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June 30, 2009

Lawsuit claims priest molested altar boy in 1990s

ORANGE (CA)
The Orange County Register

By EUGENE W. FIELDS
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

ORANGE – A 29-year-old man is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, alleging he was sexually abused by a priest when he was as an altar boy at St. Norbert Church in the 1990s.

The man, who is identified in the lawsuit only as John DC Doe, alleges he was molested from 1990 to 1992 and that the diocese knew about the molestations and did nothing to stop it.

The priest is not named in the lawsuit, but the man's attorney, Rebecca Rhoades, identified the priest as Monsignor Sinon Falvey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Former pastor sentenced to 17 years

ROYCE CITY (TX)
Herald-Banner

By Brad Kellar
Herald-Banner Staff

A former Royse City pastor has been sentenced to prison on federal charges he possessed and trafficked in child pornography on his church’s computers.

Steve Richardson, 36, was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release. Richardson pleaded guilty March 19 to two federal counts; one alleging transporting and shipping child pornography and one alleging the possession of child pornography.

According to a release issued by Acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas, Richardson, 36, the former Pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Royse City, Texas, was sentenced late Monday by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 17 years in federal prison. In addition, Lindsay ordered Richardson serve a lifetime of supervised release and register as a sex offender. Richardson has been in federal custody since he was arrested on September 24, 2008, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on related charges in a federal criminal complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Deacon Sentenced on Sex Charges

VINTON (VA)
WSET

Vinton, VA - A former church deacon at a church in Vinton, accused of molesting three teenage girls, has been sentenced to 225-years in prison.

Dean Harold Stone pleaded guilty in April to 12 felony sex charges for the offenses that happened between 2006 and 2008.

The sentence comes a week before the church's former assistant pastor is scheduled to be sentenced for an unrelated sex crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Diocese reinstates Long Hill pastor amid reported FBI probe

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

By ABBOTT KOLOFF • Staff writer • June 30, 2009

Monsignor Patrick Brown was reinstated Tuesday as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Long Hill while the FBI continues an investigation into parish finances, Paterson Diocese officials said.

Ken Mullaney, an attorney for the diocese, said the decision was made because the FBI investigation has been dragging on longer than expected and diocese finance officials have not found any problems with parish finances.

“It seems unfair to have Monsignor Brown in limbo while this investigation continues,” Mullaney said. “We have not seen any evidence of wrongdoing.”

Mullaney also said the FBI asked him about expenditures made by Brown that include paying mortgages and college tuition for people, and giving money to some of the diocese’s poorer parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Bishop says diocese is taking action to prevent abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Canton Repository

By Charita Goshay
CantonRep.com staff writer
Posted Jun 30, 2009 @ 08:36 PM

YOUNGSTOWN — .Bishop George V. Murry got the kind of phone call every shepherd dreads: One of his priests had been accused of sexual immorality.

Shortly afterward on May 22, Murry removed Thomas Crum from the pulpit at Our Lady of Peace Church in Canton. Crum admitted engaging in inappropriate behavior with a student more than 30 years ago while at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown.

In the weeks hence, the head of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has been on a quest to ensure that such an incident doesn’t happen again. He vows to keep parishioners apprised of what the diocese is doing about it, and encourages anyone who has been victimized to contact his office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Jewish Week Wins Five Writing Awards

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

by Staff Report

Jewish Week staff writers Stewart Ain and Tamar Snyder and correspondent Hella Winston were among the winners of the 2008 Simon Rockower Awards for excellence in Jewish journalism, which were announced last week.

The paper also won top honors for its annual magazine, Directions, and second place in its circulation division for editorial writing.

Winston, who has aggressively covered allegations of child sexual abuse against Orthodox rabbis in Brooklyn and the communal response to it, won first place in the features category for “A Charge of Double Betrayal,” the story of a man who says he was victimized first by the yeshiva principal who allegedly molested him and then by a yeshiva administration that took no action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Abused were hidden in clear sight, says ombudsman

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

FOLLOWING THE Ryan report “we all emerge . . . somewhat lost, unbalanced, the touchstone of our former beliefs and certainties cast adrift,” the Ombudsman and Information Commissioner Emily O’Reilly has said.

“We stood exposed, not as an island of charming saints and chatty, avuncular scholars but as a repressed, cold-hearted, fearful, smugly pious, sexually ignorant and vengeful race of self-styled Christians,” she said

She recalled that at the 2004 Céifin conference in Ennis, Co Clare, she had wondered “what the real us [her emphasis] actually was, the old-style pious Mass-goers, or the new-style materialists.” She continued, “I wonder even more so in the light of Ryan.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Burqa debate brings forth memories

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Last week, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said, “The burqa is not welcome on French territory.”

The burqa is the head-to-toe garment that is worn by a small minority of Muslim women. It conceals even the face. In this photo of two women in Marseille, the woman on the right is wearing a burqa.

President Sarkozy declared that the burqa was not a religious symbol but a sign of women’s “debasement.” “In our country,” he said, “we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen… deprived of all identity.” ...

Of course, the mixing of culture and religion isn’t unique to Muslims. And Muslims don’t have any lock-box on religious authoritarianism and paternalism. If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that any religion can be misused for oppressing the weak and perpetuating the powerful. That’s a lesson I learned from my own westernized Christian religion.

Though Baptists don’t display bloody sheets, there is nevertheless much about Baptist culture and belief that is often misused to train girls into the bondage of a subservient self-image. And if you’re a Baptist clergy abuse survivor of either sex, you are virtually guaranteed to experience religiously-fueled oppression, particularly if you dare to try to report it.

I don’t purport to know what the “right answer” to the burqa debate is. But I do believe that, if the debate is to be honestly engaged, we should not pretend that a burqa is nothing more than the equivalent of a Texas Baptist’s bolo tie, or a Jewish man’s yarmulke, or a Catholic’s cross necklace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

A Summer Read: Tennessee survivor Mike Coode writing book as adult victim of pedophile priest, here is part of the story

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By City of Angels

Soon to be a major book, maybe a movie or at least part of one, here is Mike Coode’s story, something to read on a beach chair this weekend. Based on his experience going public as an adult victim of a pedophile priest in the early 1990s, his book should be ready for a publisher in mid-July, Mike told me today. I hope so, as Coode spins a good yarn in Tennessee straight talk style, as revealed in the speech copied here, which he delivered at a Nashville VOTF meeting in 2004. Enjoy this summer read, a taste of what Mike Coode’s upcoming book will be like.

I have a story to tell, and the question I ask myself is Why would I want to tell it? It is so painful this telling of my personal loss; the humiliation, the spiritual confusion, and the debasement. It’s difficult to publicly share my story with my sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and lifetime Friends. It’s difficult to see the pain in the eyes of those of you who share this terrible experience with me. It’s difficult to share my story with strangers.

But I must share it, because if by telling this story, one child is spared this horrible experience, if my story moves one person to see that the wrongs committed by the leaders of my church, our church, are corrected, then it’s worth the telling. If there are tears, it’s okay. When I see the pain in your eyes, it’s okay. That anguish you feel, that horrible pit in your stomach must forever be a reminder to you that this must stop. We must see that our children and our grandchildren are never caught up in this terrible tragedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Morris County priest under FBI investigation reinstated by Diocese of Paterson

STIRLING (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

by Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday June 30, 2009, 2:48 PM
STIRLING -- A popular Morris County pastor who was placed on leave early this month amid an FBI investigation into his spending was reinstated today by the Diocese of Paterson.

Monsignor Patrick Brown 58, arrived back at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Stirling around noon, said Michael Critchley, a lawyer representing Brown in the criminal probe.

"He couldn't be happier," Critchley said. "To be removed from something you've given your entire life to for 30 years -- and having the prospect of it being taken away -- is frightening, and for him to be reinstated to his priestly duties, his prayers have been answered."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Dublin inquiry into how 19 senior clergy handled sex claims

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE DUBLIN Archdiocese Commission of Investigation is believed to have inquired into how four archbishops and 15 bishops addressed clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Dublin archdiocese.

It is expected to present its report to Minister for Justice by the middle of next month, most likely in the week beginning Sunday, July 12th.

The report is understood to be 800 to 1,000 pages and, unlike the 2005 Ferns report or the Ryan report, it will name priests who have been convicted in the courts in relation to abuse and those whose names are already in the public domain in relation to abuse.

It is thought likely that on its receipt the report will be referred by the Dermot Ahern to Attorney General Paul Gallagher for advice as three priests investigated by it are currently before the courts on abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Irish Church bracing for report on handling of clerical abuse in Dublin archdiocese

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

June 30, 2009
Still reeling from the impact of a report on rampant abuse of children living in Church-run institutions, Catholics in Ireland are now bracing for a report on the handling of sex-abuse allegations against priests of the Dublin archdiocese. That report, the work of another independent investigating committee, reportedly will be released within the next few weeks. It is said to approach 1,000 pages in length, and will include the names of priests who have faced abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Ronnie Polaneczky: 'Is it possible ...to appreciate the totality of who ... Jackson was?'

UNITED STATES
Philadelphia Daily News

By Ronnie Polaneczky
Philadelphia Daily News
Daily News Columnist

As we move into day five of Life After Michael Jackson, I'm wondering: How can it be that I feel so bad for the sad, tormented man he'd become?

I wouldn't normally feel inclined toward a forgiving view of someone credibly accused, as the King of Pop was, of child molestation. Yet I find myself boomeranging like an atom between two "Yes, but . . ." poles:

Michael Jackson slept with little boys. Yes, but . . . he could stir in us a thrilling range of human emotion - from exuberance and delight to restlessness, rage and yearning. ...

I contacted David Clohessy to stew over the ambivalence I've been feeling about the Gloved One's legacy.

Is it possible, I asked, to appreciate the totality of who Michael Jackson was, when his demons drove him to behave in such a disturbing way with children?

"I feel both sympathy and revulsion" for Jackson, said Clohessy, a childhood victim of molestation and national director of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "I feel sorry for anyone who came from a family where burning ambition was just drilled into children.

"On the other hand, there's a danger in minimizing the abuse charges. When you watch a 30-minute memorial to Michael Jackson, and they don't even mention the molestation until 22 minutes into it, it tells present sex-abuse victims that abuse isn't that bad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Judge delays classification of sex offender until July 20

CANTON (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009

CANTON — The sex-offender-classification hearing for the former pastor of Oswegatchie First Baptist Church has been postponed until next month.

Merton E. Parks, 61, of 469 Oswegatchie Trail Road, Fine, was sentenced in May to 10 years' probation on a charge of felony possessing a sexual performance by a child.

St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards said Monday that he was delaying the hearing until July 20 because the risk assessment test wasn't properly completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Churches led by ‘naughty’ pastors facing closure

SWAZILAND
Times of Swaziland

By MUSA NHLEKO on June 30,2009

MANZINI – Churches headed by wayward pastors and church leaders face closure.
This is if the Swaziland Conference of Churches (SCC) will be able to establish a regulatory body this year for all evangelicals and pentecostals in the country.

This was said by Bishop Steven Masilela, who is the SCC President, during a press conference yesterday at the Tum’s George hotel.

Bishop Masilela said the body would be able to handle issues of moral decay amongst pastors and church leaders in Swaziland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Oahu pastor jailed for assaulting girl

HAWAII
Star-Bulletin

[with video]

By Star-Bulletin Staff and News Services

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 30, 2009

A woman who was sexually assaulted by her mentor and spiritual leader for at least seven years starting when she was 12 years old watched a judge sentence Manuel Guillermo Taboada to 10 years in prison yesterday.

The woman, her friends and family did not make any statements before Circuit Judge Richard Pollack handed down the sentence. Neither did Taboada.

"What's he going to say to them, 'I'm sorry?' I don't think sorry's enough and that's why he agreed to a prison sentence," said Michael Green, Taboada's lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Former priest faces 29 sex abuse charges

IRELAND
Breaking News

A trial date has been set for a former priest accused of the sexual assault and buggery of two young boys almost 30 years ago.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies 29 charges of both indecent assault and buggery on dates between June 1, 1979 and June 31, 1983 when one of the alleged victims was aged between seven and 11 years old and the second was aged between 14 and 15 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

No room for pedophiles in priestly ministry, says Cardinal Hummes

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jun 29, 2009 / 12:55 pm (CNA).- The prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, said last week pedophilia is a “terrible crime” that affects only a small percentage of priests, adding that “there is no room in the priestly ministry for people who have committed these crimes.”

In an interview in Rome with the magazine “Vida Nueva,” the cardinal pointed out that the Church “cannot close her eyes” to these problems, but at the same time he emphasized, “There is no room in the priestly ministry for people who have committed these crimes.”

“The Church cannot accept cases of pedophilia. Those guilty must be punished both through civil and canon law,” he said, clarifying however that most of the clergy “have nothing to do with these problems.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Two diocesan priests named in new sex abuse lawsuits.

DELAWARE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

June 25, 2009 --- (Wilmington, DE) --- Two priests of the Diocese of Wilmington – one deceased and one retired – have been named in separate lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors, the Diocese of Wilmington announced today. Prior to the filing of these lawsuits, there had been no allegations of this nature against either of these priests.

Rev. John Francis O’Brien, who passed away on January 7, 2003, is accused of abuse of a minor in the early 1960s.

Fr. O’Brien was ordained in 1962 and during the first ten years of his priesthood he served as associate pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Wilmington, St. Helena’s Church in Wilmington and St. Ann’s Church in Wilmington. In 1972 Fr. O’Brien was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church in New Castle, Delaware. In 1982 he became pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Church in Wilmington. Fr. O’Brien was assigned as pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Church in Wilmington in 1997 and served in that capacity until his death. He also served the Diocese of Wilmington as director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYM).

Rev. James Edward Richardson, retired, age 77, is accused of sexually abusing a minor on two occasions in the late 1960s. Fr. Richardson denies the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Nuns issue abuse apology

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A nun who campaigns for social justice today apologised to children who were abused while under the care of the Sisters of Charity.

Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, a member of the religious order criticised in the devastating Ryan report, said members were ashamed, shocked and horrified by the physical and sexual abuse of children at its facilities.

She told a conference in Dublin Castle the report laid bare the appalling manner in which the most vulnerable children were treated in institutions run by congregations over the past 50 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

McAleese says abuses a 'millstone'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ELAINE EDWARDS

The abuse of children in some institutions run by religious orders is a “millstone of biblical proportions” in Irish history, President Mary McAleese said today.

Addressing a conference in Dublin organised by the Sisters of Charity, one of the orders under whose care children were abused, Mrs McAleese also paid tribute to the order for the positive work achieved by its members.

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, a member of the order, delivered an apology today at the conference to those who were abused in the care of the sisters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Youth group leader admits to fondling

NORRISTOWN (PA)
Pottstown Mercury

By Carl Hessler Jr.
chessler@pottsmerc.com

NORRISTOWN — A New Hanover church youth group leader solemnly admitted to a judge that he had indecent contact with a teenage girl who attended the church.

David Benson Lewis, 24, of the 2900 block of Reifsnyder Road, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges of endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor in connection with incidents that occurred between July and August of 2008.

The girl was 15 years old at the time of the incidents and Lewis was 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Kaneohe Minister Sentenced For Molesting Child

HAWAII
KITV

HONOLULU -- A judge gave a former Kaneohe minister the maximum sentence Monday for pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl member of his congregation.

Manuel Taboada faced a maximum 10 years in prison with the possibility of parole after six years.

Taboada was charged with eight counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

EIRE/ The Ryan report/ 1.

IRELAND
Il Sussidiario (Italy)

John Waters

martedì 30 giugno 2009

The Background

Reserving to itself vast resources of power, the State tends towards evil. In a sense, it cannot really be “good”, and even with eternal watchfulness and oppeness can never do much better than avoid outright corruption.

The Ryan report describes a wholesale State-driven system of child abuse. The Catholic Church was, of course, deeply implicated, but with the collusion of the Department of Education, the police and the courts. Usually, when this is said, it is interpreted as an attempt to in some complex way “excuse” the Church, to spread the blame. But in Ireland now the opposite is more common: an avoidance of State responsibility so as to emphasise the Church’s wrongdoing. Without in any way seeking to diminish the evil that was done by people who claimed to walk in the way of Christ, it needs to be recorded that not a single Irish child could have been taken into one of these institutions without the say-so of the State. None of it could have happened had the State not colluded, had the police and the courts and even the (alleged) national child-protecton agency not arranged for a steady flow of victims to be provided to the Church-run institutions of torture and degradation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Irish Priest Faces Civil Case

STOCKTON (CA)
Irish Emigrant

STOCKTON, Calif. – The Rev. Michael Kelly, pastor of St. Joachim Catholic Church in Lockeford, was cleared of wrongdoing by the diocesan review board, based in Stockton, California. They found no evidence to support the claim of sexual abuse that Kelly was charged with last year. Kelly had been placed on administrative leave after being accused of abusing a 10-year-old boy in the mid- 1980s.

“We categorically deny the allegation," said Albert Ellis, a Stockton attorney who said he has known Kelly for more than 30 years. "It's absurd. It never happened. The guy has a stellar record. He's extremely well-liked and well-respected."

Ellis said he was surprised that Kelly had been placed on administrative leave after sharing with Blaire the results of a voluntary polygraph examination. That examination, sometimes referred to as a lie-detector test, showed Kelly was being truthful, according to Ellis, when the priest denied he had abused the boy or any other child during his 35-year career as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Lawsuit: Priest molested 2 teens

TOMS RIVER (NJ)
Asbury Park News

By Kathleen Hopkins • TOMS RIVER BUREAU • June 29, 2009

TOMS RIVER — A sexual abuse lawsuit against a former pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Freehold has been amended to include a second plaintiff who has come forward with allegations that he was sexually abused by the Roman Catholic priest during an overnight trip to a spa resort about 25 years ago, when the clergyman was assigned to St. Veronica's Church in Howell.

The new plaintiff, now 38 and living in Pennsylvania, alleges in the amended lawsuit that the Rev. Richard Milewski pulled down his bathing suit while roughhousing with him in the pool and squeezed his genitals until he was motionless with pain.

The plaintiff, identified in the lawsuit only by initials "S.J.," alleged that Milewski made the group of boys he took to the spa resort in northwest New Jersey strip naked before going into a whirlpool tub and steam room with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

June 29, 2009

Kids and congregants at risk

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

People often ask me why I keep doing this work.

That graph is a big part of the answer. According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, about 1 in 6 Americans are Baptist.

Southern Baptists alone are twice as big as the second-largest Protestant group, the Methodists. And if you add in all the other sorts of Baptists, then Baptists are about 4 times more numerous than the Methodists. That’s according to data compiled by the National Council of Churches, which listed the top 25 faith groups in the country.

Baptists are so big that they literally dwarf all the other Protestant groups.

Southern Baptists alone claim to have about 16.2 million members. That’s a population the size of Chile or the Netherlands.

To serve that population, Southern Baptists have 101,000 clergy in this country and 43,000 churches. Yet, despite their faith group’s shared identity, Southern Baptists disclaim any shared responsibility for their clergy… or for the safety of people who sit in Southern Baptist pews.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Redress board queried about repeated denials

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

A SOLICITOR who has represented former residents of State institutions for children has said she queried with the redress board as far back as 2003 why it continued to accept repeated denials by the Christian Brothers of any abuse in institutions they had managed.

Gort, Co Galway-based solicitor Eileen McMahon has also accused the provincial of the Christian Brothers in Ireland, Br Kevin Mullan, of not being sincere in his recent apology to former residents of the institutions.

Ms McMahon has dealt with approximately 250 cases at the redress board, mainly involving clients now living in the UK. She referred to letters sent to the board by Br Mullan which denied any abuse by the Christian Brothers and which were published in this newspaper on June 3rd last. One was lodged with the board by Br Mullan on May 15th, five days before publication of the Ryan report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Keeper of St. Norbert Church Pedo-Priests Now Accused of Boy Rape Himself

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra

What is it about the pastors of St. Norbert Church in Orange and their predilection for protecting pedo-priests? The most recent example was Cirilo Flores, who is now an auxiliary bishop under Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown; the most notorious example was John Urell, who famously cracked during a deposition digging into his days as the man in charge of "investigating" the pedophiles who terrorized county parishes for decades. I guess they just learned from their elders; after all, longtime St. Norbert pastor Sinon Falvey was in charge of two pedo-priests during his tenure from 1969 to 1989: John Kenney and John Lenihan. God smote the first John in a 1977 car accident; with Lenihan, Falvey moved him along to my home parish of St. Boniface in Anaheim.

Now, Falvey is the target of a civil lawsuit filed June 25 in Orange County Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Industrial schools were the product of a religious but unspiritual society

IRELAND
The Irish Times

RITE AND REASON: The Ryan report has consigned the triumphalist Catholic Church in Ireland to the dustbin of history, writes BRENDAN Ó CATHAOIR

‘ROMANTIC IRELAND is truly dead and gone,” Mannix Flynn said with justifiable anger. In his review of Bruce Arnold’s new book, The Irish Gulag: How the State Betrayed its Innocent Children (The Irish Times, May 30th), Flynn added: “Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany will now have the company of the Irish Church State, a brutal regime that perpetrated acts of unimaginable horror on its most vulnerable children . . . It will take generations to heal and understand this trauma. The Irish people will suffer for a long time to come.”

It has taken us several generations to recover from the Great Famine (1845-1850). Unscholarly attempts were made to compare what was western Europe’s worst modern peacetime disaster to the Holocaust. Historical truth helps to set us free; unhistorical comparisons do not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Diocese of Paterson recommending priest under FBI investigation be reinstated as church pastor

STIRLING (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

by Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
Monday June 29, 2009, 6:00 PM
STIRLING -- A lawyer for the Diocese of Paterson has recommended that a Morris County priest be returned to active ministry even as the FBI continues to investigate how the clergyman spent parish funds.

Monsignor Patrick Brown, the longtime pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Stirling, was placed on leave June 4, a day after two FBI agents arrived at the diocese with questions about Brown's spending practices. The FBI also has subpoenaed records from the church's banks and from a Morristown jewelry store where Brown, 58, frequently bought gifts for parish volunteers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Two cases that affect SOL for child sex crimes in opposite ways now up for review by Supreme Court of California

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Creator, City of Angels Blog

The State Supreme Court accepted the KJ petiion for review last week, leveling the playing field between adult victims of pedophiles and corporate entities who are trying to prevent further lawsuits. Earlier this month the Catholic Church and its attorneys celebrated when the state's highest court granted their request to review Quarry, where the trial court sustained the Bishop of Oakland’s demurrer and dismissed the complaint. Then the First Appellate Court reversed and Catholic Church attorneys worked long and hard to get the Quarry decision reviewed, as we reported here June 12th.

Now, by the Court agreeing to review KJ as well, "All the big issues will be on the table," an attorney close to the California Clergy Cases told City of Angels. In K.J. v. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton, the plaintiff began to recover memory of the abuse in 2004 and filed suit in 2007. The Third Appellate Court agreed with the Church that the case was time barred, now the Court will review both cases.

"The justices, at their weekly conference in San Francisco, agreed to review a Third District Court of Appeal ruling that affirmed a San Joaquin Superior Court judge’s dismissal of a suit by 'John K.J. Doe' against the Stockton Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church," reported Metropolitan News Enterprise June 25th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

El Obispo de Minas pide perdón y aguarda la sanción del Vaticano

URUGUAY
El Pais

La Iglesia Católica de Uruguay sufre su primer gran escándalo. Minas está conmovida. Su obispo fue fotografiado manteniendo relaciones sexuales con dos reclusos que después lo extorsionaron. Se da por hecho que Roma lo removerá.

En la misa vespertina de este sábado los presbiterios de la Diócesis de Minas leerán una carta del Obispo Francisco Barboza en la que pide disculpas a los fieles por el dolor causado, luego que se conociera que mantuvo relaciones sexuales con dos presidiarios.

Según fuentes policiales el Obispo había "contratado" a dos presos -Gerardo Enrique Bentancor y José Martín Britos-, procesados por varios delitos, para que hicieran algunas tareas en el obispado. Al principio la relación era de colaboración y ambos visitaban con cierta asiduidad al obispo en busca de ayuda económica.

[summary]

The Catholic Church of Uruguay has suffered its first big scandal. A bishop was photographed having sex with two inmates who then extorted him. It is assumed that Rome will remove him.

Those attending Mass on Saturday evening were read a letter from Bishop Francisco Barboza who apologized for the pain he has caused.

Police sources say the bishop "hired" two prisoners, Gerardo Enrique Betancourt and Jose Martin Britos, who were prosecuted for various crimes, to do work in the diocese. At first the relationship was collaborative and they visted the bishop with some regularity for financial aid.

The bishop several times went to visit Betancourt last year when he was in the hospital.

The bishop later when to Rome where he participated in various seminars and courses for 43 days and then returned to Uruguay to continue a relationship with the men. In December, he invited the prisoners to a dinner that culminated in sexual intercourse that was recorded with a cell phone. Extortion began later and Barboza decided to make a police report.

This was made public yesterday in a statement that appeared in El Observador.

The bishop in a letter to people of the diocese said he never thought this would be a source of pain for the people and he asked for forgiveness and announced he would comply with any penalty imposed by the church "with total obedience."

In the meantime, Betancor was prosecuted for extortion while Britos was prosecuted for attempted extortion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Obispo de Minas ayer pidió perdón; se aguarda la decisión del Papa

URUGUAY
El Pais

La Iglesia Católica aguarda la decisión del Papa sobre el obispo Francisco Barboza, que fue fotografiado en actos sexuales con dos individuos. Se le puede suspender su condición de obispo o de sacerdote, pero no quitarle su condición.

El nuncio apostólico Anselmo Pecorari, dijo ayer sábado que no puede informar si el Papa Benedicto XVI tomó alguna decisión y lamentó no poder hacer comentarios sobre el tema. Los sábados, el Papá trata temas relacionados a los obispos.

Otras fuentes consultadas consideran muy remoto que el Papa resuelva tan rápidamente esta situación, ya que deberá analizar la carta que Barboza le envió y escuchar la posición de la Congregación de Obispos que lo asesora.

[summary]

The Catholic Church is awaiting the decision of the Pope on Bishop Francisco Barboza, who was photographed in sexual acts with two individuals.

Anselmo Pecorari, the Apostolic Nuncio, said Saturday he does not know if Pope Benedict XVI has made a decision and he said he regretted not being able to comment on the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Holy See to decide future of Uruguayan bishop accused of sexual misconduct

URUGUAY
Catholic News Agency

Montevideo, Uruguay, Jun 29, 2009 / 02:43 pm (CNA).- Church leaders in Uruguay are awaiting a decision from the Holy See on how to proceed with the case of Bishop Francisco Barbosa da Silveira of Minas, who has been accused by clergy in his diocese of sexual misconduct.

Sources at the Uruguayan Bishops’ Conference confirmed that the bishops do not have the authority to take the necessary measures in the case of Bishop Barbosa, who has been denounced for having homosexual relations by some clergy in his diocese. The case of Bishop Barbosa must be dealt with by the Holy See.

The newspaper El Pais reported the bishop requested a police investigation saying he was the victim of extortion. Two adult men with criminal backgrounds were charged and sentenced to prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Sunday Sequence

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC

[audio presentation]

The Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, a priest of the of Newark, N.J., diocese, discusses his advisory role in the making of a film Beyond the Fire which is about clergy sexual abuse, faith, redemption and some very dark secrets. Maeve Murphy, who is also interviewed, is writer and director of the film. Father Hoatson, who advocates for clergy abuse survivors, is also a survivor of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Bar Mitzvah Tutor Convicted of Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

by Ryan Thompson (court@brooklyneagle.net), published online 06-25-2009

JAY STREET — A Bar Mitzvah tutor was convicted Wednesday of seven counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, for sexually abusing two boys, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced.

Yona Weinberg, a 31-year-old social worker from Flatbush, was originally charged with sexually abusing four male students. The indictment had charged Weinberg with course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, nine counts of sexual abuse in the second degree, attempted sexual abuse in the second degree, and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The alleged victims, who were 12, 13 and 14 years old, were Weinberg’s students at the Khal Beth Abraham synagogue, where Weinberg gave Bar Mitzvah lessons. At least one victim was Weinberg’s client at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, where Weinberg was a social worker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Martin admits scandals hurt church credibility

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Grainne Cunningham and Kathryn Hayes

Monday June 29 2009

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin has publicly conceded "the legacy of scandals" has seriously damaged the image and credibility of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The archbishop spoke of the need for renewal as he launched the beginning of the Year of Evangelisation over a weekend which saw the ordination of four new priests.

Speaking at a special service in the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, on Saturday, Archbishop Martin said: "The difficult times we are living through and experiencing do not excuse us from the task of preaching the Gospel, in season and out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Papal visit would not be welcome in wake of Ryan report

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Anne-Marie Walsh

Monday June 29 2009

POPE Benedict XVI is not entirely welcome here in the wake of the damning Ryan report, a survey found.

More than half of people surveyed do not want a second papal visit following the revelations in the report on child abuse.

An online survey by radio station Newstalk, in which 1,108 people took part, shows the scenes that greeted the late Pope John Paul II during the first papal visit 30 years ago are unlikely to be recreated. ...

"Until he condemns what happened and pays compensation for his vile colleagues' actions, and helps this country prosecute them by handing over all documents in relation to abuse issues and the movement of priests, then he shouldn't be allowed set foot in this country," said one of the interviewees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

The context of our sex abuse shame

IRELAND
Eureka Street (Australia)

Shane Wood June 29, 2009

During recent weeks, there has been much publicity in the media in Ireland and in Australia regarding the release of a report commissioned by the Irish Government into past widespread abuse of children. The body making the report is The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. It was set up in 2000 by the Irish Government and began its work while I was in Ireland for twelve months study.

The Commission had three primary functions:

•to hear evidence of abuse from persons who allege they suffered abuse in childhood, in institutions, during the period from 1940 or earlier, to the present day;
•to conduct an inquiry into abuse of children in institutions during that period and, where satisfied that abuse occurred, to determine the causes, nature, circumstances and extent of such abuse; and
•to prepare and publish reports on the results of the inquiry and on its recommendations in relation to dealing with the effects of such abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Deadline looms for sex-abuse cases

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • June 29, 2009

The two-year window of Delaware's 2007 Child Victim's Act is about to close, putting an end to a steady stream of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that dates to the 1950s and reaches to churches, schools and private homes.

The 2007 law eliminated the civil statute of limitations in such cases and opened the two-year period during which cases previously barred by the time limit could be filed.

More than 140 cases had been filed as of Friday, attorneys said, and lawmakers last week unanimously approved legislation to clarify that the deadline for the cases should be July 9 -- marking exactly two years since Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed the act into law. Some judges and attorneys previously thought the window closes Tuesday, the last day of the fiscal year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

June 28, 2009

Why is Bishop Richard Malone so afraid of parishoners?

MAINE
Examiner

Kevin Masterson
LA Religion & Spirituality Examiner

The other day I spoke at length with Paul Kendrick to get an update on the Diocese of Portland, Maine. It appears to be business as usual since we last spoke, which is no surprise as the Catholic Church is a dinosaur, resistant to any change.

Paul recently signed up & paid $900 for a two week course called Disciples in Mission, that the Bishop is teaching at St. Joseph’s College in Maine. Several weeks later, Paul was notified by school officials that the school was establishing a separate section of the class for Paul with a different instructor to be held off campus. Paul would be the only student in that class. The reason given was that Paul couldn’t be in the same building as the Bishop & he was forbidden from being on the main campus, including the library, during the two weeks that the Bishop is teaching at St. Joseph’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

McAleese: Public sorry for abuse victims’ suffering

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty

Monday, June 29, 2009

PRESIDENT Mary McAleese has told survivors of abuse in Catholic institutions that the people of Ireland are with them as they strive to recover from the horrors of their stolen childhoods.

Mrs McAleese said the public were desperately sorry for the suffering caused to the survivors as children, not just by the abuse itself but by the failure of society to listen to them, to believe them and to act to protect them.

"In their name I offer every one here, and all those whose little lives were robbed of the joys of childhood, our heartfelt sorrow," she told a group of 280 survivors at a special reception at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Victims of abuse in tears as Irish president McAleese apologises

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, 29 June 2009

Victims of child abuse wept last night after President Mary McAleese apologised for their suffering on behalf of the people of Ireland.

For many of them, now in old age, it was the first time they shed such tears of joy.

Over 280 victims of institutional abuse travelled from home and abroad to Aras an Uachtarain yesterday at the president’s invitation.

They had very different stories but they were all expressing joy and relief as they left last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Victims hail day of great happiness and healing

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

IT WAS “one brilliant day, 110 per cent” said Michael O’Brien, former mayor of Clonmel and one-time resident at Ferryhouse industrial school near the town. “I feel a free man now . . . The President did us and the people of Ireland proud today,” he said.

“It was a day of happiness, and a day of love and a day of deep sadness,” said Christine Buckley of the Aislinn centre in Dublin and former resident of the Goldenbridge orphanage in that city. “It took us 25 years to be believed and to be at Áras an Uachtaráin . . . the overall picture was one of great happiness,” she said.

“It was a very moving day for all concerned, a momentous, historic day, and I don’t use that talk lightly,” said John Kelly of Soca Ireland, former resident at Daingean reformatory in Co Offaly and former resident in the UK for 33 years. “I feel Irish for the first time . . . it’s a great feeling.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

USA: Female Child Sex Predators on the Rise

UNITED STATES
Priest Abuse and Clergy Sexual Abuse Information

More area women are going to court on charges related to child sex crimes. Up until recently, female predators were rarely seen in courtrooms, but now the Randall County District Attorney James Farren says between 15 and 20 percent of his child sex cases have female defendants.

He says the majority of female predators have stable careers in business, teaching, or as a homemaker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

State Assembly adjourns without voting on Markey bill

NEW YORK
Catholic Courier

By Amy Kotlarz/Catholic Courier

The state Assembly adjourned its 2008-09 session June 23 without voting on a bill that would temporarily suspend the state's current civil statute of limitations on filing child sex-abuse lawsuits against public and private institutions.

The Child Victims Act of New York (A2596a) would, for a period of one year, give alleged victims until their 53rd birthdays (35 years after turning 18) to file previously time-barred civil claims. The bill also would allow child sexual-abuse victims to file future civil suits until they are 28. Under current state law, they can file such suits until they are 23.

The proposal, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens), recently was amended to allow time-barred suits to be filed against public institutions as well as private ones. This change prompted such groups as the New York Conference of Mayors and the New York State School Boards Association to join the New York State Catholic Conference in opposing the bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Remarks by President McAleese at a reception for Survivors of Institutional Abuse, Áras an Uachtaráin, 28th June 2009

IRELAND
Áras an Uachtaráin

Dia dhíbh go léir, agus céad míle fáilte romhaibh chuig Áras an Uachtaráin. Good afternoon everyone, and on behalf of Martin and myself, let me offer each one of you a warm, heartfelt welcome to Áras an Uachtaráin.

There are moments in a life when words simply fail as a means of expression. No amount of them, no matter how heartfelt, can seem adequate to the moment. The publication of the Ryan Report was one such moment in the life of this nation. The horrible lives endured by thousands of our children, over so many years, as a result of abuse inflicted by those who cared for them in the name of the State and often in the name of the Christian gospel, were laid out graphically in that Report. It calls for responses at many levels official and unofficial and I know that many of you are actively involved in discussions on those responses. There is an important human response to overwhelming grief and that is to gather as community, to rally around one another and simply be together in solidarity.

The invitation to Aras an Uachtaráin today is an expression of the massive public wish to let you know how deeply your stories have struck a chord. For so long your suffering seemed to make strangers of you in your own land. Today, we simply seek to be family to each other, to assert our common care for one another and to acknowledge that what was done to those of you who are survivors of abuse in institutional care, not only damaged your precious lives but diminished our society. Those who switched off the light of love and hope in your lives, plunged our country into a terrible darkness. I know that one day in the Phoenix Park cannot hope to restore to your lives all the things that were taken from you. There is no magic potion to put right the things that were made so deliberately to go wrong. Nor is it possible in one event to reach out to everyone affected. I hope this day, though, does send a message that your lives and the lives of all those damaged by such abuse are our care and that most important of all we stand together in our determination to ensure that our country will honour the ambition set out in the Proclamation in 1916 to be a Republic which cherishes its children equally. Your experiences are monuments to our failure to cherish our children. Our most precious monument to you has to be our determination to be that Republic where children are cherished equally not just in lofty words but in everyday deeds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Njue tells church faithful to fight on despite scandals

KENYA
The Standard

By Maseme Machuka

John Cardinal Njue assured Catholic faithful of their need to "fight on" despite the latest sex scandals facing the church.

Njue said the Catholic Church had not forced anyone into priesthood and whoever "wanted to opt out of that call (priesthood) was free to do so. What we do not want is when someone wants to drag others into quitting when you have realised as a priest you no longer can manage the call".

He said: "Worshippers do not be disturbed at that. Hold on to your faith. The Catholic Church has never forced anyone to be a priest. It only dictates that if you want to be one you have to subscribe to the principle of celibacy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Update on the hearings regarding Bishop Bennison

PENNSYLVANIA
The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

On Monday, June 22, the Church Attorney filed, under seal, the Church’s opposition to Bishop Bennison’s motion for a new trial. Bishop Bennison’s reply, if any, is due on Monday, June 29. The Court has not yet indicated whether it will hold a hearing on the motion. If such a hearing is granted, it would likely occur in August or September, and would probably be conducted by telephone conference—with the media and the public excluded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Irish President hosts reception for survivors of institutional abuse

IRELAND
European Irish

Written by Editor
President McAleese has hosted a reception at Áras an Uachtaráin this afternoon to recognise the suffering and bravery of those who have experienced abuse, as children, in state institutions.

Approximately 280 guests attended the event, representing survivor groups including Aislinn, Alliance Victim Support Group, Irish SOCA, Irish Women Survivors Support Group, Justice and Healing for Institutional Abuse, Right of Peace Group, Right of Place and SOCA UK .

The event featured performances by Paddy Moloney and friends, Mary Black, Phil Coulter, Riverdance and the Band of the 1 Southern Brigade.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Abuse 'threw Ireland into darkness'

IRELAND
Lurgan Mail

Published Date: 28 June 2009
Those who abused children in church-run institutions diminished our society and plunged the country into a terrible darkness, President Mary McAleese has said.

Almost 300 victims visited Aras An Uachtarain where Ms McAleese said their experiences had highlighted the state's failure to cherish all its children. High-profile acts including Phil Coulter, Mary Black and a Riverdance troupe performed during the function, hosted to recognise the suffering and bravery of the survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Abusers plunged State into terrible darkness - McAleese

IRELAND
The Irish Times

President Mary McAleese met survivors of institutional abuse at Áras an Uachtaráin today.

Almost 300 victims visited Áras An Uachtaráin where Ms McAleese said their experiences had highlighted the State’s failure to cherish all its children.

Those who abused children in church-run institutions diminished our society and plunged the country into a terrible darkness, Mrs McAleese said.

The President said: “For so long your suffering seemed to make strangers of you in your own land.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Sex scandals shake Church of Sweden

SWEDEN
IceNews

After another wave of sex scandals has hit the institution this year, the Church of Sweden is trying to limit damage and maintain the faith of its flock. The Church has been dealing with a steady flow of publicised sexual incidents for a number of years, and things have yet to cool down.

Archbishop Anders Wejryd told the TT news agency he regrets the incidents, but to his credit insists that transparency is the best way to deal with the ongoing problem. “It is tragic, but I think that we have been successful in our ambition to get people to file reports,” he said.

In April, branches of the Church in Stockholm, Lund and Vaxjo had to deal with several incidents related to sex such as a priest who has having an inappropriate relationship with a 15 year-old, a priest who slept with a grieving widow, and a third who was caught abusing women with language on an Internet dating site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Change of heart: Catholic priests must choose between celibacy and love

FLORIDA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By James D. Davis | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 28, 2009

The Rev. Bob Deshaies never dated while growing up in Waterbury, Conn. He went to a Catholic high school seminary, then a Catholic college, then a major seminary. "You'd be giving up your ministry for a cheap piece of fluff," his spiritual director told him.

Then he met Deborah Cabral, a youth worker at a parish in Worcester, Mass. He got to know her first as a co-worker, then as a friend, then as a girlfriend. That meeting in 1985, and the relationship that followed, led into marriage, then out of the Catholic priesthood and into the Episcopal Church within two years, preceding Alberto Cutié by two decades.

"When you meet a woman who opens up your heart and soul, it's mind-shattering," says Deshaies, now rector at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Plantation. "It got me to rethink everything."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Edmund Rice Network

IRELAND
Edmund Rice Network

In amongst the myriad of words spoken and written following the publication of the Ryan Report in Ireland, in amongst all the hurts, grievances, angers flowing from aggrieved people, in amongst the stories and memories being recalled, the story of Fr Flanagan, the visionary and legendary founder of Boys Towns in USA, offers us a sobering challenge.

In 1946, Fr Flanagan returned to his birthplace and also visited the "so-called training schools", in effect the borstals or reformatories, to see if they were "a success or failure."

Although he was treated as a celebrity, he made it clear he was unhappy with what he found in Ireland. He was dismayed at the state of Ireland's reform schools and blasted them as "a scandal, un-Christlike, and wrong."

Speaking to a large audience in Cork, he said, "You are the people who permit your children and the children of your communities to go into these institutions of punishment. You can do something about it." He called Ireland's penal institutions "a disgrace to the nation," and later said "I do not believe that a child can be reformed by lock and key and bars, or that fear can ever develop a child's character."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

McAleese to meet abuse survivors

IRELAND
The Irish Times

President McAleese is to meet with survivors of institutional abuse at Áras an Uachtaráin today.

The President will meet with some 300 survivors at this afternoon's meeting.

Speaking at a rally in Dublin earlier this month, John Kelly, Survivors of Child Abuse in Ireland, said: “This will have great significance because you were denied your constitutional rights as a child, you were valued as a child, the constitution didn’t mean anything,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

President to meet abuse survivors

IRELAND
RTE News

Sunday, 28 June 2009 09:28
Survivors of institutional abuse are due to meet President Mary McAleese today.

Organisers say the meeting will be a step in the right direction in their fight for justice.

Around 300 people are expected to attend the meeting, which is taking place at Áras an Uachtaráin at 2.30pm this afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Year of the priests

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Brenda Suderman

His days as the spiritual leader of the city's Italian Catholics begin early and usually end late, but Rev. Sam Argenziano isn't complaining about the heavy demands of the priesthood.

