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August 31, 2009

Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino, Biden's Nemesis, Resigns Under Cloud

SCRANTON (PA)
Politics Daily

The Roman Catholic bishop of Scranton is not normally known as a kingmaker--or kingbreaker--in electoral politics. But during last year's presidential campaign, with pro-choice Catholic and Scranton native Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket, and the working-class voters of northeast Pennsylvania seen as keys to the keystone state and the Electoral College, Scranton suddenly moved to the spotlight.

And the local bishop, Joseph F. Martino, took full advantage of that platform. Martino became for many the angry face of the anti-Obama wing of the Catholic hierarchy thanks to his intemperate blasts about pro-choice politicians and an overweening administrative style that irritated the flock and even his brother bishops. ...

But church insiders say Martino had also worn out his welcome with his brother bishops and the Vatican. So his resignation may be further evidence that the U.S. hierarchy is divided between moderate voices and a more strident conservative minority that is struggling in the wake of Obama's success with Catholic voters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

The final Mass is held at St. Procop in Cleveland: 'A day of sadness, a day of anger for some'

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Michael O’Malley, The Plain Dealer August 31, 2009 05:00AM

Catholics from across Greater Cleveland packed St. Procop Catholic Church on Cleveland's near West Side Sunday to mourn the death of a parish founded 137 years ago.

On a gloomy, rainy day, worshippers streamed into the giant, 110-year-old sandstone edifice on West 41st Street for the final Mass said by Bishop Richard Lennon, who ordered the church closed earlier this year.

Lennon, who is closing 50 parishes across the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, came to St. Procop's under police security, ignoring about 40 protesters who stood outside holding signs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Church closings upset parishioners across Springfield Diocese

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By ELIZABETH ROMAN
eroman@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - In less than a year Justin Wilson, 13, of Springfield, has lost his school and now his church.

"It makes me mad," said Wilson after finding out Sunday that Our Lady of Hope on Carew Street is one of the parishes being closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

"The school was everything to me and they took it away. All I had left was the church and now they are taking that away, too, and I have nothing," he said.

Our Lady of Hope School is now home to the Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School. It was sold to the city for $7.75 million along with Our Lady of Sacred Heart School on Rosewell Street.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Planned church closings averts slow trickle of parish failings, say officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By GEORGE GRAHAM
ggraham@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - The closing and merging of parishes within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield - painful as it is to ponder and undertake - averts what would have a "slow trickle of parish by parish failings," diocesan officials said Monday morning.

The diocese announced Saturday that 14 parishes will be closed by the end of the year with cities like Chicopee and Northampton being hardest hit.

Monsignor John J. Bonzagni, director of pastoral planning for the diocese, said Monday that should the diocese have done nothing, such things as outreach services and religious education would have been curtailed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Pope accepts resignation of Scranton bishop for health reasons

SCRANTON (PA)
Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph F. Martino, 63, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., for health reasons.

He has appointed Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia to be apostolic administrator for the diocese.

The pope also has accepted the resignation of Scranton Auxiliary Bishop John M. Dougherty, who is 77. Canon law requires that all bishops submit their resignation to the pope when they turn 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Police stand by bishop at Cleveland church closing

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:29 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland bishop had a police security detail as he said the final Mass at a Roman Catholic church that he ordered closed.

An officer followed Bishop Richard Lennon down the aisle at the end of Sunday's service at St. Procop in Cleveland. Lennon skipped a social hour after Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

UPDATE: Martino says he submitted resignation in June

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

[with video]

[Bishop Martino's remarks]

Mark Guydish

After officially announcing his resignation this morning, Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino said he had formally submitted the resignation to the pope in June and it had been accepted around the end of July. Martino also said he had first raised the possibility of resigning with Cardinal Justin Rigali a year ago.

Rigali, head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia joined Martino and Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty in a studio on the third floor of the Guild building in Scranton to announce the resignation of Martino and Dougherty.

Martino said stress of the job had caused insomnia and severe bouts of fatigue that, in turn, left his immune system weak. "I had three bouts of flu this last semester, and that has never happened," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

The latest from Scranton

SCRANTON (PA)
dotCommonweal

August 31, 2009, 11:17 am Posted by Mollie Wilson O'Reilly

“The diocese of Scranton requires a bishop who is at least physically vigorous. I am not that bishop.” *
The resignation of Bishops Martino and Dougherty is official. The Wilkes-Barre, PA Times Leader has the story, and (raw) video of the press conference. It sounds like “health reasons” is the official explanation, although rumors of disease were happily inaccurate.

After being introduced by the director of communications, Bishop Martino read a prepared statement. He described the financial and organizational problems he confronted when he became bishop in 2003. Then he said:

“For some time now there has not been a clear consensus among the clergy and people of the diocese of Scranton regarding my pastoral initiatives or my way of governance. This development has caused me great sorrow, resulting in bouts of insomnia and, at times, a crippling physical fatigue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Pope accepts resignations of both bishops from Diocese of Scranton

SCRANTON (PA)
Catholic News Agency

Scranton, Pa., Aug 31, 2009 / 10:32 am (CNA).- At a press conference in Scranton this morning, Bishop Joseph Martino announced that he and auxiliary bishop John Dougherty are stepping down from their posts. Bishop Martino explained that he is resigning because of "crippling physical fatigue," while Bishop Dougherty is retiring upon having reached the age limit.

Last week, CNA reported that Bishop Martino, 63, would be resigning from his post in Scranton. The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Martino in accordance with canon 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law which says: a diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfillment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Parishioners React to Bishop's Resignation

SCRANTON (PA)
WNEP

By Ryan Leckey
12:32 PM EDT, August 31, 2009

Bishop Martino's resignation is a topic that has parishioners talking on both sides of the church pew.

Some parishioners are sad to see him go. Others said they are glad, calling Bishop Martino, "the hatchet man" who was brought in to close churches and schools.

That is a title Martino's predecessor said isn't true.

"I'm sure he would say he was not here to do the dirty work. He said that himself. He was not sent here to do anything. Nobody ever told him what to do when he came here. He knew nothing about the Diocese of Scranton," said Bishop James Timlin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Bishop Joseph Martino Resigns

SCRANTON (PA)
WNEP

[with video]

Bishop Joseph Martino, leader of the Diocese of Scranton announced Monday he will step down, effective immediately.

The Diocese of Scranton makes up 11 counties in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. There are more than 300,000 parishioners.

After nearly six years, Bishop Martino is stepping down and he is so for reasons of poor health. He also looked back a bit at what sometimes has been a stormy tenure at the helm of the Diocese of Scranton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Former music minister sentenced for sexual abuse

BENTON (AR)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Monday, August 31, 2009
BENTON, Ark. (ABP) -- A former longtime music minister at a prominent Arkansas Baptist church has pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual indecency with a child.

David Pierce, 56, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. An additional 10-year sentence was suspended in a plea agreement accepted Aug. 27 by Saline County Circuit Judge Grisham Philips in Benton, Ark.

Pierce was music minister for 29 years at First Baptist Church in Benton until his arrest April 24. In that capacity he directed the church's youth choir, where police say he groomed young boys to show him their genitals for his sexual gratification. The interaction took place at the church and in other places where he could get the boys alone. However, according to court documents, none of the alleged activity took place on choir tours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Former priest charged with assaulting boy in Elm Grove

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Aug. 31, 2009 11:22 a.m.

A former member of the Christian Brothers religious order who later became a Catholic priest has been charged with sexually assaulting a boy in Elm Grove in the 1970s.

James R. Blume, 64, made his first appearance in Waukesha Circuit Court on Monday and was released on a $15,000 signature bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 2.

Blume is charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child, at an Elm Grove motel in 1978, though the complaint indicates the victim in the case, a 12-year-old at the time, told police that several more assaults occurred in several states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Pope Accepts Resignation Of Scranton Bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
Metro Catholic

August 31, 2009
WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph F. Martino from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for health reasons. The decision was announced August 31, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

The pope has also accepted the resignation of Bishop John M. Dougherty, until now Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, who has served past the mandatory retirement age for bishops. Cardinal Justin F. Rigali of Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Archbishop, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Scranton.

Joseph F. Martino was born in Philadelphia, May 1, 1946. He studied at the North American College in Rome and earned a sacred theology licentiate (S.T.L.) degree at the Gregorian University there. He was ordained a priest for the Philadelphia archdiocese on December 18, 1970 and was named Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia on January 24, 1996. He was appointed bishop of Scranton on July 25, 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

DNA test doesn't tie serial killer to nun's murder

TOLEDO (OH)
Dayton Daily News

TOLEDO, Ohio — An independent DNA test has failed to connect a serial killer to the 1980 death of an Ohio nun, whom a jury said was murdered by a Roman Catholic priest.

Attorneys for Rev. Gerald Robinson are trying to overturn his 2006 conviction and 15-years-to-life prison sentence. The Ohio Innocence Project ordered testing of male DNA found on the victim's fingernails to see if there was a match to Coral Eugene Watts, a confessed serial killer who died two years ago. Police said he may have been responsible for dozens of deaths in several states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Pope accepts Scranton bishop's resignation

VATICAN CITY
6 ABC

VATICAN CITY (AP) - August 31, 2009 -- Pope Benedict XVI on Monday accepted the early retirement of a northeastern Pennsylvania bishop who critics say alienated parishioners with his leadership style.

The brief announcement, keeping to Vatican tradition, did not say why Bishop Joseph Martino, 63, submitted his resignation. The usual retirement age for bishops is 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Former Priest Charged with Child Sexual Assault

WAUKESHA (WI)
Today's TMJ

By Melissa McCrady
WAUKESHA - A former priest who worked in Brookfield has been charged with sexually assaulting a child.

James Blume will face a judge for the first time Monday morning.

Blume taught religious education classes at St. Luke's Parish in Brookfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Church Near End In Abuse Files Fight

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has lost yet another round in its stubborn fight to keep under lock and key thousands of pages of court files from lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by at least seven priests.

Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied the diocese's request to keep the documents sealed until the high court decides whether to take up the case in the fall.

But rather than accede to state court decisions insisting on the release of 12,600 pages of the files and to Justice Ginsburg's refusal to intervene, the diocese apparently will continue to rely on its failed policy of stonewalling and cover-up. Diocese lawyers are asking all nine justices to rule on the request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 AM

False hope = Lost focus

ST. LOUIS (MO)
It's about me.

I blinked. I knew better. But I did it anyway. I let a thought cross my mind. I forgot where I was & who I was dealing with. For a split second I dropped my guard. And I caught one. It was just a quick jab but it got my attention.

I sent my letter (click here) to the new archbishop “Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson” hoping that I would see something different from him than I did from archbishop Burke. And I did! I actually got a response back in a timely manor. His letter was short and sweet. At first seemed pretty good, but I wanted to wait and see, let it soak in before I blogged about it. Here is my letter:

I know this is a picky little thing, but you know how you always hear about how great catholic schools are academically. Then why are my letters from the church, and particularly from the archbishops, always full of spelling and grammar errors? Note that he spelled Fr. Christian’s name as Normal H. Christian and not Norman H. Christian, maybe a Freudian spelling slip? Anyway after about a week I responded. Here is a copy of the text of my letter:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 AM

Watertown priest is placed on leave after abuse allegation

WATERTOWN (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Corcoran
Globe Correspondent / August 31, 2009

The Archdiocese of Boston has placed the pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Watertown on administrative leave, after he was recently accused of a sexual assault 20 years ago.

Church officials have notified an unspecified law enforcement agency of the allegation against the Rev. Frederick Barr and have initiated an internal investigation into the complaint, said Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

Barr will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation, Lynch said. The Rev. Raymond Kiley has taken over as administrator of St. Patrick’s Parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 AM

August 30, 2009

Priest Accused Of Sexually Abusing Child

WATERTOWN (MA)
TheBostonChannel

BOSTON -- The pastor of a Watertown church was placed on administrative leave Sunday after he was accused of sexual abusing a child two decades ago, the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement.

Church officials have notified police of the allegation against the Rev. Frederick Barr, the Archdiocese said, and the church has launched an internal investigation into the charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Watertown Priest Faces Sex Abuse Allegation

WATERTOWN (MA)
WBZ

WATERTOWN (WBZ)

The pastor of St. Patrick's Church has been placed on administrative leave because of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, the Archdiocese of Boston announced.

The conduct by the Rev. Frederick Barr is alleged to have taken place about 20 years ago, the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

One can only hope that the homilist at Senator Kennedy's funeral mass listens to his own words.

UNITED STATES
Ignatius Group

COMMENTARY

August 30, 2009

One can only hope that Rev. Mark Hession, the homilist at Senator Kennedy's funeral mass, was able to hear his own words as he spoke about Senator Kennedy's never ending compassion, love and understanding for the least among us.

In 2003, Rev. Hession was asked about the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church. In an interview published in National Catholic Reporter, Hession said, "I can’t wait to get off the sex abuse piece of it.” He added that there are many other issues that need attention. “And when we put all the numbers together in this particular crisis, it’s almost indecent, frankly, that we are still tearing at it ourselves.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Sex scandals, controversy plagued Cincy archbishop's career

CINCINNATI (OH)
Middletown Journal

By Tom Beyerlein, Staff Writer
Updated 11:09 AM Sunday, August 30, 2009

CINCINNATI— Asked to enumerate his achievements in 27 years as the Archbishop of Cincinnati, Daniel E. Pilarczyk counted none.

“The church is the achievement of the Lord and the Lord is the achiever,” he said. “We are but the instruments.”

Earlier this month, the Dayton native who has become the longest-serving bishop in the United States and spiritual leader to 500,000 Catholics, submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI on his 75th birthday, as required under church law. Although the transition date isn’t certain, Pilarczyk is to be replaced by Dennis Schnurr, the former bishop of Duluth who was named Cincinnati’s coadjutor archbishop in October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

$30M SUIT VS. 'PERV' PASTOR

NEW YORK
New York Post

By KATI CORNELL and SHARI LOGAN

A married pastor sexually assaulted a live-in custodial worker at his Flatbush church and victimized other congregants, a $30 million suit charges.

Victor Figueroa, who was quietly arrested May 4, allegedly fondled the woman twice last October after barging into her and her husband's basement apartment at Iglesia Pentecostal Jesus El Camino Verdadero.

"This is stronger than you or I," the pastor said as he groped her, according to papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 AM

Cash donated to the Catholic Church are paying for sex sins

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Sue Hewitt

August 30, 2009 12:00am
THE Melbourne Catholic Church is paying victims of sex abuse by its clergy with cash donated in collection plates.

Victims' advocates are outraged that parishioners have not been told they were "paying for the sins of the Fathers" and have called on the church for transparency.

A confidential minute from an internal church document exposes the source of compensation funds for 450 sexual abuse cases over the past 13 years.

Archbishop Denis Hart said in the document, obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun, that the sex abuse compensation money did not come from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 AM

Sins of a church

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Editorial

August 29, 2009 12:00am
THE revelation that the Melbourne Catholic Church has been secretly using money given in the collection plates to pay off victims of sexual abuses by clergy will disturb many parishioners.

A confidential minute from an internal church document exposes the source of funds for 450 sexual abuse cases in the past 13 years.

The minute confirms a long-held suspicion that the church is using hard-earned funds supplied by the loyal faithful in financially challenging times to pay for "the sins of the fathers".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 AM

Parish reconfigurations announced, 19 churches to be closed

MASSACHUSETTS
iobserve

[with Bishop Timohy A. McDonnell's address on the closings]

[Pastoral Planning report]

By Terence Hegarty

SPRINGFIELD – It's been long-awaited, but certainly not welcome news. Final recommendations for parish reconfigurations in the Diocese of Springfield began to be announced in parishes Aug. 29 and will continue through the weekend.

Nineteen churches in Hampden and Hampshire counties will be closed. Many of the parishes will be merged with neighboring parishes.

A press briefing, detailing the changes, was held earlier this week. Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell met with the pastor of each parish that will be affected and wrote a letter for each parish to be read at Masses this weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 AM

BREAKING NEWS Final Parish Reconfigurations Announced, 19 Catholic Churches to be Closed

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS 3

By CBS 3 Springfield/AP

Diocese of Springfield Press Release:

SPRINGFIELD – The final recommendations for parish reconfigurations in the Diocese of Springfield are being announced in parishes throughout this weekend. Nineteen churches in Hampden and Hampshire counties will be closed. Many of the parishes will be merged with neighboring parishes.

Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell met with the pastor of each parish that will be affected and wrote a letter for each parish to be read at Masses this weekend.

He said he knows that the changes will cause some to be angry and in pain. “There's going to be hurt, and I wish there weren't, the bishop said. “But, at the same time, we are a pilgrim people. And church is meant to be a pilgrim people. Church is meant to be people on the move.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 AM

Spfld Diocese to close 19 churches

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP

Julie Tremmel
Matt Caron
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Springfield Diocese announced that 19 area churches will either close or merge as part of a diocese reorganization program aimed to cut costs.

The reorganization leaves thousands of local Catholics with heavy hearts and the reality that the church they faithfully attended for so many years may close its doors.

Priests at the closing and restructured parishes told 22News its a day they hoped would never come.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 AM

Local Churches to Close

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
ABC 40

By Marci Izard

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (abc40) The Diocese of Springfield has announced the churches in Hampden and Hampshire counties that will close.

The announcement comes at the end of a four-year analysis issued by the 12 member Diocesan Pastoral Planning Committee.

Chicopee is the hardest hit community with a net reduction of five churches.

Northampton and Springfield will each lose three.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 AM

A day of sorrow for area Catholics

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

by The Republican
Saturday August 29, 2009, 8:46 PM
Today is a day of sorrow for the thousands of Roman Catholics in Hampden and Hampshire counties who learned that their parishes will close by the end of the year.

Come January, 14 churches that were built with the blood, sweat and tears - and in some cases the very hands - of their parishioners will close forever, the victim of the falling numbers of Roman Catholics, shifting population trends and a lack of priests. Another eight churches will also close in the coming months through a series of mergers.

For parishioners who consecrated every milestone of their lives - their births, marriages and deaths - in these churches it will be unbearably sad to watch as the tabernacles are emptied and sanctuary lights extinguished, and buildings that for them served as a bridge between heaven and earth turn into mere parcels of real estate. We share their sorrow, because we know how important strong religious communities are to society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 AM

Church closings anger parishioners

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

Sunday, August 30, 2009
By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com
Waves of shock, anger and resignation rippled across the region's Roman Catholic community Saturday, as announcements of widespread parish closings were delivered at afternoon Masses.

Following a four-year analysis and a 108-page report issued by the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Committee, 14 churches will be shuttered by year's end, with cities like Chicopee and Northampton being hardest hit.

Single-parish suburbs and those deemed "budding communities" such as Belchertown and Ware went unscathed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 AM

Cardinal opens his mouth and puts his carbon footprint in it

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The prelate managed to go from global warming to denouncing gay marriage in one homily, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday August 30 2009

THERE are some businesses which, thankfully, are proving resistant to the recession.

Less thankfully, religion is one of them.

Whether it's the uncertainty of the times which is making people turn back to the comforts of the Almighty, or a genuine spiritual yearning for something better after the era of untrammelled greed which the commentators insist we've all been living through, remains to be seen.

Maybe once wages and house prices start rising again, God will be relegated to His usual place on the back burner. But for now, the Church is bouncing back. A total of 38 young men entered the seminaries this year, almost double last year's figure.

It's too early to say if it's a trend, insists an uncharacteristically modest Catholic Communications Office; but coming only a few months after the Church suffered its own version of the credit crunch -- more of a credibility crunch, really -- with the publication of the Ryan Report into institutional abuse, it's a remarkable change of fortune.

If only the Catholic Church realised when it was on to a good thing, and didn't push its luck.

Given all that's happened, you'd think the hierarchy would say to one another: "Phew, lads, that was a close shave. Now let's keep our heads down for a while till it all blows over." Instead they immediately dive head first into yet another row -- thanks to Cardinal Sean Brady's homily last weekend in Limerick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 AM

No new abuse allegations received, diocese says

COLUMBIA (MO)
Missourian

Sunday, August 30, 2009
BY Courtney Shove

COLUMBIA — In the week since Mark McAllister and his family spoke out about his clergy abuse settlement, the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City said it has not received any new allegations of abuse.

At a news conference Tuesday, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said at least four more victims have come forward to report abuse by a former Boonville priest.

"We have not received any new allegations (since the recent settlement)," Ron Vessell, allegations review administrator for the diocese, said Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 AM

St. John's members say embattled priest was well-liked

FREDERICK (MD)
News-Post

By Ron Cassie
News-Post Staff

Recent allegations of sexual abuse against the Rev. Thomas Bevan are difficult to reconcile for local Catholics who knew him as a priest at St. John the Evangelist in Frederick in the mid-1970s.

Several St. John the Evangelist members recalled the former associate pastor as an intellectual, remembering the book he wrote about the history of the Catholic community in Frederick . One former altar boy who worked with Bevan said he was shocked by the allegations, recalling him as "the cool priest" who was also involved in the local Boy Scouts program.

Bevan, now a monsignor at St. Patrick's in Cumberland, has been removed from duties pending the investigation. Ordained in 1963, Bevan served at St. John the Evangelist from 1974 to 1979. He served at four parishes before moving to St. Patrick's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 AM

Bishop of Scranton to step down next week

SCRANTON (PA)
Catholic News Agency

Scranton, Pa., Aug 28, 2009 / 11:12 am (CNA).- Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within the diocese confirmed to the local press today.

The sources did not explain the reason for the 62-year-old bishop’s decision. The sources also did not specify if the Bishop’s resignation was going to be presented or if it had been already submitted and accepted by the Vatican.

When asked by CNA to confirm Bishop Martino's resignation, diocesan spokesman William Genello said that the diocese will hold a press conference next Monday for media members only.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 AM

W-B group considers a vigil to save church

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Times-Leader

By Mark Guydish mguydish@timesleader.com
Education Reporter

WILKES-BARRE – The man at the top who started the struggle may be leaving, but the people opposing his decisions remain.

As news leaked Friday that Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino is expected to resign this week, a group of those determined to save Sacred Heart Church gathered outside the building Martino ordered closed by July 2010.

They posed in front of scaffolding the diocese insists protects from a crumbling facade, a claim they call bogus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 AM

August 29, 2009

Some fences mended, still Catholics are not getting the true story about sex crimes by their priests

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

One way to bypass corporate media control and tell the story of sex crimes in the Catholic Church is to take it to the streets, talking to one person at a time. Like we did with Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse, which last week arrived at the Pacific Coast after starting in Eastern Oregon on July 27th (see photos below).

Still, the Listening Session at the Catholic Church in Portland last Saturday continues to haunt me. I know I'm going to perplex and maybe even enrage some people by writing this, but it is honestly how I feel. Something is definitely not right with the way active Catholics are getting the story about crimes in their churches, or rather not getting the story.

At first of course there was the initial afterglow when the Compassionate Listening session ended. When people communicate and mend fences, it releases endorphins everywhere. But following the session, something was wrong, I couldn't quite put finger on it at first, and still haven’t quite got it.

Okay, the parishioner who opened the meeting said by way of introduction that indeed at that very same church a pastor had recently been removed, suddenly. The speaker inferred that there had only been one charge of a sex crime against a child filed concerning Gus Krumm and she said those charges had never been proven. -

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Archdiocese finds no racial bias in sex abuse settlements

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 27, 2009

CHICAGO CATHOLIC NEWS
Reacting to criticism that the Archdiocese of Chicago treated black victims of priest sex abuse worse than whites, the church analyzed financial settlements and found "no overall difference" in payouts between races.

That's according to a strongly worded "background" memorandum recently sent to priests and deacons by a top archdiocesan official, the Rev. John Canary. The stated aim of the memo -- obtained by ChicagoCatholicNews -- is to help clergy "prepare to communicate with . . . parishioners about this and other important issues."

"The Archdiocese has never considered race to be a factor in evaluating clerical misconduct claims, so we never compiled the numbers in this fashion," according to the Aug. 21 memo. "Each claim is evaluated individually and the amounts of the settlements vary based on the abuse that took place. Recently, we did an historical review of all the settlements the Archdiocese has reached with sexual abuse survivors. There is no overall difference between the amounts of settlements paid to African American survivors and those paid to others."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Picard guilty on all counts in sex battery case

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

By MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • August 28, 2009

MANSFIELD -- Ex youth pastor John Picard was found guilty on 42 counts of sexual battery in Richland County Common Pleas Court Friday afternoon.

The verdict was read around 4:45 p.m. and no sentencing date was announced.

Defense attorney James Banks chose to rest his case Thursday without calling any witnesses. Picard did not take the stand in his own defense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Ex-Mansfield youth pastor found guilty

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

By MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • August 29, 2009

MANSFIELD -- Gretchen Rocks said she finally felt free.

"It feels like a new beginning," Rocks said Friday after a jury convicted John Picard on 42 counts of sexual battery. "I feel like I can breathe."

The eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated more than three hours before finding the former youth pastor guilty on all counts. Picard, 41, of Englewood, used coercion to form sexual relationships with female parishioners at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Brooklyn pastor hit with $30M sex abuse suit; 'Again?' Pastor's wife asks

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

by John Marzulli
Daily News Staff Writer

Saturday, August 29th 2009, 4:00 AM

The pastor of a Pentacostal church in Brooklyn sexually abused a female employee and then fired her after she rebuffed his advances, the woman's $30 million lawsuit charges.

The Rev. Victor Figueroa fondled the woman and tried to pull off her clothes last October 2008 in an apartment she shared with her husband in the basement of the Iglesia Pentecostal Jesus El Camino Verdadero Church on Tilden Ave., according to the complaint filed Thursday in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The 39-year-old woman told the pastor's wife what happened and she responded, "Again?" the complaint states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Diocese Mum on Report of Bishop's Resignation

SCRANTON (PA)
WNEP

[with video]

One day after Newswatch 16 reported Bishop Joseph Martino will be stepping down from his post in the Diocese of Scranton, little is being said about the change of power in the diocese.

Diocese officials are not saying anything about the status of Bishop Joseph Martino. They would not confirm nor deny the bishop is leaving. They only handed out a news release which states a news conference will be held Monday morning.

Newswatch 16 learned late Thursday night that Bishop Martino may be stepping down due to health reasons. The leader of the Scranton diocese has had a history of controversy over closed churches and schools and his public statements on church policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 AM

Martino era expected to end

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

By Mark Guydish mguydish@timesleader.com
Education Reporter

SCRANTON – Bishop Joseph Martino is expected to resign next week, making his tenure the second shortest among all leaders in the Diocese of Scranton, and leaving behind a flock divided after shrinking finances and a dwindling number of priests prompted him to close numerous schools and churches during his tumultuous, six-year service.

Sources in and outside the diocese confirmed on Friday that Martino, 63, and Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty, 77, will resign and that Archdiocese of Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali will be appointed Apostolic Administrator until a new bishop is chosen by the pope. Dougherty actually submitted his resignation when he turned 75 as required by the church, but it was never acted upon. Rigali is the “metropolitan” in Pennsylvania, meaning he is the highest ranking bishop in the state.

Despite the fact that multiple media outlets locally and nationally reported Martino’s looming resignation throughout the day, the diocese officially kept mum, posting a terse notice on its Web site Friday afternoon titled “Diocese of Scranton to make announcement.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 AM

No charges for controversial Red Springs priest

NORTH CAROLINA
The News & Observer

The Fayetteville Observer

The Robeson County District Attorney's Office has concluded its investigation of a Red Springs Roman Catholic priest and says no charges will be filed.

The office said earlier this week that it had reviewed an allegation that Father Walter Ospina of Iglesia Catolica San Andres in Red Springs acted inappropriately. The office did not specify what the allegation was or who made it.

"Based upon our review, there was insufficient amount of evidence to warrant prosecution," said Joe Osman, who handled the case for the District Attorney's Office.

On Aug. 16, members of the parish padlocked Ospina out of the church. Many Hispanic Roman Catholics who worship at the church are unhappy with the priest. They say he does not make time for them, he's disrespectful and a poor communicator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 AM

Scranton's Bishop Martino reportedly resigning

SCRANTON (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Bishop Joseph Martino, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton and one of the most fervent pro-life voices in the nation, is widely reported to be resigning next week after just six years in the office and long before traditional retirement age.

Martino, 62, who served as a priest and auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has rarely appeared in public during his term in the 350,000-member Scranton diocese. Yet he has not shied from controversy, denouncing pro-choice politicians, theologically liberal academics, and Catholic teachers' unions.

The diocesan communications office declined yesterday to confirm reports by local media, the Catholic News Agency, and the National Catholic Reporter that Martino was stepping down and hinting at health problems. However, a major news conference is scheduled for Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 AM

Dallas Episcopal Diocese suspends priest for 3 years over harassing women

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News
begerton@dallasnews.com
Dallas Episcopal Diocese officials confirmed Friday that they have suspended another priest, this time for harassing women.

It's the second acknowledgment this week of misconduct that was serious enough to warrant a man's removal – at least temporarily – from the ministry.

The first case to come to light involves the Rev. William Warnky, whom Bishop James Stanton suspended effective Monday. He acted because financial regulators barred Warnky from securities trading and ruled that he owes an ex-parishioner $50,000 for stock fraud.

The case that surfaced Friday involves the Rev. Keith Roberson, whom Stanton stripped of his collar for three years for "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy." That punishment was quietly handed down two months ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 AM

Diocese takes abuse case to parishes

CONNECTICUT
WWLP

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - The bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is distributing a letter to all parishes in the diocese explaining why it opposes the release of documents generated by lawsuits against priests for alleged sexual abuse.

Bishop William Lori says all priests named in the documents have already been publicly identified and none are working for the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 AM

Diocese appears to break pledge

CONNECTICUT
Boston Globe

By Jonathan Saltzman and Michael Rezendes
Globe Staff / August 29, 2009

A Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut has invoked the First Amendment’s separation of church and state in a request to the US Supreme Court to let it keep clergy sexual abuse documents under seal, a move that appeared to contradict the church’s recent pledges of openness.

On Thursday, two days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied the Diocese of Bridgeport’s request to keep the documents under wraps despite a recent ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court, the diocese said the dispute raises fundamental constitutional issues and asked the full US Supreme Court to review the case.

The dispute concerns 12,675 pages of documents from 23 lawsuits, settled out of court in 2001, that accused the diocese of negligently assigning six priests who allegedly committed sexual abuse. The documents could shed light on how Cardinal Edward M. Egan, retired archbishop of New York, handled the allegations when he was bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 AM

Former St. Jude priest charged

ELYRIA (OH)
The Chronicle-Telegram

Brad Dicken

ELYRIA — A former Catholic priest at St. Jude Church who also once served as the Elyria police chaplain has been indictedon a charge of sexual battery for allegedly having sexual contact with a teenage boy in the summer of 1997.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said Patrick O’Connor touched the boy, now in his late 20s, while he was a priest at St. Jude.

“It wasn’t a parishioner, he was just a person from the neighborhood,” Will said of the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 AM

NY Bill to Change Statute of Limitations for Sex Abuse Victims Fails

NEW YORK
24/7

Article provided by Orlow, Orlow & Orlow, P.C.
Visit us at www.orlowlaw.com

A bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse did not pass the State Assembly during this year's legislative session. The Child Victims Act (A.2596) was pulled from the calendar on June 23, 2009 after Assembly leaders decided the bill did not have enough votes to pass.

Under current law, victims of childhood sexual abuse have five years from their 18th birthdays to report the crime and/or to file a civil claim for damages against their alleged abusers. The Child Victims Act sought to change the five year statute of limitations period so that it did not begin to run until the victim's 23rd birthday, giving the victim until age 28 to file criminal charges and/or a civil lawsuit. This would have effectively increased the statute of limitations period from five years to 10.

Arguably the most controversial measure of the Child Victims Act would have created a one year window from the time the bill was enacted that would have allowed anyone to file a claim alleging sex abuse, no matter how old the victim now was or how long ago the alleged act occurred. After the one year period ended, the statute of limitations period would have reverted to the expanded 10 year period

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 AM

August 28, 2009

Ex-Youth Pastor Guilty Of 42 Sex Counts

MANSFIELD (OH)
10TV

[with video]

MANSFIELD, Ohio — A former youth pastor was found guilty on Friday of dozens of sex charges.

The jury deliberated for about four hours before reaching their verdict against John Picard, 10TV's Andy Hirsch reported.

Picard was on trial for using his position as a youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church, to manipulate six church members into sexual relationships. Some of the acts occurred when the children were under 18 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Parishioners anxious as Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield readies to announce next round of church closings

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

by The Republican Newsroom
Friday August 28, 2009, 5:38 PM

By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com

Anxiety is building among Catholic parishioners awaiting to learn the fates of their churches, according to a spokesman for the local diocese.

"It's one of those things. You want it to come, but you're fearful of what you may hear," said Mark E. Dupont, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, referring to people who approached him after the diocese announced Thursday that planned church closures will be revealed at Saturday Masses.

Fourteen parishes in Hampden and Hampshire counties will be shuttered by the end of the year, with eight more to follow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Bridgeport Diocese Appeals To U.S. Supreme Court In Clergy Sex Abuse Cases

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport on Friday appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in its attempt to keep secret more than 12,600 court documents from clergy sex abuse cases.

The 50-page Writ of Certiorari, prepared by a New York law firm recently hired to handle the appeal, asks the court to overturn the state Supreme Court ruling that the files are public documents.

The appeal hinges on two legal issues: the state Supreme Court's definition of what constitutes a legal document, and the church's contention that its First Amendment rights would be violated by the unsealing of documents that church officials produced with the understanding that they would be sealed forever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Conn. diocese wants Scalia to look at case

CONNECTICUT
The Associated Press

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN (AP)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut that has fought for years to prevent the release of documents generated by lawsuits against priests for alleged sexual abuse wants conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to take up the case.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Tuesday ruled the documents cannot remain sealed until the full court decides whether to review the case. On Friday, attorneys for Diocese of Bridgeport asked that Scalia, a Catholic, reconsider its request to continue a stay on the release of the papers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Pierce victim speaks out

BENTON (AR)
Courier

Friday, 28 August 2009

When First Baptist Church’s former music minister was convicted of sexual indecency charges Thursday, that action resolved the tragic situation for many people. David Pierce left the courtroom in handcuffs on his way to the county jail, awaiting transfer to a state Department of Correction facility.

There are some individuals, though, who say the matter can never be fully over, that it will haunt them for the rest of their lives. They are the victims of Pierce’s years of calculated abuse.
One of those victims, now in his late 20s, on Thursday shared his story with the Courier on the condition of anonymity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Ex-pastor sex case: Now it's up to the jury

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

BY MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • August 28, 2009

MANSFIELD — The jury has the case in John Picard’s sexual battery trial.

The eight-man, four-woman panel got the case just before noon and broke for lunch. Jurors are expected to start deliberating around 1 p.m.

Picard, 41, of Englewood, is charged with 42 counts of sexual battery and could receive up to 110 years in prison if convicted. He is accused of sexual misconduct with female parishioners at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue, where he was youth pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Youth minister

WEST VIRGINIA
Williamson Daily News

by JOSHUA MURPHY Staff Writer

The scene in Mingo County Magistrate Court yesterday appeared to be something from a TV drama

The hearing to find probable cause in the case of youth minister Steven Steinbrecher was heard before Magistrate Pam Newsome. Though the hearing was preliminary, the attorneys argued their cases with vigor not seen outside of courtroom dramas.

Steinbrecher, 38, of Kermit, was arrested in July for allegedly soliciting a minor sexually via the internet using MySpace and instant messaging. According to previous reports, Steinbrecher was a youth pastor at Jennie’s Creek Gospel Church and a school bus driver at the time of arrest.

Court drops abuse suit against Ind. diocese

FORT WAYNE (IN)
Chicago Tribune

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana Roman Catholic diocese and a priest's order have been cleared of wrongdoing in a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a priest as a 10-year-old.

Allen Superior Judge Stanley A. Levine ruled Tuesday that the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province Inc. could not be held responsible for the alleged abuse in part because they were unaware it was occurring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Scranton's Bishop Martino stepping down

SCRANTON (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

By Tom Roberts

Bishop Joseph F. Martino will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., as early as next week, according to sources within the diocese, it was reported today by several outlets in the Scranton area.

The Towanda Daily Review and TV station WNEP each reported the impending shift and that Cardinal Justin Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the metropolitan see in Pennsylvania, will oversee the diocese until Martino’s replacement is named.

Attempts to reach a diocesan spokesman this morning were unsuccessful.

The Times Leader newspaper in Scranton reported yesterday that Martino was moving out of the traditional downtown residence for Scranton bishops at the rectory of St. Peter’s Cathedral to a rural retreat center that once served as a diocesan seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Kennedy and the sex abuse crisis

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson August 28, 2009 09:57 AM

I'm getting lots of e-mail in response to today's story about Kennedy and Catholicism, with many questions and observations, some of which I'll try to share over the course of the day.

Among those who e-mailed was Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston lawyer who represented scores of victims of clergy sexual abuse, who wanted to share a little about Kennedy's response to the abuse crisis. Here's what Garbedian told me:

A few years ago Senator Kennedy, while traveling to a meeting concerning the conditions at Guantanamo Bay, personally called me to express his support for clergy sexual abuse victims and for my legal representation of clergy sexual abuse victims.

While speaking with Senator Kennedy about the the harm to clergy sexual abuse victims I could sense a genuineness in his heart and a sincerity in his soul. He was very easy to talk to. It was like discussing the matter with the concerned neighbor next door. Senator Kennedy was not in a rush to end the conversation. In our discussion, Senator Kennedy stressed the continuing need to help those less fortunate.

Several scholars I spoke with yesterday pointed out to me that Kennedy, despite being repeatedly criticized by the Catholic right, never fought back by criticizing the church. I took a look in our clips to see what Kennedy said about the abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Bishop of Scranton to step down next week

SCRANTON (PA)
Catholic News Agency

Scranton, Pa., Aug 28, 2009 / 11:12 am (CNA).- Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within the diocese confirmed to the local press today.

The sources did not explain the reason for the 62-year-old bishop’s decision. The sources also did not specify if the Bishop’s resignation was going to be presented or if it had been already submitted and accepted by the Vatican.

When asked by CNA to confirm Bishop Martino's resignation, diocesan spokesman William Genello said that the diocese will hold a press conference next Monday for media members only.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Clergy Abuse Support Groups Expand in Ohio Valley

OHIO
OVParent

A national self-help group network for victims of sexual abuse now has five Ohio Valley-area support group meetings, in order to meet the growing need for healing by those who are hurting because of child molesting clergy.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), has named Woodsfield native Judy Block-Jones as the regional director for the Ohio Valley to oversee the expansion.

SNAP is the nation's largest support groups for men and women who were sexually abused in religious organizations.

"We're hearing from people who were assaulted by Protestant clergy, Catholic priests, and ministers of various faith groups," said Barbara Dorris, SNAP's outreach director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

A former Crosby altarboy turned church thief took h

UNITED KINGDOM
Crosby Herald

Aug 28 2009 by Richard Down, Liverpool Daily Post

A FORMER altarboy who took a fatal drugs overdose never recovered from being abused by a Catholic priest for three years as a boy, an inquest heard.

Christopher Hughes, 34, developed such a hatred of the Catholic Church after being raped by a priest that he regularly took revenge by burgling churches and the homes of clergy.

He was convicted for burglaries at St Edmunds Church, and St Faith’s vicarage, both in Waterloo, as well as a further theft at All Saints Church in Crosby.

Decree

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

This PDF-formatted decree from BIshop Timothy A. McDonnell in 2008 announced a first round of church closings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 AM

Bishop McDonnell to address parish reconfigurations on ‘Real to Reel’ Saturday evening

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell will address the changes to parishes in the last round of pastoral planning announcements shortly after 7 p.m. on the diocese’s weekly television newsmagazine, “Real to Reel,” Aug. 29. His statement will also air at the beginning of the Aug. 30 “Chalice of Salvation” televised Mass, which is broadcast at 10 a.m. Both programs air on WWLP-22NEWS.

A complete report detailing the changes and why they were needed will be presented at the beginning of the program and the bishop will speak following that report.

Bishop McDonnell, along with Msgr. John J. Bonzagni, director of the diocesan Office of Pastoral Planning, met this week with clergy in the areas being affected by the changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 AM

Parish reconfigurations to be announced this weekend

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – Final pastoral planning recommendations for parishes in the Diocese of Springfield will be announced at weekend Masses Aug. 29 and 30 in the areas to be affected, the diocese announced today.

Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell approved the recommendations earlier this month following the input of his Presbyteral Council. The bishop noted that most of the parish reconfigurations are to be implemented by the end of November.

The majority of the changes will occur in area cities, said Msgr. John J. Bonzagni, director of the diocesan Office of Pastoral Planning. Some of the areas where changes have been recommended include Chicopee, Easthampton, Holyoke, Ludlow, Northampton, Palmer, South Hadley and Springfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 AM

Diocese closing churches

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republic

Friday, August 28, 2009
By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com
Fourteen Roman Catholic churches in Hampden and Hampshire counties will go dark by the end of the year, officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said Thursday.

Details of closures will be presented at weekend Masses.

Eight more churches are expected to close within the coming months or within two years through a series of mergers.

The closings will be scattered across the two counties, but will likely be more concentrated in communities where churches are densely packed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 AM

Elephants in the Sanctuary

IRELAND
Voice from the Desert

By Sean O’Conaill
Coleraine, Northern Ireland
August 17, 2009

Flashbacks are a diagnostic symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder - unavoidable mental images of frightful events that have wrenched the mind and heart. Until their dying day, vivid memories of brutality and degradation will at any moment startle those who suffered in Ireland’s church-run residential institutions.

Exposing those who read it in any detail to some of the most appalling images of cruelty in the annals of Ireland, the Ryan report was a traumatic event for the rest of the nation also. Especially for us Catholics who lived within a grand illusion, denied knowledge of the total scale of that trauma by decades of still unexplained ecclesiastical not-knowing. Who can lift a Rosary now without thinking of small fingers bleeding in Goldenbridge orphanage?

Denied always the opportunity to discuss as adults within our own church any deeply controversial issue, this denial persists in the aftermath of the report. Given no leadership signal to initiate such a discussion, Catholic priests these days must negotiate every Sunday the elephants who now occupy the sanctuary - the unavoidable questions raised by our unbidden flashbacks to Letterfrack and Daingean and Artane. And by the knowledge that such things were happening at the apogee of the church’s power in Ireland - 1979 - when a pope visited us for the first time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 AM

Pierce convicted, gets 10 years

BENTON (AR}
Courier

Thursday, 27 August 2009

David Pierce, the former music minister of Benton’s First Baptist Church, confessed to and was convicted of four counts of sexual indecency with a child before Saline County Circuit Judge Grisham Philips this morning.

According to the negotiated plea, Pierce, 56, will serve 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.

The actual sentence includes two six-year terms to run concurrently and two four-year terms to run concurrently, followed by an additional term of two years’ suspended imposition of sentence.
Upon his release from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender and will be listed as an habitual offender, Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady said following today’s court proceeding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 AM

Bishop Martino to move out of downtown Scranton and make home at Dalton retreat

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Tribune

by laura legere (staff writer)
Published: August 27, 2009

Bishop Joseph F. Martino is moving from his residence in the downtown heart of the 11-county Diocese of Scranton to the diocese's rural retreat and former seminary in Dalton.

Repeated efforts to reach the spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese were unsuccessful Tuesday evening and Wednesday, and there has been no official statement of when the bishop will move to the pastoral Dalton campus, why he is moving there, or how long he plans to stay.

On Wednesday morning, a pickup truck packed with a desk and easy chairs was parked in front of the bishop's residence on Wyoming Avenue. Workers said they were relocating some of the bishop's belongings to Dalton in advance of a complete move, and the bishop will remain downtown "for a while yet."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 AM

You take sex away from people it’s got to come from somewhere and it’s not going to come from the kids anymore: Transcript of KCTU show just webcast

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Just because I do it for a living, I transcribed Educating to End Abuse just now as it was webcast, and am posting it here. I know I said next post would be a report with photos of the Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse in Portland last weekend, and that post will be up by Saturday. But, just because I do it for a living and it felt right, here is a rough transcript of the show that just aired on KCTU Wichita, River City Forum.

On screen were Peggy Warren, producer of the show, and Sheryl Nutt, station owner. John Brown from Australia managed to come in with video using Skype. The connection was lost a bit into the program, and John then came in by telephone, but the video connection has so much potential for future webcasts. Also by phone was Ken Kociorek from San Diego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

Removal of local priest stuns parish

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

[with video]

Luke Moretti
Posted by: Internet Producer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB_ - Why did the Buffalo Catholic Diocese remove a priest and a business manager from a local parish? News 4 Investigative Reporter Luke Moretti discovers the moves comes after the two men expressed concerns about the parish's finances.

"They said that I was being terminated as of that point, as was Msgr. Vorhees," said Marc Pasquale who was removed as Business Manager from St. Teresa.

Donna Benzin attends St. Teresa and is stunned. "Stunned out of my mind. Just literally stunned. Because, I mean, Father Fred, I thought was great," said Benzin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 AM

Canadian church officials committed genocide, film alleges

CANADA
Canadian Christianity

By Steve Weatherbe

KEVIN ANNETT is back in the spotlight.

The one-time United Church of Canada (UCC) minister has made his second career attacking the Canadian residential school system, and accusing the churches which ran them of genocide.

Based in Nanaimo, Annett makes ends meet by officiating at funerals and showing Unrepentant -- an award-winning documentary about his 1995 departure from his posting at a Port Alberni congregation, and his subsequent accusations.

Now he's teamed up with Vancouver Island filmmaker Louis Lawless, who directed the documentary, on a fictionalized retelling of the same story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 AM

Let Us Now Sue - Home page for Diocese of Bridgeport contains 2 items on litigation

CONNECTICT
Law and More

Our litigious times have seeped right into the holiest of the holies.

Instead of gathering the flock to join in prayer, the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut seems to be attempting to have them be on what the Church deems to be the right side of its lawsuits. On the home page of its website, the Diocese has a box at the top. In that box, two of the four items - or 50% - concern lawsuits.

One is pending for possible review by the U.S. Supreme Court. It relates to the sealing of documents which was part of the Diocese's settlement in the clergy sex abuse cases. Four newspapers want them unsealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 AM

OPINION Mansion for Maine's bishop could be a bit much

MAINE
Morning Sentinel

BY BILL NEMITZ
Portland Press Herald

The more the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland shutters its churches and puts them on the real estate market, the larger the question looms: Should Maine's bishop still be living in a million-dollar mansion?

It's on Portland's tony Western Promenade. According to city tax records, the 6,970-square-foot, three-story "mansion" has six bedrooms, 4 baths, an 840-square-foot garage and an assessed value of $1,126,000.

In short, pretty nice digs by anyone's standards. Too nice, according to at least one perennial thorn in the side of Bishop Richard Malone.

"It's not about Richard Malone," said Paul Kendrick, a Roman Catholic who for years has publicly decried the church's handling of the sexual abuse of children by priests. "It's about 'What kind of church is this?'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 AM

August 27, 2009

Hidden victims of sex abuse face deadline

ALASKA
Tundra Drums

DIMITRA LAVRAKAS

August 27, 2009 at 10:52AM AKST

Workers in Alaska’s jails, therapists and care providers are being urged by a support group for clergy sex abuse victims to spread the word about an upcoming deadline that may allow hundreds of sex-abuse survivors to receive compensation for crimes committed against them by child-molesting clerics, according to a news release from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

SNAP, the nation’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused in religious organizations, is alerting statewide therapeutic, health care and corrections officials about the upcoming deadline for men and women who have been sexually abused by Jesuit priests, brothers and volunteers. Many of these victims may be eligible for monetary compensation to help aid in their healing.

Victims have until Nov. 30 to file a claim. Anyone also hurt by Jesuit staff or volunteers in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon is eligible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Healing Service for Trauma Victims Scheduled

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Jewish Times

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor

“Listen, Believe, Respond—to those among us who have experienced the trauma of abuse as children, adolescents or adults.”

A unique service, coming just days before Rosh Hashanah, will bring hope, validation and healing to the survivors of domestic, sexual, physical, verbal and all forms of abuse.

This community gathering is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 13, beginning 7:30 p.m., at the Weinberg Park Heights Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Ave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Former chaplain pleads not guilty in sex abuse case

ST. CLOUD (MN)
St. Cloud Times

By David Unze • dunze@stcloudtimes.com • August 27, 2009

A retired pastor and former volunteer chaplain for the St. Cloud Police Department pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he repeatedly sexually abused a girl at his west St. Cloud home.

Arthur James Ree, 82, remains in Stearns County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail. His attorney requested a study to determine if that amount is too high. Stearns County District Court Judge Paul Widick ordered the study at a brief hearing Thursday.

Ree is charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct. A court complaint accuses him of abusing the girl t Ree’s residence on Wildwood Road, with the latest incident in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Court of Appeals decides whether Father Grassi remains free

ARGENTINA
Momento 24

Father Julio Grassi, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor who was staying at the “Felices los Niños” children shelter, located in Hurlingham district, Greater Buenos Aires and was run by the priest, remains in liberty until the Criminal Court of Appeals of Buenos Aires rules on the appeals filed by the complaint and the prosecution.

Yesterday, the court received a writ of habeas corpus filed by the defense of Grassi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Ex-rocky priest faces child sex counts in SA

AUSTRALIA
The Bulletin

28th August 2009

A FORMER Rockhampton Catholic priest will appear again in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to face child sex-offence charges.

Charles Alfred Barnett, 67, will appear next month after the matter was adjourned from an earlier hearing in Adelaide.

Barnett, who served at Wandal in the early 1990s, was extradited from Indonesia in February to face the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Today: Internet TV show on clergy sex crimes at 6PM Central (4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern) Call in toll free this afternoon

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

A monthly program on Clergy Sex Crimes, Educating To End Abuse, kicks off Season 4 late this afternoon, live on the internet from KCTU Wichita, with a national toll free number for listeners to phone-in and be part of the show. Two men who survived serial molestation as children in Catholic orphanges, one in New York and one in Australia, are special guests for the show tonight. Plus whoever calls in on the toll free line can add their thoughts. The show airs tonight at 6PM Central (CST) (4 PM in Los Angeles, 7PM in New York).

Tune in live on the internet by clicking here. Join the conversation by calling 1-866-905-8855.

Producer Peggy Warren is a clergy sex crime survivor from Kansas who picked up her trauma and turned it into a sword four years ago, convincing the local TV station to give her one night on its program that airs weeknights at 6 in Wichita, The River City Forum. A mother of five who also works as a school teacher, Warren puts together the monthly broadcasts featuring survivors she finds who are doing active work on clergy sex crime issues around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Diocese ousts St. Teresa’s priest and finance chief

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: August 27, 2009, 8:46 AM / 23 comments

Officials for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo have removed a priest and business manager from a South Buffalo parish, after the two men expressed concerns about missing financial records and other financial irregularities.

The sudden—and highly irregular— removals Friday of Monsignor Fred R. Voorhes and Marc J. Pasquale followed a recent telephone call Pasquale made to the Erie County district attorney’s office regarding possible financial improprieties at St. Teresa Parish and South Buffalo Catholic Schools.

Voorhes was summoned to the chancery Friday and removed as parish administrator. Monsignor W. Jerome Sullivan, the new temporary administrator, and Larry Vilardo, a lawyer for the diocese, went to the church at the same time to fire Pasquale, the business manager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Bonded by abuse crisis, and now a kidney

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

Posted by Michael Paulson August 27, 2009 09:02 AM

In yesterday's paper, I had a story about a prominent local survivor of clergy sexual abuse who is getting a kidney transplant from another abuse survivor. The lede:

First, he asked his brothers.
Then he turned to extended family.

It was only after it became clear that no one in his family qualified to donate a kidney that Phil Saviano realized he might die.

And then he turned to the one larger community that he has embraced for nearly two decades: survivors of clergy sexual abuse. ...

David Clohessy, the national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Dr. Martha Pavlakis, the nephrologist, tell me that the procedure went well. Saviano and Pavlak are now recovering at Beth Israel Deaconess.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

For the record

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Clergy abuse cases: A brief article in Monday's Section A about a group seeking information on possible victims of sex crimes at the former parish of defrocked priest Michael Stephen Baker failed to include the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' response to allegations by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests that Catholic officials weren't doing enough to find victims of clergy abuse. Attorney J. Michael Hennigan said: "The archdiocese aggressively investigates every allegation or suspected incident, and in those cases looks for other victims. If SNAP has other information, they should deliver it to us and we will pursue it as we have done in the past."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

“The Best Years of My Life”

dotCommonweal

August 26, 2009, 9:07 pm Posted by Cathleen Kaveny

A while back, Gregory Wolfe posted a moving testimony to the force for good that Communion and Liberation hd been in his life –and asked a general question about the role of movements in the Church. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but I see the possibility of danger, as well as good–and I’m worried about the danger .

I camer across a moving testimony of a different, and heartbraking, sort –from a young woman who feels betrayed by her time in a different movement — Regnum Christi.

How do we tell the good from the bad? Ecclesiastical approval at the highest levels? Regnum Christi and the Legionnaires of Christ were great favorites of John Paul II. Endorsements and approval? Power and influence? Regnum Christi and the Legionnaires had all that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Supreme Court denies diocese's appeal to keep court documents sealed

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

Washington D.C., Aug 27, 2009 / 04:45 am (CNA).- The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the Diocese of Bridgeport to keep the personnel files of some of its employees sealed off from several major newspapers investigating the diocese’s handling of sexual abuse accusations. The diocese contends that the papers already had access to the files and that re-opening them would reveal private information not related to the abuse cases.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg notified attorneys in the case of her decision on late Tuesday, the Hartford Courant reports.

The material includes 12,600 pages of depositions, exhibits and legal arguments involving 23 lawsuits against seven priests from the Diocese of Bridgeport. Most of the lawsuits were filed in the mid-1990s and were settled in 2001 for an undisclosed amount with the agreement that the settlements and the documents would remain sealed forever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Vicar accused of sex offences was a teacher

UNITED KINGDOM
The Herald

Thursday, August 27, 2009, 07:00
POLICE have revealed the vicar charged with six offences of indecency is a former primary school teacher, writes Carl Eve.

The Reverend Canon James Andrew Christopher Wilson, above, the Rector and Rural Dean of Calstock, was charged with six offences on girls under the age of 13 on Tuesday evening, as reported in The Herald.

The alleged offences date back to the late 1970s when he was a teacher at Pennycross Primary School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 AM

Legion long knew of Maciel children -- report

Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Catholic Light has links to translations of a CNN interview (en espanol) with a lawyer representing Marciel Maciel's biological children. The lawyer asserts that John Paul II knew that Maciel had children, though he offers no proof.

Pete Vere also has an interesting post up about how the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, who had previously been a fierce and uncompromising apologist for Maciel and his movement, shifted toward a position of skepticism and even prophetic (if remarkably gentle) chastisement of the group before his death.

I recently heard that a college friend who had been studying years ago for the priesthood in an LC seminary, but was abruptly dismissed, without explanation (as often happened with LC seminarians), has recently become engaged to be married. Deo gratias and mazel tov! He had a very rough time of it after the LCs sent him down, but it has all worked out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 AM

The lost children of Franco-era Spain

SPAIN
BBC

Sue Lloyd Roberts
BBC Newsnight, Spain

Seventy years after the end of the civil war in 1939 in which more than 350,000 people were killed, Spain is still divided over how to deal with what the country calls its "historical memory".

Many people, especially the older generation, say that it has been so long since the war took place that now it is time to forget.

General Franco ruled Spain as dictator for 36 years
However, those related to victims of the Franco era, and the younger generation, say that it is necessary to know about the events of that time, that they owe it to those who died. ...

The priest in charge, he says, used to abuse them sexually:

"The priests collaborated completely with the Falangists who had overthrown the government. They were paedophiles and they converted me to atheism - they were bad and I refused to believe a word they said."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 AM

2 Clergy Abuse Survivors Share Bond Through Transplant

BOSTON (MA)
KSTP

Phil Saviano and Susan Pavlak led separate lives in different states, both fighting for people who - like them - had been abused by clergy years ago.

On Wednesday, the former strangers shared a new bond in a Boston hospital as Pavlak donated her kidney to Saviano, who has AIDS.

It all began more than a year ago, when doctors told Saviano, of Roslindale, Mass., that his kidneys were failing. To avoid a life that depended on regular dialysis, Saviano needed a transplant - and believed the wait time for a kidney from a deceased donor would be too long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 AM

Pastor remembered for his compassion

MARBLEHEAD (MA)
The Salem News

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

MARBLEHEAD — The Rev. Dennis Burns cemented his reputation at the height of the priest abuse scandal, as far as his friend Mark Brings is concerned.

As the longtime pastor of the Our Lady, Star of the Sea Church, Burns did not want his parishioners' donations taken to settle lawsuits filed by victims. It wasn't because of a lack of sympathy for those who suffered at the hands of rogue priests; rather, Burns saw the problem as a matter for the hierarchy to deal with, the people who created the situation

"He bucked the archdiocese," Brings says. "He bucked Cardinal Law." As for the offending priests, "He thought they should be prosecuted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 AM

August 26, 2009

Franco's last victims search for solace

SPAIN
The Times (United Kingdom)

Graham Keeley

Uxenu Ablana grasps the rails of the rundown house that once was like a prison to him. He breaks into an irreverent version of Cara al Sol (Facing the Sun), one of the songs drummed into him as a child when he lived at this former orphanage. It is a bitter-sweet moment. This was the marching song of General Franco’s dictatorship.

For Ablana, the song symbolises a youth lost to the dictator’s regime. “My life stopped in 1936,” he says. “They robbed me of my childhood.”

Now 80, Ablana is one of an estimated 30,000 “stolen children” of Franco’s Spain. These sons or daughters of Republicans were taken from their parents during and after the Spanish Civil War in a sinister programme under direct control of El Caudillo. ...

Ablana was thrown into orphanages from the age of 5. He spent 13 years being abused by priests and indoctrinated with propaganda from the Falange, the right-wing party allied to the Franco regime. The aim was to transform him from the son of a “red” into a follower of the regime. “The priests would beat you if you wrote or ate with your left hand. They thought it was a sign of being a red,” he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Fundraiser for priest on sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY MICHELLE HARRIS
27/08/2009 4:00:00 AM
HUNTER parishioners and visitors from as far away as Sydney were among about 100 people to attend a function at a Port Stephens restaurant this week that raised $18,000 for a Catholic priest accused of child sexual assault.

The function, a "Greek-themed night" that included an auction of donated items such as football jerseys, was held at The Deck restaurant, at Soldiers Point, on Monday evening to raise money for priest David O'Hearn, 48, of Raymond Terrace.

The priest, who was stood down from his position at St Michael's parish, Nelson Bay, attended the event despite being described as initially "a bit nervous" about what the crowd would say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

I am a convert. I see where Molested Catholic T-Shirts work.

OREGON
City of Angels

When Cindy Falter joined Walk Across Oregon last Sunday wearing the Molested Catholic t-shirt, I know a few people became uncomfortable - at the Powell's City of Books entrance, as well as in our group of activists. Words on the t-shirt are in-your-face: I was molested by Dirty Filthy Sex Starved Catholics. Would you let a priest or nun babysit your children?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Priest sentenced to probation for stealing from parish

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

August 26, 2009

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter
A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to four years' probation this morning for stealing several thousands of dollars from his former Edgewater parish.

Cook County prosecutors allege that from July 2001 to just prior to his removal from St. Ita's Church in August 2005, the Rev. Steve Patte, 65, issued checks and wired money to his personal accounts as reimbursement for expenditures that never occurred.

Patte allegedly used the money to pay for vacations to California, laptops and computer accessories, massages and personal training sessions, as well as other personal expenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Pierce expected to enter plea

BENTON (AR)
Courier

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

David Pierce, Benton First Baptist Church’s former minister of music, is expected to enter a plea Thursday during an appearance in Saline County Circuit Court.

Pierce, 56, faces 54 counts of sexual indecency with a child.

Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady said he is hopeful that the case will be resolved Thursday.
“I understand Mr. Hampton (Pierce’s attorney, Mark Hampton) has made public statements that he expects his client to plead, and I am hopeful that that is the case as well,” Casady said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Clergy abuse survivor donates kidney

BOSTON (MA)
United Press International

BOSTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man in need of a kidney transplant turned to a network of survivors of clergy sexual abuse to find a kidney donor.

Phil Saviano of Roslindale found a compatible kidney by emailing thousands of men and women through the New England chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday. Saviano established and led the New England chapter for a decade.

Susan Pavlak, 55. of Minnesota, responded to Saviano and traveled to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to give him one of her kidneys Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Kidney Donation--Another Testament To The Courage, Inspiration And Generosity Of Survivors

BOSTON (MA)
Anderson Advocates Blog

Today’s news story that Susan Pavlak, long time SNAP member and survivor advocate, is donating a kidney to Phil Saviano is poignant and powerful in itself but the kind of thing I see survivors daily doing for others who have been wounded or in need. I have been honored to work with survivors of abuse for over two decades and every day I see and bear witness to survivors who have courage and generosity of spirit that is an inspiration to me. Susan Pavlak’s donating of her kidney to Phil Saviano is perhaps to some a dramatic example of generosity, but it’s a typical gesture that I see every day where members of SNAP and other survivors of abuse connect with one another to support each other and give of themselves in so many ways to do what they can to help others in need and protect the vulnerable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Archbishop Weakland’s Perplexing Pilgrimage

UNITED STATES
Rhode Island Catholic

BY BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN
8/27/09

Summer always affords me more time for reading, and one of the books I read this year was “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church,” the memoirs of Archbishop Rembert Weakland. You may be familiar with Archbishop Weakland – a Benedictine priest, former archabbot of St.Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA, abbot primate of the worldwide Benedictine Order, and, most famously, Archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977-2002.

Archbishop Weakland’s tenure as Archbishop of Milwaukee came to a tumultuous end when in May of 2002 it was revealed that many years prior he was involved in a homosexual liaison with a young friend, was later threatened with a civil lawsuit, and eventually used $450,000 of archdiocesan money to pay for a confidential, out-of-court settlement. The fact that this sordid arrangement came to light during the height of the sexual abuse scandal added plenty of fuel to the already raging fire.

Archbishop Weakland’s memoirs provide fascinating reading for several reasons – first, because he himself is a multi-talented, colorful, and accomplished figure of historic proportions; next, because the book is well-written – detailed, but not ponderous; and finally, because the narrative is interesting, especially for ecclesial wonks, since Weakland’s personal story is interwoven so tightly with most of the major themes that have dominated the life of the Church during the past fifty years or so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

ANSWERING THE CALL | DAY FOUR

OHIO
Columbus Dispatch

By Todd Jones
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

His book bag resembled those carried by most college students, bulging with paper and a laptop computer.

The weight of it kept him grounded during his final weeks at The Pontifical College Josephinum rather than distracted by thoughts of his upcoming ordination into the priesthood.

Some days, the bag seemed heavier for Deacon Robert Bolding, in his last year of theology graduate school at the Roman Catholic seminary on the Far North Side.

"There's always something hanging over your head," he said.

The demands and sacrifices asked of clergy greatly reduce the pool of candidates who could help the Catholic church fill voids in the ranks of priests serving a growing U.S. church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

ANSWERING THE CALL | DAY THREE

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Todd Jones
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Traffic snaked along N. High Street near I-270 in a bumper-to-bumper line of frustration as the sun rose over the Pontifical College Josephinum.

The taillight-flashing bustle of commuters contrasted with the serenity a few hundred yards away, where students flowed quietly into a chapel inside the seminary's College of Liberal Arts building.

Some carried Bibles, others small prayer books. Each was bleary-eyed and silent.

The mid-February morning was like every morning for those men studying to be Roman Catholic priests at the Vatican-owned school on the North Side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Child abuse victims call on the Church to pay up

UNITED KINGDOM
Irish Post

SURVIVOR organisations in Britain are backing fellow groups in Ireland who are calling for religious orders to pay €600million directly to victims of institutional sex abuse.

The call came as controversy still rumbles on in the wake of the Ryan Report into Ireland’s sex abuse scandal.

Mary Murphy from the Irish Victims of Institutional Child Abuse in Manchester said it was now time for the religious orders implicated in the affair to accept their financial responsibility to those who had suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Priest accused of sex attacks

UNITED KINGDOM
Western Morning News

Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 09:15
A PARISH priest in a Westcountry riverside village has been charged with indecent assault over alleged incidents involving six girls under the age of 13.

Canon James Andrew Wilson, 60, was last night released on police bail after being questioned over alleged sexual offences said to stretch back more than 30 years.

At Plymouth's Charles Cross police station, Mr Wilson, priest at St Andrew's Church in Calstock, South East Cornwall, was charged with six offences of indecency with girls under the age of 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 AM

Priest faces 22 sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Great Lakes Advocate

BY TIM CONNELL AND DAN PROUDMAN
26/08/2009 2:25:00 PM
A COMMITTAL hearing into 22 child sex charges against Peter Julian Brock, a Catholic priest who later resided at Bulahdelah, has been adjourned after evidence from two alleged victims.

Brock, 63, faced three days’ evidence about abuse he allegedly committed against two boys in the 1970s. He has not been required to enter a plea.

On Friday, one of the men told Newcastle Local Court that he watched as the priest allegedly indecently assaulted a teenage boy following a naked game of cards in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 AM

Vicar charged with child sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
The Herald

Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 21:22
A VICAR has been charged with six offences of indecency to girls under the age of 13 in Plymouth.

The Reverend Canon James Andrew Christopher Wilson, the Rector and Rural Dean of Calstock, was charged with six offences on girls under 13, at Charles Cross Police Station for offences that allegedly took place in the Pennycross area in 1977 and 1978, police said.

It is believed some of the alleged victims were as young as eight-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 AM

Priest to face indecency charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Press Association

A priest has been charged with historic offences of indecency against girls 30 years ago, police said.

James Andrew Christopher Wilson, 60, of Calstock, near Plymouth, Devon, faces six charges relating to girls under 13, following a "lengthy investigation".

Mr Wilson, from Calstock, was charged with the committing offences which span 1977 and 1978 at Pennycross, Plymouth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

Priest on under-age sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An Anglican priest has been charged with six offences of indecency involving girls under 13, after an investigation in Plymouth.

Canon James Wilson, 60, of Calstock, Cornwall, is accused of carrying out the offences in 1977 and 1978 - before his ordination in 1982.

He was released on police bail and will appear before Plymouth Magistrates on 16 September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 AM

Supreme Court justice denies request to keep diocese sex abuse records sealed

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

By Noelle Frampton
STAFF WRITER
Updated: 08/26/2009 12:28:06 AM EDT

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport may soon have to unseal thousands of documents generated by lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests now that a U.S. Supreme Court judge has denied the diocese's request to keep them sealed.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Tuesday denied the Bridgeport diocese's request to continue a stay on the release of the papers until the full court decides whether to review the case.

But the diocese hasn't given up in its long fight to keep more than 12,000 pages from 23 lawsuits sealed, releasing a statement that it is "disappointed" by Ginsberg's ruling but "intends to proceed with its announced determination to ask the full U.S. Supreme Court to review the important constitutional issues that this case presents."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 AM

Un sacerdote brasileño es arrestado por intentar abusar de un menor que tiene sida

BRAZIL
EFE

Por Agencia EFE

Río de Janeiro, 25 ago (EFE).- Un sacerdote católico que fue arrestado hace tres semanas en Brasil por intentar abusar sexualmente de un adolescente de 14 años padece del síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida (sida), según exámenes médicos cuyos resultados fueron divulgados hoy por la prensa.

Josean Dantas Rolim, de 51 años, fue detenido el 6 de agosto pasado luego de haberle mostrado los órganos genitales y besado en la boca al adolescente en el baño de una terminal de autobuses públicos de la ciudad de Recife (nordeste de Brasil).

El religioso obligó al joven a acompañarlo al baño insinuando que estaba armado, según la víctima, pero fue visto por los vigilantes de la terminal, que le impidieron consumar el abuso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 AM

Brasile: sacerdote sieropositivo tenta di stuprare minorenne

BRAZIL
Gazzetta di Parma

Un sacerdote brasiliano arrestato per tentato stupro di un ragazzo di 14 anni è risultato sieropositivo. Lo ha rivelato la Conferenza episcopale brasiliana (Cnbb), che ha anche ammesso che l’uomo era stato allontanato dalla parrocchia di cui era responsabile per i suoi problemi fisici e psichici.

Il tentativo di stupro in una toilette del terminal di pullman di Recife risale al 5 agosto scorso, ma solo oggi la Cnbb e la polizia locale hanno dato dettagli sull'arresto del sacerdote Josean Dantas Rolim. Il fatto che l’uomo sia portatore del retrovirus ha suscitato la furia dei parenti e degli amici della vittima, che hanno circondato il carcere in cui è rinchiuso nella capitale dello stato di Pernambuco, chiedendo che fosse loro consegnato per far giustizia sommaria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 AM

Brazil Priest Busted for Trying to Molest Boy Has AIDS

BRAZIL
Latin American Herald Tribune

RIO DE JANEIRO – A Catholic priest who was arrested three weeks ago for trying to sexually abuse a 14-year-old boy is suffering from AIDS, according to medical exams whose results were published Tuesday by the Brazilian press.

The Rev. Josean Dantas Rolim, 51, was arrested Aug. 6 after showing his genitals and kissing the teenager on the mouth in the bathroom of a bus station in the northeastern city of Recife.

The religious forced the boy to accompany him to the bathroom by insinuating that he was armed, according to the victim, but was seen by guards at the terminal, who stopped him from going through with the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 AM

Humbert School honours child abuse victims

IRELAND
The Mayo News

Anna-Marie Flynn

BALLINA’s General Humbert Summer School hosted an emotionally-charged awards ceremony which saw victims of clerical child abuse honoured last Saturday.

Marking the end of a day-long debate on child protection, the commemorative ceremony also saw plaques presented to Judge Sean Ryan, who was at the helm of the long-running inquiry into church and state-run schools, and Mary Raftery, investigative journalist, who contributed greatly to exposing institutional child abuse scandals.”

Nobel Peace Laureate and patron of the Humbert School, John Hume, presented all three awards.
Michael O’Brien, of the Right to Peace group, and now nationally recognised after his emotional presentation on Questions and Answers earlier this year, accepted the award on behalf of “everyone who as a child went through the institutions”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 AM

Father of priest abuse victim calls for more victims to come forward

MISSOURI
Missourinet

By Steve Walsh
The parents of a Virginia man who recently went public with information that he was the victim in a $600,000 pedophile priest cover up case are urging other victims to come forward.

Doctor Mark McAllister came forward to say that he, while a resident of Boonville, was molested by a Father Gerry Howard, who changed his name from Father Carmine Sita after being convicted of criminal activity in New Jersey and ended up in Missouri.

Steve McAllister, the father of the victim, urges others who might have been molested by this priest to report the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 AM

Father of abuse victim speaks, urges transparency by Catholic Church

MISSOURI
Columbis Missourian

BY Courtney Shove
COLUMBIA — Since Monday, four new allegations of sexual abuse by a former Boonville priest have come to light, and the father of one victim called on the Catholic Church to be more transparent about possible abuse in its parishes.

Steve McAllister, father of Mark McAllister, addressed a crowd of fewer than 10 outside of the St. Thomas More Newman Center on Tuesday to talk about what happened to his son and encourage others to come forward.

The news conference came just a day after Mark McAllister of Roanoke, Va., formerly of Boonville, released information about the sexual abuse he said he suffered under the Rev. Gerald Howard in Boonville in the 1980s. Mark McAllister recently received a $600,000 settlement from the Newark, N.J., Archdiocese, the Jefferson City Diocese and Servants of the Paraclete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 AM

Priest sexual abuse victim goes public

MISSOURI
Connect Mid-Missouri

By Kermit Miller
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 6:03 p.m.

A Virginia doctor, who grew up in central Missouri, went public with his story of abuse by a Boonville priest.

"I, Mark McAllister, was abuse by Father Howard ...mentally, physically, emotionally, and sexually,” Mark McAllister said.

He told his story to the news media Monday in Jersey City, N.J. outside a church that once employed his abuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 AM

Victim's Family Goes Public

MISSOURI
KOMU

COLUMBIA - A mid-Missouri family goes public on their son's abuse after two-and-a-half decades of silence.

The parents of a man molested by a priest two decades ago broke their silence.

"I cannot help but hold the Catholic Church responsible for a great deal of this," said Steven McAllister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 AM

'All God's Children:' Exposing the abuses of children of missionaries

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

Marilyn Shellrude Christman of Seattle was only 7 years old when she was sent to a boarding school for children of missionaries in Guinea, West Africa, in 1961.

For eight years, in the remote, isolated school, she says, she was emotionally and spiritually abused. At times, she was also physically and sexually abused — in some cases by a man who served as a dorm parent there, she said.

It wasn't until decades later that she realized she hadn't been the only abused child at Mamou Alliance Academy, a now-closed boarding school run by the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), an evangelical Protestant denomination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 AM

Living and surviving abuse

IRELAND
The God Squad

Living and surviving abuse

My Name is Derek Power and I am a victim and active survivor of clerical childhood sexual abuse.

I first arrived at the Waterford Rape Crises Centre in the summer of 1995 having been referred by a relative. At this point in time I was 25 years of age. I had been raped and abused as a child by a member of the Christian Brothers in the late 1970’s over a two year period when I was of a tender age while a student at a primary school in Waterford City.

In October of 1993 I made my statement to Gardai in Dublin where I lived at that time. My statement to detail the circumstances of my abuse and rape at the hands of this man took over two hours. I spent the following 18 months alone and with the memories and torture of that experience while an investigation was being carried out. In this period I had started to develop anxiety and suffer from depression. I truly felt alone and desperate. I felt I had a voice with no volume.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 AM

Saving a fellow survivor

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / August 26, 2009

Then he turned to extended family.

It was only after it became clear that no one he knew qualified to donate a kidney that Phil Saviano realized he might die.

And then he turned to the one larger community that he has embraced for nearly two decades: survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Across the country, thousands of men and women who years ago were molested by priests opened their inboxes to find an e-mailed plea to help a fellow survivor.

Seven of them offered up a kidney to keep Saviano alive.

And today, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, physicians will transplant a kidney from Susan Pavlak, a 55-year-old Minnesota woman who says that years ago she was molested by a former nun at a Catholic high school, to Saviano, a 57-year-old Roslindale man who says that as a boy in Central Massachusetts he was repeatedly abused by a priest who turned out to be a serial pedophile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 AM

August 25, 2009

Catholic Church Dealt Blow by U.S. Supreme Court

CONNECTICUT
NBC

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg dealt the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport a major blow Tuesday. The church wants to hang on tight to 12,000 pages of documents from more than 20 lawsuits against priests. Ginsberg declined to keep those sealed while nation's high court decides whether it will review the case.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that those documents should be unsealed, but while the case is under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg decision to continue a stay effectively said the documents should be released.

The records could reveal details on how retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan handled allegations when he was bishop in Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 PM

Supreme Court Justice Denies Bridgeport Diocese's Request

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has denied a request by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport to keep court files on clergy sex abuse cases sealed until the high court decides whether to take up their case in the fall.

Ginsberg verbally notified attorneys in the case of her decision late Tuesday.

The diocese's attorney, Ralph W. Johnson III, said church officials will now decide whether to ask the full nine-member court to keep the stay in place.

The diocese is trying to keep sealed more than 12,600 pages of depositions, exhibits and legal arguments involving 23 lawsuits against seven priests from the Bridgeport diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Supreme Court Orders Abuse Records Unsealed

CONNECTICUT
Christianity Today

Sarah Pulliam
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that documents from lawsuits against six Roman Catholic priests for alleged sexual abuse must be unsealed, according to the Associated Press.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg denied the Connecticut diocese's request to keep the seal until the full court decides whether to review the case. The diocese wrote that it intends to ask the full U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, stating that "granting access to such documents would intrude upon the private affairs of citizens, with the potential to inflict great harm and injustice."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Court orders diocese sex abuse records unsealed

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut Post

By Noelle Frampton
STAFF WRITER
Updated: 08/25/2009 09:41:52 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport may soon have to unseal thousands of documents generated by lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests now that a U.S. Supreme Court judge has denied the diocese's request to keep them sealed.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Tuesday denied the Bridgeport diocese's request to continue a stay on the release of the papers until the full court decides whether to review the case.

But the diocese hasn't given up in its long fight to keep more than 12,000 pages from 23 lawsuits sealed, releasing a statement that it is "disappointed" by Ginsberg's ruling but "intends to proceed with its announced determination to ask the full U.S. Supreme Court to review the important constitutional issues that this case presents."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

SupCo ruling unfavorable to Ct. Catholic diocese

CONNECTICUT
The Seattle Times

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN
Associated Press Writer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. —
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday against a Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut, saying that thousands of documents generated by lawsuits against six priests for alleged sexual abuse cannot remain sealed.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Tuesday denied the Bridgeport diocese's request to continue a stay on the release of the papers until the full court decides whether to review the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

The Ryan Report

IRELAND
The Mayo News

Fr Kevin Hegarty

My column this week is a resumé of my contribution to a seminar, ‘The Catholic Church after the Ryan Report’, held during the Humbert summers school in Ballina last Saturday.
Last May, sixty years and one month, almost to the day, after the official declaration of the Irish Republic, at a state ceremony in Dublin, the Ryan report on abuses in our industrial schools was released.

The original proclamation of the Republic in 1949 promised to cherish the children of the nation equally. The cumulative evidence of the report brought graphically home to us the abject failure of the state and its main social and educational agency, the Catholic Church, in their responsibilities to children who were orphaned, abandoned or convicted of petty theft up to the 1970’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Buckeye pastor's plea deal in sex case angers victims

BUCKEYE (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

by Jackee Coe - Aug. 25, 2009 09:30 AM
The Arizona Republic .
Victims of a sexual predator who was their spiritual leader are outraged at the prison time he faces under a plea agreement they say has shaken their trust in the justice system and, in some cases, their faith.

Charles Carfrey, 59, pastor of The Lord's House Church in Buckeye, will receive up to four years in prison and lifetime probation when he is sentenced Sept. 11.

On Aug. 10, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of failure to register as a sex offender, Maricopa County Superior Court records show. Two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of kidnapping were dismissed under the plea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Indictment: Rabbi told boy 'just say nothing happened'

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
Last updated: 1:25 p.m., Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ALBANY -- A Loudonville rabbi was arraigned in Albany County Court today on charges he not only sexually abused two 13-year-old boys in 2007, but repeatedly slapped and kicked one of them.

Yaakov Weiss, 29, founder of the Chabad of Colonie and the Chabad Hebrew School, also allegedly tried to convince one of the two youngsters to lie about the sex abuse to his mother and police.

"Just say nothing happened," Weiss told the child on June 30 on Sycamore Street in Albany, according to a four-count indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Ex-Boonville resident claims double life resulted from priest's sexual abuse

MISSOURI
Boonville Daily News

By Nate Birt
Boonville Daily News
Tue Aug 25, 2009, 12:45 PM CDT

Boonville -
The following is a brief of the story. For the full version, see the Tuesday, Aug. 25 print edition of the BDN.

Editor's note: This is the second in a four-part series documenting the BDN's interview with Mark McAllister, a former Boonville resident recently awarded a $600,000 settlement over claims he was abused by a priest while at Ss. Peter and Paul parish. The first article ran Monday.

A secret life

Former Boonville resident Mark McAllister said he never really fought Gerald Howard’s sexual advances because “it never occurred to me that it was wrong.” 

For months, McAllister said, Howard had occupied a position of trust and leadership in his mind. McAllister said his peers looked up to Howard because he wasn’t like the other priests. He smoked and encouraged McAllister to listen to rock music and grow long hair, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Crosier leader discusses history, future of order

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Spirit

By Interview by Julie Carroll - The Catholic Spirit
Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Crosier Father Glen Lewandowski, a native of Foley, Minn., who attended the Crosier Seminary in Onamia and St. John’s University in Collegeville, was reelected to a second term as master general of the order Aug. 8.

Lewandowski He is the first American to serve as leader of the international order, which will mark its 800th anniversary in 2010. The Crosiers have had a presence in Minnesota for nearly 100 years.

The order was founded in 1210 in modern-day Belgium. Today, Crosier communities are located in Indonesia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. More than 400 Crosiers serve the church on five continents.

Currently, about 75 Crosiers are members of the U.S. province, which is headquartered in Phoenix. There is also a community in Onamia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Tape: Picard wanted affair to stay secret

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

By MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • August 25, 2009

MANSFIELD -- John Picard encouraged one of his alleged victims to keep their relationship a secret in a taped phone call.

