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July 31, 2009

Mexican bishop announces laicization of priest accused of sexual abuse of minors

MEXICO
Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Mexico, Jul 31, 2009 / 06:28 pm (CNA).- Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan announced this week the Holy See has approved the removal of “Nicolas Aguilar Rivera from the clerical state,” a priest who has been accused of the sexual abuse of minors in Mexico and the United States.

Bishop Aguilar explained that the decision by the Pope, which was made public by the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, is final and cannot be appealed. He said all the priests of the Diocese of Tehuacan have been informed of the decision.

While he expressed sadness over the case, Bishop Aguilar also noted that there are “many priests who have given and are giving honest and spiritual testimony to their priestly ministry, and this gives us comfort, peace and joy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Mahony aided pedo-priest escape to Mexico to evade the law, in new L.A. case quoted here; plus FBI interrupts Knights of Columbus; & Twitter SNAP

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

Police interviewed 26 children who were abused by the priest during his nine month stay in Los Angeles, says the complaint in case #BC416014 filed June 18th. Plaintiffs describe sex crime coverups re Father Nicholas Aguilar-Rivera, who was brought to California by Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1987, after residents of Cuacnopalan, Puebla, Mexico, ran him out of town for his perversions with children. Then in 1988 Mahony sent the pedophile priest back to Mexico, after parishioners / crime victims started complaining to police in L.A. From the June 18, 2009 Complaint:

"In January 1988, several children complained to their parents of Father Aguilar's abuse. The parents reported these complaints to the parish school teacher, the principal, and the pastor of Defendent Doe 2.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Bail set at $300,000 for retired pastor

ST. CLOUD (MN)
St. Cloud Times

By David Unze • dunze@stcloudtimes.com • July 31, 2009

A retired pastor and former volunteer chaplain for the St. Cloud Police Department was ordered jailed in lieu of $300,000 bail today after being charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Arthur James Ree, 82, is accused of sexually abusing a girl numerous times between 1998 and 2006. That abuse occurred at Ree’s residence on Wildwood Road and happened during a time when Ree was working as a volunteer chaplain for the city’s police department.

Ree also was employed at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center as a chaplain from 1984-1997, said Joan Vincent, spokeswoman for the VA. She said she couldn’t comment about whether there were any complaints lodged against Ree during his time there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Abuse report to go to High Court

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 31 July 2009

The Justice Minister is to refer the Dublin Archdiocese report into child abuse to the High Court for direction on whether or not to publish it.

Dermot Ahern was advised by the Attorney General and the DPP that publishing the report in its current form may prejudice some ongoing criminal proceedings.

The Minister said that he's anxious the report is in the public domain as quickly as possible but that he doesn't want to do anything that may harm the perpetrators of child sex abuse being brought to justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

An ear to listen

OREGON
East Oregonian

By KATHY ANEY
The East Oregonian

Virginia Jones bills herself as a compassionate listener, a human magnet for heart-breaking stories of abuse.

During Jones' Walk Across Oregon, she hopes people will seek her out and share tales of rape, domestic violence, clergy abuse and other mistreatment.

The Portlander's journey started Tuesday in La Grande and Jones plans walks in towns from Joseph to the Pacific Ocean. Last year, she walked in the southern part of the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Parishioners show faith in accused priest

SALINAS (CA)
The Monterey County Herald

Updated: 07/31/2009 01:27:52 AM PDT

Parishioners show faith in accused priest

Bailiffs on Thursday were forced to turn people away from a Salinas courtroom packed with supporters of a Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old parishioner.

Antonio Cortes was in court for scheduling of his jury trial. The proceeding was continued until Sept. 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Priest Caught Up in Sex Sting

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Courthouse News Service

By JOE HARRIS

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A priest is among the three men charged with sex trafficking of children. James Patrick Grady, 57, faces federal charges of attempted sex trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion.

On July 29, Grady allegedly answered an email placed by undercover law enforcement officials that indicated that minor girls were available for sex. Prosecutors say Grady was sent a digitally altered photo of a 16-year-old girl. Grady allegedly asked for a price for a half hour and an hour, and indicated that he wanted a half hour with the 16-year-old. He was arrested when he arrived at an agreed upon location.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Archdiocese of Boston suspends faculties of Brazilian priest

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced July 25 that the faculties of Father Pedro Jose Damazio had been suspended as a result of receiving allegations of adult sexual misconduct.

Father Damazio is a priest of the Diocese of Tubarao in Santa Catarina, Brazil. He has been serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua in Cambridge and has also served the Brazilian community throughout the archdiocese.

“The decision to suspend Father Damazio’s faculties represents the archdiocese’s commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Father Damazio’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to these allegations,” the archdiocese said in the statement announcing the suspension.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Editorial: Sins of our fathers

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Jewish Star

Issue of July 31, 2009 / 10 Av 5769

In April 2007, the Baltimore Jewish Times published the accounts of three victims of Ephraim Shapiro, a former congregational rabbi and principal of the Talmudic Academy in Baltimore. Their accounts of sexual abuse at Shapiro’s hands were harrowing. Shapiro, a revered member of the community, had unsupervised access to hundreds of children.

By the time the article ran, Shapiro had been dead for over seventeen years — he died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1989. Phil Jacobs, executive editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, characterized it correctly: Shapiro’s memory “remains ‘alive’ in the memories of so many. His collateral damage is everywhere.”

The Baltimore Jewish Times was heavily criticized for publishing the story. Two prominent rabbonim had asked that Shapiro’s name be kept out of print; Rabbi Moshe Heinemann demanded that his community prohibit the Baltimore Jewish Times in their homes. Jacobs, a survivor of sexual abuse himself, was ostracized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Laws won’t turn teachers into criminals, says minister

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Strict new laws for reporting suspected cases of child abuse will not amount to the “criminalisation” of teachers, nurses and other State employees, according to Minister for Children Barry Andrews.

State employees who deal with children will be obliged to report cases of suspected child abuse to authorities under reforms to strengthen the child protection system.

The new system, while it could result in disciplinary action or loss of jobs, is not expected to lead to criminal proceedings against employees who fail to act on their suspicions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Church Sex Crimes: Keeping your children safe

SOUTH CAROLINA
WCBD

By Larry Collins
Reporter
Published: July 30, 2009

It has been a week of headlines, with two Lowcountry clergy members accused of sexual crimes.

“It’s heartbreaking. I read the paper and watch TV just like everyone else. It’s getting that it’s not surprising,“ Rev. Jim Hunter of Hibben United Methodist Church said.

It’s a sign of the times and just one reason the United Methodist Conference started the Safe Sanctuaries program. Every Methodist church in the Lowcountry must comply.

“Of all the places in the world… children and vulnerable adults will be safe when they come to church,“ Hunter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Chaplain Arrested for Sexual Assault

ST. CLOUD (MN)
Fox 9

Published : Thursday, 30 Jul 2009, 8:49 PM CDT

SAINT CLOUD, Minn. - An 82-year-old chaplain was arrested in Saint Cloud for sexually assaulting a minor. Police say Pastor Arthur Ree sexually assaulted a minor female over an 18-month period from 2000 to 2001.

Ree was a member of the southwester Minnesota synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He served in parishes from North Dakota to Minneapolis during the 70's and 80's. In 1984, he came to the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud, where he served as a pastor until his retirement in 1997. At that time, he came to the St. Cloud Police Department where he helped set up the chaplain program and participated until 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Reprise for a raggy boy

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The recent Ryan report on child abuse reawakened Patrick Galvin’s anger; but this time illness prevented the Cork poet from discussing the issues, writes ARMINTA WALLACE

WHEN I AM introduced to Patrick Galvin he takes my hand as if to shake it. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, he raises it to his lips. The gesture is courteous and also, somehow, faintly rogue-ish. It breaks the ice and makes us both smile – which was doubtless his intention.

The Cork poet and playwright has been in a wheelchair since he suffered a major stroke in 2003. He can’t move about much and when he speaks, his struggle to get the words into single file is painfully visible, writ large in every muscle of his face.

But Patrick Galvin isn’t an easy man to silence. Since his first volume of verse was published he has been a communicator of uncommon skill and directness. In his poetry, his plays and the three volumes of his autobiography, The Raggy Boy Trilogy , he has consistently spoken out on behalf of the dispossessed, the distressed and the downtrodden. And now, as his partner Mary Johnson explains, he feels the need to speak out more than ever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Archdiocese Removes Priest After Sex Abuse Allegations

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WLKY

By Mike Petchenik/WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Archdiocese of Louisville has removed a priest from his post amid allegations of sexual abuse.

James Schook, 61, is pastor of Saint Ignatius Martyr Parish near Newburg.

The Archdiocese chancellor said an adult male contacted the church several weeks ago and accused Schook of abusing him when he was a teenager in the 1980s. Schook has been a priest with the Archdiocese since 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Up the holy mountain

IRELAND
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Manchán Magan
The Guardian, Friday 31 July 2009

Ireland has, arguably, just experienced its most harrowing, helter-skelter year since it achieved independence in 1921. After a decade-long economic boom, the country's finances crashed to a shuddering halt last autumn, while the Catholic church was finally stripped of much of its moral authority and political influence by the publication of reports into decades of child sex abuse.

With the country feeling misguided and directionless, then, the atmosphere at our greatest annual sacred gathering was distinctly muted. A staggering 20-25,000 pilgrims still climb Croagh Patrick mountain – a soaring cone-shaped 765m (2,500ft) peak that rises above Clew Bay in Co Mayo – each year on the last Sunday in July (the nearest Sunday to the original pagan festival of Lughnasa), often barefoot.

This is where the Irish have always come for guidance and reassurance at the beginning of harvest time; later, it became a place for penance for sins committed. We've been coming here for more than 3,000 years, since our Neolithic ancestors first chose it as a sacred site. Later, we came to worship the Celtic sun god, Lugh; then, in AD441, the site was cannily co-opted by St Patrick, who fasted here for 40 days and nights before banishing the snakes from Ireland. Ever since, we have been coming in memory of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Abp. Carlson suspends priest arrested for sex charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

Barb Watkins

“Abuse of any kind is always wrong.”

That was the message of Archbishop Robert Carlson at a July 30 press conference at the Catholic Center, called shortly after the archbishop was informed of the arrest of an archdiocesan priest for recruiting a minor for sex.

On July 30 Father James P. Grady, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in St. Louis Hills, was charged federally with recruiting a minor for a commercial sex act. Father Grady was arrested the evening of July 29 in an undercover operation by FBI agents and local law enforcement officers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

St. Louis priest charged with soliciting sex from minor

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

By Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/31/2009

ST. LOUIS — The arrest of a Catholic priest in an FBI pedophile sting is a "black eye" for all priests, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said Thursday.

Charges against the Rev. James Patrick Grady, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Church in south St. Louis, spurred a few parishioners to meet privately with archdiocesan officials and Carlson, who promised to celebrate Mass there on Saturday.

Grady, 57, showed up Wednesday at a house used as an FBI trap after arranging to pay for a sex act with a 16-year-old girl, federal court documents say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

July 30, 2009

Pope laicises priest accused of creating Medjugorje claims

ROME
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

POPE BENEDICT XVI has laicised Fr Tomislav Vlasic, the controversial Franciscan priest who long served as the “spiritual adviser” to the six young Bosnian Croats who claim to have had more than 40,000 visions of the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje in Bosnia.

In a motu proprio (an impromptu papal ruling) widely reported in Italian media this week, Pope Benedict has returned Fr Vlasic to the lay state and dispensed him from his vows.

It is believed the pope approved this “unfrocking” as far back as last March, while Fr Vlasic had requested to be laicised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Ex-Pastor, St. Cloud Chaplain Arrested for Sex Assault

ST. CLOUD (MN)
KSTP

[with video]

A retired pastor who volunteered as a chaplain for the St. Cloud Police Department is accused of criminal sexual conduct.

Arthur James Ree, 82, was arrested in the 1200 block of Wildwood Road on Wednesday, and booked into the Stearns County Jail.

Ree told officers about a number of sexual incidents involving a girl, which began in 2000 and lasted for 18 months, according to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 PM

The Catholic community's right to know

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts on Jul. 30, 2009 NCR Today

An interesting opinion piece by Mary Raftery appeared in the July 27 issue of The Irish Times regarding publication of Dublin Report, the result of a government inquiry into clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese.

Her piece is one more cry from the Catholic community regarding it's right to know what happened in the clergy sex abuse crisis. It is the cry of adults in a community who are asked to receive, without questioning, our leadership, its teachings, the next pastor. In this matter, however, Catholics are not unquestioning or satisfied with general requests from the hierarchy for forgiveness.

This is a matter of public scandal that affected the community at its very roots, and the need to know precedes any ultimate healing, forgiveness or reconciliation. That need is very much in line with adult membership in a community and our sacramental sensibilities. We're taught that forgiveness and reconciliation doesn't happen in some celestial vacuum; it happens among real people who need information in order to make it happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Admired N.L. priest found dead after sexual assault charges laid

CANADA
The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Rev. Desmond McGrath was known for his dedication to workers rights and his passion for bringing social justice to rural outport communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The well-know Roman Catholic priest, who co-founded a union for fishermen, was found dead in his home in Stephenville on Tuesday, a day after he failed to appear in court on four charges of sexual assault.

Police do not suspect foul play.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Archdiocese of Louisville Official Statement

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville

The following announcement was made by the Archdiocese of Louisville:

Father James R. Schook is on leave as pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish due to an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor.

When an allegation of sexual abuse is received, the archdiocese initiates its sexual abuse policies, which include:

•A leave of absence for the person who has been accused.
•Outreach to the person making the accusation.
•A report to civil authorities.
•An internal investigation of the accusation.
All of these steps are underway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Archbishop Carlson addresses arrest of priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

The following is a statement from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson regarding the arrest of Fr. James Grady, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel parish:

“Today the Archdiocese of St. Louis learned that Father James Grady, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel parish, was arrested and charged with recruiting a minor for a commercial sex act. Upon notification, the Archdiocese of St. Louis immediately began the process of implementing a plan to notify the parishioners at St. Raphael and parents of the students at St. Raphael School. The Archdiocese will cooperate fully with the proper authorities.

Because of the gravity of the situation, I have suspended Father Grady from the pastorate of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in South St. Louis City pending this investigation. To our knowledge, no previous allegations have been made against Father Grady.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

St. Thomas’ Parish Council Meets on Proposal

NEW YORK
Rochester Catholic

Thursday, July 30, 2009 by Eugene Michael
Last night I attended the parish council meeting at St. Thomas the Apostle. The purpose of the meeting was to review the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group’s proposal to close St. Thomas. I didn’t do a hard count, but there appeared to be about 150 people in attendance. About 30 people requested permission to address the council with their concerns about the closing recommendation.

The biggest issue of the night was finances. According to parishioners, it has been many years since an annual finance report has been made available for parishioners. A former head of the parish council stated that, during his term, he had made repeated requests for a detailed financial report. His requests were never satisfied. Some knowledgeable people at the meeting stated that this lack of financial disclosure is a violation of canon law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

How About a Vote of No Confidence for the IPPG?

NEW YORK
Rochester Catholic

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 by Eugene Michael
In September of 2006, the parish council at St. Thomas voted 6-3 against the three church cluster proposal by the IPPG. One of the concerns of the council was the manageability of a three church cluster by one pastor. Father Tanck, a proponent of the plan, appeared to have the same reservations, as can be discerned from this statement in the Catholic Courier in May of 2007:

As it is, Father Tanck carries a bit of apprehension about his expanded pastorate in Irondequoit.

“Three communities have not been done in the past, and I have not done it in past,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

The Effort to Save St. Thomas Has Begun

NEW YORK
Rochester Catholic

Following is the text of a letter that was sent out to the parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle. The letter was written by a group at St. Thomas that is dedicated to the saving of their church. ...

In the context of the above statement, prayer, and discussion, a number of us have concluded that the diocese does not have legitimate cause to close St.Thomas the Apostle church.

• We have not had yearly financial disclosures as required by canon law.
• We have stable rental income.
• We are best situated to serve northern Irondequoit.
• We have the largest building and best parking in the Cluster.
• We are home to the gravesite of Msgr. Richard K. Burns.
• We are home to the Knights of Columbus’ Memorial to the Unborn.
• We have a property that is unique and irreplaceable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Time to Start Asking Some Tough Questions

NEW YORK
Rochester Catholic

Monday, July 27, 2009 by Eugene Michael
Today’s article in the D&C on church closings raises a number of interesting and perplexing questions. Let’s start with this excerpt:

At the Irondequoit churches, Mass attendance has declined 38 percent in the past 10 years, said Deb Housel, a pastoral planning group liaison for the Rochester diocese. She said the diocese was spending money to keep buildings open that should instead go toward ministries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

How About a Little Sympathy?

NEW YORK
Rochester Catholic

Friday, July 24, 2009 by Eugene Michael
The following is excerpted from Father Tanck’s letter in the Irondequoit cluster’s bulletin for this weekend:

I know that there are a lot of conversations going on, that groups are meeting and letters have been written. As you can see from our collection report this week, some are protesting by withholding their usual donations. Much of the reaction and conversation assumes that changes will be happening soon. Let me clarify that what was presented was a proposed plan and it was presented only to our communities, not to the Bishop. That may not happen until the fall or the end of the year. There may be no notable differences in our parishes until July 2010 or later. Rather than being signs of hope some of these reactions are self-destructive and may become self-fulfilling prophecies of further decline and death than helpful ways forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Some Questions for the IPPG

NEW YORK
Rochester Catholic

Monday, July 20, 2009 by Eugene Michael
Following are some questions that concerned parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle should be asking of Father Tanck and the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group (IPPG):

•Will the $40,000 that was raised for the recent purchase of the cathedral’s organ be returned to the donors?
•Will the $8,000 that was recently raised for soundproofing in the church be returned to the donors?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Catholic Courier: Proposed suburban church closings "unprecedented"

NEW YORK
DOR Catholic

An article appeared today on the Catholic Courier web site calling the proposed closings of three suburban parishes "an unprecedented step."

The Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group has voted to recommend that both St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Salome Churches be closed, while the Eastern Greece/Charlotte Planning Group will recommend that Our Lady of Mercy Church also be closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Irondequoit, Greece churches may face closure

NEW YORK
Democrat and Chronicle

Alan Morrell • Staff writer • July 27, 2009

A year ago, parishioners at St. Salome Church in Irondequoit celebrated the church's centennial with gala events.

Now, St. Salome is one of three local Catholic churches being considered for closure next year, victims of declining membership and financial problems. The others are St. Thomas the Apostle in Irondequoit and Our Lady of Mercy in Greece.

St. Salome, St. Thomas and Christ the King churches, all in Irondequoit, already had been linked in a cluster, and members of a planning council had been preparing to add Irondequoit's St. Cecilia and St. Margaret Mary churches to that cluster by 2012. But the country's ongoing economic malaise has exacerbated the situation, church officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Irondequoit Church Closings

NEW YORK
R News

07/11/2009 10:27 PM
By: Rachad Hollis
Parishioners are learning of a plan that may close two Catholic churches in Irondequoit. One of the churches being recommended for closure is St. Salome where some members learned the news at Saturday afternoon mass.

It was an emotional day at the St. Salome Catholic Church.

"It’s a beautiful church, and we had so much done with it, and I can’t believe it,” said church member Barber Bell-Moore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

St. Louis priest arrested on underage sex-related complaint

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

[Click here to read the court document detailing the alleged crime]

[Click here to read the affidavit]

KSDK -- A Catholic priest, who is also the Pastor at St. Raphael's Parish in south St. Louis , was arrested and made to appear before a Federal Judge on a criminal complaint that he attempted to, "recruit, entice and obtain" an underage person that he allegedly knew would be, "caused to engage in a commercial sex act.

Reverend James Patrick Grady made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday morning at the Eagleton Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

St. Louis priest charged in underage sex sting

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KWMU

Rachel Lippmann (2009-07-30)
ST. LOUIS, MO (KWMU) - Federal authorities have charged a priest at St. Raphael the Archangel with attempted sex trafficking.

57-year-old James Patrick Grady was arrested Wednesday when he traveled to St. Louis County to meet with a girl he believed to be 16 years old. He had allegedly responded to an e-mail posted by undercover officers that offered young females of indeterminate age for sexual activities.

Grady was arrested when he tried to leave the house where he was scheduled to meet with the girl. According to the affidavit, he admitted to sending the e-mails and said he responded because he was "curious."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

St. Louis Priest Accused of Soliciting Sex With Teenager

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fox 2

July 30, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) - A St. Louis area priest is charged with trying to pay for sex from a sixteen year old girl. However, FBI agents say the "girl" he was communicating with was actually an undercover agent.

The U.S. Attorney's office says James Patrick Grady responded Wednesday to an ad on the internet placed by undercover agents.

"The advertisement indicated that young females of an indeterminate age were available," according to a release from the U.S.Attorney. After that, officials say there was a string of emails that went back and forth between Grady and the agents. Grady was told two females were available and was then sent a "morphed" photograph of a sixteen year old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

St. Ignatius pastor on leave after abuse claim

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • July 30, 2009

The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish in Louisville has been placed on leave after a man alleged that the priest sexually abused him in 1985.

The Rev. James R. Schook was pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church on Rangeland Road.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz announced Schook's leave at Sunday Mass at St. Ignatius and by letter to parishioners. The Record, the Catholic newspaper, also listed Schook's previous parish assignments and asked that any alleged victims of abuse from those parishes contact the archdiocese.

The archdiocese said it referred the matter to the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Mother Teresa, Mass and another clergy abuse lawsuit

CALIFORNIA
The Jewish Journal

Posted by Brad A. Greenberg

Here’s an ugly story from the SF Weekly. A 30-year-old man is suing one of Mother Teresa’s spiritual adviser for sexually abusing him two decades ago, immediately after served as an altar boy at a ceremony honoring the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Weekly’s way of retelling the boy’s ordeal is compelling for readers and damning for the priest, the Rev. Donald McGuire, but it also puts a lot of stock into accusations found in the lawsuit.

Here’s a portion of the lede:

It was at McGuire’s bidding that the 11-year-old came to serve as an altar boy that morning at St. Paul’s Convent, a boxy building of yellow stucco that rises from a tree-lined block near the intersection of 29th and Church streets. (The convent houses local novices in the international Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950.) The priest was close to the boy’s family: He had baptized the boy, and offered his mother spiritual and psychological counseling over the years. Indeed, within church circles, McGuire was something of a celebrity himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Catholic priest busted in sex sting in St. Louis County

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

By Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/30/2009

A Catholic priest was nabbed Wednesday night in an FBI sting aimed at men who wanted to rent young girls for sex, federal court documents filed Thursday show.

James Patrick Grady, 57, pastor of St. Raphael The Archangel, showed up at a St. Louis County home Wednesday, offering to pay money to have sex with a 16-year-old girl, documents allege.

Grady had been exchanging emails with an undercover police officer or FBI agent Wednesday, inquiring about an online ad offering young females, according to an affidavit filed in court by FBI Special Agent Cynthia Dockery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Priest removed after allegations of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WAVE

Posted by Charles Gazaway

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Archdiocese of Louisville has removed a parish priest from ministry after he was accused of sexual misconduct nearly 25 years ago.

Father James R. Schook, pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr at 1816 Rangeland Road, was placed on a leave of absence after the Archdiocese received information from an adult male who alleged that Schook had sexually abused him as teenager. According to a press release by the Archdiocese, their sexual abuse review board has examined the allegation and civil authorities have been contacted.

The congregation of St. Ignatius Martyr was informed of the move during a Sunday Mass lead by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Local pastor facing sexual abuse accusations

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WHAS

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - A local pastor is taking leave from the Catholic Church after a man accused him of sexual abuse more than 20-years-ago.

Father James R. Schook will be prohibited from public ministry as the archdiocese and local authorities look into the claim.

They say an adult man recently reported that he was sexually abused as a teenager by Father Schook during the mid-1980's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

The troublesome priest of Medjugorje

Guardian (United Kingdom)

John Hooper guardian.co.uk, Thursday 30 July 2009

In the end, he was pushed after he asked to jump. And Pope Benedict won another small victory in his campaign to reconcile faith and reason.

It has emerged that the Vatican has agreed to a request for laicisation from Tomislav Vlasic, a Franciscan friar and seminal influence on the cult of Our Lady of Medjugorje. A letter sent by the minister-general of the Franciscans to the heads of the order in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Italy informing them of the decision was posted on the internet this week.

It was dated 10 March, so we can assume this was not exactly news the Catholic church was keen to put about. And no wonder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

The Fallen Feather

CANADA
Fallen Feather Productions

[link to the film]

Between 1879 and 1986, upwards of 100,000 children in Canada were forcibly removed and placed into Indian Industrial Residential Schools. Their unique culture was stripped away to be replaced with a foreign European identity. Their family ties were cut, parents were forbidden to visit their children, and the children were prevented from returning home.

First Nations children were the only children in Canadian History, to be singled out by race and forced to live in institutions; generation after generation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

The New York Catholic Conference's Aggressive Bid to Stop Reform of Child Sex Abuse Laws

NEW YORK
FindLaw

By MARCI A. HAMILTON

Thursday, July 29, 2009

Based on an unscientific survey of everyone with whom I have spoken in recent months, I have come to the conclusion that there is an untold story that would shock the vast majority of Americans. Pieces of it have appeared in various publications, but never the whole story. It is the story of the New York Catholic Conference's outrageous measures to stop the reform of New York's laws that govern child sex abuse.

The bottom line is that the Catholic bishops have committed both themselves and their copious resources to becoming the political enemies of all child sex abuse victims and thus the political allies of all child predators (whether they be priests, teachers, or uncles).

The Child Victims Act and the New York Conference's Aggressive Opposition

The proposed Child Victims Act (CVA) is currently being considered in the New York State legislature, which is expected to hold several special sessions this fall in the wake of its recent, circus-like sessions in May and June. The CVA would modestly extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse – by five years for both civil and criminal claims – as well as open a "window" for all past victims to be able to go to court for one year despite the currently expired statutes of limitations on their claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Reminder of an older post

CHICAGO (IL)
It's About Me

Reminder of an older post
What the... It was just a year ago that the Pope told us all “cooperate with your bishops.” Bishop Goedert must not have gotten the memo, or maybe he just got it confused with other letters the now pontiff has sent out over the years? Who knew the Pope was serious when he has written letters like the one uncovered by The Observer. This letter was sent to every Catholic bishop in the world in May of 2001. Click here to view the story

A year ago I wrote an entry entitled Continue to work with the bishops... where I talked about how this was nothing more than lip service from the “Holy See,” and here is yet more proof:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Kolko kicked out of one colony but finds another

NEW YORK
The Jewish Star

By Michael Orbach
Issue of July 31, 2009 / 10 Av 5769

In the Catskills this summer, worries about children’s safety are extending beyond the swimming pool.

Yehuda Kolko, the rebbe who pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment and who is suspected of abusing dozens of children in his teaching career, moved into a summer home at a development in South Fallsburg, N.Y., on June 12. Pines Estates, where he is renting, is a popular summer destination for Orthodox families and is also inhabited year-round by families connected to the well-known Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, nearby.

On Kolko’s first Friday night there, a summer resident aware of Kolko’s history confronted him in the shul during Maariv and told him to leave the neighborhood quietly, a witness said. When Kolko refused, the man interrupted the tefilah to announce from the bima that Kolko was a child molester and posed a danger to children. When congregants protested, the man at the bima, said to be a student of Rav Dovid Feinstein, replied with multiple Halachic sources to support his action, one of which was Masechet Chullin 8a, which discusses the need to be strict when it comes to matters of danger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Ritual Sex Abuse stories banned, as Wikipedia blacklists California psychologist, website

City of Angels

"Wikipedia Blacklisted Four Important Websites on Ritual Abuse on July 18, 2009," writes California Psychologist Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D., at the End Ritual Abuse Website: The following article is from Dr. Lacter's July 27th website post:

As of July 27, 2009, Wikipedia's page on "Satanic ritual abuse" begins as follows: "Satanic ritual abuse (SRA, sometimes known as ritual abuse, ritualistic abuse, organised abuse, sadistic abuse and other variants) refers to a moral panic that originated in the United States in the 1980s, spreading throughout the country and eventually to many parts of the world, before subsiding in the late 1990s."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Jimmy Carter says religion can't justify injustice

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

[with video]

Former President Jimmy Carter has opened the door to a dialogue on how the word of God gets twisted into a justification for discrimination and injustice toward women. Writing on behalf of a group of world leaders from many faiths, Carter publicly urged religious leaders to repudiate teachings that subjugate women and undermine their equal human dignity.

In his written statement, Carter also spoke about his painful decision to sever ties with the faith group in which he himself spent six decades -- the Southern Baptist Convention. The reason is apparent from his paper: He could no longer be part of a faith group whose leaders twisted religion in a way that did so much harm to so many.

Those of us who are Baptist clergy abuse survivors have also seen how Baptist leaders twist religion for other perverse and inhumane ends. We have seen how Baptist clergy-molesters often twist Bible verses and “God’s will” into powerful weapons for sexual abuse and rape of the young. Even worse, we have seen how other Baptist leaders then twist the doctrine of local church autonomy into a rationalization for doing nothing to hold such ministers accountable… and for doing nothing to protect others against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Church School Accused of Hiding Assets

TULSA (OK)
Courthouse News Service

By KELLI VANGILDER

TULSA (CN) - Parents of an alleged victim of sexual abuse say Grace Fellowship Christian School hid millions of dollars in assets to try to duck judgment during the criminal trial of a teacher who was charged with sexually molesting young students.

Aaron Thompson, a teacher with Grace Fellowship, was charged in 2002 with lewd molestation of his young male students, according to the complaint in Tulsa County Court.

The parents of one alleged victim say the school delayed reporting Thompson's abuses, and after the teacher was charged, "transferred assets amongst themselves, and to third parties ... and renegotiated financial commitments with the intent to protect themselves from the claims of the plaintiffs and other victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

July 29, 2009

Medjugorje priest defrocked

Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Wednesday July 29, 2009

This is a stunning blow to the Catholics who believe in the validity of the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje. I used to pretty much believe in them, mostly because I'd known a few people who had been there, seen mystical things they couldn't explain, and had profound conversions, even healings. And I read Randall Sullivan's remarkable book "The Miracle Detective," which is mostly about Medjugorje and the amazing things he encountered there (it also has a significant portion devoted to Fr. Philip Pavich, who used to serve in Medjugorje, and who is an angry skeptic of the apparitions). But at some point a while back, I quit thinking about Medjugorje. It's not that I decided they weren't true; it's that I decided that whether or not they were true was not really important to my Christian life, and in fact could be a distraction from what's really important. If you ask me today whether or not I believe in the apparitions, I'd say no, I don't, but that I hope that they are true, because a lot of people had a lot of good out of them. So it's sad to me to see it fall apart, but it doesn't affect my faith one way or another.

Lisa Fullam at Commonweal's blog, while not endorsing Vlasic or Medjugorje, nevertheless wonders:

On the other hand, what if he isn't a fraud, and truly believes in the apparitions he did so much to publicize? Well, would you listen to the Pope's order not to speak about Medjugorje over what you believe was the Virgin Mary's command (through 6 schoolchildren) to do so?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Former Medjugorje Priest Laicized

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

By Jesús Colina

VATICAN CITY, JULY 29, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's approval of the laicization of Father Tomislav Vlasic is not a judgment on the claims that Mary is appearing in Medjugorje, says his former superior, the procurator-general of the Franciscan Friars Minor.

Father Francesco Bravi told ZENIT today that the laicization was not imposed by the Holy See, but rather was in response to a request presented by Father Vlasic himself, to be dispensed both of priestly celibacy and his religious vows.

"He requested it," Father Bravi said, adding that, although Father Vlasic was the assistant pastor in Medjugorje when the first apparitions were reported, the priest has been living in Italy for more than two decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Salem pastor's accuser in teen assault may drop charge in exchange for mediation

SALEM (NJ)
Today's Sunbeam

by Randall Clark, Today's Sunbeam
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 3:09 PM

SALEM -- A woman who pressed charges on an influential city pastor for allegedly assaulting her 16-year-old daughter expressed desire for a mutual forgiveness in municipal court this week.

After nearly two hours and 100 offenders, many of them repeat and notorious in the city, Bishop Glenn Dickson answered before Judge David Krell on a citizen complaint that he allegedly threw the girl to the ground during a dispute on July 21, giving her a bloody nose.

Following their investigation, police did not file charges against Dickson, spiritual leader of the Reborn Evangelistic Crusade Ministries on Grant Street.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Do Unto Others: Scandals And Sanctity

NEW JERSEY
The Jewish Week

by Gary Rosenblatt

It didn’t take long for the jokes to start making the rounds in response to the latest rabbis-as-(alleged)-crooks scandal. There was the one about the latest Friday-night practical halacha shiur, or class, on “ankle monitors on Shabbat,” and another about the shul charity auction offering a new category: kidneys.

I’m not laughing.

Rather, I’m embarrassed that those who seek to represent the highest levels of piety in our community are increasingly perceived as all too fallible, on the take. Their distinctive garb, a symbol of their commitment to a Higher Authority, and conscious desire to separate themselves from others would seem to make it more difficult for them to transgress in public. But that doesn’t seem to be working lately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Alamo could use a prison consultant

ARKANSAS
The Arkansas Leader

By GARRICK FELDMAN
Leader editor-in-chief

Tony Alamo, the self-anointed preacher and serial child molester, looked nervous outside the federal courthouse in Texarkana on Friday.

The former hotshot leader of the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation, who was once just a smalltime hoodlum and a washed-up crooner before he became rich robbing people of their dignity and freedom, was looking at serious prison time.

He realized he would die behind bars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

OC Diocese Hires Pedo-Protector as Assistant Superindendent for Church Schools

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Notes from the Banana Republic, School Daze

​About two months ago, the Catholic Diocese of Orange put out a help-wanted ad for a new position: Associate Superintendent for Finance & Advancement. The job, a description stated, entails the applicant "to offer oversight, support and professional consultation to parishes/schools, high schools, Office of Faith Formation, and to other diocesan organizations on school marketing and full enrollment concepts, financial planning for schools, formal long-range planning, and fiscal management."

True to form, sources say Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown has hired a pedophile protector to the position, but the surprising part is that His Excellency went outside his rotten grove to nab the hire: Tracy Brennan*. Yes: the same Tracy Brennan who was principal at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana last year when one Alonso Manuel Gonzalez was arrested (and later convicted) for molesting a disabled child yet never got around to alerting parents about the pervert and commanded staff to shut up about the incident. Who ignored previous warnings about said pervert. Who did virtually the exact same thing at her previous job for the Anaheim Union High School District.

The best reaction comes from the late, great Wally George: SICK, SICK, SICK!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Denver Archbishop Chaput investigating vast sex-and-money Church scandal

COLORADO
Colorado Independent

By John Tomasic 7/29/09 8:00 AM
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput will be traveling this week and next and maybe into the fall. He has been asked by the Pope to look into the sex and money crimes of an extremely influential Mexican colleague, Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the rich-kid founder of the Legionaries of Christ Catholic order, an arm of the faith that professes a staunch conservative line intent on recapturing the Catholicism of the pre-Vatican II era — that chimeric time before the corruptions of modern life compromised the Holy Church and the members of its flock.

Goes without saying Maciel was a sexual predator as well as a world-class thief and influence peddler who molested young men in his charge and swore them to secrecy using the trappings and machinery of the faith. He also fathered a daughter, who he set up with her mother in a fancy apartment in Madrid. Maciel scored a $650 million budget for his special insider order, which goes a long way to explaining why his crimes have only surfaced in the last few years and especially now, of course, after his death at 88. No fear: Denver’s Archishop will put it all right.

Jason Berry, an author and journalist who has followed the case, has described Maciel as “the greatest fundraiser of the modern church.” Maciel will be as sorely missed by Church accountants as he is loathed by the seminarians he targeted for abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

SCANDAL PUTS APPARITION IN THE NEWS ALONG WITH ISSUE OF OBJECTIVE REPORTING

Spirit Daily

By Michael H. Brown

It's interesting how the Catholic media have handled recent word that the Vatican had accepted the laicization -- had defrocked -- a former Franciscan who served for several years (during the 1980s) at the reputed apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

First there are the blogs and websites in favor of the apparitions. They either avoided much discussion of the issue, mentioned it briefly, or ignored it altogether.

This is understandable -- from good, well-intentioned people -- and it can be looked upon as the charitable thing to do. Spiritually, we are not to hover over gossip -- and this case was fraught, for sure, with gossip. But it is not necessarily the way the matter should be handled journalistically. We don't pretend, ourselves, to be neutral (until proven differently, we believe the apparitions), but we do seek to be objective, and Scripture tells us that the truth sets us free, and so the entire truth of a matter should be aired, at least in the press. The priest in question, Tomislav Vlašić, was associated with Medjugorje for a period and was found guilty of a scandalous relationship with a nun. He was also associated with a dubious visionary (not one of the Medjugorje ones) who traipsed upon the scene, as so many dubious seers have since the onset of the apparitions. There is no reason to hide this (nor any other Church scandal).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Report abuse or lose job, employees of State warned

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Mary Regan and Noel Baker

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TEACHERS, gardaí, nurses and other State employees could lose their jobs if they fail to report suspicions of abuse under a range of child protection measures which Minister for Children Barry Andrews said he will take personal responsibility for implementing.

Abuse survivors warned the Government it must ensure the €25m required is made available for new plans to safeguard children, with some describing the measures as too little too late.

But Mr Andrews personally guaranteed the implementation of the recommendations in the Ryan report into clerical abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Orders won't have to pay a penny towards Ryan plans

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ine Kerr Political Correspondent

Wednesday July 29 2009

RELIGIOUS orders will not have to fork out any money on the Government's €25m plan for acting on the Ryan report into child abuse.

Instead, the Government will rely solely on making cutbacks and securing new funding to boost the number of social workers by 270, recruit more counsellors and inspectors and erect a memorial to the thousands of child abuse victims.

Any additional funds from religious orders will go to a trust for the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Sinners have shamed land of saints and scholars

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Aine Kerr

Wednesday July 29 2009

THE world no longer sees Ireland as the land of saints and scholars.

It was a simple summation of the impact of the Ryan report, and it stood out amid the angry outpourings from the victims of clerical abuse yesterday. Their anger has not diminished since the report shone its light onto the litany of abuse they endured as children.

With quivering lips and breathless hoarseness, the victims yesterday gave the Government another honest and stark appraisal of the terrible wrongs which can never be amended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

New moves on abuse scandal

IRELAND
The Irish Post

SIGNIFICANT new moves emerged this week in Ireland’s child abuse scandal.

Garda revealed they are pursuing 100 possible cases relating to new information received on a special telephone hotline set-up in the wake of the Ryan Report.

The announcement came as the Irish Government prepared to release its detailed action plan in response to the report — which investigated the systematic abuse of children in Church-run institutions across Ireland over a number of years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Ireland Names Religious Cash Panel After Abuse Probe

IRELAND
Bloomberg

By Dara Doyle and Colm Heatley

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Ireland’s government appointed a three-person panel to study the assets of religious orders following the publication of a report into child abuse at institutions run by the groups.

“The government indicated that while the panel is carrying out its work, it expected the congregations to be working to produce an offer of a substantial contribution by way of reparation,” it said in a statement late last night.

The Ryan report, released May 20, documented “endemic” child abuse at religious-run institutions in Ireland since the 1930s. Prime Minister Brian Cowen said in June the orders should make extra contributions to victims because of the scale of the abuse documented in the report. The orders agreed to contribute to a trust proposed by Cowen and said they would identify their potential resources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Man pleads guilty after alleged sex with girl

KENTUCKY
WKYT

[with video]

A church bus driver and former school employee pleads guilty after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old girl. Officials say the relationship between the 45 year old former youth minister and the girl went on for several months in Bell County.

Richard Frank Shaw pleaded guilty to third degree unlawful transaction with a minor Tuesday afternoon in Bell County District Court.

Officials say Frank Shaw was a bus driver and former youth minister at Chester Avenue Baptist Church in Middlesboro. He admits to sneaking the 17 year old church member in and out of her grandparent's house several times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Associate preacher charged with sex crime on 15 year old boy

SOUTH CAROLINA
WCSC

[with video]

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -The suspect, 53 year old Ronald Jones was picked up by U.S. Marshals Monday night. Charleston County deputies say between September 1st and December 31st of last year, Jones rubbed his private parts against a 15 year old boy at a Johns Island address. Investigators say Jones sometimes preaches at the New Jerusalem A.M.E. Church on Wadmalaw Island where he is also a member.

Many of the folks who live near the church either are members or know Ronald Jones. None of them wanted to go on camera, but when one of them was told about the arrest, he replied quote, "again?"