"There are high points every day," he says about leading the flock at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church on River Avenue. "Just being with my parishioners, celebrating life with them, celebrating their weddings, their children, their 50th wedding anniversaries." ...

Part of that reflection is acknowledging the hurt caused by sexual abuse by members of the priesthood, says Weisgerber, and how that has affected the Catholic Church. Priests are now trained differently, schooled in protocols to avoid potential abuse, he says.

"There's no question that the sexual abuse scandals really lowered the reputation of the priests," he admits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

June 27, 2009

Born Again in Brooklyn

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Michele Madigan Somerville

About a decade ago, moved by a convergence of my longstanding fascination with religion and a time of great personal loss, I embarked on a search for a church and wound up a born-again Catholic. It was not a straight or untroubled path, guided as it was by both my attraction to and enmity for the Roman Catholic Church into which I was born and baptized.

Growing up Irish Catholic in New York City put me in a good position to experience the best and worst of the Church. Most of the Sisters of Charity who taught at my grade school were tyrants. In 1971 I knocked on the door of my parish rectory to inquire about becoming an altar server; I was advised that only boys could serve. Brides, said the priest, were the only females allowed on the altar. When my mother became critically ill at age 30, a Catholic priest administering last rites, refused to offer absolution when she, who had given birth to four children by age 25, refused to express contrition for taking birth control pills. People for whom I care deeply have been molested by priests. ...

I love the radical Catholic Church. I love that there are Roman Catholic bishops sticking their necks out to ordain women. That Catholic doctrine places mighty emphasis on the role of conscience in worship and creates fertile ground for conscientious dissent. I support dramatic change as energetically as I can. I withhold my cash from the bishops and hand my diocesan appeal tender to the Woman’s Ordination Conference and to SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). I devote much time and talent to working in the Gay Ministry at my church. I recognize it is my obligation as a conscious, conscientious Catholic to discern — to know that the church no more belongs to the Vatican than it does to me. The power of the Church may rest with the College of Cardinals, but its glory rests with people like me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Westlake Priest Accused of Exposing Himself While Driving

WESTLAKE (OH)
Fox 8

Kevin Freeman Fox 8 News
WESTLAKE, Ohio -- A local priest is in legal trouble after he's accused of exposing himself while driving on a local highway.

Rev. Donald Snyder, 63, is charged with one count of indecent exposure. Rev. Snyder is a priest at St. Ladislas Church in Westlake.

According to a Westlake police report, a truck driver called 911 after seeing Snyder exposing himself while driving next to him on Interstate 90 in Rocky River.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Priests torn between love for spouse and celibacy vows

KENYA
The Standard

By Osinde Obare and Vincent Bartoo

Fr Godfrey Siundu, Kenya’s first head of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ (ECCC), a splinter group from the Roman Catholic Church, has been called a rebel without a cause.

The 38-year-old opened a can of worms when he broke the mandatory celibacy rule and impregnated Ms Stella Nangila, then a nun at Mon Parish in Marakwet.

In May, 2006, they wedded in Kitale.

As a Catholic Father, he was bound by the celibacy creed of the church but felt otherwise. "I was living a double life, but now my conscience is clear," says Siundu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Sex and the Church

The Standard (Kenya)

By Oscar Obonyo

It appears as if there are no devils in Hell — they are all in the Church.

And deviant sex has nearly everything to do with it — child sex molestation, sodomy and pornography. Allegations of child sexual molestation against a priest, prosecution of a preacher over pornography, and priests and nuns’ confessions of adultery and breaking of celibacy vows have awakened the country to the realisation the standing of the Church is in a shambles.

It is becoming clear that some priests prey on children with abandon. They engage in sex escapades that are the province of the brothel and the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Fraud Lawsuit Christian Brothers Press Conference

MINNESOTA
YouTube

[video presentation]

This is a press conference on the filing of a lawsuit in Minnesota involving Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose, the Christian Brothers and a St. Paul high school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Ex-priest consecrated a bishop

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A former Milwaukee priest, excommunicated and listed by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as a likely sex offender, has been consecrated as a bishop in the American Apostolic Church, a socially liberal breakaway denomination with ministries in Illinois, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Bishop S. Joseph Collova was consecrated in a ceremony last weekend. He and the American Apostolic Church have denied allegations that he repeatedly sexually assaulted a young man for seven years beginning in 1980 when he was 14. They say efforts to get the Milwaukee Archdiocese to release his complete personnel file have been unsuccessful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Review of Rev. Thomas Doyle

UNITED STATES
This Little Light

Reverend Thomas Doyle is the whistle-blower priest and former Vatican canon lawyer who, twenty-five years ago, warned Catholic bishops about the looming clergy sex abuse nightmare. They ignored him, but Doyle’s prophetic words proved to be tragically true.

In 2007, Doyle wrote to Baptist officials with a similar warning. They too ignored him.

Here is what Reverend Doyle said about "This Little Light."

This book should rightly make any honest Christian furious. The smooth-talking, Bible-quoting, God-invoking perpetrator is disgusting enough but the real anger surges forward as one reads page after page of the twisted, lie-filled and hypocritical response of the Southern Baptist bureaucracy. “Praise the Lord and be saved” suddenly means nothing as the self-righteous, self-appointed guardians of God’s authentic words reveal the shallowness of their understanding of the scriptures they endlessly quote and of the mission of the Lord they claim to follow.

Christa Brown is a lawyer who has survived the nonsensical brainwashing inflicted by her church. She has survived the sexual molestation and devastating abuse by the duplicitous pastor who used her naive faith to molest her. Most important, she survived every attempt by the mighty Southern Baptist Convention to shut her down. She has become what her church could never be, a true presence of Christian justice and compassion.

Christa’s vivid story is much more than a narrative about sexual exploitation by a minister. It is about yet another main-line denomination that continually used the words and mission of Christ for its own self-serving ends, but has never had the courage or even the spiritual ability to do the challenging word of Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

ADULTEROUS PASTOR: PRESS CONFERENCE CALLED

SWAZILAND
Weekend Observer

By Fanyana Mabuza

Silence can be golden, but at times silence can mean consent and it is for this reason that the Swaziland Conference of Churches is calling for a press conference slated for Monday, where they want to put into perspective the issue of a prominent Manzini pastor who is allegedly entangled in a love triangle that involves another man’s wife.

The Conference of Churches, in a statement, explained that the press conference would not be a witch hunt, but was aimed at correcting some perceptions that may have been created in the minds of many people after they read the story that was carried by this publication last weekend.

Of utmost importance, is their wish to allay fears that were created, when this publication, due to ethical constraints, could not disclose the name of the pastor nor the church, save to say that he was prominent and from Manzini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Deputies Check Up On Sex Offenders

CALIFORNIA
KHTS

Written by Carol Rock
Friday, 26 June 2009 14:00

A few dozen deputies went door-knocking Friday morning around the valley to make sure sex offenders were playing by the rules.

Calling out the offenders' names and listening carefully as they knocked, deputies drew a curious neighbor or two if their summons went unanswered. Those registrants that answered the door were cooperative, used to the drill of bringing deputies up to speed on their activities.

Teams spread out to drop in on those offenders who listed their residence in the Santa Clarita Valley to make sure they were in compliance with the terms of their release. According to Lt. Steve Low, who heads the SCV Detective Bureau, the deputies were visiting 200 locations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Some sex charges dismissed against church worker

TROY (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Nancy Bowman, Staff Writer

TROY — A charge of rape and four counts of gross sexual imposition against a youth leader and director of children’s church at Vandalia Baptist Temple were dismissed Thursday, June 25, but Shawn P. Rickert remains jailed on four additional gross sexual imposition charges.

Refiling of the charges dismissed against Rickert, 38, who lives near Tipp City, will be sought through a Miami County grand jury, sheriff’s Detective Dave Norman said.

The charges were dismissed in county Municipal Court because the alleged victim, now age 10, was not available at court Thursday to testify regarding specific allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Church challenged to 'keep interest' of Catholics in new media age

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Spirit

By Catholic News Service
Friday, 26 June 2009
The church's great communications challenge today is to "keep the interest of people who have so many places to turn," Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., told the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., addresses the annual meeting of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management in Philadelphia June 25. - CNS photo/Robert Lisak, courtesy of National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management Bishop Kicanas, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressed the organization's annual meeting June 25 in Philadelphia. ...

Bishop Kicanas accented the importance of trust for effective communications. The church's sexual abuse crisis "harmed far too many, but also damaged the church's ability to communicate," he said. Some judged the church hypocritical, "more concerned about its reputation than about children who were harmed. Some stopped listening."

Thus, restoring trust became his goal in Tucson, "as it has for so many bishops in their dioceses," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Guest column: Do-over needed: Sex-offender law based on myths

IOWA
Des Moines Register

DAVE SPENCER is a former sex offender, convicted of third-degree sexual abuse, and was discharged from prison in 2004. Contact: curedes10@yahoo.com • June 27, 2009

Iowans concerned about family safety should read this carefully. The Iowa General Assembly passed a bill this spring, SF 340, that keeps registered sex offenders out of schools, libraries and swimming pools and keeps the "worst offenders" subject to the prohibition against living within 2,000 feet of a school or child-care center.

Will this protect your children better than the old law? Gov. Chet Culver signed the bill into law because he says these measures will make Iowa safer and law enforcement's job more effective. Concerned citizens should consider three points of reality both the governor and General Assembly seem to have ignored in their rush to impress you on TV.

First, this new law (as it presumes better public safety) is still predicated on the same old clinically and factually disproven myths. One is that sex offenders always reoffend. This is false, as proven by a federal study using 2004 data for Iowa that shows about 3 percent of registered sex offenders reoffend sexually, even though about 45 percent have or will commit other general crimes. The national statistic for general criminal recidivism is 68 percent. Many general criminal offenders have several convictions for similar crimes, but the average sex offender has about 1.5 sex-offense convictions, according to federal statistics and a state report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

June 26, 2009

Former youth pastor sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sex with child

ELKHORN (WI)
Janesville Gazette

By PEDRO OLIVEIRA JR. Friday, June 26, 2009

ELKHORN — A former youth pastor was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison on charges of sexually assaulting a child in the mid-1970s.

Russell J. Lesser, 64, of Bryson City, N.C., pleaded guilty April 14 to a felony charge of sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16. Two others charges were dismissed but read in.

During his sentencing Thursday, Lesser asked for the court’s mercy and apologized to victim Laurie Asplund.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Former De La Salle teacher faces new sexual abuse allegations in Minnesota

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury News

By John Simerman
Contra Costa Times

A former religion teacher at De La Salle High School in Concord who was accused of sexually abusing a student on a ski trip to Lake Tahoe in 1982, resulting in a seven-figure payout, is the subject of a flurry of new lawsuits in Minnesota alleging similar crimes before he came to California.

Among at least three lawsuits involving Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose are two alleging fraud — a recent legal strategy used by victims of childhood sexual abuse to overcome lapsed statutes of limitations on personal injury claims. The latest, filed Thursday, accuses the Christian Brothers order in Minnesota and a St. Paul high school with knowing Rose had a history of sexual abuse when, the lawsuit claims, he sexually abused a teen boy at a retreat house in 1973 or 1974.

Two other lawsuits accuse Rose of sexually abusing students in 1966 and 1970 at the same school and another in Minneapolis. From 1963 to 1994, Rose taught in Minnesota, North Dakota and New York. He taught at De La Salle for two years in the early 1980s, said Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national advocacy group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Cutié's Going To The Chapel, and He's Gonna Get Married

MIAMI (FL)
Miami New Times

By Kyle Munzenrieder in News

Friday, Jun. 26 2009 @ 4:22PM

The day when former-Catholic Priest Alberto Cutié and Ruhama Canellis were legally wed wasn't good timing, as we reported an alleged ex-paramore of Canellis's was arrested under shady circumstances and was suiting the couple.

Well, The Herald is reporting that the two will have their church ceremony tonight, and considering public interest is else where at the moment, to say the least, the timing couldn't be better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Baltimore Co. man sues archdiocese, alleges molestation by priest

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Brent Jones | brent.jones@baltsun.com

4:23 PM EDT, June 26, 2009

A Baltimore County man in his 40s is suing the Archdiocese of Baltimore for an undisclosed amount of money, alleging negligence by the Roman Catholic Church after what he claims were years of sexual molestation by one of its priests.

The lawsuit, filed in Delaware, alleges that Rev. Michael L. Barnes, a co-defendant in the suit, abused the plaintiff while he was a minor at the St. Clare School in the 700 block of Myrth Ave. in Essex. The school and St. Clare Roman Catholic Church are also co-defendants in the case. Court papers say the church was aware of Barnes' history, which included several other molestation claims.

The abuse began in 1977, when the victim was 12 years old, and lasted for five years, according to the lawsuit. Court papers say much of the molestation occurred in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and Fenwick Island, Del.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Bill to Raise Age of Sex Abuse Victims Moves Through Legislature

OREGON
Salem News

Tim King Salem-News.com
After clearing the House, House Bill 2827 will go to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to be signed into law.

(SALEM, Ore.) - A bill that would raise the age of sex abuse victims in Oregon from 24 to 40 will likely become law. The future of House Bill 2827 appeared bleak when we wrote about it May 28th 2009. (see: Will Oregon Stand for Sex Abuse Victims? - Tim King Salem-News.com

Many of the cases originate from churches in Oregon and experts like Portland Attorney Kelly Clark, say it often takes several decades for a person to comprehend the magnitude of their experience and come forward.

Bill Crane from the group SNAP, (Survivors Network of people Abused by Priests) says it is a good day in Oregon and while cautious, he agrees that it is good news on a day that could use it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Father Cutié Denies Gay Allegations

MIAMI (FL)
Miami New Times

By Kyle Munzenrieder in Media Watch, News

Friday, Jun. 26 2009 @ 12:22PM

This week TVyNovelas blasted accusations that Father Alberto Cutié was gay on their cover this week (we think they're just desperately trying to play catch up with TvNotas, who broke the scandal in the first place). A former Radio Paz co-worker, Jose Linares, of Cutié claims he walked in on the Priest with a special friend named Leonardo, a slightly younger, chubby Colombian man, while the two were noticeably pants-less.

Well, unsurprisingly the accusations have been met with denials all around.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Kenya: Milingo Ordains Bishop And Deacons in Secret

KENYA
allAfrica

Catholic Information Service for Africa

The former Catholic archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, Emmanuel Milingo on Tuesday consecrated a bishop and ordained seven deacons to his Married Priests Now! movement in a private ceremony in Nairobi.

It was not clear why the ceremony was held secretly, although some reports indicate efforts were made to stop Archbishop Milingo from entering Kenya.

He consecrated Fr Daniel Kasomo as a bishop to head the movement's activities in the country. The new bishop said the movement will cater for priests who have married but still want to continue serving as priests. Bishop Kasomo has been living with his wife Maryanne for 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Vatican: Report raises questions about internal debate

VATICAN CITY
adnkronos

Vatican City, 25 June (AKI) - The Vatican is beset by a number of internal conflicts that risk paralysing the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, according to a report in the Italian magazine Panorama. The weekly magazine, due to be published on Friday, says several cardinals in senior positions are divided over issues including dialogue with China, relations with the Jews and the beatification of former pope John Paul II.

Inside the Vatican, the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Levada, is reported to be in conflict with the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Antonio Canizares.

Former secretary of state Angelo Sodano and former personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, Stanislao Dziwisz, are also reported to be "duelling", while another cardinal Achille Silvestrini is accused of challenging the power of the Vatican's influential secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Bishop says pressure groups are unfairly targeting churches

IRELAND
Religious Intelligence

By: George Conger.

The Church of Ireland’s Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross has condemned the moves by pressure groups to use the findings of the Ryan Report on child abuse in Roman Catholic-run institutions to advance their own special interests and political campaigns.

In the first public statement on the Ryan Report by an Anglican cleric in Ireland, Bishop Paul Bolton told his diocesan synod the needs of the victims of abuse should take precedence. “They must be the centre of all our concerns and efforts,” he said on June 13.

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA), also known as the Ryan Report after the commission’s chair Justice Seán Ryan, examined the extent and effect of child abuse after 1936 in Reformatory and Industrial Schools operated by Roman Catholic religious orders and funded and supervised by the Irish Department of Education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Ex-St. Mark's teacher sued for alleged abuse

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with audio]

A Delaware woman is suing the Diocese of Wilmington, Saint Mark's High School and a priest who fromerly taught there, claiming she was abused when she was a student.

The suit filed Thursday in Superior Court says Father Charles Wiggins abused the plaintiff, referred to as Jane Doe, beginning in 1986, and the Diocese and then-Saint Mark's principal Ron Russo didn't report the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Church hierarchy 'betrayed' orders

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE CATHOLIC primate Cardinal Seán Brady, the Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Diarmuid Martin and other bishops have been severely criticised for their actions and statements, where religious congregations were concerned, following publication of the Ryan report.

It has also been claimed that at least three victims of abuse have died by suicide since publication of the report.

Fr Tony Flannery, a Redemptorist priest, has revealed that many members of the congregations feel “terrified”, “ashamed”, “hurt” and “betrayed”, not only because of the actions of the guilty among their own colleagues, but also because of the actions and public statements of the archbishop and other members of the hierarchy who, he said, have led the public criticism of members of Ireland’s religious congregations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Priest may lose OAM over sex charge

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

June 26, 2009 03:58pm
HE has dedicated his life to the Catholic church.

For years he was a member of the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board and his work with HIV and AIDS sufferers in Sydney earned him a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1994.

But this week, Father Hugh Edward Murray, 79, was charged with five counts of indecently assaulting males.

Suffering heart disease and too sick to face the charges in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court yesterday), a solicitor for Murray said he "vehemently'' denied the allegations that he said stemmed from a "police trawl''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Uganda: Pastor Kayiira Grilled Again

UGANDA
allAfrica

The New Vision

Steven Candia
25 June 2009

Kampala — Pastor Bob Kayiira of Omega Healing Centre was on Tuesday questioned by the Police for the second time in connection with an ongoing sodomy probe that has hit the born again Church.

Several pastors have been interrogated in the probe, following their allegations that Pastor Robert Kayanja of Kampala Miracle Centre sodomised six boys.

Kayiira, who was interrogated last month arrived at the Kampala Central Police Station at 11:00am.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Tony Blair to U.S. Catholic leaders: Go forward 'undaunted'

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who survived a tumultuous decade in the post, had a message today for another major global institution under constant pressure and criticism -- the Catholic Church.

Go forward, "unafraid, or if afraid, undaunted" and do the work of the Catholic Church, "to demonstrate God's love and compassion and to be in the service of others. That what this church is about at its best. Always has been and always will be."

But does battle-tested Blair have advice on how the U.S church could deal with, say, restructuring/shrinking parishes, overburdened priests rushing from Mass to Mass? What about potential blow-back from the deeply troubling report on decades of clergy sexual abuse of minors in Irish Catholic institutions? Or the sharp dissonance between the Church and Catholic politicians who don't follow its doctrine in their votes?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Teacher again accused of abuse, and his religious order of fraud

ST. PAUL (MN)
Star-Tribune

By ABBY SIMONS, Star Tribune

Last update: June 25, 2009 - 11:56 PM
Featured comment

A retired Roman Catholic brother already accused of sexually abusing two students years ago at Twin Cities parochial schools and a third in California was sued again Thursday by a fourth alleged victim who attended St. Paul's Cretin High School in the 1960s.

The former student, identified in court papers as John Doe 129, accuses Brother Charles Anthony (Raimond) Rose of abusing him in 1968.

The suit, filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court, also accuses the Chicago-based Christian Brothers of the Midwest, Christian Brothers of Minnesota and the school, now called Cretin-Derham Hall, of fraud for allowing Rose to teach there two years after he was reported to have sexually abused a student at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Catholic groups, high school sued over alleged abuse by priest

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Maricella Miranda
mmiranda@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 06/26/2009 12:29:08 AM CDT

An alleged sexual-abuse victim is suing two Roman Catholic organizations and Cretin-Derham Hall High School claiming they committed fraud by employing a known child molester as a teacher.

The suit, filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court, claims the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, Christian Brothers of Minnesota and the high school knew in 1966 that Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose sexually abused a student at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, where he previously taught.

The plaintiff identified in the suit as "John Doe 129" claims his attack happened seven years after that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

June 25, 2009

Paraguayan bishop exhorts priests to overcome 'filth' that causes scandals

PARAGUAY
Catholic News Agency

Asunción, Paraguay, Jun 25, 2009 / 05:39 pm (CNA).- Bishop Rogelio Livieres of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay exhorted priests this week to overcome the “filth” of scandals, which arise from bad doctrine, sinful lives, the abandonment of the faithful to sects and economic corruption.

Over the last year, Paraguyans have witnessed former bishop Fernando Lugo abandon his commitment to his diocese and vocation. Lugo then became the country's president, only to later have it revealed that he fathered at least one child while he was a bishop.

Bishop Livieres addressed these types of behavoir in a letter to mark the Year for Priests, saying the “filth” of some priests that has led to scandals. In the letter, the bishop also called on priests to “not lose sight of the transcendental vocation they have been called to by Jesus Christ.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Convicted priest returns to Newbury

UNITED KINGDOM
Newbury Today

A RETIRED priest, jailed for sexually abusing young girls over a 25-year period, is back in Newbury and editing his order’s national newsletter.

Father Patrick McDonagh was handed a four-year jail term in December 2007.
However, the judge suspended all but 18 months of the sentence after a colleague of the priest said he would be under “strict instructions” to undergo therapy and have no contact with children.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the Salvatorian order said that this amounted to Father Patrick making regular telephone calls to a superior in Bristol and informal monitoring by retired colleagues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Priest too ill to front court over alleged sexual abuse of students

AUSTRALIA
Cowra Community News

A CATHOLIC priest charged with indecently assaulting boys from Bathurst’s St Stanilaus College has heart problems and is too ill to face court, a Sydney court heard yesterday (Thursday).

Hugh Edward Murray, 79, of Marsfield, was arrested and charged on Tuesday with five counts of indecently assaulting three students of the boarding school.

Murray was excused from attending Downing Centre Local Court on August 20 when the adjourned matter again comes before the court.

Meanwhile, alleged victims of sex abuse at the college say they are angry the school is hosting the ordination of a new bishop for the region today (Friday) while police investigations are still underway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

School hosts ordination during abuse investigations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Bronwyn Herbert for AM

Alleged victims of sex abuse at a Catholic boy's college say they are angry the school is hosting a major religious ceremony while police investigations are still underway.

A police strike force team is investigating old cases of abuse dating back to the 1960s at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst in central western New South Wales.

But today more than 1,000 guests, including Archbishop Cardinal George Pell, will gather at the school for the ordination of a new bishop for the region.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

BREAKING! Hella Winston Wins Prestigious Press Award For Haredi Sex Abuse Reporting

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

The NY Jewish Week's coverage of haredi child sexual abuse wins first place in the Jewish Press Association's Rockower Awards.

I'm told A charge of Double Betrayal In Williamsburg by Hella Winston has won first place.

Mazel Tov to Hella whose coverage of this issue is truly groundbreaking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

The Ryan Report, child abuse and matters closer to home

IRELAND
On Line Opinion (Australia)

During recent weeks, there has been much publicity in the media in Ireland and in Australia regarding the release of a report commissioned by the Irish Government into past widespread abuse of children. The body making the report is The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. It was set up in 2000 by the Irish Government and began its work while I was in Ireland for 12 months’ study. The Commission had three primary functions:

•to hear evidence of abuse from persons who allege they suffered abuse in childhood, in institutions, during the period from 1940 or earlier, to the present day;
•to conduct an inquiry into abuse of children in institutions during that period and, where satisfied that abuse occurred, to determine the causes, nature, circumstances and extent of such abuse; and
•to prepare and publish reports on the results of the inquiry and on its recommendations in relation to dealing with the effects of such abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Kenya: Go Quietly, Milingo, Build Own Church And Marry

KENYA
allAfrica

Daily Nation

Lucy Oriang'
25 June 2009

Nairobi — MANY YEARS AGO, AS A student in Zambia, I happened to meet Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo during an assignment to cover one of his returns to the country after spending time at the Vatican.

For days on end, I tagged along after the priest, who was operating under a veil of suspicion over his faith healing. He struck me as a pretty charismatic person, albeit a misunderstood one.

He has since transformed himself into a rebel without a cause. In his transition from icon to iconoclast, he has gone out on a limb, ordaining married men into so-called Catholic priesthood in the same breath as he is declaring that he and his cohorts will not quit the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Area Priest Accused Of Abuse Dies At 60

CINCINNATI (OH)
WLWT

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati priest accused of molesting dozens of boys died earlier this month in Tennessee.

David Kelley had worked for decades at area parishes, schools and hospitals before he was suspended from the priesthood in 2003.

Church officials have said they first got reports of Kelley's suspected abuse in 1994, but a victims advocacy group said a fellow priest reported Kelley's activities in 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Former youth minister sentenced for 1970s sexual relationship with child

WISCONSIN
Janesville Gazette

By PEDRO OLIVEIRA JR. Thursday, June 25, 2009

A former youth pastor was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday on charges of sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16 in the mid-1970s.

Russell J. Lesser, 64, of Bryson City, N.C., had pleaded guilty April 14 to a felony charge of sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16. Two others charges were dismissed but read in.

The former pastor began his advances during a "trust" game, victim Laurie Asplund said, but then sexually assaulted her more than 40 times from summer 1974 to spring 1976. She was 14 to 16 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Video in priest sex saga tabled in House

KENYA
Daily Nation

By Caroline Wafula Posted Thursday, June 25 2009 at 22:36

A video recording allegedly depicting Catholic priest Renato Kizito in a sexual orgy with young boys was tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said he will view contents of the video clip to ascertain its authenticity before giving further direction on the matter.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale (New Ford Kenya) also tabled a letter from two lawyers who have undertaken to present themselves to the Police Commissioner to own the video clip as evidence of the alleged molestation by the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Let’s marry, rebel bishop tells priests

KENYA
The Standard

By Oscar Obonyo

He has become the face of the movement countering the Catholic Church doctrine on celibacy for priests.

Zambian breakaway archbishop, Emmanuel Milingo is back challenging the strict doctrine of a church that has excommunicated him.

Milingo is now hitting the church where it hurts by enticing other disenchanted clergymen to marry and join his ‘Married Priests Now’ movement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Group asks Diocese of Youngstown to Seek out Abuse Victims

OHIO
vaticancrimes.us

A support group for clergy sex-abuse victims published a letter Wednesday publicly urging the Diocese of Youngstown to send a second, more emphatic and explicit letter to hundreds of Catholics who attended a school where a now-suspended priest worked.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy-abuse victims.

Earlier this month, the Rev. Thomas Crum admitted sexually abusing a child and was suspended from his pulpit at Our Lady of Peace Church in Canton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Second suit alleges past sexual abuse at Dunrovin

MINNESOTA
Stillwater Gazette

By ANDREW WALLMEYER
awallmeyer@acnpapers.com

A civil suit filed in Ramsey County District Court this morning accuses a Catholic brother of sexually abusing a then-teenaged boy in the early 1970s while the two were staying at Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix.

The suit seeks unspecified damages from The Christian Brothers order and Cretin-Derham Hall High School, which the plaintiff's attorneys say facilitated the abuse by allowing an accused pedophile to continue to work with children.

"Knowing that he was a child molester, they still put him in at Cretin and also gave him some responsibilities over at Dunrovin ... where he then had access to kids. Nobody told any parents or kids that this guy had a prior history, and that constitutes fraud," said Patrick Noaker, who filed the suit on behalf of "John Doe 129," a former Cretin student and St. Paul resident who now lives out of state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Suspended priest dies

CINCINNATI (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein, Staff Writer
3:44 PM Thursday, June 25, 2009
David Kelley, a Roman Catholic priest who was awaiting possible defrocking by the Vatican amid allegations that he sexually abused more than three dozen boys, died of lung cancer at 60 on June 6, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati confirmed Thursday, June 25.

Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco said Kelley, who was on paid leave and wasn’t permitted to present himself as a priest, was living in Tennessee at the time of his death. He said Kelley’s family asked that his burial place not be disclosed. The family arranged a private funeral, Andriacco said.

Christy Miller, who heads the Cincinnati chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Kelley “was one of the most notorious guys we had” because of the numbers of youth he allegedly abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Philly priests face sex-abuse charges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Gay News

Two former Archdiocese of Philadelphia students filed separate suits this month alleging sexual abuse by diocesan priests, while a third suit was filed last week against a current diocesan priest.

Plaintiffs in the first two suits allege that officials with the archdiocese had knowledge of the abuse and did not intervene.

Richard Green, 31, of Pittsgrove Township, N.J., filed suit last week in Delaware Superior Court, alleging that the late Rev. John M. McDevitt Jr. sexually abused him during his freshman year at Father Judge High School in Northeast Philadelphia.

The suit states that Green was struggling in his religion class in 1990 and McDevitt, who taught at Father Judge from 1989-94, kept him after school for private tutoring. Green described in the suit that “getting a bad grade in religion just wasn’t an option,” as he was the nephew of the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Bar mitzvah tutor guilty in molests

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Scott Shifrel
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, June 25th 2009, 4:00 AM

A Bar Mitzvah tutor took the stand to deny molesting teens - but he didn't convince a Brooklyn judge, who convicted him of sexually abusing two victims.

Yona Weinberg, 31, was acquitted of eight other counts, including a felony, but still faces up to two years in prison for the misdemeanors.

Weinberg, a social worker, was found guilty of molesting one boy in his home and a synagogue's ritual bath and the other in a van and a yeshiva stairwell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

N.J. Radio Host's Blog Threats Dangerous

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

An attorney for New Jersey radio host and blogger Hal Turner said his client was only practicing his right to free speech when he recently used a blog posting to urge people to "take up arms" against two Connecticut legislators and a state ethics official. But it's not so benign as simply a free-speech issue. We're glad that Mr. Turner, described by anti-racism groups as a white supremacist and anti-Semite, was charged in Connecticut with inciting injury to person or property, a felony.

Turner had taken umbrage at a bill introduced earlier this year — and since withdrawn — that would have changed the way the Roman Catholic Church is governed, giving more authority to lay members. The controversy was rekindled recently when state ethics officials decided to investigate whether church officials violated lobbying laws by organizing a rally at the state Capitol to protest the measure.

Earlier this month, the Turner blog included a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor and state Sen. Andrew McDonald — sponsors of the withdrawn bill — and Thomas Jones of the State Ethics Office. It went on to say, "It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally. These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Notorious priest is dead

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • June 25, 2009

A Cincinnati priest accused of abusing almost 30 boys died earlier this month in Tennessee.

David Kelley had worked in parishes, schools and hospitals for three decades in Greater Cincinnati before the sexual abuse accusations prompted lawsuits and his suspension from the priesthood in 2003.

Kelley, 60, died before the Vatican could determine whether he should be permanently removed from the priesthood. Although he had been barred from presiding at Mass or working as a priest, he was permitted to be buried as a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Neo-Nazi Hal Turner Arrested Again

UNITED STATES
Southern Poverty Law Center

Hal Turner, a neo-Nazi talk radio host known for his threats against public figures, is scheduled to appear in federal court this afternoon on charges of threatening to assault and murder three federal judges.

The arrest comes three weeks after he was taken into custody in New Jersey on charges that he incited violence against two Connecticut legislators. He had been freed on $25,000 bond and wasn’t scheduled to return to court until July. ...

Most recently, he was charged on June 3 with inciting injury to persons or property after he posted a blog entry that encouraged readers to “take up arms” against two Connecticut lawmakers, Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor. Turner was upset about state legislation that would give more power to the laity in the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Police hold American pastor 'look-alike'

KENYA
Daily Nation

It was a case of mistaken identity. A man who the police thought was American evangelist suspected of possessing pornographic material was arrested as he was preparing to leave the country Thursday morning.

The man suspected to be Mr Thomas Kevin Manton was then detained and interrogated for about 30 minutes.

Mr Francois Daniel, a South African national later laughed off the whole incident terming it as ‘funny’ despite missing his flight to Seychelles.

The police however on realising their mistake apologised for the mix up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Pedo-Priest Gus Krumm Fighting to Keep His Personnel Files Personal

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra

If you want to fight for the side of truth and justice, join members of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) this Sunday around 8:30 in the morn as they distribute fliers outside Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Huntington Beach. They'll alert parishioners about what Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown never bothered to do: that someone recently filed a lawsuit against admitted pedo-priest Gus Krumm, a Franciscan (pedo-friar?) who served for years at the parish during the late 1990s.

Those parishioners should also know that Krumm is furiously fighting to keep secret his personnel files, the reams of documents kept on all Catholic priests and orderlies that have shown again and again how church leaders actively protected pedophiles at the expense of innocents. The court battle isn't happening in Los Angeles, though; it's taking place in Los Angeles Superior Court, site of a 2006 settlement between victims of Franciscans at St. Antonthy's Seminary in Santa Barbara and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (administrator over Catholic life in Santa Barbara County). The release of personnel files were agreed to by the Franciscan order as part of the settlement, but individual pedo-priests were allowed to contest their files--with the legal help of the Franciscans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Jesus loves the little children

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Sometimes it’s hard not to be cynical about the things Baptist leaders say. For me, this is one of those times, as I watch the stuff spewing forth from the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Louisville. If I didn’t poke fun with a bit of sarcasm, I’m afraid I might dissolve into a puddle of weeping.

They issued a “pro-adoption” resolution. That’s nice. I’m all for adoption. But it started looking a little weird when it started looking as though Baptist leaders might be promoting adoption, in part, simply because they want to raise their membership numbers. “More kids” means “more Baptists.” ...

If Baptist leaders really believed that “Jesus loves the little children,” wouldn’t they take action to work toward protecting the kids in their own churches?

Isn’t that what this convention was supposed to be about this year? “Actions speak louder than words.” Remember? So why are they giving us feel-good songs instead of real action to protect kids?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Preacher detained for porn

KENYA
IOL

Nairobi - Kenyan police has arrested an American preacher who faces charges of trafficking pornographic material, police said on Wednesday.

Thomas Manton IV, a self-styled prophet, was detained late on Tuesday following a complaint by a woman who said he posted pornographic pictures of her on a website.

"He will be charged for trafficking pornographic material and being in Kenya illegally," a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

US preacher faces pornography charges in Kenya

KENYA
EarthTimes

Nairobi - Kenyan police were Thursday investigating accusations that an American preacher has been moonlighting as a trafficker of pornographic images. 50-year-old Thomas Manton, of the Dominion International church, was Wednesday denied bail after being arrested for allegedly producing pornography with the intention to distribute it.

A lawyer for Manton - who describes himself as "God's Voice to the Nations" on his website - told the Daily Nation that the allegations were part of a scheme to extort money from his client.

Manton is the second foreign religious figure to face sex accusations in recent weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

In the name of Love

IRELAND
The Southern Star

By Perry O’Donovan

In looking through the Ryan Commission Report material I’m particularly struck by the way the word ‘charity’ stands out. Several of the outfits responsible for the organised crime scrutinised by Justice Ryan’s commission identified themselves using this special word: ‘Brothers of Charity’, ‘Daughters of Charity’, ‘Sisters of Our Lady of Charity’, and – most Orwellian of all – the officers of the ‘Institute of Charity’.

The word ‘charity’ stands out because it is the most abused of all words in this word-abused world – and it’s widespread abuse is a perfect expression of the will to ignorance and stupefied spiritual darkness in which we wallow and suckle. It has come to be synonymous with ‘almsgiving’, whereas what the term actually signifies is the highest and most divine form of love – the pure love of God, unmediated, unmeasured, overwhelming, and unmistakable.

And, of course, in the Orwellian new-speak world of untruth in which we dwell ‘love’ itself, by being made to mean everything and anything, means virtually nothing at all. ‘God is love’ we’re taught to say glibly – a lesson only too well-learned from our teachers – and that we ought to ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’. However, in this dump in which we pride ourselves, the word ‘love’ refers to everything from face-sucking Hollywood ‘stars’ – making ‘love’ – to our concern for Third World famine victims; or, similarly, it may refer to anything from that sense of belonging and one-ness we sometimes feel when we sing our tribal songs and wave our flags in the cauldron of a tense sports stadium (or at some commemorative event for our war-dead forefathers) to what happens when a solitary contemplative becomes wholly absorbed in the prayer of simple regard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Pastor will plead not guilty

NEBRASKA
World-Herald

By Katie Fretland
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Efrain Umaña Sr., a pastor who served congregations in Council Bluffs and Lincoln, will plead not guilty to sex abuse charges, his attorney said Wednesday.

Umaña, 53, was charged earlier this month in Pottawattamie County with having sex with a 10- or 11-year-old girl parishioner in 2003, forcing an adult woman parishioner to have sex with him in 2007 and assaulting two other women with the intent to commit sexual abuse in 2008.

He is accused of assaulting them while serving as pastor at Templo Monte Horeb in Council Bluffs, which he left about nine months ago amid allegations of misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Pastor charged with sex crimes was dismissed from 2 Lincoln churches

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star

By HILARY KINDSCHUH / Lincoln Journal Star
Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 - 12:18:57 am CDT
The pastor charged last week with a series of sex crimes in Iowa has a troubled history in Lincoln — including an allegation he sexually abused a teenager.

The Rev. Efrain Umaña was arrested June 11 at his home at 1906 Hartley St. in Lincoln for extradition to Iowa.

Council Bluffs police allege Umaña, 53, forced a 10- or 11-year-old girl to have sex with him in Templo Monte Horeb church there in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Bathurst sex abuse case: too sick for court

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Bellinda Kontominas
June 25, 2009

A priest charged with indecently assaulting three students at a Bathurst high school has failed to appear in court due to illness.

Father Hugh Edward Murray, 79, was arrested earlier this week at his Marsfield home and charged with five counts of indecent assault on a male.

The charges relate to the assaults of three students at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, between 1966 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

YOUR VIEW: Abuse is crime, not just illness

MASSACHUSETTS
South Coast Today

By ANN M. BRUNO
Ann M. Bruno lives in Mattapoisett.
June 25, 2009

I read with interest the opinion piece that Monsignor John Oliveira sent to The Standard-Times ("A year to support Catholic priests," June 16). Monsignor Oliveira speaks of priests who have not lived up to their commitment and have suffered the illness of pedophilia. Pedophilia is more than an illness; it is a crime. Priests found guilty in a court of law have been convicted and imprisoned.

It upsets me when I hear the church call it an illness and a sin, as if we could give some magical medicine to the criminal to change him, or even worse, pray away this depravity. This crime should not have been covered up with hush money and signed papers forbidding further punitive action on the victim's part.

Church hierarchy failed in their duty and oversight of these crimes. I don't know if, in my lifetime, I will ever be able to forget that glaring fact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

June 24, 2009

Former Christian Brother pleads guilty to sexually abusing Limerick boys

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

By Petula Martyn
A FORMER Christian Brother who taught at Creagh Lane National School has appeared before Limerick Circuit Court today charged in connection with the sexual abuse of school boys.

Sean John Drummond, 61, with an address at Ballinteer, Dublin pleaded guilty to 36 counts of indecently assaulting 19 boys on dates between July 1967 and July 1968.

The boys were all pupils at the school which was located on Bishop Street, and were aged between eight or nine when they were abused by the then Brother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

The Diocese, the Bishop, and the School are separate entities and other fiction by church attorneys in Santillan vs. Bishop of Fresno

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Creator, City of Angels Blog

One more post here about the Fresno case, for which a new trial was granted June 12th, before we go on to stories about new lawsuits being filed in Los Angeles. My favorite part of the Bishop of Fresno's “Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for New Trial,” quoted in depth below, is from page 9, where the Bishop claims the abuse took place in a parochial school, not the diocese, two totally different entities.

“Plaintiffs erroneously conflate the corporate defendant, The Roman Catholic Bishop of Fresno, A Corporation Sole, with the school. The school is a separate corporate entity - the Diocese of Fresno Education Corporation. Plaintiffs’ attempt to eliminate this distinction by conflating multiple entities through the generic use of the word ‘Diocese,’ does not eliminate their separate corporate existence.”

Don’t you love how church attorneys conflate and de-conflate their corporate entities as needed?

Why didn't plaintiffs find the new witness W Doe before the March trial? According to W Doe's declaration, after he and his mother reported the abuse to the school principal Sister Vidaline, “I was never again scheduled to serve mass. When I asked later why, I was told I would not be attending St. John’s Catholic school much longer. Within a month or two after I complained about Monsignor (Anthony) Herdegen, I was told I was being expelled from St. John’s Catholic school. Nobody could tell me why I was being expelled. Around 1975 or 1976, I moved away from Wasco, never to return.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Group asks Diocese of Youngstown to seek out abuse victims

CANTON (OH)
Canton Repository

CantonRep.com staff report

A support group for clergy sex-abuse victims published a letter Wednesday publicly urging the Diocese of Youngstown to send a second, more emphatic and explicit letter to hundreds of Catholics who attended a school where a now-suspended priest worked.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy-abuse victims.

Earlier this month, the Rev. Thomas Crum admitted sexually abusing a child and was suspended from his pulpit at Our Lady of Peace Church in Canton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

SNAP orders Youngstown Bishop to take action

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ

The Bishop of the Youngstown Diocese is being called on to hold a public meeting to discuss allegations of sexual abuse by one of it's priests.

The diocese recently suspended Father Thomas Crum from his duties after several people came forward saying the priest molested them as a child.

At least one of those allegations came from a former Cardinal Mooney student where father Crum served in the late 1970's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

MICHELE BETTI GOES TO OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA TO SUPPORT SEXUALLY EXPLOITED PATIENT

CALIFORNIA
Betti & Franks

By MICHELE BETTI and CHAD FRANKS | b&f opinions June 23, 2009

Michele Betti goes to Oakland, California to support SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and one of its survivors who was manipulated and exploited by her Oakland psychologist John R. LoRé, Ph.D. repeatedly during therapy for several years. SNAP set up the event in order to warn everyone about this predator and to bring awareness to the community.
LoRé surrendered his license to the California Board of Psychology for sexual misconduct. But, he has started and co-directs an Oakland non-profit called Peace Parenting Project. Despite his license revocation, LoRé still lists himself as a psychologist on his website

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Survivors’ Hopes Dashed as NY Assembly Adjourns Without Sex Abuse Vote

NEW YORK
Forward

By Rebecca Dube
Published June 24, 2009, issue of July 03, 2009.