Jurors listened to the recording Monday during the third day of Picard's sexual battery trial. Police had one of the alleged victims, now 29, call Picard in July 2008 in hopes he would incriminate himself.

Picard was arrested a week later.

In the phone call, the woman said she let details of their relationship slip during counseling sessions with her psychologist. She was Monday's only witness, testifying for five hours.

The woman said she started performing sex acts on Picard when she was 13. She claimed their sexual relationship continued for about 15 years, including while she was married. The woman said she had a daughter by Picard in 2004 and had a long-term sexual relationship with Picard's wife until her pregnancy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

States Attorney Confirms Investigation

MARYLAND
WCBC

Frederick County States Attorney Charles Smith confirmed to WCBC News that his office is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made recently against Monsignor Thomas Bevan of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cumberland. The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed Bevan as it also investigates allegations that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s. Bevan, pastor of St. Patrick Church since 1997, has denied the allegations. The archdiocese said it learned of the allegations in June, and immediately reported them to authorities in Frederick County, who instructed the archdiocese not to take any further action, including continuing its own investigation or making contact with Bevan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Bernard Prince dismissed as a priest

CANADA
The Daily Observer

The Diocese of Pembroke has been advised that on May 4, 2009 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a decree conveying and executing the decision of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in which Bernard Prince of the Diocese of Pembroke has been dismissed from the clerical state and dispensed from all priestly obligations.

The decree indicated that there is no appeal of this decision.

This notification is being issued to provide clarity regarding the canonical status of Bernard Prince.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Former Anglican priest Wilfred Edwin Dennis let boy masturbate in his shower

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

KEN MCGREGOR, COURT REPORTER
August 25, 2009 05:12pm
A FORMER Anglican priest has admitted to a court that he allowed a 12-year-old boy to masturbate in his shower but has denied he acted in any way "improper".

Wilfred Edwin Dennis, 73, of Vale Park, today told the District Court the boy had asked him about masturbating after other boys at school had told him about it.

He said he told the boy what masturbation was and allowed him to masturbate in his shower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 AM

Witnesses to testify against Catholic priest facing sex abuse charges

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WKOW

MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A Milwaukee judge dismissed motions Monday by the Milwaukee Catholic archdiocese to keep a jury from hearing testimonies against a priest who faces child sexual abuse charges.

Until Monday, Fr. Franklyn Becker of Mayville had avoided standing trial, but Judge Timothy Wikowiak gave prosecutors the green light to bring witnesses before a jury to testify against Becker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 AM

Is the Catholic Church entering into exile?

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATRICK CLAFFEY

RITE AND REASON: THIS YEAR the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin is celebrating a year of evangelisation. The project’s website notes that “evangelisation is . . . an essential mission of the church”.

Necessary, courageous, no doubt, but, one might well ask the question, “why now?”

A friend told me, several years ago, of a conversation he had with a prominent Irish bishop whose diocese had the first exposure of an abuse scandal. “With this, what time do you think I have left for evangelisation?” asked the forlorn pastor. But worse was to come.

In recent times, it can be argued, the Catholic Church in Ireland has reached the nadir of its long history on this island. This institution is paying the price for its past success and for the kind of clerical dominance that almost inevitably leads to arrogance and the abuse of power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 AM

HEAR call for church change

AUSTRALIA
Star

By Kath Gannaway

25th August 2009 03:11:26 AM

HEALESVILLE Education and Awareness Raising (HEAR) has renewed calls made by the group two years ago for reform of the Catholic Church’s process for dealing with sexual abuse by priests.

Founders, Pam Krstic and Ian Lawther, spoke out last week following the conviction of former Healesville priest Paul Pavlou in June on charges relating to child sexual abuse and being in possession of child pornography.

That conviction follows the conviction in 2001 of another Healesville priest, Fr David Daniel on child sex abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 AM

Ex-priest denies altar boys abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A former Anglican priest has denied allegations he sexually abused two altar boys at churches in Adelaide's northern suburbs in the 1970s.

Wilfred Edwin Dennis has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, one of gross indecency and one of carnal knowledge.

In the District Court in Adelaide, Dennis said he never had any sexual contact with one boy and the other's allegations were false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 AM

Hal Turner Charged With Advocating Violence—But Who Was He Really Working For?

UNITED STATES
VDARE

By Alexander Hart

"Hard Cases make Bad Law". So goes the old legal adage (which dates back much farther than Oliver Wendell Holmes, who is often given credit for it). Any attempt to reconcile banning political speech with the First Amendment is bad law. So the best way to push Hate Crimes/Hate Speech totalitarianism is with a "hard case".

Accordingly, without one readily available, the Federal Government created their own "hard case" in the shape of Hal Turner—the White Supremacist blogger/web radio show host /FBI Informant.

Turner was arrested on state charges on June 3 for making threats against two Connecticut lawmakers who were investigating whether the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport needed to register as a lobbyist because of its efforts to block proposed legislation that would have given lay members more control over church finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 AM

Flock rallies to support pastor

PAWTUCKET (RI)
Pawtucket Times

By DONNA KENNY KIRWAN

PAWTUCKET — Holding signs that read “We Support Father Fisette” and “Innocent Until Proven Guilty,” about 100 parishioners from St. Leo the Great Church held a rally Monday afternoon to voice their displeasure at the Diocese of Providence for allowing their pastor to resign.

Father Kevin R. Fisette, pastor of St. Leo the Great since 2004, stunned parishioners at Sunday’s noontime Mass by saying that he had “been accused” of an incident and that he had to leave as their pastor.

On Monday morning, the Diocese of Providence issued a press release saying that Father Fisette had resigned due to a “credible allegation” of abuse of a minor that had been alleged to have occurred over 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 AM

Pawtucket priest resigns after allegations of sexual abuse

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

By Thomas J. Morgan
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence announced on Monday that the Rev. Kevin R. Fisette has resigned as pastor of St. Leo the Great Church in Pawtucket because a “credible allegation” of sexual abuse of a minor surfaced after more than 20 years.

Father Fisette has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending a Vatican review, and suspended from performing public ministry, the diocese said. The situation was explained to parishioners at Mass on Sunday, the diocese said.

State police investigated the allegations that date to 1981-82 in April and found that “they were credible,” said Capt. David Neill, state police detective commander.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 AM

Molested by priest, he breaks his silence

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff

A man saying he was sexually abused by a Newark Archdiocese priest previously convicted of sexually abusing a minor in Jersey City criticized church officials yesterday for not alerting parishioners in Missouri when the priest relocated there.

Mark McAllister, 39, received a $600,000 settlement earlier this summer from the Newark Archdiocese, the Jefferson City, Mo., Diocese, and the religious order Servants of the Paraclete. He claimed he had been abused while a teenager in Boonville, Mo.

Yesterday, in the shadows of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, McAllister talked about what he said was five years of sex abuse by the Rev. Gerald Howard, who, unbeknownst to parishioners in Boonville, had changed his name from Carmen Sita after his 1982 conviction. Sita had worked at St. Aloysius in Jersey City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 AM

Priest removed from post over sex abuse allegations

MARYLAND
Frederick News-Post

By Meg Tully
News-Post Staff

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed a former Frederick priest from the ministry, pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse.

Monsignor Thomas Bevan, 73, was most recently a pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cumberland.

A person contacted the archdiocese alleging that Bevan abused him several times in the mid-1970s when he was student at the St. John Catholic Church parish school in Frederick , according to an archdiocese press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 AM

Allegations are not first made against priests with St. John's connection

MARYLAND
News-Post

By Ron Cassie
News-Post Staff

Recent allegations of sexual abuse against former Frederick priest Thomas Bevan are not the first involving a priest with a connection to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

According to an Archdiocese of Baltimore list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse, pastor Frederick Duke, now deceased, admitted to sexually abusing minors between 1949 and 1961. He was a St. John the Evangelist pastor.

Duke served at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Northeast Baltimore during those years before moving to St. Mary's in Lonaconing.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 AM

MORE ACCUSE PRIEST

NEWARK (NJ)
The Jersey Journal

By MICHAELANGELO CONTE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
NEWARK - News of a settlement between a man sexually abused by a former Jersey City priest has prompted four more alleged victims to come forward, including two from Jersey City, according to David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Word of the new allegations came yesterday when the man molested in Missouri by the Rev. Carmine Sita, now known as the Rev. Gerald "Gerry" Howard, spoke out for the first time about being abused.

Dr. Mark McAllister has reached a $600,000 settlement with Catholic dioceses in Newark and in Missouri, as well as a New Mexico counseling center where the former St. Aloysius Parish priest was sent after he was found to be molesting a teen in Jersey City in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 AM

August 24, 2009

SNAP, Sexual Abuse Advocacy Group, Comments on Pawtucket Priest Allegation

RHODE ISLAND
ABC 6

Chris Boardman

For almost six months, Bishop Tobin and his staff recklessly and callously chose silence over warning, and opted to alert no one about a credible allegation of child sexual abuse against a Catholic priest. That is inexcusable. Six months is a long time to intimidate other victims, threaten witnesses, destroy evidence, and fabricate alibis.

Regardless of what law enforcement does or doesn't do with this case, Tobin had a moral and civic duty to promptly warn the public and his parishioners about this serious allegation.

That he chose self-serving secrecy over simple prudence is very disturbing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

More alleged victims of Jersey City priest's sex abuse come forward

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

by Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
Monday August 24, 2009, 4:36 PM

News of a settlement between a man sexually abused by a former Jersey City priest has prompted four more alleged victims to come forward, including two from Jersey City, according to David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The news comes on the same day that a man molested in Missouri by the Rev. Carmine Sita, now known as the Rev. Gerald "Gerry" Howard spoke out for the first time about being abused.

Dr. Mark McAllister has reached a $600,000 settlement with the Catholic dioceses in Newark and in Missouri as well as a New Mexico counseling center where the former St. Aloysius Parish priest was sent after he was found to be molesting a teen in Jersey City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

SNAP calls on Shanley to reach out to former students of Priest accused of molesting

FARGO (ND)
WDAY

By: Christina Vaughn, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - An advocacy group for people, who have been sexually abused, is calling on Shanley to reach out to former students. Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, say former Shanley Priest Brother Raimond Rose is accused of molesting young boys in California and Minnesota.

They want to make sure no abuse happened during the four years he taught at Shanley in the 1970's. WDAY 6 Reporter Christina Vaughn has more.

No criminal charges have been filed against Raimond Rose, but he has been civilly sued. The Fargo Diocese say while Rose taught at Shanley, no student ever came forward with a complaint of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Staunton church director arrested on child molestation charges

STAUNTON (VA)
News-Leader

By Brad Zinn/staff • bzinn@newsleader.com • August 24, 2009

STAUNTON — Police have jailed an employee of the Christ United Methodist Church on allegations he molested a 7-year-old girl at the Churchville Avenue church, according to the Staunton Police Department.

Steven B. Joplin, 59, of Middlebrook is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

Staunton police spokeswoman Officer Lisa Klein said the alleged sexual assaults took place at the church between July 26 and Aug. 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Molestation charges hit church leader

STAUNTON (VA)
The News Virginian

By Tony Gonzalez

Published: August 24, 2009

A Staunton church leader has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor under the age of 13.

Police on Friday arrested Steven Bruce Joplin, 59, of Middlebrook, after an investigation into his actions with a 10-year-old girl, Staunton police Officer Lisa Klein said Monday. Joplin worked as Director of Christian Education at Christ United Methodist Church at 1512 Churchville Ave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Church Leader Faces Charges

STAUNTON (VA)
NBC 29

A Staunton church leader is accused of sexually abusing a young girl in his congregation. Now, he faces a pair of felony charges and, police say more charges may be on the way.

Steven Joplin, the education director at Christ United Methodist Church, faces two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Staunton police arrested the 59-year-old on Friday. The pastor of the church says it's like "living a bad dream."

"The Steve I knew was a person that was very caring," said Pastor Bob Edwards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Vatican rejects Maryknoll brother elected as superior

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Aug. 24, 2009
By John L Allen Jr

Rome has vetoed an election by the Maryknoll religious order which would have seen a religious brother, meaning someone not ordained to the priesthood, installed as the order's superior in the United States. Instead, the Vatican has directed that Maryknoll must choose a cleric for the job.

The decision, communicated to Maryknoll in early August, is consistent with earlier Vatican rulings that in religious orders containing both priests and lay brothers, formal authority must be exercised by priests. In 2002, the Vatican nixed an attempt by the Capuchin Franciscans to elect a brother as provincial superior of their Detroit-St. Joseph Province.

In general, church-watchers say that policy is intended to defend the theology of apostolic succession, in which decision-making power in the church is believed to flow through the sacrament of holy orders. Although religious brothers take vows and are generally seen as equals within their communities, under the church's canon law they are considered laity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Bernard Prince dismissed from Catholic church

CANADA
The Daily Observer

Posted By Debbie Robinson

Bernard Prince, the Roman Catholic priest who was found guilty of sexual misconduct, has been dismissed from the Catholic Church.

In January 2008 Prince, at that time a monsignor, was found guilty of sexual misconduct. He is currently serving a four-year sentence in a federal penitentiary.

The Diocese of Pembroke was advised that on May 4, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a decree conveying and executing the decision of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in which Bernard Prince of the Diocese of Pembroke has been dismissed from the clerical state and dispensed from all priestly obligations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Local priest gets suspended

RHODE ISLAND
Turn to 10

By Artie Tefft

Published: August 24, 2009

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – A Pawtucket priest is suspended due to sexual misconduct allegations.

Father Kevin Fisette of St. Leo the Great on Central Avenue in Pawtucket is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor more than twenty years ago.

State Police conducted an investigation and no charges were filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Pawtucket Priest Resigns Amid 20 Year Old Sexual Abuse Allegation

PROVIDENCE (RI)
ABC 6

Chris Boardman

(PROVIDENCE, RI) - In accordance with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and diocesan policy, the Diocese of Providence today announced that Father Kevin R. Fisette has resigned as pastor of St. Leo the Great in Pawtucket and has been placed on administrative leave as a result of a credibleallegation of sexual abuse of a minor more than 20 years ago. This is the only allegation the diocese has received relative to this individual priest. According to Father Kevin Fisette, no criminal charges will be filed at this time.

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, will soon appoint an administrator for St. Leo Parish. The Bishop plans to celebrate Mass at St. Leo's in the near future to provide parishioners spiritual and pastoral support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Pawtucket priest accused of sex abuse

PAWTUCKET (RI)
WPRI

Nancy Krause
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) - A priest from a Roman Catholic Church in Pawtucket resigned as pastor amid allegations of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago, the Providence Diocese confirmed Monday.

Under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Father Kevin R. Fisette, of St. Leo the Great on Central Ave., has also been placed on administrative leave as a result of the "credible allegation," church officials said.

“I am saddened by this unfortunate news, however, the Diocese of Providence takes seriously this allegation,” said The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence. “I offer my prayers and support for the individual who came forward with this allegation and his family during this time, Father Kevin Fisette and his family as well as the faithful of St. Leo the Great.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Charter for Protection of Children

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI

Published : Monday, 24 Aug 2009, 11:30 AM EDT

(WPRI) - When allegations of sexual abuse are made against a priest, the Church follows the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, created by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“When an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest or deacon is received, a preliminary investigation in accordance with canon law will be initiated and conducted promptly and objectively (CIC, c.1717; CCEO, c. 1468). During the investigation the accused enjoys the presumption of innocence, and all appropriate steps shall be taken to protect his reputation. The accused will be encouraged to retain the assistance of civil and canonical counsel and will be promptly notified of the results of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Statement of Bishop Mulhall to the Diocese of Pembroke

CANADA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke

July 27, 2009

My dear faithful of the Diocese of Pembroke,

In a few weeks, the diocese will begin the much anticipated process of mediation which we hope will bring about further healing to the victims of Msgr. Bernard Prince. We were truly saddened by the findings of the courts in relation to the allegations against him. These allegations were either admitted to or found to be true in a Court of Law.

The Church has a mandate to build a supportive community. Such a community is built on the virtues of trust and truth. Faith in God and faith in each other are paramount to achieving this ideal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Jailed Pembroke priest dismissed by church

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

By Tony Spears, The Ottawa Citizen
August 24, 2009 11:31 AM

OTTAWA — A Pembroke priest convicted of molesting 13 young boys over a 20-year period has been booted from the Catholic priesthood.

Convicted in January 2008 of sexual misconduct and now serving a four-year sentence in a federal penitentiary, Msgr. Bernard Prince was dismissed from the clerical state and dispensed from all priestly obligations as of May 4, 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Darien parish subdued after death of disgraced priest

CONNECTICUT
The Advocate

By Devon Lash
STAFF WRITER

STAMFORD -- The death of the priest who stole a million dollars from a Darien church should end the decade-long saga that engulfed the town's oldest Catholic parish, the senior pastor said Sunday.

"The message is: The father has died, may he rest in peace," said the Monsignor Frank McGrath, the senior pastor of St. John's Roman Catholic Church.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay, the church's former pastor, died Saturday in a federal medical facility in North Carolina after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 58.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

Archdiocese removes pastor while it investigates sexual abuse charges

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Matthew Hay Brown | matthew.brown@baltsun.com

August 24, 2009

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed the pastor of a Cumberland church as it investigates allegations that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s, the archdiocese announced Sunday.

Monsignor Thomas Bevan, pastor of St. Patrick Church since 1997, has denied the allegations, according to the archdiocese.

Representatives of the archdiocese met with parishioners and staff at St. Patrick on Sunday to inform them of the allegations and to answer questions, according to the archdiocese. Counseling assistance has been offered to all those affected, according to the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 AM

Archdiocese investigates abuse claim against priest

MARYLAND
News-Post

By Meg Tully
News-Post Staff

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed a former Frederick priest from the ministry, pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse.

Monsignor Thomas Bevan, 73, was most recently a pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cumberland.

An individual who contacted the archdiocese alleges Bevan abused him on separate occasions in the mid-1970s while a student at the St. John Catholic Church parish school in Frederick , according to an archdiocese press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 AM

Jury finds man guilty of killing Jesuit priest in Moscow

RUSSIA
Interfax

Moscow, August 24 Interfax - A jury at the Moscow City Court has found Mikhail Orekhov guilty of killing one of the two Jesuit priests who were found dead in a Moscow apartment in October 2008.

The jury found Orekhov guilty of killing Fr. Victor Betancourt, a priest from the Independent Russian Regional Society of Jesus, Moscow City Court spokesperson Anna Usachyova told Interfax.

Orekhov had been originally charged with committing both murders. The investigation insisted that Orekhov had also killed Fr. Otto Messmer, but the jury found Orekhov not guilty of this crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 AM

Sex Abuse Allegations Against Cumberland Pastor

CUMBERLAND (MD)
WHAG

[with video]

Reported by: Sarah Hopkins
Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 @07:24pm EST

CUMBERLAND, MD - A pastor in Cumberland is on leave as church officials investigate allegations that he sexually abused a minor more than thirty years ago.

In a press release, the Archdiocese of Baltimore said that Monsignor Thomas Bevan denied the accusations in a meeting with church officials on August 19th.

That same day, according to the release, the Archdiocese removed him from the ministry at St. Patrick Catholic Church pending an investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 AM

Archdiocese removes priest pending outcome of investigation

CUMBERLAND (MD)
Cumberland Times-News

Kristin Harty
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — The pastor of the Church of St. Patrick has been fired amid allegations that he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1970s — charges he has denied.

Monsignor Thomas Bevan, 73, was removed from the ministry Aug. 19 and cannot function as a priest until an investigation is complete, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced Sunday afternoon.

“If the allegations are proven false, he would be restored to the ministry,” said Sean Caine, spokes-man for the Archdiocese. “If they are credible, he would remain permanently removed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 AM

Judge says response to findings 'will say a lot about present situation'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

JUST AS the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse said a lot about our past, how we responded to those findings “will say a lot about the present situation”, Mr Justice Seán Ryan, chairman of the commission, told the Humbert Summer School.

In his first public appearance since the publication of the report, he made the comment after he had been presented with a special award by Nobel laureate John Hume, patron of the school.

Mr Justice Ryan acknowledged “the courage and fortitude” of former residents of institutions investigated by the commission and who had given evidence before it. Through “their tenacity . . . events which had been shrouded in darkness for so long” had been brought to light, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 AM

Day of atonement call for abuse against the innocent

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27th should be designated as a day of atonement by the Catholic Church in Ireland for abuse committed against the innocent, the Humbert School was told at the weekend.

Drogheda-based Augustinian priest Fr Iggy O’Donovan noted that celebrations were being planned for that day to mark the 30th anniversary of the arrival in Ireland of the late pope John Paul II.

“Is it not more appropriate that we designate that Sunday as a day of atonement,” he asked. “Surely it would make more sense than engaging in a triumphalist nostalgic exercise commemorating what has turned out to be the last sting of a dying wasp,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 AM

ANSWERING THE CALL | DAY TWO

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Todd Jones
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

The football player wore tape on his ankles and fingers, a protective mouthpiece - and a tight, white clerical collar.

Deacon Robert Bolding, seven months from being ordained a Roman Catholic priest, was suited in black for the game and caught up in competitive spirit.

"Everybody on this field knows he was down! Come on!" he yelled at a referee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 AM

ANSWERING THE CALL | DAY ONE

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Todd Jones
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

The man in black could see all he'd soon leave behind.

Married couples, young and old, fanned themselves with graduation programs in the stifling, windowless hall at the Pontifical College Josephinum in May.

Children scampered about. Single women chatted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 AM

Bitter words for Church in salute to abuse-probe judge

IRELAND
Irish Indpendent

Monday August 24 2009

IT was a far cry from that bleak May day when survivors of institutional abuse were not admitted to the long-awaited news conference in a Dublin hotel at which Mr Justice Sean Ryan published his damning report into systematic abuse of children by religious orders in State run institutions.

At the weekend, three months later, Judge Ryan stood side by side for a family photograph with representatives of survivors' groups and journalist Mary Raftery, whose documentary, 'Suffer Little Children', first alerted the public to the scale of child abuse in what was known as "Catholic Ireland".

The judiciary, the abused and the media came together in the Co Mayo market town of Ballina to receive special awards presented on behalf of the Humbert Summer School by its honorary president, John Hume, the peacemaker in Northern Ireland and Nobel Laureate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 AM

Child-abuse report judge praises courage of victims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday August 24 2009

THE JUDGE behind the damning report into systematic abuse of thousands of children in State institutions has warmly praised those who told him their stories, thereby bringing to light "events which were shrouded in darkness for so long".

Mr Justice Sean Ryan, making his first public comments since publication last May of the shocking report, acknowledged the "courage and fortitude" of the survivors. He was speaking at a weekend ceremony in Ballina, Co Mayo, after receiving a special award presented by Nobel Peace Laureate John Hume, patron of the Humbert School.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse which he chaired, Judge Ryan said its report "says a lot about our society, institutions and our systems in the past that these events happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 AM

Advocates for clergy abuse victims urge parishioners to speak out about convicted priest

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Members of a support group for victims of alleged clergy abuse passed out leaflets in front of St. Columbkille Catholic Church in South Los Angeles today, urging parishioners and church employees who have information about sex crimes to speak out.

St. Columbkille is the former parish of defrocked priest Michael Stephen Baker, who in 2007 was sent to prison for sexually abusing two boys, and who authorities have identified as a prolific child molester.

Joelle Casteix, southwest regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the group believes there may be many more sexual abuse victims at the parish. St. Columbkille officials were not available for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 AM

Former holy cross priest hits out at church abuse

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, 24 August 2009

Former Holy Cross priest Father Aidan Troy has hit out at the Catholic Church from his new parish in France over the issue of clerical child abuse.

The well-known priest has called on the church to halt recruitment to the priesthood until it has addressed the issue properly.

In an interview in a Sunday newspaper yesterday. Fr Troy accused the Catholic Church of a “wholly inadequate response” to the recent revelations over clerical child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 AM

Priest takes church to task for not ordaining women

WESTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / August 24, 2009

WESTON - A prominent priest whose support for women’s ordination has him in trouble with the Catholic Church ratcheted up his confrontation with the hierarchy yesterday, calling the church’s refusal to ordain women a “scandal’’ and “spiritual violence.’’

“I will not be silenced on this issue,’’ said the priest, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, to about 100 people in Weston at an event hosted by the congregation of Jean Marchant, a former staffer for the Archdiocese of Boston who claims she was ordained as a priest in an unsanctioned ceremony four years ago.

The Catholic Church views Marchant and Bourgeois as having been automatically excommunicated for participating in unsanctioned ordination ceremonies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 AM

Priest demands freeze on recruiting clergy

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Shane Hickey

Monday August 24 2009

A LEADING priest has called for the Catholic Church to halt the recruitment of clergy in light of the child sex abuse scandals.

Fr Aidan Troy, who came to international prominence when he walked with Ardoyne schoolchildren through loyalist protests in north Belfast, said the Church needed to "halt recruitment, reform and reorganise".

He said the hierarchy had been responsible for a "wholly inadequate response to the horrendous abuse that has been uncovered" and that they should not engage in "window dressing", but instead take radical action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 AM

August 23, 2009

Archdiocese investigates abuse claim against priest

FREDERICK (MD)
News-Post

By Meg Tully
News-Post Staff

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed a former Frederick priest from the ministry, pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse.

Monsignor Thomas Bevan, 73, was most recently a pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cumberland.

An individual who contacted the archdiocese alleges Bevan abused him on separate occasions in the mid-1970s while a student at the St. John Catholic Church parish school in Frederick , according to an archdiocese press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

The new face of the priesthood

UNITED STATES
Oregon Faith Report

August 21, 2009

By Oregon Faith Report,

While some speak of a national spiritual decline and aging priesthood there is a new generation of spiritual leaders very different from their predecessors. This summer, the Portland Archdiocese ordained the highest number of priests in 35 years. A new study has found that a smaller group of more racially and ethnically diverse recruits attracted to traditional prayer ritual and spiritual habits. The study was conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate for the National Religious Vocation Conference.

The study found that the aging of American priests and nuns is prevalent, according to The New York Times. 91 percent of nuns and 75 percent of priests are 60 or older. However, the aging tide may be turning. Of women who recently entered religious orders, the average age is 32; for men, it is 30.

According to CathNewsUSA, the study also showed that whites account for 94 percent of current priests and nuns but only 58 percent of those in the process of joining orders. Asians and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately represented among the new recruits, accounting for 14 percent, far above their 3 percent share of the Catholic population in the U.S. Hispanics represent 21 percent of the new recruits, compared with only 3 percent of the current priests and nuns. The growing ethnic diversity of this new group reflects shifts in immigration patterns in the U.S.:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

'Tough times undoubtedly lie ahead'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Extracts from the speech given by Mary Robinson at the annual commemoration of the death of Michael Collins in Béal na mBláth

"I am pleased to have been invited to give the oration in commemoration of the death of a towering figure in Irish history, Michael Collins.

"It is fair to say that all of us, from our schooldays onwards, know something about Collins' role in the War of Independence and in the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. We know that Michael Collins will always have a special place in Ireland's history. As one of his biographers, Tim Pat Coogan put it: "He will be remembered most of all for his energy and organisational ability, his courage and charisma". ...

"It is also necessary to seek to draw something from the revelations about the abuse of children in our society. The implications of those decades of abuse have provoked soul-searching debate. The scale of abuse, as revealed in the Ryan report in May, was so widespread as to leave no doubt that it was systemic and that it required the complicity of many in our society in addition to the abusers themselves.

"In that context it is heartening to see the Irish people facing up to these realities squarely. That is essential if we are to try and understand the pain of the victims and how and why these terrible abuses could take place. Above all, I am struck by the determination on all sides that such abuses must never be allowed to happen again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Cumberland pastor removed over abuse allegations

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed the pastor of a Cumberland church as it investigates allegations that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s, the archdiocese annouced on Sunday. Monsignor Thomas Bevan, pastor of St. Patrick Church since 1997, has denied the allegations, according to the archdiocese.

Representatives of the archdiocese met with parishioners and staff at St. Patrick on Sunday to inform them of the allegations and to answer questions, according to the archdiocese. Counseling assistance has been offered to all those affected, according to the archdiocese.

The individual alleging the abuse says it occurred on a number of separate occasions in the mid-1970s while he was a student at the parish school of St. John Catholic Church in Frederick, according to the archdiocese. Bevan was assigned to St. John from 1974 to 1979, according to the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Archdiocese Responds To Allegation Of Abuse Against Cumberland Pastor

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Catholic Review

Archdiocese of Baltimore

In June of this year, the Archdiocese of Baltimore learned of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Thomas Bevan, 73, pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cumberland. The acts allegedly occurred in the mid-1970s while he was serving as an associate pastor at St. John Catholic Church in Frederick.

The individual alleges he was abused on a number of separate occasions in the mid-1970s when he was a student at the parish school.

The allegation was immediately reported to civil authorities in Frederick County, who instructed the Archdiocese not to take any further action, including continuing its own investigation or making contact with Monsignor Bevan. On August 18, the Archdiocese received permission from civil authorities in Frederick County to resume its investigation and representatives of the Archdiocese met with Msgr. Bevan the following day. At the meeting on August 19, Msgr. Bevan denied the allegation. The Archdiocese removed him from ministry and revoked his faculties to function as a priest that same day, pending the Archdiocese’s investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Frederick Priest Accused Of Sexually Abusing Minor

MARYLAND
WBAL

FREDERICK, Md. -- The Archdiocese of Baltimore is responding to sexual abuse allegations involving 73-year-old Monsignor Thomas Bevan, pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cumberland. The archdiocese said it learned of the allegations in June, which were immediately reported to civil authorities in Frederick County.

Bevan denied the allegations at a Aug. 19 meeting. The archdiocese removed him from the ministry and revoked his faculties to function as a priest, according to a press release.

The acts allegedly occurred in the mid-1970s while Bevan was serving as an associate pastor at St. John Catholic Church in Frederick, Md.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

St. Patrick's Pastor Removed

BALTIMORE (MD)
WCBC

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed Monsignor Thomas Bevan, 73, as pastor at St. Patrick's due to an investigation regarding sexual abuse of a minor in Frederick in the 1970s. The announcement was made to the parish community Sunday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Recovering a memory that may help explain recovered memory, while speaking to a group about recovered memory ...

OREGON
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Yesterday six parishioners came to hear two pedophile priest crime victims talk in a room at Ascension Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon. A handful of Cathoilcs took extra steps to find out what really happened with the handling of pedophiles and their victims in the Catholic Church. The group has been meeting there for two years, practicing Compassionate Listening , which originated in the Middle East with Israeli and Palestian neighbors trying to live peacefully with each other. Compassionate Lisstening techniques help combatants "see the humanity of each other, even when they disagree," writes Rabbi David Zaslow, of Ashland Oregon. Hmm, Ashland, Oregon.

Along with me yesterday was Cindy, a plaintiff from the L.A. Clergy Cases who drove all the way from the East Coast where she now lives, and between the two of us, I think these Compassionate Listening parishioners heard more than they expected to hear. I mean, Cindy is a victim of George Neville Rucker, 'nuff said.

On my mind a lot on this trip is a specific kind of Delayed Discovery, where the adult victim of pedophilia has buried and forgotten the experience - until they have a child themselves. As the child reaches the age the adult was when the pedophilia occurred, often the memory of the experience comes in, or the realization of who was really the guilty party. "Watching the child at the age you were," I was trying to describe it to the group Saturday, "you look at the child and you realize how innocent they are and - no that's not it." I stopped and froze, then-

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

No Hope at Mt. Hope

VIRGINIA
Stop Baptist Predators

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.”
-- Gandhi

Remember Ben?

As an adolescent boy, Ben was sexually abused by pastor George O.A. Lowe at Mt. Hope Baptist Church in Stafford County, Virginia. About a year ago, Lowe was convicted on this crime, and last week Lowe was denied parole.

Since Lowe’s conviction, Ben has been trying to get help from the church for his psychological and spiritual healing. In January 2009 he met with church leaders and asked for help. He also asked for the chance to speak before the full congregation.

After waiting over six months to even respond, church leaders finally wrote back and rebuffed Ben’s requests. Although they expressly said that “the governing body of the church is the whole congregation,” they refused Ben the chance to speak to the congregation and to ask the congregation for help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Pastor arrested for fondling private parts of lady followers

GHANA
Joy Online

A spiritual pastor in Adenta, a suburb of Accra, is in police grips following accusations that he fondled the private parts of his lady followers.

“What he does is that when the victims went for healing, he stripped them naked and covered their faces and asked them to sleep on a mat that he had spread in his consultation room. Then he will ask them to open their thighs, pour some concoction into their private parts and stir with his hands,” Superintendent of police, Stephen Ahiatafor told Joy News.

According to him, the said pastor whose name he will not disclose will ask victims to open their eyes after he brings out mysterious items he purports to have removed from their private parts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Fewer men in region opting for priesthood

OHIO
Beacon Journal

By Jim Carney
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Sunday, Aug 23, 2009

Jeremy Merzweiler's decision to study for the priesthood comes as the number of priests continues to decline and the shortage reverberates throughout the Diocese of Cleveland.

In 1970, there were 871 priests, but the number has fallen by two thirds to 273 by recent count, according to diocese numbers.

In addition, the membership of 753,255 is migrating out of the region, officials said.

To deal with the priest shortage, the diocese has raised the retirement age from 70 to 75 and announced a plan to close 50 parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Father Michael Jude Fay, convicted pastor, dies in prison

CONNECTICUT
The Darien Times

Written by Susan Shultz
Saturday, 22 August 2009 16:45

Father Michael Jude Fay, the longtime St. John Roman Catholic Parish pastor, who was sent to prison for stealing more than $1 million from his parish, died in prison Saturday, the Diocese of Bridgeport told The Darien Times. Father Fay, 58, was suffering from prostate cancer.

Fay was serving a 37-month sentence in a Butner, N.C., federal prison, for the theft.

In May 2006, it was discovered that Fay was using church money to support a lavish lifestyle, which included trips to Europe, the Caribbean and other parts of the United States. A private investigation — prompted by another church priest and the bookkeeper, who both left the parish in 2006 — also discovered that Fay was in a romantic relationship with another man. Fay resigned shortly after the news broke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Father Fay dies in prison Saturday

CONNECTICUT
The Advocate

By Monica Potts
Staff Writer

Posted: 08/22/2009 09:31:27 PM EDT

STAMFORD -- A priest serving a three-year prison term for embezzling more than $1 million from his Darien parish died in prison Saturday morning, a spokesman for the diocese has confirmed.

Joseph McAleer, a spokesman for the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese, said that Rev. Michael Jude Fay, a former pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien, died Saturday morning.

"As we pray for the repose of Father Fay's soul, we offer prayers and condolences to his mother and family," McAleer said in a statement. McAleer said he did not know the cause of death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

SNAP Press Conference - Raimond Rose - Fargo, ND

FARGO (ND)
YouTube

This is a video presentation of a news conference held recently by Survivors Network of Those Abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 AM

Paedophile David Murray’s victims describe their ordeal

IRELAND
Wales on Sunday

Aug 23 2009 by Andrew Dagnell, Wales On Sunday

SICK David Murray’s evil knew no bounds – and one person who knows that only too well is Tony Cronin.

He was just nine when he was fostered, along with another boy, by Murray. ...

After the conclusion of his case at Dublin’s High Court, Mr Noctor said: “The actions of the state, and most particularly the Sisters of Charity, in trenchantly denying the validity of my claim over many years, heaped insult on top of injury.”

Murray is also believed to have had links with Welsh paedophiles, who would travel between Ireland and North Wales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 AM

August 22, 2009

Attorney general asked to investigate diocese

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Aug. 21, 2009

An advocacy group for victims of clergy sex abuse has asked the Wisconsin attorney general's office to investigate whether the Catholic Diocese of Madison is complying with state laws on reporting child sex offenders to law enforcement authorities.

The case involves Father Joseph Gibbs Clauder, who has been on administrative leave since 1999 over allegations of sexual misconduct with an adult. The diocese issued a statement this month saying it has credible evidence suggesting Clauder engaged in child sex abuse and was sending the case to the Vatican for final judgment.

In a letter to the attorney general's office delivered this week, the Midwest Chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests asked the agency to determine whether the diocese is complying with state laws on notification and to urge the diocese to turn its records of abuse over to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Group wants to know if there are any other clergy sex abuse victims in Fargo

FARGO (ND)
KFGO

FARGO, ND- A group that fights against sexual abuse wants anyone affected locally to come forward and get help. An organization called 'The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests' - or "SNAP" - held a demonstration in front of Shanley High School yesterday. They say two people have complained to them about Brother Raimond Rose - during his time at Shanley 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Church loses bid to dismiss lawsuit

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Register Staff

WATERBURY (AP) — A judge has said no to a bid to dismiss a lawsuit related to a former Roman Catholic priest’s theft of more than $1 million from a Darien parish.

A former bookkeeper at St. John Roman Catholic Church claims she was harassed, threatened and forced to resign for exposing the embezzlement by the Rev. Michael Jude Fay. Bethany D’Erario has sued the parish and the Bridgeport Diocese.

Church officials had argued that D’Erario’s lawsuit was baseless and should be thrown out. But Judge William Cremins at Superior Court in Waterbury rejected the motion in a ruling Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

U.S. Nuns and the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

[with video]

DEBORAH POTTER, guest anchor: An association of Catholic women religious leaders is asking the Vatican why the group is being investigated. The leadership conference that represents almost all of the Catholic religious orders in the United States is the target of a “doctrinal assessment,” the results of which will be a secret report to Rome. The group was warned eight years ago that it had failed to promote some of the church’s teachings, including the male-only priesthood. A separate “apostolic visitation” is looking into what the Vatican calls “the quality of the life” of all 60,000 American Catholic sisters.

Joining us now to discuss these investigations is Tom Fox, editor of the independent newspaper the National Catholic Reporter. Thanks for joining us.

TOM FOX (Editor, National Catholic Reporter): Great to be here.

POTTER: Tom, I wonder if you could tell us what appears to be behind these investigations or, maybe put another way, what does it seem that the Vatican is after?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 AM

Respect for rights of children must be key policy driver - ombudsman

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ÉIBHIR MULQUEEN

MERRIMAN SUMMER SCHOOL: PUBLIC POLICY and services for children must be underpinned by a respect for their rights, Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan told the summer school yesterday.

A first step for children to be considered full citizens would be an amendment to the Constitution, she said.

“It is important that we get the message right in the primary legal document in the State. In the experience of my office, the absence of clearer protection for children’s rights in the Constitution has had an adverse effect on children across a wide range of areas.”

Ms Logan said the Ryan report had direct contemporary relevance. “The bulk of the commission’s recommendations relate to how our current child protection and care structures can and should be improved,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 AM

Another charge for pastor accused of sex abuse

NEBRASKA
Journal Star

From staff and wire reports | Posted: Friday, August 21, 2009 6:20 pm

OMAHA -- Another charge has been filed against the Rev. Efrain Umaña, a Lincoln pastor already accused of sexually abusing four Iowans.

Umaña appeared in Douglas County Court Friday on a charge of sexual assault of a child. His bond was set at $100,000.

According to court documents, the alleged assault occurred in February 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 AM

Pastor faces another abuse charge

LINCOLN (NE)
World-Herald

By Jason Kuiper
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

A Lincoln pastor already facing sex abuse charges in Council Bluffs has been charged in Omaha with first-degree sexual assault of a child.

Efrain Umaña Sr., 54, a pastor who served congregations in Council Bluffs and Lincoln, pleaded not guilty to sex abuse charges in Iowa.

The new charge against Umaña alleges he sexually assaulted a young girl four times between February 2004 and May 2004. The girl’s father found out about the abuse earlier this year and contacted Omaha police, according to the police report. The girl is now 17 and lives in Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 AM

Arrested for going to church

By Jesse James DeConto
CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

By Jesse James DeConto
jesse.deconto@newsobserver.com

James Nichols said he was flabbergasted when a Chatham County sheriff's deputy arrested him in March for a simple weekly activity: going to church.

Nichols, 31, had served six years in prison for indecent liberties with a teenage girl and attempted second-degree rape. He was released last September and started attending Moncure Baptist Church. He met with the pastor, disclosed his crimes and often sat in the front row for worship.

