said the witness, who was permitted by the judge to use only his first name to keep his identity confidential. "He told me to start with the buttocks because it was the largest muscle and work out from there."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 AM

October 9, 2008

Former Darien priest's prison assignment changed to Massachusetts

DARIEN (CT)
The Advocate

By Monica Potts
Staff Writer

STAMFORD - A former Catholic priest convicted of stealing more than $1 million from his Darien church is now scheduled to serve a three-year prison term at a federal medical center in Massachusetts beginning Oct. 21, according to the United States District Attorney's office for Connecticut.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, a former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church, had been headed to a Bureau of Prisons federal medical center in North Carolina.

The start of his prison term has been delayed six times as federal prison officials and doctors from Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City discussed how to continue Fay's treatment for prostate cancer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

BREAKING NEWS Shields' victim awarded $751,257.37

PENNSYLVANIA
Republican and Herald

Published: Thursday, October 9, 2008 5:07 PM EDT
Schuylkill County Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin ruled Thursday in favor of a woman who was sexually assaulted by former Nativity B.V.M. coach Daniel M. Shields Jr. when she was a student.

Dolbin said Shields' must pay her $751,257.37 for compensatory and punitive damages.

Panic attacks and self-mutilation made life a nightmare for her, she testified Thursday in Schuylkill County Court.

In an almost empty courtroom — Shields sits in a state prison and the 1¼-hour trial occurred before Dolbin instead of a jury — the girl, now 21 and a student at Alvernia College, Reading, remained calm as she detailed the perverseness of the former football and girls’ track coach at Nativity BVM High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Father Fay could serve prison time in M

MASSACHUSETTS
Darien Times

Written by Susan Shultz
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Breaking News Thursday 2:36 p.m.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from St. John Roman Catholic Church, would now serve his prison sentence in Massachusetts rather than North Carolina.

As a result of a conference call with all interested parties on Tuesday, Oct. 7, Fay’s prison reporting date was reconfirmed for Oct. 21 at noon. However, he will now report to the Bureau of Prisons’ FMC Devens facility in Ayer, Mass. Fay’s trial cancer treatment will be transferred from Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts.

Previously, Fay was scheduled to report to Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C.

Trial begins for priest accused of molestation

CHICAGO (IL)
WAND

Associated Press - October 9, 2008 2:44 PM ET

CHICAGO (AP) - A defense attorney for a defrocked Jesuit is trying to raise doubts about a witness who told a jury the priest demanded daily nude massages.

Defense attorney Stephen Komie (KOH'-mee) declined make an opening statement today on the first day of the federal criminal trial in Chicago of Donald McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Ex-pastor charged with possessing child porn

NEW YORK
Newswatch 50

A former pastor in St. Lawrence County has been charged with having child pornography on his computer.

The Sheriff's Department charges 60 year old Merton Parks of Fine with possessing a sexual performance by a child, a Class E felony.

Parks resigned this week as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Oswegatchie after learning he was under investigation.

He was arraigned in Canton town court and released without bail into the supervision of the county probation department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Priest accused over teen sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Dan Proudman
October 10, 2008

THE Catholic priest and music conductor Peter Brock has been accused of repeatedly taking a young boy to a house and watching as several men sexually assaulted the teenager in what was described yesterday as a "pedophilic smorgasbord".

Brock was yesterday charged with 22 child sex offences involving two brothers during the 1970s. A statement tendered to Newcastle Local Court alleged Brock had groomed the boys by introducing them to "strip jack poker". Brock, 63, is alleged to have repeatedly abused one of them while the boy and Brock played the game in two presbyteries over two years.

The court was told that in the mid-1970s, when the boy was aged 15 and two years after he was first abused, Brock took him to a Newcastle house on at least six occasions and watched as several men sexually assaulted the teenager after plying him with alcohol. It is alleged that during each visit a dentist, Ashley Edward Jarrold, 56, was also present, and assaulted the youth on two of those occasions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

New child sex abuse case against Mother Theresa’s ‘confessor’ starts

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Opening arguments are expected to start tomorrow in a criminal trial against an already-convicted pedophile priest who is the nation's most high profile child molesting Catholic clergyman.

The is a federal case being held in Courtroom 2119 (at the Dirksen Federal Bldg- corner of Jackson and Dearborn) in front of Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer.

Fr. Donald J. McGuire is a defrocked Jesuit who has been Mother Teresa's spiritual advisor, spoken at hundreds of schools, churches and retreats across the globe. He is also the most high-profile Catholic priest to ever be convicted for sexually abusing kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Bone to pick with Archdiocese of Hartford

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut Catholic Corner

I have a bone to pick with the Archdiocese of Hartford over Father Stephen Foley who has been accused of sexual abuse, including William Noll who claims Foley abused him for three years when he was a teen. Foley hightailed it out of CT when he was ordered to leave a Bloomfield seminary and has so far refused to return and face the charges against him. He was found in Virginia and once again refused or failed to show up for a video deposition. This isn't the first time Foley has defied court orders. He failed to show up last March on another sexual abuse case, but that one was settled just before it went to trial.

I know all are assumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, but lets face it, when a grown man, a "man of the cloth" clergy runs and hides instead of facing his responsibilities and honestly answering questions and accusations put to him, what are we to believe?

Charge after charge is being placed on Foley and he's hiding from them like a coward. Nearly as bad is that the archdiocese of Hartford is helping! How are they helping? They are still paying him $1,000 a month stipend and his health insurance (he's being treated for skin cancer) and he is STILL A PRIEST, though he's been ordered not to perform any priestly duties for the time being.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Baptist preacher asked to clear out

OSWEGATCHIE (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

By MARTHA ELLEN
TIMES STAFF WRITER
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2008
OSWEGATCHIE — A deacon will likely preach Sunday at Oswegatchie First Baptist Church in the aftermath of the resignation of the Rev. Merton E. Parks, who admits he downloaded child pornography from sites on the Internet.

The Rev. Mr. Parks was asked to clean out his office by Sunday and leave housing provided by the church as soon as possible.

“It’s going to be a tough time for the church as we start to find a pastor,” said Sven A. Sealander, the head deacon. “We’ve just got to support each other.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Va. pastor sentenced for fraud, other charges

CULPEPER (VA)
WJZ

CULPEPER, Va. (AP) A Virginia pastor who pleaded guilty to fraud and other charges will spend four years in prison and must pay $25,000 in restitution.

The Reverend Charles Shifflett received sentences totaling 100 years Wednesday but Judge John McGrath suspended all but four years of the terms.

In addition to the restitution, McGrath ordered Shifflett to pay $14,500 in back taxes and penalties to the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Had Enough of Unaccountable Bishops? So Have We!