Sexual-abuse survivors who traveled to Albany, N.Y., with high hopes this past spring got a tough lesson in political reality. The state Assembly’s regular session ended on June 22 without any action on a bill that would make it easier for sex-abuse victims to sue their molesters and the institutions that employed them.

“People are playing politics with innocent kids’ lives. I don’t even know what to think anymore,” said Joe Diangelo, a member of Survivors for Justice, a group that formed last year to support Jewish survivors of child sexual abuse. Diangelo was one of several Jewish activists who joined Catholic abuse survivors lobbying New York State legislators this year, only to see their efforts countered by a strong push against the bill from the Catholic Conference and a few ultra-Orthodox Jewish organizations.

“It’s sad, but by no means are we going to stop,” Diangelo said as he protested outside the office of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Brooklyn Democrat who played the most visible role in blocking the sex-abuse bill in the Assembly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

American pastor remanded on porn charges

KENYA
Daily Nation

By NICHOLAS NGOLYO Posted Wednesday, June 24 2009 at 22:30

During the day, he was a man of God, preaching the good news to his flock. But at night, he turned into somebody else, engaging in sex orgies and recording them for commercial distribution.

This is the picture that police painted of a 50-year-old American evangelist who was on Wednesday charged with possessing pornographic material.

A compact disk

Mr Thomas Kevin Manton of Dominion International, a church that operates from a Nairobi hotel, was denied bail and remanded in custody until Friday for the police to complete their investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Former Pastor Charged With Assault, Taking Indecent Liberties

VIRGINIA
Loudoun Independent

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

James L. Swanson, 55, of Leesburg, is charged with two counts of assault and battery and taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial or supervisory position in that case.

The alleged incidents occurred while Swanson was a pastor with the Greater Zion Church in Ashburn.

James L. Swanson A nearly two-month long investigation by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division led to the identity of three allegedvictims. In April, Loudoun Investigators received independent information of a 14-year-old female and 15-year-old female, both of Ashburn, havinginappropriate contact with the pastor. One of the incidents is reported to have occurred in February 2009, with the second occurring on April 14, 2009. Swanson is charged with assault and battery in these two cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Former pastor accused of having inappropriate contact with three Loudoun teens

VIRGINIA
Loudoun Times

A former pastor has been charged with having inappropriate contact with three Loudoun teenagers.

James L. Swanson, 55, of Leesburg, was recently charged with two counts of assault and battery and one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial or supervisory position. The alleged incidents occurred while Swanson was a pastor with the Greater Zion Church in Ashburn, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said.

A nearly two-month long investigation discovered three alleged victims. In April, investigators received information that a 14-year-old female and a 15-year-old female, both of Ashburn, were having inappropriate contact with the pastor. One of the incidents is reported to have happened in February with the second happening on April 14. Swanson is charged with assault and battery in these two cases, Troxell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Former Pastor Charged With Assault Of Teens

VIRGINIA
Leesburg Today

A former Ashburn area pastor has been charged for having what authorities are calling "inappropriate contact" with three Loudoun teenagers.

James L. Swanson, 55, of Leesburg, has been charged with two counts of assault and battery and taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial or supervisory position. The alleged incidents occurred while Swanson was a pastor at the Greater Zion Church in Ashburn.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office investigation into Swanson and the allegations has been ongoing for two months and has led to the identification of three alleged victims. Investigators with the sheriff's office received two independent reports of a 14-year-old female and a 15-year-old female, both Ashburn residents, having inappropriate contact with Swanson. According to authorities, one of the alleged incidents occurred in February 2009 and the other April 14, 2009. The assault and battery charges stem from those two incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

I. Ranfurly Brown's accuser testifies

BAHAMAS
The Nassau Guardian

By ARTESIA DAVIS ~ Guardian Senior Reporter ~ artesia@nasguard.com:

Anglican priest I. Ranfurly Brown allegedly pushed, slapped and choked a teenage girl while at a church-sponsored picnic at Nirvana Beach, his accuser claimed during testimony in the magistrates court yesterday.

Brown, the rector of St. Agnes Church who was in charge of the picnic, is on trial for allegedly assaulting the 14-year-old on October 13, 2008. The girl and several of her teenage friends testified about the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault during the first day of the case that is being heard by Magistrate Ancella Evans-Williams.

The names of the alleged victim and her friends have not been disclosed because they are minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Priest Slaps Teen

BAHAMAS
The Bahamas Journal

By IANTHIA SMITH

Controversial Anglican Archdeacon I. Ranfurly Brown, who is accused of slapping a teen girl during a church picnic last year, appeared in court Tuesday for the start of his assault trial.

The alleged victim and her mother were among many witnesses who testified in court yesterday.

The Anglican priest is accused of assaulting the 14-year-old on October 13, 2008 at the St. Agnes Anglican Church annual church picnic on Nirvana Beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Defrocked priest sentenced to probation

IOWA
Quad-City Times

Ann McGlynn | Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A defrocked priest who lied to court officials will spend two years on probation, a judge ruled Wednesday.

James Janssen's conviction will be wiped from his record if he successfully completes probation, Judge Marlita Greve ruled. He must also pay a $750 fine.

Janssen, accused but never criminally charged with molesting several children, walked into court using a cane and wearing white - the color he was known to wear when he was a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

5 virtuous figures caught pants down

UNITED STATES
CNN

(Mental Floss) -- With South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford dominating the news, let's look back at a five other so-called virtuous figures who became embroiled in sex scandals -- and this list just scratches the surface.

Jim Bakker admitted to cheating on his wife Tammy Faye Bakker.

1. Aimee Semple McPherson

By the mid-1920s, evangelist McPherson was packing them in at her Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, preaching hope and warning against the sinful life. But in 1926, she disappeared while swimming at a local beach.

She turned up a month later with a fantastic story about being kidnapped and taken to Mexico. Unfortunately, the evidence said otherwise: It appeared Aimee had been shacked up with a married man.

The evangelist was charged with perjury, but she stuck to her story and was eventually acquitted. Her popularity waned after the scandal, but you gotta hand it to her for chutzpah: instead of apologizing to her confused flock, McPherson bobbed her hair, bought some short skirts, and began dancing and drinking in public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Help Survivors of Child Abuse from New York State

NEW YORK
Good Hard Working People

The Child Victims Act in New York State needs your help!

As many of you know there is a "Statute of Limitations" (SOL) when it comes to holding child abusers accountable. A "Statute of Limitations" is the maximum amount of time one has to bring a lawsuit from the time of the injury of other ground for a lawsuit.

When it comes to abuse of children, most survivors don't speak up and seek justice until they are adults (for many reasons including the ability to realize and comprehend what happened to them as children and the process of overcoming the shame and guilt, which is sadly common among victims). As you can imagine, by the time an abused child is an adult, the "Statute of Limitations" has often expired. The abuser continues to break the law and harm children and is never held accountable.

In 2002 the California legislature passed amendments to its statute of limitations on child sex abuse, essentially opening a "window", which gave survivors one year (2003) to file claims even if the statute of limitations for their claims already had expired.

The New York Legislation is now considering such a "window" to give sex abuse victims the opportunity to seek justice and for the criminals to be held accountable even if the SOL has expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

International pastor gets bail

JAMAICA
Go Jamaica

The International pastor arrested on carnal abuse and indecent assault charges has been granted bail.

Reverend Dr. Paul Lewis was taken into custody on two Sundays ago after if was found the he gave money to two teenage girls in return for sexual favours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Former Delaware priest faces 15th abuse lawsuit

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

by Renée K. Gadoua/The Post-Standard
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 2:39 PM
A 15th lawsuit has been filed in Delaware against a former Catholic priest, Francis G. DeLuca, who was sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a boy in Syracuse in 2006.

The latest case was filed June 16 by two firms in Wilmington, Del. Delaware lawmakers passed a law in 2007 eliminating the statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse and opened a two-year window allowing cases previously barred by the statute of limitations to be tried.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Milingo slaps Catholics in the face

KENYA
Daily Nation

By LUCAS BARASA Posted Wednesday, June 24 2009 at 22:30

Eight years ago, he annoyed the Catholic headquarters in the Vatican by breaking the code of celibacy. On Wednesday, controversial Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo arrived in the country and slapped the Catholic Church in Kenya in the face.

The Zambian-born archbishop is the overall prelate of a group with 150,000 married priests worldwide. He was ordained as a parish priest in 1958. He was consecrated as archbishop of the archdiocese of Lusaka in Zambia in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.

In 1983, he was recalled from Lusaka to Rome over a controversial “non-conventional healing ministry” he led.He broke his celibacy vows in 2001 and married 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist Maria Sung in a classical wedding where 62 couples dressed in bridal gowns and tuxedos were married in the Moon Unification Church.

On Wednesday, Bishop Kasomo said at Sasamotor Centre that he married his girlfriend, Mary Ann in 1993, a year after becoming a priest. They have four children. Also present was Fr Peter Njogu, who said he has been married for 20 years and has three children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Local Hindu leader loses appeal

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Eric Dexheimer | Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 10:01 AM

Prakashanand Saraswati, the spiritual leader of the Barsana Dham Hindu temple, is still barred from the grounds of the ashram he founded just south of Austin, an appeals court ruled today. The decision from the 3rd Court of Appeals upholds an earlier ruling by a state district court judge in Hays County last November.

Prakashanand, who in April 2008 was charged with groping two underage girls on the ashram in the 1990s, has not been permitted back on Barsana Dham’s grounds since last May, soon after his arrest at a Washington D.C. airport. In his appeal, Prakashanand argued that by denying him physical access to Barsana Dham, where he has an office and apartment and hundreds of followers, the state was infringing on his First Amendment rights to practice his religion.

The Hays County district attorney responded that the guru already had agreed to the restriction when his bond conditions were first set.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Hindu leader awaiting trial still barred from Driftwood headquarters, court rules

TEXAS
San Marcos Mercury

by BRAD ROLLINS
Managing Editor

A state appeals court today rejected Hindu leader Prakashanand Saraswati’s request to return to the Hays County headquarters of his spiritual movement while awaiting trial on indecency with a child charges.

The international leader of the JKP-Barsana Dham sect of Hinduism, the 90-year-old Saraswati was arrested in April 2008 for allegedly touching the breasts of then-minors between 1993 and 1996. He was released on $500,000 bonds on the condition that he not leave the country and not come within 200 yards of the Barsana Dham Center on Farm-to-Market Road 1826 near Driftwood, a 200-acre replica of an Indian holy district and the movement’s North American seat. He has been living in a house nearby, court records show.

In May last year, 22nd State District Judge Charles Ramsay relaxed the bond conditions to allow Saraswati to visit India for religious duties backed by $10 million bond posted by infomercial magnate Peter Spiegal, a Saraswati adherent who amassed a fortune in part by selling ionic air purifiers, health supplements and other products via television and telemarketing. In August, Ramsay rejected Saraswati’s request to return to the Barsana Dham Centerb and Saraswati applied for a writ of habeas corpus to the Third Court of Criminal Appeals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Pope is slammed over vague abuse response

IRELAND
The Irish Post

SURVIVORS of Ireland’s child abuse scandal have reacted with dismay at what is being widely interpreted as the Pope’s first official comments on the controversy.

They said the reference in a letter to priests across the world was too vague to have real meaning — with one group calling it a pathetic attempt at a statement.

It came as they continued to call for the perpetrators of the crimes to be named and garda action taken against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Kicking out gays but keeping clergy-perps

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

FROM THE BAPTIST PRESS (6/22/09) -- The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee recommended in a unanimous vote Monday afternoon that the denomination cease its relationship with Broadway Baptist Church, a Fort Worth, Texas, congregation that has been the source of controversy over its stance on homosexuality . . . .

At issue is whether the church is in violation of Article III of the SBC Constitution, which states that churches "which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior" are not in friendly cooperation. Broadway Baptist has approximately five open homosexual members, including two male couples, according to church leaders. Some of the homosexuals serve on church committees . . . .

Stephen Wilson, a member of the Executive Committee and vice president for academic affairs at Mid-Continent University, emphasized to Baptist Press that the denomination encourages churches to reach out to people struggling with homosexuality. The issue with Broadway Baptist, though, is over a church allowing members who are homosexual and unrepentant . . .

Oh… I see… the real problem is that these five gay church members are “open” and “unrepentant.” They’re violating the #1 rule of Baptist life -- keep it secret. If you dance, don’t tell. If you drink, don’t tell. And if you’re gay… well that goes double… don’t tell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Kenya: Missionary Institute, Organizations Back Priest

ROME
allAfrica

The Superior General of the Comboni, Fr Teresino Serra, issued a statement expressing support for Fr Renato Kizito, an Italian Comboni missionary being accused of sexually abusing children in Kenya, where he has served for over 20 years.

Fr. Serra recalled Kizito's "great devotion" to the missions. He expressed the congregation's closeness to Fr Kizito "in this time of trial."

According to the magazine Mondo e Missione, published by the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, Fr Sesana has been the target of "a defamation campaign begun by the privately owned Kenya Television Network (KTN), which has accused the priest of abusing children," Fr. Serra said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Trial Date Set In Suit Against Diocese

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WSOC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A trial date has been set for the Diocese of Charlotte to defend accusations it covered up sexual abuse in the 1990s.

The suit, filed by a man victimized by the Rev. Robert Yurgel when the victim was a 14-year-old altar boy, alleges that the diocese sought to cover up the crimes. The trial will begin in May 2010.

Yurgel pleaded guilty in early February to molesting the man. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and will be on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Irish priest faces civil case

CALIFORNIA
Irish Central

By CAHIR O'DOHERTY, Irish Voice Reporter

Father Michael Kelly, 59, a priest from Balingarry, County Tipperary who is now based in California, is facing a civil legal action over allegations that he sexually abused a child in 1984.

Kelly, who served in a number of California parishes over 35 years, was placed on administrative leave in September 2007 while his own diocese investigated the charge made against him.

After the diocesan review board, based in Stockton, California, found no evidence to support the claim of sexual abuse, Kelly was cleared of wrongdoing and reinstated to active ministry at St Joachim’s Catholic Church in March 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

North Carolina Priest Abuse Suit Moves Forward

NORTH CAROLINA
Claims Journal

A North Carolina judge is allowing some claims in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte to move forward.

The Charlotte Observer reported that the lawsuit alleges that church officials covered up the sex crimes of the Rev. Robert Yurgel, who pleaded guilty to a sex offense in February. He was sentenced to at least seven years in prison. The victim was an alter boy at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Charlotte in the 1990s when the abuse occurred.

The Charlotte Diocese denies that officials knew of abuse allegations until Yurgel was arrested last year. They had sought dismissal of the lawsuit by the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Paraguay President Lugo Accused Of Rape

PARAGUAY
Javno (Croatia)

The woman who claims that the President of Paraguay Fernando Lugo is her son`s father, accused the former Roman Catholic bishop of rape.

Lugo refused to comment on her accusations in great detail, but told a press conference that “this was all a part of the second chapter of the novel” and that he expects “the third chapter”.

- The matter is in the courts and you should talk to my attorney - the president said. However, Lugo`s attorney Marcos Farina was unavailable for a comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

City clergy in court over pornography

KENYA
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Written By:Walter Dzuya, Posted: Wed, Jun 24, 2009

A city clergy man Thomas Kevin Manton was on Wednesday arraigned at Kibera Law courts and charged with being in possession of pornographic material with intent of publishing it.

Thomas Kevin Manton however pleaded not guilty to charges of obscene publication contrary to section 181 of the penal code.

It is alleged that on the 25th of February this year at Runda Estate in Nairobi for the purpose of public exhibition he produced one compact disc tending to corrupt morals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Boys aged 10-15 most likely to be targets of clergy sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Religious Intelligence

By: George Conger.

Boys aged between 10 and 15 years of age are the most frequently targeted victims of clergy sexual abuse, a report presented on June 13 to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Church of Australia’s General Synod has found.

Prepared by Professor Patrick Parkinson and Professor Kim Oates of the University of Sydney the “Study of Reported Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church” examined 191 cases of abuse reported to diocesan officials between 1990 and 2008 from 17 of the church’s 23 dioceses --- three rural dioceses declined to participate in the study while three others reported no incidents of abuse. The study was commissioned by the 2004 General Synod and sought to identify the “characteristics of accused persons” and their victims and the circumstances of the offence, as well as “ascertain patterns of abuse in relation to similarities or differences in gender and age of the child complainants,” in order to “inform the Church on what steps could be taken towards better prevention of sexual abuse within church communities.”

Archbishop Philip Aspinall of Brisbane stated, that “while this report is aimed at strengthening our child protection protocols as we look to the future, it also reminds us of the tragic events of the past and of the pain which still exists. We reiterate our apology, our sorrow and our deep regret for abuse which has occurred.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Alamo Wants Evidence Kept From Trial

ARKANSAS
Today's THV

Posted By: Alyson Courtney

Jailed evangelist Tony Alamo says investigators were relying on old information when they raided his Fouke compound last year and that evidence they seized should be barred at his trial.

In motions filed Tuesday, the 74-year-old also asks for the names of informants who gave information to authorities. Alamo is charged in a 10-count indictment with violating the federal Mann Act by taking underage girls across state lines for sex.

The court papers ask U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes to bar to disallow computer data, business records and photographs seized by investigators. A former Alamo attorney said the computers contained no pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

NY ABUSE BILL STALLS: PUBLIC SCHOOLS STILL VULNERABLE

NEW YORK
Catholic League

The bill by New York State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey that would suspend the statute of limitations for one year for cases of child sexual abuse (victims must be 53 or younger) will not pass this year unless a special session is called and the bill is put to a vote.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on the bill’s fate:

Right now it looks like this badly conceived legislation is dead in the water. But were it to pass eventually, I renew my pledge today to spend whatever it takes to alert the residents of New York State of their right to sue the public schools if they were ever sexually abused by one of its employees (provided they meet the conditions outlined in the bill).

Some have questioned my motive. Let me end the suspense: I am fed up with unscrupulous lawyers and their well-greased professional victims’ groups seeking to plunder the Catholic Church. Now that public institutions are finally included in the Markey bill, it is only just that potential claimants be informed of their rights. And guess what? A reality check has already taken place. Opposing the Markey bill are the New York State School Boards Association, the New York State Council of School Superintendents, and other civic groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

The unjust result of sex abuse suits

DELAWARE
The News Journal

[The print edition indicates the author is the Rev. John Hynes.]

The two women looked at me expectantly. Their brother in Mexico needed an operation. Could the church help? I tried to explain ...we have limited resources. I was thinking of the couple in the corridor who said they couldn't afford medicine. I was also thinking of the number of parents who were having difficulty paying tuition in our parochial school.

Thank God the diocese has a fund to help some of them ... so far.

A medium-size Catholic parish like ours has to be self- sufficient. So we have clothing re-sales, carnivals and walkathons. Our budget will come close to $1.9 million, over 60 percent for the school. About $100,000 goes to the diocese to support the larger church's expenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Statute of limitations bill appears dead in New York Assembly

NEW YORK
The Georgia Bulletin

ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) -- Even after it was amended to include all public institutions, a bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for lawsuits related to the sexual abuse of a minor was "inherently bad public policy," said the executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference. Richard E. Barnes spoke June 23, hours after the state Assembly adjourned without voting on a bill that would have given people who claim they were sexually abused as children a one-year exemption from the statute of limitations. Currently alleged victims must file suit within five years after they turn 18. Barnes said in a statement that members of the state Assembly "looked very closely at this very controversial bill" sponsored by Assembly Member Margaret Markey "and gave it the thoughtful consideration it deserved."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Controversial child sex abuse bill fails to advance

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY BART JONES | bart.jones@newsday.com
10:55 PM EDT, June 23, 2009
Supporters of a controversial bill to make it easier for alleged child sex abuse victims to sue their abusers thought this was their year to get the legislation passed.

Democrats controlled both the State Senate and Assembly for the first time in years, and the bill had already passed the Assembly three sessions in a row.

But when the Assembly wrapped up its current session early Tuesday in Albany, the bill - like its sponsor Assemb. Margaret Markey (D- Maspeth) - was nowhere to be seen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Charges of cross-border church abuses continue

MEXICO/UNITED STATES
Foreign Correspondency

MEXICO CITY - A victims’ group said Thursday that it was filing a new lawsuit in Los Angeles, California, against Mexican and U.S. church officials accused of sheltering a suspected pedophile priest.

The lawsuit accuses Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera of conspiring with Roman Catholic officials in the United States to shelter Nicolas Aguilar, a Mexican priest wanted in California for 19 felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child.

This is the third lawsuit filed by the group, Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, against the Catholic Church for allegedly protecting Aguilar. Two previous lawsuits filed in Los Angeles against the Mexican cardinal by Mexican citizens were dismissed in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

In Dublin, "Martin of Television" Faces the Storm

IRELAND
Whispers in the Loggia

With Ireland still reeling from last month's Ryan Report, a TV documentary aired nationally last week raised the curtain on the next major look into the Isle's staggering history of clergy sex-abuse and chancery cover-up: the Murphy Report of the state inquest on the archdiocese of Dublin, first expected this summer but seemingly to be delayed pending "ongoing court proceedings."

Yet while the testimony of victim-survivors has become crushingly commonplace in the reporting of their stories, what made TV3's Abuse of Trust unique and significant was the cooperation of the Republic's top prelate, the capital's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (left, at mic), who spoke on the program of his "personal torment" at reading through some of the 60,000 in-house files he handed over to the state panel (but only after his predecessor dropped a court challenge to the papers' release).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

'Forgotten Australians' seek apology for abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Hundreds of thousands of Australian children raised in institutions over the past century say they want a formal apology for the abuse and neglect they suffered.

They have named themselves the Forgotten Australians and a large number of them are in Canberra this week for the tabling of a parliamentary report, which reviewed recommendations made years ago that still have not been acted on.

There are 500,000 children who suffered abuse in state and church-run homes and institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Sexual Misconduct Charges Mount Against Former Youth Minister

SOUTH CAROLINA
WOLO

Written by Kara Nelson
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 00:13
Sexual abuse allegations against a former youth minister are mounting tonight. Lexington County Authorities say more victims are coming forward. People who live on Irvin Jumper Road in Gaston say they had no idea the man who resided in their neighborhood could be guilty of sexually assaulting teenage boys.

William Wilson remains in a Lexington County Jail. Tonight he faces sexual misconduct charges involving two 13-year-olds. That's in addition to the original three minors who came forward to Police last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Family Minister Accused of Sexual Abuse

TEXAS
KRGV

MERCEDES - Tomas Gonzales, 61, is a pastor at a church in Donna. Tonight, he's in jail, charged with 10 felony counts. Police know there are at least two victims and there may be more.

Police say they asked Gonzales to come to the police station last night for questioning. When the pastor showed up, officers say he confessed to the crime.

Gonzalez appeared before a judge around 6:30pm. A judge read him his rights and charged him with eight counts of aggravated sexual abuse and two counts of indecency with a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Church pastor charged with sexual abuse

TEXAS
The Monitor

Ana Ley
The Monitor
MERCEDES — A church pastor faces multiple felony charges in connection with allegations he sexually abused two female relatives.

Tomás Gonzáles, 61, of Mercedes, was arraigned Tuesday evening in Mercedes Municipal Court on two counts of indecency with a child and eight counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

"I committed the error," he said in Spanish during the arraignment. "Now I have to pay for it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Editorial: Ricken seems good fit for area Catholics

GREEN BAY (WI)
Press-Gazette

Green Bay Catholic Bishop David Ricken strikes us as someone who's comfortable with being a Catholic, unapologetic about the church's teachings and eager to cheerfully defend them against critics — all traits that should serve him in good stead as he meets the challenges ahead.

In his first visit with the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board Tuesday, Ricken seemed willing to answer any question tossed his way, although sometimes only to a certain degree. ...

We were impressed by his acknowledgment that the Catholic church was slow to come to terms with the scandals involving priests committing sexual abuse.

"You just don't think of priests and people in that sector of the population violating another person in this way," he said. "It was hard for me to understand, it was hard for the bishops to understand, so it took us time to really catch on to the seriousness of the problem."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

June 23, 2009

Criminals in all but name

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Sunday Tribune

June 21, 2009

[With seven photos]

Among the people given pseudonyms in the Ryan commission report, Sr Xaviera, the nun who defended her record on 'Prime Time' in 1996, stood out as 'extremely cruel', writes John Downes.

For the rosary bead makers and other children who suffered at St Vincent's industrial school in Goldenbridge, Dublin, the memories of life with the nun named as Sr Alida in the Ryan commission report are bleak. In fact, she was Sr Xaviera (or Severia), who over a decade ago famously defended her record in an interview with RTE's Prime Time programme.

The Mercy nun is one of 11 people given pseudonyms in the report, whose names the Sunday Tribune is publishing for the first time today.

She joins a growing list of others, including former Mercy nun Nora Wall and convicted paedophile Donal Dunne, who have also been named since the report was published a week and a half ago.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:59 PM

Lugo accused of rape

PARAGUAY
Momento 24

The president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, was now accused of having raped Bengina Leguizamón, the woman who denounced a supposed parenthood of the catholic ex-bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Paraguay president accused of sex attack

PARAGUAY
Brisbane Times (Australia)

June 24, 2009 - 8:44AM .
A former housekeeper who accuses Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo of fathering her six-year-old son has charged that the former Catholic bishop initiated the relationship by sexually assaulting her.

Benigna Leguizamon, 27, said in a radio interview that the assault took place in the bishop's two-story residence where she worked as a housekeeper.

"He locked me in a room and there he took off my clothes by force and he overpowered me. There was no way of escaping him," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Organization to publish American version of Ryan report on child abuse

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

By ANTOINETTE KELLY, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

A religious watchdog organization in the U.S. has stated it is planning to release an American equivalent of Ireland’s Ryan report of child abuse at Catholic Church-run institutions.

Boston-based group BishopAccountability.org provides the public with a database of accused priests, survivors’ accounts of abuse and a timeline of the scandal of U.S. bishops covering up for priests who sexually abused minors in churches and schools.

The organization told the Irish Times it is in the midst of building a database of names of Irish religious figures who abused children in Ireland and later fled to America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Actions speak louder than words

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Dear Southern Baptist Messengers:

“Actions speak louder than words.” It’s a good slogan, but do you really mean it?

A year ago, your Executive Committee announced its decision not to create a clergy-predator database or an office to field abuse claims. (Eric Gorski - Associated Press, “Southern Baptists reject sex-abuse database,” Washington Post, 6/10/08).

What message do you imagine this do-nothing decision sent? To Baptist clergy abuse survivors, it sent a message of “we don’t really care.” To Baptist clergy-predators, it sent a message of “we’ll look the other way.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Qld priest resigns over child sex allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church has confirmed a priest from Brisbane's Archdiocese has resigned as police investigate child sex abuse allegations made against him.

The 65-year-old man has been charged with indecent treatment and indecent dealing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Affair vicar told: 'Leave vicarage'

UNITED KINGDOM
Metro

A clergyman who refused to leave his vicarage after being barred from office for having an affair was today given 28 days to leave the property.

The Reverend Patrick Okechi was told by a judge at Birmingham County Court that the Bishops of Lichfield and Wolverhampton were entitled to repossess the house in West Bromwich, West Midlands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Philadelphia priest denies allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Examiner

Donna Conaway
Philadelphia Catholic Examiner

Father Gerald Dunne, an Oblate of Saint Frances de Sales, has been named in a lawsuit filed in Delaware alleging sexual abuse of a minor while at Salesianium High School.

The plaintiff alleges Fr. Dunne sexually abused him approximately thirty years ago. Father Dunne has denied the allegation.

According to a June 22 press release from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Father Dunne, who also was a member of Father Judge High School's faculty from 1994 to present, had completed the screening procedures set in place by the Archdiocese, and had cleared all the appropriate police and child abuse background checks. In addition, the Oblates of St. Frances de Sales had presented a positive recommendation of Fr. Dunne and cleared him through their accredited screening process

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Vote unlikely on sex abuse bill Catholic Church opposes

NEW YORK
Newsday

12:08 AM EDT, June 23, 2009
As the state Assembly wrapped up its regular session Tuesday, it appeared unlikely that controversial child sex abuse bill would be voted on, advocates and officials said.

The bill, sponsored by Assemb. Margaret Markey (D- Maspeth) and opposed by the Catholic Church, would drop the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases for victims 53 years and younger. Previously her bill included no age limit.

She also recently amended it to explicitly include public as well as private institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Ireland tolerant despite downturn

FRANCE
The Irish Times

CHARLIE TAYLOR

Ireland is determined to remain a place that is tolerant of other cutures despite the harsh economic climate we now find ourselves in, President Mary McAleese said today.

Addressing the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe on its sixth anniversary in Strasbourg, Ms McAleese said that Ireland owed the council a debt of gratitude for its support in assisting the peace process in the north. ...

Commenting on the Ryan report into clerical child abuse, which was published last month, Ms McAleese said that the report had provoked a huge debate in Ireland.

"This questioning, although painful, can only benefit our society in the long run. It has brought us face-to-face with the promise set out in our Proclamation in 1916 to be a republic which cherished the children of the nation equally. We know in searing detail how often that promise was betrayed and we have this opportunity now to do what it takes to make amends to those brutalised by that betrayal and to keep that promise for today’s and tomorrow’s children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Ex-Fort Worth Diocese priest denies allegations from 1981

FORT WORTH (TX)
TMCnet

Jun 23, 2009 (Fort Worth Star-Telegram - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Rev. Rudolf Renteria denies allegations that he sexually abused an Arlington altar boy in the 1980s, according to recently filed court documents.

A California man in his 40s sued Renteria and the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese in March. The man accused the diocese of covering up the priest's actions. The diocese denies those allegations and argues in court documents that the statute of limitation bars "all or a portion of plaintiff's claims." The man's attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas, could not be reached for comment.

The diocese is in the process of defrocking Renteria, but he refers to himself in court documents as "formerly known as Father Rudolf 'Rudy' John Renteria." Renteria's attorney, Robert Kemp of Dallas, said he would have to consult with his client before making any comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

YOUR VIEW: Pedophiles not the only ones to blame

MASSACHUSETTS
South Coast Today

By CAROL MARKEY
Carol Markey lives in Mattapoisett.

June 23, 2009
Police release more photos of suspect in Petro-Mart slayingShooting victim tried to intervene in Petro Mart robberyShooting victim tried to intervene in Petro-Mart robbery, owner saysWinter storm starts off SouthCoast summerFairhaven Mills reconstruction moves quicklyYOUR VIEW: Offensive photo demands mayor's apologySwine flu closes Assawompset Elementary School for yearIt was with great interest that I read Monsignor John Oliveira's June 16 opinion piece on supporting priests in this "Year of the Priests" (a very worthy cause).

I would consider myself to be an active, practicing Catholic, and am happy to honor the many hard-working priests of integrity in our diocese and all over the world.

I must take issue, however, with Monsignor Oliveira's assessment that the only ordained priests that have not lived up to their commitment in regards to the sexual abuse scandals of recent years are those who suffer from the illness of pedophilia. A more egregious violation of the dignity of the priesthood are those in power who chose to overlook, excuse and permit the continuation of abuse by moving these individuals to other areas or parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Judge upholds part of lawsuit against church

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

By Cameron Steele
cameronsteele@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2009
A sex abuse victims' group on Monday applauded a judge's order to allow some claims in a civil suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte to move forward in court.

The 2008 suit alleges that diocesan officials covered up the sex crimes of the Rev. Robert Yurgel, who pleaded guilty to a sex offense in February.

The Charlotte Diocese denies that officials were aware of abuse allegations until Yurgel's arrest in April 2008, and sought a dismissal of the case filed by Yurgel's victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

June 22, 2009

Catholic Church must develop new role to survive

IRELAND
The Irish Times

FINTAN O'TOOLE

If the church is to have a future it has to replace the ethic of control with a radical ethic of service, writes FINTAN O'TOOLE .

IRISH DEBATE is very good at presenting people with false alternatives. As we stumble tentatively towards some kind of new settlement for the provision of social services, we seem to face another one. If, we are told, we don’t want church control of schools and hospitals, we must have State control. If the church hands over ownership of primary schools, everything will be run by bureaucrats from the Department of Education in Dublin. One hierarchy will be replaced by another.

It ain’t necessarily so. Public ownership isn’t the same thing as rigid State control. There is, and will always be, an important place for voluntary organisation, including that of religious communities and people of faith.

Our problem in Ireland is that the peculiar intertwining of nationality and religion, predating even that of church and State, left us without a clear sense of what governments should do. We have never, to this day, developed a strong sense that there are basic aspects of health, education and welfare that belong to citizens as of right. Partly because the church would not allow it to do so, the State has never accepted the responsibilities that are part of the European welfare model. In return, the church has never quite accepted that it is part of civil society. We have had the paradox of a State that behaves as if it is a charity and a church that behaves as if it is a government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 PM

Grand Jury indicted Rodgerson

KIRKSVILLE (MO)
Kirksville Daily Express

KIRKSVILLE — Kirksville City Councilman Aaron Rodgerson was indicted by the Adair County Grand Jury Friday for misdemeanor charges of failure to report abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18 years of age as a mandated reporter, and unlawfully engaging in the practice of law.

Rodgerson, 34, was arrested Friday night at 8:12 p.m. at 1010 W. Burton Street.

He bonded out a little more than two hours later.

According to court documents, law enforcement officials responded to a hotline call on or about May 6, describing a malnourished 10-month-old baby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Baptist Church director resigns after he's linked to child porn

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

By Joel Currier
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/22/2009

ST. CHARLES - The director of children's programs at the First Baptist Church of St. Charles has resigned after authorities began investigating him on suspicion of child pornography, Senior Pastor David Sheppard said today.

The man has not been arrested but detectives with the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department seized his computer Friday at the church, 2701 Muegge Road, Sheppard said. The man worked part time running children's programs at the church for 4 1/2 years. Sheppard said authorities also seized the man's home computer.

Sheriff's Lt. Craig McGuire would not confirm or deny whether the department is investigating the man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Former priest charged with abusing child accused resigns from his parish

AUSTRALIA
The Queensland Times

Andrew Korner | 23rd June 2009

A FORMER Ipswich Catholic priest has been charged with the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl from the city.

Police said they issued the 64-year-old man - now living in Brisbane - with a notice to appear in court last Thursday in relation to charges of indecent treatment of a child.

Detective Inspector Mick Niland said the offences were alleged to have occurred between 1977 and 1981 when the man, then aged between 32 and 36, was working as Catholic priest in the Ipswich area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Massive solidarity for Italian missionary accused of abuse in Kenya

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jun 22, 2009 / 02:12 pm (CNA).- Various Catholic organizations have expressed their solidarity with Father Kizito Sesana, a Combonian missionary from Italy who has been unjustly accused of sexually abusing children in Kenya, where he has served children and young people for over 20 years.

According to the magazine Mondo e Missione, published by the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, Father Sesana has been the target of “a defamation campaign begun by the privately owned Kenya Television Network, which has accused the priest of abusing children.”

The Superior General of the Combonians, Father Teresino Serra, issued a statement expressing support for Father Sesana, recalling his “great devotion to the missions. The leadership expresses his closeness to Father Sesana in this time of trial.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Detectives probe sex video in Fr Kizito saga

KENYA
Daily Nation

By BENJAMIN MUINDI

Posted Monday, June 22 2009 at 21:40

Police were on Monday analysing a video clip and photos that allegedly show Father Renato Kizito, the Catholic priest accused of child abuse, having sex with a boy.

According to deputy police spokesperson Charles Wahong’o, CID officers were studying copies of the photos and the videos to determine their authenticity.

Mr Wahong’o, however, declined to divulge details of what experts were looking for to establish whether or not the materials were manipulated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

New Archbishop replaces Pius Ncube

ZIMBABWE
The Zimbabwe Times

By our correspondent

BULAWAYO – Pope Benedict the XVI has announced the appointment of Very Reverend Father Alex Thomas Kaliyanil as the new Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bulawayo.Father Alex replaces Archbishop Pius Ncube who was dethroned in 2007 following sensational allegations of sexual misconduct with a member of his congregation.

Father Alex was born in India in 1960.

In Zimbabwe Father Alex was first assigned as Assistant Priest at Holy Cross Parish in Tshabalala between 1990 and 1992. Currently, Father Alex is Regional Superior of the Divine Word Missionaries in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Trial date postponed for Coeburn pastor charged with indecent exposure at Kingsport's Riverfront Park

KINGSPORT (TN)
Times-News

By Staff Report

The case of a Coeburn pastor charged with indecent exposure on April 8 has been postponed and is set for a hearing on motions.

Kingsport Police Department vice detectives arrested John Franklin McCarroll, 65, 2306 E. First Ave., Big Stone Gap. The arrest occurred during an undercover investigation into lewd and lascivious acts at the public restrooms at Riverfront Park on Netherland Inn Road.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Miracle on the 73: TBN Personality Turns Wine into a Double DUI

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Gimme That OC Religion

It's telling about the sad state of religion reporting in Orange County, one of the founts of American Christianity, that no one has yet to report this: a major Trinity Broadcasting Company personality has pleaded guilty to two felony DUIs that put a 70-year-old man in the hospital with serious injuries.

On April 26, around 10 p.m., one Stephen Eugene Galiher was speeding at least over 85 miles per hour in his company-owned BMW on the 73 Freeway near the 55 Freeway interchange when he smashed into a car, causing it to overturn twice. Galiher--the head pastor at Trinity Music City Church, the main place of worship at TBN's Christian music theme park in Hendersonville, Tennessee--was in town after appearing four days earlier on Behind the Scenes, a show where TBN head Paul Crouch checks in with his many ministers. A California Highway Patrol report obtained by the Weekly shows that the officer on hand "smell[ed] a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Galiher's breath and, his eyes were red and bloodshot." When asked what he drank, the pastor admitted to "2 glasses of red wine at the Newport Beach Island Hotel." Either Galiher's a lightweight, or he's a big liar--when was the last time drinking too much wine created bloodshot eyes?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Diocese Tries Again To Stop Document Release

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut Law Tribune

By THOMAS B. SCHEFFEY

In a bid to prevent public disclosure of more than 1,200 pages of sealed court filings from 23 priest sex abuse cases that were settled in 2001, the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese is seeking new arguments before a full seven-member Supreme Court.

On June 2, in a 4 to 1 decision, the high court adopted a broad definition of “judicial” court filings that the public is allowed to see because the documents form the basis of court rulings. In making the ruling, the majority ordered the release of nearly all of the priest sex abuse files.

This instant landmark opinion, Rosado v. Bridgeport, gives litigants and lawyers clearer guidelines of what court filings will be considered open records subject to public inspection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Catholic Church Accused of 'Trafficking' Sexually Abusive Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Courthouse News Service

By KARINA BROWN

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The Catholic Church sent a child-molesting priest to Mexico instead of defrocking him, and has spent "many years ... engaging in the international trafficking of known child molesting priests," shuttling them between California and Latin America, a man claims in Superior Court.

The John Doe plaintiff claims that Father Nicholas Aguilar Rivera molested "numerous children" as a priest in Mexico in 1986. When parents and police confronted him, Cardinal Noriberto Rivera Carrera helped Rivers escape from Mexico by transferring him to a Los Angeles church, according to the complaint.

There, Rivera "immediately ... began having altar boys and students from the parish school come to his rectory bedroom," the lawsuit states. When one of the children complained to a church employee, the church allegedly transferred Rivera a second time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Abuse report 'being considered'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Press Association

The Ryan Report into child abuse in the Irish Republic is being carefully considered in Northern Ireland, the Health Minister has said.

Michael McGimpsey's officials are considering whether there are any cross-border implications after the public inquiry in the south discovered thousands of victims of clerical sexual and physical violence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Sexual abuse victim wins $1.75-million settlement

CANADA
The Lawyers Weekly

By Norman MacInnes
Toronto
June 26 2009 issue

A woman who as a girl endured five years of sexual abuse by a priest that ended in a botched abortion has secured a settlement of almost $1.75-million.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ont. has agreed to pay Lou Ann Soontiens $1.745-million to settle her civil sexual assault suit. Costs, when settled, will likely push the total over $2-million.

“As far as we can determine, it is the largest settlement of an individual sexual abuse case in Canadian history,” Rob Talach told The Lawyers Weekly. Talach and Paul Ledroit of Ledroit Beckett in London, Ont. represented Soontiens.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Vatican told bishops to cover up sex abuse

IRELAND
DORCHA

Expulsion threat in secret documents

**Poster's Note: Please keep these words in mind when you read the following archived article from 2003: 'Lawyers point to a letter the Vatican sent to bishops in May 2001 clearly stating the 1962 instruction was in force until then. The letter is signed by Cardinal Ratzinger...' In case you have forgotten, Ratzinger is now the Pope. The time span in this article covers at least 5 popes, including Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II and the current man holding the title, Benedict XVI [a.k.a Ratzinger]

I note with interest the stories about how disturbed the Pope was at hearing the clerical abuse report from Ireland. I find this to be sheer hypocrisy, and I also do not think that asking for public apology from anyone even BEGINS to cover what must be done to bring even a tiny amount of justice for the victims. Nothing can ever make up for this obscenity and crime against humanity that has been covered up down through the years.

The reason I am posting this now has to do with the release of the Ryan report in Ireland, detailing the 'Endemic' rape and abuse of Irish children in Catholic care', which was also happening in the North of Ireland.

>>Read the 1962 Vatican document (PDF file)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Catholic Priest Sex Abuse : Secret letters fuel 2002 Boston crisis

MASSACHUSETTS
Church Abuse Law Blog

[video presentation]

January 2002 news report features Joe Bergantino of WBZ TV Boston. Once-secret trove of letters prove Boston Catholic cardinals had long supported serial child molester Fr. John Geoghan. The archdiocese cover-up unravels as the national Catholic sex abuse crisis gains

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Christian Brother John Coswello committed child-sex offences at St Vincent's boys' orphanage in South Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

In the Melbourne County Court on 15 May 2009, a jury found a Catholic religious brother guilty of committing sexual offences against a 12-year-old boy in a Melbourne orphanage.

Brother John Francis Coswello (aged 70 at the time of the trial) has been a member of the Victoria-Tasmania province of the Christian Brothers for more than 50 years.

On 22 June 2009 Judge Ross Howie sentenced Coswello to two years and ten months jail, with a minimum of 15 months to be spent behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.

