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February 28, 2009

Rise in child sex crimes while Catholic priests get away with them is no coincidence

UNITED STATES
Examiner

February 28, 3:17 PM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

Part two w/video: As a crime victim who never saw justice, I like to hear Nancy Grace in the background. Her rage satisfies me the way Mozart would satisfy a saner person. So I often have Nancy Grace in the background as I write about these criminals, to get out the truth, and as a kind of therapy. Listening to her outrage at sex crimes against children helps me express my own rage.

She asked on her show last week What kind of world is it when a 14 year old girl can be picked up and disappear on her way to school? Amber Dubois missing from Escondido. In 2002 Samantha Runyon was kidnapped in Escondido, raped, then her body thrown down a mountainside, where it was found by two men who were hang gliding days later. 13 year old Alycia Nipp in Washington State died in much the same way on February 22nd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Catholic priest numbers increase

BBC News

The number of priests in the Catholic Church around the world is slowly rising, the Vatican says.

The Holy See presented a statistical yearbook to Pope Benedict XVI, showing an increase of several hundred priests a year since 2000.

Thanks to large increases in Africa and Asia, the number of Catholic priests rose from 405,178 in 2000 to 408,024 in 2007, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Fake documents: Govt sacks FSL's Dr Malini

INDIA
Top News

Submitted by Mohit Joshi on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 08:16.

Bowing to opposition demand in the legislative council, the state government, on Wednesday, sacked Dr S Malini, assistant director of the Forensic Science Laboratory here, on charges of submitting fake documents that furnished wrong information about her caste, and educational qualification for joining the service.

Janata Dal (Seculer) leader MC Nanaiah, who raised the issue in the council, demanded the government to immediately sack Dr Malini from service.

He stated that Malini had not only submitted false caste records, but also fake certificates of educational qualification, including SSLC marks card.

She is also accused of tampering with documents and brain mapping reports in Sister Abhaya murder case of Kerala.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Pedophiles are now empowered thanks to the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Examiner

February 28, 8:44 AM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

Part 1: Nancy Grace asks, What kind of a world do we live in that a 14 year old girl can disappear walking to school. Today pedophiles and other sexual predators appear to be empowered. One reason for this growing epidemic is, I believe, that criminals saw for at least the past 50 years the Catholic Church - which you’d expect to be a moral leader - harboring serial pedophiles and covering their felonies. Believe me other pedophiles saw what was going on in the Catholic Church, saw the bishops continue to let priests get away with sex crimes against children, and the pedophiles became empowered.

Most people hypothesize that bishops covered up pedophile priest sex crimes to protect the church’s reputation or assets.

Whatever the motivation, a residual effect of the church’s aiding and abetting pedophiles is that-

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

No Decision from the Synod For Archimandrite Karambis

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 2/28/2009
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON– It was revealed during the Holy Eparchial Synod’s meeting that Archimandrite Gabriel Karambis, the former priest of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Houston, Texas, claims that he has been a victim of blackmail by a masseur on February 18-19, 2009.

Archimandrite Karambis, was removed from his priestly duties and was placed on liturgical suspension in December 2008.

Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, in a letter to the Annunciation Cathedral Parish of Houston dated December 26, 2008, informed the parish that Rev. Karambis was removed from his priestly duties, placed on suspension and sent to the Spiritual Court of the Denver Metropolis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Please, no sordid details

OSV Daily Take

By Father Michael Orsi
Chaplain and Research Fellow, Ave Maria School of Law

Over the past few weeks, the Catholic Church has once again been roiled in scandal. This new controversy was sparked by revelations of a double-life led by the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado (1920-2008), founder of The Legion of Christ. After an internal investigation, the congregation discovered that Father Maciel had fathered a child, a daughter now in her twenties. Other reports from a former financial officer of the order tell of the founder taking large sums of money with him, for unexplained reasons, whenever he left Rome.

All of this follows years of accusations about sexual improprieties and the Vatican’s 2006 “invitation” to Father Maciel to retire from leadership of the order and lead a life of “prayer and penitence.”

The Legionaries have issued a very terse official statement: “We have learned some things about our founder’s life that are surprising and difficult for us to understand. We can confirm that there are some aspects of his life that were not appropriate for a Catholic priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Sister Jesme

INDIA
Outlook

John Mary interviews Sister Jesme

What provoked your break with the convent?

Convent authorities branded me a mental patient and tried to take me to a psychiatrist. So I’m trying to prove to the world I’m alright.

What did you have in mind when you wrote about the chance sexual encounters?

Wanted to be true to myself and my readers. Let the world know what’s happening within the four walls. It’s not what one expects.

Should priests and nuns give up celibacy?

Celibacy is laudable but very difficult. Let priests and nuns have the freedom to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Inquiry's final submissions heard, sessions wrap up

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By MICHAEL PEELING, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

After three years the Cornwall Public Inquiry has come to an end.

But the recommendations made as a result of its healing phase (known as Phase 2) by community groups expressed a common hope the inquiry's legacy would live on in the form of permanent victim support services.

Parties also expressed a desired to see a memorial to victims created and apologies issued from the perpetrators of abuse and the groups whose ignorance, actions and lack of actions allowed abuse to occur.

Of the eight parties which made submissions for Phase 2 of the inquiry, two chose not to deliver them orally to Commissioner Normand Glaude - the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Upper Canada District School Board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Memphis Diocese fires back over sex-abuse settlement

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Saturday, February 28, 2009

Although it agreed to pay $1.55 million for its part of a $2 million settlement in a priest sex-abuse case this week, the Catholic Diocese of Memphis said Friday it acted responsibly in investigating and dealing with the offending priest.

Rev. John Geaney, a diocesan spokesman, took issue with the plaintiff's attorney, who said the case of Juan Carlos Duran "fit the national profile" of priests who remain in the priesthood and are moved from place to place once they are caught.

"The Diocese of Memphis made no such admission during the negotiations of the settlement," said Geaney, who said the media have not accurately reported church efforts to deal with sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Former teacher at Kent Place School Summit, charged with sexual assault

NEW JERSEY
Independent Press

by Independent Press
Friday February 27, 2009, 11:08 AM
AREA -- A former teacher at a Summit private school, who also served as a minister of music at a Short Hills church, has been charged with sexual assault for an alleged relationship with a 15-year-old girl, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow and Summit Police Chief Robert Lucid announced on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Warren Halsey Brown, 67, was a music teacher at Kent Place School for nearly 15 years until leaving his position in October 2008. It was at the school, police allege, that Mr. Brown met the victim in September, 2007. It appears their relationship became sexual in September 2008, according to Prosecutor Romankow, who said Mr. Brown continued his relationship with the victim through activities outside of school for several months.

An investigation was launched after the victim's parents became suspicious and notified police. School officials have cooperated with the police during the investigation, said Mr. Romankow, and authorities have spent the last several days searching records and computer files related to the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Muncie man facing federal child-porn charges

MUNCIE (IN)
The Star-Press

By RICK YENCER • ryencer@muncie.gannett.com • February 28, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Muncie man with ties to a local church was charged Friday with distributing child pornography on the Internet following a federal investigation.

Aaron B. Huddleston, 22, was charged in U.S. District Court with distributing, via the Internet, 17 video files and 305 computer files with pornographic images involving infants, pre-teens and teenagers with adults.

The Internet address, according to the criminal complaint, was assigned to the defendant's father, Steve Huddleston, who lives in the 2400 block of Ivanhoe Drive, and is pastor at University Christian Church. The younger Huddleston was identified as a Bible school student focusing on youth outreach during a 2006 internship at another local church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Ex-pastor convicted of sexual abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sandy Martin Cook, the former pastor at Shrewsbury Church of God, looked down at the defense table and shook his head as the judge read the verdict Friday in his sex abuse trial: guilty on all counts.

As Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Irene C. Berger concluded, Cook, 49, broke down and covered his eyes with his hand as he began crying.

Tears also flowed in the crowded gallery, both behind Cook where his supporters sat, and behind prosecutors, where at least one of Cook's accusers sat holding hands with his wife.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Police: Gym teacher molested student

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record
.
By TERESA ANN BOECKEL and NICHOLE DOBO
Daily Record/Sunday News

Posted: 02/27/2009 06:40:04 PM EST

An elementary gym teacher with the York City School District was charged Thursday in Lycoming County with molesting an 11-year-old boy at a former job.

James R. Jamison, 34, whose address is listed as being in Trout Run, Lycoming County, faces numerous charges, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, unlawful contact with a minor and terroristic threats. ...

Authorities in Lycoming County earlier this month interviewed an 11-year-old boy who said Jamison had inappropriate contact with him while he attended first, second and fifth grade at St. Boniface Elementary School, court documents state.

Jamison worked as a physical education teacher at the school from 1998 until August 2008, said Bill Genello, a spokesman for the Scranton diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The diocese operates St. Boniface, which is now part of the St. John Neumann Regional Academy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Gym Teacher Faces Child Sex Charges

WILLIAMSPORT (PA)
MSNBC

Williamsport, Lycoming County-

A former gym teacher is in hot water over allegations he had illegal sexual contact with a young boy.

Investigators say the sexual abuse happened over a five year period between 2003 and 2008.

Theyre doing everything possible to make sure it never happens again.

34-year-old James Jamison faces 26 counts of child sexual abuse and related charges.

Prosecutors say the crimes happened while Jamison worked as a gym teacher at St. Boniface Elementary School in Williamsport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Attorney Irwin Zalkin on Archbishop Timothy Dolan: Friend or Foe of Sex Abuse Victims?

NEW YORK
eMediaWire

New York, NY (PRWEB) February 27, 2009 -- The city is abuzz over Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the newly appointed Archbishop of the New York Archdiocese. In particular, concerns have been raised over how Dolan will treat victims of sexual abuse.

Attorney Irwin Zalkin has secured settlements in excess of $200 million dollars representing hundreds of victims of childhood sexual abuse against various Catholic Diocese and institutions around the country, including victims of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Dolan's previous post. Just recently, Zalkin negotiated with Archbishop Dolan to successfully settle the case of an abuse victim of Father Siegfried Widera, a notorious serial pedophile who, after allegations of abuse were made against him, was transferred by the Milwaukee Diocese to the California Diocese where he proceeded to abuse at least another 10 victims.

Zalkin offers these insights about Archbishop Dolan:

"As the new Archbishop of New York - an obviously high-profile and coveted position in the Catholic Church - Archbishop Dolan will not be able to escape the intense local and national scrutiny over his treatment of sexual abuse victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Cardinal Mahony's Effort to Block Iraq War Veteran's Sexual Abuse Claim

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Injury Board

February 27, 2009 - 07:49 PM

Below is a story that details Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony acting in typical Cardinal Mahony fashion: As a suppresser of truth and a promoter of impostures and mistruths.

From Los Angeles CityBeat:

In 2002, with the Catholic Church molestation scandal erupting around him, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony took to the media to make an announcement: “We want every single thing out, open and dealt with, period,” he insisted.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese then spent the better part of a year stonewalling the release of church personnel files – which, when finally liberated, revealed the identities of the abusers and those who aided them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

February 27, 2009

Former Kanawha County Pastor Guilty

CHARLESTON (WV)
Metro News

The former Pastor at Shrewsbury Church of God has been convicted of sexually abusing several boys in the mid 1990s.

A Kanawha County jury returned with a guilty verdict against Sandy Cook on Friday afternoon after just a short time in deliberations behind closed doors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Ex-Fiji pastor charged with sexual offence

AUSTRALIA
Fiji Times

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Update: 11:22AM A FORMER Fiji resident and pastor has been charged with sexual and indecent assault and will appear in an Australian court next month.

The 62-year-old accused, believed to have worked as a bank officer here before he migrated, is scheduled to appear before Liverpool Local Court in New South Wales on March 9.

The resident of Green Valley, which is a suburb about 39 kilometres west of Sydneys central business district, is charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault following investigations into two historical incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Australian police seek help in case against ex-Fiji resident

AUSTRALIA
Fiji Times

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Update: 1:14PM EW South Wales police are seeking information on a former Fiji resident and preacher who is accused of sexually assaulting a church member about seven years ago.

The pastor, aged 62, has been accused by a young woman of having committed sexual and indecent assaults in 2002 and 2003. She was 13 years old then.

The woman, who married last year, reported the matter to police on the advice of a church superior, from whom she had sought marriage counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Archbishop O'Brien Will Not Close Legionary Academy

BALTIMORE (MD)
Zenit

By Karna Swanson

BALTIMORE, Maryland, FEB. 27, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Despite strong criticism of the Legionaries of Christ and its lay movement Regnum Christi, Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore does not plan to ask the congregation to leave his archdiocese, or close its school there.

The archbishop said this in a meeting Friday with Scott Brown, director of the Woodmont Academy, a school of the Legionaries of Christ in Cooksville, Maryland.

The director released a letter to parents today, in which he communicated that the archbishop believes Woodmont to be a "fine school which is in full compliance with the Office of Schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

The Latest Pedo-Priest Settlement: Denis Lyons (Again)

ORANGE (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
Just got off the phone with V. James DeSimone, attorney for a man who says pedo-priest Denis Lyons molested him as a child during the 1990s. They have settled their civil suit against the Catholic Diocese of Orange for an undisclosed amount. "Our client is pleased with the settlement, and looks forward to working with the district attorney's office," to bring criminal charges against Lyons, who has cost Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown more than $4 million in civil settlements. No personnel files will be released, per the judge's order and Brown's eternal gratitude. More to come Monday...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Diocese settles with man who claims sexual abuse

ORANGE (CA)
The Orange County Register

By ANDREW GALVIN
The Orange County Register

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has settled a lawsuit brought by a man who alleged he was sexually abused by a priest when he was a boy in Costa Mesa during the mid-1990s.

The terms of the settlement in the suit brought by Jonathan Kirrer, 24, weren't disclosed.

Kirrer claims that Rev. Denis Lyons sexually abused him when Kirrer was a student at St. John the Baptist School in 1994 and 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Was Paul Shanley railroaded?

MASSACHUSETTS
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

I've no doubt that the notorious Boston "street priest" Paul Shanley (now defrocked) was a bad man. He's sitting in prison for having sexually abused victims. But did he get a fair trial? Was his guilty verdict based in part on pseudo-science? The Nation writes:

Sex panics make for bad law. It could be said that they make for bad science, too, except that what has driven some of the most notorious legal cases to emerge from such panics has been more a masquerade of science, a belief tricked out in the language of medicine and social science to distract from the mumbo jumbo at its core. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to be the latest arena to test that belief, taking up the admissibility of "dissociative amnesia," or "repressed memory," in a case that some powerful interests no doubt hoped was as settled as the grave. The petitioner is Paul Shanley, a once famous "street priest" who became infamous in the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, was tried in 2005, convicted and sentenced to twelve to fifteen years in prison. Because the media, particularly the Boston Globe, were central to the allegations and the frenzy that provided the context, it has always been difficult to see the case plainly. But because justice, as opposed to its many stand-ins, is blind, imagine yourself or one you love as the defendant at the bar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

The Vatican turns on Williamson. About time, too.

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By: Damian Thompson

The Vatican has rejected Bishop Richard Williamson's carefully worded apology for his remarks about the Holocaust. Good. Williamson has no serious intention of recanting; that much is clear. Rome wanted him to change his views and, since he hasn't, it isn't satisfied with his apology.

I'm getting really fed up with Catholic traditionalists who temper their criticism of this despicable man. Thank God, many priests who say the older form of Mass are appalled by him: I spoke to one distinguished traditionalist priest this week who had vainly tried to warn the Vatican of Williamson's anti-Semitism before the decree of excommunication was lifted. "I even sent them the video of him saying those awful things," he said helplessly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Strategy needed for male abuse victims: inquiry

CANADA
Toronto Star

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CORNWALL, Ont. – Male victims of childhood sexual abuse need specialized support services and a provincial ombudsman dedicated to their plight, the Cornwall inquiry heard Friday as the $40-million probe drew to a close after three years of testimony.

The inquiry, established to examine institutional responses to allegations of sexual abuse in eastern Ontario, spent the majority of its final week hearing submissions dealing with allegations that a pedophile clan operated with impunity in the city for decades.

Lawyers at the inquiry cast the clan stories as fabrications spread by a misguided police officer and embraced by a panic-stricken community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Dead Girls and Live Boys Reconsidered

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Thing

By Austin Ruse
In 1983 Edwin Edwards, the flamboyant and controversial candidate for governor of Louisiana, famously said, “The only way I can lose this election is if I am caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.” As a general political proposition, only part of this may be true anymore.

A few weeks ago, the newly elected mayor of Portland, Oregon, admitted to having a sexual affair in 2005 with a much younger male legislative intern. Mayor Sam Adams insists his affair with Beau Breedlove did not turn sexual until after Breedlove’s eighteenth birthday. But he has also admitted getting Breedlove to lie about the affair.

There were calls for Adams’s resignation, even from the homosexual press, though the outrage among the gays was not about the affair per se, but over Adams’s lying and his role in getting his partner to lie. Adams says he is staying put in the mayor’s job, and the controversy seems to have died down. This quick disappearance from the news cycle shows how far we are from the 1983 world of Ed Edwards. Dead girls are still taboo. But live boys? That’s a whole other story.

In ”Pedophilia Chic” and “Pedophilia Chic Reconsidered”, published in The Weekly Standard in 1999 and 2001, our Catholic Thing colleague Mary Eberstadt explored the presence of pedophila in some then-current homosexual literature, and how this was gaining acceptance in mainstream publications. She also asked why more representatives of the homosexual establishment failed to condemn these themes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Historian points finger at man who oversaw national residential schools system

CANADA
Anglical Journal

LEIGH ANNE WILLIAMS
staff writer
Mar 1, 2009

Bob Beal says people in his profession are careful not to impose modern moral standards on the past and don’t focus on assigning blame, but his address to those attending the conference in Edmonton raised hard questions about why the system of residential schools continued for so long in Canada and even pointed a finger at one historical figure as bearing significant responsibility for it.

“In 1909, everybody knew ... that the residential schools were not working by any measure of success. They knew more than that. They knew that the schools were causing the deaths of children, literally, mainly from tuberculosis,” Mr. Beal said.

One of the major reasons the system continued in Canada was a man named Duncan Campbell Scott, Mr. Beal said. “In the history of Canadian residential schools, Duncan Campbell Scott looms very large.”

Scott was a celebrated Canadian poet and director of Indian Education. In 1913, Scott became deputy minister of the department of Indian Affairs, where he wielded a lot of power. “Scott was a racist by the standards of his own day,” Beal said. “Scott believed, literally, that savagery ran in Indian blood. It was inherited. It was genetic. That’s different from a lot of his contemporaries who were very much cultural supremists,” said Mr. Beal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Pastor Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
WOWK

CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County jury Friday afternoon found a Kanawha County pastor guilty after deliberating for about three hours.

Sandy Cook was charged with sexually abusing several teenage boys in 1994.

Cook was once senior pastor at Shrewsbury Church of God.

The victims were teenage boys that attended his church, three of them gave graphic details during the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Vatican rejects 'apology' from Holocaust-denial bishop Richard Williamson

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
The Roman Catholic Church said today that an apology by the English bishop who denies the full extent of the Holocaust did not go far enough.

European justice ministers are considering legal action against the bishop, who has been advised by his lawyers that he should not risk travelling to France or Germany.

Bishop Richard Williamson, a friend of revisionist historian David Irving and a traditionalist Catholic whose views on the Holocaust have outraged Jewish and other groups worldwide, apologised uesterday for the "distress" caused by his views but made no retraction of the views themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Murphy O’Connor must not be given a peerage

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

The Times reports today that the Government is considering offering a peerage to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, who is soon to retire as leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. This will be the first time a Catholic cleric has sat in Parliament since the reformation. ...

But worse than that, Murphy O’Connor appears to be being rewarded when he should be on the grill being asked to explain his activities in relation to the foul child abusing priest ‘Father’ Michael Hill.

In the 1980s Murphy O’Connor was the bishop of Arundel and Brighton. Although he was aware that one of his priests — Michael Hill — was a dangerous paedophile he did nothing to prevent his access to children. When the abuse came to light, Murphy O’Connor helped Hill to move from one parish to another,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Plymouth pastor placed on leave after allegation of abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

By Donis Tracy Pilot Correspondent
Posted: 2/27/2009 The Archdiocese of Boston announced Feb. 22 that Father Kenneth A. LeBlanc, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Plymouth, had been placed on administrative leave as a result of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The allegation was brought to the attention of the archdiocese by the Middlesex district attorney’s office and concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately 30 years ago, according to Kelly Lynch, a spokesperson for the archdiocese.

The victim created a website in 2008 detailing Father LeBlanc’s alleged sexual abuse of her when she was a 12-year-old parishioner at Most Blessed Sacrament parish in Wakefield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

A church collapsing without foundations

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

OPINION: Christopher Pearson | February 28, 2009

TOWARDS the end of pope John Paul II's long reign, the term "cafeteria Catholic" was coined.

It was a critical response to the free-ranging way middle-aged people in the First World had taken to picking those parts of the church's teaching and distinctive culture that they found congenial and unapologetically ignoring the rest, much as you might approach a smorgasbord. One extreme of the tendency was to focus on all the traditional aspects of church life except caring for the poor. Its polar opposite was to concentrate on social work initiatives and forget about the theological principles and habits of piety that used to underpin them.

In Australia, Catholicism long ago entered an unholy, tribal alliance with the ALP. Much of the national church has been captured by the clerical Left for upwards of 50 years and in the process come to trivialise what had always previously been regarded as non-negotiable elements of the faith. By some, for example, the sins of the flesh have been relativised away as anachronistic preoccupations, barely worth the bother of confessing by comparison with offences against the ideal of social justice. Universal salvation is pretty much expected and can best be ensured by good works. Insofar as it still registers, acknowledgement of the fatherhood of God generally plays second fiddle to an agenda based on the brotherhood of man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Macedonia Priest In Sex Blackmail Scandal

MACEDONIA
Balkan Insight

Skopje | 27 February 2009 |

A 68 year-old Macedonian Orthodox priest fell victim to an extortion plot after he was taped having sex with a 21-year old masseuse.

The priest said he initially went to the masseuse complaining of back pain. After a few sessions the girl offered him sex in exchange for money, and he accepted. After several intimate meetings, the girl used her mobile to tape them having sex and asked the priest for 5,000 euros in exchange for her silence, police spokesman Ivo Kotevski told media on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

PIX Exclusive: Man Confronts Rabbi He Says Molested Him

NEW YORK
WPIX

This links to a video presentation on the issue of sexual abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Abuse Cases

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego 6

[video presentation]

It's been almost two years since the Catholic Diocese of San Diego said it would settle the abuse cases filed against local priests. But now, abuse victims say the church has not stuck to its promise. 2/26/09

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Statement by Paul Livingston, San Diego SNAP leader

CALIFORNIA
Surivivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

(Background: Last Friday, in Los Angeles , Judge Emelie Elias dismissed five more Catholic clergy sex abuse and cover up cases because of the statute of limitations. However, just two weeks ago, a three judge panel in northern California ruled that essentially identical cases could proceed. The issue: how much time child sex abuse victims have to take legal action after they understand that their adult addictions, depression and other difficulties stem from their childhood victimization.)

It was almost a year ago when the new Pope visited the USA for the first time. He said ”The victims will need healing and help and assistance and reconciliation: this is a big pastoral engagement and I know that the Bishops and the priests and all Catholic people in the United States will do whatever possible to help, to assist, to heal.

He didn't say
"exploit every conceivable legal loophole"
"take advantage of every possible legal maneuver"
"hire really expensive and smart lawyers to prevent victims from having their day in court"
"do everything you can think of to keep clergy sex crimes and cover ups hidden"

But that's essentially what California's bishops are still doing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Priest fails to have conviction for raping schoolgirl overturned

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tim Healy

Friday February 27 2009

A Donegal priest yesterday lost his appeal against his conviction for raping a schoolgirl in a church sacristy over 20 years ago.

The Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the appeal brought by Fr Daniel Doherty (49), with an address at Derriscleigh, Carrigart, Co Donegal, against his conviction on two charges each of rape and indecent assault.

In May 2006, a jury found Doherty guilty of raping the then 13-year-old girl in the sacristy on dates in 1985, of indecently assaulting her in the parochial house in 1985, and in his car on a date in December 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

German religious groups reject Holocaust denier's apology

GERMANY
Yahoo! News

BERLIN (AFP) - Leading German religious groups have sharply rejected the apology of a British Holocaust-denying bishop, with a prominent Jewish organisation accusing him of continuing to hold his controversial views.

In this "throughly bungled" statement, Bishop Richard Williamson "unfortunately takes nothing back," Dieter Graumann, vice-president of the Central Council for Jews in Germany told the Handelsblatt newspaper.

The apology, made public on Thursday, "leads one to the conclusion that he still believes in the Holocaust-denial," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Cleveland Catholic Diocese starts hot line to report theft of church money

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Michael O'Malley/Plain Dealer Reporter February 27, 2009

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese has established a "financial misconduct" hot line for reporting thefts or suspicious dealings involving church funds.

The hot line comes in the wake of the convictions of the diocese's former chief financial officer, Joseph Smith, and Anton Zgoznik, who did accounting work for the diocese.

Smith had been accused of bilking the diocese of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a kickback scheme. He was acquitted of most of the charges, but convicted of six tax crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Sex abuse vicar appeal bid

UNITED KINGDOM
Hastings and St. Leonards Observer

Published Date: 27 February 2009

A former Sedlescombe vicar, who abused two youngsters when he was at a Northamptonshire church, is to appeal against some of his convictions and his sentence

Colin Ivor Pritchard, of St Augustine's Close, Bexhill, pleaded guilty to seven sex offences at Northampton Crown Court in July last year.

The 64-year-old was jailed for five years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Ramirez: ‘He said it was God’s will’

IOWA
The Messenger

By ABIGAIL McWILLIAM, Messenger news editor
POSTED: February 27, 2009

When Rebecca Ramirez came forth five years ago to protest at Michael Palmer's Victory Christian Academy in Jay, Fla., it was because she couldn't forget what happened to her when her parents sent her to the facility.

Ramirez said she was raped by Palmer in 1992 when she was a 16-year-old student at Victory. That's what led her back to the facility some 12 years later to speak out, she said.

Following her protest, Palmer left the facility and it was renamed Lighthouse of North West Florida.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

St. Paul man accuses former DeLaSalle High School brother of sexual abuse in the 1960s

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By John Brewer
jbrewer@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 02/27/2009 12:24:58 AM CST

DeLaSalle High School and two parent Roman Catholic organizations were named in a fraud lawsuit filed Thursday in Ramsey County. The suit alleges the groups covered up abuse by a DeLaSalle brother that led to another student being abused.

The suit accuses the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church; the Christian Brothers of Minnesota; and DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis of fraud because they allegedly knew of prior abuse by Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose but allowed him to continue working with children.

In a news conference Thursday, John Purdy, of St. Paul, and his attorney, Patrick Noaker of the Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm, said that while Purdy was a junior at DeLaSalle in 1966 and 1967, Rose repeatedly sexually abused him at the rectory of the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Goodbye Gruel World

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore City Paper

By Ian Grey

Until their doors were closed in 1996, the Irish branch of the Roman Catholic Church sent more than 30,000 "fallen women"--prostitutes, single mothers, social activists, the poor and orphaned--to Dickensian forced-labor camps called Magdalene asylums. Speaking was not allowed, food consisted of foul gruel; each day was a grind of backbreaking work in the for-profit laundries, uneasy sleep in hard-bed barracks, and punishment under the watch of sadistic Sisters of Mercy. The unfortunate inmates sometimes lived out their entire lives inside institution walls. The Magdalene Sisters, director/writer Peter Mullan's heartfelt indictment of this long obscure atrocity, is righteous, but its characters are unnecessarily reductive representatives of Innocence and Evil, with scant interest spent on the gray areas that inform the most awful actions.

The Magdalene Sisters opens with a series of miscalculations that reoccur throughout the film. At a 1964 Dublin wedding, a priest, accompanied by a group of Gaelic musicians, pounds with mounting creepy ecstasy on a drum while Mullan crosscuts to young Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) being raped by her cousin, to shots of crucifixes, and then to pious local menfolk. As the music climaxes, it fairly well looks like the priest will do the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Former pastor denies sex abuse charges

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Over and over again Thursday, Sandy Martin Cook denied any sexual impropriety with three teenage boys in the 1990s while he served as pastor for the Shrewsbury Church of God.

Each time defense attorney James Cagle asked him about the allegations made by the alleged victims, Cook, 49, shook his head and denied them in no uncertain terms: No, never, absolutely not, not once.

"I preached against that," Cook said when asked about a particular homosexual act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Troubling legacy

FORT DODGE (IA)
The Messenger

By ABIGAIL McWILLIAM, Messenger news editor
POSTED: February 27, 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: Messenger News Editor Abigail McWilliam began this package of stories when Michele Ulriksen contacted her to say Michael Palmer had returned to Fort Dodge.

A 16-year-old sex offender is living at an unlicensed children's care facility operated by the Harvest Baptist Church of Fort Dodge.

The facility, Anchor Character Training Center, 1940 225th St., is a coed home for troubled teens.

Trevor James Fuhrman was convicted in 2005 of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a girl under the age of 13, according to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. Fuhrman was convicted outside of the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Former pastor says church politics to blame for allegations

CHARLESTON (WV)
Daily Mail

by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pastor Sandy Cook took the witness stand in his trial and adamantly denied he ever had any sexual encounters with three boys in his youth program in the 1990s.

"No. Never. No. Never," he replied each time he was asked Thursday about specific testimony regarding sexual activity alleged by Michael Lewis, Jose Strickland and Michael Bradley.

Instead, Cook painted a picture of tumultuous church politics, power struggle and bruised egos that resulted when Lewis, 29, wanted to be minister of the Shrewsbury Church of God himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Lord Have Mercy …

SOUTH CAROLINA
FITSNews

Just when you thought South Carolina couldn’t get any more scandalous, along comes a story that literally blows the doors off of the joint …

A disgraced former judge, a Supreme Court hopeful and the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, S.C. all stand accused of collusion in an “altar boy” case that’s poised to rock this state’s judicial establishment to its core - and force S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal into perhaps the most precarious position of her career.

At issue is the startling accusation that attorneys who represented victims of sexual abuse colluded with a Circuit Court judge and the Charleston Diocese to pocket $2.5 million in legal fees and “steer away” future molestation charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Rumours of pedophile ring were fabrications, inquiry told

CANADA
North Bay Nugget

By ALLISON JONES, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Murky allegations that a pedophile clan operated with impunity in eastern Ontario were cast as fabrications spread by a misguided police officer and embraced by a panic-stricken community during four days of final submissions at the Cornwall inquiry.

Public agencies ill-equipped to handle sex abuse allegations, the equation of homosexuality with pedophilia and the presumption of guilt of accused abusers were all cited as factors in how rumours of the sex ring took root.

While the mandate of the inquiry, which has cost $40 million to date, was to examine institutional response to decades-old allegations of abuse, the majority of the submissions, which began Monday, focused on discrediting the clan theory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

$2 Million Paid To Priest Sex Abuse Victim

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis and the Dominican religious order have settled a lawsuit claiming a Memphis priest sexually abused a teenager, with a $2 million payment to the victim.

The dollar figure is the largest publicly disclosed in any of the lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by Memphis Catholic priests.

A settlement with the diocese was announced Feb. 16 in Circuit Court, leaving the claim against the Dominicans. A settlement of the John Doe claim against the Dominicans was announced Thursday morning before Circuit Court Judge Charles O. McPherson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Hands in the Till: When Priests Steal

Religion Dispatches

By Paul Gorrell
February 27, 2009

An awful lot of Catholic priests have been caught embezzling from their parishes lately. Is it a symptom of larger dysfunction in the Church?

In a West Palm Beach courtroom this past week, Rev. Francis Guinan was on the witness stand in his own defense. He was accused of stealing $488,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Delray Beach, Florida during his three-year stint as pastor. When asked on the stand about his use of parish money to pay for golf fees and trips to Las Vegas he answered that it was a “small compensation” for the service he had delivered to his parish. And he added that according to canon law he was entitled to spend the church’s money at his own discretion.

A month earlier, the previous pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer, Monsignor John Skehan, was found guilty of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church in just the five year period covered in the statute of limitations. The thefts of both men were discovered through an anonymous tip from a parishioner.

Within the last decade, the Catholic Church has begun to grapple with a crisis that turns out to be more pervasive than first imagined. Catholics and the press are beginning to connect the dots, just as they did in the case of the sexual abuse crisis, and are seeing a larger pattern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

A Former Nun's Memoirs Rock India's Catholic Church

INDIA
Time

By Madhur Singh Friday, Feb. 27, 2009

After 26 years as a nun, Jesme Raphael gave up her robes and walked out of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, the Catholic order in Kerala, India, that had been her home for three decades. Two years later, Raphael, now 53, has come out with her memoirs, Amen: An Autobiography of A Nun, cataloging lurid details of bullying, sexual abuse and homosexuality in the oldest Catholic women's order in the idyllic coastal state in southern India. Shocking as it is, the book is only the latest in a long series of accusations and scandals afflicting the Catholic Church in the state with the largest population of Christians in India.

"All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss [1 Corinthians 16:20]," Raphael quotes a priest as telling her, after she confronted him with allegations that "he kissed almost everyone who went for one-on-one meetings." In other episodes, she tells of a forced lesbian encounter, being forced to strip in front of a naked priest who then masturbated, and being accused of being mentally unstable on complaining to her superiors. (Watch an audio slideshow about young nuns in the U.S. who have taken their vows.)

Since the book's release on January 30, publishers DC Books have already sold all 3,000 copies, and a re-print has been ordered. The Catholic church is miffed. "There is no dearth of anti-religion people in Kerala society," says Dr Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council. "They are using this for their anti-social, anti-church activities." In 1957, Kerala elected the world's first democratically elected communist government, and it has been under communist rule since the last state elections in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Abuse claims thrived: lawyer

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

An "era of ignorance" allowed rumours to spread throughout Cornwall that a clan of pedophiles was sexually abusing children, a church lawyer argued Thursday.

David Sherriff-Scott told the Cornwall Public Inquiry there was no evidence to suggest Cornwall's rate of historical sexual abuse was any different from other communities in Ontario or Canada.

"What was different, however, was how certain people in the media, as well as the public, reacted to what unfolded in an era that was an era of ignorance of the issues," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

February 26, 2009

Bishop Richard Williamson Apology

UNITED KINGDOM
Zenit

LONDON, FEB. 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a declaration released today from Lefebvrite Bishop Richard Williamson, regarding his comments on the Holocaust in an interview aired in January by Swiss television.

* * *
The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.
Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Holocaust-denying bishop apologizes, but does not recant

UNITED KINGDOM
CNN

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The Catholic bishop who caused outrage for denying the Nazis had systematically murdered millions of Jews in the Holocaust apologized Thursday for his statements.

"I regret having made such remarks," Bishop Richard Williamson said in a statement on a Catholic Web site where he has posted in the past. "If I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them."

He did not retract the comments or say he had changed his mind about the Holocaust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Number of US Catholics declines by 398,000

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

February 26, 2009
Between the beginning and the end of 2007, the number of Catholics in the United States declined by nearly 400,000 to 67.1 million, according to the newly published 2009 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. The Catholic Church remains the largest ecclesial community in the United States. The number of Southern Baptists-- the nation’s second largest, with 16.3 million members-- declined by 40,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

How William Lobdell Lost His Faith in Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Published on February 25, 2009 at 12:40pm
Bad Faith
William Lobdell’s Losing My Religion describes how Orange County Christianity lost its most ardent journalistic supporter. Consider this: In Orange County, a place Harper’s described a couple of years ago as one of the two nexus points of American evangelical Christianity, neither the Los Angeles Times nor The Orange County Register bothers to employ a full-time religion reporter anymore. It’s now just another beat, somewhere between Aliso Viejo politics and Vector Control on the scale of importance for editors. And that’s a shame, not just because national religious stories emerge from here almost weekly, but because the papers were pioneers in covering matters of faith as a serious beat and not a freak show of big-haired Crouches and ever-smiling Schullers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Madoff and Maciel: Similar-minded fraudsters

National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 25, 2009
By Tom Gallagher

To watch interviews of victims of Bernard Madoff’s gargantuan Ponzi scheme, and then immediately switch to interviews of Legion of Christ priests, is to quickly lose track of which scoundrel is being discussed. The priests had just learned their founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (1920-2008), had a longtime lover and fathered a daughter now in her 20s.

The hucksters Madoff and Maciel resemble each other in so many ways that they appear to be identical twins.

Madoff preyed upon those who shared his Jewish heritage, among others. Maciel preyed upon pious people in Mexico before he spread his scam to dozens of other countries and headquartered his scheme in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Hikind To Host Morning Of Chizuk For Victims Of Abuse

NEW YORK
5 Towns Jewish Times

Published on Thursday, February 26, 2009

On Sunday, March 1, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn is scheduled to host a community-wide event entitled “A Morning of Chizuk” to show solidarity with victims of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community and to provide information to concerned citizens. The program includes inspirational speeches and the recitation of Tehillim.

Addressing the audience will be Dr. Benzion Twerski; Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, director of Iggud HaRabbanim; Shmelke Klein of Eitzah; and Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein, executive vice-president of Project Chazon, among others. “We are all guilty of not doing more to address sexual abuse in our community,” Hikind said. “The time has come to ask forgiveness from the victims and to pray for continued strength from G-d to combat this issue. I urge the community to join in this unprecedented event.” A Morning of Chizuk will be held at the Boro Park Y, 4912 14th Avenue, at 11:00 a.m. Separate seating for men and women will be available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Amount of historical sex abuse in Cornwall, Ont., not unique, lawyer says

CANADA
The Canadian Press

CORNWALL, Ont. — The Cornwall inquiry is hearing the amount of sexual abuse in the eastern Ontario city was no different than in any other Canadian community.

A lawyer for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall is presenting closing submissions at the inquiry, which is examining institutional response decades ago to sex abuse allegations.

The community was gripped with rumours of a pedophile ring operated by high-profile local officials after scores of allegations against priests, probation officers and others emerged in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Priest removed quietly in 2004

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — Contrary to this week’s public announcement about the removal from ministry of a Gallup diocesan priest for an old allegation of misconduct, the Independent has learned a Franciscan priest was removed from ministry in Gallup in 2004 without any local public announcement.

The Rev. Diego Mazon, a Franciscan priest who worked in the Diocese of Gallup for many years, was removed from his ministry in 2004 because of an old sex abuse allegation from the 1970s. Neither the Franciscans, nor officials with the Diocese of Gallup or the Archdiocese of Santa Fe made a local public announcement of the allegation, civil lawsuit, or legal settlement concerning Mazon.

Annette M. Klimka, the victim assistance coordinator for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, confirmed Mazon was removed from his ministry at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Gallup because of a clergy sex abuse allegation. Klimka was contacted about a 2005 civil lawsuit that was filed on behalf of an alleged female victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Vatican to be sued over sex abuse claims

UNITED STATES
Christian Child Abuse

Three men who claim they were abused by Catholic clergy in America have succeeded in naming the Vatican as sole defendant in a lawsuit and are hoping to force Pope Benedict XVI to give evidence in the case.

The 6th US circuit court of appeal recently ruled that although the Holy See, as a sovereign state, was immune from most lawsuits, the plaintiffs could proceed with their argument that its officials were involved in a deliberate effort to cover up evidence of sexual abuse by American priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Trespassing ex-parishioner gets probation

CHICAGO (IL)
Southtown Star

February 26, 2009

BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK Staff writer
A parishioner of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church isn't going to jail for trespassing at the Oak Lawn church he'd been banned from. But he's also not going back to his parish of 40 years.

Emanuel Papadopoulos, 52, was sentenced to six months of court supervision, convicted of misdemeanor trespassing. He was arrested in February 2008 at the church while attending a service commemorating his dead aunt. He had been banned in August 2007 by the Rev. John Artemas after a feud with the pastor about the church's finances.

Papadopoulos faced up to a year behind bars. Cook County Judge Colleen Ann Hyland said she chose the minimal sentence, citing the unusual circumstances of the trespassing case and Papadopoulos' history as an upstanding citizen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Church youth counselor accused of child rape is freed on bail

QUINCY (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

Posted Feb 26, 2009 @ 06:16 AM

QUINCY — .A youth counselor for a Baptist church that closed its doors in Quincy is free on bail after pleading innocent to raping a 14-year-old girl who was in his Bible study class.

Robert J. Morris Jr., 28, pleaded innocent at his Quincy District Court arraignment on Monday. He is charged with three counts of statutory rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older.

Morris, of 141 Commercial St., Braintree, was released on $3,000 bail and scheduled to return to court March 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Theft case brings Catholic churches' oversight into question again

FLORIDA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Ralph De La Cruz | Columnist
February 24, 2009

I suppose it's good that priests can be so inept at being bad.

Facing charges of grand theft, the Rev. Francis Benedict Guinan conceded he cooked the books at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. That he had indeed used church donations — money intended to help heal broken souls and feed the poor — to go gambling in Vegas.

Six times.

And the Bahamas. Three times. Not to mention countless Florida resort outings.

But it was OK, he explained. Because the Catholic Church didn't really consider it stealing. As long as he took the money $50,000 at a time, he could do with it as he saw fit. Even if the money was used to support his gambling, golfing and girlfriend, which sounds more like an expense account suited for Tony Soprano than a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Letter to Archbishop Gomez

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

February 25, 2009

Dear Archbishop Gomez:

We are men and women who were molested by clergy. We belong to a nationwide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Our mission is simple: to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

We are writing about two credibly accused clerics - one who has spent years in your archdiocese (Fr. Charles Miller) and one who was recently transferred there and lives in a parish today (Brother Richard Suttle). We worry about the safety of unsuspecting families who have been and are near these dangerous men even today. We are appalled by your silence about them and their crimes. We have warned San Antonio citizens and Catholics about the suspended sex offenders. We are sad and frustrated that you refuse to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Rebel priest agrees to mediation

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Rebel priest of St Mary's Church in Brisbane, Father Peter Kennedy, has agreed to a mediation process, the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane said today.

Fr Kennedy has refused to vacate the church after being sacked by the archbishop last Thursday for allegedly unorthodox practices.

"Lawyers for Father Peter Kennedy have responded positively on his behalf to an offer by the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Most Rev John Bathersby DD to enter into a process of mediation to resolve the current impasse at St Mary's South Brisbane," a statement from the Archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Donegal priest loses appeal against rape conviction

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 26 February 2009

A Co Donegal priest has lost his appeal against his conviction for raping a teenage parishioner in the church sacristy over 20 years ago.

Forty-nine-year-old Daniel Doherty, from Derriscleigh, Carrigart, challenged his 2006 conviction on a number of grounds, including that statements taken from two witnesses who were in the US and unavailable to attend the trial should not have been before the jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Victims advocacy group presses archbishop for action

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

By Abe Levy - Express-News

A victims advocacy group is asking for an apology from San Antonio Archbishop José Gomez for what it described as his inaction and silence in dealing with two Catholic clergymen whose religious orders recently found claims of them each having sexually abused a teenager to be credible.

Barbara Garcia-Boehland, local director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, hand delivered a letter addressed to Gomez at the archdiocesan headquarters Wednesday afternoon. A department director for the archdiocese told her Gomez was not in the office but assured her the letter would be delivered.

Garcia-Boehland said she left phone messages and has written letters for the past couple of weeks to Gomez about her concerns but has received no response. The letter she sent Wednesday raised the same concerns that Gomez and other Catholic officials were not doing enough to hold two clergy accountable for their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Anti-Catholic Groups

ARKANSAS
Southern Poverty Law Center

Tony Alamo Christian Ministries faces an uncertain future with its controversial Catholic-bashing, gay-hating, pro-polygamy, convicted tax-cheat founder scheduled to go to trial Feb. 2 on federal charges stemming from his alleged sexual contact with underage girls.

Alamo — whose birth name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman — and his late wife, Susan, began the ministry in 1969 in California. Among other things, followers were warned that if they left the church they would burn in hell. Wayward disciples were dealt punishments ranging from beatings to losing their spouse and children. The Alamos moved their headquarters to Arkansas in 1975, and that's where Tony Alamo, 74, has been jailed since September.

Six days before his arrest, about 100 state and federal law enforcement officers raided the Alamo Ministries' 15-acre compound in the small town of Fouke, near the Texas state line, following allegations of child pornography and other child abuse there. Six girls aged 10 to 17 were taken into temporary state custody. Alamo was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting an underage girl's transport across state lines for sex in 2004 and 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

No criminal check on Minneapolis choir director accused of sexual assault

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

By PATRICE RELERFORD, Star Tribune

Last update: February 25, 2009 - 10:41 PM

A local gospel singer and choir director who has been charged with sexually assaulting an underage Brooklyn Park girl was a contract music teacher in three schools on Minneapolis' North Side, though he was on probation in connection with an earlier sexual assault.

Nobody with the district ran a criminal check on Gregory B. Washington before he was hired. District policy requires contractors to complete background checks on their employees and the district reserves the right to review individual employees records. But in this case, Washington owns Miraculous Music, a music production and education group that contracted to teach at the Jenny Lind Elementary/Olson Middle upper campus and Cityview Elementary School in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Sex offender guilty again

DOUBLE SPRINGS (AL)
Times Daily

By Tom Smith
Senior Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 3:30 a.m.

DOUBLE SPRINGS - A former Haleyville Sunday School teacher and convicted sex offender from Michigan was found guilty Tuesday of sexually abusing a child.

County Circuit Court officials said it took a jury five minutes to find Jerry Ray King, 47, of 983 Winston 36, guilty of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

King has not been sentenced, but faces the possibility of 15 years to life in prison because he is being sentenced as a habitual felony offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

More testify against ex-pastor in sex abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two more alleged victims testified Wednesday in Kanawha Circuit Court that a Shrewsbury minister sexually molested them when they were teenagers in the 1990s.

Sandy Martin Cook, 49, of Belle, faces multiple charges of third-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian for alleged sexual misconduct with several boys while he was senior pastor of the Shrewsbury Church of God.

One of the alleged victims, Michael "Andy" Lewis, said he was abused by Cook after he moved in with the minister during high school. Lewis is now a minister at the New Life Center in Cedar Grove.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Complaint filed in diocese settlement case

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Thursday, February 26, 2009

Attorneys representing sex abuse victims colluded with a circuit judge and the Catholic Diocese to pocket $2.5 million and steer away future molestation cases, a complaint filed with the state Supreme Court claims.

The complaint, filed in December by Greenville lawyer J. David Flowers, alleges negligence and breach of fiduciary duty by class counsel; civil conspiracy by class counsel, the diocese and Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein; and "outrage against all Defendants."

"Collusion by a church, lawyers and a judge to harm the rights and interests of victims of sexual abuse constitutes extreme and outrageous conduct which exceeds all possible bounds of decency and which must be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the complaint states. ...

Larry Richter and David Haller, the two attorneys who represented the class of victims, strongly denied the allegations. Goodstein did not return phone and e-mail queries by The Post and Courier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Former Virginia Beach teacher sentenced in child porn case

NORFOLK (VA)
The Virginian-Pilot

By Tim McGlone
The Virginian-Pilot
February 26, 2009
NORFOLK

Former Green Run High School teacher and coach Michael J. Jablonski became one of 1,600 people caught looking at child pornography last year.

That's more than double the number caught by federal authorities just four years earlier. ...

Jablonski explained the abuse to the judge, but he began crying and had to pause.

First it was a neighborhood boy when he was 7. Then a year or two later he was attacked and sodomized with a stick. Then a Catholic priest fondled him when he was 14. And at 18, another priest touched him inappropriately.

He could barely finish.

"For 30 years I never told anyone about it," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan

NEW YORK
Time

By Lauren E. Bohn Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009

A beloved Milwaukee priest known for his jocular demeanor (he once said Mass in a bright orange Wisconsin 'cheese-head' hat) and for restoring the Archdiocese's reputation following a sex scandal, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, 59, is set to be the next Archbishop of New York, perhaps the nation's most prominent pulpit. Dolan inherits the second-largest Archdiocese in the United States, home to 2.5 million Catholics in nearly 400 churches, on April 15. Known as a staunch defender of church orthodoxy, he is succeeding retiring Cardinal Edward Egan at a crucial time: the church in New York faces a bleak economic future and is dealing with the fallout from a spate of controversial church and school closings. His resume indicates he's well-suited for the challenge: Dolan helped unite the fragmented Catholic community in Milwaukee and staved off bankruptcy amid costly lawsuits stemming from the Catholic church's sex abuse scandals of the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Leduc lawyer says her client not part of conspiracy

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

City lawyer Jacques Leduc did not conspire to cover up allegations of historical sexual abuse, his attorney argued Wednesday.

"The invitation to find (there was) a criminal conspiracy involving Mr. Leduc must be rejected," said Danielle Robitaille during the third day of submissions at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

In 1993, Leduc represented the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese in its negotiations with David Silmser, a former altar boy who was alleging he was sexually abused by a local priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

February 25, 2009

Legion-Who is in Charge?

The Cathoholic

Joan Frawley Desmond

Once again, the long-awaited statement from the Legion of Christ has been delayed. According to press reports, the statement was expected to establish an authoritative narrative and clarify disputed points regarding recent disclosures that the order's founder, Father Marcial Maciel maintained a mistress and fathered a child. It was also expected to set up a plan for dealing with the Legion's on-going problems with establishing its future course and reviewing its charism in the wake of the crisis.

Even Legion priests aren't sure why the statement has been delayed. And some members of the order now question whether the document is being issued by the Legion or the Curia, where a number of powerful cardinals are weighing in with their specific concerns. In other words, who is in charge?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Vigilante cop's crusade hampered pedophile investigation, inquiry hears

CANADA
The Canadian Press

CORNWALL, Ont. — The unearthing historic sexual abuse allegations in eastern Ontario, rumours of powerful men involved in a pedophile ring and the derailed investigations and prosecutions that followed all begin and end with Perry Dunlop, a public inquiry heard Wednesday.

While the former police constable set in motion the events that saw 15 people charged, any subsequent failings were largely of the vigilante officer's own making, a provincial police lawyer told the Cornwall inquiry.

When Ontario Provincial Police began probing child sexual abuse allegations brought forward by Dunlop, his refusal to co-operate with the force seriously impeded the Project Truth investigation, said lawyer Neil Kozloff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Sex abuse means never having to say 'sorry'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles City Beat

By Matthew Fleischer

Look out kid, it’s somethin’ you did God knows when, but you’re doin’ it again –Bob Dylan

Several weeks ago, City Beat ran an article detailing the legal efforts of Cardinal Roger Mahony’s Los Angeles Archdiocese to deny a man his day in court.

In that story, we detailed the case of Iraq war veteran John TH Doe, as he is identified in court documents. Doe claims he was molested by an L.A.-area Catholic priest as a teenager, but was on active military duty when a 2003 legal window opened that would have allowed him to file suit. Federal law grants extensions to military personnel involved in legal battles, but Mahony’s team argued that the law didn’t apply to Doe. ...

One commenter wasn’t quite so supportive. Los Angeles Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg alleged a litany of errors in our story and demanded its retraction.

“Neither Cardinal Mahony nor the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are named in the lawsuit,” Tamberg wrote. “The Archdiocese merely appeared at a hearing called to determine whether there are enough facts to allow the man’s complaint to proceed at all.”

Could we really have screwed up that badly?

As it turns out, no.

“Tamberg is parsing words,” says John TH Doe’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi. “In molestation suits where the plaintiff is over the age of 26, defendants can’t actually be named until the discovery period of the trial, when the judge issues what’s called a certificate of corroborative fact. Until that point the plaintiffs are given Doe names.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

I bet the man arrested for child porn in a Covina church was a pedophile priest

COVINA (CA)
Examiner

February 25, 8:27 AM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

From recent pedophile priest protest at LA Cathedral, Kay Ebeling 2009.His behavior betrays he was likely a child sex crime victim himself. He would sneak into San Gabriel Valley churches with child pornography, do whatever... then hide his stash of pictures in the wall. "While preparing for the nursery to be recarpeted, a worker pulled a changing table away from the wall and discovered a plastic bag containing a number of papers - some of the paper contained images of child pornography," an agent wrote in an affidavit.

Schools should not be part of bankruptcy, Jesuits say

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

Just as the ownership status of parish property became the main question in the Archdiocese of Portland bankruptcy, the Jesuits of the Oregon Province will face pressure over Northwest schools they founded.

Both the archdiocese and the Jesuits were forced into bankruptcy by clergy sex abuse suits seeking multimillion-dollar sums. In both instances, the suits involve a relatively small number of priests who allegedly committed abuse decades ago.

As part of its 2007 bankruptcy settlement, the archdiocese separately incorporated parishes, a step the Jesuits took with their schools as early as the 19th century. That, the Jesuits say, means school assets and property are not available to pay off lawsuits against the province.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Australian newspaper strongly backs Brisbane's archbishop against rebel pastor

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

February 25, 2009
An Australian newspaper that has closely followed the confrontation between a Brisbane pastor and his archbishop has published an editorial suggesting that the priest should be ousted from his position-- with a police escort, if necessary. The Australian reasons that the Church has the right to define its own doctrinal and liturgical standards:

In a secular democracy, Father Kennedy is free to reject the Virgin Birth, sell books doubting the divinity of Christ, promote self-discovery and admit he wouldn't talk to God. But if he insists that Sunday services be taken up with psychobabble, new age cliches, personal ramblings and green left rhetoric, he should consider taking up social work or setting up on different premises…

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

“I don’t wanna hear all this bad stuff”, Part I: Orsi on Maciel

UNITED STATES
AveWatch

Ave Maria School of Law Chaplain Fr. Michael Orsi is back on the radio, this time on a station that will allow him to be heard in both Detroit and Naples, Florida. According to AMSL, Orsi will have his own studio in Florida, and will work toward “a daily morning broadcast live from the School”. Get ready south Florida and Diocese of Venice; you’ll be able to hear lots more stuff like the following from Tom Monaghan’s perpetually “agitated” priest (links go to story and audio):
- on sexual molestation
- on immigration
- on the sexual accountability of minors
- on discrimination
- on immodest dress and rape

In his February 7, 2009 radio program, Orsi shared his opinion of the perverted double-life led by Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaires (Regnum Christi). We have an MP3 of those comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

The Future of the Legion and the SSPX

Inside Catholic

by John Zmirak
2/25/09

There are two big questions hanging in the air among my friends:

•What will happen to the members of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi?
•What will happen between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X?

These issues keep our attention for a shaggy passel of reasons, ranging from heartbroken concern for wounded souls and the fate of the Church to gossipy, prurient rubbernecking. It's hard to look away. Don't worry, we aren't obliged to. Instead, we need to train our gaze to look for the right things and through the proper set of lenses. The Irish monsignors (remember them?) used to talk about "custody of the eyes," and that's one virtue each of us might think about cultivating this Lent.

I'm mentioning these movements (the Legionaries and the SSPX) together not simply because they both grabbed the headlines in the same month, but because they share essential elements in common: Each became important because it served as a refuge for confused and persecuted Catholics from local pastors and ordinaries who neglected their duties as shepherds -- some of whom proved to be wolves. So baptized Catholics who'd kept the Faith "fled the occasion." They abandoned the parishes where they were being scandalized, and sought alternative sources of wholesome, untainted teaching and reverent worship. Some clung to the ancient form of the liturgy, others to the veneration of the person of the pope. (The fact that Catholics had to choose between these is a scandal for which high clerics will answer to Christ.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

“Los legionarios hablan de la amante de Maciel para ocultar su pederastia”

CHILE
La Nacion

Fue reclutado para formar parte de los Legionarios de Cristo en 1950 y vivió de cerca los excesos del fundador de la orden. Ha escrito y reescrito su experiencia. Aquí recuerda los abusos, las jornadas de masturbación a las que lo sometía Marcial Maciel y lanza sus teorías respecto a la confirmación de la existencia de una amante y una hija del sacerdote: “Su paternidad puede redimir en algo al monstruo que era”.

En Tamaulipas, uno de los estados de México, todo es contradictorio. Es la cuna y dominio de Los Zetas, antiguos militares de elite que desertaron y se transformaron en los temidos sicarios del Cartel del Golfo; pero en los últimos años en ese lugar han disminuido las muertes y los asesinatos por encargo. La zona es tan católica como el resto del país, pero según los lugareños, los mandamientos son un mito. Si una mujer encuentra a su hombre con otra, simplemente se busca un amante en venganza. De los tres millones de habitantes, cerca de dos millones conviven con la pobreza, pero los tamaulipecos no paran de cantar: al igual que casi en todo México, ellos también tienen festival internacional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Sobrino de Marcial Maciel se lanza en picada contra Legionarios de Cristo

CHILE
Tiempos de la Internet

SANTIAGO, Chile, feb 22 --
Alejandro Espinosa, sobrino del líder de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel, denunció que la cuestionada congregación religiosa habla de la amante de Maciel “para ocultar su pederastia”.

“Me impresionó la forma en que se conoció la noticia porque salió de dentro de la secta. Llevan 12 años aferrándose a la mentira de que Maciel nunca tuvo una conducta impropia y ni mucho menos cometió delitos de pederastia. Es sorprendente que aceptaran el aspecto de su doble vida. Creen que poniéndolo de mujeriego van a quitar el estigma de pederasta, de hombre frívolo que no hizo nada en su vida”, señaló Espinosa en una entrevista con el diario chileno la Nación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Archbishop O'Brien raises concerns about Legion of Christ

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Catholic Review

By George P. Matysek Jr.
The Catholic Review

Concerned that the Legion of Christ stifles the free will of its members and lacks transparency, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien told the religious order’s director general that he cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone join the Legion or Regnum Christi, its affiliated lay movement.

In the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Legion of Christ is affiliated with Woodmont Academy in Cooksville. Regnum Christi is also active in several parishes.

The archbishop’s action came in the wake of revelations that Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legion of Christ, fathered a daughter while serving as leader of the international religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

NY1 Special Report: New Archbishop Says Church Has Learned From Sex Scandal

MILWAUKEE (WI)
NY1

[with video]

By: NY1 News

On this Ash Wednesday, New York's new Archbishop Timothy Dolan sat down with NY1's Dean Meminger for an interview to discuss the issues facing New York's Catholic Church.

Among his stops on his final Ash Wednesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was St. Pius XI High School, where he bid farewell to the students and spoke with NY1.

During the interview, Dolan discussed the sensitive issue of sex abuse in the church.

"One of the good facts that has come from this is terrible thing is now we know what we're supposed to do and should have been doing a long time ago," he said. "So now, if somebody writes to me or somebody goes to the principal and says a priest abused them or acted improperly, you call the police immediately. You call the police. You call child advocacy. It's out of our hands and rightly so. We'd do the same thing somebody in a public school would do if someone said the janitor followed me into the bathroom and tried to do something bad. They would call the police. And that's what we do."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Sex abuse victims challenge archbishop

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will try to hand deliver a letter to San Antonio's Catholic archbishop urging him to
-- oust a credibly accused predator who's now at a local parish,
-- reach out to anyone who was hurt by him or by another recently 'outed' pedophile priest,
-- apologize and explain why he's keeping secret about the 2 accused sex offenders in his archdiocese, and
-- disclose the names & whereabouts of any other child-molesting clergymen who are or were here (whether diocesan or religious order priests).

WHEN
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
2718 W. Woodlawn, San Antonio

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Pedophile suspected of using Covina church to hide porno stash

COVINA (CA)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Daniel Tedford, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/24/2009 11:44:49 AM PST

COVINA - A convicted sex offender who has habitually used local churches to house and view child pornography has been indicted for the same offense.

Richard Michael Welton, 48, of Covina was caught stashing pages of child pornography at the First Presbyterian Church in Covina in 2008, according to a court affidavit released by federal prosecutors Monday.

The pages were found in 2007, but fingerprints led the FBI to Welton a year later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's Lenten Message for 2009.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

According to the calendar, Ash Wednesday occurs this week and we begin another Lent.

Except for this year. ...

For me personally, this Lent means embracing the new wearisome burdens, difficulties, and unexpected hardships that have confronted me on my journey of life and faith. I can’t pretend that these difficult burdens aren’t there, nor can I try to somehow sneak around them and move on—neither approach works. What I must do is recognize them, embrace them, realize I can’t carry them alone, and “make sacred” all that surrounds me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Priest guilty of sex attack

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Wednesday February 25 2009

A FORMER parish priest will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to charges of indecent assault.

Peter Cribben faced Judge Michael O'Shea in Naas Circuit Court yesterday charged with indecently assaulting a male in the 1980s.

The 68-year-old served as parish priest of Rhode, Co Offaly from 1994 until he took administrative leave in October 2006. Mr Cribben has addresses at Bishop's House, Carlow, Co Carlow, and the Parochial House, Rhode, Co Offaly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Ex-Newbridge priest's sentencing date is set

IRELAND
Leinster Leader

Published Date: 25 February 2009
A PRIEST who has faced a charge of indecent assault of a male is set to be sentenced at Naas Circuit Court on March 6 next.

68-year-old Peter Cribben has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the male at the Curragh, Newbridge on a date unknown between June 1, 1988 and August 31, 1988.

He appeared in Naas Circuit Court yesterday, Tuesday, February 24 where he was sent for sentence. He is currently on bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

No retrial for pedophile

AUSTRALIA
WAToday

Sarah-Jane Collins
February 25, 2009
NOTORIOUS pedophile and former Catholic priest Michael Charles Glennon has been granted a permanent stay on a retrial for charges relating to the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy.

Glennon is currently serving a minimum 10-year sentence after being convicted of the rape and sexual abuse of a number of other young boys. His original conviction in relation to the alleged victim, known as JC, was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2005.

His retrial on charges of rape and indecent assault relating to the alleged incidents with JC was due to start in the County Court this week, but on Tuesday Judge Geoff Chettle granted a permanent stay in the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

A good start but Church still has long way to go

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Shane Dunphy

Wednesday February 25 2009

The first annual report of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, a copy of which will be sent to each diocese in the coming weeks, was published yesterday.

It highlights both the shortfalls in practice that have been so prevalent in the past, and also the good practice where it does occur, underscoring the fact that all dioceses, according to evidence gathered by the board, are now in full accordance with nationally agreed standards of practice. The report also states that 56 allegations of abuse -- of varying levels of seriousness -- were reported to the relevant authorities last year by the Church.

The board has published new guidelines on protecting children, and lays out new procedures in terms of reporting incidents of suspected abuse which all dioceses and congregations should adhere to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Many questions still remain, say victims and charities

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ralph Riegel and Louise Hogan

Wednesday February 25 2009

SEX abuse victims yesterday accused the Catholic Church of failing to address crucial concerns in its latest child protection guidelines.

The One in Four group said many questions remain about 'Safeguarding Children' standards, issued yesterday in the aftermath of recent controversy over child safety measures in the Cloyne diocese in Cork.

More revelations came even as the publication of the first report from the Church's independent watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC), was touted as an indication of the Church's resolve to protect young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Archbishop hails guidelines for clerical abuse database

IRELAND
Irish Independent

[First report of the national board]

[Standards and guidance document]

By John Cooney

Wednesday February 25 2009

The Archbishop of Dublin last night welcomed revised child protection guidelines issued by the Catholic Church's abuse watchdog that will result in the setting up of a new database of clerical abuse allegations on both sides of the Border.

Dr Diarmuid Martin said it was "a frightening fact" that it was impossible to establish the exact number of sex abuse allegations in each diocese because previous reporting of allegations was so unreliable.

And he sought further assurances from other bishops and religious leaders that revised Church guidelines on child protection would be applied in a coherent and consistent manner throughout the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Protecting our children

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Wednesday February 25 2009

ONCE again, the Archbishop of Dublin is not happy about the protection of children. The Catholic Church's National Board for the Safeguarding of Children (NBSC) has reported that "procedures are now in place" in the diocese of Cloyne.

It will be remembered that, before Christmas, Bishop John Magee's handling of cases of abuse of children in the diocese was criticised in very strong terms by the NBSC. The bishop had rejected calls for his retirement, or resignation, from victims' groups, public representatives and priests. The minister with responsibility for children ordered a fresh investigation.

Despite the NBSC assurance that clerics who fail to blow the whistle on suspected paedophile priests will be reported to the gardai and the HSE, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin still believes more work is needed to ensure that the extent of clerical child abuse is fully investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Judge denies jury questionnaires in Alamo case

ARKANSAS
Pine Bluff Commercial

By JON GAMBRELL
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 4:45 AM CST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Potential jurors in the child-abuse case against jailed evangelist Tony Alamo will discuss their feelings on sex and religion in person, not on paper, a federal judge has decided.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes turned down a joint request by federal prosecutors and the evangelist's lawyers to have potential jurors fill out questionnaires before Alamo's trial. Both sides requested the written queries, saying it would "minimize juror discomfort" over questions about delicate topics like sex and religion.

In a two-page order dated Friday, Barnes wrote that the typical process of questioning jurors all together before trial would be sufficient in the evangelist's case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

KIDS THESE DAYS: Religion good for kids

CALIFORNIA
Daily Pilot

By Steve Smith
Updated: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:43 AM PST

Jonathan Kirrer says in a new lawsuit that he was repeatedly molested by Father Denis Lyons at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa.

Albert Lee Schildknecht is the one-time music director at St. Timothy Catholic Church who recently pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman when she was 16 and living in Costa Mesa. Schildknecht received five years’ probation.

In Newport Beach, St. Andrews Church struggles with the 2008 decision by Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA), who overturned a long-standing ban on the ordination of gays and lesbians.

“Already, many of our strongest churches, including mine, are losing members who are disgusted with a political operation that is not Christ-oriented or Scripture-oriented,” the Rev. John Huffman of St. Andrews was quoted as saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Alleged victim recounts sex acts with minister

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Shrewsbury minister used his position as a father figure to lure a teenager into repeated sexual encounters, an alleged victim testified Tuesday in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Sandy Martin Cook, former senior pastor at the Church of God, was indicted by a grand jury on multiple sexual abuse charges in September 2008. About a year earlier, several men came forward and accused Cook of assaulting them as teenagers in the 1990s.

One of those men, Jose Strickland, now 26, said Tuesday that he initially regarded Cook as a role model when he first started attending services at his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Man testifies in former pastor's sex abuse case

CHARLESTON (WV)
Daily Mail

by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The former pastor of Shrewsbury Church of God shook his head as first a prosecutor and then an alleged victim detailed sexual acts he is accused of performing on three boys in the 1990s.

Sandy Martin Cook, 50, of Belle is on trial for committing those crimes against the boys, who were then between the ages of 12 and 17.

One of the alleged victims, Jose Strickland, 26, of Ripley was the first to testify Tuesday against the minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Silence to Hope project receives $75,000 from diocese

CANADA
The Chatham Daily News

The Silence to Hope (STH) project has received $75,000 from the Diocese of London to help male victims of sexual abuse

In 2007, the diocese began funding services for male survivors of sexual abuse through the project.

The initiative covers Essex, Kent, Lambton, Huron, Perth, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, and Norfolk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Guidelines on child sexual abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

DETAILED GUIDELINES on how religious authorities should respond to allegations of child sexual abuse by clerical and lay persons have been published by the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church. To be effective, procedures have to be rigorously implemented at all levels. And the unfortunate history of this difficult area is that three other attempts at ethical rule-making have failed to achieve the desired results. A culture of denial and cover-up continues to survive within the Catholic Hierarchy.

This time, the outcome may be different. Certainly, an opportunity has been created for Catholic bishops and religious orders to confront their shameful responses to the horrors of child sexual abuse and to shake off the unforgiving hand of history.

New reporting and investigative structures will have to be formally adopted by bishops and the heads of religious orders. Civil agencies, such as the Health Service Executive and the Garda Síochána, will have to be advised of allegations involving sexual abuse and members of the clergy as soon as possible. And, most importantly, a series of audits will have to be conducted at local, diocesan and national level to establish the efficacy of the new arrangements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Church policy aims to show way in safeguarding child from abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: Drawing on awful lessons learned from its laxness in reacting to reports of child abuse, the Catholic Church now focuses its powers of nurture in protecting children, AIDAN CANAVAN .

OVER RECENT years, we have become accustomed to church leaders issuing apologies for the terrible pain caused by the clerical abuse of children and young people, which is both a crime and a sin. Important though apologies are, they are not enough. Apologies may express heartfelt sorrow and compassion, but they do not, in themselves, protect a single child into the future.

It was in the realisation of the need to move beyond apologies, no matter how sincere or important, that the Catholic Church leadership in Ireland set up the National Board for Child Protection, as it was then called, in 2006, as part of the programme set out in Our Children, Our Church , which had been published at the end of 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Information on handling of abuse claims reveals unbelievable confusion

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

ANALYSIS: IT HAS been almost seven years since the Catholic bishops first announced an audit of its child protection practices and an intention to publish the findings. That followed the resignation of Bishop Brendan Comiskey in April 2002. We have yet to have either audit or report.

What was published yesterday by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), an agency set up by the Catholic Church in 2006 but which operates independently of it, was “a work in progress, absolutely,” agreed NBSC chairman Aidan Canavan yesterday.

It is easy to see why.

Yesterday’s report noted that over the past 18 months the NBSC has been collating information on how church bodies were dealing with child protection issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Code does not address fundamental concerns, says victims' group

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CARL O'BRIEN

REACTION: NEW CHILD protection guidelines for the Catholic Church received a mixed reaction from groups which provide support to abuse victims yesterday.

One in Four expressed concern that the Safeguarding Children document did not address fundamental concerns about the church’s ability to protect children. In particular, it raised concerns that bishops’ “designated delegates” – officials responsible for dealing with abuse allegations – will conduct a preliminary internal inquiry before deciding if an allegation should be referred to civil authorities.

“Do church personnel have the expertise to do this? In our view, only the gardaí or HSE social workers have the professional competence to undertake such an investigation and to decide if further action is warranted. This discretionary authority must be removed from the church,” One in Four’s executive director Maeve Lewis said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Prompt reporting to civil authorities compulsory

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CARL O'BRIEN

GUIDELINES: CATHOLIC CHURCH authorities must ensure all allegations or suspicions of child abuse are promptly reported to civil authorities under new national guidelines aimed at safeguarding children.

The guidelines, published by the church’s child safety watchdog yesterday, are aimed at providing a common approach to child protection across the church’s 1,365 parishes, 26 dioceses and 166 religious congregations on the island.

As well as setting out clear guidelines and standards on how to respond quickly to suspicions of abuse, church organisations will be obliged to audit themselves to ensure they are in compliance with new rules. It also says priests dealing with child protection matters should be banned from hearing the confession of an accused priest because of “the obligations of the sacramental seal”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Two more sex abuse claims followed Cloyne report

[First report of the national board]

[Standards and guidance document]

PATSY McGARRY

TWO FURTHER unreported cases of allegations of clerical child sex abuse were brought to the attention of the Catholic Church watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), following publication of its Cloyne Report on December 19th last. As with the two cases dealt with in the Cloyne Report, these latter two were also brought to NBSC’s attention by third parties.

The board had not been told of the two cases by either the diocese or the religious congregation, both of which were in the Republic. The NBSC declined to give further details other than saying the diocese in question was not Cloyne.

The new cases are revealed in the NBSC’s first report, published yesterday. Ian Elliott, chief executive of the NBSC, said that in dealing with the two new cases they “had been very impressed by the response” of relevant church authorities, “who had been open to learning from the past”. He said the alleged perpetrator in both instances was found not to represent any current risk to children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Dolan has always had embracing persona

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Gary Stern
The Journal News • February 25, 2009

Michael Morris was heading to a Mass in 1979 at the great Catholic basilica in Washington when he overheard a young priest preaching to a group of pilgrims from St. Louis. He stopped to listen and came away impressed.

"He had a personality that was very magnetic," Morris recalled. ...

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is struggling to recover from the sex-abuse crisis, having paid more than $25 million in settlements. Nine civil suits are working their way to trial and Weakland admitted in a videotaped deposition in November that he knowingly transferred abusive priests.

Weakland also said Dolan, after his arrival, never discussed past abuse cases with him.

Peter Isely, Midwest director for SNAP - the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests - charged that Dolan has delayed remaining abuse cases so he wouldn't have to deal with them. He also faulted Dolan for not removing church administrators who protected dangerous priests and for saying that he can't intervene with religious orders that have not revealed the whereabouts of their own abusive priests.

"I like Dolan well enough personally - he's very entertaining and you know when he's around - but his big splash just fizzled out," said Isely, who has communicated with Dolan regularly. "He's very sunny and optimistic, but he doesn't want to go there and deal with these clergy crimes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Bishop addresses ‘inappropriate conduct’ of priest

CUSTER (MI)
Ludington Daily News

MARK STEIGENGA -

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CUSTER — The Roman Catholic Church’s Bishop of Grand Rapids has stood before his faithful before to talk about “inappropriate conduct” on the part of one of his priests.

On Monday night the setting was St. Mary Church, Custer, where more than 100 parishioners from St. Mary and St. Jerome parishes gathered to hear Bishop Walter A. Hurley speak about Fr. Johnson Jeyabal Pappusamy who had been their priest for the past four months until he resigned last Wednesday.

The Grand Rapids diocese released a statement earlier Monday indicating Pappusamy had been accused of “inappropriate conduct in public with an adult male.” As yet no criminal charges have been brought and the incident continues under investigation by the Michigan State Police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Ridiculous and Religulous: Another Catholic sex abuse scandal and Bill Maher's take on religion

INDIA
Straight (Canada)

By Mike Cowie
"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

— Benjamin Franklin

Yet another disturbing story involving sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has just come to light. This one is straight out of Southern India and includes all of the standard elements we've come to expect, such as the attempted coverup and a complete lack of compassion for the victims.

According to the story in the British newspaper The Independent, a former nun named Sister Jesme has written a book detailing the illicit sex, habitual abuse, threats, downright cruelty, and outright rape that it seems is a regular part of life for a nun in the church, at least in that part of the world. A church spokesman has even admitted as much (read on).

As usual, the allegations are not what's unbelievable about this story, as any thinking person should be able to imagine that this stuff is going on. I mean, seriously, the things she experienced and witnessed aren't really all that hard to imagine, are they?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Repenting For The Sins Of The Church

OREGON
OPB News

Today is ‘Ash Wednesday’ – the start of Lent.

For those a little hazy on their Sunday School lessons, Lent is when Christians repent of their sins.

Now, an Oregon couple has taken the idea of repentance one step further. They want to apologize for the sins of the Catholic Church -- their church -- as well.

In particular for all the priests who abused children.

To show their penance, the couple has taken to wearing a brown patch of sackcloth. And, as Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, they handed-out so many ‘penance patches’ last Lent that they’ve had to assemble another batch for this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Woman's suit alleges abuse by Mormon priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

February 24, 2009 8:09 PM
In a lawsuit filed today, a 22-year-old Chicago woman accused her former adoptive father, a Mormon priest, of sexually abusing her at their Park Ridge home and at a Mormon church in Wilmette.

The woman, whose name the Tribune is withholding because she says she was a victim of sexual abuse, alleges that the abuse started at age 4 and continued until she was about 14, when the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removed her from her adoptive parents' home.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County names her adoptive father, Christopher W. Kite, her adoptive mother's brother David Bromley and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Archbishop, Soon To Leave Milwaukee, Says Catholics Are Healing

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM

[with audio]

By Susan Bence
February 25, 2009 | WUWM | Milwaukee, WI

Monday the Vatican in Rome sent out word that Timothy M. Dolan will be leaving his post as Archbishop of Milwaukee. After Dolan paid a whirlwind visit to New York City, he made his first public appearance in Milwaukee yesterday to talk about his move.

WUWM’s Susan Bence was among the reporters invited to sit down briefly with Dolan at St. Francis Seminary. ...

When the Archbishop turns his attention to me, I ask how he would rate his effectiveness in dealing with the child sexual abuse scandals involving clergy he inherited when he came to Milwaukee.

“I mean it when I say there probably has not been a challenge that has engaged me more and taken more of my worry, time and sweat than that one. So as I look back I see tremendous progress and I’m grateful that that progress has been verified. That’s not just some internal suspicion, that’s been verified by outside sources. But I’d be less than honest with your, if I still didn’t say are there still people out there hurting, that I need to reach out to? Are there still a lot of people that are angry at the church? You bet they are and what could I do to help them. So does that still kind of weigh on me? Does that still haunt me? Yes it does and I’m not afraid to admit that. This is the kind of thing that is necessitating vigilance of decades, if if eternity. Vigilance, purification, commitment to see that it never happens again,” Dolan says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Victims Criticize Dolan's Handling Of Clergy Abuse Cases

MILWAUKEE (WI)
NY1

[with video]

While Archbishop Timothy Dolan has been credited with reaching out to victims of abuse by the clergy, some charge he hasn't gone nearly far enough. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

As a child, Peter Isely says he was raped by a Catholic priest in Milwaukee. And in his eyes, Archbishop Timothy Dolan hasn't done enough to address the issue of sexual abuse during his time in the city.

"He is also going to leave for New York without disciplining senior management of the archdiocese who covered up sex crimes in this archdiocese for over 30 years," said Isely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Crown's decision ultimately backfired

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Lawyers for the Ministry of the Attorney General's office defended the decision by one of their crown attorneys to proceed with one trial against an alleged sexual predator.

Leslie McIntosh told the Cornwall Public Inquiry that joining together all of the charges against Rev. Charles MacDonald would have both improved the merits of the case and made it easier on both MacDonald and his victims.

"There should not be two identical trials: one where the first set of victims would testify with the second set giving similar-fact evidence, and then a second trial where the second set of victims would be the complainant," said McIntosh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Conspiracy theory 'preposterous': lawyer

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

The idea there was a long-running conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse allegation in Cornwall was an "obvious absurdity," the attorney for an alleged sexual abuser told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Tuesday.

Michael Neville, the lawyer for Rev. Charles MacDonald, was among the parties who delivered his final submissions yesterday.

In 1992, former altar boy David Silmser went to Cornwall police alleging that he was sexually abused by three men, including MacDonald and former probation officer Ken Seguin.

MacDonald was charged by the Ontario Provincial Police in 1996 with abusing Silmser and two other boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

February 24, 2009

Brisbane's archbishop feels the squeeze

AUSTRALIA
Catholic World News

by Phil Lawler
Feb. 24, 2009 (CWNews.com) -

There's a fascinating undercurrent running through the story from Brisbane, Australia, in which a pastor is defying his archbishop's authority. On the surface the conflict appears to be a struggle between the pastor, Father Peter Kennedy, and Archbishop John Bathersby. But Kennedy and his supporters are sending a slightly different message.

When the archbishop engaged a mediator to resolve the dispute, Father Kennedy rejected the idea as another "bullying tactic." The defiant pastor went on to say, "you see bullies never get enough of bullying and Rome bullies the bishops and the bishops bully us."

So now the distant, faceless power of "Rome" has been brought into the discussion. Father Kennedy is hinting broadly that Archbishop Bathersby would not have taken disciplinary action if the archbishop himself hadn't been under pressure from the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Panic fuelled sex ring rumours, lawyer says

CANADA
Toronto Star

Allison Jones
THE CANADIAN PRESS

CORNWALL, Ont. – Sensational allegations that a clandestine pedophile ring operated in eastern Ontario were fuelled by the kind of moral panic that takes hold when the public presumes people accused of sexually abusing children are guilty, a public inquiry was told Tuesday.

There are safeguards in the Canadian legal system to ensure an accused is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise, but no such safeguards exist for public perception, said lawyer Giuseppe Cipriano.

"When society places the onus on the alleged abuser to prove his innocence then a moral panic is possible," Cipriano said in closing submissions to the three-year, $40-million Cornwall inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Pedophile priest rape survivors happy to see Doubt not win Academy Awards

UNITED STATES
Examiner

February 24, 2:25 PM
by Kay Ebeling, LA City Buzz Examiner

When Doubt the play came out in 2002 there was little known about the network of pedo-philes that operated out of the Catholic Church without inhibition for at least the last fifty years in the United States. To us the statement is “There is no Doubt," no doubt at all, that pedophiles preyed freely on children in the Catholic Church. So A lot of pedophile priest rape survivors were not rooting for Doubt to win any Academy Awards.

The timing of the release of the film seemed quizzical to many of us. What has amazed us all as crime victims are the ends to which the Catholic Church has gone to keep the truth about the crimes from ever surfacing in total. So to us releasing this film was a way to keep Americans thinking there is still doubt, when there isn’t, and many of us wonder how much the Church was involved in production of the movie, to lead Americans into believing there was and is any doubt about the five thousand or more Catholic priests who operated openly and were given access to children knowingly in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Trial Begins for Pastor Accused of Sex Abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
The State Journal

CHARLESTON -- Opening statements were were presented in the case against a former Kanawha County Pastor.

Sandy Cook, 48, who was the senior pastor at Shrewsbury Church of God, is accused of sexually abusing several teenage boys back in 1994.

The Belle Native is facing three counts of sexual assault by a person of trust. He's also facing 44 counts of third-degree sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Honest services

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

Also Monday, the court refused to hear a challenge to the law against honest services fraud, despite a strong dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia.

Three former aides to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley had appealed their convictions for conspiring to steer city jobs to campaign workers. They questioned whether this was a federal crime. They were not accused of taking bribes or kickbacks, but were found guilty of depriving the city's taxpayers of honest services.

Scalia said this expansive phrase invites abuse by headline-grabbing prosecutors. Carried to its logical conclusion, he said, it would seemingly cover a salaried employee's phoning in sick to go to a ballgame.

Normally, fraud involves a scheme to cheat someone of money or property. Twenty years ago, Congress expanded the anti-fraud law to include schemes involving the intangible right of honest services. Since then, the law has been used against public officials, corporate executives and union leaders who violate a duty of trust.

Federal prosecutors have considered charging Cardinal Roger Mahony with honest services fraud because of the scandal involving priests who abused minors, The Times has reported. Legal experts have said that would be an unorthodox use of the law. The archdiocese said its attorneys have been told that Mahony is not the target of a federal probe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Irish Church leaders assess reports, costs of sexual abuse

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

February 24, 2009
Ireland's National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church has released its first annual report on efforts to prevent sexual abuse. The report notes 56 allegations of abuse-- of varying credibility-- filed against priests last year. And the Board sets new standards for diocesan response to such allegations, including a firm directive that Church officials should refer credible reports of abuse to civil authorities. Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh welcomed the report and its recommendations as an "essential reference on best practice." The cardinal said that the report "is an indication of the Church's resolve to safeguard children at all times."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed by Edmund J. Scanlan Against Mormon Priest & Church of Latter-Day Saints

CHICAGO (IL)
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A lawsuit was filed on February 24, 2009, in the Circuit Court of Cook County by attorney Edmund J. Scanlan on behalf of his client, Markeisha Kite. The lawsuit alleges that Christopher W. Kite, her adopted father, sexually abused Markeisha beginning in 1991 when she was four years old. The abuse continued through 2001 when DCFS removed the girl from the home due to her complaints of sexual abuse.

The suit also alleges that David Bromley, brother-in-law of Christopher W. Kite, sexually abused Markeisha in Kite's home from 1991 through 1996. In 2002 Markeisha obtained an order of protection against defendants Bromley and Kite.

The Mormon Church is named as defendant in the suit because Kite sexually abused the minor Markeisha on at least ten occasions in the church facility at 2727 West Lake Street in Wilmette, Illinois, and as an ordained priest of the church, Kite was under direct supervision and control of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

'Report paedophile priests' call

IRELAND
The Press Association

Senior Catholic Church clerics who fail to blow the whistle on suspected paedophile priests will be reported to the authorities, a religious watchdog has warned.

A new culture of accountability is also needed to protect vulnerable children in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Memphis settlement: Dominican who abused teen had trail of abuse

MEMPHIS (TN)
Catholic Culture

February 24, 2009
The Diocese of Memphis and an abuse victim reached an undisclosed settlement yesterday in the case of Father Juan Carlos Duran, a Bolivian Dominican priest who once headed the diocese’s Hispanic ministry. Expelled from the Franciscan Order because of homosexual abuse of a teenager, Father Duran entered the Dominicans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Allegations of abuse put Plymouth priest on leave

PLYMOUTH (MA)
Daily News Tribune

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Feb 23, 2009 @ 05:50 AM
Last update Feb 23, 2009 @ 12:42 PM

PLYMOUTH — .The pastor of a Plymouth church has been placed on leave by the Archdiocese of Boston in the wake of allegations he abused a minor 30 years ago.

The Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc of St. Peter’s Church is being investigated by the Archdiocese. He will remain on leave during the investigation.

The allegations stem from the time the priest was serving at Most Blessed Sacrament in Wakefield. He also was assigned to parishes in Hudson, Medway, Needham, Newton and Waltham.

He was pastor of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church in Newton from 2002 to January 2005, when he was assigned to St. Peter's. ...

BishopAccountability.org, which maintains a database of child sex abuse allegations against priests, reports that more than 4,300 clergymen were accused between 1950 and 2002, including more than 200 in the Boston Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

56 allegations of clerical child abuse in 2008

IRELAND
RTE News

Ireland's Catholic dioceses notified 56 allegations of clerical child abuse to the church's independent board that monitors child protection last year.

The first annual report from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church says that some allegations amounted to little more than suspicion with no evidence.

It highlighted one case where neither the alleged victim nor perpetrator could be identified by the person making the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Scalia Urges Court to Take on ‘Chaos’ Spawned by Corruption Law

UNITED STATES
ABA Journal

By Debra Cassens Weiss

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal yesterday by three former Chicago city officials convicted on corruption charges, and Justice Antonin Scalia wasn’t pleased.

In a dissent (PDF) from the court’s cert denial, Scalia took on the law barring honest services fraud, saying it is so broad it could be used against “a salaried employee’s phoning in sick to go to a ball game,” SCOTUSblog reports.

The law was amended in 1988 in response to a Supreme Court decision that held the federal mail fraud law protected property rights but not the intangible right to good government. The amendment bars depriving others of “the intangible right of honest services.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Rogue priest refuses to take part in replacement talks

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Brisbane priest at the centre of a row with the Catholic Church says he will not take part in talks over his replacement.

Father Peter Kennedy is refusing to leave St Mary's in South Brisbane after he was sacked for practices deemed out of communion with the Catholic Church.

Church authorities today hired former High Court Justice Ian Callinan to attempt mediation with Father Kennedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Most of Poland’’s Catholic priests ”want an end to celibacy”

POLAND
Thaindian News

London, Feb. 24 (ANI): In a major blow to Polands reputation as a champion of traditional Roman Catholic values, a majority of the country’’s Catholic priests favor an end to celibacy, a survey has revealed. A survey of over 800 Polish priests carried out by Professor Josef Baniak, a sociologist specializing in religious affairs, found that 53 per cent would like to have a wife, while 12 per cent admitted that they were already involved in a relationship, the Telegraph reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Former Delray Beach priest guilty of grand theft

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

[with video]

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Rev. Francis Guinan was found guilty Monday of stealing from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach in a trial that highlighted faulty bookkeeping, loose standards and lax oversight by the parent diocese.

Guinan, 66, faces up to 15 years in prison for grand theft of between $20,000 and $100,000. After about 3 1/2 hours of deliberation, a six-person jury found the longtime clergyman guilty of a lesser charge than prosecutors sought, reducing his maximum sentence from 30 years in prison. ...

The trial painted an unflattering picture of church accounting practices. Priests who testified couldn't agree what the diocese rules were for spending parish money. Clergy said in court that slush funds to hide money are common in the Catholic Church. And St. Vincent Ferrer's bookkeepers were told to shred accurate bookkeeping records, hand over wads of cash from the offertory and cook the books that were sent back to the diocese — as they testified was church policy for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Church 'has responsibility' to pass on child-protection concerns

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Catholic Church has a responsibility to pass on a concern about child protection to the civil authorities even when the matter does not concern Church personnel directly, new guidelines published today state.

The National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSC) published revised and updated guidelines on child protection following the recent controversy over child-protection practices in the Cloyne diocese.

They were welcomed by the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, as an "indication of the Church's resolve to safeguard children at all times".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

SNAP Criticizes Dolan on Priest Abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
TMJ4

By Diane Znamierowski with Jay Sorgi

MILWAUKEE - Some people say getting a new Catholic archbishop will be a good thing for Milwaukee.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says Archbishop Timothy Dolan didn't do enough about the priest sex scandal before receiving his new position as New York's Archbishop.

Peter Isely of SNAP gave his hopes for whoever Pope Benedict XVI picks as Dolan's successor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Phoenix Diocese cuts jobs amid decline in donations

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

by Michael Clancy - Feb. 24, 2009
The Arizona Republic

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, citing the poor economy and a decline in donations, has eliminated 17 positions, resulting in 11 layoffs. Two other positions were converted to part time.

Diocese spokesman James Dwyer said the diocese anticipates a budget shortfall of 6 to 10 percent in fiscal 2009-10. The budget in 2008 reached almost $129 million.

The eliminated and reduced positions represented about 13 percent of the staff at the diocese headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Canadian Police Criticized for Pedophile Witch Hunt

CANADA
EDGE Boston

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Contributor
Monday Feb 23, 2009

Ritualistic group molestation was one wild allegation that arose during an investigation into a suspected pedophilia ring in Cornwall, Ontario.

But this, and other stories, seem to have been fabrication, driven--at least in part--by homophobia.

In the city of Cornwall, Ontario, an investigation into a suspected pedophile ring resulted in accusations leveled at prominent members of the community.

Though pedophilia and homosexuality are understood by professionals to be two separate phenomena, gay men suspected to be part of the group led to new suspects: namely, gay men who were linked to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

'No mercy' call for pedophile Andrew William Dawson-Ryan

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

SEAN FEWSTER, COURT REPORTER
February 24, 2009 01:15pm
A REMORSELESS Anglican Church pedophile who systematically abused boys "hundreds of times" must be shown no mercy, say prosecutors.

Prosecutors today told the District Court there was no reason to extend leniency to former Church of England Boys Society youth leader Andrew William Dawson-Ryan.

The 60-year-old's counsel were hard-pressed to disagree – an hour-long hearing, set down for defence to make submissions, lasted just 20 minutes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

'Patterns of weakness' found: inquiry told

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By DAVID NESSETH, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Citizens for Community Renewal lawyer Helen Daley suggested that often the "wrong tools" were used to address the "right problems" when it came to dispelling notions of a conspiracy and pedophile ring in the Cornwall area.

Daley kicked off day one of phase one oral submissions yesterday at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, which runs until Thursday.

During submissions she highlighted what she called "patterns of weakness" found in Cornwall's institutions such as the Children's Aid Society and the local probation office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

The legacy of abuse

WINSLOW (AZ)
Gallup Independent

Second in a two-part series
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

WINSLOW, Ariz. — Helen Wagner lives almost literally in the shadow of Madre de Dios Church in Winslow. Located just two blocks from the church, her house faces the railroad tracks and her former parish of St. Joseph’s. Madre de Dios is almost in her backyard.

For the past 26 years, the church has cast a long and painful shadow on her memories. Twenty-six years ago this week, three friends of her 14-year-old son, Marc Rogers, made allegations to her that they had seen the Rev. John Boland molest her very intoxicated son in the rectory of Madre de Dios on Feb. 26, 1983.

Wagner’s painful memories were stirred recently by news reports that Boland had been removed from ministry in the Diocese of Gallup by Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, the current apostolic administrator of the Gallup Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Bungling of pedophiliac allegations pushed victims to crusading officer, probe told

CANADA
Globe and Mail

ALLISON JONES .
The Canadian Press

February 24, 2009

CORNWALL, ONT -- The mishandling of sexual-abuse allegations by "inept" officials in eastern Ontario sent victims flocking to a crusading police constable determined to unearth a pedophile ring and a conspiracy to cover it up, a public inquiry heard yesterday.

Although not the focus of the Cornwall inquiry, the role of former city police officer Perry Dunlop was front and centre as the commission began hearing final submissions after three years of testimony and $40-million spent so far.

While some argued Mr. Dunlop "lost his way" while conducting his off-hours investigation in the early 1990s, others told the inquiry he "did the right thing" and is deserving of an apology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Victims need answers 'before they can move forward': lawyer

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By DAVID NESSETH, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Victims Group lawyer Dallas Lee said he wanted to balance his oral phase one submissions between looking back and looking forward.

He said his clients eagerly await the findings of Commissioner Normand Glaude realtive to the institutional response surrounding sexual abuse complaints.

"They need answers before they can move forward," Lee said.

He recalled the expert testimony of David Wolfe -- the Cornwall Public Inquiry's first witness -- in order to detail for the public some of the effects of childhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

SNAP Blasts Archbishop Dolan

NEW YORK
WPIX

BY MIKE GRAHAM | wpix.com

February 23, 2009

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- New York's Catholics may not be in the best of hands according to The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The group claims the record of Archbishop Timothy Dolan in Milwaukee is littered with indifference. Bill Nash of Massachusetts, who claims he was the victim of sex abuse at a seminary, argues that when he corresponded with Dolan about his case and about the Priest that sexually abused him, Dolan showed no interest.

"Instead of removing these guys they just let them go to abuse other children, " said Nash. "If you look at the track record of Dolan from the last 5 or 6 years in Milwaukee he has not proven to anyone that he cares about protecting children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Egan legacy controversial

CONNECTICUT
The News-Times

By Daniel Tepfer
STAFF WRITER
Posted: 02/23/2009 07:52:53 PM EST

The way Cardinal Edward Egan handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests while he was bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport remains controversial in the Fairfield County diocese.

His name still provokes anger among dozens of people who claim they were abused in their youth by Bridgeport diocesan priests.

Church documents obtained by the Connecticut Post over a span of more than 10 years show Egan was made aware of specific allegations of abuse by priests when he became bishop here in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

In Pope's Choice for New York, A Study in Contrasts

NEW YORK
Beliefnet

NEW YORK -- The Rev. Steven Avella, a Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee, said his counterparts in the Archdiocese of New York should soon expect a phone call from their new boss -- Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

"He'll start phoning guys right away," said Avella, 57, a historian at Marquette University who served under Dolan during the archbishop's seven years atop the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. "He'll find out when their ordination anniversaries are, look after the older guys, go visit them. He's a guy who's close to his co-workers, who makes them feel they're worth something." ...

But not all Catholics had such high praise for Dolan. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says he did not do enough to remove abusive priests from ministry during his seven years in Milwaukee. Dolan entered office after it was revealed that his predecessor, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, paid $450,000 to a seminarian who accused him of sexual abuse.

As Dolan leaves Milwaukee, "the clergy sex abuse cover up crisis is not behind the Milwaukee church, but looms in front of it," SNAP said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Former St. Monica's priest accused of sexual abuse

METHUEN
The Eagle Tribune

By Tim McCarthy
Staff Writer

METHUEN — Former St. Monica's Parish priest the Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc is on leave from his ministries after accusations that he sexually abused a child 30 years ago.

LeBlanc served as a temporary parochial vicar at St. Monica's from December 2001 until April 2002, according to Boston Archdiocese spokeswoman Kelly Lynch. He was most recently serving as pastor at a Plymouth, Mass., church.

The archdiocese announced it put LeBlanc on leave Sunday. A representative said the decision to place him on administrative leave is proof of its commitment to the safety of all involved in the matter and does not indicate that LeBlanc is guilty.

LeBlanc gave a January 2002 sermon at St. Monica's, after revelations that former parish priest Ronald Paquin had molested children there. Paquin became the first priest in the Boston Archdiocese sex abuse scandal to plead guilty.

At the time, LeBlanc told 800 parishioners the church ought not be defined by the actions of "bad apples" within it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Diocese Settles With Man Abused as Teen

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis has come to a legal settlement with a man sexually abused as a teenager nine years ago by a Dominican priest.

The settlement was announced Monday in Circuit Court at the start of the last hearing on motions before the John Doe lawsuit goes to trial.

The trial is still set to begin with jury selection on March 2. The Dominican religious order remains as the only defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Dolan Headed to New York

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM

By LaToya Dennis
February 24, 2009 | WUWM | Milwaukee, WI

After weeks of speculation it was announced Monday that Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan is headed to New York. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis has this story.

Pope John Paul II once said the post of Archbishop of New York is like being “archbishop of the capitol of the world.” Milwaukee Bishop William Callahan says that makes it the perfect job for Timothy Dolan. ...

“His sense of understanding the horrors of what the abuse scandal has done, the personal need of reaching out to victims, he did that, and more. Tried to immediate different types of settlements, counseling, different sorts of ways in which personally the victims would be touched and received by the church once again in a very tender and loving sort of way,” Callahan says.

But Peter Isely says not enough has been done to keep kids safe from sexual predators.

“No matter how warm my regard is for the archbishop, when it comes to the sexual abuse of children he’s leaving this archdiocese in a pretty difficult situation,” Isely says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Archbishop leaves with few regrets

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Gary Stern
The Journal News • February 24, 2009

Who was Cardinal Edward Egan?

It may take years for his legacy to come into focus.

After the high-profile, high-energy tenure of Cardinal John O'Connor, Egan spent his near-decade as archbishop of New York mostly behind the scenes, balancing the books, raising money, slipping away to the opera and revealing little about himself. ...

Many of Egan's plans were at least temporarily derailed by the sex-abuse crisis of 2002, which turned up an intense media spotlight that made him uncomfortable.

He faced worsening criticism from the priests of New York, many of whom resented his handling of the sex-abuse crisis and insisted that priests were denied due process by their bishop. Growing numbers of priests groused privately that clerical morale was the lowest in memory, which would explain why an anonymous letter criticizing Egan's leadership that appeared in 2006 created a huge buzz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Critics Not Mollified By Egan's Retirement

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

By ELIZABETH HAMILTON | Courant Staff
February 24, 2009
As Cardinal Edward Egan prepares to exit the New York Archdiocese, his critics are stepping forward to remind the public of what they believe is his poor record on the clergy sex abuse crisis that has roiled the Catholic Church.

"His record has just been awful and we hope that despite his retirement, victims and whistle blowers and prosecutors and journalists will continue to try and unearth his clergy sex abuse secrets in both Connecticut and New York," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP.

Clohessy and others say they will be closely watching the outcome of the Connecticut court case in which The Courant and several other daily newspapers have sought the release of 12,000 pages of documents from sealed abuse lawsuits against the Bridgeport Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

New York Catholics get glimpse of their new archbishop

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY DAVE MARCUS | dave.marcus@newsday.com
February 24, 2009
He'll speak out against abortion and stem-cell research. He wants to see the new Yankee Stadium, and plans on being a regular at the hot-dog stand outside his office.

He hopes to learn Spanish, and likes to quaff a beer with friends now and then. ...

The church is still reeling from the sexual scandals of recent years, and supporters say Dolan cracked down on pedophile priests in Milwaukee. But The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests criticized Dolan for not doing enough and for failing to punish those who covered up the priests' crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Losing My Religion

CALIFORNIA
Christian Science Monitor

By Jane Lampman | February 24, 2009

Losing My Religion; By William Lobdell; Collins; 291 pp., $25.99

While writing a column on religion for an Orange County, Calif., paper, William Lobdell loved to inspire readers with stories about people of faith, such as the elderly church organist who was brutally beaten by a man high on drugs, yet focused on seeing that her assailant got a Bible and necessary support after getting out of jail.

A freshly born-again Christian, Lobdell was a husband, father, and journalist who saw evidence of answered prayer in his own life as well, a life that he felt had been transformed by faith. Covering the religion beat was the perfect job for Lobdell – until the day that his work began to destroy his faith.

Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America – and Found Unexpected Peace is a compelling personal story of faith found, cherished, and then lost. Lobdell’s courageous memoir doesn’t set out to score points in the debate between atheism and religion, but simply to recount a spiritual journey, one he desperately hoped would end differently from the way it did. ...

Six months before the clergy sexual abuse crisis broke wide open in Boston in 2002, the Catholic dioceses in Orange County and Los Angeles agreed to pay a $5.2 million settlement to a single individual, Ryan DiMaria. The young man had charged a highly popular priest and high school principal with abuse. Msgr. Michael Harris, whose nickname was “Father Hollywood,” turned out to have other victims as well.

Lobdell dug into the first of several cases that would lead to years of investigation, hundreds of hours of conversation with abuse victims, and repeated discoveries of church hypocrisy and hard-ball tactics in the treatment of victims and their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

February 23, 2009

Man files abuse suit against Chicago Jesuits

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

February 23, 2009 9:01 PM
A 32-year-old California man claimed he was yet another victim of sexual abuse by defrocked priest Donald McGuire in a lawsuit filed today against the Chicago Order of Jesuits.

The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court under the name "John Doe 130," says that McGuire repeatedly abused the plaintiff in the early 1990s, when the man was as young as 14. The abuse took place in Evanston, California and other locations on retreats organized by McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 PM

Parishioners Pleased With Dolan Appointment

NEW YORK
WCBS

NEW YORK (CBS) ―

The Archdiocese of New York serves 2.5 million parishioners at 400 churches and includes Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx, and stretches practically all the way up to Albany.

Other counties it covers include Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster. ...

But not everyone is applauding the appointment.

"I just wish he would have handled clergy abuse cases much differently," said Bill Nash, an alleged clerical abuse victim.

Nash and few others who claimed to have been abused by priests when they were children claimed Dolan swept abuses cases under the rug.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

Alert on a paedo who lives near kids

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By ALEX PEAKE

A PAEDOPHILE priest who preyed on his victims as they lay sick in hospital is living in Britain, The Sun can reveal.

Father Ivan Payne, 65, who molested children in Dublin from 1968-87, was convicted in 1998 of sexually abusing eight boys. He was freed from jail in 2002.

Now he lives in Aderdare, South Wales — less than a mile from a primary school.

When confronted, he said: “The police here and in Ireland both know I am here. I am in communication with the Catholic church. I have not re-offended.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

Egan left controversial legacy

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

By Daniel Tepfer
STAFF WRITER
Posted: 02/23/2009 06:05:29 PM EST

The legacy of Cardinal Edward Egan in handling allegations of sexual abuse by priests while he was bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport remains controversial in the Fairfield County diocese.

His name still provokes anger among dozens of people and their families who claim they were abused in their youth by Bridgeport diocesan priests.

Church documents obtained by the Connecticut Post over a span of more than 10 years show that Egan was made aware of specific allegations of abuse by priests when he became bishop here in 1988. However, not only did Egan not report the alleged abuse to police or other legal authorities, he covered up the allegations, moving offending priests around the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Statement of the Diocese of Palm Beach Regarding the Local Priest Found Guilty

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
CBS 12

February 23, 2009 - 6:27 PM
Jurors convicted Father Francis Guinan of a lesser included offense of Grand Theft more than $20,000 but less than $100,000.

The following is the released statement:

The Diocese of Palm Beach has been informed that the jury has found the Reverend Francis P. Guinan criminally guilty of charges of grand theft. While respecting the rights of the accused, and not wishing to interfere with the criminal process, the diocese is relieved that the jurors were not swayed by the inaccurate presentation of the defense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Parish Saddened By Priest Sex Abuse Probe

PLYMOUTH (MA)
WCVB

PLYMOUTH, Mass. -- Parishioners at St. Peter's Church in Plymouth reacted to the news Monday that the Archdiocese of Boston has pulled their pastor off the job after he was accused of sexually assaulting a child 30 years ago.

The Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc, 60, has been put on leave while the archdiocese investigates the abuse claims made by a woman who said the abuse took place at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield when she was about 10.

On Monday, parishioners at St. Peter's arrived for morning Mass, clearly saddened by the news.

"It's just a sad case, that's all, and I wish it hadn't happened," Sister Florita Rodman said. "I hope that it will work out the best for the gal and for father."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Legionaries to release statement addressing concerns

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

February 23, 2009
The Legionaries of Christ will release an official statement tomorrow "or Wednesday at the latest" responding to the crisis caused by revelations of scandal in the life of the order's founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel, the Catholic News Agency reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Prosecutors: Florida priest deceived parish

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

Brian Skoloff February 23, 2009
WEST PALM BEACH - A Florida priest charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church took money from a hidden "slush fund," had records shredded and violated the trust of parishioners, a prosecutor told jurors at his trial Monday.

The Rev. Francis Guinan has pleaded not guilty to grand theft. He is accused of stealing $488,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach to fund a lavish lifestyle that included trips to the Bahamas and Las Vegas, jewelry and home furniture.

Guinan "stole from the community he was appointed to protect," prosecutor Preston Mighdoll said during closing arguments. "He must be found guilty as charged."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

John Allen on NY’s New Archbishop

NEW YORK
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

[video presentation]

The Vatican announced Monday (February 23, 2009) that Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan will become the next Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York. Dolan, 59, will succeed Cardinal Edward Egan, who is retiring after nearly nine years in the position. John Allen, longtime Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, talks about what Dolan brings to the position and the challenges he will face, including potential tensions with the Obama Administration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Legion of Christ to respond to scandal on Tuesday

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2009 / 03:02 pm (CNA).- Vatican officials confirmed to CNA on Monday that the leadership of the Legion of Christ will release a major statement in response to the controversy surrounding the double life of its founder and the future of the order. The statement will be released on Tuesday “or Wednesday at the latest.”

Highly anticipated by members, sympathizers and critics of the Legionaries, as well as its lay organization, Regnum Christi, the statement was completed a “few days ago,” but has been submitted for review by “several Cardinals” of the Roman Curia, a Vatican source told CNA, without specifying which Cardinals or which dicasteries are reviewing the document.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Former priest found guilty of grand theft

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
WPTV

Reported by: WPTV staff
Email: webteam@wptv.com

WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- After hours of deliberating, a jury has reached a verdict in the former priest Father Guinan grand theft trial.

A jury has found Francis Guinan guilty of grand theft, for stealing $20,000 to $100,000, a much lesser charge than what prosecutors were hoping for.

Guinan was taken into the custody after the verdict. He handed over passport will likely get house arrest but under the lesser charge he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Priest, Father Guinan, found guilty of Grand Theft

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
CBS 12

February 23, 2009 - 3:39 PM
Jurors convicted Father Francis Guinan of Grand Theft.

Jurors convicted Father Francis Guinan of a lesser included offense of Grand Theft more than $20,000 but less than $100,000.

It's a second degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Wednesday, March 25 at 8:30 a.m. The judge ordered Guinan taken into custody, and said at the discretion of the Sheriff's Office, Guinan could be released on house arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Dolan talks Milwaukee, Yankees in New York

NEW YORK
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

New Yorkers got their first real glimpse of their future archbishop, and likely cardinal, this morning at a news conference, where Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan said he would continue his predecessor's emphasis on Catholic schools, engage in ecumenical dialogue with the city's diverse religious community and shift his baseball allegiance to the Yankees. ...

He sidestepped a question on possible legislation in New York that would make it easier for clergy sex abuse victims to file civil lawsuits against the church, saying he had not adequately studied it yet.

"And I don't want to put my foot in my mouth this early."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Memphis Catholic Diocese Settles Priest Sexual Abuse Civil Case

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis has reached a legal settlement with a teenager sexually abused by a Dominican priest nine years ago.

The settlement was announced Monday in Circuit Court at the start of the last hearing on motions before the John Doe lawsuit goes to trial.

The trial is still set to begin with jury selection on March 2. The Dominican religious order remains as the only defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Delray Beach priest Guinan guilty of felony grand theft

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, February 23, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — A jury deliberated less than three hours today before finding Father Francis Guinan guilty of grand theft of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Egan Criticized For Under Reporting Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
Hartford Courant

By ELIZABETH HAMILTON Courant Staff February 23, 2009
As Cardinal Edward Egan prepares to the exit the New York Archdiocese, his critics are voicing their hope that the prelate will be held accountable for what they believe is his refusal to honestly report abuse cases there.

The group Bishop Accountability.org, which describes itself as the world's largest independent source of information on the clergy sexual abuse crisis, says Egan under-reported the number of accused priests in the New York diocese in 2004 when the U.S. bishops were asked to release the information.

At that time, Egan reported that 49 priests had been accused of abuse from 1950 to 2002, which amounted to 1.3 percent of the diocesan priests. In Boston and Los Angeles, by comparison, the percentages were higher, at 7 percent and 4.9 percent respectively.

"New York must have one of the longest lists of unregistered sex offenders in the country," said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the organization. "Egan should be held accountable for that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Pope Names Milwaukee’s Dolan as New York Archbishop

NEW YORK
Bloomberg

By Peter S. Green

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI named Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to replace Cardinal Edward Egan as archbishop of New York, a post the late Pope John Paul II once called “the archbishop of the capital of the world.” ...

Dolan won praise for tackling the issue openly and early on while Egan, who suspended six priests in 2002, drew criticism for not acting fast enough to address sex-abuse cases in his parishes, according to BishopAccountability.org, a Web site set up by victims in 2003 that includes court files.

Benedict met with a small group of victims of clergy sexual abuse in Washington last April, and called for a “time of healing” in his Mass at St. Patrick’s on April 19. Relations with the 69 million American Catholics have suffered over what some called the Vatican’s reluctance to deal with the child-abuse scandal, in which more than 5,000 clergymen have been accused of molesting about 12,000 victims.

Dolan said today he would need to learn more about New York’s history with the sexual abuse scandal before he cold comment on it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Archbishop Dolan: Upbeat or 'arrogant'?

NEW YORK
USA Today

Gregarious. Where have we heard that before? It would appear from most early coverage that nobody doesn't love Milwaukee-soon-to-be-New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, named to the post today.

Whispers in the Loggia's Rocco Palmo calls it a "marriage made in heaven" for the Catholic hierarchy. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal's story on losing Dolan to the Big Apple and the biggest job in the U.S. church starts with his "gregarious pastoral style" which "endeared him to a Catholic community in need of a morale boost.

Then the story goes on to call him "an openly devout bishop with a sharp intellect. A church historian who speaks three languages and reads three more" yet has a plain-speaking style. ...

But critics don't think Dolan is all that. Nancy Moews, coordinator of the local chapter of the Catholic activist group Voice of the Faithful, told the Journal:

Archbishop Dolan, like most bishops, has a my-way-or-the-highway mentality. His reign has produced assaults on freedom of thought, speech and the primacy of personal conscience."

Also according to The Journal, Dan Maguire, a Marquette University professor of moral theology and former priest was rebuked by Dolan for suggesting that Catholics

... may rightfully dissent on issues of abortion and same-sex unions, and that bishops don't have the last word on moral debate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

[EXCLUSIVE] Pius X society: ‘Jews, the enemy of man’

BELGIUM
Joods Actueel

Research by a team of journalists from Belgian Based ‘Joods Actueel’, a Jewish news publication, has revealed a slew of anti-Semitic content on websites of the St. Pius X society. Pius X is the catholic society whose excommunication has recently been recanted by the Pope. Much controversy has arisen about the rehabilitation of one of its members, bishop Richard Williamson, a known holocaust denier.

The research comes to the conclusion that Pius X is an extreme conservative Catholic group that rejects the Second Vatican Council and propagates the worst kind of anti-Semitism. (examples see below)

For the research the international overarching site of the society was consulted and also a host of national sites such as those of the U.S.A., Brazil, Ireland, Asia, Austria, South-Africa and Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Former pastor facing ‘inappropriate conduct’ investigation

MICHIGAN
Ludington Daily News

Jennifer Linn - Staff Writer

Monday, February 23, 2009

A local clergyman has been accused of “inappropriate conduct in public with an adult male,” according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, and he is under investigation by police.

The Rev. Johnson Jeyabal Pappusamy, former pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer and St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Scottville, is under investigation for an incident alleged to have occurred Feb. 11, according to Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

According to Mary Haarman, communications director for the Grand Rapids diocese, the church was made aware of the allegations and Pappusamy resigned last Wednesday, effective immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Archbishop Dolan expert at church workings but prefers 'the folks'

NEW YORK
Catholic News Service

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Like his predecessor, Cardinal Edward M. Egan, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan is very familiar with the workings of the church in Rome.

The new head of the New York Archdiocese served for seven years as rector of the Pontifical North American College, the U.S. national seminary in Rome, and was a student there himself in the 1970s. In addition, he was assigned for two years to the staff of the apostolic nunciature, or Vatican embassy, in Washington.

But Archbishop Dolan, who turned 59 Feb. 6, described himself in a 2002 interview as "a sort of fish-fry and bingo guy" who preferred being "in the field ... on the front lines ... with the folks" to carrying out the administrative duties of an archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Supreme Court won't hear appeal in patronage fraud case

WASHINGTON (DC)
Los Angeles Times

By David G. Savage
8:52 AM PST, February 23, 2009
Reporting from Washington -- Over a strong dissent from Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court refused today to hear an appeal from three former aides of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley who were prosecuted and sent to prison for conspiring to steer city jobs to campaign workers. ...

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are also reported to being considering prosecuting Cardinal Roger Mahony for "honest services fraud" as a result of the scandal involving priests who abused minors.

In his dissent, Scalia said "this expansive phrase invites abuse by headline-grabbing prosecutors in pursuit of local officials, state legislators and corporate CEOs who engage in any manner of unappealing or ethically questionable conduct." He said the court should have heard Sorich's appeal and clarified the reach of the law. "It is simply not fair to prosecute someone for a crime that has not been defined until the judicial decision that sends him to jail," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Childhood Sexual Abuse: Service Members Can Get the Help They Need Through the Civil Justice System

UNITED STATES
Veteran Journal

By Patrick Noaker, Attorney at Law

For many service members, the return from an overseas assignment can be bittersweet. Reunion with wives, husbands, children and other family members is sweet, but some of the emotional baggage brought back is bitter. This is even more the case for those who are the survivors of childhood sexual abuse. For many, the exposure to violence related to military service, magnifies and aggravates the pain he or she experiences related to the childhood sexual abuse. Both during and after military service, service members are often left with overwhelming emotional responses relating to multiple sources of trauma.

Unfortunately, childhood sexual abuse is very common in the U.S. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused and 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before age 18. Between 80 and 90% of victims are sexually abused by a family member or by a familiar trusted person, such as a member of the clergy. It is not surprising that these crimes almost always go unreported until the survivor is an adult, if at all. Nevertheless, the child victims continue to have to live with the psychological consequences of the abuse throughout his or her life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Grand Rapids Catholic diocese says Mason County priest's resignation due to investigation of 'inappropriate conduct'

MASON COUNTY (MI)
The Grand Rapids Press

by Charles Honey | Grand Rapids Press Religion Editor
Monday February 23, 2009, 11:34 AM
MASON COUNTY - A West Michigan priest has been removed from two Mason County parishes following an accusation he engaged in "inappropriate conduct in public with an adult," according to the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

The Rev. Johnson Jeyabal Pappusamy submitted his resignation to Bishop Walter Hurley last week, while law enforcement officials continue to investigate, according to the diocese statement Monday morning.

Pappusamy was pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Custer and St. Jerome Catholic Church in Scottville. A temporary administrator will serve those parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Retirement discussed during cardinal's visit

UNITED KINGDOM
Borehamwood and Elstree Times

By Elizabeth Pears

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales suggested his retirement was imminent when he attended Mass in Borehamwood on Sunday.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the guest of honour at St Teresa's Catholic Church, in Shenley Road, told churchgoers he was soon expecting to retire.

The cardinal, 77, has already written to the Vatican to announce his desire to step down but was asked by Pope Benedict XVI to remain in the position until further notice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Prosecutors: Priest Deceived West Palm Parish

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
News4Jax

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A Florida priest charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church took money from a hidden "slush fund," had records shredded and violated the trust of parishioners, a prosecutor told jurors at his trial Monday.

The Rev. Francis Guinan has pleaded not guilty. He is accused of stealing $488,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach to fund a lavish lifestyle that included trips to the Bahamas and Las Vegas, jewelry and home furniture.

Guinan "stole from the community he was appointed to protect," prosecutor Preston Mighdoll said during closing arguments. "He must be found guilty as charged."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Archbishop Dolan Appointed Archbishop of New York Retirement of Cardinal Egan Accepted

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

February 23, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2009

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed His Excellency, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of Milwaukee, to the Archdiocese of New York. Archbishop Dolan has served as the Archbishop of Milwaukee since 2002. He will be the 13th Bishop and 10th Archbishop of the See of New York. He succeeds His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan, who submitted his letter of retirement upon reaching the age of 75 on April 2, 2007.

Cardinal Egan has been named Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of New York until the Installation of Archbishop Dolan. The Archbishop will be installed by His Excellency, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States at Saint Patrick's Cathedral on April 15, 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

New York's New Archbishop: A Winning Papal PR Move

NEW YORK
Time

By Jeff Israely Monday, Feb. 23, 2009

In a month of bad public relations for the Vatican, the opportunity to name a replacement for the retiring and less-than-media-friendly Cardinal Edward Egan, 76, Archibishop of New York, was a godsend. The man announced Monday to lead the archdiocese arrives well-equipped for the job. Timothy Dolan, 59, who has been in charge of the Milwaukee Archdiocese since 2002, has long been considered among the most likeable and loquacious senior American prelates. In the late 1990s, while serving as rector of the North American Pontifical College, the largest English-speaking seminary in Rome, he was a major man-about-town and go-to guy for U.S. journalists covering the Vatican, at ease sharing a beer, or providing simple words to explain complicated Church doctrine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Interview #1

NEW YORK
Whispers in the Loggia

Fresh off his first Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral (at which, so it seemed, more media were present than pewfolk), Archbishop Tim Dolan is slated to give his first interview following his appointment as archbishop of New York at 9.15 Eastern to Sirius Satellite Radio's The Catholic Channel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Dolan to shepherd New York Catholics

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Beacon

By Patricia Rice, Special to the Beacon

Updated 6:21 a.m. Mon., Feb. 23 - St. Louis will get a new Cardinal soon. Not the baseball variety. The Vatican variety.

But at 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23, the announcement was made that St. Louis native Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan is going to New York.

Pope Benedict XVI announced that Dolan is the new shepherd of the New York City archdiocese’s 2.5 million Catholics. His installation Mass likely will be April 15, the Wednesday after Easter.

And the next time that Benedict names new cardinals, Dolan, a church historian by training, will, no doubt, step into church history to receive his red hat. A cardinal is among the pope’s closest advisers and is an elector of the next pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Catholic League: Archbishop Dolan--Perfect For New York

NEW YORK
Standard Newswire

NEW YORY, Feb. 23 /Standard Newswire/ -- Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on news that Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be the new Archbishop of New York:

"What a perfect fit: Archbishop Dolan has the erudition, tenacity, affability and orthodoxy necessary for a leadership role in New York. My dealings with him have been extraordinarily positive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Archbishop Dolan to New York

NEW YORK
Catholic Culture

February 23, 2009
Confirming rumors that have circulated for weeks, the Vatican today announced that Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be installed on April 15 as head of the New York archdiocese. Archbishop Dolan, who has served since 2002 as Archbishop of Milwaukee, will replace Cardinal Edward Egan, who is retiring just a few weeks short of his 77th birthday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

PRESS RELEASE 02/14/2009 - To Do List for New York Archbishop: Truth, Disclosure, Compassion

NEW YORK
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

New York, NY - The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSACoalition) knows the Archbishop of New York is no ordinary bishop. By virtue of the prestige of New York, the heft of the Catholic population, the uniqueness of the City to the United States and the world, this is a diocese where a real difference can be made for the Church.

A new opportunity has presented itself. It must not be squandered. But a new face doesn’t necessarily mean change where it counts.

The new Archbishop of New York can have a major influence in curing the severe case of laryngitis in the Church’s moral voice. If he chooses not to, the sickness of sexual abuse in the Church could turn fatal.

We urge the new Archbishop to choose life for his diocese and the Church by stepping forward to put the clergy sexual abuse scandal front and center on his agenda as a life issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Trial Set for Local Pastor Facing Sexual Abuse Charges

CHARLESTON (WV)
WSAZ

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A local pastor from Kanawha County is set to go on trial Monday morning in Charleston.

Sandy Cook is charged with sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and third degree sexual assault.

Cook is accused of sexually abusing several teenage boys at his home and in his truck back in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to replace Cardinal Egan

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY Barry Paddock and Bill Hutchinson
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Updated Monday, February 23rd 2009, 9:29 AM

New York's new archbishop was welcomed by his parishioners at a morning mass inside St. Patrick's Cathedral Monday.

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan passed out Communion alongside the man he will succeed, Edward Cardinal Egan, 76, who is retiring after nine years in the post.

"I've known him for many years, and I told him how delighted I am to welcome this wonderful priest and bishop," Egan told several dozen parishioners gathered for the 8 a.m. Mass. "He came to New York to be installed, to strengthen our faith and to lead us in our search for justice, compassion and peace."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Milwaukee’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan Tapped to Replace Cardinal Egan

NEW YORK
New York Magazine

As anticipated over the weekend, Milwaukee archbishop Timothy Dolan was named this morning the future head of the Archdiocese of New York. Dolan will replace Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who served for nine years. It is the first time in the 200-year history of the bishopric that a prelate has been replaced before his death.

Last year New York looked at the top six candidates to replace Egan, and even at that time Dolan topped the list. He was popular in Milwaukee, choosing to marshal his troops using persuasion and gregariousness rather than censure and imperiousness. He's a sports fan and a casual jokester, and according to the Times, a staunchly conservative, if low-key, ally of Pope Benedict XVI

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Clergy Abuse Victims Blast New NYC Archbishop

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy abuse victims will criticize New York's new archbishop and
- discuss his track record on handling child sex abuse and cover up cases,
- put forward suggestions for how he can better protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded, and
- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to report to police, not to the archbishop

WHEN
TODAY, Monday, 2/23, from 2 pm until 3 pm

WHERE
Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, 460 Madison Ave (at 5th), New York City

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

New New York Archbishop Gets Right to Work

NEW YORK
The Village Voice

We tend to forget that, despite our godless liberal reputation, the Catholic Church plays a huge role in the life of New York. It holds spiritual sway over millions of our citizens and owns some prime real estate, which always buys a seat at the power table. Historically its archbishop has been a prominent quasi-political figure, too; if the last archbishop, Eddie Egan, was not so assertive as Fulton Sheen or John J. O'Connor, it may have owed to the spirit of the times, to the pressing need to manage tougher financial issues than in the past, or to the lingering legacy of the scandals that were revealed in the his old Bridgeport, Connecticut diocese after he took the New York gig and may have kept him from adopting a higher profile.

Now, two years after Egan turned in his resignation, as required by Church law, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to take over. The 59-year-old Irish-American, who served in Milwaukee for six and a half years, jumped right into the saddle, celebrating Mass at St, Patrick's this morning.

The Times says Dolan has "disappointed advocates for victims of sexual abuse" -- but what American bishop hasn't? -- while the Daily News says he "came out strongly against pedophile priests, publishing the names of 43 clergymen who were found to be abusers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Milwaulkee Archbishop Selected To Lead New York Archdiocese

NEW YORK
NY1

[with video]

New York's Catholics this morning got their first look at the man succeeding Edward Cardinal Egan as Archbishop of New York.

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan is attending Mass this morning at St. Patrick's Cathedral, hours after The Vatican announced that Dolan was chosen by the pope to succeed Egan as the head of the New York Archdiocese.

He will be installed at Saint Patrick's Cathedral on April 15th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

NEW ARCHBISHOP ATTENDS ST. PATRICK'S MASS

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JOHN DOYLE

Edward Cardinal Egan welcomed his successor to St. Patrick's Cathedral this morning - calling him a man who will lead New Yorkers in their quest for "justice, compassion and peace."

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan will replace Egan, 76, who is retiring after nearly nine years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Archbishop Dolan of Milwaukee named to head New York Archdiocese

NEW YORK
Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee as archbishop of New York and accepted the resignation of Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who has headed the archdiocese since 2000.

The appointment was announced Feb. 23 in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Dolan, a St. Louis native who turned 59 Feb. 6, has been head of the Milwaukee Archdiocese since 2002 and was an auxiliary bishop of the St. Louis Archdiocese for a year before that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Dolan for New York - Westminster next

The Times (United Kingdom)

Ruth Gledhill

A trinity of priests praying for a miracle? These three priests clutching the Turin Shroud are none other than the three favourites for Westminster, Archbishops Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith, and Bishop Malcolm McMahon, from Birmingham, Cardiff and Nottingham.

As countless others besides myself predicted he would, Pope Benedict XVI has today named Timothy Dolan, 59, as successor to the retiring Edward Egan in the high-profile Archdiocese of New York. Read on for what veteran Vatican commentator John Allen has to say about Dolan. Lots more about him at Aufer A Nobis.

Westminster will be next.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Pope names Dolan archbishop of New York

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:48am EST

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict named the 59-year-old archbishop of Milwaukee as the next archbishop of New York, the highest profile post in the U.S. Catholic Church, the Vatican said on Monday.

Timothy Dolan, widely seen as an affable and media-friendly priest, succeeds 76-year-old Cardinal Edward Egan, who is retiring after nearly nine years in the job.

Well known in Vatican circles, the St. Louis native was long considered a front-runner for Egan's post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Statements from Milwaukee's Remaining Bishops

MILWAUKEE (WI)
TMJ4

The following statements come from the bishops who will remain in Milwaukee after Dolan leaves Milwaukee on April 15th to take over fully at the New York archdiocese.

Most Reverend William P. Callahan, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

"All of us, of course, will greatly miss Archbishop Dolan. His deep faith and warm, personal charm will offer a new luster to the Church in New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

New York: Rejoice!

NEW YORK
America

Posted at: 2009-02-23 08:30:00.0
Author: Michael Sean Winters

The Church in New York, and indeed all of America, rejoices this morning at the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan to be the next Archbishop of New York.

I have never seen Archbishop Dolan that he didn’t have his arm around someone. We first met in Rome when, coincidentally enough, I was working on an article about Cardinal John O’Connor. Dolan was hosting a reception in his apartment at the North American College for Thanksgiving Day. Every American Catholic in the Eternal City seemed to be crammed into the rector’s living room. Cocktails flowed, cigars were lit, and the sense of loneliness one has when celebrating a national holiday abroad was dispersed thoroughly by Dolan’s hospitality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Bishop Timlin’s Precept and Decree on Father Robert Gibson

SCRANTON (PA)
Off My Knees

[Link to a story about Fr. Robert Gibson from The Times-Tribune]

In February 1998, the Bishop of Scranton was the Most Reverend James C. Timlin. He was the man responsible for taking action to protect children who were the victims of predator priests in his diocese. He oversaw the diocese’s handling of a high visibility case involving Father Robert Caparelli. Who knows how many other complaints against other priests he kept quiet during his tenure? Bishop Timlin is currently Bishop Emeritus in Scranton.

Bishop Timlin issued two documents dated 2 February 1998. The first was a precept. A precept is a command to an individual that enjoins that person to do or not do something, especially in order to compel obedience of a law, regulation or directive. In this case the precept ordered Father Gibson to stop representing himself as a Diocesan priest and to stop wearing clerical attire. ...

I would imagine these documents enjoyed a very limited release as to not allow the parishioners, the police or the press to find out that the Diocese of Scranton was hiding another pedophile. By the time these documents were issued, Father Gibson had already been removed from the Diocese and, more importantly, the jurisdiction that could have sought criminal penalties against this monster. Father Gibson was sent to the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri.

This was a continuation of the Diocese’s policy of keeping things quiet and secret. You would think that they would have learned after the Father Caparelli case came to light in the 1990’s. Father Caparelli was convicted of sexually molesting boys and died in prison of AIDS in 1994. Is it possible that the diocese had a more prolific child rapist on its hands in the person of Father Gibson? We don’t know because the veil of secrecy still protects Father Gibson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Dolan named New York archbishop

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

By Tim Townsend
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan was named archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI Monday.

Dolan, the 59-year-old St. Louis native, has been rumored to be Benedict’s pick to head the most prominent diocese in the U.S. for months.

“My brother bishops, priests, religious women and men, seminarians, committed Catholics of this wonderful Church,” Dolan said in a statement, “I pledge to you my love, my life, my heart, and I can tell you already that I love you, I need so much your prayers and support, I am so honored, humbled, and happy to serve as your pastor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Recently sentenced pedophile priest molested a San Francisco boy for a decade

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, a mom whose son was molested for a decade by a just-sentenced predator priest will
--- disclose and discuss her son's new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the cleric & his supervisors,
--- beg Catholics to ask friends & family if they were hurt by the pedophile and if so, to report promptly to police, &
--- urge local church officials to aggressively reach out to others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes.

The accused is perhaps the most prominent US Catholic priest to ever have been convicted of child molestation. For decades, he belonged to perhaps America's most prominent Catholic religious order, the Jesuits.

WHEN
Monday, Feb. 23, at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside San Francisco University, 2495 Golden Gate Avenue, in San Francisco

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Timothy Dolan Named New York Archbishop

NEW YORK
WNYT

[with audio]

by Soterios Johnson and Annysa Johnson

NEW YORK, NY February 23, 2009 —New York's Roman Catholic Archdiocese has a new leader. The Vatican announced today that Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan will replace Cardinal Edward Egan, who is retiring as archbishop of New York after nearly nine years in the post. Dolan will oversee an archdiocese that includes two and a half million parishioners in nearly 400 churches, from New York City to the Catskill Mountains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Milwaukee archbishop to lead archdiocese in New York

ROME
CNN

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Archbishop Timothy Dolan will become the new archbishop of New York, the Vatican announced Monday.

Timothy Dolan, 59, served six years as Milwaukee's archbishop before being appointed to the New York post.

Dolan, the current archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, succeeds Archbishop Edward Egan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Milwaukee archbishop named to succeed Cardinal Egan, will visit Yonkers

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Gary Stern
The Journal News • February 23, 2009

NEW YORK - Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee will become the 13th Bishop and 10th Archbishop of New York, the Vatican said this morning.

Dolan co-celebrated Mass this morning at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where retiring Cardinal Edward Egan introduced his successor. Egan asked for prayers for "our new archbishop," that he will be able to lead an archdiocese "filled with faith."

Dolan stood by Egan's side during the Mass. He did not speak but received a loud ovation at the end of Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

A New Leader for New York Roman Catholics

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Jennifer 8. Lee
Late Sunday night, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, 59, of the archdiocese of Milwaukee to succeed Cardinal Edward M. Egan as the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York.

In choosing a gregarious persona known to enjoy a good cigar or two, the pope passed over other candidates equally conservative but more confrontational with Catholic priests, parishioners and politicians who question church teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Closing arguments expected in Fla. priest's trial

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
WWSB

Associated Press - February 23, 2009 7:24 AM ET

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Closing arguments are expected in the trial of a Florida priest charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church.

The Rev. Francis Guinan has pleaded not guilty. He is accused of stealing $488,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Attorneys were set to give closing arguments Monday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Cleveland Catholic Diocese is preparing a manual on how to close a church

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Michael O'Malley and Robert Smith, Plain Dealer reporters February 23, 2009

When Bishop Richard Lennon announces early next month which churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese will close, it will mark the end of one long and agonizing process and the beginning of another.

The first ones to learn of the decision will be the parish priests, who will receive letters in time to read at Saturday night Masses.

The diocese is preparing a closing manual for the churches to be shuttered and a welcoming manual for surviving parishes bringing in displaced worshippers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Catholic group Regnum Christi rocked by sex scandal

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Sunday February 22, 2009, 10:01 PM
Hundreds of local families affiliated with a conservative lay spiritual movement within the Catholic church have been rocked by the disclosure that the movement's revered priest-founder for decades led a secret double life -- and has a daughter.

The news has shaken an estimated 200 families in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge belonging to Regnum Christi, or Kingdom of Christ, said Jim Fair, a Chicago spokesman for Regnum Christi and an affiliated order of priests, the Legion of Christ. Fair estimated there are about 9,500 Regnum Christi families in the United States.

"You know the Kubler-Ross stages of grief -- anger, denial, depression and so forth? We've got all those bases covered all at once," Fair said.

The disclosure also is a measure of vindication for New Orleans writer Jason Berry, who, with Connecticut newspaperman Gerald Renner, began uncovering evidence in 1997 that the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the charismatic founder of the two groups, was not who he appeared to be.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Monsignor Timothy Dolan is next NY archbishop

NEW YORK
KWGN

By RACHEL ZOLL

NEW YORK (AP) — Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, a defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who led an elite seminary for U.S. priests and became known for his energy, wit and warmth, was named archbishop of New York on Monday.

The Vatican said Dolan would succeed Cardinal Edward Egan, 76, who is retiring as archbishop after nearly nine years.

The post is the most prominent in the American Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II once called the job "archbishop of the capital of the world." ...

In 2004, he joined the minority of U.S. bishops who publicly released the names of local diocesan priests who had been credibly accused of molesting children. The archdiocese posts the names on its Web site and updates the list when needed.

"Anything we can do to keep children safe, we must do," Dolan said when he revealed the names.

However, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has accused him of, among other things, failing to work more closely with civil authorities to publicly identify accused clergy from the independently governed religious orders who work in the archdiocese.

In 2006, the archdiocese agreed to a nearly $17 million settlement involving abusive former Milwaukee priests who had worked in California. Insurance covered half the claim, but Dolan said that the archdiocese's share put its annual budget in the red, contributing to a $3 million deficit last year. Dolan had to cut about a fifth of the jobs in the archdiocese. He hoped to sell a 44-acre archdiocesan property, the Cousins Center, but the sale stalled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Dolan to take over as archbishop of New York

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[with timeline]

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, whose gregarious pastoral style endeared him to a Catholic community in need of a morale boost, was named archbishop of New York this morning.

Sources with knowledge of the appointment said Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI would name the 59-year-old Dolan to succeed retiring Cardinal Edward M. Egan. The appointment was made official early today.

Dolan will take over an archdiocese of 2.5 million Catholics in what many consider the highest-profile position in the U.S. Catholic Church. The appointment all but ensures that Dolan ultimately will be named a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Dolan pick etches pattern in bishops' appointments

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR., NCR Staff
Published: Feb. 23, 2009

While Pope Benedict XVI’s appointment of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to New York hardly marks a dramatic break with key picks under recent popes, it may confirm an intriguing pattern-within-a-pattern under Benedict when it comes to the most important jobs in the United States.

In a sound-bite, one might call it a choice for “the center-right with a human face.”

In essence, that means leaders who are basically conservative in both their politics and their theology, but also upbeat, pastoral figures given to dialogue. It’s a pattern with across-the-board consequences for both the substance and the style of American Catholicism, and one that could carry particularly interesting implications for relations between church and state in the Age of Obama.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Milwaukee Takes Manhattan: Dolan Named to New York

NEW YORK
Whispers in the Loggia

What's long been touted as the American hierarchy's "marriage made in heaven" has come to pass.

After weeks of speculation, it's finally official: this morning, Pope Benedict named Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee to the archbishopric of New York -- Stateside Catholicism's most prominent post, the chief pastorate of what the Vatican considers to be the "Capital of the World."

Soon to become the tenth occupant of 452 Madison, the appointee -- seen as the "natural choice" for the slot from as far back as 2001 -- succeeds Cardinal Edward Egan, whose resignation was accepted for reasons of age. Head of the 2 million-member Gotham church since 2000, Egan reached the retirement age of 75 in April 2007. Dolan, who turned 59 earlier this month, was promoted to Milwaukee in June 2002, less than a year after his ordination as a bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

College of Teachers needs to step back and review its proceedings in the James Black Case

CANADA
Tomorrow's Trust: A Review of Catholic Education

February 23, 2009

What is it about institutions which feel compelled to reject and ostracize those who have the courage to speak to the truth of what is happening in their midst?

For anyone who has read Jason Berry and Gerald Renner’s, Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II. (Free Press, New York, 2004) and followed David Clohessy and his work at The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP the case of James Arthur Black has a very disturbing ring to it.

The recent revelation that Marcial Maciel Degollado founder and head of the Legionaires of Christ had indeed fathered a child out of wedlock is vindication of the investigative reporting of Jason Berry, Renner and others. What sticks in one’s mind from Vows of Silence is the story of the rising priest of influence who as part of the team who vetted the appointment of new bishops, as Berry reveals, was at great personal cost in the cover-up of sexual abuse by Marcail Marciel and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Child abuse leaves genetic mark: study

CANADA
National Post

Margaret Munro, Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, February 23, 2009

Child abuse can indelibly mark and alter genes in its young victims, leaving them less able to cope with stress later in life, according to new Canadian research.

A Montreal team has discovered large numbers of "chemical marks," which inhibit a key mechanism for dealing with stress, in the brains of young men who were physically or sexually abused as children and later committed suicide.

"It's almost as if there is an imprint left," says Michael Meaney at McGill University, who heads the team that has already toppled many long-held views of how early experience impacts behaviour and genes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Exclusive: Shamed priest Roddy MacNeil disappears after new scandal

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Feb 23 2009 By Janice Burns

SHAMED priest Roddy MacNeil turned up to clear out his flat yesterday after the Record exposed his latest scandal.

He arrived at his flat in Fairlie, Ayrshire, with a woman at his side before bundling suitcases into the back of his 4x4 Mitsubishi Shogun and departing.

We revealed on Saturday that the randy 49-year-old, nicknamed Father Flash, had been booted off a counselling course for pestering female students at Strathclyde University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Long-running, $40M inquiry into handling of Ont. sex abuse allegations near an end

CANADA
The Canadian Press

After nearly four years, some 180 witnesses and $40 million in taxpayer dollars, a public inquiry struck in the shadow of sensational but unproven allegations that a clandestine pedophile ring once operated in eastern Ontario will draw to a close this week.

The Cornwall inquiry into how police and other institutions responded to allegations of historic sexual abuse - which made national headlines when the former police officer at the heart of probe was jailed for refusing to testify - will begin hearing final submissions Monday.

It's a landmark in a sad saga that has many expressing hope that some good may come for both abuse victims and the community. Others question what kind of resolution, if any, the report to be delivered in July will bring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Plymouth priest under investigation for child sex abuse allegations

MASSACHUSETTS
Examiner

February 22, 4:27 PM
by Mia Carter, Boston Crime Examiner

The Archdiocese of Boston has placed Reverend Kenneth A. LeBlanc on administrative leave. This comes on the heels of child sex abuse allegations against the reverend, who is the pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Plymouth.

The alleged sexual abuse involving Reverend LeBlanc is said to have occurred approximately three decades ago.

In a written statement on this latest church sex abuse allegation, the Archdiocese of Boston said, “The decision to place Father LeBlanc on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Father LeBlanc’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Attorney who took on Miami Archdiocese loses license

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com
A lawyer who drew a ton of publicity as he collected millions of dollars in clergy sexual-abuse settlements from the Archdiocese of Miami has been suspended from practicing law for 1 ½ years by the Florida Supreme Court.

Attorney Jeffrey M. Herman, who brought upwards of 50 negligence lawsuits against the archdiocese, must stop his involvement in the remaining cases and all other litigation after the state Supreme Court found him guilty of professional misconduct.

''Herman shall accept no new business until he is reinstated to the practice of law in Florida,'' the high court wrote in a 20-page opinion.

Herman violated the Florida Bar's conflict of interest rules when he started up an aviation company in the late 1990s that directly competed with a client in the same business -- without disclosing it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Plymouth priest accused of sexual abuse

PLYMOUTH (MA)
Boston Globe

By John C. Drake
Globe Staff / February 23, 2009

The Archdiocese of Boston has placed a Plymouth priest on administrative leave following allegations that he sexually abused a 10-year-old girl more than 25 years ago.

The allegations against the Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc, pastor of St. Peter's Church in Plymouth, are described on a website in which the accuser alleges that the priest abused her as a child in his car and in his home.

In a statement yesterday, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley expressed sadness over this most recent allegation of clergy sexual abuse, and officials for the archdiocese said it had launched a preliminary investigation into the allegation. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese said the action was taken after the Middlesex district attorney's office informed the archdiocese of the allegation.

Word of the website's allegations had begun to circulate among parishioners starting late last week, and archdiocesan officials confirmed in Masses during the weekend that LeBlanc had been placed on leave. ...

Anne Barrett Doyle of bishopaccountability.org, which tracks allegations of abuse nationally, could not identify any other case in which an accuser used a website to name her alleged perpetrator for the first time. She called the accuser's courage "extraordinary."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Group shows support for priest sex-abuse victims

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Erika Slife | Tribune reporter
February 23, 2009
Following this month's sentencing of defrocked Catholic priest Donald McGuire, a small group of supporters who offer help to victims of sexual abuse by clergy braved the cold Sunday to hand out informational fliers to parishioners at Holy Family Parish.

The parishioners "have a lot more influence than we could possibly imagine," said Peter Isely, Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "The way to make changes is to make a call or two, and those things really add up."

On Feb. 11, McGuire, 78, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, marking another chapter in his stunning fall from the pinnacle of the Jesuit order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Plymouth priest faces decades-old sex abuse accusation

PLYMOUTH (MA)
MSNBC

By WHDH-TV Staff and Associated Press
WHDH-TV

PLYMOUTH, Mass. - The Archdiocese of Boston has placed a Plymouth priest on administrative leave after allegations that he abused a child nearly thirty years ago.

Reverend Kenneth LeBlanc, a pastor of St. Peter's Church, faces allegations of sexually abusing a minor.

The Archdiocese has begun a preliminary investigation and said that LeBlanc will remain on leave pending the outcome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Plymouth, MA priest placed on administrative leave

PLYMOUTH (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Prat Thakkar, Plymouth, MA) - A Plymouth Massachusetts priest has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations that he sexually abused a child about 30 years ago.

Reverend Kenneth LeBlanc is reportedly accused of abusing a 10-year-old girl.

The Boston Archdiocese is investigating and says this is the first accusation of sexual abuse against LeBlanc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Archbishop Timothy Dolan headed to New York

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR., NCR Staff
Published: Feb. 23, 2009

Legendary pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams, who threw for six teams during his pro career, recently described the difference between playing on the West Coast and the East Coast during a segment on the brand new MLB Network.

“In L.A., if the Dodgers are losing in the seventh inning, people just go home and watch the end of the game on TV,” Williams said. “In New York or Philly, if you’re losing in the seventh inning, they go home, get the TV, come back to the ballpark and throw it at you.”

In a word, Williams said, the difference is “intensity.”

In reality, it’s not just sports where things are amped up back East. Church leaders, too, play on a much bigger stage, facing greater scrutiny from the press and higher expectations of national leadership. They also preside over flocks which are often more unruly, and more vocal when they’re unhappy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Milwaukee Archbishop Chosen to Succeed Egan

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: February 23, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI on Monday named Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who has led the archdiocese of Milwaukee for the last seven years, to succeed Cardinal Edward M. Egan as the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York.

Archbishop Dolan, who has a towering frame and a gregarious presence, is orthodox in his theology but more likely to use persuasion than punishment on Catholics who do not share his views. In choosing him, the pope passed over other candidates equally conservative but more confrontational with Catholic priests, parishioners and politicians who question church teaching.

The appointment marks the first time in the 200-year history of the archdiocese that power will be transferred from a living prelate to his successor, in a post that Pope John Paul II once called “archbishop of the capital of the world.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

A Genial Enforcer of Rome’s Conservative Line

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The New York Times

By MICHAEL POWELL
Published: February 23, 2009
MILWAUKEE — For a few deeply unpleasant days, the Rev. David Cooper found himself in the crosshairs of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

It was 2003, and the priest had opined to a reporter that women should be ordained. Faraway bishops rumbled about censure. Then he picked up the telephone and heard the baritone of Milwaukee’s archbishop, Timothy Michael Dolan. Father Cooper immediately offered to resign.

No, no, the archbishop replied, we just need to repair the damage. “He was very pastoral and caring,” Father Cooper recalled.

And how was it resolved? “Oh, I agreed to recant,” he said. “He effectively silenced me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

After Media-Savvy O’Connor, Egan Tackled the Basics

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: February 23, 2009
He closed a budget gap, streamlined the payroll, eschewed wholesale layoffs, avoided scandal, kept a low profile, and occasionally played a Mozart piano sonata for guests at his home. Most C.E.O.’s with a record like that would make stockholders swoon.

Yet Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who will retire in April as head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, rarely evoked that kind of reaction during his nine years as steward of the church’s flagship diocese in the United States.

He was respected by some, feared and reviled by some; but in a way that made him more fully a New Yorker than any of his recent predecessors, Cardinal Egan, 76, was also a bit of a faceless stranger in the city.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Pope Benedict appoints Archbishop Dolan to head Catholic Church in NY City

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2009 / 07:50 am (CNA).-

Today Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee to become the next Archbishop of New York, a see that the Vatican more than once has described as “the capital of the world.”

Timothy Michael Dolan was born February 6, 1950, the first of five children of Shirley Radcliffe Dolan and the late Robert Dolan.

In 1964, he began his high school seminary education at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South in Shrewsbury, Mo. After studying at Cardinal Glennon College and then at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Archbishop Dolan was ordained a priest on June 19, 1976

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Monsignor Timothy Dolan is next NY archbishop

NEW YORK
The Associated Press

By RACHEL ZOLL

NEW YORK (AP) — Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, a defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who led an elite seminary for U.S. priests and became known for his energy, wit and warmth, was named archbishop of New York on Monday.

The Vatican said Dolan would succeed Cardinal Edward Egan, 76, who is retiring as archbishop after nearly nine years. The post is the most prominent in the American Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II called the job "archbishop of the capital of the world."

The New York archdiocese is the second-largest in the U.S., behind the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, serving 2.5 million parishioners in nearly 400 churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

February 22, 2009

What would Jesus do?

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Ordered to go for defying orthodoxy, Father Peter Kennedy must decide his next move in the stand-off over St Mary's in South Brisbane. What happens next in the church may influence the direction of Catholicism in Australia, writes Andrew Fraser.

As mass begins at St Mary’s Catholic Church in South Brisbane, there is no sign of a priest. Peter Kennedy, who the Catholic Church calls the parish priest but who is called the “Mass presider” in the St Mary’s newsletter, is walking around, but there’s no dog collar, vestments, or any of the other orthodox trappings of a Catholic priest. On this muggy January day, Father Kennedy wears white trousers and a loose, short-sleeved white shirt.

The interior also looks different from most Catholic churches. Instead of sitting in rows of pews facing the altar, the congregation gathers around a central table, turning its back on the 19th century sanctuary at one end of the church, with its stained-glass windows, pictures of Mary and Jesus, and marble statues. In this church-in-the-round, the most eye-catching symbol is an Aboriginal flag.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Mass. priest faces abuse allegations

PLYMOUTH (MA)
My Fox Boston

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - The Archdiocese of Boston has placed a priest of its Plymouth church on administrative leave following allegations that he sexually abused a minor about 30 years ago.

The archdiocese said on Sunday that it has launched a preliminary investigation into the complaint against Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc, pastor of St. Peter's Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Anti-abuse group leaflets parish

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

February 22, 2009 4:34 PM
Following this month's sentencing of defrocked Catholic priest Donald McGuire, a small group of supporters of victims of sexual abuse by clergy braved the frigid cold Sunday to hand out informational fliers calling on parishioners at the historic Holy Family Parish to learn more about Jesuit priests who, like McGuire, have been convicted of abusing children.

"These people [the parishioners] have a lot more influence than we could possibly imagine," said Peter Isely, Midwest director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, outside the church at 1080 W. Roosevelt Road. "The way to make changes is to make a call or two, and those things really add up. That's our hope."

On Feb. 11, McGuire, 78, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, marking another chapter in his stunning fall from the pinnacle of the Jesuit order. He had once traveled the world giving spiritual retreats and had even acted as a confessor to Mother Teresa. On Friday, another lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleging sex abuse and a coverup by McGuire and his supervisors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Legion - Cultural Dynamics

The Cathoholic

Joan Frawley Desmond

In the course of researching an article on the Legion of Christ, I have spoken with many ex-Legion priests from the United States about the reasons they left the order. One issue they mentioned is the cultural tensions between Americans and Mexicans in the Legion. I have not addressed this problem before because it's not an easy topic to discuss.

Such problems are not uncommon in any religious order that draws recruits across national boundaries. When the MIssionaries of Charity sought a successor for Mother Teresa, I recall some reports about tensions within the order regarding the nationality of various candidates, and even, in the case of Indian sisters, their caste . In the end, the Missionaries chose a wonderful woman that I, for one, deeply respect -- Sister Nirmala. However, it's interesting to note that despite the many Indians in the order, and the large contingent of Europeans and Americans, the founder's successor was not an Indian or a Westerner, but a Nepalese convert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Plymouth priest accused, placed on leave

PLYMOUTH (MA)
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson February 22, 2009 01:04 PM

The Archdiocese of Boston has placed the Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc, pastor of St. Peter Church in Plymouth, on leave after saying it has received an allegation of abuse against him. Here is the statement from the archdiocese:

"The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that it has placed Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc on administrative leave as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately thirty years ago. Fr. LeBlanc is pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Plymouth.

The Archdiocese also has initiated a preliminary investigation into this complaint. Fr. LeBlanc will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Accused Mass. Priest Placed On Leave

PLYMOUTH (MA)
TheBostonChannel

BOSTON -- The pastor of a Catholic church in Plymouth was placed on administrative leave Sunday following accusations that he sexually abused a child several decades ago.

According to a statement from the Archdiocese of Boston, the Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc, pastor of St. Peter’s Church, is accused of abusing a minor about 30 years ago. LeBlanc will remain on administrative leave pending an investigation by church authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Protecting the weak

UNITED KINGDOM
Cherwell

by Joe Shapiro | 18:14 GMT, Sun 22 February 2009

Trying hard to avoid my usual slurp, I politely sip my tea from a delicate china cup. Baroness Cumberlege sits across from me, her armchair dwarfing her slight frame and Tory-blue suit. She speaks with a soft yet resolute conviction about her time chairing the Cumberlege Commission. This was set up in 2006 to review the efforts of the Catholic Church of England and Wales in stamping out child abuse by members of the clergy - an issue which has plagued the Church for decades. I am keen to find out what has been achieved, and why such measures were necessary in the first place - one might have expected a holy Church to be free of such horrendous actions.

The stereotype of the paedophile Catholic priest is well known and frequently depicted in the media. A case of a sexual abuse cover-up by the clergy, particularly if the scandal reaches the higher echelons of the Church, is always going to make a good headline. Of course the impression of priests this stereotype gives is highly exaggerated; not every priest is a child abuser any more than every Muslim is a terrorist. Yet the concept of the paedophile priest is not entirely fabricated by a deceitful media. There were twenty-one convictions between 1995-2001. Clearly there is at least a small fire amid all this smoke, and I begin by asking the Baroness why she thinks these problems were not dealt with as soon as they occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Archdiocese of Boston Places Reverend Kenneth A. LeBlanc on Administrative Leave

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

(Braintree, Mass.) February 22, 2009…The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that it has placed Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc on administrative leave as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately thirty years ago. Fr. LeBlanc is pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Plymouth. The Archdiocese also has initiated a preliminary investigation into this complaint. Fr. LeBlanc will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation.

The decision to place Fr. LeBlanc on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. LeBlanc’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation. The Archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties. Cardinal O’Malley expressed his sadness over this new allegation and reiterated his concern for all persons impacted by sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Archdiocese of Boston places Rev. LeBlanc on administrative leave

MASSACHUSETTS
NECN

(NECN) - On Sunday, the Archdiocese of Boston announced that they have placed Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc on administrative leave as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately thirty years ago.

Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc was the pastor of St. Peter's Church in Plymouth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Indigeous People Ask: Where is the Outrage?

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
Native American Journalists Foundation, Inc.

February 23, 2009

The most anxious reactions by the Native victims of sexual abuse at Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian mission boarding schools are: "Where in hell is the outrage?"

It seems that most of America doesn't give a damn and news that should be on the front page of every major newspaper is strangely absent. Where in the hell is the outrage?

Last week the Jesuits of Oregon Province in Alaska filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Why were they forced into this action? Because more than 60 lawsuits alleging sex abuse by Jesuit priests have been filed against them and in all, there are 200 known claimants in the five western states covered by the Province. Most of the victims are from Alaska.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Priest to fight sacking in court

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | February 23, 2009

SACKED Catholic priest Peter Kennedy will this week continue his fight against the Brisbane diocese in the civil courts unless he is reinstated, after he rejected mediation talks and defiantly conducted Sunday mass for more than 1500 parishioners at St Mary's church.

Despite Archbishop John Bathersby last week dismissing Father Kennedy and appointing Father Ken Howell to lead the St Mary's parish, an estimated 1600 people spilled outside the church yesterday morning to support the rebel priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Sacking divides church

AUSTRALIA
The Daily

Sunshine Coast Catholics have mixed feelings over the sacking of controversial Brisbane priest Peter Kennedy, but are united in sharing the pain of the dispute.

The rebel priest, who was sacked for unorthodox practices, says he will continue to defy the Catholic Church and lead his South Brisbane parish because his dismissal was unjust.

Father Kennedy conducted mass at St Mary’s Catholic Church yesterday despite being stood down last week by Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Stand By for Text

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Whispers in the Loggia

While The World Waits (Just A Bit Longer) for the Big One, a tad of news has popped up from another highly-awaited vacancy....

In preparation for the appointment of the ninth archbishop of St Louis, in recent days the Gateway City Roundhouse unveiled a first-of-its-kind alert system that'll beam the name of the chosen via text message on whatever day the announcement is made at Roman Noon -- or, as it's known in the "Rome of the West," 5am.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

New child sex abuse lawsuit is filed against Mother Theresa's 'confessor'

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
As parishioners leave mass, clergy molestation victims will
--- hand out fliers warning parishioners about several Jesuit predator priests who've worked in Chicago,
--- disclose a new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a prominent priest & his church supervisors, and --- beg Catholics to ask friends & family if they were hurt by Jesuit clerics and if so, to report the crimes to police.

WHEN
Sunday, Feb. 22, at 10:30 AM

WHERE
Outside Holy Family Parish, 1080 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Chicago (312-492-8442, holyfamilychicago.org)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Bishop Defends Move to Oust Pastor

OHIO
WYTV

The allegations of misconduct at Zion Lutheran first reached officials of the Northeast Ohio Synod last fall, prompting the Bishop herself to conduct an investigation. After a two month review, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton says, "I became increasingly convinced that these were not false accusations."The allegations of misconduct at Zion Lutheran first reached officials of the Northeast Ohio Synod last fall, prompting the Bishop herself to conduct an investigation. After a two month review, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton says, "I became increasingly convinced that these were not false accusations."

After hearing from alleged victims, the Bishop tells us she confronted then Pastor Dale Giffin who had been with Zion Lutheran nearly 30 years. She says Giffin denied the charges, even claiming his accusers held some sort of vendetta against him. She then offered Giffin the chance to take his case with a church disciplinary hearing, where he could have obtained legal counsel, face his accusers and mount a defense. The Bishop says, "he chose not to do that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Parishioner found peace through cleric

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Marissa Calligeros | February 22, 2009 - 5:59AM

THE Brisbane church at the centre of a feud between Archbishop John Bathersby and a maverick cleric has been for decades a parish "on the fringe".

The 700-strong St Mary's congregation, led by embattled 71-year-old priest Peter Kennedy has a ministry in the inner city and is widely acknowledged as a haven for the poor, the marginalised, indigenous people, homosexuals and broken families.

At the centre of a four-year-long furore, which culminated last week with the Catholic Church terminating Father Kennedy's position, were accusations the South Brisbane priest contravened Catholic doctrine by allowing women to preach at Mass, and using unorthodox wording in baptisms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Sacked priest, Fr Kennedy, celebrates mass at St Mary's Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

REBEL priest Father Peter Kennedy defied the Catholic Church by conducting mass today, after being sacked by Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby last week.

More than a thousand people attended the service at St Mary's church in South Brisbane in support of Fr Kennedy, who was sacked for refusing to stop unorthodox practices such as blessing gay couples and selling books that questioned the divinity of Jesus.

The parish's newly appointed priest, Fr Ken Howell, stayed away after being advised by police not to attend following revelations on Saturday that Archbishop Bathersby had been the target of a bomb threat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Sacked priest, Father Peter Kennedy, rejects mediated talks

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | February 22, 2009

REBEL priest Father Peter Kennedy has rejected proposed mediated talks with Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby unless moves to sack him from St Mary's church are abandoned.

After an estimated 1600 people turned out for Sunday morning mass at the inner-city Brisbane church, Fr Kennedy vowed he would continue to defy Dr Bathersby's decree last week to remove him as administrator of St Mary's Church while he has the support of the congregation.

Parishioners spilled out into the grounds of the church, as the 9am service was led by Fr Kennedy and colleague, Fr Terry Fitzpatrick with both receiving standing ovations and the service ending with a rendition of the protest song "We Shall Not be Moved''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Rebel Australia priest defies sacking: reports

AUSTRALIA
AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) — A rebel Catholic priest in Australia, who was sacked for blessing gay couples and allowing women to preach, defied his archbishop and led mass on Sunday, media reports said.

Father Peter Kennedy preached in front of hundreds of parishioners gathered to show support after his dismissal last week, national news agency AAP reported.

The Catholic church said Kennedy's nominated replacement did not attend Sunday service in Brisbane on police advice following a bomb threat against Archbishop John Bathersby, who sacked the 71-year-old Kennedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

The legacy of abuse

WINSLOW (AZ)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

First in a two-part series

WINSLOW, Ariz. — Before his death in October 2007 — at age 39 — Winslow resident Marc Rogers was never able to publicly speak out about an incident that forever haunted his life, an incident in which a Diocese of Gallup priest was arrested and accused of molesting him when Rogers was a 14-year-old boy in 1983.

Rogers’ family now believes that several powerful authorities in Winslow — the Winslow Police Department, the Navajo County Attorney’s office, and church officials with the Diocese of Gallup — acted in ways to silence the voice of Marc Rogers by shutting him out of all legal proceedings against the Rev. John Boland. Family members say after Boland was transferred out of Winslow and the case was closed, Rogers emotionally shut down and descended into a troubled life of alcohol and drug abuse. They believe those addictions, combined with the diabetes he had struggled with since adolescence, led to his early death.

The family is now trying to be Marc Rogers’ voice in this world. And ironically, their opportunity to speak out was triggered by the actions of Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, the current apostolic administrator for the Gallup Diocese. Olmsted recently pulled Boland from ministry, pending an investigation, after reportedly finding a reference to the alleged molestation charge in Boland’s personnel file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

February 21, 2009

Priest testifies spending church money was 'a small compensation' for his service

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, February 20, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — In layman's cloth, the Rev. Francis Guinan folded his tall frame behind the witness stand Friday, a priest transformed to a small, simple human testifying in his own defense against allegations of grand theft fueled by the deadly sin of greed.

In friendly questioning, his defense attorney, Richard Barlow, asked if Guinan felt he had discretion to spend St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church's offering money on such things as trips to Las Vegas and rounds of golf.

Guinan answered that he felt it was all "a small compensation" for his service.

Prosecutors in the evidence portion of the trial, which concluded this week, have emphasized seven trips to Las Vegas, three to the Bahamas, multiple others around Florida and to Ireland, luxury hotels, tickets purchased for females, even a charge for jewelry in the 20 months he was the church's pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

The Issue of Justice

MISSISSIPPI
Daily Journal

2/21/2009 1:17:19 PM
Daily Journal

The Most Rev. Joseph Latino became the 10th bishop of the Catholic Dicoese of Jackson in 2003. Today he shepherds 48,000 Catholics in 105 parishes spread throughout 65 counties. Latino came to Mississippi after serving four decades as a parish priest in his native Louisiana. ...

Q: Particularly since the sexual abuse crisis, there's a feeling among some people that Catholic bishops are a clandestine, fraternal order that, behind the scenes, concoct all manner of devious schemes. Can you address both the importance of acknowledging the damage done by the sexual abuse as well as the unfair, blanket misconceptions about bishops and religious life in general?

A:I'm almost six years a bishop, now, and I can tell you that when 280 bishops are together, arguing, debating, going through drafts until they get something right, it's an amazing thing. All those personalities, all those ideas coming together. Amazing.

I understand the suspicion, and there is a kind of close camaraderie, but it's nothing bad or sinister. Even some priests think Oh, you fellows are talking secret stuff in there.' But, really, what bishops talk about, what they're steeped in, is the good of the church. The scandal of the sexual abuse, the people who were hurt and the priests that were dismissed, I can tell you, honestly, that bishops really suffered over that. They really suffered. Knowing the pain that was inflicted and still goes on, knowing they had to dismiss priests, the bishops really suffered, for everyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Santa Barbara public nuisance case against Franciscans dismissed

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

Dated Feb. 17, 2009, the dismissal of a civil suit against the Franciscan Friars and Old Mission Santa Barbara is official. The Superior Court dismissed "entire action and all causes of action" on papers filed the 9th of February.

From Tim Hale: "By settling the nuisance case before the demurrer hearing, the Franciscans insured that the issue of whether the nuisance theory applies to the Franciscans (or other entity defendants) remains an undecided case of first impression, at least for now.

"It is worth noting that the Franciscans became interested in mediating the case only when we were a few weeks away from the court ruling on their demurrer.

"I definitely expect to test its viability in lawsuits filed this summer, and strongly believe the nuisance theory is the only way we will ever obtain the true transparency necessary to save today's children from current perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Come Spend a “Scandal Free” St. Patrick’s Day in Scranton, PA!

SCRANTON (PA)
Off My Knees

I follow what is happening in Scranton through the Scranton Times - Tribune Website, and yes, I specifically mine the site for any nuggets of information that pertain to the Diocese and sexual abuse cases. Sometimes the site yields other gems on the goings on in the Electric City. For instance, on February 19th, the headline read “Hot Topic: Bishop Warns Irish Planners in Scranton”. It seems the Bishop is determined to “prevent scandal”, at a St Patrick’s Parade. Good luck with that. Today’s headline “…Parade will comply with bishop’s abortion-rites ban” shows that the Diocese still has a grip on the important things in life.

According to the article, the diocese issued a letter warning Irish American groups that the bishop may close St. Peters Cathedral during St Patrick’s Day celebration if pro choice honorees are selected to march or speak in the parade. The letter was signed by the Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, the Most Reverend John M. Dougherty. Dougherty, now that is a fine Irish Irish name. Nice touch, don’t you think?

The Diocese of Scranton is willing to shut down churches, deny daily mass and bully Irish American groups, even those that are not Catholic organizations, to “prevent scandal”. This is the same organization that supports hiding pedophile priests. I think that they might have their “prevent scandal” priorities a wee bit out of whack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Gag order sought in ex-priest's court case

OHIO
Toledo Blade

By ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office has requested a gag order be put in place and all future filings be sealed while postconviction issues continue to be hashed out in the criminal case of a priest convicted of murdering a nun.

The motion came just weeks after Gerald Robinson's defense attorneys filed a lengthy postconviction motion that claims ineffective assistance of trial counsel and the failure of prosecutors to provide exculpatory information in their possession prior to trial.

Dean Mandros, chief of the prosecutor's criminal division, noted in a response filed late yesterday that one of the points raised by Robinson's appellate lawyers throughout the postconviction motion is "prejudicial pretrial publicity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Offaly-born theft charge priest says money was his to spend

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Offaly Independent (Ireland)

An Offaly-born priest accused of stealing over a half a million dollars from a Florida church is arguing this week that the money was his to spend.

Fr Francis Guinan’s defence team told a US court this week that the Catholic Church gave such wide latitude on priest’s expenditures, as long as they were below $50,000 in one spend, that the money had no strings attached.

The 66-year-old cleric originally from Eglish, Birr, stands charged with stealing almost $500,000 from his former church in Delray Beach in Florida.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Rogue priest surprised by Archbishop threats

AUSTRALIA
Yahoo! News

ABC - February 21, 2009, 5:38 pm

A priest at the centre of a row involving a Brisbane Catholic parish says he is surprised by reports threats have been made against the city's Archbishop.

Police have confirmed a threatening letter mentioning St Mary's parish was sent to the inner-Brisbane home of Archbishop John Bathersby yesterday.

St Mary's is at the centre of a controversy after priest Father Kennedy was sacked by church authorities for refusing to back down on unorthodox practices, such as allowing women to preach and blessing gay couples.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Pastor accused of sex abuse

MISSOURI
St. Joseph News-Press

by Joe Blumberg
Saturday, February 21, 2009

A John Doe is suing the Huffman Memorial United Methodist Church and its regional and state organizations for alleged sexual abuse by a lay pastor in the early 1970s.

The case, filed last week in Buchanan County Circuit Court, seeks a jury trial to award unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. “John Doe HG” has asked Judge Randall Jackson to allow him to use the pseudonym because using his real name “would expose him to public ridicule and humiliation.”

The lawsuit accuses former lay pastor Jim Bourne of engaging with the boy in “various sexual acts” in approximately 1971-72. The suit names as defendants Huffman Memorial, the Pony Express District of the United Methodist Church, and the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

The inside story

INDIA
The Statesman

Press Trust of India
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb. 20: The autobiography of a former nun in Kerala, in which she recounts her “harrowing” experience during her time spent in the cloisters, is selling like hot cakes even as the influential Catholic church is yet to react to the charges in the book.

In her memoirs in Malayalam titled Amen (so be it), Sister Jesme writes of alleged sexual abuse, corruption and power struggles in the “dark confines” of convents where she had lived for about 30 years. ...

“When a woman is molested only one in thousand will speak out. Then think of the nuns, they will not speak out the truth,” Jesme, now staying in Kozhikode, said. Jesme reminisces that she had had hints of things turning out against her right from the day she joined a convent as an aspirant for nunhood while continuing her college studies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Diocese records don't have to be given to accuser

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA The Diocese of Orange doesn't have to turn over internal records about allegations of childhood sexual abuse made against a priest who faces a new molestation accusation, a judge ruled today.

The diocese and Father Denis Lyons are being sued by Jonathan Kirrer of Fountain Valley, who alleges Lyons abused him at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa in 1994 and 1995. Kirrer filed his lawsuit in March 2008, and trial is scheduled for May 18.

A hearing in the case was held today. Orange County Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino denied Kirrer's request to order the diocese to hand over records regarding previous allegations of child sex abuse by Lyons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Jesuits’ Oregon province, facing abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Review

By Catholic News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon province of the Society of Jesus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Feb. 17 citing a number of pending lawsuits over clergy sexual abuse claims.

The petition was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon in Portland in response to 200 lawsuits filed recently against Jesuits of the province. The abuse claims are primarily from Alaskans who said they had been abused as children by priests.

The Jesuits’ Oregon province, based in Portland, serves Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Judge: OC diocese doesn't have to share records

SANTA ANA (CA)
Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 - 9:45 pm
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A judge has ruled that the Catholic Diocese of Orange doesn't have to provide internal records to a man who is suing over alleged clergy sexual abuse.

An Orange County Superior Court judge denied the plaintiff's request on Friday to order the diocese to hand over records about previous allegations of child sex abuse against Denis Lyons.

The lawsuit names both the diocese and Lyons and claims he abused a boy at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa in 1994 and 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Romeo priest Roddy MacNeil kicked off university course for pestering students

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Feb 21 2009 By Janice Burns

A SEX shame priest has been kicked off a university course after pestering female students.

"Father Flash" Roddy MacNeil, who fathered a child with his married first cousin and bedded another lover half his age, was training for a new career as a counsellor.

But at least six of his fellow students complained about his "inappropriate behaviour", including making "advances" to young women on his course.

And after an inquiry, Strathclyde University sent him packing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

February 20, 2009

Rebel Brisbane priest refuses to give up parish

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A rebel Catholic priest who has been sacked as the administrator of a South Brisbane church is refusing to leave his post.

Father Peter Kennedy was dismissed by Catholic Church authorities after he refused to stop unorthodox practices at St Mary's.

He was supposed leave the parish on Wednesday, but is yet to go.

Father Kennedy will not hand over his keys to the new administrator, Ken Howell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Cardinal Mahony Claims "The Archdiocese Today is Safe For Children"

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Injury Board

February 20, 2009 - 07:34 PM

Cardinal Roger Mahony believes that hundreds of years of sexual abuse, that has taken place throughout various Catholic orders, is "all behind us" now. What evidence supports his assertion?

Just because the Cardinal paid $660 million to settle more than 500 victims of sexual abuse cases -- the largest settlement in the country -- doesn't mean his assurances are any more valid than when the Cardinal promised, in 2007, to release sealed documents related to the cases (sealed by the church). Those documents, almost two years later, have yet to be released. So technically Cardinal, it's not all behind us.

Below is an article from the Los Angeles Times detailing recent news coming from the Feds case against Los Angeles Archdiocese:

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 8:46 PM

Christa Brown on Broadway & SBC

UNITED STATES
The Big Daddy Weave

February 20, 2009

Christa Brown is the national Baptist outreach director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. On her latest blog post, Christa asks:

If congregational autonomy doesn’t preclude the SBC from investigating a church with gay members, why does congregational autonomy preclude the SBC from investigating a church with a reported clergy child molester in the pulpit?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Former priest takes stand today

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
WPTV

Reported by: Tim Malloy
Email: tmalloy@wptv.com

WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- The defense has rested in the grand theft trial of former priest Father Guinan.

A befuddled Guinan said at the witness stand, "I did what I thought was appropriate at the time ... in response to situations within my rights."

The jury will come back Monday to make a final decision in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Will Denial be the Demise of the Illinois Democrats?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Observer

Thomas F. Roeser 20 February 2009
Truth comes hard in Democrat-controlled Chicago. Last week it came dribbling out under extreme pressure when U. S. Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) admitted-despite the version from his earlier sworn testimony-that he tried to raise money for Gov. Blagojevich who named him to his post. Blago’s brother hit him up for $10,000 but he couldn’t raise a nickel, Burris said, but he was appointed to the job anyhow. He’s the subject of a criminal investigation and also a U. S. Senate ethics committee probe. ...

He was introduced at the City Club by Alderman Edward Burke, the most powerful alderman who has spent a bloviating lifetime surveying his own greatness. Burke compared Burris to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin who noted that the cardinal (like Burris he hinted) was accused unfairly.

Unfairly? Here’s the story before it was converted into myth. A former seminarian from the Cincinnati archdiocese, Steven E. Cook, filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bernardin and a Cincinnati priest. The suit accused the priest of numerous coercive sexual acts against him in the mid-1970s and then delivering him to Bernardin, then archbishop of Cincinnati, for the same purposes. The suit was settled out of court with Cook declaring finally that he could not trust his memory. Contrary to liberal myth which Burke continued to perpetuate at the City Club yesterday, Cook never retracted his charges and never declared they were inaccurate. Four months after the suit was introduced, it was settled out of court and the terms are sealed.

According to the book “Amchurch Comes Out,” by Paul Likoudis, now news editor of “The Wanderer,” the nation’s oldest national Catholic weekly, Bernardin’s lawyers were involved in settling another case in which seminarians in Winona, Minn. accused him and three other bishops of sex abuse at which reportedly Cook was in attendance. Settlement stemming from the lawsuit has also been sealed. What is known is that his closest friend was Msgr. Frederick Hopwood, accused of abusing hundreds of boys dating back to the early `50s. And here from Likoudis’ book is an eye-opener: coming to the legal defense of Hopwood was the Chicago archdiocese’s powerhouse law firm, Mayer, Brown which negotiated cash settlements to Hopwood’s alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

We've only just begun

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

Nicole Sotelo

"That's all behind us," Cardinal Roger Mahony assured Catholics in Los Angeles on a radio station last month. It was the day after news broke that the archdiocese was under federal investigation regarding its response to sexual abuse. The archdiocese had settled with more than 500 sexual abuse survivors in 2007. The cardinal offered an apology. So the sexual abuse crisis is behind us, but only if we think that is the whole story. It's not.

As part of the settlement, the cardinal's office promised to release the documents related to the cases. The documents have yet to be released. It's been two years. So it's not behind us. In fact, the long road to creating a safe church has only just begun.

The 2002 Boston Globe revelations and the watershed in our knowledge about sexual abuse in our church was a catalyzing moment. Any social movement has one of those dramatic moments that reveals years of suffering and launches a new phase in the movement. Think Rosa Parks sitting down. Think Gandhi standing up. And then think of the years that linger ahead of those moments as the hard work of transformation continues. We're still trying to eradicate racism. We're still trying to eliminate the effects of colonialism. And we're still trying to create a church that protects the vulnerable and heals the wounded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Delray Beach priest to take the stand in his defense in missing money trial

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, February 20, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — The Rev. Francis Guinan is expected to take the witness stand in his own defense this afternoon as he attempts to convince a jury that church money was spent for legitimate church purposes.

A small flock of priests in Roman collars sat outside the courtroom this morning, waiting to testify. The first one up made a stunning statement: that he too may have spent church offerings on expensive trips for himself.

The Rev. Thomas Rynne, ordained in 1956, took a long pause before answering a prosecutor's question about it.

"Just give me a moment please to think about that," Rynne said. "You see... it's almost impossible for you people to understand what it is to a priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Oregon Province Jesuits file for bankruptcy

OREGON
National Catholic Reporter

By Tom Roberts, NCR Staff
Published: Feb. 20, 2009

The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, facing hundreds of claims of sexual abuse by Jesuits over a 60-year period, has filed for bankruptcy. The move by the order to seek bankruptcy protection follows by a year a similar decision by the historically Jesuit Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, in which much of the alleged abuse occurred.

If successful, the province, by filing under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, would be able “to resolve pending claims, manage its financial situation and continue its various ministries,” said Jesuit Fr. Patrick J. Lee, provincial, in a statement posted on the province’s website. The Oregon province encompasses Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

Unknown this early in the proceedings is whether Jesuit institutions such as schools and universities and other ministries will be affected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

More anti-Semitic remarks attributed to Williamson, SSPX

Catholic Culture

February 20, 2009
Three former American seminarians of the Society of St. Pius X-- two of whom are now priests in full communion with the Holy See-- have recounted Bishop Richard Williamson’s anti-Semitic remarks of two decades ago. One priest recalls, “'Oppenheimer, I don't like your name. If you keep it up, there's a gas chamber waiting for you at the boathouse.” The Boston Globe also reports, “In 1989, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated the bishop, but did not press charges, after he told an audience in Quebec: ‘There was not one Jew killed in the gas chamber. It was all lies, lies, lies.’”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Defense says Delray Beach priest had discretion to spend church funds

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun-Sentinel 10:41 AM EST, February 20, 2009
West Palm Beach - A Jensen Beach priest told a jury this morning he would have discretion to take expensive vacations using church money if he chose to do so.

"Would I spend that money?" said Rev. Thomas Rynne, pastor emeritus of St. Martin de Porres Church in Jensen Beach. "Yes I would, without hesitation."

Rynne's testimony came on the first day of defense witnesses in the trial of the Rev. Francis Guinan. Guinan, 66, is accused of stealing money from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, spending it on girlfriends, trips and supporting a gambling habit. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the grand theft charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota Faces Economic Crisis: Leaders Call for Drastic Restructuring

MINNESOTA
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
2/19/2009

The Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota faces an economic crisis. A number of their leaders are calling for a drastic restructuring of the diocese saying that diocesan structures are too expensive to maintain.

Parishes have withheld their diocesan assessments with leaders arguing that the economic crisis is dramatically impacting their mission. The situation is so serious that there is talk about curtailing central office costs with only one full-time administrator and one part time bookkeeper. ...

The Diocese of Minneapolis has also become a haven for Episcopal priest and sex offender, The Rev. Lynn Bauman, 64, admitted to molesting an 8-year-old boy on a camping trip in 1996. He was sentenced to 10 years' probation, according to the Texas Department of Corrections. Bauman got a green light from the bishop to lead a $310-per person retreat at St. John's Abbey in the Minnesota diocese.

In a statement, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota said that Bauman has been "a well-received lecturer at the House of Prayer for over a decade" and that Episcopal Bishop James Jelinek and St. John's Abbot John Klassen were aware of his past. Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) was outraged. "It's not the first time he's been here. We don't know who might come into contact with him while he's here."

One thing the diocese is coming into contact with is emptying pews, rising costs and a slowly withering diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Elderly priest stops his indecent assault trial going ahead

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 20 February 2009

An elderly priest has been successful in his bid to stop his trial on charges of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl 30 years ago.

The retired 83-year-old Roman Catholic Priest, who is partially blind, had argued that his right to a fair trial had been breached by the delay in making the complaints.

The offences allegedly occurred in his home in 1977 and 1978 - the alleged victim made a formal complaint to Gardai in 2006 with charges brought against the priest in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

'Society has right to know what’s happening to nuns'

INDIA
Indian Express

Thiruvananthapuram: The autobiography of a former nun in Kerala, in which she recounts her ‘harrowing’ experience during her time spent in the cloisters, is selling like hot cakes even as the influential Catholic church is yet to react to the charges in the book.

In her memoirs in Malayalam titled ‘Amen’ (so be it), 'Sister' Jesme writes of alleged sexual abuse, corruption and power struggles in the ‘dark confines’ of convents where she had lived for about 30 years.

The book has come out at a time when the influential Catholic church in Kerala is facing a difficult time following the arrest of two nuns in the infamous Sister Abhaya case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Catholic priest's sacking 'will kill parish'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Andrew Fraser | February 21, 2009

A LEGAL battle over the future of rebel Catholic priest Peter Kennedy from St Mary's parish in Brisbane is headed for the Supreme Court after a last minute injunction to stop his dismissal from today failed last night.

While the injunction, filed by legal members of St Mary's congregation, failed to stop Father Kennedy's dismissal from today, judge James Douglas adjourned the case for further submissions on his behalf.

The argument advanced for Father Kennedy is that Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby breached canon law and did not follow correct procedure in his actions in sacking Father Kennedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Catholic Church continues support of sex-abuse priest

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Michael Crutcher
February 20, 2009 11:00pm

THE Catholic Church continues to let a priest hold a position of authority in Brisbane despite admitting he once sexually abused a fellow priest.

The Courier-Mail has obtained a letter signed by the five most powerful men in the Queensland church, including Archbishop John Bathersby, admitting that they responded poorly to the victim's complaint and that they acknowledged that he continued to suffer from the abuse.

The revelation hits the news just as Archbishop Bathersby sacked rebel priest Peter Kennedy from St Mary's at South Brisbane, urging him to retire from the priesthood for contradicting accepted church teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Book aims to aid victims of ritual abuse

UTAH
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 1:53 a.m. MST

Anne A Johnson Davis is shedding the moniker she used in a 1995 Deseret News story about her childhood as a victim of ritualistic satanic abuse and speaking out in a memoir of her life. Davis, now a Lehi mother of three, is stepping into the spotlight again with the publication of her book "Hell Minus One."

"I have had enough healing and closure of my own, I feel I'm in a place where I really feel the call to share what I have to help others find courage," Davis said in an interview Wednesday.

Davis' story is so bizarre, it's hard to believe it actually happened — save for the fact that she has signed confessions from her mother and stepfather, a financial settlement and investigators from the Utah Attorney General's Office who vouched for her. From age 3 until she ran away at 17, she said she was sexually abused, tortured, bathed in blood and forced to hurt her siblings in satanic rituals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Bishop's vexing beliefs have deep roots

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / February 20, 2009

John and Joseph Rizzo were looking for an old-fashioned Catholicism when, fresh out of Weymouth South High School, they enrolled at a small schismatic seminary in Connecticut where Mass was in Latin and the modern era was viewed with suspicion.

But they were not prepared for one element of their experience in Ridgefield: a rector, the Rev. Richard Williamson, who they experienced as an unabashed anti-Semite who was dismissive of the Holocaust and hostile to women.

Today Williamson is at the center of a global controversy after Pope Benedict XVI lifted an excommunication order against him and three other leaders of the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X who in 1988 had been ordained bishops without Vatican approval. ...

"I have a sizable nose, and he would say to me, 'Rizzo, are you baptized, or are you a Jew?' " John Rizzo, who is now based in New Zealand, said in a phone interview from Australia. "There was another seminarian named Oppenheimer, and he would say: 'Oppenheimer, I don't like your name. If you keep it up, there's a gas chamber waiting for you at the boathouse.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Former students back exiled priest

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

8:25am Friday 20th February 2009

By Neil Macfarlane

FORMER students of a priest who has been banned from attending his church for more than four years have started a petition to get him reinstated.

Father Michael Higginbottom was suspended by the Catholic church without explanation in December 2004 and has been barred from his parish in Darlington ever since.

No official reason has been given for the action, but it is thought that the priest was taken out of duty due to reports of an unspecified incident alleged to have taken place during his time as a lecturer at Upholland College, near Wigan, in the Seventies or Eighties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Priest told feds he'd return some money, but not end vacation

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
TCPalm

BY SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL Palm Beach Post
Originally published 06:13 a.m., February 20, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — Prosecutors rested their case Thursday against the Rev. Francis "Frank" Guinan, a priest accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former Delray Beach parish.

Their final evidence was a recorded phone call between 66-year-old Guinan, who was vacationing in Australia, and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who told him there was a warrant out for his arrest.

In the call, Guinan acknowledged to a certain degree inappropriate use of the church's money, expressed remorse and said he would be willing to pay some back - but not end his vacation prematurely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Extradited priest appears in court

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

February 20, 2009 03:05pm
A FORMER priest who allegedly abused six boys between 1977 and 1994 at various locations around the State appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was extradited from Indonesia late last week to and has been in custody since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Pastor Giffin faces 6 rape charges

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

By Peter H. Milliken

The former Cornersburg clergyman used his authority to take advantage of the woman, a prosecutor alleges.

YOUNGSTOWN — Dale Giffin, who resigned as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Cornersburg last fall, has been indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on six counts of rape.

The indictment, returned Thursday, alleges Giffin, 59, of Topaz Circle, Canfield, raped a parishioner while she was a young adult between 1993 and 1996. The reported offenses occurred in various places, including Giffin’s office, the Canfield Road church basement and sacristy, and in Giffin’s car and residence.

Giffin could not be reached to comment late Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Unholy secrets: A nun's autobiography

INDIA
NDTV

Gilvester Assary
Friday, February 20, 2009, (Kozhikode)

Sister Jesme in Kerala has written a book, which talks of the sexual abuse in the cloisters. The book also reveals how she was abused by priests and even fellow sisters during her years in convent.

"When a woman is molested, sexually harassed, will she speak out? Only one out of a thousand will speak out. So think of nuns! They will never speak out. They fear that their nun hood will be lost," said Sister Jesme, Author, Amen- An Autobiography of a Nun.

Her autobiography had to wait till she had retired as the Principal of St Mary's College in Thrissur and had quit her congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Detroit archdiocese's new shepherd beckons Catholics to heed God's call

TEMPERANCE (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

TEMPERANCE - Archbishop Allen Vigneron made his first visit to Monroe County last night as the new leader of the 1.4-million member Detroit archdiocese, celebrating Mass for about 600 people at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. ...

Asked about the impact of the Dallas Charter, a document adopted by U.S. bishops in 2002 to protect children after the clerical sexual abuse crisis, Archbishop Vigneron said it "has served us very well. I feel in my own responsibility as a bishop, it's given me good guidance in order to make sure that children are safe. That's really our first responsibility and I think we've made a lot of progress. We've certainly put a lot of time and a lot of resources into trying to make sure kids are safe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Indian nun claims sex is rife within Catholic Church

INDIA
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
Last Updated: 11:57AM GMT 20 Feb 2009

Bookshops throughout India's Christian communities in Kerala have already sold out of Amen, the autobiography of Sister Jesme, who has alleged that priests and nuns not only broke their vows of celibacy with each other but regularly forced novices to have sex with them.

The Catholic Church in India is mired in a series of sexual controversies, and has only just begun to recover from the dismissal of a senior bishop who "adopted" an attractive 26-year-old female companion as his "daughter".

The book by the former nun reveals how as a young novice she was propositioned in the confession box by a priest who cited biblical references to "divine kisses". Later she was cornered by a lesbian nun at a college where they were teaching. "She would come to my bed in the night and do lewd acts and I could not stop her," she claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

February 19, 2009

Diocese headquarters up for sale

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Ann McGlynn | Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:04 PM CST
The headquarters complex of the Diocese of Davenport is up for sale.

The St. Vincent Center is listed on the Mel Foster Commercial Web site for $3.5 million — $400,000 less than its estimated value in the $37 million diocesan bankruptcy settlement between sex abuse victims, the church and its insurance companies.

Thad Denhartog, the real estate agent, said the property is a good candidate for redevelopment, with 50 acres and aging buildings that would require significant upgrades by new owners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 PM

Youth Pastor Gets 15 Years in Prison for Abusing Girls

BAKER CITY (OR)
Fox News

Thursday, February 19, 2009

BAKER CITY, Ore. — A former police officer and juvenile court counselor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after he admitted sexually abusing two 16-year-old girls in a church group he led as a youth pastor.

Dean Barnes also was convicted of supplying contraband in jail. In December, officers discovered the 34-year-old Barnes had carved a sharp point on the end of his toothbrush.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Former Zion Lutheran pastor indicted on six rape counts

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

Published: Thursday, February 19, 2009

YOUNGSTOWN — Dale Giffin, who resigned as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Cornersburg last fall, has been indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on six counts of rape.

The indictment, returned Thursday, alleges Giffin, 59, of Topaz Circle, Canfield, raped a parishioner while she was a young adult between 1993 and 1996. The alleged offenses occurred in various places, including Giffin’s office, the church basement and sacristy and in Giffin’s car and residence.

Giffin could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Church working with police after youth leader accused of secretly filming boy

BYRON TOWNSHIP (MI)
The Grand Rapids Press

by The Grand Rapids Press
Thursday February 19, 2009, 6:35 PM
BYRON TOWNSHIP -- The church where David Randal Campell served as a youth leader is cooperating with authorities and its pastor stressed that children are safe in his church.

Campbell is being investigated by the Kent County Sheriff's Department after authorities learned that he secretly taped a youth visiting his Gaines Township home.

The discovery was made last month after Campbell, a youth ministry volunteer and graphic design artist, donated one of his personal computers to the Frontline Bible Church in Byron Township.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Diocese waiting for priest's sentencing

NEW YORK
WNYT

SYRACUSE - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse is waiting for court action before deciding what happens next with the Rev. John Broderick.

That statement follows Broderick's conviction Wednesday of endangering the welfare of a child in Montgomery County.

He was acquitted of more serious sexual abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Former nun tells of sex and suffering inside Indian convent

INDIA
Independent (United Kingdom)

By Andrew Buncombe in Delhi

Friday, 20 February 2009

A former nun's tell-all story which details illicit relationships, sexual harassment and bullying in the convent where she spent three decades is causing ructions in the Catholic Church in the south Indian state of Kerala.

In Amen – an autobiography of a nun, Sister Jesme says when she became a nun she discovered priests were forcing novices to have sex with them. There were also secret homosexual relationships among the nuns and at one point she was forced into such a relationship by another nun who told her she preferred this kind of arrangement as it ruled out the possibility of pregnancy.

"I did not want to make this book controversial. I want to express my feelings and to explain what happened to me... I want people to know how I have suffered," she told The Independent last night, speaking from the town of Kozhikode. "People say that everything is OK, but I was in the convent and I want them to know what goes on. I have concerns for others."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Sex and the Single Priest

UNITED STATES
CNS News

Friday, February 20, 2009
By L. Brent Bozell III

The dictionary defines prejudice as premature judgment: making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event. Some forms of prejudice are fading, racism being the primary and obvious example. The backlash against prejudice is so intense it has spurred its opposite, the call toward tolerance.

But for one sector, the prejudice remains intact. It is perfectly acceptable to spew intolerance against Christians in general and Catholics in particular. But the bonanza of prejudice is reserved for Catholic priests.

In our sex-drenched society, the idea of a single man taking an oath of lifelong celibacy sounds sacrificial to the point of freakish. The world says abstinence is impossible, and pledging abstinence is ridiculous.

So when the crisis over child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church erupted, it didn’t matter that a tiny minority of unfaithful priests (and their supervisors) had betrayed the faithful. Hollywood and other champions of unbridled lust broke out the prejudice, smearing all Catholic priests as stunted at best and predatory at worst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Help for A Survivor

BOSTON (MA)
Stopping the Silence

Phil Saviano, our beloved Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP) colleague in Boston is asking for our help. He is facing a serious health crisis and is reaching out to friends, family and the survivor support community for help. Phil's kidneys are failing, and he needs kidney transplant surgery. His health is holding steady right now, but his kidneys are operating at only 16% of capacity. He may have only several months left before they shut down completely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Jesuit Province Bankruptcy Brings Swift Response

OREGON
OPB News

[with audio]

BY GEOFF NORCROSS

Portland, OR February 19, 2009 10:55 a.m.

Reaction to the news that the Oregon Province of the Jesuit order is filing for bankruptcy protection has been swift and condemning. The Province filed paperwork earlier this week in Portland.

In a statement, the head of the Province said there were around 200 lawsuits pending or threatened against the organization, and said bankruptcy protection is the only way "all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement."

Attorney Ken Roosa doesn't believe it. He has represented about 240 Native Alaskans who say they were sexually abused by Jesuit priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

CPA testifies $487,000 missing from Guinan's Delray Beach church

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — Slush fund 1, slush fund 2, slush fund 3.

Stole fees for Catholic priests, operating accounts, mass stipends.

Testimony in the grand theft case against a Catholic priest Francis "Frank" Guinan delved into finances of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church this morning.

The bottom line: a lot of money was missing from the Delray Beach church after Guinan's stint as pastor, according to the certified public accountant and fraud examiner William Michaelson.

Michaelson, called to the stand by prosecutors, estimates that during the 19 months Guinan was pastor the parish recorded about an average of $20,000 less per month.

Total missing cash? Michaelson estimated $309,000.

Total missing cash and checks? He estimated $487,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

British bishop who denied the Holocaust thrown out of Argentina

ARGENTINA
Mail (United KIngdom)

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 9:53 PM on 19th February 2009

Argentina last night ordered an ultra-traditionalist British bishop who denied the Holocaust out of the country.

It gave Bishop Richard Williamson just 10 days to quit the South American country or to be kicked out by force.

'The interior minister ... orders Richard Nelson Williamson to leave the country within 10 days or be expelled,' said a statement issued by the Argentine government.

Williamson became the focus of a huge row that engulfed the Roman Catholic Church after he said in an interview on Swedish television that the Nazis did not gas any Jews during the Second World War. ...

He has also denounced the musical The Sound of Music as satanic because it involved a nun allegedly seducing a German Army captain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

By Tom Economus, an editorial from 11 years ago, but it could have been written today

City of Angels

(We are running this Winter 1998 editorial from the Linkup quarterly newsletter here at City of Angels, so we can all reflect on how little things have changed in eleven years, and that maybe doing the same thing over and over again is not making much difference. Also to revisit eloquent writings of Tom Economus, a founder of the pedophile priest survivor movement, whose premature death truly set all of us back. Read on.)

Papal Embargo Against Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse: I would like to have started 1998 with a positive column on the healing of victims-survivors and how individuals are beginning to reclaim their lives and move forward. And then the Pope touched down in Cuba and embraced Fidel Castro.

As I watched in total dismay the Holy Father hugging Castro and his genocidal regime and begin his five-day campaign for human rights and dignity, I could not help but think about the thousands of children who have been sexually molested around the world by his priests. Nor could I ignore the embargo that has been initiated by the Vatican against victims in the Roman Catholic Church who seek the same social justice, human dignity that the Pope so eloquently spoke of on behalf of the Cuban people.

(And there was Nancy Pelosi kissing the Pope yesterday in the news.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Phone calls show Delray Beach priest remorseful about missing money

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3:03 PM EST, February 19, 2009
The Rev. Francis Guinan told investigators that he was remorseful when asked about money they say he misappropriated, according to a recorded telephone conversation played in court today.

Investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcment reached Guinan in Australia in 2006, telling him he was about to be arrested on a count of grand theft over $100,000. During the conversation, he was asked if he was remorseful about paying for things like his personal credit card balances with church funds.

"Well, yeah, yeah," he responded. "It could have been handled differently."

A few minutes later, when asked if he would consider repaying the money, he responded, "Yes, I would."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Prominent Belgian writer: Pope lying about knowledge of Williamson

Catholic Culture

February 19, 2009
In remarks that appear on Israel’s leading news site, the brother of former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who led his nation from 1999 to 2008, charges that it is “a lie” to assert that Pope Benedict did not know about Bishop Richard Williamson’s position on the Holocaust when he lifted his excommunication. From 2001 to 2005, writes Dirk Verhofstadt, Cardinal Ratzinger was a member of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, where he “was in the front row, witnessing the doings of the later rehabilitated bishops, including Richard Williamson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

LEGION ADMITS FR MARCIEL HAD FAULTS

Father Joe

Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (March 10, 1920 to January 30, 2008) was a Mexican Catholic Priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement.

Pope Benedict XVI disciplined him in 2006, inviting him to “a reserved life of prayer and penitence.” This was followed by Maciel’s resignation in January of 2006. He had been charged with incidents of pedophilia which he vehemently denied.

The Legionaries made the statement that he had “accepted the instruction with faith, total calm, with a clear conscience knowing that it is a new cross which God, merciful father, has allowed him to suffer”. The statement compared him to the falsely convicted Christ, and having pled his innocence he resolved himself to follow “the example of Jesus Christ, [and] decided not to defend himself in any way.”

Despite the mounting evidence the Legion and Regnum Christi members remained adament that their founder had been falsely maligned.

But among those charging him were an ex-priest and an active priest. Over a half-dozen men came forward and labeled him an abuser. I am sorry, I thought from the beginning there had to be some substance to their charges. But menton a word about this too his supporters and they were all over you.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Statement on Jesuits Filing for Bankruptcy

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Shame on the Jesuits for exploiting the Chapter 11 process to shield their secrets and continue concealing their complicity. And shame on them for using deceptive, insensitive language to minimize and deny their culpability and further hurt those already in deep pain.

At least 28 child molesting Jesuit clergymen have been publicly exposed as serial predators in the Northwest. We suspect there are at least that many others who've never faced legal action and whose identities are known only to secretive church officials.

History, psychology and common sense suggest that there are at least that many other Catholic officials, Jesuit and diocesan, who knew of or suspected these terrible crimes, but stayed silent or helped hide them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Archbishop Dolan’s abysmal track record on clergy sex abuse and cover up

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Some speculate that Milwaukee archbishop Timothy Dolan may soon be named head of the New York archdiocese. Regardless of whether that happens or not, some believe he'll someday be elevated to a larger archdiocese. Catholics and citizens deserve to know his track record on the most pressing issue the church faces.

Sadly the Vatican has consistently shown that a bishop’s mismanagement of clergy sex crimes against children has little or no bearing on career advancement.

When Dolan came to Milwaukee in 2002 from St. Louis he was widely praised as an antidote to Catholicism’s penchant for dour and humorless prelates, a wizard of media relations, the embodiment of a new, ascendant and conquering retro-Catholicism.

But like so many other bishops who mismanage the abuse issue but still manage to get promoted, Dolan left St. Louis having failed to properly supervise sex offenders, remove them all from ministry, and fully notify civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Men end action against church

CANADA
Globe and Mail

Canadian Press

February 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM EST

St. John's, Nfld — Three former residents of a boys rehabilitation facility in Newfoundland have settled their lawsuit with the Roman Catholic Church, but they are continuing their legal fight against the province and the estate of a priest.

The application to discontinue the action against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Falls was granted Tuesday in Newfoundland Supreme Court.

The claimants, now in their 40s, say they suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Father Ronald Bromley in the 1970s and '80s while they lived at the Whitbourne Boys' Home and visited the priest's cabin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Priest was ousted at St. Mary's in sex case

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

By Abe Levy - Express-News A Marianist priest who became a dean and director of an alumni travel program at St. Mary's University was forced to resign two years ago after his religious order validated a claim that he sexually abused an underage woman.

The finding against Father Charles H. Miller was made public earlier this week by a St. Louis woman, who said she was 17 when he sexually abused her in 1980 in San Antonio.

The Society of Mary, whose U.S. province is based in St. Louis, wrote her a letter in 2007 deeming her claim “credible.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Extra ET-Newsletter of the European Society for Catholic Theology

European Society for Catholic Theology

We, Catholic theologians from 20 countries, gathered together in Ghent for a meeting of the Curatorium (Board) of the European Society for Catholic Theology, are deeply concerned by the current crisis within the Church. We are especially worried that the unconditional lifting of the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X threatens the internal unity of the Church and the credibility of its witness in the world (Gaudium et spes). This considerably weakens the ability of theologians to dialogue with other disciplines in the academy.

Fundamental issues are at stake with regard to the reception of the Second Vatican Council and must be clearly reaffirmed:

The dynamic character of revelation and tradition, Church teaching and liturgy (Dei verbum, Sacrosanctum concilium)
The collegial exercise of Church governance (Lumen gentium)
Full respect for the freedom of conscience and the freedom of religion (Dignitatis humanae)
The active commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue (Unitatis redintegratio, Nostra aetate)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Court to decide if sex abuse can be pursued 14 years later

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Thursday, February 19, 2009
By RUDY LARINI
The Star-Ledger of Newark

TRENTON - In a case closely watched by advocates for child sex abuse victims, the state Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over whether a man can pursue a lawsuit filed 14 years after alleged abuse by his stepfather.

A state child sex abuse law enacted in 1992 allows victims to sue their abusers, but requires that legal action be taken within two years of the victims "reasonable discovery" they have been harmed by the abuse.

The justices must weigh whether, as the victim claims, a recent event spurred his awareness that his depression, gender confusion and cross-dressing were allegedly caused by the sexual abuse years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Timing is at heart of sex-abuse lawsuit

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David Porter
Associated Press

TRENTON - R.L. was 10 when he contends his stepfather began sexually abusing him and telling him "it might not be a good idea" for him to tell anyone.

But he says that he had a flashback in September 1999 and that in early 2002, during a conversation with a coworker, he began to realize the extent of what had happened to him and how it had affected his life.

The passage of time between 1999 and 2002 is at the heart of a case that could alter how child sex-abuse complaints are filed and prosecuted in New Jersey.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on whether R.L.'s 2004 lawsuit against his stepfather, whom the Associated Press has not identified in order to shield R.L.'s identity, fell within the state's two-year statute of limitations for sexual-abuse lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Lawyers disputing Jesuits' estimate of assets

OREGON
The Oregonian

by Bryan Denson and Nancy Haught, The Oregonian
Wednesday February 18, 2009, 9:12 PM
The ink on the Northwest Jesuits' bankruptcy filing was still drying Wednesday when wrangling over the value of the Catholic order's assets commenced.

Officials at a handful of Jesuit-sponsored institutions said they don't belong to the Jesuits and aren't subject to their legal problems, while lawyers who represent people sexually abused by priests said the province has grossly underestimated its worth.

Kelly Clark, a Portland lawyer who has represented victims of Jesuit priest abuse, said he was surprised to read that the Jesuits declared assets of just $4.8 million in their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing late Tuesday in Portland. And he expects a legal fight over properties commonly associated with the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, better known as the Jesuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Seattle U may be caught in Jesuit scandal

WASHINGTON
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By JOHN IWASAKI
P-I REPORTER

On the surface, it might sound alarming, if not preposterous: Could Seattle University be in jeopardy over the bankruptcy protection sought by the Jesuits of the Northwest in response to a blizzard of sexual abuse claims?

No way, according to documents recently filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland by the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, which does not include the First Hill campus on a list of properties that it owns or holds in trust.

Absolutely possible, contend attorneys for dozens of abuse victims, saying the court will reveal the connections between the province and Jesuit-affiliated assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Jesuits file for bankruptcy in wake of sex abuse suits

ALASKA
KTUU

by Ashton Goodell
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Advocates for sex abuse victims say there is still time to file claims against the Jesuits of the Oregon Province.

The Jesuits filed for bankruptcy Tuesday because of numerous lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests. Among them, nearly 200 Alaska Natives.

Members of a victim's advocacy group, called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, say the Jesuits are using the bankruptcy as a way to avoid testifying against the accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Priest innocent of sex count, but guilty of endangerment

FONDA (NY)
Schenectady Gazette

By Jessica Harding
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — A Montgomery County Court jury acquitted Catholic priest John W. Broderick of two felony abuse accounts on Wednesday but convicted him of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Broderick faces up to a year in county jail at his sentencing.

The verdict, returned about 3 p.m., was viewed as a victory by Broderick’s family. His brother Michael said the family was pleased with the outcome.

“The people of Montgomery County have treated us very well, we got a fair trial and the truth came out,” Michael Broderick said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Does filing put Jesuit schools at risk?

WASHINGTON
Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

Bankruptcy proceedings started this week by the Jesuits in the Northwest could lead to intense wrangling over the institutions the order is best known for: its schools.

The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province — as the Northwest Jesuits are formally called — filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Tuesday, beset by numerous lawsuits alleging past sexual abuse.

Unlike in the six dioceses that have declared bankruptcy since the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal broke nationwide some seven years ago, the bitter disputes won't be over who owns parish assets. That's because the province doesn't own any parishes, though it staffs seven, including St. Joseph in Seattle and St. Leo in Tacoma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

February 18, 2009

Jesuits Declare Bankruptcy In Response To Alaska Sex Abuse Lawsuits

OREGON
OPB News

BY ANNIE FEIDT

More than 60 lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests are now on hold after the Jesuits of the Oregon Province filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday.

In all, there are 200 known claimants in the five western states covered by the Province. Most are those victims are from Alaska.

The attorney representing many of them -- Ken Roosa of Anchorage -- says he expects more claimants to come forward, even after the bankruptcy.

Ken Roosa: "By the time this is over, it wouldn't surprise me to see that number double. And these all will of course involve childhood molestation by Jesuit priests and brothers, or people who were being supervised by Jesuit priests and brothers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Witness: Priest's lavish charges paid with church money

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
CBS 12

Chuck Weber
Wednesday jurors heard damaging testimony and saw key evidence in the trial of a priest, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former parish.

Prosecutors showed jurors copies of checks written by Father Francis Guinan, on an account of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. Prosecutors say the documents show Guinan used those checks to pay his own credit card bills-- bills containing charges for restaurants, hotels, even airline tickets.

During questioning of Denis Hamel, Chief Financial Officer at the Diocese of Palm Beach, prosecutor Preston Migdoll asked about one expenditure of more than $3,100 at the Atlantis Hotel in Nassau, the Bahamas. "Would that be an expense in the ordinary course of business of St. Vincent Ferrer Church?" queried Migdoll. "No it would not," answered Hamel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Priest accused of stealing trial continues

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
WPTV

WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- For two hours prosecutors read off credit card charges and checks written and cashed by Father Frank Guinan and held against accounts at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Del Ray Beach.

And in each case, the Diocese' chief financial affairs officer said they were not authorized.

From restaurants to airline tickets to hotels to cigar shops the good times rolled...

But, was Guinan spending *his own money* or money taken out of the collection plate...

In the morning session a former church bookkeeper suggested he was quarreling away the cash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Local teacher accused of child abuse

FALL RIVER (MA)
WPRI

[with video]

Reported by: Kathryn Sotnik
FALL RIVER, Mass., (WPRI) - A Catholic school teacher is accused of abuse 20 years ago. The alleged victim claims Albert Vaillancourt molested him on several occasions.

Vaillancourt did pass a lie detector test, but a separate investigation is underway into possible criminal charges. So, far no criminal charges have been filed against Vaillancourt.

But, the alleged victim has filed a suit against him and the Fall River Diocese. The victim, who wished not to be identified, tells his story, only to Eyewitness News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Priest acquitted of sex abuse; guilty of endangerment

FONDA (NY)
Albany Times Union

FONDA -- A Montgomery County jury acquitted a Catholic priest today of sexually abusing three young boys, but convicted him on the lesser charge of child endangerment.

The Rev. John Broderick, 48, faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of molesting the Palatine boys now ages 12, 10 and 6 between late 2006 and early 2007.

Now he faces no more than one year in jail and could be sentenced to probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Ex-Youth Pastor Now Faces 42 Counts Of Sexual Battery

MANSFIELD (OH)
WBNS

MANSFIELD, Ohio — A former youth pastor already charged with several counts of sexual battery will face additional charges, 10TV News reported on Wednesday.

John Picard has been indicted on 26 new counts of sexual battery.

Last summer, Picard, 40, was indicted on 16 counts of sexual battery. His alleged victims were two teenager parishioners.

Prosecutors said the new charges against Picard involved adult victims, 10TV News reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Priest found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child

NEW YORK
Capital News 9

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.Y. -- A local priest has been found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, but has been acquitted of two felony counts of sexual abuse of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Upstate NY priest acquitted of sex charges

FONDA (NY)
Newsday

February 18, 2009
FONDA, N.Y. - A Catholic priest accused of molesting three boys was acquitted on two felony sex charges but convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

A Montgomery County Court jury returned its verdict Wednesday afternoon against John W. Broderick, who faces up to one year in jail when sentenced and could receive probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Pastor gets 2 years in jail in abuse case

ST GEORGE (UT)
Local News 8

Associated Press - February 18, 2009 4:35 PM ET

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A pastor who taught at a Christian school in southern Utah has been sentenced to two years in jail for two counts of attempted sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl.

Gabriel Carlin, 35, operated the East Harbor Christian Academy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Catholic priest cleared of felonies, convicted of misdemeanor

FONDA (NY)
Schenectady Gazette

By Jessica Harding
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — Catholic priest John W. Broderick was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge this afternoon but acquitted on two felony counts of sexual conduct against a child.

The jury’s verdict, returned about 3 p.m., was viewed as a victory by Broderick’s family. His brother Michael said the family was pleased with the outcome.

Broderick was convicted of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Priest acquitted of child sex abuse charges in Montgomery County

NEW YORK
CBS 6

February 18, 2009 - 4:05 PM
A priest accused of sexually abusing several children in a family to which he was considered a spiritual advisor was acquitted Wednesday on felony charges of sexual misconduct against a child.

John Broderick was only convicted on one charge of misdemeanor child endangerment in the jury trial after deliberations ended Wednesday afternoon at around 3:15.

Broderick, of Nicholville, was arrested in February 2008 for the alleged abuse of at least four children between five and eleven years of age, reported to have taken place in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Ex-nun’s confessions set to rock Kerala Church

INDIA
Indian Express

Thiruvananathapuram: Already reeling under several controversies, the Kerala Catholic Church is facing fresh embarrassment from a tell-all autobiography written by a nun who recently quit the Order alleging harassment from superiors.

‘Amen — an autobiography of a nun’, released last week, is written by Dr Sister Jesme, 52, who was the Principal of St Mary’s College, Thrissur, till last August when she quit the Congregation of Mother Carmelite (CMC). ...

Starting with her first days in the Church, 30 years ago, she talks of priets forcing novices to have relations with them and the closet homosexuality within nun ranks, “which the Church reckons as the dirtiest thing possible”. “If nuns developed unusual interest in each other, authorities would deploy other inmates to watch them,” she writes.

The book says Jesme herself was forced into such a relationship by a fellow nun, and that her complaints to a senior nun were ignored. According to her, the other nun said she preferred such a relationship as it ruled out pregnancy. There were others who had affairs with priests, she writes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Oregon Province of Society of Jesus files for bankruptcy

SEATTLE (WA)
The Spectator

Joshua Lynch

TUES., FEB. 17, 9:20 P.M.--The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus filed for bankruptcy Tuesday in Portland Federal Bankruptcy Court.

