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April 30, 2009

St. John the Evangelist celebrates a mass to honor victims of child abuse

NAPLES (FL)
Naples Daily News

By ELIZABETH WENDT-KELLAR

NAPLES — Victims of child abuse, especially those who suffered abuse within the Catholic Church, were remembered during a special Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Naples on Thursday.

Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice celebrated the Mass, which was one of two Masses celebrated by the diocese this month to raise awareness as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. The other was held at Epiphany Cathedral Parish in Venice.

Celebrating a Mass in Naples gave local parishioners a chance to pray for victims — and for their faith. Memories of the massive sexual abuse scandal that roiled the Catholic Church in 2001 were not far from the minds of many who attended the Mass, including Mary Foster, a Naples resident and Catholic who said she wants the church to acknowledge the pain those abuses caused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Give the Laetere Medal to Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse

INDIANA
National Survivors Advocates Coalition

April 30, 2009

The National Survivors Advocates Coalition today called upon the president of the University of Notre Dame to give the Laetare Award of 2009 to the victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

The coalition released the full text of its letter to Notre Dame president, Father John I. Jenkins, C.SC. and the prayer referenced in the letter.

Former United States Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon declined the Laetere Medal on Monday. Father Jenkins said Monday the University does intend to select another recipient for the 2009 Laetare Medal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Sex-abuse bills go before Assembly steering committee

NEW YORK
Catholic Courier

By Mike Latona/Catholic Courier

The New York State Catholic Conference continues to seek public support for legislation it contends would level the playing field between Catholic and public institutions when it comes to civil lawsuits related to child sexual abuse.

In April two state Assembly bills, the Child Victims Act of New York (A2596) -- known as the Markey bill -- and alternative legislation known as the Lopez bill (A5708a) were sent to a special Assembly steering committee. As they are being weighed, the Catholic conference is asking the state's Catholics to send e-mails to their Assembly members in support of the Lopez bill -- which the conference and the state's eight bishops support -- and in opposition to the Markey bill. (To send an e-mail based on pre-written models, visit www.nyscatholicconference.org and click the "Take Action Now" link.)

The conference stands strongly against the Markey bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens). Her proposed legislation would temporarily waive the state's current civil statute of limitations on child sexual-abuse cases, giving alleged victims one year to lodge previously time-barred claims -- no matter how long ago the abuse is said to have occurred -- against private organizations and businesses. But the Markey bill does not address the statute of limitations on claims against public entities. In New York, regardless of the nature of their claims, those who wish to sue a public institution are required by current law to file a notice of claim, notifying the institution of their intent to sue within 90 days of an incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Archdiocese cites 'financial turnaround'

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

[read the full finance report]

Posted by Michael Paulson April 30, 2009 01:41 PM

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston is continuing its slow but steady progress digging out of a deep financial hole triggered by the clergy sexual abuse crisis, but is still facing an enormous challenge in the form of a pension fund for retired priests that will run out of money in two years without major change, church officials are announcing today.

The archdiocese, for the fourth year in a row offering the public a detailed look at the finances of the region's largest religious institution, today is releasing the annual financial reports for the central administration and, in aggregate, the 292 parishes, as well as for more than 60 other Catholic organizations, including schools, hospitals, cemeteries and social service agencies, overseen by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley. For the first time, the archdiocese also is releasing individual financial reports for 102 parishes; a significant step toward fulfilling O'Malley's delayed goal of reporting every parish's finances publicly each year.

Archdiocesan officials said they were heartened that contributions to parishes rose 4 percent in fiscal 2008, and the archdiocesan annual fundraising campaign slightly surpassed its $15 million goal. And they said that indications are that contributions are holding steady this year, despite the recession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Archdiocese spent $10M on abuse in 2008

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Business Journal

Parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston colleged $117,972,000 during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008, according to a church report out Thursday.

The archdiocese had assets of $747,255,000 at the end of the 2008 fiscal year.

The report also states that during the year, the archdiocese spent about $10 million dealing with the continuing repercussions of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. Of that, $5.5 million went to fund settlements with 55 victims. To pay for the settlements and related costs, the archdiocese used $6 million from selling administrative properties, $484,000 from a self-insurance fund and $1.6 million from insurance companies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Catholicism stages mini-comeback

WASHINGTON (DC)
Medill Reports

by Liam Martin
April 29, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Call it an aberration. Or chalk it up to a “Pope bump.”

Bottom line, Catholicism in Washington, D.C. — and indeed across the U.S. — is showing signs of a recovery, with healthy gains in conversion and attendance rates over the last year.

“We saw at Easter this year that not only do we have more people becoming Catholic, we had more people in the churches,” said Susan Gibbs, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Washington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Former Southern Baptist pastor pleads guilty to sexual abuse

MEMPHIS (TN)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Thursday, April 30, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (ABP) -- A former Southern Baptist pastor arrested in 2007 on charges that he sexually abused two teenage boys has avoided prison -- for now.

Steven C. Haney, 48, pastor of Walnut Grove Baptist Church in the Memphis suburb of Cordova, Tenn., for 20 years before his resignation in December 2006, pleaded guilty April 29 to rape and sexual battery by an authority figure in a settlement intended to allow victims and their families to avoid the stress of testifying.

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Judge John Colton Jr. approved the settlement, sentencing Haney to probation for eight years and adding his name to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry. He was given suspended, concurrent sentences of eight and three years. Haney still faces federal child pornography charges in an indictment handed down in October 2007, punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Sexual Abuse Legislation: A Proposed Strategy For Reform

NEW YORK
5 Towns Jewish Times

By David Mandel
Published on Thursday, April 30, 2009

There is legislation pending to extend the statute of limitations on reporting and prosecuting child molesters. There is general agreement this change in the law would be good. Victims of child molestation, even older adolescents, are often not ready to disclose or confront their offenders until years later.

A second piece of legislation to open a “window” of one year permitting victims, even those molested decades ago, to file civil lawsuits against molesters or the institutions that employed them has drawn both strong support and strong opposition. As is often the case, victims’ advocates will favor the proposed legislation while institutional systems may oppose it.

Victims’ advocates are favoring the Markey bill, which includes this window. The Catholic church and some groups representing yeshiva institutions favor the Lopez bill, which extends the statute but has no window.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Nun in denial bares too much skin, my PTSD kicks in: Molested Catholic Part 2

CALIFORNIA
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

There was one point when I turned a corner, a breeze came up, and the ground where I was standing on April 25 2009 was the same exact ground where I’d been running to hide and ditch church back in 1961(2?). A scent, the sun hit the concrete a certain way - but just for a glimpse, not long enough to grasp it. The surroundings changed back - fresh paint, plastic. To say things have changed in forty years barely describes it. I think this entire church building has been cut in half and rebuilt going the other direction on the lot, this might not even be the same church lot.

On outside looking in San Marino ChurchI'm wandering around with my tiny video camera pointing it at “Rest Room” signs, so already drawing funny looks, (see Part 1) when I see my current co-producer Ken has taken up position between the parking lot and where people are entering for Mass. He’s doing a standup monologue, why doesn't the church help people like him he asks, with his purple t-shirt blaring out “Molested Catholic” and “would you let a nun/priest babysit your children?”

Ken and I didn't call in advance. We are flying by the seat of our pants. We share the experience of being molested by priests in states with out of date statute of limitations laws, Ken in New York me in Illinois. So while the Catholic Church makes statements in the media that it has put these sins behind itself by paying off large settlements to thousands of victims, the bishops never mention they only help persons who spend years in litigation. Where that isn’t possible, the Church ignores us. Gives us a phone number for a psychiatrist like the Chicago Archdiocese did me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Ex-child advocate faces up to 70 years for sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Democrat

BY SANDRA K. REABUCK
The Tribune-Democrat

EBENSBURG — A former volunteer advocate for children in court cases was sentenced Wednesday to 32 to 70 years in state prison for raping and sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.

Judge Timothy Creany imposed the stiff sentence despite pleas for leniency from the defendant’s family.

The sentence likely will keep 48-year-old Larry Knipple behind prison bars for the rest of his life, Creany said. ...

Knipple, of Greenich Street, Stonycreek Township, became tearful as he asked the judge to take into consideration his family’s testimony, including that of his 84-year-old mother, who said she depends on her son to take care of her and her house. Other family members talked about Knipple’s deep religious faith and his volunteer work with his church and other organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

‘Apology? What apology?’

CANADA
Metro

VICTORIA HANDYSIDES
April 30, 2009 5:43 a.m.

Statements of regret from the head of the Roman Catholic Church are too little, too late for residential school survivors struggling to rebuild shattered spiritual faith, says a local counsellor.

“Apology? What apology?” Terry Lusty asked, his voice dripping with disdain.

Eight years of alleged brutal physical and mental abuse at the hands of staff at Winnipeg’s St. Joseph’s school would not simply be dismissed by an attempt at reconciliation by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday, Lusty said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Pope laments Canada school abuse

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his sorrow that generations of aboriginal children were abused at some Catholic boarding schools in Canada.

The Pope was speaking after a private meeting at the Vatican with an aboriginal leader and Canadian bishops.

From the late 19th Century until the 1970s, some 150,000 children were forcibly sent to church-run schools in an effort to assimilate them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Sorrow expressed for residential-school abuse

CANADA
Globe and Mail

BILL CURRY

With a report from Reuters in Vatican City

April 30, 2009

OTTAWA -- The Pope expressed sorrow on behalf of the Catholic Church for the "deplorable conduct" of some of its members at Canada's Indian residential schools during a private, half-hour meeting at the Vatican with Canadian bishops and native leaders.

The Canadian representatives described the expression of sorrow as an apology even though that exact word does not appear in the Vatican's public statement.

Those in the room yesterday said that they were struck by the depth of Pope Benedict XVI's knowledge of what happened in Canada and the forceful way he spoke against the abuses. While the meeting was private, the Pope acknowledged the delegation of Canadian aboriginals during a general audience address to thousands of people gathered outdoors at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Man pleads guilty to sexual assault in Franklin County

VIRGINIA
WDBJ

News7 told you Tuesday about a former church leader who plead no contest to child abuse in Roanoke County.

Another man from the same church also entered a plea Tuesday, this one in Franklin County.

Deacon Stone was found guilty of 12-charges of sexual assault involving three different victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Pope expresses sorrow for residential school abuse

CANADA
Anglican Journal

Staff
Apr 29, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI met privately with a delegation of Canadian native people on Wednesday and expressed his sorrow for the suffering of native children in Canadian residential schools.

The delegation, which included Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, former students of residential schools and elders, came to the Vatican at the Pope’s invitation. The Canadian group also included Archbishop V. James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and representatives from several Catholic dioceses and religious communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Church clears priest of abusing teenager

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com
A Catholic priest accused of molesting a teenage boy at a Kendall church has been cleared by the Archdiocese of Miami and will be reassigned to another parish.

The Rev. Rolando Castillo, who voluntarily stepped down as pastor of St. Timothy's in 2007 when he was accused of misconduct in a lawsuit, asked to be reassigned. ...

As for the lawsuit, filed in October 2007, it has been resolved. But it is unclear whether the archdiocese settled the negligence case by paying the accuser, as the institution has done in dozens of other claims in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Cardinal Stritch Drops Offer for Cousin's Center

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM

By Marge Pitrof
April 29, 2009 | WUWM | Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University is dropping its plans to purchase the Cousin’s Center in St. Francis, from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. University spokeswoman Joanne Williams says the economic turmoil rocking the country is forcing Cardinal Stritch to take a more conservative approach to expanding. The school had hoped to build a new campus at the Cousin’s Center. ...

The Milwaukee Archdiocese says it will continue marketing the Cousin’s Center property, because the church needs money to pay off debt related to priest sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

DUIN: New chapter in church suit

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Times

By Julia Duin | Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last week, I got to see "Doubt," the 2008 psychological drama starring Meryl Streep about a nun who suspects that the parish priest over

seeing her parochial school is sexually abusing male students. The genius of the movie is that the nun has no proof, but her instincts and the viewers are left to decide whether the priest (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) was really up to something.

Most of the people watching the movie with me thought the priest was innocent. I argued with them. Didn't they notice, I asked, the priest's spiritual poverty, the sneaky way he did everything, his lame excuses for being alone with little boys?

No, they did not. I realized once again that while reporters have reviewed tons of these cases and know the tell-tale signs of abuse in their sleep, the general public remains clueless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

April 29, 2009

Preliminary hearing in Salinas priest molestation case postponed

SALINAS (CA)
The Salinas Californian

April 29, 2009

Friday’s previously scheduled preliminary hearing for a Salinas parish priest accused of child molestation has been delayed, the defense attorney’s office said.

The preliminary hearing, which would determine whether the Rev. Antonio Cortes will stand trial on charges he faces, has been moved to May 22.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 PM

Fewer charges expected for child sex accused priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Defence lawyers for a Hunter Valley Catholic priest, accused of molesting 40 boys, will spend the next three weeks negotiating to have some of the charges dropped.

John Sidney Denham, 66, is currently facing 134 child sex offences.

But in Newcastle Local Court yesterday, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said it expects a number of charges will be withdrawn or merged, once the 40 alleged victims give further evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 PM

One Man’s Harrowing Path from Abuse to Survival

NEW YORK
Forward

By Rebecca Dube
Published April 29, 2009, issue of May 08, 2009.

One Friday night last November, after saying Kiddush and putting his children to bed, Pinny clicked the send button on his e-mail and turned to the work of killing himself.

To the outside observer, and even to friends who knew him well, Pinny seemed like an upstanding, frum guy with a great life. He had a beautiful wife, three wonderful children, a good job and a secure place as a respected member of his Orthodox Jewish community in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn. He had all those things, and he cherished them. But he also had a secret.

At age 15, Pinny was raped repeatedly and violently over the course of several months by a teacher at his yeshiva. When he told a rabbi about the abuse, his molester threatened to kill him unless he recanted. When he tried to tell him again, he was labeled a liar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Pope Expresses 'Sorrow' to Victims of Canadian Schools

VATICAN CITY
Beliefnet

Wednesday April 29, 2009
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI met aboriginal survivors of Canada's residential school system on Wednesday (Apr. 29) and voiced his "sorrow" over "deplorable" abuses in the church-run schools.

"Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian Residential School system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity," the Vatican said in a statement. ...

Fontaine, himself a survivor of Canada's residential schools, acknowledged that the pope's statement did not amount to a formal apology, but told CBC News that he hoped it would "close the book" on the issue of apologies for residential school survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Former Cordova pastor pleads guilty to sex charges involving teenage boys

TENNESSEE
Memphis Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser, Memphis Commercial Appeal

A former Cordova church pastor pleaded guilty today to charges that he sexually abused two teenage boys, including one with whom he fostered a five-year affair.

Steven C. Haney, 48, who headed Walnut Grove Baptist Church for some 20 years, was placed on probation for eight years and will be added to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

State prosecutor David Zak said the plea arrangement was approved by the victims and their families, who were spared the stress of testifying in trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Miami archdiocese clears priest accused of sexual abuse

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com
A Catholic priest accused of molesting a teenage boy at a Kendall church has been cleared by the Archdiocese of Miami and will be reassigned to another parish.

The Rev. Rolando Castillo, who voluntarily stepped down as pastor of St. Timothy's in 2007 when he was accused of misconduct in a lawsuit, asked to be reassigned.

''It was his decision not to return as pastor,'' said archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta. She said the Catholic Church has not decided on his new parish assignment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Pope's statement on residential schools gets cool reception in North

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | 3:15 PM CT

Pope Benedict's expression of sorrow for the years of abuse Canadian aboriginal children faced at residential schools is not enough for some former students in Canada's North.

The pontiff's statement Wednesday had little meaning for John Banksland, a Northwest Territories-based board member with the National Residential School Survivor's Society, who said the Catholic Church has frequently denied incidents of abuse.

"There's a lot of shenanigans going on within the church, and I'd just as soon just sort of leave that alone," Banksland told CBC News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Miami attorney wins unprecedented sex case using 1868 Indian treaty

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

In an unprecedented and potentially far-reaching new decision, based on an 1868 treaty with a Sioux tribe, a federal judge has ruled that a Native American teenager who was sexually assaulted by a military recruiter is entitled to more than $600,000 in damages. The case was handled by Miami attorney Adam Horowitz.

It is the first time a Native American will recover "pain and suffering" damages against the United States thanks to the treaty.

“We applaud any innovative legal move that helps deter recklessness by any employer when it comes to sexual assault,“ said David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). “Over the years, large and wealthy institutions have proven very adept at evading consequences for their employees’ sexual misdeeds. This ruling will help put a stop to horrific crimes, committed against even the most vulnerable by even the most powerful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Native leader sees Papal apology as foundation for Canadian reconciliation process

CANADA
CNW Group

NIPISSING FN, ON, April 29 /CNW/ - Grand Council Chief John Beaucage says he "expression of sorrow" issued by Pope Benedict XVI about the Catholic Church's role in operating Indian Residential Schools should seen as a foundation on which a reconciliation process can be built.

"We want to see the Bishops, dioceses and Roman Catholic communities and churches in Canada embrace their responsibility and move towards reconciliation with First Nations," said Beaucage, who represents 42 Anishinabek Nation communities in Ontario. "I'd like to see the impacts of the Papal apology be recognized and addressed, not only at the Vatican, but within
Canada."

Beaucage said that, if elected National Chief at the Assembly of First Nations assembly in Calgary this July he intends to meet with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to determine a course of action to build on Wednesday's apology issued by the Vatican following a private audience with an AFN delegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Papal apology for mistreatment of Canadian native tribes

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

April 29, 2009
After his regular weekly public audience on April 29, Pope Benedict XVI met with leaders of Canadian native tribes, and offered an apology for the abuses that occurred at the "residential schools" serving native children in Canada during the 19th and 20th centuries. The schools separated native children from their families and strongly discouraged any manifestations of their native culture; there have also been reports of sexual and physical abuse in the institutions, most of which were operated by the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

AFN National Chief Says Private Audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City "Closes the Circle" and Enables Work Towards Reconciliation for Residential School Survivors

VATICAN CITY
CNW Group

VATICAN CITY, April 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine and a delegation of First Nations Elders, residential school survivors and Aboriginal leaders met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican today, followed by the first ever Private Audience between a Pope and a delegation of First Nations from Canada. The purpose of the audience was to discuss the legacy of the Indian residential schools era and the need for
reconciliation.

"As we approach the one year anniversary of the Government of Canada's apology on June 11, this visit with the Holy Father closes the circle of reconciliation. In the past, we received apologies from the Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches and the Government of Canada for the residential schools. Today's expression of understanding, acknowledgement and emotion by His Holiness on behalf of the Catholic Church closes the circle," stated the
National Chief.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine and the delegation of First Nations Elders, survivors, Chiefs, women and youth attended an outdoor general audience in St. Peter's Square. Included in the delegation, at the invitation of the National Chief, were Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Mary Simon and Métis National Council Vice-President David Chartrand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Canadian Aborigines Get Apology From Pope Over School Abuses

VATICAN CITY
AHN

AHN Staff
Vatican City (AHN) - Pope Benedict XVI apologized on Wednesday to a delegation of Canadian aborigines belonging to the Assembly of First Nations in a private audience with the group.

Globe and Mail quoted a Vatican statement which read, "Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian residential school system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity."

Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly and himself a victim of the system, confirmed receiving the Pope's apology. "What we wanted the Pope to say to us was that he was sorry and... that he deeply felt for us... We heard that very clearly today," Fontaine was quoted by Globe and Mail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Survivor Finds Cold Comfort In Pope's Apology

CANADA
CJME

Reported By Benson McCulloch
Posted April 29, 2009 - 12:28pm

Canadian aboriginal leaders say they got the apology they were seeking during a meeting with Pope Benedict today at the Vatican.

But at least one survivor isn't as charitable with his opinions.

Ted Quwezance, a student for 11 years at two different residential schools in Saskatchewan, says he isn't impressed with the pope's gesture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Closing the book on a dark chapter

CANADA
North Bay News

By Kate Adams
BayToday.ca
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Union of Ontario Indians
News Release

NIPISSING FIRST NATION (April 29, 2009) - Grand Council Chief John Beaucage is congratulating National Chief Phil Fontaine for "closing the book" on the issue of apologies for residential school survivors.

Beaucage said the "expression of sorrow" issued Wednesday at the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI to an Assembly of First Nations delegation marked the culmination of Fontaine's persistent efforts to gain recognition of the abuses suffered by over 100,000 First Nation students forced to attend 130 church-run residential schools. Other Christian denominations implicated in abuse at the government-sanctioned schools have already apologized for their roles - the Anglican Church in 1993, the Presbyterian Church in 1994 and the United Church in 1998. Last June Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology on behalf of the government of Canada

"Phil has left an historic legacy in making Canadians aware of the horrible impact residential schools have had on First Nations communities," said Beaucage, a candidate to replace Fontaine during the leadership selection process at July's annual general assembly of the Assembly of First Nations in Calgary. "His persistent efforts will serve as an important building block for the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Phil Fontaine’s statement to the pope on residential schools apology

VATICAN CITY
Straight.com

National Chief Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations delivered this statement today (April 29) to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Today, the pope told a delegation of aboriginal Canadians he is sorry for the abuse that took place at Canadian residential schools run by the Catholic Church.

April 29, 2009

Most Holy Father:

Today is a joyous day for the human spirit. It is a momentous day for our people and for our country, Canada.

It is my highest honor as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations to represent our people in your presence in this awe-inspiring house of worship and grace. Most Holy Father, thank you for receiving us.

The Catholic Church has always played a significant role in the history of our peoples. Priests and nuns were some of the first Europeans to arrive on our shores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Pope expresses sorrow for suffering of Canadian aboriginal students

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Sarah Delaney
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a step toward reconciling a long-standing historical injustice, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his sorrow for the suffering of Canadian aboriginal children over decades in church-run residential schools.

The pope met at the Vatican April 29 with a delegation of native Canadians representing those who had suffered forced acculturation and in some cases physical and sexual abuse at the government schools, many run by Catholics, and listened to their grievances.

He expressed his "sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the church and offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity," a Vatican statement said after the meeting, which followed the regular weekly papal audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

D’Arcy moves to merge parishes

INDIANA
The Journal Gazette

Anne Gregory
The Journal Gazette

Nearing retirement, Bishop John M. D'Arcy has begun taking steps to merge, close or expand a number of parishes across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

In an announcement released Wednesday morning, the bishop said it is his responsibility to make sure that the Eucharist is provided and that there are enough priests to serve the parishes.

He said he is taking these steps now in preparation for "the coming of a new bishop."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

The future of our parishes

INDIANA
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

[report in PDF format]

A report by Bishop John M. D'Arcy

One of the central responsibilities of a bishop is to see that the Eucharist is provided for his people. In support of this responsibility and of other matters central to the life of the church, he must seek to provide sufficient priests for the people of that diocese, which the Lord through the church has placed in his hands. As part of this responsibility the bishop, along with others — especially his priests, must seek to find and implement ways to draw young men to consider the priesthood and not be afraid to offer themselves to this beautiful, but demanding vocation. Working with others, he must try to forge a spirit of courage among young people so they will be willing to take this path of love and service in response to the love of Christ.

Recent circumstances have made it necessary and opportune to seek priests from other countries who may be able to assist on either a temporary or permanent basis, so each parish may have the dynamic presence of priests to care for the flock in the name of Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

D'Arcy Issues Statement On Parish Mergers

FORT WAYNE (IN)
Indiana's News Center

By Scott Sarvay

(Story Updated: Apr 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM EDT )
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Bishop john D’Arcy of the Fort Wayne- South Bend diocese is taking steps to merge, close or expand several parishes.

D’Arcy says in looking at how priests are presently distributed. He's not certain they are placed in ways that people are being served properly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Former church leaders plead in sex crimes

VINTON (VA)
The Roanoke Times

By Amanda Codispoti
981-3334
Two men who held leadership positions in the same Vinton church entered pleas Tuesday in unrelated sex crime cases involving children.

Dean Harold Stone, a former deacon at Heritage Baptist Church, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Circuit Court to 12 sex crimes. He faces up to three life sentences in jail.

In a separate case, Daniel Silverman, the church's former assistant pastor, pleaded no contest in Roanoke County Circuit Court to one count of aggravated sexual battery of a child. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Pope Apologizes for Abuse at Indian Residential Schools

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

Residential School Survivors Meet Pope

A group of Survivors from Canada’s Indian Residential Schools had a private audience with Pope Benedict. The delegation was led by assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine. The group also includes one of the survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, Membertou Chief Terry Paul.

Pope Apologizes to Abuse Survivors

The Survivors received a personal apology from the Pope on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church for its "deplorable" role in Canada’s Indian Residential School system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Pope apologizes for abuse at native schools

VATICAN
CTV

CTV.ca News Staff

Pope Benedict has said he is sorry for the physical and sexual abuse and "deplorable" conduct at Catholic church-run Canadian residential schools.

The Vatican says the pontiff expressed his sorrow and emphasized that "acts of abuse cannot be tolerated" at a meeting Wednesday with representatives of native Canadians.

"Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian residential school system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity," a statement from the Vatican said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Ejected from an L.A. Church: First in an online series called Molested Catholic

CALIFORNIA
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

Had a bizarre experience last Saturday, but face it, it’s a bizarre experience to be in this population of adult victims of pedophile priests. Recently my new co-producer Ken Kosiorek founded Molested Catholic, an amorphous project that involves street performance type confrontation and videos on Molested Catholic his YouTube channel. He drove up from San Diego Saturday and we went to a San Marino church, Ken to do his act, me to shoot it and also try to answer questions from the past. Ken tells a whack story of being singled out by nuns in an upstate New York boarding school, primarily because he was left-handed, and then the nuns handled him in another way. . . .

Ken Kosiorek, creator of Molested CatholicBesides determination to tell the story of “sex starved clergy” as Ken calls them every way we can, Ken and I both see this is all new territory. We're using new media, talking about a topic no one has really seen before, so anything goes, whatever is in front of you, step up and do it. Neither of us came right out and said it, but we both have a sense God is in charge, and He really wants these pedophile priests and their enablers outta there.

Ken produced these t-shirts that say, “I was molested by Dirty Filthy Catholics.” Blatant, upfront truth in a person’s face when you see him on the street wearing it. Ken blares the t-shirt on his chest where lots of Catholics can see him and then starts a spiel, almost a comedy routine:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Ex-St. Malachy administrator sues for defamation

RANTOUL (IL)
The News-Gazette

By Steve Bauer
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 8:02 AM CDT

RANTOUL – A former development director at St. Malachy School is suing the local priest and diocese for defamation of character.

Carolyn L. Taylor worked as an administrator for the Catholic grade school in Rantoul. ...

However, on May 30, 2008, Engelbrecht called her into his office and immediately offered her a choice of resignation or termination, according to the lawsuit.

The suit said Taylor was startled and confused and asked why. The choice was stated again by Engelbrecht, who added, "because of the report from the recent audit," the suit said.

When Taylor was not willing to resign, she was fired, the suit claimed. ...

But, according to the suit, no such audit report exists. Taylor said a St. Malachy trustee and an attorney for the diocese allegedly admitted there was no audit. The lawyer for the diocese also allegedly said that Engelbrecht's actions against Taylor were covered by diocesan procedures and "duly authorized by Bishop Jenky."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Pope sorry for abuse at residential schools

VATICAN
CBC News

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | 8:29 AM

Pope Benedict XVI told a delegation from Canada's Assembly of First Nations on Wednesday he is sorry for the abuse and "deplorable" treatment that aboriginal students suffered at residential schools run by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Pope expressed his personal sorrow at the Vatican during a private audience with the delegation, which included Assembly of First Nations Leader Phil Fontaine, aboriginal elders and residential school survivors.

During the meeting in the Vatican's Paul VI auditorium, Benedict emphasized that "acts of abuse cannot be tolerated," the church said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Pope expresses 'sorrow' over residential school abuse

VATICAN
Calgary Herald

By Peter O’Neil - Europe Correspondent, Canwest News Service
April 29, 2009 7:01 AM

PARIS — Pope Benedict XVI expressed his “sorrow” Wednesday over the suffering of thousands of aboriginal Canadians in residential schools run by the Roman Catholic Church.

The statement came in a communique issued by the Vatican after the pope met with Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, the Most Reverend James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and several B.C. aboriginal leaders.

“His Holiness recalled that since the earliest days of her presence in Canada, the Church, particularly through her missionary personnel, has closely accompanied the indigenous peoples,” the statement began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Gag order reflects new thinking THE HERALD'S VIEW

SALINAS (CA)
The Monterey County Herald

Updated: 04/29/2009 01:32:22 AM PDT

No one should expect a newspaper to be enthusiastic when competing lawyers in a high-profile court case vow not to talk to reporters about the substance of the proceedings. But the virtual gag order that governs the flow of information in one important local case is better than what might have been, and we're hopeful that it reflects new thinking by the Monterey County courts.

Among other things, the court broke with recent tradition and held a legally required hearing while pondering a request for a gag order. We have been critical of the local bench for its failure to hold such hearings in the past, so we feel obligated to applaud when the appropriate process is followed, no matter how we view the outcome.

The case is the child molestation prosecution of the Rev. Antonio Cortes, the now-suspended pastor of St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church in East Salinas. The young priest is accused of seducing a 16-year-old boy, furnishing him with alcohol and possessing child pornography, charges that left his parishioners stunned and disheartened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Attorneys agree not to discuss Salinas priest case with public

SALINAS (CA)
The Salinas Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • April 29, 2009

Attorneys have agreed to refrain from publicly discussing the case of a Salinas parish priest accused of molesting a teenager, the Monterey County District Attorney's Office said.

The agreement follows a hearing Friday in which a defense attorney requested a gag order preventing law enforcement officers and lawyers from speaking with the media regarding the case involving the Rev. Antonio Cortes.

During the hearing before Superior Court Judge Russell Scott, an attorney hired by The Salinas Californian argued against the proposed gag order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Benton Choir Minister Arrested For Alleged Sexual Indecency With A Child

BENTON (AR)
Today's THV

Posted By: Katherina- Marie Yancy

Earlier this week the Saline County Sheriff's Department received information that a leader in the community allegedly had inappropriate conduct with a minor.

David Pierce, 56, has been the choir minister at First Baptist Church in Benton for 28 years.

Authorities say last week a teenager's family contacted the church about the alleged misconduct. The complaint then went down the chain of command from DHS to the State Police Crimes against Children and then to the Saline County Sheriff's Department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

9 Tips to Keep Kids Safe from Child Predators, from Author of Parenting Book

UNITED STATES
PR Web

Reno, NV (PRWEB) April 29, 2009 -- The recent alleged abduction, rape and murder of eight-year old Sandra Cantu from Tracy, CA by Sunday School teacher, Melissa Huckaby (Complaint # SF111539A), is a wake-up call for parents. Recent statistics from the Crimes Against Children Research Center cite that there are between 60,000 - 70,000 arrests for sex crimes against children each year. Although crimes against children are down, it is crucial that parents learn what to do to keep their children safe from child predators.

According to Laura Ramirez, author of the award-winning parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, parents need to realize that it's not enough to teach children to stay away from strangers anymore because statistics show that the majority of crimes committed against children (rape, abduction and murder) are committed by persons known to the family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Judge moves to spare family

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
April 29, 2009 6:00 AM

STOCKTON - A judge who last week sealed the reports from 8-year-old Sandra Cantu's autopsy has now sealed a moot prosecution motion opposing the girl's disinterment, saying the Cantu family's privacy rights outweigh the public's need for the information.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus said in Tuesday's order that she wants to ensure a fair trial for prosecutors and the defense attorneys of the woman accused of killing Sandra, Melissa Huckaby of Tracy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Paraguayans glued to presidential paternity scandal

PARAGUAY
Reuters

By Kevin Gray
ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayans are transfixed over a real-life soap opera set in the presidential palace: paternity claims by three women against bishop-turned-president Fernando Lugo.

The president, once known as the "bishop of the poor" but now seen as something of a playboy, stunned Paraguayans two weeks ago by admitting he had fathered a child while he was a Roman Catholic bishop. The acknowledgment came after the mother filed a paternity suit. ...

The scandal has proved fodder for a torrent of e-mail jokes circulating in Asuncion, and even a popular song whose title is "Lugaucho" _ a wordplay on Lugo's name and gaucho, Paraguayan slang for playboy.

One newspaper cartoon poked fun at the issue, showing presidential security guards pushing a baby stroller for triplets. Some jokes take aim at Lugo breaking his celibacy vows, but apparently respecting church rules against condoms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Judge to Pierce: No contacts

BENTON (AR)
The Courier

David Pierce, First Baptist Church of Benton’s former music minister who has been arrested on one count of sexual indecency, was released from custody Monday after agreeing to an order that bars him from having any contact with current or former members of the Pure Energy youth choir or staff members of the church.

Pierce, who had been jailed at the Saline County Detention Center since Friday evening, was released around 6 p.m. after posting a $2,500 bond, said Lt. Mike Frost of the Saline County Sheriff’s Office.

Through videotaped transmission, Pierce appeared before District Judge Mike Robinson in a bond hearing Monday morning in Saline County District Court. He is scheduled for another appearance on June 9.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Group Protests Against Former Pastor

JACKSTONVILLE (FL)
News4Jax

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009
UPDATED: 9:39 pm EDT April 28, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three members of the nationwide group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests gathered outside Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church to send a message on Tuesday.

They were calling for other victims to come forward against the church's former pastor Darrell Gilyard.

"We're here today because we worried about the upcoming criminal trial against Rev. Darrell Gilyard," said SNAP Director David Clohessy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Former Vinton Asst. Pastor pleads no contest in child sexual abuse case

VINTON (VA)
WSLS

WSLS News Staff
news@wsls.com
Published: April 28, 2009

3:35 p.m.

Silverman entered a “no contest” plea. That means he does not admit to the crime, but believes there is enough evidence to convict him if the case went to trial.

Sentencing is scheduled for July.
—————
12:26 p.m.

A former Assistant Pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Vinton is set to make his plea in a child sexual abuse case.

Court records show Dan Silverman is scheduled to enter a guilty plea in Roanoke County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

AUSTRALIA: Archbishops' chaplain behind bars at last

AUSTRALIA
Virtue Online

By Amanda Gearing
On Line Opinion

April 29, 2009

The sentencing of a self-confessed child sex offender and senior Brisbane Anglican priest Canon Barry Greaves in Brisbane District Court last Friday (April 24, 2009) is a significant event for many reasons and for many people.

It is a significant event because Greaves was a priest at Boonah in the early 1980s when he committed the offences and because knowledge of his own sex offending against children failed to deter him from seeking and gaining high office in the Anglican Church.

He accepted the position of being an Archbishop's chaplain to Brisbane Archbishop Dr Peter Hollingworth in 1999. He stayed on as an Archbishop's chaplain to the incoming Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall in 2002 and not even the disgrace of the sex scandal in the Brisbane Diocese resulted in a glimmer of guilt that maybe he was not an appropriate person to be providing pastoral care to other victims of sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

April 28, 2009

EX-PRIEST PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORN CHARGES

TEXAS
DFW

A former Grand Prairie priest pled guilty Tuesday to one count of possession of child pornography. Police executed a search warrant at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church after receiving information that an associate priest saw Matthew Bagert viewing an image of a young, nude boy on the rectory computer, according to court documents. The 40-year-old man told police he used the Internet to find the images. Bagert faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Bagert, who is now living in Richardson, will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

My husband, the child-porn ex-priest

TEXAS
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

A defrocked priest in the Dallas area pleaded guilty today to having downloaded child pornography on his church computer in 2005. Here's the final line of the story:

He is now married and has a young child.

How on earth does that happen? I remember when then-Father Bagert was arrested four years ago. It's not like his wife only discovered that her husband had this kink after she married him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop Bennison wants new trial or charges dismissed

PENNSYLVANIA
Episcopal Life

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, April 28, 2009

[Episcopal News Service] Claiming to have "over 200 letters" that prove Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison "was deceived and duped," the convicted bishop's attorneys have asked that the charges against him be dismissed, or that he get a new trial.

In February, the Court for the Trial of a Bishop issued its final judgment and sentence that Bennison should be deposed from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church for having engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.

Bennison, who has been inhibited or barred from exercising his ordained ministry since October 2007 when he was first ordered to stand trial, appealed his sentence of deposition in mid-March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

The President and the Felon

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

by Caryl Rivers

Ever wonder why the Vatican and conservative Catholics are out of touch with what real people -including their religious brethren--are thinking?

Well, there's this: conservatives are throwing a hissy fit because the President of the United States is getting an honorary degree from Notre Dame, while they ignore the fact that a man who should be a felon is honored with a cushy job in Rome. ...

Is the Vatican not a Catholic Institution? And did not the Vatican honor Cardinal Bernard Law, former archbishop of Boston, with a prestigious position after he made it out of the Bay State a few jumps ahead of the (lower case) law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Angels & Demons ignores 800 pound gorilla in room ...

Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

Ron Howard is proving he may really be Opie, ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room with the release of Angels & Demons May 15th. In the story an assassin kidnaps four cardinals and plans to kill them and to blow up The Vatican. And the reason for all this pent-up anger has something to do with something that happened about seven hundred years ago?????? If there is any reason people in 2009 would get angry at the Catholic Church, it would likely be the serial felonies from recent decades, crimes against thousands of children, some who made it to adulthood. Pedophilia in the Catholic Church destroyed lives, and are crimes where the Church continues to use manipulation of civil law and criminal justice, and outright abuse of power, to keep the truth about its crimes from coming out.

Isn’t the pedophile crisis a little bit more topical than something the Illuminati may or may not have done in 1300? Funniest thing is the Catholic Church is criticizing Howard for the film Angels & Demons, when from what I see, the film is an apology Howard is making to the church for making DaVinci Code. Howard and others from the production are making an embarrassing number of public appearances to get out the word, “Hey, no this is just fiction. We really love the Catholic Church.” (see below). I wish everyone from Dan Brown to the screenwriters to the producers paid more attention to what is going on in the real world to write their fiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Ex-Grand Prairie priest pleads guilty to child porn charge

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By MELISSA CROWE / The Dallas Morning News
A former Grand Prairie priest this morning pleaded guilty to downloading child pornography on a church computer and will be required to register as a sex offender, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Matthew Bagert, 40, of Richardson is scheduled for sentencing on July 20 before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay for one count of possession of child pornography, said acting U.S. Attorney James Jacks' office. Bagert faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.

According to court documents, Grand Prairie police received information that an associate priest saw Bagert viewing an image of a nude boy on a rectory computer. The police executed a search warrant at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Feb. 1, 2005. Bagert admitted responsibility for the child pornography on the rectory computer and that he had used the Internet to find the images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Ex-Grand Prairie priest pleads in child porn case

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

BY NATHANIEL JONES
njonesb@star-telegram.com

A 40-year-old former Grand Prairie Catholic priest pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of possession of child pornography in a Dallas federal courtroom, according to a release James T. Jacks, acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks for the Northern District of Texas.

Matthew Bagert, 40, who currently lives in Richardson, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Bagert is scheduled to be sentenced on July 20, before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, according to the release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Judge pulls out of case involving diocese

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

By Ramon Bracamontes / El Paso Times
Posted: 04/28/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- County Court Judge Javier Alvarez has withdrawn from presiding over a civil lawsuit filed against the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, even though he disagrees with the allegation that he has a conflict.

Three law firms representing an El Paso man who claims he was sexually molested in 1964 by a priest at Our Lady of the Light Parish filed a motion asking Alvarez to recuse himself. The motion stated that in the past eight years Alvarez had given more than $8,000 from his campaign account to the church -- leaving the appearance that he may be biased.

In his decision to step aside, Alvarez stated that the motion asking him to withdraw was "without merit."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Cult leader escapes from French jail in helicopter

REUNION ISLAND
Breitbart

A cult leader jailed for sex attacks on children escaped in a helicopter from a prison on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion on Monday, the regional administration said.

Juliano Verbard, who was serving a 15-year term for rapes and sex assaults on children, and two of his jailed followers were hauled on board a chopper hijacked by three accomplices, said senior official Jean-Francois Moniotte. ...

Verbard, 27, was the guru of the self-styled "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary", a cult with no connection to mainstream Catholic institutions, on the island of Reunion, a French territory in the Indian Ocean.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

No charges for Oakland priest accused of sex with girl

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

BY CECIL ANGEL • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • April 28, 2009

A Catholic priest whose forced resignation over allegations of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old girl was announced last week by the Archdiocese of Detroit will not face criminal charges, Clawson Police Chief Harry Anderson said Monday.