The charges related to St Vincent's Boys Home at 237 Cecil Street, South Melbourne, where Coswello worked durng the 1970s. The court was told that Coswello's duties included being in charge of a dormitory at night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Church protects its money - abuse victim

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

June 22, 2009 06:03pm
THE Anglican Church's refusal to scrap an age limit for child sex abuse claims shows the church is protecting its money rather than its flock, says an abuse victim.

All states set a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for personal injury victims to bring their cases to court.

In Queensland, a victim is required to launch legal action by the time they turn 21.

A motion calling for the Anglican Church to refrain from invoking the statute was rejected at the Brisbane synod yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

State to review abuse deal with church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Katherine Donnelly

Monday June 22 2009

Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe has ordered a review of how property valuations were agreed with religious orders to compensate victims of institutional abuse.

The high-powered internal review of the valuation process surrounding 64 properties was sanctioned amid claims the State was short-changed.

The unexpected twist brings into further disrepute the controversial €128m deal, which has resulted in the religious orders paying only 10pc of the total €1.2bn victims' compensation bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

EDITORIAL: Diocese should drop fight to hide past

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has come a long way from the dark days when complaints about priests who sexually abused boys were ignored and the priests shuttled to new assignments where they remained in contact with children.

Bridgeport was part of a plague of sexual predation that became an international church scandal.

In 2001 and 2003, the Bridgeport Diocese reached multimillion dollar settlements of lawsuits in which there were more than 50 claims of sexual abuse by its priests. At the time of the 2003 settlement, a spokesman for the diocese said the settlement was “all about transparency, ... about healing, about doing the right thing, about closure.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

June 21, 2009

Cura de Jalapa, proveedor de pornografía infantil

MEXICO
Notisistema

Rafael Muñiz López (en la foto), sacerdote de Jalapa, Veracruz, era el principal proveedor de imágenes de menores de edad para una red de pornografía por Internet, según revelaron investigaciones de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF).
Al informar sobre la consignación de seis de los siete implicados, el titular de la dependencia, Miguel Ángel Mancera, aseguró que gracias a la intervención de correos electrónicos y mensajes instantáneos por Internet de Muñiz López –quien se identificaba como Lobo Siberiano– se descubrieron miles de imágenes y videos de pornografía infantil, muchas de las cuales distribuía desde su parroquia y la Universidad Veracruzana.

[synopsis in English]

The Attorney General for the Federal District alleges that the Rev. Rafael Muniz Lopez of Jalapa, Veracruz, was a main supplier of images of child pornography to an internet network.

Miguel Angel Mancerea said that through emails and instant messages via the internet, authorities identified Lopez Muniz, who used the name Wolf-Siberian, as purveyor of thousands of images and videos of child pornography, many of which were distrubuted from the parish and Universidad Veracruzana. He added that he priest's brother, Francisco Javier, was released for lack of evidence. Investigation continues as an international network operates in Argentina, Brazil and Spain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Iglesia defiende a cura acusado de pederastia

MEXICO
La Mujer de Purpura

viernes 19 de junio del 2009

La Arquidiócesis de Xalapa acusó a la Procuraduría del Distrito Federal de excederse en su actuación y fabricar pruebas qe inculpan a Rafael Muñiz López

La Arquidiócesis de Xalapa aseguró que con la consignación del sacerdote Rafael Muñiz López (acusado de delincuencia organizada y pornografía infantil calificada) se busca golpear a la Iglesia católica.

Indicó que "sin mayor fundamento y dolosamente", la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF) ejerció acción penal contra Muñiz López y lo consignó ante un juez del Reclusorio Norte.

Aseveró que la Procuraduría capitalina se excedió en su actuación e incluso fabricó pruebas.

[synopsis in English]

Women in Purple

Church Defends Priest Accused of Pedophilia

Friday June 19 2009

The Archdiocese of Xalapa has accused the Federal District Attorney of going too far in bringing charges against the Rev. Rafael Muniz Lopez who allegedly was found with child pornography on his computer.

The archdiocese said the charges are without foundation and were maliciously brought agains the priest by the Attorney General and recorded before a judge in the Reclusorio Norte. It is also alleged by the archdiocese that evidence was fabricated and that this constitutes persecution of the Catholic Church.

The priest was arrested April 17 in the parish of St. Peter the Apostle in Xalapa, Veracruz along with his brother Francisco Javier for alleged involvement in an international network of cyber-pedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Abandoned to shame and heartbreak

IRELAND
Herald

By Peter DeRosa

Saturday June 20 2009

For 24 years, I wrote about sex abuse in the Catholic Church for the Herald and its sister paper the Independent. They fought hard to bring clerics to account and obtain justice for their victims. At a time when the hierarchy considered itself the real Government and politicians grovelled before the Pope and bishops, no word of mine, however harsh, was censored.

Here are a few excerpts from the scores of articles I wrote on this tragic topic.

In March 2002, Michael Woods boasted he'd got religious to pay €127m to compensate victims of State institutions.

"Extremely generous," said Bishop Walsh, chairman of the Bishops' Child Protection Committee.

I wrote: "Victim numbers may far exceed what Woods expects. The taxpayer could be left footing a huge bill for the unspeakable crimes against children that religious bodies have perpetrated over decades."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Less red tape for Qld church sex victims

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

June 21, 2009 - 11:54PM .
The Anglican Church in Brisbane has resolved to negotiate a protocol for waiving the time limit blocking child sex abuse victims from suing.

All states set a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for abuse victims to bring their cases to court.

A motion calling for the church to stop invoking the statute, which is 21 years in Queensland, was debated at the Brisbane diocese annual Synod on Sunday, but did not pass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

No church shift on child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael McKenna | June 22, 2009

THE Anglican Church yesterday voted down an internal push by clergy to drop the statute of limitations on legal action for child sexual abuse.

A motion before the three-day Brisbane synod, overseen by Primate Phillip Aspinall, would have set a nationwide precedent in exempting victims from laws that require they launch legal action by the time they turn 21.

Peter Shayler-Webb tabled a motion that said the legal defence "works great injustice to victims of child sexual abuse by preventing them bringing cases, whether they have merit or not".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

DUIN: Missionary kids abused sexually

UNITED STATES
The Washington Times

By Julia Duin | Sunday, June 21, 2009

I was at a book-signing event in Seattle a few months ago when I met Marilyn Christman, who asked me to look into the sexual abuse of Protestant missionary kids (MKs).

I ended up viewing "All God's Children: The Ultimate Sacrifice," a documentary by New York filmmakers Scott Solary and Luci Westphal. They were haunted by the stories of more than 80 children whose days at a Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) boarding school in Mamou, Guinea, in West Africa sound like something out of Abu Ghraib: savage beatings, sexual abuse, rape and sadistic punishments.

Kids were beaten so hard the yardsticks broke. Old film footage of happy children at school — with classic hymns as the soundtrack — is juxtaposed with stern-faced adults describing the horrible things done to them. Mrs. Christman says she was raped by five male dorm parents starting when she was 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Sex and the Priestly: Father Cutie Renews Celibacy Debate

Time

By Amy Sullivan Sunday, Jun. 21, 2009

It's hard out there for a pope these days. On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI launched what he is calling "The Year of Priests," exhorting Roman Catholics to spend the coming year honoring the sacrifice of their local pastors and directing priests to encourage each other so that they might, among other things, "be able to live fully the gift of celibacy and build thriving Christian communities."

Overshadowing the Pope's declaration, however, was the news that earlier in the week Father Alberto Cutie — the Miami-based priest and television personality who left the Catholic church last month amid soap opera-worthy scandal — had married his girlfriend of two years. Also making waves was the publication of former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland's memoir detailing his life as a closeted gay man within the church and the loneliness that drove him to pursue a sexual relationship with another man. Weakland, who stepped down seven years ago when he turned 75, the age when priests typically submit letters of resignation that the Church may or may not accept, is the highest-ranking Catholic leader to publicly reveal his homosexuality.

Although both he and Cutie have insisted they do not want to be held up as poster boys for changing the Church's celibacy requirement, their stories have added new fuel to a long-simmering debate. The Catholic Church in the U.S. has a serious priest crisis — the number of men entering the priesthood has dropped by 60% over the past four decades and the current average age of active priests is 60. Many dioceses have been forced to close parishes or import foreign priests to deal with shortages. But advocates of celibacy reform say there is a better solution: ditch the 900-year-old church law prohibiting priests from marrying or being sexually active.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Priest calls for inquiry into north’s institutions

IRELAND
Live Journal

By Diana Rusk
Irish News
19/06/09

THE publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, detailing the shocking scale of the abuse of children in homes run by clergy, has encouraged many more victims to come forward.

Fr Patrick McCafferty, who was sexually assaulted at the hands of a priest and who now helps other abuse survivors, said the report published last month had empowered victims to tell their story and find help.

In 2003, after decades of silence, the Belfast-born priest spoke publicly about his ordeal, to encourage the many hundreds of other victims to find the strength to deal with the horrors of their past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Minister accused of abuse

NEBRASKA
World-Herald

By Katie Fretland
World-Herald Staff Writer

A minister who served Spanish-speaking congregations in Council Bluffs and Lincoln has been charged with sexually abusing a child parishioner and forcing an adult woman to have sex with him.

Efrain Umana, 53, was extradited from Lincoln to Iowa last week. Tuesday night, he was released from the Pottawattamie County Jail after posting $50,000 bail.

According to an affidavit filed in Pottawattamie County District Court, Umana took the girl in 2003 to the sound room of the Council Bluffs church where he was pastor. He said he was looking for keys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Abuse victims deserve justice

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

First published in print: Sunday, June 21, 2009

The state Assembly should give serious consideration to the Markey/Duane Child Victims Act now before it.

All victims of childhood sexual abuse deserve access to civil court since access to the criminal justice system has been denied them forever by statutes of limitation.

It is unconscionable that the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in New York has seen fit to oppose legislation that would hold sexual predators, no matter their religious affiliation, accountable for their crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

We forced Christian behaviour into Catholic schools

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Dr Cyril Daly

Sunday June 21 2009

OVER the past several weeks, Irish people have suffered a sustained slur. The insinuations are grievous. And they are false. When children were being beaten in national schools and in secondary schools and in orphanages, Irish people, we are subtly invited to believe, did nothing and said nothing. That is a comprehensive lie. It is a deformation of Irish social and educational history.

Irish lay people did act, did speak, did organise, did demand and did finally force the authorities to stop corporal punishment in Irish schools. The last Irish child to be caned or strapped legally was caned or strapped on Friday, January 29, 1982 -- 27 years ago. From that date Irish people, by their sustained campaigns, forced Christian behaviour into our Catholic schools -- to the palpitating horror of priests, nuns, brothers and salt-of-the-earth lay teachers.

The strap was pulled from their hands. Not by Christian vision but by secular enforcement. That is a scandalous fact then, now and forever. We can never change that truth -- Christian values had to be forced by the secular arm of the State on teachers and religious. But we can, I hope, painfully but generously forgive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Climate of fear stymies open debate on sex abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sunday June 21 2009

PAYOUTS to victims of the recent earthquake in Italy had to be delayed last month after the number of people claiming for money turned out to be greater than the official population of the affected area.

The mayor of the worst hit town insisted indignantly that "the people of L'Aquila are not cheats", but he needn't have been so touchy. The prospect of money for nothing is bound to attract a few chancers. It's human nature.

It's become impossible, however, to suggest that any of those who claimed to have been the victims of abuse in Church-run institutions in Ireland might have been economical with the truth in the hope of financial gain, without being accused of siding with paedophiles. Even deviating by the slightest degree from the set of approved responses has become a risky undertaking. Fr Tom Coonan found that out last week when, during mass at St Joseph's church in Ballingar, Co Offaly, he observed that the boys sent to the nearby St Conleth's reformatory school in Daingean were... well, the next part is disputed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Bishop Murry has earned community’s appreciation

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

Published: Sun, June 21, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Ever since the American Catholic Church was rocked to its core in 2002 by credible newspaper reports that the church’s hierarchy had covered up numerous incidents of sexual abuse of minors by priests, we have adopted a hard line against bishops and archbishops who have been identified as protecting the clergy.

Our position is that while priests who indulge in sexual abuse and pedophilia are being punished as a result of the outcry from Catholics and non-Catholics, the hierarchy has not been called to account. Some of the most influential bishops and archbishops have sought to silence the accusers of the abusive priests with monetary payoffs and to protect the priests by assigning them to other parishes.

We have often criticized the failure of those in charge to deal with this shocking scandal in an honest, open, Christian manner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Fall from grace

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

THE ARREST of New York-based evangelist, the Reverend Dr Paul Lewis, has stunned the church community even as he remains behind bars at the Savanna-la-Mar police lock-up, in Westmoreland, facing charges of carnal abuse and indecent assault.

The charismatic Lewis, who was born in Jamaica, has developed a reputation as a minister with healing powers, and is the founder and president of The Messengers For Christ Ministries World Healing Centre based in New York.

But in Jamaica, Lewis is widely remembered as the man who baptised controversial dancehall star Desmond 'Ninja Man' Ballentine, who had a brief sojourn in the Church before returning to his secular ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

'Ashamed, humbled and repentant'

IRELAND
The Times of Malta

Fr Joe Borg

"They raped me on a Saturday, gave me an unmerciful beating afterwards, and then gave me Communion on Sunday. My God."

This is just one quotation from the Ryan report or to use its official title 'The Report of the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse'. The report compiles 2,600 pages of documented experiences like the one above. It shows very clearly that physical and sexual abuse was endemic in Irish institutions for boys run by religious orders between 1940 and the late 1970s.

Hundreds of children were systematically beaten, flogged, kicked, physically assaulted, scalded, burned, held under water, beaten in front of other staff, residents, patients and pupils as well as sexually abused.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said he was overcome with anger and disgust when he read the report, and at one point while reading it, he hurled the document across the room; later, he had trouble sleeping. Mgr Martin had openly opposed the effort of his predecessor, Cardinal Desmond Connell, to prevent the release of documents showing how the Dublin archdiocese handled sex-abuse complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

June 20, 2009

Group asks Diocese to consider moratorium on closing of churches

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

by Hart Seely/The Post-Standard
Saturday June 20, 2009, 3:50 PM
About 170 people from parishes throughout Central New York came together today in Syracuse to formally petition the Syracuse Catholic Diocese to reconsider its plans for consolidating and closing local churches.

The group will pass petitions and make a direct appeal to new Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, asking him to call a moratorium on the reconfiguration program, until the decision-making process has been reviewed.

Today's meeting at the Bishop Harrison Center on Lancaster Avenue brought speakers from several parishes that have been consolidated or face imminent closure. Some spoke of frustration with the system and the negative impacts they believe it has had on the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Parishioners vow to fight church closings

SYRACUSE (NY)
News 10 Now

[with video]

06/20/2009 06:44 PM
By: Tamara Lindstrom

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- About 100 people gathered in Syracuse Saturday in an effort to stop the Catholic Diocese from closing more churches.

"What we object to in the strongest terms is shutting down a vibrant, financially strong Catholic community because we see that as a continuation of a retreat which Catholicism is now engaged in," said Peter Borre, chair of the Council of Parishes located in Boston. Borre has fought reconfiguration in Boston for five years, and was brought in to give the parishioners advice.

The Syracuse diocese has closed dozens of churches in the last three years, and more mergers and closings are in the works.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Sex, lies and the Internet: priests and pornography caught in the Web

KENYA
Saturday Nation

By GITAU WARIGI, gwarigi@nation.co.kePosted Saturday, June 20 2009 at 18:10

Perverts have had a bad time this past week, which is just as well. They are a creeping menace. I am told they are considered the lowest of the low by even hardcore convicts. They are terribly humiliated by fellow inmates when they are sent to Kamiti or Shimo la Tewa prisons.

One of them was arrested recently when he foolishly presented himself at a Nairobi studio to collect photographs from a film he had sent to be developed. It contained pictures of naked women and – hello – children. I am on the prudish side, but I know very well that there is a thriving underground market for such pornographic enterprise in this country and beyond; it is something akin to the market for hard drugs.

No question about it: the Internet has been a revolutionary purveyor of every bit of information one can think of. This also means it can be used to transmit every kind of smut imaginable. ...

The august institution called the Catholic Church has been caught up in this messy mix. The
allegations affect a missionary and former columnist for this newspaper, Fr Renato Kizito. Simultaneously, the controversy over priests who have chosen to break with the church because of mandatory celibacy rules has been getting wide play.

As far as I know, a Catholic priest takes certain vows, one of which is celibacy. Nobody drags him into it. If along the way he loses the vision, it is quite hilarious to blame the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Accused Asheville priest's hearing delayed

ASHEVILLE (NC)
Citizen-Times

Staff Reports • June 20, 2009 12:15 AM

ASHEVILLE — A court hearing for a former priest accused of deleting hundreds of child pornographic images from the home computer of his music minister has been continued until August.

The Rev. John Schneider is scheduled to have a probable cause hearing Aug. 14 on a felony charge of obstruction of justice. Schneider, 56, resigned from St. Eugene Catholic Church following his June 9 arrest.

A warrant states that Schneider entered the North Ridge Drive apartment of former music minister Paul Lawrence Berrell on May 18 and deleted hundreds of pornographic images of children “in secret and with malice” during a criminal investigation of Berrell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Old boys defend Father Kizito

KENYA
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Written By: Wangari Kanyongo, Posted: Sat, Jun 20, 2009

Beneficiaries of Kivuli Rehabilitation Centre ran by a Catholic Church priest at the centre of a child abuse scandal have come out to strongly defend their benefactor.

The beneficiaries under the umbrella of the Kivuli Old Boys Welfare Association (KOBWA) say the centre's founder Father Renato Kizito is being framed by his detractors.

The old boys who were joined by the children from the centre say that their image has been tarnished by reports that their benefactor has been sexually abusing some of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Victims ask for justice, bishops ask for forgiveness

IRELAND
The Sunday Times (Philippines)

By Fr. Shay Cullen

It was not so much a “march of misery” than one of memories. There was plenty of both as many as five thousand people walked silently through the streets of the capital Dublin to the seat of the Irish government, Dail Eireann, to remember the thousands of children who suffered abuse in the more that 216 Irish institutions run by religious orders for 70 years until they were closed down in the late 1970s. I marched with them to remember and walk in solidarity and to join my voice to those who have vowed to defend children’s rights without compromise.

There were survivors on the march, the relatives of the victims and thousands of supporters. It was dignified and yet emotional. Christine Buckley, a survivor and campaigner for justice for victims of clerical abuse, spoke powerfully of the 10 years of struggle to have their voices heard, their suffering acknowledged and just recompense made. “This was the day they were all striving for,” she said. The long awaited Ryan Report on the history of child abuse in the Church-run industrial schools finally exposed the extent and severity of the physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse they suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Pope Appoints CDF Under-Secretary, Bulawayo Archbishop

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(20 June 09 - RV) On Saturday Pope Benedict made a series of appointments.

He named Monsignor Damiano Marzotto Caotorta, under secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Msgr. Caotorta replaces Archbishop-elect Di Noia who has gone to fill the post of under secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.

Also Saturday the Holy Father appointed Indian Divine Word Missionary Alex Thomas KALIYANIL Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo Zimbabwe.

The Archdiocese has been without a pastoral leader since the resignation of Archbishop Pius Ncube in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Pope Benedict appoints new archbishop, replaces Pius Ncube

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe Guardian

Nancy Pasipanodya

Sat, 20 Jun 2009 13:13:00 +0000

POPE BENEDICT XVI has appointed Indian Divine Word Missionary Alex Thomas Kaliyanil Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo Zimbabwe, replacing disgraced Archbishop Pius Ncube who stepped down in 2007.

The Archdiocese has been without a pastoral leader since Ncube's resignation. A fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe, Ncube was forced to step down after he was accused of having an affair and fathering a son with a Ms Rosemary Sibanda.

The Archbishop elect, who was born in the Archeparchy of Changanacherry in India, has served as a missionary priest in Zimbabwe since 1987 when he was solemnly professed as a Divine Mercy Missionary. He was ordained a priest in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Judge acquits pastor in molestation case

MISSOURI
Columbia Daily Tribune

A Moberly pastor was acquitted Tuesday in Boone County Circuit Court on a charge of second-degree child molestation.

James M. Wilson, 42, of Renick still faces a Sept. 14 trial in Randolph County on a kidnapping charge. Wilson, who is also the principal of Terrill Road Christian Academy in Moberly, was found not guilty by Associate Circuit Judge Larry Bryson on the molestation charge.

Wilson’s 16-year-old accuser told authorities Wilson took her in May 2008 from Moberly to a Columbia hotel, where she claimed that he fondled her. Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Scholz said Bryson determined certain aspects of the girl’s testimony were not credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Former altar boy alleges in suit that L.A. priest molested him

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Duke Helfand
June 19, 2009
A former altar boy sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Thursday, alleging that he was sexually abused by a priest in 1987 shortly before the priest fled to his native Mexico to avoid criminal prosecution over other molestation allegations.

The plaintiff, now 32, alleges that when he was 9 or 10, Father Nicholas Aguilar-Rivera molested him repeatedly at a Catholic church near downtown Los Angeles.

The lawsuit asserts that an official with the archdiocese later encouraged Aguilar-Rivera to leave Los Angeles after parents of several children from the parish reported similar abuse to church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Brooklyn ‘Prophet’ Preacher Charged With Carnal Abuse in Caribbean

NEW YORK
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

By Howard Campbell
Associated Press
and Ryan Thompson
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A Brooklyn-based Pentecostal faith healer who has led crusades around the world was charged last week with sexually abusing a teenage girl in his native Jamaica.

Paul Lewis, of the The Messengers for Christ World Healing Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault in an incident involving a 15-year-old girl in the western Jamaican city of Negril, police said.

Lewis, 45, made an initial court appearance on the charges but did not enter a plea. A judge ordered him held without bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Va. Beach Sunday school assistant accused of sexually abusing child

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
The Virginian-Pilot

The Virginian-Pilot
June 19, 2009
By Ricardo Lopez

Virginia Beach police arrested a Sunday school teaching assistant Friday after reports of sexual abuse by a child in his class, police said in a news release.

Shea Mathew Huffman, 18, has been charged with custodial indecent liberties and forcible sodomy. Huffman worked at Calvary Assembly of God at 4925 Providence Road. The alleged abuse occurred from January 2008 until June 2009, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

400 cases of sexual abuse by Dutch clergy

NETHERLANDS
Expatica Netherlands

More than 400 cases of sexual abuse by clergy have been reported in the Netherlands since 1995

The Netherlands - The allegations were made on Friday night by television programme Zembla.

Among the victims are people who sought council from both Catholic priests and Protestant ministers.

The offenders include clergy holding a variety of functions and ranks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Pope opens Year for Priests, says they must witness God's compassion

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Formally opening the Year for Priests, Pope Benedict urged all priests to strive for holiness and said the ordained ministry was indispensable for the church and the world.

"The church needs priests who are holy, ministers who help the faithful experience the merciful love of the Lord and who are convinced witnesses of that love," the pope said at a prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica June 19.

At the same time, in an apparent reference to cases of priestly sex abuse, he warned of the "terrible risk of damaging those we are obliged to save."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Brooklyn pastor, Dr. Paul Lewis, busted in Jamaica for teen sex rap

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY Alison Gendar
DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU CHIEF

Saturday, June 20th 2009, 4:00 AM

A Brooklyn pastor was busted in his native Jamaica for having sex with a 15-year-old girl while a 14-year-old watched, authorities said yesterday.

The Rev. Paul Lewis, founder of the Messengers for Christ Ministries World Healing Center, was held without bail on charges of carnal abuse and indecent assault, Jamaican police said.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant evangelist was arrested Wednesday after witnesses saw him hanging out with the girls and then taking them to a hotel, police said. Lewis, 45, who was on the island for a crusade at a local church, is accused of offering the girls between $30 and $60 for the romp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Roots of a warped view of sexuality

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Why is it that child sex abuse was more prevalent in Irish Catholicism than elsewhere? To answer that question it is necessary to go back to the Famine and examine how sex became a taboo, writes PATSY McGARRY

YOU MIGHT have seen that report on the RTÉ TV news last Monday from Charlie Bird in Mendham, New Jersey. There, they erected the first monument in the world to victims of clerical child sex abuse.

It is a 180kg basalt stone, in the shape of a millstone, with a chain running through it. An inscription attached reads, in those unequivocal words of Jesus from Matthew’s gospel, concerning those who would harm the young: “It would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”.

The monument was inspired by a suicide, in October 12th, 2003, of 37-year-old James Kelly, who had been sexually abused as a child by a priest in Mendham. His abuser was Fr James Hanley, who had served at St Joseph’s parish in Mendham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

June 19, 2009

Celebrity priest who was attacked for speaking out against child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Ryle Dwyer

Saturday, June 20, 2009

WHILE Eamon de Valera was dreaming of comely maidens dancing at the crossroads, young boys were being flogged and buggered by a sordid assortment of perverted clergy and depraved Christian Brothers.

He should have known what was going on, but he chose to ignore it, just as we are ignoring things now.

Edward J Flanagan, who was born near the Galway village of Ballymoe in 1886, emigrated to the United States in 1904. He studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1912 and went to minister in Nebraska. In 1917 he founded a home for homeless boys in Omaha, and later set up Boys Town about 10 miles outside the city in 1921.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Abuse report 'only part of the story'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

BRIAN KAVANAGH

CHURCH OF Ireland Primate Archbishop Alan Harper welcomed an audit report of church work with young people as good news for Irish children and those who work with them, at a time when the country is still reeling from the fallout of the Ryan report on child abuse in industrial schools.“It is important to say that there is a great amount of good news out there, a lot of positive things that need to be said, and it would be an enormous pity if the good news was, so to speak, blocked out by the enormous furore of the negative,” the archbishop said.

“That is not to minimise the negative experiences of those who have suffered in the past, except to say that isn’t the whole story, its only part of the story,” he added.

The archbishop was joined by Minister of State for Children Barry Andrews and representatives from youth agencies at the report launch in Church of Ireland House in Dublin yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

US watchdog preparing report on child abuse

UNITED STATES
The Irish Times

KEVIN CULLEN in Boston

AN AMERICAN watchdog group says it is preparing an American version of the Ryan report to document the abuse of children and young adults in institutions run by religious orders in the United States.

It says it is also building a pair of databases that will name Irish priests and religious who abused minors in Ireland.

Officials at BishopAccountability.org, the Boston-based group that grew out of the scandal of the cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by priests that rocked the US Catholic Church seven years ago, said they were inspired to compile evidence of institutional abuse at some 1,000 institutions across the United States after reading the Ryan report.

Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org, said the Catholic Church in the US was modelled on the Irish Catholic Church. Indeed, at the turn of the 20th century, the vast majority of priests in the US were Irish. To this day, about two-thirds of American bishops are of Irish descent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Diocesan webmaster pleads guilty to child porn charges, was hired despite assault convictions

CANADA
Catholic Culture

June 19, 2009
The former webmaster of the northern Canadian Diocese of Mackenzie-Ft. Smith has pled guilty to internet child-pornography charges. Charles McGee-- who was also an attorney-- had been convicted twice for sexually assaulting young girls.

“When he was hired with us a year and a half ago, it was felt that it was a second-chance opportunity in a totally safe setting in terms of no contact with minors,” said Bishop Murray Chatlain, who apologized last month for the systemic abuse of Native American children in residential schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Pope losing patience with Austrian bishops, Vatican-watcher reports

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

June 19, 2009
This week's extraordinary meeting at the Vatican, in which the Pope and leaders of the Roman Curia conferred with a delegation of Austrian bishops, was called because the Pontiff is "upset over how [the Austrian bishops] have allowed rebellions and abuses to run free," reports Sandro Magister of L'Espresso. "The statement released at the end of the meeting didn't say so, but for two days in a row the Austrian bishops faced severe criticism," Magister continues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Fresh twist to Kizito sex claim probe

KENYA
Daily Nation

By DOMINIC WABALA
Posted Friday, June 19 2009 at 20:14

Investigations into claims of sexual abuse of four boys by a Catholic priest entered their second day on Friday with one of the boys allegedly failing to implicate the cleric.

A senior police officer said that one of the boys claimed he could not recall being abused by the priest, Father Renato Kizito.

The three other boys are reported to have accused the priest, who runs a home for destitute boys, of sexually abusing them. But a police doctor’s medical examination of the four did not find any conclusive evidence that they had been sexually abused.
The alleged victims, aged 11, 17, 24 and 25 years, were scheduled to be examined again yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Tampa Pastor arrested for molestation

FLORIDA
ABC Action News

Reported by: Carly Timmons
Email: ctimmons@abcactionnews.com

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL -- A Tampa Pastor was arrested for lewd & lascivious molestation from a March 2007 incident.

In March 2007, Jose Dossantos unlawfully touched a 12-year-old female victim without her consent.

Dossantos was 40-years-old at the time and a church pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Baptist ministers facing sex charges appear in court

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Friday, June 19, 2009
LIBERTY, Mo. (ABP) -- Southern Baptist ministers in three states facing molestation charges had recent days in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Potters House Church pastor charged with molesting 12-year-old

FLORIDA
TBO

TBO.com Staff

Published: June 19, 2009

A church pastor has been charged with lewd and lascivious molestation in connection with a March 2007 incident involving a 12-year-old girl.

Jose A. Dossantos, 42, of 7013 Early Gold Lane, Riverview, was arrested Thursday and released from jail today after posting a surety bond.

Jail records indicate Dossantos is the pastor of Potters House Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Kenya: Missionaries Call for Justice in Sex Abuse Claim

KENYA
allAfrica

Comboni Missionaries, the religious congregation of a priest accused of child molestation, has said it expects justice to prevail in the matter.

"We Comboni Missionaries are shocked and saddened by the accusations against one of our own priests, Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana. Fr. Kizito has been involved in many humanitarian projects for the good of the people of this country," the congregation said in a statement signed by the Provincial Superior, Fr. Mariano Tibaldo.

"We totally submit to the law of the country but we underline that no one is guilty until proven so. So let justice prevail. We likewise want to submit to the indications of the Holy See. In this difficult moment let Fr. Kizito feel we are near him with brotherly care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Pope deplores 'acts of infidelity' by priests

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE POPE has deplored acts of infidelity by priests and has called for “a frank and complete acknowledgment” of the Catholic Church’s weakness.

In what is being interpreted as an indirect response to the Ryan report, as well as to clerical sex abuse generally, he said yesterday that there had been “situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers”. ...

However one US victims’ group said yesterday that his words of sorrow “ring hollow”.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, said: “It’s tiresome again to see verbal Vatican posturing about clergy sex crimes devoid of any action whatsoever or any admission that the real issue remains: callous bishops who continue to recklessly and deceptively transfer sexually troubled priests to unsuspecting parishes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Attorney: Revive suit over abuse in mid- '70s

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY CHARLIE FRAGO

Posted on Friday, June 19, 2009

A 44-year-old Little Rock man should be allowed to revive a civil suit contending that he was abused more than three decades ago, his attorney argued before the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday.

Paul Barre's suit against a former scoutmaster, the Boy Scouts of America and Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church was dismissed in 2007 by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Ellen Brantley because the three-year statute of limitations had run out.

Barre said he didn't remember the abuse he blamed on Charles Emmett "Chick" Hoffman Jr. until 2003, after work with a therapist allowed him to recover the repressed memory of being fondled and receiving oral sex at age 12 by Hoffman at a Scout camp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

FoI might have exposed abuse, says Information Commissioner

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor

THE RYAN Commission Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Institutions might not have been necessary if freedom of information legislation existed, according to Information Commissioner Emily O’Reilly.

Speaking at a conference on the Freedom of Information Act organised by Public Affairs Ireland, she asked: “What might have been the outcome if 30 years ago, FoI legislation had allowed the public to rip away the secretive bureaucratic veils that hid the industrial schools and other institutions from clear view and exposed the practices therein?

“Leaving aside the abuse itself, a money trail might have uncovered the commercial exploitation of the children and the mismatch between State funding and the actual amounts parcelled out to the children by way of food, clothing and education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

After Ryan, one of the more disturbing by-products is that Religious have been made scapegoats<

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By D Vincent Twomey

Friday June 19 2009

Another by-product is the way politicians and secular commentators are using the present outrage to promote their own agenda

The media, including the Irish Independent, gave full coverage to my reference to the perpetrators of abuse in Catholic-run institutions as the "dregs of society" (in fact I added "of a certain kind"). This was when I took part in a lively debate on Radio Ulster about an article I had written. I regret very much this slip of the tongue, which has, understandably, caused offence. What was not reported was what I added almost immediately: "Don't forget, there were many other thousands of Religious who were doing extraordinary good work looking after the sick and educating a country that had been abandoned by [the British] government for 200 years."

The original article, together with the subsequent radio discussion, was an initial attempt to understand how such evil could become endemic in the institutions mentioned in the Ryan report and be tolerated by the society of the time.

Victims' group questions U.S. Catholic Church ties to Irish sex abuse scandal

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

By Abe Levy on Jun 18, 09 12:51 PM

As the national body of Catholic bishops launched its spring meeting at a River Walk hotel Wednesday, a handful of protesters were denied access to deliver a letter of concern about pedophile priests in Ireland, a problem they believe the bishops have so far ignored.

Addressed to Cardinal Francis George, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the letter asks the bishops to condemn the child sex abuse scandal recently made public in an Irish government report -- and reveal any ties to the U.S. Catholic Church.

The letter questions specifically whether pedophile priests from Catholic orphanages, boarding schools and other residential programs in Ireland were sent to similar institutions in the United States only to contribute to the pedophile priest scandal here, which became widely known in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Brothers seek forgiveness over abuse

IRELAND
CathNews

Ryan Commission Report on abuse in institutions, Christian Brothers congregational leader, Br Philip Pinto, has called on the brothers to become "more human and compassionate" and to "seek forgiveness" from victims.

The 2,600 page report found that for decades rape was "endemic" in more than 250 Irish Catholic institutions from the 1930s to the 1990s, and that the Church protected pedophiles in its ranks from arrest.

In a letter sent to Christian Brothers throughout the world, Br Pinto said the report was "very critical" of many institutions, including those run by the Christian Brothers, and the findings "leave us all ashamed and humbled".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Group looks for abuse in Catholic schools

UNITED STATES
United Press International

Published: June 18, 2009 at 9:00 PM

WALTHAM, Mass., June 18 (UPI) -- Catholic schools in the United States may have had the same pattern of abuse revealed by the Ryan Report in Ireland, a Massachusetts group says.

BishopAccountability.org, based in Waltham, posted a list on its Web site of 12 Roman Catholic schools where teachers or other staff members have already faced charges of molesting children, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

The Ryan Report documented years of sexual and physical abuse of boys and girls in institutions run by the Christian Brothers, Sisters of Mercy and other Catholic religious orders. While most of the abuse occurred years ago, the report has sparked a call to end the church's dominant role in education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Ireland needs to restore damaged reputation

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Brendan Keenan

Friday June 19 2009

AFTER the twin scandals of Anglo-Irish Bank and the Ryan report into institutional abuse, Ireland needs to restore its damaged international reputation by applying high standards of governance, a major cross-border economic conference heard yesterday.

Frances Ruane, director of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) said it was an "unfortunate coincidence" that the evidence of wrongdoing at Anglo and the Ryan report came so close together.

"There is a real issue about restoring our reputation," she told the conference organised by InterTrade Ireland, the cross-border development body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Judge: New evidence very likely to produce different result on retrial, in case of Santillan vs Bishop of Fresno

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Creator, City of Angels Blog

Plaintiffs claim new evidence shows defendant frequently received reports of molestation which were either never documented or the documentation was ‘lost.’ (- Judge granting new trial in Fresno this week)

Plaintiffs also question: If this new witness and his mother reported pedophile behavior in 1967, why is there nothing about the report in the files defendants turned over before the first trial?

A date for new trial should be set at a status conference in Fresno July 15th.

Trying to prevent the new trial, Defendant the Bishop of Fresno claimed since they turned over the name of this new witness during pretrial discovery, his testimony is hardly new evidence. Defendants say plaintiffs had plenty of time to find him and interview him before the March 2009 trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

And here comes the drama in the Cutié marriage

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

Now that ex-priest Alberto Cutié is a married man, a honeymoon should be in the making for him and his bride Ruhama Buni Canellis.

Instead, the couple will battle in court with the bride's ex-boyfriend, who says they owe him $15,000 and that the newlyweds conspired with Biscayne Park cops to kick him out of the picture.

In a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Maxi Paulus Ratunuman, 44, says Biscayne Park police arrested him without cause on June 6 while he was installing floor tiles in a customer's house on Griffing Boulevard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

International pastor’s lawyer to seek bail

JAMAICA
Go Jamaica

Attorney-at-law Michael Erskine, who is one of the lawyers representing the international pastor arrested on allegations of engaging in sexual activities with two teenaged girls in Jamaica, says he will be seeking bail for his client.

Reverend Dr. Paul Lewis was remanded yesterday when he appeared in the Sav-la-mar Resident Magistrates Court in Westmoreland.

Mr. Esrkine says he will be making a bail application in the Supreme Court next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Affidavit Alleges Sexual Assault By Iowa Pastor

COUNCIL BLUFFS (IA)
KETV

COUNCIL Bluffs, Iowa. -- A pastor in Council Bluffs has been accused of sexually assaulting at least two women and one girl during the past six years.

An affidavit out of Pottawattamie County details allegations against Efrain Umana.

Umana was arrested in Lincoln and paid bond Thursday to be released from Pottawattamie County Jail, said Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilbur

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Pastor charged for alleged sexual abuse of teenage girl

JAMAICA
Dominica News

BY CMC

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC - A United States-based Pentecostal pastor has been charged for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage girl in Jamaica.

Paul Lewis, 45, was questioned in the presence of his attorney Michael Erskine Wednesday and later charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault for an alleged incident involving a 15-year-old girl.

The pastor is accused of carrying out the act at a hotel in the western city of Negril.

Lewis, who was born in Jamaica but lives in New York, was arrested on Sunday just as he was about to preach at a crusade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

SF vs. the Catholics, Round One

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Bay Guardian

By Rachel Buhner

The highly anticipated showdown between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the San Francisco Assessor-Recorders Office came to head June 16th in the Atrium conference room located at One South Van Ness. At stake is millions of dollars in revenue to the city, and perhaps the question of whether the Catholic Church will be able to hide hundreds of millions in assets from sexual abuse victims and other litigants.

Arguing in front of the Transfer Tax Review Board, the legal counsel for both the RCA and the Assessor-Recorder’s Office presented their respective cases with minimal theatrics. However, with the city estimating the total property values of the transferred parcels ranging anywhere from $210 million to $1.25 billion, and the potential transfer tax payout to be somewhere between $3 and $15 million – on top of increased property taxes as the properties are reassessed -- there was clearly at a lot at stake for both parties.


Each side began by offering arguments for and against the payment of the transfer taxes, with little new information being offered beyond previous filings. Using PowerPoint presentations, intricate graphs and convoluted Canon Law citations, the counsels presented their reasoning as to why the taxes are owed, or why the RCA should be exempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

John Fidler: Are children still at risk of abuse from Catholic priests?

READING (PA)
Reading Eagle

They are more than naked, the girls lined up side by side while nuns taunt them about the most intimate parts of their bodies. Charity and mercy are missing in this asylum for girls caught kissing boys, for being raped or in some cases, for simply being too pretty.

While the nuns throw their taunts like so many darts, some of the girls cry; some stare through their tormentors, numb to the mistreatment.

In Peter Mullan's shattering film from 2002, "The Magdalene Sisters," scene follows scene in which the nuns humiliate, abuse and otherwise deny the humanity of a sampling of the 30,000 girls believed to have been persecuted in these Irish asylums over a century. The last Magdalene Asylum closed in 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

'Uniform approach' needed to abuse issue

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Paul Osborne
June 19, 2009 - 4:29PM
Anglican leader Archbishop Phillip Aspinall has called on all states to make it easier for child sexual abuse victims to sue churches.

Archbishop Aspinall's call comes in the wake of an independent report commissioned by his church which found it took on average 23 years for a victim of sexual abuse to report their abuse.

All states set a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for abuse victims to bring their cases to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

RYAN REPORT: Sinn Féin in the Dáil debate on the clerical child abuse scandal and cover-up

IRELAND
An Phoblacht

BY MÍCHEÁL Mac DONNCHA

ONE of the most emotional demonstrations ever seen on the streets of Dublin was witnessed in Ireland and beyond these shores last week. Thousands of people who had been abused as children in institutions run by Catholic religious orders and by the state walked from Parnell Square to Leinster House on the eve of the Dáil debate on the Ryan Report.

The Ryan Report has documented a catalogue of horrific abuse of children stretching over decades and cover-up of that abuse by church and state. It has reopened the debate on the flawed 2002 deal between the Fianna Fáil/PD Government and the religious orders and it has led to calls for more support for the victims and action to aid children at risk today. Further revelations are expected in the forthcoming report on clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin diocese.

Speaking in the Dáil debate on the Ryan Report, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called for the establishment of an independent international audit of the assets of the religious orders responsible for systematic child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Men allege sexual abuse by D.C.-area priest in 1950s-60s

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Examiner

By: Maria Schmitt
Special to The Examiner
06/18/09 8:21 PM EDT

Three men have alleged in lawsuits that they were sexually abused decades ago by a Washington-area priest.

One of the alleged victims, George Thompson, now lives in Arizona. He said in his lawsuit that Joseph Dooley sexually abused him while Dooley was monsignor at St. John the Baptist Church in Silver Spring and Thompson was a teenage parishioner.

Thompson alleges the attacks occurred between 1963 and 1967.

Two other men, who do not want their names to be made public, allege in another suit that Dooley abused them while they were young parishioners of Dooley’s in the late 1950s through the mid-’60s at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bethesda and Annunciation Catholic Church in Northwest Washington. One of the men says he served as an altar boy and was only 9 years old when the abuse started.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Vatican City: Pope Alludes to Ireland’s Abuse Scandals

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: June 18, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI called on Thursday for a “frank and complete acknowledgment” of the “weaknesses” of priests and denounced those who did not honor their vows. It was the pope’s first statement on such matters since a state-appointed commission in Ireland last month reported “endemic” sexual and physical abuse in church-run residential schools there from the 1930s to the 1990s, when the last of the institutions closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Qld Anglicans vote on abuse time statute

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

June 19, 2009 - 10:44AM
Anglican leader Archbishop Phillip Aspinall has been called on to drop the time-limit defence blocking child sex victims from suing for abuse in church schools and parishes.

Brisbane priest, the Reverend Peter Shayler-Webb, will move a motion at this weekend's Brisbane Anglican synod calling for the church not to invoke the statute of limitations.