UNITED STATES
Send the Bishops a Message

Catholic Church officials are not protecting our children adequately. They are not providing good stewardship of our hard-earned donations.

Members of the hierarchy have not accepted responsibility for their grave moral failures in the clergy sex abuse crisis. They repeatedly "apologize," but never admit covering up sex crimes against children. The pope comes to the U.S., says the right words, and gets good press, but nothing of substance changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Group trying to get former Terre Haute priest charged

TERRE HAUTE (IN)
The Tribune-Star

By Deb Kelly
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Two women representing a victims’ advocacy group met outside the Vigo County Courthouse on Wednesday to bring awareness to their goal of getting local prosecutors to bring criminal charges against a priest they say molested dozens of boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Melissa “Missi” Limcaco, whose son Danny allegedly was abused by former St. Patrick Parish Priest Harry Monroe in the late 1970s, and Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, who serves as the outreach director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, met in Terre Haute to discuss their plans.

Limcaco is hopeful that criminal charges can be brought against Monroe, despite the passage of time, thanks to an Indiana law that would freeze the statute of limitations when an alleged predator leaves the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Priest on 22 sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY DAN PROUDMAN
9/10/2008 10:55:00 PM
HIGH-profile Catholic priest and music conductor Father Peter Brock stands accused of repeatedly taking a young boy to a house and watching on as several men sexually assaulted the teen in what was described yesterday as a "pedophilic smorgasbord".

Father Brock, an Order of Australia medal recipient, was yesterday charged with 22 child sex charges involving two brothers during the 1970s.

He faces 18 counts of indecent assault, two acts of indecency and two counts of buggery.

A statement of facts tendered to Newcastle Local Court alleged Father Brock had groomed the boys by introducing them to "strip jack poker" where they finished in various stages of undress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Jury selection navigates thicket of moral issues

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen Tribune reporter
October 9, 2008
There were lots of pained expressions and long pauses in a federal courtroom Wednesday as would-be jurors were asked a tough question: Could they put aside their feelings and be fair to a now-defrocked priest charged with sexually abusing a boy in his care?

A Catholic school principal seemed unsettled at the prospect of even trying, while a woman cried and hinted she had been a victim of abuse herself. Another prospective juror pitched forward in her seat and said the priest should "rot in hell" if guilty.

As selection of a jury to hear his trial began, Donald McGuire, 78, said to have a failing heart, sat hunched in a wheelchair, often resting his chin on his chest as if he was asleep. As many as four additional victims could testify against McGuire, who rose in the Jesuit order and became an international retreat leader and a spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa. The abuse often occurred on overseas trips, prosecutors say.Rare was the juror who told U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer they were indifferent about a priest accused of such a crime. Many said they favored a conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Settlement reached for monk accused of sex abuse

CALIFORNIA
Record Searchlight

By Jim Schultz
Thursday, October 9, 2008

An out-of-court settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against a San Francisco Eastern Orthodox church and a defrocked priest accused of sexual abuse who reportedly now lives in a Tehama County monastery.

Terms of the settlement were sealed by the court.

In his 2006 lawsuit, the plaintiff, who was identified as "John Doe," alleged that he and the Rev. Michael Rymer, who did not tell him that he had been exposed to the AIDS virus, engaged in a homosexual relationship from 1989 to 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Third Newcastle priest facing charges

AUSTRALIA
The Age

October 9, 2008

A Catholic priest charged with child sex offences was stood down from active ministry a year ago when investigations into him began, the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese says.

Peter Julian Brock, 63, was charged with 22 offences dating back to the 1970s after handing himself in to Newcastle police on Thursday.

As an executive officer for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference from 2002 to 2005, Brock spent some of his career travelling the length and breadth of the country promoting the care and wellbeing of clergy across Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Judge says attorney for FLDS can't pursue lawsuit against trust

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 10/08/2008 08:55:00 PM MDT

Posted: 8:47 PM- An attorney who represented a polygamous sect for 17 years in various court battles over its communal property trust can not switch sides and now represent members who want to sue the trust, a Utah judge ruled Wednesday.

Third District Judge Denise Lindberg disqualified Rod Parker and his law firm, Snow, Christensen & Martineau, from representing or consulting on actions brought against the United Effort Plan Trust.

The judge also set a Nov. 14 hearing in St. George on the trust's proposed sale of the Berry Knoll Farm, giving sect members an opportunity to protest loss of property they consider sacred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Father Bob case prompts lawsuit by fired Johnson & Johnson employee

PENNSYLVANIA
The Express-Times

Thursday, October 09, 2008
By tom quigley
The Express-Times
BELVIDERE | Fraudulent fundraising practices by the former pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Washington have sparked a lawsuit filed by a former Johnson & Johnson employee who claims her work with the priest led the company to fire her.

Karina Inglin, of Milford, worked for Johnson & Johnson for nearly 23 years, rising to board administrative associate with the New Brunswick, N.J.-based firm, according to the lawsuit filed in state Superior Court in Belvidere.

In July, the Rev. Robert Ascolese drew a three-year state prison sentence after a guilty plea to three counts of theft. He admitted to scams that included phony donations to gain matching grants from Johnson & Johnson's matching gift program.

"(Father) Bob explained that all was legal," the lawsuit reads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Legal fund set up for accused Montgomery County priest

FONDA (NY)
Daily Gazette

By Edward Munger Jr.
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — Roman Catholic Church officials said Wednesday they were not aware of a legal defense fund established by a New York priest who is facing child sexual abuse charges in Montgomery County.

John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicholville, St. Lawrence County, faces three felony counts of second-degree sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child in an indictment handed up in Montgomery County Court last month.

Broderick is accused of befriending a town of Palatine family and sexually abusing three children ages 5 to 11 between October 2005 and May 2007. He is also accused of providing alcohol to one of the children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Pervert priest was Blackley scoutmaster

UNITED KINGDOM
Middleton Guardian

Exclusive by Dan Thompson
9/10/2008

COMMUNITY members are in shock after a former scout master was jailed for sexually abusing a string of boys 20 years ago.

Father William Green - an ex-master of the St Clare's pack in Blackley - systematically molested 'vulnerable and impressionable' youngsters at a top Catholic school in Manchester.

The 67-year-old priest admitted to sexually assaulting pupils aged 11 to 15 at St Bede's Boys' School, Alexandra Park, while he worked as a religious education teacher.

