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November 30, 2008

Third priest molestation case in 12 months starts this week

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway, Free Press Staff • November 30, 2008

Another clerical sex-abuse trial — the third this year — is scheduled to get under way Wednesday, this one involving claims by a former Burlington altar boy that he was molested by the Rev. Edward Paquette twice in the late 1970s.

The victim, who was 12 at the time, said the incidents occurred at Christ the King Church in Burlington and that he quit being an altar boy after Paquette molested him the second time, according to court papers in the case.

The former altar boy, now a businessman living in Hyattsville, Md., is suing the state’s Roman Catholic diocese for damages, alleging it knew Paquette was a child molester when it hired him. The man is seeking an undisclosed amount of monetary damages for the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

The Boys of St. Vincent

CANADA
Religion Drama Movies

The Boys of St. Vincent [2004] [DVD]
Starring: Henry Czerny, Johnny Morina, Brian Dooley, Philip Dinn, Brian Dodd
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: Color, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, Full Screen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Run Time: 186 minutes
Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Inside the walls of St. Vincents Orphanage, young boys fall victim to sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their guardians. Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, Clear and Present Danger) gives a terrifying performance as Brother Lavin, the head of the orphanage who must juggle the teachings of the church with his own personal demons. The plight of the boys under his care remains a secret until the orphanage janitor and a local policeman speak out against the Brothers appalling treatment of the orphans. During the ensuing investigation, the boys courageously testify against the Brothers. Fearing a scandal, religious and civil authorities conspire to shut down the case and quietly transfer the accused Brothers to new postings. Fifteen years later, still unhealed, the victims go public with their ordeal. As the veil of secrecy is finally lifted, their story will shock the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Letter about Obama vote called correct moral stance

MODESTO (CA)
Modesto Bee

By Ken Carlson
kcarlson@modbee.com

last updated: November 30, 2008 03:15:39 AM

Several people attending Mass on Saturday evening at St. Joseph's Catholic Church said they support a Modesto priest who is urging parishioners to go to confession if they voted for Barack Obama.

The Rev. Joseph Illo took issue with Obama's position condoning abortion in a Nov. 21 letter sent to 15,000 members of St. Joseph's parish. "If ... you were clear on his position and you knew the gravity of the question, I urge you to go to confession before receiving communion," his letter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Awareness Center leads the way on child abuse reform efforts

MARYLAND
Examiner

By Ron Cassie
Special to The Examiner 11/28/08

Brooklyn Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg, facing physical threats for speaking about child sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community, received the first “Rape Victim Advocate of the Year” award Wednesday from the Awareness Center in Pikesville.

Vicki Polin, director of the Awareness Center, a Jewish coalition against sexual abuse, said Rosenberg’s plight highlights problems Jewish victims have stepping forward in Baltimore as well.

“In Baltimore, rabbis are doing everything they can to discourage people from going to the police,” said Polin, estimating she’s met with at least 100 Baltimore-area Jewish survivors of child abuse in seven years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Diocese refuses gifts from protesting parishioners

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Shreveport Times

The Associated Press • November 28, 2008 2:00 am

NEW ORLEANS — The fight over Catholic church closings in the New Orleans area has taken another turn, with the archdiocese not picking up Christmas donations from parishioners trying to save St. Henry parish.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes closed that parish and others last month, prompting St. Henry's occupation by parishioners who have continued traditional ministry work, including raising money for Christmas-time distribution by the archdiocese's charitable arm, Catholic Charities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Family asks defamation suit be dropped

FONDA (NY)
The Leader-Herald

By KERRY McAVOY, The Leader-Herald

POSTED: November 30, 2008

FONDA - The Palatine Bridge family who was named in a defamation suit two weeks ago, by Rev. John W. Broderick, is seeking to have the lawsuit thrown out of court.

In a release sent to the Leader-Herald, the family's attorney John Aretakis stated he will file the family's answer to the lawsuit in court on Monday.

Broderick filed his lawsuit in Montgomery County on Nov. 17. naming eight family members, including the four children the family alleges he abused. The suit is seeking $500,000 from the family for loss of reputation, loss of legal fees, loss of prospective employment, pain and mental anguish and other damages.

Aretakis said Friday evening that the only reason he can think the lawsuit was filed was to improve his public image and to intimidate the family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Youth pastor faces sex charges

NORTH BEND (OR)
The World

Saturday, November 29, 2008

North Bend police have arrested a local church’s assistant youth pastor on charges alleging he had sexual relations with a teenage girl he met at a church function.

According to Officer Jon Bohanan, police confronted the suspect near Boyton Park, where he reportedly had arranged to meet the victim, at about 2:15 p.m. Friday. They arrested Damon J. Noel, 22, on charges of third-degree rape, contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, third-degree sex abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor and sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Diocese asks for dismissal of sex abuse lawsuit

LACROSSE (WI)
The Chippewa Herald

By The Chippewa Herald
Saturday, November 29, 2008 10:03 PM CST

The Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse has moved for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought over an alleged sexual abuse incident by a priest at St. Bridget’s Church in 1985.

A scheduling conference is scheduled for Dec. 4 in the case of James J. Kaufman, an inmate in the Eau Claire County Jail, who in September filed suit against the diocese; the church, which is located at the Eau Claire County address of 2801 N. 110th Ave., Chippewa Falls; and an unidentified priest referred to as John Doe.

In court documents filed earlier this month, the diocese asks for dismissal of the suit on two main grounds. First, the priest in the suit is unidentified and unknown and has not been served with a copy of the lawsuit. Since the priest is unknown, the court does not have jurisdiction, the diocese’s response states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

November 29, 2008

Dear Prudence

UNITED STATES
Slate

When I was in the sixth grade and my sister in the eighth, my parents divorced. My sister took it particularly hard, so my mother sent her to the parish priest for counseling. At one (and the last) session, my sister was crying, and he was standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders. He then stuck his hand down her blouse. My sister yanked his hand out and ran all the way home. She never told my parents this and only shared it with me in the last few years. Now 40, my sister teaches at a Catholic high school. One of the things she does is take student volunteers to poor areas to do cleanup work, pick up trash, and paint houses. Another teacher at the school suggested that she contact a priest in that district who organizes students from other schools to do the same work. You guessed it: It is the same priest from our parish years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Retreat seeks to help female victims of sexual abuse

TEXAS
Catholic News Agency

By Shelley Metcalf

Austin, Nov 29, 2008 / 02:10 pm (CNA).- In January, the Diocese of Austin, Texas will offer a retreat for female victims of sexual abuse. The retreat, entitled “The Healing Heart Retreat,” is designed to begin healing the participant’s relationship with God.

Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton, Texas held its first-ever retreat for victims of sexual abuse earlier this month. Due to the success of the weekend, organizers scheduled a second retreat to be held January 30 – February 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Calif. priest tells Obama supporters to confess

MODESTO (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 11/29/2008 10:33:15 AM PST

MODESTO, Calif.—A Roman Catholic priest has told parishioners they should confess if they voted for Barack Obama because the president-elect supports abortion.

The Rev. Joseph Illo says his parishioners at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Modesto shouldn't risk losing their "state of grace" by receiving communion sacrilegiously. He delivered the message in a Nov. 21 letter and during mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Weigand steps down Sunday as Sacramento's bishop

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008
Bishop William Weigand will step down Sunday as the leader of the sprawling the Sacramento Catholic diocese in a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

The ceremony at the downtown cathedral will coincide with his 15th anniversary as bishop in Sacramento. The diocese is comprised of more than 900,000 members. His tenure encompassed answering questions about clergy sexual abuse and the $34 million renovation of the cathedral.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI has accepted Weigand's resignation.

Weigand drew national attention in 2003 when he challenged then-California Gov. Gray Davis to abstain from Communion because of his abortion rights stance. In 2005, the bishop oversaw the diocese's $35 million payment to settle 33 claims of clergy sexual abuse

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Vatican accepts resignation of Sacramento bishop

VATICAN CITY
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: November 29, 2008

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Sacramento's bishop, who has had health problems, and appointed the California diocese's coadjutor as his successor.

The Vatican said in a statement Saturday that Bishop William Weigand, who led the 900,000-member diocese for 15 years, will be replaced by Jaime Soto, who became coadjutor bishop in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Andrew Greeley: then and now

CHICAGO (IL)
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

As Father Andrew Greeley continues to recover from a serious head injury suffered earlier this month, I thought I'd feature images from two of his (out-of-print) non-fiction books — Confessions of a Parish Priest (paperback edition), from 1986 and 1987; and Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest, from 1999 and 2000.

Interestingly, in Confessions (page 131), Father Greeley made some rather keen observations about a certain segment of the clergy — observations that proved all-too-accurate a decade-and-a-half later. ...

Check out the sentence beginning, "But even in Chicago, the ring of predators..."; then check out the footnote, which begins, "They are a dangerous group..." Notice his assertion, "They know that I have in safekeeping information which would implicate them. I am more of a threat to them dead than alive."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Church Wins Effort to Dismiss Clergy Sex Lawsuit

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

In a victory for the St. Louis archdiocese, a three-judge appeals panel has tossed out a civil child sex abuse lawsuit against a now deceased priest. The decision may be appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Church attorneys do not contest that the former altar boy, suing as “Matt Doe,” was actually molested. But they claim he allegedly came forward too late.

Earlier this week, the Eastern District Appeals Court in St. Louis, by a 3-0 margin, agreed with Catholic officials.

Leaders of SNAP blasted both the decision and the archdiocese itself for “exploiting legal technicalities to keep the truth hidden and keep victims silent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

OPEN LETTER TO A REBEL US PRIEST

IRELAND
Herald

By Peter DeRosa

Saturday November 29 2008

Dear Fr Bourgeois,

I hear Rome has given you 30 days to repent or you'll be excommunicated.

I was threatened a couple of times with suspension from priestly office but you've been blacked-out completely. Not even Communion.

Own up. Did you scheme to nuke the Vatican or shoot the Pope? You sure you simply said the Church is sexist by refusing to ordain women?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Frank Douglas statement about VOTF

UNITED STATES
YouTube

Frank Douglas of Arizona speaks on Goal 1 of Voice of the Faithful which is to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Church volunteer jailed

CANADA
Calgary Herald

Published: Saturday, November 29, 2008
Victims abused by a former city church youth group volunteer dissolved into tears Friday as a judge jailed him for two years.

Kelly Malcolm Grant, who pleaded guilty in June to three counts of sexual touching of girls under 14 and two counts of sexual exploitation while in a position of trust, showed little emotion as Justice Bryan Mahoney read his decision.

The charges against Grant, 44, stem from his abuse of three girls, two of them sisters, at the Centre Street Church between 1994 and 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Church files show 'naiveté' of abuse

PORTLAND (OR)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By RYAN KOST
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PORTLAND -- Documents released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland this week fall short of implicating higher-ups in trying to hide sexual abuse of young people by priests, a leading victim advocate said Friday.

Portland lawyer Kelly Clark said that while the documents revealed a certain amount of "stupidity or naiveté," they weren't the "smoking gun" that would show church officials had covered up abuse, as advocates such as Clark had said they might be.

At a news conference Friday, Clark said additional documents released after pending litigation is complete might have such evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

November 28, 2008

Pedophile Priest Documents To Be Posted On The Web

OREGON
OPB News

[with audio]

BY KRISTIAN FODEN-VENCIL

Portland, OR November 28, 2008 2:17 p.m.

Days after a judge ordered the Archdiocese of Portland to release documents involving the abuse of children by priests, lawyers have created a webpage to display the information. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.

The documents were part of the 2007 agreement, in which the archdiocese paid $50 million dollars to settle 170 lawsuits.

The archdiocese put about half the documents on a webpage in the spring. But it refused to release others saying they werenít relevant.

Judge Michael Hogan ruled Wednesday only some of the papers could be held back because of active litigation or jurisdictional issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Church plans talks over likely abuse inquiry fallout

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin (pictured) is planning a series of meetings for priests in the Dublin diocese to discuss the likely fall-out from the commission of inquiry into abuse by Catholic priests who served there.

The commission, an independent state-appointed body which carried out its work in private, is expected to publish its report early in the new year and the diocese is expecting a renewed furore over its handling of the abuse scandal over many decades.

Plans for a series of preparatory meetings were revealed by The Irish Catholic newspaper, which quoted from a letter marked “private and confidential” which was sent by Archbishop Martin to the priests of the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

Authors to sign

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

Camille Lewis Brown, author of the book African Saints, African Stories: 40 Holy Men and Women, and Philip F. Lawler, editor of the Catholic World News and author of The Faithful Departed, about the impact of the sexual abuse crisis on parishes in Boston, will be on hand to sign books at the Holy Name of Jesus Church bazaar next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the former Holy Name School, 55 Locust St., Providence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Defrocked priest Shanley loses bid for new trial

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Braintree

By Robert Aicardi
Fri Nov 28, 2008

Braintree - A defrocked Roman Catholic priest at the center of the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal, who was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Braintree in the late 1960s, has lost his bid for a new trial.

Paul Shanley, 77, who is serving a 12-to-15 year sentence for repeatedly fondling and raping a boy at St. Jean’s Catholic Church in Newton in the early 1980s, sought another trial based on a challenge to the theory of repressed memories.

Judge Stephen Neel, who presided at Shanley’s trial in Suffolk Superior Court, rejected that argument on Nov. 26.

The victim, a member of the parish’s CCD class when Shanley was assigned there, said that Shanley carried out the assaults, starting when he was six, in the bathroom, the rectory, the pews, and the confessional, and his repressed memories of what happened surfaced in 2002 when the media began reporting about the abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Case of RC priest charged with sexual assault postponed

CANADA
The Telegram

The court case of a Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a young woman has been postponed until Dec. 11.

The Crown and defence lawyers in the case of Rev. Patrick Robert Offin asked the court today for more time to review the evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Accused priest honored at recognition dinner

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Our Weekly

By Brittney Walker
OW College Intern

An accused molester was honored Nov. 22 at the Bishop Carl Fisher Vocation Recognition Dinner, hosted by African American Catholic Center for Evangelization (AACCFE). Rita J. Prince, Las Vegas chapter leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) discovered the news on the AACCFE Web site. She immediately contacted the media after she found that Father Paul GoPaul, who was possibly responsible for her brother’s suicide, was being honored at an awards banquet here in L.A. “This is a slap in the face to the victims who have had their lives devastated by sexual predators masquerading as priests,” Prince said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

CBI submits probe details to HC

INDIA
Express Buzz

First Published : 28 Nov 2008

KOCHI/KANHANGAD/KOTTAYAM: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday submitted in a sealed cover all the details sought by the Kerala High Court in connection with the investigation of the Sr Abhaya Murder Case.The progress of the investigation since the present investigating officer took charge on November 1 until the arrest of two priests and a nun on November 19, the progress made thereafter, the closure reports filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam (the CBI has filed three such reports), the case diary and the relevant extracts from the reports and the application submitted seeking permission to subject the three accused to narco-analysis test are included in the documents submitted before the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Archbishop describes scale of abuse by priests as "staggering"

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 28 November 2008

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has described the scale of abuse by priests of the Dublin Diocese as "staggering".

In a letter to priests Dr Martin says at least 400 men and women have suffered trauma as a result of having been sexually abused by a priest working in the diocese of Dublin.

This letter - seen by the Irish Catholic newspaper - was sent by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to priests in the Dublin diocese.

In it Dr Martin says that the fact 400 people have been abused by Dublin priests is staggering and the figure is most certainly not final.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Court upholds arresta of priests, nun in Abhaya murder case

INDIA
Thaindian News

November 28th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS -
Kochi Nov 28 (IANS) The Kerala High Court Friday upheld as “correct” the arrests of the two priests and a nun in the Sister Abhaya murder case being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Justice R. Basanth made this observation while hearing the plea of the three accused that the CBI had illegally arrested them.

Earlier this week, counsel for the three accused had filed a petition, following which the CBI was asked to produce all the evidence that they had to effect the arrests.

Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel, was found dead in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.

On Nov 19 this year, the 13th team of the CBI set up to probe the case - after 12 earlier teams failed - arrested Father Jose Putarika, 56, a former Malayalam professor at a Kottayam college where Abhaya studied; Father Thomas Kottor, 61, the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam; and Sister Seffi, who was a resident of the convent when the incident took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Child abuse survivors advocate for legal reform

FREDERICK (MD)
News-Post

By Ron Cassie
News-Post Staff

Ava Miegdzinski endured physical and psychological trauma after being sexually abused as a 4-year-old by a Hebrew school teacher in Providence, R.I.

At 58, Miegdzinski stepped forward publicly for the first time to discuss the repercussions of her abuse, which she said included sterility. She said she intends to lend her voice in support of legislation that would extend Maryland's statute of limitations on lawsuits involving cases of child sexual abuse.

She described her experience during a recent public meeting at the C. Burr Artz Public Library in downtown Frederick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Judge set to hear lawsuit against Green Bay diocese

GREEN BAY (WI)
Post-Crescent

November 28, 2008

Brothers Todd and Troy Merryfield filed a suit Jan. 2 against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay arising from sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of former priest John Patrick Feeney.

Feeney is serving a 15-year prison sentence on sexual abuse charges for his abuse of the two brothers in 1978 when Feeney was pastor of the St. Nicholas Catholic Church and the Merryfields were 12 and 14 years old.

The suit was made possible by a state Supreme Court decision in July 2007 that allowed lawsuits under the state's fraud statutes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

November 27, 2008

SNAP blasts bishop

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is blasting Belleville’s Catholic bishop for appealing a $5 million jury verdict against a pedophile priest. . In August, a St. Clair County jury awarded the sum to Jim Wisniewski of Champaign who was also repeatedly abused in childhood by Fr. Raymond Kownacki.

Yesterday lawyers for Bishop Edward Braxton announced he will appeal the case to the Fifth Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon.

Leaders of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) call the move “selfish, short sighted and ultimately more expensive for the diocese, in both dollars and public support.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Pichette victims file civil suit

CANADA
The Record

Five victims who were molested by a Catholic priest have filed a civil suit seeking $1.7 million in compensation from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sherbrooke and Abbé Daniel Pichette, who was found guilty of assaulting them when they were children.

Now in his early eighties, the Catholic priest plead guilty in November 2006 to assaulting eight youths during the 1950s and 1970s when he was the chaplain at Camp Chez Grand Maman, a youth camp on University Boulevard in Rock Forest that has long since closed. At least one assault occurred at the Val du Lac youth detention centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Documents identify former local priest in single claim of sexual abuse

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Karen McCowan
The Register-Guard

Published: Nov 27, 2008 06:44AM

A former local priest is among Roman Catholic clergymen named in documents released Wednesday by order of U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan in connection with lawsuits filed by victims of sexual abuse.

The documents are the latest public disclosure from the April 2007 settlement of an Archdiocese of Portland bankruptcy case arising from 175 sexual abuse claims by former parishioners.

The archdiocese paid $77 million to settle the lawsuits in exchange for continuing its operations without selling any parish or school properties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Judge Orders Archiocese To Release Priest Sex Abuse Documents

PORTLAND (OR)
OPB News

[link to formerly posted documents]

BY PETE SPRINGER

U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan Wednesday ordered the Archdiocese of Portland to release files of pedophile priests that the Archdiocese has been withholding. Pete Springer reports.

Over a year ago, the Archdiocese of Portland agreed to release files on pedophile priests as part of a $70 million bankruptcy settlement.

They did release some documents, but refused to release others, claiming they contained personal information about priests not involved in the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Vatican Can Be Sued For Priest Sexual Abuse: U.S. Court of Appeals

UNITED STATES
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog (Canada)

[with link to the court's decision]

In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has allowed a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests to proceed against the Vatican.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that lawyers for the Vatican tried to strike out the plaintiffs’ lawsuits under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a U.S. federal law that governs when a foreign Country can be sued. The U.S. law contains a number of restrictions that limit the ability to sue a foreign state.

The Cincinnati Court of Appeals confirmed that the Vatican is a foreign state, and therefore eligible for sovereign immunity. However, the court determined that the plaintiffs were able to continue their lawsuit under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which allows lawsuits for damages caused by “tortious acts” of a foreign State.

The plaintiffs’ law suit claims that U.S. bishops are employees of the Vatican and that the Vatican and bishops have engaged in a coordinated policy of covering up acts of sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Church bans vicar after 'affair' claim

UNITED KINGDOM
Cambridge News

laura.morris@cambridge-news.co.uk

A VICAR has been banned from his church after an alleged affair with a parishioner.

Andrew Gair, 46, who had been rector of St Mary the Virgin and All Saints Church, Debden, was banned from the church for seven years by an ecclesiastical tribunal after details of his relationship with the parishioner, known as Mrs X, were revealed.

Mr Gair, who is married with two children, was also in charge of All Saints Church in Wimbish and was an Armed Forces padre at Carver Barracks before moving to Suffolk with his wife and children in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Abhaya murder case takes more dramatic turns

INDIA
India Today

MG Radhakrishnan
Th'puram, November 27, 2008

The curious twists and turns the sensational Sister Abhaya case takes even after 16 years could pale even the thriller films made on the subject.

The latest is the mysterious death of V V Augustine (68), the retired Assistant Sub Inspector in state police who could have the most vital clues to the death of the 21 year-old nun inside a convent in Kottayam in 1992.

For it was Augustine as in charge of the local police station who had prepared the FIR and Inquest Report on the nun's death. Augustine was found dead in his homestead the other day after he was interrogated by the CBI for hours.

In a 'suicide note' Augustine blamed CBI as responsible for his death. His relatives and the Catholic Church have also slammed the CBI for its "harassment" of the retired officer.

However many believe Augustine was knocked off by the powerful lobbies which don't want the secrets to tumble out regarding the nun's death. CBI has said the death of this crucial witness could hamper investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg Receives Award in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Awareness Center

It's with great honor that The Awareness Center is announcing that tonight at the event in Baltimore at the Pikesville library Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg was presented with The Awareness Center's - 2008 Rape Victim Advocate award, in recognition of helping those who have been sexually victimized in the Jewish community.

The Award was presented to Rabbi Rosenberg by Maryland Senator Jim Brochin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Former Southold charity director gets prison for thefts

SOUTHOLD (NY)
Newsday

BY CARL MACGOWAN | carl.macgowan@newsday.com
10:16 PM EST, November 26, 2008

The former director of a Southold charity stole from the poor as she tried to make herself rich, a Suffolk judge said yesterday.

Before he sentenced Pauline Winterbottom, 53, of Greenport, to 3 to 9 years in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars while running the Catholic not-for-profit agency, Judge Ralph Gazzillo yesterday drew an unfavorable comparison between Winterbottom and a fictitious defender of the underclass.

"You're no Robin Hood," Gazzillo said. "You stole from the poor."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Fate of churches may be announced

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

BY MIKE FAHER
The Tribune-Democrat

The fate of five historic Johnstown churches may be announced next week.

The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese confirmed that Bishop Joseph Adamec will visit the city Tuesday for meetings with priests and parish representatives.

The sessions, to be held at St. John Gualbert Cathedral’s activities center on Adams Street, will focus on “the future of the Cambria City parishes,” diocesan spokesman Rob Egan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

3 Catholic churches to merge

CONCORD (NH)
Concord Monitor

By SHIRA SCHOENBERG
Monitor staff

November 27, 2008

Three Catholic churches in Concord will eventually merge into a single parish, according to a new recommendation accepted by Bishop John McCormack.

Sacred Heart Church, St. John the Evangelist and St. Peter's Church will be joined under one pastor and one assistant pastor. A timeline for the merger has not yet been set.

"The purpose of the planning process is to have something in place so when the bishop does need to act he's already heard from the people so he has a direction in mind," said Patrick McGee, spokesman for the Diocese of Manchester, which oversees New Hampshire's Catholic churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Church Under Investigation

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
KKTV

[with video]

Reporter: Lauri Martin
Email Address: lmartin@kktv.com

A historic church in downtown Colorado Springs is now part of a criminal investigation. Springs Police removed financial documents from Grace Church and Saint Stevens, a church that broke away from the Episcopal Diocese a year and a half ago.

"This investigation is predicated from the diocese. The investigation was prompted by that," said Springs Police Lt. David Whitlock.

The investigation began in 2007 when the Episcopal Diocese accused the priest of improperly using church funds. Those accusations included fraud and embezzlement. "He misappropriated funds and used the money for education for his kids. We were kept in the dark," said David Watts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Church volunteer faces alleged sex abuse victims in court

CANADA
Calgary Herald

Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald
Published: Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Two women sexually abused by their youth ministry volunteer when they were in their early teens choked back their tears as they read their victim impact statements in court on Wednesday.

One victim, now 24, said it took her eight years before she could share her secret about what Kelly Malcolm Grant had done to her physically and emotionally while she was involved with the Centre Street Church group.

"The damage that he has done to me is intertwined with everything in my life," the woman said. "My relationship with my family echoed the relationship with my friends. I was a very angry teenager and I lashed out at my family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Priest In Boston Clergy Scandal Denied New Trial

MASSACHUSETTS
WBZ

By Denise Lavoie, AP Writer
BOSTON (AP) ― One of the central figures in Boston's clergy sex abuse scandal on Wednesday lost his bid for a new trial when a judge ruled a victim's repressed memories were rightly used against the defrocked priest.

Paul Shanley is currently serving a 12- to 15-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at a Newton parish in the 1980s.

The victim testified he did not remember the sexual abuse until 2002, when memories came rushing back amid media coverage of the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Lawyer: Alamo Ordered Punitive Fasts

ARKANSAS
The Morning News

By Jon Gambrell
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LITTLE ROCK -- Evangelist Tony Alamo ordered adults and teens at his compounds to obey "coffee and water" fasts for days at a time when he couldn't find the member who violated the church's rules, a lawyer suing the jailed church leader said Wednesday.

W. David Carter has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two men who told police Alamo ordered them beaten over perceived slights and offenses at his compound in southwestern Arkansas. The lawsuit by Carter, a lawyer from Texarkana, Texas, asks for more than $75,000 for damages "in the form of physical pain and suffering, emotional distress and scarring/disfigurement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Jehovah's Witness jailed for molesting boys

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Bellinda Kontominas
November 27, 2008

A member of the Jehovah's Witness church who molested three male church members after "ingratiating himself" into their families has been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.

Robert Leslie Souter pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexual assault of the boys, who were aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the abuse, following prolonged negotiations with prosecutors.

Two of the victims were brothers whose parents had met Souter when the family first become involved with the church in 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Sexually abused woman loses bid to sue Mormons

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Bellinda Kontominas
November 27, 2008

A woman has lost her bid to sue the Mormon church after it allegedly failed to report to police that she had been sexually abused.

The woman, 36, who cannot be identified but was referred to in court as SDW, claimed that a Queensland chapter of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints knew that she had been abused by her stepfather, a church elder who ran a youth group, between November 1986 and October 1989 when she was a teenager.

During a Supreme Court hearing earlier this month, the woman claimed the church had breached its duty of care to her and sought damages for serious psychiatric problems she had developed as a result of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

New deadlines too strict: former cop

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By (STAFF) AND TREVOR PRITCHARD

Det. Insp. Tim Smith expressed anger Wednesday at the impact new provincial deadlines will have on the Cornwall Public Inquiry's Phase 2 mandate to foster healing and reconciliation.

"I'm upset that the government is cutting it short," said Smith, who investigated claims of widespread sexual abuse at boys' schools in Uxbridge, Ont. and Alfred, Ont. before being given the reins of Project Truth in 1997.

The deadlines, introduced in October by the Ministry of the Attorney General with the intention of wrapping up the long-running inquiry, have effectively stopped Phase 2 from approving any new clients for counselling support. Community workshops scheduled for after January 2009 have also been shelved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Belleville Diocese appeals $5 million verdict in sex abuse case; two other victims have come forward

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK - News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- Diocese hears from two more men who claim abuse by same priest Attorneys for the Belleville Catholic Diocese filed notice Wednesday that they will appeal a $5 million verdict awarded to a former altar boy for sexual abuse by a priest, and two new alleged victims of the same priest have come forward.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster, an attorney for former altar boy James Wisniewski of Champaign who won damages during a civil trial in St. Clair County Circuit Court in August, said the diocese filed notice of appeal to the Fifth Appellate Court in Mount Vernon.

Weilmuenster also said two men in their 40s he would not identify have come forward, saying they were sexually abused as minors by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki, 73, of Dupo. Kownacki was removed from active ministry in 1995 by a diocesan review board whose members alleged he sexually abused minors. Kownacki has said he will not comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Smith's work under scrutiny

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Lawyers at the Cornwall Public Inquiry picked apart a former provincial police officer's 1994 investigation into whether a $32,000 payout by the Catholic church to former altar boy David Silmser obstructed justice.

But Det. Insp. Tim Smith maintained that of all the parties involved in the settlement - which kept Silmser from pursuing sexual abuse charges against Rev. Charles MacDonald - only Malcolm MacDonald, the priest's lawyer, knew it was against the law.

Wednesday was the retired officer's fifth day at the inquiry, which is probing how a number of institutions responded to allegations of historical sexual abuse.

In late 1992, Silmser told Cornwall police he'd been sexually abused in the 1960s and 1970s by Charles MacDonald, and later by probation officer Ken Seguin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

November 26, 2008

Priest in Boston clergy scandal denied new trial

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Associated Press
November 26, 2008

WOBURN—A court has rejected a new trial for a defrocked priest who was one of the central figures in Boston's clergy sex abuse scandal.

Paul Shanley is currently serving a 12- to 15-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at a Newton parish in the 1980s.

In his bid for a new trial, Shanley argued that his trial lawyer did not properly challenge the theory of repressed memory. The victim testified he did not remember the sexual abuse until 2002, when memories came rushing back amid media coverage of the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Archdiocese releases documents related to sex abuse cases

OREGON
The Register-Guard

[this links to formerly posted documents]

By Karen McCowan
The Register-Guard

Published: Nov 26, 2008 11:29AM

The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon has released additional priest files and documents as a result of the arbitration by U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan with the archdiocese and victims of sexual abuse by priests.

The documents can be found online at www.archdiocesedocuments.org.

Almost all of the incidents of sexual misconduct to which these documents refer happened between 1940 through the mid-1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Ill. diocese to appeal priest-abuse judgment

ILLINOIS
Fort Mill Times

(Published November 26, 2008)
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. — Attorneys for a Roman Catholic diocese in southwestern Illinois have filed notice that they will appeal a jury award of $5 million to a former altar boy who was sexually abused by a priest.

Mike Weilmuenster is an attorney for James Wisniewski, the former altar boy. He says attorneys for the Diocese of Belleville filed notice of appeal Wednesday with the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Diocese resolves 59 abuse claims through voluntary arbitration

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Observer

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – The Diocese of Springfield has reached agreements with 59 men and women who came forward to speak of their past abuse by clergy and religious. Each had been invited to participate in a voluntary arbitration process.

The claims of abuse date back to 1948. In addition to these financial settlements, all victims remain eligible to receive continuing counseling and assistance programs through the diocese.

In total, $4.5 million was awarded on Nov. 20. This was paid entirely through a fund set up by diocesan insurance carriers under an agreement reached with the diocese in late June. Attorney John J. Egan, legal counsel to the Diocese of Springfield, spearheaded the four-year effort to get insurance carriers to fulfill their obligations to the victims. He said he was thankful that there was 100 percent participation by those invited to take part in the mediation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Belleville Diocese appeals $5 million verdict in sex abuse case; two other victims have come forward

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

By George Pawlaczyk

BELLEVILLE -- Attorneys for the Diocese of Belleville today filed notice they will appeal a $5 million verdict awarded a former altar boy for sexual abuse by a priest, and two new alleged victims of the same priest have come forward.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster, co-counsel to former altar boy James Wisniewski of Champaign who won damages during a civil trial in St. Clair County Circuit Court in August, said the diocese filed notice of appeal to the Fifth Appellate Court in Mount Vernon.

Weilmuenster also said two men in their 40s he would not identify have come forward and said they were sexually abused as minors by the Rev. Raymond Kownacki, 73, of Dupo. Kownacki was removed from active ministry in 1995 by a diocesan review board whose members alleged he sexually abused minors. Kownacki has said he will not comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Scrutiny Of Hikind Intensifies

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

Ever since Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind revealed two months ago that he had assembled files on “hundreds” of people alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Orthodox rabbis and yeshiva employees, he has been under scrutiny both from inside and outside the Orthodox Jewish community.

Now, two weeks after Hikind was served with a subpoena by an attorney representing alleged sexual abuse victims, that scrutiny has intensified.

While many have praised the Brooklyn Democrat for bringing much-needed attention to this issue, early criticism of his efforts came, perhaps surprisingly, from some of the victims’ groups and advocates. They argued that Hikind, while deserving of credit for trying to shed light on the problem, had actually harmed their cause by attempting to deal with the
issue within the Orthodox community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Thanksgiving and Survivors of Incest and Child Sexual Abuse of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

UNITED STATES
The Awareness Center

The Awareness Center has produced a guide, downloadable in pdf format, to help survivors cope with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Church Treasurer Charged With Embezzlement

NORTH CAROLINA
The Daily Record

Reece Murphy
Reporter

A 71-year-old Lillington woman has been charged with stealing money from her church over the course of several years.

Mary O'Quinn Roberson of Heritage Valley in Lillington was charged for allegedly stealing a total of $33,249.04 from Mt. Ariel United Methodist Church on West N.C. 27 near Lillington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Lay group calls Bourgeois move a 'scandal'

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Tom Roberts
Published: November 26, 2008
Calling the impending excommunication of Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois “the true scandal,” the Boston-based lay group, Voice of the Faithful, has written the pope’s representative in the United States asking that the Vatican reconsider the case.

Bourgeois, best known for his peace activism and as a critic of U.S. military policy in Latin America, concelebrated at the ordination of a woman in August in Kentucky. He was notified in a letter dated October 21 that he had 30 days to recant his position or face excommunication.

“How scandalous that the Catholic Church can move so rapidly when its authority is challenged, yet the same church has failed, after years of disclosures, to remove even one of the many American bishops who secretly and repeatedly enabled pedophilic predator priests to abuse Catholic children,” the group said in its letter to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

CBI to submit evidence in Abhaya murder

INDIA
India Today

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file all evidence that led to the arrest of two priests and a nun in the Sister Abhaya murder case.

Justice R. Basanth, while hearing the three accused persons' plea that the CBI illegally arrested them, asked the officials to separately file on Thursday all the evidences in sequential format, highlighting the old and new evidences gathered against the three accused before and after their arrest.

Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel, was found dead in the well of the Kottayam convent on March 27, 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

New Legislation To Be Introduced Helping Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

FREDERICK (MD)
WFMD

Statistics show that two out of every ten girls and one out of every ten boys are sexually abused by the end of their 13th birthday.

Last night a very emotional discussion was held on protecting children from sexual predators and healing child sexual abuse victims. The national statistics are startling and show that two out of every ten girls and one out of every ten boys are sexually abused by the end of their 13th birthday. Most children who are sexually abused, are abused by a family member or close friend.

The meeting was held at the C-Burr Arts Library in Frederick and also featured new legislation that will be introduced next year in Annapolis that will could change the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims seeking civil redress. Susan O'Brien with Child Victim's Voice said, "The best thing that we can say about this bill is that it will protect children, not only will it give justice to those who have been abused but mostly importantly it will protect children." Currently the statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims in Maryland is 18-years-old plus seven years. The new law would extend the statute of limitations so that the victims of sexual abuse can come to terms with the abuse and take action against their abuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Abhaya murder case: Church launches campaign against arrests

INDIA
India Today

M.G. Radhakrishnan
Thiruvananthapuram, November 26, 2008

Churches have launched a campaign among the faithful against the arrest of the two priests and a nun by the CBI in connection with the 16-year-old murder case of Sister Abhaya. "They are trying to damage the image of the church as unresolved mysteries hover around the arrests," said a spokesperson of the church.

The CBI has also for the first time interrogated the former and the present archbishops of the Kananaya Church's Archdiocese in connection with the case.

In an affidavit filed in the state high court, the CBI has said it had evidence that the arrested two priests and the nun were involved in the murder of the 21-year-old Sister Abhaya in 1992. The nun was found dead inside a well at the Pius Xth Convent in Kottayam where she was an inmate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Kerala HC seeks CBI stand on Sr Sephi's bail application

INDIA
Indlaw

The Kerala High Court directed the CBI to make its stand clear on the bail application of Sr Sephi, the third accused in the Sr Abhaya murder case.

Justice K Hema directed the central investigating agency to make its submission before December 4.

Sr Sephi had filed the bail application before the court yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Former probe officer ends life

INDIA
Express Buzz

KOTTAYAM: V V Augustine, formerASI who was one of the key witnesses in the Sr Abhaya murder case and upon whom serious charges were levelled including tampering with vital evidence and non-inclusion of it while preparing the nun’s inquest report, committed suicide on Tuesday.

Augustine, who was found in a plot near his house at Pulimoodu, Ithithanam, off Chingavanam, bled to death after slashing his left wrist. It is also suspected that he consumed poison to ensure his death. A suicide note recovered from his body blamed the CBI for his death.

Augustine’s suicide comes in the wake of allegations that the CBI was torturing witnesses to ferret out the truth behind the nun’s murder. Augustine, as ASI of Kottayam West police station, had prepared the inquest report after the corpse was found in the well of the St Pius X Convent on March 25, 1992. It was alleged that Augustine unofficially took orders from a top police officer and gave the truth a go-by while recording crucial evidence. Rumours were rife that Augustine was in the custody of the CBI team and was likely to be arrested on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

'Augustine’s death will not affect case’

INDIA
Express Buzz

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “He is only a small fish. His death is a setback to the inquiry but it is not going to affect the case anyway,” said a senior CBI official. He was commenting on the death of former ASI Augustine.

Augustine’s death turned out to be a rude shock to the CBI team which is inquiring into the Sister Abhaya murder case. According to the CBI, Augustine had played a cruicial role in manipulating the inquiry into the case from day one.

The CBI teams had identified several mismatches in the inquest report prepared by then Kottayam West police station ASI Augustine.

The time of inquest, the contradiction over the dress worn by Abhaya and the injuries on her body can be cited as perfect examples for the tampered inquest report.
“But, he was acting to the tune of some of his superiors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Youth Minister's Wife Caught Having Sex with 16 Year Old Church Member

ILLINOIS
Illinois Homepage

Reported by: Erin Maloney/WCIA 3 News
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2008 @07:50pm CST

Pastor Gerald Thompson from Salem Baptist Church said 28 year old Melissa Jones came to him last Thursday crying. She confessed to having sex with a 16 year old member of the youth ministry that her husband runs.

Prosecutors say the affair started in September. Jones faces up to 7 years behind bars for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

"The Bible says be sure your sin will find you out. And her sin found her out," said Thompson. It's a sin the congregation at Salem Baptist Church is trying hard to forgive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Former principal placed on probation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Mount Airy News

Staff Report
Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 10:27 PM EST
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — A former elementary school principal in Mount Airy recently was put on probation after entering a no-contest plea in a molestation case.

James “Jay” Kirkman, 63, was scheduled to go on trial for a second time in a Blair County courtroom on charges of indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children. ...

He eventually moved to New Enterprise, Pa., and took an administrative position as church counselor at Faith Assembly of God Church near Roaring Spring.

The most recent criminal case against Kirkman stemmed from alleged acts at the church between October and December 2005 while he was counseling another teen. At the first trial, the alleged victim told the court that “Pastor Jay” put his arms around him and fondled him while he was playing the church keyboard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Review of Lawler on Boston Catholicism

BOSTON (MA)
Acton Institute

Monday, November 24, 2008
Appearing in the next issue of Religion & Liberty will be my review of Philip F. Lawler’s The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture (Encounter Books, 2008). There is no point in dwelling on how well-written and insightful the book is, as it has already won plaudits from other, more significant reviewers, but I can give my own “Acton spin” to Lawler’s exceptional work. Here is the piece in full, an exclusive preview for PowerBlog readers:

Lord Acton’s quotation concerning the corrupting effect of power is widely known. Less so is the fact that the target of his criticism on that particular occasion was the power possessed not by government but by church officials. Acton’s understanding of ecclesiastical authority (as distinct from power) is debatable, but his insight into human nature is not. A case study—not that we need another to file away in the vast archives of the history of human frailty—is the collapse of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Philip Lawler documents the details in this skillfully written account of the triumphs and travails of Boston’s Catholics. The history is episodic rather than thorough, but Lawler chooses his episodes well. The bulk of his attention goes to the last forty years, and much of that is focused on the sexual abuse scandals of the last ten. For anyone who has followed these developments closely, there will be little in the way of new revelations. Yet Lawler’s style, at once sympathetic and bluntly critical, is engrossing. The devout Catholic reader who was dismayed by the character and scale of the abuse scandal will be drawn back to those unpleasant times when it seemed that each new day brought fresh reasons to be ashamed of one’s faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Local woman a finalist in national video competition

MISSOURI
Suburban Journals

By Chris Campbell
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:18 AM CST

[View the video about Barb Dorris.]

