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January 31, 2009

Pope promotes cleric who called Katrina God's punishment for sin in New Orleans

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Pope Benedict has made a controversial appointment, days after revoking the excommunication of a bishop who is a Holocaust denier.

He promoted ultra-conservative cleric Fr Gerhard Maria Wagner to assistant bishop of the Austrian city of Linz. ...

Fr Wagner is also notorious for his extreme views - he has accused the popular Harry Potter novels of spreading Satanism, and described Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment for the sinners of New Orleans.

He wrote in a parish newsletter that the death and destruction caused by the hurricane in New Orleans was divine retribution for the city's tolerance of homosexuals and permissive sexual attitudes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Of Priest and Prosecutor Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Online

By Douglas W. Kmiec
1/31/2009

LOS ANGELES, (Catholic Online) - Recently, the Los Angeles Times and other national papers ran news stories to the effect that a federal grand jury was investigating whether the LA archdiocese had engaged in federal criminal wrongdoing for the way in which the archdiocese has handled the discipline of priests in the tragic sexual abuse scandal. The report was at once disappointing and puzzling.

The disappointment was not the fact of the scandal. Like most Catholics, the scandal to me was far more disgusting, than disappointing. For those who formally stand-in for Christ to have engaged in behavior that destroyed the trust, if not the faith, of so many innocents and their families is the deepest wound of the modern church.

Nowhere perhaps is this better understood than in Los Angeles. In 2007, Cardinal Roger Mahony and the archdiocese paid $660 million to settle civil lawsuits with 508 people alleged to be the victims of this unspeakable evil. Like most monetary awards, even that very substantial sum which practically must diminish the resources available for the charitable work of the church, could not possibly remedy the victims’ injuries – only God can do that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Pastor charged with prostitution resigns from church

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

by LARA BRENCKLE, Of The Patriot-News
Saturday January 31, 2009, 3:38 PM

A Hummelstown pastor charged with misdemeanor solicitation and prostitution charges resigned Saturday as senior pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church.

A statement posted on the church's Web site moments ago reads:

"It is with sadness that Zion Lutheran Church accepts the resignation of Alan Wenrich as Senior Pastor, effective immediately. Dr. Wenrich, his family and the individuals affected by recent events, as well as the healing of our church, will be among the prayers of our congregation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

New challenge for Catholic parishes: Property taxes

NEW YORK
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz
News Staff Reporter

It’s a tab most churches never would expect, but some area Catholic parishes are now paying property taxes on buildings they no longer use.

Five church properties in the city are currently being taxed. Four others were recently added to the city’s tax rolls and will get their first bills in July, in accordance with the city’s fiscal calendar. Other municipalities say they will follow suit.

The parcels previously were exempt from property taxes because of their religious purposes. Since they are no longer being used by a church or nonprofit entity, the properties lose their exemptions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Priest who reportedly called Hurricane Katrina God's punishment is promoted to bishop

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

By Associated Press
12:13 PM CST, January 31, 2009
VATICAN CITY (AP) — An Austrian pastor who has been quoted as calling Hurricane Katrina God's punishment for sin in New Orleans is being promoted to the rank of bishop.

The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria. It made no mention of the reported remarks about Hurricane Katrina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Police: Pa. pastor offered woman money for sex

HARRISBURG (PA)
Fort Mill Times

(Published January 31, 2009)
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A central Pennsylvania pastor is accused of offering to pay one of his parishioners for sex.

Court records show police have charged 62-year-old Alan C. Wenrich, of Hummelstown, with misdemeanor counts of patronizing prostitution and soliciting.

Wenrich is senior pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Thy Neighbor’s Strife

MARYLAND
Baltimore Jewish Times

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor

Stuart Friedman, at 54, is compliant.

Compliant in this case means that the Upper Park Heights resident is on the State of Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services sex offender registry.

In a Sunday Baltimore Examiner article, it was reported that the Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse, in connection with the Awareness Center, has made his presence known within the Jewish community.

The Examiner reported that Mr. Friedman, a cantor, came to Baltimore in May of 2007 after serving a 15-month sentence in federal prison for sending pornography through the mail to an undercover FBI agent in California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

The federal prosecutor and his strategy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
L.A. Catholic

The print edition of today's L.A. Times has an editorial that criticizes the unusual legal strategy being pursued by the federal prosecutor who is behind the current federal grand jury probe of Cardinal Roger Mahony and other officials of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The prosecutor's name is Thomas P. O'Brien. The same edition of the Times also has a news article (click on this post's title) about previous cases O'Brien has pursued. The news story says:

"In each of these cases, O'Brien, a former Navy Top Gun instructor and gang prosecutor in the district attorney's office, has either taken on battles that others may have shied away from or employed novel -- some would say shaky -- legal strategies to make his case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

First, the Seminaries... Now, the Convents: The Visitation Returns

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

Months after the Holy See's top official for religious life rapped some US communities for "accept[ing] the present situation of decline [as] the sign of the Spirit on the church," plans were revealed this morning for an Apostolic Visitation of the nation's orders of women.

Beginning immediately by decree of the Congregation for Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the examination of the "quality of life" of the 400 or so Stateside institutes will focus exclusively on "apostolic" communities -- namely, "those actively engaged in service to church and society," as a release announcing the initiative put it.

To coordinate its work, the Congregation has named Connecticut-born Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior-general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as sole Apostolic Visitor. At the three-stage process' expected end in 2010, Millea will be required to submit a report detailing her observations to the dicastery overseeing religious life, along with recommendations on areas where action should be taken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

...mainstream media file copy-pasted reports

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Examiner

January 30, 9:27 PM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

There was a storm of stories, but look closer. Almost every one of the articles run in media about the investigation of Cardinal Roger Mahony and the LA Archdiocese are just copy and pasted from the original LA Times story, and the Associated press story about it. Wall Street Journal, CNN, copy and pasted from the LA Times story. For example, notice how many of them mention that US Attorney Tom O'Brien is "personally involved" in the investigation. One reporter after another quotes Cardinal Roger Mahony as being "mystified" and "puzzled" each one writing what the other writer wrote.

What started it all: On its Web site Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times quoted two anonymous law enforcement sources as saying Mahony is among those being investigated by the grand jury to determine if he failed to keep children safe from predatory priests.

Several reporters in the storm of stories did a little bit research on the -- law that was part of the leaked story . They then phoned an unrelated pundit such as a law professor somewhere to comment on the law. Then other reporters copy and pasted the quotes from law professors and called that a story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Predators should have gone to prison decades ago ...

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Examiner

[with video]

January 30, 6:56 PM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

Video: We hope that other US Attorneys across the United States will begin to take the types of steps taken by Calif US Attorney Tom O'Brien, investigating the Los Angeles Archdiocese. says Mary Grant, a regional leader of SNAP. .

'Cardinal Mahony was not acting alone,'

Grant says in above video "A pedophile priest like Michael Baker would have been in prison long ago, if Mahony had not just transfered him to a new parish in the 1980s."

Ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church at City of Angels

(Above video is exclusive to Examiner Dot Com through LA City Buzz Examiner.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Top school's record sex abuse claim payout tops $500,000

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
February 01, 2009 12:30am
THE sex abuse compensation case involving St Peter's College and its former priest, John Mountford, has been settled for a record amount.

While the settlement terms are confidential, the Sunday Mail understands the school and its insurer paid the male victim – a former student – more than $500,000 in an out-of-court deal.
The settlement eclipses the previous highest payout in South Australia of $200,000 made to a victim of notorious pedophile Robert Brandenberg – a figure negotiated recognising evidentiary difficulties with some aspects of the claim.

The long-running St Peter's College case was settled in an out-of-court mediation between the victim, his lawyers and lawyers acting for the college and its insurer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Unrealized losses from investments hurt bottom line

WORCESTER (MA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

[annual report for FY2008]

[consolidated financial statement]

[supplemental reports by agency, ministry or department]

JANUARY 29, 2009, WORCESTER, MA -- Following a complete audit of its financial accounting, the Diocese of Worcester this weekend will issue an online and printed edition of the annual report detailing activities for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2008.

Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, noted in his letter that despite the overall numbers, the report contained many hopeful signs. “The Annual Partners in Charity Appeal raised $4,893,100, the highest amount ever, for the 2009 fiscal year. . . Many of our parishes have seen increases in Mass attendance and in donations as well.”

Bishop McManus wrote that the diversified portfolio of the DEF is a great help during these tough economic times. He also noted that central administration has taken steps to diminish its debt service to the DEF in order to reduce the impact of interest on indebtedness in its operating budget. Additionally, many of the reported deficits were attributed to unrealized losses on investments, not deficit spending in operational budgets. This was also the first year that depreciation was applied.

The Annual Report with its associated Financial Reports on Operating Activities is being distributed as a supplement in this weekend’s parish bulletinsand is posted online at www.worcesterdiocese.org. A complete copy of the auditor’s report is also available online.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Wall Street bears down on Worcester Diocese

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER — The woes of secular Wall Street have resulted in significant investment losses for the Diocese of Worcester.

However, chancery officials said the losses are manageable and shouldn’t result, at least in the immediate future, in layoffs or program cuts.

An audit by O’Connor, Maloney & Co. P.C., along with other financial information released yesterday by diocesan officials, showed that unrealized losses on investments — combined to a degree with a decision to begin factoring in depreciation expenses on church property — produced a deficit of $615,670 for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Vatican orders study of women religious institutes in United States

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Vatican has initiated an apostolic visitation of institutes for women religious in the United States to find out why the numbers of their members have decreased during the past 40 years and to look at the quality of life in the communities.

The announcement was made Jan. 30 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington by Sister Eva-Maria Ackerman, a member of the American province of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. ...

The study -- which is expected to be completed by 2011 -- is in no way connected to the apostolic visitation of more than 200 U.S. seminaries and formation houses in 2005 and 2006, which was ordered in response to the sexual abuse crisis that hit the U.S. church, Sister Eva-Maria said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Vatican orders review of women's religious orders

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By ERIC GORSKI
The Associated Press
Friday, January 30, 2009; 9:12 PM

-- The Vatican has begun a first-ever comprehensive study of women's religious orders in the United States, four decades into a steep decline in the number of Roman Catholic sisters and nuns in the country.

The study, ordered by a Vatican congregation in December and announced Friday in Washington, will examine "the quality of the life" of 59,000 members in more than 400 Catholic women's religious institutes, said Sister Eva-Maria Ackerman, a spokeswoman for the study, which is called an apostolic visitation. ...

The Vatican released results of a similar canvass of U.S. seminaries earlier this month in light of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. That review gave special attention to chastity and celibacy, and the Vatican found seminaries had largely been successful in rooting out "homosexual behavior."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Former director gets no jail time

CALIFORNIA
Daily Pilot

By Joseph Serna
Updated: Friday, January 30, 2009 8:41 PM PST

It was around the time of her 16th birthday, making it 14 years ago this month, that Elaina Kroll said her Laguna Niguel choir director sexually abused her.

Albert Lee Schildknecht, then the music director at St. Timothy Catholic Church, was a married man and 44 years old, nearly three times Kroll’s age.

“He was a father figure,” Kroll said. “Like a good girl, I obeyed.”

For nearly two years from that day, Schildknecht sexually abused her. There were sexual encounters in his car, in the parking lot outside The Gypsy Den in Costa Mesa and even at a local park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

L.A. has more serious things to worry about than Billy and the cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Tim Rutten
January 31, 2009
What do Billy the elephant and Cardinal Roger M. Mahony have in common? Both are the subject of frivolous, pointlessly distracting governmental deliberations at a time of actual civic crisis.

Billy, of course, is the city zoo's single remaining pachyderm. For three months, the L.A. City Council has been sporadically consumed by hearings, motions, debates and votes about whether to contribute its $14.5-million share of the $42-million cost of the new elephant enclosure at the L.A. Zoo. The idea is that a bigger, more natural environment will make the wretched Billy happier and healthier and allow the reintroduction of other elephants, which are -- in nature -- social creatures.

Seems simple enough, but for months, the smoking ruin that masquerades as the legislative branch of city government has worried endlessly over whether there should be any elephants in zoos, whether Billy's head bobbing is a sign of psychological distress or whether the new enclosure will allow the exercise elephants need to maintain healthy feet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Ex-priest gets three years in prison in molestation case

SAN FERNANDO (CA)
Contra Costa Times

By Brandon Lowrey, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/31/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

SAN FERNANDO - A former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to molesting one boy and confessed to abusing at least four others was sentenced Friday to three years in prison.

George Miller, 70, was convicted of repeatedly molesting a boy from 1988 to 1991 while Miller was a priest at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima. Prosecutors said he admitted to molesting four others and is suspected of abusing at least one more, but that charges couldn't be brought because the statute of limitations had passed.

Before Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig read Miller's sentence, two of his other victims, now in their 30 s and 40 s, addressed the man who destroyed their lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Former L.A. priest is sentenced to three years in prison for sex crime

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jack Leonard
January 31, 2009
A former Los Angeles priest at the center of Cardinal Roger Mahony's unsuccessful attempts to keep archdiocese personnel records from county prosecutors was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for molesting a young boy two decades ago.

George Miller, 70, pleaded guilty in December to molesting the child between 1988 and 1989 and admitted to sexually abusing at least three other boys after the archdiocese received its first complaint about him in 1977.

"My family trusted you to teach me the ways of the Lord, not the ways of hell," one of the victims, now in his 30s, told Miller in a trembling voice in a San Fernando courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Facing up to Canada's dark history

CANADA
BBC News

By Lorraine Mallinder
Kahnewake, Canada

From the late 19th Century up to the 1970s, an estimated 150,000 native children in Canada were seized from their parents and sent far away to state-funded, church-run schools to learn how to think, speak and act like white people. The country is still coming to terms with the disastrous results.

Maybe I picked a bad day to visit. The place is a ghost town.

I came here with the idea of taking a mental snapshot of life in Kahnewake, exclusively populated by members of the Mohawk nation, at the beginning of an important year for Canada's relations with its native peoples.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

January 30, 2009

Women to pope: Un-excommunicate us!

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson January 30, 2009 04:44 PM

The main group advocating for the ordination of women as Catholic priests, taking note of Pope Benedict XVI's decision to lift the excommunication of four conservative Lefebvrist bishops (one of whom denies the Holocaust) who were ordained without papal sanction in 1988, is asking the pope to also lift the excommunications of women who participated in ceremonies that they call "ordinations," in violation of Catholic church teaching prohibiting the ordination of women. The statement from Roman Catholic WomenPriests, an organization that church officials say is not Catholic:

"Roman Catholic Womenpriests call on Pope Benedict to lift the decree of automatic excommunication issued on May 29, 2008 against all in our movement as a gesture of reconciliation and justice toward women in the church. ...

No priest pedophiles have been excommunicated. No bishops who were responsible for their continued placement in parishes after their pedophile history was known have been excommunicated. Theologians who teach and support Vatican II teachings and who support women's ordination are silenced and/or excommunicated. Women ordained as priests are excommunicated. Priests and laity who support women priests are excommunicated. But, priests who reject Vatican II and who deny the holocaust and who openly deny the full equality of women are "rehabilitated" after earlier excommunication?

What's wrong with this picture?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Catholic Bishops Snub 'Doubt'

UNITED STATES
New York Post

Lay reviewers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- known as the "Legion of Decency'' during my childhood, when we scanned lists posted in the back of Immaculate Conception in Astoria to see which "Morally Offensive'' movies we really wanted to see --- have left "Doubt'' off their annual list of top 10 films, which includes two Best Picture contenders, "Slumdog Millionaire'' and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.'' Both of those were rated "A-III (adults) by the Catholic group. As was "Doubt,'' a drama about a priest suspected of pedophilia the USCCB's unsigned reviewer said was "engrossing'' and "should resonate with Catholic viewers.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 PM

Former Priest Sentenced for Molesting 9-Year-Old

SAN FERNANDO (CA)
NBC Los Angeles

[with video]

A former Catholic priest was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for molesting a 9-year-old boy about two decades ago while he was assigned to a Pacoima church.

George Miller, 70, pleaded guilty in December to a single count of committing a lewd act on the boy between March 1988 and March 1989.

As part of his plea, the former priest -- who had once been assigned to Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima -- acknowledged molesting the boy's older brother and two other boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Former priest arrested on child pornography charges

HOLLYWOOD (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Joel Marino | SunSentinel.com
7:47 PM EST, January 30, 2009

HOLLYWOOD - A former Catholic priest living in Hollywood was arrested and indicted Friday on charges of possession of child pornography. If convicted, Kenneth Hasselbach, 68, faces up to 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

FBI agents found out Hasselbach had been receiving child pornography through e-mails during an internet child pornography investigation, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 PM

Former priest gets 3 years for abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
United Press International

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A former Los Angeles priest was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for molesting a boy in 1988 and 1989.

George Miller, 70, was a central figure in the controversial efforts by Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony to deny prosecutors access to archdiocesan personnel files, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Miller pleaded guilty last month to molesting the boy, and also admitted he sexually abused at least three other boys, the newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Bishop Offers Meeting To Victim's Mother

MAINE
WCSH

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER)--The Roman Catholic diocese of Portland has announced that Bishop Richard Malone has agreed to meet with a woman whose son was allegedly abused by a priest in the 1980's.

Marie Tupper has repeatedly looked for an audience with Bishop Malone, but the bishop has refused citing a previous meeting she had with Bishop Joseph Gerry a few years ago. Friday diocese spokesperson Sue Bernard said that Bishop Malone has changed his mind after hearing from trusted advisers and Catholic parishioners, and will meet with Tupper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Parents Fear Priest Stole School's Money

ASTORIA (OR)
Fox 12

ASTORIA, Ore. -- Parents of children who attend a catholic school in Astoria said their school is broke and they fear money was stolen.

The Clatsop County District Attorneys Office confirms it launched a formal investigation into possible missing money at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic School in Astoria.

Parents said the archdiocese sent a letter to the priest overseeing the school and parish that said he no longer can sign checks or have control over the school's money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

Former LA priest gets prison for molesting boy

SAN FERNANDO (CA)
Press-Enterprise

By LINDA DEUTSCH
The Associated Press

SAN FERNANDO

In a courtroom where victims denounced him and still-devoted parishioners embraced him, a former Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to three years in prison for molesting a boy in the late 1980s.

George Miller, 70, of Oxnard, had earlier pleaded guilty to molesting the boy starting when the youth was 9, and admitted to sexually assaulting four other boys whose cases couldn't be prosecuted because of statute of limitations problems.

Arriving at court, he was hugged by a half-dozen former parishioners who watched the sentencing with tears in their eyes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Prosecutor on witch-hunt, says Catholic leader

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Spero News

U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien has launched a federal grand jury investigation against the Los Angeles Archdiocese claiming it violated the federal “honest services” fraud law when dealing with clergy abuse. In response, William Donohue of the Catholic League said “Eighteen months ago Los Angeles Archbishop Roger M. Mahony reached a settlement with alleged victims of priestly misconduct, thinking the issue was over. But now it has been resurrected by the Houdini-like tactics of U.S. Attorney O’Brien. He has subpoenaed 22 priests, notwithstanding the fact that two of them are dead and the other 20 were kicked out of the priesthood a long time ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

"At Long Last": LA Bishop under Federal Investigation Regarding Sexual Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Call To Action

The LA Times broke the story today that there is a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger Mahony and his response to the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Call To Action is grateful that the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles is taking seriously the crimes of this bishop who harbored and transferred pedophile priets, protecting the sexual abusers rather than the children suffering abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Clergy Reporting Bill Passes out of Committee

IOWA
The Prevention Advocate

On Jan. 28, a bill (HF 8) to add clergy to the list of professionals who are mandatory reporters passed out of the House Human Resources Committee with one dissenting vote. Mandatory reporters are those required to advise authorities when they suspect child abuse.

The list of mandatory reporters is a long one, including almost every other professional who comes into contact with a potentially abused child. Clergy is the one major group of counseling professionals notably absent from the list of mandatory reporters, and Iowa is one of only seven states that do not require clergy to report suspected child abuse.

In the process of voting on the bill, the committee approved an amendment replacing the original bill language with new provisions. The amended bill, which is not yet available, adds a definition of "clergy" and excludes clergy from being required to report abuse that is suspected solely because of information received from "penitential communications." The amended bill also excludes clergy from the requirement to attend mandatory reporter training.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Truth And Reconcilliation Commissioners Resign

CANADA
CKOM

Reported By Brendan Wagner
Posted January 30, 2009 - 5:21pm
The frustration around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission continues, as its two commissioners have announced that they will resign as of June 1st.

The TRC, which is supposed to bring closure to Canada's residential schools legacy, has been without a chair since late October. And now the commissioners have also decided to step aside. All parties involved say it's for the best to allow the TRC a fresh start.

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl has laid out the next steps in the selection of a new Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Mahony asks, Why now? then admits to a subpoena on 22 priests for US Attorney, and even the Cardinal wonders why there was no investigation earlier

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Cardinal Mahony has been wondering when someone would start an investigation himself: “Why now does this come up when we said that years ago?” he said in a KNX radio interview yesterday. “We said in our Report to the People of God that, yes, this way of dealing with these issues has evolved, and during those early years it was not handled right, we've said that over and over again so that's why it puzzles me Why now."

I finally heard it, just after posting a story this afternoon saying, “Persons like me who are in this crime victim community have walked around with our mouths hanging open for years wondering where is law enforcement” at the other site where I write, LA City Buzz Examiner.

The victims want to know too, Why now? Why not sometime during the last eight years or so, as stories of rampant sex crimes against children in the Church broke across the country?

“In those years ago, decades ago, people didn't realize how serious this was and so rather than pulling people out of ministry directly and fully they were moved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

STATEMENT BY TOD TAMBERG, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS, ON THE SENTENCING OF GEORGE MILLER

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

We hope that today’s sentencing brings some measure of comfort to George Miller’s victims.

Thirty-two years ago, the mother of a minor son asked church authorities to deal with the allegation she brought against Miller. Miller denied the allegation and Cardinal Timothy Manning allowed Miller to remain in ministry.

In 1989, a report of “boundary violations” was made against Miller. A boundary violation is not sexual abuse, nor is it a euphemism for sexual abuse.

In 1996, Cardinal Roger Mahony removed Miller from ministry upon receiving a complaint of sexual abuse that occurred in the 1970s. Miller was sent to treatment, then permanently removed from ministry. Subsequently, Cardinal Mahony successfully worked to have Miller removed from the priesthood.

Critics of the Archdiocese have falsely suggested that the Archdiocese fought to have Miller’s file kept secret. On the contrary, the Archdiocese only contested the release of certain categories of documents -- like medical records -- across the entire range of clergy personnel files, regardless of whose name was on the file. The Archdiocese promptly turned over Miller’s file to the authorities when it was requested.

In 2002, additional reports of abuse by Miller in the 1970s were made to the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese reported these claims to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

In LA, "Mystified and Puzzled"

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Whispers in the Loggia

As word of a Federal investigation into his archdiocese's policies on transferring abusive priests leaked out, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles took to the airwaves yesterday to defend his handling of accused clergy, seeking to underscore that any malpractice in personnel decisions took place "years ago, decades ago."

Calling into a local talk-radio station for an extended chat, the head of the nation's largest local church said he "didn't know" what the goverment was looking for.

"Basically, we were mystified and puzzled by the whole thing" the cardinal said, noting that of the 22 priests whose records were subpoenaed by Federal prosecutors, two are dead and the other twenty laicized "and long gone."

Asked whether he was a target of the probe, Mahony said he didn't know.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Let the Federal Search Warrants Flow…

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Off My Knees

Yesterday’s news, chronicled in the Abuse Tracker by Kathy Shaw, was full of stories about the Federal Grand Jury Investigation of the Diocese of Los Angeles and Cardinal Roger M. Mahony for his alleged role in covering up child molestation by priests. The grounds on which the grand jury’s work is to be based centers on whether Mahony or other church officials violated a law prohibiting schemes to “deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

I am sure that this news has shaken Chancery buildings across the country. Even as we speak I have little doubt of the quaking cassocks that are turning to their shredders to purge Diocesesan records of proof of the continued policy of hiding and enabling pedophile priests.

I fully support any crusading U.S. Attorney, especially the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, to get a warrant and raid Chancery Buildings before the Bishops obstruct justice (again) to hide their complicity in the scandal that will not go away. May I suggest that they start with the Diocese of Scranton on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton. Hey, it is a short walk from the William J. Nealon Federal Building and Courthouse on North Washington Avenue, where the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is located. If Cardinal Mahony and the Diocese of Los Angeles can be investigated, then lets afford the same legal courtesy to victims of pedophile priests in Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) and investigate Bishop Timlin, Bishop Martino and the Diocese of Scranton’s handling of the sexual assaults and abuses by priests in NEPA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Out of control idiots at the Department of Justice

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Mark's Soap Box

So Thomas P. O’Brien is at it again. This time he is going after Cardinal Roger Mahoney using the law as his own personal publicity machine. And you thought it was about Justice? *LMAO* Dream on.

O’Brien is the blowhard publicity hound who brought us such infamous trials as:

O’Brien v Nazario — Nazario was a Marine who O’Brien decided needed to be held accountable for Murder, even though the Marines who understood the case, did not.
O’Brien v Lori Drew — Drew was accused of hacking into computers. How did she do this? She opened a MySpace account and did not use her real name.
O’Brien v Mongols — The Mongols a notorious biker gang so incensed the publicity seeking O’Brien that he went to court to get the rights to their name and logo. The idea, allegedly was that by taking their “uniform” they would fall apart. The logo and the Group’s name were not accused of any wrong doing, just the owners of the jackets which they adorned. For some reason O’Brien has not done this to the Hell’s Angels. Hmmm.
All failures, all wasted taxpayers money, and none were anything more than headline fodder for O’Brien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Cardinal 'mystified' at reported federal probe into abuse cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic News Service
By Catholic News Service

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles said he is "mystified and puzzled" at reports that a federal prosecutor is investigating whether he and the archdiocese violated a federal law against scheming "to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

The Los Angeles Times and the New York-based Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 29 that U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien is personally involved in the investigation.

The similar stories cited anonymous sources who said a grand jury convened by O'Brien is looking into whether Cardinal Mahony and other church leaders committed fraud by inadequately handling cases of priests who sexually abused minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Maine bishop to meet with mother of abuse victim

MAINE
Maine Today

By The Associated Press wire report
January 30, 2009 03:55 PM

PORTLAND -- Maine's Roman Catholic bishop has reversed his previous stance and agreed to meet with a Boothbay Harbor woman who reported that her son was sexually abused by a priest more than a quarter century ago.

Bishop Richard Malone has come under criticism for his refusal to meet with Marie Tupper. Malone noted at the time that his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Gerry, had met with Tupper a few years ago and she was offered a meeting with other diocesan officials to respond to specific questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Creative lawyering is what it takes with crimes so heinous no current law exists, re LA Archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Examiner

January 30, 1:11 PM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

Insert photo caption or credit hereWe now know of 250 Catholic priests child molesters in California alone, based on crimes that resulted in lawsuits such as the record $660 million in the 508 civil cases settled in Los Angeles in July 2007.

We victims applaud a federal investigation because the size of the organization, the Roman Catholic Church, that allowed - aided and abetted - the crimes, is so large, it will take something the size of the United States government to counter it. Attorneys representing archdioceses and priests in cases that have gone on across the country in the past years operate as if they had a bottomless bank account full of cash. They file motion after motion, finally wearing down civil servant prosecuting attorneys or civil lawyers trying to file lawsuits using their own credit lines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Ex-L.A. Priest Gets Prison Time For Molesting Boy

CALIFORNIA
CBS 2

SAN FERNANDO (AP) ―

A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to three years in prison for molesting a 9-year-old boy in Los Angeles.

George Miller, 70, sentenced Friday by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig.

Miller was accused of molesting several boys but pleaded guilty to one count of committing a lewd act on one boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Former L.A. priest get 3 years in prison in molestation case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

A former Los Angeles priest at the center of Cardinal Roger Mahony’s unsuccessful attempts to keep archdiocese personnel files from county prosecutors was sentenced today to three years in prison for molesting a young boy two decades ago.

George Miller, 70, pleaded guilty in December to molesting the child between 1988 and 1989 and admitted sexually abusing at least three other boys after the archdiocese received its first complaint in 1977 about Miller molesting a child. "My family trusted you to teach me the ways of the Lord, not the ways of hell," one of the victims, now in his 30s, told Miller in a trembling voice in a San Fernando courtroom.

Miller, gray-haired and spectacled, sat silently with his fist covering his mouth. A handful of supporters sat behind him in the courtroom audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Sex, lies and legal theory: Feds probe LA archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
dotCommonweal

January 30, 2009, 11:24 am Posted by Paul Moses

According to news reports, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is enveloped in a federal grand jury investigation involving its handling of priests who sexually abused minors. Other prosecutors have conducted similar investigations and brought no charges. But in this case, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, Thomas O’Brien, has come up with a novel use of a federal criminal law as the basis for a possible case, according to sources quoted in various reports.

The prosecutor is looking to see whether church officials violated the federal “honest services” fraud law, reports the AP’s veteran LA legal writer Linda Deutsch. She adds:

The law, which makes it illegal to scheme to deprive others of their right to honest services, has most often been used to prosecute politicians and chief executive officers of corporations. It has never been used against a church.

What it means is that the federal government is investigating whether church leaders such as Cardinal Roger Mahony committed a crime by being dishonest in their dealings with the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Cardinal law

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

January 30, 2009

Our initial response to reports in The Times that a federal grand jury is investigating Cardinal Roger M. Mahony for his alleged role in covering up child molestation by priests is to applaud prosecutors for their sustained interest in the long-suffering victims. The grounds on which those efforts are said to be based, however, give us pause. Sources told reporters Scott Glover and Jack Leonard that the grand jury's work centers on whether Mahony or other church officials violated a law prohibiting schemes to "deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

The "honest services" doctrine has been used to help convict the likes of Jack Abramoff, Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Jeff Skilling; in these cases, juries concluded that misdeeds denied the public or shareholders of their right to the honest work of government or businesses. That's the intended use of the section, which was added to federal law after a 1987 ruling by the Supreme Court made it harder to prosecute public officials for mail fraud. Appropriately, the section sits in a chapter of the code devoted to fraud -- healthcare fraud, securities fraud and so on. Its application against a cardinal in the oversight of an archdiocese is another matter. Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School, aptly called it "creative lawyering."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

LAT Minimizes School Sex Scandals But Trumpets Flimsy Story on Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NewsBusters

By Dave Pierre
January 30, 2009 - 02:00 ET

When a veteran middle-school teacher in nearby Santa Monica pleaded guilty last month to "multiple counts of illegal sex acts" and molesting nine young girls, the Los Angeles Times didn't feel the story warranted their newspaper. Although the Times had reported the teacher's original arrest and some follow-up last May and June, the news of teacher's guilty plea only went as far as the paper's blog.

Last November, a coordinator for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) filed a lawsuit that included the astonishing charge that he had objected to a principal being assigned to a middle school because of a molestation-related investigation against him. Yet the principal was assigned, and within months he was arrested and charged with molesting four students. Again, although the paper had reported other episodes of this particular narrative, the Times jettisoned the news of this stunning lawsuit to the paper's blog and never reported it in their actual paper.

Cut to the front page of Thursday's Los Angeles Times (1/29/09). Above the fold, with an accompanying color photo, is the headline, "Mahony investigated over abusive priests." It's a serious and eye-opening headline, indeed. The article begins, "The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

SNAP applauds US attorney investigation in LA, including creative lawyering, hopes church witnesses will cooperate

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Video is at City of Angels 6, below is a transcript of the two-minute byte.

(Victims of pedophile priests met in front of the LA cathedral Thursday in response to news stories that the US Attorney is investigating Cardinal Roger Mahony for mishandling of the pedophile priest crisis. SNAP leader Joelle Casteix said, "We are cautiously optimistic" and "encouraged law enforcement is using creative methods.")

************************

I am Joelle Casteix making this statement for the advocacy group SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

I’m the Southwest Regional Director of SNAP.

As you know we also have survivors and family members here who do speak Spanish.

With me are survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Los Angeles and across California, as well as their family members and we are here today for a very - very important reason.

We are cautiously optimistic about the announcement yesterday that the US Attorney will be investigating the coverup of child sex abuse crimes here in the diocese of Los Angeles. For the first time we are very-very encouraged that law enforcement is using creative methods to make sure that men who allow children to be abused and for their families and parishioners to suffer unnecessary pain, that these people will be punished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Church in Wales expels child porn vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
Wales Online

Jan 30 2009 by Steffan Rhys, Western Mail

DISGRACED vicar Richard Hart has yet to express any regret or apology over the depraved images of child pornography found in his possession.

A disciplinary tribunal of the Church in Wales heard that the former vicar of Beguildy still lacked “an understanding of the gravity of his conduct”.

The tribunal ordered Hart be deposed from holy orders and expelled as a cleric of the Church in Wales. He now has leave to appeal the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Feds Investigating Cardinal Mahony Over Abusive Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
My Fox Los Angeles

Los Angeles --
Cardinal Roger Mahony said Thursday he was "mystified" as to why a federal investigation was looking into alleged cover- ups of sexual abuse of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

A federal grand jury is looking into Mahony's response to allegations of child molestation against Catholic priests in the archdiocese to determine if he committed fraud, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Well, basically, we were mystified and puzzled by the whole thing," Mahony told KNX radio this morning.

He said a federal subpoena is seeking church documents on 22 priests, none of whom are still in ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Lynn Super Bowl ring thief linked to false priest sexual-abuse claim

LYNN (MA)
The Daily Item

By Dan O'Brien / The Daily Item

LYNN - Sean Murphy, the Lynn man who allegedly masterminded the theft of 27 New York Giants Super Bowl rings, is the same person who fraudulently claimed in 2000 to be molested by a Catholic priest as part of a long history of theft and fraud, the Item has learned.

Murphy, 44, of 407 Walnut St., was ordered held on $3 million bail at his arraignment Thursday in Attleboro District Court on breaking and entering and larceny charges after the rings were recovered from a Saugus safe deposit box on Tuesday. The rings were among $2.5 million worth of items stolen from E.A. Dion manufacturing company of Attleboro last June.

The Item has learned Murphy is connected to a long list of thefts, robberies and scams allegedly committed over the past 30 years. His most notable claim to shame came when he, his brother, a former jail cell mate and Murphy's mother filed false claims that defrocked Rev. John Geoghan sexually abused the men as children. Geoghan was charged with molesting nearly 80 children over a 30-year period and was later murdered in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

THAT'S A WRAP

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

It will surely go down in Canadian history as one of the most comprehensive public commissions ever held.

Thursday, the final witness left the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, a $40-million endeavour that heard nearly 170 people over the past three years testify about their experience with historical sexual abuse allegations in eastern Ontario.

Some were victims, many of whom were coming forward publicly for the first time. Others were members of institutions the victims dealt with. Those included, among others, the Cornwall Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Children's Aid Society, and the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Crime victims applaud US Attorney investigation of LA Archdiocese, including 'creative lawyering'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Examiner

[with video]

January 29, 11:04 PM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

Victims of pedophile priests met in front of the LA cathedral Thursday in response to news stories that the US Attorney is investigating Cardinal Roger Mahony for mishandling of the pedophile priest crisis. SNAP leader Joelle Casteix said, "We are cautiously optimistic" and "encouraged law enforcement is using creative methods."

************************:
TRANSCRIPT OF 2 MINUTE BYTE:

I am Joelle Casteix making this statement for the advocacy group SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

I’m the Southwest Regional Director of SNAP.

As you know we also have survivors and family members here who do speak Spanish.

With me are survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Los Angeles and across California, as well as their family members and we are here today for a very - very important reason.

We are cautiously optimistic about the announcement yesterday that the US Attorney will be investigating the coverup of child sex abuse crimes here in the diocese of Los Angeles. For the first time we are very-very encouraged that law enforcement is using creative methods to make sure that men who allow children to be abused and for their families and parishioners to suffer unnecessary pain, that these people will be punished.

January 29, 2009

U.S. attorney adds Mahony to his file

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Scott Glover and David Savage
8:00 PM PST, January 29, 2009
In the 16 months since he was sworn in as U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, Thomas P. O'Brien charged a former U.S. Marine with manslaughter for combat killings in Iraq,tried a Missouri woman whose alleged crime, many would argue, was committed halfway across the country and sought to strip a notorious outlaw motorcycle gang of its very identity.

Now he's immersed himself in a grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger Mahony's handling of sexually predatory priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

In each of these cases, O'Brien, a former Navy Top Gun instructor and gang prosecutor in the district attorney's office, has either taken on battles that others may have shied away from or employed novel -- some would say shaky -- legal strategies to make his case.

Mahony said in a radio interview Thursday that he was "mystified and puzzled" by news of the probe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 PM

Angry mob? Would you call US attorneys angry mobs? Video: Reporter hands SNAP leader Mahony statement in middle of press conference today

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Video: Reporter hands SNAP leader Mary Grant the LA Archdiocese statement today, just as the press conference in front of the downtown cathedral winds down.

Transcript of the video, which is playing at http://cityofangels6.blogspot.com follows:

Grant: - this accuses SNAP of being an angry rob running after rumors with pitchforks.

Grant: This is a classic perpetrator behavior and that is blaming the victims for crimes. Cardinal Mahony claims that the church has reformed. Hmm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 PM

Another Chapter In Priest Scandal

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

January 30, 2009
Settlement of the latest sexual molestation lawsuit against the Rev. Stephen Foley — and there have been at least 13 — is a mixed blessing.

The $750,000 award to be paid by the Archdiocese of Hartford puts an official end to the ordeal of the victim, William Noll, who has waited many years for justice. It also makes public, at Mr. Noll's request, the deposition of the accused priest, but the taped interview may infuriate rather than ease the pain of other victims.

In the video deposition, Mr. Foley did not admit guilt in the repeated molestation of Mr. Noll starting in 1978 when he was 14. He did not admit luring young boys into his pseudo police cruiser loaded with lights and sirens as described by his accusers. Mr. Foley also denied taking any boys to a cottage on Cape Cod and said he did not remember the names of any of a long list of youths with whom he is alleged to have spent the night with there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 PM

Grand Jury Investigates Los Angeles Priest Cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: January 29, 2009
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, confirmed Thursday that a federal grand jury is investigating whether the archdiocese mishandled priests who had sexually abused children.

Cardinal Mahony told KNX radio news in Los Angeles that he was “mystified and puzzled by the whole thing” because the grand jury had subpoenaed files on 22 priests, of whom two are dead and the rest have been removed from the priesthood. ...

Nicholas P. Cafardi, dean emeritus at Duquesne University School of Law, who served on the American bishops’ first review board on sexual abuse, said, “This appears to be a real stretch,” and called it an intrusion into the church’s First Amendment rights.

“It involves the government in determining what services a bishop should provide,” Professor Cafardi said.

He added: “It’s time for this to be over. L.A. has settled with all of their claimants.”

But John C. Manly, a plaintiffs lawyer in Newport Beach who has been bringing cases against the archdiocese and Cardinal Mahony for more than 10 years, disagreed, saying: “My experience is, if they get this to trial and any jury sees the documents and finds out what he did, he’s finished. The documents tell the tale.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 PM

Judgment Day for Cardinal Mahony?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
William Lobdell

January 29th, 2009

It took way, way too long, but the U.S. attorney has finally launched a grand jury investigation into the actions of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony when dealing with rapist priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Here’s the breaking news in the Los Angeles Times. The lead by Scott Glover and Jack Leonard:

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the alleged molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

The probe, in which U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O’Brien is personally involved, is aimed at determining whether Mahony, and possibly other church leaders, committed “honest services fraud” by failing to adequately deal with priests accused of sexually abusing children, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

[snip]

As the Catholic Church’s highest-ranking official in Southern California, Mahony was dogged for years by allegations of covering up the sexual misconduct of priests. The district attorney’s office launched a grand jury investigation into the archdiocese several years ago, but no charges were filed. Two years ago, the archdiocese agreed to pay $660 million to 508 people who accused priests of sexual abuse. The payout was the largest settlement in a scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church nationwide.

Reading the initial story, the legal tactic seems a bit of a long shot, but why not try–especially if it can be used to punish other bishops, archbishops and cardinals who covered up and hid rapist priests, many of whom went on to commit sex crimes on other children?

To review just a few of Mahony’s sins (click here to see them all), he quietly kept two convicted child molesters in ministry. A priest who admitted to Mahony that he had molested two boys was allowed to keep his job, the authorities weren’t told, parishioners weren’t warned, and (you guessed it), the priest went on to molest others. Mahony’s handling of serial rapist of little children, Oliver O’Grady, was laid out with sickening beauty in the Oscar-nominated documentary, “Deliver Us From Evil.” As late as 2002, Mahony had at least eight known molesting priests working in his diocese, and only removed them when forced to do so by a legal settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

$14.2M for sex abuse victims in WA orphanage case

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

By GENE JOHNSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer

SEATTLE —
The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and a New York-based Catholic order have agreed to pay $14.2 million to two dozen men who were sexually abused at an orphanage in the 1950s and '60s.

The men attended the Briscoe Memorial School for Boys, an orphanage owned by the archdiocese and run by the Christian Brothers order in Kent, a Seattle suburb. Of the $14.2 million, the order is paying more than $8 million, and the archdiocese is paying nearly $4 million. An insurance company that insured both entities is paying more than $2 million.

"Finally, after 40 years, it means there is an acknowledgment on the part of these two Catholic entities that these children were hurt," said Michael Pfau, a lawyer for the victims. "Because the abuse occurred at an orphanage, a lot of them felt forgotten. There's a sense of justice and closure."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Former Bedford County minister faces child sex abuse charges

VIRGINIA
WSLS

Lynchburg News & Advance
Published: January 29, 2009

A former Bedford County minister is facing child sexual abuse charges, according to Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz.