The motion says that the legal defence "works great injustice to victims of child sexual abuse by preventing them bringing cases, whether they have merit or not".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Lobbying Intensifies, but Fate of Sex Abuse Bill Is Up in the Air

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: June 18, 2009
ALBANY — The political education of Beth McCabe began a few years ago, when she took her turn at the microphone here during a Senate committee hearing on childhood sexual abuse.

As Ms. McCabe, a consultant for nonprofit groups, testified about being abused as a 10-year-old, and saw the pained reaction of elected officials in the hushed room, she had a kind of epiphany, she said: that maybe her personal story — painful and private for so many years — would have the power to change public policy.

It was a moment of pure insight, common to many of the volunteer advocates who have been trawling the Capitol hallways for months, lobbying for a bill that would permit adults to file suit over childhood sexual abuse that may have occurred long ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Priest told to leave Charleroi parish

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, June 19, 2009
By Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A veteran Catholic priest recently accused of a long-ago sexual assault was abruptly told to pack his belongings and leave his parish in short order, the pastor's lawyer said yesterday.

John P. Liekar Jr. said the Rev. David F. Dzermejko told him that a priest from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh "met with him, made the allegation and told him to get out. He had one hour to gather what he could and he had to get out on the street."

The diocese on Monday placed Father Dzermejko, 61, on administrative leave from Mary, Mother of the Church parish in Charleroi while an internal inquiry runs its course.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Phila. abuse suit targets Catholic order

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

A nephew of the late New York Cardinal John O'Connor says he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest while a student at Father Judge High School in Northeast Philadelphia.

Attorneys for Rich Green, O'Connor's 31-year-old nephew, announced yesterday that they were filing a lawsuit in Delaware against the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, whose Wilmington-Philadelphia Province dispatches teachers to schools from Boston to Florida.

The suit alleges that the late Rev. John M. McDevitt, an Oblate, abused Green in the early 1990s when Green was a 14-year-old freshman at Judge and McDevitt was his religion teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Sex allegations against priest, nearly 20 years later

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH
Philadelphia Daily News
sbarned-smith@phillynews.com 215-854-5926

When Jack McDevitt made his farewell speech to Philadelphia City Council in June 1962 before beginning his studies for the priesthood, his mother cried tears of happiness.

"He was destined to be a priest since he was an infant," she said in a Daily News article at the time.

And a fellow councilman said: "I've never seen him angry. . . . I know he'll be a very fine priest."

But John M. McDevitt Jr.'s legacy became clouded yesterday when a Salem County, N.J., man filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, molestation and physical abuse by the priest, who died in 1999 at age 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

June 18, 2009

Memorial Plaque for US Clerical Sex Abuse Victims

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ News, Six One News

June 15, 2009

By Charlie Bird

[With photos of the monument. A BishopAccountability.org transcript of RTÉ News report.]

Sharon Ní Bheoláin: The Catholic church in the United States has paid out billions of dollars in compensation to the survivors of child abuse. One town, Mendham in New Jersey, where a local priest abused over 20 children back in the early 80s. Our Washington correspondent, Charlie Bird, reports from Mendham, where the local people have built a memorial to the survivors.

Charlie Bird: This is the picturesque town of Mendham in New Jersey, about an hour from New York. In the early 80s the community of 5,000 people was rocked by one of the biggest abuse scandals to hit the Catholic church in the United States. It emerged that a local priest, Father James Hanley, had been abusing children in his care for years.

“It will be better [for] that person to have a millstone hung around his neck and thrown into the depth of the sea.”

Pat Serrano: That’s correct, and it’s true, I wish we had some millstones. I will say, we did have forget-me-nots here, the day of the dedication, and we want to show all victims that we will not forget them.

Bird: Pat Serrano’s son Mark was the first to break his silence on the abuse. In October 2003, another abuse victim, Jim Kelly, took his own life, and as a result of his death, some of the survivors and their families decided to erect a memorial in the form of a millstone.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:12 PM

New Jersey Memorial to Abuse Victims

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ Radio 1, Morning Ireland

June 15, 2009

By Charlie Bird

[BishopAccountability.org transcript of RTÉ Radio 1 report.]

Aoife Kavanagh: One of the recommendations of the recent Ryan report on child abuse was that some consideration should be given to an appropriate memorial here. Well, in Mendham, New Jersey, in the U.S. they have their own tribute to the victims who suffered at the hands of Catholic priests. Our Washington correspondent, Charlie Bird, has been to Mendham to see the memorial.

Charlie Bird: Pat Serrano, we’re here at St. Joseph’s in Mendham in New Jersey. We’re looking at a millstone, and it says, the dedication says, this millstone is dedicated to victims of sexual abuse at St. Joseph’s and everywhere as a tribute to their survival, a mark of our deep respect, and as a symbol of our commitment to their healing. Jesus said, Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you. Tell me about the significance of this millstone.

Pat Serrano: This church, St. Joseph’s in Mendham, had many many boys who were abused by a pastor between 1972 and ’82. My son Mark was abused from age 9 to 16 by Father James Hanley, and Mark went through many many troubled years, as they do, but in 2002, his story was in the New York Times, which brought out many many of the other survivors. In October of 2003, Jim Kelly, one of three brothers who were abused by James Hanley, went under a train in Morristown. And at the funeral, Bill Crane, from Oregon, another survivor, wanted a tribute, and he thought of the millstone, and it was made in Oregon from a piece of basalt, brought here, and put here at St. Joseph’s, thanks to Father Ken Lasch, who was the pastor at the time. And it is a great symbol to survivors who can make it through the horrors of their childhood abuse, and they stole their souls when they were children. But this millstone brought this hunting grounds of Hanley to a healing place, and finally, a hallowed place.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:04 PM

Religious Order Target of Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KYW

by KYW's David Madden

A lawsuit has been filed in Delaware on behalf of a former student at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia who alleges a priest molested him while in his freshman year in 1991.

The suit contends the late Father John McDevitt coerced then-14-year-old Richard Green -- a nephew of deceased New York Cardinal John O’Connor -- in the 1990-91 school year. Green,now 31, is represented by attorney Michael Reck. As for McDevitt:

"He threatened him with low grades in his religion class in order to entice him into private tutoring sessions, and during the private tutoring sessions, he proceeded to sexually abuse the plaintiff."


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Accused Priest to Become Bishop

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Today's TMJ4

Mick Trevey

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Archdiocese publicly lists Father Joseph Collova as a likely sexual abuser and removed him from ministry. Now, a different church plans to ordain Collova a bishop.

In the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Collova was removed from ministry over the abuse allegations. He was eventually excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This weekend, the Chicago-based American Apostolic Church plans to install Collova as a bishop in Milwaukee.

Collova maintains he did not abuse anyone. He was not convicted in court.

However, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests is upset over Collova's upcoming ordination. "It’s extremely disturbing," said Peter Isely. who is a local leader of the Network. "What he did was so heinous that they will never ever allow him to be a Catholic priest and around children and families in parishes ever again," Isely said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade -- the Real Scandal in Flight of RC Priest to TEC

MIAMI (FL)
Virtue Onlinei

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
6/17/2009

The frenetic media attention surrounding telegenic former Roman Catholic priest Fr. Alberto Cutie's flight from his church to The Episcopal Church and thus breaking his vows, the church's rule of celibacy and then marrying his divorced girlfriend, missed the real story.

Cutie is not the first priest to leave the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of celibacy. He certainly won't be the last, but he is certainly one of the first to leave it so publicly while acknowledging an affair with a formerly married woman and then being accepted into another Christian denomination - The Episcopal Church - where he has been made more welcome than the Prodigal Son.

Over the years, thousands of priests have left the Catholic Church unable to handle celibacy, but they did so quietly without causing scandal, giving no offense to their superiors, and choosing to be laicized while still remaining faithful Roman Catholics. I have met quite a number and they are embarrassed and angry by Alberto Cutie's behavior. His celebrity status has only aggravated the situation.

Cutie's sudden reception into The Episcopal Church by the ultra-liberal Episcopal Bishop of Southeast Florida, The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, is the real scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Area man charged with child sex abuse was church youth leader

TROY (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Nancy Bowman
Staff Writer
Updated 3:43 PM Thursday, June 18, 2009
TROY— A Tipp City area man charged this week with rape and gross sexual imposition for alleged acts against a girl under age 13 served as a youth leader and director of children’s church at Vandalia Baptist Temple, a Miami County sheriff’s detective said.

Shawn P. Rickert, 38, is being held in the county jail on $105,000 bail set Tuesday, June 16, in county Municipal Court.

He faces one felony charge of rape and eight felony charges of gross sexual imposition. He is accused of sexual conduct and sexual contact with the child beginning in 2005, when she was under age 13, according to investigative reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Man claiming to be ex-boyfriend of Alberto Cutié's wife sues couple, cops

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY JAWEED KALEEM
jkaleem@MiamiHerald.com
A man who says he is the ex-boyfriend of Ruhama Buni Canellis, the newlywed wife of former priest Alberto Cutié, is suing the couple and the Biscayne Park Police Department.

In a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Maxi Paulus Ratunuman, 44, says Biscayne Park police arrested him without cause on June 6 while he was installing floor tiles in a customer's house on Griffing Boulevard in Biscayne Park. The reason: Ratunuman, who the lawsuit says lived with Canellis in the Biscayne Park area for three years and helped raise her teenage son, had information ''that would bode badly'' for the her and Cutié, who wanted to get him out of the picture.

County records show that Biscayne Park police Officer Antonio Sanchez, named in the suit along with Officer Raimundo Atesiano, arrested Ratunuman on trespassing charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Dead priest accused of sexual child abuse and the pope is still crazy

DELAWARE
Examiner

Trina Hoaks
Atheism Examiner

Richard Green, a 31-year-old man, is claiming that he was "repeatedly" sexually abused by a priest when he 14. According to an Associated Press report, Green, who is the nephew of the late New York Cardinal John O'Connor, filed suit in Delaware on Thursday.

Green said that he was molested by the now deceased priest Rev. John McDevitt. Reportedly, he was blackmailed to submit to sessions of time spent alone with the priest under the guise of tutoring. McDevitt supposedly knew that Green was the nephew of the late cardinal and threatened to give him a low grade in religion if he did not attend the "tutoring" sessions.

Green was attending Father Judge High School in Philadelphia when the alleged abuse is said to have occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Embattled priest fires workers

KENYA
Daily Nation

By LUCAS BARASA
Posted Thursday, June 18 2009 at 22:30

Two employees of an organisation linked to embattled Catholic priest Renato Kizito were sacked on Thursday as police confirmed receiving complaints against him. In an advertisement in the Nation, Koinoina Community announced that it had severed ties with Mr Michael Ochieng’ and Mr Michael Omondi Owiso.

“We wish to advise all our esteemed partners and the public in general that the following persons are no longer trustees and/or employees of Koinoina community and are therefore not authorised to transact any business on behalf of the community or using the name of the community,” the advert said.

The two are suspected to have blown the whistle on the priest’s alleged sexual abuses. Yesterday, deputy police spokesman Charles Wahong’o, who on Wednesday denied that there were any complaints against Fr Kizito, made an about-turn, saying CID headquarters at Mazingira House had recorded reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

KENYA: APERTA INCHIESTA SU PRETE ITALIANO PER PEDOFILIA

KENYA
nuovi sacerdoti: l'informazione libera

(ASCA-AFP) - Nairobi, 17 giu - La polizia kenyana ha annunciato l'apertura di un'inchiesta su accuse di pedofilia nei confronti di un prete cattolico italiano residente da piu' di 20 anni nel Paese africano e che smentisce categoricamente tali accuse.

Il caso e' stato provocato dalla trasmissione lunedi' di un reportage su un canale televisivo kenyano contenente testimonianze di presunte vittime di padre Renato ''Kizito'' Sesana, personaggio assai conosciuto in Kenya per le sue attivita' di missionario.

''Abbiamo sentito parlare di questo caso nei media. E' stata aperta un'inchiesta per verificare le accuse. E' un caso grave'', ha detto ai giornalisti il vice portavoce della polizia del Paese africano, Charles Owino Wahongo, precisando di non avere ancora ricevuto alcuna denuncia.

[translation]

Kenya: an Italian priest is being investigated for pedophilia

(ASCA-AFP) - Nairobi, June 17 - The Kenyan police have announced the
opening of an investigation after a catholic priest, who has been a resident there for more than 20 years, was accused of pedophilia. The priest denies categorically the truthfulness of those accusations.

Everything started when in a Kenyan TV reportage on Monday were heard the alleged victims of Father Renato "Kizito" Sesana, a very known figure in Kenya for his missionary activities.

''We heard about this case through the media. We opened an investigation to verify if the accusations are true. It's a very grave case", the vice spokesman of the Police in that African
country, Charles Owino Wahongo, said to the reporters, specifying that no formal charges had been received, yet.

The missionary. a former journalist about sixty-years-old, has disdainfully denied the truthfulness of the accusations made yesterday during a press conference.

''I never sodomized any child, neither in Kenya nor anywhere" he said. In his opinion, those charges were invented by "people who want to smear my name.These people want to get my property and my possessions".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Five boys allegedly assaulted by Fr Kizito record statements

KENYA
The Standard

By Lucianne Limo and Cyrus Ombati

Five boys who have accused Catholic priest Fr Renato Kizito Sesana of sexual abuse have recorded statements with police.

Consequently, police are expected to summon Kizito.

The boys recorded statements at CID headquarters last week, in the company of their lawyer Stephen Kibunja.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Kenyan Catholic faithful defend church's stand

KENYA
Kenya Broadcasting Corportation

Written By:Naisula Lesuuda/Rose Kamau , Posted: Thu, Jun 18, 2009

The Catholic Church faithful in Kenya have come out to strongly defend the integrity of the church and to support Archbishop Cardinal John Njue on the church's stand on celibacy.

This comes amidst allegations of sexual abuse facing a member of the church's clergy.

The lay people have expressed their displeasure at negative reports about the Catholic Church, which they say are diverting the church's energy and resources from evangelization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Abuse Charges Against Priest Rock Kenya's Catholic Church

KENYA
Voice of America

By Derek Kilner
Nairobi
18 June 2009

Kenya's powerful Catholic church has been rocked by allegations that an Italian priest long active in the country molested children for which his organization was responsible. The priest denies the charges, saying he is a victim of extortionists.

Kenyan Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino says investigations will begin into allegations that Renato Sesana, an Italian Roman Catholic priest known as Father Kizito, sexually abused boys staying at homes for street children that the priest operates in the country.

The allegations, made by alleged victims and their relatives on the KTN television channel, have dominated the week's headlines in the deeply religious country. However, Owino says that no formal complaints had yet been made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

New Jersey Man Files Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Priest

NEW YORK
The Wall Street Journal

By SUZANNE SATALINE
A man who says in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that he is the nephew of Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor, the former head of the New York archdiocese, states in the suit that he was molested by a priest while attending a Catholic high school in the early 1990s.

Richard F. Green, 31 years old, and a resident of New Jersey, says in the complaint, filed in Superior Court in Wilmington, Del., that the priest knew he was related to the cardinal and used that information to intimidate the teen.

Mr. Green filed the complaint under a window, created by the Delaware legislature, that lifted the statute of limitations on civil suits and allowed alleged victims of childhood abuse two years to sue. More than 60 suits had been filed as of last week. New York state lawmakers are considering creating a one-year window.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Charleroi priest faces sex abuse allegation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Valley Independent

By Michael Hasch, For The Valley Independent
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Last updated: 12:39 pm

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has placed the longtime pastor of a Charleroi parish on administrative leave while it investigates allegations that he sexually abused a minor more than 20 years ago.

The Rev. David Dzermejko, 61, who has served for 18 years at Mary, Mother of the Church, was placed on leave Monday after the diocese determined there was "some semblance of truth" in the allegations, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese.

Dzermejko, who has denied the allegations, remains pastor but will not perform any pastoral duties until a full investigation by the diocese has been completed, Lengwin said Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Theater Calendar

MENDHAM (NJ)
Recorder

“For Pete’s Sake,” a 75 minute presentation of the life of Joseph Capozzi, who wrote the play about his experiences, will be performed at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, at the Grace Lutheran Church, 65 East Main Street, Mendham. This one-act play is about the effects of clergy sexual abuse on a victim. A donation of $20 is requested and all proceeds will benefit Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey. For advance tickets or more information, call Rev. Robert Hoatson at (862) 368-2860.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Allegations of Sexual Abuse at Catholic Residential Institutions in the United States

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

This webpage provides a sample of Catholic residential institutions in the United States where sexual abuse of minors has been alleged. Many aspects of the allegations in these cases will be familiar from the Ryan report on abuse in Irish institutions. For example:
• In Washington State, the Christian Brothers of Ireland settled with two dozen alleged victims in a single residential school.
• In Wisconsin, the director of a school for the deaf admitted to sexually abusing at least 30 boys and may have molested 200 or more.
• In Vermont, church officials settled with 75 men and women alleging physical and sexual abuse of shocking brutality at an orphanage.
• In Kentucky, an order of nuns settled with 45 men and women alleging physical and sexual abuse at another orphanage.

The large numbers of alleged victims, the horrific nature of the abuse, and the advantage taken of entirely vulnerable children in 24-hour care, all link these U.S. cases unmistakably with the Irish situation. Ireland’s system of Catholic residential institutions for children was centralized and state-financed, whereas in the United States, almost every diocese had its orphanages, residential schools for the handicapped, and minor seminaries. Both systems endured into the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Another lawsuit filed against Catholic Diocese

DELAWARE
WDEL

By Peter MacArthur

The nephew of former New York Cardinal John O'Connor is in Delaware, claiming he was abused by a priest and ready to sue under Delaware law.

Rich Green says he was molested by Father John McDevitt while a student at a Pennsylvania Catholic high school. Delaware law allows Green to sue here because he claims Delaware church leaders knew McDevitt was a child molester from his time working at Salesianum High School in Wilmington.

That same law leaves open the window for alleged victims to sue no matter when they were abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Pope denounces bad priests and praises good ones

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Posted By: Damian Thompson

Pope Benedict XVI today called for a "full and complete acknowledgment" of the sins of the clergy, in a letter to priests which recognises that nothing less will enable the Church to restore its battered reputation.

Here's a good summary of its contents, by Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service. Some critics will no doubt complain that the Pope has balanced his reference to bad priests by defending "the great majority of priests". But why shouldn't he?

The majority of priests are innocent, good men. One of the many terrible consequences of the crimes of sexually incontinent clergy is that they cast a shadow over virtuous colleagues. There are times to thank priests for their sacrificial ministry, and this is one of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Ex-priest sentenced for child pornography

TRENTON (PA)
Bucks County Courier Times

By: DANIELLE CAMILLI
Bucks County Courier Times

TRENTON - A former priest and teacher was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison Wednesday for possessing child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra said.

Joseph E. Macanga, 55, of Lumberton, was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term. U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper allowed Macanga to remain free on a $100,000 bond, pending his surrender to U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials on a date to be determined by prison authorities.

Macanga served as a priest and teacher at the Church of St. Andrew in Newtown and Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia among others in Pennsylvania and New Jersey including Lumberton Middle School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Group Protests Catholic Abuse

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
KSAT

SAN ANTONIO -- Protesters were out in full force today at a downtown hotel, where hundreds of Catholic bishops are holding their annual summer meeting. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a demonstration outside of the downtown Hyatt Regency Wednesday afternoon.

Members of SNAP talked about the turmoil that is currently going on in Ireland, over a Government report that details decades of abuse in church-run orphanages there. ...

Another group, BishopAccountability.org, also released a list of what they call "troubled U.S. Catholic orphanages." The Saint Anthony High School Seminary, located here in San Antonio, is on that list.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Pope thanks God for gift of priesthood, but also recognizes failures

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church must acknowledge that some priests have done great harm to others, but it also must thank God for the gifts the majority of priests have given to the church and the world, Pope Benedict XVI said.

In the face of scandal, "what is most helpful to the church ... is not only a frank and complete acknowledgment of the weaknesses of her ministers, but also a joyful and renewed realization of the greatness of God's gift" of the priesthood, the pope said in his letter for the Year for Priests.

Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, the yearlong focus on priestly ministry was to begin June 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Pope calls for acknowledgement of church's weaknesses

VATICAN CITY
Ireland Online

18/06/2009 - 12:18:58

Pope Benedict XVI has deplored acts of infidelity by priests and has called for a “frank and complete acknowledgement” of the Catholic Church’s weakness.

Benedict didn’t specify the clerical sex abuse scandal that has convulsed the church in the United States, Ireland and elsewhere.

But in a letter today to priests marking the start of the Vatican’s Year of the Priest, Pope Benedict said the church had suffered greatly from the actions of some priests and that many around the world had found reason to reject the church as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Washington County pastor placed on leave while investigation proceeds

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Michael Hasch
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has placed the longtime pastor of a Washington County parish on administrative leave while it investigates allegations that he sexually abused a minor more than 20 years ago.

The Rev. David Dzermejko, 61, who has served for 18 years at Mary, Mother of the Church parish in Charleroi, was placed on leave Monday after the diocese determined there was "some semblance of truth" in the allegations, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese.

Dzermejko, who has denied the allegations, remains pastor but will not perform any pastoral duties until a full investigation by the diocese has been completed, Lengwin said Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Pope Benedict Writes Letter Proclaiming Year for Priests

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI

Proclaiming a Year for Priests
on the 150th Anniversary of the Dies Natalis
of the Curé of Ars

Dear Brother Priests,

On the forthcoming Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday 19 June 2009 – a day traditionally devoted to prayer for the sanctification of the clergy –, I have decided to inaugurate a “Year for Priests” in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the “dies natalis” of John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests worldwide. This Year, meant to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a more forceful and incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world, will conclude on the same Solemnity in 2010. The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus”, the saintly Curé of Ars would often say. This touching expression makes us reflect, first of all, with heartfelt gratitude on the immense gift which priests represent, not only for the Church, but also for humanity itself. I think of all those priests who quietly present Christ’s words and actions each day to the faithful and to the whole world, striving to be one with the Lord in their thoughts and their will, their sentiments and their style of life. How can I not pay tribute to their apostolic labours, their tireless and hidden service, their universal charity? And how can I not praise the courageous fidelity of so many priests who, even amid difficulties and incomprehension, remain faithful to their vocation as “friends of Christ”, whom he has called by name, chosen and sent?

I still treasure the memory of the first parish priest at whose side I exercised my ministry as a young priest: he left me an example of unreserved devotion to his pastoral duties, even to meeting death in the act of bringing viaticum to a gravely ill person. I also recall the countless confreres whom I have met and continue to meet, not least in my pastoral visits to different countries: men generously dedicated to the daily exercise of their priestly ministry. Yet the expression of Saint John Mary also makes us think of Christ’s pierced Heart and the crown of thorns which surrounds it. I am also led to think, therefore, of the countless situations of suffering endured by many priests, either because they themselves share in the manifold human experience of pain or because they encounter misunderstanding from the very persons to whom they minister. How can we not also think of all those priests who are offended in their dignity, obstructed in their mission and persecuted, even at times to offering the supreme testimony of their own blood?

There are also, sad to say, situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the Church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers. Then it is the world which finds grounds for scandal and rejection. What is most helpful to the Church in such cases is not only a frank and complete acknowledgment of the weaknesses of her ministers, but also a joyful and renewed realization of the greatness of God’s gift, embodied in the splendid example of generous pastors, religious afire with love for God and for souls, and insightful, patient spiritual guides. Here the teaching and example of Saint John Mary Vianney can serve as a significant point of reference for us all. The Curé of Ars was quite humble, yet as a priest he was conscious of being an immense gift to his people: “A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Pope deplores priests' infidelities to their vows

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI deplored priests who were unfaithful to their vows and called Thursday for a "frank and complete acknowledgment" of the Catholic Church's weakness in a letter to priests around the globe.

The letter was the first public statement from Benedict since an independent commission in Ireland issued a report last month detailing "endemic" molestation and rape at church-run boys' facilities and ritualized beatings at girls' schools from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Benedict didn't specifically address the clerical sex abuse scandal that has convulsed the church in the United States, Ireland and elsewhere. But he was clearly referring to the scandal in saying there had been "situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

A true voice of hope in the midst of horror

IRELAND
Herald

By Claire Byrne

Thursday June 18 2009

It was April 2005 and I was in Rome covering the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II as a television reporter. Over the course of a number of evenings, I interviewed a man of the Church for the live broadcasts which were beamed back to Ireland.

It was clear that he was a learned man and one who knew the business end of the workings of the Catholic Church inside and out. He had spent a great deal of his early working career in the Vatican and although he was living back in Ireland then, it was clear that he was at home in Rome and at the centre of its inner circle.

Burden

I have asked myself since, did Archbishop Diarmuid Martin know at that time, the burden, that four years later, would be visited upon him? Was he aware as we stood under the television lights at the Vatican that in 2009, the very future of the Catholic Church in Ireland would rest very firmly on his shoulders?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

A refugee of evil Irish past

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen
Globe Columnist / June 18, 2009

She lives in a city north of Boston but grew up in Ireland, when it wasn’t green as much as it was black and white.

When she was 7, her mother died, and the father she knew as warm and kind grew cold and mean.

When she was 14, her father put her on his bicycle and pedaled 25 miles, to a convent.

“The nuns were nice until my father left,’’ she said. “I don’t remember saying goodbye to my father.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

A refugee of evil Irish past

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen
Globe Columnist / June 18, 2009

She lives in a city north of Boston but grew up in Ireland, when it wasn’t green as much as it was black and white.

When she was 7, her mother died, and the father she knew as warm and kind grew cold and mean.

When she was 14, her father put her on his bicycle and pedaled 25 miles, to a convent.

“The nuns were nice until my father left,’’ she said. “I don’t remember saying goodbye to my father.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

CARDINAL KIN SHOCK

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN and CATHY BURKE

A nephew of the late John Cardinal O'Connor was abused by a perverted priest who targeted him when he was a teen attending a Catholic high school, an explosive new lawsuit claims.

Richard Green says his nightmare unfolded when he was a 14-year-old freshman at the Philadelphia school.

The suit charges the abuse continued even as school and church officials engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" to cover up the sick history of the Rev. John M. McDevitt, a religion teacher.

Worse, McDevitt used Green's close relationship to O'Connor "to get power over him," forcing the teen into accepting his tutoring, lawyer J. Michael Reck said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Residential school survivors to get help

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Staff Writer

THE Catholic Church in Canada is partnering with First Nations to raise millions of dollars to help survivors of residential schools.

The Moving Forward Together campaign announced this week is co-chaired by Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber and Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

They aim to raise $25 million over the next five years to develop various educational and healing programs on reserves across the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Man abuses 8-year-old during night while family slept in same cabin

ARIZONA
AZ Family

PRESCOTT - The following is a release from the Prescott Police Department:

On June 16, 2009 Prescott Police Detectives arrested 20-year old Kingman resident Patrick West-Owens for three counts of Sexual Assault, three counts of Sexual Abuse and one count of Indecent Exposure.

West-Owens accompanied a church group from Kingman to an event at the Camp Yavapines located at 2999 Iron Springs Rd. While at the Camp, he spent the night in a cabin with a Kingman family he has known. While the family slept, he lured an 8-year old female into his bunk where he coaxed her into various sex acts.

Upon the family learning the following morning of what transpired from the 8-year old girl, they transported West-Owens back to Kingman and returned to the Prescott camp where police learned of this incident. After further investigation, detectives went to Kingman where they located West-Owens and interviewed him about this incident. After the interview, they placed him under arrest and transported him the Yavapai County Camp Verde Jail where he was booked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

PD: Kingman man sexually assaulted girl during church camp

PRESCOTT (AZ)
ABC 15

PRESCOTT, AZ -- Prescott police detectives arrested a 20-year-old Kingman man Tuesday for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with an 8-year-old girl during a church camping event.

According to a Prescott Police Department press release, Patrick West-Owens was charged with three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual abuse and one count of indecent exposure.

Police said the suspect accompanied a church group from Kingman to an event at Camp Yavapines located in the 2900 block of Iron Springs Road in Prescott.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Detention order sought against pedophile

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Larine Statham
June 18, 2009 - 4:09PM
A serial pedophile could be jailed indefinitely if prosecutors can convince an Adelaide court he remains unable to control his sexual urges.

Colin Charles Humphrys is awaiting sentencing over a two-year sexual relationship he formed with a 14-year-old boy he met in a toilet block in 2001. ...

The court was told Humphrys had recently been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, having himself been the victim of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by church leaders and politicians.

"This opens up an entirely different approach for treatment," his lawyer Nick Vadasz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Civil suit filed against Budd

MINNESOTA
Winona Post

By Cynthya Porter

McKinley Methodist Church and former pastor Donald Budd, 65, are both named in a civil suit filed this week by Samantha Beach, the woman with whom Budd was convicted of inappropriate sexual involvement.

In May of 2009 Budd was sentenced to 15 years of probation for two felony counts of sexual abuse stemming from two years of counseling sessions that turned sexual with Beach, a parishioner.

The law prohibits clergy from engaging in such behavior with individuals seeking comfort, advice or aid from them in their role as a religious leader.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Former Bellmead pastor indicted

WACO (TX)
KXXV

by Patrick Tolbert

WACO - A McLennan County Grand Jury indicted a former Bellmead pastor on four counts of indecency with a child by contact and four counts of aggravated sexual assault.

William Frank Brown was indicted for the incidents which began about four years ago in another state. There, Brown is accused of molesting girls aged 9 or 10. When he moved to Texas, Police say Brown assaulted a victim as well. Police say the alleged sexual assaults took place hundreds of time, some of which were in Robinson, Harris Creek and in Waco.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Evangelist remanded

JAMAICA
Radio Jamaica

A crowd of anxious supporters gathered outside a Savanna-La-Mar courtroom in Westmoreland Wednesday to hear the fate of popular Jamaican-born American evangelist Paul Lewis.

Pastor Lewis, who is accused of sexually assaulting two teen girls, was ordered remanded until July 7.

Lewis, the head of Paul Lewis Ministries was charged Wednesday with carnal abuse and indecent assault of two teenagers.

Mr. Lewis was questioned Wednesday morning in the presence of his attorney Michael Erskine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Celebrity pastor charged

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The Jamaican-born international pastor, who allegedly gave two teenage girls money in exchange for sexual favours, was remanded when he appeared in the Savanna-la-mar Resident Magistrate's Court late yesterday afternoon.

He has been remanded until July 7.

The police yesterday afternoon charged the accused, Reverend Dr Paul Lewis, with carnal abuse and indecent assault following an interrogation which lasted more than two hours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

New focus in pursuit of abuse by clergy

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / June 18, 2009

Five weeks after an Irish commission released a devastating report about abuse at Catholic children’s institutions there, a Waltham-based organization is starting an effort to compile evidence about what it believes was a similar pattern of abuse at Catholic institutions in the United States.

BishopAccountability.org, an organization that maintains an Internet-based archive about clergy sexual abuse, published on its website yesterday a list of twelve Catholic institutions whose faculty or staff have faced allegations of child sexual abuse.

Organizers are hoping to rapidly expand that list, including schools in and around Boston.

Many of the schools where the abuse allegedly took place were run by religious orders, not dioceses, and are no longer open. Many such allegations are already public through lawsuits or media coverage, but organizers of the new archive expect more accusers to emerge as a result of the effort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

O'Connor's Nephew Claims Priest Abused Him

PENNSYLVANIA
My Fox New York

MYFOXNY.COM - Fox 5 has learned that the nephew of the late New York Cardinal O'Connor said he was a victim of clergy sex abuse and is filing a lawsuit.

On Thursday afternoon, Rich Green is expected to announce his lawsuit against the priest who allegedly molested him at a high school in Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Catholic pastor accused of child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, June 18, 2009
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Catholic pastor has been placed on leave from a Charleroi parish due to an accusation that he sexually abused a minor more than a decade ago.

The Rev. David Dzermejko, 61, "was placed on administrative leave because of an allegation that we received and deemed to have some semblance of truth," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

He declined to give any details of the allegation or the person who made it, other than to say that "it does not involve Mary Mother of the Church parish" in Charleroi, where he has served for 18 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Cardinal O'Connor's nephew: Pa. priest molested me

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

BY Bill Hutchinson
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, June 18th 2009, 4:00 AM

The nephew of the late John Cardinal O'Connor will file a civil suit Thursday claiming he was repeatedly molested as a child by a priest who taught his religion class, his lawyer said Wednesday night.

Rich Green claims he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. John McDevitt while he was a 14-year-old freshman at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pa.

Green, now 31, claims McDevitt, who died in 1999, targeted him because he was O'Connor's nephew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Cardinal's nephew's claims priest abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Darryl R. Isherwood | OF THE MORNING CALL
June 18, 2009
A nephew of the late Cardinal John J. O'Connor of New York plans to file suit today in a Delaware court, alleging he was sexually abused by a priest while a high school student in Philadelphia.

Rich Green, who attended Father Judge High School in the early 1990s, claims he was abused by the Rev. John M. McDevitt, who was a teacher at the school, according to an attorney for Green.

McDevitt was a Philadelphia city councilman from 1958 to 1962 and a member of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, a religious order headquartered in Washington, D.C. He died in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

June 17, 2009

A new system of school patronage

IRELAND
The Irish Times

IN A thought-provoking speech this week, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, reflected on the future shape of Catholic education. His comments were timely in the context of the Ryan report which raised awkward questions for the church, and for wider society, about Catholic management of schools.

As Dr Martin acknowledges, the current virtual Catholic monopoly of school management is a “historical hangover” which does not reflect current realities. At present, some 92 per cent of primary schools are controlled by the Catholic Church; most of the remainder by the Church of Ireland. Teachers are employed by a board of management chaired by a representative of the patron, usually the local parish priest, or the local rector in the case of the Church of Ireland, but salaries are paid by government – ie the taxpayer. The patron has an input into the appointment of all teachers and, critically, he convenes the interview panel for vacancies at school principal level.

Even without the Ryan report, it is clear that the governance structures of our schools must be modernised and changed. The scathing Department of Education report on the Muslim school in north Dublin points to the need for more professional management of such schools, along with full transparency and accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Audit of congregations to be given to State next week

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY MCGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

AN INDEPENDENT audit of the assets of 18 religious congregations which were party to the controversial 2002 redress agreement with the State is to be presented to the Government next Wednesday.

The congregations, whose management of residential institutions for children led to the recent Ryan report, agreed to the audit at a meeting in Government Buildings on June 5th last with Taoiseach Brian Cowen and senior Ministers.

The congregations agreed at that meeting to contribute to a trust the Taoiseach proposed be set up, so that further financial and other supports can be provided to people who had been in the institutions as children. They also committed themselves to identifying resources, “both financial and other, within a transparent process with a view to delivering upon commitments made today.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

Sincere priests and nuns must not be targets of a witch-hunt

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: SYMPATHY FOR priests and nuns is thin on the ground at present but spare a thought for those thousands of members of religious congregations who bore no direct responsibility for the abuse that took place in residential institutions, writes JOE HUMPHREYS

The anecdotes I’ve heard are as tragic as they are numerous: stories of frail, elderly men and women – whose only sin was to share the same clothing as their betrayers – afraid to go outside their front doors in case they are spat upon, literally or metaphorically, by the public.

Some priests have stopped wearing the collar. Others speak of sleepless nights as they try to come to terms with the detail of the Ryan report. I had this week arranged to meet a nun to discuss some important charity work in which she was involved but she called off the appointment, expressing concern about raising her head above the parapet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Ryan taboo on warped sexual training of Brothers a cop-out

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: Sexual violence is at the heart of Christian Brother thinking and practice. Sadly, the Ryan report fails to draw obvious conclusions, writes JIM BERESFORD

REFERRING TO the beating and humiliation of child prisoners described in the Ryan report, theologian Mary Condren (Opinion and Analysis, June 13th) says it was well known that “many religious congregations used the discipline, small whips, every week on their own naked flesh . . . Others actively practised public humiliation.” I thank Condren for breaking a taboo.

Indeed the Christian Brothers used self-flagellation to punish the sexual impulse, hoping thereby to preserve the vow of chastity. Novices as young as 15 at their Marino novitiate were issued with the “discipline” and instructed to use it whenever they fell into sexual sin by thought or deed. As one novice informed me: “we were told to whip our bottom while saying Hail Marys”.

Self-flagellation is not an aberration of Christianity; it is a form of mortification at least as old as western monasticism and is still practised by many Christians today. Many of the famous saints were self-flagellants and proud of it. A whipping is thought to purify the body of sexual sin – though in truth it often has the opposite effect. Although modern psychology regards the practice as an expression of psycho-sexual pathology, self-flagellation was an essential part of the religious formation of Christian Brother novices until the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Former Bellmead pastor indicted in repeated sexual assault of child

BELLMEAD (TX)
Waco Tribune-Herald

By Tommy Witherspoon | Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 05:09 PM

The former pastor of Bellmead First Baptist Church was indicted today multiple counts of sexual abuse of a child.

William Frank Brown, 45, was indicted on four counts of sexual assault of a child and four counts of indecency with a child.

remained in the McLennan County Jail late Wednesday, held in lieu of $200,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Don't leave clergy alone with children: report

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
June 18, 2009
THE Anglican Church in Australia is set to overhaul its rules for how clergy and church workers interact with adolescents after an independent report revealed the extent of sexual abuse within the church.

The report, released yesterday, showed the church averaged nearly a complaint a month between 1990 and 2008, that boys between 10 and 15 were most at risk, and that most victims took more than two decades to complain.

In a study the researchers believe is the second of its type worldwide, University of Sydney professors Patrick Parkinson and Kim Oates examined every completed report of child sexual abuse — 191 by 135 abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Church welcomes sexual abuse report

AUSTRALIA
ABC Local

The Bishop of Tasmania John Harrower says the Anglican Church is committed to stamping out child sexual abuse within its ranks.

He has welcomed a national report by University of Sydney academics who looked into 191 cases of abuse across the country between 1990 and last year.

The report makes eight recommendations, seven of which are already in place in Tasmania.

The oustanding matter, developing a standardised way to record abuse, will be enacted over time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

What's wrong with this picture?

BENTON (AR)
Stop Baptist Predators

Remember the “what’s wrong with this picture” feature in Highlights magazine? As a kid, I would huddle in a library corner, studying the two seemingly identical pictures and trying to figure out what was wrong with the second one. Sometimes I’d spot a rabbit in the bushes that wasn’t in the first picture, or maybe an additional squirrel scurrying up a tree. Sometimes, the second picture would erase things instead of add things. I’d count the stripes on a girl’s skirt because there might be 8 stripes in the first picture, and only 7 in the second. Or maybe a boy’s hat would have vanished. You had to look at everything very closely.

That’s how I feel whenever I see news on the Arkansas case involving the prominent First Baptist Church of Benton. There is something wrong with the picture.

On Friday, April 24th, Sheriff Bruce Pennington announced the arrest of Southern Baptist music minister David Pierce on one count of sexual indecency with a child. The sheriff himself made the arrest. The sheriff is a member of the church. That was the first thing that didn’t look quite right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Irish Church can no longer operate public school system, archbishop says

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

June 17, 2009
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said that Church control of the Irish schools is a "historical hangover that doesn't reflect the realities of the times." In light of the country's increasing religious diversity, he said, it is unrealistic to have the Catholic Church run over 90% of the nation's primary schools. The archbishop has suggested a nationwide forum to discuss new approaches to public education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

The case for canonical discipline of Archbishop Weakland

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

Jun. 17, 2009 (CWNews.com) -

In a strongly worded editorial that appears in the July edition of Catholic World Report, the monthly magazine's editor, George Neumayr, expresses shock and dismay that a retired American prelate is openly questioning Church teaching on homosexuality.

In his new autobiography, A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church, Archbishop Rembert Weakland acknowledges his own homosexual affairs, Neumayr notes. The archbishop resigned in disgrace after it was revealed that he has given $450,000 in archdiocesan funds to silence a young man who complained that the archbishop had exploited him; today he has the temerity to suggest that it is the Church's failure to accept homosexuality, rather than his own moral weakness, that made the blackmail possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

‘They are out to get me, for money’

KENYA
Daily National

By DAVID OKWEMBA
Posted Wednesday, June 17 2009 at 22:30

The Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing orphan boys in his care on Wednesday maintained he was the victim of vicious extortionists who want to grab the projects he runs. Father Renato Kizito claimed those making the accusations have demanded Sh40 million to drop their claims.

He further alleged that one of the young men recorded accusing him of sexually abusing him had been offered Sh75,000 ($1,000) to testify against him. “I am told people proposed to my superiors I should pay them Sh40 million to drop the matter,” Father Kizito, who is head of Koinonia Community, a rehabilitation centre for street children, told the Nation.

He says the institution has assets worth Sh3 billion. However, he declined to name those who demanded the money from him, saying he had learnt of it only a few hours earlier. The priest from the Comboni Fathers said he recorded a statement at Kilimani Police Station upon his arrival in Nairobi on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Priest's sexual abuse probed

KENYA
News 24

2009-06-17 22:05

Nairobi - Kenyan police said on Wednesday that they had launched an investigation into allegations that a sexagenarian Italian Catholic priest sexually abused children in his care over a period of 20 years.

The case surfaced when a Kenyan television channel earlier this week carried allegations by purported victims and relatives against Father Renato "Kizito" Sesana, a well-known figure in the east African country.

"We have seen the case in the media... Investigations have been launched to ascertain the allegations. It is a serious matter," deputy police spokesperson Charles Owino Wahongo said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

International Pastor now charged and in court

JAMAICA
Go Jamaica

The Jamaican-born international pastor who allegedly gave two teenaged girls money in exchange for sexual favours is now answering charges before the courts.

The police charged the Reverend Dr. Paul Lewis this afternoon with carnal abuse and indecent assault following an interrogation which lasted for over two hours.

He’s appearing before the Sav-la-mar Resident Magistrates Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Accused pastor faces questioning today

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Dalton Laing, Gleaner Writer
A prominent Jamaican-born international pastor who was arrested in Westmoreland on Sunday will be interrogated by the police at 10 this morning with a view to being charged for carnal abuse.

According to the police, the 45-year-old pastor, who was taken into custody just as he was about to step on to the pulpit on Sunday, will have his lawyers, Michael Erskine and Terry Ballyntine, present.