He also assaulted an eight-year-old boy at St Margaret Mary's Junior School, New Moston, where he worked as a physical education teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

SNAP Support meeting

CAMBRIDGE (WI)
Zanesville Times-Recorder

CAMBRIDGE - The next monthly meeting for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), previously held on the second Monday each month, will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the Cambridge Library, Crossroads Branch, 63500 Byesville Road, Cambridge.

Clergy abuse survivors, family members and supporters are welcome to attend this confidential self help group meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

October 8, 2008

Former local priest is admitted child molester

INDIANA
WTHI

Posted: Oct 8, 2008 05:35 PM EDT

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When Melissa Limcaco's 17-year-old son Danny returned from a church retreat quiet and withdrawn, she thought it was a phase.

Limcaco said she later found out her son was molested by their church's priest, Father Harry Monroe. When she tried to file a complaint, the church told Limcaco they would handle it.

"He just told me it wasn't my place to question the authority of the archbishop, so hindsight is I went to the wrong authority," Melicca Limcaco said.

Danny Limcaco died in 1983. He took his own life at 19-years-old. Now, 25 years later, Monroe is still a free man even though he is an admitted child molester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Group Speaks Out About Child Molesting

INDIANA
My Wabash Valley

[with video]

Reported by: Katie Shane
Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008 @06:11pm EST

One group gathered at the Vigo County Courthouse to speak out about child molesting.

The SNAP group is a national organization of people effected by the abuse of priests.

Wednesday the group urged Valley prosecutors to press charges against one Valley priest.

One mother even spoke on personal experience, after her son killed himself due to burden of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Third Catholic priest charged over child sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

A Catholic priest and another man have been charged over a series of sexual assaults on young boys in the Newcastle area during the 1970s.

The 63-year-old Catholic Priest was charged just after 9 this morning, he's facing 22 offences at Charlestown, Belmont and Newcastle against two brothers aged 12 at the time.

He's the third member of the clergy charged as part of strike force Georgiana a 65-year-old and 70-year-old man arrested in August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Hunter priest charged with 22 sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Police in the Hunter region of New South Wales have arrested a Catholic priest and another man over alleged sexual assaults on young boys dating back more than 30 years in the Newcastle area.

The 63-year-old Catholic priest has been charged with 22 child sex offences relating to two brothers, then aged 12, at Charlestown, Belmont and Newcastle during the 1970s.

A 56-year-old Newcastle man has also been charged with 13 sex offences relating to one of the brothers and two other alleged victims, then aged 13 and 14 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Catholic priest charged with child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

9/10/2008 11:49:00 AM
A CATHOLIC priest has this morning been charged with child sex offences relating to two brothers in Newcastle during the 1970s.

Police said the priest, 63, was arrested by Lake Macquarie detectives after he arrived at Newcastle police station about 9am.

A police statement said he was being charged

with 22 child sexual assault offences relating to alleged attacks on two brothers, then aged 12, in the Newcastle area during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Case of Rabbi Yaakov Weiss

NEW YORK
The Awareness Center

The Awareness Center, which tracks sexual abuse among rabbis, cantors and within the Jewish community, has established a Web site with information on Rabbi Yaakov Weiss of Loundonville, N.Y. The rabbi has been charged with sexually abusing a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

We Stand By Rabbi Weiss

NEW YORK
We Stand By Rabbi Weiss

October 8, 2008
Jennifer R. Kester

I am someone who has come to the Rabbi’s home on many occasions for religious services, holiday meals, and for Shabbos meals with the family. They provide the Jewish people of this area a wonderful opportunity to enrich their lives.

The Weiss family is wonderfully giving and walk in the way of Hashem. I have been enriched in my Jewish soul by the Weiss family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Albany, NY - Former Teacher Addresses Abuse Accusations Leveled Against Him

ALBANY (NY)
Voz Iz Neias

Albany, NY - VIN News was contacted by former teacher Rabbi Yaakov Weiss who requested that we disseminate his response to the serious accusations of child abuse leveled against him in the media.

It behooves all of us to be mindful that although we are determined to put an end to child abuse, it is also possible for an innocent person's life and reputation to be destroyed by false accusations.

VIN News is in no way in any position to make decisions of who is right, or who is wrong, we need to remind our readers that we are merely a news organization providing you with information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Rabbi Charged in Brooklyn Federal Court With Sex Abuse Attempted to Resist Arrest

NEW YORK
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

by Associated Press published online 10-08-2008

BROOKLYN (AP) — A rabbi from upstate New York who faces criminal charges in Brooklyn federal court was ordered held without bail on charges of sexually abusing a female relative for nearly a decade.

Federal agents arrested Rabbi Israel Weingarten Monday morning after he barricaded himself in his Monsey home.

The Daily News reported that Weingarten hid in his bedroom, and agents had to break through two doors to reach him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Former teacher, pastor gets probation in child porn case

DELAND (IL)
The News-Gazette

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 11:56 AM CDT

DeLAND – A former pastor and DeLand-Weldon English teacher has been sentenced to two years of probation for possessing child pornography.

On Monday, Associate Judge James Coryell sentenced Randy L. DeJaynes, 57, who listed an address in Forsyth, to two years of probation. He must also complete sex offender treatment, pay restitution and fines totaling $12,945, pay a $200 DNA fee and register as a sex offender.

DeJaynes pleaded guilty in August to one count of possessing child pornography.

DeJaynes, also a former pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Decatur, agreed to give up the computer seized by police from his Forsyth home in February 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

GUEST VIEW: An appeal to diocese: Save us the extra cost

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

Recently I received a copy of the letter that Bishop Edward Braxton asked priests of the Belleville Diocese to read to the Catholic laity. I was astounded. He directed diocesan attorneys to seek a new trial on the $5 million judgment. It was obvious he had not attended the Wisniewski v. Catholic Diocese of Belleville trial.

I attended most of the trial. As a retired attorney and former Catholic priest, I believe Braxton's announcement that he will seek a new trial (a necessary legal step before appealing the $5 million judgment against the diocese) is flat-out wrong.

From a legal perspective, there is no chance the trial court will reverse the jury's verdict. Furthermore, there is no chance the appellate court will reverse the jury's verdict. Why? The reasons are obvious for any legal or lay observer: The diocese hid evidence of the Rev. Ray Kownacki's serial raping of young boys and raping of young girls. Bishops moved Kownacki from parish to parish, never telling parishioners in the parishes from which he was moved and never telling parishioners to which he was to be moved of his moral perversion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

The Ghosts of St. Elizabeth

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Pitch

By Peter Rugg
Published on October 09, 2008

The cold face of the St. Elizabeth rectory gives no indication of comfort within. Inside, its walls are painted in bright crimsons and calming blues, adorned with pictures of the Savior. Some priests ended their lifework here, meeting their Maker in the bedroom where windows overlook the courtyard behind the church. Built in 1948, the rectory was designed to house four priests and a live-in housekeeper. Today, the priest lives alone.