But after the Chatham sheriff's office investigated an alleged sexual assault by another person in the church parking lot in March, Nichols was arrested because he was attending the church, which has a child care facility on its premises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 AM

Catholic brother accused of abuse

FARGO (ND)
In Forum

By: Mike Nowatzki, INFORUM

A support group for people victimized by religious authority figures wants Shanley High School to “aggressively reach out” to alumni who may have been abused by a Roman Catholic brother who worked at the Fargo school from 1976 to 1980.

Brother Charles Anthony “Raimond” Rose has been the subject of at least two civil lawsuits filed in Minnesota this year against the Christian Brothers teaching order.

Plaintiffs claim the order committed fraud by not disclosing Rose’s history as a sexual abuser when he abused two teenage boys from Twin Cities Catholic schools in 1966-67 and 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 AM

Victim speaks out over punishment of priest

MAINE
WGME

August 21, 2009 11:41 EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- One of those sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest says he's appalled the Vatican agreed to let the Rev. Michael Doucette remain a priest.

David Gagnon, who was 15 when he was abused by Doucette, said Friday that the priest's punishment shows the Diocese of Portland doesn't take clergy abuse seriously. He says he continues to go through therapy after being raped and sexual abused repeatedly by Doucette.

The diocese announced Thursday that Doucette will be allowed to retain the title of priest but won't be able to present himself as a priest, wear clerical garb or have a public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 AM

Vatican Decision on Abusive Priest Outrages Alleged Victim

MAINE
MPBN

August 21, 2009 Reported By: Susan Sharon

One of the people who claims he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in Maine 20 years ago says he is outraged by the Vatican's decision to allow Reverend Michael Doucette to remain as a priest. The Diocese of Portland removed Doucette from active public ministry in 2002 and the Vatican has now upheld the action. But the Vatican could have taken more severe measures.

The Vatican could have chosen to laicize or defrock Reverend Michael Doucette, who has admitted he engaged in abuse in the past. In other words, Doucette could have been formally stripped of his priesthood. Instead, the Vatican upheld the disciplinary measures imposed by the Diocese of Portland in 2002. Those include being removed from active ministry, not being able to present himself as a priest or wearing clerical garb.

A self-described survivor of sexual abuse by Michael Doucette, David Gagnon, says this is a terrible message to victims. "I think the decision for the Diocese and for Rome not to defrock him is basically a mild slap on the wrist and a basic suggestion that what he did was not all that bad, and you know, you can rape 15-year-olds and still be a priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 AM

August 21, 2009

Chicago school is sued in teacher sex abuse case

By Kristen Mack
Tribune reporter

August 21, 2009

Officials at a college prep school on Chicago's West Side knew of a teacher's repeated sexual contact with a male student but "turned a blind eye" and failed to protect him, a lawsuit alleged Thursday.

The suit filed on behalf of the student alleged that Chicago Hope Academy math teacher Kathryn Vail-Wesley admitted to other faculty that she had "intimate and/or sexual feelings" toward the boy, then 17. The student also discussed Vail-Wesley's interest in him with at least one faculty member, said the suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Vail-Wesley is awaiting trial on five counts of criminal sexual assault. She has since resigned from the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

New charge for pastor

LINCOLN (NE)
World-Herald

By Jason Kuiper
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
A Lincoln pastor already facing sex abuse charges in Council Bluffs has been charged in Omaha with first-degree sexual assault on a child.

Efrain Umaña Sr., 54, a pastor who served congregations in Council Bluffs and Lincoln, has pleaded not guilty to sex abuse charges in Iowa.

The new charge against Umaña alleges he sexually assaulted a young girl four times between February 2004 and May 2004. The girl's father found out about the abuse earlier this year and contacted Omaha police, according to the police report. The girl is now 17 and lives in Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Van Hollen asked to review case of clergy abuse suspect; other state briefs

MADISON (WI)
River Towns

MADISON -- A national victims advocacy group wants Wisconsin's attorney general to investigate the role of Madison's bishop in protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing both children and adults.

Earlier this month, Madison Bishop Robert Morlino issued a press release stating that allegations about the sexual misconduct of Father Joseph Gibbs Clauder were being sent to the Vatican.

But Peter Isely of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says Father Clauder's actions should be investigated by the state attorney general, not the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Dead Priest's Alleged "Ex-Wife" Sues Estate

ILLINOIS
Chicago Now

A Des Plaines woman claims that she and an Ordained Catholic Priest, who was the Pastor of St. James Catholic Church, lived as husband and wife from 1994 until his death in 2007.

She further asserts that he deceived her by changing his will without her knowledge and, if the court does not intervene, it will cause her to lose her Des Plaines home.

According to the complaint, Edwin Bohula and Irene Serwa met in 1959 when she was a student at St. Fidelis Grammar School and he was the assistant pastor. They became reacquainted in 1994 and began a sexual relationship, despite Edwin's role as a priest. Their relationship, the complaint alleges, was "exclusive" and Edwin would give Irene cards addressed "To My Wife."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Forgiveness and The High Holidays

UNITED STATES
The Awareness Center

by Vicki Polin, MA, LCPC

Considering it is the month of Elul (a time for self-examination, meditation and prayer), many Jews around the world are emotionally and spiritually preparing for the High Holidays.

I was recently discussing the term "forgiveness" with a group of people on Facebook. One of the individuals in the conversation suggested "forgiveness, helps us to heal our past," another suggested that, "forgiveness, means being able to get on with your life". A third person suggested,"forgiveness does not change the past". Forgiveness is about the present moment. It transforms us in the moment so we can go forward doing teshuvah and tikkun olam.

After advocating for survivors of sex crimes for so many years, I don't believe one needs to "Forgive" to heal. I also personally do not believe the term "forgiveness" means giving up our hope for a better past. I think acceptance is a much better word for that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Former student sues Chicago Hope Academy after sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

CHICAGO (STNG) -- A student-athlete is suing Chicago Hope Academy, alleging the school “turned a blind eye” to sexual abuse and exploitation involving his former math teacher.

The suit, filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, willful and wanton misconduct, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of the private Christian high school.

The student-athlete, an unnamed minor, was recruited and enrolled at Chicago Hope Academy, 2189 West Bowler Street in the Near West Side neighborhood on the West Side, in 2005, the suit said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

VOTF Announces Voices in Action Campaign

UNITED STATES
eMediaWire

(PRWEB) August 21, 2009 -- In July, Voice of the Faithful raised more than $120,000 in an emergency fundraising campaign that served as a referendum on the organization's viability as a change agent in the Catholic Church. Thanks to that cash infusion, the organization is now confidently launching Voices in Action, a practical pathway for transforming the Catholic Church through local, regional and national action.

Voices in Action focuses on improving parishes and dioceses; fostering greater accountability in Church leaders and in the laity as well; ensuring financial transparency; healing survivors; protecting children; supporting clergy working together with laity; and encouraging systematic transformation and growth in the universal Church.

It is with great excitement that we introduce this campaign to the public, but it is something that could not have been done without the support, time and treasure, of all of our members. Over the next few weeks members and all lay Catholics will be asked to volunteer their financial support and time for one or more of the initiatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Borne case cuts deepest in diocese

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

By 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 10:08 AM

Priest's abuse case sent to Vatican, local group wants prosecution

MADISON (WI)
WKOW

Posted: Aug 21, 2009 2:40 AM

MADISON (WKOW) -- This month, the Madison Catholic Diocese admitted allegations of sexual abuse of a child made against a Madison-area priest are credible.
The bishop referred the case against Joseph Gibbs Clauder to the Vatican for judgment, but one group says that's not enough.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wants open information and prosecution.

SNAP members stood outside J.B. Van Hollen's office Thursday, asking the Wisconsin attorney general to investigate possible crimes committed by a local priest against parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Priest abuse hearing hinges on memory, time

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star
By Robert King

Posted: August 21, 2009

A John Doe RG, as he is known in court papers, always struggled with trusting people.

Personal relationships usually lasted no more than a year. His second-guessing of his bosses sent him hopping from job to job.

But it wasn't until 2003 that his therapist asked him a question that would unravel his life and rattle the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis: "Do you have any sexual abuse in your past?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Church trial for Father B

IRELAND
The Corkman

By MARIA HERLIHY

Thursday August 20 2009

A CLOYNE priest, referred to as Father B, is to be put on trial behind closed doors by the Catholic Church for alleged child abuse.

The process of a trial behind closed doors is similar to a court trial, but, witnesses can only be invited to give evidence, rather than compelled.

It is understood the canonical hearing will take place in Cobh before the end of the month. It was reported in the media that the court is being established under the auspices of Dermot D Clifford, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

August 20, 2009

PRIEST SEX CASE: Accuser admits to misleading police

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY DAN PROUDMAN
21/08/2009 4:00:00 AM
A MAN who has accused Catholic priest Peter Julian Brock of sexually assaulting him as a teenager admitted yesterday he initially identified the wrong presbytery where some of the abuse allegedly occurred.

The man told Newcastle Local Court he had misled police about when the alleged abuse finished because he was concerned they would think he was homosexual if he admitted it continued into his 20s.

The committal hearing also heard how Brock had officiated at the man's wedding years after he was alleged to have abused him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Vatican Confirms Punishments Imposed on Priest

MAINE
MPBN

The disciplinary measures were imposed after victims came forward complaining of sexual improprieties.

Disciplinary measures imposed on a Roman Catholic priest who admitted to sexual improprieties have been confirmed by the Vatican. The measures were imposed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland on Michael Doucette, who served as a priest in several cities and towns in Maine between 1975 and 2001.

Doucette will be allowed to remain a priest, but he can't have any public ministry or present himself as a priest or wear clerical garb.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

SNAP support meeting Sept. 9

OHIO
Daiy-Jeff

BELLAIRE -- SNAP Support Group meeting will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9 in Bellaire.

The group encourages and welcomes anyone who has suffered from clergy sexual abuse to attend this confidential self help group meeting. Acceptance, compassion and healing is possible. Privacy will be respected for all who attend.

This SNAP meeting has been relocated to be more assessable to survivors within the Steubenville, Marietta, Cambridge, Wheeling, and small town areas like Woodsfield, Miltonsburg and Barnesville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Suit: Former Patchogue pastor a sexual predator

NEW YORK
Newsday

August 20, 2009 By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER jennifer.kelleher@newsday.com

Two sisters are suing a Patchogue church and its former pastor for manipulating them into a sexual relationship with him.

Valerie Spielman and her sister Cindy Gallo held a news conference in their Miller Place attorney's office Thursday, recounting years of counseling they received from the former pastor of Grace Gospel Church.

They said Lawrence Carrino, who has since moved to Minnesota, took advantage of their psychological weaknesses in order to have countless secret sexual encounters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

False Charges Ousted Priest for 2 Years

WEYMOUTH (MA)
National Catholic Register

BY Gail Besse
Register Correspondent

May 7-13, 2006 Issue | Posted 8/20/09 at 8:09 AM

WEYMOUTH, Mass. — A shy smile creased the face of Father Charles Murphy as the congregation’s applause enveloped him.

Father Murphy had just returned to public ministry after what he called “dark days.” He had fought a 30-year-old sexual abuse claim that a civil court eventually dismissed and a Church review board declared unsubstantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Priest's trial still haunts her, juror says

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

One of the jurors who, three years ago, found a Toledo Catholic priest guilty in the 1980 murder of a nun said last night that she remains haunted by the trial and prays that "if I made the wrong decision that God forgives me."

Denise West of Toledo, who along with 11 other jurors came to the unanimous verdict that Gerald Robinson murdered Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, said the decision was based on evidence presented in the Lucas County Common Pleas Court trial.

Mrs. West's emotional presentation was given at Ski's Restaurant in Sylvania in a talk sponsored by the Polish-American Council of Toledo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Father Peter Julian Brock is charged in court with child-sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

A mother refused to believe her teenage son who complained about being sexually abused by Catholic priest Father Peter Julian Brock, an Australian court has been told.

The alleged victim stated in court that his mother had slapped him and told him "you don't make comments like that about priests".

The alleged victim told the court how Father Peter Brock had introduced him to a card game "Strip Jack", in which players lose pieces of clothing until the players become naked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Church Excommunicates Journalist for ‘Lies’

RUSSIA
The Moscow Times

20 August 2009
Reuters

The Russian Orthodox Church has cursed and excommunicated a journalist for “satanic lies” in accusing the abbess of a monastery of scaring locals into selling their homes for “peanuts.”

The church used excommunication and the anathema ecclesiastical curse as powerful weapons against its enemies under the tsars but rarely imposes the sanctions today.

The Pskov diocese in western Russia excommunicated the local journalist after a court found him guilty of libel for an article headlined “A Wasp’s Nest Under Golden Domes,” which also accused lay sisters at the monastery of smoking and drinking in their robes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Church debate gets heated; Mass suspended at Red Springs Church

RED SPRINGS (NC)
The Fayetteville Observer

By Michael Futch
Staff writer

RED SPRINGS - There's dissension in the church.

Three days after being padlocked out of his parish, Father Walter Ospina returned to give the Wednesday evening Mass at the Iglesia Catolica San Andres on the outskirts of this rural Robeson County town.

By order of the Bishop of the Raleigh Diocese, it will be the last Mass held in the church until a review of any parishioner's concerns is complete.

Earlier this week, St. Pauls Police Chief Tommy Hagens said the Robeson County District Attorney's Office is looking into an allegation made against Ospina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Former minister found guilty of molesting girl

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Kim Smith
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.20.2009

A former youth minister is facing more than 50 years in prison after being convicted Wednesday of molesting a 13-year-old girl over the course of a year.

Christopher Scott Decaire will be sentenced Sept. 18 by Pima County Superior Court Judge Jane Eikleberry on six of the eight molestation and sexual-conduct charges he originally faced. The jury acquitted him of two counts of sexual conduct after deliberating nearly eight hours over two days.

Last week, the girl, now 15, testified that Decaire molested her and forced her to perform oral sex between January 2007 and January 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

New archbishop of New Orleans to be installed today

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

by Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
Thursday August 20, 2009, 5:25 AM

Pope Benedict XVI greets Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans after presenting a pallium to him during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on June 29. When Bishop Gregory Aymond left his native New Orleans to lead the Catholic Church in Austin, Texas, nine years ago, he was a relatively new bishop without experience at the head of a regional church.

But as Aymond frequently told Texas friends in a series of farewells during the past three weeks, Austin taught him how to be a bishop. ...

In 1998 he allowed Brian Matherne, a teacher and coach at Sacred Heart elementary school in Norco, to remain on the job despite accusations from a parent that years earlier Matherne had molested his son, by then a young adult.

Acting on lawyers' advice, the archdiocese allowed Matherne to stay on the job because the young man, who was by then in therapy, refused to give first-hand testimony to Aymond. A year later the church was deeply embarrassed when the St. Charles Parish sheriff's office arrested Matherne, who was convicted of abusing many children -- some after the church had been warned. He is now in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Church applauded for response to sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A man, who says he was sexually abused by a priest in the New South Wales Hunter region when he was a boy, has praised the Catholic Church for helping to bring his alleged abuser to justice.

The alleged victim yesterday told a committal hearing, he was repeatedly sexually abused by Father Peter Julian Brock in the 1970s.

He said the abuse started before he hit puberty and by 16 he was having sexual intercourse with Father Brock, who is facing a total of 22 child sex charges against two alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Sikh priests to stand trial on molestation accusation

CANADA
Winnipeg Sun

By PAUL TURENNE, SUN MEDIA

Three Sikh priests accused of molesting a member of their Winnipeg temple when he was a boy will stand trial on their charges.

Provincial court Judge Michel Chartier ruled yesterday there is sufficient evidence to try Bakhshish Singh, Dalbag Singh and Kuljit Singh on charges related to the alleged abuse of a temple member for several years during the early 1990s.

Chartier made the ruling following a one-day preliminary hearing yesterday. The evidence given at the hearing is subject to a publication ban.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Sikh priests face sex assault trial

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Mike McIntyre

THREE Sikh priests have been ordered to stand trial for allegedly sexually abusing a young boy for years in a bizarre case that has divided their community.

Bakhshish Singh, 49; Kuljit Singh, 45; and Dalbag Singh, 39, learned their fate following a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

A judge ruled there is sufficient evidence to move the case forward.

A court-ordered ban prevents details of from being published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

August 19, 2009

Destapan caso de cura pederasta en Brasil

BRAZIL
La Cronica de Hoy

Un sacerdote italiano que dirigía un albergue para niños sin hogar en Brasil por el que fue premiado ha sido acusado de abusar sexualmente de ellos durante varios años y permitir que visitantes extranjeros los explotaran, dijeron fuentes judiciales el miércoles.

El padre Clodoveo Piazza, quien ahora trabaja como misionero en Mozambique, fue acusado junto con otro ex director del grupo no lucrativo Organización de Ayuda Fraternal basado en Salvador, Brasil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Ministério Público da Bahia denuncia padre italiano por pedofilia

BRAZIL
Correio

Redação CORREIO
O ex-presidente da Organização de Auxílio Fraterno (OAF), padre Clodoveo Piazza, e o ex diretor-executivo da entidade, Marcos de Paiva Silva, foram denunciados pelo Ministério Público da Bahia por 'submeter crianças e adolescentes à exploração sexual'.

A denúncia foi oferecida à Vara Especializada Criminal da Infância e Juventude pela pela promotora Sandra Patrícia Oliveira, titular da Promotoria Especializada em Crimes Contra a Criança e o Adolescente.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Padre é denunciado por exploração sexual na BA

BRAZIL
Terra

19 de agosto de 2009 • 18h59 • atualizado às 18h59

Ex-secretário de Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Pobreza da Bahia, o padre Clodoveo Piazza foi denunciado pelo Ministério Público baiano por suspeita de submeter crianças e adolescentes à exploração sexual. Marcos de Paiva Silva, ex-diretor-executivo da Organização de Auxílio Fraterno (OAF), entidade da qual o padre foi presidente, também foi denunciado.

Segundo o MP, entre 2000 e 2008, os denunciados teriam submetido diversos abrigados da organização, menores de 18 anos, à exploração sexual. De acordo com depoimento de ex-internos, os homens teriam prometido recompensas e dinheiro. A OAF é uma entidade não-governamental que oferece abrigo a crianças e adolescentes em situação de risco pessoal e social.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Lauded priest in Brazil accused of abusing boys

BRAZIL
The Associated Press

By BRADLEY BROOKS (AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO — An Italian priest who ran an award-winning shelter for homeless children in Brazil has been charged with sexually abusing boys for years and allowing visiting foreigners to exploit the children, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Father Clodoveo Piazza, now working as a missionary in Mozambique, was charged along with another former director of the nonprofit group Fraternal Help Organization, a private group based in Salvador.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

Youth minister found guilty

TUCSON (AZ)
KVOA

A verdict has been reached in the trial of a former Tucson youth minister charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old.

A jury has found Christopher Decaire guilty on two counts of sexual abuse of a minor under 15, two counts of molestation of a child, two counts of sexual conduct of a minor under 15.

He was found not guilty on two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Supreme Court upholds conviction of ex-deacon

SOUTH CAROLINA
The State

The S.C. Supreme Court today re-instated a child molestation conviction against a former deacon at First Baptist Church in Columbia.

The court in a 4-1 ruling reversed a 2005 decision by the state Court of Appeals involving John Hubner, who was sentenced in 2002 to 36 years in prison after a Richland County jury convicted of six counts of lewd acts on a child.

The Supreme Court today also upheld convictions in two other child sex abuse cases in Greenville and Pickens counties. The court relied on the Greenville County case in re-instating Hubner's conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

S.C. court upholds sex abuse rulings

SOUTH CAROLINA
The State

By RICK BRUNDRETT - rbrundrett@thestate.com

The state’s top court in separate rulings Monday upheld or reinstated convictions in three child sex abuse cases, including one involving an ex-deacon at a large Columbia church.

The majority of justices in all three rulings Monday said the trial judges were correct in allowing testimony of “prior bad acts” by the defendants, though they were not charged criminally in most of the earlier incidents.

The state Attorney General’s Office and victims advocates applauded the decision, saying it will make it easier to convict pedophiles. But defense attorneys said the rulings will allow defendants to be convicted on unproven evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Missionary Child Abuse

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

Brandon Fibbs | posted 8/18/2009 10:52AM

The writer of Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything—a time to be silent and a time to speak. All God's Children was made for the latter. The 2008 documentary was inspired by an article that ran in Christianity Today in April 1998, exposing alleged child abuse at the Mamou Alliance Academy in Guinea, West Africa, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) boarding school for missionary kids.

At Mamou during the 1960s, dozens of children were beaten, abused, and even raped by teachers and overseers, and told that if they ever revealed what went on, they would be defeating their parents' work and damning millions of potential African converts. Now adults, many of Mamou's survivors have banded together to confront the demons of their past, seek justice, and, in some cases, offer forgiveness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Priest still taking heat for abuse

LOUISIANA
The Advocate and WBRZ

[video presentation]

A former alter boy who claims a Baton Rouge priest abused him is making his story public. News 2's Chris Nakamoto talks with him

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Plan may close more churches

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
By JACK FLYNN
jflynn@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is preparing for the third and possibly most contentious stage of a reorganization that will reshape parishes across the Pioneer Valley for decades.

Within the next month, Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell is expected to announce church closings for parishes in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Palmer, Ware and Hampshire County.

A reorganization plan drawn up by the Pastoral Planning Committee was submitted to McDonnell earlier this month, and should receive his approval in the next two or three weeks, according to Msg. John J. Bonzagni, director of planning for the diocese. Officials would not release details of the proposal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Priest's card game turned to sex, court told

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY DAN PROUDMAN
20/08/2009 4:00:00 AM
CATHOLIC priest Peter Julian Brock used a ruse of playing cards to lure a boy into naked sex trysts which lasted several years, a court heard yesterday.

The alleged victim told a committal hearing yesterday of how Brock had introduced the card game "strip jack" where players lose pieces of clothing depending on what they are dealt in a "counselling room" of a Hunter presbytery before sexually abusing him.

The man, who was a young teenager at the time of the alleged abuse in the 1970s, also told the court how his mother had slapped him and told him "you don't make comments like that about priests" after he had confided in her that Brock was abusing him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Pastor denied parole in child sex abuse case

STAFFORD (VA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priest

WHAT
At a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- applaud corrections officials for denying parole to an admitted predator &
-- provide copies of a letter from Baptist officials denying help to the predator’s victim. ...

WHEN
Wednesday, August 19, at 1:00 PM

WHERE In front of Mt Hope Church, 3653 Brooke Rd, Stafford, VA

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Lawyer: FBI Trained Hal Turner As An "Agent Provocateur"

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVID OWENS
The Hartford Courant

11:57 a.m. EDT, August 18, 2009

HARTFORD — - Internet blogger Harold "Hal" Turner's attorney said today that Turner's background as an FBI informant will be a key part of his defense to charges that he incited violence against two state legislators and a state ethics official.

Superior Court Judge David P. Gold on Tuesday authorized Michael A. Orozco, a New Jersey attorney, to represent Turner. Turner did not appear again in court Tuesday because he remains in federal custody without bail in Chicago, where he is accused of threatening three federal judges.

In asking Gold to allow Orozco to represent Turner, Turner's Connecticut lawyer, Matthew R. Potter, said Orozco has a long-term legal relationship with Turner, plans to bring a complicated First Amendment defense and is familiar with Turner's background as an FBI informant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Hal Turner a Trained FBI Agent Provocateur

CONNECTICUT
Prison Planet

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
August 18, 2009

Radio talk show host and blogger Hal Turner was an FBI trained agent provocateur, his attorney told reporters in Hartford today. The supposed white supremacist worked for the agency from 2002 until 2007. “His job was basically to publish information which would cause other parties to act in a manner which would lead to their arrest,” Michael Orozco told the Associated Press.

Earlier this year Turner told his blog readers to “take up arms” against Connecticut lawmakers. He also said government officials should “obey the Constitution or die.” In June he wrote that the Illinois federal appeals judges “deserve to be killed” because they issued a ruling that upheld ordinances in Chicago and suburban Oak Park banning handguns. Turner included photos of the judges and the room numbers of their chambers at the courthouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Lawyer Invokes First Amendment

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVID OWENS
The Hartford Courant

August 19, 2009

HARTFORD — - A lawyer for Harold "Hal" Turner, the blogger and Internet radio host accused of encouraging people to "take up arms" against two Connecticut legislators and a state ethics official, said Tuesday that the comments are protected by the First Amendment.

Turner knew just where the line was between protected political speech and criminal conduct because the FBI taught him when the agency used him as an informant, his attorney, Michael A. Orozco of Newark, N.J., said outside a Hartford courtroom.

"Mr. Turner was trained by the FBI," Orozco said. "He was told where the line was — what he could say." Turner, of New Jersey, worked as an "agent provocateur" for the FBI from roughly 2002 to 2007, Orozco said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

'Prophet' Dies Before Answering To Jury

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

LAS VEGAS -- A self-proclaimed prophet accused of having sex with children has died.

Benito Catello, 76, died in his home Monday afternoon without ever facing a jury for his alleged crimes. Catello was under hospice care at his home when he died.

Neighbors said they have mixed feelings on his death, especially in light of some serious criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Dennis 'one of three molesters', court told

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

KEN McGREGOR
August 19, 2009 07:25pm
A MAN who was allegedly sexually abused by a former Anglican priest told a court yesterday that he had also been molested by Ric Marshall and Bob Brandenburg.

Testifying today, the man told the District Court that Wilfred Edwin Dennis, 73, of Vale Park, had abused him while he was an altar boy for a 12-18 month period in the 1970s.

Dennis has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency, and one count of having carnal knowledge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Vatican rule on controversial closure of Wirral's Ss Peter and Paul's church

UNITED KINGDOM
Wirral News

Aug 19 2009 by Liam Murphy, Birkenhead News

WORSHIPPERS at a Wirral church controversially shut by Catholic authorities, have won an historic ruling from the Vatican that the closure order was “null and void”.

Ss Peter and Paul’s church in New Brighton – known as the “Dome of Home” because it is visible to sailors in Liverpool Bay – was shut in 2008, despite protests from its parishioners.

The Diocese of Shrewsbury had insisted the church was too expensive to operate and moved services to the Anglican All Saints – a step which angered many worshippers.

Campaign group SOUL (Save Our Unique Landmark) was set up to press the diocese to retain the 1930s Grade II listed building.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Ex-seminary principal waiting for evidence

AMERICAN FORK (UT)
Deseret News

By Sara Israelsen-Hartley
Deseret News

AMERICAN FORK — Attorneys for the former LDS seminary principal accused of developing a sexual relationship with a student are waiting for more evidence before proceeding with the case.

Michael Jay Pratt, 37, was surrounded by friends and former students Tuesday morning as he made an appearance in 4th District Court and got another hearing date for Sept. 8.

One of Pratt's attorneys, Dusty Kawai, told the judge they still need to see cell-phone records and text messages and asked for the three-week continuance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Church worker sentenced for molesting boys

CANADA
The Record

August 19, 2009
By Dianne Wood, Record staff

“Mark Hiemstra made it past my mother radar.’’

The words are from the mother of a young boy molested by Hiemstra, the former director of the children’s ministry at Highview Community Church in Kitchener.

On Tuesday, Hiemstra was sentenced to 23 months in jail for molesting seven young boys over a 17-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Fairbanks Catholic Diocese asking for financial help

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer

Published Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FAIRBANKS — A special donation appeal is being made by Fairbanks Catholic Bishop Donald Kettler to Outside diocesan contributors to keep the Fairbanks Catholic missionary diocese afloat.

The request recently went out in a bulk mailing to 55,000 addresses of diocesan supporters around the country and beyond.

Kettler cited the reasons for the diocese’s fiscal crisis and his special appeal as stemming from legal costs of bankruptcy reorganization; rising fuel and maintenance costs; staff travel expenses to cover the sprawling diocese; and the national economic downturn which has decimated investment returns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Bankrupt diocese begs for nationwide donations to cover attorney fees

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Catholic Culture

August 19, 2009
The Diocese of Fairbanks, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008 amid 300 sexual-abuse lawsuits, is sending a special fundraising appeal to 55,000 Catholics nationwide. “The clock is always ticking on attorney fees,” said the chancellor of the north Alaskan diocese. “I know we have incurred more than $2 million in fees to date and part has been paid from a loan and proceeds from the sale of property.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

August 18, 2009

Christian Brother - credibly accused - Raimond Rose

UNITED STATES
YouTube

Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, is focusing on Christian Brother Raimond Rose. Outreach actions are planned in Wisconsin and North Dakota. The intent is to assist survivors of clergy sexual abuse find healing and recovery.

SNAP encourages anyone with information on Bro. Rose to contact Mr. Schwiderski at 952-471-3422 or e-mail at skibrs@mchsi.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Lutheran church assistant pastor accused of sex abuse

CALIFORNIA
The Press Democrat

BY LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A former Sonoma County man is suing a Windsor Lutheran church and its former assistant pastor, claiming he was molested nine years ago.

Vineyard of Faith Lutheran Church and ex-assistant pastor Christopher Benson are named in the lawsuit, which also includes the Lutheran Church’s Missouri headquarters and the regional Lutheran council.

The suit, filed in June in Sonoma County Court, seeks unspecified monetary damages for alleged psychological damage incurred by James Bowen, now 22.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Abuse victims unite in call for €600m extra compensation

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney and Breda Heffernan

Monday August 17 2009

VICTIM groups now want religious orders to pay €600m directly to survivors of institutional child sex abuse.

None of the compensation money should go to cover administrative, legal or medical costs, a new alliance of survivors of abuse groups has said.

Instead survivors want the Government to keep a promise made in 2002 that the Redress Board awards would match average High Court payouts in personal injury claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Pasco youth pastor given four years for sex offense

LARGO (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By Curtis Krueger, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Aug 18, 2009 11:28 AM

LARGO — A former Pasco County youth pastor pleaded guilty today to two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a 16-year-old girl and was sentenced to more than four years in prison, followed by six years of sex offender probation.

Scott Dewayne Wright was arrested earlier this year and accused of touching the girl under her clothing and penetrating her with his fingers. He was in his 30s at the time of the offense, and had met the girl in 2007 when he was a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Worship Center in New Port Richey.

The girl is not being named because of the nature of the offense. Her parents appeared in court and said afterwards they were satisfied with the sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

North Carolina sex offender arrested for attending church

RALEIGH (NC)
News & Observer

Jesse James Deconto - News & Observer

RALEIGH — James Nichols said he was flabbergasted when a Chatham County sheriff's deputy arrested him in March for a simple weekly activity — going to church.

Nichols, 31, had served six years in prison for indecent liberties with a teenage girl and attempted second-degree rape. He was released last September and started attending Moncure Baptist Church. He met with the pastor, disclosed his crimes and often sat in the front row for worship.

But after the Chatham Sheriff's Office investigated an alleged sexual assault by another person in the church parking lot in March, Nichols was arrested because he was attending the church, which has a child-care facility on its premises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Former Youth Pastor Wants Sex Charges Dismissed

OHIO
WMFD

A former Mansfield youth pastor charged with 42 counts of sexual battery involving female parishioners wants the charges dismissed against him.

John Picard's attorney claims the charges should be dropped against the 42-year-old because his client was denied a speedy trial.

Picard's trial was originally scheduled to begin Monday in Richland County Common Pleas Court, but his attorney filed four motions before jury selection, causing the trial to be rescheduled to Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

'Prophet' accused of sexual assaults dies in hospice care

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Review-Journal

Self-proclaimed prophet Benito Catello, charged last month with 29 felonies regarding sexual misconduct with two juvenile members of his church, died Monday in hospice care.

He had been in custody at an area hospital since his arrest at his home July 3. The home doubled as a nondenominational Christian church called "The Ministry," where Catello held Bible study and meetings, according to reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Self-proclaimed prophet arrested in Vegas dies

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Times-Standard

LAS VEGAS—A self-proclaimed prophet and church leader arrested in Las Vegas in July on suspicion of sex crimes against children has died.

Mace Yampolsky, an attorney for Benito Catello, says the 76-year-old died on Monday at his home while under hospice care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Strategic Plan: Voices in Action

UNITED STATES
Voice for the Faithful

Voices in Action provides a practical pathway for transforming the Catholic Church through local, regional and national action. Our focus is on improving our parishes and dioceses by fostering greater accountability in ourselves and our leaders; healing survivors; protecting children; ensuring financial transparency; supporting clerical collaboration with laity; and encouraging systematic transformation and growth in the universal Church.

We approach these efforts with a renewed spirituality grounded in prayer. Voices in Action calls on all Catholics to discern our gifts and join our talents with others to make a difference now. Our work depends on the insights and energies of all—because no one person or group has every answer. ...

Child Protection and Survivor Support. VOTF will support victims in sharing their stories to increase public awareness as well as survivor healing; prepare a comprehensive guide to help VOTF members engage in legislative reforms that protect children and advance the efforts of survivors to obtain justice; and work for the adoption of evidence-based child abuse prevention programs for adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

'Shock Blogger' Faces Judge

CONNECTICUT
NBC

By YVONNE NAVA
Updated 9:45 AM EDT, Tue, Aug 18, 2009

A New Jersey "shock blogger" accused of threatening two Connecticut lawmakers will face a judge Tuesday.

Hal Turner, 47, of North Bergen, was arrested after he allegedly urged his blog readers to "take up arms" against Sen. Andrew McDonald, Rep. Michael Lawlor and Tom Jones from the Office of State Ethics.

Turner said he was upset about proposed legislation that would allow the state to scrutinize the Catholic church's finances. The bill was withdrawn in March. Turner's lawyer says the case is about freedom of speech.

Here's what was posted on the site:

TRN advocates Catholics in Connecticut take up arms and put down this tyranny by force. To that end, THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT ON "THE HAL TURNER SHOW" we will be releasing the home addresses of the Senator and Assemblyman who introduced Bill 1098 as well as the home address of Thomas K. Jones from the OSE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Church embezzlers rob congregations of trust

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug. 18, 2009
By Diana Fishlock, 2009 Religion News Service

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- For 24 years, Barbara Myers worked with Barry R. Herr in a small church office where everybody knew everybody. Co-workers all knew when someone's family had a baby, a wedding or a death.

But they didn't know Herr was embezzling money -- more than $1 million from the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where he was treasurer. He used the money to buy classic cars, police said.

“He ripped off his own church,” said Myers, a spokeswoman for the synod. “Where else do you trust people if not in a church environment?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Religious women question Vatican probe

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug. 18, 2009
By Daniel Burke, Religion News Service

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has asked the Vatican to disclose why it is being investigated and who is funding the probe, and questioned why the sisters will not be allowed to see the final investigative report submitted to church leaders.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which met last week (Aug. 11-14) in New Orleans, pledged to cooperate with a Vatican investigation of the sisters' fidelity to Catholic doctrine on female ordination, homosexuality, and the role of the church in salvation.

A separate Vatican investigation, announced last January, aims to take a broader look at nearly 350 communities of women religious in the U.S., examining everything from finances to how leaders deal with sisters who dissent from Catholic dogma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Incident in NY: Church crowd throws coins at crime victims, disrupts event, bused in like anti-Health Care Reform hecklers

NEW YORK
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

"We knew they were going to come. They showed up in buses," said Joel Engelman of NY, who was there when church supporters threw coins at crime victims demonstrating in front of Assemblyman Vito Lopez' office in Brooklyn. "After being there a good part of the week, I’d never seen any of those buses, but they were screaming, 'We're from the neighborhood,'" Engelman said.

"Then Lopez spoke, pointed at the survivors, and said, 'They're here for the money, and we're here for justice.' They started throwing coins and dollar bills and saying go home, here’s your money, go home. A couple of aides in the crowd incited them, after Lopez said these people want to bankrupt the church."

Lobbyists against the New York Child Victims Act, working for the Catholic Church, have been using the same questionable tactics as lobbyists against National Health Care Reform, busing people in to demonstrations, after coaching them to chant, holler, and disrupt genuine public discourse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Milwaukee priest resigns amid poor accounting of $75,000

WISCONSIN
Catholic Culture

August 18, 2009
Father Jeff Thielen, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who was ordained in 1974, has resigned his pastorate following an audit that found $75,000 poorly accounted for. The parish’s business manager also resigned. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that “the nature of the mismanagement was not clear …

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Sunday School Teacher Indicted In Death

STOCKTON (CA)
KTVU

STOCKTON, Calif. -- A grand jury indicted Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby on charges she kidnapped, raped and killed an 8-year-old named Sandra Cantu and drugged two other people.

Huckaby, 28, broke down in tears as Judge Linda Lofthus read the five-count indictment against her Monday, Sacramento's KCRA-TV reported.

Huckaby also appeared to have two cuts above her right eye, but it was not immediately clear how those injuries occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Former priest admitted sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Adelaide's District Court has heard a former Anglican priest allegedly made admissions to an Archbishop that he had sexually abused more than 40 boys.

Wilfred Edwin Dennis served as a priest in South Australia until the 1980s, when he resigned.

He is on trial by judge alone for sexually abusing two altar boys in the 1970s at the St Martin's, St Barbara's and St John's churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Blackmailed Anglican Church priest Wilfred Edwin Dennis had 41 victims'

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

A FORMER Anglican priest told the leader of a splinter Anglican church he had molested more than 40 boys after one tried to blackmail him, a court has heard.

Wilfred Edwin Dennis, 73, of Vale Park, is standing trial in the District Court, where he has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency, and one count of having carnal knowledge with two altar boys between 1972 and 1977.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Phil Crowe said Dennis phoned the former Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia, John Hepworth, after he received a letter from one of the alleged victims in June 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Catholic pastor in Burlington resigns amid financial questions

BURLINGTON (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Aug. 17, 2009

The pastor of a Burlington Catholic church has resigned over financial improprieties, and the Racine County district attorney's office will determine whether criminal charges are warranted, the Milwaukee Archdiocese said Monday.

Father Jeff Thielen resigned Wednesday from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church after auditors determined about $75,000 in church funds was poorly accounted for. Two church trustees and its business manager also resigned, but they are not suspected of any wrongdoing, archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said.

"There doesn't appear to be any concern about them, other than their being overly respectful of the pastor," she said. "These people are supposed to be in place to provide checks and balances, but sometimes volunteers and staff look to the pastors" for direction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Questions for the Gathering of Prophets

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

With Betty Ann Blaine

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dear Reader, This past week my own organisation, Hear The Children's Cry, was forced to call for a boycott of a conference dubbed, 'The Gathering of Prophets Conference', in light of the fact that the host and the obvious "main attraction" was going to be Reverend Paul Lewis, the very same man who is now on sex charges here in Jamaica.

According to a recent media report, Lewis, based in Brooklyn, United States, spent several days in the Savanna-la-Mar police station lock-up after being charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

The report continued, "Allegations against the pastor are that in June he met the 15-year-old at a convention in Little London, Westmoreland, where he was a guest preacher. He reportedly exchanged telephone numbers with the girl and, in a subsequent meeting, took her and a 14-year-old female companion with him on a trip to Clarendon."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Court Docket: Jury convicts Fenton youth pastor of inappropriately touching boy

MICHIGAN
Livingston Daily

August 18, 2009

A Livingston County jury convicted a Fenton youth pastor of inappropriately touching the son of a family friend.

Randy Strong faces sentencing Sept. 17 after the 12-panel jury convicted him of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for inappropriately touching a then-10-year-old boy in 2002.

The now 17-year-old victim testified that he told a counselor and his parents about the abuse, which began with massages and escalated to touching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Jeyanesan charged with sexual attack further remanded

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka Watch

We understand from our reporters from the Eastern Province town of Batticaloa, that the Rev Sellathurai Jeyanesan head of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission arrested August 8 for sexual harassment of a teenager who was living in an orphanage run by him, and produced in courts Monday August 17, has been further remanded for another two weeks.

Ever since his arrest, complaints are said to be pouring in about a number of incidents where the Rev Mr Jeyanesan has been accused of improper behavior towards female children and young girls. Although accusations have been made against him on several occasions before, the Rev Mr Jeyanesan was said to have overcome them in various ways and one of them by having the police on his side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Judge: Records due Sept. 17

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

By JOE GYAN JR.
Advocate staff writer
Published: Aug 18, 2009 - Page: 1B

Former altar boys allegedly molested decades ago by a one-time priest in the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge moved closer Monday to obtaining all or some of his personnel records and those of other diocesan priests accused of sexual abuse.

Houston attorney Felecia Peavy represents 19 men who claim to have been molested as altar boys by Christopher Springer.

Peavy emerged from a closed-door hearing in state District Judge Wilson Fields’ courtroom and said Fields gave the diocese until Sept. 17 to produce the Springer documents to the judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Why some conservative Catholics want to stop Pope John Paul II being made a saint

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Damian Thompson

For a long time now, some conservative Catholics – most of them hardline traditionalists – have been discreetly slagging off the late Pope John Paul II. One priest I know grimaces every time his name is mentioned. “Oh, you mean, ‘John Paul the Great’,” he says,” rolling his eyes. He does not want him to be made a saint – not because he thinks he was a bad man, but because he thinks that, despite his heroic witness against Communism, he damaged the Church.

The charge sheet against JPII goes something like this:

1. He allowed truly terrible appointments to be made in Rome and to diocesan sees around the world. England and Wales was bad enough, but some bishops in Germany and France are what you might call “Vatican II protestants”. These bishops are now intent on wrecking the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

2. As a result of bad appointments, especially in America, the scandal of clerical sex abuse gathered pace, and for one reason or another – perhaps because he was so busy travelling – John Paul II failed to act swiftly (or at all, in the early days). He allowed guilty priests to be moved to parishes where they carried on abusing minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

August 17, 2009

Attorney: Abuse settlement will help client pay bills

BOONVILLE (MO)
Boonville Daily News

By Nate Birt
Boonville Daily News
Mon Aug 17, 2009, 02:00 PM CDT

The following is a brief of the story. For the full version, see the Monday, Aug. 17 print edition of the BDN.

The former Ss. Peter and Paul parish attendee who claims he was abused by a priest pursued a $600,000 settlement in part to pay for bills he incurred while in a treatment facility, according to one of the man’s attorneys. That settlement was finalized in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Australian cardinal appalled by accusations of predator priest

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

August 17, 2009
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia described as "appalling and distressing" the news that police had arrest a local priest on charges that he had used an internet chat room to groom a young girl for sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Victims seek timeframe for audit of assets

IRELAND
The Irish Times

EITHNE DONNELLAN

GROUPS REPRESENTING survivors of abuse in industrial schools have warned the Government it must not allow the verification of the financial standing of religious congregations to become a lengthy affair.

The verification concerns those congregations which promised further redress to victims following the publication of the Ryan report in May.

Following a meeting of the groups in Dublin yesterday, John Kelly of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse said the Government was prepared for a “long drawn-out process” with the religious to establish their assets and to determine what could or could not be released to the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Keating recalls service on review board

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Catholic Reporter

By Joe Feuerherd

WASHINGTON -- When Frank Keating, then the Republican governor of Oklahoma, agreed in 2002 to serve as the first chair of the board established by the U.S. bishops to investigate clergy sex abuse, he was admittedly naive. “I couldn’t imagine that something like this could happen,” Keating told 200-plus attendees of the 21st annual gathering of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on Aug. 8.

Initially, said Keating, he believed that accusations that bishops and other church leaders coddled molesters and covered up their actions were largely untrue, the result of “an anti-Catholic bias.” But as he began to understand the scope of the crisis, said the blunt-spoken former high-ranking FBI official and federal prosecutor, he concluded that there was only one adequate response. Those guilty of “criminal conduct should be locked up,” he said. “Criminals are criminals -- take them out and jail them.”

Further, said Keating, bishops and other church officials who covered up for clergy molesters were also culpable. “What these people did is criminal ... and if I aid and abet I am equally a participant in that crime,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

American Nuns Under the Vatican Microscope

By Mary E. Hunt
August 17, 2009

The Vatican is investigating US Women religious, concerned that nuns are not in line on issues like same-sex love, women’s priestly ministry, and interreligious dialogue. But this time they've gone too far.

The Vatican is up to its old tricks, investigating US women religious. Its “divide and conquer” technique pits the nuns who conform to male clerical expectations against those who assert their own moral and spiritual agency. But at the heart of the matter is the power to be “publicly” Catholic, something the men have long reserved for themselves. Now that Catholic women, including nuns, are saying “this is what Catholic looks like,” there is trouble in Vatican City and a new day for Catholicism.

Expected outcomes are predictable, and not pretty, as this latest round of intra-Catholic struggle unfolds. I think Roman Catholic Church officials have gone one step too far this time in their efforts to rein in the very women who make the Church look good in the wake of priest pedophilia crimes and episcopal cover-ups. They could save a lot of time and money by simply sitting down with some of these women and listening—yes, listening—to their experiences. I daresay they would come away edified by choices the women have made and inspired to live their own religious commitments with an ounce more integrity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Stika has “mild heart attack”

UNITED STATES
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bishop Richard Stika, a former St. Louis priest who is now bishop of Knoxville, Tenn., was hospitalized over the weekend while visiting a sick friend in Florida, according to the chancellor of the Knoxville diocese, Deacon Sean Smith.

Stika, 52, was the pastor of the Church of the Annunziata in Ladue when Pope Benedict XVI named him Knoxville’s bishop in January. He was installed in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Catholic sisters under Vatican review want answers

UNITED STATES
Herald-Zeitung

By RACHEL ZOLL
AP Religion Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- An association of U.S. Roman Catholic sisters raised questions Monday about why they are the target of, and who is paying for, a Vatican investigation that is shaping up to be a tough review of whether sisters have strayed from church teaching.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing about 800 heads of religious orders, said there was a "lack of full disclosure about the motivation and funding sources" for the inquiry. The group also said it objects to the Vatican plan to keep private the reports that will be submitted to the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Lawsuits involving former priest still moving forward

CANADA
The Vangaurd

By Tina Comeau
THE VANGUARD
NovaNewsNow.com

The civil lawsuits of men, who say as boys they were abused by a parish priest, are trudging along, despite the fact that in the seven months since the first statements of claim were filed with the Supreme Court, the dioceses named in the actions have yet to file statements of defence.

“We’re not slowing down our case at all waiting on the defence,” Aaron Lealess, an articling clerk with the law firm Ledroit and Beckett said in a recent interview. “A lot of time has passed but statements of defence don’t really say much. Usually…they can get away with some as simple as a very short statement saying, ‘We deny everything set out in the claim.’”

The Ontario law firm, which specializes in cases of victims of sexual abuse, is representing 11 men who say Father Adolphe LeBlanc abused them. Father LeBlanc was a parish priest in Wedgeport from 1955 to 1964. Other parishes he was assigned to included Amherst, Salmon River, Comeau’s Hill and St. Ambrose. LeBlanc died in 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

North Carolina Church Locks Out Pastor...On Purpose

RED SPRINGS (NC)
Digtriad

Red Springs, NC -- Members of the church say they didn't like they was he talks down to some of the lower-income people in the church.

It happened at Iglesia Catholica San Andres on Sunday morning.

Father Walter Ospina, 33, tried to enter the church through a side entrance before morning Mass, but members had padlocked him out of the service. The outside door was also locked with a sign that read ""Iglesia Cerrada hasta que tengamos nuevo parroco. Justicia!!" That loosely translates to "Church closed until we have a new priest. Justice!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Cough up the truth or choke on the pope

Catholic Light

By Pete Vere on August 16, 2009
The French have saying that whoever eats of the pope will choke on him. This saying comes to mind as I survey those questioning the canonization process of Pope John Paul II in light of recent revelations about Fr. Maciel's "double life." The secular press and certain anti-papist strains within protestant fundamentalism aren't the only ones questioning the appropriateness of John Paul II's potential canonization. Adding their voice to the chorus this week are CrunchyCon's Rod Dreher and Renew America and Liberal Traditionalist blogmeister Eric Giunta.

For the record, I believe Pope John Paul II probably was not aware of the evidence against Fr. Maciel. Given what we know about JPII, I put the odds of him knowing and not doing anything about it (and in fact continuing to praise Fr. Maciel publicly as an excellent example for youth) at about the same percentage as several young women, independently and years apart from each other, breaking into the hospital room of an elderly priest-founder and stealing his semen to impregnate themselves.

Possible? Yes. Probable? I'd sooner bet on the state lottery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Cloyne silent on 'secret trial' claims

IRELAND
Eircom

Director of the Catholic Communications Office Martin Long said he had no information on the report the "trial" would be held later this month, adding "as the issue is also the subject of other investigations we would not be commenting on the matter anyway".

The priest, referred to as Father B in the Cloyne report conducted by the Church-funded National Board for Safeguarding Children, is scheduled to attend a canonical hearing in Cobh this month. It was reported yesterday that the court is being established under the auspices of Dermot Clifford, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.

The hearing process is similar to a court trial, but witnesses can only be invited to give evidence not compelled. It may result in a priest being defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Nuns on the run from the truth

UNITED STATES
Salon

By Frances Kissling

Aug. 17, 2009 | "This past week, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 95 percent of the orders of Catholic sisters in the U.S., held its annual meeting in New Orleans. The main topic on the agenda was the Vatican's current investigation of the doctrinal deviations they believe may be rampant among the sisters who were freed of strict control in dress and living arrangements following the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s.

Nuns, it seems, are no longer as obedient as the Vatican would like. One sister I know is a clinic escort at her local reproductive health clinic; others are active in gay and lesbian ministries and one, close to 90, has been a leader in the movement for sex worker rights. They fasted for the Equal Rights Amendment, spoke out in favor of women priests and choice, marched with Martin Luther King, and thought John Paul II was a disaster.

We -- feminists and progressive Catholics -- love them. And so we were surprised when the LCWR leadership refused to allow survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic sisters to address the past few annual meetings. The survivors want to share their stories of abuse as well as suggest processes to prevent such abuse in the future, including recommending that the sisters adopt the bishops' anti-sex-abuse guidelines. To date, the nuns have just said no. Even the bishops allowed the survivors time on the agenda of their annual meeting some five years ago when the clergy sex abuse scandal was at its peak.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Amnesia's a real bitch

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Honest to God, Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop says he has no memory of telling a parishioner: ''Go to hell, bitch.'' You'd reckon that, as a top man of the cloth, he would have some vague recollection of something like that - you know, it's not exactly part of morning vespers - but Denis Hart (below) says it is a ''number of years ago'' and he can't remember. However a magistrate says he did say it so I reckon it's gospel. Apparently His Grace was ''very very angry'' because the bitch threw stones through his window. Go to hell, bitch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

August 16, 2009

Sunday Legion roundup

Catholic Light

By Pete Vere on August 16, 2009
I'm off to the in-laws for supper, but there's lots of good discussion on the Legion of Christ (LC) and Regnum Christi (RC) on other blogs:

1 - Life After RC has posted LC communication director Jim Fair's statement on recent revelations from Spanish-language new sources. You can read the statement here. Some commentators have asked whether the LC have a communication strategy. Sadly, in reading this statement it appears that the Legion has adopted the Clinton strategy during the Monica Lewinsky scandal (minus the heartbreaking apology after it had dragged on for a while): Admit only small bits of information at a time, and only after the media uncovers it first.

2 - Quoting from what appears to be LC constitutions, Pat Madrid asks: Who was Fr. Maciel's moderator?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

México: La hija de Marcial Maciel y sus medios hermanos demandan (Parte II)

ARGENPRESS

Sanjuana Martínez (CIMAC)

Los tres hijos identificados de Marcial Maciel buscan la reparación de daños por la patología sexual de un ser que iba destinado a santo. Es una lucha que se asoma difícil, llena de vericuetos y laberínticos caminos. El secreto de los bienes de los Legionarios de Cristo está protegido por leyes eclesiásticas; pero, en todo esto, hay voces que hablan de una verdad guardada celosamente por las autoridades de El Vaticano.

La Legión de Cristo es una auténtica multinacional, no sólo financieramente. Cuenta con más de 850 sacerdotes, tres mil seminaristas y setenta mil laicos, agrupados en su asociación Regnum Christi en más de 40 naciones. Su emporio educativo se compone de más de 145 colegios, nueve universidades y 21 institutos superiores: “La gran fortuna de los Legionarios está a salvo”, dice con tono contundente el vaticanista Vidal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Los hijos de Maciel son Legión

Periodista Digital

Marcial Maciel, «notre père», como lo llaman todavía sus seguidores de los Legionarios de Cristo, se tomó esta parábola aún más en serio que sus votos. Aspirante a santo en el círculo del Vaticano, Maciel no habría dejado una hija del pecado -Norma Hilda Rivas, de 23 años- ni tres, como se ha apuntado hasta ahora, sino hasta seis vástagos sembrados por el mundo. De momento.Lo cuentan Mario Valle e Idoia Sota en El Mundo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Los seis hijos del padre Maciel

Semanal

Marcial Maciel engañó a sus hasta ahora seis hijos, a sus madres y a sus seguidores. Ahora los jóvenes exigen sus derechos filiales y el reconocimiento por parte de los Legionarios de Cristo.

El “mago del disfraz y la mentira”, Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, logró mantener ocultos por décadas a por lo menos seis hijos. Los hijos se conocen entre ellos y, como miles de personas que confiaron en Maciel, fueron engañados: no sabían que su padre era sacerdote y ahora cargan con el estigma de ser hijos de un pederasta.

La primera en salir a la luz fue Norma Hilda Rivas, de 23 años. Ella y su mamá nacieron en Acapulco, Guerrero, y obtuvieron en España el visado de residencia. Viven en Madrid. Ahora se conoce que hay tres hermanos más, de otra madre, que viven en México. Su abogado sólo desliza que “el mayor no tiene más de 30 años y que hay una distancia notable en edad entre unos y otros”. No revela sus nombres, aunque en internet se dice que uno es Raúl y otro Christian. De los otros dos descendientes de Maciel aún no existen mayores datos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Las pistas que llevaron a la hija del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo

El Mercurio

Una joven reportera madrileña, un veterano periodista experto en religión y un colaborador anónimo en México fueron las piezas clave para que el diario español "El Mundo" hallara la identidad y el paradero de la desconocida descendiente del sacerdote Marcial Maciel y destapara una noticia que, en minutos, dio la vuelta al globo.

Andrea Sierra
Con una amplia sonrisa, Norma Hilda Baños abre la puerta de su departamento de 1 millón de euros y 327 metros cuadrados en las afueras de Madrid, España. Frente a ella, una muchacha veinteañera. "¿Quién eres?", pregunta extrañada la mujer de 48 años. La visita, Idoia Sota (28), saca la voz con dificultad. Es periodista del diario "El Mundo" y sabe que de esta conversación dependerá todo: dar con el paradero de la desconocida hija del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel, y culminar una larga búsqueda, con pistas recogidas en Estados Unidos, México, Italia y España.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

SNAP and Me

UNITED STATES
Surviving Therapist Abuse

After posting the Angela Shelton trailer, I found out that she was a speaker at the SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) National Conference. You can download a copy of the SNAP 2009 Conference program here and on my Articles & Publications page. The program has notes on the speakers and includes some great resources.

I like to plug SNAP because I’ve received a lot of support from them. When my attorney, Joe George, and I decided to move forward with a press release, he hooked me up with David Clohessy, SNAP’s National Director. David is a PR wiz, and when I read his first draft for our press release I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. David calls a spade a spade and doesn’t pull any punches, and I love that! What he wrote provided me with a desperately needed reality check that helped me find my anger and keep fighting the good fight. I’ve received more validation and understanding from him than I have from anyone other than my subsequent therapists. David “gets” it. And when you’re dealing with a kind of abuse that almost no one is talking about, having someone “get it” is an amazing and wonderful thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Pell alarmed by alleged internet grooming priest

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Published: August 17, 2009

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell said the news of alleged internet grooming by Liverpool based priest Fr Robert Fuller was "appaling and distressing", and that he shared the alarm of parishioners and parents.

"I can assure them that the safety of children in our parishes and schools is paramount, and the Archdiocese will cooperate fully with the police in relation to this and any other investigation into abuse at any time," Cardinal Pell was quoted as saying on the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney website.

Fr Fuller, who was reportedly arrested after police caught him grooming a child for sex via chat room messages on the internet, was immediately stood down from his ministry and has been removed from his parish, the Archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Walk Across Oregon started much like City of Angels, plus an idea for the bishops, in Sunday Roundup at CofA today

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Did anyone else notice, the first news in months about the Grand Jury investigating Cardinal Mahony came out right after the U.S. Attorney in L.A. announced he's retiring and going into private practice last week?

City of Angels will post with videos pics and interviews next week from Portland. I jumped at the chance to join the annual Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse after talking to Virginia Jones, the woman who began it last year, as I could see she and I had a connection at a soul level. People like us, as soon as we learn about sex crimes and felony coverups in the Catholic Church, we immediately pick up a torch.

The way Virginia started the Walk is a lot like the way I started City of Angels in 2007, not knowing where it was going to lead, what it was going to do, just using the resource that was in front of me. I just knew I had to do something much like Virginia. At the end of this post is more about Walk Across Oregon where City of Angels will take part in Portland next weekend: Aug. 22-23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Defending Fr. Maciel from Damnatio memoriae

Catholic Light

By Pete Vere on August 14, 2009
When the Fr. Maciel story first broke, I went on record publicly stating that the Legion of Christ (LC) and Regnum Christi (RC) could continue without renouncing its founder. I assumed at the time, based upon the American reaction of Fr. Thomas Berg, Tom Hoopes, Jay Dunlap and others of like mind, that the LC/RC would renounce the founder's example (which is different than renouncing the founder), apologize to his victims and offer them restitution. And to their credit many of the movement's American membership followed Fr. Berg's example in doing so.

What I did not expect (at least after the first month) is for the movement's upper echelons to try and carry on "business as usual". After all, their modus operandi is what landed the LC/RC in so much scalding tequila to begin with. Which is why I puzzle at this recent Spanish-language interview with Lucrecia Rego, the founder of Catholic.net and a high-profile Regnum Christi member from Mexico. She remains one of Fr. Maciel's most ardent apologists, having declared herself "Maciel's other [spiritual] daughter" when the scandal first broke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Abuse victims vow to fight on

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

JESSICA STRUTT, The West Australian
August 12, 2009, 8:04 am

There were angry and emotional scenes at Parliament yesterday as victims of abuse in State care and their supporters protested against the Barnett Government's shock decision to slash by almost half the maximum payment under the Redress scheme.

Colin Barnett was heckled and confronted by victims as he addressed the crowd to justify the decision last month to cap payments at $45,000.

Some of the 150 protesters fought back tears as victims yelled out details of abuse at the hands of former carers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Victims' anger over reduced compensation

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

JESSICA STRUTT, The West Australian
August 16, 2009, 10:58 am

The sadness in her eyes says it all and she's not even one of the victims. She is haunted by their accounts.

The stories she has heard are from just a handful of the more than 10,000 victims who have sought a payment under the Redress scheme.

She stands out in the crowd because she is well dressed, while many of the others there show signs they live on struggle street. She approaches like a woman on a mission. A woman who needs to get something off her chest.

"You're a reporter, right? I'm a counsellor and I've been working with some of these people," she says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Church background checks find many with felonies

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
The Birmingham News

Posted by Greg Garrison -- The Birmingham News August 16, 2009

An agency that conducted 5,000 background checks for 450 churches said it found serious felonies in 80 cases and more than 600 people who had some type of criminal history that may have disqualified them from working at a church.

Proponents of expanding security background checks said those results point out the need for churches to keep up their guard in protecting their congregations.

The Rev. C.B. Scott, pastor of Westmont Baptist Church in Birmingham, said his church began using a background check service recommended by LifeWay Christian Resources two months ago and already has declined security clearance to a potential volunteer because of flagged background information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

New alleged victim of Birmingham priest James Robinson contacts police

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Mercury

Aug 16 2009 by Christina Savvas, Sunday Mercury

A ROMAN Catholic priest extradited from America on child sex charges could face fresh abuse claims after a new alleged victim contacted detectives.

Father James Robinson, 71, was flown back to Britain from Los Angeles last week at the request of West Midlands Police.

The clergyman is alleged to have abused young boys in Walsall, Birmingham, Coventry and Wales between 1959 and 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Catholic Church helps quash child sex-abuse legislation

NEW YORK
Examiner

August 15, 9:58 AMLA Atheism Examiner Hugh Kramer

The Child Victims Act, a bill that would have loosened restrictions on lawsuits involving the sexual abuse of children, has been withdrawn from consideration in the New York State Assembly. In previous years (2006, 2007, 2008) it passed in the Assembly by wide margins but was blocked by the Republican-controlled State Senate. This year though, the Republicans lost control of the Senate and, faced with the real possibility that the bill could pass there, two dozen non-chordate Democratic Assemblymen who had formerly backed it, withdrew their support. The bill, sponsored by Margaret M. Markey (D, Queens), was then yanked from the calendar by the Assembly leadership.

Assemblyman Charles D. Levine, a Long Island Democrat whose district includes mainly Italian-American and Hispanic voters, said, "When it was never going to fly anyway, there was a tendency for many of us who are concerned about victims’ rights to symbolically support legislation like this." Faced with pressure from a letter-writing campaign initiated by the local Catholic Church hierarchy, he withdrew that support.

Support in the Senate has also wavered after two democrats defected to the Republican party. This caused Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate Jr (D, Brooklyn), once a co-sponsor of the bill, to say, “If it’s going to be a one-house bill anyway, why make people take the heat?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

August 15, 2009

New questions about Legionaries of Christ

GlobalPost

By Jason Berry — Special to GlobalPost

NEW ORLEANS — On Dec. 5, 1994, seven daily newspapers in Mexico City ran half-page ads with a photograph of the Legionaries of Christ founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, kissing the ring of Pope John Paul II. An open letter from the pope, celebrating Maciel's 50th anniversary as a priest, called him "an efficacious guide to youth."

On Tuesday in Mexico City, an attorney named Jose Bonilla announced that Maciel had six children. Two daily papers, La Jornada and Milenio reported that Bonilla was taking legal action against Maciel's estate on behalf of three of them, who are now adults. Bonilla is seeking legal recognition for his clients as heirs to Maciel. Only one has been identified.

Norma Hilda Rivas, 23, reportedly born in Mexico, now lives in Madrid "and enjoys a level of affluence such that she does not work [and] lives in a luxury apartment ... acquired by Marcial Maciel with money from the congregation's benefactors," according to La Jornada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Consolidated translation of Spain piece on Maciel's Mistress and Daughter (first part of article)

Exlcblog

by Idoia Sota/José Manuel Vidal
Sunday, August 9 2009

"I would have never chosen this path for my life...When I met this man, I was under aged. Neither my daughter nor I knew who this man really was until the very end." It is the first time that Norma Hilda Baños puts her story in words, and with these words, the long guarded secret, the sin which pursues her, finally takes shape. Thinking about it brings tears to her eyes. They found her in her sanctuary, in a luxurious residential area of Madrid, Spain. She seems to be taken aback. Dialogue is not easy. Beyond the opening, which stretches out from the doorway, there is a space of 3,500 square feet. She has live here for years with her daughter. The home has no husband or father. It has never had one. Her daughter is the fruit of a prohibited relationship. Who knows what kind of stories this woman had to invent when asked about the father of her child? Anything but telling the feared truth: he was the founder of the Legion of Christ, Fr. Marcial Maciel, who left her pregnant when she was 26 years old.

They gave the baby, Norma Hilda Rivas, now 23 years old, the last name of some layperson without vows of chastity. Or maybe it was a last name that Maciel used in one of his multiple false identities which he employed to seduce rich women, from whom he wanted to squeeze out the very last penny. [Exlcblogger knows for certain that on one of his false passports, Maciel used "Rivas" as a last name] She does not carry his real last name, but there is something she cannot deny: his blood. She is the daughter of the sinner. And she is heir to the Legionaries' fortune that some would compare to that of Repsol YPF, a [Spanish] company with almost 20.5 billion Euros in liquid assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Analysis: Who Was Father Maciel's Moderator?

Patrick Madrid

As the scandal-drama surrounding the late Fr. Marcial Maciel unfolds, more and more pointed questions are rising to the surface. Former Legionary priest James Farfaglia, for example, raises a series of such pertinent questions on his blog.

New questions arose in my mind recently as I studied an online dossier of "censored" documents, which purports to include lengthy excerpts of the constitutions of the Legionaries of Christ. Father Maciel, who served as the Legion's director general uninterruptedly for decades, mandated that the constitutions not be disclosed to the public and, therefore, few people outside the Legion have any clue what they contain (c.f., 254.2 and 417. §2 & 3).

A careful analysis of the rules which Fr. Maciel put in force yields many remarkable details, such as the fact that he exempted himself from the, now-abrogated, "private vow" in which every temporally or perpetually professed member of the order solemnly promises never to criticize other Legionaries, especially superiors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

AP source: Convicted priest called before grand jury in probe of LA archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Star Tribune

By GILLIAN FLACCUS , Associated Press

Last update: August 15, 2009 - 7:53 AM

LOS ANGELES - A former Roman Catholic priest imprisoned for sexually molesting children has been called to testify before a federal grand jury investigating how the Archdiocese of Los Angeles handled claims of abuse, a person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Friday.

The person, who requested anonymity because the probe is ongoing, said former priest Michael Baker was transferred into federal custody at least three months ago and invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination before the grand jury.

The person did not know if Baker would be called to testify again, but added that one other former priest was also involved in the probe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

For Immediate Release

UNITED STATES
The National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) a group that stands in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse, released the following letter sent today to the Leadership Conference of Religious Women meeting in General Assembly in New Orleans this week.

In releasing the text, NSAC said the courage of survivors of sexual abuse by nuns and family members of at least one victim who committed suicide, must be honored.

In an urgent call to the religious sisters NSAC asked the nuns meeting in a General Assembly in New Orleans to listen to the testimonies of survivors and family members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Cardinal opens Knock Novena

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARK COUGHLAN

Cardinal Séan Brady opened the Novena in Honour of Our Lady of Knock with a sermon at the Knock shrine in Mayo this afternoon.

The sermon touched on many issues, but emphasis was given to praying for victims of abuse.

“I want to pray for one group of people in particular; the people who have been broken and wounded through abuse of any kind”, the Cardinal said

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Primate should match words with action, say survivors

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Breda Heffernan

Saturday August 15 2009

SURVIVORS groups have called on Cardinal Brady to match his words with action after he led prayers for abuse victims at the opening of the National Novena in Knock yesterday.

Cardinal Brady asked those present to pray for the "complete and total healing" of all those who were hurt by the "shameful legacy of abuse within the Church and in society".

But John Kelly, spokesman for Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA), claimed that by his comments, Dr Brady was seeking to "pre-empt" the publication of the report into child abuse within the Dublin diocese, which is due to be published next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Cardinal's plea for healing

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday August 15 2009

CARDINAL Sean Brady was right to put the plight of those abused by the Church at the top of his prayer list.

Coming three months after the publication of the Ryan Commission's horrific findings of systematic abuse in orphanages and reformatories run by religious orders, it shows the impact is still being felt deeply at the highest level.

That is as it should be. At first glance, calling for Catholics to pray constantly for the victims of the 'shameful legacy' of abuse might jar with those who suffered that abuse, and with those who sensed a cynicism within the religious orders over their initial unwillingness to offer more substantial practical compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Open Door settles with victim in lawsuit

ELYRIA (OH)
The Chronicle-Telegram

Brad Dicken

ELYRIA — The Open Door Christian School reached a settlement Friday with a former student who had accused the school of ignoring sexual abuse by her former math teacher.

The girl’s attorney, Michael Polito, said he couldn’t discuss the terms of the settlement because of a confidentiality agreement.

“We’re very happy with the results,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

An argument against John Paul II's canonization

Beliefnet

Friday August 14, 2009

Rod Dreher

Eric Giunta, a conservative Catholic from Florida, uses the latest Maciel scandal as the starting point for arguing that Pope John Paul II should not be canonized. Excerpt:

The allegations highlight what for all too many Catholics is the elephant-in-the-room when discussing the ills which beset the modern Church: the extent to which the late Pope John Paul II was an enabler of these perversions, from sexual and liturgical abuse to theological dissent and the scandal of Catholic politicians who support the most immoral of social policies with the tacit or express blessings of their Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Children’s lobby group calls for convention boycott

JAMAICA
Go-Jamaica

The lobby group Hear the Children’s Cry is calling for a boycott on a religious convention being hosted by a pastor who is now on sexual offence charges.

International pastor, the Reverend Dr Paul Lewis, is spearheading the convention called the Gathering of the Prophets.

Other international pastors are also scheduled to attend the event, which starts today in Kingston and next week in Montego Bay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Rev Paul Lewis removed from speaking list at convention

JAMAICA
Go-Jamaica

International pastor, Reverend Paul Lewis who is on bail for sexual offence charges will not be speaking at a religious convention scheduled to start in Kingston today and next week in Montego Bay.

Reverend Lewis is among the persons spearheading the conference called the Gathering of the Prophets.

However, concerns were raised by the lobby group Hear The Children’s Cry and some religious leaders about the pastor’s involvement in the convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Pastor dropped from conference

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Athaliah Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Dove Ministries International has bent to the cry of outrage and shame levelled against it for using embattled pastor, the Reverend Dr Paul Lewis as headline speaker in a three-day religious and women's conference, which started last night.

The consensus among several women's and civic groups is that having the New York-based pastor, as guest speaker at such a conference was a slap in the face of women everywhere in light of his recent carnal abuse and indecent assault charges.

Difficult to cancel

However, Dove International has come out to say the meetings were planned prior to the allegations and would have proved difficult to cancel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Victims sue church, former pastor over sex abuse

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Record

8/14/2009 7:45 AM
By Justin Anderson -Kanawha Bureau

CHARLESTON -- Four men are suing the Church of God, alleging they were the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a former pastor at a church in Shrewsbury.

Michael Bradley, Jose Strickland, Michael Lewis and David Mullins filed lawsuits July 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the Tennessee-based Church of God and Sandy Martin Cook, a former pastor.

Bradley lives in Newton Falls, Ohio; Strickland in Ripley; Lewis in Cedar Grove; and Mullins in St. Albans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Pray for abuse victims, urges Cardinal Brady

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The Cardinal Primate of All Ireland last night made a dramatic plea for Catholics to pray constantly for the complete healing of victims of the ‘shameful legacy' of abuse within the Church and in society.

Opening the annual Knock Shrine novena — which is the most popular devotional event in the Church's calendar — Cardinal Sean Brady said he wanted to pray in particular for the victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Cardinal Brady made his public appeal three months after the publication of the Ryan Commissions shocking findings of systematic abuse in orphanages and reformatories run by religious orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Convicted priest talks to investigators in federal probe of L.A. archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Richard Winton

A former Los Angeles priest convicted of molesting two boys has been called before a federal grand jury investigating how the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Cardinal Roger M. Mahony handled priest abuse cases, a source told The Times.

Former priest Michael Stephen Baker said he informed Mahony two decades ago that he sexually abused children, but he was allowed to remain in the ministry and victimized others.

In 2007, Baker was sent to state prison for 10 years for molesting two boys. Although he continues to serve time in state prison, he is now in federal custody as a grand jury witness, said a source who requested anonymity because the case is ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

August 14, 2009

Ex-priest called to testify before grand jury investigating Los Angeles archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Culture

August 14, 2009
A former Catholic priest who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for child molestation has been called to testify before a California grand jury investigating the handling of sex-abuse accusations by the Los Angeles archdiocese. The witness, Michael Stephen Baker, reportedly admitted to Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1986 that he had engaged in sexual abuse of children. But he was allowed to remain in parish assignments until 2000-- despite renewed complaints. Baker eventually faced more than 30 separate charges of molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Ex-priest to testify in abuse inquiry

LOS ANGELES (CA)
United Press International

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A former priest who admitted to child abuse will testify before a grand jury investigating the Los Angeles archdiocese, a courthouse source said Friday.

Prosecutors are scrutinizing how the Los Angeles archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony dealt with priest abuse cases, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The former priest, Michael Steve Baker, became a symbol of how the Roman Catholic church transferred priests who abused young boys. He told Mahony of his abuse two decades ago and was sent to a treatment center in New Mexico but then reassigned to other parishes where the abuse continued, the Times reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Priest arrested in prostitution sting faces three charges

WICHITA (KS)
tHE Wichita Eagle

BY STAN FINGER
The Wichita Eagle
The Rev. Leslie Douglas Campbell, the Catholic priest arrested in Oak Park during a prostitution sting last week, will be arraigned in municipal court on Aug. 27.

Campbell, 64, faces misdemeanor charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, public nudity and remaining in a park after hours, court documents show.

He has been placed on what Bishop Michael Jackels called "a temporary leave from his ministerial duties to receive counseling and help for his spiritual renewal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Supporters of accused Staten Island priest trying to spare him a trial

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

by Staten Island Advance
Friday August 14, 2009, 12:22 PM

Hoping to spare him a trial and possible prison sentence, supporters of Staten Island's Rev. William Blasingame have started raising funds to pay back the $84,000 he is charged with stealing from his congregation.

Father Blasingame, rector of St. Paul's Memorial Church, an Episcopal congregation in Stapleton, was arrested in April on charges that he stole the money from two church bank accounts beginning in January 2005. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

At a meeting two weeks ago with his client and a group of supporters, including Joseph Madory, vice president of Victory State Bank, and North Shore Democratic doyenne Mac O'Callaghan, Father Blasingame's attorney, James Hasson, said he hopes that if the priest could pay back the money, the district attorney's office would drop the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Catholic Church won't pay legal costs

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church says it won't pay the legal cost of a Sydney priest it's suspended after he was charged with grooming a child for sex.

54 year old Robert MacGregor Fuller allegedly used a webcam to show himself masturbating during online chat sessions with a police officer who was posing as a 13-year-old girl.

The priest from All Saints church in Liverpool was arrested on Thursday in the car park of Parramatta pool where it's alleged he planned to meet the teenage girl for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

AP Source: Ex-priest Part Of LA Archdiocese Probe

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS 13

GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) ― The AP has been told an ex-priest imprisoned for sexually molesting children was called before a federal grand jury investigating the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

A person with knowledge of the investigation said Friday that former priest Michael Baker was transferred into federal custody at least three months ago and took the Fifth Amendment before the grand jury. The source, who requested anonymity because the probe is ongoing, does not know if Baker was still in federal custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Priest who molested boys called to testify in federal investigation of L.A. archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

August 14, 2009
A former Los Angeles priest convicted of molesting boys has been called before a federal grand jury investigating how the L.A. archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony handled priest abuse cases, a source told The Times.

Former priest Michael Steve Baker informed Mahony two decades ago of his abusive acts but was allowed to remain in the ministry. His case has become a symbol of how the church transferred priests who abused young boys. He is now in U.S. federal custody, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

The news comes six months after The Times reported that the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles had launched a federal grand jury investigation into the response of the L..A. church into allegations of molestation by priests in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Cyber seduction sting snares priest

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Dylan Welch Police Reporter
August 15, 2009 .

THE senior priest at one of Sydney's largest Catholic parishes has been charged after a police sting in which he allegedly groomed a 13-year-old girl for sex over the internet, only to discover the girl was an undercover detective.

Father Robert Macgregor Fuller, the 54-year-old parish priest for the All Saints Catholic Parish at Liverpool and the religious leader for four local Catholic schools, is alleged to have contacted a detective who was masquerading as a 13-year-old girl on a web chat program.

After a three-week cyber seduction - allegedly involving Father Fuller using a web camera to film himself engaging in sexually explicit acts - he was arrested and charged on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Accused priest released on bail

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

A FELLOW priest put up bail and the Catholic Church offered accommodation to secure the release from custody of a priest charged with grooming a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Robert Fuller, 54, a priest at All Saints Church in Liverpool, in Sydney's southwest, was yesterday charged with grooming and procuring a child under the age of 16 via internet chat sites.

He was arrested in a carpark where he had allegedly arranged to meet the girl. He soon discovered the person with whom he had been talking online was not a teenager but a police detective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Missouri lawsuit settled for $600K in case of former priest who admitted to molesting a boy in Jersey City

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

by Jeff Diamant/The Star-Ledger
Thursday August 13, 2009, 9:53 PM

The Rev. Carmine Sita is pictured in a photo from 1976, when he began his career at St. Aloysius in Jersey City.In 1983, after admitting in court that he sexually assaulted a teenage boy, the Rev. Carmine Sita of St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City was sentenced to five years of probation. He was also told to visit a treatment center for priests in New Mexico.

Sita stayed at the center. But soon afterward, he was not Carmine Sita anymore.

At age 38, he legally changed his name to Gerald Howard and was allowed to become a parish priest in Boonville, Mo., in the Diocese of Jefferson City, church officials said. Within a year, he had begun abusing another teenage boy, according to lawyers for that person, who is now in his late 30s and living in Virginia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Church Abuse Settlement Largest In Missouri History

MISSOURI
Ozarks First

Friday, Aug 14, 2009 @08:25am CST

(St. Louis) -- The Roman Catholic Church and St. Louis ministries have reached what is being called the largest clergy sex abuse settlements in Missouri.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced the 600-thousand-dollar settlement yesterday.

According to the group, the deal calls for the Diocese of Jefferson City and the Servants of the Paraclete to share in the payment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Priest was caught filming naked boys while they showered

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

A visiting Catholic priest has pleaded guilty in court to filming boys, without their permission, while they were naked, in shower-cubicles at an Australian beach.

Father John Charles Houston was ordered by the court not to loiter near public pools or beaches.

Father Houston (born 3 March 1955) appeared before a magistrate on 28 July 2009 in Raymond Terrace Local Court, near Newcastle, New South Wales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Christian Brother Francis Lambert Wise in a court case in South Australia

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

A South Australian court has ruled that an elderly former Christian Brother, Francis Lambert Wise, was medically unfit to stand trial on charges of child-sexual abuse. However, Judge Dean Clayton held hearings in early 2009 to receive the complaints and to consider the evidence of the alleged victims. Such hearings are held in South Australia, in essence, to give alleged child sex abuse victims their say in court.

Instead of having a jury, the judge's role in these South Australian hearings was to decide whether the objective facts of the alleged abuse could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. If the judge found that Brother Wise did molest the boys, Wise would be liable to a period of supervision — but not prison, because of his health problems, which were increased by his advanced age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

This priest targeted boys for 25 years while church leaders looked the other way

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Broken Rites has researched a sexually-abusive priest, Father Terrence Pidoto, who was protected by his superiors and colleagues throughout his long career in the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese.

Pidoto's priestly career revolved around boys. His superiors and colleagues in the Melbourne archdiocese knew this but they tolerated him for 25 years, thereby giving him access to victims.

According to court evidence, Pidoto was noted for giving boys a "massage", sometimes behind closed (or locked) doors. The "massages" enabled Pidoto to commit sexual assaults, sometimes by anal penetration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

A bishop's deputy is convicted of making a false statement

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

A senior clergyman in the Australian Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Father Thomas Brennan, has been convicted of making a false written statement, saying that he could not remember a series of child sex-abuse complaints (in the 1970s) about other clergy. Brennan was the Vicar-General of the diocese (that is, the second-highest ranking clergyman in the diocese) from 2005 until he was charged in August 2008. Bishop Michael Malone told the media in August 2008: "As the Vicar-General, he's my right-hand man and is very close to me. He's the bishop when I'm away."

In Newcastle Local Court on 9 March 2009 Magistrate Sharon Holdsworth convicted Brennan (aged 71) on the false-statement charge and placed him on a 12-month good-behaviour bond. The conviction was reported in the Newcastle Herald on 11 March 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

This pedophile, Father John Sidney Denham, survived as a Catholic priest for four decades

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Broken Rites has helped to obtain justice for victims of a pedophile Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham. This priest finally pleaded guilty in July 2009 after getting away with his crimes for four decades.

The church recruited Denham as a trainee priest in the late 1960s and, according to statements made in court, some of his child-sex crimes were committed during his period of training.

Denham's superiors were told in the 1970s about what he was doing to children but he was allowed to continue as a priest and was merely transferred to new districts, thereby putting more children at risk. Twenty years later, in the 1990s, a victim prompted the police to charge Denham but, with the help of church resources, Denham managed to beat the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Father James Barry Whelan is mentioned in a Melbourne court case

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

A woman named Anne was sexually exploited by Catholic priest Father James Barry Whelan, the woman's barrister has alleged in an Australian court. The priest sought sexual rewards for trying to save the woman's job, the barrister alleged.

Anne appeared in the Ringwood Magistrates Court in Melbourne's east on 23 October 2002, when she was aged 45. The alleged sexual abuse occurred in 2001.

Father Barry Whelan, aged 67 at the time of the court case, had been a priest of the Melbourne archdiocese since the early 1960s, working in parishes (in Kilmore, East Melbourne, Geelong, Noble Park North and Heidelberg) and also as a hospital chaplain in Melbourne and Geelong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Father Paul Pavlou pleads guilty to child-sex and child-porn charges

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

An Australian Catholic priest who was ordained in 2004 has admitted that he committed child-sex offences in 2006 — after only two years in the ministry.

Broken Rites believes that this case undermines the Catholic Church's claim that it has taken strong action in recent years to prevent such things from happening. The case also raises questions about how the church is recruiting its priests.

Father Paul Pavlou, 50, of the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 29 June 2009 to one charge of committing an indecent act with a 14-year-old boy and another charge of possessing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Catholic priest Robert Fuller is charged with RECENT incidents, relating to mid-2009

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

A 54-year-old Sydney Catholic priest appeared in court on 14 August 2009, after allegedly seeking a 13-year-old girl for sexual purposes. The alleged incidents occurred recently — in July-August 2009.

The priest, Father Robert Fuller, 54, had approached the "girl" in an internet chat-room, unaware that "the girl" was actually an undercover detective, police alleged in court.

The priest began a three-week long cyber seduction, police alleged. Father Fuller allegedly had sexual conversations with "the girl" via the internet and sent her lewd pictures of himself, where (it was alleged) his face is clearly seen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

'To be who we are and to speak our truth'

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 By Michelle Krupa Staff writer
The nation's largest umbrella group for Roman Catholic sisters opened its annual meeting Tuesday in New Orleans, marking the first formal gathering of members since the Vatican launched two unprecedented inquiries into their communities.

Officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, whose 1,500 members represent about 95 percent of 67,000 sisters in the U.S., said that in addition to public events they will convene behind closed doors this week to gauge response to the ongoing "doctrinal assessment" of their group launched early this year by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That office, once known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition, enforces official doctrine in all Roman Catholic organizations.

The probe centers on a directive the conference got from Rome in 2001 to adhere more closely to church teachings that bar women from ordination, consider homosexuality an "objective disorder" and declare the Catholic Church the true path to salvation, according to portions of a letter from a cardinal leading the inquiry that was posted at the LCWR's Web site .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Catholic Church bails father Robert Fuller, charged with grooming '13-year-old' for sex

AUSTRALIA
LiveNews

LiveNews | Gillian Cannon and Richard Maxton

This is a clear abuse of a position of authority within the church, particularly as the defendant is in a position of having unvetted access to (children).

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kai Peninkilampi

The Catholic Church has stood down a Sydney priest charged with grooming a teenager for sex over the internet, despite helping to secure his release from custody.

Father Robert Fuller is accused of communicating with a 13-year-old girl in Internet chats rooms over the past three weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Sydney priest 'groomer' caught on webcam, court told

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Dylan Welch and Georgina Robinson
August 14, 2009 - 3:29PM

A 54-year-old Sydney Catholic priest has been arrested and charged after allegedly attempting to groom detectives who were masquerading as a 13-year-old girl, sending them a series of sexually explicit chat-room messages.

Police allege they posed as a 13-year-old girl on the internet to catch Robert Fuller, a priest of three decades standing and the parish priest of All Saints at Liverpool for six years. Prior to that he was the parish priest at a Punchbowl parish.


They allege he sent chat-room messages between July and August, and even tried to arrange a meeting to engage in sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Fraud suit filed against Milwaukee archdiocese; priest molested as many as 200 deaf students

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Catholic Culture

August 14, 2009
A Phoenix man who alleges abuse by the late Father Lawrence Murphy has filed a fraud suit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. According to a 1993 social worker’s report, the priest may have molested as many as 200 students at a school for the deaf between 1950 and 1974.

At the time of Father Murphy’s death in 1998, then-Archbishop Rembert Weakland wrote in a letter that “so far, we have succeeded in preserving his reputation, and I hope we are able to do so in the future.” Three archbishops reportedly knew of his abuse but allowed him to continue in ministry into the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Priest used webcam to groom Aussie detectives

AUSTRALIA
The Inquirer

By Nick Farrell
Friday, 14 August 2009, 12:57 AN AUSSIE HIGH TECH Catholic Priest has been arrested after allegedly attempting to groom a detective who was masquerading as a 13 year-old girl.

Apparently Father Robert Fuller, 56 used a webcam as part of his internet campaign so it is not clear how he failed to spot the difference between a 13 year-old girl and a copper.

According to AP Inspector Blue Knacker of the Parramatta yard seized laptops, online documents, photographs and a mobile phone from the presbytery at All Saints Catholic Parish on George Street which they believe was being used by Fuller. The Church overlooks three schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

$600G settlement puts spotlight on sex-abuse priest

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

Friday, August 14, 2009

By RON ZEITLINGER
DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR

A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage boy while at a Jersey City parish more than 25 years ago is at the center of a $600,000 settlement in the molestation of a boy a year later in Missouri.

The Rev. Carmine Sita pleaded guilty in 1982 to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy at some point during the seven years (1976-1982) he was at the St. Aloysius Parish here. In January 1983, he was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to undergo treatment.

By August of that year, Sita had joined the Boonville, Mo., parish, a spokesman there said, after a short stay at the Foundation House, a treatment center in Albuquerque, N.M.

In May 2008, a Roanoke, Va. man told church leaders at Ss. Peter and Paul in Boonville, that he was sexually abused by Sita in 1983, when he was a teenager and he and his family were parishioners there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

The Purple Culture

Stephen Boehrer Blog

The harm that self-absorbed and self-serving religious leaders can bring to their own people, and to others, has perhaps never been more evident.

History records how violence and terror tactics have been used, not just by small cults, but by all mainstream religions.

This blog is intended to display, discuss, and hopefully provide solutions to the threat of harm coming from Christian leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Aust priest suspended over sex case

AUSTRALIA
TVNZ

The Catholic Church in Australia has suspended a Sydney priest facing serious criminal charges of grooming a child for sex.

Robert MacGregor Fuller, 54, conducted online chat sessions with a police officer who was posing as a 13-year-old girl.

A priest at All Saints church at Liverpool, in Sydney's southwest, for six years, Fuller was arrested on Thursday in the car park of Parramatta pool where it is alleged he planned to meet the teenage girl for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Why Pope John Paul II should not be canonized

Renew America

By Eric Giunta

Once again, the Catholic world has been rocked by yet more allegations of sexual impropriety by Legionnaires of Christ founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel. It seems the now-disgraced founder-cum-pervert fathered more children than previously suspected; the latest claimants to his paternity purport to have evidence that the late Pope John Paul II knew of Maciel's sexual dalliances, and turned a blind eye to them. (If true, it would confirm the prior journalistic scholarship of author Jason Berry.)

The allegations highlight what for all too many Catholics is the elephant-in-the-room when discussing the ills which beset the modern Church: the extent to which the late Pope John Paul II was an enabler of these perversions, from sexual and liturgical abuse to theological dissent and the scandal of Catholic politicians who support the most immoral of social policies with the tacit or express blessings of their Church.

One does not need to deny or disparage the personal sanctity, thoughtful conservatism, or religious orthodoxy of the late Pontiff in order to acknowledge that his Pontificate, by all accounts, was a glorious failure. Yes, he aided in the fall of Eastern European Communism, but the Pope of Rome is not primarily a mover and shaker of state politics, but a Christian pastor whose mission it is to save souls, convert the lost, and govern his church in such a way that it resembles, as best as possible, the city on a hill, the light of the world whose radiance cannot be hid under a bushel-basket.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Author of fictional account of clergy’s abuse reacts to settlement

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

LAURA JEAN GRANT
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — The Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal has revealed a character flaw within the leadership of the institution, says a Cape Breton author who has written a fictional book on the subject.

Earlier this summer, broadcast journalist Linden MacIntyre released his latest novel, The Bishop’s Man, which explores the story through the eyes of a priest who has spent most of his career as an enforcer employed by his bishop to discipline wayward priests and suppress potential scandal.

MacIntyre, who grew up in the Catholic faith, researched specific cases of sexual abuse in the church as well as the culture of the Catholic priesthood, and drew on knowledge gained in dealing with victims of abuse throughout his career, in writing the book.
He said he’s followed the sexual abuse involving clergy story since it became big news in the mid-90s, in parts of the United States and Newfoundland, in particular.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Former deaf-school student sues archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[read the lawsuit]

[1997 letter]

[1998 letter]

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Aug. 13, 2009

A civil lawsuit filed Thursday against the Milwaukee Archdiocese is the first by a former student of St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, where the late Father Lawrence Murphy is believed to have molested as many as 200 boys from 1950 to 1974.

The lawsuit, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court by Dean Weissmuller, 50, of Phoenix, is the 11th civil fraud case pending against the archdiocese alleging sexual abuse by priests.

Documents filed as part of the lawsuit suggest that the archdiocese knew of allegations against Murphy as early as the 1950s and worked to protect his reputation for decades after.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Parishes will work together to pay sexual abuse settlement

CANADA
Metro News

CAPE BRETON POST
August 14, 2009

Catholic parishes within the Diocese of Antigonish are being told to contribute to an historic settlement agreement for survivors of sexual abuse.

As part of a series of meetings that were held in Sydney, Port Hawkesbury and Antigonish, parish council and parish finance committee members discussed how they will pay a settlement that could be as much as $15 million, despite already enduring hardships because of dwindling church attendance.

According to the diocese, no churches are expected to close. However it is unknown if other church assets, such as land or other properties, will be put up for sale.


Bill Jamael, president of St. Anthony Daniel parish council, said parishes were told they must contribute to the settlement, but said contributions will be based on what a parish can afford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Jefferson City Diocese settles priest abuse case

COLUMBIA (MO)
Missourian

Friday, August 14, 2009
BY Christine Lesicko
COLUMBIA — Two members of an organization promoting disclosure of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and a lawyer who represented a victim of abuse spoke in Columbia Thursday to publicize the settlement of a case from Boonville.

A Virginia man, formerly of Boonville, will receive $600,000 in a settlement reached with the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., the Diocese of Jefferson City and the Servants of the Paraclete, a congregation that works with religious men with personal difficulties. The Diocese of Jefferson City will pay $225,000 of the settlement plus mediation costs to the victim.

"The church officials agreed to mediate, and it was a long and very difficult process," said Bryan Bacon, the Columbia attorney who represented the victim. He also said the settlement was among the largest in the Jefferson City Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Sexual Abuse and Church Settlement

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KOMU

JEFFERSON CITY - The Catholic Church paid the largest out-of-court settlement ever in mid-Missouri to a victim of sexual abuse by a mid-Missouri priest.

The out-of-court settlement is for $600,000 and the agreement the Catholic Church will strip the priest of his title and duties.

The victim's lawyer said the sexual molestation happened between 1983 and 1988, but the priest's history as an abuser began before that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Catholic Church gives $25k for priest Robert Fuller's release

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

August 14, 2009
UPDATE 3.41pm: THE Catholic Church has provided bail to have a priest charged with grooming a child for sex released from custody.

Robert Fuller, 54, a priest at All Saints church in Sydney's southwest, was yesterday charged with two counts of grooming a child under the age of 16 via internet chat sites.

The priest, 54, allegedly sent officers a series of sexually explicit chat room messages. to detectives masquerading as a 13-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Catholics must donate to abuse settlement

CANADA
Canada.com

News Services
August 14, 2009

Some Roman Catholic parishes in Nova Scotia are being told to contribute to a historic settlement for survivors of sexual abuse.

Parish councils within the Diocese of Antigonish were told they must contribute to the $15-million settlement, but contributions will be based on what each can afford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

August 13, 2009

Priest charged with internet grooming

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Sydney priest will face court today, charged with child grooming offences.

Over the last month, detectives pretending to be a 13-year-old girl on an internet chat site have been talking to the 54-year-old from Liverpool.

Police say he was sexually explicit during the correspondence, and arranged to meet the girl for the purpose of sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Diocese settles Boonville priest abuse case

MISSOURI
Connect Mid-Missouri

By Mark Slavit
Thursday, August 13, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY -- Officials with the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese have agreed to pay part of a settlement to a man who claims to have been sexually abused by a former Boonville priest.

Jefferson City Diocese officials would not say how much they paid of a $600,000 settlement agreement.

An attorney representing the alleged victim says no amount of money can erase a stolen childhood, a shattered faith and horrific betrayal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Archdiocese of St. Paul says ‘reform’ group not associated with Catholic Church

ST. PAUL (MN)
Catholic News Agency

St. Paul, Minn., Aug 13, 2009 / 05:41 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has announced that a group of Catholics planning a “synod” for church “reform” is not associated with the Catholic Church, cautioning the faithful that the group is trying to change magisterial teachings of the Church that all Catholics must believe.

The group, the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is planning to hold a “synod” at an undisclosed location within the archdiocese on September 18, 2010. The theme will be “Claiming Our Place at the Table.”

On its website, the group explains its “Understanding of Church [sic]” as a “communion of communities” based upon “acceptance.” It professes support for the “fundamental equality of all members,” participation and collaboration, a “dialogical spirit” and a “Prophetic/prophetic sign.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Priest arrested over internet grooming

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A 54-year-old Sydney priest has been arrested and charged after attempting to groom detectives masquerading as a 13-year-old girl, allegedly sending them a series of sexually explicit chat room messages.

Police posed a 13-year-old girl on the internet to catch the Liverpool man, who they say sent the chat room messages between July and August, and even tried to arrange a meeting to engage in sexual activity.

Police arrested the priest in a car park at Parramatta, in western Sydney, at 12.30pm yesterday, and later charged him with grooming a person under the age of 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Jefferson City diocese didn't know about Boonville abuse for 25 years

MISSOURI
Missourinet

Thursday, August 13, 2009, 10:01 PM
By Bob Priddy
The Jefferson City Catholic Diocese says it was not aware that a former Boonville priest abused one of his young parishioners until 25 years had passed..

The diocese of Jefferson City and Newark New Jersey, and a St. Louis-based counseling service for priest pedophiles are paying a 600-thousand dollar settlement to the man who claims he was victimized.

And the diocese says the process of laicizing the Reverend Gerald Howard--defrocking him--has begun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Diocese settles over sex-abuse allegation

MISSOURI
Columbia Daily Tribune

By Janese Heavin

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Jefferson City diocese and Catholic affiliates have agreed to pay $600,000 to a man who claims to have been sexually abused by a former Boonville priest.

Gerald Howard, whose current whereabouts are unknown, also will be defrocked as part of the settlement, said Bryan Bacon, a Columbia attorney representing the alleged victim.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a support group for victims, was expected to make the settlement announcement today outside of the Newman Center in Columbia and later at Jefferson City diocese headquarters. The settlement, reached in June, also involves the Newark, N.J., archdiocese, where Howard previously served, and St. Louis-based Paracletes, a religious order that reportedly treated Howard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Settlement in Missouri church abuse case disclosed

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Kansas City Star

ST. LOUIS | A man now in his late 30s has reached a $600,000 settlement over allegations of abuse by a mid-Missouri priest in the 1980s, when the victim was a child.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Thursday that the settlement finalized in July is among the largest ever in a Missouri clergy sex abuse case.

The victim came forward last year to disclose the abuse by the Rev. Gerald Howard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Former Jersey City priest who admitted molesting teen accused of sexual abuse in Missouri

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

by Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
Thursday August 13, 2009, 2:19 PM

The Rev. Carmen Sita is pictured in 1976 photo, when he began his career at St. Aloysius in Jersey City.A Catholic priest, the Rev. Carmen Sita, who pleaded guilty in 1983 to molesting a teenage boy while at a Jersey City parish is at the center of a $600,000 settlement in the alleged molestation of a boy less than a year later in Boonville, Mo.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a support group for clergy sex-abuse victims, are holding two news conferences in Missouri to announce the settlement. It's believed to be one of the largest pedophile priest settlements in Missouri, SNAP officials said.

A year and a half ago, a man, now in his 30s and living in Roanoke, Va., reported to Missouri church officials that he was sexually abused by the Sita, SNAP officials said. But authorities in three church institutions -- the Newark Diocese, where his career began, the Jefferson City diocese, and a St. Louis-based religious order, the Paracletes -- kept silent about his report, SNAP officials say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Father Sullivan used to take us to the Conrad Hilton mansion, say two L.A. pedophile priest assault survivors

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

"How good is this. I’m swimming with God’s best friend at Conrad Hilton’s Castle. Definitely, a triple thrill," writes Ken.

The story of two victims of a pedophile priest in L.A. in the 1950s shows the need for lawsuits to continue to go forward in cases that invole decades old sex crimes. Father Thomas J. Sullivan apparently used the same M.O. with both boys, taking them to swim at the Conrad Hilton mansion, then sexually assaulting them in the pool and around the poolhouse. The first man, Udo, got a settlement from the Church in 2007, the second man, Ken, is waiting for a state Supreme Court action to know if he can go forward with his claim.

Ken wrote his story, got it approved by his attorney, and sent it to City of Angels. We also interviewed Udo, whose story of sex assault by the same pedophile-ephebophile priest is eerily similar.

Ken describes his Delayed Discovery: He remembered the trauma of sexual assault by a Father Sullivan, at age 14 in the 1950s, after reading about the pedophile exploits of a different L.A. Jesuit priest Mark Falvey, in a San Gabriel Valley newspaper in 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Is it time to let priests marry?

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Paul Taylor and Simon Donohue

August 13, 2009

NO, they shouldn't marry, says Dr Robert Aston, a former medical officer for Bolton and Wigan:

"THE fact that our priests are celibate is something that the great majority of us find of tremendous value," says Dr Aston. "Our priests are fathers. They have given themselves totally to us without reservation.

"That is the essential thing - total self-giving, service, dedication and loyalty to their own people and through their own people to God."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Sworn Enemies of Catholic Church got CA law amended, then he settled in 2007 due to prejudice and bad publicity, Mahony claims in letter to Court

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Cardinal Roger Mahony understood that the cases settled in 2007 were going to be the last lawsuits about sex crimes in California Archdioceses, his lawyer claims in an April letter to the state's highest court. "Irrespective of merits," the letter states, the L.A. Archdiocese settled all 510 claims in 2007 because plaintiffs were creating bad publicity and prejudice against the Church.

In the letter quoted in depth below, Mahony joins the corporate Catholic Church in its campaign to get the Supreme Court of California to de-publish Quarry v. Doe 1. That appeals court decision says adults can continue to sue corporate entities for decades old child sex crimes when the corporation was negligent and allowed the molestation to take place. In cases at issue, Delayed Discovery took place after the 2003 one-year window in the California statute of limitations, in other words plaintiffs were not even aware in 2003 that a child sex crime was the cause of their adult problems.

"Quarry undermines and destroys the Archbishop’s settled expectations," Mahony's attorney writes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

New Lawsuit Against Archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Today's TMJ

[with video]

MILWAUKEE - The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is planning to hold a news conference today to release "never before seen secret documents" in a new lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

The lawsuit will officially be filed by a former student of St. John's School of the Deaf, and will claim that the archdiocese knew about a priest's sex crimes and covered them up.

According to SNAP, Father Lawrence Murphy was a pedophile priest who over a 25 year period, sexually assaulted around 200 boys as the director of St. John's School of the Deaf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Donald Wuerl – Zero Tolerance or Zero Credibility?

PENNSYLVANIA
Examiner

Pittsburgh Independent Examiner
Mike Ference

The recent discovery of former Serra Catholic High School teacher, Kenneth Ghastin, raises several questions about Donald Wuerl’s tenure as bishop of Pittsburgh. This is especially the case, since one of the persons who accused the Franciscan brother of molestation committed suicide shortly after having received a $30,000 settlement.

Background of Kenneth Ghastin, for those who are unfamiliar with him

Brother Kenneth Ghastin was cited in documentation released by the Greenberg Traurig law firm as having abused two brothers at Boston’s now-closed Christopher Columbus High School. The same Franciscan teacher was eventually assigned to Serra Catholic High School, in McKeesport, PA, serving there from 1983 to 1991. He was the Brother Ken – as Serra students called him – who helped my son Adam off the school bus, shortly after a second Serra Catholic student put a 32 caliber handgun inches away from the back of his head and pulled the trigger. He was also the Brother Ken who suffered a heart attack shortly after the shooting took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Ex-cop jailed for £15k theft from Catholic church

UNITED KINGDOM
This is South Wales

Thursday, August 13, 2009, 10:00
A FORMER policeman who stole more than £15,000 from the Roman Catholic Church was caught after he used church funds to buy himself a grand piano.

Frank Monti committed the fraud when he was financial secretary of the Diocese of Menevia at its offices in Swansea.

The 59-year-old was yesterday jailed for 18 months after Swansea Crown Court heard how he had abused his position to line his own pocket.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Religion choice varies by state

UNITED STATES
Abilene Reporter

By Brian Bethel
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The United States remains a bastion of Protestant faith, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

But an analysis of numbers released recently shows that the states in the union differ remarkably from one another in terms of residents’ religions, something experts said mostly reflects the history of the country itself.

“The earliest people who came to America, what we always call the Pilgrims and the Puritans, most of those people were non-Catholics,” said Larry McGraw, associate dean of Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon School of Theology and professor of Bible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Pastor pleads guilty to charge

BUCKEYE (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

BUCKEYE - A Buckeye pastor accused of using his position to sexually abuse women in his congregation has pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a minor, authorities said.

Charles L. Carfrey, 59, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of the Class 6 felony, along with one count of failure to register as a sex offender, a Class 4 felony, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records.

The plea agreement came with a stipulation of incarceration and lifetime probation, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Girl, 15, tells jury of alleged molestation by ex-youth minister

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Brian J. Pedersen
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.13.2009

A former youth minister molested a 13-year-old girl from his church group numerous times for almost a year, threatening that if she ever told anyone, he would kill himself, his accuser testified Wednesday.

The girl, now 15, told a Pima County Superior Court jury of five men and eight women that Christopher Scott Decaire molested her and forced her to perform oral sex between January 2007 and January 2008.

"I was afraid to say no," said the girl, whom the Arizona Daily Star is not identifying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Legionaries of Christ scandal continues

Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

Several years ago, at a benefit dinner for a school affiliated with the Legionaries of Christ, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Patrick Madrid, one of my favorite Catholic apologists and an all-around good guy, whom I will quote below.

Not too long after said fundraiser, I went from being a Legionaries supporter (although I did have a few misgivings) to being a Legionaries critic.

And now I feel vindicated. In fact, I've felt that way for the last year or so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Teenager claims youth minister molested her

TUCSON (AZ)
KVOA

WARNING: This story contains graphic material and may not be suitable for everyone.

A 15-year-old girl, who says she was molested by a Tucson youth minister takes the stand today.

Christopher Decaire, 49, is now on trial facing multiple charges, including sexual abuse of a minor, sexual conduct with a minor and child molestation.

He worked part-time at the Eastside Tucson Baptist Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Settlement proposed for sexual abuse by priests

CANADA
Guysborough Journal

By Helen Murphy

HALIFAX – A proposed settlement has been reached in the class-action lawsuit against the Diocese of Antigonish for sexual abuse by priests. If the settlement is approved by the court, victims of sexual abuse and estates of deceased may be eligible to claim compensation from a $13 million settlement fund. The diocese includes all Roman Catholic parishes in Guysborough County.

Bishop Raymond Lahey and victim Ronald Martin made a joint announcement about the proposed settlement in Halifax Friday. As he began his remarks, Lahey offered an apology to victims.

“Before I say anything else here today, as bishop of Antigonish, I want to formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Never again

The China Post (Taiwan)

The Catholic Church has been fighting against passage of the Child Victims Act of Assemblywoman Margaret Markey “with all their hearts, with all their souls and with all their might”. The proposed legislation extends the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children and opens a one year window for adult victims to sue their childhood perpetrators with no statute of limitation at all. Aside from granting the victims the opportunity to receive justice and some level of compensation for their suffering, similar window legislation has proven to be the best way to help identify scores of sexual predators that were unknown to law enforcement in both California and Delaware.

The Church has postulated a conspiracy theory that sees the sole purpose of allowing adult survivors of child sexual abuse to sue their molesters as a way for enemies of the Church to do it harm. The Church should be ashamed of itself after the publicly humiliating exposure of its tolerance of perverted behavior by pedophile priests, and its cynical cover up and intimidation of victims it has perpetrated on a system-wide level.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Child sexual abuse complaint against priest is 'credible,' Madison Diocese says

MADISON (WI)
Wisconsin States Journal

By DOUG ERICKSON
608-252-6149
derickson@madison.com
The Madison Catholic Diocese said Wednesday its sexual abuse review board has found an allegation of child sexual abuse against the Rev. Joseph Gibbs Clauder "credible."

The diocese said Madison Bishop Robert Morlino agrees with the board’s finding and has referred the case to the Vatican for judgment.

The allegation against Clauder was brought forth earlier this year but not made public at the request of the accuser, said diocesan spokesman Brent King. No other information will be released, including the gender of the accuser or the nature of the allegation, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Parishes told to help with lawsuit

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

By The Canadian Press
Thu. Aug 13 - 4:46 AM
SYDNEY — Catholic parishes within the Diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia are being told to contribute to a multimillion-dollar settlement agreement for survivors of sexual abuse.

As part of a series of meetings that were held in Sydney, Port Hawkesbury and Antigonish, parish council and parish finance committee members met to discuss how they will pay the settlement — despite already enduring hardships based on dwindling church attendance.

The diocese announced the $13-million settlement agreement last week for known and alleged victims of sexual abuse by its priests, including decades-old abuse claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

August 12, 2009

Priest's abuse case being sent to Vatican for judgment

MADISON (WI)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison

(Madison) - The members of the Diocese of Madison's Sexual Abuse Review Board have, after a preliminary investigation into the testimonies and facts surrounding the allegation of child-sexual abuse made against Fr. Joseph Gibbs Clauder, found the allegation to be credible. Considering the Review Board's findings, Bishop Robert C. Morlino, has agreed with their evaluation and has referred this case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in Rome, for judgment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 PM

Newcastle woman's eulogy for dad offends Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
The Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY
12/08/2009 4:00:00 AM
A NEWCASTLE woman has complained to the Catholic Church's professional standards unit about feeling "threatened and intimidated" by a letter from Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone following an incident at her father's funeral.

The woman, who received a personal apology from the bishop early this year after alleging she had been sexually abused by a priest as a child, wrote to the bishop in June after a Newcastle priest turned off a microphone and blocked her from completing her father's eulogy.

The priest told the woman her comments about the late Monsignor Patrick Cotter were "totally inappropriate".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Woman's eulogy for dad offends Church

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

A Newcastle woman's eulogy at her father's funeral was cut short by a priest, when she began repeating lines from a news report about police recommendations to charge the late Monsignor Patrick Cotter over concealing abuse allegations against priest Vince Ryan.

She has complained about the incident. She said she feels "threatened and intimidated" by a letter from Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone (photo) about it, The Herald reports.

The woman, who isn't identified in the report, had received a personal apology from the bishop early this year after she alleged she had been sexually abused by a priest as a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

The priest's confession: Using sign language, deaf Catholic tells flock he has fathered a ch

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail

By James Tozer

As his congregation of deaf Roman Catholics prepared to head home after Mass, the priest indicated that he had something to tell.

Then, using sign language, Father Peter McDonough dropped his bombshell.

The 54-year-old priest - who is himself profoundly deaf - admitted that he had secretly fathered a son, now aged four.

Roman Catholic priest Father Peter McDonough has son, he tells Church

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

A Roman Catholic priest has told his congregration that he has a four-year-old son, and has stood down from the Church.

Father Peter McDonough, 54, who for 27 years served the deaf community in Manchester and Salford, and is himself profoundly deaf, made the announcement at a sign-language Mass at St Patrick’s Church, Collyhurst.

He said Mass on Sunday and then asked the congregation to sit down as he had something he needed to tell them. He then spent the next two hours explaining his situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Child sexual abuse complaint against priest is 'credible,' Madison Diocese says

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

By DOUG ERICKSON
608-252-6149
derickson@madison.com

The Madison Catholic Diocese said Wednesday its sexual abuse review board has found an allegation of child sexual abuse against the Rev. Joseph Gibbs Clauder "credible."

The diocese said Madison Bishop Robert Morlino agrees with the board’s finding and has referred the case to the Vatican for judgment.

The allegation against Clauder was brought forth earlier this year but not made public at the request of the accuser, said diocesan spokesman Brent King. No other information will be released, including the gender of the accuser or the nature of the allegation, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Under fire, women religious leaders gather in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS
National Catholic Reporter

By Thomas C. Fox

Facing two Vatican investigations, some 800 women religious leaders from throughout the country have gathered here to discuss their congregations’ uncertain futures.

Many women, in informal conversations, spoke of their determination not to let these Vatican actions get in the way of their ministries and religious life, hammered out over decades, both through experience and through exchanges with Rome on congregational constitutions.

As if to underscore concern their concern for their ongoing apostolic missions, the women, at the outset of the three-day assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for 95 percent of the women religious of America, toured several sites in this struggling city where women religious were working in a variety of social ministries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Truth will free you from possession

Catholic Light

By Pete Vere on August 12, 2009
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - Jesus, (John 8:32)
"I am the way, the truth, and the life" - Jesus, (John 14:6)

Both of Our Lord's sayings come to mind as I ponder the most recent revelations concerning Fr. Maciel. What's damaging to the Legion is not the revelations themselves - most reasonable people, Catholic or not, have long ago concluded Fr. Maciel was a fraud and a scoundrel - but that the Legion was not more forthcoming previously with the truth about their founder, or with an apology to his numerous victims. In a word, the scandal here is the coverup. The attempted coverup, for so many years, is the cause of the Legion's helplessness as the facts unfold.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

New paternity claims against Legionary founder

MEXICO
Catholic Culture

August 12, 2009
New accusations of immorality have been lodged against the late Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Mexican media outlets report.

Three unnamed Mexican litigants have filed suit claiming that they are the children of Father Maciel and seeking financial support. According to La Jornada, a Mexican newspaper with strong leftist leanings, an attorney for the new claimants expressed confidence that the new claimants could prove not only that Father Maciel was their biological father, but also that the parental link was known to Church leaders including Pope John Paul II. (Patrick Madrid has furnished a translation of the Jornada report.)

The Legionaries of Christ have been severely shaken by reports, made public earlier this year, that Father Maciel was the father of at least one child. That child and her mother have apparently been living with financial support from the Legionaries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Arbitrate NY clergy sex abuse claims

NEW YORK
dotCommonweal

August 12, 2009, 2:14 pm Posted by Paul Moses

The New York Times’ Paul Vitello took a look back this week on the Catholic bishops’ lobbying campaign that averted proposed New York state legislation to open the door to many more lawsuits over sexual abuse of children. It turned out that some of the Assembly members who voted for the bill in previous years, when it had no chance of passing in the State Senate, withdrew their support for Assemblywoman Marge Markey’s measure once it became clear that it might actually have the votes to become law.

The Markey bill would have created a one-year window to file lawsuits currently barred by the statute of limitations. The bishops’ best argument, in my view, is that however horrendous the clergy sex abuse scandal is, it would be fundamentally unfair to rewrite the legal rules covering past offenses with the primary aim of making the Catholic Church pay up. It is fundamentally unfair to the many victims, however, that the church’s systematic cover-up of the problem will not be punished adequately in the New York state legal system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Superaría 20 mil millones de euros la fortuna forjada por Maciel en el mundo

MEXICO
La Jornada

Alma E. Muñoz

Cautelosos, los hijos de Marcial Maciel se niegan por el momento a dar más detalles de su vida. Se confirma que son tres varones que radican en México y no frecuentan a su hermana Norma, de 23 años e hija de Norma Hilda Baños, porque vive en Madrid, España.

Como informó este diario, los tres primeros afirman que tienen derechos hereditarios. No se sabe con certeza a cuánto asciende el emporio económico que forjó el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, pero en Europa se calcula que podría partir de 20 mil millones de euros, entre inmuebles y otros bienes en diversos países.

El domingo pasado, el periódico español El Mundo publicó una entrevista con Norma Hilda Baños, madre de la hija del sacerdote fallecido, quien aseguró ser originaria de Acapulco, Guerrero. Dijo que conoció a Maciel cuando era menor de edad y quedó embarazada de él cuando tenía 26 años. En 1987 dio a luz a Norma, quien lleva el apellido Rivas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Fundador de Legionarios de Cristo pudo haber tenido seis hijos, dice abogado

MEXICO
EFE

Por Agencia EFE

México, 11 ago (EFE).- El fundador de la congregación de Los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel (1920-2008), pudo haber tenido seis hijos, afirmó hoy en México el abogado José Bonilla, quien representa a tres de sus presuntos vástagos, que buscan su reconocimiento legal.

Se trata de tres varones, hermanos entre sí, de nacionalidad mexicana, que pretenden que se reconozca la paternidad de Maciel, aseguró a Efe el abogado, conocido por defender a presuntas víctimas de agresiones sexuales por parte de miembros del clero en México.

Según el letrado, Maciel habría tenido tres hijos más, una de ellas una mujer de nacionalidad española. De los otros dos Bonilla no dio detalles y tampoco quiso revelar la identidad de sus clientes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

'Cuando conocí a Maciel, yo era una menor de edad'

SPAIN
El Mundo

Idoia Sota | José M. Vidal | Madrid

Norma Hilda Baños quedó embarazada cuando tenía 26 años, y en 1987 dio a luz una niña. El padre era Marcial Maciel, fundador de la congregación ultracatólica de los Legionarios de Cristo, a quien ella había conocido cuando aún era menor de edad. Durante años, la madre preservó celosamente el anonimato de la niña y de su padre. Pero ahora que El Vaticano investiga la vida de Maciel -fallecido en 2008-, su hija Norma puede convertirse en heredera de un imperio de 20.500 millones de euros.

"Yo nunca habría elegido este camino para mi vida... Cuando conocí a ese hombre, yo era una menor... Ni mi hija ni yo supimos quién era realmente hasta el final". Es la primera vez que Norma Hilda Baños pone palabras a su historia y, con éstas, el secreto tanto tiempo guardado, el pecado que la persigue, toma cuerpo ante ella. Al contemplarlo, las lágrimas se agolpan en sus ojos.

Crónica la ha localizado en su santuario, una urbanización de lujo de Madrid. Está desconcertada. No es fácil el diálogo. Tras el vano, que va estrechando mientras entorna la puerta, se abre un piso de 327 metros cuadrados. Aquí es donde vive desde hace unos años con su hija.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

New Allegations Against Fr. Marcial Maciel Surface in Mexican Press

MEXICO
Patrick Madrid

The left-leaning Mexican daily newspaper, La Jornada, is reporting an explosive new set of paternity allegations against the late Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

Earlier this year, the religious order was rocked to its foundations by revelations of its founder's fraudulent double life (see my February 3, 2009 commentary on this). New allegations surfaced today in a La Jornada article, which I have translated from the original Spanish and excerpted below:

Three More Children of Marcial Maciel Claim Inheritance Rights

Mexican lawyer José Bonilla Sada has made it known that three [additional] children, born in Mexico, will contest the Legionaries of Christ [claiming] that they should recognize their existence and their rights as heirs to the goods of the religious order's founder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Porn phone priest flees temple

INDIA
The Independent (United Kingdom)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A priest was caught watching clips from a porn film during prayers in a Sikh temple in north India.

Jasbir Singh Gill, who was attending the morning prayers session, noticed that the priest was allegedly "not concentrating on the prayers" and was distracted by "something underneath the table on which the scriptures were placed".

Mr Gill said: "I was shocked to see the priest was actually busy watching pornographic clips on his mobile phone that he had cleverly hidden under the table."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

A legion of inheritors

Catholic Light

By Pete Vere on August 10, 2009
A discussion is brewing on Life After RC about Fr. Maciel's child(ren) possibly inheriting the Legion's property. Unfortunately, in death, as in life, Maciel's legacy remains a tortured mess to navigate.

The issue would be simple if Maciel had owned and run a business like any other during his life. His child(ren) would inherit his property as well as his share in the business.

However, an institute of consecrated life is not a business. It's a highly-public spiritual work of the Church. Its property does not belong to the individual who founded it, but to the Church. So from a strict canonical perspective, Maciel's mistress and daughter would have rights against the Legion as victims, but not as inheritors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Maciel Scandal Should Change Regnum & Legion

Catholic Femina

Mexican lawyer José Bonilla Sada has made it known that three [additional] children, born in Mexico, will contest the Legionaries of Christ [claiming] that they should recognize their existence and their rights as heirs to the goods of the religious order's founder. The litigant, who has as his assistant one Joaquín Aguilar — a victim of sexual abuse committed by ex-priest Nicholas Aguilar — said that he is confident that there is sufficient proof to demonstrate that even the late Pope John Paul II, along with the Legion, knew of the existence of Maciel's three other children, now adults, who were legally recognized by their father but whose names will be kept confidential. Some months ago, the order founded by the late priest, [who was] accused of sexual abuse against minors, admitted the existence of one of his daughters. Her name, according to Bonilla's account on his blog http://conlajusticia.wordpress.com, is Norma Hilda. She lives in Madrid, Spain, where, along with her mother of the same name, she obtained a non-work related residence visa. Originally from Guerrero [Mexico], she is approximately 23 years old and maintains a comfortable lifestyle level, such that she does not have to work; she lives in a luxury apartment building and also has other income [rents] from the same building in which she lives. They were acquired by Marcial Maciel with money from benefactors of the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Legionarios de Cristo. La “triple vida” de Marcial Maciel

MEXICO
Conlajusticia's Blog

22 Junio 2009 por conlajusticia
Lic. José Bonilla
Como resultado de la convocatoria que con fecha 22 de mayo pasado publicamos en el presente Blog, en donde invitamos a nuestros amigos y lectores que tuvieran información importante que trasmitir a los visitadores de la Legión de Cristo enviados por el Vaticano, quiero compartir con ustedes alguna información que recibí y la cual me ha revelado datos inéditos y sorprendentes sobre la vida privada y familiar de Marcial Maciel.

Particular importancia reviste una información que nos envió un Sacerdote de la congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo, quien con valentía y confianza, atormentado por culpa y que se encuentra en una de las instalaciones de Europa, me envió datos detallados sobre la hija de Marcial Maciel. Su nombre es NORMA HILDA, actualmente vive en Madrid, España, donde al igual que su madre de mismo nombre, obtuvo un visado de residencia sin finalidad laboral, es originaria del Estado de Guerrero, México, tiene aproximadamente 23 años de edad, mantiene un nivel de vida desahogado ya que no trabaja, habita un piso de lujo en Madrid e igualmente cuenta con otro piso que renta en el mismo inmueble, que fueron adquiridos por Marcial Maciel con dinero de los benefactores de la congregación. Incluso asistió a algunos cursos en la Universidad Anahuac, en donde por supuesto conocían a la perfección su identidad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Marcial Maciel's love children sue

Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

The scandal around the disgraced Legionaries of Christ founder gets even worse. Now it's reported that he fathered several children, four of whom are claiming rights as heirs to (massive!) Legionary assets. See here and here. Excerpt:

The Mexican attorney, José Bonilla Sada, has announced that three children of Marcial Maciel, born in Mexico, will try to force the Legionaries of Christ to acknowledge their existence as well as their rights as heirs to the assets of the founder of the religious order. The litigants' attorney, who in this case has as his assistant Joaquín Aguilar, a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by former priest Nicolás Aguilar, says he has enough evidence to show that the late Pope John Paul II as well as the legion knew of the existence of three other children of Maciel, now adults and legally recognized by their father, but whose names are currently being withheld.

Months earlier the order founded by the late priest, who was accused of sexual abuse of minors, admitted the existence of a daughter. Her name, as Bonilla states in his blog http://conlajustici a.wordpress. com, is Norma Hilda. She lives in Madrid, Spain along with her mother of the same name, and has a non-employment residency permit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Claim: Legion founder Maciel had multiple children; other details emerging

American Papist

For some time, I have refrained from reporting on the ongoing saga of the Legionaries of Christ out of deference for the canonical visitation which is taking place.

AmP was the first major blog to report the scandal of Maciel having a biological child, and became a hub for accurate reporting on the story in the tumultuous weeks that followed.

However, because the most recent round of news changes the situation dramatically, I will report on it as well. The conclusions of the apostolic visit cannot be expected for some time, but individuals who are still in the Legion or Regnum Christi deserve to know what is happening now.

Multiple stories from Mexico report that three additional individuals claiming to be children of Fr. Maciel are suing the Legion of Christ for inheritance rights. It appears the original daughter of Maciel, and her mother, were supported by Legion money (i.e. money contributed by Catholic faithful for supporting Fr. Maciel's work).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Legionaries of Christ founder Fr Maciel may have had six children, say reports

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Damian Thompson

Fr Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, revered as a saint by his followers even before his recent death, had as many as six children, it is now being claimed.

Thomas Peters, author of the excellent American Papist blog, has the details of this ever-darkening scandal:

Multiple stories from Mexico report that three additional individuals claiming to be children of Fr. Maciel are suing the Legion of Christ for inheritance rights. It appears the original daughter of Maciel, and her mother, were supported by Legion money (i.e. money contributed by Catholic faithful for supporting Fr. Maciel’s work).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Allegations of Sexual Abuse at Catholic Residential Institutions in the United States

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

This webpage provides a sample of Catholic residential institutions in the United States where sexual abuse of minors has been alleged or accused clerics have worked. Many aspects of the allegations in these cases will be familiar from the Ryan report on abuse in Irish institutions.
• In Washington State, the Christian Brothers of Ireland settled with two dozen alleged victims in a single residential school.
• In Wisconsin, the director of a school for the deaf admitted to sexually abusing at least 30 boys and may have molested 200 or more.
• In Vermont, church officials settled with 75 men and women alleging physical and sexual abuse of shocking brutality at an orphanage.
• In Kentucky, an order of nuns settled with 45 men and women alleging physical and sexual abuse at another orphanage.

The table currently provides information on 30 residential institutions where 107 priests, brothers, nuns, seminarians, and lay people have been accused of sexually abusing children. In addition, 6 persons who are accused of sexual abuse elsewhere also worked at an institution on our list. For a report on our residential institution project and two institutions in the Boston archdiocese, see A Search For Links Between U.S., Irish Church Abuse, by Deb Becker, WBUR (8/12/09).

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:46 AM

Pilarczyk must submit resignation

CINCINNATI (OH)
The Enquirer

The Enquirer • August 12, 2009

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, the country’s longest-serving archbishop, turns 75 today and is required under church law to submit his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI.

It’s not certain when or if the pontiff will accept Pilarczyk’s resignation. The Vatican could keep him on indefinitely.

The archbishop of Cincinnati since 1982, Pilarczyk has led the 19-county archdiocese through priest child abuse scandals, a priest shortage and the mergers of some parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Devil in the dog collar

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By SIMON HUGHES

A TWISTED priest dubbed "the devil in a dog collar" is facing jail for sex attacks on Roman Catholic schoolboys over 36 YEARS.

Father David Pearce, 67, sated his sick lust on five pupils at a school where he was headmaster.

Astonishingly his final victim was attacked AFTER his superiors had imposed restrictions on him designed to prevent such conduct.

One victim said: "I believe the Church are responsible - they knew what he was up to. Devil in a dog collar sums him up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Catholic priest quits church as he admits fathering child

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Father McDonough dropped the bombshell during Sunday mass at St Patrick's church in Collyhurst.

He told worshippers that the service would be his last.

It is thought the boy's mother is not a member of St Patrick's congregation but met Fr McDonough through his church work. Father McDonough, 54, who is deaf, made the revelation after performing a sign language mass.

At the end of the service he asked parishioners to sit down before delivering the devastating news. He stayed behind for two hours after mass to explain his decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

HIV-positive man accused of sexual battery on teen

LAKELAND (FL)
The Tampa Tribune

By JOSÉ PATIÑO GIRONA | The Tampa Tribune

Published: August 11, 2009

An HIV-positive man sexually battered a 13-year-old boy he mentored at an Auburndale Church, the Lakeland Police Department said Tuesday.

Jere Michael Temple, 58, faces six counts of sexual battery and is being held at Polk County Jail with bail set at $1.25 million, said Jack Gillen, a spokesman for Lakeland police.

Temple befriended the boy about six months ago at the Rainbow Promise Community Church, 1145 U.S. 92, Auburndale. Temple volunteered at the church in a youth mentoring program, and he became the youth's mentor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

A Search For Links Between U.S., Irish Church Abuse

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

[with audio]

By DEBORAH BECKER

Published August 12, 2009

BOSTON — When the Irish government recently released its report after investigating the abuse of children in Catholic-run institutions there, many questions arose on this side of the Atlantic about whether similar abuse happened here.

The almost 3,000 page Irish report, known as the Ryan Report, said rape and abuse were endemic in Ireland’s church-run schools and orphanages from the 1930s until most of the facilities were shut down in the 1990s.

There were dozens of similar facilities in Massachusetts that were run by religious groups at that time, so the Waltham-based group BishopAccountability.org, which gathered information on the clergy sex abuse crisis and lists some 3,000 abusive clergy members, is now investigating this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Independent panel needed, says Geelong's Fr Dillon

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Carl Dickens

August 12th, 2009

GEELONG Catholic priest Father Kevin Dillon has backed a review of the Melbourne Archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse cases.

Appearing on ABC TV's Lateline last night, the St Mary's parish priest said the church's so-called Melbourne Response should be reviewed to ensure victims were being dealt with acceptably.

"This strategy has been in place for 13 years, and to my knowledge it has never been subject to any major review ... I think that could be helpful," Fr Dillon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

‘Devil in dog collar’ priest faces jail for sex abuse over 36 years

UNITED KINGDOM
Thaindian

London, August 12 (ANI): A priest, tagged as “the devil in a dog collar” by one of his victims, is facing jail for sexual assault on schoolboys over 36 years.

Father David Pearce, who was a headmaster at a school, confessed indecent assaults on five Roman Catholic pupils.

The 67-year-old was said to have attacked his final victim after being slapped with restrictions designed to prevent such conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Unhappy Fault

Virtue Online

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

Touchstone Magazine
http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=22-06-012-v
August 2009

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?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

August 11, 2009

Buckeye pastor pleads guilty in sex case

BUCKEYE (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

by Jackee Coe - Aug. 11, 2009 04:49 PM
The Arizona Republic
A Buckeye pastor accused of using his position to sexually abuse women in his congregation pleaded guilty Monday to sexual conduct with a minor, authorities said.

Charles L. Carfrey, 59, pleaded guilty to two counts of the Class 6 felony, along with one count of failure to register as a sex offender, a Class 4 felony, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records.

Carfrey, pastor of The Lord's House Church, near Fourth Street and Eason Avenue in Buckeye, has been in custody since March 20 when he was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing several women during counseling sessions in 2004 and '05, including a girl who was 17 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Academic freedom, sex scandal parts of Pilarczyk's legacy

OHIO
Middletown Journal

By Tom Beyerlein, Staff Writer

Updated 9:35 PM Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daniel E. Pilarczyk is an intellectual, an author and a former educator who also has held national leadership positions in the Catholic church and taken controversial stands on political and social issues.

As he prepares for retirement, some local Catholics say his legacy will include his support of Catholic schools, his efforts to maintain academic freedom in Catholic universities and his teachings on a “consistent life ethic” that opposes both abortion and capital punishment....

But for some, Pilarczyk’s legacy will be forever tainted by his handling of the sex abuse scandal.

“The archbishop’s legacy includes the deflecting of responsibility for the abuse crisis,” said Kristine Ward, local chairwoman of the reform group Voice of the Faithful. “In addition, parishes and schools closed, the number of priests declined, and Catholics voted with their feet and their wallets. This can’t be the picture of a healthy diocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Archbischop Pilarczyk to send pope his resignation today

CINCINNATI (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein, Staff Writer

Updated 9:34 PM Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, the Dayton native who became the country’s longest-serving archbishop, turns 75 today, Aug. 12, and is required under church law to submit his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI.

It’s not certain when the pontiff will accept Pilarczyk’s resignation, but there’s no mystery about who will replace him. The pope in October named Dennis Schnurr, the former bishop of Duluth, as “coadjutor” archbishop and Pilarczyk’s heir apparent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 PM

Retired priest pleads not guilty to molestation

NEWPORT BEACH (CA)
The Orange County Register

By LARRY WELBORN
The Orange County Register

NEWPORT BEACH -- A retired priest pleaded not guilty today to charges that he molested a young boy at a Costa Mesa church more than 17 years ago.

Denis Lyons, 75, of Seal Beach, who is free on $100,000 bail, was arrested last month at his Leisure World home and accused of molesting the boy when he was a second and third grade student at St. John the Baptist Catholic School between 1992 and 1995.

Lyons, who was removed from ministry in 2002, was a priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church during those years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Catholic priest admits he's a dad - and quits

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Mike Keegan

August 11, 2009

A CATHOLIC priest stunned parishioners by revealing he had a four-year-old child - and then resigned.

Father Peter McDonough dropped the bombshell on the congregation at a sign-language mass for the deaf at St Patrick's Church, in Collyhurst, on Sunday.

The 54-year-old, who is deaf himself, has spent the last 27 years serving the region's deaf Catholic community.

Vicar General Mark Davies, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, said Fr McDonough made the decision after a 'time of reflection'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Melbourne priest says sex-abuse policy 'too self-protecting'

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

August 11, 2009
An influential priest in Melbourne, Australia, has called for a change in the archdiocesan policies for handling sex-abuse cases. Father Kevin Dillon spoke out after Archbishop Denis Hart rejected victims' calls for a change in the "Melbourne Response."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Criminalize marital rape: Singapore priest agrees

SINGAPORE
Clerical Whispers

Singapore priest, Fr Paul Staes has endorsed an online petition to criminalize marital rape and highlighted what he says is a “serious shortcoming” in Church teachings on the issue.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Fr Staes, 72, signed the petition last month after receiving an email from a friend about the “No to Rape” campaign.

The friend had wanted to find out the Catholic Church’s stand on marital rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Handy guide to Vatican investigation of women religious

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Dennis Coday on Aug. 10, 2009 NCR Today

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, umbrella organization for most U.S. women religious, opens their annual convocation tomorrow in New Orleans. NCR editor Tom Fox is there to give us on the ground reports. Check this web site regularly for updates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

US Attorney Thomas O'Brien stepping down

LOS ANGELES (CA)
TBO

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien, who has overseen a number of high-profile cases as head prosecutor for the Central District of California, is stepping down to go into private legal practice in Los Angeles.

The U.S. attorney's office said Monday that O'Brien will join the Paul Hastings law firm on Sept. 1.

O'Brien led the prosecution of Missouri mother Lori Drew in the MySpace cyberbullying case. He also oversaw a grand jury investigation of alleged molestation by priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

New study shows current state of vocations to US religious communities

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Catholic religious communities are attracting more ethnically and culturally diverse members now than in previous generations, according to an in-depth survey released Aug. 11.

The "Study of Recent Vocations to Religious Life" also showed that most U.S. religious communities report diminishing numbers with aging populations, but at the same time indicated those who are choosing religious life today are passionate about it and some orders are cultivating vocations from the millennial generation.

With less than 10 percent of women religious and 25 percent of men religious under the age of 60, it's imperative that U.S. religious communities figure out effective methods of recruitment, said Mercy Sister Mary Bendyna, executive director of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and principal author of the study.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Priest calls for sex-case review

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nick McKenzie
August 12, 2009
GEELONG'S most senior priest has broken ranks with his boss, Archbishop Denis Hart, to demand a review of the Melbourne Catholic Church's handling of more than 450 church sexual abuse cases over 13 years.

Father Kevin Dillon's call for a review into the system set up in 1996 by the Melbourne archdiocese to deal with abuse comes just a day after Archbishop Hart dismissed a similar demand from a victims' collective, which is backed by two interstate bishops.

Father Dillon - who is the priest at Geelong's largest church, the St Mary of the Angels Basilica - said yesterday the failure to review a system that has handled so many cases without public scrutiny was due to a church that was ''too self-protecting for its own good''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Church painfully slow to learn lessons of abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Editorial
August 12, 2009

Catholic leaders have been loath to tackle institutional complicity.

FOR an institution in which confession is a sacrament, the Catholic Church struggles to openly acknowledge its responsibilities for the sins of its priests. At times, it has given the clear impression that it wishes sexual abuse victims would shut up and go away. A year ago, the World Youth Day organiser, Bishop Anthony Fisher epitomised that attitude when he accused those calling for a papal apology of ''dwelling crankily on old wounds''.

Now, in response to calls for a review of the Melbourne Archdiocese's system of handling abuse cases, known as the Melbourne Response, the Catholic Vicar-General, Bishop Les Tomlinson, tells The Age: ''You could perhaps draw a conclusion that there is what could be termed a victims' industry … willing to exploit these victims for their own gain.'' Then there is Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart who told a woman who had been sexually abused by a priest to ''go to hell, bitch''. He told The Age he did not recall this, although he apologised in court in 2004 for what the magistrate said was an ''appalling and ungracious act''. To be fair to the archbishop, the magistrate said that while the behaviour of the woman, who knocked on his door at 1.20am, ''may be entirely understandable in one sense, it is absolutely unacceptable behaviour in all other senses''. The woman had been subject to an intervention order after harassing him and his staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Churches urged to review sexual abuse handling

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 11/08/2009

Reporter: Rafael Epstein

There are growing calls within Melbourne's Catholic Church for a review of the way the church deals with sexual abuse claims against priests. Geelong's senior catholic priest says the church's complaints commission, needs an external review. The calls come as The Age newspaper revealed the archbishop of Melbourne told one alleged abuse victim to go to hell.

Transcript
TONY JONES, PRESENTER: There are growing calls within Melbourne's Catholic hierarchy for a review of the way the Church deals with sexual abuse claims against priests.

Geelong's senior Catholic priest says the Church's complaints commission needs an external review.

It was reported last week that the Archbishop of Melbourne told an alleged abuse victim to "go to hell, bitch".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

New Nuns and Priests Seen Opting for Tradition

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: August 10, 2009
A new study of Roman Catholic nuns and priests in the United States shows that an aging, predominantly white generation is being succeeded by a smaller group of more racially and ethnically diverse recruits who are attracted to the religious orders that practice traditional prayer rituals and wear habits.

The study found that the graying of American nuns and priests was even more pronounced than many Catholics had realized. Ninety-one percent of nuns and 75 percent of priests are 60 or older, and most of the rest are at least 50.

They are the generation defined by the Second Vatican Council, of the 1960s, which modernized the church and many of its religious orders. Many nuns gave up their habits, moved out of convents, earned higher educational degrees and went to work in the professions and in community service. The study confirms what has long been suspected: that these more modern religious orders are attracting the fewest new members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

"La Iglesia es el clóset de los gays"

COLOMBIA
Semana

SEMANA: ¿Por qué está escribiendo un libro con los escándalos sexuales de la arquidiócesis de Cali?.

Germán Robledo: Hace dos años hice unas denuncias muy concretas al arzobispo Juan Francisco Sarasty, sobre hechos gravísimos de indisciplina eclesiástica y que se han acrecentado durante su gobierno por falta de control y vigilancia. Todas esas denuncias se las llevó el viento

SEMANA: El título de su libro ‘Hacia un clero Gay’, ¿no es muy duro e injusto?

G.R.: Es duro pero real. Lo que hace es denunciar una tendencia que se está presentando en la Iglesia católica. La experiencia de mis 45 años de vida sacerdotal me da autoridad moral para hacer ese análisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

The "homosexualization" of the clergy in Latin America

COLOMBIA
Rorate Caeli

Colombian weekly Semana publishes in this week's edition an interview granted by Father Germán Robledo, former president of the Archdiocesan Tribunal of Cali - the third largest diocese of Colombia. Will the great wall of silence which covers the fast and unimpeded homosexualization of the clergy in Latin America be brought down at last? When will other priests in other Latin American dioceses come forward?

SEMANA: Why are you writing a book on the sex scandals of the Archdiocese of Cali?

Germán Robledo: Two years ago, I presented some very serious accusations to Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasty, regarding most grievous acts of ecclesiastic indiscipline, and which have increased during his tenure due to the lack of control and vigilance. All these accusations went nowhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Colombian priest charges clerical homosexuality is widespread

COLOMBIA
Catholic Culture

A priest in Colombia has awakened a controversy in that country with a provocative book entitled Toward a Gay Clergy. In an interview with the weekly Semana (translated on the Rorate Caeli site), Father German Robledo charges that 30% of the clergy of the Cali archdiocese-- where he once headed the archdiocesan tribunal-- are homosexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

No Charges Filed Against Fayetteville Priest

FAYETTEVILLE (AR)
The Morning News

By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS

FAYETTEVILLE — The Washington County Prosecutor's office does not intend to file criminal charges against Rev. Bradley Barber.

This weekend, Barber, 53, a Catholic priest, was suspended from his pastoral role at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville because of allegations of sexual misconduct. The accuser is a 24-year-old man.

The accuser alleges he went to Barber's home at the St. Joseph rectory about 3:30 a.m. last Tuesday out of concern for Barber's well-being. The two had exchanged e-mail and phone conversations and Barber sounded drunk, according to a Fayetteville Police Department report released Monday by Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Dustin Roberts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

No assault charge against married Arkansas priest following homosexual encounter

FAYETTEVILLE (AR)
Catholic Culture

Local prosecutors announced that they will not file assault charges against Father Bradley Barber, a now-suspended priest who had been accused of sexually assaulting a young man in his early twenties. Father Barber, a former Episcopal Church cleric who converted to Catholicism and was ordained to the priesthood in 1994 under Pope John Paul II’s 1980 Pastoral Provision, is married and the father of four children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

FAYETTEVILLE: Defrocked priest avoids court

FAYETTEVILLE (AR)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

By Robert J. Smith

FAYETTEVILLE — A Catholic priest whom a parishioner accused of sexual assault will not face charges, the Washington County prosecutor’s office said Monday.

Deputy prosecutor Dustin Roberts said evidence is insufficient that the Rev. Bradley Barber of St. Joseph Catholic Church used force with the 24-year-old man who described asexual encounter to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Humbert School plans triple award ceremony

IRELAND
The Mayo News

Anna-Marie Flynn

THE 2009 General Humbert Summer School will present a total of three awards during its session on Child-Protection Post-Ryan, at this year’s event from August 20th to 23rd next.

As part of the annual Humbert School Awards programme, specially commissioned Humbert School plates will be presented to survivors of child abuse; the Chairman of the Inquiry into Abuse, Mr Justice Sean Ryan; and journalist and writer Mary Raftery, author of the inside story into Ireland’s Industrial Schools, ‘Suffer the Little Children’.

While the original programme outlined the presentation of the award to commemorate the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Abuse chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, founder of the Humbert School, John Cooney, confirmed to The Mayo News that all three awards will now be included in the programme.

“It is important that the survivors of abuse, as well as the journalist, and Justice Ryan, all be incorporated into this. The three strands are all very significant and have shown courage and the Humbert Award recognises that,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Bishop issues tough challenge

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

Confidence in the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in eastern Nova Scotia is being put to the test with a proposed settlement agreement on compensation for the victims of sexual abuse by priests. It is a difficult test for the bishop and other current leaders within the Diocese of Antigonish, and a challenge for parishioners as well, because failed leadership within the hierarchy of the church over the years is responsible in no small part for abusive priests being able to operate for too long with relative impunity and in secrecy.

Announcement of the agreement last Friday came as a bit of a surprise because negotiations towards a settlement appeared to have reached an impasse a year ago when the proposed class action suit against the diocese was formally launched. However, determination on the part of two principal actors — Bishop Raymond Lahey and lead plaintiff Ronald Martin of Sydney — prevailed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Davenport Diocese, university finalize sale of diocesan property

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Georgia Bulletin

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) -- St. Ambrose University is the new owner of 58 acres of property that includes the Diocese of Davenport headquarters. The school's officials finalized the $3.35 million purchase of the St. Vincent property July 31, said Mike Poster, vice president of finance at the diocesan university. The new ownership comes after St. Ambrose negotiated a financial agreement with the trustee handling the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's liquidation of diocesan assets. The court received the deed for the property as part of a $37 million settlement the diocese reached last year with its creditors, most of whom are survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

August 10, 2009

Melbourne Response "compassionate": Hart

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Archbishop Denis Hart dismissed a call to overhaul the Melbourne Response to handling sexual abuse by clergy saying it has delivered "compassion, counselling and compensation" to hundreds of victims over 14 years.

Meanwhile, The Age continued its report on abuses, highlighting a five year old verbal abuse of a woman by the Archbishop, over which he has apologised in court. A "very, very angry" Archbishop Hart reportedly told the woman, who had complained about abuse by priest Barry Whelan, to "go to hell, bitch" after she knocked on his door at 1.20am in March 2004.

The woman was the subject of an intervention order after she had thrown stones through a window of the archbishop's house and hassled him and his staff, The Age said, adding that Melbourne Magistrates Court magistrate Anne Goldsborough said Archbishop Hart apologised for his "appalling and ungracious act" during a hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Former Local Priest Accused Of Sexual Assault

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
KRIS

CORPUS CHRISTI - A former priest at Most Precious Blood and Saint Pius X is accused of sexually assaulting another man inside his church in Arkansas.

Father Bradley Barber has now been removed from his church in Fayetteville, while police investigate the claims. Barber is currently on loan from the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Nun Sexual Abuse Victims Picket in Maryland

SILVER SPRING (MD)
ABC 7

SILVER SPRING, Md. - While many people have heard about allegations of sexual abuse by priests, a local group is now saying children have also been victimized by Catholic nuns.

As with priests, the abuse generally occurred decades ago and while the vast majority of nuns are good, dedicated women, abuse victims say they should be investigated and held accountable just like priests.

A small group of those who say they survived sex abuse by nuns picketed the Silver Spring office of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Archbishop told abuse victim to 'go to hell': report

AUSTRALIA
ABC

By Simon Lauder for AM

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has been accused of saying to a sexual assault victim: "Go to hell, bitch".

The Age newspaper has obtained court transcripts which show the outburst happened after the woman knocked on the Archbishop's door at 1:20am in March 2004.

Archbishop Hart apologised to the woman in court and won a 13-month intervention order against the woman, who had thrown rocks through a window at his house and hassled his staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Can victims still come forward with decades old child sex crimes? California Court to decide in Quarry v. Doe 1 (Bishop of Oakland)

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Two crime victims in Los Angeles, both assaulted by the same Catholic priest - same period of time, same MO, even the same crime scene - are having two different experiences with the civil justice system, an imbalance the California Supreme Court could correct in the coming months in Quarry v. Doe 1. The first victim, Udo, filed a lawsuit during the one-year SOL window in 2003 in the state. So Udo has experienced some justice. The second victim, Ken, did not make the connection between his adult problems and the sexual assaults as a boy until 2008.

Today August 10 is the deadline in the Court for Church Attorneys to file “Opening Brief on the Merits” on Quarry v. Doe 1 (Bishop of Oakland), so briefs much like the justices will be reading, from both plaintiffs and the defense, are Parts 1 and 2 of this post. The remarkable similarities in the stories of Udo and Ken will be part three.

Both men lived through sexual assaults as teenagers at the hands of Rev. Thomas Sullivan while they were students at Loyola High School in the 1950s. Ken is waiting to see the outcome of the Quarry brothers' lawsuit against the Bishop of Oakland, as it will affect whether he, as well as hundreds of other crime victims around the state, will be able to continue pursuing justice. The Catholic Church's main argument to the Court to depublish Quarry is: Otherwise there will be more lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

'The Bishop's Man': a conversation with author Linden MacIntyre

CANADA
National Post

The Bishop’s Man
By Linden MacIntyre
Random House
416 pp.; $32

“If you scrape away all the political and institutional differences, what is the difference between myself and a priest? That’s what I asked myself,” says Linden MacIntyre of the methodology he used to get inside the minds of Catholic priests for his latest novel, The Bishop’s Man (reviewed on The Afterword here). Most people associate MacIntyre with The Fifth Estate, the investigatory journalism television show he has been hosting on the CBC since 1990. But increasingly his name is becoming attached to Creignish, the small Nova Scotian community where he has set a series of novels about the familial, moral and religious dramas of the hopelessly intertwined lives of its residents.

In this latest book, MacIntyre takes a well-studied look at the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic church in the 1990s. Though The Bishop’s Man is fiction, the story closely mirrors real incidents and characters that MacIntyre encountered during the intensive research that he completed before sitting down to write the book.

A priest is a professional navigator of moral and ethical minefields,” says MacIntyre. In his research, he continually asked himself, “What do I have to do to know about what he does?” Though he’s never been a priest, MacIntyre did briefly consider the calling as a young man, and was raised a devout Catholic. His university also had priest instructors, and he counts men of the cloth among his closest friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Sex abuse victim told to 'go to hell'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nick McKenzie
August 11, 2009

MELBOURNE Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart told a woman who had been sexually abused by a priest to "go to hell, bitch" in conduct labelled appalling by a Victorian magistrate.

Archbishop Hart later apologised to the woman in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for what magistrate Anne Goldsborough described as ''appalling words of abuse''.

But last night Archbishop Hart repeatedly claimed that he ''did not recall'' his comments or the magistrate's rebuke in mid-2004. ''It was a number of years ago, I don't recall precisely,'' he told The Age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Priest removed in Fayetteville

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Times

A Fayetteville Catholic priest, Rev. Bradley Barber, has been removed from his pastoral role because of an adult man's allegation that Barber sexually assaulted him last week. The congregation learned the news in a letter from Bishop Andrew Taylor, read to the congregation, according to a detailed article in the Morning News. More background:

Barber, 53, is a former Episcopal priest. He and his wife joined the St. Joseph parish in 2007. He moved to Fayetteville from the Corpus Christi, Texas, Diocese. Officials there are being informed of the sexual assault allegations, Malone read from the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Priest suspended after allegation of misconduct with an adult

FAYETTEVILLE (AR)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock

Father Bradley Barber, administrator of St. Joseph Church in Fayetteville, was placed on suspension Aug. 4 after the Diocese of Little Rock received information that the Fayetteville police were investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct with an adult against him. Father Barber, 53, a priest on loan from the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, came to Arkansas in 2007 to serve in Fayetteville. He is a former Episcopal priest who converted to Catholicism and given permission to become a Catholic priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Father Barber suspended after allegation of sexual misconduct with an adult

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Catholic

Published: August 10, 2009

Father Bradley Barber, administrator of St. Joseph Church in Fayetteville, was placed on suspension Aug. 4 after the diocese received information that the Fayetteville police were investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct with an adult against him.

Msgr. Francis I. Malone, chancellor for ecclesial affairs, celebrated weekend Masses Aug. 8-9 in Fayetteville and read a letter written by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor. The bishop will celebrate a special Mass at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 10 in Fayetteville to pray for the alleged victim, Father Barber, his family and the parish.

Bishop Taylor said an adult male alleges that he had sexual contact with Father Barber in the rectory. No charges have been filed, and the diocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement in its investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Priest Asked To Step Down Amid Allegations Of Sexual Assault

FAYETTEVILLE (AR)
The Morning News

By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS

FAYETTEVILLE — The diocese has removed the Rev. Bradley Barber from his pastoral role at St. Joseph Catholic Churchin Fayetteville after an accusation of sexual assault.

The allegation is under investigation by both the church and the Washington County prosecutor, a church official and attorney said. No criminal charges have been filed, said officials with the Diocese of Little Rock.

The accuser is in his early 20s and alleges that Barber forced him to engage in sexual activity Tuesday between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. at Barber's home, said the Rev. Francis Malone, chancellor for ecclesial affairs with the Diocese of Little Rock. Malone read a letter to parishioners during masses this weekend at St. Joseph. Malone said the letter was from Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Little Rock Diocese. Taylor said it was "the saddest letter I ever had to write."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Australian bishops at odds over ‘Melbourne Response’ to abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

August 10, 2009
Two bishops have joined abuse victims’ advocates in criticizing the Melbourne Response-- the procedure by which Australia’s largest diocese has handled 450 abuse allegations since 1996. Father Paul Pavlou, now convicted, was warned by the archdiocese in 2007 that he was the subject of an inquiry, and a cathedral newsletter last month called a priest who abused three women “a living treasure.”

Supporting victims’ advocates, Bishop Michael J. Malone of Maitland-Newcastle said he would not make excuses for an institution “which refuses to listen or admit there is fault.” Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, the retired Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney and author of Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church, added, “‘I have over the years heard a number of reports of victims feeling intimidated by the system itself. These feelings need to be heard and addressed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Married Arkansas priest steps down following homosexual assault allegation

ARKANSAS
Catholic Culture

August 10, 2009
Father Bradley Barber, a former Episcopal Church cleric who converted to Catholicism and was ordained to the priesthood in 1994 under Pope John Paul II’s 1980 Pastoral Provision, has been removed from his Arkansas parish following allegations that he assaulted a man in his early 20s on August 4. Father Barber is married and the father of four children.

In a letter read to the parish at Sunday Mass-- “the saddest letter I ever had to write”-- Bishop Anthony Taylor wrote that “Father Barber has violated our trust” and that “it is not clear yet what criminal charges might be filed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Church's abuse response under fire

AUSTRALIA
3AW

Posted by: By Ben Wise, 3AW | 10 August, 2009 - 12:15 PM

There are renewed calls for Melbourne's Catholic Church to overhaul its handling of sexual abuse cases, with allegations a priest accused of abusing a minor was told beforehand that he was the subject of a covert police probe, undermining the investigation.

There are also concerns over whether the so-called 'Melbourne Response', the system put in place by the Church to handle sexual abuse matters, is too intimidating for victims.

The Melbourne Response was set up by Archbishop George Pell in 1996 and has handled about 450 cases. Its inquiry arm is headed by a church-appointed barrister and respected Queen's Counsel, Peter O'Callaghan, while its compensation panel has offered up to $55,000 to about 280 abuse victims. All but six have accepted the pay-out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

David Pierce trial rescheduled

BENTON (AR)
Courier

Sunday, 09 August 2009

A short continuance has been granted in a court proceeding for David Pierce, the former minister of music at Benton’s First Baptist Church, who faces 54 counts of sexual indecency with a child.

Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady said the proceeding that was set for Aug. 17 has been moved to Aug. 27 because of a trial conflict of Pierce’s attorney, Mark Hampton of Little Rock, formerly of Benton.

Casady, Hampton and Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips selected the nearest date to Aug. 17, Casady said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Passions Remain High as Child Victims Act Is Derailed After Bruising Fight

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: August 9, 2009
Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey was rushed to an Albany hospital on June 23, the last day of the Assembly’s session, and was held overnight for observation with symptoms later diagnosed as dangerously high blood pressure.

The episode, aides said, whatever its cause, capped an intensely difficult period for Ms. Markey, 62, a Queens Democrat who had been cajoling and vote-herding for months in a frantic effort to shore up support for her Child Victims Act, a bill that would loosen restrictions on lawsuits involving the sexual abuse of children.

This was the year the perennial legislation appeared to have a chance. It had already passed in the Assembly by wide margins in 2006, 2007 and 2008. And though the State Senate had blocked the bill in the past, a new Democratic majority there appeared likely to make New York one of three states with a law allowing people to sue their alleged molesters — during a specific grace period — no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Compelling novel displays journalist's skill, sensitivity

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Reviewed by Angela Narth

The Bishop's Man
By Linden MacIntyre
Random House Canada, 416 pages, $32

Linden MacIntyre, one of Canada's most distinguished broadcast journalists, has used his considerable skill at truth-telling to weave a literary novel that is both entertaining and compelling.

Early in his vocation, Father Duncan MacAskill, the bishop's man of the book's title, showed an unusual ability to calm troubled waters.

During his early years in the priesthood, he was sent to investigate allegations and ultimately to rid the Church of members guilty of misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Brother fulfills promise with sexual abuse class action suit

CANADA
Metro Halifax

PAUL MCLEOD
METRO HALIFAX
August 10, 2009 12:08 a.m.

Victims of sexual abuse and a Nova Scotian Roman Catholic Diocese announced they’ve reached a $13-million settlement Friday.

The settlement is designed to compensate the victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests while allowing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish to avoid bankruptcy.

Ronald Martin, who said his abuse started at the age of 13, started the class action lawsuit. In 2002, Martin’s brother took his own life and in a suicide note revealed he too had been sexually assaulted as a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Top Roman Catholic official's transcript shows 'who cares'

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald ColumnistContact writer
Published: 8/10/2009

"Thou shall not speak in code" isn't one of the Ten Commandments.

So for decades, when top Roman Catholic officials of the Chicago Archdiocese used the word "sabbatical" to describe a forced hiatus by a pedophile priests, they were not really doing anything immoral.

Or so they must have told themselves.

That much is obvious from the deposition of now-retired Bishop Raymond Goedert, at one time the second-in-command of the Chicago Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former Coventry priest in court to face child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

Aug 10 2009 by Warren Manger, Coventry Telegraph

A FORMER Coventry priest appeared in court on Saturday charged with a string of sexual abuse crimes against young boys.

James Robinson finally faced the British legal system when he was brought before magistrates in Birmingham.

He denied more than 20 acts of sexual abuse spanning more than two decades, with the earliest dating back half a century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

August 9, 2009

Former Catholic priest to face child sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Birmingham Post

Aug 10 2009 by John Marsden, Birmingham Post

A former Roman Catholic priest was remanded in custody by Birminbgham magistrates after extradition from the US to face allegations of sexual abuse.

Father James Robinson, 71, spoke to confirm his name and date of birth at a two-minute hearing on Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Former US priest charged with sex abuse in UK

UNITED KINGDOM
San Francisco Chronicle

(08-08) 10:43 PDT LONDON, United Kingdom (AP) --

A former California priest extradited from the U.S. appeared in a British court Saturday, charged with sexually abusing young boys.

James Robinson, 71, is alleged to have carried out the abuse when he served as a Roman Catholic priest in Britain between 1959 and 1983. He moved to California in 1985 and was arrested there in January after he was tracked down by a BBC program and challenged in person by one of his accusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Faith betrayed

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 10, 2009

When a Catholic priest began preying on her son, Lisa Smith sought help. But the church's response left her feeling shaken, bewildered and betrayed. Nick McKenzie reports.

FOR an experienced detective, what is missing from a crime scene can be more telling than what is there. It could be a knife missing from its place in the kitchen or a room that seems too spotless.

When Victorian detectives seized Paul Pavlou's computer in 2007, they were struck by the lack of online history, especially given that a witness had told them only weeks before that the Healesville priest was a regular internet user. So detectives brought in one of the tools of the modern investigator, a forensic computer expert. He task was simple: to find what was missing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Abusive priest was told of police investigation

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nick McKenzie
August 10, 2009

MELBOURNE'S Catholic Church is under pressure to overhaul its handling of sexual abuse cases after revelations that a priest accused of abusing a minor was told beforehand that he was the subject of a covert police probe, undermining the investigation.

The pressure is likely to intensify amid claims from the Catholic Vicar- General, Bishop Les Tomlinson, that there exists a sexual abuse ''victims' industry'' that seeks to exploit victims' suffering to make money.

The priest who was told of a police investigation is the now-convicted sex offender Paul Pavlou. Pavlou was informed of the police inquiry by a church-appointed investigator in July 2007, only days after his victim's lawyer requested that the priest not be told of the investigation. Three weeks later, police raided Pavlou's house and discovered the priest's computer had been wiped. They also found a letter warning him of their inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Church calls abuser 'living treasure'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nick McKenzie
August 10, 2009
THE Melbourne Catholic church's vicar-general has attacked the emergence of what he describes as a ''victims' industry'' that seeks to exploit victims of church sexual abuse.

In an interview with The Age in which Bishop Les Tomlinson dismissed calls from a victims' collective to review the Melbourne archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse claims, he said he ''wouldn't rule out the possibility that there are people willing to exploit these victims for their own gain".

"You could perhaps draw a conclusion that there is what could be termed a victims' industry," he said. ...

Meanwhile, the Melbourne archdiocese has said it did not endorse a St Patrick's Cathedral newsletter that named Barry Whelan as a "living treasure" and asked parishioners to pray for him in the "year of the priest".

Over several decades, five women have accused Whelan of sexually abusing them, including a woman who was 13 at the time of the alleged abuse and a woman who claims to have had Whelan's son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Salesians settle sex-abuse claim with 3 men

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By Gary Stern • gstern@lohud.com • August 9, 2009

The Salesians of Don Bosco have agreed to pay a financial settlement to three men who say they were sexually abused by the Rev. Richard McCormick, a former head of the religious order for the eastern United States and a former director of the Marian Shrine in Stony Point.

Three other men also have come forward in recent weeks to accuse McCormick of abuse, according to a prominent Boston lawyer who negotiated the settlement with the Salesians.

The Salesians' Eastern Province, which includes all Salesian activities and personnel east of the Mississippi River and throughout Canada, is based in New Rochelle. The Salesians would not say whether McCormick, 68, is currently residing in New Rochelle or elsewhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

O’Malley looks back

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / August 9, 2009

Last Sunday was the 25th anniversary of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s ordination as a bishop, and he celebrated with a Mass at St. Patrick Parish in Natick (above), dinner and a cake with the Franciscan friars at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and a commemorative edition of The Pilot. The big archdiocesan celebration will be Sept. 16, when O’Malley will headline a “priest appreciation dinner’’ as a fund-raiser for the cash-strapped priest pension funds. ...

He reflects briefly on his career cleaning up dioceses wracked by abuse scandals (Boston is his third such diocese, after Fall River and Palm Beach, Fla.). He says that when he arrived in Palm Beach, where both of his predecessors had been accused of abuse, “I was fingerprinted, and, at the press conference, one of the reporters asked me whether I was a pedophile.’’ He writes that when he was assigned to Boston, “the climate in Boston could not have been more negative.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Uganda People News: Pastor Sempa, Kyazze, Kayiira faces arrest

UGANDA
UG Pulse

Uganda Police have written to the Director of Public Prosecutions requesting him to bring charges against four pastors who reportedly assisted some people to allege that Pastor Kayanja had sodomised them.

The development is contained in the police report entitled Sodomy cases against Pastor Kayanja, a copy of which Ultimate Media has seen. The report says that Police found out no evidence to pin Pastor Kayanja.

The report furthers provides that pastors Martin Sempa, Moses Solomon Male, Michael Kyazze, Felix Semujju and Bo Kayiira reportedly influenced Pastor Kayanja’s accusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Book Review: The Bishop's Man, by Linden MacIntyre

CANADA
National Post

The Bishop’s Man
By Linden MacIntyre
Random House
416 pp.; $32

Reviewed by Nicholas Pashley

It was probably more appealing to be a Catholic priest back when people feared and respected the Church and its Earthly representatives. Nowadays, when ideas of sin or celibacy seem rather quaint, and priests are tainted with the whiff of sexual scandal, the priesthood looms less attractive as a career option for young men (and, of course, young women need not apply).

The narrator of Linden MacIntyre’s new novel, his second, is a Catholic priest in the mid-1990s. Duncan MacAskill is a Cape Bretoner in his early fifties, assigned to a remote parish near his birthplace. It is his first parish.

The Bishop’s Man takes its title from MacAskill’s history of providing useful services to his boss, a bishop determined to stifle any sort of controversy involving wayward priests at a time when scandals have rocked Newfoundland, Boston and numerous other dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

August 8, 2009

Police get Kayanja off the hook; charge pastors

UGANDA
Sunday Monitor

Chris Obore

Kampala

Police have cleared Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral of sodomy allegations. Instead, the Police have written to the Director of Public Prosecutions urging him to brings charges against four pastors who reportedly assisted some people to allege that Pastor Kayanja had sodomised them.

According to the report entitled Sodomy cases against Pastor Kayanja, a copy of which Sunday Monitor has obtained, there is no evidence to pin Pastor Kayanja.

The police investigators concluded thus: “In each of the complaints of sodomy against Pastor Robert Kayanja, the investigations did not reveal any evidence of such offence(s) committed. Further, following medical examination of the complainants, the Police surgeon did not find any evidence of sodomy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Priest returns to UK to face child abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Robin Henry

A former Roman Catholic priest has been extradited to Britain from the US to face a string of child sex abuse charges spanning three decades.

Father James Robinson, who is accused of 22 sex offences on young boys between 1959 and 1983, returned to the UK yesterday.

The 71-year-old who moved to California in the mid-1980s will appear before magistrates in Birmingham later today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Wichita Priest arrested after Sex Sting operation

WICHITA (KS)
Examiner

August 7, 10:17 PM
Wichita Headlines Examiner Erica Wheeler

A Wichita priest was arrested early Friday morning for sex crimes at a local park.

Father Doug Campbell, pastor at St. Jude Parish was arrested today during a sex crimes sting at Oak Park.

The news of the local priest's arrest spread quickly, and everyone who knows Campbell was shocked.

In a statement to local news station KAKE News Friday afternoon, Bishop Michael Jackels said:

"The Diocese of Wichita is cooperating fully with authorities, and will continue to do so, regarding the misdemeanor charges brought against a diocesan priest. This priest has been granted a temporary leave from his ministerial duties to receive counseling and help for his spiritual renewal. I am saddened by this situation. In addition to the common good, I am concerned and will care for the well-being of the priest and his parish."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Priest arrested in prostitution sting

WICHITA (KS)
The Wichita Eagle

By Eagle staff
The Wichita Eagle
WICHITA — A Wichita Catholic priest was among seven people arrested during a prostitution sting along Broadway and in the Riverside Park area late Thursday and early Friday.

In a statement issued Friday, Bishop Michael Jackels of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita said the diocese is cooperating with authorities regarding the misdemeanor arrest. He did not name the priest.

"This priest has been granted a temporary leave from his ministerial duties to receive counseling and help for his spiritual renewal," the statement said. "I am saddened by the situation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Wichita Priest Arrested For Sex Crimes

WICHITA (KS)
KAKE

[with video]

Reporter: Jared Cerullo
Email Address: jared.cerullo@kake.com

A Wichita priest was arrested early Friday and jailed for sex crimes at a local park. Father Doug Campbell, 64, is the pastor at St. Jude Parish in North Wichita.

The news spread very quickly Friday afternoon among parishioners at the church in the 3000 block of North Amidon. Father Campbell was arrested during a sex crimes sting at Oak Park.

Campbell has been the priest at St. Jude for a little more than 10 years. Everybody we spoke to Friday afternoon had nothing but good things to say about him. In fact, they were shocked. Some had not heard the news that Campbell was booked into jail early Friday after police organized the sex crimes sting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Louisiana child sex case revealed by confession

UNITED STATES
Associated Press

By DEBORAH HASTINGS (AP)

There were times when prosecutor Don Wall, a man not easily shocked, simply closed the file and stopped reading.

He knew he had the makings of a very good case — not the least of which were volumes of written confessions. But page after page filled with ungodly details burned his eyes and seared his soul. Looking at them made him bone-weary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Ritual child sex cases' lessons often unlearned

UNITED STATES
Newsday

August 8, 2009 By The Associated Press DEBORAH HASTINGS (AP National Writer)

There are cases in which the accused admits, in sickening detail, exactly what was done to children: A self-anointed pastor walks into a small-town Louisiana sheriff's office and announces he and others have forced children into sexual acts for years, dabbling in witchcraft as well.

Those are the easy ones.

Then there are those in which the facts may never be known. The ones that show some authorities still stumble when talking to children about abuse — despite the awful legacy left by hysteria-driven trials that began in the 1980s and lasted two decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Ex-priest extradited on sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

A former Roman Catholic priest has been extradited to Britain from the United States to face allegations of sex abuse, police said.

Father James Robinson was returned to the UK and has now been charged with 22 offences alleged to have been committed between 1959 and 1983.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said the 71-year-old, who moved to California in the mid-1980s, would appear before magistrates in Birmingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Archbishop Carlson reaches out to parishioners at St. Raphael Parish

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

Barbara Watkins and Joseph Kenny

“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.

Archbishop Carlson, in a homily at a Mass Aug. 1 at the priest’s parish, noted parishioners’ pain — with some hurting, scandalized or embarrassed — and apologized on behalf of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Church makes $13-million sex abuse settlement

CANADA
CTV

CTV.ca News Staff

The Catholic Church has agreed to a massive $13-million settlement in a sexual abuse lawsuit in Nova Scotia.

The class action lawsuit was brought forward by Ronald Martin, whose brother, David, claimed he was sexually abused by the priest of their rural parish in a suicide note.

It was the same abuse that Ronald Martin says he suffered from as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Carlson confronts first crisis with priest's arrest in sting

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

08/08/2009

Not yet two months on the job, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, received a call at 9 a.m. on July 30 from his priest personnel director. Monsignor Richard Hanneke had horrific news.

The Rev. James Patrick Grady, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Church in south St. Louis, had been arrested in an FBI sting. Grady, 57, had shown up Wednesday at a house used as an FBI trap after arranging to pay for a sex act with a 16-year-old girl, according to federal court documents. The sting also nabbed two other men — a bank employee and a landscaping company employee. Investigators searched Grady's car and computer. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 5.

The question — given Carlson's experience dealing with Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors — was how well did he and his staff handle his first crisis?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Ex-priest faces sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Roman Catholic priest has been extradited to the UK from the US to face allegations of sexually abusing young boys up to 50 years ago.

James Robinson, 71, was returned to the UK on Friday and has been charged with 22 offences alleged to have been committed between 1959 and 1983.

Mr Robinson, who moved to California in the mid 1980s, is known to have worked in Birmingham and Coventry.

He has been remanded in custody by magistrates in Birmingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Ex-priest remanded on sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
The Press Association

A former Roman Catholic priest has been remanded in custody after being extradited to Britain from the United States to face allegations of sexual abuse.

Father James Robinson, 71, spoke only to confirm his name and date-of-birth during a two-minute hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

The clergyman - alleged to have abused young boys in Walsall, Birmingham, Coventry and Wales between 1959 and 1983 - was ordered to appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on November 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

N.S. diocese announces millions for abuse victims.

CANADA
Canada.com

Canwest News Service
August 7, 2009

What's being called an ``extraordinary resolution'' was reached Friday when a Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia announced a multimillion- dollar settlement with victims of sexual abuse by a priest.

The proposed settlement - totalling more than $13 million - brings to end a class-action lawsuit filed by Ron Martin.

"I want to formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the Church,'' said Raymond Lahey, bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Smothering the scandals: Linden MacIntyre pens powerful novel about priestly sexual abuse.

CANADA
Canada.com

By Paul Gessell, Canwest News Service
August 7, 2009

Finally, well into his 60s, Linden MacIntyre became a priest, or as close to a priest as the self-described agnostic dared to be.

As a boy, growing up in the Cape Breton community of Port Hastings, young Linden often thought about becoming a priest. Priests got to travel. They did good works. They had respect. It was better than being a miner or lumberjack.

Instead, MacIntyre became a journalist and made something of a name for himself as a crusader. You can catch him on CBC television, as co-host of the hard-hitting investigative program The Fifth Estate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

SETTLEMENT FOR ALLEGED SEX ABUSE IN N. S. DIOCESE

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

HALIFAX -- When Ron Martin read his younger brother's suicide note seven years ago, he was stunned to find out that his sibling claimed he had been sexually assaulted by the priest of their small Nova Scotia parish.

Martin knew nothing of his brother's torment on the day in April 2002 when he identified his remains, but said he shared the same pain of prolonged sexual abuse by a priest who had been invited into the family home every week for Sunday dinner.

He vowed to pursue charges against the priest and made a promise to his brother not to let his death go in vain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Former US priest charged with sex abuse in UK

UNITED KINGDOM
Washington Post

The Associated Press
Saturday, August 8, 2009; 5:44 AM

LONDON -- British police have charged a former California priest with sexually abusing young boys when he served in the United Kingdom between 1959 and 1983.

James Robinson moved to California in 1985. The 71-year-old was arrested there in January after he was tracked down by a BBC program and challenged in person by one of his accusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

August 7, 2009

Wichita priest arrested during prostitution sting

WICHITA (KS)
KSN

WICHITA, Kansas – A Catholic priest from a Wichita church has been arrested for sex crimes. Police made the arrest during an early morning prostitution sting. The priest of the west Wichita church was one of five men arrested in the operation.

The Bishop says the priest has been temporarily relieved of his duties at St. Jude Catholic Church in west Wichita while the charges are investigated.

It all happened in Oak Park in the Riverside area at around 3:30 a.m. Friday. Wichita police were conducting a prostitution sting during which police records show they arrested a Catholic priest in the Wichita Diocese.

KSN is not identifying him until official charges have been filed, but he was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior, public nudity and being in the park after hours. A 36-year-old man was arrested in connection with the priest’s case. In all, seven were arrested on various charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Opening Statement By Raymond Lahey Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish

CANADA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish

Friday, August 7, 2009

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for your presence here today.

I am Bishop Raymond Lahey of the Diocese of Antigonish.

Before I say anything else here today, as Bishop of Antigonish, I want to formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the Church.

I want them to know how terribly sorry we are; how wrong this abuse was, and how we are now attempting to right those wrongs. Money can never compensate fully, but we are trying throughout this process to be fair, responsible, respectful, and most of all, compassionate. Above all, we want to do the right thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Nova Scotia Catholic diocese reaches proposed settlement in clergy abuse suit

CANADA
Jurist

Andrew Morgan at 3:23 PM ET

[JURIST] A Canadian Catholic diocese on Friday reached a proposed settlement agreement [text, PDF; press release] in a class action suit alleging that diocesan priests sexually abused children. Under the terms of the agreement, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish [diocesan website] would establish a CAD $12 million fund from which people who were abused by priests since 1950, or their estates, could be compensated for pain and suffering, the costs of necessary counseling, lost wages, and legal costs. At a Friday press conference [statement text] with lead plaintiff Ron Martin, Bishop Raymond Lahey [diocesan profile] formally apologized to the victims and their families, and called the agreement a "symbolically important" step toward reconciliation:

I believe that in this Settlement, by avoiding adversarial procedures, we have created a fair and respectful process. We have worked together to achieve genuine mutual agreement. To the extent that we can, we want to correct the wrongs of the past. While we have not short-circuited due process—we have learned from other situations – and we have been very sensitive to ensure a procedure of verification that is truly respectful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Antigonish Diocese Priest Sexual Abuse Class Action Settlement

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

In 2004 Ronald Martin and other survivors filed lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish, and Bishop Raymond Lahey, seeking compensation for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Hugh Vincent MacDonald, a former priest of the Antigonish Diocese.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed

In January 2009 Ronald Martin filed a class action against the Diocese of Antigonish, and Bishop Raymond Lahey, on behalf of all persons who were sexually abused by priests from the Antigonish Diocese between 1950 and 2009. The claim included survivors who were sexually abused by Father Hugh Vincent MacDonald, Father Clair Richard, Father Claude Richard, Father James Mombourquette, Father Frank MacNeil and Father Michael MacNeil as well as any other priest employed by the Diocese of Antigonish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Hope stirs in religious life

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Aug. 07, 2009 All Things Catholic

Summer is conference season, which makes it a great time to get a sense of what’s stirring at the grass roots of the Catholic church in America. I’m speaking this week at a couple of Catholic events, and Thursday brought me to the annual assembly of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, representing the leadership of more than 20,000 vowed religious priests and brothers in the United States, some 10 percent of whom are now foreign missionaries.

The assembly took place in St. Louis, at a downtown hotel with a dramatic view of the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse where the Dred Scott case began to work its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the mid-19th century. ...

Membership isn’t the only challenge. Benedictine Abbot Jerome Kodell of the Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas acknowledged that the orders have also been badly shaken by the sexual abuse crisis. In part, Kodell said, that’s because of the enormous damage caused by priests who abused their trust; in part, he said, it’s because every priest today lives with the knowledge that “we may be accused tomorrow, guilty or innocent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Settlement reached in lawsuit against N.S. diocese over alleged sex abuse

CANADA
CKTB

Fri, 2009-08-07 12:48.
By: Alison Auld, THE CANADIAN PRESS

HALIFAX, N.S. - A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia reached an historic agreement with known and alleged victims of sexual abuse by its priests, announcing a $13 million settlement Friday for the decades old claims.

Bishop Raymond Lahey of the Antigonish diocese, where the abuse is alleged to have occurred, said the agreement is the first step in recognizing the alleged abuse of children as young as eight years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Proposed settlement reached in class action against Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish for sexual abuse by priests:

CANADA
CNW Group

Victims of sexual abuse and estates of deceased may be eligible to claim compensation from $13 million settlement fund.

HALIFAX, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - One year ago Ronald Martin filed a proposed class action in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish seeking compensation for himself and all persons who were sexually abused by priests of the Diocese.

Today the parties to the lawsuit announced a proposed settlement of the class action totalling more than $13 million for all persons who were sexually assaulted by any priest of the Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Antigonish since January 1, 1950, including the estates of those persons if they have since passed away. The class action is referred to as Martin v Lahey et al, Hfx No.297827.

Persons impacted and choosing to participate in the settlement are considered "Class Members".

THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT

The proposed settlement can be broken down as follows:

i) up to $12 million will be paid by the Diocese into a "Settlement Fund" to pay compensation to eligible Class Members;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

N.S. diocese makes $13M sex-abuse settlement

CANADA
CBC News

A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia has reached a $13-million settlement with people who claimed they were sexually abused by priests going back to 1950.

Raymond Lahey, bishop of the diocese of Antigonish, announced the deal regarding a class-action lawsuit at a news conference Friday in Halifax, and issued an apology.

"I want to formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those young people who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the church," said Lahey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

All Roads Sex-Abuse Lawsuits Lead to Rome

CANADA
The Stranger

Posted by Brendan Kiley on Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 11:07 AM
Another month, another multi-million dollar settlement against the Catholic church for knowingly—knowingly—putting children directly in harm's way, this time in Nova Scotia.

This suit claims the conspiracy went all the way to the Pope. The church doesn't deny it and doesn't want to spend any of its (considerable) resources disproving it. The silence speaks volumes:

The suit against the Roman Catholic diocese of Antigonish was filed last year. It claimed the church, under instructions from the Pope, had a policy to keep sex-abuse allegations against priests secret, with ex-communication as the penalty.

It also claimed the church, diocese and bishop sent priests from the Antigonish diocese for treatment for "sexual deviations," but kept it secret and didn't protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

N.S. diocese settles sex abuse suit

CANADA
The London Free Press

Fri, August 7, 2009
By THE CANADIAN PRESS

HALIFAX — A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia named in a class-action lawsuit over the alleged sexual abuse of children by its priests has reached a proposed settlement with the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit was launched last year by Ronald Martin, whose brother wrote a suicide note that led to charges of sex crimes against a priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish.

In the suit, Martin claimed that the diocese failed to protect children in its care when it became aware of the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

N.S. diocese to pay 13M to sexually abused victims

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Agence France-Presse
August 7, 2009 3:15 PM

MONTREAL - Antigonish diocese in Canada's Nova Scotia province has agreed to pay millions of dollars in compensation to victims of a priest who sexually abused children, CBC news reported Friday.

Antigonish Bishop Raymond Lahey issued a formal apology to the victims and their families in front of television cameras and announced the diocese would pay compensation worth 13 million Canadian dollars (12 million U.S. dollars).

"I want to formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the Church," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Settlement in Antigonish Diocese Priest Sexual Abuse Class Action!

CANADA
John McKiggan's Sexual Abuse Claims Blog

[settlement agreement]

I am pleased to announce that Ronald Martin’s class action against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish on behalf of persons who were sexually abused by priests employed by the Diocese has been settled.

Settlement Agreement

At a press conference today, Ron Martin and Bishop Raymond Lahey signed a settlement agreement to resolve the class action lawsuit.

13 Million Dollars

The Diocese of Antigonish has agreed to a fund of up to 13 million dollars to compensate anyone who was sexually abused by a priest that was a member of the Antigonish Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

U.S. women religious leadership, at the crossroads

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Ken Briggs

As I see it, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which gathers next week in New Orleans, faces a bleak choice: either die or survive at a great cost to its integrity and dignity.

The Vatican has thrown down the gauntlet. The choice is stark: acquiesce to a “doctrinal assessment” of leadership conference views -- on women’s ordination, the primacy of Roman Catholicism and homosexuality – or reject the probe as an unwarranted fishing expedition bent on putting the organization out of business.

What we have here, I believe, could be the last major struggle over a way of understanding what it means to be Catholic. Sisters have retained more of Vatican II ethos and spirit than any group in the church, in the face of formidable opposition to large segments of it by the last two popes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

LifeWay says 1 in 8 church background checks finds criminal record

NASHVILLE (TN)
The Baptist Standard

By Bob Allen
Published: August 07, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ABP) -- One in eight background checks conducted on volunteers or prospective employees through LifeWay Christian Resources found a criminal history that might have kept an individual from working or volunteering at a church, the Southern Baptist Convention publishing house reported Aug. 4.

Last year LifeWay negotiated an affinity-group discount for screening services for churches with Backgroundchecks.com , a 10-year-old company with 4,500 clients. Since then, according to a news release, about 450 churches requested more than 5,000 background checks on volunteers and prospective employees.

SNAP activists picketed outside the 2007 SBC annual meeting in San Antonio to draw awareness to sexual abuse by clergy. After this photo was taken, they say, an SBC official ordered them out of the shade on the convention center plaza and onto a public sidewalk in 95-degree heat and full sun. (StopBaptistPredators.org)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Bridgeport Diocese Asks Nation's Top Court To Keep Documents Sealed

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant

August 7, 2009

The Bridgeport diocese is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to keep thousands of pages of court documents involving priest abuse cases under seal until that court decides in the fall whether to take up the case. In a 45-page document filed by Mayer Brown LLP of New York, the law firm that is apparently going to handle the appeal, church officials argue that if the documents are not kept under seal the appeal will be moot because the "media will disseminate the documents," thereby depriving the justices of the opportunity to review the legal issues.

The motion claims that there is a good chance the high court will take up the diocese's case because of two issues — the state Supreme Court's definition of what constitutes a legal document; and the church's contention that its First Amendment rights would be violated by the unsealing of documents that church officials produced with the understanding that they would be sealed forever.

The diocese is trying to keep closed more than 12,600 pages of depositions, exhibits and legal arguments involving 23 lawsuits against seven priests from the Bridgeport diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Catholics defy bishop, attend banned priest's retreat

INDIA
Indian Catholic

MANGALORE, India : About 1,000 Catholics defied the orders of their bishop as they attended a retreat conducted by a priest who had been banned from performing pastoral duties.

Catholics from various parts of Mangalore diocese in Karnataka state attended the Aug. 2 retreat that Divine Word Father Jacob Gerald Sequeira conducted, ignoring Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza's orders to people to stay away from his programs.

In a July 22 circular, Bishop D'Souza had also banned the popular preacher from performing priestly duties for his alleged "disobedience" of his superiors and "unholy relations with a woman." The circular also announced that the priest is barred from celebrating Mass or administering any pastoral duties in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Convicted Pedophile Priest May Walk

UNITED STATES
Ohmy News (South Korea)

Tom Pauken II

Published 2009-08-07 16:03 (KST)

Defense attorney Robert A. Maloney does not lack confidence, nor does he hesitate from cussing out a reporter for a joke, when he talks about the fate of his client, Donald J. McGuire, the former Jesuit priest, who is currently serving a 25 year sentence at a federal penitentiary in Springfield, Missouri.

"McGuire is going to walk," he said. "25 years in the slammer and he's going to walk. This is incredible."

McGuire was convicted in a federal court in Chicago for engaging in sex acts with a minor during trips abroad in 2000, 2002 and 2008. He was also convicted in a Wisconsin trial in 2006 for molesting two students from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, during visits near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in the late 1960's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Principal faces trial in sex case

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

Peter Hardwick | 5th August 2009

THE Toowoomba Catholic primary school principal accused of covering up a girl's complaint that she had been sexually molested by a teacher is to stand trial on the matter.

The 49-year-old man, who cannot be named, was suspended on full pay in February when the cover-up allegations surfaced.

The charge is believed to be one of the first of its kind in Queensland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Child abuse led man to take own life, inquest hears

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Georgina O'Halloran and Shane Hickey

Friday August 07 2009

A MAN who suffered years of abuse as a teenager took his own life following the publication of the Ryan report into clerical sex crimes, it emerged yesterday.

An inquest heard Damian Joseph Farrelly (42) was found dead by his wife at their home in June following a period in which he drank heavily and "couldn't cope with the pain" associated with the abuse he received 30 years earlier.

Frances Farrelly had returned to the family home at Westbourne Close, Clondalkin, Dublin, on June 23 after picking up her daughter from playschool when she found her husband hanging from the attic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

August 6, 2009

Jury begins to deliberate in ex-pastor's child porn trial

TEXAS
Waco Tribune-Herald

By TOMMY WITHERSPOOON
Waco Tribune-Herald

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A McLennan County jury deliberated about an hour before breaking for lunch at 12:30 p.m. in the case of a 65-year-old former pastor on trial accused of possessing child pornography.

The seven men and five women heard 50 minutes of closing arguments this morning from both sides. Their verdict will hinge on whether they believe Henry Elbert Edgington's testimony that he collected the images for a "bona fide legislative purpose" as his lawyer claims.

Edgington testified Tuesday that he was conducting a one-man war against online child pornography and planned to get help in his crusade from U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Waco).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 PM

Conn. diocese: keep stay on releasing abuse papers

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Newsday

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to continue a stay on releasing sex abuse documents until the nation's high court decides whether to review the case.

Ralph Johnson III, attorney for the diocese, said he filed the motion Thursday after the Connecticut Supreme Court decided last week that the stay remained in place until the U.S. Supreme Court decided the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 PM

Bridgeport Diocese rejects reports of nunnery threat as 'untrue'

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Catholic News Agency

Bridgeport, Conn., Aug 4, 2009 / 07:42 pm (CNA).- Reports that an accountant and a priest at a Catholic parish in Connecticut were mistreated and threatened by the Diocese of Bridgeport are being rejected by the diocese as “inaccurate” and “untrue.”

Headlines about a lawsuit related to the fallout from a financial scandal in the diocese read, “Conn. priest: Bishop wanted to send me to the nuns” and “Whistleblower priest claims bishop threatened him.” The priest in question, Fr. Michael Madden, was serving alongside Fr. Jude Fay, who was later found guilty of embezzling $1 million from the parish.

When contacted by CNA, the diocese said that the “statements by Father Madden regarding his conversation with Bishop William Lori are untrue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Bridgeport diocese disputes Darien church employee's claims

CONNECTICUT
The Advocate

By Monica Potts
Staff Writer

A day after a memorandum was filed in a lawsuit against the Diocese of Bridgeport over the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, the diocese issued a statement disputing assertions contained in the legal document.

In the statement, published on the diocese's Web site Tuesday, the diocese said the church's former bookkeeper, Bethany D'Erario, had not been pushed out of her job or retaliated against after revelations that Fay embezzled $1 million, but had instead left voluntarily.

In a lawsuit filed last year, D'Erario claims her employers created a hostile work environment after she reported Fay to a private investigator. The diocese says D'Erario did not take action against Fay until he had already been removed and was being investigated at their request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Crosier - credibly accused - Jim Moeglein

MINNESOTA
YouTube

Bob Schwiderski of the Minnesota Chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests discusses the Rev. James Moeglein who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

As the top official of the Crosier Priory Community of Onamia, Minn., Father Moeglein was also for a decade the top official of the boys school named Crosier Seminary, the student councilor, the head of the student recruitment office and the chairman of the school Board of Directors, according to the SNAP director.

As the Prior he was responsible for assignments and/or appointments of Crosier members to the church associated with the school, Holy Cross Catholic Church, and to the Little Flower Catholic Church & Mission on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa community, he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Response from Voice of the Faithful

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

August 5, 2009 -- Read the response to the archdiocese memo from Voice of the Faithful.
A July 2009 internal document (Background Information for Pastors Regarding Upcoming Legal Document Release) continues the ongoing failed secrecy and spin with which the archdiocese addresses the clergy sex abuse crisis. The document was issued for "responding to the inquiries" regarding the recently published deposition (taken November 2007) of Bishop Goedert. The bishop was the Vicar for priests in 1987-91 and cooperated in moving pedophile priests to unaware parishes. This deposition describes the abhorrent behavior that lead to continued abuse of children.

The document penned by Coleen Dolan (presumably with the blessing of the Cardinal) continues to demonstrate their lack of understanding of the issues. In states, "Negotiation and mediation are the most compassionate and efficient ways to resolve claims". While many survivors find mediation to be best for them and don't even want to begin to face the rigors of a trial, there are situations where the behavior of the archdiocese forces a victim into litigation. Litigation is polarizing and expensive and certainly not the first choice of anyone. But at times it is the just route to resolving the sins of the bishops. We can't help but wonder what Jesus would say to the amoral tone of correspondence emanating from the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

I-Team Report: Talking Points

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

[with video]

[link to the talking points document]

By Chuck Goudie
August 5, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The I-Team has obtained a confidential memo recently sent by the archdiocese to Chicago pastors and priests.

The seven pages of 'talking points' are intended for Chicago Roman Catholic Church officials to use while answering questions about priest sex abuse - questions from parishioners or even the press.

For victim's groups, such a public relations tactic is raising questions about whether the archdiocese is as honest and transparent as it now claims, while church leaders say times have changed and they are all about openness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Thomas P. Doyle: Fighting to Prevent Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
The Daily Message Point

The Rev. Tom Doyle was on the fast track. Eleven years after ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood he was a canon or church lawyer on the staff of the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C. His future looked exceedingly bright.

But in 1984 his career took a swerve he didn’t see coming. The idealistic Doyle was about to receive a crash course in radical evil, both individual and institutional.

A National Spotlight

The Vatican had been receiving reports of a high-profile case of clergy sexual abuse in Lafayette, Louisiana, about a two-hour drive west of New Orleans. Doyle was responsible for preparing files, monitoring correspondence, and preparing responses in the case for the Vatican ambassador, his boss, Archbishop Pio Laghi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Medjugorje - a shrine to the Virgin Mary or a sham?

Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland)

By Eamonn McCann
Thursday, 6 August 2009

Will the real Prince of Darkness please stand up? Are you Pope Benedict XVI or the spitting image of the Mother of God?

Benedict says that the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) allegedly making daily appearances in the village of Medjugorje in Herzegovina is a fraud designed by the Devil to lure Catholics from the path of righteousness. Vatican officials have admitted that the apparition is virtually indistinguishable from, so to speak, the real |thing — as one would expect from such a cunning falsifier of truth |as Beelzebub.

Indeed, speaking last year, senior Vatican cleric and former top exorcist Bishop Andrea Gemma pointed out that it is the very plausibility of the Medjugorje BVM which most strongly suggests she is a fake. “The whole sham is the work of the Devil.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Limerick industrial school survivor calls for All-Ireland day's minute silence

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Published Date: 06 August 2009
By Norma Prendiville
TOM Wall, a survivor of abuse at Glin Industrial School, believes there should be a minute's silence at this year's All-Ireland finals in recognition of the suffering and injustice endured by the thousands of boys and girls who were incarcerated in industial schools over more than a century.

"It would mean a lot to everybody," Mr Wall said this week.

"A minute's silence in Croke Park would be a recognition of the fact that this is the year the Ryan report on abuse in industrial schools was published - and that no-one can any longer deny what happened in those places," Mr Wall continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Authors shares perspectives on sex abuse with group in Washington

WASHINGTON (CT)
The News-Times

By Nanci G. Hutson
staff writer

WASHINGTON -- At a long table in the Washington Club Hall, two women and a man unveiled to a small audienceshows how their lives have been marked by sexual abuse -- one as victim, one as offender, and another as a researcher.

All three -- Kristen Skedgell, James Cordelino and Lisa Rene Reynolds -- have written books about their experiences and participated in the July 29 panel discussion, titled "Power: It's Role in Sexual Abuse.'' About 30 people attended. ...

The second speaker, Reynolds, a Litchfield County therapist and practicing Catholic, wrote a 2004 book titled, "Coming Out and Covering Up: Catholic Priests Talk About Sex Scandals in the Church,'' which explored the impact the church sex scandal had on practicing priests.

She found priests angered that the church was able to use its power to hide their colleagues' wrongdoing.

Many she interviewed said the worst part of the scandal for them was that they were now under a "magnifying glass'' that left them isolated. Most yearn for a more open dialogue, so parishioners accept that priests are not immune to "human error,'' she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Settlement Reached in Case of Defrocked Pastor Who Worked in Bremerton

SEATTLE (WA)
Kitsap Sun

By Kitsap Sun staff
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

SEATTLE

The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle the sex abuse claims against a deceased minister who once worked in Bremerton, according to the plaintiff’s attorney.

A 67-year-old Thurston County man claimed he’d been sexually abused in 1959 by Father James Knelleken, who’d worked in Raymond, Seattle, Everett and Bremerton over a 37-year career, said the 67-year-old’s attorney, James Rogers of Seattle.

Knelleken was assigned as the first pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Bremerton the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Ayatollah would have seen McQuaid as kindred spirit

IRELAND
The Irish Times

John Gibbons

EARLIER THIS week, Pope Benedict XVI said he was “deeply grieved” by the deaths of seven Christians in clashes with Muslims in Pakistan. These killings arose from an alleged desecration of the Koran. The pope urged Pakistani Christians to continue trying to build a society “marked by mutual respect” among religions. Could this be the same Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who in 2000 described all non-Christians as being in a “gravely deficient situation” regarding salvation?

Such pompous nonsense about one religion or the other holding the keys to heaven/salvation is by no means the sole preserve of the Vatican. Pretty much every religion believes everyone else is, to a lesser or greater extent, damned.

Yet it’s all a simple accident of geography. Being born in Ireland in the 1960s, like almost everyone else, I was automatically baptised a Catholic. Had I been born in Iran, I would almost certainly be a Muslim. ...

Repressive, authoritarian systems of whatever hue lend themselves to the commission of great crimes by the powerful against the weak, and so it was to prove with the systematic abuse and brutalisation of 170,000 children over several decades by the very religious orders charged with their care. The Ryan report, published in May, laid out a black litany of clerical crimes and cover-ups. Clerical abuse is not the result of a few delinquents among the shepherds, wrote Christopher Hitchens, “but an outcome of an ideology which sought to establish clerical control by means of control of the sexual instinct, and even of the sexual organs”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Imprisoned priest, clergy abuse victim clash

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

The first article below, written by imprisoned priest Gordon MacRae, was originally published by the Catholic League and is reproduced in its entirety. The second article, written by David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), is a response to Father MacRae's article.

DUE PROCESS FOR ACCUSED PRIESTS

By Father Gordon J. MacRae

This article is expanded from a commentary by the same author entitled "Crime and Punishment" published in the November 2008 issue of First Things.

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on a phenomenon in psychology and marketing called "availability bias." Kahneman demonstrated the human tendency to give a proposition validity just by how easily it comes to mind. An uncorroborated statement can be widely seen as true merely because the media has repeated it. ...

David Clohessy's response:

It's hard to know where to begin to respond to MacRae's comments. For starters, he totally mischaracterizes the situation. It's not a "priestly scandal." It's a deeply rooted and longstanding and on-going scandal of the Church hierarchy, which largely continues to ignore or hide suspicions and knowledge of clergy sex crimes while disciplining no one responsible and using a vigorous, expensive public relations effort to mischaracterize the crisis.

Similarly, MacRae mischaracterizes the legal process, claiming, "With but rare exceptions, only Catholic priests face the daunting and sometimes hopeless task of defending themselves against sex abuse claims that are many years or decades old." This canard is simply backwards: The burden is on the victims, not the accused priests, to prove their cases. And of course, it's wrong. Law enforcement is getting more and more aggressive and creative about pursuing older sex crimes by all offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Vermont judge pushes mediation

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway • Free Press Staff Writer • August 6, 2009

Judge Helen Toor said Wednesday that she will push to have longstanding cases involving alleged priest sexual abuse and malpractice by a Burlington eye doctor resolved during her stint as presiding judge at Chittenden Superior Court.

Toor, in back-to-back hearings Wednesday in Burlington with lawyers connected with the cases, signaled she wants some or all of the pending cases in the two matters to undergo mediation in the near future with the goal of reaching out-of-court settlements.

"Other than mediation, I don't know how we're going to get these cases tried before we're all retired," Toor told lawyers representing the state's Roman Catholic diocese and the alleged victims of the priest sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

August 5, 2009

Stepped-up probe sought by activists

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By NEENA SATIJA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The sexual abuse scandal that tore apart America's Catholic churches is far from over, area church activists said Sunday.

One such activist is Barbara Blaine, who heads the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. She was among a group of about a dozen protesters who stood outside Rosary Cathedral, calling for Catholic leaders to step up their investigations of sexual abuse by priests - and nuns too.

The protesters called for their claims to become part of a nationwide investigation of church activity or be treated as a separate matter, but to be taken seriously either way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Seattle Archdiocese, man settle for $350,000 over sex-abuse claims

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

A Pacific County man has reached a $350,000 settlement with the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese over claims he was abused decades ago by former priest James Knelleken, according to James Rogers, the plaintiff's attorney.

The man, identified in court documents only by the initials L.J., said he was abused as a 16-year-old in 1959 by Knelleken, who was serving as pastor at Immaculate Conception church in Raymond, Pacific County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Lawsuit, deposition allege diocese played hardball with whistleblower priest, accountant

CONNECTICUT
Catholic Culture

August 05, 2009
A lawsuit filed by Bethany D’Erario, a former parish accountant, alleges that the Diocese of Bridgeport created a hostile work environment after she and an assistant priest, Father Michael Madden, hired a private investigator to examine the suspicious financial dealings of the parish’s pastor, Father Michael Jude Fay. After the private investigator turned over information to police, Father Fay was arrested and eventually sentenced to prison for embezzling $1 million.

Ms. D’Erario also alleges that Father Fay had a homosexual affair with a finance council member.

In a deposition given in connection with the lawsuit, Madden-- who sought to leave the priesthood in 2006-- alleges that Bishop William Lori threatened to send him to a nuns’ convent in retaliation after he found out he hired a private investigator. The diocesan attorney responded that “at no time did Bishop Lori ever threaten to send Mr. Madden to live with nuns.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Aboriginal day school survivors sue federal government

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

Chinta Puxley

Winnipeg — The Canadian Press

.Gary McLean says that when he was seven years old and could not speak English, he was forced to attend Dog Creek Indian Day School.

His older siblings taught him how to ask to go to the bathroom in English, but he says that didn't save him from getting the strap when he spoke his native language of Ojibwa.

During his eight years at the school, Mr. McLean says he was forced to kneel in a corner of the classroom as punishment for having spoken Ojibwa. He adds that he was also repeatedly sexually assaulted by a nun until he left the school in 1965.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

VOTF Supporters More Than Double Needed Amount

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

Since our emergency request for operating funds on July 13th, Voice of the Faithful has received more than $120,000 from more than 1,200 supporters—more than double the amount we needed to keep the national office open.

The positive response overwhelms us, coming as it did in the middle of the summer, in less than three weeks time, and during dreadful economic times. Your generosity underscores a spiritual commitment to our mission and goals, a commitment that encourages us as we prepare to launch Voices in Action, our strategic direction for the next two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Lawsuit, deposition allege diocese played hardball with whistleblower priest, accountant

CONNECTICUT
Catholic Culture

August 05, 2009
A lawsuit filed by Bethany D’Erario, a former parish accountant, alleges that the Diocese of Bridgeport created a hostile work environment after she and an assistant priest, Father Michael Madden, hired a private investigator to examine the suspicious financial dealings of the parish’s pastor, Father Michael Jude Fay. After the private investigator turned over information to police, Father Fay was arrested and eventually sentenced to prison for embezzling $1 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Convicted Rapist Asks To Be Released From Prison

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

BALTIMORE (WJZ)
A former Baltimore Catholic school teacher serving a life sentence for raping a student went before a judge Wednesday asking to be released immediately.

Suzanne Collins explains John Merzbacher's legal appeal.

Merzbacher says his lawyer didn't tell him about a plea bargain offer of just 10 years in prison in return for a guilty plea. He went to trial and got a life sentence instead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Deafening silence over deaths of Irish babies (Contribution)

IRELAND
Clerical Whispers

I wrote an extended feature less than two weeks ago on known and unknown deaths in industrial and reform schools, Magdalen laundries and mother and baby homes.

The story required soul-searching because of its gravitas. I am glad the story has done well for Irish Central but chilled at the silence from Ireland.

It is an Irish story, after all.

There are a few possible reasons. Perhaps nobody from Ireland surfed onto Irish Central. That’s extremely unlikely, as the site attracts almost a quarter of all its hits each week from people outside the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Abuse victim is honoured for bravery

IRELAND
Kerryman

By DÓNAL NOLAN

Wednesday August 05 2009

A GLIN survivor of industrial-school abuse has this week been awarded the title of Limerick Man of the Month for August — in recognition of his brave efforts to expose the brutal regime that once existed at Glin Industrial School where he suffered at the hands of the Christian Brothers for over a decade.

Thomas Wall was one of the many survivors of the industrial regime in the country who testified before the redress board prior to the compilation of the Ryan Report. Inducted into St Joseph's Industrial School at three years of age — the last person in Ireland to have been admitted so young — Mr Wall suffered years of abuse, both physical and sexual, sometimes at the hands of the most vicious Christian Brothers in the industrial system.

While recognition of the plight of these survivors has come late, it is still a source of great consolation, Mr Wall said. "I am delighted with the honour of receiving the nomination for Limerick Man of the Month and I take it on behalf of all my friends and colleagues who survived the system," he told The Kerryman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Convicted priest to be sentenced Nov. 9

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

By BOB VAILLANCOURT, THE SUDBURY STAR

Roman Catholic priest Bernard Cloutier, convicted last month of sexually molesting young men a quarter century ago at various church parishes in the Sudbury area, will be sentenced in a Sudbury courtroom Nov. 9.

A date for the sentencing of the 68-year-old priest was set Tuesday.

Cloutier was originally charged with 16 charges of sex-related offences involving five young men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Who Will Probe The U.N.-Vatican Connection?

CFP (Canada)

By Cliff Kincaid Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The Boston Globe won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of priests who sexually abused children. There is a Pulitzer Prize waiting for the reporter who can figure out why the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, considered by Catholics the personal representative of Jesus Christ, has become an advocate for one of the most corrupt organizations on the face of the earth-the United Nations.

The U.N. has been rocked by scandals involving U.N. “peace-keepers” who sexually abuse women and children, the failure to protect populations in danger of genocide, and financial corruption. It is an anti-American institution founded by a Soviet spy that is currently headed by a Communist Catholic Priest, U.N. General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto, who recently gave a speech at a U.N. financial conference on the need to protect “Mother Earth.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Catholic sisters face query

UNITED STATES
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

By Eric Gorski THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Vatican-ordered investigation into Roman Catholic sisters in the U.S., shrouded in mystery when it was announced seven months ago, is shaping up to be a tough examination of whether women’s religious communities have strayed too far from church teaching.

The review “is intended as a constructive assessment and an expression of genuine concern for the quality of the life” of roughly 59,000 U.S. Catholic sisters, according to a Vatican working paper delivered in the past few days to leaders of 341 religious congregations.

But the nature of some questions in the document seems to validate concerns expressed privately by some sisters that they’re about to be dressed down or accused of being unfaithful to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Priest says he has ‘chosen another path'

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • August 4, 2009

When he was a 25-year-old novice in a Roman Catholic religious order, Lawman Chibundi was assigned to work in the remote Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Africa, where his novice master advised: “Before you get there, remember — God is already there.”

A decade later, Chibundi says he has been repeating that message to himself as he undergoes another, very different journey.

In 2004, Chibundi, a native of Zambia, became the first African-born priest ordained in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.

But early this year, Chibundi left the Roman Catholic priesthood and started an independent parish known as Rabbouni Catholic Community, which uses liturgical services similar to those in Roman Catholic parishes, though it has no connection with the larger denomination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Rev Lewis' case put off until Sept 4

JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

Adrian Frater, News Editor
WESTERN BUREAU:

Christian worshippers burst into spontaneous prayer outside the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday as celebrity pastor the Reverend Dr Paul Lewis made another appearance in his carnal abuse case.

However, like the Brooklyn, United States-based pastor's last trip to the courthouse, there was a quick adjournment because the prosecution's case against him was not ready.

Lewis, who is facing carnal abuse and indecent assault charges, had his $1 million bail extended until his Thursday, September 4, court date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Court hearing on diocesan abuse report next month

IRELAND
The Irish Times

FIONA GARTLAND

THE HIGH Court is to hear a request from the Minister for Justice next month for direction on whether he can publish the latest report into child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Counsel for the Minister will seek clarification under the Commission of Investigation Act 2004 on whether it is safe to publish the report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. It is the first time any Minister has sought direction under the Act. There are fears full disclosure of the inquiry into allegations against a sample 46 priests in the Dublin archdiocese could prejudice the trials of three of them currently facing prosecutions.

Under section 38 of the Act, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern must seek directions from the High Court if the publication of the report might prejudice any criminal proceedings that are pending or in progress.