Jones has a long rap sheet that goes back to 1982. Most of his convictions are for fraudulent checks. He was put on probation in 2003 for Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Irish government to build memorial to abuse victims; continued criticism of religious orders

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

July 29, 2009
In response to the Ryan Commission of Inquiry’s report that chronicled the systemic abuse that took place in Irish child-welfare institutions run by religious orders, the Irish government’s minister for children and youth affairs has pledged to erect a memorial to abuse victims. The commission had recommended that the memorial’s inscription read, “On behalf of the State and of all citizens of the State, the Government wishes to make a sincere and long overdue apology to the victims of childhood abuse for our collective failure to intervene, to detect their pain, to come to their rescue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Minister Charged with Lewd Act on Child

SUMMERVILLE (SC)
WCIV

Summerville, SC -A Harleyville pastor is accused of exposing himself to a young girl. Marion Kosier is a registered sex offender and turned himself in at the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and this is not the first time the pastor has been in trouble with the law

A man of the cloth now facing a charge of committing or attempting a lewd act on a child. The police report show 48-year-old Kosier walked into the victim's bedroom and exposed himself.

“He had been over at their house numerous times because he is their pastor during that time frame,” said Lt. Tony Phinney of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

For He Has Sinned

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Weekly

A new lawsuit sheds light on the S.F. years of Mother Teresa's spiritual adviser – who is also one of the Jesuit order's most notorious convicted pedophiles.
Share

By Peter Jamison

Two decades ago, an 11-year-old boy from the Bay Area was honored with an invitation most devout Catholics would envy. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work among the developing world's poor, was celebrating Mass at her order's convent in Noe Valley. The ceremony was part of a retreat led by one of the famed humanitarian nun's close spiritual advisers, a Jesuit priest and former University of San Francisco professor named Donald McGuire.

It was at McGuire's bidding that the 11-year-old came to serve as an altar boy that morning at St. Paul's Convent, a boxy building of yellow stucco that rises from a tree-lined block near the intersection of 29th and Church streets. (The convent houses local novices in the international Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950.) The priest was close to the boy's family: He had baptized the boy, and offered his mother spiritual and psychological counseling over the years. Indeed, within church circles, McGuire was something of a celebrity himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

On right path but sins of the Church not forgotten

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Wednesday July 29 2009

THE Government's post-Ryan Commission child protection blueprint marks the most important step in a tortuous process of draining the murky landscape of abuse which has mired Church and State since the foundation of the Irish State in 1921.

On top of accepting the 20 recommendations made by the commission headed by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, the Government's 99-point plan pledges legislation making it obligatory for state agencies and voluntary bodies to report complaints of suspected child abuse.

Though stopping short of mandatory reporting, it would become a criminal offence not to report suspicions of child abuse, and failure to comply will make the agencies and bodies subject to criminal prosecution and the cutting of State funding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

July 28, 2009

Deference towards Church 'lost amid abuse scandals'

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Children’s Minister Barry Andrews today insisted Irish people no longer have the deference towards the Catholic Church that allowed institutional child abuse to thrive for decades.

During emotional outbursts by abuse survivors at the launch of a Government plan to make sure the systemic torture can never again happen, Mr Andrews said there had been a sea change in society. “I believe that we have come a long way,” he said.

“The deference that was at the core of the problem is no longer there.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Taking care of our children

IRELAND
The Irish Times

THE PUBLICATION last May of the Ryan report into institutional child abuse was a truly shocking moment in Irish history. It provided a graphic insight into the extraordinary and horrific scale of abuse and neglect which faced tens of thousands of vulnerable children in institutional care over many years. And in doing so, it focused attention on how the State is continuing to fail vulnerable children in its care.

By outlining details yesterday of its plans to implement the recommendations of the report, the Government provided an opportunity to measure the political will that exists to ensure lessons have been learned. On that basis, there are some grounds for cautious hope. The Government has accepted the 20 main points set out in the report, such as introducing independent inspections for all children in residential care settings, improving after-care services for young people leaving the care system, and providing ongoing counselling to abuse victims.

But the Government plan goes further, pledging to put the so-called Children First guidelines for reporting abuse on a statutory footing, to fill more than 270 social work vacancies and to ensure every child in care is allocated a social worker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Child welfare groups and abuse victims welcome Ryan report plan

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CARL O'BRIEN

CHILD WELFARE groups and victims of institutional abuse gave the Government’s plan to implement the recommendations of the Ryan report a qualified welcome yesterday.

John Kelly, co-ordinator of Survivors of Child Abuse, welcomed the report but expressed anger that it did not reopen the redress scheme for abuse victims resident outside the State.

The Children’s Rights Alliance, a coalition of 80 child welfare organisations, said the report set out a clear and focused framework which could make a real and positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

My accusers want Sh40m, says Fr Kizito

KENYA
Daily Nation

By NATION Reporter Posted Tuesday, July 28 2009 at 21:41

Catholic priest Renato Sesana Kizito has accused two men of demanding Sh40 million as a condition of dropping their allegation of sexually molesting boys under his care against him.

In a response filed in court by the Italian priest, he accuses Mr Michael Ochieng and Mr Michael Omondi Owiso of blackmailing and intimidating him before the sex claims against him surfaced a few weeks ago.

“The petitioners have caused persons unknown to me to call me, urging me to pay the petitioners substantial sums of money amounting to Sh40,000,000 so as to drop the allegations,” says Fr Kizito.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

President Obama abandons entire class of sex crime victims, meeting with Pope. Are votes really that important?

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Venting: Prepare your gag reflex in advance before viewing videos below of Obama with the Pope July 10th. If you wonder why we're just covering this today at City of Angels 18 days later, I must have blocked this out, in a PTSD reaction, trying to prevent an anger outburst.

A class of tens of thousands of crime victims were abandoned in the name of politics this month as Barack Obama played humble Christian to Pope Benedict's holy man. I've spoken today with a few survivors of Catholic priest sex crimes, of which no one knows more than this most criminal pope, and we feel abandoned and angry at the President of the United States.

They used the "blessed sacraments" to get to us as children, and now as American adults we have to watch as one President after another grins at the Pope and abandons us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Sex, lies and apparitions

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Spectator (United Kingdom)

Simon Caldwell

The Medjugorje story begins early in 1976 when a Franciscan monk in the former Yugoslavia, Father Tomislav Vlasic, starts an affair with a nun who becomes pregnant. Frightened he will be exposed as the child’s father, Father Vlasic persuades her to move away to Germany. She hopes he will honour his promise to leave the ministry and marry her. She writes a sequence of increasingly anxious letters when this does not happen, telling her former lover she is so miserable that she is praying she will die in childbirth. But he piously orders her to ‘be like Mary’ and accept her destiny in a foreign land — and never to tell a soul who the father really is.

Unfortunately for him, some of his letters fall into the hands of the woman’s landlord who, scandalised, copies them and sends them to a friend in the Vatican.

Six years later Father Vlasic is ‘spiritual leader’ of six children who say the Virgin Mary appears to them daily in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. But the local bishop is having none of it. The priest writes to Pope John Paul II to say that Satan is working through the bishop and to request direct intervention against him. But, worse luck, the Vatican official with copies of his love letters takes an interest in the case and sends them to the bishop in question.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Nigerian cardinal blasts laxity of American culture, priesthood

NIGERIA
Catholic Culture

In an interview in which he defended the discipline of priestly celibacy, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos condemned the laxity of American culture and some American priests.

Contrasting the priesthood shortage in the US with the more positive Nigerian vocation picture, Cardinal Okogie said that “those people there [in the US]…they don’t value anything any more. And how do you want priests to come from a place like that?”

When the interviewer referred to “an American priest [who] was caught smooching and kissing his girlfriend at a Miami beach,” the prelate interjected:

I am happy you said America. This is Nigeria. Whatever happens there; it is still the universal Church. It pains me. We are all the same body of Christ. It pains me. It shouldn’t be …but I am here in Nigeria and I can speak of Nigeria. If any stupid priest or bishop in Nigeria feels he wants to copy the American model, then there is something wrong with his head.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Ex–spiritual director to Medjugorje visionaries laicized

ROME
Florida Catholic

SIMON CALDWELL | CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Posted: 07.28.09

LONDON (CNS) | Pope Benedict XVI has laicized a Franciscan priest who served as the spiritual adviser to the Marian visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia–Herzegovina.

The pontiff, in a document issued “motu proprio” (on his own initiative), returned Father Tomislav Vlasic to the lay state and dispensed him from his religious vows as a member of the Order of Friars Minor.

Vlasic was confined to a Franciscan monastery in L’Aquila, Italy, in February 2008 after he refused to cooperate in a Vatican investigation of his activities for suspected heresy and schism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Funds to be cut from bodies that fail to report child abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CARL O'BRIEN, Social Affairs Correspondent

STATE AGENCIES and voluntary bodies which fail to report suspected cases of child abuse face losing public funding as part of a series of measures aimed at strengthening child protection services.

The measure to be announced by the Government today comes on foot of the recommendations of the Ryan report into child abuse in institutions.

At present there is no legal requirement on professionals working with children to report suspected abuse under Children First, the national guidelines published a decade ago for identifying and reporting child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Plan promises major boost for child protection services

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Children's Minister Barry Andrews has published a 99-point plan for implementing the recommendations of the Ryan Report into institutional child abuse.

The plan includes increased funding and staffing for social care services, with 270 new social worker posts to be created within the HSE.

The National Counselling Service will also get extra money to hire more therapists, while the HSE will begin a long-awaited out-of-hours social care service, which will initially be piloted in two areas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Child protection services 'unsympathetic' - report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[Children First : national guidelines for the protection and welfare of children]

AOIFE CARR

Child protection services in Ireland are viewed as "powerful, unsympathetic and intimidating", according to a report published today.

Service users' perceptions of the Irish Child Protection System by Dr Helen Buckley was published along with Analysis of submissions made on National Review of Compliance with Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children .

The two documents were published as part of the national review of compliance with child protection guidelines.

The Children First guidelines were established in 1999 to assist people in identifying and reporting child abuse and to improve professional practice in both statutory and voluntary agencies and organisations that provide services for children and families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Ombudsman to investigate child protection audit

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Health chiefs are to be investigated over the handling of clerical abuse allegations in the Catholic Church, it emerged tonight.

Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan said her office will probe if there has been any maladministration by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Department of Health when it carried out an audit on child protection issues in Dioceses across the country, including Cork’s scandal-hit Diocese of Cloyne.

The beleaguered Bishop of Cloyne John Magee, a former Vatican aide, has faced down repeated calls to resign over his handling of child sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Call for overhaul of child services

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[Implementaion Plan of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Sexual Abuse]

EOIN BURKE KENNEDY

Failure to correct the inadequacies of child protection services in Ireland will only serve to compound the “national shame” surrounding the abuse in religious-run institutions, a coalition of children’s charities and victims’ groups has said.

In a joint submission to Government and Opposition parties published today, the groups said the abuses uncovered by the child abuse commission’s investigation had imposed an obligation on the State to come to terms “with the fact that the rights of children were traduced for generations in Ireland”.

“We have to be totally honest about the situation in which too many vulnerable children still find themselves in Ireland, about the lack of family support in times of difficulty, about the inadequacy of child protection and services for children,” they said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Abuse survivors welcome new child protection plan

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Survivors of institutional abuse have given a broad welcome to the Government's plan for implementing the recommendations of the Ryan Report.

The 99-point plan, published today by Children's Minister Barry Andrews, includes increased funding and staffing for child-protection services.

It also promises to put the Children First guidelines on a statutory footing and to introduce independent inspections of all residential facilities for children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Demand for counselling up after Ryan

IRELAND
RTE News

[read the plan]

Waiting lists for the National Counselling Service have increased substantially following last May's publication of the Ryan Report on clerical abuse, according to the Minister for Children.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Government's €25m plan to implement the recommendations of the Ryan Commission, Barry Andrews said the Heath Service Executive's service is to be exempted from the public service recruitment freeze.

Minister Andrews said funding for the 99-point plan will come both from new resources to be provided and savings to be achieved in current spending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

State employees to be obliged to report abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CARL O'BRIEN, Social Affairs Correspondent

Teachers, nurses and other State employees who deal with children will be obliged to report cases of suspected child abuse to authorities under new reforms to strengthen the child protection system.

The measure, announced by the Government today, forms part of a 99-point plan for implementing the recommendations of the Ryan report into institutional child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Child protection plan welcomed

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Government's plan to ensure State employees report cases of suspected child abuse has received a qualified welcome from groups representing victims of institutional abuse.

Minister for Children Barry Andrews today announced the measures as part of a 99-point plan for implementing the recommendations of the Ryan report into institutional child abuse.

Some expressed anger that there was no extension to the redress scheme for those missed out on compensation, while others called for a tougher inspection regime for children’s residential homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Ireland memorial to abused children

IRELAND
The Press Association

A national memorial will be erected in Ireland for tens of thousands of children who were abused over decades in church-run institutions.

Children's Minister Barry Andrews said a national day of remembrance for survivors and those who died at the hands of sexual, emotional and physical torture is also being considered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Fr. Kizito dismisses petition as full of rumours

KENYA
Kenya Broadcasting Corp.

Written By: Dzuya Walter, Posted: Tue, Jul 28, 2009

The priest at the centre of a sexual harassment scandal Father Kizito Renato Sesana Tuesday told the court that a petition filed in court over the running of the Koinonia Community Registered Trustee is full of rumors.

Father Kizito was replying to Michael Owiso and three other petitioners who sued him over the running of the trust early this month.

In his affidavit Kizito argues that the petition is based on rumors and that the allegation of sexual harassment was manufactured.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

In the rectory and in the sacristy

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Police arrested a 75-year-old retired priest of the Orange diocese on July 20 as he was playing cards at Leisure World in Seal Beach, the Orange County District attorney announced in a press release. Fr. Denis Lyons was charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a boy in the rectory and the sacristy of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa between 1992 and 1995, the district attorney said.

Fr. Lyons had previously been charged in 2003 with the repeated sexual abuse of another boy between 1978 and 1981, but those charges were dismissed following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a California law extending the statute of limitations in such cases was unconstitutional. In addition, said the district attorney, two other alleged victims of the now retired priest provided corroboration of the molestations but charges were never filed because of the statute of limitations. The three boys, said the district attorney, attended parish school at St. John the Baptist, where Fr. Lyons served as a priest.

Following his arrest, Fr. Lyons was booked into the county jail at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach on $100,000 bail, charged with four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, said the district attorney. In addition, a charge of “substantial sexual conduct with a child” was added, which would require a mandatory sentence of 14 years if Fr. Lyons is convicted. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Fr. Lyons posted bail and was released from jail at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

July 27, 2009

New cases in L.A. re Father Michael Baker & Brother Modesto Leon going through court system; jury trial re Renato Lopez cancelled as case settled

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

With new lawsuits making their way through the courts in Los Angeles, the pedophile crisis in the Catholic Church is indeed not "behind us" as Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church heirarchy have claimed.

The L.A. Archdiocese's motion to strike the case concerning Michael Baker was going to be heard Tuesday, July 28th but it has been continued. This case concerns charges made by plaintiff “Luis C,” one of the victims whose accusations sent the pedophile priest Baker to prison last year. The hearing on Motion to Strike and three Demurrers filed by the church, originally continued from July 1st to the 28th, is now on calendar October 1st, 2009.

Another case we are watching is “Saul R versus Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” filed June 2, 2008. These charges concern Brother Modesto Leon at Camp Unity in the Angeles National Forest above LaCanada, a Catholic retreat for at risk teenage boys that was founded, organized, and supervised by Brother Leon, through his own nonprofit organization, Soledad Enrichment Action, Inc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Priest faces court on child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

July 28, 2009 - 10:12AM .
A Catholic priest has appeared in court charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl around 30 years ago in southeast Queensland.

Police last month charged the 64-year-old Brisbane man with two counts of indecent treatment of a child.

The abuse allegedly took place from 1977 to 1981 when the man, then aged in his 30s, was working as a Catholic priest in the Ipswich area west of Brisbane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 PM

Medjugorje Priest, Under Investigation, Defrocked

ROME
The Bulletin

By JOHN P. CONNOLLY, The Bulletin
Monday, July 27, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI has defrocked a priest at the center of alleged apparitions at the Bosnian town of Medjugorje, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency.

Fr. Tomislav Vladic reportedly decided to leave the priesthood and his religious order during an ongoing investigation of his role in the claims of apparitions, including an accusation of sexual misconduct for getting a nun pregnant.

Fr. Vladic was at odds with the Vatican and the local bishop of Medjugorje when he predicted that the Virgin Mary would appear in Bosnia. In 1981, the apparitions allegedly began, and the local bishop accused him of fabricating the phenomenon. Fr. Vladic claimed to be the spiritual advisor of six local children who claimed to be receiving the visions. They now allege that the Virgin Mary has visited them 40,000 times in the past 28 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Bishops in Dublin protect priests accused of Child abuse

IRELAND
Hot Indie News

Monday, July 27th, 2009

The new report on clerical child abuse in the Irish capital of Dublin contains allegations that certain priests were moved from parish to parish to protect them from the law.

Officials at the Irish Department of Justice say they have been shocked by findings in the report, which was submitted by the Dublin Diocese Commission, on how the Catholic Church in Dublin handled the claims.

The report, which was commissioned in 2006, is forthright with its findings and describes how certain priests were moved from one parish to another in an effort to keep them one step ahead of the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Pope Benedict defrocks priest connected to alleged Medjugorje apparitions

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jul 27, 2009 / 12:17 pm (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI has approved the defrocking of Fr. Tomislav Vladic, a priest leading the claims that the Virgin Mary has been appearing in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje. The priest has reportedly decided to leave the priesthood and his religious order.

The action follows an investigation into concerns surrounding the alleged apparitions, the Mail Online reports.

When the apparitions allegedly began in 1981, Fr. Vlasic was named as the "creator" of the phenomenon by the local Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Pavao Zanic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Former Medjugorje pastor laicized, dismissed from Franciscans

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Catholic Culture

July 27, 2009
A former pastor who helped make the little town of Medjugorje gain international fame for a series of alleged Marian apparitions has been removed from the priesthood and dismissed from the Franciscan order.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the laicization of Tomislav Vlasic a year after a Vatican decree placing the former friar under interdict because of "suspicion of heresy and schism, as well as scandalous acts contra sextum, aggravated by mystical motivations." The controversial priest-- who had already broken with the Medjugorje "seers"-- had defied local bishops and Franciscan superiors in setting up his own religious community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Medjugorje Priest Laicised? or merely silenced?

BOSNA-HERZEGOVINA
E F pastor emeritus

Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former "spiritual director" to six visionaries who claim that the Virgin Mary visited them nearly 40,000 times over 28 years, has been laicised by Pope Benedict XVI a year after he was placed under investigation over allegations that he exaggerated the apparitions and had engaged in sexual relations with a nun.

While the Vatican has never given the shrione its formal blessing, an estimated 30 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje in the last three decades and hundreds of thousands make the journey from Britain and Ireland each year. The unfrocking of Father Vlasic will come as a blow to Medjugorje followers worldwide who were hoping that the Vatican would one day legitimise the controversial shrine.

The Franciscan asked to leave the priesthood after the Vatican launched an investigation into allegations that he was guilty of sexual immorality with a nun which he then covered up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Former spiritual advisor to Medjugorje "seers" - Tomislav Vlasic - laicized by the Holy See

ROME
Te Deum laudamus!

[with official document announcing the laicization]

Thanks to Richard Chonak at Catholic Light, we have at least a rough translation of the decree above in which a priest - Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - a central figure in the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, has been laicized. You can read about the "severe canonical sanctions" taken against Fr. Vlasic by the Holy See last year - Medjugorje: Canonical Status of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, OFM.

The latest development, which came to light this weekend: Fr. Vlasic is now Mr. Vlasic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

FATHER TOMISLAV VLASIC REDUCED TO THE LAY STATE

ROME
Medjugorje sensa maschera

by Marco Corvaglia

Now the judgement has been passed.

It was already well known that on 30 May 2008 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, represented by its secretary, Archbishop Msgr. Angelo Amato, had explicitly requested (by letter 144/1985-27164) to the Bishop of Mostar, Msgr. Ratko Perić, to divulge “for the good of the faihful" the contents of a statement of the Congregation against Father Tomislav Vlašić.

Let us recall a brief excerpt:

”Within the context of the phenomenon Medjugorje, this Dicastery is studying the case of Father Tomislav VLASIC OFM, originally from that region and the founder of the association ‘Kraljice mira potpuno Tvoji – po Mariji k Isusu’ [...]The non-groundless news that reached this Congregation reveals that the religious priest in question did not respond, even partially, to the demands of ecclesiastical obedience required by the very delicate situation he finds himself in”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Pope defrocks Bosnian priest

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
The Age (Australia)

Sarajevo
July 28, 2009
The priest who helped to turn the Bosnian town of Medjugorje into one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most visited shrines has left the priesthood after being investigated by the Vatican.

Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former ‘‘spiritual director’’ to six visionaries who claim that the Virgin Mary visited them nearly 40,000 times over 28 years, has been defrocked by Pope Benedict XVI.

Last year he was investigated over claims that he exaggerated the visions and had sexual relations with a nun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Trial of Russian man accused of killing two priests opens

RUSSIA
Top News

Moscow - A trial of a Russian man accused of killing a German Catholic priest and his Jesuit colleague appeared in a Moscow court Monday, nine months after the double murder.

The hearing began with clarification of procedural matters related to the case against the unemployed man who has a previous conviction, city court officials told the German Press Agency dpa.

The defendant is alleged to have killed Ecuador-born Father Victor Betancourt, 42, in a Jesuit residence after the priest allegedly made sexual advances towards him, according to testimony by investigators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Bathurst Priest Arrested On Sexual Abuse Charges: Levi Noel

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

A retired Roman Catholic Priest has been arrested in Bathurst, New Brunswick on charges of sexual abuse stemming back several decades.

CBC news has reported that 83 year old Levi Noel has been charged with 22 counts of sexual abuse. The assaults are alleged to have occurred between 1958 and 1978.

Police are asking anyone who has information about sexual abuse by the priest to contact them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

El Papa nombra al colombiano Luis Zarama obispo auxiliar de Atlanta

ATLANTA (GA)
EFE

Por Agencia EFE

Ciudad del Vaticano, 27 jul (EFE).- El papa Benedicto XVI ha nombrado al colombiano Luis R. Zarama, de 51 años, obispo auxiliar de Atlanta, en EEUU, informó hoy el Vaticano.

Zarama, nacido en 1958 en la ciudad colombiana de Pasto, era hasta ahora vicario general de la archidiócesis de Atlanta.

Estudió en el seminario de su ciudad natal; en la Universidad Mariana, filosofía y teología, y en la Universidad Javeriana, de Bogotá, se licenció en Derecho Canónico.

[from the Vatican News Service]

VATICAN CITY, 27 JUL 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Luis R. Zarama, vicar general of the archdiocese of Atlanta, U.S.A., as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 55,521, population 6,455,000, Catholics 757,000, priests 279, permanent deacons 202, religious 189). The bishop-elect was born in Pasto, Colombia in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Priest can't appeal child sex conviction

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

July 27, 2009 - 4:04PM .
A Catholic priest jailed for more than seven years for raping and sexually abusing four boys has been refused leave to appeal against his convictions.

A Victorian County Court jury in 2007 found Terrence Melville Pidoto guilty of 11 charges including rape and indecently assaulting a child under 16.

He was jailed later that year for seven years and three months, and ordered to serve a minimum of five years before being eligible for parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Pope Benedict XVI unfrocks Medjugorje priest

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Simon Caldwell
Published: 8:00AM BST 27 Jul 2009

Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former "spiritual director" to six visionaries who claim that the Virgin Mary visited them nearly 40,000 times over 28 years, has been laicised by Pope Benedict XVI a year after he was placed under investigation over allegations that he exaggerated the apparitions and had engaged in sexual relations with a nun.

While the Vatican has never given the shrione its formal blessing, an estimated 30 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje in the last three decades and hundreds of thousands make the journey from Britain and Ireland each year. The unfrocking of Father Vlasic will come as a blow to Medjugorje followers worldwide who were hoping that the Vatican would one day legitimise the controversial shrine.

Franciscan asked to leave the priesthood after the Vatican launched an investigation into allegations that he was guilty of sexual immorality with a nun which he then covered up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Pilgrims told Church must repent over abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By JOHN COONEY

Monday July 27 2009

Revelations of clerical child abuse have pained Catholics beyond words, the 18,000 wind-swept and rain-drenched pilgrims who reached the summit of Croagh Patrick heard yesterday.

The twin themes of Church repentance and rekindling spiritual hope at a time of economic insecurity were highlighted by the Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, when he led the annual Reek Sunday national pilgrimage to the summit of the 2,510ft Croagh Patrick.

In the footsteps taken by St Patrick in the sixth century, most pilgrims, young and old, immigrants and tourists, were seasonally clad in warm and waterproof clothing, sporting sturdy footwear, with walking sticks or staffs, as they winded the slippery cone-shaped mountain to the summit oratory, where Masses were said on the hour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Sorrow, disbelief at church of suspended priest

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Boston Globe

By Vivian Nereim
Globe Correspondent / July 27, 2009

CAMBRIDGE - The Rev. Walter A. Carreiro was the only priest left yesterday at St. Anthony of Padua, where one of his colleagues was on vacation, and another, the Rev. Pedro Jose Damázio, had been suspended because of allegations of adult sexual misconduct.

As he rushed to perform two baptisms after saying Mass in English and Portuguese, Carreiro said he was saddened by Damázio’s suspension.

“It’s very important to pray for the alleged victims of any abuse,’’ he said, “but we also remember the priests - those who are accused - because they need our prayers as well.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

July 26, 2009

Publishing abuse report is crucial for victims

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[Cardinal Secrets from RTE]

MARY RAFTERY

OPINION: The report on child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese should be published in its entirety and not in instalments

COMMISSION OF inquiry reports are a bit like buses these days – you wait ages for them and then two arrive almost simultaneously. Last week the Dublin archdiocese report was delivered to the Minister for Justice – almost seven years after the initial commitment to establish a State inquiry into clerical child sexual abuse in Dublin following the Prime Time Cardinal Secrets documentary. And it took a full decade for the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ryan commission) to report last May on its findings of abuse of children in institutions.

The wait for the Dublin report, however, is not yet over. Legal obstacles to publication have arisen in the form of criminal proceedings against three individuals named in the report. There is an understandable and important concern that their trials might be prejudiced should the Dublin report be published in full and without alteration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Does Anyone Really Want to Know about Therapist Abuse? (Part 1)

UNITED STATES
Surviving Therapist Abuse

When I dropped the bomb and began telling people what had happened with my ex-therapist, it seemed like a lot of them didn’t really want to know too much about it. At least, that was my perception. At the time, I was in the midst of full-blown PTSD; I was traumatized, anxious, worried about whether people were going to believe me and terrified of how they were going to react. I really didn’t know what to say, so my general approach was to tell them, very cautiously, that I’d had “a sexual relationship with my therapist.” Not the most accurate description of five years of abuse and exploitation, but that was the best I could do at the time. (I realize now that this probably made it sound a bit too much like two consenting adults getting together, which is NOT what it was, by any stretch of the imagination. It took the better part of three years before I felt remotely comfortable saying, “I was exploited and sexually abused by my therapist.”) ...

My lawyer suggested we do a news release. The lawsuit had settled, I’d filed the licensing complaint, and the perp was under investigation—an appropriate time to shoot something out to the local media. So, my lawyer and I and the wonderful, God-sent David Clohessy (National Director of SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and the closest thing to a knight in shining armor I’ve ever known), worked together to prepare the first news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Some balk at Orlando diocese's $150M push

ORLANDO (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

By Jeff Kunerth
SENTINEL STAFF WRITER

Marty Lyons has decided against contributing to the Catholic Diocese of Orlando's Alive in Christ fundraising campaign. Loretta Murphy is thinking about rescinding her pledge.

The diocese's $150 million fundraising drive is the largest, most ambitious campaign in its history during one of the deepest recessions ever. And the diocese is encountering some resistance among the estimated 800,000Catholics in its 92 parishes and missions.

"I certainly do think they have an image problem on their hands — just pursuing the accumulation of wealth at this time," said Lyons, 33, who attends Nativity Catholic Church in Longwood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Release date of abuse report is delayed

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

Sunday, July 26, 2009 By John Burke
The report into clerical sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese will not be published before the end of August at the earliest, The Sunday Business Post has learned.

The report is understood to detail the widespread cover-up of child abuse in the archdiocese, with a number of abusers moved from one ministry to another after church figures were informed of complaints by parents and victims.

However, it is understood that the Commission of Investigation was surprised by the relatively small number of people who presented themselves for interview to the inquiry team during its investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Pope punishes priest at centre of Virgin Mary apparition claims

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Simon Caldwell

The Pope has defrocked the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has been appearing in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje.

The Vatican moved to punish Father Tomislav Vlasic after an investigation into growing concerns over the alleged apparitions.

Father Vlasic is the former ‘spiritual director’ to six visionaries who claim that Our Lady has visited them nearly 40,000 times over 28 years. He was also suspected of inventing stories of the Virgin Mary's appearance.

He had asked to leave the priesthood after the Vatican also investigated claims that he was guilty of sexual immorality ‘aggravated by mystical motivations’ after he made a nun pregnant then persuaded her to keep quiet about their affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Archdiocese of Boston Suspends Faculties of Rev. Pedro Jose Damazio, a Priest of the Diocese of Tubarão in Santa Catarina, Brazil

MASSACHUSETTS
Archdiocese of Boston

(Braintree, Mass.) July 25, 2009…The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the faculties of Rev. Pedro Jose Damazio have been suspended as a result of receiving allegations of adult sexual misconduct. Fr. Damazio is a priest of the Diocese of Tubarão in Santa Catarina, Brazil. He has been serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua in Cambridge and has also served the Brazilian community throughout the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement’s investigation into this matter. Further, the Archdiocese has notified Fr. Damazio’s home diocese in Brazil of these allegations.

In suspending his faculties, the Archdiocese has prohibited Fr. Damazio from performing any public ministry within the Archdiocese of Boston. These restrictions will remain in place pending the outcome of the investigation. The decision to suspend Fr. Damazio’s faculties represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. Damazio’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to these allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Priest facing sex allegations

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Nandini Jayakrishna and Maria Sacchetti
Globe Correspondent | Globe Staff / July 26, 2009

The Archdiocese of Boston has barred a Brazilian priest from performing public ministry following allegations against him of “adult sexual misconduct,’’ church officials said yesterday in a statement.

The Rev. Pedro J. Damázio had been serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua in Cambridge and has also served the immigrant Brazilian community throughout the Archdiocese of Boston for more than 10 years, said Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese. Lynch said she could not give any details about the timing, nature, or source of the allegations against Damázio. Law enforcement officials are investigating the matter and the archdiocese has also begun an internal investigation, Lynch said.

The archdiocese said it has informed Damázio’s home diocese in Santa Catarina, Brazil, of the allegations. “The decision to suspend Father Damázio’s faculties represents the archdiocese’s commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Father Damázio’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to these allegations,’’ the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

My Mom Is A Torture Loving, Italian/Catholic, Fascist and Fox News Viewer

UNITED STATES
The Public Record

By Robert Corsini
The Public Record
Jul 26th, 2009

It’s truly stupefying that today, in the midst of the Obama era, that legions of Americans continue to find it so easy to rationalize and doggedly defend the Bush administration’s torture program.

As more details are revealed it’s clear that never before in human history has such a complex system of abduction, international rendition, and judicial and legislative manipulations been employed to advance and empower an extremely narrow yet far reaching political agenda. ...

A study released in April by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press indicates the more often people attend church, the more likely they are to support torture. ...

My own political evolution toward a liberal point of view probably began on the day I witnessed a Catholic nun strike a six year old boy. Sister Mary Agnes, Principal of Holy Family grammar school was tall, skinny and had beady-eyes. Her coke-bottle lenses on 60s style pointy eyeglasses made her eyes shrink to the size of steely-cold ball bearings. She was scary. I clearly remember the day Sister Agnes made a young boy stand on a bench so she could have a clean swipe at him and reared back and slapped him across the face.

He collapsed to the asphalt. I caught the act of blatant child abuse from a distance as I was crossing an empty playground following recess – I was in eighth grade. More profoundly disturbing than the act itself, was the lack of response and incredulity my parents exhibited towards the revelation when I recounted the story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

$30,000 after abuse by Catholic brother

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Kate Dennehy
July 26, 2009
THE Catholic Church has paid more than $30,000 to a man for sexual abuse he suffered as a child in Queensland and New Zealand 30 years ago.

Darryl Smith, who is mildly intellectually handicapped, said he was abused by brothers of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God (SJOG) in both countries.

In 2003, the Queensland Police Sexual Crimes Investigation Unit received a complaint from Mr Smith saying he had been sexually assaulted by Brother Bede Donnellan, whose real name was John Joseph Donnellan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Suspect priests were shielded, report reveals

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By MAEVE SHEEHAN

Sunday July 26 2009

THE long-awaited report on how Cardinal Desmond Connell and other members of the Catholic hierarchy in Dublin handled child sex abuse allegations has shocked senior officials in the Department of Justice.

Officials who have seen it say it is "damning" and "doesn't pull punches" as it documents how suspect priests were moved from one parish to the next, shielded from the rigours of the law, according to sources.

The report on child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese was submitted to the Minister for Justice last week but a publication date is uncertain. The Government has asked the Attorney General for legal advice on publishing the report because it names at least two priests who face prosecution on child abuse offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Bishop Murray rejects claims

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Published Date: 25 July 2009
By Mike Dwane
A SPOKESMAN for Bishop Donal Murray has rejected claims the Diocese of Limerick shares child protection committees with the Diocese of Cloyne, where a judicial inquiry is investigating clerical sexual abuse.

Documentary maker and author Mary Raftery has called for a commission to also investigate priests in the Limerick diocese, saying this week: "I would suggest there are serious problems in Limerick that should be examined by a commission of inquiry because we became aware of some difficulties in Limerick through Cloyne and some of the shared committees they had."

But diocesan secretary Fr Paul Finnerty maintained that there "is no shared child protection committee between the Diocese of Limerick and the Diocese of Cloyne".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

July 25, 2009

Archdiocese Investigating Brazilian Priest

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel

BOSTON -- A Brazilian priest who was working at a Catholic church in Cambridge was suspended by church authorities on Saturday following allegations of adult sexual misconduct, according to the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Rev. Pedro Jose Damazio, of Santa Catarina, Brazil, was barred from performing any public ministry in the Archdiocese of Boston after church authorities received the allegations against him, according to a statement from the archdiocese. Officials did not describe the accusations against Damazio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Archdiocese suspends priest after sexual misconduct allegations

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

July 25, 2009 12:35 PM
By Globe Staff

The Archdiocese of Boston said today that it's suspending a priest from performing any public ministry after receiving allegations against him of adult sexual misconduct.

The Reverend Pedro Jose Damazio has been serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua in Cambridge and has been serving the Brazilian community throughout the archdiocese.

The archdiocese said it was "cooperating fully" with a law enforcement probe into the matter and had also notified Reverend Damazio’s home diocese in Brazil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Cambridge priest suspended after allegations of sexual misconduct

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Cambridge Chronicle

Cambridge — From a press release from the Archdiocese of Boston:

The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the faculties of Rev. Pedro Jose Damazio have been suspended as a result of receiving allegations of adult sexual misconduct. Fr. Damazio is a priest of the Diocese of Tubarão in Santa Catarina, Brazil. He has been serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua in Cambridge and has also served the Brazilian community throughout the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement’s investigation into this matter. Further, the Archdiocese has notified Fr. Damazio’s home diocese in Brazil of these allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Tomislav Vlasic no longer a priest

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
The Medjugorje Messenger

It is reported that Tomislav Vlasic, the Franciscan priest who pastored in Medjugorje from 1981 to 1985, has been laicised and discharged from the Order of Friars Minor.

This is confirmed in a statement from José Rodriguez Carballo, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, issued from Rome and dated March 10, 2009, and circulated to Provincials in Croatia, Italy and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

U.S. women religious and the Vatican's 'visitation'

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

Father Richard P. McBrien

Religious communities of women have been responsible for many of the good things that the Catholic Church in the United States has achieved, both before and after the Second Vatican Council.

It is all the more distressing, therefore, that two Vatican agencies --- the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) --- have targeted these communities and their principal leadership organization for a "visitation" and "doctrinal assessment" respectively.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the "visitation" is the requirement that each of the visitors will be required to make a public profession of faith and an oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Add Tony Alamo to list of born-again pedophiles

UNITED STATES
Daily Kos

Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 03:54:19 PM PDT
Well, wouldn’t you know it; my wife is a prophetess.

Several years ago, while emerging from a Trader Joe’s market, she and I discovered literature from Tony Alamo Ministries, a multi-million dollar industry. The pack had just been placed on our car window. We saw the two men responsible for this a short distance away. Much to my amazement, she chased the two culprits down, handed them back their literature, and said: “You can take your pornography back!” Both vehemently denied it was porn material. Well, since their leader Tony Alamo was convicted Friday of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex, I would have to disagree with them; yes it was porn! Mr. Alamo, who has been also been known as the outfitter of the stars joins a prestigious group of born-again pedophiles.

DAVID KORESH was the leader of the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas. He was known to have had sex with numerous young girls, claiming that God directed him to do so.

LOUIS BERES was Chairman of the Christian coalition of Oregon. According to its web site, the group describes itself as Oregon's leading grassroots organization defending our Godly heritage, and is affiliated with the national organization founded by Pat Robertson. Beres was accused by three of his female family members of molesting them when they were pre-teens. Some heritage!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Defense-Prosecution React to Alamo Verdict

ARKANSAS
ArkLaTex

Reported by: Mario Boone
Friday, Jul 24, 2009 @06:48pm CST

Alamo Defense attorney Don Erving says they will file a motion for a new trial within one week for newly convicted minister Tony Alamo. Erving said he was "disappointed and dejected" at the jury's guilty verdict.

The prosecution calls it "vindication" for all of the victims in this case. Alamo showed little emotion as each count was read aloud by U. S. District Judge Harry Barnes, however, he briefly hung his head low. His supporters in the court gallery sighed in shock and disbelief. Some even cried for their convicted leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Former Followers React to Alamo's Conviction

ARKANSAS
KFSM

Kate Luck Reporter
News of the conviction of Tony Alamo meant relief for some former followers.

But some think this may just be the beginning, as more abuse is revealed and families come out of hiding. "It's a relief. It's closure for a lot of people because its justice. But I know it's gotta be only the beginning because of what is still going on there," said Carol Fryer.

Fryer was a member of the church for 12 years.

She says her daughter married Alamo at the age of 17 "And I remember I was sitting in an office in a woman's house and we were listening to him on the phone and he was giving us all the reasons why a girl who just came of age, 12 years old or so, to be taken as a wife," said Fryer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Alamo faces life for child-sex conviction

CALIFORNIA
The Signal

By Brandon Lowrey
Signal Senior Writer
blowrey@the-signal.com
661-259-1234 x518

Tony Alamo faces life behind bars thousands of miles away on a child sex conviction, but much of the 74-year-old preacher’s legacy lingers in the Santa Clarita Valley.

His secretive, guarded west-coast headquarters remains tucked in the rugged canyons along Sierra Highway north of Saugus — a church and a scattered network of compounds.

His followers often put pamphlets on car windows around town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Priest Abuse Documents Get Final Edit

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

Thousands of pages of court records about allegations of child sexual abuse by Memphis Catholic priests could be released by the end of the summer. But much debate remains about whose names will be blacked out and whose won’t.

The Daily News and The Commercial Appeal earlier this year sought to gain access to documents in the John Doe civil claim against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

The motion to intervene was granted after the diocese and the Dominican religious order reached a $2 million settlement in the fraudulent concealment case involving claims of child sexual abuse by a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Abuse only matters when it's the Church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By DAVID QUINN

Friday July 24 2009

Sometime in the next few days or weeks the report into child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese will be published. Unless we have suffered outrage fatigue as a result of the Ryan report, we will once again work ourselves into paroxysms of rage upon its publication.

Furious voices will fill the airwaves. Politicians will tear their garments. But while the outrage will be justified, for the most part it will be hypocritical. Why hypocritical? Because in the final analysis, I'm not sure whether we care about child protection as much as we think we do.

Alan Shatter is the best informed politician we have on this issue. In the Dail debate on the Ryan report he delivered an excellent speech on the topic of child protection and he did not restrict himself to talking merely about the past, unlike many of his fellow deputies. He also talked about the present, and the innumerable failings of the State in this regard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 AM

'I put my faith in Bertie Ahern . . . I couldn't have been more wrong'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By ANDREW MADDEN

Saturday July 25 2009

Back in early 1998 I naively thought that all I needed to do was write to then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pointing out that there was by then enough information in the public domain to justify an inquiry into the practice within the Catholic Church of moving paedophile priests onto new parishes in Dublin.