The allegations that led to the pastor's arrest stem from a June 1 incident where it is alleged he met a 14-year-old girl at a crusade and took her on a trip to Clarendon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Int. Pastor charged

JAMAICA
Radio Jamaica

The police have charged internationally acclaimed pastor Paul Lewis who was arrested on Sunday for the alleged carnal abuse of a teenager.

Mr. Lewis was questioned Wednesday morning in the presence of his attorney Michael Erskine and later charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

He is to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

Pastor Lewis, who is in Jamaica on the invitation of a local church, is accused of carrying out the act at a Westmoreland hotel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Charleroi priest placed on leave after abuse claim

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Catholic pastor has been placed on leave from a Charleroi parish where he has served for 18 years due to an accusation that he sexually abused a minor more than a decade ago.

The Rev. David Dzermejko, 61, "was placed on administrative leave because of an allegation that we received and deemed to have some semblance of truth," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

He declined to give any details of the allegation or the person who made it, other than to say that "it does not involve Mary Mother of the Church parish" in Charleroi, where he has served for 18 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Child sex: The cruel truth

KENYA
Daily Nation

By CAROLINE RWENJI and FRED MUKINDA Posted Wednesday, June 17 2009 at 22:30

Sexual abuse against children has been on the increase over the years, but many of the cases are never reported, police have said. Information available at police headquarters shows that 1,626 cases of attacks against children were recorded in 2007. The number rose to 1,984 in 2008, representing an increase of over 300.

The Cradle, a child rights organisation, on Wednesday said that an average of 10 cases involving child abuse have been reported at its Nairobi offices every week since January. The police figures translate to an average of five children being defiled every day. ...

Child abuse cases have been in the headlines this week, with police arresting a suspect with a pack of pictures of naked children. A well-known Catholic priest, Father Renato Kizito, is defending his reputation against claims that he sexually abused children under his care for 20 years.

The Catholic church, whose reputation in other countries is damaged by cases of child sexual abuse, has promised to investigate all cases and punish appropriately those found guilty. “Children are easy targets because they are vulnerable,” said nominated MP and former Cradle executive director Millie Odhiambo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Pope, Austrian bishops discuss Church crisis

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

June 17, 2009
After a 2-day meeting with a delegation of Austrian bishops, the Vatican has issued a statement reporting "a fraternal exchange of ideas with a constructive spirit." The special meeting was called to discuss the troubled situation of the Church in Austria, particularly in the Linz diocese, where the papal appointment of an auxiliary bishop sparked angry protests earlier this year. The discussion at the meeting, held at the Vatican on June 15-16, extended to a general consideration of priestly training and Church life throughout Austria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Kenya police probe priest sex scam

KENYA
Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 - Police on Wednesday said they had launched investigations into the sex scandal pitting renown Catholic priest Father Renato Kizito who has been accused of sexually molesting young boys under his care.

Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino Wahong’o said detectives would record statements from complainants to be able to ascertain if the priest has a case to answer.

“We have seen the reports in the media and are looking into calling the complainants to record statements about the matter. It is a serious one and can not be ignored,” Mr Wahong’o told reporters at a news briefing in Nairobi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Vatican warns SSPX against new priestly ordinations

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

June 17, 2009
The Vatican has warned against the ordination of new preists for the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), saying that the ordinations scheduled later this month would be "illegitimate." A Vatican statement released on June 17 quoted from the letter sent by Pope Benedict XVI to the world's bishops on March 10, referring to the irregular status of the SSPX bishops: "As long as the Society (of St. Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Letter to Cardinal George

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

June 17, 2009

Dear Cardinal George:

Like millions across the globe, we are horrified by the disclosure of systemic and devastating child sex crimes and cover-ups in Catholic institutions in Ireland. Like hundreds of thousands here in the US, we also are shocked by your silence and the silence of your American colleagues to this vast scandal.

For weeks, Ireland has been in turmoil over a new government report which documents decades of pervasive and systematic child abuse in church-run orphanages and other residential care institutions. Although the report has shocked Catholics and generated headlines worldwide, US church officials have failed to make a public statement about the scandal.

The silence of US bishops has been deafening, especially given that this news affects millions of Irish-American Catholics in a personal way. Your silence is particularly egregious because so many US priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians and bishops began their careers or lives in Ireland.

We can’t help but wonder if you and your brother bishops are staying silent because the Irish report may prompt closer scrutiny of the American hierarchy on two fronts: (1) How many predatory Irish priests and nuns found sanctuary in US dioceses? (2) Did bishops cover up the sexual and physical abuse of helpless children in Catholic orphanages and residential schools in the US?

Ireland had a centralized system of state-financed, church-run schools and homes for children. The situation in the US is, of course, very different. Still, Catholic dioceses and religious orders in America have, for decades, operated hundreds of orphanages, reform schools, minor seminaries, and boarding schools. We know that many of these institutions have well-documented histories of child sex crimes.

At St. John’s School for the Deaf in Wisconsin, for instance, the boarding school’s longtime director, Father Lawrence Murphy, is believed to have raped and abused as many as 200 boys. Two Oregon orphanages employed Fr. Maurice Grammond, who is accused of abusing 50 children.

In light of the horrific report from Ireland and the unsettling facts of similar abuse in the US, we are urging you and each of your brother bishops to:

1. Insist that Irish church leaders give you the names of clerics who molested in Ireland and came to the US,

2. Publicly name all Irish abusers who molested there and moved here,

3. Start reaching out to parishioners in the US who may have been assaulted by Irish clerics, and

4. Admit to the hidden crisis of child abuse in US Catholic orphanages, minor seminaries, and reform schools

Today, BishopAccountability.org has posted on the Internet a list of 12 US Catholic residential institutions where children were sexually abused. This list is just a start. Like their Irish counterparts, US Catholics and citizens need and deserve a full accounting of the mistreatment of children in all residential institutions owned by the US Catholic Church. You can help make sure the truth is told. But that will happen only if you and your colleagues show courage, prod your Irish brethren for abusers’ names and records, and make that information publicly known. You must then use your vast resources to identify and help those who were molested in US institutions or by abusive Irish priests who came to the US.

We trust you will share our letter with your colleagues. We look forward to hearing your response.

BishopAccountability.org SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Terence McKiernan, President, 508-479-9304 Barbara Garcia Boehland, San Antonio Director, 210 725 8329
Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director, 781-439-5208 David Clohessy, National Director, 314 566 9790
P. O Box 541375 PO Box 6416
Waltham MA 02454 Chicago IL 60680

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Activists challenge US bishops about Irish abuse

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests


They release list of 12 "troubled Catholic orphanages and boarding schools" here

Concern is spurred by recent 'devastating report' of 'widespread crimes'

Organizations blast American prelates’ “deafening silence” on Irish abuse report

US church hierarchy knows of similar horrors in schools here, two groups charge

WHAT
After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will try to hand-deliver a letter to top Catholic officials urging them to:

-- admit the "hidden crisis" of child abuse in Catholic orphanages, reform schools, minor seminaries, and boarding schools in the US,

-- force Irish church leaders to give them the names of clerics who molested in Ireland and were sent to the US, and

-- start reaching out to parishioners in US who may have been assaulted by clerics from Ireland.

The group will also release a new list by BishopAccountability.org of 12 US Catholic residential institutions where predator priests worked or where child sex abuse has been reported. The list can be seen online at: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/institutions/.

WHEN
Wednesday, June 17, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the San Antonio Hyatt Regency hotel, where hundreds of Catholic bishops are holding their annual spring/summer meeting

WHO
Four or five clergy sex abuse victims and a Texas mom whose teenage son was molested in a San Antonio high school seminary – one of many Catholic residential schools where child abuse has been documented. They belong to a support group called SNAP.

WHY
For weeks, Ireland has been in turmoil over a new government report there which documents decades of pervasive and systematic child abuse in church-run orphanages. Although the report has shocked Catholics worldwide and generated hundreds of headlines, no American bishop has issued a public statement about the scandal.

“The silence of our church leaders has been deafening,” said Terence McKiernan, BishopAccountability.org’s founder and president, “especially given that this news affects millions of Irish-American Catholics in a personal way.”

“As a result of our recent research, we conclude that the Irish report strikes too close to home. Are American bishops staying mum because they fear examination of their own orphanages and residential schools?” McKiernan asked. (At St. John's School for the Deaf in Wisconsin, for instance, the boarding school’s longtime director, Father Lawrence Murphy, is believed to have raped and abused as many as 200 boys there. Two Oregon orphanages employed Fr. Maurice Grammond, who is accused of abusing 50 children.)

In releasing the list of 12 orphanages and residential schools, McKiernan’s group is launching a major research initiative to create a database of all the US Catholic orphanages, boarding schools, minor seminaries, and reform schools where children allegedly were abused or that were staffed by credibly accused nuns, brothers, or priests.

In their letter to the US bishops, SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and BishopAccountability.org are urging each bishop to release names of all Irish abusers and other credibly accused child molesters – priests, brothers, and nuns – who have worked at children’s residential institutions in his diocese.

Contact:
Terence McKiernan, BishopAccountability.org Co-Director and Founder, 508-479-9304
Anne Barrett Doyle, BishopAccountability.org Co-Director, 781-439-5208
Barbara Garcia Boehland, SNAP San Antonio Director 210-725-8329, 210-621-2177
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director 314-566-9790

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Democratic NY State Assemblyman Allegedly Threatens Rebellion To Block Markey Bill

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a powerful Democratic leader in the NY State Assembly, wants to have his rejected bill – backed by the Catholic Church and Agudath Israel of America – brought to a floor vote by the Republicans.

A well placed source very close to the situation in the Assembly and Senate called from Albany early this morning to tell me Lopez is threatening to break party ranks and go over to the Republicans.

The backstory here is supposed to be Lopez's real estate dealings and links to Church-owned real estate. (The Church is one of the largest property owners in Brooklyn.)

The Bishop of Brooklyn, Nicholas DiMarzio has already threatened lawmakers backing the Markey Bill that the Church would close churches and schools specifically in the legislators' districts if Markey passes, as retaliation for their votes for Markey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Kenya church braves stormy scandals

KENYA
Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 - The Catholic Church in Kenya put on a brave face on Wednesday amidst a two-pronged onslaught that threatened to shake it’s standing in society.

The Church’s top organ – the Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) – announced that a sex scandal involving a well-known priest and the decision by some clerics to break their celibacy vows were unlikely to shake the millions of Kenyan Catholic followers.

KEC Vice Chairman Bishop Philip Sulumeti remained firm that priests who opted to marry had no place on the pulpit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims comment on archdiocese tax issue

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

When it comes to their ‘separate corporations,’ Catholic officials want it both ways. In clergy sex and cover up lawsuits, they routinely claim that schools, parishes, and other church entities are entirely separate and their assets can’t be ‘co-mingled.’ Now in San Francisco, to gain tax advantages, they claim these ‘separate corporations’ aren’t really separate at all.

This just seems like more ingenuous and desperate lawyering by a hierarchy more committed to self preservation than anything else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Statement on seven abusers who have quietly moved to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Rita Prince

With no subpoena powers or church whistleblowers or special talent or massive effort, our group has found seven Catholic priests who have molested elsewhere, then moved here to Las Vegas.

We suspect there are others, maybe dozens of others.

Here’s who we’ve found right now.
-- Fr. Gus Krumm of California
-- Fr. Theodore Anthony Geerts of Iowa
-- Fr. Edmund Boyle of Washington
-- Fr. Theodore Meisner of Kentucky
-- Fr. Robert A. Bowling of Kentucky
-- Fr. James Beine of Missouri
-- Fr. James Patrick Feeney of Wisconsin

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Kenyan priest gets life for child rape

KENYA
AFP

NAIROBI (AFP) — A court in western Kenya sentenced an 80-year-old priest to life imprisonment for the rape of a 10-year-old girl, judicial sources told AFP Wednesday.

The court in Siaya town found Ignacio Pitalis, a priest from the homegrown Legia Maria (Legion of Mary) movement, guilty of defiling the young girl in a prayer room in July 2007 after sprinkling her with holy water.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Abuse of Trust: Sins of the Fathers

IRELAND
TV3

[video presentation]

The shocking story of what really happened behind the scenes in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Anglican Church releases report on child sex abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
Radio Australia

The Anglican Church has released a report into past cases of child sex abuse within the church in Australia.

University of Sydney researchers examined 191 incidents involving 17 dioceses across the country between 1990 and 2008.

The study shows boys aged between 10 and 15 were the most likely victims, while the average time it took for abuse to be reported to authorities was 23 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Uganda: Pastors Quizzed Again Over Sodomy Claims

UGANDA
allAfrica

The New Vision

Herbert Ssempogo
16 June 2009

Kampala — PASTORS Martin Ssempa and Solomon Male were yesterday interrogated again over allegations that Miracle Centre Church Pastor Robert Kayanja sodomised six boys.

The Police want to establish if they bribed Kayanja's accusers to say he sodomised them. Although the pastors say they were simply helping the victims to get justice, Kayanja believes they are not acting in good faith but bent on tarnishing his image.

Male and Ssempa arrived at the Central Police Station in Kampala at 10:00am.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

No Free Pass

NEW YORK
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

by Sister Maureen Paul Turlish - 6/14
Victims’ Advocate
The New York Assembly should not be giving a free pass to sexual predators of children - of any stripe, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. Neither should there be any statute of limitations where the sexual abuse of children is concerned.

A major epidemic is going on in our country, a pandemic if one considers it in its worldwide proportions and it is hard to believe, in light of such concerns, that we continue to have churchmen in the state of New York as elsewhere who actually oppose the removal of statutes of limitations regarding the sexual abuse of our children.

In the state of New York, it appears that leaders of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Jewish denominations are of the opinion that sexual predators and abusers should not be held accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Parishioners from churches ordered closed will protest outside Bishop Richard Lennon's office

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Michael O'Malley
Plain Dealer Reporter
Parishioners from at least 10 Catholic churches ordered closed by Bishop Richard Lennon have scheduled a protest march today outside the bishop's office in downtown Cleveland.

The group, known as "Endangered Catholics," plans to hand out copies of a statement claiming Lennon's closing of 50 parishes in the eight-county diocese was an "injustice" to all Catholics.

"It is our bedrock belief that no parish should be closed, suppressed or merged without consent of the parishioners," the statement reads in part.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Bishops meet: Leadership from a flock of shepherds

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

David Gibson

Tuesday June 16, 2009

The U.S. hierarchy gathers for its spring meeting tomorrow, in San Antonio, in the wake of one of the most divisive and ugly stretches the Catholic Church has seen since, well, Joseph Bernardin was alive. And the bishops themselves have been the perpetrators and victims of much of the nastiness, much of it centered on Barack Obama's election and Obama at Notre Dame.

It is important not to talk about "the bishops" as if they were of one heart and mind on these controverted issues. In fact, they're not, and it has been a vocal minority--albeit a large minority of 80-plus prelates out of 285 or so active ordinaries--that has challenged not only American Catholics but also their fellow bishops. And that silent majority has remained largely silent. This hasn't been an edifying witness on either side.

So what to do? Some want the bishops to "man up" and adopt a harder line (the minority line) for Catholic universities, Catholic pols, and Catholics themselves. There are other options, and two editorials, in the Jesuit weekly America, and the lay-edited bimonthly, Commonweal, offer constructive suggestions and encouragement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Anglican Church report to strengthen child protection

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Media

[Study of Reported Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church]

Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009

The Anglican Church has released the report of a major research project commissioned to help strengthen its child protection protocols.

The report into past cases of child sexual abuse was received on Saturday at a meeting in Sydney of the Standing Committee of the Church’s General Synod.

It examines 191 alleged cases of child sexual abuse reported between 1990 and 2008 from 17 dioceses around Australia .

Anglican Primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, said the research project was the first of its kind in Australia , with a project by the Roman Catholic Church in the USA being the only similar undertaking anywhere in the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Archbishop Freier welcomes public release of report on past cases of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Media

[Study of Reported Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church]

Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009

The Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier, has welcomed the public release of a report commissioned by the Anglican Church of Australia looking into past cases of child sexual abuse in 17 dioceses across the nation.

The report examines 191 alleged cases of child sexual abuse reported between 1990 and 2008.

Dr Freier said one of the chief aims of the report was to inform the Church on what steps could be taken towards better prevention of sexual abuse within church communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Church reviews anti-abuse strategy

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

17th June 2009, 17:16 WST

A third of child sexual abuse cases substantiated by the Anglican Church resulted in no action against the perpetrator, a new study has found.

Anglican Primate Archbishop Phillip Aspinall on Wednesday released the results of a research project designed to help the church strengthen its child protection protocols.

The study was welcomed by victims group Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), although the organisation said it remained to be seen whether the church would stand by victims over time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Anglican Church 'facing up' to sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Anglican Church in Australia says it has begun implementing recommendations of a major report aimed at preventing child sexual abuse in its ranks.

The church today released the report on 191 cases of abuse reported around the country between 1990 and 2008.

Australia's Primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, says they asked researchers from the University of Sydney to examine the cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Civil suit against abusive priest advances

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Marie Rohde of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Jun. 16, 2009

A civil lawsuit brought by two women against an abusive priest crossed a legal hurdle Tuesday when a judge ruled a jury would be allowed to decide whether the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., conspired to conceal the priest's misconduct.

But Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper also noted that there would be problems with the case if it goes to trial, largely because the sexual abuse accusations date back nearly 40 years and many of those involved in the alleged conspiracy are dead.

The priest, Bruce Duncan MacArthur, 87, lives in a retirement facility for abusive priests near St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Confey priest still in limbo a year after name was cleared

IRELAND
Leinster Leader

Published Date: 17 June 2009
By Henry Bauress
A LEIXLIP parish priest, Fr Philip Corcoran continues to wait in limbo a year after he was cleared of sexual abuse allegations by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Leinster Leader understands the a number of parishioners in the Parish of St. Charles Borromeo in Confey, have written to the Dublin Diocesan authorities to clarify the current status of Fr. Corcoran.

In June 2008, the Leixlip parish priest was cleared of allegations of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

June 16, 2009

2 Clergy Abuse Victims Speak Out

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

LAS VEGAS -- Two clergy abuse victims are speaking out, and they want Las Vegans to do the same.

Members of a group called SNAP, or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference outside the Las Vegas Chancery Tuesday.

They said there could be priest abuse victims in the Valley who are keeping quiet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 PM

Board's refusal of application challenged

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A MAN who claims he was abused in an industrial school has challenged the Residential Institutions Redress Board’s refusal to accept his application for redress on grounds it was made too late.

In High Court proceedings, the man claims the application should be allowed on grounds of exceptional circumstances in that, he claims, an advertising campaign in the UK to highlight awareness of the redress scheme was flawed.

The man has brought judicial review proceedings arising out of the board’s rejection last December of his application under the scheme set up in 2002. The board ruled no exceptional circumstances existed allowing his application to be considered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Moved to outrage by apathy over child abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Dáil debate on Ryan report showed cynical indifference towards scale of problem, writes VINCENT BROWNE

THE MOTION the Dáil debated last Thursday and Friday on the Ryan report on residential child abuse included the almost clichéd resolve: “cherish all of the children of the nation equally”. The same motion acknowledged “the State has an obligation to ensure that children and young people in the care of the State receive the highest possible quality of care”. The motion was agreed unanimously without a vote. Brian Cowen concluded his speech with the words: “From this shame and evil, we will make Ireland a model of how to treat our children”. Several other deputies spoke in similar terms.

All very moving, apparently.

It would be all the more moving if it meant anything. Even meant something in relation to vulnerable children also in the care of the State. For the evidence is that it means very little if anything at all. The annual report for 2008 of the Mental Health Commission was published recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Teen molested as a child by Queens baker confronts tormentor in court

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY Nicole Bode
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A Queens baker who admitted molesting a 10-year-old boy isn't going to prison - but he's been booted from the kitchen.

The Rabbinical Council of Queens banned Issac Ebstein, 50, from Queens Kosher Pita in Kew Gardens Hills after he pleaded guilty to luring the boy with cookies and abusing him in 2002.

The council told Ebstein, 50, he had to divest himself of ownership because he was convicted of a "crime of moral turpitude" - or the shop would lose kosher certification.

A council spokesman declined to comment, but a source said Ebstein agreed. Ebstein's victim confronted him in court Tuesday, describing how he turned to drugs to mask his secret pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Alberto Cutié's Romantic Rival Goes Bye-Bye Just in Time for the Nuptials

MIAMI (FL)
Miami New Times

By Francisco Alvarado in News, The Z ListTuesday, Jun. 16 2009 @ 5:08PM

This past May 31, after renouncing Catholicism, international celebrity priest Alberto Cutié delivered his first sermon as an Episcopalian minister. TV cameras and tabloid reporters filled the parking lot of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park. The scene was played repeatedly on television screens across Latin America. ...

After the service, Cutié embraced his attractive, well-groomed fiancée, 35-year-old beautician Ruhama Canellis. As the couple chatted with their new Episcopalian brothers and sisters, they were closely guarded by Capt. Antonio Sanchez, a Biscayne Park cop with salt-and-pepper hair and bushy black eyebrows. He is the village's number two law enforcer.

But, according to a lawsuit filed last Friday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Sanchez is more than a watchdog for the priest and his new wife. He improperly used his badge to try to get Canellis's ex-boyfriend thrown out of the country.

The lawsuit, which has not been disclosed before by any media, charges the Village of Biscayne Park Police Department, Sanchez, Cutié, Canellis, and the officer who signed the trespassing arrest report, Raimundo Atesiano, with malicious prosecution, false arrest, conspiracy, and civil theft.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Father Alberto Cutié is now a married man

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY JAWEED KALEEM
jkaleem@MiamiHerald.com
Sitting in the passenger seat of a champagne-colored Lexus and hiding his face behind a newspaper, former Roman Catholic priest Alberto Cutié left a Coral Gables courthouse shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday as a married man.

But Cutié, who left the Catholic church to become an Episcopalian in late May, will have to wait more than a week before his new church recognizes the marriage in a religious ceremony. That will take place in an unnamed church under Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Cutié and his wife, 35-year-old Ruhama Buni Canellis, quietly slipped into the Coral Gables Branch Court at 3100 Ponce de Leon Blvd. through a gated back entrance around noon Tuesday, avoiding a growing group of news crews gathered outside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Pope Soothes Austrian Church After Bishop Furore

VATICAN CITY
Javno (Croatia)

Pope Benedict has moved to smooth relations with the Austrian clergy after he was forced to cancel the promotion of a conservative priest from the country in March whose appointment had polarised the Catholic Church. On Monday and Tuesday the pope and senior Vatican officials met with the archbishops of Vienna and Salzburg, the bishops of Graz-Seckau and Linz
and several other senior members of the Austrian church, the Vatican said in a statement.

The meeting tackled "in fraternal dialogue and a constructive spirit, several subjects regarding the situation of the diocese of Linz and the church in Austria, setting out solutions to the current problems," the Vatican said.

In March, the pope effectively revoked the appointment of Gerhard Maria Wagner from his appointment as auxiliary (assistant) bishop of Linz which had caused an uproar in Austria and beyond because of Wagner's controversial views.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Priest, 80, gets life term for defiling minor

KENYA
The Standard

By George Olwenya

An 80-year-old Legio Maria sect priest defiled a Standard Three girl inside a church then threatened to kill her if she reported the act.

The preacher was yesterday jailed for life by a Siaya court.

Ignacio Pitalis Agunda was sentenced to life imprisonment for defiling an orphan who went to worship at his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Church on the defensive over Father Kizito saga

KENYA
The Standard

By Lucianne Limo

The Catholic Church is reeling from allegations of a sex scandal against one of its senior clergymen with the potential of shaking the church to its core.

A group of young boys alleged that one of the church’s best-known benefactor missionaries, Fr Renato Kizito Sesana, had sexually abused them during his over 20-year tenure as a charity worker in Kenya.

The shocking revelations were aired in the Monday KTN Prime Time news bulletin only a day before the marking of the Day of the African Child.

The story broke as an 80-year-old Legio Maria sect priest was jailed for life in Kisumu for defiling a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Conn. Court. Unseals Clergy Abuse Records

CONNECTICUT
Courthouse News Service

By JEFF GORMAN

(CN) - The Connecticut Supreme Court allowed The New York Times and other newspapers to gain access to information regarding 23 cases of alleged sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

Alleged victims began filing sexual abuse charges in the mid-1990s, and the cases were all settled by 2001. In 2002, the Times requested that the sealing orders be vacated.

The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese appealed the trial court's decision to unseal the records. The diocese argued that the trial judge should have been disqualified because the judge served on a task force concerning public access to the courts. Justice Katz disagreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Parishioner Says Bishop Covered Counselor Abuse

MINNESOTA
Courthouse News Service

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - A parishioner says that when she told a bishop/CEO of the United Methodist Church that a church counselor had sexually imposed on her, the bishop said the counselor would have "a 'church' trial" and tried to silence her by having her sign a waiver of rights. When she refused to do this, the woman says, the bishop told her her claims were no longer credible.

The plaintiff says she went to the county attorney, who pressed charges, and the counselor, Donald Dean Budd, pleaded guilty to a felony for his sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Pierce given more time: August plea date set on sexual indecency charges

BENTON (AR)
Courier

David Pierce, the former First Baptist Church of Benton minister of music who faces 54 counts of sexual indecency with a child, did not enter a plea Monday during an appearance in Saline County Circuit Court.

His attorney, Mark Hampton of Little Rock, formerly of Benton, said he needs more time to review the extensive evidence in the case.

Circuit Judge Grisham set Aug. 17 as the date for Pierce’s next court appearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Father Alberto Ties the Knot

FLORIDA
NBC Miami

By TODD WRIGHT

It's official. Father Alberto is now a married priest.

According to Miami-Dade court records, Alberto Cutié and Ruhama Canellis were married today in a Coral Gables courthouse by a judge. Speculation was that the two were expected to be wed later this month, but apparently the rush to consummate the marriage proved to be too strong.

Cutié, who was the face of the youth movement in the Catholic church, recently switched to the Episcopalian faith to marry the love of his life. After years of keeping his relationship with Canellis a secret and violating his vow of celibacy, Cutié finally made the single mother the preacher's wife.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Albert Cutié Gets Hitched in a Courthouse

FLORIDA
Miami New Times

By Kyle Munzenrieder in NewsTuesday, Jun. 16 2009 @ 2:21PM

After all that deception, Alberto Cutié has finally been made an honest man. NBCMiami reports that Cutié and his girlfriend Ruhama Canellis were married today in a Coral Gables courthouse. A courthouse? Apparently Cutié wasn't ready to get hitched in an Episcopal church.

While a high profile, celebrity Priest with the Catholic Church, Cutié carried out an affair with Canellis that dates back at least two years. And no, the two weren't waiting for the wedding night to jump into bed. The affair and Cutié's cladenstine breaking of his celibacy pledge came to public knowledge last month thanks to some paparazzi shots of the two snuggling on a beach.

Cutié promptly left the Catholic Church, and joined up with the Episcopal church. Episcopalian Priests are allowed to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Prominent Morris pastor on leave amid reported FBI investigation

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

By Abbott Koloff • Staff writer • June 16, 2009
A prominent pastor and chaplain of the Morris County jail has been placed on administrative leave by the Paterson Roman Catholic Diocese because of an FBI investigation into financial matters at his parish, church officials said on Tuesday.

Monsignor Patrick Brown, 58, temporarily stepped down from his position as pastor of St. Vincent DePaul Church in Long Hill two weeks ago, diocese officials said, after FBI agents informed church officials about the investigation.

FBI officials did not have an immediate comment on the matter.

"I think he's a great man and a great priest,'' said Ken Mullaney, an attorney who represents the diocese. "I stand by him. There has been nothing to lead us to believe that there was anything inappropriate.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Vatican excommunicates former Catholic priest from Zambia

ZAMBIA
The Pilot

By Mwansa Pintu
Posted: 6/16/2009 LUSAKA, Zambia (CNS) -- A former Catholic priest from Zambia who is an advocate of optional celibacy for clergy and the ordination of women has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

Bishop George Lungu of Chipata, president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, announced the excommunication of Father Luciano Anzanga Mbewe June 9.

The bishop said in a statement that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took the action because Father Mbewe entered into schism for establishing the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Kenya: Catholics Urged to Shun Married Rebel Priests

KENYA
allAfrica

Nakuru — Kenya's 10 million or so Roman Catholics have been urged by the bishops to shun rebel priests who have left service to marry or to join new churches.

Responding to recent media reports of married and deserting priests, the bishops said on Tuesday that they were "saddened by those unfortunate priests who, retaining that special character conferred to them by their priestly ordination, have been unfaithful to the obligations of celibacy they accepted when they were ordained."

In a pastoral letter issued at Christ the King Cathedral in Nakuru, the bishops cautioned Catholics not to be deceived by the rebels. "By defecting from the church, they are no longer Catholics".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Catholic Priest

KENYA
KTN

[video presentation]
[QuickTime Player is required]

We begin with the shocking story of a catholic priest who has used his authority to sodomize young boys under his care in a period of over 20 years. Our investigations indicate that father Renato Kizito Sesana, who runs the koinonia community center for poor orphaned boys from the slums, woos his victims by the promise of a better life and education and later through what many victims claimed as hypnosis, lured them to perform indecent acts which he went ahead and recorded on tape…Ktn tonight unmasks father Sesana’s mask.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Kenya: 'Shocked' Bishops to Probe Sex Abuse Claim

KENYA
allAfrica

Nakuru — The Catholic bishops of Kenya have expressed shock at allegations of child sex abuse by a prominent missionary priest and promised "to investigate the matter to its final conclusion."

The privately-owned Kenya Television Network (KTN) claimed in a Monday night report that Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana, an Italian missionary well known for his work with disadvantaged children, has been sexually molesting some of the boys in his care for the last 20 years.

KTN reported that it was in possession of leaked videos that the priest shot of himself abusing the boys. The station said it could not air the videos because they were too graphic. Fr. Kizito is also claimed to have invited some of his friends and other contacts in Europe to molest the minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Catholic priest in Kenya denies sex scandal

KENYA
Spero News

By Spero News

A statement was issued on June 16 by Comboni missionary Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana in response to a news report on June 15 accusing him of sexual misconduct:

I have been absent from Kenya since the beginning of January. I returned yesterday morning because I was informed about what was happening and I wanted to face the situation.

Let me state very clearly. I have not sodomized any child. I am ready to face anybody who can prove the opposite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

NY Child Victim Act May Come Up For Vote Today

NEW YORK
Injury Board

Joe Saunders

The much antipated Child Victim Act may finally reach a vote in the NY State Legislature today. The bill has been aggressively opposed by the NY State Catholic Conference and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy.

The bill has been amended by its sponsor Rep. Margaret Markey to include both public and private institutions. The measure would allow childhood victims of sexual abuse the opportunity at justice in the courts. Since the statute of limitations has long since passed in many of these tragic cases, the bill would allow those abused by priests, nuns, teachers, and other public officials to bring lawsuits against the perpetrators as well as the institutions who covered up the systemic abuse. One amendment to the bill which is not so good but necessary for passage is the age restriction placed on the measure. Only those who have not reached their 53rd birthday would be eligible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Priest abuse case will continue

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By JEFF TUCKER
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A request from the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo to dismiss a sexual abuse claim against it was denied Monday.

District Judge Victor Reyes rejected the church's motion for summary judgement in a lawsuit from a Colorado prison inmate, identified as John Doe No. 7, alleging the Rev. Andrew Burke sexually abused him while Burke was a priest at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Pueblo.

The suit claims Burke molested the plaintiff from 1970 to 1973, beginning when he was 10 years

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Memorial plaque for US clerical sex abuse victims

MENDHAM (NJ)
RTE News (Ireland)

[video presentation]

Charlie Bird, Washington Correspondent, reports that a plaque was unveiled in Mendham, New Jersey, where a local priest abused more than20 children

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

BREAKING! Queens Rabbis Force Bakery To Fire Convicted Pedophile

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

PUBLIC ADVISORY - SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2009 On Friday, June 12, 2009, the Vaad Harabonim of Queens ordered the retail establishment known as Queens Pita Bakery and/or Queens Kosher Pita, located at 68-38 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11367, to terminate the employment and any ownership interest of Isaac Ebstein, who earlier in the week pled guilty to felony and misdemeanor sex crime-related charges in the State Supreme Court, Queens County. In its hand delivered letter to Queens Pita, signed by Executive Vice-President, Rabbi Chaim Schwartz, the Vaad stated that "by the close of business on June 12, Ebstein shall neither work, nor be present in the store in any capacity whatsoever."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Former local priest jailed

AUSTRALIA
Star

FORMER Kilmore priest Desmond Gannon has been jailed for 25 months for molesting an 11-year-old boy, during his time in the local parish.

Gannon, now 79, had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of assault against the altar boy on three separate occasions during August and September 1968.

Prosecutor Ray Gibson told the County Court last month that during an interview with police following his arrest, Gannon told police that he had taken the victim “for a bit of a drive” to talk to him about “growing up and development” and while he admitted to touching the boy’s genitals, said it was his intention to explain the “differences in anatomy”. Now 51, the victim made a statement to the court that after the abuses he had felt “broken, old, clumsy, dirty, ugly, guilty, confused, rejected, worthless and scared.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Martin reveals personal disgust at abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Tuesday June 16 2009

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin became so upset on reading stomach-churning descriptions of priests raping children in top secret documents hidden away in church archives that he "simply threw them on the floor".

Archbishop Martin describes how the state investigation into the archdiocese of Dublin has often caused him to "turn over at night and wonder whether I have done the right thing or made a mistake".

The archbishop will reveal his personal disgust at clerical child abuse tonight in a TV3 documentary, 'The Abuse of Trust: Sins of the Fathers'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Neue Fakten auf dem Runden Tisch

GERMANY
katholisch

Bonn - Die Tagesordnung klingt eher langweilig: Juristische Fragen und Datenschutz-Aspekte sollen behandelt werden, wenn der Runde Tisch Heimkinder am Montag und Dienstag in Berlin hinter verschlossenen Türen zum dritten Mal zusammentritt. Doch das Gremium unter dem Vorsitz der früheren Bundestagsvizepräsidentin Antje Vollmer (Bündnisgrüne) wird sich mit einer Reihe neuer Fakten auseinandersetzen müssen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Federal judge: Colorado diocese must turn over file of accused ex-priest who committed suicide

PUEBLO (CO)
Catholic Culture

June 16, 2009
A federal judge has ruled that the Diocese of Pueblo must turn over its files on the late Andrew Burke, who committed suicide in 2005 after being accused of committing abuse decades before. According to a police report, Burke said he had a “psychosexual behavior disorder” when he sought laicization in 1973; he later became the Colorado Mental Health Institute’s director of social work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Popular US-based evangelist arrested for carnal abuse

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Horace Hines

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland - A popular United States-based evangelist was up to press time last night still in police custody, more than 24 hours after he was arrested for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl and fondling a 14-year-old in his room at a Negril hotel early Sunday morning.

Last night, an Observer source said charges should be laid against the high-profile minister by today.

"He is expected to be charged between later tonight (last night) and tomorrow (today)," said the police source.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

S.F. Assessor Phil Ting Takes on the Catholic Church Tomorrow Morning

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
SF Weekly

By Anna McCarthy in Government, Law & Order
Monday, Jun. 15 2009 @ 11:59AM

Tomorrow morning, assessor Phil Ting will be arguing in front of the San Francisco Appeals Board that the Catholic Church owes San Francisco up to $15 million in transfer taxes -- one of the largest tax bills in the city's history. The hearing will be held at 1 South Van Ness on the second floor atrium conference room starting at 10 a.m.

Ting says the Archdiocese of San Francisco transferred ownership of 232 properties among three different nonprofits without paying the required taxes. Nonprofits are exempt from property and federal income taxes, but not from property transfer taxes. The properties in question include such city favorites as: Mission Dolores, Old St. Mary's Cathedral, and St. Francis of Assisi.

The diocese claims that the three nonprofits aren't actually "separate" per se, as they all fall under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church -- and that the transfers were just gifts under canon law. It refers to the exchange as "internal reorganization." But Ting isn't buying it. Apparently, a gift worth between $210 million and $1.25 billion (estimated worth of the properties in question) is a little suspect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Ex-St. Rose coach rejects jail time, will be tried in January

FREEHOLD (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

By Matt Pais • STAFF WRITER • June 15, 2009

FREEHOLD — The case against Bartholomew McInerney will proceed to trial after the former St. Rose baseball coach rejected any and all potential plea agreements that would have called for him to serve jail time.

McInerney could face up to 120 years in prison if convicted of all charges in a 12-count indictment alleging he engaged in a series of sexually explicit conversations with his players.

At a hearing before Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Monday afternoon, McInerney formally declined to accept any potential plea agreements with prosecutors that would call for him to serve time behind bars and also declined to make any counter plea offers. Mellaci then set a trial date of Jan. 4.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Judge: Alleged victim can still sue church

PUEBLO (CO)
9News

posted by: Jeffrey Wolf

PUEBLO - A priest who died several years ago will still be at the center of lawsuits because of a ruling Monday.

Andrew Burke shot himself at his home in Pueblo in 2005 after allegations of sexual abuse.

Judge Victor Reyes ruled that an alleged victim could still sue the Diocese of Pueblo which had argued that the statute of limitations had run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Priest is silent on claims of of abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

By Linda Linonis

The bishop of the Youngstown Diocese has spoken to two who reported sexual misconduct.

YOUNGSTOWN — Despite new allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at him, the Rev. Thomas Crum remains silent.

The Rev. John Jerek said he told Father Thomas Crum about two more allegations late last week.

“[Father Crum] has listened, but hasn’t responded,” said Father Jerek, vicar of clergy of the diocese. Father Crum remains at an undisclosed private psychiatric hospital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

ELDERLY MAN CLAIMS ABUSE SIX DECADES AGO: Episcopal Church denies financial obligation.

PENNSYLVANIA
EURweb

An 81 year old man wants the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania to pay for his alleged sexual abuse and for the inheritance he claims they stole from him. Ralph White Jr. said even if he doesn’t live to see a dime of any money awarded him he’s glad to know the church must respond to his allegations.

According to papers filed by White who is suffering from a heart condition, he claims he was sexually abused by his pastor in the 1940s when he was a boy. Now a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court had ordered the church to respond to his lawsuit. White, of West Philadelphia, is seeking unspecified damages from the five-county diocese and All Saints parish in Wynnewood, and the return of his modest inheritance.

Last year, the diocese publicly apologized to White for failing "to respond adequately to the injuries and injustices" he endured at the hands of a priest. But recently representatives insisted the church had "no financial responsibility to Mr. White."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Sex-abuse lawsuit against Pueblo diocese can continue

PUEBLO (CO)
The Denver Post

A federal judge said Monday that a sex-abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo can go forward, denying the church's claim that the lawsuit was filed too long after the fact.

The lawsuit involves former Catholic priest Andrew Burke. He committed suicide in September 2005, just as allegations about his sexual conduct with a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Pueblo in the early 1970s were about to be made public

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Weakland Book On Shelves

WISCONSIN
WTMJ

By Mick Trevey

WAUWATOSA - Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland's book is now on store shelves. The book has drawn controversy for the way Weakland writes about the priest sex abuse scandal and his own sexuality.

"A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church" chronicles Weakland's life. He talks frankly about being a liberal Catholic Church leader, about his sexual relationship with a graduate student, and the way he handled the church sex abuse scandal.

At The Little Read Book in Wauwatosa, the store's owner says the first shipment sold out. The store is now selling a second shipment. "In a lot of ways, he's an extremely well respected man in a lot of circles," said store owner Linda Burg. "I think most of the people who bought it have known him, worked with him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Group hears tearful recounting of abuse at residential schools

CANADA
Peterborough Examiner

Posted By ELIZABETH BOWER , EXAMINER STAFF WRITER

Peterborough's Shirley Williams used to get so lonesome in her residential school, where she was physically and emotionally abused, that she'd sometimes crawl under her bed covers and imagine she was in her family's kitchen with her mother and father.

During these stolen moments, says the Ojibwa woman, she'd have imaginary conversations out loud in Anishnaabe -- the language she was forbidden to speak at St. Joseph's Residential School in Spanish, Ont.

Williams, a retired Trent University professor, recalls a nun pulling the covers off her and asking what she was doing.

"Praying, Sister!" she recalls replying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

June 15, 2009

Abused daughters' parents front campaign

AUSTRALIA
ninemsn

By Michelle Draper

Christine and Anthony Foster are warning other parents about sex abuse against children.

They've campaigned to meet the Pope and spoken out against horrific abuses within the Catholic Church that destroyed two of their daughters' lives.

Now Anthony and Christine Foster want to warn other parents that the "insidious" sexual abuse inflicted on two of their three young girls during primary school could happen to anyone.

The Melbourne couple, who found themselves excluded from a meeting of sexual abuse victims with Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Australia last year, are the face of a new advertising campaign warning parents to "Wise Up" to child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

State Senate may vote on sex abuse bill

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY WILLIAM MURPHY | AND JAMES T. MADORE. william.murphy@newsday.com. james.madore@newsday.com
8:33 PM EDT, June 15, 2009

A bill allowing lawsuits by people who say they were sexually abused as children could be voted on today in the state Assembly, although even if it passes its fate in the Senate is uncertain amid the chaotic leadership battle there.

Supporters and opponents Monday declined to predict the bill's fate - even as some lobbied to bolster their positions. ...

Over the past two weekends, Catholics in the Diocese of Rockville Centre heard a written statement at Mass from Bishop William Murphy saying the bill could be "financially devastating," and would divert resources from pursuing the church's mission. Brooklyn and Queens Catholics heard a similar message from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

"Opening a window for the bringing of time barred abuse claims would have a severe negative impact on charitable ministries within the Dioceses, diverting resources from pursuing the Church's mission to the defense of litigation," according to Murphy's statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Our culture of shame

IRELAND
The Irish Times

KATE HOLMQUIST

GIVE ME A BREAK: MONSIGNOR TOM COONAN does not recall using the word “ruffians” in relation to boys detained in Daingean reformatory school, but he does recall saying that they were “no angels” and “unwanted”. He added they were like children unwanted today.

If these kids were no angels, it follows that today’s “unwanted” children are also no angels. I disagree.