When Barb Dorris was 6 years old, her mother ordered her to put on her "Mary Janes."

In a minor act of willful independence, Dorris chose another pair of shoes, a brown pair that matched her dress.

Feeling guilty over her disobedience, Dorris left through the back door quietly and went to church.

Upon arrival, she was greeted by a priest, who told her she was an "evil, evil child."

The priest told Dorris he was sent by God to save her.

That "salvation" came in the form of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Vatican Liable In Lawsuit?

KENTUCKY
The Bulletin

By John P. Connolly, The Bulletin
11/26/2008

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit holding the Vatican liable for the sexual abuse of children by clergy to proceed, opening the possibility the city-state could be held liable.

Three men have filed the suit against the Holy See, accusing it of covering up sexual abuse by priests for decades. Louisville attorney William McMurry, who is seeking class-action status for the case, is seeking unspecified damages from the Vatican.

"This is an enormously huge moment," said Mr. McMurry. "We're finally going to get to the root of the problem."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

November 25, 2008

Discernment, Clericalism, & Ecclesial Authority

Voice from the Desert

Discernment, Clericalism, & Ecclesial Authority, pp 18-21, “The Great Catholic Reformers: from Gregory the Great to Dorothy Day”, © 2007

“How is discernment related to ecclesial reform? Reform presupposes that someone has found the actions, teachings, or directives of an ecclesial authority to stand in need of reform. Reformers in the early Church understood discernment as the means for measuring their institutional leaders with their teachings. Since discernment is rooted in the scriptures as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it provided reformers with an ironclad justification for questioning their leaders. This notion of testing is consonant with the parable of the good shepherd, where Christ warns his followers to distinguish between His voice and the voices of thieves and hired hands (Jn 10:1-21).34 ...

Gregory was concerned that bad bishops and pastors would lead people astray. He asked people to consider the implications of the prophet Hosea’s words for their own lives: “Bad priests are a snare of ruin for my people” (Hosea 5:1; 9:8). Bad priests and bishops are called a “stumbling block of iniquity” (Ezekiel 44:12), he continued, because no one does more harm than the man who has the title of holiness though he is actually evil. Bad clerics either lead people to imitate their sins or cause people to fall away from the Church. If the people have been armed with the sword of discernment, however, Gregory believed they could avoid being spiritually destroyed by bad pastors.36

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Abhaya case gets murkier; former probe official found dead

INDIA
The Times of India

Nov 2008, 0313 hrs IST, Ananthakrishnan G , TNN

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sister Abhaya murder case took an eerie twist on Wednesday with a former additional sub-inspector who prepared the FIR in the case found dead in his home in Kerala's Kottayam district. V V Augustine, 75, had apparently committed suicide by slashing his wrist. A note recovered from the body blamed the investigative agency CBI for his death.

Augustine, who was suspected to have helped destroy evidence connected with the 16-year-old case, had reportedly been under acute mental duress and had been questioned by the various teams which probed the case.

He was ASI of Kottayam west police station at the time of Abhaya's death and was the first to reach the St Pious Convent in Kottayam on the morning of March 27, 1992 when the Catholic nun's body was found in a well there. Subsequently he prepared the FIR and inquest report in the case.

In his statement to the investigative agencies, Augustine had said it was the then Kottayam crime branch DySP K T Michael, who asked him to go to the convent. He also said the body was fished out by 8.30 am. This was found to be at variance with the version of the fire force team, which said they brought up the body by 10.30 am.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Vatican can be sued for priest sex abuse: US court

UNITED STATES
AFP

CHICAGO (AFP) — A US appeals court has ruled that the Vatican can be sued for the sex abuse committed by US priests.

The Vatican had tried to block a class action lawsuit alleging that it orchestrated a cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy with the argument that it was protected by laws granting sovereign states immunity from most US civil proceedings.

Central to the case is a 1962 Vatican mandate unearthed in 2003 which outlined a policy of "strictest" secrecy regarding allegations of sexual abuse by clergy and threatened those who spoke out with excommunication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

BREAKING NEWS: FLDS teen mom defies judge

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard Times

By PAUL ANTHONY panthony@gosanangelo.com or 659-8237

A 17-year-old girl defied a Tom Green County district judge this afternoon, failing to bring her infant child to court and refusing to answer questions about where the child is.

The girl is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a former resident of the YFZ Ranch in Schleicher County. She had been ordered by 51st District Judge Barbara Walther to appear with her mother and her 5-month-old daughter so the baby could be genetically tested to determine paternity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Inquest cop in nun case found dead

INDIA
The Telegraph

JOHN MARY AND PTI
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov. 25: The mystery shrouding the death of a Catholic nun in Kerala 16 years ago deepened when a retired police officer who had prepared the inquest report was found dead today.

A suicide note blaming the CBI for his death was found near the body of V.V. Augustine, a former additional sub-inspector of police, in his house at Chingavanam, near Kottayam. His wrists were slit.

The note said: “The CBI is responsible.” It also contained instructions regarding inheritance of the family property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Music Draws Venezuelan Youth to Revolution

VENEZUELA
Venezuelanalysis.com

November 21st 2008, by Tamara Pearson - Venezuelanalysis.com

As 10,000 young people danced the night away in a concert that was part of the closing events of the pro-Chavez electoral campaign, they countered the enduring alienation of capitalism and got sweaty screaming for socialism. Yet something was lacking, something was still the same....

Ska-p, named after their ska-punk music style and a pun on the word “escape,” is a band from Spain, which formed in 1994, and which does not mince its words. There is no mistaking their criticisms of imperialism, capitalism, homophobia, or of the church, where for example, in the song “crimen sollicitationis,” they call the church a tyranny and torturer and end with “I HATE THE VATICAN.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Sixth Circuit: Vatican Can Be Sued for Sexual Abuse

KENTUCKY
Wall Street Journal Law Blog

[with link to the 1962 document titled Crimen Sollicitationis]

Posted by Nathan Koppel

The sexual-abuse litigation that has raged for years against the Catholic church just got a lot more interesting.

In a landmark ruling yesterday, the Sixth Circuit concluded that the Vatican could be held liable for negligence in sexual-abuse cases filed in the U.S. It is the first time a circuit court reached that conclusion, and the opinion is considered a breakthrough by those allegedly abused by priests. Here’s the WSJ story.

Catholic dioceses in the U.S. have paid out more than $3 billion to alleged abuse victims, most of that coming since the scandal broke open nationwide in 2002. Click here to view the 1962 document that discusses Vatican policy on secrecy in dealing with complaints of a sexual nature against clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

US Vatican abuse case to go ahead

UNITED STATES
BBC News

A US federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit against the Vatican over claims it covered up decades of child sex abuse by priests can go ahead.

The case was filed by three men from Kentucky who say they were abused by clergy in their childhood.

It centres on a 1962 directive from the Vatican - made public in 2003 - which told church officials not to disclose sex abuse complaints against priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Group hopes to fill in the blanks about missing native children

CANADA
Canada.com

Norma Greenaway , Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Many survivors of Canada's Indian residential schools say they ache to tell their stories to a federal commission charged with exploring the system's legacy, but what about the aboriginal boys and girls who did not survive? Who will tell their stories?

Historian John Milloy says that if all goes according to plan, the living will share - orally or in writing - what they know about the deaths and burials of their former classmates, many of whom ended up in unmarked graves dug by their fellow students on the grounds of the schools they attended.

Those stories will be added to information gleaned from records contained at dozens of church and government archival sites across Canada, Milloy said Tuesday in an interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Youth minister accused of sex with teen

GREENACRES (FL)
WPTV

[with video]

Reported by: WPTV staff
Email: webteam@wptv.com
Reported by: Marci Gonzalez
Photographer: Andy Grosek
Last Update: 1:59 am

GREENACRES, FL -- A local youth minister is behind bars tonight facing disturbing charges.

Pastor Brent Edwards is accused of having sex several times a week, every week, for more than a year with a 16-year-old member of his congregation.

The 33-year-old ran "Extreme Revolution Youth Ministries" from the Community Life Center in Greenacres, and from his Suburban Lake Worth home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Vancouver-area ex-pastor guilty of sexual assault

WASHINGTON
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Vancouver-area former pastor who was spared prison time for child rape a decade ago has pleaded guilty to assaulting a teenager.

Under the plea entered Monday, 43-year-old Robert D. Bennefield could face up to 12 years behind bars.

In 1998, when Bennefield was a pastor at Lighthouse Christian Center in the Rosemere neighborhood, he pleaded guilty to first-degree child rape and attempted second-degree assault involving two brothers. He also admitted molesting nine other boys he met through the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Happy Thanksgiving

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

The real beauty of this survivor “movement” is its organic quality. So many of us were going through life thinking it was just us, just me - like I was this over sexed five year old who caused the good priest to break his vows, or other ideas pedophile priest rape crime victims live with.

If it hadn’t been for the internet the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church would have been able to continue on for more centuries.

It was the internet and other early 21st century communications that made it possible to find out there are thousands of us, and that the pattern was the same in city after city. We are sex crime victims not born floozies or what not -

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Former Redding pastor contests child molestation

REDDING (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 11/25/2008 10:59:25 AM PST

REDDING, Calif.—The former pastor of a Redding Pentecostal church has pleaded not guilty to nearly 50 counts of felony child molestation.

David Bishop had been pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church since the early 1970s.

A report from the Shasta County Sheriff's Department says the 65-year-old pastor admitted during a call with a social worker last January that he had fondled a child while she sat on his lap 25 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

In dock for destroying Abhaya proof, ex-investigator found dead

INDIA
Indian Express

Shaju Philip
Posted: Nov 26, 2008 at 2350 hrs IST

Thiruvananthapuram : Giving a new twist to the sensational Abhaya murder case, a retired police sub-inspector who was tipped to be named an accused was found dead on the premises of his house at Changanassery in Kottayam on Tuesday.

V V Augustine, 64, who slashed his wrist, left behind a note that held the CBI responsible for his death. Augustine, who was the first investigating officer (IO) in the case and who had prepared the first information report about the nun's death, was in the dock for destroying evidence in the case.

The CBI has, meanwhile, released a press statement stating that “V V Augustine was not a suspect in the case" and that “his death was likely to hamper the investigations in the case”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Regarding New York Assemblymen Dov Hikind

NEW YORK
The Awareness Center

By Vicki Polin
The Awareness Center - November 25, 2008

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor" (Leviticus 19:16).

It saddens me a great deal to see how a few Jewish leaders in the orthodox world appear to be manipulating community members into believing they do not have to report heinous crimes to child protective services. Orthodox children deserve the same rights and protection as other children in the Unitied States of America.

I personally believe that Assemblyman Dov Hikind is wrong and is violating the civil rights of children from Torah observant homes. Each day that goes by that he refuses to work with law enforcement officials means another child is being sexually victimized.

One has to realize that turning over the names of alleged sex offenders and also those who were allegedly sexually abused to child protection workers does not mean that the names will be made public. It only means that there is a possibility that those who perpetrate crimes against our children may be prosecuted and those who have been sexually victimized will be offered “REAL” help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Abhaya case: Retired cop involved in probe found dead

INDIA
The Hindu

Kottayam (PTI): Adding a new dimension to the Sister Abhaya case, barely a week after the arrest of two priests and a nun, a retired police official who conducted the inquiry 16 years ago, was found dead at his house.

Police suspected that 62-year-old Retd Assistant Sub Inspector V V Augustine committed suicide as he was found dead with his veins cut and froth oozing out of his mouth in the compound of his house at Calachira about 15 km from Kottayam.

A note was also found near the body saying, "CBI is responsible for my death."

His death came a day after the CBI obtained a statement from him regarding the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Alamo facing 8 more counts

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By Lynn LaRowe
Texarkana Gazette

Eight additional counts alleging sexual misconduct with young girls have been added to the two counts Tony Alamo already faces, according to federal court records.

The “superseding” indictment will remain sealed until the controversial evangelist is arraigned on the new charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Alamo Facing New Charges in Child Sex Case

ARKANSAS
My Fox Memphis

By JON GAMBRELL
Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WHBQ FOX13 myfoxmemphis.com) -- -- Jailed evangelist Tony Alamo faces eight new federal charges after his arrest for allegedly taking children across state lines for sex, his defense lawyer said Tuesday.

John Wesley Hall Jr. told The Associated Press that the charges are similar to those already facing Alamo, 74. Hall declined to specifically name the charges.

It's "the same kind of stuff, just more of it," Hall said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

U.S. Court Allows Abuse Case vs. Vatican

NEW YORK (NY)
Wall Street Journal

By Suzanne Sataline

A federal appeals court has permitted a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse to proceed against the Vatican, creating potential liability for the seat of the Roman Catholic faith for the activities of Catholic clergy in the U.S.

Monday's ruling, issued by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, marks the first time a court at so high a level has recognized that the Vatican could be liable for the negligence in sexual-abuse cases brought in the U.S.

The ruling is seen as a breakthrough by those allegedly abused by priests. Investigators and grand juries have found several instances where the church failed to report alleged abusers and covered up alleged misdeeds to protect them.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:20 AM

Sex abuse case vs. Vatican can proceed, judge rules; victims respond

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We're thrilled by this ruling. We're one step closer toward protecting more kids, exposing more predators, and detering future recklessness, and holding top Catholic officials accountable for the rape of hundreds of thousands of kids. Employers everywhere - religious and secular - must learn that endangering children and enabling predators is wrong and will be punished.

The legal process drags on slowly and church bureaucrats fight justice vigorously, so we caution victims and Catholics against prematurely getting their hopes up. But this is a very encouraging sign and very long overdue step in the long march toward justice, prevention and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Former Grand Prairie priest pleads not guilty to downloading child pornography

GRAND PRAIRIE (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Tuesday, November 25, 2008
By STEVE THOMPSON / The Dallas Morning News
stevethompson@dallasnews.com

A former Grand Prairie priest accused of downloading child pornography on a church computer in 2005 pleaded not guilty Monday in federal court.

A federal indictment filed last week accuses 39-year-old Matthew Bagert of using the Internet to download four photographs "depicting the lascivious exhibition" of a nude minor.

Mr. Bagert's attorney, Patrick McLain, expressed surprise at the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Former official who investigated Abhaya case found dead

INDIA
Express Buzz

IANS

KOTTAYAM: A former police official who had prepared the inquest report of Sister Abhaya, a nun who was murdered in a Kerala convent in 1992, was found dead Tuesday near his home here, the police said.

V.V. Augustine, a former assistant sub-inspector of police, is reported to have slashed his wrist. In his suicide note, he held the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) responsible for his death, the police said.

Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel, was found dead in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Alamo takes stand at hearing regarding 4 state-held girls

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

By Andy Davis

TEXARKANA - Testifying at a hearing on the custody status of four girls taken from his religious compound in Fouke, evangelist Tony Alamo admitted to sharing a house with multiple women, but he contended he was only married to one at a time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Help Make Maryland Safer for Our Children Also Meet Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg and Maryland Senator Jim Brochin

MARYLAND
The Awareness Center

Help Make Maryland Safer for Our Children.

Both Maryland Senator Jim Brochin and Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg will be at the event sponsored by The Awareness Center and Child Victims Voice Maryland on Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 26 at 6:15 p.m. Pikesville Library, 1301 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Case pits church volunteering against protection of children

GEORGIA
Times-Herald

Walter Jones Columnist
Published Monday, November 24, 2008

Most Georgians probably believe that children should be protected from known sexual predators, and they would also believe that there should be few restrictions on how a person participates in their church activities.

A recent change to state law puts those two notions on a collision course, and a federal judge must pick a side.

For Lori Collins, not being able to volunteer or give her testimonials in church amounts to not only inconvenience but also an infringement on her right to be true to her religion. ...

The case of the church volunteering prohibition is part of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights on behalf of the lead plaintiff, Wendy Whitaker of Harlem, Ga. She is on the sex-offender registry for something that is no longer illegal -- consensual sex between a 17-year-old, her, and a 15-year-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Former OKC deacon sentenced for molestation

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By The Associated Press
11/25/2008

OKLAHOMA CITY — A church deacon who was arrested for molesting a 7-year-old girl has been sentenced to prison.

An attorney for Stanley Dale Jones sought to keep the 72-year-old from getting a prison term after he pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual abuse of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

11 boys removed at faith-based Reclamation Ranch

ALABAMA
The Birmingham News

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

KENT FAULK
News staff writer

A faith-based program plans a protest this morning near the Blount County Courthouse where a hearing is to be held on what will be done with a group of boys removed Saturday from one of its facilities by law enforcement officers investigating allegations of severe abuse, beating and torture.

The faith-based program is calling the accusations false and misleading on its Web site. About 11 boys were removed from a Reclamation Ranch facility in Empire on Saturday and, based on court orders, placed into the custody of the Blount County Department of Human Resources, said Blount County District Attorney Tommy Rountree. The pastor and founder of the facility put the number at 17 boys.

Based on a complaint of "severe abuse, beating and torture of a minor child" at the ranch, a search warrant was executed by the Blount County Sheriff's Office, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, and the district attorney's office, Rountree said in a press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Ex-pastor pleads guilty to sex abuse of teen

WASHINGTON
Columbian

Monday, November 24 .

BY STEPHANIE RICE
COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER

A convicted sex offender spared prison a decade ago in favor of treatment pleaded guilty Monday to a new charge of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

Robert D. Bennefield, 43, of Sifton could face up to 12 years in prison.

In 1998, Bennefield pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree rape of a child and one count of attempted second-degree assault involving two brothers.

The boys attended the small Lighthouse Christian Center in Rosemere, where Bennefield was a pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Court: Alleged Ky. abuse victims can sue Vatican

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • November 25, 2008

Three Kentucky natives can pursue a lawsuit against the Vatican alleging it covered up sexual abuse by priests -- but only if those decisions were carried out on U.S. soil.

That was the ruling of a federal appeals court yesterday that upheld a similar ruling by U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II of Louisville in May 2007.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed with Heyburn that the Vatican -- as a sovereign state recognized by the U.S. government -- is largely protected from lawsuits.

But the court ruled that the Vatican could be sued over claims that bishops and others covered up sexual abuse as part of their role as Roman Catholic Church employees, as long as that cover-up occurred in the United States. ...

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs could not challenge actions abroad taking place in Rome or elsewhere -- including the creation of a 1962 Vatican document calling for strict secrecy in handling priests accused of sexual offenses.

"The actual promulgation of the 1962 policy … occurred abroad," said the appellate court decision.

But the Vatican can be sued over church officials who carried out the policy in the United States, the court said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Lawyer 'slippery as an eel': Smith

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The city attorney who approved a $32,000 settlement that kept a sexual abuse victim from pursuing charges against his alleged abuser was as "slippery as an eel" during the Ontario Provincial Police's 1994 investigation, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Monday.

Det. Insp. Tim Smith returned to the inquiry for his third day of testimony Monday, after spending two days in the witness box earlier this month.

In February 1994, the now-retired OPP officer was assigned to re-open the Cornwall Police Service's investigation into allegations that former altar boy David Silmser had been sexually assaulted in the 1960s and 1970s by Rev. Charles MacDonald, a Catholic priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

November 24, 2008

More indicted FLDS members surrender in Texas

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

Three members of a polygamous sect indicted earlier this month by a Texas grand jury -- including two men considered sect leaders -- turned themselves into the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office today.

Fredrick Merril Jessop, 72; Wendell Loy Nielsen, 68; and Leroy Johnson Steed, 42, were booked and released after posting bonds.

A Schleicher County grand jury indicted the men on Nov. 12. The jury also issued a new indictment on Warren S. Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

BREAKING NEWS: FLDS leader Jessop arrested

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Originally published 03:46 p.m., November 24, 2008
Updated 04:04 p.m., November 24, 2008

The patriarch of the YFZ Ranch, the elusive Fredrick Merril Jessop, indicted on one count of conducting an unlawful marriage ceremony involving a minor, a third-degree felony, turned himself in today to Schleicher County officials.

Jessop, 72, believed to be the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since the arrest of its self-styled prophet, Warren Jeffs, was one of three men arrested today, according to the Texas Attorney general's Office.

The others are:

- Wendell Loy Nielssen, 68, charged with three counts of felony bigamy.

- Leroy Johnson Steed, 42, charged with one count of sexual assault of a child, one count of bigamy and one count of tampering with evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Appeals court lets Vatican sex-abuse case proceed

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Associated Press

By BRETT BARROUQUERE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit can continue against the Vatican alleging that top church officials should have warned the public or authorities of known or suspected sexual abuse of children by priests in the Archdiocese of Louisville, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for the lawsuit filed by three men who claim priests abused them as children. They allege the Vatican orchestrated a decades-long coverup of priests sexually abusing children throughout the U.S. ...

It centers on a 1962 directive from the Vatican telling church officials to keep under wraps sex-abuse complaints against clergy. The document became public in 2003. McMurry claims that document makes the Vatican liable for the acts of clergy whose crimes were kept secret because of the directive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

State bar president gets 15 days to respond to report

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Andrew Wolfson • awolfson@courier-journal.com • November 24, 2008

The Kentucky Bar Association has given its embattled president, Barbara Bonar, 15 days to respond to a report by a lawyer hired to investigate her.

Bruce Davis, the KBA's vice president, confirmed that Bonar had received time to rebut the findings of Robert F. Houlihan Jr.

Houlihan was asked to investigate whether Bonar abused her power in removing four members from the bar association's ethics committee before their terms expired and whether she was candid with the board about the reasons for the removals, according to board members and other attorneys.

The newspaper reported last month that all four ethics committee members had some connection with Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley, with whom Bonar has had a much publicized dispute over $18.5 million in legal fees from the Diocese of Covington priest-abuse case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Separation of Church and Estate

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Jeff Schweitzer

As public resources grow ever scarcer in a declining economy, the time has come to reevaluate the established and often unquestioned relationship between church, state and property taxes. That the subject is considered taboo only serves to illustrate the urgent need to penetrate unexamined assumptions based on a faulty reading of history. ...

Extending that privilege can no longer be justified.

Two compelling arguments dictate that such exemptions should be abandoned. First, fiscal sanity suggests that states can no longer afford the luxury of foregoing the revenue lost through exemptions at the expense of all other taxpayers. Second, religious institutions that engage in blatant political activism violate IRS statutes that prohibit political campaigning by any tax-exempt religious group. Let's look at each of these arguments in turn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Shrouded in Secrecy: An Indepth Look at an Amish Community

OHIO
WTRF

[with video]

Story by Dave Elias

BERGHOLZ, Ohio -- The Ohio Valley’s Amish Community is growing, but also growing are the problems inside the Amish Order. But how much do we really know about this secret society?

7 News Investigative Reporter Dave Elias is taking a closer look in a two part series, regarding a community we seem to know so little about…a community until now that is shrouded in secrecy. ...

Even scarier to the Sheriff was the discovery that Chris Mullet, part of the same Amish community, was molesting his own relatives.

But the Amish community wanted the crime covered up after Chris Mullet confessed he did the unthinkable. They even demanded he never see the inside of a jail cell, all in the name of God!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

"Shrouded in Secrecy" Part Two.

OHIO
WTRF

[with video]

Story by Dave Elias

Jefferson County -- They're told how to dress. How to wear their hair and even what color the walls inside their homes should be. They also taught to forgive acts of rape and murder inside their own community. But as you're about to see, there are some things they simply won't forgive.

"We did the unforgivable sin, we left the culture," said David and Fran Yoder. They claim they were kicked out, all because his sawmill used a propane engine, something the Amish won't tolerate. ...

Even more startling is the claim made by David Yoder that his own niece may have been murdered.

"My sister confessed to killing Amanda. The Bishop said this can never leave this room. It has to remain this way for the betterment of the community."

A similar claim circulated in Jefferson County after an Amish child was found dead under uncertain circumstances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

20 Alamo compound children to stay in state care

ARKANSAS
The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge says 20 children removed from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound by child welfare officials will temporarily remain in state custody.

A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Monday's ruling came after parents waived a hearing over the Nov. 18 seizure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Kiwi seeks compo over alleged abuse by Aussie priest

AUSTRALIA
Stuff

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A New Zealand woman is launching a compensation claim against a diocese in New South Wales for alleged sexual abuse by the late Father Denis McAlinden.

The abuse allegedly occurred after McAlinden was sent to New Zealand during the 1980s, the Newcastle Herald reported.

Solicitor Kate Maher confirmed she had been contacted by the New Zealand woman, whose name has not been released publicly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Victims group spreads info of accused priest

JERSEY CITY (NJ)
The Jersey Journal

Monday, November 24, 2008
By CARLY BALDWIN
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

"Hi, I just want to let you know there's a child molester living in your neighborhood."

That's what Joelle Casteix and the Rev. Robert Hoatson spent their Saturday afternoon telling Downtown Jersey City residents about the Rev. Paul Daleo, a resident of Monmouth Street.

Casteix and Hoatson are members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and Daleo is a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing four boys more than 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

2,000 mark bicentennial of Archdiocese

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson November 23, 2008 06:02 PM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston brought an end to its low-key bicentennial year today with an afternoon Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End. The cathedral was full -- a church official estimated that 2,000 people were present -- and the crowd was larger than any I've seen there since Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley's installation five years ago. ...

O'Malley did not mention the clergy sexual abuse crisis or other specific issues that have faced the church, and only alluded to its challenges, saying, "Sometimes there are tensions in a family. Sometimes there are sibling rivalries. But discipleship in the church means being brothers and sisters in the lord.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Woman Priest Challenges Church Law

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Public Radio

[with audio]

Produced by Michael DeBonis on Monday, November 24, 2008

Women entering the priesthood remains a controversial issue in the Catholic Church. Some are ordaining women despite threats of excommunication. One such ordination took place earlier this month and gave Chicago its first Roman Catholic woman priest. For Chicago Public Radio, Michael De Bonis reports.

Ambi: church song "City of God"

Several hundred people are gathered in the pews of Saint Paul's United Church of Christ on Chicago's north side. Four women in white robes proceed down the center aisle. Three of them are being ordained as deacons and one, Barbara Zeman, is being ordained a priest.

ZEMAN: I have had a call to minister to God's people and to be a minister, a priest, most of my life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

HC raps CBI, expresses dissatisfaction

INDIA
Kerala Online

Kochi, Monday, November 24, 2008: The Kerala High Court today observed that the CBI did not comply with legal formalities while filing remand report of the two priests and a nun arrested in the 16-year-old Sister Abhaya murder case saying “the rights of the accused should be protected”. “On going through the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate it appears that the CBI did not produce the extract of case diaries along with remand report,” Justice R Basant said when a petition by Father Jose Puthrukayil, one of the accused in the case, seeking to quash the order of 14-day CBI custody came up before him. The court said the rights of the accused should be protected and observed that the effective investigation in the case was prompted by judiciary. “CBI has no license to conduct investigation as they please,” the court held. Justice Basant said the investigating agency should have “applied its mind” before submitting its remand report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

CBI question Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolekkatt

INDIA
Kerala Online

Kochi, Monday 24 November 2008: The CBI investigating the murder of Sister Abhaya today questioned Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolekkatt, head of the Knanaya Archdiocese of Kottayam, at their office in Kottayam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Filing deadline for claims against Diocese of Fairbanks looming

ALASKA
KTUU

by Jill Burke
Sunday, November 23, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It's a painful reality many Alaskans and the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese are working to heal.

Several church clergy and volunteers sexually abused children in some of our most remote communities in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

For too long, the crimes stayed secret, and in some cases those who spoke up were punished, sometimes even with beatings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Proposals would close some Catholic schools

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Jennifer Gonzalez/Plain Dealer Reporter November 24, 2008 03:58AM

Families across the Cleveland Catholic Diocese are wondering if they will lose their parish schools in a broader restructuring plan.

Last year, Bishop Richard Lennon ordered regional groups of parishes to come up with plans to close or merge churches in response to suburban flight, financial hardship and a clergy shortage.

Parishes have no mandate regarding the specific number of schools to be closed or merged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Jim Jenkins presentation

UNITED STATES
YouTube

[video presentation]

This links to a presentation Jim Jenkins made to the Board of Trustees of Voice of the Faithful in support of the only clergy sexual abuse survivor to be elected to a national position with VOTF.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Hearing to address Alamo church kids

TEXARKANA
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY LYNN LAROWE TEXARKANA GAZETTE

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008

TEXARKANA — Lawyers from across Arkansas will gather today in a Texarkana courtroom as advocates for 20 children authorities took last week from Tony Alamo Christian Ministries members and their parents.

A probable-cause hearing for the children is scheduled at the Miller County Courthouse before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson. It will focus on whether child welfare officials had enough evidence to seize the children Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

November 23, 2008

Sister Abhaya case: CBI searches Archbishop's house

INDIA
The Times of India

23 Nov 2008, 1955 hrs IST, TNN

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Continuing its investigations into the Sister Abhaya murder case, the CBI on Sunday searched an Archbishop's house in Kottayam
district and questioned more witnesses.

A special CBI team searched the official residence of the Archbishop of the Knanaya Catholic sect and seized some papers from the room of the prime accused, Father Thomas M Kottur, who is also the Chancellor of the Kottayam diocese.

Despite the arrest of three accused -- two priests and a nun -- the agency is grappling with shortage of evidence. Much of the evidence collected during the initial years like the nun's veil, clothes, slippers, diary and photographs of the body showing injury marks were hastily destroyed by the local police, which had ruled it as a case of suicide. The agency believes this was part of a conspiracy to seal the case for ever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 PM

Abuse and Trust

NEW YORK
Forward

Editorial

Thu. Nov 20, 2008

A trial of sorts is looming for the famously insular ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York, as a Catholic lawyer and an Orthodox Jewish legislator prepare to face off in court over allegations of rabbinic child molesting.

The two combatants are on the same side when it comes to the basics. Both agree that sexual abuse of children by Orthodox rabbis and teachers is a serious problem, one that the Orthodox community resists facing.

Where they disagree is how to attack the problem. The lawyer, Michael Dowd, a veteran of Catholic priest abuse battles, favors pursuing legal action to bring accused molesters to justice. The legislator, Dov Hikind, a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly whose district includes the nation’s largest concentration of Orthodox Jews, hopes to prod the community into tackling the problem from within. The disagreement appears to be headed for court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Disgraced pastor returns, as Christian businessman

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

By ERIC GORSKI

Earlier this month, a guest took the pulpit at Open Bible Fellowship in Morrison, Ill., a 350-member church surrounded by cornfields. The speaker was an insurance salesman from Colorado named Ted Haggard.

The former superstar pastor, disgraced two years ago in a sex-and-drugs scandal, had returned — this time as a Christian businessman preaching a message that was equal parts contrition and defiance. Haggard linked his fall to being molested in second grade and apologized again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Church defends arrested nun and priests in pastoral letter

INDIA
Daily News & Analysis

Don Sebastian
Monday, November 24, 2008 01:40 IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Barely a week after the CBI arrested two priests and a nun in the sensational sister Abhaya murder case, the Church responded with a pastoral letter on Sunday. The letter, read out in all churches under the Kottayam archeparchy, sought to come clean in the case that has been plaguing the Knanaya Catholic Church for the past 16 years. It hopes the ‘real killers’ of sister Abhaya are caught.

Expressing pain over the “unnatural death” of sister Abhaya, the letter said, “Whoever worked behind the death of sister Abhaya should be brought before the law. Whoever it is, the Church is not concerned. It’s an obligation we owe to sister Abhaya,” the letter, signed by archbishop Mathew Moolekkatt, said.

“The truth is yet to come out. Two priests and a nun, who we believe are innocent, have been arrested,” the Church, in its first official reaction to the arrests, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Two sex predator priests honored in LA black Catholic evangelical award, while Cardinal Mahony looks the other way

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

Cardinal Roger Mahony slapped the face of clergy sex crime survivors once again last week, allowing the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization to give out two awards that bear the names of two priests identified as sexual predators, Vance Thorne, who is number 67 on the LA Archdiocese's own 2004 Report, and Paul GoPaul, identified in two pedophilia charges.

At least one GoPaul victim committed suicide. At age 17 Patrick Ryan, pictured here, hung himself after a brutal sexual encounter with the traveling priest. His sister Rita Prince has written the entire story and we have it here scanned in full at City of Angels: click enarge and read. Rita handed the story out Thursday at a press conference denouncing the Bishop Carl Anthony Fisher Awards in front of the LA cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Photographs from news media event in support of Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg

NEW YORK
The Awareness Center

[with photographic presentation]

The following are photographs were taken in New York City on November 18, 2008 at a press event that was sponsored by The Awareness Center (international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault) and SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest).

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg has been an outspoken rape vicitm advocate in New York city's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. He has been targeted with two death threats and an attempted murder because he advocates that those abused should report the crimes to law enforcement. The Awareness Center and SNAP joinned forces in hopes of bringing attention to the plight of both Rabbi Rosenberg and children living in Williamsburg and Borough Park (Brooklyn, NY) who have been sexually abused. The goal of both The Awareness Center and SNAP is to offer hope and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Child sex abuse claims divide Orthodox community

NEW YORK
The Associated Press

By JENNIFER PELTZ

NEW YORK (AP) — It started as a radio program discussion about a taboo subject: child molestation among members of the insular world of Orthodox Jews.

Since he broached the subject on his radio show this summer, says a state assemblyman, dozens of people have come forward with stories about children being molested in the Orthodox community, which strictly follows Jewish law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Lawmaker becomes confidant on child sex abuse

NEW YORK
WABC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It started as a discussion about a taboo subject: child molestation among Orthodox Jews.

A Brooklyn assemblyman said that after he broached the subject on his radio show this summer, dozens of people came forward with stories about children being molested in the Orthodox community. As many as four people a day have come to him over the past three months with painful accounts of secrets often kept for decades, accusing more than 60 perpetrators, he said.

But the politician, Dov Hikind, said he won't breach victims' trust by disclosing the private exchanges to prosecutors - or to a lawyer who subpoenaed him in a civil case against a school accused of concealing abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

News Story...

UNITED STATES
Catholica (Australia)

The major Catholic Church reform organisations in the United States are in the process of organising a large scale, joint meeting in 2011 tentatively titled an "American Catholic Council". Catholica is aware discussions have been underway between leaders of the largest reform organisations such as Call to Action (CtA), Voice of the Faithful (VoTF), and the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) and leaders of a number of other major lay organisations have also been involved in the discussions and are at various stages of consulting their wider memberships. Combined these organisations have tens of thousands of members. The scale of this initiative is of particular interest as it could well be the largest lay-generated reform initiative that has ever occurred anywhere in the world. The development might suggest that the continued attrition in Church membership is now cutting into sectors of the population who are no longer prepare to leave the Church without voicing their criticisms of where the ecclesial leaders have been taking Catholicism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Sex abuse victims to leaflet as parishioners leave mass

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
As mass ends, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers to parishioners about a newly-defrocked pedophile priest who, despite his criminal conviction and Cardinal Francis George’s promise, now works or recently worked in Chicago again.

The leaflets urge Catholics to
-- call the archdiocese and complain about the predator’s return,
-- write the Pope about the Cardinal’s continuing recklessness, and
-- work harder than ever, in their own parish, to seek out others who saw, suspected, or suffered clergy sex crimes and get them to call therapists and police

WHEN
Sunday, November 23, 11:45 a.m.

WHERE
Outside St. Mary of the Angels Catholic church 1850 N. Hermitage in Chicago

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Abhaya murder casts shadow on Sunday mass

INDIA
Thaindian News

November 23rd, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS -
Kottayam (Kerala), Nov 23 (IANS) Two priests and a nun under arrest and a retired bishop being questioned for two hours — the murder of Sister Abhaya 16 years ago cast a grim shadow over Sunday mass in Kerala with the Knanaya Catholic church asking for a transparent probe in a letter read out to parishioners. At the 50 odd churches run by the Knanaya Catholic church, the ‘pastoral letter’ asked the people to pray for the two priests and the nun arrested last week by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the murder of Sister Abhaya who belonged to the same church.

Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel near here, was found dead in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.

The church was also shattered after the CBI Saturday questioned former bishop Kuriakose Kunnasery for two hours to elicit more details in the case. Kunnasery, who is now past 80 years and retired, was the bishop of the diocese when the murder took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Catholic archdiocese answers SNAP’s abuse accusation

MARYLAND
Examiner

By G.M. Corrigan
Examiner Correspondent 11/23/08

A South American Catholic priest, who, as an associate pastor at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Forest Hill in 2001, fathered three children with a parishioner through in-vitro fertilization, was removed from duty as quickly and effectively as possible, the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore told The Examiner Friday.

The priest, Father Fernando Cristancho from Istmina, Colombia, who according to archdiocesan spokesman Sean Caine, successfully screened for transfer from his Colombian diocese in 1999, became a lightning rod for criticism of archdiocesan handling of priestly sex abuse allegations at a recent Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests demonstration.

“Cristancho was removed from ministry in the archdiocese in July 2002, when he refused an assignment,” Caine said. “That was prior to him informing the church that he had fathered three children through in-vitro fertilization and four years before we learned of any suspected abuse — and the archdiocese went public about his removal and about his family.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

The Reluctant D.A.

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by The Editors

The spectacle of young yeshiva students being sexually abused by their rabbis is a horrifying reality. So is the fact that some yeshiva administrators have allowed this to happen, whether through inattention, reflexive dismissal of complaints brought to their notice or fear of their institutions being exposed to shame.

It is equally disturbing to learn that victims who consider reporting such cases to law enforcement authorities are sometimes subject to communal pressure and intimidation. Advocates for these victims, too, speak of suffering fearsome communal pressures. State Assembly member Dov Hikind has spoken out lately on the fears of the victims who have confided in him. Psychologist Benzion Twerski recently resigned under communal pressure from his role seeking to expose this problem. And now we learn of vicious verbal attacks by rabbinic leaders against Nachum Rosenberg, a longtime advocate on this issue. Apparently a month ago there was also an attempt to harm him physically.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Judge: Open to plan by parents

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Sunday, November 23, 2008

TEXARKANA — A judge said Saturday that he would be open to a plan that would protect two teenage girls taken from Tony Alamo’s religious compound while allowing their parents to stay in the ministry, but the parents haven’t proposed such a plan.

In a hearing that concluded Friday evening, Miller County Circuit Judge Jim Hudson ruled that the girls can eventually be reunited with their parents if the parents agree to move off property controlled by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and to establish financial independence from the church.

He said his ruling followed the recommendation of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, which portrayed the ministry’s compound in Fouke as a place where girls were at risk of sexual abuse and where seemingly minor infractions were punished with beatings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

St. Agatha inspires bequest

UNITED STATES
Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz NEWS STAFF REPORTER

Ray Flesher left only vague instructions on what to do with his life’s savings after he passed away — assist the Catholic Church.

So, when it came time to determine what form that would take, the executor of Flesher’s Manteno, Ill., estate sought the help of a favorite saint.

Soon, Catholic parishes around the country with the name St. Agatha, including one in South Buffalo, began receiving unsolicited checks of $2,000 in the mail, followed usually by another check for $1,500 — from a man who had never set foot inside most of the churches. ...

“I didn’t want to give money to dioceses and see it be turned around to pay off lawsuits,” he said, alluding to the fact that several U. S. dioceses paid huge settlements in clergy sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Catholic task force targets porn's grip on society

OMAHA (NE)
TMC News

Nov 23, 2008 (Omaha World-Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha plans to fight Internet pornography with education and ministry.

The archdiocese announced Friday that it has formed a 17-member task force "to increase public awareness of Internet pornography and its long-lasting effects on a community." ...

The 17-member task force includes clergy, archdiocesan staff and church members. It will be led by Mary Beth Hanus, a licensed mental health provider and a certified master social worker. As the victim assistance coordinator for the archdiocese, she is designated to help anyone who alleges sexual abuse by any member of the clergy or archdiocesan employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest sues family that made allegations of child sex abuse

NEW YORK
Watertown Daily Times

By DAVID WINTERS
TIMES STAFF WRITER
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2008
A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing three children in Montgomery County has filed suit against the family that made the allegations.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, is seeking $500,000, alleging the family made several "defamatory statements" about him. The three-page lawsuit filed this week, which names the young victims, describes several statements made by members of the family but doesn't specify when or where they were made.

The priest faces charges 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 trial is scheduled to begin in late January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

November 22, 2008

SNAP papers Downtown Jersey City neighborhood with fliers accusing priest of past sex abuse

JERSEY CITY (NJ)
The Jersey Journal

by Carly Baldwin/The Jersey Journal
Saturday November 22, 2008, 4:29 PM

"Hi, I just want to let you know there's a child molester living in your neighborhood."