Michael McClure Robert Bates has not been inside the building for more than 20 years, though it often crosses his thoughts. ...

The priests at St. Elizabeth were heavy drinkers, and they encouraged the boys to share their habits, Bates says. He could always ask the priest for a bottle. Once, when Bates and his friends were drinking in a nearby park and saw police walking toward them, they ran for shelter at the rectory, leaving the beer behind.

If gifts didn't convey his affection for Bates, Johnson would grip him and pull him close, whispering in his ear that he was a good boy, that Jesus was proud of him and loved him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

A Business Plan for the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Business Week

by Douglas MacMillan

Three years ago, Geoffrey Boisi set out to improve the way the Roman Catholic Church was being run in America. The former vice-chairman of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Boisi had become increasingly dismayed with how the church was losing members, squandering talent, and managing the $105 billion it annually spends. Its reputation was declining quickly amid screaming headlines about sex-abuse scandals—especially in Boston, where Boisi was chairing the board of trustees at the Jesuit-run Boston College. Swamped with pleas for help from figures in the church hierarchy, Boisi reached into the business community to form the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

Boisi has since brought together influential Catholic executives to design a business plan for the country's largest religious organization. Among the members of the volunteer group: Adobe Systems (ADBE) Chairman Charles Geschke, Korn/Ferry (KFY) Chief Executive Paul Reilly, former Freddie Mac (FRE) CEO Richard Syron, Gerard R. Roche of Heidrick & Struggles (HSII), and former McKinsey Managing Director Fred Gluck. Lawrence A. Bossidy, the much celebrated former chief of Honeywell (HON), has also lent his expertise to the group as a pro bono consultant.

Along with issuing guidelines for a financial audit of all 195 dioceses (the territory under the authority of a bishop), the group has created best-practice guides for church leaders in such areas as human resources and accounting and has won kudos within the Catholic community for helping restore the Catholic school system in Katrina-battered New Orleans. "All we're doing is applying those skills and experiences that we've had," says Boisi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Ex-parish members seek help from court to oust Toledo bishop as trustee

OHIO
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

LIMA, Ohio - A group of ex-parishioners from a closed Catholic church in rural Kansas, Ohio, yesterday asked an appeals court to remove Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair as trustee of the former church's property and finances.

The ex-members argued that the bishop failed to act in their best interests.

Nicholas Pittner, representing the St. James Parish ex-members, and an outside expert both said the Ohio 3rd District Court of Appeals case could set precedent if it restricts Catholic bishops' ability to sell property and transfer funds of parishes - closed or otherwise - in Ohio and possibly nationwide. "If the parishioners win, the bishops will be trembling in their pants," said Stephen Brady, president of Roman Catholic Faithful, an activist lay group based in Petersburg, Ill. "But I think the parishioners have a tough row to hoe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Judge chosen to review files from L.A. archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Raquel Maria Dillon
ASSOCIATED PRESS

8:00 p.m. October 7, 2008

LOS ANGELES – The nation's largest clergy abuse settlement moved forward Monday after a replacement judge was chosen to review and decide which priest personnel files from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles can be made public.

The appointment ended a four-month delay caused when the original judge in the $660 million settlement recused himself – a move that threatened to send the case back to state court and possibly add months or years to the process. ...

After months of negotiating on both sides, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday chose retired Judge Dickran Tevrizian as the replacement. Tevrizian was among three judges experienced in clergy abuse settlements who attorneys submitted as potential mediators, Soltan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Chabad leader's abuse case widens

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By MARC PARRY, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ALBANY — A Loudonville rabbi faced fresh sex-abuse charges on Tuesday – and his lawyer confirmed the father of one of the alleged victims is another local rabbi.

Yaakov Weiss appeared in Albany City Court on the day before the Yom Kippur high holiday to answer charges that he sexually abused a 13-year-old boy.

The 28-year-old rabbi, founder of the Chabad of Colonie, e-mailed the Times Union a statement on Tuesday night calling the accusations "100 percent untrue."

"This has been generated by an individual who has been antagonistic toward Chabad of Colonie from its inception and continues to be envious of continued success," Weiss wrote. "This is his way of getting rid of us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Former local minister of music pleads guilty to child abuse in Maryland

ALABAMA
The Birmingham News

Posted by Carol Robinson -- Birmingham News October 07, 2008 2:56 PM

A former minister from Hoover pleaded guilty to child abuse in Maryland, authorities said today.

Timothy Mann, who resigned as the Shades Crest Baptist Church music minister, was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

He began serving seven years in a state penitentiary on Friday, with the rest to be served on probation, said Seth Zucker, a spokesman for Maryland's State's Attorneys Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Ex-Rev. Ordered Back To CT In Abuse Case

CONNECTICUT
WFSB

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. -- A former state police chaplain accused of using his police cruiser to lure young boys to have sex with him is being ordered to come back to the state to face a sexual abuse lawsuit.

The Rev. Stephen Foley is accused of abusing several young boys. A federal judge has ordered him to return before the end of October or forfeit his right to defend himself in a civil case.

Eleven men have accused Foley of molesting them when they were boys. Foley denies the accusations and has never been arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

New judge is chosen in clergy abuse case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Ventura County Star

From wire reports
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The nation's largest clergy abuse settlement moved forward Monday after a replacement judge was chosen to review and decide which priest personnel files from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles can be made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

October 7, 2008

Loudonville rabbi charged again with sex abuse

LOUDONVILLE (NY)
CBS 6

October 7, 2008 - 3:19PM
CBS 6 News
A local rabbi has again been charged with sexual abuse after police say he victimized another boy.

Rabbi Yaakov Weiss was charged last Monday with several counts of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child with a 13-year-old boy.

Tuesday afternoon, Albany Police additionally charged Weiss with second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly having inappropriate sexual contact with another 13-year-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Another child accuses Loudonville rabbi of sexual abuse

ALBANY (NY)
Daily Gazette

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

ALBANY — Another child has accused a local rabbi of sexual abuse, city police said today.

Police spokesman Det. James Miller said the 13-year-old boy was identified as another alleged victim of Rabbi Yaakov Weiss, 28, of Loudonville, during the initial investigation of a referral from the New York State Child Protection Agency.