I couldn't have been more wrong -- Taoiseach Ahern was not in the slightest bit interested, telling me that the Church was not an organisation that the State could investigate and that the State could only have inquiries into matters of urgent public concern.

I remember being so disappointed that our relatively young new Taoiseach could have such a backward out-of-date reaction to an issue I was sure would never go away until it was properly addressed. Once I had gone public about my experiences as a child and had also told everyone in Ireland that I had been compensated, surely others would come forward to reveal similar experiences and demand similar redress -- I wasn't wrong about that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 AM

DVD documentary recounts pain of clergy sex abuse victims

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: July 24, 2009 10:44 p.m.

When Janine Geske gathered a group of clergy sex abuse victims, an offending priest and others affected by the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis for a so-called "healing circle" a few years back, she knew what would transpire there would be profound.

So much so that the former Supreme Court Justice, who now heads Marquette University Law School's Restorative Justice Initiative, decided to have the session professionally videotaped.

The footage sat in a Marquette safe for nearly two years before she handed it over to independent television producer Rita Hagen Aleman, saying: I know you'll know what to do with this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 AM

July 24, 2009

OFFICIAL NOTICE Concerning Edward J. Shoback

PENNSYLVANIA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton

The Holy See has notified the Diocese of Scranton that Edward J. Shoback has been dismissed from the clerical state. This action was taken in response to a finding of sexual misconduct involving minors.

Dismissal from the clerical state means that Edward J. Shoback is no longer an incardinated cleric of the Diocese of Scranton. He may no longer function as a priest anywhere. He may not hold any parochial or administrative office in the Church. He may not teach Theology in a Catholic institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 PM

Part 10: The Suspects—and Other Persons of Interest

MASSACHUSETTS
The Daniel Croteau Murder

Then-priest Rick Ravine (not his real name-see intro) was—and still is—the only publicly identified suspect in the murder of Daniel Croteau. But he wasn’t the only person police investigated in 1972.

In the early days of the investigation, police looked into several suspects, including “a produce manager at a nearby supermarket” whose bedroom Danny was supposed to paint for $10, according to Jim Mitchell, a retired state trooper who was one of the original investigators in the case.

The supermarket employee, along with Danny’s Boy Scout troop leader, were questioned, but neither “rose to the level” of suspicion that Ravine did, according to Mitchell. When their alibis were verified, they were ruled out as suspects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

TONY ALAMO, VETERAN BIGOT, GOING TO PRISON

ARKANSAS
Catholic League

July 24, 2009

Evangelist Tony Alamo was convicted today on all counts of transporting minors across state lines for sex. Catholic League president Bill Donohue is delighted:

Tony Alamo Christian Ministries Worldwide was the name of his organization, and “World Pastor” was his name. Now this child-abusing, tax dodging, viciously anti-Catholic bigot is finally being put away for good. Convicted of having sex with girls as young as 9, and of multiple “marriages,” this supreme exploiter was convicted of tax evasion in 1994 and sent to prison while heading a multimillion-dollar business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Protestant children ignored by inquiry into institutional abuse

IRELAND
Irish News

By Valerie Robinson
20/07/09

ONE OF THE FORGOTTEN: Now resident in England, having ‘taken the boat’ to escape Ireland like many in his situation, Derek Leinster suffered extreme neglect during his childhood while in a home set up to cater for ‘fallen’ Protestant women and their children and while in foster care in Co Wicklow Derek Leinster is a victim of institutional neglect but he has not been able to tell his story to the Republic’s authorities and was not mentioned in the Ryan report – because he was raised a Protestant.

Now aged 68, Mr Leinster was born in the Bethany Home in Rathgar, Dublin, in 1941. His mother, a member of the Church of Ireland, had become pregnant after a relationship with his Catholic father.

Then aged 18, his mother, who was not married, spent four months in Bethany before giving birth. When the baby was four-and-a-half months old she left the institution, eventually settling down in England. The infant was left behind.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Tony Alamo Convicted of Taking Girls Out of State for Sex

ARKANSAS
KFSM

Russell Jones, Reporter
July 24, 2009

TEXARKANA, Ark. - A jury has found the apocalyptic Christian evangelist Tony Alamo guilty of all ten charges that he took young girls across state lines for sex.

The jury deliberated for more than eight hours Thursday, then returned their decision around 10:30, finding Alamo guilty of ten violations of the Mann Act, a more than 100-year-old law that prohibits the interstate trafficking of minors for sex.

Alamo himself had denied the charges, saying they were part of a Vatican-led conspiracy against his ministry. He never testified in his own defense, on the advice of his attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Evangelist Tony Alamo Guilty of Child Sex Crimes

ARKANSAS
Huliq

A federal jury returned a guilty verdict this morning against controversial Evangelist Tony Alamo finding the preacher guilty of numerous child sex crimes including the human trafficking of young girls.

MSNBC reports that Arkansas evangelist, Tony Alamo, was found guilty by a federal Texarkana jury on all 10 counts of the indictment alleging child sex crimes dating back to 1994 including transporting girls as young as 9 years old across state lines for the purpose of having sex with them.

Evangelist Alamo, 74, was prosecuted pursuant to the Mann Act which condemns "immoral behavior" and is most commonly used to prosecute men for having sex with underage girls. It also bans human trafficking such as the transportation of women for having sex with them or committing child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Former Evangelist Convicted of Sexual Exploitation Offenses

ARKANSAS
PRNewswire

TEXARKANA, Ark., July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bernie Hoffman, aka Tony Alamo, founder and leader of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, age 74, was convicted today by a jury in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Arkansas, of charges that he transported minor girls across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity that would be a violation of state law, in violation of Title 18 U.S. C. Section 2423. The jury found Alamo guilty on all 10 counts of the federal indictment, announced Deborah Groom, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, and Thomas J. Browne, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The guilty verdict followed six days of testimony during which women testified Alamo had sexual relations with them while they were underage, and that they traveled across state lines with Alamo or at his request for the purpose of his having sexual relations with them. United States District Court Judge Harry F. Barnes presided over the trial.

Speaking of today's conviction, Acting United States Attorney, Deborah Groom, stated: "The United States Attorney's Office appreciates the jury's attention to the evidence presented in this case. We also wish to commend and extend gratitude to the agents of the FBI and the Arkansas State Police, who partnered in the investigation, for the dedication they exhibited throughout the investigation and prosecution. It is important that victims of child exploitation have the forum and opportunity to come forward, so that justice may be served."

Special Agent in Charge Thomas Browne of the Little Rock Office of the FBI added: "This investigation has focused on the victims of crime. The young women who have come forward have been incredibly courageous. This investigation also highlights excellent cooperation by the Arkansas State Police, United States Attorney's Office, and the FBI."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Deliberation begins in sex abuse trial

KANKAKEE (IL)
Daily Journal

By Leila Noelliste
lnoelliste@daily-journal.com
815-802-5144
A jury began deliberating 9 a.m. today on the second sex abuse trial of former Olivet Nazarene University student Jason Athialy. Athialy's first trial ended in a hung jury on Nov. 7, 2008.

Athialy is charged with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly fondling 11- and 12-year-old girls at a Nov. 12, 2006 Christian youth gathering. The girls' parents were mentors to Athialy and the alleged incidents took place in their home. Athialy, who was 21 at the time, had baby-sat the girls before and was close to the family.

"They made a mistake when they trusted Jason Athialy," said Assistant State's Attorney Carol Costello during closing statements Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Archdiocese raises retirement age for Boston priests

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

By Antonio M. Enrique
Posted: 7/24/2009

BRAINTREE -- Under a new policy that will go into effect Aug. 1, archdiocesan priests will be expected to remain in active ministry until age 75, five years beyond the current retirement age of 70.

In an email sent to all priests of the archdiocese, Father Richard Erikson, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, explained that the amended policy states that “priests are normally expected (health permitting) to remain in active ministry, as pastor, parochial vicar, or special assignment, until the age of 75.”

Father Erikson said that this change is in keeping with the Code of Canon Law, “wherein both pastors and bishops are asked to submit their resignation at age 75.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

5 US rabbis arrested in corruption scam

NEW JERSEY
Jerusalem Post

Five rabbis, three New Jersey mayors and two state legislators were arrested Thursday by the FBI in a sting at the end of a two-year investigation into a huge corruption scandal spanning from New York to Israel, involving political bribes, extortion, money-laundering and even organ trafficking.

The rabbis were charged with laundering tens of millions of dollars through charities in the US and Israel. Another Jewish suspect was accused of selling Israeli donors' kidneys for up to $160,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Pedophile on parole: Court decides to free Ralph Rowe despite new convictions

CANADA
Surrey Leader

By Dan Ferguson - Surrey North Delta Leader

A Surrey man who molested dozens of boys in the 1970s and 1980s has been granted parole.

The decision to release Ralph Rowe has drawn outrage from the 18 small First Nations communities in Ontario where the attacks took place.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said Rowe should have remained in prison because he was recently convicted of seven more sexual assaults that occurred during those years.

However, the Kenora, Ontario Superior Court judge who convicted Rowe decided he should not serve any more time in prison because the “serial prosecution” of the 69-year-old former priest amounted to a harsh punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Suit accuses Spring Lake priest of sex abuse

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

By GRAELYN BRASHEAR • COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU • July 22, 2009

A lawsuit filed this week claims a Catholic priest based in Spring Lake abused a young girl and her brother 35 years ago.

The complaint, filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County by lawyer Robert R. Fuggi Jr., accuses the Rev. John O'Donoghue of regularly sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother while the Roman Catholic priest served in St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish in Spring Lake between 1973 and 1974.

In the complaint, the female plaintiff, now living in Asbury Park and identified only as "K.M.," alleges a priest she called Father O'Donoghue abused her over the course of a year and a half during regular visits to her home, where he came to administer Mass to her mother, who was bedridden with cancer. The complaint says the family were members of the parish, and the girl was a student at the parish-run St. Catharine School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Press Release Detail

TRENTON (NJ)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton

Statement of the Diocese of Trenton regarding an allegation of child sexual abuse against Holy Ghost Father O'Donoghue

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Diocese of Trenton was informed of the existence of a civil complaint alleging sexual abuse by a Father John O'Donoghue during his ministry in St. Catharine Parish, and its mission, St. Margaret, both in Spring Lake from 1972-1974. Though our records show that no priest with that name has ever served in the Diocese, we do have a Father Charles O'Donoghue on record who served in that parish from 1969 to 1975.

Father Charles O'Donoghue was a Father of the Holy Ghost (a religious order based in Ireland also known as the Irish Spiritans). Our records show that he returned to Ireland in 1975. A complaint against a Father O'Donoghue was made known to the diocese in 2002 dating back to the mid-1970s. That allegation was turned over to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office when it was received in 2002. Unconfirmed records show that Father Charles O'Donoghue died in 1986 in Ireland at the age of 84.

In keeping with our procedures, we have reported this most recent complaint to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and will present it to the Diocesan Review Board. We have also reached out to the Irish Spiritan Fathers for information about Father O'Donoghue. As always, we ask for the prayers of the diocesan family for all of those involved in this allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

MP calls for probe into abuse of children

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Published Date: 24 July 2009
By Staff reporter
Upper Bann MP David Simpson last night called for an inquiry to establish the level of child abuse in religious orders and other care environments in Northern Ireland.

He met with Children's Commissioner Patricia Lewsley to discuss abuse of children in the care of various organisations.

Mr Simpson said that in light of the Ryan Report in the Republic, which showed the systematic abuse of children in the care of religious orders, it was important to establish the scale of the problem in the Province.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Ex-area priest gets defrocked by Vatican

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Leader

By Sherry Long slong@timesleader.com
Staff Writer

A Luzerne County priest who admitted in 2004 to sexual misconduct with a minor was defrocked by the Vatican.

The Very Rev. Edward J. Shoback, served as a priest in the Diocese of Scranton starting in 1967 until being removed from his pastoral duties in 2004 after the allegations surfaced.

“He may no longer function as a priest anywhere. He may not hold any parochial or administrative office in the Church. He may not teach theology in a Catholic institution,” according to a notice from Diocese of Scranton Chancellor James B. Earley printed in Thursday’s edition of The Catholic Light, a publication of the Scranton Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

The Faith of Frank McCourt

NEW YORK
The Wall Street Journal

By PETER DUFFY
Frank McCourt, who died on Sunday at age 78, was the most Catholic of authors.

The rites and rituals of Ireland’s Catholic Church of the 1930s and ’40s exist at the core of “Angela’s Ashes” (1996), his great Bildungsroman. That book’s hilarious and irreverent chapter on Mr. McCourt’s preparation for, and eventual ill-fated reception of, First Communion set down for all history what it was like to sit before an old Irish “master,” named Mr. Benson in this case, and have very pre-Vatican II lessons pummeled (literally) into your pre-teenage brain.

“He tells us we have to know the catechism backwards, forwards and sideways,” Mr. McCourt writes. “We have to know the Ten Commandments, the Seven Deadly Virtues, Divine and Moral, the Seven Sacraments, the Seven Deadly Sins. We have to know by heart all the prayers, the Hail Mary, the Our Father, the Confiteor, the Apostles’ Creed, the Act of Contrition, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. . . . He tells us we’re hopeless, the worst class he ever had for First Communion but as sure as God made little apples he’ll make Catholics of us, he’ll beat the idler out of us and Sanctifying Grace into us.” ...

Somewhere Mr. McCourt, who loved to spar with critics, is smiling. “Anti-clericalism, they said about me,” he told a newspaper reporter in 2002, who noted that Mr. McCourt’s eyebrows arched with skepticism. “No. I just told the story that millions of other Catholics would tell about their own lives.” Referring to the clergy sexual-abuse, he said: “Maybe now people are beginning to realize that I was just a bit too early with the truth.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Washington Discussion: Sex Abuse

WASHINGTON (CT)
Litchfield County Times

WASHINGTON-On Wednesday, the Rev. Ellen Tillotson, pastor of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington, will moderate a panel discussion entitled "Power, its Role in Sexual Abuse" at The Washington Club.

The panelists include Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds, author of "Coming Out and Covering Up: Catholic Priests Talk About Sex Scandals in the Church," Kristen Skedgell, author of "Losing the Way: A Memoir of Spiritual Longing, Manipulation, Abuse and Escape," and James Cornelio, author of "Two To Six, A Sex Offender's Story." The books will be available for sale at the event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Lay pastor charged with child abuse

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Spectrum

BY KEVIN JENKINS • kevin@thespectrum.com • July 24, 2009

ST. GEORGE - A lay pastor who ran a failed bid to unseat U.S. House of Representatives incumbent Jim Matheson in 2006 made an initial appearance in 5th District Court on Thursday on charges of rape and sexual abuse of a child.

Kris Lounsbury, age 62, of St. George is charged with two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of forcible sexual abuse.

Lounsbury ran for the 2nd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but was defeated by State Representative LaVar Christensen for the Republican nomination to oppose Matheson.

Lounsbury was also the founding pastor of Living Word Christian Fellowship in St. George. He resigned his position as pastor about a year and a half ago, said current pastor John Sullivan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

July 23, 2009

The corruption in New Jersey

NEW JERSEY
JTA

By Jacob Berkman · July 23, 2009

You guys should be following the Telegraph blog for more info on the corruption charges against mayors and rabbis in New Jersey.

But just in case, here are some more Jewish tidbits from the story.

From the New York Times:

Weysan Dun, special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Newark office, said the rabbis arrested — including the grand rabbi of the Syrian Jewish community in the United States, Saul Kassin — were part a vast money-laundering conspiracy with tentacles in Israel and Switzerland. Another person, Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, of Brooklyn, was accused of being a kidney salesman who enticed vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $10,000 and then sold the body parts for $160,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Rabbis charged with illegally laundering $3M

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

By Jean Mikle • STAFF WRITER • July 23, 2009

Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra said today that his office has uncovered a massive money-laundering scheme that involved high-ranking religious figures and their associates in the Syrian Jewish and Hasidic communities in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Deal.

Among those arrested was Eliahu Ben Haim, of Long Branch, principal rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob in Deal. According to court documents, Haim received bank checks in amounts ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to $160,000 at a time, made payable to a charitable, tax-exempt organization associated with Haim and his synagogue. ...


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Developing News: Jurors Ask Attorneys Questions In Alamo Trial

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

A panel of 12 jurors remain in deliberation in the federal trial against controversial evangelist Tony Alamo. Alamo stands accused of taking underage girls across state lines for sex.

Around 2:30 p.m., the jury called attorneys back to Judge Harry Barnes' courtroom for a third question. The first two were asked during a brief meeting at 11:05 a.m. Alamo's defense team has confirmed the three questions were for clarification on the Mann Act.

Earlier today, Alamo's lead defense attorney Don Ervin said that the question(s) indicate that the jury is thinking through the charges against his client. When asked if he remained optimistic, Ervin replied, "Yes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Alamo jury sends second query to judge

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/23/2009

About 2:30 p.m. today, the jury seated to determine Tony Alamo's fate sent another question to the court.

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes called his court reporter, prosecutors and defense attorneys into chambers for a review of the note and Barnes' answer.

The defense declined to say what the latest question was about, stating they were prohibited from doing so until the court publishes it officially in the record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

FBI: NJ assemblyman took $10K bribe

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

By JEAN MIKLE • GANNETT NEW JERSEY • July 23, 2009

Assemblyman Daniel M. Van Pelt, R-Ocean, took $10,000 in bribes to help move a development along in Waretown, according to the FBI.

Van Pelt was arrested Thursday morning in a wide-sweeping corruption probe by the FBI. About 30 other officials and religious leaders from New Jersey and New York were also arrested. ...

The subjects of the arrests also include religious leaders from the Syrian Jewish enclaves in Brooklyn, Deal and Elberon. Sources said the IRS and FBI this morning seized documents from the Deal Yeshiva and the Ohel Yaacob synagogue on Ocean Avenue in Deal.

The Deal Yeshiva is a religious school which teaches children in the Sephardic Jewish tradition, The Yeshiva has two separate divisions: a boys' school on Logan Road in Ocean Township and a girls' school on Wall Street in West Long Branch.

The school was founded more than 20 years ago by Rabbi Isaac Dwek and Raizel Dwek, the parents of Solomon Dwek, of Ocean Township. Rabbi Dwek was the school's president, and Raizel was its treasurer, until 2006, when their son's real estate empire began to crumble after Dwek deposited a bad $25.2 million check at a drive-through window at the PNC Bank in Eatontown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

2 N.J. Mayors Arrested in Broad Inquiry on Corruption

NEW JERSEY
The New York Times

By DAVID M. HALBFINGER
Published: July 23, 2009
The mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, a state assemblyman and dozens of others were rounded up early Thursday as the F.B.I. swept across four counties in New Jersey as part of a two-year corruption and money-laundering investigation that ranged from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn and has even reached into the State House in Trenton. ...

Federal prosecutors said the arrests included several rabbis from enclaves of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn and from Deal and Elberon, communities along the Jersey Shore in Ocean County.

The Asbury Park Press reported that the investigation involved the Deal Yeshiva, a religious school which teaches children in the Sephardic Jewish tradition. The United States Attorney’s office in Newark scheduled a noon news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Church abuse scandal report 'to be censored' as suspects face court

IRELAND
Herald

By Kevin Doyle

Thursday July 23 2009

THE report into clerical child abuse in Dublin is likely to be published with large sections blacked out, it has emerged.

Despite concerns over the legal implications of releasing the controversial report, it is understood that the Justice Minister Dermot Ahern is in favour of making it public as soon as possible.

The Cabinet decided yesterday to refer the report to the Attorney General for advice on what can be published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Dublin Child Abuse Report Coming Soon

IRELAND
Zenit

DUBLIN, Ireland, JULY 22, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A new report detailing the response of authorities to claims of child abuse by clergy in the Dublin Archdiocese is expected to be published soon.

The report, which details abuse cases from 1975 to 2004, was delivered Tuesday by the Commission of Investigation to Dermot Ahern, Ireland's Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

Ahern noted his desire to publicize the report as soon as possible, but added that it should be censored, to remove details that could affect the criminal cases of three priests who are facing trial next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Parts of report on Church child abuse to be blacked out

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Senan Molony Deputy Political Editor

Thursday July 23 2009

PARTS of the report on child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese are likely to be blacked out when the document is published.

The censor strips, officially referred to as redactions, became more likely last night after the Cabinet decided to send the report to the Attorney General (AG) for his views. The AG could yet refer the report to the High Court to decide on how much can be published.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern briefed the Cabinet on the report yesterday, which names a number of persons currently before the courts in relation to alleged abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Plea for retired priest accused of molestation pushed back

NEWPORT BEACH (FL)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

NEWPORT BEACH – A retired priest appeared at Harbor Justice Center today for his initial appearance on charges that he molested a young boy at a Costa Mesa church more than 17 years ago.

Denis Lyons, 75, of Seal Beach was arrested Monday afternoon while playing cards at a community center near his Leisure World residence. He was booked at Orange County Jail – where he is being incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Today, Lyon's arraignment – a hearing in which he would enter a plea – was pushed back to August 11. A bail review hearing will also be held that day to determine if Lyons should be held in custody, county prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Alamo Case Goes To Jury

ARKANSAS
KTAL

[with video]

Reported by: Mario Boone
Wednesday, Jul 22, 2009 @07:04pm CST

A jury of 9 men and 3 women must now decide the guilt or innocence of Evangelist Tony Alamo. Alamo faces life in prison if convicted in a 10-count federal indictment charging he transported underage girls across state lines for sex.

For days Alamo insisted he would testify in his own defense. It's a move his defense team spent more than 4 hours on Wednesday convincing him not to do. Alamo appeared to fall asleep during closing arguments from prosecutors. He also seemed agitated when government lawyers told the jury, "your crimes have been exposed."

Defense lawyers told the jury prosecutors tried to "infect the jury with anger" to convict their client. Phillip Kuhn urged jurors not to be distracted by the government's efforts to pull at their heartstrings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Jury will begin deliberations Thursday in Alamo case

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/22/2009

The jury in the Tony Alamo sex crimes trial will begin its deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Tony Alamo did not testify in his trial on the advice of his attorneys.

The government and defense delivered closing arguments late today.

During the government’s closing arguments, Kyra Jenner, assistant U.S. attorney, turned to Alamo and said, “Tony Alamo, your crimes have been exposed in this courtroom.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Church volunteer accused of molestation

TERRE HAUTE (IN)
WTHI

Published : Wednesday, 22 Jul 2009, 5:15 PM EDT

Amanda Jarrett

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A former church volunteer has been arrested for allegedly molesting a teenage girl.

Robert Posey, 39, is facing a charge of child molestation for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl he met at church.

"We're deeply disappointed at the accusation of someone who attended our church," Pastor Thomas Manbeck of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

A Bishop Who Was In a Bad Mood on the Fourth of July

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star

As essayists go, most Catholic bishops tend to be a little sedate. Boring is often not an inaccurate term.

Not so for the latest epistle penned by the Rev. William L. Higi, bishop for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, whose column appeared in the July 19 issue of his diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Moment. The piece about how he spent his Fourth of July was a real corker.

Apparently in a feisty, somewhat curmudgeonly mood, Higi disparaged the music of both Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, decried hot dog eating contests for their gluttony and expressed disdain for patriotic music that doesn't adhere to his sense of "the good ole stuff that I have come to love."

But the most startling bit of Higi's long rant was undoubtedly his take on the "hoopla" following the death of Michael Jackson.

Apart from the saturation coverage, which he described as "grossly exaggerated and extended beyond sensitivity," Higi took issue with the Jackson adulation in light of accusations that the King of Pop was a pedophile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Priests back archbishop over crisis

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Thursday July 23 2009

Priests in the archdiocese of Dublin have rallied to the support of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his "courage" in tackling the grave problem of clerical sexual abuse of children.

The vote of confidence in Archbishop Martin's "clear-thinking" leadership came as priests anxiously await publication either in full or in part of the report which was given on Tuesday to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern.

The council of priests which acts as an advisory body to Archbishop Martin has voiced its appreciation of his victim-centred approach to abuse complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Complaint alleges sex abuse by former Spring Lake priest

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

By GRAELYN BRASHEAR • COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU • July 22, 2009

The Diocese of Trenton has been named in a civil complaint alleging sexual abuse by a priest in Spring Lake more than 35 years ago.

The complaint accuses a Rev. John O'Donoghue of sexual abuse during his ministry at St. Catharine's Church and St. Margaret's Church, both part of St. Catharine Parish in Spring Lake, from 1972 to 1974, said diocese spokesman Steven Emery.

Emery said the diocese has no record of a priest named John O'Donoghue working in the parish in the 1970s; however, a Rev. Charles O'Donoghue served there from 1969 to 1975, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

July 22, 2009

Judge Awards $7.3 Million For Cyberstalking

OVERLAND PARK (KS)
KMBC

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A judge has handed down a $7.3 million judgment against a Johnson County woman, who was accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment of a child for years.

KMBC's Maria Antonia reported that the child was a Kansas City boy, now a 23-year-old man who still lives in the city. ...

Lewis' family was joined by a David Clohessy, a member of SNAP, the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests. Clohessy's message: abuse of a boy is just as serious as abuse of a girl.

"If you're a child, boy or girl, and an adult is picking on you, harassing you, speak up," said Clohessy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Civil suit accuses priest accused of sexual abuse in Spring Lake 35 years ago

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk
Wednesday July 22, 2009, 4:03 PM
MONMOUTH COUNTY -- A civil complaint has accused a priest of sexual abuse in Spring Lake more than 35 years ago, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press.

The report says that a diocese spokesman confirmed the complaint accuses the Rev. John O'Donoghue of sexual abuse during his ministry at St. Catharine's Church and St. Margaret's Church, both part of St. Catharine Parish in Spring Lake.

However, the diocese has no record of a priest named John O'Donoghue working in the parish in the 1970s, and that the Rev. Charles O'Donoghue served there from served there from 1969 to 1975, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Chicago bishop admitted concealing sex-abuse evidence in dozens of cases

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic Culture

July 22, 2009
Bishop Raymond Goedert, a retired auxiliary bishop of Chicago, admitted in a court deposition that he concealed evidence of sexual abuse by more than a score of priests. The bishop's deposition-- released as part of a settlement with a group of abuse victims, to whom the archdiocese also agreed to pay $3.9 million in damages-- indicated that he was well aware of laws against molesting children, but thought Church law took precedence and required confidentiality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Witness invokes Fifth Amendment at Alamo trial

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009

TEXARKANA - Under questioning Tuesday at evangelist Tony Alamo's trial, the wife of a fugitive described by authorities as Alamo's "enforcer" invoked her right not to incriminate herself. As she left the courtroom, she was served with documents from child welfare authorities seeking protective custody of her four children.

Jennifer Kolbeck, whose husband, John, is wanted in the beating of a teenage church member, was one of five members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries who took the witness stand Tuesday to defend Alamo, who is charged with taking five underage girls across state lines for sex.

Testifying along with Jennifer Kolbeck were three women whom authorities have described as Alamo's wives and the man who drove a bus on a trip in which Alamo is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Developing News: Will Tony Alamo Take The Stand?

ARKANSAS
KTHV

[with video]

Controversial evangelist Tony Alamo arrived at Texarkana federal court Wednesday morning shortly after 6:30.

In Wednesday's federal trial against Tony Alamo, he told his lawyers, "I want to get up there (witness stand)."

Alamo was seen in the courtroom taking several notes, as well as talking to his lawyers about taking the stand in his own defense in his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Alamo may not testify

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/22/2009

During the sex crimes trial of self-proclaimed evangelist Tony Alamo, jurors listened to him tell a woman to “shut up, shut your face” in a jail house recording Tuesday morning.

“Why the hell would I have to take them across state lines to have sex with them,” Alamo said on the tape. “And if I did it in Arkansas would that be bad?”

Laughter from the woman Alamo was speaking to followed the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Alamo insists he’ll testify

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/22/2009

As a cuffed Tony Alamo was escorted into the federal courthouse Wednesday morning in downtown Texarkana, the controversial evangelist said he wants to testify.

"Why are you such a liar?" he shouted at reporters when asked why his lawyers are afraid to let him take the stand.

When asked what he had to gain by testifying, Alamo said, "I'm gonna tell all the different lies that were told that my attorneys never covered."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Two former Alamo followers speak out

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/22/2009

An ex-member of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and witness to the beating of 12-year-old Justin Miller in California in the 80s spoke to reporters Wednesday before the trial got under way.

"That was the last straw for me," said Barry Haynes. "I came in and the beating was in process. Tony was directing it over the phone. What I remember was about 140 whacks with a board."

Haynes' wife, Connie Haynes, left the ministry in 1996 after becoming sickened by Alamo's polygamy and control over the group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Court adjourns until 1 p.m., another Alamo follower takes the Fifth Amendment

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/22/2009

For the second time in Tony Alamo's federal sexual abuse trial in downtown Texarkana, a defense witness has invoked her constitutional right to silence.

"I think I'm going to take the Fifth (Amendment) on that," said Sue Davis, mother of one of the Jane Does named in Alamo's criminal indictment.

Last November, Davis was served by a member of the Arkansas' child welfare agency with a copy of an emergency custody order signed by circuit judges in Miller and Sebastian counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Walk Across Oregon starts July 27, crosses state along the Columbia, goes urban in Portland, then on to the Pacific

OREGON
City of Angels

"We want to stop child abuse, domestic violence, rape, and clergy abuse by getting people to talk about it. Abuse happens when we remain silent," says Virginia Jones who started the Walk Across Oregon and Compassionate Gathering Dot Org after hearing about the crimes of pedophile priest Franciscan Gus Krumm at her church in Portland.

"We don’t carry signs, just wear t-shirts that identify what we're doing," said Jones, who sent the pictures featured in this post, which make me want to jump on the road and go north. The group will walk through the small towns of rural Oregon where Jones has set up meetings in advance with organizations dealing with child abuse and local media. Then the weekend of August 22-23, they have a whole agenda of events in Portland's city streets and parks, including a meeting at Powell's Book Store, which is four-stories high and covers an entire block.

The t-shirts are yellow or turquoise. They read: Stop Child Abuse, Heal the Wounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Diocese repossesses vicarage in West Bromwich

UNITED KINGDOM
Diocese of LItchfield

Date 22/07/09

The former vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd with St John, in West Bromwich, has this afternoon handed possession of the vicarage to officers acting for the Bishops of Lichfield and Wolverhampton and the Archdeacon of Walsall.

The Revd Dr Patrick Okechi was removed from office in December 2008 after a Clergy Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that he had an affair with a parishioner, who can be identified only as Mrs A. Dr Okechi was also barred from serving as a priest in the Church of England for a period of 10 years.

Dr Okechi had refused to leave the vicarage and the bishops and archdeacon were forced to seek a possession order at Birmingham County Court which was granted last month. At 9.30am this morning (Wednesday 22nd July), after the deadline for possession had passed, diocesan officers called on Dr Okechi to obtain the keys but left without gaining possession. The officers were invited back later and Dr Okechi voluntarily handed over possession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Upset Catholics & sex abuse victims push archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

What:
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims will blast Cardinal Francis George for concealing 49 pages of a crucial deposition of his #2 aide

They’ll also urge George to
-- put a note urging parishioners to read the deposition (and a link to it) in every parish bulletin this weekend, and
-- re-name a church building that honors the aide, despite his repeated deceiving of parishioners about pedophile priests, and his refusal to call police about dozens of admitted and credibly accused predator priests

When:
Wednesday, July 22, 1:00 p.m.

Where:
Outside the Chicago Archdiocese headquarters (835 N Rush Street, just North of Chicago Ave)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Diocese suffers €7m loss as share values collapse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By LOUISE HOGAN and GORDON DEEGAN

Wednesday July 22 2009

A CATHOLIC Church diocese yesterday admitted it has lost millions of euro as a result of the financial markets crash.

The Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh, revealed the diocese is in dire financial straits and has lost as much as €7m as stocks and shares plummeted.

And many other dioceses around the country have suffered due to investments plummeting in value.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

A despicable betrayal of trust

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Wednesday July 22 2009

Is there no end to the shameful catalogue of abuse and deception? Gardai are to investigate almost 100 new cases of alleged abuse by Catholic clergy as a result of calls to a hotline set up when the Ryan report was published recently.

These are serious cases which the gardai are sufficiently confident warrant a response.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Justice is studying the report of the Dublin Diocese Commission that has identified hundreds of victims of abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Bishop remained silent about 25 abusive priests

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

[the deposition]

July 22, 2009

BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Staff Reporter/apallasch@suntimes.com
The former No. 2 official of the Catholic church in Chicago admitted that he knew 25 priests broke the law by sexually abusing children but did not report them, according to depositions made public Tuesday.

Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Raymond E. Goedert's statements show "the lengths they went to to protect their reputation and the priest at the peril of the child," said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents men who have sued the archdiocese over alleged childhood molestation.

"I knew the civil law considered it a crime," Goedert said in the deposition. "But I'm not a civil lawyer. I think we just relied on -- a lot on our -- we knew it was wrong, what was done. And we used our common sense and prudence with the help of people -- expert in the field to assist us in resolving these cases."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Irish Catholic Priests Take Pay Cuts as Bank Stocks

IRELAND
Bloomberg

By Louisa Nesbitt

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Irish Roman Catholic priests in the country’s second-biggest diocese took pay cuts of about 10 percent after church investments in bank stocks dropped as much as 7 million euros ($10 million).

The Killaloe diocese, which covers parts of the midlands and west of Ireland, cut salaries by between 8 and 12 percent, after shares fell and bank dividends were eliminated, Willy Walsh, the Bishop of Killaloe, said in an interview with Ireland’s RTE radio today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Confronting the Legionaries of Christ in Mexico

Guardian (United Kingdom)

Hugh O'Shaughnessy guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 July 2009

The Holy See, with scapel in hand, is turning to Mexico and Central America where it needs to carry out urgent and comprehensive surgery.

Last week Rome announced the membership of the five-man committee charged with a worldwide investigation of the the congregation of the Legionaires of Christ, a group founded by the Mexican cleric Marcial Maciel Degollado who died last year at the age of 88 in an odour of something short of sanctity. As far as Maciel was concerned a new form of Legionaires' Disease consisted of a crushing diet of authoritarianism imposed by a priest who had a daughter of 20 from a long-term relationship with a lover and who was protected by some of the most senior people in the Vatican.

Founded in 1941, the congregation has grown rapidly, becoming a source of scandal and embarrassment. In 1970 it had 68 priests in its ranks. Today it has more than eleven times that number, not to speak of 2,500 men studying to be priests and 65,000 lay members in its offshoot Regnum Christi, the Kingdom of Christ. Members include two Dubliners called Farrell who have risen high. Kevin is now in the US as bishop of Dallas and the other, Brian, incredible as it might appear, is in the Vatican as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Long ago the council had been distinguished by the presence of such theological giants such as the Jesuit Cardinal Bea, the Dominican Cardinal Hamer and the Archbishop of Utrecht Cardinal Willibrands, none of whom, happily, was accused of any connection to the Legionaires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Pope strips German paedophile of priesthood

GERMANY
Earth Times

Mainz, Germany - Pope Benedict XVI has removed a paedophile German priest from office after the man admitting that he molested boarding-school boys in the 1970s, his order said Wednesday. At least 16 men have come forward to say they were forced into sexual acts as boys at the school, near Bad Neustadt an der Saale, 110 kilometres east of Frankfurt.

The incidents happened between 1972 and 1976, too long ago to be prosecuted as crimes under German law. The school closed in 1978. The alleged perpetrator applied in December to the pope to leave the priesthood.

The Mainz-based Missionaries of the Holy Family expressed regret to the victims in a statement and said the man, 71, would remain with the order as a simple brother instead of a more highly ranked priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Limerick Diocese defends its child protection safeguards

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

By Mike Dwane
A SPOKESMAN for Bishop Donal Murray has defended child protection safeguards in Limerick after documentary maker and author Mary Raftery called for a judicial inquiry into clerical sex abuse in the diocese.

Ms Raftery, whose investigations helped to lift the lid on child abuse in the Catholic Church, last night claimed the Diocese of Limerick shared committees with the Diocese of Cloyne (Cork), where a commission of inquiry is investigating child abuse by clerics.

The report on abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin was presented to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern yesterday but publication looks likely to be delayed over ongoing criminal proceedings against two priests named in that report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Four archbishops under spotlight

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Wednesday July 22 2009

A TOTAL of 19 bishops have been investigated in the report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

Immense spiritual and political power over the lives of ordinary Catholics and their children was exercised by four archbishops and 15 assistant bishops in the nation's biggest and most important diocese during the period in question.

The four archbishops at the centre of the inquiry by the commission are Cardinal Desmond Connell, 1988-2004; Kevin McNamara, 1985-87; Dermot Ryan, 1972-1984, and John Charles McQuaid, 1940-1972. Of these four prelates, only Cardinal Connell, now aged 83, is alive and living in retirement in Glasnevin on Dublin's northside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Voice of the Faithful to keep national office

NEEDHAM (MA)
Needham Times

By Steven Ryan/ GateHouse News Service
GateHouse News Service
Posted Jul 21, 2009 @ 04:04 PM

Needham — After it appeared the Voice of the Faithful might have to close its national headquarters in Needham due to a financial downturn, the organization is now likely to keep its office open after raising $63,000 in a week, the organization announced today, July 21.

“We are deeply grateful to our many generous donors and encouraged by their sentiments of support,” said Bill Casey, chairman of the Board of Trustees, in a statement. “Now we begin to build a stable base of predictable income to sustain our ongoing operations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Mountford murder 'stirs difficult emotions'

AUSTRALIA
The Independent Weekly

LACHLAN COLQUHOUN AND AAP

22/07/2009 8:58:00 AM
The murder of former St Peter’s College chaplain John Mountford will stir difficult emotions for some people, says Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver.

Mountford, who was charged with but not convicted of sexual abuse at the school, has been found dead in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Adelaide friends of Mountford told The Independent Weekly he was stabbed to death in his Tripoli apartment over the weekend shortly after returning from London to celebrate his mother’s birthday.

He reportedly claimed to friends that people in Tripoli, where he had established an English language school, were blackmailing him and threatening to reveal his past in Adelaide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Slain ex-chaplain blackmailed over past, says friend

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A friend of a former school chaplain who was accused of sex offences says John Mountford had paid blackmail money to his landlord.

The friend Adrian Hitch says the former St Peters College chaplain was found stabbed to death in his apartment in the Libyan capital Tripoli last weekend.

Dr Hitch says Mr Mountford was being blackmailed by his landlord, who was threatening to expose his history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Donors rescue Voice of the Faithful

Boston Globe

Voice of the Faithful, the lay Catholic group founded during the church’s clergy sexual abuse scandal, has raised enough money to keep operating. The group sent a letter to its members last week, saying its financial situation was so dire that it might be forced to close its Needham headquarters unless it raised $60,000. Yesterday, the group said its plea raised more than $63,000. The money will be used to pay operating costs for July and August. The group hopes to raise additional money so it can continue to operate long term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Settlements reached in sex abuse cases

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

[with video]

By Leah Hope

July 21, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Settlements have been reached in several sex abuse cases involving the Chicago archdiocese.

For the first time ever, the public is learning what a former top ranking aide to Cardinals Bernardin and George had to say about the abuse under oath.
The abuse cases date back several decades.

Attorneys for the six victims announced the $3.9 million settlement on Tuesday. The deal also included releasing the deposition of now-retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedart. He retired 6 years ago after dealing with dozens of abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Deposition Probes Pervasive Abuse By Local Priests

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Attorneys on Tuesday released a 180-page deposition taken from the top aide to Francis Cardinal George, as they settle six cases alleging sexual abuse by priests.

SEE THE DEPOSITION (click here)

The deposition was taken from now-retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert, who the second-ranked official in the Chicago Archdiocese under both Francis Cardinal George and the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, from 1987 until 2003.

While only four priests – two dead and two still alive – are named in the settlements announced Tuesday, more than a dozen priests accused of abuse are mentioned in the deposition.

At the core of the deposition is a sexual abuse scandal that hit the Chicago Archdiocese in the early 1990s, and forced Bernardin to call a special commission to investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Release of Irish child abuse report faces delay

IRELAND
Financial Times

By Eamon Quinn

Published: July 22 2009 02:31 | Last updated: July 22 2009 02:31

An Irish government report investigating child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin may not be made public until later this year because of cases that may be in the courts, Ireland’s justice minister, Dermot Ahern, said on Tuesday.