That's what Joelle Casteix and the Rev. Robert Hoatson told people on the streets of Downtown Jersey City this afternoon.

Casteix and Hoatson are members of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), and they spent today alerting residents about the Rev. Paul Daleo, a Jersey City resident and Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing four boys more than 20 years ago.

"By exposing him, we are able to do what nobody did for us. We are able to chip away at the isolation," Casteix said .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Church: expose those who tried to evade probe in Abhaya case

INDIA
Indian Express

Shaju Philip
Posted: Nov 23, 2008 at 2307 hrs IST

Thiruvananthapuram, November 22 : After two priests and a nun were arrested by the CBI in the Sister Abhaya murder case, Kottayam Knanaya Catholic Archdiocese, to which the accused and the victim belonged, said the Church wanted the investigating agency to bring out the truth in the case. The Church also challenged the CBI to expose those who had tried to subterfuge the probe in the past.

The Church’s poser would further deepen the mystery behind the suspected murder of the nun. There had been strong allegations about the involvement of outsiders in the unholy affairs at Pious Xth Convent in Kottayam, where the nun was found dead in 1992.

Archbishop Mathew Moolakkattu, in his pastoral letter to be read out in churches under the diocese on Sunday, said they had always co-operated with the CBI. “Several times, I had told the CBI teams that their probe was not exhaustive, and many crucial issues and persons had been deliberately kept out of the purview of the investigation. Though the officials had promised impartial and exhaustive probe, the result was otherwise,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Let the truth come out: Archdiocese

INDIA
The Hindu

Staff Reporter

KOTTAYAM: The Knanaya Archdiocese of Kottayam hopes that the two priests and a nun arrested in connection with the Sr. Abhaya death case will come out clean and the true picture will be available during the investigation.

The archdiocese has for the first time come out with the official stand of the community on the vexed issue in a pastoral letter sent to its churches to be read out after prayers on Sunday.

In the letter, Archbishop Mathew Moolekkat says the church is pained by the unnatural death of Abhaya. Though the truth is yet to come out on the death, two priests and a nun belonging to the archdiocese, “who we believe are innocents,” have been arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Priest's victims give up the fight

CANADA
The Telegram

NADYA BELL
The Telegram

Greg Stack, the lawyer representing 40 people who were sexually abused by Father Kevin Bennett says his clients have decided it's pointless to go after the final $2 million they're owed in their victims' settlement.

Stack said they will accept a final instalment, bringing the total up to $12 million. At that point, each person will have received about 86 per cent of what they were entitled to of the $14-million settlement from St. George's diocese.

"We're kind of disappointed that the bishop himself out there has not raised any money and has sort of washed his hands of it," Stack said. "After making a commitment to us 2 1/2 ago that he would move heaven and Earth and raise the money, now he's sort of shrugging his shoulders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Two girls remain in foster care

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 11/22/2008

Two of six girls taken from Tony Alamo Christian Ministries properties in Fouke, Ark., in September will remain in foster care, but if their parents sever ties with the church, reunification is possible, Miller County Circuit Judge Jim Hudson ruled late Friday.

“For those parents who are still members, there is a requirement to sever financial, residential, economic and employment ties with the ministry,” said Hudson, who made the decision after listening to three days of testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Murd back, as local chaplain

TIFFIN (OH)
Advertiser-Tribune

By MaryAnn Kromer, mkromer@advertiser-tribune.com

On Wednesday, the Diocese of Toledo announced new assignments or retirements for three priests and four deacons. The Rev. Frank Murd, former pastor of St. Mary Church in Tiffin, has been named chaplain to the Sisters of St. Francis in Tiffin.

He began his ministry here Nov. 13.

Sister Jackie Doepker, community leader for the Tiffin Franciscans, said Bishop Leonard Blair, head of the diocese, has cleared Murd to perform priestly duties on the Tiffin campus. ...

This past April, Murd resigned from his duties as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Maumee after being accused of sexual imposition upon a 27-year old man. During a June bench trial in a Lucas County court, the priest was acquitted. The diocese sent Murd to an out-of-state facility to complete counseling and treatment.

"The people here have welcomed him back. We are very happy to have him. We feel like it's a mutual blessing to have him here as a part of our community," Doepker said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses member gets 18 months for sexually assaulting girls

CANADA
The Star Phoenix

Betty Ann Adam, TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Friday, November 21, 2008
Almost 19 years after elders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation learned a member of their church had groped and fondled two adolescent girls, a Queen's Bench judge sentenced the man Friday to 18 months in jail.

"Even if the sexual assault did not include intercourse, in my opinion a sentence of imprisonment is necessary to denounce this type of crime upon children and deter others from committing similar acts," Justice Neil Gabrielson wrote in his decision handed down at Court of Queen's Bench.

The 45-year-old man pleaded guilty last month to two counts of sexual assault against the extended family members between 1987 and 1991, when they were between 12- and 15-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

St. Francis panel clears Stritch plan for Cousins Center

CHICAGO (IL)
Triangle Business Journal

The St. Francis Planning Commission voted Thursday to approve a rezoning request for the Cousins Center property, allowing for Cardinal Stritch University to build a new undergraduate campus.

The Cousins Center property, 3501 S. Lake Drive, is now zoned for mixed use. For Stritch’s purposes, the land would have to be zoned for planned unit development. The Planning Commission approval is subject to the outcome of a formal public hearing that will take place Jan. 6. The St. Francis Common Council is expected to take a final vote on the rezoning Jan. 20. ...

Stritch announced in July that it agreed to buy the Cousins Center in St. Francis from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for an undisclosed price. The archdiocese put the Cousins Center up for sale in late 2006 to help raise $16 million to $18 million that would be used to settle lawsuits stemming from claims of sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Police decline to lay charges in school sex-abuse allegations

CANADA
Globe and Mail

MICHAEL VALPY

November 22, 2008

After a 14-month investigation, the Ontario Provincial Police said yesterday it had decided not to lay charges in response to allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a former private school run by Anglican priests.

The statement from the OPP said the decision had been made in consultation with the Crown attorney in Grenville County, where Grenville Christian College was located, just outside the St. Lawrence River community of Brockville.

The school closed in the summer of 2007. Its stone building and grounds have since been sold for a housing development with the $5-million in proceeds being held in trust under an interim injunction won by former students who have launched a class-action suit against the religious community that formerly owned the college.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Former priest again named in sex abuse case

CALIFORNIA
The Union Democrat

By ALISHA WYMAN
The Union Democrat

A San Joaquin county man filed a civil suit in San Joaquin County Superior Court Wednesday against a San Andreas priest who he says abused him between 1983 and 1985 beginning when he was 6-years-old.

Oliver O'Grady has admitted to abusing at least 25 children while serving as a priest at a variety of churches within the diocese, including the one in San Andreas. He spent seven years in prison after conviction of child molestation-related charges and then was deported to his native Ireland.

The suit also names the Stockton Diocese, the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly in Ireland, St. Anne's Roman Catholic Parish, Presentation Roman Catholic Parish and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Deal hits snag in abuse case

SANDPOINT (ID)
Bonner County Daily Bee

By KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor

SANDPOINT — The father of a young girl fondled by a former pastor at a Priest Lake church is objecting to a controversial plea agreement which would reduce the charge and punishment against the defendant.

"It never should have gone that way," said the victim's father, who is not being identified in order to protect the girl's identity. "There never should have been a plea agreement."

He believes Stephen D. Bicknell should take full responsibility for his actions and the state should not be entering into agreements which diminish the severity of offenses, particularly when they involve innocent children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

November 21, 2008

Catholic guilt

Gair Rhydd (Wales)

According to George Carpenter, Catholicism is in a no-win situation
The Pope’s latest effort in the battle against sexual abuse among the clergy has made headlines recently. Earlier this year, Benedict XVI made a historic apology to victims of child abuse perpetrated by the Church to an audience in Australia, meeting and praying with several victims.

In another attempt to quell the controversy which has rocked Roman Catholicism since the 1950s, a document has been released issuing guidelines on sexual behaviour within the clergy. Among these are proposed psychological ‘screenings’ designed to filter out those priests who might break their vow of celibacy.

Given the sensitivity of the issue at hand, it is no surprise that the guidelines in said documents have drawn fire from rights groups who take issue with its treatment of both priests and victims.

Terms such as ‘psychological defects’ could refer specifically to paedophile cases; however, coupled with the negative implications for those with ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies’, it would appear that gay priests are being tarred with the same brush as potential child molesters.

These sweeping statements have been duly noted by gay rights groups, accusing the Church of making scapegoats out of homosexuals, whose sexual preferences have little in common with those of offenders.

Elsewhere, however, the Church has been accused of towing the line too much, with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) claiming the document doesn’t go far enough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Abhaya case: Accused moves Kerala HC

INDIA
The Hindu

Kochi (PTI): Father Jose Puthrikayil, arrested in the sister Abhaya murder case, on Friday filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking to quash the order of a chief judicial magistrate remanding him to 14 days' CBI custody.

Continuous detention of any person, especially a priest for 14 days at a stretch is "illegal, inhuman and hard", Puthrikayil, second accused in the case, stated in the petition.

He said that the CBI has not narrated the prior history of investigation and likelihood of further charges which it expects to derive from the accused. The investigating agency is bound to narrate the above aspects in an affidavit, he stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

New claims over sex abuse priest

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY
22/11/2008 4:00:00 AM
A NEW Zealand woman is seeking compensation from Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese after alleging late priest Denis McAlinden sexually abused her when he was sent to New Zealand in the 1980s.

The woman has engaged Newcastle legal firm Braye Cragg to act on her behalf, and more victims are expected to come forward after reports about Father McAlinden were published in a New Zealand newspaper this week.

The reports detailed how Maitland-Newcastle diocese Bishop Michael Malone issued a statement in October last year saying Father McAlinden was a serial child sex offender over nearly five decades who was wanted by police for alleged child sex offences at the time of his death in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Was Weakland following church orders?

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WDJT

[with video]

MILWAUKEE - New videotape has been released of former Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Weakland implies when he hid pedophile priests he was following church orders.

CBS 58's Veronica Griffin has the latest stunning revelation on a sex scandal that won't away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Milwaukee Catholic Sexual Assault Scandal Unravels

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WITI

[with video and link to the full deposition posted by BishopAccountability.org]

WITI-TV -- The entire deposition of Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland has been released, gives details about sexual abuse in the church. FOX 6's Mike Lowe gives you some of the disturbing details. SideBar

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Let’s have open forum, SNAP says to chaplain of U.S. House of Reps. and Chicago Cardinal George

CHICAGO (IL)
Voice from the Desert

A national support group for clergy sex abuse victims is challenging top Chicago Catholic officials, including a controversial high profile Washington chaplain, to join them in an “open forum” about how Chicago predator priests are alleged/allegedly? supervised, both now or several years ago when the chaplain helped perform that role.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork. org), are issuing the invitation in response to criticism of their group by Cardinal Francis George’s PR woman in today’s Chicago Tribune. Colleen Dolan blasts SNAP for criticizing Coughlin, who is the chaplain for the US House of Representatives.

Yesterday, a Washington DC newspaper, Roll Call, disclosed that Coughlin spent ten years “at the center of the Chicago Archdiocese’s efforts to manage priests who had been accused of sexual abuse.” For five years, he ran “a Catholic facility where the archdiocese sent priests who were suspected of committing sexual offenses.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

NJ Community on Edge After Pedophile Priest Moves In

WAYNE (NJ)
WPIX

[video presentation]

William Nash of Massachusetts, who said he was abused by Father James Tully when he was a seminary student in Wisconsin, went to New Jersey this week to warn residents that the priest has moved from Italy to their town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Church officials silent about fate of priest in abuse case

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Once again, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has failed to honor their promise to be open and transparent. A brave survivor stepped forward and revealed his abuse, worked with the hierarchy of the church through a rare canonical trial and now has been shut out of the decision.

Daniel Donohue did everything the diocese asked of him when he revealed that Monsignor Charles Kavanagh had molested him as a high school seminary student. He testified at the trial but has since learned a decision has been reached but the church has refused to tell him the outcome.

We hope anyone who was harmed by Kavanagh will step forward and seek help. That anyone who saw or suspected his misdeeds will contact law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Murdered Nun’s Father Ready To Move Supreme Court

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOTTAYAM (ICNS): Father of a catholic nun murdered 16 years ago says he will move Supreme Court if culprits are not punished in the state High Court.

Thomas, the murdered nun’s father, told this at a press conference in Kottayam on Thursday, a day after two Catholic priests and a nun were arrested for their suspected involvement in the crime.

His statement comes in the wake of media speculation that culprits may escape punishment in the court for want of evidences. Reports say initial investigators themselves had destroyed most primary proofs soon after the nun’s body was found in the convent well in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

The nun’s priests’ tale

INDIA
Express Buzz

More often than not, mysterious death in a spiritual cloak becomes the subject of public scrutiny and trial before the law takes its course and reaches a logical conclusion. The downside is that uninformed debate in the public domain may be potent enough to put pressure on the investigating agencies and slow their hard task of separating the wheat from the chaff.

The case of Sister Abhaya, a nun who was brutally killed in St Pius X Convent, Kottayam, is a case in point. From that dawn when her body was seen in the well in the convent, to this Wednesday’s dusk when the alleged accused were seen in the well of the court, the Abhaya case has haunted Kerala for 16 years with each passing day presenting a new suicide theory or murder plot.

It remains a fact, however, that the case would have ended up on the long list of unsolved puzzles but for the sustained public interest and eventual pressure on the legal machinery. Many groups knocked on the doors of Kerala courts forcing the Law to examine the mystery threadbare.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Victim of Viagra-popping vicar files for default judgement in lawsuit

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, November 20th 2008, 10:19 PM

A woman who claims a predatory priest coerced her into an affair "ordained by God" demanded Thursday that the Brooklyn diocese confess its alleged sins in court.

Neither the diocese nor the Rev. Elvis Elano has answered a $25 million suit filed by 50-year-old Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn of Brooklyn.

Her lawyer, Andrew Laufer, filed for a default judgment. It's unlikely a judge will issue such a ruling, but it is sure to get the diocese's attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Priest jailed for child porn

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

November 21, 2008 03:00pm

A PRESBYTERIAN minister has been jailed after he was caught in possession of 170,000 indecent images in one of the biggest child porn stings in Queensland history.

John Caldwell Morrow, 69, from Eagle Heights in the Gold Coast hinterland, was one of 13 men arrested in September last year following a two-month special operation that included tip-offs from German police.

The Brisbane District Court was told on Friday that Morrow was identified as having downloaded a large number of child exploitation images, literature and videos from the internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Protesters opposed priest

CANADA
Northern News

A group of protesters gathered in front of St. Paul's University yesterday to alert the public that a Quebec priest who molested an eight-year-old girl on a 2004 church camping trip is studying law there.

Father Philippe de Maupeou, who pleaded guilty in 2007 and served a six-month conditional sentence, is studying canon law on a three-year, $60,000 scholarship at the Main St. religious university. Protesters argued de Maupeou shouldn't even be a priest any more.

"This priest needs to be let go, and that's what we're here to tell people about," protester Carlo Tarini said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Former pastor gets Tiffin assignment

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

The Rev. Frank Murd, a Toledo diocesan priest who resigned as a parish pastor in April after admitting he fondled a man in a public hot tub, has been appointed chaplain to the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Charity in Tiffin.

The priest's new assignment was one of seven personnel appointments announced yesterday by Bishop Leonard Blair, head of the 19-county Toledo Catholic Diocese.

Father Murd, 67, was acquitted in June by Judge James Jensen of a misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition after a bench trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Father Murd reassigned by Diocese

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

TOLEDO (WTOL) - In a press release, the Diocese of Toledo announces the appointments of several local priests including Father Murd who recently stepped down as the priest of Maumee's St. Joseph's church after an investigation involving an incident in a hot tub.

Father Murd has been appointed as Chaplain to the Sisters of Saint Francis of Penance and Charity in Tiffin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Vicar appeals child porn sentence

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A vicar who admitted possessing more than 56,000 indecent images of children is appealing against his sentence.

The Reverend Richard Hart, 59, from Surrey, but formerly of Beguildy, near Knighton in Powys, admitted taking, making and possessing pictures.

In September this year he was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court to three-and-a-half years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Alamo lawyer asks courts for assistance in parents’ cases

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 11/21/2008

Preparations for an initial hearing for 20 children taken this week from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries proceeded Thursday even as final custody hearings continued for six girls removed from the compound two months ago.

Allegations of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect led to the removals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Ex-Vianney staffer campaigns against former school president

MISSOURI
Suburban Journals

By Shawn Clubb
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 3:16 AM CST

A former employee of St. John Vianney High School and a group for survivors of priest abuse are calling for church officials to be more diligent in their work to protect young people from pedophiles in the clergy.

Linda Briggs-Harty, who formerly worked in public relations at Vianney, and David Clohessy of Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Marianist Province of the United States are not following church protocol in handling the allegations that have been leveled.

They cite the case of the Rev. Robert Osborne, former president of Vianney and currently a visiting priest at St. Peter Parish in Kirkwood, as an example. They said Osborne was allowed to visit Vianney unsupervised while he was facing the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Priest Abuse Survivors Release More Church Testimony

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

[with video]

By Elizabeth Braun

New evidence shows former Archbishop Rembert Weakland and another church leader may have hidden abuse cases.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP has released more tapes of former Archbishop Rembert Weakland discussing sex abuse in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

In the tapes, Weakland says Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba may have been involved in cover-ups.

He can be heard saying "He was the auxiliary bishop, so I would say he was my main go-to guy on many things"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Prisoner protests hearing testimonies

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 11/20/2008

AlamoTony Alamo issued a statement from jail Wednesday regarding witness testimony being heard this week in custody hearings for six girls removed on Sept. 20 from his ministry’s compound in Fouke.

“She’s a liar right out of the pit of hell,” Alamo said of a 14-year-old girl who testified Monday that she had been molested by Alamo when she was a 12-year-old living in his house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Archdiocese reacts angrily to accusation against chaplain

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Steve Schmadeke and Manya A. Brachear | Tribune reporters
November 21, 2008
With one of their highest profile priests under fire, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago shot back Thursday, saying abuse victims' advocates have crossed a line. Colleen Dolan, communications director for the archdiocese, said accusations that Rev. Daniel Coughlin, the current chaplain to Congress, failed to report sex crimes are "reckless and irresponsible."

From 1990 to 1995, Coughlin oversaw a retreat center in Mundelein that housed priests accused of abuse. He worked as vicar for priests from 1995 until his appointment to Washington in 2000.

In a letter dated May 20, 1999, 10 months before he was nominated for the chaplain post, Coughlin asked the Wisconsin Parole Commission to release Norbert Maday, 70, from prison and place him under the supervision of the Chicago archdiocese. Maday has been convicted in 1994 of sexually abusing two teenage boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Alamo follower in Fort Smith speaks out

FORT SMITH (AR)
KFSM

[with video]

FORT SMITH - Tony Alamo followers say there's a conspiracy to bring Alamo down. Followers of the controversial minister are speaking out after the Department of Human Services took custody of more than 20 children of church members over the last few weeks.

Peter Pochatko, one of the followers who attends the Alamo Christian Ministeries church in Fort Smith, says he has known Tony Alamo since 1969.

Pochatko says everything the government has done to this point is illegal and has no foundation. "They say we got guns. They raid the place. They look over every square inch. They never find guns. Produce the guns. They never can. There ain't any", says Pachatko. "They say there is child abuse. Produce the child abuse. Let's see some scars. Kids that you've taken out, kidnapped, saying, 'I hate that place', no all those kids, they love it".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Weakland spreads the blame

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Marie Rohde of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 20, 2008

Now-retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland, in a videotaped deposition released Thursday, said his attempts to oust two sexual abusers from the priesthood were stalled by a protective church hierarchy. He also attempted to spread blame beyond himself to court officers, his fellow bishops and the high offices at the Vatican.

A portion of Weakland's deposition, taken over two days in June in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, was released to the media last week. In it, Weakland, now 81, admitted that he transferred priests with a history of sexual misconduct back into churches without alerting parishioners. In the testimony released Thursday by Jeffrey Anderson, the St. Paul lawyer who filed the suit, Weakland also acknowledged that reports of abuse were not turned over to law enforcement authorities, that some incriminating mental health records were destroyed and that bishops spoke in code in correspondence discussing abusers who had been moved outside their diocese.

Those statements prompted a call Thursday for a criminal investigation by a group known as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Peter Isely, a spokesman for the group, turned over a transcript to the Milwaukee County district attorney's office. Kent Lovern, the office's chief deputy, said the records would be reviewed. ...

Bishops Accountability, a national nonprofit group that is attempting to document the sexual abuse scandal, posted in a searchable format the full deposition at its Web site at www.BishopAccountability.org/Weakland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Expose child sex abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Marci Hamilton

Friday, November 21st 2008, 4:00 AM

Most people think our culture offers no sympathy to perpetrators of child sexual abuse and goes to great lengths to protect victims. But in reality, sex criminals still get far too much protection and victims far too little help. The most recent reminder is the case of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is sitting on files that detail such abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community - including the names of 60 accused sexual predators.

Hikind isn't revealing the information to the authorities because, he says, his sources - the people who say they were victims - had sworn him to secrecy and are afraid of becoming outcasts in their community. But the case, and Hikind's excuses, only underline the need for urgent reform.

First, he says that most of the victims are in their late 20s or older, meaning the statutes of limitations have expired and no prosecution or civil lawsuit could be filed. Regrettably, that is true; state law mandates that criminal charges must be filed by the time a victim is 18 and civil claims by 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

DEPOSITION OF ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS REMBERT G. WEAKLAND, O.S.B.

MILWAUKEE (WI)
BishopAccountability.org

BishopAccountability.org has posted a searchable copy of the full deposition of Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland.

This deposition was taken on June 5-6, 2008. It offers insights into the management of abuse cases by Archbishop William E. Cousins (1958-1977) and Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland (1977-2002). Weakland discusses in detail the cases of convicted abuser Rev. Siegfried Widera (who continued to molest boys in California after Weakland excardinated him there) and admitted abuser Rev. Franklyn Becker (who molested boys in the Milwaukee parishes and hospitals where Weakland assigned him).

The deposition also examines the Marcoux revelations, which caused the Vatican to accept Weakland's resignation. Weakland talks at length about his attitudes, policies, and programs during 25 years as archbishop, and provides brief assessments of a dozen other abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

DA Reviewing Clergy Abuse Deposition

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

[with links to the video and a print copy of the deposition]

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office will review a deposition citing sexual abuse by clergy members that spans decades.

The clergy abuse victims group, SNAP, is turning the deposition over to the district attorney to review it and decide whether it shows evidence of criminal wrongdoing by former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland or other church officials.

Weakland said that at one point or another, virtually every parish in the diocese had a priest that sexually abused a child.

“Any Catholic can now see in this diocese exactly what Archbishop Weakland did or didn't do, what he did or didn't know concerning these terrible cases,” said Peter Isely, a clergy abuse advocate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

More Weakland Deposition Video Released

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Today's TMJ

[with video]

Mick Trevey
Katie DeLong

MILWAUKEE - More shocking information about the child sex abuse cases in the Milwaukee Archdiocese: a deposition by former Archbishop Rembert Weakland provides more evidence that leaders of the Catholic Church may have covered up the abuse.

In this new information, Weakland says another well known and highly respected leader of the Milwaukee Archdiocese was involved in all of the abuse cases.

He also talks about the destruction of important documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Support, criticism swirl around Roy Bourgeois

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Tom Roberts
Published: November 20, 2008

The news that peace activist Fr. Roy Bourgeois was threatened with excommunication for his support of women’s ordination unleashed a storm of commentary and reaction from various Catholic interest groups and around the blogosphere.

If the issue is settled for Rome, it is still wide open in some Catholic circles. In addition to the expected sharp division between those who applaud Bourgeois’ action and those who find it scandalous, people have posed thoughtful questions about conscience, and how and whether the church can force someone to violate his conscience. Others, in what amounts to a fairly robust discussion of the question of women’s ordination, raise issues of history and women’s place in the early church based on an understanding of scripture and archaeological evidence.

Another thread that runs through much of the commentary asks how the church could act so swiftly against Bourgeois when decades passed before the church even began to investigate cases of sex abuse of children by priests. Meanwhile, Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest of 36 years, is trying to meld issues that normally operate in separate spheres by claiming that the ban on ordaining women is as serious an injustice within the church as the injustices he has confronted in the realms of the political and military.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Ex-altar boy sues Catholic Church

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

Paul Egan / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit is facing a second civil lawsuit over allegations it failed to stop a priest who molested children when he served at parishes in Warren, White Lake, Redford, Pontiac, and Utica.

The lawsuit filed by former White Lake Township resident and altar boy James Schultz names as defendants the archdiocese and the Rev. Timothy Szott, who was convicted in 2003 of possessing child pornography. Szott, stripped of his ministry though not his priesthood, by the Vatican in 2005, died of leukemia in Arizona in September.

The archdiocese is aware of the lawsuit and "we're always saddened when we hear this type of a claim," said spokesman Ned McGrath, who declined to comment on the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Ex-altar boy claims abuse in Detroit archdiocese

DETROIT (MI)
Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
4:31 AM CST, November 21, 2008
DETROIT - Another former altar boy has filed a lawsuit claiming the Archdiocese of Detroit failed to stop sexual misconduct by a former priest.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Ohio by James Schultz, a former resident of Oakland County's White Lake Township, against the Rev. Timothy Szott and the archdiocese. Szott died in August in Arizona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Vatican Threatens to Excommunicate Catholic Priest for Supporting Ordination of Women into Priesthood

UNITED STATES
Democracy Now

[with audio and video]

We speak with Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest. He took part in a ceremony this summer to ordain a member of the group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. For the past two decades, he has organized the annual protest against the US Army’s School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. [includes rush transcript] ...

AMY GOODMAN: In your letter, Father Roy Bourgeois, you write that having an all-male clergy implies that men are worthy to be Catholic priests, but women are not. You say, “According to USA Today, in the United States alone, nearly 5,000 Catholic priests have sexually abused more than 12,000 children.” What does that have to do with your support of women priests?

FATHER ROY BOURGEOIS: Well, you know, it was very difficult for me to add that in my letter, but it must be said. You know, I’m sad to say that the Vatican, our Church leaders, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, took many years to respond to the crimes of thousands of priests who sexually abused over 12,000 children. That was first reported in 1988. It wasn’t until eleven or twelve years later that they began to intervene and investigate and really, you know, demand that priests step down from the priesthood.

You know, less than three months after I attended the ordination of a woman in Lexington, Kentucky, less than three months, I received a letter from the Vatican demanding that I recant within thirty days or I will be excommunicated. The severity, the swiftness of the Vatican’s letter, I think it calls into question, you know, just what’s going on here. What really is the problem? I do believe that I did not commit a crime. I am following my conscience. Women—you know, it’s amazing, the thousands of priests and the many bishops were aware of these crimes of their priests, they remained silent. These priests committing the crimes and the bishops who remained silent have not been excommunicated. Yet, the many women who have been ordained to the priesthood and the priests and bishops who support their ordination are excommunicated. I do believe that there is a problem here. This is also a grave injustice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Clergy sexual abuse isn't a joke

UNITED STATES
Examiner

November 20, 1:05 PM
by Kevin Masterson, Los Angeles Religion & Spirituality Examiner

I think it is important the public knows the true nature of how victims of clergy sexual abuse have been treated when they have gone to their Bishops for help. I first met Bishop Donald Trautman of the Diocese of Erie in August 1991. His first words to me were “I don’t believe you. You are lying. Even if this did happen, the statute of limitations has expired.” Shortly after that he dismissed me from his office. I’ve come to find out that this is how he treats most every victim who has come forward to report their abuse—he calls them liars and then dismisses them from his “prescence.”

Apparently Bishop Trautman thinks that clergy sexual abuse is a laughing matter. I was shocked to find this excerpt from "The Wanderer", a conservative Catholic newspaper on 6/5/97. "The cavalier attitude of some priests in the Catholic Church was demonstrated on February 27 at Houston's St. Mary's Seminary. Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, PA delivered a speech on "inclusive language". Bishop Trautman noted that in the present Ordination promise, the priest promises to serve "all men". Emphasizing "all men", Trautman joked that young priests may take this as a calling to become pedophiles."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

November 20, 2008

The 2008 Presidential Election

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

Fr. Richard McBrien

Regardless of how individual Catholics voted in this year's historic presidential election, there are at least three important lessons for their pastoral leadership to absorb.

---First, Catholic voters are paying less and less attention to the urgings of some of the Conference's most theologically rigid and politically partisan bishops. Catholics this year returned to their traditional allegiance to the Democratic Party by a margin of 53-45 percent. And Hispanic voters, most of whom are Catholics, supported the Democratic ticket by an astonishing margin of 66-31 percent.

This was in spite of the efforts of a vocal handful of bishops, including Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver and Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, to try to persuade Catholics that a vote for the Democratic ticket was tantamount to a vote for abortion and, therefore, gravely sinful. ...

The sexual-abuse scandal in the priesthood has had a devastating effect on the credibility of our bishops. They must take care not to worsen the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

VIDEO: Call for honesty about sexual abuse

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with video]

By Carl Kanefsky

A lawsuit against a former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington led victims of childhood sexual abuse and their supporters, to urge parents to seek the truth.

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, went to St. Edmond's Academy in North Wilmington Thursday to distribute educational leaflets about Father Paul Daleo, a former staff member at the school, accused of sexually molesting young boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Joelle Casteix wants school officials to be honest, and says the suit alleges school administrators did nothing when they learned Daleo was assaulting students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

WITCH HUNT AGAINST CHICAGO ARCHDIOCESE

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic League

November 20, 2008

Earlier today, Catholic League president Bill Donohue criticized Roll Call for an irresponsible story on Father Daniel Coughlin. Prior to becoming House Chaplain, the Chicago priest ministered to troubled priests. Though he did nothing wrong, the story left the impression that he did. Now a so-called victims’ advocacy group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), is accusing Father Coughlin, and Chicago Archbishop Francis Cardinal George, of wrongdoing.

Donohue addressed this new development today:

“There is no group in America that has made more wildly unsubstantiated accusations against the Catholic Church than SNAP. Now it’s feeding off the Roll Call story, waxing delirious once again. Yesterday it accused Father Coughlin of helping to ‘conceal felonies,’ yet offered not one iota of evidence that the priest ever broke the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Court allows pay for man who guarded Geoghan

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Thursday, November 20, 2008

BOSTON - The highest court in Massachusetts has upheld disability benefits for a prison guard who said he was traumatized after being falsely accused of harassing pedophile priest John Geoghan.

Cosmo Bisazza said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after Geoghan was murdered by another inmate. He said inmates threatened him and told reporters he had harassed and beaten Geoghan, including by placing feces in his cell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Sociological Question: Is Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Priesthood connected to clergy sexual abuse?

Voice from the Desert

The Catholic Priesthood and Homosexuality: Sexual Politics and Clergy Sexual Abuse

By John Shuster, 2008 jshuster@aol.com

Anecdotal Background Information:

The Roman Catholic Priesthood is a safe haven for a persecuted and marginalized homosexual subculture

Gay men have learned not to trust heterosexual culture and have worked to create safe and accepting environments where they can find acceptance and stability.

The priesthood has emerged as a profession where gay men can find camaraderie and a sense of belonging matched with a well-funded professional lifestyle. ...

Is there a direct connection between homosexual orientation and sexual abuse? No. Sexual orientation does not establish a proclivity towards sexual abuse. Both gay and straight priests have been involved in sex crimes against children and breaches in their fiduciary relationships with vulnerable adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

U.S. House chaplain sought abuser's release

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear and Margaret Ramirez | Tribune reporters
November 20, 2008
Before his appointment as chaplain of the House of Representatives, Rev. Daniel Coughlin pushed for the early release from prison of a priest convicted of sexually abusing two teenage boys.

In a letter dated May 20, 1999, 10 months before he was nominated for the chaplain post, Coughlin asked the Wisconsin Parole Commission to release Norbert Maday, 70, from prison and place him under the supervision of the Chicago archdiocese.

"We would be pleased to receive Norbert Maday into the archdiocese of Chicago system," he wrote. "We would also accept financial responsibility for his maintenance, monitoring. . . . This would relieve the state of Wisconsin from the financial burden of caring for Maday."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Sr. Abhaya Murder Case - New developments

INDIA
Mutiny

It looks like justice is finally being done in the Sr. Abhaya murder case. After 16 years, the CBI has arrested and remanded two priests and a nun on Nov 18th and 19th. The CBI joint director Ashok Kumar said the arrests were made on strong evidence. It was evident from the news came out in May 2008 that the narco analysis points at Thomas Kottoor, Jose Poothrikkayil and Stephy as the culprits.

The arrest also renews my faith in our country’s judicial system. Reportedly, there were serious tampering of evidence right from the beginning of the case inquiry. The case was initially taken by Kerala Police and then moved to Crime Branch and finally to several teams of CBI. The Court intervened and severly criticized CBI and closely followed up the case. If not for the Kerala High Court and the latest CBI team, the case would have been lost forever and the arrests would never have been made.

One person to remember on this occassion is Mr. Varghese P Thomas, the retired DSP of CBI. In 1993, he called a press conference and announced his resignation from CBI, stating that his conscience did not permit him to comply with a strong directive given by his superior officer, V. Thyagarajan, the then Superintendent of CBI Cochin Unit. He had also mentioned that the political pressure came from various places including the then prime minister Narasimha Rao’s office. The action council convener Jomon Puthenpurackal later said in a press conference that former minister K M Mani was involved in the putting political pressure on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Former Frederick priest must register as sex offender

GREELEY (CO)
Longmont Times-Call

By Victoria Camron
Longmont Times-Call

GREELEY — A former Catholic priest who was found jogging naked in Frederick must register as a sex offender, a Weld County judge ordered today.

"This incident is a manifestation of the substantial risk you pose to the community if you are left untreated," Judge Timothy Kerns said to Robert Whipkey during the half-hour sentencing hearing.

State law required Whipkey to register, but the judge said he would have ordered it anyway. He also sentenced Whipkey to five years' probation and 100 hours of community service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Priest Sentenced For Jogging Naked In Frederick

GREELEY (CO)
CBS 4

[with video]

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) ― A Catholic priest convicted of indecent exposure will not serve any time in jail. A Weld County District Court sentenced Father Robert Whipkey to five years probation Thursday morning.

Whipkey will also have to register as a sex offender.

During the hearing, he told the judge the publicity surrounding the case has been a hardship on him and his efforts to look for employement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Naked Jogging Priest Must Register As Sex Offender

GREELEY (CO)
TheDenverChannel

GREELEY, Colo. -- A former Catholic priest, who was caught jogging naked in the small Weld County town of Frederick, was given five-years probation Thursday and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Robert Whipkey was also ordered not to have contact with any children younger than 18, including family members.

Weld County Judge Timothy Kerns could have sentenced Whipkey to from six to 18 months in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

'Canadian hero' faces lawsuits

CANADA
Canadian Christianity

By Lloyd Mackey

"WE OFFER a downtown home to Victoria's homeless and poor. We don't judge them and we are not judging Al (Tysick) either. The matter is before the courts."

That was the word on Tuesday from Dennis Anholt, chairman of the board of Our Place, whose executive director, Al Tysick, has been named in two civil suits alleging sexual abuse dating to the 1970s and 1990s.

Anholt stressed that while the board was "not judging" Tysick -- known informally in Victoria's homeless community as Reverend Al -- it was taking the matter "very seriously." But as of press time, the executive director has not been asked to step aside from his duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

ROLL CALL SMEARS INNOCENT PRIEST

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic League

November 20, 2008

Catholic League president Bill Donohue today accused the Washington, D.C. newspaper, Roll Call, of smearing Father Daniel Coughlin; the Chicago priest has been the House Chaplain since 2000:

“We have always held Roll Call in high regard, but after the hit job on Father Coughlin, we no longer do. What the newspaper did was classic yellow journalism.

“Yesterday, Roll Call made a big splash on the Internet with its ‘Breaking News’ story on Father Coughlin. The headline, ‘Chaplain Managed Abusive Priests,’ gave the impression that Coughlin either did something illegal or something immoral. The fact is he did neither.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Coughlin Worked With Chicago’s Fallen Priests

WASHINGTON (DC)
Roll Call

By Paul Singer
Roll Call Staff
November 20, 2008

Before he became the minister for Members of Congress, the Rev. Daniel Coughlin ministered to a very different — and very troubled — flock.

Beginning in 1990, Coughlin was the director for the Cardinal Stritch Retreat House in Mundelein, Ill. The Web site for the retreat house describes it “as a place of prayer and retreat,” and invites visitors to “come away to pray.”

But it also has served since the early 1990s as a place where the Archdiocese of Chicago sends priests when they are removed from ministry because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Survivors group: Did House chaplain once hide clergy sex crimes?

WASHINGTON (DC)
Raw Story

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Thursday November 20, 2008

Roll Call revealed Wednesday that the Catholic priest who currently serves as chaplain for the House of Representatives formerly oversaw a Catholic retreat outside Chicago where troubled priests were sent, including those accused of sexual misconduct.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has issued a statement concerning these revelations about Rev. Daniel Coughlin. "Sadly, this is a familiar pattern in the Chicago archdiocese: a priest who successfully keeps quiet about clergy sex crimes wins a promotion. ... Among other questions, Coughlin needs to be asked, 'Did you ever call the police about any of these known or alleged crimes and if not, why not?'"

The Roll Call article does not suggest that any impropriety at the Congressional end was involved in the selection of Rev. Daniel Coughlin. However, the fact that no one in the House of Representatives appears to have been aware of their chaplain's past work does raise questions about the vetting process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Chaplain’s Work With Abusers Was Little-Known

WASHINGTON (DC)
Roll Call

By Paul Singer
Roll Call Staff
November 20, 2008

In March 2000, then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), attempting to quell a firestorm of Democratic criticism that he was anti-Catholic, appointed a Catholic priest as the new Chaplain for the House of Representatives. Hastert told his colleagues that the Rev. Daniel Coughlin came with the “highest recommendations” from Cardinal Francis George of the Chicago Archdiocese, and that Coughlin “has been a parish priest and spent the past several years counseling parish priests within the archdiocese.”

What Hastert did not say — and probably did not know — is that for 10 years Coughlin had been at the center of the Chicago Archdiocese’s efforts to manage priests who had been accused of sexual abuse. When the archdiocese removed an accused priest from ministry, Coughlin frequently became his caretaker, providing services ranging from room and board to spiritual support and advocacy.

Coughlin spent five years running a Catholic facility outside of Chicago where the archdiocese sent priests who were suspected of committing sexual offenses — though Coughlin was not responsible for overseeing the men. He then spent the next five years serving as the vicar for priests, the archdiocesan point man for counseling troubled priests, including those accused of sexual misconduct. Hastert apparently did not know the details of Coughlin’s service, and for the most part, they have never been made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Recovered memory was Reconciliation for me. It explained everything, even lies I told as a spokesperson for NASA.

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

People wonder about recovered memory. I can understand why. I would wonder myself about stories like mine that are part of the clergy crisis in the Catholic Church, if it hadn’t happened to me. Even as a teenager, I was drawn like in a fugue state to movies like Sybil and parts of The Chapman Report that dealt with suppressed memories, and their effects on a person in adult life.

What people don’t realize is how the person having the recovered memory knows the memory is real. In my case and in Peter Saracino’s whose story we posted yesterday, a Reconciliation came with the recovered memory.

Funny to choose the word for the sacrament that comes with Confession, since the perpetrators of our crimes were Catholic priests, but the word Reconciliation really works. For me and others, recovering a long suppressed and affecting memory is like a gonging bell has been going off in your head for decades, and suddenly SPRROOONNNG the bell stops clanging and everything in your life falls into place.

What I created in my mind to remember instead was what any 5 year old child would create if a Catholic priest was towering over them conducting sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Residents of Wayne, N.J. Protest Arrival of Priest

WAYNE (NJ)
1010 WINS

[with audio]

Steve Sandberg

WAYNE, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Residents of Wayne, N.J. are protesting the arrival of an accused pedophile priest to their town.

Fr. James Tully has been hiding out in churches around the world and is now taking refuge at the Xaverian Missionary Fathers residence in Wayne.

In 1986-87, Tully, a Xaverian Missionary priest, sexually abused Bill Nash, when Nash was a young seminarian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to Milwaukee Criminal Court documents.

"Fr. Tully has been abusing kids for decades. I've come forward to try to put a stop to this," Nash told 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg.