Weiss, rabbi at Chabad of Colonie and founder of the Chabad Hebrew School, was charged Sept. 29 with several counts of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child for alleged incidents involving another 13-year-old boy as a result of the initial referral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Loudonville Rabbi Faces More Abuse Charges

LOUDONVILLE (NY)
WGY

By 810 WGY News
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MORE CHARGES AGAINST A 28-YR-OLD RABBI FROM LOUDONVILLE. ALBANY POLICE SAY YAAKOV WEISS IS ACCUSED OF HAVING INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A 13-YR-OLD BOY.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

A Red Mass Dispatch

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
October 7, 2008 9:19 AM

I'm currently at Hamilton College, ready to spread the Good News about Mexicans, so I couldn't attend last night's Diocese of Orange Red Mass at Holy Family Cathedral. Thankfully, longtime sex-abuse victim advocate Joelle Casteix was there and provided this dispatch:

The red mass was not well attended. I was pretty surprised. At least it wasn't raining. There were less than half of the people that we saw in 2004.

I also didn't see Callahan or Schinderle (Gustavo note: the Orange diocese pedo-protectors on the legal side). They could have been avoiding me, but neither of them marched down the aisle.

Two guys came out to talk to me. Both of them claimed to know "the real facts about the Andrade case and Urell," but of course, they were full of it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Charges likely to be dropped in ex-DeLand Weldon teacher abuse case

DECATUR (IL)
Pantagraph

By Ron Ingram
ron.ingram@lee.net

NEW 9:45 a.m. DECATUR -- Former English teacher and pastor Randy L. DeJaynes was sentenced Monday to two years probation on his guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography.

Associate Judge James Coryell accepted a plea agreement worked out between Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dobson and defense counsel Thomas Griffith. He said DeJaynes must undergo sex offender treatment and successful complete it, pay fines and restitution totaling $12,945 and a $200 DNA fee charged to first-time felons.

DeJaynes had to undergo a sex offender evaluation prior to the sentencing hearing, a provision mandated by state law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Ex-Catholic teacher pleads guilty to child porn

PASADENA (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, October 6, 2008

(10-06) 22:10 PDT Los Angeles, CA (AP) --

A former teacher at a Catholic high school for girls in Pasadena has pleaded guilty to having hundreds of child pornography images on his home computer.

David Hassler pleaded Monday to a child pornography charge in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Hassler, a religious studies teacher at Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus, faces 10 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Brooklyn Man Arraigned for Repeated Sexual Abuse of Daughter

NEW YORK
Brooklyn Eagle

by Brooklyn Eagle (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 10-06-2008

CADMAN PLAZA EAST – A Brooklyn man was arraigned Monday in the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on five charges related to sexual abuse of a minor.

Israel Weingarten of Brooklyn was charged with two counts of transporting a minor internationally for the purpose of sexual abuse, and three charges of traveling internationally for the purpose of sexually abusing a minor.

The victim of this abuse was Weingarten’s daughter, who he sexually abused in various ways from the age of nine to 18, according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Monsey-based rabbi charged with sexually abusing girl for nearly a decade

MONSEY (NY)
The Journal News

By Steve Lieberman and Jonathan Bandler
The Journal News • October 7, 2008

Federal agents yesterday arrested a Monsey rabbi on charges of sexually abusing a female relative for nearly a decade.

Rabbi Israel Weingarten, 58, was taken out of his home in handcuffs based on an August federal grand jury indictment and arraigned on five federal counts of sexual abuse in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Weingarten, a divorced father of eight, pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack. The judge ordered the rabbi held without bail in federal lockup. He is due in court Oct. 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

NY rabbi held without bail on sex abuse charges

NEW YORK
Staten Island Advance

10/7/2008, 2:52 a.m. EDT
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A rabbi in New York has been ordered held without bail on charges of sexually abusing a female relative for nearly a decade.

Rabbi Israel Weingarten pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn to five federal counts of sexual abuse.

The 58-year-old rabbi is accused of sexually abusing a girl beginning when she was 9 years old. Prosecutors say he abused the girl on a weeky and sometimes daily basis in Belgium, Israel and the United States. They say he moved her around to avoid being prosecuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

County Attorney responds in Jeffs case

KINGMAN (AZ)
Kingman Daily Miner

Monday, October 06, 2008

KINGMAN - Warren Jeffs' attempt to relinquish control as the "key holder" of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may have backfired.

Jeffs' attorneys filed a motion last month to suppress any evidence gathered from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas. Texas authorities raided the ranch earlier this year, after receiving a call from a woman claiming to be a girl who had been sexually abused by her 49-year-old husband.

Michael Piccarreta, one of Jeffs' attorneys, stated in the motion that Jeffs' Fourth Amendment protection from illegal searches and seizures was violated when Texas officials served the warrants, and therefore, the evidence from the Texas raid was seized illegally and could not be used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Suit: Shake-up unconstitutional

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

Members of a polygamous sect contend a court-ordered reorganization of their property trust violated their constitutional rights and are suing to reverse the changes or regain control of the trust.

In a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints argue that changes to the United Effort Plan Trust since a court takeover in 2005 have secularized it, violating their religious freedom. Defendants named in the suit are 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg, current trust manager Bruce R. Wisan, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Lindberg appointed Wisan to oversee the trust in 2005 after ruling its FLDS trustees were improperly selling off assets and had failed to protect the trust from lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Social worker says girl's account consistent with abuse in Menifee molestation case

MENIFEE (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

A foster child's account of being sexually assaulted at a Menifee home included details about male and female bodies that a 9-year-old girl typically would not otherwise know, a social services worker testified Monday.

Riverside County social services worker Vera Diaz interviewed the child and testified girls her age usually don't know about the very specific ways a man's body and a girl's body react to sexual intercourse unless that child was sexually abused.

However, Diaz later agreed the girl's experience of seeing her mother and another man engaged in sexual intercourse was not typical for a child.

Diaz's testimony was part of the prosecution's case during the trial of Joseph P. Billock, the child's former foster father who is charged with two counts of child rape. The 51-year-old Menifee man is an ordained minister with the Church of the Nazarene who faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Former Church Youth Director Found Guilty

LAWRENCE (KS)
KCTV

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A former Lawrence youth group leader was found guilty of indecent liberties with a child on Monday.

Christopher Cormack, 38, was found guilty of having a relationship with a girl when she was 13 years old. The two met when he served as youth pastor at a Lawrence church.

The victim, now 24, came to investigators and reported the abuse after she learned Cormack was to be ordained to serve as a chaplain at Kansas State University, according to a news release from the Douglas County District Attorney's office. The victim told investigators she was concerned Cormack would have access to minors in that role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Check to diocesan bankruptcy claimants to come in November

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Monday, October 6, 2008 11:32 PM CDT
Sex abuse survivors who filed claims in the Diocese of Davenport’s bankruptcy will receive a check in November toward their portion of the $37 million settlement, the former co-chairman of the creditors committee said Monday.

More money is anticipated once the sale of the St. Vincent Center is complete, said Mike Uhde. A recovery of payments the diocese made — payments of more than $500,000 to a variety of organizations in the three months before it filed for bankruptcy — could also result in more money for survivors, he said.

“We sincerely hope to have the property sold and the payments recovered in a timely fashion so that these funds may also be distributed to victims of childhood sexual abuse suffered at the hands of Diocesan personnel and covered up by Diocesan officials,” Uhde said in a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Abuse victims fed up with church

CANADA
CNews

By JANE SIMS
The London Free Press

LONDON -- Two years ago, Charles Sylvestre's victims watched their abuser priest be taken away to prison.

Their hope was the next part of their healing journey would not be as painful -- but many women are still waiting for their civil claims to be settled.

Yesterday, several women spoke out at a Chatham news conference that they are tired of waiting for the cases to be completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priest Linked To Abuse Cases Ordered To Return To State

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI
October 7, 2008
A priest who has been accused of sexually abusing boys he lured through his work as a state police chaplain and who has repeatedly dodged court orders to answer charges that he assaulted a teenager now faces a final deadline set by a frustrated Superior Court judge.

If the Rev. Stephen Foley does not return before the end of October he will, in effect, forfeit his right to defend himself against allegations in a civil case that he sexually abused William Noll over a three-year period when Noll was a teenager.

Superior Court Judge Robert B. Shapiro issued the unusual "default" order as the result of Foley's failure to show up for a video deposition in Arlington, Va., on Aug. 7. Foley had been living in Virginia for nearly a year when he was served with the deposition order last March and had already failed to show up for a deposition in a previous sexual abuse case that was settled just before it went to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Victims decry pace of lawsuit

CANADA
Sarnia Observer

By OBSERVER STAFF

For years, Sarnia's Irene Williams endured the shame and fear of sexual abuse at the hands of disgraced priest Charles Sylvestre.

But her patience is running thin over the slow pace of resolving a civil lawsuit against the Catholic church.

"It's not fast enough," said Williams, who lost her husband James two weeks ago. "It's the Bishop that has the power to say, 'This is enough. Let's move on this.'"

Victims of Sylvestre marked the two-year anniversary of the pedophile priest's sentencing Monday with an update in Chatham about their journey through the legal process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Judge orders priest to testify in sex abuse case

HARTFORD (CT)
Newsday

October 7, 2008
HARTFORD, Conn. - A Superior Court judge has ordered a former Connecticut priest to return from Virginia by Oct. 30 for a lawsuit on sexual abuse allegations or forfeit his right to defend himself.

Superior Court Judge Robert Shapiro says the Rev. Stephen Foley failed to appear for a video deposition in the civil case of a man who claims Foley abused him as a teenager.

Foley moved to Virginia after being accused of abusing boys he lured through his work as a Connecticut State Police chaplain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

October 6, 2008

Philly archdiocese warns teens of sexual violence

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Evening Sun

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 10/06/2008 05:06:38 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA—In the wake of the priest-abuse crisis, the Philadelphia archdiocese debuted a short film Monday that urges teens to report sexual violence.

The film reminds teens that victims are never to blame and that abusers are often trusted adults—including parents, teachers and priests. The clergy-abuse issue is not otherwise discussed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Coming Red Mass "Shaping Up to be the Best Ever," Says Pedo-Apologist-Honoring Lawyer

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
October 6, 2008 4:31 AM

The Catholic Diocese of Orange's Red Mass will occur today, and David Belz is happy! In a confidential e-mail obtained by the Weekly, the Rancho Santa Margarita attorney and member of the local chapter of the St. Thomas More Society tells the letter's recipients that "The 2008 Red Mass is shaping up to be the best ever. We have commitments from the largest number of judges we have ever had."

Ooh, goody! You mean it'll be better than the Red Mass where all those judges and attorneys ignored the Catholic Church sex-abuse survivors who stood in the pounding rain outside Holy Family Cathedral in Orange?

Of course, Belz would argue. "The homilist this year, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, is a JD and Canon Lawyer from the Diocese of Chicago. Bishop Paprocki has a reputation for delivering thoughtful and inspiring messages."

Hey, Dave: You forgot to mention that Paprocki said that Satan motivates sex-abuse victims to seek justice for their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Church sex abuse victims to get checks from diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

ERIN JORDAN • ejordan@dmreg.com • October 6, 2008

People who were sexually abused by clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport will start getting checks next month as part of a $37 million bankruptcy settlement, an attorney for the victims said.

Letters went out Sept. 26 to more than 150 victims specifying the amount of money each would receive in a preliminary payment, said Craig Levien, a Davenport attorney representing victims, and Mike Uhde, a Davenport victim. Checks are expected to be issued in early November.

The Davenport Diocese was the fourth diocese in the United States to go to bankruptcy court to protect its church assets from sex abuse lawsuits.

The preliminary payment will not include proceeds from the diocese’s headquarters, which has not yet been sold, Levien and Uhde said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Feds bringing evangelist Alamo back to Arkansas

ARKANSAS
The Associated Press

By JON GAMBRELL

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Evangelist Tony Alamo left Arizona for Arkansas under the watch of federal marshals Monday, preparing to answer to charges that he took children across state lines to engage in sexual activity.

U.S. Marshal Richard O'Connell of Fort Smith told The Associated Press that Alamo was en route to Arkansas, but declined to offer any details on how officials would be transporting him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

BREAKING! Torah Temimah Rabbi Arrested On 5 FEDERAL Counts Of Child Sexual Abuse – Worked With Kolko, Faces Life In Prision

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

PKC:AG:RJN
F.#2007R01082
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- against - Cr. No. 08-571(JG)
ISRAEL WEINGARTEN,
Defendant.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF
THE GOVERNMENT’S MOTION FOR A PERMANENT ORDER OF DETENTION

(Excerpts)
...
The government hereby moves for a permanent order of detention pursuant
to the Bail Reform Act with respect to the
defendant ISRAEL WEINGARTEN. The defendant was indicted on August 18,
2008, in a five-count indictment. He is charged with two
counts of knowingly and intentionally transporting a minor in foreign
commerce with the intent to engage in a sexual activity for which he
could be charged with a criminal offense, pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a), and three counts of knowingly and
intentionally traveling in foreign commerce for the purpose of
engaging in a sexual act with a minor, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
2423(b). The defendant faces up to ten years in prison on each count.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Rabbi accused of having sex with minors

MONSEY (NY)
WABC

Eyewitness News

MONSEY, N.Y. (WABC) -- Police say a man who claims to be a rabbi accused of having sex with minors was arrested at his Monsey home Monday morning.