Krantz said Charles Langley, 72, former pastor of Forest United Methodist Church, is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a child under the age of 13.

The charges, Krantz said, are related to incidents said to have taken place between April and December of 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

US Attorney launches grand jury investigation of Catholic cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KPCC

The U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles has reportedly launched a federal grand jury investigation into Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony. But a spokesman for the L.A. Archdiocese is denying that Mahony is the target.

Two law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that the investigation focuses on whether Mahony committed fraud by failing to adequately deal with priests who were accused of sexual abuse.

KPCC’s Larry Mantle asked Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg about Mahony’s reaction to the report.

Tod Tamberg: “Well, the cardinal has said he’s puzzled and I think I would add to that, there’s a sense of frustration here in the way that this investigation has been brought to light.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Corona renames street that honored accused priest

CORONA (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By David Kelly
January 30, 2009
Long after allegations first surfaced that he had molested children, Msgr. Matthew J. Thompson's name graced a street sign near St. Edward Catholic Church and school in Corona.

For those who say they were his victims, the sign's presence for more than 30 years was both an insult and a glaring act of insensitivity.

This week, they won a small but significant victory when the city ordered a public works crew to remove it. In minutes, Msgr. Thompson Circle became Saint Edwards Circle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Mahony Under Investigation for Clergy Sex Scandal Cover-Up

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LifeSite News

By Kathleen Gilbert

LOS ANGELES, January 29, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Federal investigators have launched a probe against Cardinal Roger Mahony and other officials of the L.A. Archdiocese to determine whether he was guilty of fraud by covering up clerical sex abuse, according to a Los Angeles Times report yesterday.

Unnamed sources told the Times that Cardinal Mahony is under investigation for his role in allowing the continued abuse of children and young men by known sex offenders among the clergy. Specifically, the inquiry is intended to determine whether Mahony and other church officials committed fraud by failing to deal properly with such clergy.

If charged, the cardinal could be tried for violating a federal statute that forbids "[scheming] to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services." It is as yet uncertain whether criminal charges are likely to be pursued, as the inquiry is still in its beginning stages. The probe, the Times was told, has been underway since at least late last year. ...

Through it all Mahony, the diocese's chief administrator - who has become notorious as a symbol of dissidence among leading Church officials for glibly supporting homosexuality and liberal political causes - managed to escape questioning on his role in the affair. Mahony received the ire of both Catholics and non-Catholics for refusing to cooperate fully in the investigations. Yet Mahony and those who might have implicated him were spared the witness box by hundreds of millions in settlement money the diocese has paid out since the outset in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

The Cardinal Is Mystified

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Weekly

by Steven Mikulan
January 29, 2009 1:37 PM

KNX Radio reporters Dick Helton and Vicky Moore today interviewed L.A. Archdiocese Cardinal Roger Mahony (audio file) about the L.A. Times reporting he is the target of a federal grand jury investigation. The Scott Glover-Jack Leonard piece said that the Cardinal faces felony "denial of honest services" charges, because he adopted a priests-will-be-priests attitude to predatory pastors under his authority.

In the KNX interview, Mahony tells Helton and Moore that no one knows if he or anyone in the archdiocese is a target of the investigation. (His lawyer, J. Michael Hennigan, claimed in the Times feature that Mahony was not.)

"We were basically mystified and puzzled by the whole thing," Mahony says. "We have been through these investigations for years now."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Archdiocese responds to report of government investigation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

The following statement was issued Jan. 28 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

Today the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times posted stories from unnamed Government sources describing an investigation of the Archdiocese's handling of old sexual abuse cases.

"The leak by the Government is unprofessional and violates Department of Justice guidelines concerning on-going investigations," said Michael Hennigan, Counsel for the Archdiocese. "The Archdiocese has received requests from the United States Attorney's Office for information about a number of individual priests, two of whom are deceased and none of whom are known to be in ministry. We have been and will continue to be fully cooperative with the investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Legal experts question LA priest probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Press-Enterprise

By LINDA DEUTSCH
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

A U. S. Attorney with a penchant for applying the law creatively is taking on the biggest target of his career the nation's largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in a child molestation case that could break ground for prosecuting high-ranking church officials nationwide if it succeeds.

But legal experts were questioning Thursday whether U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien has a chance of persuading a jury that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other leaders of the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese violated the federal "honest services" fraud law by allowing the molestation of hundreds of children by Catholic priests.

It was revealed Thursday that a federal grand jury is investigating how Archdiocese officials handled their internal investigation of child-molest allegations brought against Catholic priests. The Archdiocese reached a record $660 million settlement in 2007 with more than 500 alleged victims of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

What the Ted Haggard Scandal Is Really About

UNITED STATES
Ethics Daily

Christa Brown
01-28-09
(RNS) The headline was an eye-catcher: "Pastor Ted Haggard faces more gay sex accusations."

But the more I delved into the recent Associated Press story, the more I knew it wasn't really about "gay sex."

It was about pastoral abuse and exploitation. It was about a megachurch cover-up.

This story was different from the one back in 2006 that brought down Colorado Springs celebrity pastor Ted Haggard after an affair with a male escort. That story elicited little more than a yawn from me. Another religious leader caught with a prostitute? Ho-hum.

Sure, Haggard showed hypocrisy to the hilt, but in the work I do, I see such an endless stream of evangelical leaders' hypocrisy that I get inured to it. So I try to concern myself with the more egregious stuff, like clergy sex abuse and child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

LA Archdiocese puts out statement that makes them sound even more like criminals than they did before.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

[press release purported to be from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles)

ABOVE - as crime victims of pedophile priests spoke to the press today in LA, a piece of paper, on Archdiocese letterhead, emerged, saying SNAP "runs to every investigation and rumor with pitchforks," then the press release tries to turn attention away from the crimes being investigated.

Above is the entire press release scanned in for you to click and enlarge and read for yourselves.

For the record it argues with SNAP saying, "There is no priest currently in ministry in the Archdiocese," a phrase that might have been crafted by an attorney to divert public attention.

The question is not current priests.

We have seen these crimes committed by bishops over and over again: negligence, aiding and abetting pedophiles, flagrant disregard for permanent damage being done to thousands of people. FRAUD. Telling people you are giving their children spiritual guidance when you are actually sodomizing them is a Fraud so serious and heinous there is no current law in effect to describe it. So we have "creative lawyering" going into effect in the US Justice Department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Former pastor pleads guilty to molestations

REDDING (CA)
Record Searchlight

By Jim Schultz
Originally published 01:09 p.m., January 29, 2009
Updated 01:09 p.m., January 29, 2009

The former senior pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church in Redding today pleaded guilty to five felony counts of child molestation in exchange for a 16-year prison sentence.

David Leon Bishop, 65, who remains free of custody on $100,000 bail, is scheduled for sentencing on March 12, said Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Ben Hanna, who prosecuted the case.

Bishop was arrested in early October and charged with 47 felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14, as well as 47 related enhancements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Ada man in court on molestation charges

ADA (OK)
KWII

ADA, OK -- A church pastor accused of molesting two boys appeared in court to face charges Thursday. Kenneth Wayne Honeycutt faces four counts of lewd molestation. Authorities say Honeycutt blamed blood pressure medication for how he may have behaved related to the alleged incident.

The 60 year old man is pastor of New Hope Baptist Church.

Authorities say Honeycutt told Pontotoc County Undersheriff Joe Glover that the molestations began in the spring and occurred at least 15 times when the 10-year-old boy frequently would spend the night at his house and at least once when the 6-year-old stayed over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Former Owasso church staff member arrested on sex abuse charge

OWASSO (OK)
Tulsa World

By Staff Reports
Published: 1/29/2009 3:35 PM
Last Modified: 1/29/2009 3:35 PM

OWASSO — Police on Thursday arrested a former Owasso church staffer who is charged with inappropriately touching a 16-year-old boy, records show.

Sean David Whisenhunt, 23, is charged with one count of sexual abuse in Tulsa County District Court. He is accused of rubbing and touching the stomach, inner thighs and crotch area of a teenager on Jan. 10, documents indicate. Bail was set at $2,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Feds probe L.A. cardinal over priest cases-reports

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are being investigated by federal authorities over accusations of covering up the sexual abuse of minors by priests, two newspapers reported on Thursday.

The probe is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles through a federal grand jury, according to the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. If Mahony were charged he would be one of the highest-ranking Catholic church officials to face prosecution in U.S. clergy sex scandals.

A spokesman for the Attorney's office, Thom Mrozek, declined to comment on the reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

New Info on Catholic Priest Pedophile Relocated to Nashville

NASHVILLE (TN)
Nashville Scene

By Caleb Hannan
It's not everyday that an article from the Indianapolis Star is a must-read for those in Music City. But this piece on former Catholic priest Harry Monroe, long since relocated to Nashville, certainly fits the bill.

For a decade starting in the mid-'70s, Monroe allegedly abused dozens of young boys in Indianapolis. The Archdiocese responded by shuttling him back and forth to a dubious, Catholics-only treatment center that declared Monroe not to be a threat to young children. In 1984, after more parents came forward to church officials claiming their kids had been abused, the Archdiocese removed Monroe from the ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

L.A. diocese investigated for sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
WBIR

[with video]

Beverly White, KNBC

Federal prosecutors in California are reportedly investigating Cardinal Roger Mahony and other officials at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

They are reportedly looking into allegations of sexual abuse committed by priests and whether enough was done to prevent them. ...

This man says he was abused by church workers as a teenager and applauds efforts to seek justice now.

James Robertson of "Survivors of Silence" says "sadness as always, there's always sadness. But better late than never, that's how I really feel about this. Better late than never."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Cardinal Mahony Reportedly Under Fed Fraud Probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KNX

[audio presentation]

Los Angeles Times staff writer Scott Glover discusses the issue with KNX 1070's Jim Thornton and Ron Kilgore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Cardinal Mahony Responds to Fed Fraud Probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KNX

[audio presentation]

Cardinal Mahony talks with KNX 1070's Dick Helton and Vicky Moore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

LA cardinal says he's 'mystified' by federal probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Pres

By THOMAS WATKINS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cardinal Roger M. Mahony said Thursday he was "mystified and puzzled" by a federal grand jury investigation into the handling of alleged clergy child molestation cases by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Mahony told KNX radio that he would gladly testify before a grand jury, but that he believed investigators were looking into issues that have been thoroughly dealt with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Hey, Federales: Don't Forget the Pedo-Priest Protectors from the Diocese of Orange!

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
January 29, 2009 6:52 AM

When I heard late that the United States Attorney's office is investigating Archdiocese of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for his role in covering up the rapes committed by his priest, I attributed it to a hallucination brought on by last night's episode of Lost. But here's the Los Angeles Times story that proves it, and all I can say is: what about the Diocese of Orange?

According to Times reporters Scott Glover and Jack Leonard, the feds are accusing Mahony and perhaps other L.A. Archdiocese officials of fraud, and "to gain a conviction on such a charge, prosecutors would have to prove that Mahony used the U.S. mail or some form of electronic communication in committing the alleged fraud" and thus depriving parishioners "of the intangible right of honest services" by knowingly harboring, accepting, and protecting pedo-priests without letting the faithful know. I don't know too much about cases in Los Angeles, but I do know the sordid details Diocese of Orange scandal like I know great Orange County restaurants. And, if the feds are using such a litmus test of mail fraud to get Mahony, then all of O.C.'s bishops, past and present (with the curious exception of Dominic Luong) belong in the slammer. To wit after the jump!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Seven Years On, Enter the Feds

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Whispers in the Loggia

In a first since the US clergy sex-abuse scandals began their major eruption in 2002, the nation's largest local church -- the 4.2 million-member archdiocese of Los Angeles and its head, Cardinal Roger Mahony -- is under Federal investigation over its response to reports of abusive clergy:

The probe, in which U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O'Brien is personally involved, is aimed at determining whether Mahony, and possibly other church leaders, committed fraud by failing to adequately deal with priests accused of sexually abusing children, said [two law-enforcement] sources, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Investigan a cardenal de Los Ángeles por respuesta indolente a casos de abusos

UNITED STATES
Mundial (Venezuela)

Prensa Web YVKE, Agencias
Jueves, 29 de Ene de 2009. 10:12 am

El trámite "apunta a determinar si Mahony, y posiblemente otros jerarcas eclesiásticos, cometieron fraude cuando no trataron adecuadamente a los sacerdotes acusados de abuso sexual de menores", según el diario.

Los fiscales emplean una ley federal según la cual es "ilegal la concertación con otras personas para privar a alguien del derecho intangible de un servicio honesto".

Las víctimas, añadió el diario, serían los católicos que contaron con que Mahony y otros altos cargos de la Iglesia Católica protegerían a sus niños de los sacerdotes abusadores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Investigating a cardinal?

UNITED STATES
Blogging Religiously

One question I still hear asked about the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal is how bishops who left abusive priests in ministry have gotten off more or less unscathed.

The question was most asked about Cardinal Bernard Law, in particular. He resigned under pressure, but has made out reasonably well within the church.

But now the U.S. attorney in LA has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger Mahony, the LA Times is reporting. The investigation is said to be in connection with Mahony’s response to the abuse of minors by priests.

The implications here, one would think, could be great.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Italian Lefebvrite priest questions Holocaust

ITALY
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR., NCR Staff
Published: Jan. 29, 2009

In the wake of a global furor triggered by Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to lift the excommunication of four traditionalist Catholic bishops, including one who cast doubt on the Holocaust, another leader in the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X has questioned whether the Nazis used gas chambers for anything other than “disinfection,” and said that people who hold revisionist views on the Holocaust are not anti-Semites.

Fr. Floriano Abrahamowicz, a pastor and spokesperson for the Society of St. Pius X in northeastern Italy, also referred to Jews as “a people of deicide,” referring to the death of Christ, and suggested that the Jewish Holocaust has been “exalted” over what he called “other genocides,” such as the Allied bombing of German cities and the Israeli occupation of the Gaza strip.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Jailed vicar is stripped of role

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A vicar jailed for making, taking and possessing more than 56,000 indecent images of children has been removed from Holy Orders.

Richard Hart, from Beguildy, near Knighton, Powys was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years at Cardiff Crown Court last September.

Hart, 59, has now been deposed from Holy Orders by a Church in Wales disciplinary tribunal.

He has also been expelled as a cleric of the Church in Wales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Unholy act? Cardinal Mahony investigated

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN/KABC) - According to unnamed sources in the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal, a federal investigation will determine whether Cardinal Roger Mahony, and possibly other church leaders, committed "honest services fraud" against parishioners by failing to keep children safe from predatory priests.

"That's interesting; it raises the question: what are the fair and honest services of a cardinal and exactly what did he do or not do to deprive them of that?" Loyola Law professor Laurie Levenson said.

Levenson said the allegation falls under a broad federal statute usually used against corporate executives accused of wrongdoing.

"What we're really saying here is the church is like one of those corporations and Cardinal Mahony is like a bad CEO who's on the take," Levenson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Child pornography ring members face felony charges

GREECE
Pokrov

Date Published: 1/28/2009

Publication: Athens News Agency

Four of the eleven men arrested for involvement in a big child pornography ring broken by the Greek police have been charged with felonies, authorities announced on Tuesday.

The four are Spyros Symeonidis, Charalambos Charalambidis, Phaedon Hasiotis and Giorgos Iliopoulos. Their names were made public by the prosecutor, based on legislation that allows such a move in the case of crimes against minors.

A total of 24 people across the country were accused of possessing and trafficking hard-core child porn on the internet following an investigation that lasted roughly three months, it was announced on Tuesday.

Eleven men were arrested, among them Archimandrite Fotis Makrystathis, aged 44, who is a priest in the Peloponnese but was taken into custody in Attica prefecture. He was charged by a Piraeus prosecutor with repeated criminal counts of habitually using and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Suspects remanded in custody

GREECE
Kathimerini

A 44-year-old Orthodox priest allegedly linked to a ring trading in hardcore child porn was remanded in custody yesterday after defending himself before an investigating magistrate. A 52-year-old Athens metro worker and a 30-year-old electrical engineer were also remanded. A total of 11 people have been charged in connection with the ring and police are seeking dozens more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

LA Cardinal faces probe over abusive priests: report

LOS ANGELES (CA)
AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — The head of the Catholic church in Los Angeles is being investigated in connection with his response to allegations of sex abuse by priests in the region, US media reported.

The Los Angeles Times cited sources familiar with the case as saying federal prosecutors were probing Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to see whether he committed "fraud" by failing to adequately deal with priests suspected of sex abuse.

A Justice Department spokesman in Los Angeles declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP Wednesday. Mahony's lawyer J. Michael Hennigan could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Honest Services Theory Used in Priest Abuse Cover-up Probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
ABA Journal

By Debra Cassens Weiss

A U.S. attorney is applying a criminal statute in a novel way as part of a grand jury investigation into the Los Angeles archdiocese and its response to pedophile priests, according to a newspaper report.

The theory is that a cover-up of priest abuse by church leaders, if proven, violates a federal statute that bars conspiracies to deprive others of honest services, the Los Angeles Times reports. The victims would be parishioners who entrusted the safety of their children to church leaders.

U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien is personally involved in the probe, two anonymous law enforcement sources told the newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Archdiocese responds to reports of federal sex abuse probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CNN

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Federal prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether leaders of the Los Angeles archdiocese committed fraud by failing to properly deal with charges of priests molesting children, two law-enforcement sources told CNN.

The Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is specifically targeted in a grand jury investigation -- citing unnamed government sources.

U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien is personally involved in the probe, according to the reports.

In a written statement, the Catholic archdiocese on Wednesday defended its actions. It said the archdiocese has been contacted by the U.S. attorney's office for "information about a number of individual priests" -- two who are dead and none of whom are active in the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Cops never contacted about abuse

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By DAVID NESSETH, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A retired superintendent of education for the Prescott and Russell Separate School Board said he and his staff never contacted police after sexual abuse allegations surfaced against a teacher at La Citadelle Catholic Secondary School in 1976.

Jean-Paul Scott, who served as the school board's superintendent from 1972 to 1980, passed on the voluntary resignation of teacher Robert Sabourin to the school board, but said he didn't include to the board the allegation or circumstances surrounding Sabourin's sudden departure.

"Is this now a trial for me, or what?" Scott asked Inquiry commissioner Normand Glaude while he was questioned by a lawyer at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Former Preacher Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
WSAZ

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former preacher accused of sexual abusing a teenager was found guilty on three counts Wednesday night.

Timothy Edmonds was arrested back in 2006. Police say he sexaully assaulted a 16-year-old girl.

Edmonds was a youth preacher at the Chesapeake Apostolic Church in Kanawha County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Jury convicts man in student's sexual abuse case

CHARLESTON (WV)
Daily Mail

by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A jury found a Chesapeake man guilty on three of seven counts of sexually abusing a teenage girl at his church.

Timothy C. Edmonds, 37, had been charged with sexual abuse by a custodian or a person in a position of trust. His alleged victim was a 16-year-old student who was enrolled at a private school run by Chesapeake Apostolic Church. Edmond's father-in-law is pastor there and his mother-in-law is principal of the church school.

Jurors began deliberating the case Wednesday afternoon and reached a verdict after several hours. Edmonds was taken later to South Central Regional Jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Court Declines to Hear Clergy-Abuse Lawyer's Suspension Appeal

NEW YORK
The National Law Journal

New York Law Journal
Joel Stashenko

January 29, 2009

The New York Court of Appeals has declined to hear the appeal of attorney John A. Aretakis' one-year suspension for engaging in "undignified and discourteous conduct" toward courts.

Without elaboration, the court denied Aretakis' motions for an automatic appeal of an Appellate Division, 3rd Department, ruling upholding his recommended suspension on the grounds that there is no substantial constitutional question to review.

The judges also denied his motion for leave to appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Seattle Archdiocese, Christian Brothers reach $7M settlement with ex-students

SEATTLE (WA)
The Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

Some 40 years after they attended Briscoe Memorial School in Kent, 13 men who said they were abused as students there have reached a $7 million settlement with the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which owned the school, and the Congregation of Christian Brothers, the religious order that ran it.

The settlement marks an end to most of the lawsuits filed to date alleging physical and sexual abuse over the decades by authority figures at the now-defunct boarding school.

The 13 men said they were abused at Briscoe in the 1960s. Of the $7 million, the Seattle Archdiocese agreed to pay $1.25 million, the Christian Brothers about $3.63 million, and an insurance company that jointly covered both institutions about $2.13 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Cardinal Mahony under federal investigation over abusive priests, sources say

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Scott Glover and Jack Leonard
January 29, 2009
The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

The probe, in which U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O'Brien is personally involved, is aimed at determining whether Mahony, and possibly other church leaders, committed fraud by failing to adequately deal with priests accused of sexually abusing children, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Authorities are applying a legal theory in an apparently novel way. One federal law enforcement source said prosecutors are seeking to use a federal statute that makes it illegal to "scheme . . . to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services." ...

Rebecca Lonergan, a professor of law at USC and a former federal prosecutor, said she was unaware of the law's ever being used to charge a member of the clergy.

"They would have to show some intentional wrongdoing rather than just after-the-fact cover-up," she said. "I think it would be a creative, new and different way of using the statute."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Judge OKs keeping documents sealed—for now—in civil suit involving abusive priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
January 29, 2009
A Cook County judge on Wednesday affirmed a request from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago to protect witnesses' names and other documents in the only remaining civil suit filed by the family of a child abused by a former priest on Chicago's West Side.

"The protective order in this case is intended to allow the exchange of information between the parties to the lawsuit while ensuring that the privacy interests of victims of child sexual abuse and their families are respected while the case is pending," church officials said in a statement. The protective order only applies until the case goes to trial.

William Martin, a lawyer for the boy who was abused by Daniel McCormack multiple times at St. Agatha Catholic Church and elsewhere, argued that the church's motion was vague enough to shield church secrets from the public eye and potentially protect priests who protected McCormack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

“After all the stuff he did”

CORONA (CA)
California Catholic Daily

At the request of the San Bernardino diocese, the Corona City Council has renamed a short cul-de-sac that runs in front of St. Edward Catholic Church, removing street signs honoring a longtime and now dead pastor later accused of sexual molestation.

Formerly known as Monsignor Thompson Circle, the city council voted earlier this month to rename the block-long street St. Edward Circle. The diocese had requested the name change in December.

Avery D. Ensley Jr., 62, who no longer lives in California, had pressed for the name change for nearly seven years. Ensley was among the plaintiffs who settled a nearly $200 million lawsuit with the diocese in 2007. He says Msgr. Matthew J. Thompson had molested him as a child when he attended St. Edward’s School and served as an altar boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

January 28, 2009

L.A. Cardinal Under Federal Probe Over Abusive Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Fox News

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Federal prosecutors are investigating Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other officials of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles over their handling of alleged clergy child molestation cases, according to reports published Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times, citing two unidentified law enforcement persons familiar with the case, reported on its Web site that Mahony is among those being investigated by a federal grand jury to determine if he failed to keep children safe from predatory priests. The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, said authorities are looking to see if church officials tried to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by priests.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation. ...

David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he was stunned by the report but also gladdened.

"From our perspective, it's crystal clear that parishioners were deceived and defrauded. It's simply common sense," he told the AP by phone. "You can't have hundreds of priests molest thousands of kids and have there not be fraud and deception."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 PM

Feds Investigating Cardinal Mahony Over Abusive Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
My Fox Los Angeles

Federal authorities are investigating Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's response to allegations of child molestation against Catholic priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese to determine if he committed fraud, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The report on the The Times Web site, which cites unnamed sources law enforcement sources, prompted an angry response from an archdiocese attorney, who blasted federal authorities for leaking information about the probe.

"The leak by the government is unprofessional and violates Department of Justice guidelines concerning ongoing investigations," diocese attorney Michael Hennigan said.

Hennigan confirmed that the diocese has received requests for information from the U.S. Attorney's Office about a number of priests, "two of whom are deceased and none of whom are known to be in ministry." ...

In a statement, diocese officials said they were not aware of any facts that would support a responsible federal probe of the archdiocese or Mahony.

"While the history of clergy sexual abuse in the church is regrettable, it served as the foundation for broad reforms in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles," according to the statement. "Under Cardinal Mahony's leadership, the archdiocese has become a model for organizations nationwide in the education, training and detection of every aspect of abuse."

The archdiocese also called for an investigation of the leak of information "to determine the extent and depth of misconduct by those who were responsible for the leak."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 PM

New grand jury probe of LA archdiocese; Sex abuse victims respond

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Even the launching of this probe is a vindication and validation for thousands of deeply wounded victims and betrayed Catholics. While dozens of pedophile priests have been criminally convicted, hundreds of complicit church officials have ignored or concealed known or suspected clergy sex crimes and experienced no consequences whatsoever. Morally, that's wrong. Practically, that's reckless.

More than 250 Los Angeles archdiocesan priests are proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters. Most were repeatedly moved to unsuspecting parishes time and again despite suspicions and reports of their crimes. Some in the hierarchy must be held accountable for the devastation caused by this deceit and callousness.

If employers can enable child molesters and escape punishment, more employers will do just that. Justice must be done so that future wrong-doing is deterred and future sex crimes prevented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 PM

Media blitz today reveals new US Attorneys will investigate national Catholic priest pedophile epidemic. Here are more names to contact in the new DOJ

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

As the US Senate confirmed Eric Holder as the new Attorney General, Barack Obama's Justice Department in LA went to work getting the story in the media of an investigation of Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

What outrageous crime emerged in city after city across the country beginning in Boston in the last eight years, and yet was almost ignored by law enforcement, Federal Law Enforcement? Who is in charge now of the US Justice Department as of January 20th and so able to open investigations of criminal bishops across the country, and the great scam the Catholic Church pulled off, convincing America they employed priests who were safe to have around children.

Crimes committed by almost every archbishop in the nation, crimes of fraud, negligence, reckless endangerment - require federal attention, federal investigation and prosecution. Looks like it is finally going to happen with Barack Obama in office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 PM

Sexual abuse victims want to sue the Vatican

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Alaska Nightly News

Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Sex abuse claimants suing the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese want to go after the Vatican. A motion filed on behalf of 285 victims asks the judge presiding over the Fairbanks Diocese bankruptcy case, to make the Bishop sue the Vatican for money to compensate them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 PM

Man sues Seattle Archdiocese

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By CLAUDIA ROWE
P-I REPORTER

A 28-year-old man is suing the Seattle Archdiocese, saying that a priest at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle took sexual advantage of him when he sought therapy and spiritual guidance in 2004.

The priest, Jeffrey Sarkies, had a history of inappropriate relationships with parishioners, said Rebecca Roe, the attorney representing the 28-year-old man, David Johns. And for that reason she believes the archdiocese acted negligently by leaving Sarkies at his post.

In 2006 when Johns first aired his concerns, Sarkies abruptly resigned. The archdiocese said he had violated professional ethics in the area of sexual misconduct and harassment by engaging in "improper professional behavior."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

Cardinal Mahony under federal fraud probe over abusive priests, sources say

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Scott Glover and Jack Leonard
4:44 PM PST, January 28, 2009

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the alleged molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

The probe, in which U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O'Brien is personally involved, is aimed at determining whether Mahony, and possibly other church leaders, committed "honest services fraud" by failing to adequately deal with priests accused of sexually abusing children, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

One federal law enforcement source said such a prosecution could be brought under a federal statute that makes it illegal to "scheme . . . to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

In this case, the victims would be parishioners who relied on Mahony and other church leaders to keep their children safe from predatory priests, the source said. To convict on such a charge, prosecutors would have to prove that Mahony used the U.S. mail or some form of electronic communication in committing the alleged fraud, the source said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

Report: LA cardinal subject of federal probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Pres

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors reportedly are investigating top officials of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles over their handling of alleged clergy child molestation cases.

Citing two unidentified law enforcement officials familiar with the case, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is among those being investigated by a federal grand jury to determine if he failed to keep children safe from predatory priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Grand jury targets Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KABC

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien launched a federal grand jury investigation of Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday afternoon. The Wall Street Journal also reported the story.

The investigation targets Cardinal Mahony's involvement in cases of alleged child molestation by L.A. Diocese priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Greek Orthodox church settles sex abuse case

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Times-Union

By Paul Pinkham

A Jacksonville church has settled claims with a former parishioner who said he was sexually assaulted by a priest who later tried to adopt him.

But his lawsuit continues against the archdiocese that oversees St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church.

The confidential settlement between the Atlantic Boulevard church and the 23-year-old man was reached during mediation, according to a report filed in court Friday by the mediator. The report also announced a complete settlement with the retired priest, the Very Rev. Nicholas T. Graff, though Graff’s lawyer said the priest didn’t participate in any settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

U.S. Investigates L.A. Archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Wall Street Journal

By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER
LOS ANGELES -- Federal authorities are investigating the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to see whether top church officials tried to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by priests, said a person familiar with the matter.

A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas and begun calling witnesses in the probe, which began late last year, said this person. The investigation is still in its early, fact-gathering stage, and it isn't known whether any criminal charges will result.

Thomas O'Brien, the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, declined to comment on the investigation.

J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said in an email on behalf of church officials: "The Archdiocese has received requests from the U.S. Attorney's office for information about a number of individual priests, two of whom are deceased; none of whom remain in ministry. We have been and will continue to be fully cooperative with the investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Obama pardon sought by Filipino priest

PHILIPPINES
Global Nation

By Tetch Torres
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:21:00 01/28/2009

MANILA, Philippines -- US President Barack Obama has been asked by a convicted Filipino priest to grant him clemency, the Public Attorney’s Office said.

"Father Jose Superiaso requested me to be of assistance to him so that he may be given the chance by His Excellency to be awarded the benefit of Presidential Clemency and Parole under the US State Laws and Systems," said PAO Chief Persida Ruada-Acosta who relayed the priest’s message in a letter to Obama.

Superiaso, a former priest at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Daly City, was found guilty of molesting a 12-year-old girl in 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Ex NM & CA pedophile priest wants pardon from Obama

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, 314 862 7688 home)

For the safety of children, we strenuously object to any pardon for this predatory priest.

Fr. Superiaso admitted his crimes, both to a church official and in court.

It's a particularly disturbing request since only a tiny percentage of pedophile priests ever face criminal charges, largely because church officials are so successful at concealing their crimes until the archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly statute of limitations have expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

SNAP on Ted Haggard's ex-church & evangelicals

COLORADO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Jeb Barrett of Denver, SNAP Denver Director - 1/28/09

We're here to discuss two of the most fundamental lessons to be learned form the Catholic church's on-going, horrific clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.

For victims, the lesson is that clergy sex victims should be go to police officials, not church officials.

We’re at the police station today because this is where ministerial misconduct should be reported – at police headquarters, not at denominational headquarters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Archdiocese Allowed To Seal McCormack Documents

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2

CHICAGO (AP) ―

A judge has given the Archdiocese of Chicago the power to seal portions of documents related to convicted pedophile priest Daniel McCormack.

Attorney William Martin represents the victim in the case against the diocese. He says a Cook County Circuit Court judge granted the archdiocese's request to seal portions of case files that the church deems highly sensitive.

Archdiocesan spokeswoman Colleen Dolan says the order protects the identity of the minors involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

HISTORIC MOVE FOR VOTF AND U.S. CATHOLICS

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

January 25, 2009 – Boston –

In a move to unite U.S. Catholics, the newly formed American Catholic Council (ACC) called today for an historic assembly of the Catholic Church in the United States. Voice of the Faithful joins this call, spurred by evidence of serious deterioration in the life of the U.S. Church today.

“The way the Church is now is not the way it was meant to be,” says John Hushon, a VOTF board member who serves as the ACC co-chair. “The Gospels make it abundantly clear that Jesus envisioned a community that welcomes and encourages the gifts of all. The two-tiered clerical system that separates the ordained from the non-ordained was never meant to be, and it has caused enormous harm. Vatican II attempted to recapture the universal call to ministry, but this promise has not been fulfilled.”

The idea of a lay-convened gathering to recapture this promise has been championed for several years by VOTF president Dan Bartley and was formally endorsed by VOTF after consultation with its own members and member representatives. In addition, Board member Hushon and VOTF Vice President Janet Hauter are serving as the first co-chairs for the ACC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Critiquing a recent priest story, and more

MAINE
Morning Sentinel

From the Editor
Executive Editor Eric Conrad sheds light on our newspapers and our Web sites, on the role of community journalists, sharing news and perspective about the challenges facing the media industry, and offering insight into the frequent comments and contact we have with readers, government leaders and the business community. ...

Folks: It's been a while since I've done an in-depth critique. Today, I'll look at the past four days' newspapers, with mostly compliments and a few coulda-been-betters. I'll start by saying we've had a very "newsy" stretch of days again. On balance, we're covering a lot of "hard" local news, covering it well, presenting it well.

Ben Sturtevant and I just talked about our Web numbers and why they're up again, and probably will set a record for the KJ site. Our conclusion was simple: There's been a lot of breaking local news lately, and we're not missing it. Good job.

Before going into the details about the various papers, I want to review Amy Calder's recent, excellent two-story package on a local woman who wrote a book about the priest who fathered her son and then returned to the priesthood in central Maine, where he served for years.

Amy worked on this story off and on for several weeks, basically ever since the woman's self-published book came out. In the book, the woman does not name the priest. However, I felt like we needed a name so as not to cast suspicion over the other priests in our area. So we waited. The woman called Amy about three weeks ago and said she wanted to name him and give details. That's where Amy's new reporting began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Church acknowledges Dumoulin fatherhood, but takes issue with other details

MAINE
Morning Sentinel

BY AMY CALDER
Staff Writer

The Rev. Marcel Dumoulin never denied that he fathered Judy Soucier's child, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said last week.

"We have a fair amount of documentation on this," Diocese spokeswoman Susan Bernard said Tuesday.

But Bernard said the Diocese has no information in its files that would indicate Dumoulin ever tried to convince Soucier get an abortion, nor that other priests urged her to go out-of-state to have the baby and give it up for adoption.

Soucier says her book about her love affair with the priest is true; only the names are fictional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

In self-published book, Fairfield woman tells of priest who fathered her son

FAIRFIELD (ME)
Morning Sentinel

BY AMY CALDER
Staff Writer

01/25/2009

FAIRFIELD -- Judy Soucier sits in her Fairfield living room and talks tenderly about the Roman Catholic priest who fathered her child 36 years ago, but who would not commit to a lifelong relationship.

"He still was the man I loved," she says. "He still is, to this day."

Soucier, 65, wrote a book about her love affair with the priest called "Perfect: A Love Story."

Self-published in 2008 as an autobiographical work, but with characters that have fictional names, it describes the priest's alleged, but futile, attempts to convince Soucier to abort her child and the church's alleged insistence that she go out-of-state to have the baby and then give it up for adoption. She was 28 at the time; he was 36.

Soucier now identifies the priest as the Rev. Marcel Dumoulin, who until 2004 served as pastor at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Fairfield. He also served at parishes in Augusta and Winthrop. Dumoulin, 73, lives at a nursing-care facility in Lewiston, where he has Alzheimer's disease. Their son, Christian Soucier, is 36 and lives in New York City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

California Senate Leader Urges Action to Eliminate Statute of Limitations in Sexual Abuse Cases

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Market Watch

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan 28, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg welcomed other legislators and social service activists to a showing of the documentary "Boyhood Shadows" as part of his support of legislation to increase prosecution in sexual abuse cases.

Commenting on SB 46, authored by State Senator Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose, Steinberg called the documentary "a great public service" and said that as a result of heightened awareness, "More people won't suffer."

The event, held in a Senate conference room, was attended by legislators, including Assembly members Tom Torlakson (D-Martinez) and Bill Monning (D-Monterey) and Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Some Tips for Servite High Fans Today As Their School's Boys Basketball Teams Faces Mater Dei

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Sports
January 28, 2009 3:56 AM

Dear Servite High students:

You boys disappoint met. For years, I've sung your praises as a school that doesn't tolerate teen rapists like your eternal rivals, Mater Dei High School. But a couple of weeks ago, you earned worldwide notoriety for making racist chants again an African-American Mater Dei boys' basketball player. That's horrible, and you should never do that again. Almost as bad, however, was learning that ustedes have jeered Mater Dei's coach, the portly Gary McKnight, in the past by sending an empty pizza box down his way.

Fat jokes? Typical teenage idiocy. Tonight, your team plays Mater Dei again, this time in their home court? Want to really get under Mater Dei's skin? Leave the players alone, and focus on Mater Dei's many pedophile cover-ups over the years, especially those committed on behalf of Mater Dei boys' basketball.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Archdiocese settles molestation lawsuit

CONNECTICUT
WWLP

[with video]

Story by: Alan Cohn
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) - The Archdiocese, of Hartford, settles two more lawsuits alleging sexual molestation. The suits involve two priests, Father Stephen Foley and Father Daniel McSheffery.

What's unique about the settlement in the Foley case is the priest agreed to a condition allowing his video taped deposition to be made public.

The victim, 45-year old William Noll, required this stipulation to assist others who might be pursuing molestation cases against priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Priest linked to child porn ring

GREECE
Kathimerini

An Orthodox priest, two doctors and several businessmen are among 11 people charged yesterday as suspected members of a child pornography ring using the Internet to trade in hardcore videos and photographs.

A prosecutor brought criminal charges of trading in child pornography against five of the suspects, including the 44-year-old priest, with the rank of Archimandrite, and the two doctors – a neurosurgeon and a gynecologist – following raids on their homes in Athens, Thessaloniki and other parts of the country yesterday.

According to officers, the raids resulted in the confiscation of 28 computer hard drives and hundreds of DVDs containing photographs and videos of children as young as 6 months old being sexually abused by adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Archdiocese seeks lid on abuse-case documents

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

January 28, 2009 12:23 AM
In the only remaining civil suit filed by the family of a child abused by a former Catholic priest, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago have asked a Cook County judge to keep witnesses' names and other documents confidential until the case goes to trial.

Church lawyers say the motion for a protective order, which will be reviewed by a judge Wednesday, is a routine measure to shield children from more harm or embarrassment. But lawyers for the victim argue the best way to protect children is to expose the truth before a jury.

"This case has a different value if it's before a jury," said William Martin, a lawyer for the boy who was abused by Daniel McCormack multiple times at St. Agatha Catholic Church and elsewhere. "We're going to get to the bottom of the half-truths, and a jury won't be impressed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

CHURCH SUES FOR 'PERV' INSURANCE

BROOKLYN (NY)
New York Post

By ALEX GINSBERG

Insurance giant AIG is short-changing the Catholic Church by refusing to pay on a policy the Brooklyn Diocese took out for claims against pervert priests, the church claims in a lawsuit.

According to the suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, AIG has refused to cover a settlement the diocese negotiated with the parents of a girl allegedly abused between the ages of 11 and 14 by the Rev. James Smith at St. Kevin's Roman Catholic Church in Flushing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

8 N.Y. Catholic schools lose $2.1M

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Gary Stern and Randi Weiner
The Journal News • January 28, 2009

At a time when Catholic education is struggling financially, the bankruptcy of a New Jersey company that collects private school tuition has left eight New York Catholic schools in a $2.1 million hole.

Three of the schools are in Rockland County and two in Westchester.

But the Archdiocese of New York has promised to cover the losses.

"Parents at these schools should know that they will not be asked to pay tuition again," said Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Minister Accused Of Molesting Boy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
News 10

[with video]

SAN DIEGO -- A Los Angeles man who served as a minister and music teacher at five churches in San Diego and Riverside counties pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of molesting two boys he mentored.

During his arraignment at the East County Regional Center in El Cajon, Jimmie Xray Robinson Jr., 47, denied multiple accusations of lewd and lascivious acts with minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Former pastor sentenced to 8 years

MACHESNEY PARK (IL)
Rockford Register Star

RRSTAR.COM STAFF REPORTS

MACHESNEY PARK — A pastor who pleaded guilty to sex charges involving two female minors has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Jonathon Christopher Powell, 40, former senior pastor at New Hope Baptist Church, pleaded guilty Monday to criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, for which he received a five-year and three-year sentence, respectively.

The sentences will be served consecutively, said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

NH Roman Catholic diocese official resigns

MANCHESTER (NH)
WCAX

Associated Press - January 28, 2009 8:05 AM ET

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - The Rev. Edward Arsenault is resigning his leadership posts with New Hampshire's Roman Catholic Diocese.

Arsenault has been Bishop John McCormack's top lieutenant, handling the clergy sexual abuse crisis and being responsible for the church's new child protection policies.

Arsenault, who is 46, says the resignation is voluntary. He will take a sabbatical before getting a new assignment from the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Hartford diocese coughs up $750,000 to settle abuse case

CONNECTICUT
Journal Inquirer

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 8:11 AM EST
Compiled from news service reports

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford will pay a man who says he was sexually abused by a former Windsor Locks priest $750,000 to settle the case. William Noll of Florida says in his 2005 lawsuit that the Rev. Stephen Foley repeatedly molested him in 1978 while Foley was associate pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Windsor Locks. He said the molestations took place in Foley’s car, which he had set up as a cruiser with strobe lights, a siren, and a medallion identifying him as the state police chaplain. As a result of the molestations, Noll, now 45, said he has undergone years of counseling for depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts, and continues to receive counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Group: Diocese didn't inform public about 2 accused abusers

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

by Michael Clancy - Jan. 28, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
A group of priest-abuse survivors says the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix did not adequately report on two alleged sexual predators.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the diocese was too quiet about allegations against the Rev. Loren Riebe and Brother Richard Suttle.

Reports on both men were posted on the diocese Web site last year, but SNAP leaders said neither parishioners, the public nor authorities were informed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Archdiocese seeks to put lid on abuse-case documents before trial

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune reporter
January 28, 2009
In the only remaining civil suit filed by the family of a child abused by a former Catholic priest, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago have asked a Cook County judge to keep witnesses' names and other documents confidential until the case goes to trial.

Church lawyers say the motion for a protective order, which will be reviewed by a judge Wednesday, is a routine measure to shield children from more harm or embarrassment. But lawyers for the victim argue the best way to protect children is to expose the truth before a jury.

"This case has a different value if it's before a jury," said William Martin, a lawyer for the boy who was abused by Daniel McCormack multiple times at St. Agatha Catholic Church and elsewhere. "We're going to get to the bottom of the half-truths, and a jury won't be impressed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Disruption of Mass raises tough issues

WASHINGTON
Herald

By Julie Muhlstein
Herald Columnist

No one was hurt. The peace of a Sunday morning was shattered and parishioners were stunned when a man walked boldly to the lectern at my church and began shouting.

I can't say that this is a full eyewitness report. For a few seconds I shut my eyes. Yelling -- whatever the message being delivered -- doesn't register with me. So I shut my eyes, held my breath and prayed that everyone there would be safe.

The disruption Sunday at Everett's Immaculate Conception Church ended quickly when men got up from their pews and removed the speaker from the church. There was quite a scuffle. It took several men to grab the man's arms and walk him outside.

No one was hurt. And for all that racket, no one was heard. ...

The man had a point to make -- a couple points, actually. He began by shouting that what we should be praying about is sex abuse by clergy, as though no one in the church had ever prayed about that. He had some personal rant about money, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Church Settles For $750,000 In Priest Molestation Case

CONNECTICUT
The Day

By Karen Florin Published on 1/28/2009

The Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to pay $750,000 to a man who says he was molested as a boy by the Rev. Stephen Foley, a former state police chaplain, according to New London attorney Robert I. Reardon Jr.

As a condition of the settlement, the archdiocese and Foley agreed to make available to the public a videotaped deposition of Foley, Reardon said.

Reardon said his client, William Noll, required this condition to assist victims in their pending priest molestation cases. Copies of the videotape are available, upon request, from Reardon's office at (860) 442-0444.

Noll alleged in a 2005 lawsuit that Foley repeatedly molested him while serving as associate pastor of the St. Robert Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church in Windsor Locks. Noll, who was 14 at the time, said the molestations took place in Foley's car, which he had set up as a police cruiser with strobe lights, a siren and a medallion identifying him as the state police chaplain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

January 27, 2009

Groups ask Archdiocese not to seal abuse documents

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
5:30 PM CST, January 27, 2009
CHICAGO - Five Illinois groups that advocate for victims of sexual abuse by priests are asking the Archdiocese of Chicago to stop efforts to seal documents related to a convicted pedophile priest.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, along with other groups, sent a letter Tuesday to Cardinal Francis George.

A hearing on the protective order sought by the Archdiocese is scheduled for Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Secrecy allegations in priest sex abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

January 27, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- There are new allegations on Tuesday that the Chicago archdiocese is seeking secrecy in a child molestation case.

The survivors network of those abused by priests today tried to hand deliver a letter to Francis Cardinal George. They renewed their calls for the archdiocese and the cardinal to stop legal attempts to seal documents in the molestation case against Fr. Daniel McCormack. They're also demanding the archdiocese not help McCormack get out of prison when he comes up for parole in September on a separate case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Earlier verdict could impact diocese's ability to appeal verdict

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK - News-Democrat

A recent appellate court decision in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria will undermine efforts to appeal a $5 million verdict brought against the Catholic Diocese of Belleville for sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, a lawyer who helped win the award said Tuesday.

Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster said the Peoria decision coupled with a similar earlier opinion in another case by the 5th Appellate Court in Mount Vernon "hopefully will force the Belleville Diocese and other dioceses throughout the state to use their financial resources to compensate legitimate victims of childhood sexual abuse instead of paying lawyers to try to get the claims dismissed on legal technicalities."

St. Louis attorney David Wells, who has filed a notice of appeal in the $5 million case on behalf of the Belleville Diocese, could not be reached for comment. Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton does not comment to the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

BISHOP MCCORMACK REAFFIRMS CATHOLIC CHURCH'S CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

[letter from Bishop McCormack to Attorney General Kelly Ayotte]

(MANCHESTER, NH) Bishop John B. McCormack said he is grateful that the assessment released by the Attorney General's office today confirms that the Catholic Church in New Hampshire is committed to child safety and that its safe environment programs are effective. He also said that Diocesan personnel will continue to follow the now well-establishesd safe environment policies, procedures, and programs in dealing with matters pertaining to the safety of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Ayotte: Final NH diocese audit shows improvement

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Foster's Daily Democrat

By BETH LaMONTAGNE HALL
Associated Press Writer

Monday, January 26, 2009
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The latest audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester shows the church has made dramatic policy changes to prevent sexual abuse of children by clergy, New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said Monday.

Although there has been remarkable progress, Ayotte said, there are still areas that need improvement.

This fourth and final audit is part of the state's December 2002 agreement with the diocese as to how it should handle allegations of sexual misconduct by priests and other church personnel. Under the agreement, the diocese was to undergo four annual audits that looked at how new abuse cases were reported and what kinds of safeguards were set up to prevent further abuse. The Attorney General's Office reviews the audits, conducted by KPMG Forensic, and lists recommendations for further improvement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Church Employee Fired After Blowing Whistle on Porn Watching Priest

SOUND BEACH (NY)
WPIX

BY ROB HOELL

January 27, 2009

SOUND BEACH, N.Y. (WPIX) -- Bishop William Murphy, the leader of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, found himself answering questions in a deposition Tuesday on why he allowed a disgraced priest to fire the business manager that outed him for having pornography on his church computer.

Connell Friel, the former business manager of St. Louis de Montfort Roman Catholic Church in Sound Beach is suing Reverend Charles Papa and the Diocese of Rockville Centre for $10 million, charging they slandered him and fired him for being a whistleblower.

Friel went to police and the diocese in December 2002 after he found porn on Papa's computer.

"I followed exactly the published procedures the diocese enacted," Friel told PIX News, "I found hardcore pornography and indications [that] it might have been child pornography," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Sex Abuse Suit Against Former Fire Chaplain Settled For $750,000

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By ELIZABETH HAMILTON
4:42 PM EST, January 27, 2009

It took more than six years and the intervention of a Superior Court judge to get the Rev. Stephen Foley to show up for a deposition, but a molestation lawsuit involving the former fire chaplain has finally settled on the eve of a trial for $750,000.

The settlement in the case also came with a stipulation by the plaintiff William Noll that a videotape of the priest being questioned during his deposition be available to victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of Hartford has now settled at least 13 lawsuits involving Foley, who was both a parish priest and a fire and police chaplain before he was removed from his parish in 1993. He was ordered not to wear his Roman collar or act as a priest in public in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Archdiocese Settles Molestation Lawsuit

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

Associated Press
1:42 PM EST, January 27, 2009
A man who alleged he was sexually abused by a priest who was the state police chaplain says the Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to settle his lawsuit for $750,000.

William Noll of Florida alleged in his 2005 lawsuit that the Rev. Stephen Foley repeatedly molested him in 1978 while Foley was associate pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church in Windsor Locks. He said the molestations took place in Foley's car which he had set up as a police cruiser with strobe lights, a siren and a medallion identifying him as the state police chaplain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Breaking News: Holocaust denier bishop gagged

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

By John Allen, Jr.
Published: Jan. 27, 2009

The Vatican today released a statement from Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X and one of the four traditionalist bishops whose excommunication was rescinded in a Jan. 21 decree from the Congregation for Bishops.

The statement is in response to the uproar created by a recent interview on Swedish television in which another of the traditionalist bishops, Richard Williamson, asserted that the Nazis had not used gas chambers and that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews had died in the Second World War.

The statement was released in Italian and French; the following is an NCR translation from the Italian.

Statement of His Excellency Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Fraternity of St. Pius X

We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius X, to Swedish television. In this interview, he expressed himself on historical questions, and in particular on the question of the genocide against the Jews carried out by the Nazis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

State audit gives diocese high marks

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Keene Sentinel

By DANIEL BARRICK
Concord Monitor
Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
MANCHESTER — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester has made “significant and dramatic improvements” in its efforts to prevent and report cases of sexual assault against children, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said Monday.

Ayotte’s assessment came with the release of the last of four audits required in a 2002 settlement between the state and the diocese over allegations of clergy sex abuse.

The diocese agreed to the settlement — and the annual audits — to avoid charges of covering up for priests accused of abusing children for decades. While the relationship between church officials and the attorney general’s office was strained in the years immediately after the settlement, Ayotte said she and other state officials were confident that the diocese was now serious about improving its child protection policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Former youth minister pleads guilty to sending explicit emails to teen

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (ABP) -- A former American Baptist youth minister has pleaded guilty to sending sexually explicit emails and photos to a 15-year-old girl he was counseling.

At his arraignment Nov. 5, David Esarey, 30, denied sending photos to the girl and claimed teenagers must have used his computer at Stepney Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Conn., without his knowledge.

Pleading guilty to reduced charges Jan. 22, however, Esarey admitted sending the emails to a child he knew was younger than 16, according to the Connecticut Post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

25 charged over child porn downloads in Greece

GREECE
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: January 27, 2009

ATHENS, Greece: Greek police say they have charged 25 people including a priest and a neurosurgeon for allegedly downloading child pornography from the internet.

Police say they acted on a tip from Interpol to detain the suspects in Athens, Thessaloniki and another three Greek cities, as well as on the islands of Mykonos and Mytilini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Blogger who didn't delete comment cannot sue over it, says High Court

UNITED KINGDOM
Out-Law

A man who was criticised in the comments section of his own blog cannot sue for defamation because he did not delete the comment when he discovered it, the High Court has said. The Court said that the man consented to the comment's publication.

Christopher Carrie is the author of a self-published book in which he claims to have been sexually abused by the son of writer JRR Tolkien, Father John Tolkien. John Tolkien, who was a priest, died in 2003.

Carrie set up a blog on 5th February 2007 and published a post under a pseudonym on 6th February, promoting his website and his book, which could be downloaded from there for free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Hartford archdiocese settles priest molestation lawsuit

HARTFORD (CT)
The Day

By Karen Florin Published on 1/27/2009

The Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to pay $750,000 to a man who was molested as a boy by Father Stephen Foley, the former state police chaplain, according to attorney Robert I. Reardon Jr.

The case was scheduled to go to trial next month.

William Noll, the victim, alleged in a 2005 lawsuit that Foley repeatedly molested him while Foley was serving as associate pastor of the St. Robert Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church in Windsor Locks. Noll, who was 14 at the time, said the molestations took place in Foley's car, which he had set up as a police cruiser with strobe lights, a siren and a medallion identifying him as the state police chaplain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Priest sentenced to 1 year for fondling on plane

NEWARK (NJ)
Newsday

January 27, 2009
NEWARK, N.J. - A Roman Catholic priest from Poland who admitted fondling a 16-year-old girl during a flight to the U.S. has been sentenced to a year in prison.

A federal judge in Newark ordered Tomasz Zielinski to begin serving his sentence immediately.

The incident occurred last July on a LOT Polish Airlines flight from Warsaw to Newark Liberty International Airport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Priest with ties to Manville church gets year in prison for fondling teen on plane

MANVILLE (NJ)
Home News Tribune

STAFF REPORT • January 27, 2009

MANVILLE —A Polish priest with ties to a borough church was sentenced Tuesday to a year in federal prison for fondling a 16-year-old girl on a plane bound for Newark Liberty International Airport, authorities said.

Tomasz Adam Zielinski, 33, was immediately detained to begin serving the sentence, according to an order issued by U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares.

Zielinski, a Polish national who was in America on a religious visa, pleaded guilty last October to a felony charge of abusive sexual contact for the encounter with the teenager, who was sitting next to him on a flight from Warsaw, Poland, to Newark.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Teacher Accused Of Sex Abuse Put On Leave

BOCA RATON (FL)
WPBF

[with video]

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- There is one less teacher at the head of the class at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton.

Peter Evans, 38, was put on administrative leave Thursday after school leaders learned he is accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a young boy, they said.

Cory Legnetti, now 21, filed the suit against Evans in New York.

In the suit, Legnetti alleges Evans abused him for three consecutive summers at a sleep-away camp in the Castkill Mountains. The suit claims the molestation began in 1998 and continued in the summers of 1999 and 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Judge sentences Somerset County priest to one year for sexual abuse on plane

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 11:41 AM
A Roman Catholic priest from Poland was sentenced today to one year in federal prison for groping a 16-year-old girl in the dimmed cabin of a trans-Atlantic jet bound for Newark.

The Rev. Tomasz Adam Zielinski, 33, had admitted to reaching under a blanket during the 2008 flight to grab the thigh and groin of the girl, who was traveling alone from Belarus for medical care in Pennsylvania.

"It is a very serious crime," said U.S. District Judge Jose Linares . "The fact that he is a priest makes his actions all the more reprehensible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Former pastor pleads guilty in sex abuse cases

ROCKFORD (IL)
WREX

By Dani Maxwell

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A former pastor pleads guilty to sexually abusing two underage girls.

Jonathon C. Powell, 40, used to work at New Hope Baptist Church in Machesney Park. He was arrested in May of last year.

Monday Powell plead guilty to criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The first case involved a teenage girl. The second case was also a female.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Act of Faith: Church Congregants Hold Vigil: Parishioners Risk Arrest to Prevent Churches from Closing

NEW YORK (NY)
ABC World News Tonight

January 26, 2009

By Charles Gibson and Dan Harris

[With video]

As the sun rises outside St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, faithful Catholics have already filled the pews. But instead of gathering in their Sunday best, these congregants are waking up inside their church.

When a Mass. church was going to close, parishioners refused to leave.The friendly suburbanites of Scituate, Mass., are engaged in a faith-based occupation to protect their church, a movement they call "vigiling" that began more than four years ago.

. . .

Beneath the good cheer and passion, church members holding the vigil are angry at the archdiocese. They believe the real reason behind shutting down their churches was to sell them and raise money to settle lawsuits from the priest sexual abuse scandals.

"All the money that was spent ... it had to come from the parishes," said Lillian Goreham, mother of two from Everett, Mass. "At the time the real estate market was high, and I think that they thought, 'Oh, well, we can sell this parcel next door ... and they would make money."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:01 AM

Ex-church leader jailed

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

By TOBI COHEN The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — A self-described pastor who hoped his "marriage" to a 10-year-old girl he took to bed would convince a judge to acquit him on a sexual assault charge was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday.

Daniel Cormier, who was convicted last October following a lengthy trial, has a maximum of 49 months left behind bars because of time already served.

"I would say that there’s no remorse," Crown prosecutor Anne-Andree Charette said outside the courtroom. "He just tried to find justifications."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Greek police arrest 11 as child porn ring is busted

GREECE
Earthtimes

Athens - Greek police said Monday they had arrested 11 people, among them an Orthodox priest, for alleged participation in an international child pornography ring that distributed images of children as young as six months. Authorities said they began infiltrating the group, whose members number 24, after being notified by Interpol. British authorities said they had been following the international ring that offered more than 200 sites to "VIP" members.

Greek police said they were looking at 13 more people suspected of involement in trading pornography, which involved some victims who had been chained, and some as young as six months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Child pornography ring broken in Greece

GREECE
ANA

Greek police broke a child pornography ring, part of a global network, and charged 24 people across the country with possessing and trafficking hard-core material on the internet following an investigation that lasted roughly three months, it was announced on Tuesday.

Eleven men were arrested, among them an Archimandrite, aged 44, who is a priest in the Peloponnese but was taken into custody in Attica prefecture.

Police tracked 137 electronic traces on the Internet that belonged to a total of 35 users in Greece who in fact were the 24 suspects indicted as some of them used more than one electronic address.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Keeping parents out of the loop

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Examiner

By The Baltimore Examiner
- 1/27/09

WHO: Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer of Glenn Avenue Shul WHAT: The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse has asked Hopfer to inform members of the shul that there is a registered sex offender who regularly prays with his community. So far, he has refused. WHY IT'S A BAD IDEA: Have Jews learned nothing from Catholics? No one is asking Hopfer to condemn the man or force him out of the shul. The coalition is only asking that he allow parents to look out for their children. Cantor Stuart Friedman, 54, was convicted of possessing pornographic images of young boys. By all means the rabbi should ask the community not to shun the offender, but simply to exercise caution by not leaving children alone with him. WHERE TO SUPPORT THE COALITION: 443-857-5560

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Lawmakers may look at sentences for child abusers

BOISE (ID)
The Idaho Statesman

- The Associated Press
Edition Date: 01/26/09

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho lawmakers might consider setting mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of lewd conduct with a minor younger than 16 and sexual abuse of a child younger than 16.

A bill that has yet to be sponsored calls for a minimum of seven years in prison for a lewd conduct conviction, and five years for a sexual abuse of a child conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

SJC to hear appeal by ex-priest in abuse case

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Shelley Murphy
Globe Staff / January 27, 2009

Nearly four years after defrocked priest Paul R. Shanley was convicted of repeatedly raping and fondling a young boy while working at a Newton parish in the 1980s, the state's highest court agreed yesterday to hear an appeal that challenges the reliability of the victim's "repressed memories."

The Supreme Judicial Court granted a petition from Shanley's lawyer to consider a direct appeal of his motion for a new trial, which had been rejected by the trial judge in November. No date has been set for the hearing.

"This case involves a very difficult issue, which concerns repressed memory and I think that is at the center of why they have taken it," said Robert F. Shaw Jr., a Cambridge lawyer who represents Shanley on appeal and has argued that repressed memory is a "hypothesized phenomenon that has been rejected by the relevant scientific community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Belleville church janitor faces sexual abuse charges

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- A church janitor has been charged with two counts of felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 9-year-old victim.

Cartavas P. Weatherall, 31, of 222 E. Garfield St. Apt. F, is being held in the St.Clair County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Weatherall serves as a janitor at Deliverance Mission Christian Church, 215 S. Jackson St. in Belleville.

Police said they began an investigation and took Weatherall into custody after the victim's mother reported the incident on Thursday, according to a Belleville Police Department news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Teen claims he was sexually abused in treatment facility

MARTINSBURG (WV)
The West Virginia Record

1/26/2009 10:40 AM
By Kelly Holleran -Berkeley Bureau

MARTINSBURG -- A 16-year-old boy who alleges he was sexually abused while a resident in a juvenile treatment facility has filed suit against the Board of Child Care of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church and one of its employees.

The teenager, who is only mentioned as John Doe throughout the suit, claims he was repeatedly sexually abused by David Bayles, an employee of the facility, during the summer of 2005, according to a complaint Mary Ritter filed on his behalf in Berkeley Circuit Court on Dec. 2.

"The sexual abuse included repeated acts of touching and rubbing of the plaintiff's penis and buttocks and the performance of oral sex on the plaintiff by David Bayles," the suit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Cormier sentenced to 5 years in jail

CANADA
CTV

ctvmontreal.ca

A man calling himself a pastor who married a 10-year-old girl has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a minor.

Daniel Cormier was convicted in October. He has served the equivalent of 11 months in jail and has four years and one month left to serve.

He married the girl in 1999. She is now 19.

Crown prosecutor Anne-Andree Charette was looking for the maximum sentence of 10 years.

The defence was seeking a sentence of three-to-four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Ex-pastor gets prison for sex with 'wife,' age 10

CANADA
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: January 27, 2009

MONTREAL: A Canadian man who described himself as a pastor was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl he claims was his wife.

Daniel Cormier, 57, was convicted in October after members of the now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal became suspicious of his relationship with the girl.

Cormier, who led the church, has maintained he did nothing wrong when he married the girl, then 10 years old, in 1999 during a ceremony at his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Sexual misconduct by ex-youth pastor cited in lawsuit

WEST VIRGINIA
The Charleston Gazette

A former youth pastor at Chesapeake Apostolic Church lured a 16-year-old student into an empty house he was renovating and rubbed himself against her, the alleged victim testified in Kanawha Circuit Court Monday.

The alleged victim, now 19, said Timothy Charles Edmonds, 37, told her not to tell anyone about the encounters or he might not be able to preach anymore.

"He started rubbing on my bottom when we were standing up," she said. "I felt something, and I turned around, and he was zipping his pants back up."

Edmonds "rubbed his private part" against her crotch and rear end on four different occasions in March 2006, she said. These included once in a storage room at the church and once in a basement room at the Upper Kanawha Valley Christian School, where she was a student, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Teen testifies about sex abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
Charleston Daily Mail

by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A teenaged girl testified in court Monday that an adult leader at her church rubbed her in a sexual way and took suggestive photographs of her nearly three years ago.

The teen, now 19, said Timothy C. Edmonds, 37, son-in-law of the pastor of the Chesapeake Apostolic Church, sexually abused her several times in the church basement and at a house nearby that he was remodeling.

Edmonds was arrested two months after the girl's parents notified police that they had found a letter written by their daughter detailing some of the incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Ex-Mobile pastor Marshall Seymour pleads guilty in Florida molestation case

MOBILE (AL)
Press-Register

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By DAN MURTAUGH
Staff Reporter

A pastor who once worked in both Mobile and Biloxi pleaded guilty or no contest last week to five felony charges in a child molestation case in Florida, according to news reports.

Marshall Seymour faces as many as 65 years in prison at his March 12 sentencing hearing.

Seymour worked as a youth pastor at the Parkway Assembly of God church in Mobile from 1995 to 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Audit shows improvement in church policy

CONCORD (NH)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Lauren Collins, Manchester, NH) - New Hampshire's attorney general released the results of its fourth and final audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester. The state has been performing audits as part of an agreement with the diocese related to its handling of sexual misconduct cases by priests.

New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is cautiously congratulatory as she releases the fourth and final audit of the Diocese of Manchester and its safe environment program.

The diocese now has a formal policy to immediately remove anyone accused of sexual abuse from their ministry. It has also established a compliance database and testing procedures for anyone who works with children. And, it has hired a full time compliance coordinator and placed safe environment coordinators in all parishes and schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Diocese praised in final audit

CONCORD (NH)
New Hampshire Union Leader

By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

CONCORD – An independent audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester shows the church made such dramatic progress in enacting child protection policies and practices that more than six years of court-ordered state oversight may come to an end, the state's top law enforcer said yesterday.

"I'm pleased to announce in this final audit that there have been significant and dramatic improvements by the diocese since the agreement was signed in December of 2002," state Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte said.

Ayotte released results of the fourth and final audit that international auditing firm KPMG LLP has done of the diocese. Annual audits are mandated as part of the agreement the diocese struck with the state to avoid criminal prosecution for its handling of alleged child sexual abuse by priests from the 1940s through the 1980s. The audits measure the diocese's compliance with its child protection policies and procedures and those set down in the agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Ex-Dallas bishop, criticized for abuse cover-up, dies

DALLAS (TX)
Houston Chronicle

Associated Press
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:41PM

DALLAS — Thomas A. Tschoepe, whose more than 20 years as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas included accusations that he covered up sexual abuse claims involving priests, has died. He was 93.

Tschoepe twice moved pedophile priest Rudolph “Rudy” Kos to new parishes in the 1980s after complaints about his behavior with boys and transferred other priests accused of molesting boys as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Church policy shows change, Ayotte says

CONCORD (NH)
Nashua Telegraph

By BETH LaMONTAGNE HALL, The Associated Press
CONCORD – The latest audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester shows the church has made dramatic policy changes to prevent sexual abuse of children by clergy, New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said Monday.

Although there has been remarkable progress, Ayotte said, there are still areas that need improvement.

This fourth and final audit is part of the state's December 2002 agreement with the diocese as to how it should handle allegations of sexual misconduct by priests and other church personnel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Rockville Centre bishop to be deposed in firing lawsuit

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY ANN GIVENS | ann.givens@newsday.com; Newsday Staff
January 27, 2009
Bishop William Murphy will be asked today to answer questions about his role in an incident in which a church business manager was fired after accusing a priest of looking at child pornography on the parish computer, a Garden City attorney said.

Bruce Barket, who represents Connell Friel, the former business manager at St. Louis de Montfort Roman Catholic Church in Sound Beach, said he will depose Bishop Murphy today and Thursday at a Williston Park law office.

Friel has sued the priest, Charles Papa, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, charging that they slandered him and fired him for being a whistle-blower.

Barket says he will ask Murphy not only about his role in Friel's dismissal but also about his handling of sexual abuse cases in Boston, where Murphy was second in command for eight years during much of the priest abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Mass. High Court To Hear Former Priest's Appeal

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

By Monica Brady-Myerov

BOSTON - January 27, 2009 - One of the most notorious priests in the clergy sexual abuse crisis -- Paul Shanley -- could get a new trial. Massachusetts' highest court has agreed to hear an appeal to look at whether or not he was fairly represented.

Shanley is three years into a 12-15 year prison sentence for raping and molesting a boy from Newton.

WBUR's Monica Brady-Myerov reports on his appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court.

Paul Shanley, now a defrocked priest, was convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping and molesting a boy in the 1980s at St. Jean's parish in Newton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

One trial for MacDonald

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

It was always the plan to proceed with one trial involving eight alleged victims of Rev. Charles MacDonald, a former eastern Ontario Crown attorney told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Monday.

Justice Robert Pelletier said he took a "calculated risk" in deciding to join two different sets of charges because he felt that would bolster the prosecution's case.

"As soon as I found out there were five other complainants, my mind was made up," Pelletier testified.

"In my view, it was a calculated risk, and one that favoured the prosecution, ultimately."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

January 26, 2009

Andrews pledges laws for full disclosure of abuse data

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
CHILDREN’S Minister Barry Andrews has repeated his pledge to move within months to have laws allowing the disclosure of “soft information” about child sex abuse, amid concerns vital intelligence is being shelved.

The minister reached agreement with the Catholic bishops at the weekend on a temporary way to enable the senior churchmen filter the information they provide to the Health Service Executive (HSE) about abuse allegations against religious in their dioceses. The arrangement allows them hand over proven facts and figures about incidents without having to include details of unproven allegations, until laws are enacted to allow the exchange of such soft information without fear of being pursued for slander.

Lack of legal protection was cited as the reason many bishops failed to complete a HSE audit form distributed two years ago, Section 5 of which required them to give details of allegations and the actions taken as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Haggard: 'Inappropriate' relationship not physical

COLORADO
The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Fallen evangelical pastor Ted Haggard says he had an "inappropriate relationship" with a young male church volunteer, but it did not involve physical contact.

Haggard's successor at Colorado Springs' New Life Church, Brady Boyd, has said evidence pointed to an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" between Haggard and the man, who was in his early 20s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Collection agency's bankruptcy leaves 5 N.J. Catholic schools $1.1M short

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Kristen Alloway/The Star-Ledger
Monday January 26, 2009, 6:17 PM
Five Catholic schools in New Jersey are scrambling to make up $1.1 million in missing payments after the agency that collects their tuition filed a bankruptcy petition earlier this month.

Tuition Program Inc. (TPI) filed a bankruptcy petition Jan. 12 claiming that it owed $3.6 million to 14 Catholic schools -- including three schools in Morris, one in Somerset and one in Middlesex counties -- and $867,000 to Wachovia, according to the document. The Livingston-based company had assets between $500,000 to $1 million, according to the filing.

The schools affected in New Jersey include Our Lady of Magnificat in Kinnelon, Holy Family Academy in Bound Brook, and Sacred Heart schools in Dover, Rockaway and South Plainfield.

The remaining schools are in New York and one is in Texas, according to the petition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Disgraced pastor Haggard facing new sex allegations

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
CNN

By Eric Marrapodi and Jim Spellman
CNN

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- A megachurch paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about a sexual relationship he had with disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a senior church pastor said.

Haggard, who was fired amid allegations that he used drugs and patronized a male prostitute in 2006, had a sexual relationship with a second man -- a 20-year-old volunteer at his megachurch, the Rev. Brady Boyd, a senior pastor at the church, said Monday.

The church agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship, Boyd said, referring to a settlement reached by the man's lawyer and the church's insurance company. Under the settlement, the church provided the man money to pay his college tuition, moving expenses and counseling, Boyd said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

High Court Agrees To Hear Shanley Appeal

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel

[with video]

BOSTON -- Convicted of child rape in 2005, former priest Paul Shanley's motion for a new trial was denied by the trial judge last November. But now, in agreeing to hear Shanley's appeal, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has indicated the issues in the case are important enough to bypass the Appeals Court. Activists who have worked at exposing and stopping child sexual abuse say it is an upsetting development, especially for the survivors.

"It must be so upsetting that they would have to, once again, go over all of this in their mind, remember all of this. It has to make them extremely cynical about whether or not it's possible to get justice," said Robert Ott, president of the Boston Council of Voice of the Faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

VOTF STRATEGIC PLAN

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

Last month Voice of the Faithful President Dan Bartley described the Strategic Plan at a meeting of the Boston Area Council VOTF in Wellesley MA. The experience inspired many in attendance to become active leaders for the new platforms.

Mr. Bartley's speech is now available to view online. (Or you can listen to an audio file of the presentation.) You can also share it with your friends or add it to your affiliate website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Why top judge threw out libel case involving Tolkien family

UNITED KINGDOM
Birmingham Post

Jan 27 2009 by Tom Scotney, Birmingham Post

The country’s top libel judge has stepped into a bizarre case involving alleged child abuse, a Midland man, and the family of legendary fantasy author JRR Tolkien.

Sir David Eady, possibly the most famous high court judge in the UK, was brought in to rule on the case of Christopher Carrie, who claims he was abused as a child by John Tolkien, a priest and scoutmaster, and son of the Lord of the Rings author.

Mr Carrie was trying to sue Royd Tolkien, one of the writer’s great-grandsons and a bit-part actor in one of the massively successful Lord of the Rings films, over comments made on a website.

Mr Carrie had set up the website under an anonymous name to promote the book he had written about his boyhood experiences. But comments were later made on the site under the name of Royd Tolkien. The comments allegedly made defamatory allegations about Mr Carrie, and he responded under his own name saying he would take legal action. ...

Mr Justice Eady said he did not see how someone could be libelled on their own website if they had the power to remove comments – and that leaving them up, as Mr Carrie did, was tantamount to agreeing to the comments being published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Mass. high court to hear convicted priest's appeal

BOSTON (MA)
The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts has agreed to hear an appeal from a convicted priest who was a key figure in Boston's clergy sex abuse scandal.

Paul Shanley is serving a 12- to 15-year prison sentence for repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at a Newton parish in the 1980s.

A Superior Court judge rejected his bid for a new trial in November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Diocese makes "dramatic" progress to protect children

CONCORD (NH)
New Hampshire Union Leader

By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

CONCORD – An independent audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester shows it has made "significant and dramatic" progress in adhering to child protection policies set down in a 2002 agreement with the state, according to state Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte.

The results, announced today at a press conference, are part of the fourth and final audit of the diocese done by international forensic firm KMPG.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Ayotte: Final NH diocese audit shows improvement

CONCORD (NH)
WCAX

Associated Press - January 26, 2009 12:05 PM ET

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Attorney General Kelly Ayotte says the latest audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester shows the church has made dramatic policy changes to prevent sexual abuse of children by clergy.

In this fourth and final audit, the diocese addressed a number of problems it had been asked to fix, such as putting in writing its policy of immediately removing people accused of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

10-plus counts of deviance do not stop believers from attending pedophile ex-priest Dale Fushek Praise and Worship Center on Sundays in Phoenix

MESA (AZ)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

(Mesa AZ) I asked about allegations six victims will make against Dale Fushek, when he finally goes on trial in Phoenix, and survivor Carl Mawhinney said “There’s graphic misuse of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).

"Fushek would listen and not care if you had robbed the local grocery, then say, when do you masturbate and what do you think about, ask for all the details. He would be the one to bring it up.” Mawhinney (pictured) was 15 years old at the time. “He asked about heavy petting and I'm like, I'm not even sure what that is, but he was the priest.”

Later Mawhinney went to a different priest and started confessing in the manner Fushek taught him, and the new priest “talked to me shocked, said, that's too much information."

I dropped the phone and slammed the table so hard it made that little green line go down the middle of the screen and I had to jiggle the monitor to reconnect the circuitry, then screamed, “What? Oh my god, That happened to me, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Ex-Montreal pastor gets five years in prison for sex with 10-year-old girl

CANADA
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — A Montreal man who described himself as a pastor has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl he claims was his wife.

Daniel Cormier, 57, received the sentence today after a judge convicted him last October. The leader of the now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal claimed the pair were married during a 1999 ceremony at his obscure evangelical church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Teen sex rap for principal of Bensonhurst private school

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY SIMONE WEICHSELBAUM
DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU

Monday, January 26th 2009, 12:46 AM

Two teenage boys told cops they endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of a Brooklyn high school principal who was arrested over the weekend, police said.

Emanuel Yegutkin, 30, was suspended Sunday from Elite High School, a private Jewish school in Bensonhurst with mainly Russian-American students.

Yegutkin forced a 17-year-old into lewd sex acts from the age of 7 to 14, cops said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

SSPX Update

America

Posted at: 2009-01-26 09:10:00.0
Author: James Martin, S.J.

Dave Gibson, at his blog Pontifications, has a good roundup of the controversy over the lifting of the ban of excommunication of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X, which erupted on the anniversary of the 50th anniversary of the announcement, by John XXIII, of the Second Vatican Council. Here's Gibson: "Benedict XVI seems to be acting on his own, even though he often chides the rest of us to sentire cum ecclesia, "to think (and act) with the church."

Sources say he took this step--as he did the restoration of the Latin Mass--against the strong and express advice of some of his closest collaborators." ...

Also, the four SSPX bishops were consecrated in an "illicit" ordination by the breakaway Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a move that sparked the original excommunication. Yet just a few months ago, the Vatican threatened the excommunication of Roy Bourgeous, who participated in the (also illicit) ordination of a woman priest. In other words, the excommunication of both sprang from the same illicit action. One could even argue that the consecration of bishops was a greater threat to church unity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Residential school compensation leads to tragedy for some

CANADA
The Star Phoenix

By Jack Branswell and Ken Meaney, Canwest News ServiceJanuary 26, 2009 8:00 AMBe the first to post a comment

Payments to Indian residential school survivors meant to compensate them for mistreatment have led to suicides, substance abuse and depression across the country, documents obtained by Canwest News Service show.

In B.C. alone, according to a member of one survivor's group, two dozen deaths have been attributed to the payments.

The Common Experience Payment (CEP) for Natives who attended residential schools was launched with much fanfare in the fall of 2007, after years of lawsuits and negotiations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Region's Catholic leader prepares to step aside

WASHINGTON
The News-Tribune

Steve Maynard; steve.maynard@thenewstribune.com

Western Washington’s foremost Catholic leader has sent his letter of resignation to the pope upon turning 75, kicking off what could be a two-year wait for the appointment of a new archbishop to serve more than a half-million Catholics in the region.

Archbishop Alex J. Brunett is one of 27 active U.S. bishops who by the end of this year will have reached 75 – the age when they must turn in their resignation and are eligible for retirement. ...

And he has led the archdiocese through the crisis of sex abuse claims against priests without having to file for bankruptcy, as the dioceses in Spokane and Portland did.

From 1987 to 2007, the Seattle archdiocese paid $31 million for settlements, counseling and attorneys fees for about 250 sex abuse victims. That total includes $4 million in 2007 alone.

Brunett called the abuse of victims “a terrible thing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Group asks diocese not to appeal lawsuit ruling

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

PEORIA — The local chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is asking the Catholic Diocese of Peoria not to appeal a recent court ruling reinstating 10 sex abuse lawsuits.

Members of SNAP held a news conference and distributed fliers supporting the group's cause Sunday morning outside the Cathedral of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 607 NE Madison Ave. Earlier this week, the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Ottawa reinstated the cases, which had been tossed out in 2007 because two Peoria County judges said they were filed to late.

Jeff Jones, 55, of Rockford heads the Peoria chapter of SNAP and said the ruling could help other childhood victims of priest abuse expose their predators in court. Jones said he was abused in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the Rev. Walter Breuning while he was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Pekin. He cited repressed memories as the reason he didn't act sooner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Statute Of Limitations On Lawsuits Could Change For Reardon Victims

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

By ARIELLE LEVIN BECKER | The Hartford Courant
January 26, 2009
The pool of victims eligible to sue St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center over alleged abuse at the hands of Dr. George Reardon could grow under a proposal now before the state legislature.

The measure — which would extend the statute of limitations in the Reardon case until 2010 — could increase the damages St. Francis would have to pay if the plaintiffs prevail in their negligence lawsuits against the hospital.

Under current state law, victims of childhood sexual abuse can bring civil claims until they are 48 years old, 30 years after they turn 18. But the proposed bill would give victims three years from the discovery of new evidence to sue, regardless of their age.

Staggering evidence of Reardon's actions surfaced in 2007, five decades after it is suspected he began abusing children. More than 100 movie reels and 50,000 slides of child pornography were discovered hidden in a wall in Reardon's former West Hartford home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Pool of abuse victims may increase

HARTFORD (CT)
WTNH

Hartford (AP) - Connecticut legislators are considering a plan that may allow more people to sue St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford over alleged child sex abuse by a prominent doctor.

The measure would extend a statute of limitations to 2010 in the case of Dr. George Reardon, who began working at St. Francis in 1963.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

OUR VIEW: Priest’s fall from grace now complete

VIRGINIA
Culpeper Star-Exponent

Staff Editorial
Published: January 26, 2009

The sad tale of suspended Roman Catholic priest Rodney Rodis has seen its climax, or perhaps nader, as the disgraced reverend from Louisa was recently sentenced to 13 years in prison for embezzling $432,000 from two parishes.

Rodis, in something straight out of a crime novel, was living a double life — taking donations intended for the church and investing them in an upscale waterfront property in his native Philippines. In addition, he was hiding a real family from his church family; the reverend had a wife and three children, something that’s generally frowned upon for priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

To paraphrase the Bible, we are all sinners. We all fall short. Yet those in positions of spiritual authority are called to a higher standard of accountability. At the least, a man of the cloth must be able to be trusted to obey the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Court dismisses lawsuit against diocese

WYOMING
Star-Tribune

By TOM MORTON
Star-Tribune staff writer
Monday, January 26, 2009 2:05 AM MST

A woman has settled her civil lawsuit against a Catholic priest who molested her in the mid 1970s in Casper, according to an attorney for the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne.

"There was a settlement," Paul Hickey of Cheyenne said Friday.

"It was essentially the same as to what was offered to her a year ago," Hickey said.

The woman, now in her 40s and living in Albany County, was in her teens when her family moved to Casper and joined St. Anthony's Catholic Church, according to the complaint she filed in November through her attorney John Reese of Green River.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

State starts talks with clergy over reporting of child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday January 26 2009

Top-level talks have begun between the Government and the Catholic bishops to find a legal formula that will enable the Health Service Executive to discover the full scale of clerical child sexual abuse in the Republic.

A compromise is being worked out absolving the bishops from informing the gardai and the HSE about unsubstantiated rumours or "soft information" about suspected abuse, while providing the State with details of reported cases and the reasons for the Church's withholding of other complaints.

In exchange for greater accountability from the bishops, the Government is understood to be ready to speed up the introduction of promised legislation covering questions of confidentiality and constitutional issues that will allow full Church disclosure in future.

The Irish Independent has also learned that the question remains unresolved as to whether the State will provide financial indemnity to Church authorities if they provide information about complaints which are later legally challenged and proven to be untrue by accused priests or ex-clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Molestation complaint filed against late Detroit priest

HAWAII
Detroit Free Press

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS • January 25, 2009

HONOLULU -- A complaint has been filed against the Catholic Church involving convicted child molester priest Robert Burkholder. Burkholder, who is deceased, was formerly with the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The latest complainant, who is listed only as “John Doe,” says Burkholder forcibly attempted to assault him in 1984 when he was a minor.

The suit filed in state Circuit Court by attorney David Gierlach alleges that Burkholder’s actions led to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as criminal conduct by the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Thomas A. Tschoepe: Former Catholic bishop of Dallas Diocese was tirelessly devoted to church

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By MICHAEL E. YOUNG and BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News
myoung@dallasnews.com; begerton@dallasnews.com

[See also Former Bishop Who Didn't Testify in Kos Trial Still Active in Church: Plaintiffs Were Told Ex-Head of Diocese Has Alzheimer's, by Ed Housewright and Brooks Egerton, Dallas Morning News, August 1, 1997; Memorandum on Does v. Diocese of Dallas et al., by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., May 16, 1996, and the section on Rev. Robert R. Peebles; letter from Bishop Tschoepe to Cardinal Law about a presentation by Rev. Paul R. Shanley, February 12, 1985; and a different assessment of that presentation in The Enemy Within, by Father Joseph Wilson, Catholic World News, July 4, 2002.]

Thomas A. Tschoepe, a North Texas farm boy who spent more than 20 often turbulent years as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, never really wanted that job.

After his retirement as bishop in 1990, he asked for a job as a parish priest and was assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Waxahachie at age 75. He didn't see it as a step down. ...

But his dedication to his fellow priests led the Diocese of Dallas into a sexual-abuse cover-up that cost more than $45 million in legal settlements and left lives in tatters.

Bishop Tschoepe twice moved pedophile priest Rudolph "Rudy" Kos to new parishes in the 1980s after complaints about his behavior with boys and transferred other priests accused of molesting boys as well.

One, Robert Peebles, admitted to molesting boys in the early 1980s, and Bishop Tschoepe had him transferred to a job as an Army chaplain in Georgia. There, according to court records, Peebles tried to rape a visiting Dallas boy and was spared a court-martial "after weeks of intense negotiations involving myself, the parents of the boy and the military authorities," Bishop Tschoepe wrote in church papers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

January 25, 2009

SoCal street named for clergy sex suspect renamed

CORONA (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 01/25/2009 07:49:55 PM PST

CORONA, Calif.—Officials in a Southern California city are rebranding a street that had been named after a clergyman accused of sexual abuse.

Corona City Council approved a request this month by officials with the San Bernardino diocese to strip Monsignor Matthew J. Thompson's name from a cul-de-sac near St. Edward Catholic Church, where he served as pastor from 1943 to 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 PM

Catholic Church Could Go To Court Over Alleged Abuses

ILLINOIS
WEEK

Alleged victims of clergy sex abuse say they hope to get closure through the court system.

Just as church ended Sunday morning at the downtown Cathedral, members of Central Illinois' Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP passed out pamphlets to parishioners.

They were notifying them of a recent appellate court ruling that reversed a decision that said victims waited too long to allege their abuse.

"All we won here was a day in court. We haven't won anything yet, and we're asking Bishop Jenky to please not take this to the Supreme Court. If he just lets us have our day in court if we win, we win, if we lose we lose," SNAP Leader Jeffrey Jones says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Corona street name honoring accused priest being changed

CORONA (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

More than 30 years ago, Corona honored Monsignor Matthew J. Thompson by naming a street after him.

Now the signs marking Monsignor Thompson Circle are coming down as an acknowledgement by the Diocese of San Bernardino that "credible allegations" of sexual abuse were made against Thompson.

It's something that Avery D. Ensley Jr. has pushed for since around 2002, when he first saw one of the street signs on his way to meet a diocesan official about his allegation that he was molested by Thompson, who was the pastor at St. Edward Catholic Church from 1943 to 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

New Life Addresses NEWSCHANNEL 13 Investigation

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
KRDO

By Tak Landrock
t.landrock@krdo.com

COLORADO SPRINGS - Pastor Brady Boyd for the first time addressed his congregation at New Life Church to talk about new allegations uncovered by NEWSCHANNEL 13.

He told the media, this would be the only time he would talk about the young man who claims former New Life Leader Ted Haggard sexually abused him. "A wound has been reopened," says Boyd. "While scandal and tragedy has been part of our past, it will not be our future."

He told members who attended the 9 a.m. service that he has known about he victim who's come forward since he became senior pastor at New Life. "We gave him the counseling and help he needed in his life." He adds in 2007, the young man decided to sue the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

New Life Pastor Talks About Recent Sex Scandal Allegations Surrounding Former Leader

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
KKTV

[with video]

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

New Life Pastor Brady Boyd addressed the congregation on Sunday about another scandal surrounding the church. Allegations have surfaced that the former church leader, Ted Haggard, reportedly had a sexual relationship with a volunteer at New Life.

"In 2007, he hired an attorney who negotiated with our insurance company for a settlement. I want to clarify that tithe money wasn't used," said Pastor Brady Boyd.

While this relationship just came to light, the church says they knew about it for a few years.
“From my pastor's heart to yours, I'm sorry for the wound that's reopened for you," said Boyd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Insurance paid for latest New Life scandal

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
The Gazette

January 25, 2009 - 5:50 PM
MARK BARNA
THE GAZETTE
New Life Church used insurance money, not tithes or donations, to pay for a legal settlement to the man alleging a sexual relationship with Ted Haggard, the Rev. Brady Boyd told congregants Sunday.

The settlement, Boyd said, was kept quiet to honor the confidentiality rules observed by clergy.

"While scandal and tragedy have been part of our past, it will not define our future," Boyd told about 5,000 in attendance.

Boyd's sermon on forgiveness, a theme chosen weeks ago, added special meaning given the circumstances. "This past week might have stirred up wounds," Boyd said, "but that doesn't mean you haven't forgiven."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Roscommon incest scandal: probe team has few powers

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, 26 January 2009

Fears grew last night that the inquiry into the Roscommon “house of horrors” will fail to uncover the full truth of the scandal due to a lack of legal powers.

The four-person team — which, in a surprise choice, includes two senior Health Service Executive (HSE) officials — will have no powers to compel people to give evidence or demand documents.

Its terms of reference are confined to how the health service alone managed the case and will not extend to the decisions taken by teachers, doctors or even the mysterious right-wing Catholic group which allegedly funded a High Court action to prevent the six children, who suffered severe neglect and one of whom was sexually abused by the mother, being put in care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Andrews pledges laws for full disclosure of abuse data

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
CHILDREN’S Minister Barry Andrews has repeated his pledge to move within months to have laws allowing the disclosure of “soft information” about child sex abuse, amid concerns vital intelligence is being shelved.

The minister reached agreement with the Catholic bishops at the weekend on a temporary way to enable the senior churchmen filter the information they provide to the Health Service Executive (HSE) about abuse allegations against religious in their dioceses. The arrangement allows them hand over proven facts and figures about incidents without having to include details of unproven allegations, until laws are enacted to allow the exchange of such soft information without fear of being pursued for slander.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Law to allow agencies to share files in suspected abuse cases

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

PROPOSALS TO change the law so State and civic agencies, including the churches, can exchange “soft information” on child sex abuse allegations are expected to be published today by Minister of State for Children Barry Andrews.

They will form part of the legislative programme to be addressed by the new Dáil session. So-called “soft information” in the context has to do with suspicions and concerns that child sex abuse may be taking place rather than there being concrete proof.

A spokesman for Mr Andrews said last night preparation of heads of Bills on the issue had been brought forward by the Government due to its importance. It was necessary to act in a speedy fashion, he said.

On Saturday, Mr Andrews met the Catholic primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, and the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, and their officials “to discuss the issue of safeguarding children and the whole of society’s responsibility to this critically important issue”, as a joint statement said later. Officials from the Minister’s office also attended what was later described as “a cordial meeting with a determination to move forward”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Dale Fushek's alleged sexual abuse victim reaches out

MESA (AZ)
12 News

by Melissa Gonzalo - Jan. 25, 2009 03:46 PM
12 News

One of Dale Fushek's alleged victims is coming forward, asking members of the Praise and Worship Center to hear his story and heed his warning. This comes on the heels of Fushek's ex-communication from the Catholic Church for continuing to preach at the non-denominational service while facing 10 misdemeanor counts of sexual misconduct.

Carl Mawhinney lives right between the center where Fushek now preaches in Mesa and the church where he used to give Catholic mass, St. Timothy's, the same parish where Mawhinney attended as a little boy and met Fushek. "I don't have an option of where I can live right now," said Mawhinney. "He does have an option of where he ministers...he's been to my family's house and he knows I'm still here, and it has truly affected my life." ...

Those going into the Praise and Worship Center didn't want to comment. Neither did Fushek, but Jenny Diaz used to work as the youth protection advocate for the Diocese and said she supports Fushek and his center. "I find it to be a very godly place, and a holy place and I appreciate having been the victim's advocate," said Diaz. "I totally appreciate where the victims are coming from, but it doesn't have any place here." Mawhinney disagrees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

For former nun, the truth is sadder than fiction

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jim Stingl | In My Opinion

When people ask Mary Grace Cano why she's no longer a nun, she usually sidesteps the question by replying, "It's a long story."

And it's a story that bears similarities to a film that's in theaters now and has grabbed some key Oscar nominations - "Doubt."

We went to the movie together last week and talked about art imitating her life, though "Doubt" is a fictional tale and not an exact match to her ordeal.

On the big screen, Meryl Streep as a nun and rigid school principal confronts Philip Seymour Hoffman as a priest. Cano found herself in a similar situation when it came out that a priest was molesting children at a Catholic elementary school in Shreveport, La., in 1967.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Records say church knew of priest's abuse

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
United Press International

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Court documents allege the Archdiocese of Indianapolis reassigned a known child-molesting priest to new parishes where he preyed on other children.

At least two archbishops allegedly knew the Rev. Harry Monroe had molested children and had ordered psychiatric treatment for him in 1976 and 1981, reported The Indianapolis Star, which obtained the documents through a court petition.

The documents allege the diocese was concerned about Monroe, who left the priesthood in the 1980s, as far back as 1969 when he was in seminary but let him continue as a parish priest until the early 80s while never reporting the accusations of abuse to police, the Star reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

More Silence From Ner Israel

BALTIMORE (MD)
Jewish Times

Ner Israel President Sheftel Neuberger left a voice mail to our managing editor Alan Feiler telling him that he would not talk to the Jewish Times anymore since we wrote articles about the dead child molester Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.

Times like these make me miss his late father, Rabbi Herman Neuberger, even more.

The reason Neuberger won’t talk is because he sees it is a violation of Jewish law for us to write the truth about a dead person. In this case, the truth is that Ephraim Shapiro molested on occasions too numerous to count, both boys and girls. It wasn’t until years after his death that the truth started emerging like ooze from a waste dump that this man had ruined the lives of many innocent people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

It's wrong to ban publishing names

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Ze'ev Segal

The law, as amended in 2002, allows a court to forbid publishing a suspect's name, even if the ban goes against the public interest. The amended law is an exception to the principle that the public has a right to know.

Until the amendment the publishing of a suspect's name could be blocked almost solely for fear of obstructing police investigation. The courts don't often make use of their power to prevent publication of a suspect's name after he or she is brought to court for arrest or remand extension.

The Supreme Court weighed the damage that could be done to a suspect by releasing his name and the public interest in releasing it in a case of a person suspected of severe sexual abuse of minors. This is similar in principle to the affair now being debated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

‘Child Protection Bill to be legislated soon’

PAKISTAN
The International News

The Child Protection Bill will be legislated soon in order to end violence against children and domestic servants, Sindh Human Rights Minister Nadia Gabol said on Saturday.

She was presiding over a meeting to review the report on violence against street children and domestic child servants. Nadia noted that the proposed Child Protection Bill will help stop the sexual abuse of street children and domestic child servants. She stressed the need to evolve a comprehensive strategy for the welfare of street children and domestic servants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

More lives ruined by cult's bizarre control

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Colleen Egan

January 24, 2009 06:00pm
THE response to The Sunday Times story last week on New Age cult leader Matthew Meinck has been overwhelming.

I have been inundated with phone calls and emails from people who have had dealings with the Chittering Valley retreat owner, who has convinced a core group of about 20 followers that they have repressed memories of being raped and raping others.

Eight of Mr Meinck's former devotees, who left his group in the past year or so, gave a fascinating insight last week into the charismatic former monk's bizarre world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Bizarre secret cult ripping families apart

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

[with audio]

Colleen Egan

January 17, 2009 05:00pm
SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: WA families are being ripped apart by a self-styled cult leader whose followers believe they have repressed memories of rape.

About 20 people have become devotees of a New Age "healer'', Matthew Meinck, who owns a retreat property in Chittering Valley.

Meinck, an Australian-born former monk, believes that people retain in their bodies memories of abuse that can be retrieved during intense deep-tissue massage, regressive therapy and gruelling meditation sessions lasting up to two weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Jewish coalition want abuse victims to speak out

BALTIMORE (MD)
Examiner

By Carolyn Peirce
Examiner Staff Writer 1/25/09

A Baltimore survivors coalition is starting a public awareness campaign this week to break the silence about the sexual abuse of children within Jewish communities.

The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse, an international network based out of the Awareness Center in Baltimore, is organizing a series of "speak outs," that are aimed at allowing suppressed survivors of sexual abuse to educate others through their stories. The speak outs start Monday in Brooklyn, N.Y., and will begin in Baltimore Feb. 8.

The coalition also wants local rabbis to implement "safety plans" to protect children from registered sex offenders who are attending services at their synagogues unbeknownst to parents. However, some community members said outing a convicted sex offender is unjust to the offender who already has been punished through the court system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Sex and religion--strange bedfellows?

Examiner

January 24, 6:41 PM
by Robert V. Thompson, Chicago Spirituality Examiner

Susan Sontag once wrote: Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds.”

When these two combustibles are combined heaven or hell can break loose.

Some practitioners of the eastern spiritual path known as Tantra understand the sexual connection as a vehicle of self transcendence. It’s about the unity of body, mind and spirit. Tantric practitioners say this yoga, this boundary free whole person yoking, is heavenly.
The flip side of intimacy through shared vulnerability is the use of power as a defense mechanism against true intimacy. When these two innate human impulses, sex and religion are used as a away of having power over rather than intimacy with—inevitably somebody gets hurt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Bishops seem content to hide behind their lawyers

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By colum kenny

Sunday January 25 2009

The Catholic bishops have refused point blank to explain publicly their refusal to publish legal advice that they claim has prevented them from sharing with the Health Service Executive (HSE) statistical information about child abuse that occurred in their dioceses.

At a special meeting of the hierarchy's Episcopal Conference last Friday, held as usual behind closed doors, bishops disagreed on the extent to which new measures were needed to protect children. My own efforts to understand their thinking have been frustrated by a one sentence statement from their spokesman.

It emerged this month that a major HSE audit of child protection practices in Catholic dioceses has been stymied by bishops refusing to fill in the audit's crucial fifth section. After their meeting last Friday, the bishops promised "to renew their commitment to providing all of the information requested in Section 5 of the HSE audit". But their promise is ambiguous and could still mean that they will only provide the information if and when the government changes current law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Bishops agree to seek way around audit difficulties

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Ireland’s Catholic bishops have agreed during a meeting with the Minister for Children to try to find a way around legal difficulties that they say have prevented them from divulging to the HSE whether all cases of clerical child sex abuse have been reported to the authorities.

The commitment follows a meeting yesterday in Dublin between Minister Barry Andrews, Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Seán Brady and the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.

The Irish Bishop’s Conference held a meeting in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth on Friday following which they said they would sign a written commitment to implementing guidelines on safeguarding children within their dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Catholic diocese gets new bishop

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fifteen months after the Most Rev. Robert J. Baker left the Catholic Diocese of Charleston for Birmingham, Ala., the Vatican has announced a new bishop for the state of South Carolina.

Monsignor Robert E. Guglielmone, a native New Yorker who has served since August 2007 as rector of St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre on Long Island, the See city of the Rockville Centre diocese, will be ordained and installed as bishop on March 25. He will take the helm of the Charleston diocese during a rocky period in the history of the church. ...

Bishop-elect Guglielmone will face several challenges, including an unresolved local sexual abuse settlement case; changing demographics in the Catholic community, uncertainty about parochial school funding and enrollment; economic crisis and poverty; and changing political sentiment nationwide that has prompted the church to assert its position on ethical issues such as abortion and stem-cell research.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Documents: Church knew of abuse

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

[letter from the House of Affirmation releasing Monroe]

[House of Affirmation accepts Monroe]

[letter from a child alleging abuse]

[letter from House of Affirmation about its evaluation of Monroe]

[letter from House of Affirmtion to Monroe]

By Robert King

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has admitted that one of its former priests, Harry Monroe, was a child molester.

But church officials have never acknowledged they knew anything about the abuse while it was happening.

Now, a host of new documents obtained through a court petition by The Indianapolis Star reveal that church officials knew about allegations against Monroe by 1976 -- early in an era of sex abuse that lasted from 1974 to 1984.

The documents also make it clear that two former Indianapolis archbishops -- the Most Rev. George J. Biskup and the Most Rev. Edward T. O'Meara -- were aware of abuse allegations at the time, never reported them to police and continued to assign Monroe to new parish positions, where he preyed on other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Bishops to divulge all information to HSE

IRELAND
RTE News

Sunday, 25 January 2009 07:15
The country's Catholic bishops have committed to telling the HSE whether all allegations of clerical child sexual abuse in their dioceses have been reported to the civil authorities.

The hierarchy had said that, for legal reasons, it could not divulge a wide range of similar information to the HSE's national audit on church child protection practices.

This breakthrough follows yesterday's meeting between Minister for Children Barry Andrews and the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

January 24, 2009

Ted Haggard: A Tortured Gay Man

UNITED STATES
The Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan

More sad details here. At some point, surely evangelical Christians will have to ask themselves: are we going to continue to demonize homosexuality to such an extent that even our ablest preachers and leaders are led into destructive, secret and often abusive relationships because we cannot allow them to pursue open and honest and loving ones?

The countless gay men who are currently running many of the world's leading Christian denominations are threats to themselves, to other gay men, to their wives and their churches because ancient doctrine forces them into twisted shells of human beings. In the Catholic church, this led to a horrifying epidemic of child abuse, protected and enabled by the last two Popes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Church tried to avoid latest Haggard gay sex scandal

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Mark Barna, The Gazette

New Life Church tried to head off the fallout that has embroiled the congregation in its second sex scandal involving Ted Haggard, the Rev. Brady Boyd said Saturday.

Boyd asked the church's disgraced former pastor in December to postpone the release of the HBO documentary "The Trials of Ted Haggard," telling him that it could lead to a second gay sex partner coming forward with allegations against him.

Three weeks ago, Boyd told the New Life volunteer not to go public about his sexual relationship with Haggard during the evangelical leader's reign as pastor that ended in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Pope reprieves Holocaust-denying priest

VATICAN CITY
Jerusalem Post (Israel)

By MATTHEW WAGNER, AP AND JTA

In an attempt to heal a two-decade old schism, Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunications of four bishops, including one who is a Holocaust denier.

Richard Williamson, a British bishop, was shown in a Swedish state TV interview this week saying that historical evidence "is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed."

Williamson has said that only 200,000-300,000 Jews died during World War II and that gas chambers were a fiction.

He has also endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic forgery used since the late 19th century to fuel anti-Jewish violence, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Cardinal must put children first

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday January 24 2009

CARDINAL Brady's inability to understand people's dismay at Bishop Magee's continuing command of the diocese of Cloyne is understandable. He is merely expressing, openly and honestly, a traditional approach which sits comfortably with respected society.

The Cardinal said yesterday that it had come as a surprise to him that people were offended by his backing for Bishop Magee. In truth, most people would have been surprised if the Cardinal had not been surprised.

Most people would have been surprised if the Cardinal, having deplored the abuse of children by priests (which he did), had gone on to acknowledge Bishop Magee's failings, thanked him for his good work over the years, and regretfully announced the septuagenarian's retirement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Verona, scandalo pedofilia

ITALY
la Repubblica

[video presentation]

[read the original story in L'espresso]

[read the Italian-language story in L'espresso]

Verona, scandalo pedofilia

(24 gennaio 2009)
67 ex allievi di un istituto religioso per sordomuti denunciano molestie all'Espresso Sarebbero stati violentati e molestati negli anni all'interno dell'istituto Antonio Provolo. Gli episodi citati riguardano 25 religiosi; le vittime potrebbero essere un centinaio.
di Simone Bianchin e Lorenzo Maria Falco

[translation]

Verona, the pedophilia scandal

(January 24, 2009)

Sixty-seven former students of a religious Institute for deaf and mute young people have told the newspaper Espresso fthat they were sexually molested.

The were allegedly molested and abused sexually during the years spent at the Institution Antonio Provolo. The reported cases are related to 25 priests; the victims could be about 100.

Here is the transcript of what some citizens of Verona say in this video about the story.

An elderly couple. The woman:“ It’s frightening, for me it’s frightening. I’m 83 and I have never heard such a thing, I don’t know how we can go on in such a way….”

The man: “ the fact is it was the clergy responsible…..”

The woman interrupts: “we always trusted the nuns and the priests in their contacts with our sons and daughters and our nephews. We always came here ( Looking at the church…)”
The man: “On Christmas , too, we came here…

A second woman: “I wouldn’t really know what to say… I read it in the newspaper Arena of Verona….I don’t believe in it…”

The reporter “ You doubt what it’s being said….”
The woman: “Yes, I doubt it…
The reporter: “You doubt…..”
The woman: “Yes, really….. I can’t really believe it.”
The reporter: “ And if the allegations were found true?”
The woman: “Then really a lot will fall down.”

A priest: “ I’m a priest of the Diocese and I don’t know anything about that Institution and I find myself in such a painful situation and to think that such a thing could occur, thinking that in that Institution there are also inmates who are suffering…. Therefore I think there is a necessity to clarify what happened, using patience and determination. Being the Institution is a place where the inmates are being educated it’s necessary to examine the facts and when everything will be ascertained there will be the need to make the due steps, contemplating even a suspension a divinis of those who will be found responsible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Papal reconciliation move will stir controversy

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR., NCR Staff
Published: Jan. 24, 2009

In a gesture billed as an “act of peace,” but one destined both to fire intra-Catholic debate about the meaning of the Second Vatican Council and to open a new front in Jewish/Catholic tensions, the Vatican today formally lifted a twenty-year-old excommunication imposed on four bishops who broke with Rome in protest over the liberalizing reforms of Vatican II (1962-65).

Ironically, news of the move came just one day before the 50th anniversary of the announcement by Pope John XXIII of his intention to call Vatican II.

The four bishops had been ordained in defiance of the late Pope John Paul II in 1988 by Swiss Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, whose Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X clung to the old Latin Mass after Vatican II and also expressed deep reservations about both ecumenism and religious freedom. Lefebvre died in 1991. ...

While Catholics will likely see the decree as a victory for a conservative reading of Vatican II, it has also sparked protest in Jewish quarters for a different reason: One of the four Lefebvrite prelates, Richard Williamson of Great Britain, recently made comments that appeared to cast doubt on the historical truth of the Holocaust.

In an interview with Swedish television recorded in November but aired in January, Williamson said that he did not believe the Nazis had used gas chambers. “Between 200,000 and 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber,” Williamson said, according to a transcript of the program.

Speaking to reporters today in Rome, a Vatican spokesperson insisted that the Vatican does not share Williamson’s views, and that his recent comments had “nothing to do” with the decree from the Congregation for Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

NY rector names new bishop of SC Catholic diocese

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Times and Democrat

Saturday, January 24, 2009

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A rector from New York will be the new bishop for South Carolina's statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, the Vatican announced Saturday.

Robert E. Guglielmone, 63, will lead the 183,000 Roman Catholics in the state. He has spent the past two years as rector at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Center, N.Y.

Guglielmone will be ordained and installed as bishop March 25 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Diocese Of Covington Issues Statement On Lawsuit

KENTUCKY
KyPost

The following is an official statement from the Diocese of Covington.

DIOCESE OF COVINGTON'S STATEMENT REGARDING LAWSUIT FILED IN KENTON CIRCUIT COURT

The Diocese has just received a copy of the lawsuit that was apparently filed on January 20 in the Kenton Circuit Court against the principal, pastor, and a teacher at St. Joseph Crescent Springs, Bishop Foys, and several members of the Diocese's administrative staff. The complaint is based on a situation last year involving two second-grade students at the parish school. From what we have been able to determine thus far, the school handled the matter responsibly and with sensitivity to the children's young age and circumstances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Sex abuse inquiry finds evidence of repeat offences

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

Sunday, January 25, 2009 By John Burke and Keirn Wood
The inquiry into the handling of clerical sex abuse claims in the Dublin archdiocese has found widespread evidence of repeat offences by members of the clergy.

The inquiry team has begun to distribute its provisional findings and large sections of its draft report have been passed to Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, in recent days. The former archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, has also received some sections.

Draft findings are also being circulated to those who allegedly suffered abuse at the hands of diocesan priests, as well as to alleged perpetrators, senior Church managers, gardaí and the Health Service Executive (HSE). The report covers alleged claims of abuse by 46 priests who were based in the diocese between 1975 and 2004, mostly during Connell’s stewardship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

''E' solo una vendetta''

ITALY
la Repubblica

[video presentation]

(24 gennaio 2009)
Il vescovo di Verona Giuseppe Zenti non crede alle denunce e accusa il presidente dell'Associazione Sordi Giorgio Della Bernardina di aver montato tutta la vicenda per vecchi dissapori di Simone Bianchin e Lorenzo Maria Falco

[translation]

“It’s only a revenge”
(January 24, 2009)

The bishop of Verona, Giuseppe Zenti, doesn’t believe in the charges of pedophilia and accuses the President of The Association for the Deaf, Giorgio della Bernardina, to have made a scheme in revenge of past controversies.

Here is the transcript of what the bishops say in the video:

"The real reasons of this revenge starts from the fact that he, Giorgio della Bernardina, firstly, hadn’t been elected in the past as the President of the Association for the Deaf; secondly, he wanted to use the offices of the Association, which were never denied to him, without paying the money we requested for the electricity and the heating; thirdly, we expected a practical help for the Foundation which was denied by him. Just as a revenge he is now trying to play the card of pedophilia, thinking he can win. He already said that to me in the past, that he would also be willing to use that weapon. And reading the article I couldn’t but have the confirmation of this fabrication, some of the pieces must have been written directly by him. This is the last act of revenge he committed: for me imprudently."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

SNAP Press Release: Bishop Warns Priests, Not Parents, About Predator - Jan. 13, 2009

NEW JERSEY
Religion 888

For immediate release:
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Bishop warns priests, not parents, about predator; Sex abuse victims respond

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)

It's the same old scenario: the public and parishioners learn of a dangerous predator priest only because of the media. The bishop alerts priests, who have no kids, about a child molester, but refuses to warn parents.

When will bishops learn, in the words of Martin Luther King, that 'no lie lives forever,' and that they just can't keep secrets about pedophiles like they once could?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

''Sia fatta chiarezza''

ITALY
la Repubblica

[video presentation]

(24 gennaio 2009)
La replica di don Danilo Corradi, superiore generale dell'istituto Provolo. Vuole che sia fatta chiarezza, ma non giudica necessaria un'indagine, perché molti dei sacerdoti accusati sono già morti. Ammette però che

[translation]

''Things must be made clear”
(January 24 2009)

The answer is by the Rev. Danilo Corradi, Superior General of the Provolo Institution. He wants things to be clarified , but he doesn’t deem an investigation is necessary, for many priests have already passed away. He admits however that in the ‘70s there happened a case of pedophilia in his Institution.

Here is the transcript of the video conversation:

The Rev. Danilo Corradi: “I would like to say with great force and clearness that above all it’s the interest of our Institution that the truth could come out in its entirety, avoiding suspicions and also generalizations and that never in the past I was never warned about real and concrete facts happened in the past in order to be put in the condition to make an investigation about these facts of pedophilia."

Reporter: "But even rumors, like … they say that?……."

The Rev. Danilo Corradi : "I have been here since 1949 and I can say only one case was reported : it concerned a young man who was sent back to his family immediately. He was a student who was about to follow the religious and consecrated path and we sent him away at once for we can’t tolerate these cases in our Institution. When such things happen….."

Reporter: " Do you think an investigation is needed?"

The Reverend Danilo Corradi : " I think so, I don’t know. I don’t think it would be necessary to investigate about these cases…for the Fathers have passed away. They can’t answer, the can’t speak anymore."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Head of SSPX 'refuses to condemn Bishop Williamson for Holocaust denial'

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

[the letter]

Posted By: Damian Thompson at Jan 23, 2009

A letter has appeared on the internet attributed to Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Lefebvrist Society of St Pius X. In it, the bishop (or someone pretending to be him) pointedly fails to criticise his fellow SSPX bishop, Richard Williamson, for denying the existence of Nazi gas chambers in a television interview.

Instead, the letter attacks the "vile" behaviour of the Swedish TV company for daring to ask Williamson "secular" questions. "Although it had been understood that the interview would deal with religious issues only, the reporter asked the bishop's opinion concerning historical matters ... It is shameful to use an interview on religious matters to introduce secular and controversial issues with the obvious intention of misrepresenting and maligning the activity of our religious Society. Such [a] vile attempt will not reach its goal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Bishop Fellay salutes 'benevolent and courageous' Pope Benedict

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Posted By: Damian Thompson at Jan 24, 2009

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of St Pius X and, as of today, no longer excommunicated, has responded to the Pope's gesture in the following letter. In it, he describes Benedict XVI as "benevolent" and "courageous".

I'm beginning to think that the Pope's gamble will pay off. Sources close to the SSPX tell me that Bishop Williamson has infuriated his episcopal colleagues with his venomous and stupid rant about the Holocaust - but when will they condemn him publicly? Surely they cannot hope to have their suspensions lifted until they have done so. Anyway, here's the letter:

Letter of the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

Dear faithful,

As I announce in the attached press release, “ the excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese settles sexual harassment lawsuit

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEEdbarbee@star-telegram.com

The Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese settled a sexual harassment lawsuit this week accusing its superintendent of schools of making inappropriate remarks and creating a "sexually hostile working environment."

Former diocese employee Laura Judd said that Superintendent Don Miller made demeaning comments about her and said her success was based on her being a "buxom blonde" with "good looks." The diocese, but not Miller, was named as a party to the lawsuit.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed because of a confidentiality agreement. A trial was in progress when the settlement was announced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

'Trials of Ted Haggard': documentary of a fall

UNITED STATES
San Francisco Chronicle

Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It will be impossible for many not to feel at least some schadenfreude watching the new HBO documentary "The Trials of Ted Haggard" that premieres Thursday, and Haggard knows it. It is a portrait of the disgraced conservative evangelical Christian leader and friend of the Bush White House in exile, and a pathetic exile at that.

After admitting in 2006 to buying methamphetamine from a male prostitute and confessing to "sexual immorality" amid accusations that he had a sexual relationship with the man, the Colorado pastor who once led the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals was banished from the state by church leaders and told not to publicly discuss his story. He resigned from the NAE and was stripped of his pastorship of the 12,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Haggard once was a staple of cable news shows, but for the past two years his large-toothed, wide, ever-smiling mouth has been silent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Constant Scandals and Secrecy Weaken our Church

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 1/24/2009
Publication: The National Herald

It was really sad for our Church in America to say farewell to the old year and to welcome the new one with another scandal involving one of its clergy, specifically that of Archimandrite Gabriel Karambis.

The speed with which Metropolitan Isaiah and Archbishop Demetrios removed him during the holy period of Christmas, marks the seriousness of the problem. Metropolitan Isaiah’s clarification in his letter to the congregants of the Annunciation Cathedral of Houston, Texas is really of great interest. He wrote:

“His suspension (Fr. Karambis’) does not pertain to any financial improprieties against the parish or to any misconduct involving minors or parishioners. The reason I relieved him of his duties had to do with his own personal life and how it negatively reflected on the holy priesthood.” The innuendos that Metropolitan Isaiah left flowing with his above statement are truly remarkable. ...

Let us not forget either that former Archbishop Spyridon was the one who had tucked Karambis to the Archdiocese using him as some kind of “executor” as in the case of the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral of New York, and also for the cover up of the homosexual incident of that tragic Tsiknopempti party at the men’s dormitory of Holy Cross Theological School, which ended up with the dismissal of the professors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

New gay sex scandal embroils New Life and Ted Haggard

COLORADO
Colorado Indepenent

By Wendy Norris 1/23/09 9:49 PM
Fresh revelations have emerged that disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard had a previously undisclosed sex-for-cash relationship with a young male New Life Church volunteer.

An Associated Press report claims that Haggard was involved in an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act,” according to Brady Boyd, the pastor who succeeded the embattled former leader of the 10,000 member New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Haggard had another lover

COLORADO
Deep Thoughts

News has just broke that Ted Haggard had another lover at the time of his gay sex scandal in 2006. Who knew? The story is interesting too. It seems his church covered up the affair with a young church volunteer. They paid the young man off with college tuition and counseling. I can only guess that the counseling was to "fix him". What a deal… I’m sure it was done in the best interest of truth.

"It wasn't at all a settlement to make him be quiet or not tell his story," Boyd said. "Our desire was to help him. Here was a young man who wanted to get on with his life. We considered it more compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money. I know what's what everyone will want to say because that's the most salacious thing to say, but that's not at all what it was."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

NEW LOCAL: St. Vitus members shocked by arrests

NEW CASTLE (PA)
New Castle News

Parishioners were surprised yesterday upon learning that a St. Vitus Church fundraiser was charged with diverting money for personal gain.

State police on Thursday charged August Santillo, 50, of 404 W. Clayton St. with theft after he allegedly diverted more than $337,000 in gift cards and cash donations to support his lavish lifestyle. He posted $55,000 bond and was released the same day from the Lawrence County jail.

The arrest followed an investigation covering a seven-year period of May 1, 2001, to Aug. 26, 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Pope rehabilitates Holocaust denier, angering Jews

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:28am

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict Saturday rehabilitated a traditionalist bishop who denies the Holocaust, despite warnings from Jewish leaders that it would seriously harm Catholic-Jewish relations and foment anti-Semitism.

The Vatican said the pope issued a decree lifting the excommunication of four traditionalist bishops who were thrown out of the Roman Catholic Church in 1988 for being ordained without Vatican permission.

One of the four bishops, the British-born Richard Williamson, has made a number of statements denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews, as accepted by mainstream historians.

In comments to Swedish television broadcast Wednesday, he said "I believe there were no gas chambers" and only up to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, instead of six million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Church's youth mentor held on sex crimes

LOUISIANA
The News-Star

By Matthew Hamilton • mhamilton@monroe.gannett.com • January 24, 2009

A Sterlington youth mentor accused of molesting three teenage boys remained in custody at Ouachita Correctional Center on Friday.

On Wednesday, Sterlington police arrested Jeremy Little, 23, on two charges of molestation of a juvenile, sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Little, a youth mentor at the Assembly of God Church at Sterlington, was booked at OCC on a bond of $90,750. Probation and parole officers also placed a detainer on Little.

Sterlington Police Chief Barry Bonner said a stepmother of a 17-year-old boy told police her stepson may have been molested during a sleepover at a churchgoer's house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Australian Primate attacks time-limit on sex claims

AUSTRALIA
Religious Intelligence

Saturday, 24th January 2009. 7:17am

By: George Conger.

Laws that block victims of childhood sexual abuse from bringing their claims to court after they turn 21 are “harsh and inequitable” the Primate of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Brisbane has charged.

Copies of correspondence between Dr Aspinall and the Queensland government obtained by the Weekend Australian, show the Anglican leader has sought for several years to overturn the law of laches, or “time defence” in sexual abuse cases. Under Australian law a claim of abuse incurred as a child must be made before the victim turns 21, otherwise it can be barred by the doctrine of laches --- the failure to assert a claim in a timely manner.

The Australian Church’s insurance companies have relied upon the “time defence” rule in fighting claims of compensation for abuse suffered by children at the hands of pedophiles employed by the church. Churches were bound by contract with their insurance companies to use the time defence rule in contesting abuse claims, Dr Aspinall noted. However, a change in the law would now guarantee abuse victims their right to a day in court, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

School Dean Is Suspended Over Charge of Groping

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: January 24, 2009
The dean of discipline at an all-boys Roman Catholic high school in the Bronx has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested last week on charges of propositioning and groping a 19-year-old student in his office.

The dean, James West, is the second top administrator in less than a year to be removed from his duties at the school, Cardinal Hayes High, in connection with sex-related allegations. Last February, the diocese fired the school’s principal, Christopher Keogan, after photographs of nude men were found on the computer in his school office. No criminal charges were filed in that case.

Among students and alumni, the arrest last week of Mr. West, 55, was met with disbelief and a chorus of support for the dean, who was also chairman of the math department and a Hayes graduate himself, class of 1972. His arrest was reported on Friday in New York newspapers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Senior clergy fail to agree at emergency abuse summit

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Saturday January 24 2009

An emergency summit of Catholic bishops ended in confusion last night after Archbishop Diarmuid Martin held out for definite commitments from other bishops and religious superiors that they apply the same high standards of child protection that operate in Dublin.

In a joint statement issued several hours after Archbishop Martin left the Maynooth meeting, bishops invited their own independent National Board to undertake a new review of current practice and risk in the safeguarding of children in all 26 dioceses.

But in a dissenting note, Archbishop Martin, said that while he was in favour of the review initiative, he would only be able to accept this "if it contained specific protocols to verify that the superiors of priests other than those of the Archdiocese of Dublin working in Dublin subscribe to and sustain the same norms and guidelines as those of the Archdiocese".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

January 23, 2009

Upcoming NEWSCHANNEL 13 Investigation Reveals New Life Church Scandal

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
KRDO

[with video]

By Tak Landrock
t.landrock@krdo.com

COLORADO SPRINGS - New accusations surface against former New Life Pastor, Ted Haggard, after a NEWSCHANNEL 13 investigation.

A member of New Life Church tells NEWSCHANNEL 13 that Haggard took advantage of him sexually one night. The man, in his early 20's, claims he was paid a large sum of money by New Life Church to keep the abuse quiet. Under an agreement with the church he was not supposed to speak of the allegations with anyone outside the church. If he did, he would violate the agreement and would forfeit the money and could be sued by the church.

He provided NEWSCHANNEL 13 an audio recording of conversations between himself and Haggard. In those conversations Haggard is heard saying the relationship is 'inappropriate' and asked for forgiveness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

Fallen pastor faces new gay-sex allegation

COLORADO
Live 5 News

Associated Press - January 23, 2009 10:33 PM ET

DENVER (AP) - Fallen preacher Ted Haggard has run into another bump on the road to restoring his public image.

Two years ago, the 52-year-old Haggard lost his job as pastor of a Colorado megachurch and his position as an evangelical leader after a male prostitute claimed to have had a long-term relationship with him.

Now, Haggard's ex-church, the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, says a young church volunteer also reports he had a sexual relationship with Haggard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 PM

Disgraced pastor faces more gay sex accusations

COLORADO
The Associated Press

By ERIC GORSKI

DENVER (AP) — Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard's former church disclosed Friday that the gay sex scandal that caused his downfall extends to a young male church volunteer who reported having a sexual relationship with Haggard — a revelation that comes as Haggard tries to repair his public image.

Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told The Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard. ...

David Clohessy, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — which has largely focused on the Catholic sexual abuse scandal but also speaks out on cases involving Protestant clergy — said the new disclosures about Haggard are more disturbing because they involves a church volunteer.

"Technically, legally, they were both adults," Clohessy said. "Psychologically and emotionally, Haggard was dramatically more powerful. ... By definition, any sexual contact between a congregant and minister is inherently abusive and manipulative."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 PM

Day-long special meeting fails to clarify matters

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANALYSIS: THERE WAS little new contained in a statement issued last night by the Irish Episcopal Conference following their day-long special meeting on safeguarding children, writes Patsy McGarry

On January 2nd, Cardinal Brady said the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church would “seek a written commitment from every Bishop, every Religious Congregation and Missionary Society to implement all statutory guidelines and the agreed policy of the Bishops’ Conference, the Irish Missionary Union and the Conference of Religious of Ireland.”

According to last night’s statement the bishops agreed to sign such a commitment yesterday.

On January 2nd also, the cardinal said he suggested to the board “that it might explore the possibility of conducting a review of current child safeguarding practice in every diocese across the island in co-operation with the relevant statutory authorities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Bishops' statement highlights reservations of Archbishop Martin

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

FURTHER EVIDENCE of a difference of opinion between the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, and other Catholic bishops over the handling of child protection procedures emerged last night.

A statement issued on behalf of the bishops said they had agreed “to invite the NBSCCC [National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church] to undertake a review of current practice and risk in the safeguarding of children within their dioceses”.

The bishops emphasised “that in order to restore confidence and credibility in the church’s commitment to safeguarding children, every Bishop, every religious congregation and every missionary society must implement all statutory guidelines in this area, as well as the agreed policy of the Bishops’ Conference, Conference of Religious of Ireland and the Irish Missionary Union”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

All bishops commit to new rules on child safety

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Dan Buckley and Garry O’Sullivan
EVERY Irish Catholic bishop has agreed to give a written commitment to implement new guidelines for safeguarding children.

Following an emergency meeting of the Irish Bishops Conference in Maynooth, the bishops also asked the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church to conduct an audit of present practice in each diocese.

The meeting followed damning reports by the board and the HSE on the handling of clerical child abuse cases in Cloyne.

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin last night insisted that he will only support a review of practices if it includes a system of verifying that all other bishops and religious superiors are implementing the new guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Diocesan financial report released

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Rhode Island Catholic

[read the full financial report]

[Accounting & Internal Control Procedures for the Diocese of Providence.]

BY EMILY DONOHUE, Staff Reporter

PROVIDENCE – The diocese experienced a “fairly break-even year” during the fiscal year from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, said Msgr. Raymond B. Bastia, Secretary for Planning and Financial Services and diocesan Chief Finance Officer Michael F. Sabatino in a recent interview. An independent firm of accountants and consultants, Tofias PC, completed an audit of the diocese’s annual financial report and gave a “clean opinion,” Sabatino said.

The report, prepared by the Diocesan Fiscal Office under the direction of Diocesan Comptroller J. Timothy Kocab shows that, despite the current economic difficulties facing most Americans, the diocese is faring reasonably well financially.

Overall, the diocese’s net assets increased by approximately $900,000 last year, Sabatino said. That number includes an estimated $4 million gain from the sale of the former Cluny Sisters’ Newport residence and approximately $5 million of endowed gifts and bequests that helped to counterbalance approximately $8.6 million of unrealized losses in the value of investments due to the declining stock market.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Sect leader's Fifth pleadings to be reviewed

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Friday, January 23, 2009

Even after eight hours in a Schleicher County courtroom, the deposition of YFZ Ranch leader Merril Jessop may not be over.

Attorneys for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints elder and his alleged teenage daughter-in-law will argue in court Monday over whether Jessop should be able to plead Fifth Amendment protection to a series of questions regarding the polygamous sect's financial structure.

"There are quite a few (answers) that are in controversy," said Natalie Malonis, the Denton attorney representing a 17-year-old daughter of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs. "He answered some of it. I hope that on Monday when we have our hearing, (the judge) will compel answers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Suit Claims NKY Girl Sexually Assaulted By Classmate

KENTUCKY
WLWT

COVINGTON, Ky. -- A lawsuit alleges a female student at a Catholic elementary school was sexually assaulted last year by a classmate.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Kenton Circuit Court, alleges the girl was bullied from January 2008 until she was sexually assaulted May 9.

It alleges all the incidents occurred during school hours and on school grounds or at school-sponsored events.

The suit asks for $250,000 in damages from St. Joseph Elementary School in Crescent Springs and the Covington Diocese to pay for educational and psychological services for the girl, who was not named.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

School And Church Sued Over Alleged Abuse

KENTUCKY
KyPost

A suit has been filed against officials with St. Joseph Elementary School in Crescent Springs and the Covington Diocese, accusing them of failing to stop abuse against a student.

The allegations in the suit are that a female student was bullied by other students last school year on school property and at school functions.

There are also allegations of a sexual assault.

A friend of the girl's family filed the suit in order to protect her identity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Church furor over 'racist' religious group

SWEDEN
The Local

The Church of Sweden on Thursday cited lax internal oversight for why a conservative religious group that wants to convert Sweden to Catholicism and has leaders who deny the Holocaust was given permission to hold meetings in Swedish churches.

The move comes on the heels of a report by Sveriges Television (SVT) investigative news programme Uppdrag Granskning which revealed that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), an ultra-conservative breakaway faction of the Catholic Church, had been holding meetings in Swedish churches.

In the programme, SSPX bishop Richard Williamson openly denied the Holocaust, adding that he did not believe Hitler purposefully gassed Jews to death or that any gas chambers existed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Threesome assault pastor defrocked

SWEDEN
The Local

A pastor convicted of assaulting his ex-wife following sex games involving another man has been relieved of his duties by his employer, the Church of Sweden.

The man's ex-wife, who is also a pastor, has also received a written warning - the mildest form of disciplinary measure in the church's arsenal. A warning may be issued to employees guilty of one-off transgressions or for engaging in actions that may constitute an "unacceptable lifestyle" in the eyes of the church.

The church's internal investigation revealed that the couple, "in conjunction with alcohol consumption, entered into so-called threesome intercourse involving themselves and another person with whom they were previously unacquainted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Irish bishops back new effort to restore credibility after sex-abuse scandal

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

January 23, 2009
At a special January 23 meeting, the Irish bishops' conference approved a new joint initiative to restore credibility after a damaging series of reports about the bishops' reactions to sex-abuse allegations. Bishop John Magee of Cloyne, whose diocese has been at the center of recent scandals, apologized to his colleagues as well as to victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Full text of Bishops' statement

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The following is the full text of a statement issued on behalf of the Irish Bishops' Conference, following an emergency meeting at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare, to discuss Church practice and policy on safeguarding children.

Bishops hold special meeting on Safeguarding Children

The Irish Bishops' Conference today held a special meeting on the subject of safeguarding children. The meeting took place in St Patrick's College, Maynooth. Representatives of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) addressed the meeting on policies and procedures for best practice in safeguarding children.

Bishops discussed their pastoral responsibilities towards safeguarding children in the Church. Issues arising from the NBSCCC's Report on the Management of Two Child Protection Cases in the Diocese of Cloyne, published by the Diocese on 19 December last, the Reports of the HSE Audit of Catholic Church Dioceses and the statement by the Minister for Children, Mr Barry Andrews TD, both published on 7 January, were discussed in detail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Ex-Trumbull priest, diocese in abuse suit

TRUMBULL (CT)
Connecticut Post

By John Burgeson
STAFF WRITER
Updated: 01/23/2009 03:29:15 PM EST

A Trumbull man, identified in court papers only as "David Doe," is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport and one of its defrocked priests, John Castaldo, for allegedly molesting the plaintiff a number of times in the 1980s.

Also named as defendants are the estate of the late Walter W. Curtis, bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport from September 1961 through June 1988, and Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, who was the Bridgeport bishop from November 1988 through May 2000.

The suit, filed on Friday in New Haven Superior Court, states that Doe, now 33, "suffered severe and emotional and bodily pain" when Castaldo "repeatedly forced Doe to perform oral sex." It also states that the Trumbull priest "attacked Doe for his own deviant sexual gratification."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Bishops agree to 'written commitments' on child protection

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ELAINE EDWARDS

Irish Bishops said tonight they would sign a written commitment to implementing guidelines on safeguarding children within their dioceses, and they said they would ask the Church’s independent child-protection body to carry out a review of current practices and risks.

But in an apparent difference of opinion between senior church leaders, a statement issued following a special meeting of Irish Bishops’ Conference said: “Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, while in favour of the review initiative, said that he would only be able to accept a review if it contained specific protocols to verify that the superiors of priests other than those of the Archdiocese of Dublin working in Dublin subscribe to and sustain the same norms and guidelines as those of the Archdiocese.”

The emergency meeting was held in Maynooth today to discuss the fallout from the recent report of the Church’s independent body on safeguarding children, the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSCCC) in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Police expand ex-pastor sex abuse probe

MARYLAND
Southern Maryland Newspapers

By BETHANY RODGERS
Staff writer

The former minister charged this week with molesting a music student admitted to police that he had "sexual contact" with the child and recorded some of the encounters on camera, according to court documents.

The 14-year-old boy told police that Tony Ray Malbrough, 44, of Indian Head sexually abused him multiple times, most recently on Jan. 13. The victim said he took keyboard lessons at Malbrough's home, where the 44-year-old would allegedly molest him, court papers show. Malbrough filmed some of the incidents on a digital camera, the victim reported.

While the victim said the sexual touching happened against his will, he felt he couldn't make Malbrough stop for fear the man would get angry, the court records report. The charging document states that Malbrough was a minister at the victim's church and was also a family friend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Cardinal surprised people offended

IRELAND
The Press Association

Cardinal Sean Brady was surprised people were offended over his backing of Bishop John Magee, found to have mishandled child sex abuse allegations, he said.

The Catholic Primate also said he was sorry people were upset by his insistence that the Bishop of Cloyne should not resign because of the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Here is what happened at hearing last Tuesday, in fact, here is what is happening in release of documents from Clergy Cases settled in LA in July 2007

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Steier: I won’t accept this. There are particular realities of the situation. I am going to ask for a hearing date and then determine if an appellate (filing?) would be appropriate. (He’s already planning to appeal the decision that will be made next hearing.)

DeMarco turns around to Steier and says, “It’s been fully briefed. Do you still want to formulate arguments? There’s no need to extend more and more delays.”

Steier: The delay is not mine. I'm not a total idiot. The issue is different from Clergy Two. Now we're going forward with a new discussion and I'm going to argue it.

But then here’s where it gets murky. Steier needs everyone to coordinate their calendars around this trip he’s taking. I sense others in the court have been impatient with him for a long time. It’s in the body language. An ephemeral slouch comes over the attorneys as Steier jumps up yet again and asks for more time to file more briefs, more hearings, more ways to stretch this thing out so long that the Los Angeles news media has long forgotten the clergy cases, even some of the plaintiffs seem to have forgotten. (January 21 post here about release of documents finally starting got less than average number of clicks.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Final church audit to be released on Monday

CONCORD (NH)
Fox 44

Associated Press - January 23, 2009 8:35 AM ET

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is releasing the results of the fourth and final audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester on Monday.

The audit was conducted as part of the 2002 agreement regarding how the Diocese handled allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Coalition wants rabbi to warn community of sex offender

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

By Staff
- 1/23/09

The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse is calling on a Baltimore rabbi to warn parents that a convicted sex offender who served time in federal prison for possessing child porn is now living in their community and praying at their synagogue.

The international coalition, based out of the Awareness Center in Baltimore, is demanding that Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer develop a public safety plan to protect members of his Glenn Avenue Shul from Cantor Stuart Friedman, 54, of 6016 Clover Road, a registered sex offender who regularly prays at the synagogue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Volunteer accused of stealing more than $300,000 from church

NEW CASTLE (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, January 23, 2009
By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A longtime volunteer who led school fundraising efforts for St. Vitus Parish in New Castle stole more than $337,000 in church cash and gift cards to buy diamond rings, Rolex watches, a Mercedes-Benz and other lavish items, state police said yesterday.

August Santillo, 50, of New Castle, is accused of taking parish money and Giant Eagle gift cards during the seven years he worked as a program coordinator for the parish.

Mr. Santillo is charged with stealing $255,081 in cash, and police said he redeemed $84,906 in Giant Eagle gift cards for Visa and American Express gift cards, which he used to make extravagant purchases. Troopers seized loose diamonds, gold bracelets and rings, designer watches, a 2007 Nissan Murano and other items during a search of Mr. Santillo's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

CBI to dramatize Abhaya murder today

INDIA
Kerala Online

Kottayam, Friday, January 23, 2009: All eyes will be focused at the Pious X convent in Kottyam today, as CBI is likely to repeat the occurrences of March 27th, 1992. The three accused Father Thomas Kottoor, Father Jose Putarikail, Sister Sepphy who are on bail have been bought to PWD rest house in Kottayam. The three have been under the scanner for a long time and were even subjected to a narco analysis and polygraph tests last year.

The interrogation is taking place after special consent from Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Catholic school dean charged in grope of student

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY DORIAN BLOCK
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 9:03 PM

A dean at a Bronx all-boys Catholic school was arrested and placed on leave for allegedly unzipping a student's pants and groping the teen in his office.

James West, 55, the dean of discipline at Cardinal Hayes High School, was charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse after the alleged Jan. 13 incident. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment three days later and was released without bail pending a Feb. 10 court date.

According to court documents, a 19-year-old student said West, of upstate Highland Mills, called him out of class and into his office shortly after 1 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Judge pushes to resolve priest sex-abuse cases

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

By MARY BETH SETZER
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

FAIRBANKS -- At a status hearing Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Niesje Steinkruger told attorneys on both sides of the multiple, unsettled priest sex-abuse cases to focus on clearing court dockets.

"Put these cases on the front burner and get them resolved," she said at several points in the two-hour proceeding, the latest in the ongoing scandal.

Steinkruger was assigned the task of managing the litigation of hundreds of abuse cases more than a year ago. Since then some new lawyers have been involved, and bankruptcy proceedings bogged down as claimants continue to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Judge urges lawyers to settle church sex abuse cases

ALASKA
KTUU

by Lori Tipton
Thursday, January 22, 2009

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-- In Fairbanks, a Superior Court judge told lawyers involved in cases of priest and church workers accused of child sex abuse to focus on getting the cases finished.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it is grateful the judge understands that the victims need help soon, but those victims need the chance to expose dangerous predators and corrupt supervisors as a part of their healing.

SNAP said it hopes the judge will allow these victims that opportunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Parishioners To Ask Vatican To Appoint Coadjutor Bishop

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WRNO

Friday, January 23, 2009
The Vatican will be asked next week to speed up the process of replacing Archbishop Alfred Hughes as leader of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Members of two Uptown churches that were closed last fall under a post-Katrina restructuring plan will send a letter to the Vatican seeking the appointment of a Coadjutor Bishop. The letter contends Archbishop Hughes has displayed "complete failure of pastoral stewardship."

For 72 consecutive days, parishioners of St. Henry and Our Lady of Good Counsel staged prayer vigils at the churches after they were closed. On January 6th, the Archdiocese asked the NOPD to remove the parishioners and then changed the locks on the buildings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Muncie pastor accused of sex abuse

MUNCIE (IN)
Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette

Associated Press
A minister is accused of sexually abusing three teenage boys in his Muncie congregation.

The Rev. Matthew A. Kidd was released on $25,000 bond from Delaware County Jail on Wednesday. Kidd surrendered at the jail about 8 p.m. after sheriff’s deputies were unable to locate him to serve an arrest warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Bishops to hold crisis meeting on child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Friday January 23 2009

The Catholic bishops will hold a crisis meeting today on clerical child abuse, amidst the fallout from revelations that Bishop of Cloyne John Magee failed to apply proper safeguards for children.

The one-day emergency gathering has been summoned by the chairman of the Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Sean Brady, to ensure full implementation of national and statutory child protection procedures in all 26 dioceses.

Last night, Church sources said that Cardinal Brady would demand a written commitment from every bishop, including Bishop Magee -- as well as every Religious Congregation and Missionary Society -- that they would implement all statutory guidelines and enforce the agreed policy of the Bishops' Conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Isle man sues in church sex abuse

HAWAII
Honolulu Advertiser

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Hawai'i man has filed a lawsuit against a former priest and the Roman Catholic Church of Hawai'i, alleging the priest attempted to sexually assault the man when he was a minor more than 20 years ago.

The plaintiff, listed only as "John Doe" in the complaint, is accusing convicted child molester Robert Burkholder of "forcibly" attempting to assault him in March 1984. The lawsuit, which was filed in state Circuit Court by attorney David Gierlach, alleges that the incident led to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as criminal conduct by the plaintiff.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Roman Catholic Church knew Burkholder was a sexual predator, but allowed him to work in Hawai'i. The church, the lawsuit alleges, "concealed its knowledge of Burkholder's proclivity to molest youngsters and continued to place Burkholder in positions where he would have contact with youngsters, including the plaintiff."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Priest asked to step down amid sex allegations

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

Posted Jan 22, 2009 @ 11:18 PM

PEORIA — A Catholic priest who formerly served parishes in Lincoln, Atlanta and Mason City has been asked to step down from public ministry after being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Father Jerry Pilon allegedly participated in sexual acts with a minor nearly 12 years ago, according to a news release from the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

The release did not indicate when the allegations were made. No one from the diocese returned a phone call Thursday seeking additional information. It was unclear whether Pilon faces any criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Bishop asks priest to step down

MOLINE (IL)
The Times

01/23/2009, 12:36 am

MOLINE — The Rev. Jerry Pilon, pastor of St. Mary Church, has been asked to step down from public ministry by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

According to a press release issued Thursday afternoon by the Diocese of Peoria, allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor were made against Pilon "dating back to nearly 12 years ago."

The release stated the alleged abuse did not take place in the Diocese of Peoria and the alleged victim was "not a minor with whom (Pilon) had served in any ministerial capacity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Catholic bishops holding summit on child protection

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Catholic bishops will today gather to discuss child protection as the crisis deepens after the report on child protection practices in the Cloyne diocese.

The hierarchy from both sides of the Border have been summoned to the meeting at Maynooth, Co Kildare, in the wake of the fall-out over allegations in the Diocese of Cloyne, Co Cork.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said the talks at St Patrick’s College seminary would deal with child welfare within the Church.

“It’s a special meeting, addressing the safeguarding of children, obviously in the context of recent developments,” he said. “This is a core pastoral area for individual bishops and collectively.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

January 22, 2009

Ex-Atlanta, Lincoln priest removed from ministry due to sexual misconduct allegations

PEORIA (IL)
Pantagraph

By Edith Brady-Lunny
eblunny@pantagraph.com

PEORIA -- A priest whose assignments included churches in Lincoln and Atlanta has been removed from public ministry because of allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Rev. Jerry Pilon, pastor at St. Mary Church in Moline since 1998, is accused of misconduct dating back nearly 12 years, according to a statement Thursday from the Diocese of Peoria.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky has asked Pilon not to wear clerical garb or the roman collar and to refrain from using the titles “reverend” or “father.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Church holds crisis meeting over Cloyne

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Juno McEnroe
THE Catholic Church is to hold an emergency meeting today to address the continuing fallout following the mishandling of child abuse claims in the Diocese of Cloyne.

Cardinal Seán Brady, as president of the bishops’ conference, called the meeting following discussions in his own diocese this week.

The move comes amid speculation the Vatican asked him to take immediate action.

Cardinal Brady is expected to ask bishops to give a written commitment that they will implement all statutory child protection guidelines as well as policies agreed by the Catholic Bishops’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Money Missing From Brookfield Church

BROOKFIELD (WI)
WISN

BROOKFIELD, Wis. -- More than $120,000 is missing from a Brookfield church and evidence suggests a former priest may be involved.

The Rev. Lenonard Van Vlaenderen first made headlines a year ago when he was arrested on charges of possessing crack cocaine. His arrest prompted a look at the parish books.

Now, parishioners are receiving a letter telling them police are investigating the theft of more than $100,000 during the priest's tenure.

Van Vlaenderen was once the right-hand man to former Archbishop Rembert Weakland. In 2002, he went to St. John Vianney in Brookfield after Weakland retired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Suit: I was molested by my Camp Chipinaw counselor -- and he's still teaching kids

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 1:45 PM

A New Yorker serving in the U.S. Coast Guard filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming he was molested repeatedly by a counselor at a popular Catskills summer camp.

Now 21, Cory Legnetti said Peter Evans began preying on him in 1998 when he was 10 at Camp Chipinaw in Swan Lake, N.Y., according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Palm Beach private school puts teacher on leave after civil lawsuit filed

BOCA RATON (FL)
South Florida Sun Sentinel

Brian Haas | South Florida Sun Sentinel
4:34 PM EST, January 22, 2009
BOCA RATON - A Palm Beach County private school has put a teacher on administrative leave after he was accused in a lawsuit of molesting a boy at a camp in upstate New York a decade ago.

Peter Evans, a middle school teacher at Donna Klein Jewish Academy, west of Boca Raton, is on leave while the school investigates the allegations.

Today, in Supreme Court in New York in Nassau County, Cory Legnetti, 21, filed suit accusing Evans, who was a counselor at Camp Chipinaw, of molesting him at the camp from 1998 to 2001. Legnetti, who is stationed in San Diego with the U.S. Coast Guard, is seeking unspecified damages form Evans, the camp and a camp affiliate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Top FLDS member, spokesman subpoenaed

TEXAS
CNN

(CNN) -- A top member of a Texas polygamist sect and the group's spokesman have been subpoenaed and are scheduled for court depositions Friday and Monday, according to court officials.

Merrill Jessop, an elder in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and leader of the sect's Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, will be deposed at 9 a.m. Friday (10 a.m. ET), according to Vicki Vines of the Schleicher County District Court clerk's office. Willie Jessop, a sect member who has served as its spokesman, is set for deposition at 9 a.m. Monday, Vines told CNN.

The San Angelo, Texas, Standard-Times newspaper reported the subpoenas were issued in a case involving a now-17-year-old daughter of imprisoned FLDS leader and "prophet" Warren Jeffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Brookfield church says it lost $128,000 to theft

BROOKFIELD (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Jan. 22, 2009 4:00 p.m.

St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Brookfield lost nearly $128,000 over three years in thefts from its weekly collection, the church said today.

Though a criminal investigation is ongoing, an outside audit found a correlation between the missing funds and the tenure of former pastor Father Leonard Van Vlaenderen, who was arrested in December 2007 on a misdemeanor charge of possessing cocaine. He later pleaded guilty and is on probation.

Van Vlaenderen's successor, the Rev. Kenneth P. Knippel, divulged the findings of the audit in a letter to parishioners this month. Knippel said today that it was intended to provide transparency and restore confidence in the church as it embarks on a major capital campaign with the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Former youth worker pleads guilty to molestation charge

LAKELAND (FL)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Thursday, 22 January 2009
LAKELAND, Fla. (ABP) -- A former volunteer youth worker at a Florida Southern Baptist megachurch pleaded guilty Jan. 21 to molesting three boys, putting his fate in the hands of a judge instead of a jury.

After jury selection and with opening statements set to begin, 41-year-old Marshal Seymour pleaded guilty and no contest to five felony charges. A sentencing hearing is scheduled March 12, where he could receive up to 65 years in prison, according to the Lakeland, Fla., Ledger.

Seymour was arrested in November 2007 on charges he molested three teenage boys he met through First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland. At the time Senior Pastor Jay Dennis called the scandal a "Category 5 storm" for the 8,000-member congregation active in the Florida Baptist Convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Moline pastor asked to step down

MOLINE (IL)
Quad-City Times

By Times staff | Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:37 PM CST
The Rev. Jerry Pilon, pastor of St. Mary Church, Moline, has been asked to step down because of allegations of sexual misconduct, according to a news released issued this afternoon by the Diocese of Peoria.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky asked Pilon to step down from public ministry. The allegations involve a minor and date back to nearly 12 years ago. The news release says the alleged abuse did not take place in the Diocese of Peoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Former Hoopeston priest asked to step down over sexual misconduct allegations

CHAMPAGNE (IL)
The News-Gazette

By The News-Gazette
Thursday, January 22, 2009 2:37 PM CDT

CHAMPAIGN – A former Hoopeston priest has been asked to leave the ministry following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Father Jerry Pilon, pastor of St. Mary Church in Moline, was asked to step down from public ministry by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

Pilon faces allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor dating back to nearly 12 years, according to a release from the Peoria diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Court told of support for incest mother by Catholic group

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARESE McDONAGH in Roscommon

SOCIAL WORKERS believe that a mother who subjected her children to incest and serious neglect received support from “a Catholic right-wing organisation” when she got a High Court injunction in 2000 to stop the children from being placed in the care of relatives.

Roscommon Circuit Court yesterday heard horrific details about the plight of the six children who, despite coming to the notice of social workers in 1996, were not into taken into care until 2004.

One of the children was sexually abused by his mother, while all of the family were forced to live in filthy conditions without adequate food, clothing or heating.

Judge Miriam Reynolds asked why eight years elapsed during which social workers and home helps regularly visited the home before the children were removed from “what seems to have been an awful household”.

Tadgh Guider, a social work team leader, said there was concern about the family but the mother became involved with “a Catholic right-wing organisation” which provided her with financial support in her successful bid to get a High Court injunction. He said after this court case there was a certain amount of caution about how to approach the family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Call for inquiry into Roscommon abuse case

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CHARLIE TAYLOR

Opposition parties and care organisations have called for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the abuse of six children by their mother in Roscommon over a prolonged period.

A 40-year old woman was sentenced to seven years in prison today after pleading guilty to incest, sexual assault and neglect of her children.

Roscommon Circuit Court yesterday heard details about the plight of the six children who, despite coming to the notice of social workers in 1996, were not into taken into care until 2004. ...

The Irish Times reports today that social workers connected to the case believe the woman received support from “a Catholic right-wing organisation” when she got a High Court injunction in 2000 to stop the children from being placed in the care of relatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Has Bishop McMahon been 'summoned to Rome' to be offered Westminster?

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Damian Thompson at Jan 22, 2009

If you don't like rumours, look away now. A source tells me that Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham - a Left-wing Dominican with a taste for traddie liturgy - has been "summoned to Rome" to discuss succeeding Cormac at Westminster.

When I asked my contact how sure he was that Malcolm would get the top job, he said "I reckon it's a two thirds chance". Which, given that he is on the terna along with Vin Nichols and Peter Smith, makes him a strong front runner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

News conference outside school west of Boca Raton

BOCA RATON (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Brian Haas | South Florida Sun Sentinel
1:43 PM EST, January 22, 2009
WEST OF BOCA RATON - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, held a 1 p.m. news conference outside a private school west of Boca Raton.

The group alleges that a current school employee molested a young boy at a summer camp in the Catskills region of upstate New York between 1998 and 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Alleged child molester teaching at Boca Raton school

BOCA RATON (FL)
CBS 12

January 22, 2009 - 1:58 PM
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, planned a 1 p.m. protest outside a private school west of Boca Raton on Thursday.

They allege a teacher at Donna Klein Jewish Academy is a child molester. He is currently being investigated by the NYPD for molesting a boy from 1998-2000 at a camp in New York. He is now teaching at Donna Klein Jewish Academy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Noi vittime dei preti pedofili

ITALY
L'espresso

di Paolo Tessadri
Decine di bambini e ragazzi sordi violentati e molestati in un istituto di Verona fino al 1984. E dopo decenni di tormenti, gli ex allievi trovano la forza di denunciare gli orrori. Ma molti dei sacerdoti sono ancora lì Per oltre un secolo è stato un simbolo della carità della Chiesa: una scuola specializzata per garantire un futuro migliore ai bambini sordi e muti, sostenendoli negli studi e nell'inserimento al lavoro. L'Istituto Antonio Provolo di Verona ospitava i piccoli delle famiglie povere, figli di un Nord-est contadino dove il boom economico doveva ancora arrivare. Fino alla metà degli anni Ottanta è stato un modello internazionale, ma nel tetro edificio di Chievo, una costruzione a metà strada tra il seminario e il carcere, sarebbero avvenuti episodi terribili.

[translation]

We victims of pedophile priests

By Paolo Tessadri

Tens of deaf children and boys were abused and molested sexually in a catholic school in Verona until 1984. And after decades of torments, the former students find the force to denounce those horrors. But many of those priests are still there.

For more than a century it has been a symbol of the charity of the church: an Institution specialized to guarantee a better future for deaf and mute children, helping them for their education and the possibility to find a job. The Antonio Provolo’s Instituion in Verona gave hospitality to the children of poor families, sons of the peasants in the north east, where the economic development hadn’t arrived yet. Until the middle of the 1980s, it represented an international model, but in the gloomy building at Chievo, half way between a seminary and a jail, terrible episodes have allegedly happened.

Only now, heartened by the words of condemnation pronounced by pope Ratzinger against pedophile priests, tens of former guests have found the force to come out in the open and denounce their dramatic experience: “ Priests and religious brothers have sexually abused us”. An accusation was underwritten by more than 60 persons, children of both sexes, who lived in the Instituion, and who now write: “We have overcome our fear and reticence”.

The alleged abuses they are referring to went on for 30 years, until 1984. They are ready to make a long list of victims and witnesses, but because of the statute of limitations those who committed those crimes can’t anymore be tried in a court. The deaf mute people who are bearing this drama affirm however of not being interested in the trials or in compensation money. In their writing they say they want to avoid other persons being put at the same risk of being subjected to the same violence: about ten of the priests they are accusing are now old, but still active in the Institution, in the offices of Verona and Chievo. For such a reason, after having informed the bishop of Verona and the higher ups of the Institution, 15 former students sent this magazine their testimony – filmed and in writing – about their experience. The documents are upsetting, and they could give a glimpse about one of the gravest cases of pedophilia in Italy: they refer to 25 priests and the victims could be about one hundred.

The charges

The former students, notwithstanding their impairments, were able to find a way to go on with their lives, keeping within themselves the traces of the horror. After the explosion of the scandals in USA which forced the church to face the problems of pedophilia, and the severe stand by Pope Benedict XVI, they, too, decided not to hide anything. They met in the premises of the Association Antonio Provolo and then they went to the curia and to the people who are responsible for the Institution. One of their last letters was addressed to monsignor Giampietro Mazzono, the judicial vicary, that’s the magistrate of the ecclesiastical tribunal of the dioceses of Verona. It was November 20th, 2008. “ The deaf people decided to inform His Eminence the Bishop what had happened. In the room serving as a confessional in the church of Santa Maria del Pianto in the Institution of Provolo, some priests took the opportunity to touch and be masturbated by the female deaf children and boys (the door was then always locked up).
The sodomite acts happened in the dormitory, in the priests’ rooms and in the lavatories both in the Institute Provolo in Verona and at Chievo. Besides that, during the summer camps, the episodes occurred in Villa Cervi di San Zeno di Montagna”. In addition to that: “As it wasn’t enough, the deaf children and boys were mistreated and beaten up, sometimes even using a stick. The deaf persons can name the priests and the lay brothers involved in those actions and offer their testimony”. There follow the signatures of 67 former students.

The stories

The authors of the charges cite a list of episodes even longer, which starts in the 1950s. They describe half a century of tortures, even under the altar, in the confessional, inside the most sacred places.

Those children are now in the average between 50 and 70 years old: the youngest will be 41 years old in a few days. Someone says he was subjected to the mistreatments even before he was 18. The abuses, they recount, happened even when they were in a group, under the shower. The scenes were horrifying, impressed in their memory.

Giuseppe recalls: “Three little boys and three priests were masturbating each other under the shower”. But the most upsetting story is the one narrated by Bruno, now sixty-years-old, who at the end of the 1950s was considered the handsomest in the class. And only now he is able to speak about the nightmare which has been tormenting him: “ I became deaf when I was eight, the year after I started attending the Provolo Institution until I was fifteen. After three months from my entering the school and until I quit I was the object of sexual attention, sodomized and forced to have all kinds of sexual intercourse by the following priests and brothers.” There follows a list of 16 names. Among which, a high prelate, very famous in Verona: two priests of the Provolo allegedly accompanied Bruno in the ecclesiastical building.
“It was the year 1959, I was 11. He sodomized me and asked for other sexual plays. It was a terrible experience which in my adulthood created serious psychological problems.”

The drama

Another former pupil. Guido, declares having been sexually molested by a priest: “ It happened in his room at the top of the building. And he forced me to do the same things at Villa Cervi, during the summer camps, and at the camping over the Lake of Garda”. Carlo remained in that Institution until he was between 7 and 18 and he also refers to another priest: “ He often punished me by making me kneel for hours in a corner and beat me up (violent slaps in the face and being beaten with a stick ) and have sexual intercourse with him”. Sometimes he hit my hands with a stick, while during the night ‘ in the big dormitory where I was with the other deaf boys often he woke me up to fetch me in the bathroom, where he sodomized me or forced me to masturbate him. I have never forgotten”.

The storie are all similar. Tragedies lived by children of poor families, hit by deafness and the ending up in the walls of that Institution; dramas kept secret for decades. Ermanno recounts: “ The violence happened in the bathrooms and in the rooms of the Provolo Institution and the adjacent church, too.” “ If I refused, then I was threatened to get a bad mark in behavior, these episodes are always coming to my mind” writes another former student.

Sometimes Giuseppe has met in Verona the priest who made violence to him. "Even now, when I see him I’m am very agitated. I was never able to forget”. According to the charges, the victims are above all little boys. But there are also episodes witnessed by the girls. Lina is now fifty, and she was in “the deaf and mute Institution between the age of 6 and 17. When she was 13, in the church, during confession face to face (there was no railing), the priest touched my breasts many times. I remember his name very well. I was very frightened and I didn’t confess since then”. Giovanna writes that another priest “ took out his member and asked me to touch him”. For many girls those things took place in the church of the Istitution , under the altar. Some of the girls, however, made even a worse experience.

The reports

Today the Institution Antonio Provolo has changed completely its structure and mission. The initiatives for the supporting of the deaf and mute have been diminished and the Veneto region government is sharing the financing. Now the main activity is the educational and vocational schools, run entirely by lay teachers, which also offers courses for the unemployed. At the highest level there are the priests of the Congregazione della Compagnia di Maria for the education of the deaf mute students, which respond directly to the Holy See. The former students asked the Congregazione to get rid of those priests responsible of the abuses. According to their Association, “Some of those priests have already admitted their responsibility”. The most important was made in 2006 when the Rev. Danilo Corradi, superior general of the Provolo Institution, met with more than 50 former students. According to the former students association, the superior asked for twelve times the pardon on behalf of the institution for the sexual abuses committed by the clergy. Those who witnessed the meeting say it was very dramatic: the Rev. Corradi shrinking his head in his hands, sweating, asking for pardon, kneels down. But the deaf mute former students asked for the firing of the accused priests, to no avail. The Rev. Danilo Corradi gives us a different account: “ I heard some rumors, but I only came in 2003 and I have no idea of what happened before. I can’t answer for those accusations, I don’t know who is making them: we’ll answer after having read your article”.

The Curia

The former students have also made their appeal to the Verona Curia two years ago, giving the information during some meetings. The Chairman of the Association for the deaf Antonio Provolo, Giorgio Dalla Bernardina, says there were three meetings, one of which was attended by 52 people. He writes to the bishop: “Notwithstanding our meetings in the Curia, during which we above all brought the attention to the pedophilic acts and sexual abuses upon the deaf and mute former students in the years in which they were in the Institution, we didn’t receive any answer to our requests”. The last letter was sent on December 8, 2008. A few months before, in September, they had made one of the many attempts, sending a certified letter to the bishop of Verona, monsignor Giuseppe Zenti. There was no answer, “notwithstanding his assurances for his intervention”. The letter had been signed by three associations for the deaf: The Association for the deaf Antonio Provolo, the Association for the hearing impaired Provolo, the Association for the deaf Basso Veronese-Legnago.
(January 22, 2009)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Judge: Sever Alamo ties to regain children

TEXARKANA (AR)
KFSM

Associated Press - January 22, 2009 11:44 AM ET

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - An 8-day hearing in Texarkana to decide the fate of 23 children taken from families associated with the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries has ended with all 23 juveniles remaining in foster care. Miller County Circuit Judge Joe Griffin says the parents must sever their ties to the church before regaining custody of their children.

Griffin cited a history of underage marriages and beatings in the ministry for his decision. The judge also said children in the ministry received substandard schooling and had not received required childhood vaccinations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Fairbank judge urges lawyers to close church abuse cases

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer

Published Thursday, January 22, 2009

FAIRBANKS — At a status hearing Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Niesje Steinkruger took up her managerial reins again, telling attorneys on both sides of the multiple, unsettled clerical child sex abuse cases to focus on the goal of clearing court dockets.

“Put these cases on the front burner and get them resolved,” she said at several points in the two-hour proceeding.

Steinkruger was assigned the task of managing the litigation of hundreds of abuse cases more than a year ago for the Alaska court system. Since then, a few new lawyers are involved, and bankruptcy proceedings slowed as claimants continue to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Judge says cases must be resolved

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Fort Mill Times

(Published January 22, 2009)
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A Superior Court judge in Fairbanks has told lawyers that they must resolve cases in which priest and church workers are accused of sexually abusing children.

A two-hour status hearing was held Wednesday on hundreds of cases.

Niesje Steinkruger told lawyers on both sides to make the cases a top priority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Irish bishops schedule special session on sex-abuse scandal

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

Ireland's Catholic bishops have scheduled a special meeting on January 23 to discuss their response to a growing controversy over their handling of sex-abuse allegations. Informed sources indicate that the bishops' meeting, to take place at Maynooth, will concentrate on designing a uniform policy rather than on the problems of any particular diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Jean Jadot, Papal Envoy, Dies at 99

BELGIUM
The New York Times

By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Published: January 22, 2009
Archbishop Jean Jadot, the chief papal representative to the United States in the 1970s, who drew fire from conservative clergymen for pushing liberal reforms in the American church, died Wednesday in Brussels. He was 99.

John A. Dick, his friend and biographer, announced the death. ...

With time, conservative bishops appointed under the papacy of John Paul II largely replaced “Jadot’s boys.” But some critics still say that the church’s sex scandals are linked to appointments made by Archbishop Jadot, saying they were ill advised.

Dr. Dick, who discussed the subject with Archbishop Jadot, responded in the interview that the scandals surprised and saddened the archbishop but that he accepted no blame for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Three men claim abuse, file suit against Roman Catholic Church in N.S.

CANADA
CBC News

HALIFAX, N.S. - Three men who allege they were sexually abused as children by a Roman Catholic priest in two small Nova Scotia parishes five decades ago are suing the church.

Ken Boudreau and Raymond Boudreau, who are not related, allege in separate statements of claim filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court that they were abused by Rev. Adolphe LeBlanc, who died 35 years ago.

The men contend that the abuse began in their small village of Wedgeport in the Yarmouth area in the 1950s. Their lawyer, Paul LeDroit of London, Ont., alleged at a news conference on Wednesday that the abuse was known to church officials at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Bishops to discuss abuse controversy

IRELAND
RTE News

Thursday, 22 January 2009 14:12
The country's Catholic Bishops have been called to a special meeting in Maynooth tomorrow to discuss the fallout from the child abuse controversy in Cloyne.

Their spokesman confirmed that they would discuss safeguarding children, but mentioned no particular diocese.

The official confirmation of the meeting follows a report in today's 'Irish Catholic' newspaper that the hierarchy has been summoned to find a co-ordinated response to the current crisis of confidence in Church child protection policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Cloyne: Confidence in Church must be revitalised - Michael Kelly

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Events in Cloyne have dealt a body-blow to a Church still struggling to come to terms with clerical sexual abuse, but the reaction of senior Churchmen will be key to restoring public confidence, writes Michael Kelly

The year 2009 was always going to be a difficult one for the Church in Ireland. As well as the report in to the horrific abuse suffered by children in Church-run industrial schools due out later this year, the Judicial Commission investigating the handling of clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese is expected to be presented to the Government before the end of the month. But events in Cloyne have, unnecessarily, added to the Church's pain over the abuse of children by priests and religious.

It's now more than 20 years since the Irish Bishops' Conference first began discussing clerical sexual abuse. The Church's first reaction, now acknowledged by many to be wrong, was to seek insurance against claims of sexual abuse against priests. The growing awareness among many bishops that the sexual abuse of children by priests and religious was more than a couple of isolated cases led to a desire to introduce guidelines that would, the bishops hoped, ensure that this sort of abuse would not happen in the future. Or, in the event of such abuse, it would be handled properly and swiftly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

State fails to live up to its own child protection standards. David Quinn

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Three recent reports by the HSE show that the State isn't implementing its own child protection standards properly and is demanding a higher standard of the Church than of itself, writes David Quinn

The Church has rightly been back in the firing line in recent weeks over child sexual abuse due to the failure of Cloyne diocese to properly implement child protection guidelines in two cases. However, the State is also failing to properly implement child protection guidelines and this has received far less publicity.

Last July three HSE reports were published that investigated how well, or how badly, the HSE has been implementing the requirements of Children First, which is the State's child protection policy since 1999. The Church's own policy, Our Children Our Church, is based on it. It turns out that the Government is not implementing them very well at all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Dublin diocese holds more abuse meetings

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Michael Kelly

Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has embarked on a number of meetings this week to consult with parish pastoral councils in anticipation of the report of the Dublin Inquiry. The report, prepared by Ms Justice Yvonne Murphy, is expected to be published later this month and is investigating the handling of a ''representative sample'' of allegations of abuse by priests of the archdiocese from 1940, made between January 1975 and May 2004.

In a letter to all parishes, Dr Martin invited the Chairman of each parish pastoral council to attend a series of meetings over the next two weeks in anticipation of the report. The move follows a similar series of meetings held before Christmas to brief priests on the diocese's preparation for the publication of the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Catholic Bishops to hold crisis meeting

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Catholic Bishops are to hold a crisis meeting tomorrow to discuss the fall-out from the Bishop of Cloyne's handling of clerical child sexual abuse allegations in his diocese.

The "Irish Catholic" newspaper says the meeting has been called as bishops try to find a coordinated response to the current crisis of confidence in Church child protection policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Sex Offender House Getting National Attention

LEXINGTON (KY)
WKYT

[with video]

Reporter: Andy Cunningham
Email Address: andy.cunningham@wkyt.com

We brought you a controversial story this week about a house being set up in Lexington that would be home to convicted sex offenders and allow them to get back on their feet.

Many people have spoken out against the home including a national organization that says its concerned for the people who live nearby and is trying to stop the home from opening.

The organization is Snap, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests. The group says the move is, "a reckless, deceitful move by a discredited institution that we fear will put other children at risk."

The institution the group is referring to is the Catholic Action Center, which is sponsoring the home where it plans to move sex offenders into as early as this weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Friar believes more revelations to come

IRELAND
Drogheda Independent

Wednesday January 21 2009

DROGHEDA'S outspoken cleric Fr Iggy O'Donovan believes the Catholic Church is facing more damning revelations relating to child sex abuse.

At Sunday mass in the Augustinian Church Fr O'Donovan questioned why Bishop John Magee had not resigned over his 'failure to adequately deal' with clerical sex abuse allegations in the diocese of Cloyne.

Speaking to the Drogheda Independent, Fr O'Donovan said he believes the reason Cardinal Brady supported Bishop Magee's decision not to resign is that 'there is more to come'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Priest stole from US church to go on gambling binge

FLORIDA
The Times (United Kingdom)

Anne Barrowclough
Every Sunday, the parishioners of St Vincent Ferrer Catholic church in Florida dropped their dollar notes into the collection plate, confident that the money would go straight into the church.

And so it did - but not in quite the way they might have expected.

First, it went into a hiding place in the ceiling tiles of the Delray Beach Church. Then it found its way into an offshore account from where it was used to fund gambling trips to Las Vegas, lavish homes and even a mistress. Over a quarter of a million dollars was spent on a rare coin collection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Irish priest admits stealing $100,000 from parish in US

UNITED STATES
Irish Independent

Thursday January 22 2009

By Stephen O'Farrell

ONE of the two Irish priests accused of stealing vast sums of money from a Florida parish dramatically changed his plea to guilty yesterday on the first day of trial.

Fr John Skehan (81), from Johnstown in Kilkenny, admitted the charge of grand theft of over $100,000 (€77,000) yesterday but showed no remorse for his actions and did not specify the amount he acknowledged stealing.

He and Fr Francis Guinan (68) from outside Birr, Co Offaly, who is continuing to deny the charges, are accused of using the funds of St Vincent's Church in Delray Beach to keep girlfriends, take gambling holidays, buy property and set up a failed mortgage scheme company called SHAG.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

US Catholics want bishop to resign

IRELAND
Irish Independent

A group of influential American Catholics have appealed to Pope Benedict to supports calls from Irish lay people for the resignation or removal of Bishop John Magee over his failure to implement proper child protection procedures in his Cloyne diocese.

In a statement issued in Boston, the Voice of the Faithful in the United States said it was joining its branch in Ireland in seeking accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Mother from Hell is guilty of incest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Brian McDonald

Thursday January 22 2009

HARROWING details of how a "mother from hell" abused her children were laid bare yesterday.

Six young children were forced to endure years of depravity at the family home, described in court as a "house of horrors". The court yesterday heard that:

One of the children, a 13-year-old boy, was forced to have sex with his mother on four occasions.
He and his brothers and sisters were dirty, smelly, hungry, cold and lived alongside rats and mice.
Their mother admitted a total of 10 charges, including two of incest, two of sexual abuse and six of neglect and wilful ill-treatment and neglect of the children.
The 40-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the first woman in the state to be convicted of incest against one of her children and is due to be sentenced today.

The offences took place at the family's three-bedroom bungalow in Co Roscommon between 1998 and 2004. Childcare staff told Roscommon Circuit Court yesterday that a right-wing Catholic organisation was behind a High Court move to prevent the children being taken into care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Lapwai woman refiles abuse claim against church

IDAHO
Idaho Statesman

The Associated Press
Edition Date: 01/21/09

LEWISTON, Idaho — A Lapwai woman has refiled a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise and the Jesuit order, alleging she was abused by her priest, but this time two more women have joined the case.

Mia Sonneck first filed a lawsuit in federal court last fall against the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, saying she was abused by the now-deceased Rev. A.J. Ferretti when she was about 8 years old.

Her attorneys asked the federal court to dismiss that lawsuit in December. On Tuesday, Sonneck and two other women filed the lawsuit in Idaho's 2nd District Court, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Two men suing N.S. church for alleged abuse by priest

CANADA
Globe and Mail

The Canadian Press

January 22, 2009

Halifax -- Two men who allege they were sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in a small Nova Scotia parish more than 50 years ago are suing the church.

Ken Boudreau and Raymond Boudreau, who are not related, allege they were abused by Father Adolphe LeBlanc, who died more than 20 years ago.

Details of their lawsuits filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court by the law firm LeDroit Beckett, based in London, Ont., were released yesterday at a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Seymour Pleads Guilty to Molestation, Avoids Trial

BARTOW (FL)
The Ledger

By Jason Geary
THE LEDGER

BARTOW | A former volunteer of First Baptist Church at the Mall accused of molesting three boys decided Wednesday to place his future in the hands of a judge rather than risk going to trial.

Jurors had been picked and opening statements were expected to begin.

Instead, former Lakeland church volunteer Marshal Seymour pleaded guilty and no contest to five felony charges. He faces up to 65 years in prison at his March 12 sentencing hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Pastor faces sex abuse charges

MUNCIE (IN)
The Star Press

By RICK YENCER • ryencer@muncie.gannett.com • January 22, 2009

MUNCIE -- A local pastor accused of sexually abusing teenage boys in his congregation surrendered Wednesday night at the Delaware County jail.

Matthew A. Kidd, 52 -- pastor at Freedom Point Apostolic Church, 6460 E. Jackson St. -- initially eluded Delaware County sheriff's deputies who were waiting at the church and his home late Wednesday afternoon to serve a warrant that Circuit Court 3 Judge Linda Ralu Wolf issued Tuesday.

Kidd never returned home or for a Wednesday-night church service that apparently was canceled. The pastor -- accompanied by his attorney, Steven Bruce -- showed up at the jail shortly after 8 p.m., where he was preparing to post a $25,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Suspended priest addresses sexual abuse allegations

HOLMES BEACH (FL)
My Fox Tampa Bay

HOLMES BEACH – A priest facing allegations of sexual abuse went before members of his congregation today to defend himself.

Father Ron Joseph was suspended from St. Bernard Catholic Church last summer.

Today, he and his lawyer presented the accusations to a crowd at the Holmes Beach City Hall.

The accuser is a 31-year-old man who says Fr. Joseph touched him inappropriately 15 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Low enrollment, money woes doom some S. Florida Catholic schools

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY JAWEED KALEEM
jkaleem@MiamiHerald.com
When the Archdiocese of Miami announces Thursday the closure of struggling schools, it will echo a national trend that has engulfed the Catholic education system. Schools are shutting by the dozens each year, with a thousand gone in a decade.

Reasons include tens of millions of dollars lost in the falling stock market, declining donations and tithes and the cost of settling hundreds of priest sexual abuse cases, scholars of Catholic education say. Increased insurance and operation costs have hurt, as well.

National Catholic school enrollment has plunged from a peak of 5.2 million in 1960 to 2.2 million in 2008. Enrollment in South Florida schools has held steady at 36,000 to 38,000 since 2000 -- about where it was in the '70s. But a population shift toward the Everglades has filled up westward schools and left some closer to the east with insufficient enrollment to survive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Priest rejects sex allegations

HOLMES BEACH (FL)
Herald-Tribune

By HALLE STOCKTON
STAFF WRITER

MANATEE COUNTY - The Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph is on a mission to regain his priesthood.

The Holmes Beach priest's ministerial rights were revoked after allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor surfaced in recent months.

At a public forum Wednesday, Joseph, 44, stood at a podium at Holmes Beach City Hall and spoke to more than 100 parishioners about the accusations and about his feelings of abandonment by the Diocese of Venice.

"I did not do this," he said. "If I had done it, I would tell you."

The public declaration by Joseph was encouraged by people in Fort Myers and Holmes Beach who signed petitions in his support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Old hurts, a new quest for justice

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

By PATRICIA BROOKS ARENBURG Staff Reporter
Thu. Jan 22 - 6:10 AM

He performed their marriage ceremony and baptized their three daughters in the village church.

But Elizabeth Anne Boudreau didn’t know the dark secret between this man of God and her husband.

"It devastated me. I couldn’t believe it," she said about the day some 20 years ago when her husband confided in her that their priest had sexually abused him as a boy.

Her husband, Raymond H. Boudreau, told her that he was just 11 in 1955 when Rev. Adolphe LeBlanc began to take a special interest in him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

January 21, 2009

Priest denies sexual abuse allegations

FLORIDA
MSNBC

WBBH-TV

LEE COUNTY: A former Fort Myers priest accused of sexual abuse against a child offered a defiant denial of those charges. Father Ronald Jean Joseph says the allegations are false and Wednesday, he told his side of the story for the first time.

Father Ronald Joseph was greeted with overwhelming support from friends, family and parishioners as he walked into Holmes Beach City Hall.

Supporters held white roses as a symbol of solidarity and the belief in Father Joseph's innocence. ...

"Molesters aren't black and white. They're not all good, they're not all bad. That doesn't mean he didn't molest a child," said Barbara Dorris of SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

SNAP members handed out fliers telling people to have an open mind. But supporters and Father Joseph say their mind is made up and that the allegations are false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Correction: Church Theft story

FLORIDA
The Associated Press

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — In a Jan. 20 story about two priests accused of stealing from their Florida church, The Associated Press reported erroneously the title of one of the men. He is the Rev. John Skehan, not monsignor. The incorrect title was also used in stories published Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Priest accused of sexual misconduct speaks

FLORIDA
WINK News

[with video]

By Christina Hernandez, WINK News

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A former Fort Myers priest spoke to the public for the first time after being accused of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy. It's a very unusual thing to see - a priest speaking openly and holding nothing back. He says he did it because he has nothing to hide.

It was standing room only inside Holmes Beach City Hall in Manatee County. Over 100 people held white flowers to show their support for Father Ron. He denied the claim of inappropriate touching that allegedly occurred at St. Francis Xavier in Fort Myers about 15 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Priest defends accusations of sexual misconduct

HOLMES BEACH (FL)
WWSB

[with video]

HOLMES BEACH - A Manatee County priest is defending himself after facing accusations that he fondled a teenage boy.

The accuser says it happened 15 years ago, when Father Jean Ronald Joseph served in Fort Myers. The accuser says Father Ron invited him to spend the night alone in the rectory.

Wednesday, Father Ron had strong words for his employer, the Diocese of Venice, and the bishop who leads it. In front of a packed room of supporters at Holmes Beach City Hall, Father Jean Ronald Joseph talked in detail about coming from his native country of Haiti, devoting his life to serving the Catholic church and its young people. ...

Members of SNAP, a support group for people who have been abused by priests, wants anyone who thinks they've been abused to report it to law enforcement, not the Diocese.

They have also asked the bishop to urge Father Ron to turn over his passport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Priest denies sex abuse allegation

HOLMES BEACH (FL)
Bradenton Herald

By NATALIE NEYSA ALUND - nalund@bradenton.com

HOLMES BEACH — A local priest being investigated by the Catholic church for alleged sexual misconduct more than 15 years ago denied the accusation publicly this afternoon.

“I did not do anything to anyone,” said Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph, a priest at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach who is on leave until the investigation concludes.

With a thick Haitian accent Joseph, 44, spoke about the allegation to about 150 parishioners and community members during a public forum at Holmes Beach City Hall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Pilfering Florida priest stole donations for gambling trips

DELRAY BEACH (FL)
AFP

DELRAY BEACH, Florida (AFP) — In what could be the biggest embezzlement case to hit the US Catholic Church, a Florida priest pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling 800,000 dollars of donations to fund a very unholy lifestyle.

John Skehan pleaded guilty to taking the money placed every Sunday into the collection plates to use instead on buying luxury homes, gambling trips to Las Vegas and buying rare coins.

His pleas came in a last minute twist as he and fellow priest Francis Guinan of the St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach were about to go on trial. He now faces up to 31 years behind bars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Florida Catholic priests 'stole millions from collection plate'

FLORIDA
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Monsignor John Skehan, 81, originally from Johnstown, Co Kilkenny, pleaded guilty just hours before the start of his trial to taking money from his church over the course of several years in what authorities say could be the one of the biggest embezzlement scandals to hit the American Catholic Church.

Skehan faces charges with fellow priest, the Rev Francis Guinan, originally from Birr, Co Offaly, who has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say the pair took cash from the offering plate at St Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, in West Palm Beach, and stashed it in the church ceiling and in offshore bank accounts.

They then spent the money on expensive homes, gambling trips to Las Vegas with a mistress, even a $275,000 (£200,000) rare coin collection, authorities say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Delray Beach Priest pleads guilty to theft - runs down the hall

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
CBS 12

January 21, 2009 - 8:40 AM
Rev. John Skehan pleaded guilty and ran down the hall Wednesday morning in court. The Rev. Francis Guinan appeared in court briefly on Wednesday as state prosecutors tried to remove witnesses from the grand theft case against the former pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach.

Palm Beach Circuit Judge Sandra McSorley denied the state's request to strike 20 witnesses submitted by defense attorneys on Dec. 16.

Guinan and another former pastor, the Rev. John Skehan, are accused of stealing money from the church they once led. The scandal rocked the church when charges were filed against the two men in 2006. An audit by the Diocese of Palm Beach showed the men took as much as $8.6 million over 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Delray Beach priest pleads guilty to stealing from parish

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH- — The Rev. John Skehan, for decades the leader of St. Vincent Ferrer in Delray Beach, stood this morning before a judge, pleading guilty to grand theft over $100,000 and now faces possible prison time.

At a specially-set early morning appearance, the 81-year-old priest, in sportcoat and open collar, appeared in front of Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath before the shackled prisoners were brought in.

With few words, Skehan acknowledged stealing from the parish.

Free on bond, Skehan sprinted down a courthouse hallway afterward, dodging a gaggle of television cameras and reporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Fla. priest accused of theft pleads guilty

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
The Associated Press

By BRIAN SKOLOFF

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — One of two Florida priests accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from church pleaded guilty on Wednesday, the same day jury selection was set to begin in the case.

Authorities accuse Monsignor John Skehan and the Rev. Francis Guinan of bilking parishioners at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Accused priest set to speak out

HOLMES BEACH (FL)
Bradenton Herald

By NATALIE NEYSA ALUND - nalund@bradenton.com

MANATEE — A local priest being investigated by the Catholic church for alleged sexual misconduct more than a decade ago will speak out on his own behalf this afternoon.

Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph, a priest at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach, is set to talk about the allegations at 1:30 p.m. at Holmes Beach City Hall on Marina Drive, said his attorney, John Fleck.

The reported molestation occurred in 1993 between a minor and Joseph when Joseph was assigned to St. Frances Xavier Catholic Church in Fort Myers, said Adela Gonzales White, communications director with the Diocese of Venice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims reach out

HOLMES BEACH (FL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[letter to Bishop Duane]

WHAT
On the sidewalk outside a meeting called by an accused predator priest, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers. The leaflets urge
-- anyone who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by the clerics to come forward, and
-- Catholics to support the accused sex offender privately, so they won’t intimidate other victims and witnesses into staying silent.

The victims will also
-- criticize Catholic officials for refusing to give information to police about the alleged predator, and
-- urge the Venice diocese to yank the cleric’s passport so that he can’t flee the US.

Officials say that it’s possible the priest could be criminally prosecuted.

WHEN
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Release of LA Clergy Case documents to begin, with 30 to 40 bankers boxes to be made public within days, interview w/Tony DeMarco

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

After hearings in LA Superior Court the day of Obama's inauguration, the release of LA Clergy Case documents was set in motion, with some stacks of files to be sent to the referee, boxes to be released to the public, and attorneys continuing to battle over the remainder.

“Probably the most important information in these cases will be made public now,” Tony DeMarco said Tuesday. “There’s probably 30 to 40 bankers boxes worth of filings” ready to be sent to public archives. When? It sounds like as soon as the court musters the manpower to bring the documents over to the downtown archives,” DeMarco (pictured) said, adding, "They are the heart of the cases."

We interviewed Tony DeMarco (pictured) after the hearings in Superior Court Tuesday. You can watch interview video at http://cityofangels6.blogspot.com plus here is a transcript of the interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Finance director at St. Paul church charged with embezzling $37,000

ST PAUL (MN)
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com

A former finance director for the Church of St. Bernard in St. Paul has been charged with embezzling $37,000 from church deposits and covering her tracks by moving money from church reserve accounts.

Debra Ann Thompson, 44, of St. Paul, was hired in 2006 as a bookkeeper and was promoted the following year to director of business and finance, according to a complaint filed Thursday by the Ramsey County attorney's office. Among her duties: delivering church deposits to the bank.

Church officials got wind of a problem in April 2008, when a trustee informed the priest that the church could not make its payroll because it didn't have enough money in its account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Plaintiff happy to proceed with suit

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

By ANDY KRAVETZ
Journal Star
Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 12:21 AM

PEORIA — "Ecstatic" is the word a Rockford man used to describe how he felt after hearing his lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Peoria was reinstated by an appellate court earlier this month.

Jeffrey Jones, 55, heads the Peoria chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and has long demanded accountability for allegedly being assaulted by a priest more than 40 years ago.

The 2-1 decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Ottawa means 10 lawsuits tossed out in mid-to-late 2007 are now back in the mix. Two Peoria County judges, Joe Vespa and Kevin Galley, had dismissed the suits, saying they were filed too late.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Trial of Delray Beach priests on theft charges could begin today

FLORIDA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
January 21, 2009
A trial three years in the making could begin today in the case of two former Delray Beach priests accused of raiding church collection plates to finance girlfriends, gambling and a lavish lifestyle.

The Rev. John Skehan, 81, and the Rev. Francis Guinan, 66, were charged in 2006 with stealing more than $800,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach over a six-year period.

Skehan, who was pastor at the church for more than 40 years, is accused of paying for homes in Florida and Ireland and for vacations abroad, and of giving money to his girlfriend — all with collection money. Guinan, who succeeded Skehan as head of the church in 2003, faces similar accusations that he skimmed church funds to give money to a girlfriend and to support his gambling habit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Churches suffer from collection meltdown

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard Today

By Arlie Calalo

EVEN the Catholic Church is smarting from the global financial crisis, said a top Vatican official who arrived in Manila Monday.

Cardinal Paul Joseph Cordes, who heads the papal council that helps the needy and disaster victims, acknowledged that the economic crisis has hurt charitable work around the world.

“This is a serious concern for the Church, and we try to get wealthy people to get money for the poor,” the Vatican official said after he was met by Papal Nuncio Archbishop Edwards Joseph Adams, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Judge upholds taking of Alamo church kids

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TEXARKANA - A judge on Tuesday upheld the removal of 18 children from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, saying the children were endangered by the ministry's history of punishing misbehavior with beatings and of allowing underage marriages.

Miller County Circuit Judge Joe Griffin also ordered a member of the ministry jailed for contempt after she refused to answer questions about images of ministry children that were posted on a Web site.

Griffin issued his ruling on the removal of the children at the end of the seventh day of a hearing on 23 ministry children who were taken into protective custody and placed in foster care in November and December. On Jan. 14, Griffin upheld the removal of five children, all boys who have sisters who were taken into custody in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Indian Head Pastor Charged with Multiple Counts of Sexual Child Abuse

LA PLATA (MD)
Southern Maryland Online

LA PLATA, Md. (Jan. 20, 2009) -- The Charles County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit arrested Tony Ray Malbrough, 44, of Indian Head, on Sunday and charged him with multiple counts of sexual child abuse and sex offenses in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred at his residence. At the time of the alleged abuse, Malbrough was a pastor at a church in Charles County. As of Dec. 2008, various websites indicate Malbrough was affiliated with Safe Haven Ministries, Church of God in Christ (COGIC), in Indian Head.

On Jan. 18, at 10:20 a.m., Charles County Sheriff's officers received a call in which a 14-year-old male reported he had been sexually abused by the suspect while receiving music lessons at the suspect's residence. Detectives learned the abuse occurred on multiple occasions over a period of years and involved other children known to the victim. Those victims were contacted and confirmed they, too, had been abused, say police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Union County grand jury indicts Plainfield pastor on 12 counts of sexual abuse, involving children

ELIZABETH (NJ)
Home News Tribune

By MARK SPIVEY • STAFF WRITER • January 21, 2009

ELIZABETH —A Union County grand jury has returned a 12-count indictment against city pastor George C. Benbow, charging him with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Benbow, 56, is charged with four counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of second-degree attempted sexual assault and six counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, stemming from incidents involving six victims taking place during a span of nine years, authorities said.

Benbow, the founding pastor of Plainfield's Christian Fellowship Gospel Church, is free on bail after posting $150,000 bond shortly after his September 2008 arrest. Prosecutors have said they launched an investigation of Benbow last summer after several city residents contacted police with allegations of abuse by the pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Lapwai women: the pain is still there

LAPWAI (ID)
KLEW

[with video]

By Matt Loveless

LAPWAI - A lawsuit against a Lapwai woman's former church gains support, and a new defendant.

It's a pain that's three decades old, a case that's three month's old, and now three are standing up for the fight.

In October, Mia Sonneck and her Coeur d’Alene attorney Lee James filed a lawsuit against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, the legal entity that oversees Lapwai's Catholic Church. In the suit, Sonneck said she was violently sexually abused by Father A.J. Ferretti, also known as "Father Freddy," when she was 7-years-old.

James chose to dismiss the case without prejudice two weeks ago, after the church removed the case to federal court, since it was between entities from different states. James re-filed late Tuesday morning, now also targeting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Former priest from St. Francis accused of abuse

NEWARK (OH)
Newark Advocate

By RUSS ZIMMER • Advocate Reporter • January 21, 2009

NEWARK -- A former clergyman has been removed from the ministry because of a "credible allegation of sexual abuse" during his time in Newark more than 20 years ago, according to an announcement from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.

Despite the plausibility of the claim, the Rev. Frederick A. Loyd will not face any criminal charges in connection with the allegation because of the time lapse between when the incidents allegedly occurred and when they were reported, according to local law enforcement officials.

Loyd was an associate pastor at St. Francis de Sales Church on Granville Street from 1983 to 1987, states the Sunday bulletin addressed to St. Francis parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Allegation of '85 abuse leads to Columbus priest's removal

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

[with WBNS video]

By Randy Ludlow
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

A Catholic priest has been removed from the ministry over an allegation that he sexually abused a child while serving at a Newark church in 1985.

The Rev. Frederick A. Loyd was removed from active ministry after officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus investigated a complaint and found that the abuse allegation was credible.

The sexual abuse allegedly occurred while Loyd served at St. Francis de Sales Church in Newark, where he was associate pastor from 1983 to 1987, the diocese said in a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

January 20, 2009

Allegations Of Sexual Abuse Leveled Against Priest

NEWARK (OH)
WBNS

NEWARK, Ohio — The Catholic Diocese of Columbus has removed a priest from the ministry for allegedly sexually abusing a minor more than 23 years ago.

Father Frederick Loyd allegedly sexually assaulted a minor in 1985 while serving as associate pastor at Saint Francis de Sales in Newark, 10TV's Andy Hirsch reported.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, it was not until November when they learned about the allegations. They reported the claim to Newark police but investigators said that there is nothing they can do because the statute of limitations ran out on any possible charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Diocese removes ex-St. Francis pastor after sexual-abuse claim

NEWARK (IL)
Newark Advocate

NewarkAdvocate.com staff report • January 20, 2009

NEWARK — A former clergyman has been removed from the ministry because a “credible allegation of sexual abuse” during his time in Newark more than 20 years ago, according to an announcement by Catholic Diocese of Columbus.

The Rev. Frederick A. Loyd was an associate pastor at St. Francis de Sales Church on Granville Street from 1983 to 1987, the Sunday bulletin addressed to St. Francis parishioners states.

An active priest, Loyd was removed from the diocese after church officials learned of the allegation, following diocesan policy. The bulletin does not say when that occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Local Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse

OHIO
NBC4i

Jason Mays
Published: January 20, 2009

CENTRAL OHIO—For more than 30 years, Father Frederick Loyd had a clean record of service in the eyes of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus. He taught at local high schools, was chaplain at several Central Ohio hospitals and served in many different churches.

But when an accusation of sexual abuse surfaced two months ago, his entire history came under question.

Father Loyd joined the Catholic Diocese of Columbus in 1970. According to the diocese, the alleged abuse happened in 1985.

Father Loyd retired from active ministry in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Catholic priest accused of abusing child in 1985

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:52 AM
By Randy Ludlow
The Columbus Dispatch

A Catholic priest has been removed from the ministry over an allegation he sexually abused a child while serving at a Newark church in 1985.

Father Frederick A. Loyd was removed from active ministry after officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus investigated a complaint and found the abuse allegation was credible.

The sexual abuse allegedly occurred while Loyd served at St. Francis de Sales Church in Newark, where he was associate pastor from 1983 to 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Our Father, who art in bed: A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ

Good Books for Read

From age 17 to 41 I was a member of the Legion of Christ, a lesser known but important Catholic Religious Order. Led by its charismatic Mexican Spanish-speaking leader, Fr. Marcial Maciel, who would be praised and supported by the late pope John Paul II, the Legion of Christ and its lay branch, Regnum Christi (Christ's Kingdom) has made deep inroads into the Traditional Catholic woodlands of North and South America and Europe. This is the story of a member whose relevance may consist of being one of the very first eight Irish-born members during the foundation period, of quickly becoming bi-lingual and of knowing Fr. Maciel well -locking horns with him on a few occasions- and of being one of the handful of members who ever verbalized doubt or criticim of the Legion while still inside. Leaving this mind-controlling organization after more than 23 years was a devastating experience. But I am not the first or the last to leave and survive. Recovery and healing have followed those harrowing years and I am thankful to the kindness of friends and strangers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Minister urges bishop on report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE FINDING of the Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) report into child protection practices in Cloyne diocese, “will have to be considered seriously by the Bishop [John Magee] and of course by the Catholic Church”, Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe has said.

He also said he had no powers to remove a bishop as patron of national schools in a diocese.

The NBSC report, published by Cloyne diocese on December 19th last, found child protection practices there had been “inadequate and in some respects dangerous’’. It also found the diocese delayed for years in one instance and for months in another when it came to reporting allegations of clerical child sex abuse to civil authorities, and that it had a policy of providing “minimal’’ information to such authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Exonerated Q-C priest withdraws from Holy Family assignment

IOWA
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Monday, January 19, 2009 8:27 PM CST
A former high-ranking Diocese of Davenport official cleared by a Catholic court of sex abuse and then assigned to help lead a Davenport parish will not be at that church after all, diocesan officials said.

Monsignor Drake Shafer was to be the temporary parochial vicar at Holy Family Church in Davenport

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Resources lacking: Hallett

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The Toronto Crown attorney who handled four Project Truth prosecutions from 1998 until 2001 criticized the scant resources she was given while in Cornwall.

Shelley Hallett described her office at the city courthouse as little more than a "cloak room" and told the Cornwall Public Inquiry she needed assistants who had more experience - especially in the 2001 sexual abuse trial of local lawyer Jacques Leduc.

Three years earlier, Hallett was pulled away from her duties to carry out special prosecutions involving three men charged during Project Truth: Leduc, former Crown attorney Malcolm MacDonald, and retired coroner Arthur Peachey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Pittsburgh priest to become new Alaskan bishop

JUNEAU (AK)
Times Leader

By STEVE QUINN

(AP)

Monsignor Edward J. Burns, a rector from Pittsburgh, was introduced Monday as the next bishop of the Diocese of Juneau.

Burns succeeds Bishop Michael W. Warfel, who left Juneau just over a year ago for a similar assignment in Montana. ...

But Burns also brings a no nonsense approach, unafraid to speak of tough issues facing the church such as the recent allegations of child sexual abuse by priests.

"In light of the some of the issues facing the church, you face them head on, and absolutely with a level of responsibility," Burns said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Ruling could reinstate lawsuits against Peoria's Catholic Diocese

OTTAWA (IL)
Pantagraph

By Edith Brady-Lunny
eblunny@pantagraph.com

OTTAWA -- A ruling by the 3rd District Appellate Court could reinstate at least 10 lawsuits filed against the Catholic Diocese of Peoria and several priests by victims of alleged sexual abuse.

The opinion from the court in Ottawa reverses a June 2007 ruling by a Peoria County court that dismissed lawsuits on the grounds that victims waited too long to level the abuse charges.

Springfield attorney Fred Nessler, the attorney who represents the accusers in the lawsuits, said Monday that “obviously we are pleased with the 3rd District Court’s ruling in that the court’s opinion very closely followed the plaintiff’s position.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Men: Priest abused us

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

By DAVENE JEFFREY Staff Reporter
Tue. Jan 20 - 5:40 AM
Rev. Adolphe LeBlanc has been dead for decades but men are coming forward to say he abused them when they were boys growing up in small Nova Scotia parishes.

"Often, victims take years and even decades to talk about (sexual) abuse," Aaron Lealess said Monday.

He is an articled clerk with Ledroit Beckett, a London, Ont., law firm that has sued about 100 Roman Catholic dioceses across the country on behalf of clients who say they were sexually abused. The law firm is now suing the Archdiocese of Halifax and the Diocese of Yarmouth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Law firm launching lawsuit against diocese claiming boys were abused by priest

CANADA
The Yarmouth County Vanguard

An Ontario law firm, Ledroit Beckett Litigation Lawyers, which has a Canada-wide focus on representing victims of sexual abuse is holding a press conference in Halifax on Wednesday at which time it is expected the firm will outline allegations of sexual assault committed against boys by Father Adolphe LeBlanc who was parish priest in Wedgeport, Yarmouth County in the 1940s and 50s.

The law firm placed advertisements in the Yarmouth Vanguard last year about the matter, after having been contacted by a man in Ontario, and heard from other men who claimed they were abused by LeBlanc, who is deceased, when they were young boys.

It is alleged the abuse took place on church property, in the priest’s car and at a cottage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

January 19, 2009

Columbus Bishop removes priest from all ministry

COLUMBUS (OH)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus

COLUMBUS - Following a diocesan investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in 1985 and upon recommendation by the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children, the Most Reverend Fredrick F. Campbell, Bishop of Columbus, has removed Father Frederick A. Loyd from all ministry in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Why did Maine bishop need a police escort, and why was he meeting survivors in a bar in the first place?

MAINE
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

We also had a lot of response after the January 5th post: “What made me laugh out loud in the Fact Sheet about Paul Kendrick and Bishop Malone.” People sent cartoons with inebriated Irish priests, and what I think is a legitimate question. On that night when the cleric called for a police escort, citing the threat of priest sex crime survivors and their advocates in the crowd, why was Bishop Malone meeting with survivors in a bar in the first place?

“Oh you California people are such prudes,” Paul Kellen of Boston answered me. “The bishop proclaimed a program Theology on Tap.” I looked it up and it’s true, for the last 20 years or so, priests all over the country have been going out to spread the word of the church in local bars and taverns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Maryland Catholic Conference urges Catholics to oppose statute of limitations bill

MARYLAND
Catholic Standard

LAURA JAMISON
Catholic Standard staff

Civil suits involving decades old child-abuse allegations may be filed against the Catholic Church if legislation being introduced this year passes in the Maryland General Assembly, said Mary Ellen Russell, the Maryland Catholic Conference's executive director. The Maryland Catholic Conference is the public policy arm of the Maryland Catholic bishops.

The MCC is urging local Catholics to oppose statute of limitations legislation that is expected to be introduced this session by State Senator Delores Goodwin Kelley (D- District 10, Baltimore County). The Maryland Catholic Conference's website notes that the bill "would make it easier for out-of-state trial lawyers to sue the Church," and the MCC also warns that "the legislation discourages early reporting of abuse."

Russell said that if the legislation passes, it could lead to large lawsuits being brought against the Archdiocese of Washington and other dioceses in Maryland because the bill seeks to abandon Maryland's civil statute of limitations, which protects individuals or private institutions from being sued for money many years after an alleged incident occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Where do OC's Pedo-Priest Apologists Love To Eat?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Local Eats, News
January 19, 2009 9:20 AM

From a trusted source:

"So I'm eating at [fancy restaurant] recently and am about to leave, when who do I see but John Urell! He's waiting outside with a bunch of priests. They're dressed super-fancy in suits, laughing, and seemingly ready to have a good time."

I realize a lot of you foodies don't bother with the real world of news, so a primer: John Urell is a Catholic priest that for years helped run interference for Diocese of Orange bishops when it came to the local sex-abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

KOCE Diocese of Orange Docu Blind To Reality

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Naranja News
January 19, 2009 5:33 AM

One of my favorite channels is KOCE-TV Channel 50's OC Channel, available only on digital antennas (and have you changed your analog TV yet to satisfy the NWO?). It airs nothing but Orange County-related material--not just reruns of KOCE's Real Orange and Inside OC with Rick Reiff, but also weird infomercials and Chapman University-produced programs. But my favorite shows are OC-related documentaries--some years old, others not as much. I'll write about them as I see fit, but one deserves immediate commentary: Matters of Faith.

I wrote about this documentary on the Diocese of Orange last year but never got around to watching it until a couple of weeks ago. Produced by Maria Hall-Brown and with a credit to Diocese of Orange spokeshole Ryan Lilygren (though Hall-Brown swears the Orange diocese had no editorial control and says she gave Lilygren a producer title due to him providing so much archival footage and access for interviews), it's pretty enough. I didn't expect it to dwell much on the sex-abuse scandal, although I was astounded Matters of Faith actually included an interview with an abuse victim, even if it was for a couple of seconds, and even if Hall-Brown gave more air time to some rambling Mater Dei High School worker.

The second time I watched it, I realized what is my main problem with Matters of Faith, the same problem I have now with almost every Orange County Catholic I meet. Talk to them about our pedo-priest problems, and out comes a company line seemingly written by Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown: so sad, we're human, in the past, move forward, blah, blah effin' blah. What they never want to touch on is the cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Sex abuse victim slams 'hypocrisy' of church and Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | January 20, 2009

A VICTIM of pedophile Kevin "Skippy" Lynch has slammed as hypocritical the push by Anglican primate Phillip Aspinall to remove the statute of limitations on child abuse compensation cases.

Dr Aspinall last week confirmed he was leading a multi-denominational push to exempt child abuse victims from nationwide laws requiring they sue for compensation by the time they turn 21.

While the campaign was welcomed by child protection advocates, it was seen by some, including the victim of Lynch, fighting for compensation in Queensland's Supreme Court, as hypocritical, given the church's use of the time limits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Correction

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

George Costigan, a priest suspended since 1994 because of abuse allegations, recently showed up at Dover's Sacred Heart parish, and not another parish as had been reported by church officials in Wednesday's Daily Record, said Paterson Roman Catholic Diocese attorney Ken Mullaney. Church officials said Costigan has been passing himself off as a priest in good standing, in violation of his suspension.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

A no-win situation for the bishop

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Leader

Monday January 19, 2009 | 07:02 AM
Mark Guydish mguydish@timesleader.com

I’m willing to bet a lot of people had the same reaction I did to Bishop Joseph Martino’s decision to announce diocesewide church closings via a recorded message during Masses the weekend of Jan 31. Great, another impersonal delivery of news that hits on a deeply personal level.

After all, we’re talking about closing churches steeped in decades of history; churches with distinctive art and architecture, churches with unique stories behind their construction. Many of these were built by immigrants in their spare time or with their spare dimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Jailed ex-bishop may face Church court too

GREECE
Pokrov

Date Published: 1/17/2009
Publication: Kathimerini

An internal probe by the Church of Greece into the former bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, serving a six-year sentence for embezzlement in Korydallos jail, has proposed that the cleric be tried by a Church court on a new set of charges.

According to a report compiled by Bishop Serapheim of Karystia after three years of research, Panteleimon should be tried on four counts: setting up an offshore company, having bank accounts with excessively large deposits, scandalizing the faithful and embezzling 195,000 euros from an Attica monastery. On the latter charge, Panteleimon was found guilty by an Athens court in 2006 and jailed. According to sources, Bishop Serapheim has said he carried out his research “responsibly and without any bias or hostility.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Pittsburgh priest named bishop of Juneau, Alaska

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post-Gazette

Monday, January 19, 2009
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pope Benedict XVI has named a Pittsburgh priest, Msgr. Edward Burns, to be the next bishop of Juneau, Alaska.

Msgr. Burns 51, is currently rector of St. Paul Seminary in E. Carnegie. However, prior to returning to Pittsburgh in August, he had been director of the U.S. bishops' office for clergy, consecrated life and vocations in Washington, DC, and is well known for his efforts to increase the number of men seeking ordination as Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Abhaya case: HC drops contempt proceeding against daily

INDIA
The Hindu

Kochi (PTI): Kerala High Court today dropped the suo motu contempt proceedings initiated against a Malayalam daily, 'Kerala Kaumudi' for publishing an editorial last month on the conduct of a judge hearing the sister Abhaya case.

A Division Bench, comprising justices K Balakrishnan Nair and K Surendra Mohan, closed and dropped the proceedings on the ground that the proceedings adopted for placing the matter for preliminary hearing are "ultra vires" of Section 15 of the Contempt of Court act. Further proceedings in the matter are dropped, the Bench said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Come to: Brooklyn - Jewish Survivors of Sexual Abuse Speaking Out!

NEW YORK
The Awareness Center

[with video]

The Awareness Center's Jewish Survivors Speak Out is scheduled for Monday, January 26, 2009.

For more information about the Speak Out download the brochure at:
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/brooklynspeakout.pdf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Pervert molested 12-year-old girl

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunderland Echo

Published Date: 17 January 2009
A pervert who preyed on a schoolgirl he met at church has been jailed for four years.

David Shakespeare, of Alverthorpe Street, South Shields, abused the 12-year-old, who he was "infatuated" with, on numerous occasions over three years.

The 44-year-old subjected the girl to vile abuse, but held back from having full sex with her for "religious reasons."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Suppression lifted on man convicted of child sex

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A South Australian District Court judge has lifted a suppression order on the identity of a man who abused boys he met through an Anglican Church club.

Andrew William Dawson-Ryan, 60, of Cumberland Park has been found guilty of 19 child sex charges dating back to the early 1970s.

He met the victims while he was a volunteer with the Church of England Boys' Society in Plympton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Anglican Church apologises over youth leader abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Anglican Church has publicly apologised for the suffering caused by a former youth leader who abused three young boys in his care.

A District Court jury convicted Andrew William Dawson-Ryan of 19 child sex charges including five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

The court heard the 60-year-old from Cumberland Park was a youth leader with the Church of England Boys Society in the 1970s and 80s, and targeted his three victims through the group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Identity of pedophile Andrew William Dawson-Ryan revealed

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

SEAN FEWSTER, COURT REPORTER
January 19, 2009 11:05am
THE identity of an Anglican youth leader who sexually abused boys in his care over 16 years can finally be revealed.

The District Court has lifted a suppression order on the identity of Andrew William Dawson-Ryan, 60, of Cumberland Park.

The former Church of England Boys Society youth leader was last year found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault and five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

A jury also convicted him of gross indecency and procuring an act of gross indecency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Diocese seeks to lease Nome area mission

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer

Published Monday, January 19, 2009

FAIRBANKS - From the age of 3 to until he was 12 years old, Robert E. Lee lived, worked and was educated at Our Lady of Lourdes Mission at Pilgrim Hot Springs, an isolated oasis located in the midst of treeless tundra, 60 miles north of Nome.

“That’s my favorite spot on earth,” said Lee, 80, who now resides in Delta Junction.

Lee and others who lived at the mission and were cared for by Ursuline nuns and Jesuit priests and brothers, are carefully watching what the future holds for their childhood home.

The site, all 320 acres of it, is part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

January 18, 2009

Priest denies wrongdoing, seeks public forum

FLORIDA
The Anna Maria Islander

[letter from the Diocese of Venice]

by Lisa Neff. Islander Reporter

The Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph offers a story of a life devoted to the Catholic Church, a false accusation against him, and a betrayal by men he considers his shepherds.

Joseph, 44, who most recently served at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach, is facing an accusation of sexual misconduct, a recent claim stemming from an alleged incident 15 years ago.

He denies the allegation, and he said he wants the opportunity to do so in a public forum, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Report: Priest accused of sex abuse to hold town hall meeting

FLORIDA
WINK News

FORT MYERS, Fla. & ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. - The Catholic Diocese of Venice is investigating claims of sexual misconduct by a priest in 1993. They announced the investigation in late December.

The Priest, Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph denies the allegation. His lawyer has told a local Anna Maria Island newspaper that the Reverend wishes to hold a public forum to discuss the allegations.

The forum is reportedly scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Abuse scandal still obscures the light

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Colum Kenny

Sunday January 18 2009

Bishop John Magee failed to enforce his own church's guidelines on child abuse. He failed to protect children promptly from at least one alleged abuser. He failed to co-operate fully with his own church's investigation into his earlier failures. But Cardinal Brady said last week that Magee should not resign.

It does not matter what most people, even most Catholics, think. The Irish hierarchy's model of the church is old-fashioned, top-down, authoritarian, and paternalistic.

Cardinal Seán Brady was in Kerry last Tuesday to deliver an address on contemporary Ireland and the church. In it, he referred to “the disturbing freshness of Christ”. What was disturbing last week was his own protection of the stale status quo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Trial set for two Delray priests accused of stealing from parish

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Saturday, January 17, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — Into the dark-cushioned chairs by the defense table, where murderers and molesters, thugs and thieves have sat, the priests will come this week.

The Revs. John Skehan, 81, and Francis "Frank" Guinan, 66, are scheduled for trial Wednesday, each charged with one count of grand theft over $100,000 - a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Each is accused of pilfering hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Roman Catholic parish they were tapped to grow and inspire, St. Vincent Ferrer in Delray Beach.

Instead, they left the faithful reeling after their arrests by Delray Beach police in 2006. While accused of misappropriating more than $8 million, they are charged with outright stealing far less. Detective Thomas Whatley referred to them at the time as "professional money launderers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Churches support abuse law changes

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | January 19, 2009

AUSTRALIA'S Catholic and Uniting churches yesterday publicly backed a push for the removal of a time limit that blocks child sex victims from suing for compensation over institutional abuse.

Australia's Anglican leader, Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, is leading the campaign, lobbying Queensland's Bligh Government to set a nationwide precedent and exempt child victims from the laws.

Dr Aspinall last week went public with his campaign, saying the laws, requiring victims across Australia to launch legal action by the time they turned 21, were "harsh and unequitable".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Paedophile groomed girl, 12, on church trips

UNITED KINGDOM
The Shields Gazette

Published Date: 17 January 2009
A PAEDOPHILE who abused a schoolgirl he met at church has been locked up and will have to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

David Shakespeare molested the 12-year-old, who he was "infatuated" with, on numerous occasions over three years.

The 44-year-old subjected the girl to vile abuse, but held back from having full sex with her for "religious reasons".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

One in five students suffered sexual abuse at residential schools, figures indicate

CANADA
Globe and Mail

TIM NAUMETZ
The Canadian Press

January 17, 2009 at 7:57 PM EST

OTTAWA — Thousands of native children suffered sexual abuse in Indian residential schools, newly disclosed figures show – a human tragedy so pervasive it's being called “monstrous.”

The federal government has quietly paid out more than $350-million in abuse settlements over the last decade, the majority for sexual abuse, to 7,011 former students.

Several thousand more claims for sexual abuse at the hands of church and school officials have been filed over the last year under a 2006 agreement to compensate surviving students, the government and victims' lawyers say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Limits on rape charges targeted

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY CHARLIE FRAGO

Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2009

Legislation to remove the statute of limitations on rape and first-degree sexual assault faces a stiff challenge when a House committee debates the measure, likely this week.

Currently, murder is the only crime that can be prosecuted without any limit on the amount of time that has elapsed since the crime was committed.

Rape and first-degree sexual assault now have a six-year limit under the state's statute of limitations, although there are exceptions for DNA evidence and minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Cincinnati archdiocese says clergy abuse cost $11M

CINCINNATI (OH)
Lancaster Eagle Gazette

January 17, 2009

CINCINNATI (AP) — A clergy abuse scandal has cost the Archdiocese of Cincinnati more than $11 million in the past six years, church officials announced Friday.

In 2008, the archdiocese spent nearly $1.2 million on costs related to clergy abuse, or less than 2 percent of its total expenses. Half of that was used for training, fingerprinting and other child protection programs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Ex-Fort Myers priest says he did not abuse boy

FLORIDA
The News-Press

news-press.com staff • January 18, 2009

A priest accused of molesting a boy when the clergyman served at St. Francis Xavier Church in Fort Myers 15 years ago is denying the allegations, which became public last month.

The denial was first published in The Islander, a community newspaper on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County.

The Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph, 44, and his Bradenton attorney John P. Fleck say they had honored the Diocese of Venice's request the allegation and details of the investigation be kept confidential.

But they say the diocese broke the confidentiality agreement, providing priests with a letter from the Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, bishop of the Diocese of Venice, to read at Mass on Dec. 27-28, and then releasing a statement to the media Dec. 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

My Turn: What the Catholic Church is truly about

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Bernard Roque • January 18, 2009

In light of the recent sexual abuse cases filed against the Catholic Church, I think it is prudent to have a little Catholic Church 101 lesson.

As people may be aware, within the Catholic Church there are seven sacraments. They are: baptism, reconciliation, Holy Eucharist, confirmation, holy orders, holy matrimony and anointing of the sick.

The first four sacraments are received in the formation period, given as lifelong tools in pursuit of a life directed by the Holy Spirit. They are spiritual tools instituted by Jesus himself. It is a means of gaining a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior, and it is Jesus' means to invite people into a relationship with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Archdiocese settles Nahant priest abuse case

MASSACHUSETTS
Item

The Boston Archdiocese has settled three sexual abuse cases with their roots in the 1970s, church leaders announced Friday, including one involving a former Nahant priest.

The amount of the settlement in the case the the Rev. Edward Kelley, who was allowed to continue ministry for years after Nahant police found him in a state of undress with a 19-year-old man in his car in 1977, was unavailable. Kelley is now a senior priest restricted from ministry, the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Betrayed, video, released Jan. 17, 2009, by survivor of Fr. Jim McCarthy, active in the 1960s in South Carolina

SOUTH CAROLINA
City of Angels

New Video at City of Angels 6 Click this link to view:

http://cityofangels6.blogspot.com/

McCarthy survivor says the priest gave him Kool-Aid spiked with alcohol, and described "Hell," where the the parents would go if the boy told. McCarthy died in 2008, now this man 40 years later seeks others who were sexually assaulted by this pedophile priest, active in South Carolina in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

January 17, 2009

Diocese orders church mergers in Greene, Columbia counties

NEW YORK
The Daily Freeman

Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:00 PM EST
By The Daily Freeman

ALBANY — Mergers announced on Saturday by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany will affect six churches in Columbia County and two in Greene, and another two in Greene may be merged a year from now.

Also, one church in Delaware County will close.

The diocese, in a prepared statement, said the decisions about these and numerous other churches were the result of 600 meetings over 2-1/2 years that included input from more than 10,000 Catholics in a 13-county area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

17 local churches will close

NEW YORK
Troy Record

Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:49 PM EST
By Tom Caprood
The Record

Catholics throughout the Capital Region and beyond were given the news they had been waiting to receive for the past two years Saturday as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany disclosed the fate of local churches that will be closed or merged as part of the Called to BE Church initiative.

A total of 33 worship sites, just under 20 percent of the diocese’s churches, will be closed across the diocese over the next three years, according to a statement from Bishop Howard Hubbard.

Across the Capital District, a total of 17 churches are scheduled to close including six in Troy, two that will merge with other churches in Albany, two that will merge with other churches in Schenectady, three in Cohoes, three in Amsterdam, and one in Glens Falls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Albany Diocese to close 33 worship sites

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By MARC PARRY, Staff writer
Last updated: 4:06 p.m., Saturday, January 17, 2009

[14-county list of church closings in Albany Diocese]

ALBANY Cities across the greater Capital Region will bear the brunt of a massive plan to close 33 worship sites throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Bishop Howard Hubbard announced today.

Troy will be ground zero in an unprecedented consolidation the 14-county diocese is undertaking to cope with shifting demographics and a shortage of priests.

Hubbard, despite lobbying to change the outcome, decided to close six of the Collar City's dozen Catholic churches. That is more than any other city. And the list of soon-to-be-shuttered Troy churches includes St. Peter's, the state's third-oldest Catholic parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Albany Diocese Announces Final Decisions of 2 ½-year Called to BE Church Process

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

[this includes the full list of churches to close]

[Decisions for Each of the 38 Local Planning Groups in County Order]

After 2 ½ years, more than 600 meetings, input from more than 10,000 Catholics across the Albany Diocese, and prayerful consideration, the final decisions of the Diocese’s planning process have been reached.

The decisions are being announced to parishioners during Masses on Jan. 17 and 18, 2009.

The grassroots planning process, known as Called to BE Church, involved thousands of Catholics across the Diocese in shaping the future of the church — specifically, aligning its physical, financial and personnel resources in a way that would serve the greatest number of Catholics now and in the future, while preserving the Church’s commitment to inner cities, the poor, elderly and infirm, and other vulnerable populations. Thirty-eight local planning groups (comprised of parish leaders and lay parishioners-representatives from two or more neighboring parishes) studied issues on a neighborhood and regional level across the 14 counties of the Diocese.

“There’s no question that the closing of parishes is a difficult and painful process for the people of the parish, for which there is a great spiritual and emotional attachment. All of the people involved in this process empathize with the painful adjustments that will be required,” said Bishop Howard J. Hubbard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Diocese announces church closings

NEW YORK
Schenectady Gazette

By Jason Subik
Gazette Reporter

CAPITAL REGION — The Albany Diocese announced today it will close almost 20 percent of its churches over the next three years.

The decision to close the churches was made after a two and half years of consideration under the diocese’s “Called to BE Church” process aimed at addressing demographic shifts.

The complete list may be found on the diocese Web site at www.rcda.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Weymouth pastor cleared of sex abuse charge

WEYMOUTH (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

By Jack Encarnacao And John P. Kelly
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jan 17, 2009 @ 02:55 AM

WEYMOUTH — The Archdiocese of Boston reinstated a St. Francis Xavier Church pastor on Friday after paying the alleged victim $475,000 to settle a lawsuit in which he accused three priests of sexually molesting him in the late 1970s.

But the victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said his client was “outraged” that the Rev. Eugene P. Sullivan, 72, would be taken off administrative leave and permitted to publicly minister.

“My client fears for the safety of children,” said Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who said he has handled more than 500 claims of clergy sexual abuse.

Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the settlement “does not constitute admission of liability” but instead reflects the church’s commitment to resolving claims and “furthering the healing process.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Jury clears Naugatuck priest of abuse allegations

WATERBURY (CT)
Hartford Courant

Associated Press
January 17, 2009
WATERBURY, Conn. - A Roman Catholic priest from Naugatuck has been cleared of allegations that he sexually abused a teenage boy.

The Rev. Robert J. Grant was acquitted by a Waterbury Superior Court jury on Friday of all charges against him in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Church may be indemnified against abuse legal action

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

Sunday, January 18, 2009 By John Burke and Keirn Wood
The state may agree to indemnify the Catholic Church against legal actions taken by clerics accused of child abuse, The Sunday Business Post has learned.

Barry Andrews, the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, is understood to be considering indemnifying non-state agencies to allow the sharing of information on alleged child abusers between his office, the Church, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and gardaí. The Church and the HSE have claimed that they cannot handle so-called ‘soft’ information, which is accusatory but unsupported by evidence, as they risk being exposed to legal action by those named. The 2005 report into child abuse in the Ferns diocese recommended that inter-agency committees involving the HSE, the Church and the gardaí should share such information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Bishops: Gay seminary problems ‘overcome’

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By DANIEL BURKE, Religion News Service
Published: January 17, 2009
WASHINGTON -- A Vatican probe of U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries that was ordered after the clergy sex abuse scandal has concluded that "difficulties" related to "homosexual behavior" have been largely "overcome."

"Of course, here and there some case or other of immorality -- again usually homosexual behavior -- continues to show up," reads the report, published Monday (Jan. 12) near the start of National Vocation Awareness Week. "However, in the main, the superiors now deal with these issues promptly and appropriately."

Overseen by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education with help from American bishops, the investigation was ordered in 2002 after the clergy sex abuse scandal exploded in the U.S. church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Rampant sexual abuse of native children in residential schools

CANADA
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Thousands of native children suffered sexual abuse in Indian residential schools, newly disclosed figures show - a human tragedy so pervasive it's being called "monstrous."

The federal government has quietly paid out more than $350 million in abuse settlements over the last decade, the majority for sexual abuse, to 7,011 former students.

Several thousand more claims for sexual abuse at the hands of church and school officials have been filed over the last year under a 2006 agreement to compensate surviving students, the government and victims' lawyers say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

A lot of people got angry after reading last post here, writing, My perp was a Scout leader too, and There is no justice in PA

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

(The Jan. 14 post about Peter Dunne provoked a peppering of emails. Here are three letters from City of Angels readers, including an encounter with Dunne in the seminary, by author Tom Barnes.)

What the hell, Kay, you think this makes you angry! What about my story where Fr. Cotter was the Boy Scout Leader as well and he went swimming nude with the Scouts and was in charge of the altar boys and the CYO.

The Assistant Scoutmaster was also a pedophile. When my lawyers went to talk to them about Cotter the Scouts said they never even heard of him. But I have pictures of Cotter in his Scout uniform on the altar of my church. I have papers settling with the Scouts out of court. The Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church are so fucking embedded with each other it is enough to make you puke.

The church scandal has given the Scouts enough time to burn their records. It is a huge story that needs to be told!!!!!!!!!!!!! It makes me so mad I cannot even begin to tell you how upset this has made me. I have been saying this for years but to no avail. All those people who know the truth about what Cotter did are getting old but I do not think they could ever forget.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

It's a miracle! Oh no,

Irish Independent

Saturday January 17 2009

As the recession deepens, religious observers are braced for an upturn in visions and apparitions of the Virgin Mary and other supernatural Catholic phenomena.

Stigmata, the strange bodily marks resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus, may again start to appear regularly.

Statues and icons are expected to bleed, weep and move around, as the world faces its greatest economic crisis since the 1930s. ...

The most controversial shrine of the present era is the shrine at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has attracted tens of thousands of Irish pilgrims. The phenomenon began in 1981 after six children told a priest of their visions of the Virgin. Since then, there have been over 40,000 reports of sightings, but the Vatican has never given the shrine the green light.

The claims of the Medjugorje Six were not helped when it was revealed that a priest who had acted as a "spiritual director'' to the visionaries had fathered a child with a nun.

Father Tomislav Vlasic has been suspended by the Church and is facing a raft of charges. These include "the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspicious mysticism, disobedience toward legitimately issued orders", and allegations that he breached the sixth commandment ("Thou shalt not commit adultery").

As part of his new clampdown, the Pope reportedly plans to publish criteria to help investigators to distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata, weeping and bleeding statues and Eucharistic miracles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Nikolai Sues OCA for $11 Million

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Mark Stokoe
Date Published: 1/16/2009
Publication: Orthodox Christians for Accountability

The Courthouse News Service reported yesterday, January 15th, that the former Bishop of Sitka, Nikolai (Soraich) filed papers on January 12th in the Nassau County Supreme Court for an $11 million ”wrongful termination in breach of contract” lawsuit against the Orthodox Church in America. The summary of docket #09-00495 states:

”The defendant forced plaintiff Nikolai to retire from his position as bishop without any cause. That position is supposed to last for life according to the defendant's statute. Nikolai was placed at the center of the defendant's politics and used as a scapegoat for its own already existing interior scandals and financial and leadership breakdown. Nikolai has sought exile in an Australian monastery and has no way of earning an income. $11 million.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Dallas Parishioner Challenges Church Statements

DALLAS (TX)
Pokrov

Author: Stan Shinn
Date Published: 1/16/2009
Publication: Pokrov.org

”The lies conceal everything; the lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me. Live Not By Lies.” -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote these words only hours before the Secret Police broke in and arrested him. He was subsequently exiled. A defender of the Orthodox Faith, Solzhenitsyn stood unwaveringly for truth. Following his example and heeding the demands of my Christian conscience, I cannot be silent in the face of recent statements by the GOA and Metropolitan Isaiah.

Our church officials are not telling the truth about the Nicholas Katinas lawsuit.

I am a parishioner at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas Texas. I have talked personally to church officials, local witnesses, and victims both before and after the recent lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by (former) priest Nicholas Katinas. I am intimately aware of the details of this case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Jury clears priest of all sex charges

WATERBURY (CT)
Republican-American

BY JONATHAN SHUGARTS REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
WATERBURY — The Rev. Robert J. Grant stood before a wooden table in Waterbury Superior Court on Friday, his shoulders sagging slightly in relief as he listened to the words he had waited a year and half to hear — "not guilty."

Grant, a 65-year-old Roman Catholic priest, was cleared of all charges, including second-degree sexual assault. A priest for St. Mary's and St. Hedwig's churches in Naugatuck since 2005, he had been charged with sexual assault after a teenage boy said he performed oral sex on Grant in 2006.

The jury deliberated for a few hours on Thursday and had a decision by late Friday morning. Grant, wearing a white shirt without his priest's collar, clasped his hands in front of him as he awaited the verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Lawyer claims priest's rights were trampled

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

An attorney for Toledo Catholic priest Gerald Robinson filed a motion yesterday claiming that his client's constitutional rights were violated in the 2006 trial that led to Robinson's conviction for the 1980 murder of a nun.

John Donahue of Perrysburg asserted in an amended petition for postconviction relief, filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, that Robinson's trial attorneys were ineffective, that the State of Ohio withheld key evidence, and that pervasive media coverage deprived the priest of a fair trial.

"I believe he is innocent and the highest calling for me is to assist a wrongly convicted person," Mr. Donahue said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Ex-minister accused of violating probation again

CARROLLTON (IL)
Telegraph

January 16, 2009 - 9:37 PM
By MAGGIE BORMAN
The Telegraph
CARROLLTON - A former Baptist minister in Greene County who pleaded guilty two years ago to sexually abusing an underage girl was arrested Thursday for the second time for violating terms of his probation.

Jeffrey D. Heberlein, 45, of Fowler in Adams County, was arrested on a Greene County bench warrant for failure to report, failure to notify the court of a change of employment and failure to attend counseling.

Scott County Circuit Judge Lois Bell, who was assigned to Heberlein's case, issued the bench warrant Wednesday. A motion to revoke his probation also was filed in Greene County Circuit Court, with a court date set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

'The Cloyne debacle is a dirty story and Cardinal Brady's intervention only muddies the waters

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Medb Ruane

Saturday January 17 2009

Accountability, what's that about? Ireland's Financial Regulator resigns, a senior executive or three also leave. But not in Ireland's biggest global corporation, whose national CEO found motes in everyone's eye except his own, this week.

Cardinal Sean Brady condemned greed, corruption, the slaughter in Gaza and recommended "an economy of peace which confronts the unjust distribution of the goods of the earth and progresses a culture of global solidarity". He prayed for an economy that supports "authentic human development".

Then he said that John Magee, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, shouldn't resign but should stay in his post to oversee new child protection procedures in his diocese. Magee's stewardship had been found seriously flawed, including his management of cases involving two particular priests. How authentic is that?

Another jewel for the Ren 2010 crown

CHICAGO (IL)
Parents United for Responsible Education

Looks like CPS is about to add another jewel to the Renaissance 2010 crown.

Today’s papers report another Aspira-like scandal, this time rocking Chicago Hope Academy. Apparently a teacher was molesting a student and the school decided to expel... the student.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has called the non-denomination Christian school out for trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug.

And, to no one’s real surprise, the school, famous for being on the receiving end of an Oprah’s Big Give, is about to be welcomed into the Ren 2010 family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Guest view: Appeal for healing in Belleville Diocese

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

Even now, many Catholic bishops deal with the clergy sex abuse issue in a self-serving, destructive manner -- by doing as little as possible.

In the case of Belleville's Bishop Edward Braxton, passivity might be an improvement over aggression. Braxton fights clergy abuse cases in his diocese tooth and nail in court. While clergy sex abuse victims often are connected with excessive legal claims, Braxton is on track to become one of America's most litigious prelates. He's never seen a clergy sex abuse case he hasn't appealed.

In March, a three-judge panel in Mount Vernon ruled favorably for Chris Amenn of Fairview Heights. Now a firefighter, Amenn says he was repeatedly molested as a boy by the Rev. Kenneth Roberts. But Braxton says Amenn should be denied his due because of a legality called the statute of limitations. In October, the bishop appealed the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

CRYSTAL CITY: YouTube video award leads to Washington honors

CRYSTAL CITY (MO)
Suburban Journals

By Chris Campbell
Saturday, January 17, 2009 3:12 AM CST

Kim Fischer started in Crystal City with a video camera and an idea.

A few months later that idea led to her sharing dinner with television reporter Jon Sawyer at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

A sometime wedding videographer without any journalism experience, Fischer stumbled across a national contest sponsored by YouTube and the Pulitzer Center.

The contest asked for video entries from aspiring reporters detailing stories of critical importance.

Fischer's first video, "You Are Not Alone," detailed the work of Barb Dorris, a tireless advocate working with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Her video earned her a berth in the semifinals, narrowed down to just 10 applicants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Antioch sexual abuse suspects arraigned

ANTIOCH (CA)
Contra Costa Times

By Robert Salonga and Malaika Fraley
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

An Antioch couple were arraigned Friday on a multitude of sexual crimes against family members as details emerged about what authorities said was a pattern of abuse over the course of eight years.

Zion Dutro, 47, and Glenda Dutro, 45, were known as friendly churchgoers who home-schooled their children. Investigators and family members now believe their public appearance masked a tightly controlled household that kept the alleged abuse from coming to light. ...

Neighbors and parishioners at Cavalry Open Bible Church in Antioch said the Dutros were always together and active in church activities, including missionary work in Mexico. Zion Dutro's criminal past was known, but enough time had passed that some either didn't believe it or thought that he had long been rehabilitated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Church seeks change to child abuse claim limits

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Queensland Government says it is not planning to relax time limits on compensation claims for victims of child sexual abuse.

In Queensland, child sexual abuse victims are required to launch legal action by the time they turn 21.

But Australia's Anglican Primate is leading a push for changes.

Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall says at the request of victims, he has been lobbying for that provision to be scrapped since 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

2nd person is jailed in church sex-abuse case

ARKANSAS
Deseret News

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has jailed a second member of evangelist Tony Alamo's ministry for refusing to say where her three daughters are.

Circuit Judge Joe Griffin in Texarkana said he had no other choice Thursday but to find the mother in contempt of court. A man in a separate case was jailed for the same reason earlier this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Church leader wants child sex abuse laws changed

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

January 17, 2009

A LEADING archbishop has launched a crusade to change child sex abuse laws, describing them as "unfair, inequitable and harsh".

Brisbane's Anglican leader Archbishop Phillip Aspinall dismisses the laws, which normally require a victim to launch legal action by the time they turn 21.

Archbishop Aspinall began lobbying the Queensland Government to change the laws in 2005 in response to requests from people who had been sexually abused as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

MINISTER ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE

PINE BLUFF (AR)
Pine Bluff Commercial

By Ray King/OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
Saturday, January 17, 2009 12:32 AM CST

A Pine Bluff pastor accused of improperly touching a female member of his congregation will have to post a $2,500 bond to be released from the county detention center while prosecutors consider felony charges against him.

At a court hearing Friday, Circuit Judge Jodi Dennis set the bond after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge Leroy Spears Jr., 56, with second-degree sexual assault.

Reading from an affidavit from police Detective Michael Roberts, Deputy Prosecutor Cymber Gieringer said police were sent to a Pine Bluff home on Jan. 10 in response to a reported sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Bishops have again deserted their flock

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

THERE APPEARS to be a view that Cardinal Seán Brady’s words of support this week for the Bishop of Cloyne John Magee have drawn a line in the sand where this latest Catholic Church clerical child sex abuse controversy is concerned. They have not.

Rather, they have added to a growing deficit in the moral authority of the Catholic Church in Ireland, a deficit now every bit as large as that in the State’s finances, if deteriorating more rapidly. In this, the bishops have only themselves to blame.

Their first instinct, when alerted in 1987 to the probability of clerical child sex abuse cases emerging in Ireland, was preservation of the institution at all costs. You might say it established what has become a consistent pattern.

They took out insurance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

St. Louis priest cited by 3 removed from ministry

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Chatanooga Times Free Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis said Friday that it was removing a priest from active ministry while it again reviews an allegation it had dismissed without merit.

The announcement came after an unidentified man told the archdiocese Thursday of plans to sue over claims that the Rev. Michael Freymuth abused him in the 1980s while he was a student at a Catholic grade school in St. Louis. The man had originally complained to the archdiocese in 2005 about Freymuth, and the archdiocese had found that the man's allegation did not constitute sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

St. Louis Archdiocese removes priest after threat of lawsuit

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

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
01/17/2009

Bishop Robert Hermann, the interim leader of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has removed one of its priests from active ministry because of a complaint filed against him alleging sexual abuse in the 1980s.

In 2005, a man filed a complaint of sexual abuse against the priest, the Rev. Michael Freymuth. It is unclear if the archdiocese acted on that allegation, but the same man is now threatening to file a lawsuit.

Previously in 2005, Timothy Bartin had accused Freymuth of giving him wine and caressing him while watching "Midnight Express" in the priest's bedroom at St. Joan of Arc's rectory when he was a teenager in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Church child-protection cost $1.2M last year

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • January 17, 2009

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati spent about $1.2 million last year on expenses related to child protection programs and sexual abuse by clergy, pushing the total cost since 2003 to more than $11 million.

The archdiocese released the figures Friday as part of an annual reporting program instituted five years ago at the height of the clergy abuse scandal.

About $600,000 covered legal fees, counseling for victims and salary and housing costs for priests who are suspended while allegations against them are investigated.

Another $600,000 paid for child abuse prevention programs and the archdiocese's fingerprinting program for volunteers and employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

No evidence of role in drafting illegal settlement

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

A former assistant Crown attorney told the Cornwall Public Inquiry he had no evidence to suggest Rev. Charles MacDonald had a role in crafting an illegal $32,000 settlement between the church and one of his alleged victims.

"I don't recall seeing anything that made me think Father MacDonald had input into the contents of the agreement," said Lorne McConnery, who completed his fourth and final day on the stand yesterday.

In 2001, McConnery was asked to provide opinions on a number of legal briefs compiled during Project Truth, the four-year investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police into allegations a pedophile clan had preyed on children in the Cornwall area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

January 16, 2009

Former Greene pastor charged with probation violation

CARROLLTON (IL)
Journal-Courier

January 16, 2009 - 5:34 PM
BY MAGGIE BORMAN
Journal-Courier
CARROLLTON — A former Greene County Baptist minister was arrested Thursday for the second time for allegations of probation violation.

Jeffrey D. Heberlein, 45, of Fowler, in Adams County, was arrested on a Greene County bench warrant alleging failure to report, failure to notify the court of a change of employment and failure to attend counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Mass priest in abuse case returns to ministry

BOSTON (MA)
The Republican

1/16/2009, 7:06 p.m. EST
By KAREN TESTA
The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — One of the priests accused in a sexual abuse case settled last month for nearly half-million dollars by the Boston Archdiocese has returned to active ministry, church leaders said Friday.

The Rev. Eugene Sullivan had been on administrative leave since 2005, when he and two other priests were accused of sexually abusing a boy in the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

January 16, 2009 - Archdiocese of Boston Returns Reverend Eugene P. Sullivan to Active Ministry

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

(Braintree, Massachusetts) January 16, 2009…The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the Reverend Eugene P. Sullivan has been returned to active ministry. In 2005, Father Sullivan began an administrative leave following the Archdiocese’s receipt of a single complaint of sexual abuse of a minor in 1977.

After careful review of the complaint, the Archdiocesan Review Board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated. As a result of this finding, Cardinal O’Malley has lifted all restrictions on Father Sullivan’s exercise of public ministry as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Weymouth. As noted in media reports at the time the allegation was received by the Archdiocese, a lawsuit relating to this allegation was brought in Superior Court. In that suit, allegations of abuse were also brought by the same plaintiff against two other Boston priests, as to whom the Archdiocese had received prior accusations.

The Archdiocese has received no other complaints concerning Father Sullivan, either before or since the filing of this suit, and Father Sullivan has denied the single allegation that was made against him in this lawsuit. The Archdiocese and the plaintiff have now reached a settlement and the case has been dismissed as to all parties. Fr. Sullivan did not make a contribution to payment in achieving a resolution to this claim and payment made by the Archdiocese does not constitute an admission of liability upon the part of Fr. Sullivan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Seminary Visitation: Bishops, Si; Religious Superiors, No

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

by Dr. Jeff Mirus, January 16, 2009

I can recall when the Vatican decided in the 1980's that it was going to have to do a visitation of American seminaries. Many of us hoped this would be the beginning of the end for both heterodoxy and the lavender mafia in the Church in the United States. As I recall, however, the results of the visitation were a closely guarded secret, so much so that, to those of us looking on, it appeared that nothing had come of it. It is possible that I missed something, but in any case we are living now in a very different era. In 2002 the Vatican decided to do another Apostolic Visitation and the general results of this one have been posted on the USCCB web site for all to see. Among other things, the results show that there really has been something going on during all these years.

The mere availability of the report demonstrates the remarkable increase in openness and accountability within the whole Church since the close of the 20th century. I believe this in itself is a clear sign of the gradual restoration of Catholic health and confidence. It is true that the results of the particular visitations to individual seminaries have not been made public; one could not reasonably expect them to be. But the overall assessment is public, and it reveals a great deal. In fact, the report refreshingly confirms what long-time observers already know: Despite some continuing problems, the dioceses of the United States have shown significant improvement in faithful and courageous seminary leadership over the past twenty years; but in contrast, many religious communities have refused to change.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Priest removed over possible sex lawsuit

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

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
01/16/2009

Bishop Robert Hermann, the interim leader of the St. Louis Archdiocese, has removed the Rev. Michael Freymuth from active ministry because of a possible lawsuit against the priest, according to a statement released by the archdiocese.

In 2005, the man who may file the lawsuit accused Freymuth of sexual abuse occuring in the 1980s, but the archdiocese's review board cleared the priest of wrongdoing at the time. Freymuth is in residence at Visitation-St. Ann Catholic Church in north St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

St. Louis priest cited by 3 removed from ministry

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

By CHERYL WITTENAUER - Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis said Friday that it was removing a priest from active ministry while it again reviews an allegation it had dismissed without merit.

The announcement came after an unidentified man told the archdiocese Thursday of plans to sue over claims that the Rev. Michael Freymuth abused him in the 1980s while he was a student at a Catholic grade school in St. Louis. The man had originally complained to the archdiocese in 2005 about Freymuth, and the archdiocese had found that the man's allegation did not constitute sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Reporting on Vatican reports

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education completed its report on the health of U.S. seminaries and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the report this week. The in-depth look at seminaries was prompted by the sexual abuse crisis that received so much attention a few years ago. The report was generally positive and said that the situation at seminaries had improved in certain areas. The Catholic News Service sums it up this way:

The trouble spots highlighted by the report include: an “incomplete grasp” of the difference between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the laity; faculty who subvert the Church’s teachings; the need to screen seminary candidates for irregularities and impediments at the beginning of formation; a lack of supervision of seminarians by the rector and the bishop and a discouragement of traditional forms of piety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Plea Deal Likely Reached For Priest In Church Theft

FLORIDA
MSNBC

WPBF-TV
updated 12:46 p.m. ET, Fri., Jan. 16, 2009
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - One of two priests accused of misusing millions of dollars from a Delray Beach church appears to have reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Authorities said former St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Rev. John Skehan and his replacement, Rev. Francis Guinan, spent millions in church funds on gambling trips and fine dining.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Archdiocese of Boston returns Father Eugene Sullivan to active ministry

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

Posted: 1/16/2009

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced Jan. 16 that Father Eugene Sullivan has been returned to active ministry.

In 2005, Father Sullivan began an administrative leave following the archdiocese’s receipt of a single complaint of sexual abuse of a minor in 1977. After careful review of the complaint, the Archdiocesan Review Board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated. As a result of this finding, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has lifted all restrictions on Father Sullivan’s exercise of public ministry as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Weymouth.

As noted in media reports at the time the allegation was received by the archdiocese, a lawsuit relating to this allegation was brought in Superior Court. In that suit, allegations of abuse were also brought by the same plaintiff against two other Boston priests, as to whom the archdiocese had received prior accusations. The archdiocese has received no other complaints concerning Father Sullivan, either before or since the filing of this suit, and Father Sullivan has denied the single allegation that was made against him in this lawsuit. The archdiocese and the plaintiff have now reached a settlement and the case has been dismissed as to all parties. Father Sullivan did not make a contribution to payment in achieving a resolution to this claim and payment made by the archdiocese does not constitute an admission of liability upon the part of Father Sullivan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse of Natives

Brian Malone
ABC Alaskas Superstation

[with video]

Dozens of Alaska Natives have joined forces and filed a lawsuit accusing the president of Seattle University of trying to cover up sexual abuse crimes.

In all 43 alledged victims have filed suit saying Stephen Sundborg knowingly sent sex offenders, or what they call predator priests to remote Alaska villages because it was believed that they had little access to law enforcement and would not report the crimes.

The suit alleges the victims lived in Nulato, Hooper Bay, Stebbins, Chevak, Mountain Village, Nunam Iqua, and Saint Michael.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Naugatuck priest acquitted of sex charges

WATERBURY (CT)
Republican-American

WATERBURY -- The Rev. Robert J. Grant's shoulders sagged slightly in what seemed to be relief when the words "not guilty" were read Friday in Waterbury Superior Court.

Grant, a 65-year-old Roman Catholic priest, was cleared of all criminal charges, including second-degree sexual assault.

The priest of two Naugatuck churches, St. Mary's and St. Hedwig's, was charged with sexual assault after a teenager said he performed oral sex on Grant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Allegations: Alaska is a dumping ground for predator priests

ALASKA
Beliefnet

David Gibson

Friday January 16, 2009

A long-simmering story has burst into the open with the filing of a lawsuit alleging that the Jesuit order used Alaska as a "dumping ground" for abusive priests. According to coverage in the Anchorage Daily News, this week's lawsuit is on behalf of 35 men and eight women, and another one is in the works with another 60 or so victims.

Sex abuse lawsuits aren't new, but this case exposes one of the ugliest aspects of the scandal:

The new suit contends that pedophile priests unsuited to serve anywhere else were dumped on Alaska and put in remote villages with little or no law enforcement, making it virtually impossible for anyone to report them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Ex-Bayley-Ellard principal admits abuse

MADISON (NJ)
Daily Record

By Peggy Wright • Daily Record • January 16, 2009

After nearly six years of fighting sexual abuse charges, the former principal of the now-defunct Bayley-Ellard High School in Madison admitted Thursday to touching a male student's buttocks during a hug and to shoving a male teacher and warning him not to report it.

Montville resident Frank Mattiace, 72, pleaded guilty in state Superior Court, Morristown, to the fourth-degree charges of abuse and neglect of a child and criminal coercion. The Morris County Prosecutor's Office has recommended a sentence of five years probation and up to 364 days in the county jail but defense lawyer Gerard Hanlon said it's unlikely the ailing Mattiace will be ordered to serve any time behind bars.

With his wife and son watching in the courtroom, Mattiace told Judge John B. Dangler that he hugged a 17-year-old student in May 2003 and touched his buttocks in the process. He pleaded guilty to this crime under a non-sexual statute and referred to Title 9, which generally encompasses offenses of abuse and neglect of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Church seeks to lift sex abuse claim time limit

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | January 17, 2009

AUSTRALIA'S church leaders are secretly lobbying for the removal of a time limit that blocks child sex victims from suing for compensation over institutional abuse.

A multi-denominational push, led by Australia's Anglican leader, Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, is pressuring Queensland's Bligh Government to set a nationwide precedent and exempt child victims from the laws, which normally require that they launch legal action by the time they turn 21.

Hundreds of victims - including those openly acknowledged as being abused for years by some of the country's most notorious pedophiles - have been blocked by state and church lawyers from having their claims tested and compensated by the court by the "time-limit defence".

The Bligh Government has so far rejected the proposal to change the personal injuries laws amid fears it may pave the way for a flood of compensation claims from victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

The church must consider change

Bennington Banner (Vermont)

Editorial,

Friday, January 16
Once again, it seems a good time to ask the men who rule the Catholic Church today — as males have for more than two millennia — whether it could be time for another reformation.

The signs of the church's current crises — among the most serious in its history — are not difficult to pinpoint. Declining parishioner enrollment and growing apathy is widespread in the United States and Europe, forcing the closure of hundreds of lovingly constructed churches and driving many frustrated Catholics to fight the changes through vigils and protests.

Albany, N.Y., area Catholics will face new closures and consolidations following a review of parishes that will lead to an announcement by the bishop expected this weekend. Dioceses in New England, most recently in the Boston area and in western Massachusetts, are going through a similar, wrenching process.

Sexual abuse by priests over several decades or longer, and the "old boys" network that prevented stern action to repress it — often merely transferring offenders to other parishes and exposing more victims to abuse — represents the church's other crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Priest On Probation Gets New Assignment

OMAHA (NE)
Action 3 News

Omaha, NE - The Omaha Archdiocese has reassigned a priest who is serving probation for stealing more than $83,000 from an Omaha parish.

The Rev. Rodney Adams will now be the associate pastor at St. Patrick parish, assisting with Mass, funerals, weddings and other services. The archdiocese says he will not be involved in
overseeing parish funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Pinoy ex-priest in US appeals embezzlement conviction

LOUISA (VA)
GMANews TV (Philippines)

JOSEPH G. LARIOSA, GMANews.TV
01/16/2009 | 02:23 PM

CHICAGO – A former priest from the Philippines has appealed a decision by a US jury convicting him of embezzlement charges.

Rodney Lee Rodis, who is said to be from Cagayan de Oro City in the southern Philippines, was spared 200 years of imprisonment after Louisa County Judge Timothy Sanner reduced the sentence to 13 years at the sentencing last Wednesday in Louisa, Virginia.

The judge also ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $432,000 to his victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Diocese launches $22 million capital campaign

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Deirdre Cox Baker | Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:22 PM CST
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport announced Thursday it will undertake a $22 million capital campaign beginning in January 2010.

The campaign comes on the heels of the finalization of the diocese’s bankruptcy, which included a $37 million settlement with victims of clergy sex abuse.

“If these funds are raised, it will give us a firm foundation for our future and will strengthen our diocese,” said Sister Laura Goedken, director of development for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

'Hand of God'

SALEM (MA)
The Salem News

The Rev. John Sheridan, pastor of St. James Church, put an interesting note in the church bulletin after seeing "Hand of God," the award-winning documentary by Salem's Joe Cultrera about his brother's abuse in the 1960s by a Catholic priest at St. James.

Sheridan said he has a copy of the "troubling" film if anyone wants to see it.

"I think it was helpful to me to begin to understand this nightmare at St. James, St. Joseph and in other parishes," he wrote. "... I want to sit down with anyone in our parish or in our town to begin to listen. I have no answers, but I want to help ..."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Catholic group will hold Fort Myers rally in effort to have more say in church

FLORIDA
The News-Press

By DAN WARNER • dwarner@news-press.com • January 16, 2009

A group of Catholics who say they are "disappointed and increasingly angry" they have no say in how their church is run will hold a day-long rally in Fort Myers on Saturday.

Called the first Southwest Florida Lay Assembly, the rally will feature a speech by a noted Catholic lay protester, worship and "an opportunity for people to sound off," said John Hushon of Naples, assembly chair and a national leader in the protest movement. ...

One of those who will attend the assembly is Janet Kennedy of Fort Myers, who describes herself as a devout Catholic and said she has "a lot of anger toward the church," mostly surrounding the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests.

"The Church does not recognize the conscience of the people," she said. "They are forgetting the people have a right to their own conscience."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Dumped In Alaska

ALASKA
The Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan

No, not Palin: the Catholic church. The sex abuse crisis - in which the Vatican became the de facto hub of an interational sexual criminal conspiracy in the 1960s and 1970s - had a special brutality in the frozen north:

The new suit contends that pedophile priests unsuited to serve anywhere else were dumped on Alaska and put in remote villages with little or no law enforcement, making it virtually impossible for anyone to report them. There was a calculated effort at the highest levels of the Jesuit order to "'dump' these 'problem priests' in a location in which the priests could avoid detection and continued to sexually abuse countless Native children," the suit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Ex-Cloyne priest is 'dismayed' at support for Magee

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Friday January 16 2009

A former Cloyne priest, who has sought the resignation of Bishop John Magee, has expressed dismay at Cardinal Sean Brady's backing of his old friend of 50 years.

Father Matt Ring, who is now working as a social worker in England, also spoke yesterday of his high regard for Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who "must be feeling extremely isolated" after the Cardinal and two other archbishops backed Bishop Magee.

Fr Ring, speaking from Southampton, said he quit his ministry in Cork in disgust at what he described as "a culture of bullying, harassment and intimidation" existing in Cloyne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Victim recounts clergy abuse in Southington

SOUTHINGTON (CT)
The Herald

By JAMES CRAVEN
Herald staff

SOUTHINGTON — As a 17-year-old, Rebecca Maxfield was sure of three things: the love of her family, of God and of the security she felt as part of her church. By her 18th birthday the betrayal by one would leave her alone, confused and questioning many of the core beliefs that sustained her.

Maxfield, a victim of sexual abuse by a clergyman she trusted, would have her religious convictions and ability to trust others shattered.

“I don’t consider myself religious anymore,” Maxfield says. “But my faith is strong. It’s what got me through the physical and emotional abuse.”

Now 27 years old with bachelor’s degrees in ministry and psychology, Maxfield is working on a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and hopes to help others faced with abuse.

A member, along with her parents and five siblings, of the town’s Central Baptist Church, she also attended the church-owned Central Christian Academy. Founded in 1975 by the Rev. Jim Townsley, the church is an independent Baptist congregation with about 200 members. The school, also started by Townsley, opened in 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

“Time to step aside”

UNITED STATES
California Catholic Daily

A lay Catholic group founded during the height of the Church’s sexual abuse crisis -- but which critics say strays from magisterial teachings -- is calling for the resignation of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and five other American prelates.

In a Jan. 7 press release issued from Boston, where the group was founded seven years ago, Voice of the Faithful said the Church had still not fully addressed the abuse crisis “and the culture that makes it possible.”

“It is time for the leaders who enabled so much abuse to step aside,” said the press release. “We call on those leaders who failed to protect the well-being of our children by knowingly and secretly transferring predator priests from parish to parish without informing the laity to resign their current office or position of authority on or before June 30th, 2009. It is our position that in cases where bishops, despite the weight of evidence against them, refuse to resign their offices, Pope Benedict XVI should request their resignations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

MacDonald lawyer focuses on notes

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The attorney for Rev. Charles MacDonald defended his involvement in a 2002 decision to switch judges in the retired priest's sexual abuse trial Thursday.

Michael Neville took former assistant Crown attorney Lorne McConnery through sections of his notes which suggested Neville never specifically asked for Justice Dan Chilcott to take the reins of his client's trial.

MacDonald had first been charged in 1996 by the Ontario Provincial Police with sexually abusing three boys decades earlier. Additional charges involving six new complainants were tacked on in 1998 and 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

January 15, 2009

Op-Ed: A Tale of Two Archdioceses

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

January 14, 2009

By Jason Berry

Cardinal Sean O'Malley may not win a popularity sweepstakes with parishioners occupying five Boston-area churches; but his restraint toward the vigil movement, which after four years is spreading to other dioceses, might well be a model for other bishops confronting parishioners who sit rather than vacate.

O'Malley has tacitly acknowledged that sacred spaces carry a cultural memory of bonded loyalties in certain neighborhoods. Some closures make sense, as when an area changes drastically. So do negotiated consolidation plans. Still, O'Malley has wisely borne the expense of letting vigil occupants stay as he tries to reverse the financial mess inherited from Cardinal Bernard Law. O'Malley's patience underscores the cardinal law of politics: If you want money, make people like you.

A worst-case scenario erupted last week in New Orleans. Police raided two churches that had been occupied 10 weeks, two days after Archbishop Alfred Hughes' spokeswoman said police would not be called. TV cameras showed cops bash in a door at Our Lady of Good Counsel, "the pearl of the Garden District," and arrest Poppy Z. Brite, a novelist, and Harold Baquet, a photographer.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:05 PM

Alleged victim criticises cardinal

IRELAND
The Irish Times

BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

A WOMAN who alleges that she was sexually abused for several years by a priest in Co Cork has strongly criticised Cardinal Seán Brady for his comments supporting Bishop of Cloyne John Magee in the controversy over his handling of complaints of clerical sexual abuse.

The woman, who doesn’t wish to be named, spoke of her frustration and anger over the Catholic Church’s handling of her case and those of other complaints about the priest who ministered in the Diocese of Cloyne.

“I’m angry but I’m not shocked or surprised – it’s almost predictable,” said the woman who alleges she was abused from the age of 13 for several years by the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Apostolic Visitation of Seminaries: Vatican Report Released

UNITED STATES
America

Posted at: 2009-01-15 18:32:00.0
Author: James Martin, S.J.

The USCCB has posted, apparently without fanfare, the Vatican's final report from the Apostolic Visitation of seminaries and houses of formation for religious orders, from 2006. The visitation received widespread interest, coming as it did after the sexual abuse crisis, and in response to Vatican concerns over the admission of gay men into seminaries and religious orders, and following the publication, in 2005, of the Vatican document barring men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies from the priesthood. The full text, in pdf form is here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Former Youth Pastor Arrested in California

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
My Fox Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A former youth pastor at a church in Jefferson County has been indicted by a federal grand jury for charges alleging he transported a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. The Department of Justice issued the following press release about the arrest of William David Webb...

William David Webb, 35, of Murrieta, California, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for transporting a minor across state lines for sexual activity. He was arrested on these charges in California on January 14, 2009 and given a bond on the federal charges. He remains in custody pending extradition from California to Alabama on outstanding state warrants. United States Attorney Alice H. Martin of the Northern District of Alabama, Carmen S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Mike Hale, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department announce that Webb was charged in the one-count indictment filed December 30, 2008 and unsealed today at U. S. District Court in Birmingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Accused Minister Worked At Union & Owasso Schools

OKLAHOMA
KTUL

[with video]

01/15/09 6:16 pm | reporter: Burt Mummolo producer: Kerri Gift
Owasso - Owasso Police continue to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by a 23-year-old youth minister.

The alleged assault on a teenage boy did not take place on church property.

NewsChannel 8 has learned the man had a part time job as a substitute teacher.

At Union he had substituted six times this year from grades 6-12.

In Owasso, he had substituted 19 times through grades 8 and under.

So far, neither school has had any students come forward reporting any similar incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

National Survivor Advocates Coalition FACT CHECK of Diocese of Portland Maine details of sex abuse claims.

MAINE
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Statement – Diocesan spokeswoman Susan Bernard said Tuesday that the unprecedented release of information was intended to show that allegations against Lee were made by many people, not just one or two, as some parishioners have concluded.” We felt the need to do it now, because we were told recently that the community in Boothbay Harbor was being critical of complainants,” Bernard said.

Fact — The decision by diocese officials to release information about the number of child sex abuse allegations made against Thomas Lee occurred for one reason, and one reason only - the persistence of survivor advocates. If it were not for the voices of those who spoke clearly and forcefully on behalf of Marie Tupper, Bishop Malone would have remained silent on this issue. Bernard neglects to mention that Malone kept secret the tribunal’s decision about Lee for three months until Marie Tupper and survivor advocates applied intense pressure on Malone to tell the truth about the status of Lee’s case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Former Word of Life youth pastor indicted on sex charge

ALABAMA
Birmingham News

Posted by Greg Garrison -- Birmingham News January 15, 2009 5:19 PM

A former youth minister and executive pastor at Word of Life Christian Center in Birmingham has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of transporting a minor across state lines for sex.

William David Webb, the son of Word of Life Senior Pastor Scott Webb, was arrested by federal officials on Wednesday at his home in Murrieta, Calif.

"There have been charges, accusations," the defendant's father said today. "I believe it is not true."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Pedophile to stand trial again next week on more sex assault charges

CANADA
CJAD

Thu, 2009-01-15 16:39.
Shuyee Lee
Wearing a grey windbreaker and sporting a scraggly salt-and-pepper beard, Daniel Cormier looked tired and sullen as he sat handcuffed in the glass-enclosed prisoner's dock, listening to the judge as he rejected a defence motion to submit evidence from his first sexual assault trial in his second trial on charges of sexually touching a minor. The judge ruled that each case would be judged on its own merits.

The 57-year-old self-proclaimed pastor was already found guilty last October of sexual assault of a minor. He argued his sexual relations with the underaged girl were legal because he married her in his now defunct Church of Downtown Montreal and that it wasn't a crime to have sex with your wife. The relationship started when she was eight and he was 47.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Jesuit denies predatory priests sent to Alaska

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

[PDF: Catholic abuse lawsuit]

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com

The head of the Jesuit order for the Northwest today denied the allegation in a new lawsuit that Alaska became a magnet or hiding place for problem priests.

The lawsuit filed this week in Bethel on behalf of 43 Alaska Natives accuses Catholic priests and volunteers of sexual abuse years or even decades ago, when they were children.

It's the latest in a string of lawsuits over the years, most of them targeting priests who came to Alaska from the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. The province includes Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Vatican report on US seminaries & SNAP's response

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president

"Concern about seminaries misses the mark.

The central problem is, and always has been, chancery offices, not seminaries. Some predators will always 'slip through' educational institutions. The key is 'how does the church hierarchy respond when allegations are made or abuse is witnessed or whistleblowers express concerns?

Sadly, in Catholic dioceses and religious orders, the short answer is usually: belatedly and deceptively. And since no bishop has suffered the slightest consequence for ignoring or concealing child molestation, such crimes and cover ups continue even now.

Sure, many were ordained priests who shouldn't have been. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, the predators could and should have been removed after their first few victims, not after dozens were devastated. That recklessness, callousness and severe harm is the fault of bishops, current and past. It can't be ignored or minimized or shifted to seminary staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Vatican: US Seminaries Sign of Hope for Nation

UNITED STATES
Zenit

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Diocesan seminaries in the United States are generally healthy, concluded a letter from the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education after an apostolic visitation to review centers of priestly formation.

The letter was released this week by the U.S. bishops' conference. It was directed to cardinals, bishops, major superiors, and all those responsible for diocesan seminaries and religious houses of priestly formation in the United States.

It recognized a breakdown of seminaries in past decades, when a "false sense of freedom was sometimes cultivated, which led to the throwing off of centuries of acquired wisdom in priestly formation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Cirilo Flores Rarely Pursued Discipline of Molesting Priests While Serving on Important Church Board

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Published on January 14, 2009 at 12:45pm

Meet the New Bishop . . .

Cirilo Flores rarely pursued discipline of molesting priests while serving on important Church board

As expected, Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown chose a Latino to replace his longtime auxiliary bishop, Jaime Soto, who left last year to become the Bishop of Sacramento. Cirilo Flores gets anointed to his new position March 19 at St. Columban’s Church in Garden Grove, and church watchers expect the Corona native to succeed Brown when His Excellency retires. Local media coverage and the diocese’s P.R. machine made much of Flores’ Stanford Law School degree, his bilingualism and his experience serving in multiple church leadership positions, as well as being the longtime pastor of St. Anne’s in Santa Ana.

These reports only briefly mentioned Flores’ stint on the Orange diocese clergy-personnel board. One of the most important councils in the church hierarchy, the board is in charge of helping clergy with personnel matters and advises the bishop about priests—and is thus privy to the day-to-day happenings of the Catholic Church. And like his predecessor Soto, who distinguished himself by personally advocating for leniency the few times the Orange County district attorney’s office bothered to prosecute priests accused of sex crimes, Flores also played a major role in the Orange diocese’s crippling sex-abuse scandal.

Flores served on the board from 1995 until this year, a period that also happens to coincide with the Church learning about many cases of priestly sex abuse—but never bothering to discipline the offenders until the cases became public. The inaction of the clergy-personnel team wasn’t surprising: Flores’ peers on the board during this time include such sex-abuse-scandal luminaries as Michael McKiernan (Brown’s longtime secretary, who once told a parishioner that a priest possessing child-pornography images didn’t violate Brown’s zero-tolerance sex-abuse policy), Daniel Murray (on whose behalf the Orange diocese settled a $500,000 sex-abuse lawsuit in 2004 without alerting parishioners) and John Urell, a man who was so knee-deep in covering for molesting priests as Brown’s point man on the issue that he suffered a nervous breakdown during a deposition about his role (see “Bad Moves,” Sept. 27, 2007).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Apostolic Visitation of Seminaries in the United States

UNITED STATES
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

[Cover Letter from Sean Cardinal O'Malley]

[Final Report]

Conducted by: Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See.

Context of Visitation: In their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted in June, 2002, the U.S. Bishops pledged their “complete cooperation with the Apostolic Visitation of our diocesan/eparchial seminaries and religious houses of formation recommended in the Interdicasterial Meeting with the Cardinals of the United States and the Conference Officers in April 2002.”

Objectives: The Congregation has indicated the following objectives for the Visitation: 1) To examine the criteria for admission of candidates and the programs of human formation and spiritual formation aimed at ensuring that they can faithfully live chastely for the Kingdom; 2) To examine other aspects of priestly formation in the United States. Particular attention will be reserved for the intellectual formation of seminarians, to examine fidelity to the Magisterium, especially in the field of moral theology, in the light of Veritatis Splendor.

Coordinator of the Visitation: Most Reverend Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Military Services, U.S.A.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Apostolic visitation deems US seminaries generally healthy, notes numerous problems

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

Jan. 15, 2009 (CWNews.com) - A Vatican investigation into American seminarians, undertaken in a response to the sex-abuse scandal, has given the institutions a passing grade but taken note of many difficulties.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has quietly posted on its web site the final report of the apostolic visitation of seminaries in the United States. Dated December 15, the report, issued by the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, offers a generally positive assessment of US seminaries but notes numerous problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Weleetka pastor faces lewdness charges

WELEETKA (OK)
Tulsa World

By MANNY GAMALLO World Staff Writer

WELEETKA — A local minister charged with allegedly molesting young girls is not a suspect in the June 8 slayings of two girls along a county road not far from his church, authorities said Thursday.

Marvin Lowe, 51, has been charged with 14 counts of lewd molestation, along with one count of lewd exhibition and another count of rape by instrumentation.

Lowe, whose initial court appearance was held Wednesday at the Okfuskee County Courthouse in Okemah, is now being held at the county jail in lieu of $240,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Vatican: Gay `behavior' in seminaries declines

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

By RACHEL ZOLL

NEW YORK (AP) — A Vatican evaluation of U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries in response to the clergy sex abuse scandal concluded that administrators have largely been effective in rooting out "homosexual behavior" in the schools, although the agency said it persists.

The Congregation for Catholic Education sought a broad review of how the schools screen and educate prospective priests, but gave special attention to teachings on chastity and celibacy. The Vatican also directed evaluators to look for "evidence of homosexuality" in the schools.

In a report U.S. bishops released this week, the Vatican agency noted past "difficulties in the area of morality" within seminaries that "usually but not exclusively" involved "homosexual behavior." The evaluators said the appointment of better administrators in diocesan seminaries "has ensured that such difficulties have been overcome." ...

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the focus on seminaries "misses the mark," since some predators inevitably will slip through any screening process.

"The key is how does the church hierarchy respond when allegations are made or abuse is witnessed or whistleblowers express concerns?" the group said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Mexican priest arrested for sexually abusing boys

MEXICAO
Smash Hits (India)

Posted: 12:57a.m. IST, January 14, 2009
Veracruz (Mexico), Jan 14 (IANS) The police in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz arrested a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys at a church-run residential facility, EFE news agency reported Wednesday.

The Rev. Jose de Jesus Sandoval Gonzalez was detained in Veracruz city, the state Attorney General's Office said.

Authorities said the police were still looking for a nun accused of acting as Gonzalez's accomplice.

The priest's arrest came hours after the mayor of the town, where the alleged crimes took place, held a press conference to complain that prosecutors had failed to act on the criminal complaint of the Boca del Rio municipal government filed in mid-December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Pastor Arrested on Molestation Charge

OKLAHOMA
KJRH

A pastor in Weleetka is accused of molesting young girls at his church.

Police arrested 51-year-old Marvin Lowe on a complaint of lewd molestation.

OSBI officials said they had been investigating claims against Lowe since December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Judge postpones youth pastor's trial

CHARLESTON (WV)
Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A judge has postponed the trial of a Chesapeake youth pastor accused of sexual abuse.

Timothy Edmonds, 37, a former pastor at Chesapeake Apostolic Church, was to go on trial this week on charges he sexually abused a 16-year-old girl.

Judge Irene Berger agreed to postpone Edmonds' trial until Jan. 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Sundborg in a statement: Allegations are false

SEATTLE (WA)
The Spectator

Jessica Van Gilder

UPDATE, JAN. 14, 2:22 P.M.--After Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed late Tuesday accusing him and other Jesuits of covering up the sexual abuse of 43 Native Alaskan children, the victim's attorneys said there will be more lawsuits to come.

A complaint has been filed against the Society of Jesus-Oregon Province, the Society of Jesus-Alaska as well as the Father General Adolfo Nicolas, S.J. Sundborg was named as a defendant among fellow Jesuits Henry G. Hargreaves and Anton Smario.

In response to the allegations Sundborg gave the following statement Wed., Jan. 14: "The allegations brought against me are false. I firmly deny them. I want the victims and the entire community to know that. The complaint filed by the plaintiffs' lawyers represents an unprincipled and irresponsible attack on my reputation. Let me be clear-my commitment to justice and reconciliation for all victims remains steadfast. The sexual abuse by Catholic priests is one of the most shameful episodes in the history of our church. I will continue to work toward the goal of bringing healing to all victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Exclusive: Sundborg calls lawsuit 'unfair'

SEATTLE (WA)
The Spectator

Joshua Lynch

THURS., JAN 15, 8:30 A.M.--Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. called a lawsuit filed Tuesday against him and other Jesuits "unfair" and "unfortunate" while denying accusations that he covered-up sex abuse.

"While respecting the victims of sexual abuse, the claims that are made in the statements in this suit are simply false," Sundborg told The Spectator Wednesday. "I deny them. I would never, ever, in any situation […] leave young people in danger of abuse by Jesuits."

Sundborg said he had never heard of documents the lawsuit complaint alleges he destroyed, including what the victims' lawyers call the "Hell Files."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Ex official nabbed in brothel probe

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

Thursday, January 15, 2009 7:13 AM
By Theodore Decker
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

[with WBNS video]

Columbus vice detectives monitoring online discussions among clients of prostitutes for years have noticed a man posting under the names "Sullivant Guy," "Broad Street Guy," "Toby" and "God O Thunder."

The man, like many others on the sites, would trade information about street hookers and online escorts. He would recommend some prostitutes, issue warnings about others and give advice on ways to avoid law enforcement.

Detectives said yesterday that they arrested the "go-to guy" behind those posts.

Robert Eric McFadden, who was the director of Gov. Ted Strickland's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives until his transfer to another state job in fall 2007, was arrested in Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Ex-director of Ohio's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives linked to prostitution ring

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Aaron Marshall and Reginald Fields/Plain Dealer Bureau January 15, 2009 04:30AM

COLUMBUS -- A man once hired by Gov. Ted Strickland to head a state office because of his ties to Ohio's religious community stands accused of being involved in an online prostitution ring.

Robert Eric McFadden, former director of Strickland's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, was arrested Wednesday morning in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. He has been charged with seven felonies, including pandering obscenities involving a minor, promoting prostitution and compelling prostitution, according to a Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Weiner confirmed that the 46-year-old is the same person who worked for Strickland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

"A Pedophile's Paradise"

ALASKA
The Stranger

Posted by Brendan Kiley on Wed, Jan 14 at 11:42 AM
This morning, 43 Alaskan Natives filed a lawsuit against the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), claiming a widespread conspiracy to dump pedophile priests in small Alaskan towns and shelter them from exposure.

The suit was filed in the Bethel, Alaska Superior Court.

Reverend Father Stephen Sundborg—current president of Seattle University and head of the Northwest Jesuits from 1990 to 1996—is named as a co-conspirator.

Attorney Ken Roosa announced the lawsuit at a chilly press conference outside Seattle University this morning and said, as of today, he knows of 345 cases of molestation, only two of them against non-natives.

The Jesuits, he said, sent known pedophiles to isolated Alaskan villages—many of them only accessible by boat or plane—to let them abuse children with impunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Pastor Arrested, Charged with Sex Crimes

OKLAHOMA
KOKC

1/15/2009

(Weleetka, OK) -- A sex crime case in Okfuskee County stirs suspicions about another unsolved crime. Marvin Lowe, a pastor, was arrested on 15 counts of lewd molestation. The reported victims are children ages 8 to 14 years old. The nature of the alleged crimes and the proximity of the church to a notorious murder scene are raising questions for some people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Former church music leader pleads guilty in sex case

LEBANON (OH)
The Oxford Press

By Denise Callahan
Staff Writer

Thursday, January 15, 2009

LEBANON — A former Hamilton church music leader plead guilty today, Jan. 15, to charges related to an undercover online sex investigation in Hamilton Twp.

Charles Andy Garitson, 24, of Monroe pleaded guilty in Warren County Common Pleas Court to importuning, a fifth-degree felony, in exchange for prosecutors dropping a charge of attempted unlawful sex with a minor.

Garitson was arrested on Sept. 29 after allegedly arranging a meeting with Hamilton Twp. Police Department Lt. Jeff Braley, who posed as a 15-year-old male as part of an undercover investigation. According to the police report, Garitson contacted Braley via the Internet and asked to meet for sexual conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Ex-pastor accused of sex with teen to be in court today

NEWPORT BEACH (CA)
The Orange County Register

By SERENA MARIA DANIELS
The Orange County Register

NEWPORT BEACH – A former Capo Beach Calvary Church youth minister accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl is scheduled to be arraigned today on six felony charges.

Daniel Pedroza Jr., 28, of Dana Point is scheduled to appear at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach at 8:30 a.m. to answer to felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and other sex acts, as well as one misdemeanor charge of child annoyance, Orange County District Attorney's Office officials say.

Pedroza, who was the junior high school youth group pastor until he was fired by the church in December, allegedly engaged in sexual relations with the girl from July to December 2008. The two reportedly engaged in sexual activity at his house and her's, while her parents were not home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Vatican reveals secrets of worst sins

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Nick Squires in Rome
Last Updated: 3:42PM GMT 15 Jan 2009

The Apostolic Penitentiary, or "tribunal of conscience", has been shrouded in secrecy ever since it was established by Pope Alexander III in 1179 and until now has never provided details of the cases it scrutinises.

They are considered so heinous by the Catholic Church that only the Pope can grant absolution to those who perpetrate them.

But in an effort to present a more transparent image and to encourage more people to make confessions, the tribunal held a two-day conference in Rome in which it discussed its purpose and inner workings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Democratic Catholic leader arrested on prostitution-related charges

OHIO
Catholic News Agency

Dublin, Jan 14, 2009 / 09:22 pm (CNA).-

The former director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives for the governor of Ohio was arrested Wednesday for his involvement in an online prostitution ring. Eric McFadden, who has also formerly served as the president of the organization Catholics for Faithful Citizenship and spokesperson for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, will face seven prostitution-related charges tomorrow in court.

Eric McFadden, 46, the former head of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives for Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, was arrested this morning and faces two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a nude minor and one count of compelling prostitution, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien told the Springfield News-Sun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Naugatuck priest denies sex assault charges

WATERBURY (CT)
Hartford Courant

Associated Press
January 15, 2009
WATERBURY, Conn. - A Roman Catholic priest in Naugatuck has taken the witness stand to defend himself, saying he never had sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy in 2006 and 2007.

The Rev. Robert Grant testified Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court. He's charged with sexual assaulting the teen, known only as "C.R." in the court proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Split over Cloyne bishop casts Church into 'crisis'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney, Religion Correspondent
Thursday January 15 2009

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin remained tight-lipped last night as a leading Catholic activist described Cardinal Sean Brady's support for Bishop John Magee as creating "a most serious crisis of leadership for the Irish Catholic Church".

Last night a spokesman for Archbishop Martin said that he had no comment to make in response to the Cardinal's support in Killarney on Tuesday for Bishop Magee to stay in office.

But Sean O'Conaill, the national coordinator of the Voice of the Faithful, which campaigns for accountability by the leadership of the Irish Church, said that the Archbishop of Dublin must be feeling badly let down by the Cardinal, the Archbishop of Thurles, Dermot Clifford and the Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary. All three have expressed their confidence in Bishop Magee now implementing proper child protection practices in Cloyne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Emily should watch her back

IRELAND
Herald

By Padraig O'Morain

Thursday January 15 2009

She is the country's first Ombudsman for Children. She has shown herself to be a fearless champion for the children whose interests she represents.

But now Emily Logan has taken on the big battalions, and you have to wonder if the knives will soon be out for her.

I hope she is entirely sane and that she has enough Machiavellian savvy to survive whatever will be thrown at her by those she has undoubtedly outraged.

What will enrage the big guys is her decision to investigate the HSE and the Department of Health in relation to child protection in the Catholic dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

'Progress made' in getting detail

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Eilish O'Regan

Thursday January 15 2009

PROGRESS is being made in efforts by Children's Minister Barry Andrews to secure details on child abuse allegations from Catholic bishops, the junior minister's spokesman claimed yesterday.

Last week Mr Andrews said he was giving the bishops three weeks to disclose details they refused to give to the Health Service Executive (HSE) during an audit of child protection practices in each diocese.

He was speaking at the publication of the audit, which has been criticised for failing to provide proper evidence that child protection guidelines are being implemented on the ground.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Boy allegedly molested, then forced out of school

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

January 15, 2009

BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter sesposito@suntimes.com
A victims' rights group is urging officials at a private Christian high school on the West Side to explain why they forced out a star football player after a female teacher allegedly molested him on campus late last year.

"The child shouldn't have been forced to leave the school," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "The child should have been embraced by the school."

Kathryn Vail-Wesley, 22, is accused of sexually assaulting the 17-year-old student last year, both at her home and in her classroom at Chicago Hope Academy, according to a Chicago Police report. Vail-Wesley was arrested last October and is awaiting trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

“Unfair treatment?”

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is appealing a $15 million property tax bill levied against it by the City and County of San Francisco, which claims internal property transfers by the archdiocese constitute "sales."

“San Francisco County Recorder, Phil Ting, has taken a step that is unprecedented in the history of the state of California,” said archdiocesan spokesman Maurice Healy in an emailed statement to California Catholic Daily. “He has determined that an internal reorganization of church property, without consideration, within the family of corporations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, constitutes a ‘sale’ and is subject to a property transfer tax. The Archdiocese, therefore, has filed a formal appeal to contest this determination.”

Healy cited a Dec. 7, 2007 statement by Archbishop George Niederauer regarding “certain corporate structure changes” published in the archdiocesan weekly Catholic San Francisco: "The goal here in San Francisco has been to allow the day to day operations of our parishes and schools to continue in a cohesive, efficient manner while at the same time establishing simple ownership models that clearly distinguish the canonical assets of the parishes and schools from those of the Archdiocese in general."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Priest disputes accuser's testimony

WATERBURY (CT)
Republican-American

BY JONATHAN SHUGARTS REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
WATERBURY — The Rev. Robert J. Grant took the stand Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court to defend himself against charges of sexually assaulting a teenager.

The teenager, known as "C.R." in court proceedings, testified this week that the 65-year-old Grant told him to drink wine and paid him for massages and sex in 2006 and 2007 when the boy was 15. Grant is on administrative leave from his pastoral duties at St. Mary's and St. Hedwig's churches in Naugatuck.

He denied on Wednesday that he had any sexual relations with the teenager, testifying that he offered to take a polygraph test when he was initially confronted by police with the teen's allegations. ...

Two rows of courtroom seats were packed with Grant's supporters, some of whom fingered rosary beads as they listened to their spiritual guide testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

This story makes me so angry it will take at least three posts to even begin to tell it. Here is part one of Peter Dunne, Flagrant Pedophile Priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Peter J. Dunne could be yet another "worst pedophile priest ever," as his series of crimes stretches one's already over expanded capacity to absorb. Here yet another predator maneuvers himself into the role of priest so he can use the sacraments and other resources of the Catholic Church to gain access to children.

In Philadelphia, Rev. Peter Dunne ran the Boy Scouts, St. Francis vocational school for troubled boys, he taught in several parish schools, he counseled at summer camps, he had his own cabin in the woods where he took his victims - I mean...

People criticize me for being too raw when I rage at the Catholic Church - I mean... how much does it take?

Reading about this perp, it begs logic and reason to think none of the priests who lived and worked with Dunne, no lay teachers, housekeepers, nuns, parent volunteers, NO ONE realized there was something wrong with Rev. Peter J. Dunne, with his bravo flagrante manner of manipulating the Roman Catholic Church heirarchy to give him ready access to little boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Tim Giago: Cultural Genocide in the Land of the Free

UNITED STATES
Native American Times

Written by Tiim Giago

It would appear to me that most Americans know more about the “Stolen Generation” of Aboriginal children in Australia than they do about the “Stolen Generations” of Indian children in their own country.

Why is that? Well, movies such as “Rabbit-proof Fence” and the newly released film “Australia” probably have something to do with it. In “Rabbit-proof Fence” two little aboriginal girls are taken from their homes to the Catholic mission boarding school without the consent of their parents. They run away from the school and follow the path of the rabbit-proof fence hundreds of miles knowing that the fence runs next to their land and will lead them home. The fence was designed to contain the proliferation of rabbits that had begun to overrun Australia. ...

A recent lawsuit against the Catholic Church by former students of the St. Francis Indian School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation is now in the courts. There are statutes in South Dakota that would consider a statute of limitations and also consider allegations other than sexual abuse as non-essential. If “cultural genocide” could be included in the number of reasons for the lawsuits in South Dakota, it would put an entirely new face on the process. Though many former students still sport the scars of the sexual, physical and psychological abuse of the Indian boarding schools, the attempts to destroy their cultural beliefs is just as damaging and just as significant. The collateral damage of “cultural genocide” is one of the intangibles that are not easily interpreted in a court of law. It has taken nearly a generation for the former students of the Indian boarding schools to finally step forward and openly speak of their sexual abuse. It is not in the culture, the very culture that the boarding schools attempted to erase, for these Indian people to do so.

But after two or three generations, they are, at last, stepping forward and sadly, their courageous stand is drawing criticism from many of their own “converted” people. These are the converts that went through their entire boarding school experience apparently wearing blinders because they failed to see the abuse, whether it was physical, psychological, sexual, or cultural that was taking place all around them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

FORT SMITH : Sex offender arrested at Alamo site

FORT SMITH (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY DAVE HUGHES

Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009

FORT SMITH - A convicted sex offender who lived on property owned by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries went before a federal magistrate Wednesday, charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

Jonathon Patrick Curry, 49, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant charging him with failing to register or update registration as a sex offender, a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Fort Smith said.

In an initial court appearance Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate James Marschewski appointed federal public defender Bruce Eddy to represent Curry. Eddy waived a probable cause hearing and a detention hearing for Curry, whom Marschewski ordered held in the Sebastian County jail pending indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Vatican report: Most U.S. seminaries are generally healthy

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- An apostolic visitation team concluded that U.S. Catholic seminaries and houses of priestly formation are generally healthy, but recommended a stronger focus on moral theology, increased oversight of seminarians and greater involvement of diocesan bishops in the formation process.

"This visitation has demonstrated that, since the 1990s, a greater sense of stability now prevails in the U.S. seminaries," the report said. "The appointment, over time, of rectors who are wise and faithful to the church has meant a gradual improvement, at least in the diocesan seminaries."

The report, sparked by the sexual abuse crisis that hit the U.S. church, concluded that seminaries appeared to have made improvements in the area of seminarian morality, most notably with regard to homosexual behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Lawsuit alleges president of Seattle U knew of sex abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By AMY ROLPH
P-I REPORTER

Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg is named in a lawsuit alleging that Jesuit leaders covered up the crimes of priests who sexually abused at least 43 Native Alaskan children during the span of four decades.

The lawsuit, filed in Alaskan Superior Court in the city of Bethel, states that Sundborg had access to "Hell Files" -- private church documents detailing things priests had done that were "not good" -- when he was head of a Northwest order of Jesuits from 1990 to 1996.

At a news conference Wednesday, an attorney representing victims of abuse said Sundborg knew a Jesuit priest had sexually abused children, yet allowed that priest to serve in Alaska.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

VIDEO: Priests accused of sexual abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

[video presentation]

The Jesuit order has been sued by 43 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused as children, and mounting evidence shows that priests known to be pedophiles were sent to the Fairbanks, Alaska, diocese for decades, a lawyer told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

On Solidarity

SEATTLE (WA)
Spectator Blog

Jan 14th, 2009 by Cody Shepherd.
Dare I broach the subject of the recent allegations against Fr. Sundborg? Or will the topic prove too sticky to unravel? No doubt I invite flaming comments simply by mentioning the man’s name in passing.

There are plenty of things to say, of course, about this country’s legal process and about the methods of its media apparatus. Suffice to say, whether or not Fr. Sundborg is guilty of the crime(s) alleged by John Manly, Kenneth Roosa and Pat Wall, his life will consist mainly of turmoil for the next several years. Trials take a long time to play out in this country, and sexual abuse trials in particular tend not to leave even the innocent unscathed.

My question has two parts: what is this lawsuit about, and what should it be about?

This lawsuit is, after all, not about sexual abuse, no matter how much the over-cosmeticized television reporters at the press conference today were interested in the dirty little details, no matter how much Mr. Roosa would have us focus on the pain of his defendants. This lawsuit is about neglect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Suit: Seattle U prez kept quiet about priest abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
KOMO

[with video]

By KOMO Staff & News Services

SEATTLE -- Twenty eight Jesuit priests accused of sexual abuse were sent to remote villages in Alaska where they lived, unmonitored, and continued to abuse victims for decades, according to a lawsuit filed against the Jesuit order this week.

Jesuit institutions named as defendants include the Society of Jesus in Rome; the Oregon Province of the Catholic order, which serves five Northwest states including Washington and Alaska. The suit alleges troubled priests from four different countries were sent to Alaska in order to hide them from the public eye.

According to the suit, Jesuit leaders, including the current president of Seattle University, kept secret files called "hell files" about these priests, and these personnel files detailed special information that was "not good" and not to be made public.

"The Jesuits knew, had to have known, could not possibly have not known what was going on in Alaska. Turned a blind eye to it," said Ken Roosa, the victims' attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Jesuit priests accused of sex abuse in Alaska

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- The Jesuit order has been sued by 43 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused as children, and mounting evidence shows that known pedophile priests were sent to the Fairbanks, Alaska, Diocese for decades, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Jesuit institutions named as defendants include the Society of Jesus in Rome; the Oregon Province of the Catholic order, which covers Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana; the Pioneer Educational Society, the province's educational arm and parent institution of Seattle University and Gonzaga University in Spokane, and the Alaska branch of the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Sundborg in a statement: Allegations are false

SEATTLE (WA)
The Spectator

Jessica Van Gilder

UPDATE, JAN. 14, 2:22 P.M.--After Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed late Tuesday accusing him and other Jesuits of covering up the sexual abuse of 43 Native Alaskan children, the victim's attorneys said there will be more lawsuits to come.

A complaint has been filed against the Society of Jesus-Oregon Province, the Society of Jesus-Alaska as well as the Father General Adolfo Nicolas, S.J. Sundborg was named as a defendant among fellow Jesuits Henry G. Hargreaves and Anton Smario.

In response to the allegations Sundborg gave the following statement Wed., Jan. 14: "The allegations brought against me are false. I firmly deny them. I want the victims and the entire community to know that. The complaint filed by the plaintiffs' lawyers represents an unprincipled and irresponsible attack on my reputation. Let me be clear-my commitment to justice and reconciliation for all victims remains steadfast. The sexual abuse by Catholic priests is one of the most shameful episodes in the history of our church. I will continue to work toward the goal of bringing healing to all victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

In wake of allegations, students worried over university reputation

SEATTLE (WA)
The Spectator

Katie Farden

Senior nursing major Bessie Sycip was surprised to see a text message from her roommate early this morning. "Check your e-mail now," it said. Following her roommate's instruction, she opened her inbox and read a university-wide e-mail The Spectator sent all undergraduates late Tuesday night.

The e-mail contained a link to Joshua Lynch's article, which reported that Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. was named a defendant in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in an Alaska superior court. Those filing the suit accuse Sundborg of covering up acts of sexual abuse against Native Alaskan youth.

"I walked by Fr. Sundborg today, and it felt so strange," Sycip said. "Normally I would think 'oh it's Fr. Sundborg' and say 'hi,' but today I felt guarded."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

43 more allege sex abuse by Catholics

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com

[PDF: the lawsuit]

A group of 43 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused by Catholic priests and church volunteers have sued the Jesuit order, alleging that remote Alaska villages became a worldwide dumping ground for clergy with histories of abuse.

The 78-page lawsuit filed this week in Bethel Superior Court is the latest in an Alaska clergy scandal that involves more than 300 victims and about 40 accused perpetrators, according to Patrick Wall, a former monk and priest who works for a California law firm as an advocate for sex abuse victims.

This week's lawsuit is on behalf of 35 men and eight women, and another one is in the works with another 60 or so victims, said Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa, who is one of the lawyers representing the group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Seattle U. president denies claims that he knew of abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

By Nick Perry and Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporters

Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg went on the offensive Wednesday against the lawyers who this week named him as a defendant in a civil suit -- saying the complaint "represents an unprincipled and irresponsible attack on my reputation."

In a statement, Sundborg disputed the allegations that in the 1990s, as head of the Jesuit order in the Northwest, he knew about at least one sexually abusive priest but did nothing: "I firmly deny them," Sundborg said of the claims. "I want the victims and the entire community to know that."

But just how much damage the lawsuit might do to the decade long presidency of Sundborg, who has been praised for his steady leadership, remains to be seen. So, too, does the question of whether the private university might face financial claims in this or future legal action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

January 14, 2009

Pastor Pleads Guilty To Child Porn Charge

WATERTOWN (SD)
Keloland

A Watertown pastor has pleaded guilty to having child pornography.

Investigators found child porn on Dennis Hayes' computer after searching his home this summer. He also faces charges for sexual contact with a minor in Minnesota.

Dennis Hayes was serving St. Martin's Lutheran Church in Watertown when he was charged.

"I just couldn't believe it because I'm his neighbor besides being a member of the church," Dell Philps said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Church of Ireland newspaper enters Cloyne controvers

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Alf McCreary
Thursday, 15 January 2009

An influential Protestant newspaper has entered the controversy over the handling of child sex abuse allegations in Cloyne by stating it would be “beneficial” if the beleaguered Bishop John Magee were to resign.

This week’s edition of the Church of Ireland Gazette has also called the current controversy in the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne in Cork a “serious blow to the Church”.

Newry-born Bishop Magee is at the centre of the controversy over his mishandling of child sex allegations against two priests. Bishop Magee, who is a former assistant to three Popes, has so far resisted pressure in the Republic for him to resign.

However, the editoral in the Gazette states his resignation would be beneficial in underlining the utmost importance of child protection measures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Bishop's resignation would benefit child protection - C of I

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE RESIGNATION of Most Rev John Magee as Bishop of Cloyne “would have the benefit of providing a very explicit recognition of the utmost importance of child protection procedures,’’ the Church of Ireland Gazette has said.

An editorial in its current edition continued: “It is clearly essential that actions should emphasise the uncompromising commitment of that church to its now well established and highly regarded child protection policies. From this controversy, there is for us in the Church of Ireland a salutary lesson to be learned about the vital nature of strict adherence at all times to our own ‘Safeguarding Trust’ provisions.

“The findings of the Roman Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children that its Diocese of Cloyne has not been compliant with the church’s own child protection policies, having failed to alert the authorities to child sexual abuse allegations, have come as a serious blow to a church that has put immense effort into formulating procedures that are of the highest standard.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Priest accused of embezzling from Delray Beach parish may be seeking plea deal

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH- — An 81-year-old Catholic priest set to go to trial next week on a charge of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his Delray Beach parish appears to be trying to strike a last-minute plea deal.

The Rev. John Skehan has reached an "amicable resolution" which will be presented to a judge on Jan. 21, the day his trial on a grand theft charge is scheduled to begin, his defense attorney wrote in a court filing. Attorney Scott Richardson did not return a call late this afternoon seeking comment.

Skehan is set to be tried at the same time as the Rev. Francis Guinan, 66, who is also charged with one count of grand theft over $100,000. Guinan, though, is expected to proceed with his trial, resolute on proving his innocence to a jury, his defense attorney, Richard Barlow, has said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

HC judge withdraws from Sister Abhaya case

INDIA
Times of India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sister Abhaya murder case witnessed dramatic moments on Wednesday with the monitoring judge Justice R Basant taking himself out of the case after differences with a fellow judge. The High Court also initiated contempt proceedings against a daily that commented critically on its order granting bail to the accused.

Justice Basant informed the two sides that the case would hereafter be supervised by a division bench. He said he was pained by the developments of the past few days and was acting so to preserve the image of the judiciary. His withdrawal comes after an unfortunate controversy that began with the granting of bail to the accused sister Sephy and priests Thomas Kottur and Jose Poothrukkayil by Justice K Hema.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Protecting those who advocate for Jewish Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

MARYLAND
The Awareness Center

[video presentation]

The Awareness Center, Inc. and Child Victims Voice of Maryland co-sponsored an event on November 26, 2008 in which Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg talked about his experiences of advocating for survivors of child sexual abuse in the ultra orthodox communities of Borough Park/Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Settlement reached in sex abuse case involving Brick Twp. pastor

BRICK TOWNSHIP (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

by Jeff Diamant/The Star-Ledger
Wednesday January 14, 2009, 7:41 PM
Twenty-two men who claimed they were molested by the same Lutheran pastor in Brick Township when they were boys in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s reached a financial settlement today with the estate of the pastor, Robert Slegel, and with other parties in their lawsuit, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.

The amount of the settlement was not made public, as the agreement forbids the parties from discussing the terms, said Robert Fuggi, a Toms River attorney representing the plaintiffs.

Fuggi had been seeking $5 million per plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in 2005 against Slegel, St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Brick, and the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Catholic Church Callenged to Support Victims

CHEYENNE (WO
CBS News Channel 5

[with video]

Cheyenne - 1/14/2009

The Denver director of The Survivor Network Abused by Employees of the Church, otherwise known as "SNAP" delivered a letter to the Cheyenne Catholic Dioceses petitioning them to be more open about the location of priests who have been abusers, to ensure the safety of Wyoming children.

Jebb Barett, SNAP Director says, "That transparency would mean that they would let people know where these pedophile priests are, and other employees for the simple reason that our parents need to be able to keep children safe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Judge rejects deal to let priest go home

FLORIDA
WPTV

Reported by: Tim Malloy
Email: tmalloy@wptv.com
Last Update: 5:32 pm

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL -- NewsChannel Five has learned that attorneys for one of the two priests accused of embezzling 8.6 million dollars from St Vincent Ferrer Church in Del Ray Beach were offered a deal from the State Attorney's office that would have allowed the priest to go home to Ireland 'without facing trial or imprisonment'.

The Irish born Father John Skehan would not have been allowed to ever return to the United States.

Skehan, according to a reliable source, wanted to accept the deal and go home.

We have also learned that Judge Sandra McSorley, who was to try the case, was outraged by the offer and refused to accept the plea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Alaska natives sue Jesuits over abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
United Press International

SEATTLE, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The president of a Jesuit university in Washington State has been named in a lawsuit claiming he knowingly sent abusive priests to Alaska.

The suit filed in Alaska says the Jesuit order used Native villages as a "dumping ground" for priests who had a history of sexual abuse of children or were otherwise disqualified from serving elsewhere, The Seattle Times reported.

The Rev. Stephen Sundborg, who now heads Seattle University, was Jesuit provincial or regional director in the Northwest between 1990 and 1996. The suit claims that he had access to what was known as the "hell files," secret records on priests alleged to have been involved in misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Cardinal Brady speaks of hope on special visit

IRELAND
The Kerryman

By KEVIN HUGHES

Wednesday January 14 2009

KERRY had a special visitor on Tuesday, with Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Seán Brady visiting the county for the first time in an official capacity.

The Primate of All Ireland was fulfilling an invitation, sent by Bishop Bill Murphy, to address this week's Kerry Diocesan clergy assembly. Held at The Malton in Killarney, the annual three-day event is an opportunity for upskilling and prayer for local clergy. ...

Asked about Bishop Magee, a former secretary to Pope John Paul II, who has refused to stand down following the findings of the controversial Cloyne Report, the cardinal said he had his full support.

"I have known John Magee for almost 50 years," he stated.

"I've always found him to be a reliable, dependable person and, at this stage, I know that trust has been damaged but trust can be restored. It can be built up, maybe earned by steps, by genuine steps that address the issue and address the concerns of victims who must always be our first concern."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Cardinal lands Church back in Dark Ages

IRELAND
Herald

Wednesday January 14 2009

THERE'S an episode of Father Ted in which Dermot Morgan makes a painful attempt to put the Catholic Church's most serious problem in some sort of perspective.

"We're not all like that," he explains. "Say there's 200 million priests in the world and 10 per cent of them are paedophiles. That's still only 20 million!"

After the tragic and sickening revelations of the last few weeks, that joke suddenly seems a lot less funny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Irish primate backs embattled bishop against calls for resignation

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

January 14, 2009
"There is no pastoral issue more critical for the Church in Ireland today than to ensure the right attitudes and the right procedures are in place to safeguard children," said that Primate of All Ireland in a January 13 address. But while he insisted that "there is absolutely no room for complacency" on the issue, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh told reporters that he did not think Cloyne's Bishop John Magee should resign in the wake of revelations that his diocese mishandled sex-abuse reports. "I know trust has been damaged," the cardinal said; "but trust can be restored."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Lawsuit: Seattle U. President knew of abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
KIRO

[with audio]

By HEATHER BOSCH
KIRO Radio

A major claim has been made against the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church alleging that Alaska was used as a "dumping ground" for priests known to have been accused of molesting children.

A group of people who say they were sexually abused by Catholic priests in Alaska villages called a news conference Wednesday outside of Seattle University.

Attorney Ken Roosa announced 43 lawsuits against the Jesuit Order and accused Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg of concealing abusers.

While he is not accused of any direct abuse, Roosa said Father Sundborg at one time headed up the Jesuit order in the Pacific Northwest and was "In charge during the time the abuse occurred."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Assessor: Catholic Archdiocese owes millions

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

(01-13) 20:49 PST -- San Francisco will try to collect up to $15 million in taxes from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which is refusing to pay certain taxes on properties the church is transferring from one Catholic nonprofit organization to another.

That tax bill would be the second largest of its kind in San Francisco history. But the archdiocese has appealed the charge, saying the church should be exempt from property transfer taxes for a variety of reasons - primarily because the properties are being moved among groups that all are a part of the same overarching organization: the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The written appeal, which will be heard before a review board in the coming weeks, suggests that the assessor's office is unfairly targeting the archdiocese by applying taxes to property transfers that have been tax-free for other religious nonprofit groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

A statement from SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle University

January 14, 2009

"The allegations brought against me are false. I firmly deny them. I want the victims and the entire community to know that. The complaint filed by the plaintiffs' lawyers represents an unprincipled and irresponsible attack on my reputation. Let me be clear--my commitment to justice and reconciliation for all victims remains steadfast. The sexual abuse by Catholic priests is one of the most shameful episodes in the history of our church. I will continue to work toward the goal of bringing healing to all victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Disgraced Pinoy priest gets 13 more years in jail

LOUISA (VA)
ABS-CBN (Philippines)

By RODNEY J. JALECO, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau | 01/15/2009 3:32 AM

WASHINGTON DC - Disgraced Filipino priest Rodney Rodis was sentenced Wednesday (Jan. 14) to 13 years in prison for defrauding hundreds of parishioners in Louisa County, Virginia.

The new prison term is on top of the five-year sentence meted in February 2008 by a federal court in Richmond for money laundering and mail fraud.

Rodis, a native of Cagayan de Oro City, was convicted of diverting almost $600,000 in church collections to support a family in Spotsylvania that he had successfully hidden from his parishioners for over a decade, and to reportedly help relatives in the Philippines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Rodney Rodis Sentenced to Thirteen Years in Prison

LOUISA (VA)
WCAV

January 14, 2009

A Louisa County priest found guilty of stealing money from his parishioners will spend thirteen years in prison.

In shackles in the courtroom Wednesday, the judge asked Rodney Rodis if