Twenty-five years ago, when I started out at The Irish Times , it was an uphill battle to find people willing to tell their stories. The stories were there, but people were afraid because truth-telling equalled shame. I spent most of my time finding people who would speak honestly about cancer, relationship breakdown, the health system, HIV, drug abuse, alcoholism, adoption, unemployment (it was the 1980s), the difficulties of families living in poverty in suburban ghettoes, being female in a male-dominated society, mental illness, inadequate psychiatric hospitals, rape and sexual abuse. And this was in the days before mobile phones and answering machines. Before Liveline and the Oprah factor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Abuse survivors at higher risk of suicide

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Experience of being abused in an institution could lead to anxiety over receiving nursing home care in later life, writes MICHELLE McDONAGH

SURVIVORS OF institutional abuse in Ireland may be at a higher risk of suicidal behaviour if they need to receive nursing home care – as many will – in later life, according to the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF).

Director of research at the NSRF, Dr Ella Arensman, explained that the experience of being abused in an institution had led to huge anxiety among survivors regarding the possibility of receiving nursing home care in later life.

“This fear of what might happen to them as they grow older must be given appropriate consideration as a risk factor for suicidal behaviour among survivors,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

The best place to put all those tiny shoes is in a constitutional locker

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Fergus Finlay

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WHY is there suddenly all this talk about changing the constitution where children are concerned?

The leader of the Green party announced last week that the time had come for a change, and he wasn’t alone. More or less every member of the Government has indicated support for change even if, up to now, none of them seemed to be in too much of a hurry.

The thing that has introduced the sense of urgency is the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse. That report revealed to us all that the abuse of children was wholesale throughout most of the history of the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Protecting the pedophiles

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Tamar Rotem

For several weeks in April last year, the seven-year-old son of residents of the ultra-Orthodox Ramat Beit Shemesh neighborhood insisted on staying at home. "This was odd, because he always loved to go to school," relates his mother. "All of a sudden he looked scared and tried to find excuses not to go."

Then one day the boy suddenly told his elder brother: "The rabbi touched me."

"The rabbi" is a teacher at the ultra-Orthodox Yishrei Lev school for boys, which the boy attended. "When his brother asked, 'Where did he touch you?'" relates the father, "the boy pointed to his intimate parts."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Revived residential school commission to look into Inuit concerns

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Monday, June 15, 2009 | 3:51 PM CT
CBC News
One of three newly-appointed members to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says she plans to bring up concerns raised by Inuit who attended native residential schools.

Some Inuit have said they are not properly represented on the commission, which is tasked with collecting stories from former residential school students across Canada.

None of the commissioners appointed last week by Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl are Inuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

San Leandro woman accuses Catholic priest of sexual abuse

OAKLAND (CA)
Oakland Tribune

By Angela Hill
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 06/15/2009 04:26:34 PM PDT
Updated: 06/15/2009 05:00:23 PM PDT

OAKLAND — A woman who says she recently experienced repressed memories of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in a San Leandro parish in the early 1970s has filed a lawsuit against the priest and Oakland's diocese for unspecified damages.

Standing with her attorney and several members of a support group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Lorene Rouse, 50, of San Leandro, held a news conference outside the diocese offices in downtown Oakland on Monday afternoon, describing incidents she said occurred from 1970 to 1972 at Our Lady of Good Counsel in San Leandro, and naming the alleged abuser as the Rev. Joseph Ferreira.

"This came out last year," Rouse said. "Something had triggered my memories and I was having flashbacks, and now I know that this really happened. It is not something I made up. I would never want to make up anything as awful as this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Chronicles of abuse

CANADA
Labradorian

PETER WALSH
Transcontinental Media

All that's left is the waiting.

After three days of lawyers' submissions this week in St. John's Supreme Court, about 3,000 former students at the province's residential schools must wait until late fall to learn their fate.

That's when Justice Robert Fowler will decide whether their accusations of abuse and neglect will go through the courts as a class-action law suit, or proceed one by one.

Lawyers for the former students - mostly Inuit and Metis - say most of their clients do not have the financial or emotional clout to fight on their own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Developing News: Former Music Pastor In Court Today

ARKANSAS
Today's THV

Posted By: Ashley Blackstone

David Pierce will appear before a Saline County judge this afternoon. He's charged with 54 counts of sexual indecency with a child.

Pierce is expected to enter a plea. Four victims have come forward accusing the 56-year-old of child sex acts. Deputies say some of them happened at the First Baptist Church in Benton.

Pierce worked at the church for nearly 30 years. Detectives say that the alleged crimes happened over the last 15 years. He is out of jail on bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Former Kingston minister pleads no contest to corrupting minors, indecent assault

KINGSTON (PA)
Citizens Voice

BY MICHAEL SISAK, STAFF WRITER
Published: June 15, 2009

A Baptist minister accused last year of fondling two teenage girls in Kingston while playing hide-and-seek in the dark and teaching one-on-one music lessons pleaded no contest today to charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Pastor Brian A. Neiswender, 27, had been scheduled to go to trial today on two counts of indecent assault of a person less than 16 and three counts of corruption of minors, all misdemeanors.

Prosecutors said Neiswender touched the girls, now 18 and 19, while ministering at Christ Community Church, 100 W. Dorrance St., Kingston, for several years starting in August 2003. The girls went to police in February 2008, and Neiswender was arrested last June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

International pastor arrested for carnal abuse

JAMAICA
Go Jamaica

A prominent international pastor visiting Jamaica could be charged this later afternoon with carnal abuse after he was arrested in Little London Westmoreland last night.

He could also be charged with two counts of indecent assault.

The pastor arrived in Jamaica on June 1 for a speaking appointment in Little London. ...

The pastor was arrested last night in front of thousands of people at the crusade as he was preparing to speak.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

NY pastor held for carnal abuse

JAMAICA
radiojamaica

Monday, 15 June 2009
Reports have surfaced that an internationally acclaimed pastor is behind bars for the alleged carnal abuse of a teenager and sexual assault of another.

The pastor who is in Jamaica on the invitation of a local Ministry is accused of abusing the teens at a Westmoreland hotel over the weekend.

The Minister who hails from Brooklyn, New York is a self proclaimed healer, and is known worldwide for his alleged acts of healing, which have reportedly left millions in awe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

N.L. lawyer honoured for work with victims of sexually abusive priests

CANADA
CBC News

A Newfoundland lawyer who fought for sexual abuse victims was honoured in St. John's Saturday.

Greg Stack represented more than 80 people who were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests in Newfoundland and Labrador.

He was recognized for "courage in advocacy" by the Atlantic Trial Lawyers Association.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Priest-molest plaintiff gets new trial

FRESNO (CA)
The Fresno Bee

By Chris Collins / The Fresno Bee

A Fresno County Superior Court judge has ruled that one of the two brothers who lost a key aspect of a priest molestation lawsuit can have a new trial.

A jury found in April that Monsignor Anthony Herdegen had molested two former altar boys between 1959 and 1973 at St. John's Catholic Church in Wasco. But it also found that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno is not liable for Herdegen's actions because church officials didn't know about the molestations at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Santillan Granted Re-Trial

FRESNO (CA)
CBS 47

A new trial granted Monday for one of two alter boys who say they were sexually assaulted as children by a Fresno diocesan priest.

Brothers George and Howard Santillan, alter boys over 35 years ago, lost a civil child molestation and cover up case they filed against the Fresno Catholic Diocese in April.

Monsignor Anthony Herdegen was accused of molesting the brothers from 1959 to 1972 while Herdegen was a priest at St. John's Catholic Church in Wasco, a town just north of Bakersfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Ann Arbor man faces sex charge in Ohio

ANN ARBOR (MI)
Detroit Free Press

BY CECIL ANGEL • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • June 14, 2009

A musician from Ann Arbor has been charged with traveling to Ohio to have sex with two girls ages 12 and 13, a spokesman at the Cincinnati office of the FBI said Saturday.

David Jeremy Zobel, 32, who according to a University of Michigan Web site is a pianist for the college's Men's Glee Club, was arrested Friday by FBI agents and Ann Arbor police at his apartment, FBI Special Agent Michael E. Brooks said Saturday.

Zobel is charged with interstate travel to engage in sexual activities with minors. He appeared before a U.S. Magistrate in Michigan on Friday to determine whether a bond would be set and whether he would be extradited to Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Toledo court may charge man for sexually explicit road trip

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo on the Move

By Amulya Raghuveer
Monday, June 15, 2009 at 2:34 p.m.

TOLEDO -- A church music director from Ann Arbor, who police say drove two underage girls from Xenia to Toledo where he sexually assaulted them, may face charges in a Toledo court.

David Zobel, 32, was charged Friday, in Dayton, with interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Two girls, ages 12 and 13, allege that Zobel met them on MySpace then picked them up in their hometown of Xenia before driving them to Toledo. The girls told federal investigators that Zobel drove them to a downtown Toledo parking garage and forced them to perform sex acts in order to gain their release.

A search of Zobel's Michigan home revealed a camera containing sexually explicit images of the girls at Zobel's house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Episcopal Vacancy

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

The Editors

The U.S. Catholic bishops, who meet June 17-20 in San Antonio, must find a way to inspire as well as to lead an increasingly polarized and alienated flock. Sadly, long-standing divisions within the church have been exacerbated by the recent actions and imprudent words of too many bishops.

It is not apparent that the bishops as a group are fully aware of the damage that has been done both to the unity of the church and to its ability to effectively engage the larger culture. To begin with, there remains the widespread perception that the bishops have learned little from, and shown even less honest regret over, clergy sexual abuse. That is unfair, but such suspicions are kept alive by the defensive, sometimes hostile way in which many bishops deal with the media. Nor is the laity’s or the larger public’s skepticism on this score helped by the lack of financial transparency in many dioceses. In the aftermath of the abuse crisis, one might expect a degree of modesty and humility from bishops when they criticize the errors or failures of others, especially from leaders of a church that has lost a third of its baptized members. What we too often hear instead is strident and self-righteous “prophetic” rhetoric. Too many bishops, in a misplaced effort to emulate the heroic example of John Paul II, seem to imagine that they are battling a new kind of totalitarianism, rather than the more subtle temptations present in any free society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Judge Orders New Trial in Catholic Church Abuse Case

FRESNO (CA)
KFSN

By Andres Araiza

Fresno, CA (KFSN) -- One of two brothers who claimed they were abused by a Wasco Priest will get a new trial.

It is a partial victory for two brothers who claimed they were abused by a Wasco priest.

Because of newly discovered evidence, a Fresno County judge ordered a new trial against the Catholic Diocese of Fresno, but the trial will only cover one of the brothers, Howard Santillan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Mahony Fresno testimony counters evidence which plaintiffs were unable to enter during trial, letters scanned here at City of Angels

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Creator, City of Angels Blog

I hold in my hands this morning so scan here letters that question the truth of Cardinal Roger Mahony's testimony in the clegy case trial March 2009 in Fresno, California. Plaintiffs could not enter this evidence at trial because of Motions in Limine filed by the Bishop of Fresno in the weeks before the trial and granted by Judge Donald Black. Today we await word from Judge Black on plaintiffs motion for a new trial, the decision was to have been issued at the courthouse at 8:30 AM June 15.

The letters scanned in below take you through the career of pedophile priest William G. Allison as he is transfered from Louisiana to Arizona to Los Angeles to Fresno, with a mysterious stint in New Mexico. The correspondence is to and from Mahony when he was an MSW and Diocesan Director in the Monterey-Fresno Diocese in the 1960s. The writings express concerns in shadow language, such as "homosexuality with young boys" describing this active pedophile priest who was breezing through the state while Mahony was in Fresno.

None of these letters are in the Fresno files received by plaintiffs during discovery before the March 2009 trial, where Mahony testified he first heard of pedophiles in the priesthood in 1981, nothing before that. Yet here we have several pieces of correspondence by Mahony concerning the tres flagrante pedophile priest William Allison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Letter from Archbishop Carey to Bennison Cited in Unfolding Drama over Church Property Lawsuit

UNITED STATES
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
6/15/2009

In 2002 when Charles E. Bennison, the Bishop of PA, was busy inhibiting and ultimately "deposing" Fr. David L. Moyer, Dr. George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote a letter to the now disgraced and deposed Bishop of Pennsylvania telling him politely to back off throwing the Anglo-Catholic priest at Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, PA. out of The Episcopal Church.

In hitherto unpublished correspondence, Carey, in a hand written letter, told Bennison, "I am fully conscious of the fact that I have no jurisdiction in the matter ...however allow me to offer a reflection or two. The first arises out of the House of Bishops' decision to produce a Covenant which, as I understand it, is the provision of arrangements where there is a breakdown between a Bishop and a particular church. I welcome and applaud this attempt to provide supplementary epsicopal care. What worries me, Charles, is that your situation will be the first real 'acid' test of the Covenant. Any inhibition of Fr. Moyer will suggest the Covenant is essentially value-less and will be seen as a major blow to Frank Griswold as Presiding Bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Archbishop Hughes, Boston native, retires

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson June 13, 2009 09:28 AM

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday accepted the retirement of Archbishop Alfred Clifton Hughes, a West Roxbury native and former Boston auxiliary bishop, as the archbishop of New Orleans. (Bishops must offer to retire at 75, but the pope can leave them in place as long as he wants; Hughes is now 18 months past the big birthday.)

Hughes has had a pretty rough run in New Orleans, where the archdiocese was decimated by Hurricane Katrina, and where the archbishop decided he needed to close multiple parishes (and allow the arrest of some protesters in the process) because the Catholic population had dropped so precipitously. Hughes has also been criticized for his role as an aide to Cardinal Bernard F. Law in Boston during the period when abusive priests were being moved from parish to parish. This year he also drew headlines when he refused to attend the commencement at Xavier University because Donna Brazile, the Democratic political consultant and a Catholic who supports abortion rights, was being honored. Over at Whispers in the Loggia, Rocco Palmo sums up Hughes's time in New Orleans this way: "a prelate whose seven-year tenure proved unpopular in many quarters, both as a result of Hughes' history in the abuse-tarred Boston chancery over earlier decades and his more recent task of handling the 370,000-member archdiocese's need for post-storm adjustments."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Viewpoints : 55 Lawsuits, 4 Dioceses in Litigation...Albany Stays the Course...ACNA Acts...

UNITED STATES
Virtue Online

The Episcopal Church USA will soon have a new slogan. In light of the some 55 lawsuits and untold millions being spent on litigation, TEC will have a new video for you all to share with your friends - "The Episcopal Church: Can you feel the Love".

Katharine Jefferts Schori, TEC's Presiding Bishop, will take you on an ecclesiastical bus tour of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Quincy, San Joaquin and Ft. Worth where there is so much love evident that thousands of unchurched locals, disillusioned Catholics, reviled homosexuals and lesbians, and burned out evangelicals are pouring into Episcopal churches to witness the unprecedented love never before seen in the 400-year old history of the church.

The lawsuits keep piling up. Rarely does a week go by without another lawsuit either being filed or resolved and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to satisfy The Episcopal Church and keep another parish safely in its bosom, even though most of the occupants have fled to safer spiritual sanctuaries, never more to return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

New Jersey memorial to abuse victims

MENDHAM (NJ)
RTE News (Ireland)

[audio presentation]

Charlie Bird, Washington Correspondent, reports that the millstone memorial is dedicated to victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Priest accused of obstructing justice; resigns

ASHEVILLE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

By David Perlmutt
dperlmutt@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
The pastor of an Asheville Catholic church resigned last week after he was charged with obstructing justice in a child pornography case, David Hains, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, confirmed tonight.

The Rev. John Schneider, pastor of St. Eugene Catholic Church in north Asheville since 2005, was charged last week with purging hundreds of child pornographic photos from the home computer of the church's former music minister to hinder a police investigation, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

A warrant accuses Schneider of going to former music minister Paul Berrell's apartment on May 18 and deleting hundreds of photos from Berrell's computer while he was being investigated. A grand jury indicted Berrell on two counts of indecent liberties with a minor and a count of statutory sex offense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

A priest's faithful march in support

NEWARK (NJ)
Star-Ledger

Monday, June 15, 2009
BY TANYA DROBNESS
Star-Ledger Staff
When the bells rang at St. Lucy's yesterday morning, hundreds of people did not go inside. Instead they marched outside, hoping to persuade an archbishop to allow a priest to continue living at the church.

Reciting "Hail Marys" and carrying signs with the words "Don't take our father away from us," the multigenerational throng proceeded from the church to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, hoping to persuade Archbishop John J. Myers not to require Monsignor Joseph Granato to move out of the church rectory when he retires this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Fetish Priest Rapes Teacher

GHANA
The Ghanaian Times

By Our Reporter
Monday, 15 June 2009
A Kumasi Circuit Court has sentenced a 42-year-old fetish priest, Kwaku Baah, to 20 years imprisonment in hard labour on his own plea for raping a 20-year-old teacher at Ahwiaa near Kumasi.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Archibald Kwesi Fandoh, told the court, presided over by Mr Emmanuel Amo Yartey, that during the morning of November 16, 2008 the complainant visited a friend at Ahwiaa but did not see him.

He said on her return, she saw five men, including Baah sitting in an uncompleted building.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Offaly priest apologises for offence caused by comments on Daingean reformatory

IRELAND
Offaly Express

Published Date: 15 June 2009
AN Offaly priest has apologised for comments he made about inmates of the old St Conleth's Reformatory, Daingean, made last Sunday in St Joseph's Church, Ballinagar.

Monsignor Tom Coonan said on RTE that he had no recollection of describing inmates as 'young ruffians' who were placed in Daingean as no one else would have them.

According to one parishioner, the monsignor also spoke about the matter two weeks ago, saying that he had spoken to someone who denied some allegations made about the reformatory in the Ryan report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Editorial: Careless talk can re-open old wounds

IRELAND
Herald

Monday June 15 2009

Words can be powerful tools for good but they also have the capacity to wound.

Co Offaly priest Fr Tom Coonan has denied he said at Mass yesterday that some of the children sent to the nearby Daingean reformatory were "ruffians" who had not been wanted by society.

However, he admits that in an aside he said that not all the boys sent there were angels. If that caused offence, Fr Coonan says he regrets it and withdraws it. He also says that he totally condemns all the abuse that happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Offaly priest apologises for ruffian remark

IRELAND
RTE News

[with audio]

Monday, 15 June 2009 10:13
A priest in Co Offaly has apologised after describing children who were sent to the Daingean reformatory as unwanted 'ruffians'.

Monsignor Tom Coonan, who made the remarks yesterday at a ceremony in St Joseph's church, Ballinagar, said last night he had no recollection of using the words reported.

Ballinagar is around 10km from Daingean.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Priest's remark on Daingean angers parishioners

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, 15 June 2009
A Co Offaly priest has reportedly upset parishioners by disparaging children sent to the notorious Daingean reformatory.

Fr Tom Coonan allegedly described these children as "ruffians" who were not wanted by society during a sermon at St Joseph's Church in Ballingar yesterday.

Reports this morning say the priest is denying using the word "ruffians", but admits saying not all of the boys sent to Daingean were angels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Outcry after priest brands abuse children 'ruffians'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Eimear Ni Bhraonain and Declan McSweeney

Monday June 15 2009

PARISHIONERS were furious yesterday after complaining that the priest described inmates at a notorious reform school as "ruffians".

Last night Monsignor Thomas Coonan said he did not intend to offend anyone when talking about the Daingean school, which was shamed in the recent Ryan report on institutional abuse. He said his remarks had been taken out of context.

But parishioners attending Sunday Mass at St Joseph's Church in Ballinagar, Co Offaly, expressed disgust at the tone of the remarks, especially as the church is just four miles from the old St Conleth's Reformatory in Daingean.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

All the Denarii of Peter. Vices and Virtues of the Vatican Bank

ROME
Chiesa

Sandro Magister

ROME, June 15, 2009 – In early July, the Vatican will publish its financial report for 2008, as it does every year, in two chapters plus an appendix.

The first chapter will list the income and expenditures of the Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica, APSA, which manages the fixed and current assets owned by itself, the curia, the diplomatic corps, the publishing house, the radio and television stations.

The second chapter will list the income and expenditures of the governatorate of Vatican City State: land, services, museums, stamps, coins.

The appendix will present the total of the Peter's Pence, the collection for the pope taken all over the world every year on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, plus the donations made directly to the pope over the course of the year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Bishop, donors sue Loretto High nuns' order

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza
jgarza@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Catholic bishop and Loretto High School donors are suing the nuns who shuttered the all-girls school earlier this month.

It is the first time in recent memory that a local Catholic bishop has sued a religious order.

Bishop Jaime Soto and seven other financial contributors say in the lawsuit – filed Thursday in Superior Court – that the money they donated to the all-girls campus was designated for the education of local Catholic students and must stay in Sacramento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

German church admits wrong to orphans

GERMANY
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

June 15, 2009 - 5:59AM
The leader of Germany's 26 million Catholics has admitted church orphanages did "wrong" to some children in the 1950s and 1960s and promised individual inquiries.

In an article to appear on Monday, June 15, in the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch says he will soon be meeting personally with some of the victims to hear their stories.

He wrote that he was sorry "children and young people evidently suffered wrong and mental and physical suffering in Catholic orphanages". He called on Catholic charity organisations to let former orphans see their files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Catholics for Ministry mull grassroots pastoral plan

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Almost fifty Catholic laity, priests and religious from around the nation gathered in Melbourne at the weekend to consider the challenges facing the Church.

The catalyst for the meeting was a petition to the Australian bishops in 2007 calling for the ordination of married men and opening up discussion on the ordination of women, PeterMaher.org reports.

Petition organisers, Catholics for Ministry, were overwhelmed by the response. Almost 17,000 people signed including 15,000 parishioners after weekend Mass and 170 priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Church of Sweden rocked by sex scandals

SWEDEN
The Local

The Church of Sweden has already been shaken by several sex scandals this year. Archbishop Anders Wejryd regrets the incidents, and maintains that transparency is the best policy.

In April, the diocese boards in Stockholm, Växjö and Lund had to address several sex-related incidents, including a priest who slept with a grieving widow, another who maintained an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old and a third who hurled abuse at women on an internet dating site.

Wejryd regrets that the incidents occurred, but says it is positive the Church dealt with them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

June 14, 2009

Parishioners in Newark protest priest's removal from church rectory

NEWARK (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

by Tanya Drobness/The Star-Ledger
Sunday June 14, 2009, 4:48 PM
NEWARK -- Holding pickets and rosary beads, hundreds of church parishioners gathered today to protest the Newark archbishop's decision to remove their longtime pastor from the rectory when he retires this month.

The Newark archdiocese maintains that the soon-to-retire Msgr. Joseph Granato must move out of St. Lucy's Church.

He will be allowed to remain pastor emeritus and preside over Mass at the church and other parishes in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Priest denies calling Daingean children 'ruffians' in sermon

IRELAND
The Irish Times

KITTY HOLLAND

PARISHIONERS IN the midlands have been “very upset” by a priest’s sermon at Mass yesterday morning, where it was felt he defended the industrial and reformatory schools in the last century.

Fr Tom Coonan was celebrating Mass at St Joseph’s Church, Ballingar, Co Offaly, yesterday where it is alleged he said some of the children sent to the nearby Daingean reformatory school were “ruffians” who had not been wanted by society.

Fr Coonan said he did not use the word “ruffian” in his sermon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Prelate suggests abusers were let down by church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

IT MUST be asked how a culture “inspired by a punitive, judgmental God” had emerged in church-run institutions for children, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev Diarmuid Martin, has said.

Speaking in light of the Ryan report on child abuse, Archbishop Martin also suggested that perhaps many perpetrators of abuse in those institutions were themselves “victims of a form of Catholicism which never allowed them to experience being loved”.

He was speaking in Dublin at the launch of Who is My Neighbour?, a book edited by Fr Eoin Cassidy, head of the philosophy department at Dublin’s Mater Dei Institute. It is a collection of papers delivered at a conference in Dublin in February 2008, and organised by the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Focus must be on victims, C of I bishop says on Ryan report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

IRELAND IS in trauma following publication of the Ryan report, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork Most Rev Paul Colton has said. But he went on to remind all that in the midst of this trauma, the only people who matter are the victims. “They must be the centre of all our concerns and efforts.’’

In what is believed to be the first public comment by a Church of Ireland bishop following publication on May 20th of the Ryan report on child abuse in Catholic-run institutions, he warned against impetuous responses and told those using it to further their own agenda, to set those agendas aside.

Speaking at the diocesan synod of Cork, Cloyne and Ross in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork at the weekend, he said the nation’s trauma was as nothing compared to the interminable suffering of the victims. “As we have seen again and again, their tears continue to flow,’’ he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

A Krummy Weekend for Diocese of Orange

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra

The pedophile time bomb that was Father Gus Krumm finally exploded locally this week, when a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court alleged that Krumm and another priest molested a student at St. Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach during the early 1990s. All I can say is: about time. In 2004, I wrote about how Krumm kept getting shuffled from diocese to diocese after a stint at the now-shuttered St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara, a notorious Club Ped* for priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Irish child abuse victims calling helplines in record-breaking numbers

IRELAND
Irish Central (United States)

Irish victims of abuse in Church-run institutions have inundated abuse helplines with phone calls since the publication of the Ryan Commission report of clerical abuse of children in Ireland.

Under-staffed and under-funded Irish support services are overwhelmed by the record numbers of child abuse victims seeking help, and are requesting emergency government funds to meet the demand.

Maeve Lewis, executive director of the One in Four support group, which helps abuse victims with prosecutions against offenders, told the Irish Examiner: “It’s been absolutely relentless. We thought it would calm down after a couple of weeks, but it hasn’t.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

The Ratzinger Group, LLC

CONNECTICUT
GetReligion

A few months ago we looked at the lack of media coverage of an attempt by some Connecticut legislators to replace the Roman Catholic Church’s governing structure with a congregational system. Well, the media developed an interest in the story soon enough and the legislators were brushed back by a huge public uproar over the meddling.

But the story continues. The diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., transported parishioners to a rally in the state capital to fight that bill. In doing so, the Connecticut office of State Ethics says the diocese acted as a lobbying organization. And there’s more:

Officials also are investigating whether the church acted as a lobbying organization on its Web site when it urged parishioners to contact lawmakers about the bill, which eventually was withdrawn amid public outcry, and about a another bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was signed into law in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Sumter town wrestles with councilmember accused of sex crime

FLORIDA
Daily Commercial

MILLARD K. IVES
Staff Writer

CENTER HILL -- City Council will try to determine at next month's regular meeting what to do about a member recently jailed on accusations he had sexual relationships with two teen members of his church.

Jose Alfredo Coronado, 38, of Center Hill, and a youth pastor with the Church of God of the First Born, was arrested initially on four counts of sexual battery early this month.

An 18-year-old member told Sumter County Sheriff's officials the two had been sexually involved while he was between the ages of 12 and 14. Additional charges were filed on the short-time councilman after a second teen church member made similar allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Help for victims of clergy abuse

OHIO
Tribune Chronicle

By AMANDA SMITH-TEUTSCH Tribune Chronicle
POSTED: June 14, 2009

YOUNGSTOWN - While cases are few, abuse by pastors and priests isn't confined to any single denomination.

"Clergy abuse can occur in any faith," said Judy Jones of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. SNAP has branches in every state and most major metropolitan areas.

Often, survivors of abuse keep it secret for years.

"It's a very difficult thing," she said. "Often people will see reports on the news and say, look, there are other people out there."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Bolivar church planning Mass minus priest

TEXAS
The Daily News

By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News
Published June 14, 2009

BOLIVAR PENINSULA — Catholics who call the Bolivar Peninsula home were to have their first Mass since before Hurricane Ike struck nine months ago at a nearby Methodist church. The Mass was abruptly canceled Saturday afternoon and parishioners accused the Galveston-Houston Catholic Archdiocese of ordering the Bolivar parish priest to stay away.

Parishioners vow to have the service if only to send a message of their displeasure to the archdiocese.

Members of the Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Port Bolivar have been locked in a fight with the archdiocese to keep the parish going after the hurricane severely damaged the church sanctuary and other church buildings.

Last week, the archdiocese ordered the church be torn down, but a group of parishioners got a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to halt the demolition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Fix flaws in sex-offender law

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

news@theadvertiser.com • June 14, 2009

As you read this morning's paper, you'll see the extraordinary story of Pam Frey. She came forward as an adult to tell authorities that she had been sexually abused as a child by a relative.

You can read more of her story as the series continues this week. One important part of that story, and the story of all Louisiana children who have been sexually exploited, has been written, though not yet finished.

State Rep. Fred H. Mills, D-Parks, has introduced legislation that would require the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to compile a list of offenders in its keeping who have committed certain sexual offenses against children 12 and under. Those offenses include aggravated rape, forcible rape, simple rape and molestation. ...

To see the inadequacy of the current system in these cases, we need look back only 25 years to the Gilbert Gauthe case.

Gauthe was a priest who was shuffled from parish to parish as questions, then concerns and then allegations arose from his behavior with children. Finally, he was arrested and charged with molesting a group of Vermilion Parish boys. Gauthe was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Probing Pushy Preaching

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Business

Laurence D. Cohen

Are you really angry at a church or a coven of Cohen the Columnist worshippers? Your best bet is to call the IRS and accuse the religious folks of violating some obscure paragraph of the tax code.

It’s not that your accusation is likely to stick; it’s just that the IRS guys are the only guys dumb enough to take on the case.

God and Satan have teamed up to create a bewildering stew of tax law and First Amendment litigation and ethics regulations more complex than the Baltimore Catechism. No one wants to go there. It would be like knocking on the door marked ‘Hell,” just to see what’s going on.

And then, there’s the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, which, in violation of the laws of God, Man and Common Sense, has decided to “evaluate” the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, to determine whether it acted as a lobbyist up there at the state Capitol, where lobbyists are required to wear badges and have preachers point at them and scream, “unclean, unclean.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

For once, let's all just stop abdicating responsibility

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By James Downey

Saturday June 13 2009

SHAKESPEARE'S 'Macbeth' said that he had "supp'd full with horrors". We may think that we have sated ourselves with the abominations detailed in the Ryan Report, but we have not.

Soon we will see another document on clerical sex abuse -- the report on the Dublin archdiocese. The disclosures have made Archbishop Diarmuid Martin weep. There will be more tears, more shocks -- and more repentance -- before we can lay this ghost to rest.

And not all the tears, nor all the genuine repentance, nor all the fine speeches such as those we heard in the Dail this week, will suffice to clear our national conscience. Only what the Church calls "a firm purpose of amendment" can do that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

'It is our holocaust'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The emotions differed in each individual who marched but all were there to show solidarity, says Geetha Nicodemus

Sunday June 14 2009

THEIR knees hurt and some were frail. Walking from Parnell Square to Leinster House was too far for some. But they wanted to show their solidarity with the victims of clerical abuse last Wednesday, and they wanted to fight for a safe future for their grandchildren.

So they stood at different spots along the route at distances they knew they could manage to walk. As the crowd approached they held hands to support each other and walked up to join the march. Their emotions ranged from quietly sombre to anger, to tears, and their voices choked as they spoke.They expressed disbelief at the callous way the issue of child abuse had been handled all these years, and they walked in the hope that God was walking with them this day for justice.

"Ours is not a country of dancing leprechauns, shared laughter and of thousands of smiles. This story is our genocide. It is no different from the 1890 story of Indians in Canada where 50,000 kids died in institutions," said Damien Moore who spent seven years at St Vincent's Orphanage, Glasnevin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Catholic schools could fall into wrong hands -- Quinn

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By MAEVE SHEEHAN

Sunday June 14 2009

Labour TD Ruairi Quinn has claimed that Catholic schools could fall into the control of right wing Catholic fundamentalists unless they are taken into State ownership.

Mr Quinn, who last week questioned whether education officials were members of Opus Dei, said: "The real problem now is that they can't service the boards of management because of declining numbers. The people who take over the Catholic school infrastructure are going to be right wing Catholics like Libertas, Spuc and all these driven, hard-right, religiously extreme, lay members of the Church who will be utterly unaccountable to anybody."

He told the Sunday Independent that the Government should simply take control of the school infrastructure from religious orders, which have been forced to revisit their original €128m abuse deal with the Government because of the scale of child abuse released in the Ryan Report. The final bill is expected to be €1.4bn, with more than €400m of this amount potentially going on legal fees. The 18 orders are due to meet the Taoiseach this week with an inventory of their assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Archbishop Hughes' tenure was stormiest in recent N.O. history

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Saturday June 13, 2009, 9:44 PM

Conventional wisdom holds that history requires years to render judgment on leaders, but of New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes this is already certain: The two great catastrophes in the nearly 300-year history of the local Catholic church both detonated on his short watch, trying Hughes as no archbishop before him.

Hughes' seven-year tenure opened with the firestorm of a national sexual abuse scandal and ends in painful recovery from the most destructive hurricane ever to hit New Orleans.

Both bruised the institutional church and altered the ways people relate to it.

The crises befell an archbishop who, from the beginning, acknowledged that he was more comfortable doing one-on-one spiritual direction than managing a major community in crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

No ‘Doubt’ about it: Play evokes strong reactions

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

By: Robin Washington, Duluth News Tribune

This is a column that started out as a forum — regrettably, one I intended to facilitate but never did, around the movie and play “Doubt,” which ends its Duluth Playhouse run this afternoon.

Instead, I’ve asked national experts and locals familiar with the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal to weigh in on the play’s treatment of the subject. If you’ve yet to see the play or movie be warned: This is a plot-spoiler.

The play centers around the suspicions of Sister Aloysius, a Catholic school principal in 1964 New York, that a new, affable priest is molesting a 12-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

June 13, 2009

Prosecutors subpoena Matt Baker's school records, preparing for murder trial

TEXAS
Tribune-Herald

By Tommy Witherspoon Tribune-Herald staff writer

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

McLennan County prosecutors are seeking Matt Baker’s college and high school records pertaining to any criminal investigations, disciplinary actions and counseling sessions.

Prosecutors are preparing for Baker’s trial on charges that the former Central Texas minister killed his wife and tried to mask her death as a suicide.

In an application for subpoenas filed Tuesday, prosecutor Crawford Long requested Chris Holmes of Baylor University’s office of general counsel to supply his office with Baker’s student records from undergraduate and graduate schools, including transcripts and any “documentation pertaining to any student misconduct.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Former Waco-area pastor changes attorney defending him in his wife's death

TEXAS
Tribune-Herald

By Tommy Witherspoon Tribune-Herald staff writer

Friday, May 15, 2009

The former East Texas prosecutor who invited the media to come take their best shots at Matt Baker is back on the case.

Guy James Gray, of Kerrville, the district attorney in Jasper, Texas, for 25 years who prosecuted the James Byrd Jr. dragging-death case, confirmed Thursday that he has agreed to replace Richard Ellison, also of Kerrville, as Baker’s attorney.

Baker, 37, a former Central Texas Baptist minister, is charged in the April 2006 alleged drugging and suffocation death of his wife, Kari, a Hewitt teacher and the mother of Baker’s two daughters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Baptist leaders must consider possible consequences

TEXAS
Stop Baptist Predators

Southern Baptist pastor Matt Baker church-hopped through Texas, leaving a trail of sexual assault and abuse allegations. Yet, no one stopped him. Now he's indicted on a murder charge.

Matt Baker didn't even have to move across state lines. Every step of his career, Baker was in churches and organizations affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Yet, even within that single entity, no one was keeping track of the many allegations against Baker.

A Texas Monthly investigative journalist offered this explanation for why Baker was able to keep getting jobs in Baptist-land despite the many accusations against him:

"To avoid defamation lawsuits, leaders of a church have an incentive to keep their mouths shut when it comes to questionable behavior among clergy, which is perhaps why First Baptist officials said nothing about the allegations when other churches later called, interested in hiring Matt.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Tearing down the 'institutions of terror'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

DAIL SKETCH: WIPE THEM out, said Catherine Byrne. Those “landmark buildings which were institutions of terror should all be wiped from the landscape forever”.

The Fine Gael TD who grew up in the shadow of one of those institutions said “people have suffered enough, and should not be constantly reminded of what has happened to them when they pass these monuments of cruelty”.

She did something unprecedented by using the last moments of her Dáil speaking time for a minute’s silence in tribute to the abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Rights referendum would be 'monument' to victims

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

A REFERENDUM to enshrine children’s rights in the Constitution is “possibly the greatest monument” to the victims of child abuse, according to Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

It has been discussed for more than four years and “the time for debate is now over”.

Speaking during the Dáil debate on the Ryan report, Mr Gormley also said there were many people to blame for the unspeakable horrors children in care endured.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Department 'stood idly by' while children were abused

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

CASES OF child abuse where the Department of Education “stood idly by”, were highlighted in the Dáil during the debate.

Phil Hogan (FG, Carlow-Kilkenny) said that in 2002 he had asked then minister for education Dr Michael Woods for an investigation into “the role of the head of the inspectorate of reformatory industrial schools in giving a clean bill of health to some housemasters and convicted paedophiles like David Murray and Myles Brady in Kilkenny”.

Mr Hogan said that at the time the department was “at the centre of the matters” coming to political and Garda attention and it “stood idly by”. The minister’s response “was a request for me to give him more information rather than to investigate the complaints I had made”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Woods says 2002 deal subject of 'poorly informed comment'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MICHAEL O'REGAN

FORMER MINISTER for education Dr Michael Woods claimed the 2002 deal between the then government and religious orders had been the subject of “some poorly informed comment”.

Some commentators, he said, had claimed that there should have been a full inventory of all the lands, schools, hospitals, care centres and other facilities, before accepting the contribution of the congregations who ran most of the institutions on the State’s behalf.

“This would have meant delay and more pain and suffering for the victims,” said Dr Woods.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Department failed thousands of abused children - O'Keeffe

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MICHAEL O'REGAN

DÁIL DEBATE ON RYAN REPORT: BATT O’KEEFFE criticised the Department of Education for failing to protect children in residential institutions, but strongly defended the department’s current civil servants.

The Minister for Education said that had the department done its job properly, thousands of children would not have suffered the way they did.

“We failed them,” he said.

Mr O’Keeffe rejected claims made in the Dáil on Wednesday by Labour’s education spokesman Ruairí Quinn, who had complained about the department’s failure to provide him with details of the ownership of schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Britain 'treated equally' those failed by State

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

TRIBUTE WAS paid to Britain for “treating equally” Irish people who went there when they failed to get equality in Ireland.

Frankie Feighan (Fine Gael) said “as a country we always aspired to a united Ireland but failed to unite our people. We blame Britain for most of our ills but for this we can only blame ourselves.”

Speaking during the Dáil debate on the Ryan report, he said: “This country has never been equal, not since the foundation of the State . . . There was a hierarchy in this country. We had deference towards the church but also towards intellectuals, doctors and solicitors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Bridgeport Diocese Appeals Release Of Priest Sex Abuse Documents

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI | The Hartford Courant
June 13, 2009
The Diocese of Bridgeport filed a motion Friday to have the full Supreme Court rehear its appeal to keep more than 12,000 pages of court records involving lawsuits against its priests sealed.

The church has asked that the seven-member state court hear arguments on the case, meaning for now that the documents will remain sealed.

"There are several issues that have never been addressed before in Connecticut courts and the full court should hear them," said Ralph W. Johnson III, the attorney for the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Clergy abuse victim launches $2M lawsuit against priest

CANADA
Niagara Falls Review

Posted By SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

The Catholic church continues to be committed to "a process of justice, healing and reconciliation for the victims of clergy abuse," Monsignor Kevin Beach, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, said yesterday.

Beach was responding to a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday against the archdiocese and Dale Crampton, a former priest at St. Maurice parish in Ottawa who was convicted in 1987 of sexually molesting seven boys.

One of his victims, "Alex," who was 14 when he was assaulted by Crampton in 1982, held a news conference this week to announce his $2 million suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Brooklyn's DA Is Unfit For Office

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

VosIzNeais posted a video interview with Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes done for it by Yair Hoffman. Hoffman, a haredi rabbi, may be familiar to some of you for his reporting on the Agriprocessors issue. Hoffman's video camera found only happy workers, a perfect, sparking clean plant and nothing wrong. A few days later the State of Iowa hit Agriprocessors with over 9300 counts of child labor violations.

You can see his transparently pathetic attempt at ambush journalism against Machom Shilo head Rabbi Bar-Hayyim on YouTube, as well.

No one should be surprised that Hoffman was less than professional interviewing Hynes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

'I fear that others are still at risk'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Breda Heffernan

Saturday June 13 2009

THE Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, yesterday admitted losing sleep over fears that children could still be abused by clerics even after the lid has been lifted on past horrors.

Dr Martin said that while the Church has serious questions to ask itself following the publication of the Ryan report into institutional abuse, so too does society at large.

"We have in our diocese very rigid norms with regard to child protection, but I can't say that I sleep calmly every night because you're as strong as the weakest link in those structures and inevitably there are aspects that haven't been looked at," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Episcopalian Abuse Scandal

TEXAS
National Catholic Register

Posted by Tom McFeely

Friday, June 12, 2009 1:34 PM

People who think that sexual abuse by clergy is exclusively a Catholic problem, or that only Catholic bishops have mishandled abuse allegations, or that a married priesthood would solve the abuse problem, should read this article.

It’s a recapitulation published by The Houston Press of an egregious abuse scandal in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, involving a married Episcopalian priest who took advantage of his position as chaplain at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin in the late 1950s and 1960s to prey upon male students. (Warning: the article contains some graphic details and crude language about the sexual abuse that occurred.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Think Again: Those primitive haredim - yet again

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM

One of the first lessons I learned practicing law was that there are usually two sides to a story, no matter how compelling your client's version. My lawyer's antennae were pricked last week by a front-page article in this paper headlined: "Haredi parents take on sexual abuse of children. Ramat Beit Shemesh parents increasingly frustrated with leaders' denial of problem." The piece portrayed two parents who bravely bucked "the stringent cultural norms" of their "tight-knit haredi community in Ramat Beit Shemesh" to seek redress for the alleged sexual abuse of their children.

Another hero of the piece was David Morris, director of Lema'an Achai, who promoted his organization's efforts to assist haredi parents versus the rabbinic authorities who, in many cases, end up "believing the perpetrators' story over the victims." Morris speculates that there is an epidemic of child abuse in Ramat Beit Shemesh based on the wild claim that every case investigated by the police represents 1,000 others not investigated.

WHAT AROUSED MY SUSPICIONS? For one thing, not one local rabbi was quoted. Nor was there any indication that any had even been contacted. The story fit a little too neatly into familiar stereotypes of the haredi world. First, the portrayal of the community and its rabbinic leaders as hopelessly backward, with no knowledge of psychology or awareness of the darker side of human nature. Second, the idea of a community so insular that it would rather let its children be traumatized for life than address its problems or seek outside help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Order to release abuse info appealed

CONNECTICUT
The Day

By John Christoffersen Published on 6/13/2009

New Haven - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport asked the Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday to reconsider a ruling that would make public thousands of pages of documents that detail alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The court's 4-1 ruling last month covers more than 12,600 pages from 23 lawsuits against six priests that have been under seal since the diocese settled the cases in 2001. Most of the victims were altar boys or belonged to church youth organizations.