Anderson said that a Clawson detective spoke with the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office and was told there would be no charges filed against the Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck, 62, because the teen was of legal consent in 1976 when the alleged sexual relationship took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Attorneys agree to stay mum

SALINAS (CA)
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Salinas Bureau
Updated: 04/28/2009 01:27:50 AM PDT

Attorneys in the case of a Salinas priest accused of sodomy involving a minor have effectively imposed their own gag order, agreeing not to talk further about the facts of the case.

The informal decision between prosecutor Rolando Mazariegos and defense attorneys Miguel and J. Hernandez obviated the need for a decision by Judge Russell Scott, who had taken under submission the defense's request for a gag order Friday.

Miguel Hernandez said the attorneys discussed the matter minutes after Friday's hearing, but Scott said he wanted to think about it over the weekend before he agreed to drop the matter from the court calendar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Gag order in Salinas priest case stiffs public

SALINAS (CA)
The Salinas Californian

April 28, 2009

A Monterey County judge's decision on whether to issue a gag order in the case of a popular Salinas priest charged with sodomy with a 16-year-old boy is expected sometime this week - even today.

We vehemently object to a gag order in this case, both on principle and common sense.

As our attorney told the court in a written statement on Friday, "A gag order at this time in the proceeding would be an unconstitutional prior restraint" on the freedom of speech.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

YESHIVA TEACH BUSTED ON KID-PORN CHARGES

NEW YORK
New York Post

By SELIM ALGAR

A teacher who worked at two Queens yeshivas and a Long Island elementary school was arrested after cops found child pornography on his home computer, cops said yesterday.

Two online tipsters told state police that Timothy Holt, 44, of Baldwin, sent child pornography over the Internet last month.

Cops seized the divorced father's computer and allegedly found nine videos and pictures depicting sexually explicit images of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

SOSPECHOSO SILENCIO DEL VATICANO

PARAGUAY
Cleveland Indy Media

by Luis Agüero Wagner Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009 at 7:18 AM
ataquedigital@aventura.com.py

Un sospechoso silencio del Vaticano enmarca al caso del obispo Fernando Lugo, en tanto aparecen en Paraguay acusaciones cada vez más graves en su contra.

Un sospechoso silencio del Vaticano enmarca al caso del obispo Fernando Lugo, en tanto aparecen en Paraguay acusaciones cada vez más graves en su contra.

El silencio de la nunciatura apostólica y la iglesia católica estaría enmarcado en el crimens sollicitationis, que obliga a los sacerdotes a encubrir los crímenes que acontecen en el seno de la institución para "salvaguardar la imagen".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

3 more claim abuse by former minister

BENTON (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY GINNY LAROE

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BENTON - At least three men have come forward saying they were sexually abused as teenagers by a longtime Baptist minister who was arrested last week after a teenager reported a 2006 instance, records released Monday say.

David Kent Pierce, the former music minister at Benton's First Baptist Church, was arrested on a felony count of sexual indecency with a child, according to an arrest report.

When church leaders became aware of possible abuse, they contacted authorities and provided investigators with the names of the three adult church members who also said they were abused by Pierce when they were younger, court records say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Study delves into why Americans change religions

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

By Duke Helfand
8:46 PM PDT, April 27, 2009

Americans are fickle consumers of religion, with about half changing religious affiliations at least once in their lives as they drift away from childhood traditions or stop believing in the teachings of their faiths, according to a national survey released Monday. ...

Among other findings, the report found that 10% of American adults who were raised Catholic have left the faith, although their losses have been largely countered by significant immigration of Catholics from Latin America.

In most cases, former Catholics who are now unaffiliated said they were dissatisfied with the church's teachings on abortion, homosexuality, birth control or treatment of women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Religious roots readily

UNITED STATES
The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Posted: 04/28/2009 12:30:00 AM MDT

Americans change religion early and often, with about half of adults saying they have changed affiliation at least once, according a report released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. ...

Former Catholics said they objected to church teachings on birth control, abortion and homosexuality.

Protestants are more likely to change denominations because of life circumstances, such as the 40 percent who said they switched because they moved to a different community, and those who switched because they married someone from a different religious background.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

When it comes to religion, U.S. is a nation of shoppers, study finds

UNITED STATES
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza
jgarza@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009 - 12:00 am | Page 1A

To say that Brenda Boles is a spiritual seeker is an understatement.

As a teenager, she was baptized in a Chinese Baptist church. Then she married an Episcopalian and became a mainstay at Sunday services. Now she is a member of Sacramento's Spiritual Life Center, an Interfaith Unity church. ...

Catholicism suffered the biggest loss. The number of people leaving the church outnumbers the number of people joining by a 4-1 margin, according to Smith.

Two-thirds of former Catholics said they left the church because they stopped believing in the faith. Fewer than three in 10 cited the clergy sexual abuse scandal as a factor in leaving the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

In matter of faith, Americans show a restless spirit

UNITED STATES
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Manya A. Brachear
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO - When it comes to religion, Americans change their affiliation early and often, according to a national study released yesterday. ...

Among Protestants who were formerly Catholics, one in five cited the sex-abuse scandal as one of several reasons why they had left the Catholic faith. But only a small number - 2 percent to 3 percent - cited it as the sole reason.

But the survey also found that the Catholic Church has netted the greatest loss because it has not matched its high retention with recruitment compared with other churches. The number of Catholics leaving the church outnumbers joiners by 4-1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Belant's motions denied

CALIFORNIA
The Times-Standard

Sean Garmire/The Times-Standard
Posted: 04/28/2009 01:17:38 AM PDT

Judges at the Humboldt County Superior Court on Monday denied a series of motions, filed by Andrew Belant, which included a motion to dismiss his attorney and another to disqualify a judge.

On Monday morning, Judge Timothy Cissna denied a motion from Belant's attorney, Andrew Truitt, to delay the trial scheduled for jury selection this week. The same motion was denied in a separate courtroom Friday, and Cissna upheld the previous judge's ruling. ...

According to authorities who investigated Belant, the 25-year-old met the boys while working as an after-school aide, part-time church youth leader and summer camp counselor. At the time of his arrest, Belant was enrolled in the Humboldt State University teacher credential program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

U.S. faith in flux; why so many switch religions

UNITED STATES
Kingsport Times News

[the full report]

Americans change religious affiliation early and often. In total, about half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives. Most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith before age 24, and many of those who change religion do so more than once. These are among the key findings of a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey documents the fluidity of religious affiliation in the U.S. and describes in detail the patterns and reasons for change.

The reasons people give for changing their religion -- or leaving religion altogether -- differ widely depending on the origin and destination of the convert. The group that has grown the most in recent years due to religious change is the unaffiliated population. But this group's growth seems to have less to do with the belief that science disproves religion than with disenchantment with religious people and institutions. Many people who left a religion to become unaffiliated say they did so, in part, because they think of religious people as hypocritical or judgmental, because religious organizations focus too much on rules or because religious leaders are too focused on power and money.1 Far fewer say they became unaffiliated because they believe that modern science proves that religion is just superstition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Sexual charge filed against Ark. minister

BENTON (AR)
Baptist Press

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 | by Staff
BENTON, Ark. (BP)--Allegations of sexual indecency with a child prompted Arkansas authorities to arrest David Kent Pierce, minister of music at First Baptist Church in Benton, Ark., on April 24. Pierce, 56, was immediately terminated by the church, where he had served on staff 29 years.

Earlier in the week, a teenage boy's family contacted the church about the alleged misconduct, Dennis Byrd, chairman of the church's personnel committee, told Baptist Press. The church immediately contacted a state police hotline to report the allegation. Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington, who is a member of First Baptist Church, arrested Pierce at home.

Pennington told reporters he felt obligated to arrest Pierce himself. "I felt it would be more comfortable for me doing it [arresting him] rather than one of my deputies, and I want people to be aware [that] regardless of your stature in this community we're not going to condone these actions," Pennington said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Deceased Oblate named in new sex-abuse suit

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Two brothers and an anonymous plaintiff filed suit Monday in Delaware Superior Court, New Castle County, alleging sexual abuse by a former Salesianum School faculty member, now deceased.

Michael Jordan, 64, of Kent County, Robert Jordan, 60, of Manatee County, Fla., and "John Doe No. 7," a 61-year-old Delaware resident, say the Rev. Francis L. Norris sexually assaulted them between 1962 and 1964, when they were students at Salesianum.

Norris, who taught Latin there, was named in a similar suit filed in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Study eyes changes in faith

UNITED STATES
Tulsa World

By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Published: 4/28/2009 2:23 AM
Last Modified: 4/28/2009 3:26 AM

The reasons people leave the religion of their childhood are as diverse as the American religious landscape.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life announced the results Monday of an extensive survey of 2,867 adults, seeking reasons behind an earlier study that found about half of all American adults have changed their religious affiliation, sometimes several times. ...

Many of them said they think religious people are hypocritical or judgmental, religious organizations focus too much on rules, or religious leaders focus too much on power and money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Court Ruling In Priest Sex Abuse Case

NEW YORK
WETM

New York State Supreme Court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester. That's according to the attorney for 21-year old Jason Hartley. The request to dismiss the suit was filed by the diocese.

Hartley claims he was was sexually abused at the rectory of Saint Mary's of the Lake Church in Watkins Glen years ago when he was a minor. The lawsuit claims the diocese knew about the alleged sexual abuse but did nothing to prevent it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

More in US switch religious affiliations

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / April 28, 2009

Catholics who leave their faith say they drifted away from the church because it did not meet their spiritual needs or they stopped believing in its teachings, according to a new study, while Protestants often tend to cite circumstantial factors, a move, a marriage, or a problem with a particular minister or congregation.

Altogether, Americans are switching in and out of churches at unprecedented rates, with about half of Americans today saying that they have changed their religious affiliation at some point during their lives, according to a study released yesterday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. ...

But the new study suggests that the sexual abuse crisis played at most a minor role in the decision of Catholics to leave. Only 2 percent of former Catholics who are now unaffiliated volunteered the abuse scandal as the main reason they are no longer Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

High court upholds murder conviction

MASSACHUSETTS
The Salem News

By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

BEVERLY — The state's highest court has upheld the conviction of former North Shore resident Joseph Druce in the 2003 murder of a former priest convicted of sexual abuse.

Druce, 43, who used to be known as Darrin Smiledge, was already serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of George Rollo of Gloucester when he killed defrocked priest John Geoghan inside the maximum-security state prison in Shirley.

Yesterday, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the conviction in the Geoghan murder, finding that despite a history of mental illness, Druce was capable of understanding and participating in his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

April 27, 2009

Priests denounce vices brought out by Lugo scandal

PARAGUAY
Catholic News Agency

Asunción, Paraguay, Apr 27, 2009 / 04:51 pm (CNA).- In the wake the paternity suit recently filed against President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Priests in Asuncion has issued a strong statement saying that by his actions the president has demonstrated he is unfaithful to his word, lacks an understanding of the family and of parenthood and is motivated by political opportunism.

In their statement about the conduct of Lugo, who was Bishop of San Pedro, the priests recalled that “being faithful to our word defines our essence as free and firm persons. In the Catholic Church nobody is forced to make a vow of chastity or a promise of celibacy. Both point to the same thing: the consecrated renounce biological parenthood so that our parenthood at the service of the Kingdom of God will be more fruitful.”

The priests went on to say Lugo also failed to understand that we are responsible “not only for our actions but also for their consequences.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Study Shows Americans Leave Religion Due to Drift, Not Rupture

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 27, 2009 12:11 PM

More Americans have given up their faith or changed religions because of a gradual spiritual drift than switched because of a disillusionment over their churches' policies, according to a new study released today which illustrates how personal spiritual attitudes are taking precedence over denominational traditions.

The survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is the first large-scale study of the reasons behind Americans switching their religious faith and found that more than half of people have done so at least once during their lifetime. ...

Pew Forum senior fellow John Green said that result surprised researchers, who had expected policy disputes or disillusionment over internal scandals -- such as the clergy sex abuse controversy in the Catholic Church -- to play more of a role in people's decision to leave a faith. Among former Catholics who became Protestants, one in five cited the sex abuse scandal as one of several reasons why they had left the faith. But only a small percentage -- 2 percent to 3 percent -- cited it as the lone reason.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

The truth about pedophile clergy in anguished thoughts of fictional priests

UNITED STATES
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

Reading The McGurk I’m struck by a couple paragraphs so am typing them in here, with author Tom Barnes’ permission. He quotes a journal written by a fictional priest in 1874 Philadelphia, anguishing over the evil he is seeing in fellow priests and the bishops. Barnes wrote the story after years of research in Pennsylvania, much of the book is fiction based on fact, including quotes from the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report. Here from the McGurk, writings in the journal of an anguished 19th Century priest:

“Some priests that I have known have taken liberties with children. Because of the nature of what we do, it is easy enough to carry through on this heinous evil. And due to the fear of scandal, it is always hidden away. The bishops will never openly reveal this evil, they do not discuss it even among themselves. I have never actually seen this but I have been involved in its aftermath and the terrible pain that it brings many times.”

“The children are simply not believed and are often beaten by the parents for ‘lying’ about the priest. The truth is, they are not always lying. Sometimes the priest is a demon. Some of these demons have I lived with, in rectories. May God have mercy on their souls. And may God have mercy on mine for overlooking this evil. My only defense is that canon law forbids a priest to openly speak ill of another priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

SJC affirms pedophile priest’s killer’s conviction

MASSACHUSETS
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The state Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed Joseph L. Druce’s first-degree murder conviction in the 2003 prison slaying of defrocked pedophile priest John J. Geoghan.

Rejecting Mr. Druce’s insanity defense in the Aug. 23, 2003, strangulation death of the 68-year-old Mr. Geoghan in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a Worcester Superior Court jury found the confessed killer guilty of first-degree murder Jan. 25, 2006.

Mr. Druce, who was already serving a life sentence for murder when he beat and strangled the ex-priest in a protective custody unit at the maximum-security prison on the Lancaster-Shirley line, was sentenced by Judge Francis R. Fecteau, now a state Appeals Court judge, to a consecutive life term with no possibility of parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.

UNITED STATES
Pew Research Center

April 27, 2009

Americans change religious affiliation early and often. In total, about half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives. Most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith before age 24, and many of those who change religion do so more than once. These are among the key findings of a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey documents the fluidity of religious affiliation in the U.S. and describes in detail the patterns and reasons for change. ...

Catholicism has suffered the greatest net loss in the process of religious change. Many people who leave the Catholic Church do so for religious reasons; two-thirds of former Catholics who have become unaffiliated say they left the Catholic faith because they stopped believing in its teachings, as do half of former Catholics who are now Protestant. Fewer than three-in-ten former Catholics, however, say the clergy sexual abuse scandal factored into their decision to leave Catholicism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Swastika priest

ITALY
Austrian Times

A priest has shocked parishioners by welcoming them to church wearing a swastika armband.

Fascist Father Angelo Idi, 51 - who once saw off a charity box thief with a truncheon at his church in Vigevano, Italy - confessed: "I am proud of my right wing beliefs. But people shouldn't care about my politics, they should care about how good a priest I am."

In northern Italy where former dictator Benito Mussolini comes from the far right Italian LEGA NORD (Northern League) have their political stronghold - and there have been several instances of priests with far right views that have embarrassed the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Pastor resigns amid sexual abuse allegations

ROYAL OAK (MI)
C & G

By Jeremy Carroll
C & G Staff Writer

ROYAL OAK — The pastor at St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak and St. James Parish in Ferndale has been placed on administrative leave after sexual abuse allegations surfaced.

Fr. Kenneth Kaucheck, 62, has resigned as pastor for St. Mary Parish and St. James Parish, the Archdiocese of Detroit said in a press release. He was put on administrative leave and is restricted from any public ministry. The move was announced on April 24.

The allegations involve sexual misconduct between Kaucheck and a person under the age of 18 dating back to the early years of his ministry in the Detroit archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Belgian priest loses appeal

BELGIUM
Radio Netherlands

A Belgian appeals court has sentenced a priest to nine years in jail for child sex abuse and the possession of child pornography. Earlier, a lower court had sentenced him to seven years. The priest thought his sentence was too severe and filed an appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

NJ woman ordained as a priest in controversial ceremony

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

[video presentation]

Mary Ann Schoettly of Fredon, Sussex County, says that she was ordained a Catholic priest at a special ceremony held Sunday, April 26, in Philadelphia. The Catholic Church disagrees wholeheartedly. Church officials say women can't be priests, and that Schoettly actually has actually been automatically excommunicated for her efforts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Jesuit weekly: Church should consider married priests

Beliefnet

David Gibson

America magazine, the Jesuit weekly that has taken serious heat from Rome (and in particular Joseph Ratzinger) in recent years, this weeks shows again that in the year of its centennial, it remains a rare venue for serious discussion of sensitive topics.

This week's editorial, "A Modest Proposal," uses the impending opening of the Year of the Priest (June 19) as an occasion to call for an "open discussion" on addressing the vocations crisis, including the possibility of ordaining married men:

Married priests already minister in the Catholic Church, both East and West. Addressing the married clergy of the Eastern Catholic churches, the Second Vatican Council exhorted "all those who have received the priesthood in the married state to persevere in their holy vocation and continue to devote their lives fully and generously to the flock entrusted to their care" (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests," No. 16).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Paraguay’s ex-bishop president asks forgiveness, won’t resign

PARAGUAY
Catholic Culture

April 27, 2009
Facing allegations that he fathered children by three different women before Pope Benedict accepted his resignation from the episcopate, Paraguayan President Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez asked forgiveness during an April 24 press conference and said he would not resign. “You will see this president as a father who is prepared to share his love and care,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

April 26, 2009

Woman accepts her blog's role in church investigation

JAKCSONVILLE (FL)
Times-Union

By Jeff Brumley

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said she's satisfied with the explanation about why her blog was included in a 2008 investigation into the identity of an anonymous blogger critical of First Baptist Church.

Still, the 36-year-old Southside resident said she wishes the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office hadn't used a subpoena to scour her blog, which tracks allegations of sexual misconduct against former Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church pastor Darrell Gilyard.

From e-mails and phone calls with police this week, Croft said, she learned her blog came to detective Robert Hinson's attention because it had been listed as a link on FBCJaxWatchdog.blogspot. com, which was the true focus of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Priest held: Youth claims harassment

GREECE
Pokrov

Date Published: 4/21/2009
Publication: Kathimerini

Police in Kozani yesterday were questioning a priest from a village near the northern city who is alleged to have sexually molested a 17-year-old youth in the village church. According to the youth’s testimony, the priest asked him to follow him to the church crypt on Good Friday, during the preparations of the Easter bier procession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Controversial Birmingham priest 'victim of hate campaign'

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Mercury

Apr 26 2009 by Edward Chadwick, Sunday Mercury

A CATHOLIC priest once hunted by Interpol after more than £100,000 went missing from his parish fears he may be the target of a hate campaign.

Father Seamus Hetherton, from Our Lady of Fatima church in Quinton, came to Birmingham after dodging jail on medical grounds more than a decade ago.

The 80 year-old, who said he suffered from heart trouble, admitted failing to declare £130,000 of parish money in his annual returns when he was based at Holy Apostles’ Church in Swanley, Kent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Priest's victim denied payout from Catholic Church

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Mercury

Apr 26 2009 by Rebekah Oruye, Sunday Mercury

A JUDGE has told the Catholic Church it will not have to pay compensation to a man sexually abused when he was 12 by a priest in Coventry – because he didn’t attend his church.

The High Court was told that the victim, now 45, was in his teens when he was abused by Fr Christopher Clonan in the mid-70s.

Fr Clonan, then in his 30s, groomed the boy by paying him pocket money to wash his car, clean the presbytery and iron his clothes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Anyone can be a victim, suspect

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By CLARE MOUNTEER
Guest commentary
Updated: 04/26/2009 01:36:01 AM PDT

It is not surprising that the public is shocked and confused by recent high-profile charges leveled against Melissa Huckaby, accused of the rape and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, and in our own community by sexual assault charges against the Rev. Antonio Cortes and Dr. Carl Bergstrom.

We like to think that young mothers, priests and doctors are some of the most trustworthy people in society when it comes to our personal safety. Some, like the parishioners of St. Mary's, where Cortes has been their priest, find it not just unthinkable, but unbelievable that a man who has been so helpful to so many could ever sexually violate a young boy. And there is comfort in that belief. To believe differently makes us afraid to trust anyone and makes us all vulnerable.

Although these cases have yet to be adjudicated, they do illustrate the unfortunate truth that anyone can be accused of being a perpetrator of sexual violence, and that anyone can be a victim. In these cases, two of the alleged victims are children, and one is a male. In all three cases, the victims and alleged perpetrators were known to each other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Sunday Salon: The Memory Bird

Facing Abuse

The Memory Bird:
Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Edited by Caroline Malone, Linda Farthing, & Lorraine Marce
Temple University Press, 1997

Like Dangerous Families, The Memory Bird is an amazing anthology of writing by abuse survivors, free from intervention or direction by psychological “experts.”

Its rareness (at least to me) comes not only in presenting the voices of sexual abuse survivors, but in the particular community involved: survivors of all sorts from New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The authors range from utterly unknown to nearly famous activists, pouring their hearts out sometimes for the first time; and the anthology’s editors are no slackers themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Parishioners told of abuse allegation against priest

ROYAL OAK (MI)
Detroit Free Press

BY CHRISTY ARBOSCELLO • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • April 25, 2009

Parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Royal Oak were told today at Mass that Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck has officially resigned following a claim of sexual misconduct from early in his vocation.

In the final minutes of worship, Msgr. Ricardo Bass emerged to announce to the well-attended, spacious church that a credible complaint had been made against Kaucheck. The woman, who came forward in late January with the allegation, was a minor at the time, Bass said.

The monsignor said he was sent by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to notify parishioners at St. Mary’s and St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale -- where Kaucheck also served -- of the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Always a market for hysteria

BOSNIA
The Malta Independent

There will always be a ready market for medieval-type religious hysteria. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale is as relevant today as it was in the 14th century. Look at what is happening with Medjugorje. Despite warnings from the Vatican about the quite obvious deceit and avaricious trickery, five million people a year make pilgrimages there from all over the world.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been studying, since 2006, the claims that the Madonna has been appearing to a group of six visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia, beginning in 1981. Writing in The Catholic Herald last June, the journalist Simon Caldwell – who is himself Catholic – quoted Bishop Andrea Gemma, the most senior exorcist in the Catholic Church until his retirement three years ago, as saying: “You’ll see that soon the Vatican will intervene with something explosive to unmask once and for all who is behind this deceit.”

Bishop Gemma described the Medjugorje stories as a scandal and a “diabolical deceit”. The irony does not escape me that I am quoting somebody who believes in demonic possession. I think he is worth quoting because it illustrates the quandary of those faced with selective belief in the supernatural. It is hard to tell people that they should believe in possession by devils but not in apparitions of talking Madonnas or in bleeding statuettes. ...

There is worse. The Vatican has banished to a monastery the former spiritual leader of the Medjugorje seers amid accusations of sexual impropriety and a taste for séances. His affairs with women have been extensively documented, and he has had a child by one of them, a nun called Sister Rufina, who exposed him when he refused to leave the priesthood and marry her and instead tried to bully her into keeping his secret. Severe restrictions have been placed on this priest, and he has been warned that if he fails to stick to them, he will be excommunicated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

April 25, 2009

A quest for answers

UNITED STATES
Bakersfield.com

BY STEPHEN BOEHRER, Contributing writer | Friday, Apr 24 2009 02:28 PM

The inspiration to write "The Purple Culture" grew over time. The process began when I was a seminarian in Rome, living at the North American College and attending the Gregorian University.

As I attended classes and observed official positions on matters of faith and morals, I felt the rise of questions. The questioning continued after I was ordained and returned to my diocese in Wisconsin.

Questions dealt with the equality of women, the use of contraception, the need for a married clergy and more. My questioning grew after I left the active ministry and married.

The clerical sexual abuse crisis focused my attention on the behavior of bishops. What prompted bishops -- men who are politically adept, often outgoing and personable, men who wear the miters of moral leadership -- to knowingly place and/or transfer known pedophile priests to assignments where they had ready access to children?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Group urges Orlando bishop to warn public about predator priest

ORLANDO (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Fernando Quintero | Sentinel Staff Writer

In a small sidewalk news conference this afternoon, activists from a national group representing survivors of sexual abuse by priests released legal documents they say prove allegations of sexual abuse by a former Orlando Catholic cleric.

Court records released by the national organization SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, show that former Orlando priest Vernon Uhran asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege nearly 90 times in a videotaped deposition dated Aug. 8, 2008. The group claims the former priest's refusal to answer such questions as whether he had sodomized and performed oral sex on over a dozen boys proves he is guilty of those crimes.

The group also presented a notarized declaration by a sexual abuse victim's mother which shows Orlando Catholic officials were warned years ago about Uhran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Leaving the Fold

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

[read excert from the first chapter]

By MARK OPPENHEIMER
Published: April 24, 2009
There are many great books about finding God. But there are far fewer books, great or otherwise, about finding and then losing God. So “Losing My Religion,” by William Lobdell, a former religion writer for The Los Angeles Times, feels powerfully fresh. It is the tale of being born again in his adulthood, then almost 20 years later deciding that Christianity is untrue. Today Lobdell prefers the God of Jefferson or Einstein, “a deity that can be seen in the miracles of nature.” While Lobdell never entirely rejects belief in the supernatural, his humane, even-tempered book does more to advance the cause of irreligion than the bilious atheist tracts by Christopher Hitchens and others that have become so common. And Lobdell’s self-deprecating memoir is far more fun to read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Gag order undetermined in priest case

SALINAS (CA)
The Salinas Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • April 25, 2009

A Monterey County Superior Court judge is still considering whether a gag order will be placed on the case involving a Salinas parish priest accused of child molestation and sodomy.

On Friday, Judge Russell Scott heard arguments for and against a gag order that would prohibit attorneys and law enforcement agencies from discussing the case with the public, including the media.

Defense attorney Miguel Hernandez argued that since the April 16 arrest of his client the Rev. Antonio Cortes of the St. Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church, "tidbits" of information have been released to the media by prosecutor Rolando Mazariegos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Huckaby linked to SoCal arson case

TRACY (CA)
Tracy Press

by Justin Lafferty

Evelyn Lloyd, Huckaby’s roommate for eight months, said in a phone interview today from Southern California that police should look more closely at Huckaby’s involvement in the two fires that damaged the four-bedroom house they shared in La Palma.

Orange County Superior Court records show that Lloyd, 47, was charged with a felony count of arson on July 19, 2007. She spent 10 days in jail and was placed on suicide watch. The case against her was later dismissed. ...

After the first fire, Lloyd said, police found a baby’s bottle with gasoline, a threatening letter and newspapers stuffed in the side window of her first-story room.

“Either she (Huckaby) wanted my bedroom, or she blackmailed the landlord and it got too out of whack, because six days after I was locked up, the landlord’s house was on fire,” said Lloyd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

A Benton Music Minister Arrested, Accused of Sexual Abuse

BENTON (AR)
KATV

Benton, AR - A shocking arrest in Benton. A church leader is behind bars, accused of sexually abusing a child. David Pierce served as the music minister at the First Baptist Church in Benton for nearly three decades. Right now, he is only facing charges for one crime, but more children have reportedly come forward and more charges could be filed.

(Bruce Pennington, Saline County Sheriff) "I just want people to be aware that regardless of your stature in this community we're not gonna condone these actions."

Pierce was arrested this afternoon at his home in Benton. The former minister of music at the First Baptist Church of Benton is accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy. Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington made the arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Lawmakers pass requirements for Anchor center

IOWA
The Messenger

State lawmakers have passed legislation to require safety standards and background check requirements for a church-run juvenile facility in Fort Dodge.

Anchor Character Training Center, 1940 225th St., is a coed home for troubled teens operated by Harvest Baptist Church. Anchor, classified as a children's center, is apparently the only such facility operating in the state of Iowa.

The children's center language was introduced by Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, and was included in the Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. The bill has been sent to Gov. Chet Culver to be signed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Parishioners Support Mexican Priest Accused in Kiddie-Porn Case

MEXICO
Latin American Herald Tribune

VERACRUZ, MEXICO – Scores of people demonstrated Friday in Xalapa, capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, to demand the release of a Catholic priest jailed for his alleged participation in a child-pornography ring operating via the Internet.

The demonstrators – who numbered some 200, according to organizers – came out in support of the Rev. Rafael Muñiz Lopez, pastor of St. Peter Apostle Church, who was arrested Wednesday by Mexico City authorities along with six other accused pederasts.

“Father Rafael is not alone,” read a giant banner carried by demonstrators at the head of the march, which drew people of all ages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Clergy sex victims call for Paraguay president resignation

PARAGUAY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Given the new allegations that Paraguay's president Lugo has fathered two more children, we respectfully but firmly urge him to step down. The mother of the child Lugo admits fathering says she was 16 at the time he sexually exploited her. That alone should disqualify him from public office.

We are also highly skeptical of the claim by Paraguay's bishops conference that the country's Catholic hierarchy knew nothing of Lugo's sexual misdeeds. It's noteworthy that the denial issued by the bishops says they received no "written" reports of Lugo's misconduct. We strongly suspect that in this case, as in so many others involving predatory priests and bishops, Lugo's colleagues either suspected or knew he was exploiting women but ignored or concealed the misdeeds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 AM

Paraguay’s Lugo Apologizes, Says He Won’t Resign

PARAGUAY
Latin American Herald Tribune

ASUNCION – Paraguay’s president, former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo, apologized for the scandal of the paternity suits he is facing and said he will complete his term in office, which ends in August 2013.

“I, an imperfect human being, the product of historical processes, a profile of my culture, will assume all the responsibilities present and future for those situations in which I am involved, not only with an attitude of respect for justice and truth, but with love and caring,” the head of state said.

Lugo, following the two recent paternity suits filed against him and after acknowledging a 2-year-old child as his son, said that “while repeatedly asking for pardon I remain, at the same time, the president of Paraguay elected to promote change with no going back, change that will not be stopped.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 AM

Victim loses claim against Irish priest

UNITED KINGDOM
The Irish Times

LONDON – A 45-year-old man who claims he was sexually abused by an Irish-born priest more than 30 years ago lost his damages claim yesterday in London High Court.

The man, who can only be identified as Maga, said he was abused by Fr Christopher Clonan, who served at the Church of Christ the King in Coventry, over a period of many months in about 1976.

Fr Clonan, from Clonard, Co Meath, fled England to Australia in 1992 when previous allegations against him surfaced. His brother, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, has claimed that the priest died suddenly in 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 AM

Police: no apparent connection between northern CA murder and LC Valley

IDAHO
KLEW

[with video]

By Greg Meyer
LEWISTON - Reports of a connection between the grandfather of the woman charged with the grisly murder of a little girl in northern California and the LC Valley appear to have little substance to them.

Bay Area television stations were making calls to law enforcement and others on both sides of the LC Valley Thursday night and Friday, looking to confirm reports that Clifford Lane Lawless, the grandfather of 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby, had been a pastor at a local church and may have been the subject of a child abuse investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 AM

3 ex-Del. priests named in new sex-abuse suits

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • April 25, 2009

Five more suits were filed this week alleging sexual abuse by three priests who used to serve in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, including two who taught at Salesianum School. All of the alleged incidents occurred more than 20 years ago, and all but one of the plaintiffs used a pseudonym to file their complaints.

About 40 such cases have been filed since Delaware lawmakers in 2007 passed a law eliminating the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse. The law also opened a two-year window during which cases previously barred by the time limit could be filed. Attorney Thomas Neuberger, whose Wilmington firm has filed most of the cases, said he and his partners probably would be filing cases almost daily in order to meet the July deadline.

Three of the suits were filed in Superior Court in Kent County against Francis G. DeLuca, who served as a diocesan priest for 35 years but was defrocked last summer by Pope Benedict XVI. DeLuca, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to sexually abusing a teenage relative in Syracuse, now has been named by 12 plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 AM

April 24, 2009

Royal Oak, Ferndale priest resigns; sexual misconduct alleged

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

Doug Guthrie / The Detroit News
Detroit -- Allegations of sexual misconduct have resulted in the resignation of the priest serving as pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Royal Oak and St. James Parish in Ferndale.

Kenneth Kaucheck, 62, resigned Thursday and is restricted from public ministry while on administrative leave of absence, according to an announcement Friday by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

An archdiocesan review found substantiation for an allegation received in January about sexual misconduct by Kaucheck with a person under 18. The incident dates back to the early years of Kaucheck's ministry in the Detroit archdiocese, according to a written statement released by the archdiocese Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Keep state out of the church

NEW YORK
Newsday

8:43 PM EDT, April 24, 2009
The cardinal sin of the Catholic Church in America and especially here on Long Island was its failure to protect the children entrusted to its care.

The sexual abuse of boys and girls by the clergy has tested our capacity to forgive. The victims' accounts remain haunting and emotionally wrenching and to them the church's efforts at outreach and compensation, still lacking.

New York State's justice system, however, did not fail those who were abused, and it shouldn't be manipulated now in an effort to punish the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Why Cardinal Mahony is Wrong About the Catholic Church Being Safer Today for Children

UNITED KINGDOM
Injury Board

by Tom Perry

There is a common reaction from people whenever I talk about the sexual abuse that I and other pupils suffered at the hands of teachers at Caldicott boarding school in the 1960s and early 1970s, events which were successfully hushed up. “Ah, but that was then,” they say confidently, “things are different now.”

Really? Are you sure? Well, let’s take the case of Alastair, who was targeted at the age of 11 by a career paedophile at Caldicott and whose abuse was discovered by the matron in 1972 . His parents and those of other boys abused by the same teacher — Martin Carson — were called to the school, in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire. Carson was dismissed but police and social services were not alerted, apparently “for the benefit of the children”. None of the victims was seen by a doctor, nor any psychologically assessed. Carson later resumed teaching at another private school. (In 2003 he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after admitting indecent assault and possessing indecent images of children.) Faced with exactly the same events, what is different today? I’ll tell you — nothing. No school in England, maintained or independent, is under any statutory obligation to report alleged abuse to the authorities. This includes the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the police or social services. Successive governments and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) have delivered no practical improvements for the abused child for the past 38 years, despite endless child protection rhetoric. ...

A unique combination of events prompted me to find my voice late in life. The mental death of my mother from Alzheimer’s; my son moving towards the age at which I had been abused; the appalling revelations of sexual abuse by clergy in the US that filled the news. And an extraordinary article that I’d read about a lawyer who was the Roman Catholic Church’s principal child sexual-abuse lawyer in Florida, who stopped mid-sentence mid-trial when cross-examining a male complainant and said: “I can’t do this any more, I was abused by my priest when I was an altar boy.” His extraordinary state of denial and years of silence chimed with mine. Mentally, I imploded and became very unwell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Paternity claims harms Paraguay leader

PARAGUAY
BBC News

By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Capiata, Paraguay

One year on since he was elected to office as President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo is making headlines in the country he leads, but for all the wrong reasons.

Newspapers and TV programmes have been dominated by stories of women coming forward to claim they had a child with the former Catholic bishop.

This "political soap opera", complained one of these reports, is "paralysing the government".

Three women have made allegations so far and there were reports in the Paraguay media that there may be more claims to come.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Gag order sought in sodomy case

SALINAS (CA)
Contra Costa Times

The Monterey County Herald
Herald Staff Report
Posted: 04/24/2009 02:48:22 PM PDT

A judge this morning took under submission a defense attorney's motion to impose a gag order in the case of a Salinas priest charged with sodomy involving a 16-year-old boy.

Miguel Hernandez, attorney for the Rev. Antonio Cortes, argued prosecutor Rolando Mazariegos was "leaking" inflammatory information to the media. If the reports continue, he said, the case would turn into a "circus" and a change of venue would be "inevitable."

Mazariegos objected to the gag order, saying no information had been released to the media that was not public record or an explanation of the laws at issue in the case. A lawyer for the Salinas Californian, Bruce Owdom, also objected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Priest resigns from Ferndale church after sexual misconduct accusation

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

By CECIL ANGEL • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • April 24, 2009

A Roman Catholic priest has been removed from duty after a woman claimed he engaged in sexual misconduct with her years ago when she was younger than 18, the Archdiocese of Detroit announced today.

The Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck, 62, resigned from St. Mary Catholic Church in Royal Oak and St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale after the woman reported the alleged sexual misconduct in late January. The Archdiocesan Review Board shared the complaint with civil authorities and began its own investigation.

This has been the only complaint against Kaucheck regarding sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Disbelief as teacher Melissa Huckaby is charged with child rape and murder

TRACY (CA)
The Times (United Kingdom)

Mike Harvey, San Francisco
The community of Tracy, a quiet town where San Francisco's suburbs meet the farm belt in central California, is riven by disgust and disbelief.

Not just because eight-year-old Sandra Cantu was brutally sexually assaulted and murdered there, but because Melissa Huckaby, 28, a local Sunday school teacher, has been charged with the crime.

The alleged killer, the granddaughter of the local minister, is herself a mother - her five-year-old girl Madison was a playmate of Sandra’s. They lived just five doors down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Cantu autopsy to remain sealed to avoid 'outrage'

STOCKTON (CA)
Tracy Press

by Jennifer Wadsworth

STOCKTON — Results of autopsy and toxicology reports on slain 8-year-old Sandra Cantu could so infuriate the public that a judge asked them to remain sealed.

To release the reports would risk “a danger of public outrage” and threaten the Cantu family’s privacy, said San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus at an arraignment today for suspected murder-rapist 28-year-old Melissa Chantel Huckaby.

Huckaby entered no pleas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Judge seals Sandra’s autopsy, toxicology reports (2:51 p.m.)

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By The Record
April 24, 2009 5:52 PM

STOCKTON – A judge today ordered the reports from the autopsy and toxicology tests performed on 8-year-old Sandra Cantu to be sealed so Tracy ’s Melissa Huckaby can have a fair trial on charges she murdered, kidnapped and raped the girl.

Ruling on a prosecutor’s motion, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus said the potentially inflammatory reports could jeopardize the case for both Huckaby and prosecutors. Lofthus cited the intense media interest while making the ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Melissa Huckaby more composed during her second court appearance

STOCKTON (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

By Mike Martinez
San Joaquin Herald

STOCKTON — Melissa Huckaby, charged with the killing of Sandra Cantu, sat quietly during her court appearance this afternoon, briefly smiling at her attorney and nodding at the judge when addressed.

The 28-year-old single mother from Tracy did not enter a plea to charges she kidnapped, raped and murdered the 8-year-old girl. Her arraignment was held over until May 22.

The San Joaquin County Superior Court judge sealed Sandra's autopsy report, and Huckaby's public defender officially withdrew his office's request to have Sandra's body removed from a crypt and re-examined by a pathologist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Group urges Orlando bishop to warn public about predator priest

ORLANDO (FL)
Chicago Tribune

Fernando Quintero | Sentinel Staff Writer
2:06 PM CDT, April 24, 2009
In a small sidewalk news conference this afternoon, activists from a national group representing survivors of sexual abuse by priests released legal documents they say prove allegations of sexual abuse by a former Orlando Catholic cleric.

Court records released by the national organization SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, show that former Orlando priest Vernon Uhran asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege nearly 90 times in a videotaped deposition dated Aug. 8, 2008. The group claims the former priest's refusal to answer such questions as whether he had sodomized and performed oral sex on over a dozen boys proves he is guilty of those crimes.

The group also presented a notarized declaration by a sexual abuse victim's mother which shows Orlando Catholic officials were warned years ago about Uhran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Cantu Investigators Visit Washington Church

CLARKSTON (WA)
KCRA

CLARKSTON, Wash. -- An investigation into the slaying of Tracy resident Sandra Cantu has taken FBI investigators to a small church in eastern Washington. ...

Meanwhile, a source close to the investigation said that back in in the mid-'80s there were allegations of child abuse and/or molestation somehow connected to the First Church of God. Lawless was working at the Clarkston church at the time and was questioned regarding the allegations, but nobody was ever charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Paraguay leader won't resign despite paternity row

PARAGUAY
AFP

ASUNCION (AFP) — Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo said Friday he would not resign despite claims from three women that he fathered children with them while he was a Catholic priest before taking power.

Lugo said in a televised news conference that he would stay until the end of his mandate in 2013 regardless of "the rumors of instability and conspiracy."

"I ask for forgiveness," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

FBI murder investigation leads to Idaho questioning

IDAHO
KTVB

11:51 AM MDT on Friday, April 24, 2009

KREM.com

Detectives investigating the murder of a California girl have taken their case to Lewiston, Idaho.

A television station in Sacramento reports authorities have questioned people at the Warner Alliance Church in North Idaho. Police are questioning people about Pastor Lane Lawless.

He is the grandfather of 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby. She is charged with raping and kidnapping 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Parole denied for former priest Louis Miller

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Stephenie Steitzer • ssteitzer@courier-journal.com • April 24, 2009

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Louis Miller, a former priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville convicted of sexually abusing children for four decades, was denied parole this week.

Miller, 78, won't have another chance for parole and must serve an additional 15 years in prison. He would be 93 years old by the time his sentence is completed in December 2024.

Victims of alleged abuse by priests said they are relieved a two-member board rejected Miller's parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

The Diocese of Orange Assignment Records of O.C.'s Latest Accused Pedo-Priest, Gordon Pillon

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra

Your Catholic Diocese of Orange made national headlines again earlier this week when former Catholic priest Ben Rodriguez filed a civil lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court alleging that Father Gordon Pillon molested him numerous times while Pillon served at La Habra's Our Lady of Guadalupe during the early 1980s. Pillon had already been removed from ministry by his most recent employer, the Diocese of Peoria, for this accusation and another one and currently teaches in Prague.

What none of the news stories mentioned, however, was Pillon's assignment record in the Orange diocese. Careful readings of a priest's service can usually divine whether allegations against a padre are legit or bull--and let's just say Pillon's service in Orange don't indicate a bunch of Bevo.

The Official Catholic Directory, the best tracker of priests in the United States, lists Pillon as first arriving in Orange in 1980* at Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Habra, replacing pedo-priest Sofronio Aranda. Pillon stayed until 1983, when King of the County Pedophiles Eleuterio Ramos replaced him; Pillon moved on to St. Juliana Falconieri, where he stayed until 1986. All those years, he served alongside pedo-priest Michael Pecharich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Church 'not liable' for sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The Catholic Church is not liable for the sexual abuse suffered by a man over 30 years ago, the High Court has ruled.

He said he was abused as a boy by Fr Christopher Clonan while he served at Coventry's Church of Christ the King. Police believe Clonan died in 1998.

Mr Justice Jack said he was satisfied the essence of the man's evidence was true and that he was sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Man loses priest sexual abuse claim

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail

Apr 24 2009

A man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest in Coventry more than 30 years ago has lost his High Court damages claim.

The 45-year-old, who can only be identified as Maga, said he was abused by Father Christopher Clonan, who served at the Church of Christ the King, over many months in about 1976.

The whereabouts of Fr Clonan, who would now be 66, are unknown, although he may have moved to Australia and may no longer be alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Memories worse than nightmares

MINNESOTA
Milles Lacs Messenger

Written by Brett Larson
Thursday, 19 March 2009

When Jeff Athman was in his early 40s, he began a downward spiral that cost him his job and nearly his family. A darkness previously unimaginable overtook him.
He woke up crying, shaking, his mind full of gruesome images. During the day, he was obsessed.

“I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t run,” Athman said. “I couldn’t stay awake. I couldn’t be around people. It was continuous.”

He’d start crying at work. He’d fall asleep on the job. At night he’d lie awake, remembering. The memories were worse than nightmares. Gruesome. Brutal. Evil.

“Abuse” is too mild a term for what he was remembering. Jeff Athman was raped. Many times, in several locations, for several years. From the time he was nine or 10 until he was 13 or 14, Jeff was abused — raped — by a Crosier brother. Here. In Onamia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Nun convicted of sex abuse released from jail

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Marie Rohde of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Apr. 23, 2009

Sister Norma Giannini, an 80-year-old nun convicted of having sex more than 40 years ago with two boys who were her students, was released from jail Thursday morning after completing her one-year sentence.

The abuse occurred in the 1960s while Giannini was principal at St. Patrick's Congregation grade school in Milwaukee. She told an archdiocesan panel investigating sex abuse charges that she believed she was in love with each of the boys.

Sister Norita Cooney, president of the West Midwest Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, said Giannini will serve her nine-year probation in Illinois, where she will live with her religious community. Giannini must register as a sex offender in Illinois.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

D.A. adds two charges of child pornography against Salinas priest

SALINAS (CA)
The Salinas Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • April 24, 2009

The Monterey County District Attorney's Office on Thursday added two felony counts of possession of child pornography against a Salinas priest already accused of sodomizing a 16-year-old boy.

Charges against the Rev. Antonio Cortes of St. Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church in east Salinas now total a combined 15 felony and misdemeanor counts.

Salinas police said Thursday the new charges stem from evidence investigators recovered from a personal laptop confiscated through a search warrant conducted at Cortes' home, on church grounds. Police said they discovered numerous child pornography videos contained in the computer's hard drive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Californian opposes motion for gag order in priest molest case

SALINAS
The Salinas Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • April 24, 2009

The Salinas Californian is opposing a motion for a gag order in the case of a local priest accused of sodomizing a 16-year-old boy.

Lawyers for the Rev. Antonio Cortes of St. Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church in Salinas requested the gag order, which would prevent attorneys and law enforcement officers from discussing the case with the public, including the media.

A hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. today in Monterey County Superior Court in Salinas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

How the German Catholic Church Protected a Pedophile Priest

GERMANY
Spiegel

By Peter Wensierski

The German Catholic Church has been sheltering a priest convicted of child abuse for years. Now the pedophile, who refuses to undergo therapy, has hired private detectives to try to get his former victims to retract their testimony.

It was raining heavily in Sonnefeld in the southern German region of Franconia when two men rang Joyce Kaitesi's doorbell one day in March. She quickly opened the door to let them in out of the rain. One of the men asked her whether they could speak with her son about the matter with the parish priest -- a case of sexual abuse that had happened 10 years earlier.

The mother of the abused boy asked the men who they were. "We're neutral parties," the strangers replied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Let boy have Lugo’s surname

PARAGUAY
Newsday (Trinidad & Tobago)

Friday, April 24 2009

A PARAGUAY judge yesterday ordered that a boy whom Paraguay President Fernando Lugo admitted fathering while he was a bishop, be given the president’s surname.

According to a report on Los Andes Online, Judge Judith Gauto ordered the last name to be given to Guillermo Armindo, the two-year-old son of Viviana Cheek, 26, the first woman who threatened legal action over the paternity of her son.

Lugo, 58, was catholic bishop for ten years in San Pedro, to about 350 kilometres to the north of Asuncion, from where two of the three women who have thus far came forward claiming paternity of their children reside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Paraguayan bishops blast Opus Dei colleague, deny cover-up

PARAGUAY
Catholic Culture

April 24, 2009
The executive committee of the Paraguayan bishops’ conference has strongly criticized recent statements by fellow Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este, a priest of Opus Dei since 1978 and bishop since 2004. “The executive committees laments and rejects the statements by Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano which imply that there was a cover-up and complicity on the part of the bishops of Paraguay regarding the moral conduct of the then-member of the episcopal college, Bishop Fernando Lugo,” the bishops said in a statement

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

The swami case, one year on

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Eric Dexheimer | Friday, April 24, 2009

Today marks the one year anniversary of the arrest of Prakashanand Saraswati, the spiritual leader of Barsana Dham, the Hindu ashram south of Austin. Over the past twelve months, Prakashanand’s case has been winding through the court system at an unusually slow pace, officials said.

On April 24, 2008, U.S. marshals took Prakashanand, who is known as Shree Swamiji to his followers, into custody as he exited a plane at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. He was subsequently charged with groping two teen-aged girls on 10 occasions each between 1993 and 1996, according to a Hays County indictment.

Since then, other women affiliated with Barsana Dham have come forward claiming that the holy man, or his India-based guru, either had sexual contact with them, or solicited it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Founder of JMS cult convicted

KOREA
Joong Ang Daily

Jung Myung-seok, a self-proclaimed messiah and founder of the JMS cult, was convicted by the country’s highest court yesterday of sex crimes against female believers and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday to uphold the Seoul High Court’s convictions of Jung as well as the 10-year sentence it handed down.

Jung was found guilty of raping or sexually assaulting five women during his time on the run in Malaysia, Hong Kong and China from 2001 to 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Nun Released From Jail After Serving Time For Sexual Assault

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

MILWAUKEE -- A nun who served one year in jail on a sexual assault conviction has been released.

Sister Norma Giannini was let out at 3 a.m. Thursday.

She is now on probation for nine years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Alamo church opposes sealing lawsuit over children

ARKANSAS
Pine Bluff Commercial

By JON GAMBRELL
Friday, April 24, 2009

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A lawyer for jailed evangelist Tony Alamo is channeling the same people his client proclaims serve the Antichrist _ the media.

A federal court brief filed Thursday on behalf of the church asks a judge not to seal the proceedings of the ministry's lawsuit against officials with Arkansas' child-welfare agency. In the brief, lawyer Philip E. Kuhn of Lakeland, Fla., argues that the proceedings should remain open to the public and reporters.

Kuhn even cites a press freedom case in his arguments, saying closing the hearings "presents a clear and immediate threat to the fair administration of justice." State officials previously asked U.S. District Court Judge Harry F. Barnes to seal the case as children and parents' names could be released, which they say is a violation of federal health privacy laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Catholics lift sexual abuse pay

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
April 24, 2009

THE Catholic Church in Melbourne has lifted compensation to victims of clergy sexual abuse by nearly 50 per cent to $75,000.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart decided to increase the limit by $20,000 after a request from the compensation panel that recommends ex gratia payments to victims.

Archbishop Hart told The Age yesterday: "We want to be compassionate. With time, these things need to be reviewed, and that's what we've done."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Priest admits sex abuse of altar boys

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Amelia Bentley
April 24, 2009
A former Queensland Anglican priest has been jailed for three years for committing sex offences against altar boys in the early 1980s.

Barry John Greaves, 71, indecently treated three boys aged between 11 and 16, Brisbane District Court was told today.

The offences occurred when Greaves, a former chaplain to Brisbane archbishops Peter Hollingworth and Phillip Aspinall, was a priest at the Boonah Harrisville Parish, south west of Brisbane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Anglican priest molested boys

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Tony Keim
April 24, 2009

UPDATE: A FORMER senior Anglican Church priest has been jailed for three years for molesting three altar boys more than 25 years ago.

Anglican Canon Barry John Greaves, 71, today pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to seven counts of indecent treatment of boys under 17 and two of indecent treatment of boys under 12.

Senior Judge Gilbert Trafford-Walker was told one of Greaves's victims was molested after he counselled the boy in the wake of the death of his father.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

More Disparate Coverage From LAT (And Rest of Media) In Covering Sex Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NewsBusters

By Dave Pierre
April 23, 2009

Check out the following two stories:

1. A former Catholic priest comes forward Monday (4/20/09) to claim that another priest abused him as a teenager nearly 30 years ago. (The accused priest has no other similar public complaints and denies the allegations against him.)

2. A former school teacher was sentenced Wednesday (4/22/09) after pleading no contest to eight felony counts, including having sex with two girls under the age of 16. The man "admitted to having intercourse with the girls, performing oral sex with the teens and taking extremely explicit nude photographs of his victims -- including pictures of him with one of the girls - before sending the images over the Internet."

Now it's quiz time! To which story did the Los Angeles Times devote two generous color photos and a 640-word article? Which story did the Times totally ignore?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

25 years jail for abusive ex-chaplain

AUSTRALIA
The Age

April 24, 2009 - 2:29PM
A former Anglican priest and chaplain to Brisbane archbishops Peter Hollingworth and Phillip Aspinall has been jailed for sexually abusing three altar boys nearly 25 years ago.

Barry John Greaves, 71, abused the children when he was working as an Anglican rector for the Boonah and Harrisville districts, southwest of Brisbane, in the early 1980s, the Brisbane District Court was told on Friday.

The court was told the boys, aged between 11 and 16 at the time, were forced to engage in mutual oral sex and masturbation with Greaves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Mexican Police Arrest 7 Accused Pedophiles

MEXICO
Latin American Herald Tribune

MEXICO CITY – Mexican police arrested seven accused pedophiles, one of them a priest, after the discovery of a kiddie-porn ring using the Internet, the capital district attorney’s office said.

Without providing more details, the office said that one of the seven arrested people is a Catholic priest in Xalapa, capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The investigation was begun last month when Mexico City prosecutors discovered an e-mail containing images in which presumed minors are shown being sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Victim of abuse by priest dies at 62

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • April 24, 2009

Douglas J. McClure, who signed the final settlement papers Tuesday in a $1.5 million sexual abuse civil suit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, was found dead Thursday in his recreational vehicle at a campground on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, according to his attorney, Thomas Neuberger.

McClure, 62 of Wilmington, a retired Marine Corps sergeant and a Vietnam veteran, was among the first Delaware abuse victims to make his story public, recounting the abuse he suffered from the late Rev. Edward B. Carley during the 1950s at St. Ann's Catholic Church. He filed suit in 2006, months before lawmakers passed the 2007 Child Victim's Act that eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse.

"Getting this behind me is a bigger deal to me than coming home from Vietnam," he said when the settlement was announced April 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

April 23, 2009

Sources: FBI Visits 2nd Church In Cantu Case

TRACY (CA)
KCRA

TRACY, Calif. -- In recent weeks, FBI agents visited a church along the Washington-Idaho border in connection with Melissa Huckaby's family, KCRA 3 has confirmed.

Huckaby, 28, has been charged in the homicide of 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu. The girl's body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond 10 days after she went missing.

"They were trying to put the pieces of their puzzle together. They were asking about certain people who might be able to lead them to other people. But I do not know exactly what they were looking for," Pastor Bill Creutzberg said by phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 PM

Salinas police seek two felony child pornography counts against Salinas priest

SALINAS (CA)
The Californian

April 23, 2009

The Salinas Police Department says it is now seeking two felony counts of possession of child pornography against Father Antonio Cortes, 41, of St. Mary of the Nativity Church in Salinas.

Cortes was arrested April 16 and charged with child molestation and providing alcohol to a minor. The fresh charges stem from a forensic search of a personal laptop computer recovered from his residence, police said, and are based on "numerous child pornography videos contained in computer hard drives."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Child Porn Charges Added In Priest Sex Case

SALINAS (CA)
KSBW

SALINAS, Calif. -- A priest accused of unlawful sexual behavior with a now 16-year-old boy has been charged with two felony counts of possessing child pornography.

The new charges were added after Salinas police found child pornography videos on the Rev. Antonio Cortes' personal computer.

Cortes was arrested April 16 after the 16-year-old walked into the Salinas police station and accused the priest of providing him with alcohol and then molesting him, starting when he was a 14-year-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Additional charges against Salinas priest

SALINAS (CA)
Contra Costa Times

Prosecutors have charged the Rev. Antonio Cortes with two additional felony charges of possessing child pornography that depicts minors engaged in sexual activity.

Salinas police said the videos were on a laptop computer seized from Cortes' home at St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church, where the priest served as pastor.

Cortes, 41, was charged Monday with a felony count alleging he engaged in sodomy with a 16-year-old boy. He is also charged with 12 misdemeanor counts of child molestation, furnishing alcohol to a minor, child cruelty and performing an immoral act before a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Forget Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers; Paraguay Pres. Fernando Lugo fathered love child

PARAGUAY
New York Daily News

BY Harold Emert In Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and Christina Boyle In New York
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Updated Thursday, April 23rd 2009, 2:56 PM

And you thought Bill Clinton was a horndog.

A third woman came forward Thursday to claim the president of Paraguay, a former Roman Catholic bishop, fathered her child out of wedlock.

Teacher Damiana Moran says the latest love child, a 16-month-old named Juan Pablo after the late Pope, was conceived when she was a church outreach worker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

COLUMN: Another abuse of silence

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Rhonda Swan
Palm Beach Post Columnist

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It has the perfect ingredients of a television movie: sex, lies and DVDs.

The setting: a poor, rural Florida town about which few care.

The villain: a charming, yet manipulative man of the cloth.

The victims: teenage boys with dreams of escaping poverty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Rethinking Catholic Boston at 200 years

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

Boston College's Church in the 21st Century Center has pulled together a series of thematic essays reflecting on Catholicism in Boston over the two centuries since the Archdiocese of Boston was established. The essays are collected in a new book, "Two Centuries of Faith: The Influence of Catholicism on Boston, 1808-2008,'' edited by university historian Thomas H. O'Connor. The book is not a comprehensive history of the archdiocese, but rather takes a look at several aspects of the development of the archdiocese, from the French influences on its beginnings, to the role of women and minorities in its ranks, to the role of Catholicism in Boston politics, social services, education and literature.

BC held an event Tuesday to present a copy of the book to Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston; the authors and a variety of faculty and students gathered in the Irish Room at BC's Gasson Hall, under a giant stained glass window of St. Patrick, the patron saint of the archdiocese. ...

In the book, one of the contributors, the Rev. William T. Schmidt, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Stoneham, offers a sober look at the history of parish life in the archdiocese, observing that the sexual abuse scandal caused a "crisis of confidence and trust in the leadership of the Catholic Church" and saying "the long-term impact of this crisis is still unknown.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Paraguay's 'red bishop' president faces paternity tests

PARAGUAY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Fernando Lugo, Paraguay's President and a former Roman Catholic Bishop, is facing paternity tests after three women claimed that he fathered their children.

By Jeremy McDermott, Latin America Correspondent

Mr Lugo, who is known as the "red bishop" and came to power last year, admitted two weeks ago that he was the father of one of the children. But two more women have now come forward to allege that they had children by him, and even his own government has failed to dampen speculation that there may be more disclosures to come....

But Gloria Rubin, Mr Lugo's minister for women, failed to scotch speculation that more women were preparing to come forward. "Clearly they are saying that there are going to be five, six or even 16 children," she said. "If it is true that the president has that many children then the ministry will be at the service of all the women who demand paternal responsibility."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Vatican Concludes Investigation Of Miles Jesu

ROME
Enlightened Catholicism

The Miles Jesu Vatican investigation has flown under the radar, but it's conclusion will not. The Vatican has appointed an external superior for the group. This could also be the result for the Legion and for the LCWR.

Miles Jesu is another combination of priestly seminaries and lay apostolates very similar in outlook to Opus Dei and the Legion. It is very orthodox in it's theology and militant in it's lay apostolate. Miles Jesu translates as 'Soldiers of Christ'. ...

After an investigation into Miles Jesu by the Vicariate of Rome and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life started in June of 2007, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Vicar of the Diocese of Rome has decided to appoint an external superior over Miles Jesu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Paraguay's president caught in triple paternity row

PARAGUAY
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent

He swept to power as an agent of renewal but Paraguay's bishop turned president, Fernando Lugo, now faces a political crisis and ribald jokes over his power of reproduction.

Three women have come forward in the past two weeks claiming to have had children fathered by Lugo while he was a Roman Catholic bishop, raising questions over his credibility and morals.

Lugo cancelled an important trip to Washington planned for tomorrow to deal with the allegations which have stunned one of South America's most conservative and Catholic countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Paraguayan bishops deny cover-up of Lugo's children

PARAGUAY
Catholic News Agency

Asunción, Paraguay, Apr 23, 2009 / 12:52 pm (CNA).- The executive committee of the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference issued a statement Wednesday denying it received reports that President Fernando Lugo had fathered a child while still a bishop.

Speaking about Lugo's actions, the bishops said in their statement that “the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference never received any formal complaint in writing with regard to Bishop Fernando Lugo about the issue of his supposed paternity.”

“If a complaint was made to the Apostolic Nunciature, its handling and definition was under the exclusive competence of the same [office],” they added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Haredi Groups Oppose Abuse Bill

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston

Two major haredi organizations came out Tuesday against a bill pending in the New York State legislature that would extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and create a one-year window during which alleged victims could file civil claims, regardless of when the abuse took place.

In a joint press release, Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, said they would not “object to extending statutes of limitations for criminal proceedings against perpetrators,” but “must object to ... legislation that could literally destroy schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of the community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Standing up to Bishop Morlino

WISONSIN
Isthmus

Jim Beyers on Thursday 04/23/2009

"Well, the very worst has happened today. Bishop Morlino fired me."

This is the message Ruth Kolpack sent to friends on Thursday, March 12. For most of us, it came as a shock.

For the last 25 years, Ruth had been employed at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Beloit, serving under four pastors and three bishops. Since 1995 she'd been a pastoral associate, working in religious education, liturgy and service to minorities, living out the teachings of our church.

Ruth was fired after a 10-minute meeting with Bishop Robert Morlino, who has headed up the Madison diocese since 2003. She says he asked her to refute her master's thesis, which urges a more inclusive role for women in the church. When she refused, she was fired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Venice Bishop to Hold Two Masses for Sex Abuse Survivors

FLORIDA
Injury Board

April 23, 2009 11:27 AM

Joe Saunders

In keeping with April's designation as Child Abuse Prevention Month, Bishop Frank Dewane will offer two masses for sexual abuse survivors. Many bishops have done this throughout the country as part of the Bishop's Conference response to the sexual abuse scandal that has been rocking the Catholic Church since 2002.

While the masses are a gesture, what else will be done to respond to the survivors? Many who were victimized by a Catholic priest when they were young have never returned to church and frankly, aren't ready to do so-some will never do so. I'm hoping this is just one small aspect of an outreach program to victims. Those who've survived such a betrayal of trust and authority need and deserve much more than a mass or two. They need the church authorities, namely the bishop to stand with them on abuse issues. One major step in the right direction would be a real effort at transparency. Make public those secret documents that reveal the coverups, criminal behavior, and the lack of effort to reach out to victims. In some states like New York, the church is actively engaged in trying to stop victims efforts to pursue justice by lobbying against a bill called the Child Victims Act. This is decidedly unhelpful and sends surivors the wrong message.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Paraguay prez sex scandal widens

PARAGUAY
United Press International

ASUNCION, Paraguay, April 23 (UPI) -- For the third time in two weeks a woman has gone public with claims Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, a former bishop, fathered her child.

In the latest case, Damiana Hortencia Moran, a 39-year-old teacher, said she was "deeply in love" with the 57-year-old president, Mercopress reported Thursday. Moran told local media Lugo fathered her 18-month-old son, conceived in 2006 after he had left the Catholic Church hierarchy to run for office.

She worked for the coalition that helped elect Lugo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Third love-child claim hits Paraguayan president

PARAGUAY
CNN

(CNN) -- A third woman has come forward claiming that Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo fathered a child with her out of wedlock.

Damiana Moran, a teacher, told reporters Wednesday that she is confident Lugo will recognize the paternity of the 16-month-old boy.

"He has the will to take responsibility as it corresponds to the rights of the child," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

New St. Louis archbishop shepherded conservative change in his former diocese

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

BY Phillip O'Connor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
04/23/2009

Bishop Robert James Carlson arrived in Saginaw, Mich., in 2005 with a reputation as a rising star sent to reel in a renegade diocese.

Carlson — named archbishop of St. Louis on Tuesday — was a big adjustment for the Saginaw Diocese, which over four decades had become what some considered among the most liberal in the country, priests and parishioners there say. ...

"He was sent here with a particular charge from higher-ups and that was to shake this diocese up ... to make sure the practices of the diocese were in conformity with the expectations of Rome," said the Rev. Tom Sutton, who was administrator of the diocese before Carlson arrived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Former bishop President in paternity pickle

PARAGUAY
Times of Malta

AFP

Fernando Lugo, a former bishop who surprised the world by winning Paraguay's presidential elections last year, is back in the headlines in a paternity scandal.

A former Catholic bishop, Mr Lugo broke 61 years of one-party conservative rule in his small South American nation when he became head of state in August.

His popularity is now wavering however, after three women claimed that he had fathered their children. In the latest case, a 39-year old daycare centre director said Mr Lugo, 57, is the father of her 16-month-old son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Judge won't reconsider bail for accused priest, doctor

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By DENNIS TAYLOR
Herald Staff Writer
Updated: 04/23/2009

Attorneys in two high-profile sexual assault cases asked Superior Court Judge Adrienne Grover to reconsider the amount of their bail Wednesday, but the judge declined to make adjustments in either matter.

The Rev. Antonio Cortes, a priest at St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church in Salinas, remains in custody at Monterey County Jail on $750,000 bail while facing 12 misdemeanor counts of child molestation, plus one count each of felony sodomy, child cruelty, providing alcohol to a minor and performing immoral acts before a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Priest Waives Hearing On Sexual Assault Charges

MICHIGAN
WKLA

A Catholic Priest from Mason County facing sexual assault charges waived his preliminary hearing yesterday in Mason County District Court. Father Johnson Pappusamy was bound over to Circuit Court where he also waived his arraignment. Officials at the court say a notice for a final conference will be sent out within two weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Priest waives hearing

MICHIGAN
Luddington Daily News

LDN Staff -

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rev. Johnson Pappusamy, who had been a Catholic priest in Scottville and Custer, waived his preliminary hearing scheduled for this morning in 79th District Court.

The case now moves on to 51st Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Judge denies bail reduction for Salinas priest

SALINAS (CA)
The Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • April 23, 2009

The Rev. Antonio Cortes pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon as more than 100 of his supporters looked on in Monterey County Superior Court Salinas.

The 41-year-old parish priest of St. Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church in east Salinas was arrested a week ago after a 16-year-old boy filed a police report alleging that the priest sodomized and molested him and gave him alcohol.

Cortes was taken into custody at the church's office, across from the church grounds at 1747 Second Ave. He is being held at Monterey County Jail on a $750,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

NY must give child sex abuse victims more time

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY RICHARD B. GARTNER

Richard B. Gartner, a psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York City, is the author of "Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse."

As the New York State Assembly considers two competing bills to extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes, astonishingly little has been said about the prevalence, effects or economic and social costs of such crimes. These factors demonstrate the urgent need for a lengthened window for justice, which will help enable victims to heal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one in five American children is sexually abused. So in a classroom of 25 children, five will be victimized before adulthood.

Abusers prey on the most susceptible, often choosing children already at risk: isolated, weaker, smaller, nonathletic, disabled or from a disadvantaged minority. Victims may have troubled, addicted or physically abusive families, or be separated from their parents. They look to other adults for healing, advice and emotional support. Abusers profess to offer solace while laying the groundwork for victimization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Paraguay Paternity Fiasco

PARAGUAY
Washington Post

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, April 23, 2009

The clamor over Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo's behavior is getting louder, one crying baby at a time.

For the third time in less than a month, a woman came forward yesterday saying that Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, is the father of her child.

A single secret out-of-wedlock child by any president would make headlines. But in this heavily Roman Catholic country, the revelations about a man who had sworn chastity vows as a priest has stirred deeper concerns that some say could have serious repercussions for his government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Missing girl's mother pointed finger at Huckaby early

TRACY (CA)
Tracy Press

by Jennifer Wadsworth

The mother of a girl who went missing in January told police to check out Melissa Huckaby immediately after she heard that 8-year-old neighbor girl Sandra Cantu disappeared late last month.

Lora Polk, 41, came back from work on Jan. 17 to find her 7-year-old daughter gone. Huckaby, 28, took her — along with her own 5-year-old daughter — without permission from the family, Polk said this morning in an interview at the Tracy Press. Polk called police to report the missing girl. Hours later, she took her to the hospital, where doctors say they found muscle relaxers coursing through her 45-pound body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Clandestine ‘ordinations’

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Sometime on Sunday, April 19, somewhere in Santa Barbara, four women were “ordained” as “bishops” by the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests USA. The exact time and place of the event was intentionally kept secret, a spokeswoman for the group said.

“One of the major reasons for not revealing the place is that we wanted a prayerful, quiet, non-media event,” said Womenpriests national spokeswoman Bridget Mary Meehan in an email to California Catholic Daily. “Our focus is not on the bishops ordinations but on servant leadership to the Catholic community.” Meehan was one of the four women “ordained” as a “bishop” on April 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

VOTF New York Released the Following Statement Supporting Passage of the NY Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
Voice of the Faithful

Voice of the Faithful New York supports the NY Child Victims Act, sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey (Bill No. A02596) and State Senator Tom Duane (S02586). ...

When the State of California instituted reforms similar to those currently proposed in New York, it allowed victims to bring some 1,000 new cases and uncovered 300 previously hidden predators. Identifying more predators means that more children are protected from abuse.

Critics of this legislation contend that it discriminates against private institutions like the Catholic Church by giving public institutions special treatment. Voice of the Faithful New York believes that all institutions, public and private, should be treated with absolute equality, and would be in favor of companion legislation that would suspend the provisions giving special treatment to public institutions under New York State law for the same one-year window.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Mexico breaks up child porn ring, including priest

MEXICO
AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) — Mexican police arrested seven people, including a Roman Catholic Priest, allegedly involved in a child porn ring that distributed 100,000 pictures and videos of children from around the world, the Attorney General's office has said.

"A priest from Xalapa, Veracruz (eastern Mexico), was among those detained, as well as an IT worker from the foreign ministry," a statement said on Wednesday.

Mexican authorities found files containing a large number of explicit sex scenes between adults and children up to 10 years of age at the ministry worker's house, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Judge to rule on ex-priest's change of venue request

IOWA
Quad-City Times

Ann McGlynn | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A judge is expected to rule soon whether the perjury trial of ex-priest James Janssen will be moved from Scott County.

Janssen, 85, is accused of lying to the court during his nephew’s attempt to collect a $1.4 million civil judgment against Janssen for sexual abuse.

Janssen’s attorney, Michael McCarthy, said during a hearing Wednesday there has been a “super-saturation” of adverse publicity about Janssen. He added that it was “hard to think of a person who’s been more notorious around here.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Former altar boy alleging sexual abuse by priest seeks new trial, recusal of judge

EL PASO (TX)
Newspaper Tree

[motion to recuse]

by David Crowder

Posted on April 23, 2009
Lawyers for an El Paso man who was allegedly abused by a priest in the 1960s are asking that the judge who dismissed their lawsuit be recused because he gave money from his political campaign fund to the Catholic Church while the case was pending.

The motion by the anonymous plaintiff in the case, a man in his 50s referred to only as John Doe, was filed Tuesday and seeks to keep County Court-at-Law Judge Javier Alvarez away from the case. (Download copy of motion below)

In January, Alvarez granted the defendants’ motion for a summary judgment, dismissing the three-year-old lawsuit. He did so on grounds that the allegations by a former altar boy at Our Lady of the Light were too old and exceeded the time allowed by the statute of limitations in Texas .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

April 22, 2009

Gag order in Huckaby case extends to O.C. arson investigation

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

By SARAH TULLY
The Orange County Register

A gag order is preventing Orange County law enforcement officials from releasing information about arson cases linked to Melissa Huckaby, who is accused of slaying a girl in Northern California.

A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge on Tuesday issued a gag order, instructing all lawyers, authorities and witnesses from speaking about the Huckaby case. The former Orange County resident is accused of kidnapping, raping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in Tracy.

Also on Tuesday, a Tracy Police Department lieutenant told La Palma police officers about the gag order and instructed them to keep quiet about Huckaby, said Capt. Jim Enright of La Palma Police Department. Orange County Fire Authority, which covers La Palma, is also following the gag order, said Capt. Marc Stone, a fire spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Lawsuit claims teen drugged, molested by priest 30 years ago

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

By MICHAEL MELLO
The Orange County Register

A man who was once a priest himself has sued the Diocese of Orange, claiming he suffered sexual abuse when he was younger at the hands of a priest in his La Habra parish.

The lawsuit charges that the priest harmed Ben M. Rodriguez psychologically, resulting in physical harm later in life, and that the diocese failed to protect Rodriguez from that harm. The lawsuit seeks an undetermined amount of money for treatment and for wages lost and diminished earning capacity.

The lawsuit doesn't name the man, but Rodriguez's attorney, Joseph C. George, identified the priest as Gordon J. Pillon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Paraguayan leader accused of fathering 3rd illegitimate child

PARAGUAY
The News & Observer

Tyler Bridges and Antonia Delvalle - McClatchy Newspapers

SAN LORENZO, Paraguay — Fernando Lugo, the Roman Catholic bishop turned president of Paraguay, risked becoming a soap opera caricature after a third woman emerged Wednesday claiming that he's the father of her child.

The third claim within two weeks shook Lugo's eight-month-old government and left Paraguay buzzing that more women may yet step forward.

The latest news tarnished the storybook tale of a leftist president who unexpectedly shot to power last year after spending years as a bishop challenging entrenched interests on behalf of his poor parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Two April Masses for victims of child abuse

FLORIDA
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and to raise awareness of the need to protect children and to pray for victims of child sexual abuse Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice in Florida will celebrate two Masses. The Masses for victims will be April 24 at Epiphany Cathedral Parish in Venice and April 30 at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples, both are scheduled at 12:30 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Our promise to protect

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

By Archbishop John Vlazny
In the midst of the terrible scandal of child sexual abuse within our own church community, particularly crimes perpetrated by some of our own clergy and religious, a rainbow of hope appeared after the storm. Catholic communities, under the leadership of their pastors, became committed to doing whatever they could to protect children from the harm caused by such abuse. Across the nation, including here in our own archdiocese, safe environment programs have been established which assist church workers who are involved in one or another form of youth ministry and also protect the young people themselves who one day may find themselves at risk.

Unfortunately, some of our people still are not so sure about the appropriateness of church involvement in programs which teach youngsters how to be safe. Complaints have come across my desk that we are doing more harm than good. Experts disagree and so do the members of our church’s National Review Board, headed by Judge Michael Merz, a federal judge in Dayton, Ohio. The judge believes that dioceses across this nation who have safe environment programs organized and staffed by professionals have a marvelous opportunity to help the children help themselves and alert adults to recognize abusive or potentially abusive behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Paraguay leader hit by third paternity claim

PARAGUAY
ABC News (Australia)

A third woman in two weeks has claimed that Paraguay's bishop-turned-President Fernando Lugo fathered her child, intensifying a political scandal that has made him the butt of lewd jokes and even a pop song.

Damiana Moran, a teacher aged 39, told local media that Mr Lugo was the father of her one-year-old son and she was negotiating child support with the President's lawyer.

Two days after going public a second woman, Benigna Leguizamon, 27, filed a lawsuit to get Mr Lugo to take a DNA test to prove he is the father of her six-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

WHAS11 Exclusive: Priest in prison for sex abuse goes before parole board

KENTUCKY
WHAS

(WHAS11) - It was one of the first major cases in the archdiocese of Louisville sex abuse scandal.

Father Louis Miller was moved from parish to parish, abusing catholic kids.

He's in prison now but had a chance Wednesday to get out.

The Kentucky parole board met Wednesday to decide if former Louisville Priest Louis Miller, the man who sexually assaulted dozens of children over four decades, should be let out of prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

The illusive deposition of Father Rucker ...

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

Last week I tried to track down the rest of the documents from Clergy Cases 2007, so I called the Superior Court media office, explained that the cases were moved from one courthouse to another, that “30 bankers boxes” of documents were to be released to the public in January. Will the remaining docs be scanned in with the rest of the JCCP docs, and will we ever have easy access to civil case documents in Room 106 of Superior Court downtown again? Asking the PIO got me no answer to either questial at all.

I'm learning, I have to be more aggressive, just go right up and ask anyone I see. So before the hearing April 20th in Department 308, I asked both Donald Steier defense attorney for the pedophile priests and Tony DeMarco plaintiff attorney for hundreds of the priests’ crime victims, “What is the deposition that the judge agreed to keep sealed? I think it’s with law enforcement, the deposition of George Neville Rucker. The judge ordered it to be returned to the party who provided it. Who is that party?”

What deposition? Both attorneys seemed flummoxed. Which order which judge?

Steier guffawed to me: “There are so many depositions in these cases, you think I remember one more than any other one? I can't remember everything. . . . "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Third parenthood claim against Paraguayan president

PARAGUAY
Momento 24 (Argentina)

Damiana Hortensia Morán Amarilla, a 39-year-old well known social leader and ex-coordinator of the Social Pastoral of the Diocese of San Lorenzo accused president Fernando Lugo of being the father of her third son.

Contrary to the previous cases, she does not claim anything and said that she makes her situation public only so that the truth is known, because, although for her it is a delicate and very sensitive issue, it is the reality and that sooner or later it was going to go up. “It is the fruit of a relation with Fernando Lugo, but a relation impelled by a big love, of an entire devotion”, declared Damiana in the last hours.

Also, she reported that the most frequent contacts began to take place in the meetings of groups of social and political leaders to form “Civil Resistance”, in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Yet another Paraguayan woman says President Lugo fathered her child

PARAGUAY
The Canadian Press

ASUNCION, Paraguay — A third woman now claims Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo fathered her child.

The latest is a 39-year-old divorcee who runs a childcare centre.

She says she met Lugo in 2006, after he gave up his church leadership position. She says she named their 16-month-old boy after the late pope John Paul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Third Paraguay love-child claim

PARAGUAY
BBC News

A third woman has claimed that her child was fathered by Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo.

The claim comes just days after a woman said Mr Lugo, who is a former bishop, was the father of her six-year-old boy.

Two weeks ago Mr Lugo said he fathered a child but has not acknowledged paternity in the more recent cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Women religious meet Vatican accusers in Rome

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 22, 2009
By John L Allen Jr

Officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious met April 22 with Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, after having been informed weeks earlier that his congregation had begun a “doctrinal assessment” of the women’s organization.

Neither the congregation nor officers of the conference released any statement after the meeting. The Vatican spokesperson, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, confirmed to NCR that the meeting took place, describing it as “very serene,” and said that the officers of the conference “now have all the elements for understanding the nature of this initiative.”

Any further comment, Lombardi said, should come from the sisters as they pass along the information to their members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Two Orthodox Groups Are Opposing Sex Abuse Bill

NEW YORK
Forward

By Rebecca Dube
Published April 22, 2009.

Two influential Orthodox organizations, Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah – The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, have come out against a New York State bill that would create a one-year window in which child sex abuse victims could sue their molesters, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

The bill has been a hot topic this year both in the state legislature, where its fate is uncertain, and in Orthodox Jewish communities, which have been rocked in recent years by allegations of sexual abuse against rabbis and yeshiva teachers.

In addition to creating the one-year window for lawsuits, the bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey, D-Queens, would also extend the statute of limitations by five years for child sexual abuse. The rationale, Markey says, is that it often takes decades for victims of childhood sexual abuse to process what was done to them and to come forward – especially if they were abused at the hands of a trusted authority figure, such as a priest or a rabbi. Similar legislation in California led to the identification of hundreds of previously unknown sexual predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Understanding a Silent Tragedy: A Conference on Childhood Sexual Abuse

ST. PAUL (MN)
National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children

Date:
Friday, April 24, 2009
Time: 8 am to 5 pm
Location: The Auditorium at William Mitchell College ofLaw, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN.
Cost: $100.00 and includes panel discussions and a luncheon addressed by Mitchell alumni Jeffrey R Anderson. ...

Keynote Speaker: Jeffrey R. Anderson
America's pioneering childhood sexual abuse litigator, has represented thousands of survivors and guided legislation, public policy, and public awareness of childhood sexual abuse for nearly three decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Police: Youth Minister Had Sex With 3 Girls

GREENWOOD (IN)
TheIndyChannel

GREENWOOD, Ind. -- A youth minister was arrested Tuesday on several child sex-related charges involving three teen girls.

Franklin police said Jonathan James Hartman, 29, of Indianapolis, a co-youth minister at the Salvation Army Church in Greenwood, repeatedly had sex with three girls over a period of three years beginning when they were 13.

Last week, one of the girls, now 15, told police that she was pregnant with Hartman's child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Greenwood youth pastor arrested on child-molestation charges

GREENWOOD (IN)
Indianapolis Star

By Jason Thomas
Posted: April 22, 2009

Salvation Army youth pastor in Greenwood has been arrested on child-molestation charges involving three 15-year-old girls.

Jonathan James Hartman, 29, Indianapolis, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of child molesting and five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor after an investigation by the Franklin Police Department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Archbishop Dolan’s Next “Priestly” Obligation

NEW YORK
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

by Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc.,
West Orange, New Jersey, 07052

It was very clear during the evening vespers service and installation of New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan that he loves his priesthood and the priests with whom he will be working during his tenure in New York. It was very obvious that he was sent to New York primarily to boost the morale of the Archdiocesan priests who were demoralized during the administration of Cardinal Edward Egan. Dolan mentioned his love and support for “his” priests more than any other group, not coincidentally. Dolan has been a seminary rector and authored a book about the priesthood.

We learned from Father Stephen Norton, a Dutchess County pastor and former colleague of mine from the Irish Christian Brothers, an “installation day” commentator on a New York television station, that Dolan has already begun meeting with priests in small groups to assess their needs and determine how best to serve them. We also learned that Dolan will host a barbecue for all Archdiocesan priests in May at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. Ironically, Father Steve was a weekend associate pastor at a parish in Westchester where one of my many abusers is pastor and I warned him about my abuser. I never heard from Father Steve again.

At the barbecue in May, I hope Archbishop Dolan begins his talk to the priests by saying in his down-to-earth, Midwestern style,

“Guys I have to begin by asking you to cooperate with me on this one. There is still a huge clergy sexual abuse problem going on. The research is clear: ninety percent of sexual abuse victims have not yet come forward. That means that there are some of you out there today who have abused minors, teenagers, and vulnerable adults. There are some of you who are carrying on relationships with women, married or unmarried. And, there are some of you who are engaging in homosexual relationships with each other or others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

'Damaging admissions' by priest

SALINAS (CA)
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Salinas Bureau
Updated: 04/22/2009

A Salinas priest charged with sodomy and child molestation made "damaging admissions" about his alleged crimes on telephone calls taped by Salinas police, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Prosecutor Rolando Mazariegos said the 16-year-old victim in the case placed two "pretext" calls to the Rev. Antonio Cortes. As police listened in, he said, Cortes admitted some of the behavior the boy had reported.

While the admissions were not "full confessions," Mazariegos said, the boy's story was further corroborated in a search of Cortes' living quarters. Among the items seized, he said, were boxer shorts with the colors and designs described by the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Perv priest's victims sue for $10M

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY Jose Martinez
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, April 22nd 2009

Two victims of a Catholic priest who pleaded guilty last year to sexually abusing boys have filed a $10 million lawsuit against the perverted man of the cloth.

Mark Lyman and David Landfear, who both live in upstate New York, charge that the Rev. Frank Genevieve preyed on them when they were teenagers during overnight trips to Boston and Manhattan.

"This was a trusted member within my family's social circle and he groomed us to the point where for a lot of years, I felt sorry for him," said Lyman, 44. "Unfortunately, I didn't come forward until I was 38."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Black clergy, NOW oppose Church over statute of limitations bill

NEW YORK
Catholic Culture

April 22, 2009
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) and the New York chapter of the National Organization of Women have announced their support for legislation that would lift the statute of limitations in abuse cases for a year. “It is a shame we have to fight against the Church in this,” said NBCI’s president. “It breaks my heart.”

New York State Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust said, “Most legislatures have seen it for what it is: an unfair, bad bill that selectively targets religious and private institutions, and gives a free pass to public institutions where the majority of the abuse occurs.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

2nd paternity suit against Paraguay’s ex-bishop president; Opus Dei bishop alleges ‘cover-up of sorts’

PARAGUAY
Catholic Culture

April 22, 2009
Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay-- a priest of Opus Dei since 1978 and bishop since 2004-- said on April 21 that the hierarchy has known since 2004 about the infidelities of then-Bishop Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez, now the nation’s president. “The Church hierarchy knew for years of this misconduct by Lugo, but kept silent. Now there's nothing that it can do.” According to Bishop Livieres, when the nuncio received complaints and confronted Lugo, Lugo offered his resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

National Survivor Advocates Coalition Notes St. Louis’ Use of Texting in New Archbishop Announcement

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) notes with high interest the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ use of technology in texting the new archbishop’s name, Robert J. Carlson, to any and all who had subscribed to the messaging for this alert.

The Coalition vigourously urges the Archdiocese to use this technology to alert Catholics and all people of good will to danger to children. In short, text the names of those credibly accused in the Archdiocese.

Hailed as a “dedicated to life issues” bishop by the current administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Bishop Carlson was appointed by the Vatican as the 10th archbishop of St. Louis. Carlson leaves his current post as Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Sixteenth Street shows need for Baptist cooperation on sex abuse

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
Stop Baptist Predators

The music minister at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a high school student.

I felt heartbroken when I saw the news. I guess I still wanted to believe that there might be some church somewhere that would be immune to this scourge. But of course, there’s not.

No church is immune, not even one as full of symbolism as this one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Area pastor sent to prison for sexual abuse of teens

PINEVILLE (MO)
The Joplin Globe

By Jeff Lehr
jlehr@joplinglobe.com

PINEVILLE, Mo. — The self-appointed pastor of a Newton County church was assessed 15 years in prison Tuesday for molesting an underage girl and taking advantage of another by photographing her in the nude.

Circuit Judge Tim Perigo sentenced Randall “Danny” Russell, 50, to two 15-year terms on convictions for first-degree child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor. The hearing was conducted in McDonald County Circuit Court, where the case had been moved on a change of venue. The judge ordered that the two terms will run concurrently.

The pastor of the Acts II Church near Neosho pleaded guilty to the charges in March in a plea agreement that dropped 18 other counts he was facing and limited the length of prison time he could be assessed to 15 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Churches Check Backgrounds In Light Of Cantu Case

CALIFORNIA
CBS 13

Reporting
Ron Jones

ELK GROVE (CBS13) ―

A Sunday school teacher has been charged in the kidnapping, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl and now other local churches are working to make sure that their employees and volunteers are screened, hoping to prevent child abuse.

Harvest Church in Elk Grove is taking their duty to protect children in Sunday school seriously. Children's Pastor Joyce Baergen says she does not want to open the door to predators.

"Everyone who goes beyond this point in here is an approved volunteer," Joyce said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Russell sentenced to 15 years in prison

PINEVILLE (MO)
Neosho Daily News

By John Ford
Neosho Daily News
Wed Apr 22, 2009, 12:56 AM CDT

Pineville, Mo. -
A rural Neosho self-proclaimed pastor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of felony first-degree child molestation and child enticement charges.

On Tuesday morning, Randall “Danny” Russell was sentenced to two 15-year terms, the maximum allowed on each of the charges. The terms will run concurrently, or at the same time, and Russell must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence or 13 ½ years according to Bill Dobbs, Newton County assistant prosecutor.

In March, Russell pleaded guilty to a Class B felony charge of first-degree child molestation and a Class B felony count of sexual exploitation of a minor. Russell entered the plea as part of a plea bargain agreement, and was originally charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, six counts of possession of child pornography, a count of second-degree statutory rape, two counts of first-degree sodomy, a count of felony child abuse, two felony counts of child molestation and a misdemeanor charge of child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Two former priests at odds in sexual abuse lawsuit

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

By TIM SAMPSON
Journal Star
Posted Apr 21, 2009

PEORIA — .Two former Catholic priests who served in Peoria are now plaintiff and defendant in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse.

Ben Rodriguez, who left the priesthood in 2006, is claiming Gordon J. Pillon sexually molested him multiple times as a teenager. Rodriguez and Pillon spent more than a decade serving in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria together.

Pillon was removed from ministry duty in 2006 after Rodriguez made his initial claims of abuse. Now Rodriguez has filed a lawsuit against Pillon in California, where he claims the abuse took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Priest Sex Suit Hangs on With Latest Ruling

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The last pending civil lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse by a Memphis priest remained alive this week.

Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey denied a motion Monday by the Catholic Diocese of Memphis to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by Norman Redwing. Redwing alleges, in the lawsuit filed last October, that he was abused by the Rev. Milton Guthrie in the 1970s.

The diocese moved for dismissal, citing Tennessee appeals court rulings, including one from another priest abuse lawsuit filed in Memphis. The Court of Appeals held that the statute of limitations on filing such a claim had passed because the John Does in each case should have asked the church about such abuse within a year after their eighteenth birthdays.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

April 21, 2009

New Catholic Bishop named for Syracuse Diocese

SYRACUSE (NY)
WSYR

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - More than a quarter-million Catholics in the seven-county Diocese of Syracuse will have a new spiritual leader.

The Most Reverend Robert Cunningham, who's been the bishop of the Ogdensburg Diocese for the last five years, was named Tuesday to succeed the retiring James Moynihan as bishop of Syracuse.

Cunningham is already speaking out on social, legal and local issues.

At his introductory news conference, the new bishop apologized for a touch of laryngitis, but quickly found his voice in opposition to a pair of bills now before the state legislature. One would temporarily remove the statute of limitations on sex abuse allegations, allowing victims to sue for crimes allegedly committed decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 PM

Bill would give abuse victims more time to come forward with charges

NEW YORK
Legislative Gazette

Tuesday Apr 21 1:23 PM

By KRISTEN HANMER, Gazette staff writer

Lawmakers and supporters of legislation that would extend the statute of limitations to benefit victims of childhood sexual abuse made a strong showing during a press conference in Albany today.

Also known as the Child Victims Act, the bill (A.2596/S.2568) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Mackey, D-Maspeth, and Sen. Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan. If passed, the legislation would extend the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases, giving victims five more years to come forward with charges. Under current law, the period begins when a child turns eighteen, but the bill seeks to change that to age 23, giving the victim until age 28 to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

Iglesia católica se aparta de denuncias y desmiente a Livieres

PARAGUAY
Ultima Hora

La Conferencia Episcopal Paraguaya (CEP), negó en la tarde este martes haber recibido formal denuncia y reclamo de paternidad por parte de algunas mujeres en contra del entonces obispo y hoy presidente de la República, Fernando Lugo. Asimismo desacredita al prelado de Alto Paraná, Rogelio Livieres Plano, quien habló del tema.

"La Conferencia Episcopal Paraguaya nunca recibió ninguna denuncia formal por escrito con relación a Monseñor Fernando Lugo referida a cuestiones de su supuesta paternidad", expresa el documento episcopal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 PM

Obispo revela que Iglesia Católica sabía de denuncias contra Lugo

PARAGUAY
Ultima Hora

El obispo de la diócesis de Ciudad del Este, Rogelio Livieres Plano, reveló que la Iglesia Católica ya contaba con denuncias hechas por varias mujeres contra el hoy presidente de la República, Fernando Lugo, y que esto lo obligó a dejar el episcopado.

"Esta es una cosa conocida ya desde hace años... es verdad que también se fueron destapando en el año 2002, 2003, 2004 y todos estos casos de Lugo lo llevaron a irse del episcopado", dijo el monseñor Livieres Plano en un contacto con radio 1000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 PM

Paraguayan Reporters Demand News Conference with President Hit with Second Paternity Claim

PARAGUAY
Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Journalists who cover the president protested outside the Government Palace, demanding their customary Tuesday news conference, which was finally postponed until Friday, Última Hora reports.

President Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, was hit Monday (April 20) with a second paternity claim, only a week after he admitted to fathering a child while the Vatican considered him to be ordained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Paraguayan president, former bishop, accused of “raping a minor”

PARAGUAY
MercoPress

A Paraguayan leading opposition senator filed a “ravish claim” before the country’s Prosecution Office involving President Fernando Lugo and Viviana Carrillo who was a minor when allegedly she had sexual relations with the then bishop of San Pedro. Lugo publicly admitted last week having fathered a child, now two year old and named Fernando, with Viviana.

Senator Lilian Samaniego said she was promoting the legal action from her “woman gender” condition and was looking forward to a full investigation into the issue.

“As a woman we can’t let this go by. Our community is demanding an answer and Fernando Lugo has the chance to tell us what happened regarding the events which are attributed to him”, said Senator Samaniego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

President Lugo resigned from church after women told Vatican of affairs, bishop cl

PARAGUAY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 12:43AM BST 22 Apr 2009

Fernando Lugo, who was elected president last year, faced two paternity claims this month and admitted this week that he fathered one of the children while the Vatican still considered him to be ordained.

Bishop Rogelio Livieres alleged on Tuesday that, when confronted with the women's complaints five years ago, Mr Lugo, himself a former bishop, said it was "possible" that their children were his as well.

Bishop Livieres said the church was aware of a possible abuse of authority by Mr Lugo, now 57, but allowed him to resign without making the complaints public, thereby allowing him to stand for the presidency.

Bishop: Church knew Lugo allegedly fathered kids

PARAGUAY
The Associated Press

By PEDRO SERVIN

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — A Roman Catholic bishop alleged Tuesday that Paraguay's president resigned from his church leadership position in 2004 after at least two women in his parish wrote to a Vatican official that he had fathered their children.

Fernando Lugo, who was elected president last year, was hit with two paternity claims this month. He conceded last week that he is the father of one of the children. Bishop Rogelio Livieres alleged Tuesday that when confronted with the women's complaints in 2004, Lugo said it was "possible" that their children were his as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Competing bills

NEW YORK
Newsday

Two competing bills on child sex abuse, and allowing alleged victims to sue their attackers, are pending in Albany. Both have been moved out of the state Assembly's Codes Committee and could come to a vote of the full Assembly.

The legislation sponsored by Assemb. Margaret M. Markey (D- Maspeth) has been adopted three times previously only to die in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. The bill hasn't yet been taken up by the Senate Codes Committee, which doesn't meet this week.

This year, lawmakers are considering a rival bill sponsored by Assemb. Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn). It also has not been taken up by the Senate codes committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Child Victims Act Supporters Rally in Albany

ALBANY (NY)
WAMC

[audio presentation]

ALBANY, NY
(2009-04-21)

Sponsors and advocates of the "Child Victims Act of New York" rallied today in Albany: Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

NOW-NYS Urges NYS Legislature to Reveal Child Predators

NEW YORK
NOW-NYS

ALBANY, NY (04/20/2009; 0818)(readMedia)-- At a press conference slated for 11 AM on April 21, 2009, at Room 130 in the Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY, the National Organization for Women-NYS will stand in support of legislation to protect New York's children and identify child predators. The key provision is to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

NOW-NYS President Marcia Pappas said that "California and Delaware have already enacted legislation representing a proven method for identifying the child predators who are hiding among us." "And it's high time," Pappas continued, "for New York State to follow suit. So the National Organization for Women-New York State stands firmly in support of the Child Victims Act (NYS Assembly Bill A2596, Senate Bill S2568), as sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey and Senator Thomas Duane."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Judge Issues Gag Order In Sandra Cantu Murder Case

TRACY (CA)
Fox 40

April 21, 2009

TRACY - On her first day presiding over the Melissa Huckaby murder case, Judge Linda Loftus issued a gag order barring anyone involved with the case from speaking to the media.

KRON-TV reports Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa was hand-delivered the order from new presiding Judge Linda Loftus, directing the "parties and counsel" away from releasing "information or opinions concerning this case or any issue likely involved."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Anniversary of Pope Coming to America - Day 6

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

“Shepherd 1” was prepared for an evening departure to Italy. The last day of Pope Benedict XVI’s triumphant visit to the United States began with a solemn ceremony at ground zero. He then attended an outdoor Mass at Yankee Stadium, the 85 year old, soon-to-be-demolished, baseball shrine. Over 60,000 pre-invited guests wildly greeted the pope at the scheduled event.

He began his talk by again praising the rich history, contributions, and growth of American Catholicism. I believe Benedict genuinely likes our country, especially the freedom of religion that has enabled his to flourish. Most importantly, he also acknowledged that Catholics have full freedom to participate in public life. We all love that about America.

Worn out from his grueling schedule, and from mentioning the scandal, he could only manage one last general reference in paragraph 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

New bishop, clergy sex abuse victims respond

SYRACUSE (NY)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Because of New York's archaic, predator-friendly child sex abuse laws, the public has learned little of how Bishop Robert J. Cunningham has dealt with child molestation and cover up in Ogdensburg. But there's no reason to assume he'll be any better at protecting kids or healing victims. It's best to err on the side of caution, not complacency.

Liberal or conservative, outspoken or quiet, almost all US bishops still tend to do the absolute bare minimum when it comes to child sex cases, opting to safeguard their own reputations from public damage instead of safeguarding their flocks from real harm.

We urge Catholics, citizens and especially abuse victims, to not confuse a less hostile demeanor or a lower media profile with a more active child safety effort or a more pastoral victim outreach effort. It’s still crucial that anyone with information about clergy sex crimes and cover ups contact independent sources first - police, prosecutors, therapists, support groups - before contacting church staff. No matter who is bishop, child sex crimes should be reported to and investigated by the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in the church hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

The costs of sexually impure clergy

Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Ay caramba!:

President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, a former Roman Catholic bishop, was hit with another paternity claim on Monday, just a week after he acknowledged fathering a child while the Vatican still considered him to be ordained.

Mr. Lugo, 57, on Monday did not confirm or deny fathering the second child, now a 6-year-old boy, but read a brief statement promising to "act always in line with the truth and subject myself to all the requirements presented by the justice system."

A few years ago, a Catholic priest in a position to know such things told me that while the big problem the Vatican has finding American priests suitable to be bishops in this country is identifying clergy uncompromised by homosexual activity, in Latin America the problem is finding candidates for the episcopate uncompromised by heterosexual activity, especially of the sort that has successfully produced children.

Similarly, a Vatican official told me back in 2000, I guess it was, that Rome's well-intentioned decision decades ago to start appointing native-born African bishops to lead the Catholic flocks there was being quietly reversed, as so many bishops were violating their celibacy vows. The reason, said this cleric (who was on the task force to deal with the problem), was one of inculturation: in Africa, celibacy goes strongly against the local traditions. He said that it would take many more years of Christianity being practiced there for that sort of thing to work itself out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Abuse survivors: Markey bill our chance at justice

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY BART JONES | bart.jones@newsday.com
April 21, 2009

Some survivors of childhood sexual abuse call it their first and perhaps only chance at justice.

A bill sponsored by Assemb. Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth) would suspend the seven-year statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases for a year. That means those who allege abuse -- including three who told their stories to Newsday -- could file civil lawsuits no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

The bill would open the door to lawsuits against all kinds of clergy, coaches, teachers, doctors, Scout leaders, baby-sitters, therapists, camp counselors and members of victims' own families. Incest accounts for by far the largest category of child sex abuse cases -- 40 percent to 50 percent, experts say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Former Harrisburg priest accused of sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

by DAVID WENNER, Of The Patriot-News
Tuesday April 21, 2009, 5:09 PM
A priest who once taught at Bishop McDevitt High School is named in a lawsuit by a Delaware man who claims he was sexually abused by two priests during the mid-1980s. The Rev. John McDevitt taught religion at McDevitt from 1980 to 1982. He later taught at the Salesianum School in Wilmington, Del., where the Delaware man says abuse happened.

McDevitt has been dead since 1999.

Joe Aponick, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, said there were no complaints against McDevitt during his time in Harrisburg. But the diocese said it takes any claims of abuse by a church employee seriously. It advised anyone who knows of possible abuse by McDevitt to call Kate McCauley, a victim's assistance coordinator, at 703-525-1555.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

NY men sue priest who pleaded guilty in Boston

NEW YORK
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NEW YORK — Two upstate New York men have filed a $10 million lawsuit against a Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to raping them.

Mark Lyman of Stillwater and David Landfear of Cohoes say in court papers filed Monday in Manhattan that the Rev. Frank Genevive abused them between 1978 and 1987, when they were teens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Judge bars release of accused priest list

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Spirit

By The Catholic Spirit
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Ramsey County Judge Gregg John­son ruled April 20 that the Arch­dio­cese of St. Paul and Minneapolis does not have to make public a list of priests who had been accused of sexual abuse.

In addition, attorney Jeff Anderson, who was given the list as part of a lawsuit he has filed for an alleged victim, was barred from releasing the information. The list may be used in the trial, which is to begin June 1, but the names may not be made public until there is a hearing and the court rules on whether the evidence is admissible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Ex-cleric says priest abused him in La Habra church

LA HABRA (CA)
Whittier Daily News

By Ruby Gonzales, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/21/2009 03:22:40 PM PDT

LA HABRA - As a teen, Ben Rodriguez alleges he was abused at a local church by a priest he trusted. The same man convinced him to join the priesthood after high school.

Rodriguez is now suing the Diocese of Orange and his former mentor for the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit, filed Monday at Orange County Superior Court, doesn't name the priest who allegedly abused Rodriguez between 1978 and 1981. But the 45-year-old said that between 15 and 18 he was molested by Gordon Pillon, who was then assistant pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in La Habra.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Pol behind sex abuse bill knows a victim's anguish

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY JAMES T. MADORE | james.madore@newsday.com
7:04 PM EDT, April 21, 2009
ALBANY - The anguish of a young man unable to sue the Catholic priest who allegedly abused him sexually years earlier has driven Assemb. Margaret Markey to push for a temporary lifting of the statute of limitations on such cases.

The young man, a friend of Markey's three children, went to her Maspeth home several years ago seeking help. Her husband, Charles, a state Supreme Court judge, determined the claims were too old to be pursued legally.

The young man "told us he was sexually abused by a parish priest and it had happened many years ago," Markey said Tuesday. "It turned out he was time barred. . . . I sat there and I said, 'Well, I'm an assemblywoman, I can do something about this.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Archbishop-Elect Robert J. Carlson – Tenth Bishop of Saint Louis

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis

[press release on the Vatican appointment of Bishop Robert J. Carlson]

[statement of Bishop Robert Hermann]

[press release from the Diocese of Saginaw]

[biography and curriculum vitae of Bishop Carlson]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis welcomes Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson—Archbishop-elect and tenth bishop of Saint Louis!

At noon today in Rome (5 a.m. CDT), the Press Office of the Holy See announced that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, as Archbishop of St. Louis. He will serve as the 10th bishop and ninth Archbishop of St. Louis.

Follow the day's events:

1.10:30 am: Watch the press conference online.

2.View pictures of the Archbishop-elect, as he visits various locations in the Archdiocese.

3.Follow the Archdiocese on Twitter for up-to-the-minute postings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Diocese Welcomes Bishop Robert J. Cunningham

SYRACUSE (NY)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse

[Bishop Cunningham's curriculum vitae]

[statement from Bishop Cunningham]

Syracuse, NY – Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a new bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, 65, of the Diocese of Ogdensburg will become the 10th bishop of Syracuse succeeding Bishop James M. Moynihan who has served the diocese since May 29, 1995. Bishop Cunningham will be installed on May 26, 2009 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception located in Downtown Syracuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Bishop Cunningham named to lead Syracuse diocese

OGDENSBURG (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2009

OGDENSBURG — Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg Bishop Robert J. Cunningham will become the 10th bishop of the Syracuse diocese, church leaders announced Tuesday. He succeeds Bishop James M. Moynihan, who has served since May 29, 1995.

“Sent by Pop Benedict XVI, I come to teach and preach the word of God; to love you with wholehearted affection and to serve your needs especially as a minister of the Eucharist and reconciliation,” Bishop Cunningham said in a prepared statement from the Syracuse diocese. “I hope to be a source of unity for the diocese.”

Bishop Cunningham became the 13th ordained bishop of Ogdensburg on May 18, 2004. He replaced Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, who took over the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

A new Archbishop for St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (MO)
America

Posted at: 2009-04-21 09:18:10.0
Author: Michael Sean Winters

The announcement that Bishop Robert Carlson is headed to St. Louis, which has been vacant almost a year, is welcome news indeed. Like the previous incumbent, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Carlson is not likely to be mistaken for a liberal anytime soon. But, more importantly, he brings a compelling personal story, a commitment and dedicated track record on vocations, and a pastoral sensibility to his role as bishop.

The story may be familiar to you already or soon will be. Carlson says that when he got to Sioux Falls as coadjutor bishop in 1994 he saw the posting as a first step in his ecclesiastical career. Then, he got cancer in 1996. And, the people of God, whom he had viewed just a moment ago as part of a step in his career, brought their faith and their love to him in such a way that when he finally was pronounced cancer-free after proactive treatment at the Mayo Clinic and a visit to Fatima, "That followed a number of years of healing. It removed ambition and the cancer." There are not many bishops who admit such personal tales of their own on-going conversion. It is powerful stuff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Pope Names Archbishop of St. Louis and Bishop of Syracuse

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Spirit

By Catholic News Service
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Robert J. Carlson of Saginaw, Michigan, as Archbishop of St. Louis. Archbishop-designate Carlson, 64, succeeds Archbishop Raymond Burke, who was named last June 27, to head the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican’s highest court.

The same day the pope named 65-year-old Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Ogdensburg, New York, as Bishop of Syracuse, New York, and accepted the resignation of Bishop James M. Moynihan, 76, from the pastoral governance of Syracuse.

Both appointments and the resignation were announced in Washington, April 21, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

The Priest’s Kids

PARAGUAY
Ex-Christian

[this article is also posted in Spanish]

A very small percentage of Hispanics are non-Catholics. I never was one, and I wrote on my blog the reasons a long time ago. One of the reasons was that growing up I learned about Catholic priests in my country being famously promiscuous. Often it was heard that they chose a special female on an exclusive basis that everybody knew as the “priest’s woman” (la mujer del cura).

Fernando Lugo, the president of Paraguay, it appears, used to be a bishop. And now that he left the priesthood to be involved in politics, at least two women have come forward to declare they had a child by him.

Lovely! Now everybody knows.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Baptist minister arrested on sex abuse; Support group responds

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

The music minister of Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was arrested and charged with sexual abuse by force.

We urge this historic church to set an example for other Baptist churches by (1) publicly pleading for anyone with relevant information to contact the police, and (2) proactively reaching out to any other possible victims with an offer of independent counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Priest's bail increased; supporters appear in court

SALINAS (CA)
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Salinas Bureau
Updated: 04/21/2009 01:36:43 AM PDT

Dozens turned out in support of the Rev. Antonio Cortes as the shackled priest made his first appearance on child molestation charges Monday.

And throughout the day even more people gathered for vigils outside St. Mary of the Nativity Church in East Salinas, where Cortes has served as pastor since June 2007. Some women cried, others vowed to fast until the priest's name is cleared.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Rolando Mazariego said Cortes' bail was increased to $750,000 because of the "danger to the community." And, in a statement delivered during Sunday Mass, Bishop Richard Garcia asked parishioners to cooperate with the investigation by Salinas police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Ex-Peoria priest files abuse suit against another Peoria priest

PEORIA (IL)
Catholic Culture

April 21, 2009
Ben Rodriguez, a former priest of the Diocese of Peoria ordained in 1991, has accused Father Gordon Pillon-- ordained in 1979-- of abusing him while he was a teenager.

Decades ago, Father Pillon was ministering in the southern California Diocese of Orange, but was incardinated in the Diocese of Peoria in 1993. The two ministered together in four parishes in Clinton and La Salle, Illinois, where Father Pillon served as pastor and Rodriguez as his assistant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Salinas priest's supporters say molestation charges are untrue

CALIFORNIA
The Californian

BY MARIA INES ZAMUDIO • mzamudio@thecalifornian.com • April 21, 2009

Monday's scheduled arraignment of a Salinas priest accused of child molestation was delayed until Wednesday, but that didn't stop several parishioners outside the courtroom from insisting on his innocence.

"Those are false accusations," said Aurora Bravo, while crying outside the courtroom. "If you went to our church and saw him for what he is, you would know that [accusations] are not true."

The Rev. Antonio Cortes of St. Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church was arrested last week on charges of unlawful sexual contact with a teenage boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Staten Island priest charged with sex crime

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By PHIL HELSEL
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A Franciscan priest serving at a Todt Hill friary was indicted yesterday in Texas on charges of forcing an adult female relative to service him sexually inside the rectory of the church where he was temporarily assigned last year.

The Rev. Stephen Valenta, 85, a Franciscan priest for more than 57 years who currently resides at the St. Francis Center for Spirituality on Todt Hill, was indicted by a Milam County, Texas, grand jury in the assault that allegedly occurred May 21 at the Rockdale church to which he was on loan.

"She was compelled to perform the act by Father Valenta," said Rockdale Police Lt. J.D. Newlin, who investigated the case. "Basically, she felt she had to do what he told her to do because of his position [with the church]."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Bishop urges trust during priest molest probe

SALINAS (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, April 20, 2009

(04-20) 08:18 PDT Salinas, Calif. (AP) --

Monterey Diocese Bishop Richard Garcia has told members of a Salinas parish to trust the justice system and God as the church comes to grips with the sexual molestation arrest of one of their priests.

Rev. Jose Alberto Vazquez-Martin read Garcia's letter to members of St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church during Mass on Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Another Woman Says Paraguay President Fathered Her Child

PARAGUAY
Latin American Herald Tribune

ASUNCION – A Paraguayan woman said in a statement published on Monday in a daily newspaper that in 2002 she had a son by President Fernando Lugo, who recently acknowledged legally another child born of relations he had while still the Catholic bishop of the central province of San Pedro.

“What I want is that this gentleman acknowledge my son, that’s all I ask. I’ll wait one day for him, and if he doesn’t take responsibility, tomorrow I’ll file a complaint,” Benigna Leguizamon, 27, told reporters.

“The only proof I’ll have will be the DNA, because I’m mad at him (Lugo) and I burned all the photos of us together,” Leguizamon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Second Lady Says Fernando Lugo Fathered Her Child

PARAGUAY
ABC News

By ANDREA MACHAIN
ASUNCION, Paraguay, April 21, 2009

The president of Paraguay, who had already shocked his nation, and even the world, by confessing he had fathered a child with a young girl out of wedlock when he was a bishop, is facing a new paternity accusation.

The scandal may be more shocking than most to rock the political world because President Fernando Lugo was, at the time of the affair, a Catholic bishop and both of the young women were members of his flock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

New allegation, new judge

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
April 21, 2009 6:00 AM

STOCKTON - A judge assigned to oversee the trial of Melissa Huckaby, the Tracy woman charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, recused himself from the case Monday without once hearing it.

News of a judicial switch came as the Tracy Press reported that Huckaby was linked to a 7-year-old girl found drugged with muscle relaxers in January.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus will take up the case Friday, when Huckaby's public defender is expected to ask for an order to remove Sandra's remains from the Tracy Mausoleum for a second autopsy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Southern Catholic College could become Legion institution

ATLANTA (GA)
Catholic News Agency

Atlanta, Ga., Apr 21, 2009 / 03:14 am (CNA).- The Legion of Christ and Southern Catholic College (SCC) have signed a memorandum that opens the possibility for the college to become a Legion institution. “We are excited about this development,” Jeremiah J. Ashcroft, president of SCC, said in a Monday statement. “By collaborating with the Legion, we’ll be able to attract students from across North America and develop programs with institutions around the world. This expanded reach and support greatly enhances our ability to achieve our mission to prepare moral and ethical leaders who will enlighten society and glorify God.”

Father Scott Reilly, LC, territorial director for the Legion, said the Legion can accelerate its desire to offer a “greater contribution” to higher education in North America by working with SCC. However, the agreement is “not a done deal yet.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Former Logan-Rogersville student speaks out about alleged abuse at the hands of choir director

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
News-Leader

By Dirk VanderHart • dvanderhart@news-leader.com • April 20, 2009

A Springfield man who has sued the Logan-Rogersville School District, his former music teacher, and the former principal of Logan-Rogersville High School over alleged sexual abuse spoke out about the case this morning.

At a press conference outside the Springfield Police Department, 31-year-old Adam Walker said he’s come forward to create awareness about child sexual abuse, and increase scrutiny on former Logan-Rogersville music teacher Bradley T. Barrett. ...

He was accompanied by David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Clohessy noted the Chicago-based organization does not work solely against abuse in churches, but in any institution where trusted adults have the opportunity to prey on children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Sex with Students

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
CBS 42

Reported by: Anna Donaldson

The Huffman High School band director is on paid leave, accused of sexually abusing a student.

Patrick Whitehead was arrested over the weekend, and charged with sexual abuse by force, and sodomy. He's out of jail on a 75-thousand dollar bond.

Whitehead has been with the Birmingham City School System for seven years.

He also serves as a minister of music, at 16th street Baptist Church in Birmingham. ...

There are a couple of bills in the House right now, such as House Bill 810 sponsored by Representative Demetrius Newton. His bill would make it a crime for a school employee to engage in a sex act or have sexual contact with a student, male or female, regardless of age of the student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

An apology from the Vatican

CANADA
Northern News Service

Herb Mathisen
Northern News Services
Published Monday, April 20, 2009
SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - The Assembly of First Nations will be sending a delegation to the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on April 29.

Phil Fontaine, chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said he hopes the pope will issue a statement to address the role the Roman Catholic church played in operating residential schools and the harm it caused to aboriginal students who attended them.

"This will greatly assist the task of healing and reconciliation for survivors, Catholics and all Canadians," Fontaine stated in a press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Judge keeps priest list secret

MINNESOTA
Market Watch

ST. PAUL, Minn., Apr 20, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A judge in Minnesota Monday ruled two Catholic dioceses in the state can, for now, keep secret a list of their priests suspected of sexual abuse.

Ramsey County Judge Gregg Johnson's decision in favor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona came in a lawsuit brought by Jeff Anderson on behalf of an alleged abuse victim, the Star Tribune reported.

Johnson said Anderson is entitled to the list but is barred from making it public as he had intended to do, the Minneapolis newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

List Of Priests Accused Of Abuse To Stay Private

MINNESOTA
WCCO

ST. PAUL (AP) ―

A judge has ruled that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona do not have to make public a list of priests suspected of sexual abuse.

Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul lawyer, was seeking the list as part of a lawsuit on behalf of an alleged abuse victim. Anderson was given the list Monday but is barred from revealing its contents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Sex assault indictment: N.Y. priest charged in connection with incident in Milam County

CAMERON (TX)
Temple Daily Telegram

by Jeanne Williams | Cameron Writer
Published: April 21, 2009
CAMERON - The Rev. Steven Valenta, a Roman Catholic priest from Long Island, N.Y., was indicted by a Milam County grand jury on second-degree felony sexual assault and third-degree felony prohibited sexual contact in connection with an incident last May involving an adult female family member, District Attorney Kerry Spears said.

Grand jurors issued a direct indictment charging Valenta, 84, with sexual assault in connection with an oral sex incident, and a prohibited sexual contact charge because the incident involved a relative, Mrs. Spears said. The direct indictment means the grand jury heard the case and issued a true bill without the knowledge or arrest of the defendant.

Rockdale Police Lt. J.D. Newlin, who investigated the case, said a Rockdale woman reported to police in December that a sexual assault occurred last May when an interim priest who served St. Joseph Catholic Church for two weeks invited her to come to the rectory where the sexual assault occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

April 20, 2009

Judge: List of suspected priests should stay private for now

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona do not have to make public a list of priests suspected of abuse, Ramsey County Judge Gregg Johnson ruled today.

St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson is seeking the list as part of a suit he has filed on behalf of an abuse victim and had said that he was going to make the list public as soon as he got it. Anderson still will get the list, but he is barred from revealing its contents.

Lawyers for the church had argued that because church leaders thought the list would remain private, they had included everyone who had been accused regardless of whether the charges were proven. The list still can be used in the trial, but now only those charges supported by evidence can be introduced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Ex-priest claims molestation by childhood priest

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press Writer

ORANGE, Calif.—A former Roman Catholic priest has filed a lawsuit claiming that as a teenager in Southern California he was abused by a priest who was his mentor.

Ben Rodriguez, who left the priesthood in 2006, claims in the suit filed Monday that Gordon J. Pillon molested him multiple times from 1978 to 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Former Catholic priest accuses another of abusing him as a teen

SANTA ANA (CA)
Los Angeles Times

A former Roman Catholic priest accused another former priest today of sexually abusing him in the rectory of a La Habra church when he was a teenager.

In a lawsuit filed in Santa Ana Superior Court, Ben Rodriguez, 45, said he was molested numerous times between the ages of 15 and 18 in the priest’s church apartment. On some occasions, the priest gave him muscle relaxants and sleeping pills before the abuse, Rodriguez alleged.

The lawsuit did not name the suspected priest, but Rodriguez identified him as Gordon J. Pillon in interviews and at a news conference today outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. At the news conference, Rodriguez handed out copies of a photograph of himself and Pillon, taken at the younger man’s confirmation nearly three decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Historic African-American church focus of sex-abuse scandal

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Monday, April 20, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (ABP) -- A Baptist church that gained national prominence as the scene of a racially motivated bombing that killed four African-American girls in 1963 is now reeling from the weekend arrest of its music minister on charges of sexual abuse.

Police in Birmingham, Ala., arrested Patrick Jerome Whitehead April 18 and charged him with sexual abuse by force and sodomy on a student at a local high school where Whitehead works as band director.

Whitehead also worked as a music minister at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, a shrine of the Civil Rights Movement and host church for the recent New Baptist Covenant southeast regional meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Texas grand jury indicts 85-year-old Staten Island priest on sex charges

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

by Staten Island Advance
Monday April 20, 2009, 3:00 PM

An 85-year-old priest from Staten Island has been indicted by a Texas grand jury on sex charges, according to a report.

A Milam County grand jury indicted Rev. Stephen Valenta on charges of sexual assault and prohibited sexual conduct, Texas-based News Channel 25 is reporting.

The indictment stems from an incident last May when Father Valenta came to Rockdale, Texas, as a fill-in priest while a local priest was out of state on training, according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Visiting Priest Indicted for Sexual Assault In Central Texas

ROCKDALE (TX)
KWTX

Reporter: By Paul J. Gately
Email Address: paul.gately@kwtx.com

ROCKDALE (April 20, 2009)--An 85-year-old priest has been indicted on charges of sexual assault and prohibited sexual conduct.

In 2008, Father Stephen Mary Valenta was sent to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Rockdale from Staten Island, N.Y., to fill in for the local priest who was sent out of state for training.

The indictment stems from the sexual assault of a woman who police think is a relative during the period when Valenta was here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Huckaby tied to January missing girl report

TRACY (CA)
Tracy Press

by Jennifer Wadsworth

Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, is tied to a report that someone in January took a 7-year-old girl to a park for four hours and brought her back high on muscle relaxers.

The incident was reported on January 17 by a family in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. Huckaby lived in the same complex, also where 8-year-old Sandra Cantu lived before police found her dead body on April 10. Police arrested Huckaby four days later on suspicion on kidnapping, raping and killing Sandra.

The January report alleges that someone took a 45-pound blue-eyed dark-haired girl to a park. The woman and the child were gone for four hours, from about 1:30 to after 5 p.m., according to the police log. The woman who took the girl drove a purple Kia Sportage, according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

A new parenthood claim for Paraguayan president Lugo

PARAGUAY
Momento 24 (Argentina)

A new parenthood claim was announced today against the president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, who already gave his surname last week to another child fruit of a relation carried out while Lugo was a roman catholic bishop.

Today the claim comes from Benign Leguizamón, a 27-year-old woman who has a son of six and makes sure that he is a son of Fernando Lugo.

“I am 100 % sure that the father of my son is Fernando Lugo Méndez”, affirmed Leguizamón and added: “The whole district of San Pedro knows that this liar is the father of my son”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Second paternity claim on Paraguayan leader and former bishop Lugo

PARAGUAY
Trend News (Azerbaijan)

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo said Monday that he would cooperate with the courts to clear up a new paternity claim against him dating back to his time as a Roman Catholic bishop.

Lugo, 57, admitted last week that he fathered an illegitimate who is now 2 years old, in the wake of a legal complaint filed by the boy's mother. The most recent claim refers to a boy who is now 6.

Before becoming president in August, Lugo was a Roman Catholic bishop and therefore under a vow of celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Paraguay president hit with 2nd paternity claim

PARAGUAY
The Associated Press

By PEDRO SERVIN

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Paraguay's president was hit with another paternity claim Monday, just a week after the former Roman Catholic bishop acknowledged fathering a different illegitimate child while still subject to his vows of chastity.

Lugo, 57, did not confirm nor deny fathering the 6-year-old boy, but read a brief statement promising to "act always in line with the truth and subject myself to all the requirements presented by the justice system." He also appealed for privacy, referring all questions about paternity claims to his lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Second woman says Paraguay leader fathered kid out of wedlock

PARAGUAY
CNN

ASUNCION, Paraguay (CNN) -- A second woman stepped forward Monday to say that Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo fathered a child out of wedlock when he was a Roman Catholic bishop.

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo says Monday he will comply with justice on the latest paternity allegation.

Benigna Leguizamon said Lugo fathered her son in 2002 in the city of San Pedro. She served notice that Lugo has 24 hours to acknowledge paternity or she will take legal action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Second Paraguay love-child claim

PARAGUAY
BBC News

By Candace Piette
BBC's South America correspondent

Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo has received a second demand to recognise the paternity of a child.

President Lugo, who is a former bishop, shocked the country last week when he acknowledged a two-year-old boy as his son.

The Pope released him from his vows of chastity only last July, two years after he renounced the priesthood.

The 27-year-old woman making the latest demand says her six-year-old is the son of Mr Lugo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Grand Jury indicts NY priest on Sex Charges

ROCKDALE (TX)
KXXV

by Patrick Tolbert

ROCKDALE - The Milam County grand jury has handed down an indictment of an 85-year-old priest from Staten Island New York.

The grand jury indicted Father Stephen Mary Valenta on charges of sexual assault and prohibited sexual conduct.

The indictment investigated by Rockdale Police stems from an incident in May of 2008 when Father Valenta came to Rockdale as a fill in priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church while the local priest was out of state for training.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Freeport Man Threatened By Church Appeals To Pope

MAINE
WMTW

PORTLAND, Maine -- A Freeport man who was threatened with church sanctions if he didn't stay away from Maine's Roman Catholic bishop is appealing to the pope.

In December, the Diocese of Portland took the unusual step of warning Paul Kendrick of possible church-imposed penalties if he comes within 500 feet of Bishop Richard Malone.

Kendrick, a longtime advocate for clergy sexual abuse victims, was told he might lose his right "to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church." That means he could be refused Holy Communion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Sex assualt victim moves past stigma

ELKHORN (WI)
Janesville Gazette

By PEDRO OLIVEIRA JR.
Monday, April 20, 2009

Laurie Asplund
ELKHORN — Laurie Asplund is not ashamed of her past.

She talks about being sexually assaulted as a teen in the 1970s by a former minister at a Youth For Christ Campus Life program in Lake Geneva.

"We as victims, we already feel tainted because something really, really wrong was done to us," Asplund said. "We already feel tainted and dirty, if you may.

"So when society asks questions like, 'Why didn't you tell? Why did you let it happen in the first place? Why did it happen more than once?' it makes you feel even worse about yourself, makes you wonder if they're right.

"Well, they're not."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Earning contempt

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

By Janice Kennedy, Ottawa Citizen
April 20, 2009

On Good Friday, with the ringing moral authority of a global spiritual leader, Pope Benedict XVI grandly (and without irony) condemned a world in which religion, particularly Catholicism, is increasingly being ridiculed.

How can you even begin to respond?

Personally, I’d introduce him to two terrific guys I’ll call “Don” and “Ron.” A court-ordered publication ban means I can’t use their real names, the ones they received more than 50 years ago when they were baptized at St. Mary’s in Wilno, an imposing Catholic church their ancestors helped build when the first Poles settled Renfrew County 150 years ago.

Cousins and lifelong friends, Don and Ron share a painful biography that should be required reading in the Vatican’s gilded halls.

The two were victims of Monsignor Bernard Prince, sentenced in January 2008 to four years in federal prison for pedophiliac sexual abuse, though he could be paroled as early as this summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Anniversary of Pope Coming to America - Day 5

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

April 19th, 2008

by David Fortwengler

The pope, refreshed from a day of not “mentioning it”, began day 5 of his visit by celebrating Mass at historic St. Patrick's Cathedral. Over 3,000 pre-invited bishops, priests, religious and seminarians from all over the country were in attendance. He began his homily by discussing the needs and benefits of spiritual unity and evangelizing. He talked a lot about the heritage, spiritual tradition, architecture, and even the windows of the Gothic Cathedral.

Finally, in paragraph 12, “within the context of our need for the perspective given by faith, and for unity and cooperation in the work of building up the Church”, he mentioned it.

In summary, he tells them he has already spoken about it, the church is suffering, he is close to them while they deal with the challenges of the situation, he is praying for healing, encourages them to work with the bishops who are doing a good job, and to move forward with a love for the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Monterey bishop addresses molestation case via letter to St. Mary's congregation in Salinas

SALINAS (CA)
The Californian

BY KIMBER SOLANA • ksolana@thecalifornian.com • April 20, 2009

Members of St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church sat quietly at Mass Sunday as Rev. Jose Alberto Vazquez-Martin read a letter from Bishop Richard Garcia of the Monterey Diocese.

The letter, addressed to the congregation, was the bishop's response to the arrest last week of one of St. Mary's priests on child molestation charges.

Priests are sworn to protect the youth, Vazquez-Martin read. "They're God's precious gift to us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

“Moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus”

UNITED STATES
California Catholic Daily

Toledo, Ohio, Apr 18, 2009 (CNA) -- The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is being investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because of the “tenor and doctrinal content” of various addresses at the organization’s annual assemblies since 2001. One such address described “moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus” as “the dynamic option” for religious life.

According to its website, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) has more than 1,500 members representing about 95 percent of the 59,000 women religious in the U.S.

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), announced the doctrinal review in a letter, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Huffman High band director arrested for sexually abusing students, put on administrative leave

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
The Birmingham News

Monday, April 20, 2009

MARIE LEECH and ERIN STOCK
News staff writers
The Birmingham Board of Education will place the Huffman High School band director on paid administrative leave when classes resume Tuesday and will investigate charges he sexually abused a student at the school, school officials said Sunday.

Huffman's band director, Patrick Jerome Whitehead of Pinson, who also is minister of music at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, was arrested Saturday and charged with sexual abuse by force and sodomy. He was released from the Jefferson County Jail the same day on $75,000 bond, jail records show.

Michaelle Chapman, spokeswoman for Birmingham city schools, said interim Superintendent Barbara Allen became aware of Whitehead's arrest Saturday, but because it is a weekend and schools are out today, she could not place him on leave until Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

April 19, 2009

Fornicadores de confesionario

PARAGUAY
La Nacion

[includes list of other bishops accused of sexual improprieties or cover-ups]

De cínico, delincuente y depravado sexual fue acusado ayer el obispo Fernando Lugo en el Senado paraguayo, en medio de un escándalo mundial por haber abusado de una menor. Los senadores Julio Velázquez, Lilian Samaniego y Ana Mendoza de Acha fueron quienes más duras expresiones tuvieron contra el clérigo. Lilian Samaniego le exigió que pida perdón y aclare si realmente tuvo relaciones con Viviana Carrillo siendo ésta aún menor de edad, lo cual consideró como “estupro”.

La senadora de Acha calificó de “estafa” la actitud de Lugo, porque durante la compaña omitió dar el dato sumamente importante de su paternidad a los votantes, lo cual es “indignante”, y se está pasando “una vergüenza, escándalo y un bochorno internacional”.

El senador Julio Velázquez afirmó que el Paraguay está en manos de un depravado sexual. El presidente Fernando Lugo y la joven Viviana Rosalith Carrillo comenzaron hace años una relación amorosa, aseguró Edith Lombardo, tía de la mujer que demandó al jefe de Estado para que reconozca a un hijo de dos años de edad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Band Director Charged with Sexual Assault and Sodomy

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
CBS 42

Reported by: Mike McClanahan
Last Update: 6:28 pm

Saturday, Patrick Jerome Whitehead was arrested and charged with sexual abuse by force and sodomy. The Huffman High School Band Director has reportedly been placed on administrative leave following an incident involving a Huffman student.

Whitehead is also a Minister of Music at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Sunday on the church's 136th anniversary, Pastor Arthur Price Jr. Said they were shocked by the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Sex-abuse statute of limitations extended

WASHINGTON
Spokesman-Review

Richard Roesler
Staff writer

OLYMPIA – After years of lobbying by local victims of childhood sex abuse, state lawmakers and the governor have changed Washington law to allow prosecutors several more years to go after rapists and molesters.

Senate Bill 5832 extends the statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes from the victim’s 21st birthday to age 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

El 75% de los curas quiere celibato optativo

ARGENTINA
Critica de la Argentina

Josefina Licitra

19.04.2009

Como Adán y Eva, que fueron arrojados del Paraíso al mundo temporal, el ex obispo y actual presidente de Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, está cayendo a los sótanos de una vida que no estaba del todo en sus planes. El salto al vacío sucedió el pasado 6 de abril –lunes de Pascuas–, cuando se vio obligado a admitir públicamente que había concebido un hijo –y mantenido una larga relación sentimental– mientras oficiaba como prelado de la Iglesia católica. Y el duro aterrizaje en la tierra terminó de darse un par de días atrás, cuando Lugo demostró que ni siquiera un presidente –ni siquiera un ex obispo– zafa del clásico sainete del “separado-con-hijos”: ahora debe pasar manutención por su criatura –Guillermito, de dos años–, debe cerrarle la boca a la madre de Guillermito –que no para de hablar con la prensa– y debe dejar que un voluntarioso miembro de su familia –en este caso, Pompeyo Lugo, su hermano– salga a decir que él, Fernando, sigue siendo un buen tipo. “El celibato es una tortura”, dijo entonces Pompeyo Lugo en defensa de su sangre, y con esta frase dio por reabierto un debate que desde hace ya varios años, de un modo intermitente, convulsiona a la Iglesia católica: el que refiere a la sensatez del celibato en pleno siglo XXI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

BJP leader assures fresh probe into Abhaya case

INDIA
The Times of India

18 Apr 2009, 2247 hrs IST, TNN

MANGALORE: Assuring a thorough investigation into sister Abhaya rape and murder case in Kerala if BJP comes to power at the Centre, BJP district
minority cell president Franklin Monteiro asked why were the Congress and Left parties silent on the case when they have shown extraordinary enthusiasm in condemning the attack on churches in the district.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, he said if BJP comes to power, Abhaya case would be investigated thoroughly and the culprits would be apprehended. He said both BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders have condemned the attack on churches but Congress and left parties have not yet uttered a single word in Abhaya case and the investigation did not reach a logical end even after 16 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Anniversary of Pope Coming to America - Day 4

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

April 18th, 2008
by David Fortwengler

Day 4 of Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United States found the Pontiff moving north to New York City. His schedule included an address to the United Nations, a planned visit to a Synagogue, and a planned meeting with ecumenical leaders. Kudos to the 81 year old Pope for his energy and stamina. His grueling Day 3 schedule outlasted mine, but I didn't miss the morning news about the "monumental" conclusion to his day. Did anybody?

End of Day 3

At 5:00 the Pope addressed 450 Catholic educators on the beautiful campus of Catholic University, a location as well known to D.C. Catholics as the “Exorcist” steps at Georgetown. He stressed the importance of faith in education, and praised academic freedom.

At 6:30 he attended a planned meeting with 200 inter-faith leaders, including representatives from Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. (yes, Jainism) He once again marveled at the ability to worship freely in this country, and pointed out how dialogue leads to truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Huffman band director arrested on sexual abuse charges

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
The Birmingham News

Posted by Tiffany Ray and Marie Leech -- Birmingham News April 18, 2009 10:28 PM

Huffman High School's band director was arrested today and charged with sexual abuse by force and sodomy.

Patrick Jerome Whitehead of Pinson, who is also minister of music at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, was taken to the Jefferson County Jail this afternoon and released about 6 p.m. after posting $75,000 bond, accord­ing to jail records.

Birmingham school board member Vir­ginia Volker confirmed the case involves a Huffman student. Interim Superintendent Barbara Allen signed the paperwork today to put Whitehead on leave immedi­ately, Volker said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

MCC leader looks at ups and downs of legislative session

MARYLAND
The Catholic Revie

By George P. Matysek Jr.
gmatysek@catholicreview.org

In her inaugural year as executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, Mary Ellen Russell and her staff helped pass landmark legislation in Annapolis this legislative session.

With the urging of the MCC, lobbying arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, lawmakers approved significant restrictions on the death penalty. They voted down a measure that the MCC feared would have financially devastated Catholic institutions. And lawmakers passed a $2 million increase to the textbooks and technology loan program for students in nonpublic schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

One man's long, strange trip to disbelief

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

By Kevin Horrigan
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
04/19/2009

The great Jim White, who used to go bump in the night as the overnight host on KMOX radio, regularly told his listeners that he had a couple of ground rules: "We don't talk about aches and pains, and we don't talk about religion."

Through long experience, the Big Bumper came to believe that while one's health and one's religion were of intense personal interest to oneself, odds were that nobody else wanted to hear about it. You wanted to talk about ham radio or boating, Jim White was your guy. You wanted to call in with a bad pun, he'd listen:

Caller: Hey, Jim. A guy just cut down the Gateway Arch and hauled it away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Diocese of Charleston responds to new lawsuit’s ‘unfounded’ claims

CHARLESTON (SC)
Catholic News Agency

Charleston, S.C., Apr 18, 2009 / 07:04 pm (CNA) - The Diocese of Charleston has described as “unfounded” a lawsuit’s claim that diocesan officials colluded with attorneys who served as counsels in a class action settlement between the diocese and past victims of sexual abuse. The diocese entered into a settlement agreement with sexual abuse victims on January 12, 2007. The agreement was approved on July 30, 2007.

On April 13 attorney Greg Meyers filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the diocese had colluded with victims’ attorneys in the class action suit. Myers’ suit also alleged that a plaintiff was sexually abused by a priest.

A press release from the diocese said that the class action agreement provided a mechanism to compensate individuals who claimed to have been abused by church personnel and to compensate their spouses and parents for their injuries resulting from the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Archdiocese says judge needs to have say before list released

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Review

By Catholic News Service

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has disputed recent media reports that it is “unwilling to publicly disclose the names of priests accused of abuse” over the past 50 years.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson wants to make public a list of priests suspected of sexual abuse that was compiled in 2004.

Mr. Anderson, a St. Paul lawyer who has specialized in child sex abuse suits against Catholic institutions around the country, is representing a man who alleges he was sexually abused by former Catholic priest Thomas Adamson while Mr. Adamson was serving at Risen Savior Parish in Burnsville in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

April 18, 2009

The sins of Father Clean-up

PARAGUAY
The Times (United Kingdom)

Tony Allen-Mills
He offered hope, promised change and swept to the presidency on a historic tide of popular enthusiasm. Yet the man described as South America’s answer to Barack Obama has fallen off his Paraguayan pedestal and the crash has been felt in world capitals from Washington to the Vatican.

President Fernando Lugo was hardly the first of his country’s politicians to admit to fathering a child out of wedlock - a predecessor had acknowledged that he had more than 90 illegitimate children. Yet Lugo’s admission last week that he had a long affair with Viviana Carrillo, who was 24 when she bore him a son named Guillermo two years ago, broke new ground for the number of social taboos he shattered.

When he met Carrillo, Lugo was a leftist Catholic bishop steeped in liberation theology and devoted to improving the plight of the poor in San Pedro, one of Paraguay’s most impoverished provinces.

To the Vatican’s dismay, he later decided to abandon the priesthood and enter politics as a supposedly incorruptible outsider who promised to transform Paraguay’s notoriously crooked political elite. It has since emerged that before Lugo left the church he had broken his vows of chastity and started romancing Carrillo when he was 48 and she was just 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Two masses planned for victims of child abuse

VENICE (FL)
Charlotte Sun

Provided by Adela Gonzales White
Diocese of Venice

VENICE -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and to raise awareness of the need to protect children and to pray for victims of child sexual abuse, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice will celebrate two special masses.

The masses for victims will be April 24 at Epiphany Cathedral Parish in Venice and April 30 at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples. Both are scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

"We must reach out to victims of child abuse who have come forward and look for those who have not," Dewane said in a statement. "We have to give them compassion and be a source of healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Marcial Maciel milked his main benefactor and then gave her the boot.

MEXICO
St. Rita of Cascia Blog

February 5th, 2009 10:52- Mexico City
A translation of the following article originally writen in Spanish:
http://sdpnoticias.com/sdp/contenido/2009/02/05/324720

The daughter of Flora Barragan de Garza, main benefactor of the Legionaries of Christs speaks about how Fr. Maciel was able to get 50 million dollars from her mother.

Flora Garza Barragán, daughter of Flora Barrgán, first benefactor of the Legion of Christ, in a radio news interview with Carmen Aristegui spoke of how the founder of the Legionaries of Christ took control of the fortune of her mother.

This began, she commented, when her father passed away and left her mother an immense fortune, making her one of the richest women in Mexico. Of this fortune, she intended to give 10 million dollars for the construction of a hospital dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis.

The 10 million, instead of being given to build the hospital, built the “Cumbres Institute”, the first headquarters of the Congregation, where, later on, acts of sexual abuse of minors would take place. Finally, she gave more than 50 million dollars to the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Metro Pastor Charged with Brutal Attack

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Fox 4

KANSAS CITY, MO - A metro pastor faces felony assault charges after a bleeding and beaten woman showed up at a stranger's doorstep accusing the man of beating her.

Alfred F. White, 54, a pastor at the Community Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, is charged with first-degree domestic assault in the incident.

According to police, White allegedly picked up the victim on Wednesday evening when they had an argument over whether or not he was the father of the woman's child. Authorities say that White struck approximately 50 times as they drove around the area, and that he allegedly stopped in the area of 34th and Benton for approximately an hour where he continued to hit the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Police: Woman Claims Pastor Beat Her

KANSAS CITY (KS)
KCTV

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Police said a woman claimed her boyfriend -- a pastor at a church in Kansas City, Kan. -- beat her and tossed her out of a car onto the street. ...

At about 5 a.m. on Thursday, a woman who wished to remain anonymous said she heard pounding on her door.According to the resident, the victim explained what had happened and told the woman that she had been beaten all day and tossed out of a car onto the street in the 3300 block of 20th Terrace.

Police said the victim identified her assailant as Alfred White, the pastor of Community Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan. Police said the victim also told police that White fathered a child with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Pastor charged in beating of woman

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Kansas City Star

By CHRISTINE VENDEL
The Kansas City Star

Jackson County prosecutors on Friday accused a 54-year-old pastor in the beating of a woman that left her with a deep head wound and severed artery.

Prosecutors charged Alfred F. White of Kansas City with first-degree domestic assault.

The 34-year-old victim banged on a stranger’s door in the 3200 block of East 20th Street about 4:45 a.m. Thursday and begged for help. She said she had knocked on another door but no one was home. She was bleeding heavily and collapsed into a fetal position on the porch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Vatican picks Blair to direct inquiry

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The Vatican has picked Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo to lead a doctrinal investigation into the nation's largest organization of nuns.

The inquiry will look at adherence to Catholic doctrine by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization based in Silver Springs, Md., with 1,500 nuns in leadership positions representing 95 percent of the nation's 67,000 Catholic sisters.

Virtually all nuns' communities in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan belong to the group. ...

Sister Christine Schenk, of the Sisters of St. Joseph religious order and executive director of the Catholic reform group FutureChurch, said she is "very puzzled" by reported concerns over adherence to doctrine.

"I have been at every LCWR conference in the last 15 years and I don't recall anybody speaking about women's ordination or addressing those other issues. It's been my experience that they're quite careful about that," Sister Christine said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Vatican investigates U.S. women religious leadership

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Thomas C. Fox

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has initiated a doctrinal investigation of the largest U.S. women’s religious leadership organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The Vatican already announced a separate study last December to assess the “quality of life” in apostolic women’s religious communities throughout the United States.

The Vatican congregation informed the leadership conference officers of its new “doctrinal assessment” in a February 20 letter, which the officers received March 10. The letter came from Cardinal William Joseph Levada, the congregation’s prefect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Great news: Vatican to investigate America's bossy feminist nuns

UNITED STATES
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Damian Thompson

One of the worst things about American Catholicism is its militia of feminist nuns, who long ago decided that the Magisterium was too restricting for them, and that if they couldn't be priests they could at least swan around like them, issuing bossy diktats about "being Church".

How satisfying, then, to learn that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is launching a "doctrinal assessment" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), a stronghold of the finger-wagging, right-on sisterhood.

They're furious, of course! And so is the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly whingefest of "empowered" laity and their priest lackeys. Here is the NCR's report of Rome's decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Women religious leadership conference faces investigation for continued ‘problems’

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

Toledo, Ohio, Apr 18, 2009 / 08:40 am (CNA).- The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is being investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because of the “tenor and doctrinal content” of various addresses at the organization’s annual assemblies since 2001. One such address described “moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus” as “the dynamic option” for religious life.

According to its web site, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) has more than 1,500 members representing about 95 percent of the 59,000 women religious in the U.S.

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), announced the doctrinal review in a letter, the National Catholic Reporter says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Pope picks Toledo bishop to head national probe of Catholic nuns

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We're saddened by Blaire's selection. It rubs salt into already deep and still fresh wounds, of both victims and Catholics, each time the Pope gives more responsibility to a bishop with a terrible track record on child sex abuse and cover up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Pastor Arrested: This is no time for complacency

SALINAS (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We're saddened every time we hear of another accused predator priest. At the same time, we are grateful every time a survivor finds the strength to report these horrific crimes.

Even though this cleric has been arrested, this is no time for complacency. Typically, pedophile priests hire expensive lawyers and fight hard to exploit every legal loophole they can find. So it's crucial that anyone with information about these crimes contacts police immediately. When victims and witnesses come forward, predators are convicted. But when victims and witnesses stay silent, predators often walk free to molest again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

SALINAS: PRIEST ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED UNLAWFUL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR WITH MINOR

SALINAS (CA)
CBS 5

SALINAS (BCN)

A 41-year-old priest from a Catholic church in Salinas was arrested Thursday evening for alleged unlawful sexual behavior with a minor and providing alcohol to a minor, Salinas police Commander Dino Bardoni said today.

Antonio Cortes, the pastor of Saint Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church was arrested at about 5 p.m. at the church rectory at 1702 Second Ave., according to police.

Bardoni said the victim, a teenage boy, reported the unlawful behavior, with the most recent incident allegedly happening earlier this week on church property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

1 Alleged Child Molester In Custody, 1 At-Large

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
CBS 2

ORANGE COUNTY (CBS) ―

A teacher in Newport Beach is behind bars for allegedly molesting two girls, ages 8 and 11, while a former head of religious education in Santa Ana, wanted for the possible sexual assault of three teen boys, is at large, according to authorities. ...

Meanwhile, in Santa Ana, police are looking for Guillermo Aguilar, 43.

Aguilar, the former director of Religious Education at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, is alleged to have sexually assaulted three teen boys.

According to Santa Ana police Commander Tammy Franks, Aguilar assaulted the three boys over a four or five year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

U.S. to deport Calgary child molester

CANADA
Calgary Herald

A retired Calgary pastor convicted of molesting a four-year-old girl in the united states is coming back to Canada.

Kenneth Cooke, 74, is in the custody of immigration officials awaiting his deportation.

Cooke has been in jail since november 2007, when he pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Canada's First Nations leader hopes meeting with pope is turning point

CANADA
Catholic News Service

By Deborah Gyapong
Catholic News Service

OTTAWA (CNS) -- When Canada's aboriginal leaders meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican April 29, they hope to turn the page on the tragic legacy of Indian residential schools.

"This meeting has the potential to be a historic and momentous occasion for First Nations, (abuse) survivors, Canadian Catholics and indeed all Canadians," said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine at an April 15 news conference. "I am both honored and excited to have this opportunity to meet with the pope to discuss this important matter and to move forward to work toward real reconciliation."

"The pope is a bridge-builder," said Archbishop V. James Weisgerber of Winnipeg, Manitoba, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. "For that reason, he has invited us to visit him in Rome, in a gesture of reconciliation and healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Ruling in sex-abuse lawsuit involves former auxiliary bishop from KC’s Catholic diocese

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A judge this week ordered two Catholic dioceses to turn over records in a sex-abuse case that involves a former auxiliary bishop from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Joseph Vincent Sullivan, an auxiliary bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese from 1967 to 1974, is accused in a lawsuit of molesting a seminary student in Corpus Christi, Texas, three decades ago.

The records are to be turned over to Sullivan’s accuser, Glenn Hymel of Houston. He has alleged that abuse occurred repeatedly between 1978 and 1982 while he was at the seminary and on trips he took with Sullivan, who was bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge at the time. Sullivan died in 1982.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Anniversary of Pope Coming to America - Day 3

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

Once again, the sun rose to reveal another “heavenly” day in our Nations Capital. Man I love that city. The city’s Metro (one of the world’s great subways) opened early to transport the Faithful to the brand new Nationals Stadium for a Papal Mass. The morning press excitedly repeated three words from the Pope’s statement to Bishops the previous evening, “sometimes handled poorly”, as if there had been some sort of scolding or acknowledgment of wrongdoing. Chris Matthews actually had another tingle in his leg.

Did he know we were watching?

I wonder how many victims from across the country stayed home from work to watch that day, feeling the same anxiety I was. The greatest thing about survivors, I know I wasn’t alone in front of the TV that morning. We were all wondering the same thing, “Will the Pope have a message for me?”.

What did he say?

I thought if the Pope really wanted to make a statement, he would have asked Father Thomas Doyle to give the homily, but I guess he wasn’t available. The Pope once again began by noting the rich history, growth, and contributions of American Catholicism. He then spoke of the need to re-affirm fidelity with Church teachings, and offered gratitude and encouragement to those pursuing Vatican II. Then in Paragraph 10, in the context of hope born of God’s love and fidelity, he mentioned it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Lawyers allege wrongdoing

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Post and Courier

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Saturday, April 18, 2009

A complaint prepared by Greenville attorney David Flowers and Charleston attorney Gregg Meyers that alleges collusion and other wrongdoing in connection with the settlement negotiated between the Catholic Diocese of Charleston and lawyers representing a class of sex-abuse victims was filed in U.S. District Court last week.

A petition to the S.C. Supreme Court for "original jurisdiction," filed in December, was rejected March 19. It was an attempt to expedite a review of allegations that implicate diocese officials, attorneys David Haller and Larry Richter and Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein.

Flowers said at the time that he was disappointed by the ruling, but not surprised. He said he would file the complaint in a lower court to facilitate the normal appeals process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Sex abuse charges prompt wider investigation

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

Jane Gargas
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA — A local Catholic outreach organization is grappling with the possibility that one of their former volunteers may be a sex offender.

Reach Youth Ministry, which is headquartered in Cowiche, is in the process of investigating whether Bryce Record, 22, may have had inappropriate contact with minors during his nine months of service as a youth volunteer in 2005-06.

No evidence has come to light that he did, authorities said.

Record, who grew up in Selah, was arrested in November on sexual abuse charges unrelated to his tenure at Reach. He was charged with four counts of child molestation and two counts of child rape. He is free on bail. Several sources said he's attending college out of town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Scranton diocese fund drive short of goal

SCRANTON (PA)
Standard-Speaker

BY LAURA LEGERE
STAFF WRITER
Published: Saturday, April 18, 2009 4:15 AM EDT
The annual fund drive of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton is $830,000 short of its $5.3 million goal nearly two months later than when the goal was met in recent years.

A report on the Annual Appeal fundraiser and individual parishes’ progress toward their share of the goal was published in the diocesan Catholic Light newspaper last week. A review of the individual parishes’ progress reveals that three-quarters of the lowest-performing parishes — those raising 40 percent or less of their goal — are also slated to close as part of the diocese-wide restructuring announced in February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Q1 Court Filings Remain Steady

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The first three months of 2009 saw some changes at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Circuit Court Judge Rita Stotts died two days into the year and her appointed successor, Lorrie Ritter, is preparing to take the oath of office and the bench in Division 4 this month.

Since Stotts’ death from cancer, retired Circuit Court Judge Charles McPherson has been out of retirement and presiding over a stream of civil cases, including a John Doe lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and the Dominican religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Salinas priest accused of abuse

SALINAS (CA)
Monterey Herald

By LARRY PARSONS
Herald Staff Writer

A Salinas priest was arrested on a charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a teenage boy, Salinas police said Friday.

Detectives took the Rev. Antonio Cortes, 41, pastor at St. Mary's of The Nativity Catholic Church, into custody Thursday afternoon and searched the rectory at the East Salinas church, police said.

Cortes, who had been the head priest at St. Mary's since June 2007, was booked into the county jail on two counts of child molestation, a single count of sodomy and multiple counts of providing alcohol to a minor. His bail was set at $750,000, and he remained in custody Friday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Salinas priest arrested in sex case

SALINAS (CA)
The Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • April 18, 2009

A Roman Catholic priest in Salinas was suspended of his church duties and jailed Thursday on suspicion of having sexual contact with a teenage boy. ...

The Rev. Antonio Cortes, parish priest at St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church, was arrested Thursday at the church's office, which is across from the church at 1747 Second Ave.

At this weekend's mass at St. Mary's, he said, a statement by Bishop Richard J. Garcia will be read to parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

April 17, 2009

Salinas Catholic priest accused of molestation

SALINAS (CA)
The Californian

By SUNITA VIJAYAN • April 17, 2009

A Roman Catholic priest in Salinas has been suspended of his church duties as Salinas police investigate allegations he had sexual contact with a teenage boy.

The Rev. Antonio Cortes, pastor of St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of unlawful sexual behavior with a minor and providing alcohol to a minor. Police said Cortes was arrested at the church's office, which is opposite the actual church, 1747 Second Ave.

This afternoon, Cortes remained in Monterey County Jail with bail set at $750,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

More claims against ex-priest

WINDOW ROCK (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

WINDOW ROCK — A second Navajo man has filed a clergy sex abuse lawsuit against a former Franciscan priest who worked on the Navajo Nation in the 1980s.

Charles “Chuck” Cichanowicz was named as a defendant in the complaint that was filed in Navajo Nation Window Rock District Court on Wednesday. Attorneys Patrick Noaker, of Jeff Anderson & Associates of St. Paul, Minn., and William R. Keeler, of Keeler & Keeler of Gallup, filed the civil lawsuit on behalf of a plaintiff, identified only as John Doe CG.

The complaint alleges Cichanowicz sexually abused the plaintiff in 1980 while Cichanowicz was assigned to St. Michaels Mission in St. Michaels, Ariz. It alleges the sexual abuse began with “grooming behaviors” by Cichanowicz as a way to manipulate the 15-year-old boy. The priest eventually transported the plaintiff from the reservation in Arizona to Gallup, the suit claims, where Cichanowicz provided the boy with alcohol, took him to an adult book store, and then sexually abused him in a Gallup hotel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

Raped age 5 by Father Rucker, her life was chaotic and reckless, just like mine

CALIFORNIA
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

There was so much pedophilia in L.A. Catholic parishes that when Fr. Rucker got to St. Anthony’s, he would walk into a first grade class, pick out a student, take her off into the rectory or even on the altar and rape her. A 6 year old girl, often with "giving of Communion wine." A legal brief on George Neville Rucker states that over and over he fondled her on her genitals, under her clothes, massaged her breasts and nipples, licked her, and penetrated her vagina with his penis. A six year old girl. Worse yet, he did the same to at least 23 other children, as 23 were able to come back as adults and file lawsuits in the Clergy Cases, during the one year window that opened in the statute of limitations in 2003 in California. A profligate sexual predator like George Neville Rucker likely had hundreds more victims, standard wisdom is that for every child sex victim who comes forward later as an adult there are 10 others whose stories we never hear.

Cindy Falter, the Rucker victim in the above case file, and I have become pretty good friends in the last two years, as we were both raped by Catholic priests at that age, 4-6, and today we share weird personality quirks as adults. I called her to tell her that in a hearing April 20th, a transcript o a deposition Rucker did with someone in Law Enforcement will likely be the last document from LA Clergy Cases 2007 to be ordered to remain sealed, which could bring the cases finally to an end. I asked Cindy about how she is doing today:

From interview with Cindy:

Most of us are so f---ed up. I think there’s even a couple of Rucker victims that only remotely function. He would scratch crosses in my chest with something like a needle, like a sewing needle.

ME: You said he would come in the classroom and pick you out

Cindy: He’d call down usually, and would have me go up. But yeah, sometimes he’d go in there and he’d pick me out but usually he’d then go back to his rectory and call for me to come up from there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Local Priest Arrested For Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

SALINAS (CA)
KCBA

SALINAS, Calif- Thursday detectives of the Salinas Police Department arrested Father Antonio Cortes, age 41, the Pastor of Saint Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church in Salinas. ...

Anyone with information concerning this investigation is encouraged to contact the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Crime Tip Line at 831-775-4222 or WE-TIP at 1-800-78-CRIME.

The Diocese of Monterey is fully cooperating with this criminal investigation. The Diocese may be contacted through Mr. Warren Hoy (831) 333-6874.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Police arrest Salinas pastor

SALINAS (CA)
Contra Costa Times

The Monterey County Herald
Posted: 04/17/2009 12:09:31 PM PDT

Salinas detectives arrested the Rev. Antonio Cortez, pastor at St. Mary of The Nativity Catholic Church, Thursday afternoon on suspicion of unlawful sexual behavior with a male juvenile and providing alcohol to a minor.

The 41-year-old priest was taken into custody without incident, police said today.

Detectives had a search warrant for the priest's living quarters. He was taken to county jail with bail set at $750,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Guest Commentary: Attorney General cites new sexual abuse allegations

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Cabinet

[link to the documents]

By Carolyn Disco
Published: Thursday, Apr. 16, 2009

Over the last six years, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office received allegations of sexual abuse against 26 priests not previously named. The final 900 pages of those documents were released recently, and are posted on BishopAccountability.org at www.bishop-accountability.org/NH-Manchester/2009_03_07_Audit_Records/excerpts_new_accused/

The files are worth reading for an understanding of the breadth of issues law enforcement faces.

The surprise for Merrimack residents is that the Rev. Denis Downey, the founding pastor at Our Lady of Mercy from 1954-68, has three allegations from 9- to 16-year-olds, and the Rev. Rocco Memolo, who served here from 1983-86, has one from a prior parish for multiple serious offenses. Additional allegations against the Rev. Alfred Jannetta, Philip Petit and Ed Richard, also founding pastor at St. John Neumann, were cited in the new documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Ex-Kansas City Catholic bishop accused of sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We're saddened to see that a second former Kansas City Catholic bishop is accused of child molestation. (They are Bishop Joseph Hart and now Bishop Joseph Sullivan.) We're equally sad to see the church hierarchy continuing to fight in court for secrecy and against victims.

We're grateful to the individuals who have found the strength to take legal action against this predatory cleric and other church officials who further betrayed them. We are especially grateful to Mr. Hymel who is trying to use the time-tested American justice system to shine a light on deeply held church secrets and expose the corruption of Catholic figures who shield child molesters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Anniversary of Pope Coming to America - Day 2

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

This blog is not about hate. I love Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. I defend the right of the Church to participate in all public policy discussions. However, Church tactics too often label any dissent as an attack on the Church and Anti-Catholic. I read the DaVinci code, I read the Philadelphia Grand Jury report, and I support legislation to eliminate civil statutes of limitations for child sex crimes. According to the Church, I am Anti-Catholic.

by David Fortwengler

The weather was gorgeous in our Nation’s Capital, a perfect day for the White House to host a formal arrival ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI. The invitation-only crowd of over 13,000 was a real who-knows-who of American Catholicism. The Pontiff, who was celebrating his birthday, is clearly beloved by his flock, and the media.

In his public remarks, the Pope reflected on the rich history of American Catholicism and the importance of religion in forming public policy. He then had a private 45 minute meeting in the Oval Office with President Bush where they discussed independence for Lebanon, peace in the Middle East, protection for Catholics in Iraq, protecting human rights when fighting terrorism, and human rights for illegal aliens in our country.

This would not be one of the occasions where Pope Benedict would “mention” the Church abuse scandal. Whether it is a police station, courthouse, or State House, Church officials know government property is not a good place to discuss sex crimes by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Anniverserary of Pope Coming to America - Day 1

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

The much anticipated day had arrived. All major media had their #1 reporting teams on location in Washington. The morning show experts previewed Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival, and discussed his itinerary. The most intense speculation was over how, when, and where he would address the “scandal”.

I wanted to hear the Pope’s message. Despite my intense pessimism, I was still hoping for a sincere mea culpa, some meaningful actions, and a sign that he "gets it". I was driving home to watch the official welcome at Andrews AFB when the radio news came on.

Breaking news.... The Pope didn’t even wait to land before addressing the sex abuse crisis. Responding to reporters questions, he said he was ashamed, that pedophiles would be excluded from the priesthood, and the church will do all it can to assist and heal victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Anniversary of Pope “Coming to America” preview

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

David Fortwengler

Wednesday will mark the anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival in the U.S. for the beginning of what was, by all accounts, a well-received visit. He received unparalleled Head-of-State treatment, favorable press, and is beloved by his flock.

American Catholics didn’t know how, or even if, the pontiff would address the scandal, so the collective sigh of relief when he departed five days later was palpable. Many Catholics will remember the visit as when they put the “church abuse scandal” in the past. After all,

He mentioned it.

He mentioned it repeatedly.

He apologized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

UNI professor is put on leave after sex abuse lawsuit

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By ERIN JORDAN • ejordan@dmreg.com • April 17, 2009

The University of Northern Iowa placed a music professor on paid leave Thursday after learning about a federal lawsuit alleging he sexually abused a former high school music student in Missouri.

Adam Walker, 31, of Springfield, Mo., held a news conference on the UNI campus Thursday to inform Iowa parents and students about the lawsuit filed in November against Bradley Barrett, an assistant professor in the UNI School of Music. ...

Walker was joined at the news conference by Steve Theisen, who leads the Iowa chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. The partnership highlights the similarity between Walker's suit and thousands of similar claims filed against Catholic clergy across the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Kanawha County man sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting 16-year-old

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer

Timothy Edmonds

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Chesapeake man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who attended the Christian school run by his mother-in-law was sentenced Thursday in Kanawha Circuit Court to up to 20 years in prison.

In January, a jury convicted Timothy Charles Edmonds, 37, of three counts of sexual assault by a person in a position of trust. The victim, now 19, testified that Edmonds "rubbed his private part" against her crotch and rear on four different occasions in March 2006.

At the time, she was a student at the Upper Kanawha Valley Christian School, which is run by Edmonds' mother-in-law, Patricia Priddy. The school is connected to the Chesapeake Apostolic Church, where Edmonds' father-in-law, Phillip Priddy, is pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Charleston diocese denies collusion in sex abuse case

CHARLESTON (SC)
News 2

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston on Thursday refuted claims made in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that the Diocese colluded with lawyers representing past victims of sexual abuse.

The Diocese of Charleston reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit on January with victims of sexual abuse in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Two new lawsuits allege abuse by former priests

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Two new suits alleging sexual abuse by former Delaware priests were filed Thursday in Delaware Superior Court.

In the first, plaintiff Kevin Cuff alleges the late Rev. John M. McDevitt and the Rev. Dennis W. Killion abused him while he was a student at Salesianum School in Wilmington. The alleged abuse by Killion began in 1983 when Cuff was a freshman in the priest's religion class and continued his sophomore year; McDevitt began abusing him when he was a junior, according to the suit.

In the second case, defendant John BS Doe alleges Killion abused him between 1983 and 1986 when he was a student at Salesianum. The abuse allegedly occurred on the school campus and in Chester County Hospital, where the boy was recovering from surgery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

April 16, 2009

Priest charged with 'filming' boys at Blacksmiths carnival

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY DAN PROUDMAN
17/04/2009 4:00:00 AM
A VISITING Catholic priest stands accused of filming boys showering during a surf lifesaving carnival at Blacksmiths.

John Charles Houston, 54, has been charged with two counts of filming a person in a private act without consent to obtain sexual arousal and one charge each of filming a person's private parts without consent and filming a person in a private act without consent to obtain sexual arousal (aggravated).

The aggravated charge relates to a 14-year-old boy and carries a maximum jail term of five years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Two lawsuits filed against Diocese alleging sexual misconduct

BELLEVILLE (IL)
WJBD

Two new lawsuits have been filed against the Belleville Diocese of the Catholic Church allegedly two young teenagers were abused by a priest at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Salem in the 1970's. The Belleville News-Democrat says the lawsuits are being brought by 42-year-old Steven Kern and a 48-year-old man identified only by initials as 'K.C.' The two claim they were touched or fondled by former Pastor Raymond Kownacki. They are represented by the same attorneys who won a five million dollar verdict against the Diocese for sexual abuse Kownacki allegedly committed against an alter boy at the church in the '70's.

Mike Weilmuenster and Steve Wigginton have also filed a third lawsuit on behalf of a young teen who claims to have been sexually abused by Reverend Jerome Ratermann at St. Peter and Paul Church in Waterloo. That lawsuit alleges Ratermann had engaged in the same acts of sexual molestation of a minor while principal at Breese Mater Dei High School. Both priests were removed in the 1990's and have never been charged criminally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

I wasn’t surprised when I saw this press release about new lawsuits accusing two Oblates of St. Francis de Sales of sexual abuse.

What is surprising and worth noting, however, is that the two accused priests were supervised by their own religious order and FOUR different dioceses in THREE different states. That’s a lot of “moving around” for priests with “unremarkable” records.

It seems as if people were working very hard behind the scenes to ensure that law enforcement never got a whiff of the threat that Dennis Killion and John McDevitt posed to children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

More sexual abuse suits filed against former Bishop Verot High School employee

DELAWARE
Naples Daily News

By Naples Daily News staff report
2:49 p.m., Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two more sexual abuse lawsuits were filed in Delaware courts Thursday against a former Bishop Verot High School activities director.

The suits share similar allegations against the Rev. Dennis Killion from when Killion worked at a Delware Catholic high school in the 1980s, and raise the total claims against Killion to 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Former youth pastor gets 10- to 20- for sexual abuse of girl

CHARLESTON (WV)
Daily Mail

by Cheryl Caswell
Daily Mail staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former church youth pastor was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in the penitentiary for sexually abusing a young girl, despite his pleas to the judge for leniency.

Timothy C. Edmonds, 37, was convicted in January of three counts of sexual abuse that occurred in a home he was remodeling three years ago near the Chesapeake Apostolic Church.

The jury decided Edmonds was not guilty of three more counts of sexual abuse involving the same 16-year-old girl alleged to have taken place in the basement of the church school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Do Women Rape?

TRACY (CA)
The Daily Beast

by Marcia Clark

O.J.'s former prosecutor says the so-called Sunday School murder case is unlike anything California's legal community has ever seen—and the defendant's likely defense won't work.

The details seeping out of little Tracy, California, get increasingly disturbing. Days before her arrest for the rape and murder of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu, Sunday-school teacher Melissa Huckaby allegedly tried to commit suicide by swallowing razor blades. A year before that, a court ordered her to get mental-health counseling after she was busted for shoplifting. “If you pitched me this story I’d throw you out,” a top producer who worked on a crime drama series tells me. “It’s too far out to be believable, even for television.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Baltimore rabbi convicted of sexual offense

BALTIMORE (MD)
JTA

April 16, 2009

(JTA) -- A long-time Baltimore-area rabbi was convicted of sexual offense.