The report by a commission led by Judge Yvonne Murphy investigated the response of the authorities, including the Irish Catholic Church, police and health bodies, to numerous allegations made against priests in the Dublin Diocese since the mid-1970s. The report will be referred to the Irish attorney general for advice on whether it can be made public immediately, said a spokesman for Mr Ahern.

The investigation into the Catholic Dublin diocese, which includes the capital city and surrounding counties, is expected to be one of the last in a series of investigations by commissioners the government set up almost ten years ago to investigate the scandals of widespread abuse by Catholic priests and religious orders. The reports established patterns of behaviour over many decades by church authorities, who, though aware of the allegations moved abusers to distant parts of the country, in some cases within days of the claims against clergy having been made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Failure to report sex abuse in Chicago archdiocese described

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

[the deposition]

By Kristen Mack | Tribune reporter
July 22, 2009
The archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay $3.9 million to settle six sexual abuse cases and on Tuesday released a bishop's deposition that detailed the church's failure to report the crimes and attempts to keep them secret.

The 180-page deposition provides a rare glimpse of "how clerical culture operated in the past," said Jeffrey R. Anderson, an attorney for the victims. Retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert, the second-highest-ranking bishop in the Chicago archdiocese, testified that most of the priests he confronted with sexual abuse charges admitted them.

"I knew the civil law considered it a crime," Goedert said in his deposition, adding that he felt church law required him to treat matters confidentially. "I simply would not talk about [the cases] to anyone except those who had a right to know because of their position in the diocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Number of clerical abuse victims could be 10 times higher than report shows

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The true number of victims of clerical sex abuse within the Dublin archdiocese is likely to number in the thousands — not the 450 cited in a new report drawn up by the Irish Government-appointed Commission of Investigation, it was claimed last night.

“We believe there's a large number of people who were abused in the Dublin diocese who haven't come forward,” the executive director of victims’ group One in Four Maeve Lewis said.

One in Four and other support groups for victims of clerical sex abuse are now urging the Dublin government to delay publication of the report to prepare for the anticipated onslaught of victims who will be coming to terms with its explosive findings. The Commission of Investigation into the handling of clerical sex abuse in the diocese was expected to hand over its long-awaited report to the Republic’s Justice Minister Dermot Ahern yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Gardai to probe 100 new cases of abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tom Brady, Senan Molony and John Cooney

Wednesday July 22 2009

GARDAI investigating allegations against clerical child abusers are now pursuing almost 100 fresh complaints.

The new lines of inquiry emerged from the telephone "hotline" set up by gardai in the wake of the publication of the Ryan report in May.

The breakthrough in the garda study of the Ryan findings was revealed last night as Justice Minister Dermot Ahern received a copy of the report on child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priest charged with molesting boy in 1990s

CALIFORNIA
United Press International

Published: July 22, 2009 at 1:30 AM

COSTA MESA, Calif., July 22 (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic priest in California has been charged with sexually molesting a boy in the mid-1990s.

The Rev. Denis Lyons, 75, was arrested Monday afternoon, The Orange County Register reported. He was taken to the Costa Mesa police headquarters, where he was booked.

The diocese of Orange County has paid $4 million to settle lawsuits by alleged victims of sexual abuse by Lyons, who was removed from ministry in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

July 21, 2009

SNAP's analysis of Catholic bishop's 'damning' deposition & documents

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Every Chicago Catholic should read this deposition and documents. Here's the most important part.

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert said that he handled at least 25 Chicago pedophile priest cases.

But not once did he ever report an accused priest to civil authorities, Goedert said.

Not even in cases where priests admitted their guilt.

“My experience in dealing with the priests who I had to confront with this was that they admitted it,” said Goedert in the newly released deposition.

“I knew the civil law considered it a crime,” Goedert said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Retired O.C. priest charged with molesting boy

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

A retired Roman Catholic priest from Orange County who escaped prosecution six years ago on suspicion of molesting a teenage boy has been charged with allegedly molesting another boy in the 1990s.

Denis Lyons, 75, of Seal Beach, was arrested Monday afternoon while playing cards at a community center near his home in the Leisure World retirement community, prosecutors said today.

Lyons faces four felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14 and a sentencing enhancement for substantial sexual conduct with a child, which would make him eligible for a mandatory prison sentence. According to prosecutors, the abuse happened between 1992 and 1995 while Lyons was at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Former Dana Point Priest Charged With Molesting Young Boy

DANA POINT (CA)
Dana Point Times

July 21, 2009

A former Dana Point priest was charged today with molesting a young boy more than a decade ago at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa. Denis Lyons, 75, later served as a priest in Dana Point’s St. Edwards the Confessor Catholic Church.

Lyons faces four felony counts of lewd acts with a child under 14. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison. According to a release by the district attorney’s office, Lyons is accused of molesting the boy four times between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 1995, twice in the parish rectory at St. John’s and twice in the church sacristy.

The boy—who allegedly was abused between the ages of 7 and 9 and is now an adult—filed a report with the Costa Mesa Police Department last September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Archdiocese to pay $3.9 million to abuse victims

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

[Bishop Goedert's deposition]

July 21, 2009 4:24 PM
The Chicago Archdiocese today agreed to pay $3.9 million to six survivors of sexual abuse and released a bishop's deposition that detailed the church's failure to report the crimes and attempts to keep them secret.

The 180-page deposition provides a rare glimpse of "how clerical culture operated in the past," Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the victims, said.

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert, the second highest ranking bishop in the Chicago archdiocese, testified that most of the priests he confronted with sexual abuse charges admitted it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Irish government receives report on abuse in Dublin archdiocese

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

July 21, 2009
Ireland's justice minister, Dermot Ahern, today received a report from a commission chartered to investigate the handling of sex-abuse complaints in the Dublin archdiocese. The report will not be released to the public until government officials resolve questions on how to identify priests accused of abuse-- some of them already facing trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Report into alleged sexual abuse of 450 children by Irish priests

IRELAND
The Times (United Kingdom)

David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

A report detailing the alleged sexual abuse of 450 children by Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin was handed to the Irish Government yesterday.

It is the second one this year to examine the extent of abuse perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church in Ireland and will undermine further its position in a country that only a few decades ago conformed rigidly to standards set by the Vatican.

The Report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was delivered to Dermot Ahern, the Justice Minister, who must decide if and when to make its findings public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Former Priest Arrested on Child Molestation Charges

SANTA ANA (CA)
KTLA

KTLA News
10:19 AM PDT, July 21, 2009

SANTA ANA -- A former priest who escaped prosecution for allegedly sexually molesting a boy more than 30 years ago is behind bars, accused of doing the same thing to another boy in Costa mesa in the early 1990s.

Denis Lyons, 75, was arrested near his home in Seal Beach Monday afternoon, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Lyons is accused of molesting the boy, who was between 7 and 9 years old at the time, when he was at St. John the Baptist School, according to prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Priest accused of child abuse arrested while playing cards

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA -- A retired priest with a history of abuse allegations is behind bars today on new charges that he molested a young boy in the rectory and sacristy of a Costa Mesa church in the 1990s.

Denis Lyons, 75, of Seal Beach is being held on $100,000 bail at Orange County Jail and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday on charges of molesting the victim when he was in second and third grade from January 1992 and December 1995 at St. John the Baptist Catholic School, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Lyons assaulted the boy four times in the school's adjoining church, prosecutors said.

Lyons – who was removed from ministry in 2002 -- was taken into custody while playing cards at a community center near his Seal Beach home Monday, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Deposition of Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Raymond E. Goedert

CHICAGO (IL)
Bishop Accountability.org

The deposition of Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Raymond E. Goedert of Chicago was taken by Jeffrey Anderson on November 13, 2007 and was released on July 21, 2009 to meet a nonmonetary demand of the survivors who settled with the archdiocese. The Goedert deposition complements the deposition of Cardinal Francis E. George OMI, which was released when the settlement was announced on August 12, 2008.

Below we provide the Master's Opinion by Retired Judge Stuart Nudelman, which explains the terms and background of the Goedert deposition release. Then we offer a table of contents, a linked list of the deposition exhibits, and the text of the Goedert deposition itself. See also a collection of articles on the settlement that achieved the release of this deposition, as well as the companion deposition of Cardinal Francis E. George OMI.

The Goedert deposition is important because it shows a senior chancery official of a major U.S. archdiocese at work on abuse cases in the crucial years between the first modern phase of the so-called crisis (Gauthe and the Doyle Manual in the mid-1980s) and the second phase (Porter in the early 1990s). What's more, Goedert was working in Chicago, which had a reputation for being progressive in these matters, at the moment when the disastrous Mayer cases forced Cardinal Bernardin to bring in a Commission and remove dozens of accused priests. (See the Commission's report.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Deposition Probes Pervasive Abuse By Local Priests

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2

CHICAGO (CBS)

Attorneys on Tuesday released a 180-page deposition taken from the top aide to Francis Cardinal George, as they settle six cases alleging sexual abuse by priests.

The deposition was taken from now-retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert, who the second-ranked official in the Chicago Archdiocese under both Francis Cardinal George and the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, from 1987 until 2003.

While only four priests – two dead and two still alive – are named in the settlements announced Tuesday, more than a dozen priests accused of abuse are mentioned in the deposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

O.C. Priest Arrested On Molestation Charges

SANTA ANA (CA)
CBS 2

SANTA ANA (CBS)

A former Orange County priest who escaped prosecution for allegedly sexually molesting a boy more than 30 years ago was behind bars Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a boy at a Costa Mesa school in the early 1990s.

Denis Lyons, 75, was arrested near his home in Seal Beach Monday afternoon, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Lyons is accused of molesting the boy, who was between 7 and 9 years old at the time, when he was at St. John the Baptist School, according to prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

I Owe an OC Register Reporter Lunch Because of a Pedo-Priest!

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra

Believe it or not, I have a couple of friends who work for the Orange County Register. Won't name names lest they fall under corporate microscope, but I bet one of them that the District Attorney's Office would never criminally try Denis Lyons, the longtime Diocese of Orange pedo-priest who has cost Bishop Tod D. Brown more than $4 million.

Best lunch I ever lost. Register reporter Rachanee Srisavasdi (not the person I will soon take out for good grub at a SanTana taco truck) reports in today's edition that DA Tony Rackaukas will try him for molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Investigation: Denver Archbishop Chosen To Visit U.S. Legionaries Of Christ

The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant

July 21, 2009

The archbishop of Denver has been chosen by the Vatican to conduct an apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ in the United States as part of a widespread investigation into the group's founder, Marcial Maciel Degollado.

Bishop Charles J. Chaput is one of five bishops from around the world asked by Pope Benedict XVI to conduct an investigation into the conservative religious order whose U.S. headquarters are in Orange and main seminary is in Cheshire.

It is unclear when Chaput will make visits to Connecticut. He is currently recuperating from back surgery and could not be reached for comment Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Catholic Group Gets Infusion Of Donations

MASSACHUSETTS
TheBostonChannel

BOSTON -- Voice of the Faithful, the lay Catholic group founded during the church's clergy sex abuse scandal, has raised enough money to keep operating.

The group sent a letter to its members last week, saying its financial situation was so dire that it might be forced to close its Needham headquarters unless it raised $60,000. On Tuesday, the group said its plea raised more than $63,000. The money will be used to pay operating costs for July and August.

The group hopes to raise additional money so it can continue to operate long-term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Ex-youth pastor gets 8-16 months

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Times Leader

By Sheena Delazio sdelazio@timesleader.com
Staff Writer

WILKES-BARRE – A former Kingston youth pastor who pleaded no contest to charges he inappropriately touched as many as 10 girls while at the church was sentenced Monday to eight to 16 months in jail.

Brian Neiswender, 27, now of Clarks Summit, was sentenced on two counts of indecent assault and three counts of corruption of minors by Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr., and was given three years probation following his prison sentence.

“I never wanted to hurt anyone,” Neiswender said before hearing his sentence. “I know this whole situation has hurt a lot of people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Judge classifies ex-cleric as Level 1

CANTON (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

By DAVID WINTERS
TIMES STAFF WRITER
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009

CANTON — The former pastor of Oswegatchie First Baptist Church was rated a low-risk sex offender for admitting to downloading child pornography.

Merton E. Parks, 61, of 469 Oswegatchie Trail Road, Fine, was classified a Level 1 sex offender Monday in St. Lawrence County Court.

Parks's score totaled 80 points, which falls into a Level 2 classification.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Dizzying Affair Alleged Against Texas Pastor

HOUSTON (TX)
Courthouse News Service

By CAMERON LANGFORD

HOUSTON (CN) - While providing marriage counseling, two associate pastors concealed that a third pastor was having an affair with a man's wife, and the adulterous pastor had the gall to pray with the husband, asking God to reveal the identity of his wife's lover, the cuckolded husband claims in Harris County Court.

David Molina claims the Rev. Johnny McGowan carried on the affair with Molina's wife for years. Molina says the affair began in 1998 when his wife began working with McGowan's construction company.

He says he and his wife sought marriage counseling from associate pastors Leo Tyler and Paul Osteen in 2003. Molina sued all three pastors, and the Healthy Soul Network Inc. and Lakewood Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

New 'shock' report into church sex abuse

IRELAND
The Australian

Article from: Agence France-Presse
A SHOCKING new report has identified hundreds of victims of child sex abuse by Irish Catholic priests, officials and clerics say, two months after a landmark study found "endemic" mistreatment.

A Government-appointed commission of investigation headed by a judge has been probing allegations of abuse by priests in the archdiocese of Dublin - the country's biggest - since March 2006.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has warned that the report - being presented to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern on Tuesday - would "shock us all".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Ireland braces itself for another report on clerical child abuse

IRELAND
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Henry McDonald
Ireland Correspondent guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 July 2009 11.40 BST

A report into clerical child abuse in Dublin released later today will "shock and horrify" the whole of Ireland, a leading figure in the Catholic church has admitted.

The Dublin Diocese Commission will name up to 15 priests they say were guilty of abusing children in the Irish capital over a 35-year-period.

Up to 450 victims have also been identified by the commission which will present the report to the Irish justice minister Dermot Ahern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Man files 2nd suit in church sex abuse

HAWAII
Honolulu Advertiser

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

A man who sued the Roman Catholic Church and a former priest in state court earlier this year has filed another suit in federal court, alleging the same claims of attempted sexual assault in 1984.

The plaintiff is identified in each suit only as John Doe, although a state judge ruled earlier this month that the man must be identified by name if the state action is to proceed.

Attorney Myles Breiner, who represents the plaintiff along with lawyer David Gierlach, said that decision, by Circuit Judge Eden Hifo, will be appealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Update: Alamo Says He's Already Won

ARKANSAS
KTHV

Posted By: Jessica Ponder

Controversial evangelist Tony Alamo arrived in federal court in Texarkana at 6:45 a.m. and was asked why his lawyers did not want him to testify. Alamo said, "I'm going to testify, they've already lost the battle."

When asked what battle Alamo replied, "They accused me of child pornography, they accused me of transporting girls across state line they can't do it. They've lost and are now coming up with new charges."

When asked if he believed he was above the trial Alamo replied, "I've already won."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

FBI agent testifies at trial for Alamo

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TEXARKANA - A bottle of Viagra was found in the same bathroom closet where investigators found Polaroid cameras and film during the Sept. 20 raid on the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound in Fouke, an FBI agent testified Monday.

Special Agent Randall Harris also testified during Tony Alamo's trial on sex-crime charges Monday that only "a few" interviews had been conducted before the FBI became involved in the investigation of Alamo in 2006, even though a former member testified earlier Monday that she had spoken with a state police investigator in 2001.

"What I was provided was not very voluminous," Harris said. "There had been a few interviews conducted and some background information obtained, and to be quite honest, not a lot beyond that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Former British priest John Mountford murdered amid child abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

David Brown

A former British priest has been founded murdered in Libya after complaining that he was being blackmailed over claims he had abused pupils at schools where he worked.

John Mountford, 53, is reported to have been stabbed to death shortly after returning to Tripoli when he was teaching English at a school for the children of foreign oil workers.

The former Anglican chaplain at The Blue Coat School in Edgbaston told friends that he had been threatened by people preparing to reveal that he had been accused of abusing a boy at a leading Australian private school. He was also threatened with the spread of allegations that he was sexually assaulting children in Libya.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Camp counselor at private Lakewood school charged with sexually assaulting boy

LAKEWOOD (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

By Michelle Sahn • STAFF WRITER • July 20, 2009

LAKEWOOD — A camp counselor who worked at a program run at a Lakewood private school has been arrested on charges that he sexually assaulted a young boy.

Yosef A. Kolko, 33, of Gefen Drive, Lakewood, who worked as a camp counselor at Yachad, a summer camp based out of Bais Hatorah School on Swathmore Drive, was arrested Sunday, authorities said.

He was charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Update: Alamo Says He Should Put The Government On Trial

ARKANSAS
KTHV

[with video]

Testimony wrapped up for the day in the criminal trial of Tony Alamo Monday and as he left the courthouse in Texarkana, Alamo told reporters, "I should be putting them [the government] on trial for what's happening." When asked if he was being persecuted, he replied, "What do you think?"

The prosecution will wrap up Tuesday and the defense is expected to start its case Tuesday as well.

During Monday's testimony, the controversial evangelist became upset at FBI Special Agent Randall Harris. He testified that a bottle of Viagra was found in Alamo's bathroom during the September 20th raid on the Fouke compound.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Minister to receive report of Dublin abuse inquiry

IRELAND
Herald

Tuesday July 21 2009

The findings of the official inquiry into the handling of clerical abuse allegations in the Dublin Archdiocese are expected to be presented to the Minister for Justice today.

The inquiry was established three years ago to investigate how the church authorities handled and responded to allegations of sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004.

Its report is expected to include more shocking revelations about clerical child sex abuse following the recent Ryan Report and the 2005 report into abuse in the Ferns diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Govt urged to delay publication of new abuse report

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Support groups for victims of child sex abuse are calling on the Government to delay the publication of the official report into clerical abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

The report is expected to be presented to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern today.

It is understood to identify up to 450 people abused by priests in Dublin since the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Minister to receive Dublin Diocese clerical abuse study

IRELAND
The Irish Times

IRISH TIMES REPORTERS

Up to 450 victims of abusers have been identified by the Dublin Diocese Commmission which is to present a key report into clerical child abuse to the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today.

The report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse will name 15 priests, 11 who have been convicted in the courts and four who are already well known.

Set up in March 2006, the commission has investigated how child sex abuse allegations against a representative sample of 46 priests was handled by 19 bishops in Dublin between January 1st, 1975, and April 30th, 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

LDS Church Statement on Michael J. Pratt

UTAH
Fox 13

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement regarding Michael J. Pratt, a former seminary principal accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student. Here is the statement:

"The Church condemns abuse of any kind and expects the highest moral and ethical standards of its seminary teachers. Michael Pratt was terminated as principal of the Lone Peak High School Seminary when abuse allegations surfaced and Church leaders are cooperating with law enforcement authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Former LDS seminary principal surrounded by friends and family in court

PROVO (UT)
ABC 4

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) A former LDS seminary principal got a lot of emotional support for a court appearance in Provo on Monday.

37 year old Michael Pratt was surrounded by friends, family and former students.

The charges against him were formally read in court. He's accused of sexually abusing a 16 year old student at Lone Peak High School. Pratt faces 21 felony charges including forcible sodomy, rape and sex abuse. If convicted on those charges, he could spend life in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Former seminary teacher goes to court to hear charges

PROVO (UT)
KSL

[with video]

July 20th, 2009 @ 3:50pm
PROVO -- A former seminary teacher for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appeared in court today to hear the formal charges against him.

Michael Pratt, 37, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student at Lone Peak High School, where he taught.

He faces 21 felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Former seminary principal gets public defender

PROVO (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brandon Dabling
The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 07/20/2009 04:28:59 PM MDT

Provo » A judge on Monday appointed a public defender to represent a former LDS seminary principal charged with 21 felony counts of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old female student.

Michael Pratt, 37, told 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock he has a wife and three children and no savings to pay for his legal defense. He was fired from his position at the LDS seminary associated with Lone Peak High School when the criminal allegations surfaced.

A small group of Pratt's friends and former students were present in court to support him. Dakota Huddleston, 18, whom Pratt taught for two semesters last year, said he thought Pratt was most likely guilty, but that it was important to support him regardless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Legion Order Under Seige for Sexual Abuse, Double-Life of Founder

Chattah Box

(ChattahBox)—An extremely conservative cult-like Catholic religious order, named the Legionaries of Christ is under investigation by Vatican officials, after it was found that the order’s founder engaged in numerous abuses, including sexual molestation of male seminarians, fathering a child, political corruption, financial mismanagement and the “brainwashing” of young converts.

The order’s controversial founder, Father Maciel Degollado, a Mexican national who founded the order in 1941, died last year at the age of 87 amid a growing scandal.

The Legionaries are awaiting an unprecedented Vatican imposed visit referred to as an “apostolic visitation,” where a council of bishops will investigate the charges and financial affairs of the order and make a determination to its future survival.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Women Find Closure After Allegations Of Sexual Abuse

TENNESSEE
News Channel 5

[with video]

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Rape, abuse and betrayal are all part of a vicious cycle alleged by former members of a Mid-State church. Details of the allegations were initially revealed in a NewsChannel 5 investigation.

The truth was all that victim Jennifer Meier-Beita ever wanted.

Beita was one of several whistle blowers that spoke with NewsChannel 5 investigates late last year regarding allegations of sexual abuse at the Christian Gospel Temple in White House.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Alamo Defense Plans to Call 10 Witnesses

ARKANSAS
KSPR

By KSPR News

Definitions of state statutes on rape, sexual assault, and sexual contact -- along with a paper trail of interstate travel comes out in day six of the federal trial of Tony Alamo.

The evangelist is accused of taking minors across state lines for sex.

Alamo's defense maintains the trips were for church business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Accused Australian pedophile 'murdered'

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

ADELAIDE'S Anglican Church is trying to confirm reports a former chaplain accused of sexually abusing pupils at Saint Peters College has been murdered in Libya.

Archbishop Jeffrey Driver said reports John Mountford had been found dead in his Tripoli apartment at the weekend had not yet been confirmed.

"This has been a sad and difficult experience," Mr Driver said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Donald Wuerl played both sides of the fence – and lost

PENNSYLVANIA
Examiner

Mike Ference
Pittsburgh Independent Examiner

On December 5, 1989, my son was the victim of gun shot blast to the back of his head. The gun was held just inches from his skull before the shooter pulled the trigger. The shooter then turned the gun on himself and successfully committed suicide. The prime witness in this event was now dead. Believe or not, that was not the worst of it.

What would happen over the next few days, the next few months, the next few years and continue for almost two decades, tells the story of just how corrupt and uncivilized the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has become. Teenage suicides, sexual molestation, and attempted murders; these events were nothing more than inconvenience for the Pennsylvania power mongers who have been present during the exploitation of the political/judicial system – a system they continue to maintain for the benefit of a few well-placed and well-networked persons who do not have the common good in mind.

After undergoing six or seven hours of emergency neuro-surgery, my son would be admitted to the intensive care unit and his vital signs would be closely monitored for the next several days. That night my wife would begin her 14-day vigil, almost never being more than a few feet from our son’s bedside, the entire time. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Diocese would begin their 20-year vigil of covering up crimes by those pedophiles employed by the church, not only from the Pittsburgh Diocese, but from the Archdiocese of Boston as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Former St Peter's College chaplain John Mountford murdered

AUSTRALIA
Adeliade Now

ANDREW DOWDELL, ADELAIDENOW REPORTER
July 21, 2009 10:25am
FORMER St Peter's College chaplain, Anglican priest and alleged pedophile John Mountford has reportedly been murdered in Libya.

Mountford, who was charged with but not convicted of sexual abuse at the Adelaide private school, was found stabbed to death at his apartment in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, where he had been living for some time.

Charges against Mountford in South Australia were withdrawn in August 2007 following concerns about the state of mind of his accuser, a former St Peter's student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 AM

Jeff Anderson & Associates Announces Six Victims Settle Child Sex Cases vs. Archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Earth Times

Deposition of Cardinal George's Top Deputy Is Released For Many Years, Auxiliary Bishop Handled Dozens of Clergy Sex Reports

CHICAGO, July 20 /PRNewswire/ --What: At a news conference, attorneys will disclose and discuss
-- a 180 page deposition of the second highest ranking bishop in the
Chicago Archdiocese about clergy sexual abuse, and
-- the settlement of six child molestation cases involving the Chicago
archdiocese and four priests.

When:
Tuesday, July 21, 1:00 p.m.

Where:
At the law office of Marc Pearlman, 70 West Madison (Suite 5350), in
downtown Chicago

Who:
Two attorneys who have represented hundreds of adults who were molested as
kids by religious authority figures and who deposed top archdiocesan
officials

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 AM

Minister to receive report of Dublin abuse inquiry

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The findings of the official inquiry into the handling of clerical abuse allegations in the Dublin Archdiocese are expected to be presented to the Minister for Justice today.

The inquiry was established three years ago to investigate how the church authorities handled and responded to allegations of sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004.

Its report is expected to include more shocking revelations about clerical child sex abuse following the recent Ryan Report and the 2005 report into abuse in the Ferns diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 AM

Ahern receives child abuse report

IRELAND
BBC News

A new report into child abuse, which goes to the heart of how the Catholic Church in Dublin is run, will be handed to the Irish Justice Minister later.

The report is expected to be as shocking as the Ryan Report published earlier this year.

It will name 15 priests, 11 of whom have been convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 AM

Report identifies 450 victims of abuse

IRELAND
RTE News

Tuesday, 21 July 2009 07:43
The Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin has identified up to 450 victims of alleged and proven child sexual abusers ministering under its authority.

The revelation comes as the Government-appointed Commission of Investigation probing the scandal reports to the Minister for Justice.

However, Dermot Ahern may not be able to publish all of the report immediately because it names two priests who are before the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 AM

Priest arrested on new molestation charges

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register

A priest who escaped prosecution on allegations that he molested a boy more than 30 years ago was arrested Monday on new charges of molesting a second boy at a Costa Mesa Catholic school during the mid-1990s.

Denis Lyons, 75, was taken into custody at a community center near his Seal Beach home about 3:30 p.m. and was booked at the Costa Mesa Police Department, according to Orange County district attorney spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder.

The abuse occurred from 1992 to 1995 at St. John the Baptist School, when the victim was between the ages of seven and nine, Schroeder said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 AM

July 20, 2009

Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women

UNITED STATES
Politics Daily

Ria Misra

After more than 60 years together, Jimmy Carter has announced himself at odds with the Southern Baptist Church -- and he's decided it's time they go their separate ways. Via Feministing, the former president called the decision "unavoidable" after church leaders prohibited women from being ordained and insisted women be "subservient to their husbands." Said Carter in an essay in The Age:

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Not masturbated, I just fondled him, says Monsignor Herdegen, plus email says Jesuits in Santa Barbara as bad as Franciscans

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By City of Angels

In a June 2006 Deposition, before an attorney can stop Anthony Herdegen from continuing to answer, the Monsignor says, “I probably fondled him, but I never had intercourse with him or he with me, I never masturbated him," about an adult victim of pedophilia who is suing the church. Right after that utterance, Herdegen stops and there’s a back and forth between attorneys and at first it looks in the transcript as if plaintiff attorney Tony DeMarco stopped him from answering, but later you see it is actually the church attorney who stopped the dialogue at that point..

Also in this post, a Santa Barbara County resident says the Jesuits manipulated the media to put all the attention on the Franciscans and whitewash their own crimes in that region, responding to new photos of Franciscan Gus Krumm we posted July 13. Her email is at the bottom of the blog .

As soon as Herdegen incriminated himself in the June 2006 depo, his team of attorneys stopped him from talking. In the transcript you read that Carey H. Johnson, Church Attorney, from Stammer, McKnight, Barnum & Bailey in Fresno, said, “Yes, I said something because I thought Mr. De Marco was interrupting you in the middle of your answer there."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Girl feared punishment for using phone

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/20/2009

When she realized Tony Alamo was going to find out she'd secretly used a telephone for the second time in a couple of weeks, a 15-year-old former office worker said she ran away.

She was living in Fouke in Alamo's house when she took her back pack and ran through the woods for five hours, testified Nicole Farr.

"Yes. Thank God," Farr said when asked if the people in the house she chanced upon helped her.

Farr said she was afraid because when Alamo caught her with the phone the first time, he'd screamed at her and slammed her head into a book shelf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Unhappy Fault

Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity

Leon J. Podles on the Integration of Anger into the Virtuous Life

Any institution tends to preserve itself by avoiding conflict, whether external or internal. In addition to this universal tendency, many Christians have a false understanding of the nature and role of anger. It is seen as something negative, something that a Christian should not feel.

In the sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church, those who dealt with the bishops have consistently remarked that the bishops never expressed outrage or righteous anger, even at the most horrendous cases of abuse and sacrilege. Bishops seem to think that anger at sin is un-Christian. Gilbert Kilman, a child psychiatrist, commented, “What amazes me is the lack of outrage the church feels when its good work is being harmed. So, if there is anything the church needs to know, it needs to know how to be outraged.”

Mark Serrano confronted Bishop Frank Rodimer, asking why he had let his priest-friend Peter Osinski sleep with boys at Rodimer’s beach house while Rodimer was in the next bedroom: “Where is your moral indignation?”

Rodimer’s answer was, “Then I don’t get it. What do you want?” What Serrano wanted Rodimer to do was to behave like a man with a heart, a heart that is outraged by evil. But Rodimer couldn’t; his inability to feel outrage was a quality that had helped make him a bishop. He would never get into fights, never rock the boat, never “divide” but only “unify.” Rodimer could not understand why he should feel deep anger at evil, at the violation of the innocent, at the oppression of the weak.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Jimmy Carter says religion used to subjugate women

UNITED STATES
The Baptist Standard

By Bob Allen
Published: July 17, 2009
ATLANTA (ABP) -- Former President Jimmy Carter has urged religious leaders to repudiate teachings that he says justify cruelty to women.

Carter, a Nobel laureate and 39th president of the United States, described in an article in the British newspaper The Observer his "painful and difficult" decision in 2000 to leave the Southern Baptist Convention after six decades.

Carter, who teaches Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga., said the decision became "unavoidable" when SBC leaders adopted a new consensus faith statement "quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be 'subservient' to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Jimmy Carter Leaves Southern Baptist Church for “Repugnant” Sexism

UNITED STATES
Chattah Box

(ChattahBox)—Former President and Nobel Prize Winner Jimmy Carter, has decided he can no longer stomach the pervasive discrimination against women that is ingrained in the religious beliefs of the Southern Baptist Church. Carter took the unusual step this past week of issuing a formal statement completely severing all ties to the church where he worshipped for over 60 years.

Jimmy Carter and his wife Roselyn had taken steps to publicly distance themselves from the Southern Baptist Church some years ago, in response to racial insensitivities and other forms of discrimination. However, Carter continued to serve as a Deacon and teach Sunday School at his hometown place of worship, the Maranatha Baptist in Plains, Georgia.

Carter is involved in the group the New Baptist Covenant, which seeks to join all branches of the greater Baptist Church to bring black and white worshipers together under one tent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Anger and Christian virtue

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

The other day I spoke on the phone to an Orthodox monk in connection with my Templeton project. We got to talking about martial arts, and he said he didn't think it was appropriate for Orthodox Christians to engage in them, because to the extent they involve fighting, they call up the passions, which Orthodoxy teaches we are supposed to overcome on the way to holiness.

This is a vexing point to me. It makes no sense to me that we are supposed to drain ourselves of all anger, under every circumstance. What was Jesus doing when he overturned the moneychangers' booths in the temple? He was angry, and he was expressing anger. But he did so when confronted with evil. This evidence from the Gospel indicates that anger is not always a disordered emotion, and in fact it is quite natural and appropriate under certain circumstances. That emotion can be used for good or for evil; that it is such a powerful emotion, so easily turned to destruction, should be a warning for us. But is anger always and everywhere bad for Christians? I cannot think so.

My Catholic friend Leon Podles writes in the new Touchstone about anger as an aid to virtue. Here he speaks to something that drove me to despair as a Catholic:

Any institution tends to preserve itself by avoiding conflict, whether external or internal. In addition to this universal tendency, many Christians have a false understanding of the nature and role of anger. It is seen as something negative, something that a Christian should not feel. ...

As Lee avers, there is something morally deformed about bishops, and anyone else, who sees the sexual abuse of children, who has the capacity to stop it, or at least fight it, and who does nothing. Further, there is something morally insane about calling this cowardice virtue. Lee goes on to explain why meekness is not the same thing as passivity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

2009 NOW Conference - Clergy Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
The Awareness Center

(2009) By Vicki Polin

Being at the 2009 - NOW conference in Indianapolis was incredible. It has been too long since I've been around so many like-minded people.

There were so many things I learned at the conference, including at the workshop in which I was a part of. It was an honor to be on a panel with Rev. Dr. Traci West and Maria Taylor. The three were amazing to listen to, along with those who were brave enough in the audience who shared their stories and experiences. Each and every one of us came from such completely different backgrounds, yet we were all describing the exact same issues.

It saddens me a great deal how we really cannot blindly trust those who are in leadership roles, such as members clergy. The reality is that trust is something that needs to be earned and re-evaluated as time goes by. Unfortunately, there are too many individuals who are giving over their own power to those who are more then willing to abuse their leadership positions for their own personal gain. No matter what faith, race and or social/economical background one comes from the issues and ramifications are very much the same. The only way to end clergy sexual abuse and any other type of sex crimes is by all survivors and those who care about them uniting together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

CALL TO CRIMINALIZE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN BY CLERGY

UNITED STATES
National Organization of Women

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has fought hard to shatter societal silence regarding all forms of sexual violence; and

WHEREAS, public misunderstanding and lack of knowledge regarding adult victims of sexual exploitation by clergy have contributed to silencing the voices of these victims; and ...

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW chapters be encouraged to participate in educational and advocacy campaigns to increase public awareness that the majority of victims of clergy sexual exploitation are adult women and that sexual violation by a spiritual leader has profound life-altering impacts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW entities be encouraged to support state legislative campaigns for statutory reform, in particular to add clergy to the enumerated categories of professionals covered in fiduciary-duty laws in states having such laws, and for criminalization of sexual relations between similarly enumerated categories of professionals in states not having fiduciary-duty laws; and

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Ryan chairman in row over cost of child abuse inquiry

IRELAND
Clerical Whispers

The chairman of the Ryan Commission into institutional abuse has criticised the state’s independent spending watchdog over an unpublished report examining its work.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan took the unusual step of writing to John Buckley, the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG), to reject many of the findings of Buckley’s confidential report into the cost and timescale of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

The report, submitted to government in recent weeks, said the Ryan Commission had consistently failed to inform the government that ‘‘contingent liability’’ in abuse cases could cost tens of millions of euro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Frank McCourt, Author Of Angela's Ashes, Dies At 78

NEW YORK
Los Angeles Times

By RINKER BUCK, The Hartford Courant
4:31 PM PDT, July 19, 2009
Frank McCourt, the Irish-American storyteller who parlayed the miseries of a Limerick upbringing into an extraordinary late-life literary blooming, died of cancer Sunday in New York City.

McCourt, 78, had spent the past 13 years buoyantly touring the globe on reading tours and writing two sequels to his 1996 best-seller, "Angela's Ashes," which sold more than 5 million copies and was translated into more than 20 languages. ...

In his books, McCourt delivered a searing, if often comical portrait of Roman Catholicism, which also came to be regarded as prophetic. Many conservative Catholics objected to McCourt's depictions of Catholic priests as alcoholic, sanctimonious and sexually aggressive. But, coincidentally, ironically, he was living and writing in Rome in spring 2002 when the Vatican summoned U.S. bishops to Italy to confront the crisis in the American church over the sexual abuse of boys by priests, which only seemed to confirm McCourt's anticlericalism.

In an interview with The Courant that year, McCourt said that European Catholics had become largely agnostic in recent decades. But he realized that American Catholics were different when, after a morning of writing, he would stroll down to St. Peter's Square and mix with the tourists from back home.

"I realized down there at St. Peter's Square the other day that this is a huge crisis for American Catholics because it's not really about religion," McCourt said. "This crisis in the Church is about identity. In a mixed, assimilated society like America, religious belief is the thing that sets you apart and gives you identity, so people still take their religion seriously. But now that motive is being removed because this isn't a very comfortable identity anymore."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Vatican investigates Legionaries of Christ

ROME
GlobalPost

By Jason Berry — Special to GlobalPost
Published: July 19, 2009 20:54 ET

Editor's note: A sweeping Vatican investigation of an international religious order — and the cult of personality built around its founder — has just begun in Rome. Five bishops are delving into the finances and internal dynamics of an organization suspected of influence peddling. Award-winning investigative reporter and author Jason Berry has tracked these events for years in a book he co-authored and a documentary he produced on events leading to the Pope's decision to investigate. In this exclusive report for GlobalPost, Berry breaks new ground on the Vatican investigation of the Legionaries of Christ, and the case against Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder.

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI recently appointed five bishops from as many countries to investigate the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order founded in 1941 by the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a Mexican priest who is accused of sexually abusing young seminarians, and who left a grown daughter who was born out-of-wedlock.

Even after death, Maciel wields power through the influence he secured.

While the American Catholic Church has been publicly battered by two decades of priest sexual abuse scandals that erupted in the press and devastated church finances with hundreds of millions of dollars spent on compensating victims and legal fees, the Maciel scandal has gone largely unnoticed by most of the American press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

July 19, 2009

Ex-pastor admits theft of $213,000 from parish

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Michael Beebe
NEWS STAFF REPORTER

For a diocesan priest who made $20,000 a year for most of his career, the Rev. F. Norman Sullivan lived pretty well.

He owns a home on nine acres of wooded land in Colden, a condominium at the Estero Beach & Tennis Club in Fort Myers, Fla., and another condo in the U. S. Virgin Islands.

And on Thursday, when he pleaded guilty to stealing $213,732 from Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Cheektowaga — including taking money out of the collection plate—he avoided a prison term by repaying every cent of his theft. ...

Sedita said Sullivan skimmed $1,700 a month from his parish’s collection, a theft he was able to pull off because, after he became pastor, he changed the rules: He counted the money by himself, Doscher said, in apparent contravention of diocesan rules.

“We don’t make diocesan policy,” Sedita said, “but it sure looks like the fox was guarding the henhouse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Charity at what price (part II)

HAITI
Haitian Times

by Max A Joseph Jr

Ordinarily the charities operating in the Third World are supervised by board of directors acting as the eyes and ears of the benefactors (institutional and individuals) that financed them. The PPT (Project Pierre Toussaint) which fed, schooled, and housed hundreds of homeless or abandoned Haitian boys at its compound in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city from 1997 to 2008, was structured along this line. Fittingly, when Douglas Perlitz, its program director, was fired by the organization’s board of directors following allegations of sexual abuses of young boys in August of 2008, the funding dried up. The benefactors, former alumni of Fairfield University and institutional foundations, did not want their good names to be associated with such evil deed and the Project temporarily closed its doors during the summer of 2008. The children, facing a bleak and uncertain future, are now back on the streets.

Indeed, the benefactors must never be blamed for the alleged immoral actions of Mr. Perlitz, which they would never condone. The contemptuous attitude of the PPT board of directors toward the victims, however, is perplexing and insensitive. In a letter to the benefactors, dated September 8 2008, the board not only defended Mr. Perlitz but also questioned the credibility of his victims, even though an independent investigative firm (hired by PPT) found the accusations to be credible. Turning the table on the victims, the board unflinchingly claimed that the children were bribed into making the accusations, without offering any proof whatsoever. Furthermore, it asserted in a condescending way that the Haitian authorities’ investigative method does not rise to the level of the U.S justice system and that Mr. Perlitz’ fundamental rights have been violated. Needless to say, the board’s seemingly pathological obsession with protecting Mr. Perlitz while ignoring the victims bears the hallmarks of a cover up.

Two points highlighted in the letter were deliberately inaccurate, misleading, or downright untruthful. Firstly, the claim that Mr. Perlitz has never received the allegations against him is disingenuous, because the accused (presently a fugitive) was put on administrative leave by the PPT board of directors and represented by Mr. Quigley, an attorney provided by the U.S Embassy, during his appearance before a Haitian magistrate. Secondly, the letter omitted the important fact that Rev. Paul E. Carrier, the PPT former executive committee chairman, did not voluntarily resign but was removed from its post on order of the Provincial of the New England Jesuits because of his handling of the matter. Not surprisingly, Rev. Carrier remains unrepentant in his defense of Mr. Perlitz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Victim believed in priests who hurt him

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Salinas Bureau
Updated: 07/19/2009 01:35:46 AM PDT

As a young boy in Mexico, "John Doe" dreamed of being a Catholic priest.
Even after he was molested by his pastor in Yuma, Ariz., he wanted to be ordained, believing "Padre Juan" was God on Earth, only with an evil side.