Tully also abused other Wisconsin kids, according to the documents, and abused youngsters in Boston according to a settlement by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Kerala Church Supports Priests Arrested In Murder Case

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOCHI (ICNS): Church people in Kerala have rallied behind two Catholic priests and a nun arrested in connection with a 16-year-old murder case.

The arrests are an attempt to "save the skin" of the federal investigating agency, says Father Paul Thelakat, spokesperson of the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church (SMC), an Oriental Catholic rite, reported UCA News.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Fathers Thomas Kottoor, 61, and Jose Poothrukayil, 56, on Nov. 18 and St. Joseph Sister Sephy, 45, a day later. All three belong to the SMC's Kottayam archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Catholic priest's past catches up to him in Wayne

NEW JERSEY
News 12

This link to a video about the Father James Tully, who is now in Wayne, N.J. He was placed on probation in the 1990s for sexual abuse of boys in Wisconsin. He later went to Italy where he was located by William Nash of Massachusetts, who said he was abused by Father Tully. The priest relocated to Wayne last summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Orange County Bishops and Their Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card: A History

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
November 20, 2008 7:41 AM

I'm getting disappointed with Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown. As of recently, I've been reporting more on the kooky actions of former Orange bishops, whether it was homo-hating or homo-hypocrisy, than the current head of the county's Catholics. So it hurts me to report that the latest in Orange County Catholic idiocies again emanates from alumni--in this case Fresno Bishop John Steinbock and his $10,000 donation to the St. Luke's Institute.

St. Luke's is notorious as the place where the Catholic hierarchy send their pedo-priests off for treatment, and it has a special place in Orange County Catholic history. It's where Bishop William Johnson sent Eleuterio Ramos to unsuccessfully rejigger his child-molesting mind in the late 1970s. It's where Bishop Norman McFarland sent Monsignor Michael Harris to find out what the Orange diocese already knew--that Harris was a boy-lover. It was where Placentia native Manuel Moreno sent off Tucson's most notorious pedo-priest while head of the Diocese of Tucson. Why, even Brown sent off a priest to the Maryland center after investigators found the priest had downloaded child porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

The Silent Treatment

NEW YORK
The Internet

by Peter Mullin
Co-Sports Editor
with Bill Donahue
Co-Editor-in-Chief

In April of 1994 an 18-year-old freshman walked into the office of the Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, a place that, according to the University’s mission statement, concerns itself with fostering an “environment that celebrates and protects the dignity of the human person.” Inside the confines of that office the young woman started the process of protecting that dignity. She told the Dean a story of how, after a night of drinking in the city, her philosophy professor took advantage of her in his office. By the end of the semester, her professor had resigned.

Ten years later that scene would come to national attention in an article by Joseph Feuerherd published in the National Catholic Reporter. The story detailed the alleged 1994 sexual misconduct of Deal W. Hudson, a top advisor to George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, while he was a tenured professor of philosophy at Fordham.

That July, Fordham spokeswoman Elizabeth Schmalz issued a statement to NCR saying, “Sexual Harassment is not tolerated at Fordham University.” It continued, “Fordham followed its policy rigorously in this case and initiated an investigation into the matter upon receipt of the student’s complaint.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Fugitive sex offender, former priest arrested in California

STOCKTON (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Once again we see a pedophile priest getting no supervision by the church hierarchy and going on to commit more crimes. We're seeing this pattern more and more and expect this trend will accelerate.

This is why predator priests, when convicted, need long sentences. Most of them are compulsively driven to commit more sex crimes.

We hope that others who saw, suspected or suffered Sherwood's crimes will gain the strength to come forward, get help and call police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Congressional chaplain oversaw predators; Sex abuse victims respond

CHICAGO (Il)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Sadly, this is a familiar pattern in the Chicago archdiocese: a priest who successfully keeps quiet about clergy sex crimes wins a promotion. It's very depressing and troubling that a priest who helped conceal felonies is rewarded with a prominent national post like this.

Among other questions, Coughlin needs to be asked, "Did you ever call the police about any of these known or alleged crimes and if not, why not?"

Surely there's a more appropriate and less sullied cleric who can be the House chaplain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Three held in sensational nun murder case in Kerala

INDIA
The Peninsula (Qatar)

By John Mary

Thiruvananthapuram: India’s premier probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, has arrested two priests and a nun in connection with the alleged murder of a 21-year-old Catholic nun in the south Kerala district of Kottayam 16 years ago.

The CBI team produced Fr Jose Puthrukayil, chancellor of Knanaya Catholic Church in Kottayam, Fr Thomas M Kottoor, principal of Pius X College in Kasargod district, and Sister Stephy, the victim’s convent mate, before the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Kochi today.

All three have been remanded in the CBI custody till December 8.

The CBI did not submit any fresh detailed evidence in the court but the probe team chief, Superintendent of Police, Ashok Kumar, told reporters that the agency had sufficient evidence and would be able produce it in the court within a month. Fr Thomas Kottoor was a lecturer at the BCM College Both he and Fr Puthrukayil were taken into custody on Tuesday evening while the nun was picked up this morning. All three were subjected to the lie-detector and narco analysis tests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Other priests involved in murder cases

INDIA
Express Buzz

KOCHI: Priests getting involved in murder cases is not new in Kerala. The arrest of Fr Thomas Kottur, Fr Jose Puthrukkayil and Sr Sephi in connection with Sr Abhaya murder case has stirred up the memory of other sensational cases in Kerala involving the priests.

In 1966, Fr Benedict Onamkulam, a priest of Changanassery Archdiocese, was sentenced to death for the murder of a widow -Mariakutty- on the basis of “circumstantial evidence”.

However, he was acquitted by the Kerala High Court on an appeal filed against the lower court judgement, sentencing him to death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Abhaya case: Oh Father, they knew what they did

INDIA
Merinews

FINALLY, THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested two priests in connection with sister Abhaya murder, which has been mocking at the credibility of our investigation agencies and the conscience of millions of Christians alike for more than 16 years.

Father Thomas M Kottur (61) and Father Dr Jose Puthrukkayil (56), former lecturers at BCM College, Kottayam, are reported to have been incriminated based on some clinching evidence revealed by a key witness in this murder mystery, and they have been booked for the same. And the third accused, sister Sephi (45) is also under custody. They have been remanded to CBI custody for further interrogation.

Neither the Kerala police nor the CBI has ever had a case as controversial and unsettling as this one because the people who are involved in this case have been known to enjoy enough media support, money and political power to keep the investigation agencies at bay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

The Audacity of Hope or a Fool’s Errand:

CHICAGO (IL)
In the Vineyard

The Criminal Prosecution of Cardinal Francis George and/or the Archdiocese of Chicago

How is it that a cardinal archbishop of Chicago can get away with acknowledging,

that he never reported allegations of sexual abuse of minors, something required by Illinois law;
that he rejected the recommendations of his own Review Board in 2005 to remove a priest from ministry, and that more children were abused as a result;
that he knew of five allegations against another priest since 2002 and did not remove him from service until 2006;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Children in Alamo case still sought

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008

TEXARKANA — State child protective services caseworkers spent Wednesday finding foster homes for the 20 children seized from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries while a search continued for other children who were missed during a sweep of Alamo properties.

The children, 11 boys and nine girls, were taken into protective custody Tuesday after Arkansas State Police officers and Department of Human Services caseworkers went to Alamo’s compound in Fouke and to more than a dozen Alamo-controlled homes and businesses in the Fort Smith area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Police Withheld Details of Sex Abuse at Orphanage From Albanian Authorities

ALBANIA
Buzzle

British police helped cover up a horrific sex abuse scandal at a Christian missionary orphanage in Albania, a Guardian investigation has found.

Senior officers agreed to keep details of abuse secret from their counterparts in Albania after the British director of the orphanage, David Brown, persuaded them that while children had been sexually abused in his care, he had played no part in it.

Brown, 57, an evangelical charity worker who founded the His Children orphanage seven years ago, was yesterday found guilty of "sexual relations" with minors.

Sentencing him to 20 years in a maximum-security jail in Albania, Judge Gerti Hoxha said the home had been used as "camouflage" for sexual abuse. He hoped the sentence would serve as a warning to other pedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Advent Ember Day slated

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

The Ember Day for Advent will be on Wednesday, Dec. 3. An Ember Day is a day set aside for prayer and fasting.

Archbishop John G. Vlazny instituted Ember Days in the Archdiocese of Portland in 2002 as days for prayer for victims of child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Vlazny specified that Ember Days in the Archdiocese be celebrated three times each year: in the Advent Season before Christmas, in the Lenten Season before Easter and in the fall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Congressional chaplain accused of covering up local abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

By John Garcia

A Chicago priest who is now a chaplain in Congress played a role in managing other priests accused of sexual abuse, according to "Roll Call," Capitol Hill newspaper.
This news is a surprise to those who support the victims of clergy abuse.

Reverend Daniel Coughlin has been the chaplain of the House of Representatives since 2000. Frances Cardinal George recommended him for that position. Before that, he was in Chicago where he ministered to a group of troubled priests, according to "Roll Call."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Church officials silent about fate of priest in abuse case

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Gary Stern
The Journal News • November 20, 2008

A former Westchester resident whose accusations of abuse against Monsignor Charles Kavanagh brought down the former chief fundraiser for the Archdiocese of New York is now furious that church officials will not tell him whether a decision has been reached in the slow-moving case.

Upon hearing this week that a decision had been reached, Daniel Donohue said he contacted the Rev. Richard Welch, who served as prosecutor for the archdiocese in a church trial on the case.

"The first thing he said was: 'I don't think they realized this would get out so quickly,' " Donohue said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Abuse suit names O'Grady, Mahony

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
November 20, 2008 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - Attorneys for a local man who said a notorious priest molested him as a boy filed a lawsuit Wednesday that also seeks to hold Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony responsible for allowing years of sexual abuse.

This is one of many lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church stemming from Oliver O'Grady's alleged abuse but the first that tries to hold Mahony personally responsible, attorney John Manly said from the front steps of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.

"Oliver O'Grady is a shark. He's a lion," Manly said. "And Cardinal Mahony was the lion tamer, and he opened the cage."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Priest facing abuse counts sues family

FONDA (NY)
Schenectady Gazette

By Edward Munger Jr.
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — A priest facing felony child sex abuse charges in Montgomery County filed a civil lawsuit this week against the family that made the accusations against him.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, is seeking $500,000, alleging that the family made false statements about him.

In a September indictment, a Montgomery County grand jury lodged three felony counts of second-degree sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child against Broderick. The indictment charges that Broderick, who authorities said was serving as the Palatine Bridge family’s “spiritual adviser,” abused three children between October 2005 and May of 2007.

Broderick also is accused of providing alcohol to a person under 21 in 2007.

In his lawsuit, filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Montgomery County, Broderick says his arrest caused him to suffer “loss of reputation, loss of employment, past and prospective, the expenditure of money for legal fees to defend a criminal action and other damages.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

“You have helped us to save the vocations of many”

FRESNO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Fresno Bishop John Steinbock has pledged $10,000 to support the Saint Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland – the famous treatment center for wayward priests. Among the Institute’s more infamous patients were serial pederasts and defrocked priests Rudy Kos of Dallas and John Geoghan of Boston, who was murdered by a fellow inmate while serving a prison term for his crimes. Four years ago, Bishop Steinbock sent one of his own priests to the Institute after parishioners discovered their pastor had been soliciting liaisons on a homosexual web site.

A letter obtained by California Catholic Daily to Bishop Steinbock from Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, president of Saint Luke Institute, indicates that on June 17, the Institute received the second installment of a $10,000 pledge from the Fresno diocese. So far, according to the letter, the diocese has paid $4000 toward the pledge, with a balance remaining of $6000.

“Thank you for your most generous support,” wrote Msgr. Rossetti. “Your second gift of $2,000 from the Diocese of Fresno toward your pledge to our Fund Campaign will enable us to continue to assist priests, deacons and women and men religious who come from dioceses or communities who cannot afford treatment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

MacDonald's lawyer may have to take to the inquiry stand

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The lawyer for alleged sex offender Charles MacDonald may be forced to step down because of a conflict of interest over upcoming testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

Michael Neville has represented both MacDonald and the estate of probation officer Ken Seguin, another alleged abuser, since the inquiry began hearing witnesses in February 2006.

Neville has also defended the now-retired priest in criminal proceedings since 1996, when MacDonald was first charged with sexually abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

November 19, 2008

Anti-Abuse Rabbi Says He’s In Danger

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston And Larry Cohler-Esses

A Williamsburg community activist who has spoken out frequently against child sexual abuse in the Brooklyn Orthodox community claimed Monday that his life had been threatened multiple times as a result.

Rabbi Nuchum Rosenberg claimed that the threats culminated last month when he was “shot” on Berry Street, near the Williamsburg Bridge by unknown assailants.

Speaking at a press conference outside the 90th Precinct Police Headquarters in Williamsburg, Rabbi Rosenberg complained that police were unable to protect him. He pointed to a scarlet wound seared in the middle of his forehead to indicate the spot where he was hit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

House chaplain pushed sex offender's release

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

November 19, 2008 at 4:19 PM

Before Rev. Daniel Coughlin was named chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, he pushed for the early release of a former priest convicted of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Chicago, it was learned today.

In a letter dated May 20, 1999, ten months before his appointment, Coughlin asked the Wisconsin Parole Commission, to release Norbert Maday from prison and place him under the supervision of the Chicago archdiocese. Coughlin, then vicar of priests, a position in which he supervised Chicago area priests, was appointed House chaplain in March, 2000.

The existence of the letter was first reported today by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Victim of abuse by priest dealt setback by appellate court

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WEST PALM BEACH — An appeals court ruled today that the names of alleged victims of sex abuse involved in lawsuits against a Catholic archdiocese should not have to be disclosed to another victim seeking them as part of his own suit.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal overturned in part a lower court decision that allowed plaintiff Kevin Sidaway of Lake Worth access to the names of people who sued under initials or pseudonyms like "John Doe." A three-judge panel ruled that a lower court could, though, require the Archdiocese of Miami to identify all the cases so Sidaway could review the files and contact the victims' attorneys.

Sidaway and his attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment about the setback in his years-long battle against the Archdiocese. Sidaway, now 52, has said he was molested in the 1960s while an altar boy at a church in Boynton Beach, then a part of the Archdiocese of Miami which he is suing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

House Chaplain Managed Priests Accused of Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Roll Call

By Paul Singer
Roll Call Staff
November 19, 2008, 2:45 p.m.

From 1990 to 2000, the Rev. Daniel Coughlin — who is now the Chaplain of the House of Representatives — played a central role in the efforts of the Chicago Archdiocese to manage priests who had been accused of sexual abuse, according to newly released church documents, public records and interviews conducted by Roll Call.

When the archdiocese removed an accused priest from ministry in the early 1990s, he was often sent to a facility that Coughlin ran. Later in the decade, Coughlin served as the archdiocesan point man for counseling troubled priests, including those accused of sexual misconduct.

Coughlin emphasizes that he did not make decisions about what to do with accused priests or how to manage them. His role was to help the priests comply with whatever protocols the archdiocese mandated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Former priest O’Grady target of another lawsuit (11:32 a.m.)

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By The Record
November 19, 2008 2:35 PM
STOCKTON – A local man filed a lawsuit today against Oliver O’Grady, saying the former priest molested him as a boy studying in the Diocese of Stockton, his attorneys announced in front of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Attorneys for the unnamed man said this is the first lawsuit stemming from O’Grady’s alleged abuse that also seeks to hold accountable Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles, who was bishop in Stockton at the time.

O’Grady was convicted of molesting two local boys and fled to his native Ireland after being released from prison. The unnamed man who filed the latest lawsuit was age 6 to 9 when O’Grady molested him, attorney John Manly said. He is now in his early 30s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Former Priest Accused Of More Molestation

STOCKTON (CA)
KCRA

STOCKTON, Calif. -- A man allegedly molested by a former Stockton Catholic priest decades ago filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the accused man and the past head of the Diocese of Stockton.

The suit claims Oliver Francis O'Grady, who served time in prison for child molestation before being deported to Ireland, molested the victim from 1983 to 1985.

The suit also names Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, who was bishop of the Diocese of Stockton at the time the alleged abuse took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Priest sues Palatine bridge family who accused him of sex abuse

FONDA (NY)
Schenectady Gazette

By Edward Munger Jr.
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — A priest facing felony child sex abuse charges in Montgomery County filed a civil lawsuit this week against the family that made the accusations against him.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, is seeking $500,000, alleging the family made false statements about him.

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted Broderick in September on three felony counts of second-degree sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child. The indictment alleges Broderick, who authorities said was serving as the Palatine Bridge family's "spiritual advisor," abused three children between October 2005 and May 2007. It further alleges Broderick provided alcohol to a person under 21 in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Defrocked priest sued for abuse again in Stockton

STOCKTON (CA)
Examiner

STOCKTON, Calif. (Map, News) - A defrocked priest who was the subject of a scathing Oscar-nominated documentary is being sued by another former parishioner who says he was sexually abused as a child.

The unnamed adult sued former cleric Oliver O'Grady Wednesday in San Joaquin County Superior Court for sexual abuse beginning when he was 6 years old. He also named the Diocese of Stockton as well as its former Bishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, for allegedly covering it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Arrests of 2 priests, nun on basis of concrete evidence: CBI

INDIA
Zee News

Kochi, Nov 19: The CBI on Wednesday claimed that the arrests of two priests and a nun in the Sister Abhaya murder case were made on the basis of "concrete and fresh" evidence against them.

While Father Thomas Kottur (61) and Father Jose Puthrukkayil (56) were arrested yesterday, Sister Sephi (45) was arrested today, CBI joint director Ashok Kumar and DIG P Kandaswamy told at a specially convened press conference at the CBI headquarters here.

All the three were arrested from Kottayam, they said.

Not giving the details of the evidence against the accused, Kumar said, "we have fresh evidence against them. Unless we have evidence, we will not take anyone into custody."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

16 years on, two priests, nun held for Sister Abhaya's murder

INDIA
Bombay News

Bombay News.Net
Wednesday 19th November, 2008 (IANS)

Sixteen years after Sister Abhaya's body was found in the well of a Kerala convent, investigations into her murder finally made some headway Wednesday with the arrest of two Catholic priests and a nun.

In the first arrests in the case, Father Jose Putarika, 56, a former Malayalam professor at the Kottayam college where Abhaya studied, and Thomas Kottor, 61, the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam, were picked up by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday. The third, 45-year-old Sister Seffi, who belonged to the same convent as Abhaya, was arrested Wednesday.

The three, who were subjected to a truth serum test in Bangalore last year, were remanded in CBI custody till Dec 2. A huge crowd thronged the chief judicial magistrate's court, and shouts of 'shame, shame' were heard as people pushed and shoved to get a glimpse of the three custodians of faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Abhaya case: Till now

INDIA
Kerala Online

Background of the case

Sister Abhaya, daughter of M. Thomas in Areekara, in Kottayam District was a second year pre-degree student in B.C.M. College in 1992, at Kottayam, which belonged to the diocese of Kottayam and was a resident of St. Pius Xth Convent, which is situated within the city limits. The convent also provided lodging and boarding for university girl students. She was said to be of good habits, normal behaviour, maintained healthy and cordial friendship as per hostel rules and with all the inmates and absolutely had no mental disorder or any psychological aberration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Two priests, nun held over Sister Abhaya's death

INDIA
Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

By Akhel Mathew, Correspondent
Published: November 19, 2008, 20:23

Thiruvananthapuram: Federal agents on Wednesday arrested two priests and a nun over the death of a nun in a convent in Kerala 16 years ago.

The arrests by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigating the death of Sister Abhaya took place on Tuesday evening and yesterday morning.

The three arrested are Catholic priests Thomas M. Kottoor, 61, and Jose Puthrukayil, 56, and Reverend Sister Steffi, 45.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Sister Abhaya Murder Case: An Overview

INDIA
Indian Catholic

KOCHI (ICNS): The dramatic arrest of two Catholic priests and a nun for their “suspected involvement” in 16 year old murder case of a nun has shocked the nation.

The case concern Sister Abhaya, a 21-year old nun of St. Joseph's Congregation. She was student of pre-university student in BCM collage Kottayam and was an inmate of St Pius X convent. Here is the chronology of events

On the morning of 27 March 1992, the nun was found dead in a water well of her convent .

People suspect foul play although convent authorities said it was suicide. They formed an Action Council on 31 March 1992. ...

A major breakthrough came on 12 April 2007 when The New Indian Express daily reported that original chemical examination report of the vaginal swab and vaginal smear of Abhaya has been found to have been tampered with.

The manuscript of the workbook report from the Chemical Examination Laboratory shows over-writing at four places. Using a whitener and a different ink, the word ‘‘not’’ has been added before the word ‘‘detected,’’ so as to contradict the result for testing semen detection in vagina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

A Victim of Alleged Clergy Abuse is Speaking Out

IOWA
KCAU

A Fort Dodge woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest is asking for action against Sioux City's former bishop, and she wants victims to come forward.

Lawrence Soens led the Sioux City Diocese for 15 years, and for several years he faced allegations of abuse.

But now the Diocese of Davenport says Soens has been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors while working in that diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Palermo: prete ha rapporti con donna che lo ricatta con le loro foto hard, arrestata

ITALY
Corriere Della Sera

Il sacerdote aveva risposto ad un annuncio su un giornale. L'amante gli ha estorto 28mila euro
BAGHERIA (PALERMO) - Si sentiva solo e ha cercato una compagna rispondendo ad un annuncio su un giornale. Peccato che lui fosse un prete e dopo aver consumato il rapporto amoroso sia stato anche ricattato dalla donna. Tutto comincia quando il sacerdote, dopo avere visto un annuncio sul giornale ha scritto a una donna e ha iniziato con lei una relazione. Ma dopo qualche mese, la donna inizia a ricattarlo chiedendogli 20mila euro in cambio del silenzio e minacciandolo di pubblicare delle foto hard dei loro incontri sessuali. Ma il prete, dopo avere pagato complessivamente 28mila euro, si è rivolto ai carabinieri e ha denunciato la donna che adesso è stata arrestata.

[translation]

The man went to the carabinieri who arrested the 40-year-old woman, a repeat offender

Palermo: a priest has a relationship with a woman who blackmails him with their hard photos, arrested

The priest had responded to a classified ad in a newspaper. His lover extorted him 28,000 euros.

BAGHERIA (PALERMO) – He felt lonely and he tried to find a companion answering a classified ad in a newspaper. It was a pity that he was a priest and that he was blackmailed after his sexual relationship with the woman. All started when the priest, after having read a classified ad in a newspaper, sent a letter to the woman and began a relationship with her. After a few months, the woman began to blackmail him asking for 20,000 euros in exchange of her silence, threatening to publish the hard photos of their sexual encounters. But the priest, after having paid 28,000 euros in all, went to the carabinieri and denounced the woman, who has now been arrested.

THE INVESTIGATION - It all happened in Bagheria, a large town near Palermo, and the forty-year-old woman, a repeat offender, was arrested there. Her name wasn’t released. From the investigation, coordinated by the carabinieri of the Monreale group, led by lieutenant colonel Pietro Salsano, emerged the woman had started the love affair with the priest some months ago. In the next days there will be a hearing with the judges of the Tribunal for Reexamination to decide upon the request of release of the woman from jail made by her lawyers. The arrest warrant was issued by the GIP (the judge for the preliminary investigations) of the Tribunal of Termini Imerese (Palermo)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Silent Sufferers: The Problem of Sexual Abuse Among Men

UNITED STATES
New Man eMagazine

By Charles Waller

Aaron would jump up and get in the face of anyone who looked at him wrong. When mad at someone, he would get so frustrated trying not to hit him or her. He would hit the walls until his hands bled in a rage so he wouldn't hurt someone else. Name calling, like teenagers tend to do, would push him over the edge. Gritting his teeth with veins in his neck flaring out, he would finally run. Not far, but far enough so that no one would see him shake and cry in a primeval anger until he could regain his composure. Everyone knew Aaron was an angry young man with a short fuse.

Rick was withdrawn, shy and rarely engaged in activities where he had to be around big groups. His self-esteem was nothing, so he never volunteered to answer in class or do anything above what was required. He had physical ailments, especially related to eating, but would never let anyone know there was a problem. Rick spent a lot of time alone or with a few girls that he grew up with. Melancholy was the theme of his drawings, and death was the theme of his dreams. Rick was the good kid who was good at masks and covering how he felt.

Aaron and Rick are two examples of opposites in male behavior with the same root problem. Aaron was sexually abused by a family member. Rick was sexually abused by a minister. Boys who are sexually abused will react one of two ways: they will act out or introvert anger. The strong eruptions of rage can range from physically hurting another person to hurting themselves with suicide attempts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Three-legged stool

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Clergy abuse survivors in other major faith groups have three possible ways for exposing their perpetrators and warning others: (1) criminal prosecution, (2) civil litigation, and (3) ecclesiastical process.

Think of it as a 3-legged stool. It’s not a very pretty stool; it’s not a piece of Shaker craftsmanship. But for other faith groups, the stool at least has three legs.

For Baptists, it’s a stool with only about one and a half legs. In effect, it’s not any stool at all, and that’s why kids in Baptist churches are at greater risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Meeting in Baltimore About Protecting Children Also Meet Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg

MARYLAND
The Awareness Center

LEARN HOW TO PROTECT CHILDREN, EXPOSE SEXUAL PREDATORS & HEAL SURVIVORS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

PLUS Special Guest Speaker: Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg
There was an attempt made on Rabbi Rosenberg's life back in October in an attempt stop him from advocating for sexually abused children in Williamsburg and Borough Park, NY.

Public meeting set for Wednesday, November 26th at 6:15 p.m. in Pikesville to discuss pending new legislation: Civil Actions – Child Sex Abuse – Statute of Limitations

Sponsored by:

Child Victims Voice - Maryland
The Awareness Center, Inc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Two Kerala priests held for nun's murder in 1992

INDIA
The Times of India

Nov 2008, 1159 hrs IST, IANS

KOCHI: Two Catholic priests have been arrested for the 1992 murder of a nun, Sister Abhaya, whose body was found in the well of a convent in
Kerala's Kottayam town, police said on Wednesday.

The 13th Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team began its probe into the 16-year-old murder after 12 previous probes failed to crack the case.

The Kerala High Court had last month rapped the investigating agency over the slow progress in its probe and asked the Kerala unit of the CBI to take over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

CBI cracks the Abhaya code, priests booked

INDIA
Kerala Online

Kochi, Wednesday, November 19, 2008: The CBI Kochi unit today made a landmark arrest in connection with the murder of Sister Abhaya. Father Jose Puthrukayil, and Father Thomas Kottoor both of whom who had undergone narco analysis test and brain mapping test earlier were summoned by CBI yesterday. The priests will be produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate today afternoon.

The lawyers of both the priests have confirmed the arrest. According to sources both the priests were arrested on the basis of the statements given by Sanju P Mathew a person living next to Pious X convent in Kottayam.

Sources tell us that both the priests are right now undergoing interrogation in Kochi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Two priests arrested in Sister Abhaya murder case

INDIA
The Hindu

Kochi (PTI): The CBI on Wednesday arrested two priests in the Sister Abhaya murder case.

The arrests of Father Thomas M Kottur and Father Dr E Jose Puthrikayil was recorded by the CBI on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Victims of sex abuse protest at Saint Paul

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Jennifer Green, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Victims of clergy sex abuse protested outside Saint Paul University yesterday, angry that a priest convicted of molesting an eight-year-old would get $60,000 to study canon law.

The nine or so demonstrators with the Association of Victims of Priests hoisted their signs as they huddled into the icy wind on Main Street. One carried a crucifix with "Sex Abuse" on it; another called for all convicted pedophiles to be booted out of the church.

Unbeknownst to them, Rev. Philippe de Maupeou left Ottawa in September, quitting his courses after just a few weeks. He now lives in a supervised ecclesiastical residence under the jurisdiction of the Montreal archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Priest 'blackmailed' after sex

ITALY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Palermo, November 19 - An Italian priest was blackmailed after paying for sex, police said Wednesday.

The priest reportedly admitted answering a woman's sex ad in a Sicilian paper two years ago and having sex ''several'' times with her since then.

He claims the woman first asked him for 8,000 euros to keep quiet about the sessions and recently upped her demand to 20,000, saying she had photos of them having sex together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Steve Sheehan

UNITED STATES
YouTube

[video presentation]

This links to a presentation Steve Sheehan of Boston made to the Board of Trustees of Voice of the Faithful in support of the only clergy sexual abuse survivor to be elected to a national position with VOTF.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

DHS Explains Second Alamo Warrant

ARKANSAS
Today's THV

Posted By: Mike Duncan

Twenty children are now in protective custody with the state after more investigations into the Tony Alamo Ministries.

A line of state police cars made their way into the Fouke headquarters of the Tony Alamo Ministries, authorities armed with a court order to take more children into protective custody.

But they found no children in the compound, or in 14 Fort Smith homes also searched.

Troopers later pulled over two vans on a Miller County highway and found 17 children inside. They took three more into state custody at the courthouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg - Victim Advocate Speaks Out About Being Shot

NEW YORK
The Awareness Center

[with video]

Rabbi Nauchm Rosenberg has been advocating for Jewish survivors of sexual violence in Williamsburg/Borough Park (Brooklyn) New York for over 35 years. Over the last several months he had his life threatened if he did not close down a hotline. A little over two weeks ago there was a drive by shooting in which someone shot a him. Please listen to him tell his story and demand that he is protected. His goal is to help survivors make police reports and testify in court to help put an end to sex crimes in his community and around the globe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Accused priest needs new lawyer

CANADA
The Tribune

Campbellton - Campbellton lawyer Raymond Dube appeared in Campbellton Provincial Court Monday where he told Judge Steven Hutchinson that he could no longer represent former Dalhousie priest Charles Picot, who has been charged with indecent assault.

The charge under the Criminal Code as it existed at the time of the offence was laid after an investigation by Dalhousie RCMP. Picot is accused of allegedly indecently assaulting a Dalhousie boy some 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Project:Report Semi-Finalists and their Work

UNITED STATATES
Pulitzer Center

Ann Peters, Pulitzer Center

They tell the stories of undocumented workers and a soup kitchen manager, a former addict-turned-counselor and a homeless vet, a Native American grandmother and a North Carolina dairy farmer. Profiles of individuals of significance in their communities.

They are the 10 semi-finalists from some 100 entries in Round 1 of the joint Pulitzer Center/YouTube Project:Report. And they are embarking on Round 2 with an assignment to tell a local story with a global impact. ...

Kim Fischer chose her YouTube ID, ‘DoGoodWork’, because she wanted to tell the stories of people who helped others. Kim profiles Barbara Dorris, a local director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and an abuse survivor. Barbara’s message is: You’re not alone and more damage is done in keeping the secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

The financial cost of child abuse is ten times the financial cost of obesity in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Monash University

18 November 2008

Child abuse and neglect costs Australians ten times more than obesity, a landmark report has found. The report has also found that the number of cases of abuse in our community may be five times higher than the official figures.

The Cost of Child Abuse in Australia, a joint research report by Access Economics, Australian Childhood Foundation and Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia at Monash University, is the first comprehensive report of its kind in Australia. It found that the real cost of child abuse to the Australian community in 2007 was $10.7 billion, and could be as high as $30.1 billion, including the monetary value of the pain and suffering that they experience.

Professor Chris Goddard, Director of Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia at Monash University said this is the first comprehensive, national study of the costs of child abuse and neglect in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Marriage advice vicar had affair

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A vicar who had an affair with a woman whom he was giving marriage guidance has been banned from the church.

Andrew Gair, former rector of St Mary's, Debden, Essex, "kissed and touched" the unidentified woman "intimately in a sexual manner".

A church tribunal in west London heard the affair blossomed in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Vicar banned for 'intimate' liaisons

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT 24

A VICAR has been banned from Holy Orders for seven years after developing an 'inappropriate' relationship with a parishioner who came to him for marriage guidance.

Andrew Gair, who now lives in Wrentham, near Beccles, shared kisses and 'intimate touching' with the mum in the rectory in his parish and shared long country walks with her.

A tribunal has found that the former rector of Debden church in Essex was guilty of 'unbecoming and inappropriate behaviour' after the relationship developed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Vicar banned for affair with parishioner

UNITED KINGDOM
Metro

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A vicar has been banned from the church for seven years for having an affair with a parishioner who went to him for marriage guidance.

The Rev Andrew Gair, former rector of St Mary's, in Debden, Essex, "kissed and touched" the unidentified woman "intimately in a sexual manner".

The church tribunal, held in west London, heard the affair blossomed in 2005 after the woman sought counselling from Mr Gair for her marriage difficulties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Deadline approaching for victims of Fairbanks Diocese abuse

ALASKA
KTUU

[with video]

by Jill Burke
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- An important deadline is approaching for victims of abuse in the Fairbanks Diocese.

Because the diocese has filed for bankruptcy, people have just two weeks to get their claims in by Dec. 2.

And that deadline is the date for items to be received at an Anchorage courthouse, so there's actually less time to get the paperwork filled out and sent in the mail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Second man says he was abused by Glen priest

WATKINS GLEN (NY)
Star-Gazette

By Ray Finger • rfinger@gannett.com • November 19, 2008

Another man has come forward alleging he was sexually abused as a boy by a now-deceased priest who had served at St. Mary's of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen.

Odessa lawyer John Hayes said Tuesday that the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke with him Monday about being molested by Rev. David Bonin in the rectory at St. Mary's and also in hotel rooms on trips he made with the priest and others. He was 8 or 9 years old when the abuse began, and it lasted about three years, he said.

Hayes said the young man came forward after the media reported on a lawsuit he filed last week against the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Matthew Clark in state Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Priest denies sex assaults in two cases

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

By Conor Berry, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Updated: 11/19/2008 03:03:54 AM EST

PITTSFIELD — A Roman Catholic clergyman accused of sexually assaulting two boys in the Berkshires was spared the titular honor of his vocation when he was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday.

It was "Mr. Mercure," accused child rapist, not "the Rev. Gary Mercure," Catholic priest, when the Glens Falls, N.Y., man was formally charged with three counts of forcible child rape and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Mercure avoided prosecution in New York after coming under fire as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, which spans 14 upstate counties. He now faces sexual abuse charges in the Berkshires, where two men in their early 30s claim Mercure forcibly raped them in 1986 and 1989. The circumstances surrounding the alleged incidents were not made clear in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Ottawa protesters demand university turf convicted priest

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By BETH JOHNSTON, SUN MEDIA

OTTAWA -- A group of protesters gathered in front of St. Paul's University yesterday to alert the public that a Quebec priest who molested an eight-year-old girl on a 2004 church camping trip is studying law there.

Father Philippe de Maupeou, who pleaded guilty in 2007 and served a six-month conditional sentence, is studying canon law on a three-year, $60,000 scholarship at the downtown religious university.

Protesters argued de Maupeou shouldn't even be a priest anymore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Deceased priest named in abuse lawsuit

NEW YORK
Press & Sun-Bulletin

November 19, 2008

A former priest of a Catholic church in Tioga County has been accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed by a 21-year old man that accuses the Rochester Diocese and its bishop, Matthew H. Clark, of negligence.

The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Schuyler County, alleges one act of abuse occurred on Christmas 2001 while the Rev. Father David L. Bonin was priest administrator of St. Margaret Mary in Apalachin, where he served from October 2001 to March 2003.

The Press & Sun-Bulletin does not identify alleged victims of sex abuse, but the plaintiff was not a member of St. Margaret Mary. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff was molested every Friday at the rectory of St. Mary in Odessa from 1998 to 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

November 18, 2008

Gervais: Book teaches lessons from Sylvestre abuse

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Marty Gervais, The Windsor Star
Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Paul Bailey expected that after meeting 84-year-old Rev. Charles Sylvestre face-to-face in prison he'd come away "hating him."

Instead, the Crown attorney, who prosecuted the case against the priest, walked away believing Sylvestre was a man incapable of understanding the harm he wreaked on the 47 young girls he abused over nearly 40 years.

After the trial and sentencing, Bailey stopped in to see Sylvestre at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre in London with a request to interview him, and assured the aging priest he wasn't obliged to say anything.

I had wanted to know what he was thinking, and I came away from that interview not hating him," Bailey said. "I really he felt he was a hollow man. He was not capable of appreciating what he had done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Second Man Claims Priest Sexual Abuse

WATKINS GLEN (NY)
WENY

[with video]

Laura Hutchinson

November 18, 2008

WATKINS GLEN-- A second Southern Tier man is claiming he was sexually abused by a priest in Watkins Glen.

The first man to come forward, Jason Hartley of Chemung County, is suing the Diocese of Rochester for failing to protect him; but the law is preventing the second victim from doing the same.

The statute of limitations in New York says when you're sexually abused as a minor, you can't sue until you're 18 year old, but you only have until you're 21 to file a suit.

An attorney dealing with both claims tells me the second victim is 23, and it's too late for a lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Priest arraigned on sexual abuse charges

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Capital News 9

[with video]

By: Ryan Burgess

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Reverend Gary Mercure pleaded not guilty Tuesday to multiple charges of sexually abusing children. Mercure entered Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield, accompanied only by his attorney. None of his alleged victims were in court as the Troy priest officially faced several charges, including two counts of rape of a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. This alleged victim is now a 33-year-old man. Mercure is also charged with another count of rape of a child with force. This is in connection with a man now 32-years-old.

Although 60-year-old Mercure was a pastor for 33 years in the Albany Diocese, these crimes are alleged to have been committed in Berkshire County in the mid to late 1980s.

"We were hopeful that this wouldn't happen, because of his voluntary cooperation with the investigation and the very positive results that pointed away from his guilt. But nonetheless, the Commonwealth made a determination to charge him and now we're going to have to deal with it," said defense attorney Michael Jennings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Troy priest arraigned on molestation charges

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Albany Times Union

By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
Last updated: 3:55 p.m., Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PITTSFIELD — A Catholic priest who was removed as pastor of two Troy parishes pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he sexually abused two boys during the 1980s, prosecutors said.

Gary Mercure, 60, was indicted Oct. 31 on three counts, including child rape, according to Frederick Lantz, spokesman for Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless.

Mercure, who was arraigned on the charges Tuesday, allegedly raped two boys. 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 6:48 PM

Priest denies sex abuse claims

PITTSFIELD (MA)
WNYT

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A defrocked priest who served at a number of Capital Region parishes pleaded not guilty Tuesday to sexual abuse charges.

Gary Mercure was arraigned in Berkshire County on four counts, including rape of a child with force.

The incidents are alleged to have happened in 1986 and 1989 in Great Barrington and New Ashford, Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Ark. seizes 21 more kids from evangelist's group

ARKANSAS
The Associated Press

By CHUCK BARTELS

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — State officials on Tuesday took into protective custody 21 children associated with an evangelical group whose founder faces federal child sex charges.

The children, all younger than 18 and part of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, were taken while custody hearings were being held for six girls seized during a September raid of Alamo's compound in Fouke, in southwest Arkansas. The court must decide whether the girls should be returned to their parents or remain in state care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Former NY priest pleads not guilty to child rape in Massachusetts

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PITTSFIELD - A former Roman Catholic priest from New York has pleaded not guilty in the alleged rapes of two children in western Massachusetts during the late 1980s.

Gary Mercure was indicted last month on three counts of rape of a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

FLDS leader's lawyers to question anti-polygamy activist

TEXAS
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News

Lawyers for Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs plan to interview an anti-polygamy activist about the phone calls that sparked the raid on the sect's YFZ Ranch in Texas.

In papers filed last week in a Kingman, Ariz., court, Jeffs' attorneys said they have scheduled a Nov. 24 interview with Flora Jessop in Phoenix. Jeffs' criminal defense team has asked her to bring copies of "any recordings of any phone calls between yourself and Rozita Swinton," the woman suspected of making the hoax call that launched the raid.

The FLDS leader's attorneys also seek phone call recordings between Jessop and Arizona and Texas law enforcement and child welfare officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Alamo Compounds Raided

ARKANSAS
KATV

Fouke - Authorities say agents with the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Department of Human Services removed 21 children from multiple locations in Miller County Tuesday, as part of simultaneous raids on a pair of compounds operated by evangelist Tony Alamo.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said court orders were served over the noon hour at Alamo’s compounds in Fouke and Fort Smith—along with at least one other location in Miller County.

Sadler said agents went to 14 homes in the Fort Smith area but found no children.