Rabbi Jacob Aaron Max was found guilty Monday of sex offense in the fourth degree and second degree assault for molesting a female employee of a funeral home in December of last year, the Baltimore Jewish Times reported.

Rabbi Max, 85, is the rabbi emeritus of the Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation, which is better known as Pikesville’s Liberty Jewish Center. He has been active in the Baltimore Jewish community for over six decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Former Pastor Set for Sentencing in Sexual Abuse Case

WEST VIRGINIA
WSAZ

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former preacher from Kanawha County convicted of sexually abusing a teenager is expected to learn his fate Thursday.

Timothy Edmonds was arrested back in 2006 for assaulting a 16-year-old girl. He was found guilty of those charges back in January.

According to court records, Edmonds will be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Teen mental health counselor faces another child sex lawsuit; sex abuse victims respond<

LAFAYETTE (IN)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A new civil child molestation lawsuit has been filed against a former Catholic priest who now counsels teens and young adults in Lafayette. It’s the second such suit against the same man in the last 15 months.

Like the first lawsuit, it was filed in Navajo Nation District Court in Shiprock, New Mexico. The suit says that around 1980, when he was 15, a boy was “groomed, manipulated and sexually molested” by Fr. Charles (“Chuck”) Cichanowicz. The crimes took place at a hotel in Gallup, NM and on the Navajo Nation Reservation in St. Michaels, Arizona where the boy lived.

Cichanowicz is now a teen mental health counselor and addiction specialist at the Alpine Clinic in Lafayette, IN (AlpineClinic.com).

It’s cowardly and disingenuous for Dolan to dodge questions

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It's cowardly and disingenuous for Dolan to dodge questions (as he did this morning) about reforming New York's predator-friendly child sex abuse laws.

At every opportunity, in Wisconsin, Ohio, Maryland, Colorado and other states, Dolan and his brother bishops have deceptively and aggressively fought against sorely-needed 'window' laws that enable child sex abuse victims to expose dangerous predators and those who shield dangerous predators. He will do so in New York too, and he knows it. Not only will Dolan continue to act in ways to keep the identities of predators secret, but it is highly likely he will continue his predecessor's policy of sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into public relations and lobbyists to stop legislation that would identify predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Alamo too late to seek bond, judge decides

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009

Evangelist Tony Alamo's request to be released on bond while he awaits trial on sex charges was made more than five months too late, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Alamo, the 74-year-old leader of a multistate ministry with headquarters in Fouke, has been incarcerated since Sept. 25, when he was arrested in Arizona on charges that he transported an underage girl across state lines for sex. Prosecutors have since added charges accusing him of transporting four other girls for sexual purposes since 1994. His trial is set for May 18.

At a hearing Oct. 22, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant declined to set a bond, saying prosecutors had shown that Alamo poses a danger to the community and might flee if given the chance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Virgin Mary statue beheaded at LA church where two pedophile priests served

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

Before Mass Easter Sunday someone decapitated the Virgin Mary statue at St. Monica’s Church in Santa Monica. It’s the second time in two years the statue has been mutilated. In 2002 "unknown suspects" removed its hands and feet. Last Sunday, the head was found on the sidewalk a few yards away from the rest of the marble statue about 5:45 AM. The pastor put a plastic bag over the severed neck before churchgoers began to arrive.

The vandals could have been victims of Sean Cronin or Richard Hartman, two pedophile priests who spent time at the church. However in recent news stories about sex crimes against children by priests in LA, parishioners at St. Monica's say they want to move on, put those times behind them. In an environment of abandonment and severed justice, a sex crime victim of one of the priests at St. Monica’s could have been driven to decapitate the Mary statue. I wish they would contact me and tell me how they did it. (email: cityofangelslady@yahoo.com )
For example: this quote from a 2004 LA Times Story could have angered a simmering victim: "Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson, pastor of St. Monica Catholic Community in Santa Monica, said, "The thing that's extraordinary is that with all of the struggle that [the sex-abuse tragedy] has brought to our communities, our people continue to support their local churches. They are attending Mass in record numbers.”

Sigh. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Sect files massive motions to suppress evidence in criminal cases

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard Times

By Paul A. Anthony
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Attorneys for indicted members of the FLDS dropped a 7,000-page bombshell Wednesday on the 51st District Court, alleging that Texas Rangers misled Judge Barbara Walther into issuing a pair of search warrants that authorized last year's raid on the polygamous sect's Schleicher County compound.

In identical 61-page motions to suppress evidence filed for each of 19 charges against 10 defendants - with 300-plus more pages of evidence and attachments - the attorneys accuse Texas Ranger Lt. Brooks Long of failing to provide Walther key details that would have undermined the credibility of the initial phone calls that led to the raid.

"In short," the attorneys write, "it is clear that the authorities used a hoax phone call as an excuse for staging a massively intrusive raid upon a disfavored religious group. Under the guise of looking for a man they knew was not there and a child that did not exist, the Texas authorities conducted a general search to see what they could find."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Getting to know the new archbishop

NEW YORK
Staten Island Advance

Posted by Leslie Palma-Simoncek April 15, 2009 7:00PM

Archbishop Timothy Dolan has been described as "relaxed" with the media, and this morning at a press conference in the Catholic Center -- before his marathon installation mass -- he was jovial, at ease, even apologetic at times when he said he felt like he was dodging a question. Reporters he had met before he remembered by name and circumstance. Not bad for someone who admits to not being sure how far away the archdiocese's northern border is. (He didn't mention the southern border, Tottenville, this morning, but Staten Island was mentioned twice in his homily at mass). ...

Addressing the priest sexual abuse scandal that has troubled the church for most of this decade, he said the church has done a good job at addressing the situation, but that more needs to be done.

"We have to resist the temptation to say, 'oh good, that's behind us.' It isn't."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Judge: Dioceses must turn over records in abuse lawsuit

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
Caller-Times

By Denise Malan

CORPUS CHRISTI — A judge ordered two Catholic dioceses to turn over records in a civil lawsuit alleging that a Baton Rouge bishop sexually abused a boy in Corpus Christi almost 30 years ago.

In the suit, a Houston man alleges that Bishop Joseph Vincent Sullivan abused him from 1978 to 1982, nearly two years of which he spent in the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary. The man, now 42, was a teenage student in the Baton Rouge minor seminary and transferred to Corpus Christi after schools closed in Baton Rouge and Lumberton.

Sullivan remained bishop in Baton Rouge but would visit the boy at the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary, a high school for boys aspiring to the priesthood. Sullivan died in 1982.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Clinic therapist again target of molesting suit

LAFAYETTE (IN)
Journal & Courier

By SOPHIA VORAVONG • svoravong@jconline.com • April 16, 2009

A therapist at Alpine Counseling Center in Lafayette is being sued by an Arizona man who claims the former Roman Catholic priest sexually abused him nearly 30 years ago.

The civil complaint, filed Wednesday in Navajo Nation District Court in Window Rock, Ariz., is the second such lawsuit filed in the past 15 months against Charles "Chuck" Cichanowicz.
It accuses Cichanowicz, a West Lafayette resident, of having repeated sexual contact with a then-15-year-old boy on a Navajo reservation in St. Michaels, Ariz.

"We're seeking accountability," said St. Paul, Minn.-based attorney Patrick Noaker, whose client is identified only as John Doe CG in court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

More claims of clerical sex abuse

IRELAND
The Corkman

By MARIA HERLIHY

Thursday April 16 2009

A RETIRED priest, aged in his 70s, went voluntarily to Mallow Garda station last Thursday where he was interviewed by detectives for several hours regarding allegations of abuse made against him by two women.

In the past three months, two women made separate formal complains to Gardai alleging that they were sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s.

One of the women alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a priest when she was in her midteens and the other women alleged she was sexually assaulted when she was in her early 20s. Both allege that the offences occurred in the early 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

April 15, 2009

Three new lawsuits filed claiming sexual abuse by Belleville Diocese priests

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK - gpawlaczyk@bnd.com

BELLEVILLE -- Three separate lawsuits were filed Wednesday naming three new alleged victims of sexual abuse by two priests from the Belleville Diocese.

The three suits were filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court by the same attorneys who won a $5 million verdict last August for James Wisniewski of Champaign. Each refers to a decades-old Vatican document that directed that evidence of sex abuse of minors by priests must be kept secret within the church.

Steven Kern, 42, and two plaintiffs known only by initials -- 48-year-old "K.C." and 46-year-old "D.S." -- filed suit separately through lawyers Mike Weilmuenster and Steve Wigginton of Belleville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Belle Glade pastor apprehended in Brandon on charges of having sex with a minor

BRANDON (FL)
TampaBay.com

BRANDON -- Deputies arrested a Palm Beach County pastor today who was suspected of fleeing charges of having sexual activity with a minor, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The Rev. James R. Harris, 61, of Belle Glade is accused of promising young athletes he would find them recruiting scholarships in exchange for sex acts, a sheriff's news release stated.

A tipster told U.S. Marshals that Harris may be in the Brandon area, and deputies found him sleeping in a parked car near Williams Road and Broadway Avenue at 9:20 a.m, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 PM

Sheriff's Office: Belle Glade activist forced football players into sex acts

BELLE GLADE (FL)
CBS 12

April 15, 2009 - 9:22 PM
ROCHELLE E.B. GILKEN
BELLE GLADE -- A well-known city activist is charged with sexual battery after an investigation revealed that he was cooercing teenaged football players into sex acts at his home by promising them access to recruiters and college scouts.

According to the arrest report, Rev. Richard Harris allowed teenagers to go to his house to lift weights and have sex with their girlfriends while he filmed it.

The crimes were revealed after his home was burglarized last month. The thieves played videos stolen from Harris' home and recognized their peers performing sex acts in the videos, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Belle Glade pastor arrested in Brandon

BELLE GLAD (FL)
TBO

Published: April 15, 2009

A Belle Glade reverend was arrested in Brandon this morning on a warrant accusing him of trying to molest underage athletes.

Rev. James R. Harris, 61, is charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, lewd or lascivious battery, child abuse, showing obscene material to a minor and promoting sexual performance by a child. All of the incidents took place in Palm Beach County, according to authorities.

Harris is accused of promising to arrange scholarships or scouts to young male athletes in exchange for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Paraguayan bishops lament Lugo’s betrayal of his vows

PARAGUAY
Catholic News Agency

Asunción, Paraguay, Apr 15, 2009 / 03:14 pm (CNA).- Various Catholic bishops in Paraguay are lamenting the news that the current President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, fathered a child with a 16 year-old girl while he was still a Catholic bishop.

Bishop Mario Melanio Medina lamented that “Fernando Lugo lied to the Catholic Church in fathering a child as a religious.”

Lugo “is not the first nor will he be the last who lied or will lie to the Church. This should serve as a lesson to all priests,” the bishop said. Although he acknowledged that the decision by the president to admit his actions and acknowledge his son “is a courageous act,” he added that “it is sad that he had a relationship with a woman at a time when he was still a religious.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Second arrest made in Buckeye pastor sex assault case

BUCKEYE (AZ)
ABC 15

[with video]

Reported by: Lori Jane Gliha
Email: ljgliha@abc15.com

A Buckeye church pastor is facing charges for sexually abusing some of his members and a second arrest has been made, according to police and court documents.

Charles Carfrey, the director and pastor at Choices church near 4th Street and Eason Avenue, is accused of forcing vulnerable females to perform sex acts on him and threatening them if they went to authorities.

According to court documents, some church members would sign over their paychecks to Carfrey, and he would distribute the money as he saw fit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Police: Buckeye church set up for pastor's 'carnal needs'

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jackee Coe - Apr. 15, 2009
The Arizona Republic

The Lord's House Church in Buckeye is being investigated as a front for sexual exploitation, police said in the wake of its leaders' arrests.

On Tuesday, police arrested Debra Hinkley, 47, the church's assistant director, at a home in Tonopah, said Lt. Phil Harris, a Buckeye police spokesman.

The church's pastor, Charles Carfrey, 59, has been in custody since March 20, accused of running a criminal syndicate, having sexual conduct with a minor and sexual abuse. He allegedly used his position to sexually assault women during counseling sessions, police said. Investigators also are looking into unspecified fraud charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Rabbi, 85, found guilty of fondling woman

BALTIMORE (MD)
United Press International

BALTIMORE, April 15 (UPI) -- A judge in Baltimore found an 85-year-old rabbi guilty of sexually molesting a female worker at a funeral home.

Rabbi Jacob Aaron Max pleaded innocent to charges that he fondled the woman's breasts while murmuring that he was a "bad rabbi," The Sun newspaper in Baltimore reported Wednesday.

A police report of the incident said the woman told officers she was in the kitchen of the Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home when Max approached her from behind and pressed his body against hers, pinning her to the counter. She said the rabbi placed his hands on her brassiere, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

The Installation of Archbishop Dolan

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Sewell Chan AND Cara Buckley

Updated, 4:30 p.m. | Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan used the occasion of his installation as the 13th Roman Catholic bishop (and 10th archbishop) of New York on Wednesday afternoon to issue a forceful antiabortion message. ...

Francis Piderit of the New York chapter of Voice of the Faithful, was there to support the advocates seeking to reopen their parishes. He said that especially in East Harlem, Latino Catholics wanted to be heard.

“I think Archbishop Dolan could send a powerful message to the Latino community of New York if he just sat down and talked to these parishioners,” he said. “They have paid the price. But we believe we still have a vibrant faith community, and we should have a reason to live.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Can Paraguay's Bishop Turned President Survive a Paternity Scandal?

PARAGUAY
Time

By Tim Padgett
Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009

It's a priest-meets-girl drama that's now a president-admits-baby scandal. According to a paternity suit filed in Paraguay last week, Fernando Lugo was 48 years old when, a decade ago, he began an amorous relationship with a 16-year-old girl, Viviana Carrillo, in the impoverished San Pedro province. Lugo at the time was a Roman Catholic bishop — and Carrillo was preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. Lugo denies that the affair began when Carillo was a minor. But she says she was "seduced by the way he talked, his pretty words, his beautiful expressions," according to the suit, "and by his promises that he would resign his position for me, that he would spend his life with me, that we would have many children together and form a household."

Lugo did eventually resign as bishop of San Pedro — but just months before leaving the priesthood, he conceived a child with Carrillo in 2006, when she was 24. (The boy, Guillermo, turns two next month.) A year ago this weekend Lugo was elected President of Paraguay. Now, in response to the lawsuit, Lugo has come clean about the affair. "Here and now, before people and my conscience, I declare with absolute honesty and a sense of duty and transparency," the President said on Monday, "that there was a relationship with Viviana Carrillo." He added: "I assume all responsibilities, and I recognize that I'm the father of the child." Says Claudio Kostinchok, one of the lawyers who filed the suit for Carrillo: "I think he showed that his clerical and political ambitions mattered more to him than this woman and child." (See the top 10 political sex scandals.) ...

Nonetheless, Lugo, who has long been dogged by rumors about the affair, as well as others, finally felt compelled to come forward. "He's taking the honorable steps," says Farina. Perhaps. But Lugo's behavior leading up to his Monday admission was reminiscent of former U.S. President Bill Clinton before he conceded his affair with Monica Lewinsky in 1998. Lugo kept even his closest aides in the dark about the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Sex suit filed in N.M. against former priest living in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE (IN)
Journal & Courier

By SOPHIA VORAVONG • svoravong@jconline.com • April 15, 2009

A former Catholic priest who currently works at Alpine Counseling Center in Lafayette is being sued by an Arizona man who claims he was sexually abused by the priest in the mid-1980s.

The civil complaint, filed today in Navajo Nation District Court in Shiprock, N.M., is the second such lawsuit filed in 15 months against Charles Cichanowicz.

It accuses Cichanowicz, a West Lafayette resident, of having repeated sexual contact with a then 15-year-boy on a Navajo reservation in St. Michaels, Ariz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Lawsuit alleges priest molested Navajo boy in 1980

NEW MEXICO
Chicago Tribune

By SUE MAJOR HOLMES | Associated Press Writer
3:17 PM CDT, April 15, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A Navajo man is alleging a priest assigned to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup sexually molested him when he was a teenager in 1980.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Navajo Nation District Court in Window Rock, Ariz., against Charles "Chuck" Cichanowicz, the diocese, the Franciscan Friars Province of St. John the Baptist and Franciscan Friars Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe by a man identified only as John Doe CG.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Dolan installed As New York's 10th Archbishop

NEW YORK
Capital News 9

[with video]

By: Web Staff

NEW YORK -- Catholics from across New York City and the surrounding areas gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral Wednesday afternoon for the official installation of their new leader, Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Dolan, 59, was installed just after 2:30 p.m. with the stamping of a letter written by Pope Benedict XVI.

The ceremony began at around 1:30 p.m. as a procession of cardinals, bishops, and priests made its way through the main doors of St. Patrick's Cathedral. During this cavalcade, Dolan stood outside the church on 51st Street, greeting both the religious officials and passerbys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

NY Archbishop-designate Dolan: Church still has 'credibility to regain'

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY BART JONES AND JOHN VALENTI |
12:53 PM EDT, April 15, 2009

Hours before he was scheduled to be installed as the newest archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan held his inaugural news conference Wednesday and immediately displayed a style much different from that of his predecessor.

Speaking at Cathedral High School in Manhattan, Dolan told reporters the sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church "isn't behind us," and the church - and its priests - still need to regain credibility among both congregants and the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

HONG KONG China-Church expert succeeds Cardinal Zen as new Hong Kong bishop

HONG KONG
Union of Catholic Asian News

HONG KONG (UCAN) -- The Vatican on April 15 announced that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, 77, from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Hong Kong, and that Coadjutor Bishop John Tong Hon succeeds him.

The announcement cited conformity with Canon 401, section 1, of the Code of Canon Law, which directs a bishop to request retirement upon reaching the age of 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Judge revokes ex-prosecutor's house arrest

PENNSYLVANIA
Bucks County Courier Times

By: LAURIE MASON Bucks County Courier Times

The judge said that it was inappropriate for Anthony Cappuccio to be walking freely in Doylestown while on house arrest. He was sent to prison.

Reversing his earlier, controversial sentence, Bucks County Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. on Monday revoked Anthony Cappuccio's house arrest and sent the former chief deputy district attorney to prison for six to 23 months for corrupting the morals of three teenage boys.

Although he stressed that media accounts and public outcry did not factor into his decision, Fritsch said he was dismayed to learn through the press that Cappuccio was walking freely through Doylestown last week during a break in his divorce proceedings in Family Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Judge sends ex-prosecutor to prison for corrupting teens

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Larry King
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Bucks County judge changed his mind yesterday and sent a former top prosecutor to prison for endangering and corrupting teenage boys in a church youth group.

On March 10, Anthony Cappuccio had admitted buying alcohol for three of the teens, smoking pot with them, and having a months-long sexual relationship with one boy. Judge C. Theodore Fritsch sentenced him to three to 23 months of house arrest.

Yesterday, Fritsch toughened that sentence considerably, tossing the original punishment and ordering Cappuccio to the county prison for six to 23 months. As he had last month, Fritsch tacked seven years of probation onto the end of the active time. ...

Cappuccio, 32, had been a chief deputy district attorney in Bucks County until early September, when Richland Township police found him partially clothed with a 17-year-old boy in a parked car near Quakertown. He also had been a youth leader at a Perkasie church, where parents had trusted him with their teens because of his standing as a prosecutor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Will It Be Just a Change of Face or An About Face In New York?

NEW YORK
The 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.

Timothy M. Dolan 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Judge Orders offender priest files released to referee. Expect objections in hearing A

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

“Your clients have a right to come in and make those arguments in court,” says the judge to the attorney defending pedophile priests in the L.A. Clergy Cases 2007, who was trying at a hearing March 5th to keep files on the perpetrators from being released. The judge followed up in an order April 3rd: “Any accused offender shall [have an] opportunity to object and to seek judicial review from this Court.”

In other words, if accused pedophile priests want to defend themselves and their reputations in a public courtroom, set up a hearing and Judge Emilie Elias will rule, maybe even set up a jury trial.

The Judge denies arguments such as: “"The documents aren’t public because they weren’t introduced at trial,” which stretches imaginary lawyering to new depths, since the Church fought the L.A. cases with motions to dismiss all the way up to the night before trial then settled, thus keeping defendants from getting on the stand or any of the evidence from being introduced.

CBS Radio Report: Huckaby Attempted Suicide Days Before Arrest

CALIFORNIA
City Brights

Rich Lieberman

Just a few days before she was arrested on charges of kidnapping, raping, and murdering Sandra Cantu, Melissa Huckaby apparently attempted suicide, according to CBS Radio news correspondent John Blackstone.

In an 'exclusive report, (aired locally this morning on KCBS) Blackstone said that Huckaby was treated in a local Tracy hospital for "internal bleeding", which was the result of the 28 year-old woman apparently trying to swallow three 'X-Acto-knife' blades.

The suicide attempt took place the day authorities found the remains of Cantu in a suitcase, according to Blackstone's report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

UNITED KINGDOM
The Trusty Servant

John Scholes

It is now six-and-a-half years since the last significant discussion of Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s response to paedophile priests during his time as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.

Born 24 August 1932, he was consecrated as bishop on 21 December 1977 and stayed at Arundel for more than 22 years until he became Archbishop of Westminster in March 2000. He was made a cardinal in 2001. (He remains a cardinal, but will lose his voting rights on his 80th birthday in 2012). He recently retired as Archbishop of Westminster, being replaced by Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Birmingham (since March 2000).

The case which attracted wide attention was Fr Michael Hill, a parish priest in the diocese. Born 1934, ordained 1960. Allegations emerged in the early 1980s. Murphy-O’Connor did not inform the police. Instead he sent Hill for treatment at a rehabilitation unit run by an American religious order, Servants of the Paraclete, near Stroud in Gloucestershire. He then appointed him chaplain at Gatwick Airport in 1985, where he abused a male teenager with learning difficulties who went to the airport chapel after missing a flight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Archbishop Dolan’s First News Conference

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Sewell Chan
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan held his first news conference in New York City on Wednesday, answering questions from reporters at the New York Catholic Center on the East Side. Asked about Gov. David A. Paterson’s plan to introduce a bill on Thursday that would authorize same-sex marriage in New York State, Archbishop Dolan side-stepped questions about whether he would actively lobby the governor and state lawmakers on the issue. ...

The next question, from a Reuters correspondent, concerned the sexual-abuse scandals that have rocked the church. Archbishop Dolan replied:

Without taking away from the fact that we have made a lot of progress, a lot of renewal in the church…. we’ve made some very tough decisions and things are beginning to work… the rigor with which we have removed any priest who’s been guilty of this in the past. … we’ve got a lot of trust to re-earn from our people.

To a follow-up question by a reporter who noted that critics had accused Archbishop Dolan of not being forthcoming enough on the sex-abuse issue when he was archbishop of Milwaukee.

Archbishop Dolan struck a conciliatory tone: “Some of those criticisms have been unfair. That said, those who said that I could have done more, that bishops could have done more, they may have a point… ” He said the archdiocese’s safety training and child protection programs had become much more rigorous, with annual audits by “outside forensic experts.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Paraguay’s bishops react to scandal involving ex-bishop president

PARAGUAY
Catholic Culture

April 15, 2009
The administrative committee of Paraguay’s episcopal conference has responded to President Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez’s admission that he fathered a child while he was still a bishop. Asking “forgiveness for the sins of the members of the Church, those of both pastors and the faithful,” the bishops “beg of the Holy Spirit … the grace of a profound purification.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Paraguayan President, Former Roman Catholic Bishop Admits to Love Child

PARAGUAY
Latina

by Mariela Rosario

We think the political scandals in America are juicy, but nothing compares to the bombshell that Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo recently dropped on his public! It seems that the recently elected head of state, who was previously a bishop in the Roman Catholic church, had a steamy love affair with 26-year-old Viviana Carrillo which resulted in a 1-year-old bouncing baby boy. ...

Ay, the drama! Doesn't it all sound like the plot of a classic telenovela?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Priest sues bishop, fellow priests over harm to reputation

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – A Roman Catholic priest is suing Bishop Tod Brown, five of his fellow priests and the Diocese of Orange, claiming they have spread lies about him and harmed his reputation.

Michael Nguyen, who became a diocesan priest in 2003, alleges his fellow clergy intentionally made negative and false statements "about his incompetence as a Roman Catholic priest, about his mental condition, about his background and about his suitability for the position of an ordained Roman Catholic priest,'' according to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Police ask for additional tips, information in 8-year-old's killing

TRACY (CA)
CNN

(CNN) -- Police are searching for any other alleged victims of a Sunday school teacher accused of raping and killing an 8-year-old girl from Tracy, California.

"We are asking the public if they have any indication that any of their children may have had inappropriate contact with [the suspect] to contact us," Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said Tuesday evening. "There has been no indication that this has happened. But she is a Sunday school teacher and did have contact with children, so that is why we are asking."

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested and charged with killing and raping 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, a friend of her 5-year-old daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Bill proposes harsher penalties for child abuse

Nehal Patel
Daily Texan Staff

Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In response to last year’s controversy at a West Texas polygamist ranch, state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, proposed a bill Tuesday that would make child abuse a Class A misdemeanor and send repeated offenders to state jail.

Last April, the state took custody of 468 children from the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, owned by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a ruling from the Third Court of Appeals last May to revoke the custody order on unproven grounds of physical and sexual abuse.

Hilderbran’s bill would also clarify when Child Protection Services should remove suspected perpetrators, rather than children, from a home. Perpetrators would be removed only if there is evidence that the parent who would remain at home, would monitor the residence and report any attempt by the perpetrator to return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Tracy mother hears charges

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

[the criminal complaint]

[with video]

By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
April 15, 2009

STOCKTON - An emotionally fragile Melissa Chantel Huckaby lost her struggle to maintain composure during a brief arraignment Tuesday while listening to a judge read aloud the charges that she kidnapped, murdered and raped 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Shackled, wearing red jailhouse clothes and standing for the proceeding, Huckaby, 28, is accused of crimes that make her eligible for a death sentence.

Reading the complaint, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Richard Vlavianos said prosecutors alleged that Huckaby murdered Sandra "while the said defendant was engaged in the commission ... of the crime of rape by instrument." ...

Meanwhile, investigators Tuesday served two more search warrants on Huckaby's home and the Clover Road Baptist Church just down the street from the trailer park where Sandra was last seen alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Pope will reach out to natives in Canada

CANADA
Toronto Star

Laura-Julie Perreault
LA PRESSE

Pope Benedict XVI will express regret to Canada's aboriginal peoples this month for the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the abuse of thousands of children in residential schools, says the leader of the Assembly of First Nations.

"We're expecting a clear statement from the Pope recognizing the suffering of the aboriginal people of Canada and the role of the Catholic Church in that suffering," assembly chief Phil Fontaine told La Presse yesterday. "This will be a historic moment for aboriginals, survivors of residential schools, and for Canadian society."

It is unknown whether the Pope will issue a formal apology, however, said a spokesperson for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Pope to express regret for widespread Canadian abuse scandal

CANADA
Catholic Culture

April 15, 2009
Pope Benedict will meet with the leader of Canadian Native Americans after his April 29 general audience and express regret for the widespread physical and sexual abuse that took place in the nation’s residential schools. “We know the Pope will produce a text in which he will express his solicitude, recognize what has occurred, and manifest regret,” said a spokesman for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

A Grand Entrance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: April 14, 2009
In ceremonies marked by solemn Christian ritual and the stagecraft of the grand entrance, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan was warmly welcomed Tuesday night as the new leader and high priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. ...

But Archbishop Dolan also referred, if passingly, to “the scandal of clergy sexual abuse,” a problem that has delivered devastating blows to the church’s moral standing and financial ledger. He listed it among a set of problems he said were facing the church, including “threats to marriage and family, to the unborn baby and fragile human life at all stages,” and the growing scarcity of priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

April 14, 2009

Archdiocese says names of alleged abusers shouldn’t be made public before court rules

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Spirit

By The Catholic Spirit
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disputes recent media reports that it is “unwilling to publicly disclose the names of priests accused of abuse” over the past 50 years.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson wants to make public a list of priests suspected of sexual abuse that was compiled in 2004. Anderson is representing a man who alleges he was sexually abused by former Catholic priest Thomas Adam­son while Adamson was serving at Risen Savior in Burnsville.

The archdiocese says the list shouldn’t be made public until a judge considers the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Residential school survivors granted audience with the Pope

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

JOE FRIESEN
The Globe and Mail

April 14, 2009 at 8:36 PM EDT

A delegation of residential school survivors has been granted a rare private audience with the Pope in the Vatican, fuelling hope that Benedict XVI will apologize for abuse in institutions run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations.

The Pope will express his concern for aboriginal peoples in Canada who continue to suffer the impact of residential schools, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and will also present the survivors with a signed declaration of the church's determination to work toward reconciliation with aboriginal people.

“It's a historic and momentous occasion,” said native chief Phil Fontaine, who is leading the delegation. “We've had apologies from the other denominations, the United Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Anglican Church. We've had the historic apology from the Prime Minister on June 11. The one missing piece was the apology from the Catholic Church. When this happens we will be able to begin the important work of healing and reconciliation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Court postpones plea of Sunday school teacher suspected in girl's death

STOCKTON (CA)
Los Angeles Times

The arraignment for a Sunday school teacher suspected of killing an 8-year-old Northern California girl was continued today until later this month.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was charged today with murder but did not enter a plea. The charge also carried the special circumstances of kidnapping, rape with a foreign object and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Richard Vlavianos granted a request from Huckaby’s attorney to continue the arraignment until April 24, when she will be expected to make a plea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Huckaby barely composed during hearing (2:44 p.m.)

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

[read the criminal complaint]

By The Record
April 14, 2009 5:43 PM

STOCKTON – An emotionally fragile Melissa Chantel Huckaby teetered on the verge of tears today in a brief courtroom appearance as she listened to a judge read off the charges that she kidnapped, murdered and raped 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

The hearing lasted a little more than four minutes but carried the weight of the last three weeks -- through Sandra’s disappearance March 27, the discovery of her body in a black suitcase and the arrest of Huckaby. The 28-year-old Tracy woman stands accused of a sex crime usually committed by men.

The charges make Huckaby eligible for a death sentence if convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

More On Former Pro Wrestler's Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Priest

DELAWARE
PW News

Apr 14, 2009 by Reggie Brooks

Former ECW and TNA professional wrestler Pat "Simon Diamond" Kenney is opening up for the first time about the lawsuit he filed against the a priest whom he claims harassed and molested him when he was a teenager at a Delaware Catholic high school.

Kenney, now 40, says that the burden he has carried for 25 years is not one anybody should be forced to bear.

In his lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware, Kenney alleges that Catholic Church knew of Rev. Dennis Killion's abuse (the priest in question), but allowed him to continue to teach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Catholic priest resigns after questionable handling of funds

OREGON
The Daily Astorian

The Catholic Archdiocese of Portland has reported to St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church parishioners that Father Ted Prentice has "concluded that it would be in the best interests of the parish for him to resign as your pastor. He has tendered his resignation effective Monday, April 20."

In a letter sent to parishioners, the Vicar General, the Rev. Monsignor Dennis J. O'Donovan said after several weeks of retreat, Prentice would accept an assignment at another parish in the Archdiocese of Portland.

The letter states that after a detailed review by the Archdiocese's Department of Financial Services, "no significant financial irregularities were noted" about St. Mary, Star of the Sea School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Another sexual abuse suit filed against former Bishop Verot activities director

FLORIDA
Naples Daily News

By LIAM DILLON

LEE COUNTY — The burden Patrick Kenney says he’s carried for 25 years, no one else should have to bear.

Kenney, 40, filed suit two weeks ago in a Delaware county court alleging the Rev. Dennis Killion sexually abused, harassed and molested him when Kenney was a teenager at a Delaware Catholic high school in the 1980s. Kenney, a former professional wrestler, is now the eighth person to file suit in Delaware accusing Killion of sexual abuse during that time.

The suits also accuse the Catholic Church, the school and Killion’s religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, of knowing about the alleged abuse, but allowing Killion to continue teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

LA Times runs puff piece on priest who transferred pedophile to Mexico, then San Joaquin

CALIFORNIA
Examiner

Kay Ebeling
LA City Buzz Examiner

The L.A. Times wrote a glowing feature story about one of the "bystanders" in the Franciscan cases that finally ended April 2nd and nothing about the final rulings. If you had any doubt that the Times serves corporate interests over informing the people - and indeed the Catholic Church and its religious orders are corporate interests - read “Protesting priest’s path leads repeatedly to jail,” from April 8th, a feature story the Times chose to run days after a monumental ruling in LA Superior Court in a years long legal battle that the Times had been covering until about a year ago. The Times ignored the ruling April 2nd ruling.

Adults who were raped as children and won civil lawsuits with the Franciscans of St. Barbara in 2006 were waiting for the religious order to come through with the second part of the settlement agreement, release of personnel files on the perpetrator friars. The Times had sent a reporter, John Spano, to every hearing until Spano left the Times. Apparently no one took Spano's place.

But then for the Times to ignore the Court Order and instead run a foot-kissing feature story, with a boring enough headline the article probably slipped past your eye, if you even bother reading the L.A. Times anymore - is inexplainable, other than the Times is cowtowing to Catholic Church pressure over the people's right to know the truth. Here at L.A. City Buzz we had been scathing ourselves, here and here Remember the Franciscans of Santa Barbara produced at least 20 perpetrators in a fifty year period. Of their victims. 59 came back as adults and filed lawsuits, there are undoubtedly dozens more, maybe hundreds, damaged souls who happened to grow up near Santa Barbara or be sent to St. Anthony’s Franciscan Seminary as teenage boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Tracy suspect charged with murder, rape

TRACY (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Demian Bulwa,Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

(04-14) 11:27 PDT TRACY -- Prosecutors filed charges of murder, kidnapping and rape this morning against Melissa Huckaby of Tracy for allegedly killing an 8-year-old neighbor girl, stuffing her into a suitcase and trying to hide the body in a local irrigation pond.

The San Joaquin County district attorney's office added three special circumstances to the murder count that would make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty if she is convicted. They alleged that the killing was committed during a kidnapping, involved a lewd or lascivious act on a child, and involved rape with a foreign object.

However, sources close to the investigation said Monday that the girl was deliberately killed at the Clover Road Baptist Church, where Huckaby teaches Sunday school and her grandfather is pastor

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

The Intrigue of William Lobdell's 'Losing My Religion'

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

By Chris Sagona

I felt instant foreboding when I ripped open an orange Fed Ex package two weeks ago and saw that the next book I was being asked to review was called "Losing My Religion."

It wasn't just the title and the cover's obviously extinguished candle that gave me a queasy feeling. It was the author's name; William Lobdell. He's a former L.A. Times Reporter known for finding great stories, avoiding assumptions-- and just telling things as they are. He's the enthusiastic guy who convinced the L.A. Times to let him write a column called "Getting Religion," while still working for the community news division, then was plucked from the local section to become the LA. Times full-time religion reporter.

I put off reading his book, fearing the inevitable; that he'd convince me to lose my religion, knowing all the while that it is a ridiculous fear. Now that I've read it, I have to confess: I've been thinking about his book for days. The non-stop kind of mulling that has you watching TV but not seeing a thing, and missing your exit sign on the highway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Former Priest Says He's Victim of Vandalism

OMAHA (NE)
Action 3 News

Omaha, NE - A Catholic priest who served prison time for child porn and molesting an altar boy tells police he's a victim.

64-year-old Daniel Herek says someone smashed off the mirror on the driver's side of his 2004 Ford pickup as it sat in his driveway. He found the broken piece about 20 feet from the truck. Herek lives near 77th and Dodge Streets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Benedict's Evasive Apology

Washington Post
On Faith

Susan Jacoby

When the Pope apologizes for anything, his statement generally signifies nothing more than an attempt at damage control in the wake of an unanticipated public relations disaster created by his and his church's actions. In all fairness, it must be said that this generalization also applies to nearly every apology made by secular politicians. This should not be surprising, because all popes are politicians. They wouldn't have gotten to be popes otherwise. ...

I cannot imagine why anyone would care one way or the other about what the Vatican does, and does not, consider worthy of an apology. Consider the Vatican's defense of a decision by a Brazilian archbishop to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion after she was raped by her stepfather. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Catholic Church's Congregation for Bishops, declared that "life must always be protected, the attack on the Brazilian church is unjustified."

The rapist-stepfather was not excommunicated because, the Brazilian bishop had said, abortion is a far more serious crime than the rape of a child. So what if the nine-year-old, who was carrying twins, could, as the doctors feared, have died in childbirth? Why should anyone attribute any moral authority to a church, and its leaders, that upholds such inhumane doctrines? Their apologies and their moral rationalizations merit neither attention nor praise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Baptist predator/murderer arraigned; Sex abuse victims respond

TRACY (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

While our hearts ache for Sandra Cantu and her loved ones, our heads tell us there may well be others who’ve been victimized by Melissa Huckaby. Sexual predators – male or female – rarely strike just once.

We have no information whatsoever about possible other sex crimes by Huckaby. But history, psychology and common sense suggest that she has likely hurt others.

It’s important, of course, that criminal authorities, not church authorities, investigate alleged crimes by church employees and volunteers. At the same time, however, church officials can do a lot to help law enforcement solve and prevent crimes like this. We strongly urge the staff and members of Clover Road Baptist Church (where Huckaby teaches Sunday school and her grandfather is pastor) to aggressively reach out to current and former church members, and ask if any of them were injured by Huckaby. That’s what the Biblical parable of the ‘lost sheep’ tells us to do. That’s what any truly compassionate shepherd would do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Paraguayan president admits he fathered child while he was a Catholic bishop

PARAGUAY
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo admitted yesterday that he's the father of a 2-year-old boy who was conceived when Lugo was still a Catholic bishop.

Lugo made the surprise announcement five days after the boy's mother, Viviana Carrillo, filed a paternity suit against him that contained more than just the explosive claim about the father's identity.

In it, the 26-year-old Carrillo said they began having sexual relations when she was 16. As bishop of San Pedro, Lugo sometimes stayed at the rural home of her godmother, where Carrillo also lived, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Hynes Report blames system failure in eight-year delay of child abuse inquiry

IRELAND
Irish Medical Times

Dara Gantly

A formal investigation into allegations of child abuse in Galway took more than eight-and-a-half years to complete because of a litany of system flaws rather than personal failings, a new report has found.

Carried out by former Secretary General of the Department of Social and Family Affairs John Hynes, the report found there was no indication that anybody involved was ‘other than fully committed to the project’ and to ‘bringing it to conclusion in the shortest possible time’.

Concerns regarding possible past child abuse within the Brothers of Charity Services in Galway first arose in July 1997, and an Inquiry was formally established on April 21, 1999. However, this investigation was not completed until December 2007 – after which Hynes was commissioned to review the reasons behind the inordinate delay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Pastor of St. Pete church charged with molesting teenage girl

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
The Tampa Tribune

By STEPHEN THOMPSON | The Tampa Tribune

ST. PETERSBURG - A longtime St. Petersburg pastor was arrested Monday on charges he repeatedly molested a 15-year-old girl on church property and then sexually assaulted her after she turned 17.

Evans Justice Bacon, 58, was charged with sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation, and lewd and lascivious conduct, according to records at the Pinellas County Jail.

Bacon has been the president of the New Life Tabernacle Church, 342 11th St. N., for at least 15 years, said Detective Joe Bross of the St. Petersburg Police Department. He lives in Sanford, however, and apparently commuted for services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Ex-bishop admits fathering child; Sex abuse victims respond

PARAGUAY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We're sad that a powerful bishop apparently took advantage of his position and a parishioner's trust for his sexual desires. We're also sad that a powerful public figure is evidently incapable of reaching an agreement with the mother of his child regarding the care of the youngster.

It may be true, as a few of Mr. Lugo's supporters claim, that some are exposing Lugo's sexual misconduct for political reasons. But what matters most is Lugo's misdeeds, not someone else's motives.

We're grateful that Lugo has admitted paternity, but worry about other vulnerable women he may have exploited while a cleric. We hope that others who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Lugo will come forward and get help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

President of Paraguay Had a Child as Bishop

PARAGUAY
The New York Times

By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO
Published: April 13, 2009
RIO DE JANEIRO — In a stunning confession, the president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, admitted to fathering a child while the Vatican still considered him to be ordained.

Mr. Lugo, looking tired and subdued, said during a televised news conference in Asunción, the capital, that he was the father of a boy, Guillermo Armindo Carrillo Cañete, who will be 2 years old in May. The announcement ended a week of incessant reports that the president, who was elected last April, had been sued in a paternity claim.