The dream died, along with his faith, when he moved to Salinas and was victimized again in another parish by another priest.

In its place are nightmares in which he beats Catholic clergy with baseball bats. He keeps a real bat under his bed to this day. He's 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Compassionate face of an arrogant Catholic Church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is out of place in a disgraced and dishonoured Church, writes Emer O'Kelly

Sunday July 19 2009

HIS Grace Diarmuid Martin, DD, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, a 64-year-old scholar now in religious charge of his native city, has been much in the news lately. Not least because his is the name which automatically springs to the minds of non-Catholics who want to find some excuse for his Church. They don't want to believe that the Roman Catholic authorities are vicious, arrogant, uncaring, amoral, power-hungry and often sadistic. And Diarmuid Martin is the one man who seems to offer reassurance.

He offers it consistently and persistently. When the Ryan report into institutional child abuse was published in May, Diarmuid Martin called its contents "stomach-churning". Prior to the publication, he had uttered dire warnings of expectation that the findings would be shaming and shameful for the Church. And even the faithful thought, if they thought at all, that he might be exaggerating; what could be revealed in the report that was not already known? That the Church -- through many of its ordained and consecrated members who chose to desecrate the vows which imposed compassion and decency on them -- had abused their positions and the trust Church and State vested in them?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Few discouraging words on Lucas

NEBRASKA
World-Herald

By Christopher Burbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

There was a tearful farewell last week in Springfield, Ill., for Bishop George J. Lucas, who will take over Wednesday as the new head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha.

After saying goodbye, Lucas planned to take the wheel of his trusty Ford Taurus and drive to Nebraska. ...

The diocese needed steadying. Lucas was named to replace former Bishop Daniel L. Ryan in 1999. A scandal was brewing over rumors of sexual misconduct by Ryan, including that he had used male prostitutes.

It got worse before it got better. The Springfield diocese faced lawsuits stemming from two priests’ sex abuse of minors in the 1970s and 1980s. The diocese in 2004 paid more than $3 million to settle sex abuse lawsuits.

In late 2004, the Rev. Eugene Costa, then-chancellor of the Springfield diocese, was beaten in a park by two young men who said he had solicited sex from them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Path to abuse: Monterey Diocese turned blind eye to priests' victims

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Salinas Bureau
Updated: 07/19/2009

Records released by the Diocese of Monterey paint a damning picture of an era that church officials say has since ended.

It was a time when priests wandered in and out of parishes, celebrating Mass and interacting with children without the knowledge or oversight of diocesan leaders.

A time when a priest could arrive unannounced from another diocese and be named associate pastor without a background check. A time when a report of a priest's sexual misconduct sent the diocese scrambling to protect itself rather than the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

July 18, 2009

Vigil in Boston now 7.5 years and going strong, here are recent photos and report from Speak Truth To Power (STTOP)

BOSTON (MA)
City of Anges

By City of Angels

In Photos above, Stephen Angier joined Steve Sheehan and Marge Bean at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Boston, a vigil that has been going on now for seven and a half years. That same weekend in early July, Blanche Crandall from Anchorage Alaska (who stood up before in Boston) joined the campaign in Weymouth.

Kathy Dwyer of Boston writes at the STTOP website : We are called the "Sidewalk Protesters" (organized and named in 2002) and consist of women and men who share a common goal of holding the hierarchy of the Catholic Church responsible and accountable for the sexual, ritual and spiritual abuse and betrayal of countless children, women and men.

From STTOP Website continued:

We are survivors of sexual abuse and others who have been painfully affected by the betrayal, cover-up and perpetuation of sexual abuse by those who demanded we trust, follow and obey them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Minister to receive Dublin child abuse report on Tuesday

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE REPORT of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse is to be presented to the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern next Tuesday.

The report will name 15 priests, 11 who have been convicted in the courts and four who are already well known. Set up in March 2006, the commission has investigated how child sex abuse allegations against a representative sample of 46 priests was handled by 19 bishops in Dublin between January 1st, 1975, and April 30th, 2004.

The focus of the report is on a power culture centred on the bishops and how this influenced their handling of allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Liberal OC bloggers defend Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham’s outing of molestation victims

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange Juice Blog

by: Art Pedroza

It shouldn’t be too surprising that Congressman John Campbell actually hired a paid twit. That’s right, according to Gustavo Arellano, over at the OC Weekly’s Navel Gazing Blog, Campbell is paying Red County’s Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham to write his twitter posts.

Gustavo Arellano found out about this while reading a Liberal OC post. Apparently the Liberal OC’s Chris Prevatt was tweaked over something he read on the Campbell Twitter page so he asked his good buddy Jerbal to do something about it - only to have Jerbal admit that he was the twit who wrote the post.

Gustavo couldn’t help but make oblique mention to Jerbal’s low point, which was when he launched the infamous “Amigos of John Urell” website and supposedly inadvertently revealed the names of a number of victims of molestation by Urell’s priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

John Campbell Gets Caught Using a Twitter Ghostwriter

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Politics

We usually glaze over any posts on Irvine councilwoman Beth Krom written by The Liberal OC, because the woman can do no wrong in their eyes. But that didn't stop editor Chris Prevatt from helping to out Representative John Campbell's Twitter writer: the king of Orange County sock-puppetry, Matt "Jubal" Cunningham.

It was never Prevatt's intention to do this. He was pissed off about the tone of a Campbell tweet bashing Krom and asked Cunningham, who's serving as his campaign consultant in his 2010 re-election campaign for the 48th Congressional District (Krom wants the Democratic nomination for that race) for a favor. "I have to believe that this isn't something written by John's Red County consultant Matt Cunningham," Prevatt wrote. "Matt, can you give someone a call and suggest that the campaign stop allowing TWITS to Tweet for Campbell on Twitter."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Charity At what price (part I)

HAITI
Haitian Times

by Max A. Joseph Jr

As conventional wisdom dictates; charity has a price. In Haiti’s case, however, the assessment of the benefactors falls disproportionably on the most vulnerable segment of the population: the orphaned and abandoned children roaming the streets of its major cities. With the Haitian government omnipotent in repression but AWOL on helping the citizenry, these children are left to fend for themselves. As a result, U.S-based foreign missionaries, mostly church-affiliated, are filling up the void, providing the needed social services which, in some cases, have become a nightmare for the beneficiaries.

The fact that hundreds of Americans chose to leave the comfort of a modern society with the purpose of alleviating the sufferings of thousands of children in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is praiseworthy and must never be forgotten. However, some pedophiles, looking for easy preys, are infiltrating these well-intentioned groups and bringing disrepute to their charitable endeavor. In some cases, many are well-known child molesters escaping the scrutiny of U.S authorities and relocating in Haiti where they can practice their trade with impunity. Complicating matters is the unsettling reality that foreigners (Blancs) practically enjoy de facto immunity from criminal prosecutions under an unwritten rule going back to the 18th century when the imprisonment of a westerner, living in Haiti, was considered casus belli by the great powers and used as a pretext for military interventions against the lone Negro Republic.

Ron Voss exemplifies the trend. A defrocked former Catholic priest from Indiana, notable pedophile and sexual predator, he flees the U.S in 1988 and settles in Haiti with the Church’s complicit assistance. On October 9th 2004, the Indianapolis Star published a story about Ron Voss, who had taken to philanthropic works and was a respected resident of his adopted country, imploring the Catholic Church’s hierarchy and Haitian authorities to take actions against him. Despite the documented accusations leveled against Ron Voss in the article, no actions were ever taken against this unreconstructed pervert who may have victimized dozens of Haitian boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

‘Only thing he used me for was sex’

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/18/2009

The last of five Jane Does named in Tony Alamo’s federal indictment testified Friday that she was chosen at age 11 to marry him because Alamo thought she had the body of a 6-year-old.

Jane Doe No. 1, now 17, testified Alamo made her take a hot bath and listen to another “wife” read Bible scriptures while he touched her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Diocese seeks appeal to Supreme Court

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
WTNH

[with video]

Bridgeport (WTNH) - Church officials are appealing a Connecticut court's decision to make public thousands of pages of documents about sexual abuse by priests.

Church officials have asked the state's highest court to not release the documents while it appeals to the nations' highest court to weigh in on the matter.

Lawyers for the diocese argued that only certain documents should be open to public.

Survivors of alleged abuse see it differently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Priests, nun charged with murder 17 years ago

INDIA
The Peninsula (Qatar)

Thiruvananthapuram: After 17 years and probes by three agencies, a charge sheet has been filed against two priests and a nun for the murder of a teenage nun in Kerala.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed the charge sheet at a special court in Kochi yesterday, accusing the priests and nun of murdering Sister Abhaya, 18, an inmate of St Pius X Convent in Kottayam, on March 27, 1992.

Fr Thomas M Kottoor is the first accused, Fr Jose Puthrukayil second accused and Sister Sephy, the third accused. Additional Sub Inspector V V Augustine, who committed suicide following the allegation of destroying evidence, is the fourth accused. But his name has been omitted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Priests killed 'after sex request'

RUSSIA
The Press Association

Two Jesuit priests found dead in Moscow last year were killed by a drunk who was solicited for sex by one of them, investigators said.

The bodies of Russian Otto Messmer and Victor Betancourt of Ecuador were found in October in their apartment at the religious order's Moscow headquarters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Report on Dublin child abuse to be presented to Govt

IRELAND
Ireland Online

18/07/2009 - 08:44:01

The report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse is to be presented to the Government on Tuesday.

The Commission was set up in 2006 to investigate how allegations of child sex abuse by priests were handled by bishops in Dublin between 1975 and 2004.

It is reported that 15 priests will be named; 11 of them have been convicted in the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

More priest sex charges on way?

CANADA
Times & Transcript

By James Foster
Times & Transcript Staff

TRACADIE-SHEILA - The laying of 21 sex charges and one count of assault against a former parish priest on the Acadian Peninsula does not mark the end of the case.

Lévi Noël, now 83, has been charged by RCMP with 12 counts of gross indecency, nine counts of indecent assault and one count of assault.

The complainants are 10 males who were all minors at the time, between the ages of eight and 16. The charges allege offences that occurred between 1958 and 1978. Noël appears in provincial court here on Aug. 26 at 9:30 a.m. to elect mode of trial and possibly enter a plea to the charges.

In the meantime, RCMP are still checking out the potential for other victims to come forward. Police say they actually have information about five more cases. However, four of those involved declined to proceed with charges while in the fifth case there was not enough evidence with which to proceed to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Teen says she, Alamo wed when she was 11

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009

TEXARKANA - The last of five reported victims of evangelist Tony Alamo took the stand Friday, telling jurors that she was married to him at age 11 and had sex with him on a bus during a trip from Arkansas to California.

The girl, now 17 and living in Colorado, said she was "terrified" of Alamo. At his home in Fouke (Miller County), where she lived with Alamo and his other wives, the girl said she would try to keep herself busy, making sure she was always holding a baby or a pile of dirty dish towels when she walked by Alamo in the office adjoining his bedroom.

"I knew if I had something, there was less of a possibility that he would call me into his room," the petite girl with brown, shoulder-length hair testified. "I just did whatever I could to stay away from him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Diocese asks U.S. Supreme Court to block release of abuse records

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

By Daniel Tepfer
Staff writer
Updated: 07/18/2009 01:41:02 AM EDT

BRIDGEPORT -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its plea to keep sealed thousands of documents detailing alleged sexual abuse of children by its priests.

"There are constitutional rights and privacy issues of great concern for all citizens that the diocese wishes the U.S. Supreme Court to review and decide," said diocesan spokesman Joseph McAleer.

A recent state Supreme Court ruling unsealing the records will be stayed until the nation's highest court decides whether to hear the case.

"It's what we sadly predicted," said David Clohessy, director of the Chicago-based SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It is certainly not what Connecticut Catholics should be paying for. Virtually everyone loses except for top church officials."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Former Capital Region priest accused of sex abuse

NEW YORK
WTEN

A priest who spent years living in the Capital Region has been arrested for sexual abuse.

62-year-old Father James McDevitt was arrested by Delaware County deputies on charges of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Deputies say the victims are six boys, ranging from 11- to 19-years-of-age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Priest charged with sexual abuse

MARGARETVILLE (NY)
Gazette

By Edward Munger Jr.
Gazette Reporter

MARGARETVILLE — Authorities in Delaware County lodged sexual abuse and other charges against a Roman Catholic priest with ties to the Capital Region who is accused of spanking several males ranging in age from 11 to 19.

The Rev. James J. McDevitt, 62, was serving as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Margaretville, located roughly 20 miles south of Schoharie County, before the investigation that led to 20 misdemeanor charges.

According to the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, McDevitt was ordained in 1997 and then served as associate pastor at St. Pius X Church in Loudonville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Motion Filed To Keep Bridgeport Priests' Sexual Abuse Documents Sealed

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courantt

By DAVE ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant

July 18, 2009

More than 12,000 documents detailing sexual abuse charges against priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport — and how church officials dealt with those allegations — will likely remain sealed indefinitely awaiting word on whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the church's case.

A diocesan attorney filed a motion Friday asking the state Supreme Court to extend the sealing of the documents because church officials plan to ask the nation's highest court to hear their case.

The documents were scheduled to be unsealed Monday, but now will stay sealed at least through next week. Parties to the case have a week to file responses to the diocese's motion, according to an order issued Friday by Paul Hartan, deputy chief clerk of the state Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Mount Cashel couldn't keep him down

CANADA
The Telegram

STEVE BARTLETT
The Telegram

Patrick Williams is on top of the parking garage at St. John's City Hall, pointing to where he used to live.

Sixtysomething, he's decked out in a summer shirt, summer pants and a smile.

He's a success, despite some serious odds.

He spent his early years in a St. John's slum and, as a teen, was physically, sexually and mentally abused at the Mount Cashel Orphanage.

Now retired after making a few bucks in business, Williams dedicates a lot of time to helping others who lived in Mount Cashel, as well as women who stayed in the Belvedere Orphanage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

July 17, 2009

Connecticut diocese appeals to U.S. Supreme Court over privacy concerns

HARTFORD (CT)
Catholic News Agency

Hartford, Conn., Jul 17, 2009 / 05:53 pm (CNA).- The Diocese of Bridgeport is involved in a protracted legal battle to keep the personnel files of some of its employees private and plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The diocese argues that granting the request of several major newspapers to unseal the files violates privacy rights and the First Amendment.

The lawsuit, Rosada v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp., is being brought by several newspapers, including the New York Times. The publications are attempting to gain access to personnel files in order to determine how the recently retired Cardinal John O'Connor handled sexual abuse cases while he was the Bishop of Bridgeport.

The diocese maintains that access to the files should not be granted because doing so would reveal personal information that is not relevant to the sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Accused predator bishop belonged to controversial order

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Society of the Immaculata]

A Long Island priest who is jailed on child sex abuse charges was once a member of a controversial and conservative Catholic religious order that is under investigation by the Vatican.

Dennis Michael McCormack calls himself a bishop. He performs Catholic mass in Latin at a rented hall. According to his website, he attended a Connecticut seminary run by the Legion of Christ, a Catholic group whose founder is accused of molesting dozens of boys.

Earlier this year, the order admitted that the founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, had also secretly fathered a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Court forced to reduce probation of former Tucson priest

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Kim Smith
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona

When the Rev. Gary E. Underwood was sentenced to prison last August for sexually abusing them, his three victims expected him to be released after 10 years and subjected to probation for life.

They were wrong.

The attorneys who worked out Underwood’s plea agreement recently realized there was no such thing as lifetime probation back when Underwood committed his crimes.

On Friday, Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Nichols had three options to rectify the situation. He could retroactively reject Underwood’s plea agreement and force the case to go to trial. He could add another two years to Underwood’s sentence or he could reduce his probationary term to three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Diocese asks U.S. Supreme Court to block release of abuse records

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut Post

By Daniel Tepfer
Staff writer
Updated: 07/17/2009 02:47:35 PM EDT

BRIDGEPORT -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its plea to keep sealed thousands of documents detailing alleged sexual abuse of children by its priests.

"There are constitutional rights and privacy issues of great concern for all citizens that the diocese wishes the U.S. Supreme Court to review and decide," said diocesan spokesman Joseph McAleer.

A recent state Supreme Court ruling unsealing the records will be stayed until the nation's highest court decides whether to hear the case.

"It's what we sadly predicted," said David Clohessy, director of the Chicago-based SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It is certainly not what Connecticut Catholics should be paying for. Virtually everyone loses except for top church officials."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Tony's world

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Times

Tony Alamo, on trial for unspeakable, serial sexual acts with children, apparently has had a press release distributed. An e-mail from tatranslator@aol.com disputes the testimony of Alamo's alleged victims. It says they were brainwashed. The news release verges into territory not exactly friendly to Alamo's cause -- multiple wives (the Bible doesn't condemn this, the message says) and when puberty occurs ("the period at which sexual maturity is reached.")

Get me some soap and hot water.

E-MAIL RECEIVED THIS MORNING

PRESS RELEASE
From Tony Alamo

July 17, 2009

Regarding Government-Vatican Persecution vs. Tony Alamo

It is a violation of the US Constitution for the government to attack any religion, especially Christianity!! My trial is government vs. the Bible. The five young women who are falsely testifying against me have all been convinced to do so by the FBI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Bridgeport Diocese To Petition The U.S. Supreme Court

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant

1:54 PM EDT, July 17, 2009

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport will take their quest to keep more than 12,000 pages of court records involving priest sexual abuse cases secret to the nation's highest court.

Church officials announced Friday they will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case on why the documents should be kept secret. The state Supreme Court ruled by a 4-1 margin that the court documents involving 23 lawsuits against seven priests from the diocese should be unsealed.

The diocese also is asking the state Supreme Court to issue a stay against releasing the documents until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to take up their appeal. The documents were scheduled to be unsealed as early as Monday, July 20th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Former northern N.B. priest facing 12 sex charges involving 10 boys

CANADA
The Canadian Press

TRACADIE-SHEILA, N.B. — A long-time former priest on New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula is facing a string of sex charges.

Levi Noel, 83, has been charged with 12 counts of gross indecency, nine counts of indecent assault and one count of assault.

The complainants are 10 males who were all minors at the time of the alleged events between 1958 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

No excommunication for priest

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Express

Haitian priest Fr Enel Almeus will not be excommunicated from the Catholic Church for having sex. The maximum penalty that can be handed down for breaking his vow of chastity is being reduced to a lay person and not being allowed to function as a priest, according to the Pope's representative in Trinidad, Monsignor Archbishop Thomas Edward Gullickson.

The Archbishop, who is the Holy See's ambassador to 12 Caricom countries, not including Haiti, said Fr Almeus, who quietly left the country after being found not guilty of rape last week, can only be sanctioned by his superiors in the Holy Ghost Fathers order in Haiti.

Fr Elmeus was acquitted of the charge of sexually assaulting a police officer's wife at Spiritan House, the headquarters of the Holy Ghost Fathers in Trinidad, which is located on the corner of Frederick and Oxford Streets in Port of Spain. The priest maintained that the sex was consensual. It was alleged that the priest forced the woman to have sex with him in his room on March 19, 2004. However, a nine-member jury found him not guilty last week Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Adelaide priest charged as CCTV 'rapist'

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Jordanna Schriever
The Advertiser
July 17, 2009 11:18am

A MAN who surrendered to police after CCTV footage of a sex attack suspect was released was initially sent home before police arrested and charged him.

On Wednesday, police released footage of a man wanted for questioning over a sex attack in Modbury on Monday.

AdelaideNow reports in Elizabeth Magistrates Court, lawyer Craig Ellis today said his client was alerted by family members to footage of a man matching his appearance, shown in media reports on Monday night.

His client is a priest from Adelaide's northern suburbs, who cannot be identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Former priest charged with decades-old sex assaults

CANADA
Times & Transcript

TRACADIE-SHEILA - A long-time former priest on the Acadian Peninsula is facing a string of sex charges.

Lévi Noël, now 83, has been charged by RCMP with 12 counts of gross indecency, nine counts of indecent assault and one count of assault.

The complainants are 10 males who were all minors at the time. The charges allege offences that occurred between 1958 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Study finds no misuse of Clergy Fund

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

By Donis Tracy Pilot Correspondent
Posted: 7/17/2009

BRAINTREE -- A study released late last month confirmed what the archdiocese has been telling priests for some time now -- that no money has been misappropriated from the funds that provides for priests’ healthcare and retirement.

The 47-page study, conducted by the accounting firm Alexander, Aronson and Finning (AAF) concluded that “we did not identify any use of Clergy Benefits Trusts funds that were outside the scope of benefits and related costs covered by the trust agreements or any diversion of funds.”

According to Father Richard Erikson, Moderator of the Curia, the study was launched in order to address the “misinformation, rumor and speculation” circulating among many of the priests of the archdiocese regarding the ailing Clergy Benefits Trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

RCMP seek victims in priest sex abuse case

CANADA
CBC News

RCMP in northern New Brunswick are urging anyone with allegations of of sexual abuse by a priest in the Diocese of Bathurst between 1958 and 1978 to come forward.

Levi Noel, 83, a retired priest, is facing 22 charges of sexual assault stemming from incidents involving boys aged eight to 16 at the time.

He's scheduled to appear in court in Tracadie-Sheila on Aug. 26 to answer to 12 counts of gross indecency, nine counts of indecent assault and one count of assault against 10 males, who were all minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Women say they married Alamo

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Friday, July 17, 2009

TEXARKANA - Four more women testified Thursday that they were married to evangelist Tony Alamo at young ages, including one who said she was 14 when Alamo exchanged vows with her while he was incarcerated in federal prison and another who said she was 9 when Alamo began having sex with her regularly.

That woman also said that, before her 10th birthday, Alamo took pictures of her with a Polaroid camera, then used a machine to enlarge them so that he could see them better. Alamo has said he has glaucoma and is legally blind.

"He had told me that, to him, I look like a German whore," the woman, now 18, testified. "I said, 'What do you mean?' And he said, "Well, that's a good thing.'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Vatican taps Chaput to investigate order

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Posted: 07/17/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

The Vatican has asked Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and four other prelates to investigate institutions of the Legionaries of Christ, a conservative religious order whose deceased founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, had been accused of sexual improprieties.

Chaput is to investigate Legionaries centers in the U.S. and Canada, two of the 22 countries where the order has been active since it was established in 1941.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette DeMelo said she could not speculate why Chaput was selected for this "significant responsibility."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Daniel McCormack case: Doctor to help decide future of ex-priest convicted of abuse

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune reporter
July 17, 2009
In response to concerns about the possible parole of a former Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting five boys in a church rectory, authorities said Thursday that a doctor will dictate whether prosecutors fight to keep him in custody.

A medical evaluation scheduled for next week will help the Illinois attorney general and Cook County prosecutors decide whether to try keeping Daniel McCormack incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

The law allows prosecutors to seek continued incarceration in a secure treatment facility if a psychological exam leads them to believe another sex crime is likely if the inmate goes free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Area priest accused of sex abuse

MIDDLETOWN (NY)
The Daily Star

By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau

MIDDLETOWN _ A Margaretville priest was charged Thursday with 20 charges connected to the alleged sexual abuse of six males.

The Rev. James McDevitt, 63, pastor of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, turned himself in and pleaded not guilty during an appearance at Middletown Town Court.

McDevitt is alleged to have told the six males to each take down their pants and underpants and then lie across his lap. He then spanked them three times on their bare buttocks, according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Insurer dismissed in Catholic Diocese of Green Bay sex-abuse case

GREEN BAY IWI)
Press-Gazette

July 17, 2009

The insurance company named in a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay in a sexual abuse case was dismissed from liability in a ruling issued this week by Outagamie County Judge Nancy Krueger.

The decision came in the case of Todd and Troy Merryfield, brothers who were abused by former priest John Feeney in 1978 when the two were 12 and 14 years old.

Feeney was then the parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Sex offender ex-priest may be released soon

NAPERVILLE (IL)
Plainfield Sun

July 17, 2009

By DAN ROZEK Sun-Times News Group
A former priest at SS Peter and Paul in Naperville who served a prison term for fondling three young boys no longer belongs in a locked state center where he has been receiving therapy, a DuPage County judge ruled last week.

The decision means Fred Lenczycki -- who was imprisoned in 2004 for sexually abusing the boys while he served at a Hinsdale church -- could be released by September from the state treatment center where he has been confined for more than three years.

Judge Bonnie Wheaton ruled the 65-year-old Lenczycki has made enough progress in his treatment that he can be freed from the center in downstate Rushville while he continues to undergo outpatient therapy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Bringing together priest's victims

CANADA
The Observer

By DALE CARRUTHERS, FOR THE OBSERVER

Irene Williams, Dianne Gauthier and Lise Glass held each other's hands for support. At times they choked up and were barely able to speak. They cried one minute and smiled the next.

The topic they were speaking about is a difficult one: sexual abuse.

The three women, childhood friends who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the same priest, refused to be victimized any longer.

So they made a survivors' quilt entitled "Shattered Lives Held Together by a Common Thread." And on Thursday it was unveiled at its home for the next three months, the Sarnia library.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

July 16, 2009

Tracy Press phone call to Huckaby recorded

TRACY (CA)
Tracy Press

The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office said today a 40-minute phone call between the alleged killer of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and a Tracy Press reporter was secretly recorded during a wiretap.

The D.A.’s office sent letters to the Stockton Record, to Connie and Lane Lawless, members of their church and perhaps others informing them that investigators recorded phone calls made to the Lawless home as well as calls to the cell number of the Lawless’ granddaughter Melissa Huckaby.

Huckaby was arrested on the night of April 10 on suspicion of killing Sandra, just hours after the Press published a story in which Huckaby told reporter Jennifer Wadsworth in a 40-minute phone call that the suitcase in which Sandra’s body was found might have been the same one Huckaby said she reported stolen when Sandra disappeared March 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Priest guilty of molesting boys, judge rules

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

Roman Catholic Priest Bernard Cloutier was found guilty Thursday of sexually molesting young men a quarter century ago at various church parishes in the Sudbury area.

Superior Court Justice Paul Kane convicted the 68-year-old priest of 11 of 16 charges he faced.

The charges were laid in February of last year following allegations by five males, now all adult men, about incidents that took place between 1970 and 1983 while they were aged 12 to 17 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

LI 'BISHOP' ARRESTED FOR PERFORMING A SEX ACT ON A TEEN

LONG ISLAND (NY)
New York Post

By SELIM ALGAR

A Long Island man who claims to be a bishop but has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic church has been busted for allegedly performing a sex act on a teenager, Nassau police said today.

Dennis Michael McCormack, 41, who advertises traditional services from an American Legion Hall in Plainview, was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal sexual act and child endangerment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Massapequa Man Arrested For Sex Crime

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Long Island Press

Written by Michael M. Martino, Jr. on Jul 16th, 2009

Dennis McCormack, from Massapequa, was arrested for a sex crime.

The Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) has arrested a Massapequa man for a criminal sexual act he allegedly committed July 14.

According to the NCPD’s Public Information Office, Dennis McCormack, 41, of 42 William Rd. performed an undisclosed sexual act on Nassau County resident who is under 19 years of age.

The NCPD says McCormack “reports himself to be a Bishop in a traditional Roman Catholic Church, which practices Catholic service prior to 1962.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

NY bishop arrested on sex charges

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

July 16, 2009
MINEOLA, N.Y. - A Long Island bishop who is part of a Roman Catholic splinter group has been arrested on charges he sexually abused a teenager.

Dennis McCormack of Massapequa, who's 41, pleaded not guilty Thursday at his arraignment on charges of committing a criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested Wednesday.

McCormack describes himself on a Web site as the founder of the Society of the Immaculata. He performs Mass at a local American Legion hall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

"Bishop" Arrested on Sex Charges

MASSAPEQUA (NY)
WPIX

BY STEPHANIE BARISH | wpix.com
July 16, 2009

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (WPIX) - A man from Massapequa who calls himself a "bishop" in the traditional Roman Catholic Church," but who has no religious affiliation, was charged with performing a sexual act on a minor.

According to Nassau County police, Dennis McCormack, 41, who reportedly advertises traditional services from an American Legion Hall in Plainview, was caught on tape July 14 performing a sex act on a person under the age of 19.

Police arrested McCormack, of 42 William Rd., Wednesday and charged him with criminal sexual act in the third degree and child endangerment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Controversial religious group takes over Georgia college

ATLANTA (GA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

The Legion is a controversial, secretive, deeply troubled institution which, for decades, turned a blind eye to serious allegations of sexual abuse and cover up by its founder, the now-disgraced Fr. Maciel. Several bishops have banned the order from working in their dioceses.

Catholics would be well advised to carefully research the Legion's disturbing history before entrusting their teenagers to this extreme and self-serving institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

Legion of Christ, Southern Catholic Join in Effort to Ensure Quality, Catholic Higher Education

ATLANTA (GA)
Ajax World

ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwire) -- 07/16/09 -- The Legion of Christ and Southern Catholic College (SCC) have agreed to make the college a Legion institution.

"This is a great step for Southern Catholic and, we hope, for Catholic higher education in North America," said Jeremiah J. Ashcroft, president of SCC. "With the Legion's experience and leadership, we'll be able to attract students from across North America and develop programs with institutions around the world. This expanded reach and support greatly enhances our ability to achieve our mission to prepare moral and ethical leaders who will enlighten society and glorify God."

"We want to build on the great reputation SCC has established," said Father Scott Reilly, L.C., territorial director for the Legion. "There will be considerable sharing of best practices with our existing institutions. I expect that SCC will experience significant growth in the years ahead, as we can expand the availability of Catholic higher education to students from across North America."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

For hiding crimes, Catholic diocese loses insurance; SNAP responds

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

This judge has found what victims and Catholics have known for years: Catholic officials knowingly, repeatedly concealed clergy child sex crimes. These weren't 'accidents' or 'mistakes' or 'misjudgments.' Top church staffers deliberately hid felonies and endangered kids. Why should insurance companies financially reward such inexcusable criminal conduct?

Let's hope this ruling prompts others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by clerics to come forward, call police, protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Groups rally to keep ex-priest behind bars

ILLINOIS
ABC 7

July 16, 2009 (WLS) -- Several groups are asking Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to do what she can to keep Father Daniel McCormack behind bars.

In 2007, he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting five boys. A judge sentenced McCormack to five years in prison.

But with credit for good behavior he could be released next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Alleged victim testifies in Alamo trial

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/16/2009

A 14-year-old girl exchanged wedding vows with Tony Alamo while he was an inmate in Texarkana’s Federal Correctional Institution, according to Thursday morning testimony in his trial.

The witness is now 25 but testified she and Alamo exchanged wedding vows in the FCI waiting area.

Her marriage with Alamo was consummated on July 17, 1998, a date she wrote down in her Bible afterwards, she testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Diocese loses insurance coverage

GREEN BAY (WI)
WLUK

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has lost its insurance coverage in a civil suit allegeding fraud related to sexual assaults by a priest.

Troy and Todd Merryfield sued the Catholic Diocese for fraud, alleging fraud and fraudulent non-disclosure regarding sexual misconduct by Fr. Patrick Feeney.

Feeney, since defrocked, was convicted in 2004 of assaulting the brothers in 1978. He is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Ohio Innocence Project assists priest convicted in brutal slaying of nun

TOLEDO (OH)
Catholic Culture

July 16, 2009
The Ohio Innocence Project is assisting Father Gerald Robinson, who was convicted in 2006 in the brutal 1980 murder of a nun. In a setback for Father Robinson, a recent test failed to link DNA on the nun’s fingernails to another priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

New personnel shifts in Vatican focus on Secretariat of State

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

July 16, 2009
On July 16 the Vatican announced a series of personnel changes, including new appointments to several mid-level posts in the Secretariat of State. The moves-- announced after Pope Benedict had left Rome for his summer vacation-- came after weeks of rumors about a possible shake-up in the powerful Secretariat of State; Vatican-watchers suspect that further changes may soon follow.

Among the appointments announced on July 16, Msgr. Peter Brian Wells, an Oklahoma native, was named assessor at the Secretariat of State. He replaces Msgr. Gabriele Giordano Caccia, who was named apostolic nuncio to Lebanon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Retired priest admits stealing $213,000 from church

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Tom Buckham
News Staff Reporter
Updated: July 16, 2009, 3:27 PM

A 74-year-old retired priest admitted today that he stole $213,732 from the collection plate at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Cheektowaga over several years.

The Rev. F. Norman Sullivan, who recently paid back the stolen money, pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, a felony that carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

However, State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia told Sullivan, who had no prior criminal record, that he will face no jail time when he returns for sentencing Oct. 5. Buscaglia said he will instead impose five years' probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Priest from Delaware County charged sex abuse

NEW YORK
WBNG

On July 16, 2009 Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Father James J. McDevitt, 62 years old, from Sacred Heart Church Margaretville, New York, on the following charges:

6 Counts – Sex Abuse in the Second Degree
1 Count- Sex Abuse in the Third Degree
7 Counts- Forcible Touching
6 Counts- Endangerig the Welfare of a Child

All Class “A” Misdemeanors

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Baptist camp director on leave after arrest

HERTFORD (NC)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Thursday, July 16, 2009

HERTFORD, N.C. (ABP) -- A Baptist association in North Carolina is standing by a camp director indicted July 13 on two counts of engaging in sexual activities with a child.

Police arrested Stephen Wayne Carter, director of Cale Retreat and Conference Center in Hertford, N.C., July 1 on charges of taking indecent liberties with a child and first-degree sex offense involving a child. He was released from jail on $80,000 bond.

Carter, 50, has directed the Christian camp operated by Chowan Baptist Association since 2002. Rob Roberts, association missionary, said Carter remains employed as camp director but has voluntarily left the camp until the matter is resolved. The association is a group of mostly rural Baptist churches in the northeastern part of the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Church appeals New Trial order in Santillan vs. Bishop of Fresno

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

The church filed an appeal of the order for a new trial in Fresno Superior Court July 10th in Santillan vs. Bishop of Fresno, where after the trial in March, a jury found Monsignor Anthony Herdegen did indeed molest the Santillan brothers, but the Diocese did not know the crimes were taking place, so there was not "prior notice."

From the Fresno Superior Court Case Summaries: "Civil Cross-Appeal, Notice of Appeal, filed by: The Roman Catholic Bishop of Fresno on 07/10/09. Date of Judgment/Order:06/12/09 Judicial Officer: Donald S. Black. (mailed on 07/13/09)."

The motion for a new trial for the younger Santillan brother was passed June 12th after a new witness came forward, and parties met yesterday with Judge Black for a status conference, but no date was set for the second trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Priest Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $200,000 from Church

NEW YORK
WGRZ

A 74-year-old semi-retired priest pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny charges Thursday for stealing money from the church where he served as Pastor.

Father F. Norman Sullivan took over $200,000 from 2000 until early 2008 from the former Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Cheektowaga.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Trial of Anti-Catholic Cult Leader on Sex Charges Opens

ARKANSAS
Southern Poverty Law Center

The federal trial of Tony Alamo, who led a notorious anti-Catholic cult, began this week in Texarkana, Ark. Alamo, 74, has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex. His trial comes nearly two years after the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report published an expose on Alamo that detailed allegations of physical abuse, statutory rape and polygamy.

The magazine reported that Alamo had lost a $1.4 million civil lawsuit brought by the family of an 11-year-old boy whom Alamo allegedly had ordered beaten. The SPLC’s Fall 2007 report also revealed that Alamo contended girls should marry as soon as they begin menstruating, even if they’re as young as 10; in a 2006 radio broadcast, Alamo justified this view by claiming that “God impregnated Mary when she was about 11 years old.” In a 2007 broadcast, he said that first graders should be allowed to marry because they’re having sex anyway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Survivors of abuse still waiting for counselling

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Monday July 13 2009

NINETY survivors of institutional abuse are on a waiting list to access counselling services across the country.

The surge in calls to the National Counselling Service (NCS) since the Ryan report was published means that institutional abuse victims are waiting up to four weeks to get an initial appointment.

NCS is a free counselling and psychotherapy service to adults who have experienced trauma and abuse in childhood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

S.C. Allows Suit Over Student’s Affair With Teacher

CALIFORNIA
Metropolitan News-Enterprise

By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer

The California Supreme Court yesterday left standing a ruling by this district’s Court of Appeal that allows a woman to sue the Arcadia Unified School District for negligent supervision of a teacher with whom she had an affair while still a student.

The justices, at their weekly conference in San Francisco, voted 5-1 to deny review of an April decision of this district’s Div. Three, which held that the woman’s claim that the teacher exploited her age, vulnerability and confidence to seduce her into an unlawful and harmful sexual relationship did not accrue until she realized through psychotherapy that she had been victimized.

The vote was 5-1. Justice Joyce L. Kennard favored taking the case, and Chief Justice Ronald M. George was absent and did not participate.

The justices also rejected a request by Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, that the case be depublished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Push begins to keep ex-priest under lock and key

ILLINOIS
Chicago Breaking News

July 16, 2009 9:25 AM
A doctor's evaluation scheduled for next week will determine whether prosecutors will fight to keep former West Side priest Daniel McCormack incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act when he becomes eligible for parole in September.

The state law allows prosecutors to seek continued and indefinite incarceration in a secure treatment facility if they believe, based on a psychological exam, that another sex crime is likely if the inmate goes free.

On Thursday, victims' advocates will appeal to Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to invoke the act in McCormack's case. Although the Sexually Violent Persons program is administered by the attorney general, it is pursued in partnership with the prosecutor who initially handled the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Financial Problems Face Voice Of The Faithful

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

[with audio]

By DEBORAH BECKER
BOSTON — This week, the lay Catholic reform group Voice Of The Faithful warned that it might have to close its national headquarters in Needham without a 60-thousand dollars in donations. We speak to Boston College religion professor Thomas Groome about what financial shortfall portends for the organization, founded in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

New DNA tests setback for priest in nun's slaying

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

New tests of male DNA found on the fingernails of slain Sister Margaret Ann Pahl show that it was not from the Rev. Jerome Swiatecki, the Ohio Innocence Project said.

The results are a setback for Gerald Robinson, the Toledo Catholic priest convicted in 2006 of the nun's 1980 murder, and his defense attorneys who argue that Father Swiatecki may have been the killer.

"Father Jerome Swiatecki was mentioned as a possible alternate suspect, but he does not match the male DNA found on the victim's body," said Karla Markley Hall of the Ohio Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic based at the University of Cincinnati.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Triumphing over a tormented childhood- The Irish Catholic

IRELAND
Colm O'Gorman

Eamon Maher reviews Beyond Belief in The Irish Catholic

It would be difficult not to know of Colm O’Gorman. He is regularly on the radio and television, mostly in the past as Director of One in Four, the organisation set up to provide support for people who have suffered from sexual abuse or violence. From his polished calm exterior, one would never suspect the massive traumas he has had to endure in his life.

Abused by two local Wexford male sexual predators at the age of five, as well as by an adolescent boy who invited him to his house on the pretext of giving him music lessons, it is not surprising that Colm had problems with bed-wetting as a child. At no point did he dare to mention the cause of his anxiety to his parents.

He had a huge desire to impress his father to whom felt he was a disappointment because of his lack of interest in ”normal” boyish activities like sport. Another reason for his silence was the fact that the Ireland of the 1970s and 80s was not ready to face up to the horrors of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Catholic group struggles to survive, needs $60K ASAP

MASSACHUSETTS
The Salem News

By Tom Dalton
Staff writer

Voice of the Faithful, the Catholic lay group that formed in response to the priest sex abuse scandal, is facing its own crisis: lack of money.

The national organization said it is "at the crossroads of financial survival" and needs $60,000 in donations by the end of July to keep going.

The news struck a chord at a local affiliate.

"I'm not terribly surprised," said Jolene Guerra of Topsfield, co-coordinator of the North Shore-Seacoast affiliate, which has members from Salem to Newburyport. "I'm certainly disappointed. I think financially the national organization has been struggling."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Witness: Alamo described sex abuse

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009

TEXARKANA - Even after being pressured to become one of evangelist Tony Alamo's wives when she was just 15, and then put on a schedule to have sex with him once a week, a woman testified Wednesday that she was horrified when Alamo came out of his bedroom one day and made an announcement about the latest object of his affection.

While two of his wives listened, Alamo described in graphic detail how he had just laid beside an 8-year-old girl, the niece of one of his other wives, and fondled her while she held a stuffed animal, the accuser and former wife, now 30, testif ied. She said Alamo told them he planned to take the 8-year-old as a wife.