DHS spokesman Julie Munsell said the purpose of Tuesday’s sweep was “to remove children on allegations of abuse and neglect.” Munsell wouldn’t confirm the exact number of children removed by authorities, but did say the group included both boys and girls. The ages of the children were not immediately available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

State Police, DHS Execute Court Orders At Alamo Properties

ARKANSAS
KHBS/KHOG

[with video]

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- State child protection officials and state police served court orders Tuesday at a number of locations related to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. The actions took place as hearings continued in Texarkana over how six girls seized in September will be placed.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said the actions by the Department of Human Services were still going on at noon Tuesday and he did not want to release specific locations. Agents had previously been to Alamo properties in Fouke and Fort Smith. State police were assisting in the operation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Officials back at Alamo compounds

ARKANSAS
WXVT

Associated Press - November 18, 2008 3:04 PM ET

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - State child protection officials and state police served court orders today at more than a dozen locations related to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, with the aim of taking children into protective custody.

Agents went to 14 homes in the Fort Smith area but found no children. Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler says that in Miller County, agents located children at properties where the orders were executed. But Sadler said early this afternoon that he didn't have full information yet on how many properties were visited and how many children were located.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Denver Reverend Admits To 'Consensual' Church Sex

DENVER (CO)
CBS 4

[with video]

Written by Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) ― A former church secretary at Denver's Central Baptist Church located at 2400 California Street has filed a lawsuit against the church and senior pastor Willie Simmons, accusing the prominent clergyman of multiple incidents of lewd, drunken sexual conduct in the church office.

Simmons, a married, 58-year-old father of two, admits to "a sexual encounter" in the church but claims it was consensual.

"I wanted it to stop," the woman told CBS4. "It wasn't consensual, Reverend Simmons, and I wish I could tell him to his face. I didn't consent to anything," she said with her voice cracking with emotion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Denver pastor accused of sexual assault in lawsuit

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

Brian Maass, CBS4 News
Published November 17, 2008 at 10:34 p.m.

A former church secretary at Denver's Central Baptist Church has filed a civil lawsuit against the church and senior pastor Willie Simmons, accusing the prominent Denver-area clergyman of two incidents of sexual assault in the church office in 2007.

In a 2007 internal church memo obtained by CBS4, Simmons, a married, 58-year old father of two, acknowledged he engaged in a sexual encounter with the woman but claimed it was consensual.

"I wanted it to stop," the woman said in an interview with CBS4. "It wasn't consensual..."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Minister accused of sex assault

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

By Mike McPhee
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 11/18/2008 12:25:25 AM MST

The Rev. Willie D. Simmons, a prominent Baptist minister, has been sued by a former secretary who claims Simmons sexually assaulted her twice in her office then fired her and expelled her young daughter from his charter school at the church.

According to a lawsuit initially filed in Denver District Court in October, the 43-year-old woman alleges that Simmons, who is pastor of the Central Baptist Church of Denver, at 2400 California St., assaulted her twice in February 2007.

The lawsuit, moved to federal court by Simmons' attorney, seeks unspecified damages from Simmons as well as from his church and a school at the church, Concerned About You Inc. All three are listed as defendants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Lawsuit claims pastor sexually assaulted secretary

DENVER (CO)
Examiner

DENVER (Map, News) - A former secretary at a Denver church has filed a lawsuit against the church and its senior pastor, alleging he sexually assaulted her twice in the church office in 2007.

The lawsuit in Denver District Court names senior pastor Willie Simmons and Central Baptist Church.

Simmons declined comment. James Slay, chairman of the church's board of trustees, did not return calls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Former priest arrested after being on the run

ARIZONA
KOLD

Posted By Karla Ronquillo

United States Marshals tracked down a former Phoenix priest and registered sex offender, who disappeared while on probation.

Marshals arrested Wilputte Sherwood Sunday in San Francisco.

Sherwood spent ten years in prison for molesting young boys in the Phoenix area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Pr. George's Priest Named Auxiliary Bishop for Washington

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2008; 11:14 AM

The Vatican today named a Prince George's County priest to become an auxiliary bishop for the Washington archdiocese -- only the third local priest to become a bishop since the archdiocese was founded 69 years ago.

Monsignor Barry C. Knestout, 46, is currently moderator of the curia and vicar for administration, which is something akin to a chief of staff for the 580,000-member archdiocese. The archdiocese includes Washington and Prince George's, Calvert, Montgomery, St. Mary's and Charles counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Troy priest to be arraigned today on child rape charges

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Schenectady Gazette

By Jill Bryce
Gazette Reporter

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Troy priest is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on charges related to the alleged rape of two minors in the late 1980s in western Massachusetts.

Rev. Gary Mercure, 60, was indicted in October 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Disgraced priest arrested in San Francisco

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Michael Clancy - Nov. 18, 2008
The Arizona Republic

Wilputte "Lan" Sherwood, a Phoenix priest who served a 10-year sentence for sexual contact with a minor, was arrested outside a Catholic church in San Francisco on Sunday.

He was wanted for probation violation and failure to register as a sex offender. U.S. marshals and task-force members from the Phoenix-based Child Predator Apprehension Team made the arrest. Sherwood, 63, left prison in 2003 and disappeared two years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Convicted Arizona priest arrested in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(11-17) 18:15 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A former Catholic priest convicted of sex crimes in Arizona was arrested Sunday as he left a church service in San Francisco, ending a two-year manhunt.

Wilputte Alanson "Lan" Sherwood, 63, allegedly violated his probation in the Phoenix area in 2005 by disappearing without telling officials where he was going. The U.S. Marshals service tracked him to San Francisco this fall, said a spokesman for the agency.

"We got a tip that he was hanging out in the Castro, and indications that he was still religious, so we started checking churches in the area," said Chris Hanson, deputy marshal in the San Francisco office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Perv-fighting rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg: They're out to kill me

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY SIMONE WEICHSELBAUM
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Monday, November 17th 2008, 9:55 PM

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg said he has received death threats from the Jewish community for opening a help line for victims of sexual abuser. He said the cut on his forehead is from being hit on Oct. 17th on Berry street in Williamsburg.

A Brooklyn Rabbi who has been outspoken about child molestation in the city's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community said yesterday he's been targeted with death threats.

Nuchem (Nathan) Rosenberg, 58, complained outside the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg that cops have ignored his pleas for help since the summer.

The threats were so frightening, Rosenberg said, that he closed down a hotline he had set up in February 2007 for victims of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

14-year-old tells court of Alamo’s touching

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TEXARKANA — At a hearing on the custody status of two girls removed from Tony Alamo’s religious compound in southwest Arkansas, a 14-yearold girl testified that Alamo had touched her inappropriately, and an 18-year-old man described beatings at the hands of another church member.

The girl told Miller County Circuit Court Judge Jim Hudson during the first day of a hearing to determine whether the two girls should remain in foster care that she was showering about two years ago when Alamo placed a hand over her mouth and began to touch her.

“He said don’t tell anybody what happened here or I’ll have John (Kolbeck ) beat you and I’ll take care of you,” the girl said softly. “Nobody would’ve believed me, anyway. Everybody thinks he’s a prophet here.” The girls, along with four others, were removed from the compound in Fouke after a Sept. 20 raid by federal and state authorities investigating allegations that children at the compound had been physically and sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Church giving changes with times

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune reporter
November 18, 2008
Even as the economic downturn prompts many Americans to tighten their belts and hold on to their wallets, church collection plates runneth over. More Christians are making bigger donations this year, experts say.

But more churchgoers are carefully considering how they want their offerings spent. In the Catholic Church, parishioners are seeking assurances from their priests that their tithes will not finance the settlement of sexual-abuse lawsuits. In Protestant circles, watchdog groups are on constant alert for wasteful spending of parishioners' money.

That environment is the backdrop for a new congregation in Schaumburg where members do the unthinkable after passing the plate on Sunday: They give it all away to charity. Rev. Jim Semradek, founder of the new Waterfront Community Church in Schaumburg, hopes the novel concept will draw people turned off by constant appeals for money and concerned about how it's spent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

November 17, 2008

Priest convicted of child molestation arrested

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

Mike Branom, Tribune
A child-molesting Catholic priest from Ahwatukee Foothills has been arrested three years after fleeing Arizona against the terms of his punishment.

The U.S. Marshals Service took Wilputte Alanson "Lan" Sherwood, 63, into custody Sunday as he was leaving the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco.

Sherwood was on lifetime probation and required to register as a sex offender following a 10-year prison sentence, which ended in 2003. He was last seen in the Valley in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Marshal's Office Nabs Perverted Arizona Ex-Priest Outside Church in San Francisco

ARIZONA
Phoenix New Times

By Ray Stern

When Wilputte Alanson "Lan" Sherwood (pictured) blew off his lifetime probation in Arizona three years ago and went into hiding, those who knew about this case must have cringed.

Sherwood, a former Catholic priest who just spent 10 years in prison for sexual conduct with a minor, apparently "kept extensive logs and video tapes of many of his sexual encounters with numerous underage boys," says a press release put out today by the U.S. Marshal's office in Phoenix. The sheer numbers in the case are astounding:

It has been reported Sherwood targeted over 3,600 individuals for sexual interludes spanning 12 years and five different parishes. It is estimated Sherwood had over 1,800 sexual affairs resulting from Sherwood roaming the streets of Phoenix targeting hitchhikers and runaways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Fugitive former priest convicted of molesting boys arrested leaving San Francisco church

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

Bay City News Service

Article Launched: 11/17/2008 01:57:43 PM PST

A fugitive former Catholic priest convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing underage boys in Arizona was arrested while leaving church Sunday in San Francisco's Castro District, federal authorities announced today.

Wilputte Alanson Sherwood, 63, had been sought for fleeing his probation out of the Phoenix area in 2005. He was subsequently named the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department's most wanted sex offender, the U.S. Marshals Service reported.

U.S. Marshals spokesman Matt Hershey said Sherwood's capture was considered a high priority for the service, which is tasked with tracking down unregistered sex offenders under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN CRISIS

NEW YORK
New York Post

By YOAV GONEN

November 17, 2008

Enrollment at the city's Catholic schools is plummeting, continuing an alarming trend that has shuttered dozens of diocesan schools in recent years, new data show.

In the Archdiocese of New York - which operates schools in Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx and northern suburbs - enrollment at elementary and high schools dropped by nearly 6,000 students in one year, to 88,273, officials said.

Diocese of Brooklyn elementary schools in Brooklyn and Queens saw a drop of about 5 percent to 36,000 students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Fugitive sex offender, former priest arrested in California

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX - The following is a press release from the Department of Justice U.S. Marshals:

Late yesterday morning Deputy U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers from the Phoenix based Child Predator Apprehension Team in addition to the Northern California Fugitive Task Force arrested fugitive sex offender and former Catholic Priest Wilputte Alanson Sherwood, 63, as he was leaving the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco, California.

Wilputte Sherwood was originally convicted in 1993 of Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Dangerous Crimes against Children in Maricopa County. It was alleged that Sherwood kept extensive logs and video tapes of many of his sexual encounters with numerous underage boys. Sherwood subsequently served 10 years in an Arizona prison and was released in 2003. It has been reported Sherwood targeted over 3600 individuals for sexual interludes spanning 12 years and five different parishes. It is estimated Sherwood had over 1800 sexual affairs resulting from Sherwood roaming the streets of Phoenix targeting hitchhikers and runaways. Upon his release Sherwood was placed on lifetime probation and was required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. In 2005, Sherwood absconded from probation and fled the Phoenix area not be heard from again until yesterday. In March 2008, Sherwood was named as the Most Wanted Sex Offender by the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Ex-Priest Failed To Register As Sex Offender, Marshals Say

PHOENIX (AZ)
KPHO

PHOENIX -- U.S. Marshals arrested the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department's "Most Wanted Sex Offender" on Sunday.

Wilputte Alanson Sherwood, 63, was leaving a San Francisco church when marshals arrested him on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender.

Sherwood, a former Catholic priest, was originally convicted in 1993 on charges of sexual conduct with a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and dangerous crimes against children in Maricopa County. He served 10 years in prison and was released and placed on lifetime probation in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

LA Update: Progress toward new referee for document release. And if survivors wonder about the cross, it is no concern to Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Attorneys will file the application this week for Dickran Tevrizian to be the new referee in the LA Clergy Cases. Tony DeMarco said he received the retired federal judge’s Certificate of Availability last week so he can now take the next step towards replacing Edward A. Panelli as referee. If approved, Tevrizian will review personnel records and other items from the 560 plus cases, which settled with the stipulation that documents would be released to plaintiffs in July 2007.

Meanwhile the documents themselves are in geographic locations around the city, including attorneys’ offices, and the Archdiocese Archives building in Granada Hills. Don’t know who’s to keep those very ethical church employees from accidentally shredding the most condemning documents before they get to the new referee.

Call me hopelessly untrusting but it also bothers me that the Survivors Cross was never returned to LA plaintiffs, in fact no one really knows where it is. “It has pictures of the plaintiffs when they were the age of their abuse on it,” I hollered into someone’s ear in a recent phone conversation. “Doesn't it bother you that now the cross in a basement somewhere in the archdiocese for any pervert to come across?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Pastor nabbed in Negros Occ for alleged rape of three daughters

PHILIPPINES
ABS-CBN

By ROMEO SUBALDO, ABS-CBN Bacolod | 11/18/2008

A pastor from Ilog town in Negros Occidental is back in prison after he was rearrested this weekend.

April of this year when "Bert", not his real name, was arrested by Ilog town’s police after his three daughters told the police they were abused by their own father.

The pastor was freed due to the late filing of rape charges.

However, last week the Kabankalan Regional Trial Court under Judge Henry Arles released a warrant of arrest for "Bert" for two counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape and two counts of acts of lasciviousness filed by his three daughter aged 23, 18 and 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Cardinal Stafford: Obama is 'apocalyptic'

WASHINGTON (DC)
Baltimore Sun

Jay Hancock's Blog

Baltimore's own James Francis Cardinal Stafford at Catholic University last week:

His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized President-elect Barack Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,“ and said he campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform,” Thursday night in Keane Auditorium during his lecture “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul.“

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Seven years out for vicar who had affair

UNITED KINGDOM
EDP 24

VICTORIA NICHOLLS

17 November 2008 17:18

A vicar who had an affair with a parishioner to whom he was giving marriage counselling has been banned from the church for seven years.

A tribunal heard that Rev Andrew Gair started the relationship with the woman when she turned to him for help.

After Mr Gair agreed to help the couple in 2004, he would see them separately, sometimes going for long country walks with the woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

PROTECTING PREDATORS

NEW YORK
New York Post

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is waging a campaign to counter what he believes is an epidemic of sexual abuseof children - often involving prominent rabbinic leaders - within the Orthodox Jewish community.

That's commendable, especially given the widely acknowledged cultural taboos, including intimidating social pressure, against exposing such heinous behavior.

But he's proceeding in the wrong way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Final custody hearings get under way today

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 11/17/2008

Final custody hearings for six girls removed in September from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound in Fouke, Ark., will begin today on the second floor of the Miller County Courthouse.

Circuit Judge Jim Hudson will preside over hearings for two of six girls, ages 10 to 17, who were deemed “in immediate danger” by the Arkansas Department of Human Services after a raid on the compound Sept. 20.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

FORT SMITH : Alamo beating allegation spurs battery charge

FORT SMITH (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008

FORT SMITH — When Tony Alamo wanted to punish disobedience within his church, authorities say, one of the people he would call on was his 6-foot-4-inch, 260-pound “enforcer,” John Kolbeck.

At a court hearing last month, Spencer Ondirsek, 18, testified that Kolbeck punched him in the face several times, then struck him on the buttocks about 30 times with a 3-foot-long wooden paddle during the three beatings Ondirsek received over the years, beginning when Ondirsek was 12 or 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Explaining excommunication

UNITED STATES
Get Religion

A few days ago we looked at some decent media coverage of a Roman Catholic Womenpriests story. A few more stories worth looking at have been filed or discovered.

The Associated Press ran a particularly bad story about the Roman Catholic priest who faces excommunication for participating in a Roman Catholic Womenpriests ceremony. Here’s how it begins:

A Roman Catholic priest faces excommunication for attending a ceremony to ordain a woman in the United States, a Vatican official said Friday.

It wasn’t attendance at the ceremony that got the Rev. Roy Bourgeois in trouble. He officiated at the ceremony in some capacity, delivering the homily and laying hands on Janice Sevre-Duszynska at the service at a Kentucky Unitarian Universalist church. The homily, incidentally, denounced Roman Catholic teaching on the male-only priesthood. This isn’t news. It was reported by the Boston Globe’s religion reporter in August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Woman takes Mormons to court over abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 17, 2008
A woman who claims she was sexually abused by her Mormon stepfather 20 years ago wants to sue the church for failing to report the abuse to police.

The woman is seeking an extension of the statute of limitations in the NSW Supreme Court so she can sue the church, which she says failed in its duty of care by not telling police of the alleged abuse.

The 36-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she was abused by her stepfather, an elder in a Queensland chapter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, between 1986 and 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Pope's new edict on the priesthood

Los Angeles Times

November 17, 2008

The Roman Catholic Church requires its priests to refrain from any sexual relationship, whether heterosexual or homosexual. So one might think that the sexual orientation of an aspirant for the priesthood would be a nonissue -- especially in light of the distinction the church has drawn between homosexual conduct, which is considered sinful, and homosexual orientation, which is not.

One would be wrong.

The Vatican recently issued a statement re-emphasizing that even chaste gay men are to be barred from the priesthood. Never mind that large numbers of gay priests -- estimates range from 25% to 50% -- already serve the faithful, with most adhering to their vow of celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Bishop Matthew Clark sued

NEW YORK
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

The following is the text of a complaint recently filed against Bishop Matthew Clark and the Rochester Catholic diocese. (Warning: contains graphic descriptions)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

November 16, 2008

Educated Catholics have sown dissent and confusion in the Church, claims bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:27AM GMT 16 Nov 2008

The Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church's teaching they are "hedonistic", "selfish" and "egocentric", he said.

In particular, the bishop complained that influential Catholics in politics and the media were undermining the Church.

While not naming names, he suggested that such people had been compromised by their education, which he said had a "dark side, due to original sin".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 PM

BREAK THE SILENCE

OHIO
Public Awareness Page

WKKX

This links to an audio interview of Judy Block Jones, regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Priest apologizes for ordering car with Obama stickers removed

FAIRFIELD (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza
jgarza@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008
A Fairfield priest who had asked for a car with several Obama for President stickers to be removed from the church parking lot a week ago apologized today to churchgoers for his outburst.

The Rev. Sebastian Meyer, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, read an apology at all the church's Masses "for the poor judgment I showed in expressing myself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Priest facing excommunication will fly to Rome to make his case

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

Bruce Tomaso
A Catholic priest in Georgia who's getting the boot for supporting the ordination of women says he plans to visit the Vatican to personally appeal his excommunication.

Roy Bourgeois, 69, a Maryknoll priest and "nationally known peace activist," ran afoul of
the Vatican when he took part in a ceremony this summer to "ordain" Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a member of a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. (She, too, faces excommunication.)

Bourgeois thinks women should be allowed to serve as Catholic priests; the pope disagrees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

A real man of God

UNITED STATES
Examiner

November 15
by Kevin Masterson, Los Angeles Religion & Spirituality Examiner

Father Tom Doyle is one of the few Catholic priests that I believe is a true “man of God.” Over 20 years ago he stood up to Pope John Paul II in defense of thousands of victims of clergy sexual abuse. He was ignored & reviled by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as a result. ...

Bishop Donald Trautman of the Diocese of Erie where I was abused continues to deny, ignore & minimize the clergy sexual abuse crisis. To date, the Erie Diocese is the only diocese in the United States without any lawsuits. That is due in large part to antiquated Pennsylvania laws & lack of exposure in mainstream media due to the remote nature of the Erie Diocese.

Tom was gracious enough to take time out from his schedule to write the following letter to the editor on my behalf. He eloquently addresses the systemic nature of this problem that has sadly been in the Catholic Church for centuries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Civil suit filed against Franciscan brother

CARLBAD (NM)
KWES

Associated Press - November 15, 2008

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Two Roman Catholic dioceses and two parishes are being accused of negligence.

Attorneys for an alleged sexual abuse victim have filed a civil complaint in state district court in Carlsbad. The plaintiff alleges being sexually abused by a Franciscan brother during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Deadline nears to file Catholic sex abuse claims

ALASKA
Fairbanks News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer

Published Sunday, November 16, 2008

FAIRBANKS — Only two weeks remain for Alaska sex abuse victims to file claims against the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese.

The Dec. 2 filing deadline is part of the legal requirements imposed on the diocese when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March after it was unable to settle with 140 plaintiffs who filed claims against the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests and church workers. The abuse claims dated from the 1950s to the mid-1980s.

Since the diocese began advertising the upcoming deadline, more than 70 new claimants have come forward alleging sexual abuse by a church associate, Diocesan chancellor Robert Hannon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Sylvestre victims produce 'best-practices' document

CANADA
London Free Press

By ERICA BAJER, SUN MEDIA

CHATHAM -- As victims of a pedophile priest they suffered in isolation.

Together, their courage to speak out is shining a light in the shadows of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.

"We wanted justice for the broken little girls who lived inside of us and we felt a fierce protectiveness for the children of today," said Kelly-Anne Appleton, one of the 47 women abused as children by the late Rev. Charles Sylvestre.

"We wanted to save all children from the fate we had met."

When coming forward to face their abuser, the survivors had four goals: validation, justice, an apology and prevention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

November 15, 2008

Journalism about Womenpriests

UNITED STATES
Get Religion

We have noted the generally weak coverage of Roman Catholic Womenpriests so it’s worth noting a publication that did better. The New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote about the looming excommunication of an actual Roman Catholic priest who participated in a Roman Catholic Womenpriests ceremony.

Check out how the paper delicately handled the competing claims of the two groups:

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, the missionary priest from Lutcher who has devoted his career to opposing U.S. policy in Latin America, appears to be on the brink of excommunication from the Catholic church for participating in a ceremony that purportedly ordained a woman to the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Roy Bourgeois, Conscience and Canon Law

UNITED STATES
America

Author: James Martin, S.J.

Fr. Roy Bourgeois, MM, the Maryknoll priest who has been threatened with excommunication for his participation at an ordination rite for women, will travel to the Vatican to appeal his decision, AP is reporting, "with a contingent of fellow priests and a bishop." Despite earlier reports, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, SJ, the Vatican spokesman, said that he did not know of the existence of a letter to Lombardi detailing the sanction. Lombardi noted that the excommunication would be "automatic," in other words, a "latae sententiae" excommunication, effective when the offense is committed. (The person, in a sense, excommunicates himself or herself.)

The canon applied in this case has not been announced. It may be Canon 1364, which includes the "latae sententiae" excommunication: "§1 An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of can. 194 §1, n. 2; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336 §1, nn. 1, 2 and 3. §2 If a longstanding contempt or the gravity of scandal calls for it, other penalties may be added, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state. "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

St. Louis Archdiocese revenues drop 37%, according to annual report

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

By Tim Townsend

11/15/2008

Like many organizations, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is struggling economically. And yet, like a lot of Americans at the moment, it's hopeful for the future.

The archdiocese released its annual financial report on Friday and said its revenue dropped 37 percent — from $252 million in 2007 to $160 million in 2008 — because of decreases in investment income and contributions.

And that was before the bottom fell out of the financial markets in the autumn. The archdiocese's fiscal year ended June 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Church finds former RF youth director guilty of sexual assault

ILLINOIS
Wednesday Journal

By BILL DWYER
Staff Reporter

A former associate pastor and youth director of the First Presbyterian Church of River Forest has been found guilty by a church tribunal of three counts related to the alleged years-long sexual abuse of a girl under his ministry.

Ronald Campbell, 52, was convicted by the unanimous decision of the six member Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of Chicago on Oct. 22 following a three-day trial. Julie Lemley Hokanson, now 37, had attempted to bring criminal charges against Campbell, but the Illinois statute of limitations had expired on his alleged offenses.

In a written statement Thursday, the Rev. Robert Reynolds, executive presbyter, said Campbell's actions had "betrayed a sacred position of trust and responsibility, that of pastor to youthful parishioner. These acts were reprehensible, and we hope and pray that the conclusion of this trial moves the victim further along a path of healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Catholic Groups Decry Fr. Osborne's St. Peter Duties

MISSOURI
South County Times

11/14/2008 - Catholics with Voice of the Faithful and with a clergy sex abuse watchdog group held a press conference Tuesday in Kirkwood decrying what they called "a dangerous situation" at St. Peter Catholic Church.

That situation involves pastoral duties given to Father Robert Osborne who was the target of a 2006 civil suit alleging sexual misconduct with a student at St. John Vianney High School. The Marianist Province and the high school reached a settlement in that lawsuit in 2007.

Linda Briggs-Harty, a former public relations employee with St. John Vianney High School, said she was upset that Osborne now says Mass at St. Peter and also makes appearances on the campus of Vianney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

"Repent"? "Repudiated."

SOUTH CAROLINA
Whispers in the Loggia

It's all over the wires now, but for the two or three who haven't yet heard, a South Carolina pastor won himself a new batch of fervent fans -- and just as ardent critics -- with his post-electoral exhortation in the parish bulletin...

Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Priest's sexual assault victims look to prevention

CANADA
The Daily Press

By THE CANADIAN PRESS

As victims of a pedophile priest they suffered in isolation.

Together, their courage to speak out is shining a light in the shadows of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.

"We wanted justice for the broken little girls who lived inside of us and we felt a fierce protectiveness for the children of today," said Kelly-Anne Appleton, one of the 47 women abused as children by the late Rev. Charles Sylvestre. "We wanted to save all children from the fate we had met."

When coming forward to face their abuser, the survivors had four goals: Validation, justice, an apology and prevention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Aretakis admonished for professional misconduct

NEW YORK
Schenectady Gazette

By Michael Lamendola
Gazette Reporter

Controversial local attorney John Aretakis has been admonished by the state Committee on Professional Standards for professional misconduct, Aretakis said this morning.

Admonishment is the lowest form of punishment for an attorney found guilty of violating disciplinary rules under the Code of Professional Responsibility. Aretakis, however, said he expects to face additional charges and suspects his license to practice law may be in jeopardy.

The committee rebuked Aretakis in a Feb. 18, 2008, letter following an investigation of complaints made against him by Rev. Carl A. Urban, F. Stanton Ackerman and Wayne Kelly. The complaints span periods between 2004 and 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

The Vicar of Dibley she ain't: She's the beer-drinking Church of England minister who was this week expo

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Kathryn Knight

The parishioners of Daventry can see in retrospect that the first, rather unorthodox sermon delivered by their new vicar would set the tone for her residency.

As the curvaceous blonde stepped into the pulpit two years ago clutching a can of Guinness, it was clear this was going to be no ordinary pulpit address.

As one attendee at that Sunday service recalls: 'The vicar cracked open the can in front of the congregation, then compared the can to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - with the widget in the can being the Holy Spirit,' he says.

'Radical reform needed to root out paedophiles in seminaries'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Saturday November 15 2008

Plans by the Vatican to screen student priests may not succeed in detecting paedophiles unless the Catholic Church introduces radical reforms of its seminary system, a leading psychotherapist has warned.

Dr Marie Keenan, a lecturer at University College Dublin, has also called into question how existing psychological screening introduced in many of Ireland's 26 dioceses has not prevented child sexual abuse offending.

Earlier this month, the Vatican instructed the world's bishops to make seminarians undergo psychological evaluations, and to interrupt their training if they demonstrated grave immaturity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Cops never talked to extortion suspect

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Aretired Ontario Provincial Police officer couldn't explain why his officers never interviewed a man suspected of trying to extort at least $100,000 from his former probation officer.

"I can't answer that question," Det. Insp. Fred Hamelink told the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

Friday was Hamelink's final day on the stand at the inquiry, which is exploring how institutions like the OPP reacted to historical sexual abuse allegations.

In February 1994, Hamelink was assigned to investigate whether David Silmser had tried to extort money from Ken Seguin, a local probation officer who had killed himself in November 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Sylvestre report released

CANADA
The Observer

By ERICA BAJER, SUN MEDIA; CHATHAM DAILY NEWS

As victims of a pedophile priest they suffered in isolation.. Together, their courage to speak out is shining a light in the shadows of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.

"We wanted justice for the broken little girls who lived inside of us and we felt a fierce protectiveness for the children of today," said Kelly-Anne Appleton during a media conference Friday to unveil a 114-page report surrounding the investigation and prosecution of pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre.

Appleton, one of the 47 women abused as children by the late Sylvestre, said, "We wanted to save all children from the fate we had met."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

November 14, 2008

Diocese Repudiates Catholic Priest Who Said Obama Supporters Should Not Seek Communion

SOUTH CAROLINA
Fox News

[with link to the church bulletin]

By Joseph Abrams

A Roman Catholic diocese in South Carolina officially repudiated a priest Friday after he told his parishioners that people who voted for Barack Obama had supported the "intrinsic evil" of abortion and should not seek Communion.

Father Jay Scott Newman, writing in the weekly bulletin of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., called Obama "the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president." ...

That view was rejected Friday by the Newman's own diocese.

"Father Newman's statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church's teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated," said Msgr. Martin Laughlin, administrator of the Charleston Diocese, which is currently without a bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Rochester Diocese, bishop sued over alleged molestation

NEW YORK
Democrat & Chronicle

Ray Finger • Elmira Star-Gazette • November 13, 2008

A Schuyler County lawyer said he filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Matthew Clark on behalf of a former Watkins Glen resident who alleges that a diocesan priest sexually molested him from 1998-2001.

Lawyer John Hayes said he filed the lawsuit Wednesday morning in state Supreme Court in Schuyler County.

Hayes is representing Jason C. Hartley, who is now 21 and lives in Chemung County, according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

[Scariest People 2008] The Sexorcist

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano
Published on October 29, 2008

A priest from another land quickly becomes popular at a Latino-majority Catholic parish in the poor section of Orange County. He’s an alcoholic—been in rehab, visited the drunk tank—but church leaders do nothing. He molests a boy—and church leaders do nothing. Finally, John Law gets into the picture. There’s a mass outpouring of support from the pedo-priest’s parishioners even after he admits to fiddling with the kid. The court finds the priest guilty, then slaps him with a light sentence that outrages sex-abuse survivors but pleases the church hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Catholic priest in US faces excommunication

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest faces excommunication for attending a ceremony to ordain a woman in the United States, a Vatican official said Friday.

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois joined a June ceremony in Lexington, Kentucky, to ordain Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a member of a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Diocese notes efforts regarding abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Catholic Courier

By Mike Latona/Catholic Courier

Responding to news reports of a negligence lawsuit filed against the Rochester Diocese Nov. 12, a diocesan spokesman outlined key steps in diocesan officials' efforts to communicate abuse allegations that had been made against the late Father David L. Bonin, as well as overall efforts in the diocesan Creating a Safe Environment program.

The lawsuit -- which also names Bishop Matthew H. Clark as a defendant -- was filed in State Supreme Court at the Schuyler County Clerk's Office in Watkins Glen by Odessa attorney John Hayes. Although it has appeared in other media, the Catholic Courier is withholding the name of Hayes' client to protect his privacy.

The suit claims that from 1998 to 2001, Father Bonin sexually molested Hayes' client, now 21, on an almost weekly basis at the rectory of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen and on one occasion at St. Margaret Mary in Apalachin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Parents claim priest abuse led to son's death

DELAWARE
The Capital

By RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press Writer
Published November 14, 2008
DOVER, Del. — A New Castle County couple has sued Catholic church officials, alleging that sexual abuse by a priest led to their son's suicide.

William and Othell Heaney filed the lawsuit Thursday in New Castle County Superior County on behalf of their late son, Kevin Heaney.

The lawsuit claims the Rev. Edward Dudzinski repeatedly sexually abused their son, who was 19 years old when he shot himself in 1987. The lawsuit claims Dudzinski abused Kevin at least 100 times over a three-year period, beginning when he was 10 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Priest Calls Vote for Obama a Mortal Sin

SOUTH CAROLINA
Washington Post
On Fatih

A Catholic priest in South Carolina has decided that the democratic act of casting a vote is, in some cases, a mortal sin. Therefore, he has decided that parishioners who voted for Barack Obama are not entitled to the grace of Jesus Christ through communion until they've done penance.

"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law," Rev. Jay Scott Newman wrote in a letter to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Priest threatens reporter during interview

FAIRFIELD (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Robin Miller
MediaNews staff
Article Last Updated: 11/12/2008 07:26:15 PM PST

A Fairfield priest verbally and physically attacked a reporter during an interview Wednesday morning at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, according to a report filed with police.

Staff writer Ryan Chalk of the Vacaville Reporter, a MediaNews paper, went to the church to talk to the Rev. Sebastian Meyer about a story on an alleged conflict with a parishioner that had happened during Sunday Mass.

After identifying himself as a reporter, Chalk explained that he was working on a story about a parishioner who claimed the priest expelled her from Mass because her vehicle sported painted signs in support of president-elect Barack Obama.

"He became very agitated," Chalk said. "He told me, 'No, we're not writing that. I did not touch her. I did not talk to her.'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Naked priest fined $400

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Edith Bevin

November 15, 2008 12:00am
A MELBOURNE priest caught sunbaking in a public park next to a school was convicted of wilful exposure yesterday.

The Rev Father Wieslaw Pawlowski claimed he was just following doctor's orders to get some sun.

Much of the evidence heard yesterday centered on whether the priest was nude or wearing a G-string and whether sunbaking naked in a public park was actually lewd and obscene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

The randy reverend of Queens

NEW YORK
Manila Standard Today (Philippines)

Jojo Robles

New Yorkers, who have probably seen and heard of everything, are still talking about the bombshell $25-million suit filed recently by a 50-year-old Queens woman against a Viagra-popping Filipino Catholic priest who allegedly seduced her while she was confessing her sins to him in a local church. The priest the tabloids have christened “the randy reverend,” Elvis Elano, 44, apparently seduced a former parishioner named Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn in the confessional of Our Lady of the Snows parish in Glen Oaks while the latter was telling him about the break-up of her marriage.

The lawsuit was filed against the priest, the parish and the Brooklyn diocese for which the cleric worked. An upstate New York hospital, where Elano had been reassigned as chaplain for three months after working in the Queens parish, suspended the priest in the aftermath of the scandal.

“I was going through a very rough period in my life and I was looking for some spiritual guidance, and finding some peace from a religious perspective,” Rodrigues-Lytwyn said in a statement. “And he essentially took advantage of that. I was overwhelmed by his advances. Once I got my head on straight, I realized that he preyed upon me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Catholic Priest Faces Excommunication

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: November 13, 2008
The Vatican has informed a Roman Catholic priest in the United States that he will be excommunicated next week for participating in a ceremony it considers illicit and invalid: the ordination of a woman as a priest.

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, left, at an ordination ceremony for Janice Sevre-Duszynska, far right, in Lexington, Ky. The Vatican does not recognize such ceremonies and considers them invalid.
The priest, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, 69, has been a member of the Maryknoll religious order for 36 years. He said he was anguished at the thought of excommunication, but could not disavow his actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Diocese investigates incident involving Obama supporter at Fairfield church

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By Shauntel Lowe
MediaNews staff
Article Launched: 11/13/2008 10:02:39 PM PST

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento is investigating a Fairfield woman's claim that a priest "chased" her off church grounds Sunday because her car bore messages supporting President-elect Barack Obama.

Diocesean spokesman Kevin Eckerly said Thursday that bishops will be interviewing parishioners about Sunday's incident.

"We're in the process of ascertaining exactly what's going on," Eckerly said, but his understanding from the Rev. Sebastian Meyer is that the priest made a "simple announcement" about moving the car and used the pro-Obama messages simply to describe the vehicle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Priest cleared of indecent exposure charges

MALTA
DI-VE

A priest was cleared of exposing himself to a woman on Thursday after the Gozo Magistrates’ Court determined that her testimony was inconsistent.The defendant was accused of offending public morals by exposing himself to Swiss national Helena Wiser in Dwejra on September 17, 2008 between 1600-1700h.

Ms Wiser was walking in the area where she said that a man exposed himself to her as soon as she looked in his direction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Pedophile priests at large in New Jersey. James Tully in Wayne and Robert Petrella in North Arlington. Survivors alert neighborhoods

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Pedophile priest Robert Petrella got an eighteen month sentence, convicted of unnatural and perverted sex practices against children. He served nine. The pedophile priest finished parole in Maryland last month and David Fortwengler, whose testimony as one of the victims helped get the conviction, followed his tracks, as Petrella moved in with his mother, at 106 Ilford Ave, North Arlington, New Jersey.

Around the same time last October, as Bill Nash packed for his trip to confront his perpetrator in Italy, the ephebophile priest James Tully (recent photo at left) came back back to the United States, and now lives at the Xaverian Religious Order headquarters at 12 Helene Court in Wayne, New Jersey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Crown defended following misstatement

CANADA
The Observer

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Officials for the Ministry of the Attorney General say they are "considering (their) position'' after the commissioner of an eastern Ontario sexual abuse inquiry said there were allegations a Crown attorney sexually abused children.

Leslie McIntosh, a ministry lawyer, called commissioner Normand Glaude's remarks Wednesday that Murray MacDonald was a suspected child molester a "serious misstatement,'' and asked that the record show "clearly and unequivocally'' there were never any such allegations made against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Reverend staying mum about sex abuse claims

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press

A well-known champion of the poor in Victoria says he's been told by his lawyer not to comment on a second allegation of sexual abuse dating back to when he worked for the United Church in Ontario.

Reverend Allen Tysick, known to the homeless in Victoria simply as Reverend Al, says he was served Wednesday in a $2 million lawsuit filed by a Carleton University professor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Presbyterian ministry finds pastor guilty of sexually abusing girl in late 1980s

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Azam Ahmed | Tribune reporter
November 14, 2008
Two years after sexual abuse allegations surfaced about Rev. Ronald Campbell, the Presbyterian ministry in Chicago has found the married father of two guilty of sexually abusing an underage girl for four years during the late 1980s.

The six-member church panel determined unanimously that Campbell, 52, had on several occasions sexually abused Julie Lemley Hokanson, who was a 14-year-old member of First Presbyterian Church of River Forest when the abuse began. They also found him guilty of misuse of office and lying to church officials.

During the three-day trial in late October, it was revealed that Campbell, who initially denied wrongdoing, had a tattoo of the victim's initials enclosed in a heart on his upper buttocks. Campbell has been suspended from ordained office for a minimum of four years. He can reapply for his ministry, but only after he has taken steps toward rehabilitation, healing and reconciliation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

United pastor facing lawsuit

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By MICHAEL PEELING, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A $1-million lawsuit against a "hero" United Church pastor -based on incidents at a Dundas County-based outreach centre for the needy - has inspired another alleged victim to come forward.

Forty-five-year-old Carleton University English professor Collett Tracey recently filed a $1.5-million lawsuit against Rev. Allen Tysick for allegedly sexually abusing her in the late 1970s when she was a member of his youth group at Woodroffe United Church in Ottawa. Tracey said she was inspired to speak up about her alleged abuse at the hands of Tysick, an Ottawa native now living in British Columbia, when she read about the suit filed by Jean Perkins last year.

"I finally knew then I wasn't alone," Collett said. "There were others and I knew it wasn't my fault."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Abuse allegations involving eighth-graders to be investigated

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot News

by DIANA FISHLOCK, Of The Patriot-News
Thursday November 13, 2008, 2:27 PM
Lower Paxton Twp. police said they will investigate an alleged child abuse incident involving several eighth-grade students at Holy Name of Jesus School, police said Thursday afternoon.

School officials have not returned a phone message about the situation.

At least six boys are accused of abusing at least three girls, said Sgt. Gary R. Seefeldt, police spokesman, who was not certain whether more allegations will come to light. "You start from the bottom," he said. "We don't even know a crime occurred. It may be misconduct. I don't know yet."

Lower Paxton police were not called to investigate immediately, Seefeldt said. "The school did not call us. They called Child Line," which is a state child abuse hotline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Police probe accusations of child abuse at school

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

Friday, November 14, 2008
BY DIANA FISHLOCK
Of The Patriot-News

Lower Paxton Twp. police are investigating reports of alleged child abuse involving several eighth-grade students at Holy Name of Jesus School.

At least six boys are accused of abusing at least three girls, said Sgt. Gary R. Seefeldt, police spokesman, on Thursday. He said he did not know whether more allegations will come to light.

"We don't even know a crime occurred," he said. "It may be misconduct. I don't know yet."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Two out of three

STOCKTON (CA)
California Catholic Daily

For the second year in a row, Stockton Bishop Stephen Blair has failed to get the nod from his fellow American bishops for a leadership position with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, although two other California bishops were elected to USCCB committee chairmanships.