The province--which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon--filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in response to a lawsuit in which 63 Native Alaskan victims have alleged they were sexually abused by Jesuits and that leaders of the province covered up the abuse. More victims will join the lawsuit in the coming weeks, according to the plaintiff's lawyers.

Fr. Patrick Lee, S.J., current provincial of the Oregon Province, did not respond to requests by The Spectator for comment but told the Fairbanks Newsminer, "Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one, but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the Province."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Rev. John F. Regan Roselle priest expected to be freed after judge lowers bond

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
.
A Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing more than $400,000 from a Roselle church is expected to be released from jail today after a judge agreed to lower his $1 million bond.

Attorneys for Rev. John F. Regan, who appeared in court handcuffed and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, asked that his bond be reduced so the 45-year-old man may return to an out-of-state counseling center where he had been receiving treatment for a gambling addiction.

DuPage Circuit Judge John Kinsella lowered Regan's bond to $100,000, meaning he needs 10 percent or $10,000 to be set free. The judge, however, refused to allow the priest to leave Illinois while his case is pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Polish police hold priest, MD in child porn raids

POLAND
The Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish police say they have detained 78 people — including a priest and a doctor — suspected of possessing child pornography and spreading it on the Internet.

Poland's national police say they confiscated 116 computers, 5,400 CDs and DVDs, 19 USB drives, more than 100 videocassettes and other materials in early morning raids in 91 homes and offices across Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Church deposits always thousands short, Delray priest trial told

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun Sentinel 2:50 PM EST, February 18, 2009
WEST PALM BEACH - A bookkeeper today said church deposits were always "thousands of dollars short" while she was employed by a Delray Beach priest now on trial in the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the parish.

Apple Woo told a jury this morning that cash deposits were "always less" than they were supposed to be at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach when she was bookkeeper there. In one case, she recalled the Rev. Francis Guinan, the former pastor at the church, walking off with about $9,000 meant to go to the diocese.

Guinan, 66, faces up to 30 years in prison on a charge of grand theft of more than $100,000. He is accused of stealing nearly $500,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach.

Woo is the second witness called today who worked at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

The Pope's Predicament

ROME
CounterPunch

By CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

The trouble with being Pope is one must spend so much time contemplating things celestial that things terrestrial get overlooked. That helps explain the occasional papal activities that cause the non-papist to react with astonishment. In 2004 it was the promotion by Pope John Paul II of Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly of Boston, to Archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, that astonished.

Cardinal Law’s promotion followed a tenure in Boston marked by priests under his jurisdiction engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with young boys. After he was named in more than 500 sexual abuse related lawsuits he abandoned the $20 million three story church-owned house in which he’d been living, gave up being Cardinal and two years later moved into the Basilica in Rome.

His new assignment was pleasant. The basilica in Rome had undergone extensive renovations and its occupant received a monthly stipend of $12,000. Commenting on his ascension, Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer who represented a large number of the Boston sexual abuse victims said: “He apparently is being transferred to a position that is comfortable and appears to be some sort of reward. The Vatican either doesn’t understand the problem of clergy sex abuse, or it doesn’t care.” Pope Benedict XVI has now proved that he is as unconcerned with matters temporal as his predecessor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Priest in theft case pleads not guilty

ROSELLE (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

February 18, 2009 11:17 AM
A Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing more than $400,000 from the parishioners of a Roselle church pleaded not guilty today to 21 counts of financial crimes that carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

Rev. John Regan, 45, pastor of St. Walter Catholic Church from 2006 to 2008, is expected to be released from the DuPage County Jail after a judge reduced his bail to $100,000 from $1 million.

Regan, who had been in treatment for several months at a church-approved addiction treatment center for gambling in Philadelphia, will live at the rectory of Holy Family Catholic Church, Shorewood, the church's pastor, Rev. William Dewan, told Judge John Kinsella.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Couple accusing Paulk won’t have to pay attorney fees

GEORGIA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By CHRISTOPHER QUINN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Georgia Court of Appeals struck down an order for Mona and Bobby Brewer to pay $1 million in attorneys’ fees to Bishop Earl Paulk of Atlanta. The court also ordered DeKalb Superior Court to hold new hearings regarding the fees.

The Brewers sued Paulk, an independent evangelical Christian, three years ago, claiming he coerced Mona Brewer into a long-term sexual affair. The Brewers had been active in church ministries at his Chapel Hill Harvester Church in DeKalb County. They dropped the case in 2007. The Brewers separated and then filed separate suits later that year against Paulk and the church.

A DeKalb Superior Court judge ordered the Brewers and their attorney, Louis Levenson, to pay $1 million of Paulk’s attorney fees last year before the new suits could move ahead. Levenson and the Brewers appealed the ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Priest's assistant testifies Guinan would remove money from offertory

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Susan Spencer-Wendel
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A key witness — the assistant of another priest who helped collect and count church offertories on Sundays — testified this morning in the trial of a priest accused of stealing hundreds of thousands from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach.

Colleen Head, a longtime assistant to Father John Skehan and then to the Rev. Francis Guinan, 66, when he took over as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, testified early Wednesday morning. She helped count the Sunday morning collections at the church. Head told jurors that Guinan would ask to see the cash offerings, then regularly return them to her containing less money. Head told of jurors of one occasion where Guinan returned the money to her with $4,600 less.

She testified about an Easter collection in 2005 where the total collected was much lower than usual and shortly after Guinan went on vacation. She said when he returned from vacation he handed her the collection bags from Easter and told her to fill out the thank you cards. When she opened the bags, she found envelopes that were supposed to have cash were empty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Blood from a Stone

UNITED STATES
Inside Catholic

by John Zmirak
2/18/09

This has been a tough month for Catholics. I'm keenly aware of the time, because I have been straining at the leash wanting to write about the Legionaries of Christ. In lieu of articles, I've subjected my friends on the phone to fully formed paragraphs of commentary till they cried uncle -- and devoured the excellent coverage to be found at the American Papist, helpfully linked from InsideCatholic. ...

Let's be clear and avoid evasions: Rev. Marcial Maciel was credibly accused by a group of former seminarians of sexual abusing them while they were still pubescents. Of claiming that he had permission to engage in these perversions from Pope Pius XII. Of absolving those with whom he'd sinned -- a sacrilege so serious that in canon law it has no statute of limitations. (In civil law, only crimes like murder can claim the same.) Of invoking the Vicar of Christ to seduce young men, then standing in persona Christi to absolve them of the sins he had suborned. If true, these are not merely "sins of the flesh" but of the spirit. Indeed, they suggest the potent influence of one spirit in particular: the one who "roams the earth seeking the ruin of souls."

The accusations were clear and specific, the accusers sober and sane -- and amazingly, mostly still believers and friends of the Church. Given the torrent of squalor that has sprayed the faithful, thanks to the negligence of their bishops, we had every reason to believe them. What convinced me, among many others, to discount the likelihood that these stories might be true?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

All Quiet on the Gotham Front

NEW YORK
Whispers in the Loggia

Another morning. More tumbleweeds. 'Nuff said. Stay tuned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Oregon Jesuit Province files for bankruptcy

OREGON
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By STEVEN DUBOIS
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Confronted by scores of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests, the Jesuits of the Oregon Province have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The petition was filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland. The province of the Roman Catholic order listed assets of less than $5 million and liabilities of almost $62 million.

"Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one, but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the Province," The Rev. Patrick J. Lee, the current provincial, said in a statement late Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Jury back today in priest's trial

FONDA (NY)
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FONDA — A Montgomery County jury returns to court this morning after failing to reach a verdict Tuesday in the case of a Catholic priest charged with sexually abusing young boys.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, faces up to seven years in prison on charges he molested the children, whose family he had befriended, between late 2006 and early 2007.

A jury of eight women and four men started deciding his fate around 12:30 p.m. Judge Felix J. Catena sent them home just after 5 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Defense in trial of priest says he didn't steal from Delray Beach church

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

[with video]

By Brian Haas | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The theft case against a former Delray Beach priest hinges on one question: Did he steal from his own church or simply spend money that had no strings attached?

The Rev. Francis Guinan is accused by prosecutors of playing fast and loose with the offerings at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, spending it on girlfriends, trips and to support a gambling habit.

His defense attorney, Richard Barlow, didn't directly dispute that as the trial began Tuesday.

Instead, he said that the Catholic Church gives such wide latitude on priest's expenditures below $50,000 that the money Guinan spent was his to spend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

New trial slated for ex-area priest

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER — The Rev. Thomas H. Teczar, a Roman Catholic priest formerly from Worcester, faces a second trial in Texas on charges that he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy in 1990.

Rev. Teczar was found guilty by a Texas district judge in 2007 of three counts of aggravated assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child, and was given a 25-year prison sentence.

However, the Court of Appeals for the 11th District in Eastland County threw out the conviction last October on the grounds that the district judge had committed errors during the court proceedings.

A new trial has been set for March 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Jesuits file for Chapter 11

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

Another major Catholic institution, hit with lawsuits over alleged sex abuse by priests and volunteers in Alaska and elsewhere, has sought relief in bankruptcy court. The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, on Tuesday filed a 123-page petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, Ore., seeking to reorganize under Chapter 11. The province includes Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

The court filing estimates liabilities as nearly $62 million and assets as less than $5 million.

Earlier this year, 63 Alaska Natives sued the Society of Jesus, priests and others, claiming they were sexually abused in remote Alaska villages from the late 1940s to 2001. Other lawsuits also are pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Maryland Senate committee rejects statute of limitations bill

MARYLAND
The Catholic Review

By George P. Matysek Jr.
The Catholic Review

The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee soundly rejected a bill Feb. 12 that would have significantly extended the time period when child sexual abuse victims can file civil lawsuits in Maryland.

Committee members defeated Baltimore County Sen. Delores Kelley’s Bill 238, 8-2.

The Democrat’s bill would have extended the age when child sexual abuse victims could file for civil damages from age 25 to 50. It would have also created a two-year window allowing retroactive lawsuits that are barred by existing law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Catholic monk found guilty of Rickmansworth attacks

UNITED KINGDOM
Watford Observer

By John Harrison

A Catholic monk has been convicted of a string of sexual assaults on schoolgirls dating back 40 years.

Liam Roberts, nicknamed "Disgusting Augustine", molested the girls in Rickmansworth during the 1960s and 1970s.

Yesterday, Roberts, who is now 80 and lives in Northamptonshire, was found guilty of 14 charges of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Sex abuse suits drive Jesuits to file bankruptcy

OREGON
The Oregonian

by Bryan Denson and Nancy Haught, The Oregonian
Tuesday February 17, 2009, 11:00 PM
The Northwest's Jesuits filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization today in Portland, citing civil lawsuits resulting from allegations of clergy sex abuse.

Formally known as the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, the Roman Catholic order declared assets of $4.8 million and liabilities of nearly $62 million, according to the 123-page filing posted in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.

The five-state Jesuit province is listed as a defendant in nine active lawsuits in Alaska, Idaho and Washington. Another suit was settled last September in Multnomah County. The suits were brought by plaintiffs alleging sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Oregon Jesuit province files for bankruptcy

ALASKA
Fairbanks News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer

Published Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FAIRBANKS — The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code on Tuesday in response to mounting sexual abuse of children claims.

The filing makes the Oregon Province Jesuits the first major religious order to do so.

The bankruptcy petition was filed Tuesday in Portland Federal Bankruptcy Court in reaction to an additional 200 claims of sexual abuse of primarily Alaskan children, pending or threatened against Oregon province Jesuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

February 17, 2009

Germany faces up to slavery of children in post-war years

GERMANY
The Irish Times

Huge numbers of young were forced to work in religious-run homes in awful conditions, writes DEREK SCALLY , in Berlin

EVERY TIME Dietmar Krone looks at his crippled arm, he remembers the home, the house master and two broken plates.

Now 55, he was just 14 when his mother deposited him in a religious-run children’s home. He was one of at least half a million children subjected to shocking abuse as imprisoned slave labourers in West Germany.

“One day I let two plates fall in the kitchen and, when they broke, the house master walloped me until I hit the ground,” remembers Krone, his haunted eyes framed by dark shadows. “There he kept stamping on my arm until all the bones were broken, all the muscles and tendons had been severed. In this state, he then locked me up for three days in the solitary cell.”

The parallels with Ireland’s Magdalene laundries are unmistakable: sadistic wardens, authorities unwilling to protect the vulnerable, and an entire society turning its eyes from the problem. ...

Germany’s Lutheran church has apologised publicly and is prepared to discuss compensation terms with victims.

“I am ashamed that these things occurred in our institutions, of broken will and dignity damaged to such an extent,” said Dr Margot Kässman, Bishop of Hanover, on German television.

Catholic church representatives apologised at the round table yesterday, but have yet to indicate whether they are willing to discuss compensation. As German law stands, parliamentary authorities say there is no legal obligation for them to pay anything.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Three dioceses complied fully with child sex abuse audit

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THREE CATHOLIC dioceses complied with Health Service Executive requests for information on clerical child sex abuse in their areas under the recent audit by the HSE of child protection practices in Catholic dioceses in the Republic, it has emerged.

Informed sources have confirmed that the relevant information was supplied to the HSE by the dioceses of Achonry, Clonfert, and Killaloe.

To date the impression given was that no Catholic diocese in the Republic had filled in Section 5 of the HSE audit, sent to all dioceses in October 2006. It requested statistical information on clerical child sex abuse for each diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

No verdict yet in trial of priest accused of abuse

FONDA (NY)
Schenectady Gazette

By Jessica Harding
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — Jurors in the case against Catholic priest John W. Broderick, who was accused of sexual misconduct involving three boys, failed to reach a verdict Tuesday but will resume deliberations today.

Jurors began their deliberations during lunch after hearing closing arguments from the prosecution and defense attorneys.

As of 4 p.m. jurors asked to hear a read-back of testimony from the three children alleged to be victims in the case and from Connie Veeder, a Montgomery County Department of Social Services caseworker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Pastor sentenced for attempted child sex abuse

UTAH
Deseret News

By Linda Thomson
Deseret News

A pastor who taught at a Christian school in Washington County was sentenced to two years in jail Tuesday for two counts of attempted sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl.

Gabriel Carlin, 35, operated the East Harbor Christian Academy, which the girl attended, and also knew her and her family through their active membership in the Living Faith Community Church.

Carlin was originally charged in 2006 with four counts of aggravated child sex abuse, all first-degree felonies. A plea deal amended that to two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child, both third-degree felonies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Priest free on bond, awaits retrial for assault

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

02/17/2009

Associated Press

A priest is free on bond while he awaits a new trial on charges of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in the 1990s.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar posted a $30,000 bond earlier this month, according to the Eastland County Sheriff's Department. As a requirement for his release, Teczar must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle until his second trial next month, said Eastland County District Attorney Russ Thomason.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace

CALIFORNIA
Bookgasm

Author: Malena Lott
The first thing a reader should know is that LOSING MY RELIGION: HOW I LOST MY FAITH REPORTING ON RELIGION IN AMERICA — AND FOUND UNEXPECTED PEACE is not anti-anything. In fact, William Lobdell, a former journalist for the LOS ANGELES TIMES, purposely carved out a niche for himself as a religion columnist to find interesting, relevant stories to share about all religions because he didn’t think faith was getting good coverage. His hope? To give back and hopefully enrich his own faith along the way.

Lobdell’s memoir is heart-wrenching and honest, something all great memoirs should be. And like a great journalist, his stories were unbiased — he wrote of miracles and also of scandals. His personal position shifted like a tide waxing and waning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Austrian bishops rap Vatican for lack of consultation on bishop’s appointment

AUSTRIA
Catholic Culture

February 17, 2009
The Austrian bishops yesterday issued a statement frankly critical of the Vatican on the lifting of the excommunications of the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the appointment of Father Gerhard Maria Wagner as an auxiliary bishop of the Linz diocese. The lifting of the excommunications, the statement emphasizes, does not mean that the SSPX bishops may automatically hold any office in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Guilty plea entered in Ponchatoula sexual-abuse case

AMITE (LA)
The Advocate

By DAVID J. MITCHELL
Advocate Florida parishes bureau
Published: Feb 17, 2009 - UPDATED: 4:30 p.m.

AMITE — The estranged wife of a former church pastor convicted in a child sexual-abuse scandal at a now-defunct Ponchatoula church pleaded guilty late this morning to obstruction of justice under an agreement with prosecutors.

Under the terms of her “best interests of justice” plea, Robbin Lamonica, 49, of Hammond, could avoid any prison time in connection with charges from the case, attorneys on both sides said.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss three counts of aggravated rape and four counts of aggravated oral sexual battery in exchange for the guilty plea entered today before Judge Zorraine M. “Zoey” Waguespack at the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse in Amite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Was former priest too well paid to steal?

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
WPTV

Reported by: Tim Malloy
Email: tmalloy@wptv.com
Photographer: Dan Puente
Last Update: 6:09 pm

WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- The attorney for disgraced former priest Frances Guinan suggests he was too well compensated for too long to steal form his parish and that eight to ten other people had access to the hundreds of dollars that was looted from St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Delray Beach.

Opening statements saw the prosecution detailing the globetrotting of a high rolling gambler with a girl friend in tow, spending money he literally lifted from the collection plate.

Not so, said the defense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

"The good NCR" and Fr. Maciel

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Among orthodox Catholics, the conservative National Catholic Register is often called "the good NCR," to distinguish it from the liberal National Catholic Reporter. If you wanted to read actual news about the sex-abuse scandal, the biggest story ever in American Catholicism, you had to read the "bad" NCR, which, whatever its ecclesial politics, treated the abuse story like, well, an important and legitimate story -- not an occasion for averting one's eyes.

Things were different at the Register, and by design. At a 2002 seminar in Washington about Catholics in the media (here's a partial edited transcript of remarks there by Joseph Bottum, Phil Lawler, Robert Lockwood and me), Fr. Owen Kearns, LC, who was either publisher of the Register, or there in some official capacity, praised the Register for its own coverage, or lack of coverage, of the scandal. Mind you, this was February of 2002, when these stories were front-page news everywhere -- except, of course, in the Register. As I recall, Fr. Kearns told the assembly that the Register had higher standards than to go grubbing in the mud with the muckraking secular press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Opening arguments begin for priest accused of stealing from Delray Beach parish

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The trial of a priest charged with grand theft got underway this morning, and a jury was seated by late afternoon.

Opening arguments began after lunch.

The case is expected to be a rare public vetting of the church's accounting practices or, rather, the lack thereof, as the defense is expected to argue.

Father Francis Guinan, former pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Delray Beach, wearing an open collar, jacket and sneakers, studied intently the faces of the potential jurors, alongside his defense attorney, Richard Barlow of Stuart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Fonda jury deciding whether priest abused boys

FONDA (NY)
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
Last updated: 1:44 p.m., Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FONDA — A Montgomery County jury is deciding whether a Catholic priest molested young boys from a Palatine family he had befriended.

Rev. John W. Broderick sat and listened as District Attorney James E. Conboy told jurors it was the defendant's word against the children.

"You believe those three boys, the defendant's guilty. If you don't believe the three boys, the defendant's not guilty. It's that simple," Conboy said.

The jury started deliberations at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Good morning... you might want to keep refreshing the page.

NEW YORK
Whispers in the Loggia

SVILUPPO: 6.20... and still quiet -- no release from Gotham chancery, no pickups from the TV stations, no drop of anything in the Holy See's Daily Bollettino... but the latter could simply be taking its usual time to update.

By quarter past, a friend in Gotham sent the following note: "I'm ready to pull my hair out."

Aren't we all?

If nothing appears here by, say, 6.35, consider the search party called off for another day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Is this any way to run a railroad?

NEW YORK
Beliefnet

David Gibson

The Church's revenge on journalists? The paranoid in me suspects that's what is at work in the never-ending, almost-here, gotta-be-today anticipation of the announcement of a new New York archbishop. Today was DEFINITELY it. Rocco expected it: "Good morning...you might want to keep refreshing the page." Gary Stern was preparing for it--and bupkis: "I got up early, fed the dog in the dark, and all for nothing."

The word was to come down in the Vatican's daily Bolletino, or bulletin, released at noon in Rome, 6am here. TV crews were on standby at St. Pat's, and everyone expected the new guy to be Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

Now what? At USA Today, Cathy Grossman explores alternates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Cardinal Mahony's Preferred Pedo-Priest Attorney Representing Latest OC Pedo-Priest

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 17, 2009 5:48 AM

In recently covering the legal maneuverings of pedo-priest Denis Lyons, the name of his attorney kept bugging me. Donald Steier...where had I heard that name before? Gracias to the magic of Google, I quickly found out who he was: the defense attorney du jour for pedo-priests in Southern California. Steier's short list of previous clients reads like a who's who of child molesters: Michael Stephen Baker, Michael Wempe, Lynn Caffoe, George Neville Rucker, and the first two got criminally convicted for their crimes (Google their names to read about the horror stories those demons inflicted on innocents).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Priest free while awaiting retrial in sex abuse case

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Darren Barbeedbarbee@star-telegram.com

The Rev. Thomas Teczar is free on bond while he awaits a retrial on allegations of aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy.

The priest, formerly of the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, posted a $30,000 bond earlier this month, according to the Eastland County Sheriff's department. As a requirement for his release, Teczar is required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle, said Eastland County District Attorney Russ Thomason.

In 2007, he was convicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child. Teczar allegedly abused the boy while serving as a priest in Ranger in the late 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Va. minister charged with indecent exposure

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By Staff Reports

Published: February 17, 2009

APPALACHIA -- A prosecutor said a minister was caught on a Dollar General Store's surveillance tape exposing himself in the men's and children's underwear section.

Police charged Millard Clifton Tolbert, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church of Big Stone Gap, with misdemeanor indecent exposure. Tolbert, who was charged Feb. 12 after police reviewed tape of the alleged Feb. 10 incident, has been released on his own recognizance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

L.A. sex abuse investigation now a federal case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

By TOM ROBERTS
Published: February 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES .--.A recently impaneled federal grand jury is investigating how the Los Angeles archdiocese managed accusations that dozens of priests molested hundreds of teenagers and younger children over many years. The federal investigation, first reported by The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times Jan. 29, threatens to ignite a new phase in the clergy sex-abuse scandal less than two years after the archdiocese agreed to pay $660 million to more than 500 victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Whether the efforts of U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, will write any new chapters of the story is at this point anyone’s guess. O’Brien’s spokesperson, Thom Mrozek, declined to acknowledge that such an investigation is even underway.

But Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony confirmed the probe in a Jan. 29 radio interview. Mahony said the archdiocese received a grand jury subpoena that called for the church to provide information on 22 priests accused of abusing minors. Of the 22, said Mahony, two are dead and the rest no longer serve as priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Plaintiffs' advocates call for release of L.A. documents

CALIFORNIA
National Catholic Reporter

By TOM ROBERTS
Published: February 17, 2009
COSTA MESA, CALIF.--.William Lobdell sat in an outdoor café in Costa Mesa just days after it was revealed that a federal prosecutor was now taking his turn at investigating the sex-abuse scandal in the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Lobdell, a lean man in his late 40s with a shaved head, smiled an I-understand-this grin. He had covered the scandal for the Los Angeles Times and paid a price for it. His tale is told in his newly released Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace (Collins, 2009). The book is a complex and compelling account of his loss of faith while he was delving deeply into religion in America as a journalist. His encounter with the sex-abuse story and especially the hierarchical cover-up of abuse, at the same time he was taking classes to enter the Catholic church, played a significant role in his eventual loss of faith. What he understands now, however, as an ex-believer and an ex-Los Angeles Times reporter, is that the story of the Catholic clergy sex-abuse scandal in Los Angeles is far from over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

I-Team: Paulk Lawsuit Appeal

GEORGIA
My Fox Atlanta

[with video]

ATLANTA - There was a major victory in the courts for the woman suing Bishop Paulk. The Georgia Court of Appeals has found a trial judge made a mistake when he awarded a million dollars in attorney's fees to Paulk's lawyers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Remember “Big” Bob? If So, E-Mail Me

MARYLAND
Baltimore Jewish Times

Back in the 1960s and early 1970s, there was a BBYO AZA chapter called Kellam AZA. It later was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. AZA.

Many of its chapter members are probably in their 50s and 60s by now.
Kellam/King AZA had as its chapter advisor a man named Bob Weisman.
He was a balding, short statured, heavy set man, who was also known in the community as “Big Bob.”

Bob owned a soft-served ice cream truck and used to do business by stopping his truck in various streets and neighborhoods mostly in the Upper Park Heights, Cheswolde and Pickwick areas.

He was also an employee of a former electronic repair store located back then in the Fallstaff Shopping Center and called Sirkis Music.

While Bob was active with the youth of the day, he might have been a little too active.
He was known to show what were called back then “stag” films to the boys in his AZA chapter and to other boys in the neighborhood as well. Stag films, just in case you might not know, are reel-to-reel porno movies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Legion -- Pressure Mounts

The Cathoholic

For the last week, well-placed Legionary priests told journalists working on the story that a big, possibly authoritative statement of apology would soon be released by the order. After a few days went by, with deadlines shifting, I began to have my doubts that the order would actually release such a statement. Last night, an LC priest told me the statement had been delayed again -- he hinted that the Vatican caused the delay -- and this time he didn't provide a new deadline.

Whatever the reasons for this latest delay, the story still generates news, with more voices raising additional concerns about the order's ability to deal with the present crisis. Today, Fr. Raymond J. de Souza, who has written for the National Catholic Register since 1997, posted a statement on First Things that called on the Legion's superiors and the NCR's editors to provide a thorough report on Father Maciel's transgressions, and to issue a clear statement of apology for past attempts to defend the founder. Wrote Fr. de Souza:

"A good Catholic newspaper must not shy away from the truth. But it would frankly make the newspaper look absurd if the whole Catholic world is discussing Fr. Maciel and the Register’s pages largely ignore the whole matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Statement by SNAP Director Barbara Garcia-Boehland of San Antonio

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Last month marked the 7 year anniversary of the public unveiling of the long-secret Catholic sex abuse and cover up scandal.

This summer marks the 7 year anniversary of the bishops' so-called 'reforms.'

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the disclosure that at least 4,000 priests, brothers, nuns, seminarians and bishop are proven, admitted and credibly accused predators. (Today, that number tops 5,000.)

Hundreds of church supervisors are proven, admitted and credibly accused 'enablers,' because they ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of clergy sex crimes.

Despite all this, we in SNAP still see that church officials continue to
-- move slowly against abusive priests,
-- keep those allegations secret,
-- stay silent about determinations that those allegations are 'credible,'
-- quietly transfer credibly accused predator priests elsewhere, and
-- let those credibly accused predators stay in church jobs and/or facilities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

University of Dallas chaplain put on leave after apparently falling for scam

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com
The priest who serves as chaplain at the University of Dallas and rector of the Catholic church there has been placed on administrative leave after apparently falling victim to a scam that claimed at least $100,000 in church funds.

The Rev. Tony Densmore told officials of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas that someone he now recognizes as a con man talked him into making a series of loans. The money belonged to the Church of the Incarnation, on the UD campus.

Bishop Kevin Farrell, who as leader of the diocese appointed Densmore as chaplain of the Catholic school and rector of the church, wrote a letter that was read Sunday during services at the Church of the Incarnation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Florida priest goes to trial in theft case

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
WFLX

Associated Press - February 17, 2009 5:34 AM ET

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jury selection begins in the case of a Florida priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church.

The Rev. Francis Guinan has pleaded not guilty. He is accused of stealing $488,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach to fund a lavish lifestyle. Authorities say it could be 1 of the biggest embezzlement cases to hit the U.S. Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

“Remarkable results”

STOCKTON (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Despite “the current economic climate,” the Diocese of Stockton reports that Bishop Stephen Blair’s “Church for Tomorrow” campaign to raise more than $30 million by the end of May “has achieved remarkable results.”

According to a statement released by the diocese and published on its web site, “this campaign has raised more than $22 million in five-year pledges from over 5,000 families in the midst of this challenging economic climate.” So far, said the diocesan statement, 17 of the diocese’s 34 parishes “have completed successful campaigns.”

In the meantime, the diocese reported, “Bishop Blaire is personally approaching key leaders in the community for support. The rest of the parishes are preparing for their campaign efforts that will conclude at the end of May. In a time of great economic uncertainty, this display of generosity is an inspirational example of the human spirit and a testament to peoples’ faith in the Church. The commitments made to this program during this financial crisis are the essence of charity and compassion. Parishioners throughout the Diocese are responding to this historic effort that will provide for the spiritual, educational, and charitable ministries necessary for the expansion of Stockton’s Catholic population.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

My Turn: Missing the lesson of priest trials

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Hal Cochran • February 17, 2009

Bernard Roque's "Catholic Church 101 lesson" -- his words -- (Jan. 18) requires correction. Roque argues that the statewide Roman Catholic diocese should not be punished for the sins of "one priest." This would be Edward Paquette, whose serial sexual molestation of altar boys has led to jury verdicts against the diocese totaling $12.3 million to date.

Sadly, it wasn't just one priest. As this newspaper reported, a clerical psychotherapist testified "that celibacy was not strictly enforced among priests and his research of diocesan records found that 109 Vermont priests had engaged in child abuse over the past 50 years." But the courts have punished not only the pedophile priests, but the diocese itself. Why? The answer is in the church's own personnel files put in evidence in recent trials involving two priests. Here are the facts.

As the Rutland Herald reported, "church records showed the diocese had transferred Paquette to the plaintiff's Burlington parish without telling anyone it knew the priest had molested boys first in Massachusetts, then in Indiana and the Vermont cities of Rutland and Montpelier."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

February 16, 2009

Zero Tolerance for Pederast Priests, Emphasizes Puebla’s Archbishop Víctor Sánchez

MEXICO
Periodico Digital

At the end of the Eucharist celebration at the Basilica of Guadalupe, a press conference took place at the basement of this ecclesiastic precinct with Puebla’s elected archbishop Víctor Sánchez Espinoza. The archbishop made clear that "there will be zero tolerance" for any pederasty case in which priests are involved.

"Priests know how I think, there will be zero tolerance; they know what it means and how I am going to act".

He reminded us that, during his time as general and Episcopal vicar at the VII Vicariate of Mexico’s Archdiocese, which contains areas such as Iztapalapa, there were five pederasty cases.

“In these cases, if the pederasty case is confirmed, it goes directly to ecclesiastic court. In my area alone, I suspended five priests in five years; five pederasty cases were detected”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

More on the Legionaries’ Media Publications

Icarus Fallen

February 16th, 2009

In today’s First Things daily article, Father Raymond J. de Souza has a very necessary critique for the National Catholic Register. The National Catholic Register is a weekly, Catholic newspaper in the United States. It is associated formally with the religious order of the Legionaries of Christ. The National Catholic Register—together with ZENIT—to date have made no disclosure of their associations; they have also failed to address their past stories on Father Maciel; and they have not taken very necessary steps (including appointing an independent Ombudsmen…) to give a full disclosure on the reporting of the Father Maciel scandal and to editorially guide how this story will be covered. If they don’t, then Father de Souza’s warnings will become a death warrant for these two Catholic media publications:

The news two weeks ago concerning Fr. Marcial Maciel was devastating to members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi; it was heartbreaking to see my friends on television, clearly distraught at the realization that their founder and spiritual father was guilty of serious crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

A reaction to Austin Ruse's defense of the Legion

American Papist

Many AmP readers have asked me to link to Austin Ruse's defense of the Legion which he published last Friday in The Catholic Thing. I have linked to it and, in the interest of forthright discussion, I will bring up several points that strike me after reading it.

I have great respect for Mr. Ruse and his work for C-FAM (which I have promoted often on this blog), and intend with these comments only respond to the arguments he makes for the Legion.

Ruse: "There are souls in Heaven because of the charism of the Legion of Christ and of Regnum Christi."

AmP: This is an imprecise (and even misleading) statement. Obviously, souls are in heaven ultimately by the grace of God. The question at hand is what role did or did not this "charism" play in their salvation? What role can Maciel's spiritual insights and writings play in their lives? It also begs the question to assert that Maciel's charism was "revealed to him by God" - how do we know that it was? The mere fact that Ruse must say "there will be more saints because, and now perhaps in spite, of [Maciel]" should raise concern: charisms, after all, do not assist people towards heaven despite themselves!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Austria bishops urge better Vatican communication

AUSTRIA
Reuters

By Sarah Marsh

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's diocesan bishops on Monday urged the Vatican to improve its inadequate communication skills, after holding an emergency meeting to discuss a crisis of confidence in the Catholic church.

Austrian Catholicism is in turmoil because Pope Benedict, one week after readmitting Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson, named an auxiliary bishop in Linz who said Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was God punishing New Orleans for its sins.

"We hope inadequate channels of communication in the Vatican can be improved so the Pope's service to humanity is not impaired," Austria's bishops said in a statement after their day-long meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Vatican failing publicity tests

ROME
BBC News

Less than two weeks after being named as a bishop by the Pope, Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, a controversial Austrian priest, has asked to be relieved of the post.

From Rome the BBC's Vatican correspondent David Willey reports on growing signs of communications failures at the Vatican.

The appointment of Father Wagner, an ultra right-wing priest, to the rank of auxiliary bishop of Linz unleashed a storm of criticism inside the Austrian Church. The bishops of Austria are holding an emergency meeting in Vienna to decide what to do next.

The Vatican says it has received no official communication from Father Wagner announcing that he is standing down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Catholic Church Liable for Sexual Abuse of Alter Boys: St. John’s, Newfoundland

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

Last week the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruled that the Roman Catholic Church in St. John’s was responsible for the sexual abuse of eight former alter boys by disgraced priest, Reverend James Hickey.

Priest Convicted of Abusing Alter Boys

Hickey was criminally charged ten years ago with sexually abusing the alter boys while he was a parish priest on the Burin Peninsula. He was convicted and spent five years in prison.

Church Fights Victims for 10 Years

Despite Hickey’s criminal conviction the Roman Catholic Church has fought the victim’s claims for compensation tooth and nail for almost 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

'Katrina' bishop row continues

VATICAN CITY
ANSA (Italy)

(ANSA) - Vatican City, February 16 - An Austrian priest who said Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for immorality has not officially refused a promotion, the Vatican said on Monday.

Gerhard Maria Wagner on Sunday told the Austrian Catholic news agency Kathpress he had decided not to accept his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Linz ''in the light of heavy criticism'' from Austrian bishops.

The ultra-conservative priest said that Pope Benedict XVI, who nominated Wagner for the new position on January 31, had already accepted his decision to quit.

But the Vatican said Monday that it had not yet received an official request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Here are quotes and commentary re January 9 Illinois state court decision. .

ILLINOIS
City of Angels

City of Angels sees an opportunity here for a class action suit or some other public and civil, legal application of this decision. Even if you have filed and settled previously in Illinois, why don't a group of us join forces here to make the point that it takes decades to come forward about child sex abuse. Perpetrators should not be able to capitalize on the damages of their own crimes, with victims unable to come forward.

Here are sections of the decision that stimulate me to action: (Itals are my comments. We posted the Illinois state court decision, entire document, at City of Angels 11 .)

"Knowledge of the abuse does not constitute discovery of the injury or the causal relationship between any later-discovered injury and the abuse." (p.4)

In other words, this five years from the moment you realized nonsense is just that, nonsense. There is no SOL in child sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Illinois Court decision re statute of respose Jan 9. 2009, posted here at City of Angels 11

ILLINOIS
City of Angels

JUSTICE McDADE delivered the opinion of the court:

In June 2007 the circuit court of Peoria County granted defendants’ motions to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims to recover damages for sexual abuse on the grounds plaintiffs’ claims were timebarred. The trial court denied plaintiffs’ motions to reconsider in October 2007.

For the reasons that follow, we reverse:

BACKGROUND

In this consolidated appeal, plaintiffs all allege to have been the victims of separate and numerous acts of sexual abuse while in their minority by the individual defendants, all Catholic priests.

Plaintiffs allege that at the times the abuse occurred, defendants, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, and Bishop Daniel Jenky, individually, and the defendants’ respective churches, employed or controlled the individual defendants as parish priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

DECEPTION AND THE POSSIBILITY OF REFORM

EWTN

Raymond Arroyo

Deception is a dreadful thing. The realization that what we had been led to believe is not true, or worse, has been purposely distorted is always crushing and the consequences, disastrous.

Last week it was revealed that the founder of The Legion of Christ, an order which boasts 800 priests and 70,000 affiliated lay members, fathered a child. In May of 2006, following accusations of sexual abuse brought against him, Father Marcial Maciel was sidelined by Pope Benedict and made to live out the rest of his life in “prayer and penitence.” This was the merciful alternative to subjecting him to a Church trial at 87 years of age. Father Maciel nonetheless insisted on his innocence and the Legion came to his defense. In an effort to clear the name of the founder who remains central to their spirituality, the Legion initiated an internal investigation of Father Maciel’s personal behavior. Bits of what they found became public last week.

The priest apparently fathered a (now grown) child and for years had misused funds for this family’s welfare. A number of people within the order tell me that some of the charges that Maciel sexually abused boys and seminarians over a series of decades have also been substantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Why Bad Trees Bear Good Fruit

Written by Steve Skojec on February 15, 2009 – 5:58 pm
“By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.”

- Mt. 7:16-19
If you’re a Christian of any stripe, it’s likely you’ve heard this passage at some point in your life. It seems sensible enough, to the point where I can only imagine it rarely garners much deeper reflection. Scripture is full of more meaningful passages to contemplate.

The problem is that when taken as a metaphor for human action, it can be used to justify bad behavior and ward off legitimate criticism. In fact, when compared to the real experiences most human beings have had, the most commonly understood meaning of this passage is so obviously false as to render it absurd. Of course bad (human) trees bear good fruit - if they didn’t, no one in their right mind would have anything to do with them.

This is clearly the case with the Legionaries of Christ, who seem most fond of using this scripture passage to deflect negativity about their “movement.” Austin Ruse of C-Fam, like his fellow ex-traditionalist Pete Vere, is the latest to play a version of this card in defense of the Legion’s “charism” (a charism which I have yet to see defined as anything other than “self-propagation”):

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

La legión es mucho más que Maciel

Hispanidad (Spain)

Hispanidad, lunes, 16 de febrero de 2009
Su primera respuesta fue: “Julieta, la Legión es de Cristo; la Legión es una gran costura al servicio de la Iglesia y el único autor es Dios nuestro Señor”. Me lo dijo con tanta paz y serenidad, con tanta bondad y seguridad, que no dudé que era mi hermano el que me respondía. Esas fueron sus primeras palabras. Después vinieron otras contestaciones que hoy, en honor a la verdad y a la caridad, me permito compartir junto a algunas reflexiones personales.

Ya es de sobra conocida la noticia acerca de la relación del padre Marcial Maciel con una mujer de la cual procreó una hija. Yo no pertenezco al Movimiento Regnum Christi pero es innegable el dolor que como hija de la Iglesia me produjo también a mí esa información.

Cuando hablé con mi hermano, que es Legionario desde hace 8 años y conocido en el mundo del periodismo católico en español, le invadí con preguntas, pues en ese momento mi desconcierto no era para menos: ¿entonces también eran verdad los rumores de años anteriores sobre el padre Maciel?, ¿conocían toda esta situación los Legionarios y lo habían encubierto?, ¿cómo entender todo este meollo y qué sucedería con la congregación en el futuro? Jorge Enrique me las fue respondiendo con esa claridad de mente y cordialidad de palabra que siempre ha tenido.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Milford pastor arrested for allegedly raping teen

MILFORD (MA)
Examiner

February 15, 1:24 PM
by Mia Carter, Boston Crime Examiner

A female church pastor in Milford, Massachusetts is charged with child rape, according to the Associated Press.

Ana Almeida, the pastor of Plentitude of God Church in Milford appeared in court on Thursday, February 12, 2009, to answer to allegations of child rape. Almeida was reportedly released on $500 bail and placed under house arrest. ...

Authorities are now said to be expanding their investigation with hopes of determining if Almeida was involved in any inappropriate contact with other members of the congregation at the Milford church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Cruz y legado de Maciel

MEXICO
Milenio

Gerardo Hernandez G.

El padre Maciel construyó su propio infierno, y de estar a un paso de los altares pasó, para infinidad de personas, a la condenación eterna.

Que un político de izquierda o derecha resulte corrupto a nadie extraña. Incluso se les absuelve a priori:

“No importa que roben, siempre y cuando hagan obras”.

Y hacer obras, justamente, es lo que aconsejaba don Porfirio al gobernador, compadre suyo, que en un año de ejercicio no apreciaba mejoría en sus alforjas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

A former Catholic priest extradited from Indonesia to answer child sex charges has faced a brief hearing in Adelaide Magistrates Court.

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The man, 67, who cannot be named, is the first person to be extradited from Indonesia under a treaty with Australia.

He is accused of a count unlawful sexual intercourse with a boy, 13, and seven counts of indecent assault against four other boys between 1977 and 1983.

The alleged offences occurred in the South Australian towns of Whyalla, Port Pirie and Crystal Brook.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Austrian priest declines nomination

AUSTRIA
Radio Netherlands

The Austrian priest who was nominated suffragan bishop of Linz by Pope Benedict XVI a week ago has declined the position. The nomination sparked considerable protest in Austria, due mainly to the priest's extreme conservative opinions. In the past, Gerhard Maria Wagner has said that Hurricane Katrina was sent by God to punish New Orleans for its sins, that the Harry Potter books are "satanic" and that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured.

Pope Benedict made the nomination against the wishes of other Austrian bishops, at a time when he had just re-admitted British Bishop Richard Williamson to the Roman Catholic church. Bishop Williamson caused a furore with his remarks in a television interview that that there was no evidence for the existence of Nazi gas chambers and that no more than 300,000 Jews had died in concentration camps during World War II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Statute of repose in child sex crimes prevents justice, as these claims involve long-repressed memories, say 2 branches of Illinois state government

ILLINOIS
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels

Whoa, I just read the recent Peoria decision, and from what I see, the Illinois Legislature removed the statute of repose in 2003, then last month the Illinois Supreme Court confirmed that act of the Legislature. Which means they have eliminated the statute of repose in child sex crimes in Illinois. The January 9, 2009, decision affects, specifically, cases that were filed in 2006, saying the Legislature’s decision overrules anything trial courts, or even circuit appeals courts try to say. We will publish the entire document in a matter of hours here at City of Angels 11

In 2003 the Illinois Legislature said: "The nature of the (child sex abuse) claim is subject to long-repressed memories," removing the statute of repose for child sex crimes. The January decision confirms the Legislature's lawmaking.

So come on, gang, let's take some action in Illinois.

"A problem inherent in the old version of the statute (including the statute of repose) was that it did not suit the nature of the claim," reads the January decision. "Any statute of repose applicable to incidents of childhood sexual abuse inherently fails to recognize that the nature of the claim is subject to long-repressed memories."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

The Legion and the National Catholic Register

First Things

By Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Monday, February 16, 2009, 12:27 AM
The news two weeks ago concerning Fr. Marcial Maciel was devastating to members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi; it was heartbreaking to see my friends on television, clearly distraught at the realization that their founder and spiritual father was guilty of serious crimes.

The news shook me, too, and not only because the sins of any priest wound the priesthood. I am not a priest of the Legion of Christ, nor am I a member of Regnum Christi. In 1997 I started writing for the National Catholic Register, the Catholic weekly bought the previous year by the Legion of Christ. For the last dozen years, including five as Rome correspondent, I have been a frequent contributor to the National Catholic Register, covering many of the most significant stories. While I now write mostly elsewhere, the National Catholic Register was my first journalistic home and an institution for which I have great and continuing affection. My first thoughts upon hearing the news were for my colleagues at the newspaper, especially my friend, the editor Thomas Hoopes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Diocese to Release Priests Files

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego 6

The Diocese of San Diego will begin producing copies of the files of those living and deceased priests accused of abusing minors.

The Diocese says its a step toward final completion of the global settlement agreement reached with the victims in September 2007.

The San Diego Diocese says they are committed to the prevention of sexual abuse and to maintaining a safe environment for children and young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

The Legion Is in Disarray. Betrayed by its Founder

ROME
Chiesa

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, February 16, 2009 – For about a week and a half, an unusual letter has been circulating among the 800 priests and 2500 seminarians of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, and also among the 65,000 lay members of the Regnum Christi apostolate, present in 30 countries around the world.

The letter is from the superior general of the congregation, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera. In it, he writes that "we are living a time of pain and suffering." And he asks everyone for forgiveness.

At the origin of this suffering is the founder of the Legionaries and of Regnum Christi, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (in the photo), who died one year ago at the age of 88, and was buried in his birthplace in Mexico, the village Cotija de la Paz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Ex-rocky priest extradited on sex charges priest is accused of sexual offences against six boys

AUSTRALIA
The Bulletin

Gavin Northey | 16th February 2009

A FORMER Rockhampton Catholic priest appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday charged with child-sex offences.

Charles Alfred Barnett (pictured), 67, who served at Wandal in the early 1990s, was extradited from Indonesia on Saturday to face the charges.

He is accused of sexual offences against six boys and is the first person to be extradited from Indonesia under a treaty with Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Priest Sex Abuse Files Released

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC San Diego

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego has started to release files of priests, living and dead, accused of sexually abusing minors over the past several decades. The release of the information is part of the $198 million settlement of lawsuits filed by 144 victims in 2007.

But the lawyer for several of those victims is questioning just how much information will actually be released.

"I'm hopeful that the files will contain a significant amount of information," said attorney Michael Zimmer. "My fear is that they will not. We have received individual files that have been sanitized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Abuser's victims sought

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Lawyers have called on other victims of convicted Sydney Marist Brother Ross Francis Murrin who is awaiting sentence on a sexual abuse charge to come forward.

The Australian reports that Murrin, 53, taught with the order for 26 years and is already serving a jail term for abusing eight primary school boys in 1974 at the Marist Daceyville school in Sydney's east.

He will be sentenced next month in the NSW District Court after pleading guilty to the latest charge of sexually abusing a boy in his care at St Gregory's College in Campbelltown, in Sydney's southwest, in the mid-1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Diocese transferring files in abuse scandal

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

2:00 a.m. February 16, 2009
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego began transferring files about priests accused of molesting parishioners over decades to a secure computer site yesterday, said a lawyer who represents abuse claimants.

None of the information was provided to attorneys for victims, said the lawyer, Irwin Zalkin.
“What we're going to get is a log of their objections to releasing documents,” Zalkin said. “Only attorneys for the diocese have seen the actual files.”

“We'll confer with lawyers for the diocese, and if we can't agree, we'll have a hearing before Judge (William) Pate, and he'll be the final arbiter about what to release.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

February 15, 2009

Controversial priest to give up promotion

AUSTRIA
Ohio.com

By Associated Press

POSTED: 04:40 p.m. EST, Feb 15, 2009

VIENNA: A priest who created a controversy by suggesting that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina because of the city's sins said today he will ask the pope to rescind his promotion.

Pope Benedict XVI's recent appointment of the conservative Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, to auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria's third-largest city, sparked an outcry among Catholics who warned that it could prompt people to leave the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

U.S. Attorney on radio for one hour and no one mentions investigation of Cardinal Mahony

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

With cyber crime, international human trafficking, the arrest last week of 70 gang members in L.A., the Champions of Justice show on KABC Radio just interviewed U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien for one whole hour and never even mentioned the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese or a Grand Jury investigation. The show is produced by a local law firm, and the two lawyer hosts did even ask about a Cardinal Mahony invetsigation that was all over the news for about three days last month.

Our little felonies don’t match up to much in the eyes of these radio producer slash attorneys, when compared to cyber crime that includes military secrets, as well as entire movies on CD being sold in China before they are even released in the U.S.A.

Don't forget potential Al Quaeda members living in Orange County. As the show went on O’Brien began to sound more and more like the Bush appointee from 2007 that he is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Pastor charged with child rape

MILFORD (MA)
My Fox Boston

[with video]

MILFORD, Mass. - A Milford pastor is charged with raping a young member of her congregation. Police say the teen came forward and said she was abused several times.

Ana Almeida, 31, of Milford, was a pastor at Plenitude of God church on Main Street.

She is charged with statutory rape and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a 14-year-old child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Pastor charged with rape

MILFORD (MA)
WWLP

Kala Rama
Lucas Lalonde
MILFORD, Mass. (WWLP/AP) - The pastor of a Brazilian church in Milford has been charged with raping a child in her congregation.

Police say 31-year old Ana Almeida from the Eastern Massachusetts town of Milford raped a child in her congregation almost a dozen times over two years.

The victim was allegedly a girl from her congregation at a Brazilian church, Plenitude of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Brazilian church leader in Milford faces rape charge

MILFORD (MA)
Boston Globe

By Maria Sacchetti and Benjamin Paulin
Globe Staff And Globe Correspondent / February 15, 2009

The leader of a small Brazilian church in Milford is facing child rape and sexual assault charges in a case involving a teenage girl, stunning the immigrant community and rallying supporters to the pastor's defense.

Ana Paula Almeida, the leader of Plenitude of God Ministries, a storefront Protestant church on Main Street, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl from the church youth group from 2006 to 2008, beginning when the girl was 14, according to Milford police.

Almeida, 31, pleaded not guilty last week in Milford District Court to one count of statutory rape and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child 14 or older, and was released on $500 bail, said spokesman Timothy Connolly of the Worcester district attorney's office. She is restricted to her home in Milford until she gets a GPS monitoring device.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Milford pastor charged with rape

MILFORD (MA)
Boston Herald

By O’Ryan Johnson
Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Milford pastor is under house arrest after she was charged with molesting and raping a 16-year-old congregant over a two-year period, beginning when the girl was 14, prosecutors said.

Ana Almeida, 31, who leads a mostly Brazilian congregation at Plenitude of God Church, pleaded not guilty when she was arraigned Thursday for the rape and four counts of indecent assault and battery of a child older than 14.

Worcester District Attorney spokesman Tim Connolly said Almeida paid $500 bail and was released on house arrest. He said she will remain on house arrest until the court can outfit her with a GPS tracking unit; then, new restrictions will be placed on her

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Pokrov Responds: How much truth is too much?

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Pokrov.org
Date Published: 2/14/2009
Publication: Pokrov.org

Rod Dreher has probably never visited this website, but Pokrov.org has been publishing news about Orthodox clergy sexual abuse for almost ten years now.

Cappy and I were, at one time, members of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the jurisdiction to which Mr. Dreher belongs. The scandals in the OCA, and the other Orthodox communions in this country, have yet to receive the media coverage afforded to those in their Catholic counterparts. However, let us assure him that they are every bit as disgusting and sickening. Insulating himself from this reality may allow Mr. Dreher the comfort of his adopted church, but it also makes him part of the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Former St. Nicholas Treasurer Speaks Out

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 2/14/2009
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON – The issue hovering over St. Nicholas parish in Oak Lawn, Illinois of Mr. Emmanuel Papadopoulos, who is facing one year in prison because he violated his priest’s order, Fr. John Artemas not to step onto the church because he was asking questions about its finances, as The National Herald reported in its last week’s edition, has alerted the members of the Church in America and beyond.

Then-treasurer of the parish council of St. Nicholas, Susanna Searl (Eliopoulos) in an interview with The Herald reveals what was going on at St. Nicholas, how the GOYA accounts were operated and by whom and also her removal from the parish council by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago with the recommendation of her priest at the time Archimandrite Timothy Bakakos. Metropolitan Iakovos told the Herald last week that he was not aware of the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Metropolitan Isaiah Removed 13 Parish Council Members in Houston for Karambis’ sake

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 2/14/2009
Publication: The National Herald

BOSTON – Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver had gone as far as to dismiss 13 members of the Annunciation Cathedral of Houston, Texas some three years ago for Archimandrite Gabriel Karambis’ sake, said a prominent member of the Greek American Community of Houston and also former official of the parish who requested to keep his anonymity for now.

“Metropolitan Isaiah did that despite the fact that the vast majority of the parish was against Rev. Karambis and the congregants were requesting Fr. Karambis’ removal from the parish,” he said.

Shortly before Christmas, Metropolitan Isaiah informed the parish that Archimandrite Karambis was removed from his priestly duties, placed on suspension and sent to the Spiritual Court of the Denver Metropolis, as The National Herald had reported on December 29, 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Unraveling at the seams

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Date Published: 2/14/2009

Publication: The National Herald

Recent developments in the life of the Church in America amply demonstrate how fragile the general situation is, and how much things have deteriorated in recent years – due to a series of unfortunate decisions over the years, but are badly mismanaged today – and an obvious vacuum in central leadership and authority.

Things may seem calm at the local level – in some parishes –but when clerics start having lay people arrested; when hierarchs insist on supporting wrongdoers, only to suspend them from the priesthood later after a great deal of heartache; when hierarchs aren’t honest with us, the situation cries out for inspection, introspection and, ultimately, major personnel changes.

Where do we begin? Do we continue to revisit the Katinas scandal which, like several other such cases that imposed severe financial hardship on the Archdiocese, rained embarrassment down on our community nationwide – not just in the Dallas community, where the now-defrocked former priest served for almost 30 years before retiring abruptly – only to learn that he allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with young boys?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Sacked rebel priest Father Peter Kennedy collapses

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

David Earley and Margaret Wenham
February 15, 2009 11:00pm

EMBATTLED priest Father Peter Kennedy collapsed and was rushed to hospital last night.

It was only hours after leading an emotional final Mass at St Mary's South Brisbane.

With St Mary's full to overflowing during the 5pm Mass, 71-year-old Father Kennedy again exhorted his followers to continue as a congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Exlcblog

The following was sent to every member of the Regnum Christi by Legion of Christ Superiors yesterday by email or fax. This is the full, unedited text.

Make your own observations.

Guidelines for answering some questions

Considerations:

All our words should be inspired and guided by Christian charity, knowing that “the triumph of truth is charity” (St. Augustine).

This is a time of great pain for Legionaries of Christ, members of Regnum Christi and everyone associated with the Church. There is the great mystery of how the Holy Spirit can play beautiful melodies on a broken instrument. But we must remember that for those who have been hurt, we cannot excuse their suffering by reminding them of the good that God does through the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

In the Spotlight: Tim in the Square

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

Regardless of whether he's indeed named to Stateside Catholicism's most storied and influential post in some hours' time, as the focus of these days predominantly rests upon Timothy Michael Dolan, it's worth putting some things on the record.

Why, you ask? Because whether his future involves New York, the other oft-floated possibility of Chicago once Cardinal Francis George, now 72, hits the retirement age, or even nothing more than his current base of Milwaukee and its 850,000 Catholics, the "self-made man" with the boisterous laugh and ability to keep people's attention (not to mention raise herculean amounts of money without breaking a sweat) is and will remain a figure of outsize clout in the top rank of the US bench, all by force of the ebullient, engaging, force of personality that's made him a household name exponentially more than most of his peers could ever imagine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Discovering Timothy Dolan

NEW YORK
dotCommonweal

February 15, 2009, 6:56 am Posted by Robert P. Imbelli

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia has been assiduously tracking the signals about a soon-to-be-announced (?) successor to Cardinal Edward Egan as Archbishop of New York.

Certain whispers seem to point in the direction of Timothy Dolan, former rector of Rome’s North American College, currently Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Delegate to press on for child sex abuse bill

MARYLAND
News-Post

By Meg Tully
News-Post Staff

ANNAPOLIS -- A state bill that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue for damages until they are 50 years old has been voted down by a Senate committee.

But Frederick Delegate Sue Hecht, a Democrat who is sponsoring the legislation in the House of Delegates, is determined to press on with the bill.

"I'm dedicated to protecting children from predators," Hecht said. "I'm dedicated to exposing as many predators as possible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Archbishop talks frankly about pain and joy of his 16-year tenure

OMAHA (NE)
World-Herald

BY CHRISTOPHER BURBACH
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss has led the 225,000 Roman Catholics of northeast Nebraska through a painful time for the church, but he's smiling and feeling optimistic as he faces retirement after 16 years at the helm in Omaha.

Word could be coming soon from Rome on a replacement for Curtiss, the most prominent religious leader in Nebraska. He submitted his resignation, as required, when he turned 75 almost two years ago.

The sometimes controversial archbishop doesn't know when Pope Benedict XVI will announce a new prelate. But he agreed to a rare sit-down interview with The World-Herald last week to look back on his career.

Curtiss talked in frank terms about his Omaha years - the good times and the bad:

• He and other bishops "learned the hard way" about clergy sex abuse. He said he was shocked and will always be bothered by the abuse. But he believes that the church is "better now for having gone through this purification," and that safeguards such as laity review boards and safe environment training for those who work with children will prevent future abuse. "There's no child more safe in this archdiocese than in Catholic institutions right now."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Coach's prosecutor vilified, lauded

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Kentucky.com

By Dylan T. Lovan - Associated Press
LOUISVILLE — When a retired Catholic priest faced dozens of sexual abuse charges a few years ago, Louisville's prosecutor asked the public to consider the potential crimes against children, not the church's strong ties to the community.

"We're not prosecuting a priest," Dave Stengel said in 2002. "We're prosecuting a pedophile who happens to be a priest."

The three-term prosecutor has waded into community-dividing cases before and since, maybe none more so than when he charged popular Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach Jason David Stinson last month with reckless homicide in the heat-related death of a teenage player.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Church denies former bishop's appeal

PENNSYLVANIA
Religious Intelligence (United Kingdom)

By: George Conger.

The former Bishop of Pennsylvania’s request for a modification of his sentence of deposition from holy orders was denied last week by a church tribunal in Philadelphia.

On Feb 4, the Court for the Trial of a Bishop declined to modify its sentence removing the Rt Rev Charles Bennison from the ministry for having covered up the sexual abuse of a young girl committed by his brother, John Bennison, when Bishop Bennison was a parish priest in California in the 1970s.

The court rejected the request to impose a lighter sentence of suspension or admonition, but noted that its ruling did not “alter the church’s deep and abiding compassion” for Bishop Bennison, saying they hoped the finality of its verdict would allow him to find “reconciliation and peace.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

February 14, 2009

U.S. Attorney on the Radio

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Patrick J. Wall

U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien is giving a rare radio interview tomorrow, February 15, 2009.

He is scheduled to appear on the CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE show at 11 am on LA’s KABC AM 710. Fortunately, the show will also be broadcast live over the Internet and saved as a podcast at: www.kabc.com.

We don’t know if he will speak about the Mahony investigation, but it doesn’t hurt to hope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Will It Be Just a Change of Face or An About Face In New York?

NEW YORK
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

New York, NY - The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSACoalition) knows the Archbishop of New York is no ordinary bishop. By virtue of the prestige of New York, the heft of the Catholic population, the uniqueness of the City to the United States and the world, this is a diocese where a real difference can be made for the Church.

A new opportunity has presented itself. It must not be squandered. But a new face doesn’t necessarily mean change where it counts.

The new Archbishop of New York can have a major influence in curing the severe case of laryngitis in the Church’s moral voice. If he chooses not to, the sickness of sexual abuse in the Church could turn fatal.

We urge the new Archbishop to choose life for his diocese and the Church by stepping forward to put the clergy sexual abuse scandal front and center on his agenda as a life issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Breaking The Silence

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

At this time last year, Dr. Asher Lipner had no idea he was on a course to become a grass-roots community organizer, particularly around such a delicate issue: child sexual abuse in the Orthodox community. But having successfully organized a conference attended by close to 50 survivors of abuse, clinicians, advocates and rabbis in Brooklyn in September, that, as well as a compassionate and outspoken advocate for victims of abuse throughout the Orthodox world, is exactly what he has become.

Lipner, who is 42 and lives in Flatbush, has a Ph.D. in psychology and works in the Orthodox community as a therapist specializing in issues related to sexual abuse. He is a teddy bear of a man, with dark hair and a salt-and-pepper beard, and over coffee at a café in his neighborhood he spoke thoughtfully about an issue that he has become passionate about.

Lipner claims that the idea for the conference came out of a growing sense of frustration among colleagues and friends who had been dealing with the issue largely in isolation, and longed to find a way to work with others to confront what they saw as a communal problem. Lipner drew on his extensive network of clinicians,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

The Crisis of the Legion of Christ

Spero News

By Robert Moynihan

What will happen now to the Legionaries of Christ? That is the question in Rome following the news in early February that the Legion’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado (1920-2008) had lived a “double life” for many years, keeping a mistress, perhaps using Legionary funds to support her, and fathering a daughter now reportedly 22 years old. With this news, which was received with shock by many in the order, there are many who think the Legion cannot, and should not, survive.

The Legion’s leadership is now seeking to distance the Legion from its founder, but with great caution, knowing there has never been an order in the history of the Church that survived after repudiating its founder. At the same time, from outside the Legion, calls are multiplying for Pope Benedict XVI to take decisive action, perhaps even to suppress the order, to preserve whatever of good there is in it from destruction.

As this issue went to press, it was not yet clear what Benedict would do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

SB 238 defeated. Maryland Judiciary Committee, state senate, votes no on SOL window late Thursday night

MARYLAND
City of Angels

This just in: Maryland's Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted down SB238. This means the Senate bill is dead for another year.

Activists are now turning their attention to a House bill in Maryland with "a ferociously dedicated bill sponsor in Delegate Sue Hecht."

"So while we lost the first round of battle, the war wages on," reads a recent email.

Focus now is on the House Judiciary Committee leaders in Maryland, to gauge their interest in bringing forward Delegate Hecht’s bill in its current form or to revise the bill.

"We still have House Bill 556," said Frank Dingle of Maryland's Child's Victim's Voice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Anti-union parents on diocese list

SCRANTON (PA)
Standard Speaker

BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL
STAFF WRITER
Published: Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:13 AM EST
SCRANTON — The Diocese of Scranton is asking its school principals to compile lists of parents who oppose allowing teachers to unionize and are willing to voice their opinion to state legislators.

The diocese has stated the passing of House Bill 26, which would expand state labor laws to cover lay teachers in religiously affiliated schools, “will mean the end of Catholic schools” in the diocese.

Since January 2008, Bishop Joseph F. Martino has refused to recognize the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers as a collective bargaining unit and has instead implemented an employee-relations program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Dolan speculation gains ground

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Whether or not Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan leaves Milwaukee for New York, he is likely to play an increasingly prominent role in the Catholic Church nationally and around the world, a well-respected American author who writes on the church said Friday.

"I don't think there's any question . . . he has the right stuff to be a leader on the national stage," said John Allen, who covers the Vatican for the National Catholic Reporter.

"He has all the right qualities to be a point of reference much broader than the boundaries of whatever diocese he's in."

Speculation that Pope Benedict XVI would soon name Dolan to succeed Cardinal Edward M. Egan as archbishop of New York gained momentum Friday after an Italian journalist reputed to have a good track record on such matters reported that Dolan was the pick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

L/RC: Reform from within? Carry on the charism?

In the Light of the Law

I think that Fr. Alvaro Corcuera's apparent claim that he knows nothing about Maciel's behavior, except that Maciel sired a daughter, is utterly unbelievable. I have nothing else to say about this kind of stone-walling. I will simply re-endorse Dr. Germain Grisez's and Mr. George Weigel's proposals for direct intervention by the Holy See.

In the meantime, I'll offer some brief comments on two assertions that have surfaced in discussions about the Legion, namely, the "reform-from-within" assertion, and the "carry-on-the-charism" assertion.

Assertion 1. Because the Legion and Regnum Christi have within their ranks many obviously good and faithful Catholics, they should be allowed to try a reform from within. Response: the presence of good and faithful Catholics within an organization, particularly when the organization (in terms of Church history, if nothing else) is so young, says almost nothing about whether the organization itself is sound and/or salvageable. History affords us many examples of organizations or movements that were fundamentally and even fatally flawed, but which for a time attracted and held good Catholics in membership; but that only shows that good Catholics, too, can be duped. That's not their fault, certainly, but their innocence does not guarantee the basic soundness of the organization in which they serve. Membership is distinguishable from institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Response to Ed Peters, part 2

Catholic Light

By Pete Vere on February 14, 2009
Ed Peters has put together another response to the Legionaries of Christ / Regnum Christi (LC/RC) crisis, which is well worth reading. You can check it out here. Since I'm likely to be asked for a response, here's a line-by-line:

I think that Fr. Alvaro Corcuera's apparent claim that he knows nothing about Maciel's behavior, except that Maciel sired a daughter, is utterly unbelievable. I have nothing else to say about this kind of stone-walling. I will simply re-endorse Dr. Germain Grisez's and Mr. George Weigel's proposals for direct intervention by the Holy See.

Out of Christian charity I will assume Fr. Alvaro is telling the truth. The Holy See should intervene anyway. Directly.

The situation is so muddled that I cannot see how the LC/RC can fix it without outside help and expertise. Moreover, given how the LC/RC have maintained Fr. Maciel's innocence for years, the severity of the allegations against him - both proven and unproven, and other structural problems within the movement, how the initial response has been bungled, the only way to regain the trust of orthodox Catholics is for Rome to appoint an outsider to oversee a thorough housecleaning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Aust priest extradited to face child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former Catholic priest will face the Adelaide magistrates court on Monday after being extradited from Indonesia on child sex charges.

It is alleged the 67-year-old sexually abused several teenage boys across Adelaide and in Port Pirie between 1979 and 1994.

He spent nearly a year in a Jakarta prison before being sent back to South Australia last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Closure possible for eight area churches

SOUTH DAKOTA
The Daily Republic

Austin Kaus The Daily Republic
Published Saturday, February 14, 2009

MOUNT VERNON — Monsignor Steve Barnett is hoping that an upcoming meeting with Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls officials will convince them to remove St. Michael’s Parish from a list of churches scheduled for possible closure.

Bishop Paul Swain released a letter earlier this month listing 35 eastern South Dakota Catholic parishes that would no longer have regular Mass by 2012 if the plan is adopted. Other area churches on the list include those in Bridgewater, Ethan, Farmer, Pukwana, Springfield, Stickney and Tripp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Former St Barnabas' priest to appeal against prison sentence

UNITED KINGDOM
Rye & Battle Observer

Published Date: 14 February 2009
THE former Vicar of St Barnabas' Church who abused two youngsters when he was at a Northamptonshire church is to appeal some of his convictions and his sentence.

Colin Ivor Pritchard, of St Augustines Close, pleaded guilty to seven sex offences at Northampton Crown Court in July last year. The 64-year-old was jailed for five years.

Last Friday, Pritchard was given permission to challenge his convictions for two of the offences. despite his guilty pleas.

His lawyers say that, under the law at the time, his victim had to be under the age of 14 for him to be guilty, and was in fact older than that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Infallible does not mean Unaccountable

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

In today's commentary Frank Purcell reveals that the Australian Bishops have admitted they have still not implemented procedures instituted under the new Code of Canon Law in 1983 for appeals under the Charter of Rights implemented in that new Code. In the face of the continuing appeasement of the insecurities of a tiny rump of Catholicism at the expense of the broad body of Catholics, Frank Purcell, joins the rising chorus of protest around the world at the direction in which the recent Popes and the Roman Curia appear to be taking Catholicism. He argues that greater procedures for accountability need to be implemented at all levels within the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Former monk pleads guilty to sexual assault

JOHNSON CITY (TX)
Houston Chronicle

The Associated Press
Feb. 13, 2009, 11:22PM

JOHNSON CITY, Texas — A former monk of the now defunct Christ of the Hills Monastery pleaded guilty Friday to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 1993.

Jonathan Hitt pleaded guilty as part of an agreement expected to result in no extra prison time. He is approaching the end of a 10-year sentence for indecency with an 11-year-old boy. His latest sentence will end Oct. 26 under the plea deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Perv minister found guilty

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By SAM PAZZANO, COURTS BUREAU

A retired United Church minister who abused his position of trust by having a long-term sexual relationship with a parishioner was found guilty yesterday of sexual assault.

Superior Court Justice Elizabeth Stewart said Rev. William Major "intentionally abused his position" as the now 54-year-old woman's counsellor when he engaged her in acts of masturbation, oral sex, fondling and one instance of intercourse.

Major committed these sexual acts during counselling sessions designed to deal with her childhood sexual abuse between Jan. 1, 1996 and Dec. 20, 2005. The judge will sentence Major on April 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Minister guilty of preying on woman

CANADA
Toronto Star

Feb 14, 2009 04:30 AM
Peter Small
COURTS BUREAU

When a 42-year-old depressed mother of four joined Manor Road United Church in Toronto, she sought the minister for support and counselling.

She soon entered into a nine-year sexual relationship that Rev. William Major insisted was mutual and full of "caring and love."

Yesterday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Elizabeth Stewart ruled otherwise, finding the 65-year-old retired minister guilty of sexual assault against the woman with whom he had a relationship of power, trust and authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Imam In Bosnia Sex Abuse Case Found Guilty

BOSNIA
Balkan Insight

Sarajevo | 13 February 2009 |

A Bosnian court has found an Imam (local Islamic priest) guilty of sexually abusing an underage girl and sentenced him to 18 months in prison, in a case that shocked Bosnia and stirred up tensions between local media organizations and the country’s influential Islamic Community.

The family of the girl pressed charges against the Imam last year, accusing him of sexually molesting their underage daughter during religion classes.

"As Allah is my witness, I did not commit this crime," said Imam Resad Omerhodzic, who plans to appeal the ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Filipino public defender helps San Mateo County priest seek pardon for molesting girl

CALIFORNIA
San Mateo County Times

By Elizabeth Pfeffer
San Mateo County Times

The Philippines' top public defender has vowed to help get a pardon for a former San Mateo County priest who was convicted of molesting a young girl from his Daly City parish.

Jose Superiaso, 54, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sexual relations with a 12-year-old girl from 1994-1995 during his tenure at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Daly City. He was also a priest at Our Lady of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Belmont, and at Our Lady of the Pillar Church in Half Moon Bay.

Superiaso is not eligible for parole until 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

February 13, 2009

Why is Tod Brown Letting His Latest Pedo-Priest Financially Hang?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 13, 2009 12:45 PM

The Diocese of Orange is legendary for sparing no expense, no legal strategy while fighting off sex-abuse victims or trying to cover up for its pedo-priests. Hell, they even paid for Mater Dei boys' basketball coach Gary McKnight's laughable attempt to shut this wab up. But in the current case of Denis Lyons, Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown is offering the pedo-priest no help at all that doesn't involve saving his own ass.

In a recent court motion, Lyons' attorneys asked that his alleged victim, Jon Kirrer, pay the fees so that a court-appointed discovery referre can wade through thousands of pages of documents and determine which are admissable for the civil suit, and which are not. Lyons is pleading poverty: he "is not reasonably able to pay any costs associated with such an appointment and any requirement that he must do so would cause a substantial hardship on him," wrote attorney Donald Steier. "It is unclear whether one or more of the other parties will agree to pay [Lyons'] portion of the appointed referee's fees."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Open Letter to the Legionaries of Christ

Third Journey

February 11, 2009

Petition/Open Letter to the Legionaries of Christ

Dear Fr. Corcuera and the Legionaries of Christ:

As friends of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, we are writing to you out of loving concern following the recent news regarding Fr. Marcial Maciel.

While we, the undersigned, may not agree with every particular nuance in this petition, we agree with its overall substance and intention.

As Catholics, our first concern is for any possible victims of Fr. Maciel's conduct. We pray that God's healing grace may bind their wounds and comfort them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Maciel, The Legion, and the Piarists

Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

February 13th, 2009
The Piarists were suppressed during the lifetime of the founder because of pederasty by the head of the order. It is the closest parallel I know of in Church history to the Legion. Joseph Calasanctius founded the Piarists, and made a fatal and culpable error of tolerating a child abuser who had high political connections.

Until recently, the difficulties that the Piarists had were explained in this fashion:

Calasanz’s success, however, continued to bother the local parish schoolmasters, as well as other rivals within the Church. It has also been suggested that the wealthy classes were alarmed by free education for the poor, fearing that their own superior positions in society would be threatened. Thus, a Fr. Mario Sozzi, who had entered the order in Naples in 1630, contrived to take power away from Calasanz. In 1639, he used his connections at the Vatican to become head of the order in Tuscany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Austria's bishops to discuss 'crisis' over resistance to bishop's appointment

AUSTRIA
Catholic Culture

Acknowledging a "crisis" for Catholicism in their country, Austria's Catholic bishops will meet in Vienna on Monday to discuss the popular opposition to the Pope's selection of a conservative priest, Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, to become an auxiliary bishop of the Linz diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Duplicity Marks Maryland Sex Abuse Bill

MARYLAND
Christian News Wire

Contact: Susan A. Fani, Director of Communications, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, catalyst@catholicleague.org

MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 13 /Standard Newswire/ -- Bills have been introduced in both houses of the Maryland legislature that would amend the current law that allows alleged victims of child sexual abuse to file civil suit against the offender up until the age of 25. Under the bills sponsored by Sen. Delores Goodwin Kelley and C. Sue Hecht in the House, the age limit on the statute of limitations would be raised from 25 to 50 years old. The retroactive provision would open up a two-year window during which claims could be made.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue opposes the bills:

"If Maryland lawmakers are serious about combating child sexual abuse, they need to have one law for everyone. They do not, and under the proposed bills, they still will not. To be specific, these bills continue the outrageous insulation afforded the public schools: under the law claims are limited to $100,000 in damages and alleged victims must give notice of a suit within six months. No such cap is afforded private institutions. In other words, both bills would ratify a dual system of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Documents: YFZ Ranch was Jeffs' 'center stake,' used to punish and reward followers

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard Times

By Paul A. Anthony

It was called the place of refuge - hundreds of acres in Schleicher County as isolated from the world as the people who would live there.

For Warren Jeffs, the self-declared prophet of the polygamous sect that owns the land, it was a new hope, a retreat for his closest allies to continue with God's work while they awaited the destruction of everyone around them.

He called it the "Center Stake of Zion."

The isolation was shattered April 3 - rent in the West Texas night amid allegations of forced marriage and sexual abuse, the temple desecrated by lawmen with a search warrant, 439 children taken into state custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Diocese to principals: make list of parents who oppose Catholic teachers’ union

SCRANTON (PA)
Catholic Culture

February 13, 2009
Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty of the Diocese of Scranton has asked Catholic school principals to compile a list of parents who oppose proposed state legislation that would permit Catholic teachers’ unions. The principals were asked to forward the lists to the diocese, which has stated that such legislation “will mean the end of Catholic schools.” Some Catholic school parents who support the formation of a teachers’ union said they feared that they would be “blacklisted.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

On Facebook, Regnum Christ youth react to Maciel news

American Papist

A search of the popular social networking website Facebook reveals several popular groups created (some time ago) to support Marcial Maciel. Out of curiosity, I visited two of the largest ones to see how young Catholics are reacting to the news.

The first one is named "Sainthood Quickly for Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Riformista: "It's Tim"

NEW YORK
Whispers in the Loggia

Earlier today, Paolo Rodari -- the well-sourced Vatican correspondent for the Italian daily Il Riformista with a keen reputation for accuracy -- called the New York appointment for the archbishop of Milwaukee.

Following is a translation of Rodari's dispatch in full:

The announcement should arrive shortly. And it regards the name of the successor of the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, Edward Michael Egan. According to leaks obtained by Il Riformista, Benedict XVI has decided on Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee. Among other names who could've been chosen are the archbishop of Hartford, Henry Mansell, the archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Newark John Myers and that of San Juan, Roberto Gonzalez Nieves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Next NY Archbishop? Speculation boils

NEW YORK
USA Today

Years ago, political experts would discern power shifts in China by reading clues in wall posters.

Something like that is going on in Catholic circles of Manhattan now. There's a frenzy of speculation on who will become the next Archbishop of New York -- the post Vaticanista-in-Philadelphia Rocco Palmo calls "the Big One" at his blog-for-Catholic-Church-obsessives, Whispers in the Loggia.

Five weeks ago, when the pope named a new archbishop of Detroit, USA TODAY ran down a list of top names on the rumor list for the spot. The New York Times played out the speculation last week (same names in play). This week, the current Archbishop, Cardinal Edward Egan, told Catholic New York that word could come "any day now," that he should pack his beloved piano and head for his retirement home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Child Victims Voice

MARYLAND
YouTube

This links to testimony provided on Maryland's Senate Bill 238. If passed the legislation will change the statute of limitations on filing a civil suit to the age of 50 and allow a two-year window for survivors to be heard in a civil court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Remember the Charism

The Catholic Thing

By Austin Ruse
There are souls in Heaven because of the charism of the Legion of Christ and of Regnum Christi. This means there are souls in Heaven because of the spiritual insights and writings of the Legion’s founder Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The participation of these saints in the beatific vision will not be revoked because of his repugnant and hypocritical behavior, which became public knowledge last week. The charism that was revealed to him by God is no less true today than it was last year or fifty years ago. What a woeful vessel was he for this apostolate, but there will be more saints because, and now perhaps in spite, of him.

We do not know the whole story and the bad news will probably get worse.

The inevitable braying in the media and in the blogosphere is deafening. Leon Podles calls for the suppression of the Legion of Christ and of Regnum Christi. Rod Dreher calls Regnum Christi a cult and oddly uses the crisis to settle an old personal score with the now deceased Father Richard John Neuhaus. Under the guise of a letter to a friend, which in friendly fashion he released to the blogs, Germaine Grisez calls for an investigation, but assumes the Legion must be dissolved. Amy Welborn scratches her chin thoughtfully and pronounces she is not satisfied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Lobbyists paid by Church claim soup kitchens run by Church would close if SOL opened...

MARYLAND
City of Angels

(And Maryland State Senate listens to them. Here is a conversation with David Fortwengler about hearings last week on SB236 before the Maryland State Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would open the Statute of limitations on negligence in sex crimes. Related videos at City of Angels 6 )

“Sometimes when you hear the church arguments, I'm glad we don’t have a system like the British where you can get up and yell in parliament, because there’s a whole bunch of times survivors would like to stand up and yell bull----. One priest gets up every time and says, If this legislation passes all these things would close, his parish and the soup kitchen.”

ME: If an organization the size of the Catholic Church really cared about poverty, there would be no poverty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Sacked Catholic priest appeals against dismissal

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | February 14, 2009

REBEL priest Peter Kennedy has begun moves under Catholic canon law to thwart his sacking by Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby for contravening the church's liturgy.

Father Kennedy's dismissal from St Mary's of South Brisbane - believed to the first of its kind within Australia's Catholic Church - was to become effective next Saturday, with his last mass in the parish tomorrow, after 50 years as a priest.

Under a formal appeal made this week to Archbishop Bathersby, his ousting could be delayed indefinitely as the case might be determined in Rome, before an ultimate decision by the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

'Critical Mass': A Novel

UNITED STATES
PRNewswire

BOSTON, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A community ordained priest takes a critical look at the Catholic Church, its beliefs, as well as its scandals, offering a glimpse into the Church's past and present. "Critical Mass" (published by iUniverse), a novel by Kathleen M. Henry, may be likened to when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, instigating the Reformation. Henry has been in exile from her Church in response to some of its positions, including refusing to allow the ordination of women and the relocation of child-abusing priests.

Taking many of her experiences as a young pre- and post-Vatican II Catholic, Henry delves into the unyielding underbelly of the Church. In this slim but powerful work, which is structured in the format of a Roman Catholic mass, Henry examines the role of women within its ranks by weaving the lives of three women over different periods, all of whom had prayed in the same pew in the same cathedral over the years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Spiritual advisor to Mother Teresa gets 25-year sentence for sex crimes

CHICAGO (IL)
Examiner

February 13, 6:47 AM
by Jim Kouri, Law Enforcement Examiner

(Information for the following was provided to the National Association of Chiefs of Police by the Department of Homeland Security.)

A defrocked Catholic priest who once served as a spiritual advisor to Mother Teresa was sentenced in Chicago on Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison for sexually molesting a boy on several interstate and international religious retreats.

This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Madoff Scandal Ensnares Order of Patron Saint for Moralists

NEW YORK
Bloomberg

By Vernon Silver and David Glovin

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Bernard Madoff may be testing the faith of followers of the patron saint of moralists and confessors, who sank money into the investment funds of the alleged mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

Roman Catholic priests and institutions linked to the Redemptorist society in the U.S. and Italy appear on a 162-page client list of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Feb. 4. The religious order follows the teachings of Saint Alphonsus Liguori who preached about ethical behavior.

“The world is very hard, particularly in the manner of money,” said Stan Wrobel, a priest and treasurer at the Redemptorist headquarters in Rome. “We can only pray for the people who have been damaged and for the family of Madoff because they may need spiritual help, too.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Sex Abuse Scandal Tarnishes An Otherwise Fine Order

PENNSYLVANIA
The Bulletin

By Gregory J. Sullivan, For The Bulletin
Published: Friday, February 13, 2009
The revelations of grave sexual and financial abuses of Father Marcial Maciel have finally — and thankfully — penetrated into the leadership of the order he founded, the Legion of Christ, and the lay movement, Regnum Christi. The Legion and Regnum Christi, both of which are very impressive organizations, will need to confront this problem openly, thoroughly, and honestly to have any chance to survive. One can only hope the very best for the many outstanding members of these groups.

Founded in Mexico in 1941, the Legion has been one of the most successful new ecclesial movements in the Church. It has ordained many competent priests (more than 700 currently with more than 1,000 seminarians) and recruited brilliant and committed lay people (the membership of Regnum Christi is approximately 70,000). What is more, these groups are distinguished by their sincere pursuit of sanctity and doctrinal orthodoxy.

The founder, Fr. Maciel, who died in 2008, was continuously surrounded by rumors and accusations of sexual abuse of Legion seminarians. Pope John Paul II was intensely devoted to the excellence and vitality of the Legion and Regnum Christi, and the Vatican’s investigation of Fr. Maciel went nowhere. (During this time, Fr. Maciel had many influential defenders, including in this country the estimable Father Richard John Neuhaus.) Under Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Maciel was, because of his advanced age and declining health, merely removed from his leadership position. That is where the matter remained until the recent acknowledgement by the Legion’s current leadership that it was engulfed in crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Inquiry is over but final submissions Feb. 23

CANADA
Seaway News

After three long years, the Cornwall Public Inquiry is finally over.

Well, not really.

Final oral submissions will be made at the inquiry Feb. 23. However, the fact the witnesses are done must come as a huge relief to residents of Cornwall who thought the inquiry would never end.

This was the longest and the most expensive inquiry ever held in Ontario and perhaps Canada!

When the inquiry was launched in February 2006, it was generally believed it would end in a matter of months. The months dragged into three years and could have gone on for a few more months had the province not handed down an amendment order-in-council that mandated strict deadlines for the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Shameless plug for serious friend

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

If this weblog has a short list of very close friends, Rod “Crunchy Cons” Dreher would have to be near the top of the list. I feel no shame pointing people toward his work, every now and then.

Normally, you read Dreher at his own Beliefnet.com weblog or, in his day job, as a columnist and writer on the editorial pages of the Dallas Morning News. However, Rod opened a vein and wrote an unusually candid essay the other day as part of the continuing op-ed series that USA Today publishes on religion news and trends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Book Review - Before Dallas

UNITED STATES
CathNews (Australia)

Anyone who has been confounded by the Church's mishandling of the child sex abuse crisis will benefit from Nicholas Cafardi's detailed account of the Church's response prior to the 2002 approval in Dallas of the US Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

As Cafardi, both a civil and canon lawyer, points out, concern about sexual abuse was not born of the 20th century. Collections of canon law have long had provisions on how to handle such offenses by clerics. Why these were not followed, and why other roads were taken instead, serve as the core of the book.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

School staff member is focus of investigation

ENCINO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

The campus minister at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation by police and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles into alleged inappropriate conduct at another school in the 1990s, officials said.

Joseph Schnelldorfer was a coach at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills when the alleged misconduct took place, archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said, adding that the allegations did not involve sexual abuse. Tamberg said he had no information about which teams Schnelldorfer had coached or why the allegation was just coming to light. Officials at Alemany High said they could provide no details.

Tamberg said that the allegation was referred to Los Angeles police and that the archdiocese was cooperating with the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

The Need for Reformation -- A New Book Digs Deeper Into the Chaos in the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
MSNBC

ROCHESTER, Mich., Feb. 12, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Catholics are losing faith. The Catholic Church has been losing its popularity for several decades. From priest sexual abuse, Mass attendance, leadership failures, or the worldwide priest shortage, the message is clear: the church is in need of reform. That is the clear message that Dr. R. John Kinkel, Ph.D. wants to convey in his book, Chaos in the Catholic Church.

There is a sexual abuse problem and leaders did not deal with it effectively. We find a 'code of silence', missed reform opportunities, and the underlying mismanagement of the chaos. After documenting the cover-up by bishops and others, the book points out the contradiction: bishops protect the devious priests and the church's reputation versus the need to protect children and prevent molestation in the future. The book develops a very plausible explanation as to how the sex scandal mushroomed in the 1970s and why it is now apparently declining.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Group to Interview Priest in Sex Abuse Case

TENNESSEE
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

This morning, a group of attorneys and a court reporter are to meet at the Nashville home of a retired and suspended Catholic priest to talk about his time in Memphis.

The Rev. Paul St. Charles, who served in Memphis from the 1960s to the 1980s, is accused in six civil lawsuits of sexually abusing teenagers.

The suits have been filed in Shelby County Circuit Court since 2005. The former head of Diocesan Youth Services is named in more lawsuits than any of the other five Memphis priests named in similar civil actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Briefly: Lawyers: Open files on priests

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

Friday, February 13, 2009

Circuit Court

A motion has been filed in Circuit Court to unseal documents that name 15 priests accused of sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

Lawyers representing a man abused by a Catholic priest want to open thousands of pages from the diocese to the public.

According to attorneys Gary Smith and Karen Campbell, priests named in the documents include clergy who are dead, retired and some still active.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priest files in sex abuse lawsuits to be released

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Greg Moran
Union-Tribune Staff Writer
2:00 a.m. February 13, 2009

SAN DIEGO — The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said yesterday it will begin to release files of priests accused of molesting parishioners over decades, but a lawyer for many of the victims said the information will not be immediately public.

The files from the diocese will be released Sunday, diocese Chancellor Rodrigo Valdivia said in a statement. That will begin a complicated, and potentially lengthy, process of making clergy members' records publicly available.

The files will be released via a secure Web site to lawyers for the plaintiffs who filed more than 120 suits against the diocese, beginning in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Southampton vicar arrested over allegations of historic sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Echo

By Jenny Makin

A CHURCH of England vicar has been arrested over allegations of historic sexual abuse relating to a child, the Daily Echo can reveal.

It is understood that the Rev Barry Fry was questioned by police at a pre-arranged interview at a Southampton station.

Officers from the public protection unit are leading the inquiry surrounding Mr Fry, pictured, who is a vicar at St Barnabas Church in Rose Road, Southampton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

February 12, 2009

President of Mexican Bishops calls on LC to apologize

MEXICO
American Papist

It's taken some time for me to get up to speed with the Maciel situation in Mexico. There is sadly very little cross-over between English and Spanish language journalism. The results of my search, however, do not dissapoint.

To begin with, the President of the Mexican Bishop's Conference (CEM) has called on the Legionaries to apologize to Maciel's victims (underlining mine):

The Legionaries of Christ will have to ask pardon from the sex-abuse victims of Marcial Maciel, because this would be a sign of reconciliation, said Carlos Aguiar Retes, the president of the Mexican Bishops' Conference. In a statement yesterday, he condemned the fact that Maciel, a priest from Michoacan, led a double life. The president of the Bishops' Conference (CEM) said that yes, the Legionaries should ask pardon from those who denounced Maciel, founder of the Legionaries, for having sexually abused them, "because it certainly helps a lot when a person accepts his responsibility, for this is the principle of reconciliation. In this case the priest has already died and the congregation should make the apology as an institution. This is the principle of reconciliation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 PM

Legionaries head reports having no specific information about Maciel abuse

MARYLAND
Catholic News Agency

Washington DC, Feb 12, 2009 / 10:04 pm (CNA).- Legionaries of Christ General Director Fr. Alvaro Corcuera on Sunday celebrated a Mass of Healing in Kensington, Maryland where he made vague comments concerning the scandalous revelations surrounding his order’s founder Fr. Marcel Maciel.

Recent revelations indicate that Fr. Maciel had kept a mistress, fathered a child, and lived a double life. The priest, who died in 2008, had also been accused of sexually abusing around 20 teenage recruits to the Legion of Christ and had been invited to a “reserved life of prayer and penitence” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

An account of Fr. Corcuera’s remarks was published by an attendee of the Mass, Thomas Peters, on his blog “American Papist.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 PM

Misconduct charge directed against priest

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

Gallup Independent
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — Officials with the Diocese of Gallup have put one of their longtime priests on administrative leave after Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted discovered information in the priest’s personnel file alleging misconduct involving juvenile victims in Winslow, Ariz., nearly 26 years ago.

The discovery has also reportedly caused Olmsted to order a review of the diocese’s more than 400 current and old personnel files.

The Rev. John Boland was removed from his ministry at Immaculate Conception parish in Cuba this weekend, said Lee Lamb, the communications director for the diocese. The Rev. Matthew A. Keller and Deacon Timoteo Lujan, the chancellor of the diocese, broke the news to parishioners on Sunday during services at Immaculate Conception and Santo Nino La Jara.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Father Donald McGuire was sentenced to 300 months

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We are grateful to the brave victims exposed these horrific crimes. We suspect that he committed other crimes that can still be prosecuted. Now more than ever it is important that other victims and witnesses come forward so those crimes will also be prosecuted.

While there is some measure of justice for McGuire's crimes, we hope someday those who shielded and concealed these crimes will be exposed for their complicity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Pope Benedict XVI to Give Papal Recognition to a Bunch of Orange Diocese Pedo-Apologists

ORANGE (CA)
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 12, 2009 2:55 PM

Who says Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown doesn't take care of his lackeys? Actually, no one: anyone with half a brain (me, me!) knows this. Anyways, Brown sent out a letter to his priests two days ago announcing that "our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has honored papal recognition, to those listed below for their outstanding service to the Church." The list is long, so we're only going to post the worst of the worst. The ceremony for their official installation, according to the letter, is May 22, at an evening ceremony at the Mission Basilicia in San Juan Capistrano. See you there!

Now assuming the highest level of the monsignor position, that of apostolic protonotary supernumerary, are Lawrence Baird and Michael Heher. Baird was the longtime pedo-spinner for the Orange diocese, while Heher is Brown's in-house spinner--a pedo-apologist's pedo-apologist, if you will.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Bruce Davison, Dan Lauria, Hamish Linklater, and More Set for Sin, A Cardinal Deposed in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Theater Mania

By: Dan Bacalzo · Feb 12, 2009 · Los Angeles

Bruce Davison, Gary Cole, Dan Lauria, Wendie Mallick, Hamish Linklater, and James Handy will star in Michael Murphy's Sin, A Cardinal Deposed, to play Thursday night performances at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles, February 26-April 2. Paul Mazursky will direct.

The docudrama centers on lawyer Orson Krieger as he relentlessly pursues answers from Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop of Boston, for his failure to protect the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests in his archdiocese. The entire text of the play was taken from two hearings and one trial, and all the characters are real.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Priest Abuse Secrets to Be Made Public

SAN DIEGO (CA)
MSNBC

NBCSanDiego.com

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego says it will release copies of files of priests, living and dead, who were accused of sexually abusing minors over the past several decades. The files will start to be released Sunday through a secure website.

"The files are being produced in accord with the settlement agreement and court order which calls for them to be transmitted to a document repository which will be available to all counsel" Diocese of San Diego spokesperson Rodrigo Valdivia said.

The release of the files is part of a $198 million settlement of lawsuits filed by 144 people alleging abuse. The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection before any of the lawsuits went to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Legionaries of Christ advised to reorganize into a new order

MARYLAND
Western Catholic Reporter (Canada)

EMMITSBURG, MD – A leading moral theologian has called on the Legionaries of Christ to disband and to reorganize themselves into a new religious order.

Germain Grisez, Flynn Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, said unless the order is terminated “the common good you now share will begin to decompose: very few new men will join you, many in formation will leave, some professed members will separate, and the collaboration and support of the lay faithful will shrink.”

He made his comments in a Feb. 5 online post that was written as an open letter to the Legionaries of Christ. Members of a religious order, he noted, continue to serve in the spirit of their founder even after the founder has died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

'Profound sadness' regarding Maciel scandal

The Black Biretta

'It is with profound sadness that I learned of the scandalous revelations recently disclosed on the late founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado. Anytime any of the clergy misbehave, it is not only a stain on the Church and the priesthood, but it is also a personal blow to every individual cleric since Holy Orders ontologically unites us together as ordained brothers in Christ the High Priest.

'On the one hand, we recall the common wisdom of 'There but for the grace of God go I,' meaning that none of us is without sin, none of us is perfect, and none of us can cast the first stone, so to speak. On the other hand, we cannot and should not sweep under the carpet any misdeeds especially when it involves the abuse — physical, emotional, sexual or spiritual — of children or adolescents.

'While personal weaknesses can often be overlooked if someone is trying to recover and repent, harm to any minor is something which cries to God for justice in this life as well as the life to come. If a priest, deacon or bishop has a gambling, drinking, or other addiction/problem, so does a similar percentage of the lay population. Abuse of children and teenagers, however, is reprehensible, inexcusable and repugnant and down right evil in its fullest sense. Other moral weaknesses harm the sinner more than anyone else. Abusing children, however, injures more innocent victims than one can imagine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Some Legionaries apologize for defending Maciel

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service
Published: February 12, 2009

'The rage and raw emotions that I have felt these past days ... are only a glimpse of the unspeakable hell that victims of priest sexual abuse must go through.'
--Fr. Thomas Berg

WASHINGTON -- When it became public Feb. 4 that Legionaries of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado had fathered a daughter, the order's former communications director decided he had to apologize for having defended him after sex abuse allegations against the priest first became public in 1997.

Four days after the news broke, Jay Dunlap used his blog to apologize to those who said they had been sexually abused by the priest and to the people he said were "misinformed by statements I made" defending Maciel.

On Feb. 4 Legionaries of Christ officials said they only recently learned their late founder had fathered a child. In the past, Maciel had been accused of sexually abusing young seminarians in the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Alleged SA paedophile to be extradited

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former South Australian priest and alleged paedophile Charles Alfred Barnett is expected to be extradited from Indonesia tonight on a flight to Sydney.

An Indonesian court ruled last year that 67-year-old Charles Alfred Barnett be extradited to Australia to face charges he sexually interfered with the children of his parishioners while he was a priest in South Australia between 1977 and 1994.

He is accused of sexual offences against six boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Coming tonight, after six tries to change Maryland SOL, church lobbyists are always there to block it

MARYLAND
City of Angels

The same church lobbyists with tailored suits and expense accounts show up every hearing, with the same arguments. Many of the same survivors show up for state senate hearings as well, paying their own way. Maryland state senators have heard the stories now six times, as SB 238 to bring their Statute of Limitations laws for child sex crimes into the 21st century has been through the Maryland State Senate now, in one form or another, six times.

Everyone acknowledges the bishops committed the crimes. How do we break the stranglehold the largest religious institution in the western world has on our judicial and legislative system?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

North Georgia Legionaries, Pinecrest Parents Informed

GEORGIA
The Georgia Bulletin

ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer

Published: February 12, 2009

ATLANTA—Hundreds of members of Regnum Christi, the predominantly lay arm of the Legionaries of Christ religious order, live in the Atlanta Archdiocese. About a dozen of the order’s priests work here, along with five seminarians and a number of consecrated women.

The most visible presence for the religious order is Pinecrest Academy, a 900-student independent Catholic school in Cumming. Five Legionaries of Christ priests are on the board of directors of the school, according to its Web site.

School officials met with a large group of parents on Thursday, Feb. 5, to discuss the news about the order’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Former Newman Center priest gets probation over cocaine

URBANA (IL)
The News-Gazette

By Mary Schenk
Thursday, February 12, 2009 10:24 AM CDT

URBANA – A Catholic priest formerly assigned to the Newman Center at the University of Illinois admitted to a Champaign County judge Thursday that he was a cocaine dealer.

Christopher Layden, 34, now of Peoria, was sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Pope must act now to stop Legionaries of Christ 'train wreck' going off the cliff

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Posted By: Damian Thompson at Feb 12, 2009

The Legionaries of Christ scandal is like a train wreck heading towards a cliff, according to George Weigel, one of America's leading Catholic intellectuals. This scandal is potentially bigger than the SSPX fiasco. The media have given it little attention - perhaps because it offers little opportunity for Pope-bashing: it was Benedict who sent the Legion's sexually predatory founder, the late Fr Marcial Maciel, into exile in 2006. But now a movement of 800 priests and 70,000 lay followers is collapsing in front of our eyes. It's a terrible crisis and the Pope must act. Can the curia be trusted?

I wrote yesterday about Fr Maciel, a Mexican whom the Legionaries and their lay wing, Regnum Christi, had virtually canonised before he died. Big mistake: not only did he sexually abuse male seminarians, but we've just learned that he fathered a baby girl in his 80s.

Several Legionary priests are disgusted by the way their leaders defended Maciel - it seems like they must have known that he was living a double life. Meanwhile, many Regnum Christi members are behaving like shocked members of a cult, still saying prayers based around the mission and charism of their founder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Happy Birthday, Faithful Departed

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

Posted Feb. 11, 2009 10:29 AM || by Phil Lawler

For official purposes, The Faithful Departed was published one year ago today. After a year, and now into its second printing, I'm happy to report that my book is still selling well, still having an impact.

In one of the earliest reviews (appearing even before the official publication date), the late Father Richard John Neuhaus offered a few friendly criticisms but concluded with the generous observation:

The Faithful Departed is the best book-length treatment of the sex abuse crisis, its origins and larger implications, published to date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Maciel a Victim Too?

UNITED STATES
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

Macaulay remarks in his historical essays that a man can have a serious vice and otherwise be of upright character if his vice is one that is accepted and countenanced in his milieu. Slaveholders at one time could be otherwise decent people; but if someone enslaved another person today, he would be a monster. Judicial torture was accepted for centuries; but if a court today ordered the rack and tongs, it would be monstrous.

One of the puzzles about the abusers, including Maciel, is that they often do a lot of good. It may be that they are psychopaths who can compartmentalize their lives; it may be that they are false prophets; or it may be, in their milieu, that sexual abuse is accepted.

Until the civil courts and newspapers began their work, the attitude in large swaths of the Catholic hierarchy seemed to be that sexual abuse was a regrettable but minor failing, like occasionally drinking too much, and was not a serious matter. It is not that everyone engaged in abuse, but otherwise “good” priests did, because sexual failings are common to the human race.

As Richard Sipe discovered, many abusers seemed to have been initiated into sex by priests, who gave the impression this was an accepted practice, and that this is how priests dealt with their sexual needs. This allowed the abusers to compartmentalize their lives without being psychopaths, although they did as much damage as a psychopath.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

The Legion Finesses It - Maybe

UNITED STATES
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

February 12th, 2009
Because of a lack of public outcry, it looks like the Legion is going to finesse and survive the revelation that Maciel has a daughter. See the report of the talk given by the current head of the Legion here.

They are ascribing the conception of the daughter to a moment of human weakness (at age 68?). They are still not admitting any abuse of minors, and are ignoring the report that the mother was 15 when Maciel got her pregnant. This latter report may not be true, but it could be squelched by saying approximately how old the mother was. That would hardly be an invasion of privacy.

Of course there cannot be the same physical proof (DNA) of child molestation as of pregnancy. One has to listen to the accusers and decide how credible they are. The Vatican found them credible enough to retire Maciel in disgrace. But because there will never be physical evidence the Legion can say that there is no “proof” that Maciel was an abuser, if by proof they mean forensic, laboratory-verifiable evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Did Denis Lyons' Attorney Inadvertently Admit His Client is a Pedophile?

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 12, 2009 7:02 AM

Yesterday, we wrote about how the Diocese of Orange is using a laughable argument to try and keep secret personnel files on pedo-priest Denis Lyons in a recent civil suit. Unsurprisingly, Lyons' lawyers also filed a brief for the same purpose using the same tactic of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown: that any correspondence between Lyon and his superiors is confidential information protected by the United States Constitution because it's a religious belief. "For the Roman Catholic Church to be free to continue its practices, which have done immeasurable good for billions of people around the world for two millennia, its internal communications to confront and reform wayward priests must remain free from civil process and public disclosure," wrote attorney Donald Steier on Lyons' behalf in a Jan. 16 motion. Considering that the Vatican's practices over two millennia have included conversion by the sword, homo-hating, and protecting child rapists, does Steier really want to go down that road to Damascus?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Fr. Maciel and the Future of the Legion of Christ

UNITED STATES
Deal W. Hudson

I agree with Marjorie Campbell that the Legion of Christ will survive the revelations, both recent and past, about the founder, Fr. Maciel.

I am told by those who know that the member of the Legion are devastated, but I am also told that the international network of donors and supporters are going to remain loyal to the work, albeit with the demand for greater transparency going forward.

There are many in the Catholic world, some who are bloggers or print journalists, who have had their knives out for the Legion for quite a long tme. I don't know their all their reasons -- I do know good people who have had what they describe as bad experience with the Legion and Regnum Christi. They have told me about various objectionable practises, such as the targeting the children of wealthy children for fundraising purposes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Statement on the Legion of Christ

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy, National Director of SNAP 314-566-9790
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

While there are many good people in the Legion, a fish rots from the head down, and it defies history and common sense to believe that Maciel is the only wrong-doer in the order and that others were unaware of his crimes and misdeeds.

If the Legion is to heal, and if kids are to be protected, it's crucial that anyone who saw suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes, misdeeds or cover ups come forward. It's crucial that they contact independent authorities, especially criminal authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Priest due back in court

AUSTRALIA
Myall Coast Nota

12/02/2009 5:29:00 PM
FORMER Bulahdelah Catholic Parish priest Peter Brock will re-appear in Newcastle Local Court on March 11 to face more than 20 child sex charges.

In October last year Bulahdelah Catholic Church-goers were shocked to hear 63-year-old Brock, who spent 2006 and 2007 in the parish, had been arrested. He presented himself to Newcastle Police Station where he was arrested and was granted conditional bail, including a $5000 surety and a requirement to report to police three times a week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Archbishop cops hate mail over priest's sacking

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby says he has been receiving hate mail over his decision to sack a priest.

Father Peter Kennedy has been asked to leave the South Brisbane parish of St Mary by February 21.

The Roman Catholic Church says the priest was dismissed for disrespecting its theology.

Archbishop Bathersby says it has been a stressful time.

"It's not nice to be called nasty names, I mean they come in letters, they come on the telephone, they come from the front gate here," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Toowoomba bishop William Morris under scrutiny from Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Alison Sandy and Margaret Wenham
February 12, 2009 11:00pm

A CATHOLIC bishop in southern Queensland may get the sack for insubordination after being reported by the church's "temple police".

In the wake of rebel South Brisbane priest Father Peter Kennedy's dismissal, Toowoomba Bishop William Morris has admitted he's also under investigation after discussing the prospect of women or married priests in a pastoral letter.

He said the diocese was challenged by the ageing of its priests, most of whom would be eligible for retirement by 2014, leaving only six priests out of the full complement of 40.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Priest abuse claim appears to fall within the statute of limitations

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

Molestation claims by Jonathan Kirrer of Fountain Valley – who went public Tuesday accusing former priest Denis Lyons of abuse – appear to meet state requirements for timely filing of certain criminal sex-abuse cases.

Kirrer, now 24, says Lyons sexually abused him four times in 1994 and 1995 – when he attended second and third grade at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa. He has filed a lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial on May 18. Prosecutors are weighing whether or not to file criminal charges against Lyons.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Rosanne Froeberg could not comment Wednesday specifically on the Kirrer case – given that it is under investigation – but did explain state law on sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Bill Seeks To Extend Statute Of Limitations For Child Sex Abuse Cases

MARYLAND
WYPR

[with audio]

Joel McCord

ANNAPOLIS, MD
(2009-02-06) Senator Delores Kelley, the Baltimore County Democrat who is the lead sponsor of the measure, says that at the age of 25 many sex abuse victims are still dependent on their abusers, or that that they are afraid of stigmatizing their families if they complain. And some of them are still in a state of denial.

"I'm a retired college professor, and I have had so many young people who could barely function in college because they still were carrying guilt; the perpetrators had made them feel that they were the ones who were responsible for what occurred. And so they disassociate, they deny in order to just make it from day to day."

Many people, she says, don't even realize what happened to them until they are in their 30s and 40s.

"They need to mature, they need to try to get to a point of stability where they can feel, if they want to, that to aid their healing they can meet their perpetrator in a court of law and feel that there had been some justice and that a court had validated their pain."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Former priest, 78, gets 25 years on abuse charges

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen | Tribune reporter
1:08 AM CST, February 12, 2009
For hours Wednesday, defrocked Catholic priest Donald McGuire listened in federal court as victim after victim—grown men now—as well as some of their parents described their long-standing sorrow and bitterness over his betrayal.

The white-haired McGuire, convicted by a federal jury last October of traveling to engage in sex acts with a teenage boy, showed little reaction to the testimony. When it finally came time for him to speak, McGuire, 78, didn't apologize but offered that he would pray for his accusers.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, a daughter of a Lutheran minister, was not impressed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Safeguarding kids pamphlet distributed

IRELAND
New Ross Standard

By Conor CULLEN

Wednesday February 11 2009

A NEWSLETTER which focuses on safeguarding children in the Diocese of Ferns diocese has been distributed throughout parishes of the diocese.

The Bishop of Ferns, Dr. Denis Brennan, has asked that parishioners take home the newsletter, which was distributed by parish representatives last weekend, and read it closely.

The newsletter gives an overview of where the diocese finds itself at present and what progress has been made since the last newsletter was issued in October 2005, at the time of the release of the Ferns Report, which identified more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse, made between 1962 and 2002, against 21 priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Date Is Set For Youth Pastor Sex Trial

ALABAMA
CBS 42

Federal Judge Harwell G. Davis III has set the trial date for former World Christian Center Youth Pastor William David Webb for April 6th.

The date is just over five years from the time that Webb is accused of taking an underaged girl from the church and accross state lines to Oklahoma where court records indicate a sexual act took place.

The incident took place over four days starting March 31st, 2004 with the two returning to Birmingham on April 3rd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Former priest gets 25 years for sex with boy

CHICAGO (IL)
The Plain Dealer

by Bon Babwin and William McCall / Associated Press
Wednesday February 11, 2009, 8:45 PM

CHICAGO -- A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.

Donald McGuire, of Oak Lawn, displayed no emotion as U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer imposed a 300-month sentence that likely means the 78-year-old former priest will die in prison.

Pallmeyer said McGuire used his stature, his international reputation that included being a spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa and the trust parents had in him that he would care for "the finest gifts God ever gave them: their children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Bishop Brown Breaks His Covenant with the Faithful for the Trillionth Time

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
February 11, 2009 4:37 PM

Both the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register revealed today that Jon Kirrer of Fountain Valley filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Orange and its pedo-priest Denis Lyons alleging sexual abuse during the mid-1990s, and isn't it refreshing to know that Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown is up to his same tricks? Diocesan spinner Ryan Lilygren issued a statement to both papers that, "We intend to maintain the integrity of the judicial process and hope for a just and expedient conclusion to these proceedings." STRIKE ONE against Brown's much-ballyoohed Covenant with the Faithful! The lawsuit was filed in March of last year, so why is Brown only just now telling the county's 1.2 million Catholics about it? After all, doesn't Item 4 in the Covenant state, "We will work collaboratively with all members of the Diocese to promote an atmosphere of openness and trust, and empower them as partners in parochial affairs and thereby create a new era for our Church in Orange County"? Sure ain't open there, Your Excellency!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

DUIN: Priest abuse legislation raises alarm

MARYLAND
The Washington Times

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The other day, I spotted a piece in the Catholic Standard raising the alarm about a new Senate bill in the Maryland legislature.

It was written by Jane Belford, chancellor for the Archdiocese of Washington. Any time their top lawyer writes something for the diocesan paper, that means serious business.

Sure enough, she was sounding the alarm about Senate Bill 238, which would give victims of priestly sexual abuse a two-year window to sue the church in civil court.

Currently, Maryland law has a statute-of-limitations clause that only allows victims 25 years or younger to sue for damages. Problem is, sex abuse victims rarely if ever are in a position - mentally and emotionally - to file suit by their mid-20s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Oregon firm files abuse lawsuits against churches

OREGON
San Jose Mercury News

By WILLIAM McCALL Associated Press Writer
Posted: 02/11/2009 05:34:45 PM PST

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the Franciscan Friars of California, alleging childhood sexual abuse by a priest.

In an unrelated lawsuit seeking $3.25 million, a pastor for the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and its Roseburg Junior Academy was accused of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl in 1992.

The complaints were filed by Portland lawyer Kelly Clark, one of the lead attorneys in a number of sexual abuse cases against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland that ended in a $50 million settlement in 2007. Three years earlier, the archdiocese was the first in the nation to declare bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Text: My observations of Fr. Alvaro's Feb. 8th Mass

American Papist

{scroll down for bullet points of what Fr. Alvaro said}

This Sunday I was invited to attend a local Mass of healing celebrated by Fr. Alvaro Corcuera at a Catholic parish (it counted for Sunday Mass). Fr. Alvaro, it is my understanding, has been conducting these types of events for local Regnum Christi members – I do not know how many more he has planned. The Legion speaks of itself as a family, and in the interest of truth and justice, I publish these thoughts with a hope that the promises he has made within the family, he will abide by outside the family as well.

First some general observations: the Mass was attended by many families, and many young girls (the Legionaries must have a school for young women in the area). A few girls had crafted a home-made poster with notes of encouragement for Fr. Alvaro. It was very quiet before Mass began (late by about 15 minutes). Fr. Alvaro is obviously a person of great charisma. He shook hands and exchanged muted smiles during both the procession and recession, taking upwards of five minutes each way. He met with people individually in a receiving line after Mass. Several times during the Mass a young woman walked up to the ambo and explained the spirituality of the Mass part about to begin (“this is the responsorial psalm …” etc. I have not seen this in a Catholic liturgy before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

The Legionaries of Christ scandal: did Fr Maciel have 'accomplices'?

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Posted By: Damian Thompson at Feb 12, 2009

Thomas Peters, a bright young Catholic who writes the American Papist blog, has posted an extraordinary account of a Mass celebrated last Sunday in the United States by the head of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr Alvaro Corcuera. It gives us a disturbing insight into a scandal that is arguably far more serious than that involving one loony SSPX bishop.

Fr Corcuera succeeded the disgraced founder of the Legionaries, the Mexican Fr Marcial Maciel, who was sent into exile shortly before he died a year ago following revelations of sexual assaults against seminarians years earlier. Now we also know that Maciel fathered a child in his 80s. And a senior Legionary spokesman has suggested that he may have had "accomplices" inside the movement.

This is a terrible shock for the 800 conservative Legionary priests and their 70,000 lay supporters in the movement Regnum Christi. The problem is much worse because the movement had established a vigorous cult of Fr Maciel even while he was still alive. They were preparing to lobby for him to be made a saint, and encouraged Pope John Paul II to brush aside the claims about the seminarians. But Pope Benedict - to his great credit - realised that there was substance to the claims and acted swiftly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Molest suit reinstated against Oakland diocese

OAKLAND (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A state appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland by six men who say a priest molested them in the early 1970s, a ruling that could open the door to additional suits over sexual abuse by clergy.

The six, all brothers, sued in March 2007, saying they had discovered only recently that their psychological problems as adults were related to the molestation they suffered as children in 1972 and 1973. An Alameda County judge dismissed the suit in November 2007, ruling that state law had opened a one-year window, in 2003, to seek damages for sexual abuse that had allegedly occurred many years earlier.

Other judges around the state have reached the same conclusion on suits filed after 2003, said Irwin Zalkin, lawyer for Terry Quarry and his brothers, plaintiffs in the Oakland case. But the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco ruled Tuesday that the same law allows one type of post-2003 suit: a claim by an adult who has just learned that a current disorder was caused by childhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Local priest faces claims of abuse

CALIFORNIA
Daily Pilot

By Joseph Serna
Updated: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:37 PM PST

A Costa Mesa man’s lawsuit accusing a Roman Catholic priest of molesting him in the mid-1990s is his conduit to hold the larger Orange County archdiocese accountable for hiding the abuse, the man’s attorney said Wednesday.

Jonathan Kirrer, 24, is suing Father Denis Lyons, a former priest at St. John the Baptist School in Costa Mesa, for allegedly sexually abusing him at least four times in 1994 and 1995 while a student at the school.

Because Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange leaders did not put Lyons on administrative leave while they investigated claims by other alleged victims, they knowingly permitted the abuse to continue, Kirrer claims in his civil suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

February 11, 2009

Former priest gets 25 years on sex charge with boy

CHICAGO (IL)
The Associated Press

By DON BABWIN

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.

Donald McGuire, of Oak Lawn, displayed no emotion as U.S District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer imposed a 300-month sentence that likely means the 78-year-old former priest will die in prison.

Pallmeyer said McGuire used his stature, his international reputation that included being a spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa and the trust parents had in him that he would care for "the finest gifts God ever gave them: their children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Oregon firm files abuse lawsuits against churches

PORTLAND (OR)
OregonLive

2/11/2009, 2:47 p.m. PST
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the Franciscan Friars of California, alleging childhood sexual abuse by a priest.

The 62-year-old man was listed only by his initials in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

The Franciscan Friars are an order of the Roman Catholic Church. The complaint alleges the man was abused as a teenager by Father Claude Riffel at the St. Francis Minor Seminary in Troutdale in the early 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Redemptorist fathers caught in Madoff ponzi scheme

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Thomas Gallagher
Published: February 11, 2009

The Redemptorist Fathers of the Baltimore Province may have to “reduce, suspend or cancel” some of their ministries because of “significant” losses suffered as clients of Bernard Madoff, the New York financier charged with defrauding thousands of investors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

The Baltimore province of the worldwide order, officially known as the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, provided NCR with a statement acknowledging the losses. The Redemptorists were among at least three Catholic groups included on Madoff’s client list, released last week by a New York bankruptcy court.

The colossal $50 billion Ponzi scheme engineered by Madoff has been characterized, in part, as an affinity fraud because he seems to have exploited his Jewish connections in New York City, Florida and other parts of the U.S. and abroad. Famous names like Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, Eli Wiesel, the Nazi concentration camp survivor and peace activist, Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets baseball team, Steven Spielberg, an award-winning film maker, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, the 91-year old actress, were among those to have invested with Madoff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Al Chesley's Testimony on Maryland's SB: 238

MARYLAND
YouTube

Al Chesley, retired NFL football player, talks about sexual abuse. This is Mr. Chesley's testimony on a bill that would open up the statute of limitations of filing a civil suit in Maryland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Pictures of - "alleged" - abusive Crosiers

MINNESOTA
YouTube

Pictures of "alleged" abusers and video clip from survivors of clergy sexual abuse civil lawsuit agreements press conference in the office of Jeff Anderson Advocates, St. Paul, Minnesota, February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Legion Scandal -- The American Card

The Cathoholic

In the last couple of days, I've conducted a series of interviews with past and present members of the Legionaries of Christ. The first thing that strikes me is the great love and sympathy that many former LC priests and seminarians still have for members of the order. Further, it's clear that both within and without the order, the growing feeling among many Americans is the absolute necessity of bringing members together to process what they now know and to come to some resolution regarding their future -- in or out of the order. The process, I'm told, would include systematic scrutiny of what some describe as a cult of personality surrounding Father Maciel that strongly discouraged any second guessing of the founder and his activities, however questionable.

George Weigel's excellent statement posted on First Things, "Saving What Can Be Saved" is applauded as a blueprint for Vatican intervention by everyone who has spoken with me.

Unfortunately, while Weigel and others clearly fear that the Legion may implode without decisive action from Rome, that intervention could be slow in coming.

Contacts in Rome, who sought to protect their sources during this sensitive time and would not go on the record, report that the on-going controversy over Bishop Williamson - one of the four schismatic bishops whose excommunication was lifted by the pope, but who still denies the existence of the Holocaust (he now promises to review the evidence--see his interview with Der Spiegel yesterday) - continues unabated and has made it difficult to work out an intervention by the Vatican. Only the Americans in the Legion have broken ranks in a noticeable way, attracted the public support of prominent Catholics, and appear committed to commencing a thorough house cleaning of the Legion, followed, possibly, by the "re-forming" of the order with new superiors in place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Schismatic priest as breakaway St. Louis parish allies with Milingo

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Catholic Culture

February 11, 2009
Father Marek Bozek, the excommunicated Polish priest associated with a suppressed St. Louis parish, has become “incardinated” in Married Priests Now!, the movement founded by excommunicated Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo. The movement is funded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Father Bozek has also become “incardinated” in the Reformed Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Former priest gets 25 years on sex charge with boy

CHICAGO (IL)
San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 02/11/2009 12:54:22 PM PST

CHICAGO—A former Roman Catholic priest from a Chicago suburb who was convicted of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer handed down the sentence Wednesday to Donald McGuire of Oak Lawn.

The length of the sentence means the 78-year-old former priest will likely die in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Victims tell of lives devastated by priest's abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 11, 2009

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Men who say they were sexually abused by a former Jesuit priest are telling a judge in Chicago today about how what happened to them devastated their lives.

One after another, the men and their family members are telling U.S District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer about depression, thoughts of suicide, profound guilt, loss of faith — all of it, they say, caused by Donald McGuire.

The judge could sentence McGuire to up to 260 months in federal prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Ex-priest held over abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Roman Catholic priest has been arrested in California on suspicion of abusing altar boys in the UK.

Father James Robinson was arrested on 26 January following an extradition request by West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 71-year-old is the subject of five complaints relating to alleged offences in the Coventry and Birmingham areas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Bishop lashes out over handling of alleged abuse cases

ILLINOIS
The News-Gazette

By Tom Kacich
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:36 AM CDT

Well, that was certainly a pleasant beginning to a Sunday morning at church.

Tucked within the bulletin at most Catholic parishes in central Illinois was a one-page letter from Bishop Daniel Jenky, the leader of the 240,000 or so Catholics in the 26-county Peoria Diocese.

It was no ordinary pastoral letter; instead, it was a blistering attack on adults who have sued the diocese with allegations of sexual abuse, their attorneys, the Illinois court system and the media. It made quite a contrast to the 2005 publication by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops titled, "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." In the preamble of the charter, the bishops wrote: "We continue to have a special care for and a commitment to reaching out to victims of sexual abuse and their families. The damage caused by sexual abuse of minors is devastating and long-lasting. We apologize to them for the grave harm that has been inflicted on them, and we offer our help for the future."

Noting "perilous economic times," Jenky pledged to "work to be a prudent steward of the money you offer for the work of Christ." He noted that the Peoria Diocese "normally offers counseling to victims rather than paying out large cash settlements" (although some victims say the diocese hasn't even paid for their counseling).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Parsing Father Berg

Life-after-RC

From the outset, I want to express my great love for all priests and my appreciation for their selflessness in giving their lives for the Church. In particular, the frustration I have long felt about the Legion is specifically because their priests have been so obtuse about so many things -- especially their understanding about family life, human freedom, and what actually builds up the Mystical Body of Christ.

That said, I have some comments on the heartfelt letter written by Fr Berg, recently spread throughout the internet. He begins with an apology that resonates with many read with gratitude, but it is full of alarming signals that people have to learn to interpret:

... I also beg you forgiveness for the disastrous response which this crisis has received from our upper LC leadership. There is no other way to say it: in so many respects, Legionary superiors have failed, and failed miserably to respond adequately to this crisis, and not surprisingly, have engendered in many of you and understandable lack of confidence. Those are the facts and your reaction is natural and reasonable. With all my heart, on their behalf, I apologize. Our superiors are human instruments; I know in their hearts they have trying to do the right thing, under inhuman pressure. Please understand that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Davie Pastor Accused Of Groping Girls

HOLLYWOOD (FL)
CBS 4

HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) ―

A Davie pastor has been charged with molestation of a minor and police believe there may be other victims out there.

Hollywood police Lt. Scott Pardon said Felipe Arroyo, 37, was arrested Tuesday and charged with five counts of 'lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor'.

The incidents allegedly occurred from January 2007 to December 2008. Pardon added that investigators believe there was a continuing pattern of abuse and there may be more victims out there. Arroyo was also charged with four counts of batter of a minor dating back to an incident in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Hollywood police say pastor molested two girls, maybe more

HOLLYWOOD (FL)
Miami Herald

BY DAVID SMILEY
dsmiley@MiamiHerald.com
The pastor of a Davie church was arrested Tuesday on charges that he repeatedly fondled and molested two members of his congregation, police said.

Felipe Arroyo, the 37-year-old pastor of Church of Christ Gethsemane, has been involved in a continuing pattern of abuse dating back at least two years, according to police spokesman Lt. Scott Pardon.

Police first learned of the alleged abuse when the parents of one of Arroyo's reported victims went to the Hollywood police station Saturday to report that their daughter had been molested by Arroyo numerous times since January 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Hollywood pastor arrested on child molestation charges

HOLLYWOOD (FL)
South Florida Sun Sentinel

Macollvie Jean-François | South Florida Sun Sentinel
10:54 AM EST, February 11, 2009

HOLLYWOOD - A Broward County pastor is accused of fondling two young female church members, including a girl who said he groped her while she was at a movie theater with him and his family, police said today.

Detectives say they are investigating whether Felipe Arroyo, 37, pastor of Church of Christ Gethsemane, may have preyed on other victims.

Arroyo's church until recently operated in Hollywood at 6225 Johnson St. It is now in Davie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

How dare you equate homosexual priests with predator pedophiles, in never ending effort to explain away these felonies

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

by Kay Ebeling

Now today it's the Matt Abbott column, with an excerpt from Philip Lawler's new book, and apparently Abbott agrees with it:

"Their sins, loathsome as they were, are still understandable," writes Lawler about the pedophile priests. "Anyone who accepts the Christian understanding of Original Sin realizes that all of us are capable of the most degrading." WHAT?

How dare you misrepresent every human being, saying all humans are capable of these acts. I'm not. I never would rape a child. Most humans are repulsed at the thought. No wonder my family quit being Catholic, with such a wimpy, tunnel vision response to horrific crimes committed against children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Imam Sex Abuse Trial Stirs Tensions in Bosnia

BOSNIA
Balkan Insight

Sarajevo | 11 February 2009 |

The trial of an Imam (local Islamic priest) on charges of sexually abusing an underage girl in a Bosnian village has stirred up tensions between local media organizations and the country’s influential Islamic Community.

The family of the girl pressed charges against the Imam last year, accusing him of sexually abusing their underage daughter during religion classes. The lawsuit, Bosnia's first public case of alleged sexual abuse by a religious figure in recent history, was widely reported by local media.

Some TV stations, newspaper and magazines went further and investigated the case, reporting on a further four cases of girls allegedly were abused by the same Imam in the past four years. They carried disturbing testimony from some of these girls and other witnesses, including even one of the Imam’s best friends, who said the Imam had admitted his wrongdoing to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Sidebottom Settlement At Root Of Policy Revisions

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Mark Stokoe
Date Published: 2/10/2009
Publication: Orthodox Christians For Accountability

On February 6, 2009 the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America announced that it was ”in the process of revising and updating the Church’s 'Policies, Standards and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct.'” “The existing document was prepared and adopted by the Holy Synod of Bishops in 2003,” said OCA Chancellor, Archpriest Alexander Garklavs. ‘’The needed revisions reflect the need to address ethical issues and aspects not covered in the original document.’’

According to the announcement: ”This revision was initiated by the Holy Synod of Bishops and blessed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah.’’ In addition, and related to this process, Syosset announced that “ ...the Holy Synod has begun work with the Central Church Administration in developing programs of harassment training for clergy and Church employees. Both pastoral and practical aspects of such training will be considered. At the same time, a joint effort between Church administration and seminary officials will begin to implement the Holy Synod’s decision to study and institute a formal process of screening candidates for Holy Orders.” Fr. Garklavs stressed that “the Orthodox Church in America places a high priority in providing pastors, parishes, and religious institutions with all possible resources in dealing with these sensitive issues.”

THE REST OF THE STORY

What the Chancery failed to fully disclose is that while the revisions may have been technically initiated “by the Synod”, they were, in fact, required by the Settlement Agreement and Release between the OCA and Paul Sidebottom, which was effective December 6, 2008. (Read that story here)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM
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