"At that point my jaw dropped so far down I had to remind myself to close my mouth," the woman testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Archdiocese broke promise to protect, suit alleges.

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

By Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/16/2009

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis man alleged in a suit filed Wednesday that St. Louis Archdiocese officials lied to him in 2005 when they promised to protect other children from a priest he claimed had abused him.

The plaintiff, identified as "John Doe KC," alleged that the Rev. Michael A. Freymuth sexually abused him in the 1980s when he was a young parishioner at St. Joan of Arc in south St. Louis.

The man said he came forward to report the abuse in 2005 after his mother saw a news report about allegations against Freymuth. The man said he agreed not to take his complaint to authorities, instead allowing the church to address the problem administratively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Ex-Somerset priest is convicted of sexual abuse

SOMERSET (WI)
Janesville Times Recorder

By KATHY THOMPSON • Staff Writer • July 16, 2009

SOMERSET - The family of a victim of a former Somerset priest convicted of sexual abuse says they are grateful the priest will be on the national sex offender registry for life.

Father Aaron Joseph Cote, 57, of New York, was convicted of one count of custodian child abuse by a judge earlier this week in Maryland. Cote served in the Holy Trinity Church in Somerset in the late 1980s.

Cote entered a not guilty plea to the charge, but did not object to a statement of facts that was given by the prosecution and was found guilty of the charge by Judge Louis G. Scrivener.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

July 15, 2009

Update - Small turnout for vigil

ONAMIA (MN)
Mille Lacs Messenger

by Brett Larson
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 14:09
Bob Schwiderski, the Minnesota director of SNAP — Support Network for those Abused by Priests — was able to garner a lot of media attention for his Saturday, July 11, silent vigil and press conference outside the Crosier community in Onamia.

The event, which was open to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, their loved ones and the media, was publicized on the websites of WCCO in the Twin Cities, KTTC in Rochester, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Duluth News Tribune. A press conference and hour-long silent vigil were on the agenda, along with a confidential support group meeting for victims and their loved ones. It was scheduled to coincide with the Crosier community's all-school reunion.

In spite of the coverage, the event was sparsely attended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Ceremony to Commemorate the Appointment of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission

CANADA
CNW Group

OTTAWA, July 15 /CNW Telbec/ - A welcoming ceremony will be held tomorrow to commemorate the appointment of the new Commissioners for the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), along with Commissioner Marie Wilson and Commissioner Chief Wilton Littlechild, will be joined by Elders and parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement, including Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, in the ceremony to be held on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm in Gatineau, Quebec.

Event: Welcoming Ceremony of the TRC Chair and Commissioners
Date: Thursday, July 16, 2009
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Canadian Museum of Civilization Theatre,
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, QC

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

10 named to residential school survivor committee

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CBC News
Ten survivors of Canada's Indian residential schools have been appointed advisers to the federal government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as it is set to begin hearing from former students across the country.

Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl unveiled the Indian Residential School Survivor Committee Wednesday in Ottawa.

It will provide "advice and guidance" to the commission, as well as help it gather former students' stories about the residential school experience, Strahl said in a release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

US evangelist 'married' under-age girls, court hears

TEXARKANA (AR)
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Tom Leonard in New York

Tony Alamo, 74, who at one time turned his ministry into a multi-million dollar business, has denied taking young girls across state lines for sex at his trial in Texarkana, Arkansas.

On Wednesday, one of his former wives told the court that the preacher had so many partners that he scheduled how often he would have sex with each of them.

tThe 30-year-old woman, who married Alamo when she was 15, said she began to have doubts about him when she was an adult after he graphically described sexually abusing an eight-year-old holding a stuffed animal.

She told the court that Alamo said she should not question what "the Lord told me to do".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Court orders release of files

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that the Archdiocese of Portland must release more than 1,000 pages of additional priest personnel files and sworn testimony by church officials, as requested by lawyers of sex abuse victims.

In a statement released Monday, the archdiocese objected to the decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, saying the documents sought for release are not relevant.

The church has 30 days to appeal before the files are released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Conviction ‘cathartic' for family of victim

GERMANTOWN (MD)
The Gazette

by Melissa A. Chadwick | Staff Writer

A former altar boy who was abused as a teen by a Roman Catholic priest in Germantown said Monday that he had the safety of other children in mind when he went public with his story.

"The first day I signed the paperwork for a lawsuit, we learned [the priest] was planning a youth retreat that weekend and we stopped that," said Brandon Rains, 22, who lives in Florida. His motivation for the lawsuit in 2005, he said, was to keep the Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote from hurting more children. Police filed charges against Cote after the lawsuit was settled in 2007.

Judge Louise G. Scrivener found Cote, 57, a former youth pastor at Mother Seton Parish, guilty Monday of a third-degree sex offense involving Rains when he was 14 and 15 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Attorney for plaintiffs in case against diocese may see testimony from Bishop Braxton

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News-Democrat

BY BETH HUNDSDORFER - News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- An attorney representing three men who say they were sexually abused as youths by a priest said during a court hearing today that he may request permission to place Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton on the witness stand.

Mike Weilmuenster, attorney for three plaintiffs -- including two known only by their initials -- told St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young that it might be necessary to require Braxton to be cross-examined during an evidentiary hearing. The hearing would concern a decades-old Vatican document directing that evidence of sex abuse of minors by priests be kept secret.

At the hearing, Young ruled that former vicar general the Rev. Monsignor James Margason will be required to answer questions during an evidentiary hearing that will center on the once secret Vatican memorandum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

News Roundup: Fresno decision today; Krumm victim responds; Development of John Urell; Aussie says, no, Pope, it is Year of the Pedophile Priest

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

This afternoon we should know whether or not there will be a new trial in Santillan vs. the Bishop of Fresno, as lawyers from both sides meet with Judge Donald Black for a status conference 3:30 this afternoon in San Joaquin County.

Meanwhile, since starting this blog, one of the best parts is the email I get. One of the first victims of Gus Krumm to come forward, Ignacio Aceves, responded within minutes after we posted new pictures of the several times credibly accused pedophile Franciscan Friar, Gus Krumm. His compelling email is copied below.

A recent story by Gustavo Arellano in OC Weekly evoked a comment describing the gestures and tone of Monsignor John Urell as he stood on the podium and apparently diverted attention from crimes committed by a pedophile priest in an Orange County parish a few years back. Her comment could serve as backstory and character development for anyone planning to write or play the part of John Urell, or another bishop felon child molester protecting bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Alamo trips were business, attorney says

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2009

TEXARKANA - In outlining evangelist Tony Alamo's defense strategy for jurors Tuesday, his attorney didn't address whether Alamo exchanged wedding vows with underage girls or sexually assaulted them. He also didn't dispute that Alamo took them across state lines, as five alleged victims are expected to testify at Alamo's trial.

Instead, attorney Don Ervin of Houston told jurors that the main purpose of the interstate trips was to conduct church business, not to have sex.

"This case is about travel, and it's about intent, regardless of all the evidence you hear from the government," Ervin told jurors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

CATHOLIC BY CHOICE: No to Dissent, Yes to Fidelity

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

By Deacon Keith Fournier
7/15/2009
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need to do more than simply report on the dissenters who seek to change the Church rather than change themselves

There is so much good news which we need to proclaim about the Catholic Church! We need to raise our voices to be heard over the cacaphony of dissent.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – My friend Bill Donohue reminds me of an Irish pugilist who uses words rather than gloves to defend the Church against those - within and without - who seek to harm and disparage her. I am grateful for his work through the Catholic League. However, I recently received a release from the Catholic League which I thought was a bit too optimistic entitled “Voice Is Toast.” In it Bill reported on the financial troubles of the “Voice of the faithful” (VOTF), a dissenting organization within the Church. Frankly, I think Voice of the Faithful is just reconfiguring itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Church pastor set to face two additional sex abuse charges

MERCEDES (TX)
The Monitor

July 14, 2009 - 7:10 PM
Ana Ley
The Monitor
MERCEDES — A church pastor arrested last month is set to face two additional counts of indecency with a child.

Tomás Gonzáles, 61, of Mercedes, will likely face the charges this week, Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Ex-Columbus priest guilty of abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:30 PM
By Meredith Heagney
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

A Catholic priest who worked at a parish in Columbus and two in Somerset is expected to be sentenced to 10 years of probation after being convicted of sexually abusing a child in Maryland.

The Rev. Aaron Joseph "AJ" Cote, 57, entered a plea of "not guilty, agreed statement of facts" Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court. That means he did not admit guilt but does not contest the state's presentation of the facts, said Emily White, a spokeswoman for the Office of the State's Attorney for Montgomery County.

Cote will be sentenced Oct.14, White said, but his attorneys and the prosecution have agreed to a deal that gives him five years of supervised probation and five years of unsupervised probation. She couldn't say yesterday exactly how he would be supervised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Arizona Court of Appeals upholds conviction of priest

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jim Walsh - Jul. 14, 2009 07:27 PM
The Arizona Republic

The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions and sentence of a Roman Catholic priest who was found guilty of sex crimes while he was assigned to parishes in Avondale and Tolleson.

The Rev. Paul LeBrun was found guilty by jurors in 2006 of three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of child molestation. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen gave LeBrun the maximum sentence of 111 years in prison.

The appellate court found that McClennen correctly decided to try all charges together rather than separately. The charges stemmed from sex acts committed with three boys who ranged in age from 11 to 13 and occurred between 1986 and 1991 at St. John Vianney Church in Avondale and Blessed Sacrament Church in Tolleson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

July 14, 2009

Breaking news: Cistone addresses priest sexual abuse issue

MICHIGAN
Midland Daily News

Angela E. Lackey | angelalackey@mdn.net

Bishop Joseph R. Cistone believes he has learned from the victims of priest child sexual abuse.

“I think we all appreciate ...the pain and the suffering they went through,” he said. Cistone met briefly with the media this morning.

“Now that we’re aware of the situation, how do we better assist the victims?”

Cistone was named the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw in June. A grand jury report from 2005 states he was complicit in the coverup of multiple cases of child sexual abuse committed by priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Voice of the Faithful is going bankrupt

UNITED STATES
Washington Times

Julia Duin on July 14, 2009 into Belief Blog

I haven't written much about Voice of the Faithful, the lay organization formed in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Mass., it claims 150 parish affiliates and 30,000 members but I never got the impression it was all that strong in the DC area.

But I did know many religious groups are taking a huge hit with this economic crisis, not to mention lots of missionary friends who've seen their support evaporate this past year. So I wasn't too shocked to learnthat both its president and chair of its board of trustees have sent out a memo to supporters begging for $60,000 to keep its Boston-area office open throughout the summer.

What was interesting is the huge amount of response the Boston Globe got when it posted the news yesterday of the organization's problems. Read some of the 55 responses to this post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Voice of the Faithful critically low on funds

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Tom Roberts

Voice of the Faithful, the reform and advocacy group that emerged in 2002 in the wake of the clerical sex abuse revelations in Boston, has announced that it may be forced to close its national offices unless it receives a quick infusion of cash.

In an e-mail sent to members and media representatives, the organization said it was “at the crossroads of financial survival” and is looking to raise at least $60,000 by the end of July in order to continue operations. The amount represents two months of operating expenses, said Bill Casey, chairman of the board of directors.

The organization blames its financial crisis on the larger financial downturn. “As we know all too well … that downturn has rippled into communities and households, confirming worst expectations and fears.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Pembroke priest charged with assaulting two more victims

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

By Brendan Kennedy, The Ottawa Citizen
July 14, 2009 2:01 PM
OTTAWA — A high-ranking Roman Catholic priest from Pembroke is facing additional sexual assault charges after two more alleged victims have been identified by police.

Monsignor Robert Borne, 61, appeared in Pembroke court Tuesday, where he faced two counts each of gross indecency, indecent assault and breach of trust in relation to allegations that he sexually assaulted two teenage boys between 1977 and 1995.

Borne received the same charges in April for alleged incidents involving three teenage boys over the same period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Pace of U.S. parish closings has quickened in past 20 years

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Spirit

By Mark Pattison - Catholic News Service
Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Population shifs from Northeast toward the Southwest among factor iin both parish closings and growth

Parish closings are nothing new in the history of the U.S. Catholic Church, but the pace of closures and mergers has accelerated over the past 20 years, as several factors have converged.

One factor has been the shrinking population base of many parishes.

Catholic families in the city and country have fewer children now than they did two generations ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Childrens Rights Abuses Widespread in U.S., Irish Catholic Church

Digital Journal

Carol Forsloff
Recently completed reports relate widespread child abuse in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland. It was found priests and nuns were guilty of abuse with congregations looking the other way. How does this impact messages about protecting life?

Not only did the Church itself shield perpetrators of bad deeds over many decades, but so did government officials, according to these recent reports from a Commission given the task of investigation. In fact when abuse was reported, the government and the religious congregations supporting institutions caring for children failed to step in and aid the victims. Pedophiles were guarded by the church in a fashion described as self-serving secrecy. Details referencing the widespread nature of crimes against children and issues by category can be found here.

In June the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse announced its closure of research into the allegations and outline of findings. The Commission had been established in 2000 and examined abuse allegations and history of church and government machinations from 1936 to the present. The findings of Commission reveals abuse of power within the religious administration of the Catholic Church as well as certain government entities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

More charges laid against Monsignor Borne

CANADA
The Daily Observer

Posted By Debbie Robinson

Police have laid more charges against Monsignor Robert Borne, who was already facing six sex-related assault charges involving three alleged victims.

The monsignor, who is appearing in criminal court in Pembroke today, is charged with an additional two counts each of gross indecency, indecent assault and breach of trust in relation to two new people.

In April, the Ontario Provincial Police, Renfrew County Crime Unit, charged the 61-year-old Roman Catholic priest in connection with incidents that are alleged to have occurred between 1977 and 1995 in relation to three victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Christian Camp Director Indicted On Child Sex Offenses

NORTH CAROLINA
WITN

Perquimans County, NC -- A Baptist summer camp director in Eastern Carolina is facing sex crime charges against children.

Stephen Carter has been indicted on felony first degree sex offense against a child and felony indecent liberties with a child in Perquimans County.

Carter is the director of Camp Cale Retreat in Perquimans County. Todd Tilley, the Perquimans Clerk of Superior Court, says Carter is not allowed to have any contact with people under the age 18, with the exception of his own children. That stipulation was imposed by the magistrate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

'Healing Circle' Video Examines Pain Caused by Clergy Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
PR Newswire

MILWAUKEE, July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The chair of a board established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to address and prevent clergy sexual abuse has endorsed a first-of-its-kind video about the pain caused to victims and the greater church community by the abuse scandal.

Diane Knight, chair of the National Review Board of the USCCB, said, "I highly recommend 'The Healing Circle' to anyone who has an interest in gaining a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of the impact of the clergy abuse crisis. The compelling individual stories can be used to train bishops and other leadership and to create a powerful springboard for meaningful discussion. Our Church leaders can use this documentary in a variety of settings to address the healing process that must still go on in our parish communities."

Knight also said that the USCCB is considering ways to use the video in training new bishops and other Catholic clergy and lay leadership. "The Healing Circle" documentary, produced by the Marquette University Law School's Restorative Justice Initiative, received positive response at the National Review Board after its screening at their San Antonio meeting last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Wiretaps used in Huckaby case

CALIFORNIA
Stockton Record

By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
July 14, 2009

Officers set up wiretaps in their investigation of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu's death, according to a required-by-law notification letter the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office sent to The Record informing the newspaper that its calls were among those monitored.

Connie Lawless, the grandmother of Melissa Huckaby, who is accused of killing Sandra, said she and about five people she knows received a similar letter. Lawless said it was unnerving to learn that her calls may have been recorded.

"Anything that comes to us from, like the DA's office, it automatically is upsetting," Lawless said. "We never know what shoe's going to drop."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Brazil to extradite Elior Chen to Israel

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By JPOST STAFF AND DAN IZENBERG

Brazil denied a request by Elior Chen, the self-styled rabbi who allegedly influenced some of his followers to abuse their children in order to "correct their corrupt souls," to be recognized as a fugitive, according to a Tuesday announcement.

Chen fled to Brazil more than a year ago. His lawyer Ariel Atari, however, told Army Radio that he didn't believe the extradition would take place soon, if at all.

Chen escaped Israel after a terrifying affair of child abuse in a haredi family in Jerusalem was exposed. According to prosecutors, Chen instructed the mother of the family and others to beat the children severely, saying this would mend their behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Brazil: No refugee status for 'abusive rabbi'

ISRAEL
YNet News

Aviad Glickman Published: 07.14.09, 13:51 / Israel News
Another barrier was overcome in the extradition case of self-proclaimed "Rabbi" Elior Chen, held responsible for severe abuse of two children in Jerusalem. Brazilian authorities Monday announced to the country's international prosecution department that the Committee for Refugee Affairs rejected Chen's request for refugee status, thus paving the way for his extradition to Israel.

Brazil's Supreme Court ruled two months ago that Chen would be extradited to Israel.

If Chen does not find additional methods for holding up the extradition process, the prosecution estimates that he will be turned over to Israeli authorities within one and a half to two months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Brazil refuses refugee status for Israeli rabbi

ISRAEL
JTA

July 14, 2009

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- An Israeli spiritual leader who allegedly abused children will not receive refugee status in Brazil.

The decision announced Monday by Brazilian authorities means that Elior Chen, the leader of a Jerusalem religious sect that allegedly has abused children, could soon be extradited to Israel. Chen can appeal the decision.

An Israeli investigation continues into allegations that Chen's abuse of one woman's children led to two of them, aged 4 and 5, being hospitalized in March in critical condition and another, 3, remaining in a persistent vegetative state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Mother suspected of starving toddler son

ISRAEL
YNet News

Efrat Weiss Published: 07.14.09

It was cleared for publication on Tuesday that a Jerusalem resident was arrested for suspicion of starving her two-year-old son.

The toddler, who had reached a weight of only seven kilos (about 15 pounds), is hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in serious condition. ...

Tuesday saw a development in another child abuse case in Jerusalem, whereby Brazilian authorities denied Elior Chen's request to be granted refugee status, thus paving the way for his extradition to Israel.

Chen, a self-proclaimed "rabbi" who fled Israel to Brazil to escape trial for his involvement in numerous cases of the most horrific child abuse in recent memory, turned himself in to Brazilian law enforcement authorities in Sao Paulo in June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Where to now for Catholicism in Ireland?

IRELAND
The Irish Post

by Joe Horgan
IT is hard to know what to do now with all of that residual Catholicism. What to do with that reflex that wants to make the sign of the cross on passing a grotto. What to do when a priest passes by in the street. Still catch the eye and say hello, Father? What to do when a nun passes by in the street. Still catch the eye and say hello, Sister? Still? Now? After the Ryan Report? After being given full knowledge of what the institutions of that Church did? What to do with it now?

If you were writing a short history of the Catholic Church in Ireland now how would you assess it? Would you say it supported and helped the people through an often grim, difficult history? Or would you say it oppressed and manipulated the people? Would you say it was a force for good in Irish life? Or would you say if not good it was at least benign? Or would you say that, on the shocking, overwhelming evidence of the Ryan Report that the Catholic Church has been a malign, divisive force in Irish life? Has been the one consistently proven force for evil? And there is still more to come remember. We have had the Ryan Report and the Ferns Report and those counselling survivors of institutional abuse have now requested that the upcoming report into abuse in the Dublin archdiocese be delayed. They have said that they fear being unable to cope if that report follows so closely on that of the Ryan Report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Gay altar server contests firing

CANADA
National Post

Charles Lewis, National Post
Published: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A gay man has filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against a Catholic bishop after he was removed from his volunteer job as an altar server because of his sexual orientation.

The case is the latest involving the human rights tribunal to address whether Church doctrine should be subject to review by a secular body.

Jim Corcoran, who owns a high-end resort and spa near Cobourg, was asked this year to step down from his role at St. Michael's Church after 12 of his fellow parishioners complained to the Diocese of Peterborough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Judge orders release of Archdiocese's bankruptcy documents

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

by Bryan Denson, The Oregonian
Monday July 13, 2009, 8:14 PM
A judge Monday ordered the public release of more than 1,000 pages of discovery documents in the Archdiocese of Portland bankruptcy case, including records that name priests not previously identified as accused child molesters.

The records -- including priest personnel files -- will be kept confidential for 30 days to give a few priests and lawyers for the archdiocese time to decide whether they will appeal.

The archdiocese issued a statement opposing the release, arguing that in some cases, no claim was ever brought against the individual named in the files. The archdiocese also says that some of the individuals were accused of misconduct with no proof other than the accusation. Spokesman Bud Bunce said the archdiocese is weighing its options.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Boscobel priest defrocked after sexual misconduct allegations

BOSCOBEL (WI)
Pokrov

Date Published: 7/9/2009
Publication: The Boscobel Dial

An Eastern Orthodox priest has been defrocked after allegations of sexual misconduct against a resident of a Boscobel monastery.

The Rev. Simeon Gitlis was removed as Abbod of St. Isaac of Syria Skete and returned to the status of simple monk on March 28, the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox of the USA, Canada and Australia confirmed Wednesday.

Gitlis is accused of sexually molesting a female resident of St. Isaac of Syria Skete, according to a press release from The Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Jury Selection Begins for Alamo Trial

TEXARKANA (AR)
ArkLaTex

[with video]

Reported by: Mario Boone
Monday, Jul 13, 2009 @07:26pm CST

Jury selection is underway for the trial of jailed evangelist Tony Alamo. Alamo faces a 10-count federal indictment charging he transported minors across state lines for sex. Several jurors were excused from service for various health and work related reasons. Alamo appeared in court frail and emotionless as the judge questioned potential jurors.

In a bombshell decision late Monday afternoon, U. S. District Judge Harry Barnes barred prosecutors from using the words "polygamy" and "compound" during the trial. Criminal defense attorney and KTAL legal analyst Danny Cook says this was done to prevent the jury from being unfairly prejudiced. Cook says he expects this from Judge Barnes given his reputation for fairness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

2 Alamo Bible beliefs off limits, judge says

TEXARKANA (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TEXARKANA - Prosecutors at evangelist Tony Alamo's trial will not be able to elicit testimony about Alamo's beliefs that the Bible does not prohibit polygamy and that girls are ready to be married when they begin menstruating, a judge said Monday.

On the first day of Alamo's trial in U.S. District Court in Texarkana, U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes also said that prosecutors and witnesses will not be able to refer to the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries as a "cult" or its complex in Fouke as a "compound."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Principal accused of sexual misconduct

UTAH
Universe

By Ashley Jones- Mon, 07/13/2009 - 20:32
Michael J. Pratt. Former seminary principal.A former LDS seminary principal accused of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old girl appeared in the 4th District Court yesterday for an official felony first appearance.

Michael J. Pratt, 37, of Orem, was working as the principal of Lone Peak High School’s seminary program where the girl was a student, according to LDS Church spokeswoman Kim Farah.

“I am hopeful that the truth will be fully presented at the appropriate time,” Pratt told press at the court on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Pastor Faces More Sexual Abuse Charges

MERCEDES (TX)
KRGV

Reported by: Jordan Williams
Email: jordan@krgv.com

MERCEDES - A minister from a church in Donna will face more charges in connection with a child sex abuse case.

The Mercedes Police Chief tells NEWSCHANNEL 5 sixty one year-old Tomas
Gonzales will face two new felony counts of indecency with a child.

A third victim has come forward alleging abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Voice of Faithful may close Needham-based national headquarters

NEEDHAM (MA)
Needham Times

By Steve Ryan/Staff Writer

Needham —

After moving its national offices to Needham last month, Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic reform group founded in response to the priest sexual abuse scandal, might decide to close the office doors and continue as an all-volunteer organization.

Voice of the Faithful originated in Wellesley and had headquarters in Newton before making the move to Hillside Avenue in Needham last month.

The chairman of the organization’s board, Bill Casey, said the move was a cost-cutting measure and reduced costs in half. But even with that move, the organization doesn’t have enough money to run the office. Closing the office is a “worst-case scenario,” Casey said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Priest found guilty of child sexual abuse

ROCKVILLE (MD)
News-Post

By Rochelle Myers
News-Post Staff

ROCKVILLE-- A Roman Catholic priest was convicted Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court of sexually abusing an altar boy at a Germantown church more than seven years ago.
The Rev. Aaron Cote, 57, now living in New York City, will be sentenced Oct. 14 to 10 years of probation -- five of them supervised -- and must undergo a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.

The former part-time youth minister at Mother Seton parish also must register as a sex offender under the court order announced Monday.

Cote was convicted of third-degree sex offense. He pleaded not guilty and was convicted after the judge heard an agreed-upon statement of facts.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Voice of the Faithful facing financial collapse

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic Culture

July 14, 2009
A lay Catholic organization founded in 2002 in the wake of the clerical abuse scandal is facing financial collapse. “I think a lot of people were energized by the crisis and wanted to do something, and Voice of the Faithful was there at the right time,” Philip Lawler, founder and editor of Catholic World News, told the Associated Press. “Now, with the crisis having passed, the organization's agenda is not so popular.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

July 13, 2009

Abuse report brings added charge against church leader

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Sun

By Cara McCoy

Monday, July 13, 2009 | 1:20 p.m.

More charges have been filed against a 75-year-old Las Vegas man who called himself a prophet and ran a church out of his home after another alleged juvenile victim reported sexual abuse to police.

Metro Police said Monday that an additional count of open and gross lewdness has been added to the 29 felony charges against Benito Catello after the alleged victim contacted authorities on Saturday.

Catello is the leader of The Ministry church, run out of his home near Owens Avenue and Mount Hood Street in northeast Las Vegas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Third Person Accuses 'Prophet' Of Abuse

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

LAS VEGAS -- A third person has come forward accusing a Las Vegas church leader and self-proclaimed prophet of child molestation.

Las Vegas Metro police said the new information, from a juvenile victim, led to an additional charge of open and gross lewdness against 75-year-old Benito Catello. Police did not specify whether the person was a male or female.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Another juvenile victim in Catello sex case

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

An additional count of open and gross lewdness has been filed against 76-year-old self-proclaimed prophet Benito Catello after another possible juvenile victim came forward, Las Vegas police said today.

Catello was originally charged with 29 felonies for sexual misconduct with two juvenile members of his church. After his arrest, Catello told detectives in a recorded interview that "if the girls said he did it, he must have," according to the arrest report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Voice of the Faithful faces financial trouble

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson July 13, 2009 02:08 PM
Voice of the Faithful, the Catholic reform group founded in Wellesley at the height of the sexual abuse crisis, is running out of money and warning that it may close its national office absent an infusion of funds. The organization has had three goals -- supporting abuse victims, supporting "priests of integrity,'' and 'to shape structural change within the Catholic Church.'' That third goal has made it the subject of criticism from some conservatives, and its affiliates have been barred from meeting on church property in some dioceses. But the organization has also been welcomed by some Catholics distraught by what they learned about their church during the abuse crisis and eager for a forum to discuss possible changes.

UPDATE: I just spoke with Bill Casey, the chairman of the VOTF board, who tells me the existence of the organization is not in doubt, but that at stake is the organization's national headquarters, which recently moved from Newton to Needham in an effort to save money. He said the organization needs $60,000 to maintain the office through the summer, at which point it plans to fundraise based on a new strategic plan; if the group can't raise the money, it will close the national office and continue as an all-volunteer network of organizational affiliates. Currently, he said, the organization has 30,000 to 35,000 names in its database, of which it has e-mail addresses for about 20,000 folks, and there are between 60 and 70 parish or diocese-based affiliates or chapters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Voice of the Faithful fears demise amid budget woes

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

BOSTON — A lay Catholic group founded in the worst days of the church’s clergy sex abuse scandal said Monday it may be forced to cease operations because of a downturn in donations.

Leaders of Voice of the Faithful sent out a fundraising letter Monday to members saying it is "at the crossroads of financial survival" and needs $60,000 by the end of this month.

Bill Casey, chairman of the group’s board of trustees, said Voice of the Faithful has been hit hard by the economic downturn and is making an "emergency appeal" for donations. The group is based in the Boston suburb of Needham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Lexington priest suspended amid sexual abuse allegations

LEXINGTON (KY)
WHAS

03:24 PM EDT on Monday, July 13, 2009

(WHAS11) - A Lexington priest has been suspended while authorities investigate allegations of sexual abuse.

Reverend Joseph Muench was banned from performing any ministerial duties following an internal investigation. The findings have been forwarded on the commonwealth's attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Lexington Priest Being Investigated For Alleged Sexual Misconduct

LEXINGTON (KY)
Lex 18

Three men have come forward to police accusing the pastor of Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Lexington of sexual misconduct.

The Lexington Catholic Diocese said last week a Louisville attorney alerted them of the allegations against Father Joseph Muench. The lawyer said his clients, three men, accuse Father Muench of sexual misconduct during his time as associate pastor at Good Shepherd Parish in Frankfort between 1984 and 1986.

The Diocese said it has launched it's own investigation and determined the allegations possessed what they called a "semblance of truth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Pastor/principal held on child sex charges

CROSBY (TX)
Family Badge

CROSBY - The principal of an east Houston Christian academy accused of molesting one of his students remains in jail on $200,000 bond while the Harris County District Attorney's Office is seeking out other possible alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Hearing for Coeburn pastor charged with indecent exposure at Riverfront Park postponed again

KINGSPORT (TN)
Times News

By Staff Report

Published July 13th, 2009

The case of a Coeburn pastor charged with indecent exposure on April 8 has been postponed again.

John Franklin McCarroll, 65, 2306 E. First Ave., Big Stone Gap, is now scheduled to be in court on Aug. 6 for a hearing before Kingsport General Sessions Judge Duane Snodgrass.

Mccarroll has been awaiting trial since his April 8 arrest on an indecent exposure charge. McCaroll's arrest occurred during an undercover investigation by Kingsport Police Department vice detectives at the public restrooms at Riverfront Park on Netherland Inn Road.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Former Legionary Blunt about LC Visitation

America

Posted at: 2009-07-13 09:22:11.0
Author: James Martin, S.J.

Fr. Joseph Komonchak over at Dotcommonweal picked up Vatican journalist Sandro Magister's interview on Chiesaexpressonline with Fr. Thomas Berg, a former Legionary of Christ, who is described by Magister as follows: Father Berg is "a member of the Legionaries of Christ since 1986, a priest since 2000, professor and confessor at the Legion seminary in Thornwood, New York, and very involved in formation activities. In April, he left the congregation, and asked to be incardinated into the archdiocese of New York. Archbishop Timothy Dolan made him a vicar of the parish of St. Columba in Hopewell Junction. Berg is also the director of the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person."


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Priest Strikes Plea Deal in Molestation Case

GERMANTOWN (MD)
News Channel 8

GERMANTOWN, Md. - Court records indicate that a Roman Catholic priest charged with second-degree child abuse of an altar boy at a Germantown church has struck a plea bargain.

The case against the Rev. Aaron Cote was scheduled for a hearing Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville.

The court clerk's office says a plea agreement has been filed, with details to be announced at the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Judge to decide case of priest accused of abusing altar boy

MARYLAND
The Gazette

by Melissa A. Chadwick | Staff Writer

A former youth pastor at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown has agreed to serve 10 years probation for charges that he sexually abused a teenage altar boy in 2001 and 2002, according to a plea agreement filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court last week.

The Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote, 57, was indicted on one charge of third-degree sex abuse last year. The plea agreement, which is scheduled before a judge today, states that Cote will plead not guilty to the charge and prosecutors will lay out the case in a statement of facts to the judge. The plea agreement states that prosecutors and the defense agree to ask the judge to order Cote to "undergo a full sex offender evaluation" and complete counseling.

As part of the agreement, the defense attorney and prosecutors will not ask for jail time, and request that Cote serve five years supervised probation and five years unsupervised probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

DUP MP issues call for probe into child abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Noel McAdam
Monday, 13 July 2009

A DUP MP has called for a Ryan report-style investigation into the abuse of children in religious and other institutions in Northern Ireland.

David Simpson also said he hopes to secure the support of Children’s Commissioner Patricia Lewsley later this month for a public inquiry to establish the scale of the problem in the province in the wake of the Ryan revelations in the Republic.

“Whilst there have been individual cases brought against people accused of abusing children in their care in Northern Ireland, such as the prosecution of Brendan Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order, there has not been a serious investigation into the scale of the problem of child abuse by religious orders and other institutions in Northern Ireland,” the Upper Bann MP argued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

More child sex charges against priest

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Further charges have been laid against a Catholic priest already facing numerous child sex charges.

Detectives investigating the alleged sexual assault of boys in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s arrested the 47-year-old man last Thursday.

"He was charged with an additional six offences. In total, the man now faces 19 offences," police said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

The Legionaries' Last Stand. An Exclusive Interview with Fr. Thomas Berg

ROME
Chiesa

The Vatican is investigating the Legionaries of Christ, which is reeling from the transgressions of its founder. And for the first time, one of their authoritative members breaks the silence on the crucial problems that have exploded in the congregation

by Sandro Magister

ROME, July 13, 2009 – In two days, the announced apostolic visitation of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ will begin. ...

Interview with Thomas Berg

Q: When you recently left the Legion, you expressed in a statement your sympathy for the congregation in which you were formed as a priest. What are your hopes now that the apostolic visitation to the Legion of Christ has been announced?

A: I, like the vast majority of persons in the Church, try to remain positive and hopeful for the Legion and Regnum Christi movement. We only want the best for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We understand that this might involve taking some tough medicine, but I believe it is possible for a majority of these wonderful men and women will rise to the occasion because they really do have a profound love for Christ in their hearts. I would like to insist again that I bear no hatred, anger or resentment toward the Legion. Much less, do I spend every waking hour thinking about the Legion. I am getting on with my life. Nonetheless, your initiative in posing these questions has afforded me the opportunity to say a number of things that in conscience I believe need to be said at this juncture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Legionaries of Christ are still honouring their disgraced founder

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Damian Thompson Religion Last updated: July 13th, 2009

There’s an amazing interview in Chiesa with Fr Thomas Berg, one of the former Legionaries of Christ who blew the whistle on the order’s sexually abusive and financially crooked founder, the late Fr Marcial Maciel. The Vatican is investigating the Legionaries, but Berg reveals that some of the über-smooth priests and their lay followers are still kidding themselves that Maciel - who abused seminarians, fathered an illegitimate child and siphoned off money - was some sort of saint.

Also, he accuses the Legion of “group-think” in which apparently docility to the Holy See masks an underlying smug conviction that they will be vindicated in the end. Which they won’t.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Extend protection from abuse to all children

DELAWARE
The News Journal

July 13, 2009

Courts, lawyers, even cash settlements can do little to ease the trauma of child sexual abuse. But for mistakes of the past, the legal system represents society’s best means of helping victims of childhood abuse obtain some semblance of justice.

Delaware’s Child Victim’s Act was an attempt to make right – as much as society can – the abuse of children by adults who were supposed to care for them. Many of these adults held high moral positions – clergymen, teachers, youth leaders. They were trusted by society. Worse, they were trusted by the children. Yet they used that trust as a cover to sexually abuse children.

Too often, society failed to detect these violations, or, unconscionably, chose to ignore them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Alamo to begin trial on charges of transporting minors for sex

FOUKE (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

BY ANDY DAVIS

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2009

FOUKE - On the eve of Tony Alamo's trial on child sexual abuse charges, the flowers on his church's lush, terraced front lawn bloomed in bright yellows and oranges, deep purples and soft pinks and lavenders.

For a while, the flowers had looked a bit dried out - like everyone else's in Fouke. But for the past week or so, ministry members have been laboring to spruce them up.

"It is just beautiful," said Mary Coker, a Fouke resident and anti-Alamo activist. "They have been working in the heat of the day for about a week. They know the media's coming."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Vatican scrutiny puzzles some nuns

UNITED STATES
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: July 13, 2009, 7:34 AM

As the Vatican takes a close look at what might be done about the rapidly diminishing number of Catholic nuns in the United States, some women religious are questioning the motives behind the sudden interest in their congregations.

The first “apostolic visitation of institutes of women religious” is vaguely described as an effort to “comprehensively assess and encourage the growth” of those institutes. The visitation kicks into its second phase next month, when questionnaires will be sent to nearly 400 institutes across the country.

“I think everybody is just kind of waiting to see what is happening,” said Sister Jean M. Thompson, a Franciscan nun who serves as the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo’s vicar for religious. “People are wondering what it’s all about. We don’t really know locally. We don’t know exactly why this is being done.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Lexington pastor placed on leave after abuse allegations

LEXINGTON (KY)
WKYT

[with video]

A Lexington pastor has been placed on administrative leave while sexual abuse allegations from more than 20 years ago are being investigated.

The Roman Catholic Dioceses removed Father Joseph Muench, the pastor at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary from all ministries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

July 12, 2009

Lex Pastor On Leave

LEXINGTON (KY)
WTVQ

Written by John McGary
Sunday, 12 July 2009 20:46
The pastor of Lexington’s Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Church has been put on administrative leave due to allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenage boys in the mid 1980’s, when Joseph N. Muench was associate pastor of Good Shepherd Church in Frankfort.

Lexington Diocese spokesman Tom Shaughnessy said an internal review board decided Thursday that allegations possessed a “semblance of truth, and that Muench was told Friday. Members of his church were told today in morning and afternoon masses by Lexington Bishop Ronald W. Gainer.

"From the churches point of view, protecting young people is paramount, so we try to move very quickly when we receive allegations like this,” Shaughnessy told ABC 36 News. “During this time, he will not be allowed to present himself as a Catholic priest, he will be able to perform absolutely no public ministry, and he won’t be able to present himself in clerical garb.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Lexington priest suspended as a result of abuse allegations

LEXINGTON (KY)
Herald-Leader

By Jim Warren - jwarren@herald-leader.com

The Catholic Diocese of Lexington said Sunday that it has placed the pastor of Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary parish on administrative leave, after allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct while serving as an associate pastor in Frankfort during the mid-1980s.

The Rev. Joseph N. Muench was suspended from regular ministerial duties after an internal investigation, which was prompted by a letter the diocese received in March from a Louisville attorney representing three men who have made allegations against Muench, diocese spokesman Thomas Shaughnessy said.

The diocese has forwarded its findings in a letter to the office of Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland, Shaughnessy said Sunday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Spanish bishops apologise for silence over killings

SPAIN
The Independent (United Kingdom)

By Elizabeth Nash in Madrid

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Spanish bishops broke decades of silence at the weekend to apologise for the killing of 14 priests by Francisco Franco’s troops during the civil war, asking forgiveness for the church’s collusion with the dictator’s cause

The bishop of Vitoria celebrated a memorial service in the cathedral of the Basque regional capital yesterday to mark the execution 73 years ago by Francoist troops of 14 priests who had never received a funeral, and whose deaths were never officially recorded.

"The silence with which officials of our Church surrounded the deaths of these priests is not justifiable nor acceptable for much longer," Bishop Miguel Asurmendi said during the service that was attended by two other bishops and 200 priests. "Such a long silence was not only a wrongful omission, but a lack of truth and an act against justice and charity, for which we ask pardon," the bishop added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Report on clerical abuse may be published in parts

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

Sunday, July 12, 2009 By John Burke
The statutory inquiry into clerical abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese may be broken up into sections and published over several months.

The report, which will be presented to government this week, is understood to have been divided into 46 ‘compartments’, each dealing with a separate clerical abuser.

This would permit the government to delay publishing any individual section if one of the clerics brought a legal challenge. Justice minister Dermot Ahern will seek advice from the Attorney General and is expected to publish the report later this summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

What the Sisters Are Up To

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By FRANCIS X. CLINES
Published: July 12, 2009
Across 30 years, the modern version of the Sisters of St. Joseph has been revolutionizing the treatment of imprisoned women in New York. Thanks to the nuns’ efforts, mothers are now allowed to care for their infants on the inside and remain close to their children in creative visitors’ programs. Once they are paroled, these women and their children can find a year’s shelter in one of nine Providence House sanctuaries the nuns created in defunct city rectories and convents.

The order has never lacked courage: five members were guillotined in the French Revolution for giving shelter to the hunted. Now it is the bewildered community of American nuns that is the subject of two sweeping Vatican investigations. The question is whether the sisters are “living in fidelity” to the religious life — a question being put to nuns in no other nation.

Vatican investigations called “visitations” usually focus on serious flaws like the pedophilia scandal. So, what are nuns doing wrong? That is the question being asked by the sisters and legions of Catholic laypeople.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

The Vatican is going after the nuns, Brett warns

UNITED STATES
The Plain Dealer

Sunday, July 12, 2009
Look out. The Vatican is going after the nuns.

Catholic nuns have been called "America's first feminists." They ran hospitals and schools, educated and healed the masses, mothered orphans and salvaged prostitutes.

Yes, nuns have always been a wild, crazy bunch of radicals.