Bishop Blair, currently chairman of the California Catholic Conference, had been nominated as conference secretary, along with Bishop George V. Murry, a Jesuit who heads the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio. On Nov. 11, the bishops, meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, voted 150-69 in favor of Bishop Murry.

At a similar meeting in the same city on Nov. 20, 2007, Bishop Blair had been nominated to chair the USCCB’s Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, a committee on which he had served for several years. But he lost on a 130-101 vote to Bishop Blaise Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota. Bishop Blaire’s candidacy to head that committee, which is tasked with developing policies dealing with clergy abuse of minors, was opposed by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which describes itself as a “volunteer self-help organization of survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their supporters.” Snap opposed the Stockton bishop in part because he had wanted a California law that removed the statute of limitations of one year in cases of sexual abuse of minors to be overturned, according to the Stockton Daily Record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Lawyer speaks on Winni lawsuit

TILTON (NH)
Laconia Citizen

By VICTORIA GUAY
vguay@citizen.com

Article Date: Friday, November 14, 2008
TILTON - Peter Hutchins, the Manchester attorney representing Patience Cameron, the former Winnisquam Regional High School student who is suing the district for not taking action 30 years ago against an allegedly sexually abusive teacher, shed more light Thursday on why his client is seeking justice now.

Hutchins said the "vast majority of victims who come forward" — such as most of the people who made allegations during the sexual abuse suit he led against the Catholic Diocese of Boston — are in their 30s or 40s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Former Bishop of Pennsylvania launches appeal

PENNSYLIVANIA
Religious Intelligence (United Kingdom)

Friday, 14th November 2008. 12:14pm

By: George Conger.

The former Bishop of Pennsylvania has asked a church appellate court to reverse its order defrocking him from the ordained ministry. On Nov 11 attorneys for the Rt Rev Charles E Bennison, Jr, asked the nine-member court meeting at a Philadelphia hotel to modify its sentence, saying that deposing their client was tantamount to an ecclesiastical “death penalty.”

In June, the Episcopal Church’s Court for the Trial of a Bishop convicted Bishop Bennison of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy, and conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse of a teenage girl committed by his brother in the 1970s. While a parish rector in California, Bishop Bennison had engaged his brother John Bennison to be his youth minister. Testimony presented to the court showed Bishop Bennison had been aware of the abuse, had taken no substantive action, and had subsequently covered up the crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

PHILIPPINES Major Seminary To Adopt Vatican Screening Guidelines For Priesthood Candidates

PHILIPPINES
Union of Catholic Asian News

November 13, 2008
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UCAN) -- A southern Philippine seminary says it will start screening seminarian candidates according to newly released Vatican guidelines that reflect a general directive to curb sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

For the next school year, St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao (REMASE) will review the psychological test it gives to candidates and its periodic assessment of priesthood candidates, said REMASE rector Father Abel Apigo.

"The new screening guidelines are more relevant these days as more lay people look to priests as inspiration and examples of witnessing our Catholic faith," Father Apigo said in a recent interview in Davao City, 965 kilometers southwest of Manila.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

PENNSYLVANIA: Court hears arguments about its order to depose Bennison

PENNSYLVANIA
Episcopal Life

By Jerry Hames, November 13, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison's defense counsel argued before an ecclesiastical court in downtown Philadelphia on Nov. 12 that its verdict and sentencing were flawed, and that its recommendation that the bishop be deposed was too severe.

In his arguments, James A. Pabarue said the court had ignored the statute of limitations, arrived at conclusions contrary to the evidence given and appeared to punish the bishop for enacting his rights as outlined in the Episcopal Church’s canons on clergy discipline.

Pabarue also said that the Office of the Presiding Bishop had shown bias by interfering in the case. "The evidence clearly shows that the Presiding Bishop's office has been trying to force Bishop Bennison out of this diocese," Pabarue said, stating that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori had "asked for his resignation several times before the presentment was issued."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Family sues diocese over alleged abuse, suicide

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • November 14, 2008

The family of an alleged victim of childhood sexual abuse is suing the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, charging the abuse drove him to suicide years later.

William and Othell Heaney charge that the Rev. Edward F. Dudzinski sexually abused their son Kevin, starting in 1978 when he was a 10-year-old student in Dudzinski's religion class at St. Mary Magdalen elementary school in Brandywine Hundred.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in New Castle County Superior Court, claims the abuse lasted at least three years and led to a dramatic change in Kevin Heaney's personality and a downward spiral including drug abuse and numerous suicide attempts, ending in March 1987, when Kevin Heaney took his own life with a shotgun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Victims of clergy sexual assault need support

CANADA
The Observer

By DAN MCCAFFERY, THE OBSERVER

More emotional support is needed for people who have been sexually assaulted by clergymen, a new report says.

The document, released today, was drawn up in the aftermath of the trial of Fr. Charles Sylvestre, the late pedophile priest who was convicted of sexually abusing 47 girls, many of them Sarnians.

The 114-page report, paid for by the Ontario government, the Roman Catholic Diocese of London and a private donor, is intended to be a guide for Crown attorneys, police, court staff, bishops and other professionals working with survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Retired cop on verge of tears

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A retired Ontario Provincial Police officer urged the commissioner of the Cornwall Public Inquiry to not judge his 1994 extortion investigation of David Silmser by "today's standards."

Det. Insp. Fred Hamelink could barely maintain his composure as he told commissioner Normand Glaude how the passage of time had clouded his memory of that 14-year-old case.

"I knew I would find it difficult to respond when that criticism is largely based on words and documents that were recorded in 1994, long after memory of the details and the contents have since faded," said Hamelink, on the verge of tears.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

November 13, 2008

Richard Sipe…

Catholica (Australia)

That other great American clerical campaigner on behalf of the victims of sexual abuse, and on greater accountability by the institution and its leaders, Fr Richard Sipe, in this new article argues for more honesty by the institution and greater efforts to eradicate the travesty of the sexual abuse of minors.

Preliminary considerations for the understanding of the genealogy of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy…

The long history of the Catholic Church records popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests who were saints and heroes. Their lives are powerful forces to inspire others to live like Christ. Likewise, the historical record tallies some from each group who were sexually active. They, too, can do good works. Although clergy who had concubines were troublesome or a distraction to the clerical system, for the most part they were tolerable—and still are. Thirty percent of German priests are reported to have women companions. The number in the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland is arguably fifty percent. Estimates for the African and South American clergy run much higher.

Records exist from the first centuries of the Church that refer to sex between clerics. This group of clergy who is sexually active with each other are more problematic to the clerical system. Those who abuse minors—girls and particularly boys—is intolerable within the clerical system.

In 1049 a saint wrote the core Church document that outlines and analyzes this clerical behavior and its effects.

The dynamics of priests having sex with each other or with seminarians is particularly relevant today to the Church in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 PM

Second case filed alleging sex abuse by former Carlsbad friar

CARLSBAD (NM)
Current-Argus

CARLSBAD - Attorneys representing a sexual abuse victim filed a second civil complaint Thursday alleging negligence by two Roman Catholic dioceses and two Catholic parishes in Carlsbad related to sexual abuse allegedly committed against teenage boys by Kerry Guillory, a Franciscan brother working as a youth counselor with the parishes.

Guillory is accused of having committed sexual acts with boys under his supervision while he was a youth counselor at the St. Edward and San Jose parishes in Carlsbad during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Man Charged With Child Porn On Church Laptop

OHIO
WTVN

By WTVN Newsroom
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Federal investigators in Cincinnati have charged a man with using his church's computer to view and distribute child porn.

Albert Stone, 28, allegedly used a laptop computer from the Assembly of God Church in Hamilton to exchange explicit photos over the Internet.

According to court papers, FBI agents in New Orleans and Houston were working child porn investigations when they came across Stone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Panel: Ex-pastor guilty in 1980s sex abuse claims

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

November 13, 2008 at 5:36 PM
Two years after sexual abuse allegations surfaced about Rev. Ronald Campbell, the Presbyterian ministry in Chicago has found the married father of two guilty of sexually abusing an underage girl for four years during the late 1980s.

The six-member church panel determined unanimously that Campbell, 52, had on several occasions sexually abused Julie Lemley Hokanson, who was a 14 -year-old member of First Presbyterian Church of River Forest when the abuse began. They also found him guilty of misuse of office and lying to church officials.

During the three-day trial in late October, it came out that Campbell, who initially denied wrongdoing, had a tattoo of the victim's initials enclosed in a heart on his upper buttocks. Campbell has since been suspended from ordained office for a minimum of four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Woman escorted out of church because of Pro-Obama messages

FAIRFIELD (CA)
Times-Herald

By SHAUNTEL LOWE/Times-Herald staff writer

A Fairfield priest forced a woman to leave church Sunday because she had messages supporting President-elect Barack Obama written on her car's windows, parishioners said.

Elizabeth Caster, a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Fairfield for six years, said Father Sebastian Meyer announced just before Sunday's noon mass that a car in the parking lot's loading zone bearing pro-Obama messages would be towed in 10 minutes if it were not moved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Priest sex victim used compo for paedo orgy

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By JAMIE PYATT

A PAEDOPHILE was jailed for life yesterday — after a court heard he bankrolled his abuse with hush money given after he was molested by Catholic priests.

David Cullen, 48, was sentenced over a string of sex attacks on boys as young as seven — some broadcast to other perverts live on webcam.

He bought holidays for victims’ parents to win their trust and converted a people carrier into a mobile sex chamber.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Priest Abuses Power

SOUTH CAROLINA
WCTV

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) A priest at a South Carolina Roman Catholic church says his parishioners shouldn't take Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because of the Democrat's stance on abortion.

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said Thursday church law doesn't allow him to refuse parishioners the sacrament at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Church commission says minister had sex with minor

CHICAGO (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

By DON BABWIN - Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO -- A Presbyterian minister accused of having sex with a woman when she was a teenager, even tattooing her initials on his buttocks, kept working as a pastor and college administrator after the church's insurance company paid his accuser $150,000.

Rev. Ronald Campbell was removed from the ministry in April - nine months after the insurance payout. But he did not resign from Trinity International University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Trinity Graduate School in Deerfield until this month, shortly after a church commission ruled he sexually abused the woman in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Psychotherapist warning over Church abuse

IRELAND
RTE News

Thursday, 13 November 2008 22:22
A leading psychotherapist has warned that Vatican plans to 'screen' student priests may not put a stop to child sexual abuse by clerics unless the Catholic Church introduces far-reaching changes.

Writing in The Irish Catholic, Marie Keenan warned that while screening is attractive to some conservative bishops, it's a mistaken approach if seminaries and clerical life are not also scrutinised.

Dr Keenan is a UCD academic who has worked extensively with sex offenders and who mediated at a meeting of the hierarchy during the clerical child abuse crisis in Ferns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

The Five Religion-Related Issues that Should Most Concern the Future Obama Administration

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

With the election of Barack Obama, there is finally some hope that the United States can turn to a more rational set of policies relating to religion. Sixteen years of President William Jefferson Clinton and President George W. Bush meant that southern evangelicals (and many other religious groups) had unprecedented access to the White House to lobby for government support for their favorite causes. Unfortunately, that support came only at the expense of those who do not share their worldview. Neither the Clinton nor George W. Bush Administration seemed capable of telling religious groups they had crossed any line with their aggressive and constitutionally-dubious requests. ...

The Third Key Issue: Support State Measures to Prevent and Prosecute Child Sex Abuse, Even When It Occurs Within Religious Communities

There is now incontrovertible evidence that religious communities hide child sex abuse. Too often, they seek to protect the perpetrator and the religious institution's public image at the expense of children suffering abuse. This is not just a Catholic problem, or a Latter-Day Saints problem, or a Jehovah's Witnesses problem. We also now know that it is also an Orthodox Jewish problem, among others; it spans all beliefs and creeds. Abuse is wholly nondenominational. Wherever it appears, whether in a religious or secular context or community, it must be stopped.

Tragically, American culture is structured to make it harder to identify perpetrators within these communities, as prosecutors and other powerful figures frequently either defer to religious leaders, or simply lack the courage to rock the boat of their own religious group. We learned recently, due to the brave reporting of Hella Winston at Jewish Week, that Assemblyman Dov Hikind of the New York General Assembly has been keeping records of known abusers within the Orthodox community - but has failed to alert the police, and that this was true even when Hikind knew that one perpetrator, in particular, had abused a child in the very recent past. This pattern of cover-up is not unusual; it happens all the time, in both religious and secular organizations. Hikind's behavior is comparable to that of Fr. Andrew Greeley -who has bragged publicly that he knows who many perpetrators are in the Catholic Church, but has refused to name them publicly, as I discuss in a previous column.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Parents say clergy sex abuse drove son to suicide

DELAWARE
WDEL

By Peter Mac Arthur

The latest lawsuit facing the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington comes from parents who say a priest sexually abused their son, prompting him to commit suicide.

William and Othell Heaney claim Reverend Edward Dudzinski began abusing 10 year old Kevin Heaney in 1978 when the victim was in Dudzinski's religion class at St. Mary Magdalen elementary. They say the abuse lasted for three years and changed his personality. The Heaneys say their son got into drugs and tried to commit suicide numerous times before finally shooting himself in 1987 and dying two days later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Defrocked vicar had been school governor

UNITED KINGDOM
Northampton Chronicle

Published Date: 13 November 2008
By Nick Spoors
Parishioners in Northamptonshire have been coming to terms with news that a former county vicar has been banned from the clergy for the next 12 years.

The Chronicle & Echo reported yesterday that, in evidence given to a Church of England disciplinary tribunal, it was revealed the former Rev Teresa Davies had turned up drunk to services at the Holy Cross Church in Daventry and told colleagues she was a swinger.

Yesterday it emerged that Mrs Davies, who is now believed to be training as a teacher outside the county, had been a member of Welton Church of England School's governing body since her inception as vicar of St Martin's Church, in Welton, but had been suspended from being a governor by the Church of England in May 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Former priest denies bigamy in Leamington

UNITED KINGDOM
The Courier

Published Date: 13 November 2008
A FORMER clergyman alleged to have committed bigamy in Leamington had a history of marrying and fleecing vulnerable women, a court has heard.
Roderick Gordon Sangster married Janet Ann Pollard at St Paul's church in Leicester Street in 2004.

But Warwick Crown Court was told this week that he kept a crucial secret from his new bride and the vicar - he was already married.

Sangster is also alleged to have used Ms Pollard's name to defraud Northern Rock of £10,000. And he went to great efforts to pretend to his 'wife' he was being paid to write a book - faking chest pains and being taken to Warwick Hospital when he was about to be found out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Last will & testament of God's banker

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

[with video]

By Chuck Goudie

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Archbishop Paul Marcinkus ran the Vatican bank.

When the Cicero native died, he left behind a mysterious financial scandal. But he also left a will that the I-Team has obtained.

Paul Marcinkus was the highest ranking American churchman ever in Rome.
For nearly two decades, Marcinkus was the pope's C.F.O. with control of the Vatican's vast wealth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Haddon Twp. parish: Merger fight to go on

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

By ADAM SMELTZ • Courier-Post Staff • November 13, 2008

Parishioners at St. Vincent Pallotti in Haddon Township, pushing to halt a planned merger with nearby St. Aloysius, have won formal permission to proceed with their campaign to reverse the decision, an activist group claimed Wednesday.

The Rome-based Congregation for the Clergy, in a recent letter, has indicated that Friends of St. Vincent Pallotti Inc. may follow a formal process through the Vatican to challenge the local merger plan, according to the Friends group.

"We've tried to do this on a local level. We've tried to address this with the (Camden) Diocese and try to rectify this in a respectful manner through local procedures," said parishioner Ed Pierzynski, a leader of the Friends group. "When that doesn't work, you have some other options."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Catholics Respond To Weakland's Comments

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Today's TMJ 4

[with video of the deposition]

Charles Benson

MILWAUKEE - A cover-up in the Catholic Church. The former Milwaukee archbishop says he did not report priests who sexually abused children.

It's the first time we're hearing about the scandal, directly from former Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

in a taped deposition Weakland said he didn't report abuse to police or parishioners.

There is no shortage of opinions among Catholics. On Weakland's statements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Sexual Abuse Complaints Subpoenaed

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: November 12, 2008
Since last year, when Assemblyman Dov Hikind invited his radio show listeners to discuss an explosive topic — sexual abuse of children in the Orthodox Jewish community — he says he has collected more than 1,000 complaints and the names of 60 accused sexual predators.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind asked radio listeners to talk about sex abuse, and they did.
He has kept those stories under lock and key in his Brooklyn office, he says, because the people who said they were victims had sworn him to secrecy, fearful of becoming outcasts in a community where perceived troublemakers risk losing employment, housing and even marriage prospects.

But a prominent lawyer representing a half dozen former yeshiva students who say in a civil lawsuit that they were sexually abused by a teacher in Borough Park, Brooklyn, had Mr. Hikind served with a subpoena this week, demanding that he surrender those files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Minister continues work at drop-in centre despite allegations of sexual abuse

CANADA
Globe and Mail

SCOTT SUTHERLAND
The Canadian Press

November 13, 2008

VICTORIA -- A high-profile United Church minister says he's continuing to work at a drop-in centre in Victoria but has been told by his lawyer not to comment on a second allegation of sexual abuse in Ontario.

Al Tysick, 63, known to street people and politicians in British Columbia's capital as Reverend Al, works at Our Place, a multimillion-dollar facility that provides housing, training and food for the homeless and disadvantaged.

"No comment," he said, when asked about the sexual-abuse allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Woman Says Former Shiloh Pastor Fathered Her Baby

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

Posted By: Lindy Thackston

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A First Coast woman says a former pastor is the father of her child, and she has filed a paternity suit.

Pastor Darrell Gilyard served as pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church from 1993 until his resignation early this year.

In February, 46-year-old Gilyard filed a not guilty plea to accusations he sent sexually explicit text message to a teenage girl from his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Disgraced pastor says he was abused as child

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
KJCT

Associated Press - November 13, 2008 12:24 AM ET

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard says he was sexually abused as a child. And he says the experience "started to rage" in his mind and heart when he was caught up in a sex scandal involving a male prostitute.

ABC's "Good Morning America" reported today that Haggard made the remarks in two recent sermons in Morrison, Illinois.

Haggard said 1 of his father's employees "had a sexual experience" with Haggard when he was 7, according to audio recordings from the sermons posted on the ABC News Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Our Place boss Tysick hit with second lawsuit

CANADA
Victoria News

A second allegation of sexual abuse has surfaced against Rev. Allen Tysick, the Victoria street preacher and executive director of Our Place.

Collett Tracey, 45, of Ottawa, has filed a statement of claim against Tysick and the United Church of Canada.

The civil suit, which has not yet been heard in court, alleges Tysick used his position as a youth leader at Woodroffe, a church-sponsored centre in Ottawa, to coerce her into a sexual relationship starting in 1978, when Tracey was 15. Tracey is now an English professor at Carleton University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Suit Filed Against Diocese

NEW YORK
WHAM

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
An attorney in Elmira filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Rochester Catholic Diocese and Bishop Matthew Clark , on behalf of a young man who says he was molested by a Catholic Priest in the late 1990’s.

John Hayes claims Bishop Clark failed to protect his client, 21-year-old Jason Hartley, from molestation by Father David Bonin. The abuse allegedly happened from 1998 to 2001.

Father Bonin served as pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen, and St. Benedict Church in Odessa, N.Y.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Suspended bishop asks church court to reverse ruling

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

In hopes of salvaging his career, suspended Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. yesterday asked a special church court convened in Philadelphia to reverse its recent sentence removing him from holy orders.

Defrocking a priest or bishop is "the ecclesiastical equivalent of the death penalty," Bennison's attorney, James A. Pabarue, told the nine judges. Their sentence, he said, was "unduly harsh and unsupported by the evidence."

In June, following a four-day trial here, the Court for the Trial of a Bishop unanimously found Bennison, head of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, guilty of failing to intervene in his brother John's sexual abuse of a teenage girl more than 30 years ago in a California parish where Bennison was rector.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Roch. diocese sued over alleged abuse

ODESSA (NY)
Ithaca Journal

By Ray Finger • Staff Writer • November 13, 2008

ODESSA — A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges a priest sexually molested a former Watkins Glen resident at the rectory of St. Mary's of the Lake Church in the village and at St. Margaret Mary rectory in Apalachin.

Odessa lawyer John Hayes said he filed the lawsuit against the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Matthew Clark Wednesday morning in state Supreme Court at the Schuyler County Clerk's Office. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

“I'm suing the bishop and the diocese for their failure to protect my client from this priest,” Hayes said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon in front of the Watkins Glen church that is next to the rectory where the majority of the molestation incidents are alleged to have occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Only necessary to interview Cornwall police officers: OPP cop

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The detective who investigated whether city police conspired with the Catholic church to cover-up sexual abuse allegations against a local priest felt it wasn't necessary to interview any officers other than the force's chief, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Wednesday.

Det. Insp. Tim Smith testified that former Cornwall Police Service chief Claude Shaver was a "micromanager" and a "hands-on chief " and that any conspiracy or collusion couldn't have occurred without his knowledge.

Yesterday was Smith's second day on the stand at the inquiry, which is exploring how institutions like the Ontario Provincial Police handled allegations of historical sexual abuse. Smith spent more than three decades with the OPP before retiring in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

FLASHBACK: THE SHAME OF REMBERT WEAKLAND

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

By Charlie Sykes

Story Created: Nov 13, 2008

Dramatic admission from the former archbishop.....

Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland admitted in a video deposition released Wednesday that he transferred priests with a history of sexual misconduct back into churches without alerting parishioners.

The former archbishop acknowledged that he did so because "no parish would have accepted a priest unless you could say that he has gone through the kind of psychological examination and that he's not a risk to the parish."

**
I'm reposting a column I wrote in 2002:

The shame of Rembert Weakland
Milwaukee archbishop tolerated and protected priestly sexual abuse
By Charles J. Sykes


Even years later, he's haunted by the casual greeting: "Hi, Greg."

He was lying in bed, the bed of a Catholic priest. The priest, Father Dennis Pecore, had gotten up and answered the knock at his door. He stood in the doorway in his bathrobe, talking with another priest, who had come to his room. The visitor could see the boy lying in the bed. "Hi, Greg," he said to the boy.

"Nothing else was said or asked of me," recalls Greg. He was 14 years old.

Greg is just one of hundreds of young men who were sexually abused by priests they trusted. But his case casts a shadow over the Milwaukee archdiocese and the legacy of Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

November 12, 2008

Updated 11/11: Resident hopes message will empower Catholics

HINSDALE (IL)
Voice from the Desert

The Doings

November 11, 2008

By AMY DEIS

Hinsdale resident Linda Pieczynski believes the Roman Catholic Church has been covering up sexual abuse of children and financial mismanagement.

She has joined the advisory board of Send the Bishops a Message, a group urging Roman Catholics to withhold financial donations on certain Sundays.

“We want to make Catholics aware that they can change their church,” she said.

The Send the Bishops a Message initiative is the brainchild of Frank Douglas of Tucson, Ariz., whose blog, Voice From the Desert, comments on reports of abuse and coverups of crimes by bishops and priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 PM

Weakland Deposition Made Public

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM

By Marge Pitrof
November 12, 2008 | WUWM | Milwaukee, WI

Part of a videotaped deposition was made public in Milwaukee Wednesday, a deposition by former Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland. He was questioned under oath earlier this year, by an attorney representing seven people who claim they were assaulted by priests years ago. In the deposition, Weakland says he returned sexually abusive priests to active ministry without telling parish members, because he did not think they’d accept those clergy members otherwise.

Peter Isely represents SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. He urged attorneys to make the deposition public, because he says the archdiocese has been publically questioning whether it can get a fair trial.

“The archdiocese is making a public case right now, and it’s not being responded to. Their lawyers and the chancellor of the Archdiocese have put out a four page statement saying, we can’t get a fair trial, which is incidentally quite insulting I think to the people of this community, but we can’t get a fair trial because the individuals involved in these particular cases that have been filed, are all dead. And that’s simply not true. That is a lie, they’re not dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Catholic Bishop Disgraced Again

UNITED STATES
Conservative American

By Peter Andrew ConservativeAmerican.org

One day after we told you about the US Catholic Bishops planning a big fight with Obama over abortion, they are in the news again. Yesterday we questioned how much credibility these guys have left after all of the organized cover-up of criminal activity…sounds like organized crime to us. Today, they give us yet another example. Disgraced former Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a pompous and arrogant gay liberal (he admitted to having a sexual relationship with another man and to using archdiocesan funds to pay hush money), is seen on new video (click to read rest of this story to see the video yourself) admitting they moved sexually abusive priests around for 25 years and kept it all a secret from the faithful in the pews who continued to write big checks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 PM

8 more indictments issued in FLDS polygamist case

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By TERRI LANGFORD
Houston Chronicle
Nov. 12, 2008, 6:46PM

A grand jury in West Texas handed down eight more indictments Wednesday in the criminal investigation into abuse allegations involving members of a polygamist sect.

Jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs and three other members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were charged with eight different felonies, including aggravated sexual assault, bigamy and tampering with physical evidence, said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

FLDS members have been under investigation since April, when Texas Child Protective Services removed more than 400 children from the group's Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, south of San Angelo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 PM

Rembert Weakland Deposition Tape Released

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

[with video]

MILWAUKEE -- A deposition was released Wednesday by lawyers representing men suing the archdiocese for fraud.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland resigned in 2002 and has never publicly addressed the priest abuse scandal this directly. But in a videotaped deposition, Weakland answered questions about what he knew, why parishes weren’t told about abusive priests and what he told the current archbishop about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

Sex offenders, as well as victims, need love of church to rehabilitate

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By CHARLES OHRENSCHALL

Thursday, November 13, 2008

As a Christian, I believe firmly in the power of redemption. My life and my faith are enriched through service to my church community, particularly in reaching out to the marginalized and the oppressed.

I was deeply concerned to read a recent Atlanta-Journal Constitution editorial about a Georgia law that has barred people on the sex offender registry from participating in their church communities (“Sex offender statute becomes tormentor: Family’s ordeal shows how Ga. law goes way too far,” @issue, Oct. 31). I believe this law — which is being challenged today in U.S. District Court in Atlanta — runs counter to the church’s mission of sharing God’s love and his message of redemption.

I have seen how meaningful participation as a member of a faith community can be a powerful rehabilitative force in the lives of those seeking redemption for past sins. But Georgia’s law severely limits this opportunity for rehabilitation while simultaneously preventing me from ministering to all members of my faith community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 PM

Mattingly: U.S. Catholic bishops in a vise

UNITED STATES
ScrippsNews

By TERRY MATTINGLY, Scripps Howard News Service religion

If you want to cause trouble for American bishops, stick them in a vise between Rome and the armies of dissenters employed on Catholic campuses.

But the bishops had to vote on Ex Corde Ecclesiae ("From the Heart of the Church"). After all, they had been arguing about this papal document throughout the 1990s, trying to square the doctrinal vision of Pope John Paul II with their American reality. Rome said their first response was too weak, when it came to insisting that Catholic schools remain openly Catholic. Finally, the bishops approved a tougher document on a 223-to-31 vote.

Soon after that 1999 showdown, someone "with a good reason for wanting to know" emailed a simple question to Russell Shaw of the United States Catholic Conference. Who voted against the statement?

"There was no way to know. In fact, the Vatican doesn't know -- for sure -- who those 31 bishops where," said Shaw, discussing one of the many mysteries in his book, "Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication and Communion in the Catholic Church. ...

Take, for example, the brutal waves of scandal caused by the sexual abuse of children and teens by clergy. For several decades, argued Shaw, the bishops have been afraid to openly discuss "the causes of the dreadful mess -- nasty things like homosexuality among priests, theological rationalizing on the subject of sex and the entrenched self-protectiveness of the old clericalist culture."

That's the kind of scandal that creates global headlines. But, for most Catholics, more commonplace forms of secrecy shape their lives at the local level, said Shaw.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Hikind Subpoenaed On Sex-Abuse Information

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

State Assembly member Dov Hikind was subpoenaed Monday to provide testimony and files he has compiled about rabbis and yeshiva employees who have allegedly sexually abused children under their charge, and rabbinic leaders who may have protected the abusers.

The Brooklyn Democrat says he has assembled detailed dossiers on “hundreds” of such cases. But he said he would “go to jail for 10 years” rather than reveal the names of the alleged victims, whom he has guaranteed anonymity.

Michael Dowd, the attorney who served the subpoena on behalf of several clients allegedly molested by their yeshiva teacher as children, said he was willing to keep the names of the alleged victims from becoming public. He is representing his clients in a civil suit against Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Flatbush and its longtime teacher, Yehuda Kolko, who was convicted of child endangerment last April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Former archbishop admits shuffling abusive priests

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WXOW

Associated Press - November 12, 2008 4:25 PM ET

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The former head of Milwaukee's Catholic community says he returned sexually abusive priests to active ministry without telling parishioners because he knew they wouldn't be accepted otherwise.

The comments of retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland came in a videotaped deposition released today.

Weakland gave the deposition in June to a lawyer representing seven people who claim they were assaulted by priests. The cases are expected to go to trial next summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Deposition of Archbishop Rembert Weakland

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Surivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

This links to video of a deposition given by Archbishop Rembert Weakland in which he discusses under oath how sexual abuse cases were handled in the Milwaukee archdiocese. The video is available in its entirety or in four parts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Two members of a Vinton church charged with molesting children

VINTON (VA)
WDBJ

Two members of the same local church are charged with molesting children.

Investigators tell News7 one man was an associate pastor, the other a deacon at Heritage Baptist Church in Vinton. But investigators point out that they don't think any of the abuse took place at the Vinton church.

Daniel Silverman was arrested in September. Vinton police say the 42-year-old associate pastor is charged with the aggravated sexual battery of a 12-year-old.

In Franklin County, Dean Harold Stone is charged with 24-counts of what the Commonwealth's Attorney calls "various sexual acts with minors." Charges include sodomy, and involve multiple victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Alleged priest sex abuse

WATKINS GLEN (NY)
News 10 Now

[with video]

By: Web Staff

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- A former Watkins Glen man is suing the Catholic Diocese of Rochester and its bishop for alleged sexual abuse by a priest.

After he filed the lawsuit Wednesday, the lawyer for Jason Hartley, 21, held a news conference in front of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen. He says a former priest there, Father David Bonin, abused Hartley over the course of three years, starting when Hartley was about 11. Bonin has since died, but Hartley's lawyer says Bishop Clark and the Rochester Diocese are also responsible for not doing enough to protect Hartley and others.

"This behavior engaged in by the bishop and the diocese, their failure to act, to warn, to protect, affected children generally in this diocese. And we are encouraging all of the victims now to come forward,” said John Hayes, a lawyer of Hartley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Four more FLDS members indicted in Texas

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

A Texas grand jury indicted four additional members of a polygamous sect on Wednesday.

A Schleicher County court clerk said the four unnamed individuals face a total of eight charges. As with previous indictments, the names and charges will not be released until those named surrender to authorities or are arrested.

The Schleicher County Grand Jury, which met Wednesday in Eldorado, has so far indicted 13 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on charges related to underage marriages. Twelve face felony charges that include sexual assault and bigamy; one man was indicted on a misdemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Rochester Diocese, bishop sued over alleged molestation

NEW YORK
Star-Gazette • November 12, 2008

An Odessa lawyer said he filed a lawsuit today on behalf of a former Watkins Glen resident who alleges a priest sexually molested him while serving at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen.

Lawyer John Hayes said he filed the lawsuit against the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Matthew Clark this morning in state Supreme Court in Schuyler County.

Hayes is representing Jason C. Hartley, who is now 21 and lives in Chemung County, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit charges that from 1998 through 2001, the Rev. David Bonin, then pastor of St. Mary’s on the Lake, sexually molested Hartley almost every Friday from when he was 9 years old to when he was 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Catholic Church still squandering its moral authority

Examiner

By Maureen Paul Turlish
Examiner Columnist 11/11/08

Can the Vatican’s latest order for seminaries to do a more thorough job preventing homosexuals from entering the priesthood be seen as anything other than more smoke and mirrors?

Again the Holy See appears intent on a search and destroy mission to weed out candidates for the priesthood when what it should be doing is weeding out the sexually abusive and perverted clergymen who violate the innocence of thousands of children, not to mention young women, men and vulnerable adults.

Skim some of the pages of the few grand jury reports and the other investigations made public on these horrific crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

SNAP Releases Video of Former Archbishop Deposition

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

[with video]

Story Created: Nov 12, 2008

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The former head of Milwaukee's Catholic community has admitted returning sexually abusive priests to active ministry without telling parishioners because he knew they wouldn't be accepted otherwise.

"No parish would have accepted a priest unless you could say that he has gone through the kind of psychological examination and that he's not a risk to the parish," retired Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland said in a portion of a videotaped deposition released Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Lawyer releases deposition by Weakland in fraud case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Marie Rohde of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 12, 2008 11:08 a.m.

[with link to the video deposition]

A lawyer this morning released portions of a video deposition taken in June of retired Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland in which Weakland acknowledges that he had returned abusive priests to church ministry without alerting parishioners.

The release of the deposition came in response to a contention last month by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee that the deaths of key people involved in the church's coverup of sexual abuse allegations had thrown into question the fairness of a pending trial, and that if the archdiocese lost the pending cases, it could face bankruptcy.

Jeffery Anderson, a lawyer representing those suing the church, said the trial would be fair because Weakland's testimony showed that a coverup existed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

SNAP Releasing Video Testimony From Priest

ST. FRANCIS (WI)
Today's TMJ4

Diane Pathieu
Katie DeLong

ST. FRANCIS - An old scandal returns to the spotlight in Milwaukee Wednesday, with the release of some never-before seen video testimony from former archbishop Remberg Weakland.

It involves the case of Weakland, and a former Marquette student that accused him of sexual assault.

That case was in deposition this summer, and now, for the first time, the public will hear taped testimony from that case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Bishop Being Sued

NEW YORK
WETM

Reported by: Jeff Stone
Email: JStone@WETMTV.com
Contributor: Katie Graham

[with video]

Lawsuit To Be Filed Against Bishop Clark A local lawyer will hold a news conference Wednesday to announce a lawsuit against Bishop Matthew Clark of the Rochester Roman Catholic Diocese. Attorney John Hayes of Odessa says Bishop Clark failed to protect a young man from being molested by a Catholic priest in Watkins Glen in the late 90's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Most Dangerous US Predator Priests Walking Free – a SNAP Fact Sheet (11/08)

BALTIMORE (MD)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

The list includes: Father Fernando Cristancho, Monsignor Dale Fushek, Monsignor Wallace Harris, Monsignor Alan Placa, Father Kenneth J. Martin, Father Eric Swearingen, Brother William Mueller, Father Anthony Gonzales, Father Thomas M. Reardon.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Rembert Weakland, in first ever video testimony, details sex abuse fraud by archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
Leaders of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will screen, discuss and release to the public an approximately 15 minute DVD containing video taped testimony of former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland taken during a nine hour court deposition this summer by Attorney Jeffery Anderson. SNAP urged the release of the deposition in response to published claims by the archdiocese this week that because “key players” in the sex abuse cover ups are dead, church officials are not going to get a “fair trial” in the fraud cases recently filed against the archdiocese by childhood rape victims of four Milwaukee priests.

This is the first time that Weakland has answered questions under oath concerning his nearly 25 year involvement with dozens of priest sex offenders under his supervision while archbishop from 1977 to 2002. Weakland resigned in 2002 after it was learned that had paid a half a million dollars in hush money to a man who says Weakland sexually abused him as an adult. Weakland denies the abuse and calls the sexual relationship “inappropriate.”

WHERE
The Healing Center, 611 W. National Avenue - 4th Floor (parking also available behind the building)

WHEN
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Priests face €11,600 pension cut as diocese deducts State equivalent

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

SOME RETIRED Dublin priests face a loss of income following a Catholic archdiocese decision to revise downwards its contribution to their pensions.

The change means that priests who retired over the past year to 18 months will experience a drop in income of €11,600 each, equivalent to their State contributory pension.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese said last night that this was being done to ensure equity of income among all priests so that retired priests did not end up with a salary which exceeded that of working priests.

She denied that it was related in any way to possible cost-saving to deal with the large amounts of money paid out by the archdiocese in child sex abuse compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Vatican might expel activist priest

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

By Bruce Nolan
The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, the missionary priest from Lutcher who has devoted his career to opposing U.S. policy in Latin America, appears to be on the brink of excommunication from the Catholic church for participating in a ceremony that purportedly ordained a woman to the priesthood.

Bourgeois, a member of the Maryknoll order, said the Vatican recently gave him 30 days to formally recant his position in favor of women's ordination, or face excommunication.

In a response posted on the Web site of the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper, Bourgeois told the Vatican he could not in conscience do so. He said he believes a call to the priesthood comes from God and it is inappropriate for the church to interfere with it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Priest Scratches Pupil, Calls Him Animal!

CROATIA
Javno

JOSIPOVAC, CROATIA – A 13-year-old D.T. returned home on Thursday with a scratched face and in tears. His mother first thought he was bullied by older pupils, but she was shocked when she heard her son was attacked by - a priest.

The boy told her the priest made them kneel, but he objected it, because Sunday school was not held at church, but in a basement. The priest approached the boy, grabbed his face and started shaking him. When the boy wanted to go out, the priest shouted at him: “Get back, you animal!”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Another madcap idea

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard

Bong Austero

In my column last Monday, I wrote about how the proposal to require drivers to undergo neuro-psychological testing as precondition before driver’s licenses can be granted or renewed was an impractical idea, particularly in this country where almost everything carries a tag price and those with money get away with practically anything. If implemented, the proposal will simply open another window for corruption at the Land Transportation Office, one of the government agencies notorious for corruption.

Also on Monday, a news article was published in this paper about the Vatican’s move to re-allow psychological testing for seminarians who wish to become priests of the Catholic Church.

As I wrote last Monday, what makes psychological testing impractical is the fact that in order for results to be reliable and valid, they need to be conducted properly. This means strictly observing a number of testing protocols. The conduct of the test, the interpretation of the results, and the formulation of the diagnosis require a high level of expertise, which unfortunately, is not widely available in this country. The results are very seldom conclusive anyway; most psychologists play it safe by coaching their diagnoses by calling them indicators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Priest from Vianney is called unfit for public duties

KIRKWOOD (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By David Hunn
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/12/2008

A Kirkwood woman and a national victim's advocacy group are mounting a campaign for the removal of the Rev. Robert Osborne from his position as a "visiting priest" at an area parish.

Osborne used to be president of the all-boys St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood until he was accused of sexually abusing a teenaged student in 2006.

Criminal charges were not pursued by the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, and Vianney settled the civil suit in 2007 for an undisclosed sum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

SNAP To Release Video about Former Archbishop's Alleged Sexual Assault

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

By Jay Sorgi

Video testimony which has never been seen before, detailing a scandal with a former Milwaukee Catholic archbishop, will be released today.

The testimony involves the case of now-retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland and a former Marquette student who accuses him of sexual assault.

Lawyers conducted a deposition in the case this past summer, and the public will now hear the testimony from that case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Group outs top 10 priests accused of sex abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Examiner

By Carolyn Peirce
Examiner Staff Writer 11/12/08

Three Catholic priests with ties to Maryland are among the nation’s most dangerous sexual predators, according to a list released Tuesday by a group of clergy sex abuse victims demanding greater accountability from the Catholic Church.

“We believe the bishops have not done enough to protect children and help victims heal,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of Chicago-based support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“We’re asking them to take action to protect the innocent by helping to jail these priests.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

The swinging 'Vicar of Dibley': Clergywoman kicked out over wife-swapping and drunkenness

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail

By Beth Hale, Andy Dolan and David Wilkes
Last updated at 10:09 AM on 12th November 2008

From the moment she roared into the quiet village of Welton on her motorbike, the vicar caused quite a stir.

Parishioners soon realised that she had a lust for life - and many hoped she would use that to 'change perceptions of religion'.

But unknown to her flock, the Reverend Teresa Davies was directing her passion towards other activities.

The mother of two was a swinger, going on wife-swapping holidays with her husband Michael.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Second lawsuit filed against United Church minister

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

Thulasi Srikanthan, Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008
OTTAWA - A Carleton University instructor is the second woman to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Rev. Allen Tysick, who was once described by Time magazine as one of Canada's heroes.

Collett Tracey, 45, filed a $2.1-million claim Tuesday against Tysick - an Ottawa native - and the United Church of Canada, alleging she was sexually abused and exploited in her teenage years when she was part of a youth group Tysick led.

None of the claims has been tested in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Prof accuses pastor of sex abuse

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By SUN MEDIA

OTTAWA -- An Ottawa woman says her first hope for healing was reading last year about a sexual abuse claim against a "hero" United Church pastor.