Authorities say 58-year-old Israel Weingarten was accused in a five-count federal indictment of travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct with a minor.

Weingarten, who is a member of of the Satmar sect, was arrested by FBI agents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Monsey-based rabbi charged with sexually abusing girl for nearly a decade

MONSEY (NY)
The Journal News

By Steve Lieberman
The Journal News • October 6, 2008

Federal agents today arrested a Monsey-based rabbi on accusations that he had sex with a female relative over the course of a decade, starting when she was 9 years old.

FBI agents arrested Rabbi Israel Weingarten, 58, at his Monsey home this morning on a grand jury indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn.

Weingarten is charged with five federal counts, accusing him of traveling around the world to have sex with the minor and avoid being charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Diocese of Greensburg announces changes as result of planning process

GREENSBURG (PA)
Indiana Gazette

By the Diocese of Greensburg
Published: Monday, October 6, 2008 2:08 PM EDT
GREENSBURG — Nearly three years after the Diocese of Greensburg initiated a diocesan strategic planning process to address a variety of issues, including aging and declining numbers of priests and parishioners, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt announced a series of decisions that include closing, merging and partnering parishes.

He announced his decisions at a press conference Oct. 6 at the Bishop Connare Center near Greensburg. Parishioners in the affected parishes were informed of the decisions at Masses Oct. 4-5.

Noting the need to move from a “historical model” to a “pastoral care model” of how both diocesan and religious order clergy serve the diocese, Bishop Brandt announced the closing of 14 parishes and the merging of two parishes into one new parish. In addition, he said 26 parishes will enter into new or modified partner parish configurations. In partner parishes, one priest provides pastoral care and administration for two or more parishes. The moves affect parishes in all four counties and in each of the 10 regions of the diocese, which is comprised of Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Sylvestre victims tired of waiting

CANADA
The Daily News

By ERICA BAJER, THE DAILY NEWS

Victims of pedophile priest Father Charles Sylvestre marked the anniversary of his sentencing today with an update about their journey through the legal process.

“We are here today to let the public know that we continue to struggle,” said Lou Ann Soontiens, at a news conference held in her Chatham home.

“One thing we all really struggle with is understanding why the process of compensation from the Diocese (of London) is taking so long.”

Sylvestre was sentenced on Oct. 6, 2006, to three years in prison for indecently assaulting 47 young girls while serving as a priest in parishes around southwestern Ontario, including Chatham, Pain Court, Sarnia, Windsor and London.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

14 parishes in Diocese of Greensburg to close in restructuring

GREENSBURG (PA)
Tribune-Review

By Paul Peirce
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 6, 2008

Fourteen Catholic parishes will close and two will merge under a sweeping restructing of the Diocese of Greensburg announced this morning by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt.

Brandt said a decline in both the number of parishioners and priests necessitated the changes.

The 12 churches that will close are All Saints, Arnold; St. Boniface, Penn; St. Mary, Our Lady of Snows, Parker; St. Bede, Bovard; St. Mary, Forbes Road; Holy Spirit, Fayette City; St. Timothy, Smithton; St. Charles Borromeo, Sutersville; Forty Martyrs, Trauger; St. Stanislaus, Calumet; Holy Trinity, Connellsville; St. Vincent de Paul, Leisenring; St. James, Maxwell, and St. Albert in Palmer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Pa. diocese to close churches, share priests

GREENSBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

GREENSBURG, Pa. - A Roman Catholic diocese outside Pittsburgh will close 14 of its 100 parishes, and 28 others will merge or share clergy in an effort to deal with a priest shortage.

Lawrence Brandt, bishop of the Greensburg diocese, announced the changes Monday. The consolidation, which will take effect Oct. 30, grew out of a three-year study in the diocese, which has about 180,000 parishioners in four counties east of Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Scandal endures, but giving rises

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Business

By: Robert Herguth October 06, 2008
Despite the faltering economy and lingering bad publicity over the handling of sexual abuse by priests, the Archdiocese of Chicago is finding this a surprisingly bountiful time in the pews.

The Annual Catholic Appeal, a pledge drive rooted in the 363 parishes in Cook and Lake counties, is bringing in record levels of cash: $13.1 million so far this year, on pace to far exceed the 2007 campaign.

"It is kind of mind-boggling," says Raymond Coughlin, director of the archdiocese's department of stewardship and development.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

N.Y. Rabbi Accused Of Sex With Minor

NEW YORK
WNBC

By Joe Valiquette

POSTED: 9:09 am EDT October 6, 2008
UPDATED: 9:23 am EDT October 6, 2008

NEW YORK -- A New York rabbi was arrested early Monday on federal charges involving sexual abuse of a minor, WNBC.com has learned.

Rabbi Israel Weingarten was arrested by FBI agents at his Rockland County home in Monsey, N.Y. and is expected to appear in federal court in Brooklyn later today, law enforcement sources said.

Weingarten is named in a five-count federal indictment obtained by the US Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York following an investigation by the FBI, sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Protesters vow appeal to Vatican

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— Dark storm clouds quickly gathered over lower Providence Street yesterday morning just as some members of the former St. Casimir Church began a prayer vigil to protest the Diocese of Worcester’s decision to close their 114-year-old parish last summer.

As some raindrops began to fall, Raymond Jakubauskas, one of the participants, sought to reassure those standing near him that they wouldn’t be soaked by a downpour.

“It’s just a sprinkle of holy water,” he said. “God is with us and he is blessing us. It’s the bishop who we need to get back on our side.”

However, most of the 75 or so gathered in front the twin-towered, red brick church yesterday admitted there was little chance Bishop Robert J. McManus would reconsider his decision and they vowed to continue their appeal to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Ex-cop, jailed for contempt, coming home

CANADA
Times Colonist

Rob Shaw, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, October 06, 2008

A former Ontario police officer who was sent to prison for refusing to co-operate with a public inquiry will return home to Duncan this week, his wife said yesterday.

Perry Dunlop was released from an Ottawa jail Saturday, after spending more than seven months behind bars for contempt of court.