What else can you call women who gave up their entire lives for others, from the clothing they wore to the paychecks they earned?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Catholic clergy braced for fallout from abuse report

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By MAEVE SHEEHAN

Sunday July 12 2009

CATHOLIC clergy are preparing for an onslaught of criticism in the long-awaited report on the hierarchy's handling of paedophile priests, due to be given to the government this week.

The report will scrutinise how some of the country's most senior prelates handled child abuse allegations. It may be some time before it is published as the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, is expected to refer the 1,000-page document to the attorney general for legal advice because criminal proceedings are in train against three priests.

The contents have already been described as 'shocking' by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, who has warned priests and parishioners to expect the worst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

A secret shame: Inside the latest scandal to rock the Catholic church

The Independent (United Kingdom)

When Todd Carpunky was 16, he joined the Legion of Christ. I his six years with the Catholic order, he bore witness to a culture of sexual abuse that rocked the Church. Here, he talks candidly to Peter Stanford about the secretive world created by the order's founder while the papal authorities looked the other way

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The papal plane is heading for Mexico and John Paul II is busy preparing for the first of his many overseas trips. It is January 1979. At his right hand, briefing him, is the Mexican-born Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the ultraconservative Legion of Christ, one of the youngest but fastest-growing religious orders in the Catholic Church. This dapper, well-connected priest, worshipped by his adoring followers as "Nuestro Padre" ("Our Father") shares with the Polish pontiff a conviction that the liberal reform of Catholicism in the 1960s needs to be halted, especially in Latin America.

That trip was the first public sign of the extraordinary bond between Maciel and the man in charge of a church of 1.2 billion souls. In the subsequent 26 years of John Paul's reign, the Legion was regularly lauded by him for its unwavering fidelity to church teaching, its intolerance of dissent, and its conviction that only Catholicism could save the world. Maciel was a prince of the Church, in the papal inner circle, sitting on the most important Vatican committees and running his own congregation of 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians, plus the 70,000 lay members of the associated Regnum Christi movement, as it spread around the globe, including a base in London.

Much has been made of the power wielded by the secretive Opus Dei under John Paul II, not least by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code, but many Vatican-watchers believe that the Legion of Christ was bigger, richer (annual budget £435m), more influential, and even more sinister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 AM

Catholic Church in N.O. fiscally sound, credit rating firm says

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Saturday July 11, 2009, 8:28 PM
The Archdiocese of New Orleans is financially sound and able to repay what remains of $69 million it borrowed on Wall Street, even after paying $7 million in legal settlements since 2007, including some for sexual abuse claims, according to a Wall Street credit report on the church's finances.

The payments came out of reserves the archdiocese has set aside for litigation, Moody's Investors Service told potential investors around the country.

The archdiocese confirmed that some of the payments went to plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases. But not all payments did, the church said, refusing to provide details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 AM

Judge awards $4.4M to victim of abusive priest

AUGUSTA (ME)
Morning Sentinel

BY BETTY ADAMS
Staff Writer

07/12/2009

AUGUSTA -- A judge on Friday awarded more than $4.4 million to a former altar boy who said he was sexually abused in 1985 by a priest, the Rev. Ronald N. Michaud, now of Augusta and Florida.

Justice Joseph Jabar signed the judgment in Kennebec County Superior Court against Michaud and in favor of Steven F. Boyden.

Boyden, in a civil lawsuit filed in 2007, said Michaud sexually abused him in January 1985 when Michaud was stationed at St. Hyacinth's Parish in Westbrook where Boyden's family were parishioners. According to the lawsuit, the abuse occurred after Michaud invited Boyden, who was then 15, to join him in northern Maine for a trip to Quebec Winter Carnival. It says Michaud supplied the youth with alcohol before he sexually assaulted him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 AM

July 11, 2009

Did this letter sink the Labour Party motion in Dáil Eireann?

IRELAND
The God Squad

To: Eamon Gilmore - Leader of the Labour Party
Re: The Institutional Child Abuse Bill 2009
On: Wednesday 8th July 2009 - at 14.30h

On behalf of the membership of Irish SOCA, I have been asked to make representation to you on the Bill currently before the Dail which was debated yesterday evening 7th July 2009.

The feeling amongst our members is that the Bill as currently conceived has no hope of success without cross-party consensus which developed following the Ryan Report and that support of Government is absolutely vital for its safe passage through both Houses of the Oireachtas.

There are many laudable aspects to the Bill as presented, but the Government is engaged in various initiatives at present including an audit by a panel of experts of the assets of the 18 CORI religious orders that are signatory to the April 2002 Indemnity Agreement. A report from the audit Committee is expected by government in September this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Christa Brown Continues To Speak Out!

UNITE STATES
AnAthiest.net

Here’s a brief follow-up to the entry I posted on Dec 16, 2008:

—– This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang (Christa Brown/Book and Blog; June 26)

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:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Sentencing set for ex-employee in church embezzlement case

FRONTENAC (KS)
Joplin Globe

By Greg Grisolano
ggrisolano@joplinglobe.com

FRONTENAC, Kan. — The former business manager of the Catholic church in Frontenac has pleaded guilty in a federal case in connection with the embezzlement of $74,000, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch in Kansas City.

Lanora Michelle Driskill Spigarelli, 43, of Frontenac, admitted she embezzled $74,027 from her employer, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The crime took place from January 2006 through September 2007 while Spigarelli was working as the church’s business manager. She placed stolen money in the U.S. mails when she used it to pay her personal bills, authorities said.

A sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 5. Spigarelli faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

EDITORIAL: Give abuse victims more time

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach Post Editorial

Friday, July 10, 2009

Michael Dolce, a victim of childhood sexual abuse, is convinced that members of the Florida Legislature want to help children who are victims of sexual abuse. He's also convinced that they never will.

For five years, Mr. Dolce, a former legislative aide, has lobbied for a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for criminal charges and civil payouts long after a child underwent the trauma of sex abuse. Years or even decades after they grow up, many victims can't confront what happened to them. Current law doesn't give them the luxury of waiting.

So Mr. Dolce, a Palm Beach Gardens lawyer, is taking his cause to the voters. He will petition to place on the ballot a constitutional amendment that would erase the statute of limitations, both civil and criminal, for any "crime involving sexual battery" against children younger than 16. He'll need at least 700,000 signatures but that, he said, is more likely than obtaining majority votes of both houses of the Florida Legislature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

LDS Seminary Principal Accused of Sex Abuse

UTAH
KUTV

An LDS Seminary Principal is under investigation after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

Investigators say Pratt began exchanging text messages with the teen in May. Authorities say Pratt would also take the teen out of school and transport her to multiple places throughout Utah County to perform sexual acts.

The Tribune reports that the girl told police about the crimes this week. Investigators are now trying to determine exactly how many times the pair were involved in sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

LDS seminary teacher accused sexually assaulting student

UTAH
KSL

[with video]

By Sam Penrod
HIGHLAND -- Police have arrested the seminary principal of Lone Peak High School on allegations he had several sexual encounters with a 16-year-old student. Police say the relationship may have been cultivated through the exchange of text messages.

Michael Pratt was a teacher and the principal of the LDS seminary in Highland. Students are allowed one hour of released time each day to attend religious classes, and detectives say that is where the 37-year-old husband and father became acquainted with the 16-year-old girl.

"The first part of May, the relationship escalated into a sexual relationship; many different types of sexual activities took place," said Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Matt Higley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

LDS seminary principal is arrested in sexual abuse

PROVO (UT)
Deseret News

By Sara Israelsen-Hartley
Deseret News

Published: Friday, July 10, 2009 11:01 p.m. MDT

PROVO — Police arrested an LDS seminary principal Thursday after they say he spent several months grooming a 16-year-old student for a sexual relationship.

Michael J. Pratt, 37, of Orem, was working as a principal at Lone Peak High School's LDS seminary program where the girl was a student, according to LDS Church spokeswoman Kim Farah.

"(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) condemns abuse of any kind and expects the highest moral and ethical standards of its seminary employees," Farah said. "The church terminated Michael Pratt's employment as soon as allegations surfaced and immediately reported the matter to law enforcement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

School's 'paedophile ring'

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

BY VICTOR VIOLANTE
11/07/2009 11:19:00 AM
Canberra's Marist College is accused of harbouring a paedophile ring in the 1970s and '80s involving as many as 12 former teachers. The Marist Brothers order is grappling with a flood of new sexual abuse claims.

A Canberra Times investigation has found that five known child molesters, four of whom were convicted of child sex offences after leaving the school, taught at the school between 1976 and 1992.

A further seven former staff members are the subject of civil allegations of child sex abuse.

In the past 18 months, 32 civil claims against the trustees of the Marist Brothers have been lodged in the ACT Supreme Court on behalf of former Marist College students, alleging they were molested by 10 former brothers and lay teachers while at the school. In some of the claims, former students allege they were molested by as many as four brothers and teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Life term for molester

ATHENS (GA)
Athens Banner-Herald

By Joe Johnson | joe.johnson@onlineathens.com |

A storefront preacher will spend the rest of his life in prison after a Clarke County jury convicted him of hiding behind the word of God to molest young boys in Athens.

Antonio Andrette Sands, 36, called himself a prophet, pastor and apostle to ingratiate himself with single mothers, then molested and sodomized their sons - ages 7 to 13, all of whom had learning disabilities, authorities say.

A jury last week found Sands guilty of aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, and three counts each of sexual battery and child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

July 10, 2009

Woman burnt alive by priest in Madhya Pradesh town

INDIA
Thaindian

Bhopal, July 10 (IANS) A woman was allegedly burnt alive by a priest after she resisted his advances in a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district. The woman succumbed to her injuries in a hospital Friday evening, police said.

The woman, Vinita Patel (27), in her dying declaration to the police said, “The priest, Devki Prasad Tiwari, entered my house in a bid to outrage my modesty and when I protested, he doused me with kerosene and burnt me.” The incident took place in village Piprodha Chakkar in Damoh, 280 km from here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Rick Santorum and the Sanctity of John Ensign's Marriage

UNITED STATES
Daily Kos

Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:57:42 AM PDT
Rick Santorum may no longer a Senator, but he remains an endless source of amusement - and hypocrisy. In 2002, the devout Catholic blamed the shocking clergy sex abuse scandal consuming his church on Boston's supposed "political and cultural liberalism." Warning of the slippery slope to "man-on-dog" nuptials to be triggered by same-sex unions, Santorum dedicated (and titled) a chapter of his 2004 book to protecting "the Sanctity of Marriage." As it turns out, protecting fellow Republican John Ensign may have been Rick Santorum's higher calling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Leaflets Warn Residents About Former Priest

MAINE
MGME

Residents of Foreside Estates in Falmouth are learning more information about a neighbor's past. On Friday, members of the Advocates for the Protection of Children stood outside the community, distributing leaflets with information regarding former priest, Father John Audibert.

Bishop Malone removed Audibert from public ministry and sentenced him to a life of prayer and penance after Audibert admitted to sexually abusing a child before a church court. Audibert is not required to register as a sex offender since his case was settled within the church. Advocates for the Protection of Children say Audibert is now living at Foreside Estates...something most of his neighbors didn't seem to know.

The group says it has asked the bishop to post the names and pictures of priests who have admitted to sexual abuse on the diocese's website, but that so far, that has not been done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Youth leader gets 5 years for sexual abuse

ALASKA
Peninsula Clarion

By Phil Hermanek | Peninsula Clarion
A Kenai church youth leader was sentenced Thursday to spend five years and three months behind bars for sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy between November 2007 and April 2008.

Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman sentenced Richard J. Wagner, 47, to 13 years with 8 years suspended, plus three months hard jail time for criminally touching the boy, and for possession of child pornography.

Wagner had pleaded guilty earlier to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of possession of child porn, in exchange for dismissal of four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of indecent exposure and 10 counts of child porn possession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Douglasville child molester tracked to Tenn.

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By CHRISTIAN BOONE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Douglasville child molester on the run for seven years was apprehended Tuesday in Knoxville, Tenn., where he had established a new life as a youth pastor.

Larry William Whitley, 53, fled Douglasville in 2002 after violating his probation and failing to register as a sex offender. said Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller. He had been convicted of child molestation, incest and aggravated sodomy, the sheriff said.

Whitley, alias Robert Moon, worked at a West Knoxville Wal-Mart and volunteered at a local Baptist church.

“Which scares the heck out of me,” Miller said. Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating to see if Whitley preyed on any of the children he supervised at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Fugitive Sex Offender Back in Metro Jail

GEORGIA
My Fox Atlanta

Edited By: Leigah Baugham | myfoxatlanta.com
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. (MyFOX ATLANTA) - A convicted child molester who was on the run for more than seven years was found leading a new life as a youth pastor. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office tracked down Larry Whitley in Knoxville, Tennessee and he was brought back to Georgia in handcuffs Wednesday.

Larry Whitley, 53, is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Douglas County Thursday morning.

Whitley tried to hide his face as he was walked into the Douglas County jail Wednesday night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Convicted Child Molester Denied Bond

ATLANTA (GA)
My Fox Atlanta

Edited by Steve Dixon
ATLANTA - A convicted child molester -- caught after seven years on the run -- was denied bond in Douglas County Friday.

Investigators said 53-year-old Larry Whitley assumed a new identity in Knoxville, Tennessee where he was working as a youth pastor.

Authorities said Whitley had been living in Knoxville under the alias of Robert Moon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Ormoz Priest Going to Prison for Child Sex Abuse

SLOVENIA
STA

Maribor, 10 July (STA) - The Maribor Higher Court has confirmed the ruling of the Ptuj District Court from September 2008 sentencing the then 57-year old parish priest from northeastern Slovenia to five years and six months in prison for sexual assaults against three minors, daily Dnevnik reported on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Former Priest Prompts Action

BOARDMAN (OH)
WKBN

The nation's largest support group for victims of clergy abuse, organized a meeting in Boardman, Thursday night.

The group, known as S.N.A.P. which stands for "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests," hosted a meeting inside the Boardman library. Judy Block Jones of S.N.A.P. explains the group's purpose, "We are an independent organization. We have nothing to do with the church. We are a safe haven for survivors who have been sexually abused by clergy."

Jones believes the meeting was especially important in light of recent events. It was just a month ago that allegations began surfacing here in the Valley about Father Thomas Crum, a priest in the Youngstown Diocese for 35 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Rabbi Ephraim Bryks: "Unorthodox Conduct"

CANADA
The Awareness Center

[video presentation]

Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in 1994

The Awareness Center, Inc. is providing the documentary "Unorthodox Conduct" in the memory of Daniel Levin.

Our hopes is that it will be used as a way to educate the public on the devistating ramifications a case can have on an individual, family and in Jewish communities around the world. It's important to know what happens when a case of "alleged" childhood sexual abuse in the Jewish community is not dealt with properly from the beginning (bringing the case to law enforcement who is trained and educated in dealing with these cases).

Our hopes is that after you view this documentary that you will go to your rabbis and other community leaders and demand that there be changes made when a child makes allegations they were sexually abused/assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Obama at the Vatican: Pope leans to his left

ROME
MinnPost

By Jason Berry
ROME — With leaders of the G8 countries here to discuss a reeling global economy, the Holy See released Pope Benedict XVI's new encyclical, "Love in Truth."

Calling "food and access to water" basic human rights, the 144-page document entreats developed countries to end hunger "for safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet."

In a step beyond Pope John Paul II's famous criticisms of unbridled capitalism, Benedict advocates "a worldwide redistribution of energy resources" to assist the poorest countries. Although the letter provides no specifics on how "the assistance of advanced technology" should work, the pope — in language likely to rankle conservative Catholics — echoes President Obama's insistence on environmental safeguards and a smaller carbon footprint as an ethical responsibility. ...

Although Benedict has gone farther than John Paul in dismissing dozens of pedophiles from the priesthood, he took a soft-glove approach to Father Marciel Maciel Degollado in 2006, ending the public ministry of a priest long shadowed by pedophilia charges, only to see Maciel's religious order, the Legionaries of Christ, portray the founder on their website as falsely-accused, a future saint. The Vatican failed to specify what Maciel had done to warrant his punishment. He died in 2008. In February, the Legion revealed that he had a grown daughter. The Vatican ordered an investigation of the order itself which is now underway.

Several days ago the pope sent a telegram to the disgraced Polish Archbishop Julius Paetz of the Poznian diocese, who was forced out of public duty in 2002 by John Paul II after numerous complaints of sexual abuse by seminarians. Benedict congratulated Paezt for his "fruitful service" to the church on the 50th anniversary of his ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Friday Film Funnies Fun: OC Diocese Priest Retreat!

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

[with video]

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
A tipster alerted us to the video below, which shows priests from the Diocese of Orange at the desert retreat I wrote about in May. Nothing too scandalous to note, but full confirmation of my argument: Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown, despite a vow of fiscal sanity following his see's $100 million sex-abuse settlement in 2005 and the cutback of numerous services affecting lay people (mostly students) as a result of his fumbling ways, doesn't care at all about the faithful and but will pinch no pennies to show his boys a good time in the desert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Ex-youth pastor faces charge

CLYDE TOWNSHIP (MI)
The Times Herald

By STEPHEN TAIT
Times Herald
July 10, 2009

A 46-year-old Kimball Township man who is a former local youth pastor is facing a felony charge of accosting a child for immoral purposes, a case that involves confiscated computers and electronics from a Clyde Township church, officials said.

Craig Coon is due in court for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. July 21 in front of District Court Judge John Monaghan, said Mike Wendling, St. Clair County Prosecutor.

Coon was arraigned Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

A Priest Is Freed Of A Rape Charge...

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
i955fm

The defense in the rape case against Roman Catholic Priest Enel Almeus produced evidence that he was courted by his accuser.

Father Almeus was yesterday freed of a rape charge.

The Haitian born of the Holy Ghost Father’s Church was found not guilty by a nine member jury which took about two hours to deliberate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

SNAP Meeting

OHIO
WKYT

[video from WKBN]

[video presentation WKYT]

Members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priest held a meeting at the Boardman library last night to discuss the Rev. Thomas Crum who has been accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Ex-Hinsdale priest to be freed after serving 5 years for sex abuse

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Art Barnum | Tribune Reporter
July 10, 2009
A Roman Catholic priest with a history that includes abusing as many as 30 boys, many from Chicago's suburbs, will be freed from a secured state treatment facility in September, but his movements in the outside world will be closely monitored.

DuPage County Judge Bonnie Wheaton ruled Thursday that Fred Lenczycki, 65, the first priest in the country to be legally declared sexually violent, will stay at a treatment facility in Rushville until Sept. 24, when the state will submit a future treatment plan. Pending Wheaton's expected approval, Lenczycki will be released by the state and continue sex-offender treatment as an outpatient.

"He has already served his time mandated by a criminal court and the focus is to be on treatment, not punishment," Wheaton said at a civil court hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. > Jailed priest set for release

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

07/10/2009

A Roman Catholic priest who spent a decade in the St. Louis area before he was convicted of sexually abusing schoolboys in the 1980s may be released in September from a state facility in Rushville, Ill., a DuPage County judge ruled Thursday.

The Rev. Fred Lenczycki, 65, served two years for abusing three boys from 1982 to 1984 while serving at a Hinsdale, Ill., church.

In March 2008, a jury ruled Lenczycki a sexually violent person. Under the release plan, Lenczycki would have to live with family and be under supervision and restrictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Legion of Christ officially confirms apostolic visitation to begin on July 15

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jul 10, 2009 / 02:13 am (CNA).- The Legionaries of Christ has officially announced that the apostolic visitation of the troubled religious order will begin on July 15, as CNA previously reported.

Five prelates will take part in the visit. Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput will be a visitor to the order in the United States and Canada, while Bishop Ricardo Watty Urqidi of Tepic, Mexico will be a visitor to the order in Mexico and Central America. Archbishop of Concepción, Chile, Ricardo Eszzatti Andrello will be visitor in South America.

The visitors will report to the Holy See, after which the order will be given appropriate guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Abuse victims will hold vigil at Crosier reunion

MINNESOTA
Mille Lacs Messenger

Written by Brett Larson
Thursday, 09 July 2009 15:19

Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their supporters will hold a press conference and silent vigil at the former Crosier Seminary in Onamia on July 11 at noon.

The vigil is being organized by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and will be followed by a confidential support group meeting for vicitms and their families.

The vigil will be open to the public and the media, but Bob Schwiderski, one of the organizers and the Minnesota SNAP director, said there will be a separate area for those who do not want to be photographed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

New Sex Abuse Charges Against Virginia Beach Sunday School Teaching Assistant

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
WTKR-TV3

A Virginia Beach Sunday School teaching assistant is facing 13 new charges of sexual abuse. Shea Mathew Huffman was orginally arrested back in June after a young child told investigators he'd been abused by Huffman from January 2008 until June 2009.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect, Shea Mathew Huffman, 18, sexually abused the child in his class of three to five year olds at the Calvary Assembly of God, located in the 4900 block of Providence Rd.

At the time of Huffman's arrest, police believed there could be more victims and worked closely with the church to attempt to identify them. Through that investigation, 13 additional charges have been filed, including 4 counts of Forcible Oral Sodomy, 4 counts of Custodial Indecent Liberties and 5 counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Mansfield man, 75, sued for sex abuse

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

BY MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • July 9, 2009

MANSFIELD — The mothers of two children they say were sexually abused by a 75-year-old man have filed civil lawsuits against five defendants.

David Harvey of 2061 Ranchwood Drive is named in the suit, along with the Rev. Sonny Thayer, 2878 Millsboro Road; Dianna Kochheiser, 1109 W. Hanley Road; and Russ Harvey of Galion. Grace Brethren Church, 531 Marion Ave., also is named.

In an attempt to protect the identities of the alleged victims, a boy and a girl, both under age 10, the News Journal is not identifying the people who filed the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Barbara Katz: Why do we give churches tax exemptions?

FLORIDA
The Gainesville Sun

The hateful anti-Islam sign on the lawn of the Dove World Outreach Church highlights the larger issue that we as taxpayers subsidize these unaccountable “businesses” that do not have to pay taxes. How is a church that offers counseling to a parishioner who pays church dues different than a psychologist who charges fees for services or a church that offers music, dance and wine to those who pay dues different from a bar or disco that pay taxes?

When the City of Gainesville recently tried to require that houses of worship merely pay a small fee for fire services, the city commission was flooded with ministers and church members and the city commissioners all caved in and abandoned the modest and fair proposal. Given that they do not pay for fire services, I do not think the fire department should respond to calls from churches. The argument that the ministers gave is that some churches engage in altruistic endeavors which help the greater community such as hosting homeless families through the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Only a very small minority of churches participate in IHN. Most churches in Gainesville are insular and some boast lavish salaries for their minister. Some ministers have their own airplanes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Pastor convicted of raping boys

JAMAICA
Radio Jamaica

Thursday, 09 July 2009
The pastor who was accused of sexually molesting several boys at a boys' home in St. Mary was convicted on Tuesday in the St Mary Circuit Court.

Donald Stewart who was the manager of the boys' home was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault by a jury.

He is to be sentenced on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Youth Coach Accused Of Soliciting Sex From Minor

MARYLAND
WBAL

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. -- Police said Thursday that a soccer coach has been charged with sexual solicitation of a minor and the distribution and possession of obscene matter.

Charles Louis Friedel, 32, was released after posting a $250,000 bond, Baltimore County police said.

Friedel, who is known as Mr. Chuck to his players, was a volunteer coach at the Mt. Carmel Parish School in Essex and for 11-year-olds at the Greater Baltimore Soccer Club.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Childhood sex abuse victims thank lawmakers

DELAWARE
WDEL

[with audio]

By Mellany Armstrong

Several people who have sued for childhood sexual abuse are thanking lawmakers for passing the law that allowed them to bring the suits in Delaware.

Attorney Thomas Neuberger, who has represented 130 plaintiffs, says the 2-year window created by the Child Victims Act of 2007 closes Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Support group aims to track down more victims of Crum

BOARDMAN (OH)
Vindicator

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

The conversation brought one woman to tears.

BOARDMAN — Allegations of sexual abuse concerning a local priest prompted a small but emotional meeting at the Boardman Library.

Members of SNAP, a Chicago-based national support group for clergy sex-abuse victims, had a meeting Thursday to discuss sexual misconduct by the clergy, specifically the case of the Rev. Thomas Crum.

The first complaint of sexual assault against Father Crum was by a person who was a student at Cardinal Mooney High School in 1975 and 1976. The church was contacted May 22 by the victim; Father Crum was removed from the ministry shortly after that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Sex offender ex-priest may be released

ILLINOIS
The Bolingbroke Sun

July 10, 2009

By DAN ROZEK Sun-Times News Group
A former priest at SS Peter and Paul in Naperville who served a prison term for fondling three young boys no longer belongs in a locked state center where he has been receiving therapy, a DuPage County judge ruled Thursday.

The decision means Fred Lenczycki — who was imprisoned in 2004 for sexually abusing the boys while he served at a Hinsdale church — could be released by September from the state treatment center where he has been confined for more than three years.

Judge Bonnie Wheaton ruled the 65-year-old Lenczycki has made enough progress in his treatment that he can be freed from the center in downstate Rushville while he continues to undergo outpatient therapy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Child Victim's Act brought 170 abuse suits

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER • The News Journal • July 10, 2009

Delaware opened its courthouse doors to victims of child sexual abuse two years ago -- and they came by the dozens to seek justice for offenses committed as far back as 57 years ago, and as recent as three years ago.

By Thursday, more than 140 plaintiffs had filed more than 170 civil lawsuits under the 2007 Child Victim's Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and opened a two-year "window," during which cases that would have been barred by a time limit could be filed.

The window closed Thursday, two years to the day Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed the law passed unanimously by the Legislature. The window was twice the length of a similar provision made in California courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

July 9, 2009

Vermont Catholic diocese faces new charges

VERMONT
NECN

[with video]

(NECN/WPTZ) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont is being sued by 27 people who say they were sexually abused by priests. The plaintiffs say the diocese moved assets to make it harder for abuse victims to collect damages.

The new lawsuits claim that in 2005 and 2006, as the Catholic Diocese of Burlington was starting to defend against a wave of priest abuse cases -- Bishop Salvatore Matano developed a plan.

Putting cash, investments, and titles to church properties all over Vermont -- from the diocese -- into individual trusts, to put they "out of reach" of the jury's verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 PM

Priest not guilty of rape

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Express

Denyse Renne drenne@trinidadexpress.com

Friday, July 10th 2009

Roman Catholic priest Enel Almeus looked smugly at the woman who accused him of rape as he exited the prisoners' dock of the Port of Spain Sixth Criminal Court after being told he was a free man.

Haitian-born Almeus, of the Holy Ghost Fathers Church, was found not guilty by a nine-member jury around 3.30 p.m. yesterday.

He was charged with raping the wife of a police officer sometime on March 19, 2004, at St Mary's College in Port of Spain, where he teaches and lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 PM

Crosier victims to attend class reunion

MINNESOTA
Mille Lacs County Times

The Crosier All-School Reunion on Saturday, July 11 in Onamia will include the “Empowerment Solidarity Gathering for Crosier Sexual Abuse Survivors.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will hold two events for victims of clergy sexual abuse by members of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers Religious Order. Both will be on Saturday, July 11.

The first event is a public outreach activity at noon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 PM

Judge: Pedophile priest can be released after treatment

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

A DuPage County judge ruled Thursday convicted pedophile priest Fred Lenczycki is far enough along in his treatment to be set free from a secured state sex offender treatment facility.

But Circuit Judge Bonnie Wheaton warned the 65-year-old man's every step upon release will be monitored.

"I want to assure the community his movements, his actions, every aspect of his life and his behavior will be regulated to the fullest extent while he's on conditional release," the judge said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Judge decides to release ex-priest

ILLINOIS
ABC 7

July 9, 2009 (WLS) -- A judge has agreed to free a pedophile ex-priest after he completes a treatment program in the next 60 days.

Former priest Fred Lenczycki was sentenced to prison in 2004 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing three boys in the 1980s.

They attended at Saint Isaac Jogues School in Hinsdale where Lenczycki was an associate pastor at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Minnesota woman sues priest for sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis City Pages

By Erin Carlyle in Crime

Thursday, Jul. 9 2009 @ 12:59PM

A Minnesota woman has sued the Catholic Diocese of Crookston, in Northern Minnesota, claiming that a priest sexually abused her when she was 15.

A judge in Roseau County unsealed the criminal complaint against Joseph P. Jeyapaul at the request of prosecutors. The abuse took place in 2004, at the young woman's parish in the tiny town of Greenbush, according to the complaint. The woman is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a press release notifying the media of the unsealed records. Jeyapaul, the accused priest, worked in Thief River Falls and Greenbush. He is now in India, and still a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Complaint against former Greenbush, Minn., priest unsealed

CROOKSTON (MN)
Grand Forks Herald

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

A 2006 criminal complaint against a former Greenbush, Minn., priest was unsealed today in Roseau County District Court, revealing the priest was to face charges for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the church office in 2004 that could have put him in prison for decades if he had been convicted.

But the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul already had left the Catholic Diocese of Crookston and the United States for his native India more than a year before the complaint was filed.

The Herald reported last week that the alleged victim, now 19, filed July 2 a civil law suit against the Diocese seeking more than $50,000 in damages, alleging it had authority and supervision over Jeyapaul, according to the criminal complaint filed in Roseau District Court. ...

Jeyapaul’s address, as of early 2007, was St. Joseph’s Church, Kalhatti Via Indunager, in Nigris, India, Hanson said. But the extradition process is lengthy and costly and must be done through the federal Department of Justice, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Priest who abused boys allowed to leave treatment center

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

July 9, 2009

BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter drozek@suntimes.com
A Roman Catholic priest who has completed a prison term for fondling young boys should no longer be confined to a locked state center for treatment, a DuPage County judge ruled today.

The decision means the Rev. Fred Lenczycki — who was sent to prison in 2004 for sexually abusing three young boys in Hinsdale — could be released by late September from the secure state treatment center where he has been confined for more than three years.

Lenczycki, now 65, was transferred to the treatment center in downstate Rushville after completing the prison term imposed on him for molesting the boys in the 1980s at St. Isaac Jogues School in Hinsdale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Author hopes Legionaries' visitation will bring clarity

ROME
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Author Jason Berry said he hoped the apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ and their institutions would lead to greater clarity about the life and actions of the order's founder, but also about the way the order treats its members.

Berry was in Rome for the July 9 showing of his film about the Legionaries of Christ, "Vows of Silence," which was chosen for competition in the nonfiction documentary category of Rome's summer film festival.

Berry co-authored the 2004 book "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II," which looked at how the Vatican handled allegations that the Legionaries' founder, Mexican Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, sexually abused seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Protest held over pedophile priest

WHEATON (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

A small protest was held at noon outside of the DuPage County courthouse in Wheaton where a judge is presiding over a hearing to decide the treatment for Fred Lenczycki, the first Roman Catholic priest to be legally declared a sexually violent person in the United States.

"It is really a shame that he has the potential to come back on to the streets and be around children," said Barbara Blaine, president of Survivors Network of those Abused of Priests (SNAP), who led a protest of seven people carrying placards urging Judge Bonnie Wheaton to keep Lenczycki in a state institution.

Lenczycki, 65, was sentenced to prison in 2004 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing three boys at St. Isaac Jogues School in Hinsdale in the 1980s, when he was an associate pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Polish faith in the Church and Papacy dropping

POLAND
Warsaw Business Journal

9th July 2009
As many as 91 percent trusted the Papacy in 1998. Today the figure stands at 80 percent

Social attitudes among Poles have changed greatly over the last 10 years, but few would argue that religious faith is in danger of dying out in one of the largest bastions of Catholicism in the EU.

A survey published on Thursday doesn't indicate the death of faith in Poland, but does suggest that it is diminishing. The data, published in daily Rzeczpospolita, shows that fewer Poles attend church services on Sundays than a decade ago. Confidence in the papacy is also shown to be waning.

"Poles are not abandoning [religious] belief ... but are distancing themselves from systematic religious practices," Sławomir Zaręba, the professor and priest who organized the poll, told the daily.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

“Vows of Silence” selected for Rome Film Festival

ROME
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Exclusive to NSAC NEWS

Jason Berry, Vows of Silence author, documentary producer and Professor Jose Barba of Mexico City whose canon law case sparked Maciel investigation will hold press conference in the shadow of the Vatican

“Vows of Silence,” the documentary by Jason Berry based on his book with Gerald Renner, has two screenings Thursday at the Adriano theatre in Rome as part of RomaFictionFest, an international festival for television films, feature series and documentaries.

Berry’s film, which received Best TV Documentary award at the 2008 Docs. D.F. festival in Mexico City, explores the Vatican’s handling of Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and one of the most notorious pedophiles in church history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Sexually Violent Ex-Priest Asks To Be Released

ILLINOIS
CBS 2

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) ― Former priest Fred Leczynski is asking to be released from incarceration. He has been held beyond the completion of his sentence after being ruled a sexually violent person.

Fred Lenczynski was convicted in 2004 of molesting three boys at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Hinsdale. He later admitted that he molested as many as 30 boys in Naperville and Romeoville, as well as in California and Missouri, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Lenczynski was sentenced to 5 years in prison and served 2 1/2. But after completing his sentence, he was a jury in DuPage County ruled him a sexually violent person, the Tribune reported. Because of that ruling, he was never released, and he remains incarcerated at an Illinois Department of Human Services facility in downstate Rushville, the Tribune reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Relationship with exotic dancer costs pastor his job

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Belleville News Democrat

By PAUL WALSH - Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three years into a relationship that started with him watching her dance and progressed to money for sex, the Rev. Mark Ostgarden had a proposal for exotic dancer Bunny Byington.

How about the Lutheran pastor quit paying her and they consider their relationship an affair instead?

Byington's reply? How about he pay her $7,000 or she would blab about their escapades to his wife and church?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Maine Court Rejects 'Charitable Immunity'; SNAP responds

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We appreciate the court's decision to let the truth about cover ups of clergy sex crimes finally surface. We are grateful to Mr. Picher for having the courage to come forward, the strength to take legal action and the persistence to endure Bishop Malone's seemingly limitless efforts to delay justice.

It's time for Catholic officials to start acting like caring shepherds and stop acting like cold-hearted CEOs. It's time for them to defend predator priests on the merits, not on the technicalities. It's time for them to face their responsibilities and stop trying to weasel out of them by trying to exploit every possible loophole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Pope reigns in the controversial, but not the criminal, SNAP charges

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

With doctrinal dissent and controversial comments, Pope Benedict acts swiftly and decisively against 'violators.' But with clergy sex crimes and cover ups, he basically doesn't act at all, just issuing an occasional vague statement of professed remorse, but failing to take real steps to help protect kids and heal victims.

We are glad the pope is moving to prevent more harm by this extreme group. We just wish he'd move with similar speed and resolve to prevent more harm by predatory priests and complicit bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Three groups urge judge to keep serial predator jailed

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A decision may come tomorrow on whether an admitted Chicagoland serial predator priest will be freed and three groups want a judge to keep him locked up.

Leaders of SNAP, Voice of the Faithful and the Coaltion of Concerned Catholics want Fr. Fred Lenczycki to remain in state custody, rather than be allowed to go live with family.

The groups are urging DuPage Judge Bonnie Wheaton to keep the admitted child molesting cleric in a Rushville facility, so kids will be safer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Church apologises to child abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

The Catholic Church has acknowledged the distress of dozens of victims of a New South Wales Hunter Valley priest, who yesterday pleaded guilty to nearly 30 child sex offences.

In Newcastle Local Court yesterday, John Sidney Denham, 66, pleaded guilty to 29 child sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

A further 29 charges will be considered when he is sentenced in the District Court later this month.

Police from Strikeforce Georgiana charged Denham in August last year, after nearly 40 men claimed they had been abused as boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Family tells DuPage judge they'll aid ex-priest convicted of abuse

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
July 9, 2009
Two sisters of the first Roman Catholic priest in the country to be legally declared a sexually violent person told a DuPage County judge Wednesday they would support their brother and help him abide by any restrictions placed upon him if he is released from a state facility.

Donna Lenczycki of Wheaton said she would allow her brother Fred to live with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest enters not guilty plea

SALINAS (CA)
The Monterey County Herald

Herald Staff Report

A Salinas priest was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he molested a 16-year-old boy.
Judge Terrance Duncan ordered Rev. Antonio Cortes, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, to return to court July 30 for a pretrial hearing.

Cortes will stand trial on charges of sodomy with a minor, two felony counts of child pornography, and 12 misdemeanor counts that include child molestation, furnishing alcohol to a minor, cruelty to a child and performing an immoral act before a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Sex abuse scandals spark rise in calls to watchdog

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By STEPHEN O'FARRELL

Thursday July 09 2009

THE Ryan report and other child abuse scandals triggered a surge in complaints to the children's rights watchdog.

Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan revealed that her office received 810 complaints last year and said they were on course to eclipse that figure by almost a quarter in 2009.

At the publication of her 2008 annual report, Ms Logan highlighted a number of "legal gaps", which are leaving children in state services in a vulnerable position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Men sue former pastor over alleged molestation in the 1990s

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four men have filed lawsuits against the former pastor of Shrewsbury Church of God, alleging that he molested them in the 1990s when they were youths.

In February, a Kanawha County jury convicted Sandy Martin Cook, 49, on multiple counts of third-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or a custodian. Judge Irene Berger sentenced Cook to 20 years to 60 years in prison.

Three of the suits, filed in Kanawha Circuit Court on Wednesday, were filed on behalf of men who testified during Cook's trial that they were abused by their onetime pastor when they attended his church as teenagers in the 1990s: Michael Bradley, Jose Strickland and Michael "Andy" Lewis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

And The Meek Shall Inherit

Channel 3000

John Roach

It is difficult to be a Catholic these days.

The sickening revelations of child abuse cases continue. Just last week the Irish government released a study identifying nearly four decades of systematic sexual, physical and emotional tortures of children at the hands of the ill-named Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy.

In Wisconsin, child rights activists renewed their condemnations of former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland and his actions after the rape of young boys at the St. John School for the Deaf by a priest in the '60s and '70s. Weakland's letters from that time show his concern for preserving the priest's "good name."

A priest rapes deaf boys and church management works to preserve his good name! Perfect. (If priests were allowed to marry and father children of their own, these moral issues would be much clearer to them.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Philippines: kiddie porn reform is urgent

PHILIPPINES
Spero News

By Shay Cullen

If there is one great thing that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo can do with her awesome power in the Philippines is to use it for the well being and protection of vulnerable children. All she has to do in her State of the Nation Address on 27th of July to win a place in legal history is to tell her Congress that the Anti-Child Pornography Bill is "urgent". All the Representatives have to do is to vote "yes" and they will save thousands of children from rape and abuse in the years to come.

That alone will be enough for the Congress to pass this Bill, the Senate version has already been approved. It's very shameful that the Philippines, a nation where the vast majority children are loved, cherished and protected by their families that the State has failed in its obligations under international treaties and protocols to protect them by law from the sexual abuse that is inevitable in the making and distribution of child pornography. This is a moral issue of the highest order; the dignity of the nation is at stake before the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Diocese faces more suits

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • July 9, 2009

The state's Roman Catholic diocese is facing two new lawsuits claiming it transferred assets into separate entities to make it harder for victims of priest sexual abuse who have sued the church to collect monetary damages in their cases.

The two lawsuits were filed in state and federal court this week by 27 people who have cases awaiting trial in Chittenden Superior Court in Burlington or, in three instances, won damages following a jury trial and are awaiting rulings on appeals of their cases.

Besides the diocese itself, the named defendants in the two cases are Bishop Salvatore Matano; Monsignor John McDermott, diocesan chancellor; and Martin Hoak, the financial officer for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

July 8, 2009

Andrews meets abuse survivors in London

UNITED KINGDOM
RTE News

The Minister for Children has said there may be circumstances under which late applications to the Redress Board may be considered from survivors of institutional abuse now living in Britain.

Barry Andrews was speaking after meeting survivors' groups in London today.

It is estimated that up to a third of all survivors of institutional abuse over the past 50 years may be living in Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 PM

FG deputy seeks new investigation into former nun

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

A CALL has been made for the reopening of an investigation into former nun Nora Wall, resident manager in the 1980s of St Michael’s Child Care Centre in Cappoquin, Co Waterford.

Fine Gael justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan said she “exposed the children in her care to unacceptable risks by allowing male outsiders to stay overnight at the Cappoquin care home centre in Waterford”.

He said: “It has been suggested that there were frequent visits to the Cappoquin home by some clergy from Mount Melleray Abbey. Access to children may have been a key motivation for these visits.