"I finally knew then I wasn't alone. There were others and I knew it wasn't my fault," Collett Tracey said yesterday.

Tracey, 45, an English professor, has launched a $1.5-million lawsuit against Rev. Allen Tysick, an Ottawa native who once worked in eastern Ontario helping the poor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Clergy abuse victims visit St. Callistus School today after lewd-conduct charge against teacher

GARDEN GROVE (CA)
The Orange County Register

By DEEPA BHARATH and ELLYN PAK
The Orange County Register

GARDEN GROVE Victims of clergy abuse handed out fliers and information outside St. Callistus School this afternoon alerting parents of the arrest last month of the school's lay music teacher on suspicion of molesting three girls.

Garden Grove police on Oct. 22 arrested Hong Thai Luong, 52, known as Howie Luong at the school. Luong is facing four felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor after three girls between 8 and 10 came forward to accuse him last month.

The three girls were not enrolled at St. Callistus, St. Columban's or St. Polycarp in Stanton where Luong also taught music, but took lessons at a studio run by Luong's girlfriend. But after his arrest, one more girl from St. Callistus came forward and accused Luong of touching her inappropriately, officials said.

Joelle Casteix, regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said there could be more victims, including those from Luong's past, who have yet to come forward. Casteix, along with two supporters, passed out fliers to parents who were picking up their children from the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

MARYLAND: Two men listed among ‘10 Most Dangerous Priests’

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Daily Times

Capital News Service • November 11, 2008

BALTIMORE - Two Maryland men were listed among the 10 most dangerous priests in a report released Tuesday by a sexual abuse support group.

The list was released at a news conference held outside of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel, where hundreds of bishops were attending the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops fall general assembly.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the group considers the 10 priests to be exceptionally dangerous because they have had numerous victims, have recently been accused of child sex crimes and continue to have access to children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

U.S. Rep. Mark Foley reveals the demons he faced after being abused in church as a child

FLORIDA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Mark Hollis | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
November 12, 2008
WPTV's exclusive interview:

[with video]

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley says in an exclusive interview airing today on WPTV-Ch. 5 that he wishes he had "confronted those demons" of sexual abuse suffered as a child before launching a political career that collapsed amid national scrutiny of his private life.

The Palm Beach County Republican served in Washington, Tallahassee and Lake Worth for nearly three decades until his resignation from Congress in 2006 after news reports of his sexually explicit online chats with congressional pages. ...

When Foley resigned from Congress in the fall of 2006, his West Palm Beach attorney, David Roth, revealed that Foley was molested by a clergyman between the ages of 13 and 15. He also said that he was recovering from alcohol abuse. "Everything David Roth said that day was true despite the fact that so many people said that we were making it up to save my political seat," Foley said.

Foley, 51 and now involved in a real estate business based in Palm Beach, contends that much of his life has been shaped by the abuse he encountered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Sex cases took toll on OPP officers

CANADA
Standad-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A retired Ontario Provincial Police detective was on the verge of tears as he told the Cornwall Public Inquiry how years of handling sexual abuse cases had affected both his life and the lives of his fellow officers.

In February 1994, Det. Insp. Tim Smith was assigned to reopen the Cornwall Police Service's (CPS) investigation into sexual abuse allegations levelled 14 months earlier against Rev. Charles MacDonald, a local priest.

In 1997, Smith would become the lead investigator for Project Truth, the OPP's four-year probe into rumours a pedophile ring had flourished in the Cornwall area. The 33-year veteran also investigated chilling stories of sexual abuse from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s at two reform schools in Alfred, Ont. and Uxbridge, Ont. ...

Smith told lead commission counsel Peter Engelmann the animosity between CPS chief Claude Shaver and Bishop Eugene LaRocque made it unlikely there was any collusion between the two organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

November 11, 2008

31 allegations against Bishop of Sioux City, a pedophile who preyed on young boys, though the Iowa diocese does its best to hide the story

IOWA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

“31? Did you say 31?”

“Uh-huh, there are 31 credible accusations against Soens,” Janet Clark said, so I went to the Davenport Iowa Catholic diocese website and there it was ... "Acused by 31 male minors."

The November 3, 2008, press release barely mentions retired bishop Lawrence Soens (pictured at left). Instead the diocese headline reads: “Msgr. Drake Shafer found not guilty of abuse,” with a nice little bio of the one monsignor who was found Not Guilty in the recent diocese review board report. You have to go to the Amended List of Accused Priest Assignments at the home page and then go down to the middle of page 2 in the middle of a chart to find out about the midwestern bishop: "Lawrence Soens: Accused by 31 male minors."

“The Review Board found that certain allegations of sexual abuse against Retired Bishop Lawrence Soens are credible," reads a paragraph in the middle of the previous page of the pdf file and continues: "Then-Father Soens was accused of sexually abusing students at Iowa City Regina High School in the 1950's and 1960's when he was its Principal. He was also accused of sexually abusing a male minor when he was rector of St. Ambrose Seminary. The Review Board did not review all of the allegations against him because some claimants did not want their claims reviewed by the Board.”

That paragraph makes it appear there was maybe one more allegation at Iowa Regina High School, and then one more from St. Ambrose Seminary. Then the news release about the review board report came out on November 3rd when almost everyone in the United States was focused on the presidential election.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Former Vianney Staffer Wants Father Osborne Away from Kids

MISSOURI
KMOX

[audio presentation]

Kevin Killeen Reporting
kakilleen@cbs.com

Former Public Relations Coordinator Linda Briggs-Harty says it's wrong for once-accused priest to be saying Mass at St. Peters in Kirkwood...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Psychology and Seminarians

ARLINGTON (VA)
Zenit

By Karna Swanson

ARLINGTON, Virginia, NOV. 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Although the use of psychology in seminaries is not new, a recent document on the topic could help to clarify both its role and usefulness in houses of formation, says psychologist Frank Moncher.

Moncher, who received his doctorate from the University of South Carolina, is an associate professor and director of the doctoral program at the Arlington-based Institute for the Psychological Sciences. He also oversees assessment of candidates for religious life for the Alpha Omega Clinic in the D.C. area.

In this interview with ZENIT, Moncher discusses the document released Oct. 30 by the Congregation for Catholic Education: "Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Hate Pedo-Priests, Catholics? Then Don't Tithe This Sunday

UNITED STATES
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
November 11, 2008 2:27 PM

Had lunch at Norm's in SanTana yesterday with Tucson resident. Frank Douglas, who writes Voice from the Desert, a blog regarding the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal. He was in Southern California to hold a press conference regarding a new effort by the faithful to get the Church hierarchy out of the Medieval Ages and into the present: Send the Bishops a Message, which urges Catholics to not tithe this Sunday as a way of expressing their furor in having to bail out dioceses across the country for their pedo-protecting ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Pastor faces kidnapping charges in molestation case

MOBERLY (MO)
Monitor-Index

By Janet Morales
Moberly Monitor-Index
Tue Nov 11, 2008, 01:45 PM CST

Moberly, Mo. -
James M. Wilson, pastor of Terrill Road Free Will Baptist Church, has been charged with felony kidnapping in connection with a May incident in Boone County that led to his arrest for child molestation.

Wilson, who is also principal of the Terrill Road Christian School, was charged October 9 with second degree child molestation involving a 16-year-old female student of the school.

The incident allegedly occurred May 6 when, according to a Columbia Police probable cause statement, the girl’s mother dropped her off at a gas station near the Christian school in Moberly and she waited there for Pastor Wilson. Wilson allegedly picked her up around 8 a.m. and drove her to the Motel 6 in Columbia. The girl stated she and Wilson sat on a large bed in the hotel and watched cartoons. She said, according to the statement, that Wilson threw her onto the bed, took off her shirt and began to fondle her breasts. When the girl protested, saying they shouldn’t be doing it because he was married, Wilson stopped touching her and apologized. The two then returned to Moberly where Wilson dropped the girl off at the gas station at about 10:30 a.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Church: Marriages by defrocked priest are invalid

BRAZIL
The Associated Press

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's Roman Catholic Church says it won't recognize more than 400 marriages performed over the past 20 years by a defrocked priest.

The archdiocese of the city of Goiania says in a statement that Osiel Luiz dos Santos was forbidden to perform priestly duties when he got married in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Roy Bourgeois threatened with excommunication

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By NCR Staff
Published: November 11, 2008

Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been threatened with excommunication by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for his support of women’s ordination, according to a letter made public today.

The letter is from Bourgeois and addressed to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It was distributed via an e-mail from Bill Quigley, a New Orleans lawyer who represents Bourgeois.

According to Bourgeois’ letter, which is dated Nov. 7, the congregation has given the priest 30 days to recant his “belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church, or (he) will be excommunicated.” The letter indicates that Bourgeois received notification from the congregation Oct. 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

O.C. Catholic school teacher accused of molestation

GARDEN GROVE (CA)
The Orange County Register

By CAMERON BIRD
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

GARDEN GROVE – A tutor and part-time teacher was arrested Friday after police said that at least four students accused him of touching them inappropriately.

Garden Grove police say 52-year-old Hong T. Luong, who teaches music and choir at St. Callistus and St. Columban’s Catholic schools and tutors at Paramount Learning Center, is accused of lewd conduct with children.

Three 8- to 10-year-old girls from the tutoring center reported early last month that Huong had touched them inappropriately, according to police. The investigation later expanded to include the Catholic schools when a student from St. Callistus approached authorities about a similar incident at an after-school event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

A Little History on the New Vatican Guidelines ...

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall: Clergy Abuse and the Catholic Church

“The Catholic Church in North America possesses the greatest databank of evaluation and treatment of non-incarcerated pedophiles on the continent. That data should be analyzed scientifically and shared with others studying the problem.”
Reverend Canice Connors OFM 1993
Quoted in the Milwaukee Journal

The Catholic Church has propounded the myth that it was the single institution that preserved culture and learning when western civilization fell into the dark ages. With the recent release of the Vatican guidelines for the use of psychology in the training of priest candidates, the Vatican has once again attained vagueness and deception in an attempt to prove that they alone have ability to police their predator priests.

What the Holy See is not telling us is that the Roman Catholic Church has the longest history and largest library on the causes, treatment, and prevention of childhood sexual abuse in the world. The problem is that they don’t listen to their own advice and adhere to their own rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Catholic Priests Continue to Sexually Abuse Children

Ethics Soup

never ends -- Catholic priests keep sexually abusing children. I don't believe most people are aware of the extent to which the abuse continues. I think most of us, particularly non-Catholics, think that it's pretty much over, since the height of the sex scandal was in 2002.

Now that the Catholic Churchis aware (although many say the Church was always aware -- after all it moved abusing priests from diocese to diocese once they were caught), it has to have done what was necessary -- investigating, defrocking, suspending and ordering administrative leaves and paying out $100's of millions in settlements to victims. Oh, occasionally local news reports may appear about a local priest abusing children. But that's rare, we think. How wrong we are!

SHOCKINGLY, IT NEVER ENDS

A week ago Ethic Soup reported "Priests Face Psychological Tests: Vatican Claims It Wants Gays Out of Priesthood," which you may read here. We decided a follow-up was warranted and searched the national newspapers and international new sites. You're in for a shock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Catholic group calls for withholding offerings once a month due to handling of clergy sex abuse scandal

CALIFORNIA
KPCC

A small group of Roman Catholics called “Send the Bishops a Message” wants to do just that. KPCC’s Brian Watt explains that the new organization plans to employ the power of the purse.

Brian Watt: The group accuses the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church of failing to protect children from clergy sexual abuse – and of continuing to cover it up. Frank Douglas, a spokesman for the group, called on all parishioners to hang onto their financial contributions once a month on designated “Withholding Sundays.”

Frank Douglas: They can send a message by doing nothing. All they have to do is pass the collection plate to the next guy without putting anything in. It’s the perfect Catholic passive resistance activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Five more diocese priests face sex abuse allegations

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
FIVE more priests are facing allegations of child sex abuse in the country’s largest Catholic diocese following complaints against them in the past 18 months.

They bring to 140 the number of priests who have been accused of sex abuse in the Dublin diocese.

A further 12 have been under suspicion but there are no formal allegations against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Kneeling Before the World

InsideCatholic

by John Zmirak
11/11/08

Last week, I interrupted my series of reflections on the Seven Deadly Sins to accommodate the elections. Let's hope that my dire predictions turn out to be alarmist, even hysterical.

Much as I'd like to jump right back on the horse, and ride through the happy fields of Greed, or among Envy's icy crags, I think it's fitting to spend this week reflecting on where American Catholics are and how we got here: a gray, intermediate place halfway between the exercise of power and the pressure of persecution. It's called Irrelevance. It feels like a straight jacket and smells like formaldehyde, and we'll be thrashing around inside it for years to come. Let us use that empty time to clear our heads and get our story straight.

Various writers here have wondered aloud why American Catholics seemed to care so little about the sanctity of life; why American bishops and priests, as a whole, were such unreliable allies. Those essays have offered cogent answers, but none was complete. My own diagnosis of the self-defeating Catholic liberalism that enfeebles even the orthodox failed to plumb its lowest depths.

For that it took Philip Lawler, whose book The Faithful Departed is the most important work about the Church to appear in the last two decades -- since Anne Roche Muggeridge's sobering masterwork, The Desolate City. Lawler's book took enormous courage to write; its naming of names and relentless spade-calling of spades has made Lawler many enemies, and the book has been banned from the shelves of some Catholic bookstores. (From now on, when I visit such a store, I'm asking them about Lawler; if they won't sell his book, they’ll lose my business.)

What are they all so afraid of? The truth, it seems. Lawler points out that while less than five percent of American priests have been accused of sexual abuse, some two-thirds of our bishops were apparently complicit in cover-ups. The real scandal isn't the sick excesses of a few dozen pedophiles, or even the hundreds of priests who had affairs with teenage boys -- the bulk of abuse cases. No, according to Lawler, it is the malfeasance of wealthy, powerful, and evidently worldly men who fill the thrones -- but not the shoes -- of the apostles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

State may ask Church for cash payment of €32m

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Mary Regan, Political Reporter
THE Catholic Church may be asked to make a cash payment of €32 million to the Government because it has so far failed to hand over property as agreed under the redress scheme to compensate victims of clerical sex abuse.

The overall compensation package for abuse victims will cost €1.1 billion which is paid out by the Residential Institutions Redress Board set up six years ago.

Under a controversial deal agreed back in 2002 the liability of religious orders is limited to €128m while the rest of the compensation is to be paid by taxpayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

“Whistleblower” & Victims’ Group Challenge School & Church Officials

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

What:
At a sidewalk news conference, an ex-Vianney school official will
-- announce that she's starting an advertising effort to alert people about an accused predator priest, and
-- disclose that even after he resigned facing abuse allegations, the priest still roamed a Catholic high school unsupervised.
Clergy sex abuse victims read a letter from a third victim of the priest who's come forward recently.
They will also prod current archdiocesan, church and school officials to
-- prevent the priest from working in parishes or schools,
-- put him in a treatment center with other pedophile priests, or, at the very least
-- disclose where the priest is living now and warn his neighbors about him.

When/Where:
TODAY, Tuesday, Nov. 11

At noon - outside St. Peter's Parish, 243 West Argonne Drive, in Kirkwood (966-8600)

At 1:15 p.m. – outside the Marianist national headquarters, 4425 W. Pine, in the CWE

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

10 Most Dangerous Pedophile Priests! Today in Baltimore!

BALTIMORE (MD)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- release a first-ever list of the “Ten Most Dangerous US Pedophile Priests,” &
-- give copies of a 21 point brochure showing Catholics how they can support accused child molesting clergy WITHOUT intimidating or hurting victims, and
-- urge the US bishops conference to publish the brochure and teach parishioners how to respond appropriately and helpfully when their priest is accused of child sex crimes.

WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, where hundreds of America’s Catholic bishops are meeting this week (700 Aliceanna Street, 410-385-3000)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Judge denies attorney priest's personnel records

SYRACUSE (NY)
Post-Standard

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
By Jim O'Hara
Staff writer
A judge Monday threw out a lawsuit seeking personnel records of a priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse who is accused of sexually molesting three young boys in Montgomery County.

State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph agreed with lawyers for the diocese and other defendants that the lawsuit filed by lawyer John Aretakis was technically deficient because it failed to state a legitimate cause of action.

Aretakis had been seeking records about the Rev. John W. Broderick from the Syracuse diocese; the Albany diocese; the Society of St. Pius X, based in Platte City, Mo.; the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, based in Elmhurst, Pa.; the Dominican Sisters of Idaho, which runs a school in Massena; the Franciscan Brothers; and the Rev. Timothy Pfeiffer, pastor of Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God Church, a St. Pius community in Syracuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Ex-priest lawsuit appeal before MS Supreme Court

MISSISSIPPI
Biloxi Sun Herald

The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Supreme Court will review a judge's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Julie Hines, the former wife of ex-Gov. Ray Mabus, against a then-priest whom she had accused of taping her admission of an affair.

The case is among dozens the Supreme Court will consider during the November-December term.

Hines alleged Jerry McBride knew about and participated in the taping of a 1998 meeting between Julie and Ray Mabus in which Hines admitted to an affair. A Hinds County judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

SNAP takes on Conference of Catholic Bishops

BALTIMORE (MD)
Examiner

By Andrew Cannarsa
Examiner Staff Writer 11/10/08

A group of clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters gathered in Baltimore Monday to call for the resignation of the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, criticizing the conference’s investigations of child sex abuses charges.

“We’re concerned for the safety of children and vulnerable adults,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of Chicago-based support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Blaine, who said she was 12 when she was abused by clergy member in Chicago, and supporters called for Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to resign his leadership post with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Blaine spoke outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, where more than 200 bishops in the conference are holding their annual Fall General Assembly this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

The Bishop and the Millstone: Thomas Olmsted's Anti-Gay Hypocrisy and His Betrayal of Hispanic Children.

ARIZONA
Phoenix New Times

Stephen Lemons

Know what Jesus had to say about homosexuality? Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It apparently was of no concern to him. Of course, he was always hanging out with this group of 12 righteous dudes, and he never married, according to scripture. Not that I mean to imply anything. Just that Jesus apparently preferred the company of men. At least most of the time.

But when it came to the subjects of children and hypocrites, he had a lot to say. Of children, in Mark 9:42, Jesus told his disciples,

"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

On the subject of hypocrites, lets just say there was no love lost between the Man from Galilee and these loathsome creatures, whom he compared to "whited sepulchers...full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27).

This Bible school teachin' came back to me as I watched the above video of Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted encouraging his parishioners to vote for Prop 102, Arizona's constitutional gay marriage ban, which indeed passed this November 4, 55.37 to 44.63 percent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Catholic reform group urges parishioners to withhold donations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Duke Helfand
November 11, 2008
A new Roman Catholic reform group on Monday called for Catholic parishioners nationwide to withhold church donations on Sunday to protest what it called the failure of religious leaders to protect children against clergy sexual abuse.

A leader of the organization Send the Bishops a Message said that holding back contributions would allow lay members to vent their frustration over a scandal that has cost the Roman Catholic Church in this country more than $2 billion in legal settlements.

"We're trying in a very small way to empower the laity to realize that they do have power to change this church," Frank Douglas, the group's national director, said at a news conference outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.

Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, called the initiative "a very bad idea" that would harm efforts to assist the growing ranks of the needy. Churches, he said, use donations to provide shelter, food and other services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Cardinal Francis George Of Chicago Asked To Step Down As President of U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops

CHICAGO (IL)
AHN

AHN Staff
Chicago, IL (AHN) - The highest leader in the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States is being asked to resign for failing to address sexual abuse by priests and allowing a convicted sex offender to work for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

According to FOX News Chicago, Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago received a letter Sunday from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) urging him to step down as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a 200-member body comprising of bishops across the country.

As president, George leads the proceeding of the bishop's conference held in Baltimore on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Stannies case moved to Sydney

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Sex abuse cases against former St Stanislaus College staff, Vincentians Fr Peter Dwyer, Br John Gaven and Fr Brian Spillane have been adjourned with the men's lawyer Greg Walsh criticising what he described as "trial by media".

The Sydney Morning Herald reports as Fr Dwyer emerged from Bathurst District Court yesterday, he was surrounded by about 20 people to shield him from the waiting media and bemused onlookers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Ex-priest wants perjury trial moved out of Scott County

IOWA
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Monday, November 10, 2008
An ex-priest charged with perjury wants his trial to be moved from Scott County.

James Janssen, 85, is accused of lying to the court during his nephew’s attempt to collect a $1.4 million civil judgment against Janssen for sexual abuse.

Janssen’s name and photo have been published “extensively” in the past five years, including 123 times in the Quad-City Times alone, attorney Michael McCarthy wrote.

The publicity, he argued, “concerns a particularly inflammable matter, i.e., the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the Catholic Church over the last 50 years. The defendant has been the most prominent target of the accusations of sexual abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

November 10, 2008

Catholic reform group urges parishioners to withhold donations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Duke Helfand
November 11, 2008
A new Roman Catholic reform group on Monday called for Catholic parishioners nationwide to withhold church donations on Sunday to protest what it called the failure of religious leaders to protect children against clergy sexual abuse.

A leader of the organization Send the Bishops a Message said that holding back contributions would allow lay members to vent their frustration over a scandal that has cost the Roman Catholic Church in this country more than $2 billion in legal settlements.

"We're trying in a very small way to empower the laity to realize that they do have power to change this church," Frank Douglas, the group's national director, said at a news conference outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. ...

Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, called the initiative "a very bad idea" that would harm efforts to assist the growing ranks of the needy. Churches, he said, use donations to provide shelter, food and other services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Bishops investigate ACORN, some parishioners squirrel away funds

UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

Roman Catholic parishioners will be asked to put a second donation in the collection plate on Nov. 23 to support the Catholic Campaign on Human Development. But one group is urging parishioners to hold on to their pocketbooks.

Meanwhile, the Catholic bishops are exploring whether they should do the same. They fear that more than $1 million in grant money awarded to ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, might have put the church's tax-exempt status in jeopardy after the group was accused by Republicans and others of voter fraud in 15 states. ...

Meanwhile, another group is asking parishioners to withhold their money from the collection plate starting this Sunday. A coalition of Catholic reform groups urged fellow parishioners to withhold financial donations and "send the bishops a message that irresponsibility and secrecy will no longer be tolerated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Bishops Asked To Respond To Abuse Victims

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

[with video]

Reporting
Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore this week are called to respond to the concerns of the survivor's network of those abused by priests. Pat Warren reports the organization known as "SNAP" wants a new national panel to investigate charges of sexual abuse lodged against bishops.

Gathering outside the meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, members and supporters of the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, are asking for a change in the way sex charges are handled by the Catholic church.

Theirs is a familiar voice in Maryland.

In 2006, SNAP members were active during the sentencing of Father Jerome Toohey, who admitted to molesting Thomas Roberts when he was a Calvert Hall high school student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

O'Donnell agrees to pay victims $5M

SPOKANE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The former Catholic priest involved in many of the child sex abuse allegations in Spokane has agreed to pay his victims $5 million in order to avoid a trial that was scheduled this week.

The catch is that Patrick O'Donnell doesn't have the money and his victims may never be paid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Archdiocese prepares for return to court

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Catholic Herald

October 28, 2008

Fraud alleged by abuse victims in seven cases

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee will find itself in court again next spring or summer to defend itself against claims of fraud in seven lawsuits. The lawsuits, made by nine claimants, allege sexual abuse by four priests, decades ago, during the 1960s and 1970s.

The filing of these suits stems from a July 11, 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that the archdiocese could be sued for fraud for placing priests in ministry when the archdiocese was aware of their history of abuse.

Three of the four priests in these cases were priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Sigfried Widera and Lawrence Murphy are deceased; Franklyn Becker has been laicized. Bruce MacArthur, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., served for a short time in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:55 PM

SNAP calls upon Cardinal George to resign as USCCB president

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic Culture

November 10, 2008
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) yesterday called upon Cardinal Francis George to resign as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Romanian man admits killing Córdoba priest but says he did so when the priest demanded oral sex

SPAIN
Typically Spanish

Vasile Tudose, the Romanian man accused of the murder of the priest in the Córdoba municipality of Villafranca has said that the priest forced him to perform oral sex on him.

The accused was staying in the priest Tomás Pérez’s home at the time as a labourer, and claimed the priest gave him his board and 1,500 € a month for his work and also to have sex with him. But one day the Romanian told the court he had had enough of sex with the priest and refused his requests. He admitted in court that he then killed the priest by hitting him repeatedly with a radiator.

The aggressor says he was only defending himself from a ‘physical and moral aggression’, and it was not his intention to kill the 75 year old priest, but he had been drinking beforehand on the day concerned in July last year. He has also asked for forgiveness from the priest’s family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

About abusive bishops . . . statement by Becky Ianni, Virginia SNAP leader

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Becky Ianni of northern Virginia, Virginia director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

However sporadically and imperfectly, at least some abusive priests have been defrocked or prosecuted, are being "monitored” or live in church run housing centers for pedophiles. Not enough, but at least some. . .

To the best of our knowledge, little or none of this is happening with abusive bishops.

No abusive bishops are being defrocked. Few disclose their whereabouts. Fewer still, we fear, are being monitored. Allegations against them are unresolved. No current church officials even claim to be taking responsibility for protecting kids from or warning adults about potentially dangerous predatory prelates

And there are between 10 and 20 bishops who are proven, admitted or credibly accused abusive. Nine are deceased. The others walk free, however, mostly, we fear, in unsuspecting communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Accused Predatory Bishops – a SNAP fact sheet - Nov. 2008

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Accused Predatory Bishops – a SNAP fact sheet - Nov. 2008

-- We're particularly concerned about Gelineau (Providence RI), Hart (Cheyenne WY), O'Connell (Palm Beach FL), Rueger (Worcester MA), Ryan (Springfield IL), Skylstad (Spokane WA), Symons (Palm Beach FL), Williams (Lexington KY), and Zieman (Santa Rosa CA). The reasons are several but include at least one or more of the following:

- their whereabouts are unknown (Dupre, Williams)

- they've not addressed the allegations (Williams, Gelineau, Hart)

- they resigned just before allegations against them surfaced (Ryan, Dupre, Symons)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Judge to hear case on priest’s records

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Leader-Herald

By KERRY McAVOY / The Leader-Herald POSTED: November 10, 2008

SYRACUSE - Attorney John Aretakis was to appear in state Supreme Court in Onondaga County this morning seeking files on a priest accused of sexual abuse in Montgomery County.

In a news release, Aretakis said his lawsuit seeking access to the records would be heard by Justice Brian DeJoseph at 10 a.m. Aretakis is representing a family of four boys who say they were molested by the Rev. John W. Broderick. The attorney has a long history of lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and other church organizations on behalf of people who claim to have been abused by priests.

The priest has been charged with three counts of engaging in two or more sexual acts with children younger than 11 years old and one count of giving alcohol to a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Law Blog Round-up, 11/10/08

MARYLAND
On the Record

Hello! Here are some law-related stories and posts to check out today:

For the second year in a row, DLA Piper is the largest law firm in the country.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests isn’t buying Fernando Cristancho’s contention that the woman who gave birth to his triplets concocted sex abuse allegations against Cristancho so she could get custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

St Stanislaus priest Brian Spillane to face more sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

By David Barrett and Gemma Jones

November 11, 2008 12:00am

POLICE are to lay more charges against a priest from a Bathurst school as two other former staff facing child sex charges had their case controversially moved to Sydney.

Former St Stanislaus chaplain Brian Spillane, 65 former president Priest Peter Dwyer, 65 and former vice president Brother John Gaven, 66 are facing 125 charges.

Bathurst Local Court yesterday heard Dwyer, who is facing four charges, is likely to be charged with more offences within weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

SNAP wants cardinal to quit post

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

November 10, 2008

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter to Cardinal Francis George on Sunday asking for his resignation as president of America's bishops for allegedly ignoring years of sexual abuse within the church and allowing a convicted sex offender to work for Chicago's archdiocese.

George is to appear at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today in Baltimore, according to the conference Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Priest's allies slam 'trial by media'

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Jonathan Dart
November 11, 2008

AS VINCENTIAN priest Peter Dywer emerged from Bathurst District Court yesterday, he was surrounded by about 20 people to shield him from the waiting media and bemused onlookers.

The former teacher and college president of Bathurst's exclusive boarding school, St Stanislaus College, faces more child sex charges, with prosecutors seeking an adjournment in his case until next month for further evidence to be gathered.

Dwyer, 65, was arrested in September and charged with four child sex assaults against a single complainant, believed to be a former student whom he taught in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Report into abuse by clergy on hold again

IRELAND
Clerical Whispers

The long-awaited report into the handling of complaints of child sexual abuse against clergy in the Dublin Archdiocese which was due to be published in September, has been delayed again and will not now be ready until the end of January 2009.

The Sunday Tribune understands that, while he has the power to do so, Justice minister Dermot Ahern has not ordered the Commission of Investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese to extend its investigation to other Catholic dioceses.

It had been speculated that the commission, which is chaired by circuit court judge Yvonne Murphy, would extend its investigations beyond Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Abuse survivors group slams George

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Long | Tribune reporter
November 10, 2008
On the eve of the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on Sunday called for Chicago's Cardinal Francis George to resign as the organization's president.

"You continue to put your own reputation and comfort above the safety and well-being of your flock," SNAP told George in a letter that the group said it faxed and e-mailed to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago on Sunday.

A spokesman for George said the archdiocese had not received the letter and so could not comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims want action on ten predatory bishops

BALTIMORE (MD)
Voice from the Desert

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will call on

– ten dioceses to investigate child sex abuse allegations against current and former bishops, &

– the US bishops conference to create a new panel to probe sex charges against bishops

They will also

– release a list of suspended pedophile priests who’ve recently gone on to commit more crimes, largely because church officials refuse to provide them with supervision and/or treatment &

– repeat their public call, issued yesterday, to the head of the US bishops conference to resign because of recent abuse and cover up cases and disclosures in his archdiocese (including his secret decision to keep a convicted predator priest on his payroll even now).

WHEN
TODAY, Monday, Nov. 10, 2:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, where hundreds of America ’s Catholic bishops are meeting this week ( 700 Aliceanna Street , 410-385-3000)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Bless you Father, for you have sinned

IOWA
WQAD

by Jim Albracht

With the media in Election Day overdrive, it was easy to miss the results of last week's sexual abuse hearings involving several Catholic priests with local ties. So, let's get it out in the public daylight, where it belongs.

Apart from providing compensation for the victims, the Church has to officially determine what accusations were credible and which ones were more of the Witch-hunt variety. This is done through Review Boards or by Special Trial if a member of the clergy thinks he's been judged unfairly.

In the case of retired Bishop Lawrence Soens, who had previously spent time in Clinton, the Church said guilty as charged. Soens maintains his innocence, despite that 31 men said he took theirs. 31!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Priest jailed for sexual abuse of two girls

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

A CATHOLIC priest who worked at Downlands College has been jailed for sexually abusing two young girls.

Michael Francis Reis, 66, pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment of girls under 16 in Brisbane's District Court last week.

The abuse occurred in Brisbane between 1983 and 1985 and in Caboolture from 1992 to 1995.

Reis had formerly worked at Toowoomba's Downlands College and Monivae College in Victoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

More charges expected over Bathurst school abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC Central West NSW

More charges are expected to be laid against one of three men accused of sexually abusing boys at a prestigious Catholic boarding school in central western New South Wales.

The trio has pleaded not guilty to a total of 128 charges.

Armidale priest and former principal Peter William Dwyer appeared in the Bathurst Local Court this morning on four charges of sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s and 80s, when he taught at Saint Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Scandals trigger tests for seminarians

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard

By Arlie Calalo

THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has affirmed the need to administer psychological tests for candidates to priesthood in the wake of damaging clerical scandals around the world.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, the CBCP president, said it was imperative for seminary candidates to undergo such tests to avoid qualms in their ability to live a celibate life before they are ordained.

The Vatican last week issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

November 9, 2008

Group calls for Cardinal George to resign

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

November 9, 2008 at 5:17 PM

On the eve of the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) today called for Chicago's Cardinal Francis George to resign as the organization's president.

"You continue to put your own reputation and comfort above the safety and well-being of your flock," SNAP told George in a letter that the group said it faxed and e-mailed to the archdiocese of Chicago today.

A spokesman for George said the archdiocese had not received the letter and so could not comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Priest could face more charges over Bathurst school sex scandal

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

Emily Smith

More than a dozen friends and family of a former school priest accused of assaulting young boys have surrounded him after hearing he could be slapped with more offences.

As Peter Dwyer walked out of the courthouse, his supporters gathered around him, some putting their hands up at television cameras, asking reporters ‘what is this trial by media?’

Dwyer is one of three men accused of sexually abusing boys at the exclusive St Stanislaus' College, during the 1970s and 80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Ex-teacher faces more child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Jonathan Dart
November 10, 2008 - 10:20AM

Alleged pedophile and former Bathurst schoolteacher Peter Dwyer faces more charges.

The court case against the former St Stanislaus' College teacher has been adjourned so police can gather more evidence.

He faced a packed Bathurst District Court today charged with four child sex offences dating back to his tenure as school president in the early 1980s.

The prosecutor, Beth Walker, asked the court for an adjournment until December 22, with police still gathering evidence for possible further charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

More charges expected over Bathurst school abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

More charges are expected to be laid against one of three men accused of sexually abusing boys at a prestigious Catholic boarding school in central western New South Wales.

The trio has pleaded not guilty to a total of 128 charges.

Armidale priest and former principal Peter William Dwyer appeared in the Bathurst Local Court this morning on four charges of sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s and 80s, when he taught at Saint Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

But in court today, the prosecutor asked for an adjournment for police to fully investigate new claims by one of the alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

The Pre-Game Show

BALTIMORE (MD)
Whispers in the Loggia

And so it begins....

Greetings from The Circus, gang. Story of the Moment: first It was on... then It was off... and now, so it seems, It's on.

Again.

Good gibbets.

Things may not officially rev up 'til early tomorrow -- at least, in terms of the Plenary itself; committees have been meeting all weekend -- but in the meantime the standard protest drum-beat's begun outside the hotel doors.

Demonstrations are part and parcel of the week. Nothing in enormous numbers, but enough that you know to expect 'em.

Beyond the lead brigade of survivor advocates -- usually joined by the anti-war crowd -- this year'll bring a new element: from the folks who brought us a bishop saying "Hussein," hard-core pro-lifers'll don Obama masks outside later today and tomorrow, holding signs saying "Thank you for your silence!"

Er... silence?

And, of course, as no November Meeting would be complete without a memorable opening salvo from SNAP, earlier in the day the lead victims' lobby kept to form... this time calling for the resignation of the conference president.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Statement about tonight's vigil in Baltimore on the eve of the US Catholic Bishops conference.

BALTIMORE (MD)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Frank Dingle 410 744 2398 home, 443 996 8994 cell

We’re here tonight for three reasons.

The first is because of a recently complicit Cardinal, a Cardinal who heads the US bishops conference.

The second is because of a recently criminal priest, a priest who fathered kids and then molested them.

The third is because of our mission: to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

1. We’re asking Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to step aside as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. His track record on clergy sex crimes and cover ups has been markedly worse than that of his colleagues. But it is his very recent misdeeds that lead us to make this request.

In particular, we are concerned about his continuing duplicity and recklessness regarding Fr. Kenneth J. Martin, who taught and molested at a Catholic school in Baltimore’s suburbs. These aren’t allegations. They are facts. Martin pled guilty to criminal charges of sexually assaulting a boy for three years. Even now, six years after promising to be open and transparent about clergy sex crimes, George secretly keeps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

SNAP: Cardinal George Should 'Step Down'

CHICAGO (IL)
My Fox Chicago

Chicago, IL. -- The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) sent a letter to Cardinal Francis George Sunday asking for his resignation as president of America’s bishops for allegedly ignoring years of sexual abuse within the church and allowing a convicted sex offender to work for Chicago's archdiocese.

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George is slated to appear at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Monday in Baltimore, according to the conference website. The cardinal is president of the bishop’s conference, which will bring more than 200 bishops from across the country to Baltimore. SNAP wants him to resign from his post.

According to a release from SNAP issued Sunday, George is “deceptively and recklessly letting a convicted predator priest pal work for and in the archdiocese, violating his specific, public promise to the contrary and the church’s national sex abuse policy,” SNAP founder and Chicagoan Barbara Blaine said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Catholic school teacher arrested

GARDEN GROVE (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

(11-07) 21:35 PST Garden Grove, CA (AP) --

A part-time teacher at two Orange County Catholic schools is accused of molesting children.

Garden Grove police say 52-year-old Hong Luong was arrested Friday after at least four students between 8 and 10 years old claimed he touched them inappropriately.

Hong is a music and choir teacher at St. Callistus and St. Columban's Catholic schools as well as a tutor at the Paramount Learning Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Sex abuse victims seek resignation of Cardinal Francis George as head of US Bishops

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Because of recent disclosures about “several pedophile priests and corrupt supervisors” in his archdiocese, clergy sex abuse victims are asking Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to resign as head of the US bishops’ conference. The request comes on the eve of the annual meeting of America’s 200+ bishops in Baltimore.

Leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) are urging George to step down “for the good of the church, both locally and nationally” because of “several new child sex crime and cover ups,” including one involving Fr. Kenneth J. Martin, a personal friend of the Cardinal’s.

"George is deceptively and recklessly letting a convicted predator priest pal work for and in the archdiocese, violating his specific, public promise to the contrary and the church’s national sex abuse policy,” said Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP’s founder and president. “Short of making this predator a pastor, it’s hard to imagine a more dangerous and deceitful move George could make.”

Last month, Chicago news media disclosed that Martin was still working for an archdiocesan agency with offices next to a Catholic school. In 2003, news accounts revealed that Martin was living in the Cardinal’s mansion and working for the archdiocese on a part time basis. Just two years before, Martin was convicted of molesting a boy in Baltimore for three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Mass Protests

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Gambit Weekly

By Jason Berry

It takes an iron will to spurn $300,000 pledged to preserve a church on the National Register of Historic Places, but Archbishop Alfred Hughes is firm in his plan to shrink the Archdiocese of New Orleans' footprint. Hughes' decision to turn back the money, along with minutes of closed meetings the archbishop held with local Catholic clergy, cast new light on last week's move by members of two shuttered parishes to occupy their churches in a 24/7 protest vigil.

On Sept. 29, in an effort to stave off her parish's announced suppression (canon law for closure), Our Lady of Good Counsel parish president Barbara Fortier wrote Hughes with news that a benefactor had offered "an initial deposit in the neighborhood of $100,000" for an endowment if the parish remained open.

'We feel confident that we can raise an additional $200,000 in cash by the end of the year," said Fortier, adding she had donors in the $10,000 to $20,000 range poised to contribute.

The initial donation would eliminate the parish's debt to the archdiocese, accumulated over years past, while the prospective additional funds would give the church a $200,000 endowment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Catholic priests can marry, says leading bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
Newspost (India)

London, Nov 9 (ANI): Priests should be allowed to marry, according to a leading candidate to become the next head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham, said that there is no doctrinal reason preventing them from getting married.

For centuries, Roman Catholic priests have been required to take a vow of celibacy, but Bishop McMahon argued that this now seemed unfair following the influx of married Anglican clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Mother of clergy abuse victim urging Morlino to stop predator priest book tour

JANESVILLE (WI)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
Nancy Arnold, a mother of a boy sexually assaulted by Fr. Gerald Vosen at St. John Vianney parish in Janesville, will join victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy to flyer parishioners Sunday. They will be urging congregants to contact Bishop Robert Morlino to stop Vosen’s book and publicity tour. Vosen was removed from ministry by the Vatican for child abuse. He will be holding a book signing after masses on Sunday a block from the church.

WHERE
St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1250 Racine Street, Janesville

WHEN
Sunday, Nov. 9. Flyering will begin at approximately 10:30-10:45 a.m., after the 9:45 service

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Treasurer stole church funds

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

Lorey Schultz
BUFFALO, N.Y. - She stole from a church - and now she's paying the price. News 4 was there - as a former church bookkeeper appeared for sentencing.

"You owe every penny back" Once again, Judge William Boller let Bonnie Radigan know how serious he takes this case. "Ma'am, I'm here for justice, not to help you and when I think of the victims. I don't think of your employer but all the parishioners that each Sunday wrote a check out thinking they were helping the needy, poor or the church."