“It is true that there was a relationship with Viviana Carrillo,” Mr. Lugo said, referring to the child’s 26-year-old mother. “I assume all responsibilities that stem from that, and I recognize that I fathered the child.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Paraguay’s Lugo Admits Fathering Child

PARAGUAY
Latin American Herald Tribune

ASUNCION – The president of Paraguay and former Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo admitted publicly Monday that he fathered the child at the center of a paternity suit filed last week against the head of state.

“It is true there was a (sexual) relationship with Viviana Carrillo (the baby boy’s mother),” Lugo said in a message to the public, in which he added that he will assume “all the responsibilities arising from the fact of acknowledging paternity of the child.”

Last Wednesday, attorneys Claudio Costinchok and Walter Acosta filed a paternity suit on behalf of Carrillo, 26, who subsequently repudiated the lawyers’ action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Paraguayan president fathered child while bishop

PARAGUAY
Catholic Culture

April 14, 2009
The leftist president of Paraguay has admitted he fathered a child while he was still a bishop. According to local media reports, Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez began a relationship with a young woman when she was 16, approximately five years after he had been appointed Bishop of San Pedro. The woman, now 26, bore his child in 2007. Lugo resigned his office in 2005 but remained a bishop until his laicization in July 2008-- two weeks before his presidential inauguration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

OUR VIEW: Disclose accused priests, 04-14-09

MASSACHUSETTS
The Herald News

The Herald News
Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 12:00 AM

It is inconsistent to have a policy of publicly identifying priests removed from active ministry while investigated on sex abuse accusations and also a policy to protect the identities of those who have been credibly accused in the past.

It’s time for the Archdiocese of Boston to rectify this.

Three advocacy groups for clergy sex-abuse victims have appealed to Cardinal Sean O’Malley to release the names of all credibly accused priests, saying it is a matter of public safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Ronald Conway — the "celibate" psychologist who helped to screen Catholic trainee priests in Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Since 1995, Broken Rites Australia has been researching a prominent Catholic psychologist, Ronald Conway, who practised privately for many years as a counsellor in Melbourne.

Ronald Victor Conway (born 4 May 1927) was educated at Catholic parish schools. He left school early but later returned to study and eventually worked as a secondary teacher. From 1955 to 1961 he taught English and history at De La Salle College in Malvern, Melbourne. He had a Bachelor of Arts degree which included studies in psychology. From about 1960, he developed a role for himself as an honorary consulting psychologist at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. He also had contacts with the Melbourne Catholic archdiocesan welfare agency. Through such avenues, various clients were referred to Conway for private counselling.

Conway died in March 2009. In an article in the Weekend Australian on 21 March 2009, federal politician Tony Abbott wrote of Conway: "He never contemplated joining the priesthood (as might have been expected of a bright young man of his temperament in that era) and never seems seriously to have considered marriage. He seems largely to have come to terms with any demons of his own and, in any event, chose not to make a spectacle of himself." ...

One of these males ("James", born in 1945) told Broken Rites in 1995 that when he was aged 15 he was having behavioural troubles, so his mother sent him to see a Catholic psychiatrist, Dr Eric Seal, who in turn referred him to psychologist Ronald Conway. James had counselling sessions with Conway for two years in the early 1960s at Conway's home, which was then situated in Torrington Street, Canterbury, in Melbourne's east. There, Conway touched him sexually, James said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Shocking documentaries about paedophile priests led to probes

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Thursday January 08 2009

THE controversy raging over the Church's handling of child sex abuse allegations has its roots in three powerful television documentaries broadcast more than a decade ago.

'Dear Daughter', 'Sex in a Cold Climate' and 'States of Fear' caused huge public outrage in the early 1990s at the scale of cover-ups of child clerical abuse by bishops and religious superiors.

The storm of public indignation at 'the sins of the Fathers and the Sisters' perpetrated behind the closed doors of parish houses, monasteries, seminaries and industrial schools led to the announcement in 1995 by the Government of its intention to set up a Commission of Inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Priests abused 'thousands of children over 30-year period'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Friday April 10 2009

THOUSANDS of children were raped and abused by Catholic priests, many of them serial offenders in the Dublin diocese over a 30-year period, a shocking report on clerical sex abuse will reveal next month.

The horrendous scale of the abuse between 1975 and 2004 was revealed yesterday by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who urged his priests and Catholic lay people to receive the damning report by Judge Yvonne Murphy with "humility".

Archbishop Martin said that since he took over the running of the country's biggest diocese five years ago, he had read secret files which he handed over to the Murphy Commission and had heard the tragic personal stories of victims. From published statistics and from listening to victims, it was possible, he said, to name and identify at least 500 paedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Abuse scandal will rock Ireland, says archbishop

IRELAND
The Age (Australia)

Henry McDonald, Dublin
April 11, 2009

ONE of Ireland's most senior clergymen has admitted that an imminent report on the sexual abuse of children by clergy will shock the country and reveal that thousands of children were abused by priests.

In an unprecedented homily for Holy Thursday, Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, warned that the depth of the abuse "will shock us all". ...

Maeve Lewis, executive director of the One in Four organisation, which campaigns for the victims of clerical sex abuse, welcomed Archbishop's Martin's remarks, saying "he has been at the forefront of addressing the issue of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church".

"He has drawn up models for child care and protection in Dublin that can be followed anywhere in the world," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Suffering mothers keep the faith

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

First, I'd like to wish all my readers a very blessed Easter season, and I ask for your prayers for my family members and me.

A reader in San Diego sent me the following (slightly edited) e-mail in response to my April 10 column about Catholic journalist Robert Kumpel's painful situation:

'I have known Robert and Tiffany Kumpel for many years. I taught them natural family planning here in San Diego and have called them friends since.

'I, like Robert, know what it is like to be black-listed. At one time I was director of 'Responsible Parenthood' here in San Diego. Once Bishop Brom took over the diocese from the dying Bishop Maher, that all changed. But things work out for a reason. Shortly after resigning my demoted position in the Family Life department, my second son tried to commit suicide as a result of prolonged molestation by the Catholic priest he saw for counseling. We hired an attorney immediately (after working for the diocese, I had a clue what we were in for). I'm sorry to say that Bishop Brom did nothing, never has spoken to us, never personally offered an apology for the hell our child and family went through.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

St. Pete minister charged with sexual battery

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
ABC Action News

Reported by: Keith Baker
Email: kbaker@abcactionnews.com

ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Police say the minister of the New Life Tabernacle Church is behind bars after he was charged with sexual battery involving a juvenile female member of his church.

Evans Bacon faces charges of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct and molestation. He was arrested Monday following an investigation into the allegations.

Police say Bacon asked the girl to take pictures of herself closeup while she was naked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Level of church abuse no shock to victim

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT

Noel Pattern
A HADLEIGH man abused as a child by a trainee priest has said he is not surprised there were thousands more like him.

Noel Pattern was sexually molested from the age of 12 by a student seminarian while growing up in County Wexford in the Republic of Ireland.

Over Easter, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin revealed a new shocking report detailing the horrifying scale of the abuse will humble the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Ex-Grand Prairie priest to plead guilty in pornography case

GRAND PRAIRIE (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
jtrahan@dallasnews.com
A former Grand Prairie priest has agreed to plead guilty to downloading child pornography on a church computer in 2005.

Matthew Bagert, 40, was indicted in November, accused of downloading four sexually explicit photos of nude boys. His plea agreement was filed Friday in Dallas federal court, and he will go before a judge in the coming days for a new plea hearing.

Bagert faces up to 10 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and possibly a lifetime of supervised release. His sentencing date has not been set.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Judge rejects deal in case of murder-for-hire

BEVERLY (MA)
Gloucester Daily Times

By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

BEVERLY — A federal judge yesterday refused to accept a plea deal for a Beverly man charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill his 9-year-old daughter, estranged wife and mother-in-law, saying the proposed 12-year sentence isn't enough.

"What realistic guarantee do we have that he's not going to snap again?" Judge Douglas Woodlock asked John Orlowski's lawyer during what was supposed to be Orlowski's sentencing yesterday in U.S. District Court. Woodlock called the crime "bizarre and shocking."

The ruling means that Orlowski, 50, will be allowed to withdraw the guilty plea he made last year in the 2-year-old case and ask for a trial. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison. He is also facing a series of gun and domestic charges in Salem Superior Court that were also supposed to be resolved as part of the 12-year deal. ...

But, for the first time, Orlowski also claimed that he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, an allegation he raised only recently, as he was preparing to be sentenced. Roche said the abuse derailed his life and turned him away from his church and school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

April 13, 2009

Tracy suspect could face rape charge

TRACY (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Demian Bulwa,Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writers

Monday, April 13, 2009

(04-13) 15:12 PDT TRACY -- San Joaquin County prosecutors are leaning toward adding rape and child molestation counts to the charges facing Melissa Huckaby, suspected of kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old Tracy girl who came over to her house to play with her daughter.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Himmelblau said today that prosecutors may accuse Huckaby of the special-circumstance charge of rape with a foreign object. A conviction on that and a murder charge could mean that Huckaby, 28, would face the death penalty for the slaying of Sandra Cantu.

Huckaby was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of killing Sandra, who disappeared March 27 from the mobile home park where she lived. Sources close to the investigation say the girl was killed at the nearby Clover Road Baptist Church, where Huckaby is a Sunday school teacher and her grandfather, Lane Lawless, is pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 PM

Herhold: The story behind the story in the Sandra Cantu case

TRACY (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

Scott Herhold
Mercury News columnist

Any journalist will tell you that the story behind the story frequently offers the most intriguing nuggets about the people we cover. And so it is with the killing of Sandra Cantu, the 8-year-old Tracy girl whose body was found in a suitcase.

The story behind this story involves a 22-year-old reporter for the Tracy Press, Jennifer Wadsworth, who interviewed the suspect, Melissa Huckaby, last Friday. The moral of my tale has much to do with the application of shoe leather.

The police have credited Wadsworth's story about that interview with helping to crack the case. But she says she was only doing her job. "It wasn't anything extraordinary,'' she told me. "I was just interested in who owned this suitcase.'' ...

My real point, however, is to say something about journalism, which has been under economic assault for most of the last decade. Journalists sometimes think they need to reinvent themselves by standing on their heads.

Wadsworth's story shows the value of asking questions and assembling facts. "Journalism is just telling people what's going on,'' Wadsworth told me. "And in that sense, it will never die.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Paraguayan president's affair: She was 16 and he was a Catholic bishop

PARAGUAY
Miami Herald

By TYLER BRIDGES
McClatchy Newspapers
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo admitted Monday that he's the father of a 2-year-old boy who was conceived when Lugo was still a Catholic bishop.

Lugo made the surprise announcement five days after the boy's mother, Viviana Carrillo, filed a paternity suit against him that contained more than just the explosive claim about the father's identity.

In it, the 26-year-old Carrillo said they began having sexual relations when she was 16. As bishop of San Pedro, Lugo sometimes stayed at the rural home of her godmother, where Carrillo also lived, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 PM

Marty Gervais: History of diocese includes scandals

CANADA
The Windsor Star

It’s not a pretty picture.

So says Windsor-born historian Michael Power about the history of the London diocese of the Catholic Church that he co-authored with Daniel J. Brock.

He said the scandalous revelations in the 1980s of sexual abuse by its clergy, in particular those of Rev. Charles Sylvestre, stand out as “a great shame, and a great hurt.”

Power maintained the infamous behaviour of such priests was “sickening and revolting, and it has left a black mark on all the good loyal priests in the diocese, and has certainly harmed the moral authority of the church itself, and left parishes bewildered and upset.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Court Convicts Rabbi Jacob A. Max Of Molestation

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Jewish Times

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor

Rabbi Jacob Aaron Max, was found guilty Monday of sex offense in the fourth degree and second degree assault for the molestation of a former Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home female employee in December 2008.

The verdict given by Baltimore County District Court Judge Nancy Purpura resulted in one year of incarceration suspended and one year of unsupervised probation. Rabbi Max’s legal representation said the long-time spiritual leader will appeal the verdict.

Rabbi Max, 85, is the rabbi emeritus of the Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation, better known as Pikesville’s Liberty Jewish Center. A polished stone in the congregation’s parking lot designates it the Rabbi Jacob A. Max campus. He is a well-known figure in Baltimore Jewish circles, where he has been active for more than six decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Sex Charges Possible Against Woman Accused in 8-year-old's Slaying

TRACY (CA)
KTLA News

April 13, 2009

TRACY -- Prosecutors say they're considering rape and molestation allegations against the woman suspected of killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

28-year old Melissa Huckaby has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering the second grader.

Prosecutors say a homicide charge against Huckaby could also include the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lacivious conduct with a child and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

Huckaby was a Sunday school teacher at her grandfather's small church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Victims group responds to news that former GP priest is pleading guilty

GRAND PRAIRIE (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

Jason Trahan / Reporter

News that former Grand Prairie priest Matthew Bagert has filed plea paperwork prompted a statement from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Needless to say, they're happy to hear Bagert's admitted his crime, but are concerned now that he's married and has a baby.

For immediate release: Monday, April 13, 2009
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:

We're grateful that Bagert has admitted his guilt, but worry that unless he's jailed for a long time, he may have easier access to kids now that he's married.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

4/13 Story of the Day: Religious Battle Heats Up Over Sex Abuse Bill

NEW YORK
The Brooklyn Ink

By Shayndi Raice Sigall

Joel Engleman made a deal: If the rabbis in Williamsburg fired the teacher that molested him as a child, he would forgo a public lawsuit that would embarrass the ultra-Orthodox community. The teacher was fired. Then right after Engleman’s 23rd birthday when the statute of limitations had run out on his case, the rabbi who allegedly molested him was rehired.

A fierce battle is underway between legislators, religious groups and victims’ advocates over whether Engleman, and others like him who were abused as a child but did not come forward until after the statute of limitations ran out on their case, should be allowed to have their day in court. Two competing bills are being considered by New York legislators to extend the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases that have touched a religious nerve in Brooklyn, pitting religious institutions, like the Catholic Church and some ultra-Orthodox rabbis who are fearful of a storm of alleged victims coming forward and seeking financial compensation, against victims groups and trial lawyers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Prosecutor: Rape may be alleged in girl's slaying

TRACY (CA)
Ventura County Star

MARCUS WOHLSEN
Originally published 02:08 p.m., April 13, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Prosecutors said Monday they may include rape and molestation allegations in their murder charge against the woman suspected of killing an 8-year-old Northern California girl and putting her body in a suitcase.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

AP Exclusive: Dolan to fight anti-Catholic bias

NEW YORK
TBO

By RACHEL ZOLL
AP Religion Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York Archbishop-designate Timothy Dolan said Monday, on the eve of his installation, that he will challenge the idea that the Roman Catholic Church is unenlightened because it opposes gay marriage and abortion.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Dolan said he wants to restore pride in being Catholic, especially given the damage the church endured in the clergy sex abuse scandal, which he called a continuing source of shame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Reporter helps break Cantu murder case

TRACY (CA)
KGO

by Katie Hammer

TRACY, CA (KGO) -- New details are emerging about how the investigation into the murder of an 8-year-old Tracy girl came together. Police say Sandra Cantu was killed by a Sunday school teacher and a mother herself, Melissa Huckaby.

A reporter for a small town newspaper played a big a role in helping to break the case.

22-year-old Jennifer Wadsworth works for the Tracy Press. She spent 40 minutes last Friday talking to Melissa Huckaby on the phone. She wrote a story about her conversation and Tracy police say inconsistencies between what Huckaby told them and what she told the paper led to the arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

FACTBOX - Paraguay's bishop-turned-president Fernando Lugo

PARAGUAY
Reuters

(Reuters) - Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo admitted on Monday he fathered a child in a relationship he had when he was still a Roman Catholic bishop. Here are some facts about the 57-year-old leftist leader.

* Lugo was known as the "bishop of the poor" after serving 10 years as bishop in Paraguay's poorest province, where he met the woman who he now admits he fathered a child with.

* His child, a boy, will be 2 years old in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Paraguay's Lugo admits love child

PARAGUAY
United Press International

ASUNCION, Paraguay, April 13 (UPI) -- Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, reversed his previous denials and admitted Monday he is the father of a 2-year-old child.

"I assume all responsibilities having to do with the fact that I had a relationship with (the mother of the child), and I recognize paternity," The Times Online quoted Lugo as saying during a televised speech.

Up to that point, the 57-year-old leader had denied 26-year-old Viviana Rosalith's claim that he was the father of her child. Her lawyers had filed a paternity suit against Lugo last week, The Times said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Former Grand Prairie priest pleads guilty to downloading child porn on church computer

GRAND PRAIRIE (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
jtrahan@dallasnews.com
A former Grand Prairie priest has pleaded guilty to downloading child pornography on a church computer in 2005.

Matthew Bagert Matthew Bagert, 40, was indicted in November for downloading four sexually explicit photos of boys. His plea agreement was filed Friday in Dallas federal court. He faces up to 10 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and possibly a lifetime of supervised release. His sentencing date has not been set.

Bagert was initially charged under state laws in Dallas County district court. But in 2006 the case was dismissed because a judge ruled that a fellow priest and a deacon at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Grand Prairie broke the law when they searched Bagert's church computer without his consent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Presidential paternity suit rocks Paraguay

PARAGUAY
The Irish Times

Saturday, April 11, 2009

TOM HENNIGAN

PARAGUAY HAS been rocked by claims that the former Catholic bishop elected president last year is the father of a baby boy, the result of a years-long relationship with a 26-year-old woman.

President Fernando Lugo has yet to comment on the accusation, which his officials say is the latest in a long series of smears against the man who broke six decades of corrupt one-party rule when he led a broad alliance of opposition parties to victory in last April’s elections.

Lawyers for the woman, Viviana Rosali Carrillo Canete, filed a paternity suit on Wednesday in the southern city of Encarnación. But Ms Canete quickly distanced herself from the suit, saying she had not authorised it. She refused to comment further, saying she wanted to protect her child, who will be two next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay confesses to love child

PARAGUAY
The Times (United Kingdom)

Joanna Sugden
The President of Paraguay, a former Catholic bishop, has admitted fathering a child whilst he was a member of the priesthood, after a paternity suit threatened his political standing.

Fernando Lugo went on national television to make the admission, having previously denied claims that he was the father of a two-year-old child. Last week he was reported by local media to have been ready to go to court over the allegations. But today he made the following televised statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Paraguay president in paternity row

PARAGUAY
Daily National

Posted Monday, April 13 2009 at 18:41

ASUNCION, Monday

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo admitted today he is the father of a child conceived when he was still a Roman Catholic bishop, as a paternity suit threatened to weaken him politically.

“I assume all responsibilities having to do with the fact that I had a relationship with (the mother of the child), and I recognise paternity,” President Lugo, who took office in August, said in a surprise announcement on television. ...

In July last year, Pope Benedict granted an unprecedented waiver to allow Lugo to serve as president without violating church rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Paraguay president fathered child while bishop

PARAGUAY
Reuters

By Daniela Desantis
ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo admitted on Monday he fathered a child when he was still a Roman Catholic bishop, as a paternity suit threatened to weaken him politically.

Lugo, a 57-year-old leftist, said in a televised address that he had an affair with a woman who is now 26, and conceded he was the father of her child.

"I assume all responsibilities ... and I recognise paternity," Lugo said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Paraguayan President Lugo admits he fathered 2-year-old

PARAGUAY
Earthtimes

Asuncion, Paraguay - Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo publicly admitted Monday that he fathered an illegitimate who is now 2 years old, in the wake of a legal complaint filed by the boy's mother. "It is true that there was a relationship with Viviana Carrillo, I take every responsibility that might derive from that event, admitting to being the boy's father," Lugo said in a press conference at the government palace in Asuncion.

The boy was conceived while Lugo was a Roman Catholic bishop and therefore under a vow of celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Paraguay leader admits love-child

PARAGUAY
BBC News

Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo has admitted he is the father of a child who was conceived when he was still a Roman Catholic bishop.

Mr Lugo, who took office last August, made a televised address accepting paternity of the one-year-old boy.

He admitted having an intimate relationship with 26-year-old Viviana Carrillo, the child's mother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Disagreement on why abuse warnings were ignored

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 13, 2009
By Tom Roberts

Two priests who have played prominent roles in attempting to understand the clergy sex-abuse crisis come to very different conclusions about why the early warnings regarding sexually abusive priests by Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paracletes, went unheeded.

Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, president and CEO of St. Luke Institute, a facility that treats problem priests, believes Fitzgerald was ignored because he was a lone voice speaking out of an emotional reaction to the abuse, not from scientifically sound information. Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, on the other hand, long a critic of the church’s handling of the crisis, said Fitzgerald was ignored because the bishops preferred not to confront the problem.

During the 1950s and 1960s when Fitzgerald headed the Paracletes, an order founded to assist wayward priests, he repeatedly pleaded with U.S. bishops and the Vatican not to allow them to return to their ministries, firmly holding that they would offend again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Lugo admits to fathering child

PARAGUAY
Al Jazeera

Fernando Lugo, Paraguay's president, has admitted that he is the father of a child conceived while he was still a Roman Catholic bishop.

Lugo made the surprise announcement on Monday, days after lawyers for the child's 26-year-old mother reportedly filed a paternity suit.

"I assume all responsibilities having to do with the fact that I had a relationship with [the child's mother] and I recognise paternity," Lugo said on national television.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Antiochian Archdiocese of North America Reported To Be Paying Salary of Bishop Demetri Khoury

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Pokrov.org
Date Published: 4/10/2009
Publication: Pokrov.org

On April 10, 2009, Orthodox Christians for Accountability (OCANews) ran an article relating to current issues in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AA). The piece touched on the case of Bishop Demetri Matta Khoury, who was convicted of sexual misconduct in 2004.

In the article, Mark Stokoe wrote that it is reported that the AA is again paying Khoury's salary, albeit indirectly. The archdiocese is said to have made a gift to the Antiochian Archdiocese of Mexico which matches the amount of Khoury's salary. The applicable section of the OCANews piece is pasted below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Teacher's arrest raises questions about why no one spoke up

TENNESSEE
The Tennessean

By Janell Ross • THE TENNESSEAN • April 13, 2009

In the days since a Middle Tennessee teacher and former employee of several child-oriented organizations was arrested on federal charges of producing child pornography, there is at least one question that looms large.

If Louis Levine really spent three decades doing the things he's accused of, why didn't anyone speak up? ...

People need look no further than the Catholic Church to understand, said Linda Lebelle, director of Focus Adolescent Services. The national nonprofit organization helps teenagers and families find resources to prevent abuse or heal from it.

"In many cases, the victims kept that abuse secret for decades," Lebelle said.
" … You had victims who were being victimized by a trusted authority figure. That speaks to both how these things occur and how they remain secret."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Another sexual abuse suit filed against former Bishop Verot activities director

FLORIDA
Naples Daily News

By LIAM DILLON
Originally published 8:00 p.m., Sunday, April 12, 2009
Updated 8:00 p.m., Sunday, April 12, 2009

LEE COUNTY — The burden Patrick Kenney says he’s carried for 25 years, no one else should have to bear.

Kenney, 40, filed suit two weeks ago in a Delaware county court alleging the Rev. Dennis Killion sexually abused, harassed and molested him when Kenney was a teenager at a Delaware Catholic high school in the 1980s. Kenney, a former professional wrestler, is now the eighth person to file suit in Delaware accusing Killion of sexual abuse during that time.

The suits also accuse the Catholic Church, the school and Killion’s religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, of knowing about the alleged abuse, but allowing Killion to continue teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH, 2009

UNITED STATES
The White House

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Sexual assault scars the lives of millions in the United States. To increase awareness about this issue, prevent future crimes, and aid victims, this month we mark National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Sexual assault is pervasive in the United States. Study after study has shown that this crime impacts people at all age levels and in every part of this Nation. One recent study found that 18 percent of women in this country have been raped in their lifetime. In addition, rates of sexual assault remain startlingly high for students from high school to college.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Lake Worth man's lawsuit over priest abuse settled

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Susan Spencer-Wendel | The Palm Beach Post
April 13, 2009
WEST PALM BEACH - A civil lawsuit poised to lay bare the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse claims against priests was settled on the cusp of trial.

Kevin Sidaway's 2002 claim against the Archdiocese of Miami, set for trial April 22, was resolved for a confidential amount of money, two attorneys for the Lake Worth man confirmed.

West Palm Beach litigator Jack Scarola said he was not surprised but was disappointed that there would be no public airing of Sidaway's experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

April 12, 2009

The Priest in Giuliani’s Closet

UNITED STATES
Church Abuse Law Blog

[video presentation]

This video speaks directly to the character and judgment of a man who would like to be America’s next president. If Giuliani is willing to coddle an individual who a grand jury says abused children and helped protect other abusers from criminal prosecution, what does that say about Giuliani’s fitness for office? Frankly, I think that question answers itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Sunday, April 12, 2009

UNITED STATES
outpatient clinic

Skip Shea

1963 was a year of contrasts. It was both light and dark. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and The Beatles released their first record, "Please Please Me."

It was similarly a year if contrasts for Catholics. The big news that year was the passing of Pope John XXIII, the Pope of radical change who called the Second Vatican Council.

Things were also radically changing on a quieter front in the Catholic Church.

The Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald founder of the order, Servants of the Paraclete, a treatment center for priests and Brothers visited Rome in 1963 to warn Pope Paul VI of the immense problem of clergy sexual abuse. A forceful warning he had been trying to deliver since 1952.

As the article in the New York Times reports a year earlier in 1962, Fitzgerald went to Rome and met with Vatican officials to discuss this issue.

The same year a document entitled "Crimen Solicitationis," a confidential document from the Vatican was sent to every Bishop in the world instructing them how to cover up clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

3 held for making sex CD of mahant

INDIA
The Times of India

MORBI (RAJKOT): Three persons, including the woman who was caught in a compromising position with the mahant of a temple in a CD that came out in
the open last Sundy, were arrested on Friday night. However, the mahant is still absconding.

All three told police, they plotted the scam against the mahant to avenge his exploitation of devotees.

"We arrested Archana Patel, the woman in the CD, her paramour Jaydeep Patel and Haresh Patel for recording the CD under Sections 292 and 67 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for obscenity and 120 (B) 34 of IPC for hatching conspiracy," inspector VN Patel of Morbi police station told reporters here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Of silence and secrecy

SOUTH AFRICA
Mail & Guardian

JOHN MCCANN | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Apr 12 2009 06:00

A cleric sexually abused me in the 1960s after a children's Christmas party in the Rosebank parish hall in Johannesburg. It was a party for children of the Knights of Da Gama. My older brother, who saw the cleric hovering around just before the cleric attacked me in the toilet, identified him as a Brother from the De La Salle order, which had a school nearby in Victory Park.

My uncle, Owen Cardinal McCann, then archbishop of Cape Town, was president of the South African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) at the time as well as head of the Catholic Church in South Africa. My father discovered the incident, so surely there must be a church record of it somewhere even if there was a cover-up.

The Mail & Guardian published my account of the abuse in 2007 and, after contacting the church in May 2008, I was interviewed by Sister Shelagh Mary at a convent in Coronationville. Dressed casually in slacks, she seemed friendly and intelligent and said she had participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

System failed for years in teacher sex case

NASHVILLE (TN)
The Tennessean

By Jaime Sarrio • THE TENNESSEAN • April 12, 2009

Ronald Boykin Jr.'s teaching career did not end when he was charged with raping a child. It did not end when he listed on a job application that his last employer suspended him for misconduct. It did not end when he submitted to three criminal background checks.

Instead, Ronald Boykin Jr.'s teaching career ended on March 22 when he disobeyed a traffic sign.

Metro police caught Boykin, 40, trying to merge onto Interstate 24 from the Second Avenue ramp. In minutes, an officer was able to catch what local and state safeguards missed for three years: Boykin, a Donelson Middle School teacher, was wanted in Chattanooga on charges of sexually abusing children. ...

He earned a bachelor's degree in religious education from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia and spent time working as a pastor and as a supervisor at a Chattanooga boys home where he coordinated classes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

The Closer

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Keith O'Brien
April 12, 2009

On this cold morning, Paul Finn walks into his waterfront office in downtown Boston, hangs up his trench coat and hat, and slumps into a chair in a small conference room with an obstructed view of the icy, dismal harbor. With thick hands and thinning gray hair, he has the look of a man who wishes he were still at his vacation house in South Carolina, where the days are warm and the rounds of golf plentiful. But Finn, whose job as a mediator is to settle -- not win -- big-time, multimillion-dollar lawsuits, gets right down to business.

"Ask yourself this," he says in a deep, ragged voice that echoes in the little room. "I'm asking you this question: Is there enough money that I could give so that you would allow me to hurt your child?"

"No," I reply.

"Is there enough that I could give you so that you would allow me to hurt your wife?"

"No," I say again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

April 11, 2009

Neighbor of Sandra Cantu arrested in girl's death

TRACY (CA)
Santa Cruz Sentinel

By Mike Martinez, San Joaquin Herald
Posted: 04/11/2009 03:27:55 AM PDT

TRACY — A woman who said Sandra Cantu visited her home the day she disappeared has been arrested and is being held without bail in connection with the 8-year-old girl's death.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, mother of a 5-year-old playmate of Sandra's, was asked by Tracy Police to drive herself to the station Friday night, where she was questioned for several hours before being arrested and booked early Saturday morning, according to Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman. ...

Huckaby told several media outlets Friday the suitcase Sandra Cantu's body was found in on Monday belonged to her. She said the suitcase disappeared from her driveway in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park the same day Sandra was reported missing at about 8 p.m.

Huckaby said she had prepared the suitcase with items to be taken to Clover Road Baptist Church for a Sunday school class she teaches and had left the bag in the said she had forgotten her keys and cell phone, and returned inside to look for them, but gave up and grabbed a spare set and drove to the Clover Road Baptist Church.

When Huckaby's grandmother called her to say she had found the missing items, Huckaby said she remembered the suitcase and asked family members to check on it. It wasn't there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

10:40 a.m.: Melissa Huckaby is only suspect in Sandra Cantu slaying, police say

TRACY (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman has wrapped up the 30-minute news conference on the arrest of Melissa Huckaby in the slaying of Sandra Cantu.

Huckaby was emotional at various times during her interview with police, including when she was handcuffed. He would not say whether Huckaby's statement amounted to a confession.

He said he was told Huckaby was not at the first vigil for Sandra, but there was an indication from people at the second that she attended that one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Sunday School teacher charged with kidnapping, murder

TRACY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

11:24 AM PDT, April 11, 2009
A Sunday school teacher was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu of Tracy, whose body was found in a suitcase in an irrigation pond, authorities announced this morning.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested about midnight Friday, about five hours after she drove herself to the local police station at the request of police investigators, said police Sgt. Tony Sheneman at a press conference this morning.

"She gave enough information to us during the course of the interview that a probable cause was there to arrest her," said Sheneman. No other arrests were made, and there are no other suspects, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Rome sends a blast of fresh air into Westminster

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

William Langley

The Roman Catholic Church that Vincent Nichols was born into in bombed-out, post-war Liverpool was, by most measures, a reassuringly innocuous organisation, heavily invested in the North and the working classes, and of only polite interest to the people who ran the country.

Young Vincent was 14 when he realised his vocation, and, a few years later, as he set off to study in Rome, might reasonably have expected to spend his life as a priest of good standing but little consequence. What he couldn't have foreseen was that, in his lifetime, the Catholic Church in Britain would be dramatically transformed in size, character and purpose – and that he would be occupying its top job in England and Wales. ...

Yet his appointment has not been greeted with universal rejoicing, for hanging over it is the awkward question of his sincerity. Doubts have been muttered for some time in elite Catholic circles, but they were raised, brazenly, in the latest issue of The Tablet, the newspaper of Britain's Catholics, in an article by deputy editor Elena Curti. "Renowned for his openness and pastoral concerns," she wrote, "he was also an espouser of liberal causes. But, while his stock was high among more liberal Catholics, the decision-makers in Rome were said to be less impressed. His mentor, the Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek Worlock, watched this in frustration. He reputedly took 'Fr Vin' to one side and told him: 'We can't get you into the hierarchy if you carry on like this. You have to make yourself more favourable to Rome.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Charlie Brennan (04/08/09): William Lobdell, Author, Losing My Religion

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

[audio presentation]

Charlie talks with William Lobdell, 25-year journalist who covered the Religion Beat for the LA Times, about his new book, Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America -- and Found Unexpected Peace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Irish Labour Party calls for state confiscation of church property

IRELAND
Ulster Taig

In a very chilling press release, Ruari Quinn, the Education Spokesman for the Irish Labour Party, has called on the Irish government to expropriate all Catholic primary schools to state ownership. He claims that this is just deserts for the government's (partial) payout in sexual abuse claims.

I think it is fair that the state takes the title deeds to all schools in the state in return for covering the Church's liabilities in these abuse claims.

This proposal of his is extremely unjust because practically all the primary schools are under diocesan ownership yet the payout deal he refers to was made with religious orders. These primary schools were mostly built in an era of great poverty and relied on the pitiful contributions of the Catholic poor, who would be aghast at the notion that the schools they lovingly built would be alienated to the state. This prospect of state theft is made all the more alarming when you consider that the Labour Party is almost certainly going to be included in the next government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Tracy Police Chief on arrest of Sunday school teacher

TRACY (CA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN/KOVR) - Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu early Saturday morning.

Sandra Cantu had been missing since March 27th. Her body was found Monday inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond.

Authorities revealed that Huckaby was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday, approximately five hours after she drove herself to the local police station at the request of officers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Pastor's granddaughter arrested in Sandra Cantu slaying

TRACY (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, April 11, 2009

(04-11) 07:10 PDT TRACY -- A Sunday school teacher was booked early today on suspicion of murder and kidnapping in the slaying of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase in an irrigation pond.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday after she drove to the Tracy Police Department to be interviewed. She was booked at 3:25 a.m. today at San Joaquin County Jail, where she is being held without bail.

"She was very relaxed for a bit, then she became very emotional, then she became relaxed again, then she became resigned to what was happening," Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman told reporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Minnesota dioceses seek to block release of priest abusers list

MINNESOTA
CathNews USA

The Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona are filing a court motion to try to block the public release of a list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

A Ramsey County district judge ordered two months ago that the archdiocese hand over the list to St Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who has filed many cases involving sexual abuse by priests, The Star-Tribune reports.

Anderson is representing a Twin Cities man, identified only as John Doe 76C, who alleged that he was sexually abused by former Catholic priest Thomas Adamson between 1980 and 1982 while Adamson was serving at Risen Savior Parish in Apple Valley. Anderson was planning to use the list of names when the case goes to trial in early June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Breaking news: ARREST

TRACY (CA)
Tracy Press

Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Chantel Huckaby was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Huckaby was arrested at the Tracy Police Department, where she had gone voluntarily for questioning nearly five hours earlier, police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.

She was booked into custody at 2:49 a.m. Saturday at San Joaquin County Jail, in French Camp. ...

Huckaby told a Tracy Press reporter in an exclusive interview Friday that she teaches Sunday school at Clover Road Baptist Church, her grandfather’s church just down the street from the mobile home park.

She said someone took her large, black suitcase that she’d left in her driveway on March 27, the same afternoon that Sandra went missing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Church Searched Again in Sandra Investigation

TRACY (CA)
News 10

Posted By: C. Johnson

TRACY, CA - Law enforcement served a second search warrant Friday on Clover Road Baptist Church in Tracy in the investigation into the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

The church property, including a shed, was raided earlier in the week. The church pastor, Lane Lawless, lives in nearby Orchard Estates mobile home park where Sandra lived and was last seen alive on security tape March 27. Her body was recovered Monday from a suitcase in a holding pond two miles from the mobile home park. Autopsy results have not been released.

Earlier Friday afternoon, Tracy police responded to a local newspaper report that the granddaughter of Lawless, Melissa Huckaby, said she had a suitcase disappear the same day Sandra vanished. The woman didn't report the possible theft to police and Sgt. Tony Sheneman also said was no report of a stolen suitcase filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

BREAKING NEWS: Arrest Made in Cantu Murder Case

TRACY (CA)
Fox 40

April 11, 2009

TRACY - Police announced early Saturday morning they have arrested 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby for the kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

No other arrests have been announced in the case.

Huckaby lives with her grandparents in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park and is a Sunday school teacher at the nearby Clover Road Baptist Church, where her grandfather, Lane Lawless, is the pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Melissa Huckaby (Photo) Charged With Sandra Cantu Murder

TRACY (CA)
The Post Chronicle

by Jack Ryan

Melissa Huckaby, who was one of the last people to see eight-year-old Sandra Cantu alive, was arrested early Saturday

Huckaby, 28, had been interviewed by police since early Friday evening and was taken into custody at 1 a.m., reports KTVU.com.

Huckaby (Larger Mugshot here) is the 28-year-old granddaughter of pastor Clifford Lawless, whose Clover Road Baptist Church was the subject of a police search.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Sunday-school teacher arrested in killing of California girl

TRACY (CA)
CNN

(CNN) -- Police have arrested a Sunday-school teacher in the killing of California 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, authorities said early Saturday.

Melissa Huckaby was arrested on charges of kidnapping and murder, according to Tracy, California, police Sgt. Tony Sheneman.

Police would not reveal what led to Huckaby's arrest, but said it followed questioning. They did not offer a possible motive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Merriman: A place to worship and prey

UNITED STATES
The Denver Post

By Steve Raabe and Miles Moffeit
The Denver Post

There's preaching from the pulpit. And then there's the less holy practice of pitching from the pulpit. Arapahoe County investment manager Shawn R. Merriman becomes the latest accused scam artist to use his standing in a church to help attract investors.

Merriman, named in a federal lawsuit this week for allegedly bilking investors of up to $20 million, was a lay bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Church officials in Salt Lake City said Thursday that Merriman was excommunicated from the church two weeks ago for "conduct unbecoming a member."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Man accused in $20 million Ponzi scheme involving Utahns

UNITED STATES
Deseret News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News

Federal authorities are seeking to seize millions in rare artwork, homes, cars, sports memorabilia and bank accounts in an investigation of a $20 million Ponzi scheme they say involved a former LDS bishop who gained notoriety for his extensive art collection.

Shawn R. Merriman, 46, is accused of running a multimillion-dollar scheme that bilked victims in Utah, Minnesota and his home state of Colorado.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, Merriman founded Market Street Advisors in 1994, raising at least $17 million to $20 million through the sale of interests in several companies to at least 38 investors in multiple states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Archbishop asks forgiveness for child sex abuse priests

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Saturday April 11 2009

THE Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin yesterday called for God's forgiveness of priests who have abused children.

It was his second reference during Holy Week to the scale of the child abuse which is expected to rock the Dublin diocese to its foundations when it is revealed in a report next month.

The Archbishop made his remarks as he led the Good Friday Way of the Cross procession in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Knock, and it shall be opened?

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

That’s what Terry McKiernan and others with BishopAccountability.org were hoping for last week, when they tried to hand-deliver a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Spurred by New Hampshire’s release of dozens of new files of priests accused of child sex abuse, McKiernan’s group and other victim advocates are asking the Archdiocese to do likewise. So McKiernan and others from BishopAccountability took their letter to the South End rectory where Cardinal O’Malley lives. “We hoped we could catch him on the way out and give it to him,” McKiernan said. “But no such luck.” The groups haven’t gotten a response yet. But to everything there is a time, as it says in Ecclesiastes. Maybe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Suspected molester held without bail

YELM (WA)
Nisqually Valley News

By Megan Hansen, Nisqually Valley News
Published: Friday, April 10, 2009 4:10 PM PDT

Level II sex offender Daniel J. Holdren, 45, was arrested Saturday after he allegedly molested an 11-year-old girl.

The girl claims that since June 2008 Holdren had inappropriate contact with her, said Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil. ...

Most of the alleged incidents occurred around church-related functions at the Church of the Nazarene, which meets at the Yelm Adult Community Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Defendant lies, is not sanctioned

CALIFORNIA
Daily Pilot

By Joseph Serna
Updated: Friday, April 10, 2009 8:45 PM PDT

A Costa Mesa man accused of molesting a boy in his Newport Beach church lied during his sworn deposition with lawyers, the judge in the case acknowledged Friday.

The judge, however, told attorneys during the morning hearing that the defendant’s dishonesty wasn’t enough to merit sanctions against the man’s case in any future trial.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Vince Finaldi, requested that video evidence showing Todd C. Summers removing items from his house a day before it was searched and nine hours before he testified be considered damning evidence for Summers’ case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Profile: Vincent Nichols, new Archbishop of Westminster

UNITED KINGDOM
Religious Intelligence

Saturday, 11th April 2009

By: Greg Watts.

If Archbishop Vincent Nichols were a soldier, he would be a dashing, though not reckless, general, leading his troops under a hail of bullets deep into enemy territory.

As Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s successor as Archbishop of Westminster, Archbishop Nichols knows he will have many battles to fight in his role as leader of England and Wales’ four million Roman Catholics. But it would be hard to think of someone more ready than the straight-talking Liverpuddlian. ...

In 2001 Archbishop Nichols was given one of the toughest jobs in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales when he was appointed chair of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA), the body set up by the bishops to carry out the recommendations of Lord Nolan’s report into clergy sexual abuse.

While he provided COPCA with clear leadership, many priests expressed concern that their rights were being ignored. And when Archbishop Nichols addressed the annual meeting of the National Conference of Priests of England and Wales in Leeds in 2006 he received a bumpy ride.

That same year, he fired off a strong letter to BBC director general to take him to task over the way a TV documentary entitled Sex Crimes in the Vatican had tried to implicate Pope Benedict in a cover-up of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Ex-priest convicted of abuse back in prison

ILLINOIS
Rockford Register Star

By Chris Green
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 11:44 PM

.Mark Campobello, a former Catholic priest with Rockford ties who served four years for sexual abuse of two teenage girls, is back in prison.

An Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman, January Smith, said Campobello “lost his host site,” an IDOC-approved residence such as a halfway house, and returned to prison on Friday.

“All parolees have an approved host site, particularly sex offenders,” she said. “They cannot live in a residence with children or close to a school.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Arrest Made in Sandra Cantu Case

TRACY (CA)
News 10

TRACY, CA -- Tracy Police arrested 28-year old Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby around 2 a.m. Saturday Morning on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering of 8 year old Sandra Cantu.

During a 3 a.m. news conference Saturday morning Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen, was called in to speak. She said "over the course of the investigation, agents and investigators from numerous agencies, have been instrumental in identifying Melissa Huckaby as being responsible for Sandra's death."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

April 10, 2009

Upon information that former priest Mark Campobello...has been returned to jail

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It is good news for the children in Illinois that Campobello is back in prison. At least while he is there we know he won't be able to abuse any more children. Reporting sexual abuse is one of the most painful and stressful things anyone can do - but it can bring about life-changing consequences for others who will be protected from being abused by the same predator. We applaud the courageous victims who reported being abused by Campobello. Now more than ever anyone with information who saw, suspect or experienced abuse by Campobello is encouraged to pick up the phone and report it to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Newsmaker: Kim and Michele Richardson

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WHAS

[video presentation]

April 9th, 2009

Kim Richadson, author of the book "The Unbreakable Child" and her sister, Michele.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Cloyne priest quizzed over abuse allegations

IRELAND
RTE News

[with video]

Friday, 10 April 2009 14:19
A retired priest from the Diocese of Cloyne was interviewed for several hours by detectives investigating allegations of clerical abuse in the diocese.

The priest, who is in his 70s, attended voluntarily at Mallow Garda Station yesterday where he was quizzed about two formal complaints of sexual abuse made against him by two women in the past three months.

Afterwards, gardaí confirmed that two separate files were being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Vatican Justice: Pedophiles Stay in the Church, While Priests Who Ordain Women Are Excommunicat

AlterNet

By Bill Frogameni, Ms. Magazine. Posted April 9, 2009.

A priest who dared to ordain a woman was told he had 30 days to renounce his actions or face excommunication. Tools

What happens if a Catholic priest molests children?

Usually, he's protected by the Church hierarchy. Maybe he'll eventually have his parish or diocese taken away, or be switched to another one -- often after years of serial abuse. But there's a good chance he'll stay in the Church.

So what happens if a Catholic priest publicly supports ordaining women? Well, then he's excommunicated on the double.

"Nearly 5,000 Catholic priests [in the U.S.] have sexually abused over 12,000 Catholic children…but they were not excommunicated," says Father Roy Bourgeois, who faced the latter scenario after helping celebrate what the Vatican considers to be an illegitimate ordination mass in August 2008. Bourgeois, a Vietnam veteran with a Purple Heart who became a prominent peace activist, stood with the trailblazers of the female ordination movement in Lexington, Ky., to make Janice Sevre-Duszynska a Catholic priest.

Catholic Priest fined for marriage interference

ZAMBIA
Lusaka Times

Friday, April 10, 2009, 14:29

A CATHOLIC priest in Ndola was yesterday fined K10 million by a local court for having an affair with a married woman whom he was offering marriage counselling.

Pamodzi Parish priest Father Davies Nsama of 42 Fitente Road in Northrise appeared before Chifubu local court magistrates Amos Banda, Aaron Sugar Banda and Rosemary Muke for bringing disputes in a marriage.

Charles Moto, 32, of 3597 Kansenshi Extension, an employee of PG Bisonite sued Father Nsama for causing disputes in his marriage of five years to 27-year-old Virginia Mpanza Moto, an employee of Mission Press at the Franciscan centre in Ndola.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Ex-priest back in prison

ILLINOIS
The Chronicle

By KATE THAYER - kthayer@kcchronicle.com

Former Geneva priest Mark Campobello returned to prison this week, following a technical disturbance of his parole.

Campobello, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to sexually abusing two teenage girls while he served as a priest, arrived Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, said Derek Schnapp, Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman.

Schnapp said Campobello, 44, was taken back into custody because he did not have an IDOC-approved “host site.” A host site is any approved place of residence for a parolee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Defrocked priest, convicted sex offender, arrested

ILLINOIS
Examiner

Rita Dwiggins Hoover
Chicago Page One Examiner

A former Geneva, Illinois priest and registered sex offender is back behind bars for a second parole violation in less than a year.

Mark Campobello, 45, of Crystal Lake, spent nearly four years at the Illinois River facility in Canton, after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2004.

The de-frocked priest is classified as a sexual predator, a designation which requires him to register annually for the rest of his life. He apparently violated parole by not maintaining a permanent address.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Bishop Zubik: “I beg you–the church begs you–for forgiveness”

PENNSYLVANIA
dotCommonweal

April 10, 2009, 7:05 am Posted by David Gibson

Those were some of the extraordinary words of Bishop David Zubik at an extraordinary ”Service of Apology” held earlier this Holy Week in St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh for anyone hurt or abused by the church.

This is not out of character for Zubik. Pennsylvania’s own Rocco Palmo has been blogging about Zubik since he returned to Pittsburgh from Green Bay (Zubik, that is, not Rocco, who remains a Philly denizen) in 2006 to succeed Archbishop Wuerl, who is now in Washington. As Rocco noted in his very complete coverage, Zubik at the start declined to live in the the 11-bedroom, six-bath Edwardian Tudor bishop’s residence (it was recently put up for sale) and instead went to live at the diocesan seminary. Zubik told local television the church needed to move away from being “attached to buildings.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Ex-Bakker attorney joins Alamo defense

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jailed evangelist Tony Alamo has added another attorney to his defense team - and this one has experience defending a religious leader in a high-profile case.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes issued an order Monday officially recognizing Don Ervin of Houston as one of Alamo's attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

musicOMH

Over the years Sinéad O'Connor has been one of the most controversial figures in popular music. Despite the enormous popularity of her breakthrough hit Nothing Compares 2 U, a single that reached number one around the world in 1990, she will seemingly be remembered for ever more as "that bald chap who tore up the picture of the Pope."

It is unfortunate that her actions appear to have spoken louder than her music, but it certainly got her noticed. As well as that incident, she also 'came out' out as a 'dyke' and then retracted the statement. And who could forget when she was ordained as a Catholic priest and assumed the name Mother Bernadette Mary?

There always seemed to be a point to her actions; they were not just done to shock or self-promote. The Pope incident was to draw attention to the Vatican's complicity, as she saw it, in the sexual abuse of children. What is often overlooked is the reason that she was able to do this on American Television, on no lesser show than Saturday Night Live, an American Institution. Talent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Lawsuit claims sexual abuse by teen with Seventh-day Adventists

OREGON
The Oregonian

by Helen Jung, The Oregonian

A brother and sister are suing a Salem church and the Western Oregon Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists for alleged sexual abuse in the 1990s by a then-teenage babysitter for the church.

The lawsuit claims the babysitter, a teenage boy at the time, fondled the brother and sister several times while watching the two, who were very young at the time.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday morning in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleges the church knew or should have known about a prior abuse accusation in Washington state against the teen and not have allowed him to serve in positions of trust and authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Alamo's ministry, 2 parents sue state

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2009

The Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and two of its members sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services in federal court Thursday, saying the department has "engaged in a systematic, persistent and continuous campaign of harassment and intimidation against the church."

The suit in U.S. District Court in Texarkana cites the removal of 36 children from the ministry and requirements that their parents move off church property and find jobs outside the ministry to regain custody. The department says the children are endangered by practices that include underage marriages and beatings for violations of church rules. It is continuing to search for 92 other children believed at risk.

As a result of the department's actions, "all parents with children under the age of eighteen... fled from the church and are now in hiding and living like fugitives," the lawsuit says. "They live in constant fear that the next knock on the door will begin the tortuous ordeal of having to get their children back from the state of Arkansas."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Alamo followers file lawsuit

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 04/09/2009

A lawsuit filed Thursday asks a federal judge to order the Arkansas Department of Human Services to stop taking the children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries members.

The suit accuses DHS of violating the parents civil rights.

“I think they intend to destroy the church,” said Florida attorney Phillip Kuhn from the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Texarkana. “I have no idea why.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Woman: Minister Charged in Sex Sting 'Soft-Spoken'

MISSOURI
Fox 4

[with video]

Stephanie Hockridge, edited by Jason Vaughn
April 9, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - Pornography and sexual enticement charges against St. Joseph Baptist minister Robert Black have many parents across the metro area combing through their children's Facebook and MySpace profiles to see if he had contact with their child. But for one metro woman, word of the charges were especially shocking.

Marcia Franke says she first met Black at a court-ordered facility where parents bring their kids for supervised visitation.

"He was a very quiet, soft-spoken person," said Franke. "It kind of makes me sad to think but, you know, if I would have had to get up and leave the room, I would have left my kids there and wouldn't have thought anything about it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Archbishop says pending report to show Irish priests abused 'thousands' of children

IRELAND
Raw Story

Stephen C. Webster
Published: Thursday April 9, 2009

At a Thursday mass in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral, an Irish Archbishop shocked his congregation, which included numerous priests, by exclaiming that a forthcoming investigative report will reveal that over three decades, Irish Catholic priests have abused "thousands" of children.

"[The report] will make us and the entire church a humbler church," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Lake Worth man's lawsuit over priest abuse settled

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, April 09, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — A civil lawsuit posed to lay bare the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse claims against priests has been settled on the cusp of trial.

Kevin Sidaway's 2002 claim against the Archdiocese of Miami, set for trial April 22, has been resolved for a confidential amount of money, two attorneys for the Lake Worth man confirmed Thursday.

West Palm Beach litigator Jack Scarola said he was not surprised, but was disappointed that there would be no public airing of Sidaway's experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

The Globe’s Global Impact In Changing Times

MASSACHUSETTS
WBUR

By Monica Brady-Myerov (WBUR)

To understand the impact one article in the Boston Globe can have, speak to Bernie McDaid.

BERNIE McDAID: The crisis in the church basically was a shameful hidden issue and that’s why it had it’s power of secrecy.

McDaid was the first victim of clergy sexual abuse profiled in the Globe. The story by Bella English ran on the front page of the Living Arts section in May of 2002, and McDaid says it changed his life and others.

McDAID: After that article it really took off with phone calls. I had one phone call — I’m thinking now of a friend from grammar school that was raped by the same priest — and it didn’t hit him until he saw the article with my face and the priest’s face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

April 9, 2009

New report to reveal level of clerical abuse

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 10 April 2009
Thousands of children were raped and abused by Catholic priests, many of them serial offenders in the Dublin diocese over a 30-year period, a shocking report on clerical sex abuse will reveal next month.

The scale of the abuse between 1975 and 2004 was revealed yesterday by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who urged his priests and Catholic lay people to receive the damning report with “humility”.

Archbishop Martin said that since he took over the running of the country’s biggest diocese five years ago, he had read secret files which he handed over to the Murphy Commission — those behind the report — and had heard the tragic personal stories of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Push for Church to Disclose Names of Accused Priests

MINNESOTA
My Fox 9

[with video]

Jeff Goldberg
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A judge in St. Paul will decide if names of about a dozen Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual misconduct will be made public.

The church says the men were never criminally charged, but alleged victims say it shouldn't matter. The abused, like Bob Shwiderski, say growing older doesn't mean forgetting the experience.

"My life has been totally altered because of that," Shwiderski said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Ireland archbishop admits child abuse report 'will shock us all'

IRELAND
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

One of Ireland's most senior clergyman admitted yesterday that an imminent report on the sexual abuse of children by clergy will shock the country and reveal that thousands of children were abused by priests.

In an unprecedented homily for Holy Thursday, Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, warned that the depth of the abuse "will shock us all".

The report from the commission on child sexual abuse will be published in May, and according to Martin it will throw up challenges to the Catholic church in Ireland it has never experienced before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Retired priest in Cloyne diocese interviewed over alleged abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING allegations of clerical sex abuse in the diocese of Cloyne are to prepare files for the DPP after interviewing a retired priest about allegations that he abused two young females.

The priest, who is in his 70s, yesterday attended voluntarily at Mallow Garda station in north Cork where he was interviewed by detectives for several hours about allegations of abuse made against him by two women.

The women came forward separately in the past three months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Tantrik held for molesting woman in Santa Cruz

INDIA
Times of India

Vijay V Singh, TNN

MUMBAI: A tantrik, who asked a 21-year-old woman to undress when she approached him for help as she wanted to go in for further studies, was
arrested on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at the woman's Santa Cruz (E) residence on Tuesday. The 27-year-old priest, Kirti Natrajan, persuaded the woman to allow him to perform a puja to better her education prospects.

The tantrik arrived at her residence in the afternoon and asked her to remove her clothes as he wanted to do the puja after applying curd on her body. It was then that he molested her. He ended by telling her that the act had to be repeated for the next three days for "best results''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Priest molests 21-yr-old to rid her of troubles

INDIA
DNA

Manish K Pathak
Friday, April 10, 2009

Mumbai: A 27-year-old priest was arrested by the Vakola police on Wednesday for allegedly molesting a 21-year-old girl on the pretext of ridding her of the "difficulties" she would face while pursuing higher studies.

Kirti Natrajan is a priest of the Bhakth Samaj temple near the Mathura Das society in Kalina, Santa Cruz (east). The girl, who completed her diploma in travel and tourism only recently, and her mother got acquainted with him during their frequent visits to the temple, the police said. One day he approached the girl's mother in the temple offering to study their horoscopes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Former Geneva priest back in prison

ILLINOIS
WLS

April 9, 2009 (WLS) -- A former priest is now back in prison.

Former Geneva priest Mark Campobello served more than three years for sexual abusing two teenage girls. Now he is behind bars again at Stateville Correctional Center. He violated parole by no longer having a permanent address.

The defrocked priest abused the two girls he taught at Aurora Central Catholic School about 10 years ago. He pleaded guilty to charges a few years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Possible Victims of Pastor Charged With Sex Crimes Come Forward

MISSOURI
Fox 4

[with video]

Meagan Kelleher, Web Producer
April 8, 2009

CLAY COUNTY, MO. - The Clay County Sheriff's department said possible victims of a St. Joseph minister arrested for attempted statutory rape are coming forward, one day after Robert Black was arrested.

Detective Jeff Harman said they have already started recieving phone calls from parents and teens who said they came in contact with Black via his Facebook profile. Black allegedly used the name Jon Still for online conversations and tried to make contact with teen girls through social networking sites like Facebook, authorities said. Authorities think there might be around 135 people who Black was in contact with via Facebook. ...

Bond for Black, who is the minister of the New Home Baptist Church in St. Joseph, was set at $100,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Minister pleads not guilty in online enticement case

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By GLENN RICE
The Kansas City Star
The pastor of a St. Joseph church pleaded not guilty this morning to charges that he used a Facebook account to entice someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl to meet him for sex.

Robert M. Black, 40, of Independence was charged Wednesday with one count of first-degree attempted statutory rape and one count of attempted enticement of a child under 15. He was released today after posting a $100,000 bond. ...

Black, who is a pastor at the New Home Baptist Church, surrendered to authorities Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Court OKs Fla. forum for church suit

ATLANTA (GA)
Miami Herald

[link to the court decision]

ATLANTA -- The federal appeals court in Atlanta says a U.S. court in Florida has jurisdiction for a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y., stemming from alleged rape by a priest 40 years ago.

The plaintiff, Dennis Brennan of Clearwater, Fla., claims the church reneged on a promise to pay for counseling after he recalled a suppressed memory of the childhood abuse in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Group Urges Diocese To Step Up Policies On Priest Abuse

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTOV

A group representing people who have been abused by priests is calling for the Catholic Church to implement stricter policies.

Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests, or SNAP, is asking the Diocese of Steubenville and Bishop Daniel Conlon to step up their policies on abuse by priests.

The request comes after allegations of child abuse surfaced last week against Rev. John Nadzam, a priest who served in several parishes in the diocese and is now deceased.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Ex-priest sent back to prison

ILLINOIS
St. Charles Sun

April 9, 2009

By MATT HANLEY mhanley@scn1.com
Former Aurora and Geneva priest Mark Campobello is back in prison for another technical parole violation.

Campobello was brought to Stateville prison in Joliet Wednesday, according to Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Derrick Schnapp.

Campobello, who had been living in McHenry County, had to move out of his house. Schnapp could not say why Campobello lost the home, but not having a permanent residence is a parole violation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Former Geneva priest back in prison

GENEVA (IL)
The Chronicle

By KATE THAYER - kthayer@kcchronicle.com

GENEVA – Former Geneva priest Mark Campobello is back in prison, according to an Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman.

Campobello arrived Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill after losing his approved "host site," said spokesman Derek Schnapp. A host site is any place the Parole Review Board approves for a parolee to live, he said.

Schnapp could not specify where Campobello was living or the circumstances of why he no longer lives there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

SEDATION LINKED TO BIRTH DEFECTS

UNITED KINGDOM
No 2 Abuse

Ten girls who were heavily sedated while living at a care home during the 1970s and 1980s went on to have children with a range of birth defects, a BBC investigation has revealed.

As teenagers at the Church of England-run Kendall House home in Gravesend, Kent, the 10 were restrained with huge doses of tranquillisers and other drugs, according to Radio 4’s Today programme.

It is feared hundreds of other girls who were in UK care homes during the same period and suffered the same mistreatment may also be at risk of having children with birth defects.

In a statement issued through the Church of England, the Diocese of Rochester told the programme it was unable to discuss individual circumstances for legal reasons but would co-operate with any future inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

The Truth Hurts: Why the Government has refused No 2 Abuse its Enquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
No 2 Abuse

In the wake of startling new discoveries made by Teresa Cooper and in what can only be described as an appalling act of political cowardice, the government has issued a statement confirming that it will resist an enquiry into the illegal drugging of girls at Kendall House and possibly at least six other major care homes around the country.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families has stated that she could not “see the merits” of raising an enquiry in relation to the treatment these girls received during a period which spanned over twenty years. The merits, according to the DCSF have been diminished by the sands of time and by past attempts at addressing similar issues, most notably in Sir William Utting’s 1996 report ‘People Like Us’ and Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s report ‘Lost in care’.

What the DCFS don’t elaborate upon however is the systematic failure of these reports to motivate the government into responding appropriately to the findings and fears over the lack of action post these reports have been voiced as recently as 2005. There are still grave concerns over how children in care are being treated and with mounting pressure from opposition parties and pressure groups like No 2 Abuse, the present government will need to do more than try to faze the public with its tired rhetoric and its superficial spin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Presidential paternity suit roils Paraguay

PARAGUAY
The Associated Press

By PEDRO SERVIN

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Lawyers filed a paternity suit against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo on Wednesday, alleging that a son was born to the former Roman Catholic bishop five months after he abandoned the church for politics.

But the woman named in the complaint quickly distanced herself from the suit, and her lawyers said they would withdraw it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Archbishop to warn of clerical abuse report's contents

IRELAND
Drogheda Independent

Thursday April 09 2009

The Archbishop of Dublin will warn today that a report on clerical sex abuse will 'shock us all.'

The report is due to be released in the summer.

In a homily due to be delivered this morning, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will say it is likely that thousands of children or young people across Ireland were abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Church abuse report 'will shock'

IRELAND
BBC News

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has warned a report on clerical child sex abuse, due out this summer, will shock everybody.

Archbishop Martin was speaking at the Holy Thursday Mass in the city's Pro-Cathedral.

He said the report from the Commission on Child Sex Abuse was likely to show thousands of children or young people across Ireland were abused by priests.

"(It) will make us and the entire church a humbler church," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Archiocese fights release of accused priest list

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- An attorney for molestation victims squared off with lawyers from the Catholic Church Wednesday over a list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

"I'm concerned about the kids right now, today, in our communities in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and in the Diocese of Winona," Jeff Anderson told reporters outside the Ramsey County Courthouse.

Anderson has devoted at least two decades of his legal career taking clergy to court in lawsuits filed by adults who were victimized as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Catholics upbeat about church, Le Moyne/Zogby poll finds

UNITED STATES
The Post Standard

by Renée K. Gadoua/The Post Standard
Thursday April 09, 2009
A new poll being released today found that 73 percent of American Roman Catholics are optimistic about the future of the Catholic Church.

The finding, from the first interactive poll of the Le Moyne College/Zogby International Contemporary Catholic Trends survey, suggests that issues such as widespread church closures do not dampen enthusiasm for the institution, said Matthew Loveland, a sociologist of religion at Le Moyne who is the study's principal investigator.

"What it suggests is that what is most important is what is happening at the parish," Loveland said. "Most people, whether they are optimistic or not, they think about their parish."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Suburban principal charged with sex abuse

BEACH PARK (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

April 8, 2009 5:29 PM
The principal of a Beach Park school has been charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old student, police said today.

Daniel R. Pirozzi, 54, is charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse for allegedly hugging and kissing the female victim, said police. They said on at least one occasion, Pirozzi placed his hand on the girl's chest, over her clothing.

Pirozzi, who is the principal at the Biblical Baptist Church Academy on the 39000 block of Green Bay Road, lives in an apartment in the church building, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Former religion reporter speaks at MU about faith journey

COLUMBIA (MO)
Missourian

Thursday, April 9, 2009
BY Sarah Morris
COLUMBIA — Former Los Angeles Times religion reporter and author William Lobdell was at MU on Tuesday night to talk about his faith journey and how his faith and his reporting were intertwined.

Lobdell considers himself to be about 60 percent to 70 percent reluctant atheist and 30 to 40 percent deist. This introspective self-labeling evolved from growing up Episcopalian — a "minor-league Catholic" — then an Evangelical Christian and starting the process of becoming Roman Catholic.

Lobdell was covering the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandals and corruption in the televangelism community as a reporter and found these stories so horrific that they caused him to lose his faith in a personal, intervening God. As a result, he wrote a book about it titled "Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace." He spoke to about 100 people in the audience at the Reynolds Journalism Institute about his faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Church-Going Among U.S. Catholics Slides to Tie Protestants

UNITED STATES
Gallup

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ -- According to Gallup Poll trends on church attendance among American Christians, weekly attendance among Protestants has been fairly steady over the past six decades, averaging 42% in 1955 versus 45% in the middle of the current decade. However, attendance among Roman Catholics dropped from 75% to 45% over the same period.

Most of the decline in church attendance among American Catholics occurred in the earlier decades, between 1955 and 1975; however, it continued at a rate of four percentage points a decade through the mid-1990s, and church attendance has since leveled off at 45%. ...

On the basis of these 10-year snapshots of church attendance, the percentage of Catholics saying they went to church in the past week is essentially unchanged between 1995 and today. That's an extremely important finding given the upheaval in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church caused by the sexual abuse scandals that erupted earlier this decade. Gallup polling in 2002 and 2003 found a decline in the percentages of Catholics saying they had attended church in the past week; however, attendance rebounded by the end of 2003 and has since remained on par with its pre-scandal level of about 45%.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

School principal charged with sex abuse

BEACH PARK (IL)
Lake County News-Sun

April 9, 2009

BY KENDRICK MARSHALL kmarshall@scn1.com
A Beach Park principal told Lake County authorities that he had gone too far after being arrested for sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl last month.

Daniel R. Pirozzi, 54 of 39236, Green Bay Road, No. 2, Beach Park, was charged with a single count of criminal sexual abuse following allegations that came to light over the weekend, said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.

Pirozzi is the current principal at the Biblical Baptist Church Academy at 39236 N. Green Bay Road.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Principal charged with sexual abuse of 11-year-old girl

BEACH PARK (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

April 9, 2009

FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS
A 54-year-old principal of a far north suburban elementary school has been charged with the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl who is a student at the school. Investigators believe other victims may be out there and they are encouraging them to come forward.

Daniel R. Pirozzi, of the 39000 block of North Green Bay Road, Apt. #2, in Beach Park, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse, according to a release from the Lake County Sheriff's office. His arrest and the charges follow allegations that came to light over the weekend.

Pirozzi is the principal at the Biblical Baptist Church Academy located in Beach Park. The victim, an 11-year-old girl, is a student at the academy, the sheriff's office said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Judge dismisses charge, rules priest can go free

FONDA (NY)
Schenectday Gazette

By Jessica Harding
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — Catholic priest John W. Broderick will be celebrating Easter as a free man after Montgomery County Court Judge Felix Catena on Wednesday threw out his conviction on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Broderick initially faced three felony counts of sexual misconduct against a child but was convicted by a jury on Feb. 18 of only a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child after Catena reduced one of the felony counts. The trial jury found Broderick innocent of the other two felony counts.

Bruce Barket, a downstate attorney representing Broderick at his sentencing Wednesday, made a motion for the judge to dismiss the endangering charge on the grounds that it should have never been given to the jury in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Accused abusers list remains private: Suit against former Winona priest triggers hearing

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

By KEVIN BEHR | kbehr@winonadailynews.com

A judge is considering whether to make public the names of 13 priests accused of sexual abuse who served in the Winona Diocese.

A partial list of those names is already in the hands of an attorney representing a man identified in court papers as “John Doe 76C,” who has sued former Winona priest Thomas Adamson for sexually abusing him while he was an altar boy at an Apple Valley, Minn., church between 1980 and 1982.

Adamson was a priest in the Winona diocese between 1958 and 1975 when he was transferred to the Twin Cities archdiocese to receive sexual-abuse treatment. He admitted as early as 1964 to sexually abusing boys under his supervision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Diocese settles sex abuse lawsuit, issues apology to victim

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By ESTEBAN PARRA • The News Journal • April 9, 2009

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington agreed to settle a nearly 2 1/2-year-old sex-abuse lawsuit for $1.5 million -- the largest settlement amount disclosed since Delaware passed one of the nation's toughest laws against child sexual abuse in 2007.

In addition, 63-year-old Douglas J. McClure received letters of apology for the abuse he suffered at the hands of the late Rev. Edward B. Carley when McClure was a parishioner at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wilmington in the 1950s. The letters came from Bishop Francis Malooly on behalf of the Diocese and from Monsignor Thomas Cini on behalf of St. Ann's, McClure's attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger, said.

"Getting this behind me is a bigger deal to me than coming home from Vietnam," McClure, a retired Marine Corps sergeant, said. "I hope that my sharing the horrors which were done to me will somehow give strength to Carley's many other victims to come forward and face their fears. You cannot get a do-over with your life, but by coming forward, you can seize control and take back the power he took from you so long ago. I am living proof."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Judge dismisses charge against priest

NEW YORK
Watertown Daily Times

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009

A Montgomery County judge Wednesday dismissed a child endangerment charge against a suspended Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 48, had been accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with three children, ranging in age from 5 to 11, over a few months in 2007.

A jury in February found him guilty on a misdemeanor child endangerment charge, but acquitted him on felony sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

April 8, 2009

Cardinal(s) Wrong

UNITED STATES
Injury Board

Paul Kiesel

Cardinal George is wrong on his stance of Obama addressing this year's graduating class at Notre Dame University.

Ten priests in the Roman Catholic order that helps run the University of Notre Dame want the school to reconsider having President Barack Obama deliver this year's commencement address. They're wrong, too. ...

However, this isn't the first time the Catholic church has had its priorities out of whack. Look at what took place in Fresno last week, as Bishop John T. Steinbock felt vindicated by a Fresno's jury verdict: Jurors unanimously agreed that Monsignor Anthony Herdegen molested two brothers from 1959 to 1972 while Herdegen was a priest at St. John's Catholic Church in Wasco. The jurors didn't find the church liable.

In a statement, Bishop Steinbock expressed regret that Herdegen had abused the Santillans, "even though the diocese learned that they were abused years after it occurred [FLAT OUT LIE]."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Broderick exonerated of all charges

NEW YORK
News 10 Now

By: Dayana Perez

FONDA, N.Y. -- It was a day filled with mixed emotions at the Montgomery County courthouse as the fate of Catholic Priest John Broderick was revealed.

Broderick, who faced one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child, was fully exonerated by the court.

“I feel really grateful for the supporters and all of those who have been praying. Of course for the priesthood itself, which is why I have taken this fight and tried to fight this, so I’m very happy,” Broderick said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

Archbishop says abuse report 'will shock us all'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE IMMINENT report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation into clerical sex abuse “will shock us all”, according to the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Diarmuid Martin.

In a homily to be delivered this morning at Mass in the Pro-Cathedral, he says: “It is likely that thousands of children or young people across Ireland were abused by priests in the period under investigation and the horror of that abuse was not recognised for what it is. The report will make each of us and the entire church in Dublin a humbler church.”

The report is due to be published this summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

Statement From The Archdiocese Of St. Paul, Mpls.

MINNESOTA
WCCO

Today's news media reports stating that the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is "unwilling to publicly disclose the names of priests accused of abuse" over the past 50 years, unfortunately do not accurately state the Archdiocese's position on this matter. When contacted by a reporter with a voice mail after hours, the Archdiocese had no opportunity to present key facts and the reasons for its position.

The facts are these:

• The list of names ordered by the court to be released to attorney Jeffrey Anderson on December 5, 2008 contained a total of 33 names.

Of this number, 23 names of priests charged with abuse have already been made public either because of litigation or by disclosure by the Archdiocese. The remaining 10 have never been charged criminally or civilly of any crime of abuse. None are involved in active ministry any longer and at least one is believed to be deceased. Just as the law provides protection for all of us from unproven accusations, we believe it wrong for this information to be disclosed until the judge who will hear this evidence decides it should be released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Pastor hopes church can heal after sex allegations

TENNESSEE
Tennessean

BY MARK BELL • MBELL@DNJ.COM • April 8, 2009

Pastor Dusty Ray of Heartland Baptist Church is confident God will get his congregation through one of the roughest patches in the church’s history, he told a Daily News Journal reporter Wednesday.

Members of the small, tight-nit congregation were shocked to learn 24-year-old Matthew M. Jernigan, a member of the church for approximately four years and youth ministry volunteer, had been arrested on sex charges earlier this month.

Ray said it was even more shocking to learn Jernigan found his alleged pre-teen victims through his volunteer status at the church, which is located on East Jefferson Pike in northern Rutherford County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Catholic Church probes gay priests

UGANDA
New Vision

Wednesday, 8th April, 2009

By Conan Businge

THE Catholic Church in Uganda is investigating allegations that some of its priests are involved in homosexuality.

“There have been allegations that some of our spiritual leaders are involved in acts of homosexuality. This is regrettable, but we are investigating and if it is true they will have to be punished at all costs,” warned the Archbishop, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Montgomery County judge tosses priest's conviction

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
Last updated: 5:14 p.m., Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FONDA — A Catholic priest already acquitted of sexually abusing three boys in Montgomery County was cleared of a remaining child endangerment charge today as he arrived to be sentenced.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, 48, walked into Montgomery County Court facing up to a year in jail. He left with no conviction on his record. Judge Felix J.. Catena vacated the endangerment charge, a misdemeanor, after the priest's attorney filed a motion to toss the conviction.

"His Easter came a few days early," said Broderick's Long Island-based lawyer, Bruce A. Barket, noting the exoneration took place during Holy Week, which precedes Easter. "He'll be very happy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Parish groups seek mediation on church closings

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 08, 2009
By Tom Roberts

Catholics in eight U.S. dioceses who are fighting to keep their parishes open have asked the Vatican to suspend any actions to close churches as well as legal proceedings resulting from closings and to mandate mediation to solve the disputes.

Peter Borre, chair of the Council of Parishes, which describes itself as a support and advocacy group for Boston's Catholic parishes, hand delivered the "Request for Mediation" April 7 to the Vatican's Under-Secretary for Relations with States, a section with the Secretariat of State, on behalf of 31 parishioner groups in the dioceses of Boston, Allentown, Pa., Buffalo, Cleveland, New Orleans, Scranton, Pa., Springfield, Mass., and New York.

The 18-page request was submitted even as cases from the Boston parishes are making their way through the church's highest judicial system. But Borre said the legal route holds little chance of success. He said the group wanted to avoid a crisis if possible by seeking other options before the legal process was completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Staff Editorial - April 8

BOSTON (MA)
The Suffolk Journal

The Boston Globe is in serious trouble. On Friday, it reported that its owner, the New York Times Co., threatened to close the paper unless unions accepted $20 million in concessions. The Globe reported that it lost $50 million last year and that management expects to lose $85 million this year unless major cuts are made. With ad revenue drying up and circulation continuing to drop, it's hard to imagine a more precarious financial situation for the newspaper.

The specter of a shuttered Boston Globe is a scary thought. The Globe has played a crucial role over the years in making sure that people working in both public and private organizations are held accountable for their actions. Investigations led by the Globe Spotlight team broke open the infamous clergy-abuse scandal in 2002, which ultimately resulted in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law for his role in the cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Baptist leaders' delusion on display

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

In Waco, Texas, the pastor of Bellmead First Baptist Church is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child.

According to KXXV-TV News, pastor W. Frank Brown is accused of molesting girls in another state, beginning about four years ago, and then continuing assaults on a victim after moving to Texas. The girl was reportedly 9 or 10 when the abuse began. “Police say the alleged assaults took place hundreds of times.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Attorneys in St. Paul spar over naming priests accused of abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune
Last update: April 8, 2009 - 12:55 PM

Opposing sides in a Ramsey County court argued today about whether a list of priests accused of sexual abuse should be made public.

District Judge Gregg Johnson replied that he will review the case, conduct his own research and then rule in about two weeks.

Pitted in court this morning were representatives for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona vs. a St. Paul law firm that has sought legal action for years against clergy accused of abusing minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Diocese settles suit with sex abuse victim for $1.5M

DELAWARE
WDEL

By Peter MacArthur

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington will write a million and a half dollar check to settle a lawsuit with a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest.

63 year old Doug McClure of Wilmington says the Reverend Edward Carley raped and abused him while he was an altar boy between 1954 and 1956.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Catholic Leaders want Church Predators' Names Concealed in Trial

MINNESOTA
My Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A hearing on a motion to protect the identity of priests accused of sexual abuse in the trial of a Wayzata man who was sexually abused as a boy is being conducted Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.

The victim is criticizing two Catholic bishops for trying to keep information about church predators concealed.

Attorneys for the Catholic leaders in the Twin Cities and Winona will argue to block the release of a list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Detienen a presunto asesino de sacerdote de EU

MEXICO
En Linea Directa

Gastón Monge/EnLíneaDIRECTA

Nuevo Laredo.- La policía ministerial presentó este martes a Manuel Martín Torres Saldaña, presunto asesino del sacerdote norteamericano, Jessy Evans Euristi, quien desapareció la semana pasada y cuyo cuerpo fue localizado la tarde del domingo en un paraje del ejido Morelos.

Aunque no está confirmado de manera oficial, el crimen pudo haber sido pasional, debido a que el religioso esperaba el día en que fue asesinado, a un hombre con el que mantenía relaciones sexuales, lo que aparentemente enardeció a Manuel Martín, quien también era su amante, y bajo el influjo del alcohol y las drogas, decidió quitarle la vida.

Sin mostrar arrepentimiento alguno, el presunto homicida narró de manera detallada la forma en que asesinó al sacerdote, y cómo sacó el cuerpo para aventarlo al ejido, ubicado por la carretera que conduce a ciudad Anáhuac, Nuevo León.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Diocese settles sex abuse suit

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • April 8, 2009

The Diocese of Wilmington today settled a civil lawsuit filed against it by a former altar boy who alleged he was sexually abused by a priest in the 1950s, when he was between 8 and 10 years old, for $1.5 million.

As part of the settlement with Douglas J. McClure, who is now a 63 and a retired U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, for the abuse he suffered at the hands of the late Rev. Edward B. Carley when McClure was a parishoner at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wilmington, he also received a written apology.

The settlement comes just days before jury selection was set to begin in McClure's civil suit in New Castle County Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Surviving Passover: Jewish Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

The Awareness Center

by Na'ama Yehuda, MSC, SLP, TSHH and Vicki Polin, MA, ATR, LCPC

There are many issues surrounding holidays and childhood sexual abuse that have rarely, if ever been addressed in our communities. One of those issues pertains directly to surviving Jewish holidays.

It's not too surprising that many adult survivors of childhood abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse) have difficult times during Passover (Pesach), as this time of the year can bring up painful memories of families get together and that routines are changed. Plus there is the added stress of cleaning your home top to bottom, preparing, and "doing it right." These issues alone can be extremely stress producing; yet in a home where violence occurred, would most likely lead to an increase of abuse.

Parents who are already inclined to use their children as an outlet for emotions and urges, are even more likely to do so when under the pressure of increased anxiety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

St. Stan's Pins Prayers on Mediation Request

ADAMS (MA)
iBerkshires

By Tammy Daniels - April 08, 2009
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — Irene Cwalinski has been coming twice a week for the past 15 weeks to sit for a few hours in the chilly air of a closed church.

She's been attending St. Stanislaus Kostka for decades. She's not ready to join another parish. She's still hoping the historic church will be saved.

"It's like the bishop tore the hearts out of the people here, the parishioners," she said, tearing up as she spoke of her church. "It's like our second home and he took it away from us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Vatican asked to suspend church closings in N.O., 7 other dioceses

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Wednesday April 08, 2009, 6:47 AM
A businessman representing Catholic parishioners in New Orleans and seven other dioceses around the country said he delivered a 22-page letter on Tuesday asking the Vatican to suspend further parish closures and instruct local bishops to engage parishioners in search of alternatives for the good of the church.

Meanwhile, two dozen parishioners representing four closed parishes in New Orleans gathered on the steps of one of the shuttered churches, St. Henry's in Uptown New Orleans, to declare they were still intact as communities. They reiterated their request to discuss reopening their churches, even if on a limited basis, with Archbishop Alfred Hughes.

Peter Borre, a Boston businessman who delivered the plea to the Office of Secretary of State at the Vatican, said by phone he had confirmed that Catholic parishioners in the dioceses of Allentown, Pa.; Boston; Cleveland; Scranton, Pa.; Springfield, Mass.; and New Orleans had announced their solidarity with the effort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Montgomery County judge tosses priest's conviction

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
Last updated: 10:50 a.m., Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FONDA -- The Rev. John Broderick is no longer convicted of anything.

A jury acquitted Broderick of child molestation charges in February. This morning, Montgomery County Court Judge Felix J. Catena tossed the child endangerment charge they convicted him of.

The 48-year-old priest was expected to be sentenced today and faced up to a year in jail. But his conviction was vacated this morning by Catena who agreed with a request by Broderick's attorney request to set aside the verdict.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Montgomery County judge throws out priest's conviction

NEW YORK
Schenectady Gazette

By Jessica Harding
Gazette Reporter

FONDA — Catholic priest John W. Broderick, who was accused of sexual misconduct involving three boys from the same family, was exonerated of all charges today in Montgomery County Court.

County Court Judge Felix Catena threw out the Feb. 18 misdemeanor conviction of Broderick on an endangering the welfare of a child charge.

“The court made a courageous decision, followed the law and did the right thing,” said Bruce Barket, attorney for Broderick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Conviction against priest tossed out

NEW YORK
WNYT

AMSTERDAM - The Rev. John Broderick is no longer a convicted priest.

Broderick was scheduled for sentencing Wednesday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child. He could have been sent to jail for up to a year.

Instead, the judge vacated a jury's verdict and set Broderick free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Priest Slayer Uses Gay Defense

AUSTIN (TX)
Advocate

By Julie Bolcer
The man suspected of murdering an Austin priest confessed to the crime, but insisted the two were lovers, Mexican authorities say.

Manuel Martin Torres Saldaña said on Tuesday that Reverend Jesse Euresti wanted to end their one-year relationship and start seeing another man because of Torres Saldaña’s drug addiction, which prohibited intimate relations. Their conversation escalated to an argument in which Torres Saldaña said he stabbed Euresti with a knife to defend himself from a machete attack. ...

"The truth is I don't feel guilty," Torres Saldaña said in his confess