“We must bear in mind that that very abbey, Mount Melleray, was selected by the notorious paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth as a holiday destination or a haven to escape when he was on the run from the authorities in Northern Ireland. This issue needs to be revisited.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Broken Rites Australia — what's new

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

The Broken Rites victim support group helps victims of church-related sexual abuse in Australia.

Here is a list of the most recent articles (written by Broken Rites researchers) published on this website:

Denham On 8 July 2009 Father John Sidney Denham, of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese in New South Wales, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of boys in the 1970s and 1980s. He is in jail, awaiting sentence (updated 8 July 2009).

St Ives, N.S.W. On 7 July 2009 Sydney detectives charged a member of a Catholic religious order with sexual offences, allegedly committed against a female child in the St Ives area in Sydney between 1975 and 1980, beginnng when the girl was aged 12. The charged man, now aged 77, has been living in recent years with his religious colleagues at Templestowe in suburban Melbourne (posted 8 July 2009).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 PM

These cases are currently before (or coming up in) Australian courts

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By Broken Rites researchers

A religious-order member is charged in Sydney

The New South Wales police announced in a news release on 7 July 2009 that they have charged a man from a Catholic religious order with sexual offences, allegedly committed against a female child in Sydney. The offences allegedly occurred between 1975 and 1980 when the man's religious order had a presence in the St Ives district.

The charges relate to six alleged incidents involving indecency. The girl was aged 12 at the time of the first alleged incident. The incidents allegedly occurred at the girl's home.

The charged man, now aged 77, has been living in recent years with his religious order at a monastery in suburban Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

This school building had bedrooms for six priests!

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

In Sydney in 2000, Catholic priest John Sidney Denham was convicted of child sexual-abuse. Years later, Broken Rites is still receiving occasional emails and phone calls from people talking about Denham.

Officially Father Denham is no longer stationed at any particular parish, but in early 2006 a church official admitted that Denham was now in Sydney's pool of "supply" priests (priests who are available to do casual work to relieve priests who are sick or absent). That is, he was still doing priestly work six years after his conviction.

Originally, Father John Denham was a priest in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 PM

Father John Sidney Denham pleads guilty to multiple sex offences against boys

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

An Australian Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham, has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of boys on separate occasions in the 1970s and 80s.

John Sidney Denham was originally charged with 134 child sex offences relating to 39 boys in Sydney, Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and the New South Wales mid-north coast. The 134 charges, including buggery and multiple counts of indecent assault and sexual assault, spanned from 1968 to 1986. The earliest alleged offences occurred while Denham was training to be a priest.

On 8 July 2009 he pleaded guilty in the Newcastle Local Court to 29 offences, with the bulk of the other charges withdrawn.

Most of the victims were molested while they were students at St Pius X High School at Adamstown in Newcastle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 PM

Abuse Files Shouldn't Be Secret

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

July 9, 2009

If only the Catholic Church had been open and honest much earlier about complaints that a few of its priests had sexually abused children, it clearly would have been better for the victims — and perhaps the scandal would have more easily receded into history.

But the church too often chose the tactics of stonewalling and cover-up.

The Diocese of Bridgeport will continue that failed policy if it decides to fight the state Supreme Court's insistence on unsealing 12,600 pages of court files from 23 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse on the part of at least seven priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Labour motion on abuse defeated

IRELAND
RTE News

Wednesday, 8 July 2009 20:59
The Labour Party motion arising out of the publication of the Ryan Report into institutional child abuse has been defeated without a vote.

Labour's Liz McManus had told the Dáil the motion sought to wipe out the criminal record of those committed to reformatory schools in order to lift the burden from victims of institutional abuse.

The motion also aimed to expand the terms of reference of the Redress Board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

It’s a setup, say Kizito accusers

KENYA
Daily Nation

By DOMINIC WABALA
Posted Wednesday, July 8 2009 at 20:17

Two young men who had accused a Catholic priest of sexual abuse have retracted their statements and asked for police protection.

The men in the Father Renato Kizito saga went to Kilimani police station at 8am and stayed there for half an hour before leaving for an unknown destination.

They are reported to have told police they were threatened by some people and forced to accuse the priest falsely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Salinas Priest Back in Court

SALINAS (CA)
KION

SALINAS, Calif. - On Wednesday morning, Rev. Antonio Cortes appeared in a Monterey County courtroom for another arraignment hearing and entered a plea of not guilty.

He's set to stand trial for child molestation charges, including one felony of sodomy and one felony of possession of child pornography.

Cortes, who's from St. Mary of the Nativity Church, is out on bail. His bail has been lowered from $750,000 to $100,000. One of his attorneys, Eugene Martinez says, after the preliminary hearing, the judge heard the evidence and decided to lower it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Is DuPage Co. pedophile priest too dangerous to be free?

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

A civil hearing is under way in DuPage County to determine if a pedophile priest is too dangerous to be set free back into his community.

Fred Lenczycki, 65, is the first member of the clergy in Illinois, and perhaps the country, to have been civilly committed beyond his prison term. He was denied parole in March 2008.

Since then, he's continued with voluntary treatment at a state facility in Rushville, and argues that with strict monitoring and outpatient services, he poses a low risk to re-offend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Guilty plea from pedophile priest John Denham

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY STEPHEN RYAN
9/07/2009 4:00:00 AM
PEDOPHILE former priest John Sidney Denham pleaded guilty to a range of child sex offences yesterday and will begin sentence proceedings in Newcastle District Court later this month.

Denham, 66, appeared in Newcastle Local Court yesterday via audio-visual link from Silverwater jail where he has remained since his arrest last August.

He was committed for sentence on 29 charges including indecent assaults and sexual assaults, most of which were committed in the Hunter Region in the 1970s and 1980s. More than 20 other charges will be taken into account when he is sentenced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

How would a Michael Jackson victim feel about all the adulation and denial star could ever be a pedophile? A lot like a victim of a pedophile priest

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I can’t help but wonder just how bad the boys who ended up in Michael Jackson’s bed feel right now, hearing everyone in the United States except Sean Hannity rave about how great Jackson was, and how it can't be possible for such a loving man to have been a pedophile.

As an adult victim of a pedophile priest, I will always see Jackson as another example of wealth and power protecting a criminal. Jackson had free access to children, as did the priests in the Catholic Church, even though people around him could see something wrong was happening, no one dared intervene. Today pundits, in this endless brain fry of "news" about Jackson’s death, keep saying since Jackson was found not guilty, you can’t call him a pedophile. Well OJ was found not guilty of murder in California too. After Jackson’s acquittal, two jurors said they were intimidated into going along with the foreman, and then went on book tours, one telling MSNBC: “No doubt in my mind whatsoever, that boy was molested.”

My fear now is that this gradual condoning of Jackson's sex crimes will segue into a gradual acceptance that, sure, a lot of Catholic priests are pedophiles, but look at all the great works they do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Accused Prophet has First Court Hearing

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Now

An alleged prophet accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls plead not guilty to the charges Wednesday.

Benito Catello is still in the hospital, so only his attorney appeared in court.

The police report says 75-year-old doesn't deny the sex acts, but says if he did have sex with the girls it was because he was "full of the spirit."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Archbishop declines to meet with sexual abuse victims

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Public Radio

7/02/09

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland says he's interested in meeting with sexual abuse victims, but says Archdiocese lawyers are reluctant. A victims rights group doesn't buy the explanation. Chuck Quirmbach reports…

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Other victims sought in Las Vegas prophet case

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By MIKE BLASKY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

A self-proclaimed prophet cited "the spirit of God" as the reason he might have sexually assaulted two juvenile members of his church, a police report states.

Benito Catello, 76, told detectives in a recorded interview that "if the girls said he did it, he must have," according to the arrest report.

Catello told police he is a prophet and God spoke to the girls through him.

"Anything that happened while he was in the company of the girls is God's doing and he can't be held responsible," police summarized in the arrest report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Church Member Describes Bedroom 'Exorcism'

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

LAS VEGAS -- An attorney for a self-proclaimed Las Vegas prophet said his client is being hospitalized and couldn’t be in court to face charges of sexually assaulting parishioners.

At the same time, a woman who attended Benito Catello’s church is speaking out about the power he held over his members and what she witnessed behind closed doors.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, contacted FOX5 to tell her story after Catello was arrested. She met him in the summer of 2002 when a friend invited her to Catello’s home to talk about religion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

FOX5 EXCLUSIVE: Woman Says She's Victim Of 'Prophet'

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

[with video]

LAS VEGAS -- Only on FOX5, a woman has come forward and said she had a close encounter with the man who called himself a prophet.

Benito Catello, 75, faces 29 counts of sexual assault and lewdness. One woman said her experience with Catello changed her life forever.

The woman did not want to give away her identity. She said she began getting wrapped into Catello's church, The Ministry, and her life has not been the same since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Apostolic Visitation Begins July 15th

ROME
Legionaries of Christ

July 8, 2009. Rome, Italy. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State for His Holiness, has officially informed Father Álvaro Corcuera, LC, the general director of the Legion of Christ, that the announced apostolic visitation to the congregation will begin on July 15th.

Five visitors will carry out the visit:

• Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi, M.Sp.S., Bishop of Tepic (Mexico) in Mexico and Central America.
Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M., Archbishop of Denver (USA) in the United States and Canada.
Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi, Bishop of Alessandria (Italy) in Italy, Israel, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Archbishop of Concepción (Chile) in South America.
Bishop Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Bishop of Bilbao (Spain) in Europe (with the exception of Italy).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

U.S. archbishop is part of Legionaries' visitation that starts July 15

ROME
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- A Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ and their institutions will begin July 15, and the papal delegates carrying out the investigations will include U.S. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver.

In a written statement sent to Catholic News Service July 8, the Legionaries' headquarters in Rome said the Vatican had set the date for the start of the visitation and named the five prelates appointed by the Vatican to carry out the visits.

It said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told the order that Archbishop Chaput will conduct investigations of the Legionaries' centers and institutions in the United States and Canada while Mexican Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi of Tepic will cover Mexico and Central America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Legion Visitation Set to Begin July 15

ROME
Zenit

ROME, JULY 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Legionaries of Christ are expecting the announced apostolic visitation of the congregation to begin July 15.

The Legion posted on its Web site today that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state for Benedict XVI, has officially informed Father Álvaro Corcuera, the general director of the Legion of Christ, of the visitation's starting date and the names of the five visitors.

The work of the apostolic visitors will consist in getting to know the operations and apostolates of the congregation. The visitors will then compile a report of their findings and submit it to the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

"At last, my shame has been lifted"

IRELAND
Longford Leader

Published Date:
08 July 2009
By Liam Cosgrove
The events of May 20 2009 constituted the end of a long and torturous journey for many.

It was the day when High Court judge Sean Ryan closed the final chapter of a nine year search into the horrors surrounding clerical child abuse.

As onlookers, and indeed experts, grappled with the catastrophic findings contained in the 2,600 page document, almost simultaneously the glare of the media world turned towards the thousands of children who were failed by a system which had ironically been designed to protect them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Pope removes officials seen as responsible for Holocaust-denying bishop row

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

[MOTU PROPRIO ECCLESIAE UNITATEM]

[other pontifical acts]

by John L Allen Jr on Jul. 08, 2009 NCR Today

In what could be seen as another piece of fallout from Benedict XVI’s January decision to lift the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including one who is a Holocaust denier, the pope today restructured the Vatican office that handles relations with the traditionalist world -- and, in effect, gently fired the officials who presided over the earlier fiasco.

As a result of a document issued by the Vatican today, titled Ecclesiae unitatem, Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos, who had served as President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission since 2000, and Italian Monsignor Camille Perl, the number two official at Ecclesia Dei, are both out of work. The Ecclesia Dei Commission was created by the late Pope John Paul II in 1988 to manage relations with the Society of St. Pius X founded by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Sexual abuse charges lead to suspension

CENTER HILL (FL)
Daily Commercial

MILLARD K. IVES
Staff Writer

CENTER HILL -- City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to suspend a councilman recently charged with having sexual relationships with two teen members of his church.

Jose "Freddie" Coronado, 38, of Center Hill, also a youth pastor with the Church of God of the First Born, will be suspended without his $250 a month pay until the allegations are legally settled, said L. E. Taylor, city attorney.

Council members made a motion on the suspension and passed it, above the objections of one audience member -- who didn't want to give her name -- that keeping Coronado on board "made it look bad on the city."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Supreme Court Decision on July 7, 2009 in the case of William Picher vs. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland et al.

MAINE
Maine Business

Released 7/7/09

Contact: Carol Moran, Lipman, Katz, & McKee
(207) 622-3711
or cmoran@lipmankatzmckee.com

Supreme Court Decision on July 7, 2009 in the case of William Picher vs. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland et al.

Docket No. KEN-08-81
Decision No. 2009 ME 67

The Maine Supreme Court, with Justice Warren Silver writing for a majority of five to two, has held that the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland is not entitled to the defense of charitable immunity for its intentional torts.

In a landmark decision, the Maine Supreme Court affirmed the availability of defense of charitable immunity for negligent actions, but abrogated the defense of charitable immunity for intentional torts.

On Page 18 of its decision, the Court stated “we do not recognize the defense of charitable immunity in claims involving intentional torts." The Court further stated, on Page 19 of its decision, that the Plaintiff William Picher properly stated a claim for the intentional tort of fraudulent concealment when he alleged in his Complaint that the Bishop had actual or constructive knowledge that Melville sexually assaulted minors, that the Bishop breached its duty to disclose that information, that the Bishop affirmatively concealed the knowledge with the intent to mislead the Plaintiff and his family, and that the Plaintiff and his family relied on the Bishop to the Plaintiff’s detriment. (The Court noted in this regard that silence may be fraudulent in a case of this nature.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Priest arrested on child-porn charges

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Star News Services
Published: Wednesday, July 08, 2009
An Ottawa man police identified as a priest has been charged with possessing child pornography.

Rev. James A. Jordan, 63, was arrested Monday following a short investigation, police said. He appeared in court Tuesday morning and was released with conditions. He's due to appear again on July 21.

Police would not say which church or parish Jordan works for.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Catholic priest pleads guilty to 29 sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

New South Wales Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to molesting dozens of boys on separate occasions in the 1970s and 80s.

John Sidney Denham was originally charged with 134 child sex offences relating to 39 boys in Sydney, Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and the state's mid-north coast.

Today he pleaded guilty to 29 offences, with the bulk of the other charges withdrawn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Borne case cuts deepest in diocese

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

Kelly Egan, The Ottawa Citizen
July 8, 2009

Of the 52 priests listed in the clerical directory at the Archdiocese of Pembroke, four are conferred the honorary title of monsignor.

One is retired. One is serving a jail term. One has just been charged with sexual assault.

These are, indeed, trying times for Roman Catholics in the upper Ottawa Valley.

Nor is it over. The OPP said Tuesday that new information, in the form of a fresh complaint, had been received in the ongoing matter of Msgr. Robert Borne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Kizito confessed to sodomy, says former charity trustee

KENYA
The Standard

By Evelyn Kwamboka and Cyrus Ombati

A Catholic priest at the centre of child molestation allegations confessed to having engaged in sodomy with children under his care, a court has been told.

Mr Michael Ochieng’, a founding trustee of Koinonia Community Registered Trustees, a charity run by Father Renato Kizito Sesana, claimed the priest disclosed to him he had "been experimenting sex with children and unfortunately had been recording the same activities for fun".

In his affidavit filed in court, through his advocate, John Khaminwa, Ochieng’ claimed to have been in the company of a co-trustee — Mr Michael Owiso. He said they were shocked and decided to seek counsel from the priest’s Father superior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

How Catholic Nuns Shaped America

UNITED STATES
Fox Business

By Elizabeth MacDonald

The news that the Vatican is now making official inquiries into Catholic nuns in America and whether they are adhering to church doctrine obscures a very important history about nuns in this country.

For nearly three centuries, Catholic nuns have worked heroically, unselfishly, tirelessly, against all odds, to make this great country what it is today. The US economy would not have come so far through the centuries without the help of American nuns.

You rarely see the American history of Catholic nuns reported in the media. A bit of journalistic astigmatism, reductio ad absurdum.

But a new exhibit touring museums throughout America may cahnge all that. The new exhibit makes the courageous effort of Catholic nuns in shaping this country’s landscape quite plain. ...

Make no mistake, I am a Catholic, and I love my faith. I don’t agree with it on a host of issues. And it’s an atrocity that Catholic priests have committed outrageous, disgusting criminal acts of sexual abuse against the young, whereby they have molested and raped children. Every last one of them should be put on trial and, if found guilty, thrown in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Deacon pleads guilty to indecent behavior with minor

LOUISIANA
The News Star

By Johnny Gunter • jgunter@thenewsstar.com • July 8, 2009

A Morehouse Parish man is to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in 4th Judicial District Court in Bastrop for indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Billy Ray Harper, 59, 8298 Basham Road, Bastrop, who pleaded guilty in April, will be sentenced by Judge Scott Leehy and could receive up to 25 years in prison.

The case involved a 12-year-old girl. The indecent behavior reportedly occurred in January 2008.
During the investigation, Morehouse sheriff's investigators uncovered a pattern of abuse and found other victims who said Harper assaulted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

U.S. Catholic CEO responds to Benedict’s economic encyclical

UNITED STATES
Reuters

Posted by: Daniel Bases

Pope Benedict’s encyclical “Charity in Truth” proposed a sweeping reform of the world economic system from one based on the profit motive to one based on solidarity and concern for the common good. Like other such documents in the Roman Catholic Church’s social teaching tradition, the encyclical delivers a strong critique of unbridled capitalism. This can be uncomfortable for Catholics who champion free enterprise and some conservative Catholic writers reacted quickly and critically. One of them, George Weigel, wrote the encyclical “resembles a duck-billed platypus.”

We wanted to hear the views of a Catholic executive, one who’s involved in business rather than reacting from the sidelines. So I called Frank Keating, president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). The former Republican governor of Oklahoma (1995-2003) is a former chairman of the National Catholic Review Board, which he said “sought to identify and correct the horror of sexual abuse on the part of the clergy.” He is a Knight of Malta and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.

DB: What’s your overall reaction to the encyclical?

FK:“I haven’t read the 30,000 words but I think what the pope is proposing is not inconsistent with other papal messages. The common denominator to all of them is the worth of the individual, the dignity of every human person. So Benedict XVI focuses on the right to life, he speaks against euthanasia, he speaks against the evil of abortion, he speaks against cloning. But at the same time he talks about duties and responsibilities to the vulnerable because the vulnerable are dignified human beings as well as those who are rich and powerful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Pastor Prostitution

TEXAS
KERA

A former Texas pastor wants a federal appeals court to throw out his conviction and sentence for a charge he imported a woman from Kenya to act as his sex slave after promising her a free education.

James Cornell Clark was sentenced to 10 years after a jury convicted him in December 2007 of importing an alien for immoral purposes.

During a hearing today before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the lawyer for the former minister argued the man's conviction must be overturned because the term "immoral purposes" is unconstitutionally vague.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Ex-pastor sentenced in sexual abuse case

VINTON (VA)
The Roanoke Times

By Laurence Hammack
981-3340
A former assistant pastor of a Vinton church was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

Daniel Silverman, who had earlier pleaded no contest, maintained his innocence to the end -- saying he would just as soon be branded a sex offender and go to prison than subject the girl to the emotional trauma of having to testify against him and face cross-examination.

"I would rather plead no contest than put her through that," Silverman told Roanoke County Circuit Court Judge James Swanson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Retired Philly prosecutor joining Lehigh County DA's office

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

July 8, 2009
Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin has announced that attorney Charles F. Gallagher III, a Philadelphia prosecutor for more than 30 years who directed investigations and prosecutions of many high-profile cases, has joined the Lehigh County district attorney's office as a full-time chief deputy district attorney.

Gallagher, 62, of Philadelphia, will prosecute cases involving major crimes and will assist other prosecutors in preparing cases for trial. He retired from the Philadelphia district attorney's office in June, most recently serving as a deputy district attorney in the Special Investigation Unit.

He was senior prosecutor of the 3-year Investigating grand jury inquiry into sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and concealment by archdiocese officials. The result was a nationally recognized grand jury report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

July 7, 2009

Supreme Court Ruling Goes Against Catholic Church

PORTLAND (ME)
WCSH

[read the court ruling]

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER) -- A ruling from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court opens the door to lawsuits against the Catholic diocese in cases where victims claim the church knew that a priest had a history of molestation.

The ruling comes in the case of William Picher. Picher won a multi-million dollar judgment against Father Raymond Melville, stemming from allegations that the priest sexually abused him at St. Mary's School in Augusta in the 1980s. He says the priest's supervisors knew that he had molested a child before he was ordained, but did not inform police or the public.

In a 5-2 ruling, the justices said that the Bishop is not entitled to use the "charitable immunity defense" for deliberate actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Sexually violent ex-priest due back in court

ILLINOIS
Chicago Breaking News

July 7, 2009 8:00 PM
A former Roman Catholic priest from the western suburbs who has been declared a sexually violent person is scheduled to be back in DuPage County court Wednesday for a hearing to determine the type of psychological treatment he will receive in the future and where he will receive it.

According to the Illinois Attorney General's office, Fred Lenczycki, 65, is the first person in United States to have served as a priest and be declared a sexually violent person.

He currently is incarcerated at an Illinois Department of Human Services facility at Rushville, receiving counseling for his condition as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 PM

Diocese abuse case can go forward

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison
BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is not immune from being sued by an Augusta man who alleges he was molested as a boy after the diocese assigned a priest it knew had sexually abused children in the past to a parish in the state capital.

In a 5-2 ruling, the court affirmed that under current law charitable groups such as churches, museums and sports organizations are immune from claims for negligent actions, but it said they are not immune from intentional ones.

The impact of the court’s ruling will be felt by every nonprofit organization in the state, a dissenting justice predicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Indicted Southern Baptist minister in Kentucky

KENTUCKY
Stop Baptist Predators

In June, when the Southern Baptist Convention was having its annual hoopla in Louisville, Kentucky, a former Southern Baptist minister was indicted just down the road in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

That minister, Gordon H. Lunceford, now faces thirteen charges of sex crimes, including rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. He is accused of “using his position as a youth minister to have sex with two juveniles.” (See WKYT video.)

The victims were both under 16 years of age. That’s just the victims who are identified by initials in the indictment. No telling how many more child-victims may be identified before this case is over. And no telling how many more there may be who will remain silent, mired in undue shame, while no one in Southern Baptist leadership even bothers to reach out to try to help them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Young man accuses priest of sexual harassment

DOMINICA
Dominica News

BY Staff Reporter
Originally published: July 07, 2009 12:54:00 PM

A young man from an east coast community in Dominica has accused a Catholic priest of that same area of alleged sexual assault.

The young man - in his late twenties - told Dominica News Online that if the matter is not addressed at a religious level, he will include the authorities.

“That started happening since I was younger. I am a Catholic and I always take part in church activities. I have been at the forefront of all the activities in church and our father (priest) and I became very close. He always gave me nice things and send me gifts on special occasions but I never took that for nothing," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Jail for former policeman who abused youngsters

SCOTLAND
STV

A former policeman has been jailed for seven years for sexually abusing three youngsters after he claimed he was a black magic high priest.

John McFadden, 42, told one victim - then aged 12 - that demons and spirits would kill him and drag him to hell unless he carried out his sick demands.

McFadden had been convicted of abusing the boy at a house in Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire, near Glasgow, between 1988 and 1992. He was also found guilty of using lewd and libidinous practices towards two other youngsters at the same address between 1983 and 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

'Black magic' child abuser jailed

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A former police officer who claimed he was a "black magic" high priest while sexually abusing three children has been jailed for seven years.

John McFadden, 42, from Bearsden, was found guilty of abusing a boy between 1988 and 1992 in Kirkintilloch.

He was also convicted of abusing two other youngsters at various addresses in Kirkintilloch between 1983 and 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

New Michael Baker case moves forward, and missing Victim Impact Statement from sentencing hearing of the pedo-priest finally gets posted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Pedophile Priest Michael Baker is one of a thousand John Doe’s in a lawsuit now working its way through Judge Emilie Elias’ Court, filed in Los Angeles August 29, 2007. Four months later, the facts of this and one other case caused Baker to enter a plea that sent him to prison.

“My client is count 9 and counts 14 through 16 from Baker's sentencing hearing,” explained Vince Finaldi of Manly & Stewart in Newport Beach, who represent plaintiff “Luis C.”

Baker is serving eight and a half years, and was initially at Tahachapee, but in December 2008 he was transferred to Reception Central in Chino. There with 1400 medium/maximum custody level inmates, Baker is getting diagnostic tests and mental health screening, as the state tries to figure out where else it can place him.

When we covered Baker’s sentencing hearing here at City of Angels, I had just gotten a laptop and still approached the machine like the apes approach the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Just as the first victim got up to speak, I hit a wrong key, and the laptop crashed. As I rebooted, Matt S finished his Victim Impact Statement, which was very powerful, and here I hadn't taken down one note. Worse yet, Matt then walked up to the reporter from the L.A. Times and handed him his only printed copy of the statement, which I knew meant it would never make it into print, and it didn't. I figured I’d never see the Matt S Victim Impact Statement about perpetrator priest Michael Stephen Baker again. Then there it was.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Award for author of Ryan report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Mr Justice Seán Ryan, chairman of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, is to receive a special award next month for his recent report on decades of systemic abuse of children in Ireland’s reformatories and industrial schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Former priest charged with assault

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

A FORMER Catholic priest has been charged with multiple counts of indecently assaulting a girl in Sydney during the 1970s and '80s, police say.

The assaults, allegedly against the same victim aged 12 at the time of the first offence, occurred at St Ives on Sydney's north shore.

"Detectives will allege the man indecently assaulted the female on six occasions between 1975 and 1980 whilst at her home," police said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Push to strengthen sex offender laws in Mass.

MASSACHUSETTS
NECN

(NECN: Brad Puffer, Boston, Mass.) - There is a push in Massachusetts to tighten the state's sex offender laws. One bill would eliminate a 27-year statute of limitations on rape for victims under the age of 18. Today, a House committee heard from a woman who was raped 19 years ago when she was just a teenager.

House Minority Leader Bradley Jones's measure would include adoption relationships in the state's incest laws and a Rep. Lantigua bill would ban spying on another person in order to derive sexual gratification, as well as nude trespassing.

Less than two years ago Elizabeth Holmes began dealing with the emotional trauma of a brutal rape by a stranger in a park. It happened one week after her 16th birthday,. Now 34, she had found the strength to tell lawmakers exactly what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

UK Irish abuse victims 'losing out'

IRELAND
BBC News

By Helen Grady
Producer, Law in Action, BBC Radio 4

Ron McCarton is 63 years old but still bears the scars of his childhood in Ireland.

Although he weighs 18 stone, his ankles are tiny - the result of malnutrition in his youth - and a string of beatings as a boy have left him deaf in one ear.

Mr McCarton is one of an estimated 10,000 people living in Britain who were brought up in Ireland's 'Residential Institutions', schools and orphanages run for the state by Catholic religious orders.

He was brought up first in an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy. Then at the age of ten he moved to Artane Industrial School, which was run by the Christian Brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Psychologist offers insight into "minister" arrested for child molestation

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KTNV

[with video]

Action News is learning more about a man who ran a self-described "ministry" in the Valley, and was arrested for molesting children.

Benito Catello is a self-proclaimed prophet, proclaimed by Metro on Friday to be a child molester.

"What's going on, I think, having never examined him, but taking a look at the arrest report, this is power and control," says Doctor Marv Glovinsky, a clinical and forensic psychologist.

Doctor Glovinsky says it's likely 75-year-old Catello essentially brainwashed both female victims, who were seventeen and thirteen, members of what the phony prophet calls a "ministry" in Northeast Las Vegas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Abuse support group is critical of bishop

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

By Linda Linonis

Bishop George Murry responds to national support group for clergy sex-abuse victims.

YOUNGSTOWN — SNAP, a Chicago-based national support group for clergy sex-abuse victims, claims Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown “is ignoring” its request for a public meeting on sexual misconduct by the clergy, and specifically the case of the Rev. Thomas Crum.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests plans a public meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Boardman branch of Youngs-town-Mahoning County Library, 7680 Glenwood Ave.

“I have made myself available to speak to individuals in the diocese about this matter. We are not accountable to an outside group,” Bishop Murry said. “They have every right to hold a meeting.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Bridgeport Diocese Weighs Next Step After Court Ruling On Priest Sex Documents

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY
The Hartford Courant

July 7, 2009

HARTFORD - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is considering a dwindling number of legal options, including a U.S. Supreme Court appeal, after the state's high court refused to reconsider a ruling that would make public thousands of pages of documents detailing alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The state Supreme Court released an order Monday denying a diocese request for an opportunity to restate its arguments against unsealing more than 12,000 pages of the legal records. The state high court had ruled against the diocese in May and ordered the records opened.

"The diocese has received the order and is considering its options," Ralph W. Johnson III, the lawyer representing the diocese said Monday.

The state Supreme Court's denial of the diocese's request for reconsideration means there is a possibility that depositions, exhibits and legal arguments involving 23 lawsuits against seven priests could become public later this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

July 6, 2009

Survivors network plans Thursday meeting on clergy misconduct

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

YOUNGSTOWN — SNAP, a Chicago-based national support group for clergy sex abuse victims, claims Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown “is ignoring” its request for a public meeting on sexual misconduct by the clergy, and specifically the case of the Rev. Thomas Crum.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests plans a public meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Boardman branch of Youngstown-Mahoning County Library, 7680 Glenwood Ave.

“I have made myself available to speak to individuals in the diocese about this matter. We are not accountable to an outside group,” Bishop Murry said. “They have every right to hold a meeting.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Police: Self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ likely has other abuse victims

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Sun

By Cara McCoy

Monday, July 6, 2009 | 3:09 p.m.

A man who runs a church out of his Las Vegas home and calls himself a prophet likely has other sexual abuse victims and Metro Police are asking them to come forward, authorities said.

"We feel confident that there could be other victims out there," Metro Police Lt. John Bradshaw said during a news conference today.

Benito Catello, 75, who police are describing as a self-proclaimed "prophet" and the leader of The Ministry church in northeast Las Vegas is charged with 29 felonies. The charges include sexual assault, sexual assault with a victim under 14 years of age and lewdness with a minor under 14 years of age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Police: 'Prophet' Called Victims 'Sheep'

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

LAS VEGAS -- A self-proclaimed prophet accused of molesting children would threaten his followers with excommunication if they did not succumb to his wishes, Las Vegas Metro police said Monday.

Benito Catello, 75, operated a non-denominational Christian church called The Ministry. Alleged victims told police that members were called “sheep” and they were instructed to call him “papa.”

A 17-year-old girl who accused Catello of molesting her said she had been a member of the church for nearly 10 years. In a police report, she said Catello instructed her to move into his spare bedroom so he could “counsel” her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Ex-minister asks for lower bond in sex abuse case

CLARKSVILLE (TN)
The Leaf-Chronicle

By TAVIA D. GREEN • The Leaf-Chronicle • July 6, 2009

A judge will decide this afternoon if a former youth minister accused of sexually abusing teenage girls will have his bond reduced and if his case will be heard by the grand jury.

Jonathan Tyler Giles, 24, of 2680 Cider Drive, was charged with three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, sexual battery by an authority figure and two counts of soliciting a minor. He is being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $750,000 bond.

Giles, a former youth minister at Spring Creek Baptist Church was arrested June 24 on allegations he had sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl in the youth group on more than one occasion and asked the girl to have sex

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Visitors in the past

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 06, 2009
By Gary Macy

Editor’s note: The Vatican last January announced it had begun an apostolic visitation, or comprehensive study of U.S. women religious. The decree indicated the visitation was being undertaken to examine the quality of life of women religious. In February came news of a second Vatican women’s religious study, this of its umbrella leadership group, the Leadership of Conference of Women Religious. The studies have brought praise and have touched off considerable anxiety within the ranks of women religious.

The present Vatican investigations of U.S. communities of religious women would have astounded religious women of earlier centuries. For at least 1,200 years of Christian history, religious women would not have looked to the Vatican for oversight of their life. That prerogative belonged either to the abbess of a religious community or perhaps to the local bishop. Furthermore, bishops and religious were considered self-governing within their own communities or dioceses. Rome may have been recognized as the sole patriarch of the Western church but this did not imply that other bishops would welcome or even tolerate Rome’s interference in their affairs.

Early abbesses were powerful and acted independently not only of the papacy, but also of the local bishop. In fact, the most impressive example is the powerful Cistercian abbess of Las Huelgas near Burgos in Spain who wore her miter and carried her crosier until she was finally forbidden to do so in 1873. The abbess had the power to appoint parish priests for the countryside subject to the convent of Las Huelgas, some 64 villages. No bishop or delegate from the Holy See could perform a visitation of the churches or altars or curates or clerics or benefices under the care of the abbess. The abbess of Las Huelgas was even able to convene synods in her diocese and to make synodal constitutions and laws for both her religious and lay subjects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Court won't reconsider order to diocese to release sex abuse data

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut Post

By Daniel Tepfer
Staff writer

HARTFORD -- Advocates for children who say they were sexually abused by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport reacted with cautious optimism Monday to the state Supreme Court's refusal to reconsider its earlier ruling ordering the diocese to release hundreds of documents detailing decades of alleged abuse by priests.

The Supreme Court issued the brief decision without comment.

"We are inching closer to Connecticut citizens and Catholics fully learning the truth," said David Clohessy, director of the Chicago-based SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "I fear, however, Bishop [William] Lori may still have something up his sleeve."

"It appears justice may finally be served," said Jim Alvord, regional coordinator of Voice of the Faithful, an organization of Catholics that supports abuse victims and is demanding greater transparency in the church's operations. "It's a sad, sad circumstance how the diocese has spent so much money on such a small matter of basic truthfulness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Records On Priests Sex Abuse Cases Could Be Released This Month

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY
The Hartford Courant

July 7, 2009

HARTFORD - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is considering a dwindling number of legal options, including a U.S. Supreme Court appeal, after the state's high court refused to reconsider a ruling that would make public thousands of pages of documents that detail alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The state Supreme Court released an order Monday denying a diocese request for an opportunity to restate its arguments against unsealing more than 12,000 pages of court records involving lawsuits against its priests.

"The diocese has received the order and is considering its options," Ralph W. Johnson III, the lawyer representing the diocese said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Woman sues Crookston Diocese, says priest abused her in 2004 in Greenbush

CROOKSTON (MN)
Crookston Daily Times

By Staff reports
Crookston Daily Times
Mon Jul 06, 2009, 01:31 PM CDT

Crookston -
A woman has filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Crookston, alleging that in 2004, when she was 15, a priest at her parish in Greenbush, Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, sexually abused her. The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000.

The media was alerted to the case by The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests of the Twin Cities (SNAP). The support group states that church officials “knew or should have known” about Jeyapaul’s “dangerous and exploitive propensities.”

The priest briefly served in Thief River Falls and then Greenbush in 2004, then returned to his native India, where he remains today. It’s believed that he is aware of the civil suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Court Won't Reconsider Diocese Sex Abuse Ruling

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD - The Connecticut Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider a ruling that would make public thousands of pages of documents that detail alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The high court released its decision Monday, rejecting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport's request to reconsider the ruling it issued in May.

A lawyer for the diocese says church officials are continuing to review their legal options, including a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Support group to hold meeting to discuss priest abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ

A support group for people who have been abused by priests says if Youngstown's bishop won't hold a public meeting, they will hold their own.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ,(SNAP), will hold a public meeting on Thursday at the Boardman branch of the Youngstown library.

They said Youngstown bishop George Murry has ignored their requests that he host such a meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Bishop Steps Down Amid Gay Sex Scandal

URUGUAY
Michael-in-Norfolk

Over at Joe My God, Joe has his usual Monday "This Week In Holy Crimes" that looks at the sexual and monetary misdeeds of clergy and various church ministry folks. As usual, the hypocrisy meter goes off the charts. My own personal favorite of the week is that of Roman Catholic Bishop Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira who has stepped down from his ministry amid a gay sex scandal. It seems that the good bishop hired some male prostitutes at least one of whom documented the encounters with the camera on his cell phone. Not surprisingly, the Vatican was none too happy and accepted Bishop Barbosa's resignation. Here are some highlights from On Top Magazine:
*
Uruguayan Bishop Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira has stepped down from his ministry amid a gay sex scandal, reports the AFP. Barbosa is alleged to have engaged in gay sex with two men whom he hired late last year. Using a cell phone camera, the two men filmed at least one of the encounters and attempted to extort money from the bishop.
*
The allegations surfaced as the men stood trial in an Uruguay courtroom after Barbosa sought relief from the authorities, and pressed charges against the two men. The diocese of Minas demanded his resignation after the scandal surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Dissociative Identity Disorder – Part 17

UNITED STATES
We Are Adult Survivors of Child Abuse and Neglect

July 6, 2009 by Diane

Recently the State of New York, like other states have done in the past, tried to extend the statute of limitations allowing child abuse survivors to sue their long-protected abusers. As usual, they ran into tough resistance from, you guessed it, the Catholic church—the non-existent defender of children. And who do they have as their strong ally? Paul McHugh from Johns Hopkins. But he’s been their ally for a long time. Let’s look at some relevant articles.

Article 1

“Dr. Paul McHugh would be an asset to just about any truth-seeking panel or committee I can imagine. But it doesn’t look as if the victims of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests will believe that. A psychiatrist, researcher and teacher, McHugh was appointed last week by U. S. bishops to a 12-person lay Catholic board that will oversee the church’s response to molesting priests.[1] That news has been deemed “an insult to victims and to professionals” who work with them and has landed McHugh, 71, on the victims’ official enemies list.”

“Among the many areas of psychiatry to which his work has taken him—he spent 26 years as the director of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Because McHugh had long treated convicted (and admitted) rapists and pedophiles at Johns Hopkins, he was tapped as an adviser in 1992 for the fledging False Memory Syndrome Foundation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

March of support for abuse victims

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[TV3 report on the event]

MICHAEL PARSONS in Carlow

A CANE similar to those used to beat children in Irish schools was broken in half to applause from a crowd in Carlow yesterday attending a march of support for victims of child abuse.

At a prayer ceremony before the march got under way, organiser John Rice held the cane aloft and described it as “a symbol of a painful past which we must leave behind forever”.

He said the purpose of the march was “to leave a footprint in the sand of time that we remembered these people and to say that they are not forgotten”.

Unlike the event in Dublin two weeks ago, a priest, local curate Fr Liam Morgan (40), addressed the crowd and said that “after years of denial” he was “very happy” to see people “stand shoulder-to-shoulder with survivors”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Trailer - The Forgotten Maggies

IRELAND
YouTube

[trailer for a new film]

The Forgotten Maggies - A documentary focusing on human rights and social injustice in modern 21st century Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Nova Scotia Sexual Abuse Claims Barred by Statute: Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims can Proceed

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

In two related decisions released last month, Justice Walter Goodfellow has ruled that the plaintiffs' claims for compensation for assault and negligence as a result of childhood sexual abuse were statute barred. However, Goodfellow J. allowed the plaintiffs' claims for compensation for breach of fiduciary duty to continue.

Robert Lawrence Borden and Leonard Anthony Smith were both former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.

Borden and Smith have filed a proposed class action on behalf of all former residents of the school seeking compensation for assault and negligence as a result of sexual abuse they allege happened while they were residents were living in the Home for Colored Children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Victim of Priest Sexual Abuse Receives 1.75 Million Dollar Settlement

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ontario has agreed to pay Lou-Anne Soontiens $1,745,000.00, plus legal costs to compensate her for years of sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of Father Charles Sylvestre. The total value of the settlement is thought to be more than 2.2 million dollars.

Sylvestre, one of Canada’s most notorious pedophiles was convicted of sexually assaulting Sootiens.

CBC's Fifth Estate aired a documentary about Sylvestre called "The Good Father". As you will see from watching the documentary it is apparent that persons of authority within the Catholic Church knew about Sylvestre’s sexual abuse but did nothing to protect his victims.

I have posted about Sylvestre's predatory abuse in the past. See also, Sex Abuse help Fund Doubled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Sins of the Fathers: Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin

IRELAND
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog (Canada)

The sexual abuse scandal in catholic schools in Ireland has documented a “substantial level of sexual abuse” in Catholic run schools in Ireland.

Now, TV3 has produced a documentary called “Abuse of Trust: Sins of the Fathers” which documents some of the horror stories of sexual abuse by priests who were part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.

The documentary uncovers a pattern that has been repeated time and time again in countries around the world. Roman Catholic Priests sexually abusing children and persons of authority within the church covering up the allegations and moving sexually predatory priests from parish to parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

New legislation would allow women to be tried as rapists

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

By RUTH EGLASH

Women accused of rape could soon be tried and punished the same way male rapists are if legislation, which already passed its first reading in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Just