Radigan is the former bookkeeper who pocketed nearly 300 thousand dollars over a six year period from St. Andrew Church in Kenmore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

November 8, 2008

Send the Bishops a Message news conferences in Chicago and L.A., Monday, Nov. 10th

CHICAGO (IL)
Voice from the Desert

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, Catholics will prod fellow parishioners to withhold financial donations on November 16th which will be the first nationwide, indeed worldwide Withholding Sunday, to send the bishops a message that irresponsibility and secrecy will no longer be tolerated

WHEN
Monday, Nov 10, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside Chicago archdiocesan headquarters, 155 East Superior, in downtown Chicago

WHO
Three-four members of a new organization called “Send the Bishops a Message” (http://www.sendthebishopsamessage.com) and supporters from SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) ; the Catholic reform group Voice of the Faithful (VOTF.org); We Are Catholics (wearecatholics.com); and the Coalition of Concerned Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Walk Across Oregon 2009 will go through Wallowa Valley where Chief Joseph said I Will Fight No More Forever

OREGON
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

As a recent convert, Virginia Jones (pictured at right) was shocked to hear that a Franciscan brother at her parish was removed for pedophilia. She handed out copies of news articles and as she puts it, “Got thrown out of the parish.” But a new pastor reached out to Virginia, she returned to the church, and is now an advocate for child sex abuse survivors. She put together among other things, the first annual Walk Across Oregon in September 2008.

“We are walking through Wallowa Valley in August 2009,” Jones said, “where Chief Joseph made the ‘I will fight no more forever’ speech. We will walk through the same land that he was forced to leave.” The route includes campouts under waterfalls, and a route through rural towns in Northern Oregon.

“I was thrown out of my parish after advocating for abuse survivors,” Jones says, “but a compassionate Franciscan priest named Armando Lopez reached out to me along with other parishioners. What healed me was them welcoming me back to the parish.”

Today at Ascension Church in Portland, Jones helps run support meetings the second Saturday of every month from 10 to noon. Jones put together a screening of Hand of God two years ago that led to the organizing of Walk Across Oregon 2008 last September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Abuse victims gather at Cardozo conference

NEW YORK
The Jewish Star

By Michael Orbach

Issue of Nov. 7, 2008 / 9 Cheshvan 5769
At a sparsely attended conference held Oct. 29 at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, the seeds of an unlikely friendship were planted between Catholic and Jewish sexual abuse survivors and advocates.

“We need not to be siloed within our religious communities; we need to be thinking more broadly, cooperating more broadly,” said Bill Kritston, the head of Bishop Accountability, a group that documents sexual abuse in the clergy.

The conference, organized by the New York chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), brought together victims and advocates of sexual abuse inside the Catholic community and the Jewish community, which recently has seen a spate of allegations of sexual abuse, mostly in chareidi yeshivas. Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind has become the unlikely champion of the cause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

New York - Augdath Israel To Strongly Support Mandatory Finger-Printing For Teachers In Yeshivas

NEW YORK
Voz Iz Neias

New York - Originally reported in the Jewish Star, Agudath Israel of America has officially changed its position and now is prepared to actively support mandatory finger-printing and background checks for teachers in yeshivos. Though they did specify that they would like to see how a voluntary bill is enacted before actually supporting the bill. The change follows a wave of publicity orchestrated by Jewish media—newspapers, bloggers, and radio commentators-- that has drawn attention to sex abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Speaking to VIN News, Rabbi Dovid Zwiebel, Agudah's Executive Vice President of Government Affairs explained that when the initial she'ailah was posed to the Rabbinical leaders, Agudah was authorized to support the bill for voluntary fingerprinting but to wait until "the yeshivos that voluntarily opt into the system had some experience with [it]" before either opposing or supporting the mandatory bill.

However, in light of the recent publicity to the issue, Agudah felt that it was in its best interest to support the mandatory bill, in Zweibel's words, in order "avoid the libelous misconception out there in certain parts of the world that we oppose background checks on the people hired by our Yeshivos."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

7/11/08 Child Protection Update

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

It has been the practice of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to put on the public record updates of statistics concerning allegations of child sexual abuse made against, or suspicions raised concerning, priests of the Archdiocese, or priests from Religious Congregations or other Dioceses who have worked in Dublin.

This current statement is an update of the statistics published over 18 months ago in May 2007. It contains information on Dublin Diocesan priests, as well as information regarding priests from Religious Congregations and other Dioceses who at some time held an appointment in Dublin, or who carried out short-term supply ministry without a formal appointment from the Diocese, and against whom allegations or suspicions have arisen even where the allegation does not refer to their time in the Diocese.

Based on the information currently available the following statistics have been compiled regarding the period between 1940 and 2008. During that period:

Allegations have been made against 77 priests of the Diocese.

Suspicions have been raised concerning 9 priests of the Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Letter to Fairfax, VA, Commonwealth Attorney Morrogh about Father Fernando Cristancho

MARYLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Dear Mr. Morrogh:
We are deeply concerned about Fr. Fernando Cristancho and the credible child sex abuse allegations against him.

As you can see from the enclosed articles, a social service agency and a judge have determined that he recently molested two of his three children. We are concerned that he may have abused other children during his tvime as a priest at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Fairfax County (1995-1998). He was fired from that parish following accusations of sexual misconduct with a young woman (though reportedly not a minor). Subsequently, he worked in a Maryland parish where he fathered three children through a surrogate mother. Fr. Cristancho is a native of Colombia, South America. You can read the findings of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals which recently denied him custody of his children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Statement by Bill Casey on Cristancho

MARYLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Nov. 6, 2008 Statement

My name is Bill Casey. Along with my colleagues from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests—a self-help and advocacy group for survivors) and VOTF (Voice of the Faithful—a Catholic lay reform group formed in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church), I come here today to deliver a letter to the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney to use the powers of his office, along with the resources of the Catholic diocese of Arlington, to protect children from further abuse by predator priest Fernando Cristancho and to seek out and support any other victims of this priest.

Fr. Cristancho served as a parish priest, particularly to the Hispanic community, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Fairfax County between 1995-1998. He was removed from that position following evidence of sexual misconduct with a young woman (purportedly not a minor), but he gravitated to a new parish in Maryland (under the Archdiocese of Baltimore. While there he impregnated a surrogate mother through in vitro fertilization and fathered triplets. Competent authorities found evidence that he sexually abused his two sons.

Although he was later removed from this parish, he remains free and is a flight risk because he hails from Colombia in South America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Fr. Fernando Cristancho and the credible child sex abuse allegations against him.

MARYLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

In thousands and thousands of clergy child molestation cases, church and law enforcement staff can't turn back the clock and get a "do over". Thousands and thousands of times, at a bare minimum, church and law enforcement staff were naive and passive and mishandled clergy sex abuse reports.

More accurately, thousands and thousands of times, church staff actively shunned victims, deceived parishioners, stonewalled police, destroyed evidence, transferred predators, and recklessly, callously put kids in harm's way. Often, criminal authorities turned a blind eye or even cooperated in these injustices.

Here, however, is a chance to do it right. Here's a chance to help ensure that no other child is hurt by Fr. Cristancho, a priest who obviously broke his vows, deceived his flock, hurt his children and devastated their mother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Father John Fleming sex claim report next year

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
November 07, 2008 11:30pm
AN internal investigation into the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against a senior priest by the Adelaide diocese of the Catholic Church will not be completed until next year.

The inquiry, being conducted by prominent lawyer Michael Abbott, QC, was launched in August, after the Sunday Mail revealed that the diocese was aware of the allegations surrounding Father John Fleming, but that it had not taken any action.

The allegations, one of which is the subject of a Pedophile Task Force investigation, involve activity which occurred when Father Fleming was an Anglican priest. They include allegations he was sexually involved with two girls – one underage – and that he had a homosexual affair before he was ordained as a Catholic priest.

The Sunday Mail revealed that church authorities – including, in one instance Sydney Cardinal George Pell – were also aware that Father Fleming was the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct before he was appointed to head Campion College, a Catholic arts facility in Sydney, in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Abuse survivors struggle with loss of faith, confidence

OREGON
The Baptist Standard

By Michelle Roberts, Religion News Service
Published: November 07, 2008
ST. HELENS, Ore. (RNS)—It’s been 23 years since Diane Bach left the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound in Arkansas, but she still struggles to make decisions for herself.

As a waitress hands Bach a menu, she swallows hard. Her hands begin to tremble; she shifts uncomfortably in her chair. Soon, she’s sweating, and red blotches pool on her chest like spilled wine.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I have a lot of trouble ordering from a simple menu because, to this day, I have trouble making my own choices.” ...

“Virtually every abuse victim feels alone,” said David Clohessy, national director of St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“But I believe that no victim feels more alone than somebody abused by a religious figure or in a religious setting. The most universal source of comfort and solace in painful times is God. But if God is perceived to be an integral part of one’s abuse and cover-up, victims are left with virtually nowhere to turn.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

O'Donnell avoids trial by confessing his sins

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

[with video]

SPOKANE -- The former Spokane priest at the center of a decades old sex scandal has agreed to admit his guilt, but that admission could actually keep his victims from getting the closure they really want.

Former Spokane priest and pedophile Patrick O'Donnell has agreed to pay his victims $5 Million, but a settlement reached by attorneys also means he'll never have to appear in court and own up to his sins.

Many victims waited years to see O'Donnell appear in court and answer for what he did but to avoid next week's trial, O'Donnell admits he's guilty and has agreed to pay his victims millions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Landmark churches, minority, ethnic parishes recommended for closing

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by David Briggs/Plain Dealer Reporter
November 07, 2008 23:06PM

At St. Wendelin, there is a sense of relief that it may stay open. At St. Malachi, there is a sense of loss over the plan that it merge with St. Patrick.

For all Cleveland Catholic churches, the wait is over after 18 months of struggling with the question of which parishes in their neighborhood should survive a wave of planned church closings.

Over the next week, regional church committees will recommend that at least two dozen city parishes in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese close. Historic landmarks such as St. Stephen, prominent ethnic congregations such as St. Casimir and minority parishes such as Epiphany are among those churches.

The Cleveland parish plans must be submitted to the diocese by Nov. 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Parties to the Settlement Agreement and the Honorable Frank Iacobucci jointly release the following statement:

CANADA
CNW

OTTAWA, Nov. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Organizations, the Catholic entities, the Anglican, Presbyterian and United Churches, as well as the Government of Canada, met with the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as a facilitator to address matters arising with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

All have agreed to keep the contents of the meeting confidential, but jointly report that productive and positive discussions took place. A further follow-up meeting is scheduled for November 20, 2008 in Toronto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Session aimed at getting truth commission back on track called ?constructive?

CANADA
The Canadian Press

TORONTO — A day-long session aimed at getting Canada's derailed Truth and Reconciliation Commission back on track wrapped up Friday with some signs of progress.

Lawyer Pierre Baribeau, representing several Roman Catholic entities that ran the now-closed native residential schools, emerged from the meetings facilitated by former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci expressing optimism.

"We visited all the issues," Baribeau said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

'Positive' meeting for aboriginal residential schools commission

CANADA
Toronto Star

Nov 08, 2008 04:30 AM

Linda Diebel

A meeting to rescue the troubled aboriginal residential schools commission broke up yesterday with cautious optimism and a promise to meet again later in the month.

"All parties remain committed to fulfilling the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and that its work be carried out as quickly as possible in the interest of all Canadians," said a statement from the Assembly of First Nations.

The statement said the meeting, facilitated by former Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci, had "productive and positive discussions."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Is convent harassing Kerala nun for tell-all writing?

INDIA
Newstrack India

IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 8 (IANS) The relatives of a 59-year-old nun in Kerala say she has been forcibly kept in mental hospitals for over a month to stop her from publishing details of 'undesirable goings-on' at her convent, in another controversy to hit the church in the state.

Treesa Thomas, a nun at the Divine Mary Convent at Anchal in Kollam district, 50 km from here, was first admitted to a private hospital in Idukki district in October and then shifted to the Government Mental Hospital here on the grounds that she is mentally unstable.

But her relatives as well as a state women's commission member have said that she seems to be in perfect health.

Thomas' nephew Santhosh Joseph said: 'She had last month called up my brother Benny in Ireland asking him to save her because she was being tormented by her superiors at the convent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Burying the past

CANADA
Lethbridge Herald

Written by Gerald Gauthier
Friday, 07 November 2008

As mistreated as many were at Indian residential schools across Canada, many of those children may have suffered the ultimate disrespect in death.

There is evidence suggesting the bodies of possibly thousands of residential school children were buried — without the knowledge or consent of their families — in unmarked or anonymous graves at or near their schools.

Although there’s nothing definitive to suggest students at residential schools on the Blood Reserve suffered a similar fate, no one is ruling out the possibility either.

The Working Group on Missing Children has recommended the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission examine the number and causes of deaths, illnesses and disappearances of those students as well as the locations of burial sites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

SJ Police Asking Child Molestation Victims To Come Forward

SAN JOSE (CA)
KTVU

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San Jose police are asking anyone who may have been victimized by a senior pastor from First Vietnamese Alliance Church to come forward.

Minh Van Nguyen, 51, was arrested in October for allegedly sexually abusing his niece over a four-year period about 12 years ago when she was between the ages of 10 to 14, according to the Police Department.

He served as a senior pastor at the church since 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Abuse survivor wants diocese to reach out to victims

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Sioux City Journal

By Dolly A. Butz
dbutz@siouxcityjournal.com

SIOUX CITY -- A self-proclaimed clergy sexual abuse survivor and victims advocacy group leader on Thursday called upon the Diocese of Sioux City to reach out to victims who were allegedly abused by a former local bishop and aid in having him defrocked.

On Monday, the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, announced that a review board had "credibly accused" former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens of sexually abusing boys in the Davenport Diocese.

Soens allegedly abused boys during the 1950s and 1960s while he was principal at Iowa City Regina High School. Another man said Soens abused him while serving as rector at St. Ambrose Seminary in Davenport, according to the Diocese of Davenport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Sex abuse claims against 150 priests

IRELAND
Irish Times

CONOR POPE

SUSPICIONS OR allegations of clerical child sexual abuse have been raised about over 150 priests who have served in the Dublin archdiocese since the 1940s, according to updated figures released by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin yesterday.

The legal and settlement costs associated with 120 claims already brought before the courts in connection with 35 priests who held appointments in the archdiocese is running at over €12.4 million - an increase of nearly €5 million since the last statistics were published in May 2007.

Updating the figures, which cover the archdiocese since 1940, Archbishop Martin disclosed that allegations had been made against 77 priests who worked directly for the archdiocese over the 68-year period. Three fresh allegations have been made since May 2007. Suspicions had been raised concerning another nine priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Priests abused up to 400 children in Dublin diocese

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Saturday November 08 2008

Shocking new figures show that 400 children have been identified as possible victims of sex abuse by priests in the Dublin Archdiocese -- proportionately even higher then the catalogue of horrors found by a Government investigation into the Diocese of Ferns.

And settlement claims paid to victims suspected of being abused by 152 priests over the last 68 years has soared to more than €12m.

"It is most likely that this is not a final figure," Archbishop Diarmuid Martin conceded yesterday, when he disclosed the revised figures showing the horrendous scale of clerical paedophilia in the archdiocese since 1940.

The Ferns probe identified more then 100 allegations of child sex abuse between 1962 and 2002 against 21 priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Former priest accused of sexual assault tells his side of story

JANESVILLE (WI)
Gazette

By TED SULLIVAN Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008

JANESVILLE — The Rev. Gerald Vosen was accused of sexually assaulting a Janesville boy at a time when pedophile priests made headlines, but he said he’s innocent.

Yet the church didn’t support him, a jury didn’t believe him and people in his parishes were left wondering whether the allegations were true.

Vosen, 74, has written a book, “Pick a Number: Stories of Faith,” and he tells his side of the story in a chapter that rips into the Janesville boy’s accusations and the Catholic Church. He’ll be in Janesville this weekend for a book signing.

He hopes the book will clear his name, even though the stink of sexual abuse has cost him everything: His career, his reputation and his trust in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Diocese covered up abuse, lawsuit says

WYOMING
Jackson Hole Star-Tribune

By TOM MORTON
Star-Tribune staff writer Saturday, November 08, 2008

A priest who pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a female minor in Casper in the 1970s has been sued along with the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne for covering up the abuse, according to a lawsuit filed in Natrona County District Court this week.

"Defendant Diocese knew and/or had reason to know of the sexual misconduct of Father (John) Murray against prior minor victims," according to the complaint filed by the victim's attorney Robert Reese of Green River. Reese declined further comment.

The Diocese of Cheyenne covers the state of Wyoming and includes about 50,000 Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Leader of Project Truth takes the stand starting Monday

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The Cornwall Public Inquiry is set to begin hearing the inside scoop on the Ontario Provincial Police's four-year probe into allegations a pedophile ring existed in the city.

Retired Det. Insp. Tim Smith, who led the OPP's Project Truth team, is one of two witnesses scheduled to take the stand when hearings resume Monday.

Smith is the first Project Truth investigator to testify at the inquiry, which is exploring how institutions like the OPP handled allegations of historical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Manual to be released

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

A long-awaited manual, the goal of survivors of a pedophile priest, will be released Nov. 14 at a public event.

The guide, called From Isolation to Action -- Child Sexual Abuse by Clergy: Managing a Major Case R. vs Sylvestre, is aimed at preventing child sexual abuse by clergy.

Its development was a goal of the 47 women whose court case against Catholic priest Charles Sylvestre made national headlines.

The manual is a culmination of the work of a joint committee made up of representatives from government, adult survivors of abuse by Sylvestre, the Catholic Diocese of London and community organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

November 7, 2008

150 priests faced sex probe

IRELAND
News 24 (South Africa)

07/11/2008 22:19 - (SA)

Dublin - More than 150 Roman Catholic priests and members of religious orders have been probed over allegations of child sex abuse in the last 68 years in Ireland's biggest archdiocese, new figures showed on Friday.

The details were released in a statement from the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin as closed official hearings continue into how the church managed the abuse.

He reiterated an appeal for anyone with information about child sexual abuse by priests in Dublin to make contacts with the child protection service of the diocese, the police and the health authority.

"It is only by knowing the full truth of the past (that) we can improve the levels of safety for children today," Martin said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Complaint in Jane Doe 125 v. The Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus a/k/a the Jesuits and Father John Powell, S.J.

CHICAGO (IL)
Circuit Court of Cook County

November 6, 2008

Powell engaged in a pattern and practice of sexually abusing Loyola University students and other minor and adult students prior to and during the years that he taught at the school. Upon information and belief, Defendant Order had been apprised of Powell's pedophilic behavior and his propensity to engage in sexual abuse before he began abusing Plaintiff. ...

Defendant Order did not report Powell to law enforcement or otherwise warn its members or the public at large that Powell posed a significant risk to children. The Jesuit Order represented that Powell was a priest in good standing and allowed Powell to continue in ministry and conduct numerous retreats where he could have access to and abuse children, including Plaintiff. ...

Plaintiff met Powell in or about 1967, while Plaintiff was approximately 16 or 17 years old and attending Rosarian Academy, at that time a Catholic school for girls located in West Palm Beach, Florida. At that time, Powell was a visiting priest who held a retreat at Rosarian Academy that Plaintiff and other students attended.

During this retreat, Powell conducted approximately four private "counseling session[s]" with Plaintiff. During these sessions, Powell required Plaintiff to sit on his lap, forced her to kiss, and on at least one occasion required her to take her school uniform off from the waist up and then fondled her. [excerpts from Complaint, pp. 3-4]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:02 PM

Russian man arrested in the murder of two Jesuit priests

MOSCOW
Monsters and Critics

Moscow - Russian investigators have detained a suspect who confessed to the murder of two Jesuit priests in their Moscow apartment, the Interfax agency reported Thursday.

Interfax quoted a police source Thursday as saying the Russian suspect was arrested at 6 am (0300 GMT) and was a repeat sex offender from the town of Tver north of Moscow. He was charged with four counts of rape but there were also suspicions that the 38-year-old may have been a male prostitute. ...

Investigator Yury Sukharev last week told Gazeta.ru there were open wine bottles and absinthe found in the kitchen. Russian media reported used condoms had also been lying about the apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Sex abuse pay-out by Dublin Archdiocese tops €12.4m

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 7 November 2008

The Dublin Archdiocese has revealed that 120 civil actions have been brought to date against 35 Dublin priests, or priests who have held appointments in the diocese.

The cost of settlements so far has exceeded €12.4 million with 94 cases concluded and 26 still ongoing.

More than €9 million has been spent on settlements and €3.3 million paid on legal costs for both sides.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Fordham Accused of Harboring Molestors

NEW YORK
The Fordham Ram

Nicholas Thibideau

Two groups have accused Fordham University of harboring priests who were accused of sexual abuse.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and BishopAccountability.org provided the New York Times with documents detailing a settlement between the school and the Rev. Eugene O'Brien, a former principal of Fordham Prep, according to an article published on Oct. 21. In addition, Richard Cerick, a 53-year-old lawyer, claims he was raped by the Rev. Roy A. Drake in 1968. Drake lived in Murray-Weigel Hall until 2006, when he was transferred to a treatment center for troubled priests. Drake passed away at the center.

In the Times article, Cerick said he did not file a complaint with the school until he learned about Drake's whereabouts in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Priest backs test as 'a good thing'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Weston Mercury

A SENIOR catholic figure in Weston has spoken out in favour of psychological tests for new priests.

Vatican officials said last week there should be tests to screen candidates who may be unable to control their heterosexual urges and those with homosexual tendencies.

But Father Gabriel Leyden of Corpus Christi Church, in Ellenborough Park South, says the Vatican guidance, published in a document titled Congregation for Catholic Education last week, is nothing new and has been going on for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Threesome pastor convicted over sex game assault

SWEDEN
The Local

Published: 7 Nov 08 14:10 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/15530/20081107/

A Stockholm-area pastor charged with beating his wife during a threesome has been sentenced to probation and counseling, the Metro newspaper reports.

The Church of Sweden pastor, his wife, and another male acquaintance assembled in June for a meal and drinks. After the meal, the three then moved to the sauna at which point they began to engage in a series of sex games.

According to court documents, the pastor became enraged when his wife began erasing pictures of the threesome’s deeds which had been taken using a mobile telephone camera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

SNAP Mexico presents Federal Initiatives to reform Federal Laws

MEXICO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Mexico City, Mexico

SNAP Mexico presented various Federal Initiatives with Deputy Claudia Cruz on Monday, November 3, 2008 to reform Federal Laws that will: define “Abuse of Minors” under 18 years of age; increase jail time for convicted child molesters; establish mandatory reporting laws in both the public and private sector; establish laws and consequences for those persons and/or public or private institutions that cover-up abuse; increase civil monetary penalties for offenders and those that cover them up; establish rights of legal procedure for victims who report crimes; establish procedures for the Federal Attorney General’s office to handle cases of child sexual abuse; the elimination of the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse; amongst others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Ex-vicar general exonerated on sex abuse charges in Davenport Diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Pilot

By Barb Arland-Fye
Posted: 11/7/2008

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) -- More than five years after he took a leave of absence because of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, Msgr. Drake Shafer, former vicar general of the Diocese of Davenport, has been exonerated and will return to active ministry.

"After all this time I cannot say how happy I am to have the fact that I did not sexually abuse anyone be recognized and affirmed," he told The Catholic Messenger, Davenport diocesan newspaper. "This has been a long five and a half years in which I have sought to be as forthcoming and cooperative as I could."

Davenport Bishop Martin J. Amos announced Nov. 3 that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had concurred with the finding of an ecclesiastical court this summer that the 61-year-old Msgr. Shafer, a priest of the diocese for 35 years, was not guilty of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Ex-Pastor Sent To Prison For Rape

OHIO
News-Register

By GABE WELLS

POSTED: November 7, 2008

Admitted rapist and former Martins Ferry pastor Peter Pilger will spend the next decade behind bars.

Pilger, 36, of Warren, Ohio, was sentenced Wednesday in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas by Judge John G. Haas on multiple counts of rape, attempted rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition. The former pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church in Martins Ferry previously admitted to the rape of a young female family member.

The judge ruled Pilger's sentences on the various counts will run concurrently. As a result, Pilger will serve 10 years in prison on the sentence handed down for the most serious charge - one count of rape. The judge also classified Pilger as a Tier III sex offender, requiring lifetime registration with the sheriff of the county in which he resides.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

November 6, 2008

In response to lawsuit, diocese says personnel decisions private

PEORIA (IL)
Pantagraph

By Edith Brady-Lunny
eblunny@pantagraph.com

NEW 2:50 p.m. PEORIA -- Personnel decisions regarding Catholic priests are exempt from civil court review, according to a response by the Catholic Diocese of Peoria to a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was sexually abused as a student by a former Twin City priest.

Andrew Ward, now 20, filed a lawsuit in June accusing now-retired Monsignor Thomas Maloney of sexually abusing him at Epiphany Catholic Church between 1995 and 1996. The Pantagraph does not routinely name victims of alleged abuse, but Ward asked to be publicly identified.

The action against Maloney and the diocese alleges Maloney “engaged in unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual conduct” with the boy while the boy was in second grade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Former Sioux City Bishop Accused

IOWA
KCAU

A Fort Dodge woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest is asking for action against Sioux City's former bishop and for victims to come forward.

Lawrence Soens led the Sioux City Diocese for 15 years.

For several years he faced allegations of abuse.

But now the Diocese of Davenport says Soens has been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors while working in that diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

SNAP Group Wants Former Sioux City Bishop Defrocked

IOWA
KPTH

Posted: Nov 6, 2008 06:16 PM EST

A former Sioux City Catholic bishop is being accused of sexually molesting boys in eastern Iowa and a victim's group wants the Sioux City Diocese to take action. This comes after a Catholic Church panel in Davenport, Iowa, found some of those allegations credible. Reporter Samantha Suttle brings us the details.

A child molestation victim of a Catholic priest wants to see former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens defrocked.

Janet Clark of the group "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests," or SNAP, says Soens needs to be permanently removed from the religious state. On Tuesday, the Davenport, Iowa, diocese said there is evidence Soens sexually abused children when he was a priest in Davenport during the 1950's and 60's. Soens later served as bishop in the Sioux City Catholic Diocese for 15 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

San Jose pastor arrested on charges of molesting relative

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News

A longtime Vietnamese pastor was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a female relative starting when she was 10 years old, according to San Jose police.

The alleged abuse continued until the girl was 14. She is now 22 years old.

Police arrested Minh Van Nguyen, 51, senior pastor of the First Vietnamese Alliance Church at 102 S. 21st St. in San Jose, on Oct. 2 on charges of child molestation. He has held that church position since 1998.

He is being held without bail in Santa Clara County jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Bishop Paulk’s megachurch for sale

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By KEVIN DUFFY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The church campus in south DeKalb County started by Bishop Earl Paulk, who built a megachurch but was plagued by sexual scandal for more than 40 years, is on the market for $24.5 million.

Paulk, 81, moved his church to Flat Shoals Parkway and Wesley Chapel Road in the early 1970s and later built a neo-Gothic worship center that can seat more than 6,000 people.

Today, the church is called Cathedral at Chapel Hill and is run by the Rev. D.E. Paulk, who grew up thinking he was Earl Paulk’s nephew but later learned he is his son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Elite schools' priest jailed for abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

By Tristan Swanwick

November 07, 2008 12:01am
A FORMER Catholic priest and schoolteacher who taught at some of Queensland's most prestigious private schools has been jailed for molesting young girls.

Michael Francis Reis, 66, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court yesterday to five counts of the indecent treatment of girls aged under 14 years and two counts of indecent treatment of girls aged under 16.

The court was told the abuse occurred in Brisbane from 1983 to 1985 and in Caboolture from 1992 to 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Father Elvis Is Now ‘Crying In The Chapel’

NEW YORK
Queens Chronicle

by Liz Rhoades, Managing Editor
11/06/2008

A Floral Park priest named Elvis is “All Shook Up” after a Brooklyn woman filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit, claiming he seduced her while she was in a vulnerable mental state.

Judith Rodrigues-Lytwyn, 50, filed the case against the wayward priest, the Brooklyn diocese and the church last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court, asking for $25 million. She claims that Father Elvis Elano, who was then assigned to the church, Our Lady of the Snows, encouraged the affair by claiming it was “ordained by God.”

He’ll be “Crying in the Chapel” if the lawsuit proceeds. The woman’s attorney, Andrew Laufer, said last Thursday that he expects the case to move quickly and take a year to conclude, “unless a settlement is worked out, which we would be agreeable to,” Laufer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Abuse victim blasts Catholic officials about pedophile bishop

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, a clergy molestation victim will prod Catholic officials in Sioux City and elsewhere to
-- apologize and explain why it took so long to deem a pedophile bishop “credibly accused,”
-- write Rome and urge the Vatican to defrock him, and
-- aggressively reach out to others who may have been hurt by any church employees, but especially the retired bishop.
She’ll also call on anyone with any information about the predators’ crimes to come forward, get help and call the police.

WHEN
Thursday, Nov. 6, 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Sioux City Diocese headquarters, 1821 Jackson Street, in Sioux City

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

New lawsuit is filed against high profile Jesuit author and professor

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
At a news conference, clergy molestation victims and attorneys will announce and discuss a new child sex abuse lawsuit against a nationally-known Jesuit priest and professor who now faces allegations of assaulting at least eight girls.

WHEN
TODAY, Thursday, Nov. 6, at 1:15 PM

WHERE
At the law office of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman, Three First National Plaza, 70 W. Madison Suite 5350 (corner of Clark) in downtown Chicago

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Priest speaks out about child sex abuse allegations

MARYLAND
Examiner

By Carolyn Peirce
Examiner Staff Writer 11/5/08

The Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing two of his 6-year-old triplets claims their surrogate mother vengefully orchestrated the allegations, knowing he was vulnerable as a priest, to gain sole custody of the children.

Fernando Cristancho, 52, tearfully denied the allegations during a three-hour interview with The Examiner at the Bel Air public library Tuesday evening. His beard tinged with gray and his spirit broken with the realization that he’ll never again hold his children without a supervisor watching and wondering.

Armed with court documents and video recordings, Cristancho laughed between tears while showing tapes of his children, two boys and a girl, who now live with their surrogate mother, Dalia Fernandez. The Department of Social Services found in August 2006 that Cristancho had sexually abused the boys — a civil finding upheld by Harford Circuit Judge Emory Plitt Jr. and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, although he was never criminally charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Former Massillon pastor gets 10 years, lifetime tag as sex offender

CANTON (OH)
Canton Repository

UPDATE: 1:31 PM, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
REPOSITORY STAFF REPORT

CANTON A former minister will spend 10 years in prison for molesting a family member.

Peter L. Pilger, 36, of Warren, was sentenced today by Stark County Common Pleas Judge John G. Haas.

Pilger previously pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, rape, gross sexual imposition and three counts of attempted rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Iowa vicar general exonerated

DAVENPORT (IA)
Catholic Culture

November 05, 2008
As a Diocese of Davenport review board found abuse allegations against retired Bishop Lawrence Soens and three other priests to be credible, it exonerated Msgr. Dale Shafer, who served as vicar general from 2000 to 2003. Following Msgr. Shafer’s suspension in 2003, he ‘exercised his right to an ecclesiastical trial and the Vatican instructed the Diocese to conduct an ecclesiastical trial,’ according to a diocesan press release issued Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Priest sex abuse case 'unfortunate'

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

A Catholic priest and former teacher has been jailed for sexually abusing two young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.

Michael Francis Reis, 66, pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment of girls under 16 in Brisbane's District Court this morning.

The abuse occurred in Brisbane between 1983 and 1985 and in Caboolture from 1992 to 1995.

Reis molested the girls by touching them on their breasts and genitals but did not involve sexual penetration, placing his offences at the "lower end of the scale", Judge Kerry O'Brien said at a sentencing hearing today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

November 5, 2008

Former Baptist youth minister sentenced for child molesting

KENTUCKY
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Tuesday, 04 November 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABP) -- A former Southern Baptist youth minister in Kentucky was sentenced Oct. 31 to 10 years in prison after confessing to sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl he met while posing as a 17-year-old youth evangelist on the social-networking website MySpace.

Timothy Scott Richerson, 40, of Greensburg, Ky., admitted in July that he met the girl online and then followed up with computer and telephone messages during the summer of 2007. That September he drove about 50 miles from his home in Greensburg, Ky., to the victim's home in Madison County, where he sexually exploited her.

The girl's mother became suspicious after several visits by Richerson. She found sexually explicit text messages on her daughter's phone and called police. The Kentucky State Police arrested Richerson in Greensburg Oct. 12, 2007, and a federal court indicted him in March, as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Justice Department initiative aimed at protecting children from online predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Pelotte leaving Gallup, Maikowski going to Page

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — After more than a year of startling news developments and changes in local church leadership, more changes are on the way for Catholics in the Diocese of Gallup.

When contacted on Monday, officials with the diocese confirmed that former Gallup Bishop Donald E. Pelotte is preparing to move out of Gallup this week. According to sources within the diocese, the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C. had issued instructions that Pelotte move out of his Gallup residence and out of Gallup, an action which many believe is a step toward the appointment of a new bishop for the Gallup Diocese.

Lee Lamb, communications director for the diocese, said Pelotte is currently in the process of packing and moving from his Gallup residence. “He indicated to us that for now, he is moving to his condo in Florida,” Lamb said in an e-mailed response. “However, Bishop Pelotte does not anticipate living in Florida full-time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Attempted 'womenpriest ordination’ triggers automatic excommunication

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic News Agency

Chicago, Nov 5, 2008 / 06:42 am (CNA).- A woman claiming to be a Catholic bishop “ordained” a so-called womanpriest and three “women deacons” at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Chicago on Saturday. In response, a spokeswoman from the Archdiocese of Chicago said that her act automatically excommunicates the participants.

Dana Reynolds, from Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, claims that she was ordained a womanpriest in 2006, the California Catholic Daily reports. At an April 9, 2008 ceremony in Stuttgart, Germany, she became the first self-described U.S. bishop for the dissenting Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Aboriginals must be heard

CANADA
Telegraph-Journal

John Millikin
Commentary

Recently, critics have tried to denigrate the Assembly of First Nations and Phil Fontaine's leading role in the residential schools reconciliation commission. It is an unfair and ill-informed attack.

Susan Martinuk has written that Phil Fontaine is "determined to frustrate the process of healing for residential school survivors and keep at bay reconciliation with non-aboriginal Canadians and our government...." Martinuk suggests that Phil Fontaine was trying to railroad the reconciliation process by turning it into a survivor storytelling event with no reconciliation.

The reality is that without the stories of residential school survivors, there can be no reconciliation. To merely have a confession of the history of residential schools followed by a speedy reconciliation agreement would do nothing for real long-term relations between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Former assistant DA charged

PENNSYLVANIA
News-Herald

By Bob Keeler, Staff Writer
11/05/2008

Anthony Cappuccio, a former Bucks County assistant district attorney and church youth group leader, is accused of corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children and related charges.

Charges were filed Oct. 30 against the 31-year-old Hilltown resident.

Cappuccio had a consensual sexual affair with a teenage boy and provided alcohol to and smoked marijuana with that youth and others from the youth group at First United Methodist Church, Perkasie, investigators say. Cappuccio was a youth group leader there until he resigned at the end of June, giving family needs as the reason, according to information from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

November 4, 2008

Swiss magistrate alleges priest abused boys

SWITZERLAND
The Associated Press

By PHILIPPE CLAVEL

FRIBOURG, Switzerland (AP) — Swiss officials said Monday they have evidence that a Roman Catholic priest sexually abused two dozen boys in France and Switzerland over a 35-year period.

The priest has admitted committing some sex acts with children between the ages of 9 and 14, two of whom had disabilities, said investigating magistrate Yvonne Gendre.

However, the 68-year-old priest, who was not named because of privacy laws, has denied accusations that he molested two children who subsequently committed suicide, Gendre told reporters in the western city of Fribourg. The priest also denied accusations by some of the victims that he sodomized them, she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Head priest held for minor's rape

INDIA
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: A nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped by the head priest of a temple at Kabir Nagar near Shahdara on Monday evening. The girl had gone alone to offer prayer when the accused, Ishwar, allegedly raped her inside the temple. The police have arrested Ishwar following a medical test on the victim, confirming the rape. A case of rape has been registered against him at the Shahdara police station.

According to the police, the victim used to visit the temple frequently and knew the priests well. "There was nobody else at the temple except the head priest at that time. The priest then asked her to come inside the temple to collect some sweets. As the girl knew Ishwar well, she did not refuse and followed the accused. Once both of them reached a secluded corner of the temple, the accused raped her. The girl returned home crying and narrated the incident to her family,'' said a senior police officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

America’s worst 5 Catholic Cardinals on child sex abuse & cover-ups

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

From an email from SNAP National Director David Clohessy, 11.4.2008.

FACT SHEET

America’s worst 5 Catholic Cardinals on child sex abuse & cover-ups

NOTE: This list focuses largely on the Cardinals’ admitted, proven, and alleged misdeeds within the past six years, AFTER the US bishops pledged to respond more quickly, openly and compassionately to clergy child molestation.

In August 2005, Fr. Daniel McCormack was questioned by the police because of abuse allegations. Two months later, the Chicago lay review board recommended that George suspend McCormack. George refused, kept silent and let his chancellor promote McCormack. Three months later, police arrested McCormack again. During those last few months of his active parish ministry in Chicago ’s inner city, McCormack molested at least three boys, the district attorney said. (One of the children, prosecutors say, had been assaulted “on an almost daily” basis.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/09/national/09priest.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

McCormack has pled guilty to child molestation.

Later, records obtained by victims’ attorneys showed that in 1999, a school principal reported accusations against McCormack to archdiocesan officials. Nothing was done.

Adding insult to injury, five high ranking church officials closely involved in this fiasco have since been promoted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Catholic priest jailed for child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 5, 2008
THE Catholic priest who conducted the funeral of the three Farquharson boys, who died when their father drove them into a dam on Father's Day 2005, has been jailed for four years on child-sex and child-porn charges.

Edmund John Haines, 62, was sentenced yesterday in the Geelong County Court on six counts of indecent acts with a child under 16; one count of an indecent act with a child aged 16 or 17; one of procurement of a minor for child pornography; and with producing and possessing child pornography.

One offence involved Haines capturing on his mobile phone images of an indecent act with a boy. He gave his mobile to another boy, who saw the images and reported Haines to police. Haines was found in possession of 30 child pornography images and resigned after his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Church leaders feel for young victims

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Danny Lannen

November 5th, 2008

GEELONG Catholic Deanery members hope young victims can emerge unscathed from ordeals associated with the offences and conviction of Meredith Catholic priest Edmund John Haines.

Haines was convicted yesterday to four years and three months jail for multiple child sex crimes.

Deanery spokesman Fr Kevin Dillon lamented the pain caused.

"No matter what words you come up with, they're not really adequate," Fr Dillon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Iowa bishop listed as object of 'credible' abuse charges: a first in US scandal

IOWA
Catholic Culture

November 04, 2008
Bishop Lawrence Soens, the retired head of the Sioux City, Iowa diocese, has become the first American bishop to be named as the object of 'credible' sex-abuse charges under the guidelines of the US bishops' policy guidelines. A review board in the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa announced on November 3 that evidence existed to support charges against Soens and three other priests. More than 30 men have come forward to say that they were molested by Soens while he was a priest in Davenport from 1950 to 1983. He became Bishop of Sioux City in 1983, retiring in 1998 at the age of 72. The Davenport diocese has been forced into bankruptcy because of damages awarded to sex-abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SELECTED SOURCES

Voice from the Desert

The Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C., has updated his bibliography of source material.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Bishop guilty of child molestation; Sex abuse victims respond

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 3, 2008

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

This is a very belated and begrudging admission of horrific wrong-doing that for decades was shrewdly concealed by corrupt Catholic officials. We hope now that finally the Iowa church hierarchy will use its considerable resources to seek out and help Soens' dozens of victims.

We resent that Davenport's bishop deliberately makes this announcement at a time when he knows it will receive inadequate public attention. At the same time, however, we hope this admission will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered these priests' crimes to come forward, get help and call police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Former Sioux City Bishop Has Been Credibly Accused

IOWA
KCAU

A church panel says there's evidence a former Bishop of the Sioux City Diocese sexually abused minors.

Lawrence Soens led the Sioux City Diocese from 1983 until he retired in 1998.

Now Soens is among four members of the clergy who've been credibly accused of sexually abusing students while he was principal at Iowa City's Regina High School in the 50's and 60's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Melbourne priest jailed for child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
LIVENEWS

A former Catholic priest has been jailed in Melbourne for multiple child sex offences.

Ex- priest Edmund John Haines will spend at least two years and six months in jail after being sentenced to four years three months by the Geelong County Court.

He was convicted of multiple indecent acts against a child under 16 years, as well as procuring a minor for the purposes of child pornography, making child pornography and possessing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at