"We're planning a big reunion with our girls," Helen Dunlop said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

October 5, 2008

Spiritual Redirection and Reaching Out drive the founding of upcoming events in Wichita, Kansas, and in Encino and Carlsbad, California

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I went to bishop accountability to read the stories about each pedophile priest in the database, starting with A. So I opened Rubin Abaya and found "Milla v. Tamayo, 187 Cal.App.3d 1453," where the State dismissed a Los Angeles decision. Abaya was one of seven perpetrator priests. In this case, a teenage girl got gang banged several times by a group of priests in South LA. The LA archdiocese did not deny the crimes took place, but won their appeal to dismiss the case, because the family sued the church more than a year after the baby that was fathered by one of the priests was born, and besides, it was not the parents who were raped, how were they hurt enough to sue? The men of god tried but could not persuade young very Catholic girl to get an abortion, so they sent her to the Philippines to have her baby in abandoned squalor, until a family member finally found out and brought her home with the baby, both malnourished. That is just the first story under the first entry under A in bishop accountability - and it is so shocking most people reading it would not be able to get past the fact that Catholic priests would gang bang a 14 year old girl.

In 2005 I started getting regular emails from SNAP with a collection of recent news stories, and I had to unsubscribe at the time, as I could not read stories of priests raping altar boys between Masses without getting physically sick, back then. Now I dive into Abuse Tracker every morning and nothing surprises me. I have to stop and think. This could not be good for my soul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Spiritual Redirection and Reaching Out drive the founding of upcoming events in Wichita, Kansas, and in Encino and Carlsbad, California

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I went to bishop accountability to read the stories about each pedophile priest in the database, starting with A. So I opened Rubin Abaya and found "Milla v. Tamayo, 187 Cal.App.3d 1453," where the State dismissed a Los Angeles decision. Abaya was one of seven perpetrator priests. In this case, a teenage girl got gang banged several times by a group of priests in South LA. The LA archdiocese did not deny the crimes took place, but won their appeal to dismiss the case, because the family sued the church more than a year after the baby that was fathered by one of the priests was born, and besides, it was not the parents who were raped, how were they hurt enough to sue? The men of god tried but could not persuade young very Catholic girl to get an abortion, so they sent her to the Philippines to have her baby in abandoned squalor, until a family member finally found out and brought her home with the baby, both malnourished. That is just the first story under the first entry under A in bishop accountability - and it is so shocking most people reading it would not be able to get past the fact that Catholic priests would gang bang a 14 year old girl.

In 2005 I started getting regular emails from SNAP with a collection of recent news stories, and I had to unsubscribe at the time, as I could not read stories of priests raping altar boys between Masses without getting physically sick, back then. Now I dive into Abuse Tracker every morning and nothing surprises me. I have to stop and think. This could not be good for my soul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Ellisons' civil case is dismissed

BARRON (WI)
Barron News-Shield

By: Eric Quade 10/05/2008

Carsten and Sally Ellison's civil lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Superior in connection with the death of their son, James, has been rejected, and an appeal is unlikely.

The Barron family had filed the civil lawsuit in St. Croix County Court back in 2006 seeking unspecified damages for their son's death, since the courts had previously ruled that Fr. Ryan Erickson likely shot and killed both James Ellison and Daniel O'Connell in 2002. Erickson had later hanged himself outside the church he was then serving in Hurley, Wis., soon after authorities began investigating his possible involvement in the double homicide.

The family contends the Diocese of Superior knew that there were allegations of sexual assault and other abusive behaviors tied to Erickson, but church officials overlooked them and ordained Erickson anyway. The diocese then placed the priest at St. Patrick's parish in Hudson without disclosing any information regarding his past to its parishioners or clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Must Read: If only the bishops practiced what they preached

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Voice from the Desert

Recently Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, offered U.S. government officials advice and moral guidelines on how to approach solving our country’s financial crisis. That advice was carried on Voice from the Desert.

Below is a response, received via email 10.3.2008, to what Bishop Murphy wrote. The author is Dick Regan of Hammonsport, New York. The response takes the form of a rewrite of the Bishop’s advice using the principles espoused by the bishop and applying them to the Catholic Church’s clerical sex abuse crisis. Included in the rewrite are editorial comments by Mr. Regan.

* * *
On September 29th, the Vatican-approved website ZENIT carried a story entitled “US Bishops Offer 5 Keys to End Financial Crisis: Urge Responsibility for Choices Made.”

Given Bishop Murphy’s abysmal record in handling the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, it is, to say the very least, incongruous that he is offering government leaders lessons on responsibility and accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Episcopal bishop defrocked in cover-up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We believe this is a first in US history: a clergyman defrocked for concealing a pedophile priest's crimes. We believe it should happen far more often.

This long overdue but crucial move sends a strong signal to Episcopalian officials: child sex abuse should be reported and disclosed, not minimized and hidden. More importantly, it sends the message that you will be punished, not promoted, for covering up for criminal colleagues. If this signal had ever been sent in the Catholic hierarchy, perhaps thousands of kids and their families would have been spared devastating pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Priest sex-assault victim asks highest court to hear her case

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Tracy Breton
Journal Staff Writer

In 1982, Mary Ryan was raped by a Roman Catholic priest in the bedroom of her Providence apartment. The priest, the now-deceased Monsignor Louis Ward Dunn, was convicted by a judge. It was the first rape conviction of a priest in Rhode Island.

Like many victims who were sexually abused by priests over the last several decades, Ryan went on to sue the Diocese of Providence and its hierarchy, claiming that they should be held responsible for what had happened to them. The suits alleged that over a period of decades, diocesan leaders had received many reports of sexual misconduct by priests assigned to its parishes but had swept them under the rug. Instead of expelling the priests from their ranks, the lawsuits claimed, diocesan leaders repeatedly transferred them from church to church where they continued their sexual predation.

But unlike the other victims who filed such lawsuits, Mary Ryan refused to accept a mediated settlement. She turned down $400,000 that the diocese was prepared to give her to compensate her for her injuries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

United Kingdom: House Of Lords Departs From Previous Decision In Stubbings v Webb

UNITED KINGDOM
Kennedys

05 October 2008
Article by Andrew Caplan, Partner and Rachel Moore, Partner
The House of Lords has overturned its own previous decision in the case of Stubbings v Webb [1993] AC 498 in which the House had unanimously decided that s11 of the Limitation Act 1980 did not apply to acts of deliberate assault (including acts of indecent assault), and allowed the appeals in the cases of A v Hoare, X and Another v Wandsworth London Borough Council, C v Middlesborough Council, H v Suffolk County Council, Young v Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) and Another.

All the appeals raised questions as to whether claims for sexual assaults and abuse were barred by the Limitation Act 1980 ("the Act"). The main issue was whether s2 (6 year limitation period) or s11 (3 year limitation period extendable at the court's discretion under s33) of the Act applied. In all cases, proceedings were issued more than 6 years after the primary limitation period and were statue-barred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

October 4, 2008