The records could shed light on how recently retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan handled the allegations when he was Bridgeport bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Diocese Tries to Keep Documents Under Seal

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: June 12, 2009

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport asked the Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday to reconsider its order to unseal 12,000 pages of court documents related to lawsuits claiming sexual abuse of children by priests.

The motion represents the last possible appeal — short of the United States Supreme Court — in a seven-year tug of war between the diocese and four newspapers, including The New York Times. The newspapers are seeking records in 23 lawsuits filed against the diocese and seven of its priests in the 1990s, during the tenure of Bishop Edward M. Egan, who became archbishop of New York in 2000 and retired two months ago.

The documents were sealed in 2001 after the diocese reached settlements with the plaintiffs, most of them former altar boys and youth group members who say they were molested in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, before Bishop Egan’s arrival.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Retired Mono Mills minister sentenced

CANADA
Caledon Enterprise

Friday June 12 2009
BY RICHARD VIVIAN, METROLAND STAFF

A retired Mono Mills United Church minister was sentenced to nearly two years in jail for sexually assaulting a woman he was counselling.

The conviction against Rev. William Major, 65, relates to incidents between 1996 and 2005, while he was stationed locally and in Toronto.

“No decision has been made with respect to an appeal of conviction or sentence,” said Lynda Lamb, Major’s defence attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

A Church Leader's Unusual Confession

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
Saturday, June 13, 2009

In a forthcoming memoir, former Milwaukee archbishop Rembert Weakland reveals his sexual awakening as a gay man and his struggle to remain a prominent -- and celibate -- leader in a church that calls homosexuality "intrinsically disordered."

The progressive Catholic also opens up about leading the worldwide Benedictine Order, presiding at the funeral Mass of famed monk Thomas Merton, befriending Pope Paul VI, butting heads with Pope John Paul II and preparing an authoritative statement on Catholicism and the economy in the 1980s.

At times "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop," set to be published Monday, reads like a Horatio Alger novel. Weakland rises from poverty in Pennsylvania to study classical music at the illustrious Juilliard School in New York, then leads an international religious order and becomes witness to, and even a minor player in, some of the most consequential events in modern Catholicism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

More Accusations Against Valley Priest

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

Two more alleged abuse victims have come forward to the Youngstown Catholic Diocese, accusing a former Valley Priest, Father Thomas Crum, of sexual misconduct.

Youngstown city prosecutors are looking into the allegations against the suspended priest. He was placed on leave last weekend after being accused of sexual misconduct with a student when he taught at Cardinal Mooney in the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

June 12, 2009

New Allegations Surface Involving Youngstown Priest

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ

The Youngstown Diocese tonight reports two more allegations against one of it's priests accused of sexually abusing a minor. A news release from the Diocese says the new allegations concern the Reverend Thomas Crum. He was removed from his duties after a complaint surfaced that he abused a student when he served at Cardinal Mooney High School thirty years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

More Allegations Reported Against Fr. Crum

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

When the Diocese of Youngstown reported that Reverend Thomas Crum was removed from ministry due to a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor more than 30 years ago, the diocese asked that anyone who was abused, or who knew of someone who was abused, come forward. This week, two more allegations against Father Crum have been reported to the diocese. The diocese is working with the families to extend outreach and reconciliation. The information has been turned over to diocesan attorneys who are reporting to civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Youngstown Bishop Removes Priest From All Ministry

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of the Diocese of Youngstown has placed Reverend Thomas Crum on Administrative Leave as a result of a newly reported and credible allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor more than 30 years ago when Father Crum was on the faculty at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown. The allegation was immediately reported to civil authorities. Subsequently, Father Crum admitted to the allegation to Church authorities.

Father Crum, who was pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Canton, has resigned effective immediately. He cannot publicly celebrate the sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself as a priest in good standing.

In accordance with the Diocese of Youngstown Child Protection Policy, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the independent, predominantly lay Diocesan Review Board has been fully advised and supports the bishop’s decision to immediately remove Father Crum from ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

More sexual-abuse allegations against former priest Thomas Crum

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Canton Repository

By Benjamin Duer
CantonRep.com staff report
Posted Jun 12, 2009 @ 04:16 PM

YOUNGSTOWN — Two more sexual-abuse allegations have surfaced against Thomas Crum, former priest of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Canton. A statement was issued today by the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.

Last week, Crum, a native of Louisville and a graduate of Central High School and Walsh University, was removed from ministry by Bishop George V. Murry following credible allegations of an incident that occurred more than 30 years ago involving a student at Cardinal Mooney High School.

Crum was assigned to Our Lady of Peace in 2005. Prior to that, he served at St. Anthony Church in Canton from 1992 to 1994, followed by a leave of absence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Schism in Zambia; priest excommunicated

ZAMBIA
Catholic Culture

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has declared that Father Luciano Mbewe, founder of the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia, has been excommunicated. Father Mbewe is a vocal advocate of permitting priests to marry, and his splinter group has links to Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who was himself excommunicated in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Sources: Alberto Cutié to wed within weeks

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY JAWEED KALEEM
jkaleem@MiamiHerald.com
Alberto Cutié will tie the knot within weeks, say sources close to the former Roman Catholic priest who joined the Episcopal church in late May.

Cutié and his fiancée, 35-year-old Ruhama Buni Canellis, recently hired several off-duty police officers to work security at the high-profile private wedding, which will take place at an unnamed Episcopal church in the next two weeks.

The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, will officiate at the wedding ceremony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

New archbishop says he won't second-guess church closings

NEW ORLEANS
WWL

[with audio]

David Blake Reporting

The first native son to ever lead the New Orleans Catholic Archdiocese has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. 59-year-old Gregory Aymond, who was born in New Orleans and raised in Gentilly, is leaving Austin, Texas to take over for the retiring Archbishop Alfred Hughes.

Aymond says he never dreamed this would happen and is saying hello to New Orleans and goodbye to Austin in the same day.

"I want to be among the people and work with the priests," Aymond said. "We have to make some decisions obviously."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Report: Father Cutié To Wed In Next Few Weeks

MIAMI (FL)
CBS 4

The long-running soap opera between Alberto Cutié and 35-year-old Ruhama Buni Canellis is coming to a storybook ending. According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Alberto Cutié is set to wed his fiance' Ruhama Buni Canellis within the next two weeks.

Cutié and Canellis have hired off-duty police officers to work security at the private wedding. The nuptials are planned to take place at an unnamed Episcopal church, with Rev. Leo Frade, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, leading the wedding.

Cutié and Canellis have been at the center of a scandal after pictures and videos were revealed showing the couple in romantic positions on a South Florida beach. Cutié at the time was under a vow of celibacy as a Roman Catholic priest. But, Cutié wound up leaving the Catholic church saying he was in love with Canellis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Kenyan priests' group plans illicit ordination of new bishop

KENYA
Catholic Culture

June 12, 2009
Spokesman for a small group of Catholic priests dedicated to ending the rule of priestly celibacy have claimed that they remain loyal Catholics, even though they plan to ordain a new bishop without permission from the Holy See-- an act that brings the penalty of excommunication. Father Daniel Kisomo, the leader of the Married Priests Now movement-- which claims only 7 official members-- will be ordained to the episcopacy by Emmanuel Milingo, the Zambian archbishop who was excommunicated in September 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Catholic Church drowns Supreme Court in arguments, in attempt to prevent more lawsuits about pedophile priests in California

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Creator, City of Angels

Whether adult victims of pedophiles will be able to file lawsuits against third parties in California will be decided in the next year by the state Supreme Court. In recent months, two cases regarding California Catholic archdioceses came out of two appellate courts with two opposite opinions of the Legislature's 2002 amendments to the statute of limitations in child sex crimes - a testament to the perpetual confusion in California law, as well as the perpetual fight by the Catholic Church to keep the crimes of its pedophile priests a perpetual secret.

Attorneys for the Catholic Church filed dozens of letters requesting review of Quarry vs. Doe 1 on behalf of archdioceses all over the state - as well as insurance companies and, of course, other law firms. The Supreme Court of California granted the request to review Quarry June 10, 2009.

Here at City of Angels we have tracked down some of those filings and in upcoming posts we will quote them fluidly. The initial Request for Depublication states outright why the Catholic Church wants the Court to keep the Statute of Limitations the way it was before Freud: If Quarry stands there might be more lawsuits against the church.

“In addition to representing the Bishop of Oakland (Doe 1) in Quarry, this office represented the Bishop of Oakland and a number of other defendants in more than 70 cases in (California). This office has currently three matters which are directly impacted by the Quarry opinion. If Quarry stands, more are expected.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

A dangerous precedent (Erin)

CONNECTICUT
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Do you remember this post of Rod's back in March, about how the Connecticut legislature proposed a bill that would remove power from Catholic priests and bishops and mandate that parishes be run by lay people? That bill was defeated, thanks in part due to the outrage and protests by Catholics throughout the state. But now, the State of Connecticut is investigating whether the Diocese of Bridgeport acted as a lobby when it coordinated the actions of concerned Catholics to help them protest against this proposed legislation:

According to the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, the diocese acted as a lobbying organization in March when it rented buses to transport people to a rally in Hartford -- the state capital -- to protest a bill that would have granted more power to parishioners regarding church finances.

Officials also are investigating whether the church acted as a lobbying organization on its Web site when it urged parishioners to contact lawmakers about the bill, which eventually was withdrawn amid public outcry, and about a another bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was signed into law in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Bridgeport Diocese Appeals Release Of Priest Sex Abuse Documents

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI | The Hartford Courant
2:25 PM EDT, June 12, 2009
The Diocese of Bridgeport has filed a motion today to have the whole Supreme Court rehear their appeal to keep more than 12,000 pages of court records involving lawsuits against their priests sealed.

The church has asked that the entire seven-member court hear arguments on the case, meaning for now the documents will remain sealed.

"The decision raises significant concerns and deserves review by the full Court, as opposed to a divided panel," the Diocese states in its court motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Diocese wants court to reconsider release of secret abuse files

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

[the court decision]

[dissent]

By STAFF REPORTS
Updated: 06/12/2009 02:36:11 PM EDT

BRIDGEPORT -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport today asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling last month ordering the release of secret church documents regarding allegations of abuse of children by diocesan priests.

The diocese in its motion for reconsideration asked that entire seven-member court hear its appeal rather than the five-judge panel that, by a 4-1 vote, dismissed efforts by diocesan lawyers to keep under wraps hundreds of pages of depositions, internal church memos and other documents that detail how top church officials, including then-Bishop Edward Egan, allegedly protected abusive priests.

"The decision raises significant concerns and deserves review by the full court, as opposed to a
divided panel," the diocese states in its motion filed in the case, Rosado v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese Corp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Bridgeport diocese appeals court decision to make public sex-abuse documents

BRIDEPORT (CT)
Catholic Culture

June 12, 2009
The Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has decided to appeal a decision by the state's highest court requiring the public release of documents that detail the reactions of diocesan authorities to sex-abuse allegations against Catholic priests. The diocese has asked the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its decision and hear new arguments, saying that the case "raises significant concerns and deserves review by the full court."

The diocese has energetically defended the privacy of files that were sealed after a 2002 settlement with sex-abuse victims. But a lower court ruled in favor of a plea by several newspapers to unseal those files, and the state's highest court upheld that ruling in a 4-1 decision issued in May. During the appeals process the 12,000 documents in question will remain sealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

SNAP Group Starts in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WFPL

Stephanie Sanders June 12, 2009, 12:39 pm

A Louisville chapter of a national organization for people who’ve been sexually abused by clergy has started. The second meeting of the support group is tomorrow. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – or SNAP – started in 1989.

Louisville SNAP Leader Colleen Powell says meeting people with the same experience is often helpful.

“It’s a small group opportunity to tell our stories, be listened to, believed, and decide what we want to do with those feelings,” says Powell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

S.F.'s blast at Vatican was legal, court says

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, June 4, 2009

(06-03) 15:52 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco didn't cross into constitutionally forbidden territory of government hostility to religion when the Board of Supervisors denounced a Vatican order to Catholic Charities not to place adoptive children with same-sex couples, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 2006 resolution condemned the Vatican's "hateful and discriminatory rhetoric" and urged local church officials to defy the order by Cardinal William Levada. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights sued, contending the city was expressing hostility toward Catholicism in violation of the Constitution.

A federal judge threw out the suit, a decision that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld Wednesday. It said the supervisors had acted for a legal secular purpose - to protect gay and lesbian couples from discrimination - and not to express the city's disapproval of Catholicism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Irish child abuse: the particular sufferings of the disabled

IRELAND
The Times (United Kingdom)

Ruth Gledhill

Earlier this week, thousands marched through Dublin in protest at what is turning out to be one of the darkest chapters in the history of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church. Soon after the Ryan report was published, David Sharrock, who writes for The Times in Ireland, wrote a powerful column. He reported the appearance of Michael O’Brien on the RTÉ show Questions and Answers, the Republic’s equivalent of the BBC’s Question Time. Michael listened patiently to the answers given by politicians to his question about whether the assets of religious orders found guilty by a commission report of systemic, endemic child abuse should be frozen. Then he let rip. 'I went to the commission and had seven barristers there questioning me, telling me that I was telling lies when I told them that I got raped of a Saturday, got a merciful beating after it and he then came along the following morning and put Holy Communion in my mouth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Making awful even worse

PENNSYLVANIA
Episcopal Cafe

Radio station KYW has the bare bones of an extremely distressing story from the Diocese of Pennsylvania:

An 81-year-man who says he was repeatedly raped by an Episcopal priest more than 60 years ago is now suing the Diocese of Pennsylvania. When Ralph White was a teenager at All Saints Parish in Wynnewood, he says, he was sexually abused on a number of occasions by the Rev. Gibson Bell.
Rev. Bell influenced White's mother to have her son placed in a mental institution. Later, White's mother disowned her son and willed her estate to Rev. Bell.

Rev. Bell died in 1979, and the church now owns the property.

The Philadelphia Inquirer goes deeper with an extremely sympathetic depiction of the alleged victim:

At 81 and in poor health, Ralph White Jr. is not confident he will live to see a dime from the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Limerick priest predicts tough times will draw more to Novena

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Published Date: 12 June 2009
THE Ryan report into abuse of children in State institutions, rising unemployment and the murders of innocent Limerick people, may draw more to the annual novena, according to Fr Adrian Egan of the Redemptorists Fathers.

The city's biggest festival of faith - the nine day annual novena - will begin on June 19 and annually draws tens of thousands of people to the Redemptorist Church at Mount St Alphonsus.

Fr Egan said the findings of the report "will be very much in our thoughts and prayers at the novena", particularly following the reports of horrific abuse at St Joseph's Industrial School in Glin, Co Limerick

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

N.O. native named Archbishop of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS
WWL

Tom Planchet / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS – Pope Benedict XVI has named a New Orleans native as the new Archbishop of New Orleans to replace Archbishop Alfred Hughes, who is retiring.

Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, is currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, Texas.

Aymond was ordained as a priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1975 after completing studies at the Notre Dame Seminary.

Hughes, who has been the subject of some controversy in the past year over the closing of several area churches, served for 18 months after the retirement age of 75 set by canon law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Vatican names Austin's Bishop Gregory Aymond to replace Hughes as N.O. archbishop

NEW ORLEANS
The Times-Picayune

[announcement from the New Orleans diocese]

[Bishop Aymond's biography]

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Friday June 12, 2009, 5:24 AM

The Vatican for the first time in the city's history today appointed a New Orleans native to head the Catholic church here, naming Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin, Texas the 14th archbishop of New Orleans.

He will replace Archbishop Alfred Hughes, who retires after seven of the most tumultuous years in the 216-year history of the New Orleans church.

Aymond, 59, grew up in Gentilly and spent his entire career in New Orleans until his departure for Texas nine years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

We're a Church, Not a Lobby, Catholic Bishop Tells Ethics Probers

CONNECTICUT
Fox News

By Joshua Rhett Miller

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., says he's a man of God, not a lobbyist. But state officials say he's both.

According to the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, the diocese acted as a lobbying organization in March when it rented buses to transport people to a rally in Hartford — the state capital — to protest a bill that would have granted more power to parishioners regarding church finances.

Officials also are investigating whether the church acted as a lobbying organization on its Web site when it urged parishioners to contact lawmakers about the bill, which eventually was withdrawn amid public outcry, and about a another bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was signed into law in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Silence and tears on a grim journey through evil deeds

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Lise Hand

Friday June 12 2009

THE bright sunshine beamed through the glass dome, suffusing the Dail chamber with light. But on the floor of the House, and in the public gallery above, grief, remorse and anger cast a long dark shadow over the sunlit room.

Usually the Dail proceedings on a Thursday morning are punctuated with rowdy and rambunctious banter during the order of business. But then this wasn't a usual session in the lower House of the Oireachtas -- it was the first day of a two-day debate on the horrendous findings of the Ryan report into child abuse. There were no political shenanigans yesterday, just a grim sense of unity among deputies on all sides of the chamber as they set off on a bleak journey.

For this was a return back into Ireland's far too recent past, a bone-chilling, harrowing but entirely appropriate and necessary revisit of the dreadful, dark deeds perpetrated on the most vulnerable and helpless members of our society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

'Shining a light into the State's darkest corner'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By ine Kerr Political Correspondent

Friday June 12 2009

THE Ryan report has shone a powerful light into the darkest corner of the State's history and is the source of the deepest shame for the nation, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said yesterday.

The catalogue of horror and terror endured by children in the care of religious congregations was "appalling beyond belief", Mr Cowen said in the Dail, where campaign groups and victims of child abuse had gathered in the public gallery.

On the first of a two-day debate on the Report of the Commission into Child Abuse, Mr Cowen made a heartfelt and sombre speech in which he claimed the State had failed hundreds of children in care. He again apologised on behalf of the State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

The day in quotes ...

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday June 12 2009

"What it (Ryan Report) has revealed must be a source of the deepest shame to all of us ... Children in the care of the state and in our care were physically, emotionally and, in many cases, sexually abused and our State and its systems failed to hear their cries or come to their help." --Taoiseach Brian Cowen

"Let us not hide behind euphemisms. This was not just failure to protect. This was torture, pure and simple."-- Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny

"It is fair to say that the sordid saga of the systematic abuse and neglect of children who were handed over by the State into the custody of religious institutions shocked Irish society to its very core." -- Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Lawyer: Client to ask for forgiveness in case involving church funds

FRONTENAC (KS)
The Joplin Globe

By Greg Grisolano
ggrisolano@joplinglobe.com

FRONTENAC, Kan. — With his client facing the possibility of prison time and a large fine, the attorney for a woman who was the pastoral assistant and business manager at the Catholic church in Frontenac said she will ask for forgiveness.

“This has been a very difficult time for Michelle, and our position will be to ask for understanding, mercy and forgiveness,” James Pratt, a Wichita attorney representing Lanora Michelle Driskell Spigarelli, said by phone on Thursday.

When asked whether his client was seeking those things from the court or from the members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Pratt declined to comment further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Newcastle priest still being investigated

SOUTH AFRICA
East Coast Radio Newswatch

Northern KZN detectives have their hands full trying to get to the bottom of a case that has outraged community members at Newcastle. A 48-year old priest appeared in court yesterday on suspicion that he raped and sodomised 15 young children.

Michael Hlongwane was a priest at Vezubuhle Fellowship and stands accused of abusing boys who are aged between four and 14. He was arrested last month after one of the children told his parents about what was going on.

Police spokesperson Shooz Magudulela says Hlongwana asked the court not to release him yet - even though he had appeared yesterday for a bail application. He claims that the priest fears for his life as he has received threats from the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

On Statutes of Limitations in Sex-Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
The Wall Street Journal

By Ashby Jones
We’ll admit it. We really never thought we’d see an interesting article in a mainstream news publication about statutes of limitations, the old staple of first-year civil procedure classes. But lo and behold, the WSJ’s Suzanne Sataline has pulled it off.

In the Law Journal column on Thursday, Sataline wrestles with the question of whether statutes of limitation should be retroactively modified to allow victims of child abuse to sue their abusers. A handful of legislatures have grappled with that question, as it turns out, and said yes.

In 2002, California allowed victims one year to file cases against their abuser or the employer, no matter when the abuse had occurred. Delaware followed suit in 2007, giving people two years to bring accusations in civil court. This year, New York state legislators have been debating a one-year statute

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Dáil debates Ryan report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Dáil is holding a special sitting today to conclude its debate on the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

The debate is expected to finish today.

Yesterday Taoiseach Brian Cowen said the Ryan commission report “has shone a powerful light into probably the darkest corner of the history of the State”.

Mr Cowen said the report “radically changed” the public’s perception of what went on in the institutions and has “vindicated once and for all” former residents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Dáil to resume Ryan report debate

IRELAND
Ireland Online

12/06/2009 - 07:51:40

The Dáil's two-day debate on the findings of the Ryan report on child abuse is due to resume at Leinster House later today.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach reiterated the Government's apology to the victims of abuse by members of religious orders in state-owned institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Clerics dodge responsibility to claim moral high ground

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARY CONDREN

Church figures cannot be allowed to blame abuse on those without “real” vocations

TO THIS day, I can still see my father’s face when the letter came from the Archbishop of Dublin in the early 1950s. A young married man with several children, a labourer in Guinness, he too had witnessed the crocodile walks of dozens of children in the inner city, accompanied by women, young and old, in starched French head dresses, long woolly habits and ill-fitting shoes, their faces drenched in the perspiration of hot summer days.

Heartbroken, incapable of Not Knowing, he and his companions decided to act: Santa Claus parcels and parties in the Mansion House at Christmas; trainloads of children out of Dublin on summer excursions to Gormanston; film shows and parties at special seasons – all of these punctuated my childhood. But it was never enough: nothing ever would have been. These were the tragic consequences of a society committed to Not Knowing.

Rivers of alcohol ran through O’Connell Street in the Christmas of those times: pools of misery flooded the orphanages and tenements. My father and his companions made the connections and proposed a solution. A Christmas crib would be erected at the base of Nelson’s Pillar. The Artane Boys’ Band would be invited to play throughout Christmas Week. Collections would be made. Basic comforts for the orphaned and those who cared for them would follow from the citizens of Dublin. He wrote to the archbishop requesting his blessing on this work. Citizens of Dublin? To the archbishop in those days only Protestants were citizens; the rest were, in his words, members of “my parish”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

N.J. justices uphold law in child sex abuse cases

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Friday, June 12, 2009
BY MARY FUCHS
STATEHOUSE BUREAU
The state's highest court yesterday upheld a statute of limitations law that determines when victims of childhood sexual abuse can bring charges against their alleged abusers.

Advocates for sex abuse victims lauded the decision, saying the state Supreme Court was lending its authority to a law they say was loosely interpreted by lower court judges.

"It's a game-changer," said Stephen Rubino, a Margate lawyer who has represented victims in clergy sex scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Reduced to tears by harrowing tales of the vulnerable

IRELAND
The Press and Journal (Scotland)

By Derek Lord

Published: 12/06/2009

RETURNING home on Wednesday afternoon, I found Herself in floods of tears. She was listening to an Irish radio station covering a march of more than 5,000 people in Dublin that had been organised by some of the victims who had suffered at the hands of nuns and Christian Brothers in Ireland’s industrial schools for most of the 20th century.

The last of these brutal establishments was only closed down in the 1990s. A 2,600-page report into the horrific treatment meted out to the children in over 200 of these correctional schools was released recently, much to the embarrassment of the Catholic Church and the politicians who for generations had turned a blind eye to the sexual and psychological abuse suffered by thousands of vulnerable children in their charge.

The march was aimed at Leinster House, the seat of Ireland’s government, but most of the politicians were conspicuous by their absence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Anderson guilty; gets 5 life sentences

TEXAS
The Herald-Zeitung

By Chris Cobb
The Herald-Zeitung
Published June 12, 2009

A Comal County jury found former youth pastor Matthew Anderson guilty of sexual assault Thursday, sentencing him to life in prison for abusing a 16-year-old boy.

Anderson, 31, was accused of using passages of scripture to victimize a devout young Christian and coerce him into performing numerous sexual acts in late 2005 and early 2006.

After two days of highly religious and at times graphic testimony, the 12-member jury deliberated for an hour before convicting Anderson of five separate counts of sexual assault of a child and an additional two counts of indecency with a child by contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

The Court said they do not know yet if Grassi is a second offender

ARGENTINA
Momento 24

The president of the court, Luis Maria Aldueza, who condemned the priest Julio Cesar Grassi to 15 years of prison for sexual abuse and corruption of minors, justified her decision of not putting him on jail because there is no possibility of leaving the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Parish leaders to catechists: No more outside CCD classes

ROCKPORT (MA)
Gloucester Daily Times

By Patrick Anderson
Staff Writer

Margaret Sullivan of Rockport converted to Catholicism five years ago, immersed herself in the faith and became one of the most popular catechists on Cape Ann by teaching religion from the kitchen table instead of the classroom.

With Hail Mary Freeze Tag, Lord's Prayer Capture the Flag and spiritual wilderness hikes, Sullivan and a group of Rockport residents cultivated a faith-based community in backyards instead of church property.

But now those classes are in jeopardy because of liability concerns among the leaders of Holy Family Parish and new rules banning group classes in private homes that are considered unsafe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Violence in Argentine courtroom as prominent priest convicted of abuse

ARGENTINA
Catholic Culture

June 12, 2009
Father Julio Cesar Grassi, founder of an organization that assists Argentine street children, has been convicted for the sexual abuse and rape of a minor and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The judges ruled that in preparing victims for abuse, Father Grassi was “intending to change the sexual orientation of the victims.” The judges also acquitted Father Grassi on 15 other counts of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

June 11, 2009

Harsh words make my point

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Did you see the article about my book in the Associated Baptist Press? Did you see the first guy’s comment underneath the review?

Take a deep breath and take a look. Here’s what he says:

“This woman is on nothing more than a vendetta against the SBC because she's still having problems as a result. Her constant desire to get publicity is evidence of her penchant for hateful revenge. Frankly, I suspect her alleged experience really happened, and yet it's still just a story without substantiation. Being Baptist had nothing to do with her experience. It happens is all walks of life and it's unfortunate. The article states that she 'found him on her own.' What more compelling evidence can there be but that this woman still has mental/emotional issues she can’t overcome?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

N.J. Supreme Court upholds time limits for sex abuse lawsuits

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Mary Fuchs/State House Bureau
Thursday June 11, 2009, 1:25 PM

TRENTON -- The state's highest court today upheld a statute of limitations law that determines when victims of childhood sexual abuse can bring charges against their alleged abusers.

Advocates for sex abuse victims lauded the decision, saying the state Supreme Court was lending its authority to a law they say was loosely interpreted by lower court judges.

"It's a game-changer," said Stephen Rubino, a Margate lawyer who has represented victims in clergy sex scandals.

The Child Sexual Abuse Act, enacted in 1992, gives victims two years to sue the accused offender once they have realized the emotional and psychological effects of the abuse. But Rubino said courts often misinterpreted the law and threw out valid cases of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Point-scoring put aside for sombre reflection on report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MICHAEL O'REGAN

DÁIL SKETCH: YESTERDAY WAS a very different kind of day in the Dáil. Political point-scoring was put aside for an extended debate on the sordid and shocking contents of the Ryan report.

The mood was sombre. Speaker after speaker emphasised the shame of church and State.

Harrowing stories of the ill-treatment of children, almost incomprehensible in their brutality, were heard.

Fine Gael’s Jim O’Keeffe remarked that it was the saddest debate he had witnessed in over 30 years in the Dáil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

State still failing to protect children in 'grave danger' of child abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

THE GOVERNMENT must act urgently to protect vulnerable children today,” said Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin who warned that “the nightmare of child abuse is not a thing of the past; it is happening every day”.

“Most of this abuse takes place in the family home. If the services are not in place, the State today will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it conspired with the church to cover up the abuse of children.”

Mr Ó Caoláin said during the Dáil’s debate on the Ryan report that “the woefully inadequate state of our child protection services has been repeatedly exposed”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Congregations ignored requests to hand over money, says Dempsey

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MICHAEL O'REGAN

MINISTER FOR Transport Noel Dempsey sharply criticised the religious congregations for the attitude they took to funding when he held the education portfolio.

He said: “I benefited from a good education by the Christian Brothers. Most fair-minded people would acknowledge that the vast majority of the religious who taught in our schools were not involved in abuse.

“However, I was appalled at the attitude taken by the representatives of the congregations when I met them in December 2003 to request that they pay the State the €6 million they received from their insurance companies as an ex gratia payment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Light 'shone into darkest corners in history of the State' - Cowen

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

THE RYAN commission report on child abuse is one of the most important reports “and almost certainly the gravest ever published in the history of the State”, Taoiseach Brian Cowen told the Dáil.

It “has shone a powerful light into probably the darkest corner of the history of the State. What it has revealed must be a source of the deepest shame to all of us.”

Opening the two-day debate on the report, which investigated the systematic abuse over decades of children in institutions run by 18 religious congregations, Mr Cowen repeated the apology to abuse victims made on behalf of the State by his predecessor Bertie Ahern in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Hand over primary school network to State, says Gilmore

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

THE PRIMARY school network should be handed over to State ownership, according to Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, who said there are 3,200 such schools but the State owns fewer than 100.

He said the most important lesson from the Ryan commission report is “accountability and this must be at the heart of any future reforms. No institution is above the law. Every institution must be examined, inspected and held to account for what it does”. And “because we are now paying for them we the people are entitled to reform our health, education and welfare systems to meet our current needs, rather than the demands of those who founded them so may years ago”.

Mr Gilmore said: “We should begin by transferring the physical infrastructure of our publicly-funded schools and hospitals into the ownership of the State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

All-party motion

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The following is the text of the all-party motion for the two-day Dáil debate on institutional child abuse:

That Dáil Éireann: accepts the conclusions of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and in particular the failure of the State and the religious congregations running the institutions to protect the children who were placed in these institutions from abuse; acknowledges the pain and suffering endured by the former residents of institutions and that the commission’s report vindicates their claims of abuse and that crimes were committed by members of the religious congregations and others against children placed in care; expresses its revulsion at the extent, severity and nature of the abuse suffered by children in residential institutions; restates the sincere apology of the House to the victims of childhood abuse for the failure to intervene, to detect their pain and come to their rescue; notes that the Minister for Children will be submitting a plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the commission’s report to the Government for its approval by the end of July; restates the acceptance by the House of all of the recommendations contained in the commission’s report and its support for their full implementation;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Nation should be haunted by 'famine of compassion'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MICHAEL O'REGAN

FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny said the Ryan report shamed the Republic as a state and as a society.

“The legislature must deal with the consequences of the horrors of the past and set down what we can to deal with the future,” he added.

Through the decades, he said, the mantra was that the children should be cherished equally.

“As we now know, the State was ignoring the neglect and abuse of the most vulnerable of our children. This was not cherishing them or Christian compassion. It was a failure to care. We stand complicit in the criminalisation of little children as a consequence of their poverty, but that is just the beginning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Schweigemarsch für Missbrauchsopfer in Irland

IRELAND
norbert.denef.com

Dublin (AFP) — Tausende Menschen haben in Irland mit einem Schweigemarsch an die Missbrauchsopfer in Schulen und Kinderheimen der katholischen Kirche erinnert. Die Demonstranten trugen weiße Bänder und stellten symbolisch Kinderschuhe vor dem Parlamentsgebäude in der Hauptstadt Dublin ab. Angeführt wurde der Zug von vier Überlebenden, die “in Erinnerung an die Lebenden und die Toten” zwei weiße und zwei schwarze Kränze vor dem Leinster House niederlegten. Die Polizei sprach von 7000 Demonstranten, die Zeitung “The Irish Times” von bis zu 15.000 Teilnehmern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Man suing over Ottawa clergy abuse put up to it by lawyer, diocese says

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

June 11, 2009 5:02 PM
OTTAWA — A day after a former altar boy announced he's suing Ottawa's Roman Catholic archdiocese over his abuse at the hands of a priest, the archbishop's spokesman suggested the man is only suing because a lawyer wants him to.

An Ottawa man who can only be identified as "Alex" filed suit for $2 million this week over claims he was assaulted by Rev. Dale Crampton, then the pastor at St. Maurice Church on Percy Street, beginning in 1982. In 1986, Crampton pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting seven altar boys. Four years later the archdiocese paid $150,000 to the families of three of the boys, but Alex said in a Wednesday news conference that he was unaware of the settlement and has never had so much as an apology from the church.

Msgr. Kevin Beach, the archdiocese's vicar general, said in a written statement Thursday that the church "is committed to a process of justice, healing and reconciliation for the victims of clergy abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Youngstown Prosecutor Says Investigation To Proceed In Priest Abuse Case

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

When we first heard from Bishop George Murry earlier this week about this alleged sexual misconduct, the Bishop said the victim told him he understood the statute of limitations for any criminal charges would have passed long ago.

But after some extensive research, the local prosecutor tells me today that may not necessarily be accurate. Atty. Jay Macejko says, "it appears that there is an argument to make that this is a viable case." The prosecutor says there are at least three other sexual abuse cases on the books suggesting an investigation of Father Thomas Crum can be pursued.

Crum was placed on administrative leave by Youngstown Bishop George Murry last week after it was learned Crum engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor back in the mid-70's. At the time Crum was on the faculty at Cardinal Mooney High School and the alleged victim was a student there. On Tuesday, the Bishop told reporters the victim was now requesting anonymity, saying that day, "I will honor the request of the victim."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Ex-student sues, says he was molested by 2 priests at same time

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – A former Catholic school student claims that two priests at a Huntington Beach parish molested him in the early 1990s, and also blames the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for not removing one of the clerics from the school even after another accuser was paid a monetary settlement.

The accusations directed at Rev. Gus Krumm, a former associate pastor at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church and Rev. Alexander Manville, a retired priest who still resides at the parish, were detailed in a lawsuit filed this week in Orange County Superior Court.

Krumm, a Franciscan priest who has since been removed from ministry, had been an associate pastor at Sts. Simon and Jude from July 1998 to September 1998 before he left to become head pastor of a Portland church. He was later moved to a Sacramento church, and was removed there in 2003 after admitting to sexual misconduct with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Child abuse was part of a prevalent church culture, Irish bishops say

IRELAND
The Catholic Review (United States)

By Cian Molloy
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN, Ireland – The abuse of children in institutions run by Catholic priests and nuns was part of a culture that was prevalent in the Catholic Church in Ireland, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said at the conclusion of its summer meeting.

The bishops spent a major portion of their June 8-10 meeting discussing a report from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, published May 20 under chairman Sean Ryan. The commission found that church institutions failed to prevent an extensive level of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

“The Ryan report represents the most recent disturbing indictment of a culture that was prevalent in the Catholic Church in Ireland for far too long,” the bishops said. “Heinous crimes were perpetrated against the most innocent and vulnerable, and vile acts with life-lasting effects were carried out under the guise of the mission of Jesus Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Piccoli pleads guilty to targeting Catholics in Ponzi scheme

BUFFALO (NY)
Catholic News Agency

Buffalo, N.Y., Jun 9, 2009 / 11:53 am (CNA).- A New York businessman pleaded guilty Monday to mail fraud and tax evasion in a scam that conned millions of dollars from primarily Catholic investors.

With about 150 of his victims present to watch him, 82-year-old Richard Piccoli admitted to running a Ponzi scheme aimed at Catholics for nearly two decades.

Piccoli, owner of Gen-See Capital Corp, declined to comment after his appearance in the U.S. District Court in Buffalo. Piccoli had been advertising for his company primarily in Catholic publications, targeting clergy and Church entities, and offering priests as references.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Bishops determined to maintain role in schools

IRELAND
Ireland Online

11/06/2009 - 07:29:42

Ireland's Catholic bishops appear determined to maintain their involvement in the running of hundreds of schools across the country.

The bishops issued a statement last night following a three-day meeting in Maynooth to discuss the fallout from the Ryan Report into the widespread abuse of children in religious-run State institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Irish Question Catholic Identity After Abuse Report

UNITED STATES
KPCC

Jun 10, 2009 | Rob Gifford | NPR

In Ireland, a report into child abuse in schools and orphanages run by Roman Catholic religious orders has renewed debate over the power the church wields in Irish society — especially in the field of education. The report found a shocking level of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

In Ireland, an explosive report by an independent commission into child abuse in schools and orphanages run by Roman Catholic religious orders has renewed debate over the power the church wields in Irish society — especially in the field of education.

The report, known as the Ryan Report after the senior judge who led the investigation, found a shocking level of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in the church's care throughout the 20th century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Clergy abuse case considered

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, June 11, 2009
The state Supreme Court took up an Oakland case Wednesday to decide whether six brothers who say they learned only recently that their psychological problems had been caused by a priest's sexual abuse during their childhood can sue the Catholic Church.

The seven justices all voted to grant a hearing on an appeal by Oakland's Catholic Diocese of a ruling reinstating a lawsuit by the men, who said a priest molested them in the early 1970s. A lawyer for the brothers said the case would decide whether many other Californians in similar circumstances can sue for damages.

Lead plaintiff Terry Quarry and his five brothers, ages 43 to 49, sued the diocese in 2007, saying they had discovered only recently that their psychological problems as adults were related to the molestation they allegedly suffered as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Brooklyn Bishop to Have Heart Bypass

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By Paul Vitello

Nicholas A. DiMarzio, the Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn.Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, 64, the leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, is scheduled to undergo heart bypass surgery next week. ...

Also, he has been actively — and sometimes contentiously — lobbying to block a bill in Albany that would make it easier for those claiming they were victims of sex abuse as children to file lawsuits.

Such a law would drive the diocese to bankruptcy, he claims. And when churches and schools are shuttered as a result, angry Catholics will punish the lawmakers responsible, he has said.

In recent days, his lobbying led Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey of Queens, sponsor of the child sex abuse legislation, to accuse him of stepping close to the line of church-state separation protections.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Brothers Sue D.C. Archdiocese, Charging Abuse by Priest

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two brothers who allege they were victims of sex abuse by a priest in the 1950s and early 1960s filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Archdiocese of Washington and the churches where they say some of the abuse occurred.

Donald F. Burns, 62, and Stephen F. Burns, 63, say in their lawsuit that the archdiocese at the time knew or should have known that Monsignor R. Joseph Dooley would molest them because the church knew of other incidents involving boys abused by Dooley.

The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Superior Court, alleges that much of the abuse occurred in the Burns home and in Dooley's trailer in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he took them. Donald Burns said he was abused from the age of 12 to 14, and Stephen Burns said he was sexually assaulted from age 9 to 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Is Pennsylvania a pro-pedophile?

PENNSYLVANIA
Examiner

Mike Ference
Pittsburgh Independent Examiner

Now that we know an entire country (Ireland) permitted dysfunctional sex freaks, disguised as Catholic clergy, to torture and molest innocent children for decades, maybe, it’s time to expose the same heinous crimes in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Former PA State Rep. Lisa Bennington, D-Allegheny County, held a press conference on May 12, 2008 in Harrisburg, PA to discuss legislation known as the Child Victim’s Act of Pennsylvania, which addressed statute of limitations and identifying sex abusers.

If the bill had passed, it would have changed the age at which a civil suit could have been filed from until the accuser is 30 to 50, bringing the civil statute of limitations in line with the criminal statute. The bill would also have suspended the civil statute of limitations for two years in child sex abuse cases in which the statute had expired so that people over the age limit could file a suit. And it would have allowed the filing of such actions against child sex abusers and their enablers in both public and private institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

The Maturing of a Movement: Statute of Limitations Reform for Sex Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By MARCI A. HAMILTON

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When the California legislature passed amendments to its statute of limitations on child sex abuse in 2002, no one knew that its members were initiating a revolution for child sex abuse survivors. The key innovation was the "window" legislation, which gave survivors one year (2003) to file claims even if the statute of limitations for their claims already had expired. In this column, I'll consider the growing influence of this important law and its supporters.

The Facts Learned from the California Experiment

There is no question that the California legislation was passed in part as a response to the public revelations about the cover-up of child sex abuse by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, stemming from the investigative reporting in the Boston Globe. But the legislators did not pass the window legislation to apply solely to the Church. The legislators took what they had learned from the problems with the hierarchy of the Church – the fact of pervasive and hidden child sex abuse – and then passed legislation to benefit all victims of child sex abuse. Thus, the legislation was not at all anti-Catholic, but rather anti-child abuse. Courts reached this obvious conclusion repeatedly, with Melanie H v. Sisters of the Precious Blood being the leading decision.

In California, over 1,000 survivors came forward (about 850 from the Catholic Church). No one knew, though, what the benefits or costs of the window would be. It was a large experiment. Now that the claims have been litigated or settled, however, there are important facts that we have learned for the first time, or that reinforced facts unearthed by previous studies:

First, window legislation is not just good for victims. It is good for everyone. Windows divulge the perpetrators' and their enabling institutions' ugly secrets. In California, the names of over 300 perpetrators who had never before been named publicly were released. And the bishops' role in placing children's needs below public appearances was also elaborated. Making that information public is a benefit to every parent and child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Vicar sacked for sending sex texts to teenage girl during 'crisis of faith'

WALES
Daily Mail

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:59 PM on 11th June 2009

A village vicar has been sacked after he admitted sending a series of sexually explicit text messages to a teenage parishioner.

Reverend David Waters, 61, targeted the schoolgirl with the messages which he sent to her mobile phone, a tribunal has heard.

Rev Waters, rector of St Catwgs Church in Gelligaer, South Wales, admitted that he sent text messages of an 'unseemly, sexual and intimate' nature to the girl during a crisis of faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Cleric dismissed after texting explicit messages to teen girl

WALES
Wales Online

Jun 11 2009 By Sian Watts

A PRIEST who claimed he had left the church after “losing his faith” has been banned from the clergy after sending lewd text messages to a teenage parishioner.

The Reverend David Waters, was the Rector of St Catwg’s Church, Gelligaer, before being removed. At the time he claimed he had been relieved of his duties after “losing his faith”.

But a Church in Wales tribunal decided that Rev Waters should be banned after he sent sexually explicit text messages to a girl under the age of 18. Rev Waters was subject to an internal investigation by the Church after being suspended in June 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM